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June 16, 1998

A recent letter from a lady in Mobile, Alabama, concerns her fruitless efforts to turn up some information about a relative who is supposed to have lived in this area some years ago. Ann Wilkinson and her husband, Bill, are searching for news of his grandfather’s family. The grandfather went by the name of John William Wilkinson. Mrs. Wilkinson has been able to track him to the Noble county area but she needs more about the family to complete her genealogy project. Here’s a portion of Mrs. Wilkinson’s letter:

“I have been searching for the James Wesley Wilkinson and Margaret E. Allen family and my search has led me to Seneca, Kansas (Nemaha county) and to Perry, Oklahoma (Noble county). On my Latter Day Saints descendancy printout I find George Albert Wilkinson, Dorothy Edith Watts and Wallace Bruce Wilkinson, born 11 March 1915 in Perry. They are the children of James Simon Wilkinson, born 8 February 1876, in Seneca, Nemaha county, Kansas, and Bertha Mae Hemstreet, born 20 June 1885 in Ames, Storey county, Iowa…. My husband’s grandfather, John William Wilkinson, a twin, also is a child of James Wesley Wilkinson and Margaret E. Allen. He left home after a shooting incident. Never talked about his parents or siblings.”

In summary, the Wilkinsons are searching for information about James Wesley Wilkinson, born in 1822 in Ely, England, and Margaret E. Allen, born in 1824 in Kentucky. During their marriage they had ten children. They were Sarah, born in 1860 in Kansas; John, born in 1862 in Kansas; Bill, born in 1864 in Ireland; Oliver, born in 1866 in Ireland; Emily, born in 1868 in Ireland; Albert Jackson, born in 1870 in Ireland; George, born in 1872 in Ireland; Noah, born in 1874 in Ireland; James Simon, born in 1876 in Seneca, Kansas; and Mabel, born in 1879 in Oneida, Kansas.

My only contribution to her search was locating the name of Oliver Wilkinson and his wife, Mary E., as residents of 721 11th street in Perry according to the 1910-11 City Directory published by Hoffines. Oliver’s occupation is not given. If you can add to this, Mrs. Wilkinson would appreciate a note sent to her at 2404 Staples Road, Mobile, Alabama 36605.

Visiting with Sam Jerome the other day, I learned that one of his recent construction projects turned up a small prescription bottle from years past with a paper label still attached, showing that it came from the Orlando Drug Store. That business was operated in the 1930s on Orlando’s main street, which also was the old U.S. 77 route south to Oklahoma City, and the proprietor was Forrest Elliott, who grew up in Perry. Forrest, now deceased, was the father of twin sons Gene and Glen and two daughters, Karen Grim of Perry and Roberta McCulloch of Wickenburg, Arizona. Forrest’s wife, Georgianna, died only recently. Many may have forgotten that he once had that drug store in Orlando and that he also was a rural school teacher before joining his father, W.P. (Bill) Elliott Sr., and brothers, Bill and Bob, in a major construction company based in Perry. Sam tells me Orlando once had two drug stores, but Forrest had the only one located on the main drag. Bob is the only Elliott brother still surviving. He’s a contractor living in Oklahoma City.