The following document was been recieved from Jim Merrit who obtained it
from his cousin Forrest 'Bud' Backert of Pollack Pines, CA passed it on him at a Wonacott reunion in
Murphys, Ca in early 90's.
We have scanned using OCR and carried out scanning error corrections. However the document is
published here as near to the original format as practical, with only minor enhancements such as Bold
headings in most cases.In general spelling and grammatical errors have not been corrected unless likely to confuse.
Our copy has some pencilled notes and conflicting comments which we have ignored in trying to preserve the
authenticity of the original document.
Scanning & conversion to HTML carried out by Paul R Wonnacott.
The original is a collection of notes with varying dates around 1945 through to 1965.
It was written by Charles Newton Wonacott, to whom many of our members have referred to as being connected in their ancestoral history.
This document contains a letter and a 34 page numbered collection of notes.
The accuraccy of the content of this historical document in some instances are in conflict with later findings. These are mostly of a minor nature and do not impact on the importance of this record.
We have scanned using OCR and carried out scanning error corrections. However the document is
published here as near to the original format as practical, with only minor enhancements such as Bold
headings in most cases.In general spelling and grammatical errors have not been corrected unless likely to confuse.
Our copy has some pencilled notes and conflicting comments which we have ignored in trying to preserve the
authenticity of the original document.
Scanning & conversion to HTML carried out by Paul R Wonnacott.
Friends and Relatives of the writer of this historical sketch of the WONACOTT FAMILY:
I have been requested by many friends and relatives to record what I know through my travels and visitations of the Wonacotts, with more relatives than perhaps any other interested person.
Without any effort to make by material classical, but rather relate
matters in a comely manner, within by travels into Wales, British Isles,
Europe, Canada and the United States:
The hidden motivation to comply has been the hope that the present younger
generation of Wonacotts will find, in reading it, certain principles of
life and spiritual influences and actions that may inspire them to stress
in their development-
With all good wishes and love to all receiving this history.
Charles Newton Wonacott
156 Fifth Avenue
New York City, 19115
HISTORY OF THE WONACOTT FAMILY
For the benefit of those who bear the name "Wonacot", Wonacott", or "Wonnacott", if they be so interested, I am giving herewith some of the results of a research I began over a third of a century ago, In respect to our family, and which I have carried on more or less since. This effort to learn something of our family history was at least of interest to me. It was satisfying to discover that I bore an honourable name, and that my father bequeathed unto me qualities, combined with those of my mother, that made me proud I was their son, and conscious that I had a real task in life if I lived up to their life principles and precepts.
My mother's family is well set forth in the written history of the "Keagy" family, by Rev. Franklin Keagy, Chambersburg. Pa., 1889, equally interesting and uplifting, tracing 1715 through 1900 of existence. To know whom you are, and from whose lives you sprung, is a worthy desire. -Greater still is Socrates' injunction - Son, know thyself. This little bit of family introspection may, therefore, help some boy or girl who bears the same name, and if this proves the case, my efforts are well rewarded.
The origin of the Wonacott family begins in Wales. The habitats were likely small wooded farms, probably up to the 12thto 15th centuries. In these early days, no written story is possible, except that we take the history of an average Welsh family. Education as we know it today was, of course, non-existent. Written knowledge likewise was of no consequence. The tribal existence certainly yielded plenty of family, as well as community quarrels. As a family expanded, by reason of a prolific family trend, the hunting grounds likewise must, of necessity, yield more game. Poaching upon another's hunting domain was the cause of as much community trouble then as the jurisdictional dispute of labor union today, but with this difference, viz; that organized justice was not as well established as today. From all I can learn, a more accurate comparison, so far as the ferocious tempers of our undeveloped forefathers were concerned, would be the treatment one racketeer may give to another in the prohibition days just past, with fists instead of tommy-guns.
At any rate, I submit that we must have had a sturdy lot of forebears to have survived the law of the jungle, where the best man wins; I mean that physical prowess, supported by mental alertness to a point where the act of survival established a spiritual awareness to a point where to the survivor belonged the responsibility to not only keep alive, but to help those who were less fortunate among family and friends as well.
It is interesting to note that families were generally large. Welshmen have kept this tradition going pretty well in practice, as you can observe if you know the Welsh. My grandfather, a poor Methodist circuit rider and colporteur in Illinois, with a saddle
bag big enough to hold a pig, cabbage and oats for his horse, as well as his Bible, enjoyed the reputation of being the father of 14 children, but from three different Wives, and I hasten to say, reverently, at different periods. He and my brother Edward, with 13 children (one wife), were the kind of citizens Teddy Roosevelt admired, with a "bully, bully !"
Our early family in Wales, before the days of knives and forks, of course, ate at the family board, often hewn from the logs of the forest, with plate holes, or hollow rounded scoops, about a foot in diameter and 3 or 4 inches deep. This Improvised table was set on legs, and everyone stood as they ate, somewhat in modern buffet style, except when amateurish benches were made. The mother prepared the barbecued meals from open fires. Whatever food was placed in the scoop was measured by her knowledge of the capacity of each member of the family whose "stall" she would fill, properly "rationed" with the quantity of food she had to distribute. Woe be to him who wasted or failed to eat his rightful portion. Uneaten food, irrespective of the reason, remained in the "scoop" or "plate" until later devoured. I often wondered, until I knew this, why Mother always kept bringing my uneaten portion back to me In my plate, in our far-western pioneer home. Too often my eyes were of greater capacity than my stomach, even then as now.
The social occasions were with those of the community who were friendly to our "tribe". Others who couldn't qualify kept away. In later years of this early life, the man in the community who achieved the leadership and became the teacher of religion, also served as doctor, educator, sportsman and community social service worker, all in one, but of course in the crude manner of service of those early beginnings., The Welsh today, as then, are religious, truly religious, with a keen sense of the personal and social application of spiritual laws. You can always count upon the Welsh-man to be unusually developed in his ability to reason from cause to effect. He believes in a square deal, and of all the hundreds of Wonnacotts I have met, I believe this quality is one of their outstanding virtues. I record this since I regard it as significant. My own opinion of the fundamental factors in education for our youth are, more than any other, dependent upon the development of-
(a) Originality - with which I attach that creative faculty of getting back to primary things, the cause, and reasoning out to the effect. Without this you could not have great physicians, engineers, etc. Most Wonnacotts have this.
(b) Initiative - is that quality of mind we need to develop in the mind of youth, if they are to be creative and inaugurate or introduce known facts and plans for the good of society. This implies industry, and represents the qualities of a great executive. The Wonnacotts, as a rule, I am sorry to observe, are not always highly developed in this essential necessary for a great success in life. Ambition is important.
(c) Mathematics - is the science of treating exact relations existing between quantities, operations, methods, etc.. Many of our family have this, and some to a remarkable degree.
Other qualities, of course, are required for success, but since we are weak in Initiative, we must seek to help our offspring to cultivate initiative. The lack of it is in no small degree a hindrance in high achievement. I have found to our credit that all the Wonnacotts of this 20th century are a most likeable lot, with fair achievement In their chosen work, having a fine family unity, a sense of responsibility to the other fellow, and a kind nature, Which often promotes easy going. We ought, in my opinion, judging the general characteristics, to have in our family at least some noted physicians, engineers, mathematicians, religionists, professor's and social workers. Youth take note.
As the family began to expand beyond the boundaries of Wales, they naturally settled in England, After these hundreds of years Intervening, I found a noted engineer in London, a Catholic priest nearby, an attorney, farmers, etc. All whom I met bore a dignity of personality and was a fellow well-met.
The name, of course, is Welsh. Most any Welshman of today will quickly recognize the name and give you the origin, irrespective of whether it is spelled In any of the three known ways in English -Wonnacott, Wonacott or Wonacot.
Welsh. . . ."Waen en coedt" . . . Meaning-Glen in the Wood
English. . . (a) - Wonn a cott
(b) - Won a cott
(c) - Won a cot
I am inclined to accept the spelling "Wonnacott,, to be the most nearly proper English translation from the Welsh tongue. Quite naturally, with few records available, and with only a few who had occasion to record the name in writing in those early English settlements, the name could as correctly have been written one way as another. I am told that while it is distinctly Welsh, it likewise could have been Normandy or French, since It is known that the Frenchmen who drifted into Wales from Normandy, carried certain derivative names not unlike our name, and that it is known that the sons of those who took their names from the nature of their habitat (such as a son from the family that lived in the glen in the woods) also applied the same method in Normandy in that day.
My name being "Wonacott" traces its beginnings, so far as I can learn, from one of those sons who settled at Lipton, Devonshire - William Wonacot. He was a tailor and had 3 sons: John, William and Dunstan. It was Dunstan who changed the spelling from one "t" to two "tt"s
The family names of John, William, Richard, Elizabeth, Peggy, etc., are well known among us today. The "Wonnacott" brothers, so identified by the spelling, are more numerous than the "Wonacotts", since, so far as I can learn, William and his son Dunstan are the only ones who so changed the spelling, and hence, as the family tree will reveal, the American, and probably all other "Wonacotts", are wholly descendants from them.
