sloyer - pafg34.htm - Generated by Personal Ancestral File

Descendants of Johann Michael SCHLËYER

Sixth Generation


637. Eva Lima SLOYER (John "Mark" SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1 on 20 Mar 1894 in Horton. Kansas. She died 2 on 25 Jan 1966. She was buried 3 in Maplewood Cemetery; Emporia, Kansas. She joined religion 5 First United Methodist Church. She was employed 6 as many years in Logans Department Store; El Dorado, Kansas.

Schleier-Schloyer-Sloyer Family Association manuscript gives middle name as Lima

Eva married 1, 2 David Harrison "Harry" BLACK on 11 Feb 1915 in Christian Church parsonage; Emporia, Kansas. David was born 3 on 8 Oct 1885 in Admire, Kansas. He died 4 on 28 May 1973 in El Dorado, Kansas. He was buried 5 in Maplewood Cemetery; Emporia, Kansas. He was employed 8 as clerk in 1920 in grocery. He was employed 9 as truck driver in 1930 in Oil field. He retired 10 oil production, 37 years in 1955.

Joyce GODFREY research

1920 US Census, Kansas, Lyon Co., Emporia, ED# 51, sheet 10B (, image 20 of 27)

lines 82-84


Harry head; own, free; male; white; 34; married; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. WI; yes to speaks English; clerk, grocery, wages

Eva wife; female; white; 25; married; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. KS; yes to speaks English

Verna Lee daughter; female; white; 2; single; b. KS; father b. KS; mother b. KS

Joyce GODFREY research

1930 US Census, Kansas, Butler Co.,Towanda Twp., Oil Field, ED# 46, sheet 10A, April 25, 1930

lines 6-8


Harry head; rent, $8; male; white; 45; married; 30 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. WI; yes to speaks English; truck driver, oil field, wages; not a veteran

Eva wife; female; white; 36; married; 21 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. KS;yes to speaks English

Verna Lee daughter; female; white; 11; single;yes to attends school; yes to read & write; b. KA; father b. KS; mother b. KS; yes to speaks English

They had the following children:

+ 1589 F i "Verna Lee" BLACK

638. Jesse Edgar SLOYER (John "Mark" SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2 on 14 Jul 1896 in Lyon Co., Kansas. He died 3, 4 on 24 Feb 1977 in Wichita, Kansas. He was buried 5 in Maplewood Cemetery; Emporia, Kansas. Jesse was employed 6 as laborer in 1920 in feed store.

Joyce Godfrey research:

1920 US Census, Kansas, Lyon Co., Emporia City, ED # 51, p. 8A (, image 15 of 27)

dated Jan. 15, 1920, 302 S. Union Street, lines 40 - 41


Jesse E. head; rent; male; white; 23; married; yes to read & write; b. Kansas; father b. Pennsylvania; mother b. Kansas; yes to speak English; laborer, feed store, wages

Lenna wife; female; white; 22; married; yes to read & write; b. Kansas; father b. Illinois; mother b. Indiana; yes to speak English
1930 US Census, Kansas, Lyon Co., Emporia, ED# 15, sheet 1A, April 3, 1930
[, image 1 of 33) lines 14-17

Clara head; own, $5500; female; white; 60; widowed; yes to read & write; b. Kansas; father
b. SD; mother b. Germany; yes to speak English

Jesse E. son; male; white; 33; married; 23 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. Kansas; father
b. PA; mother b. Kansas; yes to speaks English; occupation unreadable; yes to veteran, WW

Lenna daughter-in-law; female; white; 30; married; 20 age at first marriage; yes to read & write;
b. Kansas; father b. IL; mother b. IN; yes to speaks English

Delbert grandson; male; white; 7; single; yes to attends school; b. Kansas; father b. Kansas; mother b. Kansas

Death Notice of Jess E. SLOYER, Emporia Gazette, February 25, 1977, p. 2, col. 8

Jess SLOYER Dies

Jess E. SLOYER, 630 Walnut St., died Thursday evening at St. Francis Hospital, Wichita.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by the Roberts-Blue Funeral Home.

Obituary of Jess E. SLOYER, Emporia Gazette, February 26, 1977, p. 2, col. 1

SLOYER Services Set

Funeral services for Jesse E. SLOYER, 630 Walnut St., who died Thursday in St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock in the Roberts-Blue-Barnett chapel. The Rev. Judd H. JONES, pastor of the First United Methodist Church, will officiate and burial will be in Maplewood cemetery.

The family has suggested memorial contributions to the Hetlinger Developmental Center.

Jesse E, SLOYER was a lifetime resident of Lyon County, and for more than 40 years was owner of the S. and S. Feed and Coal Company. He retired in 1952. He was born in the Maxson neighborhood, north of Emporia, July 14, 1896, the son of John Marcus and Clara ZIMMERMAN SLOYER. On Oct. 16, 1919, he married Lenna R. WHITAKER in Emporia. Mr. SLOYER was a veteran of World War I and a 50-year member of Ball-McColm American Legion Post. He was also a 50-year member of the Modern Woodmen of America.

Survivors include his wife; one son Delbert SLOYER, Wichita; one sister, Meta SIMS, Wichita; two grandchildren, Mark and Judy SLOYER of Palms, Calif.; and one great-grandchild, Jeffrey SLOYER of Palms. He was preceded in death by three sisters, Vera HILL, Elsie ROMESBURG, and Eva BLACK.

Jesse married 1, 2 Lenna Retha WHITAKER daughter of Charles WHITAKER and Ollie SYPULT on 16 Oct 1919 in Emporia, Lyon Co., KS. Lenna was born 3, 4 on 24 Oct 1899 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. She died 5, 6 on 29 Aug 1980 in Wichita, Kansas. She was buried 7 in Maplewood Cemetery; Emporia, Kansas.

Obituary of Lenna R. SLOYER, Emporia Gazette, Emporia, KS, Sept. 2, 1980, p. 2, col. 2:


Funeral services for a former Emporian, Mrs. Jesse E. SLOYER of Wichita, will be held Wednesday at 10:30 A.M. in the Roberts-Blue-Barnett Chapel, with burial in Maplewood Cemetery. The Rev. Judd H. JONES of First United Methodist Church will conduct the services.

The family has suggested memorial contributions to the Hetlinger Development Center of Emporia. They may be sent in care of the funeral home.

Lenna R. WHITAKER, daughter of Charles and Ollie SYPULT WHITAKER, was born Oct. 24, 1899, in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and died Aug. 29 at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. She moved to Emporia in 1915 and was married to Jesse SLOYER on Oct. 16, 1919, in Emporia. Mr. SLOYER died Feb. 24, 1977. Mrs. SLOYER also was preceded in death by two brothers, Clarence and Walter WHITAKER, and one sister, Lola RHOADS.

Survivors are one son, Delbert SLOYER of Wichita; two brothers, Guy J. WHITAKER of Olpe and Raymond WHITAKER of Bushnell, Ill; two grandchildren, Judy and Mark SLOYER, and two great-grandchildren.

They had the following children:

+ 1590 M i Delbert Mark SLOYER

639. Meta Imo SLOYER (John "Mark" SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1 on 1 Aug 1899 in Emporia, Kansas. She died 2, 3 on 26 Feb 1980 in El Dorado, Kansas. She was buried 4 in Maplewood Cemetery; Emporia, Kansas. Meta was employed 5 as prior to 1946 in S & S Feed Store; Emporia, Kansas. She retired 6 in Boeing. She joined religion 7 in First United Methodist Church; Eldorado, Kansas.

Linda Pendarvis reports- Meta Imo Sloyer was born on 1 Aug 1899 in Emporia, Kansas. She died on 26 Feb 1980 in El Dorado, Kansas. She was buried in Maplewood Cemetery; Emporia, Kansas. Meta retired in Boeing. She joined religion in First United Methodist Church; Eldorado, Kansas. She was employed as prior to 1946 in S & S Feed Store; Emporia, Kansas.

Meta married 1 Robert D. SIMS on 1 Nov 1919 in Lyon Co., KS. Robert was born 2 on 5 Jun 1895 in Americus, Kansas. He died 3 on 12 Aug 1965 in Wichita, Kansas. He was buried 4 in Maplewood Cemetery; Emporia, Kansas. Robert was employed 5 as guard in Boeing; Wichita, Kansas. He joined religion 6 in First United Methodist Church; Eldorado, Kansas. He served in the military 9 WWI in France. He was employed 10 as in Fire department; Emporia Kansas.

Linda Pendarvis reports-
Robert was employed as guard in Boeing; Wichita, Kansas. He joined religion in First United Methodist Church; Eldorado, Kansas. He served in the military WWI in France. He was employed as in Fire department; Emporia Kansas

They had the following children:

  1591 M i J.M. SIMS was born 1 on 25 Oct 1925. He died 2 on 26 Oct 1925. He was buried 3 in Maplewood Cemetery; Emporia, Kansas.

640. Lillie Mae MESSINGER (Clara Elizabeth SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2 on 14 Aug 1887 in Horton, Kansas. She died 3 in 1934. She was buried 4 in Elmhurst Cemetery; Guymon, Oklahoma.

DEATH: Denice (STERNER) PURI reports lillie died in Aug. 1933, Linda KLOSEK reports she died July 1933

Lillie married 1 Walter S. PHILLIPS on 16 Aug 1908. Walter was born 2, 3 in 1885 in Kansas. He died 4 in 1959 in Guymon, Oklahoma. He was buried 5 in Elmhurst Cemetery; Guymon, Oklahoma. Walter was employed 6 as farmer in 1910. He was employed 7 as merchant in 1920 in coal & grain store. He was employed 8 as merchant in 1930 in Feed store.

BIRTH: Linda KLOSEK reports his birth as about 1886; the 1910 & 1920 census records make his birth about 1884, the 1930 record makes it about 1886. Denise (STERNER) PURI reports his birth as Aug 1886.
1910 US Census, Oklahoma, Texas Co, Hackberry Twp., ED# 251, sheet 5A, April 28 & 29, 1910(, image 9 of 9)

lines 22-23

Walter S. head; white; male; 26, married1. 3 years; b. KS; father b. IA; mother b. MO; farmer, farm; yes to read & write; own, free, farm

Lillie wife; white; female; 22; married1, 3 years; had 0 children; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. PA; yes to read & write
1920 US Census, Oklahoma, Texas Co., Guymon 2nd ward, ED# 191, sheet, 5B, Jan. 6, 1920(, image 9 of 35)

lines 84-87

Walter head; own, free; male; white; 35; married; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. IA; mother b. MO; merchant, coal & grain

Lillie wife; female; white; 32; married; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. PA

Vera daughter; female; white; 3; single; b. KS; father b. KS; mother b. KS

Emmitt brother; male; white; 45; single; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. IA; mother b. MO; merchant, coal & grain
1930 US Census, Oklahoma, Texas Co., Guymon 2nd ward, ED# 11, sheet, 2B, April 8, 1930 (, image 23 of 44)

lines 74-76

Walter S. head; own, $5000; male; white; 43; married, 21 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. IA; mother b. MO; merchant, feed store

Lillie M. wife; female; white; 42; married, 20 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. PA

Vera B. daughter; female; white; 14; single; yes to attends school, read & write; b. KS; father b. KS; mother b. KS
DEATH: Linda KLOSEK reports his death as 1965 as does Denis (STERNER) PURI

They had the following children:

+ 1592 F i Vera B. PHILLIPS

641. Franklin Ellsworth MESSINGER (Clara Elizabeth SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2 on 30 Dec 1889 in Horton, Kansas. He died 3 on 30 May 1987 in Easton, Pennsylvania. He was buried 4 in Memorial Shrine cemetery; Northampton Co., Pennsylvania. Franklin was employed 5 as pipefitter in 1930.

Author of The History of the Franklin Sloyer Family and Allen & Clara Messinger Family- The Memoirs Of Franklin Ellsworth Messinger
The Schleier-Schloyer-Sloyer Family Association manuscript says Frank was married to Bertha HORNSBY
Joyce GODFREY research

1920 US Census, Kansas, Shawnee Co, Topeka, ED # 180, sheet 18B, dated Jan. 15 (, image 36 of 38)

Frank MESSINGER head; won home, free; male; white; 30; married; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. PA; yes to speak English; baker, bakery; wages

Bertha wife; female; white; 28; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. England, mother tongue English; mother b, unknown; yes to speak English

Dale son; male; white; 4; single; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. KS; mother b. KS

Carl son; male; white; 1; single; b. KS; father b. KS; mother b. KS
1930 US Census, Pennsylvania, Northampton Co., Easton 4th ward, ED# 43, sheet 17A (, image 33 of 53)


Frank E. head; rent, $35; male; white; 40; married, 40 age at first marriage; yes to read & writeb. KS; father b. PA; mother b. PA; pipe fitter

Hilda M. wife; female; white; 26; married, 26 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. PA; father b. PA; mother b. PA; hiusewife
Jay WILLIS research

Obituary of Frank E. MESSINGER from The Morning Call Newspaper Co., PA, dated Monday, June 1, 1987, p. B06, copy provided by Jay WILLIS


Frank E. MESSINGER, 97, formerly of Easton, died Saturday in the State Belt Medical Center. He was the husband of Hilda M. (STERNER) MESSINGER.

He was a shipping clerk at Bethlehem Steel Corp. for 17 years before retiring in 1972. He previously was a baker for Schaible's Bakery, Wilson.

Born in Horton, Kan., he was a son of the late Allen and Clara (SLOYER) MESSINGER.

He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Bangor.

He organized the Harmony Four and sang in the barbershop quartet for 20 years until the 1950s.

Surviving with his widow are four sons, Maynard A. and Ernest C. both of Nazareth, and Raymond F. of Berwick, Columbia County, and Harvey G. of Easton; two daughters, Lorraine FAREKAS and Doris CASTNER, both of Easton; 21 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the church. Calling hours will be 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Ashton Funeral Home, 14th and Northampton streets, Easton.

BIRTH: D'Ann reports his birth year as 1890

Written in 1982-83

The Memoirs Of Franklin Ellsworth Messinger

Edited and Printed in 2006


Frank Messinger tells a wonderful tale of childhood memories that gives the reader the feeling of being right there when the story was just unfolding. It’s with this concept in mind, and with his implied intentions that his hand written manuscript comes to life in the form now presented to the reader and family. It is his original work, which has been edited and polished to reflect the story as it is felt he wanted it to be told. Chapters were rearranged to make the story flow naturally, but the order of written work remains the same. Punctuation for dialogues was inserted, and an occasional word inserted here and there in brackets to help along the flow of the story, but the original content remains as it was so that the reader could become aware of Frank’s perspective as he told his story. The story is told with a very frank, matter of fact depiction, with honesty, even if Frank’s actions were not shown in a favorable light. Very little was omitted, and only if there was a momentary confusion within the manuscript. Where ever possible the material was reintroduced within the context it was meant to be placed. One also needs to keep in mind that although Frank was fairly accurate, he was mistaken with some dates. One needs to verify all dates to make sure that accuracy is maintained within the family data. Dates were not corrected

These are precious snapshots in time for the Messinger family history. I am sure you will find yourself transported in time and enjoy every moment of this story.

Denice (Sterner) Puri
May 2006

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Family Connections .............................................. 4 Chapter 2 Uncle Abe and Moving West .............................................. 6
Chapter 3 Living in Ohio .............................................. 8
Chapter 4 Allen Messinger and Clara Elizabeth Sloyer Marry and Start a Family 10
Chapter 5 Farming Near Fremont, Ohio ..............................................12
Chapter 6 Visiting Pennsylvania .............................................. 15
Chapter 7 Back to Fremont, Ohio .............................................. 18
Chapter 8 1903 to 1905 in Ohio ......................................... 21
Chapter 9 Living on the 100 Acre Farm in Ohio in 1909 ......................27
Chapter 10 Lillie’s Beau and Cousin William Continued Visit ……..29
Chapter 11 Leaving Ohio for the Homestead in Oklahoma …….. 32
Chapter 12 The Oklahoma Homestead .............................................. 36
Chapter 13 Dug Outs .............................................. 39
Chapter 14 Billy and Cattle on the Range ..............................................40
Chapter 15 Digging the Well .............................................. 42
Chapter 16 Living in Oklahoma .............................................. 44
Chapter 17 Going to work for Uncle Mark in Emporia, Kansas ……..47
Chapter 18 The Postage Stamp .............................................. 50
Chapter 19 Finishing Work for Mr. Patterson and Going Home ……..52
Chapter 20 Moving to Granada, Kansas ..............................................55
Chapter 21 Frank’s Thanksgiving Story 1982 .............................................. 57
Chapter 22 Back in Kansas .............................................. 60
Chapter 23 The Play and Frank’s Story ..............................................63
Chapter 24 The Christmas Story ..............................................68
Chapter 25 Returning to Kansas .............................................. 71
Chapter 26 Returning Home to Pennsylvania ............................................. 80
Chapter 27 Family, Dates and Relationships .............................................. 82
Chapter 28 Continuing the Return to Pennsylvania …………………….. 84
Chapter 29 Tying Up Various Memories ..............................................89

Chapter 1
Family Connections

I am Frank E. Messinger. I was born in Horton, Kansas, and the good Lord willing, December 30, 1983 I will be 94 years old. I am a patient here in the Slate Belt Medical Center since May 8th, 1981 and I like it here. I like the nurses and the doctors and I am starting to write a History Book of the Life on the Messinger and Sloyer family. My grandfather, Levi Messinger and his wife, Mary which I never knew and they are both dead. My grandfather, Levi Messinger lived In Freemansburg, Pennsylvania and I think he was born around 1835, but I don’t know the birth date. I do know he lived in Freemansburg, and I used to hear my dad tell a lot of his history. Levi was killed as he was walking the railroad track one morning, going to work, as that was a short cut. Levi was very hard of hearing. An early morning passenger train came around the bend, the engineer blew the whistle and he kept blowing it but Levi didn’t hear it.

My grandfather, Levi Messinger and my grandma Messinger are both buried in the Freemansburg cemetery. My dad Allen Messinger never had a middle name, he was born in Freemansburg, Sept. 16, 1864 and he was five years old when his father died. The engine hit Levi and knocked him over in the corn field, about thirty feet away. Levi always wore leather boots and they found one of his leather boots about half way from the railroad track and to where Grandfather Levi laid dead. I used to hear my father tell about this, how his mother died when he was only six years old. That was back in 1870. I never saw either one of these grandparents as they both died before I was born. Now I will tell you who was in my grandfather’s family.

The first one was my Uncle William Messinger, who lived in South Easton. He was born in 1857. He worked for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, breaking in the yards for 38 years. He died in 1948. He was 91 and his wife Emma was born in 1861 and she died at 72 years of age in 1933. Their daughter Susan was born in 1884 aid she died in Gracedale, Nazareth, Pennsylvania in 1952. She was 68 and they all are buried in Hays Cemetery, South Easton.

Then there was my Aunt Amanda Werkheiser, she was born in 1859, she died in Gracedale, she was nearly 95 when she died. Next was Frank Messinger, I don’t know when he was born, but he died around 1900. Then there was Edwin Messinger, born in 1861, died in 1921, he was 60. Aunt Catherine, born, 1863 died in 1938. Both are buried in Forks Cemetery. They had William Messinger, born May 2l, 1887; he was 88 when he died in 1975. Cousin Lula, born 1889, died 1981, she was 91. George was born 1897 died 1926, he was 29. All buried in Forks Cemetery.

Grandpa Sloyer was married twice, his first marriage in 1858, I don’t know the name of Grandpa’s first wife, but Grandpa Sloyer died at 78 years of age. I don’t know when Grandma died, but they had one boy and one girl, Ida, was married to Tom Coleman. She had three daughters, Hattie, Iva, Neva and they lived in Fremont, Ohio. All died in Toledo, Ohio.

Uncle Irv Slayer was born in 1860 and he died in January 1921. He was 61 and he died of a stroke. Aunt Maggie was born in 1832, died in 1918 and cousin George Sloyer died in 1920 and he was 30 years old.

Grandpa Franklin Sloyer remarried in 1863, he had five sons and four daughters, first was Uncle Mark and Aunt Clara Sloyer [Mark’s wife]. Uncle Mark was born in Pennsylvania and he was 75 when he died. Aunt Clara Sloyer was 71 when she died, in Emporia, Kansas. Next was my mother, Clara Elizabeth [Sloyer] Messinger born on March 8, 1866, died April 27, 1947. She was 81 years old. Then was Aunt Stella and Ed Neikerk and Evangiline. They lived in Fremont, Ohio and they are all dead. Then was Uncle Ed and Aunt Lottie Sloyer, daughter Helen, son Arthur, son Howard. They lived in Horton, Kansas and died in Tacoma, Washington. Then Aunt Lillie and Bert Ernst, two sons, Paul and Robert Ernst and a small baby that died at eight months old and I think there were two more that I don’t know anything about. They all died in Tacoma, Washington some time around 1920.

Then Thomas Samson Sloyer was born 1879, died in 1958. He was 79 years old. His wife Iola born 1889, died 1921. She was 32 when she died. Then Sterle Thomas Sloyer, born l0/22/1908 and died 1971 at 63 years old. Raymond Franklin Sloyer, born 4/10/1910 was 73, Fraer, Iowa. Trilby Ritter, born 6/11/1907 was 76, lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Neva Mae Hurm, born 5/22/1913 was 70, lives in Portland, Oregon. Thelma Bell Sloyer, born 9/14/19l4 was 68. Sister Mary Bonaventure, 1915 was 70, lived in Dubuque, Iowa. Virginia Henritte Ellis, 11/4/1916 was 67, lived in Phoenix, Arizona.

Then Uncle Will Sloyer, his wife Maude and a son, Willard and his wife and a son in Elmoria, Kansas. Uncle Will Sloyer died at 45 years of age. Then there was Aunt Emma and Charlie Cahill. They lived in Horton, Kansas. They had three girls, three boys, Goldie and Frank Whelan. They owned the biggest lumber yard in Topeka, Kansas. They are dead now. They have a son Wayne; he still operates the lumber yard in Topeka, Kansas. Frank Whelan died in 1920 and cousin Goldie Whelan just died one year ago, last June 1981. She was 85 years old and she lived in Topeka, Kansas. Next was Harry Cahill and he lived in Maywood, Illinois and he worked for the Chicago and North Western Railroad, Maywood, Illinois and is just thirty miles west of Chicago. One time I went to Guymon, Oklahoma to visit my niece Vera Huddleston and I had to change trains in Chicago and I ran out to Maywood, Illinois to see my cousin Harry Cahill and his wife. I sure did surprise them and we did have a nice visit. That was back in 1927. Then he died in Maywood, Illinois in 1930.

Then Raymond Cahill, he lived in Topeka, Kansas and he died five years ago. His wife, Cora lives in Topeka, Kansas. Then the youngest of Aunt Emma and Charlie’s children were a set of twins, Marvin Cahill and Marie Cook. Back in 1920 Marvin Cahill had an accident with a motorcycle. My brother Charlie and I went to Horton, Kansas to visit the Cahills’ and Marvin and a friend of his bought this motorcycle together. We saw Marvin with it at that time and about two months later Goldie Whelan told me Marvin skidded on a muddy road into a ditch 4 feet deep and Marvin’s neck was broken and he died. Marie Cook lives in Kansas City, Kansas. Her husband is dead now. There is one more Sloyer son of Sam Sloyer, he died in Allen, Kansas in 1970. He was 86 and he had two daughters, Maude Schisser and Roy died three years ago. Maude still lives in Allen, Kansas. Then cousin Doris Blankenship and Hylas. They live in Topeka, Kansas.

Then the youngest of Uncle Sam Sloyer is a son, Melvin Sloyer, and he died four years ago. The day after Thanksgiving he had a heart attack. His wife, Bertha Sloyer still lives in Topeka, Kansas. He worked at the Santa Fe Railroad Shops. Now that is the last of the Franklin Sloyer’s Family. Now all of them that I have written [about], are dead, our side of them that I said are still living.

Chapter 2
Uncle Abe and Moving West

Now I will go back to 1970, when I said Dad’s mother died, when Dad was six years old, and left Dad and orphan boy. Then Dad’s aunt and Uncle took him and raised him ‘till he was 18 years old and my Dad always called him Uncle Abe. That is all I knew about Dad’s Uncle and Aunt. I never heard his Aunt’s name, but anyway they lived about ten miles from Easton, Pennsylvania. Now I will go back to the year of 1869, when my mother was two years old, as they lived in South Easton at that time and Grandpa and Grandma Sloyer moved out west and farmed around Lincoln, Nebraska and Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the year that my father was 19 years old. Back in 1882, Dad had a brother named Frank. I never saw him as he died before I was born. Frank was five years older than my Dad was and in 1882 his brother Frank worked as a hired hand for Uncle Abe, where my Dad lived. That year at harvest time they started to cut a 15 acre filed of wheat. This was on Saturday when they started to cut that field of wheat. So they just had mad 3 rounds around the field before dinner. Dad’s brother, Frank operated the binder and my Dad rode the lead horse. There were two horses hitched to the binder. Then the third horse was in the lead, so Dad rode that lead horse and did the guiding, and Uncle Abe shocked the wheat. Dad said he was bare footed and he never wore any underwear. All he had on was his work shirt and his overalls. Dad used to tell this story to people quite often. I heard him tell it. Then at noon, that Saturday, they went in to Dinner. Dad’s Uncle had 2 jugs, one brown one and one white one. After dinner he put some water in the brown jug and some whiskey in the white jug. Then we they got back to the field, Dad’s Uncle put them 2 jugs under a wild cherry tree, in the shade. Then he said to my father, “Now Allen, don’t let me see you touch that whiskey jug, it you want a drink there is the water jug.” Then they made a few rounds around the field and them jugs wasn’t far from the binder. Dad’s brother, Frank, got off the binder and he took the whiskey jug and took a little whiskey, then he said, “Here Allen, take a couple swigs of this, it will be good for you.” Well, as Dad always did fear his Uncle, so he looked all around and he didn’t see his Uncle as he took the whiskey jug and he took a couple swigs of it and just as he took the jug away from his mouth, his Uncle came around the corner of the wheat field. As Abe was shocking the wheat, he could tell by the color of the jug, which was which and he saw Dad had the white jug. He knew Dad had the whiskey jug. Then Uncle Abe walked over to the binder and he took the black snake whip. He came over to Dad and he said, “Allen, didn’t I tell you not to touch that whiskey jug,” and he started lashing Dad around the back and legs. He hit Dad four or five times. Then Dad’s brother, Frank stepped up to Uncle Abe, and he said, “Now Abe, stop, enough is enough. You hit him one more time and I will knock you down.” Frank was going on twenty four. At that time Dad said Frank was pretty handy and fast with his fist. Then he [Uncle Abe] said, “Now Frank you keep out of this and I will handle it.” Well Frank said, “You heard what I said.” Then Uncle Abe didn’t hit Dad anymore. Then Uncle Abe turned around to take the black snake whip back to the binder and Dad ran over to the gate that lead to the lane that went up to the house. Then when Dad got to the gate, he looked back and he hollered, “Now Abe, you can do your own work. I am leaving here.” And Abe said, “Now Allen, you come back here.” But Dad just kept going up the lane, till he got to the house. He did look back several times to see if Uncle Abe was coming, but he didn’t come after Dad. Then Dad went upstairs to his room to get his clothes and shoes. And he always has a good hat for Sundays. His Uncle Abe was a pretty strict fellow. He was a Lutheran, and every Sunday he took Dad to church and that hat that Uncle Abe had looked a lot like Dad’s hat. And Uncle Abe always kept it up on the shelf with Dad’s hat. So Dad didn’t have a suitcase, so he tied all his work clothes up in a bundle and his good suit and hat and shoes. He carried just as he was going down the stairs his aunt saw him. She said, “Allen, what are you going to do?’ Then Dad said, “I am leaving here. When Uncle Abe has to whip me with the black snake whip, then it is time to leave.” His Aunt didn’t say any more and Dad started to walk across the field.

He had a sister, the only sister, he had, Aunt Amanda and [her husband] Martin Werkheiser. She lived two miles across the field and soon after he left his Uncle Abe’s place, he seen he had the wrong hat; he had his Uncle Abe’s hat, instead of his own. So that upset Dad. Then he happened to think, his brother Frank was always out in the morning, doing the feeding and the work around the barn before his Uncle went out. So in the morning he would take Uncle Abe’s hat over to his Uncle’s place and give it to his brother, Frank, and tell him to take it up in the clothes closet. Put it on the shelf and get Dad’s hat. He had a paper bag to put it in. He had timed it pretty good. Dad’s brother, Frank, changed hats, and Uncle Abe never knew Dad made the mistake and he sure was happy after he had his own hat. Then when he got to his sister’s place, Aunt Amanda said, “Why Allie, what are you doing?” Dad told Aunt Amanda just what has happened and that Uncle Abe licked him with the black snake whip just because he took a couple swigs out of the whiskey jug while they were cutting wheat. “Now,” he said, “I’m going to show you.” He turned his back to her and dropped his overalls, and he said, “There were four gashes there, where the blood had come through.” “Why Allie,” aunt Amanda said, “That is awful.” As Aunt Amanda was Pennsylvania Dutch, she always called Dad, Allie.

So in the Spring of 1883, Dad’s brother, Frank, said,” Allen, what do you say in the spring we go west and get jobs as hired hands on the [he meant to say a farm] farm. “All right,” Dad said, “that suits me.” The Dad was going on 19 years old, and his brother, Frank, was going on 24 years old. Now, they didn’t know anything about Grandpa, Franklin Sloyer, living out west. It just so happened that they landed in a small town, and in the dining room where they ate, there was a hired girl helping to wait [on] tables. Dad wore some nice leather boots, [and] every day he would shine them boots. He chewed tobacco, [and] then he stopped chewing tobacco, and chewed gum. He got a job helping wait [on] tables in the dining room, and Dad liked that, as he was real handy.

Chapter 3
Living in Ohio

They weren’t there very long ‘til his brother Frank told Dad he got him a job on the [a] farm as a hired hand, and Dad should take it. “No,” said Dad, “I will stay here and work a while”, as he kinda got in with the hired girl. But Dad’s brother, Frank, insisted that he should take this job on the farm. The farm was two miles from this little town where there were at. Later on Dad’s brother, Frank, got a job on a farm not far from where Dad went.

So this farmer boss put Dad to plowing a 15 acre field to plant corn. Dad was there just a little less than a week when on Sunday afternoon Dad went to a neighbor’s place. That farmer has a son; he was just about Dad’s age. The fellow asked Dad how he was making out with his boss. Dad said, “So far so good.” “Well,” this fellow said, “He always heard this was a hard man to work for.” Then he said he knew a farmer that lived two miles form their place and he said he wants a good hired hand to work for him. He said he name was Franklin Sloyer, and he said he had a nice daughter. Her name was Clara Elizabeth Sloyer, and he said, “I think she is a little younger than you are. Now you keep that in mind, just in case something should go wrong, and you want to get another job.” Dad said, “Alright, I will keep that in Mind.”

Sure enough in the middle of the following week, Dad came in at noon with the team of horses hew was using. My Dad always loved horses. That day at noon he took the bridles off [of] the horses, so they could go over to the water trough and drink before they went into the barn to eat their feed. The barn doors stood open and them horses wanted to go into the barn before they drank any water. So, Dad was moving towards them with the bridles in his hands to chase them over to the water trough, so they would drink before they went in to eat their feed. Finally, they did drink, [and] then Dad left them [go] into the barn. Then, he started to go to the house, and the farmer boss met Dad half way out to the barn. As soon as they met, the Boss said, “Allen, I will give you to understand you can’t hit them horses over the head with them bridles.” Right away Dad said, “Listen you, I didn’t hit them horses with the bridles.” The Boss said, “Now don’t you lie to me, I saw you hit them.” Dad said, “I think too much of horses to hit them over the head with the horse bridles. I was only trying to chase them over to the water trough to drink before they went in the barn.”

The Boss insisted that he did see Dad hit the horses, and then the Boss said, “Alright to ahead, your dinner is ready.” Dad was so upset about it, and the way the Boss talked to him, he could hardly eat his dinner. So after dinner Dad made up his mind. He was going to go upstairs and pack up and leave there. He had a suitcase by that time, so he put his good clothes on and his other things in the suitcase. In a few minutes the Boss saw Dad. He was sitting there in the dinning room smoking his corn cob pipe. He said, “Allen what are you going to do?” Dad told him to figure up his time, as he was leaving there. He said, “I don’t work for not man that talks to me like you did.” “Well now,” the Boss said, “I am very sorry of what I said. I thought [for] sure [that] I saw you hit them horses over the head with the bridles. I guess I was a little bit hasty. Now you go back and change around and go back to work. I want you to stay and work for me.” Dad had this [that] other job in mind that I had told you [written] about before over at Franklin Sloyer’s place.

So Dad said, “No, my mind is made up, so now I have another place to go. Now will you figure what you owe me, and I will be on my way.” The Boss said again, “I wish you would change your mind and stay here and work for me.” Dad said, “No, I wouldn’t stay and work for you even if you would give me a good raise in pay.” The Boss said, “Well, I guess your mind is made up to leave here.” Dad said, “Yes, as soon as I get my money.” The Boss figured it us and paid Dad. When Dad got over to Grandpa Sloyer’s place, he told Grandpa who he was and he said heard he was looking for a good hired hand on his farm. He told Grandpa his hone was in Pennsylvania. Grandpa asked, “Where in Pennsylvania?” Dad said, “Twelve miles from Easton, Pennsylvania.” “Well,” Grandpa said, “That’s where we come from. My daughter, Clara Elizabeth Sloyer, was born in South Easton. When she was only two years old we came west.” Now he said, “I will hire you to work for me.” So Grandpa only farmed there one year. [Franklin most likely meant that Allen Messinger worked on the farm for one year].

Then in the spring of 1884, they moved to Horton, Kansas. Grandpa Franklin Sloyer was born in Buck County, Pennsylvania, and he only farmed one year near Horton Kansas. That was the year the Grover Cleveland was President. There was a big depression that year. Nice big yellow ears of corn sold for 10¢ a bushel and eggs sold for 5¢ a dozen.

