Friday, February 3, 2017


Mary Jane Ellis Sreaves smoked a corncob pipe.  (Source:  Mary Sreaves Clotfelter)

Louella Pritchard Macy smoked a pipe.  (Source:  Ruby Florine Sreaves Macy)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

News Articles

Rocky Gene Macy:

"Engagement Announced"
(Source:  McDonald County Press, June 15, 1972)

Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Park of Strafford, Mo, announce the engagement of their daughter, Rita Anne, to Rocky G. Macy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Garland Macy of Noel, Mo.

Miss Park, a senior at Southwest Missouri State College, will be traveling to Naha, Okinawa to join her fiance.  Mr. Macy, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, is stationed there for one year.  The couple will be married on July 22 by an army chaplin and will reside on the island for the year.

(Caption beneath a photo of me giving blood at a Red Cross.   Bethany Voyles was one of my high school students.  Source:  Mountain View Standard in August of 1977 or 1978.)

Rocky Macy, a teacher at Liberty High School, became a 4-gallon donor with his last trip to the Red cross Bloodmobile on August 21, at the First Baptist Church.   Pictured is Macy and Candy Striper Bethany Voyles. 

"Mtn. View man appointed county coordinator for Woods for Senate Campaign"
(Source:  West Plains Quill, September 30, 1982)

Rocky Macy, Mtn. View, has been appointed Howell County coordinator for the Woods for Senate Campaign, it was announced by State Senator Harriet Woods, St. Louis, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

Macy said he is backing Harriett Woods because she is a good, progressive leader for the 1980s and she is concerned with the common problems of the common people.

Senator Woods, a second term State Senator, has been responsible for strengthening the state's Drunk Driving Laws, and passing the Omnibus Nursing and Boarding Home Reform Law, Personal care in the Home under Medicaid, Protective Services for the Elderly, and expanding the "open meeting" requirement to non-profit government agencies.

"Rocky Macy Heads McDonald Demos"
(Source:  Neosho Daily News, August 23, 1984.)

PINEVILLE -  Rocky Macy, Noel, was elected chairman of the McDonald County Central Democratic Committee at its organizational meeting Tuesday night.

Other officers elected are Dale Morris, Lanagan, vice chairman;  Wanda Davis, Anderson, secretary;  and Olin Armstrong, Pineville, treasurer.

It was announced that there will be a basket dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Sanders residence at Longview.

"Neosho Employs Macy as Principal"  
(Source:  Neosho Daily News, May 25, 1989)

Rocky G. Macy has been employed as principal of Neosho Junior High School, Dr. Gordon Warren, superintendent of schools, announced.  The past six years Macy has served as principal of the Noel Elementary/Junior High School.  Prior to returning to Noel, his home town, he was employed six years in the Mountain View-Birch tree School District, serving two years each as a social studies teacher, assistant principal and principal of the junior/senior high school.  From 1971 to 1975 Macy was an officer in the U.S. Army Transportation corps.

The new principal was a 1971 graduate of Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield majoring in history/political science.  He also completed masters and specialist degrees at the Springfield school after completing a BSE at Missouri Southern State College.  He has completed additional graduate work at the University of Arkansas of Fayetteville.

Macy was the valedictorian of his graduating class at Noel High School.  He was the recipient of a two year ROTC scholarship and a regent's scholarship at SMSU. 

Macy and his wife, Rita, have three children, Nicholas 15, Molly 12, and Timothy 9.  Mrs. Macy is employee at Crowder College. 

The new principal will begin his duties in Neosho July 19.  He will be replacing Guy Stephens who is retiring after two years in the R-5 district.

"New Business"

(Source:  McDonald County Press, March 9, 1994.  The article included a photo of Rocky Macy, Bruce Arnold, and Della Gudgell.)

ROCKY MACY REAL ESTATE has recently opened for business at 315 Main Street in Noel, just across the street from the post office.   The broker, Rocky Macy, is the son of long time area realtor, Garland Macy.  Macy reports that the new business already has several fine listings in the Noel area.  He and his sales associates, seated, Della Gudgell and Bruce Arnold, left in photo, are interested in listing property anywhere in McDonald County.  The company maintains a computer data base of individuals interested in purchasing property in this area, and they plan to publish property brochures quarterly and advertise aggressively.  The team of Rocky Macy Real Estate invites their friends and neighbors to stop by the office and get acquainted.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Funeral Registers

Garland Eugene Macy:


Linda Stillions, Rhonda Thompson (Vaughan), Lindsay Corldreen Inow, Dorothy Ann Parnell, Mrs. Doris Fields, Polly Ritter, Thura White, Evelyn White, Cody Taylor, LeAnna Taylor, Jane Collins, Freda Howerton, Rose Peck, Beth Carr, Opal Hatfield, Jim Stauber, Gerald Williams, Pastor David and Elaine Howlett, Bob Smith, Betty Lankford, Garland and Betty Sims, Amber Spencer and Roxanne (Southwest Cafe), Molly Files and Family, Nick and Boone Macy, Harley Smith, Tim and Erin Macy, James and Patti Carroll, Avis Lankford Rudd, Doris Sargent, David Matthews, Twila White, Reed Smith and Janie Carey, Billy C. Miller, Dick and Tandi Davis, John W. Davis, Juan and Alma Garza, Ron Noel, Heidi and Jason Pfetcher, Mertie Harmon, Solomon Bowona, Jose Roguel, Molly, Brenda Cates (Kilby), Anna Harmon, Tina and Ron Duncan, Jenna Rossi, Robert Stauber, Rick Farmer, Manuel Ortiz, Sr., Ruby Flynn, Jeff Flynn, Jim Boston, Tiffany and Nathan Burke, Justin and Lisa Smith, John and Kay Greer, Rosa Melendez, Walter and Stella Farmer, Floyd and Carolyn Sreaves, David N. Wills, Tom Quinn, Robert and Doris Porterfield, Ruby Emanuel, Regina Macy-Ward, Deanna McClelland, Wyndy Wyatt, Bill Mitchell, Sondra Flynn, Teaira Moore (Angela's Daughter), Angela Lankford Crawford, Diane Cooper, Joyce Short, and Abe Paul.

(Note:  We failed to keep a record of flowers and cards, but the following notices were included in an envelope from the funeral home):

Flowers:  A basket arrangement from "the Nunn Family"  (Sam Nunn of Neosho, MO), a basket arrangement from Susan and Alvin Files and Nancy and Arrnold Allen (Scott's parent's and aunt and uncle from Ada, OK), and a basket arrangement from Don and Belle Anderson ("The Shoney's Breakfast Buddies"), and a note of condolence from Bill Miller and Polly Rider with the words "God Bless".

Ruby Florine (Sreaves) Macy:


Betty Michael, Rose Peck, Reta Parnell, Jean Harkins, Dixie Holcomb, Hester Haney, Phyllis Lewis, Mary Forbes, Debra Coffee, Karen Womack, Donna Meador, Shirley Landers, Phyllis McCulley, Mary Moritz, Orval Moritz, Martin Stauber, Mertie Harmon, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Coffee and Kelly, Lucile Fowler, Betty Meador, Joe Bradley, Ronnie, Chris, and Matthew Tinkle, Karen Crouse, Beth Carr, Ted and Lucy Smith, Floyd and Shirley (Sreaves), Randy Gilmore, Gale and Judy Duncan, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Lewis (Connie Sreaves), Roxanne Wren (Sreaves), Sharon Boyer (Sreaves), Brenda Pollick (Macy), Joyce Jones, Chris Jones, Patti Carroll, Carl and Gracie Huitt - Riverside Art Guild, Golda Coilott, Dan and Rose Ann Harmon - Riverside Art Guild, Chas. and June Conell, Billie and Jack Allman, Dr. and Mrs. W.F. Stiles, Louis and Lela Hansen, Linda and Jerry Abercrombie and family, Chris and Everett Thomas, David and Della Gudgell, Bob and Christine Dobbs, Treva Haught, Vicki Barth, Freda Howerton, Gretchen Day, Anna Harmon, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Lankford, Betty and Wayne Macy, Dennis Lankford, Agatha and Harris Farmer, Paul and Inez Viles, Boone and Leota Denton, Victor and Rachel Montgomery - S.W. City, Lucile Allman, Juanita Garvin, Ottis Hill, Stephen C. Sreaves, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Pew, Jack Viles, Mr. and Mrs. Max Nunn, Sam Nunn, Ron Duncan, Barney H. Forbes, Jack and Mary (Sreaves) Clotfelter, Charlie and Nadene Bruton, Orville Macy, Jr., Jim Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Mitchell, Dick and Tandi Davis, Fred Bryant, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick W. Laurie, Dan and Roseann Harmon - Riverside Art Guild, Gracie Huitt - Riverside Art Guild, Goldie Coillot - Riverside Art Guilt, Fred and Margaret Smith, Dianna S. Afuvai, Paul Howarth, David and Della Gudgell, Sue Benett, Mary Anne Meek, John Davis, Don Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Schifferli, Guy Deaton, Mary Manning, Polly Coonrod, James, Patti, and Ryan Carroll, Mr. and Mrs. Warren Gough, Chas. and June Conell, David N. Wills, J. Howard Alexander, Dan L. Short, Mark D. Allman, Jack F. Allman, and Linda Kaneer.


