All that was known was a man had died in a crash of a small plane somewhere in Oklahoma. A photo showing a minister by a new grave hidden by a mountain of flowers with "Pawhuska" scribbled on the back. A general time frame but no definite date.  That was the known story of the death of Melvin Marion Priest, son of Charles Reuben and Sena Adaline Boyd Priest of Barry Co., Missouri.  He was the ex-husband of Velma Dora Cochren Priest Terry.  He was also a cousin to her second husband, Roy Dennis Terry.  

Finally, searching through resources, a news clipping was found from the Oklahoman of July 23, 1950.  The accident occurred near Clinton in western Oklahoma.  He was listed as living in Vian located in Sequoya County on the Arkansas border to Oklahoma.  One of the historical tidbits learned was that prior to WW2 social security cards were often engraved on metal cards (thus explaining how it might have survived the fire intense enough to make identification difficult).  Shown in the image is a daughter and his wife, Velma ca 1943.

Still needed - a grave location...so one mystery solved and others remain.


Jim S said...

What an interesting story. Was Melvin a relative of yours?

Regards, Jim
Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

Blogess said...

Yes, this is family, although I have helped others in the past and written their stories on other blogs - not as much time now to do wider hunts!

See www.mystorical.blogspot.com and www.churchhistoryfiles.blogspot.com for additional biographical entries of a broader nature.

Oh great One said...

I just visited my fathers grave in Barry Co Mo. I took pictures of the other Priest graves there. S.A. and C.R. grave was one of them. I went through my pictures hoping to find Melvin but sadly I have no pictures of a grave for Melvin Marion Priest.

Oh great One said...

I was just in Barry Co Mo. I took pictures of the Priest Graves there. I was hoping I had one in there for Melvin,I found CR and SA Priest but no Melvin Marion Priest.

Blogess said...

Yes, we have known he was not in Missouri. His children - Carol, Lou and others had been there many times. Early stories had suggsted he had been buried in Oklahoma; no record found yet as to where.


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