Who Were These People

Who Were These People?  Chism Cemetery

By Rosemary Chism Jordan

Great, great, great granddaughter of  William and Sarrah Wooldridge Chism.

With thanks to Melba Duckels Wood, Marian Chism Haven and many other members of the family who helped compile this information.  Some spelling errors were unavoidable.

Chism Cemetery is located  in Western Mound Township in Macoupin County, Illinois. A little background:

William was born in Virginia on Dec.12, in either 1798 or 1800.  Sarah Wooldridge was born on Mar. 15, 1801.  They lived in Hardin and Grayson Counties in Kentucky.

William and Sarah had at least 10 children:  They were:

1.  John Marion (buried in third row from the east).
John and Rachel (Skeen) Chism married November 13, 1844. We know of 12 children:

     1. A.William is buried in the first row

     1.B. James is buried at the south end of the second row

     1.C. Horace buried just south of his parents.

     1.D. Amos buried further south in this row.

     1.E. Sarah Adelaide buried at the end of the first row

     1.F. Cecelia was married to George Rhoads

     1.G Ella was married to Ira Ketchum

     1.H. Susan – born July 21, 1862, was married to Mansford Bevers

     1.I. Emma – born Aug. 11, 1867 was married to Garner Rhine

     1.J. Catherine – born Oct. 23, 1866, was married to Rollie Rhine

     1.K. John Marion – born Feb. 19, 1869, was married to Mabel Whitfield

     1.L. Clara – born July 24, 1871 was married to Fountain Brown; later married R. E. Carter

2. Susan Ann buried to the north a few graves from her parents

3. Thomas buried in the fourth row. Thomas and Elizabeth (Johnson) married January 20, 1848.  They had at least two children.

     3. A. Harvey born 11-11-1855; died 11-28-1922 buried in Stults Cemetery in Macoupin Co. was married to Amanda Elizabeth (Stults) they had at least five children: 1.  Nina b. on 22 Oct. 1887; 2.  Minnie b. on 3 March 1885; d. on 25 Sep. 1968 in Palmyra, 83 years old; bur. in OakHillCemetery, Macoupin County, Illinois, 3.  Charlie b. on 3 May 1890 in Macoupin County, Illinois; 4.  Ernest b. on 13 July 1892 and 5.  Frank Harvey b. on 26 Feb.1895 in Palmyra, Macoupin, IL

     3.B. Mary Susan b. about 1848 in Macoupin County, Illinois was married to Christopher Aden

4. Mary Jane: a stone for three of her children is placed in the third row of the cemetery.

5. Elizabeth

6. Gabriel buried near the south end of the second row. Gabriel and Lucretia Skaggs married      April 16, 1851.  They had at least five children.

6.A. Lizzie Sarah – was married to Charles Benjamin Armour

6.B. Rufus is buried just to the north.

6.C. Lewis is buried just north of Rufus

6.D. Lillie Lucretia is buried at the end of this row.

6.E. John whose wife’s name is not known: May have had four children.

Possibly: 6.E.(1)Gabriel, 6.E.(2)Frank, 6.E.(3)Oris and 6.E.(4)Billie

7. Robert married to Catherine Bessie Skaggs; later married Helen Eubank Reed.

8. Lucinda Cinderella married George Holliday. They are reported to have had six children:  The boys were Willie, George, Henry and Albert and the girls were Susie and Nanny.

http://macoupinctygenealogy.org/history/holliday.html

9. Manoah Bostwick buried in the first row. Manoah was married to Sarah Lilah (Heaton) Chism had at least four children.

9.A. Alex – who died at six-months and was the first stone noted.

9.B. Rosie was married to Oliver Morrow

9.C. George

9.D. Allen Carey (A.C.) is buried at the beginning of this row. Wife is Annettie L.

10. Sarah was married to Daniel Shirley

The Chism Cemetery is in one of the farthest south and west sections of Western Mound Township in Macoupin County west-central Illinois.  The cemetery is on a hill east of the Rockbridge Road.

Various histories and story tellers say that William Chism came to Illinois in 1829.  Melba Duckels Wood noted that her research showed William Chism was born December 12, 1798, died March 11, 1857.  He was married to Sarrah Wooldridge.  Sarrah had been born on March 15, 1801, and died May 26, 1852.  They were early Clark County, Virginia, pioneers (1818).  William and Sarrah also lived in Hardin and Grayson Counties, Kentucky.  William was a pioneer farmer and innkeeper.  Macoupin County history notes that they were among the first farm owners in the county.  We believe they came to the area even earlier than 1829, but couldn’t “make-it”.

The oldest marked graves are not on an edge of the cemetery.  I believe the most logical way to describe the locations is to begin in a corner and work across.  So, let us walk across the cemetery from the gate in the white three-rail fence’s west side to the north-east corner, and begin on the north.

ROW ONE

The first stone has printed on it:

Alex

Son of

M.B. and S.

Chism

Died

Aug. 8, 1864

Aged 6 mths, 2 ds

Alex was an infant son of Manoah Bostwich Chism and Sarah Lilah Heaton Chism.  He died after his grandparents, is laid to rest quite some distance from them.

            The location of graves is interesting.  Alex is actually the thirteenth recorded grave marker. If we step south we find the next grave.

 Chism

Annettie L.                             Allen Carey

1870 – 1934                            1862 – 1932

Annettie Loper (whose name was actually Ann Nettie) was born September 15, 1870.  She died on November 3, 1934.  #9.D.Allen Carey (whose name was actually Alan) was born on December 20, 1861.  He died on August 2, 1933.  Alan was the son of Manoah B. and Sarah (Heaton) Chism.  He is grandson of William and Sarrah.  Ann Nettie and Alan were married on November 19, 18?? in Macoupin Co.  Their grave is next to Alex’s, Alan’s younger brother.

The picture below is of Allen Carey and Annettie.  They lived to be 70 and 64.

Allen Carey

Ann Nettie and Alan had at least five children.

9.D. (1) Della W.   – 1898.  She is buried at the north end in the fourth row.

9.D. (2) Frank Manoah:  1890 – 1960. He is buried in the fifth row.

9.D. (3) Henry Adrian – who married Nina Wade.  They had five children.

9.D. (4) Floyd Blackburn – who married Aline Marie Loveless.  They had two children.

9.D. (5) Evelyn Arrie – who married James Trill.  They had one child.

The third tombstone is for #9 Manoah and Sarah Chism. 

Chism

Manoah B.

