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 Leta Mildred <I>McDaniel</I> Riney

Leta Mildred McDaniel Riney

Derrahs, Lewis County, Missouri, USA
Death 30 Jan 1994 (aged 74)
Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
Burial Saint Patrick, Clark County, Missouri, USA
Plot Section C 27
Memorial ID 5075373 · View Source
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Our mom, Leta Mildred McDaniel, was a farm girl who lived in the next township. She was the youngest of three daughters. When Mom was just a baby, her oldest sister was killed by a kick in the head by a mule. This had a tremendous impact on the entire family. It was a blow from which no one in the family ever recovered. This made Mom and her other sister even closer than they otherwise would have been.

They attended Antioch Baptist Church about a mile away from their home and also attended Sunday School. Mom was baptized in the Wyaconda River at the age of eleven. She and her mother were later to convert to the Catholic Church after she married my dad.

Dorothy and Leta attended Plano School, a one-room school house about a mile away from home. They were both in the same grade, as their mother had held Dorothy back a year so they could start school together. They rode a pony to school each day. When they were old enough to attend high school, they’d stayed in a house in town that was owned by their rich Uncle Bob. All his nieces and nephews from the country stayed there with a house mother, as they would not have been able to attend high school otherwise. They came home on the weekends to be with their parents.

The girls were typical teenagers of the time. One of the things they did was to attend Grange suppers where girls brought decorated boxes of supper and boys bought them and ate supper with the girl to whom the box belonged. I think that’s how Mom and Daddy met. Since Daddy’s father was deceased by this time, his mother barely eked out a living, and they lived in substandard housing, after their farm was foreclosed on. I think I remember Mom saying that the snow sometimes blew in through the floor boards of the Riney home. My McDaniel grandparents were by no means wealthy, but I think they were more affluent than the Riney family. Grandpa and Grandma McDaniel gave Mom and Daddy some livestock as a wedding gift to help them get started, and all Grandma Riney was able to afford to give them was a
dresser scarf.

First Mom and Daddy rented a small, two-story house on Highway E near Derrahs, MO. This is where Rose was born on May 25, 1938. I’m not sure how long they lived there, but by the time Bill was born on August 16, 1940, they were in a different house about five miles away. I have the papers somewhere where they bought the old farm in September 1942. They paid $9000 for a 140-acre farm with a two-story house, a barn, and outbuildings, including, of course, an outside toilet. This is the house where we were to live for the rest of Daddy’s life. I loved that old house, as did my siblings. There were lots of woods to play in, a pond stoked with catfish and other fish, and meadows from where we had to fetch the cows at milking time.

Mom was a pretty strict parent, but Daddy dealt out most of the spankings. After Daddy died in 1952, Mom had a rough time raising the six kids. She had five at the time Daddy died and had another daughter three months after his death. I do know she drew Social Security, but she also received some public assistance. At the time we got our first television, after Daddy died, Mom almost lost her public assistance, as you were not allowed at that time to own a television, as it was considered a luxury. Mom had to tell them that Grandma bought the tv for us, or they would have stopped her public assistance.

Within a reasonable length of time after Daddy died, Mom began dating again. She had been married almost sixteen years and had dated very little before she married at age seventeen, so this was something new to her. She had at least a couple of boyfriends during these two years, and when she became pregnant out of wedlock, it was such a disgrace that we had to move out of the neighborhood where we had been born and raised. Mom bought a 26-foot, one-bedroom trailer for $300, and we moved 40 miles away to Edina, MO. This was strange for us, as we had never lived in town before. Mom kept the farm, and we would sometimes travel over on the weekends during the summer to plant garden and harvest the vegetables that we grew.

While we lived in Edina, Mother worked for a while at a restaurant, and she continued to date, especially Francis Gibbons. After about a year and a half had passed, when the neighbors had gotten all the rumors talked out, we moved back to the farm and Mom continued to date Francis. He would usually travel over and spend the weekend. He and Mom did not sleep together, but he slept in Bill’s bed. Don’t know where Bill slept.

