|3.||Stanley Eugene Disney||b: 1910 AUG 10 Attorney Died: 1985 MAY 24|
|Spouse: Francis Higbee Martin||b: 1910 OCT 14 Died: 1993 MAY 06|
|Married 1936 June 15|
|1.||Charlton Hildreth Disney *||1944 JUL 7 Died 1985 DEC 16 (age 41)|
|2.||Loren Stanley Disney *||1945|
|3.||Anna Nettie Disney||1946|
|4.||Milton Wesley Disney||1947|
|5.||Grover Ben Disney *||1948|
|6.||David Wesley Disney||1948|
|7.||William Ralph Disney||1949|
|8.||Dianne Karen Disney||1950 Twins|
|9.||Dorothy Cameron Disney *||1950 Twins|
* have children
Narrative by Stanley Disney as he was writing to his son Loren who was in the Army at the time
April 1, 1965
It occurred to me as I was walking from my car to the office this morning that in the letters I write to you I have an opportunity to tell you certain things about my life, that I wish my father had told me about his, but he never did. My father told me some about his boyhood bot somehow the opportunity for a complete story never came out. As a result I am not even sure of the names of all of his brothers and sisters. I don't know the name of his mother completely - - or where she came from. I don't know whether he ever had a bicycle when he was a boy; or whether anyone in his neighborhood had one. Since letters should not only be reports of recent events which might interest the reader but also brief visits, I'll tell you something about my life and that of your grandfather and your grandmother (You remember Perky) when they were younger. While this may not be of great interest to you right now, I believe later you will be glad to know about your family.
Your grandfather (my father) was named Loren G Disney. I named you Loren after him. He told me once ( or mother did) that the initial "G" did not stand for any name. He just decided Loren Disney was too short, and added the letter "G" himself to complete his name. Your Uncle Bud is also named Loren G. Disney - and he was Loren G Disney Jr. until father died in 1938.
Your grandfather was born in Kansas in 1876. If you remember your history that was the same year that Sitting-Bull and his Indians killed Custer and his troops at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Now that just sounds like something from a history book. Bu if you put two facts together - the growing up of a small boy on a farm in the late 70's and early '80's, and the fact that the grown-ups around us had feared Indians, and some , perhaps had fought them, and all talked about them, you will suddenly realizes that when the boys played cowboys and Indians, they were playing about people who were real. When they left the house to go to the barn at night and saw a shadow, they would have real fear that the shadow was an Indian, or maybe an outlaw. And when they walked to the barn there were no lights unless they carried a lantern along. I don't say that to make it sound as though life was hard, but to emphasize how brief has been the history in our country.
April 15, 1965
My mother was born in Mount Airy, Maryland, October 13 or October 17 1860. Her maiden name was Nettie Van Sant. Mount Airy is a little town not far from Washington D.C. and I have visited the church there in which she was christened. I have also visited the old Van San farm where she was born; the house as I recall was on a 40 acre farm through which a stream flowed. I fished in the stream -- and caught a few fish four or five inches long. My Mother, Perky as you knew her, was taken by her family to Kansas when she was a year old in the 1881. My Mother had 12 or 13 sisters or brothers, some of whom I knew as my uncle and aunts - Aunt Anna in Washington and Aunt Mabel in Topeka Kansas are the only two still living.
I knew Uncle Reese Stanley Van Sant, after whom I was named. he was a thin, nervous, hard-working man, when I knew him, who practiced a very strange and specialized job. He was an engineer who specialized in the building of prisons. Where you know it or not, the building of a prison requires a specialized kind of ability. He would go into a prison with the plans for a new building, and would then direct the inmates in building the new addition. He directed the prisoner of Leavenworth in building a large part of that prison; and I visited him at MacNeil Island (in Puget Sound) and at the Boys Reformatory in Chillicothe, Ohio. At both of these places he was busy working with the prisoners; getting them to improve and enlarge their prisons. He told my Mother if she would name me after him, he would give me a present; and in his will he left me about $500.
I inherited this money a year after your Mother and I were married. We were living on $150 a month - and we had not paid back the money I borrowed for I wedding. We paid back that money, and spent the rest of the inheritance in about two weeks. My what a wonderful time we had. Money is never so much appreciated as when received unexpected but needed.
The other Uncle on my Mother's side who I remember was Clinton Eugene Van Sant. My middle name "Eugene" comes from Uncle Clint - that and many pleasant memories. he was a fat, bumbling little man who insisted on calling me "Boy" until I was much older than you. He didn't make much money in life; but he always considered himself a success because he could add a column of figures faster than anyone I never saw.
