Friday, June 29, 2012

Was Grandma's House Haunted?

Now I'm not one to go watch the celebrity haunting programs on TV, but when Cousins Linda and JoAnn and I got talking recently there was one big item on our conversational agenda... about haunting. Cousin JoAnn looked at me with big eyes and asked, "Do you think Grandma Kelly's house was haunted?" Woooah!

Now you have to have known Grandma Kelly. She was pretty much a Victorian woman in many respects. She never met a cabbage rose wallpaper pattern she didn't like. She played rag-time on the piano which, just for fun, she called her pi-an-nee. She loved to tell stories, fact based or not, and was given an award for elocution when she was a girl. In a time before TV and even radio, this was a good skill to have.

Grandma grew up in the Western Maryland town of Frostburg, was born in the old house at 89 West Main Street and died in the same room in which she came into the world. It was her father's house and after she and Grandpop Kelly were married they lived there too. When her parents were gone, the house was hers entirely. But it was kind of haunted.


Helen Gertrude Zeller (1894 - 1985)
As a lovely young girl and before she married.


Cousins Linda and Joann started telling what they knew about the haunting and retelling stories of haunting as I mostly listened and made notes as fast as I could.

The first in a long line of stories had to do with Ma, Grandma's Mother, Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946). Ma would say with regularity, "Oh what I saw last night!" Tales of furniture moving on the upper floor were quite common. As was the report of head laughing. No body, just a head.

Moretta Workman Zeller
(3 April 1859 - 24 MAR 1946)

Now I do have to admit here that Ma was a jokester and story teller in her own right. I have the distinct impression that when Ma got bored she'd cook up some fun! So what did Ma see?

Finally, a young Helen told her parents that she had seen a woman's face with gold teeth laughing. Grandma was the apple of her father's eye, Gustav Zeller. He was well off and owned a couple of barbering emporiums in the region so money was no object. He promptly built an addition to the house as Grandma's bedroom so she wouldn't have to sleep upstairs... and the hauntings always happened upstairs.

Gustav Zeller
(3 FEB 1858 - 12 Mar 1927)


At this point you need some information about "upstairs." Next to the indoor bathroom with the six-foot tub designed especially for Gus Zeller because he was tall, was an exceedingly narrow stairway, hidden behind a curtain, that immediately made a sharp bend to the left. Kids could scamper up it but it was difficult going for the older folks. At some point Grandma Kelly just gave up on going up there altogether and sent us kids to fetch stuff. I gotta say, I could be kind of spooky up there.

Cousins Linda and JoAnn said that whenever they went to Grandma's house she'd usually send them up on errands and say, "Now hurry and go up can come back down!" No wonder we all thought the place was haunted!

Mom and Dad and I lived in Cleveland but when we went to visit we'd bunk upstairs. I never thought a thing about it being haunted... but then maybe they didn't tell me!

When Grandma passed we bought the old house from the estate. Just wanted to freshen it up a bit and then we'd have a country place to stay in summers. One thing lead to another and we found out that it was way crooked on the foundation, needed a new furnace, plumbing, electrical, and oh, by the way, the walls were all coming down because they were original horse-hair plaster. Many bills and a year and a half later I finally slept in Grandma's house for the first time. Have to confess it was sort of spooky! Said a wish to Grandma to protect me from hauntings. It worked! I slept like a baby:)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Big Family Secrets

When Uncle Tuck found out that Mom was doing genealogy he told her, you might not like what you find out! Now Mom is way cool about family scandals... she doesn't care what the ancestors did as long as her brood stay out of trouble;)

Mom didn't think much about what Uncle Tuck said because he wasn't specific, but it did seem to her that there were secrets to be had if one looked hard enough. Some time went by and Mom discovered what Uncle Tuck was talking about. It looked like her great grandfather, Samuel Albert House was illegitimate!

After due research Mom wrote this in her Notes in Family Tree Maker:

"Samuel Albert House was born ot of wedlock to Rebecca House. There is every indication that his father was Isaac Biggerstaff.

Two reasons for this thought being that the 1850 cenus of Morgan Co.,W.Va. has a Samuel Biggerstaff living with Rebecca House Caton. His age is 16. Samuel was born 11 Feb 1832.

The other reason was that in his death certificate his daughter, my grandmother, listed his father as Issac House and his mother as Rebecca Biggerstaff but in that time period there was no Issac House and no Rebecca Biggerstaff in the Morgan Co. W,Va. area where he was born. There was a Rebecca House and an Issac Biggerstaff."