Children of William
B) John Wonacott. . . . Publican of Lipton, Devonshire
Nicholas (William?). . .Farmer, Milton Abbott, Devonshire
Dunstan. . . . . . Farmer, Tavistock
Children of John
Elizabeth Married Mr. Baker - 4 children
John Immigrated to U.S.A. - 2 children
William No information
C) Dunstan Immigrated to U.S.A. - 2 children
Hannah Married Mr. Purrage - 3children
Judith Married 3 times
Peggy Died in infancy
Children of Dunstan
D)Emmanuel Birth about ? 1730
Other children not known
E) Richard Probably son of Dunstan. Born about 1790.
Probably lived in Virginia.
2 sons, one whose name was Elano
Lucinda. 2 sons, 4 daughters
F) Kennely Buckingham. .14 children - 3 wives (see below-my grandfather.)
Richard. . .Settled in Cincinnati & Chattanooga-
4 daughters - Lucinda, Patsy, Sally,Betsy.
John Born 1844,Died-Mt. Zion, Ill. 1894.Furrier, Mt. Zion. Charles & Molly Draper.
*George Washington, Born 1846, Died Gresham, Oregon, 1925. (My father)
*Mary, Born 1848 Died 1938, Virginia, Ill. Married John Looker
*Charles William, Born Nov. 8,1849, or possibly 50, Died
Bishop, California 1929. 9 children (see note)
*Sarah, Born 1852, married Scott Leonard, Collinsville, Mo. Died 1882
*Paton, Born 18511, Willets, Calif. 11 children. Died 1927
*Nancy, Born 1856, Leona, Mo., Married Seth Bazzell. Died 1930
*Maggie, Born 1858, Married Luther Stone. Died 1920
2nd.Wife - born Feb. 18, 1830, died Oct. 3, 1882
*Luther, born ? Died at Santa Rosa, Calif. 1944. 11 children
*Emma, born ? Died at Santa Rosa, Calif. 1944. Married Mr. Christian
*Kennelly, born ? Died at Willits, Calif.
*Lucy, Born ? Deceased In Missouri
3rd.Wife Born ?Died June 6. 1934 at Willets, Calif.
*Howard, Born ? Lived at Willits, Calif. Died l944
*Everett, Born ? Lived at Willits, Calif. Died 1944
**Note: Children of Charles William
Franklin (deceased) Hattie E. (Deceased)
*Carrie Bell " Albert (Bob) "
*Don L. " *Harold A. "
*Forrest " *Evangeline "
Rev. Kennelly Buckingham Wonacott, my grandfather, died at his home near Quincy, Mo., on December 8, 1899, at the age of 80 years, of diabetes. For many weeks he was a sufferer, yet he bore his suffering with Christian fortitude. He was born among the mountains of Virginia, August 27, 1819, of English parents. I, Charles Newton Wonacott, was born on my grandfathers birthday, 1881. He wad converted at the age of 11 years at a Methodist camp meeting, uniting with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a consistent member ever since. He was an earnest worker in the Sabbath School, and always had a pleasant word for all. He was a kind husband, a loving father, and a good neighbor. He was perfectly reconciled to die, and said if It was the Lord's will, he was ready to go. A short time before he died, he called his wife and asked her to sing "Oh, when shall I see Jesus?" He was in the ministry for a number of years and was a resident of St. Clair County for 20 years. He was elected co-Treasurer in 1879, and moved from Osceola to Wheatland, Mo., in 1884 and had lived in Hickory County up to his death. A few hours before his death he looked up and said "I love Jesus," and as long as he could speak, he would say "Praise the Lord." His remains were laid to rest in the Mt. Zion Cemetery near Quincy, Mo., followed by a large concourse of friends.
(The above furnished by his daughter - Mrs. Emma Wonacott Christian and one of the faithful followers of Christ.)
Married Louisa A.Robinson, born Feb. 23,1854 - Died Apr. 27, 1925. Aged 71 years. These are the parents of the writer, and a fuller description is given below. Data given as of 1965.
Children of George Washington Wonacott
William Perry, Mar. 18, 1970 Married Jessie V. Pruner,1901, Riddle, Oregon.
Edward Lamay, Aug. 3,1872, died Feb. 10, 1943, 70 years,Buhl, Idaho
Maude Gertrude, Nov.5, 1876. Married Wm. Glover, 265 Valdez Ave. San Francisco, Calif.
Charles Newton, Aug.27, 1881. 2705 S. E. River Road, Portland. Oregon.
Susie, May 1,, 1884. Died 1895 at Myrtle Creek, Oregon. 11 years.
Roy Forrest, Apr. 26, 1889. Died Oct 11. 1939. Portland Oregon. Aged 50 years.
GEORGE WASHINGTON WONACOTT , my father, was born on the Gnew River, near Roanoke, Va. He migrated with his father at an early age to Illinois. They lived at various times in and around the Sagamon River bottoms communities, near Abraham Lincoln's home (New Salem), and Virginia City, Jacksonville, also near Zion City, Chandlerville and Decatur. At the age of 15' he enlisted in the Northern Army, and after 3 years service retired to attend college, and after some preparation he taught at Chandlerville. Here he met Louisa Ann Robinson, first his student and later his wife. She was the daughter of a sturdy and prosperous farmer - Perry Robinson, a Dunkard and a good one. After their marriage on March 11, 1869, and as the family began to grow, It appears the faces of these young parents were ever facing westward - Illinois to Kansas, to Missouri, from 1869 to 1881. By this time there were born - William, Edward, Maude and Charles, as above. In Kansas, he settled on a soldier's homestead, which the Government had provided as an outlet for the Civil War veterans, but the hardships were so great that they retraced their steps a short distance to Osceola, Mo. Years after he abandoned the homestead, tin and/or zinc ore was discovered on his abandoned farm at what is now Pittsburgh, Kansas. Thus a fortune was just missed. He did not forget, but he was not resentful.
In the meantime, far to the west, Dr. Blalock of Walla Walla, Washington (and once a neighbor in Missouri), had been inspired and led to take up some of the work laid down by Dr. Marcus Whitman when he was massacred years before by the Indians. The missionary appeal, the pioneer spirit, ever to be found as sweet music to a Wonacott, the story of waving grain, streams teeming with fish, and the abundant harvests of Eastern Washington, caused him to long for a new start in that great unsettled part of our nation. When cousin Newton Bell wrote that he had located in Roseburg, Oregon where crops yielded to hard work and persistence, Father loaded his wife and family of three boys and a girl Into a covered wagon and headed towards the setting sun. Hence I crossed the plains actually in a covered wagon; now at my present age (1965) of 84 I was pronounced by the Oregon Historical Society as one of Oregon's oldest living males who actually crossed the plains in a covered wagon.
After months of trials, hardships and dangers, we arrived in Dayton. Washington, in time to help harvest that season's crops. The next spring (1883), he reached Roseburg, with a hard-used team, a well-worn wagon, his family and 25 Cents in cash. A Hebrew merchant In Roseburg, Simon Cairo, seeing honesty and industry in his face, gave him credit, and thus did his life in the far west begin. Ere long, a farm was purchased at Oak Grove, 11 miles south of Roseburg. Gradually and surely he carved out a home, for his family had now increased to 6 children. He farmed the rich soil and taught in the public school and hunted the well-populated wild game woods, and fished the abundant streams, and made ends meet. The pioneers thus provided their families with the proteins needed to grow strong children.
His interest in education and law led him to do his part in building the new State of Oregon. His legislative terms gave him opportunity to put on the statute books progressive educational direction, the start of constructive highways, and other constructive laws. By 1910, he had been teacher, farmer, cattleman, merchant and hotelman. He was elected Judge of the Probate and Children's Court, and 12 years later retired to Gresham, Oregon, near Portland, where he and his faithful life partner 1ived to enjoy the fruits of their labors in the progress and fruition of the principles for which he stood, and played with his Grandchildren then living, about a score of them. They renewed his hope and assurance that the name he had passed on was not likely to die out (and "so mote it be".)
When he was groomed for the Governorship of the State, by reason of his unusually fine record as a judge and public, financier, he declined since he had set his mind upon living near his children and their families, by then located mostly in or near Portland. In 1925 he passed to his reward. Attending his funeral were those who had travelled far to do honor to their teacher when children, or who were saved from crime in his Juvenile Court over which he presided for 12 years, and this friend who had befriended and helped so many over 40 years of public service. He was beloved by all who knew him.
It is the purpose here to record events, rather than orate. He died in the early hours of his 79th birthday (1925). I was asked to write a story of his life for the village paper, which held up its issue to receive the story of their fellow townsman. I then recorded what to me was an honest effor to appraise that dedicated life of usefulness over an expanse of nearly a half century in establishing the great State of Oregon and developing the life and charcter of its citizens. Wide and favorable comment made me feel proud of him, whose nickname to the populace was the "Honest Judge." The family, having copies, will not need to have it recited here.
