Monday, March 31, 2014

exactly how I feel....

do all your relatives suffer from insanity?

my mother posted this on facebook....and my aunt chardy commented on it.....and about all us insane relatives liked it....
my mom: Darn right we do , we hold them up as shining examples - example dear Aunt MINERVA. Still check her grave when close to family farm to see if shes escaped yet and we need protection!!!!! Got a bunch more too - we strive for perfection!
aunt chardy: Was Aunt Minerva still there??? And yes, you are right, we strive.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

North Mercer FFA facebook post

North Mercer FFA Congratulations to Katie Dailey, 3rd Place creed speaking 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Mom worked awhile (nights) at the county farm east of the Gables and had to go to the basement and shovel coal in the furnace.

Dad worked with carpenter one winter. Dad helped your dad tie many rope knots & mounted them for 4-H project when B. was 11.
letter from my Aunt Mary, dated March 23 2014
This afternoon I have been reflecting over days/years gone by. About 2 weeks ago, I read a quote of Ellen DeGeneres. She said, "I love stories that are inspirational, yet have a lot of heartaches because I think that's what life is." I wholeheartedly agree and your story is truly that!
I know that you and our siblings have all grieved for your dad. I have too! Many days this past winter I was terribly depressed, especially on gloomy days or near dusk. When I can get out and walk it helps fight depression . All of my car woes (expensive repairs) & less hours of sunshine & cold & snow & ice added to thinking about your dad and contributed to feeling sad. I've been glad that Fred has been here a lot and we've gotten out a lot.
When you were a baby, someone told me that your dad & Donnie both wanted to carry you when they went out (to saddle club events, I think.) They were proud of you. I think Donnie & Nancy losing a baby made you even more special to him. Well, I thought you were special, too! And I still do!
After my dad died, '01, and I retired, '02, (just over six months after 9-11, I went through terrible depression. Fred went to the country and his son & family were living in Richmond (& the girls had been going to church with me) so I was really lonely. Sunday evenings were dreadful!
After Al died, it was hard to carry on. Sleep seemed to be the best medicine for my grief. Mrs. Conner was a blessing since I didn't have a driver's license for 4 months or barely over that. We'd often go for pie & coffee or something on Sun. p.m. Her youngest son was going through a divorce that was hurtful to him & Mrs. Conner.
You girls were such a blessing to me many times, too when we did things together such as seeing "Benji" and "Herbie the Lovebug."
Helping decorate at Vaile Mansion 2013 helped me through a lot of grieving. I felt a tremendous let down once we'd dismantled "our" kitchen. There had been so much anticipation for months before (as I'd find something "perfect" or try to visualize how it would all come together. The white, ceramic duck in the butler's pantry shelves was the top to a soup tureen of mom's (she promised it to me.) Freeda mailed it & some other stuff, not properly packed (just wrapped in dishcloths & no bubble wrap or Styrofoam beads) & the base to it and the base to a chicken soup tureen, both arrived broken. I can't bear to throw out the tops!
Farm life is not easy as we both knew it! Mom & dad didn't have milkers for many years. Dad farmed with horses many years. I think I was probably 8 years old when he got a 2nd hand tractor and around 10 when he bought a new Ford tractor. We never had running water or an indoor toilet. We always had a huge garden & canned 100s of jars & fruits & vegetables. Mom & dad (& at Cainsville, Grp. & Grm. too) butchered. I hated to milk after I was 10 or so. I loved to cook & bake & would willingly cook a whole meal in preference to milking.
Uncle Jr. & his tribe & Aunt Kate's brother Bill came down at the time dad got the new Ford. All of the men & boys were looking over the new tractor & disc. Your dad climbed up somewhere, slipped, fell, cut a foot badly on the disc. Uncle Jr. rushed mom, dad, & your dad into Cainsville to a doctor's office. Aunt Kate began fixing supper & Bill helped me (& probably Freeda) round up the cows. We moved to Trenton in March 1951 before I turned 11 on May 29. At Cainsville, mom helped dad & Grp. Johnnie shuck corn & Grm. would cook a big meal. Mom helped dad vaccinate and castrate pigs (I would never want to do either!)
P.S> Mom & Dad got a hay stacker with big "teeth" & Mom helped him before they did bales.

Friday, March 7, 2014


I don't think I've seen my cousin Darla since she came to Missouri right after graduation....but sure enjoyed finding these pictures of her on facebook!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Great grandpa Lewis Brown with horses, Great grandma Maggie Brown, their daughter Edith Brown.

so, who are the other 2 ladies? I am assuming Maggie is the closet to horse, the little girl is of course Edith.....who could the other two be? hmmmm. picture from mom.

