Search billions of records on

Out Of Our Past
Tracing Our Bosque County Roots
By:  LaDawn Garland
20 March 2002

This week we have a wonderful old photo to reunite with it's family. The photo was sent to my
by PJ Holman, who found it in an antique store and wanted to try and find where it belonged.
Since there were names written on the back, she was able to do a search and traced the couple
in the photo back to Bosque County. The photo is of Sam Oswald and Lillian Belle Atchison
Oswald, they were married here in Bosque County on April 14, 1906. Please contact us here at
the newspaper or email me at if you would like to claim this wonderful
treasure. Also, a special thank you to PJ Holman for helping save these beautiful old photos
and reuniting them with their families.

R.F. And Ann Sommerfeld Family
Rinert F. and Anna nee Urban Sommerfeld married October 6, 1932 in Meridian before Judge
Word. In an earlier family story I wrote about my Urban antecedents and reported that the two
families were very intertwined, with two sisters and two brothers from each side marrying.
My maternal grandfather, Peter K. Urban, owned a large steam engine and thresher, which
he used to reap hayfields all over central Texas. My father, R.F.Sommerfeld, became a "hand"
at this thresher at about age 12. According to my mother's brothers, Charlie and Frank Urban,
he was 14 when he was made the "engineer" (mechanic) for the machinery, a critical role to be
entrusted to a young teenager! This speaks volumes about Grandpa Pete's respect and trust for
my father, as well as my father's talent as a mechanic. I'm told my dad could take apart and put
back together any engine and make it run. He literally built his first car at age 16, from a chassis
and parts from a junkyard. I watched him work veritable miracles with old and worn-out machinery
during my time with him.

R.F. was 21 and Ann was 18 when they married. Initially they were tenant farmers. Their oldest
daughter, Helen Marie, was born July 10, 1933 at Fairview community, in the house next to the
old school. Helen weighed 5 pounds and was very small and weak. Ann's mother, Grandma
Klara Urban, wrapped her in cotton and put her in a shoe box and put her into the oven of
the wood stove, with the coals banked. The two Fairview schoolteachers boarded with them for
one school year when Helen was a toddler. One of the teachers was Alice Rainbolt, a sister of
Zora Rainbolt who married James Earl Gouldman. One of the Gouldman sons, Billie Earl, married
Josphine Urban, a daughter of Ella Sommerfeld and Joseph Urban, another of the Urban-Sommerfeld
family pairs. These intertwining branches are rampant throughout genealogy, making it both
fascinating and frustrating.

Helen attended China Spring school for first and second grade, then entered the Mosheim School
at grade level four. She graduated as Valedictorian in 1950. She attended John Sealy Nursing
School in Galveston (now University of Texas at Galveston School of Nursing) and graduated
with honors in 1953.  Helen married Daniel Allison Amundson in 1954. They had two children,
Deborah Ann, born 1956, and David Alan, born 1963. Deborah married Randy Rohleder in 1980,
and has one daughter, Amanda Marie, born 1981. She is married to Dennis Jones and lives in
Lakeland, Colorado. David married Diane Ingraham in 1989. They have three children, Abigail
Marie, born 1994, Rhetta Ann, born 1997, and David Alexander (Alex), born 1999. They live in
Sugar Land. Helen lives in Clifton.

From Fairview, R.F. and Ann moved to China Spring in McLennan County. In 1941, they bought
a farm at Mosheim, in Bosque County, and lived there until 1962, when they moved to Clifton.
Their second daughter, Patricia Anne was born October 11, 1946. I (Patricia Anne) have a
myriad of memories from growing up on a farm and in the Mosheim community. I also have a
wealth of family stories. Some of these will be related in the future. I attended the Moshiem
School from first through eighth grade, at which time we lost the high school due to low enrollment.
I attended Valley Mills School for ninth and tenth grade. We were picked up on the regular
Mosheim bus route,transferred to another bus at Mosheim and driven to Valley Mills.
The route was reversed in the afternoon. Our family moved to Clifton in 1962 at the
start of my Junior year in High School and I graduated from Clifton High School in 1964.
Fortunately, I was not a stranger to Clifton. I attended Church with Clifton kids all my life,
at St. Paul and then Trinity. Lutherans were the majority in Clifton in those days, so I knew
a large number of kids who attended Clifton schools. My sister lived in Clifton and
I spent many days and weekends at her house before we moved into town.