Exactly 1 month and 6 days later, his life companion was laid beside him, and again it fell to my lot to write a tribute of my pioneer mother, whose sacrifice and wisdom earned for her a place among God's noble women. Thus on March 20th and April 26th, 1925 two of Oregon's builders of State were ushered into that life beyond, and by that event the name Wonacott was passed unsullied to his offspring, to be kept in honor and respect before our generation. But to that offspring let me record that only his body died
the soul and spirit and personality lives on, and that lovable character continues to live, praise be to God for the provisions He has made for His children on earth.
Children of GEORGE WASHINGTON WONACOTT
1- WILLIAM PERRY WONACOTT, born March 18, 1870, married to Jessie Violet Pruner, at Riddle, Oregon, on October 25. 1901. Jessie Violet Pruner Wonacott was born on March 5. 1879, at Sioux Falls, So. Dakota. William died Feb. 23, 1959 at age 90, his wife died within a year later, both resting in the cemetery at Metzger, Oregon.
Children of W.P.W
Chester Allen- born December 20, 1900, at Riddle, Oregon, living at Barlow, Oregon. Married to Murna Saunders on Dec. 22, 1927, and after her death he married his present wife Wanda. Their children are Frano Louise, born 1947, and son Eddie, 1957.
Florence E. - born March 20, 1902, at Riddle, Oregon, died on Jan. 20, 1908.
Violet Orvil - born Jan. 23, 19O4, died Nov. 28, 1905, Glen brook, Oregon.
Perry Wesley - Born Oct. 21, 1906, died Nov. 28, 1933. (Pine Grove Cemetery, Hood River, Ore.) after war service in the U.S. Navy.
Melville Wheeler - Born Apr. 25, 1911, Hood River, Ore. - died Jan. 29, 1915. (Pine Grove Cemetery, Hood River, Ore.)
(a)The above Chester Allen married Murna Saunders on Dec. 22, 1927. She died suddenly of a heart attack on Sept. 2, 1943. Chester is a mechanic of the first order. He lives up to the statement of Shakespeare -
2 EDWARD LAMAY WONACOTT, of Buhl, Idaho, born Aug. 3, 18729 died Feb. 10, 1943. Married Adelaide Addie Harding on June 24, 1894. Brother Ed was a successful farmer of the first order. He was notably successful and the last few years of his life he lived a retired life. With his wife Addie, they enjoyed the full fruits of their labors, and also the benefits that come to parents of a large family in visiting their 32 children and grandchildren. To them Teddy Roosevelt would at least have said - "Bully", since he believed in a large progeny. Ed and his wife were companions on fishing trips and winter vacations in Arizona. With his boys he enjoyed hunting wild game, which they found from the Rockies to the Pacific coast. He was a true son of the soil and a fellow well-met. The list of their children will be added to later, but records so far are as follows:
Children - Sylvester Allen, of Boise, Idaho - 1719 N. 26th St.
Fay Williamson, of Boise, Idaho - 2016 N. 25th St.
0scar W., of Long Beach, Calif - 6773 Harbor Dr.
Pearl - Deceased
Ila Black, of Gunderson, Montana.
George, of Kennewick, Wash.
Buster - Deceased
Evadna Mead, of La Mirada, Calif. - 11134 S.E. Bore Dr.
Newton E., of St. Paul, ore. Star Rt. 73
Alberta Hollingsworth. of Prescott. Ariz. 2325 Marina
Louise Lovelady, Twin Falls, Ida. 359 Caswell St.
- - - - - - Deceased
- - - - - - Deceased
3-MAUDE GERTRUDE WONACOTT GLOVER. born Fort Scott, Kansas, Nov. 5, 1876: Married to William Glover. born in England; now living at 265 Valdez Ave. San Francisco, Calif.
"Maudie and Billy" now (1965) living a retired life, ages 89 and 83, respectively, and are injoying their companionship in flowers, birds and their beautiful home in the gorgeous sunshine of California. Being a Restauranteur. Billy brings home not only the "bacon" but all the other choice cuts and delicacies of the market. No one who visits with them will soon forget their welcome and hospitality. During WWII, as occasion required, Maudie joined the hosts of patriotic nurses to do her real and merciful bit in nursing our boys back to vigor and health. Much credit is due them In many services along life's highway. Thus did Maudie prove to the world her skill and patience, her love of country and mankind - a true Wonacott.
4 -CHARLES NEWTON WONACOTT, born Aug. 27. 1881; Married Isabelle Edgerton on Sept. 9, 1902- address (1965) 2705 S.E. River Rd. Portland, Oregon 97222.
He entered Y.M.C.A. work in Portland, Oregon In 1899, and served as Associate General Secretary until 1919. Two years were then given to United States Treasury Work, as State Director of the War Savings for Oregon, through World War 1. Then three years in New York City; two years as lst Vice President of the Atlantic, Gulf & West Indies Steamship Co. of New York City; two years as lst. Vice Pres. of the Multnomah Lumber & Box Co. of Portland; six years as Corp. Adviser at Portland, and for the next 20 years as Treasurer of the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian church in the U.S.A. Through these busy years. Belle, his wife, has been a constant helper, companion and inspiration, until her death March 10, 1960.
Children of CNW -
RUTH AGNES - born June 4, 1905. Prepared for a social service work at the University of Oregon, with post-graduate work in the Columbia University School of Social Service of New York City, as Medical Social Service Worker, and was among the early ones of the first of that profession. Her work has become well known throughout the United States. She is now (Dec. 1944) Assistant Medical
Director of the Eastern Area (Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania) of the American Red Cross, with headquarters at Washington, D.C., with several hundred employees on the staff. She traveled extensively over U.S.A., then a trip to Europe and around the world. Dec. 19. 1959, she married Mr. Pedro Jon Romanacce, and in 1961 retired and now live at 2705 S.E. River Rd., Portland, Ore.; and is in demand for lectures, etc.
PAUL NEWTON - born Feb. 17, 1912; died Feb. 23, 1959. He married Ruth Covington on Aug. 14. 1937, In Portland, Ore. Graduate of School of Business Science of the University of Pennsylvania in 1931; post-graduate degree of Master in Harvard University in 1933. With the United States Trust Co. of New York City for two years; United States National Bank of Portland for two years; five years as a Mining and Industrial Engineer; then Assistant to the Treasurer of the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., in charge of Accounts and Audits, at 156 Fifth Ave. New York 10, N.Y. Married to Miss Evlyn Farrow, l946, with one child, Louisa Ann Wonacott. 1965 in Harrisburgh, Pa., College.
Children of Paul Newton
Paul Newton, Jr.,- born Aug. 111. 1939;married 1964 to Miss Liddy Krier. Graduated Princeton U. and in 1965 graduated in law, Stanford U., Palo Alto, Calif; admitted to Oregon bar 1965.
Gaynor, born Nov. 26, 1940, married Malarky Wall, Jan. 30, 1964
Charles Newton II, born Apr. 7, 1942, deceased Aug. 31. 1962, age 20.
Four happy children are tonics to any grandparents, and high hopes are held for their future careers, whatever they may be.
5-SUSIE WONACOTT - born May 1, 1884, Myrtle Creek, Ore. died in 1895. A lovely girl of 11 died from a bruise, the nature of which was not understood until it was too late. This loss brought great sorrow to an otherwise happy family, and her death was never quite reconciled.
6-R0Y F0RREST WONACOTT - born Apr. 26, 1889, Myrtle Creek, Oregon, died Oct. 11, 1939, Portland, Ore. age 50 years. Married Hazel Needham about 1917, who continues to live In their home at 2235 N.E. 33rd Avenue, Portland, Ore.
Roy was truly the son of nature. No enjoyment was equal to hunting, camping, fishing or exploring though God's great handiwork. His business in auto repairs was almost a necessary
evil, however well he did his work, beside his weekend trips to some quiet stream or secluded waterfall. Wife Hazel and their daughter Maxine likewise joined in their happy occasions, climaxed by a vacation at their wonderful cabin in the Ochoco Mountains, in Eastern Oregon. His last resting place is in Rose City Cemetery, Portland, near his father and mother, under the shade of a stately pine which casts its shadows in majestic splendor, and seems to give its benediction to the life he loved so well - another true Wonacott to graduste with higher plane of Eternity.
Maxine, the daughter, is married to Loring Stocks, operator of oil and gas stations. They have Jimmy and Loreen to delight their days, give joy and comfort to Grandmonnie Hazel and Great-grandmommie Needham, whose presence graces the home no longer though, by reason of her passing in the early 196O's.
