Friday, April 20, 2012

Jewell and Alva - the early years

Grandpa Raney was working in Fairfax, Oklahoma.  Jewell left Norwood, Missouri and traveled to Oklahoma and Alva and Jewell were married there. 

My Mother Nellie was born there. Doctors were not too common delivering babies so Grandma put a pallet behind the cook stove and delivered her there by herself.  Grandpa was working out of town and when he came back Grandma had named her baby girl Nellie Louise and Grandpa said "I don't like that name so we'll call her Dorothy".

Nellie Louise (aka Dorothy)          11-8-1926          Fairfax, Oklahoma
Ruby Maria                                  12-23-1928          Norwood, Missouri
Ernest Lee                                    12-19-1931          Tulare, California
Eugene Roy                                   1-28-1935           Tulare, California
Wanda Lucille                               4-25-1937           Tulare, California

Grandma, Grandpa and Mother left Oklahoma and went back to Norwood, Missouri where Grandpa did farming.  My Aunt Ruby Maria was born in Norwood in 1928. Shortly after Ruby was born they picked up stakes and relocated.

California was the place to live then and jobs were suppose to be a plenty.  At the time Grandpas two brothers and my grandmas two sisters (who were married to each other) lived in Norwood too. My grandparents, mom, aunt and grandma and grandpas siblings and my grandpas parents  all moved to California to start a new life.  They loaded up all of their belongings in what my mom calls touring cars and headed for Tulare, California to work in fruit orchards.  It took around two months to arrive.

They worked at Tagus Ranch as ranch hands pickin cotton and fruit.

Nellie on the left (my Mother) and Ruby

Mom tells me of a time when Aunt Ruby stuck a caster bean up her nose and they worked all day getting it to come out. Again (no doctors).

Jewell, Nellie and Ruby

From left Ernest, Grandma, Wanda, Nellie, Ruby and Eugene

Ruby, Ernest, Wanda, Eugene and Nellie
Ernest, Ruby, Nellie, Baby Eugene




  1. Wonderful photos and a very special 'Birthin' story. What a brave and resourceful woman your grandmother was. After delivering your own baby, a woman sure has the right to name her Nellie! I'm enjoying your family history and photos. Keep up the posting....Sue

  2. I am so glad you are doing this. To have all this in a book when you are finished will be so special. Love ya sis