The Bucher/Booker Family, 1686-1990: Chapter IX, Part 2


The Children of Catherine Booker and Davison McGuire

The obituary of Ruth A. Eaton, daughter of Catherine Booker McGuire and Davison McGuire:

Ruth A. Eaton

Ruth A. McGuire was born at Decatur, Illinois February 27, 1868, and died at her home in Little River, Kansas, September 24, 1916; age 48 years, 6 months, and 27 days.

She, with her parents, moved from Illinois to Gosper county, Nebraska, where she grew to womanhood, and was united in marriage to Edward E. Eaton on January 2, 1888. To this union twelve children were born, three of whom died in infancy. She is survived by her husband, one brother-L. F. [Francis Levi] McGuire of Woods County, Okla. and nine children- Mrs. Vada Kinsey of Kansas City, Mo, and Clarence, Ethel, Elsie, Raymond, Edith, Alberta, Nina, and Lloyd of Little River, Kansas.

In 1904 the family moved from Nebraska to Arkansas where they resided until 1907 when they moved to Oklahoma. About six years ago the family moved to Little River, where they have since resided.

While living in Nebraska Sister Eaton was converted and united with the Baptist church and remained a member of that body until she moved to Little River where, there being no church of her choice, she united with the Christian Church. She was a good Christian woman, a faithful, kind and loving wife and mother, and will be missed by a large number of friends.

The bereaved husband and children have the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community during their deep sorrow.

Funeral services were conducted from the Christian church in Little River by the pastor, Rev. R. A. Adamson, at two o’clock Tuesday afternoon, and interment was made in Bean Cemetery.

From a newspaper in the Woods County, Oklahoma November 1939 [includes picture of couple]:


F. L. McGuires to Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary, Party Scheduled At Home of Son

Mr. and Mrs. F. L. McGuire of 1103 Santa Fe will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary Sunday with a dinner at the home of one of their five sons and an open-house later.

The McGuires, who were married Nov. 26, 1889, at Kellogg, Iowa, will sit down to eat with five sons, two daughters, 22 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren, if all of them manage to be present for the celebration.

Mr. McGuire, 73, and his wife, 71, lived the early part of their lives in Gosper County, Nebraska, moving to Alva on the first day of October 1900. They have lived in Woods County ever since.

The dinner and openhouse, which will celebrate the long marital venture, will be held at the home of John McGuire at 1012 Santa Fe.

Children of the McGuires include A. L. McGuire, highway department employe of Alva; Roy McGuire of Freedom; Lee McGuire of Cortez, Colo; Robert McGuire, farmer northwest of Alva; Mrs. Walter Darr of Freedom; and Mrs. Raymond Tegarden of Wichita, Kans.

Distance will probably keep Lee from attending the party in honor of his parents. Illness may account for the absence of Mrs. Darr. Otherwise relatives and friends are planning a huge day for the longmarried couple.

The Reynolds and Hedrick Families

The Charles Harden Reynolds Family

Charles Harden Reynolds, son of James Lindsey Reynolds and Mary Ann Booker, married Lillie Mae Hunt 11 April 1889 in Decatur, Illinois. To this union three children were born:

Effie Ann Reynolds b. 7/2/1889 Long Creek, IL, d. 31/10/1962 Lehigh Acres, FL. Married 5/9/1906 to Elisha Hedrick in Decatur, IL/ Bur. Memorial Gardens, Ft. Myers, FL

Benjamin Franklin Reynolds b. unknown, d. before 1900

Thomas Jefferson Reynolds b. 22 November 1894 Long Creek, IL, d. 4/4/1981 Mobile, Alabama. Cremated in Mobile. Ashes spread over desert in the Barrego Desert in California. Three marriages. No children

From Decatur, IL “Herald“, Tuesday, 21 August 1945, page 3, col. 2:


C. H. Reynolds Dies after short illness.

C. H. Reynolds, RR7, Decatur died yesterday at 12:17 p.m. in his home, following an illness of one week. He had been in failing health for several years. The son of James L. and Mary Ann Booker Reynolds, he was born in Long Creek Twp. Feb. 16, 1865 and was married to Lillie Mae Hunt April 11, 1889 in Decatur. A resident of Long Creek Twp. his entire life, he had been employed as caretaker of township cemeteries for thirty years.

Besides his wife, he leaves a daughter, Mrs. Effie Hedrick, and a son, T. J. Reynolds, both of Decatur. One son, Benjamin Franklin died in infancy.

The body was taken to Moran and Sons funeral home where services will be held 1 p.m. Thursday with burial in Point Pleasant Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home after 5 p.m. today.

According to Lourine Hullinger, Lillie Hunt Reynolds had a great sense of humor and was fun to be with. Fred Hullinger, cousin to Charles H. Reynolds, always loved their visits, because Lillie would make and bring him some cream puffs. After Charles’s death in 1945, Lillie moved to San Marcos, California and lived with her son, Tommy. Within a couple of years, she had a heart attack and passed away at home. She was buried in a pretty cemetery in San Marcos that sits on a small incline over-looking the valley. Although I do not have her obituary, the Carl G. Palm Mortuary records state that Lillie May Reynolds was born 18 May 1871 and passed away 7 August 1948. Funeral services were held at 2 P. M. at the Chapel of the Mortuary with Rev. Robert Ernest Sanders officiating. Concluding services were held at the San Marcos Cemetery.

Here are the obituaries of Effie Ann Reynolds and Elisha B. Hedrick:

From a newspaper in the Lehigh Acres, Florida area, dated 31 October 1962:


Effie Ann Hedrick

Mrs. Effie Ann Hedrick, 72, 19 Colorado Rd., Lehigh Acres, died yesterday. A longtime resident of Decatur, Ill., she had been a resident of Lehigh Acres for the past seven months. Surviving besides her husband, Elisha B. Hedrick, are two daughters, Mrs. Leona Jenkins and Mrs. Betty Ridgeway, Decatur, Ill.; three sons, Arthur Hedrick, Lehigh Acres, Merle Hedrick, Tulsa, Okla., and Harold Hedrick, Decatur; one brother, T. J. Reynolds, Escondido, Calif.; 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Funeral arrangements will be announced later by the Harvey Funeral Home, Colonial Blvd.

From a newspaper in Clinton, IL, dated 3 August 1972:



Elisha B. Hedrick, 90, of Crest View Nursing home, Clinton, formerly of Decatur, died at 1:10 a.m. today in John Warner Hospital, Clinton.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Home, where friends may call after 5 p.m. Friday. Burial will be in Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Fort Myers, Fla.

Mr. Hedrick was born in Brown County, Ind., the son of George and Henrietta Souders Hedrick.

He was a retired carpenter and was a member of the Second Church of God. Mr. Hedrick was married to Effie Reynolds in Macon County, Sept. 5, 1906. She died Oct. 31, 1963.

Survivors include sons, Arthur K. of Fort Myers, Fla., Harold H. of Decatur and Merle B. of California; daughters, Mrs. Frank (Leona) Jenkins and Mrs. Robert (Betty) Ridgeway, both of Decatur; brother, Sanford, Downey, Calif.; 13 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren. A son, Eugene, was killed in World War II.

Thomas Jefferson Reynolds, son of Charles H. and Lillie Reynolds, was quite a character. He played several instruments. In the 30’s he sang in a barbershop quartet on WDZ radio from Decatur. He was a jokester, known for his sense of humor and wise cracks. In 1989 Alice Reynolds, Tom’s widow, who lives in Escondido, gave me several pictures of Tom with his “country” music groups, from the 1920’s through the 40’s. She also gave me Tom’s fiddle. Here is Tom’s obiturary:


Thomas Reynolds

ESCONDIDO – Thomas J. Reynolds, 86, of 211 N. Citrus Ave. died April 4 at a hospital in Mobile, Ala., where he had undergone surgery.

He was born Nov. 22, 1894, in Long Creek, Ill., and had lived in Escondido since 1946. He was employed by Churchill and Cassou until his retirement in 1960.

Mr. Reynolds was a charter member of the Valley Center Chuckwagon Club and a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge and Misteltoe Rebekah Lodge, both of Escondido. He played the fiddle for old time dances in San Marcos, Vista and Carlsbad for several years.

Surviving are his wife, Alice, and several nieces and nephews.

A private service was held in Mobile, with cremation following. The family has suggested that those who care to do so, in lieu of flowers, make contributions in his memory to the Heart Fund.


The Children of Samuel Hodge Booker and Sarah Ann Rouse

Andrew Jackson Booker

Andrew Jackson Booker, son of Samuel and Sarah, married a third cousin, Margaret Ellen Booker, daughter of Jacob N. Booker and Elizabeth Booker, in Arkansas sometime between 1887 and 1888. Jacob N. Booker was the son of William Jarrett Booker – see Chapter III. Elizabeth Booker was the daughter of Phillip Booker – see Chapter VIII. Margaret, born in Sullivan County, Indiana on 6 September 1861, died 28 December 1907 in McCune, Kansas, and was buried there in the city cemetery. Andrew remarried 4 November 1908 in McCune to the widow, Lena Mitchell Lortz, whose husband, Phillip Lortz, had died in January 1906.