R.F. had always been the neighborhood and family mechanic, and in about 1955
he went to work for "the public" as a mechanic, working in Waco, Clifton and
Meridian at various times. He continued to farm. This left Ann with
additional responsibilities around the farm. One of the chores she inherited
was feeding the hogs. The first time she went out to feed them, she almost
scared them to death. She had a habit of talking to the animals when she
worked with them, something the cows were accustomed to, but not the hogs.
When she took the bucket of feed to the hog lot and started to feed them,
she talked to them, and they all ran and piled up in one corner! She was
afraid some of them would smother or be injured, as pigs are prone to do.
Daddy got a big laugh when she told him. It never occurred to her that he
didn't say anything when he went about his work. The hogs eventually
adjusted and the hard double labor continued. In 1962, the decision was made
to give up on farming and move to Clifton. R.F. opened a mechanic and
welding shop. He kept all the older farm machinery going for the farmers who
still clung to the hardscrabble farm life, rebuilding old parts, and
sometimes making them from scratch. When he was 78 his family talked him
into retiring, only because he could put up a shop on Patricia's place at
Womack where he could "piddle" to his heart's content.

My mother, Anna nee Urban, reports that she knew R.F. since she was about
age 10. Ann reminisces that he would pick wildflowers for her, but she
wouldn't take them from him, so he would give them to her younger brother to
give her. They began dating when Mom was about 16. Daddy would come calling
in his homebuilt car, decorated with colored lights, a popular fad at the
time. During one get-together of oldtimers, there was a lot of laughter over
the fact that daddy tried to mislead people about who he was courting by
going a backroad, but his friends pointed out that it was pointless, since
his car could be recognized anywhere! I understand that my Grandma Klara
Urban liked R.F. a lot, and when he would come calling, while he was opening
the gate at the bottom of the pasture, she would pop a pan of kolaches into
the oven. By the time R. F. had arrived at the house and said his "howdies"
the fresh kolaches were hot from the oven. My mom says she used to tease him
she wasn't sure of he was coming to see her or her mother. Daddy had a big
appetite and "sweet tooth" and mom's cooking seemed to keep that under
control. R.F. died October 19, 1996, after 64 years of marriage. Anna, at
age 88, still lives in Clifton.
Pat Lyon

Old News From Around The County
The Bosque Citizen
Thursday, Dec. 16, 1886

Morgan Tribute
Morgan, Dec. 14 - The many friends of Mr A C McKay and his estimable wife,
regret very much to have them leave, Morgan loses a good citizen and
Meridian gains one.

Mrs. Nash has been unable to attend to her duties for a few days on account
of being sick. She is improving now.

Mr. McDaniel of Ellis County visited the family of his cousin, Jim Wright
last week.

Maj. E.B. Carruth spend Sunday in Meridian.

Variities From Valley Mills
Valley Mills, Dec. 14 - The teachers meeting at Searsville Saturday night
was a very pleasant one. Miss Hamer's recitations and Mr. Spencers address
on "Ocean Currents" were excellent.

V H Iley's family will reach Meridian this week, and occupy their new home,
vacated on Tuesday by JM Robertson.

Sam Harris vacated his residence on Tuesday, and J M Robetson, the
purchaser, moved in.

Martin Sheafstead was contractor for Pierce Ward's residence and has
completed it.

Earle Wortham the eight year old son of Dr. Wortham has been seriously ill
for several days.

Col T C Alexander is building a small cottage near the Cumberland Church.

Albert Crain has gladdened his many friends by returning to Meridian to

W.P. Siske of Kopperl has been reappointed Deputy Sheriff by Mr. Speer, and
duly commissioned by the County Clerk.

Be sure to visit the Bosque County site at  there's a wealth of information on
Bosque County and it's families provided by volunteers and other
researchers. Contribute your family information, you might just find
something on your ancestors there. You're quite likely to find others
researching your family line as well. There you can check out the new
project for the TxGenWeb archives, you can submit Texas Family Group Sheets,
be sure to submit your Bosque County family.

The Bosque County Collection in Meridian has a treasure trove of history
just waiting to be explored. From the many newspapers covering the county
through the years, census, death and marriage records to the old deeds.
There is sure to be something there for every researcher, for more
information visit their website at

Good luck to all who are researching their Bosque County roots. If you would
like to submit a query, family story or reunion information on your Bosque
County family, please email me at , or mail it to Bosque
County News, P.O. Box 343, Meridian, Tx 76665 or fax it to 254-435-6335.