James Smith was from Tennessee, a small farmer, and possibility a tenant farmer. There is a family legend to the effect that James was the champion fist fighter in the county in which he lived. The 1880 and 1900 census indicated that James Smith lived in NC. |
James Smith had 2 sons:
Abey Singleton Smith born April 8, 1823 in Anderson County, TN
William M. Smith born 1825 in Anderson County, TN
Abey Singleton Smith born April 8, 1823 in Anderson County, Tennessee, son of James Smith and (Mother's name unknown). He married - Mary "Hannah" Dotson in North Arkansas, approximately 1841. Mary "Hannah" Dotson, born approximately 1825 in Arkansas, daughter of Archibald (Arch) Dotson and Dotson. Died: February 15, 1849 in Arkansas.
Abey Singleton Smith went to Arkansas when a boy, and there he met, loved, wooed and won the hand and heart of Hannah Dotson, daughter of Arch Dotson the "richest man in the county". This marriage was highly displeasing to Arch Dotson, and the young couple left that part of the states. Abey was only eighteen and Hannah younger when they married. The parting between Abey and his father-in-law must have been exceedingly unpleasant, for Abey lived to by almost ninety, but would never discuss the Dotson family.
Hannah died in February 1849 leaving Joseph James a young child of 6 and Celia Ann an infant of probably less than 1 month...it is quite possible Hannah died of complications following the birth of Celia.
To this union four children were born:
Joseph James Smith born July 27, 1842, in Madison County, Arkansas
William Smith Date unknown, died as an infant
Sarah Smith Date unknown, died as an infant
Celia Ann Smith born 1849 (probably January or February as Hannah, her mother, died in February 1849).
In 1850, Abey Singleton Smith married for the second time to Judy Glenn, better known to her family and friends as "Money".
In the 1890s, Abey Singleton Smith invaded Choctaw Territory of Oklahoma, claiming he was a Choctaw. Abey Singleton Smith became an Episcopal-Methodist preacher, but Judy his second wife, became a moneymaker and a money leader. Like most people who work hard and save their money and then lend it to others, and want it paid back with interest when due, she became as greatly disliked as her idealistic and romantic husband was beloved.
Surely "Money" Smith was not as ungenerous as some claimed she was when she permitted her husband to name their second daughter Hannah after the girl he had loved and married in the passionate days of his youth.
Sometime in 1866, Abey and his family lived in Scott County, Arkansas. It was mention through a book that Rev. And Mrs. Singleton Smith joined a new Methodist church that was built by Mark Epler.
Abey Singleton Smith and family moved to Sebastian County, Arkansas some years after his second marriage.
Abey Singleton Smith was a Confederate (Union) soldier during the Civil War. Abey joined the Union Army on April 7, 1864 from Ozark, Arkansas. He was 40 years old when he enlisted. Abey was taken prisoner during the war, but escaped.
Abey Singleton Smith lived to be nearly 90 years of age; he died on July 20, 1910. He buried in White Bluff cemetery near Jenny Lind, Arkansas.
To this second marriage were born seven children:
Hannah born February 28, 1861 in Marion County, AR Died September 11, 1941 in Bonanza, Sebastian County, AR Married John Wesly George.
Martha Lillie died very young, age 20. Married George Martindale and had 2 children.
William Smith was born 1825 in Anderson County, Tennessee; died 1894 in Sebastian County, Arkansas.
He married Elizabeth Frances Glenn in 1846 in Wilson County, Tennessee. She is the daughter of Lewis Glenn and Mary Johnson. She is the sister of Judy Johnson Glenn (Abey’s second wife). She was born 1831; died 1894 in Sebastian County, Arkansas.
Just like his brother Abey, William was an Episcopal Minister preacher and farmer.
William and Elizabeth both died in 1894 and are buried in Jenny Lind Cemetery, Bonanza, Sebastian County, Arkansas.
William and Elizabeth had the following children:
Mary Jane Smith, born 1847.
