Amanuensis Monday – T. A. Deffenbaugh Letter – Written in 1908

by Sherry Kline
15 Mar 2011

A copy of the following letter was e-mailed to me by cousin Valerie, whose grandfather was Herbert Deffenbaugh, and I have to confess to not knowing a great deal about this, my husband’s mother’s family.

I very much appreciate Valerie sharing not only this letter, but also several family photographs with me so that I can send them to the branches of the family who would most cherish them!  What an awesome, kind, genealogy-friendly thing to do!

Milan, Kansas
May 17, 1908
My Dear Brother,

I will write you a few lines today as it is rainy and not many coming in to bother me, I would of written sooner byt we have been very busy trying to get straightened up.  Lou has been staying with us and has helped a great deal.  We are just getting things now so we can live.  The girls are so tired at night they can hardly sleep.  I will be glad when they get things fixed up to suit them so they can rest a little.  I wish you could have been out here and seen the way (they) did us when we got home of course Pa can tell you all about it but that isn’t like as it you could see it your self.

I was very mutch disappointed  that there wasn’t more of you folks come I rather expected you to come if none of the rest did.  You know you always seemed a little nearer to me than the rest of my brothers did any way and for that reason I was more disappointed than I would have been. We had a very quiet Wedding there was only about 35 there but they made up for it when we got home.  The people certainly gave us a warm welcome and we appreciated it very mutch.

I don’t remember whether I thanked Mr. and Mrs. Sandy for their Picture or not but I intended to and you tell them if I didn’t that we thank them many times for it I think it just fine it looks as tho it had ought to talk it is so natural.

Well Hurbert I suppose you will come out to see us this summer won’t you?  We want you to be sure and come and bring Ma with you I don’t expect she would like to come by her self but there is no use of that you can come and bring her with you. 

We were so glad to have Pa come out to the Wedding and I think it did him good to get away from home a little while to.  It was so good of Harvey to let Pa have the money to come out here on.  I am so glad Harvey is good to the folks and hope he always is. 

I tell you we can never do to mutch for our folks the more we do to please them the better we will feel when they are taken from us we know they have worked hard to raise us and it has cost them lots of money and that isn’t all it has cost them lots of worry and hard work so we had ought to do all we can to make life a pleasure to them now when they are old and lifes pleasures are most over for them.

About all the satisfaction they get now it to see us children do what is right and get along well.  I do hope that none of us ever do anything to disgrace them in their old age.  Pa seemed to be so well pleased the way you boys all do.  He thinks you and Harvey are sutch good boys and how nice it is that you are it is sutch a pleasure to him to feel that you boys are thought so mutch of and to know that you are always ready to do what is right by everyone.

Now Hurbert I hope you won’t think I am saying to mutch but it does me so mutch good to know you are so good to the folks I can’t help but tell you about it.

My wheat is looking some better than it was when Pa was out here we have got lots of good rain and that has helped the wheat wonderful we will have to start the binder about the 10th of next month.  I will be glad when that time comes then I can tell about how my wheat is going to turn out.

Well I will close for this time as it is just about dinner time come and see us as soon as you can and give my best regards to all of my friends.

Good bye write soon.
Your loving Brother and sister,
T.A. and Lynne Deffenbaugh

Deffenbaugh Link:

Herbert Deffenbaugh Graduates from the Eighth Grade

Amanuensis Monday – Sgt. Robert Wimp

by Sherry Stocking Kline
December 21, 2010

In May of this year, I shared some information on my blog about the death of Sgt. Robert Wimp in Vietnam.   You can see my original post here.

As a result of that original post, Carol Yates Wilkerson,, added more information about the date, etc. of Sgt. Wimp’s death that she located at, and below is the info that was included there.


SFC – E7 – Army – Regular
Length of service 14 years
His tour began on Sep 15, 1968
Casualty was on Feb 19, 1969
Body was recovered
Panel 32W – Line 63

Two Heroes…

And this week,  Claudia visited my website.  Claudia said that she wasn’t part of Wimp’s family, but added  “My husband was in Vietnam and has recently reconnected with some old comrades.”
Claudia said that someone sent her the text below recounting the death of 3 soldiers and that the one named Ackerman served with her husband. Claudia said,  “in the text there was mention of 2 other soldiers (Robert Wimp and Early) who died with him. Two heroes.”
“On Sunday afternoon, 19 Feb 1969, I had the misfortune of hearing Early, SFC Robert Wimp, and Captain Edwin Ackerman voluntarily charge into the rice paddies with a small SVN popular force team to repel a VC patrol.  I listened to them courageously engage in a fierce fire fight, and request helicopter gun ship support.  Then all at once I heard them caught up in an ambush with no way to escape.”
Claudia said that she believes the information sent to her was part of a battle report, and so she googled Robert Wimp and found my website.
“At this time I have no first name for the soldier named Early,” Claudia said.
As Claudia said, that short bit of text says so little, and yet so much, conveying a picture, and a feeling of helplessness as well.
I have more information about the Wimp family, and would very much like to share it with family members, so if you are a Wimp family member, please leave a comment!