July 24, 1831

Aug. 29, 1862

Sarah his wife

Feb. 19, 1830

Feb. 12, 1911

 

Manoah Bostwick was the son of William and Sarrah (Wooldridge) Chism. William and Sarrah had settled only a year of so before he was born.

Manoah and his wife Sarah Lilah (Heaton) Chism had four children.

9. A. Alex – who died at six-months and was the first stone noted.

9.B. Rosie – who married Oliver Marrow and had Loyal and Mildred.

9.C. George – who married Ida Marshal, but later married his mother-in-law.

9.D. Allen Carrie (A.C.) – who married Annettie Loper ( see above)

Below is a picture of Sarah (called Sally) and her daughter Rosie.  Manoah died at 31, Sarah (Heaton) lived to be 81.Sarah and Rosie

The fourth tombstone belongs to #1.A.William and Mary E. (Haynes) Chism. William had died four years before Mary on September 15, 1916. Mary died of cerebral hemorrhage on September 4, 1920.    William was the oldest son of John Marion and Rachael Eleandor (Skeen) Chism.

Chism

Mary E.                      William

1848 – 1920                1847 – 1916

 

William and Mary had at least eight children.

1.A. (1) French, – born 1869, died 1956. – He married Augusta Hall.  They had one child, 1.A.(1.a)Anita.   (French, Augusta, and Anita were eventually buried in this cemetery)

1.A.(2) James A. – born Dec. 20, 1871, died Dec. 30 1871.  He is buried in the next grave.

1.A.(3) Thomas E. – born Dec. 7, 1872, died Mar. 27, 1948.  – He married Abiah Sylvia (Towse).  They had three children:  1.A. (3.a.)Stella, (1.A.(3.b.)Milton, and 1.A.(3.c.) Mary. (Thomas is buried at Chesterfield Cemetery) (Milton is buried at Keller Cemetery)

1.A. (4)Charles Adam, – born 1875, died 1947.  – He married Mary Olive (Tim) Kidd.  They had three children: 1.A.(4.a) Charles William (Billy), 1.A.(4.b.)Marian Hatibel, and 1.A.(4.c.)Chester Thomas (Tom). Charles, Tim, Billy, and Tom were all eventually buried in this cemetery.

1.A.(5) Nora, – born November 8, 1879, died September 29, 1888. (Buried in this cemetery just two graves south)

1.A.(6) Nellie, – born Sept. 17, 1882, died July 27, 1905. She married Arthur Rich. (She is buried in this cemetery)

1.A.(7) William Richard, married Agnes Ryan.  Buried in Medora Cemetery.

1.A.(8)Lester, (Pete) – born July 18, 1889, died April 5, 1924.  He married Selina Wright.  They had two children: 1.A.(8.a)Pete and 1.A.(8.b)Wayne (Chick).  All are buried in the Medora Cemetery.

     The family posed for the next picture around 1896 or ‘97.  The family calls it the “Goat Cart” picture.  The picture was taken while the family gathered on the east side of the house. The house was located west of Chesterfield on the Rockbridge Road. The property is currently owned by Bill and Kay (Chism) Gahr.  Susan Kay’s grandfather was 1.A.(3)Thomas E.  Her father was 1.A.(3.b)Thomas Milton.

The Chism’s didn’t build this house originally.  They bought it from the Ebbetison’s.  In April of 1880 or 1881 a huge storm hit the area.  When the older people talked of it some called it a “cyclone.”  The brick home was very seriously damaged.  The entire first floor remained intact, but most of the upper level and the roof were gone.  One of the Ebbetison children was blown across the yard during the storm.  As an elderly resident in a nursing home she still remembered the storm.  She said, “The hired hand grabbed my skirt and held me down in the blackberry brambles until the storm passed.”  She stated that her father didn’t have time to make the bricks to build the house back.  “It was spring.”  He just got some lumber and made the top of the house wood above the existing brick first floor. It is said he owned a saw mill.

Another local story involved Mary Haynes Chism’s brother and his wife.  They lived about a mile west. Apparently, when the storm came through, Mrs. Haynes either ran out of the house, or was blown out.  Her husband Abner tried to grab her and hold on to her, but while he was able to hold on to their new baby, his wife was blown away.  They found her later in a ditch.

Goat Cart

This is the (currently) famous Goat Cart picture.  Dick Chism is sitting in the cart.  Anita and Stella are sitting in their Grandmother Mary’s lap.  Pete is standing next to Grandpa William.  The other woman in the row is Stella’s mother, Abiah Sylvia (Towse).  In the back row are Nellie, French (whose wife, Augusta, died in 1893), Charlie, and Tom (standing behind his wife).

The grave next to William and Mary’s is their son, James.

James A.

Son of W. & M.E.

Died

Dec. 30, 1871

Records indicate that James died at 10 days old.  The next grave is his nearly nine-year-old sister’s.

Nora

Dau. Of

William and Mary E.

Born

Nov. 8, 1879

Died

Sept. 29, 1888

The picture below was taken around 1887.  Nora is in the center of the picture.  Nellie is in front of her, Dick is on their father’s lap.  Charlie is behind Dick, John French is standing in the center back and Thomas is standing behind their mother.

Pete wasn’t born until 1889.

William & Mary 1889

The last grave in the row belongs to John and Sarah Adelaid Stotler.  Sarah was a daughter of John Marion and Rachael Eleandor (Skeen) Chism.

Stotler

John I. Stotler

Nov. 13, 1844

 

Sarah A. Chism

Dec. 15, 1852

April 18, 1928

 

John and #1.E. Sarah had one child.  His name was #1.E(1)Edward – who married Minnie Tongate and later married Flora Whitfield.  Edward had three children:  Aurelia, Fontaine (Fonny), and Harold.  Aurelia married Lloyd Well in 1938.  They had four children:  Donald, Carole, Barbara, and Marsha.  Fontaine died in 1994.  Harold died in 1985.

Stotler Reunion

According to the writing on the picture, John and #1.E Sarah Adelaid Stotler are in the center of the picture with pictures of her parents (John and Rachel Chism) behind them.  From the left: 1.I. Emma and Gardner Rhine; 1.J.Catherine (Kate) and Rollie Rhine (seated); George and 1.F.Cecelia Rhoads; 1.A.William (seated) and Mary Chism; John and Sarah;  their mother Rachel (Skeen) Chism (seated); 1.E.(1)Charlie Rhine (the child); 1.K.Johnny Chism (seated); 1.H. Susan and Manford Beavers; 1.G. Ella and Ira Ketchum (seated); and Fountain and 1.L.Clara Brown.  FYI; While John and Rachel had 12 children three boys didn’t survive.  The other two (William and Johnny) are seated on either side of her in the picture.
ROW TWO

The second row, from the east, also begins with a child’s grave.

