McGhee Family Gathering

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Looking at the age of my mother, Gail, in this photo, I’d say it was from the mid-1930s.

1930s McGhee family gathering.

1930s McGhee family gathering.

The two girls in front are Gail and Melba McGhee. On the left is Roy McGhee, Gail’s uncle and his wife Viola in front of him. She’s arm-in-arm with two women that may be her Bolte sisters. Gail and Melba’s aunt, Bertha McGhee, is standing behind them. Their grandmother, Viola Matilda (Tower) McGhee is next to Bertha.

Austin McGhee stands on the right side of the photo. An unidentified couple, possibly Jesse McGhee and his wife, Dora, are at the back.

(Thank you, Karen Kolavalli, for helping identify these.)

Bessie Vining Bolte

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Bessie Vining Bolte, my great aunt is our featured ancestor for this week.

She was born October 5, 1887, in Wilson, Kansas. Her father, Henry Francis Vining, was 50 and her mother, Nancy Jane Babcock, was 36. Bessie was the 9th of 13 children.  Her father moved to Kansas from East Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut in the 1850s. Her mother was originally from Black Hawk, Iowa.

Her early schooling was at Pea Ridge School in Wilson County KS. The link takes you to a photo of Bessie and her siblings and school mates.

That area of Kansas was where oil was first discovered in 1892. She went to school through the 8th grade.The family moved to a sod house with a frame house added onto it in the Woodward, Oklahoma area. Although this is Oklahoma land rush area, they did not participate in that, but bought the land from someone else.

The sod house with a frame house attached.

The sod house with a frame house attached.

Bessie was 10 years old when her father died in 1897. After his death, the Vinings moved to Tyro, Kansas.

Bessie was 19 years old when she married 24 year old Edward McClullen Bolte on December 26, 1906, in Woodward, Oklahoma. Earlier, in 1902, her sister, Lucy, married Edward’s brother, Charley. Two sisters married two brothers.

Edward McClellen Bolte and Bessie Vining. This might be their wedding photo.

Edward McClellen Bolte and Bessie Vining. This might be their wedding photo.

Census records show:
►In 1910, Bessie Bolte was 22 years old and lived in Union City, Oklahoma with her husband, Edward, and son, Floyd Leon Bolte.

►In 1920, Bessie Bolte was 32 years old and lived in Penn, Oklahoma with her husband who is farming, They have 3 sons, and 3 daughters. (Hazel Irene Bolte, Roy Edward Bolte, Viola Mae Bolte, Ruth Lucille Bolte, Lewis Elbert Bolte, nicknamed Bus) Over a 12 year period, they had seven children.  (source: The Vining Family by Dorothea Vining Barnes)

►In 1925, Bessie Bolte lived in Fawn Creek, Kansas with her husband, Ed, by this time, their family was complete with the addition of daughter, Wanda Lee Bolte.

In the 1920s, oil was booming in Kansas, so an oil town sprang up in Teterville, in Greenwood County, Kansas. The two brothers moved there for the work. By now, Bessie and Lucy each had 7 children. Other siblings moved there as well. The oil boom didn’t last, and now the town of Teterville has completely vanished. Read more about the Vinings’ time in Teterville.

Formal portrait of Bessie Vining Bolte

Formal portrait of Bessie Vining Bolte

►In 1930, Bessie Bolte was 42 years old and lived in Salem, Kansas with her husband, and seven children. Ed was a truck driver in the oil field and the oldest son, age 22, was an operator at an oil refinery.

►On April 1, 1940, Bessie Bolte was 53 years old and lived in Salem, Kansas with her husband, Edward, 1 son, 2 daughters, a son-in-law and 2 grandsons (Warren, age 6 and Charles age 1) lived with them. Daughter Ruth was married to Lawrence H Bair.

All but Bessie are listed as working. The daughters worked as a servant and a housekeeper in private homes. Lewis was a laborer, the son-in-law was a mechanic’s helper for the railroad bridge and building. Edward was a contractor, hauling gasoline.

