The Spiker Family Gathering Place

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B - Diary Pages 16 through 25



To color the flames in your fireplace soak pine cones or pieces of wood in the following chemical solution for 2 minutes and dry in a warm room. 

Green flame to 1 gallon of water add 1 lb boric acid. 

Blue flame two 1 gal water add 1 lb copper sulphate. 

Red flame 2 1 gal water add 1 lb strontium strontium nitrate.


Peace and patientce go together.
Freedom and patientce go together.
Friendship and patientce go together.



The Cloverleaf American 


I asked the New Year, “What am I to do 
The whole year through?”
The answer came,
Be true,” 

I asked again, “And what am I to say
To those who pass my way?”
“The kindest words,” he said,
“That you can say.” 

“What thoughts am I to think, day long, year long?”
and clearly as a quick-struck gong,
The answer,
“Think no wrong.”

“And what roads take across the earth’s worn sod
Where many feet have trod?”
Swift, came the answer –
“Those that lead to God.” 

-- Grace Noll Crowell.



Dear Rosemary:  I am sending a small plant for your “Garden.”  If it is cultivated it will grow into a beautiful flower – Mrs. Flora Stohler, Indiana. 

As a candle in the night
Sends abroad its cheerful light,
So a little word may be
Like a lighthouse in the sea.
When the winds and waves of life
Fill the heart with storm and strife – 
It’s a star some boat to guide
To a harbor glorified. 

-- Unknown



Jan. 1937.  I decided to do this. 

We must learn to undress our mind at night as we do our body and to take real rest.  To do that we must take time off accasionally to think things through.


1941   I read Desert Gold, Yaquis Indian (Richard Gales)

The Robe by Douglas 1943


Some things I want to remember when I read the book Robe by Loyd C. Douglas.  Quiet.  Quiet.

A sort of stabilizing power that swept away all afflicting circumstance suffused with a glow of curious kinship.  Socrates Epicurus Herodo Solon Aristotle Polyberus, Greeks.  It is the heroes who live forever in our publick gardens and men of peace, Yeshayah was a Jewish prophet and he was foretelling the coming of a Jewish Messiah.


External Links referencing above scripts:

[Desert Gold - Read text online at World Public Library]
[Zane Gray by Wikipedia]
[The Robe - Read text online at Gutenberg Project]
[Lloyd C. Douglas by Wikipedia]
[The Robe by Wikipedia]


Woodland Friends

I wish I could write like a master,
And in words of a poet reveal
The beauty I find all around me,
And the love for wildlife that I feel.
The little lakes, crystal and quiet,
The streams that go scrambling along,
Each has for me something distinctive,
Its own sweet, particular song. 

The trees in their beautiful colors,
Bear their noble heads royally high.
While with their slim, delicate fingers
They reach up to beckon the sky.
My feather friends are all singing,
Below them the furry ones play;
There is nothing to mar their contentment,
Or mine, as I watch them today.

Friend, if you are sad or unhappy,
Come out to the woods with your care;
You’ll find us all carefree and peaceful,
And ready our pleasures to share.
And as the bright forest enfolds you,
As you visit its folks for a day,
You’ll find that your troubles will vanish,
Blown, like the light woodsmoke, away. 

Philip Paquet, Greensboro, N. C. 



(xxxxx) MacTavish, instructor in sociology and supervisor of social work at Ohio university was the speaker at the dinner meeting of the Blue Triangle club held at the Y. W. C. A. on Seventh street on last evening at six o'clock.  He chose for his subject "Adventures in Friendship" and developed the theme in a charming manner, early in his talk drawing the clear contrast between an acquaintance and a friend.

Nor did he limit the use of the word "friend" to the human being but cleverly included the contacts which he has enjoyed with a favorite saddle horse and a pet dog, bringing out the value of animal contacts at times when actions sometimes suffice far more than words.  For example, he described his feelings of pleasure when he walks to the stable, doesn't say a word but merely moves to the stall of his favorite mount and how immediately she will turn and nuzzle his face with her soft mouth.

Friendships looming ahead as adventures in understanding and mutual appreciation might have been the theme of the talk.  Before finishing Prof. MacTavish had told the girls something of his experiences in a Pittsburgh social center where he worked hard to gain the confidence and the friendship of a group of boys from the most wretched homes in the metropolitan area.  How he chose to do this and the manner in which he said he eventually succeeded, made an interesting story.


Mrs. Pharo Statler

Mrs. Pharo Statler joined the innumerable throng on the other side from her home near the fair ground below Pennsboro, on Sunday afternoon at three o’clock, after a brief illness of typhoid-pneumonia. 

She was formerly Miss Belle Ferrell, of Pennsboro, and was still young.  She is survived by her husband and three children. 

The funeral will take place today Tuesday, at two o’clock, from the U. B. church and will be in charge of the pastor, the Rev. Mr. Gruder.



Mrs. Dora Cox

“A beautiful life ends not in death.”  “The End” was written to another beautiful volume of life on Wednesday morning, February 21, 1912 at 4 o’clock when the gentle spirit of Mrs. Alice Dora Cox winged its heavenward light from the home of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Tharpe near Summers after a year’s illness of tuberculosis, the family enemy. 

Mrs. Cox was the last survivor of the family of the late Andrew Pritchard, and was a most estimable Christian woman.  She was born on March 2, 1876, and on April 30, 1905 she was happily married to Mr. Ira Cox, son of O. P. Cox of Coxes Mills, who with one little daughter “Elsie Lucile,” aged five years still survives, another little eleven-month old daughter, “Maxie” having been laid away in August of last year. 