My father recorded a list of everyone who sent a condolence card inside of the funeral book.  That list includes the following: 

Chris and Everett Groves, Howard and Jo Jacobs, Dan and Rose Ann Harmon, Ruth Porterfield, John and Dorothy Davis, Jackie Puryear, Tuck and Kay Ellis, Don and Boonetta Davis, Bill and Doris Fields and J.J. Stephens, John and Kay Greer, Bud and Mary Porter, Robert and Vicki Barth and Jennifer, Fred Blue and Leatha Snyder, Mildred Timpkin, Junior and Nadine Cantrell, Martin and Marge Stauber, Boone and Leota Denton, Freda Howerton and Family, Betty Meador, Edna and Bill Copeland, Marvin Chapman, Hershel Macy and Family, Ray Kleinhaus, David and Carol Wills and Mindy, Tamhra Ford, Gale and Judy Duncan, Sale Home Health Nurses, Helen Pearman (letter), Jerry and Jan Weis, Toad and Wanetta Hollaway, Don and Eleanor Sheppard, Newton-McDonald Board of Realtors, Ruth and Fred Marble, Ron Snyder and Family, Karen and Mike Viles, Dean and Thursey Roard, Millie Morse Family, Ed and Gladys McQuillan, Mary and George Tarwater, Polly Ritter, Barbara and Bill Ahlquist, J. Howard and Coradell Alexander, Chick and Mary Lou Shaddox Family, Nolan and Barbara McNeill, Crowder College - Vocational Tech, Howard and Jo Jacobs and Jerry, Grace Cunningham, Bert and Dixie Hurn, Mary and Barney Forbes, Missy and David Frazee, Don and Eleanor Shepherd, Bill and Muriel Bowers, Freda Howerton, Bob and Phyllis McCulley, Mary Liskey, Vernor and Jean Hook, Leon and Carol Perry, Wanda Davis, Lonnie and Debra Stetina and Family, St. Caneras Catholic Church, Cecil and Ella Belle Smith, Leroy Ruede - Baptist Minister, Ray and Cindy Edwards, Judy Kerry, Mary Lou Ritter, Chris Groves, Wayne and Ronda Holley, McDonald County Democrat Women, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Davis, Fred and Sharon Drummond, Rose Peck, Glenora and H.B. Stevens, Patti Carlson, Hugh and Hester Haney, Leah Beth Cates, Richard and Kathleen, Marilyn Hartshorn, Helen Pearman, Theresa, Marty, and Betty Roubik, and Judy Kerry.

Memorial Donations:

Dad also kept a list of people and organizations who made memorial donations.  They follow:

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Mauck - American Cancer Society, Lucille Fowler - Day Care, Pat and Mary Laurie - McDonald County Library, and Jeanne Fitton - American Cancer Society.  The following individuals donated to the Noel School Library:  Barney and Mary Forbes, Clarence and Alma Monholland, Billie and Jack Allman, Bill Kilgore family, Robert Crane Family, Dixie Holcomb and the 2nf grade, Alma Monholland and the 4th grade, Janine Kelley and Children, Joyce Short, Larry and Margaret Coffee, Bob and :Phyllis McCulley, Fred Blue, Jean and Odell Harkins, Phyllis Lewis, Skip and Mary Meek, Orval and Sue Barrett, Steve and Reta Parnell, Ken and Elaine Wagener, and the Noel Alumni Association 

Nancy Jane "Siss" (Roark) Sreaves:

The following persons signed the "Relatives Attending" section of the guest book at Siss Sreaves funeral:

Glen Tucker, Jess and Lula Sreaves, Marvin Sreaves, Harry and Ethel Anderson, Grace Tucker, Margie Tucker, Hycle Tucker, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Tucker, Margaret Pogue, Carol Nunn, Christine Dobbs, Ruth Marble, Bob Dobbs, Floyd Sreaves, Shirley Sreaves,  Betty Lou Macy, Ned Sreaves, Gwendolyn Sreaves, Dalton Macy, Joe and Fannie Ulmer and family, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Scurlock, Florine Macy, and Garland Macy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Ruby Florine Sreaves:

My mother, Florine Macy, was diagnosed with brain tumors in early 1983, an occurrence that was partly responsible for my family moving from Mountain View, Missouri, back to my hometown of Noel.  Mom was hospitalized for awhile, and then returned home where she remained alert and able to get around (with some difficulty) for about a year before becoming housebound.  She slowly got worse over the next couple of years before succumbing to her illness on December 8, 1986.  While her memory faded, she always recognized my voice and would respond to me right up until the very end.

On December 22, 1983, while Mom still maintained her faculties, I walked from the house my family and I were renting up the hill to my parent's house.  There I sat and interviewed Mom for a half-hour or so.  After her death, I gave copies of the tape to my Dad (unfortunately his didn't work properly), to two of Mom's sisters, Ruth Marble and Christine Dobbs, and perhaps to her brother, Floyd Sreaves, as well - though I am unsure about that.

Many years later I rams-sacked the desk drawer where I thought my copy of the interview had been kept, but I had moved too many times over the years -  and discovered that the tape had been lost.  Through a few phone calls I also learned that Ruth's copy was gone as well.  Both Ruth and Christine had passed away by that time, and I gave up - considering the tape to have been lost forever.

Then recently (January of 2017) while digging through some old genealogy files that had been boxed and stored in the garage, I came across a transcript of most of that tape that I had forgotten that I had prepared back when the tape was relatively new.  The transcript is incomplete because I stopped for some reason, but I believe that I captured most of it.

Mom did tell one story toward the end of the tape that I remember.  The family bundled up at Christmas time and rode in their father's horse-drawn wagon through the woods to their grandmother's house to celebrate the holiday.  (I don't remember if it was Grandmother Sreaves or Grandmother Roark.)  She said that while they were riding along they all sang:  "Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go."

What a lovely memory!

Here, then is the part of the interview that I managed to save:

Rocky:  Sit down and don't worry about this.  I'll handle it.  This is Rocky Macy and it's December 22nd in the morning.  I'm at my mother's house and I'm talking to her - Florine Macy.  And what I want to do today is to go back and ask her some questions about her family, and just visit - and we're having hot chocolate and dough nuts.  Okay?

Florine:  Uh huh.

Rocky:  Okay.  You'll have to open your mouth and talk a little here or we won't hear you.

Florine:  I'm not a very good talker.

Rocky:  I forgot to add that the year is 1983.   Okay, I've brought up my cards from my family tree box and I wanted to ask you about your grandparents and about your parents - and this is just real at-ease.  The first card I've got is your Granddad Roark, and according to the way I figure it you were only about four-and-a-half years old when he died.  Do you remember him?

Florine:  Uh huh.  Just barely.  I remember the day of his funeral and that's all I remember.

Rocky:  What do you remember about the funeral?

Florine:  That I was - carried some of the flowers - flower girl.

Rocky:  That's interesting.  Do you remember what he looked like or anything about him?

Florine:  Oh yes, but I mainly refer back to pictures that I've seen of him to when I think.  He had a mustache like you've got.  That much I know.  (She laughs.)

Rocky:  What about Grandma Roark?  You knew her pretty well, probably.

Florine:  Uh huh.  She was a little woman, just real tiny.

Rocky:  Like you?

Florine:  (Laughter)  Similar to me.  Uh huh.

Rocky:  It's funny, though, because her daughter, your mom, was pretty good sized, wasn't she?

Florine:  She was more like her dad, Mother was.

Rocky:  I can remember her myself (Nancy Jane (Roark) Sreaves), back when I was three or four years old.  It seems to me like she was a great big woman.

Florine:  She was.  Uh huh.

Rocky:  Like Martha?  (Dan Sreaves second wife)

Florine:  Yeah.  She was a big woman.  And I've seen pictures of her back when she was a girl, and she was a big girl.  But she was a pretty girl.

Rocky:  I remember you telling me once about your Grandma Roark had some mules or a pair of horses.  Was that hers that your dad bought at the auction?

Florine:  No.  That was Grandma Sreaves.

Rocky:  Oh, Grandma Sreaves.

Florine:  Uh huh.

Rocky:  Well, tell me that story.  She had a pair that after she died he went and bought them, or something?

Florine:  Uh huh.  And then we kept them until they died.  Daddy wouldn't sell them.  That's the reason he wanted to buy them.  He didn't want anyone else to work them.  They were work horses.

Rocky:  Horses?

