Thursday, June 02, 2016

From Pioneering Stock, June 2, 2016

It is not easy to be a pioneer
- but oh, it is fascinating! 
I would not trade one moment,
even the worst moment,
for all the riches in the world.
~Elizabeth Blackwell

Three celebrations are in order in our family this day. Two are contemporary, one is a remembrance from long ago, involving stories of a genealogical nature and of historical interest.

James Brooks Davis (1870-1928). Today is the anniversary of the birth of my Great Grandfather James Brooks Davis who was born on this day in 1870 near Spencer, Indiana. He was the much admired father of my Grandmother Bura Davis Shepard, who chose her father's birthday as the day to marry William Shepard in 1915. James died at 58 years old, also in the month of June, but in Beaver County, Oklahoma.

Jim Davis was the brave soul who, after living in Indiana all his 43 years, and after being a 3rd generation Hoosier, packed up and moved west in 1913 to Beaver County, Oklahoma, some 900 miles away. He migrated with his wife Callie (also a native Indianan), their 7 children (ages 5 to 16), AND his wife's special needs brother Clayton Spear. To pack up and move a family that size and configuration required a pioneering spirit. It was something between "rather crazy" and "incredibly ambitious." 

But Jim Davis was from pioneering stock; it was in his blood. His grandparents Alexander and Jane Davis had braved the American wilderness some 60 years earlier when they migrated from Monroe County, Ohio to Owen County, Indiana. And they did so with several young children, including my Great Great Grandfather Charles Davis! The stories of their adventures must have been the stuff of many a conversation around Davis dinner tables during James' early years. We remember him, on this his birthday, with admiration for his love of family and his willingness to dream of a better future. He is buried today alongside his wife Callie in Sophia Cemetery in Beaver County. 

The picture above shows James Brooks Davis in 1923 with 4 of his grandchildren, Eugene, Pauline and Elmer Shepard, and Geneva Kilpatrick.

Happy Anniversary Gary and Cindy. Today, June 2, is the 37th anniversary of my brother Gary Shepard and his wife Cindy Dillon Shepard. Happy Anniversary to them! Gary is one of the Great Grandchildren of James Brooks Davis. 

He and Cindy were married in 1979 in Southern California where they lived for the first 34 years of their married life. Today they live in Oak Harbor, Washington just a short drive from Anacortes, Washington where our mother Maida Shepard lives. Cindy and Gary are very helpful in caring for mom who, as she moves into her 90's, is requiring more and more care and attention from her family.

Happy Anniversary Jeremy and Desiree. Yesterday was the 14th wedding anniversary of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz. Jeremy is one of the Great Great Grandchildren of the aforementioned James Brooks Davis. He is the oldest child of Kim Boyd Clark of Blue Springs, Missouri and lives with wife Desiree and their 5 children in El Cajon, California. Best wishes to them for a happy anniversary!
- - -
Steve Shepard

No comments: