From the first sparks of their courtship, well before they were married in 1865 in Carrolton, Kentucky, Abraham William and Sarah Tyne both wanted a large family. This was natural for farm folk; both had come from Disciples of Christ homes of many siblings.
In 1870 they learned through the newspapers of the glories of the Big River and the settlement of Warhaven along the Rushing. They inquired by way of telegraph about land and learned of an available half section in the West Hills.
They packed up the fledgling family, floated down the Ohio and up the Mississippi, landing at Cape Girardeau. Here they outfitted themselves with provisions and trekked up to St. Charles, where they then joined a wagon train and proceeded along the Oregon Trail. This rough road they followed to Fort Hall, where they left the train and made for the Big River and their new home.
By 1885 they were the proud and tired parents of 14 children. There had been 19born, but three had died in infancy, and two in childhood. Naming such a brood took imagination. God-fearing, they consulted the Bible. Matthew 1: 1-17, which is a genealogy of Old Testament characters and was their reliable, handy Dictionary of Christian Names.
To name them all here would be tedious. This writer encourages the reader to visit the gospel passage to grasp the family’s source of monikers for the many young ones. Sadly, maladies of children are numerous, and in those days, often fatal. Ruth passed of cholera in 1879; Zadok succumbed to typhus in 1882. Yet despite death in the family, they were a healthy lot, and the family thrived on the farm. The family’s talents are recorded in the paragraphs to follow.
Oldest sons Hezron and Nahshon were avid anglers. They caught trout and steelhead in the Rushing and its tributaries; they caught walleye and salmon and sturgeon in the Big. Feeding a crew such as the William clan required constant attention to the larder, smokehouse, and icehouse holdings. These young men were not recreating; they were subsistence fishing. These two William men were admired by the Quaish for their quietude and able, abundant patience.
Daughters Rachel and Hagar were assiduous gatherers. Whether it be miner’s lettuce or blackberries or hazelnuts, they would never return home with a partially filled basket. Twins Obed and Orpah were the hunters. Orpah has better sight and so she was the better shot. Obed had built a sledge for winter and a wagon for the other seasons, and never complained in the hauling of meat out of the thickets. With a shotgun, he was her equal in bagging birds.
Mother Sarah had her hands full. With nursing and food preparation, she was run ragged. While she felt on the verge of going crazy several times a year, she carried on. Sarah remained healthy and faithful despite her great motherhood. She and her husband made some outstanding butters and cheeses.
The Methodists and Presbyterians had attempted to woo them into their folds, but the William family declined, preferring to worship in their home, continuing as Disciples of Christ,
Abraham grew the wheat to make the bread and grew cabernet sauvignon grapes, brought up from California, to ferment secular and sacred wines. He was a talented vintner; his profits permitted the family more store-bought stuffs than most pioneers. When the railroad came down the Big, they became great mail-order customers of Montgomery Ward. Abraham raised Holstein cows, Berkshire pigs, and Norfolk Bronze turkeys, much of which he skillfully smoked. He was partial to Shire draft horses, owning two pair: Matthew and Mark, and Luke and John. Mark and John were mares, but that made no difference to Abraham.
This William brood nurtured a couple notable personages. Matthan, born in 1881 would grow to be an able orator and statesman, serving his community on the Warhaven City Council from 1902 until 1910 with terms a mayor in 1905 and 1909. He went on to serve as New Hope County commissioner for one term, followed by a term as state senator. After seven terms in Congress, Matthan was tapped by the State Department and Franklin Roosevelt to serve as ambassador to Egypt, and he continued this work through the end of the Second World War.
Naomi, born in 1876, developed into a polymath in foreign languages, something Sarah attributed to the friendly Quaish women who would visit and chat. Quickly the girl became fluent. In school she studied French, Latin, and German. She received a scholarship to attend Stanford and there mastered Berber, Arabic, and Farsi. She was befriended by Lou Henry Hoover and went to work with the future President and First Lady in London where she aided in relief programs and established herself as a superb, objective translator. In the 1920s she returned to the States where she helped to grow Zonta International, heading its translation services. In 1923 she was in Smyrna, Turkey, spearheading Zonta’s orphan relief efforts. In 1924 she went to work for Atatürk as an envoy to the West, responsibilities she carried out with vigor until falling victim to a severe case of the flu, dying in The Hague, The Netherlands on Christmas day, 1928.