AncientFaces Member since Sep 11, 2004
About: I am currently researching the 3 branches of my father's family. The names I am researching are; Branson, Burrell & Montgomery.
Michelle is my 3rd daughter. She has a very loving, giving spirit, is the mother of two teenage daughters and loves horses.
Richard is the son of Brenda (King) (LaBakis) East. He is a DOC officer.
Johnathan is the son of Richard LaBakis and Jenilyn Lindstrom. Johnathan (JJ) LaBakis, born 2 November 2004, died 14 Feburary 2005. Our Precious Angel.
Thomas and Tami with Anabelle and Kaedyn. Thomas is the youngest son of Brenda.
Candice is the youngest daughter of Jodi King. She is a very outgoing young lady.
Amanda is the daughter of Jodi King. She is a cheerleader and straight a student.
Jessica is the daughter of JM & Michelle (King) (Roper) Honaker. She loves her 2 horses.
Marie's Discussion Posts
Marie Branson-King 5114 N. Maple Ave. Spokane 12, Washington May 20, 1950 Mable McKown McClellan 205 South Girard Albuquerque, New Mexico My very dear Mable, I am indeed thrilled to receive your very lovely letter, and to learn of the work which you are undertaking for the good of the Branson Family's Genealogy. I am deeply interested in this, and if I can, in my small way, add anything to help you at any time, don't hesitate to ask me. As of today, I have gone back into a few records, which I am able to reach, as my books, keepsakes & such are stored, and have written out some of the items that may help you. I have many pictures filed in the old family album that was bought by Nancy Margrave in Alamosa, Colorado in 1885. There is one in particular which I am thinking may be of you when you were a wee one, which I enclose for your inspection, but would like it back, as it has a place in the album. I do not recall the name of Grandfather Branson's father, but it might be traced thru the records of his enlistment in the Civil War, on the Union side, in 1861 to 1864, in Missouri. This information was taken from Grandpa's obituary. I remember very well hearing of some relationship between Abe Lincoln and grandfather Branson on his mother's side through Nancy Hanks, but I have never been set right on it. I also remember your corresponding with mother Branson, my mother Irene, and if this idea had struck us before she passed away, we could have learned a lot of very valuable information from her for the Branson family record. In my traveling in California I run onto Cousin Ruth Branson Derby, Uncle Jesse Branson's oldest girl, who is also interested in writing a family history which she is going to dedicate to the memory of her father, and I am sure she will be able to add to the data we have. Her address is indicated on the enclosed paper. Her mother and sister and brother Alva were living in Los Angeles, California. You are so near them, so Ruth may be able to help out. I and my sister Maggie Alexander, would like to read the book "The Bransons in Europe and America with Connections," if it could be arranged, and we promise to take the best of care of it and to insure its return to you. Also we would both be deeply interested in any other works you might run into. I know a great deal of the cousins named on the list; George B., of Mountain Home, Idaho, and I are Pal's. Of all my father's brothers I have known personally or have seen in my life time only John, Ben, Jess & Jack (Branson), and, as far as I know, have never seen any of Aunt Ruth (Branson McKown) children. Mr. Raymond Macht, of Pagosa Springs, Colorado is the most reliable person to contact for further information; however, I know many people there and have some relatives there also. I dare say you have my wedding picture of my first husband, George W. Cummings, of Creed, Colorado. He passed away in Idaho in 1932. I had one daughter by him, Mrs. Ozell Irene Newell, of Otis Orchard, Washington. I have three grandsons, of whom I am very proud, as my second husband's family were all grown before I entered the family, and he passed away last May 25, and therefore I returned to Washington as my daughter lives here. Jeff and Ina Branson, of 744 Hazel Ave., Ukiah, California are two very fine people. I have visited them twice, and maybe they could give you some help, as he and his brother George, now deceased, were raised by Grandma and Grandpa Branson, after their mother died. The enclosed record shows their connection. I am very happy that you wrote me, and I hope to hear much more from you, as I think you are very brave indeed to undertake this work, but am sure there is much to be gained by your efforts and will do anything I can to help out. I have many family pictures. If you should like to see them some time, we may get together. Who knows? I trust this finds you well, and I am looking forward to hearing from you at an early date. However, if you should write me after the first of June, my address will be 1411 East Providence St., Spokane, as I have sold this home and have bought the one at that address. Yours very sincerely, s/ Adah Kimball P.S. The town of Alamosa, Colorado, stands on the land that was homesteaded by Andrew Jackson Branson when he came from Missouri. The land, 150 acres, that Grandpa sold to a man for $150.00 was in turn sold by him to the town for a sizeable sum. I have a tin type photo of Nancy Margrave, mother of Nancy Branson, my father's mother, and one of William Margrave, brother of Nancy Margrave, the famous judge, for 50 years lacking 3 months of Fort Scott, Kansas. Adah Kimball is the daughter of Jefferson Davis "Dave" Branson. From the Collection of Mable McKown McClellan (Marie Branson King)