In the Pittsburg, Kansas Genealogy Departmentt in the Public Library, Andrew J. Booker can be found in the city directory of 1925, occupation, truck driver for the Big 4 Coal Company, 1309 N. Grand, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Andrew J. Booker and Margaret had eight children, but only three lived to adulthood (see printout). One child was Chester Charles Booker (veteran of WWI), whose children were kind enough to describe him.


Things I Remember Most About Daddy

(Chester Charles Booker)

Firstly, that he put forth such a tough exterior, when inside, he was soft as butter. But I was 16 years old before I discovered this, so obviously his facade was very good.

His formal education was not much, but the knowledge he had, was incredible. I thought he could do absolutely anything, and he never let me down. He also taught me that I could do anything in this world I wanted to. All I had to do, was to really want to do it. Consequently, I have done a lot of things in my life that other people thought were either beyond a woman as just couldn’t be done.

Being the eldest and a tomboy to boot, I did everything with my Dad, from helping him kill and skin rabbits (we raised them for the meat) to working on the car. He was very mechanically inclined and was forever taking apart and putting together his cars, and everyone elses. He loved sport, fishing, hunting, and even a game of horse shoes. [He] loved to dance, used to call square dances in his younger days. Played the harmonica and very beautifully I might add.

He, along with Mother, taught me to fully appreciate nature and it’s many wonders. We often went picnicking and camping as a family, and I remember panning for gold in a stream with nothing but fools gold, but the thrill of seeing it sparkle. Or we might sit and watch a stream of ants, labouring to carry food scraps we gave them. He taught me to appreciate nature, not to spoil and destroy it. We were never allowed to waste, yet we always had plenty.

He taught me to respect the rights of others and honesty was very important. Daddy said, “We should always give a little bit more than was expected of us, and that way, we owed no man for anything, whether it be money, time or labour.”

He never stopped learning and felt very strongly about all his children getting a good education. I have strong memories of the two of us sitting at the dining room table, working out my math problems, he in his way and I in mine, then each explaining how we came about the same answer. And I often helped him with spelling. He in turn taught me how electricity worked. He was an electrician at Paramount Studio, and in his younger days he was a Linesman, and we traveled from state to state so he had work. Thus I learned to enjoy being a gypsy and I still love it.

He was a strong man, physically, morally and emotionally. I was amazed to see him cry when one of his parents [Andrew J. Booker] died, and he was unable to attend the funeral, due to lack of money, during the depression years. He was a good provider, yet needed very little in the way of material things for himself.

When Mother died, it was the only time I ever saw him with all emotions laid bare. He was totally lost and helpless for a long time. When he met and married Bertha, she gave him new life.

I was unable to be there when he died, but I’m sure he faced that, as he faced most things in his life, with great courage. He was not a religious person, at least not the church going kind. Yet he lived by the Ten Commandments every day of his life.

He was loved by many, and respected by all who knew him. Our home was always open to friends and relatives, and was the place where all events were held. We were encouraged to bring our friends home, rather than to go elsewhere. In my eyes, he was a great and wonderful man in all ways.

by Dorothy M. Booker Parton

I was the only one of us four kids that had a church wedding. I remember just before the wedding as Dad and I walked from the Bride’s room around to the front of the Church, he told me how proud he was to walk me down the isle, and how much he loved me, and that he wasn’t giving me away – he was just loaning me to my husband, Milo.

by Wanda I. Booker Bingham

Before we left Colorado to come to California, I remember going to barn dances out in Derby, Colo. Dad was always the square dance caller, sometimes played the harmonica. Then we moved to Calif., the family used to get together with Mother’s sister, Mildred and her husband, John. We would go to Van Nuys to visit Charlie and Laura Triplett. Dad would play the harmonica, Uncle John on the piano or banjo and Charlie T. on the fiddle. We always had a good time. Dad had nicknames for all of us children. Dorothy was “sis”, Wanda was “cotton”, I was “Blackie”, and Jim was “son”. Dad’s bark was worse than his bite; he really was an old softie underneath, just wouldn’t let it be known.


by Billie L. Booker Dickinson

Chester Charles Booker enlisted in the U. S. Army on 27 May 1918 at Camp Cody. He was assigned to Battery F, 125 Field Artillery. His unit sailed for France September 1918, and he was honorably discharged on 27 January 1919.

Andrew Jackson Booker, nicknamed Jack, died 6 November 1934 in McCune, Kansas and was buried there in the City Cemetery. His second wife, Lena Mitchell, died at the age of 91, in Pittsburg, Kansas in 1966. She had resided at the Shields Rest Home since January 1962.

Samuel Robert Booker

Samuel Robert Booker, second son of Samuel H. Booker and Sarah Ann Roush, married Anna Andrews on 30 September 1884 in Dalton City, Illinois. Samuel and Anna had seven children, but only six lived to adulthood.

Here is Samuel Robert Booker’s obituary as found in the Decatur “Herald”, 24 December 1931, page 2, Thurs.:


Stricken with a heart attack at his work in the Wabash locomotive shop, Samuel R. Booker, 65, died suddenly at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday. Mr. Booker had apparently been in good health and did not complain of feeling ill earlier in the day.

Mr. Booker whose home is on R.F.D. No.8 had been a lifelong resident of Decatur. He was born in Long Creek March 19, 1866 [S.H. Booker’s Bible lists 1865], and was married to Miss Anna Andrews in 1887 [should be 1884].

He leaves besides his wife three sons, Virgil, Otis, and Harry Booker all of Decatur, and three daughters, Mrs. Etta Butzein, Mrs. Myrtle Goodrich, and Mrs. Hazel Mathern all of Decatur. Six brothers and sisters also are left. They are Wm. Booker, Decatur; Alva and Jack B. [Andrew Jackson Booker], Pittsburg, Kan., and James B. of Springfield; Mrs. Deal Coker, Columbus, KS. and Mrs. Kate Mason, Cherokee, KS. [one brother omitted, Edward A. Booker of Natchez, MS] Mr. Booker was a member of the Christian Church.

The body was taken to the Moran and Sons funeral home. Arrangements for the funeral had not been completed Wednesday night.

Samuel R. Booker was buried in the Fairlawn Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois.

Delores Kupish, grandaughter of Samuel Robert Booker, sent me the following excerpt from a newpaper clipping in reference to Samuel R.’s wife, Anna:

Annie Margie Booker wife of Samuel R. Booker , b. 12 May 1869 Flat Rock, IL, d. 26 Oct. 1963 Decatur, IL, age 94 yrs., 5 mo, 14 days

Mothers name Holda, Father’s name Jake Brown [?Jacob]

Half Brothers: Orville and Erwin Andrews – Burbank, CA.

Half sisters: Mrs. Charles (Maude) Ramfrey

Mrs. John (Faye) Tucker. Both of Decatur

Interestingly, all sons of Samuel R. Booker, were auto body painters. Two of Otis Booker’s sons, Otis, Jr. and Kenneth Booker, carry on their family tradition by sharing the ownership of Booker’s Autobody Paint Shop in Decatur, Illinois. Otis lives in Decatur, and Kenneth is the last Booker descendant that still resides in Long Creek.

John M. Booker

Very little is known about John M. Booker, the next child of Samuel Hodge Booker and Sarah Ann Roush. According to Myrtle M. Mason Badgley, daughter of Catherine Booker Mason, her mother recieved a telegram informing her of John M. Booker’s death around 1917. Myrtle, remembers that John, a diving instructor, was killed in a diving accident in Lake Michigan when his head struck a rock. James F. Coker, son of Cordelia Booker Coker, remembers his mother telling him the similar story.

Kenneth Booker related a story that John M. Booker had been in trouble with the law in his early years, and that once Samuel R. Booker, Kenneth’s grandfather, hid him underneath their porch in Long Creek.

William Henry Booker

William Henry Booker, fourth child of Samuel and Sarah Booker, married Maude May Patton on 23 August 1891 in Decatur, Illinois. They had thirteen children with two sons dying in infancy.

William H. Booker’s obituary in a Decatur newspaper is as follows:


W. H. Booker Dies at 84

William H. Booker, 84, of 823 1/2 N. Church St., a life-long resident of Macon County, died at 4:25 p. m. yesterday in Decatur and Macon County Hospital.

He was an employee of the Bachman Furniture Company for 25 years before his retirement in 1929. He was a member of the First Baptist Church.

Mr. Booker was born in Long Creek May 12, 1869, a son of Samuel and Mary [sic] Booker. He was first married to Maude Patton who died in February 1929. He later was married to Rena Baldridge who died in January, 1944.

In June, 1945, he was married to Cora Belle Reeves who survives.

He also leaves six daughters, Mrs. Nora Hildebrand, La Mesa, Calif., Mrs. Constance Williamson, Indianapolis, Mrs. Ada Wynn, Los Angeles, and Mrs. Pearl Querly [Overly], Mrs. Maude Carter and Mrs. Ethel Hayes, all of Decatur, and five sons, Clarence W., San Diego, Calif., Clifford E., El Cajon, Calif., Wayne, Los Angeles and Arthur L. and Donald N. Decatur.

