Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DID YOU KNOW YOUR GRANDPA?

Front row, Aunt Carrie, Grandpa John, Grandma Amelia Ellen, Uncle Clarence
Back row, Uncle Bill, my mother Floy, Aunt Cassie, Uncle
Troy  (They are all gone now, Aunt Cassie was the last at age 98 several years ago)
Picture taken 1938

A Gun Accident took my Grandfather's life on September 16, 1941.  I was 4 months old. 


I was going through some old pictures looking for something else, and came to an envelope with the newspaper clippings of the fatal accident that took my grandfather's life.  He had a farm out on West Main Street in Turlock.  I was born in that old farm house, but was only 4 months old when the accident happened, so never got to know my grandpa.  There is a picture somewhere of him sitting in a rocking chair with my cousin Don, 6 months and me in his arms.''

The newspaper clipping gave this account:  "J.T. Stover, 64 year old Turlock farmer, died in Emanuel Hospital here this afternoon with a bullet in his head.  Stover accidentally shot himself this morning while hunting gophers on his farm on West Main Street.

According to members of his family, he had taken a .22-calibre rifle to kill gophers in the field.  Carrying a loaded weapon, he started to climb through a barbed wire fence, was midway over the fence when the gun was discharged.  A bullet went through his temple, Stover slumped unconscious.  His wife Amelia, saw him hanging from the fence, his leg caught in the barbed wire, the gun lying on the ground nearby.

Members of the family called the ambulance and the injured man was taken to the hospital.  Attendants there said he died about 45 minutes after he was admitted.

Every family has stories of tragedy.  How I would have loved to know my grandfathers.  My Dad's father died before I was born so I didn't get to know either of them. 

Did you know your Grandpa's?

11 comments:

  1. I knew one of my grandpas, the other died when I was just a year and a half old. Grandpa and I had birthdays just two days from each other, and so we shared a fair amount of birthday cakes and songs. He died in 1999 at 95 years old. I had him for 35 years.

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    1. Martha, thanks for sharing your grandfather story. I didn't have a grandpa, but I did have Aunt Cassie, until her passing at 98.

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  2. what a horrible accident, my sympathies to you, i know it was a time past but I would imagine it still is upsetting for your family, I only knew one grandfather, he was a wonderful man,

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    1. Laurie, I had heard the story many times, but finding the newsclipping really made me relive what I had heard as a child. Don't they all look stoic in the photo.

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  3. I remember you telling me about your grandfather's terrible death. What a tragedy! By the way, your Uncle Clarence (front row, right) looks just like Andy Griffith in this photo!

    Kris

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    1. Kris part of the newspaper clipping said it happend just west of Wymer's station on West Main.

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  4. Well, that is sad, isn't it? I'm sure you wonder what it would have been like to have them throughout your life.

    One grandfather I don't ever remember seeing until I went to his funeral. :( The other lived well into his 90's and I saw him on holidays and that kind of thing. But he was an interesting, kind person. I actually knew him better in later years than when I was a child!

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    1. I think one of mine and Don's motivation to be the best grandparents we can, is neither of us had the opportunity to know them.

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  5. Oh no. How very, very sad. My Mom's Dad passed away one year before I was born. My Dad's Dad was alive until I was 6 I think. I loved him. I remember him being sick a lot. He had white hair. I think he loved me. I don't like my Daddy getting older because I don't want to ever lose him. : ( I am thankful that I had good grandparents that did a wonderful job raising my parents.

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    1. Becky, it is very hard losing parents..my dad was only 57 when he died of cancer, and my mom has been gone since 1991, and I miss them both. As I mentioned in my reply to Betsy...my dearest and I want to be the best grandparents since we didn't get to know ours.

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  6. Both of my Grandpas lived in Minnesota and we lived in San Francisco Bay Area.
    I only knew them as visitors that stayed for a few weeks now and then. I loved them because they were family but i had no real attachment to them because I really didn't KNOW them. Both died when I was about 12 or 13.
    I guess that's why I am so glad I live near my own grandkids. I want to be more than just a name and a distant memory.

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