Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Easie Mae Stroud

Easie (I assume a variation on Easter, a popular name in the family; I've never known of another Easie in my life) was born on May 20, 1904.  I wish I had been more interested in genealogy when I was younger and I has asked more questions about her early life.   I know very little about her life before she was married.  I have looked through her old picture albums - she took a lot of photos of herself and her friends, mostly other girls.  The pictures look like they are probably from the late 1900's - early 1920's.  It is sometimes strange to look at a picture of a person you only knew as old, running around, acting like teenagers do (and I guess always have).  I'm hoping to be able to scan some of those pictures to share, although they are dark and not in great condition, so I don't know if that will work.  I have seen pictures of her and George before their marriage, often with her kid sister in tow.  She and George Stanfill were married on November 20, 1925. 
Wedding picture

marriage certificate
George, Easie & Beulah Stroud
George & Easie in Kansas with his brother Lincoln's children.  The back of the photo says "them horses is George's team"

Easie and George lived briefly in Kansas, where I believe his parents were, and then went back to Arkansas, where he tried his hand at farming.  I don't think he was very successful at it.  Their first child, Francis Eugene, was born on March 5, 1929, and Joyce Sue (my mother) was born on March 10, 1931.
Joyce Sue
Francis Eugene
Joyce Sue
George & children
Joyce Sue & Eugene

I believe this picture was taken on the steps of their house in Arkansas

Eugene & Joyce Sue, probably late 1930's

Eugene, Easie & Joyce Sue in their home, 1940's

They moved to Oklahoma about 1931 and opened their stores.  Below is a picture of the inside of the Nowata store.  My mother is the little girl in the front, my grandmother is on the left and Velma (don't know her last name), who moved from Arkansas with them to help care for the children and work in the store, is on the right.

Stanfill Grocery, Nowata, OK

In 1941, they were in the process of building a new house in Nowata when George became ill and died.  Easie took over running the business.  Less than a month after George's death, the store caught fire and burned down.   While the Nowata store was being rebuilt, she ran the Chelsea store.  The following newspaper article appeared in The Nowata Star announcing the opening of the new store later that year:

                            New Stanfill Grocery Opening Set Saturday
Mrs. George Stanfill, owner and manager, announced today that the new Stanfill Grocery and Market, located at Modoc and Oak, will make it's bow to Mr. and Mrs. John Public at 7 a.m. Saturday.
Features of the opening day program will include free sandwiches and coffee for adults shoppers free candy for the youngsters.  Awarding of several merchandise gifts is also on the day's schedule.
Although the expansion and modernizing work on the building is not entirely complete,  Mrs. Stanfill and members of her staff said Thursday that they'd be ready for the big party Saturday.
Mrs. Stanfill is not a newcomer to Nowata's family of retail grocers.  With her husband, who died in August, Mrs. Stanfill came to Nowata nine years ago from Huntsville, Ark.  They purchased a grocery store on South Oak street and Mrs. Stanfill was operating the firm when it was destroyed by fire September 26.
After the destructive fire, Mrs. Stanfill took charge of the retail grocery that the Stanfills have been operating in Chelsea for serveral years.  Meanwhile, she instructed contractors to go to work for a new modern store in Nowata and the climax comes Saturday.
Workmen completely remodeled and enlarged the Stanfill Feed and Cream Station here to make room for the food market.  White stucco as applied to the exterior of the building and windows were installed the length of the grocery section on the front of the building, with an extending canopy overhead.
New modern equipment and display fixtures were purchased and installed and white paint wasa applied to walls and furniture alike to take advantage of the light that pours in the big long windows.
Parking runways completely around the building and several other improvements are planned by Mrs. Stanfill before she calls the job done.
The regular sales staff for the new store Mrs. Stanfill and Irwin Smith in the grocery department and J.B. Chalk in the meat deprtment.  Joe Phelps will supervise feed sales and the cream station.  Smith and Chalk were members of the regular crew at the old store.
Mrs. Stanfill sold her Chelsea store last week and plans to devote her full time to the local institution.
newspaper ad for Stanfill Grocery
Easie & Wes
 Easie continued to run the store until she remarried on January 29, 1946.   She married Wesley Bryan Berry, a widower with four children.  While my mother and her brother knew that Grandma was "dating" Wes, for some unknown reason, they didn't tell anyone when they married, so it was a few weeks before they even told their children.  
Marriage certificate

Easie & Wes in Mexico
 Wes was born in Oklahoma, then Indian territory, in 1897.  His mother, Lavona Blevins, was a Cherokee (or part Cherokee), his father Robert Berry, was white.  Wes, his mother and brother Lee, all are listed on the final Dawes Rolls, the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory.  A sister Maud, who died in childhood, is also listed.  Wes's father and mother divorced when he was a child and he and his brother lived with their father.   Lavona apparently remarried and had another child, a daughter named Grace, who is the witness on Easie and Wes's marriage certificate.  I have had no luck tracing Lavona past her first marriage or finding any information on Grace.  

Wes's first wife was Delia Mae Reich, who died in 1939 when she was just 39 years old.  They had four children:  Doris, Betty, Ida Belle and Wesley, Jr.  There was also a brief marriage to a Mrs. Grace Dobson between his marriage to Delia and the one to Easie.  This was another secret that wasn't 
known until after Wes died.


Reich children, Delia is back row, left
charity in Nowata. 
Easie Berry, 1950's
Wes died on December 8, 1981 at the age of 84.  He is buried next to his first wife, Delia, in Nowata.
Grandma continued to live on her own until she had a heart attack in November of 1990, and died a few weeks later. on November 24, 1990.  She is buried next to George in Nowata.
They are all in the same cemetery.

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