Bellzona's Picture Book
The Collins - Adah
Gertrude Jones Wadley
Adah Gertrude Jones Wadley, daughter of Bellzona.
There was a boy with his gun on a man who
was coming at him with a knife. He was a large man, Joe McCuine. He was
drunk and was mad at the boy. The boy was crying and telling Mr. McCuine
he didn't want to kill him, but if he came at him with the knife he would
shoot him. McCuine kept coming. Someone slipped behind him, Joe McCuine,
and caught him by the arms. Someone else came and took the boy away. The
boy's family left not long after and went to Canada.
We lived on our homestead until we proved
it up *. While living there, trying to farm, with Dan working too in town,
driving the seven and one half miles daily, in good and bad weather when
he stayed in town because he couldn't get home, I really knew what one had
to do when you are alone. I was never afraid.
We found our horses were getting locoed. We
went over the pasture and found lots of the weed growing. I took a sack
and dug it out, day by day, until it was all gone.
We had fun though, at times. We had several
persons in the neighborhood who played instruments. Uncle Bill Collins was
a teacher of music. He formed an orchestra. He played anything but was the
master of violin. Dan would be on the violin and guitar, Uncle John
Collins on violin and organ, Bill Martin on guitar, Clarence McGowen on
guitar and bones. There was someone on mandolin and I can't remember their
name. I played the guitar and the mandolin. We really enjoyed playing and
we practiced every week at my uncle's who lived just across the road from
us. We played for literacy at the school house when we had a program at
Happy School, and wherever we were wanted. A lot of the time, the
neighbors would gather in at my uncle's house in the evening to hear us
There were many things to be done in those
days with only your hands to do them. It was not easy, but we enjoyed
being alive and being able to work.
After we had proved up we moved into town,
Tyrone. Dan his father, G.T. Wadley and his brother E.H. Wadley bought a
general merchandise store from Cowden. Later, we sold out and went to
college at Stillwater, Oklahoma. When we came home Dan worked at the
railroad depot. For a while we both were learning telegraphy.
I taught telegraphy to Neil Johnson who
held several jobs at a number of places. I also taught Ed Pankratz who was
Guymond's Western Union man for a time. T taught Rex Smith of Texhoma and
he went on to West Point in 1912.
My husband started a grain business with
Andy Hughes at Tyrone. Dan was next with Light Milling and Grain at
Liberal Kansas. He next went to Light Riffe grain of Texhoma. He built the
first concrete grain elevator there. He was mayor of Texhoma for several
years. He sold out there and built an elevator at Kerrick, Texas and at
Boise City, while he was working for the Rock Island Railroad too. We
lived also at Liberal, Kansas where he was freight depot agent there. We
then left Texhoma. We had lived in Texahoma from 1918 to 1931. At Kerrick,
Texas Dan was agent for the Santa Fe there. He shipped grain to all over
the United States and across the water.
We went through awful times during the sand
bowl days. The big rolling cloud of sand would come in. You could look up
and out of a bright sunshiny day you could see a cloud coming so big and
black and red.
* "proved it up"
is a term used to mean they had met all the requirements made by the
government for things the settlers must do to own the land.
The settlers' original proving-up was followed by years of hard labor,
sacrifice, resourcefulness, courage, vision, determination and a high
degree of pluck and perseverance in the face of reverses and failure. On
top of that, consider the very early pioneers who had to build their
communities from scratch. There were no roads, no bridges, no wells, no
markets, no merchants, no stores, no schools, no churches, no hospitals,
no post office, no community consciousness and no local government.
Granddaughter of Gertrude
and Dan Wadley, Danese King Lindsey. Danese is the daughter of Wilfred
and Paulagean King, daughter of Gertrude and Dan.
Danese has a family
and has worked for years as a surgical nurse. As she progressed in
time she went into a lighter capacity of nursing and that is to work
in a birthing center. She says she loves the work because of the
joy and happiness in delivering babies. This is her husband. True
to her Collins blood she loves animals. This is one of her last
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