Marie Branson-King July 11, 1950 Dear Mable, I was quite surprised but pleased to hear from you and although I'm later than I should be, I am answering to the best of my ability your questions regarding our Great Grandfather Andrew Jackson Branson. As you know I am a nephew of Ruth (Branson) McKown,* my father being Jess A. Branson who lived for years at Taos, New Mexico, where he is buried. As a boy I remember my Grandfather Andrew Jackson Branson with whom I stayed at intervals, but of his father whose name was Andrew I do not remember ever hearing his middle name. However, my oldest son, Frank A. Branson, who is with the Mendoceno Savings Bank as cashier, and just past President of the Chamber of Commerce, had a strange coincidence just short time ago-- the inter city Chamber of Commerce and business men's group get together here in Ukiah, and among them was a man by the name of Branson. Naturally they talked of their families, and this Mr. Branson sent Frank quite a lengthy family history which had an Andrew Jackson Branson, from Tennessee, as one main branch of the family. Frank has written to him, and if and when we have anything further, we will be most happy to forward it on to you. Or if you wish you can reach him at the above bank or by writing to Frank A. Branson at 700 Walnut Ave., Ukiah, California. We have three very fine children; our oldest, Thelma, is Mrs. Verne A. Boulware, has been married 23 years and has a daughter, Betty, age 17 1/2 and who is to be married very soon; then our oldest son, Frank A. Branson, is married 7 years this fall and has a daughter Mary Margaret Branson, 11 months old; our youngest son, Harley Branson has been married 11 years and has three lively boys, the middle one, who is almost 6, is struggling with the effects of polio, the attach of which was slight in a way, but which affected his spine, heart and both legs from the hips down, but these wonderful therapy treatments are snapping him out of it, but of course he can't use his little legs, particularly the right leg and ankle which are worse that the left. But the specialist assures us that in time he will have a complete recovery for both legs, and his heart and spine condition is clearing up fine; the other two boys are Kenneth Branson just 8 years old, and Richard Branson who is 20 months old-- neither of whom were in anyway affected with the polio bug or whatever polio starts from, which the Doctors still say is a mystery to medical man. We think we have the best son-in-law and the sweetest daughter-in-law ever and we love them dearly. So we are very happy in our whole family. We have been married 44 years. Jeff is 66 on the last day of this month (July 31, 1950, while I was 62 on June 1--we aren't young any more and have had a lot of ups and downs in our married life, but we are still one family and all live and enjoy each other so much. Verne, our son-in-law, is with the State Highway Dept., and has been for 22 years. Frank is the cashier at the bank where he as been for 15 years, except for 5 years in the service as a 1st Lieut. in the Engineers. Harley has been a salesman for the Holtz farm implement company until this June when he was made general manager of the whole wholesale and retail company. Jeff has been with the City Street Dept. for 12 years. So I suppose we won't be having any changes for a while at least as to the family being separated because of work transfers. I personally have been on the shelf for nearly two years with a very severe heart attack, a coronary thrombosis, which has left me quite helpless, excess furniture, I think. I can't do any work but can take care of myself now and can go on rides or visit at the family get togethers. If I didn't have the best family in the world, I could never have made it to the present stage, which we are told will never be normal again, but I can with care be able to enjoy my family a little longer. I try very hard to be good, but it does seem so foolish for me not to do anything; but I do pay for it in quick time if I overstep my allotted activities. Write us again. I know I'm the world's worse writer but Jeff positively won't write anyone. I get so angry at him for I know his sisters and folks want to hear from him once in a while, but he still says, "you write and maybe I'll do better by next time". So please don't be offended at me for starting this letter as if I were Jeff. To tell the truth, he was dictating it and I thought he would at least sign it, but he ran out of anything to say, and finally told me to tell you of our family, and that's that. Hoping to get more information relating to the family tree, and if we do, will surely forward it to you at once. Love and best wishes, s/ Jeff & Ina Branson Jeff is the son of Jesse Allen Branson and his first wife Julia Acord From the Collection of Mable McClellan (Marie Branson King)
Marie Branson-King 1197 Saxony Road Ecinitas, California June 29, 1950 Dear Mable So happy to have your letter, as it always makes me feel good to hear from any of the Branson Clan. I'm sorry to have to tell you that I can't give you much information at this time. However, I can tell you that my Father was Jesse Allen Branson, and we did operate a hotel at Taos, New Mexico in 1905 & 1906. I have a sister Mary Alice and a brother Charles Alva (Branson). Mother is living but Papa passed on in 1915 in October. I can get Andrew Jackson Branson's father's name, but it will take 3 or 4 days, as I will have to write to Mother. She lives at Glendale, California with Alva. I have old family Bible with names, dates and events, but it does not go back to Great-grandfathers day, but mother can tell me. I will let you know as soon as I hear. I was named for Aunt Ruth Jane (Branson McKown) and I have a daughter Ruth (she is married and lives near me.) I will appreciate any and all information you care to send me, Mable and I thank you a lot for your trouble. I have been hoping to write a story of our entire family some time, but can't seem to get started - maybe this is my inspiration & I can do something on it now. A Miss Branson teaches school here in Encinitas and I shall contact her and find out if she is of our clan. Then I'll let you know. I would like to obtain a Branson history; is it very expensive, and how does one go about buying it? So sorry we did not know of Aunt Ruth's daughter being here, I would love to have seen her. I am 58 years old; have one child; am blonde, 5ft. 3 in. tall and look "very Branson". Thanks for the invitation to stay with you overnight. Come see me. Love, s/ Ruth Lee Derby ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1197 Saxony Road Encinitas, California August 9, 1950 Dear Mable, I am so sorry for this delay in answering your very interesting letter. I thank you for all the data you sent, I shall treasure it all, and will look forward to any & all you can send me. I am so sorry, though, to have to tell you that so far I have not been able to get Great-grandpa's name, that is the name of the father of Andrew Jackson Branson. I thought surely that Mama would know this. It was only this last week that I was able to see her, and she tells me that she never knew the name of Grandpa's father or mother. I was a very small child the last time I saw them, Grandma and Grandpa Branson. They are buried in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and when they went there they took up a