Monday, October 26, 2009

This a photo passed on to me from my grandfather, Richard Melvin, positioned in the center.
I'm guessing him to be around the age of 2 or 3 which by my math.... Melvin having been born on the 22nd of Jan. 1909 that puts this photo having been taken circa 1911.

I found this article posted on the web published in 1906 by: Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.

(Italics are corrections by me from the original article)

Cornelius FLEMING, b. 1857

Cornelius Fleming, whose fellow townsmen speak of him in terms of respect and good will, is now devoting his time and energies to farming on section 10, Richland township. He was born November 2, 1857, in the house which is yet his place of residence and here he has always lived. He is the son of R. L. Fleming and a twin brother of Amy Cornelia Fleming. In his youth he attended the district schools and was trained to farm work, remaining in the employ of his father until his marriage, which was celebrated on the 4th of December, 1887, Miss Annettie Willock becoming his wife. Her birth occurred in Logan county. Illinois, July 22, 1867. After the marriage of the son the father lived with him for seven years, or until his death, which occurred upon the old family homestead. At that time Cornelius Fleming inherited ninety acres of the land. This is a good farm, well situated. It is rolling prairie and very productive. There are fair buildings upon the place, which were erected by the father and the residence is a story and a half structure, being built of rock and cement. Mr. Fleming gives his attention to general agricultural pursuits and has his fields under a high state of cultivation. He is a good worker, honest and industrious. In his home he has an old bureau which his father brought from Virginia. It is filled with old books and papers which were kept by R. L. Fleming, many of which are valuable, while all are very interesting. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Fleming have been born eight children: Robert Glenn, born October 11, 1888; Lemuel Guy, February 23, 1891; Hulda Maud, September 19, 1893; Perry Weldon, February 8, 1896; Chanley Lee, August 15, 1898; Carl Sanford, December 11, 1900; John Lloyd, May 31, 1903; and Paul Ernest, January 15, 1906. Mr. Fleming exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the democracy. He has never sought office, however, and has served only as constable. His time and attention are devoted to his farming interests, which he has followed throughout his entire life.
This is the Old Fleming Homestead mentioned in the above article. According to my grandfather the farm on which this stone house sat was purchased by Robert L. Fleming (Cornelius's Father) in 1852 for $500 and a team of sorrel horses. Then in 1912 They built the two-story home just north of the old stone home. This house was where Melvin grew up. This farm and house stayed in the family until abt. 1952. Seven years after the death of Cornelius in 1945.

There were reportedly several items built from the walnut cabinets that were salvaged from the old stone house, including a cribbage board, (where abouts unknown) and a shadow box built by Wayne Fleming, son of Robert Glen pictured above. The old stone home was eventually torn down and the rocks crushed and spread over the farm to add lime to the soil.
Robert Glen - Known as Glen , 4 children
Lemuel Guy - Known as Guy, never married
Hulda Maude - Known as Hulda Ryan, 3 children
Perry Weldon - Known as Weldon, never married. Weldon was a test driver for Ford Motor Co. and got very sick from driving the non heated cars out on frozen lake Michigan and later contracted tuberculosis and moved to Albuquerque N.M. where he died at age 22.
Chanley Lee - Known as Chan, married, 7 children
Carl Sanford - Known as Carl, married, no children.
Lloyd John - Known as John, married, 4 children.
Paul Ernest - no known information.
Richard Melvin - known as Melvin, married, 2 children.
I am still seeking family members to find any information and stories that I can pass on. I really enjoy doing research on my families history. I feel like I have made a connection with them that otherwise would not existed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Courage is Made Of

Six years ago today my Father lost his 14 month battle with Small Cell Cancer. I will be forever grateful for the nearly 4 weeks that I got to spend with him just 11 days prior to his passing. During that time we had many reminiscant conversations and many others on topics we hadn't talked about before.
If I had to choose only one word to describe him I would say "Patriotic".
When I was young I remember watching him serve with the American Legion during the Memorial Day Ceremonies or the 4th of July Fireworks,
as he stood there for the National Anthem, proud and yet so humble at the same time of the love for his country.
He returned with honor from serving in the United States Navy from Dec. 1954 to Feb. 1957. He was stationed in Kodiak, AK., Fallon, NV. and Vallejo, CA. I had the pleasure of hearing many, many stories from his time in the service and yes many of them I heard over and over through the years. But it was from these stories that many of the "Phil-isms" came to be.
I suppose most children recognize the shortcomings of their parents as I'm sure my children do as well. In spite of whatever shortcomings my father may have had, he and my mother raised us kids to be patriotic, hard working and integrable. I know there were many times in years past that he and I didn't exactly see eye to eye, but those times are so trivial to the relationship that he and I built together over the last decade or so of his life. I love him very much and miss him more than I can express.

