Ella Washington (Rae) Wilbourn

This post goes from 1889 to 1982. She was our grandmother. Photos included.

Here are the links in various family chains:


Samuel?  → John? → John? → Edward?JohnThomasWilliam C. → ChampionAmonet WashingtonWilliam Harvey → Ella Washington (Rae)

The reason the question marks have been placed there is that the earliest Wilbourns did not leave behind adequate records; but from the records that do exist, it is highly likely that the line of ancestors is correct. Samuel reached the shores of Virginia in the early 1650’s. The italicized John did leave behind the right paperwork, so it’s easy to trace the line from him down to Ella Rae.

Thomas contributed supplies during the Revolutionary War.


 RichardJames H. → Frances Victoria m. William Harvey Wilbourn → Ella (Rae) Washington Wilbourn

This is her mother’s family.


WilliamWalterWilliamMary m. William PerrinRebecca m. Robert AndersonElizabeth Ann m. Champion WilbournAmonet WashingtonWilliam Harvey → Ella Washington (Rae)

William Clopton is a gateway ancestor. That means he descends from royal lineage several generations back and he moved to the American colonies, in his case, Virginia.

Please see William Clopton and Our Royal Heritage

The second William signed up for the militia of New Kent County, when he was 68 years old. He was a super-patriot.

The first William married Anne Booth the daughter of Dr. Robert Booth. He was a Jamestowne settler and served in the House of Burgesses for two terms. He arrived in the Jamestowne area in the 1630’s.

Please see Robert Booth and Jamestowne Society


WilliamHonour m. James BrownJeremiahPatience m. Joshua HadleySimonAnn m. Thomas Lackey → Joel LeakeyAnna S. m. Thomas Gray → Margaret Nancy m. Amonet Washington WilbournWilliam Harvey → Ella Washington (Rae)

William Clayton arrived in the Delaware River Valley in 1677. He co-founded Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, serving on the Provincial Council with William Penn, and on various courts.


Richard  → Robert? → PeterWilliamCairy m. William C. WilbournChampionAmonet WashingtonWilliam Harvey → Ella Washington (Rae)

Richard arrived in the 1650’s, in Virginia.


JosephFrancisSamuelNancy m. Joel LeakeyAnn S. Leakey m. Thomas GrayNancy Margaret m. Amonet Washington WilbournWilliam Harvey → Ella Washington (Rae)

Joseph arrived in the 1680’s, in Virginia.


SamuelRobertElizabeth Ann m. Champion WilbournAmonet Washington Wilbourn → William Harvey → Ella Washington (Rae)

It is not clear (so far) when Samuel’s ancestors arrived, but he was in South Carolina in the 1760’s. He probably comes from Virginia. Robert served in the Revolutionary War.

Leakeys / Lackeys:

AlexanderThomasJoelAnna S. m. Thomas GrayNancy Margaret m. Amonet Washington WilbournWilliam Harvey – Ella Washington (Rae)

Alexander was born in Maryland in the 1730’s. His ancestors have not been tracked, even though several have tried.

Joel was a co-founder of Texas and has been proven for the Old 300 lineage society.


JamesHannah m. Thomas WilbournWilliamChampionAmonet WashingtonWilliam Harvey → Ella Washington (Rae)

James’s ancestors left behind great paperwork, and the earliest one arrived in Virginia, in the 1650’s. James served in the Revolutionary War as a constable.

Now let’s return to Ella Rae.


She was born on May 13, 1889, in Santo, Palo Pinto County, TX. She was married February 18, 1907, in Salinas County, KS, to Floyd (Frank / Slim) Rucker Ryland. They were divorced in 1928. She married Reese A. Clark, February 3, 1938, in Pacheco, Contra Costa County, CA. No children. He was born April 8, 1891, and died September 29, 1971, in Escondido, San Diego County, CA. She died on January 26, 1982 in Medford, Jackson County, OR. A small memorial service was held in Medford on that day, at her daughter’s home, conducted by Rev. Elvin Huston. Her body was cremated, inurned, and buried on January 30, 1982, in Cypress View Mortuary, San Diego, CA.

More about her

She was always known by her grandchildren as Grandmother Rae. She insisted on grandmother, not grandma or especially not granny. She was a sweet-spirited and kindhearted woman. She sang on the radio and had a great voice. She taught music. Her second marriage was happy. She married an old sailor and engineers who was a great guy (the last few facts about her singing and music and “a great guy” are by Gene Chappelear, her nephew, but they are widely known in the family).

See the “Life in Print” and the Timeline sections, below, for more about her.

She married

Floyd (Frank) Rucker Ryland

He was born on October 19, 1884, in South Haven, Sumner County, KS. (He later married Odessa Peterson, no children). He died on November 25, 1962, in Corvallis, Benton County, OR. His body was cremated, and his ashes were committed to the Pacific Ocean off Fogarty Point, OR. See his post for more information.



  1. Floyd Malcolm

He was born on August 28, 1909 in Chattanooga, Oklahoma. He married (1) Dorothy May Small, May 17, 1929, in Yuma, Arizona, no issue; (2) Georgia Louise Heiler, September 13, 1942, Las Vegas, Nevada, no issue; (3) Jane Garratt Waldo. He was Vice President of Bayshore Motors, San Diego. He died on July 19, 1956. His body was cremated and placed in Cypress Mortuary in San Diego.

  1. Max Sheldon

He was born May 21, 1911, in Lawton, OK. He married Marjorie Celestine Sanders October 23, 1933, in Vancouver, WA. He was self-employed. He died March 6, 1983 in San Diego, and his ashes were placed in Cypress View Mortuary, San Diego Marjorie died May 24, 2011, at 5:30 a.m. Her ashes were placed in the same mortuary, next to her husband’s.

  1. Ella Leone (she is our direct line)

Ella Leone was born on October 30, 1917 in Baker, Baker County, Oregon. She was married October 24, 1940 to Asa Cook. They divorced October 22, 1952, Linn County, Oregon. Then she married Robert Andrew Arlandson December 25, 1953, Albany, Linn County, Oregon. She died on September 21, 1994 in Medford, Jackson County, Oregon, and was buried on September 26, 1994, in Eagle Point National Cemetery, Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon.

Asa Merl Cook was born on June 20, 1912 in Barnes Township, Washington County, Kansas. He died on November 11, 1989, in Salem, Marion County, Oregon and is buried in Jefferson Cemetery, Jefferson, Oregon. His occupation was a tool and die maker.

Robert Andrew Arlandson was born on March 3, 1921 in North Bend, Coos County, Oregon. Ella Leone (Ryland) Cook married Robert on December 25, 1953 in Albany, Linn County, Oregon. He died December 31, 2007 and was buried, January 4, 2008, in Eagle Point National Cemetery, Jackson County, Oregon.


February 18, 1907. Ella (Rae) Washington Wilbourn and Floyd (Frank) Rucker Ryland get married. He was born on October 19, 1884, and he was married on February 18, 1907. Yet he told the judge who performed the ceremony that he was 21 years old – or perhaps the judge or clerk wrote down the wrong year (these documents are far from flawless, as seen by the different spellings of the county name). If his birth date is correct, he was actually 23 years old. Ella (Rae) Washington’s age on the certificate is correct.

1907 Just After Marriage_2

This is their wedding day photo.

In the following transcription, I leave in the inconsistencies, like the different spelling of Salinas County. It is a preprinted form with the blanks filled in by hand. Those are indicated by the italics font.


State of Kansas

Central Division of Vital Statistics

P. J. No. 3851

Marriage License

In the Probate Court of Salinas, County, February 18, 1907

To Any Person in the State of Kansas Authorized by Law to Perform the Marriage Ceremony, Greeting:

You Are Hereby Authorized to Join in Marriage

Frank Ryland of Geneseo, Kansas, Age 21

Ella W. Wilbourn of “  “ Age 18

With the consent of —-

And of this license, duly endorsed, you will make return to my office at Salina Kansas, within ten days after performing the ceremony.

(Seal) L. J. Supple,

Probate Judge


To whom it may concern:

I hereby certify that I performed the ceremony joining in marriage the above named couple, on the 18th day of February, 1907, at Salina, [sic] Kansas

Signed: L. J. Supple

Title: Probate Judge

Address: Salina [sic], Kansas


State of Kansa, Salini [sic] County, ss.

I, Judge and Ex-Officio Clerk of the Probate Court of Salini [sic] County, State of Kansas, do hereby certify the above and foregoing to be a true, full and complete copy of the marriage license issued to Frank Ryland and Ella Wilbourn as the same remains of record in my office in Marriage License Record Vol. G Page 145

Witness My Hand and the seal of said Court, affixed at my office in Salina [sic] this 28th day of November, A.D., 1942

Fred D. Joy, Probate Judge


1924 about

About 1924



Brother and sister, Frank Ryland and Bessie May (Ryland) Trebbe, and their families live together.


1910 Census of the United States

Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma

Name Relation Sex Color or Race Age at last birthday Marital Status No. of years married Mother of  how many children No. of these children now living
Trebbe, Leslie T Head M W 32 M1 5
— Bessie M Wife F W 23 M1 5 1 1
Harold T Son M W 4 S
Ryland, Frank Brother- in-law M W 25 M1 3
Ella W Sister-in –law F W 20 M1 3 1 1
Malcolm Nephew M W 7/12 S


POB POB of Father POB of  Mother Eng or other lang-uage Occupation Empl’er Empl’ee working own account Education: Read, Write Home owned or rented
Trebbe, Leslie T MO MO MO Eng Foreman, Gen works W Read, write Only check-ed,
— Bessie M KS OH KY Eng Seamstress At home O[E?] Read, write Rent
Harold T KS MO KS Eng
Ryland, Frank KS OH KY Eng Barber, owns shop OA Read, write
Ella W TX LA GA Eng None Read, write
Malcolm OK KS TX Eng
Page 11A; House no. 714; No. of dwelling house 418; Family no. 9197; Enumeration District, 2nd Ward; enumerated 27th April 1910. Lawton City (part of). The 1910 Census is filled with useful categories, but only the ones that were marked have been included in this table. It asks for whether they live on a farm or in a house (i.e. in town), and it is marked “house.” For the category “Whether out of work on April 15, 1910,” Leslie Trebbe is marked “no.” And for the category “No. of weeks out of work during year 1910,” Leslie Trebbe is marked “0.” The other persons are unmarked for those two categories


1937 Ella Wilbourn Clark

This photo was taken in 1937.


1930 Census of the United States

Albany City, Linn County, Oregon

Precinct 3

Name Relation Rent, Own? Value,


Radio Set? Sex Race Age last Birthday Marital condition Age at 1st marriage
Ryland, Ella W Head R 30 No F W 40 Wd [sic] 17
—– Max Son M W 20 S
—– Leone Daughter F W 12 S
Name (Cont.) Attended School in Last Year POB POB of Father POB of Mother Able to speak English Read Write Occupation Industry Class of worker
Ryland, Ella W No TX AL [sic] GA Yes Teacher Music W
—– Max No OK KS TX Yes None
—– Leone Yes OR KS TX Yes None
“Class of worker”: O = owner; E = Employee; W = Worker. Ella was at work yesterday and is part of regular working day


1940s Rae Clark



May 2, 1967 (Tuesday). Escondido CA. Daily Times-Advocate.

The photo on the right, not shown here, is a very good image of a smiling Ella Rae, her eyes twinkling, who receives the trophy from Mrs. Seibert. The caption reads:

Mrs. A. R. Seibert (left) presents the trophy for the best mobile home garden to Mrs. Reese Clark. The trophy, awarded at the annual Escondido Garden Club flower show, was donated by Mrs. Seibert and is being presented for the first time this year.

The article begins:

Escondido –Winners in the 21st annual Escondido Garden Club flower show, held Friday through Sunday at the Escondido Village mall, have been announced.

Then what follows is a long list of names, arranged under different categories. There really were a lot of entries.

Ella Rae writes in the margin:

My students won all the awards except the few marked X. There were about 80 arrgts [arrangements] in the show. (I believe we (they) made some kind of record! [sic]



1960s Rae in Garden



May 8, 1967. Escondido, CA. Trailer Times. Apparently, Ella Rae took the above article to the editor of her mobile home park’s newspaper, and he or she noted it in the next clipping.

Vista Verde Lady Awarded Plaque

. . . Our congratulations go to Mrs. Reese Clark on the occasion of her receiving a handsome plaque and blue ribbon for her “Best Mobile Home Garden” in the annual Escondido Garden Club flower show.

The plaque, donated by Mrs. A.R. Selbert, past president of the garden club, bears an inscription of Mrs. Clark’s name and will be retained by her for one year.

Also, pupils of Mrs. Clarke [sic], who teaches flower arranging, won 18 first places, 14 second places and 10 third places in flower arrangements at the Escondido flower show. [Ella Rae writes at the top of the article: “14 ‘Honorable Mentions’ H-M”]

This we think is an enviable record indeed, in view of the stiff competition evident at the flower show this year . . . .

February 13, 1976. Escondido, CA. The Times-Advocate, in the Family section, B-3. This article really is a good personal history of her life. Well worth the read.


  • The article says she would be 87 years old in three months.
  • She moved to Escondido, via and Oakland and Inglewood, CA, in 1952.
  • In 1959, she raised money for the Oratorio Association, which was about to disband because of finances.
  • She was the president of the Escondido Garden Club in 1959 and 1960.
  • At 70 years old she learned flower arranging and won 81 ribbons in eight years, mostly blue.
  • After learning to be a national flower judge, she judged 41 shows.
  • In 1974 she returned to Oregon State University and got a certificate for taking courses in the music department.
  • She was due to sing in the Escondido Oratorio Association’s Easter program on April 11, 1976.


1974 Dress Costume

1974, in her oratorio dress

Transcription begins:

Singing senior says ‘Always keep busy’

By Barbara Voorhees, T-A Staff Writer

You’d know her by the bow she always wears in her white hair.

If she didn’t bowl you over with her talking, laughing, singing, enthusiasm and particular brand of glee first, that is. At 86 years of age, Mrs. Reese (Rae) Clark doesn’t have “a single darn thing wrong” with her and is still as busy as she always has been.

“That’s my secret you know,” she confided. “Keep busy and find humor in everything. I’ll be 87 in three months and I’m really beginning to enjoy old age.”

Her zest for life was not born in Escondido but flowered here with special profusion in at least two local community organizations: the Escondido Oratorio Association and the Escondido Garden Club.

In 1955 the Oratorio Association was new but about to disband due to financial problems.

“Oh, I just loved to sing and I couldn’t sit around and see that happen,” said Mrs. Clark. “So I got in there, helped raise some money to get them out of debt. We’re still around today.”

Just recently Mrs. Clark was one of three charter members honored by the choral group at a special potluck dinner.

“There are 65 members in our group but there must have been 100 people there. What a wonderful party,” said Mrs. Clark.

She has been singing all her life but began to consider it seriously only after taking some musical training in college.

The daughter of a Baptist preacher and farmer in Oklahoma, she moved to Oregon several years after her first marriage.

“I insisted on settling in a college town so that my children could grow up and go to school,” said Mrs. Clark. None of her three children ever attended Oregon State University near the town of Corvallis. Only she did.

“I tried to work little jobs and make the money to pay my tuition but I just couldn’t afford it,” said Mrs. Clark. She apparently showed so much interest in her voice and piano lessons, however, that the instructors encouraged her to continue, tuition or not.

“All those years after I finished my training, only I knew that I had completed the work. I had no piece of paper that said that I had,” she said.

Two years ago she returned to Oregon State University and visited the registrar’s office. She walked out with her certificate.

“You see, I had to wait until I was 84 but I got it. But it just goes to show that you should never give up hope, said Mrs. Clark.

She is a mezzo-soprano and said that she used to be able to reach E flat above high C. “That’s very, very high,” she noted.

She has sung at hundreds of church services, weddings, and other affairs but remember most fondly singing on a new radio station and also at a dinner to honor Knute Rockne. She has also taught voice and piano to many students.

“I could teach anyone, even the worst monotone, to at least carry a tune,” said Mrs. Clark.

She looks forward to the Oratorio Association’s Easter concert planned for April 11.

“Our group is still doing some of the older tunes but we’ve gone to some modern ones too,” she said. “It’s been hard, but I’ve been keeping up with the beat.”