OK, so there you go. Big-deal family secret: Who da baby-daddy? All evedince points to Isaac Biggerstaff. Samuel Albert is even going by Samuel Biggerstaff in the 1850 US Census. And if you look at all the available male Biggerstaffs in Magnolia, West Virginia at that time, it points to Isaac.

So that's our starting point. I don't know what it is about all this but I smelled a really interesting story here beyond the usual who-slept-with-who tale. I have also just been back east to visit Mom and we all went to Magnolia, West Virginia, or what's left of it. The recent placing of my feet on the very soil of my ancestors back in the deep woods of West Virginia got me thinking.
(See posting below at http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2012/06/let-me-take-you-to-magnolia.html )

I have a big basket of information, random facts and thoughts surrounding this issue. So here in the best order I can make of it is what I know, or think I know. Please, feel free to jump in with thoughts and ideas about this saga. I'd love some help here:)

The Biggerstaffs were a landed family. Isacc's grandfather William left numerous acres of land to Isaac in his will of which I have a copy. Isaac also enjoyed additional land through inheritance from his father, Samuel. Isaac was land wealthy. The Houses on the other hand were, as Mom likes to put it, dirt poor. He did marry Elizabeth Longstreth who came from a prominent Pennsylvania family.
Thought: The marriage of Isaac to Rebecca House would not have been a good match in the eyes of the Biggerstaff family, especially Isaac's grandfather, William, from whom he stood to inherit. Did his grandfather step in?

Isaac Biggerstaff's first child in his marriage was named "Rebecca". Interestingly, this first child in his mariage to Elizabeth Longstreth arrived just about the time Rebecca House gave birth to Samuel Albert. We can conclude that Rebecca House and Isaac Biggerstaff were intimate right up the time he was married.
Thought: It's not unheard of back in this place and time for couples to get pregnant so as to force the parents to give them a blessing. Heck, my great grandparents did it because she was from a Lutheran family and he a Catholic family. They had to have a couple of kids to get the parents to cave:)

Rebecca and Isaac's child was named "Samuel". Samuel was Isaac's father's name.
Thought: Was this an effort to curry favor with the landed grandfather of Isaac by honoring Isaac's deceased father?

Rebecca House married Patrick Caton one month after Isaac Biggerstaff died. Rebecca House waited 12 years to marry and did so only after Issac's death on 24 March 1844. She married Patrick Caton, a man from Ireland, on 13 April, 1844.
Thought: Mom thinks that Rebecca and Isaac were true lovers and that she did not want to marry anyone else. Only after Isaac was finally gone did she feel free to mary.

Early 1900s House Family Reunion. In the early years of the 1900s and before 1910 there was a House Family Reunion in Ohio. Mom has a copy of the memories shared there and written down by all in attendance. It resided, gathering dust, in Mary's attic until one day Mary said to Mom, Hey you want to come over and see those old papers in my attic? You don't need to ask Mom a question like that twice:) She borrowed and copied them. In the papers of the House Family Reunion someone stated that it was commonly known that Samuel Albert House's father was Issac Biggerstsaff.

Isaac and Rebecca were possibly first cousins, once removed. Mom and I need to verify this but it looks like it could be correct. Yeah... it's West Virginia;)

Picture of the day from the Archive:

Samuel Albert House,
1832 - 1917

Other posts about the exploits of Samuel Albert House can be found on this blog at : http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2011/07/another-drinking-man.html



Please Note: Blogger is hay-wire today so I couldn't do a spell chack. I'm flying without a net for the time being. So sorry!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Delilah Porter's Parentage: Good Luck With That

Mom and I have been looking for Delilah Porter's parents for a long time now. All we had was was a handful of interesting clues and the knowledge that we were looking in a small geographic area about 5 miles square. It was getting on our nerves!

Delilah Porter (1812 - 1881) was was the wife of Jacob Eckhart (1801 - 1836), son of John Eckhart (1776 - 1835), and grandson son of the Eckhart family line progenitor, George Adam Eckhart (1729 - 1806). George Adam was the guy who came from Germany and moved west to what's now Allegany County, Maryland and the place eventually known as Eckhart Mines.

