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Aunt Blanche Writes of Charles Templin


She Finds in This Grant County Man Qualities Apart From the Chemical Ingredients of Humanity


By Aunt Blanche


            MEDFORD, Sept. 23 – Dr. T. E. Lawson, a noted British physician and scientist, estimates that the body of a man contains enough water to fill a 10-gallon barrel; enough fat for seven bars of soap; carbon for 9000 lead pencils; phosphorus to make 2200 match heads; magnesium for one dose of salts; iron to make a spike nail; sufficient lime to whitewash a chicken coop, and sulphur enough to rid one dog of fleas.


            The whole, at present prices (tax not added) could be bought for 73 cents. This statement includes all of us – morons, smart folk, rich man, poor man, begger man, thief –


            Those chemicals are the elements which, combined, constitute the human body, but we have something more. In our makeup are certain things which cannot be seen, weighed or measured, and yet, without them, all this iron, sulphur and other body chemicals wouldn’t amount to a row of pins. What would we humans be like if we didn’t have grit, imagination, sympathy, courage and above all, stick-to-it-iveness?


            This story is about a man who perhaps has more than his share of the latter, but he needed every ounce of it and he used it well.


            Over in Tennessee near Chestnut Hill, on an election day (Nov. 4, 1873) Charles Templin arrived by the way of the stork route and, the weather being cold, the family decided to keep him. This young American showed decided characteristics when but a few days old.


            If hungry, he made it known in such an emphatic way that the whole family hastened to quiet him and so, when he got the “Oklahoma fever” in 1899, no one tried to steer him in some other direction.


            Charles had married Maggie Hartley of Blowing Cave Springs, in the eastern part of the state. Maggie was a real “belle” in her community. At parties, the young chaps all tried to get her for a partner in their games. But when Charlie Templin decided she was the girl for him, no other boy had half a chance.


            On Dec. 13, 1894 he took Maggie in his buggy to a preacher’s house which was in the country for the pastor was also a farmer, and there in the little parlor they were married.


            With a wife to care for Charles became more ambitious than ever. He at once began working for a neighbor for 13 dollars a month. Maggie had not been raised in idleness. She could card wool, spin and weave. She helped work in the field when necessary and kept her house spic and span.


            They lived on a 15-acre patch of ground that Charles mother had given them. It was heavily wooded and had to be cleared before crops could be raised, but that was just fun for this go-getter.


            The chances are the Templins would still be in Tennessee and Grant County would have lost a might fine family, had not a neighbor named Fox come here and settled near Gibbon.


            The more Charles thought of the wide prairie country and the big chances for success, the less he thought of his home in the hills of Tennessee. It all ended up by him selling off his livestock and furniture, and with one trunk, two boxes, his wife and one baby, they bought a ticket to Gibbon, Okla.


            When he landed in the little prairie town he had just 17 dollars in his pocket, but they were both ravenously hunger, so they first ate a substantial meal at the restaurant before inquiring for the Fox farm.


            Besides the Foxes another Tennessee family lived close by, Mr. and Mrs. Will Proffitt. The Templins stayed overnight at the Proffitts and in fact remained there until a house could be rented. But vacant houses in the year 1899 in Grant County were as scarce as hens teeth.


            The only available house was a sod building one mile north of the town owned by Mr. McMichael. This was better than nothing, so they moved in and rented 25 acres of the ground. The boxes which had been filled with bedding made two tables, and the baby slept in the tray of the trunk.


            This Tennessean had a way about him that always made him friends. When old may Tuttle (a near neighbor) heard that the Templins had no team to put out a crop, he loaned them one, and another near neighbor, Cal Bowell, gave them enough wheat to seed their ground.


            Luck favored the Templins and they raised a good crop on the 25 rented acres. By this time Charlie’s reputation as a good worker and reliability became known in the neighborhood. The Bigger brothers were living alone on their claim and wanted a woman to cook and a man to work. The Templins fitted perfectly into the picture and remained there for over a year.


            By living plain and saving their wages, they had enough money to go to farming for themselves, so the farm on which the little sod house was rented and with a sulky plow and three horses, a hundred acres was put into wheat.


            Before long a house was moved onto this place and one of the happiest days of Maggie Templin’s life was the one in which her belongings were transferred to the new domicile and she had real-to-goodness board floors instead of hard dirt ground underneath her feet.


            There were a few other changes made until the close of the war in 1918 when the family moved onto the Joe Krueger farm which has been their home for 21 years. The family increased to nine children, all of whom are living.


            William, the baby that came from Tennessee with his parents, is with the Wakita Garage and his wife was Miss Alleen Hardesty. Dan Templin moved over the line into Kansas and runs the road patrol near Bluff City. He married Beulah Huddleson. Two sons, Blaine and Floyd live in California.


            Ted Templin drives an oil truck for the Farmers Co-operative association of Wakita. He married Miss Beulah McNamer. The daughter, Mary Templin Caywood also lives in Wakita. The only other girl in the family, Mrs. Alma McKee, resides in Enid. Howard runs one of the Medford ice trucks and Frank lives at home and does the farming.


            All of these children attended the Meikel School and later were sent to Wakita high school where seven of them graduated, the other two completing their course at Springs Township high. Mary continued with her education at Northwestern Normal and Winfield College, and then taught several terms.


            There is one thing a little out of the ordinary about this big family of boys and girls. Not one of them wears glasses. They are all strong healthy young people. The nearest to a tragedy in the family was when Mary as a small child swallowed a kernel of corn and it “went down the wrong way.”


            She was rushed to a Wichita hospital, but the surgeons were not successful in removing the grain. Two weeks later, after she had returned home, a coughing spell dislodged the corn.


            Mr. Templin had an heirloom that belonged to his mother’s mother and no amount of money could buy this article. It is a long oval bread mixing tray, hand carved out of buckeye. This try or bowl and another one like it were used for mixing biscuit and bread dough and also corn bread.


            This was in the days when baking was done either in a Dutch oven or an open hearth and a large batch was baked each time. Mr. Templin also has vivid recollections of the old spinning wheel and loom and the strings of dried apples and pumpkin hanging from the oak rafters.


            When asked if they had ever been back to visit their childhood homes, they shook their heads “no.” Then Mr. Templin, who always looks on the sunny side and never becomes moody over things that cannot be helped, looked up with a smile on his weatherbeaten face and said:


            “It took all we had to raise our family. The only way we could ever go back would be to walk and I’m afraid it would be too long a trip for my dogs.”


            Then, after we all laughed, Mrs. Templin said in a serious way:


            “We have never had much but none of us have ever had to go to a hospital for an operation. We haven’t anything in this world to be proud of but out children.”


            As I drove away, I thought: “There are other things besides riches that make people happy.”



Thanks to Jim Templin, Anthony, KS for sharing this newspaper article.