She and her second husband moved via Oakland and Inglewood to Escondido in 1952. She joined the Escondido Garden Club a few years later and was president of that group in 1959 and 1960.

After her 70th birthday she began studying flower arranging and taught that activity to members of the club. During a period of eight years she won 81 ribbons, mostly blue, for her arrangements. She also judged 41 shows after learning to be a national flower show judge.

She still makes a new flower arrangement for each special event that goes on in the clubhouse of the mobile home park where she lives. This usually works out to about one arrangement per week.

Looking over her scrapbook, stuffed with newspaper clippings about her, Mrs. Clark said, “I’m just so proud that I’ve always kept my hope and I’ve always kept laughing.”

Transcription ends.

1979 5 13 90th B-day

1979, 90th birthday


January 26, 1982. Medford Mail Tribune, Medford, Jackson County, OR. Here is the funeral announcement in the local Medford newspaper.

Rae Clark

The private funeral for Ella Rae Clark, 92, of 2170 Milford Drive, Medford, who died Tuesday, was held today with Conger-Morris Funeral Directors were in charge of arrangements. Inurnment will be in Cypress View Mortuary, San Diego, Calif.

Mrs. Clark was born May 13, 1889, in Palo Pinto County, Texas. On Feb. 3, 1938, she married Reese A. Clark, who preceded her in death.

Mrs. Clark moved to Medford eight months ago from Escondido, Calif. She was a piano and voice teacher for 25 years and taught flower arranging for many years.

Survivors include one daughter, Leone Arlandson, Medford; one son Max S. Ryland, San Diego; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. One son preceded her in death.


She wrote them at various times. Most are undated. My comments are inserted in brackets.

Ella Rae begins:

Maiden name, Ella Wilbourn, born May 13, 1889, at Palo Pinto County Texas

Frank Rucker Ryland born Oct. 19, 1884, at South Haven, Kans.

Malcolm Ryland born Aug 28th 1909 at Chattooga, Okla.

Max S Ryland May 21, 1911 Lawton Oklahoma, San Diego

Mrs. R. A. Arlandson Albany Ore

Mrs Reese Clark, Escondido

Mr. Frank Ryland Corvallis, OR

New Document

March 1974

For Marge [Ella Rae’s daughter-in-law, married to Max, her son]

I start with my paternal Grandfather.

Amonet Washington Wilbourn born Nov. 8 [sic], 1821 in Edgefield District, Liberty Hill So. Carolina died Dec. 8, 1889 at his farm 5 mi west of Magnolia Ark. He was 58 yrs [sic]. He was of Scottish descent [probably English].

My Grandmother’s maiden name was Maggie Nancy Gray, born Jan 1, 1827 in Bienvil [sic] Parish, La. Died the fall of 1903 [sic]. She was 77 years. She was half French and half Irish [probably all English, no French]. She & grandfather had eight children 4 girls and four boys names are: Eliza Ann, Thomas Abner, Leacie, William Harvey (my father) Emma Gertrude, Champion (“Champ”), Alexander Hargess, and Mildred Frances.

So far as I know all the children were born on the farm near Athens La.

My father William Harvey was born Dec. 9, 1852 Athens, La. died at Mountain View, Okla, March 1928; [died February 17, 1927, on his farm in Mountain View, Kiowa County, OK; and buried in Oakdale, February 17, 1927; see his post and death certificate] He was 76. My mother’s maiden name was Frances Victoria Daniel, she was born 6 miles of Atlanta, Georgia, died Oct 22, 1903. She died on our farm a few miles from Mtn View Okla. She was 47 yrs when she died [or she died October 19, 1902, in Mountain View, Kiowa County, OK]

To this union ten children were born 6 girls and 4 boys their names as follows: William Amonet, Ernest Hasten, and Mae Virginia (twins), Alice Beatrice, Abbie Lee,

Next Page, but not numbered

Ella Washington (named after my paternal grandfather), Maggie Nancy, Mertie Lillian, William Oscar, and Grady Ellis

The first six children were born in Palo Pinto County Texas, 8 miles of Santo, which is 40 miles west of Fort Worth.

All of the children reached adulthood, all married except two sons, Ernest Hastens and William Oscar. All have passed on except me.

[signed] Ella W Clark

Margie [Ella Rae’s daughter-in-law] if you want more information for that paper you have let me know what. Send me questions to answer. [I don’t know what this refers to.]

However, for Max and Leone [Ella Rae’s son and daughter], I am giving a more complete history of all relatives I know about. Their [sic] names of my Uncles and Aunts on my father’s side. The names of who they married names of their children accomplishments too. I have it pretty well written out. Been working on it about two days. I hope to hear from my cousin Nettabel [?] Rice at Magnolia Ark. I wish I had gotten on all this before about everyone (or so many) have passed on. I do wish I knew as much about my maternal grandparents. On the back of this page I’ll give you all I know about them.

Next Page

March 1974

This is all the information I have of my maternal grandparents, Daniels.

Grandfather Daniels I do not not [sic; read: know] his given name the date of birth or where born. He was killed fighting in the Civil War [he died, at the earliest, one year after the Civil War in late 1866]. He and grandmother were living on a farm 6 miles of Atlanta Georgia when he had to go to war. When he died she was left with six children. He was her second husband.

