Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Preserving a little piece of history

(That was then...)

Two years ago, when my husband and I bought a home in Hinton, Oklahoma, we purchased a piece of the town's history. Our home was once the town's hospital/clinic. When people find out where we live, they always have a story of a family member who was born here, died here (creepy) and/or had an operation of some sort done here.

When we purchased the home, we knew it needed a lot of work and a whole lot of tender-loving-care. We happily took on the challenge knowing that we would be preserving a little piece of this town's history. The journey thus far has been a trying one. In fact, I more times than not lovingly refer to my house as the "Money Pit." It seems like when we finish one project, something else caves in or blows up and sets us back another three projects. However, I know the end result will be something we will want to pass on to our children. It will be a home that we look on with pride and joy.

Besides preserving the structure itself, I have also found it my duty to preserve its actual history. Thus far, I am having very little luck in finding information regarding my home. I don't even know the date in which it was built; although, my guess would be somewhere between 1910-1920. What I know for sure is that it has undergone many transformations. First it was a home, then the front porch was closed in and all the windows in the front were covered up when it was converted into the hospital, and then an addition was made to the front. I would love to know not only what the exterior looked like originally but also how the floor plan was laid out. Besides looking at numerous catalog homes that used to be sold, I have also started researching the town's history and have done a few genealogical studies regarding those who I think might be linked to my home.

Below, I have attached a log of some of my studies. If anyone has any other information regarding my home or its inhabitants, I would love to hear from you. I realize that this is quite a long shot; but in this modern day-and-age anything is possible, right?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Over the weekend I began to delve into the history of my home. I feel as if I am in a sort of time crunch because those who may know anything about it are older…much older. So, the time to know is now if I want to have any chance of preserving its history.

Although my research turned up very little regarding my home over the weekend, I did find out a lot about the town in which I am now (and probably will be forever) residing.
I was able to talk to Miss C., an elderly woman suffering from a bout of Alzheimer’s. Her aunt happened to be Marie Main Wornstaff, the author of The History of and the Progress of Hinton, Oklahoma 1902-1962. I thought Miss C. my have retained some knowledge from her aunt’s research and studies…I was wrong. However, she did say she was born in my house. Other than that, no information was obtained from this source. Maybe I can try her again on another day.

I also talked to the mayor of Hinton’s wife (moved to Hinton at the age of 6). She told me stories of her childhood here. She lived across the street from Harrison W. Miller (the big white house east of the Methodist Church). She used to watch him come home from work, take his brief case inside then come back out and get down on his knees, in his business suit, and dig the dandelions out one-by-one with his hands. She also reminisced about walking across the fence that bordered his yard. Harrison’s name reappears in further research.

As for my house…the timeline I have for it thus far is as follows:
  • April 15, 1939 - the Hinton Clinic Osteopathic Hospital was formally opened to the public by Dr. Melvin A. Kiesel, a graduate of the Kirksville College of Osteopathy and Surgery, of Kirksville, Missouri.
  • 1948 - the stock was sold to the community and organized as a co-operative project, and re-named Hinton Community Hospital.
  • May 1956 - Mr. H. W. Miller paid of a debt of $25,000 and turned the hospital over to the city of Hinton. The city officials leased it to the Co-operative membership for the next 50 years. In his honor, the hospital was named The Harrison Miller Memorial Hospital. Dr. Kiesel remained Chief of Staff up until ?
  • 1955 - the Hospital Guild, an association of women in the community to give aid to the hospital, was begun.
  • August 12, 1956 - an oil portrait of Mr. Miller was dedicated and hung in the lobby of the hospital.
    (Extra info on Dr. M. A. Kiesel - one of the founding members of the Hinton Kiwanis Club)
With such information, I had to find out who Mr. Miller was. It turns out he started the first bank in Hinton:
  • May 12, 1902 - the plot for the town was laid out. Eighty acres had been purchased from the north side of the John and Tom Hedgecock farm [not only the builders of the first home in Hinton but supposedly the builders of my home as well (however, it was Daniel T. Wilson who was said to have “built the town”) - more on Hedgecocks later]. Eighty acres were purchased from the south side of the H. J. Fay farm, by I. G. Conklin, representative of the C.R.I.&P. Railway Company. Main Street is the dividing line between the two farms.
    June 14, 1902 - lots went on sale. Mr. Harrison W. Miller purchased the first lot as a site for the bank he intended to establish. A small frame building was soon erected and so the “First State Bank” came into being and was opened Dec. 18, 1902.
  • 1921 - the bank became a “National Bank” and remained as such until 1954 when Mr. R. S. Carmack, changed it back to “State Bank” (now owned by his descendants, friends of ours, who changed it’s name to “Legacy Bank” - we do all of our banking there) - from old pictures, the bank is still located in the same place but it was added onto in the place of an old clothing store called “The Model” (when re-modeling our kitchen, we found an old shoe horn in our false ceiling…it read “The Model”)
    (Extra info on Mr. Miller was elected in 1906 to serve as chairman of the City Council and he also served as treasurer on the board of education and in Dec. of 1955 Miller was honored at the Oklahoma State School Board Association Convention in OKC for having the longest length of service of any school board member in Oklahoma District. He was given a wall plaque to commemorate the occasion.)

