James Wesley Hedrick (1887-1953) & Versa Grace Richardson (1897-1928)

UPDATED JULY 2017

James Wesley Hedrick and Versa Grace Richardson are my great grandparents, the parents of my grandmother Euvella Grace Hedrick.

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James “Jim” Wesley Hedrick was born October 7, 1887 in Galena, Stone County, Missouri. His parents are Sigel Francis Hedrick and Mary Baker, and you can read about them here.

Versa Grace Richardson was born August 12, 1897 in Missouri. Her parents are Marcus McDonald Richardson & Elizabeth Anna Greene, and you can read about them here.

On October 26, 1913, Jim & Versa married in Stone County, Missouri. She was 16 and he was 26. Her parents gave consent because of her age.

In 1917 Jim filled out a draft registration card for World War I. It describes him to be of medium height and build,  with brown eyes and black hair. He was living in Reeds Spring, Stone County, Missouri and had a wife and two children.

On the 1920 US Census, the family lived in Flat Creek, Stone County, Missouri. Jim was 32 and Versa was 22. Deward was 4, Rena was 2, and Euvella was 11 months old. They would have two more children, both born in Missouri.

Versa died December 22, 1928 in Bartlesville, Washington County, Oklahoma. When I talked to Granny in 2012 she told me about her mother’s death at age 31. “The whole family had the flu, and the doctor had told her to stay in bed, but she had to wait on everybody. She did wash on a board in the cold, ice and snow,” she said. “Pneumonia set in and she died quick.”

The United States was on the brink of the Great Depression. and Jim at age 41 was determined to care for his 5 young children. They traveled from Missouri to California harvesting grapes for 4-5 months at a time.

On the 1930 US Census, Jim was 41, widowed, and lived with his 5 children in Stone County, Missouri.

On the 1940 US Census, Jim was 52 and living in Ruth, Stone County, Missouri. A wife is listed, Mollie M Hedrick. There are two daughters living in the home: Dorothy, age 14 is Jim’s daughter from his first marriage; and Luella Hedrick, age 9. It indicates that they all lived in the same house in 1935.

This marriage was a surprise to me. I talked to a cousin who did know about this marriage, and she says that Jim’s wife’s name was Maudie Carver, not Mollie, and that Luella wasn’t Jim’s daughter. I can’t find a marriage record. I was able to find more information on Maudie Carver and Luella, and you can read about that here.

In 1942 Jim filled out a draft registration card for World War II. He was 53, 5’5″ tall, weighing 155 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair, and a ruddy complexion. He lived in Reeds Spring, Stone County, Missouri. The person he listed as someone who would always know where he lived was V. H. Gracey of Reeds Spring.

HEDRICK James HEDRICK Deward HAMMERS Alva HEDRICK Rena HOPPER Geo HEDRICK Euvella HEDRICK Dot ECKER Glenn HEDRICK Elizabeth MILLS Jim

Here is Jim with his adult children in 1950. All are pictured with their spouse, except for my Granny Euvella – her husband had recently died.

Front: Deward & Alva Hedrick, Jim Hedrick
Back: Rena & George Hopper, Dorothy & Glen Ecker, Euvella, Betty & James Mills.

Jim died of a stroke on July 24, 1953 at Baptist Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. He was 65. You can see his Find A Grave memorial here. Jim and Versa are buried together in Yocum Pond Cemetery, Reeds Spring, Stone County, Missouri.

2012 – Granny Euvella, her daughter, and a portrait of her mother Versa

 

 

 

 

 

The children of James Wesley Hedrick & Versa Grace Richardson:

Deward Douglas Hedrick  – Deward was born February 28, 1915 in Reeds Spring, Stone County, Missouri. He married Alva Hammers on May 20, 1933, in Reeds Spring, and they had 5 children. Deward died on October 21, 2011 in Montrose, Montrose County, Colorado. He was 96. His Find a Grave memorial is here.

Rena Ladonna Hedrick – Rena was born February 5, 1917 in Missouri. She married George Stephens Hopper on November 4, 1933 in Galena, Stone County, Missouri. They had 9 children. Rena died on June 25, 1997 in Galena, Stone County, Missouri. She was 80. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Euvella Grace Hedrick – My Grandmother Euvella was born January 30, 1919 in Reeds Spring, Stone County, Missouri. She married William Henry Hopper on March 23, 1938 in Carroll County, Arkansas. They had 3 children. She was widowed, and married three more times, having 1 more child. She died February 2, 2013 in Wentzville, St. Charles County, Missouri. She was 94. Her Find A Grave memorial is here. My blog post about her is here.