JOHN RICHARD NEWTON BELL
The family of George Washington Wonacott would not be complete in the eyes of his children if there was left out a mention of "Cousin Newton Bell". Back in Roanoke. Va., ample record is on file at the Court House of the doings of the Wonacott and Bell families. It appears that two brothers married two sisters of the Wonacott and Bell families. The children of this double link of blood were not only cousins but, if you will think, are double cousins. This relationship is said to be closer than brothers. as offspring of two sisters marrying two brothers. George Washington Wonacott and John Richard Newton Bell were these double cousins . They were, in fact, as close and Affectionate as brothers could be.
The Bells remained in Roanoke and fought with the Confederacy in the Civil War, while George's father (Kennelly B.) migrated to Illinois, where George enlisted at the age of 15 and fought with the Federal 108th Illinois Regiment, Company F. This was a bitter experience, but as the clouds of war passed over, Cousin John Richard Newton Bell moved to Oregon and beckoned George Washington Wonacott across the plains in a covered wagon, with his then four oldest children. Their children (Bell and Wonacott) in Oregon likewise became affectionate cousins, as were their elders.
Many are the happy stories that can be told by the writer's family about "Cousin Newton" and his family and our family. The Newton in the writers name (Charles Newton), and in his son Paul's name (Paul Newton), and now in Paul's songs name (Paul Newton, Jr.) finds its origin in "Cousin Newton" - (John Richard Newton Bell), through the present period this writer has nine relatives named after him, with the "Charles" or "Newton" of his name.
The Bell tree, as furnished by Mrs. Ora Hedingren (see below) is as follows..
John Richard Newton Bell, born Virginia on Jan. 25, 1846, died in Oregon on June 3, 1928. Married Maggie Kirk, who was born Dec. 15, l846, in Virginia, died in Oregon Jan. 15, 1939.
Children of John Richard Newton Bell
Lee C. - born Virginia Nov. 13, 1869
Jeannette (Solon D. Shedd) - born Arkansas Feb. 18, 1871;died California Sept. 3, 1939
Ora Della (Oscar Hedingren) - born Arkansas Feb.8, 1873, died in Palo Alto, Calif.
Xenia Myrtle (John Richardson) - born Oregon Mar. 4, 1875, living in Portland, Oregon.
Homer (twin to Xenia) -born Oregon Mar. 11, 1875, died Oregon, Aug. 15. 1893.
Essie (Jack Rodgers) - born Oregon May 28, 188:4 living in Portland, Oregon.
Lloyd Vernon - born Oregon Mar. 18, 1888, living in Salem,Ore.
Lacking, further details, the above is given as a part of the ramifications of the family. Others some day may desire to add further records.
While it is true the foregoing is incomplete, it may furnish a basis for a further effort by any who have already inherited, or who may yet inherit, the name Wonacott. There are hundreds of the name in the United States and Canada.
A Wonacott married a relative of Abraham Lincoln, and their offspring meet in Alma, Michigan, In normal times, once a year, for a day's reunion - usually in August. While I have never attended these meetings, the Secretary does send me notification each year, and I hope to attend on some occasion.
The Wonnacott annual reunion at Port Bruce, Ontario, Canada -usually on July bath each year, is a two or three day camp gathering, attended by scores - often 200 or more Wonnacotts and Wonacotts, whose names are most frequently found in the directories of Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and other lake towns in both Canada and the states. Loring Wonnacott and his good wife, at Port Bruce, have a lovely stretch of acreage on the northern shore of Lake Erie, about half way between Detroit and Buffalo. This is the site of the welcomed camp grounds for more Wonacotts than I ever expect to see together again. It will implant a thrill in any breast whose ancestors gave him this name, to look in on and fellowship with this group of honest and jovial folk.
In London and other parts of England and Wales you will find them. In the West, Australia, and wherever the pioneer spirit calls, you will find the progeny of our ancestral Welshmen. The broad forehead of the original Welsh Wonacotts is easily discernable where the likeness of a son or daughter retains the features of the original ancestors.
It may be that the children of any given family grow better and love more those who gave them life, and nurtured them through their helpless and tender years to maturity, than it is possible to express until age comes on, parents are laid away, children grown, and grandchildren come on. The musing that recounts the long years past, the revaluation of advice given, the joys of the family circle, all combine to make the latter years those of comfort and satisfaction.
Just to give vent to an afternoon of reflections, I am recording here a few incidents and stories that impressed me in my growing youth.
I suggest that each member of the Wonacott family add to his copy an up-to-date historical statement of his immediate family, with births, dates and such memoirs as he or she may wish to preserve.
My father (George W.) was serious-minded, but he also had a keen sense of humor. He was apt, like Abraham Lincoln, in finding his point in a funny story. When standing, for election as a candidate for the State of Oregon Legislature, and later for three terms as judge, he had opportunity to cross mental swords with some of the best minds of Oregon. He never lost an election, even though the Republican vote was twice the strength of his Democratic affiliation, and his service and stories still live in that state.
On one occasion, after his opponent had suffered adverse popularity in a round of campaigning, my father linked him to the following story:
It appeared that a "Pat" was caught on the third floor of a country hotel in a conflagration that was rapidly sweeping to his floor. The crowds called on him to jump to the net below. He jumped and was saved. He was asked if he was hurt. He looked down at himself only to see that the seat of his trousers confronted him instead of the front. He had too hastily dressed. Pat, much alarmed, said, "Yes, I seem to have ahd a fatal twist." Of course, the application of Pat's predicament was easily fastened upon my father's opponent, with implication that he, his opponent, was getting a "fatal twist" (and it so turned out to be in Father's election).
The following story is never forgotten by kids, and is handed down to this day though over 50 years have passed since Father told it:
An Irishman, Scotchman and Jew became fond of each other while on a long construction job, and each not willing to be outdone by the other, laid a wager as to who could stay in their longest with a skunk. Father would work up his audience in anticipation of the contest as the pole-cat was first tossed into the cabin, and one by one the representatives of these three races took his place inside the door ready for the endurance test. It was not a long silence to endure, when after much commotion the Hebrew came out gasping for air.
Then came the Scotchman, and then, Father always said, "The skunk came out next." (He changed
the order to suit his application)
He once likened his opponent, trying to beat him at the polls, to the Irishman he knew in his Civil War soldiers experience, who was trying to ride a sopisticated Army mule. Pat had all he could do to stay on his bucking mule. Looking down he saw that in the contortions of the mule hd had cought his hind-leg hoof in the stirrup. Pat was ready to give up anyway, but he addressed the mule - "Begorrah, If you're determined to git on, I'll git off." - And he did.
Father-was wounded in the Battle. of Mobile-Bay. A log formed his breast-works. A shell threw the log across his back, severely wrenching It and injuring a certain vertebrae. Years later, when certain movements of the body brought a strain on these parts, he would fall like he had been shot. Swinging an ax, killing a hog with a sledgehammer, were known to lay him low, until an adjust-ment restored his uprightness. On one occasion on the farm at Oak Grove he saw from his porch, while resting after such an attack, an eagle soaring high in the sky. He took his trusted muzzle loading rifle and aimed it while lying on his back, bending his knees as a rest for the rifle. As a small boy, I recall how I stood by, breathless in anticipaition of the sharp crack of the rifle, hoping in my imagination to follow tlm bullet to its mark. I saw my father take his steady aim, pull the trigger, and the air gave vent to the crack of that rifle that seldom failed to bring low the charging wild boar, the buck, the wild turkey or grouse. The eagle was probably over a half mile high. Just as I expected, for I had faith in all Father undertook, after a short interval after the rifle crack had died away, I saw the proud bald-headed eagle fully let go, crumple completely and plunge to earth with a thud. Its tip to tip spread was over 7 feet. After all these years, I can define the impression I had then and all through my boyhood, that my father was endowed with a certain nobility and majesty that goes with perfection. Nothing proved it more to my boyish mind than to bore an eagle in flight with a single bullet. I helped mold from melted lead in the arsenal of our pioneer far western Oregon home.
The following story of the recruit from an interior state might have been an actual Instance in his life, but he never confessed it when he told It on his opponent. The boy never having seen the ocean, nor did he know anything about the tides, was placed on guard duty at the edge of the ocean water and was told not to move from the spot but to challenge all who came that way. When the relief came 6 hours later, the boy was not to be seen. They called him in a loud voice. He answered some distance out in the water. They called and reprimanded him and said, "We told you to stand at the water's edge." He answered, "I did, sir, but this creek has 'rize'." Father joined the 108th Illinois Infantry in 1861 at the age of 15, and from his own statement was about as educated on life as this story he told.
One of his students in the early 90's attributes to my father the great inspiration of his life (Walter W. Hudson). From a small town boy, he went on to two universities and became an eminent mining engineer and metallurgist. In World War 1, England asked five presidents of leading American mining company
to designate an engineer to solve their needs for molybdenum, that rare metal that hardens the rifles of artillery. Germany had the only real world supply in Sweden, and in the United States and Canada tons of metal had to be mined to get small quantities of molybdenum. They recommended this boyhood friend of mine who had been inspired by my father to climb the heights of his profession. In 18 months my friend, Walter Hudson, had perfected the first known process for floating (separation) molybdenum, and the Allies got their quantities of the rare metal, which I have been told was one of the important contributing factors of final victory.