Susan Ann Smith, born Octobere 1853 in Marion County, Arkansas. She married Lucean Brooks on October 1879 and she married again on 1884 to Robert Sebastian Long.
Louis A. Smith, born October 1853, possibility that he died at infant. Susan and Louis were twins.
Sarah Smith, born 1855
Nancy Smith, born 1857
William Smith, born 1868
Seward Smith, born 1870
King Smith, born 1872
Thomas Smith, born 1874
Celia Ann Smith was born 1849 (or September 1850) in Arkansas.
She married Francis Marion Griffith. He the son of George Griffith and Malinda, he was born July 2, 1849 in Polk County, Arkansas.
There is no written history on how Celia and Francis met or married. The only information we have is from the census.
It was stated the Celia was a widow at the age 41 or sooner. She was living with her son Walter in 1900, by 1910 she was living with her daughter Laura. It was stated that she and Francis had 6 children but only 4 were found. Celia was a private seamstress.
Francis Marion Griffith, enlisted in the Civil War at Pocahontas, Arkansas, July 15, 1862; absent without leave, April 30, 1863; dropped from the rolls, June 30, 1863; present, August 31, 1863; detailed as teamster, September 12, 1863; present, February 29, 1864.
Celia and Francis had the following children:
Laura Griffith born 1879 in Arkansas
Walter Griffith born 1880 in Arkansas
Joseph James Smith was born July 27, 1842 in Madison County, Arkansas. He married Elizabeth Catherine Cole on August 3, 1866. Elizabeth was born November 21, 1851 in Scott County Arkansas, daughter of Ann Eppler Cole and Lewis Francis Cole.
Joseph James Smith was 5'5" tall and weighed about 145 pound. He had a very fair complexion, blue eyes, black hair and a reddish beard.
He was a student for a time at Cane Hill College (which later became the University of Arkansas).
The following are excerpts from the partial genealogy prepared by Edgar Freeman Smith in 1930 as documented material upon application for membership into the Sons of the American Revolution and additional information as documented in 1921 by Ola Dove (Dovie) Smith Mitchell in 1921.
Joseph James Smith had the idealism and romanticizes of his father. He was converted and joined the Methodist Church on August 25, 1855, he remained in that church until 1875 when he and his wife, Elizabeth, united with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He was ordained as an elder at the time he joined. He later became a Cumberland Presbyterian Preacher. *
Joseph moved his family to Coryell County, Texas in 1876.
In 1877 Joseph was taken under the care of Waco Presbyterian to study for the ministry. He was licensed to preach by Techuaca Presbyterian in 1884. In November 1884 he moved his family to the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), after being commissioned by his church (without a salary) as a missionary to the Chickasaw Indians. Joseph served as a missionary for four years and did good work among the Indians. He was instrumental in interesting other and younger ministers in the Indian work, causing them to go and help in the Master's work in that county.
It was a gracious thing for him to do, but was rough on his wife and children to be located in a wilderness were the advantages of civilization were utterly unobtainable. He and his family never knew, except for one brief period, anything else but hardships, and frequently were in need of the actual necessities of life. Joseph James Smith was known and loved by almost all of the Chickasaw Indians and by the few white people in the Chickasaw Nation. He was often away from home many days at a time, and in his absence his wife and children were alone in the log cabin in the wilderness. There were now schools and no hospitals, and the doctor, such as he was, lived many miles away. Joseph James was a pioneer, the advance agent of civilization to a wild county and a wilder people. That he did a good and even a glorious work there can be no doubt, but was if fair to his wife and children to be deprived of everything worth while in order that he might follow the life that he enjoyed? The same question has been asked by thousands of wives, sons and daughters of pioneers, and the answer is found in the greatness of this mighty nation where the last barriers against progress and civilization have fallen before the ever Westward march of civilization. The cost to the wives and children of the pioneer was great, but everything that man was accomplished worth while has been at a heavy cost to someone.
Joseph Smith had more to do than any other man did with the organization of the first Presbyterian in the Chickasaw Nation. This Presbyterian was called Chickasaw Presbyterian. Joseph James Smith was ordained in this Presbyterian in 1891.
