“Please do not write on the graffiti” Digital Image. Photographed , 24 January 2009, Denver, CO Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.
Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #5-Another generation of Cheeks comes to Mangum
Prompt: Talk about your genealogy adventures while on vacation. Doesn’t everyone plan a little genealogy visit during vacation? Take your readers along for the ride.
I haven’t gotten to do as many of these as I intended. In fact this is the first one of the weekly prompts that I’ve had time to post. So much for good intentions. A couple of years ago, my older brother who lives in SC came back to Oklahoma for Christmas along with his wife and two grandchildren. He doesn’t get back this way very often so we tried to do as much as possible in the few days he was here. One of the thing he really wanted to do was visit our father’s hometown, Mangum (Capitol of Greer County), OK. The “Capitol” thing is something I will have to explain later. So two days after Christmas in 2007, we set out. Our party consisted of my brother, my two sisters, myself, our four spouses, a daughter of one sister, and the two grandchildren.
Just north of town is the farm where our great grandfather Cheek homesteaded before 1903. We have never been able to do more than see it from the road. One of these days I will find out who owns it and get permission to go out to the farm house.
If you are in Mangum at lunch time there is only one option-the Hamburger Inn- right on the Square.
We were a little late for lunch and they were going to close soon so we had to chose from a limited menu. But we had a great time and enjoyed examining the antiques? collectables? memorabilia? junk? on the floor, the walls, the ceiling, the tables, etc.
One of the group went exploring and came back saying, “You all have got to see this.” Most of the tables had old copies of the Mangum Star covered with plastic along with other items from the past. And one of the papers from World War 2 had a front page story about officers from Mangum in the 45th Infantry Division. Among the officers was our father, Captain James Edmon Cheek.
Dad is the second from the left. That find was certainly worth the price of gas for the trip.
Our next stop was the Old Greer County Museum.
This is one of the truly unique, local museums in the country. It is housed in the old hospital building, staffed totally by volunteers, and filled with the treasured artifacts of hundreds of families and communities. Each of the old patient rooms is sponsored by a different family, community, or organization. For more information about the museum go to their website at http://www.oldgreercountymuseum.com/index.html
The picture at the top of the article was taken on the stairs at the museum by one of the friendly staff. The real find at the museum was in a back room where they had hundreds of old photographs and negatives from the Fike Studio, an regular part of Mangum life for many years. During one of our stays we lived next door to the Fikes and my brother and I spent many hours playing with their daughter, Susan. To tell the whole story of the museum is way outside the scope of this article, but I promise a follow-up not too far in the future.
Of course no visit to Mangum is complete without going to the cemetery. We no longer have any relatives living in Mangum but we do have a lot of them in Riverside Cemetery.
Our great grandparents, Robert Bruce and Carrie Savannah Cheek who are in the blog’s header picture.
Notice that the stone includes not only Robert and Carrie, but also Robert’s sister, Columbia Cheek.
Our grandparents, Marion and Anna Cheek.
There are many more Cheeks in the cemetery but I don’t want to neglect our mother’s family, some of whom also lived in Mangum. But only her mother and one of our uncles is buried there.
Her name was originally Paralee Tennessee Lancaster. She married an Orand, then a Bex, and then a Smith and decided she liked Pauline better than Paralee.
If you are ever in Mangum when the lake is down it is obligatory on your way out of town to stop and see the remains of the town of Lugert which was covered when they built the lake. But this being Southwestern Oklahoma, the town reappears from time to time like Brigadoon.
Look carefully and you can see the foundation and floor of one of the houses. When we got down to it we discovered it had a cellar but after a little digging, we decided we were just not equipped to do a “dig.”
It was a great trip which give my brother and I the chance to relive a lot of old memories. Our sisters are both much younger and never lived in Mangum or knew very many of our relatives who lived there. But it is a very important part of our family history and I was glad to be able to share it with another generation of Cheeks and with you.
“MLC Auditorium Flood.” Digital Image. Photographed , 3 January 2005. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.
I look forward to the Smile-for-the-camera Carnivals because of
the challenge of selecting just the right picture(s) for the category. I regret that time constraints have made me miss the last few. This time it really was easy and I didn’t have to look very deep into the family archives. In fact the picture was as close as the top of the page. My header picture, a family portrait of my great grandfather Robert Bruce Cheek’s family takin in Mangum, Oklahoma Territory, around 1903. There are many more pictures in my treasury that would fit, but I have always been fascinated by the sartorial contrasts in this family portrait.
The patriarch is wearing an obviously well-worn standard suit of the era. The mother, Carrie Savanah Adams Cheek, obviously took a little more time to get ready for the photographer, what doesn’t show with her hands folded across her lap, is the presence of the final member of the family, Roy Bruce, who will be born later in the year. The stars are obviously big brother, Joseph Marion (my grandfather) and big sister, Bertie Columbia. They are definitely stylin’. The other boys are not too impressed with the whole process and would obviously prefer to be somewhere else. I really like the haphazard buttoning of the jacket on my great uncle Robert Luther. Unfortunately a few years later he would be killed in France in “the war to end all wars.” The best dressed of all may be the doll held by Annabelle, but I just couldn’t enlarge enough to be sure.
I am eagerly anticipating the next carnival.
“Hope.” Digital Image. Photographed by Richard O. Cheek, 22 January 2009. Privately held by Richard O. Cheek, Midwest City, OK, 2009.
I heard a speaker say recently that the Bible has around 3000 references to caring for the poor. I haven’t personally counted them but I know there are certainly a lot of them. For many believers the few passages in the Old Testament, primarily in Proverbs, which indicate that wealth is a blessing from God somehow gives them warrent to ignore the overwhelming amount of biblical teaching that wealth is not a good thing unless it is being shared with the poor. Or they will take Jesus’ statement that there will always be poor people as an excuse for not doing anything about it. They ignore the fact that Jesus is quoting a familiar passage from Deuteronomy 15 which says:
Give generously to him (your poor brother) and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
There is no place that this teaching is more clear than in Jesus’ dealing the the so-called Rich Young Ruler. After accepting the young man’s statement that he had kept the commandments, Jesus said:
”If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
To a man who is self-satisfied and content with his wealth (sometimes referred to as Bigger Barns), he said:
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Later in that same passage he talks about treasure saying:
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Other teachings on wealth and poverty are:
“I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44
“I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money (mammon). Matthew 6:24
Many like to point to the passage where it says that it is “the love of money” not money itself that is evil. And somehow that relieves them of the clear biblical mandate to care for the poor and needy. I challenge anyone to try and find a single time when Jesus had anything good to say about someone who was rich.
We live in a country that is richer than any other country in history and somehow miss it that Jesus’ teaching apply to us. Just in case there are some out there who don’t think they are wealthy, I encourage you to go to the Global Rich List and enter your income to find out where you rank in relation to the rest of the world. Just as a warnig, I entered the current poverty level in the US which is $22,200 for a family of four. At the level you are in the top 11% of the world’s wealthy. That means there are over 600 million people richer than you but there are 6.2 billion people poorer.
I don’t say all this to send anyone on a guilt trip, but to show you that if you want to demonstrate your love for God by your obedience to his commands, there is no command that shows up with more frequency in the Bible than the command care for the poor. I will end with the clearest definition of religion that can be found anywhere in the scriptures. James 1:27 says “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”