homestead. Do you supose that in the records of that transaction you might trace Grandfather's parents? Perhaps the names are on the application made in regard to this government land. Anyhow, its a thought and I hope it will be worth something to you. I am on the track of a Branson family, (they are on vacation now) but as soon as they return I will visit them and get all the information about the family. I do know that Mrs. McLean (who was a Branson) and her brother, Col. Branson are from somewhere around St. Joseph, Missouri. I'll send you everything as soon as I get it. This lady plays violin in the same orchestra where I play violin. This is a symphony orchestra, made up of citizens of the community around here. We have given some nice concerts. I have been playing with them for four years now. I would love to be able to hear a concert by your Albuquerque Community Orchestra; their conductor is very famous. As you suggested, I will make a running narrative and will send it real soon. I have been ill after the oeration on my shoulder. It has given me a great deal of pain and still does, but I am hoping soon to be able to go to the library in San Diego (about 25 miles south of here) and to see if I can find the article about Lord Branson, of which you spoke. There are no Bransons listed in our phone book, and it seems that the name has never invaded Southern California, at least this far south. But there are five or six Branson names in the San Diego phone book. I will send a card to each of them, and ask if they are part of our clan. Hope I can find something for you. Mable, you and I are about the same size; I weigh 118 lbs, have Branson blue eyes, am 5' 3" tall, blond hair, now darker (but not much gray); I belong to a Federated Women's Club (am Recording Secretary at the moment); was brought up in and still am a member of the Presbyterian Church; play violin in an orchestra, take a great joy in working in my garden & yard; I sew, scrub, cook and can a lot of fruit and vegetables each summer and also freeze fruit and vegetables. I swim, play bridge (but not well), enjoy football & baseball and take a lot of pleasure in working with our high school P.T.A. although I have no child of my own or even a grandchild of high school age, as my grandson is entering his second year of college this fall. He will go to Redlands. He was at Cincinnati University last year but decided that was located entirely too far from home. I would love to have a snapshot of you, Mable and I will try to find one around here that looks something like me for you. I will be waiting very anxiously for a letter from you telling me of all you have found out about the family history. Hope we can have a good visit some day. We go to Taos some times and hope we can make it by next summer, anyway. Good night, Mable, and good luck. s/ Ruth Branson Derby From the Collection of Mable McKown McClellan (Marie Branson King)
Marie Branson-King *(L.C. Branson is Cass Branson, son of Charles Perry ) Branson and 1st wife, Elizabeth Green) Moab, Utah Jan. 29, 1915 To L.C. Branson Topeka, Kansas Dear Nephew, Since writing you two days ago, I thought I would write again and give you a kind of sketch of the family. As I understand it, the name is Swedish, if you have read history you will see where it comes in. Several hundred years ago, the Sweeds or Norsemen overran the Scots in Scotland and settled that country-- that is how so many people from there, have "son" as part of their name. Our people came from Southern Scotland to Virginia. There were four first cousins who came with a colony down to Middle Tennessee in Marion County, from Virginia, and there was a branch colony that came to Gasconade County, Missouri. Some came as early as 1813 before Missouri was a state. One cousin came to Missouri in 1830. This was my grandfather. He died that year. One other cousin came at the same time and died at about the same time as my grandfather. My father *(Andrew Jackson Branson) and one other brother went to Gentty Co., Missouri and stayed 3 years, then moved on to St. Joe, Missouri and then came on to Colorado and died at Pagosa Springs, about 60 miles east of where you were born. Father was in his 85rh year when he died-- Mother lacked one month of being 84 when she died. Uncle John, who came to St. Joe with father, died at Memphis, Tenn., in 1863. He was in the U.S. Army in the U.S. Rebellion. Father was also in the U.S. Army during the Rebellion. Father was a life long Democrat, but Uncle John was a Republican. There was another branch of cousins (4 cousins) who went to Bethany, in Worth County and some of the other cousins' families now live in California-- they went there in '48 (1848). They are now located about 60 miles east of San Francisco. Another Branson family lived in St. Joe but we did not know where they came from-- then I was told by another Branson that the second group of Bransons were of the same family; that there was one county in Indiana where almost all were of the same name or related; but all I know anything about came from the same place in Scotland. Now you have it as good as I can give it to you. In regard to the Greens', I don't know much. Your grandfather could not spell his own name in Box Car letters, but he was considered to be a good man. He was married to his 2nd wife when I knew him and she was a very ignorant person. She practically raised the first family and I was told that it was a regular knock down and drag out affair. I was told this, but I don't know the facts-- the Greens' were short people-- weighed about 140-150 lbs. The Branson men were not very tall. My father was 5 ft. 8 inches and I am 5 ft. 8 inches, common weight was about 160 to 180 lbs., sometimes as light as 130. Your father was about 130 and one other brother. My sister (Ruth), the oldest is about 73 now-- two brothers between her and me are dead. I am now past 69, the one next to me is dead, then John who is or was in Springfield, Colorado is 64 years old. Jack is a .... & gambler in the gold fields of Nevada & is 62; Ben in Grass Valley, Colorado is past 60; then Charles, in Kendall, Kansas is nearly 60; Jess in Taos, New Mexico about 58 years old; then there was a girl born dead; then Dave about 54 years, the last was born some time after the war, his name was Henry-- yes there were plenty of them. Of course I may be a little off on their ages, as I have no record only trust to memory. Now I believe that I have said about all that I can to bother you with, and will ring