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DAISY ERMA DOLTON

Daisy Erma Dolton was born on July 18, 1909, in Mustang, Oklahoma. At the time of her birth her father, Frank, was 45, and her mother, Ida, was 42. She was the youngest of eight children. She had four brothers and three sisters.

Daisy remained in Frank's household, until his death. She was dependent on her parents due to a mental affliction caused by the high temperature effect of a childhood disease she had at five years of age. Her nephew, Louis Dolton, Sr., said he believed it was scarlet fever.

Louis Dolton, Sr., said, Daisy's spirit existed in her mind with very limited vocal expressions. When I walked across the street to Frank & Ida's house, I could always hear her say, "Roos a com'in." (She could not say Louis) If someone was walking to the house, she would say, "man a comin." She ate without assistance (meat did have to be cut up for her) except for a bib and was considerably overweight. I think she was bathed and dressed by her mother. She sat looking out a window and I never saw her take a daytime nap. She did not need help to walk or go to the car for a ride. Rides were occasional and uncommon. She did not venture outside by herself nor was she taken for even an occasional walk. She was friendly and I never saw her angry. She recognized family members, but I do not remember if she could say their names. She never had any chores such as washing dishes, doing laundry, making her bed, or even setting the table because she did not have the mental capacity. I was told that she could play the piano before contracting Scarlet Fever at age 5.

Mustang Township in Canadian County, Oklahoma, was home to the Frank and Ida Dolton family in 1910. The US Federal Census for this place has a record of the family living on a farm they owned (with the bank) and they were doing general farming. Frank Dolton was head of the household, male, white, age 46 years, be was born abt 1864 in Kansas, married for 19 years, and working as a farmer. His father was born in Illinois and his mother in Missouri. He was able to read, write, and speak English. Ida Dolton was Frank's wife, female, white, age 43 years, born abt 1867 in Illinois, married 19 years. She said her father was born in Tennessee and her mother in Ohio. William J Dolton was Frank's son, male, white, 18 years of age, born abt 1898 in Missouri, he was single, and working as a laborer on the home farm. Florence M Dolton was Frank's daughter, female, white, age 16 years, born abt 1900 in Missouri. Nancy I Dolton, daughter, female, white, 14 years of age, single, born in Missouri. Thomas F Dolton, son, male, white, 11 years old, single, born in Missouri, and working as a laborer on the home farm. Gilbert J Dolton, son, male, white, 8 years of age, single, born in Oklahoma. Elza G Dolton, son, male, white, 6 years of age, single, born in Oklahoma. Ines O Dolton, daughter, female, white, 4 years old, born in Oklahoma. Daisy E Dolton, daughter, female, white, 11 months old, born in Oklahoma. In response to the question of whether or not they "Had attended school any time since September 1, 1909" William, Florence, Nancy, Thomas, and Gilbert said yes.

The 1920 US Federal Census enumerated 27 January 1920 by J. S. Rector has a record of the Frank and Ida Dolton household living at a farmhouse on Township Road in Mustang, Canadian County, Oklahoma. Frank Dalton was the head of household, male, white, age 55 years, married, born in Kansas. His father was born in Illinois and his mother in Missouri. Frank was farming doing general farming. Ida O. Dolton was his wife, female, white, age 54 years, married, born in Illinois. Both her parents were born in the United States. Thomas F. Dolton was Frank's son, male, white, 20 years of age, single, born in Missouri. Thomas was farming on the home farm. Joseph G. Dolton, son, male, white, age 16 years, single, born in Oklahoma. Joseph was farming on the home farm. Elza G. Dolton, son, male, white age 14 years, single, born in Oklahoma. Elza was farming on the home farm. Inez Dolton, Frank's daughter, female, white, age 13 years, single, born in Oklahoma. Daisy E. Dolton, daughter, female, white, age 11 years, single, born in Oklahoma. In answer to a specific question whoever was replying to the census taker's questions said that Joseph, Elza and Inez had attended school at some time since September 1, 1919. They specifically said that Daisy had not attended school in this time frame and I guess Thomas because of his age (he was twenty years old) didn't have to answer the question.

Frank and Ida were still living in Mustang in 1930. The US Federal Census for this year has a record of their household as enumerated by Walter E. Starry on 10 Apr 1930. Frank Dolton was still farming at age 66 years. He was renting the house they lived in. He says he was first married at age 27. He was born abt 1864 in Kansas, his father was born in Illinois, and his mother in Missouri. Ida Dolton, his wife, was 63 years old, had first married at age 24 years, was born abt 1868 in Illinois, her father was born in Kentucky, and her mother in Ohio. Daisy Dolton was Frank's daughter, age 20 years, born abt 1910 in Oklahoma, and was single.

