Chapter 2



compiled by Larry Dean REA

Ed: Dad always said he was born in that part of Missouri that hung down into Arkansas.

Abija (Lee) REA

born 11 August 1883

Greenfield, MO

died 28 Aug 1962 (age 79)

Rainier, Columbia Co, OR

married 19 Nov 1903

Essie (Edna) PILLOW

of Francis, Boone Co., AR

son Guy Truman (Bucko) REA

born 5 Feb 1905

Harrison, Arkansas

died 6 Mar 1959 (age 54)

Newport, Oregon

Abija (Lee) REA

married 17 Oct 1907

Lydia Belle MYSINGER

born 18 Mar 1890

Harrison, Arkansas

died 25 Dec 1966 (age 76)

Rainier, Columbia Co, OR


(Ed) Dad’s first wife was named Essie (Edna) PILLOW. That was Buck’s mother. She died in child birth. She was a school teacher.

(Lee Rea and Lydia Mysinger were married on 17 Oct 1907 in Arkansas, their first son, Ernest Lee REA, was born near Boise on 19 July 1908)

(Ed) I had three Grandmas, Grandma REA (Martha Alice INMAN), Grandma MYSINGER (Frances E. ALSTON), and Grandma

Grandma Ross got married three times. After the last husband died some one asked her if she was going to get married again. She said she didn’t think there was any use. Her maiden name was EVANS, she married a PILLOW, she married a MITCHELL, then she married a ROSS.

(Ed) Grandma Ross lived in Boise, she was around until I was full grown. She would come and live with us a month at
a time. She and Buck lived in Grandma Mysinger’s (Frances Cordelia ALSTON) house in Rainier for quite a while.

(Esther) Grandma ROSS and my Great Grandma REA (Margaret Rhuamah EVANS) were sisters ! They gave me a
picture of my Great Grandma REA out at the reunion last year and I swore up and down it was Grandma ROSS. Come to find
out they were sisters.

(Esther) Dad’s nickname was “Boss”. Everyone over at Boise knew him as ” Boss “. Jim REA has some letters that were written back in Arkansas and he was referred to as ” Boss ” in those letters also.

(Lex) The way I understand it Dad wasn’t named until he was about seven years old. They just called him “Boss”. When he was seven he decided he wanted to be called “Lee” so Granddad ( Theodore Columbus REA ) said, “OK, Abija Lee.” Orville called me one time and wanted to know how Dad spelled his name so I got out my birth certificate and looked it up. He spelled it “ABIJA” on my birth certificate. Orville said Dad had signed so many that by the time they got around to his he didn’t bother to sign it!

(Larry) Where was Grandma (Lydia MYSINGER) REA from?

(Ed) She was from Harrison, Arkansas. They lived in Lickbranch.

(Myrtle) I read somewhere that a lickbranch is a small tributary to a stream.

(Ed) They told about crossing Lickbranch with a horse. It started to rain while they were gone and by the time they got back to the stream the horse wouldn’t cross the creek.

They kept their butter, milk, and stuff in a spring house down at the creek. When it started to rain they would run down and rescue their stuff before it got flooded out.

(Lex) My understanding, the folks lived at Bear Creek and Lickbranch was between them and town. I remember Dad telling about living on Bear Creek and Lick Branch flooding between them and town.

When we went to Arkansas we saw the sign to Bear Creek but we didn’t go out there. We didn’t know what to look for anyway.

(Lex) When we were in Arkansas we found a Tank REA. You go East from Harrison to a little town of Yellville, there was a nice house and on the mailbox was the name “Tank REA”. I knocked on the door but nobody was home. According to the signs he sold real estate and tombstones. They had to be some of our relatives, they would rather do anything than work.

(Lee) We found REA Valley and the little town of REA. We only found one guy at the feed store but he didn’t know any local history, he had been there just a short time.