Florine:  Horses.  Dolly and Ribbon.

Rocky:  Reuben?

Florine:  Ribbon.

Rocky:  Ribbon.

Florine:  And they were both girl horses.  (Laughter)  And Daddy kept them and they had a colt.   Each of them had a colt.  And I don't remember what he did with the colts then.  But the horses finally died - old Dolly and Ribbon.

Rocky:  That was your Grandma Sreaves?

Florine:  Uh huh.  And I remember when they died, too.  Us kids just cried.

Rocky:  That's when you all were little.

Florine:  Uh huh.  We were up in school, but we knew them old horses so well that we were just real sad about it.

Rocky:  Let's talk about your Grandma Roark a little bit more.  What do you remember about her?

Florine:  Well, she had rheumatism real bad.  She got to where she ha to be carried around.  And Uncle Claude, I remember he - I guess back then you couldn't get wheelchairs or they weren't all that easy for him to have one, and they had just hardwood floors with no carpets on them - so he could take her in that rocking chair and he's just transport her from one room to another.  Just drag her through the house.  I remember that.  And it was rheumatism.

Rocky:  Did you ever hear her talk about her parents at all?

Florine:  No.

Rocky:  Her maiden name was Scarborough.

Florine:  I remember that.  I've heard Mother talk about that.  I remember.

Rocky:  I just wonder if the Scarbroughs were people that lived around that area.  Did you ever hear of anybody out there named that name?

Florine:  No.

Rocky:  Well, the stuff I've found on them says her father was born in England, and I never did find anything else about ti, at all.  And supposedly her mother's name was Smith, her maiden name.

Florine:  Grandma Roark was just - she was just the sweetest little woman, and she had one daughter, her oldest daughter, that was little like she was.  And the rest of the girls were big girls.

Rocky:  I just wonder where she came from.  I never found anything to show that.  She was born someplace in Missouri.

Florine:  And what about Grandpa?  Where did he come from?

Rocky:  He was born in Missouri.  His people all came out of Kentucky, though.  I don't know a lot about them.  They all came out of Kentucky.  How do we tie in with the ones (Roarks) in Anderson?  Do you know?

Florine:  Oh, yeah.  Mother's dad, Sam, and what was the one down there?  I can't remember right now what his name was, but they were brothers.  (Nathan Wilson Roark)  And they both had big families.  And there are just big families all the way through.  All the kids had big families.

Rocky:  So the brother's the one that had the Anderson Roarks?

Florine:  Uh huh.

Rocky:  Sam had the Seneca Roarks.

Florine:  Uh huh.

Rocky:  Let's see, that makes sense.

Florine:  So they lived close by there all the years.  But my grandpa was from Seneca and he was from Anderson.

Rocky:  Let's talk about your Sreaves grandparents then.  You've already told me about your Grandma Sreaves and her pair of horses, Dolly and Ribbon.

Florine:  Yes and then I didn't tell you - Grandma Sreaves took care of them horses.  She'd go out and feed them just clear up before she died.  In the cold weather.  She'd take care of her livestock clear up until she died.

Rocky:  Wasn't she the one that always had out the big garden, too?

Florine:  Grandma Sreaves?

Rocky:  Maybe it was your mom I was thinking about.

Florine:  My mother always had big gardens, and she . . .

Rocky:  Flowers in it?

Florine:  Uh huh.  Yeah.  She'd plant a row of flowers right down through the vegetables.  She had pretty gardens.

Rocky:  That's the kind of thing Rita likes, too.  She always puts flowers out in the garden.  Now, let's see.  Your Grandma Sreaves was born in Huntsville, Arkansas.  Grandpa Sreaves, nobody knows where he was born.  Alexander Sreaves.  Do we?  But there's two stories.  One I've heard was that he might be a doorstep baby, an orphan, or something.  Have you heard that one?

Florine:  Yeah.  And what was another one?

Rocky:  The other one was that he had walked here from someplace.

Florine:  Yeah:  Now that's the one that they used to tell.  But what it was I don't know.  But Aunt Ethyl, I bet you she could have told you, if you'd have got with her before she died.  But that's just it.  You always kind of hate to hit up someone like that that's old.  But Christine told me and Garland and Bob on the way to Florida - we were talking about this family tree that you were working on . . . and you never found anything on Grandpa Sreaves, very much.  And she said, "Well, I'll tell you what Margaret (Anderson) told me . . ."  See, Margaret's just a blabbering, she tells everything she knows.  She said, "I'll tell you what Margaret told me, she said the reason you couldn't find anything on him, he was a bastard."  (Laughter)  Did you hear that?

Rocky:  I heard that.  That wouldn't be real uncommon, though.

Florine:  He was a bastard.

Rocky:  But she didn't know who the parents were anyway, did she?

Florine:  No.  Huh uh.

Rocky:  That might mean back a hundred years ago you hid things like that.

Florine:  Yeah.

Rocky:  Sounds like that might be right.

Florine:  Did that come on that tape?

Rocky:  Sure.

Florine:  My gosh.  (Laughter)

Rocky:  It's running.

Florine:  And I even brought Christine (Sreaves Dobbs) into it, didn't I?  But that's all right.

Rocky:  She won't care.  Now we know his birthday was in October of 1857.  The 29th of October.  The first record I found of him anyplace, and I haven't even found him on any census records, but the first record was his wedding.  And I've got a copy of his marriage license.  They were married on the 15th day of January 1888 in Washington County (Arkansas).

Florine:  Oh, now that was Grandma and Grandpa Sreaves.

Rocky:  And granddad was born nine months later, I guess.  Yeah, nine months later.

Florine:  He was?

Rocky:  Nine months and two weeks.

Florine:  Well, I'll tell you what - what did I start to say?  Oh, talking about Aunt Ethyl and Margaret then.  Now we know this, because I remember that, and they all said that at the time - that she was like Grandpa Sreaves.  He was a comedian.  Just a typical comedian.  He'd just go places and put on shows, and have his little ole wagon with him.  And Aunt Ethyl was a comedian, and she'd get up at programs and get up and tell jokes and things.  She would - so she took after him.

Rocky:  What about his wagon?  What did he do with it?

Florine:  Gosh I don't know.  I think Grandma Sreaves had it there for years after he died.

Rocky:  Oh, I thought you meant it was part of the show.  You mean it's just what he rode around in?

Florine:  Yeah.  He just rode around in it.

Rocky:  Oh.

Florine:  But he was a comedian.

Rocky:  Well, that's interesting.  He was real outgoing then?

Florine:  Uh huh.

Rocky:  He was a farmer, right?

Florine:  And Aunt Ethyl was real outgoing, too.

Rocky:  I remember her.

Florine:  Oh she was.  Do you remember how her and Daddy used to get together and argue politics?

Rocky:  Yeah.  Your Aunt Ethyl was the Democrat and Granddad was the Republican.

Florine:  Oh, they'd just argue and fuss until we'd think they were getting mad.  (Laughter)

Rocky:  I can remember seeing in the "Joplin Globe" when Jimmy Carter was running for President, his son autographed her cast.

Florine:  Uh huh.  Oh she was a big Democrat.

Rocky:  Well, that's interesting.  Grandpa Sreave was about - you were about six when he died.  Do you remember him very well?  What he looked like, and  . . . 

Florine:  Yes.  I can't remember though, not all that well, huh uh.  I don't even remember going to his funeral, but now I remember going to Grandpa Roark's funeral because I carried flowers.  All the granddaughters carried flower barriers or whatever they called them.

Rocky:  Yeah.

Florine:  And chances are we were at Grandpa Sreaves' funeral, too, but I just can't remember that.

Rocky:  Let me ask you about some of Grandpa Sreaves' kids.  Granddad was the oldest.

Florine:  Uh huh.

Rocky:  Second oldest, I think, was Jess.

End of Transcript.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Rocky Gene Macy, Principal of the Noel School (K-8) Receives a Letter of Appreciation from School Patron Jolene (Brown) Jones:

December 6, 83


I have been meaning to do this for some time now and if I put this letter off any longer, chances are school will be out.

First of all I want to thank you for the attention you have shown in the problem we have every year with lice.  The first year Jerry was in school, naturally he came home with them.  I begged the principal to send notes home to the parents and when he said he didn't have time I asked for the names and addresses of the parents.  Naturally he didn't have access to them.  This year you have made it well known and I think some of the unsuspecting mothers, as I was, have made it a practice to check heads regularly.  Also, it's a comfort to know the school nurse checks them.

In previous years the only time a letter was sent home to the parents was when money was wanted for some project or donation.  Your letters keep us informed of the progress of the school as well as what's expected of us as parents.

Next, in years past, to walk down the halls was an experience in itself.  The darkness and hostility seemed to be everywhere.  This year it seems the halls bounce with eagerness and enjoyment from the kids as well as the teachers.  For the first time since Jerry has been in school it seems like a "fun" place to be.  (Not a place where students HAVE to spend seven hours a day whether they like it or not.)

