A Railroad Siding
Who Lived There
Charles Fultineer was well integrated into the Orlando community despite the fact that he lived in Kemper, Orlando’s suburb. In 1905, Charles was the financial secretary of I.O.O.F Washington Lodge No. 194 in Orlando. The other officers of the lodge at that time were George Gay who was Noble Grand, Sylvester "S. D." Oldaker who was Vice Grand, Andrew Jackson "A. J." Heater, Financial Secretary, and Charles Francis "C. F." Skinner, Treasurer.
Around 1918, Charles and Mary Fultineer sold the store to John Gay and moved to Buckhannon in order for his children to have access to a high school education. Charles remained in the teaching profession and store business according to his death certificate. He died in 1958 at age eighty-five.
A Family History of the Fultineer Family
Dick Fultineer of Pittsburgh, son of Ted and Agnes (Wyatt) Fultineer, and grandson of Charles and Mary (McCray) Fultineer, kindly provided to this writer a family history which had been written by his aunt Marguerite Fultineer Bell who was born at Kemper in 1906. She lived the early part of her life on Oil Creek until she was twelve when the family moved to Buckhannon. With minor revisions, that history is tendered.
James Polk Fultineer
My grandfather was James Polk Fultineer. He was too young to fight in the Civil War so he joined up as a water boy. He always walked with a cane. We don’t know if he was injured in the Army or if it was arthritis. He married Sarah Catherine Griffith from Gilmer County, near Glenville.
A California Sojourn
When Dad (Charles Fultineer) was still single, he and his father’s family decided to go to California. Grandpa Fultineer’s sister, Aunt Margaret had moved there and married a very wealthy man. She wanted the family to move out there. Aunt Mag’s husband owned a big orange grove. Dad and the family did not like it in California so they returned to Bear Run. Aren’t we glad they did? Ted and Agnes think he wanted those four big boys – Uncle Al, Uncle Andrew, Uncle Lloyd and of course Charles, who was my dad— to work for him. [Many years later] when we were living at Kemper, Aunt Margaret came from California and visited us there.
Aunt Grace (Lucy Jane Grace Fultineer) was the only daughter of James Polk Fultineer and Sarah Catherine (Griffith) Fultineer. She was a gentle, kind person like her mother, Catherine. Aunt Grace had no children so she adopted Charlie’s kids as we lived close by. They had a real nice house and spent a lot of time at Aunt Grace’s. She taught me many things and encouraged my interests in sewing and cooking. When we washed, we had to carry water from a spring quite a distance away. We also needed water for the cooking we did. ( Lucy Jane Grace Fultineer, aged thirty five, married Warrick Cameron Ratliff, aged thirty seven, son of William and Elizabeth (Gay) Ratliff, in 1910.)
My mother had to quit school in the eighth grade when her mother became blind. Being the oldest, she had to help her mother take care of the rest of the children—four boys and three girls besides herself. Mother loved flowers and we always had all kinds of flowers. She often exchanged starts with other people. She was anxious to learn new things; had nutritious meals for us and never permitted us to read the wrong kind of books or magazines. She often sent us kids to neighbors with food when someone was sick.
All of the children of Charles Sidney and Mary Anne McCray Fultineer were born at Kemper on Oil Creek. The oldest child, Herman, was born on November 12, 1900. Amy was born on June 2, 1902 and Madge came along on November 19, 1903. Ted arrived on Christmas Day 1904, and a year and a half later, I (Marguerite) arrived. Frank was born on August 7, 1909 and eight years later, the youngest child Leland was born. My sister Amy died of diphtheria when she was five years old. I had it at the same time – I was quite young- and I had it again when I was eleven.
Help from Florida
Mother had a lot of help in the summers. Grandpa McCray owned lots of land in Florida, part of which was in orange trees. Mother’s sisters, Ora, Laura, and Amanda lived in Florida during the winter but they would come back and spend the summers with us. Aunt Ora taught me to crochet, even though I was left-handed. My aunts taught Mother how to bake bread. Aunt Laura sewed for us and so did Dad’s sister, Aunt Grace. We had a big garden, two cows, pigs and chickens.
We loved to go to Grandma’s house on Bear Run which was three or four miles away. Ted was about six when he started going there. We’d pack up a few things and start walking. Mother had all these kids to take care of and the store to tend. When Dad was teaching school, our young sister Madge would go out and sit on the railroad tracks, so Mother sent her to Grandma’s too. Our cousin, Nellie, daughter of Uncle Al was also at Grandma’s. Her mother had died of tuberculosis and Nellie was also sick with the same disease. Her sister Thelma and brother Jack did not contract the disease. When Madge was older she helped take care of Nellie who also often visited our home at Kemper. Madge told me in her later years when she had health problems that the doctors told her that she had tuberculosis scar tissue on her lungs. It is surprising that we didn’t catch the disease too.
