Born Melva Jean Karns, I grew up on the plains of Western Kansas. My home town was Ford, Kansas, which is near the more well-known town of Dodge City. My family lived in several houses in the Ford area, finally settling in the home place of the Dawson family, from which my mother came. They remodeled the old family home and I lived there with my parents, Elmer and Verna Karns, and my sister Colleen, until we left home for college in 1944. Colleen and I graduated from Southern Nazarene University (known then as Bethany-Peniel College) in 1948.
I have been a high school teacher of business and an accountant. My working career concluded as the manager of a Christian bookstore in Bethany, Oklahoma. After retirement I have been devoting more time to researching all of the family lines of both of my parents (Karns and Dawson) and of my husband's family (Ladd and Stillwell). I have made extensive use of the research capabilities of the Internet, as well as making visits to several libraries, research rooms, cemeteries, historical societies, and the like.
My husband, Forrest Ladd, Jr., and I have one daughter, Gwen Ladd Hackler, who lives with her husband in Bethany, Oklahoma and serves as Professor of English and Director of General Education at Southern Nazarene University.
I would enjoy very much corresponding with readers of this site. E-mail me at [email protected], please.