Again, thanks for the effort you have put into our school.  It's a good feeling to know your child always enjoys being there and not have to worry about their safety.

Jo Jones


Nancy Jane "Siss" (Roark) Sreaves Writes to her Brother-in-Law, William Jesse "Jess" Sreaves:

This short, two-page letter was written by my maternal grandmother, Siss Sreaves, to her brother-in-law Jess.  It was postmarked in Seneca, Missouri, on the afternoon of May 20th, 1919.  It was addressed to "William Jesse Sreaves, Boston Mass, General Hospital No. 10."  The letter was given to me by Jess's daughter, Mary Sreaves Clotfelter, in the late 1980's or early 1990's.

Seneca, MO

Dear Brother,

We got your letter.  Was real glad to hear from you.  Ruby is at your mother's.  She seems real nice.  When do you think you will be home?  I hope soon.  Dan is plowing corn.  He has just about got it over two times.  We have not heard from Claude for over a month, but he was well when we heard.   I don't guess he got your letter for he don't hardly ever get one.  Mother worries so much about him.  Her and Papa said for you to send them your picture if you have one.  Do send them one for they would be glad to get one.  I was sure glad you sent us one.  Write soon & a long letter.

Siss & Dan

Hazel J. (Nutt) Macy Writes from Florida:

My paternal grandmother, Hazel Josephine (Nutt) Macy went to Florida and stayed with her sister and brother-in-law, Ina and Lewis Johnston of Winter Garden, in 1964.  She was there for an extended period of time and apparently felt she had moved there on a permanent basis.  One story I remember as a teen was that one of the relatives in Florida eventually telephoned one of the relatives in Missouri and asked for assistance in getting Hazel to return home.  She finally came back, on a bus as I remember it, after learning that her only daughter, Betty (Macy) Lankford, had given birth to her only daughter, Angela.  Betty (nor any of the other Missouri relatives) had not informed Hazel that she was pregnant.    The family story goes that when Betty telephoned Hazel to tell her about the birth of Angela, Hazel replied, "I didn't know you all were thinking about adopting."  Betty then told her mother that she had given birth to Angela, the Lankford's third child.  At that point Grandmother Hazel decided that it was time to return to Missouri.

Angela was a late-in-life baby, probably at least ten years younger than her next oldest sibling, Dennis.  Betty didn't make the pregnancy known to many until it was obvious.  I remember my mother hearing about it from Betty's dad, Chock (Charles Eugene Macy), and then phoning Betty from Chock's house and keeping her on the line until Betty finally shared her special news.

But nobody told Grandmother Hazel.

The first letter is from Hazel to her sister, Ethel (Nutt) Macy.  Ethel was married to Jack Macy, Chock's brother, making the children of each couple double-cousins.  The second letter is to someone Hazel identifies as her "nephew Bobby."  I don't know - at this time - who Bobby was.  (Aunt Mary Day Macy King, Wayne Macy's widow, suggested that Bobby might be Bobby Nutt, the son of Hazel's brother, Bob Nutt.)

I have no idea as to how or when I came into possession of xeroxed copies of these two letters.

"Ina Mae" referred to in the first letter was a married daughter of Hazel's hosts, Lewis and Ina (Nutt) Johnston.  Her husband, Bob, was apparently a traveling preacher.

Winter Garden, Fla
Oct. 18, 1964

Dear Ethel,

I'm over at Ina Mae's.  I stay with her of a night while her husband is away preaching.  I am staying all day today & will stay all night tonight.  Ina is over at Carlton's.  His wife had an operation.  Ina Mae went over yesterday & spent the day.  Ina went today & will stay until tomorrow afternoon.

Ina & I went to prayer meeting yesterday morning.  I requested prayer for you.  I testified yesterday morning at prayer meeting.  I am now a member of the Church of God.  I feel like it is the right church.  I can't really wait to get back to church.  I didn't testify for the Lord.  I told what he had did for me.  I used to think the Church of God people testified for the Lord & we used to say "How could they testify for someone they have never seen?"  But they just tell what the Lord has done for them.  I have been happier since I became a child of God that I have ever been before.  He says he will never leave us or forsake us.  I feel he is with me wherever I go & I am not afraid.

I pray for you almost constantly & I feel the Lord is going to heal you altho it may take a little while.  Confess all your sins to God altho he already knows what you have done, tell him, name each thing, over to him.  I did & I told him I had stood all I could stand & that I wanted him to heal me.  Sometimes things happen to us to bring us closer to the Lord.  I know my sick spell brought me closer to the Lord.

Is anyone staying with you now?  I do hope you do have someone.

I expect to come back probably next Mar.  Be ready to go with me to club meetings.  I go everywhere now and have been since I came out of the hospital.

Ina Mae has a colored girl ironing for her today.  She sure had a big ironing.  We had baked hen, dressing, baked potatoes, spinach, combination salad, & cornbread for dinner.  I got the dinner.  I still know how to cook.

Ina Mae is taking her oldest daughter, Gail, to have her hair cut at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.  We will go pick her up at school.  I will go over to Ina's & shower and shampoo my hair then we are going to prayer meeting tonight in Orlando, Ina's Mae's family & I.  Bob is preaching at Fort Lotta Dale, Florida.  Ina Mae and the children are going to Tampa to spend Thanksgiving & the rest of the wk end with Bob as he will be in Tampa, Florida then.  He will preach in Tampa two wk then Dec 6 he is going to start a two wks meeting in Winter Garden.  The church is just two blocks from Ina.

I used to wonder why Ina went into the Church of God.  I don't wonder at that any more.

I have been doing some sewing, making a dress and a couple house coats.  I have three more dresses to make, one is Dacron (dark blue) then the other two is material I had back home.   I bought a ready make dress not long ago.  

Are you still having 75 degrees weather?  Here the weather is in the 80's & about 67 or 70 at night, real nice.  I don't get much news from back there altho I hear from several tho.

Ina Mae's boy, Buddy, & I had planned to go fishing this afternoon after school in the lake by their house, but he has to go to Boy Scouts & I have to shampoo my hair so I guess we will have to put it off.  Ina Mae has to take Gail over to Winter Garden to get her hair cut so I thought I would just shampoo my hair & shower over at Ina's.  I have a key to her house.

I will work at Mode O. Day tomorrow afternoon.  I am going to work there during Christmas holidays.  My!  I don't have much money now as I pay $30 every month on my hospital bill.  I had to give up my other help when I came out here.  They kept me in a stew all the time.  When it rained, it poured.  Everything happened to me at once.

Well, I am going to say Hurry and Get Well.  We are still praying for you.  I hope you are much much better.

Love as Ever,

The following letter to "Bobby" is undated but appears to have been written about the same time as the one to Ethel.

Winter Garden, Fla.
Tuesday morning

Dear Bobby,

Well, it will soon be Thanksgiving.  I hope you have a nice dinner, & I'm sure you will.

I guess the children will all be home.  won't that be nice?  All of Ina & Lewis children will be here for Thanksgiving except Ina Mae's family.  Her husband is preaching in Tampa, Florida, so she & the children are going down there after school Wednesday & will be back Sunday afternoon.  Tampa, Florida, is a hundred miles from here.  

I am going to work at Mode O. Day.  You didn't know your Aunt Hazel was a sales lady, did you?  I just love to work down there.

Your Aunt Ina is washing today.  I did mine yesterday.

I heard you had had some cold weather back there.  We had one cool day & night .  That is the Florida people did, but Aunt Hazel wasn't cold.  They get colder that I do because their blood is thin.  

Well, Bobby, after Thanksgiving Christmas will be here soon.

I hope you, your Mother & Daddy, are much much better.

Love Your
Aunt Hazel 

Ned Roark Sreaves Writes Home from World War II:

My maternal grandparents had seven children, of which three were boys.  The oldest, Harold Dean, was instutionalized with a mental condition while still an adolescent, and the youngest, Floyd Edgar, was born in 1930 and too young to have been involved in World War II.   Their middle son, Ned Roark Sreaves, was born on April 23, 1920, and did serve in the war.

I had always heard that Ned served in the Pacific, and from that wrongly assumed that he was in the Navy.  His unit, according to the stationery on which this letter was written was Battery C of the 203 Coast Artillery (Anti-Aircraft).  That unit was apparently part of the Missouri National Guard before being nationalized in 1940.  By the time Uncle Ned wrote this letter, the unit was located in Los Angeles, California, where it was providing air defenses.  Three months after the letter was written, the unit was moved to Alaska and on to the Aleutian Islands.

My mother, Ruby Florine Sreaves, was born 15 months after Ned.  While she did not serve in the military, Mom did help with the war effort through employment at the ammunition plant in Parsons, Kansas, and also in sales at at least one Army post exchange.