Two sons preceded him in death.

Other survivors are nine step-children, 28 grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren.

The body is in the Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Home where friends may call after 7 p. m. Wednesday. Services will be at 3 p. m. Friday in the funeral home chapel with burial in Fairlawn Cemetery.

Donald N. Booker’s widow, Ruth O. Scribner Booker, wrote the following story about her husband. Donald was the tenth child of William H. Booker and Maude Patton.


We met when we were 16 yrs. old and got married when we were 18 yrs. old; he died Jan. 31, 1976 just before we would have been married 49 yrs. in June, we had a good life together; … I still miss him.

He was drafted but asked for the Navy. He left March 1, 1943 on our son’s birthday. He [their son] was 14 yrs. old … our daughter was 9 yrs. old.

He was a water tender on a LST-593; they picked their ship up in Evansville, Ind. and took it down the Ohio River to New Orleans, LA., then through the Panama Canal. He was under MacArthur in the 7th Fleet. He was the 3rd ship to land in Manila when MacArthur returned to the Phillipines. He went across the Pacific the 11th of Oct. 1943 and returned after the war’s end December 21, 1945. His ship took troops to Japan; it was so hard on both of us.

Before he went across he made an arrangement with the flower shop to send me flowers. I got flowers on Valentine’s Day 1944 and an Easter Lilly in 1944. I got 19 Red Roses for our 18th Wedding anniversary and a Christmas plant when he got home. He left money before he went across, I was so surprised to get them. He belonged to the V.F.W. and he received a military funeral.

Here is newspaper article of one of William H. Booker’s grandsons, Charles B. Carter, a blind man who owned a newstand in Decatur, Illinois. This story touched me deeply, and I felt it should certainly be part of the Booker History. The article on page 3, dated 12 February 1986, was written by Paul Osborne, Editor of the “Decatur Tribune”. Because of it’s length, I have edited the article.


Charlie’s Newstand Battle Is Over

Last week, the final chapter was written in the story of “Charlie,” the blind newspaper operator.

Charlie operated his stand in the north end of the lobby of the Main Post Office downtown, and I wrote two columns recently describing the problems he was experiencing as he tried to be a productive member of society.

The first column…written last summer revolved around people who stopped and read Charlie’s newspapers without paying for them.

The second column about Charlie appeared recently and focused on the amount of theft that took place at the newstand while Charlie was at the location and at night after he had gone home.

I mentioned in the column some people would give Charlie a one dollar bill and tell him it was a five…Thieves swiped his cash register one night and another night they carried off the huge display case which contained candy, gum and other items.

After the second column, I received one of the biggest responses from any column I’ve written in the Tribune in the past 16 years!

Readers were outraged at the mistreatment of a blind man, and many wanted to do something about the situation.

Many wanted to start a fund for Charlie to buy him some equipment. One local businessman wrote in addition to small contributions being taken from other small businesses, a local alarm company should be contacted for an alarm system for Charlie’s newstand. The businessman ended by including a check to get things started.

The calls and letters continued about Charlie for weeks after the last column appeared. I started to look into starting some drive for Charlie. I continued to see Charlie every morning as I bought a couple of newspapers from him.

He thanked me for the column and said he had several comments about it from interested people.

Maybe, because I had purchased newspapers from him for several years, and had written about him, he briefly confided in me with his problems.

He told me two weeks ago that his new seeing eye dog was going to need some more training because he was distracted by traffic and other activity around him.

“I may have to shut down and go to California for some more training this time,” Charlie told me, as both of us knew it was one more bad item in a year of bad luck.

Last Monday morning, I bought my newspapers from Charlie.

He wasn’t standing behind the counter like he usually was, but was seated, a lot of the energy drained from him.

Tuesday morning his newstand was dark, and I figured that Charlie had left for California…

I asked a clerk at one of the post office windows about Charlie… “Charlie died yesterday,” came the reply.

It was like losing a close friend…and didn’t even know his last name.

When I returned to the office that morning,…I thought of all the good people in Decatur who were genuinely touched by the plight of Charlie and how they would be shocked to hear that he had died.

As for Charlie, this is the last column about his fight to maintain his independence, because the question of what to do for him is now moot.

Charlie’s death was from “natural causes” but I’ve wondered during the past week if the major contributing factor in Charlie’s death could be read in his face the day he died, when I saw him sitting behind the newstand.

The fight had gone out of him.

One thing is for sure.

They will not short-change or steal from Charlie ever again.

James N. Booker

James N. Booker was the next child of Samuel H. Booker and Sarah Ann Roush. He married (sometime in 1891, place unknown) to Martha (Mattie) Brewer, daughter of George W. Brewer and Catherine Jones. Mattie was born 21 February 1874 in Macon County, Illinois. According to the 1910 Census, Mattie lists she had had five children, but only three living to adulthood.

Their first child to live to be an adult was Edith Booker who became blind at age 6 from an accident with a pair of scissors. She died during WWII at the Lincoln State and Colony School – gravesite unknown. She never married.

The 1910 Census in Decatur, Illinois, dated 18 April, states that James N. Booker was a house painter.

Martha (Mattie) Brewer Booker died 22 May 1918 in Decatur from Cancer of the Womb. Informant was William Brewer. Mattie was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery, no tombstone, Lot 17, Block 20, grave 4.


The Decatur “Herald” dated 15 August 1935, page 3, Thursday, gives the obituary of James N. Booker.



James N. Booker, 63, 983 W. Cerro Gordo Street died in St. Mary’s hospital Wednesday after an illness of one week.

He was born in Long Creek, December 7, 1872 [Bible lists 1871] and was a member of the Christian Church, and the Odd Fellows Lodge. He was a painter by trade.

He leaves his wife, Mrs. Emma B. Booker, a daughter, Edith of Lincoln, and a son, Archie Booker of Springfield. He also leaves two sisters, Mrs. Cordelia Coker, and Mrs. Kate Mason both of Cherokee, KS., also, three brothers, Edward and Alva Booker of Cherakee, KS. and William Booker of Decatur.

[same paper, page 12]

Service 3 p. m. Friday Chapell J.J. Moran and Sons. Burial Greenwood Cemetery. [no tombstone, Lot 225 – Block 17 – grave 6]

Sarah Catherine Booker

First daughter of Samuel H. Booker and Sarah Ann Roush, was Sarah Catherine Booker. She married John Irving Mason on 3 July 1894 in Decatur, Illinois. She had met John when her father and mother had moved to Benton County, Arkansas in in the late 1880’s. They had eleven children, all reaching adulthood. Without any doubt they have the most Booker descendants listed in the printout at the end of this chapter.

Helen Marie Mason McClenahan, the eleventh child of John I. Mason and Sarah Catherine Booker, has given me much information about her large family. Her assistance and support has been greatly appreciated. She was kind enough to write this lovely narrative about her mother.

Sarah Catherine Booker Mason

Sarah Catherine, better known by all close to her as “Aunt Kate”, was a very petite little lady standing five feet three inches tall and tipping the scales at 98 pounds when she married John Mason. She left her home in Decatur, Illinois and moved to Arkansas. To my knowledge she never returned to Illinois until around 1930 or 1940. She had eleven children by John. Eight boys and three girls.

Remembering back through the years, I can still see mother with her black hair pulled back in a bun and her olive skin aglow in the hot Kansas sun. You could almost guess what work she had to do each day by the brightly colored or faded apron she dawned as she made her way through the house and into the kitchen each morning. She had aprons of every kind; long ones, short ones, dress up ones and work ones. They all had to be ironed to perfection, even to the ties. They were very much a part of her – just like the shoes she wore.

Her mornings always started out by making a fire in the big “home comfort” range – winter or summer. It had six lids to cook on a big huge reservoir that held hot water enough for the day. A warming oven on top in the back was used to keep food warm for several hours. Since the kitchen was usually where you could find her, we called it her throne. It was a typical country kitchen – calendars, racks, a tin box for miscellaneous, an old flower vase and a shelf in one corner with a decortive flounce that held the old clock (which was a wedding gift many years ago). The opposite wall held the sink and water pump, a mirror and towel rack. The cabinet for dishes and work table stood on the west wall by the walk-in pantry. She made biscuits every morning along with a large breakfast. I can still see her taking her pan that held the flour out of the pantry and making a hole in the middle of the flour and reaching for a dab or shortening, a pinch of salt, a smigon of baking powder and mixing together in the hole with just enough milk to make the dough as she turned out miracle biscuits. She could never tell me how she made anything because this is how she cooked everything.

As I grew older I knew what secret ingredient she used in her cooking, it has to be love. Every Wednesday you could find freshly baked bread and rolls placed on the table cooling. I loved to sit in the kitchen window every evening watching the sunset in the west while mother was getting supper ready for the family and telling me of events in the past. I shall never forget those nostalgic memories that the two of us shared.