They had a big orchard, garden and lots of farm animals on Bear Run. I remember sitting on the back porch at Bear Run, churning to make butter. A spring house was built into the hill. It had troughs on the sides and back. That is where they kept the crocks of milk in cool running spring water. Then the milk was cool, the cream would be separated and saved to make butter. When it turned sour, it was put in a tall churn. The lid had a hole in it and a paddle was in the bottom of the churn and would go up and down…up and down… until it turned to butter. After the butter was removed, we drank the buttermilk or cooked with it. I did a lot of churning at Grandma’s.
When we were at Grandma’s in the winter, the snow would cover our bed, but we were all cozy under our feather comforters.
One Sunday, all of us were dressed up to go to church. Ted had on his white linen suit, short pants, and jacket. He didn’t like his shoes, so slipping them off, he got into a mud puddle. Imagine Mother’s reaction!!
One day, I was sitting at our kitchen table eating buttermilk and corn bread. Dad was churning butter and Mother was standing at the stove—a wood and coal stove with a warming oven over the back of it— when a can of something fell down and set the stove and Mother on fire. Dad jumped up, ran to the bedroom and got a quilt, threw it over Mother and put the fire out. I ran over to the neighbors and told them our house was on fire and they came running.
One time, Ted got sick while he was at Grandma’s. He says he was about six. They took him back home and he sat on Aunt Grace’s lap in the buggy. He had typhoid fever. They made a bed for him in the parlor and we were not allowed to go in. They had a nurse who came to take care of him because his illness was contagious.
Dad and Mother started a Baptist Church in the Bennett Siding school house and we had circuit-rider preachers. They came every so often and always stayed with us. I remember sitting up at night listening to them tell of their adventures. I’m sure they made a lot of them up because they were sometimes scary stories—like the time one preacher told about the whiskey still in the mountains and the "revenooers" came. I couldn’t sleep very well that night.
After Herman left home at sixteen to get work, my parents started thinking that the rest of us should have more education. Dad had a normal school degree. In 1918, Dad sold his successful business and position as a leader in the community so that his children could get an education. Mother’s father owned several houses in Buckhannon. My parents bought a large house on Barber Street which was one block from the grade school and high school and five blocks from West Virginia Wesleyan.
Our home in Buckhannon had a barn, pigpen and chicken house. There was also a large garden. We had our own milk, butter and buttermilk and did our own canning. We made apple butter every year in a big 20-gallon brass kettle with apples from Uncle Lloyd’s orchard on Bear Run. There was a long-handled big paddle which was used to stir it back and forth—that was an all-day job. Mother cooked the apples on the stove inside and would run the apples through a sieve. As the apples cooked down, she would keep adding to it. Mother cleaned pennies with vinegar and put them on the bottom of the kettle. The pennies and the back and forth action of the paddle kept the apple butter from burning.
When we moved, I was twelve years old and Dad placed me in the fifth grade. I felt bad about that since I was older than the other kids. I went to summer school, made up the lost time and graduated from high school at eighteen.
When we moved to Buckhannon, we joined the First Baptist Church. We had an Evangelistic meeting and I was baptized in February 1919, but it wasn’t until years later that I finally realized what Christ meant in my life. I taught Sunday School and directed the little kids in plays. Later on in high school, Made dated the preacher’s son. We were all active in church and BYPU.
A Move to Gee Lick
After we moved to Buckhannon, my Aunt Margaret sometime later visited us from California and brought Grandpa with her and stayed with us for two days. Aunt Margaret wanted us to have something better so she gave my parents $3000 to buy a two-acre farm on Gee Lick in Lewis County. Dad and Mother, Grandpa and Grandma, Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Min, moved there and are buried there today. I count it a great privilege to have people like that as my heritage.
Glad you are recovering. I know you have had a hard shock.
It is hard to understand why a good God lets good people suffer and die.
We cannot blame God if people die young. It is just because our bodies are mortal and must be changed to immortal.
Trouble of some kind, especially bereavement, is the common experience of mankind. How does one endure it? How does one keep one’s faith and deal with it constructively? The answer is faith in God. I often wonder who those who do not have such faith manage to survive sorrow.
When your mother died, I did not think life would be worth living without her. For a long time I could not bear to look at her picture or go in her room. Even now suddenly coming across something of hers, the old pain is back with stabbing force.
God be with you and comfort you.