ADAIR COUNTY NEWS
(Transcribed from the March 31, 1937 edition of the Adair County News.)
Twins Born In Adair County Celebrate 74th Birthday
The following clipping, taken from a Bogard, Mo., paper and sent to this office [the Adair County News] by L.M. [Luther McKee] Wilmore, one of our oldest subscribers, will be of interest to many relatives and friends.
"The L.M. Wilmore home in Bogard was the scene of a happy occasion on Saturday, when Mrs. Wilmore was hostess at a cafeteria dinner in honor of the birthday of her husband and his twin sister, Mrs. Addye [Adeline Permelia] Earnhardt, of Trenton, Texas. March 6 was their seventy-fourth birthday anniversary and these twins had not been together on their birthday for fifty years, although they had visited in each other's homes a number of times, during the summer months.
"They received a number of beautiful and useful gifts, letters, cards and telephone calls, all of which they appreciated.
"The birthday cake was an angel food, iced in white and decorated with pink initials and numbers, and was prepared by Mss Geraldine Busby, a great-niece of the twins.
"The table decorations were grown and sent by Mrs. H.C. of Phoenix, Ariz., she being a daughter-in-law of Mr. Wilmore.
"Besides the twins, others present on this happy occasion were: Miss Avis Earnhardt of Texas, Mr. and Mrs. G.F. Shirley and daughter, Rose; Estle Busby and family, R.M. Shirley and family (except a daughter, Genevee). Several other relatives were unable to attend on account of illness and muddy roads.
"The twins were born March 6, 1863 at Milltown, Ky., where they attained their majority. Mrs. Earnhardt then went to Texas, where she taught school and met her future husband, J.W. Earnhardt. They were married February 22, 1888 and she has since resided in Texas. Her husband died in 1926. She has five children, as follows: Oscar and R.W. Earnhardt, both of Albuquerque, N. Mex., Mrs. Clayton Messick of Vernon, Tex., Mrs. Paul McCorstin and Miss Avis Earnhardt, of Trenton, Tex., and also 12 grandchildren. She and Mr. Wilmore have one sister, Mrs. G.F. Shirley, of Bogard.
"Mr. Wilmore married Sallie Browning December 19, 1888 and he farmed in Kentucky until 1909, moving to a farm near Bogard where he lived until 1920. He has since lived in Bogard. He has a wife and five children, as follows: M.C. [should be H.C. -- Henry Coakley] Wilmore of Phoenix, Ariz., Mrs. Letha Burbridge of Ralls, Tex.; Mrs. Robert Nix of Willard, Mo., and Phoebe and Helen Wilmore of Bogard. He also has four grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.
"Both Mr. Wilmore and Mrs. Earnhardt are remarkably well and enjoy visiting their friends and relatives.
"Their many friends hope they will live to enjoy many more happy anniversaries."
Mr. Luther M. Wilmore was a faithful correspondent to the Adair County News for several decades, his letters detailing day-to-day life in Bogard: weather, crops, the health and welfare of kinfolk, visits of friends and relatives, and news of other expatriated Adair Countians. He died in Missouri on August 16, 1954, aged 91 years, some six years after his beloved wife Sallie, who died on December 19, 1948, their 60th wedding anniversary (obituary below), and about eight years after his twin sister Addie. In a letter printed in the January 29, 1947 News, Mr. Wilmore wrote, "My twin sister, Addie Wilmore Earnhardt, passed away at her home in Trenton, Texas, October 29 [1946.] We were spared to live almost to our 84th birthday."
Not mentioned among Mr. & Mrs. Wilmore's children was a son, Robert, who died from influenza at an army camp in Kansas during World War I. In an undated letter published in the November 6, 1918 Adair County News, Mr. Wilmore gave a touching account of Robert's passing.
(Mr. Wilmore's letter.)
If you will allow me space in your good paper, I will notify my friends of the sickness and sad death of my son, Robert, which occurred at Fort Riley, Kan., October 14.
He was called to Camp Funston July 25. On September 21st, he came home on a 36 hour furlough--was feeling fine; had gained 15 pounds since he had been there; liked his work fine. A few days later he was taken with the influenza and was transferred to the hospital at Fort Riley. On Thursday October 10, I received a telegram saying Robert was seriously ill with pneumonia.
I left at once--reached his bedside Friday noon, found him resting very well but awfully weak. The soldiers were dying at the rate of 75 every 24 hours--new cases being brought in all the time. I don't know just how many hospitals there are at Fort Riley, but I know there are several. The Y.M.C.A. told me they had given up their large buildings to the hospitals, and they are carrying on their work in the tents.
Saturday morning Robert seemed a little better; Sunday morning the Doctor said a little improvement over yesterday, but still seriously ill. About 11 o'clock I noticed he was getting restless and his breathing fast.
So I sent a telegram for his mother and her brother, Burton Browning, to come at once. I saw he was going fast and I felt I could'nt stand to give him up so far from home and none of the family with him but me.
I asked him if had thought he might not get well. He looked up at me and said, "I thought all along I would get well, [but] if I don't I am not afraid to die. I have lived a Christian life ever since I have been in the army."
Oh, how his countenance shone when he spoke those beautiful words. I felt there was a great burden removed and that I could give him up much easier.
He said, "I go to the Y.M.C.A. every Sunday morning to Sunday-school." When he was at home he told Coakley [Robert's brother, Henry Coakley Wilmore] he was trying to live right. He said some of the boys would lay around in the camps and play cards Sunday afternoons, but he spent his at the Y, reading and writing. I can look back now and see lots of things that he done that makes me think that he felt if he never got back home, he would be prepared for death.
I am so glad I was permitted to be with him the last few hours of his life. He talked about his brother and sisters; said he would like to see them but it was too risky for them to come. There were so many afflicted, visitors had to wear masks.
Robert counted how many hours it would take his mother and uncle to reach him. But poor fellow, he passed away about an hour before they arrived.
After the body had been prepared it was shipped to Bogard where religious services were held, attended by many friends.
Robert gave his life for his country, a great honor.
Luther M. Wilmore
(Transcribed from the January 5, 1949 Adair County News.)
Mrs. L.M. Wilmore Dies At Bogard, Mo.
Mrs. Sallie Browning Wilmore, 81, died Sunday, December 19 , at her home in Bogard, Mo. She had been in declining health for several years. Death came on the 60th anniversary of her marriage to Luther M. Wilmore.
A daughter of Sherwood and Phoebe Shirley Browning, Mrs. Wilmore taught schools for several years before moving to Missouri in 1909. She was a member of the Bogard Baptist Church.
Funeral services were held December 21, at the Bogard Baptist Church, conducted by the Rev. J.R. Canning, Norborne, Mo. Burial was in the Van Horn Cemetery.
Mrs. Wilmore is survived by her husband; four daughters, Mrs. Letha Burbridge, Ralls, Texas, Mrs. Robert Nix, East St. Louis, Ill., Miss Phoebe Wilmore, Bogard, Mo., and Mrs. Carl [Helen] Haldiman, St. Louis, Mo.; a son, H.C. Wilmore, Phoenix, Arizona; three brothers, Charles T. Browning, Columbia, Ky., H.B. Browning, Carrollton, Mo., and S.W. Browning, Leavenworth, Kans.; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Among former Kentucky residents who attended the funeral were Frank Cabbell, O.E. Young, S.W. Browning, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Shirley, Henry Carter, Mont Collins and all the Wilmore daughters.