The Porters of the area are well known too. And there's a fine book documenting their lines by Samuel Doak Porter, entitled, "A genealogy of the Porter family of Maryland, West Virginia, Michigan." I ordered the microfilm of this book through The Family History Library to be delivered to our local multi-stake center here in San Diego. When it arrived I went to the Center and scanned the front 100 pages, came home and printed out a copy for Mom and another copy for me. We've both been over it with a sharp eye and don't see Delilah mentioned anywhere. Nuts!

What we do know is that the will of Jacob Eckhart, her husband, names Josiah Porter as guardian of the couple's children. Mom said that it was usually the brother of the wife who was charged in the will with the task of keeping an eye on the wife and kids as guardian. So Mom and I penciled in Josiah as Delilah's brother. Was Josiah in the Porter book? And if so, who was Delilah and Josiah's father?

Mom and I devoured the Porter book looking for every clue, however meager. Our plan was to keep our thoughts to ourselves and try to work it out, each on her own, then compare conclusions. If we both got that same answer and it pointed to the same person as the father of Josiah and Delilah, then we had something. But if not, we agreed before hand, we had to give it up until some better information came along.

Now I have to share with you here that Mom had done her due diligence researching Delilah's parents! Over the years she's been hot on Delilah's record trail: down to the courthouse, checked every church record possible, looked at every stone in the Old Porter Cemetery, as well as the Eckhart Cemetery. She came up empty handed. This Porter book was kind of our last chance.



Above is a chart from the Porter book with all the Josiahs highlighted. Yes, there are four! But never mind. I put the chart aside and read the text sleuthing out which Josiah might be the brother of Delilah, and thereby learn who their father might be.

I concluded that the best candidate for the father is Gabriel McKenzie Porter, 17 September 1776 - 20 August 1842. His son and the presumed brother of Delilah (if this theory works out) is Josiah Porter, or "Grandpap Si", 1799 - 1882. There's a wealth of stories about all of these people but I'll save them for later.

When I got to Frostburg Maryland to see Mom recently, we sat down and had a little visit and then I asked her: who's Josaih and Delilah' s father? "Gabriel McKenzie Porter", she said. Ladies and gents, we have a winner! We both agreed that Gabriel was probably the baby-daddy!

Interestingly, Grandpa Si married Mary Margaret Coombs (1803 - 1837) who is sister to Amelia.  Amelia Coombs is my 4th GGM on my paternal grandmother's side. Delilah Porter is my 3rd GGM on my paternal grandfather's side... so does that make my Dad's parents cousins?!!

Back to the case at hand. The leading piece of evidence is the will naming Josiah guardian of Delilah and Jacob Eckhart's children, and the presumption that Josiah was her brother, thus following local custom.

The the second piece of evidence, from the Porter book, and the "hook" that snagged the attention of Mom and I, is that Gabriel McKenzie Porter was married a second time to Sarah ANDERSON after his first wife, Rebecca Frost died.  (Rebecca Frost is the daughter of Josiah Frost for whom the town of Frostburg is named. Frostburg is where Mom lives.) It is also fascinating that Delilah Porter married a second time after Jacob Eckhart died. She cut a few years off her age and married James ANDERSON, a younger man.

OK, so there you have it. It's the best case Mom and I can make for the connection between Delilah, Josiah, and their possible father, Gabriel.

I can hear you thinking: flimsy case and no proof. It is isn't it? But it's all we have at present... that and Mom's gut feel that Gabriel is the father of Delilah and Josiah. I trust Mom's gut:)

Photo of the day:

"Independance (Squire Jack Porter)"
a painting by Frank Blackwell Mayer,
Now in the Smithsonian.
Squire Jack was Gabriel's brother.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mom's Big Tree

I must have told you about Mom's really big tree by now... maybe mentioned it about a skabillion times! She has 70,600 plus individuals on it. That's a lot, right? Mom said that she heard of someone who had 100,000 individuals on their tree but I dunno... That's hard for me to wrap my mind around.

Last time I was back east to see Mom we chatted about her Big Tree and how she likes to share information with interested people. She has, however, been reluctant to just put her Big Tree out there for the world to see. Her objections are twofold and quite reasonable, I thought.

A number of years ago a relative asked Mom for information she had complied regarding Samuel Albert House.  The relative didn't like what she saw, specifically that Samuel Albert was born out of wedlock... so she changed it. Unfortunately this relative got busy sharing her doctored information and now it's out there as gospel. Mom got burnt. And when Mom gets burnt she gets mad.

