Martin Fisher Clinkenbeard took himself a bride.
Minnie Bell Macomb, to stand by his side.
In Stone County. Missouri they lived and were wed
In 1887, on March twenty-sixth it is said.
To this union were born six girls and two boys
Who brought to the parents both problems and joys.


The fourth child born, a brown eyed brunette.
Was a girl they named Annis, don't forget.
Her life story is the theme of this lay.
As we gather together in her honor today.
She's just had a birthday, her ninetieth one,
Her body grows frailer with each one that comes.


From Missouri to Arkansas a move was done
When Annis was a very tiny young one.
As she grew up she got some education.
Less than she wanted in her situation.
Times weren't easy as the Clinkenbeards grew
And increased in numbers as families do.


When Annis was eight, her Father passed on.
Leaving eight kids and his widow alone.
At the time Annis was about the age of ten.
Her oldest sister, Lenora. wed a young man.
Henry Franklin Felkins, the groom's youngest brother
Was quite smitten by Annis, and not by another.


Some years later Minnie took another spouse
James Henry Felkins. Theirs became a blended house.
His kids and her kids together did thrive.
and kept them all toiling just to survive.
All together they made quite a bunch,
With a large table needed just for lunch.


In nineteen thirteen. the twenty-third of November.
Is a date the Felkins clan should remember,
When Annis and Frank joined heart to heart
And took sacred vows, "Until death do us part".
Sawmills and farming were Frank's occupations
To provide the family's daily rations.


January nineteen fifteen brought the firstborn son,
Floyd Christopher, a real lively one.
William Franklin was born in February of 'seventeen
With hair as blond as any you've seen.
Louis Verlis came in nineteen nineteen in July,
A quiet but diligent kind of guy.


James Henry arrived, the number four son,
In the month of October nineteen twenty-one.
The first daughter, Anna Belle, brought them glee
That wintry December of nineteen twenty-three.
They left Newton County May eight of 'twenty-four
In a wagon packed from the rear to the fore.


They traveled and camped along the way
Until they reached Osage County, OK.
In an oil field near Burbank and Shidler
Frank found work and was no idler.
When unemployment caused some alarm.
They moved near to Ralston, back to a farm.


In that vicinity six years did they stay.
During that time Frank's father passed away.
That same six years brought more births.
Three more girls who've proved their worth.
In January nineteen twenty-six was born Nova Irene.
She was extremely shy and studious, but no beauty queen.


In May of 'twenty eight came Esther Mae with curly hair.
A fun loving girl who seldom had a care.
Velma Evelyn in April of 'thirty did appear.
Usually quiet and busy, she rarely caused a tear.
The next move was to east of Pawnee in Pawnee County
Where a half-section farm produced plentiful bounty.


Their residence there spanned seven long years
Providing the usual laughter and tears.
First child born there was Lola Marie.
In nineteen thirty-two on Flag Day, you see.
Nineteen thirty-four was a momentous year.
Anna Belle's appendectomy caused great fear.


The very first surgery in the family
Was pondered by parents apprehensively.
Then In June Nova fell ill with typhoid.
Making her summer activities null and void.
That exact same year in early July.
Angela Eloise arrived with big brown eyes.


Poor baby, right away caught Nova's bug.
Soon she was almost too thin to hug.
It was a long hot summer for everyone.
But both girls had improved when it was done.
In mid-September of nineteen thirty-six.
Thelma Faye came into the mix.


September twenty-ninth of nineteen thirty-seven.
Annis' mother, Minnie, left earth for heaven.
Martha Annis, the eighth girl in a row,
In early October of 'thirty-eight made her show.
August of 'thirty-eight brought a wedding. too.
When Floyd and Era Peterson said, "I do".


Back to Osage County to west of Skiatook
Another move this large family took.
January fourth, nineteen forty was indeed a sad day.
When a rare meningitis took Anna Belle away.
William and LoVada Newell eloped one day
Before nineteen forty was far under way.