This engineer friend of eminence (now deceased, 1965) and I went to Alaska together, to expert and finance certain mining properties soon after Father passed on in 1925. He paid one of the loveliest and finest tributes to my sainted father I ever heard of anyone. He analyzed him as having the qualities of Abraham Lincoln in keen logic, humor, statesmanship, kindness, perseverance, and then he said, most reverently, that to him Abraham Lincoln was the greatest man to walk the earth since Christ, and that Lincoln, like my father, was equally great, the difference being only that Lincoln had the circumstances of opportunity to have a nation know him, while Father, in living in the far-west in a comparatively sparse settlement, had a limited number of contacts - otherwise their qualities of thought, act, and characters were very much alike. I have often thought of his high tribute, and have treasured it in my heart, knowing it had much truth in it.
When I first heard the following story, it was told as a truth on my father. I have since heard it in other quarters many times,-
It appears Father had said when campaigning for his first term as Judge, that he would marry the first couples that came to his office after he was elected. Upon taking office, three couples lined up for the ceremony. The first couple was married with no charge. After the second ceremony, the groom said, "Well, Judge, that was a good job. How much do I owe you?" Father, hesitant, said, "Well, the law allows $5." "Well", said the new groom, "Here is 50c. That gives you $5.50."
Father, having charge of the county finances, achieved the distinction of managing the affairs so well as to liquidate all debt, the first time in the history of Douglas County, Oregon. He was known as "The Honest Judge." United States Senators were then elected by the Legislature, and great abuses were practiced by politicians without a conscience. I think the only time I ever saw him in grief and anger was when he was offered a sum if he would change his vote.. When, years later, he was suggested for the Governorship of Oregon, he had done his part in bringing about the election of senators by direct vote instead of by politicians in the Legislature. Oregon first originated the famous "Statement #1", whereby the voters indicated the Senatorial preference and the legislators agreed in general to vote for the voter's preference. His proudest part in the enactment of laws was the law he worte and sponsored for the construction of highways. He regarded good roads as the life-blood for community and social development, and so they are.
As a teacher, Father held an unusual sway over the students.
He was not a rulemaker nor a disciplinarian, but by force of example he inspired decorum of conduct. Once only did he use the switch, which was the instrument in the old days for all sorts of the ills in the pioneer country school. He had forbidden swimming in a dangerous mill-race. Mose Weaver defied him and went swimming one noon hour all alone, and was late in arriving at school. The mud in his hair told the story of his forbidden swim in the muddy water. Father, to save face, was forced to switch Mose, but Mose had padded his pants seat with pasteboard and had stuck some card-board up his back under his coat. The lively hazel switch loosened the cardboard in his coat and it f ell to the floor. Father was so amused that he turned the discipline episode into a joke and social occasion and debate, with the result that all the kids became sergeants-at-arms and no further trouble resulted. He had so many uncanny traits and understanding of human character that few could excel him in dealing with human nature. Mother was one. She was as great a woman as he was a man.
The honor that one feels in the sacred inheritance of an honest name and blood shoud inspire him to nobler deeds and purer actions. Let each of us so live as to leave unsullied the name and the body and mind and spirit we have inherited from our worthy parents, who were known of old as the "Sons and Daughters of the Glen In the Wood" (Waen en coedt.)
"Welch" in Saxon means "Foreigner", and is the name Saxons gave Britons, whose lands they took. The Welch call themselves "Cymry", which means "Comrade", also land. It is located in S.W. England about 135 miles x 50 miles, with a population of about 2,100,000, with their own language and customs.
Wonnacott, as heretofore recorded, means "Glen In Woods", pronounced in Welsh "Waen en coedt". It Is said that the Welsh, Scotch and Irish are the original Britons, or "Celts", about the time of Christ, and Romans invaded Briton, but withdrew about 500 years later. Toutons, from the low lands of Germany, and Danes also invaded Briton.
Then about the year 1066 Normans invaded England. The Welsh fled to the mountain fastness and did not and would not recognize the invaders' rights. The Romans were great road builders, and upon the departure of the Romans, Wales was highly civilized on political ideas, laws and Christian religion. However, the Germans, Anglos and Saxons were followed by many Welshmen. The Normans were castle builders and many of their castles are standing now.
The Snowden Mountain Is 3570 feet high. Welsh language is "Cymraig", and very difficult but popular among orators. Wales produced great musicians but it is said no great poet.
It is said that when two Scotchmen meet they start a "Caladonian Society".
When two Irishmen meet they start a fight.
When two Welshmen meet they start a song or recite poetry.
Here is a name of a small town in Wales;
Will every Wonnacott who reads these notes, undertake to pronounce this name?
An English translator said "If you wish to hear singing such as you will hear nowhere else in the world, listen to a choir of Welsh voices."
Welsh eat 5 meals a day. Breakfast at 6 and 10 A.M. Bait (dinner at noon); then a supper meal 4 and 5; then Bare Brith. Supper is bread with raisins, and it is the height of discourtesy to refuse it.
In olden days they began dinner with dessert because once a man died before he reached the after-dinner dessert; hence it was switched to the first course.
Suicide is very rare. They are quite religious - Lots of ministers and revivals.
"Prince of Wales" is the title the oldest son of the King of England. In 1272 Wales, subdued by King Edward 1. was at Caernaryon Castle, most magnificent in British Isles. When Queen Eleanora gave birth to a son, some Welsh Christians assembled to pay homage and begged the queen to appoint the son as "Prince of Wales", and thus became the first of all the "Prince of Wales" since then.
Famous and well-known Welshmen were:
Lloyd George, born in Manchester, became attorney at 21 -
Solicitor - Member of Parliament, and Prime Minister of England;
Capt. Jones, Captain of Mayflower
Thomas Jefferson, of our Declaration of Independence:
Dr. Wm. H. Roberts, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterain Church, U.S.A., who was one of my dearest friends;
Also Wm. Pugh, Dr. Roberts' successor.
Welshmen founded Harvard and Yale Universities.
14 American with Welsh blood signed U. S. Declaration of Independence
Charles Evans Hughes, Chief Justice Supreme Court, Welch and Irsh blod, and others.
The Welsh have fought for religious freedom and America ,owes much to Wales for her stalwart beliefs and friendly relations with the U.S.A.
Mr. William Wonnacott, manufacturer in England, with whom I had much correspondence and some discussion, was proud to contact me when I was for 10 years an officer of the Hanover Bank of New York, and he, as a customer of our London, England, branch, often turned to our common heritage in Wales, and hence I have appreciated his kinship. Upon his death his wealth was in the six figure class, and was highly respected. The patent on tailors' sewing machines and related machinery was of his development.
I am thinking tonight of all the years prior to 1946 that I know anything about (over 64 of them), and am rather idly recording my thoughts as my mind opens memory's room, where are hung the panoramic pictures of the past. This thing I am doing, it is sometimes said, is the pastime of those who grow old. The difference, I must insist, is that the "old" story reciters have no other thoughts but those that lie behind them. They become tiresome in repetitions, and often a bore to the younger ones, whose future is in the future instead of the past. Mu thoughts are intrigued with the changes that have come in my time. I am convinced that the future holds vastly more in contrast with the present, than the present has to the past. What are some of the marks of the todays and of yesterdays?
Well, on the occasion of this reflective diversion from a busy life in active relationship to the needs of the present day, I am sitting in my apartment house, walled about by other over-populated dwelling places, housing 2,000 to 3,000 people in a single block. My location is a privileged one, since it is in that tier of bluff-like buildings over looking the famous Hudson River, with the Palisades beyond the river, where miles of ice-packs ebb to and fro with the tide, and where only recently the world's greatest war fleet lay at anchor, thrilling the heart of every American with pride and a sense of national security.
Millions of people like me, from all parts of the world, live in this environment, for New York, with its 8,000,000 souls, is a notion within itself or, shall I say, a university of nations, with its racial settlements still bounded by distinct streets. On one side is, let us say, the end of an Italian settlement, while across the street is the beginning of Hungarian life. Often the old country customs maintain. Some one has said that New York City houses more Italians than does Rome; more Greeks than Athens; and more Irish than Dublin. It is Jewry's most populated center in the world. Of the 8,000,000 Jews left living in the world at the close of World War 2, over 5,000,000 are in the United States, and 4,000,000 of these 5.000,000 are in New York City, Some wise-cracker said that the Jews own the city and the Irish run it.
This city where I live has, for over three centuries, been the largest converging exit from the old world, where hates and pressures forced the down-trodden people to eagerly seek the new world experiment of corporate living, with it's freedoms and opportunities, its hopes and its charms. It was here too that my forebears, whom the thoughtless of today would call foreigners, landed, and without whom America could not have established the greatest commonwealth on earth among all the nations of the world.
