The Healdton Herald Healdton, Carter County, Oklahoma Old Timer of the Week articles written by HELEN HEDGEPATH for the Healdton Herald.
October 8, 1981 Countyline Woman Saluted Our old timer this week lives in the extreme northwest part of Carter County. She lives alone and, other than her children, the most important things in her life are TV and the Senior Citizens at Ratliff City. This week we honor JEWELL MARNEY WADKINS / WATKINS of County Line as the Old Timer of the Week. Jewell was born April 13, 1902 at Bridgeport, Texas. Her parents were LOUIS and CORDELIA COUCH MARNEY. She was one of eight children. Her brothers and sisters all live in California.
Her parents moved to Indian Territory, near Marlow, when she was three years old. She started to school at a country school there. It was hard for the children to attend regularly. They didn’t get to start until after the crops were gathered in the fall. Sometimes it was December before they could attend. They couldn’t go to school if it was raining as they had to walk across a creek bed, and if it started raining, they had to head for home before the creek got up and they couldn’t get across. She have to take out of school in the early spring to help plant the crops and garden.
About 1910, the family moved five west of Oil City. The children attended the West End school. Her father was a farmer and lived on rented land. They lived in the Wheeler school district several years and rode the “carry all” to school. If it was crowded, the smaller children got to ride and the older children walked. The last year she attended school was at Wheeler; she was 17 and still in grade school.
Her family was getting ready to go to church one evening, loaded in the wagon when BILL WADKINS and his brother stopped by their house. Bill had just been discharged from the service in WWI. She said her father apologized for not being able to offer them supper. He told the two boys to help themselves to his watermelon patch which they did. The family went on to church.
It was nearly a year later that she, her sister and oldest brother went to church at Graham. BILL WADKINS was there and sat with her at church. He asked to walk her home and they started going together. They would get to see each other every two weeks. They married about a year later, May 2, 1920, at Graham in the home of her parents with Rev. FRED SMITH performing the ceremony.
Bill was a farmer. They lived with his folks until after he gathered his crops that fall. They rented a place northwest of Clemscot from CALVIN HOLMAN. He worked for Schermerhorn Oil Co. and later for Ward Merrick Oil Co. During this time they lived on a lease and also lived at Graham nine years. She told that her husband worked for EDGAR EVERSOLE for more than 30 years. He was transferred from Graham to County Line and in 1950, they bought the house in which they lived. Her husband took early retirement because of his health. He passed away in September 1968 of a heart attack.
The Wadkins had ten children, three died as infants. The others are EDAN MAE (Mrs. E. R. ) JACKSON of Pruitt City; WILLIAM E. WADKINS Jr. of Artesia, New Mexico; JOSEPHINE YOUNG of Clemscot, EDWARD LEE WADKINS of Jacksonville Beach, Florida; RONNIE WADKINS of Madill; KARRON CORBELL of Roswell, New Mexico and CLARA BELL DOWNEY of Pernell. She has nine grandchildren. Edna Mae has CAMERON and BILLY JACKSON of Pruitt City and BARBARA HOLLINGSWORTH at Empire. Josephine has three children, JERRY WAYNE YOUNG of Healdton, TROY YOUNG of Clemscott, and PATTY JO POWELL in Marshall County. Karron ahs three children, TAMMIE, LESTER and CLAY CORBELL of Roswell, N. M. Mrs. Wadkins has 11 great-grandchildren.
Jewell Wadkins is a member of the Rebekah Lodge at Healdton. She is a Baptist, but it is hard for her to get to church now…she does her own housework and had a good garden this year. This is the first year she has not been able to mow her own yard. She keeps busy watching TV, piecing quilts, doing embroidery, and crocheting, attending Senior Citizens at Ratliff City every Wednesday, sometimes Monday and Friday. She lives on a limited income but says she gets by pretty good. Mrs. Wadkins has an alert mind and good memory.