MORE RECOLLECTIONS FROM LLOYD CLINTON MCKENNEY

MORE RECOLLECTIONS FROM LLOYD CLINTON MCKENNEY

These are my notes from a conversation with Lloyd about 1981. — jk

Lloyd Clinton McKENNEY started school at about the age of 6 at the Crockett schoolhouse in Chautauqua County, Kansas which was located 1/4 mile from the main house. He says the kitchen at the farm house was the full width of the main house, a step or two down from it. One walked out of the kitchen into the cellar, the front of it was a concrete wall. It was a large room used as a refrigerator. Above it was the cellar house where the hired man lived. One could walk out of the second story of the main house and across the roof of the kitchen–it was used as a sleeping area during the summer time–and down the steps to the cellar house.

The family income came mostly from oil field teeming operations. James (Lloyd’s father) had teems working in oil fields–moved drilling rigs and took care of property. Run by horse power; father usually had two wagons. The farm was set up for two operations: grandfather Samuel Kelly CROCKETT had the North barn and buildings while James had the South barn, granaries and buildings.

This was how things were until Lloyd was 12. Then his parents moved in with his grandparents.

There were now three generations living in the house and this made it the meeting place. There was always company.

Heat came from a gas well on the farm, as well as light, gaslights.

The “old farmhouse” had burned with Lloyd was not a year old, a blaze in which James Kelly Crockett died. The new farmhouse was built.

The schoolhouse itself was only two rooms. It had a principal and one other teacher.

Grandfather George Washington McKENNEY Jr. gave Lloyd a horse when he was about five.

Lloyd started farming and driving a car when he was six. There was no age limit on driving then. The roads were hills and rock.

The milk cows were turned out onto the open range. The lead cow had a bell and that’s how one would find the cows if they didn’t come up. One had to go and find them with the help of that bell.

The farm had wheat, corn, oats. They didn’t sell the grain but fed it to the livestock. Little fields. 10 to 20 acres.

There was no high school nearby.

When Lloyd was 12 he was sent to Sedan, the county seat. The Crockett grandparents had moved there by this time. An uncle’s wife had died and left three children: the Crocketts took care of them. (This was probably George Keithly Crockett’s wife who died, Blanch Margaret Landis. She died 3 June 1921 and Lloyd would have been 12 that year.)

Lloyd left the farm for good when he was sixteen. In his senior year he went to Bonner Springs and lived with relatives–a sister of Vera, his mother.

After graduation from business college Lloyd was secretary to the master mechanic at Chanute, KS on the RR.

NOTES ON PHOTOS

Lloyd had some photos which are not on the website. I (JMK) recorded descriptions of them back bout 1981 when I saw them. Following are the descriptions.

There is a photo from the early 1900s, a family portrait of George Washington McKENNEY Jr. and his wife and their children before the farmhouse, George etc. Lloyd says, “George did more work doing nothing.” Was lazy but good natured and the depression really hurt him. In the picture the sons all have plain, simple expressions. There are lace curtains hanging in the simple frame windows of the house. Note: Because I wrote sons, and George McKenney Jr. only had one son, I’m thinking instead this may have been a photo of the family of Samuel Kelly Crockett, father of Vera who married James Albert McKenney, George McKenney’s son. Samuel Kelly Crockett had five sons.

Lloyd’s Chautauqua High School picture from when he was 14, 1923-24. His second cousin George JACK is in the picture–tall, a basketball player. George is a handsome youth with strong features, wearing a white sweater. He played basketball in Pittsburgh. The depression hit this George hard as well; he couldn’t find work. He died when he was only 24 years old with a wasting disease Lloyd doesn’t recollect the name of. In front of this brick schoolhouse, in the sun, on the steps, is Lloyd dressed in a shirt and tie. He looks very young and a little soft compared to some of the other students. Beside him stands a fellow Lloyd identifies as Tuton Fuller, a trapper. Lloyd says Fuller lived a “tough life” in scrub oak or what is called “black jack timber”. The rest of the bunch is a mix of fellows in limp shirts, straggly longish hair, work-worn boots and youths dressed in sharp shirts, ties, bowties. The girls wear longish, shapeless dresses, waistlines about their hips, short squared-off hair. Pauline JACK, sister of George is in the photo. Lloyd says the school no longer exists.

There is a photo of G. W. MCKENNEY Jr. He and Belle in younger times. Addie MCWHIRT, looking a bit plain, wears granny type glasses and a sour expression. George is relaxed, in his prime–handlebar mustache, white shirt, pocket watch with a bullet hanging from the chain. Lloyd identifies him as being the one who made the Oklahoma land run. He had gone out prior to the run and chosen the land he wanted. By the time he got out there were squatters (“sooners”) already on the land–people who had cheated by coming in the back way. As he was not able to prove that they had not participated in the run he lost the case. The bullet probably dangles from his chain because he was a sheriff in Chautauqua (Note: sheriff’s deputy). Lloyd says he was five feet six inches tall.

There is a picture of the old Crockett farmhouse. George W. MCKENNEY JR. and Belle stand beside it, rather stiff and staunch. The yard is brush. The men wear overalls. The women wear sun hats made of straw. The farmhouse looks plain, laid bare to the sun. Baked.

The picture of the Crockett schoolhouse shows it stands on bare earth. Lloyd is very young in this picture, eight or nine years of age. The little girls wear dark stockings, low sash dresses with skirts cut just below their knees, high-top boots. The boys are dressed in overalls or trousers and newspaper boy caps. Three girls to one side hold hands. There are older girls who appear to almost be women. A tall, smiling figure of a boy wears a man’s hat and overalls–Lloyd says this fellow never made it past the third grade, but he looks to be about the most proud of the bunch here.

Dorothy and Lloyd’s wedding picture. He’s a handsome, slender youth with deep-set eyes. Dorothy looks essentially the same as when older–dressed very prettily with the jewels about her neck, the fashionably crimped hair, the black strap dress with its sheer black cover-up. A very handsome picture of the both of them. This photo is in the photo portion of the website.

A picture of James Albert McKENNEY. He always looks stern and stiff in his photos.

Another photo of the CROCKETT schoolhouse, but this is from when Vera CROCKETT was a girl. The women wear their hair pulled to the top of their heads, high-neck white blouses and high laced boots.

A photo of James Albert MCKENNEY, Samuel Kelly CROCKETT with other men and their teams of horses.

Baby pictures of George JACK, very full of life. Baby pictures of Lloyd.

There is an old photo of Lloyd as a radio announcer.

An old photo of Lela and Thelma together.

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