Saturday, February 12, 2011


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

They say that once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Fortunately, for genealogists that statement is true.

We all know the disappointment of finding a promising link on the internet only to find that the page can no longer be displayed. When that happens, the page can be quickly accessed by selecting the "cached" link on google. Eventually, though, the page will not appear in cached and will disappear from search engine listings. Once upon a time, that meant it was gone for good.

Enter The Way Back Machine to the rescue. If you have an old url for an internet page that no longer exists, the pages can be recovered through the Way Back Machine. Just enter the old url into the search engine, and like magic links to it will appear.

The Way Back Machine can be accessed at

If you would like to play with an old, dead internet page to see how it works, you can enter my old family site, featuring my Duncan and Nevill ancestors:

It works like magic. The old page springs back to life: the old background and graphics are still there in living color. Most of the old internal links still work. There are snapshots of my old site, that date from 1999 - 2001.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

Iley Nunn SELPH,
husband of Carolina SANDOVAL

1872 - 1935
Duncan Hyder SELPH
1826 - 1874
Lavinia Emily BURTON
1829 - 1899
Francis Nash Williams BURTON
1779 - 1843
Col Robert BURTON
Lavinia Bembury MURFREE
1795 - 1881
Col. Hardy MURFREE
Sarah Brickell
Pedigree generated by


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

Walter Ballard GRAHAM,
husband of Beulah GALT

1891 - 1959
Thomas Jefferson GRAHAM
1855 - 1942
Henderson GRAHAM
1820 - 1864
1821 - 1861
Elizabeth BULLS
Margaret Enola BYRUM
1860 - 1930
Ralph Henderson BYRUM
1836 - 1906
Nancy Evelyn TURNER
1841 - 1882
Lavinia CHISM
Pedigree generated by

Saturday, February 5, 2011


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

The “Old Home Place” is my mother’s birth place and her childhood home, the place of her most cherished memories. It is located on the first piece of land that my grandparents ever owned. Its previous owner was the notorious Jack Pope.

When I was a child, we always took a drive out to see the house every time we visited my grandparents. In those days, the old house still had its windows and doors. My grandfather stored hay in it, stacked from floor to ceiling. It was a rare treat to be there when it was empty, and we could go inside. Visiting The Old Hone Place is a family tradition that continued through my own children’s childhood. In recent years, however, vandals have broken out the windows and stolen the screen door. In its declining years, the house looks more and more haunted. Certainly, the old house has a grisly history, but haunted….

On one trip to visit The Old Home Place, my son unexpectedly began channeling the voices of my mother’s childhood friends, who loved to ask, “Are Jack Pope’s bloody handprints really on your fireplace?”

“..And there are bloody hand prints above the fireplace from the killer’s hands…” My son was just beginning to get started. He had his little sister squealing in delighted, terror as we pulled into the yard of the old house. I have no idea where his sudden inspiration came from. We had always been careful not to reveal the old house’s history around the kids. My mother and I shot a look over their heads; the same thought on both our minds: How did he know? She shook her head slightly at me in warning. I was no fool. Now was not the time to tell the kids the truth about the old house. My daughter was far too young. The immediate problem was to shut my son up…he was continuing to spin a story that was remarkably close to the truth.

The truth began long before Jack Pope murdered his family. His first wife had been home alone, raking and burning leaves in the yard. The hem of her dress caught fire. She must have resembled a human torch out there in the yard. Did she run? Certainly, she did not think to drop and roll because her burns were too severe. Somehow, she managed to get back to the house, removed her shoes, leaving them on the step, and crawled into bed.
A passerby spotted her smoking, burned shoes on the steps and investigated.

Help was sent for and arrived in the form of my grandmother, Bertha Chapman, who frequently helped to nurse the sick in the area. Mrs. Pope lingered for three agonizing days. She was literally roasted. Nothing could save her or ease her pain.

Jack Pope had a life insurance policy on his first wife and received a small sum of money as a result of Mrs. Pope’s sudden and unexpected death. The money, however, was a considerable amount to an East Texas dirt farmer. Collecting more insurance money was Jack Pope’s motivation for the murder of his second wife, Lydia.

When Lydia B. Pope left Jack, she took their baby Hubert with her to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. T.H. Hansell near Haworth, Oklahoma. Whether on her own or with the encouragement of her family, she filed for divorce from Jack. A week before the murder, Aaron “Red” Harvey, Jack’s partner-in-crime killed the Hansells’ dogs. Jack promised to pay him $500 dollar for helping with the murders. Later, Red Harvey claimed that he had only agreed to killed the dogs.

On the night of April 26, 1923, Jack Pope and Red Harvey burst through the doors of the Hansell home, guns blazing. They fired, point blank at the sleeping family. Killed instantly were Mr. and Mrs. Tom H. Hansell, their four year old son Aubrey, Lydia Pope and baby Hubert. The only survivor was a younger brother of Lydia’s. He rolled, wounded, between the bed and wall, Lydia’s body shielding him from the view of the killers. During the murders, Jack Pope Jr. stayed with the horses outside and claimed later that he knew nothing of his father’s intentions.