Leta Shafer, daughter Nadine, and Leta's mother were killed in a car wreck in Minnesota in 1985. Leta did have another daughter.

Oscar's first wife was Edna Banks. They had EVA SHAFER MATHES.
Oscar's parents were George Washington Shafer & Rose Oxford Shafer. They are buried in Fairview cemetery near Cainsville near Ross, Amanda, & Ralph Shafer. Both Oscar & Edna remarried. She married a Willis. Aunt Mary heard that Oscar & Leta's daughter NADINE had died a few years ago, per Eva's son Gene. George lived in San Jose CA area and he & his wife visited my Axsom grandparents in San Jose CA. my aunt Freeda should have snapshots that had belonged to her mother of her Uncle Oscar & cousin EVA. Eva's son Gene & wife Becky Mathes lived in Elkhorn WI. Leta married Morris Griffin and they had a child mid-late 40s. Morris had a daughter Marguerite (sp.) who married an Oxford, My grandma Pauline Shafer Axsom's grandma Rose was an Oxford. The Oxford family lives in Des Moines and some of the family had a successful trash hauling business there. Oscar & Edna's children were EVA, CLAYTON RAY, & WAYNE. Oscar was born about 1902, married Edna about 1920. Aunt Mary has heard that Clayton Ray is deceased.