off. From what I can see from your letter, you had plenty of hardships and now you don't let anybody bully rag you into a fight, as there is nothing to it. Always make friends instead of enemies and you will win out. Try while you are young to put one dollar on top of another, as it takes money to make the mare go. We had just as hard times while Pap was in the army, I worked for 25 to 35 cents a day and took it home to Mother to help her. All I had to wear was on hickory shirt, one underwear, jean pants and a coat and half the time the seat was out of the pants. There was 3 years of this in my time. I have gathered corn for 35 cents a day, bare handed. When an ear of corn left my hand the blood followed it some mornings the frost would be an inch long on the corn and then is when it sent little streams down your leg about the size of a cambric needle. Many a meal, oh for months during the war we didn't have anything to eat but corn bread and to get that every fellow had to grate his ear of corn and some for those who were to small, and we had one cow for milk; we had chickens but didn't eat one as we had to save the eggs to sell to buy clothing after carrying them in a basket 4 miles, on my shoulder, we got 5 cents a dozen, sometimes as much as 10 cents, but most of the time it was 5 cents. If we made any butter we sold that for the same purpose at 10 cents per pound. Some people want to see this country go to war, I say no. I will set back in the harness until the breeching breaks and still say NO. I would like very much to see you at some time as I could tell plenty of stories that are all truths to make a pretty good size book. Of course voluntary advice is not worth much but you have had enough sad experiences to profit by it. Keep putting one dollar on top of another and unless some unforeseen calamity overtakes you, you will be all right. Swing in the circle with the best people; keep pace with them. I always tried to run with the best people all the time; cultivate your best qualities all the time and fight your bad ones if you have any. You have seen enough of the world to look out for no. 1. On July 7, 1863 I left home to cross the plains to the Rocky Mountains. I was then in my 18th year. I had $2.00 in my pocket paid one dollar of that for railroad fare to Atchison, Kansas and 10 cents to cross the river. There was a neighbor boy with me and when we got across the river he was broke. I had 90 cents, he was broke and 12. No dinner and both hungry as an owl. We went to a lunch counter got a dinner, paid 35 cents of his dinner and 35 cents for mine which left me with 20 cents and no job. While eating dinner the other fellow began to talk about going back home but I said no and we or rather I should say I got a job to drive 5 yoke of oxen to Denver for $20.00 per month and board. When I got to Denver I had $29.35 coming to me. I sent $10.00 of that back to Mother and later on sent her $7.00 more. I then drove a team back to Ft. Kearny and from Kearny to Ft. Laramie. That was one of the most eventful trips I ever had. 25 yoke teams of cattle loaded with flour for the Government. There is where I thought our time had come. We didn't get into Laramie until Jan. 2, 1864 and the most bitter cold you ever saw. When we got to Scotts Bluff 65 miles out from Laramie snow was one foot deep. We ran out of everything to eat but flour no meat, sugar, salt or anything else. I want to tell you just straight flour is pretty thin living. We were 15 days going that 65 miles. The cattle died off, so when we got into Laramie we had only 3 & 4 yoke to the wagon. The last 200 miles we traveled there wasn't a house then is when you think of Mother. I expect this will tire you out but it is all true. As ever from your Uncle s/ T.W. Branson P.S. Utah is a good country they feed all the poor and destitute. I belong to the Independent Order of Oddfellows. Do you? Why not. T.W. Branson (T.W. Branson is Thomas Wilson Branson, son of Andrew Jackson and Nancy (Margrave) Branson.) From the Collection of Mable McClellan (Marie Branson King)
Marie Branson-King Edgar & Mavis (Gaddis) Branson Written by Maxine Gaddis Morris, sister of Mavis Mavis and Edgar met in Rico, Colorado, when Mavis and Margie left Kansas City where they had been living with Alice and Eli and working there (Mavis was working for Hallmark Cards). Alice and Eli were going to a new pastorate so Mavis and Margie came to Colorado where we, Dad (Wade), Mom, (Elletta), Rowena, Dean and I (Maxine)) were living. Bea, Ira and kids also lived there. Margie found work in the Harris Bank and Mavis heard of a job as housekeeper for Mrs. Pellet in Rico so she went there and was accepted. Mrs Pellet was running for State Congress against Mr. Akin of Dolores. Her slogan was "Take a Pellet and Stop Akin" .. she won. When she knew Mavis was dating Edgar, she investigated him and told Mavis he was okay. Edgar said when he met Mavis (by that time she was working in the Rico General Store) he knew he had to have some edge to get on the inside track with her, to keep ahead of the competition. So he bought a car. This seemed to do the trick and they were married sometime later. When Marie was born at our home (Wade & Elletta Gaddis) in Dolores, old Dr. Lefurgey came to the house to deliver her. He was quite the old doctor and would be a great story in himself. He had started as a young Doctor in the early days riding horseback to the patients, Sometimes sleeping in a haystack along the way. He did surgery on kitchen tables and all those other things that the pioneer doctors did. When Marie was born I happened to be home from school with a sore throat, but I came down stairs to see her, keeping well away from anyone. Edgar was completely overcome with everything. When he was sure Mavis was alright and they placed Marie in his arms the tears were running down his cheeks. I guess he had never seen a newborn baby before.. He couldn't get over the fact that she had tiny little finger nails and even eye lashes. His girls were always such a delight to him. I always thought he should have been an engineer. He just had that turn of mind. Mavis impressed me with all her talents being able to do so many things - Rico Telephone Operator, (the switchboard in her living room), Rio Grand Southern Depot Agent, Rico, (the last agent in Rico), Manager of the Ricado Hotel, Rico, Owner of the Gypsy Motel, Durango, along with running a home and being a fabulous cook. Of course, Edgar was always there helping out when he was home.