April 19, 1965
My father, after whom you are named, was also adopted. I have the adoption papers dated 1876. His mother's name was Billye Holland. Whether she was married to my father, I have never known. In fact I did not know that my father was adopted until after he had died or was dying. At that time, I spent hours sitting with my Mother at my Father's bedside, and for the first time she told me of my Father's unhappy childhood.
His adopted parents, The Disneys, had been married for five years and had had no children at the time they adopted Father. After adopting him, they had five or six children of their own. While it is not necessarily true that people who have their own children and adopted children necessarily favor their own children, it seemed to be true in Father's case.
He was much smarter than his brothers and sisters and they resented it. And he was larger and stronger. He was always a fighter, and he was well known as a fighter in Oklahoma when I knew him. He took an active part in politics and was known as "Hell Roaring" Disney -- as a result of his bitter political fights. However, he was a bitter fighter as a boy and youth.
He went to school outside Richland, Kansas, a school which still operates and which I have seen, known as the Disney School because he family donated land for the building. It was a one room school house, with one teacher. As country schools did at that time, and still do in many place, it had sessions mostly when the larger boys were not needed for work in the fields.
Dad told me once that when he was about 12 years old, they had a woman teacher. She tried to discipline one of the bigger boys for talking in class, when the boy struggled and kicked her in the shin. Dad said that he was smaller than the boy, but he couldn't stand this, and pitched in to lick the boy. He said they fought up and down the aisle of the school, in a very bloody and brutal boys fight. Dad said that maybe he didn't win the fight, but that he sure wasn't licked. As a result of this, his father took him out of school to work full time in their farm, thus ending Dad's formal education. He never went back to school again, but he continued studying for many years.
April 22, 1965
You might be interested in knowing that your grandfather was in the Army in the Spanish American War. I told you he was adopted. In 1896 or '97 he went to New York, so I am told to see a Mr. Holland, his father. ( I never have been able to find out who Mr. Halland was.) Anyway, Dad asked Holland to advance some money to help Dad's adoptive parents in Kansas, the Disneys.
According to the story I get, Holland said he was willing to send Dad to College (he was about 20 at the time) but that he wouldn't give or lend any money to the Disneys. Dad then told Holland to "go to hell"; and from what I hear he never saw his father again after that time.
About that time, Dad got a job on the old New York Herald, one of the leading New York City newspapers. Dad said to me one time that they never had a worse reporter because he had very little schooling, and had spend most of his life farming in Kansas. Dad said he could scarcely read or write; and when he did write, no one could read it. He said that he was all right, however in getting the news.
Some day you will read the news of that period and learn that during that period there was great agitation in the East because of the way the Spanish in Cuba were mistreating , or presumably mistreating, the Cubans.
One of the New York City papers, (the one owned by Hearst) sent a reporter to interview one of the rebel generals and to send him a sword. Ralph D. Paine was the reporter, and he wrote a book about the trip. This made a fine news story so that the paper Dad was on (maybe it wasn't the Herald) decided to send a boat load of men to help the rebels - and Dad was one of the men on the boat.
He said it was a ship load of "bums", although called Filibusters. They got as far south as Key West, just across from Cuba, and put in that harbor to learn when to sail to Cuba. The US Marshal, however had instructions to arrest them and told them he was going to do it the next day. Dad said as a result of the warning, all the men slipped away from the ship and he himself got on a Banana Boat and escaped to Florida.
May 14, 1965
I remember going on the ferry from Tacoma to Seattle in 1928. That was the year I graduated from High School. My Uncle Reese, after whom I was named in part, was working at the Government prison on MacNeil Island and living in Tacoma. His wife was in Topeka Kansas. My mother (your grandmother Perky)) and I drove with Aunt Jesse (Uncle Reese's wife) from Topeka to Tacoma by way of Yellowstone National Park. I remember it took us ten days to make the trip. We considered two hundred miles a day a pretty good trip. And it was on the roads of that day.
I have very little memory of Tacoma, But I have very strong and pleasant memories of Mount Ranier. You can see the mountain from almost everywhere in that area and I'm morally certain you can see it from your camp. I remember climbing up part of the mountain in the snow, and then sitting on a piece of canvas obtained from somewhere and sliding back down the huge snow bank. Then up again and another slide. For years I had pictures of myself at that pastime. -- that is on Mount Rainer. Someday I hope to find them and show them to you so you can see what a skinny fellow I was. PICTURES FOUND
Your Mother and I were married in Washington on June 15th 1936 at Christ Church on Lafayette Square. My father and my mother were married in my Mother's home in Oakland Kansas November 25, 1902. I remember years later , Mother drove me to Oakland one time and pointed out the little white frame house in which she had lived as a girl and where she had been married, and I wasn't impressed.