Edgar Freeman stated "My father had been sent by his church as a missionary to the Chickasaw Indians, one of the five civilized Indian tribes that had been forced by our government, in violation of its treaties, from their ancient lands east of the Mississippi River. He leased some land from a white man who had an Indian wide, and on this land be built a substantial log house on what was then called the "Whiskey Trail" near the Buckhorn Post Office and Stage Station."
Elizabeth Catherine Cole Smith, was converted in September 1866 and joined the Methodist church to which her husband belonged. In 1875 they both joined with the Cumberland Presbyterian church and she remain in the church until the union was consummated in 1906, when still loyal to the doctrines and principles of her church and to the General Assembly of that church, she went with it into the union with the Presbyterian U.S.A.
Elizabeth was a faithful wife, ever encouraging and helping her husband in his long absences from home, in those early pioneer days in the Indian Territory. Hers was a lonely life in those days, many hardships and heavy burdens were hers to bear, which many times seemed too much for her strength.
After spending 22 years in the ministry, Joseph James Smith, this good man of God went Home to be with the Master he had served to the best of his ability while on earth. Joseph James Smith died on January 27, 1899 at the age of 56 years and 6 months of age. He was buried in the small county cemetery (Buckhorn Stage Station Cemetery) near the town of Sulphur, Oklahoma.
Joseph James Smith was a Confederate soldier during the entire period of the Civil War, while his father-in-law, Lewis Francis Cole was a soldier in the Union Army.
Elizabeth Catherine Cole Smith had always a strong and abiding faith in her Savior and on September 17, 1918 she laid all her burdens down and went to join her husband, little ones and other dear ones and the Savior she so loved. She is buried in the Snyder Cemetery, Snyder, Scurry Co., Texas.
James and Catherine had the following children:
Hannah Zenetta Ann Smith, born 1867; died only a few hours after birth.
Lurette (Etta) Smith, born August 17, 1869; died June 17, 1932 in Sulpher, OK.
Abey Houston Smith, born November 12, 1871; died May 7, 1931.
Lewis Lee Smith, born September 4, 1873; died January 18, 1973 in Oklahoma City.
Ann Ora Smith, born October 9, 1876 in Coryell County, Texas; died February 14, 1878 at age 16 months.
Ola Dove (Dovie) Smith, born June 7, 1879 at Grasbeck, Coryell County, Texas; died August 24, 1954.
Evert Abigail Smith, born August 11, 1882 at Grasbeck, Coryell County, Texas. He married Grace Carrie McCandless on September 24, 1905 in Sulphur, Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma). She was born April 11, 1889 in Randolph, Kansas; the first child of John C and Helen Anna (Nellie) Cook McCandless.
Alvah J. Smith, born February 6, 1885 at Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory (Oklahoma); died February 10, 1885, at age 4 days.
Edgar Freeman Smith , born September 28, 1889, Indian Territory, Oklahoma; died 1976 San Angelo, TX.
*This denomination had its origin among Presbyterians living in the Cumberland mountains, hence the name Cumberland Presbyterians. These people revolted against the dogma of the regular Presbyterians that some people are elected by God to eternal salvation and other to eternal damnation. The basic Doctrine of the Cumberland Presbyterians is that "whosoever wills to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior can be saved." This denomination prospered in a modest way and eventually had more than a thousand churches. In 1907 a majority of the Cumberland Churches voted to return to what was then the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. But there are to this day a goodly number of Cumberland Presbyterian Churches.
Edgar Freeman Smith, Partial Genealogy
Evert Abigail Smith was born August 11, 1882 in Groseback, Coryell County, Texas. Some information indicates that Evert was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas; however information from obituary and from the partial genealogy prepared by his brother, Edgar Freeman Smith, it is more likely that his birthplace was indeed Grosebeck, Coryell County, Texas. His daughter Ruby Smith Grewell states "Grosebeck is a small town close to Austin, Texas." He married Grace Carrie McCandless on September 24, 1905 in Sulphur, Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma). She was born April 11, 1889 in Randolph, Kansas; the first child of John C and Helen Anna (Nellie) Cook McCandless.
