Monday, October 5, 2015

Gerald Dawson Robison Older Days

Some time about the age of twenty my Grandpa Shorty, went off to the Oklahoma Oil Fields, to work. Times were very tough, and there was not a lot of work, and what there was of it, was very hard. Best guess it was in the years 1928-29, for it was right before he met and married my Grandma Lillie Mary Thompson.

This picture makes me think, that it is while he was getting ready to go out to Oklahoma, or is in Oklahoma.
The country is pretty flat, which makers me think it is either Oklahoma, or once again near Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Here is grandpa Shorty, with a crew of guys, moving an oil tank. Shorty is in the white shirt, on the truck, with the Fedora like felt hat. Aren't those vehicle's something?!

Here are more of the same crew. See the oil derricks in the background?!

Another picture of the fellows in Oklahoma. Unfortunately I was not able to get out of Grandma Lillie exactly where Shorty worked in the Oil Fields in Oklahoma. I don't know if it was just strangers he worked for, or some family of grandma's. She told stories of how her father, Charles Oren Thompson, lost their land to taxes in Oklahoma, but his brother, Jesse Clarence Thompsons family hit oil on their property so were saved.
I have never been able to prove this, so will leave it at that.

This picture is of Grandpa Shorty, his sister, Bernice Valda Robison-Odom, and his half brother, Edwin Russell Knickerbocker, Jr. It was taken about 1936 in Doniphan, Missouri. I believe it was taken when Grandpa & Grandma went there, on the death of Edwin Russell Knickerbocker, Sr. who committed suicide on August 4, 1936.

This is how it happened, according to Grandma Lillie.

Edwin, Sr., had a drinking problem, and he liked to play cards at the local watering hole in Doniphan. He went into town, to draw out the tax money from the bank, to pay the farms taxes. Overcome by a desire to get a drink, he stopped in at the tavern. He never remembered anything after that. He awoke the next morning in a ditch, where he had been rolled, or fell. When he went to look for the tax money it was gone. (Grandma said he had, "Delirium Tremens," from his drinking, and thought he saw white elephants.)
He made his way home, and for many days was sunk into a deep depression, so much so, that the family hid all of the kitchen knives, and wouldn't let him out of their sight.

On the day of his death, Grt. Grandma Nellie, went out to feed the chickens, thinking he was following right behind. However when she came out of the hen-house he was nowhere to be found. She searched high and low and called for the field-hands to aid in the search. She finally thought to go look in the barn, where she found him hanging from the center rafter. He had even tied his hands so that he couldn't help himself. The field-hands found her there, trying to hold him up, and screaming hysterically.

Nellies 2nd husband, Edwin Russell Knickerbocker, Sr

Grt. Grandma Nellie later married a third time, to August "Gus" Peter Nilges. She also outlived him, and they are buried side by side in the Amity Cemetery not far from Doniphan. Gregg and I visited it in 1994.

This picture was taken at the same time as the picture above. This is Bernice, Shorty, grt. gr. Nellie, and Edwin, Jr. Seated on the ground is my fathers younger brother Hubert, and next to him, my father Wes. I don't know what the dogs name is, but he looks like a fine hound. Grandma Lillie must be taking the picture, which was an all too common occurrence, which is why she is seldom in them.
(Again I wish the picture quality was better, which should be an admonition to all of us that have pictures, to store and care for them better.)





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