Geneva Barnett died Friday. She lived most of her life in the Wilmore Community, taught school in the one-room schoolhouses and also in the Wilmore grade school and later in a Wichita school. She has been living at Pioneer Lodge the past several years.
(The above brief death notice appears to have been all that was published about Grand-Aunt Geneva's death. When Geneva died, her sister - who was my paternal grandmother - Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin, had already been involuntarily placed in a rest home and it is doubtful if Grandma was even told at the time that her sister had died. Had Grandma Nellie known of Geneva's death, she would have certainly have requested the administrator of her estate to have an suitable obituary published in honor of Geneva. -- Jerry Ferrin.)
The SSDI gives Geneva Barnett's date of birth: October 26, 1891.
Aunt Geneva Barnett
Geneva Barnett, my maternal aunt, was born in approx.1890 near Springfield, Missouri to Melton Grover Barnett and Anna Aurelia "Annie" (Allender) Barnett. She moved with her mother and sister Nellie to Sharon, Barber County, Kansas in 1905. She got her teachers degree in Kansas (probably at Ottawa) and was a highly successful teacher until her retirement in the 1960s. She could always go back to work at any school she had taught at before. She spent the last 10 or 15 years of her working life in the Wilmore Grade School.
She never married. She passed away on May 25, 1979 in the Pioneer Lodge rest home in Coldwater, Comanche County, Kansas.
-- Wendel Ferrin, written 11/18/87.
"Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Ferrin and family, Mrs. Barnett and Geneva, made a trip to Sealing, Okla., last Thursday and visited at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Moreton and family. Mr. Ferrin traded for a new Chevrolet car while there." -- (excerpt from) Wilmore News, The Wilmore News, October 18, 1936.
The Wilmore News, December 13, 1935.
Mrs. Clara Ridge, Mrs. R. E. Terry and Mrs. Geo. Brown spent Monday evening quilting at the home of Mrs. Barnett and Geneva. Mrs. C. B. Austin also spent the evening at the Barnett home.
Mr. and Mrs. Nick Baker, Geneva Barnett and E. L. Ferrin spent Saturday in Medicine Lodge. Mr. Baker and Miss Geneva took the civil service examination for the post master.
Excerpts from an Interview
at a Reunion of Former Residents of Wilmore
Mary Lee (Cobb) Hough: Nellie always had a little thing (a slight speech impediment) and she was Nellie "Therrin", not "Nellie Ferrin". She always had that little sound in her voice.
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: Oh, yes.
Gladys (Rose) Wood: Here's another thing: she taught my husband when he was in the first grade. She taught at the Cobb school and she stayed at the Wodd's - at my in-law's place. They always talked about how Nellie could never pronounce her 'v's -- she always said "lither" and ...
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: I never could talk like her but Lee could.
Mary Lee (Cobb) Hough: And then she'd always say, "I'm Nellie Therrin".
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: Yeah, "Therrin". Nellie "Therrin".
Jerry Ferrin: What was she trying to say when she'd say "lither"?
Mary Lee (Cobb) Hough: Liver. She couldn't pronounce her 'F's or her 'V's so she'd say lither instead of liver. It was so endearing, I mean...
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: She was just Nellie. We never thought a thing about it.
Gladys (Rose) Wood: No, we never thought a thing about it.
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: She'd come in (to Wilmore from the farm) and go up to her mother's -- up to Grandma (Annie) Barnett's - and stay all night with her because Geneva (Barnett) would call her - now, she didn't say "Geneva" -- what did she call her?
Gladys (Rose) Wood: "Genetha".
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: Genetha. And Geneva would call her to come in and stay and she'd go up there and then before she'd go home she'd always stop at my place. And many a time she stopped and she'd just cry and cry because she and Geneva didn't agree on what should be done with their mother. And I'd say: "Now, Nellie, that's just Geneva. Don't think anything about it. You just go on home and forget about it."
Mary Lee (Cobb) Hough: (To Jerry:) Do you have any memories of Geneva?
Jerry Ferrin: I have some. I remember her as a pretty severe and not a very happy woman.
Mary Lee (Cobb) Hough: Yeah, I had her for a teacher in the fifth grade.
Gladys (Rose) Wood: My children had her, too, for a teacher.
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: You know, I've finally figured out what made her that way, Gladys. When she walked into that schoolroom, she was boss.
Gladys (Rose) Wood: Yes.
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: And the minute she walked out of that schoolroom, her mother was boss. Grandma Barnett bossed Geneva as long as she lived. Why, I've been up there when Geneva would maybe go to Pratt and bring home a dozen pair of shoes with the promise that she could take 'em all back and, if Mamma didn't like 'em, she took 'em all back . If Momma liked one pair, then she'd keep it. She didn't buy a dress, she didn't buy a shoe, she didn't buy anything without bringing it home and letting Mama see it first.
Jerry Ferrin: Did that apply to Grand-Aunt Geneva's own clothes too, Gertrude?
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: That's what I mean: those were Geneva's clothes!
Gladys (Rose) Wood: Everything!
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: Everything! Her mother was boss, believe me. And, see she (Annie Barnett) couldn't boss Nellie like that. No way could she boss Nellie like that. And Geneva thought that was terrible because Nellie wouldn't buckle under to her mother like Geneva did. Nellie just refused to do it and I always told her: "Don't you do it. You go get what you want and you be happy with it." And she was. She'd be tickled to death over what she bought.
Gladys (Rose) Wood: Nellie was quite a happy-go-lucky girl.
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: Oh, yes, she was! And, see, Geneva wasn't.
Mary Lee (Cobb) Hough: And Ernie let her (Nellie) do that too. Ernie was very, very supportive of her.
Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb: Yes, he was.
-- Excerpt from Interview at a Reunion of Former Residents of Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas held 10 March 1991 in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona.
The ALLENDER Ancestors & Relatives of Geneva Barnett and Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin
The BARNETT Ancestors & Relatives of Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin, this page includes information on Geneva, who was Nellie's sister.
Anna Aurelia (Allender) Barnett, mother of Geneva Barnett. (Obituary: The Western Star, July 27, 1956.)
Ernest Leroy Ferrin, brother-in-law of Geneva Barnett.
Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin, sister of Geneva Barnett. (Obituary: The Western Star, Oct. 22, 1987.)
Wendel Gene Ferrin, nephew of Geneva Barnett.
Glenn Allen Moreton, first cousin and foster brother of Geneva Barnett.
Schools in Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas
A Reunion of Former Residents of Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas
held 10 March 1991 in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona.
Family History Interview with Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb, Mary Lee (Cobb) Hough, Gladys (Rose) Wood, Bob Wood,
Karen (Healen) Hammel, Alice (Norton) Ferrin Wilsonand Janet (Ferrin) Elmore by Jerry D. Ferrin.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news articles to this web site!
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