Evert stood about 5'10" tall and weighed approximately 180 pounds. He had brown hair and blue eyes. Quoting from his brother, Edgar, in 1924 Evert was the picture of health.
Grace was a beautiful girl, with rich auburn hair and brown eyes and a fair complexion.
Little is known of the schooling and education of Evert or his brothers and sisters. There were no schools and the children were self-educated with the help of each other and their mother. The family had a very rough life as they moved to the wilds of the Chickasaw Indian Nation in November 1884 when Evert was only a child of two. His father, Joseph, became a missionary to the Chickasaw's (without salary) for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Evert's son Sumner states, "Dad was always a very responsible, hard working, honest person. He was self educated, and just when he learned the barbering business is not known."
After the death of his father, Joseph, in 1899, Evert at the age of 17 became the sole support of his mother, sister, and younger brother. After his marriage in 1905, Evert continued to help with his mother's support and always sent her a $20 Gold Piece each Christmas. During this time Evert cut ties for a railroad, while his younger brother, Edgar did carpenter work. Evert insisted that his brother Edgar, go to school and later to "read" for the Law (meaning to obtain his law degree).
Edgar was always grateful and a loving brother to Evert, they were very close as indicated in the following from Edgar Freeman Smith's own genealogy.
"No little boy ever had a better older brother than I had in my brother Evert. Father was an invalid for three years prior to his death. He was too ill to preach, and he received no pension from his church. Evert, not year 17, became the principal breadwinner for his mother, sister Dovie, himself and me. He was helped some by earning of Dovie."
Further quotes taken from a letter written in 1924 by Edgar to his brothers and sisters following his visit to Evert in Omak after an absence of 12 years follow:
"Once more I saw the brother, who in my childhood had been to me as a father and a chum. Who as great sacrifice to himself had insisted that I go to school. Who during all the days of my youth gave me the best of everything. And what a splendid man I found him to be. He weighs about 180 lbs. and none of it is fat. His hair is gray at the temples and slightly streaked with gray in other places. He is the picture of health. He says he never gets tired. It was wonderful to see him again, to feel the grip of his strong right hand and to look into his clear, fearless, blue eyes, A Man's Man is my brother Evert."
After their marriage, Evert and Grace lived in both Fentris and Seguin, Texas for several years. They moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1911 to be with Grace's father during his long illness and eventual death from cancer. John McCandless owned a used furniture store in Oklahoma City and "they were quite well to do for the times...They were rich as they owned a Buick" states Sumner.
Evert moved his family to Leadville, Colorado for about a year in 1912, then to Seattle, Washington in 1913 was Grace’s younger sister, Blanch and her family lived.
A short time later the family moved to the small suburb of Bellevue, Washington, were they lived and Evert barbered from 1914 until 1920. After a severe attack of influenza struck Grace and Sumner, which left them with lingering coughs that hung on for months, the doctor advised Evert to move his family to a drier climate. Thus they moved east of the Cascades Mountains and settled in Omak, Washington in 1920.
Sumner continues...."Dad and a man by the name of Nelson White, opened a pool hall and barber shop in the old O'Conner Grocery building next to a restaurant....the only two businesses at the North end of Main Street. White about put them "belly up", Dad sold him the pool hall and he took over the barbershop alone. Later, about 1924, he moved his barbershop into the old Dawson Bakery building where he continued until he sold his business in 1945. Mother also had her Marcelling business in the old barber shop."
Omak became their home, their children continued their schooling, and all three graduated from Omak High school.