Chapter 4
Allen Messinger and Clara Elizabeth Sloyer Marry and Start a Family

In March of 1886, Dad and Clara Elizabeth Sloyer went to Hiawatha, Kansas and got married. [D’Ann Still reported the date to be September 15, 1885 in Hiawatha, Brown County, Kansas, By Rev. Edward Hill]. That’s twelve miles form Horton, Kansas; it’s in the county seat of Horton, Kansas. Dad and mother lived in Horton, Kansas, and Dad started to do house painting again.

On august 14, 1887, my oldest sister, Lillie Mae Messinger was born, there in Horton. Then on December 30, 1889, I, Frank E. Messinger was born in Horton, Kansas. Then in the spring of 1890, my folks moved to Fremont Ohio. Then [on] September 26, 1891, Charlie was born in Fremont, Ohio. Alvin was born in Fremont, Ohio on January 23, 1895. In all these years, Dad worked most of the time as house painting and odd end jobs. That year, December 30, 1896, I was six years old. In the spring of 1896, my folks moved on a farm six miles east of Fremont, Ohio.

Before we moved on this farm, six miles east of Fremont, Ohio, the man that owned the farm [was] name[ed] Zigler. There wasn’t a hen house on the farm. Dad told old man Zigler, if he would put a hen house then he {Dad] would rent the farm. So Mr. Zigler did build a nice hen house on this farm. The man that lived there before that, [let] his chicken[s] roost in the wagon shed. The last of April there was [were] so many chicken lice because there was no floor in the hen house. Dad kept a little straw on the ground floor, and four wooden boxes were nailed to the sides of the hen house for the chicken nests. They had a little straw in them. Then once a week Dad would take the garden rake and rake the straw up and put it in a bushel basket or a carton and take it outside and burn it. That way he would get rid of them chicken lice. There was one old setting hen on the nest, and I knew there was on of them glass nest eggs under her. I used to gather the eggs and [at] different times I tried to get that glass nest egg from under her, but every time she would peck my hand. My mother didn’t want to [up]set this hen so she, [the hen], stayed here on the nest quite a while. I often watched Dad when he would rake up that straw and take it outside to burn it. So as I was going on seven and Charlie was going on five, I said one morning, “Come on Charlie, we will have a bonfire.” Dad and Uncle Tom Sloyer were working out in the field. I got tow matches out of the match case that hung on the kitchen wall. I got the garden rake, and I raked all the straw on a pile, and I knew there was just the ground floor there in the hen house.

I thought [that] just the straw would burn, so I lit the straw. Then I went to the chicken nest where that old setting hen was. I made up my mind [that] I was going to get that glass nest egg form under that hen. So I grabbed the hen by the neck and held her. Then I reached under her and got the glass nest egg. The house was about 50 feet from the hen house, and the back side of the kitchen was open, so Charlie and I crawled back under that Kitchen and it wasn’t long [‘]til the whole hen house was in flames. After it was half burned down, my Dad and Uncle Tom Sloyer came running back from the field. There was a lane that went to the field; they were just one block away. They saw the flames and the smoke, and the wind was blowing right towards the big red barn, and a big straw stack. The wind took the hot sparks out there and they would go out right close to the straw stack. There was this neighbor that came right at the time that Dad and Uncle Tom Sloyer came from the field.
This man wanted to borrow something. There was a well and pump half way between the hen house, the straw stack, and the big red barn. All four of them [he probably meant 3], had a milk bucket and they all kept pumping a pail of water and running out and pouring it around the edge of the straw stack. All the while they were doing that, Charlie and I sat under that kitchen, and watched them. It wasn’t very long till the hen house was burned flat to the ground. After the fire was all out, my Dad came walking by and I heard him, so we crawled out form under the kitchen and right away Dad said, “What in the world are you trying to do here?” “Well,” I said, “We just wanted to have a little bon fire.” Dad said, “You sure did have a big one.” He scolded me quite a bit but he didn’t paddle me. He said, “Now just wait till old man Zigler finds out, and it he sees you he will take you away with him.” That scared me. Mr. Zigler used to drive a white horse and wagon. Every time [that] I would see a white horse coming up the road I would go and hide. He came there quite often to do a little repair work, put in new fence posts, or do a little patching around, [or] whatever he could find to do. So one day I thought I would pick up enough courage to stay out and face him. He saw me.

My Dad was around there. He [Mr. Zigler] came up to me and he said, “You are the little devil that burned the hen house down. Why did you do that?” I said, “I just wanted a little bon fire, and I didn’t know [that] the hen house would burn down.” “Well,” he said, “I ought to take you to town and put you in jail.” I said, “I won’t do it any more.” He said, “I know you won’t do it any more, because I won’t build another hen house.” And, he didn’t either. Our chickens had to roost in the wagon shed, like they did before.

Chapter 5
Farming Near Fremont, Ohio

Now, I will tell you what happened on this farm six miles east of Fremont, Ohio. One Sunday a tramp stopped at our place and he asked if he could get something to eat and a little work, so he could buy him [himself] something to wear. Dad told him to stay there all night, and Monday morning he could split some wood in the wood shed. Then Dad gave him one of his work shirts to wear till my mother did the washing Monday morning. He [the man], just split a little wood, [and] then he saw some hickory nuts and walnuts in some barrels. Then he started cracking and eating them nuts. Every time he would crack some, I would hold out my hand and say, “Give me some.” I did that three times.

The handle in the claw hammer was a heavy hickory handle that Dad had put in the claw hammer. The third time I held my hand out, and said, “Give me some,” he banged me over my head with that hammer handle. I went running and balling, holding my hand on top of my head. My mother asked what was wrong. I told her that [the] tramp is cracking and eating nuts, and when I held my hand out and said give me some, he banged me over my head with that hammer handle. I had a pretty big lump on the top of my head. My mother took his dirty shirt out to the wood shed door, [and] she said, “Listen Mr., I will give you to understand [that] if there is any hitting to be done here, I will do it.” The she threw his dirty shirt over to him and said, “Now you change shirts and get out of here right now before I call the bulldog.” He said, “Alright, then I will leave.” He took Dad’s shirt off and put his dirty one back on. He walked to the end of the road and he doubled up his fists and hollered back, “Now little lady if you want anything, just come out here,” and then he left.

That was a bad year on that farm, as in July hog calury hit. [It’s likely the Franklin was talking about the hog cholera that was prevalent at this time]. Dad had 26 head of hogs. They weighed around 75 pounds each and they started to die. Every morning we would find four or five dead. It was an all open under the barn, in the barn lot, where the big straw stack was. Every morning I had to crawl under there with the lantern and a piece of rope in my hand and [at] different times I found some dead ones under that barn. I would tie the rope to the hind legs, then Dad hand one horse hitched to the end of the rope out in the barn lot and drag them out. Dad always had to dig a hole and bury them. He had 5 milk cows, and one day one of them cows was sick. She wouldn’t eat. So this went on for two days that she wouldn’t eat anything. On the third morning, when Dad went to the barn to do the feeding, he saw this cow in the cow stable. She lay there dead, and the last six hogs were dead that morning. Dad had a mud boat. It was made of tow by sixes. It was 4 feet wide and 5 feet long. Dad put the cow, and then six of the hogs on that boat. There was a close neighbor, and Dad had asked him if he would come over and help him dig the hole to bury them [the animals]. So out [on] the lane, a little ways from the barn, there was a pasture field next to the corn field. Dad took a butcher knife along, so [that] he could cut the cow open before he buried it, to see if the could find anything wrong with the cow.

They started to dig the hole; the soil was a little sandy, so it wasn’t bad digging. Then I heard old Madge, the old white bulldog, barking up along the side of the corn field. It was a little block away. I told Dad, “I am going to walk up there and see why Madge was barking like that.” When I got to him there was a little hole in the ground; I think the bulldog chased a rabbit into that hole. I stood there and watched him about 5 minutes. Then I went back and I told Dad what it was. In a half an hour they would be ready to put the cow and six head of hogs into that hole. They had the hole 4 feet wide and 5 feet long, and 4 feet deep. I didn’t hear old Madge barking anymore. I told Dad [that] I am gong back. Old Madge was pretty old. He laid there in front of the little hole; he was dead. While I was there to see the bulldog, Dad had cut that cow open and in her stomach he found a piece of barb wire, about 3 inches long. It must have cut something that caused the cow to die. Then he took that mud boat and brought old Madge, the bulldog, so the cow, the six head of hogs and the bulldog were all buried in that same hole. Then the head following week there was a bad cyclone [that] went through there, in the afternoon.

The two big barn doors had been standing open, and the wind started to blow hard. Dad tried to close them barn doors, but the wind was too strong. He could not close them. It started to rain and hail. It lasted close to one hour. Down the lane a ways were ten acres of woods, all timber and a nice picket fence, all the way from the barn down to the woods. After the cyclone had passed, the clouds broke and the sun started to shine. Dad said, “Now I am going to look around and see what damage there was around the farm.” As soon as he got out to the barn he both of them big barn doors were torn from the hinges, and about half of the straw stack was blown away and all of the picket fence on the left side of the lane was down. Then Dad walked down to the woods and eh counted 26 big elm trees had been torn out by the roots. The cows always stayed in the woods, but it was lucky [that] all the trees around about a half [of a] block from the gate had been cut out, and all the cows were there at the gate. None of them were hurt. This was the middle of the week. That Sunday Dad hitched up [the horses] to the Spring Wagon and we went 4 miles west. My Uncle Irv Sloyer and Aunt Maggie and Cousin George Sloyer [lived] about two miles west of our farm. The Cyclone sure hit hard. When we got there we stopped about ten minutes and looked around. The roof was off the barn, [and] only half of the barn was standing. We went up to where the house was. Nothing [was] there, but the foundation. We saw a piano setting in the front yard; it looked pretty good. When we got to Uncle Irv’s place, we weren’t there long, [un]till Uncle Irv said, “Why don’t you kids go out and pick some wild raspberries,” as they were ripe at that time. [These last few sentences create a bit of confusion, but it’s possible that Franklin meant to say that the family stopped along the way and saw this scene, because he doesn’t relay any hardships that Uncle Irv may have experienced.]

My oldest sister, Lillie, was 10 years old on the 14th of August 1897. I was 8 on December 30, 1897. September 26, 1897, Charlie was 6 years old. Alvin was 2 years old on the 23rd of January 1897, and George Sloyer was 7 years old. Lillie, George and I went out to pick some wild raspberries. Lillie and I, each, had a little tin bucket, and Cousin George had on to them little round Easter baskets. Lillie and I, both, had about a half a bucket of the wild raspberries, and Cousin George just fooled around. He didn’t have hardly any berries. Pretty soon, Cousin George grabbed my tin bucket and he dumped all of my berried in his little round basket. I said, Give them back to me!” By that time, my sister, Lillie, was sure mad. She picked up a stick and she said, “George, you give them berries back to Frank or I will hit you over the head with this stick.” “Alright,’ George said, “keep your shirt on. I will give them back.” Then he dumped them all in my little tin bucket. Then it wasn’t long [un]till we went to the house.
Now, that Fall, after crops were all gathered, we moved back to Fremont. We lived in Fremont through 1897. Lillie and I went to school then in 1898. January 23, Alvin was three years old. On September 26, 1898, Charlie was 7 years old.
In the Fall of 1897, I was in the wood shed one Sunday cracking some nuts and I guess I over loaded my stomach, and on Monday morning I didn’t fell good. So Dad said, “go to school with Lillie and if I [you] didn’t feel good enough to stay in school, Lillie should tell the Man teacher to take me [you] to the house next to the school house.” The people that lived there were pretty good friends of my folks. So we only had six blocks to walk to school. I felt pretty good when I left he house, but when I walked three blocks, I got pains and cramps in my stomach. I sat down on the ground about 5 minutes. Then, it let up and I got up and walked the other 3 blocks. Right at the corner of the school grounds [there] was a big wild Cherry tree. Just as I got under the wild cherry tree, I got pains and cramps again. I just stood there doubled up for a few seconds. I fell to the ground, Lillie said. Just laid there. She ran to the school house and told the teacher. He came running out; my sister, Lillie was with the teacher. He helped me up and took me by the arm. We went to that house next to the school. The teacher told this woman to keep me there for a while. So the woman put me to bed about 10 A.M. She came to my bed and asked if I had any pain. I said, “Yes, a little.” She asked if my bowel had moved. I said they moved a little this morning after breakfast. “Well,” she said, “I am going to make you some hot peppermint tea for you to drink.” In a few minutes, she came with that hot tea; I drank it all. Then it came noon and she had dinner ready. She asked me if I wanted to get up and come out and eat something. I said, “Yes, I will eat a little.” After dinner was over, I felt pretty good and I told this woman [that] now I will go back to school. She said, “Do you think you feel good enough to go back to school?” I said, “Yes.” “Well,” she said, “If you get sick again, you come back and I will take good care of you.” So I finished the day and went home with Lillie and Charlie.

Now as I said a while ago, around the first of November we lived on State Street in Fremont, Ohio. Dad had a little five room cottage there and on December 30, 1897 I was eight years old. By that time I began to know Fremont pretty good and in my spare time, nights after school and on saturdays, I sold papers on State Street. Through town, I sold the Fremont Daily News, The Toledo Blade, and The Saturday Evening Post for two cents, and I sold them for five cents. So I made three cents on each paper. [It’s possible that Frank meant that the papers cost were two cents each, and he was allowed to sell them at five cents each]

There was another man selling papers on State Street, and quit often when it came supper time. If he had any papers left he would give them to me and I would stay there selling papers till I had them all sold. A lot of time I didn’t get home to supper until eight P.M., sometimes eight-thirty. In 1898 I sold papers till the first of October, when Dad locked up the little five room cottage on State Street, as we came to Pennsylvania.

Chapter 6
Visiting Pennsylvania

We spent the whole winter visiting around at three different places. First we went to my Uncle Edwin and Aunt Catharine, Cousin William, Cousin Lulu and Cousin George.

On May 21, 1899, William was 12 years old, and on august 14, 1899, Lillie was 12 years old. On December 30, 1899, I was 10 years old. On September 26, 1899, Charlie was 8 years old. On January 23, 199, Alvin was 4 years old. Cousins William, Lulu, and my sister, Lillie and I all went to school. My cousin George Messinger was only two at the time. One night after supper, Cousin William sat at the kitchen table with some drawing paper and a box of crayons. He was real good at drawing. I sat aside of him and William said, “Frank, what do you want me to draw?” I said, “A fire engine with a team of horses hitched to it.” I wish you could have seen that picture. It sure did look real. (I had heard after he was around 22 years old, [that] he was in Lima, Ohio, and he was drawing the pictures for the Comic section in the newspaper.)

Every saturday morning, Uncle Edwin Messinger would hitch one horse to a wagon, that had a top over it and he would take different things in to Easton and sell it. Sometimes Aunt Catherine would make butter. Then Edwin would sell butter, eggs, apples, some meats, and scrapple from his home butchering and I most always went with him. One Saturday morning, around Thanksgiving, Cousin Lulu wanted to go with us to Easton. “No,” Edwin said, “You can’t go.” She was at the back end of the wagon. She had hold of the end gate of the wagon. She was hollering and bawling, and she kept saying, “I want to go, I want to go.” Then Uncle Edwin tapped the horses with the buggy whip and the horses went faster. Lulu left go of the wagon and fell. When we got back Uncle Edwin told Cousin Lulu, “Don’t you ever do that again, if you do, you will get a good spanking.”

I forgot to give you Lulu’s age a while ago, when I gave the rest of us. Lulu was also 10 years old in 1899 on December 31st. She was just one day younger then I was. She was married to Clarence Young; they lived in Easton. In 1935, Clarence Young fired the boilers at the Tred Well Engineering Company in Easton and some way Clarence Young hurt his left leg, between the foot, the knee and the calf of his leg. It just stayed sore and wouldn’t heal. Then gangrene poison set in, and in 1936 Clarence young died. Cousin Lulu was admitted to the Northampton County Home in Nazareth, and she was in Gracedale. She was there for 5 years. She died there a year ago last June 1981. She was 91 years old.

Now I will go back to where I left off ion 1898, just one week before Xmas. We left Uncle Edwin’s place on the farm and we went to Tatamy, Pennsylvania, just two miles from Uncle Edwin’s farm. My Aunt Amanda and Uncle Martin Werkheiser owned and operated the hotel in Tatamy. That is twelve miles from here. Aunt Amanda was Dad’s only sister. She was older than my Dad. In the basement of that hotel there was a bar room. Martin was the bartender. My sister Lillie and I went to school in Tatamy while we visited there with Aunt Amanda and martin Werkheiser. On Friday night after Lillie and I cam home form school, I saw my Aunt Amanda take a basket of Xmas cookies in the front room.

My Aunt Amanda and my mother went some place on saturday. They said they would be back soon after dinner, and my sister Lillie should watch us children. So they left around 10:00 A.M. In a little while, Lillie went in the front room and was looking as some pictures there on the stand. I went in and looked around over in the corner of the room and down on the floor behind the big rocking chair. There I saw the basket of Xmas cookies. I didn’t take any, as I didn’t want the rest to know there were there. Then I turned around and by that time Charlie and Alvin had come in the room. Lillie was still looking at them pictures. Charlie stood close by, and just as I walked over to the stand my youngest brother Alvin picked up a china pig. It was a little piggy bank. There wasn’t any money in it, and pretty soon Alvin dropped that china piggy bank on the floor. The floor was hard wood and the piggy bank broke into a lot of little pieces. Lillie got a broom and swept [it] up., and then we all went out. About 2:00 P.M., Aunt Amanda and my mother came home, and Lillie hated to have to tell Aunt Amanda about the china piggy bank that was broken. I told Lillie to say, “Aunt Amanda, there’s something I have to tell you.” Then soon after Aunt Amanda and my mother were [came] home, my sister, Lillie said, “Aunt Amanda, I have to tell you something.” Aunt Amanda said, “What is it?” “Well,” Lillie said, “This morning I was in the front room looking at some pictures and Alvin stood there looking at that piggy bank, and all at once Alvin dropped it and it broke into a lot of small pieces.” “Oh,” Aunt Amanda Said, “That was given to her [me] when she [I] was a small girl as a present. And she [I] sure did hate it that it was broken.” “Well” she said, “It’s broken and we can’t do anything about it.”

There was a boy that lived near the hotel [and] his name was Earl Hone. He was my second cousin. He was one year younger than I was. Most every Saturday him [he] and I would be together in the back yard up against the hotel. There was a little wooden shed. They kept a few things stored in it and the roof of the shed was pretty flat. We had a little wooden ladder, [which] we would stand up against the shed. I would go up that ladder, [where] there was a window. I could reach it form the top of that shed roof. The window was never locked. I could push it up easy, and the room was used for a storage room. They always kept the pretzel barrel sitting there in the room. They were them real big pretzels, as thick as your finger, and 3 or 4 inches long. I always wore one of them white shirt vests, and I would get some of them big pretzels and put them inside my shirt vest. I would give Earl Hone some of them. I did that a good many times. Then one morning, aunt Amanda told me to go up to that storage room and get Lillie and I [me] a pretzel to take to school. So while I was up there at the pretzel barrel, I thought I would put tow in my shirt vest. I had two in my hand and when I came down, Aunt Amanda asked, “Did you get two of them pretzels?” I said, “Yes”

I guess she saw my shirt vest hanging down a little. “Now you just got tow pretzels?” I held my left hand up, and said, “One for Lillie,” and then I held my right hand up and said, “One for me.” She her hand to my shirt vest and said, “What’s this?” “Oh,” I said, “I got tow extra ones for two of my friends at school.” So she took the tow out of my shirt vest and the one I had in my hand; Lillie had hers. Then Aunt Amanda said, “Now you take these three back up and put them all back in the barrel.” As I didn’t trust to keep any of them when I came down, aunt Amanda searched me to see it I had hid any, and I was sure glad I didn’t have any!

I never will forget the fun I had with my Cousin Earl Hone and coasting down the little hill on West Main Street in Tatamy with our sleds.

The last week of January in 1900, we went to South Easton and visited my Uncle William and Aunt Emma Messinger. They had one daughter, Susan, and she was around 20 years old. They had an old outside toilet. The vault in it was six feet deep. They didn’t use much as they had a good bathroom and toilet in the house. My brother, Alvin, had a cap he got on his birthday, January 23, 1900, when he was five years old. This was a red cap, with a big red button on the top and a little blue stripe all running around it. Alvin sure did like that cap. One day he was in that our side toilet and in some way Alvin’s little red cap fell down in that toilet vault. It was in the afternoon. Uncle William, Aunt Emma and my folks has gone some place. Alvin went in the house. I never did see any one holler and bawl like Alvin did. My cousin Susan said, “Alvin what’s wrong?” Alvin could hardly talk for crying. Finally, Susan did find out that Alvin’s cap fell down in that toilet, so she went and got the garden rake. She finally did hook the cap out. It was dirty, and did it stink, so Susan washed it good and when it was dry, Susan put some cologne on it. Then Alvin was satisfied.

In a few weeks we went back to the farm with Uncle Edwin and Aunt Catherine Messinger. Right after the New Year back in 1900 we went back to Fremont, Ohio.

Chapter 7
Back to Fremont, Ohio

In April of 1900, my Dad bought a 22 room hotel. It was called the Union Hotel in Fremont, Ohio. We had a lot of fun while we lived at the hotel. We used to play checkers with the steady boarders, and we always had a croquet set in the yard.

Dad operated the hotel till the spring of 1902. On the first of April my folks moved on a farm, three miles west of Fremont, Ohio. My Dad milked 15 cows, and he had a milk wagon. Every morning and evening her took his milk in to Fremont and delivered it to the customers he had. They had a milk house there in the back yard and a cooling machine they could run the milk through. He had two big milk cans with lids on them. Each can held five gallons of milk. He had a long handle milk dipper to dip milk from the cans. He had pint dippers and quart dippers. He would sell so many milk tickets for one dollar, then he had a ticket punch to punch the milk ticket.

There was a creek that ran through the farm and there was a lot of blue grass along the one side of the creek. Dad used to tell [take?] my brother Charlie and I; Charlie was one year and nine months younger than I was. We would take the cows up along the one side of the creek, and let them pick at the blue grass. My mother would always tell us when we would be out there watching the cows not to go in the water. She would say you know you can’t swim. There were some fish in the creek; she would say, take your fishing poles along and fish.

So one Saturday morning about 10:00 A.M., there came three boys out from town, out to the farm from Fremont, as we went to school with them when we lived in Fremont. The oldest boy was 15, the second was 14, and the other was 13, my age. They knew we lived on the farm and there was a pretty good swimming hole where we were. They all got undressed and were in the water. The oldest boy said, “Come on get in here with us.” So we did. Charlie didn’t stay in the water only a few minutes and then he got out and dressed. He took his fishing pole and went to the creek a way. He was fishing at the right 100 feet the creek made a complete bend to the right. The oldest boy said, “Come on let’s swim around the bend.” They weren’t gone long when they came back, as they knew I couldn’t swim. I was left there all alone splashing around and I enjoyed it. The water came up to my waist line and pretty soon I must have stepped in a deep hole and the water came up over my head. Right away the boys saw I was clear under the water. They rolled me around on the top of the bank, as I was unconscious. It took one half hour till I finally snapped out of it and knew what was going on.

The boys told me that when they rolled me around on the bank, water came out of my mouth, nose, and ears. I am telling you, that sure was a close call for me as in just a few more seconds I would have been gone. I wouldn’t be here today to tell you about it. The boys went back to Fremont and to told Charlie to turn the cows around and we would put them in the barn lot. Then after they were in the barn lot, I felt so bad. I had pain in my stomach and a busting headache. I told Charlie, “Now don’t say anything, what happened this morning. I am going in the barn and go up in the barn.” Charlie said, “Alright, I won’t say anything about it.” Charlie was pretty good that way, not to squeal on me. So at noon, Dad came home with the milk wagon. My mother had dinner ready. She asked Charlie where is Frank. Charlie said he did not know; he said the last time he saw me was when we put the cows in the barn lot. Well, my mother was sure worried. I was 12 years old at the time, as that was the early summer of 1902, and December 30, 1902 I was 13 years old.

On January 23, 1902 Alvin VanBuren Messinger was 7 years old. Now I will go back to where I said my mother was sure worried, as my mother, father, Lillie and a neighbor, all four of them, looked and searched the farm for me. All the time Charlie knew where I was, but he kept his word and didn’t tell them I was sleeping in the barn, in the hay mow. None of them thought to look in the barn and when I woke up it was 2:00 p.m. I felt a lot better after taking that nap. I went out of the barn and was walking to the house, when my mother saw me coming, and when she met me she said, “Well, Frank, where in the world were you? We looked all over for you.” “Well,” I said, “After we brought the cows into the barn lot, I didn’t feel good, as I had pain in my stomach and a headache. I thought I would go up in the mow and sleep a while.” She said, “Charlie didn’t know where I [you] was [were]. He said the last time he saw me [you] was when we [you] put the cows in the barn lot.”

Now I move ahead to 1903 in April, we moved 13 miles from Fremont on a 48 acre farm. Old Ladie Smith owned the farm. She moved in with her son, who lived on a farm. Mrs. Smith sold Dad a sow and eight little pigs. Dad told her, “If I have good luck on this farm this fall, when it comes time to butcher, he [I] with give her [you] one of them dressed hogs.”

Up the road just a little ways was a farm on the left side of the road. Further, [there] was a farm on the right side of the road. The first farm was [belonged to] Charlie Shoemaker. The next farm [there] was a German man. His name was Latterman. They were good neighbors, and that fall old man Latterman came over there to the Smith farm to help Dad butcher them eight head of hogs. For some reason old man Latterman didn’t get along with this Charlie shoemaker. That was a very dry summer, [and] we didn’t raise very much crops. No grain at all, so they had them eight head of hogs hanging up. At noon, my mother called for dinner. After dinner, Latterman started dressing them [those] hogs. He had a long butcher knife and it was good and sharp. In just a few minutes Charlie Shoemaker came walking up to my Dad and he said, “Well, Mr. Messinger, I guess you have one of them hogs for Mrs. Smith, don’t you?” Dad said, “No Sir, I don’t. I told her last spring when I bought the sow and the eight head of hogs, now it I have good luck on your farm, then at butchering time, I would give her one of them. But, I didn’t have good luck, as it got dry through the summer.”

Charlie Shoemaker just stood there arguing with Dad. As Dad never bothered with Charlie Shoemaker either, he was very selfish, and he said, “Well now, see here, don’t tell me you won’t give old Ladie Smith one of them hogs. Because, I am going to see that she gets one of them [those] hogs.” By that time old man Latterman was burned up, and he said to Charlie Shoemaker, “Now you listen Charlie, he told you he is not giving old Ladie Smith one of them [those] hogs, so you get out of here or you will get this.” He [Latterman] pointed the butcher knife at him. Right away Charlie Shoemaker turned around, “alright, I will go, but I will make it my business to see that she gets one of them [those] hogs.”

After he said that, he walked away 25 feet, [and] then he stopped and stood there looking at old man Latterman. Old man Latterman started walking towards Charlie and he said, “Will you get going!” “Alright,” Charlie said. That was the last time we ever heard about it. So my Dad kept 3 of them [those] hogs. The other 5, he took to Gifsonburg and sold them. Dad cut them [those] 3 hogs up, [and] he hand six nice hams, and six nice shoulders after they were smoked. He kept them in the oats bin, and covered them up with oats to keep them from molding.

Chapter 8
1903 to 1905 in Ohio

In the spring of 1904, on the first day of April, Dad rented a nice 100 acre farm just up the road one half block form the Smith Farm. The road ran east and west. This 100 acre farm was on the south side of the road. An old man by the name of Henry Fryer owned this farm, and he had a nice home in Gifsonburg, three miles from there. Henry Fryer was married the second time in 1903. When he lived on the Smith Farm, he married a Southern woman. Her name was Emma. He was 82 years old, and during 1903, Henry Fryer went to Oklahoma and filed on a homestead. 160 acres of Government land. He had two sons living in Gifsonburg, Ohio. Burt Fryer, his wife and two girls, and Clifford Fryer was [were] a painter and a paper hanger. Burt Fryer was a blacksmith therein Gifsonburg. In the spring of 1904 we moved on this 100 acre farm [that] Henry Fryer owned.

On the 14th of august 1903, Lillie was 16 years old and I was 14 on December 30, 1903. On September 26, 1903, Charlie was 12, and Alvin was 8 on the 23rd of January in 1903. Floyd was one year old on November 2, 1903.

We lived on this 100 acre farm, which was 13 miles west of Fremont, Ohio. Just to give you some idea [of] what part of Ohio, Fremont is [in], it is twenty-five miles form Toledo, Ohio. We lived on this 100 acre farm from April fist 1904 till the last of October 1905. It was a real nice farm; a big eight room house; a big barn; a wagon and tool shed; a corn crib; granary; a place to keep the wheat and oats; a big apple orchard; a good well; a wind mill; a big water tank; some peach and pear treed; grape vines; and a nice big garden and a lane that went south between the fields to one half mile. The lane went into a ten acre woods, all timber. Now, that spring of 1904 on the 100 acre farm, there was a brick school house one mile east of this farm. Lillie, I, Charlie, and Alvin, all went to this school on this farm. We had four cows, four head of work horses, and we had two saddles horses. They were broke to use in [for] the spring wagon, [and] also the top buggy. We had ten head of hogs; one was a Chester White sow. She had three nice pigs. A lack sow has five nice little pigs. That fall, Dad butchered them [those] eight head of hogs. He kept three and sold the other five. We had 20 head of chickens.

We had a 20 acre filed of wheat, 22 acres of corn, 15 acre field of clover and timothy hay, [and] 10 acre filed of oats. That was 92 acres of farm land. In Fremont there was a nice Fair Grounds, and in Gifsonburg there was a nice United Brethren Church where we went, off and on. On December 23, 1904, my youngest sister, Verna Bell Messinger, was born. Now on Xmas ever 1904 my Dad always played Santa Claus. That Saturday night, John Latterman stopped by and asked Dad to go with him to Gifsonburg. Dad said, “I always play Santa Clause.”

Now I will take you back to 1904; you remember when I said about the four of us going to that little brick school house. Now I will tell you something that happened that fall, the second week of September. Just tow miles north of where we lived on that 100 acre farm, there was a public sale on a farm. I remember it was on a wednesday. I told Dad I wished in was Saturday, when I said Charlie and I could go to the sale with you [him]. Any way that Wednesday morning, the School Teacher was way late getting to school. His name was Birt Budyeon and there were two big fellows that lived between our place and the school house. One of them was Will Ensley; he was a big fellow, and he was still going to school. He was going on 21 years old. The other was the Whitney Farm. They had a big fellow that was still going to school. His name was Birt Whitney and he was going on 20 years old. He wasn’t as big as Will Ensley, but he was a good size fellow. That morning, when I said, the teacher was late getting to school, when it was time to start school, will Ensley closed the door and he put the latch on. Will Ensley said, “Now, school will open with a song.” I don’t remember what the song was. I thing while we singeing that song, Birt Budyeon, the school teacher, came and saw [that] he couldn’t get in. Maybe he knocked at the door, but will Ensley didn’t hear him. After we sane the song, Will Ensley said, “Now, get out your books and study your lessons.” So I think the teacher had been there, but he left and went home. It went on that way for one half hour. Then Will Ensley rang the little bell that was on the teacher’s desk. He said, “Now put your books away, school is dismissed.” They all went home. Will Ensley closed the door and locked the door as he had a key that the teacher had gave him in case of an emergency.

Then all of the kids went home and Will Ensley said to Birt Whitney, “Now come on, we will go to that Public Sale. I said, “Charlie and I will go with you, alright.” Will Ensley said, “It was 20 minutes to 10:00 a.m. and we had to walk to the sale.” Just quarter of a mile north of our place was a farm. The farmer’s name was John Windler; he was about 45 years old. He was a very cranky fellow, and he had a mean bulldog. Every time some one would drive by John Windler’s place, that bulldog would run out to the road and bark, and sometimes he would snap at the horses legs. So when we got to John Windler’s place there was an old top buggy standing along side the barn. It was an old buggy that John didn’t use; the top was badly torn and some of the spokes were out of the wheels. Will Ensley said, “ Now, watch me put a hole through that buggy top,” as he had picked up a small stone and just as he threw it the stone, a big fat hog came walking by where her threw the stone. That hog must have weighed around 200 pounds. The stone went over the top of the hog and he [Will] did hit the old buggy. Just about that time there came John Windler walking out [of] the yard.

The bulldog was barking; Johan Windler said to the bulldog, “Get back to the house.” John Windler came right out to the road, where us four were standing. He came up to four feet from will Ensley and he said, “What are you trying to do? Kill my hog?” Will Ensley said, “No, I was just throwing at that old top buggy.” John Windler was a quick spoken fellow. “Well,” he said, “What business do you have coming along here and throwing stones?” He just stood there arguing about this. Will was a lot bigger than John Windler was. No one around there liked John Windler. Finally Will Ensley said, “Go back to the house and shut up!” John Windler said, “Don’t you tell me to shut up or you will get this!” He came towards Will Ensley. “Oh,” Will said, “You want to fight. Come on, I’m ready!” John Windler did go after will and they sure did have a hard fight. John Windler was knocked down three times and he was bleeding. Then Will said, “Whenever you have enough, walk away and the fight will be over.” Johan Windler said, “Alright, you win. Now I will go.” Then we went to the sale. It was 11 a.m.

When we got to the sale in a little bit, Dad saw us. He said, “how come you are here?” Dad and Will talked. Dad drove to the sale in the spring wagon. He said, “When the sale is over we [you] could all ride home with him [me] in the spring wagon. That was in September of 1904.

Just before Thanksgiving, I wanted to go to Gifsonburg on Saturday night. Dad never like liked me to take the horse and buggy by myself. “Oh, “I said, “I will walk. Maybe I’ll catch a ride.” So I left after supper. This was one month after the time we [went] by John Windler’s place, when that fight was. Sure enough that Saturday night when I walked to Gifsonburg, (John Windler lived on the west side of the road), I was going north and as soon as I got near John Windler’s place, that bulldog started to bark and came running from the house, through the yard and on the east side of the road. There was a corn field and one of them five foot high page wire fences. I crawled over that fence and just as I got in the corn field that bulldog was there at the side of the road, barking to beat the band. I sure was glad I was there in the corn field. Then I found a couple of little stones, and I threw them at the bulldog.