June 4, 1965
I want to tell you one story of my Uncle Reese. Back when he was a teenager, in the 1890's, the holding of "spelling bees" was customary from of entertainment in the country. People would meet at the schools, for a picnic lunch; choose sides and try to spell each other down. My Uncle Marsh, had come out from Washington DC; wore a celluloid collar, and was in every way a "dude". And a good speller. At one Bee, he was standing in his "dude" clothes; the envy of the country boys, his hands behind him, rocking back and forth on his heels - very pleased with himself. Reese, who must have been around 16 at the time took a big chew of tobacco, chewed it up good, and them sneaked up behind Marsh, and spit the whole chew into his hands. I remember Uncle Reese and my mother telling that story, 50 years after it happened, still laughing.
July 1, 1965
I remember a rather funny story about my Uncle Clint. For several years I worked for the Agriculture Adjustment Administration in Washington D.C. while I was going to law school. I was in my early twenties, unmarried and a venturesome and gay young fellow - or so I thought. In the next room, I discovered that my Uncle Clint had also obtained a job. He must have been in his sixties at the time; or perhaps older. He was always a gentle person; although also one of the long windedness I have ever known. He was well liked by everyone despite this very common failing of commencing a story without being able to ever end it.
While I was working there, his eyes gave out on him; he had cataracts, I believe. Anyway he go to the position where he could hardly do more than distinguish between daylight and dark. Because he was well liked; and because even if he couldn't do any work, he was better liked than many of the fellows who could but didn't work; his immediate supervisor covered up for Uncle Clint. He put Uncle Clint in a corner with a lot of papers in front of him, and there he would sit all day long, doing nothing, except telling his long winded stories -- but bothering no one who didn't come into his hearing. At the time, we also were paid cash.
Every first and fifteenth of the month we would assemble at the special room where the paymaster was -- form a line -- go to the line identity ourselves, sign our names in a book, and be handed envelopes with our salary in it. I can still remember the annoyance caused by the occasional cautious fellow, who would insist on holding up the line to count his money, before stepping aside. There would always be someone in the rear to shout "hurry up - you don't get enough money to stop to count it anyway." Well, when payday came, Uncle Clint presented a problem; they were able to take him up and stand him in line; but they were afraid that if he made a botch of signing his name -- if he couldn't see where his name was to go -- the big bosses would get on to the fact that Clint was blind - and fire him.
As a result, the supervisor next door and one of his assistants got up a little plot -- one of them would go through the line - then step aside just a little - still counting his money while Clint got to the counter - then while Clint was bending over the book - the fellow just paid would suddenly yelp "Hey - I'm ten dollars light" -- or "I'm fifty cents light" .... just enough to detract from the paymaster's attention. While checking the man's pay, the fellow behind Uncle Clint, would guide his hand to the right place on the pay book so that he could sign and be paid. I always thought that a very fine story. Most people are thoughtful and nice if you are thoughtful and nice to them.
Uncle Clint had trouble with gas on his stomach and would burp, as your Uncle Bud used to say, like a bursting tire. And strangely enough that's one of the strongest memories I have of him. And he was such a kind, gentle man, I'm sure he would not object to being remembered as a person who was a first class burper.
September 6, 1965
As I recall the last thing I wrote was about your grandfather being in the Spanish America War. He was a private in the 22nd Kansas Volunteers, and served at Camp Alger, right outside Washington D.C. When I was a child, he told me a lot of stories of his camp life; most of which I have forgotten. I do remember him telling that his company went two or three months without pay - so that the men had no money. They like to gamble, and gambled for sugar which was in short supply. Dad said that he was a good poker player, and used to win all the sugar in the Company, then (since he didn't use sugar in his own coffee) he'd give it back to the men. Then they'd gamble again.
Dad had one bad eye, and got in the Army by memorizing the eye chart. (He tried to volunteer in the Army during World War I, and tried the same trick, but the doctor found him out and refused to pass him because of the eye.