The 1940 US Federal Census for Mustang, Canadian County, Oklahoma, enumerated 03 Apr 1940 by Weldon J. Spitler has a record of the Frank and Ida Dolton household. Frank Dolton was the head of household, male, white, age 76 years, married, born in Kansas. Ida Olive Dolton was Frank's wife, female, white, age 72 years, married, born in Illinois. Daisy Erma Dolton was Frank's daughter, female, white, age 31 years, single, had not attended school and the highest grade she had completed was zero. Daisy was born in Oklahoma. None of the three of them were employed and they all indicated they had zero income. Frank and Ida indicated that they had other sources of income.

I have five photographs in which Daisy appears. All of them are family photographs with Frank and Ida and a varying cast of other Dolton family members. Daisy always appears in a dress and usually with her hands hanging down and crossed in front of her body, looking at the camera, and appearing very comfortable. The only exception is a photo taken in which she is standing next to Elza holding baby Garland (me) and, of course, Frank and Ida. She is standing there, smiling, with her hands up at her chest looking at the baby as if she is anticipating her turn to hold him. It's the only photo in which she is smiling. Elza is smiling too and that just wasn't done back in those days. You didn't smile for pictures.

In 1948, Frank moved the family to Oklahoma City to live with their widowed daughter, Florence Barefoot. In 1952, Frank and Ida were living at 412 SE 20th, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma [This is about one-half mile south of the North Canadian River and one mile west of I-35/South Prospect Avenue.].

Louis Sr. said, One or two years after Florence (Dolton) Barefoot's husband Claude passed away, my father, Elza, and I built an addition to Florence's two bedroom house for Daisy to sleep in. Later, we also built an enclosed, glassed in, sun breakfast room onto the kitchen. When Frank & Ida died, Florence was the oldest of Frank & Ida's children. When Florence died, she assigned all her worldly holdings to Luzell (London) Sullivan on the condition that Luzell would see that care was taken of Daisy. Luzell found Daisy a place in a group home just up in Yukon and made sure she was taken care of for the rest of her life. But, the fact that Florence put Luzell in charge of Daisy's care made my father, Elza, very angry. In spite of that, he and his wife, Louisa, made occasional visits to see that Daisy received proper care and Louisa made dresses and aprons for Daisy.

Luzell was the widow of Elza's middle son and the aunt of Louis Senior's wife. So, it was not like Florence went totally outside the family to find someone to take responsibility for Daisy's care. Luzell was female (and so perhaps more sympathetic to problems unique to that gender), younger than Elza and more likely to outlive Daisy, so she may have been a logical choice. As it turned out; Daisy outlived Elza and the choice of Luzell as her legal agent ensured continuity of care.

Frank died on October 28, 1952, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the age of 88. A year later her mother died at the age of 87 years. Elza died in 1981. When the end came for Daisy she had survived her parents and all her siblings but one. Her sister Ines who lived in California survived her by two years.

Wars came and went; financial crises reared their ugly head and then subsided; government administrations ascended and were washed away in the next election; and it all meant very little to Daisy. She just enjoyed being with people and always enjoyed it when family came to visit. Daisy died in February 1994 in Yukon, Oklahoma, at the age of 84, and was buried in her hometown of Mustang, Oklahoma.


SCARLET FEVER

Louis Sr. thought that Daisy's affliction came about because of high temperature due to scarlet fever. Is that possible?

In "Little House on the Prairie" they attributed Mary Ingalls blindness to scarlet fever. But, there is little evidence in the literature that scarlet fever has ever caused permanent blindness in a patient. In 2017, doctors who have examined the original writings of Laura Ingalls on which "Little House on the Prairie" is based believe that her blindness was likely caused by meningoencephalitis, an infection of the brain and the tissues surrounding the brain.

But, scarlet fever was a common disease of the time that everyone was familiar with it and physicians often diagnosed someone with scarlet fever because they didn't have another name for the disease that was afflicting a patient.

Five years old is "prime time" (one to five years old) for a child to get scarlet fever, so I can understand why a physician might diagnose such a child with high fever, headache, and malaise with this disease. But, I can find no evidence in the literature that scarlet fever ever caused a permanent neurological condition like that which Daisy suffered in childhood.

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