52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 14:
Water

Homer King, 1864 – 1932

 A Story of Water

My mother tells a story about her maternal grandfather asking her to bring a cold cup of water from the well. I am sharing that story.

Childhood Tragedies

My great grandfather, Homer King, was born in Mercer County, OH, the eldest son of William H. King and Elizabeth Hammond. [1]

The family farmed land they owned, raising feed crops to sell and feed to their own livestock. Two of Homer’s younger siblings died in 1872 when they were just little children. [2] In September 1876, Homer’s father William died leaving his wife Elizabeth, 12 year old Homer, 5 year old Charles and 1 year old Nettie. [3] Homer was too young to take on running a farm, so his mother sold the farm, livestock, implements and household goods. Then, in May 1878, she married a neighboring farmer named Springer. [4,5] Homer experienced much loss during his childhood.

Homer King family tree

A Cold Drink of Water

My mother, Betty, lived with her grandparents, Homer and Ella King, for many years when she was a child. At the time of Homer’s death, my mother was just six and half years old. This is her memory of the events of her grandfather’s death in mid-April 1932.

I briefly documented Homer King’s death in a previous post about his wife, my great grandmother, Ella Rumple King. [6]

Grandfather was helping a neighbor bale hay off a wagon. While standing atop the pile of hay in the wagon, Grandfather stumbled and fell, striking his head on the ground. Grandfather was brought home, barely conscious.

We lived on a small tenant farm near Tyner, IN in Marshal County (north of Plymouth, IN) and I was attending first grade at Tyner. Grandfather was placed in one of the twin beds in the small bedroom on the ground floor of the house. A doctor came and examined Grandfather, but he did not think there was much to be done.

Grandfather lingered for a few days, laying in the bed, taking little food and water, and he was in and out of consciousness. Grandmother and I shared the other bed in the small room so we could be near by if Grandfather needed anything.

One day, while Grandmother talked with the doctor, Grandfather asked me to bring him a cold drink of water. I went to the bucket in the kitchen where Grandmother kept fresh drinking water, there was no indoor plumbing, or electricity either, and I filled an enameled tin cup with water. I gave this to Grandfather, he took a sip but remarked it wasn’t cold enough. He asked me to bring water from the well outside, which would be colder.

As I left to fetch the water, Grandfather remarked that he heard music and that it was angels singing. We had a hand-cranked Victrola in the sitting room, but it was not playing. I took the cup to the well, it had a hand pump and sat in the center of a wooden boardwalk that ran between the house and the summer kitchen, and I filled it there.

I carefully carried the cup full of very cold water back to Grandfather. But when I got to his bed I found he had passed away. Grandmother was there and the doctor said Grandfather was dead and he covered his face with the blanket. Grandfather never got that cold drink of water.

Betty c1930

Betty, ca. 1930

Homer King 1885

This is a tintype of Homer King ca. 1885, it is the oldest photograph in my mother’s archive.

Conclusion

Homer King passed away on 16 April 1932 at the age of 67. Homer was survived by his wife, Ella, 6 of their 8 children, 7 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild, a brother (Charles A. King), a sister (Nettie King Cavender) and a half brother (Jesse Springer). [7]

King Family 1910

The King Family, 1910
l-r, back: Ray, Roxanne, Charles, Elsie, and Oscar
front: Edith, Homer, Warren, Ella, and Lee

SOURCES:

  1. Profile for Homer King, ‘Osborn‘ family tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/5107442157/facts
  2. Entry for Wm F. and Treasy E. King; “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZR-KDM2), Mercer > Death records, 1867-1908, vol 1-2 > image 59 of 326; lines 25 and 26; county courthouses, Ohio.
  3. Entry for Wm King, Ancestry.com. Probate Case Files and Indexes 1852-1900; Probate Place: Mercer, Ohio; https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/8801/images/005886251_01181 Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998 [database on-line]. Original data: Ohio County, District and Probate Courts.
  4. Ibid.; page 22 https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/8801/images/005886251_01203
  5. Entry for Elizabeth King; 29 May 1878; Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993 [database on-line]. FHL: #000914956; Original data: Marriage Records. Ohio Marriages. Various Ohio County Courthouses.
  6. Blog Post: Week 10: Strong WomanElla Rumple King; https://barblafara.com/strong-woman/
  7. Online memorial for Homer King; FindaGrave.com; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/17892981
Remember Me and I Will Live

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Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.

David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.

The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne

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While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.

Probate of Jesse King 1868

Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.

Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary

A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.

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Luella Pressell: Surprise!

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Rumple Family Photo 1895

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For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one in particular I found very informative.

Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle

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I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.

George Lafary and Catherine Landon: Large Family

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My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.

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It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.

Genealogy Brick Walls

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We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.

Catherine Landon: Out of Place

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I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.