Edgar describes their home after his visit in the summer on 1924: "Evert has two lots. His house is frame, storm sheeted with shingles on the outside wall. The inside is shiplapped and papered. The house proper has a living room, a bedroom and a large room that is now being used as both kitchen and dining room. The back porch is enclosed so that it makes two bedrooms. Underneath the house is a basement made of concrete, which is about six feet deep and as large as the house, itself. Grace has a piano, victrola, nice furnishings in the bedrooms, good rugs on the floor and the kitchen and dining room contain all the modern conveniences including running water. The house is wired and there are electrical lights in all the rooms. Grace keeps her house as neat as the proverbial pin. Evert has a large garage and a jim dandy garden with a fine strawberry patch. The garden must be irrigated but when the soil in that country gets water, it produces luxuriantly. Sumner raises fine chickens and has a good chicken house and run around for his white chickens."
Edgar continues: "Evert lives a life of unselfishness and his days are filled with acts of kindness. The same thing is true of Grace. Their home life is delightful, Evert and Grace are the chums of their children, and the entire family is devoted to one another. I talked to Evert about coming to Texas. He is anxious to visit and hopes to some day, but he does not want to ever live in Texas again. When he left he weighed 135 and was in poor health, today he weighs 180 and enjoys every day he lives. Evert has a nice business and is doing well. His home and business are paid for. He plans to build more onto his home and make it even more comfortable than it is now. Happiness is his. As much as I would like to have him live near me, I can't find it in my heart to urge him to leave a land where he enjoys good health, makes a good living and is so happy."
Later Evert did build a smaller home next door to the big house and they moved into it. I, Patricia, remember spending many summers with my grandparents as did Barbara and Janet. One of my strongest memories is helping grandma launder the endless supply of white barber towels she did weekly for the shop. Not only must they be spotlessly white, which they were, but also each had to be ironed and folded correctly. Then she and I would carry them down to the barbershop in a large red wagon grandpa had provided. Grandpa paid her $.10 per towel for this service and I return in return a penny per towel.
We girls loved grandpa's shop, climbing up in the huge, leather barber chairs, watching ourselves in the long plate glass mirrored wall, sitting on the high shoe shine seat sitting by the window, and watching grandpa sweep and mop up at the end of another busy day, all the lovely smelling and different colored aftershave and cologne bottles lined up in their own spots and especially the special Saturday night treat from grandpa....$.25 to go for chocolate milk shakes at the Peacock Cafe once the shop closed.
No matter how late the hour, once the shop was closed on Saturday night, grandpa would go home and scour the top of the wood burning cook stove in preparation for Sunday breakfast, his specialty...dollar size hot cakes.
Grace was a beautiful seamstress and made many of her granddaughters clothes, dresses and tailored suits for herself, quilts, and patiently helped teach us, her granddaughters, how to make doll clothes. Barbara recalls sitting in front of grandma's dresser with the large low mirror and putting on everything she could reach from the many shaped bottles, jars of creams and makeup...sometimes without grandma's permission.
Evert loved the out of doors, lakes and streams, hunting and fishing; a love he passed on to others. In the spring of 1945 he sold their homes and business in Omak and began fulfilling his dream of owning a hunting and fishing resort on Bonaparte Lake (located between Tonasket and Republic, Washington). That first summer found Grace keeping house in only a large canvas tent with a wooden floor, while Evert, Sumner, Gordon and later Warren helped them put up their new home...a nice two story all log cabin. The winters being bad and still a primitive area they went to California and spent time with Evert's brother Edgar, now retired, and his wife Bessie.
Spring found them "home again"...back before the ice melted. Grandpa would go out on the lake, cut the ice in blocks and then drag them back to the shore where they would be placed in the sawdust filled icehouse to furnish ice for the following summer.
The summer of 1946 two more smaller cabins were finished...these were in constant demand by the hunters and fisherman from west of the mountains. We all spent many wonderful weekends at the resort, helping grandpa with his cabins, taking the row boats out on the lake, laying in bed in the loft of the "big" cabin watching the stars and listening to the breeze through the pines and the laughing of the loons on the lake.
Janet, spent many days with grandpa and grandma at the lake. She loved to go down on the dock, drop her line into the cold water, and catch her own fish...many times very small fish. She learned to clean them herself, run back to the cabin and then grandma would stop what ever she was doing and cook it for her on the big wood-burning cook stove.
