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~ Kathy M.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sepia Saturday: The Johnsons of Summers, Arkansas

Summers, Arkansas is not far from 
Siloam Springs and Fayetteville

Wikipedia's Link to Summers, Arkansas

This is the house where my Dad, Ralph, was 
born, in Summers, Arkansas.  

I was there for a visit in 1976.  My Grandpa Delmar's sister, Aunt Mabel, still lived there then.  I don't know what things are like there now in Summers, Arkansas, but back then, this house was on a country lane and was surrounded by family farms.  

On my Mom's side of the family, there are no stones unturned regarding family history.  We visit the graves each year retelling the stories.  Some ancestors are reduced to odd little tidbits, such as, "Now, here is Grandpa's baby sister.  She died when she was two, of eating matches."  Sad story, but it makes you never want to try eating matches when you are little.  Of course, once they got over here via covered wagons, this side of the family stayed put.  They settled in Drain, and didn't go much further than Medford, Eugene or Portland.  They are easy to find.  I do hope that the word will get out about this post to them, so that they may enjoy the photos too.

On my Dad's side, they were a bit more casual about this sort of thing, and so it was a big score when I found a few choice items as I sorted through things awhile back.  Like my great grandpa J.C.'s obituary, below.

Most of  Dad's side stayed put too, in Arkansas, except for my Grandma and Grandpa, Agnes and Delmar.  They kept in close contact with their family, but as life went on and they died, I have many unanswered questions about that side of the family.  I think that I need to get in contact with of some of them pretty soon.  I'll add that to my list of projects.

Here is my great grandfather's obituary:

J.C. Johnson
"John Chapman Johnson was born March 8, 1879, three miles south of Wedington and lived there to the age of 54 years, one month, 15 days, when our blessed Master, who doeth all things well, saw fit to call him to rest on the morning of April 23,  1933.  

On September 2, 1900, he was united in marriage to Miss Sallie Hunton.  To this union were born nine children, four of whom have proceeded him in death.

He is survived by his wife and five children:  George, Mrs. Mabel Henderson, Carl, Delmar and Chloe, and three grandchildren.  He also leaves three brothers and two sisters besides other relatives and many friends who morn his departure.

He professed faith in Christ in his earlier days and joined the Methodist church, but through neglect he drifted from God, but later in life there came a message from the Father above, calling his prodigal son to come home.  He accepted this great invitation, which was proven by the many wonderful testimonies that were witnessed during his illness.

Funeral services were held at the Baptist church of Wedington conducted by Brother Dees.  After two songs.  Death is "Only a Dream"  and "Swing Open the Gates of Heaven." which was his favorite song, a wonderful message was delivered from the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes.  Pyeatts funeral service took charge and he was laid to rest."

Until I read this, I never knew that my Grandpa had four siblings who died.  That is so sad.  I wonder how they died?  Also,  this serves as a reminder not to backslide if you live in Arkansas; they just may print it in your obituary!

P.S. - LD Burgus left a comment wondering what the house looked like in 1976, and I was wondering the same thing too.  I have only two partial pictures of it then when we were visiting.  My Grandpa Delmar and Great-Aunt Mabel are standing in front of it:

I am entering this post into Sepia Saturday.  Please "click here"         to go see more great old photos.

If you miss a day, you miss a lot!  Don't miss out on the news ... Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.


Pat - Arkansas said...

Hello, Kathy. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Glad to have you!

I had to do some online research to find Summers, AR, as I had never before heard of it (sorry.) It's quite a distance from me as I'm almost smack dab in the middle of Arkansas and Summers is in the far northwest part of the state.

I enjoyed your Sepia Saturday post and loved reading the obituary; they don't write'em that way any more, but probably should; might make us more careful of how we live our lives.

Wishing you a pleasant weekend.

Christine H. said...

I love your slide show of family pictures. What a great way to display them. I also enjoyed the family stories, the obituary, and the picture of the house in Arkansas. You created such a three-dimensional history of your family with this. Very nice.

LV said...

I never heard of Summers, Ark. I truly enjoyed seeing and learning so much about your family and their heritage. I can relate to so much of their life styles.

Marilyn said...

You certainly have some lovely old photos but it was the obituary that I really enjoyed. So much information, details that would never get published now.

Bob Scotney said...

Tremendous series of photos with a fascinating story to accompany them. There is so much to take in.
In picture 8 - what is the structure behind Ralph's head? I've guessed at a well.

Alan Burnett said...

The slide show is fascinating and I had to keep stopping it to see more detail and absorb even more of the atmosphere of those images. The story justs add more to a thoroughly enjoyable post.

KathyB. said...

Those old time obituaries are very interesting reading.I wonder if we should make sure our obituaries are half as interesting so they would be worth reading.This is very interesting to me and I am not even related to you ( that I know of ), thanks !

Shelly said...

Kathy this is awesome! The pictures are in such great shape. It's very interesting and fun that you could put names to the people. However you are right when you say about getting answers from others. Definately sooner. I still have so many questions I wish I had asked my mom. She died at 65. Not that old. Enjoyed this post very much.

Arkansas Patti said...

