Thursday, April 8, 2004

The 2004 Adventure, April 5 to 8, 2004, Family Research Heaven, Arkansas City, Kansas

April 5, 2004

Oklahoma City to Arkansas City, Kansas

Another rather uneventful driving day. As we only had 140 miles or so to go, we played lazy in the AM, and then spent some time visiting with the couple parked next to us in the Oklahoma City park.

When we arrived in Arc City, I started asking about research facilities and libraries. The owner of the campground was a 6 generation resident of the Arc City area. I asked him one question, “is there a Parker cemetery near here?” and from that moment on, I was on a grand Lashbrook research trip for the next couple of hours and then 3 more wonderful days. I found all kinds of great stuff (ya have to be a family researcher to appreciate this). I found death information and burial places for Lashbrooks that I have been hunting for for over 10 years!! What a HIGH!!

The redbuds are blooming here, as are tulips and crab trees. We have been following spring north since San Antonio.

April 6, 7, and 8th, 2004

April 6, Abby was feeling very punky, so Al stayed with the dogs and I walked over to the Cherokee Strip Museum. This is the place the 1893 land rush to Oklahoma started. The area oozes of history!!!

The research (about 2.5 hours) was GOOD!! Went back to the trailer and Abby was feeling a bit better. Later I went to the public library in town for newspaper work, and a cemetery in town for photos. The caretaker took me around the cemetery and helped me find each stone I was interested in. They are very nice here, not just cause I found a lot of stuff, they really are NICE.

April 7, drove over to Ponca City, Oklahoma for more research. Collected some good stuff. Drove over to Blackwell, Oklahoma to a cemetery, found all the Lashbrooks there buried in the Mausoleum. There was a caretaker there, and he took us into the Mausoleum. This was a first for us, but was very interesting. A little weird, but interesting. One of the other caretakers there told us about a prairie dog colony could be found, it was very near the second cemetery of the day. Found the 2nd cemetery, found the stones we were looking for after about 10 to 15 minutes of searching. Found the prairie dog colony. They certainly are cute!! The last cemetery stop of the day was a bust as far as locating graves, but we met a very interesting man there, who told us about his ancestors participating in the Land Rush and how they camped out at Arc City Kansas for one full year before the land rush. He told us a few very interesting stories.

Above,left, are a couple of prairie dogs poking their heads out of their den. On the right, are 3 more, here you can see the entire field, note the grass is not long. The prairie dog that is standing on the right was chattering, talking to us, maybe telling us to go away??

April 8, drove back to Newkirk looking for city hall and the records for the cemetery that we busted on. Found the city hall at last (no signage on the street to point you in the right direction). They had a great record book for the cemetery. Found some good stuff. Back to the cemetery and found the graves. Back to the trailer for lunch. Off to the county seat at Winfield after that for marriage records, probates, divorces, and one very special death record! After that off to the library in Arc City again, for a review of a couple of obits, and a little internet/email time.

Whew, I was exhausted, but had the time of my life! Everyone in Kay County Oklahoma and Cowley County Kansas that we dealt with were great, nice, informative, kind.

The area is FILLED with oil wells! Some are pumping, others appear to be dormant.

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