I know that I wrote you how Dad met Mother in the small country town of Oakland, Kansas. Dad ran for Justice of Peace there and was elected. He hired one of his old army companions (a huge man in size) Myron White, to be his constable. Dad always said that the secret of being a successful Justice of peace is having a big constable. Dad did dictate a few stories about his life as a Justice of Peace which I'll let you read some day. You'll be entertained to read them, and after reading them, I'll sure you'll agree that he was wise in having a big Constable.
In 1902 Dad went to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. He got a job in Atoka, Indian Territory, with the Dawes Commission, which was registering the Indians for the purpose of giving them land. This is a long Story. When the Indians were moved to Indian Territory in the 1830's - the tribes were all given large tracts of land. In fact the whole state and more was given to the tribes. Much of this land was later taken from them. The Dawes Commission had the job of registering the Indians of various tribes in what was now Eastern Oklahoma, so that the tribal lands could be divided among the Indians individually. And that was Dad's job - helping to register the Indians.
My mother wrote Dad a letter in 1902 saying "I am going to get married in November". Dad said he wrote back "I'll be there." Dad always joke that this proved that Mother proposed to him; Mother always said, she simply wrote Dad a fact -- that if he hadn't been there, there would have been another at the wedding. This I don't know. I do know that Dad joked now and then about the other boys who were "courting" her at the time. So I suppose that if Dad hadn't turned up -- Mother would have had no difficulty in finding a boy who would have turned up.
Anyway, they were married in Okland, October 17, 1902 at the home of Mother's parents, and that same night, Dad and Mother took the Katy (M.K.&T) Train to Atoka. And Myron White, Dad's Constable and life long friend, always joked Dad about taking two berths on the sleeper for that honeymoon trip.
September 12, 1965
I believe that the last letter I wrote about my parents, concerned their trip to Atoka, Indian Territory, In October 1902. Atoka was a small country town, of the kind that you see so often in Western movies. It had no pavement; and the sidewalks were usually only paths -- or two planks laid down on the dirt. Since it was in the midst of the Indian country, its streets were constantly filled with Indian families come out of the woods and hills to be registered. I've seen the families myself as a boy; the father comes first. Most wore tall crowned hats, and only a few wore a feather in the hat. But one or two did. The braves also wore their hair in long black greasy braids over their shoulders. Many wore vests of cowhide -- or dear skin -- and no coats. And you could see on the back of the vest, a greasy spot where the Indian's braid of hair had rested. Very few of the Indian men wore blankets; but their squaws who walked behind, usually were wrapped in a blanket, like one wears a shawl today. The Indian women also usually wore their hair in braids; and occasionally one carried a papoose on her back.
This was a rarity, at least in Eastern Oklahoma --and I'm not real sure that the Indian woman I remember with a papoose was in Eastern or Western Oklahoma. The boys and girls usually tagged along besides the mother -- although the boys were always trying to run ahead so as to walk ahead of the women. The drove in to town in old wagons or occasionally spring wagons. I don't ever remember seeing an Indian in a buggy. The spring wagon was a lighter wagon with springs, as the name indicates. It was much in demand among the people when I was a child and before cars became so popular. One could set up seats on its sideboards, behind the driver's seat. And I've seen country people come to two occupying two and three seats -- with chickens, pigs in the bottom of the wagon for sale at the market.
I, of course was not in Atoka. But I remember the scene in Muskogee, and I'm sure what I've described above was the same that occurred in Atoka. The Indian men after reaching town, would frequently sit for hours against the side of a building. The farmers, and occasional cowboys would sit on their heels; and I've seen Indian bucks to that. But also they would sit cross-legged; looking out on the world; saying nothing; not moving. Waiting, I suppose, until their squaw had sold what they'd brought to town and had bought corn meal to take back to the country, and salt pork.
My sister Dorothy, your aunt was born in Atoka, on Friday the 13th of November 1903. She was sometimes joked on being a hard-luck baby, being born on Friday the 13th. My brother, your Uncle Bud, but officially Loren G Disney Jr. was born in Muskogee, Indian Territory, on April 2, 1906. I sometimes joked Bud about being born so close to April Fool's day. But it wasn't much of a joke. I must say, however, that the fact my sister was born on a Friday the 13th, and my brother born so close to April Fool's day, helped me to remember their birthdays. It was thoughtful of them to say the least.
My sister and brother were both born in crude homes which would probably be called slum dwellings today. Except that each was in its own yard. And each was in a country town where people didn't acknowledge there were any particular differences of social status. In each house, I'm sure the toilet facilities were in an outhouse, and washing there was, was done at a pump.