written by Janet Kay Reasor Lehnhof in December 1988
My memories of Grandpa Edgar Reasor are tied to my memories of the farm in Crawford County. I can remember him standing in front of the kitchen windows and sharpening his razor on his long razor strap. Grandma was fixing breakfast on the big wood stove. Shiny cold linoleum covered the floor. The big table was against the wall and Sandi and I got to sit on the bench instead of a chair. Grandpa helped us ride on Betsy (Sandi says her name was Patsy) his horse and always took us out to visit the barn. We helped Grandma feed the chickens and gathered the eggs. I think I just got to watch Sandi gather the eggs. Daddy let us shoot a gun on one of our visits to the farm. I'm sure that is the only time in my life that I have shot one. After they moved to town Daddy helped Grandpa hang wallpaer in the front apartment. They used a big table and spread the paper with paste. It must have been on this visit that Grandpa yelled at Sandi and me to quit running and be quiet. The only other memory I have is of driving all night from Louisiana when Grandpa died. When we got to Grandma's we walked up onto the side porch, Aunt Gladys opened the door and saw it was Daddy. She called Grandma and shoved her into Daddy's arms. Cheryl and I went to the funeral home that night for the viewing. All my life I have remembered the image of Grandpa surrounded by more flowers than I knew existed. It was beautiful. Daddy took us up to see him and I can remember his handholding mine. Cheryl and I stayed with a baby-sitter during the funeral and so our first experience with death was a pleasant one. Grandma Lillie was a very special woman. I think her quiet strength and determination had a great effect on many people. My very most pleasant memory of Grandma was watching her brush out her hair at night and then braid it back up. I was so disappointed when she cut it off and had short curly hair like every one else. She used to sing the song "Five foot two, eyes of blue," and tell us that was her and her eyes would twinkle. From a very early age I sensed that Daddy was her favorite child. I don't know if he knows that, or if his brothers and sisters knew it, but he was. The cousins always made us feel a little like the 'rich kids' coming for a visit. Or maybe we made them think that of us. But Grandma always welcomed us with such pleasure. She always had a meal ready to eat. The meal always included canned peaches served in a bowl. We ate biscuits and gravy sitting on the bench against the wall and looking at her picture of peaches on the side wall. When dinner was over at noon, she threw a tablecloth over the table and we knew what we would have for supper that night. The highlight of our visits was to walk over to Patty's store for Grandma. It was usually to buy a loaf of bread or some bologna. But we somehow managed to get a little treat. I'm sure our children will remember the Green Bluff store in the same way. It was such a tiny little store, we always introduced ourselves as Wanda Roberson's girls and Patty would tell us how he used to be Wanda's school bus driver. The porch swing was the most entertaining toy Grandma had. in fact the only other playthings were a little red chair and two John Deere tractors. We also got to go up into the attic and play in the old clothes that were there. But the porch swing occupied most of our time. We tried hard not to hit the side of the house--but we usually did. I remember the morning glories that climbed up the porch post and bloomed in the morning. On one visit I went out into the back with Grandma and watched her catch a chicken, wring it's neck, pluck the feathers and then cook it for dinner. I couldn't eat any of that chicken and it was probably years before I ate chicken again. It was also a real novelty to go into town with Grandma. Everyone she passed said "Good afternoon, Mrs. Reasor." It so impressed me that everyone in English knew my grandmother. At that time we were still moving every year or so and never knew anyone. Grandpa and Grandma Reasor never visited us that I can remember. After Grandpa died Grandma came to visit. I remember her coming to Sacramento, California with Blanche Linton (our cousin), and probably she came other times. But she came to Denver the summer I graduated from high school and stayed several weeks. I sewed a blue wool dress and jacket for her. She was embroidering a quilt top that summer and when I got married a year later she sent me the top for a wedding present. It is the first quilt I hand quilted on my new oak quilt frames from Daddy. Both Mom and Daddy helped quilt it. But on this trip I got Grandma to write her life story. I am so glad that I encouraged her to write it. I am very thankful for the years we spent in Atlanta and the trips I was able to make to Kentucky and Indiana during that time period. My children all remember Great-Grandma Lillie. On our first visit to Indiana Lori was just two years old. After being in Grandma's house for an afternnon Grandma turned to Daddy and said, "You can see who runs this family," and pointed to Lori. Of course it was true at that time but I tried hard to rectify that point. On subsequent visits she would always want someone to sit right beside her and hold her hand. The girls were always willing to do that. In October of 1977 Mom and I made a special genealogy trip to Kentucky and Indiana. Much of the research we are still doing is in direct relationship to that trip. But those few days we spent in English were precious. I will not bore you with the long notes I wrote about that trip but I want to share some of the stories Grandma told us one evening when just the three of us were talking. They are a little disjointed but she aswered our questions and just talked. It was a special evening. Her father was a very good kind man. His right arm was paralyzed and he carried it in his pocket. He drove a team of horses. His wife thought he was hving dates and carrying on. They weren't happy. Grandma Lillie thought she resembled her father, they were all short and thin. A tree fell on his shoulder and cut "killed" a nerve. She was her daddy's pet. He died a year before she got married in January, she married in April. Edgar came