My great-uncle Albert Vining’s grade card revealed the dates that the Vining’s were in Gentry, Arkansas. He attended fifth grade at the Gentry School from September 7, 1908, to February 26, 1909. I’m not sure if school ended that early or if that is when the family left for Kansas. Prior to this time in Gentry, the Vining children were in school in 1906 in Woodward, Oklahoma. (source)
His teacher in Gentry was Alice Oakley. Albert’s final average was medium to good for reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, and geography. For grammar, he received a failing grade.
By December 1909, his younger sister, Ruth, was mentioned in the Tyro, Kansas, newspaper listing of students in the school Christmas play. By the 1910 census, they were living in Caney, Kansas.
Why the Dates Matter
My mother had a photo that was labeled “Gentry, Ark., Albert, Scelia, and Ruth.” These would be Nancy Jane Babcock Vining’s children. I’m trying to pin down the date of this picture.
Gail Lee Martin’s notes: “Nancy Jane Vining left Oklahoma with Luther, Albert, and Ruth and lived a short time in Gentry, Arkansas, with or near her sister, Ellenor, who had married John Vining. He died in 1908.
In the Civil War pension records of John Vining, Nancy lists her residence as Gentry, Benton County, Arkansas. By the pension date 11 Dec. 1908, we assume it’s around this time. Ruth, the youngest, would have been about 11 1/2 years old. She looks older than that.”
I don’t know if the house was rented or owned by Ellenor Vining or Nancy Vining. Both were widowed.
Below is a photo of Ruth and Scelia in Tyro in 1911. Note that in this photo, Ruth is wearing a shorter dress suitable for a young girl of 14. Scelia is 19, so of an age to wear long skirts. In my mind, this picture looks like one that would have been taken on the occasion of Ruth’s 8th-grade graduation.
This makes me wonder if the first picture above actually includes Ruth. Could that photo be Nancy Jane Vining, Albert, and his sister, Scelia? Albert would have been 15 in 1909 and his mother Nancy Jane would have been 58. To me, the women in the photo look younger than Nancy or Ellenor. Perhaps the occasion was the visit of another sister of Albert and Scelia (with neither Nancy Jane or Ruth in the picture).
Nancy and Ellenor’s brother, Elias Jahue Babcock and his wife Ida, and son Carl were living in Gentry in 1910 also. That opens up the possibility that the young women in the photo could be his grown daughters visiting their cousins and aunts at the Vining house. Would the photo of the Vining house have Nellie and Rosie standing by it?