L. M. Wood and Sons: In response to the general invitation extended to former residents of Lawrence County, I proceed to write briefly, if possible concerning the few "wanderers," in this section

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Added HC Sutherland bio


Della Abernathy

George Atkins

Franklin Bell

Francis Bonner

David Brian

John Brothers

Vina Bullett

Mary Chambers

Clara Chapman

Bonnie Daniels

Theodore Day

Caius Eaton

Kate Elston

George Emerick

Henry England

Amanda Fitzgerrel

William Fyffe

John Gorbet

Frances Gray

Gladys Green

Ethel Grewe

Bert Gudgel

Pearl Haynes

Minnie Heath

Victor Ivie

John Judy

Francis Lathrop

Maggie Lytle

Joseph Miller

Frank Mushrush

Harry Peters

B. M. Petty

Cecil Ridgley

Leonard Rosborough

Thomas Rosborough

Orville Ruby

Howard Ruddy

Eva Shafer

Jesse Sloan

Leroy Steffey

Rachel Strain

Henry Sutherland

Rosa Webber

Carrie Wilson

Ethel Wright

George Young

Bernie, Missouri

January 9, 1918

L.M. Wood and Sons:

In response to the general invitation extended to former residents of Lawrence County, I proceed to write briefly, if possible concerning the few "wanderers," in this section.

First of the acquaintances to immigrate to Southeast Missouri where the families of W. F. Guess, Willis Donley, A. M. Fyffe and Newton Crawford. Then followed by Wade Vangilder, Dan Hughes, D. B. Abernathy, F. D. McKelfresh, O. B. Fyffe, Sam Fee, Ezekiel Gowan. That was 20 or more years ago. Of these there remain only A. M. Fyffe, a part of the Crawford family, E. Gowan’s and D.B. Abernathy’s. The majority have moved to other parts and a number sleep with the dead. We have to depend, mainly, upon the Sumner Press for word from most of those who were pioneers with us. Lately the families of Ed and Lou Perkins and Charles Petty have come to make their homes in or near Bernie.

Letters have appeared in the non-resident issue of your paper from some already mentioned, so I shall only speak of those unlikely to report for themselves.

W. F. Guess (Uncle Fletch) and wife, after leaving Sumner, settled in Dexter, where they have resided ever since. Land and city property investments have placed them in the ranks of the wealthy, but has never spoiled them. They are lovely old people and to them the writer is indebted for a most enjoyable auto trip to Sumner and back again last August. They were in a fair state of health, considering their years, a short time since.

The members of A. M. Fyffe’s family are all in the adult class. Uncle Mills and Aunt Willie (nee Thackera) have a clear title to a good home wherein to pass their declining years, surrounded by their children and many friends. The two boys are in the draft and have sent in questionnaires recently.

Lloyd, the eldest is married, having a very sweet wife and baby as an impetus to love and labor. He is employed by the Bernie Lumber Company, which position he has held for several years. Hattie, the daughter, is one among the teachers of Stoddard County; Arthur, the third and youngest, is at home with the parents and engaged in farming. All are healthy and prosperous.

The family of D. B. Abernathy lives in an unpretentious, but comfortable little house, a short walk from the city limits of Bernie. Each morning finds D. B., Mary, the second daughter and George, the only son, wending their way to school. The former two attend in the capacity of teachers, the boy as a freshman in the high school. The mater familias, formally daughter of George Daniels (deceased), and Anna Daniels, of Sumner, tries to keep the fire burning and the pot boiling ‘gainst the coming and going of the others.

Kate, our first child, is now the wife of W. H. Frymire, a recruiting officer in the U.S. Army and living in Salt Lake City. She is the happy mother of a year old baby, whom we have not seen except in a picture. If it be a true like this he is certainly one fine grandson, whom we hope to love, someday, other than by long distance means.

Best wishes to the wanderers and their friend, the Sumner Press.