The two killers and their accomplice crossed back over the Red River. Jack Pope Jr. returned to the Old Home Place, where he was later arrested. Jack Pope Sr. was arrested in Clarksville. Harvey was also arrested, and the three of them were taken to Paris, TX to await their return to Oklahoma to stand trial for the murders. Figuratively speaking, Pope had the blood of his victims on his hands, but he left no bloody handprints on his fireplace at The Old Home Place.

Jack Pope admitted killing his wife for $2,000 in insurance money. According to him, the others were murdered to conceal his identity. He led the authorities to a place near the Hansells’ home, where he had hidden the three guns used in the murders. When the murder trial began, spectators were searched for weapons before they were allowed to enter the courthouse. Mob violence against Jack Pope had been a concern since his arrest.

Jack Pope and Aaron “Red” Harvey were sentenced to death. Jack Pope, Jr. received a life sentence in prison. Jack Pope and Red Harvey were electrocuted in McAlester, OK in January 1924. Pope went calmly to his death. Red Harvey, however, sobbed hysterically underneath his hood. They are both buried in the Department of Corrections Cemetery at McAlester, Oklahoma. Ironically, on, they each have a floral tribute while the graves of their victims are not even listed.

March 22, 2015 Update:

Tlhe situation at findagrave has changed. There are now memorials for the Hansells and Lydia Pope, who were buried in a mass grave without a marker. Below is the only funeral notice that I've found for them:

The old home place, circa 1930s - 1040s, viewed from the back of the house:

The page last updated on October 23, 2015.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

I first set eyes on Little Grandma’s piano in the spring of 1972 when I was fourteen years old. Little Grandma was my husband’s grandmother, Beulah (Galt) Graham Kinsey…

…Even as a fourteen year old teenager, I loved magazines. Fortunately, so did my mother and her mother, Bertha Chapman. I could always count on finding a stack of magazines at my grandmother’s house in East Texas, and since she subscribed to different magazines than my mother, there would be plenty of reading material in the event that I underestimated how many novels I needed to bring along. Sometimes there was not time to pack a book for our trips there.

In April of 1972, my grandmother Chapman was dying of breast cancer. My mother, brother, and I were traveling from Brownwood, TX to Avery, TX almost every weekend to be with her. Often my mother picked us up at school on Friday, and we headed straight to East Texas. On one trip that April mother had a fresh stack of magazines on the front seat of the car. I skimmed through them quickly.

“Any thing interesting?” my mother asked.

“Only this Maytag ad. There’s an antique organ in it, but people are in front of it, and you can’t see it. From what I can see it must be really neat. I wish I could see it.” I tossed the magazine down and went on to something else.

Truth be told, I loved the Maytag advertisements of the 70s. Women wrote letters to Maytag, detailing the exploits of their ancient Maytag washers. Their letters were little short stories about children, husbands, diapers and dirt. Wholesome American tales. Nowadays advertisers subscribe to the belief that if a girl can be hooked on a brand name by the age of 17, she will use that product for life. Probably. By the age of fourteen, I knew I was going to own a Maytag Washer…

…When I married my husband, I was already on my second Maytag washer. The first was a mistake. I bought it used, and it did not last long. The second one had been brand new out of the box. When we moved from Las Cruces, NM into a second floor apartment in the Dallas area, my husband and his nephew lost their hold on my Maytag while they were taking it up the stairs. It slid on its belly all the way to the bottom and was left with a long scar down the front to show for it. It took a licking but kept on ticking (whatever happened to Timex?). That washer was 18 years old when it finally conked out. It washed my son’s diapers for six months (before I gave up and bought disposables) and baby clothes, and six and half years later it washed my daughter’s baby clothes while also washing my husband’s restaurant linens, and it kept on running for several more years after that…

My husband and I had probably been married for at least 15 years when I learned the story of Little Grandma’s piano. I was visiting my mother-in-law in Albuquerque when she announced that she wanted to take me over to her brother “Chick’s” house because she wanted me to see her mother’s old piano. Thomas R. Galt had given the piano to his daughter, Beulah Galt for her 16th birthday. It had fallen into disrepair over the years, and “Chick” and his wife Jean Graham had restored it.

There was nothing to prepare me for how beautiful the old upright piano is. The wood literally glowed. It was the fanciest upright I’d ever seen. It looked like an organ, but was in fact a piano. As we sat at Chick and Jean’s admiring it, my mother-in-law and Jean started laughing about a letter Jean had written to Maytag about her old Maytag washing machine. The letter had been published in a Maytag ad. When the Maytag people came to the house, they insisted on taking the family’s picture with the old piano and not the old Maytag Washer.

I was dumbstruck. I had seen that old Maytag ad! It was a piano! Not an organ…

…The piano would have been given to Beulah after her parent’s house burned. When their house burned, there was so much confusion and pandemonium that the whole family ran out of the house and left the baby behind in its crib. A neighbor came in the back the door of the house to warn the family that the house was on fire, scooped the baby out of its bed, and emerged with it outside at about the same time that the family realized that no one had thought to grab the baby. Most of the Galt family heirlooms were lost in the fire.

