An American Journey
The Genealogy of the Curbow-Montoya Family
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John Ashford Atwood
Uncle Dink's Rocking Chair
Oral Family Story as told by Beverly Neil Atwood Blankenship; Wanda Atwood Keith and Reba Atwood Ceniglis:
One day, in 1862, when Dink was about six years old, his father, Thomas Atwood, took him (and his two older brothers, William Payton and Russell Columbus), on a fishing trip. While out fishing on the river bank a fierce thunderstorm blew up – there was much thunder and lightening all around them. Young Dink ran for cover under a large tree to get out of the rain. Suddenly, lightening struck the tree and poor little Dink was struck. He survived, but was never the same. While no details are known about the injuries he suffered, apparently the lightening strike affected his brain – as his mind remained that of a six year old boy for the rest of his life.*
Dink spent a lot of his time after that accident in a rocking chair that his father bought for him. With the mind of a child, he rocked away on the porch, always content.
Uncle Dink died 30 November 1921 in Oplin, Callahan County, Texas. Upon his death, his special rocking chair was given to his brother William Payton Atwood – who in turn passed it on to his son William Riley Atwood – who then passed it to his daughter Clementine Elizabeth (Aunt Clemmie). When Aunt Clemmie moved to Houston to live with her son, she gave it to her niece Beverly.
It is a very beautiful old rocker and has a special place in Beverly’s heart. Now it sits in her house, tenderly cared for – a special reminder of the past.
* It should be noted that according to the census records, Uncle Dink did live on his own as a boarder when he was young - stock herder; and then in the 1920 census he owned his own home. After the death of his brother William Payton Atwood - his sister-in-law Ellen Elizabeth West Atwood and niece Rosa Atwood lived with him for a time. In fact, Ellen was the informant on his death certificate in 1921.