|Dora Gladys Ward Eagan Retrospective submitted by Neal Bailey (grandson)|
|File Size:||7300 kb|
|Early Life of Charles Edwin Eagan submitted by Neal Bailey (grandson)|
|File Size:||1722 kb|
|A Special Memory of Gladys by Pearl Ward (Wife of Ralph Ward)|
|File Size:||28 kb|
Dora Gladys Eagan Ward - born: December 2, 1905
Dora Gladys Ward was born on the Ward farm December 2, 1905, the first “Okie” in the family. Both her parents and brother Damon were “Texans” by birth. The early activities she remembered were church services in the sod schoolhouse, trip to Beatrice for groceries and Mr. Potter’s mean bull in the pasture, Shorty Anler’s mail-order wife, the snow of 1912 and her first train ride. The family did not have a car early on, so on occasion Elmer Meisenheimer took them to Liberal in his “big car.” Gladys was ten at the time.
One vivid memory concerns the time her mother went to Liberal by “hack” with a neighbor and left Mrs. McKnight to babysit. Jewel McKnight her son, age 11 said an ugly word. His mother threw him on the floor with a knife in the air, pretending to cut out his tongue which nearly scared Gladys to death.
She attended school mostly at Mt. Olive but also at Floris, while their dad, D.R., carried the mail. They moved into the Duffield house when the Duffield’s moved away, and D.R. took over his mail route. The family then moved back to the farm when the administration changed, and D.R. lost his job. It was a great disappointment when D.R. and the family were forced to move back to the farm. D.R. had ordered a Grant automobile, but in their present circumstance they were unable to buy it. On the farm, the family was closer to school and church as both were reached by foot. Gladys and Damon attended PAI until Greenough High School was built.
Having grandparents near was something the Ward children never experienced. They saw their Dad’s parents about once a year. Her mother’s parents had moved from Texas to New Mexico, finally stopping in sheep country of Jicarilla Mountains. Grandpa Boydstun came to visit them after his wife died.
Although the children range in age was over 16 years, they were pretty much a family unit. Family activities were singing in the evening and on rainy days. One of Gladys fondest memories was of the evenings when her dad played his French harp and the smell of Mom’s good homemade bread fresh from the oven.
Dora Gladys Ward met Charles Edwin Eagan and they were united in marriage on December 22, 1923, by the probate judge in Liberal. Witnesses were Lillian Jones and George Eagan. Other attending were Fannie Ward and Damon.
Edwin attended school at Bellview and Gladys continued on in school for two more weeks after the wedding to finish the first semester of her junior year at Greenough. Their honeymoon was spent at Springfield, CO, where Edwin’s grandparents operated a motel. They were accompanied by Edwin’s mother and his two sisters.
Their next two months were spent mostly at the Ward’s house. On March 9, 1924, they moved to a two-room house owned by the Eagan’s and lived there over two years. There were no close neighbors and no road went by. They had no daily or weekly newspaper, magazine or radio or telephone. Edwin’s parents gave them a Bible and Gladys read the Old Testament as literature week after week as they did not attend church at that time.
Their mode of transportation was a lumber wagon and at one time a buggy. Sometimes they rode on horseback. Occasionally they would drive to Edwin’s family home on Sunday in their lumber wagon. Gladys related that she never got over the embarrassment at meeting the Bellview people going toward church in their cars.
Edwin worked hard at farming but the yields were not large. Edwin had grown up on hard work, so handling the horses and farm machinery came easy to him.
Their first daughter Doris was born January 14, 1925. Because they lived in a remote area, they rented a house in Liberal where Dr. Messersmith helped to get her into the world, along with the help of the two grandmothers.
In 1926, they purchased their first car and traveled to Ft. Smith, Arkansas where Edwin did carpentry work with his uncle Willis Eagan. That fall they purchased a new Chevy sedan (which was the last new car they owned until 1958) and left to go to Denver and moved into a converted garage and Edwin worked in a tailor shop. In 1927, D.R. Ward announced that his land was for rent and that they could buy his horses, so they headed back to the farm. On November 27, 1929 their second daughter Loretta was born.
Farming did not prove to be fruitful in the early 1930’s, so in 1935 they returned to Denver where Edwin Eugene (Gene) was born on November 2, 1935. Edwin worked on the Moffat Tunnel and later worked at Gates Rubber Company until 1946. Edna Irene was born in Denver on January 22, 1940. Edwin’s father decided to sell his farm and move to Oregon. Edwin bought the farm and moved the family back to OK.
The children attended Greenough schools with Loretta being a junior. Gladys also took up her education where she had left off in 1923. She sat in on classes and did much of her junior year through correspondence. During her senior year she attended classes throughout the year as well as helped with lunchroom duties. She and Loretta both received their diplomas in 1948. Later she attended Panhandle A & M and Northwestern State in Alva, OK. After receiving her teaching degree, she taught over the years in the one and two room schoolhouses in Bluebell, Turpin, Forgan and Beaver elementary schools.
Gladys was on the Beaver Library board, historian of Delta Kappa Gamma and co-editor of volumes I & II of the Beaver County history books.
Farming eventually brought in some good years and Gladys and Edwin where able to travel to visit family in various places in the U.S. In the 1960’s, Gladys took a tour with brother Ralph and Pearl Ward to Greece and other points of interest as well as a tour trip to Santa Fe. Eventually Gladys health deteriorated and she died on April 22, 1974 at the age of 68. Edwin died suddenly of a heart attack on January 20, 1980 at age 75.
Son Gene Eagan writes “The family commends them for their struggles and triumphs during their lifetime.”