When Thomas R. Galt gave the piano to Beulah in 1907, he was a poor man who moved his family once a year in search of work and of better land to farm. Given the piano’s size, it was not the most practical gift. It speaks, though, of a poor man’s dream to settle down, to plant roots, to gather his family around in harmony, to own something beautiful. When the Galts moved from Wichita Falls to Floydada, TX in 1910, the piano would have been roped inside one of the two wagons that moved the family. Its young mistress drove one wagon. The chickens swung in crates under the wagons while the cow walked along beside. Three years later the Galts picked up and moved from Floydada to Hale Center, TX, where they finally settled down. Their journey had originated in Farmingdale, IL where Beulah had been born, through Nebraska and Missouri into Texas. They were living the American dream, moving ever westward in search of a better life that was always just over the next hill. Hale Center, Texas was just over the last hill…

…Neither my mother-in-law nor her sister-in-law Jean remembered the year the Maytag ad appeared. I spent many years hunting it, and eventually found one for sale on the internet.

Jean Graham’s letter to Maytag in 1972 was another Wholesome American tale of family and endurance:

“Now going on 13, that washer still faithfully turns out 10 or 12 loads a week.

For almost thirteen years now, her Maytag Washer has performed above and beyond the call of duty, reports Mrs. Jean Graham, Whittier, California.

'She has raised three boys with all their dirt and grime, and one husband with all his grease and oil,' says Mrs. Graham. 'Still, on Monday morning, she is ready to make my sheets and pillowcases put the neighbors’ to shame.'

According to Mrs. Graham, her Maytag has done it with few complaints. Just 3 repairs in all these years, and her hsuband made them himself.

'For this I have moved her across the country with me, talked to her about her troubles, burped her through her cycles, and treated her like the lady she is. After all, don’t we all grow old? I just hope I do as well as my Maytag,' concludes Mrs. Graham.

Of course, today you can get New Generation Maytags with all the latest features. A washer with a giant capacity tub. A Maytag Halo-of-Heat Dryer with Electric Control. Both have Maytag’s special Permanent-Press Cycle.

We don’t say all Maytags will equal the record Mrs. Graham’s had. But dependability is what we try to build into every Maytag Washer and Dryer."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

Beulah Frances (GALT) GRAHAM, wife of Walter Ballard GRAHAM

1891 - 1989
Thomas Resin GALT

1860 - 1953
James Junius GALT
1835 - 1923
Thomas GALT
Mary Ann BROWN
1838 -
Rezin D. BROWN
Florence May BROWN
1870 - 1934
John Deloss BROWN
1835 -
Catherine E. HAY
1838 -
Pedigree generated by


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

husband of L. Myrtle DENDY

1907 - 1989
Richard Elick DUNCAN
1873 - 1952
1828 - 1910
Browning DUNCAN
Rebecca W. PETTUS
Susan P. REESE
1839 - 1918
William Wheeler REESE
Frances J. HALBERT
Susan Gertrude NEVILL
1871 - 1940
Grandison D. NEVILL
1841 - 1924
Granderson D NEVILL
Martha E.
Louisa Rebecca WALKER
1844 - 1912
Jonathan Calvin WALKER
Pedigree generated by


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

Lydia Myrtle (DENDY) DUNCAN,
wife of Fred DUNCAN

1913 - 2006
Buford Watts DENDY
1869 - 1934
James Hogan DENDY
1837 - 1892
William C. DENDY
Lydia Ann PUGH
1842 - 1922
Burrell B. PUGH
Barbara C. SMITH
Louise DAVIS
1880 - 1918
Eli Van Buren DAVIS
1844 - 1913
William F. DAVIS
1843 - 1923
Thomas Newton YARBERRY
Elizabeth RENTFRO
Pedigree generated by


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

Willie Sargent CHAPMAN, husband of Bertha BROWN

1892 - 1987
William Sargent CHAPMAN
1868 - 1893
Abner Chapman
1832 - 1882
Martha Frances MEADOWS
1834 - 1909
Martha KING
Mary Charlotte CAWTHON
1858 - 1918
Rutherford Porter CAWTHON
1822 - 1880
Susan Jane MASON
1833 -
Wiliam MASON
Matilda LEWIS
Pedigree generated by


© Kathy Duncan, 2011

1899 - 1973
Toy Mansel BROWN
1875 - 1953
John Calhoun BROWN
died 1875
Mary Emma BARBER
1846 - 1919
1810 - aft 1880
Arcena MOORE?
1812 -
Henrietta Elizabeth KELLEY
1875 - 1971
Mansel Pinkney KELLEY
1843 - 1912
1786 - 1837
Nancy Missouri OWENS
1819 - 1912
Elizabeth Ann Rebecca THOMPSON
1845 - 193
1804 -
Pedigree generated by