Volume 9 , Number 5 , Fall 1986
I wrote this article about my friend and neighbor, Florence Sununers, before she passed away and found it recently among my papers. I meant to publish it earlier so she could have the roses before she passed on but thought she might not want me to do so.
The things people remember most about their neighbors are sometimes interesting. Many remember Florence as the one who had the ability to take the place of doctor, nurse, and even undertaker when the occasion arose. And it did any number of times.
In her younger days she cared for her husbands mother. I dont remember how many years that sick woman sat on soft pillows in a heavy wooden rocking chair. Incidently, a man by the name of Billy Sylvester made these rocking chairs, and that one was the only one I ever saw wear out.
Some of the events that I remember that warranted Florences care were difficult in that day. There was a case of pneumonia fever (the drugs of today were not yet developed) and the long waiting for the fever to break on the eighth day. She doctored all the while with every known home remedy she knew to try. It must have been a wonderful feeling for her to have that patient pull through.
Another time it was a baby case in January. There was ice on the road and Florence went on foot carrying an oil lantern. The father of the expected child sent for her to come and said he would go for the Doctor. The father stopped to tell an aunt and uncle, who also walked to the home. The uncle took the expected childs older sister home in his arms and the aunt stayed to assist Florence. The uncle was Bryan
Asher, the aunt, Mary, and the older sister was Mary Ruth Asher. Well...the Doctor couldnt get there before the stork and a baby boy, Sonny Asher, was born around midnight. Everyone was so busy that they forgot to check the clock until after midnight. Dr. Doggett, arriving too late for the event, checked the patients and headed back to Crane on the ice.
Florence was quite a gardener and took great pride in it. She grew lots of flowers and divided them with all of her friends including the mail carrier, Joe Jones, and the post mistress, Lois Keeny of Cape Fair.
She usually had the first garden vegetables in the spring, and her crop of fryer chickens was always one of the earliest. In that day everyone wanted their fryer chickens ready by the Fourth of July.
Her hands were seldom idle as she made as much of her familys clothing as she could and did a lot of pretty fancy work and made quilts as well.
When her daughter, Bernice Summers, attended High School in Galena, and later taught school, it was Florence who did all the transporting of Bernice to and from these schools which were often accessible only by horseback or buggy.
Florence had two sons and a daughter. Her son, Loren Summers, lives in Crane, Missouri. Her son, Rudy Summers, lives in Springfield, Missouri. Her daughter, Bernice (Summers) Gross, now a retired school teacher, lives in Republic, Missouri.
Florences husband, Harry Summers, lived to be ninety-six years old and died at Crane, Missouri. Harry was a grandson of William T. Stone for whom Stone County, Missouri, was named.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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