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Frankie Jane Shoults

Frankie Jane Shoults

Female 1905 - 1985  (79 years)

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  • Name Frankie Jane Shoults 
    Born 26 Aug 1905  ,Cape Girardeau County,Missouri,USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 21 Aug 1985  Farmington,San Juan County,New Mexico,United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Cedar Hill Cemetery,San Juan County,New Mexico,USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Find A Grave Memorial# 69824481
    • Jackson Cash-Book Journal
      Wednesday, June 19, 1968

      Once-in -a-lifetime Reunion for Frankie Carruthers

      "It's a once-in-a-lifetime affair," said Mrs. Frankie Jane Carruthers, the former Miss Frankie Jane Shoults, about the big gathering of family and friends at City Park last Wednesday to visit with her.

      Present for the basket dinner and afternoon of talking over old times with Mrs. Carruthers ,who now lives on 80 acres near Aztec, New Mexico, were kinds of kinfolks, friends, former teachers and schoolmates, as well as Mrs. Carruthers' four grown sons andthe Wives and families of the two married sons, all scattered across the nation.

      Readers of the Post & Cash Book will remember that Mrs. Carruthers telephoned me from Aztec one evening last summer shortly after I wrote a column about Summitville, Colo., a ghostown high in the mountains, which was once her home and where she served as a nurse. Since then, our friendship has grown as the talents and strength of this remarkable lady have become increasingly apparent.

      “I really started having the time of my life when I went out West,” she explains. “I went to Colorado Springs to visit an aunt and took a job with the public health work of the National Red Cross. I was fresh from the big city (St. Louis) and here were the wonderful mountains to explore. We went on fishing trips and steak frys in the mountains. It was an exciting time.”

      Mrs. Carruthers, the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Frank Shoults, was born on a farm near the old Fairview Church in the Leemon community. She went to rural Leemon School, known affectionately by its former students as “Hog Pen” School, later graduating from Central high School in Cape Girardeau, and went to the State Teachers College there for two years. She taught school after that – one year at New Wells and two years at Pocahontas. Then she went into nurse’s training.

      “I always wanted to be a nurse, but it took me all that time to talk my parents into it. In those days, ‘nice girls’ didn't become nurses," Mrs. Carruthers laughs.

      Finally she secured her parents' permission and in 1928 went into training at St. Louis City Hospital, graduating there in 1931. “What did you do then?" we asked. "It was in the middle of the depression, and I starved for one year," she recalls.

      After doing private duty for one year, she went back on general duty at St. Louis City Hospital. "Dr. Dennis Elrod of Cape was interning there then, as was Dr. Rusby Seabaugh of Jackson and Dr. Albert Estes," she relates.

      After going to Colorado and securing the job with the Red Cross, she worked in the San Luis Valley where there was a trench mouth outbreak. When it ended, she went to work at a small hospital in Alamora ,Colo., and then one day came the move that set the course for her life.

      A doctor on the staff there offered her the chance to go up as camp nurse to Summitville, high in the San Juan Mountains. "The doctor had the contract for the medical work then, and I went to work there in the summer of 1936 for the magnificent salary of $75 a month. Summitville was a gold mining town of about 250 or 300 people."

      It had been mined for upward of 100 years, off and on, Mrs. Carruthers recalls. It was closed down after World War I. but the A. O. Smith Co. leased it in the early 30s and I worked it until 1942.

      “Being camp nurse there ruined me for nursing," Mrs. Carruthers laughs. We were 56 miles from the doctor at Alamosa, and I had to do a lot of things including delivering babies and sewing up cuts – nurses were never suppose to do that!”

      She did the family nursing as well as the mine work, although on technically she wasn't supposed to. “What are you going to do when people need help and a doctor is that far away?” she asks.

      “I had a little office and I was on call 24 hours a day. There were boarding houses in Summitville for the unmarried miners and other unmarried employees of the town. Since I was one of the few single women I found myself immensely popular for the firsttime in my life.”

      The little town had its social strata, Mrs. Carruthers recalls, just like any small town, and there was an active social life. There were frequent dances in the boarding houses, with musicians being brought up from the valley. “Very often we entertainedat diner and played cards afterwards.”

      There was a two-room grade school in Summitville, but no church. “The Mormons had a small group, something like their Relief Society, but there was no church," she relates.

      Since Summitville is situated at 11,000 ft., it had cold winters and deep snows. The first year she was there, the snow started in September and some stayed on all year. "Next spring the mountains were covered with the most gorgeous flowers you've ever seen," she remembers. “You couldn't take a step with out crushing a dozen varieties.”

