A Sketch of your Life

Eva (Teters) (Rusher) Dorrell
Born September 30, 1984

Compiled by Mabel & Betty in March 1978

(Due to fading and paper damage, this document was re-typed by Jon Borlin for preservation)

As we started looking back over the 83 years you have trod on this old earth, we dug up some very happy times and came across some very sad events.  We know that when you were a young girl you accepted Christ as your personal Savior and through it all he has blessed you and rejoiced with you at the happy times and been close by to comfort you when you suffered the terrible pangs of sorrow.  Just the other day you were showing me the worn Bible you carried from Oklahoma in the covered wagon when you were a teenager.

Your grandparents, Daniel Edgar and Phydelia (Phillips) Reynolds had been living in Buffalo, New York with their children.  Around 1870 they began to make plans to move to Missouri.  The Civil War issue was settled, and Missouri was starting to grow.  (Each of your grandfathers had been in the Civil War, one on each side.)  Missouri had a railroad running clear across the state from the east to the west.  The Hannibal and St. Joe Railroad was built in the late 1850s (completed by February 28, 1859) and was in use during the Civil War.  Coal mines were opening in Missouri in the 1870s as the railroad was abandoning wood as fuel for its boilers and getting into the market for coal.  One large coal mine was started in Lingo, Mo. In 1873.  With the railroads, coal mines, and good farming lands there was a need for stores, doctors, lawyers, and all sorts of business for the settlers in Missouri.  The towns were growing. 

So the Reynolds family packed up their belongings (probably in those big old trunks that are such collector items today) and moved to Missouri.  As Mrs. Reynolds packed her things, she had to decide what to take and what she would have to leave behind.  Imagine yourself packing for a long trip into a strange country and everything you take must go into one or two trunks.   What you leave behind is gone forever, buy you must be practical and take what you will really need in your new home.  One thing Mrs. Reynolds couldn’t have to leave behind was her beautiful blue sugar bowl, so she carefully wrapped it and stuck it in the trunk, even though the knob on the cover had been broken off by one of the children.  It is still in the family today. 

Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds were both later buried in the rural Pleasant Grove cemetery north of Bucklin. 

Your parents, Mary Batella Reynolds (born 1-13-1866) and John Crittendon Teters (born 3-23-1861) were married March 25, 1891 and were parents of four children:

In 1908 the Teters family moved to Sentinel, Oklahoma.  They made the trip by train, taking their furniture and some livestock (one cow had a broken leg).  Jim Hodgerson rode in the box car to care for the animals.  The kids were exposed to measles on the train and gave them to others after arriving in Oklahoma – even their mother took them.  They lived upstairs over a restaurant owned by Mr. Teters sister, Nannie.  They didn’t stay long in Oklahoma, moving into Arkansas where they farmed a while.  Grandma Teters always told about her garden where she scratched up a few rocks and planted her seeds and raised the best garden she ever had.  They lived near the small border town of Blue Dye about a year before coming to Bucklin in 1911.  The trip back was made by covered wagon and the kids drove a spring buggy.  One time as they were fording a river the buggy was nearly swept away into quicksand downstream.  Their father had already crossed in his wagon and kept screaming for them to pull their team upstream and miss the quicksand which they were finally able to do.

One night they stopped to make camp for the night some Indians came by admiring Grandma Teters nice horse and wanted to make a deal for him.  Grandpa chained the horse to the wagon that night and padlocked it to be sure the Indians wouldn’t return and steal him.

John C. Teters died February 19, 1922 at 60 years of age and is buried at Moberly, Mo in the Oakland Cemetery.  He has no stone but is buried beside Cleo Rusher who does have a stone. 

Some of the Teters family is buried at the Wyandotte cemetery near Buckin. 

Mary Estella Teters passed away in August 1958 at the age of 92 and is buried in Marseline, Mo.  She had a stroke 3 months earlier but would never agree to enter a hospital.  They had lived with you many years after her husband died doing much babysitting and dishwashing.  When you lived on the farm it was always her job to keep a good supply of corn cobs on the back porch to start fires in the kitchen range.  She rented a little house in Bucklin while Rollie and Mabel were in high school so they could stay with her and not have to walk the 2 miles to and from the bus every day. 

On October 11, 1913 you (Eva) married Otto Rusher (3-22-1893) and were parents of four children:  Tressie Vivian, Dorothy Pauline, Otis Floyd, Orville Lester.  Otto was killed in a mine accident near Farmington, Illinois on March 7, 1924 and is buried there.  His clothes caught on a set screw and he was twisted around the shaft and crushed against the timbers. 

On April 9, 1927 you (Eva) married Henry Lee Dorrell (born 12-28-1885) at Carrollton, Missouri.  Henry’s first wife, Gertrude (born in 1890) was a sister to your first husband, Otto, so your kids that had been first cousins now became stepbrothers and stepsisters as well.  They referred to your parents as “Pop and Aunt Eva” and “Mom and Uncle Henry”.  Tony Rusher, Henry Cole, and Helen Elisabeth.  Gertrude had died from pneumonia in 1923 and is buried in the High Hill Cemetery. 

