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.
Nanny and Daddy Ray were early photographic addicts. My brother and I have the best “baby books” ever. We have slides and photos of almost everything we ever did. For people who aren’t famous or important, we certainly have a photographic history. There are a few missing years that I will search, but this is what I have found at this point.
So here are the Page family Christmas cards — I’ve tried to put them in order, but I am not sure of all of the dates.
I love looking at old photos even if I don’t know the people in them. The greeting card industry has figured out that a lot of us like to see old photos and they have used them to get people like me to buy a bunch of their cards.
With all of this in mind, I urge everyone to buy a scanner for their photos. Scanners are finally very inexpensive and easy to use. Please go through your family photos and scan them and preserve them for your children’s enjoyment. Plus, if you scan your photos and your house burns down, you will still have all of your treasured family memories. I use a couple of sites to save my digital photos — Picasa and also Shutterfly. With Picasa you can save your photos on your computer and you also have the ability to save them out in cyberspace.
Daddy Ray took about 10,000 slides. I need to take the time to digitally scan what I consider the most relevant slides. Men tend to take photos of sunsets & landscapes. I will only scan the slides that contain family and friends.
I’ve copied some free sites below where you can look at old photos. I especially like the old humorous ones.
On Shorpy, check out the quintessential Christmas photos http://www.shorpy.com/vintage-christmas-photos
Please go to this site to see an enlarged version of this spectacular Christmas party photo. The hair styles are amazing. And you can imagine who will get a little tipsy later on and who is the most popular woman in the office, etc. A picture is worth 1,000 words.
Below is a photo of a Christmas party at Daddy Ray’s employer, Brown & Ginzel in Wichita, Kansas. I don’t know the date of this photo, but it looks like the 1960’s. I doubt that their parties that included the wives were that all lively, but Daddy Ray does look like he is choking back a big guffaw. Their company owned a lake house (at Grand Lake, Oklahoma) but that was another story. Hubba, Hubba. I wish I presently owned any of the girly pin-up lamps, photos, mosaics, etc. that decorated that lake house. When we got to use our week of vacation at Grand Lake as a company perk, Mom (Harriett) would make us wait in the car until she went inside and slid all girly “art work” under the beds (like we couldn’t get it out later). It was an amazing 1950’s and 1960’s totally tacky Mid-Western man cave complete with a wooden speed boat and a “yacht club”. And also a completely stocked bar. In those days the I.R.S. allowed all sorts of deductions for office perks. Even country club memberships.