The youngsters in the Oklahoma City area had fun trick or treating on Saturday, October 30, 1915. The front page of the Daily Oklahoman said:
Young American had its inning Saturday night. With his nibs, the weatherman, furnishing a brand of weather that for salubriousness was never surpassed on a Halloween occasion Oklahoma City kiddos made merry with a right good will. Imbued with the enthusiasm of the hour many of their elders forgot the moment the weight of the years and entered into the spirit of funmaking with joyous abandon.
In the downtown district the thoroughfares were swarming with people until after 11 o’clock. In numbers and in the happiness displayed on all sides Broadway, Main street and Grand avenue crowds were not unlike holiday throngs. In the residence sections children and adults, masked and bedecked in multi-colored costumes went from place to place and house to house celebrating the festal event.
As is always the rule the police had their hands full taking care of the situation. No effort was made by the officers to interfere with the merrymaking, their sole interest being to stop any attempts at vandalism and to prevent accident, if possible.
The article goes on to list, by minute with the addresses, the calls taken at the police station of the disturbances. Click the thumbnail image to read the full article.
I imagine that my 13 year old great uncle Willie Lineberry was one of the many boys out that evening ‘merrymaking’ especially knowing, according to a sibling, that he was often in trouble. His younger siblings Bernita (11), Johnnie (9), Leonard (7), Joe (5), George (3) undoubtedly all went trick or treating. Virginia may have also but, at only 19 months old, she may have stayed at home with their mother and sick papa.
Jacob Lineberry, their father, had been sick for at least the past 10 days because Dr. R.M. Snethen visited him every day from October 20 until the 31 (according to the estate records). At some point after Dr. Snethen visited on Sunday, October 31, Jacob died from typhoid fever and auto intoxication.
Future Halloweens for the Lineberry children didn’t have a ‘spirit of funmaking’. Within 7 years, their mother was also dead and Bernita partially raised her younger siblings. According to Virginia, Bernita wouldn’t allow celebration of that day. I can certainly understand how she could have arrived at that decision especially if she had been part of such joyous celebrations the night before. I don’t know about the rest of Jacob’s grandchildren but I know that my grandmother Virginia did permit her children to dress up and go trick or treating though I have no doubt she would have recalled at least one memory of her father. Years later, Virginia recounted in her handwritten biography:
When I was 19 months old Papa died. I’m sure I remember. I went in to where Papa was in the casket and pushed a chair up and got in with Papa. When Mama found me I was patting his face. When I told my brothers they laughed and told me it was Mama who had told me. But I still see that little girl.
Funeral services were on Tuesday, November 2 and he is buried in Fairlawn Cemetery although no headstone is visible. We do not know if he ever had one.According to the estate records, the funeral and burial costs were $131.50, which included a hearse and limousine. Travel from their home at 318 W Ave D in Capitol Hill (today that is SW 26, which is next door to the Capitol Hill Library) to the Fairlawn Cemetery is 5 miles. I cannot imagine what that must have been like for Jacob’s widow, Eva. She was only 32 years old and already had 7 children and was financially dependent upon her husband. It must have been an unbelievably sad and scary time.