over on the horse and she got up behind him and rode sideways behind him, just like riding a Honda. She held on tight. They ran horse races. They went to church Wednesday night and Sunday night at Union Chapel. He lived four and five miles away. She probably met him at a pie supper. The boys would bid on pies. They tried to find out who brought which pie. Hightest bid she could remember was $2.50. She usually took apple pie. They had several big apple trees. The boys would vote on the prettiest girl. The votes cost a dime or a penny. All the money was for the school. She planned on being a teacher but Edgar came along and she just got married. She said, "I think a woman has something to do with making a good man." When they got married they took a horse and buggy to Taswell then rode the train to English. The passenger train came twice a day, morning and night. They walked up to the court house up on the hill for a license then back down into the town to the Justice of the Peace. Edgar forgot to pay the Justice of the Peace and had to go back and pay him. They took the train back to Taswell, then the horse to her home. They spent the first two or three nights there. No one else was at the wedding except for one man. They didn't invite him he just came along. They had a big chivaree that night. People crawled under the house and shot guns off. After a couple of days they went to live with the Reasors. They lived there a year or two. Edgar's little sister Madge didn't like it when Lillie sat on Edgar's lap. She wouldn't let them get close at all. In 41 years of marriage Edgar was only gone two nights. He went on a horse to a meeting in Mifflin and came back before morning. "But he should have lived longer--he left me alone too long." Edgar said that Grandma Lytle was the meanest woman he ever met. Grandma Lytle talked to Lillie before she was married and told her getting married was as bad as dying. That making love with a man was the worse thing you could ever do. We asked her if she told her mother she was a liar, and she laughed and said no she couldn't ever talk to her mom like that. When her baby Gladys was born she had a doctor. She said if Edgar hadn't been there with her the whole time she would have just turned her face to the wall and sent the baby back before she got there. It was a long hard time but the other's weren't so bad. She had a midwife with Glen and couldn't remember about Goldia and Gerald. When the twins were born they sent all the kids to neighbors. She had Lee first and then the doctor told her there was anothr one. She thought, "Oh my goodness!" About ten minutes later Lloyd was born. Grandma Lillie had really bad sinus headaches. Two LDS elders were staying with them and invited her to a meeting. She said if she felt all right she would go. They gave her a blessing and she never had another headache. (Lillie cried as she told us this story.) The elders would walk through every six months. They would come and stay two or three weeks with them and with Carl Standiford. Edgar wouldn't let them ordain him to the priesthood. At this time, in 1977, there was a man at the senior citizen home that liked to come and visit with Lillie and just talk. She said, "He thinks I'm old enough to know all the answers but I've forgot most of them." In June of 1984 we were making a cross country trip. We planned on spending the first afternnon in English. A couple of days before we were to leave Aunt Gladys called and tried to persuade us not to come. She was afraid the visit would scare the small children. I really felt we should go anyway and we did. This is an entry from Mark's journal.he was five years old. He drew a picture of Grandma's house including a climbing tree and the porch swing. "June 23, 1984, We went to Grandma Lillie's house in English, Indiana. I holded Grandma's hand and watched her eat thru a straw. I found a railroad spike. She liked to hold my hand." My journal entry for the same day: We arrived in English about 3:45 and stayed with Grandma Lillie Reasor and Aunt Gladys for over an hour. She was much better today according to Aunt Gladys. For the past several days she had not roused at all but as soon as we walked in she smiled and wanted to know who we were. Grandma is in a hospital bed. She hasn't eaten anything for several months. Gladys gave her several drinks of 'Big Red' and ice cream stirred up like a float. That is all she will drink. She really has lost a lot of weight since I saw her in October. Of course, then she was still able to walk, and ate her meals at the kitchen table. It was only after she was 92 that Gladys moved in to help her. Today she wanted to hold everyone's hand. She would kiss their hand and pull them towards her when she wanted a kiss. I really think she did know who I was. After touching all the children she wanted to hold Hal's hands. She said, "I need to get to know this man." Bret was a little hesitant but everyone else was doing it so he did too. He went out and played and came back in and held her hand. She said, "What a pretty boy." When I told her we would have to leave she said, "Will I see you in the morning?" And she seemed very disappointed when I said no. I told her we loved her and she smiled. We all kissed her and then she looked at me and said, "I love you." That brought a few tears. What a special woman she was and is, kind, caring, and strong willed! I'm very glad we took this opportunity to visit and let my children meet their only living great-grandparent. In February of 1985 as Mom, Daddy, Bret, and I were driving to Grandma Lillie's funeral I pondered her life in respect to a speaking assignment I had the next week. The subject was to "Come unto Christ." And I thought what a perfect example her life was. As the church slowly grew in English she was able to participate in the programs of the church, but her entire life she exemplified a Christ like love and service to all she met. She wasn't caught up in the busy work of the gospel but in the real meaning of living like Christ and giving of oneself and your love. I loved, respected and admired this woman that we never called MaMa. She was always a little special to us because we called her a different name than all those Indiana cousins.