Yes, here they are from London, Athens, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Warsaw, Moscow, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and from all over the North and South American continents. New York is America's greatest city, and yet it is our most un-American city. Some feel that America does not really begin until one leaves the boundaries of this tremendous city of mixed nationalities, all not yet assimilated
into the American way of life, but nevertheless in the melting- pot process, which seldom fails to work. It is a city of strange contrasts and extremes. Yes, the most democratic area seems to be rooted as one travels toward my beloved west.
Broadway was once a winding cow-trail, but is now America's brightest highway of amusement and frolic for the 600,000 folk who come and go daily to work, to buy its merchandise, to borrow money in this world financial center, and to carry on international trade with the nations of the earth. The Fifth Avenue mansions are but a stone's throw from the slums of the east-side. "The Bowery", the street of human degradation and derelicts, starts not far from the center of this world's financial center. At one end of Wall Street is a famous church for solace and hope, while its terminus is the East River, which has become the watery grave of many a disconsolate man, despondent of hope and life.
Yes, this is a city of extremes. Here is the world's largest building and its deplorabel tenement slums; man's greatest banks; civilizations greatest achievements in culture, in art and science; the country's gayest and yet saddest. Here we have the high and the low; the rich and the poor; the strong and the weak, who sing and mourn, laugh and cry, live and die, only to be replaced with another generation of the surging, shambling masses of humanity.
It is such things as these, no doubt, that make me grateful I was born in one of the world's lowest buildings - a log cabin in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in the State of Missouri. I am perhaps one of the oldest living specimens who crossed the plains in a covered wagon - a six months trip. While I was less than one year of age at the time, I well remember the difficulties, later told in our family, of wagon travel and Indian troubles; of how Mother became blind for months by reason of the alkali dust of the plains; our early pioneer poverty and struggles in Oregon, and hard work, which in time yielded its reward in material benefits and character.
My forefathers settled in Pennsylvania and Virginia. From Roanoke, my grandfather and his family crossed the Alleghenies by wagon and settled in the Abraham Lincoln area of Illinois. There my father grew up, joined the Northern Army against his Virginia cousins, and after the Civil War married my mother, moved to Kansas and Missouri, and then westward with his family of 3 boys and 1 girl, 2,000 miles over wild prairie land, then over the Rockies, and down the winding Columbia River, the second largest on the continent, to the rich valleys of Oregon. There I grew up in the wide open spaces and learned life perhaps the hard way. There we saw nature's way of making great things, which I contrast tonight with the great things here that man has made. I count myself somewhat cheated in the trade I have made in giving up the things of the west for the things of the east, and yet I like the east, nevertheless. I would like, just for tonight, however, to be an "Indian Trader" - that is, take back the things of the west in this wise:
I would give the skyscrapers of Manhattan for the towering peaks of the Cascades. The man-made canyons of Wall Street for the ravines of the coast range mountains. The surging Broadway streams of Humanity for the plunging streams of the western hills.
The rumbling roar of the subway for the moaning swish of the winds in the needled pine trees. The noisy cities of the older east for the quiet hamlets in the peaceful Oregon valleys. The waning strenght of old age for the buoyant spirit of youth. Yes, the east would I trade for the west, where I might relive my life again in fancy in the freedom of open spaces, and around the hearth of a pioneer home, presided over by two who braved the dangers of the Indians, and carved out a home for their six children, through whom they perpetuated the urge for freedom and the love of nature and of God.
Hard workers were they - they had to be to survive. Every-where that principle was in force. As a lad, I have watched the fly try to extricate itself from the web of the spider, only to see the well-filled spider become a morsel for the flitting bat that wasn't quick enough to dodge the cat, that was killed by a dog, that was gored by the bull, that fell to the butcher's block, that the pioneer might survive In a hard land without transportation, not much law, and often little order except by force of those who provided it. The survival of the fittest seemed to prevail.
Our comforts depended somewhat upon our ingenuity. My first memory of a mattress was a straw-tick, made from "gunny sacks" (burlap). My big feet came about naturally, since shoes were too scarce to train my feet until they had spread to a #10. My father was the family barber. The meat market was the hills around where the skill of my father and brothers, with the muzzle-loading rifle, brought low the fowl of the air, the vicious wild boar, the fleeting deer, the awkward black bear, the beautiful gray squirrel. The streams too yielded their abundance of trout and salmon.
Certain clothing came from the skins of animals, including our domestic pets, yielding such things as moccasins, jackets, chaps and caps. As the railroads came and highways improved, these necessities of life were replaced by eastern manufactured articles, purchased with the barter of our skins and livestock. Many the time a coonskin purchased the sugar that in turn replaced our sorghum, or a hamper of wool bought calico and gingham. Eggs gave us the coal-oil to replace the tallow-dip (candle) made from the fat of sheep. Even the muzzle-loader finally gave way to the repeater rifle. Thereafter little wild game escaped, since the second and third shot in quick succession usually found the mark.
On an occasion when a lad, I was with my folks on one of their Sunday visits with a nearby rancher and pioneer of the real sort, Uncle Jim Burnett of Round Prairie. He was shaving when we arrived, with a long bladed knife contraption which he had shaped and tempered with his own hands in his blacksmith shop. I noticed the 30" long strop (or Strap) and 4" wide, curled up at the edges, quite unlike my father's. I asked him why; "Well" he said, "You see, Buck (my nickname), it was in this wise that I got this strop. A bad Injun tried to sneak into our stockade one evening at dusk. I spied him crawling on his belly down the creek bed yonder. Knowing he was up to some pretty terrible mischief, I leveled old Betsy (his muzzle-loading rifle) on him, and what do you think? The next day I found that same Injun dead as a door-nail. I lowed I needed a razor strop since I hadn't any, so I skinned out a piece of his pesky hide from his scalp to his tail. This is my
razor strop after I cured it." I have often told that story here in the east to skeptical friends, but of course without vouching for its veracity. Believe me, however, Uncle Jim was my boyhood idol. I've lived among Indians and learned to speak their "Jargon", so I feel I am entitled to tell this and a good stock of other tall Injun stories, more or less true, believe me.
So it was that pioneering struggles gave way to what was an "abundant life" of that day. Cash was eventually used instead of barter and trade, though a good trader, like David Harum, never got used to purchasing his needs. He preferred to outwit, for gain or fun, all his neighbors, sometimes "unsight and unseen" from a jackknife to a threshing machine, or whatever his needs. A pig for a sheep; a feather-bed for a buggy, or what have you?
In the hard times of the 1890s, I was a lad in my teens. Fifty cents a day was my wages, but I saved more money then in proportion to my total monthly wage than later when I received more than 100 times that amount. The original western "cart-wheel', (one silver dollar) and "two-bit" (25c) pieces are still in existence, but gone is the "slug" ($50. gold nuggets) and the other gold pieces down to the $2.50 gold and $l.00 gold coins. I recall one of my predecessors told me that he refused to accept the big silver dollars in change on his first trip to the west, fearing that a souvenir was being forced upon him, a tenderfoot.
The boys of that day had no community shop to fix a broken wheel or harness, as the boy of today has in the garage f or his auto. He was forced to improvise, and indeed many, many times. A piece of bailing wire or rope have been mighty boons on many occasions. This developed the originality and versatility and ingenuity and industry of the pioneer boy. He was compelled to "do" things, and thereby develop his character in a self-made manner of speaking. This, I think, accounts for a certain ability of the country boy to this day that so often enables him to out-distance his city cousin who lives so much without that necessity of action. He depends upon what some one else has made. Even a modern city breakfast of today is said to be the result of the services somewhere along the line of about 3,000 people. In my day our meals were the result mostly of our own efforts, whether it be the bacon or eggs, or oatmeal mush, or bread, or jellies, or potatoes, syrup, pancakes, etc., save for perhaps the miller's share for grinding our grain, and the purchase of salt and pepper, and a few minor articles.
After the family was "grown" our family ties became broken through one death and marriages. Some moved away, but it was our habit, especially with us four boys, to return home in August when-ever possible, in order to join Father for his annual hunt. Hunting once was a piece of "work" for the male members of the family for supplying our meat, but it was so much preferred and more thrilling than hoeing corn or home chores, that we became more skilled with the gun than with the hoe. So, in our later life, what was once work as boys became a sport of the first order when we had our family reunions. Woe be to the boy who on these vacations missed a dashing buck, or otherwise failed to draw blood. He felt humiliated before our grand old Dad if we reported, as sometimes we must, a miss.
Many were the joys we boys had with the fishing pole, or a gun in hand and a pot-licking hound at our heels. One of the voids in my life tonight is the absence of these reunions with my father and three brothers. Tonight only one brother, Will, in his 75th year, and myself remain alive, and one sister, Maudie, of our family of eight including parents. Both my brother and sister live at that western end of the continent where I wish I were to-night, instead of here in the man-made canyons of a great city.