Over the weekend, I was able to talk briefly with Mrs. J. She had once told me a large family had lived in my home (home- not hospital, yet…many did not know this was a home before it became a hospital). When I talked to her this weekend, she had said she played in here as a little girl and she remembered their names being Hukill. Information that I could find on Hukill is as follows:

  • Sept. 4 1869 - Dec. 30 1930 (Mary Helena Hukill - guardianship on probate records of 1931: did she inherit the house?)
  • Businesses and Professions which came into being from 1902-1912: “Bank of Hinton” - F. W. Hukill (owner or mgr.) opened Nov. 1, 1905 - officers included someone else by the name of W. B. Hukill
  • Jan 9, 1923 - “First National Bank” robbed - Frank Hukill was a cashier (is he the son of F.W. Hukill; otherwise, why was he working at a different bank?)
  • Later owners of the telephone system: Frank Hukill but telephone system was owned by John R. Hollis by 1956

Tues. May 13, 2007

Today, I have decided to do a quick genealogical study on Frank Hukill. Although I am unsure if these are of relation to my Frank W. Hukill, the findings are as follows:

  • Frank W. Hukill IV(age 26 at time of marriage) married Melodie Sawyers (age 25 at time of marriage) May 3 1997 in Tarrant County Texas
  • Frank Wellington III born Sept. 9, 1947 in Tarrant County Texas- mother: Hazel Corinne Echols; father: death;
  • There was a Frank Hukill in Pocahontas County Iowa who gave birth to a female on 4/15/1887; wife and baby’s name unknown
  • I found another reference to Sadie Hukill that says she was born in 1889, not 1899; death date was the same

Other information I found:

  • Dr. George Edward Bryan: resident physician at Hinton Community Hospital in Hinton from 1944-1951, then moved to Duncan; 2 children: Dr. Suzanne Bryan of Duncan and Margaret Raithel of Jefferson City, MO.; Dr. Bryan died Nov.
  • Lonnie Terry Yearwood: was born September 19, 1949 in Hinton, Oklahoma; Born at Hinton Community Hospital at 1:00 a.m. Weighed 6 lbs., 3 oz. Delivered by Dr. Baver
    Connie Sherry Yearwood - was born September 19, 1949 in Hinton, Oklahoma; Born at Hinton Community Hospital at 1:15 a.m. Weighed 6 lbs., 10 oz. Delivered by Dr. Baver;
    FRANK FREEMONT3 LEWIS (ENOCH2, LEWIS1) was born March 20, 1868 in Gallea, Ohio, USA, and died September 10, 1946 in Hinton, Oklahoma, USA. He married ROSA MARIE GLENTZ July 10, 1893 in Norman, Oklahoma, USA, daughter of FRANK BIARSCHMIDT. She was born April 23, 1872 in Frankfurt, Germany (On the Rhine), and died June 21, 1950 in Hinton Community Hospital, Hinton, Oklahoma, USA Frank Freemont Lewis, son of Enoch and Angeline Lewis was born March 20, 1868 at Gallea, Ohio, and died at his home in Hinton, Oklahoma September 10, 1946 at the age of 78 years, five months and 21 days.
  • June 1 1916, a Mrs. Laura Helen Hukill (Shoop) died
  • March 23, 1916 a W. H. Nottingham (father of Mrs. Harrison W. Miller) passed away

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