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Monday, June 4, 2012
REMINISCING The Vaughn Heritage 2
Looking Towards Heaven (Pictured above is a well-loved man, named Dad and Grandpa.)
**Note** This is the second of 6 articles that were written by my maternal Grandfather, Alfred Tennyson Vaughn before his death July 25, 1999. I didn't know they existed, until I did some family searching on the net and they came up. They were published in 2000 after his death. Needless to say, since I didn't know these were out there, I was in tears when I saw them. They are a cherished gift from Grandpa, who was a wonderful writer and poet! We love and miss you Grandpa!
The Vaughn Heritage
Alfred Tennyson Vaughn
Editor's note: This week, in the second installment of The Vaughn Heritage, we read about hunting practices and the move west from Missouri to Washington.
Hunting and the move West
If the hounds were quick enough, they would tree the coon. Following the sound of baying that told them where the coon was treed, the hunters circled around.
The light of the lantern would be reflected in the eyes of the coon, giving them a target at which they could aim. If the coon got to the water first, the hound that was foolish enough to go in after it would find itself seized by the nose and held under water until drowned.
There was nothing the hunter could do to save his hound, for the swamps were treacherous quicksand in places.
One incident, that father would sometimes chuckle over, was about the time grandfather sent the boys out to shoot a wild turkey.
They usually took turns at this task, and the hunter would return and load up the muzzle loader for the next hunt. Sometimes they would put a little extra powder into the load to give the next hunter an extra kickback when he shot his game.
It seems that Uncle John was the victim of this prank, so after his hunt he loaded up with a double charge, figuring it would be a lesson for the other prankster.
When Grandpa decided to send Uncle John out for the next hunt, Uncle John tried to talk Grandpa out of it by saying it was Uncle Neely's turn. It didn't work, so after Grandpa went back to work, Uncle John "let" Neely take his turn, figuring that he was the one that overloaded the gun the previous time.
When Neely found his game and fired, the kick of the gun knocked him over backwards and swelled the barrel at the breech. It was a wonder Neely wasn't killed. Of course, when Grandpa heard what happened, Uncle John had to answer to an angry disciplinarian.
No doubt, there were many other pranks and games played in those days, just as they are today. But, let us get on with our story.
About 1888, when father turned 20, he decided to follow some of the older uncles westward to Oregon Territory. Father stopped over in Kansas City to work on some of the buildings that were being built for the World's Fair in 1890.
Dad worked long enough to get money for the train fare out to Spokane. This was near the time when people were campaigning to carve out a new state to be named after George Washington.
The question came up for a vote at the time Dad turned 21, so, Dad cast his first vote to make Washington the 42nd state of the union on November 11, 1889.
Many of the Vaughn family had settled around Spokane and Ritzville, Washington. After working at odd jobs, Dad started working for the state hospital at Medical Lake, where he stayed for five years. It was while there that Dad met Mother at the social functions held for the hospital staff.
We were told that Dad had to choose between an Irish colleen or a Scottish lassie. And the Scottish lassie, Eva Jenny Stanley, became his choice in 1894.
They were married in Spokane and stayed in the Davenport Hotel on their wedding night. They then took the train to visit a family relative in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho on the weekend.
Mother and Dad never forgot to tell how their host kept entertaining them with stories of the past, right up to the time they heard the train whistle.
They got to the station just in time to see the train pulling out. Dad had to rent a horse and buggy to drive all night back to Medical Lake so they could be at work the next day.
My Mother was born in Chilicothe, Ohio, to a young couple who had three children. My grandparents died at a young age leaving the children to be raised by relatives. An aunt took Mother in. The others were raised by other members of the Stanleys.
Two uncles were medical doctors who worked for a hospital in Columbus, Ohio. When Mother was 15, she started nurses training at the hospital.
I remember two pictures taken of the hospital staff at different times. One picture included Grover Cleveland, and the other included William McKinley. Each was a governor of Ohio and each became president of the United States of America.
When Mother was almost 20, she went by train to Spokane, Washington, and then on to Medical Lake Hospital to become the personal attendant to Dr. and Mrs. Semple who were in charge of the hospital.
One experience Mother remembered was that the Semples loved Limburger cheese (famous for its peculiar odor).
Mrs. Semple had put the dish with cheese in the window and had forgotten it. Mother went all over the house looking for the source of the smell that filled the house. It was not until Mrs. Semple asked her for the cheese that she found that Mother had thrown it into the garbage because she did not know what it was.
Mother did not share much about her childhood. She remembered watching her grandmother spin cotton on a spinning wheel. She also remembered that hoop skirts were worn for dress in those early days. Mother did maintain correspondence with a younger sister until after the sister married and started to come west.
She heard nothing more after that.
Not long after they were married, the folks moved to a wheat ranch near Ritzville.
Father told about some neighbors who kept very much to themselves and were kept under surveillance by lawmen.
Later, they found that the parents of Frank James' wife lived there.
Frank and his brother Jesse had been train robbers who were hunted down until all of the gang were killed.
Next Week: Moving farther west and on to the Entiat Valley.