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Nancy Bellzona's Picture Book
The Flood's - Honora C. Gosney Flood

Honora C. Gosney FloodHONORA C. GOSNEY FLOOD, wife of Henry Flood

Honora was born October 14, 1871, died November 18, 1935. Her religion: Baptist.

How can a photograph reach out over the years to express such a statement as to a person's character? When one sees this photograph, there is a desire to know something about her life. Because she is no longer living there is no opportunity to know her other than through a research into the events happening around her. Quiet, hard working, kind, extremely caring. The word "quiet" says a lot. They are not ready to convey information to a great amount on anything. John Flood uncharacteristically pulled out a manuscript his brother George H. Flood had written. It was a great moment. The following are excerpts taken from this manuscript of his memoirs.

HONORA C. GOSNEY FLOOD was born in the Indian Nation. She was graduated from the eighth grade, got her teaching certificate, and taught school a year or two before she and Henry Flood were married. After Henry & Honora were married they moved to Geary (Blaine County), Oklahoma territory and lived on a farm there. This was near the Cheyenne Indian reservation and I suppose the Indians were their nearest neighbors. There was still some friction between the Indian and whites, but Honora was proud of the fact they got along well with the Indians. She told of how one day the Indians saw a coyote kill one of her turkeys. The Indians chased the coyotes away and brought the dead turkey to her. She was alone at the house at the time. She thanked them for bringing it to her but told the Cheyenne they could keep it if they wanted it. This pleased them very much and they were quite friendly after that.

George Flood, Honora’s son, writes, "My earliest memories go back to this farm. Dan, my brother, and I had a deep longing to go swimming, and we would run off to some buffalo wallow after a rain to paddle around. We were a great worry to Mother, Honora, and I recall on one occasion she picked us up and threw us in hoping to frighten us. I can still feel the sensation I felt as I sailed through the air. It seemed to me that I was never going to come down. Mother's remedy didn't work."

We moved to another farm, and at this farm, we lived in a small house of about three rooms, I believe. This was where I first remember a good lesson in discipline. The family was sitting in the combination living and bed room and I had wandered between the wall and my parent's bed. I suppose I was mussing up the bedspread or something. Anyway, Mother, Honora, ordered me to come out, which I failed to do. So she went into the kitchen for her willow branch.

Dad said, "You had better come out or she will spank you." I started to move slowly, but alas, too late.

I have thought of this incident many times in my life, wondering why I didn't mind to begin with. I have come to the conclusion that it is something in human nature that want to try authority to see what they can get away with. I expect it began back there in the Garden of Eden.

It was while we lived in this house, that we experience the worst dust storm I have ever seen in my life. We had been over to Uncle Joe's in the lumber wagon. We went by the school house to get Sylvia, my sister and Dan, my brother, as they were attending school at this time. It was about three quarter of a mile home. Before we reached home, a dark and ominous cloud appeared on the northern horizon. The folks became anxious about it and Dad put the horses in a trot. The folks were in the spring seat and we children were behind seated on straw in the bed of the wagon.

The storm, which proved to be dust, struck us before we reached home and it became very dark all at once. I recall Dad saying, "you can't see your hand before your eyes." I never heard this expression before, so I had to put my hand up to see if it was so, if it truly was. Dad had to get out and lead the horses so he could feel his way along the ruts in the road with his feet. We finally pulled up on the leeward side of the house. Dad told us to get out on the left side of the wagon as the house broke the force of the wind on that side. Instead, I got out on the right side and the wind began blowing me away.

I was yelling and Dad hollered for me to lie down on the ground and keep yelling, which I did. He found me and took me to the house. The house shook and quivered for several hours but by the morning the storm had abated and it was clear.

Dad bought cattle to ship to Kansas City. One morning when Dan and I went out, Dad, Henry Flood, told us to look out for a yearling calf that was out. Of course, that made us curious, so we went out along the fence to where it was. I was hanging back and as Dan got near the yearling, it took a run at him. Dad had taught us to get behind a tree or fence post if an animal attacked us, so Dan stepped behind a fence post. Unluckily, it was rotten and when the yearling hit the post, it broke off and hit Dan on the forehead, knocking him flat on his back. He was not badly hurt though, and scrambled to his feet, and we took off for the house a little bit more experienced than when we left.