The second winter after starting his resort, and while staying with his son, Sumner and family, Evert worked at a local barbershop. Evert took suddenly ill and in a few short days was gone. Evert left this life on January 5, 1947 in a Spokane Hospital where he had gone for tests. He was buried on January 11, 1947 in the Omak Memorial Cemetery at Omak, Washington. Evert was 64 years, 4 months and 25 days old.
Grace, having no real home now, and with the selling of their Bonaparte property, lived the remainder of her life with her three children and their families. Her health fail very rapidly after her beloved husband's death, and she passed away February 28, 1949 at the Coulee Dam Hospital. Grace is a rest beside her husband of 42 years, in the Omak Memorial Cemetery, Omak, Washington. Grace was 60 years, 10 months, and 17 days old.
Grace and Evert were blessed with three children:
James Sumner Smith (fondly called "Spud" by his mother), born September 1, 1906 n Sulpher, Indian Territory (now state of Oklahoma); died March 1995 in Moses Lake Washington. He married Elinor Sophie Hopfer on January 24, 1930 by Pastor Cole in the Lutheran Church Parsonage, Sewickley, Pennsylvania. She was born March 8, 1908 at approximately 6:00 a.m. in Minden, Kearney County, Nebraska, the daughter of Martin Henry and Mathilda Isabel Richter Hopfer.
Ruby Katherine Smith, born November 27, 1909 in Sequin, Texas; died December 25, 1997 in Omak, Washington.
John Warren (Warren) Smith (also known as Smitty), born September 12, 1912 at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; died November 14, 1974 in Spokane, Washington.
James Sumner was born September 1, 1906 in Sulfur, Indian Territory (Oklahoma). He married Elinor Sophie Hopfer on January 24, 1930 by Pastor Cole in the Lutheran Church Parsonage, Sewickley, Pennsylvania. She was born March 8, 1908 at approximately 6:00 a.m. in Minden, Kearney County, Nebraska, the daughter of Martin Henry and Mathilda Isabel Richter Hopfer.
Sumner started school in Bellevue, Washington. Upon moving to Omak High School his parents, he attended Omak public school and graduated from Omak High School in 1924.
Upon completion of high school, Sumner stayed in Omak, were his father Evert, a barber, completed teaching him the barbering trade. Sumner started college at Washington State College, Pullman, Washington in the fall of 1925, where he worked part time in the same barbershop all four years and thus was able to earn all his college expenses. He graduated in June 1929 with a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering.
Upon his graduation, Sumner and four other young engineers, traveled by car to Pennsylvania where he began working for the American Bridge Company a subsidiary of United States Steel. He was a draftsman, detailing steel members for shop fabrication of bridge, office buildings and miscellaneous steel structures. The plant was located in Ambridge, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.
Sumner and Elinor began dating in 1925 while she was still a senior in high school. They continued to date while they were both attending college at Washington State College.
The young couple were engaged at the time Sumner went to work for The American Bridge Company, and after being showered by her many friends in Omak, Elinor and her father, Martin, left Wenatchee, Washington, by train (with a stop over in Chicago) for Pittsburgh, Washington.
Pastor Cole in the Lutheran Church Parsonage at Sewickley, Pennsylvania married Elinor and Sumner on a very cold January 24, 1930. There was neither reception nor wedding cake.
Sumner and Elinor's first home was located in Edgeworth, Pennsylvania, a small town between where Sumner worked at Ambridge and Sewickley. Edgeworth was a dirty town, as were so many in that area, due to the many coal fired mills. For entertainment the young couple would ride the train into Pittsburgh for dinner. Their first child, Patricia Ann, was born March 5, 1931 at the Sewickley Valley Hospital, weighing just 6 pounds 2 ounces.
The depression was beginning on the East Coast long before the effects were felt further West, and jobs were becoming further and further apart for the steel companies. Once a job was completed, those men were rotated to the bottom of the job list, and had to work their way up through new jobs.
