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00:00:00 - The Family Home

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Partial Transcript: WN: Wanda Newton. Today is February the 12th, 1994. I’m in the home of Velma Collins who lives north of town. So many people inquire about this lovely, big brick home at the edge of town, so we are going to let Velma tell her story. She can begin with her house.

VC: My father designed it, and I don’t know who helped him. I wish I had some blue prints that would tell me more about it. But anyway, it’s here, and, by in large, it’s just like he planned it. Very little that’s been done to it…made it a little larger. Mother added a couple of rooms that were advantageous. I was glad, even though they made the house too big for me as an adult and as a widow.

Segment Synopsis: Velma talks extensively about their family home that her father built. She not only grew up there, but also moved back there to live after marrying.

Keywords: Frank Winters; John Leland Collins; Laurel Hotel; Noah Shipman; Turner Turnpike; R.L. Jones

Subjects: Collins home; family home

00:14:15 - Relvue

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Partial Transcript: WN: Well, tell us about the name, how the name of the pond.

VC: Oh, yes, that is interesting. It’s Relvue, but it’s not spelled V I E W. It’s spelled R E L V U E, because that was the way my father started it. Now, the first three letters R E L are his initials. His birth name was Robert Edward Lee Jones, and he was named for General Robert E. Lee. Because Lee, General Lee was so revered in the south. But that was too many initials to write all the time, so daddy always signed his name R.L. Jones, and called “Bob”, I think, in the early days rather than Robert. His mother called him Robert. But, and he decided on V U E instead of V I E W. So this place is known as Relvue. Relvue Farm or Relvue Place, I’m not just sure which. I just call it Relvue.

Segment Synopsis: Velma tells about how the pond, and subsequently, the farm got the name Relvue.

Keywords: R.L. Jones; Robert Edward Lee Jones; Relvue

00:17:52 - Attending School

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Partial Transcript: WN: Oh yes. Tell me about that school.

VC: Well, there was not much grass on that yard there.

WN: Well, now is it in the same block that Washington School…

VC: Yes, it was right there. Just right there. And it was a two-story, and we thought it was the enormous, and we thought it was real nice. But one thing I can remember over there, we had a may pole dance. It was the real thing. I don’t know who put it up or who put the streamers, but I can remember in and out, in and out twirling as the music played ‘till we got it woven clear down to the bottom. And I can remember on Friday afternoons, the teacher would read us a book. It would be a continuous thing, each Friday for an hour or so.

Segment Synopsis: Velma recalls attending school and some of her teachers and what they learned in the early days.

Keywords: Gladys Banks; Orva Henkins; Washington School

Subjects: attending school

00:20:17 - Other Homes

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Partial Transcript: VC: Huh-uh, no cafeterias. And so lunch pails were in order, I’m sure. I can remember then later, we lived on west 11th, and that’s where I learned to skate. There must have been a little sidewalk along there.

WN: Well now when did you build this home?

VC: This home?

WN: Uh-huh.

VC: This home was built in 1917 and I think over into ’18. But when we lived on west 11th, that’s where I learned to skate. And I can’t remember…

WN: Which house did you live in on west 11th?

VC: Oh, along where you lived, somewhere along in there. [Indecipherable] or somewhere right in there. I would go across the alley to school.

Segment Synopsis: Velma recalls living in some other homes around Bristow while their family home was being built.

Keywords: Cushing (Okla.); J.F. Sharpe; Jim Brown; skating; Clem Brown

Subjects: other homes

00:23:34 - Living Above American National Bank

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Partial Transcript: VC: Yes, Mr. Sharpe was superintendent of schools when I came along. And I remember him vividly. And then we lived up over the American National Bank. Now some of those places might have been while this was being built. I’m not sure.

WN: And where was the American National Bank at that time? Do you remember was it on the corner of 7th?

VC: Yes, 7th and Main.

WN: 7th and Main.

VC: 7th and Main, and like I told you, an interesting thing is that we lived up there and that stairway was so, so high, because the ceilings were high in the bank. And we could look out onto Main Street. Then in later years, after I married, I took my baby Rowland (Rowland Lee Collins) up there, little boy, rather toddler, to see a parade from that same little turret type of room that was there.

Segment Synopsis: Velma remembers living above American National Bank for a short time while their family home was being built.

Keywords: American National Bank; Doodle Hamilton; Montford Jones; Rowland Lee Collins; J. F. Sharpe

Subjects: American National Bank; other homes

00:26:45 - Mock Orange Plant

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Partial Transcript: VC: Daddy brought a plant, there’s an old plant out here. I just call it a thorn bush. I don’t know what else to call it. Has mock oranges…

WN: Oh, yes, right up in the corner.

VC: But that is from her house out there.

WN: Well, do you know I took one of your, several of your mock oranges and planted them just down in my wilderness in my front yard, and I’ve got one about this tall. I planted it out there several years ago. And I’ve got another one about that tall.

Segment Synopsis: Velma remembers her father bringing a mock orange plant to their house and planting it, and at the time of the interview, it was still living.