Edgar Webster REASOR 1885-1953, Glenn and Gladys, Lillie Belle LYTEL REASOR 23 Feb 1887-18 Feb 1985
written by granddaughter Lillie Linton Hammond on Lillie Reasor's 80th birthday, February 1967 In the hills of Crawford County in the year of '87 A little baby girl was born who came straight down from heaven. Her parents must've been so proud and felt so very well As they looked at her and beamed and smiled and named her Lillie Belle. She soon grew into a lady and at the age of twenty-one She met a man named Edgar who became her only one. They married in April and their happy life began And soon they had a baby girl named Gladys Gwendolin. Little Glen came next--in fact, the following year And thus their family grew and added to their cheer. Goldia Blanche was next in line to come into the world. But she was followed close behind by another boy named Gerald. Now we know four little children require a lot of care, But wait! It wasn't long until she gave birth to a pair. The twins were Lee and Lloyd and they really made a hit. Said Lillie, "When they come in twos, I think it's time to quit." The years passed quickly on the farm with much hard work & chores. The girls got married and the boys went off for other shores. Edgar and Lillie became grandparents before many years had passed And after that the grandchildren were coming pretty fast. Sorrow came to Lillie's life when Edgar passed away But she has peace an comfort knowing they'll meet again some day. So Lillie Belle, we think you're great and love you so much too. Just think of all that's happened, and so much because of you!
(twin) Gordan Lloyd REASOR 1917-1999, Goldia Blanche REASOR GOLDMAN MILLER 1913-1998, (twin) Garland Lee REASOR 1917-2004, mother Lillie Belle LYTEL REASOR 1887-1985, Gerald Lester REASOR 1914-1990, Gladys Gwendolyn REASOR LINTON SUDDARTH 1911-1993, Glenn Winford REASOR 1910-1984.
Funeral Services for Lillie Lytle Reasor February 1985
Mom was 30 when I was born so I wouldn’t know of her as a young lady. But I have memories of her playing ball with us on Sunday afternoons. And how we would laugh at her, the four of us boys, and we would remind her that she threw like a girl, or that she swung the bat like a girl. I remember Lee and me standing at the corner of the stove as she prepared supper, cooking corn bread. And that she would clean off a spot on the stove and she would make corn cakes for us, just especially for us. I remember that she was such a good buddy that one time we killed a ground squirrel and cleaned it and talked her into cooking it. She fried it like a chicken. It wasn’t very big, but it was good. I’m sure more so because of the adventure.
She was always happy. She was never angry. Even in discipline we never saw her angry. We would get too rowdy on a winter day when we couldn’t get out of the house and she would call us to her and thump us on the head with a thimble. She seemed always to have a thimble on her finger. We would scream like we were being scalped. Then admit that, no, it really didn’t hurt and that we really enjoyed it, for we recognized it as an indication of her love for us. Sometimes when my twin brother and I would get into a fight, she would stop us and then she would make us kiss and make up. Can you imagine that? Having to kiss a boy on the lips, especially while you were still mad at him. She was a lot wiser than we gave her credit.
Mom’s only unhappiness, that I can think of, was when she was concerned for her family. I remember when Glenn was in the army in Texas and he had appendicitis. It was impossible to go there. I remember Dad saying, “Well, we will just trust in a higher power.” I remember that concern. I also remember her concern when a grandchild swallowed an open safety pin. But mostly I remember her and Dad together.
The memory pictures I have include their walks over the farm as they would plan the crops, or as they went to visit a neighbor. They left and returned in the wagon, sitting on the spring seat. Dad was so much heavier than Mom that his side of the seat was a lot lower so the seat tilted towards him and even if there had been room, she would be sitting right up next to him. I remember him sitting in the kitchen, between the stove and the table, drying the dishes as she washed, while they visited. They not only were lovers, they were good friends. They were always together. They were always sharing.
I asked her one day if she remembered the missionaries who taught her the gospel. She replied, “The elders didn’t teach me. Edgar did. They taught him, and he taught me.” They were baptized in 1909, back when the Mormon Church was not very popular. There wasn’t any place to attend church. But as they learned principles, they practiced them. I remember well the summer they found out about the Word of Wisdom; not to drink alcohol, and not to drink coffee, and that tobacco wasn’t good for you. Alcohol was not a problem. But I remember Dad had a sassafras or hickory twig in his mouth all summer. For not only did he smoke a pipe, he chewed tobacco. I remember the smell in the house as they roasted wheat, and oats, and barley, and any combinations of them trying to find a substitute for coffee;; because they learned that grain was good for mild drinks. It smelled terrible. It must have tasted as bad, because it worked, and they both quit drinking coffee. They didn’t have much church experience. I remember the missionaries coming to visit us on an evening. They would usually spend the night and the next day and that night, and then they would leave. Maybe the next summer we would see another pair of elders, and maybe not.