I remember Mom telling a story about how Ned brought the war home to their family.  Not long after he returned from the war the family was having a large sit-down dinner (perhaps it was a holiday meal), when someone accidentally dropped a platter that made a loud noise.  She said that Ned reacted instantly by diving under the table.  It was a sobering moment that brought the horror of war right into their dining room.

Uncle Ned married Gwendolyn Wallace and they had their own dairy farm near Seneca, Missouri, where they raised six children.  He died of a heart attack in March of 1970 at the very young age of forty-nine.  Four of his six children still lived at home at the time of his death.

This letter was with some correspondence and pictures that were being passed around by family members in the early 1980's.   I made a photocopy of the letter before returning the items to my mother.

Here is what Ned Roark Sreaves wrote to his family on Saturday, March 14, 1942:

Dear folks,

Well I got your card that was mailed on the 4th and was glad to hear that you are all well.  I am just fine and don't know much to write about.  We are moved into the new barracks now and they are all right.  I am on guard to-day and last night.  Didn't get but about 4 hours of sleep last night and it has been raining all day and I don't get to sleep.  You know how I always did like to sleep on the good old rainy day.  It really gripes me but there is nothing I can do about it but grin and bear it.  ha.

We sure do have some nice weather here, gets pretty cool at night, just right to sleep good I guess.

I guess you have heard all about the two trains running together up near Granby.  I heard it over the radio last night and it's in the papers to-day.

Well how are you doing with the milk route Daddy?  I heard that you had it again.  What are you hauling it on?  Did you get a new truck or take the one Homer had?  Why don't you write me and tell me all about it?  There should be lots of news back there.

I got a letter from M.R. (his older sister, Mary Ruth Sreaves Marble, most likely) the other day and Christine (Christine Sreaves Dobbs, a younger sister) was up there (the Kansas City area).  Has she ever come back?  Who are Florine and Christine's boyfriends?  M.R. said something about them but gave no names.

They tell me that Alvina and Jack lost their baby.  That's tuff luck.  Wonder if Jack is going to have to go back to the Army.  Phillp got a box of candy from Frankie the other day, and she told him to give old Ned a piece.  Sure was good, too.

Answer soon.

NBC signing off to take shower.

Ned Sreaves

(and then it continues)

I sure hope daddy can get several of the milk customers back& bet he can do it too.  Maybe he'll get a chance to see the route again this spring.  What kind of truck did he get?  Wish you would write and and let me know more about what is taking place.  How many cows are you milking now?  Boy if the war was just over I could come home and haul milk.  But I guess God only knows when that will be.

I sure wish the girls would write me more, but I guess they are pretty busy all the time.  Tell Betty (Betty Lou Sreaves Macy - the youngest sister) I think she owes me a letter.  She should know a lot of good news.

Ned S.

Letter to Nancy Jane "Siss" (Roark) Sreaves:

Harold Dean Sreaves was the oldest child of Dan and Siss Sreaves.  He was born on April 17, 1914, just thirteen months after the couple was married.  Surprisingly, I never knew about him until after he died in 1968.  "Dean," as he was known, had been hospitalized as an adolescent with mental issues, and spent most of his life in the State Hospital in Nevada, Missouri.  As the following letter would indicate, Siss, my grandmother, probably always harbored hopes that he would get well and return home.

I suspect that I found this letter in a bundle of family materials that was being passed around.  I made a copy of it.

The story I heard later was that Dean suffered some mental impairment after going through a high fever as the result of measles.   The story goes that he had been found one evening standing in someone else's home, and that after that his parents made the hard decision that he needed to be sent to a hospital (asylum) setting.

State Hospital No. 3.
Nevada, Missouri

January 9, 1939

Mrs. D.A. Sreaves
Route 1
Seneca, Mo.

Dear Madam,

Replying to your inquiry of January 7, we regret to say there has been no change in the condition of your son, Harold Sreaves.  He is in good health and is well satisfied here, but his conduct has not improved and his mind is impaired much the same as it always has been.

Sincerely yours,

Orr Mullinax, M.D.

Monday, January 2, 2017


Ruby Florine Sreaves:

(Source:  The following was first published in the on-line blog, "Pa Rock's Ramble," on Thursday, July 14, 2011.)

Florine Macy  (14 July 1921 - 8 December 1986)

by Pa Rock
Proud Son

My mother, Florine Macy, would have turned ninety-years-old today, and I felt this would be a good opportunity to reflect on her life and times.  I invite any of her grandchildren or others who knew Mom to attach their comments to this post.

My mother was born on a farm on Swars Prairie in rural Newton County, Missouri.   Her parents were Dan and Sis Sreaves (Daniel Alexander Sreaves and Nancy Jane Roark Sreaves).   Mom’s given name was Ruby Florine Sreaves, but she was always known as “Florine.”  She was the fourth of seven children.     All of the Sreaves kids went to one-room schoolhouses, and all but one went on to complete high school in Seneca, Missouri. 

(Mom and I sat down for a session with a tape recorder in the early 1980’s when she first became ill.  She shared many family stories on tape – and I made multiple copies and gave them out to her sisters, my sister, and some other people – but all copies, including my own, seem to have become lost over the years.  If one still happens to be in existence, I desperately would like to have it.)

One of the stories that I remember from our taping session was Mom talking about her family traveling through the woods on Christmas Day in a wagon that was pulled by my granddad’s two farm horses – one of whom was named Dolly.  The family was headed to Gramma Sreaves house for the holiday meal.  She said that everyone sang “Over the meadow and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go” as the wagon rolled merrily along.

My dad told me another story of mom’s youth that she probably would have preferred not be passed along.  At some point when they were little girls, my mom and her sister, Christine, and a third girl – probably their cousin, Margaret Anderson – decided one night that it would be fun to lean backwards out of the second story window of their white clapboard farmhouse and pee – instead of taking the long walk in the dark to the outhouse.   The next morning my granddad was surprised to find three long, bright white stains running down the front of the dusty farmhouse– directly beneath the girls’ bedroom window!

The Great Depression and World War II were the defining events of my parents’ lives.  Everyone learned to be frugal during the Depression, and they learned the importance of service during the War.  Mom worked at a munitions plant in Parsons, Kansas, during World War II, and for awhile I believe she lived with her sister, Christine, in Texas, (Ft. Bliss?) where Christine’s husband, Bob Dobbs, was stationed.  If memory serves, and it doesn’t always, she worked at one of the base PX’s while in Texas.

Mom met my dad, Garland Macy, after the war when he and his cousin, Dalton Macy, were driving a taxi in Neosho, Missouri.  They were married on March 31, 1946, in Columbus, Kansas.  Dalton Macy went on to marry Mom’s younger sister, Betty Lou Sreaves.

My folks were living at a little house they bought in Neosho when my younger sister, Gail, and I were each born.  It was 510 Park Street – right next to the National Fish Hatchery and a railroad track.  Some of my earliest memories are of walking by the fish hatchery with my folks and throwing rocks at the trout.  Mom also liked to tell about the time she lost track of me shortly after I learned to walk, and two high school girls found me playing on the railroad track.  They brought me home to my mortified mother!

Years later I was living in Neosho as an adult when I rode my bike down by the fish hatchery.  An older lady was standing out in front of that little house.  We talked awhile and she invited me in to look around.  Nothing inside of the house brought back any memories, but the lady did tell me that her mother had purchased that house from my parents .  The house had a total of two owners in nearly fifty years!

My mother worked hard her entire life, and I cannot remember a time that she did not have a job – other than her last couple of years when she was too ill to work.  She was a waitress off-and-on for years, and she and Dad built a truck stop (café and gas station) in Goodman, Missouri, with her sister and brother-in-law – Christine and Bob Dobbs.  Gail and I would often have to get ourselves ready for school and then walk from our house to the café where we ordered breakfast from the menu.   Mom also worked part-time as a seamstress for the Penney’s store in Neosho, making alterations on clothes so they would properly fit their new owners.  

My parents sold their interest in the truck stop (La Bella View) to the Dobbs’ in 1958 and bought an eight-unit tourist court on the Elk River near Noel, Missouri.  We were there for six great years – and they were great years!   Mom and Gail and I ran the Riverview Court in the summer, cleaning cabins in the morning, doing laundry – bed sheets and towels in an old wringer washer– in the early afternoons, and occasionally playing in the river in the late afternoons.  (Mom and Gail would often sunbath in the afternoon while the sheets and towels dried on the clotheslines.  We didn’t know about skin cancer in those days.)  Gail and I made friends with many of the children of the tourists who stayed with us, and we also had good friends who had summer cabins next to Riverview with whom we spent many happy hours swimming and playing cards.  Dad worked in town where he had his own DX gas station for a couple of years, and later started an appliance store.