Sometimes just for fun she would rattle off some sort of lingo I couldn’t understand. When I would ask what she said, she replied “oh, thats Dutch for so and so.” She would always say she was Dutch. However, Dad insisted she was German. She didn’t have much love for the German race of people after W.W. I. She could not forget her eldest son, Jesse, telling of his experiences over there and remembering the nights and days of worry and wonder whether he would return from the war.

Dad let mother and I make our own spending money on the side. So we sold milk, cream, butter and eggs, etc. that the family didn’t use. When springtime came you would find us getting the incubator ready to set eggs for baby chickens. We raised chickens by the hundreds. All Plymouth Rocks, her favorite. We kept the baby chicks in the little room in the big chicken house. They had to be kept warm by a kerosene heater for several weeks. We even ground our own feed for them until they grew up and were on their own. We sold fryers, baking hens and dozens of eggs. We also had a large gaggle of geese. These furnished mother with the best down pillows and feather beds. She would put the old gooses neck on one leg and the other leg over it to get a good tight hold on the winds under one arm and pick feathers away, just like a pro. I have to laugh now; I can still see her!

Mother was gifted to sewing. Every winter we spent our money and time making our clothes, curtains, quilts, etc. I learned her sewing skills that helped me all through my life. I worked as a professional seamstress for sometime after I married.

We also shared fun times going to see Grandpa Booker [Samuel H. Booker] and Clara Booker in West Mineral, about twenty miles from our farm in Cherokee. Dad would hitch up the buggy and we would spend the day. Taking jelly, fruit and canned vegetables and sometimes bread if it was fresh. Grandpa was always so thrilled to have us. He spent the day showing us his flowers of which he had every kind you could think of.

I remember Grandpa [Samuel H. Booker] having a grey moustache and long grey beard that hung down just like Santa Claus. You could see at a glance, mother took after the Booker side of the family. He was also small and dark skinned with brown eyes. I have always felt slightly cheated because I never saw my real grandma Booker because she died before I was born. Coming home one day from Grandpa’s, we were about one half mile from our gate when an automobile came up behind us and passed. It frightened our horse and it shyed to the side and began running away. I was hanging on to the buggy and felt fear of being thrown out. Mother seuied and pulled back trying to stop the horse. One of the boys saw us and ran out and stopped the buggy. I will never forget that buggy ride.

We also use to visit Aunt Cordelia and Uncle Fred [Coker]. They were only about ten miles away. Uncle Jack [Andrew Jackson Booker] and Aunt Lena lived about twenty miles away. They often came over in a wagon. Took them from dawn to dust to make the trip. We really did enjoy their visits.

We had an eleven room farm house with a cellar under one half of it. There were also two cisterns inside the house, one in the kitchen and the other on the screened-in porch. Dad and the boys farmed 410 acres alone, except during wheat harvesting. The fields were in mostly wheat, some oats and corn. At this time Mother had to cook for 15 to 18 men. She then had to have help. It was a big job every June and July getting the crops taken care of. Dad had his own threshing machine. When the crops were in he threshed for others in a radius of 30 miles. We also had lots of company through the summer. I remember Aunt Anna, Hazel and family [Samuel Robert Booker family], Nora Hilderbrant [William H. Booker’s daughter], Aunt Deal and Uncle Fred [Coker] and family all coming for a visit. This is about all the Bookers I ever met. I often heard her [Sarah] speak of Uncle Ed’s in Mississippi and his dairy. She kept in touch by letters. In 1926 Dad surprised us all by taking a chance on a Model Ford car to be given away. He never gambled on anything or took chances, he kidded us for three weeks that he was going to win. So when the winner was announced, his name was called. We were all so proud to be among the first in our community to have a car. Our old buggy was then put to rest.

Mother and Dad worked very hard all their lives to raise their family. The boys married one by one, left home, had families of their own. I, being the youngest, married in 1935. The dream they shared was just living long enough to see their children in homes of their own and starting their families.

So Mother and Dad left the farm and bought a home in Cherokee (six rooms and a bath) and retired.

Dad parted this busy life ten years later. I know he was there to welcome mother eight years after. I know they will be waiting for their family circle and welcome us to our eternal home. There is an old song we used to to hear “Will the circle Be Unbroken.” I sure hope ours isn’t just for their sakes.

Dad had a stroke January 3 – died one month later February 1, 1945.

Mother had hardening of the arteries and went to the hopital and died three hours later April 20, 1953.

Here the obituaries of John Irving Mason and Sarah Catherine Booker Mason:


John Irving Mason, Cherokee, Succumbs

Girard, Feb. 1 [1945] – John Irving Mason, 76-year old retired farmer of Cherokee, died at the Girard hospital at 5:45 o’clock this morning. He had been ill three weeks following a paralytic stroke and he had been in the hospital for a week.

Mr. Mason was born in Benton County, Arkansas, on Jan. 3, 1869, coming to Kansas in 1910. He lived on a farm one mile south of Cherokee until a year ago when he moved into Cherokee. A membership was held in the Pentecostal church.

Survivors include the widow, Mrs. Sarah Mason; eleven children, Jess, Henry and Leonard Mason, all of Los Angeles, Wilmer and Samuel Mason and Mrs. Myrtle Badgley, all of Detroit, Mrs. Floyd Mock and Clifford Mason, both of Kansas City, and Harvey and Thomas Mason and Mrs. Maurice McClenahan of Cherokee; a sister, Laura Layman of Rogers, Ark.; a brother, Robert Mason of Cave Springs, Ark., and 37 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon at the Penecostal church. Rev. Jack Crane will officiate. Interment will be in the Cherokee cemetery. The body will be taken to the home at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon. Kirkpatrick of Girard is in charge of arrangements.



Mrs. Sarah Katherine Mason, 77, resident of Cherokee for eighteen years, died at 12:30 o’clock Monday morning at the Girard hospital. Mrs. Mason had been taken to the hospital earlier when she became suddenly ill.

Born February 11, 1876 in Decatur, Il., Mrs. Mason had lived in Cherokee since 1935. She held membership in the Holiness Church.

Survivors include three daughters, Mrs. Ira Moch, McCune; Mrs. Myrtle Badgly, Hazel Park, Mich.; Mrs. Helen McClenahan, Pittsburg; eight sons, Jesse Mason, Santa Clara, Calif.; Harvey M. Mason, Cherokee; Wilmer Mason, Webberville, Mich.; Sam Mason, Detroit; Henry Mason, Sacramento; Clifford Mason, Cherokee; Thomas Mason, Cherokee; Leonard Mason, Independence; one brother, Will Booker, Decatur, Ill.; 42 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services for Mrs. Mason were held yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock at the Holiness church, with Rev. Otis Autherath in charge.

Burial was in Cherokee cemetery.

Cordelia Adeline Booker

Cordelia, or Aunt Deal, as my grandfather called her, was the ninth child of Samuel H. Booker and Sarah Ann Roush (according to her birth record). She married James Frederick Coker, son of Charles and Mary Coker, in Bentonville, Arkansas on 25 September 1900. Cordelia’s husband, James, in his early life had left home at the age of eight in 1885 with George and Mary McGintus, their traveling circus, and 10 cent museum. In the spring of 1887 he joined for four years the L. A. Perl Circus as an acrobat and a contortionist. He would tie himself in knots, sit on his head, do splits and high kicks, and the trapeeze. He traveled through 13 states and 3 territories with the following: “Street of Decatur, Harris Nickle Plate Circus and Carnivals, Springfield, State Fair.” He performed in Hootchie Kootchie shows, Mintral shows and Medicine Shows. Later he joined the J. C. Perl Circus as a bareback, equestrian, and trapeeze artist. In 1900 in Bloomington, Illinois while performing on the trapeeze, hanging from his teeth, he fell from the Spanish rings, landed on a barrel and his injuries forced him to leave the circus after 16 years. It was about this time he met and fell in love with Cordelia A. Booker. It is believed he followed her to Arkansas where Cordelia’s father, Samuel had moved his family.

Cordelia and James had four children, one of which, James Franklin Coker now lives in Carthage, Missouri. When James lived in Marengo, Illinois, I visited him and his wife, Rosemary, over the 1985 Labor Day Weekend. He spoke of his childhood years in Columbus, Kansas and the Coker General Store his father owned. I especially enjoyed his stories of his father’s “moonshine” sold during the depression, and how he managed through those years to hide it from the local officials. His father was quite a colorful character. He described his mother, Cordelia, as “a quiet woman, with dark hair, dark eyes and an easy smile”.

One of Cordelia’s grandson’s was killed in World War II:


PFC. Cecil Coker Killed in Action

Pfc. Cecil Fredrick Coker, Jr., was killed in action April 18 in Germany, according to word received May 4 by his wife, Juanita Sandberg Coker, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Coker….

He was with the tank destroyer battalion at Camp Cooke, Calif., when he first entered the service, then was sent to Ft. Benning, Ga., where he received his wings as a paratrooper…jumps ended in an injury, after which he was transferred to Camp Shelby, Miss., to the 272nd Infantry and was shipped overseas in November 1944. His overseas duty was with the battle patrol behind enemy lines…

On the same day that Mrs. Coker received word of her husband’s death, she received a package of gifts from him from Germany. There were emblems from German officers’ uniforms, a pair of lace curtains, a glass cutter, and linen lace, for her and a very fine German accordian for Marlene Rose [daughter] all captured in enemy territory.

