Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thomas Jefferson Bates and Flora Snow

After Susan passed away, Thomas was married to Flora Snow. They were married on 12 Oct 1893 in Witcherville, Sebastian County, Arkansas. The couple remained in Arkansas for over 10 years near his brother Robert, even though Thomas' son James had moved on to Oregon. While in Arkansas, they had 4 boys: Monte, born in 1895; Todey, born in 1897; Oady, born in 1901; and Bonny, who was born in 1902. Meanwhile, Robert passed away in 1898 and his older brother John C., died in 1899.

Family folklore suggests that the family moved from Arkansas to Oregon in 1904, traveling by train. They were on the 1900 census in Arkansas, but we know that Bon was born in 1902 in Arkansas, and Emery in 1907 in Oregon. Before the family moved to Oregon, one of the houses where they lived caught on fire and burned. Monte remembered that as he was upstairs he had to jump out the second story window to safety. Helen said that her father was very afraid all through his life when he smelled smoke. Thomas, Flora, and the boys moved to Douglas County, Oregon to be near James and his family. Thomas purchased 70 acres near Riddle. There was a big hill on the property, covered in rosewood. Later, the hill was called 'Bates Hill'.

While living in Oregon, Thomas and Flora had 4 more children, all boys. Theador was born in 1905, Emery in 1907, and the twins, Byron and Ralph, were born in 1909. Obviously, with 8 boys, life was very busy for Thomas and Flora. Unfortunately, for Thomas and his young family, things took a turn for the worse in 1910. In January, Thomas was cutting down a tree near the farmhouse. The tree fell on top of Thomas. He suffered serious injuries, causing his death on the 12th of January, 1910.

Ethel Mae provided the following about the hardships that Flora faced after Thomas passed away. Flora was a very young bride to an older man in October of 1893. She worked hard trying to raise her family and when her husband, Thomas, died in 1910 - it was quite a struggle for Flora to provide for her family of six boys. Flora moved her family down off Bates Hill into town & rented a house, according to son, Bon. Bon thought he was about 10 or 12 at that time and in the 6th grade. Flora was employed as a waitress in a downtown restaurant and also cleaned homes for some residents of Riddle.

Flora is said to have had a broken heart due to her three youngest sons (Emery and the twins, Ralph & Byron) being taken from her & placed at the Boy's & Girl's Aid Society in Portland, OR in 1917. They would not let her communicate with the boys and would not tell her where they were placed with other families. She wrote, sent a picture of herself with the boy's dog, Ring, and a picture of Mont in uniform plus sent a dime for each son when she could afford to but these were not shared with the boys. Being broken hearted over the loss of the three younger boys (1917), the death of Oady in a knife fight (1920) and Mont being away in the service probably caused her chronic health problems to deteriorate which led to her death in 1922.

Cause of death:
Primary - Bronchio-pneumonia.

Secondary cause:
Chronic myocarditis and Dementia praecox.

1 comment:

  1. Bill,

    I just read all of the posts you put on the blog. I enjoyed them very much. I can't wait to see what you post next. On reading Patty's comment on the previous post, are you going to print a book at some point from this blog? If so, I would like to order a copy, as well.

    I feel like I am getting to know our ancestors more when you write personal stories about them. I especially liked the post on dad. It was a great reminder on why he is truly a "pioneer hero". He set a good example and we followed! I am thankful for his example and for his encouragment and support during my college years.