Keywords: Allie B. Jones; mock oranges

Subjects: mock orange plant

00:27:58 - Childhood Memories

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Partial Transcript: VC: I’d love to see it! I’d love to see it, because I do remember that thing up there in that yard, and I can remember Aunt Allie (Allie Jones) would dress us up, Minna Karl (Minna Karl Ekdahl), Etta Feild (Etta Feild Caves) and I were the ones that she doted on. And we would wobble around in her old high heel shoes and put the lace over our heads. And I think she took our pictures, there, but I don’t remember if I still have them here or not, but…

WN: It would be fun if you ever run across any of them, we could copy.

VC: I know where they probably are…

WN: And we can put them in the museum.

Segment Synopsis: Velma remembers having fun as a child playing dress up with her aunt, Allie B. Jones.

Keywords: Etta Feild Caves; Minna Karl Ekdahl; Allie B. Jones

Subjects: childhood memories

00:29:56 - Running the Homestead

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Partial Transcript: WN: Okay, before we leave the farm now, can you tell me as many names as you can of families or people that have worked out here or lived out here if you can think of any.

VC: Well, now I can’t remember the names of very many of the coloreds, except, Frank Winters.

WN: Frank Winters.

VC: And his wife was named Rosa. And Rosa worked in the house. And then there was another one that waited on tables, on the table and helped in the kitchen. OH! Let’s see, I was trying to think of the name of the cook. But her last name was Jones and her husband. She just lived over in the pasture and Minnie (ph) [indecipherable]. But anyway, she was the cook and you don’t think, well, with one child, you’d have much to do, but there was because daddy always had a lot of company. Always a lot of company.

Segment Synopsis: Velma remembers the various people that lived on the farm and helped run the homestead.

Keywords: Rosa Winters; Frank Winters

Subjects: running the homestead

00:32:32 - Noah Shipman

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Partial Transcript: VC: Three septic tanks. But you talked about names, see, Noah Shipman was still living when John died. And he had worked for daddy for years and years and years, and reared a family out there.

WN: Now that’s Betty Wilemon’s…

VC: Betty Wilemon.

WN: Father?

VC: Father. And she grew up out here. So I feel like daddy’s almost apart of the family. And I felt like Mr. Shipman was part of the family, too. He was SO good to me.

Segment Synopsis: Velma recalls her close family relationship with Noah Shipman.

Keywords: Betty Wilemon; Noah Shipman

Subjects: Noah Shipman

00:33:36 - R.L. Jones Philanthropy

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Partial Transcript: VC: No, that was before the camp, long before the camp. The camp came later when daddy was much older. I don’t know just when he acquired that, but that was a big deal.

WN: And this was…tell just a little bit about his interest in the boys and the…

VC: Oh, I guess he really missed having a boy in the family, and he always said, like Mr. Kirchner (R.R. “Brick” Kirchner), he said, well, when you help a boy, you help a whole family.

WN: Mm-hmm.

VC: Because they do establish a family, and they have that responsibility, so you help many people when you help a boy. He was always giving things to boys. He did not want them to smoke. Some of them betrayed his trust. They promised not to smoke, and then went right into town and did. He also had, what he called, Bob’s Club, I think, in high school. He established a prize or something for the most dependable boy.

Segment Synopsis: Velma remembers how much her father helped the community and donated money and other items to the different clubs and organizations.

Keywords: Lions Club; PEO; R.R. "Brick" Kirchner; Roger Collins; Rotary Club; R.L Jones

Subjects: philanthropy

00:38:23 - Family History

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Partial Transcript: WN: Alright, while you’re still talking about your father, go back and tell us as far back as you can remember, maybe you know who his father was, you know, so that we’ll have this for a genealogy record, too.

VC: Oh, okay, well daddy’s mother was one of two girls in, living in Virginia. They were late teens, 16 to 18, I think, somewhere along in there at the time of the Civil War. The father, I think, had passed away in the war, probably. The mother contracted pneumonia, which was almost [indecipherable] then, and she got sick from getting up at all times of the night to give soldiers who would come by, give them food, and died, leaving two girls, no boys, you see. No money, nothing but a house and land with nobody to farm it. She, daddy’s mother, married a doctor from the war. He was in the war, I think, a young doctor. Well, they moved from Virginia which was poverty stricken to Mississippi which wasn’t a whole lot better. He didn’t live too long, but he fathered ten children. Daddy was one of ten. They all lived to adulthood except one, and I think that’s amazing.

Segment Synopsis: Velma recalls some memories of her father's parents and R.L. Jones coming to Oklahoma with his brothers.

Keywords: B.B. Jones; Chandler (Okla.); Civil War; Cushing (Okla.); Drumright (Okla.); Mississippi; Montfort Jones; R.L. Jones; Sapulpa (Okla.); opera house; Virginia

00:46:11 - Bristow Businesses

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Segment Synopsis: Velma recalls some early Bristow businesses.

Keywords: Jackson's Meat Market; Schrader Drug Store; Community Bank

Subjects: Bristow businesses