He turned around and ran back to the house. When I got up to the cross roads, I was just one mile north of our farm, then it was tow miles east to Gifsonburg. Right then a man came along from the west. He was going to Gifsonburg and he asked me if I wanted to ride along with him. He had one horse hitched to a top buggy. I was sure glad to get the ride.

In Gifsonburg that night, I saw a fellow that [who] lived one mile south of our farm. I asked him what time he would leave to go home. He said 9:30 p.m., and I rode all the way home with him. He had a top buggy with a team of horses hitched to it.

Then it wasn’t long till Xmas was here. That December 23, 1904 my youngest sister was born, Verna Bell, and my Dad always played Santa Claus. Just two weeks before Xmas, John Latterman stopped and asked me to go with him to Gifsonburg. I asked him if John Windler’s bulldog ever came out when he goes by there. He said, “He comes out barking in the day time, he wouldn’t bother much, but different times he [I] came home from town nights 10:00 to 10:30. That bulldog would come out to the road and run along and snap at the horses.” “Well,” I said, “I am going to take my 22 caliber rifle along. If he bothers when we come home, I will shoot him.” Sure enough when we came home that saturday night, it was about 10 o’clock, and John did have that black horse, Caley, hitched to the top buggy.

When we went by there I didn’t see any light in the house. Either Johan Windler wasn’t home or they had gone to bed. Anyway, that bulldog ran out to the road and he just snapped at the horse’s legs and hoofs. The moon was shinning and we were pretty well past the place. I told John Latterman to stop. There was a little ditch along the right side of the road about six inches deep. I pointed the rifle at the bulldog. I couldn’t use the site on the rifle. I just pointed it as near as I could, and just by luck I hit the bulldog and killed it. When I shot, he rolled over in that little ditch. John went one and he said, “I believe you killed him!” John Windler never did keep that bulldog tied. In 1905, at harvest time, or thrashing time, I was helping the neighbor thrash wheat. That is where I said I crawled over in his corn field and while we were thrashing, the belt broke. It took half an hour to fix the belt. John Windler was also there helping to thrash wheat. While they were repairing the belt, four or five of us were there close together, and I heard John Windler and the other man talking. All at once I heard this other man say, “Hey, John, what became of your bulldog.” “Oh,” John said, “Someone shot him just before last Xmas.” He never did find out that I was the one that shot his bulldog. John Windler said, “He [I] had gone to town that night and when he [I] came home around 11:00 p.m., the bulldog laid there in that little ditch dead.” I didn’t let on that I was listening to what he was saying.

Now I will finish where I left off in 1904. I said before my Dad always played Santa Claus on Xmas Eve as my youngest sister Verna was born just the day before Xmas Eve. At seven p.m. John Latterman stopped at our place and he asked my Dad to go with him to Gifsonburg. Dad told John he was going to play Santa Claus, [but] then Dad told me to put the clothes on and play Santa Claus. I said, “Yes, I can do that.”

The 23rd of January 1904, Alvin was 9 years old, and at that time he still believed in Santa Claus. I was 15 years old on December 30, 1904. I told Charlie to come out in the summer kitchen. It stood in the back yard about 30 feet from the house.

Dad had a big pair of white trousers he would always wear to play Santa Claus. He had a brown heavy overcoat; the lining inside [of] the sleeves was silk and striped of different colors. He could turn them inside out. He had a brown long heavy cap without a bill and that had a silk lining in it. He would turn that inside out [too]. Then he had a white wig, and a good Santa clause false face with long white whiskers, just like Santa Claus. It really looked good. I told Charlie to come out to the summer kitchen a quarter to eight and help me get dressed.

September 26, 1904 Charlie was 13 years old; Lillie was 17 years old on August 14, 1904, and I was 15 years old on December 30, 1904. Alvin was 9 years old on January 23, 1904 and the 23rd of December 1904 Verna Bell was born.

I told Charlie I would knock at the back kitchen door and he should come to the door. I had a little tin horn about ten inches long. When I came in I will be blowing that horn. After Dad left that night I didn’t let Alvin see me as I stayed out in the summer kitchen till Charlie came out and helped me to get dressed. About seven-thirty that night, Alvin asked Charlie, “Where is Frank?” Charlie said, “He went along with Dad and John Latterman to Gifsonburg.” Then Alvin said, “Now, he won’t be here when Santa Claus comes.”

Now on this sale, [that] I told you about, where Dad was in September, he bought tow bicycles, one for $15.00 and the other one for $12.00. He told Charlie and I [me] they would be our Xmas presents. He had hidden them so Alvin wouldn’t know he bought them on that sale. He told us we couldn’t use them before Xmas. Dad told Charlie and I [me], [that] we could take our pick. So Charlie said he wanted the $15.00 one, and I had the $12.00 one.

My Aunt Ida Coleman was there to help my mother when Verna was born. We had a nice Xmas tree that year. When I came in the kitchen door, Aunt Ida said, “Hello, Santa! Come in this room.” It was the sitting room. We had a big round heating stove in that room and [on] the top of the stove there was a big lid [that] you could slide open and put a big chunk of wood in. There was a big iron stove poker. It was 3 feet long [and] a quarter of an inch thick, and one inch wide. You could poke it down from the top of the stove. To the right of the room [there] was a door that went in the front room. They had a bed in that front room for my mother, when Verna was born.

I handed out the presents from the Xmas tree, [and] then I walked in the front room where my mother and Verna were. I thought I would have some fun with Alvin, when I walked into the front room. I said, “Hello Mom!” My Mom said, “Hello Santa!” I walked up t the dresser. There were two little boxes with lids on them. They were glass boxes, jewelry boxes. I opened one of them. It had some jewelry in it. I said, “I guess I will take this along and give it up to the next house.” “No!” Alvin Said, “You can’t have that!” Then I looked in the other jewelry box. I took something out, and then said, “I will take this.” Alvin said, “No Santa; you can’t have that either.” “Well,” I said, “I am running short of presents.” I walked over to the bed and I said, “Oh, I see you have a baby here, so I guess I will take that.” I started to walk around the foot of the bed. Alvin said, “No, no, you can’t have that!” Alvin was out in the sitting room where the heating stove was. As I had my back turned and didn’t see what Alvin was doing just then, Aunt Ida hollered, “Watch out Santa! Alvin will hit you over the head with the big iron poker!” I turned around and Alvin had that iron stove poker sticking up in the air and was ready to bang me over the head. I looked around and grabbed the iron poker and put it away.

Then I thought this enough of this stuff. I said, “Alright, I won’t take anything. I will be on my way. I will see you next year. Good-bye all.” I went out to the summer kitchen and changed around. In ten minutes I came back in and right away Alvin thought I was just coming back form Gifsonburg. Alvin said, “Where’s Daddy?’ I said, “They dropped me off [and] then Dad wanted to go to Latterman’s place for a little while.” Then Alvin told me all that had happened. He said, “Santa Claus was here and gave the presents. Then he went in the front room, and he said he was going to take some of that jewelry. I told him he couldn’t have that. Then he said he was going to take the baby. I got the stove poker and I was going to hit him over the head if he tried to take the baby. He left and said he wouldn’t take anything!” So that was the end of Xmas Eve.

Back in 1904, like I said before, six more days till December 30, 1904, when I became 15 years old, and for my birthday I got a new pair of dress shoes. Here is something else I want to tell you about. In 1904 when us four went to that little county school I told you about. Where Birt Dudyeon was the school teacher. One day just before last recess, a kid that sat across the isle from me had a big paper wad. He whispered to me, “Now, watch this!” He shot the wad up the isle to the teacher’s desk. It was a big sucked walnut and it rolled up by the teacher’s desk, and then this boy made believe he was studying his lessons. I was watching the paper wad roll up to the teacher’s desk, and the teacher saw [that] I was watching it. He said, “Frank, come here.” I went up to his desk and he said, “Now you stand there on the floor behind the desk till recess. All of the kids were out playing. I went to the teacher, Birt Dudyeon and I told him, “I didn’t roll that paper wad up to his desk.” He said, “Who did?” I told him, who rolled it up there. “Well,’ the teacher said, “If you would have been studying your lessons, I wouldn’t have seen it.”

So the boy’s name, that [who] rolled the paper wad, was Webb Ensley. He was the brother to that big fellow I told your about, Will Ensley. Webb was about 15 years old, [and] he was [so] heavy set [that] I could beat him running. [He] was always pestering me [and] I didn’t like him. After I told the teacher who rolled that paper wad, I think the teacher called Webb Ensley in and had a talk with him. I didn’t know till school was out and we started home. Webb Ensley lived about half way from our place to the school house. As we were walking out to the school ground toward the road, Webb Ensley was behind me about ten feet. He hollered and said, “You squealed on me didn’t you!” I looked around. He started to run after me. He saw [that] he couldn’t catch me. He had his lunch pail in his hand and he threw his lunch pail at me and it just did touch me on my back. It fell onto the ground. I heard it fall and I looked around. He had an empty glass in his lunch pail. When the lunch pail hit the ground and the empty glass broke, he said, “Just you wait. I will get you fro this.” I said, “Are satisfied now that you broke your glass!”

It went on for three weeks. He would pick at me, and I sure didn’t like him. We used to play ball quite a bit, {and] I used to pitch and Charlie would catch. We got pretty good at home on the farm. We would do a lot of practicing. So one afternoon at last recess we were playing ball, but Webb wasn’t playing. He was just standing there and watching. The ball rolled over where Webb stood and just [as] I stooped down to pick the ball up, Webb gave me a push and I fell. Then he turned around and started to run away and he fell. He laid there on the ground on this back. It made me so mad [that] I flopped on top of him. I sat on his stomach and with both of my fists I punched him in the nose. His nose was bleeding and both of his eyes got black and blue. Then one of the boys, that were a little older than I was, came up and pulled me off Webb. Webb said, “All right, Frank, I won’t bother you any more.” Right before school took up, I went into the teacher and told him just what happened as I wanted him to know all about it before school took up again. I said, “Listen Teacher, [Mr. Dudyeon], I want to tell you something. Webb was forever picking on me and I just got tired of it. Webb said he won’t bother me anymore.” So the Teacher gave me credit, and he said alright, now things will be different. The Teacher talked to Webb; I don’t know what he told him. One week after this happening, I passed by Mr. Ensley’s place, going home from school, and Mr. Ensley was out by the front porch. He asked me, what was all the trouble, with me and Webb a week ago. I told him just like I told the Teacher and Webb stood right there and he heard me tell it, then Webb said, “Yes, Dad he is right.” Mr. Ensley said, “OK, don’t’ let it happen again.” So that is the end of that.

Now that I am pretty well caught up with this history book, from 1840 to the end of 1904, I will go into 1905, as that was the second year we lived on the Henry Fryer 100 acre farm in Ohio.

Chapter 9
Living on the 100 Acre Farm in Ohio in 1905

Everything went along good till in the summer when the peaches were ripe. On morning [at] 10:30 a.m., my Mother and Lillie sat on the back porch, pealing peaches. I was standing there eating a peach. This was a nice eight room house, a summer kitchen and a big front yard there, which faced the north and along the west side of the yard. In the summer time we always had a Croquet set there in the front yard. A fellow came around the house to the back porch. He came up to my mother and said, “Good Morning!” My Mother said, “good morning.” Then he said, “I was just passing by carrying my suitcase.” He said he was from Gifsonburg. He said, “I though I would stop and see if I could get something to eat.” “Well,” my mother said, “We are pretty busy canning peaches.” “Yes, Mame,” he said, “I see you are. I will pay you well for it.” My Mother told him to go down the road. It’s just a little ways from here, the first house on the right side of the road. The house right next to our house on the left side of the road is where Charlie Shoemaker lived. The man that I said came to our place back in 1903, when we lived on the Old Ladie Smith Farm, and old man Latterman that [who] helped us at butchering time. This is where my Mother told this fellow to stop and I know they will fix you some thing to eat. All the while I stood there looking at him. All at once it came to me. Then I said, “Hey Mr., I think I know who you are. He said, “Oh, You think you know me.” I said, “Yes, I think you are my Cousin William Messinger from near Tatamy, Pennsylvania. “Well,” he said, “You think right.”

I can see that grin on his face yet. Then my Mother looked at him and she said, “Well, this is a big surprise.” It was funny that Lillie or my mother didn’t remember him from the time in 1899, the winter we visited in Pennsylvania and that was six years back. “Well,” my Mother said, “Lillie, go and fix something for all of us to eat.” It was 11:30. This was on Monday morning. Dad left he house at eight a.m. that morning. The neighbor, [that] I told you about before, John Latterman, took Dad to Gifsonburg. This old man, Henry Fryer, that I told you about, he owned the farm where we lived. [In] the year of 1903, when we lived on the Smith Farm, that year Henry Fryer was 82, and he married the second time, to a southern woman. Her name was Emma.

One time in July of 1905, Dad got a letter from Henry Fryer and he said Allen, I think this is where you ought to be with your boys. In them [those] days anyone that was 21 years old, even if it was a woman, could file on a home stead [of] 160 acres of Government land. Then hold it for five years. They had to do a certain amount of plowing, [a] certain amount of fencing, tree planning, and they had to sleep on the homestead at least one night out of every month. If them rules weren’t kept, some one else could contest you and you could loose the homestead at the end of five years. The Government would give you a deed for the homestead, and in case you wanted to move off the homestead before the five years were up you commute. That means you pay the Government so much money, like Dad did. He was short one year of living on the homestead, so he had to pay $200.00 to the government, then he could get his deed for the homestead. You see we only lived on the homestead from the first of October in 1905 till October first 1909. That was only four years so that is what they call to commute. You have to live on it five years to get the deed, and you have to have a house, a shandy [shanty ?], or some people lived in dug outs. I will tell you more about the dug outs later on in this history book. Now I will l go back to when I said Dad left at Eight A.M. that morning, the last week of July and went to Oklahoma and filed on a homestead. He was there in Oklahoma with Henry Fryer for three weeks, till the middle of august, and he did file on a homestead which joined Henry Fryer on the west.

William Messinger was there on the farm with us. He had been there one week. One morning, soon after breakfast, William said, “Frank, do you know where there is a good water melon patch?” I said, “Yes, one and a half miles north from here.” He said, “Come on take me to it.” He was wearing a pair of Dad’s work pants. When we got to the water melon patch, there was what they called a page wire fence. This was five feet high, and a piece of barb wire all the way around the top of the fence. The barb wire was nailed to the top of the fence posts, about six inches above the page wire fence. The gate was around on the other side of the patch, but we didn’t know that at the time. I suppose the gate was locked anyway. William crawled over the top of the fence. I stayed on the out side. Then [those] water melons were the long ones. William plugged one, and said, “Too green.” Then he kept plugging them till he had cut into three of them nice big melons, about 20 inches long. After he cut the third one, I said, “Come on William, let’s go, they are all too green yet. But he cut into two more, making [that] five that he had plugged, and all of them were nice big ones.

Then I saw a farm house a little ways across the field. That was where the old farmer lived, and in just a little while I saw this farmer coming with a double barrel shot gun. I said, “Come on William, the farmer is coming.” I never did see anyone get over the fence as fast as William did. The farmer got almost to the melon patch [and] I saw him aim his double barrel shot gun in the air, and [he] shot both barrels. William was standing on the top of the page fence, holding on to the top of the fence post. Then he jumped down. When he jumped the right pants leg caught on the barbed wire and tore a strip 3 inches wide and 15 inches long. That patch was hanging down on his right leg. He didn’t much more that hit the ground till the farmer was there in the patch. He said, “Why are you coming herein my water melon patch and doing all this damage?” He pointed with his finger and counted, “one, tow, three, four, five, all nice big melons. I ought to have you arrested and make you pay for this damage. Why did you do that, cut into five of them?” William said, “I just wanted to find a ripe one.” Then the farmer said, “None of them are ripe yet.”

“Now,” he said, “Of I catch you around here again, I will blow you brains out.” William said, “Mr., you won’t ever see me around here again.” “Alright the farmer said, “Now get out of here!” Then he shot again in the air and we sure did run. A little later on, when we got out on the main road, William said, “Frank, do you have a sharp pocket knife? I want to cut this patch off.” I told him, “I had [have] a better idea. I will take one of my shoe strings out of my shoes and tie it around your leg to hold the patch up. Then when we get home, my Mother has a good sewing machine. She can stitch tat up. Then Dad can still wear them, as they were like new.” Then William said, “Well, I guess two heads are better than one, if on is a cabbage head.”

On May 21, 1905 Cousin William Messinger was 18 years old, and on August 14, 1905, Lillie was 18 years old. William was two months, 24 days older than Lillie was.

Chapter 10
Lillie’s Beau and Cousin William Continued Visit

The 14th of August 1905, on Lillie’s birthday, a fellow by the name of Will Bowser [who gave Lillie an engagement ring] started to go with Lillie in the Fall of 1904, between Thanksgiving and Xmas. He lived one and a half miles south east from our place. He had a good horse and buggy.

Every now and then he would come and take Lillie out for a buggy ride. In the spring of 1905 he started to go with Lillie steady. He would come every Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. That was four months before Cousin William Messinger came to our place. On August 14, 1905, when Lillie became 18 years old, [and] right on her birthday, Will Bowser said, “Lillie, I have a nice diamond ring here.” He showed it to Lillie, [and] then he said, "If I give it to you, can we call it an engagement ring, and when the proper time comes, we will get married.” Lillie told him alright, she would do that.

After Cousin William Messinger came to our place, about three weeks, [he] had gotten [to be] quite fond of Lillie. On the front porch there was a rocking chair, and [at] different times William would sit there in that rocking chair and Lillie would be sitting on his lap. There were two different times that Will Bowser came there on Sunday nights, and he saw Lillie sitting on Williams lap, but neither time [did] Will say anything about it. Then one Sunday morning, soon after breakfast, William said to me, “Frank, let’s go over to the Aldridge Farm.” That [farm] joined our farm, one half mile south of our farm.

They had two boys. One was 22 and the other was 20. Then there was Lina Aldridge, she was 18, my sister Lillie’s age. Lucy Aldridge was 16 years old. She was my age, and I always liked her. My Cousin William had met all of them, so we went there that Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning, when the weather was nice, there would be any where from three to seven young fellows [who] would come there by horseback. They were all 18 to 21 years old. Some were good cow boys and they would chat with each other. We were there about ten minutes. There were six fellows there. Will Bowser came with his horse and buggy, and in a few minutes Will Bowser walked up to my Cousin William Messinger. He was just four feet from William; he pointed his finger at William and he said, “Listen you, I am telling you right now, from now on you stay away from my girl.” He made a fist and said, “Or else you will get this,” and shook his fist at William. He said, “I will give you a punch in the nose.” William was quite heavy built, and he was bigger than Will Bowser. William said, “Oh you will, will you.” No [sooner] that he said that, he hit Will [with] a good punch in the nose and knocked Will down. Right away, Will’s nose was bleeding, but he got up and came after William. They stood there and fought. William was too much for Will Bowser. William knocked Will down a second time. Then he said, “Have you had enough?” Will got up and he came to William again, and said, “I can always take more,” and they stood there fighting. Pretty soon Old Man Aldridge came out. He saw from his bay window [that] they were fighting. He came out there and he parted them. None of the other fellows tried to stop the fight. Old Man Aldridge said, “What’s the matter with you fellows, all standing around watching this fellow beat Will Bowser up like this.” He didn’t know who William was, [and] none of the fellows said anything. Then Old Man Aldridge looked at William and he said, “Who are you?” William said, “I am Frank Messinger’s cousin. Then he [Old Man Aldridge] said, “Well, you get off of this farm and stay off.” I said, “Come one William, let’s go home.” That Sunday night after supper, again William sat there on the porch and Lillie was sitting on his lap again.

Will Bowser didn’t get out of the buggy; he just hollered and said, “Lillie I will come and see you tomorrow night. On Monday night, William sat there in the rocking chair. Charlie and I were in the yard playing croquet when Will Bowser came. Lillie was still in the house as she finished doing the supper dishes. Will Bowser was out by the front gate and both [of] his eyes were real black and blue. Will said, “Frank, will you tell Lillie I want to see her.” I went into the house and said, “Lillie, Will Bowser is out by the front gate. He wants to see you.”

He didn’t get out of the buggy. Lillie and I stood there by the gate and Will said, “Lillie will you give me that diamond ring, and all the presents [that] I gave you,” which was a nice toilet set and some other things. Lillie said, “Alright, I will go and get the things.” So she gave him the diamond ring and all [of] the presents he had given to her. “Now,” he said, “we are finished. You knew you have been engaged to me ever since I gave you this diamond ring. I can’t keep going on like this.” “Alright,” Lillie said. She walked over away and over to the porch, and sat on Williams lap again. William said, “Lillie, why did you give Will that diamond ring and all the other presents he gave you. If he wanted to call it quits, alright, but you could have kept those things.” Lillie said, “I gave them to him so he wouldn’t have anything to holler about.” That was Sunday night; it was the thirty.

My folks were in bed; they were all in bed, but William and I and Lillie. I was just about ready to go to bed. There was a hall up stairs and my room where Charlie and I slept together, was [in] the middle of the hall, [and there] was another room where Alvin and Floyd slept. Lillie’s room was at the east end of the hall; my folk’s was at the west end. [There was] another room [that] was a spare bedroom. There were five bedrooms upstairs; and just as I was going to my room, I saw William Messinger at the end of hall. He had just gone in[to] Lillie’s room. So right away I went to my folk’s room; the door wasn’t quite closed and I knew they were still awake, because I heard them talking. I said, “Dad?” He said, “What?” “I just saw William go in Lillie’s bedroom.” Dad jumped out of bed. He knocked at Lillie’s door. It was locked. William just pushed the latch on, [and] then Dad said, “William, open this door!” Right away, William unlocked the door and Dad opened it.

I followed right along with Dad. Dad said, “William, why did you come in Lillie’s room and lock the door?” He said, “I thought I would come in and talk with Lillie for a little while.” Dad said, “It’s bed time! Now, you go to your room and don’t let me see anymore of this stuff!” So, William went to his room.

Now, [the] Saturday before, Dad had got a letter from William’s father, Uncle Erwin Messinger here in Pennsylvania. [Frank was living in Pennsylvania at the time he wrote is book].

He [Uncle Erwin] asked if William was there with him. If he is, [then] chase him home and tell [him] to come home where he belongs. Dad did not say anything to William then yet. So on Monday morning at the breakfast table, Dad said, “William, did you run away from home?” William looked at Dad, and Dad said, “Now don’t lie to me. I got a letter from your father in Pennsylvania, and he said you ran away from home, and if you were here I should tell you to go home where you belong.” The William said, “Yes, Uncle Allen, I did run away from home.” He said, his father and he had a big argument and he said he left home. The folks never did find out what the argument was about. Then Dad said, “When are figuring to leave here?”

William said, “Just as soon as you can take be to Gibsonburg and my suit case.” “Well,” Dad said, “That will be just as soon as I hitch up to the spring wagon. I have to go to town.” “Alright,” William said, “I will pack my suitcase and ride along.” Now as I said before, it was 13 miles to Freemont, Ohio, and Gibsonburg was three miles. So William said, “I am going to stop with Uncle Ed and Aunt Stella Neikerk.” Stella was my Mother’s next younger sister. They lived on White Avenue in Freemont, Ohio. Uncle Ed Neikerk had a good job at the Carbon Works in Freemont. William Said, before he left our place, he wanted to stop off with Ed and Stella and try to get some work for about a month, so he could pay some board and room and get his train fare back to Pennsylvania, and buy a few things that he needed. Right after my Dad left to go to town, my Mother wrote a letter to Aunt Stella and Uncle Ed Neikerk. She told Aunt Stella to answer soon, and let them know how William is making out. After William got to Uncle Ed and Aunt Stella’s place, William told Uncle Ed what he wanted to do. Uncle Ed said, “Alright, I will take you along when I go to work and maybe you could get a job at the Carbon works.” Those carbons are long sticks of carbon, one foot long, one inch wide and half an inch thick, and they used to burn them in street lights instead of electricity. [Note: The carbon sticks were place in an electric circuit with a slight gap between it and the circuit in such a way that the electricity jumped between the gap and arced across, thereby creating a brilliant lighting.]

So Uncle Ed took William with him to work and he introduced him to the boss, and told him, “This is my Nephew. He has been visiting around for a month and he would like to get a job and work a month. Then he will go back to Pennsylvania where his home is.” Then the Boss said, “Alright, I will give him a job helping you.” Then in ten days my Mother received a letter from Aunt Stella, and she said that William is there with them and he is working. He is helping Uncle Ed.

Now it wasn’t long till September, as Charlie was 14 on September 26, 1905. I was 16 on December 23, 1905. Alvin was 10 on January 23, 1905. Floyd was 3 on November 2, 1905, and Verna Bell Messinger was born on the 1900 acre farm on December 23, 1905. [Frank has already mentioned that Verna was born in 1904, so she would have been 1 year old at this time. He was probably thinking ahead to what he wanted to write and made this slight mistake]

Now I guess in all this reading about my Cousin William Messinger, you remember when I said, my folks visited the whole winter of 1899 in Pennsylvania, with my Uncle Edwin and Catherine Messinger and when William Messinger asked me, “Frank what do you want me to draw?” I said draw a fire engine with a team of horses hitched to it. My Cousin William Messinger was 12 that year on May 21, 1899. Now I will go back to the last of September. In August 1905 my Dad filed on a homestead in Oklahoma.

Chapter 11
Leaving Ohio for the Homestead in Oklahoma

The last week of September 1905, Dad had a sale on the 100 acre farm and sold everything. He kept one team of work horses and one milk cow. He chartered a freight car on the railroad in Gibsonburg, Ohio. The oldest son, of Henry Fryers, [who] owned the 100 acre farm [on] which we lived on in 1904 and up to the first of October 1905, Burt Fryer used half of the freight car. He put his furniture in it and he went with us to Oklahoma. Dad loaded the other half of the freight car with the furniture, the team of horses, the milk cow, some bags of grain, some potatoes, the and the big wagon. Then Dad sent [went?] to Sears and Roebuck Company and ordered two tents. They were 12 by 14 feet. We used one for the horses and the cow, and the other one we lived in [un]till we had a little house built.

Now, I am a little ahead of this story; [let’s go] back to where I said, Burt Fryer went with us to Oklahoma. We arrived in Guymon on the morning of October 10, 1905. Dad said, “Now, I will put the pad lock on the freight car door. Then we will get some breakfast.” We just went a half block from the freight car. We came to where two men were digging a hole. The hole was about five feet in diameter.

We stopped and talked with them. This was very important, that I came back to tell what [why that] I am writing. When I said, we talked with these two men about 15 minutes and Dad told them he had filed on a homestead and where he had filed, why this man said, just across the corner from there, he had filed on 160 acres, [and] then later he lost it. So, he said, he didn’t know if anyone else had filed on it or not. So, he said, “You go to the land office there in Guymon and find out for sure if Dad [you] still had the homestead he filed on in August of 1905.”

After we had eaten some breakfast, “Now,” Dad said, “We will go to the land office and check.” It was good he met that man digging that hole; it was for a balloon [unknown misspelled word from typed manuscript] that night.

Then he [Dad] got to the land office, [and] he said, “I am Allen Messinger, and last August I filed on a homestead of 160 acres.” They go by number of the quarter sections [that] they had [on] a map of them. Dad said, “We just got in this morning at seven thirty with a freight car from Gibsonburg, Ohio.” He said, he had a team of horses, a milk cow, and some other stuff in the car and he is going to unload the car and take it to his homestead. [He had?] such a big surprise when the man said, “Now, let me check.”

Dad told the man it was 23 miles south east form Guymon. When he man checked on it, he said, “Why, you don’t have a homestead. That quarter section was already taken before he [Dad] filed on it.” (That quarter section was what they called 160 acres of land).

You remember reading a little ways back, when I said, anyone that was 21 years old could file on a homestead, either in Guymon and or Guthery, Oklahoma. So there it was, we were there with the freight car and our things. Dad didn’t have a homestead. Dad told the man in the land office what this man had told him that he had filed just across the corner from where Dad had filed; then he said he lost it. The man [in the land office] said, “Let me check on that.” He looked it up. He said, “No one has filed on the quarter section in Guymon. I will check in Guthery, Oklahoma.” So he telegraphed to Guthery and asked if that quarter section was taken. They told him no, that quarter section is still open. I am telling you right now, that sure was lucky, as Dad got a clear filing on that quarter section. Dad had told this man in the land office what all he had in this freight car and the two tents. He had one to live in and the other for the other for the horses and the cow.

Now this man said, in the land office, “Now, you have a homestead and you can go ahead and unload the box car and go out to your quarter section and pitch your tents.” Then when we got out to the homestead, we pitched the tents over close to where Henry Fryers little shanty was, and we lived there [un]till we had the little two room house built that I told you about before. [At this point in the story, Frank has yet to talk about the house. He must have had it on his mind to discuss it or he re-edited part of his story].

Then it [time] ran on through the year 1906, and I want to tell you, it sure did feel funny living there on this homestead after living in Ohio on that nice 100 acre farm. You know that winter, soon after New Year in 1906, a man by the name of Bell lived on one and one half miles east of us. He and his brother-in-law came by one morning right after breakfast. He said, “I want you to meet Lee Richards.”

This home stead just across the corner from where we lived was the quarter section that Dad filed on in August 1905, the one I told you about on the other sheet of paper. When I said, it had been filed on in Guthery, Oklahoma, before Dad filed on it and by that time, it had fell [fallen] back to Dad. Lillie was going on 19 years old at the time. If she would have been 21, she could have filed on it. Dad didn’t know it fell [fallen] back to him till that morning, when Mr. Bell stopped and told him about it.

So he, [Mr. Bell] had a team of horses hitched to the spring wagon. After he told Dad [that] this quarter section had fell back to Dad, Mr. Bell wanted his brother-ion-law, Lee Richard, to file on it, but before he could, Dad had to sign off. They called it “relinquish”. Mr. Bell said, “If you will ride into Guymon and sign off…” Dad said, “Oh no! If I sign off, I want 200 dollars.” Henry Fryer had told Dad that, [that] happens sometimes. They said alright, they will give Dad 200 dollars. Dad said, “I want that before I sign off.” There was a little bank in Guymon. They went in there and got the 200 dollars for Dad, [and] then he signed off.

So Dad had two carpenters; they built a little frame house, 16 x 32 feet. With the eight in our family, there wasn’t enough room to set up beds for all of us. The house stood running east and west. On the west end and was a double bed where the folks slept, then another double bed in the west end where Lillie and Verna slept, and then a dresser; couple of trunks, a rocking chair, a straight back chair and a little stand, that was all in the west end of the house.

In the ease end of the house was the cook stove. We didn’t need a heating stove. The round kitchen table [was] big enough to seat eight. [There was] a double bed where Alvin and Floyd slept. The house didn’t have any partitions in it, and no ceiling at that time. Dad nailed a latter up along the wall in the south end corner of the house, [and] then the put a bed spring and mattress and laid that across the two by sixes which [ran] across ways [wise] where the ceiling goes [would be]. That is where Charlie and I slept; it was boarded up along the right side of the bed so you couldn’t roll of bed.
When we first got to Oklahoma, Burt Fryer, his wife and two small children stayed with Henry Fryer, as Burt Fryer didn’t have a homestead yet. He was going to file on one. He did file on one around Thanksgiving and it joined Henry Fryers homestead on the north. He had two carpenters to build a little house on his homestead, just a block away from his father, Henry Fryer and his wife Emma. The carpenters had told Burt they wouldn’t have the home finished [un]till Xmas. That was why Burt figured they would eat dinner with his father.

After Burt Fryer had his homestead, [and] one week after he had the two carpenters building his house, Burt got sick and laid there in his father’s little shanty, sick in bed. The Doctor came quite often to see Burt Fryer. There was a creek called Cold Water Creek five miles west of there. One time the Doctor came to see Burt. He told Henry Fryer, “Your son Burt has typhoid fever sticking in him already.”

When he left Gibsonburg, Ohio, in October 1905, and one afternoon one week before Xmas we didn’t have a well and had to haul water, Dad had a wagon bed made extra long so we could stand seven barrels in that wagon bed. There were four different places we could go and fill the barrels with water. All of these places had windmills and big galvanized tanks [that] we could dip water from. We did that for about one year [un]till we had a well drilled and a steel Sampson windmill. Sometimes we would just put one barrel on the back of the wagon and to and get it filled.

Now, what I started to say, one week before Xmas, I went to a place just across the road from Henry Fryer’s little shanty. This place across the road had a windmill and a tank. They called them supply tanks. So, that afternoon, I was there with on horse hitched to the spring wagon with one barrel for water as Dad said, that would hold us over [un]till the next morning.

It just kept one busy, hauling water. I will tell you what all we had to haul water for at our place. I will tell that a little later, as I want to finish what I was going to say a while ago. While I was there getting that one barrel of water, Henry Fryer came out as I drove out to the road. He said, “I and my wife and Birtie’s wife are just about wore out from taking care of him. I don’t think Birtie will last [un]till morning.” So when I got back home with the water; it was then four o’clock and I told my folks what Henry said, well my Mother said, “I will make a quick supper.” Then my Mother and Father went over to Henry Fryer’s place. Sure enough at two o’clock in the morning, Burt Fryer died. The next morning at six thirty, [there] came a rap at our door. By that time we lived in a little two room house, just the size that Burt Fryer had built. The house was 12 feet by 32 feet long.

Right away, I heard the knock at the door. Dad told me about Burt Fryer’s death at two o’clock that morning, [and] then he told me to get up and help him. This is what Dad did that day; we put the tong[?] in the spring wagon so he could hitch two horses to it. Then we harnessed another team of horses for the big wagon. I tied a saddle horse behind the big wagon. I drove that wagon over to Henry Fryer’s place and Dad drove the spring wagon over. They took the horse blankets, quilts and a pillow. There was just the front seat in the spring wagon so they laid Burt Fryers dead body in the spring wagon. My Father and Mother were in the spring wagon, and Henry Fryer drove the big wagon. Henry Fryer’s wife, Burt Fryer’s wife and the two small children and all [of] their luggage was all in the big wagon. They left Henry Fryer’s place at eight thirty that morning and drove to Guymon, 23 miles. When they got to Guymon, they had an undertaker fix Burt Fryer up and embalmed, and put his casket in the baggage car. Then Henry Fryer and his wife, Emma, Burt Fryer’s wife and two small children all went back to Gibsonburg, Ohio, where they had lived before. Henry Fryer never went back to his homestead. I guess they sold it and Burt Fryer’s too.