I do not at this time have Cordelia Booker Coker’s obituary, but I do have her husband’s, James F. Coker.


James F. Coker

James F. Coker, 87, retired businessman of Cherokee county, died at 3:35 yesterday afternoon at the Columbus rest home where he was residing.

Mr. Coker was born Jan. 7, 1878 in Mowqua, Ill., the son of Charles and Mary Coker. He and Cordelia Booker were married in 1900 at Rogers, Ark. She preceded him in death in September of 1943. They moved from Decatur, Ill., in 1902 to a farm near McCune. He later operated a restaurant in Scammon until 1907 when they moved to a farm known as Coker’s corner, northeast of Columbus, where he farmed until 1922. He then operated a grocery store and filling station on his farm until retiring in 1961, but continued to make his home there until entering the rest home in April of 1965. He and Rosalie Holt were married in October of 1951, and she preceded him in death in September of 1957.

Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. Ethel Dungan, Columbus; three sons, Cecil Coker, Columbus, Pearl Coker, Ogden, Utah and James Coker, Chicago, Ill.; nine grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and three great great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday in the Jorden funeral home. The Rev. Carl Daniels of the First Christian Church will officiate. Interment will be in Park cemetery.

The family receive friends at the funeral home Thursday night between 7:30 and 8:30.


For Edward Adam Booker and Mary Jane Holt

See Chapter IX – Part 3


Alva Leonard Booker

Alva Leonard Booker, twelth child of Samuel H. Booker and Sarah Ann Roush, married Maude Sarah Thompson on 26 November 1908 in Scammon, Cherokee County, Kansas. Maude, born in Liberal, Kansas 28 May 1891, was the daughter of John and Clara Thompson of Scammon. Alva was a barber by trade, spending most of his life in the Pittsburg, Columbus, Newton, and Wichita, Kansas areas.

His daughter Juanita Watson, whom I contacted in March of 1985 described her father:

He was a quiet man; had not much to say. He did not say or talk much about the family. He was strong and very firm with his children. He also loved his family very dearly. We all loved him and did respect our Mother and Father.

We were a very happy family. My father loved to play the French Harp! He could really play it!

From the “Wichita Eagle“, page 3, col 8, and the “Wichita Beacon”, page 9, col. 2, 1 April 1946:



Alva Leonard Booker, 57, Passes at Home, 4030 West Douglas Alva Leonard Booker, 57, a retired barber and resident of Wichita the past 30 years, died yesterday at his home, 4030 West Douglas. He was born in in Rogers, Ark., and moved to Wichita, in 1916. He was barber here for 18 years before his retirement.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Maude Booker, of the home; three daughters, Mrs. Evelyn Hooker, Belleflower, Cal., Mrs. Thelma Crafton of the home, and Mrs. Juanita Hooker, of Burbank, Cal.; a son, Clifford Booker, of 554 Beebe; a sister, Mrs. Kate Mason, of Cherokee, Kansas, and a brother, Ed Booker, Natchez, Miss.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by the Culbertson mortuary.


Alva Leonard Booker, a retired barber, died Saturday at his home at…He was 57. He was born in Rogers, Ark., but moved here from Scammon, Kan., 33 years ago. Surviving are his ….[same as above].

Maude remarried to a Fuller, first name unknown, lived out her life in Houston, Missouri. She died there 7 July 1960, and was buried next to Alva in Wichita, Kansas in the Maple Grove Cemetery. Her obituary is not found in any of the Wichita newspapers. More likely it can be found in the Houston, Missouri newspapers. The Elliot Funeral Home in Houston handled the transportation arrangements to Wichita.

The Children of David D. Booker and Mary Elizabeth Tohill

The James Clinton Booker and Rena Hill Family

James Clinton Booker and George Webster Booker, sons of David D. Booker, Sr., moved to Furnas County, Nebraska in 1894 settling on a farm five miles east of Arapahoe. This area was close to Gosper County where their Aunt Catherine E. Booker McGuire and her husband, Davison, and family had moved in the 1870’s. James C. married Rena Hill on 5 October 1898 in nearby Edison at the residence of Nathan O. Hill and Maryetta Calwell Hill, father and mother of Rena. James C. and Rena farmed for twenty-one years, and in 1919 moved to Arapahoe where James became employed by the Equity Store. James and Rena had two children – Mabel Martha Booker and Wayne Hill Booker.

On 15 October 1942 in the Arapahoe News of the Week:


Jas. C. Booker, Obituary

James Clinton Booker was born at Long Creek, Macon County, Illinois, on October 8, 1866, and passed to his eternal reward October 11th, 1942, having reached the age of 76 years and 3 days. For the past five years, Mr. Booker has suffered because of poor health. About a year ago he was seriously ill for several months but with the coming of warm weather, he regained his strength and through the summer months was his usual self, until ten days ago when he became suddenly ill and despite all the care of nursing and medical skill he succumbed, a victim to a heart malady, on Sunday afternoon at 4:30, he quietly fell asleep. The end came very peacefully, and marked the passing of a good companion, a kind father, and a sympathetic neighbor. His going closed a happy and useful life.

Deceased grew to manhood in his native community, coming to Furnas county, Nebraska, in the year of 1894 settling on a farm five miles east of Arapahoe.

On October 5th, 1898 he was united in marriage to Rena Hill, the home was blessed by the coming of Mabel and Wayne. They farmed for a period of 21 years and in 1919 moved to Arapahoe where Mr. Booker was in the employ of the Equity Store until a year ago when he was compelled to relinquish his position on account of failing health.

It was thus that the deceased, by close application to affairs at hand, by his genial good fellowship and courteous treatment won the confidence and friendship, not only of patrons, but of the people of the community. His dignified life through his unassuming, simple directness, his integrity and honesty of purpose, his passing marks a distinct loss to all.

While still on the farm Mr. Booker became interested in the church. He attended a series of special meetings of the Free Methodist church at Edison, was genuinely converted and joined heart and hand with this group in fellowship and service, he lived a deeply consecrated Christian life, always faithful in the performance of duties and privileges, sympathetic and given to much tolerance. He fully enjoyed his Christian experience and never allowed anything to stand between him and his responsibility to the Kingdom of God. For a number of years he held his membership in the church at Edison, but…transferred his membership to the Methodist Church at Arapahoe and since then he has been a dominant figure and very valuable member of the officiary of this church, in religious matters as in all others his counsel was tempered with mercy and good judgment.

He leaves to mourn his passing, his wife and loving companion for nearly a half century, Mrs. Rena Booker of Arapahoe; one daughter, Mrs. Mabel M. Touzalin, Littleton, Colorado; one son, Wayne H. Booker, Rushville, Nebraska; one grandson Billy Lee Touzalin; one brother, Geo. W. Booker, Edison; one sister, Mrs. W. H. Stewart, Niantic, Illinois; many other relatives and friends, limited only by his acquaintances.

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, October 13, at 2:30 o’clock from the Methodist church with the pastor, Rev. E. L. Peterson, officiating. A male quartet, W. F. Samples, O. V. Moore, M. E. Lewis and E. B. Lewis, sang three selected hymns. Pallbearers were Robert Stout, Albert Reitz, Jake Pool, Henry Schnieder, Walis Girch, Alfred d’Allemand and A. W. Russell.

Interment was in the Arapahoe cemetery.

Here is Rena H. Booker’s obituary:


Rena H. Booker

Rena H. Booker, daughter of Nathan and Maryetta Hill, was born April 30th, 1876 at Pilot Grove, Iowa. She departed this world July 3rd, 1943, at the age of 72 years and 64 days.

At the early age of ten she came with her parents to Arapahoe, Nebraska, where she lived her remaining years, except for the last few months of her illness, which were spent with her daughter in Colorado.

On the 5th day of October 1898 she was united in marriage with James C. Booker who preceded her in death in October of 1942. To this union were born 2 children, Mabel and Wayne.

Of true Christian parentage, her spiritual training began at an early age when she accepted Christ as her personal Saviour, dedicating her life to His service.

As a loving mother, she devoted much time to the family group. However, it was also her intense desire to be of help and service to others, which won her the admiration and friendship of the entire community. Mrs. Booker’s home was always a welcome meeting place of her many, many friends.

A faithful member of the Arapahoe Methodist Church, she always taught the “Loyal Ladies Bible Class.”

She leaves to mourn her passing, a daughter, Mabel M. Hammes of Littleton, Colorado, a son, Wayne H. Booker of Rushville, Nebraska, and two brothers, E. H. Hill of Arapahoe and Roy E. Hill of Cameron, Wisconsin, also a grandson, Bill Touzalin of Littleton, Colorado, in addition to many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the Methodist Church. Rev. and Mrs. E. L. Peterson of Elm Creek were present for the service. Rev. Peterson giving the Scripture reading and Mrs. Peterson a poem and prayer. Rev. T. W. Shepard delivered the funeral sermon. Music was furnished by a quartet composed of Mrs. N. C. Hentges, Mrs. Jerry Longsine, Dean Westerfield, and Miles E. Lewis, with Mrs. Miles Lewis as accompanist. Interment was in the Arapahoe cemetery with Chas. E. Richards, Alfred d’Allemand, Aug. Breinig, Sr., Robert Thompson, P. H. Leising and Albert Sander as pallbearers.