Somehow, to me the west, so full of nature at its best, appeals to reflect our God in his creative capacity more than here. A reverence is everywhere evident. As I reflect and muse tonight, I thank Him for the west, the lessons He taught us in our poverty, the character that was produced in the doing of things, the love He portrayed In our family life. Tonight I reflect, through the faculty of memory that makes it possible to look backward and re-live the years that have otherwise faded into the irredeemabel past. Imagination gives the forward look in hope and anticipation, but tonight I am recounting the past.
For a little while I have lived thus In the past, but tomorrow in a new year - holding a hope for a world at peace. To look forward dispels the past and my reflections thus pass away. Now I must awake with the tasks of the new tomorrow and I gladly face them with zest and zeal, hope and ambition, and a will to follow through to the end.
Thus I close by saying - Long, live America, with its easts and its wests , and her people who love their families, and our freedom, and our country, given by God, Who created It all. After all, as some one has said, that our discontents spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.
January 1, 1946
Charles Newton Wonacott
After the railroad came through our place, the country was flooded with hobos. the "ne'er do wells" of those early days. Will and Ed were growing boys and often mischievous. A man, a hobo, "hitting the ties," came near where they were hoeing corn. They yelled in typical boy fashion, as he walked along, "Hello, Mr. Walker." The man stopped and said, "Boys, how did you know my name?" The man's name was William Walker, and he later became one of the school teachers of the community.
A group of neighborhood boys, bent upon any mood that might strike them or as leader may direct them, were discussion whether a dog could chew tobacco. The boy championing the affirmative proved it by taking a neighbor's dog behind the county school house, spit tobacco juice (lots of it) in his mouth and then exhibited the nauseated dog as proof. Will left it to me to guess who that boy was, Tin canning a dog was not so bad a trick, but turpentining a dog was worse.
These further reminiscences I felt were worth recording for those who when reading will sense the spanning of the years, from modern to pioneering days, and will know that a boy of the long ago was not so different from the boy of today.
To those who have lived their three-score and ten span of years is often given the gift of a memory of early days. In such a reminiscent mood I found my brother in June of this year, as I visited him on his farm near Aumsville, Oregon.
Brother Will is in his 77th year (died 2-23-59 - 90 years), appears without a care, tranquil as the busy world rolls by, and undisturbed with the troubles about which this old planet complains. Yes, he knew all about the war that was fought, but had it in any wise displaced the axis and orbit that brings us night and day, the seasons through which his crops grow, or killed the beneficent Creator who has willed all good to his Creatures? Well, if not, why worry? Anyway, all our troubles are made by man. God willed them not. Like school children, men quarrel and fight, fuss and stew, but quiet nights follow busy days, rest restores and God best Thus it is that he and his wife welcome the dawn, look upon the day with expectation and delight, and are thankful for the bounty that are theirs.
They had read the notes I had written about our family, and appeared to like them. He reminded me that he was 10 or 11 years old when Father crossed the plains, and that makes him now nearing 77, one of the oldest "specimens" alive who have had that experience The slow rumbling wagons kept rolling and rolling along, day after day, and month after month, at a speed of about 20 miles a day, with Sunday out for rest and repairs. Mother was blind by alkali dust. He and brother Ed, two years his junior, often would jump on and off the wagon as it moved along, to pick a flower whose beauty Mother could not see, but whose fragrance was welcomed indeed.
The railroad was completed as far west as Fort Collins, Colorado, but an epidemic of diphtheria prevented the entire immigrant train from accepting the offer to join in its building. There was a rough element then, as now, around construction camps, and since their central objective was a home for the four children then born, the danger of children's diseases and rough companionship made no appeal to them.
Perhaps a congregation of 20 wagons made up their immigrant train, with Mr. Atwater as Captain. When 5 days journey from Fort Collins, the train was halted by one who said he was the Unite States Marshal and who commanded Captain Atwater to return to Fort Collins and help in the railroad construction. As a matter of fact the so-called U. S. Marshal was only another "tough guy" scouting for laborers at the instance of the labor contractors on the rail-road. Dire threats of Indian trouble ahead, and scares of possible bandits made up his commands, all of which were listened to by the brave Captain of the train. When he was through, Captain Atwater calmly said "We are headed for the Oregon country to hew out our homes for our wives and kids, and all your threats and commands won't stop us. You have no warrants and you posses no authority to make us turn back and endanger the lives of our children in your Hell Camp. So we won't return. However, if you had a handfull of
Miles Almanacs we would all return. Without them we won't."
So, with the familiar hearty Captain's call to the immigrant train, which was picked up wagon by wagon, "Forward All", the horses filled their collars, the tugs tightened, the lines grew taut, and as one the home seekers determinedly moved forward toward the setting sun. That night the rainbow in the sky was the travelers omen of a better day ahead. It was their only weatherman.
On and on they plodded, over the Continental Divide, down the Snake River, into the desert, past, where in later years others came and founded the thriving cities of Pocatello, Boise, Caldwell, until Walla Walla was reached, intime to help harvest the fields of flowing golden grain.
The next leg of the trip brought them into Oregon, nearer to their future homes. They were water bound in Oregon when passing over the Santiam Pass, for weeks. They then gathered and prayed. An old Indian forwarded their journey by telling them that - "When big rock come up to sun down there (pointing to the swollen Santiam River) white man cross." And so they did, and felt that the Indian was God's messenger in answer to their prayers, and who is he that can deny it?
When Roseburg, Oregon, was reached, Rev. J.R.N. Bell, double cousin to Father, helped in directing them to their first rented farm, later pruchased and owned as their very own. The first memory about Oregon was at this farm. The tall stories of bad Indians, wild animals, and such, stuck in the minds of the children. The acorn oaks covered the ridges that lined the valley where their first home was established.
The only pain Will has today at the age of 76, he lays to an accident he had because of his fear of being eaten alive by a wild black or cinnamon bear, or being scalped by an Umpqua Indian. It appeared he was climbing a ladder to the haymow in the barn, and when at the top of the high point of the hay, he heard a sound, he felt a chill, and saw the high black back of what he thought was a bear. His nerve went back on him and he literally fell backwards, injuring his spine on a cross sill of the barn, but the bear he saw was really only one of the old breeding sows that found a good spot in the haymow to establish a maternity hospital for a fine breed of her offspring. However, that injury. now over 60 years ago, slows him up and gives him the only ache or pain he has.
Will was always a husky, and being the oldest of the children he was the one to shoulder responsibility for the rest of us. Here are some of the events he re-told to me, and the authenticity of some of which I can vouch for.
When the old pot-licking hound skipped out of their sight, he would often "jump a deer". He made a world of noise with his drawn
out bellowing, and when he pressed hard on the trail of the deer, the deer would often head for the river and swim down stream to escape the chase,. On this occasion Will, hearing the dog, quickly grabbed his gun. His hunting knife he stuck down the inside of his knee boot as he hurried off to shoot the deer when he plunged into the river. Such events are exciting to the extreme of getting "buck fever". Thoughtless of the danger of the long hunting knife blade, he thought no more of it until he felt hot liquid around his leg. Of course, it was his own blood flowing from the wound caused by the knife blade see-sawing, as he ran, on the calf of his leg. He carries a scar to this day, which he revealed to me as further proof, but of which I needed none, since it is still vivid in my memory.
My brother Ed, the second boy to my oldest brother Will, was quick of thought, along with having a large "bump" of humor and as a boy was most apt in playing tricks to develop laughter when a conversation wore dull, wherever he might be, always a good student physically active and fond of sports. He quickly developed good judgment in business matters, and always a friendly, cordial and active companion, be it hunting wild animals or climbing the highest peak to get a longer view of unexplored territory - in short, he was an all-around, well developed by nature and a "hail fellow, well met ". I always cought brother Will for wisdom in more sober matters, but Ed was the play boy and natural salesman. Later he and I entered partnerships in real estate, development of orchards and farms, merchandising, etc., until we both profited by welding our abilities. Our judgments were always in unity of decision.
His marriage June 24, 1895, to a very beautiful young lady I knew, Adaline Harding, about two years his junior. It was my great pleasure to be the only member of his family present by reason of location, and from this, my first wedding to witness, I, as a boy, built air castles of what I hoped I might, as I grew to be a man, to become a groom. All my dreams came true a few years later, when I reached my 21st birthday.
His first home after his marriage was a large mountain ranch with a wide range of over 1,000 acres for cattle, with good grass and drinking water. I spent my first summer vacation with Addie and Ed, and the freedom of air and space from a city environment, with high peaks to climb, with trout fishing superb, also wild pheasants to hunt, riding the range and other tasks. The ranch was inhabited with vicious rattlesnakes that summer. I reduced their population by killing 19 rattlers, the oldest being a 3-foot with 13 rattles. (one rattle per year)
But for quick thinking and action this huge poisonist no. 13 snake would have been my end of earthly life, with my double barrel shotgun In position for quick shooting If a pheasant should swiftly rise to fly. As my right foot raised as I was in the process of taking a step, my ears caught the familiar singing noise of the rattler's tail, like the early morning alarm clock. Swiftly my eyes left the sky, and there just where my foot would hit the ground was this big rattler, coiled ready to make his spring and strike with deadly aim at my leg. With a quick jump down the mountain-side, I quickly pointed my gun and pulled the trigger, sending a full charge of bird shot into this deadly snake, with its deadly charge of poison, thereby to take his life but saving mine, in this instant of strain.