Now, I will tell you more about our homestead.

Chapter 12
The Oklahoma Homestead

In the spring of 1906, there was a bad sand storm [at] about eleven o’clock at night. We were using one of them tents [that] I told you about, that we lived in before we had the little frame house.

This tent was out side of the house and we used it to store things in. My Mother kept the washing machine in there, [along with] two wash tubs and some other things [that] were stored in that tent. We were still using the other tent for the two horses and the milk cow.

We closed in the two doors of the little house. It rained and blew so hard [that] it broke the center pole in the tent that we used for the horses and the cow and the other [tent] by the house was badly ripped. Two days later my Mother was going to do the washing and she couldn’t find one of the wash tubs any place.

There was a lot of jack rabbits in Oklahoma them days. One day a week later, I took my rifle and I went one half mile south. We had barb wire fences and there a lot of tumble weeds; a big bushy weed, and when they die they come out of the ground easily. The wind takes them across the field till they lodge some place. At the barb wire one half mile south of our homestead, the tumble weeds [were] lodged so thick at the barb wire fence. While I was up there near that fence, the day I was out shooting jack rabbits, I saw that wash tub [was] lodged there at the fence with them tumble weeds.

One day I helped a fellow drill a well, and [around] about the middle of the afternoon, it got so bad; the sand was blowing thick through the air, you just couldn’t see anything. The fellow I was helping quit and went home. I rode part way with him the big wagon. Then I had one half mile to walk and I couldn’t see to follow the road. I got half way home and pretty soon I laid down on my stomach and had my arms folded around my head and face and I kept my eyes closed. I lay there that way for ten minutes [and when] the worst had passed, I raised my head and I opened my eyes. I could see about half [halfway?], I was about one half block over in a field to the left side of the road. There was no fence there. I am telling you, that was a bad storm, [that I ever] saw all the time we lived in Oklahoma. In the spring of 1906, we put a storm cave right close to the house. It was 4 feet wide, 6 feet long and 5 feet deep. There were six steps that went down in[to] the cave.

It just had a flat roof over it so the wind could blow over the top of the roof and it wouldn’t hurt anything. The roof was just one foot high, [and] then each side sloped down six inches from the ground. The front of the cave had a good storm door. One night, early in 1906, after Dad put that bed up above the ceiling for Charlie and me to sleep on, and about eleven o’clock that night, Dad called Charlie and me, and he said, “Come get up, we are going down in the storm cave. There is a bad storm coming and the sand would fly thick through the air.”

Ten miles north of us, the Beaver River runs through the country, and it is nearly all sand at that place. That sand would fly through the air so thick, just like a blizzard. In one half [of a] hour it would all push over and it would be alright again. We would go back to our beds.

In 1906, the cattle used to run the range. What I mean [was] that there wasn’t much fencing and they could get into some man’s crops and do a lot of damage. The cowboys were allowed to carry their guns in the holsters, strapped around their waist. Finally, the state of Oklahoma pushed a law, they called it a herd law; If anyone’s cattle did any damage any place, even if there wasn’t any fences around the crops, they [farmers] could collect damage and the cowboys couldn’t carry guns any more.

Once Dad and I went to Guymon. We were walking alone on a plank side walk, right on Main Street. Pretty soon we saw two cowboys grab a fellow and they walked him a head a little ways. I told Dad, “Come on, Lets get a little closer to them and see what they are going to do.” This was before that herd law was passed and the cowboys still carried their guns. In a little bit, they came to a Barber shop and this fellow had such long hair and long whiskers. These two cowboys took this fellow in a Barber shop. They told the barber to cut his hair and shave him, and they would pay for it. While the fellow sat there in the barber chair, they asked him why [did he] leave [his] hair and whiskers grow like that. “Well,” the fellow said, “I had made up my mind [that] I was going to leave it grow till the Socialists get in power.” Then we had heard where a man lived in a small town, not far from Guymon. He had a nice hardware store. So, one day he locked the store up and it was locked up for going on four years. He hadn’t gone in [to] the store all that time. So one day he just thought he would unlock the door and look around. He saw [that] during the time the store was locked up, the roof sprung a bad leak, and most of the hardware on the shelf was ruined. A fellow came along while this man was looking around in the store; he went in and saw this man that owned the store. He asked, “Why have you had this store locked up like this for so long?” He also said, “I just made up my mind I was going to leave it locked up till the Socialists got in Power.” That was a crazy thing to do. He could still have it locked up, from 1906 to 1982. That would l be 76 years now.

Now, I am going to tell you something, I used to like to do back in 1906 and 1907, when we lived on the homestead in Oklahoma. I don’t know if you know what ground squirrels are, but there were a lot of them in them days. They are smaller than the red squirrels that lived in trees and they are darker. They live in holes in the ground; that is whey they are called ground squirrels. You can walk through a pasture field and see them running around. If you get up to where they are, they will run in them holes in the ground. Those holes are three to four inches high, four feet wide, five feet long. I would put one barrel on that sled, hitch one horse to it, [and] fill the barrel half to two thirds full of water. Then we had a big tiger tom cat; we called him Tommy. At first I put Tommy in a carton, drove out though the pasture field, and when I would see one of them ground squirrels run in one of them holes, I would take a pail of water and pour it in the holes in the ground, and put Tommy there by the hole and in a few seconds that ground squirrel would come floating up to the top of the hole. Then just that quick, Tommy would grab them, bite them, and shake them. Then he would drop them and they were dead. Tommy wouldn’t eat any of them. When I first trained Tommy to do that, I would have a collar around his neck and a little chain to it. I would keep the end of the chain in my hand. I had him trained good. All I had to say, when I was ready to go was, “Tommy, Tommy, come on.” I would holler that so where ever Tommy was, he would hear me and he would come running and jump up on the sled. He knew just what to do. I didn’t have to put him in the carton and any more or have a collar and chain on him. I want to tell you that was a lot of fun. One day my Dad was around the two little shed barns we had. Dad wasn’t doing much of anything. I had the horse hitched to the sled and the barrel with water on the sled. I was all ready to go. I said, “Hey Dad!” He looked around and I said, “Come here.” He walked over to me. Then I said, “Now, watch this. We will drive out in the 40 acre pasture field and get some ground squirrels. I would put them in the pail I had with me, bring them back and throw them over in the chicken lot. Those chickens sure would pick at them. Now watch, I am ready.” Then I would say, “Tommy, Tommy, come on.”

Tommy would come running and jumping up on the sled. We went out in the pasture field, [but] didn’t go far. I said, “There goes one!” I drove up to the hole, poured about half [of a] pail of water in and Tommy sat right there watching. Tommy would grab them and bite at them, and shake them. When he would drop them, they would be dead. So, that time we got nine or ten of them and Dad sure did get a kick out of it. Now, I will tell you two stories about dug outs.

Chapter 13
Dug Outs

You remember a while back I told you about dug outs. I said I would tell you more about them a little later on, as at that time I started to tell about Burt Fryer [and] how he died and what was done the next day. A little ways back, I told of the sand storm that ripped the tent and one of the wash tubs I found one half mile south of our homestead a week after that sand storm. You read about that, well, the next morning after that sand storm, in the spring of 1906, after breakfast, Dad had a measuring tape and he was out along the south side of the little frame house we were living in. It was 12 by 32 [he probably meant 16] feet and just six feet away from that little frame house, Dad measured a space 12 by 16 feet. He put a wooden stake at all four corners. Then he took some twine and tied it around them stakes. Then he took the garden hoe and he cut a little grove all around the piece of twine, like they use to tie up wheat bundles. They call it bailing twine.

He made a good grove all around, then he took the twine away and he said, “Right here we are going to have a dug out.” It was a good one too. He told Charlie and me to start digging and he would go to Guymon, 23 miles and bring some lumber, three one-half sashes, a good heavy door, some cement, and a few bags of sand. He said he would stop at a young fellows place and hire him to help dig that space out. Then he said he would have this fellow help him build the dug out. We dug that four feet deep, then the walls would be pretty solid and you could put a good heavy coat of cement on the walls. He put on one coat, about a quarter of an inch thick. When it was good and dry he put another coat over it, and it stayed real good. Then the floor had a heavy coat of cement. There were five good cement steps; the frame around the top of the ground was two feet high on all three sides, and the south side had one of them half window sashes. The west had a window sash and the north side had a half window sash. The front of the dug out was the east end where the five cement steps were and down at the bottom of the steps [there] was a good heavy door. Up at the top of the steps [there] was a double storm door. The roof at the gable end was two and one half feet from the ground.

The rafters were two by fours. The roof sloped down from the peak of the roof six inches on both sides; that gave it a real good pitch. Then they used one by twelve boards after the roof was on. They went over the cracks and puttied them good and left it dry good [well], and then they put thin wooden strips. They were two inches wide and a quarter of an inch thick, [and] they nailed them strips down real good. We never did have any trouble with it leaking. It took about one month to get it ready to move in. We put the cook stove down there, the round table with eight chairs, a little work table and our double bed that Charlie and I slept on. Dad built a nice roomy cupboard over the north east corner of the dug out and the cook stove was in the south end east corner. Our double bed was in the northwest corner and the round table was on the north side in the middle of the dug out. The little table was on the south side of the dug out. I am telling you, it really looked nice. Now I am going to tell you another story [about] something that really did happen, as I saw it all.

Chapter 14
Billy and Cattle on the Range

One day about two weeks after the 4th of July in 1906, I had a good saddle horse; we called him Billy. He was broke for the saddle or you could hitch him to the spring wagon or top buggy. Charlie had a saddle horse, we called him Fred; we could drive them together or single. The one I had, Billy, his mother was a brown mare; we called her Bird. She was a Hameltornon [?] and a Kentucky Whip Breed, and she was a pacer. She didn’t trot like others, she paced. If you know what I mean, but Billy was a good trotter; he never paced. So, one Sunday afternoon I went to a place three miles from our place, as there always some cowboys there. When I rode up, there were 7 fellows there. They were allowed to carry gun then yet. There was a fellow there that I didn’t know. After I was there about ten minutes, this fellow waved a $5.00 bill, and he said I have 5 dollars here that says my horse can beat any horse here, to the one mile cross road going west. Well, I never saw his horse run and I didn’t have any money with me, but there was a good friend of mine there. I was 17 then, this friend of mine was 18 and the fellow that wanted to bet the 5 dollars was 20 years old. This friend of mine came to me, had a $5.00 bill. He said, “Here take this and call his bet.” I guess he knew about that fellow’s horse. He told me, “I know you will beat him, then we will split fifty-fifty.” “Well,” I said, “If you think I will win…” He said’ “I know you will win!” So, I took the 5 dollars. This fellow was over on the other side of the gang.

I said, “I will call your bet.” He looked at me a little bit, then he said, “All right.” So, a fellow I knew said, “I will hold the stakes.” We gave him the money. The stake holder picked out a fellow, I partly knew, he said, “How long will it take you to ride west one mile, to the cross road?” That fellow said, “I will take off, then you wait ten minutes, then you shoot in the air.”*

So we stood there and in ten minutes the stake holder shot in the air and we were off. Some times this fellow would be a little ahead of me, [and] then I would kick my heels in[to] Billy’s flanks, and he seemed to know and he would go ahead. I didn’t have to do that anymore, as soon as Billy would see the other horse was going to pass me, he would go a little faster. When we got up to the one mile cross road, the fellow that rode ahead was watching and I won by 100 feet! That fellow stepped it off and he said, “What is your name?” I said, “Frank Messinger.” “Well,” he said,”You won the race, I would say by 100 feet.” Then this fellow said, “You have a good horse there.

When we got back to the gang, this fellow told the stake holder, “Frank Messinger won the race by 100 feet.” Then they all hollered and clapped. The Stake holder gave me the two 5 dollar bills. I didn’t let the fellow that lost see me give my friend the money. He had his back turned when I went up to my friend. He [my friend] said, “See, I told you [that] you would win. Give me one 5 [dollar bill] and you keep the other one.”

There was a fellow that told my father one time about six months before this, he said, “You ought to train that horse for the race track.” But, we never did anything about it.

Now, I will tell you another good story about dug out. This happened in August of 1906, nearly one month after this race. I saddled up Billy one day after dinner. I thought I would ride three miles to a fellow that I knew pretty good. He was 5 years older that I was. He was 22 years old and he had a homestead. He had one of them dug outs to live in, but it wasn’t near as nice as ours was. There was a little lane that went in from the road to his dug out. I came riding along in a slow trot; I was just about one half blocks away from that lane when I saw a herd of them Texas long horn steers coming on a rampage.
*[Sentence deleted because of the confusion it created within the paragraph.]

There must have been 50 head of them and they ran like [the] wind. They came right in line with that dug out. They were just a half block from where I was and I was sure glad they passed by like they did. This fellow that lived there and that [whom] I went to see, wasn’t home at the time. All of that herd of steers passed by but one, and that one jumped up on the roof of the dug out. The roof was pretty flat and it was just up one foot from the ground. The whole roof sloped just one way. After that steer got on the roof six feet, both of the steer’s hind legs broke through the roof and the steer just laid there. He tried to get up or get out of that hole, but he just couldn’t make it. I sat there on my saddle horse about fifteen minutes waiting for someone to come along, but no one came. I thought every minute, the weight of that steer would break through and the steer would fall down inside the dug out. I knew the fellow one half mile up the road, so I quickly rode up there and by luck he was home. I told him what happened back on the dug out roof. He said, “I will hitch up the team to the big wagon and take my 25 caliber rifle along and shoot the steer.”

So he did that. He also took along heavy rope and he tied one end to the steer’s body and the other end he hitched [to] this team of horses and he drug that steer off of that dug out roof. Just as he had the steer pulled away from the dug out [about] ten feet, a man came along with a team wagon. He stopped and he said, “What’s going on here?” He knew this man pretty good. He told the fellow that came by, how a herd of them Texas long horn steers, about 50 head of them came on a rampage and they all passed by but this one. He said he jumped the dug out roof and broke through, he said, Frank here saw it all. He said he [Frank] came up and told him. So he said, ‘I knew the only thing to do was to shoot him and drag him off the roof. I wonder if you will help me dig a hole to bury the steer. I will drag him down by the creek two miles away. As there was [is] a lot of sand mix in the ground near the creek, it will be easy digging.” This fellow said, “Yes, I will help you dig a hole to bury the steer. Where will we get shovels to dig?” He looked in a little shed. There was one lone handle shovel in the shed, then he said, he had one at home. I asked him where it was and he said, “It is right at the corner of the house.”

So I rode there quick and got it and the digging wasn’t bad, as there was a lot of sand there. I guess we were there about one and one half hours till they had the steer buried. Two days later I saddled up my horse, Billy, and I went to this fellows place. It was lucky I found him home. He had patched the roof; I told him I was there when it happened. I saw it all. He said [asked] how far away was I when it happened. I said I was just about to your lane when I saw this herd of steers coming and I was glad I was on my horse. He said when he patched the roof he thought something like that had happened, because when he patched the roof he saw some big blood stains in the wood.

Now I am going to tell you something that happened the first of September in 1906.

Chapter 15
Digging the Well

We had hauled water for eleven months, from October 1905 to September 1906. One afternoon two men stopped in at our homestead. Dad and I were there in the back yard. They had a big truck and a well drilling outfit. One of the men did all of the talking. He said, “I see you don’t have no well here.” Dad said, “No, we have been hauling water since last October, nearly one year.” “Well,” this man said, “We started out drilling wells all the way from eastern Oklahoma and we would like to drill a well for you.”

They talked about a half hour; they said their price would be so much a foot. I don’t know how much [it was, nor] their board and room. Anyway, Dad finally told them alright, so the next morning they started to drill. He [the man] said they had to charge enough per foot, so it would cover it if they would strike some rock, which most always happens. They were down 55 feet and the hole got so crooked they couldn’t keep on with that hole, so they backed up four feet and started another hole.

Then the following week, my mother got a letter from Horton, Kansas, from her brother, Ed Sloyer’s wife Lottie. Ed Sloyer was my Mother’s next to her oldest brother and Grandpa Franklin Sloyer was living with Uncle Ed and Lottie Sloyer. Aunt Lottie said Grandpa was and had been pretty sick for two weeks and she said [asked] if my mother could come and help out. They would pay her train fare both ways. It is a little over four hundred miles from Guymon, Oklahoma to Horton, Kansas. So my mother was gone for three weeks and I had to do the house work and all the cooking.

When the drillers got down 45 feet and again they had to stop, the hole got so crooked, the drill would stick and bind and stop the power. It was lucky that Dad was there at the time. That morning they told Dad [that] they would have to back up again and start another hole. Well, Dad didn’t like it, so he told them, “Alright, but if you do not make good this time they [you] this time they [you] would [will] have pack up and leave.” He wouldn’t pay them a cent for what they did up to then. He said, “You are both getting your room and board.” “Well,” he said, “We will do our best this time.” So they backed up again and started the third hole.

The next day, Dad was away some place and a man talked with Dad. I don’t know how he knew what he told Dad, but he said them men lied, when they said they had been drilling wells all the way from Eastern Oklahoma. He said, I know, this is the first they stopped to drill a well. So Dad thought he would wait and not say anything right away and see how they will [would] make out this time. On the third day, after they started the third hole, again it was lucky Dad was there, [because] about two p.m. they told Dad, “Well, Mr. Messinger, I guess we will have to call it quits, as they were [we are] down again 48 feet and they [we] had to stop.” They just weren’t well drillers. Dad said, “Alright, pack up and leave.” Then the man said, “Can we stay yet tonight and leave first thing in the morning?” Dad said, “Alright.” Next morning they pulled away. I don’t know where they went; we never did hear anything more about it. Then we hauled water all winter [un]till April of 1907.

Dad got a fellow that we knew good [well]; there were four brothers, the Huey boys. Elbridge was the oldest; he didn’t have no [any] homestead, he butchered. Then next was Melvin Huey; he had a homestead one mile west of ours. The third one was Harly Huey; he lived one mile west and a half mile north from our homestead. The youngest one was Albert Huey; he was two years older than I was. I was 18 and Albert was past 20. His father, Old Man Huey, lived in a little place five miles from our place; it was Hardesty, Oklahoma. It was a very small, but it has a Post Office and Old man Huey owned this well drilling outfit. It was a good one, so about two years before this Albert Huey started drilling wells. He got pretty good at it. He was the one I told you [about] back aways. I helped him drill a well a little over one mile east of our place. When he stopped that afternoon, I told you about when that bad sand storm came I had to walk a half mile to get home. This is the fellow that Dad got the first of April 1907. He had not trouble getting down 68 feet when he struck the first sheet of water. They had a sand bucket and they can set it to draw up the water. There is some way they can test to find out just about how much water there would be in a day or in 24 hours.

Albert knew more about that than Dad did. After testing that first sheet of water for the first 24 hours, Albert told Dad, “I think we better keep on drilling till he would [I] strike the second sheet of water.” Dad said, “You do whatever you think is best.” So he said, “Alright, I will keep on drilling.” He only drilled ten feet further; that was 78 feet, when he hit the second sheet of water. Believe me; I think we had the best well around there. Dad got a steel windmill and a big galvanized supply tank. Then different ones hauled water from our place after that. Sometimes if we would go away for the Sunday, [and] they would rob us. They would have [of] the tank half empty when we would get home. Then if there wasn’t enough wind, the windmill wouldn’t run. Dad always told them that did haul water from there, to turn the windmill on, but some times it would be turned on, but not enough wind to run it. That just happened a few times in 1909. When we left the homestead in October we had the nicest and biggest tree grove there within thirty to forty miles around.

Chapter 16
Living in Oklahoma

We had planted the seed box Elder seed and by fall those little trees were a foot and a half foot high. Then he [Dad] set them little trees out that fall, 1300 of them. They were in eight rows. That would be a half of a block long. Each row was six feet apart and the trees in the row were six feet apart. When we left there in 1909, in October, some of those trees were twenty to twenty-five feet tall. So, this man I told you about, Elbridge Huey, he was a bachelor and Dad left him move on the place just to keep the homestead up in good shape. Dad didn’t get a cent out of it for rent. I think Elbridge Huey lived there for four years after we left. He went there in April of 1910 and he was still there till the last of the year in 1914. My sister Lillie was living in Guymon, Oklahoma, 23 miles from there and Lillie used to write regularly to my mother, sometimes every week and some times it would be two weeks. She died in July of 1931. [Frank already gave her death date as August 1933 and she was born in 1887, and since she was 46 that would be 1933.] She was only 46 years old and her husband, Walter Phillips, died in 1965. They are both buried in the Guymon Oklahoma Cemetery. They used to get quite a lot of hail storms in Oklahoma. I know in 1907, Walter Phillips has 40 acres of wheat and they used to have insurance for damages to wheat crops from hail. In the summer of 1907 before harvest time my Dad and Walter Phillip’s brother, Bill Phillips went in[to] partnership. They bought a New Hedder to cut wheat and oats with.

Those Hedders sold for 350.00 dollars at that time. They had to have six horses hitched to them to operate them. They would cut a swatch 16 feet wide at a time and it went pretty fast that way. There was a carrier six feet long and thirty inches wide that elevated the wheat up the carrier. Then they had wagon, what they called Hedder Borges and they held about what would be a half a load of hay. [I believe Frank must mean barges and from here on out, barges will be substituted for Borges]

You could drive along side of the elevator on the hedder, and as you would be going along cutting wheat, that would elevate it right up in[to] this hedder barge. It took two men on the barges; one to drive the team of horses, the other one to load the wheat in the hedder barge. They just stacked the wheat in the fields. They put two stacks side by side with a space of eight feet between the stacks. Then the thrashing machine is in between the two wheat stacks and they can trash them both at one time. That year in 1907 there was a good wheat crop. My Dad had 70 acres. Bill Phillips, the one I told you [we] went in[to] partnership, when they bought that new hedder, had 55 acres. Walter Phillips, my brother-in-law had 40 acres.

[There was] a man by the name of Hart lived one mile east of our homestead. He had a nice six room house and at the front of the building was one big room the full width of the house. [It was] 20 feet wide, [and] he had a grocery store in it.
Mr. Hart had 35 acres of wheat. So those four places made 200 acres of wheat. First we cut my Dad’s 70 acres, then Bill Phillip’s 55 acres; then we went to Hart’s place, [and] we cut his 35 acres. I remember it was on Saturday and Walter Phillips’ homestead was one mile west [of] our place, and one half mile south. You remember a while ago I said in those days you could take out insurance on wheat for damage from hail storms. So Walter had insurance on his 40 acres of wheat and about three weeks before harvest time we had a hard hail storm. After the storm, Walter Phillips reported it to the claim adjuster of the insurance company. The way they test out damage that was done in a crop of wheat, [would be that] they take one of them wooden hoops like you have seen around a salt barrel and they go where ever the owner things the damage is the worst. They toss that wooden hoop out in the wheat, [and] then when the hoop falls to the ground, they count the good wheat stalks that were standing inside of that wooden hoop. That way they figure what percentage of damage there is. Sometimes it figures on forth of one half, or two thirds, or one third, or if it is real bad, they give the full percentage of damage. So what I started to say a while ago, on Saturday after dinner, we went out to the 40 acre wheat field at Walter Phillip’s place.

Three weeks after that hail storm we made two rounds around the field. Then they figured it wouldn’t be worth cutting it as there was too much damage there from that hail storm. We cut a little at three other places and they had hedder from 1907, 1908, and 1909 when we left the homestead in October of 1909. Dad sold his half interest in the hedder to Bill Phillips for 100.00 dollars. The worst hail storm I ever saw in Oklahoma was in July of 1906. There were four Phillips boys; Bill Phillips, Emmit Phillips, my brother-in-law Walter Phillips, [and] the youngest was Jasper. He was 26 years old and he had a homestead 250 miles from Guymon, [in] a place called Las Anamas, Oklahoma. When he was 28 years old, they called him Jap Phillips. He died there on this homestead.

I remember one time in August of 1907; I was out of work at the time in the Bake shop in Topeka, Kansas. Lillie and Walter Phillips lived in Guymon, Oklahoma; that is 250 miles southwest of Topeka, Kansas. They drove a Ford Sedan from Guymon to Topeka. I wasn’t working and Walter said, “Frank, next week him [I] and Lillie and Walter’s [his] mother were going to drive to where Jasper Phillips lived.” Walter asked me if I wanted to go with them. He said all the would ask me to pay was one forth of what they would buy to eat, while going and coming back three days later.

I told them to keep track of everything [un]till we got back to Topeka, then I would pay him. All the trip coast me was 12 dollars. I told Walter that was cheap enough for that whole trip. Now, what I was going to say about that bad hail storm in July of 1906; Dad and I had gone with the big wagon to where Old Man Phillips lived on a homestead, five miles from our place. As Dad bought oats from Old Man Phillips, we had those long grain bags and we had 15 bags of oats. It didn’t look good when we left that morning at eight thirty. When we were at Old Man Phillips place, two of the boys were home. They were Walter and Jasper, [and] then one of the Huey boys; you remember reading about Albert Huey, who drilled our well. Then the next one to him was Harly Huey; he was married to one of Walter’s sisters. So Harly and his wife were there. Old Man Phillips always drove a fast team of horses and a top buggy. Old Man Phillips was pretty heavy set. He was out some place that morning with his team and buggy. About 10:30 the wind started to blow hard, [and] then in a few minutes it started to rain. We were going to leave just before that. The boys said, we better wait a little while and it sure was good that we did wait. After it rained 10 minutes, the air got real cool. Then it started to hail. That was the worst hail storm I ever saw.

Soon after it started to hail, Old Man Phillips was coming home; there was a lane that went from the road into his place. That was about one block in from the road. The gate was always closed because there were some young calves running around there. Old Man Phillips got out of the buggy to open the gate. He had it open and drove through, [and] he had the end of the lines in his one hand and was closing the gate. It was hailing pretty hard. All at once the team of horses jumped ahead and jerked the lines out of the old man’s hand and the horses ran up to the house. Old Man Phillips fell out there by the gate and right away the boys saw the team of horses and the buggy and no one in it. Two of the boys, Jasper and Harly put cartons over their heads and they ran out to the lane to the gate. Then Walter drove the team and buggy out where they were. Old Man Phillips laid there flat on his back, the hail hitting him in the face. He was unconscious when they got there to him. As I said, he was a pretty heavy set man. There just happened to be a horse blanket in the buggy. They put it over him. In a little bit, the worst was past, [and] then the boys got Mr. Phillips home. If they hadn’t come to him when they did he might have died there.

The clouds broke and the sun started to come through. They had a little shed barn, and on the outside along the barn there were some bails of hay piled up. Two of the boys took scoop shovels and shoveled up a pile of hail, two feet high and 15 feet long and covered it with hay. The hail was 2 inches deep on the ground. We left there at 11:15 and when we go back to our place, there was still quite a bit of hail along the north side of the house. Dad said, “Go and get some of that hail.” They had a one gallon ice cream freezer and we made a gallon freezer of ice cream and it was still pretty cool out. So when the ice cream was made, we all sat there around the cook stove as they had a little fire in the stove. In July we all sat there eating that ice cream. A lot of hail was as big as sucked walnuts and like marbles and peas.

In the spring of 1906 they built a little frame school house one mile east and just a little ways north from our place. In the fall of 1906, in September, they started to have school. So three of us boys went there to school; I, Charlie, and Alvin. Lillie was 19 years old then, so she didn’t go, but Charlie and I only went [un]till the first of April 1907. Then Dad told the teacher he had to take Charlie and I[me] out of school, as there was too much work at home.

So we didn’t go to school any more. Then Sunday, they would have Sunday School from 9:30 to 10 and Church services from 10 to 11 a.m. Dad would hitch up to the spring wagon and take the whole family. One Sunday it would be the Baptist and the next Sunday [it] would be the United Brethren, but it didn’t make much difference which it was. About the same gang would be there.

Now to 1907, after we cut all of the wheat, on August 14, 1907. Lillie was 20 years old on December 30, 1907. I was 18 years old, and the 26 of September 1907, Charlie was 16 years old. On January 23, 1907, Alvin was 12 years old. On November 2, 1907, Floyd was 5 years old. December 23, 1907, my youngest sister, Verna, was 3 years old. Then in 1908, everything was about the same up to August 14, 1908. Right on my oldest sister’s birthday, Lillie Mae Messinger was 21 years old and on that Sunday she married Walter Phillips. [Frank already gave Lillie’s marriage date as August 16th, not the 14th] It was a pretty hot day, that Sunday. They got married at our homestead at two p.m. [by] Reverend Paul Miller from the United Brethren school house, which was also used for a church. Things went on about the same until October 1, 1908, when Charlie and I left the homestead. My mother, father, Floyd and Verna; those four went back to Freemont, Ohio.

Chapter 17
Going to work for Uncle Mark in Emporia, Kansas

They visited the whole winter with Uncle Ed and Aunt Stella Neikerk in Freemont, Ohio. My Aunt Ida Coleman also lived in Freemont [at] that time; Uncle Tom Coleman died just before I was born. [Tom’s death was given as 1893, and Frank was born in 1889]. She [Ida] was my Grandfather Franklin Sloyer’s only daughter from Grandpa’s first marriage, and she had three daughters: Hattie, Irva, and Cousin Neva. They are all dead. [Frank means at the time of writing his memoir].

When we got to Emporia the first of October 1908, my folks visited three days with my Uncle Irv and Aunt Maggie Sloyer, [and] then went on to Freemont, Ohio. They visited Uncle Ed and Aunt Lottie Sloyer in Horton, Kansas. Ed Sloyer was my mother’s second oldest brother from Grandpa’s second marriage and Uncle Irv was Aunt Ida Coleman’s full brother from Grandpa’s first marriage. Uncle Irv Sloyer had one son, Cousin George Sloyer; they are all dead.

Charlie worked in Emporia for Uncle Irv Sloyer as Uncle Irv Sloyer operated the alfalfa mill in Emporia, Kansas. He had a mule team and Charlie drove that team of mules and hauled alfalfa hay from stacks in the field around Emporia. He hauled that to the alfalfa mill. I worked for Uncle Mark Sloyer on the farm 10 miles west of Emporia. Uncle Mark Sloyer was Grandpa’s oldest son from his second marriage. His wife, Clara, had the same name as my mother.

The first week in October 1908, I started to work for Uncle Mark Sloyer. I husked corn and hauled hay from hay stacks in the field and put it in a big rack that was in a lot near the barn, for the cows to eat on. Then I ground grain and cut wood. Uncle Mark had a nice big house there on the farm, an eight room house and there was a house full there that winter.

Uncle Mark had four daughters and one son. There was Vera, she was going on 21 that winter, and before Xmas in 1908 Vera married Vern Hill. Then [there was] Elsie, [who] was 18. Eva was 16. Jess was 14, and Mattie was 12 years old.

There was a little country school house just up the road. The school teacher boarded and roomed with Uncle Mark during the time there was school. Grandpa Franklin Sloyer also lived there with Uncle Mark and Aunt Clara.

One Sunday afternoon I was out around the barn just to pass some time. I took my 22 caliber rifle out and was practicing shooting. Uncle Will Sloyer also lived in Emporia, Kansas. He was my Mother’s next to the youngest brother. You remember me telling you about Uncle Will giving me the old white bull dog when we lived on that farm 6 miles east of Freemont Ohio in 1906. We called him Madge. He is who I mean came to Uncle Mark’s place. I had my rifle, [and] I said, “Here, Uncle will, I want to see how good a shot you are.” His eyes weren’t very good. He wore glasses and he wouldn’t try to shoot the rifle. There was a well and a pump near by and a plank platform about feet square around the well. I saw a little wooden box about two feet square I said, “Now, I am going to show you how good I am at shooting.” The barn was right close by and I knew in the horse stable was a little box of carpet tacks. I told Uncle Will, “Just wait a minute.” I ran in the barn and got one of them carpet tacks. I brought it out and I had a hammer. I drove that carpet tack half way in[to] the wooden box. Then I took my rifle and Uncle Will said, “Don’t tell me you are going to hit the head of that tack!” I said, “Yes, that’s what I am going to do.” Uncle Will said, “I want to see this!” I missed the first shot by a quarter of an inch. [On] the second shot, I hit the carpet tack square on the head and drove it clear in[to] the box. “Well!” Uncle Will said, “That sure is good shooting!” Then he went over under a willow tree; there was a little bench sitting there. I said, “Come on Uncle Will. We will sit on that bench a little while.”

I said, “There is something [that] I want to tell you.” Uncle Will said, “Alright.” We sat down there, [and] then I said, “You remember Madge, the old white bull dog you gave me in 1906?” Now up to that time Uncle Will didn’t know what had happened to the bull dog. I didn’t see Uncle Will during that time from 1906 to 1909. “Oh,” he said, “What did become of Madge?” Then I told him how that milk cow died and those six head of hogs and old Madge were all buried in one big hole.

Uncle Will didn’t stay very long. He went to Emporia. As Xmas came, just before that, around Thanksgiving time, Uncle Mark went into Emporia and asked me to go along. It was on Saturday before Thanksgiving, as that was the following Thursday. We went in the spring wagon; Mark, Grandpa and I went along. Just before Grandpa sat down, Uncle Mark saw a two cent postage stamp laying there on the floor of the spring wagon. Mark said, “Pop, there is a two cent postage stamp by your feet.” Someone had dropped it some time before. So Grandpa picked the stamped up and he put it in his vest pocket. Grandpa was a stone mason by trade. Before I was born, Grandpa had his left eye knocked out and he didn’t look close at the stamp as it was marred. Someone must have stepped on the stamp.