Robert Norman

emails I rec'd from Robert Norman. just cut and pasted them, didn't record any dates. deb>"I am the son of Oscar and Leta Schaeffer, born in Blythesdale, Missouri. I believe you posted some family information on your blog. This is the first information I have been able to obtain about my family since I was removed from the family at the age of 2. I am very interested in getting more information about my family and can also provide more input about the Shaeffers. Her name was Lita Anna Schaeffer. George was about four or five years older than me. I will get more information for you about my sisters. I appreciate your help."
"I didn't mention that I was born December 15 1943 in Blythedale by the name of Clifford Scaeffer. My brother's name is George but I don't remember him. I met Patty about 25 years ago and she lives near St. Louis. I was adopted at age 3 and lived in Chillicothe through high school. I have 2 degrees in civil engineering from Mizzou and now living in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. My wife, Janis, has a PhD in Art Education from Kansas. We have been married 37 years."
"I was wondering how you were related to the Schaeffers and if you know anyone in your family that is still living. Hope you can help. You are an exceptional person to keep track of your family and I am glad you did. "(deb's note: most of the work was done by Dolly Gray, Pauilne Axsom, Grace Brown, & Minerva Brown.)
then, the email that finally got thru to me: "Leta Schaeffer is mentioned in your 1939 Updates blog. it has to be my mother and father. What I am trying to piece together is the timeline for Patty to be born in 1941 and me in late 1943 if Oscar is in a high school photo in the late 30's. According to a Judge Rose in Bethany at that time, Oscar had two older daughters. Does anyone know where George, my brother, is? The rumor was that he and Oscar were in prison years ago in Blytheville or DeWitt Arkansas. I cannot find any records. Leta disappeared from the area sometime in the mid-40's. The name "Schaeffer" came from official adoption records and was legally advertised in the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune in 1948. I would expect that the attorneys would have the spelling correct. The interesting thing about this to me is that there was a photo with Oscar's name correctly spelled and I assume he could have placed his name on the photo or influenced the writer. I have two daughters very interested in my family history and Patty, my natural sister has a son and daughter also very interested. You may have someone on Ross's side of the family that knows this but it is a skeleton in the closet and not the kind of thing to be remembered. I would love to have a picture of my dad or George or anyone that came from the tree."
so, I went back to where he told me he had found the information...I love reading thru the transcriptions of Grandma's journals, even with all my typos....
letter from Mary Johnson Aug 26 2005: Virginia invited me to come over and go thru mom's entries with her in an attempt to i.d. persons.
Aunt Inez (Shafer) was a sister to Grandpa Ross. I thought her name was Erlwine or Earlwine (Aunt Dona knows this.). Oscar was their brother and Leta was his wife and Georgie was their son. Pearl Cochran was their sister (Ross, Pearl, Inez, Oscar, and a sister who died frist was Rosa. I believe their mother Rose or Rosa was an Oxford.
July 9 1939 Eva & Clayton Roy? Is Roy a last name or middle name? Uncle Oscar Shafer had an Eva (I think by a wife before Leta. I wonder if Aunt Dona knows, she communicates with one of Eva's sons and could inquire for us.)
in a pic of students by a schoolhouse in an album of Virginia's is OSCAR SCHAEFFER, CLEO OSBORN & HALLIE CRAIG. the names are written in ink by kids standing on the back row, but there are no names by kids on the front row.
Mary Johnson letter Aug 29 I have been a woman possessed-just like you with mom's diary info! when I found the entry: Blythedale, MO July 9 1939 signed, "Your cousin, Eva Willis" I just had to find out more. I had only known that Mom had one cousin named Eva and she was Oscar Schafer's daughter. I don't think Leta was her mother, so there's another puzzle. Georgie (in diary) was Oscar & Leta's son. I referred back to the diary info and info on Eva & Clayton Roy was July 9 1939.
Dad took us girls and moms cousin Nadine(Oscars's 15 yr. old) to a mulberry tree, when he came back for us we went from our farm back to Grp. & Grm. and lo & behold, the doctor had "brought" us a new baby brother.
Jan 15 1939 Bessie came over today. Jr. went to Grandma's this morn. Ralph went to Oscar's this afternoon. Ralph came up this afternoon.
Jan. 24 1939 Jr. went to Jennette's this afternoon. Mom went up to Aunt Dollie's today. She & Julian came. We rode home with them. Aunt Dell is some better. Leta was there.
Jan 25 1939 Mother & I stayed with Aunt Dell today while Punk & Opal went home. Lois & Pearl were there this afternoon. Ralph went to Saline & to Oscar's today.
Feb 5 1939 We went to Grandma's today. Leta came too. "We" tore down some of Grandma's old barn. Alice Scott came down in the eve. She was pretty well.
Feb 22 1939 Ralph, Mom, & I walked to Leta's & she & Georgie went on to Grandma's with us. The boys went up to Alfred & Marvin's tonight. Marshall was up awhile this morning.
Feb 26 1939 Sun. We went to Grandma's today. we came back by Oscar's & stopped a while. The boys took their harps & the guitar up & played for Grandma.
Feb 27 1939 Mom & Ralph went up to Oscar's & helped them move & pack today. Punk moved them. I went to Jenette's today. Jr. helped Zimmerman's saw wood this aft. It snowed this eve.
May 7 1939 Georgie was sick today. Betty & I went to Jennette's this morn. Alfred took all of us to Oscars this aft. He & I took Grandma home tonight. Edgar is better.
May 8 1939 Mamie came over this aft. Johnnie Axsom told us that they had taken Georgie to the hospital at Bethany this morn. Ralph, Betty, Mom, & I went to Jenette's this evening.
May 20 1939 I am 17 years old today. Alfred got me a box of candy & some hankies. He & I went to the show tonight. It was "The Storm" with Nan Grey & Tom Brown, Jr. & Dean went to Oscar's tonight.
June 18 1939 Ralph went up to Oscar's. Junior went to Bills. Mamie came home with him & stayed all night. I went up to Hugh's with Axsom's today. Alfred & I went to church tonight. It rained tonight.
June 24 1939 Dean went up to Oscar's tonight. Ralph & Mom went to town this morn. Cora came up this morn. Marvin, Mom, Bety, Alfred, & I went to the show tonight. It was "Always in Trouble" with Jane Withers.
July 30 1939 Bessie's folks, Leta & kids, Stella Rose, & Marvin were here this afternoon. Buster & Dickey were here this morn. Johnnie, Daisy, Alfred, Marvin, Anna & children were here tonight.
Aug. 19 1939 Alfred & I decided tonight to get married the 29th of this month. Mom went over to Bessie's this afternoon. Jr. went to Oscar's to stay all night. Marvin, Alfred, & the rest of us went to "Down on the Farm" with the Jones tonite.
Sept 17 1939 Ralph & Marvin came over today. Jr. & Dean went to Oscar's last night & were there today. Maude & Albert came home tonight & brought us home.
Dec 25 1938 We all walked to Oscar's & on to Saline. Grandma gave me a hankie and pencil. We had a nice time and didn't get home until night.
email I sent to Robt. Norma April 5 2009 about a phone call from Aunt Mary.
things she had discussed with her cousin Virginia and Aunt Dona.....Oscar & his sister Inez Shafer decided to change the spelling of their last name to Schaeffer trying to cash in on something.....maybe the Schaeffer pen company. Aunt Mary thinks she remembers Aunt Dona telling her this....the Shafers came from Germany....Gene Mathes' mom grew up with Aunt Mary's mom Mary Pauline Shafer Axsom. She corresponded with his mother over the years. Gene & Becky Mathes lived in Marshallville, IA. Both are deceased.
When Oscar and his first wife Edna divorced, they had 3 kids. the oldest was NADINE, who was 15 when my father was born and took my very young aunts Mary & Freeda berry picking while their baby brother was born at home. Edna had to move in with her parents. Times were hard back then. She couldn't afford to keep the kids. Oscar's sister Inez never had children, her and her husband took in Oscars son WAYNE, adopted and raised him. Oscars parents George & Rosa took EVA from ages 5-11. There was a story about her being sexually molested, then her mother took her back. EVA married Harold Mathes, they lived in the Blythedale, MO area.
Leta remarried a neighbor of my grandparents. and older man named Morris Griffin. He had lots of whiskers and once my aunt caught him in their chicken house sucking eggs. Leta & Morris had a child, my aunt thinks it was a daughter. She's not sure if they just had the one. Morris had a daughter who married an Oxford and lived in Des Moines, IA.
Your brother GEORGE lived in San Jose, was married, visited my grandparents Alfred & Pauline Axsom several times per letters my grandmother wrote my aunt.
Oscar moved to DeWitt, Ark. in the mid 40s. He lived there for years. In April 1964 my grandparents Alfred & Pauline Shafer Axsom left the family farm off Route A near Trenton, MO, packed up their youngest son & a few belongings into the car, & went looking for better opportunities. Oscar had told them to come to Arkansas, where he was a tenant farmer and lived in a shanty house. He said there was always work there. (in the meantime, my parents moved onto the farm to run it. It was my first home when I was born Dec. 8 1964). They got to Arkansas & visited Uncle Oscar, but decided to keep looking, and ended up in San Jose, CA, where my grandmother lived until her death in 1992 and my grandpa lived until he had to go live with my aunt and later in long term care for health reasons, where he passed on.
Oscar was very happy in Arkansas, was not known to have remarried. He is probably buried somewhere in that area. Eva & her husband are dead. Wayne is probably dead. Edna remarried Roy Willis and had more kids with Roy.(now I don't remember what Edna Willis had to do with anything....she was in my grandma's diary listed as picking up kids that my grandmother was watching...will have to look at the diary again.)But most importantly, both my Aunt Mary & her cousin Virginia have pictures of your dad Oscar. I might also have a picture somewhere.