After completing what he felt would be his last job for some time, Sumner quit his job with American Bridge in the spring of 1932. The young couple packed up all their personal belongings and Patty's thing, let the finance company take back their furniture, and started home to Washington state. They, along with another couple who owned a car, left Pennsylvania in May 1932.
After reaching Omak, the young couple moved into the large Hopfer family home. Sumner hunted for work and took any job he could find during those long depression years. He told his Father-in-law, Martin, "I will see to it that there is food on the table for the family to eat" and this he did. Sumner often picked apples all day for $.25, helped his father, Evert, in the barber shop whenever there was a little extra work to be done and doing whenever outside jobs he could find.
A second daughter, Barbara Jean, was born April 6, 1933 in the Hopfer family home. Barbara weighed about 7 pounds. With the arrival of the new baby, the family home was beginning to burst at the seams.
The two little girls, Patty and Bobby (as Barbara was called) had two sets of grandparents and several uncles to spoil and love them. Many fond memories remain today of the events of that period. One event Arno Hopfer never let we girls forget, was the time we dumped all the boxes of his homemade puzzles into one large pile.... needles to say we weren't his favorite nieces for a few days.
Sumner states of that period, "We managed to survive the depression and I always felt very fortunate to obtain employment and become a part of the construction of Grand Coulee Dam. I began work there with the United States Bureau of Reclamation in August 1934".
Sumner began by surveying the railroad that came from Coulee City to the dam site. Elinor tells of the family moving from Omak to Coulee City in October 1934 and then to Almira in January, 1935. Both of these small towns grew rapidly with the influx of workers until they could move into the new towns springing up at the dam site.
Elinor recalls, "That Almira stint was quite an experience...we had to live above a bus station...with restaurant and bar on the ground floor. Apparently our apartment of two rooms, had previously been occupied by a "lady of the night", as we use to get lots of knocks on the door at night. Sumner would yell..."Busy" until they went away." She also tells of Barbara dropping and breaking her only baby bottle and how some men from the bar fixed her up with an empty beer bottle for her milk.
Sumner, Elinor, and the two little girls moved to the new town of Coulee Dam (Engineer's Town) in May, 1935. They were one of the first families to settle in what was known at "The Courts"...a series of 3 small triplexes joined with their living rooms facing an inner court. Sidewalks had been poured, but there were no lawns, trees, etc. It wasn't too many years however, before this young town became one of the show places for the surrounding area.
Initially Coulee Dam was to have been a "low dam", but with the far-sighted planning of a few wise men, it was redesigned and Federal Funds were appropriated for it to become the dam it is today.
Sumner started on the surveying crew, then was put into the Drafting Department temporarily. He stayed and worked his way up until he was in charge of the Estimates Department in connection with the contractor figures on various jobs and stages of the construction on the dam.
Janet Nancy...their third daughter and named by her two older sisters, arrived on a very hot August 13, 1937, a Friday, in the Mason City (Coulee Dam) Hospital at 5:45 p.m. Weight about 8 pounds 8 ounces.
Elinor's mother, Mathilda, moved into the home of her daughter following Martins death. The small one-bedroom houses was getting even smaller. In 1939 Barbara contacted polio and was confined to the one bedroom in "isolation" for three months, this forced an even more crowded situation upon the family.
They were finally granted a larger 4-bedroom house at 309 Columbia Avenue in May 1942. At last everyone had a bedroom, Elinor and Sumner taking the large "master bedroom", and Mathilda and the live-in helper the small downstairs bedroom. The three girls had their bedrooms on the upper floor.
The family continued to be active in many areas of the community. Sumner played softball on the USBR team, of which there were two, against the various contractor's teams for many years, enjoyed hunting and fishing throughout the Coulee Dam area and the Omak area. During World War II, even with gas rationing, the family traveled to Omak many weekends so that Sumner could help his father in the barbershop on Saturday nights since all the younger men were in the service.
Sumner continued under Federal Civil Service at Grand Coulee Dam for 19 years from 1934 until October, 1953.