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 hives. My little sister, Loretta, followed us and we got in big trouble, because, even though the bees didn’t bother me or my brother, they bothered Loretta! She had bees in her hair and they were very mad! So were my Grandparents!
In late 1945 or 1946, Grandma and Grandpa Bates moved to Riverside, California where they stayed for awhile with my folks. During the move, while we were on the road from Redondo Beach to Riverside, my mother, brother, sister Loretta and I rode in my Grandfather’s 1933 Chevrolet. My Grandmother was driving, following my Father and Grandfather who were driving a truck that was loaded with all of their household goods. When we came to a railroad crossing, we could see a train coming. My Father had plenty of time to cross safely, but we were barely ahead of the train when we crossed! I don’t know if my Grandmother didn’t see the train, or if she was afraid she’d lose sight of my Dad and get lost! Obviously, we made it!
My Grandparents stayed with us while they were building a house about two blocks from us, on Stover Street. In 1946, my Grandfather had a heart attack and died. After that, my Grandmother stayed with us until she married Floyd H. Wolf sometime between 1953 and 1955. Floyd worked as a welder at Food Machinery Corporation at the time. Floyd liked to fish and garden . They lived at 5981 Chapel Ave in the Arlanza area of Riverside, California. Floyd was born April 15, 1907 in Indiana and died March 21, 1963 in Riverside, California. My Grandmother moved in with my parents and stayed until she went blind and had problems walking. She then moved to a nursing home and stayed until she died October 30, 1980. She was buried at Crestlawn Cemetery in Riverside, California.
A Little Family History
Bessie or Bettie Ross’s Mother, Ruth Bell Springston’s father, was John Leak Springston, born October 13, 1844. Her mother was Sarah Elisabeth Mosley. John Leak Springston’s father was John A. Springston, born October 13, 1814 and married to Mrs. Sallie Elliot, John A. Springston died in December 1876.
Ruth Bell Springston had two sisters One was her twin who died very young, the other was Elisabeth Springston. (She was my Grandmother’s Aunt Lizzie)