Mom and Francis soon decided to get married on April 12, 1958. Mom sold the farm and all the farm implements we had and used the money to buy cows and new farm equipment for Francis, and we moved to a rental farm, which had a one-bedroom house and a closed in back porch where Bernie and I slept. All the rest of the kids slept in the room with Mom and Francis. Bill got married to his first wife within six weeks after the time Mom got married. Francis farmed the acreage on shares with the owners. He had seven Holstein cows from which he sold the milk, and Mom had one Guernsey from which she got milk for the family’s use.

Francis and I did not get along, so in 1960, Mom decided to send me to California to live with Bill and Joyce to finish high school.

Mom continued to live with Francis for several years and had two more children by him. Unfortunately, he was a mean drunk. He got drunk on a regular basis and beat up on her. Finally, she got a job at the Post Office in Canton and took the kids and left him. She didn’t get a divorce for a few years after she left, and periodically she would go back to him only to leave again when things became unbearable.

In 1970, she was able to transfer to the Post Office in Springfield, IL. This was probably one of the best moves she ever made. She still had at least three children living at home to support, but she did a good job and finally got them all raised and was happy living alone. Francis had moved to Keokuk, IA, by this time and I suppose he was retired. He lived in a little one-bedroom apartment. Mom was still in love with him, and from time to time, she’d travel to Keokuk to spend the weekend with him. Sometimes, he’d come spend a few days with her if she’d come get him and take him back.

Mom retired from the Post Office, I think in 1984. She really enjoyed her retirement. She was very healthy and walked a couple of miles each day. One day in January 1994, she called me at work and told me she had fallen down while she was walking, but “Don’t worry about me,” she said. “I’m all right, except I have a goose egg over one eye.” Later she called back and said her arm was starting to hurt and would I take her to Prompt Care when I got off work. They x-rayed her and said she had a small bone broken in her arm and put her in a sling. Then a few days later, she called our sister Mona, the nurse, and asked her to take her to the emergency room. She said, “My leg feels funny. You’d better hurry; it’s getting worse. By the time she reached the hospital, she was comatose and never regained consciousness. She had been bleeding in her brain since the fall. The brain surgeon was unable to stop the bleeding because she took an aspirin every day since she had had a slight stroke about six months before. On January 30, with the advice of the doctor, we decided to remove her breathing tube. She never took another breath, but her heart kept beating for about thirty minutes. She must have had a strong heart from all that walking. Ironic that she and her sister both died from a blow to the head. She was buried beside Daddy in St. Patrick Cemetery on February 3, 1994. There is room for one more person in the Riney plot, so I will be buried beside her.

Leta M. McDaniel, 74, of Springfield, Illinois and formerly of the Lewis County, Missouri area passed away on Sunday, January 30, 1994 at 8:30 P.M. at St. John's Hospital, Springfield, Illinois. The daughter of William Knight and Bea Gruber McDaniel she was born at Canton, Missouri on October 14, 1919. She was married to Louis Riney and he preceded her in death on July 23, 1952. She later married Francis Gibbons. She is survived by her children: Rose Heritage, Monrovia California, Lillie Riney, Springfield, Illinois, Mrs. Jake "Bernadette" Murphy, Williamstown, Mo., Amy Smith, Keokuk, Iowa, Mary Payne, Riverton, Illinois, Robert J. Gibbons, El Cajon, California, Larry F. Gibbons, Decatur, Illinois, and Mona Stalets, Riverton Illinois, one sister, Dorothy Tompkins and her husband Kenneth, Mesa Arizona, 35 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, one son, William F. Riney, one sister, Edna May McDaniel, one grandson and one great-granddaughter. She was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Springfield, Illinois. She had lived near Derrahs, Missouri and moved to Canton where she worked for the Post Office. She later transferred to Springfield, Illinois where she worked for the Post Office until she retired in 1984. Mass of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, February 3, 1994 at 10:30 A.M. at the Shrine of St. Patrick, St. Patrick, Missouri with Rev. Michael Murphy officiating with burial in the St. Patrick Cemetery, St. Patrick, Missouri.

  • Created by: Lillie Riney
  • Added: 9 Oct 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5075373
  • Michael Dunne
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Leta Mildred McDaniel Riney (14 Oct 1919–30 Jan 1994), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5075373, citing Saint Patrick Cemetery, Saint Patrick, Clark County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Lillie Riney (contributor 22403448) .