Volume 8, Number 10, Winter 1985
Johnny and Lois (Cook) White lived about two miles west of Spokane, MO, on a ridge just south of T. R. Welchs farm and north of Ed Dunkles place. We were all on a party line and listened in every time we heard the telephone ring. Mother heard Johnny call Dr. J. H. Wade, who lived at Ponce De Leon and practiced medicine over the area. Dr. Wade was not at home but his wife, Gertie (Bass) Wade, took the message. The only little girl of Johnny and Lois was very ill with membranous croup. As soon as possible the doctor reached the White home, but all remedies failed and the child died.
It was in the middle of winter and a very heavy snow covered the ground. My father went to render what assistance he could. I have no information about the coffin, but I remember quite well how they managed to take the little body to the Spokane Cemetery. The road to the White home was a narrow lane and drifted with snow. The neighbors made a sled to carry the casket, and cut the fences across the White, Welch and Oliver Cox farms, following the ridges.
Then the question arose--where could a minister be found to conduct the service? There was a lady preacher called "Old Lady Keaster" living somewhere in the neighborhood. She told the family that if someone would bring her a horse to ride, she would go and preach the funeral. She was the only woman at the service. She probably was not more than forty or forty-five years old, but as was the custom then, we knew her as "Old Lady".
Now, when I go to Spokane, I walk through the old part of the cemetery and I see the little stone that marks the grave. I happened to be visiting my parents about 50 years ago and attended the funeral of Lois White, who lies beside her little daughter.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
Next Article | Table of Contents | Other Issues
Local History Home