Sunday, November 21, 2010

Frumet and Big River

This is the 1898 Township map (double click to enlarge) showing my great-grandfather's farm on the far right (Thomas Long), but this blog is about the area to the left by the Big River wending it's way up the map.

My Graham ancestors are often said to be from Frumet (seen above on the map--where there land was is outlined in yellow) Almost all of my ancestors on Grandpa Roy Long's side of the family are from Big River Township---the Longs, Reiters, Tyreys, Browns and Grahams. As children, my cousins and I played in the Big River at Uncle Lawrence's club house.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Quest to Find William Graham's Land

Looking west toward Big River near Highway H in Missouri

On genealogy web-sites William Graham and Margaret [Mc] Carroll (my 4 greats) were said to live in Fremont which is supposed to be Frumet Missouri. But, we never really knew where they lived until Dwight carefully read an article on the Jefferson County Historical Society web site. Scroll down to the Dugan Cemetery and begin reading on the second page:
28th June 1825 we find deed from William Graham to Stephen Lamarque of Washington County, 640 acres, for $426.26, being the settlement right of Elijah Benton and by him conveyed to Burnell J. Thompson who sold it to William Clinton who sold it to William Graham, as recorded in Book B Page 214.
Scroll down a bit more to see where the red crosses are on the maps which Dave Halleman has provided. Independently, Dwight and I agreed where the land was on a Google map. With the GPS co-ordinates, my husband and I headed to Frumet, Missouri.

I was concerned that I might not be able to find a place to explore on the west side of Big River, so my first plan was to go down Hidden Valley Ranch Lane to see if I could photograph the hill side across the river.

I met two young men who were "processing" a deer they'd just shot. They told me that Norm Valle owned the land---they warmed up a bit when I told them I was related to Norm and had talked to his aunt a few months ago. So, they looked at my maps and pointed me in the right direction.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Uncle Ron

Dad only had one brother---20 years younger than he was. (There had been another boy named Milton but he died shortly after birth. ) For more photos of Dad and Ron, click here.
Often Ron is that little blip in the corner of the family photos. Mary was 10 years older, Maxine was 14 years older, Norma was 17 years older.
Although he was an "only child" for much of his childhood, he was soon blessed with many nieces and nephews. Bob, Steve and I were actually closer to Ron in age than any of his siblings.
Ron is in the middle with his father Roy behind him. His nephews Bob and Steve are on either side. Ron was only 8 years older than Bob, Steve and myself. Visiting our Long grandparents was always fun because Ron had toys and games for us to play with.
We often viewed him as an older brother. Here are Ron, Steve Adams and Roy Long. I do recall a few things about his teen years. One memory was of him building and racing in the soap box derby. The other thing I recall was shopping with my mother trying to find clothes that he wanted---a button down collar shirt and pants with a buckle in the back. I think it was the first time I was aware that boys had clothing preferences and style.
I wasn't as close to Ron as Steve or Bob was in those years: in part because I was a girl, but also Ron had health issues. I didn't (and don't) handle hospitals and sick people well, so my mother shielded me from a lot of Ron's health problems. He was often in the hospital having orthopedic surgery on his feet. Ron was born with two club feet so a large portion of his childhood was spent in Shriner's Hospital having surgery to correct this birth defect. He is probably in his teens in the above photo. I do recall that his mother (my grandmother) died shortly after this surgery.

While I don't remember much about this time of Ron's life, I do remember going to the Shriner's Circus every year to support the Shriner's work in helping children with orthopedic problems. I also remember hearing that he was like the poster boy for Shriner's Hospital one year---he appeared in the newspaper (above) and he was one of two children to ride in the back of a convertible in the parade.
I was probably closest to Ron when I was in my late teens and early 20's and he was in his late 20's. He and his wife Rose were wonderful mentors and friends to all of us nieces and nephews often entertaining us. But, more importantly, Ron was the first in our family to go to college inspiring all of the rest of us to continue in our education.