A PHOTO PAGE FOR
Charles Conrad Young
Charles Conrad Young
Charles Conrad Young, born the first day of February 1807, died ninety-eight years and eight days later. He is buried just above Hawks Nest, WV. U. S. Route 60 is visible in the background. My understanding is that my granduncle George Stanley is buried there also. I do not know the name of this cemetery, but I could find neither grave listed in the Fayette Co., WV, cemetery listings. --Photo by Adrian Gwin
A native West Virginian, she'd lived at the old homeplace at Tad, up Campbells' Creek, all her life. Her daddy, George Washington Stanley, had married his sweetheart, Fannie Young, and built the place for his bride sometime after the Civil War. Maude was their first child. She had grown up to become a school teacher, and many a Campbells' Creeker remembered her lessons. She never married, and I never heard why.
Going to Aunt Maude's was always an adventure for us kids in the 1950's and 60's. The old wellhouse, the outhouse, the graveyard up on the side of the hill behind her house, the yard, the little creek off to the side--all of it was as exciting to my brother and me as Christmas morning. Oh, and the house! It was close to a hundred years old then, and with its tin roof, its weather-faded green siding, and slightly sagging front porch, it looked (and was) even more ancient and age-wrinkled than Aunt Maude herself.
My uncle Buster (Albert McDonald Keeney of Belle, Mamie's and Mack's fifthborn), who's almost as old today as Aunt Maude was then, was talking with me by phone the other day about her and that old house. He told me the back of the house used to be the front and vice-versa. Long ago, when they first built it, the homeplace faced the old road up Campbells' Creek which was much closer to the northside of the hollow, right up against the hillside, and the house was built to face it. In those early days, the road went right through where the back yard was when I knew it, back when we were kids.
There's a story I heard in my youth and read in Dad's column (below) about Aunt Maude and two men on horseback, around the turn of the century, who had met in the road and were exchanging words right in front of the house. Both had pistols strapped to their waists, and their topcoats were pulled back behind, hands prepared to draw. With fire in her eyes, a tiny Aunt Maude walked off the porch and across the yard, right up to where they had squared off in their saddles. "Gentlemen," she ordered firmly, "there'll be no fighting here today!" The two tipped their hats, said, "Yes, ma'am," and rode off in opposite directions!
Uncle Bus told me that after the new road was built BEHIND the house (between the house and Campbells' Creek), they redid the house, removing the porch and adding it onto the old back to make it into the new front. Several rooms were changed, and a new bedroom was added, I believe he said. The outhouse was moved to the new back yard and placed right in the middle of where the old road had been! I suppose this change would explain why her bed was in the living room. When one walked in the front door, that was the first noticeable thing. A double bed, it was, and there was a rocker--or maybe two--between it and the door. One had to walk around the bed to get to the door that led into the dining room, through which one walked to get to the kitchen.
Another door to the right and rear of the living room drew one into another bedroom, but no bed was there; instead, an ancient parlor organ stood against the far front wall. Playing that old pumper was always a treat. My uncle and aunt, (George McClure and Frankie Lucas Keeney of Cow Creek, Putnam Co., WV, Mack's and Mamie's seventhborn and wife) have that organ now, and long may it stand in the home of family. Also in that room were Easter eggs. Many of them, kept as souvenirs of long-ago egg hunts, lined a table or dresser top along the wall beside the organ.
There were always several "dippers"--ladles made from dried gourds--lying around in the house, as I recall, and it was more than once that I got to help turn the crank to draw a bucket of drinking water from the old covered well. I don't remember ever drinking from a gourd dipper, as Aunt Maude always had glasses for us. I suspect we poured that water into a pitcher to use in the house. It was quite an exciting day in the late 1950's when Aunt Maude finally got running water piped into her kitchen! The well was boarded over and never used again.
hand-tatted lace doilies
Ms. Ida in a bonnet!
spoons in a glass
the old pie safe
old rusted square steel tub in the front yard
mom's memories in 2002 from her childhood w/Aunt Maude
5A Charleston Daily Mail May 25, 1996
Patient Aunt Maude never went in hospital
By Adrian Gwin
of the Daily Mail Staff
Aunt Maude lived more than 90 years and never spent a minute in a hospital, as a patient.
Poor Aunt Maude.
She never knew what she missed.
I've been in lots of hospitals lots of times and wouldn't take a pretty for any of it.
Oh, she had her fun, and life didn't pass her by just because she never got in a hospital.
I remember the day in 1961, the day after the "big flood" when the creeks rose fast and furious and washed out everything and drowned several people and flooded lots of homes.
I sat with her on the porch of the old Stanley home on Campbells Creek, above the high water, while we watched the roiling flood come rolling down.
Another bunch of crossties and a section of rail went churning by, and Aunt Maude sighed.
"I'm lucky, I guess," she said matter-of-factly, "I saw the railroad go up the creek, and now I've lived to see it come down the creek."
She saw a lot more than that in her placid lifetime, without ever getting into a hospital.
Once in her young adulthood she walked between two strange men with drawn and cocked pistols, in the road before her front gate. Holding up her hands she cried calmly: "Men, there'll be no shooting here today. Put the guns away, and go back where you came from."
