Sunday, July 29, 2007

Twenty Five Years ago

Here is a picture of me 25 years ago in Bachelor, Colorado. You won't find it on a map anymore, but it was located very near Creede, Colorado. Once a town of some 10,000 people it is now a ghost town. When we visited it, there were only three houses left standing, including the one in this picture. The boardwalk was still there from the main thouroughfare through town and we found lots of square nails and debris from 100 years earlier.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

July 21 - Ray Best

July 21, 1877 was the birthday of Ray Best, son of Augustus and Elizxa (Holmes) Best. Ray was born in Wayne County, IL. He married Minnie May Smith and they had five children - John, Clara, Raymond, Verda and Lillian. Ray died July 15, 1969 in Cash, AR.

Friday, July 20, 2007

49th Anniversary

Happy 49th Anniversary to Bill and Janis (Conard) Shelton!

July 20 - Mark Shelton

Happy Birthday to cousin Mark Shelton!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Search Feature

I'm not sure if anyone has tried using this feature, but at the top of the page is a search engine for this blog. For instance - if you type inthe words "Charles Conard" it will pull up all of my posts that mention those words. Since I am posting pics and info from both sides of my family, it is a great filtering system.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Charles Lane 1905 - 2007

Above: Charles Lane as you remember him
Charles Lane in 2005 on his 100th borthday
I just learned of the death of one of my favorite character actors, Charles Lane. You may not know the name but I'm sure you remember his face from his countless appearances in old television shows and movies. His name was little known but his crotchety persona and roles in hundreds of films made him recognizable to generations of moviegoers.
He was 102.
His son, Tom Lane, said he was talking with his father at 9 p.m. Monday. "He was lying in bed with his eyes real wide open," his son said. "Then he closed his eyes and stopped breathing."
Lane, whose career spanned more than 60 years, appeared in such film classics as "It's a Wonderful Life," "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" and "Twentieth Century." He also had a recurring role as the scheming railroad man Homer Bedloe on the 1960s TV sitcom "Petticoat Junction" and appeared often on "I Love Lucy."
His crisp, stage-trained voice and no-nonsense appearance made him a natural for playing authority figures. He was a judge in "God Is my Partner," a prosecutor in "Call Northside 777," a priest in "Date With an Angel" and a member of Clark Gable's newspaper editorial board in "Teacher's Pet."
Although the roles provided a good living, Lane objected to being typecast.
"You did something that was pretty good, and the picture was pretty good. That pedigreed you in that type of part, which I thought was stupid, and unfair, too," he told The Associated Press in a 100th birthday interview in 2005. "It didn't give me a chance, but it made casting easier for the studio."
He turned to the stage for variety, appearing in a wide range of roles in more than 100 plays, most of them at the storied Pasadena Playhouse.
Lane was working in the insurance business and dabbling in theater productions at night when actor Irving Pichell advised him to study at Pasadena. He was eventually spotted by a Warner Bros. scout and cast in his first movie, an Edward G. Robinson-James Cagney melodrama, "Smart Money," in 1931.
Lane remained at Warner Bros., sometimes working in three or four pictures a day. He would be rushed from one set to another and handed his few lines.
"I was being paid $35 a day," he recalled in 2005. "When the Screen Actors Guild was being organized, I was one of the first to join."
In 1934, Frank Capra, on his rise to prominence, cast Lane in a horse-racing film, "Broadway Bill." Capra liked the actor's work so much he included him in nine more movies, including "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "You Can't Take It With You." In Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," he was a rent collector who shocks his boss, the evil Lionel Barrymore character, by telling him that hero James Stewart's character is a good businessman.
One of Lane's most cherished possessions was a letter from the fabled director declaring, "Well, Charlie, you've been my No. 1 crutch."
Lane became good friends with Lucille Ball when she was a chorus girl and he was cast in RKO musicals, and she went on to cast him regularly in her 1950s TV show, often as an impatient bureaucrat at odds with the bumbling Lucy.
He was especially fond of his role in the "I Love Lucy" episode in which Lucy Ricardo gave birth to her son, Little Ricky. Papa Ricky (Ball's real-life husband, Desi Arnaz) was all nerves while Lane, as a fellow expectant father, was the picture of calm.
"This old guy was expecting his 10th child or something, and this nervous young man was expecting his first," Lane recalled in 2005. "It was a marvelous scene, and Desi was a fine actor."
The 1953 show attracted the biggest TV audience up to that time, no doubt aided by the news that Ball and Arnaz had their own son that same night.
Lane continued to act into his 90s, and when he accepted an award from cable television's TV Land channel in honor of his 100th birthday, he made a point of saying he was still available for work.
A widower with a son and daughter, Lane had no formula for his longevity, although he noted his mother lived to be nearly 100.
The weekend before he died, Lane was working on a celebration of his life, a project with former child star Jane Withers. The two had appeared in three movies together.
When it came to alcohol, he was a lifelong teetotaler. But his son noted that his father smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 70 years, quitting only when he became short of breath.
"I know that smoking kills people, and I must be the exception," Lane said then.
Tom Lane said there would be no funeral.
Survivors also include a daughter, Alice Deane, and granddaughter, Lucy Graves.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