Then Xmas came and New years. The first Saturday after New Year, Uncle Mark told me, “Well, Frank, I guess we will take you along to Emporia. [Skipped a line here because it was unclear as to what Frank was implying that Uncle Mark said, but it appears that his Uncle didn’t have any more work for Frank and was going to take him into town to try for employment] “So,” he said, “I will take your little trunk and suitcase and leave it there at the alfalfa mill where Uncle Irv [was] in charge. You hang around there and watch, there are always farmers coming in to the alfalfa mill to get some alfalfa meal, and maybe one will come in and want to hire me[you].” It was 11 a.m. when we got there; by 11:30 no one had come. The alfalfa mill was only five blocks away from where Uncle Irv lived. The Uncle Irv said, “Frank, you go to my home and Aunt Maggie will fix you something to eat.” So I went and got some dinner, [and] then I went back to the mill at quarter to one. Uncle Irv always carried his lunch to work. He told me there was a farmer there at the mill at noon to get some alfalfa meal. Uncle Irv told him about me. His name was Patterson and he lived two and one half miles south of Emporia, Kansas. Uncle Irv told Mr. Patterson [that] I had been working for Uncle Mark from October 1908 up to that time.

Mr. Patterson said to tell me he would hire me and he would be back at two p.m. and take me home with him. He said he had a ten acre field of standing corn to husk, [and] he had a straw stack out in the field. He wanted to haul some of the straw and put it in the barn.

While my folks visited that whole winter in Ohio, Charlie and I worked up in Kansas. My oldest sister, Lillie and Walter Phillips and my brother Alvin lived there in Oklahoma on our homestead and took care of the stock and everything [un]till we got back in 1909. While they [Frank’s Father, Mother and other siblings] visited around that winter, there was a little town not far from Freemont called Helena, Ohio. We had lived there one winter, between 1902 and 1903. Some of the neighbors and friends when we lived on the 100 acre farm 13 miles west of Freemont in 1904 and 1905. They sure did enjoy that winter. [Frank probably meant that the family visited all the friends and neighbors while they were in Ohio, from the places that they lived at before.]

I worked for Mr. Patterson form the seventh of January till the middle of February of 1909. Mr. Patterson had a gray mare. She was a pretty good saddle horse. Mr. Patterson told me anytime I wanted to ride that gray mare and go into Emporia to my Uncle Irv’s place, I could do so, as Irv had a vacant stall in his barn where I would keep the mare, from Saturday night [un]till after supper Sunday night.

You know my Grandfather, Franklin Sloyer was a very cranky man. One day at noon while I worked for Mr. Patterson husking that ten acre field of corn, we came in one day to dinner and I sat down. Mrs. Patterson said, “Frank, there are two letters up on the clock shelf for you. You will have time to read them before dinner is ready.” So I got the tow letter. I opened the first one. I saw the first name on the envelope was Franklin, but I didn’t notice the last name on the envelope was Sloyer. I opened it and it said, Dear Father and right away I knew it wasn’t my letter. So I looked to see who wrote it, [and] then I saw it was signed Samuel Sloyer. [He] was Grandfather’s youngest son, my mother’s youngest brother. That was the middle of the week. While they [Samuel?] were in Freemont visiting that winter.

On Saturday night I went to Emporia. I got to Uncle Irv’s place at quarter to seven. Grandpa Franklin Sloyer lived with Uncle Irv at that time. When I got in the kitchen I hated to have to tell him that I opened one of his letters by mistake. I was only in the kitchen 5 minutes, [and] I said, “Grandpa, I have to tell you something.” He said, “What now?” “Well,” I said, “last Wednesday we came in to dinner and Mrs. Patterson said, Frank there are two letters there on the clock shelf for you and you will have time to read them before dinner. So, it just happened that I took yours first. I saw Franklin.” Sometimes now yet I get letters from the Sterner family. That is my wife’s family. [Frank must have been momentarily reminded about some other event dealing with letter at this point, and interjected this comment]

I told Grandpa, “I saw Franklin, but I didn’t see the last name.” “Oh well,” he said, “you must look at the whole name not just the first name.” I said, “When I started to read it, it said, Dear Father. I looked to see who wrote it and saw it was from Uncle Sam Sloyer. The other letter was from my folks in Freemont, Ohio. They are now at Aunt Stella and Ed Neikerk’s place.” You know Grandpa kept grumbling about this over and over again. Finally, Aunt Maggie said, “Now Pap keep still, he told you it was opened by mistake and he was sorry.” Then Grandpa didn’t say any more.

Chapter 18
The Postage Stamp

Now I will tell you more about [the] two cent postage stamp Grandpa picked up in the spring wagon just before Thanksgiving when Uncle Mark, Grandpa and I were ready to leave home and go to Emporia. Now this was one Saturday [in] 1908, and one Sunday in January 1909 I went to Uncle Irv’s place in Emporia. Charlie and I were in the front room; Grandpa Franklin Sloyer was in the sitting room writing a letter to my folks where they were visiting in Freemont, Ohio, at Aunt Stella and Ed Neikerk’s place on White Avenue.

Grandpa called me and he said, “I am writing a letter to your folks in Freemont, do you want to write a letter and put it in with my letter?” I said, “Yes, I will write a letter.” Grandpa said, “I have the envelope addressed and stamped.” I think that was the first Sunday in January. Then the second Sunday in January, I didn’t go into Emporia, but the third Sunday or I would I always get there on Saturday night and go back after supper Sunday night, so this third Saturday night in January 1909, Grandpa and Aunt Maggie Sloyer and I were out in the kitchen. I was just there ten minutes when Grandpa said, “Now I have something to tell you. This happened last Wednesday. A Government Inspector and a Police Officer from Emporia came. This Inspector asked, are you Franklin Sloyer?” Grandpa said, yes, I am. Well, the Inspector said, [then] I am afraid we will have to take you and lock you up. Grandpa asked why? Then the Inspector asked [if] he mailed a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Allen Messinger on White Avenue in Freemont, Ohio, c/o Ed Neikerk? Grandpa said yes, [that] he wrote the letter a week ago last Sunday. He said that Allen Messinger’s wife Clara is his daughter. Well, the Inspector said, you had a stamp on that letter that had been used. That was the stamp I told you about. Grandpa put it in his vest pocket when he was in the spring wagon around Thanksgiving time. You read about that a little bit ago. The stamp must have been marred. It never had been used before, so that was the stamp Grandpa put on that letter. He just thought about that stamp being in his vest pocket, so when he wrote the letter that Sunday, he thought he would use that stamp.

Now just to show you how strict the government is, just for two cents, when the mailman delivered the letter to my folks in Fremont, Ohio, there was a government inspector with the mailman. When they got to Uncle Ed and Aunt Stella’s place on White Avenue in Freemont, Ohio, Ed had a metal mailbox on the house by the side of the front door. The mailman rang the doorbell and Dad went to the door. The mailman asked, “Are you Allen Messinger?” Dad said, “Yes.” Well, the mailman said, “Here is a letter addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Allen Messinger.” Then Dad said, “Clara is my wife’s name.” The Inspector said, “The letter has Franklin Sloyer’s return address Emporia, Kansas.” Dad said, “He is my wife’s father.” The mailman still had the letter in his hand. Then the Inspector said, “He used a stamp of this letter that had been used.” Then he gave the letter to Dad. “Now,” he said, “I want you to read the letter out loud to me.” So Dad opened the letter and read it. Then he [the Inspector] said, “Now, we will go back to Emporia, Kansas and check with Franklin Sloyer.”

So when the Inspector and the Police from Emporia came and talked to Grandpa about using that stamp on that letter that had been used before, Grandpa tried to explain how he had picked the stamp up from the floor of the spring wagon around Thanksgiving time. He had put it in his vest pocket and forgot he had it [un]till he wrote that letter that Sunday to Mr. And Mrs. Allen Messinger, his daughter Clara. The Inspector asked, “Where were you when you picked the stamp up?” “In the spring wagon,” Grandpa said. “I have a son Mark Sloyer who lives on a farm 10 miles west of Emporia on a farm. At the time around Thanksgiving, my son Mark, my Grandson Frank Messinger sat in the middle and just before I sat down my son Mark said, “Pop, there is a postage stamp on the floor on the spring wagon by your feet.”” So, I picked it up and put it in my vest pocket. He never thought any more about it [un]till he wrote that letter.” Then he said, now I am going to use it. Do you know they wouldn’t accept what Grandpa until they went to the farm?

They brought Uncle Mark into Emporia to Uncle Irv’s place and they talked quite a bit about it and finally the Inspector said, “Alright we will let it go this time, but don’t let it happen again.” So that ended the trouble about the two cent postage stamp.

Chapter 19
Finishing Work for Mr. Patterson and Going Home

Now, you remember reading about my cousin George Sloyer. He was the one I told you [who] took all my wild raspberries when we were kids in 1909 [Frank meant 1897], when I used to go to Uncle Irv’s place in Emporia, Kansas. One Sunday I told Cousin George Sloyer to come out to Mr. Patterson’s place where I was working on the farm. George Sloyer had a good team and Buggy. I told him to drive out to Patterson’s place the following Sunday and to bring my brother Charlie along out. Then I said I will take my 25 caliber rifle and Mr. Patterson had a double barrel shot gun and Charlie could use that and we would go out and shoot some squirrels and rabbits. So George Sloyer and Charlie came after dinner. They got there around one thirty. I asked Mr. Patterson if he had any shells for his double barrel shot gun. He said he had a few shells, so Charlie took the shot gun. There were quite a few trees on that farm. I knew there were squirrels there because I used to see them in the trees when I was out hauling straw in the barn.

I used to see rabbits now and then. Mrs. Patterson said, “If you get some squirrels and you get back in time, she [I] will make some squirrel pot pie.” So, I [shot] three squirrels and one rabbit. Charlie got two rabbits. I saw a rabbit sitting quite a ways off. I told George Sloyer, “Now, watch me hit that rabbit.” Sure enough, I got it. My Cousin George Sloyer said, “You’re a pretty good shot with that rifle. They ought to have you in the army.”

We got back that Sunday at three thirty. “Now,” Mrs. Patterson said, “I will make some squirrel pot pie for supper. Then tomorrow night we will have rabbits for supper.” It went on through the week. That Sunday was February 8, 1909. I went to Emporia that weekend. After dinner that Sunday, Uncle Irv asked me how long I thought I would be out there working for Mr. Patterson. I told him I didn’t know. I said there hadn’t been anything said about it. “Well,” Uncle Irv said, “The reason I asked [is that] I am pretty well caught up here with my work and I don’t think I will be needing Charlie much longer.” Charlie said, “I am ready to go back to Oklahoma.” “Well,” I said, “I will tell you what I will do. I will tell Mr. Patterson in the morning that I am just working till Friday night. Then next Saturday I will have Mr. Patterson take me to Emporia. I will have Uncle Will Sloyer come and pick us up. We will stay all night with Uncle Will.” When Uncle Will was out to Uncle Mark’s place that Sunday I told you about, when I was out with my rifle practicing and shooting, Uncle Will asked me how long I thought we would stay and work in Kansas. I told him them [that] I didn’t know just when we would go back to Oklahoma. “Well,” he said, “When you do go back, let me know and you can stay at my place.” I did know that when we would leave Emporia we would have to leave there at three thirty in the morning on the Santa Fe Railroad, then change at Hutchinson, Kansas to the Rock Island Railroad. Uncle Will would take us to the Santa Fe Depot. So it worked out good that way. When we ate breakfast Monday morning February 16, 1909; no it was February 9, I told Mr. Patterson I had something to tell him. He said, “What?”

“Well.” I said, “My Uncle Irv Sloyer in Emporia told me yesterday when I was there, [that] he is pretty well caught up with his work and he won’t be needing Charlie much longer. So, I told Uncle Irv I would talk to you this morning and tell you I will work till this Friday night. Then on Saturday morning you would take my half trunk and suit case and I will go to Uncle Irv’s place on Machanics Street in Emporia.” Then I told him just what I have written about Uncle Will back in Oklahoma on the homestead. “Alright,” Mr. Patterson said, “I am sorry to loose you, as I had figured to have a hired hand here this summer. But, if that is what you figure to do, we will do it that way.”

Before I Left Uncle Irv’s place on Sunday afternoon, I took the old gray mare [and] I went to Uncle Will’s place. It was 10 blocks away. Uncle Will said he would be there at two p.m. and take us to his place. So on Friday night after supper, Mr. Patterson said, “Well now, Frank, I will settle up and pay you what I owe you. Will it be alright if I give you a check, as I don’t have the cash?” I was getting 30 dollars a month [with] room, board, and washing. So that Sunday was February 15 and that Sunday he would owe me two weeks. He said, “I will give you a check for $15.00.

I told him I would sign the check and then Uncle Irv will give me the cash. So, he wrote out the check for $15.00 and he handed it to me. The he got his wallet out of his pocket and he took a $5.00 bill out and he gave it to me and said, “Here is a tip for you.” I said, “You don’t have to do that.” “Well,” he said, “I want to. I have been well pleased with you work here.” So I thanked him. Then Saturday morning he took me to Emporia on Sunday at two p.m. Uncle Will came to Uncle Irv’s place and took us to his place. We went to bed that night at nine thirty and got up at two a.m. Monday morning February 16, 1909. When I got to Emporia Saturday morning I stopped at the post office and I mailed a post card to Walter Phillips in Oklahoma. I told him we would get to Guymon Monday morning at 11 a.m. and he should figure to be there to take us home. We caught the train in Emporia Monday morning at three thirty, [and] got to Hutchinson, Kansas at six a.m. Then we had a mile to walk from the Santa Fe Depot to the Rock Island Depot. It sure was could out that morning. I just had to hold my hand over one ear and then the other ear. Charlie didn’t seem to mind the cold like I did. We got to the Rock Island Depot and the train was standing there. That train was made up there in Hutchinson, Kansas for Guymon, Oklahoma. That train left Hutchinson, Kansas at seven thirty a.m., it didn’t travel very fast.

We got to the depot at six thirty and we sat down in the passenger coach. There was a morning paper there on the seat where we sat down. I picked it up and I saw in the headlines. It said 11 below zero that morning at four thirty a.m. I told Charlie, “No wonder I was holding my ears coming over here this morning.” Then Charlie said, “Why?” I told him, “The paper says 11 below zero at 4:30 a.m.” Well, then we got to Guymon at 11 a.m. and we didn’t see anything of my brother-in-law, Walter Phillips. Charlie said, “I don’t think that card was sent out soon enough.” I told him, “I talked with the postmaster in Emporia when I sent the card. It was nine thirty Saturday morning when I wrote the card. I asked the postmaster when will this card go out. He asked where is it going. I said Guymon, Oklahoma. He said there was a mail train that leaves here going west at 11 a.m. He said [he would] see that it gets on that train, that was one in a half hours from now [then] till the train leaves. The he said, now wait I [he] will see if I [he] can look it up. He said you know this mail train only goes as far as Hutchinson, Kansas. Yes, I said, I know [knew], [that] my brother and I will leave here Monday morning at three thirty. Yes, he said, and he told the number of the train. I told him we will change at Hutchinson, Kansas, [and] then we change to the Rock Island and leave at seven thirty and get to Guymon at 11 a.m.

He said I think there is a mail train leaving Hutchinson, Kansas going west at 4 p.m. and he said if the card gets transferred in time to go on the 4 p.m. mail train, that card should be in Guymon between mid night and 4 a.m. Monday morning. What time do you get your mail he asked; where do you live? I told him it is [was] a R.D., and we get it nine to nine to nine thirty in the morning. He said I think your brother-in-law will get [it] in time to meet you Monday at 11 a.m.

We didn’t see anything of Walter Phillips. Then we went to a restaurant to get something to eat. Then we looked around town. In a half hour we saw George Cooper. As I knew him good [well], [and] I had worked for him for a few days; I said, “What time will you leave to go home?” He said, “I want to leave by two p.m.” He had the team and big wagon. I told him, “We just got in this morning as we were working in Kansas since the first of last October.” He said he had heard we were working up in Kansas. I told him, “I sent Walter Phillips a post card and I told him to meet us at 11 a.m. this morning, but I guess he didn’t get the card in time.” “Well now,” he said, “You will get home alright. I think by 4 thirty you will be home.” It is 23 miles and it sure was cold riding home. We sat sown in the wagon bed behind the wagon seat. That sure was a cold ride.

George Cooper gave us a horse blanket. We sat there all the way home with that horse blanket over our heads. Lillie and Walter were surprised to see us when we came in the house. Did my ears peel after we were home two or three says as I sure froze them that Monday morning in Hutchison, Kansas! It was funny for Walter, as he laughed about it, and then Lillie said, “That is nothing to laugh at. While we walked from the Santa Fe Depot on mile to the Rock Island Depot I [Frank], had to hold my [his] hands over my [his] ears. When we [they] got onto the train to leave Hutchinson, Kansas that morning, February 16, 1909 it was 11 below zero. I [Frank] saw it in the headlines of the morning paper, which laid there on the seat on the train.”

Then in July of 1909, Dad wrote Uncle Ed Sloyer a letter as he [Uncle Ed] lived in Granada, Kansas at that time. He told Uncle Ed Sloyer he was going to have a sale on September 15, 1909 and move some place on October 1, 1909. Then in the spring of 1910 he figured to move some place on a farm. He didn’t know just yet where he would go. In two weeks, Dad got a letter from Uncle Ed in Granada, Kansas. It was good news, Uncle Ed and Aunt Lottie Sloyer had a real nice big eight room house there in Granada, Kansas. Ed said, Allen [if] you figure to move in with us for the winter, there was a nice big barn there on Uncle Ed’s place, big enough for 10 head of horses.

Chapter 20
Moving to Granada, Kansas

Ed didn’t have any horses or cows, and Ed said we will go fifty-fifty on everything; the rent, the food, and utility bills. Ed had quite a few chickens and a nice hen house there. So they went fifty-fifty with the chicken, eggs, and chicken feed.

Now I will go back to September 15 when we had [a] sale in Oklahoma on the homestead. Dad knew by that time just what he was going to do, until the time came that we moved to Granada, Kansas the first of October in 1909. The reason he waited [un]till October to move to Granada, Kansas was when Dad wrote [written] that letter to Uncle Ed Sloyer in July 1909, he told Ed [that] he was going to commute. That means you pay so much money to the government to get your deed in case you don’t live on the homestead five years. We only had lived on it four years. So, Dad had to pay the government $200.00, [and] then he got his deed to the homestead. Then Dad had the sale September 15. Dad said he would keep six head of work horses and the two saddle horses. They were two and one half years old. They were lighter horses than the work horses. We used them [those] two horses on the road with the spring wagon, as we could just use one in the top buggy. So, Dad chartered a freight car from the Rock Island Railroad. On Monday and Tuesday the first and second of October in 1909, we loaded the freight car in Guymon, Oklahoma. We put the eight head of horses in one half of the freight car.

The horses were standing crossways in the car and they were tied real good [well]. The other end of the car was filled with furniture. The big wagon was taken apart. The bed of the wagon sat on the floor, [and] then we could pile things in it. The spring wagon was taken apart as much as we could. We had the cook stove, the mowing machine, some bags of gain, [and] a few bags of potatoes. The furniture was three double beds, a twin bed; these bed stands were all wooden. We piled all the springs and mattresses on top of each other. It was up to 20 inches from the roof of the car and on the top of the pile of bed springs and mattresses was a mattress which we slept on. September 26, 1909, Charlie was 18, and 30 of December 1909, I was 20. We were three days and nights going form Guymon, Oklahoma to Witmore, Kansas. We arrived in Witmore at six thirty Saturday morning October 6. My Mother, Floyd, Verna, and Alvin left Guymon Monday at three p.m., [and] arrived in Witmore Tuesday morning [at] 9 a.m. My Uncle Ed Sloyer knew what time they would arrive in Witmore. He had a good friend in Granada by the name of Crandel and he had a team of horses and a spring wagon with two seats on it. Ed Sloyer asked Crandel if he could use his team of horses and the spring wagon to bring my Mother, Alvin, Floyd, and Verna back to Granada on Tuesday October 2, 1909 at ten a.m.

Witmore is 10 miles from Granada. We had to go to Witmore because Granada has no Rail Road. On Saturday morning, October 6, 1909, we started to load the things. We had to put the big wagon together and also the spring wagon and by the time we had everything loaded and ready to go it was five o’clock. Then Dad said, “Now we will go and eat some supper, then we will get a room that has a double bed and a twin bed.” We stayed there in Witmore all night [un]till Sunday morning. We ate Breakfast and then we drove to Granada; we were pretty well loaded. We put the cook stove in the big wagon, the mowing machine, the four bed springs and mattresses and some horse fee which we were using while traveling, and two bails so hay. We had all that loaded in the big wagon; we had an extra set of side boards on the wagon so that made the wagon bed three feet deep. In the spring wagon, we had some bags of grain, some bags of potatoes, the trunks, suit cases, and all the clothes. We had one team of horses hitched to the big wagon and one team tied behind the big wagon; the light team which were saddle horses was hitched to the spring wagon and the third team was tied behind the spring wagon.

We got to Granada at 11 a.m. Sunday morning, October 7, 1909. On September 26, 1909 Charlie was 18 years old.

Now I will tell you what was in Granada. There were some nice homes there, not too many, a nice big grocery store, a black smith shop, a nice big school house, a nice United Brethren Church and a big Grange hall. Every Friday night they would hold square dances there in the grange hall. I and a friend of mine went there every Friday night, we couldn’t square dance but we enjoyed going there just to watch it and the fel­low that called figures. He was good and I enjoyed the square dance music. My brother Charlie and I sang in the United Brethren Church choir. We liked it there in Granada, Kansas. It wasn’t very long after we moved to Granada with Uncle Ed and Aunt Lottie Sloyer, until Thanksgiving. I have written a story for Thanksgiving to be used here at the Slate Belt medical Center as it is near Thanksgiving time now in 1982. I am going to add that story to this History book. The story was used in the November monthly News Letter. There will be another story added following this story, which I wrote August 30, that is an interesting story to read. I hope you will enjoy reading the old time stories.

A short time ago 1 wrote a story to be used here in the Slate Belt Center for Thanksgiving 1982. I showed it to David Graf who is in charge of all the activities in the home and he asked if I would write a story for Thanksgiving. I said, I would.

Chapter 21
Frank’s Thanksgiving Story 1982

My name is Frank E. Messinger and I’ve been a patient here since May 8, 1981. I have been blind in my left eye since I was 22 years old. Then last February 18, I went to the Warren Hospital in New Jersey and had a cataract removed from my right eye. I couldn’t see to read or write for two months. So I had some of my cousins and two of my grand daughters pray for me and ask the Lord to help me regain enough sight so I could continue to read and write. I want to thank the Lord for answering our prayers. In three weeks it will be Thanksgiving and the time when we should all give thanks. Not only for Thanksgiving but every day and always. I would like to tell you some thing that happened right on Thanksgiving Day. That night when I was 16 years old my father had a homestead in Oklahoma; my folks had quite a few chickens. This was back in November 1905. My folks bought a Turkey Gobbler and a Hen Turkey that spring. On Thanksgiving the Gobbler was real big and he was always fighting with the chickens. That morning the Turkey Gobbler was in a fight with an old red rooster near the hen house. I just watch them fight.

I am telling you that old red rooster put up a good battle and won the fight. That Turkey Gobbler just limped away. I told my Dad about it and we caught the Gobbler and discovered that his right leg way broken. I was pretty good with a riffle in those days. I had a good Stevens riffle, so Dad said, “Frank get your riffle and kill that Turkey Gobbler and we will have him for our Thanksgiving Dinner.” I hurried in to the house for my riffle. I saw my mother taking the pork roast out of the ice box, I told her what happened and she put the pork roast back, for us to have two days later. I took aim at the Gobbler and hit him right in the head. Then that night just before supper a young man by the name Ernest Ball came riding by with his horse and buggy. Ernest had a homestead just across the road from our place. My father saw him and they talked about ten minutes. My father said to Ernest, “Put your horse in the barn and stay and have supper with us.” Ernest said, he had to get home, but after my father urged him Ernest said, “Well if you insist, I will stay and have supper with you.” Ernest was religious and was Superintendent of a little church about three quarter of a mile from where we lived. Every Sunday we went there to Sunday school at 9:30 and then Church at 10:45 a.m.

Well, my folks had made some mince meat, and as you know they always put a little whiskey or brandy in the mince meat. My mother had baked some mince pie, and they were cut in big pieces. Ernest ate his piece, [and] then he said, “That is the best mince pie I ever ate. If you don’t mind I will take another piece.” Dad said, “Watch out, that mince meat has whiskey or brandy in the mince meat.” “Oh,” Ernest said, “It won’t make me drunk will it?” Dad said, “No.” Ernest said, “It’s good anyway.” We really had a good Thanksgiving dinner with the old gobbler and the mince meat pie.

Getting back to the present, I will no doubt spend Thanksgiving week with my oldest son Maynard and Dottie. I stayed with them last year. I wrote up all my Xmas cards. I received quite a few, and also twenty Birthday cards. The good Lord willing, on December 30, 1982 I will be 93 years old. I want to pray and thank the Lord for watching over me and keeping me all these years. I like this home and I get good care here; that is the main thing to look at. They have a lot of activities going on here, something every day to help pass the time. Every Sunday afternoon at 2:30 there is a half hour of religious services. My minister Rev. Richard R. Boyer has been here four times since I am here.

He has the Trinity Evan Lutheran Church here in Bangor. My son Maynard and I belong to that church since 1972. Then through the week they have bingo games, spelling bees, group exercise to music, arts and crafts, a sing along, [and] movies on Saturday mornings. At 10:30 a.m. they have horse shoe pitching, of which I was pretty good at. Then they have word search puzzles, volley ball, the rosary, (Nature) Poetry readings. One Saturday each month they have a Birthday party down in the dinning room for all that have [had] birthdays that month. They also have entertainment and at last they serve refreshments, ice cream, cake and coffee, tea, milk, and several fruit juices. I always enjoy those birthday parties. Last December 30th, on my birthday, they had a male chorus of twelve fellows; they sang a lot of old songs, like the barber shop quartet song just like when I had the Harmony Four and comedy Entertainment from 1920 to 1932. Then on the 18 of September, we had the Penn Argyl American Legion Band of 20 fellows. They played down in the Dinning Hall. We all enjoyed them, as they were very good. On the 16th of October, on Saturday, there was a band from Roseto, Pa., they played down in the Dinning Hall, there were twenty members and we all enjoyed them.

I love to play Bingo; I won 18 times since I am here. Seven times I picked a cracked dolie [crocheted dollie]. I gave to my relatives and friends, all the prizes are things that are useful. About a month ago I won a Swan with a little bouquet of pink roses on it. One of the nurses saw it and asked if she could have it. I told her I was sorry, but I promised it to some one already. So I showed her the other things I won which I was saving for my granddaughter and daughter-in-law. I told her if I win another one I will give it to her, but that seemed to be the last one. I won a nice yellow hair comb in the last game of Bingo last Friday night, so gave that to her. Well this is the end of my story, and I want to thank the Lord again. I want to wish everyone a vary Happy Thanksgiving. May God bless you all. Written by Frank E. Messinger here in the Slate Belt Medical Center, Bangor, Pa.

Monday November 29, now that Thanksgiving is over I will continue where I left off with the History Book. On Sunday November 21, 1982, I had six letters to write to be up to date. Then on November 25, [it] was Thanksgiving Day at 11 a.m. My son Maynard came and took me out to his home. I was with Maynard and Dottie till Sunday November 28. We had a real good Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey and Ham and all the trimmings and Pumpkin Pie and that sure was Delicious.

Then on Friday and Saturday, November 26-27, I wrote up 106 Xmas cards. Maynard helped me with that. Sunday morning, November 28, we left Maynard and Dottie’s home near Milford N.J. Maynard, his mother, Dottie and I left Easton, Pa. at 11:30 a.m. We drove up to Rehresburg, Pa.. That is about half way up to Harrisburg, about sixty miles from here. I have a granddaughter; she lives up in Rehresburg. Her husband Micky works up there for the Christian Center mail dept., and they have a nice home up there. My granddaughter, Beverly Maules us[ed] to live in Bethlehem. Every Sunday a girl friend, of hers, would take Beverly to Church in Hellertown. Beverly taught a Sunday school class of 14 children, ages from four to five years old. Beverly is a real religious girl; she has a son Michael nine years old and he is a real smart boy. He is good at drawing. He is one of my great grandsons. We had some lunch there at 1:30p.m. We had a nice visit there with them, as Beverly thinks a lot of me. Then at five p.m. we had a real good chicken supper with mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, some succotash, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
We left there at 6 p.m. I got back to the home Sunday night at 8 p.m. Now it is 10 a.m. Monday morning and I will write some more for my History Book. As I had said, I wanted to get caught up with my letter writing. Now I will cont­inue with my Book. This afternoon at 2 p.m. Activities [there] will be Spelling bee. Tomorrow, Tuesday November 30, and the last day of November 1982 at 2 p.m. they will have world search puzzle that is shown on a screen like they show a movie. Every Saturday morning from 10:30 to 11 a.m. [It seems Frank must have been distracted and omitted part of what he wanted to write]

Now after a couple more stories I will add the big story which I wrote last August 30, 1982. I will tell you more about the year of 1910 when we moved from Granada, Kansas on the 100 acre farm in Kansas, seven miles from Horton, Kansas where Lillie and I were born.

Chapter 22
Back in Kansas

My Dad put me to plowing a 15 acre field to plant corn in. I started to plow over along the north side of the field. A farmer by the name of Herman Rosedale owned the farm that joined ours on the North. He was also plowing; he was just a little ways from the fence that separated our farms. So that morning I went back and forth near the fence. Herman Rosedale came over to the fence and he said, I want to tell you something that you may not know and he asked if I knew there was a dug well over in the middle of the field.

It was eighty feet deep and it was open it never had a cover on it, and the water was always up to about five feet from the top of the well. That fall when it was almost time to husk the corn, we husked the field of corn standing, as we didn’t cut the corn. We didn’t need the corn feeder as we had plenty of clover and timothy hay, we would just husk the field of corn standing. I knew there were a lot of huckleberries in the field not far from the dug well. One morning Dad and Charlie had gone to Whitney, Kansas which was two and one half miles south of this farm. It had rained that night before and the ground was good and moist, so I took the garden hoe and went out there and cut out some of those huckleberries. Up ahead a little ways I saw a big spot of those rag weeds and no corn. I had forgotten all about what Herman Rosedale had told me about the well being in the field. I had worked for Herman Rosedale part of the time and that dug well just slipped my mind. So as I kept cutting them huckleberries and going through those rag weeds as they were growing so thick you couldn’t see ahead.

All at once I stopped and right away I thought of that dug well. If I would have taken one more step, I would have stepped right in the well. I could never swim and I want to tell you, I sure was lucky. If I would have stepped in. that open well I wouldn’t be here today writing and telling you about it. It wasn’t very long till winter came and on New Years my Uncle Ed and Aunt Lottie Sloyer and their three children, Helen Sloyer, Arthur and Howard Sloyer and my Grandfather Franklin Sloyer were all out to the farm. We had the corn all husked. Uncle Ed Sloyer said, “Frank why don’t you go in to Horton, Kansas and get a job in the Rock Island Rail Road shops for the winter?” So I did, and I worked there as a helper in the saw mill dept. I only got 18 cents an hour and I stayed with Uncle Ed and Aunt Lottie Sloyer. I slept with one of Ed’s boys till in the spring of 1911, when I told you I went to Topeka, Kansas. Now I am at the place when I wrote the story which was used in the monthly news letter at the Slate Belt Medical Center for Thanksgiving November 25, 1982. Now it won’t be long till Xmas is here. I will add the story I wrote last August 30, 1982.

Then after that will be the Xmas play I used in the December monthly news letter, like in the Medical Center Nursing home for Xmas. That is already written up, David Graf has that story. My two brothers, Charlie and Alvin and a good friend of mine acted out that play back in 1909 in a school house in Granada, Kansas on Xmas Eve. That was twenty three years ago. [Frank probably got ahead of himself and was thinking his age at the same time; it would have been 63 years ago]. We used that one half hour play; I was twenty years old at that time. Now that story I wrote last August 30 will be added next. Now as this is Sunday December 19 and only six more days till Xmas, I will also add the Xmas play. Then just Five days after that will be my big day. The good lord willing, December 30, 1982 I will be 93 years old. I sure am glad I was admitted to this nursing home a year ago, the 8th of last May 1981. This is a nice Nursing home, just opened up the first of 1981; they have 250 beds here on the first and second floors, and they have good food here. I go to bed at a quarter to ten most of the time, and I get up around seven fifteen [and] then we get our breakfast trays right here in our rooms. I have a good room mate here; his name is Joseph Jungbas [and] he is 81 years old. Now I will add the big story I wrote last August 30, [and] then in a few days the Xmas, here is the big story.

When I came with I Maynard; he had a little cottage in Belfast, Pa. In March of 1978, he signed a one year lease with the Woodring Laundry Mat in Easton; he only operated the Laundry Mat one year. Then he and I moved to Nazareth, Pa. I lived there [un]till May 8th, 1981, when I came here. I am a patient here in the Slate Belt Medical Center. Before I came here I had a bad cold when I lived in Nazareth in 1981. April 5th, I was admitted to the St. Luke’s Hospital for 26 days before I came here to this Nursing home. When I went to the Hospital with the bad cold in my chest, they put me on a soft diet and they gave me penicillin the first 12 days I was there. I lost 16 lbs. When I came here, a year ago last May 8, 1981, I only weighed l20 lbs. This past Thanksgiving I weighed 152 and this afternoon I got weighed and it was 156. After I had that stomach ulcer removed in September of 1969 I was pretty good then, through 1970 and 1971. Then in 1972, I had to go to the Easton Hospital and I was circumcised. Right on my birthday, on December 30, 1 974, I was in St. Luke’s Hospital. I had a prostrate gland operation. In 1976, right on Saturday night just before Easter Sunday, I was living with Raymond at that time. We lived 4 miles west of Wind Gap on the West Mountain Road.

Six of us were going to go to St. Marks Church of Christ on Easter Sunday morning for Easter Services. I was sitting in my bed room; it was a quarter to seven. I thought I would go and take my bath; I had just about half of the water in the bath tub. I coughed three times. After I coughed the third time I felt blood in my throat. I spit 3 times right in the bath tub. I saw I was spitting out pure blood. I left the water out of the tub, [and] I went in the front room. My son Raymond was sitting there watching T.V. I told him to call the Doctor Robert Snyder in Nazareth and tell him I am spitting Blood. I could feel the blood moving in my throat. Raymond called Doctor Snyder and told him I am bleeding from something and I am spitting out pure blood.” The Doctor said, “How much blood have you spit out?” “Three or Four teaspoons full.” I was talking with him when he said that [and] I said, about a half a tea cup. So he said, “Tell your son to take me [you] right away to St. Luke’s Emergency ward.” I got one of them [those] little plastic bags. I put a paper bag inside that plastic bag. It was 12 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I kept spiting blood till we got about half way to Bethlehem, [and] when I got in the Emergency ward; the Doctor had me lying on one of them [those] bunk beds.

