by Rocky Macy
It's been one of Rootbound's unclaimed treasures for over two years, but now, thanks to the barest thread of circumstance, that beautiful old photograph of Cora E. KELLY KING has found its way back to her family! Please read on...
Rootbound purchased that photograph at an area flea market and tried unsuccessfully on several occasions to find a claimant. During that same period of time we returned Bibles, correspondence, and other photographs to misplaced families, but Cora's picture just sat on the shelf collecting dust.
Then a chain of events began occurring that led to a happy conclusion for a lady in California - and for Rootbound! Several months ago an article by this columnist entitled "Flea Market Genealogy" appeared in Heritage Quest Magazine. That piece focused on ways of returning strayed family memorabilia to descendants of the original owners. As a result of that article, Heritage Quest started a special department to advertise, free-of-charge, flea market finds. To help the magazine with its new effort, this writer submitted a couple of entries, including a description of the photograph of Cora E. KELLY KING.
Within days a letter arrived from Sharon KELLEY RILEY (2405 Silvaire Court, Modesto, CA 95350). The excited correspondent related that Cora Evelyn KELLY KING was her grandfather's sister. Cora, the daughter of John Marion KELLEY and Martha STRANGE, was born in Neosho County, KS, in October of 1882. Her older brother, Thomas Franklin, was born in Jack County, TX, in October of 1880, and her two younger brothers, Joseph William (born Jan 1886) and Wallis Lawrence (10 Oct 1888), were each natives of Neosho County, KS.
John Marion KELLEY (above) was born in Neosho, Newton County, MO, in 1859. He died in August of 1918. His wife, Martha STRANGE, was born in July of 1864 in Blount County, TN, to Franklin Madison STRANGE and Susan GAULT. She died around 1890.
Thomas Franklin KELLEY (above) had a daughter whom he named "Cora" in honor of his sister. That Cora is having a fiftieth wedding anniversary this summer, and our correspondent plans on giving her the old photograph of her aunt as an anniversary gift. Talk about special! Everybody wins in this one - Sharon KELLEY RILEY, her Aunt Cora, and especially Rootbound!
Viola FLORY (Rt. 1, Box 1278, Stella, MO 64867) is a grandniece of Sarah Ellen (LIGHT/LYGHT) WOOD who was born around 1854 and married in Illinois. Sarah Ellen was in Wilson County, KS, in 1880 with the following children: John W. (age 6), Mary S. (age 4), Sanford (age2) and Dora (age 1 month, born KS). She was in Rich Hill, MO, in 1884, and by 1900 Sarah Ellen was residing at 1512 Woolers Street, Nevada, Vernon County, MO. Sanford (age 22) was living at home in 1900, and Sarah Ellen also had a daughter named Frankie (age 6, MO) in the household.
Dora WOOD (above) married Hardin JOHNSTON and they had at least two children: Eva (born 1898, MO) and John (1899, KS). Sarah Ellen possibly married John ROOT later in life and moved to Homestead, MT. Do any of our readers have more information on this family?
Christine RIEHMAN, writer of a most interesting letter a few weeks ago regarding her LANKFORD ancestors and the possible involvement of one of them in the LINDBERGH kidnapping, has moved. Her new address is 42030 Selby Circle, Temecula, CA 92390. Christine mentioned in her most recent letter that Geraldo RIVERA did a special segment on the controversy surrounding that kidnapping. She is hoping that as more facts about the kidnapping are brought to light, she will learn more about her colorful relatives!
And what about your colorful relatives? If there is still more to learn, write to Rootbound in the Hills in care of this newspaper. Our readers will help - they're absolutely the best!