One of the memories that I have of our time at Riverview involves Mom and her soap opera – “As the World Turns.”  She became hooked on that program through the influence of some of our summer neighbors, and she watched it faithfully for years.  We would plan our lunch breaks in summer around “As the World Turns” so that she could keep up with her story.  Gail and I watched, too!

Another thing I remember is going to Springfield during the Christmas break (two or three years in a row) where Mom and Gail and I would stay at a motel on College Street, and then shop on the Springfield Square for a couple of days.  It was a nice break – a mini-vacation of sorts.

Mom completed cosmetology school while we still had the cabin court because she wanted to have a winter profession.  She drove to Neosho five days a week for several months where she learned the fine art of hair care with a group of girls who were young enough to have been her daughters.  After she completed the course and passed her state exam, Mom worked for Carol Kerry at her beauty shop in Noel.  Ironically that shop was part of a large building on Sulphur Street – the same building that my dad later bought to house his growing appliance business.

Mom was always busy, whether at a job or keeping house.  She would sit and watch television in the evenings with the rest of the family, but even then she stayed busy making doilies, pillow covers, clothes, and, later in life, quilts.  She took up painting just a few years before she died and produced many beautiful small paintings of rural scenes.  She was making treasures that her children and grandchildren would remember her by!

My mother had some significant health issues.  She was operated on in the early 1960’s for stomach ulcers, a procedure that resulted in four-fifths of her stomach being removed.  She also had some emotional issues, and looking back on it from the perspective of a trained and licensed clinical social worker, I suspect that she suffered from depression.  She usually had a supply of tranquilizers which doctors of that era readily prescribed.

During her later years Mom helped Dad at the appliance store, and, after he sold that business, she became the office clerk in his real estate business.

Mom and I spent one very interesting day together shortly before she became ill.  We drove to Huntsville, Arkansas, and visited several cemeteries trying to learn some history of her father.  Her dad, Dan Sreaves, had been born near Huntsville in October of 1888, and he attended an elementary school there.  Around the turn of the century he and his family moved to McDonald County, Missouri, in two covered wagons.  That day in Arkansas Mom and I found graves of several individuals whom we felt were probably Granddad’s aunts and uncles or other relatives.

Grandkids were a big part of Mom’s life.  She managed to live long enough to meet all of her seven grandchildren.    Reed Smith, the youngest, was born seven months before she passed away, and the same woman who took care of Mom during her last months also watched Reed during some of that time.    Mom, who was suffering from brain tumors and resultant dementia, didn’t know many people toward the end, but she always recognized me by my voice and called me by name – and one day when someone was struggling to remember Reed’s name, she blurted out, “His name is Reed!”

Mom sewed and made things for several of the kids.  One of the things that she made for Nick was a clown costume for Halloween, and I know that it got passed back-and-forth between the Macys and the Smiths for at least the first four grandkids – and possibly the first six.  The grandkids all called her “Ma.”   Molly told me after Ma died that she was sad because now Ma would not be here to teach her how to sew.

My mother, a lifetime heavy smoker, was diagnosed with brain tumors at the age of sixty-two and passed away when she was sixty-five.  I was alone with her at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield when the doctors came in and told her about the tumors.  She was very upset, of course, but said solemnly, “Well, that’s just my luck.”  Today we know much more about the dangers of smoking, and I can’t help but believe that if Mom and the rest of her generation would have had better information, they would have made wiser choices.

My mother has been gone a quarter-of-a-century, but I find myself thinking of her often.   I know that all of our family missed out on a great deal due to her early passing.  I miss my mother and wish that she was here to celebrate her ninetieth birthday with her loved ones.  I know that she would have relished being around her children, grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren – which will number ten by the end of this year.  We would all benefit from having her still with us.

Rest in Peace, Mom – and happy birthday!

Garland Eugene Macy:

(Source:  The following  was first published in the on-line blog, "Pa Rock's Ramble," on Sunday, October 19, 2014.)

Remembering One of the Greatest Generation
by Pa Rock
Proud Son

My father, Garland Eugene Macy, were he still living, would be ninety-years-old today.  He was born on October 19th, 1924, in the Westview area of Newton County, Missouri – approximately halfway between Seneca and Neosho.  
Dad was the second of four children born to Charles Eugene “Chock” and Hazel Josephine (Nutt) Macy.  Dad’s older brother was Wayne Hearcel Macy, and his two younger siblings were Tommy Dean Macy and Betty Joan Macy (Lankford).  My Dad passed away in the wee hours of Christmas morning in 2009 at the age of eighty-five.  With the passing of my Aunt Betty last fall, all of the children of Chock and Hazel are now gone.
My father married my mother, Ruby Florine Sreaves (also a native of rural Newton County, Missouri) on March 31st, 1946.  Mom passed away at their home in Noel, Missouri, on December 8th, 1986.  They had two children – me and my younger sister, Gail.
My parents and their siblings were part of what Tom Brokaw famously called “the greatest generation.”    They came of age in the Great Depression, a time in our history that necessarily forged values like thrift, conservation, and self-reliance, and many of them entered adulthood helping to shoulder American efforts in World War II.  
My father attended school at Westview.  He was a good student, and the teacher promoted him from first to third grade, an act that apparently caused some resentment among his cousins and friends.  Westview only went through grade ten, so when Dad finished tenth grade he moved to Neosho and got a room with relatives – and a job – so that he could complete high school.  He graduated from Neosho High School in May of 1942 – just in time to join the war effort.
Dad enlisted in the new Army Air Corps (the precursor to the United States Air Force).   One of his primary duties was to fix the sights on aircraft machine guns.  He served in England and in France where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.  He was the only one among his cousins to obtain the rank of Sergeant, and most of them continued to call him “Sarge” even after the war.  Dad received a serious wound in a training exercise in France in 1944, an act that led to his receiving the Purple Heart.
(Dad's best friend in the military was Joe Spake of Memphis.  Within the past few years I have enjoyed re-establishing contact with Joe's sons and daughter.)
Many in my father’s generation had grown up in poverty and desperate circumstances, and after the war their attention turned to making money so their their families would have a better quality of life than they had experienced in the Great Depression.  My father was always proud of the fact that he had seldom had to work for a paycheck.  He and my mother had a variety of businesses in their lifetimes, and Dad was out working as a landlord on the day he died.
(Dad and Mom also bragged about being homeowners – stating that they had only paid rent one time in their married lives.)
My parents were both good family people, but if there was one outside force that shaped their lives, and especially drove my father, it was it was an obsession to continually be making money.  Money, in fact, was almost his exclusive measure of success.  And it was more than just making money – it was saving, putting money aside for those “rainy days” or the potential needs of old age.    Money was not wasted:  clothes were bought too big so that they could be “grown into,” nights on vacation were either spent sleeping in the car or in the homes of relatives, and treats for the drive-in were prepared at home and brought along to the movies.    Making a big purchase, like a vehicle or major appliance, would involve a “haggling” process over price that could last for hours.  Money was to be accumulated – not wasted.
My father was born poor when the American economy was “roaring” under President Calvin Coolidge.  He grew up in the poverty and neglect of the Hoover administration and the social and economic experimentation of FDR, and he matured in war.  He got his business footing and began climbing the ladder of success while Ike and Mamie were in the White House,  and he passed away during the first term of America’s first black President.  
During my dad’s eighty-five years he went from trapping and selling rabbits for pennies to buying, renting, and selling homes.    He listened to radio when it was a new medium, and as an adult he was able to sit back and enjoy television – particularly the westerns like “Gunsmoke” and “Have Gun, Will Travel.”  By the time of his death he had mastered such modern marvels as the VCR and the microwave oven.   Even though my dad’s father only drove a car one time in his life and often traveled to town in a horse and buggy, my father owned and drove many vehicles over the years, he even had his own airplane for awhile.  (He got his pilot’s license after the war through benefits from the new G.I. Bill.)
When my father was born students were using hand-held slates in the classrooms.  By the time he passed away they were using laptop computers and hand-held calculators.
The old guy saw a lot of change in his lifetime.  He witnessed all seven of his grandchildren reach adulthood, and was even around to meet several of his great-grandchildren.    Those grandchildren and great-grandchildren are all good people – and that is a legacy of which he would be very proud.

Happy birthday, Dad.  You are remembered and missed!

Floyd Edgar Sreaves:

(Source:  The on-line blog, "Pa Rock's Ramble," 8 September 2015)

Floyd Sreaves at Eighty-Five

by Pa Rock
Family Man

I only have two remaining relatives from my parents' generation.  Sweet Aunt Mary out in San Diego was married to my Uncle Wayne, making her an in-law - though the charming and witty 90-year-old certainly feels more like a blood relative than someone who married into the family.  And then there is my mother's youngest sibling, Floyd Edgar Sreaves.  Floyd turned eighty-five-years-young this past Saturday, and a big celebration was held in his honor at the Swars Prairie Baptist Church in rural Newton County on Sunday afternoon.

