This week’s 52 Ancestors prompt is “Winter,” and it immediately reminded me of a photo I received from a Bond family cousin years ago. In the photo, the ground is covered in a blanket of snow, and wagon tracks and horses’ hoof prints lead to a white farmhouse down the road. The photo is titled, “Team are Ready to Pick Corn on the Farm,” and there are two horses posing with a rickety cart in the foreground, presumably on their way to the fields. The horses and farmhouse belonged to George and Effie (Bond) Thomas, a young couple who worked for many years to purchase their own land–and whose land still remains in the family to this day.
Effie Augusta Bond was born on December 3, 1884 in Bloomington, Nebraska, the second of Thomas and Florence (Bower) Bond’s seven children. Thomas Bond was a Quaker; his mother, Sally (Hawkins) Bond, descended from the Hawkins family pioneers and missionaries of Wayne County, Indiana, and his father’s ancestors traveled to Pennsylvania aboard the Welcome with William Penn. Effie’s mother, Florence Helen (Bower) Bond, is one of my brick-wall ancestors, and Effie’s sister, Mollie Sally (Bond) Cook, traveled throughout the United States with her husband, a circuit rider in the Methodist church.
Effie married George Nathan Thomas, the son of Kersey and Elisa Eleanor (Staker) Thomas, on February 22, 1905, and the couple had three children: Florence Eliza (b. 1905), Vernon Harvey (b. 1907) and George Earnest (b. 1909). George was handsome and hardworking, and I think Effie, like my great-great-grandmother Mollie, was very beautiful; the pair were a good match and were quite in love. Effie and George remained in and around Wallace, Nebraska all of their lives and farmed the land in exchange for “shares of the products” until they were able to purchase land of their own. And when their children were old enough, they helped out on the farm, too.
I can imagine the pride that Effie and George must have felt when they were finally able to purchase their own farm, as well as the pride in being able to pass that land down to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And the couple did have dozens and dozens of descendants, many of whom traveled and settled across the United States; nonetheless, the land still remains in the family today. In searching for more information on the farm and the Thomas family, I actually stumbled across another photo: a complete snapshot of George and Effie’s home, built on the farmland they purchased together. The photo shows a small white house set in a picturesque, wintry scene–the perfect symbol of “Winter.”