My mother, Margaret Frances Hunter was born on October 2, 1910 in Gage, Oklahoma. Her parents were Martha Ellen Stump Hunter and Cecil Alistair Hunter.
Martha and Cecil began their married life as homesteaders in what was then the Territory of Oklahoma. Cecil and his older brother Robert were part of the last wave of homesteaders in Oklahoma. Cecil and Martha were married in Gage in 1908. By 1910, they had two children, Tom and Margaret.
Robert and his wife Amanda stayed in Gage, where they raised five children. But Cecil and Martha moved to Missouri, where they had three more children: Florence, Paul, and Robert. Cecil established a successful plant nursery business.
In 1917, Cecil’s sister Margaret Dearest Hunter came to visit from her Iowa home. Aunt Margaret brought her little namesake a wonderful china head doll.
An early picture from about 1917 or 1918 (below) shows seven-year-old Margaret sitting with “one of my Wheat cousins” and holding her precious doll. Unfortunately the fragile china doll was broken somehow. How? We’ll never know.But that was not the end of dolls in Margaret’s life. Due to her family’s situation in her later childhood, that childhood doll was never replaced. But, as I found out seventy years later, it was never forgotten, either.