Another objection Mom had to making her tree public is that she didn't want people bothering her with the "where did you get that" question. You see, Mom has been at this since the 1970s when she kept meticulous notes on chart sheets and index cards. If you are old enough to remember doing genealogy in the good old days before the computer you know what this is about:) So when Mom got her first version of Family Tree Maker way back when, she put in the bare-bones information knowing that she possessed all of the back up data in her big blue binders.

On this most recent trip I spent some goodly amount of time browsing Mom's blue binders containing the Williams and Whetstone families information. There was one letter in particular in which every paragraph invariably contained the words, "where did you get that?"

Today of course, Mom is busy using sources and notes. We love Notes on FTM because Mom can use it as a note to me about random details she remembers.

Anyhoo, when I saw Mom last week we chatted about the best way to share her Big Tree. And do it in a way that no one but us can change it. I emailed Randy Seaver (expert and author of the blog Genea-Musings at http://www.geneamusings.com/) when I got home to ask him what our options were for uploading Mom's Big Tree GEDCOM. Randy, as always, was super helpful and pointed me in the right direction, anticipated my next question and offered pointers to keep us on track while selecting the best options. So Thanks, Randy!!!

We chose Ancestry.com and yesterday I uploaded all 62,967 individuals on the version of the tree I have in my possession at the moment. (Mom has more on the latest version of her working tree but I don't have it here and that's another story.) The upload was super easy... after I went and purchased the download of Family Tree Maker 2012. When reading Randy's emails I realized that I had FTM 2010 and it wouldn't have the automatic sync feature that would make my Gen life easy:)

I selected the Share button in the upper right of the screen in FTM 2012. It asked me what tree I wanted to share on Ancestry.com and how I wanted to name it. Did that then clicked the Upload Now button and went to lunch. Checked about 20 minutes later and it wasn't done yet. At about the 45 minute mark I got concerned. Went on Ancestry's web site to see how worried I should be. Maybe I should have uploaded the GEDCOM from the Ancestry.com web site's Family Trees drop down menu? But not to worry, a moment later when I went back to my open FTM program screen it told me the work was now done and asked if I wanted to see the tree online? You bet I did I did!

Seems like the only glitch is that some of the individuals born in the 1700s and 1600s were marked as living. Now that's inconvenient! So I have been busy going through as many branches as I can discover, trying to find all of those tagged as living - even when there is a death date - and change it to deceased. If I miss anyone they won't show on Mom's Big Tree because the Ancestry setting we've chosen hides anyone listed as living for security.

Mom's Big Tree is named "Virgiania Williams Kelly's Big Tree" on Ancestry.com, so if you run into it, say hi:)


Today's photo from the Archive:

Me, 1st birthday:)


Friday, June 15, 2012

Magnolia Moonshiner

On our trip to Magnolia, West Virginia, Mom, Brother and Sis-in-Law and I drove along as Mom read to us from a wonderful book she has entitled, "Magnolia's Historical Past". (See below for the full scoop on our recent trip to Magnolia, a place that now only exists in memory and imagination.)

In the 1990s Ralph Shambaugh, no longer with us, helped organize reunions of family and friends of old Magnolia. Mom knew Ralph. After the reunion in 1996, those who wished wrote down their memories and turned in photos or copies of merchant's registers or school house attendance records.

"Magnolia's Historical Past" starts off with a good history of Magnolia after which it rambles gently much as the Potomac River rambles past the old site of Magnolia on a summer day. There's even a couple of recipes for Buns, Chocolate Loaf Cake, and Roll Jelly Cake. The reader can browse it for hours on end.

As we drove along Mom read about a store purchase by one of our relatives. (Don't ask me who and how they are related. Shhh!) Mom was reading aloud as we bumped down the old gravel rail road track bed, now a "road" of sorts for vehicles.

"From a Kesler store record book belonging to ____________ dated June 1882, the following items are shown:

"10 yards calico, .85
3 yards cotton, .30
1/4 gallon molasses, .11
1/2 pound peppers, .20
2 pounds prunes, .24
1 set cups and saucers, .25

100 pounds sugar 1.00

2 pounds tobacco 1.00
1 bar soap, .30

20 pounds sugar, .20"

My Brother's fast and sharp legal mind, always aware of "evidence" immediately said with confidence, "He was a moonshiner! Who else would buy 100 pounds of sugar and then turn right around and purchase 20 more pounds in the same order. I bet that that 20 pounds was for the home and the 100 pounds was for the still!"