Music Monday – Mary Did You Know – Sign Language

By Sherry Stocking Kline
December 6th, 2010

After watching several Christmas Video’s, my Christmas spirit has me humming all my seasonal favorites, and I’m looking forward to teaching my granddaughters the signing that goes along with each song! (Just as soon as I learn it myself!)

I hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful Christmas!

Music Monday – “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in Sign Language

by Sherry Stocking Kline
December 4th, 201

I found this on the ‘net and thought that I sure needed to post a “Music Monday” even if I was several days late!

Recently, we were singing along to “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” and to my surprise, my little granddaughter began signing along with the words.

I didn’t know that she knew any sign language, and somehow, it made the song even more moving, so we’re going to try to brush up on a couple more songs before we go caroling with our church group in a couple of weeks.

We always leave the nursing homes and homes with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” (and because there aren’t many different words!) this one will be a great one to learn!

I hope you enjoyed watching this as much as I did

Have a Very Merry Christmas!


Carnival of Genealogy – The J. H. Stocking Bible

by Sherry Stocking Kline
December 1, 2010

It was really hard to decide what to write about, one of our one-of-a-kind family ‘characters’ or a one-of-a-kind family heirloom.  But sorting through the ever increasing number of digital photographs and scanned pictures on my hard drive, I saw the snapshot that I took of  “THE” family Bible.

On the front, it says “Holy Bible” and then inscribed below that “Mr. & Mrs. J. H. Stocking”.

Mr. & Mrs. J. H. Stocking Family Bible

Was it a Wedding Gift?

And until I wrote the words above, I hadn’t stopped to wonder at the circumstances that led to the purchase of the Bible.  Was it a wedding gift from one of their parents?  Did they purchase it themselves?  Which Mrs. J. H. Stocking does the inscription pertain to?

Whatever the circumstances were, the Bible was thumbed through, and the births, marriages, and deaths were added, one by one, in different colors ink, in different hands, down through time.

Mr. & Mrs. J. H. Stocking Bible

John Hurlburt Stocking was born in Sullivan Twp, Madison Co., N.Y., on 15, July 1821.  He married Betsy Jane Ames, who was born on 10 Jun 1820, in West Chenanco, Chenango Park, N.Y..

Betsy died on 15 Oct 1856 at the age of 36, just ten days after giving birth to her second son, Bishop Ames.  Bishop died not long after his mother, leaving John a young widower with a three-year-old son, my great-grandfather, Roderick Remine Stocking.

J. H. married Caroline Gates in 1860.  J. H. died on 14 Oct 1894, in Illinois, and I was fortunate to locate a small town history that stated that he was visiting friends in Illinois when he fell down the stairs and died so I hope to be able to verify that with a newspaper article or obituary at some future date.

The J. H. Stocking Family Bible was handed down from John Hurlburt to his son, Roderick Remine, and Roderick gave it to his son, John Lester and his wife Velma.  Velma was very interested in family history.  John and Velma had no children, so after John’s death, Great-Aunt Velma gave the Bible to my uncle, a son of Elmer L. and Maud (McGinnis) Stocking, and he was kind enough to loan me the Bible so that I might look through it and snap a few photographs, for which I am very grateful.  (The Bible was too frail to put on a photocopy machine, or my scanner.)

Adding One More Thing to My Bucket List…

Looking at the pages in this treasured family heirloom reminds me that I have not filled out the family tree pages in my own Bibles, so that is one more thing I need to add to my “Family History Bucket List,”  and I am well equipped with the acid-free pens that would be safest to use, and that would (should) last the longest with the least fading.

Amanuensis Monday – Milan, Kansas 1909 Eighth Grade Graduates

by Sherry Stocking Kline
November 2nd, 2010

The following paragraph is excerpted from the “History of Milan, Kansas, 1879 – 1978”, by Leslie “Bud” Yates.  The book is now out of print and the author has passed away, but there is a copy of the book in the Sumner County History and Research Center.  The book is small, but is packed with information about the area’s early residents and the town’s businesses.

“Teachers for 1908 – 1909 school year were Mrs. Gracia Kellogg for primary and Mr. Brooks for principal.  The following were awarded their 8th grade diplomas:  Mae Kline, Catharine Lee, Maud Perry, Chrystal Brown, Pearle Mears, Herbert Deffenbaugh, Sallie Bunker, and Ethel Bebee.”