Dec 10, 2004 · posted to the surname Gaddis
Marie Branson-King Sylvester Burton Montgomery, known as Burt, was born August 1893, Olena, Henderson County, Illinois, died 1 January 1964, Bayfield, Colorado. He married Alma Edith Spencer 24 August 1926. Alma was born 4 September 1904 and died 9 September 1994, Mancos, Colorado. Both are buried at Crestview Gardens, Durango, Colorado. Burt and Alma both had schooling, as both could read and write; how many years they attended school we are not sure. After they married, they set up housekeeping in an old grainery on the old Overson Place about 3 miles east of Bayfield, Colorado, this side of Beaver Creek. When Burt and his brother Frank were little, about 8 & 10, they were the town herders. They would go to people's places and get their cows and herd them off to fields for the day and go round them up at night and drop them off at the appropriate places. Burt had a lot of jobs; he had a hard time making a living at one thing. He farmed, but couldn't make a living doing that always, as times had changed and the need was different. During World War I, he either joined the US Army or was drafted. He cooked at Camp Pando during the 2nd World War. Camp Pando was an Army Camp by Leadville, Colorado where they trained soldiers for cold weather. Burt went back and forth from Colorado to California several times working. In California he worked on the street cars, carrying a lantern in front of the street car to light the way and show it was coming. In Colorado, he did a lot of building jobs, building cabinets for people. He worked at Vallecito Lake with a team and scraper, building roads there. Burt and Alma hung wall paper in Bayfield for years - it seemed every house in Bayfield had wall paper hung by Burt and Alma. In those days they traded or bartered for most all of what they had; they would wall paper a house and maybe get 1/2 beef instead of money. Bartering was a way of life for most in Bayfield then. Because Burt worked so many different jobs and bartered for most of his pay, when he died, Alma had a hard time getting Social Security Benefits. She was finally able to show a copy of a letter he had written to her when he worked at Camp Pando and that was enough proof for her to receive some financial help, even though it wasn't much. Holidays for the family were different then that Holidays we have now. It was more about spending the day together/ At Christmas they would string popcorn to decorate the tree. It was cold at Christmas time and travel was a lot harder, so they spent a lot of time at home. A couple times they went to Aunt Rene's or Aunt Gert's. At Easter time they would color the eggs and hide them from each other; one time they all went to a big party at Raymond and Ruby Bowers for a big picnic and Easter Egg hunt. A lot of people from Bayfield went; they played horse shoes and the kids played ball. Burt and Alma's home was lost, due to a fire, 7 December 1938. Burt was on his way to Vallecito Lake to a job, Evelyn (Alma's niece) was staying with the family at the time, but there wasn't much they could do. Only Alma, Evelyn and Kennie were home at the time. They couldn't get the fire out, Alma and Evelyn got some of the furniture out, but didn't get it far enough away from the house and it burned. Kennie ran in and got the silverware drawer out and and went back in and got the slop bucket for the hogs. That was all that was saved! They had a dug out garage that held a little car and they lived in that for the winter. On day in the spring of 1939, they looked out and here came a whole bunch of people; teams, wagons, and buggy's. The men and women had all come with lumber to build the family a new house. They had gotten the lumber from Sower's Sawmill and had a "house raisin". By night fall they had all the side walls up and starting to put the roof on. The kids were carrying lumber the men were cutting and nailing and the women were fixing food and stirring around. They all worked plenty hard, all had chores to do. They were poor by some standards, but they didn't really know it. They raised their own food, raised wheat and took it to the flour mill to be ground to flour, raised pigs, had some milk cows, and made their own butter. They milked their own cows, separated out the cream and take the cream to town to sell. The only thing they really had to buy was coffee, sugar and salt, sometimes they would trade for eggs. It was a fun way of life, they loved it and looked back on those times as fun times, some of them anyway. Going to community dances was a big fun thing the whole family did. They would load up on horses or in a wagon, Burt would put hay in the wagon and warm rocks and flat irons to keep them warm, head to town to the dance. Everyone danced back then, big, little, old and young! The kids danced until they fell asleep; the parents put them by the pot belly stove and they would dance until daylight. These families enjoyed each others friendship through out the years. Transportation was slow then. You always had to plan on time going places. Then came World War II. A person had to have stamps to trade in for coffee, sugar and many things. There was a shortage of leather as all leather was shipped overseas to the war. Since leather was hard to get, to repair their shoes, Burt would use an old tire (back then a tire was used until it was bald). He would work and patch up the shoes. They would wear out the tops of the shoes before the bottoms. Burt and Alma had a 1926 Star car that had to be cranked to start. Cars in those days didn't have starters. Star was made by Durant and was about equal to a Model A. When this car quit, they didn't have a car for a few years, then finally got a 1936 Chevy. At one time in their travels coming from California, they hit a stretch of sand dunes, a section about 2 or 3 miles long. The sand was so soft here that they would have to lay logs across the road and planks, move them every 2 or 3 lengths of the car, then go back and do it again until they got across. Sometimes it would take 4 or 5 days to get across. Sometimes when they finally got across, someone would be their waiting to use the planks, going the other direction. Part of that old road is still there, fenced off as kind of a memorial. Burt did a lot of hunting and all the boys would come home at different times for hunting camps. Alma loved her family, music and basketball on TV. When the grandchildren would come over in later years, they would all watch boxing on TV and take sides according to the guy in the white or black trunks. Playing button-button, who has the button was another game played. She loved pork! and bacon fat! she loved to eat bacon and dip her bread in the bacon grease. She wasn't going to waste any of it. She lived to be 91! Told to Terri (Montgomery) Will by Kennie Montgomery. Given to Marie Branson King by Terri Montgomery.