Sounds about right to me. It is after all West Virginia:) Ya gotta love it!!

Our House ancestors' burial plot in the
Cherry Orchard Cemetery in Magnolia.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Let Me Take You To Magnolia

Recently went back east to see Mom and have some genealogy fun. Mom dreams of life in a town called Magnolia in West Virginia, hard against the side of a steep mountain and pressed against the Potomac River. She dreams of what the simple life would have been like for our ancestors around the late 1800s in the small neighborly town of Magnolia where everbody knew everybody and went by train to the big town of Cumberland, Maryland for a day trip to shop. We went to see it, Mom, Brother and his wife, and me.

Magnolia is really hard to get to. The paved road, Route 12, twists and turns on a steep mountain side with so many switchbacks I lost count. It runs through a deep dense forest, up and down the mountainside so steep you'd likely slide on slippery layers of leaves all the way down to the Potomac River if you tried climbing it. Must be close to impossible to pass in a snowy winter... but this is West By-God Virginia where the people are tough! For the trip back we took the gravel road that sits on the old railroad bed, and straight as an arrow... but bumpy.

Let me tell you a little about the history of Magnolia and you'll see why this is interesting. Here's the link to Wikipedia and below a photo of the B&O bridge nearing completion back in the day, also from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnolia,_West_Virginia

File:MagnoliaConstruction3.jpg

Magnolia was a railroad town, started about 1850. Around 1842 it was just known as Water Station Number 12. More people moved in to work on the rail road. Then stores came to service those families and the town grew. During 1910 the population reached about 2000 strong but by 1919 the population was recorded at just 50 souls. The flood of 1936 drove the final nail in the coffin of little Magnolia and only a hand full of families remained, mostly locating on the high ground. Today you can count the number of occupied homes on one hand. Magnolia, for all practical purposes is no more: no post office, no town, not even on Google Maps or your GPS. The area that was Magnolia is all woods and gone wild. It has returned to nature.

Map courtesy of Wikipedia. Thanks Wikipedia!

See that photo above of the bridge being built? Brother and I got out of the car and braved the onslaught of bugs to stand near the Potomac as it runs to the left of this bridge view. Here's the photo we took and we can tell you for sure there's not a building to be seen in the area! It's gone all wild.



Next we were off to find the Cherry Orchard Cemetery where some of our ancestors are buried. We didn't hold out too much hope of finding it and if we did, we expected that the old cemetery would be a mess of weeds, snakes, and of course bugs-a-plenty! Back on Route 12 and looking for the cemetery, we passed a nice historic house, unoccupied but posted with Keep Out signs.




I'm willing to bet that somewhere, someone, or on some web site or other there's an expert who can approximate the age of this house by the structure of it:)

Here's a good view of Magnolia around 1900 to 1910. I think that might be Route 12 running up the hillside, maybe?

Also from Wikipedia.


Below is Route 12 that runs through the area that was Magnolia. Here's what we saw: all wild and woods. Nothing left!



We drove mile after lonely mile through dense woods and didn't see another person. Saw a house or two that looked like it might be occupied... but no people at all and no cars passed us on the way. Saw three mailboxes but who knows if they are currently in use.

On to Cherry Orchard Cemetery! WOW! Were we shocked! Some one or group is lovingly taking care of it! See for yourself.






The picture above is the area of the Cherry Orchard Cemetery
where our House ancestors rest.


So Magnolia is gone but not forgotten. How many other places have joined its ranks as not even ghost towns but simply not there at all?

Want to go to Magnolia? Make your way in your 4-wheel drive vehicle to Paw Paw, West Virginia. Stop at the gas station and fill up, then look across the street and see the old abandoned rail road station. There's a gravel road right in front of it. Take that until you see the second rail road bridge over the Potomac. If you want to find the old Cherry Orchard Cemetery, find Route 12, Old Magnolia Road, next to the old gravel rail road bed at the second bridge. Take that in the direction away from the second bridge... you'll find the cemetery.

