Knapp Family Reunion (1898)
Alta “Ba Ba” Permelia Taylor (1889-1981) was born and raised in Osgood, Ripley County, Indiana. She was the daughter of John Randolph Taylor (1847-1892) and Lavina Isadora “Dora” Knapp (1856-1915). Alta had one sibling, a sister named Lulu Maybel (Taylor) Daugherty.
In the photo above, taken at the Knapp Family Reunion in 1898, Alta and her sister Lulu are sitting indian-style in the front on the far left wearing matching light colored dresses. The photo was taken at the home of Alta’s grandfather Adin Williams Knapp, the father of Dora. Seated behind Alta on the far left is the girls’ stepfather, James A. Bridges (1831-1909). To his right seated behind Lulu is their mother, Dora, wearing a black dress.
Class of 1908, Otter Creek Township Public Schools
Alta graduated from Otter Creek Township Public Schools in Ripley County, Indiana in 1908. She is third from the left in this photo, next to the boy.
Archie “Arch” Leland Bostic married Alta on November 22, 1914 in Ripley, Indiana. Together, the two had one daughter named Velma Isadora (Bostic) Green. Velma was my husband’s grandmother, therefore Alta was his great-grandmother. Velma’s children referred to their grandmother Alta as “Ba Ba” throughout her later years.
Arch and Alta Bostic with their daughter Velma (1924)
Alta was a lovely, patient woman whose family and friends remember her as a beautiful social butterfly. References to her activities can be found in the Indiana newspapers weekly for decades as a prominent social host and an avid card and Bunco player.
This beautiful poem called “Things to remember” was written and typed by Alta herself. It takes the reader straight to a relaxing summer’s day in rural Indiana, evoking strong images of far simpler times. It is undated, so we do not know exactly when she wrote it. She signed it “Alta B.” which leads me to believe it must have been written before she was married in 1914.
Things to remember
I have walked beside clear pools
When the sun’s first golden rays shine
Upon the blue for-get-me-nots
At the wood’s edge of darkest pine
I have listened to the wild birds caroling
Welcoming a magic new day
Watched the pussy willows unfurl in glory
And on the hill the spring lambs play
I know where the moss grows greener
And ferns tall and slender in the forest shade
Where yellow cow-slips bloom in beauty
All too soon to wilt and fade
While down in the creek’s meadow
A field of daisies, all yellow and white
Where huge butterflies on gossamer wings
Flit to and fro in the bright sunlight
Silently, in the noonday heat
Dust devils whirl and play under a brazen sky
And to hear the sweet trill of a meadow lark
As he wings his way on high
Plump grasshoppers whirl in the field
Of wheat stubble, busy and gay
And honeysuckle on the trellis vie with
The tantalizing smell of new mown hay.
But all too soon the day is gone
The sun is sinking, it is almost night
Sunflowers turn golden heads and iron weeds
Glow soft purple, in the evening light
From the nearby pond, frogs croak melodiously
As the sun sinks in the flaming west
And the whip-poor-will calls long and plaintively
To his mate as he goes to rest
Fireflies flit above the fragrant flowers
Giving a mysterious charm to the evenings dark
A cow’s soft low moo from the barn yard
And in the distance, a dogs shrill bark
And the moon comes up slowly, majestically
A big, bright shining ball
We welcome the night and the silence
Knowing God watches over all!
Author Alta B.
Although I never had an opportunity to meet Alta, I am grateful for her beautiful words and her unending resolve in preserving the past. She has left many traces of her memories through her writings that continue to surface in the family’s closets to this day. She even typed an autobiography and hand-colored the covers and title pages. It is currently in the possession of her granddaughter, Barbara Joan (Green) Hilland in Gilbert, Arizona.