As some of you already know, we learned after Pete and I got together that his grandmother and Bill’s grandmother were sisters! Small world keeps getting smaller.

Pete’s and my trip to Indiana was initially to attend his 65th Bourbon Class Reunion. Because I grew up in Bourbon and spent the majority of my time with the class of 1959 they have always included me as part of their class even though I actually graduated from Tyner so we attended all the festivities for both/all in Bourbon!

The initial focus of the trek expanded when Kathleen, a first cousin of Pete’s whom he had not seen in almost fifty years who lives in Virginia, decided that since she had never been to Tyner (as Pete had never been either) she would make the trip to share Sunday, May 19th, with us sorting through the McKesson/Jones roots. Kathleen and Pete had not seen their other first cousin, Jon McKesson, who has lived in Plymouth most of his adult life (owns McKesson Title in Plymouth) either sooooo I got out my “glue” and organized a family reunion/Tyner driving excursion.

Kathleen’s partner, Bob, is a genealogist! He had researched the McKesson/Jones history and had documentation plus the plat maps for the late 1880s and early 1990s of the acreage around Tyner which he obtained from the Library of Congress. He had the actual acreage showing which Romanza Jones (Pete’s, Kathleen’s, Jon’s and Bill’s great-mother) purchased when she moved with her four daughters and a son to Tyner.

Romanzy Jones lived somewhere in the middle of the state when her husband was driving his horse-drawn carriage across the railroad tracks and was hit by a special train owned by George J. Gould. He was horrifically killed; Romanzy hired an attorney and filed a lawsuit against the railroad. She was one strong woman; refused their $3,000 offer to settle (which was a lot of money in those days); and they finally gave her $5,200 with which she moved her family to TYNER. We have yet to discern exactly why she chose Tyner but she did. She purchased eighty acres at the corner of 2B and Sycamore Roads. The original house foundation still stands – Dwayne Birch (Burch) (sp?) and his grandson own the property today. The grandson has gutted the house but the original home is there. Dwayne’s grandson was awesome…..he came out to see what this strange vehicle from California was doing in his driveway and when he found out was more than interested in learning all about the family history.

Romanzy married a man named Banks who died shortly after they married along with Cleo Jones, her youngest child. She then married for the third time to a man by the name of Williams. This very smart woman, Romanzy insisted on an ANTI-NUPTIAL as they were called back then (who knew) and left her then husband only $500.00! Go, Sisterhood!

Romanzy had Goldie, Rachel (Pete and Kathleen’s grandmother), Stella (Bill’s grandmother), Mary and Cleo who died of the flu (whatever was the plague at that time) .

To see the actual acreage/house where she lived was superawesome – the goosebumps kind of adjective. Cousins’ cameras were very busy taking pictures for sure.

Pete and Kathleen’s grandfather was Delph L. McKesson. We also visited the farm where he lived on Sycamore Road. The original house was torn down but a new home was built in exactly the same location as the old one. Two young men who owned the house only came out to see who was driving into their driveway. Again, they were most interested in the history we shared.

D.L. (as he was called) taught school and was also principal of Tyner Polk Township School (a one room schoolhouse located directly across the gravel road from the first farm house to which my family moved in Tyner on Tamarack Road, one block off Highway 6). That schoolhouse still stands with the date of 1901 on it. There is a photograph of D. L. with his class of 1906 on the wall in the Community Center. To think I lived right next to the building in which Pete’s grandfather taught; married one of his students, i.e. Rachel Jones, daughter of Romanza Jones Banks Williams, is something to savor!

As the designated driver because I had lived those years in Tyner and was most familiar with roads/streets I had Bob, the Genealogist, occupying the front passenger seat directing me. All while the two very excited McKesson/Jones relatives sitting in the back anxiously anticipated our next “find”. For me it was traveling back in time realizing that I had experienced more than I had ever thought possible. What do chickens know?!?!??!

We visited the Tyner cemetery! We also went to the other schoolhouse which is located on John Wolf’s property. I, of course, showed them my homes while living there and the church in which I was married.

I contacted Jerry Lamb who kindly came over at the appointed time and opened up the Community Center which was validation for one and all of Grandfather McKesson’s pictures with classes, etc. Jerry was very interested to learn all about the family history also. Lyn Stull did an awesome job of collecting the THS memories and making sure they are kept safe. Jerry shared that there is a project in place for each of the pieces hanging on the wall are to be created digitally and saved for posterity in the event of a fire which would totally destroy THS history.

The Tyner Memories binder for which Mary Ann Norris created was a magical find; the cost of $50.00 is well worth the price. Tyner was a thriving metropolis years ago – one of the larger in our area. The museum was great for having a lot of documents and information for which Pete was interested in learning also.

We climaxed our Sunday with a get-together with Jon McKesson and his wife, Lynn. Laughter, tears, memories, were had by one and all.

Who would have ever guessed that my time in Tyner would now be so intricately intertwined with Pete as well as Bill?!?!?!? There are no mistakes in this lifetime! Wow! Color me thankful!

Over six thousand three hundred miles later we are back in Escondido, CA to enjoy each and every experience to its fullest with pictures and documentation to validate that it was REAL!

p.s. Pete and I live in Escondido, CA; traveled over 6300 miles on this last trek; just got home yesterday! Not sure we will ever get back there again! Sure was worth all the efforts!

I truly believe there are no accidents in life; I could never have imagined that my years living in Tyner and graduating from Tyner High School would continue to bring such revelations of our very small town as I knew it. Pete’s family are more involved in their history as a result of his and my marriage also. Never could have planned this result for our golden years if we had wanted to do it!


Romanzy (Nes)Oren Jones, Banks, Williams
Top Left: Rachael Ann Jones McKesson 1886-1962 (Pete and Kathleen’s grandmother)
Top Right: Goldie Jones 1884-1905
Bottom Right: Stella Jones Killian 1890-1920 (Bill Killian and his siblings’ grandmother)
Bottom Left: Mary Jones Goheen 1892-1987
Cleo Jones not pictured: 1885-1900

George W. Jones: Husband/Father 1885-1900 Killed in tragic horse drawn carriage/train accident September 22, 1894
The Indianapolis News article reads:
Special Train Hurls a Farmer into Eternity
“special to The Indianapolis News”
Wabash, October 22 – A terrible accident occurred at Roann, this county last night, in which George W. Jones, a farmer of Pawpaw township, was instantly killed. Mr. Jones had taken his wife and daughters to a friend’s to spend the day, and had driven back home with two of them and was returning for the third, when in crossing the track of the Detroit division of the Wabash railroad, he was struck by a special train composed of private cars of the officers of the Mexican Central Railway bound west. The special was running a mile a minute and Mr. Jones did not see his peril until it was upon him. The buggy was reduced to splinters. Both of his horses were killed and he was hurled forty feet with frightful force his head striking a switch stand, laying it open. His body was dreadfully mangled. The train was stopped and the body picked up but life, of course, was extinct.





Such a remarkable woman whose life was full of tragedy, but prevailed so we could be here to visit her grave along with all three husbands!!! One could write quite a tale about her...fiction or non..Netflix screenplay? (Kathleen’s words which I am sharing!)

Have you had enough by now?!?!??!?!
It has been an awesome enlightenment, for sure, especially for me!


FYI……This is Rachel Jones McKesson (Pete’s grandmother) with her three children, i.e. Fern, Pete’s mother is standing; Aunt Alyce (Kathleen’s mother) sitting on the lap; and Jon McKesson’s dad, Dale McKesson in the sailor suit sitting down.