Hebbe Georgia Hebbe

The Children of William and Mattie Hebbe:

Georgia Esther


babyGeorgia Esther Hebbe was born 23 January 1887 in Jefferson County, Kansas and died 23 February 1963 in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma. On January 28, 1903, she married Nelson Scott Humphries (1871-1950). They were divorced sometime between 1914 and 1917.

By the time the 1920 census was taken, Georgia and her second husband, John S. VanWey, were living near Lacy, Oklahoma. VanWey is reported to have died not long after the 1920 birth of their daughter.

Georgia’s third husband was Scott “Tot” Anderson, “an onery cuss and very mean” according to Glendon (Hebbe) Starr.  They had two daughters before going their separate ways.  In later years Georgia returned to the VanWey surname. (Note: her name is often seen spelled with a space after "Van".)
In 1897 the ten-year-old Georgia was old enough to help Will with both farm and household chores. Also, Potter School was a subscription school and one child’s tuition might have been all the Hebbes could afford that term.  For whatever reasons, Georgia remained with her father in Oklahoma when Mattie and the younger siblings journeyed to Kansas. Mattie’s sister, Lida Potter, Postmaster for the Potter community, frequently added notes to the letters Will and Georgia sent to the family in Kansas.  This note added to Georgia’s February 8 letter was surely appreciated. “Dear mamma I will write you a few lines to night to tell you that I red it and I could not keep from crying when I red the leter but I will tell you that I am not feeling well and [ink blot]  unkle frank [Humphries] and Walter [his son] was [ink blot] down the other day he bought a Jersey cow of ed umphris and when he got two aunt lidas he was watching the horses the cow liked to killed her self I will close for this time and I will kiss you and Irene and Walter By By your little girl Georgia Hebbe  and Leola And his horses now [ink blot]”  Will added a line:  “Georgia has written quite a letter and I guess I will have to send it or she will have a fit. W.C.H.”  Lida added a second page to the envelope which explained Georgia’s tale more fully: “… it was Frank’s team that ran away he caught them at Wills & broke the harness all to pieces.”

It was Lida’s turn to save room for Georgia to add a few lines February 10: "Geo. didn't go to school today. Fannie Claunch pushed her in the mud last night & I had to strip her & wash her clothes last night & they didn't get dry. I did a pretty good washing ... Guess I won't let Geo. go to school till the last day. The children are so rough at school.  ... Will went to help Mr. Shields haul posts this morn. Geo. is here ... Well I will close suppose Geo. will tell you all the news. ... "  But that day Georgia wrote her sister Leola instead:  “I was glad to heare from you and my school is out Friday … last night Fanny Claunch pushed me in the mud and guy said that she would get a hard whiping when she went home. Mrs dickson is coming over saterday night to stay all night have you saw marys baby yet I have not got much to say this morning … thank grandma Hebbe for my cartens”

The last childhood letter from Georgia is dated March 12:  “Dear mamma I hope you can get well I want to see you and Walter and Irene and Leola I have not been well this week and I had a new dress and aunt Lida is making it and it is going to be pretty I have to quit for this time from your girl Georgia Hebbe, Potter Okla”

Georgia had just turned sixteen when she married the 32 year old Scott Humphries January 1903.  He was the younger brother of Georgia’s Uncle Frank Humphries who married Mattie’s younger sister, Bettie (Potter).  Georgia and Scott had five children : Wallace C. “Mike” (1904 - 1961), Mitchell E. (1906 – 1993),  Mattie M. (1908 – after 1993), Joseph Evans  (1912 – 1938) and Carroll W. (1914 – 1984). Our sense is that William and Mattie Hebbe were unhappy that Georgia married a man twice her age, and that this created lasting ill feelings. On a postcard postmarked 1908 White Rock, Oklahoma, she poignantly wrote:  “Dear Mama I am coming home weak [sic] from Friday 11th So you can meet me at enid and I will pay your way your daughter, Georgia”. Surely it would have been more difficult for the young mother to pay her parent(s) travel expenses; perhaps she feared they wouldn't come to Enid otherwise.

Georgia left Scott around the time Carroll was born, but the date of their divorce isn’t known. A letter dated May 1915 from Scott’s older brother, Henry Thomas Humphries, provides insight into the reasons Georgia left: “Scott wanted me to write you to fiend what had become of his family he is out of Hospittle now I took him to atchison had the blind eye opperated on …  he seems to see good out of it now it cost me 114 dollars to have it done I am sending him after his glasses tomerrow the Dr sayes he will haft to weare them for reading & close work the other eye will not be ready for six months to operate on but he can see good now & he is a big stough man & I am going to turn him loose to make his living  … he has Promed me he will make a man out of himself now I want to see him do it I had the Dr to tell him if he ever got drunk a gain he would go blind …  I held of[f] quite a while he thought I was not going to do any thing for him finely I told him I would if he would cut out drinking  Pay his bills & look after his family & he said he would …”  Glendon added that Scott “came back to Dover when he was old and blind and his kids put him in an apartment in Dover and took care of him until his death.”