Lillie M.

daughter of

J. & R. Chism

Died Feb. 19, 1879

Aged

11 Days

1.B.(1) Lillie was the daughter of James and Rebecca (Ketchum) Chism, granddaughter to John and Rachel.

Lewis Elmer

Chism

Born July 4, 1878

Died Jan. 10, 1902

Gone but not forgotten

Chism

Ironically: so far, all I know about this 23 – year – old Lewis Elmer is that he was married and that he died of pneumonia.

Lewis

Son of

G.&.L Chism

Died

Jan. 19, 1878

Aged

20 yrs, 5 mths, 6ds

This #6.C. Lewis was the son of #6. Gabriel and Lucretia (Skaggs) Chism.  Grandson of William and Sarrah.

Lewis’ brother, #6.B. Rufus, is in the next grave.

Rufus

Born

Dec. 21, 1851

Died

Aug. 16, 1866

 

Lewis, and Rufus’ parents are buried in the next grave followed by their sister, Lillie.

Gabriel Chism

1829 – 1880

His wife

Lucretia Skaggs

1829 – 1923

Chism

 

Gabriel was the son of William and Sarrah (Wooldridge) Chism.  He was born in Kentucky. He and Lucretia were married April 16, 1851.

He died Mar. 24, 1880 of typhoid pneumonia.  They had at least five children.

6.A. Lizzie Sarah – who married Charles Benjamin Armour

6.B. Rufus – who died while he was 15. He is buried just to the north.

6.C. Lewis – who died while he was 20.  He is buried just north of Rufus.

6.D. Lillie Lucretia – who died while she was 6.  She is buried at the end of this row.

6.E. John – who may have children named: Gabriel, Frank, Oris, and Billie.

Lucretia Chism

Lucretia Chism is in the lower left corner of the picture.  Others in this picture are (front from left) Sarah Haynes, Rachel Skeen Chism, unknown, Sally Chism, unknown.  In the back, (from left) is an unknown person, Rebecca Ketchum Chism, Sylvia Dews, unknown, unknown, and unknown.

Completing the second row is 6.D. Lillie Chism’s grave.

Come to Me

Lillie

Daughter of

Gabriel & Lucretia

Chism

Born

Feb.   1850

Died

July 1856

We will meet again.

 

The next picture was taken at John Chism’s, 1 mile north of Medora in about 1896.  Some of the people are identified on the back of the picture.  By using the picture taken of John and Rachelle’s family along with the partial identification written at a later date on the back of the picture we think they are: (from the back and second to back rows)  John & #1.E. Sarah Adelaide Chism, George & 1.F. Cecilia Rhoads, Ira & 1.G. Ella Ketchum, 1.H. Susan Bevers, 1.A.(6) Nellie & Arthur Rich, 1.I Emma Rhine, 1.J. Kate & Rolly Rhine, 1.L. Clara & Fontaine Brown,  Possibly 1.A.(7.a.)Dick Chism, 1.A.(4) Charlie Chism, Melba & 1.K. John Chism, Abiah & 1.A.(3.)Tom Chism, (Abiah is in front of John Chism) Rebecca K. & 1.B. Jim Chism, 1.A.(1) French Chism, Mary & 1.A.William Chism. (The young man behind Mary and William is probably 1.A.(8) Pete),  1.K.John Chism .

The older ladies in the chairs include (from the left): ___________, _Lucretia Chism, _Sally Chism_, _Rachel S. Chism_, _______________, ______________, Sarah Haynes.  I”m guessing the couple at the end of the row is Hope and 1.K (3) Johnny Chism and that they are holding or have Inez, June, Virginia, John and Clifford near them.

Johnnie Chism Reuion

THIRD ROW

The third row from the east side of the cemetery begins with a rather large stone.

Chism

Rachele E                                           John

Skeen wife

Born                                                   Born

Oct. 22, 1825                                      Oct. 12, 1820

Died                                                    Died

July 24, 1922                                      Feb. 2, 1881

 

#1.John Marion Chism was the eldest son of William and Sarrah (Wooldridge) Chism. Rachele Eleandor Skeen was a daughter of John Anderson Skeen and Judy Brown. John and Rachele were married on November 13, 1844.

John and Rachele had at least 12 children.

1.A. William – born Aug. 20, 1847 was married to Mary Haynes and had 1.A.(1)French, 1.A.(2)James, 1.A.(3)Thomas, 1.A.(4)Charles, 1.A.(5)Nora, 1.A.(6)Nellie,  1.A.(7)William Richard (Dick), and 1.A.(8)Lester (Pete).  (William and Mary are buried in the first row)

1.B.James – born Feb. 23, 1949 was married to Rebecca Ketchum. (They are buried at the south end of the second row)

1.C. Horace – born 1855, (Buried just south of his parents.)

1.D. Amos – born 1857, (Buried further south in this row.)

1.E. Sarah Adelaide – born Dec. 15, 1852, was married to John Stotler (buried at the end of the first row)

1.F. Cecelia – born Oct. 31, 1856, was married to George W. Rhoads

1.G. Ella – born June11, 1860, was married to Ira Ketcham

1.H. Susan – born July 21, 1862, was married to Mansford Bevers

1.I. Emma – born Aug. 11, 1867 was married to Garner Rhine

1.J. Catherine – born Oct. 23, 1866, was married to Rollie Rhine

1.K. John Marion – born Feb. 19, 1869, was married to Mabel Whitfield

1.L. Clara – born July 24, 1871 was married to Fountain Brown; married R. E. Carter

John Marion and Rachel

John & Rachel's daughters

These are John and Rachele’s daughtersFront row, from left: 1.L. Clara Chism Brown,  1.J. Catherine (Kate) Chism Rhine, 1.I. Emma Chism Rhine, 1.H. Susan Chism Bevers, back row from left: 1.E.Sarah Adilaide Chism Stottler, 1.F. Cecelia Chism Rhoads and 1.G.Ella Chism Ketchim. (FYI: These sisters usually manage to pose for pictures in some kind of birth order. It makes photo identification easier.)

 Horace

Son of J. & R.E. Chism

Died

May 22, 1858

Aged 3 yrs, 5ms, 9ds

This stone is very hard to read and the assumption of the name “Horace” is based on the knowledge that 1.C.Horace died in infancy.

