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Hobby Horse Rider

Letter to Family, 1/18/13 3:46 PM

Hello Vaughans!

Again. Another eBook about your family's past! Download Hobby Horse Rider at:

Hobby Horse Rider contains excerpts from 3,500 pages of manuscript given by Lilburn Kingsbury to his nephew, Warren Taylor Kingsbury. In the summer of 1928 they established a warm and lasting relationship while tending 1200 Missouri mules on their ocean voyage from the United States to the French Foreign Legion and the Spanish Army. Anyone interested in the amazing changes in the cultural, social and economic climate of the twentieth century will find Hobby Horse Rider insightful and enjoyable. Anyone who has been a collector of anything from pill boxes to bed pans will love it.

OK, Vaughans, let me put this book into perspective:

General George Warren Taylor married Julia Brooking in Missouri sometime before the Civil War. He ran a successful mercantile store in his hometown of Huntsville. They had two daughters: Dora Catherine and Julia. Dora married a young doctor from the neighborhood, Victor Clarence Vaughan, who we know by his later fame, his autobiography ("A Doctor's Memories") and his familiar DNA. Victor is our great- or great-great grandfather. Add another great, and George Warren Taylor is also a grandfather in your blood line.

Dora's sister, Julia Taylor, married a guy named Billie Kingsbury, also from the Missouri neighborhood. In mid-life, Billie shot and killed his business partner and then quietly suicided under a tree, leaving Julia to raise four kids. That story from 1932 is the first chapter of Hobby Horse Rider. Billie was Lilburn Adkins Kingsbury's brother and the father of Warren Taylor Kingsbury. Hobby Horse Rider is about the life and adventures of Lilburn, written from copious notes and source materials and fond memories by his nephew, Warren Taylor when Warren Taylor was in his nineties. Warren Taylor Kingsbury is your 1st cousin twice or three times removed. His grandfather was also your grandfather, Gen. George Warren Taylor.

My dad and I helped Warren Taylor Kingsbury edit and publish Hobby Horse Rider. Somewhere there is a picture of the three living Warren Taylors taken in Arizona in the 1990s. I'll try to dig it up for you. Because I still have the source files for the printed version (1996), I have been able to create an eBook version of it in several formats for different readers.

The content is quaint. Lilburn, a descendant of pioneer settlers of Missouri's historic Boonslick County, inherited Fairview, the Kingsbury orchard/farm. He was recognized as an outstanding horticulturist, managed a successful insurance business, and participated actively in church, fraternal and community activities. Members of his large extended family, friends and clients sought his advice. From the turn of the century until shortly before his death in 1983 he devoted much of his prodigious energy to his various collecting hobby horses. Regarding this, he wrote: "As far as hobbies could carry me I have ridden them most of my life. I have even changed horses in mid-stream. I collected stamps first, so long ago I have no recollection of what became of them. But I know I was thrilled to collect them. Then came postcards, photographs of pretty girl friends (this especially as a means of knowledge and aesthetic appreciation), bottles and jugs, pressed glass, flowers, lamps, old locks, brass door knobs, music, complete card-indexed records of every marked grave in my native Howard County, history, bustles and now buttons..."

For a creepy read, try the story in Chapter 7 about the Lewis Family graveyard with its seven tiny stone markers in a row: From before the Civil War, "...I remembers. Ever time one of the Massas whupped one of us, we just pizened a baby."

Something tells me that Lilburn would have been quite at home with an iPad in 1930.

Have fun visiting your past!