Willard Augustus7 (Gus) and
Lucy Alice (Musson) Talmage
Willard (son of Jeremiah and Margaret Teeple) Talmage, was born on Mar 31, 1861, and moved to Illinois from New Jersey with his family when he was nine years old. From then on they lived on farms, never owning one, merely rented them throughout the years.
The Talmage Siblings: Willard, Sam, Ruth Ann, Howard and Louis.
Gus and his brother, Sam, worked the farm alone after their father and mother passed away in the early nineties, and Gus did the cooking for the next eight years. He got up and fixed the breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen and got things out for dinner. Sam took care of the livestock, hitched up both teams of horses, and then they took off for the fields. Gus left the fields at 11:30 and fixed their dinner. In the evening Sam did the feeding again and put Gus's horses up. Almost every Sunday Gus fixed a big roast for dinnerand all their bachelor friends came to eat the and then play cards all afternoon and evening.

They had an 8 room house & a stone smoke house for the meat. They butchered as many as 14 hogs a year. That and the poultry kept them in meat.

Willard Augustus (Gus) Talmage, Sr.

Alice was working at the City Hospital and had a room at the Welling home. When she came up to Delhi between cases she would see him, so the romance progressed until November 1899, when they went to Jerseyville to be married. Gus was 38 and Alice was 35 years old. It was a cold rainy day, but he had put curtains on the buggy so they were dry and comfortable.

The day after the wedding they drove to Alton to buy new furniture and Gus's brother Sam followed in the wagon and hauled it home.

Brothers Sam Hall Talmage and
Willard Augustus Talmage
Alice met Gus Talmage at a dance held at her Aunt Mary Craig's. (Probably at Delhi, IL) Although they had lived less than ten miles apart while they were growing up and he was a friend of her cousins, the two had never met before the dance. Gus was a farmer with much livestock and with it being horse and buggy days, he would have to make it into a two day trip to visit her. Dating was tough as the drive by wagon was about 4 hours. Since he couldn't leave the livestock overnight, they had to depend on a courtship of letter writing. The first time Dad kissed her goodnight she said, "Gus, you know that;s not right." He replied, "If you know a better way, please SHOW me!" They saw each other as often as possible, but distance made it a lengthy romance.
Lucy Alice (Musson) Talmage

After Gus & Alice were married, Gus told her that Sam would be moving out in a few days. She told him Sam should stay - she didn't intend to run him off. So she did the laundry and fixed the meals for both men until Sam died in 1931. Sam loved children and was chief babysitter for Alice's children.

Alice gave birth to her son Willard Jr. the day before Christmas, 1900. Gus was almost 40 years old. Forty years later, Willard Jr's first child would be born on Dec 24, on her father's birthday. Their daughter Ethel Faye (Faye) was born on Dec 03, 1903. Willard Jr and Faye were very close their whole lives.

Lucy Alice as Nurse working at St. Louis, Missouri Hospital.
Lucy is on the far upper Left observing the operation. She graduated from nursing school in 1892 and worked at St Louis City Hospital until 1894. Perhaps then is when she moved to Delhi to live with her sister,
Hattie Welling and family.

In 1901, Gus & Sam moved the family to the Merriman farm, where they stayed until Mr. Merriman decided to move back. The three of them then decided to go to Oklahoma, where Alice's sister, Hattie Welling had moved with her family the year before. The Wellings wrote about what a wonderful place it was, so Gus and Sam loaded the livestock in a freight car and the machinery and furniture in another car & headed for Tulsa and on to Sapulpa, the larger of the two towns.

People crowded the station to see the Talmage's 'riding machinery'. No one had any like it in the area.

(See picture of similar Tractor)
They quickly picked out a farm near Glenpool and made a down payment to buy it. THEN they went around and looked at the surroundings. There were no roads and no schools - Gus said he wasn't going to raise his children in such a God forsaken place -so they pulled up stakes and moved right back to Illinois. (Two years later, people struck oil on the farm and it became part of the famous Glenpool field.)

When they got back to Illinois they returned to the Bowman farm. In 1909 they moved to the Van Horn farm located between Delhi and Jerseyville. It was a very fancy farm home, a brick 3 story house with huge rooms and a fancy stairway coming from the third floor ballroom. The kids had the ballroom for their playhouse and roller skating rink.

The Family lived there about three years before moving to a six room house near East Newburn, close to Round Prairie school, Sunday school, and transportation. An Interurban connecting Alton to Jerseyville ran at the side of the home and it cost 10 cents to ride to Alton. Alice often took the children to a movie or free concert.

From there they moved to the House place, a much smaller farm and house, but close to Delhi. One day Gus went to Bowman's Dry Goods store in Alton to make a purchase and Mr. Bowman asked him to manage the farm the family had lived on before. Mr. Bowman had torn down the old house and built a new six room house. Sam could work on salary, too, and live in a three room house across the road with the hired men. Gus & Sam had suffered many losses in farming from flooding, or animals dying or crop failure, so after talking it over they agreed that their worry over losses would end, and they moved back to the Bowman farm again.

In 1917 and 1918 Illinois suffered a bad summer & winter. There wasn't food for livestock--heavy snows--dead cattle! The Wellings wrote again about the marvelous opportunities in Oklahoma and Gus & Alice had a talk about it. Gus believed that Alice wanted to move to be by her sister and Alice thought Gus was eager to move, so off they went. Only later did they find out that neither wanted to move. Gus made a payment on a farm at Stigler and rented it for a couple of years, using the rent to applied toward the purchase.

In 1922 Gus had a stroke and could no longer do heavy work. He opened a little hamburger store next to the school in Jenks.

Gus and his hamburger stand. Vira Platt taught at the school next door and frequently ate lunch and talked to Gus, who most often would be telling her about his son Willard. Vira eventually met and married that son.
Aerial view of early Jenks.

#1 is the Talmage Hamburger Stand to the left of a large theater.

#2 is by the two buildings on the school campus that held the grade school kids. The building on the right of the "2" is where Vi Platt (later Talmage) taught Faye's son Vernon in grade school in the 20's. The large building on campus is the Jenks high school.

Gus died November 22, 1928, in Jenks. Lucy was surrounded by family, since Sam, son Willard, Faye and her husband Joel Myrick, and their son Vernon all lived with her. Sam died in 1930 and Willard moved to Bartlesville in 1933 to work for Phillips Pet. Lucy continued to be the matriarch of the family until her death on March 17, 1948. She is buried next to her husband in Rose Hill Memorial Cemetery in Tulsa.
Lucy Alice Musson Talmage
Aerial View of Rose Hill Cemetery, Tulsa
1910 Federal Census, Mississippi Township, Jersey County, IL
1920 Federal Census, Jenks, Tulsa County, OK