Some while later I became a Christian boy and soon gained my faith in God, to watch over and keep His children from harm, providing we really surrender ourselves unto Him, in faith. Who gave us this life in a world in which to learn how to live, with laws and precepts to build a life in which there is the concept of Eternal life without end. Only our physical body dies Our personality and character, our soul and spirit, here developed live
The above snake incident has often occurred to me that I was saved by God for my continuing life for training and experience on this earthy campus of our so-called earthly college for learning how to live with and for others to prepare ourselves for this greater reward of eternal life.
Corporation Advisor: Organization, Reorganization, Consolidation, Engineering, Origination of Issues, Development of Industries, Finances.
August 27, 1881, Osceola, Missouri
Oregon Schools, Degree LL.D., Albany College, Albany, Oregon.
Portland Business College. Commercial and shorthand courses.
Y.M.,C.A. Work. Resigned Associate General Secretary in 1917, to organize and conduct financial campaigns, Red Cross, Liberty Loans, YMCA War Work, Food Administration and other war work agencies.
State Director Oregon War Savings, heading the campaign that raised $20,000,000 in 20 minutes,thereby giving Oregon the distinction of being the first state in the Union to oversubscribe its quota. Secretary of Treasury, W. A. McAdee, called him to become the war savings Director for the nation, which he accepted. Armistice occurred the day he arrived in Washington, D. C. At the same time he had received a call to become the Associate General Secretary of the New Era Movement of the Presbyterian church In the U..S.A. to raise the spiritual and material resources of the church. This he accepted in November 1918.
Associate General Secretary, New Era Movement of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (156 Fifth Avenue, New York City), which he led in the plans for organizing the Church for the financial and membership campaigns resulting in an increase of gifts from $26.000.000. to $42,000,000 the first year. By 1925 this organization was reported as stimulating and directing annual gifts of over $60.000,000 and greatly increasing the membership and the spiritual life of the Church. He resigned to accept an official position in the Atlantic, Gulf & West Indies Steamship Lines of New York City.
1921 - 1921 -
Atlantic Gulf & West Indies Steamship Lines (25 Broadway, New York City.). Resigned as Director in 1924. First Vice President and Secretary of AGWI and official relationship with some 32 subsidiary corporations. Salary $10,000 plus dir ector's fees. Resigned to return to Oregon for reorganization of a Portland Lumber concern.
1925 - 1927 -
Multnomah Lumber & Box Company, Portland, Oregon. Vice President Reorganization. Salary $15,000 Plus 10% common stock ownership. Resigned to enter his own business as "Corporation Advisor" as per the first caption of interest above listed.
1927 - 1931 -
Corporation Advisor - offices Oklahoma, Oregon and New York, for the organization and reorganization of business, consolidations, engineering, origination of ussues, development of industries and finances. Income top was $13,000 plus a stock ownership in client concerns.
1931 - 1949 -
Treasurer, Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church. U.S.A., assuming one of the most influential offices of this church of 8800 ministers and 3300 Home Missionaries in U.S.A. and possessions; with assets in schools, hospitals, churches, mortgages, grants, of about $25,000,000 plus gifts used for current operation over the past 100 years since its beginning in 1802, also endowments, trusts and other invested funds dedicated to its service, giving about $100,000,000 assets over which as Treasurer, with his Finance Committee, gives great responsibility to this office, in which Mr. Wonacott had the honor to 1920, when he took retirement with pension.
1949 - 1959 -
Mr. Wonacott then was chosen as the Philanthropic Consultant of the Hanover Bank, the first officer of any bank to develop this heretofore non-existent department. The office served both Philanthropy , (Religion, Education, Health Institutions, YMCA and YWCA; social and Fraternal organization, and all others of Philanthropic endeavor, including Foundations (over 15,000 in USA).
Many Philanthropists sought consultation to learn America's needs in its many fields of culture, and discuss gifts in their trusts, wills, annuities and other forms of giving developed in the U.S.A. and tax-free institutions.
The many millions thus written in the above forms of giving of wills, trusts, living gifts, etc, etc, was a part of the last ten years before Mr. Wonacott's retirement to his home City of Portland, Oregon, where at his ripe age of 84 he now resides.
He sometimes denies he is retired, but rather Just "retreaded' by those who almost intrude upon his retirement.
His wife Isabella passed on March 10, 1960. His son Paul Newton died Feb. 23, 1959; grandson Charles Newton II, Aug. 30, 1962; all of whom, If they could review these lines. would rejoice in its results for the good of America. Ruth, (Mrs. P. J. Romanacce) his daughter, elsewhere reviewed, lives with him and Pedro, her husband.
The three grandchrilden, Paul Newton. Jr., and wife Liddy; Miss Gaynor, now Mrs. Malarky Wall since 1-30-1965, and Miss Lousa Ann, in Harrisburg, Pa. These golden gems of loved ones are great comfort to Charles, along with his daughter and son-in-law, and Ruth Covington, of Portland. and Evelyn Farrow, of Harrisburg, Pa.
To all my relatives, known and unknown, throughout the world, its cities, county and town:
Many of you and friends also, have urged me to write some memo about the Wonacott families. Therefore, please take the blame for this hurried task; forgive any errors you find, overlook acknowledgements, since this effort has been no easy task; travel over thousands of miles, and years of plodding. But nevertheless I have enjoyed it, not only myself, but the pleasure I feel this record may be of special interest to every living Wonacott, girls and boys, who bear my name.
Also my central motivation is that it may encourage our Wonacott youth to see in his and her life a great future of service to our fellow men, by
(a)Accepting the Christian philosophy of life;
(b)Joining and associating with those of like motives;
(c)Practicing in daily contact, in home, school, business and wherever you may be, those gentlemen and ladies like courtesies and cordial attitude to both your elders, as well as juniors;
(d)Seeking and determining as far as you can to attend the college of your choice, where you can become skillful in your chosen trade, profession, business or walk of life. America needs leaders.
(e)Seeking an understanding of your Maker, with self surrender and dedication to that One, and daily lift your thoughts, words and deeds by praising In word and act:
"To Our Father, God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and all of mankind. I personally would rejoice in these my last few years on earth, oh so much, if I could hear from any of my beloved Wonacotts, or their friends, and for relatives that they are proceeding along these lines I am now recording.
(f)Because many have sought my counsel re their future, both in small and high undertakings, so much so that I spent my last ten years of acitve life before retirement as Philanthropic Counsellor of the Hanover Bank of N. Y., With its many branches in N. Y. City and throughout the world, as well as to several hundred correspondent banks throughout the USA.
The 20 years previous to this position I was Treasurer of the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church, USA., which is one of the largest boards among the Protestant Denomination,
having 3300 (at that time) National Missionaries. It had received for Christian service since it began its service, and had received over $100,000,000 in gifts for its work. These came from every state of the Union, and my acquaintances grew by the hundreds through our 8500 ministers and business contacts, and the leaders of finance over our nation, all of which helped equip me for the new tasks of Philanthropic Counsellor, where I counselled many wealth men over our nation. But few of them with less than a million dollars, and the wealthiest individual, who became a warm friend through our contact, worth over $80,000,000.
I mention such contacts to remind my readers that all down my life, since I was converted as a boy 18, that I have felt a Divine Guidance. I never have asked but for one position in my life. On the other hand, every advancement I have enjoyed has come without my asking, and 1 recite some of these events first because you have asked for something of this kind and I am too humble to talk about myself. It takes a lot of selfishness and self-esteem and ego to go any farther.
However, I am including a "personal record" prepared by a minister of high national reputation, without my immediate knowledge, and executed by a firm of Attorneys of high standing in New York City, and years later I received a bound copy of many other points in my life I have been conscious of hugher powers in guidance, in service to others, and such help beyoun myself, that I plead the ear of my fellow Wonacotts, especially the youth, to analyze themselves and choose what will help you and not hurt you. Socrates said, "Son, Know thyself."
I thank each and all of you who have urged me on in a pleasant though hard task, now that I have tried to whisper to you who you are as a Wonacott; and what you can accomplish by education, pre-paration, personal character, with rectitude of conduct, and truly embracing the "Christian Philosophy of Life."
With love, respect and Christian Spirit, may you place your future in His care as you, with some day a worthy life mate, walk, with His blessing, down your highway of life to that end when, In a higher vibration of life, we will meet and have our visit with the Eternal life promised to all who love Him.
Charles Newton Wonacott
To date, I am informed nine of my relatives have honored the above name in naming children with the "Charles" or "Newton" of the above Wonacott.
Copyright © 2002, wonnacott.org
Created -- 14-12-02
Updated -- 23-04-06
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