Thursday, March 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: #6 Romie Michael Sefton, "My Favorite Person in the World"

Romie Michael Sefton
One day while visiting my grandfather, I found a large picture stashed behind a cabinet.  When I showed it to him, he said, "Hallelujah!  That's my favorite person in the world!"   The picture (shown at right) was of his Grandpa Sefton. 

Romie Michael Sefton was born November 11, 1868 in Decatur County, Indiana.  His parents were Edward Bebb Sefton and Caroline Kenney Smiley.  Romie had three brothers and two sisters: William (who lived less than a year), Willamina, Henry, Ella, and Edward Jr.

Nina, Ruth, Mary, and Romie Sefton c. 1895
On December 21, 1891, Romie married Mary Edna Bird.  She died October 12, 1893, after giving birth to twin daughters, Mary Ida and Ruth Edna.  It must have been a very difficult time for him.  A year later, he married Mary Edna's older sister, Nina Bird, on November 29, 1894.  She became the twins' mother.

The Indianapolis Star, March 25, 1939
Romie lived in Decatur County his entire life and was a successful farmer.  I have several pictures of him with his farm animals, which included pigs, chickens, cattle, sheep, geese, and draft horses.  One of his cows, Daisy, was so clever that she learned how to feed herself by pulling a rope attached to a feedbox.  He seemed to be very fond and proud of all his animals.

Romie and his draft horses
Romie visiting his daughter Ruth's home

Romie liked to played the fiddle and listen to country music on the radio.  He also enjoyed playing practical jokes.  Here's my grandfather's account of one of Romie's pranks:

At least once each winter Gramp would get me with one of his favorite practical jokes.  On a very cold morning, he would sometimes find a frozen egg.  I remember his coming in the house with the egg basket crooked on his arm, but he would also have something in his hands.  He would say, "Johnny, I have a present for you," and with his hands closed together, he would have me hold out my hands.  Cautioning me to be careful, he would try to transfer the present to my hands.  Of course, he would be sure that it would fall to the floor with a loud thud.  My heart would leap to my mouth as I saw the egg fall.  I knew Mother would be angry because we got the floor dirty.  A solidly frozen egg, however, makes no mess and Gramp once again had his joke on me.

Romie died on August 25, 1949 at the age of 80 and was buried at Shiloh Cemetery in Decatur County.

His house still stands today.  It is located just off of I-74 in Greensburg.  In recent years, a new Honda manufacturing plant and a hotel have sprung up beside the old farmhouse. My family and I visited the house about seven years ago.

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