Chapter 5: Frank O'Barr
The Augustus Barto O'Barr and Lola May Peppers Family
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copyright 1995 by Gerald L. O'Barr
Aug 10, 1887 - Dec 10, 1938
Written Jan 1996 by Niece Ruby O'Barr Cordes
My Uncle Frank, as I always called him, died when he was only 51 years old. He had a heart attack after pushing a car while on duty. I was only about ten years old and my sister Dorothy was seven. He was a policeman for the Los Angeles, California Police Department. His uniform hat had a big badge on the front of it matched by one on his dark colored shirt. He had a slightly balding head with black hair. He was shorter than my Dad, Parley, who was tall like their brothers Joe, Arthur and Gus. He had big strong shoulders and chest. He smoked cigars and would give Dorothy and I the paper labels off of them when he unwrapped one. We would wear them proudly until they tore!
Frank married Ethel Staton May 7th 1924. She was a waitress at a cafe in Mesa. She had a little boy named Westley Boone. I believe Frank was married before and had a daughter. This daughter was raised by grandparents in Montana.
Uncle Frank had a warm, friendly personality. Dot and I always got big hugs and attention, especially at Christmas time when "Santa Claus" brought us nice presents!
Uncle Frank and Aunt Ethel bought a place about 40 miles east of L.A. near a town called Norco. They called it "the ranch." They had a Collie dog which was a big pal of little Ruby and Dorothy. They had hoped to retire to the country but of course it wasn't to be.
An activity that was very popular in those days was to go to the hot mineral baths near Lake Elsinore, California. Parley and Ruth went with Frank and Ethel several times. They would rent a little sleeping cabin and stay overnight.
Visiting Frank and Ethel in L.A. from time to time was a double cousin (two sisters marrying 2 brothers), Ira Pollard. He was a bachelor then. He worked for the railroad and when the bunk cars were parked on a siding in L.A., they would get together. Later he retired, married a childhood sweetheart and lived in Atkins, Arkansas, where Parley and Ruth visited him once.
After Uncle Frank died, Aunt Ethel helped run a restaurant with her friends the Heards, near the Blythe, California, Airport. Pilots were being trained for the war effort at the Blythe Airport. Later she took the responsibility of the restaurant at the Buckhorn Mineral Wells East of Mesa, Arizona, that belonged to Frank's sister Alice Sliger and husband Ted. During World War II it was not easy to get provisions for the "Cafe" but Aunt Ethel was up to the task. Her son and his wife Barbara (who later died after the war back in L.A.) also helped during those years.
We kept in contact with Ethel after she moved back to L.A., back to Phoenix living with her friends the Heards, then back to L.A. again, visiting together many times. She was a good cook and we enjoyed many meals together. When she went into a rest home, Parley and Ruth, Howard and Ruby and her son Westley, and his second wife, Alice, took turns visiting her. She died July 7th 1969. Both Frank and Ethel are buried in the Inglewood Cemetery, Inglewood, California. Memories of them both are precious to me.