My Grandmother, Bessie (also known as Bettie) Ross Miller Bates Wolf, was born June 19, 1889 in Locust Grove, Oklahoma. Her father was George Lowery Ross, and her mother was Ruth Belle Springston Ross Evans. Grandmother had an older brother, Commodore Wade Ross, and two half-brothers, Albert Lee Evans and Henry Evans, along with a half-sister, Mattie Evans Barnes. Mattie’s husband, John Barnes, was a sheriff. Bessie Ross married my Grandfather, an oilfield worker, Charles Howard Miller, on the 29th of June 1907 in Sperry, Oklahoma. They had three children, Fred Albert Miller, born December 30, 1908 in Kiefer, Oklahoma, Gladys Ruth Miller, born February 7, 1915 in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, and Robert E. Miller, January 4, 1918 in Healdton, Oklahoma. My grandmother and her children moved to Long Beach, California in 1923, to join her husband who was working in the oil fields there, constructing oil derricks. My Grandmother found work, too, outside the home. She worked in a tailor shop from 1925 to 1928. Sometime in 1926, she and Charles divorced. She married Archie L. Bates in 1928 and moved to Redondo Beach, California. I remember that they had chickens, ducks, a frog pond, and a large vegetable garden. I also remember having Sunday dinners at Grandmother’s house; she had fried chicken, mash potatoes, milk gravy, and fresh corn and lima beans. One of those Sundays, I remember my brother, Warren Lee (Bud) and I running behind the garage where my Grandfather had bee […]
My Step-Grandfather, Archie L. Bates was born in Pennsylvania on October 30, 1882. His Father, Lester E. Bates, was born in May 1858 in Pennsylvania. His Mother, Jane E. Cox Bates, was born July 1855 in West Virginia. They were married in 1882, probably in West Virginia. From what I can get from a search in Ancestry.com, Archie L. Bates had a brother, Harry C. Bates, and three sisters, Geneva Bell Bates, Irena May Bates, and Myrna (or Myra) Lee Bates Snow. She and Snow were married January 12, 1911. My Step-Grandfather, who went by the name ‘Bates’ was a hard worker. He worked all day in a steel mill as a sheet heater and when he came home from that, he worked in his large vegetable garden, and tended 150 bee hives. A Mr. Bechtel (the father of nine children!) was Bates’ bee partner. As I said, Bates was a hard worker. He was always into some kind of project. I remember that Bates had a little white terrier. I can’t remember his name, but I do remember that Bates taught him to climb a ladder and jump thru a hoop! In 1942, Archie L. Bates and my Grandmother, Bessie Ross Miller Bates, lived at 2320 Belmont Lane, in Redondo, California. Bates died July 28, 1946. He’s buried in Crestlawn Cemetery in Riverside, California.
George William Horlacher, was the son of George Washington Horlacher and Catherine Nolan Horlacher. George was born July 23, 1913, in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When he was about four years old, his family took a train to Los Angeles, California. He grew up in Redondo Beach, California. When he was a teenager he had four Model T Fords, in pieces, in his parent’s back yard! My Grandmother insisted he clean up the yard and get the cars out of there. Amazingly, he was able to get all four cars back together and running! During his teen years, he had a newspaper route, and he also set pins in a local bowling alley. He also played football in high school in 1930. He liked to fish and hunt, and some of his fishing buddies were Will Murphy, a Filipino fellow whose name I don’t remember, Pete Lerma and his brother Joe Lerma, and a fellow they called Shorty. Through the years my Father fished on many of the Southern California piers; one of his favorites was the Newport Pier in Newport Beach California. His parents used to fish there, my Father fished there, I fished there, and my son, Lance, fished there too! Four generations of Horlachers fished off that pier! As I said, my Father also loved to hunt. One of his hunting buddies was Frank Woodruff. He had another hunting friend who made and repaired guns. His wife, a school teacher, tested them! She was a very good marksman […]
MY MOTHER, RUTH MILLER HORLACHER Gladys was born in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, on February 7, 1915. Her Mother was Bettie Ross Miller Bates Wolf! Everyone called her Grandma Wolf. Gladys had two brothers, an older brother, Fred Albert Miller, and a younger brother, Robert (Bob) E. Miller. According to Uncle Bob, the family traveled by train from Oklahoma to Long Beach, California in 1923. They moved into a house on Willow Street. My Mother and Uncle Bob went to grade school at Bernett School. In 1924, the family moved again, to Atlantic Boulevard, still in Long Beach. My Mother and her brothers often went to a newly built movie theatre, the Brayton Theatre, to watch silent picture shows and to sing along with the “bouncing ball” on the screen, following the words to the songs. Gladys’ Father, Charles H. Miller, built oil derricks for the oil fields on Signal Hill in Long Beach, and in nearby Huntington Beach. Grandpa Miller completed his last Signal Hill contract in 1925 and moved his crew to Huntington Beach to begin a new contract. While making a final inspection, Grandpa Miller fell from a platform and was seriously injured. That ended his career in the oil derrick contracting business. In 1927, the family moved to 10th Street, still in Long Beach, where they rented a house from an “old lady,” called Grandma. According to Uncle Bob, he and my Mother stole “Grandma’s” cookies and other goodies from her pantry! While living on 10th Street, […]
