Ernest was the oldest of a family of three boys: Ernest, Arthur and William - and of three girls: Hatie, Luela and Eula. Ernest and his brother, Arthur "Art", were the only family members to travel west.
Arthur and his wife Mamie returned to Vermont when their eldest son, Arthur Jr., was full grown. Arthur Jr. remained in Kansas and worked for his uncle Ernest.
When WWI broke out, Arthur Jr. joined the Army and went overseas. He returned to America, mustered out and started for home. He disappeared somewhere enroute. Family members never heard from him again. (I did a little research and found Arthur. He was living in Colorado in 1920 as a laborer. In 1930, he was living in Michigan. In 1932, he was living in a WI home for disabled soldiers with a residence of Chicago, IL. His social security death index lists his death as June 1966 in Pueblo, Colorado. I'm not sure why the family never heard from him again.)
About 1920, Ernest traded a team of young horses for an old Chevy touring car. He did not get much pleasure out of it as they had no paved highways in that part of the country at that time. He was not a very good mud driver. On a trip to Topeka to the State Fair, they met a herd of cows in the road. They were forced into a ditch. Ernest had to get a team of horses to pull the car out.
One year, Leon (Ernest's son) drove Ernest to the annual Melvern picnic in Ernest's chevy. On the return trip, Ernest told Lee he would get out and open the gate for the cows to be corraled to get milked. Ernest stepped off of the car before it had come to a complete stop and was thrown on his back. The next day Ernest began to bloat and never recovered. Ernest had to quit the farm and move to town (Melvern).
Ernest passed away he following spring in 1922. They diagnosed his illness as cancer of the liver. He was 67.
Colleen Degnan Johnson
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