George Willis Collum-Troubled Man

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This was written on July 11, 2014 All facts, data, circumstances, places, names, and reports are correct.

Submitted: June 20, 2017

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Submitted: June 20, 2017

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George Willis Collum

Troubled Man

 

By Faye Collum Fairley

 

 

George Willis Collum was born in 1886. He married the first time in 1907 at age 20.  He married a lady named Myrtle; with her he fathered three children.  One baby was still-born.  When the other two children were 10, and 7, he left to get some cigarettes, and never went back home.

 

The next time he made an appearance was in Maud, OK in 1917.  George Willis Collum married Addie Martha Jane Wood.  With this lady, he fathered 5 more children.  In 1926,on February 15, a baby named Toy was born.  This infant only lived 10 days.  That was the last baby for Addie Martha Jane.

 

One year later, in March, 1927, these small children lost their mom to pneumonia.  Three years later,  the federal census shows George and children Velma, Riley, Tom, and J D living with George’s parents in  Mississippi.  His parents were Robert Sanford Collum and Mary Martin.

 

George decided the easiest thing for him was to break up the children and let them live with relatives who would take them.  Each child went to a different family member.  How tragic for these small children.  First they lost their mom; their dad chose not to keep them, then they lost each other.  What a heartrending thing to happen to four small children.  The oldest of the children was only 9 years old.

 

From the time Addie Martha Jane died, George Willis Collum floated around as a single man, doing what made him happy at the time.  He seemed to stay out of the radar for several years.  He didn’t show up again until 1934.  He had been “keeping company” with a lady named Romie Stallings in Maud OK.  According to Stallings, they got into an argument at church on Sunday, June 17, 1934.  She went home, and locked the door.  It is not known if they lived in the same home. It is known that she stated that she “went home, and he soon followed.”She also stated that she locked the door to prevent his entrance.  He broke the door open, went inside, and started cursing her.  When he started striking her, she started yelling and screaming for help. Her screams brought her son running into the house.  (The son lived across the alley from her)

 

Her son, Lawrence Ragsdale, reported that when he ran in the door, he bumped into George Collum running out the door.  As Lawrence was checking on his mother’s condition, Collum ran back in the door carrying an ax.  In a running motion, Collum swung the ax at Lawrence.He dodged to avoid a straight on deadly strike.  This did not avoid the ax completely.  He sustained a cut on the shoulder and down the left arm. 

 

Collum lost his grip on the ax after he hit the young man.  As soon as the ax hit the floor, the wounded Ragsdale picked it up and with one rapid swing, hit Collum on the head with it.  The strike was not deadly, but he did have to be carried to a doctor, then on to a hospital.  The young 21 year old Ragsdale delivered a blow severe enough to result in a skull fracture.Collum remained in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time for treatment.  No charges were filed against Ragsdale for the encounter.

 

The 1940 federal census revealed that George Willis and youngest son J D lived alone in Oklahoma.  J D was 16years of age.

 

George Willis Collum was my grandfather.  The first two children he left were my dad and my aunt.  Neither of his children ever had a relationship with their father.  Neither of them held him in kind regard at all.  He died in 1952 in Maud OK at 66 years of age.

 

 He did not guide his children, or teach them any values in life.  By example, though, he did teach them what NOT to do.  I was five years old when he died.

 

 Now, I’d like to say that I knew and loved my grandfather George Willis Collum………I’d like to; but I can’t. 

 

 

 

George Willis Collum 1886son of Robert Sanford Collum 1852 and Mary Martin 1858

Children:  Addie M Jane 1895, Geneva Velma 1918, Riley Sanford 1920, Thomas D 1922, James Denver 1924,  Toy BC 1926,  Lola Mae  1910,  and Ernest Earl 1913.

 

 


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