The Kelley grandkids may remember the stone schoolhouse on the next corner down from Granny’s house on Mansfield Street. It had a playground and we used to go over there when we were visiting Granny. It is now the home to the Cowley County Historical Society Museum.
This is their web site — http://www.cchsm.com/home
The Cowley County Historical Society Museum is housed in one of Winfield’s original schools built in 1886. The native stone building and its historical displays keep local history alive and available to the people.
I emailed the historical society today and asked how I could get a copy of Dr. Kelley’s obituary and they emailed a copy back very quickly. Many thanks to Shawn at the Cowley County Historical Society! That is the fastest response to a genealogical question I have ever received.
I have also wondered why Forrest and Mary Kelley ended up in Winfield. In a book (that is online) titled “The Cowley County Heritage Book”, I found that Dr. Kelley bought Dr. Rall’s general medical practice and I bet that is why they ended up living in Winfield.
This piece is actually about the Ralls family, but tells how Dr. F.A. Kelley took over Dr. Ralls’ practice. The section on delivering babies sounds like the same stories I heard from Mom about her father.
The ironic thing is that the Ralls returned to Winfield and lived on the corner across the street from Granny on Mansfield. The Ralls and the Kelleys were great friends.
The first home of Dr. & Mrs. Ralls was on Fuller Street. About a year later they built a house at 801 East Eleventh. In 1910 Dr. Ralls realized he could not keep up physically with the night work required of general practice. Dr. F.A. Kelley took over this practice, while Dr. Ralls and his wife and children went to New Orleans and Chicago where he again entered medical schools to practice eye, ear, nose, & throat. Thinking he would not return to Winfield, he had sold his home on Eleventh. He bought the family’s present home at 922 Mansfield.
Dr. Ralls retired from practice in early 1965. The next months were spend driving around the back roads in this part of the county. He loved pointing out who had lived at this or that place, that he had attended a birth at this or that place, and had slept on the kitchen floor awaiting the birth. The standard obstetrical fee was (hopefully) $10. Often it was paid with chickens, vegetables, eggs, or most anything else available.
Traveling to these rural areas was done by horse and buggy, if the roads were reasonably dry. If not, the trip might be made to the Tisdale area by hand car on the tracks, a farmer perhaps meeting him with a horse.
Granny’s stone house seemed like a mini castle to me as a child. It doesn’t seem as big these days. It had a mysterious basement that was actually just a dirt cellar. On the front porch, someone had carved a likeness of their dog into the stone. It was probably carved by one of the masons or the builder. I remember hearing that the house was a “Caton” stone house. There are many beautiful buildings and bridges in Winfield made out of this native stone.
This is the link to the official Winfield site and a slideshow titled “Historic and Caton Homes”.
The Kelleys were staunch Presbyterians. Tim and I were christened at Granny’s house probably in 1951.
Below is a photo of my family with Dr. Jackson, formerly of the First Presbyterian Church in Winfield. Dr. Jackson officiated at the service.
Below is a photo of Granny with the newly christened grandchildren. Granny is holding Joe’s arm still to keep him from launching a plane at the cameraman.
I included this photo of Joe on a pony in front of Granny’s house to show the native stone work. Joe must have been pleased by the pony because he is actually sitting still for this photo.