At the close of the previous post, we saw that Vernon Ernest Tanksley finished up his duties with the U.S. Army. He was spared the horrors of World War I as the peace treaty had been signed just before he was about to ship off. After his first marriage with Blanche Arnold had come to an end, Vernon later met Frances Anna Byrd. The two were married on June 11, 1926 in New Albany, Indiana, and they remained together for 51 years until Vernon's death in 1977.
During the late 1920's, they lived in Bloomington, Indiana, where Vernon was employed in janitorial services at Indiana University. It was in Bloomington that their first daughter Annis Laverne was born in 1927.
The family took up residence in Palestine, Illinois for a brief period, where Vernon worked as a fireman for Illinois Central Railroad. (Just for clarification, this job involved keeping the fires going in the steam boiler for a railway locomotive.) Vernon's father David was born in Clay County just to the west of Palestine, but I'm not sure whether this had any influence over their decision to move across the Wabash River into Indiana's neighboring state.
While in Palestine, Frances gave birth to their second daughter Wanda Delores on November 13, 1929. Of course, this was just a couple of weeks after Black Tuesday. Little by little, jobs would be harder to come by. Eventually, the family had to move to Mitchell, Indiana, and Vernon's father was able to secure for him a position as a custodian at the Burris Consolidated School. David Tanksley was involved in local politics, affiliated with the Republican party, and as a result had sufficient connections to find this job for Vernon in spite of a harsh economic climate.
In the early 1930s, Vernon was becoming more active in church-related activities, so much so that he was drawn towards the ministry. Although his family was part of The Christian Church, he ended up taking a correspondence course through Pilgrim Holiness Church, which was headquartered in Indianapolis at the time. This led to his becoming ordained as a minister around 1934.
The family continued to move to different parts of Indiana through the '30s and '40s, in most cases involving new church pastoral responsibilities. He served at churches in Madison, Washington, and Vincennes.
The picture to the left shows Grandpa and Grandma Tanksley standing outside of the Vevay Tabernacle. Vevay is just east of Madison along the Ohio River. This picture appears to have been taken after the early forties, so I'm not sure if he was serving as a minister at this church or just attending.
Vernon also had a background in music. Aunt Wanda said he used to perform in dance halls before he went into the ministry. Though perhaps not a trained musician, his instruments included the trombone, accordion, violin and organ. His daughter Annis was also gifted at playing the piano.
From time to time, the family would gather on street corners near the church and perform. It was a sort of musical street evangelism.