Of the Eighth Grade Graduates, Mae Kline and Herbert Deffenbaugh are in my husband’s family tree.  Mae was his great-aunt, and I’m honestly not sure who Herbert is, but probably an uncle or great uncle.  Several of my husband’s aunts and uncles (and his mother) went by their middle names, and sometimes kept their first names a closely guarded secret, so I will have to ask a cousin who is the keeper of the Deffenbaugh Genealogy to find out how he fits into our tree.

Sallie/Sally Bunker, who graduated with them, is the granddaughter of Eng Bunker, one of the famous Siamese (conjoined) twins, Chang and Eng Bunker.

Sally’s father was James Montgomery, son of Eng Bunker.  Eng and Chang married sisters and each couple had several children.  You can read more about them by following the links below:

Wikipedia: Chang and Eng Bunker

Chang and Eng Bunker

Find a Grave Memorial for Chang and Eng Bunker

Sumner County (Kansas) History & Genealogy Research Center
Box 402; 208 N. Washington
Wellington, Kansas

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – My Halloween Personality!

Sherry Stocking Kline
October 30, 2010

Hi Genea-Zombie Friends!  As Randy Seaver says, it’s Saturday Night, and time for more fun!

Hey Genea-Zombies, it’s Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go take the Hallowe’en Personality quiz at

2)  Post it on your own blog, as a comment on this blog, or on your Facebook page.

3)  Tell us if this is “right on” or note.  Have fun with it!

So, here is mine!  Go take your Halloween Personality quiz at: .

You See Halloween as Scary

You’re a friendly person, but not the life of the party. You like making someone else’s day – and you’ll dress up if you think of a really fun costume. (Ok, so far, so good.  this really does sound like me.  I haven’t dressed up in some time, but plan to again in the future.  I am a friendly person, but really, really don’t want to be the life of a party, and actually prefer small gatherings to large parties.)

No one quite understands you, but everyone also sort of worships you. And that’s exactly how you like it.  (Nope, none of this. )

Your inner child is open minded, playful, and adventurous.  (My inner child does enjoy watching the granddaughters dress up and enjoy Halloween, but am mostly a traditional person.)

You truly fear the dark side of humanity. You are a true misanthrope.You’re prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind… even if you don’t admit it.  (This does not fit me.  I do not enjoy being scared ‘out of my mind,’ and am not a ‘drama queen.’

You are a traditionalist with most aspects of your life. You like your Halloween costume to be basic, well made, and conventional enough to wear another year.  (I would like my costume well made (I can sew) and would like to come up with something that I’d be willing to wear for more than one year.  I think, given the family history interest that I have, that it would be fun to come up with a famous or semi-famous local person, and portray them.

However, all the famous, or infamous people that we hear about from here were associated with Caldwell, Kansas, the cowtown south and west of here, and I would have to be a cowboy, dance hall girl, or ‘lady of the evening.  Maybe a cowgirl,  I can twirl a rope, and still have my boots from my riding days…

Wordless Wednesday – Stocking & Jones Family

Sherry Stocking Kline
October 20, 2010

Dorothy Jones Stocking, May Breneman Jones Willey,Carrie Breneman Jones, Warner Jones, Harold Jiggs Stocking - 4

Dorothy Jones Stocking, May Breneman Jones Willey,Carrie Breneman Jones, Warner Jones, Harold Jiggs Stocking, in front of the Stocking Home

I love this old photograph of my parents, my mom Dorothy Stocking on the left, & dad Harold Stocking on the right, with my mom’s Aunt May (Breneman) Jones Willey, and Mom’s parents, Carrie (Breneman) and Warner Jones sandwiched between them.

After attending the KCGS Conference with Maureen Taylor, I find myself looking for clues in my photographs.

First, the photograph had to be taken before November 1st, 1947, because Grandpa Jones passed away on that date.  (I could look up the car makes, models and years, too!)

Second, either they had been somewhere, or were getting ready to go, because Dad is wearing his ‘good’ overalls.  In other words, he and Grandpa had on new and clean overalls.  (As opposed to faded by the sun, ‘everyday’ overalls that Dad worked the fields and fed and milked the cows in!)

It wouldn’t have been church or a funeral, because the men would have worn suits for that, so maybe they went to town shopping for the day, to visit someone in the hospital, or to visit family or friends in another town.

And it’s in the colder months, as the women all have on heavy wool coats, and scarves to keep their ears warm, and maybe just to ‘tie their hair down’ to keep it from blowing in the Kansas wind.

And now I need to ask my mom, to see if she remembers the occasion that prompted the photograph sixty-plus years ago!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun or Who Do I Blame for My Fascination with Family History

by Sherry Stocking Kline
October 19, 2009

Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings issued this challenge on Saturday night!  I’m a bit late, but I don’t want to miss out on all the fun, so here goes!

