Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Together

"...Cantankerous, Contrary Old Cusses"

 I always wondered what the story was between Alvis Oliver and Simeon WilliamsNow, I already knew that no one called these 2 brothers by their full namesThey were known as A.O. and Sim, and you might remember A.O. by his beautiful pocketwatch that I've already shared with you here.  Also, A.O. was the father of the beautiful Pearl (Williams) Pointer [the wife of Harve Pointer], making Sim her "Uncle Sim".

With every census that I found them in, I found them together.  Even after A.O. Williams married his wife Nancy Catherine Odell.  I wondered why.  Perhaps I analyze the census too much.  [So sue me.]  But I was right to wonder why.  Lo and behold, there is a story.  And my husband's Great-Uncle Donald [one of Harve's and Pearl's boys] had it, and he shared it with me.  And here's part of what Great-Uncle Donald had to say in his memoirs about them:

Sim was my Granpa's William's brother and never married so he had always lived at home with his mother also, and when Granpa Williams got married I guess Grandma Williams just moved in with them...I never heard Granpa and Sim swear at each other but they argued almost constantly and always called each other cantankerous, contrary old cusses.  They may have swore at each other when they weren't around us boys but they might as well done it in front of us because we all knew how to swear...Granpa and Sim were always poor they made a living doing cement work, Carpenter work, Just handy man work like that.  They had a cement mixer that was powered by a single cylinder gas engine.  A team of horses and a buggy and a light buckboard type spring wagon which they used to go to work with and haul tools in...Their rent couldn't have been much seems to me if I remember about 5 dollars a month.  I don't know what they got for wages probably two to five dollars a day...They had to buy coal to heat with in the winter.  But they didn't have no light nor water nor gas bills to pay.  They did have to buy feed for the horses because they have to eat whether they work or not...I don't remember when Granpa and Sim had two horses I only remember the one they had left...His name was Sam.  He was a tall long legged black beautiful horse.  Of course I didn't realize that at the time, like a lot of other things, but I do now...and then Sam died of old age and that left Granpa and Sim afoot.  Sometimes I do remember them walking to our place but not together I think they needed all of their energy to walk with none to spare for bickering.  Uncle Sim used to say that walking wasn't very crowded but it was kinda lonesome.  Granpa and Sim never owned a home nor a car so I guess the only thing that they owned was their tools and what little household furniture they had.

Now, I still don't know why Uncle Sim never married, but I do know the "how" now [brown cow].  How A.O. and Uncle Sim never really got along.  But somehow they lived together.  And now they lie next to each other in the Collins Iowa Cemetery.  They shared a house.  They shared an occupation.  And they even share a tombstone. They just couldn't share the same dang road.  I think it's as funny as all get out.  [Sorry.  That's a Texas expression.]  I wonder if they're still arguing? [Snort.]


  1. Love your scrapbook page. the title really caught my attention. ; )

  2. People are so funny aren't they? I think the title of your post was dead on. (humor intended)

  3. This is a very ironic sort of story isn't it? And that is a gorgeous layout! I'm going to have to use some of those elements myself....

  4. Very enjoyable reading! I love these stories told with all the imperfect spelling and punctuation. Made me feel like I was sitting right there while Great Uncle Donald was telling it!


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