 

Sarah

Dau. Of

W. & S. Chism

Died March 18, 1842

Aged About 3 yrs.

This must be the stone for a daughter of William and Sarrah (Wooldridge) Chism.  If we believed all the graves were marked, we might assume this is the first grave placed in the cemetery.

Amos

Son of J. & R.E. Chism

Died

Oct. 12 1857

Aged

1.D.Amos was the infant son of John Marion and Rachael Eleandor (Skeen) Chism.  The stone was broken and mended.  His age can no longer be read.  He was born in 1857.

Emily

Earnest & Ester

Children of

Mary Chism

Barrows

These children must belong to #4Mary Jane (Chism) Barrows.  Mary Jane was one of William and Sarrah (Wooldridge) Chism’s children.  The story is that a man came from Kansas and put the stone down.  No one is sure where in the cemetery these children actually rest.  Mary J. Chism married Austin S. Barrows on Nov. 19, 1840.  Other children belonging to Mary Jane and Austin are: Hardin, Will, Matilda, Louis, Rufus, Amos, Ed, Mary, and Susie.

This completes the third row.

FOURTH ROW

The fourth row from the east in the ChismCemetery begins with:

Della W.

Daughter of

A.C. and Annetta

Chism

1898

#9.D.(1) Della was the daughter of Allen Carey and Annettie (Loper) Chism.

Thomas Chism

Mar. 26, 1823

Elizabeth Johnson

#3. Thomas was the son of William and Sarrah W. Chism.  He was born on the date on the stone.  He married Elizabeth Johnson on Jan. 20, 1848.

Thomas and Elizabeth had at least two children.

#3.A.Harvey: married Lizzie Stults. They had 3.A.(1)Nina,3.A.(2) Minnie, 3.A.(3)Charlie, 3.A.(4)Ernest, and 3.A.(5)Frank.

#3.B.Mary Susan: married Christopher Aden in 1870.

Susan A.

Chism

Born

Mar. 1, 1822

Died

Dec. 4, 1908

She hath done what she could

#2.Susan was the blind daughter of William and Sarrah W. Chism. The story is she was carrying scissors and fell.

The next two stones are for the earliest pioneers buried in the family cemetery.  They are the parents or grandparents of almost everyone else.

Sarah

Wife of W. Chism

Died Mar. 26, 1852

Aged 57 yrs

2 mths  ds.

Her name is most often spelled Sarrah, but on the stone it is spelled Sarah.


William Chism

Mar. 11, 1857

Aged 58 yrs.

William was born in Virginia on Dec.12, in either 1798 or 1800.  Sarrah Wooldridge was born on Mar. 15, 1801.  They lived in Hardin and GraysonCounties in Kentucky.

William and Sarah had at least 10 children

#1.John Marion, born Oct. 12, 1820 in Hardin Co., KY, died 1881, married Rachael Eleandor Skeen on 11-13-1844.  They are buried in third row.

#2.Susan Ann, born Mar. 1, 1822, died Dec. 4, 1908, buried to the north a few graves from her parents.

#3.Thomas, born Mar. 26, 1823 in KY, married Elizabeth Johnson on 1-20-1848.

#4.Mary Jane, born Dec. 25, 1825, married Osten Barrows on 11-19-1840. Three of her children are buried in this cemetery.

#5.Elizabeth, born Nov. 26, 1827, married Robert Pepperdine on 10-27-1847.

#6.Gabriel, born Aug. 9, 1829 in KY, married Lucretia Skaggs on 4-16-1851. They are buried near the south end of the second row.

#7 Robert, born June 25, 1831 in KY, married Catherine Bessie Skaggs on 1-20-1848 (if she was also called Kitty Ann); later he married Helen Eubank Reed

#8.Lusenda Cinderella, born Feb. 18, 1833, married George Holliday 4-15-18 http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilmacoup/history/m_histry.htm

#9. Manoah Bostwick, born July 27, 1835, married Sarah Lilah (Heaton). They are buried in the first row.

#10. Sarah, born Mar. 31, 1839, married Daniel Shirley

Nellie E. Lawson

Wife of

Arthur Chism

1878 – 1895

1.B. (2) Arthur was a son of 1.B.James and Rebecca (Ketchum) Chism:  grandson of John M. and Rachael E. (Skeen) Chism; and great grandson of William and Sarrah W. Chism.  Arthur and Nellie had one child. 1.B.(2.a.)Leta – She married Walter Wheat.  They had Carl and Arthur.

Stone

Infant

Arthur Chism had a sister, #1.B.(7) Alice Ann.  She married William Stone.  Their other children include:Verna: married Walter Schaefer.  They had 1.B.(7.a.)Helen, 1.B.(7.b.)Bob, and 1.B.(7.c.)Alice. 1.B.(7.d.)Lloyd: married Cleda McPheron, 1.B.(7.e.)Eldon: married Imogine Cope.  They had Charlotte, Kenneth, and Donna.  He married Juanita Mourning.  They had one child.

This completes the fourth row of the cemetery.

The fifth row, from the east begins on the north with:

Frank M. Chism

1890 – 1960

Son of A.C. and Annetta

#9.D.(2)Frank Manoah was the son of Allen Carrie and Annette (Loper) Chism (second grave).  Frank’s grandparents were Manoah and Sarah Lilah (Heaton) Chism  (third grave) and his great grandparents were William and Sarrah (Wooldridge) Chism (fourth grave in the fourth row)

Virgil Vivion

Son of Fountain and Clara M.

Brown

Born Oct. 7, 1852

Died Aug. 1893

1.L.(1)Virgil was the son of Fountain and Clara Chism Brown.  He was the grandson of John and Rachael (Skeen) Chism and the great grandson of William and Sarrah W. Chism.

Inf. Dau. Of

J.M. and M.C. Chism

Mar. 20, 1914

This is probably the child of John Marion and Mabel (Whitfield) Chism.  This John was the son of John and Rachael (Skeen) Chism, and so the child was the great granddaughter of William and Sarrah W. Chism.

Of the approximately 46 graves marked in this cemetery, at least 17 died before they turned 18.

Marian Haven
 July 31, 1919

September 17, 2014

 

 

Harold Haven

Aug. 19, 1920

June 26, 1985

HaroldHaven

Harold was married to #1.A.(4.b) Marian Hatibel (Chism) Haven.  Marian is the daughter of #1.A(4) Charles Adam and Mary Olive (Kidd) Chism.  Her grandparents were William and Mary E. (Haynes) Chism, great grandparents were John and Rachael (Skeen) Chism and great, great grandparents were William and Sarrah W. Chism.