Grandmother Daniel’s name before first marriage was Jane Beverly [This is possible. A descendant of the Daniels says he heard family tradition that the name was Beverly. William (Uncle Billy) Daniel, Jane’s first born from her second marriage, has the middle name Beverly]. Her first husband’s name was also Daniels. Though I have heard they were cousins also heard they weren’t [they were probably cousins]. She had two sons by the first husband – Taylor and Russell [actually three sons and one daughter]. When I was sixteen I visited them [1905]. They had farms near Mineral Wells, Texas.

The last four children born of the 2nd husband are William (called Billie), Frances Victoria (my mother), Wiley, and Virginia May. I do not know when Grandmother & family moved from Georgia to Texas. Where or when my father met my mother in Texas.

I do know my father left the farm near Athens La, presumably went to Texas when he was 19 yrs. He never lived on the farm near Magnolia, Ark. When the family moved from Athens, La to Magnolia Ark, my father did not go with the family. So Aunt Millie his sister says. I hope some day to get more information on the Daniels. (Over)

New Page

[This appears to be the reverse side of the previous page, but it is not numbered.]

My Uncle Wiley’s daughter Ollie Bradford who lives in Las Vegas & whom I expect to go see in May or June maybe can help me.

My mother’s brother Uncle Billie was a conductor on the railroad from Ft. Worth to Big Springs Texas. He is the one that got a job for my brother “Am” as a boiler maker in the R.R. shops at Big Springs Texas that led to brother “Am” getting a boiler maker job for brother Ellis when he grew up. They both wound up together in the RR shops at Wichita Kans where brother Am died at age 40.

More on Wiley Daniels and wife Molly. They had ten children. I only know where one is Ollie Bradford.

Mother’s sister Virginia May had two daughters, Fanny and Ellie. Reese [Clark, Ella Rae’s second husband] & and I saw Fannie when we visited Wheeler Texas in 1949. That’s when I should have asked Fanny about the Daniel kinfolks.

New Page, which repeats much of the information on numbered page 2

My maternal grandfather was a Daniel. Don’t know his given name nor the date of birth or death except he fought and was killed in the Civil War.

My grandmother’s maiden name was Jane Beverly. Do not know the place of birth or date of birth or death. She was of English descent.

I do know she was married twice both times to a Daniel. I heard these men were cousins & also heard they weren’t. She had two sons by the first husband, Russell and Taylor. The second husband she had four sons & two daughters. William (called “Billie”) Wiley, Frances Victoria and Ettie.

I hope when I go to Las Vegas to visit my cousin Ollie (Uncle Wiley’s daughter) she can tell me more. I hope.

I had a cousin by marriage living at Poway [CA]. She and her 2nd husband called on me about a year ago she told me the name of my grandmother was Jane Beverly.

New Document

Grandfather Amonet Washington Wilbourn,

born Nov 7, 1821 in Edgefield District. Liberty Hill, So Carolina. Death Dec 8, 1889. Died on his farm home 6 miles west of Magnolia Ark. Scot Irish descent [probably English]. Had blue eyes & almost black hair.

Grandmother (paternal) Maggie Nancy Gray Wilbourn,

born in Bienvil [sic] Parish, La. Jan 1, 1827, died 1903, age 77 years, at Magnolia Ark; French Irish descent [probably English mostly, but not French]. Had blue eyes and red curly hair.

To this couple were born eight children, four boys and four girls:


Thomas Amonet, married Lizzie Bell

Eliza, married Titus Hearn

Emma Gertrude married Dr. Joe Smith

William Harvey, married Frances Victoria Daniel, my mother and father

Ellis Alexander or Alexander Ellis, was called “Alex”

Champion, married Margaret Souter} (sister)

Mildred married Joseph Souter} (brother)

Note: My father Wm Harvey was born in Athens, La, Nov 1851 died 1925 [actually 1927], age 74. My mother Frances Victoria born 6 miles of Atlanta, Georgia, Grandmother Wilbourn who had very red hair curly and blue [eyes], didn’t have child with red hair, but had several grandchildren with her color of red hair.

[signed] Ella Wilbourn Clark

New Page, probably new document

My paternal grandfather, Amonet Washington Wilbourn was born in Edgefield Dist. Liberty Hill, So. Carolina, Nov. 7, 1821; record of death Dec. 18, 1889 [sic] (death was years before his wife’s death). He died on his farm 6 miles west of Magnolia Ark. He was of Scotch descent [probably English]. My father, his fourth child, William Harvey Wilbourn, said that his father was one of seven brothers who came to the United States from Scotland. In other words my grandfather Wilbourn was born of the second generation that was born in the US from Scotland. No other racial mixture according to my father. Also he (my father) said that among the seven brothers there was a dispute about how their name should be spelled Wilborn, Wilburn, Wilbourn, or Wilbourne. The old scotch way of spelling it was Wilbourn, and according to him there is a relationship of all the Wilbourns Wilburns, Wilborns or Wilbournes in the US. You can take it or leave it!

[My comments: Wilbourn is not Scottish. But William Wilbourn did have lots of brothers, and their parents and they did move into Edgefield, SC. Ella Rae continues:]

Getting back – my paternal grandmother, on the Wilbourn side – was Maggie Nancy Gray, to her and grandfather Wilbourn were born eight children: Namely Eliza, Leacy, Thomas, William Harvey, Emma, Alex (maybe Alexander),

Page ends, and list does not continue on next page, so a page is missing

New Document

Wilbourn Genealogy, all the information that I have of my relatives on my father’s side of Wilbourns —- Ella Washington Wilbourn


Amonet Washington Wilbourn born Nov. 7, 1821 in Edgefield District, Liberty Hill, So. Carolina. Died Dec 8, 1889 on his farm 5 miles west of Magnolia Ark. He was of Scottish descent [probably English]. Had almost black hair and blue eyes. Was 6 feet tall. Had unusual musical ability. Taught singing [the 1870 Census cites his occupation as Singing Master] and was a farmer. He was 58 at death [sic].


