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Grover & Ollie Payne
Written by Ollie Payne
Submitted by: Carolyn (Sebring) Thompson
Born in Bonham, Texas, December 5, 1896 Ollie Countess, daughter of Ezra Countess and Mary (Kelly) Countess, met Grover Payne in the spring of 1912. They were married December 29, 1912.
Grover was born in Barnesville, Ky., Sept. 26, 1890 and came to Oklahoma in 1908. The couple lived and farmed in the Crescent vicinity and at one time owned and operated a laundry in Crescent for 8 years.
Shortly after Grover and Ollie were married some of the Countess family became ill with typhoid fever. Ollie and Grover helped her mother care for her brothers. Ollie, too, fell ill and soon Mrs. Countess became very sick with typhoid and passed away December 18, 1914.
Twelve children were born to the Paynes: two died in infancy. Bringing up a large family during the early 1900's and the depression years of the 30's included many difficulties. One year they could not sell the cotton crop and had to depend on the merchants for credit obtain what was needed. Sugar and flour were rationed during WW I and often the family did without. Twice the homes they lived in were destroyed by fire and nearly all they owned was lost, in April 1920 and again in 1950. This time a few clothes were saved that were at the laundry.
After the 1950 fire, Grover found a barn that was in good condition, where dances had been held at one time. They were able to make it liveable enough to stay there for several months when they rented a farm from a Mr. Matheson. The Payne family lived there for 11 years.
Along with caring for her own family, Ollie still found the time to assist neighbors when called on, as most pioneer families did in times of sickness or trouble. She did the washing to help a neighbor with small children when the mother was caring for her own mother, then seriously ill.
With 10 children at home at one time the family still found time to play and enjoyed games of dominoes and outdoor fun of baseball and running races. Chores and work were shared by all.
When Grover's health failed, his illness was diagnosed as Multiple sclerosis and after 3 1/2 years, he passed away Nov. 1, 1955. A son, Thurman, died in 1963, age 36 and a daughter, Anna Lou Cochran, died in 1977, age 57.
The Payne children are:
Cleo (b. December 7, 1913) married Fred Sebring
Buck (b. February 22, 1915) married Pauline Green; Anna Lou (b. January 16, 1918) married Arnold Cochran; Irene (b. April 26, 1922) married Norman Hennig; Cletta Fae (b. January 5, 1924) married Herman Hennig; Wayne (b. January 24, 1926) married Juanita Grant; Thurman (b. March 27, 1928) married Emma Lea Terhune; Doyle (b. March 15, 1930) married Loretta Newell; Tommie (b. July 19, 1932) and Ralph (b. November 20, 1934).
Ollie, at age 81, still lives alone and does all her own work. She states, "I have enjoyed all the things that happened to me in my life and if I had to do it over, I would do the same thing."
Note: Ollie wrote this in the 1980's.
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