Jesse Creekmur with Betty Lou
I spoke to Lewis Creekmur last week. He is the grand nephew of Lewis
Littleton Creekmur who donated the land for the Creekmur cemetery,
then was the first person buried in it. (Further verification PeaselPop@aol.com).
Lewis and wife Norma have lived in Northfork CA for several years, though
with health problems and hospital availability, they have moved to Selma CA.
Lewis told a story about my Uncle Jesse Creekmur, who is the child in
rompers on Nathan Creekmurs lap. Seems Uncle Jesse went to Oklahoma to visit the Creekmurs who lived in Newby OK. every winter. He always shipped a 100 pound bag of beans ahead by railroad, with a note attached as to his time of arrival. It seems Lewis' mother, Aunt Zella Green Creekmur could make a pot of beans that were mouth watering! Then Jesse would spend the winter with them.
Once when he was visiting, and it was an exceptionally cold winter, they
ran short on firewood and Jesse, Lewis and Lawrence Creekmur went out to cut
some logs and haul them in to split for stove lengths. They chopped into a
dead tree, hollow in the middle and right into a squirrels nest. No one
remembers if there were several squirrels, or just what, but Uncle Jesse did
find one female squirrel, and he took her home and raised her. In fact, he
named her Betty Lou. The stories that have been told about this squirrel
can't possibly all be true, but some of them must have been.
He trained that squirrel, Betty Lou to fetch and carry! Jesse was then
working in Denver, living at a boarding house. He would go outside on the
porch in the evening with the other residents, leaving his door open to his
room. He would send Betty Lou back up to his room for his pipe. . . and she
would go get it. One of the newspapers found out about this and ran an
article on him and Betty Lou. (Not sure if it was the Denver Post or The
Rocky Mountain News - I have never found the article nor the photo, but I do
have a copy of the photo.)
Not long afterwards, the boarding house caught on fire one night, and
again, it was Betty Lou who ran from room to room, being the great heroine,
waking the residents, and obviously saved the lives of all of them, so the
story goes. Again, they were written up in the newspapers.
But the end of the story is the one with many variances. I will stick
with the one that Lewis Creekmur relates, as I'm sure that he was closer to
the circumstances than the rest of us, therefore would know more of the
truth. It seems as with all small animals with not too long a life span,
Betty Lou lived an ideal life and in death, she was revered by many. Uncle
Jesse had a lovely casket made for her, and had Betty Lou embalmed. They
placed her in her casket, shipped her to Lawrence Creekmur who took her back
to the same place they had found her and buried her there.
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