Della Abernathy


(Della Abernathy)

Biographical Note:

Della Daniels was born January 12, 1875 to George and Anna (nee Fyffe) George Daniels was a Civil War Veteran who fought in the battle of Vicksburg. Della was married to David Blackstone Abernathy on December 25, 1892 in Lawrence County. David was born May 21, 1868 in Kentucky the son of David and Catherine (nee Downey) Abernathy. To this union three children were born Kathryn Anna “Kate”, Mary and George. Della died at the age of 101 in July 1976. David died September 20, 1936. They are buried in the Bernie memorial cemetery in Bernie, Missouri.


(George O. Atkins)

Biographical Note:

George Oliver Atkins was born in Illinois on September 11, 1865 to Richard and Ester Atkins, both of whom were born in Ireland and are buried in the Lone Tree cemetery. George was living in San Bernardino, California in 1900. Records indicate George was never married.


San Bernardino, California

January 15, 1918

Dear Editor:

Having received notice from a relative of your call for letters from former residents, I will write a few lines in answer

I was raised on a farm in Claremont Township about six miles southwest of Sumner and lived there until I became a wanderer at the age of 21.

Since then I have often wandered back to the old home place and been made happy by meeting my old friends and relatives but for the last 10 years I have been living in California, too far away to visit at the old home very often.

I am engaged in business in a small way in San Bernardino. Am operating a fruit and confectionary store, doing fairly well, enjoying good health for an old bachelor and like this country fine.

I think your idea of an annual non-resident addition of your paper is a great one, and I would be very glad to receive a copy containing letters from all the wanderers from there whom I used to know.

Many have been called beyond and others are scattered all over this great land of ours, I know not where, so I think this an excellent way to get in touch with each other again. I believe if they had all had notice of your call they would take advantage of this opportunity to get together in spirit again.

This is the first time I received notice of your call and as I never saw a copy, I hardly know what to write, but thought I would do my bit by writing a few lines, to let my friends know where I am, how I am, and what I am doing.

I hope to receive a copy of the Pink Press, full of interesting letters from former residents near Sumner.

George O. Atkins


Lewistown, Illinois

January, 1918

Dear Editor and Press Family:

We are located in the County seat of Fulton County and daily tread the soil where Lincoln and Douglas had their famous debates. I am Pastor of the Christian Church here also him doing some other work in a grocery store. We have organized a Ministerial Association which meets monthly and the duties of secretary were assigned to me. Since coming to this County I have preached ten funerals and married two couples, besides making the address on the fourth of July. Also preached the annual Thanksgiving sermon, this occasion being a union service. I have taken 20 members into the church. My name is. F. (or Frank) Bell, my father being Silas Bell.

We would be very glad to hear from anyone you see our address. Wishing all the press readers success, we will close,

Yours truly,

F. G. Bell


LaHarpe, Kansas

January 15, 1918

Editor Sumner Press:

By some crook or turn I received a copy of your paper, which I am sure was a welcome guest. I think your head is level and having the non-residents send in communications for publication.

I suppose I come in that class, as I lived in Lawrence County from the spring of 1853 until August, 1862, when with a lot of others, we bid goodbye to friends and boarded the train at Sumner and started for Camp Butler, Illinois, in Captain J. W. Watts company I, 130 Illinois and I wonder how many who were in that crowd are living today. God only knows.

In the spring of 1853 father moved from Indiana to Lawrence County Illinois, and Denison Township. We live one half mile north of Pisgah church, about four miles south and a little east of Bridgeport. Many times I live over those days again in my mind.

(F. G. Bell)

Biographical Note:

Franklin Grover Bell was born July 22, 1866 to Silas K. and Sonora Angelica (nee Kirkpatrick) Bell. Franklin was united in marriage to Nellie Grace Frizzle on July 19, 1914. Nellie was born April 11, 1894 the daughter of James and Mary Jane (nee Hite) Grizzle. There were seven children born to this union. Franklin died March 28, 1948 and Mary died in July 28, 1978.



