The Century Chest Collection

To the Descendants of James Chenoweth and Olive E. Chenoweth

(Transcribed from the original)

Chenoweth Family Package - Family scrapbook

(Transcribed from the original)

To the decedents of James and Olive Chenoweth
James Chenoweth born November 29 1871 Greenville, Darke County Ohio.
Son of Lee and Effie Arnold Chenoweth.

The advent of this young son added another interest to the historic old town.

His early youth and boyhood was spent in the usual routine of active youth with a record of marbles swimming, small worries and an aversion to anything savoring of practical pursuits.

Passing safely through the grass cutting stage with which vocation he began his successful career.

Graduating from the high school he took a position in Framers National Bank with which bank he was connected for eight years when he left Greenville to enter the law department of the University of Michigan, from which he was graduated in 1891.

Going to Oklahoma to begin new business career in Lawton at which time the new Cherokee strip was opened Mr. Chenoweth registered and found out of 160,000 he drew 67 with which he bought a claim on which he had to build sort of hut and stay out there a little while in order to hold said claim.

He assisted in opening the Citizen's Bank of Lawton.

In March 1902 he came to Oklahoma City entering the then Farmers State Bank as Associate Cashier [and] in three years becoming its active vice president and leading spirit in the bank's management.

This pastime was reluctantly given up in February 1911 when he purchased stock of and became active Vice President of the American National Bank, the largest bank of the state with deposits of -----

He was also a director of the Chamber of Commerce and identified with the betterment and up building of the town. In disposition Mr. Chenoweth was very conservative, quiet dignified, kind and courteous, and by living up to his high ideals of business principles and his high moral standards conceded the respect of those with whom he was associated.

On sept 10 1902 he was married to Olive E. Swisher in Ann Arbor Michigan.

This marriage found a most happy one. Being intellectually in and temperament congenial Mr. Chenoweth was a kind and indulgent husband and Father.

Two children were born to them Myra Chenoweth born January 12 1905 James Jr. October 20 1909

Olive E. Swisher Chenoweth
Olive Edith Swisher Chenoweth [was] born December 8, 1875 at New Madison Darke County Ohio. [She was the] daughter of Miranda and Robert Swisher. The mother's maiden name was Mira Banks – daughter of Nathanial Banks. Mira Bank's grandmother's name was Bastiwk – great grandmother's name was Clow.

Robert Swisher was son of Newry Swisher a descendent of Pennsylvania Dutch.

The maternal grandmother was of English & Scotch ancestry.

Olive E. Chenoweth's early girlhood was spent in the Greenville Ohio where she was graduated from the high school in 1893.

Here she met the friend and sweetheart of her high school days whom later proved man of her choice and the sweetheart of her life.

Her father having died when the children were small [and there were] three in number: Olive E., Warren C. Swisher in Denver Colorado, [and] Viola Swisher Allen of Ann Arbor Michigan.

The mother removed to Ann Arbor Michigan to educate her children.

Warren was graduated from [the] Law Department of the University [in] 1900.

Olive E. spent much time with both vocal and piano music having a pronounced musical talent.

She was a pupil in [the] School of Music of Ann Arbor studying vocal under Professor Nowland [and] later a pupil for several years of Mrs. R. Parks Bennett of Oklahoma City.

In temperament she is artistic and emotional and yet does not let her feelings run away with her good judgment and is consequently practical. [She is] active and a little restless. [She is] full of sympathy and with a desire to help others that sometimes leads her to go further in helping them than is good for her and best interests in that she has not the physical equipment always to do what she tries to do.

[She is] loved [and] respected by all who know her and noted for saying humorous things.

To her children [she is] the very best of mothers and to her husband the dearest of wives and a constant pride and help to him.

Myra Chenoweth was born June 12 1905 in Oklahoma City. She came to her parents a beautiful healthy blue eyed baby. [She is] a joy and blessing to them in the beauty of perfect health which is indeed one of God's greatest blessings. And with which we trust she may grow into womanhood supplemented as it should be with good practical judgment, simplicity of manners, [and] faintness of heart. After all "good manners" is only just being kind.

In disposition she is conservative [and] quiet [with] these traits more pronounced as in her father.