July 10 - Finis Rogers

Finis Rogers was the first son of Willard and Mattie Rogers. He was born July 10, 1890, This photo was taken around 1970 and shows Finis with his six sisters - Clara, Edna, Della, Emma Jane and Leone. Finis died in 1978.

Jul 10 - Pearl Rogers

Aunt Pearl Rogers was born on July10, 1901, I believe in Kansas. This photo was taken of her and Uncle Charlie in 1960. She died in 1992 and is buried at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver.

Monday, July 09, 2007

500th POST!

500 POSTS !






a great new look!







This is my 500th post since starting this web log in Dec 2005. Thanks to everyone for all the nice comments since the start I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoy the posting. - Dave

Some new features:

Archiving -

Check out the new archives! Much easier to find old posts now. Just click on the little arrow next to the year to revela the months. Then click on the little arrow next to the month to reveal the posts for that particular month.

Links -

I will be adding a list of my favorite links - not just for genealogy - but other interests as well! If you have a My Space page or webpage of your own, let me know and I will be happy to add the link here.

Video -

Through a YouTube feed, I can now add video to this site that you will be able to view! There are some demo videos up at the right until I get my own up and running.

Add your own posts! -

If you would like to add your own posts/ pictures to this site, I can easily make you a contributer. It is fun to do and doesn't cost a dime! You just need a blogspot user ID! It's a great way to show off your own family photos and events.

Picture of the Week - Every week a fun or touching picture will be featured. If you have a favorite, Email it to me to be a featured photo!

Headlines! -

Latest breaking news can be seen towards the bottom of the left column

Rogers Family Memorials

Recently I have added the following memorials to They are the children of Willard and Mattie Rogers and their spouces. There are a couple of names missing - I don't know where they are buried - Finis' wives and Charlie's first wife Elizabeth.

Also some of the dates of birth or death are missing as I do not have that info yet. If you want to write the biography that will appear for any of the people - a parent, grandparent or favorite uncle or aunt, just Email me info. Any changes or biographical info that you wish to be added can be Emailed to me at
for those of you not familiar with you can visit the site to learn more. Entire cemeteries have been saved for online viewing and it is free to leave virtual flowers, photos and messeges or rememberances.
You can view the memorial by clicking on the name of the person.

Mathes, Clara Elma Rogers b. Jan. 12, 1900 d. Dec., 1979
Mathes, Jacob Mahon b. 1891 d. Dec., 1979
Rogers, Ada Jane Shelton b. Apr. 28, 1895 d. Jun. 9, 1988
Rogers, Alonzo b. Nov. 27, 1893 d. Oct. 10, 1974
Rogers, Bessie McCormick b. unknown d. unknown
Rogers, Charles Andas b. Dec. 28, 1895 d. Feb. 28, 1982
Rogers, Clarence Valentine b. Feb. 14, 1892 d. 1955
Rogers, Finis Elsworth b. 1890 d. 1978
Rogers, Fred b. Apr. 9, 1898 d. Jul. 1, 1974
Rogers, Genevieve McMemony b. Nov. 18, 1913 d. May 7, 1989
Rogers, Hubert Leslie b. Apr. 17, 1910 d. Jun. 15, 1994
Rogers, Martha Jane Best b. Mar. 31, 1870 d. Feb. 23, 1954
Rogers, Mary b. unknown d. unknown
Rogers, Pearl Williams b. Jul. 10, 1901 d. Feb., 1992
Rogers, Ruth b. unknown d. 1966
Rogers, Walter Addison b. Dec. 24, 1903 d. Jul. 10, 1942
Rogers, Willard Milton Rogers b. Jan. 24, 1869 d. 1934
Schindler, Della Rogers b. 1906 d. 1995
Schindler, George b. unknown d. 1976
Shelton, Harry William b. Sep. 2, 1911 d. Aug. 3, 1972
Walker, Edna Irene Rogers b. Dec. 12, 1901 d. Dec. 10, 2001
Walker, Melvin b. 1892 d. 1982
Wiebold, Emma Jane Rogers b. 1912 d. 2001
Wiebold, Irvin b. 1905 d. 1984

