Clarence Levi Lemons was born 28 March 1885 in Lebanon, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory [now Marshall Co.,
Oklahoma] to William A. Lemons [alias Burrell Odenwood / Oatenwood / Ottenwood] and Clara Hillsberry. William
Lemons came from Polk Co., Arkansas to Lebanon area early 1880s to work at a mill and cotton gin. He would work at a cattle ranch during the spring and summer. There he met Clara (Hillsberry) Taylor whose family came to the area from Illinois early 1880s. Clara had a son, Harry Taylor, from her first husband.
William Lemons left when Clarence was a baby and his mother remarried to Howard Arterberry. According to oral family history, Clara (Hillsberry) Taylor Lemons Arterberry died when Clarence was about 5 years old (circa 1890). Clarence lived with Howard Arterberry for a short while then with several other families until he became of age. He mentioned living with the Pettijohn family at one time and with an Indian family who wanted to adopt him.
Katie Belle Ragsdale was born 24 May 1886 in Lebanon, IT to John Samuel and Catherine B. (Arterberry)
Ragsdale. [Catherine Arterberry was an older sister of Howard Arterberry.] Belle met Clarence at a dance and
he fell in love with her. Her father wanted her to marry another man but Clarence determined that he was the
man for her. Eventually they ran away to get married on 30 July 1905 at Teller, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.
The couple lived at several places where their first four children were born. Daughter Clara was born at Pettijohn Springs, son Hobart at the old Larsen place about 1/4 mile east of the present day Lemons farm, son Larence near Madill, and Clifford at the Waggoner place near Russett. In 1917, Clarence L. Lemons purchased 90 acres of farm land near Pettijohn Springs. Their remaining children were born on this farm and spent many happy years there. His occupation was farming. During the cotton picking times, he and his sons would go down to Texas to Grayson Co. area where their Ragsdale relatives lived and pick cotton to earn some money.
The farm is located in Marshall County just yards south of Johnston County line and off the old Hwy. 70 (now Pettijohn Rd.) The children went to school in Russett. The family would do their shopping in both Russett and Madill.
Soon after the tragic death of their son Hobart, Belle (Ragsdale) Lemons' health got worse and she was sent to the hospital in Ardmore where she died on 24 July 1959. She was laid to rest at Russett Cemetery near the graves of Hobart Lemons and Harry Taylor. Clarence L. Lemons died on 11 July 1965 in Madill and was buried beside his beloved Belle.
Today nearly all of the family have moved away but some of us still return to the area to revisit our memories and pay respect to those who have gone on.
Clarence and Belle Lemons had 9 children:
1) Clara Beatrice Lemons (23 Nov 1906 - 27 Jan 1989 Chickasha, Grady Co., OK) married Easter Willis (30 Mar 1902 Mill Creek, Johnston Co., IT - 8 Apr 1970 Russett, OK) in 1923. Both are buried at Russett. 4 children.
2) Hobart John Lemons (2 Sep 1908 - 29 May 1959 Marshall Co., OK) married Ester Ruth Wheeler
(23 Jul 1923 Corning, AR - 21 Jan 1982 Fillmore, CA), daughter of Forrest and Mary Francis (Lindsey) Wheeler, on 26 Oct 1941 in Las Vegas, NV. Both are buried at Russett. 3 children.
3) Larence Edward Lemons (12 Nov 1911 - 2 Aug 1997 Oklahoma City, OK) married Lindle Lee James (4 Sep 1913 Johnston Co., OK - 26 Jun 1997 Oklahoma City, OK), daughter of Hal E. and Mamie (Gregg) James, on 8 Aug 1933 in Madill, OK. Larence was one of the first students to graduate from Russett High School. Larence and Lindle are buried in Oklahoma City. 3 children.
4) Clifford Raymond Lemons (25 Aug 1913 - 11 Sep 1991 McAllen, TX) married Pernie Frances Beam (18 Sep 1921 Lone Grove, OK - 8 Mar 2004 McAllen, TX), daughter of John Thomas and Jewel Frances (Woodley) Beam, on 15 Jun 1940 in Tishomingo, OK. Both Clifford and his wife are buried at Russett.
5) Leona Edna Lemons (3 Aug 1915 - 28 Feb 1990 Blackwell, OK) married Ancel Jewel James (brother of above Lindle Lee James) (25 Sep 1907 Baum, OK - 3 Mar 1983 Blackwell, OK), son of Hal E. and Mamie (Gregg) James, circa 1935. They are buried in Blackwell, OK. 4 children.
6) Goldia Ruby Irene Lemons (21 Oct 1917 - 28 Dec 2006 Healdton, OK) married Hubert James Ayers (3 Apr 1914 Broken Bow, OK - 25 Dec 1999 Ardmore, OK), son of Charley Edward and Omie Hall (Bradley) Ayers, on 5 Mar 1936 in Russett, OK. They are buried in Ardmore. 2 children.
7) Nolan Lemons, twin of Nova (17 Oct 1921 - 22 Sep 2006 Farmers Branch, TX) married Malacha Alene Pryor (still living), daughter of John Henry and Rosa Mattie (Smith) Pryor, on 18 Dec 1939 in Madill, OK. Nolan is buried in Oakland, OK. 4 children.
8) Nova Lemons, twin of Nolan (17 Oct 1921 - 14 Sep 2007 Wichita, KS) married John Lee McDaniel
(9 May 1920 Ardmore, OK - 22 Mar 1999 Wichita, KS), adopted son of Jefferson Lee McDaniel, on
24 Dec 1941 in Madill, OK. They are buried in Wichita, KS. 2 daughters.
9) Geraldine Catherine "Jill" (5 Dec 1924 - 12 May 2015) married Preston Lee Horstman (2 Jun 1924 Blackwell, OK - 19 Aug 2005 Blackwell, OK), adopted son of James Roy and Lillian Tessoria (Atkins) Horstman, on 25 Nov 1942 in Blackwell, OK. Preston and Jill are buried in Blackwell. 1 son.