All the time I kept spitting little chunks of blood, but it didn’t bleed any more. The Doctor kept me lying there on the bunk till twelve thirty. Raymond sat there all that time for 4 hours before the Doctor finally said to Raymond that he thinks we will admit your father and see what happens. Right away Raymond said, “Now I will go home. A few of us are going to St. Mark’s Church for Easter services.” “Well,” the Doctor said, “You hurry home and get some sleep or you won‘t be in time.” When Raymond came back Sunday afternoon to the hospital, he said, “Dad why do you always pick holidays to be in the hospital?” I

In 1980, I was in St. Luke’s Hospital again and they removed my right testicle. For quite a while I got [had] pain after that. Then as I said before, in April 1981, I was In St. Luke’s Hospital again for 26 days with that bad cold [that] I had. The last operation I had was last February 18, when I went to the Warren Hospital in New Jersey. I had that cataract operation on my right eye. I couldn’t see to read or write for two months, [un]till last April 19, when I got my new pair of glasses. I only wear them to read and write. Again I would like to thank the good Lord for answering our prayers and helping me to regain enough sight to continue to read and write.

Chapter 23
The Play and Frank’s Story

I love to write and this will pass some of the time for me. I will start this story by going back to the year 1910, when my folks lived on a farm in Kansas.

The 30th of December 1910, I became 21 years old. In the spring of 1911, on the first of April, we moved to Topeka, Kansas. Three weeks later I got a job in a small bake shop. There were only two of us working there; the head baker and me. I was his helper. I followed baking from the last part of April, 1911, [un]till my folks moved to Easton, Pa. in July of 1921.

We got to Easton July 17, 1921 and on the first of August 1921 my father and I rented a small bake shop up in college hill that joins Easton on the North border line. There was one big room in the bake shop and we bought a portable gas oven and put it in the room.

The first month’s rent was $45. The owner said, starting September first he would give us another room, which joined the bake shop and we could use it for storage. The rent would be $60 a month starting September first.

By the middle of August we saw that there wouldn’t be enough business there for us to keep going, so we decided to call it quits at the end of August. We put the portable gas oven in storage in Easton for one year, [and] then sold it for $250. We paid $350 for it so we lost $100 on that deal. We also had a 6 foot bread trough [where] we used to let the dough rise. Also, a coffee urn we paid $55 for, a meat slicing machine, a few 50 lb. bags of flour, some sugar, and some pie fruit.

There was a man who had a little bake shop in Easton, not far from where we lived, and he wanted to buy a few things, but I told him we wouldn’t sell it that way. I told him he could have everything for $175. He finally said he would take it at $150.

My father, brother Charlie and myself [I] didn’t have work through September up to the 23rd. of October. A man by the name of George Meyers lived at the next door from us who had a job as watchman at the main gate of the Lehigh Valley Railroad shops in South Easton. He talked with Dave Allen who was the Superintendent of the Railroad Company and told him about us being out of work. Dave Allen told George to tell us to come over and he would give us all a job.

The next morning the 3 of us went to the shops. My youngest brother, Floyd, had already been working 6 weeks. (Floyd died in September of 1967 at nearly 65 years). Floyd was working in the cab of a cold engine that stood right when we passed going through the shop. The cab window was open and Dave Allen also stood by the engine, talking with another man. After we passed them, this other man told Dave Allen, “I think those fellows are looking for work?” Dave Allen looked and exclaimed, “Oh, they are all foreigner.”

Floyd overheard Dave say that and a little later Floyd met Dave and said, “Dave, I overheard the remarks you made about those 3 fellows.” Floyd was mad, and even if it would cost his job, he said, “Now I will give you to understand they are no more foreigners than you are.”

Right away Dave said, “What are you saying?” Floyd told him that they were his father and brothers, Frank and Charlie. “Oh,” Dave said, “I am sorry--- I was only kidding.” Dave said they were all in his office about ½ hour ago and he gave them all a job. Floyd said, “I am glad to hear that.”

Dad was put in the tire shop. Charlie was a helper in the boiler shop, and I was a promoted pipe fitter helper in the pipe shop. There were about 20 in the pipe gang. Some were pipe fitters, some promoted pipe fitter helpers. The pay was 10 to l2¢ more per hour. This was October 23, 1921.

Then in early 1922 I organized a quartette. A fellow in the pipe gang, William Savatich, liked to sing, and he sang lead or second tenor. A young fel­low by the name of Leroy Ero sang bass. I sang first tenor, and my brother Charlie sang baritone. Every day we would get together and sing during the one hour lunch period. We went on that way singing for the rest of 1922. Now and then we would entertain for lodges and banquets. I didn’t like the bass singer because his voice wasn’t heavy enough for bass. About the middle of 1923, I heard of a fellow, who was working there, by the name of Ed Ackerman. He was a machinist. I talked with him and he really was a good bass singer. He sang with a glee club for 11 years and also sang in the church choir. I asked him if he would like to join my quartette, and he said he would be glad to sing in my quartet. He said he didn’t blame me for wanting another bass singer because he listened to us everyday and Leroy Ero didn’t have a bass voice. Ed started to sing with us and we were called the Lehigh Valley Quartet.

I think it was 1924 when I asked Ed Ackerman if he knew a good lead singer as I didn’t like Bill Savatich’s singing very much. Ed said he knew a fellow I could get in about 2 months. Turned out it was his son Johnnie, who was in Santa Monica, California with a show troop of 35 people. They had their own make up and scenery and Johnny played the banjo and uke and made up as a tramp. When he came back I got him to sing lead.

Then I heard of a fellow by the name of George Amy and I got him to sing baritone, as he was very good. He could play the guitar and clog dance too. After we were together for a while, the bosses at the Lehigh Valley Shops wanted my quartet to sing at the banquets they held in a big hall. They called them party nights. We sang 3 different times, but didn’t get anything for it.

One night after supper I sat down and worked out a plan to add comedy and make up to the quartet. I knew I could figure on Johnny Ackerman, the lead singer to play the tramp--we called him Dusty Road. I sang first tenor and made up as the old farmer, and they called me Hyrum. I told Ed Ackerman to make up and play the black face comedian and we called him Rastus. George Amy said what am I supposed to be, and. I told him to make up and play the Jew, and we called him Abey. He was very good and Ed Ackerman was real good in black face. We played hill billy music and I played the harmonica, Johnny the banjo uke, and George Amy the guitar.

One day a fellow came to me in the Valley Shop and said next Thursday there will be another Party Night and they want the quartet to do a ½ hour in comedy and make up. I told him I would have to have $l0.00 to give the 2 that didn’t work at the shop. (Just Ed and I worked there). The fellow said, “See here, Charles Helms, tire master mechanic, told me if any of the employees refused to entertain unless they are paid, send them to my office.” “All right,” I said.” I got Ed Ackerman and told him what they wanted, and we went to see Charles Helms. As quick as he saw us he said, “What’s this I hear you have to be paid?” He said, “You use the name Lehigh Valley Quartet, don’t you? Well from now on there won’t be any Lehigh Valley Quartet.” “Well” I said, “That will suit me fine as we are going to change the name anyway. It will be the Harmony four and Comedy Entertainers.” He didn’t say anymore so we left. The next day the fellow in charge of entertainment came to me and said, “You have your quartet entertain at the party night and you will get the $10.00.

People liked our act and we entertained at all the lodges in Easton, N.J., Phillipsburg, and some in Bethlehem. The Hotel Easton would have us sometimes for Banquets. They would have us sing 2 numbers and play 2 numbers, and they called us the Easton Hill Billys. For that we got $5.00 each and our banquet plates.

One Saturday afternoon the 4 of us went to Allentown (that is 19 miles West of Easton) and talked to the Manager of the W.S.A.N. Station about doing some broadcasting on the radio. After we told him where we had entertained he said, “You come next Saturday afternoon at 2:30 P.M. and they [he] would give us an audition over the radio.”

That following Saturday afternoon we were there and he took us in a studio and said, “Now I will sit in the other room, joining the studio, and will listen to your audition for ½ hour. Watch that light on the wall and when it blinks you will be on the air.”

I had a good ½ hour program made up for the audition and when we finished this man came in the studio and said, “That was just fine.” He said, “I think I will have a job for the Harmony Four Quartet for a few weeks.” I had a thou­sand business cards printed a long time before I gave him one. It had my name on it as Manager and my address and phone number. The following night he called and told me the Avendale Milk Company wanted us to broadcast for them for 26 weeks, every Friday night from 9:30 to 10:00 p.m., and they would an­nounce us as the Harmony Four and Comedy Entertainers in a 1/2 hour variety hour. Our regular price to entertain was $5.O0 apiece, but now we would be getting $8.O0 apiece every Friday night. After 6 or 7 broadcasts the manager asked me if’ it would be all right for him to announce that any one who wanted to send in a request could do so. Every week we had more requests then we had time to sing, so we just used the best of’ them.

One time when we got there the manager gave me an envelope and the party that sent in the request wrote “sing an old fashioned song.” We didn’t know what to use for that request so we sang “The Old Rugged Cross.” Then about one year after that Ed Ackerman got hold of a little song book and the book had the name in it, “Sing An Old Fashioned Song.” We didn’t know there was a song by that name. We had a girl that we knew played this song, but it wasn’t much of a song so we never did bother with it.

In our comedy make up shows, Johnny had a big pair of baggy trousers he wore in his tramp make up and he used to pull a stunt advertising cough drops. He had a little wooden box he would stand on and then say in a real hoarse voice, “Now ladies and gentleman I am going to advertise some of my Famous Cough Drops. Then after he talked awhile I would holler out, “Hey Dusty, if them cough drop are as good and famous as you say they are why don’t you take some?”

Then, in a rough, hoarse he would say, “Well now, that’s not a bad idea.” Then he would reach down in his trousers and pull a paste board box about 5 inches square and make believe he took some cough drops. Then he would smack his lips and say in his natural voice, “Now ladies and gentleman as I was say­ing,” and when he would say that everyone would clap.

Sometimes I would say to him, “Hey Dusty, what time do you have?” Then he would reach down in those big, baggy trousers and pull out an alarm clock--and that always brought good applause.

One time we entertained at the Wilson Borough High School Auditorium and Ed Ackerman and I played Harmonicas, and the Tramp played by [the] banjo uke. I had one harmonica that was strained quite a bit, and also another good one. The Chief Burgess of the High School announced each number, and the time came when he said, “Now the Comedy Entertainers will give us an instrumental number”--and that was a mistake because I had the good harmonica in one coat pocket and the strained one in the other pocket. When this number was announced I pulled out the wrong harmonica.

I took it along just in case the other one would go bad. Right away I saw I had the strained harmonica, and I said, “Oh, this harmonica is no good,” and I threw it to the back of the stage. Then the Jew, which was George Amy, trotted back and he picked the harmonica up and brought it back to me. He said, “Now how are you going to finish this number?” While we were talking I got the good harmonica out of my pocket. Hiding it, then I said, “I don’t know how I can finish this number." The Jew said, “Well, I sell it to you,” and I said, “How much?” The Jew said, “Von dollar.” So I paid him with some counterfeit money. Then I went on and finished the number. At the end of that number, George Amy the Jew did a good Clog dance. The stunt did work out real good and we used the number after that. We always did get a good applause for it. We sure did have a lot of fun in them days, with the Harmony Four and Comedy Entertainers, from 1922 to 1932.

Now I am coming to the end of my story. Johnny Ackerman, who played the tramp make up died in California of a heart attack in 1946; he was 46 years old. Ed Ackerman who played the black face comedian, died in 1955 he was 73 years old and he died from some kind of chest trouble. George Amy was in a nursing home for over 5 years in Oxford, N.J. He had hardening of the Arteries. We always sent Xmas cards to each other and I sent him one last December fifth. Then my son Maynard and his mother were here to see me on December fifteenth. I told Maynard I aught to be getting a Xmas card from George Amy; the one who sang baritone and played the guitar. Maynard looked at Mom and said, “Show Dad that.” So mom took a clipping from the Easton Express Paper. As soon as I saw it I said, “I bet George Amy died.” Maynard said, “Yes. He was 81 years old.” So this is the end of my story.

[(My Cousin William Messinger wrote this,) This was typed by Franks Cousin in Westfield N.J. Frank loves to write and so do I. Frank will be 93 years old this December 30, 1982. Frank has had several oper­ations. In recent years and has written this story. In the Slate Belt Medical Center after a cataract operation he could not see to read or write for two months and now is thanking God for his new glasses which enable him to read and do his beloved writing.]

Now this is Monday 4:45. p.m., and in a short time I will be going down to the dinning room to eat my supper. I will keep adding little to this book [un]till the time comes that I can add the Xmas play to this History Book. This is Tuesday November 30, 1982. On Thursday November 25, 1982 [it] was Thanksgiving Day and as I was out, I enjoyed it very much. This is Tuesday December 21, only 4 more days [un]till Xmas. I will be going to my youngest son Ernest for Xmas. I will spend New Years with my Daughter Loraine and Billy.

I am going to write a little story for the Slate Belt Medical Center, Nursing home here in Bangor, Pa. for the monthly newsletter for January 1983. I am writing a book, The Life History of the Messinger Family and The Franklin Sloyer Family, my Grandfather Levi Messinger and his family. I am up to the 76th big sheet of paper on both sides. That is 152 big sheets of paper like this sheet is. Now I will add my Xmas story or a play to this History Book.

Chapter 24
The Christmas Story

My folks lived in a little inland town of Granada, Kansas, way back in 1909. Xmas wasn’t far away and a good friend of mine asked me if I could help in the Xmas Eve entertainment they were going to have at the school house. I said, “Yes”

Three others and myself will act out a play which [that] is called “Honesty is the Best Policy.” There are four characters in the play. I was 20 years old at the time and my part in the play was taking care of the house and doing the cook­ing. My real life brother, Charlie, played the part of one who earned the money and bought the food and paid the rent. We lived together. The third character (a good friend of mine) was Floyd Mascum. He was 19 years old then, and played the part of an old man 80 years old. He owned the house we lived in. For the part, he wore a gray wig and chin whiskers, and a long split tail coat. He always carried a cane and in the story [and] he was called old Rattle Bones. He was always coming to collect the rent. Floyd played the part of an old stingy miser very good.

Now the fourth character was my brother Alvin who was 14 at the time. He was supposed to be the grandson of old Rattle Bones, but we didn’t find that out until later in the story.

The school house was just one block from where we lived and I got my Dad’s team of horses and spring wagon and loaded up the things I needed for the play. I took 2 chairs, a little round stand, which we used to eat on, [and] also a few dishes, some silver wear, a tea kettle, a coffee pot, a little 2 burner oil stove, a few slices of bread, and a few potatoes. I actually made some fresh coffee in the play, and you could smell it all around the school room.

The act starts where Charlie and I are working around the kitchen, making coffee and talking. Charlie said, “I wonder if I will find any work today as we don’t have enough money to pay the rent. Old Rattle Bones had come time and time again and I always had to tell him I’m sorry, but we just don’t have any money for the rent.” This went on for weeks and the few odd jobs Charlie could get just about keep us in food.

One night I was making supper when Charlie came home and said, “I don’t know what will happen as we are getting far behind with our rent, and I just can’t get a steady job.” Now old Rattle Bones had been coining about every week and that night he came again. This time he said, “I will give you two more weeks to live here, and at the end of two weeks if I don’t get the rent-- out you go.”

Charlie did his best to find work, but at the end of the 2 weeks he didn’t have a job. It was a cold and cloudy morning and right after dinner it started to snow. The snow came down thicker and harder and by early afternoon it was like a blizzard. At quarter to four Charlie came home and said he stopped at the store and bought some food. He explained he had been shoveling snow for 2 ½ hours in Granada and used the money to buy food.

Right after that, [there] came a knock at the door, and I thought sure it was old Rattle Bones, but it wasn’t. It was a young boy (I told about him before) and when I opened the door he said, “Can I come in and get warn?” We said, “Sure.” So he came in and took off his overcoat, his overshoes, fur Cap and gloves. We warmed him and gave him supper. Then I asked him why he was out in this bliz­zard. He said, “I live with my grandfather and at noon he gave me a $20.00 bill, and told me to go and pay a bill out in the country. The boy said he got lost in the storm and walked and walked and decided he better stop and get warn.

After supper I made him a bunk bed on the floor. I used a horse blanket, folded up, and a pillow and quilt I had taken from home. It wasn’t very long until the boy was sound asleep and snoring. Charlie and I talked a little and I said, “Charlie, do you know this is the day that ends the 2 weeks?” Charlie said, “We will just have to wait and see what he will do and make the best of it.”

Just then [there] came a knock at the door and sure enough it was old Rattle Bones. He shook some of the snow off and came in the house. He said, “It is nice and warm in here.” I replied, “We always keep the house good and warm.” Then Charlie gave old Rattle Bones his chair, and sat on the floor. The old man said, “Well, I guess you know why I am here. Do you have the rent money?” I said, “No sir, we just couldn’t get work to earn the money.” Old Rattle Bones didn’t know his grandson was over there sleeping on the bunk bed, but he soon found out.
“All right,” he said, “You know what I told you 2 weeks ago.” He got up from the chair and said, “Come on, I will help take your furniture out.”

He carried the chair out and then he came back in and walked over to the little stand which we used to eat on. He took hold of the stand when suddenly he saw the bunk bed over in the corner of the room. He stood there and looked for a little while, [and] then he said, “What is this? You have a boarder? Why don’t you get the rent out of him or is he penniless too?” Then I told old Rattle Bones how the boy knocked on the door about four in the afternoon and asked if he could come in and get warm. Then we gave him supper, and when I asked him why he was out in the blizzard he said, “I live with my grandfather, and at noon he gave me a $20.00 bill and sent me out in the country to pay a bill, before it started to snow.”

Well, the old man listened to all of this, and then he said, “Did you say his grandfather gave him a $20.00 bill to go and pay a bill?” I replied, “Yes.” “Well, of all things,” the old man said, “This must be my grandson, Alvin.” Then he went out and brought the things back in. He sat down and started to talk. He said, “I’m very sorry for the way I came here and pestered you like I did for the rent. I know things are tough and money is scarce now,” he said, “Charlie, you come to my office in the morning and I will put you on a job where you won’t have to worry anymore, and you will always have the money to pay the rent.” Charlie said, “I thank you very much.”

“Now,” the old man said, “I’m going to take my grandson home.” He went over to the bunk and called, “Alvin,” but Alvin was hard to wake up. Finally, he woke up and the old man said, “Come on, I’m your grandfather and I’m going to take you home.” Alvin put on his cloths and overshoes and they went to the door. The old man stood for a moment and finally spoke, “There is just one more thing I want to say, and that is in five words: “Honesty is the Best Poli­cy."

I hope everyone who reads this will enjoy it as much as the four of us did when we acted it out in the school house, long ago in 1909, when I was just 20 years old.

I want to wish everyone in the Slate Belt Medical Center, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year--- and may God Bless you all.

Chapter 25
Returning to Kansas

Now after we left Granada, Kansas in April 1910, we had met Mr. Kemper who owned the big farm in Kansas. When we met Mr. Kemper in Witmore, My Dad had seen the ad in the Witmore paper. This 190 acre farm for rent this was in March of 1910. Dad wrote to Mr. Kemper in Atchinson, Kansas, as Mr. Kemper had a good job there with a wholesale food company. On the last week of March Mr. Kemper, my Dad, and I caught a train in Witmore as Whiting, Kansas is 9 miles east of Witmore. We went to Whiting. Mr. Kemper rented a horse and buggy in Whiting, that is just 2 ½ miles from this 190 acre farm South [southward]. So we got to Whiting at 10 a.m., [and] drove out to the farm. We were there for one hour and walk­ed around the farm. Dad finally said he would rent it and we would move there on the first of April.

It was Thursday morning of April first 1910, [and] we loaded everything up in Granada [onto] the big wagon and spring wagon. We had the eight head of work horses, one milk cow. Dad bought the 20 head of chickens my Uncle Ed Sloyer had in Granada. Dad bought three of those chicken crates from [for] those chickens. So we could haul them to the farm.

We left Granada at 7 am. Friday morning. It was 16 miles from Granada to this farm. We got there at 2:30 p.m. There was a good hen house there, the barn held 10 head of horses, and [there was] a big hay barn, and room for 15 head of cattle, [also] a good hog pen. When we got to the farm we saw there was part of a hay stack near the barn. Whoever had been living there before we went there was using hay from the stack. There was just three feet of it left. There were four dogs that stayed and slept on that hay stack; they seemed to be quite tame dogs. They didn’t try to run away. The second day we were there, that was on Sunday, Dad said, now we will have to do something with them dogs as we didn’t want them. One of them was a nice Shepard Dog. Dad said, I think we will keep that one so we put a collar on him and it had a little chain fastened to it. Then we tied the Shepard dog up. Dad had a double barrel shot gun; he put two shells in the gun. We got the other three dogs out to the road. We took little pieces of bread and put it on the ground and once they got started to pick up that bread it wasn’t hard to get them out to the road. I had a long stick [and] I started to chase them three dogs down the road. They started to go [and] then Dad shot both barrels with his shot gun in the air and man did them [those] dogs hit the road and they never did come back.

We called that dog we kept, we named it Shep. We kept the dog tied up for two weeks and fed it good [well] and it got quite friendly, [and] then we left it loose and it stayed right there. It was a really nice looking dog. I told you before of our neighbor who just lived down the road a little ways west of us, his name was Herman Rosedale. I told you how he told me about that dug well we had there in one of the fields. I didn’t finish plowing that 15 acre field; Charlie and Dad did the work there on our farm and Herman Rosedale hired me to work for him. I would go there on Monday morning and stay there [in]till after supper Saturday nights. There was another fellow working there, he was a cousin to Herman Rosedale’s daughter, Cecil. His name was Porter Oliver. He and I slept together. On Saturday night I would. Go [and] home take a good bath, change my cloths and go back Monday morning.

I did that till harvest time. I liked this girl, Cecil Rosedale very much and she thought a lot of me. When it came time to put hay in the barn, us three were out in the hay field. Herman Rosedale was pitching hay up on the wagon. Porter Oliver was loading the hay. I was running the one horse hay rake, raking up the hay. A man came in from the road. I saw he had an automobile. He walked to where I was raking hay, [and] he said, “Who is the boss here?” I pointed over, I said, “That fellow over there pitching hay.” He was a salesman for Rambler cars, as they just had came on the market. He took Herman Rosedale for a ride. Herman came over to me and he said, you go over now and pitch hay up to Porter Oliver. He said, he was going for a ride and maybe he would buy a new Rambler car. He was gone for 1 ½ hours and he did buy a new Rambler car. About two weeks after that I ran the wheat binder and I cut a 15 acre field of Oats. Herman Rosedale asked me after supper if I wanted to ride with him to Whiting, Kansas. That was 2 ½ miles south of this farm and I and Cecil were sitting on the porch talking. This was on a Saturday night, the night I would go home. I said, no you go a head; I will sit here for awhile and talk with Cecil. Then I will go home, well to tell you the truth, I was in Love with Cecil. I would be out around the barn evenings putting the horses in the horse stable. Cecil used to come out gathering the eggs and many a time when we would meet like that we would kiss each other.

So that Saturday night, Herman Rosedale left to go to Whiting about 7:30 p.m. We sat there on the porch with our feet down on the next step. I had a good team of horses, but we didn’t have a top buggy, only a spring wagon. Well, Cecil was keeping steady company with a young fellow by the name of Henry Blamon. He was the only son, old man Blamon had. They had a nice Rambler car, [and] he lived two and one half miles from there. So while we sat there talking that Saturday night I asked if she would go with me to Whiting Sunday morning to the United Brethren Church, if I could borrow Herman’s top Buggy. She said, yes, she would go with me. So [when] Herman came home, it was nearly 10:30 p.m. We were still sitting there on the porch, [and] He said, “Are you still here?” I said, “Yes, [but] now I am going home.” He went in and went to bed and it came 11:00 p.m. Just then I heard a cracking noise; the cows in the barn lot broke through the gate and were running toward a gate at the lane that went out to this 15 acre field of oats. The gate was open. I quickly ran out there and headed them off and had them turned around. They were going back in[to] the barn lot. Herman came [and] he said, “How did you get ahead of the cows?” I told him, “When I heard them breaking the gate, I quickly ran out and headed them off.” Herman said, “I sure am glad you got them turned back. If they would have gotten in that oats field, I sure would have had a hard job to get them out of there.” Then he looked at the gate, the moon was shining he could see it good [well]. He got a long rope and tied it around the gate. He said, “I think that will be all right till morning.” Then he would fix it. I asked him if I could borrow his Top Buggy. I told him I was going to take Cecil to church on Sunday morning. He said, I could use it, and he asked if I was driving two horses, [and] I said, yes. Well he said, “The shalves[?] is [are] in the buggy.” I would have to change it and put the tung[?] in the buggy. Then I went early Sunday morning and took the buggy home.

I was out by the barn washing, when one of my brothers hollered out and said, “Breakfast is ready!” He said, “You can stop washing the buggy. Cecil’s mother called and told them to tell me that Cecil couldn’t go to church that morning as she had a bad headache.” That wasn’t true. When I took the buggy back, Cecil came out to the pump to get a pail of water. I think she saw I was out in the barn. She said, [that] she didn’t have a headache, [and that] her mother only said that, because she didn’t want Cecil to go with me because of Henry Blamon. She wanted Cecil to marry Henry, because they had a little money, and if Henry would find out she went out with someone else maybe he would drop her. He wasn’t any good anyway. I use to see him pass our place sometimes with a horse and buggy. He would be dead drunk and cramped down in the buggy box. His horse would take him home. One time after I moved to Topeka, Kansas around 1912, it was. I was working in a little bake shop. The boss sent me over to North Topeka one morning about 10:00 a.m. to take a package to a bakery in north Topeka.

When I got back the head baker told me Cecil Rosedale had been there to see me. Then I heard a couple years later that Cecil had died and I had heard too, that her [she] and Henry Blamon had been married for a short time and then they were divorced. Well that is the end of that story.

Now I will finish telling about that Shepard dog I told you about a short time ago. My folks had quite a few chickens and my mother was getting quite a few eggs. Just a few days before Easter, for a couple days she only got half as many as she was getting, so she asked me, “Frank, are you boys hiding some of the eggs for Easter?” I told her, “No, we are not hiding any eggs.” None of us thought about Shep the dog. The next day in the afternoon I was walking from the barn to the house [and I passed the hen house. I saw Shep come out of the hen house licking his mouth. I went and looked in the hen house and them [those] chickens nests were all messed up. I went in the house and told my mother, “Now I can tell you where your eggs are going to. The dog is eating them.” When Dad heard this, he said, “Tomorrow we are going to Horton.” That was 7 miles, and he said, “We will take the dog along and drop him off some place.”

We went in the spring wagon. My mother and father sat in the front seat and Shep and I sat in the back of the spring wagon. When we got two thirds of the way to Horton, we passed a farm where there was a dog in the front yard. Soon after we passed the house, Dad stopped and he said, “Now we will drop the dog off.” Dad thought the dog would go back to the yard with that other dog, but instead Shep followed us. I told Dad after awhile to stop and give me the buggy whip. I got out and I turned the dog around toward that house. I hit the whip down on the ground and I said, go on, go on and finally the dog ran back. When we came by that way going home we didn’t see either of the dogs. The second day after that around 10:00 a.m. I saw Shep coming up the yard. At noon Dad said, “Well I guess there is only one thing to do.” He told me to get his rifle and shoot the dog. So I took Shep out and tied him to the gate near the barn and I shot the dog and put him in the wheel barrow and took him out to the field and burned him.

You know 190 acres is a big farm, but 80 acres of that was one big field fenced off, that was all pasture land. Mr. Kemper told Dad one day in the ear­ly summer if it was alright with him he would bring some horses there and put them in that field as there was plenty of pasture there. He said, the farm is really a stock farm, by that time we had 5 milk cows. Dad had bought 4 good milk cows at a sale soon after we moved there. We had the eight head of horses and two colts. They were one year old. In about two weeks two fellows drove 12 head of horses there; we had a good well and a big supply talk for water. It was all fenced from the lane over to the water tank. The Stock could come and go when ever they wanted water and we didn’t have to bother with that. In two more weeks Mr. Kemper brought eight more head of horses. He paid Dad one dollar a head per month to have this stock there in pasture. After July 4th he wrote Dad a letter from Atchinson, Kansas. He said, let me know if it would be all right for him to put 25 head of young heffers there in the pasture? Young heffers are half grown cows.

Dad wrote back and he told Mr. Kemper that would be alright. That would be $45.00 a month he would be allowed toward the rent. The agreement on the rent was $l,000.00 for a year’s rent and $500.00 at harvest time the balance after the corn was husked, but for some reason Mr. Kemper, didn’t get the 25 young heffers like he said. One of these yearling colts was a mare colt. There was one mean horse of Mr. Kemper’s 20 head. That horse was always after that young colt and would chase her. One time Dad just gone in to Whiting; there was a lane that went from the barn lot out [to] what would be a block to this pasture field. I thought that morning I would walk out to the pasture field. Just as I got there to the end of the lane, I saw over in the field a little ways from where I was standing, this mean horse of Mr. Kemper’s was chasing this young mare colt. They stopped, [and] this horse turned [on] his hind legs and he kicked that colt two times, with both hind hoofs. I stood and watched it, [and] pretty soon the colt fell to the ground. Then the horse ran away. Two or three times I saw the colt try to get up, but it couldn’t make it.

I knew the colt was hurt, [and] I walked over to him and again it tried to get up, but it couldn’t get up. Dad came home from town at a quarter to eleven. I told him about it, [and] he said, “We will go out to the pasture field before dinner.” We walked up to where the colt laid [lay] on her left side, he found out [that] the colt’s front right leg was broken. “Well,” Dad said, “I guess we will have to kill the colt and bury it.” After dinner we took one horse and a heavy rope. I took my rifle, [and] I shot the colt. All along the north side of this 190 acre farm the Walnut Creek ran along through there. That was the north border line of the farm. Most all ways around a creek or along a river there is quite a bit of sand mixed with the ground and it makes digging easier. That is what we did; we dragged that colt over to the side of the Walnut Creek. We dug a hole there and buried the colt. About one month later Mr. Kemper came, but right after we buried the colt. Mr. Kemper had a brown Mare. She seemed pretty tame. You could catch her and put a bridle on her. So one day I put a bridle on her, [and] then I told Charlie, my brother, I am going to put the saddle on her and see if I can ride her.

I had the saddle on her, [and] I had her tied to a fence post. When I had the saddle tightened up, I was going to get up in the saddle. I untied the mare [and] there was a pretty long hitch strap snapped on the bridle. I told Charlie to keep hold of that hitch strap and when I went to get up in the saddle, that mare pawed at me. I jumped back. She almost got me. Well it made me so mad. I walked over to the wood pile and I got a big stick of wood. It was a piece of a tree limb; it was about 11/4 inch thick and four feet long. I came back and walked up to the mare. I was going to get her and again she pawed at me. I hit her with that piece of tree limb three or four times; she tried to break loose, but Charlie held her. You know after that up to the time when Mr. Kemper came, Dad told him what had happened to the young colt, [and] I had noticed before Mr. Kemper came that mare would limp when she walked. I think I injured something in her right front hip and she was there with some of the other horses to get some water when Mr. Kemper was there. He said, to Dad, “I never knew that brown mare limped before.” “Well,” he [Dad] said, “Maybe she was fighting and one of the horses kicked her.”

He never did find out that I tried to saddle her and ride her. Then he asked Dad what he valued the colt at and he said Dad could hold it out of the balance of the $500.00 rent money. “Well,” Dad said, “I will have to have $50.00 for it.” “All right,” Mr. Kemper said, “You hold $50.00 out of the rent money.” This was around the middle of July in 1910. We thrashed a 15 acre field of oats around the first of July. Dad made a trade with a man that had a Livery Stable in Emmet, Kansas. That is 45 miles south west of this farm. The man had the Livery barn, 13 head of horses, 7 top buggies and a short make ton truck. Dad traded, [and] he gave his homestead in Oklahoma for this stuff in Emmet, Kansas. The man was to pay $5000.00 to boot, in the trade. He was to pay $500.00 a month [un]till the $5000.00 was paid off. After the thrashing of the oats was done we took a load of oats to Emmet, [and] then Charlie and I stayed there to operate the Livery Barn, for just one month. That was the month of August. The man that traded with Dad for Dad’s homestead, just made one $500.00 payment in August on the deal. He said he had to call the deal off as he couldn’t keep making the $500.00 payments every month.

So Dad got the homestead back as he foreclosed on the deal. The other man got the Livery barn back and he had to loose the $500.00 as that is the law. Then we came back to the farm. Dad bought a nice team and buggy from this man in Emmet; the man he had traded with. For the rest of the year, there on the farm in 1910, I had a good buggy to use. Dad soon sold the team of horses as he made a little money on the sale. Then Dad had bought 6 head of hogs that weighed 175 lbs. each. The man lived thirty miles from our farm. He said, whenever and whoever would go to his place to bring them 6 head of hogs home, they could come there in the day and stay there all night with him and go home the next day. As September 26th was going to be on a Monday, I had planed a birthday surprise party for Charlie, for his 19th Birthday. That Friday morning September 23, Dad sent Charlie and Alvin went along to go them [those] thirty miles and bring them [those] 6 head of hogs home. Thinking they would be back Saturday afternoon, but that Friday night it rained all night, they figured to leave there at eight a.m. Saturday morning to come home. Then at seven thirty Saturday morning it started to rain again.