Wayne H. Booker, son of James C. and Rena Booker died 6 July 1973.

From a local newspaper in the Arapahoe, Holdrege, Nebraska area printed the folloing obituary:


Wayne H. Booker

Wayne H. Booker, son of James and Rena Booker, was born in Furnas County, NE. south and east of Arapahoe, on August 18, 1908, and departed this life 6 July, 1973, at the Brewster Hospital, Holdrege, NE. at the age of 64 years.

Wayne was baptized in the Christian Church with his cousin, Merlin Hill officiating. He graduated from Arapahoe High School with class of 1926.

Soon after graduation he entered the Mercantile business in Arapahoe, Palisade, Rushville, NE, and Norton, KS. He served with the United States Army for three and one half years. Wayne was married to Rosa Fritson of Hildreth.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother. He leaves to mourn his passing his widow, Rosa, his sister Mabel, Mrs. Forrest Hammes of Littleton, CO, his nephew, Bill Touzalin, wife, Betty and family of Lakewood, CO, M&M Herman Caspers of Minden, and cousins, other relatives and many friends.

Funeral services were conducted at Peace Lutheran Church in Arapahoe, on July 9, 1973, with Pastor T. S. Severtson officiating. Ingrid Morris was organist and Tim Larson, soloist. Casketbearers were Lee Hill, Ervin Booker, Edwin Lewis, Floyd Morris, Ralph Hill, and Kenneth Carpenter. Burial was made in the Arapahoe Cemetery.

From “The Independent“, Littleton, Colorado, Friday, November 19, 1982:


Mabel Hammes, 82

dress shop owner dies in her home

Mabel Hammes of 6149 S. Windermere St., a Littleton resident for 40 years, died Tuesday in her home. She was the wife of Forrest Hammes.

She was the former Mabel Booker, daughter of James and Rena Booker, born June 30, 1900, at Edison, Neb. She grew up in Arapahoe, Furnas County, Neb., and graduated from high school there in 1920. That fall she began teaching in a one-room school near Arapahoe. Her next two years were at Palisade, Neb., where she taught grades 5-6. In 1923 she became the wife of Harry Touzalin who had clothing stores in Palisade and four other towns. Forrest Hammes moved from Iowa to Nebraska and bought in as a partner with Mr. Touzalin who died suddenly in 1932.

In 1942, his widow and Forrest Hammes transferred their operations to Littleton by buying Amy Hamilton’s dress shop in the Valore Block.

Mrs. Touzalin and Mr. Hammes were married here and operated their Littleton Dress Shop for 26 years. They also acquired the Thirteenth Ave. Dress shop at 624 E. 13th Ave., and Mr. Hammes bought for both stores. The couple had a child each from previous marriages, and both children graduated from the Littleton High School.

Services were held by the Rev. George Loring at 7 p. m. Thursday at Drinkwine Chapel and cremation followed. Memorial gifts may go to Mission Hills Baptist Church, 5859 S. University Blvd.

Besides her husband, Mrs. Hammes leaves two children, Bill Touzalin of Lakewood and Mary Lou Amplemann, Florissant, Mo., 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

The George Webster Booker and Myrtle Jane Smith Family

George Webster Booker married Myrtle (Myrtie) Jane Smith 11 October 1896 in Beaver City, Furnas County, Nebraska. Myrtie was the daughter of Morris and Malita (Samples) Smith. In the book entitled The Land Where the Meadowlark Sings by Merlin R. Garey, page 65, the author states, “Mr. and Mrs. Booker (George and Myrtie) first lived on some Cyrus Horton land about four miles west of Edison and still later bought and improved a raw quarter of land south of the river.” George and Myrtie had five children – Willie C., Ervin Lewis, Ivan Edwin, Marvin Emery and Melvin George Booker.

In a letter dated 8 March 1985, Eldon C. Booker, grandson of George W. Booker and Myrtie Smith wrote the folloing:


“My Grandpa, George and brother, James (Jim) came to Neb. in 1894, so we lost [touch with] our relatives [in Illinois]. They were farmers and bought farms adjoining on the Republican River Valley west of Edison, on the south side of the river. They farmed until their boys got old enough to take over the farms, and moved to Edison and Arapahoe. Grandpa George bought and sold eggs and cream, and cobbled shoes in Edison for several years before retiring. He was a well-loved being by everyone especially his loved ones. My Dad, Ervin, farmed until the 1935 flood washed us off the farm. My mother, Ada, and Dad, Ervin, were caught in the flood and almost drowned. My sister, Lila, and I were already out of the Valley. They my Dad bought a grocery store in Edison, and retired from it in 1965. I became very involved in the store in 1947. Started carrying rural mail in 1966, and had two jobs until 1973 when I sold the store and moved to Bertrand to continue carrying mail.”

George W. and Myrtie Booker’s first child died in infancy, and another child, Marvin, lived to be only fourteen. In the local newpaper in Edison, dated 24 July 1924, I discovered the circumstances surrounding Marvin’s illness and death.


Edison News of Past Week




Marvin E. Booker was born near Edison, September 7, 1909, and died at the Oxford hospital July 18, 1924, aged 14 years, 10 months, and 11 days. He had his first operation at the age of 5, his second when he was 6. More or less down to the time of his death, he had been ill as a result of his first ailment. He was operated on for adhesions at Rochester, Minn. June 18, 1924, then taken to Oxford and operated on July 17th, where after a day of great suffering he passed away. This being in his own words his fourth and last operation. During all his extreme suffering, he bore it all bravely and patiently. During the Revival meetings in May, under the preaching of Rev. Ballenger he was converted, and while he was not as strong in his experience for a time, he told his mother he was saved, perfectly satisfied and ready to meet his Savior. While his last hours were hours of extreme suffering, he prayed nearly all the time and sang the songs of Zion. His last words spoken to his brothers were, “Let us have a word of prayer.” He earnestly entreated them to meet him in Heaven. While lying on his bed waiting (it almost seemed) for his Savior to say, “It is enough, come up Higher,” he sang, “Just as I am without one plea.” He leaves to mourn his loss his parents, three brothers, Irvin, Ivan and Melvin and many other relatives and friends. One brother having preceded him to the Great Beyond.

The funeral sermon was preached Sunday afternoon by Rev. Ballenger assisted by Rev. White at the Christian Church. Interment in the Edison cemetery.

Published in the local newspaper in Arapahoe and Holdbrook, Nebraska, Thursday, 26 August 1954:


Rites for Esteemed Edison Man Monday

Funeral services for George W. Booker were held at the Edison Free Methodist church Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock with the Rev. George Vogt of Loveland, Colorado, officiating, assisted by the Rev. Turner of Alma.

Music was furnished by Mr. and Mrs. Howard McCann and Mr. and Mrs. Loyal Rhodes, who sang “In the Sweet Bye and Bye”, “Saviour More Than Life to Me”, and “Rock of Ages”, with Mrs. T. V. French accompanist.

A beautiful “Tribute to My Father” was given by the son, Ivan Booker, of Walla Walla, Washington.

Casket bearers were Oscar Youngmark of Funk; C. B. Rawson, Orleans; Ross Coffey, E. E. Krubeck, D. T. Pearson, and Roy Hill. Burial was in the Edison Cemetery.

Out of town relatives attending the services were:

Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Booker, Stanley and Elon, Walla Walla, Wash.; Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Booker, Richard and Melva of Ponca City, Okla.; Mr. and Mrs. Sully Stenzel and children of Denver, Colo.; Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Youngmark, Funk; Chas. Smith, Santa Jose, Calif.; the Rev. and Mrs. D. V. Smith and sons, Lincoln; Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Rawson, Orleans.

George W. Booker was born November 3, 1867, in Macon County, Illinois, and departed this life August 19, 1954, in the hospital at Oxford at the age of 86 years, 9 months and 16 days.

In 1894 he came to Nebraska and married Myrtie Smith in 1896. To this union 5 children were born, two sons, Willie and Marvin preceded him in death.

Mr. Booker who was past 86 years of age, had not been in the best of health for some time, but still worked in his garden and drove his car.

Wednesday evening he was found in his usual place at the prayer meeting hour of the Free Methodist church. He mentioned later in the evening after returning home, not feeling well and before morning was quite ill.

Taken to the Oxford hospital Thursday morning, he passed away that night.

He is survived by his wife, Myrtie; 3 sons, Ervin of Edison, Ivan of Walla Walla, Wash., and Melvin of Ponca City, Okla.; 6 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at the Free Methodist Church with burial in the Edison Cemetery.

