"Uella with Freddie, Willard, Gladys, and Vernie (4 smallest kids) - Coos Bay Oregon? - 1915?"
Whoa. Okay. So I've been taking a little time off of researching my roots so that I can study up on how to organize my paper files. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to go out and find evidence when it'll just end up in a pile in my office, right? Paper and I don't really get along, so if I don't have a definite system then it'll just end up being one big mess in no time flat. I finally found a winner in the Family Roots Organizer system, so today I've been diligently following the steps to get my system in place. I'm color coding hanging files, printing off 5-Generation Pedigree Charts, highlighting surnames, and filing them.
I just finished up with the 5-degree charts and names and decided that I may as well fill it in with all of the surnames I have! So I'm going down my list... Wait... Baker... Long... Haskins. As I went to pick up the Haskins chart, my heart stopped. Coos, Coos County, Oregon, USA. The printable version of the tree that I've been studying actually has places on it and not just dates? Who is this?? Abigail Sutton and Benoni Haskins?? How do they fit into the tree?? Ok! They're Uella's grandparents? Wait! Does that even make sense? They died in 1884 and 1895, respectfully, a good 20 years before Fred & Uella made the big trek out to Oregon!
Ever since I found pictures of Fred & Uella (farmers from Nebraska) on a beach of all things, I've been curious about where they were and why they were there. By putting birth records together with pictures of the Oregon coast, I was able to deduce that the photos were most likely taken around Coos County, Oregon sometime between 1913 and 1917. That's where Alice Viola was born in 1917 and also where the twins Harriet & Elvie were born in 1919 and where Elvie died 18 months later. Finding Elvie's grave and retracing Fred & Uella's footsteps are probably the main reasons that we're having the Wait Reunion in the Coos Bay area next summer!
One of the big questions in my mind has been "Why Coos Bay?" Why would Fred and Uella pick up and go to Oregon with 4 kids? Freddie was the youngest who made the trek and in this photo couldn't have been more than two years old. That would make Willard 3, Gladys 5, and Vernie 8. I'm not sure if Roy (13) and Ray (15) were there or not since they're not in the photo. That's a whole lot of kids to drag across country, though. Especially in those times! Not to mention that today it would take 28 hours to drive it. Back then, they probably took the Lincoln Highway most of the way, which pretty much followed I-80. I have no idea how long it would take to get there, but my guess is that it probably took two weeks.
I checked the information that I have on Uella's parents, thinking that maybe they were in the area at the time, but they fell off my radar starting in 1900 when they were still in Iowa. I haven't done too much digging on them so far, though. Uella's mom Hattie's brother Benoni Horace Haskins died in Coos Bay in 1918, and her sister Lydia J Haskins died there in 1919. Maybe Hattie was there as well? Maybe Uella went to see her Aunt and Uncle? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, I'm making excellent progress in my filing duties! Now that I'm over my initial Coos Bay shocker, I can finish up my extended generational files. Can't wait to fill up my new filing box with some more goodies!