While we were living near Nardin, Oklahoma, my sister Opal Louise was born on September 18, 1906. By this time we had a larger house which Dad had purchased from another place and moved to our place. So far as I can recall, the family was prospering here, but it was about this time the doctor informed Mother she had tuberculosis and should have a rest.

Our parents decided we would spend one summer traveling. They sold the farm and made a covered wagon by putting bows on our farm wagon. In this way they loaded themselves and six children, including the baby Louise. This must have been in March or April of 1907. We stopped at Uncle John McAllister's near Spiney, Kansas. Here, we spent a few days and then headed west. The first or second night out a late spring blizzard struck, and the next morning there was about four inches of snow. It was quite cold and windy that day, but we traveled on and by the next day the weather was spring like again with the meadow larks singing away.

I do not remember any other events of the trip until we came to the town of Hooker, Oklahoma, where we camped at least one day. Here, there were huge piles of dried buffalo bones that were being shipped east to be ground into fertilizer.

The man who was buying them wanted Dad to go out on the plains with us children and gather them up. He said we could make good money at it. But, we continued on southwest to near the Beaver River where we had a cousin, Flo Parr, whose husband had homesteaded there. There were lots of Prairie Dogs here and Dan and I thought up a plan to capture some. We took a shovel and filled up their hole behind them, so they could not get away from us and we captured several.

From here we went to Des Moines, New Mexico by way of Kenton, Oklahoma. From Kenton on we traveled through valleys and hills which looked like mountains to us kid, who had never seen mountains before. From Des Moines we went north into Colorado, then west to Trinidad. The reader should realize there were no highways then, but simply wagon roads from town to town, or as in this area from town to a ranch and then from the ranch to another town, in the direction one wished to travel.

From Trinidad we went through Walsenberg and Pueblo to Manitou Springs which was our destination. We camped there and visited "Garden of the Gods", "Cave of the Winds," "Seven Falls," and walked up the cog railroad on Pikes Peak for a way. However, the folks didn't feel they could afford a ride to the top so we didn't make that trip. Nevertheless, we did enjoy everything immensely, for it was all new and awesome to us kids.

From Manitou Springs we went down the river about halfway to Colorado Spring where we camped several days. Dan and I enjoyed fishing for the small brook trout and then we discovered an eagle's nest high up on a cliff on the south side of the stream. It seemed like a very high cliff then, but I have seen it since and it looks rather tame now.

When we left this site, I don't recall any of the events on the way home. I guess it was all anti-climatic after seeing the mountains. We went to Blackwell, Oklahoma where Dad purchased a lot on West Bridge Avenue. He proceeded to have a house built; which we moved into as soon as possible.

I do not know whether or not our trip proved to be a cure for Mother, but I do know that sometime during her life the TB was arrested. Certainly, she didn't have much time to rest with raising a large family and doing all the work. But, as each child became old enough each had to do his or her share.

Sometime in the early spring of 1910 we moved to a farm about 12 miles north and 2 east of Blackwell. Braman was our post office. It was west and a little south of our farm. It was here the twins, John Wesley and Aaron Ross Flood were born, December 28, 1910. I well remember the occasion as I was the oldest one at home at the time, hence the one called for assistance. Sylvia and Dan had been sent to Uncle Joe's for the occasion. Dad had gone to a neighbor's to phone for the doctor and I was told to sit in the kitchen. After a while, I heard a baby cry and Mother called to me to bring a basin of warm water and soap. When I took it to their bedroom, she told me to set it on a chair and go back to the kitchen. Dad came back before long and he told me there were two babies.

The prayer Dad always said before meals was: "give us love in our hearts to serve you." George Flood comments, "I have often thought, "what a basic request that is, to make of the Lord."

George H. Flood, son of Honora Gosney and Henry Flood.



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