Mary Elizabeth Hedrick – Mary was born in 1921. She married James Madison Mills and they had 6 children. She died in January of 1968 in Reeds Spring, Stone County, Missouri. she was 46 or 47. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Dorothy Levon Hedrick – Dorothy was born July 29, 1925 in Missouri. She married Glen Ecker on July 31, 1952 in Bentonville, Benton County, Arkansas. They had 4 children. Dorothy died on December 24, 2000 in Olathe, Montrose County, Colorado. She was 75. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

William Henry Hopper (1910-1950) & Euvella Grace Hedrick (1919-2013)

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(I redacted some information above – an incorrect address and the name of a living person. The scrapbook pages were created using Studio J by Close To My Heart.)

UPDATED JULY 2017

William “Bill” Henry Hopper & Euvella Grace Hedrick are my grandparents, the parents of my father Harley Hopper.

Euvella was born on January 20, 1919 in Reeds Spring, Stone County, Missouri. Her parents were James Wesley Hedrick and Versa Grace Richardson. Read about them here.

Bill was born December 22, 1910 in Webb City, Jasper County, Missouri. His parents were John Henry Hopper & Maybelle Parks. Read about them here.

On the 1920 & 1930 US Census, Euvella lived in Stone County, Missouri with her parents and siblings. On the 1930 US Census, Bill (age 19) lived in Stone County, Missouri with his aunt and uncle.

I visited with Granny (Euvella) shortly before her death, and she told me about the grandfather I never knew, the love of her life William “Bill” Henry Hopper.

She met Bill in Stone County, Missouri and he was from Arkansas. He asked “you girls” to go to the movies, meaning Euvella (age 18) and her sister Mary Elizabeth Hedrick. Bill had a touring car and Elizabeth sat between Bill and Euvella in the car and at the movies, so Granny thought Bill was courting Elizabeth. But after taking both girls out a couple of times, he came over and asked just Euvella to go someplace, so that made it clear who he was really courting.

It was the Great Depression, and both families moved around finding work. The Hoppers in north Arkansas and the Hedricks in south Missouri would go to California and the children and adults would work harvesting crops. The families knew each other – Granny’s sister Rena Ledonna Hedrick had married Bill’s brother George Stephens Hopper a few years prior. Granny said her family followed the grapes, harvesting them for 5-6 months at a time.  She was able to spend some time with Bill in California, but not the whole time because the families moved around as needed.

They “ran off” to get married, because her father James Wesley Hedrick didn’t like Bill and was against the relationship. There had been rumors that Bill had gotten a girl pregnant. Granny said the girl wasn’t really pregnant.

Granny remembered them getting married in Stone County, Missouri, but the Arkansas Marriage Index shows they obtained a marriage license on March 23, 1938 in Carroll County, Arkansas. Euvella was 19 and Bill was 27.

After they were married, Bill took Euvella home, picked her up the next day, and took her to Fresno, California. She didn’t see her dad for 3 years. “I couldn’t blame Dad, he was trying to raise us girls right,” said Granny.

In Fresno, Bill and Euvella worked in vineyards. They quickly had 3 children, with their oldest, my father Harley Darrell Hopper (1939-1996), arriving before their first anniversary.

On the 1940 US Census, they lived in Sanger, Fresno County, California at an orchard on McCall Avenue. Bill had worked 40 weeks the previous year, and had worked 54 hours the previous week.

Granny said that before long people started “dying like flies,” and people said it was due to the chemicals sprayed on the crops, maybe DDT. Bill got sick so they moved back to Arkansas, bought a farm, and started building a house. They had no idea how sick he was – he had lung cancer. He died January 23, 1950, before the house was completed. He was 39. His Missouri Death Certificate (thanks to my cousin Ellen Carr for finding it listed with a last name of Hooper) says that they were living in Green Forest, Carroll County, Arkansas and that he died at Springfield Baptist Hospital. Cause of death is Hepatitis with hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), etiology unknown, cancer suspected but not proved, and jaundice.) His Find A Grave memorial is here.

“He was a real good person. I kinda leaned on him for everything,” Granny said. “I sure never found another one like him.” But she tried. A widow with 3 children at age 31, she married three more times: Roy Warren, Raymond Wells, and Jake Newman (1974).

Euvella died on February 2, 2013 in Wentzville, MO. She was 94. Her Find A Grave memorial is here. Euvella and Bill are buried in Yocum Pond Cemetery in Reeds Spring, Stone County, Missouri.

The children of William Henry Hopper & Euvella Grace Hedrick:

Harley Darrell Hopper – Harley was born January 12, 1939 in Sanger, Fresno County, California. He married three times and had four children. He died September 26, 1996 in Marceline, Linn County, Missouri. He was 57. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Earl Eugene Hopper – Eugene was born November 28, 1940 in Sanger, Fresno County, California. He married and had a child. He died January 26, 1998 in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. He was 57. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Daughter, living

The child of Euvella Grace Hedrick & Raymond Wells:

Glenda Diane Wells – Diane was born September 16, 1954. She married twice and had five children. She died February 14, 2010. She was 55. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.