Nancy Maggie Gray Wilbourn, she was born Jan 1, 1827 in Bienvil [sic] Parish La. Died in 1903 on the same farm as grandfather. She was 77 yrs at death.

To this union was born eight children, 4 girls and four boys. Their births in rotation:

Eliza Ann who married Titus Hearn. They had two girls and 6 boys. Dr. Wm Oliver lives at Ensloe Texas Thomas Abner, lived at Taylor Ark

Gus lives at Clarksville, John Hugh Jimmie and Amonet live at Haynesville La.

Coryanne and Gladys don’t know married names

Leacy don’t know anything about her

End of Document

New Document

Information from Aunt Millie’s letters

Mildred Frances has 2,000 acres of land

Aunt Millie’s children. Fairy Wilbourn Souter has two children, Dr. Ellis (J.E.) Souter, Guthrie Okla. Office 1121/2 Okla Ave home add: 120 Drexel

Aunt Eliza Knowles Dr. Champie Wilbourn was 87 yrs old in 1949. Aunt Mildred was 84 Aunt Emma 95 the 17th of Jan 1949

Millie’s son Burle Souter is A.B. Souter 1230 N. W. 31st St. Okla City Okla. Watch maker at Tinker field several miles out of the city (son lives in Chicago).

Aunt Eliza Hearn, daughter Coryanne lived at Machen Springs Hill, La. A girl named Gladys Hearn Black husband Thare Black

Uncle Joe Souter has a brother Arthur who is Dr.

Fairey’s and Helen’s girls are Mary Ruth and Nancy Yvonne

My great grandmother Wilbourn was full blooded French, with black hair and eyes. My grandmother was ½ French & Irish, had red curly hair & blue eyes.

Oldest of family Eliza Ann married Titus Hearn had two girls six boys

One son Dr. Wm Oliver Amonet Hearn lives at Enloe Texas (he was one year younger than Aunt Millie) [sic]

Another son 2nd Thomas Abner lived at Taylor Ark

Next son Gus Hearn lives at Clarksville, La [Ella Rae inserts “Texas” between “Clarksville and La.”]

Jimmie and Amonet Hearn live at Haynesville John Hugh

End of Handwritten Accounts


Ella Washington (Rae) Wilbourn deserves to have a biography written about her. She kept detailed records, writing dates and years on clippings and photos, and putting them in rough chronological order. All I had to do was scan her scrapbooks and save them by date. I separated out the key documents. Then I put many of them in a book. You can see them in various folders I have sent to her descendants in a USB drive.

She was born in Texas, May 13, 1889, and her family moved up to Oklahoma in 1890, when she was a baby. They must have formed a convoy, so to speak, of wagons and buggies of their own and with other families.

She lived a poor life in Oklahoma, her dad being a cotton farmer, cattle rancher, and part-time Baptist preacher. She recounted that her back had a crook in it because she had to bend down to pick cotton. Her hands were calloused too. She heard hell-fire sermons, and later in her life she seems to have reacted against them. In 1964 she wrote to her daughter Leone about her father’s death, noting the irony of his falling into a fire and burning his hand. She had been getting interested in Christian Science since the later 1920’s, and they teach universalism and against a judging God and hell.

Back to her childhood: we never heard when she became musical. Surely it was when she was young. But one thing is clear: as she matured, she improved her musical ability, getting trained.

She married Floyd Rucker Ryland on February 18, 1907. She noted later in her life she got married too young, at 17. They had two kids in Oklahoma: Floyd Malcolm (1909) and Max Sheldon (1911). Their marriage, it can be assumed, had some happy moments.

Around November 1911, they moved to Montrose, Colorado, and stayed there for a couple of years. I cannot find very many photos taken while they lived there.

Then in 1913, they moved to Baker, Oregon, where their youngest child, Ella Leone, was born in 1917. Frank was a barber, so they were not rich. Rae just began her musical career there, singing in a recital for the first time, in June 1917, while she was four months pregnant with her daughter.

They moved to Corvallis and Albany area around 1922. Her musical career really took off. She became well known in those two towns. Sometimes the local newspapers noted her performances and comings and goings. No doubt she sometimes wrote the newspapers to inform them, and she looked for the write up a day or two later, cut it out, pasted it in her scrapbook, and wrote a date or at least a year on it. She wanted us to know about her in chronological order, year by year. That’s a good idea. A hundred years pass, and we forget where we came from and who they were back then.

In Corvallis she attended Oregon State Agricultural College, now Oregon State University, and specifically the Conservatory there. She took classes with Prof. Paul Petri who presided over it. She learned the Italianate style; her voice range was soprano; she sang in all sorts of venues: a grand opening of a hotel, churches, clubs, parent-teacher meetings, and temperance rallies. She taught students who sang in recitals. Her daughter whistled or told stories with feeling in her voice (she didn’t like performing and quit as soon as she could). The other students and their parents wrote thank you notes. She was certified to teach high school students music, so they could get academic credit for it. She sang on the local radio, long before there was television. She directed the choir for First Presbyterian in Albany, 1930-1931; she directed the choir at First Baptist in Albany, in 1931-1932. She must have proud to get those positions. She went down to San Diego to visit Malcolm and sang in the First Baptist Church there too, in 1932. So her Christian Science belief was not deeply rooted at this stage (and I wonder how deeply rotted it was at all).