Mary O. Chism

1881 – 1964

Mary Olive (Tim) was the wife of #1.A.(4)Charles Adam Chism.  They had three children.

1.A.(4.a.)Charles William (Billy): born Nov. 26, 1917, is buried in the next grave.

1.A.(4.b)Marian Hatibel: born July 31, 1919.  She married Harold Haven in 1953.

1.A.(4.c)Chester Thomas (Tom) is buried in the next row.

Tim married Charlie on Feb. 15, 1917.  Her daughter, Marian Haven, wrote the following for Christy Chism Coates in December of 2010.

“Mary Olive Kidd was born July 23, 1881, in Virden, IL, to Simon James and Martha Emma Evans Kidd.  She was 2 months premature and weighed 3 lbs.  They put her in a shoe box.  She was the fourth of six children and the second girl.  She had 4 brothers.  Her siblings were William, Hattie, Albert, Dick and Elmer.  She went to high school.  I’m not sure how long.  She had studied hat making.  Her sister, Hattie, had married William Henry Dews who was 19 years her senior.  He was a friend of Rollin Duckels who had married Hattie’s friend.  William Dews was on crutches.  I’m not sure what caused his problems.  Mother visited her sister quite often and when her sister died following the birth of her second son when he was 8 days old and also leaving a 7 year old boy Mother went to live with the family and stayed with them 17 years when the oldest boy, Dale, got married 4 days before my parents married Feb 15, 1917.  William the younger boy was in college.  I think Mother took an active part in the social life in town.  She had her 3 children in 3 1/2 years and was very busy with them.  She always sewed and crocheted.  She made clothes for we 3 children and I remember she made my father’s work shirts.  In later years she was always making something.  She made quilts and some she quilted on the machine.  She crocheted some rugs.  She always canned a lot of fruit and vegetables.

I’m sure her life was very different after she was married and had 3 children, one of whom was handicapped.  She didn’t get to many events.”

She is sixteen in the picture below on the left and in her 50’s in the picture on the right.  Her eldest son, Billy, is with her.

Mary & Billy

BillyCharles William Chism

1917 – 1952

Billy was handicapped.

Charles Adam Chism

1875 – 1947

1.A/(4.)Charles was the son of William and Mary E. (Haynes) Chism.  They are buried in the first row farthest to the east.  Charles is the second to the right in the back row of the goat cart picture.  His grandparents were John and Rachele (Skeen) Chism and His great grandparents were William and Sarrah W. Chism.

Nellie

Wife of Arthur R.

Rich

& Dau. Of Wm & Mary

Chism

Sept. 17, 1882

July 27, 1905

1.A.(6)Nellie is a daughter of William and Mary Chism and a sister to Charles.

Nellie

C. Augusta

Wife of J.F. Chism

Born Dec. 13, 1871

Died June 6, 1893

We will meet again.

 

J.F. Chism

1869 – 1956

1.A.(1.)J. French married Augusta (Hall).  Their only child was Anita.  French is the oldest son of William and Mary Haynes Chism and a brother to Nellie.  (See the goat cart picture.)

French

Anita Chism

May 23, 1893

April 7, 1984

1.A.(1.a.) Anita was given her own stone even though there was a marking on her parent’s stone.

This picture is of Anita with her aunt Nellie, who later became Mrs. Arthur Rich.

Anita

This completes the fifth row of the Chism Cemetery.

Sixth Row

The only stone in the 6th row is 1.A.(4.c.) Chester Thomas Chism.  The cemetery is on his grandson, Christopher Dennis Jordan’s, farm.  Tom was born May 18, 1921 and died Apr. 25, 1998.  He married Marjory Jacquelyn Duckels on December 25, 1946.

Marjory Chism

February 29, 1920

November 15, 2012

Chester Thomas Chism

May 18, 1921

April

Tom and Marjory had three children together but also raised Michael Bernard Sonksin. (Marjory’s son from a previous marriage.) Mick’s name was legally changed to Chism when he was 18.

Mick married Norma Jean Sumpter, had Kevin and Connie.

John (Jack) Richard, married Susan Bourn, had Virginia, Elizabeth, Katherine, and Mary.

Rosemary Anne, married Dennis Jeffry Jordan, had Jacquelyne Michelle and Christopher Dennis.

Christine Louise, married Charles Coates, had Fadra, Olivia, and Marjory.Tom Chism 4

Nine-yr. old Mickey is standing next to his mom, Marjory, who is holding baby Rosemary.  Next to them is Jack who is held by Tom.  Christy was born almost 12 years later.Tom Chism Family696

Back row left, Mick Chism, Dennis Jordan, Chuck Coates, Christy Chism Coates, Jack Chism.  Center: Rosemary Chism Jordan, Marian Chism Haven, Susan Bourne Chism, Bottom Row: Tom Chism and Marjory Duckels Chism.

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September 11, 2001

In August of 2001, I was unemployed.  This was unusual since I had worked most school days since earning my Bachelor of Science in Education, either as a full time teacher or a substitute teacher or as the reporter for the Enquirer.  Our move from Nashville, IL, in 1993, had slowed me down a little but as soon as the schools in Greene and Macoupin Counties got to know me I was called.  I had worked two years in Grant tract jobs and didn’t want to do that again.  I needed a tenure track job in the strike crazy environment.

One especially clear and beautiful morning in September as I was dusting the living room and watching the Today Show with Katy Couric, I saw a bunch of smoke coming out of one of the World Trade Center buildings. I remembered hearing about the building of the World Trade Center when my husband was stationed at Fort Hamilton in New York in the military in 1970. Now it was on fire! AND they were reporting that a plane had flown into it!

I had continued watching the news when Ms. Couric commented that there must be a problem at the airport control tower because it looked like a second plane was headed for the towers. I watched it hit the towers.  It was, as Ms Couric showed by her comment, completely unbelievable that the United States was being attacked even though I watched it happen on, what was then, a reliable news program.

Then news of the crash into the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania made the morning even more implausible. My husband called from his job site and said to go outside.  He said there were no planes in the skies.  We live in a very busy flight alley between St. Louis, Springfield and Chicago and planes were constantly in the sky overhead.  Even if we couldn’t hear them we could see their con trails. At noon, I drove over to the barn to water the horses and all was still totally quiet.  No planes in the sky, no tractors in the fields, no lawn mowers going, hardly any cars or trucks on the road. I don’t remember even hearing the birds, but that could just have been me.