From a local newspaper in Edison, Nebraska dated May of 1969:


Funeral Services Held For Mrs. Myrtle Booker

Funeral services for Mrs. Myrtle J. Booker were conducted at the Christian Church, Edison, May 25, 1969 with Rev. John Riley and William Guthrie officiating. Music was furnished by Mr. and Mrs. Loyal Rhodes and Mr. and Mrs. Doran Rhodes with Ella French at the organ. Bearers were E. E. Krubeck, Eldon Robinson, Howard McCann, Lee Hill, Austin Learned and Thad French with interment in the Edison Cemetery. Arnold-Mitchell Funeral Home directed arrangements.

Myrtie Jane Booker, daughter of Morris and Malita Smith, was born December 7, 1876 in Roane County, West Virginia, and died May 21, 1969 at the Senior Citizens Home in Oxford, at the age of 92 years.

She came to Edison with her parents in the early days of 1886. She attended the old Farmer School northwest of Edison. She was married to George W. Booker in 1896 who preceded her in death in 1954. Two sons, Willie and Marvin, also preceded her in death.

She is survived by three sons, Ervin of Edison, Ivan of Walla Walla, Wash., and Melvin of Houston, Tex.; six grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; three sisters, Ella Caldwell of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Alta Youngmark of Funk; two brothers, Earl E. Smith of Paradise, Calif., and Charles W. Smith of Oroville, Calif.; other relatives and many friends.

Mrs. Booker was converted in 1903 and became a charter member of the Free Methodist Church of Edison, and remained a faithful member the rest of her life.

In 1985 Ervin Booker passed away, and just nine months later, in January 1986, his wife, Ada, followed him. Their obituaries are as follows:


Ervin Lewis Booker

Ervin Lewis Booker, the son of George and Myrtie Booker, was born on December 3, 1900 in Furnas County and died on April 18, 1985 in Holdrege, Nebraska at the age of 84 years, 4 months and 15 days.

He attended school in rural Edison and graduated from the Edison High School with the Class of 1921. On July 26, 1921 he was united in marriage to Ada May Tammen in Edison and to this union two children were born: Eldon and Lila. They farmed south west of Edison for 14 years. He owned and operated the Booker Market and Locker in Edison for 35 years. In 1981 they moved to Bertrand where he resided until his death.

Survivors include his wife, Ada, of Bertrand; one son, Eldon C. Booker of Bertrand, one daughter, Lila Stenzel and her husband, Sully, of Phoenix, Arizona; 6 grandchildren: James, Lee, Rex, Lynn, Sandra, Viki, Rita and Donna; 9 great-grandchildren: Travis, Kip, Eric, Brandie, J. L., Misti, Shana, Shanie and Michael; two brothers: Ivan Booker of Walla Walla, WA and Melvin G. Booker of Houston, Texas and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers: Willie and Marvin.

Funeral services were held April 22 in Edison with Sue Kerr as soloist and Ella French – Organist, pallbearers were Floyd Schroeder, Ralph Schroeder, Floyd Malone, Wes Farr, Kenneth Maaske, Floyd Stump with Interment in the Edison Cemetery.



Ada May Tammen Booker

Funeral services for Ada Booker will be conducted from the Christian Church of Edison, Monday, January 6, at 2:00 P. M. with the Rev. Fred Applegarth and the Rev. F. A. Hand officiating. Interment will be in the Edison Cemetery.

Mrs. Booker, 82 years of age of Bertrand, died Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona.

She was born on July 12, 1903 in Bladen, Nebraska, the daughter of David J. and Rachael K. Seely Tammen. She attended school at Prosser. On July 26, 1921 she was united in marriage to Ervin Booker and they made their home in Edison. In 1935 they purchased the Booker Market in Edison until they retired in 1970. In 1981 they moved to Bertrand where she resided until he death. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ervin, in April 1985.

Survivors include one son, Eldon C. Booker of Bertrand; one daughter, Lila Stenzel and her husband, Sully, of Phoenix, AZ; six grandchildren...[same as above], 9 great-grandchildren...[same as above]; one brother, Harold Steiger and one sister, Katie Schroeder of Cambridge. Besides her husband she was preceded in death by one brother, Edward and one sister, Opal.


The Mitchell-Nelson Funeral Home of Oxford is in charge of arrangements.

David D. Booker, Jr.

David D. Booker, Jr., son of David D. Booker, Sr. and Mary Tohill, was discovered to be blind at a very young age and never married. According to Mrs. Lourine Hullinger of Illiopolis, Illinois, he lived with his parents until his father’s death in 1916. Then he and his mother, Mary Elizabeth, lived with his married sister, Martha Bell Hullinger. Martha played the organ in Long Creek, Illinois, and David D., Jr., nicknamed “Doodie”, sang solos. “It was remembered that the eyes of many people in the congregation swelled with tears while he sang.”


The Martha Bell Booker and Emery Hullinger Family

Martha B. Booker married Emery Ross Hullinger on 3 October 1906. They had met at a “timber” around Niantic, Illinois while collecting firewood. Emery, born on 7 February 1856, was eighteen years older than Martha and a farmer near Niantic. She was 32 and he was 50. After Martha and Emery married, they settled on the Hullinger farm near Niantic. Emery’s mother lived with them. Martha’s parents, David and Mary, bought a house and eight acres from Joseph C. Hullinger, brother of Emery. David’s land was just about a half a mile away from Martha and Emery’s farm. Joe and a friend had built the house by hand, even making the concrete blocks from a mold. It was a four room square home. The Hullinger family still have in their possession the warranty deed whereby Joe sold the property to David Booker for twenty-five dollars on 30 August 1911. This house was later owned by David’s grandson, Fred David Hullinger and his family. Until the house was sold in 1989, Fred Hullinger’s widow, Mrs. Lourine Hullinger, resided there.

Emery Hullinger and Martha Bell Booker had two sons, Ross Leon and Fred David. Emery died 26 January 1920 in Niantic. Martha then remarried to William H. Stewart on 31 August 1921. Martha had no children by her second marriage.

I do not have Emery’s or Martha’s obituary, but I do have their son’s, Fred David Hullinger.


Fred D. Hullinger of Rural Illiopolis Dies in Decatur

Fred David Hullinger, age 71, of Illiopolis died at 5:53 a.m. Sunday, October 17, in Decatur Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Hullinger was born in Illiopolis, a son of Emery R. and Martha B. Hullinger. He married Lourine R. Pease in 1932.

Mr. Hullinger was a retired farmer. He was a member of Niantic United Methodist Church and a trustee of Long Point Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, a son, David L. Hullinger of Morton; daughter, Mrs. David (Linda) Scogin of Carrollton, Ga., and five grandchildren.

Funeral services were at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Niantic United Methodist Church, following visitation Monday at Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Home in Illiopolis and prior to services at the church.

Burial was in Long Point Cemetery, Niantic.

Mrs. Linda Scogin wrote the following narrative about her father, Fred David Hullinger, and her uncle, Ross Leon Hullinger.


My father was 5 feet 3 inches tall, and at age 71, still had natural black hair, some gray.

Fred enjoyed music. In his younger years he sang solos and in quartets at church and in school. He could play (self-taught) the banjo and harmonica and knew chords on the piano. He even could play the banjo and harmonica at the same time.

He won a scholarship at the end of the 8th grade to go to a state teaching college, however he continued with high school at Niantic. He attended for a short while at Brown’s Business College. During World War II he farmed and worked at the Illiopolis Illinois Defense Plant. The rest of his life he was a farmer.

He taught the “Senior Citizens” Sunday School class at the Niantic Methodist Church as far back as his wife and daughter remember. He was very active in the church, a humble man, prudent, but very giving to his children.

He died as a result of two severe strokes.


Ross Leon Hullinger, my father’s brother, was about 5 feet 5 inches, a little taller than his brother, Fred. Ross remained a bachelor until he was 57 years old. She was 67. His step-father, William Stewart, lived with Ross until (Billy’s) death in 1961, 12 years after Martha Bell died.

Ross had been a farmer and later an Illinois state worker for maintenance of Highway #36, while the Democrats were in office in Illinois. He later became the road commissioner of Niantic Township.

He died of a heart attack out in the cornfield near his home.

Children of James Jackson Booker and Virginia Ann Querry

The Christina Adeline Booker and David Mitchell Clements Family

Thanks to Edna Clements Brumaster of Indialantic, Florida, I was able to find most of the children of Christina and David Clements. I have included the obituaries of both David Mitchell Clements and Christina Adeline Booker Clements.

From the “Herald”, Decatur, Illinois, Saturday, 11 July 1942:


D. M. Clements, Molder, Dies

David Mitchell Clements, Mueller Company brass molder, 71, died yesterday in St. Mary’s hospital at 5:45 p. m. after 2 weeks of heart


He was born near Mt. Auburn in Christian County, and was married to Christina Booker near Blue Mound in 1895.

Mr. Clements came to Decatur 40 years ago and had been employed by Muellers for 30 years.

Besides his wife, he leaves five daughters and one son: Mrs. Grace Woodrow, Chicago, Mrs. Myrtle Norman, St. Louis, Mrs. Edna Brewmaster [sic], Mrs. Dorothy Traxler and Mrs. Lillian Morgan, of Decatur, and Mark Clements of Peru, Ind.