My Beloved Brother

(the tribute Aunt Mary wrote to be read at my dad's memorial service.)
by Mary Johnson
I remember the day Bernard was born. I was barely 4 old years old. Dad took me, my little sister Freeda, and mom's teenage cousin Nadine Shafer to a mulberry tree with a farm wagon parked under it. He instructed us to stay there until he returned.
You can imagine our surprise when dad escorted us back to the house to see the new baby brother the doctor had brought in his black satchel. I don't remember whether I was glad that mom and dad decided to keep him or whether I ate another mulberry anytime soon after.
Upon my graduation from high school and turning eighteen, I felt it was time for me to leave home and seek employment. Dad responded, "Why don't you stay home and just enjoy this summer with your siblings? Once you put your nose to the grindstone, it will be a long, hard grind!" I had always known that dad loved his family, but it was then that I fully grasped the magnitude of his love, generosity, tender heartedness, and wisdom.
Acting upon dad's suggestion, I enjoyed the summer immensely before going to Kansas City to work.
The following summer, I learned the evening before my vacation began that dad and my 15 year old brother had had a disagreement resulting in Bernard running away from home 3 weeks prior. Of course I was distraught with worry same as dad and mom were. Mom told me that dad would pace the yard unable to sleep at night. They did not contact the law because dad wanted Bernard to come home on his own.
Dad's theory worked.
The afternoon of my first day home, Bernard returned. That evening we had much to be thankful for when a thin, very hungry lad joined us at the supper table. He and dad never brought up what they had disagreed upon.
Over 69 years Bernard and I shared many joys and sorrows. He grew up having goodness, honesty and integrity that was instilled in us by our parents. He was a pillar of strength to me when my husband Al died unexpectedly at his and Janet's house. He endeared himself to me forever by sitting on the bedside, gently patting my shoulder while I sobbed with grief.
On the eve of Sept. 19, following a writing class, "Building a Life Story", I wrote a story which I titled "My Dad, My Hero." Thinking my story complete, I mailed a copy to Debbie.
On the eve of Oct. 16 prior to the final class with no knowledge of Bernard being in the hospital, I decided to add an episode about him. Was it a messager from God to do so? A friend in my writing classes believes it was.
I was blessed with two brothers whom I loved dearly. It has broken my heart when I lost each of them.
In our sorrow we can be assured from Psalms 46:1, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

found these cleaning.....assuming I didn't previously blog them....better safe than sorry, I guess. I am already lifetimes behind anyway....

