Discovering a School Record Book


Ancestor of the Week:  Vining children in Oklahoma
Prompt of the Week: 52 Ancestors week 7 – Favorite Discovery

I placed the flat, oversized package on the table and carefully started removing the brown wrapping paper that protected it in the mail.

In 1906, a school teacher in Oklahoma Territory neatly wrote the name of my grandmother and her older brothers and sisters into the column for students in this school register. The teacher was Miss Stambaugh. The school was District No. 72.

There she was, Ruth Vining, age 7. Above and below her name, there was 15-year-old Luther Vining,  12-year-old Scelia Vining, and 11-year-old Albert Vining. The children lived with their mother, Nancy Jane Vining in a house that was partly frame and partly a dugout sod house.

vining house woodward oklahoma

The sod house with a frame house attached.

Above their names in the register, I spotted their half-sister Sarilda Jane (Ashlock) Mikesell’s children; Ines and Colie Mikesell. Sarilda’s husband died suddenly in 1896 and she had moved back to Woodward County, Oklahoma in 1903 to prove up a land claim. The next year, she was finally able to get a widow’s pension from her husband’s Civil War service. Then she married for the third time to John Augsburger in Haskew, Oklahoma.

1905 ruth vining school list

The other children on the page do not match our family. Perhaps someone is looking for them, so I’ll list them here.

  • Martha Brown 12, Leslie Brown 13, Beatrice Brown 9, Dorothea Brown 7
  • Walter Blevins 8, Howard Blevins 6
  • Lena Mills 12, Dale Mills 9, Claud Mills 6, Chloe Mills 15
  • Ree Mix 10, Elmer Mix 14
  • Glen Allen 6
  • Kelley Stout 7, Willie Stout 5
  • Rosa Herons (or –erons) 6
  • Clifford Pingry 9
  • Jacob Brankel 11, Charley Brankel 9, Bertha Brankel 6

school record page

I tried searching in the 1910 census for some of the families and also in the Haskew Enterprise newspapers. Possible parents or relatives found were Earl Clifford (mentioned as going to Coffeyville, KS), Tobias R. Mix, and R.K. Stout. Perhaps some of the families had moved away by that time. By 1910, the Vining family was in Montgomery County, Kansas.

How did I get this wonderful piece of family history? Fortunately, a collector of vintage pieces who had this school record sought me out to sell the item. They were able to find me since I’ve written several blog posts about my grandmother and the Vining family.

Amy Johnson Crow challenges genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.” This is week 7 of the 2020 challenge.

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