Documenting my family's past for future generations. My family tree includes the Smith/Mansell families of Alabama and Oklahoma, the Castle/Day families of Kentucky and Oklahoma, the Wheat/Ming families of Texas and Oklahoma, and the Bell/Roberts families of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Castles in Oklahoma

Castle children about 1915
L to R: Jessie, Fannie, Forrest, Goldman, Georgia, Warner, Wardy
Tommie in carriage, mother Florida Day Castle behind Georgia

In the summer of 1907 George Turner Castle brought his wife, Sarah Florida (Day) Castle, and their children, Fannie, Forrest, Georgia, Warner, Wardy and Goldman (Harry) to Oklahoma.  They were following his in-laws, James Thomas Day and his wife Nancy Emily (Reed) Day, who had settled on a farm near Davenport, Oklahoma, in Lincoln County.  There is a difference of family opinion on how the Castles came to Oklahoma; one group says by wagon, another says by train.  I think that probably both groups are right and that the family may have come in two separate groups.  All I know is that my grandmother said that when the train pulled into the station in Red Fork that she thought, Those hills look just like the hills in Kentucky. Maybe I will like living here.  The oldest of the children, she was 10. 

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, the family was living on a farm between Chandler and Davenport.  My grandmother remembered the bells ringing on Statehood Day, November 16.  In 1909 a sister Jessie was added to the family.  In 1910 the census shows the family living in South Fox Township, Lincoln County.  

Castle girls about 1909
Fannie graduated from Chandler High School about 1914.  Tommie, the last of George and Florida’s children, was born in September 1914.  Within a couple of years the family had moved to Red Fork, a small community west of Tulsa, where Fannie took the civil service exam and was appointed postmistress on 23 August 1917.  She hired her mother Florida as the post office clerk and went off to her teaching position in a one-room school between Owasso and Collinsville.  On weekends she visited her family in its rented home on W. 41st St., former home of Dr. and Mrs. Fred S. Clinton, which later became the site of Clinton Junior High School.

Postmistress Appointment

The 1920 census shows the Castles are living in Red Fork.  By then, the arthritis that had plagued George T. Castle for years finally incapacitated him.  On the census his occupation is listed as “invalid.”  His legs were so bad that he had to wear braces, and my grandmother recalled that his favorite pastime was sitting on the front porch at the Clinton house counting the automobiles that would go by in a day’s time.

George Turner Castle

Castle boys in early 1920s
L to R:  Goldman (Harry), Warner, Wardy, Forrest
Tommie in front
Around the time of her first grandchild’s birth in 1921, Florida and her father, J.T. Day, built a home for the Castle family at 3319 W. 38th St.  Living there on the 1930 census are George and Florida; the unmarried children: Warner, Goldman, Jessie, and Tommie; and Georgia, a widow, with her daughter Marilou, age 9.  George Turner Castle died 24 January 1932. 

Castles and Days at house on 38th St. about 1928
The house on 38th St. was the family home for decades, site of Sunday dinners and football games in the front yard.  All the adult children and their families were welcome to come home, and at one time or another, almost all of them lived there.  At one point Florida had a child living on W. 39th St. (Wardy), W. 40th St., (Forrest), W. 41st St. (Warner), and W. 42nd St. (Fannie.)  Florida, known as Big Mom, became deaf and almost completely blind, but continued to live by herself at the house on 38th St. until she died in May 1962 at age 83.  

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