A visit from Shari and kids

These pictures were taken Jul 2, 2007 in Grayville, IL and NEw HArmony IN. Shari and I took Cameron Cailey and Keegan on a drive that afternoon - We took lots of pictures but these are the best.

Fred and Gracie Smith Family Memorials

These are the links to fhe memorials for the Fred and Gracie Smith family. Again - if you wish to write the biography for any of the listed people, just Email me the bio and I wil post it to the memorial. the only one I didn't create was Uncle Rollie's, but I can Email the info to the lady who created that memorial. She lives in Olney and keeps up with the current obits.

Smith, Charles Owen b. May 28, 1909 d. Jan. 15, 1996
Smith, Elsie Mae Hickenbottom b. May 19, 1910 d. Oct. 11, 1996
Smith, Fred Monroe b. Dec. 9, 1884 d. Jun. 4, 1884
Smith, Gracie Araminta Bunnell b. Sep. 22, 1888 d. Dec. 5, 1967
Smith, Harold b. 1907 d. 1983
Smith, Isaac L b. Sep. 10, 1919 d. Apr. 2, 2005
Smith, Ralph b. Jan. 23, 1915 d. May 25, 1986
Smith, Rollie O. b. May 21, 1923 d. Apr. 8, 2006
Smith, Rosetta b. Sep. 26, 1913 d. Aug. 3, 2001
Smith, Wreatha b. 1906 d. 1972

Charles Conard and Children

This picture is of Charles Conard and his four adult children, taken in 1942 - not long before Charles died. Left ot Right are Faye Block, Roy Conard, Verne Conard and Ethel Block. there was a fifth child who died as an infant. Charles' wife Ollie had died three years before this picture was taken.

First Independence Day Party!

We had a great Indepencdence Day BBQ out at Camp David the evening of July 3. Guests included Mom, sister Shari and kids, Dad and Lynda, Bill and Janis Shleton, John and Chantel Shelton and kids, Mark and Katie Shelton and Timber, Richard and Kathy Young and Mike Haynes. I guess about 20 peolpe were there. Everyone brought a little somthing to eat - I hope no one left hungry. Mark and I set off a bunch of fireworks at sundown. The last one was a series of 16 rockets that shot up in the air. The very last rocket went haywire and instead of shooting skyward, it headed straight for the brushpile, catching it ablaze. I had intended on starting it on fire anyway. People cheered - we couldn't have had a better ending.
We hadn't had the fire going for even an hour when I went to the backyard for another Coke and saw that someone was leaving. This was around 11 o'clock and the backyard was very, very dark. Tiki torches must have been out back there, I guess. Anyhow I did a dead run to catch up to say goodbye and ran square into the clothesline pole, recieving a two and a half inch gash on the top of my head. Uncle Bill called an ambulance and I went to Fairfield Memorial to get by head looked at - some say I should have done that a long time ago! They stapled me up in the ER and sent me home. Shari snapped a picture (she should work for the National Enquirer)!
I plsn on making this an annual event - 'cept for the head injuries! Hope you all can make it next year!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy Birthday to an OLD friend

This is the fortieth birthday of my friend Randy Shaw. Randy and I were in school together and I have known him since about 1980, I guess. Had lots of great times together as kids. Randy now has two kids of his own and still lives in Colorado, I got to see him in Feb 2006 and we posed for the photograph posted here - I'm the good looking guy! (Just kidding Randy! ) Let me know when you and the family do decide to come to St. Louis. Looking forward to seeing you again this fall if I make it to Colorado. Best to you all - Dave

World War One Photo

This photo is of Uncle Fred Rogers (1898 - 1974) and a man named Melvin West - I am not sure if West was also from Wayne County or just someone that Uncle Fred Served with in the war.