MY IRISH-GERMAN GRANDMOTHER Catherine Marie Nolan Horlacher My grandmother, Catherine Marie Nolan Horlacher, was born on June 2, 1894. Her father was William Nolan, and her mother was Mary Mertz Nolan, both born in Ireland. Grandma’s husband, George Washington Horlacher, always called her “Kate Nolan, the Irish Mick!” Grandma had two brothers and one sister, William Francis Nolan (possibly, Jr.), born in 1887, Stella (who later became Mrs. George Worth), born in 1890, and a younger brother, Edward Nolan, born in 1899. When I was growing up, Grandma used to tell me stories about her Father wrestling with her brothers. She also told me a story about William and Buffalo Bill Cody. She told me that they used to pal around together during the time of Cody’s Wild West shows! Dates, however, show that this isn’t true. William and Cody could not have been “pals.” William was born in 1887, and Cody’s shows were in Europe, mostly in England, most of the last half of the 1880s. Cody was in Philadelphia before William was born, and again, in 1916, when William was 29 years old and Cody was 76! Cody died the following year. It’s possible that William was a fan of Buffalo Bill, and Grandma, being seven years younger than William, somehow translated that into some kind of special friendship between the two. Grandma and Grandpa were married in Washington, Delaware, on May 23, 1912. They had two children, my father, George William Horlacher, in 1913, and my aunt […]
My Grandfather – Howard Charles Miller MY GRANDFATHER – HOWARD CHARLES MILLER Howard Charles Miller was born on August 7, 1876 in Rockingham County, Virginia. He died 77 years later, May 16, 1954 in Lima, Ohio. He was the fourth child, and only son, of James Addison Miller and Susan Frances Turner Miller. (1) His three older sisters were Cora, Cornelia Catherine, and Viola. (2) Four more sisters followed Howard, Hanna Pearl, Mary Olive, Ada Regina, Gertrude Grace, and Jennie Edith. (3) Howard enlisted in the 2nd Ohio Infantry in Bellfountain, Ohio, on June 25, 1898. He was just short of his 22nd birthday. He was discharged as a Private, in Macon, Georgia, on February 10, 1899. Sometime in the early 1900s, Howard Charles became known as Charles Howard, or “Charlie,” but he was also known as “Red” to his co-workers! This was around the time he began his career in the oil industry, and those who worked with him called him “Red!” His career in the oil industry (early 1900s) began in the oil fields of Oklahoma as a laborer, and at some point, he started his own business constructing oil derricks. In 1907, Charlie married my grandmother, Bettie Ross, in Sperry, Oklahoma. They had three children, Fred Albert, Gladys Ruth, and Robert Lee. (4) In 1922, he left his family in Oklahoma and moved to the oil fields of Southern California. One of his first jobs was on Signal Hill in Long Beach, building derricks. Grandma and the […]
CORRECTION! See the correction, in red, about my Grandfather’s Mother. Father’s Parents My grandparents, George and Catherine Horlacher, were born in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pa. in the late 1800s. My grandfather was born April 23, 1892 in a house at the corner of Orianna and Lehigh. My grandmother was born June 20, 1894. I don’t have the exact location of her birthplace. My grandfather worked for his father, Harry Horlacher, in the stables where he kept the horses he used in his dairy business. Later, my grandfather delivered milk by horse and wagon and the horse was so familiar with the route that my grandfather would walk the sidewalks while the horse pulled the wagon down the street. When they reached a customer’s home, my grandfather would get the milk from the wagon, put it on the porch, and whistle to let the horse know that he was off to his next customer! Faithfully, the horse was always there, too! My grandmother worked, at this same time, for my grandfather’s uncle who owned an Ice Cream and Butter Shop. She and my grandfather were married in 1912, and they had two children, my father, George William, in 1913, and my Aunt Catherine in 1915. In 1917, the whole family traveled by train to Los Angeles, California. My grandfather worked at many different jobs, oil field worker, survey crew member, street car repairman, and he also ran the kilns that fired ceramic tiles for the Matlock Tile Company. My grandmother […]
GOOD OL’ DAYS I remember our neighbor’s 1927 Diana, made by the Moon Motor Car Company. Work or play, it made our days exciting. My Grandmother and the neighbor loaded the Diana with eggs from my Grandparents’ egg ranch in La Sierra, California, and hauled them to the market. I can remember finding a place to sit in among the dozens of eggs, very carefully finding a seat, and then having to make sure I stayed put! One little slide could mean disaster to our cargo, AND to the Diana! And when we weren’t hauling eggs, we used the Diana to pull a two-wheeled box trailer to haul hay. Hauling hay was a lot more fun than hauling eggs! We would put the Diana in low gear, point the car in the direction we needed to go, and it would just idle up and down the field while we walked along side loading the trailer. Every once in awhile, one of us would have to jump on the running board and correct the steering. We used the Diana for fun, too, playing car tag! Something we could never do, today! And actually, our car tag was more like a game of hide-and-seek. Several of my friends and I would drive up one of the small hills in our rural area, or down to the very bottom of a hill, and try to find a place that had a little bend in the road where we could hide a car. We’d […]