Thank you so much for stopping by TNS and leaving such a nice comment.
Like Pat, I had to find Summers as I am a relative newcomer to AR.
Found the obit facinating, giving age in years, months and days. Was a bit tickled that where we were on our religious journeys was put out for all to read.

Postcardy said...

You have a nice collection of family photos. Neither of my parents had any family snapshots of their early years or ancestors.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Everybody ...

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments!

I really enjoyed the obituary too.

Bob, I enlarged photo #8 from the slide show and it is a well behind my Dad's head ... the bucket is on a pulley system. It isn't #8 now though ... I went through and clean up the captions and the order of the photos. (This was one of my very first slide shows, before I knew how things worked.)

I hope that you all have a wonderful week, and will be by to say hello, if I haven't visited you yet already.

Take care, and God bless!


Christina said...

Hi Kathy, I don't normally crash blogs but I actually live in Summers, Arkansas. I married a young man whose mothers grandfather operated the general store. Her mother was the postmaster for nearly 43 years. Your photo of the home looks fairly recent, we have been married 10 years and have been together for 16. My point is we live on a large family farm & I've been around a lot of places in summers & I have never seen this house. Just wondered where it's located? Summers is a sleepy little town, nothing to exciting ever happens.


Christina Moreton

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

I love this post, Kathy. You made me laugh more than once, even when I was feeling sad about some other bit of information you provided (like the match eating). You have a great writing voice.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Lisa, you crack me up! I was trying to put a bit of humor in there.

Christina, wow! I'm sure that you or your husband know some of my relatives, but I haven't been there for 35 years and I can't find anybody in the phone book. My Dad and Aunt know of folks who do know, and who live in Siloam Springs, but I haven't got that far yet.

At the time when I was there, they were all on farms on the same road or on farms that backed up to each other. There were George and Laura, Cecil and Chloe, JD and Shirley, Aunt Mabel, Wayne and Geneva.

This photo was probably taken in the past 10-15 years, when my Dad and his siblings took Grandma back to visit before she died in 2003.

You are never crashing my blog ... I love having visitors! Thank you so much for leaving such a great comment.

L. D. Burgus said...

This is a great post. I really liked see the old house in 1976. Things don't weather as much in Arkansas as it is still standing then.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Thanks, L.D. -- I added what I had!

barbara and nancy said...

I feel like I really got to know Ralph.
There was a grand total of two broken limbs in that family. ( at least in the photos).
It was fun to look at these as a slide show.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Thanks, Barbara and Nancy ... I wasn't keeping count, but Dad's arm and Grandpa's leg? I'm going to have to go through and look again. I know it isn't funny, but that made me laugh that you guys counted those, lol.

Suzanne said...

Hello....I actually went right past the old house today. I stumbled onto this site through my cousin. My name is Suzanne Smith, used to be Henderson. Mabel Henderson was my grandma. I am the daughter of Wayne and Geneva Henderson. They live right next to Grandma mabel. The old house is still standing, but it pretty rough shape. You should give my dad a call....he would love to tell you some of the stories about Uncle Delmar and Aunt Agnes....I loved and miss them.... It was always fun when they came down from Oregon to visit...
They still live out in the country on a old dirt road. Things haven't changed much out there, alot more houses. Wow....those were the days huh? Loved your pics!!!

Carolyn S. Hawley said...

Hi, Kathy. I am Carolyn Hawley. My mother Chloe was Delmar's sister and Ralph's aunt. I stumbled onto your blog from a friend who was doing geneology and when she found this she sent it to me. Suzanne is my cousin too. I live in Tahlequah, OK now and retired from the Univrsity in 03. Mom and Dad (Chloe Johnson and Cecil Hawley) died in 1999 and my brother, Dale, died just last year at Thanksgiving. I started going through old pictures and that helped with the healing. I have come up with some good pics if you are interested in seeing them. I am on facebook and have some pictures there, but maybe not the old old ones. I have one of Grandma Johnson and all the children -- and Aunt Mabel and Uncle Sam on what we think must be wedding day and when Wayne was baby. I may have some pictures of the old summers house before it looked like it does in this picture. I must tell you that this post brought a tear to my eyes. I was just out there the first of December.

I enjoyed the post and the obit.. I took the obit to my class this morning.


Carla Nodurfth said...

wow. This is so cool. I saw your pictures of Grandad Joe (George) Johnson on Linda Henderson Ross's facebook. Grandma Sallie was my great-grandma. I so adored Uncle Delmar and Aunt Agnes. It was always so exciting when they'd come to Arkansas. We'd have big family get together's. My mom is Barbara Johnson Pearson, sister to J.D. and Phoebe. They grew up right down the road from G'ma Sallie and Aunt Mable, then around the corner.
Another tidbit, my step-g'ma, Imogene Husti Pearson's mom was Maude Hutton, G'ma Sallie's sister.Imogene used to tell me lots of stories growing up around G'ma Sallie and her kids. One being my grandpa. Family is important. Caroline Hawley and my mom are 1st cousins. Lots of extended family down here.

Summers Girl said...

Hello Kathy, I live south of Summers and drive "through" it every day. I don't recognize the house but if you want to point me in the right direction I would take a picture of it for you.

No Copying!


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