Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Service of Joys

It was an amazing Sunday Morning at Indiahoma UMC. I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence that our hymn of praise was "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee."

We started off small by sharing our joys with one another.
  • Guests in church: Betty (Skaggs) Wooden, and Shirley & Frank Hankins
  • Memories recalled after visiting with out guests
  • The telephones are working in the church!
  • Blessed by the presence of John and Ann. Not feeling well is no excuse to miss church (except when contagious).
  • Youth Mission Trip to Espanola, NM
  • Fred & Daryl are home safely from fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • After waiting for a year, Kimmie starts treatment on her back today.
  • Crosswire leaves today to perform at Cornerstone Christian Fesival in Illinois.
  • Katherine's hands are healing.

Betty (Skaggs) Wooden was invited to the pulpit where she shared the reason for her visit to our church on this Sunday morning. Her Aunt Lou (Altizer) Lindsay left $5000.00 to our church in her will. Betty shared about her family and how they were here at the foundation of our church and the beginning of Indiahoma.Betty's speech is at the bottom of the page. I hope you can see the joy on everyone's faces as Betty and Patrick pose for pictures.

The choir did a short, one verse "anthem." The joy here is, "Look at all the men." It is very unusual to have more men than women in the choir. It was a joy to see them fill the back row. I have no idea where all the women were.

Patrick's sermon was about the youth mission trip to Espanola, New Mexico. Patrick took youth from around our district plus a few other adults to work on a UMC school in Espanola. They painted and cleaned and taught science academy classes. They also had time to play, rafting down a river and visiting the sites of Santa Fe. Patrick shared about awesome worship experiences and assured us that we have nothing to worry about, the future is in good hands.
Please add your joys in a comment.

Betty's Speech

My grandparents, Will and Alice Altizer, came to Comanche County, Oklahoma Territory, in March of 1902. They traveled from their home in Missouri to Kingfisher where her parents lived. They came across the Wichita Mountains in a covered wagon accompanied by their two young daughters, Martha and Mable. Their land was won by my grandfather in the last land lottery of 1901.

Their new farm was one and a half miles south of Indiahoma, in the northwest quarter of section 26, one north and fifteen west. Their first home was a dugout and later a one room house. Four more daughters (Wylma, Gladys, Lucile and Bernadean) and a son (William Russell) were born on that farm.

Their nearest neighbor was Mr. Benjamin C. Dillon, who had a small store on his land. He was also the postmaster for "Rosna," as the community was called. In April of 1902 a storm blew down his store and the post office. Mr. Dillon decided to leave the area and turned the post office over to my grandmother, who was given a small pine box about 3X5 feet as her "post office." About 25 families called there for their mail.

Grandma had the job as "Post Mistress" for about seven weeks for which she earned the princely sum of $4.75. They used the money to make a five day journey in the covered wagon back to Kingfisher to harvest wheat there.

The post office was eventually moved to Indiahoma and the new post master was a Mr. Potter who kept it in his general store.

The Benjamin Dillon Land was later bought by Dr. J.R. Hood who delivered almost every baby born in this area (including Herwannah and Barbara) for the next 30 or 40 years! He also moved the one room school located on his property to the southwest corner of the Altizer farm. The school was named "Ollula," a name never forgotten by my mother and her siblings because they all attended school there and the school teachers lived with them most of the time. The first school teacher was Miss Cassie Rose and the second teacher was Miss Myrtle McLinn, sister of Lloyd McLinn (father of Colleta and Collene), who would later become postmaster of Indiahoma.

According to the history of Indiahoma School kids discovered for the Centennial Celebration in 2003, my grandfather, Will Altizer, was the first mayor of Indiahoma!

Actually, I have wondered why there isn't an Altizer Street. The home where my grandparents lived after they moved into town is still there...and I wonder if the ghosts of the family have bother the current tenants. The house sits on the northeast corner of Becker and Suffolk.

I am giving you this history because I know many of you probably recognize the names of the early settlers in and around Indiahoma. Another important name to me is my grandfather's younger brother, Andy Altizer, who owned a large general store next to A.B. Moore's bank in "downtown Indiahoma." My earliest memories are of pressing my nose to the glass on the candy counter and being given a piece or two of my favorite candy...chocolate drops! (Uncle Andy was a pushover for us kids.)

Will and Alice Altizer celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1946, surrounded by their children and many of their grandchildren. Grandpa died in 1950 at age 89; grandma died in 1965 at age 92. They are buried in the Indiahoma IOOF cemetery near their youngest daughter, Bernadean, who died at age 14 from meningitis. Nearby are buried Uncle Andy and his wife, Sue Altizer and their three sons, Howard, Sparrell (Hawk) and Louie.

For the record, my paternal grandparents, Jessie and Mattie Skaggs, are also buried there along with my baby brother, George Edward Skaggs, Jr., my Uncle Robert Skaggs (WWI veteran), my Uncle Kos Skaggs and his wife, Bertha.

Now, I want you to know my Aunt Lucile Altizer Lindsay. She was the first of the Altizer kids to graduate from Indiahoma High School, at the age of 16. She attended Oklahoma University for a year, where she met and married David "Dutch" Lindsay in 1928. They lived in Oklahoma City for many years. He died in 1960 and she died July 10, 2009.

During their lifetimes both were very active in their church as well as civic and charitable causes, especially the YMCA and activities that benefited others of any age - old or young. Uncle Dutch used to say, "The rent we pay on our place on this earth is the good we do unto others." Aunt Lou carried on his legacy.

My purpose for being here today is to deliver two bequests form my Aunt Lou's estate. I am sure that your church can find a good use for $5000.00 - and maybe a small plaque somewhere in the church to recognize her for this gift.

The other check is for the Indiahoma IOOF Cemetery for the maintenance of the Altizer family graves. I have visited this cemetery many times over the years and recognize many names...Carothers, Erickson, Brenton, Gray, Stoll, Becker, Beauchamp, Brown, Christian, BussanmusMcClung, and Poole, and so many more who settled in and near Indaihoma and made history for the State of Oklahoma.

I am leaving you a photograph of my grandparents, Will and Alice Altizer, and their daughter, Lucile "Lou" Lindsay. Perhaps they will serve as reminders that all of us should try to leave the world a better place than we found it...

this place and wish all of you the very best as you go about your daily lives.

Betty (Skaggs) Wooden
June 2010


Joyce said...

What a wonderful gift for the church and I really enjoyed reading her speech.

Syd, kodos to you for all you do to keep the website updated and the bulletins out to everyone. I look forward to the weekly news update from home.

Sydney said...

Thanks, Joyce, for your nice comment. It is my pleasure to update the blog and send Grace Notes in email. I'm really glad you like them.