They put the pistols away, tipped their hats to the young lady, and went about other business. That's the way they did things in the old days, men as well as women. Today, getting between two men with pistols would be a straight ticket to the hospital. But Aunt Maude never got in one as a patient.
My first hospital term was before I went to school. I remember oh, so well, that they took out my tonsils. I remember waking up in my room terribly thirsty and asking the nurse for a drink of water. My throat was a little sore, but when I swallowed that gulp of water, it cut my throat.
It was the most terrible pain I ever had in my tonsils, and it was in where my tonsils used to be. Lesson for a lifetime: Ask questions before taking action in a hospital.
I was about 8 when I got in the outhouse of a hospital. Ma had put me, deathly sick, on the train with instructions for the conductor to send me to the hospital in town in a taxi. He did. I remember the taxi driver helping me into the waiting room at the hospital, and I remember Dr. DuBose coming in, taking one look, and saying: "Put that boy in the isolation unit in the back yard. He's got the mumps."
But when I was 12 and got a dire illness of some sort, the hospital stay was pleasant, for the most part. They got me to feeling almost normal, then kept me for two weeks getting me well, and one of the "cures" was injection of a huge amount of mercurochrome into my blood system.
The doctor told me it would turn my urine blood-red--and it did. I was fascinated with the red color and with watching it fade a little each day until it was back to normal in about a week.
But the best part of that hospital trip was finding the "Jalna," which began: "Wakefield Whiteoak ran on and on."
I went on to read that new 1929 novel twice, and afterward to read, over the years, all the Whiteoak books by Mazo de la Roche as they came out.
Army hospitals in World War II are best forgotten--but I still wouldn't take a pretty for my time in them. Educational, to say the least.
Once in Thomas Hospital here in South Charleston, I saw a woman being brought in who looked like she was going to have a baby--a baby elephant.
Later I overheard nurses say it was the biggest baby ever born there. So I wandered down the hall and spent two of my newspaper nickels on a phone call to Chuck McGhee, and he called the hospital and we got a story in the Daily Mail about that biggest baby instead of waiting for a routine news release.
That time I felt like being in the hospital got me a "scoop"--which didn't happen very often.
Rest easy, Aunt Maude; you never needed a hospital in 90-plus years--and that doesn't happen very often, either.
Copyright©2000 Charleston Newspapers Interactive
I'd forgotten when Aunt Mabel was born, but I knew it was somewhere mighty close to 1875. Can you expect to eat corn on the cob at a family reunion when you're 100? Mabel Stanley Grafton did! With daughter Dolly Grafton Corey holding Mabel's plate, she did quite handily and thought nothing of it. This was the 1975 reunion of the Keeney clan, and Mabel's baby sister Mamie Chloe Stanley had married McDonald Keeney in 1911 to make the link.
Mabel knew all the
verses to "The West Virginia Hills"
by heart and would sing them on request at the drop of a hat.
Widow of Tom Grafton, she had five children, I believe, to help
her see her way to and beyond the century mark.
mother, Mabel's niece, often told me the story her cousin Dolly had
told her about the day Mabel turned 100. Mabel had been living
with the Coreys for some years, and they evidently had a routine.
Breakfast around the table must've been part of it. Dolly walked
into her mother's room and roused her from sleep with something like,
"Time to wake up, Mama! Breakfast's ready! Happy 100th
said Mabel had turned to her and asked in her careful, antique voice,
"Dolly? Am I really 100 years old?" Dolly had answered that
yes, she was. "Well," she hesitated, then slowly, "I reckon
I don't have
to get up, then, if I don't want to, do
good laugh from Dolly, Aunt Mabel got breakfast in bed that day!
John R. Corey, Dolly's oldest boy, sent me these grave photos to
cinch the dates down: Mabel Stanley
Grafton, b. 18 Nov 1877; d. 28 Sept 1981; Thomas Grafton;
West Virginia, Pvt., Troop C, 8th Regimental Cavalry; b. 8 Mar 1878; d.
24 Nov 1953.
John Robert, you can correct me on the story if it's not quite right,
but that's pretty much the way I heard it from Mom and Dad.
Bonne Sue and her boyfriend Don Zonstra from Michigan and I put fresh cut flowers from behind the house on Zabel Drive on your grandaunt Mabel's grave and her husband Thomas Grafton's who served in the Spanish-American War in 1898; we also honored our Corey grandparents who are buried beside them in Sunset Memorial in Spring Hill.
George Stanley says your great-great-great-grandfather Isaac Stanley from George's Creek was married to a Wince; what do you have on the Stanley/Wince lineage? I'm going to search eventually to see what mom and her sister's Elizabeth and Eugenia used for their DAR membership, unless you already have that information.
We had a memorial at the Baraca Sunday School Class at Calvary Baptist Church for dad and seven others; the daughters of Price Ballard own Highlawn Funeral Home in Oak Hill and are supposed to help me locate Margaret James (wife of Conrad Young buried next to adopted George Stanley in the Hendrick Cemetery in the curve below Hawk's Nest); she allegedly was buried under a big rock maybe in the IOOF Cemetery in Oak Hill!
Keep in touch!