Nathaniel Baxter Musteen & Jennie Lee Brown Children

Nathaniel married Feb 14, 1898 in Rogers, Benton Co., AR to Zelpha Katherine Kennan,* who was born Oct 22, 1878, in Rogers, Benton Co., AR. She died of tuberculosis, leaving Nathaniel with four young children. Here is a link to show all 12 of Nathaniel’s children.

Nathaniel, as a young widower with four surviving children, married Jennie Lee Brown about 19 months later on Dec 8, 1912 in Rogers, Benton Co., AR. Jennie was born Jul 31, 1887 in Rogers, AR.

Viveline, the 2nd child, died as an infant.

Viveline M. Musteen

Nathaniel and Jennie had seven children. The last were identical twins, born when the couple were ages 53 and 43. The twins were 26 years younger than their oldest half-brother, Walter.

Jack and Joe were infamous for mischief! I found one newspaper article about summer camp as young teenagers…they won the title of “Camp Pests.”

Grandma said, when I dropped by to visit once, “My children were mostly born late at night after wash day.” We can imagine a back-breaking day, using a wooden paddle and scrub board. She bent over a huge cast iron kettle of boiling water filled with soiled clothes and shavings of homemade lye soap. Feet allowed a fire to be kindled outdoors under the tub to heat the wash and then rinse water. She still had a galvanized scrub board and made several batches of lye soap, both to use and to demonstrate the process, when her grandchildren were young.

Granddaughter Jennie Musteen Hill inherited the big cast iron laundry tub that Joe used as a planter for years, until his own death.

Aunt Mary, who was almost 8 when they were born, said in her 80s that she had no idea the twins were expected.

Jack and Joe Musteen

Jack (L) and Joe (R) MusteenGrandma was expecting Jack and Joe. The children slept on the floor above Grandma and Grandpa’s bedroom in the house on 2nd street, with stairs going up though their parent’s bedroom. Mary said she came downstairs one morning to be surprised by twin babies!

The photo below is the only formal picture I know of their family group. I recently watched the few minutes of video that Uncle Hubert shot while Grandpa was alive, and I was surprised at how much Grandma laughed and smiled…what fun she was having while they opened Christmas presents with teenaged twins. Weeks after the twins returned from Korea, snippets of video captured great happiness in a holiday dinner.

Nathaniel Baxter Musteen

Left to right, Wayne, Mary, Hubert, Jack, Jennie, Nathaniel and Joe Musteen.

Parents
Nathaniel Baxter Musteen, b Aug 7 1876, d Nov 18 1946
Jennie Lee Brown Musteen, b Jul 31, 1887, d Mar 1975

Children
Hubert Lee Musteen, b Nov 1 1913, d Jun 27 1956
Viveline M. Musteen, b Jun 29 1916, d Feb 18 1918
Wayne Hebron Musteen, b Oct 29 1918, d Sep 21, 2003
Mary Virginia Musteen, b Jan 27 1922, d Feb 7, 2011
Bennie Dean Musteen, b Feb 5 1925, d Dec 31 1934
Jack Raymond Musteen, b Sep 15 1929, d Jul 19 1983
Joe Brown Musteen, b Sep 15 1929, d Dec 17, 1991

Bennie Dean Musteen

Bennie Dean Musteen

Viveline died as an infant. Bennie Dean lived to almost age 10. Mary’s son, Bennie Joe Stevenson has the names of her two brothers. This photo of Bennie Dean was taken at home. Grandma Jennie’s grandchildren will remember seeing that varnished oak side table as a constant in her living room over the years.

Until recently I hadn’t thought of Grandma as an older, single mother of teenage boys. Grandpa died when the twins were 17, and they were not quiet, introverted young men. She was living alone when the twins were sent to Korea.

Please add comments and information that I may not know or have listed here. Let’s compile interesting and enjoyable memories for ourselves and later generations.

*Zelpha’s name is shown in many online references as Zilpha.

 

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