My great-great-great grand parents were John Burton Blake and Abigail (Crissmore) Blake, pioneers of Orlando West Virginia.
My great-great grand parents were Ballard Smith Blake and Mary Jane (Riffle) Blake, also of Clover Fork.
My great grand parents were William Henry Blake and Arminta (Williams) Blake who set to farming near Napier.
My grand parents were Walter Lee “Pap” Blake and Mina Jane (Allen) Blake.
My parents were Ralph Denzil “Dutch” Blake and Ruth (West) Blake.
To the left is my grandfather Walter Lee "Pap" Blake, 1885-1954.
My dad had two brothers Maynard and Woodrow and a sister Madeline. There were also two brothers that died soon after birth. Dad’s mom, Mina, died when he was seven leaving Walter Lee Blake with four small children and an infant. Baby Edwin Lee died one month after his mother. My Dad and his siblings called their father Walter Lee “Pap” (I guess short for Pappy).
Pap was caught between a coal wagon and the wall of the mine twisting his body until his neck was broken. A local blacksmith fashioned a device with a steel rod and straps that fastened around his body that Pap wore the rest of his life. A strap slipped in front of his forehead to keep his head up. I can’t imagine how he slept or lived a somewhat normal life under those conditions.
Due to Pap’s disability work was not easy to find but he somehow managed to keep the family together. I know the family was poor but I never heard any complaints about that from my Dad. In fact, it seemed to me he had a happy life based on the stories he told. Some of the stories were so funny we often asked for a repeat performance.
Right above: Pap with brother James.
Left below: Maynard
Blake Boys Vs. Bees
Right: Denzil Blake and daughter Doris Jean
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