Early last year my family took a ski trip to Colorado. We took our time driving home and took a different route through Oklahoma than we had taken before. As we were driving down the highway, I started seeing exit signs for the city of Pawnee. I knew it was familiar, but I couldn't place it. Then it hit me: Pawnee was the city I had researched for my Creed line. Gussie Creed is my great-grandmother on my father's side and I knew that she and her parents had lived in Pawnee County, Oklahoma. We were this close...I just had to go. So I asked my husband to take a brief detour just to see the town.
|Joseph and Mary Creed of Pawnee, Oklahoma|
We jotted over to the museum and spoke to the volunteers there. They did indeed have genealogy information, but neither of them were familiar with it. Instead, they called the resident expert, Gladys Kitchen, who offered to come to the museum to help me. In a strange twist of fate, I had actually been in contact with Gladys via email and now I had an opportunity to meet her. She drove to the museum and helped me go through the Creed family files. She was able to give me their obituaries and show me the plot of land they had owned. It turns out that Joseph Creed had been a part of the 4th Land Rush in Oklahoma. I walked away with information I had not known and would not have found through my searches on the Internet. And of course, I gave a donation to the historical society!
I'm not sure what I had hoped to see in Pawnee, maybe just to know that I had walked in their footsteps. In our brief 2-hour stop I was not only able to do that, but learned information I had not known and patronized businesses in small-town America. This short adventure is one we still talk about. I had often wondered why the Creed family had come to Oklahoma and stayed. Having visited and met the locals I know exactly why they stayed. You just can't find this kind of stuff on the Internet!