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Raymond Archer Family


Posted By: Connie Swearingen- Volunteer (email)
Date: 4/22/2015 at 21:48:44

Monona County, Iowa History

Raymond Archer Family, p 95-96

In 1807 the Archers moved to Tennessee from North Carolina. Two brothers Moses and William traveled on to Sangamon Co, Illinois in 1820 and were joined the following year by their brothers, Michael, Robert, Obadiah; a sister, Jerimima and their mother, Martha.

My great-grandfather Moses Archer, son of Obadiah Archer, was born in Illinois in 1833. He married Margaret Elizabeth Kephart in 1856 at Dubuque, Iowa. My grandfather Lemuel ‘Bird’ Archer born Dec. 1867 was one of their nine children. His earlier life was spent in farming near Castana. He was united in marriage to Ida Ellen McCrory also of Castana on Nov. 14, 1893. They had been married 49 years when he passed away.

Bird Archer was a traveler and loved new places. My father Raymond, born 19 July 1916, was four years old when the family pulled up stakes and moved to Oregon where they had a turkey farm. Dad’s brother, Emil, and Dad would talk of how all the belongings would be piled high into the trucks during the moves.

The family returned to Iowa but moved to Oregon one more time when Dad was older. Dad preferred to stay in Iowa with his cousins, the Phipps. He married Dorothy L. Leisinger of Castana in Onawa Mar. 1938 in a double wedding ceremony with his cousin Jesse Phipps and Evelyn Bartells.

My parents lived on a farm near Moorhead where my sisters Hope, Carol and myself were born. Even at four it was good to leave the hills and gorges behind and settle on the Missouri River bottom land. Gail, Beverly and Richard were born on the farm which the folks farmed for over 20 years.

My fondest memories of those years are family weekend gatherings where we would play the piano, guitars, harmonicas, accordians, and sing songs until the wee hours of the night.

Hope, Carol and I attended a one room country school where attendance ran from four to fifteen students. We usually walked to school except in the worst weather when Dad would take us in his Model A.

The flood of the Missouri River in 1952 drove us back to the hills for a month. When we came back Dad had to row a boat over the flooded Blue Lake overflow just to go to work on the railroad. The following year the country school closed and we started to attend town school – Onawa. The friendliness of the other students and the understanding of the teachers overcame our shyness.

In 1962 I married William H. Ooten, another Onawa graduate. We had never dated during school but corresponded after he joined the Navy in 1959. Although we have enjoyed traveling around the world these past 19 years, our three sons Shawn, Jesse and Michael consider Iowa home as that is where grandparents and relatives live. Our only problem on bringing Shawn to Onawa when he was three to convince him everyone he met was not a relative. June R. Ooten


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