(F. A .Bonner)

Biographical Note:

Francis A. Bonner was born n Indiana in August 1841 to James and Christina Bonner. Francis was a Civil war veteran joined the 130 Illinois Company I on September 9, 1862, and was wounded at Vicksburg May 22, 1863. He married Sarah Ann (nee Flowers), born December 1853; died 1921. Francis died in 1923 and they are buried in the La Harpe Cemetery, Allen County, Kansas.


Biographical Note:


(David Brian)

Biographical Note:

David Brian was born in December of 1855 to John M. and Leah (nee Landis) Brian. On April 1, 1882 He was united in marriage to Frances Lydia (nee Fisher) born to Mathew C. and Julia E. (nee Nease) on September 10, 1860. Six children were born to this union: Calla (b. May 1885); Orie (b. February 1887); Elmer (b. April 1888); Flora (b. April 1892); Ina (b. July 1894); Cyrena (b. April 1897). Frances died April 15, 1947


There were six boys and two girls of my mother's children and I am the only one left. My mother died before I was five years old, 72 years this coming April. She's been in heaven a long time, but I will know her when I see her. My father died January 15, 1872, in Mercer County, Missouri. I had four brothers in the Army of Uncle Sam from 1861 until 1865, and so there were five of us in the service and no two in the same Regiment and had no two have passed away were buried in the same state. My oldest brother, Lou, was buried in Grayville, Illinois; J. M., In Slayton, Oregon; Charles W. at Long Beach, California; my youngest brother, Jim, in Hempstead, Texas, and here I am in Kansas, in my 77th year, just waiting, only waiting for the summons from afar, when we'll have a reunion over just across the bar.

Perhaps some who read this are wondering how much of a family, if any. My good wife and I have three children living, one daughter and two sons, two,-a boy and girl, died in infancy. The daughter and one son live in Kansas City, Missouri, the other son lives here in LaHarpe. I also have a half sister living in Nebraska.

Well, it's time I let up on this letter else I worry your patience. Tell my comrades and friends, if any, I think of them in my hours of meditation and think of the days of long ago.

I forgot to mention that I had a sister, the oldest of the family, who died in San Francisco in the year 1909.

With best wishes for you and all mankind,

F.A. Bonner


731 Clanton Street

Los Angeles, California

February 1, 1918

Dear Editor and Readers of the Press:

I trust I am not too late to get a few lines in your Pink Issue this year.

Myself and family are always more than anxious to receive the Pink Press every year and think the only way we can show appreciation is by each one doing his or her part in making this issue a success.

It will be 27 years May 11, since myself and family left Sumner and came to Los Angeles to live. But my wife (whose maiden name was Frances L. Fisher and I have made several trips back to visit our home folks since coming west and sure enjoy a visit in good old Illinois.

We have all had good health and I have been in steady employment up to last April, when I had quite a sick spell and have not been able to work since. I am feeling real good at present and am improving right along, but had not fully recovered my speech.

I hope that my wife and I will be able to make a visit to Sumner again sometime in the future.

Now when any of our old friends and acquaintances come to Los Angeles, come and see as.

Hoping this finds you all enjoying good health and prospering, I am,

Very respectfully,

David Brian


Los Angeles, California

January 11, 1918

The writer of this letter was born on a farm in Monroe County, Ohio, in the year 1850, and at the age of 21 I landed in Bridgeport, making my home with my brother, Eugene Webb, for over a year working for him on his farm, five miles south of Bridgeport.

I very well recollect my first day in Illinois. It was the ninth day of June and harvest had just commenced. I found everybody very busy in their wheat harvest. It was the custom them for two or more farmers to change work in harvest. My brother and Levitt Hughey were working together and after dinner they sent me out with the team to hitch up to the reaper. I having never seen a reaper before and placed the team to pull the reaper. I found out later it was the fashioned Rugs reaper and ran ahead of the horses. Then they had the Ha! Ha! On yours truly.