      People in town used coal for heat, and the coal was expensive, having been brought up from the valley. "We had our own power plant and the water came from a dam higher up where melted snow was caught. We had two grocery stores and they extended credit to the mine families, but at the end of the month, if you didn't pay your bills your tickets were turned in to the company and the latter deducted what you owed from your paycheck."

      Since the town was at timberline, most of the fringe of trees had long been cut for fuel or mine props or houses. However, a broad belt of conifers had been left behind the mines in order to prevent avalanches from engulfing the mines.

      “Those avalanches were terrifying things. I saw one actually happen once, and a few years before l went to Summit ville some skiers, who were on forbidden territory, were killed in an avalanche. Their bodies weren't recovered until spring.”

      It was in Summitville that Mrs Carruthers met and married her husband, a native Kansan who had homesteaded in ldaho, lied about his age to get in World War I, and came to the San Luis valley to ranch after the war.

      “The depression ruined him, so he went up to the mine to work," Mrs. Carruthers tells. Mr. Carruthers helped freight gold out of Summitville after the first World War. As she recalls it, a prospector named Pickens was prospecting up there with his little hammer, knocked a corner off a ledge, and found a streak of almost pure gold - very high grade ore.

      "He couldn't get the lease on the land, and he worked for l9 years before he got it. He must not have told his wife, because she couldn’t have kept the location a secret all that time," Mrs. Carruthers laughs. “Judge Wiley down in the valley helped himsecure the lease and they finally managed to get the ore out of the mountains."

      The Carruthers family and the three sons born in Alamosa while the family lived at Summitville moved to Aztec, New Mexico in 1941 where the fourth son was born. In 1958 her husband died, and Mrs. Carruthers reared to fine young manhood their four handsome sons.

      William Franklin Carruthers, 30, has just received his from the University of Maryland, and his ultimate plans are for a Masters degree in Business Administration. He is married to the former Miss Elizabeth Manning Hawthorne, great great granddaughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the famous author. Her father, Manning Hawthorne, has 
all of the original manuscripts of Hawthorne's novels.

      Garrey E. Carruthers is 29 and is writing his dissertation for his PhD at Iowa State at Ames. He and his wile, the former Miss Kathryn Thomas, and daughters, Deborah Ann and Carol Lynn, were also here for the family gathering. Garrey will return to New Mexico State near Las Cruces this fall as assistant professor in economics.

      James Ross Carruthers, 27, is counselor at Yuma, Arizona Kofa High School, having received his Masters degree last year at Colorado Western State at Gunnison.

      Michael Kent, 23, was commissioned an ensign in the Navy in December and is now on his way to Lowry Air Force Base in Denver tor special training in air intelligence. He also has a B.A. degree in Business Administration.

      Garrey and his family left Thursday morning tor Ames and the others departed Friday to go their separate ways. “This is the only time we've all been here and it will probably never happen again, but it has been wonderful,” says Mrs. Carruthers. It was thefirst time her sister, Mrs. Walter Sides, and her husband had seen the two youngest boys.

      Mrs. Carruthers is active in Farm Bureau work and is county chairman of the Farm Bureau at Aztec. For two years she was state President of the Association of Home Extension Clubs and twice she accepted invitations to attend the National Sa!ety Council meetings, once in Portland, Oregon and once in San Francisco, California.

      It’s nice to come home to visit Missouri, but I love New Mexico. There's something about the air and the rugged mountains and the sight of aspens turning gold in the fall that makes it my land," she says. “I'm a little weary, but I'm glad we had this visit. It's an experience that will probably never happen to us again," said Frankie Jane Carruthers as she headed West again for Aztec and home.

    Person ID I78967997  robsgenealogy
    Last Modified 3 Sep 2016 

    Father William Franklin Shoults,   b. 29 May 1862,   d. 29 Jul 1943  (Age 81 years) 
    Mother Mira E. Mitchell,   b. 28 May 1865, New Wells,Cape Girardeau County,Missouri,United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Sep 1923, ,Cape Girardeau County,Missouri,USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years) 
    Married 18 Dec 1890  New Wells,Cape Girardeau County,Missouri,United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F60467823  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family William Core Carruthers,   b. 01 Nov 1886, Cedar Vale,Chatauqua County,Kansas,USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Sep 1958, Cedar Hill,San Juan County,New Mexico,USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 04 Sep 1937 
     1. Living
     2. Living
     3. Living
     4. Living
    Last Modified 3 Sep 2016 
    Family ID F57345817  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 26 Aug 1905 - ,Cape Girardeau County,Missouri,USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 21 Aug 1985 - Farmington,San Juan County,New Mexico,United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Cedar Hill Cemetery,San Juan County,New Mexico,USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.
    Carruthers family 1968 Reunion
    Carruthers family 1968 Reunion