Later in the week I was asked to interview a young woman and her 9-year-old son from Hettick who were in New York at the time of the attack. Deanna Meffert and Andrew had flown to New York as one of ten U.S. finalists in the Procter and Gamble’s “Strongest Kid in America” contest. The mother had entered the contest and as a finalist they were flown to New York City to compete in the kid’s performance in New York. Ironically, they had just discovered the son had diabetes and almost didn’t enter.

So they left for New York on September 9 for an all expense paid three day trip to compete in the contest. Andrew began competing for the title of Strongest Kid in America. They all gathered in the penthouse so they could travel down to Chelsea Pier on the south side of Manhattan for the soccer kickoff part of the testing that momentous Tuesday morning. They were preparing to leave at 9:30 when word came about the World Trade Center. No one went anywhere. Everyone gathered pillows and blankets and just stayed together in the penthouse suite. The competition was cancelled and the grand prize was divided 10 ways. Proctor and Gamble furnished the kids shirts each day and many incidentals.

The hosts went out on Tuesday and got medical supplies, special foods or anything they might need while they could get them including test strips and insulin the boy. They also got lots of games and built a partition in the room so the kids could get away from the media coverage.

On Wednesday, with the airlines closed they were relieved when the hosts started making arrangements for the families to get out of town. The city of New York offered free bus transit to everyone. The contestants were on 53rd street with “Ground zero” anywhere from zero to 14th streets. Nothing with wheels was allowed out until Wednesday. Families left the hotel to walk around on Wednesday and Thursday. Most businesses were closed, but they walked down to Rockefeller Center and FAO Schwartz.

When Mefferts finally had their travel arrangements made they were headed for Cleveland. Anywhere out of New York was fine with them. It took them an hour to go three blocks to the train station because of all the roads that were blocked off. From there the travel was much more relaxed.  They had been terrified and so glad to get back home.

I had the opportunity to write another story from a totally different perspective. A local mortician, Brad Targhetta from Medora, who had given me many fascinating accounts of his various experiences over the years, agreed to tell me about his work for the government in New York City. Brad worked with a group of people called DMORT (Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team) since 1994. These people go into disaster areas to do anything from retrieval of the bodies, gridding a disaster site, or identifying bodies. There is also a similar organization who do this for animals.

Targhetta’s co-chairman, Bob Shank of Ohio was flown to the WTC scene immediately. The government had contacted Brad to contact members of the organization until he found 37 who could drop everything and go to New York. They had to be at O’Hare by 11:00 Wednesday morning to catch a military flight.  The 37 people were escorted by two FBI agents in a C-130 with two F-16s alongside.  As far as Brad could find out these were the only flights out of Chicago that day.

They landed at Stewart Air National Guard Base just outside of New York City. They were based in a hanger and given a 2-inch mattress for each of the 850 people staying on the hanger floor that night. From there the people were set into teams and worked out of five separate centers doing whatever the Medical Examiner told them needed doing. DMORT command area was at the Marriott LaGuardia. This is also where they stayed.

Brad explained that the outpouring of kindness from all over the U.S. was fantastic. One lady from northern New York State had printed flyers asking for shoe boxes stuffed with anything for the relief workers and survivors. She thought she would fill her car and bring them down into the city.  She ended up with 2000 boxes of all different sizes in just 2 ½ days. This included 40 lb bags of dog food.

Targhetta worked in New York from September 12 until October 5 when his assistant at the funeral home, Chris Wooldridge replaced him.  Teams stayed in New York for many months trying to find and identify the bodies in what was at the time the worst attack on American soil by a foreign group.

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James Kidd

 

Simon James Kidd was born on March 10, 1848 in Barr’s Store, in Barr Township. He was only 15 years old when he left home to join the Union Forces during what is now known as the Civil war. He was taken prisoner by General hood on October 6, 1864, and held prisoner, mostly in Andersonville, for 6 months.

His parents were Benjamin and Hannah Reese Kidd. They lived at Barr’s Store in northwestern Macoupin County. His brothers and sisters were: Mary Ann (Barr), John, Sarah (Henderson), Robert Isaac, Thomas, and Lizzie.

One of his daughters, Mary Olive Kidd Chism, kept a journal he had written. He began his enlistment by walking from Barr Store (in Scottville) to Jacksonville. James wrote, “The last thing my father said was to keep out of bad company and never turn your back on the old flag.” On his journey he said he, “…got in a famers wagon to ride.  I noticed several places at the side of the road board and stamp filled with Bullets.  I asked him what it meant.  He said it was the Knights of the Golden Circle practicing to kill abolitionists.  I did not tell him what my politix was.”

He served in Atlanta where he was captured.  His journal notes only a few of the horrors he and the others endured.  When they were released he believed they left behind thirteen thousand dead. He believed that was every third man who had entered Andersonville during his imprisonment. He thought many more suffered from wrecked health the rest of their days.

He heard of Lincoln’s assassination during a hospital stay in Mississippi.

Eventually he returned to Barr Township, married and raised a family. At his death he was living in Virden and is buried in a cemetery there.

 

 

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And Now They are Gone!

So I’m sitting at my desk doing book work, writing, filing and who knows what else and I glance out my window. The windows gives me a view of a deep valley with empty brown corn fields and eventually Hodges Creek bottom that runs another mile of two to empty into Macoupin Creek. Near to my house we left as many trees as we could when we bulldozed the opening to build the house on the top of this hill. A few of the trees have died, just as the forester said they would, but most are standing. It has been over 20 years now, so I guess we can stop taking the blame for trees dying now.

The birds and animals I see from my window change as seasons change and our view closes in so all we see through the budding trees is the muddy grey of flood waters in the bottom, then the green of the leaves, grass and fields with the occasional peek at the blue sky. Latter the view all turns red, yellow and orange and now, we have brown, but we can see the sun rises and the sun sets and the great distance with no other houses and just nature.

Today, I see little Grey Squirrels hopping around. Next time I glance out the window I see the little bit bigger Red Squirrels scurrying from place to place digging in the leaves. Next time I glanced out my window I see a flock of robins! It is January and I’m told it isn’t unusual to see the occasional robin in this area in the winter. I was born and raised here and seldom see them, but, okay, if the experts say so. But do they mean an entire flock of robins when the temperature has been below freezing for the last couple of weeks and it dipped down to below freezing last night? Granted it warmed up to the upper 30’s yesterday and is expected to go up to the low 40’s today, but a flock of robins?