The end of my first year in Illinois I went back to Ohio, vowing I never had any more use for Illinois, as I was having the ague very bad and took so much quinine. I think that was what caused me to be deaf.

I remain in Ohio about two years and got straightened up. The next move was to Decatur, Illinois. I lived there two years and had good health, but concluded I would go to Texas, but would visit my friend in Lawrence County first and there I met that best girl I had been hunting for 20 years, and we hooked up and never got any nearer Texas.

We bought a small farm south of Beulah, where we lived for over 25 years and where all our 14 children, 10 of whom are still living were born.

After leaving Beulah we lived several years on the Lewis Shick farm and from there to Sumner, where we lived about nine years and engaged in the Book and Bible Agency Business.

January 1, 1918, we started for Los Angeles, and we located, temporarily, at 5931 South Olive Street, and only regret we had not come here years ago.

We are forbidden by the editor to write about mountains, cities or peoples, I will just say if anyone wants to know anything about Los Angeles address me as above and I will answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Thanking Mr. Wood and the boys for this great privilege and the Pink Press. I am,

JNO. W. Brothers



(John W. Brothers)

Biographical Note:

John Wesley Brothers was born in October 1851 to Stephen and Levina (nee Green) Brothers. On September 18, 1878 he married Elizabeth Frances (nee Irish), daughter of Stephen A. Irish and Isabelle Adaline (nee Denison), born on October 13, 1859. To this union eleven children were born: Edna (b. 1879); Jenny Myrtle (b. Dec. 1881); Adaline (b. Jan. 1883); James Leslie (b. Mar. 1885); Bertha Frances (b. May 1886); Lucy (b. May 1887); Nellie Elizabeth (b. Oct. 1889); Wilmer Stephen (b. Feb. 1896); Fredrick John (b. Nov. 1898); Theodore (b. 1902); Ralph Kenneth(b. 1906);

Elizabeth died September 10, 1950.


Editors Note:

A reaper was early farm machine drawn by draft animals used to harvest grain.

This type of reaper was pushed by horses; a reel brought the grain against blades which opened and closed like scissors, and a traveling canvas apron deposited the grain at one side.

(Vina Lidey Bullett)

Biographical Note:

Vina O. Lidey was born in Lawrence county in February 8, 1878 to Daniel and Nancy E. (nee Petty) Lidey. Daniel Lidey died on October, 14 1877. Several months before his daughter’s birth. In 1922 Vina married Thomas Lee in Big Horn, Wyoming. Vina then married Mr. Freyermuth. Vina died on April 14, 1956 at Tulare California. She is buried in the Pomona Cemetery, Pomona, California in her uncle Moses Petty’s family plot


Graybull, Wyoming

January 28, 1918

Editor Press:

I am Vina Lidey, daughter of Nancy Lidey, of Petty Township, five miles north of Sumner.

I am living in Graybull, Wyoming population of our town is 2700 and is center of the Wyoming oil belt.

I married a bachelor who has lived in Wyoming 30 years.

We have 600 acres of irrigated ranch, most all under cultivation. We had at least for five years for farming. We have four houses on it.

We have also leased it for oil, which they will begin to drill May 1.

We have forty six head of range horses and twenty head of cattle at the ranch.

We live in town, as we have several lots and one 11 room Stone house and a saloon, and six room bungalow, which all rent well.

My son, Vern, of Petty, is living in Graybull about four blocks of my place. Vernon married a western girl. They have one little girl three years old in June. Her name is June Pauline. I am proud I am grandma.

Vern has a good position with the Western Oil Refinery. He has a house and lot and a Reo car.

We are all in good health, for Wyoming is a fine dry climate.

Goodbye to all my aunts and uncles and old schoolmates and friends who read this.

Vina Lidey Bullett




Oakville, Washington

February 6, 1918

L.M. Wood and Sons:

If I am not too late I would like to get my letter in the Pink Press.

