Erica Lorraine Scheidt
This biography, written by Ava Speese Day, was submitted to RootsWeb by Darrell R. Fransen.
Pictured are Charles and Rose Meehan Speese (seated center) surrounded by their daughters and sons in 1953.
Located at RootsWeb which is funded and supported by Ancestry.com and the RootsWeb Community.
The National Park Serivce site includes stories of several family, extended family, and friends and their Homesteading journey. The site is located at https://www.nps.gov/home/black-homesteading-in-america.htm.
The first generation Meehan children who were born in Nebraska took their first breaths in Soddies. Many of the second generation Meehan children did as well. Included in the documents section of this site are lists by Bill Meehan and Ava Speese Day of family members born in soddies.
For those curious about life in a Soddy, the following YouTube video by the Oklahoma Historical Society gives a great overview.
"The most affluent people plastered their houses inside and also applied some sort of water proof plaster to the outside. Then with board floors, it was easier to keep clean. Grandma’s second new house was so built. This house had sod partitions. There was a kitchen, a huge living room and THREE bedrooms. This was LIVING!"
The picture shown here presents such an idyllic image of siblings, the older sister Annie reading to baby brother Will. That was probably true for as long as it took to take the picture. In 1900 that could have been a long time for a little boy, so as the minutes ticked by his little mind plotted ………
My dad loved his older sister, Annie. She was 20 years his senior. His Mama had too many children to be fooled by the shenanigans of a little boy but sister, Annie, was kind and patient and she provided great leeway for a three or four-year-old's overly active little mind.
Dad’s favorite Annie story included ashes and a very clean wood floor. Even at 55 he thought it was funny and he’d genuinely laugh while relating the tale, perhaps more so because he knew his own five-year-old daughter loved the tale.
Cousins Lena Speese Day and her sister, Ava Speese Day created an image of Grandpa and Grandma Meehan’s sod house. They wrote, “The most affluent people plastered their houses inside and also applied some sort of water proof plaster to the outside. Then with board floors, it was easier to keep clean. Grandma’s second new house was so built. This house had sod partitions. There was a kitchen, a huge living room and THREE bedrooms. This was LIVING!” (From Our Sod House Memories 1972/73, Ava Speese Day and Lena Speese Day – draft of Sod House Memories.)
It is the wood floors that caused the trouble …. clean, scrubbed on hands and knees, clean, clean, clean wood floors. Wood floors that sparkled – scrubbed clean by big sister Annie. Picture a neat kitchen, table cleared and ready for lunch, dust wiped away – and all the ashes from the morning fire stored safely in the old bucket next to the spotless stove. Cleaning a Sandhill house could be a challenge, but Annie made it look so easy – she was really good at cleaning.
Wouldn’t Annie think it was funny if there was a smudge on that beautiful, clean, clean, clean wood floor? Why, she’d chuckle at the spot she missed, get the scrub brush and rag, and wipe the spot away. The best spot maker, something that would make a spot she couldn’t miss, was a little of those almost cool ashes. Just a little … maybe a little more … she might not see that so just a little more. Yes, eventually nearly the whole bucket – warm wood ash on damp wood floor.
In the end Momma fussed, Annie scolded, fortunately, brother Ed wasn’t there, brother Harry thought it was a great idea, brother Den just frowned and shook his head, sister Rose got busy cleaning up and little sister Gertie just hoped no-one thought she was involved. And Papa – Papa grabbed his youngest son up and made a bee-line to the well-used woodshed. Years later the Meehan siblings all laughed about it as their remembrance brought a smile to the faces of new generations.
“The Angel and the Mischievous Boy” is a word and image portrait of Annie Meehan Von Ohlen (2nd oldest Meehan child) and Bill Meehan (youngest Meehan child). The picture, taken about 1900, has always been a favorite of mine - it seemed to beg Dad's story.
Those Audacious Meehans
All pictures used on this site are the property of Catherine Meehan Blount unless otherwise noted. Other images are used with permission.
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