Neta Jaynes Collection

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 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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