Marie Branson-King I was 5 when I got my first job, hired to lead a derrick horse putting up hay. The old horse even seemed to know what bin the hay went in. I really thought I was working though; got 50 cents a day. The first day I got paid, I went straight to town and bought a straw hat. Boy!, was I proud of that hat. First day back on the job, the old horse got ahold of it and wouldn't give it back; ruined it. I was so mad at that old horse. I worked there all summer. I'd always come in hungry and the people who you worked for always fed you good. I'd earn money farming in the summer and during the winter months clean chicken houses for 50 cents. Our house burned down 7 December 1938. That was one of the hardest times for our family and it was hard to get started again. I remember that Christmas we didn't even have a tree, but we got up that morning and there were three items out for us. I got a little motorcycle that stood about 3-4 inches high, Orval and Leonard each got a pocket knife. We got by that winter, but we were pretty cramped (living in the dugout garage). All boys worked and all worked like men. The old saying back then was "by the time you're twelve years old, if you can't hold down a man's job, then you're not worth your salt." We had 9 old milk cows we'd have to milk by hand then we'd bring the milk in and separate it, give some to the hogs and calves depending on the age of the cows whether they got whole milk or separated. We'd feed the chickens; didn't matter if you worked or not, you still had chores to do. But any free time we got, we were on those horses, playing cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians. We rode bareback most of the time when we were little, dad was afraid we'd hang in the saddle. When I started school, they put all 3 of us on a horse and that is the way we went to school. That was our bus. I was the youngest of 6 boys, 4 neighbor boys,and my brothers Orval and Leonard. Mom would say, "you have to take Kennie with you if you're going to go play." Sometimes they'd tie me to the barn or lock me in the chicken coop. We had an old 2 wheel buggy, they'd put the reins up on that and tie me in and send me home when they were tired of playing with me. They'd usually get into trouble, but they didn't care as long as they got rid of me. They would let me play if I'd be the stage coach driver and they could come rob me and tie me up. One time they tied me to a tree, that night when they came in to do the chores and eat supper, mom said "where is Kennie?" I was three miles up the road, still tied to the tree. Once when we went over to Howard and Donnie's the boys wanted to do something without me, so they tied me to the bottom of the buggy and sent the horse home. Only the horse wanted a drink so she went to the creek instead of the bridge. The water was about to drown me and I couldn't get loose. Finally she got her fill and took me home. She stood in the corral until mom saw me and came and untied me. Being the youngest wasn't always the easiest. The only place to swim was down at the beaver ponds; we'd go there to swim and of course they didn't want me there so they'd hold me under just long enough for me to say I didn't want to play, then they'd let me go. One time they held me under a little too long. They had to go get Mrs. Carmack to come and revive me. If there was a prank or joke to be pulled, I'm sure they pulled it on me. Nobody was better at it than that bunch of cowboys and farmers. Uncle Elmer and Aunt Rene's place is where I learned to rope. I got an ol buck hose and I'd rope the cow and drag it to the fire; that was back in 1938. I'd always ride beside Aunt Rene. Sometimes I'd get so tired I'd about fall out of my saddle, so they tied me in with a rope so I couldn't fall all the way off. If I fell over the old horse would stop and wait for me to get all straightened out again. Those were the good old days! The first cattle drive I went on I was about 10 years old, up to the upper Piedra, O'Neil Park and gathered cattle and drove them back to Bayfield, then south to Ignacio to an Indian lease on Jack Frost's place. It took anywhere from 5 to 7 days, depending on the weather. There were times I wasn't hardly big enough to pick up my own saddle, but still I did a days work. I'd stand on a rock to saddle my horse, sleep out under the stars. Mrs. McDonald or Minnette would bring us meals then. It wasn't as hard to move the cattle then because there were not as many cars on the road. After we'd get the cows in, it would be time to start binding grain. Someone would come by on a binder and us kids would shock the grain, pick up a bundle under each arm and stand them up like a tree with one on the top. Then the thrashing crew would come by and get them one at a time. It was something to get a horse to stand next to a thrashing machine while it was bumping and making noise. We sure had some run-ins. Back then gas was hard to come by. There were gas rations, sugar rations and all kinds of food rations, except for what we raised. We didn't have a car that would run. Later on dad bought a 1936 Chevy. It had a flat crank shaft and we couldn't get repairs for it. Every thing was used in the war (WWII). Leonard and I soon learned to tear it down ourselves. We'd cut a piece of tin from a tobacco can or coffee can and make a shim bearing. There was one time we were taking our yearly trip to Durango. That was a big deal, because once a year, before school, we got to go to