Today (September 27, 2015) is Ancestor Appreciation Day. The ancestors I’ve chosen to remember today are my great-grandparents John McWherter and Jennie Toledo Cox. I didn’t get to meet them, but I grew up hearing stories about them and their lives.
John was born on February 5, 1865 in Clyde, Jasper County, Iowa to Aaron McWherter and Martha McQuiston, the 2nd of 11 children. He spent most of his early years in Iowa but the family did go back to his father Aaron’s hometown of Elkhart, Noble County, Indiana for a time around 1880. In 1895 however, John is living in Jasper County, Iowa. In the 1900 Federal Census John is listed as a farmer and living with his brother-in-law James Hale.
On November 23, 1904, 39 year old John McWherter married 18 year old Jennie Toledo Cox. Jennie was born November 10, 1886 in Braymer, Caldwell County, Missouri to George W Cox and Malinda Jane Lee. Not long after the marriage the couple moved from Missouri to St. Anthony, Fremont County, Idaho where their first child, Virgel Irene was born on October 19, 1905, the first of 13 children born to John and Leda as she is known in our family.
John died on April 6, 1951 in Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho and Leda followed him on June 19, 1954. They are buried in Grove City Cemetery in Blackfoot, surrounded by family members.
I grew up knowing or having met all of those children except Florence Roseline who died in 1949. Every year my family would travel from Southern Nevada (where my father had been stationed in the Air Force) to different parts of Idaho (one year in Wyoming) to attend the McWherter Family Reunion. All of the brothers and sisters and their families would be there and stories would be told and we would catch up on the news of the previous year.
John and Leda were hard-working farmers raising a family that has stuck together through the years. I still keep in touch with second cousins and third cousins or first cousins once and twice or even three times removed. John and Leda built a home and a family. I’m sure that one reason I have such a love of family and a desire to know as much as I can about my family and those who went before me is due in part to ancestors such as John and Leda.