All of the twelve children walked through the weeds along the ridge to the little High Hill school.  They also attended the High Hill church where they enjoyed ice cream socials, dinners on the grounds, and an occasional baptism in the Mussell Fork creek.  With twelve children, there were a few spats among them, but let someone outside the family pick on one and all 12 lined up against them:  The school closed many years ago and has recently been torn down.  The children are transported into Bucklin.  The church is still open and Sunday School is held regularly. 

You and pop became parents of your first child when Rollie Marion was born on January 13, 1929, his Grandma Teters 63rd birthday.  Over the next few years Mabel Dean, Delbert Lindon and John D. were born. 

Pop made a living for this large family of yours, mine, and our by farming.  He rented the Charles M. Cole farm, rural Marceline, for 42 years.  Mr. Cole’s sone, Ivy Cole, owned it the last several years.  There was a great depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s.  Also the driest years on record were in the middle 1930s.  I remember taking the family laundry to the creek to wash and hauling water to the house in barrels.  We younger kids got to swim in the creek while you were scrubbing on the board. 

Life wasn’t too easy for such a large family but a that time most people had large families and no one had much money so all were in the same boat.  And who knows, perhaps they enjoyed life more than we do today.  Homemade ice cream was a treat!  And basket dinners and fresh corn on the cob, and the first watermelons in the fall.  I’m sure there are many pleasant memories among the kids.  There was lots of work for everyone so it was early to bed and early to rise.  I remember on occasion we’d go to bed extra early on a rainy evening and behold the sky would clear and the sun would shine again before it went behind the trees.  These is one story about some kids staying overnight and Pop just couldn’t get the giggling stopped from the bedrooms so he made everyone get up and cut lard.  And many other times he told the kids visitors to go home or go to bed do he could get some sleep. 

As near as we can recall your first car was a 1924 Model T.  In 1939 you and Pop purchased a 1933 Chevrolet and your family could now ride to town in style – even if you did have to jump out and push up the Huff hill.

The year 1944 saw the first tractor on your farm with the purchase of a 2 cylinder John Deer tractor from Richard Jobson for the sum of $1000.  Tractors wee soon to replace horses in the fields.  You had a scare one evening when John drove a tractor to the pasture to bring in the milk cows.  He made a quick turn and head off one cow and the tractor turned over.  Your heard him holler and were right there to help him get out from under it.  

The first radio had a big battery which was charged by the wind charger on top of the house.  On a good windy day the colored balls would rise near the top and we could enjoy an extra program of Fibber Magee, Snooks, or Charlie McCarthy.  Electricity came to the rural area in the late 1940s.  What a treat to have iced tea or lemonade any day you wanted.  And no more hanging the butter in the well to keep it from melting. 

On December 7, 1941 you listened in stunned silence as you heard over the radio that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and we were thrust into World War II.  Lester’s ship, the USS Arizona, had been sunk and you would later receive the telegram informing you of the thing you so feared – Lester had been aboard the ship that morning and he was lost at sea.  One bomb dropped straight down a smoke stack and we suppose he was working on his job in the engine room.  Tony was serving in the Navy aboard the USS Houston and he wrote home to inquire if Lester had been aboard the Arizona that fateful morning.  The family wrote the sad news back to Tony but his ship was sunk in the Java Sea on the night of February 28, 1942 before he received any mail.  The letters were returned to the family unopened.  A few survivors from the ship were taken prisoner and hope was held for a while that Tony might be alive.  However, hope soon vanished and a memorial service was held at the High Hill church on April 26, 1942 for Tony and Lester. 

The war years were horrible years.  Other neighbors were losing their fine young sons also.  There was much grief in the area.  Some boys were prisoners of war and their parents prayed constantly for their safety.  Others were still in battle somewhere overseas.  The war finally ended when Japan surrendered aboard the USS Missouri in 1945. 

Hank was called and served in the Army during the war.  Lindon and John both served after their high school graduation in the early 1950s.  Lindon chose the Air Force and John the Navy.

Except for lingering memories, all ties to the Cole farm were cut when Rollie and his brother-in-law, Rex Goodman, held the farm sale January 21, 1956.  You and pop had retired from farming and moved to Marceline on Wet Curtis street in the fall of 1953.  A few years later a bulldozer was brought in, a hold dug, and the old farmhouse pushed into it and buried.  Parts of the old house were standing when the Civil War was fought, the rafters being pols with bark still clinging to them. 

One Sunday in October 1954, Henry and his granddaughter, Julene, arrived home from California.  Henry had become ill while vising the kids out in California so Julene accompanied him home on the train.  Later that afternoon a hear attack took his life and he was laid to rest in the High Hill cemetery beside Gertrude. 

In November 1969 you moved into your first brand new home when you rented an apartment in the Cedarbrooke Square Housing in Marceline.  The heat is electric, utilities are paid, and there are no steps.  It’s made-to-order for retired folks.  You were the very first tenant and have seen many neighbors come and go in the last 8 years. 

Thirty-six years after Pearl Harbor the first week of December was to bring another terrible tragedy to the family when John was killed in a truck accident on icy roads.  Thus history repeated itself and you had lost your youngest son from each of your marriages. 

