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FLORENCE MAY DOLTON

When Florence May Dolton was born on January 3, 1894, in Maysville, Missouri, her father, Frank, was 29, and her mother, Ida, was 27. She was the second of eight children and would eventually have four brothers and three sisters.

The 1910 US Federal Census for Mustang, Canadian, Oklahoma, contains a listing of the Frank and Ida Dolton family enumerated 2 May 1910. Frank Dolton, white, male, age 46, married once at age nineteen, born about 1863 in Kansas, his father was born in Illinois and his mother in Missouri, working as a farmer doing general farming; Ida Dolton, age 43, wife, white, married at age 19, she had eight children who were all still living, she was born about 1866 in Illinois, her father was born in Tennessee and her mother in Ohio; William J Dolton, white, son of Frank, age 18, born in Missouri, was working as a laborer on the home farm; Florence M Dolton, daughter, white, age 16, born in Missouri; Nancy J Dolton, daughter, white, age 14, born in Missouri; Thomas F. Dolton, son, white, age 11, born in Missouri, was working as a laborer on the home farm; Gilbert J Dolton, son, white, age 8, born in Oklahoma; Elza G Dolton, age 6, born about 1904 in Oklahoma; Inez O Dolton, daughter, white, age 4, born in Oklahoma; Daisy E Dolton, daughter, white, age 11 months, born in Oklahoma.

When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917; Florence Dolton was living in Mustang, Oklahoma. In spite of a series of financial reverses, when Franks two eldest daughters, Florence and Bell, married, he gave their families horses, harness, plows, and the accoutrements necessary to make a living farming.

In the 1920 US Federal Census for Oklahoma City Ward 4, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, was a record of the Claud and Florence Barefoot household where they were renting a home or apartment at 507 1/2 East Pearl. Claude L Barefoot was 31 years of age, born abt 1889 in Texas. Both his parents were born in Texas. He was working in the trades for the Frisco RR. He was a white, male, married to Florence Barefoot. He said she was able to speak, read, and write English. Florence Barefoot was 26 years old, born abt 1894 in Missouri. She said her father was born in Missouri and her mother in Illinois (her father was born in Kansas). She said she was able to speak, read, and write English.

In the nineteen twenties. (1) Women could vote: The 19th Amendment to the Constitution had guaranteed that right in 1920. (2) By 1923 there were more than 500 radio stations in the nation. By the end of the 1920s, there were five national radio networks and radios in more than 12 million households. (3) About 1924 permanent plumbing and running water in the house was becoming increasingly affordable and therefore available. (4) The most important consumer product of the 1920s was the automobile. The Ford Model T cost just $260 in 1924.

Claud Layfayett Barefoot was living in Kiowa County, Oklahoma, when he registered for the World War I draft 5 Jun 1917. World War I Draft Registration Card for Claude Barefoot: Claud (sic.) Layfayette (sic.) Barefoot, age 29, living in Snyder, Oklahoma, registered for the World War I draft. He said he was born April 5, 1888 and was a natural born citizen; born at Red River Station, Texas. He said he was working as an engineer for Snyder Light Plant in Snyder, OK. He said his next of kin is his wife, he is married, and she is Caucasian. The registrar said that Claud is of medium height, medium weight; has brown hair, brown eyes, and is otherwise fit.
(U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918)

In 1930, Claud L. Barefoot was 42 years old and lived in Mustang, Oklahoma with his wife, Florence. (1930 United States Federal Census) Then, Claud and Florence moved to Culver City, California. (Claude L. Barefoot lived in Culver City, California in 1931. (U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989) They were only there for four years. In 1935, they moved back to Oklahoma City. (U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989)

In the 1940 US Federal Census for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is an entry for the household of Claud and Florence Barefoot. Claud L. Barefoot, head of house, male, white, age 52 years, married, attended school through grade eight, born in Texas, not working in farming, working in private sector, worked 48 hours last week as a floorman at a grade school. He worked 50 weeks in 1939 at an annual salary of $1,175 and no other income. His wife was Florence Barefoot, female, white, age 46, married, attended school through grade eight, born in Missouri. She worked as homemaker. There were no children in the household.

U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989, in early 1942 had this listing: "Claude L. Barefoot (Florence) mtce PS h412 SE 20th." This indicates he worked in maintenance (mtce) at a public school (PS) and they owned their home (h).