In March 1928, she and Frank divorced. It must be said that family traditions tells us that the parting was not amicable, at first. But as the years wore on, they could take photos together with their kids and grandkids. Time heals wounds, apparently. Despite the divorce she never slowed down in her singing. That’s good. She found fulfillment and some measure of local fame. She even worked with J. Whitcomb Brougher, a nationally famous Baptist preacher. In the 1920’s he used to substitute-preach at First Baptist in Corvallis in the summers. He requested her to sing solos. He gave the eulogy at Will Roger’s funeral. He was a nationally known humorist in the first-third of the twentieth century. So she had a modest brush with fame.

For reasons we have never heard, she moved to Oakland, California, in about June 1933. She lived there until 1938. She worked in the Hotel Leamington as a governess for a short while. She became an insurance agent for New York Life. She sang in a few churches and attended a high-class historical Baptist church. But she never achieved the same level of fame there – the Bay area is much bigger than Corvallis and Albany. Then she met Reese Alfred Clark in 1937. Though he was a lifelong bachelor, she managed to coax him to get married; they did so on February 3, 1938 (the same month she married Frank, in 1907). He was a foreman in a warehouse. Shortly after that, he got a better job in the Los Angeles area, for the Civil Aeronautics Administration, where he worked for a lot of years – she says 30. He was a depot superintendent.

In the Los Angeles area, her musical career also slowed down, compared to its high point in Corvallis and Albany. She sang in a church or two, and maybe taught a few students. But her scrapbook items are few. Nonetheless, from what we can pick up, Reese and Rae were happy.

In 1953 they retired to San Diego County, in Escondido, then to North Clairemont in San Diego, and finally back to Escondido in a mobile home. Why a mobile home? Did their retirement income grow thin? Why would it, when he retired from the government?

In any case, she did manage to sing in an oratorio and recital or two. She was a toastmistress for three years, winning some first places. But her real interest was gardening. She became the president for the Escondido Garden Club for a term, and the club flourished under her leadership. She won numerous prizes and became a nationally accredited judge.

Reese passed away in September 1971, but she did not slow down. She traveled often enough to Oregon. She sang in an oratorio in 1976.

But eventually she did slow down. In 1981 her daughter moved her up to Medford, Oregon and put her in a retirement community. She passed away January 26, 1982. But her remains were transported back to San Diego and placed next to her second husband Reese.

I’d like to close with two images that symbolize the voyage that her life took and what she witnessed.




Conestoga Wagon

She traveled, probably in a wagon like that one, from Texas to Oklahoma, in 1890

She lived long enough to see the first person land on the moon in 1969

Those photos speak to me. How many advances will we see in our lifetime?

For your review, here is the timeline of her life.

May 13, 1889: birth, in Santo, Palo Pinto County, Texas

1890: her family moves to Oklahoma, in covered wagons; family tradition says she had a fever but was cared for by a kind lady who went with them; we’re glad she survived. An interesting historical note: see July 20, 1969, below

1896: Cotton farm and ranch built in Mountain View, Oklahoma

October 19, 1902: her mother Frances Victoria (Daniel) Wilbourn dies

1903-04: Rae’s report cards that survive show a good student

1906: She meets Floyd / Frank (Slim) Rucker Ryland, a barber

Feb. 18, 1907: She and Frank marry

Aug. 28, 1909: Floyd Malcolm Ryland is born

1910: Census shows they live with Frank’s sister Bess Trebbe and her husband Les, in Lawton, Oklahoma

May 21, 1911: Max Sheldon Ryland is born

Nov. 1911: They move to Montrose, Colorado

May 23, 1912: Max is christened at Methodist Episcopal Church in Montrose

Oct. 1912: Trip to La Grande, Oregon

1913-1914: Her trip to Kansas and Oklahoma, just with Malcolm and Max

May 1913: They move to Baker, Oregon on Grove St. in E. Baker

1916-17: They move to Fifth and Campbell, still in Baker

June 1917: her first musical recital as a student, pregnant with Leone

Oct. 30, 1917: daughter Ella Leone is born

1918: Liberty Bell goes through Baker by train

Mar. 1918: First solo

1920: Census says they live in Baker

1922: They move to Corvallis, Oregon on North 2nd St.

1924-1933: her musical career grows exponentially, and she teaches many students privately

1926-1927: she enrolls at the Conservatory at Oregon Agricultural College, now Oregon State University

Oct. 1926: she sings on local radio

Feb. 27, 1927: her father William Harvey Wilbourn dies

Oct. 1927: she gets a positive letter of recommendation from Prof. Paul Petri, director of Conservatory and her mentor

Mar. 23, 1928: her divorce from Frank is finalized

Oct. 1928: she is hired as a soloist for Christian Science church

May 17, 1929: Malcolm’s marriage to Dorothy Small

Jan. 1930: she is director of choir that will sing on Sunday evenings at First Presbyterian Church in Albany

June 4, 1930: Max’s graduation from Albany High School

1930: Census says she, Max, and Leone live in Albany, Oregon; Rae notes to census taker she’s a widow, but her ex-husband was still living; stigma of divorce was strong back then

1930-31: Move to Pfeiffer House on 6th and Ferry (but it was probably in 1930 or before)

1930-31 she directs the choir for the evening services at First Presbyterian Church in Albany, which is near Pfeiffer House

1931-32: she directs choir at First Baptist Church in Albany

Aug. 1932: she goes to San Diego to visit Malcolm and sings in church and local radio