I made the nearly four-hour trip to Uncle Floyd's birthday bash to wish him well - and to check in with the assembled cousins - some of whom I had not seen in multiple decades.  If I counted correctly, there were eight cousins present, all grandchildren of Daniel Alexander and Nancy Jane (Roark) Sreaves.  In addition to myself (the oldest), there was my sister, Gail Macy, and Cousin Bill Dobbs (the prosecuting attorney of McDonald County).  Two of Uncle Ned's girls were there:  Nedolyn Sreaves LeMasters, a retired elementary school teacher, and Amy Jane Sreaves (whose married name I don't know).  Three of Uncle Floyd's daughters were also at the party:  Connie Sreaves Fisher, and Roxanne and Dana Sreaves (whose married names I also don't know).

And there were kids and grandkids aplenty!  Uncle Floyd even introduced two of his great-great-grandchildren to the gathering.

Uncle Floyd and I had a nice visit.  He remembered that the last time we had seen each other was at my father's funeral.  That would have been in December of 2009 - a long time ago.  (I have lived in Japan since then!)

I met a young lady at the party named Jennifer, the daughter of one of my cousins, who has an interest in climbing the family tree.  I hope she follows through with her research.  It is a fascinating field of study, and I am so glad to see it being picked up by the younger set.

One genealogy-related thing that I did that afternoon was to get out and walk through the cemetery at the church - a place where multiple generations of my grandparents are buried.  Back when I was working hard at collecting family tree information, I would spend hours in cemeteries meticulously writing down information.  Now all one has to do is just quickly snap pictures of the tombstones with cell phones!  That plus the availability and ease of using the internet makes modern family research so much simpler than it used to be.

Mom used to tell the story of Uncle Floyd visiting her at the hospital after I was born.  He would have been seventeen at the time.  Apparently Floyd picked me up and looked me over, and then said with a straight face, "Why Florine, he's only got nine toes."  That remark threw the new mother into a panic!  (Just for the record, I had ten toes - and still do!)

Sunday was a long day - over seven hours on the road, but it was a nice reunion - one that I would have hated to have missed.  It was great getting to re-connect with so many people!

Nancy Jane Roark:

(Source:  The following was written by me and first appeared in my newspaper genealogy column, "Rootbound in the Hills" on the 15th of May, 1989 - the week of the 100th anniversary of Siss (Roark) Sreaves' birth.  Years later it was reprinted in my on-line blog, "Pa Rock's Ramble."

One of the rewarding aspects of writing this column is having the opportunity to occasionally digress through my own family history. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to highlight the lives of my forebears who did so much, often in quiet ways, for their friends and neighbors and family.

Last October Rootbound carried a special remembrance of my maternal grandfather, Dan SREAVES, on what would have been his one-hundredth birthday. Now, a scant six months later, comes another family milestone - for it was a century ago this week that "Siss", Dan's wife and the center of his life, came into this world.

Nancy Jane "Siss" ROARK was born to Samuel James and Nancy Anthaline (SCARBROUGH) ROARK in McDonald County, MO, on 18 May 1889, the middle child in a family of nine. Though probably sharing the same dreams that many children have of travel and adventure, she and most of her brothers and sisters were destined to spend their entire lives in the Missouri Ozarks.

Siss met Dan sometime in the early part of the twentieth century. The couple married in McDonald County on 12 Mar 1913, and settled down to the quiet rigors of farm life on a place just south of the Newton County line. Their married life was happy, lasting nearly forty years and producing seven fine children.

Although life on the farm was agreeable with Siss, early on she showed a preference for indoor work. Embroidery was one of her specialties, as was cooking. Siss prepared a big country breakfast and dinner (lunch) each day. In fact, the first two meals of the day were generally so large that there were sufficient leftovers to take care of supper.

When Siss did work outside, she could often be found in her garden, an attractive mixture of flowers and vegetables. She was proud of her dahlias and equally pleased with the fact that much of the family's food supply was homegrown. And Siss had definite ideas on how and where to plant. The seeds needed to go in the ground on specific days, regardless of the weather or her husband's friendly advice to the contrary.

Siss SREAVES was a very religious woman and a good neighbor. She served as a midwife, helping to ensure that that her friends' children entered the world as safely as possible. The SREAVES table was always available to others, especially after church on Sunday when the children took it for granted that their parents would bring home guests for the noon meal.

It was on a Sunday after church in the late 1930s when Siss organized one of the biggest parties that the folks on Swars Prairie had ever witnessed. She and her daughters had picked blackberries that spring to earn money for a very special gift for Dan's birthday. They took their secret "pin money" and used it to have an enlargement made of a small photograph of Dan's mother.

When Dan's birthday rolled around that October, Siss and the kids were ready! Using some false pretense, she kept Dan at church after Sunday morning services were over, allowing everyone in the community time to gather at the SREAVES home. And gather they did! There are still some people around who relate with amazement stories of the many neighbors that were assembled to celebrate Dan's birthday. The feasting and good times lasted well into the evening.

Siss started suffering mild strokes in the 1930s soon after her last child was born. But being the tenacious farm woman that she was, Siss held on to life for another twenty years. Though often ill, she was able to see each of her children through to maturity, and she had the opportunity to know many of her grandchildren.

I was just shy of being five-years-old when Siss SREAVES passed away in 1953. Although my memories of the time preceding her death are few and faded, I can still see my grandmother, quiet and caring, sitting down at a family gathering to share a piece of pie with her little grandson. We ate with our hands (perhaps the table service had already been packed away), and shared a moment - a moment that has stayed with me as a subtle and enduring reminder of a gentle woman who spent a lifetime caring for others.

It is a legacy that I treasure.

Daniel Alexander Sreaves:

(Source:  The newspaper genealogy column, "Rootbound in the Hills,"  25 October 1988.)

This week's column is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, Dan SREAVES, one of the finest people I've ever known. Special thanks are extended to three of his children (Ruth MARBLE, Christine DOBBS, and Floyd SREAVES) for sharing their memories and reflections about Granddad.

Daniel Alexander SREAVES: 28 Oct 1888 - 29 Sep 1970
The Ozarks were ablaze in their flaming fall glory, much as they are today. Grover CLEVELAND was in the White House, but within a couple of weeks he would be defeated for reelection by Benjamin HARRISON. Folks in the cities were discussing the tariff and the huge U.S. Treasury surplus of cash, while their country cousins were more concerned with practical matters, like whether to expect a repeat of the past winter's awful blizzard.

It was near Huntsville, Arkansas, a century ago this week that Alex and Mary Jane SREAVES welcomed their first child into the world. The boy, Dan, would spend twelve years in the hills of Madison County playing, going to school, working on the farm, and developing the self-reliance and strong character needed to stand him well over the rough trails of life.

Family legend has it that Alex SREAVES had a violent argument with an unstable neighbor in 1901. Whatever the case, Alex did gather his family into two covered wagons and head for Missouri that year. Mary Jane's brother, Tommy ELLIS, drove the second wagon. The small group of adventurers walked, rode, and camped out for three days and nights enroute to their new home in Anderson, Missouri. Before long, however, the family again pulled up stakes and went to an area between Goodman and Seneca, MO, known as Swars Prairie. It was on this prairie that Dan SREAVES spent most of the rest of his life.

Dan married Nancy Jane "Sis" ROARK on 13 March 1912 in McDonald County. This union brought forth seven children: Harold Dean, Mary Ruth (Mrs. Fred MARBLE), Ned Roark (married Gwendolyn WALLACE), Ruby Florine (Mrs. Garland MACY), Virgie Christine (Mrs. A.G. "Bob" DOBBS), Betty Lou (Mrs. Dalton MACY), and Floyd Edgar (married Shirley MEANS). Dan and Sis also raised her nephew, Ivan ROARK.

The SREAVES family attended church and Sunday School regularly. Dan always tithed, even during times when it seem as though the money just wasn't there, and for years he was instrumental in providing the necessary financial support to keep the doors open at the small Swars Prairie Methodist Church. (My mother, Florine, told me on several occasions that there were so many SREAVES in that small church that the hymn Bringing in the Sheeves would often be sung as Bringing in the SREAVES!) Throughout his life, Dan sought counsel in the Bible before making important decisions.

Dan SREAVES was a farmer, and at times he supplemented the modest farm income by hauling milk and driving a school bus. He and his brother, Jess, were also sorghum producers. Dan had a special filtration process that used local red clay to ultimately render a clear, bitterless sorghum. He would load the sorghum into his old Model-T Ford and take it to stores in Joplin and the surrounding area. People always knew that the SREAVES name on sorghum meant quality.

The devotion that Dan SREAVES had toward his wife never wavered. Sis died in 1953, leaving her husband to endure a period of grief and loneliness. But Dan was not destined to live out the remainder of his life in solitude. He eventually married a widow, Martha THOMPSON ROARK, who had been his childhood sweetheart. There are still people in Seneca who remember Dan pushing Martha down the street in a wheelbarrow on their wedding day!

