April A to Z Challenge: Marriage

A family with 9 children survives life on the Kansas prairie in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The experiences they have illustrate the joys, sorrows, hardships and everyday life of the Midwest pioneers. This faith filled series of stories is true. The eldest child was my great grandmother Alzina Pomeroy Boone.

1889

Marriage had been on her mind a lot since Willard and his proposal. Dating was no longer just a social exercise. It had the possibility of lifelong consequences and Alzie wondered if she would find someone that matched her growing list of husbandly character traits. Teaching school was also quite time consuming, and she was still helping at home whenever she could.

Oh how she missed her brothers and sisters! There were six of them now and Wilbur, the youngest, was only four. So much fun and cute too! Getting to see them every other weekend was just not enough.

Alzie sat in the buggy next to Timmy. He was nearing man size and loved to drive her places now that he was fourteen. They had been up to Garnet where she attended the teacher association meeting. It had given her a lot to think about, and not all of it concerned education.

“Tim, these meetings are very interesting. I met quite a few teachers this time whom I had not met before. Do you know the Prairie Vale school?” Alzie felt like talking. Even though tired from the day long of session, she was still feeling the excitement and mental stimulation of it. All the ideas she had heard and all the conversations she had been part of had her mind in a whirl.

“I’ve heard of it. Somewhere up in Shawnee County, I think.” Tim had not had such an exciting day, but he was also interested in what his sister had to tell.

“The teacher there is a man, a Mr. Boone, and they say he is very effective and successful with his students. I enjoyed talking with him quite a bit.” Was her blush just a bit brighter suddenly? Timmy thought so.

“I hear you sister, and does he have as nice of a buggy as Willard did?” Timmy smiled, looking at Alzie out of the corner of his eye, pretending innocence even as he planned this tease in detail.

Alzie punched him on the arm, and laughed. “I believe he enjoyed talking with me as well, if you must know. He may even visit next week when he is in the area for some business.”

“You might as well tell me more about him then. What does he look like and how does he talk, that you are so impressed?”

Alzie fixed her eyes on the road ahead as she mentally conjured up the picture of the man with whom she had talked most of the afternoon. “He is very tall, which I am sure gives him authority in the classroom. He is… handsome, with black, curly hair. And he loves to be out in the woods whenever he can. Hunting would be his first choice of a livelihood, if teaching did not pay more. He speaks well and is quite jolly at times. I do think you would like him. But, as I said, I have just met him and there is much I do not know, yet.”

That was about to change, as by Christmas of that year Mr. Milford S. Boone had become a frequent (and welcome) visitor at the Pomeroy home.

After supper one evening, Mr. Boone came to call and was in the sitting room exchanging greetings with Alzie while the rest of the family were finishing chores in the kitchen. The children were playing, and Wilbur was intent on his favorite pastime of riding his stick horse furiously through the kitchen, into the sitting room and any other room that was open. “When he got to the sitting room, he stopped and turned back into the kitchen, and in a disgusted tone of voice said, “Pshaw, Boone’s come”. Those in the kitchen were embarrassed as they felt afraid those in the sitting room had heard what Wilbur said, but no – they were too interested in greeting each other to hear Wilbur. Milford knew the rest of the family welcomed him. Even seven year old Emma liked to climb up on the sofa beside him and hear him talk or sing.”

Even though Alzie went again to Teacher’s Institute in July 1890 and obtained her first grade certificate, she did not apply for a position to teach. Milford had proposed and wanted to marry before the school year began. He had a teaching position for $45 a month for eight months. That was a princely salary! On August 21, 1890 Alzina became Mrs. Alzina Pomeroy Boone, wife of Milford Sylvester Boone.

Milford and Alzina

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