Yet in her physical nature she was extremely energetic. Her play must all be directed along the more active lines. Much of her time was spent out in the open.
Her regret was keen that she was not a boy.

Her practical ideas may be conveyed in a view of her own expressed ideas.

When she started to school in September before she was 7 years old in January following she said ["]Well Mother I don't see any use of my going to school you know I can't read or write and you may as well tell the teacher.["]

Her mother told her she hardly thought it necessary as the teacher would find it out.

One night when Mother put her to bed she said ["]Myra do you always thank God for the many blessings he gives you[?]" She said ["] Yes I thank him for the few I get, but I don't get 'em all – Brother gets most of them" (That day Brother had eaten some candy she thought she had put in a safe place which had caused quite an eruption in the family peace.[)]

One time when she was naughty her mother said "Well, if you are not a nice girl God surely will not bring you a baby brother.["] [She] said she didn't care – ["]Brothers weren't any good any how she just wanted a plain baby."

She was always independent insisting upon buttoning her own shoes when she was three years old[,] could skate on roller skates at 4 years and with quite a will of her own she would always originate some plan to work out things.

Her mother was very particular with her little girl's diet not indulging her in sweets or rich foods and very little meat. But very often [she] found a chair in the pantry upon which had been placed a stool and upon this stool a bucket perhaps so the little lady could reach something which had been put on the top shelf supposedly out of her reach.
(I love my mother
Myra Chenoweth)

Myra's writing it [at] 8 years. First writing with pen & ink

She early showed a tendency to be thorough. In her school work when she would get things or new ideas she knew them well and relied upon her own ability which pleased her mother and father as they tried to inculcate in her little mind honesty.

Than even if she borrowed other people's ideas they might not be nearly so good as her own and that it is being unnatural to do and say things just because someone else does in because they may tell us to do or say them.

The best way is to be true to ourselves [and] to live our lives the way it is best for us to live them.

If we would have any individuality we cannot make our ideas and our lives subservient to other people. People who do not know and understand us cannot criticize.
Our best friends will be just in their criticism. Unjust pinions do us little harm and it is by fair and just discussions and criticisms that the world progresses.

James Chenoweth Jr. was born October 20 1910.

James Jr. was a bouncing boy of 8 1/2 lbs., grew and thrived until he was 6 months old when he had a severe case of measles which left him very frail for a year – but with good care and taking his 2 hour nap out of doors all of his second winter – he grew into a fine looking little fellow when 3 years old – light hair & rosy cheeks.
When he was sick he would say ["] Iz so sorry. 'Aint you sorry for my baby boy Daddy?["]

When 2 1/2 years old he had diptherea – Miss Neff the trained nurse (whom James called "Ness") would give him medicine James would say "Thank (Sank) you Ness"
She said he was the sweetest and most intelligent child he had ever cared for. In temperament he was more like his mother. [He was] somewhat more emotional than his sister. [He was] impulsive & terribly affectionate and sympathetic.

For instance if he felt he had hurt his mother he would say

"Turn here darling vots de matter mudder I luv you"
His sense of rhythm was very marked – when only 2 ½ years old he went to visit his sisters little dancing class and got down and danced all around with the other children keeping perfect time and stip.

He knew the pieces he wanted on the Victrola asking for a Bell record [and] also for Schumann Heink the great contralto of our day.

James [had] an extremely happy sunny disposition. [He was] friendly to everybody and developed tracts of teasing quite early.

One night he said his prayers to Sidney a faithful colored nurse – blessing everybody he could think of but Sidney – Finally he said ["]O bless Sidney – I was just a foolin' you Sidney."

After being put to bed at 6 o' clock he would have to say goodnight to Daddy and Mudder severl times before going to sleep.

The first time we took him North among the big trees of Wisconsin James could not quite understand why such big things should grow and would pat them pat them – the trees in Oklahoma were very small and not the big oaks they will be when these papers are read.

It does seem nature has not been real generous in her distribution in and about Oklahoma City. When one has been reared among the beautiful old oaks and lakes of Michigan it is difficult not to miss them and to grow accustom to the plainness of the view of a prairie county. Although, there are some beautiful homes and with a clean little city which does well not to blow away with the incessant winds we have here.

We have so much good sunny days – and the nights of summer moths are delightful – a balmy South wind prevailing.

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