Sunday, November 30, 2008

TAYLOR KERN HUNSICKER AND WIFE, FLORA VANETTA SMITH - My Hunsicker great-grandparents, and the parents of my grandmother Helen Hunsicker, were Taylor Kern Hunsicker and Flora Vanetta Smith. They met while he was working on the B&O railroad in or near Byers, Ohio (see below) and she was working as the first woman's telegraph operator in Vigo, Ohio. Flora's mother Driscilla Ryland had divorced our great-grandfather William Reuben Smith and moved to Vigo, Ohio with her daughter Flora while their son Van contined to live with Grandpa Reuben Smith. Our great-grandmother Flora Vanetta Smith then dressed as a man in order to become hired as a telegraph operator on the B&O Railroad. After they were married, they moved to such places as Huntington, W.VA. and Lexington, Kentucky (where my grandmother Helen Hunsicker Lloyd was born). They eventually moved to Macon, Georgia where Taylor Kern Hunsicker became the station master. They then retired to Milford, Ohio where they bought the family farm at 951 Walnut Street in Milford, with the house having previously been built by a riverboat captain. It was across from Governor Patterson's house in Milford. Above are photographs of Taylor Kern Hunsicker and his wife Flora Vanetta Smith.