She gave her heart to Christ at the age of thirteen years, and united with the Methodist Episcopal church and was an earnest, useful member to the close of her life; being a skillful musician and a worker in the Sunday school.  Some time before the end she realized that earth was “fast receding” and though life was sweet and her family ties dear, with unfaltering trust she calmly faced the inevitable, and made all her arrangements, even to the selection of her casket, pall-bearers, shroud and the hymns that were to be sung. 

The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon at 1 o’clock from the South fork Baptist church and was very largely attended.  The service was in charge of the Rev. Cyrus Poling of the M. E. church and her cousins, Messrs. C. H., Lakin and Shirley Pritchard, Conrad Snodgrass, Peter and H. E. Wass were the pall bearers. 

She was laid away in her bridal dress in a white casket covered with white lilies and pink roses.  The hymns used were “No Dying There,” “In that City,” “Nearer My God to Thee,” “The Way seems Brighter” and as they carried her to her last resting place in the churchyard, the congregation impressively sang “Till We Meet again.”

Much sympathy is felt for the husband and little one and the aged grandparents who have been so repeatedly and sadly bereft. 


External Links referencing above script:

[H.B. Tharp & Ira D. Cox as mentioned in The Good-Will Community, A History of Holbrook W. Va. by Bradford Spiker]

Transcriber's Notes:

Willa Dean Spiker tells us that Dora's daughter, Elsie Lucile, married Judge Max DeBerry.  Their daughter, Mary Lucille, often stops by the Spiker Reunions to visit with family. 

We contacted Mary Luicille DeBerry soon after the publication of this diary.  On September 16, 2008, she responded with the following information:


I don't know of any family relationship (between Gay and Dora) but heard often what good friends their husbands (Ira D. and Jake) were as well as fairly close neighbors.  It wasn't far from the Spiker home from Holbrook up toward Oxford just past the iron bridge where the cement fence posts with the balls on top signaled the arrival at the Tharp/Cox family home.

The obituary (was) most likely written by Minnie Kendell Lowther who wrote such for the Ritchie County paper.

I know that Maxie Irene died of polio and that all of H.B. and Elizabeth Tharp's children and grandchildren died young.  Dora Alice's parents are buried at Auburn. The dates in the Ritchie County Cemetery Book are:  Eliza Tharp Pritchard died Feb. 19, 1878 at 27 Y, 10M 19 D, wife of Andrew Pritchard who died March 10, 1878 at 28 years. 

Their son Grant, Dora Alice's brother is buried at South Fork Cemetery in Doddridge County along with Dora Alice, H.B. and Elizabeth and little Maxie Irene.


External Links referencing above notations:

[Descendents of John Belconger]
[Ritchie County native and writer, Mary Lucille Deberry - includes photo]
[West Virginia History Heroes for 1999 - Mary Lucille DeBerry]
[History of Richie County by Minnie Kendell Lowther]


The data below is the text printed on the reverse side of the newspaper clipping shown immediately above.  It is being provided for its historical relevance.


The farmers (if they rely on the old saying, that “a dry, cold winter means an early spring”) are planning to get their plowing done early. 

Fox hunting has got to be a vocation in this vicinity. 

We hope there will be no one else come out for Sheriff, there will be nobody left to vote after a while.

Ethel Smith who has been visiting home folks has returned to E. Cokeley’s. 

Warren Say and Army Killingsworth has been pulling rods for the past few days. 

O. W. Phillips has gone to S.E. Rexroad’s to start another well. 

Work is progressing nicely on the G. E. Killingsworth well.  The eight inch casing was put in. 

Andy Crothers, the well known oil man got one of his toes mashed. 

Cooche Phillips is here attending court. 

John Starr informs his many friends that he will not make the race for sheriff this time. 

Marion Wright and wife spent the in Harrisville. 

Dolhe Layfield has been visiting friends at Cantwell the past week. 

Willie Phillips is at home on a vacation for a few days. 

A. R. Philips is slowly improving.


CAIRO Route 2

We hail with gladness the approaching spring-time, and we predict that our farmers’ wives will begin the search for garden seeds, and this means that every tin can, tea pot, paper bag and drawer must submit to a close inventory of its contents.

Mr. and Mrs. E. C. French, Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Alkire, Floyd Ross, Clyde Ross, and Miss Fay Alkire were visiting at J. H. Jones’ on last Sunday.

Mr. and Mrs. Geo. P. Emerick of Parkersburg, will move to their farm on Marietta run Saturday.

The protracted meeting at Nutter Farm closed Saturday night without additions. 

Daniel Davis lost a good horse a few days ago; this is the second horse he has lost in the last five months.  We sympathize very much Uncle Dan – but  according to the old adage – “those who have must lose.” 

The Nutterfork literary society extends to you an invitation to come on Friday evening and stay till bed time. 

Pres. Waller, road surveyor, of near Petroleum, was in our town last Monday. 

There is one more month of the Nutterfork school. 

Miss Letha Crooks was calling on Miss Dessie Rinehart recently. 

Geo. Amick made a trip to Borland wells last week. 

Frank Cain and John Sandy have been clearing land for W. J. Alkire.



Old age is no such uncomfortable thing if one gives oneself up to it with good grace.


Hypertrophy of the Heart.  Sudden pain in heart muscles.