Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dick Riffle Part X



This is a continuation of an article People of Lindley as I Knew Them written by Dick Riffle in 2009. Dick lived in Lindley until his work as a Minister took him to other parts of the country.

He will be 93 in May, lives in the State of Washington and is writing his memoirs. He is sharing many stories and photos which I am adding to the Lindley Historian's files.

Previous articles posted on this blog told stories about the Morgan Creek residents and families near the Lindley bridge. The story today is about a house on County Rt.116 going south from the Lindley bridge.

" Next was the home of Jerome and Alace (Romane) Riffle ,my grandparents. After their decease in the 1920's, the home belonged their daughter Grace and husband Judson Kennedy. They had several children, JudsonJr. , Geraldine, Kathryn and twin girls Madeline and Margaret who were a couple years younger than me. Aunt Grace was a very hospitable lady and many of the Annual " Riffle Reunions" were held there. In about 1928, Aunt Grace put on a birthday party for my Mother. Besides family members, many neighbors were invited. I was 10 years old at the time. All the ladies and girls were in the parlor and all the men and boys in the kitchen. Aunt Grace had just gone in to serve cake to the ladies . I was standing by the kitchen door when I heard a knock. I opened the door and there was a short man in a business suit and a taller man in some kind of uniform was behind him. The older man asked, "May we come in?". I said, "Sure-Come in!" Just then Aunt Grace returned to the kitchen and seeing the men said,"You are just in time! Come in and have some cake!"


The older man replied, " No, thank you. We will just look around." and they proceeded into the parlor. In a few minutes, they returned to the kitchen and said to Aunt Grace ---"I think we have made a MISTAKE !" She said- "Who are you looking for?" He replied you are not Mrs. Sousa, are you?"

Aunt Grace burst out laughing. No, she said , "She lives up the road about a mile." He then apologized and showed his credentials that he was an FBI man. (Mrs. Sousa was a well known bootlegger.) Well!! Everyone thought it was hilarious that my Mother's birthday party had been raided by the "Revenooers" as we called them. Everyone but my Mother!!! She belonged to the WCTU, (Woman's Christian Temperance Union) an organization sponsored by the Methodist Church.


Editor comments- This would have been during Prohibition Days and local lore indicates there was a "Still" operating in the area.

Many of us know the house mentioned as the Kennedy/ Towner house . Wilma Welty (historian in the 1990's) had made notes that this is the oldest frame house in Lindley. For historical purposes, I would like to make positive documentation of this fact. I have asked some of the Riffle descendants and the present owner for more information.

Mr. Riffle stated that Hiram Riffle lived there before and after the Civil War and that his son Jerome was the next owner. Mr.Oberlander was kind enough to check his abstract , but thus far, there is no documentation as to the date when the house was constructed. However, during my research, I did learn more about the house and the families who have lived there

This is a recent photo of the home . Many readers will remember an addition on the right side of the house which was used as an apartment or living quarters for a second family.

Some of the Riffle family members are continuing to help research the history of the home -because it had been owned by many Riffle family members.

From time to time, I will post more of Mr. Riffle's stories about Lindley as he knew it.

Note the cars in 1923-5 photo. Maybe this explains why the Revenooners suspected the house!!!



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