Other family deaths are recorded on the following pages with the births of all children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. 

It is said that grass in nature’s forgiveness and in time in covers over all scars we make on earth.  So it seems that with people time removes most of the memories of the bad times and we recall only the good.  Think of someone that you once know and that is now deceased, and you will have forgotten most of the bad traits of that person and remember only the good.  Too bad we have to be dead before people can see the good in us.  Or too bad that we can’t see each day as a wonderful day until its in the past.  Today is the Good Ole Days of Tomorrow. 

I recently read where the grandchildren are the dividends of our lives.  We pay a very good price for the children we raise and then when the grandchildren arrive, we can just sit back and collect our dividends.  So as you read through the following list of descendants you will find you are certainly a wealthy lady.  Pop use to tell everyone he was worth $16 million because he had 16 kids.  Gee, I wonder what he would say today if he could see this list – and with the high rate of inflation.

We each love you and thank you for being Mother and for all the things you have done. 

Children of Henry Lee and Gertrude Dorrell

Orb and Naomi are retired and living in Rocky Mount, Missouri.  Patsy and her family live in St. Louis.  On January 18, 1978 Lee left his home to meet a man interested in buying a boat.  He has not been seen or heard from since that day.  All his family lives in the Kansas City area.  Lee had married twice, and his second wife’s name was Sherry. 

Hazel Dorrell West was later married to Ross McCoy.  Her stepdaughters from this marriage:

Wilma and Bud Tanner, children and grandbabies all live in the Kansas City area.  Norma and family live in Kansas City with the exception of Linda.  She and family live in Chicago

Louise and Bill Maynard live in Houston, Texas.  Daughter Pat and family live in Purcell, Oklahoma.  Daughter Cathy and family live in Birmingham, Alabama.

Maxine and Bill Troutman and boys live in Independence, Missouri.

Hazel passed away in 1958 after much suffering with cancer and is buried in Kansas City.


All are living in the Independence area.  Naomi and Fred celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December 1976.


Jim died September 10, 1973 following heart surgery and is buried in Independence. 
Margaret lives in Independence and the children are all near. 



Tony Rusher Dorrell (1-18-1917) married Phyllis Palmer at Wilmington, California on September 10, 1940

Tony was in the US Navy aboard the USS Houston when it was sunk in the night of February 28, 1942 in the Java Sea.  On March 16, 1942 his family received the following telegram:

“The Navy Department deeply regrets to inform you that your son Tony Rusher Dorrell, Machinists Mate first class US Navy is missing following action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country.  The department appreciates your great anxiety and will furnish you further information promptly when received.”

Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs

Chief of the Bureau of Navigation


Hank and Ann live in Weed, California.  Also, Lynn and her family.  Elaine lives in Yreka.  Janice and family live in Vallejo, Ca. 
Jimmie was killed when an airplane he was on missed the aircraft carrier and crashed into the ocean.


Shields / Van Meter / Doutt Families

Helen Elizabeth Shields marred Jess Andrew Rowland December 8, 1977.  Her stepchildren are:  Sharon Kilgore, Louise Cochran, Lewis C. Royland, Ronald Rowland and James Rowland.  Her step-grand-children are: Susan, Cheryl, Rhonda, Rodney and Randy Kilgore.  Ronald Jr., Michael, and Joe Cochran.  Kirk Rowland.  Ronald Jr., Leslie, jared Rowland.  Brian and Timothy Rowland. 


Children of Otto and Eva Rusher

Wanda lost a little boy, Ricky, (18 months old) in 1958 in a car accident.  He was a twin to Robert.  Carl died in 1972 of cancer and is buried in Hillsboro, Oregon. 

On June 20, 1973, Vivian married Rollie G. Rusher at Linneus, Mo.  Rollie died in November 1977 after a long illness.  Vivian presently lives in Marceline, Mo. But all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are living in Oregon. 


Pauline and Richard live in Stockton, California and Richard has just retired from the railroad. 
Carol’s family and Barbara’s family live there too. 

Floyd and Waunita live in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have all their family nearby.

Orville Lester Rusher (8-13-20)

Lester was lost at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941.  His time in the Navy was up and he was waiting for the ship to return to the United States so he could come home.  He was never home on leave after joining.


Children of Henry and Eva Dorrell

All of Rollie’s family lives in the Kansas City Area – with Melody and family in Olathe, Kansas.  Lester joined the navy on March 27, 1978 and reported to Orlando, Florida. 

Leroy and Mabel live in the High Hill community, rural Bucklin.  They live on the farm where Leroy was born and raised.  Debbie and Scott live in St. Joseph, Mo.  Tom, Joy, and Amber live in Bucklin, Missouri.


Lindon, Loretta and Kara live in Brookfield, Missouri.  The three married girls live nearby and Doug and family live near Maoon, Mo. 

John was killed in an automobile accident December 5, 1977 near Moberly, Missouri.  He was on his way to his chiropractor office in Keytesville when another car slid into his land on the icy roads.  Carolyn and Steven are living at Rochsport, Missouri where they operate the Boone Cave.  Kathy and Earl are living in Marshall, Mo.