There are 3 brothers; Harve and Charles of Blue Mound and Grant of Decatur. There are 5 grandchildren.

The body is at Moran & Sons funeral home. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.


From the “Review”, Decatur, Ill., Saturday, 11 July 1942:


David M. Clements funeral at 2 p. m. Monday, Chapel at J. J. Moran & Sons.

Interment in Fairlawn Cemetery.

From the “Herald”, Decatur, Illinois, Monday, 29 October 1945:


Mrs. Christina Clements Died in St. Mary’s

Mrs. Christina Clements 67, 1154 N. Edward St. died in St. Mary’s Hospital at 3:45 a.m. yesterday after several months illness. She had been in the hospital for 2 weeks and underwent a major operation last Wednesday.

A lifelong resident of Macon County, Mrs. Clements lived in Decatur since 1902.

She was born on a farm near Boody Feb. 13, 1878, the daughter of the late James and Jennie Querry Booker. She was married in Blue Mound in 1894 to David M. Clements who died July 10, 1942. Mr. Clements was employed for nearly 30 years at the Mueller Mfg. Co.

Mrs. Clements was a member of the Cleveland Ave. Methodist Church of this city.

She leaves 5 daughters & one son; they are Mrs. Charles Brumaster, with whom she stayed before her death, Mrs. Loren Traxler and Mrs. Edward Morgan of Decatur, Mrs. Myrtle Norman of St. Louis, Mrs. C. J. Woodrow, Chicago, and Mark Clements of Peru, Ind.

There are also 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. A sister preceded her in death.

Friends may call at J. J. Moran & Sons Funeral Home after 10:30 Monday. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p. m. Tuesday in the chapel. Burial will be in Fairlawn Cemetery.

The Elsie Ethel Booker and John Riley Jewell Family

From Macon County, Illinois marriage records, I found:

JOHN RILEY JEWELL, of Greenwood, Indiana, Railroad worker, 24 years old, born Princeville, KY, Father: J. D. Jewell, Mother: Elizabeth Chatten, 1st marriage

ELSIE BOOKER, of Decatur, Ill, 21 years old, born Boody, Ill., Father: James J. Booker, Mother: Virginia Querry, 1st marriage, married at Decatur on 15 December 1908.

On 1 July 1985, I received a letter from the grandaughter of Elsie and John Jewell, Doris Mae Woolford Rickey of Roseville, California (near Sacramento). She was kind enough to send me information on the Jewell family. She also sent me the following narration.


John Riley Jewell and Elsie Booker Jewell were married 15 December 1908 in Decatur, Illinois. Their first child, Rose (no middle name), was born 23 March 1907. School records in my possession show that she attended Kansas City Schools from 8 September 1914 to 4 January 1916, when it was noted that the family moved to St. Louis. I have in my possission her Central High School yearbook and class pin from St. Louis. Robert Daniel Jewell was born in St. Louis 11 August 1920, 13 years younger than his sister.

Rose Jewell married Clarence Emory Woolford, a meatcutter, 1 July 1924. Clarence lost his job the day before the marriage, so the entire group decided to go west. Riley Jewell was at the time recuperating from a fall from a power pole in his work as a linesman. It was quite an adventrous trip by touring car in 1924 to go across country. Elsie and her daughter were very daring and wore Knickers on the trip. They went the southernmost route through the Arizona desert, which took them across the old board road at Yuma. This was a slow and torturous route through sand which drifted across the boards, making it necessary to stop every few miles and lift the boards, one man on each side, in order to go on. This road was in use for only a few years, and is the object of historical articles in Arizona. I, Doris Rickey, have seen remnants of he board road next to the modern highway which now follows the same route.

Rose and Clarence Woolford settled in San Pedro, California, where he worked as a meatcutter and their first child, a girl, was born and died on the same day 14 April 1925. A second girl, Doris Mae, was born in San Pedro 16 December 1926.

Elsie Booker Jewell and her husband settled in Phoenix, Arizona. He worked as foreman of a line crew which brought electricity to the Navaho reservation. Robert Daniel Jewell went through school in Phoenix, except for his last year of high school. He graduated from Sacramnto High School in 1938 while living with his sister, Rose and her family.

Rose and Clarence Woolford moved to Sacramento, California in 1931. He soon established his own meat market there at 23d and F Streets and became a successful businessman. Their son, Jack, was born in Sacramento 31 May 1933. Both children attended Sacramento Schools.

Robert Daniel Jewell married Mary Ellen Bissett, his high school sweetheart on 28 September 1940. He is an electrician, at one time owning his own contracting business.

At the outset of World War II, Robert Jewell went into the service. He was in the first radar class graduated in the United States Army, and spent most of the war in a remote area of China at a radar station, Chinese runners bringing them supplies.

Elsie Booker and Riley Jewell moved to Vallejo, California, where he worked at the Mare Island shipyards. After the war, and until his last illness, Riley worked for Vallejo Light and Power. Elsie was a housewife all her life, which was tragically shortened by cancer at the age of 55. I remember her as rather shy and quiet.

Rose Jewell Woolford was a volunteer aircraft spotter during the war, going out at night (remember the West Coast was blacked out most of the time), and sitting on downtown high-rise rooftops, identifying any aircraft in sight. She also took nutrition courses, and was prepared to work at feeding centers, in the event of a bombing. She kept her husband’s business books, and also those of other small businesses. After her husband’s retirement because of poor health, she worked as bookkeeper in a clothing store chain, and then as a statistician with the State of California, before her retirement. She was active in Eastern Star, Daughters of the Nile, and United Commercial Travelers Auxiliary. She was a marvelous gardener, and active in Garden Clubs in Sacramento. She and her husband had a nice home, and enjoyed entertaining their many friends. Elsie Booker Jewell spent her last year of life bedfast in Rose and Clarence Woolford’s home, as did Riley Jewell later.

Robert and Mary Ellen Jewell have one daughter, Sherry Kathleen, born 9 October 1946. Sherry attended Sacramento schools and has been a legal secretary. She married Jeffrey Alan Strimling on 18 May 1967, and has two children, Scott Alan and Amy Kathleen.

Doris Mae Woolford (myself) on 22 July 1945 married Walter Albert Rickey, an auditor with the State of California, now retired. They have three children, Allen Dean, Celia Ann, and Marcia Jo. Doris worked for 23 years for the City of Roseville, libraries, as Bookmobile Librarian and Branch Librarian. She was elected member of the Board of Education of the Roseville City School District for 10 years. Walter and Doris have been active in community affairs, having spent their entire married life in Roseville, California.

Jack Woolford married Carol Heil, and they had three children, Jennifer, Sara Melissa, and Thomas Nathan. Jack and Carol divorced, and Jack later remarried Sandra Rhodes Hall. He and Sandra had two daughters, Amy Rose and Emily. This marriage ended in divorce, too. Jack is a real estate appraiser for the County of Sacramento, and also has his own appraising business. He has taught Real Estate and Appraising at all the community colleges in the area. His hobby is sailing.

From the “Sacramento Union”, dated 6 September 1940:



In this city, September 5, 1940, Elsie Jewell, beloved wife of Riley Jewell of Vallejo, loving mother of Mrs. Rose Woolford and Robert Jewell of this city, sister of Mrs. Christina Clements of Decatur, Ill., a native of Illinois, aged 52 years, 8 months, 11 days. Friends are invited to attend the funeral Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock from the George L Klumpp Chapel of Flowers, 808 O Street. Interment East Lawn.

From the “Sacramento Union”, dated 30 September, 1950:

Riley Jewell

Riley Jewell, 67, of 311 San Antonio Way, died yesterday in a local hopital. He was a native of Kentucky and was employed as an electrical lineman. He was a member of Electrical Workers Union 180 (AFL).

Survivors are his wife, Ethel Jewell [sic], his children, Mrs. Rose Woolford and Robert D. Jewell of Sacramento. Three grandchildren and one great-grandchild also survive.

Services will be held Monday at 3 p. m. from Nauman’s. Burial will be in East Lawn.

From the “Sacramento Bee”, dated Monday 6 May 1974:


Rose Woolford

Rose Woolford, a retired accountant for the State Human Resources Department, where she worked 11 years, has died in a Roseville hospital at the age of 67.

The Illinois native, who died Saturday, had resided in Sacramento since 1933 and had moved to Roseville five months ago to live with her daughter, Doris Rickey.

Mrs. Woolford was a member of Naomi Temple, Order of the Eastern Star, and Menzaleh Temple No. 16, Daughters of the Nile, and was past counselor of the United Commercial Travelers Auxiliary of Sacramento and a past president of the Camelia Garden Club.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Jack, of Auburn; brother, Robert D. Jewell of Sacramento, and six grandchildren.

Services will be at 7 PM tomorrow in the Lambert Funeral Home in Roseville. Burial will be in East Lawn Memorial Park in Sacramento.

The family requests that any remembrances be sent to the Roseville Community Hospital Cancer Research Fund.

The Bucher/Booker Family, 1686-1990 © 1990 Charles Lee Booker Jr.


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