Tag Archives: Oscar Sturgell

The Livin’ Is Easy – Fishin’ in Oklahoma

Every other summer, the Stufflebeans used to make the long drive along Route 66 from California to Oklahoma to visit family. Not only did my father-in-law’s family live there, but Dave’s maternal grandfather returned to Oklahoma later in life, too.

Dave and his brother made more than one fishing trip with Oscar, who loved to fish.

This photo is from about 1960 or 1961 and it reminds me of Grant Wood’s The American Farmer painting of the grim couple holding the pitchfork.

Oscar, Dave and Phillip

The boys are looking a bit grim, too. Dave says the fishing trips were okay, but it wasn’t their favorite activity. He said Oscar used to use stink bait and his main memory was catching the fishing hook in his shirt and having to smell the bait afterwards.

Marina in 1963

Here they are a few years later, down at the marina. Dave said they never got to go out in one of the boats, they just fished from the shoreline.

Leave it to boys, but they thought the neatest thing about Oscar was his hook. He had lost his hand in an industrial work accident and they liked to watch him use the steering wheel in his car whenever they drove with him!

Cato, Barry County, MO Students 1904

School Picture, Cato Missouri
Cato, Missouri Students, c1904

I have way more early 1900’s school photos in my family history photo collection than I realized. While looking for photos and documents about one of Isaac and Mary Bandy Sturgell’s children, Abijah Houston Sturgell, I came across this copy of an old school photo that was sent to me by my husband’s Aunt Freda, probably in the 1990’s. Someone in the Sturgell extended family owned the original and Freda obtained a copy.

This looks to be a one room schoolhouse type of school with the school building in the background and perhaps an outhouse or woodshed on the left side.

The school master was the gentleman in the middle of the back row wearing the vest and bow tie. There might also have been a school mistress in the third row, second from the right. Notice all the barefeet in the front row!

Only three children were identified in the photo. In the front row, 7th boy from the right is Herman “Bud” Sturgell, who was born in 1898. He looks to be about 5 or 6 years old, dating this photo to about 1904.

In the second row, also the 7th boy from the right is Oscar Eldon Sturgell, my husband’s grandfather.  Oscar was born in 1893 and would be 10-11 years old.

In the third row, third girl from the left is Amy Cora Sturgell, born in 1891 so would be 12-13 years old here.

Bud, Oscar and Amy were three of the ten children of Abijah (Byge) and Martha Susannah Alberty Sturgell who were born and raised in Barry County, Missouri. One other daughter, Glena Agnes, was of school age, but isn’t identified in this picture. Glena died in December 1907. It is possible that she is one of these students, but family members in the 1990’s had no home photos of her and didn’t recognize her. It’s also possible she was home sick the day this picture was taken.

If your ancestor was of school-age and lived in Cato, Barry County, Missouri, he/she may be in this photograph. I would love to hear from you.