Life was especially difficult during the second decade of the 20th century for a divorced mother with five young children. Salaried jobs for women were scarce and apart from immediate family members, help with childcare was even more rare. Glendon recalled:  “Grandma didn't like it that Georgia left Scott. She said if she [thought she’d] made a mistake she should have sat on the blister.  [Even so] Carol and Joe Humphries lived with [my grandparents] until they were almost grown. Carol was a baby in diapers when Georgia brought them there.  The other children were sort of farmed out and Mitchell and Wallace were placed in an orphanage for a short time. As I remember, Mattie stayed with her mother most of the time.  Mom and Dad had Wallace and Mitchell a lot when they were older.”
kids kids

This letter from Wallace to Georgia confirms he, Mitchell and Mattie were together until late January 1916 when he was placed with a foster family living near Key Stone, Oklahoma.   February 13, 1916:  “Dear Momma I have a new home come here two weeks ago today They have a little girl ten yeare old and a little boy eight their mamma is dead. Their mamma was Aunt Della sister Ruby and Ray is their name They have been here nearly five years I have went to school every day. I am in Rays class. M & Mrs Heldreth is the man that come and got me he is a judge he has a farm where we will work this summer I lik it Just fine here he has got me lots of cloth[s] … he made me a Sled I have went to Sunday school every sun day … If I am a good boy they well keep me I call them aunt Della and uncle Juis.  Mitchell cryed when I left I didn’t get to tell Mattie good by They are going to try and get her a place close here.  Kiss Joe & Carroll for me  …. Your Sun, Wallace Humphries.' 

He wrote to his grandmother in June: “I like my home fine. And they will not give me away I will be in the third grade I am helping on the farm I am working one horse … the corn looks fine. They are building a new steele bridge across the Cimmeron river. We have had new potatoes and peas today I never missed aday of school after I got here went four month and never was tardy The little boy and I are in the same class he is the best one in the class and the only one that got 100 in exams …. aunt Dell’s cousens from Chandler teaches two of the rooms …. I have went to Sunday school every Sunday, but two …”  Wallace’s daughter, Terry (Humphries) Winter, credits Irene (Hebbe) Cline with rescuing Wallace when she learned where he was living.

Leola VanWeyFour of Georgia’s children were living with her and John VanWey when the census taker made his rounds in 1920. Mitchell is the missing Humphries son and Leola, [G5] daughter of Georgia and John, didn’t arrive in time to be counted that year.  Tragically, John died shortly after Leola’s birth (about 1920) and Leola VanWey drowned in the North Canadian River when swimming with other teen-agers.

Georgia and Scott Anderson moved to Kansas after their marriage for their two daughters were born there. But she returned to Oklahoma with her children after their separation and probable divorce. Georgia Anderson is listed as head of household on the Cimmaron Township, Kingfisher County, Oklahoma Census. With her is Carol Humphries (15); Leola VanWey (10); Betty Anderson (6); and Anna Anderson (4). 

For pictures of Georgia and family members, click here.

For a portfolio of Humphries pictures, click here.

    G & cow

In 1953 Georgia moved into the Kansas home of Wallace and Minnie Humphries. During this time Minnie kept Mattie (Potter) Hebbe apprised of Georgia’s health situation:  May 26:  “Just a line this hot a.m. to let you no how Mother is, she’s sick in bed has to have Oxygen most of the time The Dr says most of her trouble is a metue desturbance As she tells it in her sleep about what everyone has said & done to her  until she gets it all out in the open she’ll be sick  … I had a major operation & Im not able to do any thing yet & wont for 2 months & maybe longer. … I trust you will tell Mitchel & Carol as I don’t feel up to writeing any more letters now."   May 31:  “Mother … still in bed but feels some better. No G-mother – Mother is not sick in the head if some other[s] … had as good a mind & a heart as big as hers … this world would be better off. Now G-mother I told mother she was Welcome at our house any time she wanted to come & stay as long as she likes … she isn’t going any where as she seem to be satisfied --for a Change, theres no one to nag her here.  Now about her getting Old age assistance that was fauled up a long time ago …"
Georgia was still with Wallace and Minnie the end of September:  “Mother is sure enough getting well & will get her pension yet. … she’s up & feeling pretty good now."  Georgia returned to Kingfisher County and died there February 23, 1963, at the age of 76.