This man told Charlie and Alvin to wait and stay there Saturday night. On Sunday morning when they got up, it was still raining. I had invited young people from six different places, for this birthday surprise party. By that time they all knew Charlie had gone for them [those] hogs. We all had telephones and some called on Saturday, some others called on Sunday. Sunday was the 25th of September. I told them all that Charlie was home yet. I told them I would call them later. Again Sunday morning that man told Charlie and Alvin, “Well,” he said, “Just forget about it,” he said, “You are both welcome to stay here till the weather gets better and the roads were tearable [?] to travel.” Those days they didn’t have highways that were concrete, like today. About three thirty Monday afternoon, Charlie and Alvin got home, and right away I got on the phone, while Charlie and Dad were out unloading those hogs. I told them all that Charlie is home and the party will be held from seven to eleven. The first week in Sept. I started to go with a girl, Iva Johnson. She was a Cousin to this girl I told you about, Cecil Rosedale. She lived two miles from our place, one mile West and one mile North. Then there was a fellow that lived one mile north from our place, his name was Robert Peterson, he was a real nice fellow, he was one yea older then I was. I was 21 that December 30, 1910.

Robert Peterson told me one time while I was working that early part of the summer for Herman Rosedale [that] he could have gone with Cecil Rosedale, the year before that, but she was only 17 then, and her mother wouldn’t let her keep company with anyone then yet. He was going with a girl that lived ½ mile north from where my girl Iva Johnson lived. The Walnut Creek, I had said [that] before, was the boarder line along the north edge of our farm. The creek ran east and west, and going north just before I would get to Iva Johnson’s place we had to cross a bridge over the Walnut Creek. That Monday night after Charlie’s birthday party and all that rain we had from Friday night [un]till Sunday, after this party was over, Iva Johnson and I, Robert Peterson and his girl, went the same way to take the girls home. We left our place at eleven fifteen and Robert was in front of me. When we got to that bridge over Walnut Creek, [we fund that] the water was up a foot above the plank crossing. Robert Peterson stopped and hollered back to me, Hey Frank; I am not taking any chances to cross that bridge.”

The moon was shinning good [well] and we could see it good. “Well,” he said, “My sist­er has a spare bedroom at home.” His folks were both dead; he lived with a sister two years older then he was. “Well,” I said, “My folks also have a spare bedroom.” So we all turned around and went back. The next morning I was in no hurry to leave there, so when I took Iva Johnson home we got to her place at eleven a.m. By the time I crossed the bridge the water was down two feet below the plank crossing. Nothing had been washed away and no more then we got in the house, Mrs. Johnson jumped all over me, she said, “Why are you keeping Iva out like this?” I tried to explain how the water was up over the bridge last night, and that Robert Peterson was ahead of me and he said, he wouldn’t take any chance to cross the bridge, as some of the planks might be washed away. She wouldn‘t listen to what I told her; she said, “From now on don’t come here anymore to take Iva out.” It made me so mad. I turned around and I said, “Alright, Good-bye.” That was the last of that. Then it wasn’t long [un]till the Holidays came. I had told you awhile back how I was in Horton, Kansas after New Years and worked at the Rockland railroad shops.

In the spring of 1911, we moved to Topeka, Kansas. I started to follow baking; my Dad bought a little Grocery store out in Quinton Heights. That is a small addition to Topeka, out by the country club. The store was [had] a big room, on the front [first?] floor. Then a nice big kitchen, in the hack where we cooked and ate; upstairs [there] were 4 bedrooms. Just one block north from this store [there] was a little cement block church; it was the Baptist Church. About the middle, of the summer, one Sunday afternoon, Charlie and I were around the store. Between the store and the church [there] was a little frame house. That was where George and Clara Hornsby lived; they belonged to this church. That Sunday afternoon, my mother said to Charlie and me, “Why don’t you boys dress up and go to that church.” That Sunday night we did. When church was started home, two girls were walking along just ahead of Charlie and me. I told Charlie, “Come on let’s go and break them up.” Charlie said, “Alright.” I said, “I will take the one on the left and you take the other one.” So the one on the left was George and Clara Hornsby’s daughter Bertha Hornsby and the other was Florence Cope. I came up on the left side of them and I said, “How about you girls breaking up! Can I walk you home?” She said, “Sure.” Then Charlie said, to Florence Cope, “I will take you home,” She said, “Alright.” She was quite big, and a little on the heavy side. Charlie never did bother with her, but from then on I started to go with Bertha steady.

I was 21, Dec. 30, 1910, [and] Bertha was 20 June 6, 1911. She had a brother Benett Hornsby, he was 22. He worked as a teller at the Topeka Savings Bank, and he was quite religious. Bertha’s brother, John Hornsby, was 17. Her sister Ruth Hornsby, was 15 years old. I took Bertha to Church every Sunday at eleven a.m. Then we would go to Church at night. Charlie went too; there was a little fellow there, his name was C1em Payne. He had Charlie and me singing in the Church Choir. He was Superintendent of the Sunday school and Church Choir Leader. His wife was the pianist. After we had gone to Church three months, Clem Payne organiz­ed a quartet. Benett Hornsby sang the lead; I sang second tenor, Charlie sang baritone and a fellow by the name of Claud Willhour sang bass. We sang together for two years.

I followed baking from April 1911 through 1912. On June 6, 1912 I married Bertha Hornsby right on her 21st Birthday. I worked through 1913 in the Bakery and 1914 up to May. Then I worked three months at the Santa Fe Railroad shops, as Machinist Helper. Then I was back in the hake shop again.

April 18, 1915, my son Dale Ellsworth was born. In July 1915 I was out of work, so I got round trip tickets summer tourist rates on the Santa Fe Rail road. They were good from July first to the last of October 1915. Dale was going on three [months] at that time. Bertha had a Step-Aunt living in Denver. So we went there; I put an application in two big bakeries in Denver. This was on Saturday and I gave Bertha’s Step-Aunt’s phone number. That night when we went to bed, I asked Bertha’s Aunt if she had a pad or something to put under Dale’s in bed as I was afraid he would wet the bed. She had a brand new mattress on the bed we slept in and she didn’t give me anything. “Oh,” she said, “I guess it will be alright. He didn’t wet the bed on Friday night.” Then she went out of the room and we didn’t get anything to put under Dale and sure enough, be did wet the bed that Saturday night. On Sunday morning there was a big brown spot there on the bed sheet about a foot in Diameter. Bertha told her Step-Aunt and I could see she was mad about it. “Now,” she said, “Just look at that and a band new mattress!” I said, “I wanted something to put under Dale, as I was afraid that would happen. I will pay you the damage.” “No,” she said, “Let it go.”

Then her and her husband went away after dinner, she did that on Saturday, just like on Friday afternoon. She said, “Now you just make your self at home.” We are going away for awhile, she didn’t say for us to go with them. So when they were gone on Saturday and on Sunday I got my hat; I left and didn‘t tell Bertha what I was going to do. I went to the Union Pacific Depot and I asked what time a train leaves for Cheyenne, Wyoming. The agent said, l0:30 a.m. Cheyenne is 106 miles from Denver. When I came back, Bertha said, “Where were you?” Then I told her tomorrow morning at 10: 30, we will leave for Cheyenne, Wyoming. When her Step Aunt came back, Bertha told her what we were going to do. Bertha had two Aunts and Uncles living in Cheyenne; one of them William Hubard and his wife, [who] used to go to Topeka every summer. William Hubard worked for the Union Pacific Rail road. He wrote up all the repair work that had to be done on box cars. He would go to Topeka on his vacations. I remember when he left Topeka to go back home the last of May in 1915, he said, to me, “Well Frank, when are you coming to Cheyenne?” I said, “I don’t know, but I would like to go there sometime.”

I was working in the bakery at that time, but six weeks later I was out of work. So we stayed there with William Hubard. On Tuesday I put an application in two bakeries in Cheyenne and gave them William Hubard’s phone number. Then on Wednesday night, William said, “Frank how would you like to go with me in the morning. Maybe I could get a job with the Union Pacific Railroad.” I said, “Yes, I will go along with you.” He introduced me to the boss; he told him I followed baking, but got [was] out of work and came from Topeka, Kansas to visit with them. The Boss said, “Sure, I will give you a job.” Then he pointed a block away and he said, “You see that string of Box cars over there?” He said [that] I start Monday morning at eight a.m. He said there will be another fellow there. We are [were] scrapping them old Box cars. He said, “You work with him.” So I only worked on that job two weeks and then he put me on another job. I was the helper of a man that inspected the oil boxes on passenger coaches. We went home to dinner as it was only 4 blocks from the shops. Every day I passed a 4 roomed brick house that was empty and had a rent card on it.

One day William said, “Frank, why don’t you rent that house and move there and keep working for the Union Pacific Railroad.” I went on for a week. I had wrote [written] my Dad a letter and I told him maybe I would have to crate up my furniture and have him send it to me. I told him of this empty brick house that was for rent, but I said, if I rent the house, I will write again soon. Bertha just bawled and kept bawling; she said she didn’t want to live 1,000 miles away from her folks. A couple days later Hubard told me to forget about moving there as Bertha would be to home sick. Then I worked on [un]till the time came when the train tickets would run out on the Santa Fe from Denver to Topeka, Kansas, the last day of October in 1915. Then when I got back to Topeka I couldn’t find a job in the bake shop for a month. I went to the Santa Fe Railroad shops and I got a job running a sand blasting machine. I worked at that about three months. Then one Saturday as I only worked [un]till noon on Saturdays, that morning the foreman came to me at 10 a.m. He said, my wife called and asked to talk with me. He told her, we don’t call employees to the phone during working hours.

He said, [that] she said, it is important. So he said, go and answer it. Bertha said she saw an ad in the Topeka Daily Capital paper. The Collage Hill Bakery wanted a helper in the Bakery. She asked them if they would hold it open [un]till 12:30, [and] then I would stop and see them. He said [that] he would hold it open till I got there at 12:30. When I got there G.L. Gorden said, “Are you Mr. Messinger?” I said, “Yes,” Then he asked me how long I had worked in the Bakery. I told him, “Five years.” “Well,” he said, “You are married,” I said, “Yes, and I have one son going on two years old.” “Well,” he said, “This is only a helpers job and it pays $13.00 a week. Maybe you don’t want it.” I said, “I will take it, till I can do better.” He said, “You never did belong to a union.” I said, “No.” “Well,” he said, “I will tell you what I will do. I will give you $15.OO a week for two months, then the Union will set a new contract. You will have to join the union.” “Good deal.” I said. The union wage was $20.00 a week. In June 1916 it was $23.00 a week. In June 1918 it was $27.00 a week and in 1920 it was $30.00 a week. I worked on through 1916, 1917, [and] 19l8. On December 26, 1918, my second son, Carl Edwin Messinger was born.

I remember on Xmas day, all day Bertha was up and down. John Hornsby asked me to go squirrel hunting with him Xmas day. Then I worked good [well] at the Collage Hill Bakery. In 1920, the Cambell Baking Company bought the Collage Hill Bakery. One year after Carl was born, Bertha got sick, she had cancer of the stomach and she did a lot of doctoring.

Finally came 1921 and my folks moved to Easton, Pa., all but Charlie and I. The folks moved around Memorial Day. Charlie and I stayed a while yet in Topeka. Charlie worked for the Topeka Transfer and Storage Company. He drove a team and flat wagon and did hauling for the storage company. On the 15th of June in 1921, Bertha died and then George and Clara Hornsby took Dale and Carl and raised them [un]till they were 18 years old.** Charlie and I left Topeka July 10, 1921 and came to Easton, Pa. We stopped in Detroit, Michigan and visited with my brother Alvin and his family. We got to Easton on July 17, 1921. Dad, Charlie and I and Floyd all worked at the Lehigh Valley Railroad shops in South Easton. Dad worked in the Tire shop only four years, [and] then he quit and followed house painting. Charlie worked as a helper at the boiler shop for five years, [and] then he quit and helped Dad at house painting.

[**It appears that Frank got a bit ahead of himself and said that Bertha passed away in June of 1921. It’s possible that later she may have contracted cancer and passed away. She was found in George Hornsby’s household on the 1930 Census, as were their two sons, Dale and Carl. It appears that she was remarried and her surname was Butler. In addition, Joyce Godfrey’s Sloyer Family website indicated that Frank and Bertha were divorced. One must remember that Frank is at the age of 94 or 95 at the time he wrote this memoir. That point of time, in his life, must have been a painful memory for him to relive, and perhaps he found that he could not write about that time period.]

Chapter 26
Returning Home to Pennsylvania

I worked in the pipe gang at the Lehigh Valley shops in South Easton from 1921 in October [un]till April 1932.

Now I want to tell what happened in September of 1921. My uncle Edwin Messinger lived in Tatamy at that time; he took care of the horses, six head and the barn, for the Messinger Teaming Company. The last week in September is when the Fair use to be held at the Fair grounds in Nazareth, Pa., on the 19th of September 1921 Edwin Messinger had the three teams of horses ready to go out and do some hauling that day. Uncle Edwin had the three teams harnessed. The two drivers came and got their teams, [and] then Uncle Edwin went to the house to eat his breakfast. He got through eating he lit a cigar and he told Aunt Catherine he was going out with the third team and help do some hauling. He said, “I will be here for dinner.” Those were the last words he said, to his wife.

One of his horses didn’t have a neck yoke strap on the horse collar. In the wagon shed that was there near the barn there was a wooden peg, up high on the left side in the wagon shed. Some old horse collars were hanging up on that wooden peg. One of the horse collars had a neck yoke strap on it.

There was a turn truck standing along aide the shed the wheels were off the truck. It was sitting on some big wooden blocks. What they think happened, [is that] Uncle Edwin stood in that truck. The concrete wall of the foundation stuck [out] inside the shed about four inches. They thought Edwin stood there to reach up and get one of them [those] horse collars, and he slipped and struck his head. He had a fractured skull, [and] he laid [lay] sideways down on the ground wedged in between the truck and the concrete foundation. He did get one of the horse collars off the wooden peg. The collar laid [lay] on the ground near Edwin’s head. The cigar that he lit after breakfast laid there near his head; just a little bit of it was burned. So Edwin didn’t go in to dinner, [and] the other drivers brought there teams in at noon, they saw Edwin’s team standing there in the barn with his harness on them, but they didn’t think anything about it. They just thought Edwin had gone to the house. The same thing happened at night, [when] they brought there teams in and again Edwin’s team was standing there with the harness on them and again. Edwin wasn’t there [home] for supper. Aunt Catherine just thought they were working over time. Then it went on [un]till seven p .m. Aunt Catherine went out to the barn and she saw all six head of horses still standing there with the harness on. Then she called one of the drivers and asked him if they saw Edwin any time during the day. He said, no. “Well,” she said, “All six horses are still harnessed and Edwin hadn’t been there for dinner or supper.” Then this driver said, “I will come right over as something has happened.” He came over [and] he unharnessed the horses [and] gave them wat­er and there feed. Then he said, “Now I am going to get some of the neighbors and we will look for Edwin.” My folks lived in Easton and at eight thirty that night the phone rang; I was up stairs [when] Dad answered it, and it was Aunt Cather­ine she said, “Allen, Edwin is missing. There are about 25 people out looking for him. Can you come to Tatamy to our place and stay all night? If you want to sleep any you will have to sleep sitting in a chair.” Dad told me what Aunt Catherine said, [and] he said, “Do you want to go with me?” I said, “Yes, I will go with you.” Then he said, “If you want to sleep, you will have to sleep sitting in a chair.” “Well, I said, “I can do that too.” We got there at 9:15, and right away Dad saw a fellow he knew and this fellow told Dad they just found Edwin about 15 minutes before we got there. He said, some one asked did you look in the wagon shed and right away they looked there and that was where they found him, wedged in there. He must have struggled quite a bit before he died, because they saw where his head and arms had moved back and forth. It was a ground floor and the dirt and dust was whipped away. Then they had him in the front room and [there were] two Doctors in there with him. There were a dozen people that stayed there all night. We all sat out in the sitting room. I did fall asleep a little and in the morning, about four a.m. I woke up there [and] was a man sitting aside of me. I heard some pounding noise. I asked this man, what is [was] that pounding noise. He said, the Doctor is [was] performing an autopsy on Edwin’s head. About 4 hour lat­er they came out where we were all sitting. One of the Doctors said, “Now we know he died of a bad fractured skull. That was one week before the last Nazareth Fair; that was held in Nazareth.

Now I will give you the record of all my family and their families.

Chapter 27
Family, Dates and Relationships

First was my oldest daughter Lorraine Fazekas, she was 53 years old on August 15, 1982. Gloria was born February 3, 1951; she is 32 years old, [and] she lives in Denver, Colorado. Next is Donna Lee on February 29, 1983 she will be 30 years old. I don’t know how old Donald Keller is; they have two children, Kyle will be 8 years old January 5, 1983 and Kimberly will be 5 years old on September 20, 1983. Then Billy, the third, will be 26 years old February 14, 1983; his wife Mar­ion, I think, she is 24 years old. Jennifer will be 21, September 29, 1983. Timothy was 13, September 14, 1983. Then come Maynard’s child­ren. David A Messinger was 28, September 25, 1982. Diane, March 4, she was 27. [David’s wife and the children follow] James Michael, [on] August 13, he was 8. David A. Jr., [on] June 26, he was 6. Matthew, [on] April, 5 he was 2 years old. Jody will be 25, [on] January 24, 1983. Sheila died June 6, 1982. Michael Joseph was 4 years old, October 6, 1982. Ronnie will be 24 years old January 13, 1983. Doris Castner will be 48, March 6, 1983. Beverly will be 34, April 7, 1983. Johnnie Reed will be 27, February 14, 1983. Freddy Reed will be 25, June 25, 1983. Freddy’s wife Brenda’s birthday is February 7th; I think she is 21 years old. Jamie Reed’s Birthday is October 28, 1983; she will be 4 years old. Kristine Reed, June 8, 1983, was 1 year old,

Daniel Reed was born August 15, 1960; he is 22 years old. Then there is Raymond Reed, born April 4; he is 30 years old. Frankie Messinger was born August 9, 1963; he is 21 years old. Raymond Messinger [was] born October 11, l936; he is 45 years old. He was married to Hazel Rex. They had one boy, Frankie; he lives m Phillipsburg, N.J. In 1975 Raymond lived 4 miles West of Wind Gap. That year he divorced Hazel Rex. The last of June l977, Raymond moved to Berwick, Pa. He bought a 12 unit Motel, 2 miles the other side of Berwick, a 7 room dwelling. The day after Thanksgiving, 1978, Raymond remarried Rose Mills. From her first marriage she had three sons and two daughters. Her 5 children are Dennis Mills, 27; Audry Hydrick, 25; Robert, 23; Brenda, 21; [and] Andy, 19. Then [there] is Harvey Messinger, born June 24, 1939. He is 43; he has 2 sons. Barry [was] born March 7, 1964; he is 18. Bruce was born September 22, 1966; he is l6 years old. Then Connie was born May 23, 1968; she is 14 years old. Harvey was divorced in 1972. Harvey’s wife, Frances, lives in Bangor, Pa. She has the three children; Barry Messinger; Bruce Messinger and Connie Messinger. Harvey lived with his mother in Easton, Pa. He is a skilled repairman at the Dixie Cup plant in Easton, Pa.

Then my youngest son, Ernest Claude Messinger, was born [on] February 5, 1941. He is 41 years old. He was married to Jackie; they have one boy and one girl. Little Ernie was born August 17, 1965; he is 18 years old. Chrissy was born February 28, 1967; she is 14 years old. Her and little Ernie live with their mother Jackie in Bedford, Mass. Then in 1976, Ernest got married to Lois Frank. I don’t know what year Lois was born, but her birthday is May 5. I think in 1939, as she is two years older then my youngest son Ernest. Lois has a daughter from her first marriage, Cinda Frank, and her birthday is June 5, 1961. She is 21 years old; she lives in Nazareth and Ernest and Lois live two miles north of Nazareth. Ernest also works as a skilled repairman at the Dixie Cup Plant. Lois also runs a machine at the Dixie Cup Plant.

In 1935 I had an appendix operation. Now I will take you to 1955, when I was 66 years old on December 30, 1955. My wife Hilda Maine was born July 26, 1904. I was 14 years 5 months and 4 days old when my wife Hilda Maine was born. On July 26, 1955, we were separated, and the 10th of June 1956 I got my divorce.

Chapter 28
Continuing the Return to Pennsylvania

My brother Charlie and I roomed with Mary Seals, a widow woman on North 13th Street. When I worked at the Lehigh Valley Rail road, a fellow by the name of Emile Ory ran the machines in the pipe shop where I worked. After Hilda and I were married in February 22, 1928, we went to Detroit, Michigan and visited my brother Alvin. You remember reading about him. Then we went to Toledo, Ohio and visited with my Aunt Ida Coleman and her three daughters. They are all dead now. When we came back from that trip, the last of March 1929, we had boarded and roomed with my folks from the time we were married February 22, 1929. [1928] Emile Ory had also boarded and roomed with my folks for the last six months. The first of April 1930, my Dad, Mother, and Charlie rented a little farm. My wife and I started housekeeping and Emile Ory said if we would rent a house that had an extra room he would like to board and room with us. He was with us for 15 years, [and] then in 1944 he died. He was burned on my plot in the Memorial Shrine Cemetery in Easton. In 1956 my youngest brother, Floyd, lived in Denver, Colorado. That summer, in July, Floyd was in charge of a Super Food Market, just one mile from where they lived. We went out for dinner one Sunday as Floyd knew of a good place to eat. It was Golden, Colorado, 30 miles North of Denver. I felt pretty good that Sunday. (I had been taking tablets for high blood pressure, but right the next day after Thanksgiving in 1955, I had an appointment with Doctor Elder in the Hospital. He checked my blood pressure and he said I believe you are about cured of high Blood Pressure. He said [to] stop taking them [those] tablets. It went from the day after Thanksgiving in 1955 till the middle of July in l956.) I told you, out in Denver, Colorado, when we sent to Golden one Sunday; [they had] all you could eat for $2.00. When we came home, Floyd said, “My grass is getting pretty long.” My brother Charlie said, “Where is the lawn mower?” Floyd showed Charlie where it was in the shed. Charlie said, “Tomorrow morning I will cut it.” On Monday morning, Charlie was up; it was a quarter to eight.

After breakfast Charlie was out mowing the grass. About a quarter to ten I was standing out at the front door looking out; there was a nice row of Maple shade trees on both sides of the street and a lot of squirrels in those trees. They were having a good time in them [those] trees.

I stood there in the door way, looking out for 15 minutes and all at once I got an awful pain in my head and I felt dizzy. I backed up about ten feet to the sofa and sat down. I called Stella, Floyd’s wife, I told her what hap­pened. She gave me some thing for headaches. She called her Doctor; she was doctoring all the time and was taking three kinds of medicines. She said, “I will call my Doctor and make an appointment for four p.m. Charlie and I took a taxi. It was a long ways from Floyd’s place, so we left at quarter to three. When we got to the building the Doctors office was on the second floor. There was a big wide stairs going up to the second floor. It was all I could do to get up them [those] steps. When we got to the waiting room at the Doctors office the door stood open. I looked in[to] that waiting room, I told Charlie, “Come on, we won’t go in there.” We walked on. There was a hall that we were in, I told Charlie, “Let’s keep walking [un]till we find a place to sit down.” When we came to the fourth door, it stood open, so we walked in[to] that room; it had a desk and two chairs in it.

There wasn’t any one in the room. I told Charlie, “Come on, we will sit down in that [un]till someone comes. We sat there about ten minutes, [and] then a girl came and she said, “Oh, I see I have company.” I told her that I wanted to see the Doctor as soon as I could. There was a door that went from that room right in[to] the Doctor’s office. The girl in the room where we were sitting was the Doctor’s nurse and when I told her we were from Easton, Pa. and we were visiting my brother Floyd and his wife Stella Messinger. “Why,” she said, “I know them. Stella comes here quite often.” Then I told her to tell the Doctor, I want to see him as quick as I can. I said, “I am afraid to get up now for fear I might fall. She went through that door; the Doctor had a patient in that room. She told the Doctor [that] we were Floyd Messinger’s brothers and that I Frank Messinger wanted to see him just as quick as I can. She told him I didn’t feel a bit good in my head and I was dizzy. She came back and she said, “The Doctor will see you in about ten minutes.” So instead of four o’clock, I saw him at three thirty.

He opened the door, [and] Charlie took hold of my arm. He [the Doctor] said, after I sat down, “Come and lie on this bunk, and take your shirt off,” So I did. He took my blood pressure. Then he said, “No wonder you don’t feel good in your head. Your blood pressure is 250. He gave me a bottle of brown liquid medicine and he told me to take a teaspoon full every two hours. He said that was for nerves. Then he gave me some white tablets to take one every six hours; that was for the blood pressure. Then we called a taxi and we got back home by 4 thirty. That night there was a fight on the T.V. that was over by ten fifteen. Then Floyd said, “Now I am going to bed. I am tired. If you fellows want to watch T.V. go ahead and watch it.” Charlie said, “I am ready for bed too.” I hated to go to bed, because I just figured I would sleep and [if] I didn’t go to sleep, I would be wide awake. It went on that way [un]till 12:30 that night. I got up and went to Floyd and Stella’s room door, the door was open. I hollered, “Floyd, Floyd, but he didn’t wake up, then Stella said, “What do you want?” I said, “Call the Doctor, I can’t get to sleep.” She said, “You can’t wake Floyd up just by calling him; you have to shake him.” Then she got Floyd awake.

They called the Doctor, [and] he came. It was 5 minutes to one when he got there. He said he had been out on a confinement case. Just as he opened the front door, he heard the phone ringing, so he said, that was lucky. I was lying on the sofa. The Doctor said, “What’s the matter, you can’t sleep?” “Well,” he said, “I am going to give you a hypo.” He gave me that. I laid there a minute and a half. Then the Doctor said, “Now you better get him to bed, as it don’t take long for them [those] shots to work.” I just did get in bed and I was gone. I didn’t wake up all night. Tuesday morning I woke up and I saw Charlie was up. I looked at my pocket watch on the dresser. I saw it was eight thirty [and] I felt better. I heard Stella and Charlie talking out in the kitchen so I thought I would get dressed. I sat down on the edge of the bed, started to put my socks on. I don’t know if the floor squeaked or if it was the bed spring, anyway Stella heard it and came to the door and she saw me. She said, “Oh, Frank you’re not to get up yet.” After the Doctor gave me that hypo he [had] stayed there one hour. He told Floyd and Stella he was afraid I would have a stroke, but when he left that Tuesday morning, he came back at a quarter to eleven. He checked me.

“Well,” he said, “Your blood pressure is back to 230. I still don’t like it. How would you like to go out to the St. Anthony Hospital for a couple of days?” He knew we had reservations to leave Denver Sunday morning at two thirty. He said, “I want to try and get you good enough to fly home Sunday.” I said, “Alright.” Stella told the Doctor [that] she would call Floyd and tell him to tell his boss at the super food market where Floyd worked, [that] he would be a little late getting back to work after dinner. He came home to dinner. He would have to run me out to the hospital. It was a long ways out there. I got in[to] the hospital and I had a phone there in my room. The Doctor came in that afternoon and checked me. Then he said, “I will see you at nine o’clock on Thursday morning.” He saw me again Thursday afternoon. He came in Friday morning [and] he said, “How would you like to go back to Floyd’s place today?” They had taken a chest exam on Thursday and that Friday morning I got up and dressed. The Doctor told me, he wanted another x-ray. I sat down on a chair in the x-ray room. The Doctor said, “We just want an x-ray from the knees down.” So they took that, [but] he didn’t tell me why he wanted that x-ray and I didn’t ask him any questions.

It was nine thirty when the Doctor said, “Now you call Floyd’s wife Stella and tell her to call Floyd and tell he [him] would have to come out to the hospital and take me [you] home.” Floyd told his boss he would knock off at eleven o’clock and go out and take me back before dinner. Floyd’s boss said, “That will be alright.” They didn’t dock Floyd for any lost time. I got back and went through the rest of Friday and Friday night; I slept pretty good. All day Saturday I felt better. Soon after supper, Charlie said, “I am going to take a nap,” as we got up at a quarter to two [on] Sunday morning. At three thirty, we took [went] to Kansas City. [Some text was deleted because it created confusion in reading] At two thirty p.m. Sunday there were lockers there in the depot; you drop in a dime. We each got one of them and put our suit cases in. Then we went out and walked around a little. Quarter to Four the Grey Hound Bus left Kansas City for Easton, Pa. We got to Easton a quarter after six at the place where Charlie and I roomed and boarded with the old widow women Mary Seals. Mary Seals made us some lunch and while we sat there eating, I told Mary Seals what had happened to me. I made the trip from Denver pretty good [well] that Sunday, better then I thought I would. “You won’t go to work in the morning will you?” [asked Mary. ??] I said, “I will if I don’t feel any worse then I do now.”

Monday morning I met the fellow I had been riding with to work. I had called him that Sunday night and I told him I would be at the corner of 13 and Northampton Street at seven in the morning. It is eleven miles from Easton to Bethlehem. I got to work, [and] I didn’t say anything to anybody about this sick spell I had. I knew if I would [become sick]; there was a dispensary right [in] back of the shipping room. They had x-ray machines in there, Doctors, Nurses and three beds set up just in case of an emergency. I knew if the boss would know anything about me having that sick spell while I was in Denver on my vacation, he would send me right over to the dispensary for a check up before I could start work. Then no doubt they would have sent me home. My job was in the shipping room, but this was the last of July in l956. I was running one of the passenger elevators for two weeks, taking the fellows places that operated the elevator, as he was off sick at the time. T his was the east end of the building, the 13 story building. The east end wing only goes up 5 stories. That was where I operated the elevator. In the afternoon at three p.m., I was down in the basement. There wasn’t any call signals on the signal box.

My legs and feet pained and ached me; I sat there in the elevator. I sat there rubbing my- legs, between the knees and feet. They were swollen quite a bit. One of the plumbers came to up to the first floor to do some work. I had a thin pair of silk sox on. The plumber said, “Hey, is your leg swollen like that?” I said, “Yes, I don’t know what it is.” That was on Tuesday of the second week. I said, “Tonight I am going to see the Doctor.” So after supper, Charlie and I went to Doctor Clark; he was Charlie’s Doctor. He was only one block from where we lived. When the Doctor saw us, my brother Charlie said, “Doctor this I is my brother Frank.” I never had met him before. He was a lot closer then my Doctor was. I said, “I want you to look at my feet and legs.” I sat down to take off my shoes and sox. He said, “You don’t have to take them off. I see what your problem is. You have flabitice [phlebitis ?]. Stay off your feet, and I mean stay off of them. That is bad stuff especially if it gets above the waist line. Flabitice [phlebitis ?] is [are] blood clots. The blood cells are too weak, they burst, then that causes blood clots.” The next morning I didn’t go to work. I called Doctor Elder and I asked him if I could see him that afternoon [and] He said, “Yes. I will see you at three thirty p.m.”

I saw him and he said, tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. you will be admitted to the Easton Hospital. So I was in there for 5 weeks. Then Doctor Elder said, “Well, tomorrow I think you are good enough to go home.” Mary Seals had a daughter, Shirley; she was married to James Messinger, but he wasn’t any relation to us. She came and took me home. While I was in the hospital, [and] before I got so bad, I could get up mornings and get dressed and move around. They had me doing that for 10 days, so some of the inflammation would leave, [and] so they could operate on both legs. I got worse, [and] my breathing was bad. They used some oxygen and for 10 days I am telling you, I sure was bad. No visitors were allowed. It was just like the turn of your hand. One of the nurses called Mary Seals one day. When Mary Seals answered the phone the nurse said, “I am one of the nurses at the Easton Hospital. We don’t know what to do for Mr. Messinger any more. If anything should happen will you tell his daughter Lorraine and his brother Charlie.” After that I started to get better, so I was in the hospital for nine weeks. When I did leave to go home, Doctor Elder said, now I want you to come every two weeks [and ?] for [a] six month for a check up. In two weeks I went back for my first check up.

The first thing, when Doctor Elder saw me, he said, “Mr. Messinger I can’t help to think how lucky you are that you are here today.” Well the first time he said that, I just passed it by and didn’t think anything about it. Then when I went again in two weeks he said, the same thing again. That time I just thought he was talking about my case, which he was, but I didn’t know that I had blood clots in my lungs. The third time I went for my two week check up, he said, the same thing again. “Mr. Messinger I just can’t help thinking how lucky you are that you are here today.” By that time I was curious about it. I said, “Doctor, why do you always say that to me. The first thing when you see me.” “Well,” he said, “I am talking about your case. Maybe you don’t know it yet, [but] you had blood clots in your left lung and if one of them would have hit the heart you would go out like a light.” That was almost thirty seven years ago.

Then in 1957, I went to Lorado, Mo., where my oldest son Dale from my first marriage lives. That was one year after I heard about my son Carl [was] missing, the one I told you about, that was in the Navy.

When 16 of them were officers, he was stationed in Tokyo, Japan, when the Chinese Reds shot their plane down in the sea. When I was visiting my son Dale, I had my vacation when I was working in the shipping room at the Bethlehem Steel Company. Dale said, tomorrow morning we will leave here at 5 o’clock and go to Dodge City, Kansas. That was where my son Carl lived with his family, his wife Frances and adopted son. He was 9 years old then. They had a set of twin boys, 7 years old and one daughter, Emili; she was 3 years old. We only stayed there in Dodge City Friday night. My son Dale said, “Saturday at one p.m. we leave Dodge City, Kansas.” We drove down to Guymon, Oklahoma. That is where my niece Verna Huddleston lived. My son, Dale, wanted to see that part of the country. Hoakes, Oklahoma, is 12 miles this side of Guymon. Before we got to Hoakes, we drove through a pretty bad hail storm. We got to Guymon at a quarter to four. It is 125 miles from Dodge City, Kansas to Guymon, Oklahoma. Then my brother-in-law, Walter Phillips, was living there with his daughter Verna.

