If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday - Pearl S. Buck

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Who was Rosa Bell? - Part One

Okay when I said I would be back "tomorrow" that means about a week later. I'm on Oklahoma time. Sorry.
When I first saw the photo of the family that lived in a tent (see previous post) I had to know about the mama. She looked lost to me. She is Rosa Bell Wethers Teem. She told everyone her last name was Wethers (some family historians have it as Withers or Weathers). This is all anyone knew about her. Many believe that she was adopted. Others believe that she was raised on a Cherokee Indian Reservation.

This is what I knew about her. She was born in Arkansas about 1873. She married John Henry Teem and they moved to Oklahoma. She is buried with him in the Wilburton Cemetery, Wilburton, OK. Sometime after her death in the 1950's it was revealed that her real name was Rosa Bell McChristian and so the mystery begins.

I found some family notes that stated her father's name was Wethers and he was a seaman. This is where the secret begins to unfold. The note states that Rosa Bell's mother became pregnant with her. The father, "Wethers" was planning to marry her, (Rosa Bell's mother), but he died at sea and so Rosa Bell was born out of wedlock.

No one knew anything else about her and she didn't share her family history. Rosa Bell did leave one clue. She named her oldest daughter, Minnie Ozine Teem.

To be continued . . .

Love,

Territory Mom

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