Durango and buy school clothes. We'd start out and we'd take a pan along to drain the oil and a couple of coffee cans and tin snips and we would head for Durango. We'd get about 10 miles down the road and stop and put in our bearing, take off and do it again in Durango. We could just zip that thing on and off there. Every once in awhile we'd get a bearing to tight and we'd have to get a team to pull it to loosen it. That didn't happen much though. We didn't have electricity, just old kerosene lamps. One thing we looked forward to, every Saturday night dad would go get the battery from the car and hook it up to the radio. We'd listen to the Grand Old Opera. That was our Saturday night entertainment when we had spare time. Mom and dad were right there with us, we'd pop popcorn, play cards and games. We were just as happy as if we had good sense. We always seemed to pass the time together; I guess that's why we were so close. In the summer of 1946, I went to work for Silver Spruce Boys Camp, where Colorado Trails is now. Every six weeks they'd have a group of 60 boys come in and it was my job to teach them how to ride and saddle their own horses. At the end of the six weeks I'd take them on a pack trip. Uncle Frank had his horses up there and I'd help change stirrups for all those kids 3 times a day. We'd take the older boys up to Emerald Lakes. Sometimes we'd cook for 26 at a time. It got to be a contest, as I'd flip the pancakes with the skillet and the boys thought that was so good, so we'd make a contest out of it. The boys would flip their pancakes up and they'd land on their heads and everywhere. They finally made me quit doing that; it made such a mess. Every kid at camp that had a birthday, we'd make a cake for them. If we happened to be out on the trail, I'd make one over the fire in the dutch oven. When I got back from the Army, I went to work for JW Tubbs. We lived in a little cabin, the only running water was cold. The floor was rough and Linda was a baby then. She never did learn to crawl, she scooted. She'd go to scoot on her bottom and her diaper would get caught on the wood slivers, so we put her in a pie pan and she could scoot all over the place. As told by Kennie Montgomery
Marie Branson-King Notes for Edward Paul Montgomery As told by Irene (Montgomery) Shelhamer; Edward Paul Montgomery with wife, Maggie and children, Irene, Gertrude, Burt and Frank, left Illinois about 1895-96. It was a very cold winter morning as they left on the train to Pasac, Missouri, where Edward had rented farm ground. It was a hard trip for Maggie, leaving her mother and 9 brothers and sisters. She was the only one of her family to leave Illinois. The first year in Pasac, Missouri was bad, as all but Frank, a 7 month old nursing baby, had typhoid fever, from impure drinking water. Also that year had crop failure. Grandmother Anna Burrell came to help care for us for awhile. She wasn't well, and soon after going home she had to go to New York to care for her mother. Grandmother Burrell died soon after that. The family, then moved to Adrian, Missouri, and the following year Metta was born, 9 September 1897. Edward worked at several jobs, it was a very hard time as most people had small farms and no one had hired help. The family again moved, this time to Kansas City, Kansas, where Edward worked at Armour Packing Plant. The family lived close to the river. Maggie's health wasn't good, so the family moved again, this time to Sheffield, part of Kansas City, and Edward worked for Sheffield Iron Works. The winters were terrible and Edward caught bad colds, going from the terrible heat around the hot steel and then going out in the cold. He had spots on his lungs - in those days, anything ailing your lungs was thought to be TB, so doctors advised him to go to Colorado to the higher climate and thin air. The family stayed in Kansas City while he went to Colorado, around January 1898. The family stayed alone until early July, then took the long train journey, which was hard on all of them. Metta was about 1 1/2 years old. Maggie and the 5 children arrived in Chama, New Mexico about noon. Irene was about 10 years old, but left the train to go get sandwiches for everyone. While she was getting the sandwiches, the train switched on down the track to the depot to change engines. Finally they arrived in Arboles, Colorado, where Edward had a place for the family. Railroad men had told him the train was running late. He had a stove, but hadn't gotten it yet. When the train arrived, he was not there to meet his family. Sam Jones cared for Maggie and the children until Edward got to the depot. Edward and family squatted on a homestead on the Piedra north of Arboles and built a small log house. Maggie was sick, expecting another child, and needed to be close to a doctor. Irene, Gertrude and Burt, also needed to be in school and Edward needed a job, so the family moved to Pagosa Junction. Nellie was born 12 March 1900 at Pagosa Junction. The next move was to Bayfield where the family lived that summer; moved back to Pagosa Junction where there was a big saw mill and a good doctor. Eventually the family moved to Bayfield, where Edward bought the "old home place" which was 160 acres for $40.00 from Mr. Brown. Ted was born 22 July 1902 and Monta was born 7 August 1904. Maggie died 11 August 1904, 4 days after Maggie was born. Irene was 13 and Gertrude was 12, leaving them to raise their younger siblings. Edward did a lot of building in Bayfield, including the first hotel. The hotel was damaged in the flood of 1911, which flooded the town of Bayfield. Edward also did logging with draft horses, ranched, and was the first Deputy Sheriff in Bayfield. Edward and Burt traded from Pagosa to Aztec, New Mexico in the early 1900's, trading lumber for fruit. One time when Edward was bringing the family to Bayfield, at Cat Creek they bogged down and had to unload everything from the wagon. It took them 3 days cribbing up before they could get out. Irene, Gertrude, Burt, Frank and Metta all stayed in the Bayfield area and were ranchers, Ted died as a young man, Nellie moved to Illinois and Monta moved to Oregon. Source: Notes by Irene Montgomery Shelhamer.