She died on October 10, 1941, in Eureka, Kansas, at the age of 54, and was buried in Robbins Cemetery near Coffeyville, Kansas. Her husband, Edward, died 8 years later.

 

The Importance of Labeling Photos – Vining Family

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Here’s an old discussion from the MyFamily (Martin/McGhee) site. I think we solved this one.

Karen Kolavalli – Dec 11, 2011
Ginger, I had posted this on Facebook, but only had Ruth identified. You were asking about who the others were. Ruth Vining McGhee in white on the right. Also Mrs. Nancy J. Vining (Ruth’s mother). Not sure who the other woman is. Nancy Vining would have been in her late 60’s when this photo was taken–so she must be the seated woman. Ruth was the youngest of 12 children. Nancy also had 2 older children with her first husband.

Virginia Allain – Dec 11, 2011
I was guessing that the woman on the left was Ruth’s mother and the seated lady could be a grandmother. She looks like she could be 80 or so, but maybe it is Nancy Vining as in those days the late 60s would be fairly old.

Karen Kolavalli – Dec 11, 2011
Mom should be able to clear it up.

Karen Kolavalli – Dec 11, 2011
OK, I’ll speculate one more time and then quit! Ginger, I think you’re right that Ruth is standing next to her mother, Nancy J. Babcock Ashlock Vining. And I believe the seated lady is Ruth’s grandmother, Nancy Jane Wright Babcock.  (UPDATE: Nancy Jane Wright Babcock died in 1880 and this photo is circa 1918.)

Gail Martin – Dec 12, 2011
The other woman standing looks like Mother’s older sister Lucy that married Charles Bolte

Virginia Allain – Dec 12, 2011
OK – then the final line-up would be Lucy Bolte (Ruth’s older sister) on left, Ruth Vining McGhee on right, and their mother, Nancy J. Vining seated.

Lucy Vining Bolte, Mrs. Nancy J. Vining, and Ruth Vining  (photo from WWI sent to Nancy's son Albert Vining in France)

Lucy Vining Bolte, Mrs. Nancy J. Vining, and Ruth Vining (photo from WWI sent to Nancy’s son Albert Vining in France)

Here’s further discussion on this picture in September 2014:

Virginia Allain: Let’s go back one generation. This is CJ’s grandmother, Nancy Jane Babcock Vining in the front. Photo taken in Tyro, KS. She would be my great grandmother.

Cj Garriott: That’s my mother, of course, on the right, in the white dress.

Karen Kolavalli: On the left is Ruth’s sister Lucy Vining Bolte.

Karen Kolavalli: Did your Grandmother Nancy pass away before you were born, Cj Garriott?

Cj Garriott: I think so; Mother was 37 when I came along in 1934, and was youngest of all her siblings

Virginia Allain: Nancy had a hard time, I imagine raising all those children after her husband’s death. In one census, she is working as a laundress which probably means taking in laundry to wash at her home. Very hard work in those days without electricity and with water being carried in from a well in the yard.

Cj Garriott: Thinking about Nancy’s 13th being born June 10, 1897, and her husband died July 28, 1897. No doubt began the laundress work to raise her family!

UPDATE: After reading about the Vining cousins who had a laundry business in Neodesha, Kansas, I’m now wondering if Nancy worked there, rather than taking in washing at her home.

Help Me Identify These People – Likely McGhees and Boltes

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The two girls in the front are Gail and Melba McGhee. I need to compare this to some other photos but think some of the people are Bolte cousins.

Bolte and McGhee families in Teterville, Kansas

Bolte and McGhee families in Teterville, Kansas

♥After seeing another photo showing Roy and Viola McGhee, we think the woman holding the baby is Viola (Bolte) McGhee.

♥The woman in the dark flowered dress is Lillian (Bolte) Phelps.

♥Wanda Bolte in plain, light dress is on far right side, facing into the group.

?? – Is that Ruth McGhee (partially hidden by Lillian?

?? – Is the older woman between Gail and Viola possibly Lucy Vining Bolte (Ruth Vining McGhee’s older sister)?