(Larry) On the MYSINGER side of the family, who all were out here? (Lydia Belle (MYSINGER) REA)


John Michael MYSINGER

married Frances Cordelia ALSTON

(*) dau Lydia Belle MYSINGER

son Carl Franklin MYSINGER

son Marshal Josiah MYSINGER


(Ed) There was Carl (Carl Franklin), Joe (Marshal Josiah), and Lydia (Lydia Belle). There were four kids but one died young. Her name was Nancy. Grandma MYSINGER (Frances Cordelia ALSTON) lived here too. (She married John Michael MYSINGER )

(Myrtle) Your Grandma REA (Lydia Belle MYSINGER) used to tell me about when she was young and lived in Arkansas. The house had a huge fireplace. The house was always cold except around the fireplace. She had a seat just inside the fireplace where she loved to sit. She would be cozy and warm.

Ernest Lee REA born 19 Jul 1908

Meridian, Ada Co, ID

died 13 Dec 1973 (age 65)

Vancouver, WA


Green Mountain Cemetery

Rainier, OR

(Ed) Ernie used to claim he was an Arkansas Traveler. He was conceived in Arkansas and born in Idaho.

(Larry) Ernie could wiggle his ears. That always fascinated me. I don’t know if anyone else in the family could do that too.

Lex Columbus REA born 18 May 1910

near Boise, Ada Co, ID

(Lex) I can wiggle my ears too. That’s one of my few accomplishments. I had an uncle, Vester KINDALL, he could wiggle one ear at a time ! I never could learn to do that trick. Ernie, his glasses would slip down and he would move his ears back and pull up his glasses.

(Lex) I was born on the hill just outside of Boise, not in Meridian. It was in Ada county though. Dad was doing farm work, working as a hired hand.

(Lex) I weighed 14 pounds when I was born. I tried to tell people I weighed 20 pounds but no one would believe that. I’ve always been big for my age. Mom used to say when I was sitting on her lap she had to reach down with both hands and hold on to keep me from flowing off her lap.
You can see from my pictures I was bigger than Ernie.

(Larry) There are interesting names in the family. It’s fun to find them back in the family history. For instance your name, are you named after someone in the family?

(Lex) No, I am the original Lex REA. I got my middle name from Granddad (Theodore Columbus REA), but Lex is original. Mom told me was there was a merchant in Harrison, Arkansas named Lex. She was so intrigued by the name she named me Lex.

Esther Belle REA born 3 Apr 1912

Meridian, Ada Co, ID

(Esther) I was born in Cloverdale School District. That’s what it says on my birth certificate. That was near Meridian.

When I was little we moved to Moscow, Idaho. I don’t remember it but Lex (REA) does.

(Lex) I wasn’t very old when they took a notion to go up to Northern Idaho. I was about two I guess. There was quite a bunch of the family: Grandma (Martha Alice INMAN) REA, Grandpa (Theodore Columbus) REA, Uncle Vester (Simion Sylvester KINDALL), Aunt Lydia (Lydia Phuamah REA) KINDALL, Pearl (KINDALL), Mom, Dad, Bucko, Ernie, Esther, and I. I don’t think Retha (KINDALL) was born yet. Pearl said that she, Esther and I are the only ones left that made the trip.

(Family records show that Retha was born in Troy, Idaho on 13 Feb 1913, Esther was born 3 April 1912 at Meridian and Ed was born 1 May 1914 at Meridian so it makes sense that the Idaho trip occurred the summer of 1912 and returned the summer of 1913)

They took a wagon out of Boise Valley, they went by Huntington, La Grande, over the mountains to Pendleton, up through Milton-Freewater to Walla Walla, then back into Idaho at Lewiston, finally they went to the little town of Troy, up by Moscow, Idaho.

(Lex) The way I remember it we were up there one summer, one winter, then the next summer they came back to Boise Valley. I believe Dad purchased a farm up there. He said he looked at it when the snow was on the ground, when the snow came off in the spring Dad said he never saw so many stumps in all his life!

(Esther) I can remember an event I’m told that happened there. Ernie and Lex tore some singles off the chicken house and Dad gave them a paddling. I ran crying to Mom, I thought it was my turn to get spanked next.