In 1942 Claud Lafeyette Barefoot filled out a World War II draft registration card. He was living at 412 SE 20 SW, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. He said he was 54 years of age having been born April 5, 1888, in Montague County, Texas. He gave the name and address of the person who would always know his address as his sister, Stella Bryan at 312 SE 26, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He said he was unemployed and was going to work the first of next week for A&A R.R. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma. The registrar said that Claud was white, six feet tall, weighing 190 pounds, brown eyes, he was balding but had some gray hair, with a light complexion.

America entered World War II with the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by the Japanese on December 7, 1941. America declared war on Japan and then on their allies; the Germans and Italians. The war ended in Europe on May 8, 1945, and in the Pacific against Japan September 2, 1945.

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Here is a story that mentions Claude Barefoot. It shows that he was always willing to help out his neighbors.

The last child of Charles Clay Bursell and Ora Lee Allen was called Mary Burcha Bursell. Mary was born on December 19, 1928, also in Guymon, Texas County, Oklahoma. She went on to marry Harold Jack Maupin on August 14, 1946. They were married in Lordsburg, Hidalgo County, New Mexico.

"Mary Burcha Bursell Maupin helped my Dad 'prove up' on the homestead out on the North West Flats. On the morning when Clay was born, she was pulling nails from some used lumber so they might use it to build shelter for their cattle. She milked cows, made butter and sold cream, worked in the broom corn, rode the harrow and drove the team. She nursed the sick and helped deliver babies and even set my Dad's broken leg after he was run over by his own wagon. She raised four children of her own, a stepson, Homer, and a ten year old boy, Billy, who got off the orphan train from New York about 1917.

The years of the "Dust Bowl" and the Depression years that followed were hard on Mother. We moved from a house in Guymon to the Coldwater Ranch, then to Ringwood and on to Granddad's in Oklahoma City and finally to his homestead in Cleveland County, nine miles east of Norman and a mile and a half south on the place where she was born. Granddad, Claude Barefoot and my Dad built a two room frame house roughly in the same spot and almost identical to the one she had lived in. Claud Barefoot helped us plant and dig sweet potatoes that year and we had a few cows, but no money. Clay, now about 20 years old, joined the CCC's to help support us."

Now Ora Lee Allen was born in Indian Territory in what is now the state of Oklahoma. She was born on August 14, 1895, the seventh child and fourth daughter of Madorah Ann Reynolds and Samuel Lee Allen. Since Lafayette D. Barefoot was married to Mary Jane Allen (who may be related to Ora and Mary), then it is not surprising to find their son Claude Barefoot helping Mary and Harold build a house near where they lived in Cleveland County, Oklahoma.

Bart L. Barefoot, born 1886 in Texas, is the son of Mary Jane (Allen) Barefoot and the brother of Claude L. Barefoot, born 1888 in Texas. (http://www.reynoldsfamilycircle.com/family6.htm)

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Louis Dolton, Sr., recalls that Claude Barefoot was a conductor on both freight and passenger trains out of Oklahoma City. It seems that Claude talked about the crew (an engineer, fireman, and conductor) would take the Frisco to Barstow from OKC and lay over then take another train back to OKC & a California crew would do the same. From a history of Oklahoma County it indicates there were four railroads through Oklahoma County about 1900:

The first two of the railroads merged and became the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, or Frisco Railway. The other two ran mostly North and South. Based on Louis' recollections and the history; it seems likely that Claude worked on the Frisco Railway. This was confirmed by the 1920 US Federal Census.

Claude Barefoot died in 1946 in Mustang, Oklahoma, at the age of 58, and was buried there. Claude died before I was born. I never heard and cannot find a record of his cause of death. Louis Dolton, Sr., recalled that Claude smoked cigarettes and drank a lot. Claude could smoke a cigarette with the cigarette entirely inside his mouth. Another time Louis said, "Claude was adventurous, smoked, and (at times) drank heavily. He was a great story teller, something of a magician with disappearing & reappearing coins. He pretended to push a cigarette in one ear and out of the other side of his head. He really could flip a half smoked cigarette into his mouth and smoke (breathing through his nose) while blowing smoke out through his nose." This may have had something to do with his untimely death.

In 1948, Florence's parents and sister, Frank, Ida, and Daisy, moved to Oklahoma City to live with Florence. In 1952, they 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.

Florence May Dolton died in March 1973 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the age of 79, and was buried in Mustang, Oklahoma. Aunt Florence always seems to be happy and healthy. I can certainly understand her longevity.


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