Of grandchildren, nineteen forty brought a pair.
Patricia in January; Larry in October fair.
The fifth son, Glynn Martin, was born in 'forty in July,
The thirteenth child on the thirteenth day. My! My!
Verlis, enlisted in the Cavalry, was off to Ft. Bliss.
He was a faithful writer. but his face we did miss.


In late 'forty one they moved eastward one day
Into Craig County over Big Cabin way.
In 'forty two Frank and Annis were made glad
When Floyd became their first college grad.
The two years near Big Cabin brought winds of war
As three sons served on foreign shores.


To the British Isles went Floyd and James.
There James took a wife. Elsie Power. by name.
Floyd was aboard ship in the channel on D-Day.
We're thankful no injury was received in that fray.
In the Pacific Theater, Verlis spent some years.
His supreme sacrifice caused many tears.


A long move was made in the fall of 'Forty-three
From Craig County to Colorado's high country.
As they traveled they made a motley crew
With furnishings in a truck and the kids there, too.
On a farm east of Kiowa was their stop,
And out of the truck they gladly did hop.


About two and one-half years that was their abode.
Then early in 'forty-six again on the road
Just to the locale of nearby Elizabeth.
Where they resided till after Frank's death.
The children grew up and each left the house.
And each except Evelyn found a spouse.


She went to California, Biola College to attend,
And now has taught children years without end.
Nova also took the option of college
For Teacher Education and Bible knowledge.
In nineteen fifty. at the end of September,
Esther married John Walker, please remember.


In nineteen fifty-one, Lola was a May bride.
And Herbert Evans the groom by her side.
November of 'fifty-four Eloise took the aisle walk
To marry Fred Refior who much liked to talk.
August of 'fifty-six there were two weddings more.
First was Thelma whom Don Cole adored.


Two weeks later Martha wed James Link;
For California they headed quick as a wink.
In nineteen fifty-seven Nova chose a June date
With Robert Bailey to sea] their fate.
On a bright October day in nineteen sixty-three
Glynn met at the altar Mary Ann Connelly.


Some of the marriages did not last.
Several divorces occurred as years passed.
Some of the divorced ones married again
Adding step-children to the family domain.
The family continues like a rippling stream.
Could they imagine all this at the start of their dream?


Among Annis' descendents were multiple births three:
September of 'forty eight Jerry and Terry Felkins to Jim and Elsie.
Timothy and David Bailey to Nova and Bob
In January of 'fifty nine. Their early deaths brought sobs.
To Steve and Nancy Walker Kenley were born triplet sons
In October 'seventy-two - Jason, Eric, and Lance. What fun!


Two others of Annis' descendents are gone,
One great-grandson, infant Kevin Johnson.
Terry Felkins, injured in an auto accident,
As a quadraplegic half his life spent.
In spite of such odds he had college and career.
He died in 'eighty-four when Christmas was here.


Annis had colon cancer at age seventy-three.
Following surgery she's remained cancer-free.
Gall bladder problems at age eighty-one
Required another surgery to be done.
Now she suffers arthritic aches and pains
With the accompanying problems and strains.


Annis has now reached fourscore and ten.
What a long and productive life it has been!
She's now been a widow for sixteen years
And spent countless hours gmjd lonely tears.
From the old farmhouse she moved to town,
Then began times of travelling around.


She's flown thousands of miles to visit her kin,
And says she'd like to do it again.
Eleven of her children to this day survive
And about three and one-half dozen grandchildren thrive.
A similar number of great-grands are in the line.
So total descendents nearly equal her years of time.


Annis is from an original family of eight,
Seven of whom survive at this date,
Their ages span from eighty-one to ninety-five,
What a long time for one family to survive!
God has blessed them especially this way,
And continues to do so day after day.


- Nova Felkins Bailey


Written for the ninetieth birthday of her mother, Annis Clinkenbeard Felkins, May 8, 1986.