I have seen blue jays, cardinals, juncos, finches, purple finches (maybe house finches – I don’t know), and a lot of sparrows. We have nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee and Titmice all winter at the feeder. I see little Downy woodpecker, other woodpeckers and, last spring, I saw a Pileated Woodpecker a few times! Last year we even had an Eagle hang around the pasture east of our house for a while.

Before long I expect to see the Great Blue Herons soring over their rookery.  The rookery is so isolated it is a out of my view from this window, but the giant birds fly along the creek and to the ponds near our home.

But today we have much smaller birds flying through. We have Carolina Wren’s that make nests here almost every year. I love their perky little tails that stick up in the air as they land on the rail of the deck or a branch. They chatter and put on such a feisty act, but they are all talk. Most years one tries to build a nest in a hanging basket and then flies out at me when I water the plant. Anyway, I was surprised to look up and see one fluttering around with the robins.

The next time I look out my window it is nearly noon,  and all the birds seem to be gone; everything is quiet except for the Red Squirrels galloping across the grass and leaves. Their tails are lovely and fully bushy as they chase each other up and down the trees. I wonder if they are looking for nuts or if they have another proposal in mind.

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A Courageous Life

I wrote this in 2013. Aunt Marian passed away September 17, 2014, after a short illness. She made her life a benefit to everyone who knew her. She overcame evil with good in every part of her life. (Romans 12:21)

A Courageous Life

My Aunt has lived her life productfully, not wasting any of the days God has given her. I am not sure she even acknowledges that she has grown old. She is very hard of hearing. She has severe health problems which she medicates and ignores. She works hard and does things her own way and seldom asks for help.
I have a great deal of respect for my Aunt because she is so loving and giving. At 94 years old she still volunteers to help others. She enjoys going to church, Bible study, Eastern Star various other clubs and organizations. She volunteers at the food pantry and at funeral dinners. She makes pies anytime she sees the need and makes nine little girl’s dresses for her great-great nieces (and now great-great-great niece) every Easter and Christmas.
She enjoys mowing her own yard, canning her own fruit, growing vegetables in her own garden and driving her own car. She also likes to sit in her own chair and read books, embroider, crochet or do hand sewing. She enjoys managing a small cow herd and watching the calves in the spring.
Since she has so much trouble hearing, she has the radio turned up really loud in the morning so she can hear the news and obituaries. She seems to like to watch things on T.V. and go out to eat. I believe she genuinely likes to be around people, but it must wear her out because she usually falls asleep when she sits quietly.
If I were writing a play, the storm clouds would be gathering now. My Aunt falls asleep. The doctor says her diabetes may cause it or it might be caused when her blood oxygen levels get too low. The point is she doesn’t always know she has been asleep. Look back up to the things she enjoys, namely mowing her grass and driving her car. These are very dangerous.
Mowing the grass also irritates her COPD, but her specialist won’t tell her to quit because she is 94 years old and being active is good for her. Her vision is good so her eye doctor always okays her to drive. I’m not sure about his judgment in the matter since his own elderly father recently ran into the side of a building we own.
How do we respectfully curtail an elderly person’s activities without hurting their spirit? My Aunt has not had an easy life. While she would never complain about her life to anyone, nor would she actually brag, she does take pride in her accomplishments. She never complains about those around her although I have heard her be slightly critical about someone who didn’t keep their word.
She doesn’t deserve to be told that she has to depend on others to do things for her that she enjoys. She doesn’t deserve to have to learn how to ask for help at 94 years old. She doesn’t deserve to lose her independence in this way.
God has given her many productive days that she has used well, even courageously, but then, growing old is not for cowards.

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Seattle

Vacation is hard on me. Crowds of people are not my thing.  I like space.  I like being with people, just not being crowded by people. An airplane departing three hours late because it was struck by lightning coming to the airport isn’t a thrill to me. Having some guy complaining about his diarrhea as he sits in the seat in the waiting area isn’t a good thing at all.  I thought he was drunk at first, but turns out he had a fever and was quite sick. Thanks for sharing.  I came down with something similar on the way home and it hit full force during the night after we got back home. He might have been enchanting any other time, but he is on my top ten disliked list right now.

We had three cloudy, rainy, but entertaining days in Seattle. They told us they had not had rain in two months, so why couldn’t it have waited three more days? I guess it wouldn’t have been an entirely true Seattle experience without the rain. I don’t understand how so many people can exist, apparently living, on the streets in that chilly and wet environment. They were sleeping in the middle of the day out on street corners, but not next to buildings. They were just a pile of rags with a sleeping body on top. Others were in the bus shelters. One had created a nest of her tissues and rags in the shelter. A trash can was adjacent to her little place, but she didn’t use it.

We stayed at an Airbnb. This is a nice idea and worked out well for us.  Hotel rooms in Seattle are outrageously expensive and the Airbnb was clean, friendly and priced right for us. It was only a couple of miles away from the downtown area but still in the extreme hills range of the city. (As opposed to actual mountains.) While the owners kept the doors of the bnb locked, we never felt we were in a dangerous or high crime area at our Airbnb.  Not so in Seattle downtown!

As we walked along in downtown Seattle a woman seemed to be watching us as she, too, walked along.  I’m told she circled us as we took our time and eventually asked one of us for a dollar.  A simple “No.” sent her away, but it was strange for us. If we had thought of this happening we might have set a dollar or two in an empty pocket, but there was no way we would open our wallets in that environment.

My sister-in-law, Susan, has fantastic driving skills. Very narrow, very crowded streets were everywhere we went. Seattle has no parking laws in the residential areas.  The streets were wide enough for cars to park on both sides of the street and still just barely drive down the center.  Only one lane, though.  When cars wanted to travel in opposite directions up or down the street one had to wait.  Another difficulty, when parking they don’t care which side of the street you park on. Wherever you can find a space you can park.  And every space is used! The houses are built so close together that very few have garages. WOW are there a lot of cars.

Up and down was an important phrase.  We heard the city was built on seven hills that were used to fill in some of the low spots, so now the grade isn’t as steep.  I don’t understand why anyone ever wanted to live there to start with and those hills must have made it almost impossible. I wore good walking shoes and still worried about hanging onto the sidewalk.

We should have studied the parking garage locations and gotten a bus pass and map. I think playing tourist is probably much easier that way. The trolley looked like fun, too.  I wonder if they have a day or multiple day bracelet you can buy for mass transit. The various places by the water front might have been easier to access that way, too.