Hey geneaphiles – it’s Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun for all Genea-Musing readers.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and we need more of you to do this, otherwise it may end…), is to:

1)  Read Brenda Joyce Jerome’s post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog.  She asks these questions:

*  Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information?

*  Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?

*  Did your interest stem from your child’s school project on genealogy?

*  If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.

2)  Write your responses on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a note or comment on Facebook.

Maybe I was always a little interested in family history, but after Hobart Stocking, a professor from Oklahoma researched, wrote, and published the Stocking Ancestry, I became more interested, and shared the information with my husband’s family.  And that’s when my father-in-law, Melvin Kline, stated that he wished someone would research their family tree.

And He Kind of Hoped They Wouldn’t, Too…

And, he said, he kind of hoped maybe they wouldn’t, too.  He said that he was afraid of “what we might find.”

The story that he had always heard went like this, “three brothers came west, fought along the way, and never corresponded again.”

And because there wasn’t any correspondence between Pop’s family, and his grandfather’s family, at least that he knew of, he believed the story to be true, and he was afraid that we’d find out that his grandfather might have been the the person who caused the problem.

But still, he really wanted to know.

Who could possibly resist a puzzle or a challenge like this?

Not me, for sure, so I took up the quest and along the way became  ‘hooked’ on genealogy and preserving family history.

I was woefully ignorant of how to get started, so it was quite a long time before I learned about at least one ‘family feud’, learned where the family had migrated to Kansas from, and ‘met up’ with some distant cousins.

Unfortunately, by that time, my father-in-law had passed on, and I really wish he were here so that I could say “Thank you” to him for starting me on such a fun and addictive hobby/pastime/obsession.

But I’d like to think that somehow, he knows.

Sentimental Sunday – There is No Joy in Joyland Today…

by Sherry Stocking Kline
Sunday, September 5, 2010

There is no Joy in Joyland.

On Sunday, July 18th, I received an e-mail forward from a cousin that said “Stan Nelson, owner of Joyland died today.”


So I checked Wichita Eagle’s website at and found this article by Beccy Tanner “Joyland a theme in Nelson’s life”.

My cousin’s email also included the link to a  photo slide show by Mike Hutmacher, Wichita Eagle, with photographs of the long-closed and now sadly in disrepair Joyland.  ( Click Here to view the slide show, complete with calliope music.)

It was the sideshow that prompted this post…

The slideshow begins, and there it is, Joyland.  Larger than life when we were children; the stuff of dreams. There’s the bridge we used to run over to get to the magic inside. Now it’s covered with wind-blown leaves.    Deserted.

And there are the rides. What’s left of them.  Where is the Merry-go-Round with its fiery steeds? And where are the bump-em cars that we drove fiendishly into all our friends with all the the precision of drunken sailors?   Both gone.

The Tilt-A-Whirl, part of it, remains, looking like deserted teacups from a giant’s forgotten  tea party.

Can’t someone please rescue the train…

And the  little steam engine train that could (and did) take you around the park, in and out among the trees, over a little bridge, and by your family picnicking in the pavilian, while all the while going rackety-clackety-clack, and Whoooo-uh-ooooooo when it came to a crossing .  The train, a favorite ride, sits waiting for passengers to go again. (Oh, please, can’t someone rescue the train?)

And the roller coaster.  Falling, faded white boards.  Surely this can’t  be the terrifying ride that traumatized me so when our eighth grade class went there on a field trip that after one ride up, down, and around on the rattly track I wouldn’t  climb back on it , not for all the tea in China and not even for the chance to sit with the cute little green-eyed, blond-haired boy that asked me to go again?  Surely this short, faded pile of wood isn’t the same one.

And there’s the ferris wheel, minus the little ‘people buckets’ that swayed and swung as you went up, over, and around and around, terrifying twenty-something young-mom-me, holding onto my tiny daughter for dear life, afraid to look down.

Joyland.  Even the name brings back a kaleidoscope of memories: the night my nephew, Daryl, just barely younger than I pitched a fit so instead of staying home with a sitter, we all got to ‘help’ his folks chaperone the youth group, falling asleep in the back window of a car on the way home letting the stars lull me to sleep.   (No seatbelt laws then and no seat belts, either.)

Church picnics, family picnics, and ride-all-night-nights…

There were church picnics and family picnics and ride-all-night-nights-for-$5.00 church nights. And my goodness, look at the sign, a ticket for a nickel.  The rides are gone along with the prices.

And while the rides may be gone, and the grounds may be deserted, we still have the memories.

Thank you, Mr. Nelson….

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