Or you can ask the nice lady in the gas station how to get to Magnolia on Route 12. She'll tell you. People are pretty friendly here:)

Other posts to this blog about our Magnolia ancestors are:
http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2012/06/i-emailed-sheriff-but-i-did-not-email.html
http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2011/07/another-drinking-man.html

And this one about James Snider, a Civil War ancestor... and a drinking man:
http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2011/07/bit-of-amanuensis-sharing-and-story-of.html

The grave of James Snider as we found it in
Cherry Orchard Cemetery on Sunday June 10, 2012.

The URL for this post is: http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2012/06/let-me-take-you-to-magnolia.html

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hello Mom!

Just back from my visit to see my Mom, who is 93 and doing genealogy every day. She's a role model for a lot of people and their take-away is that if you keep active using your body and mind to the extent you are able and have a passion for some pursuit - and some good genetic stuff - you have half a shot at living a long full life. I want to be her when I grow up!

Have so much to blog about! Took a trip to Magnolia, West Virginia, found out about a coal mine my GGF owned as well a silver and tin mine, moonshiner ancestors, Delilah Porter's parents, and a bunch more stuff. As soon as I figure out what time zone I'm in!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Emailed The Sheriff But I did Not Email The Deputy

With sincere apologies to Bob Marley, the post today is about finding another way to "skin a cat". I learn something about the grand pursuit of genealogy and family history every day when I talk to Mom. Today she's hunting over in Morgan County West Virginia. It's The House/ Shambaugh line she's after. She once had a contact in Morgan County who had hold of a pile of original family documents, including letters from Mary House Shambaugh who was Mom's great grand aunt. He was nice enough to send Mom copies of some of his treasures but died before they could exchange more information.

Mom has been trying to dig deeper ever since. She hopes that her friend's archive remained in tact but fears that it might not be the case. You know how it goes: kids see all the papers as "Dad's old stuff" and toss it. It happened to Aunt Edith on the Kelly side when she passed and her son tossed out all of her family papers. Who knows what was lost. And so Mom has been on the search for that Shambaugh guy's archive.

Now you have to know Mom! She's not one to give up at all! If it doesn't work out today she'll be back tomorrow. So over the ensuing years she's been hunting down anyone who has a pulse over in Morgan County in hopes of them pointing to a living Shambaugh who has the archive. Today she popped on to the Morgan County government web site and found a Shambaugh serving his community as sheriff! So she dug around for a couple of minutes and found his parent's names and grand's names and then saw the connection to Mary House. Boom! We have a winner.

Thus the title of today's effort: Mom emailed the sheriff but did not email the deputy. He's not a Shambaugh;)

Today's photo from the Archive:

Samuel Albert House (1832 - 1913)
Son of Rebecca House (1808 - 1851)
Who was sister to Mary House Shambaugh (1814 - 1905)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Our Family Has Gone to the Dogs!

Looking through old family photos from Mom I noticed how many pets get into the picture! Lots. We lean, it would seem from the evidence, toward the canine species. That said one of my personal favorites is Mom with a kitten. There's a story about that (heck, there's a story about everything in our family.) Mom swore up and down that I had the kitten picture but I looked as hard as I could but couldn't find it. Last week when sorting through images I'd scanned from Mom's extensive photo collection I finally found it!! Seems like Mom's collection is so large it kinda got "lost".

So here's the substantiating evidence of our family's love of animals. Not shown here are Mom's current two cats as well as Brother's two cats and Sister's three dogs. Here at blog central, after all these years we're down to just one old dog:)

But first a story:) It was a dark and stormy night, a snow storm to be exact. Dad drove by an old run down house around a bend in the road and saw once more a lone dog tied to his tiny dog house. He'd noticed that the poor old chap wasn't doted upon or even fed well so his eyes turned the dog's way whenever Dad drove past, which was often.

On said dark and stormy night Dad was ready. He parked nearby and made his way with stealth over to the dog who bowed his head in submission. Out came the hedge clippers to sever the tie and the dog was free! Dad snatched him up, threw the filthy canine in the back of Dad's immaculately clean Cadillac and off up the country he drove. Long story short, Dad knew a guy who also loved dogs... and the rescued pooch and new owner lived happily ever after! True story.

Photos from the Archive:

Mom with dog.
Hey, the camera's over here;)

Mom with kitten.
See Mom I didn't have this picture! HA!

One of Mom's cousins with dog.

GrandPa Cambria Williams with dog.

The house built by Daniel Williams.
Blackie the dog is sitting on the fencepost.

Me with Soupbone, the neighbors dog.

GrandMa Hellen Zeller Kelly with her dogs, 1890s