Marie Branson-King ASSAYER EDGAR BRANSON RETIRES FROM IDARADO The Telluride Times, Thursday, June 1977 Edgar Branson, civic leader in Telluride and assayer at the ldarado Mining Company's Pandora Mill east of Telluride, will retire this Friday, July 1, after twelve and a half years with ldarado and nearly 40 years in mining. Born in Bayfield on July 1, 1912. Branson began his mining career in Rico (Colorado) in the fall of 1937, after studying at the University of Colorado. The Rico Argentine Mine had started extracting metal ores the previous June and Branson was hired as a "chuck tender". "Most of the younger people at ldarado never heard of a chuck tender"; he says. "At that time, mining was done with a layner drill, which required a miner and a helper, or chuck tender, to operate." Layners are cumbersome drills compared to the lighter, more mobile jack legs used in mining today. The old layner had to be braced in the mine tunnel on steel beams wedged into tunnel walls, and realigned each time a new hole was drilled. When Branson first arrived in Rico, it was a lively town of about 500 people and an active rail center for the Rio Grande Southern. Branson worked for nearly 20 years at the Argentine, and married Mavis Gaddis of Kansas City, Kansas. He served on the Rico Town Board and the Dolores County high school board and was master of Rico Masonic Lodge #77. A new job, at the assay office in Durango's Vandium Corporation of America mill, lured the Branson family from Rico in the fall of 1956. "At that time I was a surface foreman for a maintenance construction crew, but the new job was appealing and Durango offered better schools and good churches". By that time the Branson family had added three daughters, Marie, Phyllis and Joanne. The Branson s remained in Durango until 1963, when the vanadium mill shut down, and they returned to Rico. "We could have moved with Vanadium Corporation, but we all wanted to stay in the San Jan Mountain area," says Edgar. The second residency in Rico was short, lasting less than two years until the Branson s moved to Telluride where Edgar was hired as an assayer at Idarado. Asked what he will do now, Branson smiles and says, "Mavis and I will travel some, and between trips, we have a house in the warmer community of Mancos". Branson leaves Telluride as a past president of the Rotary Club, past patron of Telluride Eastern Star #20, and past exalted ruler of Telluride Elks Lodge #692. "If you're going to be in the community, you should take part in a little activity", he advises.
Dec 10, 2004 · posted to the surname Branson
Marie Branson-King Notes for Metta Montgomery. George Wiser's parents were sawmilling in Tierra Amarillo, New Mexico, near Chama, and this is where George was born. George had a bad leg (don't know why) and could not serve in the military. In their younger days, George and Metta lived on Texas Creek and sold butter & eggs to the Sawmill that was near the Columbus Elemementary School. They later lived on Beaver Creek, where they were living when George was killed by lightening. Dixie, daughter of Willie & Lorainne Wiser, swears someone in the family has a book signed by Mark Twain, to the family. Apparently Granpa Patton, (Grandpa to the Wiser's) was supposedly a cousin to Mark Twain (Samuel Clemons). Willie Wiser, son of George & Metta (Montgomery) Wiser is buried in the military cemetery in Las Vegas, Nevada; Dallas (Pat) Wiser, also a son of George and Metta, was killed in Germany during World War II, and is buried in Scotland, where a Scottish family has been taking care of his grave all these years. In the old Akers Hall, Bayfield, Colorado, in a wall, was found a register of the Klu Klux Klan. Armour Gearhart was listed in the register; also found was Armour's membership card. Metta (Montgomery) Wiser, widow of George Wiser, was keeping house for Armour Gearhart, then married him 15 June 1947, in Flora Vista, New Mexico. Armour's first wife had left with their 3 children and never came back, later filing for divorce. Armour married a second time, but again was divorced. Metta married a second time to a Oliver Crandall, but was mean to her boys, so they had a chat with him - he left with his son and that was the last they saw of him. Information supplied by Charles Dean (Poncho) McNew