In the house where I lived for most of my pre-adult life, there was a large oval-framed photograph of my mom's maternal grandparents. It was taken at the time of their wedding, or shortly thereafter. (Pardon the distorted quality of this image as it was cropped from a larger picture from the late 70s. I'll update it as soon as I can.) Seated on the left is the woman I knew as Grandma Tanksley (Frances Anna Byrd) and standing next to her is Vernon Ernest Tanksley.
As a young boy rollicking about the house, I only gave this relic an occasional glance. Time went on, as time always does, and I recall Mom having to remind me more than
It is now my intention to present some of the particulars of Vernon Tanksley's life in this short series of articles. Thankfully, his daughter Wanda was so sweet to share with me her own sharp recollections of her father's history. Most of what follows is based upon her copious notes, which I now have in my possession.
Vernon appears to have been stationed at Fort Custer (Custer Camp) in Battle Creek, Michigan. At present, I have no documents confirming this as his location for training, but
we do have census records indicating that he was living in Battle Creek with his first wife in 1920. According to Michigan marriage records, Vernon Tanksley and Blanche Arnold were wedded there on November 6, 1918, just a couple months before Vernon was released from his military obligations.
The couple had two children together, Chester an Evelyn, both of whom died as infants. They are buried in Mitchell, Indiana.