(Ed) They made the trip from Boise Valley in a covered wagon, they didn’t have cars. The whole bunch went. Grandpa (Theodore Columbus REA) and Grandma (Martha Alice INMAN) REA, Uncle Vester and Aunt Lydie KINDALL, the whole she-bang. They had to come back to La Grande, cross over to Washington, and then come back into Idaho. There wasn’t a road north from Boise Valley at that time.

(Lex) Buck was along on the trip. Granddad shot a squirrel out of a tree, they fried it and Buck ate it.

(Ed) Someplace they camped on the river. Grandma (Martha Alice INMAN) REA went down to the river, she saw these tracks, she wanted to know which one of the kids was going bare footed but it was a bear track !

(Lex) They spread a blanket out by the campfire, Pearl, Esther, and I laid on that blanket. It was night and the coyotes were yipping. I remember that.

(Ed) Dad (Abija Lee REA) homesteaded a beautiful place in the valley (Moscow). They said it would snow, it was a real fine snow and the wind would blow. Where the keyhole was in the door they would get almost a tub full of snow they would scoop up and put outside.

(Lex) One time up in Northern Idaho Buck, Ernie, and I had sleds and there was a hill up from the house we were sliding down. We were up there and it was getting late. We heard some coyotes yip. We thought it was wolves so Ernie and Buck put me on the sled and shoved me over the hill down to the house. They both got on the other sled and headed for the house.

(Ed) Uncle Vester ( KINDALL ) used to tell about going out hunting. He had a .22 and he hunted rabbits. The snow had a crust on it so he could walk on top but he stepped on the top of a little tree, where the tree came up through the snow. He broke through the crust and the only thing that kept him from going down was the .22 reached from one side to the other, across the hole.

(Lex) Dad had a barn on the place, it wasn’t too big. We had a team of horses he kept in the barn during the winter. The snow got so high he couldn’t pitch the manure out the window so he pitched it back in the corner. Before the snow went off he hardly had room in the barn for the horses.

(Lex) We were over at Granddad MYSINGER’s place, they went to Troy also, Ernie was on Granddad’s lap. Granddad had a big pocket watch , he had it out letting Ernie play with it. Ernie fell off Granddad’s lap, fell out the window and landed in a snow bank!

(Ed) When the snow went off that spring there were big stumps all over Dad’s homestead so he gave it up and moved back to Boise Valley. They stayed just that one winter.

(Lex) I remember that place in the summer time. Mom had made some biscuits, those Ozark people made a lot of biscuits. She made a sandwich out of the biscuit with butter and sugar as a filling and she was eating a biscuit. We had an old black horse named Frank. That horse came galloping up and she gave him that biscuit. Frank saw that she was eating and he wanted his share.

They gave up the ranch. The men took the wagons and the livestock back to Idaho. The women and the kids went back on the train. It was summertime, I don’t think they would have taken wagons anyplace in the winter. That was quite a trip.

Edgar John REA born 1 May 1914

Meridian, Ada Co, ID


Omar Josiah REA born 27 Apr 1916

Meridian, Ada Co, ID

(Ed) Maybe I don’t like to swim because when I was two or three they had to pull me out of the Boise River to keep me from drowning.

Ruth Gertrude REA born 13 Mar 1918

Meridian, Ada Co, ID

(Esther) My first year of school I started at Boise. Then we moved to Meridian. Then we moved back to Boise. I started the the second grade at Delena.

(Lex) I went to school in Idaho, up to the fourth grade, then we moved to Oregon. Grandpa (John Michael) MYSINGER went to visit Charlie ALSTON, that was Grandma (Frances Cordelia ALSTON) MYSINGER’s brother, Grandpa’s health was poor so he thought a change of climate might do him some good. I guess he was there a couple of days and had a stroke, fell over dead. They buried him out at Hudson. Mom and Grandma came to the funeral, they liked the country so well when they came back we moved out to Oregon.

end chapter two




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