I had told you quite a ways back, [that] my oldest sister Lillie Mae Phillips died in 1933. Walter Phillips told my son, Dale, if you want [he wanted] to drive out where my folks lived on a homestead from October 1905 to October 1909. You have read quite a bit about that during them [those] four years. Dale wanted to see that homestead; it was 23 miles south east from Guymon. It was 5:15; Walter Phillips went with us out to the homestead. He said, after we came back he would take us to a restaurant and eat supper. Walter had a good friend that ran a little Beer joint. That trip was in July 1957. I was eligible for a pension, but the Foreman at the Bethlehem Steel told me [that] if I felt good enough to keep working I could, by signing a form. I signed the form and I worked on through 1957 and up to May in 1958. I had some minor trouble with my heart and I was in the hospital for two and a half weeks. Then I went back to work again after signing that blank. Then I just worked till April 9, 1959. That was the last day I worked at the Bethlehem Steel Company. The Insurance agent for the Bethlehem Steel told me to give him my Brass check, which was about the size of a half dollar. It had a hole in it, [and] you could carry it on you key ring.

Then the Insurance man told me, I would get $42 .00 a week for 26 weeks. On October 23, 1959, I had to sign up for my pension. To start with I only got $172.00 a month and $275.00 Social Security. Today in 1982, my pension is $239.25 and my Social Security is $405.00 a month. Then Charlie and I were boarding and rooming on North 13th Street in Easton, Pa.

Now before I go any further with this history book, I will take you back to the year of 1910, when we lived on the 190 acre farm in Kansas.

Chapter 29
Tying Up Various Memories

I had an accident that summer in June [1910], we were repairing the hay truck in the barn and I got hit in my left eye. A piece of cast iron chipped off of a cast iron wrench, like the head of a match and flew and struck me in the left eye ball. A year later I found out I had a cataract growing on that eye ball, which was in there for twenty years. In 1931 in July I went to the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia and had the cataract removed. I am blind in that eye since I was 22 years old. As time went on I just got done telling you about my pension. [And time went on ?] Then in August 1960, I had a stomach operation, as I had been bothered with an acid stomach and [had] a lot of gas. In 1955 I started taking Jelusil; it is a white liquid some thing like digel.

After each meal and at bed time I would take this. Then in August of 1960 when I had this big stomach operation, Doctor Elder said, it was adhesion trouble. T hat is when skin grows fast in the stomach where it shouldn’t. I had a gash cut across my stomach, eight inches long. Doctor Elder told me my x-rays showed at that time [that] my gall bladder didn’t function properly. But he said, as long as I didn’t get any pains from it and give me trouble, he thought I am better off with it than with out it. I still have my gall bladder and that is going on 23 years since Doctor Elder told me that. I still have a lot of trouble with my stomach and I have to throw up a lot of times. In 1974, Doctor Rober Snyder in Nazareth, Pa. put [me] on Digel after each meal and at bed time. Now I will take you back to September of 1969 when I lived in Bethlehem, Pa.

One morning at two o’clock in the morning I had so much pain in the left side of my stomach this had started to bother me on Sunday, through Monday and Monday night till two a.m. Tuesday morning. After that I couldn’t get to sleep; I laid [lay] there [un]till a quarter to seven. That Tuesday morning in late September 1969, I called my Doctor, Stanly Turell, [and] he came right away.

He only lived 2 ½ blocks from where I lived. He pressed around over the left side of my stomach and that would sure hurt. Then the Doctor said, “You have some trouble there. I am going to call St. Luke’s Hospital and tell them to call him as soon as they would have a bed for me [you].” Then he took a piece of paper and he drew a picture of an abdomen and on the left side he pin point­ed it red. He said, “Right there, I think, you either have a stomach ulcer or a tummer [?].” I kept the sketch. At ten thirty that Tuesday morning I was admitted to St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa. Doctor Turell turned my case over to Doctor Zuy; he is a surgeon. For ten days I laid there; I was taking tablets every day check the pain. Then on Friday morning of the following week, Doctor Zuy came to my bed at nine o’clock that Friday morning. He talked with me. They had taken three x-rays of the stomach during those ten days. Doctor Zuy said, “Yesterday him and another Doctor went over all three of x-rays. They tell us nothing. Now, if I send you home in a couple days and put you on a special diet and you follow that diet.”

Then he said, “Now what do you think of that?” I said, “Listen Doc, I don’t think anything about it. I am no Doctor and I don’t know anything about x-rays, but I do know there is something radically wrong that them [those] x-rays don’t show. Why do I have to get 12:30 to one a.m. six or seven times every in month? [??] I have been doing that for the last six month~ and every time, I throw up that brown bitter gastric juice.” Doctor Zuy said, “Alright forget about what I told you on going home and going on a special diet. We are not going to stop now. Tomorrow a special nurse will put a tube in your nose and run it down into your stomach and plug it to an electric machine. The suction would bring up some of that gastric juice. It will go in a one gallon glass jug at that electric machine.” Now it was eleven a.m., [and] the nurse put that tube in my nose. Then Saturday morning 9 am, the nurse took the tube out, [and] then the Doctor said, now this afternoon another Doctor will come in and help him, [and] then I would get the last test. About one thirty a Doctor came in my room, [and] he said, “Are you Frank Messinger?” I said, “Yes sir.” “Well,” he said, “in about fifteen minutes they would take me [you] down in[to] the operating room and give me [you] the last test.”

The nurse came and gave me two little white tablets, [and] she said, “This will put a little coating in your throat.” Then I put my house robe on and I had that little paper sketch that Doctor Turell had given me. Up to that time I hadn’t showed it to Doctor Zuy. I hadn’t told him anything about it. They laid me on my right side and I had a black hood over my head; I couldn’t see what they were doing. He put that tube in my mouth and he said, now try not to cough or gag. We want to put this tube down your throat and into your stomach. While they were sliding that tube down I thought two or three time I was going to cough or gag, but I didn’t. In a few seconds the man said, “I have a secret for you,” I said, “You have?” He said, “Yes, it’s down there.” Then he said, to the nurse, “Now look here.” T he tube had an electric light that they could see in the stomach. The nurse looked. “Oh, yes,” She said, “I see.” Then he took hold of that tube right at my mouth and turned it around and that turned the tube all the way down [into] my stomach. Then he said, again, “Now look here.” Then they could see it still better. “Now,” he said, "In one more minute we will have this tube out of your throat.”

He took the hood off my head and he said, “You have a large stomach ulcer or a tummer. We can’t tell what it is. We can’t see what’s underneath, but there is a lot of puss around it.” Then I took that sketch out of my house robe pocket and I said, “Here look at this. It is a sketch that Doctor Turell drew before I left home.” He looked at it and he said, “Well now, he hit that pretty close. Now I will give this report to Doctor Zuy and he will arrange for an operation.”

Now before I go any further I will take you back to 1960, when: I said, [that] I had that stomach operation. That spring my brother Charlie got sick. He had that equilibrium. I don’t know if you know what that is, but it is contrailed [?] through the ear drums. [It’s] an imbalance condition. In walking he started to walk with a walker. [Perhaps Frank means that at that time Charlie had to use a walker anytime he had to walk anywhere.] One time soon after that he fell and hit his head in the bath room. You remember reading of Charlie and I [were] boarding and rooming on North 13th street, from 1955 in July, when I and my wife separated on the 25 of July 1955. We both started to board and room with that widow woman, Mary Seals. You read that then in August 1961, well I am a little ahead of my story. In June of 1968 Charlie was in the Easton Hospital. For almost one month, when he had an operation on his head. On the right side they removed a blood clot on top of his head.

Just before July 4, 1968 they put Charlie in the Central Park Nursing home. He was in there [un]till the day after Xmas in 1968.

Now I’m back to 1961, when Charlie and I bought a nice home at 229 East Union Blvd. in Bethlehem. It had an apt. of 4 rooms down stairs and a private stair way which at that time, my brother Floyd and his wife Stella rented from Charlie and me. We had 4 rooms up stairs and a private stair way [that] went up. Then in 1962, Floyd’s wife Stella died, [and] then us [we] 3 lived there till 1963. We 3 ate together down stairs, but Floyd kept the first floor apt. [un]till 1963. Then he married Pearl Warner and he moved to 934 East Macada Road Bethlehem, Pa. Then he got sick, and as I said, before he died in September of 1967 from a heart attack. He was nearly 65 when he died. His wife Pearl still lives there in Bethlehem, Pa.

Now again, I will go back to 1969, when Doctor Zuy performed an operation on me in September 1969 and he removed a large stomach ulcer. He said, it was 1 ¼ inches in diameter. Then one day Charlie and I sat eating our lunch. In the mail that day we got a property tax bill for city tax and it had gone up quite a bit more in 1970 to what it was in 1969. Charlie said, “I wish we could sell this home, those taxes are getting so high.” “Well,” I said, “We can sell it.” I said, “Maybe it would be good to do that while we are both able to get settled up as we were going fifty-fifty on everything. The first thing we will have to do is find a place to live. Then I will have the real estate man come and invoice the home and set a price on it. Then let him put a tag in the yard, for sale.” So one night, I think it was around the last of August in 1970, I called my youngest son Ernest. He was living that time with his first wife Jackie. She answered the phone. It was 4 p.m., and I asked her how would you like to have Charlie and I come and live with you and. Ernest. Ernest had built a nice ranch home that summer. The down stairs was all finished and they lived up stairs. Down stairs [there] was a big room the full width of the house. I think it was 32 feet wide [and] 22 feet long. All they had in there was a big easy chair and a sofa. Then there was a flush toilet and wash sink and a nice bed room. We paid them 25.00 dollars a week, board and room and washing. We had the whole down stairs to our selves.

The first of October 1970 we moved in there. Tom and Catherine Girard had rented the down stairs apt. in our home in Bethlehem. After Floyd and Pearl Warner got married we got $35.00 rent for it. We lived with Ernest and Jackie [un]till the first of April 1971. Maynard, my oldest son said he would make a home for Charlie, as Maynard lived with his wife Evelyn at that time. Raymond my next younger son would take me, as Maynard didn’t have room for both of us. The room Charlie had he just had his 3 quarter bed in the room. It wasn’t big enough for my bed too. Charlie paid them $15.00 a week. Charlie had a will. [He gave] $200.00 to my 4 sons and two daughters, [and] then he gave $500.00 to the Grace Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. Then in December 1972, Maynard moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. That is where my brother Charlie died in June 10, 1973. He was 8l when he died. He, my mother and father are all three burned in the Grand View Cemetery in Allentown, Pa. I lived with my son Raymond from the first of April 1971 [un]till the first of June 1977, when Raymond moved to Berwick, Pa. He bought a 12 unit motel and a 7 room dwelling; he has a nice business up in Berwick. That is 75 miles from here. After Raymond moved to Berwick, I came with my oldest son Maynard.

I want to thank my Granddaughter and my cousins who prayed for me and helped me and made it possible that the good Lord would and did help me. Praise the Lord. This is Wednesday December 29, 1982. On Friday December 31, l982 I will leave here at four p.m. and come back Sunday January 2, 1983.

I had a real nice Xmas, as I was with my youngest son Ernest and his wife Lois. Ernest picked me up on Friday December 24th at four p.m. I came back Sunday December 26 at two p.m. I wanted to be here for the religious services at two thirty. My Minister Rev. Richard R. Boyer had charge of the services. He had the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bangor, Pa. My son Maynard and I have been members of that church since 1972. It really is a nice church, but I can’t figure to be there very often on account of my health. I have been here in the Slate Belt Medical Center Nursing home since a year ago, the 8th of May 1981. I like it here very much; the nurses give me good care and the Doctors are real pleasant. I have a good roommate here. There is always some thing going on to pass the time.

Today is Thursday, December 30, l982, the day I have been looking for, the day when the good Lord gave me 93 years. I want to thank him and all my Dear ones who prayed for me and helped me reach that age. Praise the Lord. Monday January 3, 1983.

On Friday December 31, 1982, my daughter Lorraine and [her son] Billy came here at four p.m. and took me to their place to spend New Years. Then at 12:00 on New Year’s Day we went to Ottsville, Pa. to visit my Granddaughter Jennifer and Frank Sedor. At two thirty we left there and we went to Riegelsville to visit another Granddaughter, Donna Lee and Don Keller and their two children, my Great Grand son Kyle Keller and my Great Granddaughter Kimberly Lynn Keller. They are both real nice children. Kyle was eight years old on Wednes­day January 5, 1983. Kyle likes to draw; he is good for his age. Kimberly Lynn was Four years old last September 20, 1982. We had a nice visit with them. I got back on Sunday January 2, 1983 at two p.m. So I could attend the religious service at 2:30.

Now this is Saturday January 15, 1983. Last Wednesday night at six thirty I went to the Bingo Games and I won one game. I took a crocheted doilies; it was made up with white and blue yarn. They are real pretty. I am going to give it to a good friend of mine, Ruth Kneebone. She is a member of my church, the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church here in Bangor, Pa. Since I am here in the Slate Belt Medical Center Nursing home I have won 21 times playing Bingo. Out of them 21 times, 8 times, one of them [those] crocheted doilies and I gave them to relatives and my friends. They always have prizes that are useful. Two times I took a pair of sox, one white pair and one black pair. One time I won a plastic swan with a bouquet of pink roses and one of the nurses saw it and said, “I like that, can I have it?” I said, “I’m sorry, but it is already promised.” Then I won a nice yellow hair comb and I gave her that. Then two times I took after shave lotion and many other things they have.

It is now one p.m. Saturday January 15, 1983. Now I am finished writing this History Book. The Life and History of my Grandparents and their families on my father’s side and my mother’s side. Also my Father’s family, Allen and Clara Elizabeth Messinger and my family Frank E. Messinger. Now I would like the help of the good Lord I could get it printed up in some form.




Franklin married 1 (1) Bertha HORNSBY on 17 May 1913. The marriage ended in divorce.Bertha was born 2, 3 on 6 Jun 1891 in Kansas. She died unknown.

1930 US Census, Kansas, Shawnee Co., Topeka, ED# 35, sheet 27B, April 29, 1930 (, image 54 of 57)

lines 70-75

George T. head; own, $2000; male; white; 72; married; 28 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. England; father b. England; mother b. England; laborer, park

Clara E. wife; female; white; 62; married; 18 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. Kansas; father b. PA; mother b. NH

BUTTER, Bertha daughter; female; white; 37; married, 22 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. England; mother b. KS; pressfeeder, printing co.

MESSINGER, Dale grandson; male; white; 15; single; yes to attends school, read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. KS

Carl grandson; male; white; 11; single; yes to attends school, read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. KS

HORNSBY, Walter nephew; male; white; 24; single; yes to read & write; b. MO; father b. IL; mother b. KS; blacksmith, shop

They had the following children:

+ 1593 M i Dale Ellsworth MESSINGER
+ 1594 M ii Carl Edwin MESSINGER

Franklin married 1 (2) Hilda Maine STERNER daughter of Percival David STERNER and Lillie Rebecca STERNER on 22 Feb 1928. Hilda was born 2 on 29 Jul 1903 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She died 3 in Jun 1992 in Easton, Pennsylvania. She was buried 4 in Memorial Shrine Cemetery; Northampton Co., Pennsylvania. Hilda retired 5 13 years in 1971 in Northampton Co. Courthouse.

Jay WILLIS research
HILDA M. MESSINGER Morning Call; Allentown, Pa.; Jun 24, 1992; The Morning Call; Hilda M. Messinger, 87, of the Slate Belt Medical Center, Bangor R.2, formerly of Bushkill Street, Easton, died Tuesday in Easton Hospital. She was the wife of Frank E. Messinger, who died in 1987. She worked at the Northampton County Courthouse for 13 before retiring in 1971. Before that she worked at the former Dixie Cup Co., Wilson; Bethlehem Steel Corp. and Lehigh Foundry, West Easton. Born in Allentown, she was a daughter of the late Percival and Lillian Sterner. She was a member of St. Mark's United Church of Christ, Easton. Survivors: Sons, Maynard A. and Ernest C., both of Nazareth, Raymond F. of Berwick, Columbia County, and Harvey G. of Easton; daughters, Lorraine E. Fazekas of Easton and Doris C. Castner of Allentown; brothers, Theodore G. of Coplay, Robert D. of Macungie and Norman R. of Whitehall Township; sisters, Nettie Wilde of Schwenksville, Mabel Weidner of Catasauqua, Lulu Miklas of Bethlehem Township and Hazel Arthofer of Bath; 21 grandchildren and 23 great- grandchildren. Services: 2 p.m. tomorrow in the church. Call 7-8:30 p.m. today, Ashton Funeral Home, 14th and Northampton streets, Easton. ******

They had the following children:

+ 1595 F iii Lorraine Eva MESSINGER
+ 1596 M iv Maynard Allen MESSINGER
+ 1597 F v Doris Clara MESSINGER
+ 1598 M vi Raymond Franklin MESSINGER
+ 1599 M vii Harvey Glenn MESSINGER
+ 1600 M viii Ernest Claud MESSINGER

642. Charles Raymond MESSINGER (Clara Elizabeth SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2 on 26 Sep 1891 in Fremont, Ohio. He died 3, 4 on 10 Jun 1973 in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was buried 5, 6 on 13 Jun 1973 in Grandview Cemetery; Allentown, Pennsylvania. Charles retired 7 carpenter in Orr's. He was employed 8 as farm laborer in 1930.

Copy provided by D'Ann ENYART-STILL

In Memory of Charles Messinger b. September 26, 1891 d. June 10, 1973
Funeral Services where held Wednesday June 13, 1973 at 11:00 A.M.
Daniel B. Snyder Funeral Home; 527 Center Street; Bethlehem, Pa.
Interment: Grandview Cemetery, Allentown, Pa.
The Rev. Richard Boyer Officiating
Kevin FRANKENFIELD research
The Express, Monday, June 11, 1973, Page 32 Charles Messinger Charles Messinger, 81, of 6415 Seventeenth Ave., St. Petersburg, Fla., formerly of Forks Township, died yesterday in the Colonial Manor Nursing Home, St. Petersburg. Mr. Messinger was a retired carpenter for Orr's in Easton and Bethlehem. Born in Fremont, Ohio, he was a son of the late Allan and Clara Sloyer Messinger. He lived in the Lehigh Valley most of his life, moving to St. Petersburg in April. He was amember of Trinity Lutheran Church, Bangor. Survivors include a son, Harold McFadden, Petaluma, Calif., and a brother, Frank E., Wind Gap. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Daniel B. Snyder Funeral Home, Bethlehem. ******

Charles married 1, 2 Hattie SEYMOUR on 25 Jun 1914 in Topeka, Kansas. Hattie was born 3 on 25 Jun 1914 in Topeka, Kansas. She died unknown.

They had the following children:

  1601 M i Harold MCFADDEN

643. Alvin VanBuren MESSINGER (Clara Elizabeth SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2, 3 on 23 Jan 1895 in Fremont, Ohio. He died 4 on 24 Jul 1932 in Near Kingsville, Canada. The cause of death was drowning and exhaustion. He was buried 5 on 29 Jul 1932 in Mt. Hope Cemetery; Topeka, Kansas.

Schleier-Schloyer-Sloyer Family Association manuscript lists date July 1932, but at this time it is not known what the date refers to
1920 US Census, Kansas, Crawford Co., Pittsburg ward 4, ED# 103, sheet 6A & B, Jan. 9 & 10, 1920 (, image 11 & 12 of 46)

lines 49-50 & 51-52

Alvin V. head; rent; male; white; 24; married; yes to read & write; b. OH; father b. unknown; mother b. unknown; clerk, K.C. shops

Katherine wife; female; white; 27; married; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. OH; mother b. OH
D'Ann ENYART-STILL research

Jack son; male; white; 4 6/12; single; b. KS; father b. OH; mother b. KS

Evelyn daughter; female; white; 2 11/12; single; b. KS; father b. OH; mother b. KS
D'Ann ENYART-STILL research

1930 US Census, Michigan, Wayne Co., Dearborn; April 3, 1930; ED: 82-888; sheet 2B

lines 75-79


Alvin head; own home, $7000; male; white; 35; married, 20 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. OH; father b. PA; mother b. US; yes to speaks English; account auditor, railroad

Katherine wife; female; white; 37; married, 22 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. OH; mother b. OH; yes to speaks English

Jack son; male; white; 14; single; attends school; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. OH; mother b. KS; yes to speaks English

Evelyn daughter; female; white; 13;single; attends school; b. KS; father b. OH; mother b. KS; yes to speaks English

Billie son; male; white; 7; single; attends school; b. MI; father b. OH; mother b. KS
DEATH: D'Ann reports he died July 24, 1932
OBIT: Topeka State Journal 28 Jul 1932 pg. 6c4
Word has been recieved of the accidental drowing of Alvin V. Messinger, of Detroit, Mich.,
former Topekan and employee of the Santa Fe here, Sunday morning in Lake Erie. He was
spending the week-end near Kingsville, with his wife and several friends and drowned before
help reached him.
Mr. Messinger was born January 23, 1895, in Fremont, Ohio, and before leaving Topeka, was
employed in the freight auditor's office of the Santa Fe. At the time of his death he was
assistant general auditor of the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad Co., with headquaters in
Detroit. He is survived by his widow; three children, Jack, Evelyne, and William Messinger;
his parents, Mr. Mrs. A. Messinger, Easton PA; three brothers, in Easton; and a sister in
Mrs. Messinger, before her marriage, was Miss Katherine Neiswinter, of Topeka.
Funeral services will be Friday afternoon at 2:00 at the Wall-Diffenderfer mortuary. Burial
will be in Mount Hope Cemetery.
In talking on, 01 Apr 2001, with Mom, (Evelyne), she said that he was never in Oregon. So at
this time I am changing this to Fremont, Ohio. On the brith place on the Cemetery markers, it
is Oregon.
I found in Topeka, Kansas at the Kansas Historical Society on August 25, 2001 the Index to
Marriage Licenses Issued, due to a flood or fire in the 1913-1917 years had been
License No. 30197 - # 1197 marriage date 10/15/1914 by Hugh Mac Farland
Copy of Index on file in notebook.
Heart Attach Fatal to Alvin V. Messinger
Striken with a heart attack while swimming in Lake Erie Sunday, Alvin V. Messinger,
assistant general auditor to the Detroit Toledo and Ironton Railroad Co., died before friends
could reach him. His body was brought ashore by swimming companions immediately after he
Messinger, who was 38 years old, was spening the week-end at Lynden Beach, near
Kingsville, Ont., with his wife and two other couples. He was swimming with Mrs. Messinger
and two other women when he called for help. The men in the party carried him to shore.
8 08 September 2003
He was born in Fremont, Ohio, and came to Detroit 11 years ago from Topeka, Kansas. His
home was at 5431 Williamson Ave., Dearborn, Mich. He leaves his wife and three children,
Jack 17, Evelyne, 15, and Bill, 9.
SOURCE: Newspaper clipping from Evelyne Still's scrapbook, May 2003
Alvin V. Messinger of Detroit, Mich., formerly a resident of Topeka, was drowned Sunday
morning in Lake Erie. Mr. Messenger, who was born in Fremont, Ohio, January 23, 1895, was
spending the week-end with his wife and several friends. He drowned before help reached him
and within sight of his wife and friends.
Mr. Messinger is survived by his widow and three children, Jack, Evelyne and William, his
father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. A. Messinger of Easton, PA, three brothers of Easton, and
one sister in Oklahoma. Mrs. Messinger was before her marriage Miss Katherine Neiswinter
of Topeka.
Before leaving Topeka Mr. Messinger was employed in the freight auditing department of the
Santa Fe at Topeka, and at the time of his death Mr. Messinger was assistant general auditor of
the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad company and with headquarters in Detroit.
Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon, July 29, at the Wall-Diffenderfer
mortuary. Burial will be in the Mount Hope Cemetery.
SOURCE: Newspaper clippping from Evelyne's Still's scrapbook, May 2003

Alvin married 1 Katherine Pearl NEISWINTER daughter of Henry James NEISWINTER and Clara Abigail JOY on 15 Oct 1914 in Topeka, Kansas. Katherine was born 2 on 24 Nov 1892 in Topeka, Kansas. She died 3 on 14 Apr 1945 in Topeka, Kansas. She was buried 4 on 17 Apr 1945 in Mt. Hope Cemetery; Topeka, Kansas.

Topeka State Journal 16 Apr 1945 P10c5
Mrs. Kate P. Messinger
Mrs. Kate Pearl Messinger, 52, died Saturday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. R.M. Baker,
333 Roosevelt, after a brief illness. Mrs. Messinger was born in Topeka and was a member of
the Christain Church.
Besides her daughter, Mrs. Evelyne Baker (Evelyne Still), she is survived by two sons, Bill
9 08 September 2003
and Jack Messinger, Detroit; two sisters, Mrs. Otto Magnuson, Topeka and Mrs. Arthur
Harris, Los Angeles; two brothers, Ira S. Neiswinter, Kansas City, MO., and Marion E.
Neiswinter, Detroit, and four grandchildren.

BIRTH: According to her Delayed Certificate of Birth Kate was born in Oakland, Kansas

They had the following children:

+ 1602 M i Jack Edward MESSINGER
+ 1603 F ii Clara Evelyn MESSINGER
+ 1604 M iii James William MESSINGER

644. Floyd Maynard MESSINGER (Clara Elizabeth SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2, 3 on 2 Nov 1902 in Gibsonburg, Ohio. He died 4, 5 in Sep 1967 in Easton, Pennsylvania.

BIRTH: Borth Index, Sandusky Co. Ohio lists birth as 11/19/1902
Kevin FRANKENFIELD research
Easton Express, Thursday, September 14, 1967, Page 30 Floyd M. Messinger Floyd M. Messinger, 64, of 934 Macada Road, Bethlehem, died last night in St. Luke's Hospital, Fountain Hill.Born in Fremont, Ohio, he was a son of the late Allen and Clara Messinger. Mr. Messinger was employed in the Maintenance department of Orr's department store, Bethlehem. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, Bethlehem. Survivors include his widow, the former Pearl Warner, and two brothers, Frank and Charles, both of Bethlehem. The funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Snyder Funeral Home, 527 Center St., Bethlehem. ******

Floyd married (1) Frances SAYLOR.

They had the following children:

  1605 M i Jack MESSINGER
        Jack married Virginia LANGDON.

Floyd married (2) Pearl E. WARNER. Pearl was born 1, 2 on 17 Mar 1905 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She died 3 on 4 Aug 1995 in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. Pearl was employed 4 as sales clerk.

PEARL E. MESSINGER [THIRD Edition] Morning Call - Allentown, Pa. Date: Aug 5, 1995 Start Page: B.29 Section: LOCAL/REGION Document Types: DEATHS Text Word Count: 89 Document Text Copyright Morning Call Aug 5, 1995

Pearl E. Messinger, 90, formerly of 934 E. Macada Road, Bethlehem, died Friday in Mosser Nursing Home, Trexlertown.
She was the wife of the late Floyd M. Messinger.

She was a sales clerk at the former Bush & Bulls and Orr's Department Store, both in Bethlehem.

Born in Bethlehem, she was a daughter of the late Victor and Sadie (Lilly) Warner.

She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, Bethlehem.

There are no survivors.

Services: 11 a.m. Tuesday, Long Funeral Home, 500 Linden St., Bethlehem. Call 10-11 a.m. Tuesday.
SSDI b. March 17, 1905 d. Aug 1995 she died Aug 4 the obit was published on a Sat.

645. Verna Belle MESSINGER (Clara Elizabeth SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2 on 23 Dec 1904 in Gibsonburg, Ohio. She died 3 on 23 Apr 1929 in Easton, Pennsylvania.

BIRTH: Birth Index for Sandusky Co., Ohio lists her birth as 12/28/1904
copy provided by Kevin FRANKENFIELD
Easton Express, Wednesday, April 24, 1929, Page 5 Mrs. Rufus C. Speece Mrs. Verna Belle Speece, wife of Rufus C. Speece, died last evening at 10 o'clock at her home, 19 South Twelfth street of a complication of ailments, aged 24 years. Mrs. Speece was born in Gibsonburg, Ohio, and was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Messinger of 19 South Twelfth street. She is survied by her husband and an infant son, Melvin Woodrowe Speece; also by her parents and four brothers and one sister: Frank and Charles Messinger, Easton; Alvin V. Messinger, Detroit, Mich.; Floyd Messinger, Hutchinson, Kansas, and Mrs. W.S. Phillps, of Guymon, Oklahoma.

Verna married Rufus Columbus SPEECE. Rufus was born unknown. He died unknown.

They had the following children:

  1606 M i Melvin Woodrowe SPEECE was born 1 in 1929. He died unknown.

Linda Klosek's book states was born/died in 1926 but mother's obit in 1929 lists him as an infant son? Assuming died young most likely born and died 1929 rather than 1926.
  1607 F ii Lilly SPREECE

646. Goldie CAHILL (Emma Louisa SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2 on 31 Aug 1892 in Kansas. She died 3, 4 on 13 Aug 1979. Goldie was employed 5 as waitress in 1910.

Goldie married Francis "Frank" B. WHELAN. Francis was born 1 on 14 Jul 1887 in Pennsylvania. He died 2 on 11 Feb 1952. Francis was employed 3 as lumber dealer in 1920 in lumber co.. He was employed 4 as president in 1930 in lumber co..

1920 US Census, Kansas, Shawnee Co., Topeka, ED# 177, sheet 15A, Jan. 15, 1920 (, image 29 of 37)

lines 31-33

Frank head; rent; male; white; 31; married; yes to read & write; b. PA; father b. PA; mother b. PA; lumber dealer, lomber co., own account

Goldie wife; female; white; 24; married; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. OH; mother b. OH

Charles son; male; white; 1 1/12; single; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. KS
1930 US Census, Kansas, Shawnee Co., Topeka, ED# 36, sheet 3B, April 3, 1930 (, image 6 of 44)

lines 78-81

Frank B. head; rent, $50; male; white; 42; married, 24 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. PA; father b. PA; mother b. PA; president, lumber co.

Goldie B. wife; female; white; 37; married, 18 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; ; b. KS; father b. OH; mother b. OH

Wayne C. son; male; white; 11; single; yes to attends school, read & write; b. KS; father b. PA; mother b. KS

CAHILL, Ray F. brother-in-law; male; white; 27; single; yes to read & write; b. MO; father b. OH; mother b. OH; bookkeeper, bank

They had the following children:

+ 1608 M i Wayne Charles WHELAN

647. Harry CAHILL (Emma Louisa SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2 on 5 Apr 1895 in Horton, Kansas. He died 3 in Apr 1963 in Illinois.

History of the Franklin Sloyer Family and Allen & Clara Messinger Family- The Memoirs Of Franklin Ellsworth Messinger states: "Next was Harry Cahill and he lived in Maywood, Illinois and he worked for the Chicago and North Western Railroad, Maywood, Illinois and is just thirty miles west of Chicago. One time I went to Guymon, Oklahoma to visit my niece Vera Huddleston and I had to change trains in Chicago and I ran out to Maywood, Illinois to see my cousin Harry Cahill and his wife. I sure did surprise them and we did have a nice visit. That was back in 1927. Then he died in Maywood, Illinois in 1930."

NOTE: Harry did not die in 1930 - the family apparently lost touch.
World War I Draft Registration, June 5, 1917 (

Harry Morril Cahill
age: 22
Horton Kansas
b. April 5, 1895
pob: Horton Kansas
occupation: machinist
employer: Rock Island R. Horton, Kansas
height: medium
build: short
eyes: blue
hair: light

NOTE: possible mix-up of height & build?
1920 US Census; Kansas; Brown Co.; Horton; ED# 26; sheet 5B; Jan. 6 & 7, 1920 (, image 10 of 23)

lines 70-71

Harry M. head; rent; male; white; 25; married; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. US; mother b. US; machinist, railroad

Verna M. wife; female; white; 25; married; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. US; mother b. KS; bookkeeper, meat market
1930 US Census; Illinois; Cook Co.; Proviso Twp.; ED# 2917; sheet 19B; April 18, 1930 (, image 38 of 43)

lines 71-75

Harry M. head; rent, $45; male; white; 35; married, 28 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. OH; mother b. PA; machinist, railroad

Verna B. wife; female; white; 34; married, 27 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. KS; father b. IN; mother b. Canada

Owen G. son; male; white; 2 9/12; single; b. IL; father b. KS; mother b. KS

Robert F. uncle; male; white; 52; widowed, 22 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. OH; father b. KY; mother b. PA; steamfitter, railroad

WILSON, Keith brother-in-law; male; white; 25; single; b. KS; father b. IN; mother b. Canada; accountant, merchantile
Social Security Death Index <> about Harry Cahill
Name: Harry Cahill
SSN: 708-07-8041
Last Residence: Illinois
Born: 5 Apr 1895
Died: Apr 1963
State (Year) SSN issued: Railroad Board (Issued Through) (Before 1951)
<>Harry Morrill Cahill Wilson Tree and Branches <>
Birth: 05 Apr 1895 (5 Apr 1895) - KS (Kansas)
Marriage: 10 Oct 1923 - Atchison County (Atchison), KS (Kansas)
Death: 07 Apr 1963 (7 Apr 1963) - Palatine, IL (Illinois)
Spouse: Verna Belle Wilson

Harry married Verna Belle WILSON. Verna was born 1 on 31 May 1895. She died 2 on 15 May 1991.

Social Security Death Index <<>; about Verna B. Cahill
Name: Verna B. Cahill
SSN: 325-16-4818
Born: 31 May 1895
Died: 15 May 1991
State (Year) SSN issued: Illinois (Before 1951)

They had the following children:

  1609 M i Owen G. CAHILL
        Owen married Nancy ?.

649. Ruby M. CAHILL (Emma Louisa SLOYER , Levi "Franklin" SLOYER , Johannes SCHLOYER , Johann Michael SCHLEIER , Johann Michael ) was born 1, 2 on 21 Sep 1900 in Kansas. She died 3 on 30 Mar 1997.

SSDI b. Sept. 21, 1900 d. March 30, 1997

Ruby married Eulas HUCKABAY. Eulas was born 1 about 1902 in Texas. He died unknown. Eulas was employed 2 as blacksmith in 1930 in rail road.

1930 US Census, Kansas, Pratt Co., Pratt City, ED# 23, p. 22B, April 23, 1930 (

lines 88-90

Eulas head; rent, $30; male; white; 27; married, 24 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. TX; father b. TX; mother b. TX; blacksmith, railroad

Ruby M. wife; female; white; 29; married, 26 age at first marriage; yes to read & write; b. KA; father b. OH; mother b. OH

Delores J. daughter; female; white; 2; single; b. KS; father b. KS; mother b. KS

They had the following children:

  1610 F i Delores J. HUCKABAY

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