My Grand Elf Babies

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Man I Admired and Loved

October 26th marked the eight year anniversary of the death of Phil Cram. 
For those of you who knew him you might say that he was a man of few words, but when he did speak you might want to listen because it always had value and wisdom. 
As I got to know him through the years I would look at him and wonder what he was thinking?
He always made sure to look at any given situation and think about all sides and views of the subject before putting it all into words. You could bet that when he did share his thoughts with you that it was well thought out and objective. He rarely would give just his opinion or advice but thoughts from all sides and let you seek the answer from that information. In the 23 years or so that I had the fortune of knowing him I can't recall a time that I ever saw him display the emotion of anger. I sure he did from time to time but he was very good at sorting it all out in his mind before speaking of it. 

I miss him very much as I know Brenda does as well. My regret is that my kids and especially my grandkids will not have had the opportunity to really know this wonderful man. I know that God has put him to good use in Heaven and I cherish the day that I will see him again. Amen

Friday, October 31, 2008

On Monday of this week Parker called from swim practice to let us know that Brendan Hansen would be at the pool later that night to sign autographs. I went and picked him up from practice and when he got in the car he could hardly contain his excitement about the event that evening.
I brought him home and he immediately finished his school work and headed off to the shower. Nearly 30 min. later he came hustling down the stairs dressed in his best swim T-shirt and best Nike ball cap. I kinda had to chuckle cause he reminded me so much of "Beaver Cleaver"
(Gee, Wally are ya ready to go?) It was so awesome!

So Brenda and him went off to the exciting aquatic extravaganza. As you can see Parker has a grin from ear to ear. The 14 Career Gold Medalist on the left, Brendan Hansen. And on the right is 8 Career Gold Medalist Eric Shanteau. Pictured below is the swim cap autographed by both. Definitely a highlight for Parker to remember for years to come.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Last 45 Days

The Last 45 days have been....well pretty crazy.
After returning from our loop through the western U.S. (AZ. to S.D. and back to NV.) we tried to gain a sense of normalcy in our lives, knowing that our sense of normalcy is indeed abnormal to those outside looking in.

Phil, Amanda & Emma (PAE) seem to have settled in quite well to their home in SLC, UT. Before they moved we had an opportunity to spend allot of time with Emma. It was a very deep sense of lose when they left. Last week we (Brenda & I ) made a special effort to call PAE to specifically talk to Emma. When Phil answered the phone and I asked for Emma, he said "Emma, its Popo on the phone and he wants to talk to you." I could her thrill as she came running to the phone. "Hi Popo, where's Nana" I immediately knew where I stood but we began to carry on a conversation that lasted several minutes. She is so excited about her school and Halloween. Amazing how much conversation you can have with a 3 yr. old. She is very bright and intelligent and so full of orneriness, you can see it in her deep brown eyes. As you might can tell we miss her very much. Oh yeah.... we miss Phil & Amanda too!

Austin, Danielle, Ashlynn & Aiden (ADAA) Sounds like a Federal Agency.... doesn't it?
We are so grateful to have them near us, even though we tease them about living in Calif. They live on very south side of town. In reality its only about 8 or 9 miles to their house but with all the road construction and traffic it can take up to 30 min or more. Anyway... Sundays are a great day for me because after church we have family dinner and ADAA all come to the house. It is such a joy to hear them come in and Ashlynn shouting with innocent, meaningful glee "Popo !!" and she comes running to get her hug and kiss as I shout "My Princess!". Then not far behind her is the biggest little guy, Aiden who shouts "Popo!" and gives me a kiss and a hug while still keeping his Mom within eye shot. I especially like when he says "wub you" while giving his own sign language version of love you.

Chelsea, Curtis, Caleb, MaKenna & Mason?(soon to be). We'll go with the algebraic equation of
(3c+2m)=x (x= a happy family). After the (3c+2m) moved to Phoenix I called my mother and apologized to her for moving some of her grandkids 1200 miles away back when they were younger. I now understood how we must have ripped my Mom & Dad's hearts out. Thats what it felt like to me anyway. Since then they haved moved to Rapid City S.D. (Rat City) as Caleb calls it. Caleb is all boy cause he not only knows his "Popo" but Popo's truck. Everytime he sees a red or maroon suburban he says "Popo's truck!" He was so excited when we were helping them move to Rat City to get to ride in the moving truck with Popo! Although this picture doesnt show that excitement, once the newness wears off the truck ride can lull any little guy to sleep. Popo loves spending time with him.

Now our little Kenners, The Tulip Princess as you see in the photo... I refer to her as an independent little cuss. She is so cute I just wanna hold her and snuggle with her but she is just determined to do things her way and on her time. Thats ok though. Allot of it is that I have just not been able to spend time with her like I have with the other grandkids because of the land distance between us. I think once shes a little older and not so glued to "Mom" I be able to persuade her or coax maybe is the right word. I was telling Brenda that I thought this picture of Kenna looks allot like one of my baby pictures.

We love our Grandbabies very much, equally and without prejudice. They display the innocence of childhood and that could only come from our loving Father in Heaven. For I know we are all children of God and that there are great things in store for each and all of his children. Amen.