Oct. 1932: she gets letter from First Baptist saying they hired a man, not her, to direct choir

June 1933: she and Leone move to Bay area in Northern California, where she works briefly as a governess at the Hotel Leamington and long term as an insurance agent for New York Life; she also sings in various churches, but not as many as she did in Corvallis and Albany, so her music career slows down

Oct. 23, 1933: Max and Marjorie Sanders get married

1935: She unofficially (no legal document exists) changes her middle name Washington to Rae; her daughter-in-law Marjorie says she chose it because of the sun’s rays. However, many of her siblings and nieces and nephews still call her Ella or Ellie; but she insists that her kids acknowledge her name change and grandkids call her Grandmother Rae

Oct. 27, 1935: Sheldon Lee Ryland, Max’s son and her first grandchild, is born

Jan. 1936: Leone graduates from Technical High School in Oakland

1936: Rae sings in First Baptist in Corvallis, Oregon

1937: She again travels to Corvallis (or year was 1936 and she confused the year)

Feb. 3, 1938: she marries Reese Alfred Clark, in Pacheco, Contra Costa County, California.

1938: they move to Los Angeles, Palos Verdes first and then Inglewood

June 21, 1939: Ray Newton Ryland, Max’s son and her second grandchild, is born

Oct. 24, 1940: Leone announces her wedding to Asa Cook

Nov. 1940: Rae sings her first solo in church in Palos Verdes

Jan. 1941: she applies to Christian Science Churches for soloist position

Sept. 1941: one church hears her audition (no result reported, which may mean they looked elsewhere)

Nov. 1, 1941: Carolyn Rae Cook, Leone’s daughter and Rae’s first granddaughter, is born

Sep. 13, 1942: Malcolm marries Georgia Hiler (after Dorothy divorces him)

Apr. 29, 1944: David James Cook, Leone’s son, is born

Oct. 1949: Rae goes out to Wheeler, Texas, for a Daniel family reunion; the Daniel family is her mother’s side

Aug. 1952: she travels to Tucson, Arizona to visit her sister Abbie Moore

1953: Reese and she move to Escondido, California on San Pasquale Rd.

1953: she places ad to attract music students, but records are sparse or nonexistent that she had any or they sang in a recital

Oct. 1953: she and Reese travel to San Francisco to visit cousins and brother in Sacramento

Dec. 25, 1953: Leone marries Robert Andrew Arlandson (after she divorced Ace)

July 11, 1954: Malcolm’s daughter Cathleen Alice Ryland is born (he had married Jane Waldo)

Jan. 14, 1955: Leone’s son John Robert Arlandson is born

Sep. 30, 1955: Malcolm’s daughter Patricia Lynn Ryland is born

July 19, 1956: Malcolm dies of a brain tumor

Oct. 5, 1956: Leone’s twins Janis Marie Arlandson and James Malcolm Arlandson, in that order, are born, Rae’s last grandchildren

Dec. 1956: though still grieving over her son, she sings in a Cantata in Escondido

Mar. 1957: Rae is inducted into the Toastmistress Club

Nov. 1957: she is Second Vice President of Escondido Garden Club

Jan. 1958: She is appointed treasurer of Toastmistress Club.

Feb. 1958: The Toastmistress Club accepts her resignation from treasury position, citing Reese’s poor health; she still belongs in 1960, but she stops in that year

June 1958: she is delegate to Carmel, California for the Garden Club

Aug. 1958: she visits Oregon to see her daughter Leone

Apr. 1959: she is appointed president of Garden Club

June 1959: she is installed as president

Feb. 1960: she gives talk on local radio

Nov. 1960: she passes course on how to organize flower show school

Feb. 1961: her Course One breaks enrollment record

1961: Rae and Reese move to North Clairemont, San Diego, on Appleton St.

1962-1963: Rae is First Vice President of Cabrillo Mission Garden Club in San Diego

Nov. 25, 1962: Frank Ryland, her first husband, dies in Corvallis

1964: Rae and Reese move back to Escondido, in Vista Verde Mobile Home Park

July 1964: she qualifies to be a flower show judge

Sep. 1964: newsletter announces she is nationally accredited judge; she will no longer compete locally

May 1968: Rae is honored by Garden Club students and members, at Lawrence Welk restaurant

1969: she goes out to Oklahoma, to visit her sister Lillian Myrtle and her kids

May 13, 1969: her eightieth birthday is celebrated

July 20, 1969: first man on the moon; Rae had moved from TX to OK in a covered wagon in 1890

Dec. 1970: she sings in Escondido Oratorio Society

Apr. 1971: she is featured in local newspaper with a picture showing her teaching flower arranging; but she says in another photo in that month that she is retiring from teaching

Sep. 29, 1971: Reese passes away

May 13, 1973: friends take her out to dinner on her birthday, thanking her for her life and friendship in the mobile home park and work for the Garden Club

June 1973: she takes a trip to Oregon, for grandson John’s high school graduation; she gets letter from Oregon State University confirming she was once a student there

Dec. 1976: she sings in the Escondido Oratorio Society’s Bach’s The Christmas Oratorio

May 13, 1979: her ninetieth birthday is celebrated

1981: she is moved to Medford, Oregon, to be near her daughter Leone

Jan. 26, 1982: at ninety-two years old Rae passes away in Medford, but her cremated body is laid to rest at Cypress View Mausoleum in San Diego, next to Reese

Jan. 30: Memorial Service held at Orange Glen Baptist Church, in Escondido

I hope you enjoyed the post!

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