by Rocky Macy
Mary Ellen JOHNSON (Rt. 4, Box 565, Springdale, AR 72764), Executive Director of the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc., would like to know if any of our Rootbound readers have an interest in Orphan Train Riders who arrived in Rogers, AR, in 1912 and included Agnes KAMM; Marion and Margaret HAINES; Wilbur, Margaret, Chester, and Emmett PRUDEN, and Walter and Frank BEWLEY. The second group disembarked on 8 Feb 1912. Arriving at that time were Mary HALSTEADT; Charles, Glen, Maurice, and Frank DORMAN; Charles, Carrie, and Truwell SALVERSON; Sammy TOLLMAN; Clara SMITH; and, Clifford LAWRENT.
Mary Ellen had this to say about her organization:
"The Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc. (OTSHA) seeks to gather and preserve the history of the placing-out system practiced in America from 1854 until 1929. Some 150,000 orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children were removed from institutions in the east and brought west on trains to find new homes and families in an effort to give them a better chance at survival."
Persons desiring to learn more about the orphan trains or the youngsters mentioned in the query may contact Mary Ellen JOHNSON at the above address. A free copy of the group's newsletter may be obtained by sending a long SASE with forty-five cents postage to the same address. And remember to mention Rootbound when you write!
Rootbound's good friend, Bonita J. Martin (Rt. 2, Box 312, Neosho, MO 64850) is on the trail of the following Ozark surnames: ALFORD, ATTERBURY, AYERS, BAUMBARDNER, DUNCAN, GARTON, HOLLINGWORTH, LANDRETH, McCONNELL, MARTIN, MITCHELL, MOUNSEER, PERRINE, SCEARCY, SHOFNER, and SLAPP. Bonnie is the volunteer librarian in the Genealogy Section of the City-County Library in Neosho. She would like to exchange information with fellow family tree climbers who might be out on one of the same limbs.
Dwayne CRANDALL, President of the Joplin Genealogical Society (P.O. Box 152, Joplin, MO 64802) forwarded the following letter which was received by his organization:
"I'm seeking information on the SHIRA family. They moved from Mercer County, MO, after 1870 and were in Cherokee County, KS, in 1880. It is believed that the family was in the Joplin area in the meantime. Their names were David, Phillip, Abraham, and Samuel. Phillip and Abraham may have gone to McDonald or Newton County.
"Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. Also, do you know who started Mt. Shira Beach at Noel?"
Mary SHIRA BYRNIE
1300 Byrnie Drive
Farmington, NM 87401
The Noel Centennial Book (a local treasure!) has a write-up on the family of Charles and Addie Moon SHIRA. No dates are given, but their children are listed as Philip, Brian, Harry, Erin, and Ruth. Philip married Mary Elizabeth BARLEY. They had a son, Charles, and four daughters: Mary, Lucinda, Rachel (BLANKENSHIP), Maude Dalton (GANN), and Octa (HENDREN).
The only SHIRA listed in the local cemetery books is Julius D. (1909-1910). He is buried in the Jane Cmemtery. Somebody in our area should be able to provide Ethel with information on her SHIRA ancestry - so let's hop to it! (Just how did Mt. Shira Beach get its name? Enquiring minds want to know!)
Rootbound Confidential: (to Mary Ellen JOHNSON and anyone else who is interested) Yes, my name really is Rocky MACY. My wife, Rita, and I live in Noel, MO, (the Christmas City) with our three children - Nick, Molly, and Tim - and a wonderful exchange student, Maira ZABALA of Bolivia. I'm the elementary school principal in Noel, and one of my favorite hobbies is writing Rootbound!