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- This is a contribution from Jan Dunham firstname.lastname@example.org
- Here's one of
the stories from the Henry Evan Spiva family
- (son of Francis
Spiva & his wife Mary Jane Hall) ... this was a photocopy
of a letter that
- was passed on
to us. Jan E. Dunham
- Friant, California. Box 11 June 17, 1941
- Mrs. O.B. Linnevold and family:
- Dear darlin loved ones. I am going to try and answer your
- Bless your heart I can't answer the questions to do any good,
as I never
- heard what was my grandfathers' given name was on my mother's
- Perry Polk).
- My father never served in the war. Only one of my uncles
did. His name
- was Bronson Jones. My grandfather on my father's side served
in the old war
- when the Whigs and Tories carried the day. I don't know anyone
- tell you my grandfather Polk's name.
- No, Grandfather Spiva never fought in the Civil War. His
- Jonah Spivey. They came from Mississippi to Missouri, then
to Arkansas in
- early days. All my people are dead that I could ask about.
- First, what kind of wedding dress? It was white organdy,
made long. I
- guess it was a home wedding. We were married at home at 11
- went to church afterwards returned home. Dinner was served
at 4 pm. with
- about 40 present. The rest of the evening was spent in games
- Your grandfather was dressed in a black Prince Albert suit.
- The second day we rode 45 miles to his home were we were
met by 20
- friends and served our infair dinner (much on the same style
as the one
- served at my home. (Traveled by horseback). I and this man
- 16 months, and he died. Two years later I married the man
your mother knew
- as father. This was a private wedding. I was dressed in brown
- months later I started on my honeymoon to West Texas, where
we had to go 175
- miles to get our mail and grub, and nothing to protect us
from storm and
- cold but the North Star.
- Our first stay was Andrews County; the second was Midland
Co. Here I got
- my mail for about 15 years.
- Our ranches consisted of 4000 and 5000 acres, stocked with
- horses, sheep and goats. It was free range. We leased, but
did not fence
- for a long time.
- We were of not particular religion. I was raised a Baptist.
- You asked of the dress of the men - cowboys - they wore big
- shirts, high heeled boots, Levi pants and chaps, and OK spurs.
They had a
- magney or lariat and had a quirt. These were the only weapons
- Next the round-up wagon started in the spring and continued
- everything froze up. There was no fencing in those days.
Which ever way
- your face was it was open to you all. Water that was fit
for service had to
- be pumped from wells by windmills into tanks for use.
- The prevailing song was "Go home, little dogies"
and "Bury me not on the
- lone prairie".
- Next, my folks were from Florida. I was born at Tampa in
1868 (May 24).
- My father went as a Baptist minister to Louisiana. There
my mother died,
- and my grandparents took, me to raise. So all my folks came
to Louisiana and
- stayed one year. Then crawled into their Prairie Schooner
and hit the road
- for Texas.
- We settled in east Texas where I was raised. My post office
- Sabine County, Texas. My name was Sarah Elizabeth, but was
- You ask of my relations to President James K. Polk. He was
my ... uncle.
- My mother's name was Lizey Ann, or I think Eliza Ann Polk.
- Your grandmother Spiva's name was Mary Jane Hall. She was
a niece to
- President McKinley*. She lived and died in Arkansas.
- Some lullaby songs were "Froggy went courting my cat
went Fiddleofee" and
- some folks say "John the Baptist was nothing but a Jew."
- *we had visits - picnics, eta. with some McKinleys when I
was small before
- mother died.
- Sarah and Matilda left old south to go to Texas with their
- Grandmother and husband (Jones), after they'd sold their
- (after freeing of slaves). En route to Texas a colored maid
absconded with a
- pick-up Negro man and the plantation cash. The family continued
- (eastern part/Sabine County) where the family settled and
children grew up.
- Their post office was Hemphill. Grandmother aided by work
as a midwife
- (rode a mule), Grandfather did cabinet work, and probably
owned a farm.
- Girls grew up well, knew how to work, clean (scrubbed chairs
& floors with
- sand for cleanser & polish), knit, sew, cook, chores.
Sarah hadn't kissed
- Albert until married, "You'd got tell and I'd get the
name of being common."
- Sarah was 5+ years when Ann Eliza, their mother, died from
- (Bright's disease). She was Ann Eliza Polk Vesey, daughter
of Charles Perry
- Polk, granddaughter of Ezekiel Polk,(father of Charles Perry
- Polk, Samuel Polk was the father of James Knox Polk...President
- Sarah remembered her mother well, the facts and >>>>>
of their move. She
- remembered parents well and visited her father Vesey in Texas
- (?). (Willa Mae Spiva was a nursing baby with her). Father,
M. L. Vesey
- introduced Sarah & Matilda to friends as his daughters.
I think the father
- Vesey was a captain, living in Brownsville, Texas. But that
detail I cannot
- swear to. My Grandmother refereed to her father as Vesey
when she talked of
- their visit.
- The girls had little formal education but pursued education
- on their own. The girls were Baptist in church membership,
- married A. Seastruck, a Methodist and affiliated with that
- Sarah, Grandmother, and Albert Seastruck had 1 child, Miriam
- Seastruck. Albert died, age 22, of pneumonia. They were farming.
- he was dying, "now Tenderfliat (his name for her) watch
me died like a man."
- Sarah worked at a hotel kitchen to support herself and baby.
- was quite ill with diarrhea and Sarah (about 90 lbs for years)
held baby on
- lap in suna to try to help heal her. After 2 years Sarah
- Ramsey, a rancher. They moved to his ranch place in Andrews
- miles from Post Office at first. Later they moved to Odessa,
- Midland County. Two sons were born, LeGrande, who died from
diabetes in his
- teens - and Parker B. Ramsey (died 1971). Sarah and William
had 5000 - 5000
- acres (leased) for cattle, horses, sheep, goats. This land
- Some land may have been their land. Parker married Jessie
Duncan. He was
- never friendly wit Spivas, but would come to mother if she
was in ill health
- and for her funeral. There probably was hostility after Sarah
- Evan Spiva, late 1890's. The Ramsey estate went. There may
- personality clashes. Ramsey provided well for his family.
He died mid
- 1890's by reason of saddle girth slipping while fording a
swollen river. He
- drowned. The accompanying two cowmen came to tell Sarah -
she knew the
- message when she saw them coming.
- Sarah married Henry Evan Spiva in late 1890's thinking that
he could help
- manage the Ramsey estate. He had no talents in that line.
They had 5
- children - Thelma, Horace, Homer, Opal, Willa Mae. Hoarace
died Oct 75 and
- Opal died from diptheria as a child, about 1909.
- There were said to be some relatives in Phoenix, Arizona
- Crandell/Crawford?) names & connection unknown to me.