Fish throwing at Pike's Market.

Fish throwing at Pike’s Market.

We saw lots of people at Pike’s Market, we saw whales and seals on Puget Sound, and we saw the Underground of Seattle. Pike’s Market was practically shoulder to shoulder tourists.  It was very hard to really see anything. Lunch was a hard choice with so many really good looking restaurants and food choices. Most of the stores we saw there were just stuff like you could buy anywhere.  That was very disappointing. We heard a strolling musical group and saw a guy painted up like a statue. He even had pigeons sitting on his hat where he kept a little feed.

Whales are near little boats on the horizon.  They came up and flipped their tails.

Whales are near little boats on the horizon. They came up and flipped their tails.

The day we spent on a boat was more like we expected. It was rainy, but since the boat had two large inside places to ride it was fine. The big windows allowed us to spend most of the day watching in the relative comfort of the interior and when we arrived in the area of the whales, the rain let up so we could spend quality time on deck, watching. We saw whales for about a half an hour before they started swimming further away. It started raining then, too, so we had all headed inside anyway. We then went to San Jaun Island where we had a two hour lay over.  I think this is the company’s idea of a gift shop. I found a few small things for the grandchildren, but we couldn’t buy big stuff and carry it home. I concentrated on the lavender products since they are made locally.

On Thursday we stumbled onto a tour by mistake that was a good thing.  We intended to go on the Seattle Underground tour, another rainy day activity. Before we found it we came across a similar historical tour I expect was much better for us. It was a small group tour that lasted about an hour.  Perfect for us.  Not a lot of hill climbing. Perfect for me. And a charming tour guide. Made the tour very informative and interesting. When it was over we shopped a little and headed back to our Aire B&B. Then we got cleaned up and went out to dinner.

Mary loves to pose and Josh is a good sport.  After this the table was packed with food.

Mary loves to pose and Josh is a good sport. After this the table was packed with food.

We ate at a Mandarin Restaurant where we were served tea, egg rolls and dish after dish of wonderful food. We had a really nice time.  Afterward we drove up and up to Kerry Park.

This is as close as we came to having no rain.

This is as close as we came to having no rain.

The clouds lifted and we had a really good view of Seattle, but not Mt. Rainer.  The homes around this park are quite impressive.  The steep climb made me wonder again how they settled this area.

All was very worth visiting. We had lots of food in unfamiliar surroundings. Totally packed in like sardines on the flight there and back. Discovered I really don’t like crowds. Susan is actually lovely and takes terrible pictures! Whale watching on a rainy day can be a lot of fun, especially since the whales don’t mind the rain. My camera didn’t catch any good pictures, but we saw them many times. We also enjoy Kerry Park. I think the Mandarin Restaurant served too much really good food.

As we were leaving Seattle, the sun came out.

As we were leaving Seattle, the sun came out.

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Carlinville Writer’s Guild: Challenge words: Perpendicular, Papaya and Lion

100_0208The horizon has a certain perpendicular appearance to it from my deck. No matter the season, no matter the time of day or night. To understand this you must understand that my home is located in a timber of mostly oak trees that grew straight trying to out reach their neighbors in an attempt to hog all the sunlight. They position themselves to encourage their leaves to each grab all the rain they could when the opportunity presented itself.

My husband drove a bulldozer around the spot we chose for our house trying to open up an area big enough for our future home without disturbing too many of these awe inspiring giants. Then the men dug a hole in the southwest side of a hill for our basement. An especially impressive oak was left just southeast of the hole. The forester said it would probably die within five years, but here we are twenty years later and it is still standing tall, a few feet from the deck breaking the horizon into a perpendicular.

We poured the basement and then built the main floor with a big patio door opening looking out at the oak. When the supplier arrived with the drywall the oak kept him from backing the truck right up to the house so we had to handle each set of two drywall panels. All were 12 feet long by four feet wide. They were terribly heavy and the supply truck driver, my husband and 17 year old son did most of the work, but I stood at the door and heaved them across the space from one man to another bruising my leg with my technique, which was similar to my method for bucking bails from the ground to the wagon in the hay field.

By the time we had the house built I don’t think I could have won any competitions in strength, but I felt as proud as a lion when it was time to return the unused drywall and I could easily handle the boards back out to the truck. I hadn’t realized what a difference those months of hard work had made. Of course, I paid for that and other heavy work later in life, but I loved the feeling of strength at the time.

We stained the cedar siding a dark papaya shade that made the house disappear into the timber in the fall. It is a toss-up whether a person would notice the house or the tree next to it first. More times than not, a person coming to visit for the first time drives past before they realize they missed the turn. When they either turn around or backup they see our oak standing proudly in the timber next to the deck, alive and well for now; and offering a very interesting perpendicular break in our horizon.

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Serendipity

I belong to a Writer’s Guild.  We meet every other week and share our writing.  We also like to take three challenge words or phrases and write a little something.  When I wrote this our challenge words included “Serendipity”.

One often associates serendipity with the younger generation.  When do decisions change from serendipitous to wise decisions? In 1988 my dad had an opportunity to buy some farm ground he had rented for many years.  At 67 he decided he didn’t want the debt, but saw the opportunity. He called and asked us if we wanted to exercise his option to buy it or any part of it.  My husband and I lived a hundred miles away, but chose to take the necessary steps to own the properties.

a hay field

a hay field

This serendipitous step changed our whole family’s life. It wasn’t long before we realized what a wise decision we had made.  In 1988 we only knew we had a good job and could afford to buy the ground.  We knew we could hire family who lived near the land to farm it. We knew we would then have a place to cut fire wood for our fire places.  We knew we would then have a place to hike and garden or just enjoy whenever we could spend a weekend “up at the farm.”

As we look back at those years, I smile.  But, at the time, we spent sleepless nights over the decision to buy farm ground for as much as $500 per acre. (A huge price at the time.) Who knew that in five years my husband’s job would end?  Who knew that we would face our children’s college years unemployed?  Who knew that my dad would discover he had cancer and soon lose his ability to work?  Who knew that property values in our then current home town would go up and our home would sell six weeks after we listed it?

Serendipity?  I don’t think so.  God knew.  He knew my husband’s job was going to end.  God knew my dad was going to have cancer and Mom was going to need us to be closer.  God knew all the steps and changes our lives had to take and was there with us. We may not have had the faith to sleep each night, each step of the way, but God knew.  Looking back, we can see the wisdom.  But when we lived it, it was just serendipity.

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