letter from Aunt Mary dated Sat. 4th
Oscar's name was originally spelled SHAFER according to AUnt Dona. She said that Oscar was first married to EDNA BANKS. They were EVA SHAFER MATHES' parents. Oscar's parents GEORGE WASHINGTON SHAFER & ROSE (OXFORD) SHAFER are buried in Fairview Cemetery by ROSS, AMANDA, & RALPH. Both Oscar & Edna remarried. She married a WILLIS. Marvin Willis and Coleen Willis (who married our relative Melvin Sorenson live in Cainsville. Coleen would not answer my letter when I inquired about Eva.) Aunt Dona sent me the address of one of Eva's sons and I wrote to him and he wrote right back and even sent some pictures.
Oscar had a daughter named NADINE and she died a few years ago, so Eva's son Gene wrote. George lived in the San Jose area and he & his wife came to visit Mom & Dad. I don't remember hearing whether he's deceased.
Freeda should still have snapshots that were Mom's of her Uncle Oscar and of her cousin Eva. Hopefully she could let Mona photocopy them to you and/or this Robert Norman.
Mom's '39 diary has several mentions of Oscar, Leta, & children.
Nadine watched me and Freeda at the time (Bernard) your dad was being born on Pea Ridge. (We lived in Grp. & Grm.'s house while they worked at Rohr's in San Diego.) She was 15.
I want to help this guy all I can! Eva's son GENE & BECKY MATHES, 111 DEVENDORF ST., ELKHORN, WI 53121-1503
Uncle Oscar was a farm worker for years around DEWITT, ARK. and I imagine he's buried in that region too.
Oscar & Edna had Eva (whose Shafer grandparents took her in at age 5 to 11, I think), and a son who was adopted by Oscar's sister Inez, so Aunt Dona told me. She told me that Oscar & Inez changed the spelling of their last name hoping to get big bucks from some company.
Aunt Dona said that she was told by someone (I think Grm. Amanda) that the Shafer's originated from Germany.
Leta married MORRIS GRIFFIN and they had a child in mid to late 40's. Morris had a daug. MARGUERITE (sp) who married an OXFORD. My Mom's Shafer grandma ROSE had been an Oxford. The Oxford family lives in Des Moines (Stella Rose Bingamon and Mom were friends. She had a recipe in the Cainsville 2005 book and had URBANDALE, IA as her address.) Virginia heard that some of the Oxford's had had a successful trash hauling business in Des Moines. If some of the Oxford family could be found, then perhaps they could provide info re. Leta and her child with Morris Griffin. It seems like it was a little girl.
This is all I have on Oscar .....children with Edna Banks were EVA, CLAYTON RAY, & WAYNE. Oscar was born about 1902. Married Edna about 1920. Mom's diary 1939 mentions Oscar, Leta, & kids. I wasn't aware that they had a child younger than Freeda and me. I wish that we'd heard from him before Mom died.
Somewhere, I read or heard that Clayton Ray was deceased. Mom mentions Edna and her Willis husband & Clayton Ray & Eva in her '39 diary.
How sad that Robert & Mom lived so close (Trenton & Chillicothe) at one time and didn't know it!!!
Madean thinks that Rosie Axsom's granddaughter Gertrude Malnar is deceased. And it seemed to her that Gertrude's daughter Barbara died too.
letter dated 4-8-09
Virginia found a Christopher Shafer born 1814, died at 48yr5mo7day (maybe 3 days? can't tell deb) He is buried in a cemetery west and then north from Cainsville. We imagine he's an ancestor of you and me. The cemetery is in Harrison Co.
Louise Frisbie (Jr.'s wife) worked at The Blue Bell Café.
Aunt Mary & Harry Truman impersonator Neil Johnson.
Memories of Summer, 1922. Dad, Mother. at Home. George & Rosa Shafer
Oscar, Rosa, Ross, Pearl, George, Rosa, Inez Shafer