We left Sumner 26 years last October for Grays Harbor County Washington. Settle on a farm five miles from Oakville. Have lived there ever since the last fall, when I rented the farm and moved to town.

I have a family of seven children, five are married and there are seven grandchildren.

We are all healthy and prosperous. We are enjoying a very mild winter to speak of, had our first snow last Thursday, January 31 and it only lasted a day and now we are having a warm rain.

Our home in Illinois was in Petty Township, six miles north of Sumner. I visited the old place in 1904 and found many things changed. I hope to see good old Illinois again.

My youngest son has been called to the colors and may be leaving for "somewhere in France."

Hoping to see my letter among the rest we are,

Your friends,

Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Chambers



(Mary Jane Chambers)

Biographical Note:

Mary Jane Cessna was born in July 1852 to Jonathan and Susan (nee Martin) Cessna. She married Jethro Tabor Chambers on December 29, 1872 in Lawrence County. Five children were born in Illinois: Hiram, George, Flora, Amanda and Iva; two were born in Washington, Fannie and Raleigh. The family moved to Oakville in late 1891 or early 1892.

Hiram Martin, an uncle of Jane’s was living with them in 1900 in Washington. In 1852 Hiram Martin immigrated to Lawrence County and was one of the oldest settlers in the County being born in Juanita County, Pennsylvania February 8, 1822 to Robert and Jane (nee Hoopes) Martin.

Editor Note:

On February 3, 1919 the family wrote another letter to the Press and adds” Dear friends and relatives:

I am glad of this opportunity to let you know that I am still among the living and escaped the flu, which was very bad here. How thankful we ought to be that our boys have come back safe, for so many of the western boys of the 91st were in the last great battle and so many are coming back wounded and gassed. Had a pleasant visit with Moses Petty, of California, last fall. Hope to hear from all my old friends through the Press.

Mrs. Jane Chambers


(Clara French Chapman)

Biographical Note:

Clara French was born in January 1871 to William W. and Zerelda A. (nee McNutt) French. On June 11, 1891 she was united in marriage to John Charles Chapman, son of Henry Lafayette and Elizabeth (nee Garrison) Chapman, Charles was born in December 1857.


Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

January 17, 1918

Editor Sumner Press:

Through the kindness of some friend, I received a copy of your paper, requesting the non-residents to write.

I have read the last two issues of the Pink Press and enjoyed it very much, as I heard through them from friends and relatives that I had almost forgotten.

My name was Clara French. My father's name was William French, I was born in raised on the same far my father was born and raised on, which my grandfather French entered three years before Illinois was a state, it being in 1815.

I lived at the old home till I was 20 years old. Was married to Charles Chapman, son of Lafayette Chapman. We built the house were Ed Stockley now lives, two miles northeast of my father's home. Lived there 10 years and moved to Doniphan, Missouri where we live and cleared up a farm. Came to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma which is my present home, three years ago.

We have two sons of whom we are very proud, Levi, 24 is in Uncle Sam’s service. He is in training at Camp Travis, San Antonio, Texas. Has been there since September. Estes, aged 20, is doing his "bit" at home trying to help feed the soldiers.

I have visited my old home twice in the 16 years I have been away, but still saw a great many familiar faces last year when we made our last visit.

We are living in Creek Nation. The Indians are civilized and mostly educated. Are very fond of dress and plenty to eat. They have fine churches and houses and own most of the land.

Now you can’t find us on the map unless it is a late one, as Broken Arrow has built up in the last 12 years, but is a town of 2000 inhabitants. We are 15 miles from Tulsa, which is quite an oil center. There is oil on every side of us.

If any of my friends ever come to Broken Arrow just let us know, for we will be more than glad to meet you and bring you to our home.

We have all been hale and hearty here, but no place seemed as much like home as old Lawrence County.

I will close, hoping to hear from a great many people through the Pink Press.

Clara French Chapman


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