Dan SREAVES made two significant pilgrimages during his later years. Both were life-long dreams. In the early 1960s his daughter, Christine, and her family took him back to Huntsville. It was the only time that he ever returned to his birthplace. After much searching he found his old schoolhouse well hidden in an overgrowth of Arkansas brambles. The little building was being used to store hay. He also was able to locate a childhood friend while on this trip. Dan and his buddy from yesteryear visited in the man's yard until well after dark.

The other important trek was to California. During hard times the family would often say, perhaps only half-jokingly, that they might just sell out and move to California. They never made the move, but in the summer of 1970 Dan, Martha, and his granddaughter, Sharon SREAVES, did fly to Los Angeles to visit his daughter, Ruth, and her family. And what a wonderful time they had! Dan kicked off his shoes to wade in the Pacific Ocean, and he even rode the rides at Disneyland!

Dan SREAVES passed away quietly just a few weeks after returning from the west coast. The crowd that gathered at the little church on Swars Prairie for the services was so immense that loudspeakers had to be set up outside for the ones who were unable to find seating inside. With the same minister who had buried Sis officiating, and grandsons serving as pallbearers, the funeral was a fond and emotional farewell to a wonderful man. It was as if the many kindnesses that Dan had shown to others throughout his lifetime had been summoned forth as mourners.

The SREAVES name still meant quality!

Thomas Franklin Nutt:

(Source:  The on-line blog, "Pa Rock's Ramble," 20 March 2012)

Tom Nutt Goes to California

by Pa Rock
Family Historian

Today's posting is for my twelve-year-old grandson, Boone.  We were talking over the telephone last Sunday and Boone was telling me about his periodic visits with his maternal great-grandmother, Ireme Olive (Tippee) Christerson.  Boone is very patient and will sit and listen for long periods of time - even  to old people.  He also knew another great-grandparent - my dad, Garland Eugene Macy - who passed away when Boone was ten.  Somewhere during  our conversation on Sunday, he suddenly asked, "Hey, Pa Rock, do you remember any of your great-grandparents?"

Only three of my great-grandparents were alive when I was born, both of my dad's grandmothers and his maternal grandfather.  One of his grandmothers, Etta Orvilla (Griffith) Nutt, died in the summer of 1950 when I was two-years-old, and the other grandmother, Louella (Pritchard) Macy passed away in the summer of 1954 when I was six.  Most of the relatives called her Granny Pritchard, and when my mother felt that my little sister, Gail, was getting too bossy, she would refer to her as "Miss Pritchard!"

I have no memory of Etta, and only a vague recollection of Louella.  I remember that Louella smoked 
a pipe and she would sit in our kitchen smoking her pipe and visiting while my mom did household chores.  Mom complained long after Louella's death about how mad she would get because Louella would strike her wooden matches on the bottom of our kitchen table in order to light her pipe - leaving long, black marks that Mom felt obliged to clean.

Thomas Franklin Nutt was my dad's grandfather on his mother's side.  Grandpa Nutt died in 1958 at the age of eighty-eight.  He worked as a concrete finisher most of his life and helped to build the courthouse in Neosho, Missouri.

There is a bit of a family mystery with Grandpa Nutt.  He was born in Missouri in 1870 (according to information in the 1880 census records).  In 1880 he was living in the home of his grandparents, Henry and Celena (Rutledge) Nutt in Neosho, Missouri, where Henry was the town marshal.  To this day no one knows who his parents were, but the most likely scenario is that he was the illegitimate child of one of Henry and Celana's older daughters.

My grandmother, Hazel (Nutt) Macy told me years ago that Grandpa Nutt had told her that his father had gone out west with another man, and that the traveling companion eventually returned and said that Tom's dad had been killed by Indians.

But back to Boone's question:  Yes, I did know Tom Nutt fairly well.  In the summer of 1957 our family was piling into our old 1953 Chevrolet preparing to drive to California on vacation.  Just as we got everything loaded, my grand-aunt, Ethel Macy, a daughter of Tom's who had married another Macy, came pulling into the driveway with Grandpa Nutt in tow - where she announced that he would be riding to California with us so that he could spend some quality time with some of his other children - Bob Nutt, Earl Nutt, and Daisy (Nutt) Lindblad.  My mother was especially angry about Ethel's mandate and did a slow burn for 2,000 miles!

A Macy family vacation involved driving and driving and driving and finally unpacking with some relatives.  There was no money for motels, and we took much of what we ate from home.  When Dad and Mom were both  too tired to drive, they would find someplace to stop for a couple of hours and sleep in the car.  Gail and I were in the back seat, and we napped on either side of 87-year-old Grandpa Nutt!

But we were headed to California, and we damned near made it without a serious incident.  Somewhere in Arizona, however (Dad thought it was Tucson, but from studying a map I am more inclined to guess Yuma), Grandpa Nutt lost it and decided that he had been kidnapped.  He started swinging his cane at his abductors, hitting Gail and I - and I am sure my parents as well.  We wound up leaving him at some sort of hospital or rest home, and his son Bob had to drive out from Los Angeles and retrieve the confused and cantankerous old man.  When he finally got him back to Los Angeles, Grandpa Nutt started saying that my family had stolen his money.  It turns out that he had hidden his wallet in the facility where we had left him - and Bob had to drive to Arizona a second time where he was able to find Grandpa Nuttt's money.

It was a trip that I won't forget, and it is my clearest memory of Grandpa Tom Nutt.  He died in Neosho the following year.

Now I am wondering if my life will be that adventurous and interesting when my children start shuffling me from home to home in an effort to give each other quality time with their dad.  Start planning now kids - the time draws near!

Thomas Franklin Nutt:

(Source:  The on-line blog, "Pa Rock's Ramble," 11 March 2016.)

Tom Nutt's First Trip to the Coast

by Pa Rock
Legend Master

Four years ago this month I wrote a piece for the Ramble about my great-grandfather, Thomas Franklin Nutt, and a memorable, yet harrowing, road trip that he took with my family to California in the mid 1950's.  Grandpa Nutt, who was forced upon us by one of his Missouri daughters just as our family was pulling out of the drive to head to California on a vacation, became disoriented and volatile while on the road, and we finally had to abandon him at a care facility in Arizona until his son could drive from Los Angeles to fetch him.

What I didn't realize at the time I wrote the piece was that was not Grandpa Nutt's first trip out west.  He and his wife, Etta, had lived in Los Angeles during the World War II years to be near some of their grown children - and he had made a trip to the coast as a single man much earlier in his life.

It is Tom Nutt's first trip to the Pacific Coast that I find to be so personally captivating.  I learned about that trip a few weeks ago while doing a bit of basic internet genealogy research.  There I discovered some Nutt family history that incorporated what appears to be a set of notes written by Tom's granddaughter (and my dad's cousin), Maryruth Nutt.  Maryruth, several years deceased, was a nurse in the Kansas City area who never married and maintained a lifetime passion for genealogy.  She and I exchanged a couple of letters many years ago, and we met briefly one time, but during those contacts she never told me the story of Grandpa Tom's trip west as a young man.

Here is my summation of what she had to say in her notes:

Thomas Franklin Nutt was born in 1870, and though his parentage is unclear, he did grow up in the household of his grandparents, Henry and Celana (Rutledge) Nutt of Neosho, Missouri, a community where Herny ran a sawmill and served for a time as the town constable.  Tom Nutt was married on March 31, 1893, to Etta Orvilla Griffith in Neosho, and their first child, Claude Nutt (Maryruth's father) was born to the couple six months later.

According to Maryruth's notes, sometime not too far ahead of that marriage and quick baby, Tom Nutt and one of his Rutledge cousins decided to go on a walkabout and check out the land situation in other parts of the country.  The young men probably started walking west from Neosho, Missouri, in the very early spring of1889, 1890, or 1891 - and they walked all the way to the Pacific Coast!

In later years Tom recalled segments of the trip including the wide expanses of prairie that gradually rose into the foothills of the Rockies, the beautiful Arkansas River Valley that was visible for miles, the groves of cottonwood trees along the river banks, and the glimpsed tribes of Indians and sporadic views of Indian encampments.  Tom found some land that he liked near Wichita, Kansas, and filed a claim on it, but after eventually returning to Neosho he decided not to "prove" his Kansas claim but instead to marry Etta and remain in Neosho near friends and family.  His logic was that Kansas was still too wild and untamed, and Neosho was better suited to raising a family.

So perhaps that is a clue as to why Grandpa Tom Nutt had a meltdown in the backseat of our family car and began swinging his cane at Gail and I and our parents.  He was remembering the old times and wanted to get out and walk!

Rest in peace, Grandpa Nutt.  I'll think of you the next time I dread getting on a treadmill!