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Wenona Billee (Churchill) Clark

Billee was born Jan 5, 1906. There was an affidavit in the Notes attesting to this.


State of California
County of Riverside

To Whom It May Concern.
This is to certify that our daughter, Billee Wenona Churchill (now Mrs. Wenona Churchill Clark) was born January 5th, 1906 at 606 Kirkpatrick Street, El Dorado Springs, Cedar County, Missouri.
That Dr. Bollinger (now deceased) was the attending physician.
A neighbor, Mrs. Katherine Johannes, now residing at 612 South Kirkpatrick Street, El Dorado Springs, Missouri was also present when our daughter, Billee Wenona Churchill was born.
(signed) Frank Bert Churchill
(signed) Stella Peden Churchill
27 January 1945

I've seen her name spelled both "Billie" and "Billee". I believe that her mother spelled it "Billie" but she signed her name "Billee" so I'll use that here unless I'm quoting someone.

From a notebook (printed calendar 1905 and 1906) written possibly by Stella Peden Churchill:

        Thurs night Jan 4 12:30 called Mrs Johannes and Dr. Bollinger.
        Sent Jesse Carlisle for instruments and at 8:15 Fri mon. girl came.
        Weighed about 7 1/2 dressed. Clothes weighed 1 lb.
       Sat. Ida came and brot a cap. First present.
       Paid Dr. $10.00
       7 days old first smiled
       Sat Age 8 days weighed 8 lb
       Sun 24 discovered lump on her throat. called Mrs J. and Dr but
       Dr didn't come till 26th. Pronounced it enlarged gland.
       Jan 26 weighed 10 lbs age 3 weeks
       Mon Feb 19 Mama bot baby dress $20
       Age 2 mo 13 lbs clothes 1 1/2 lbs
       Mar 25 - Sun. first took her out - went to see Mrs J.
       Sun Apr 22. Aunt Nancy came to see baby. Frank bot rattle.
       May 5 "Billie" is 4 months old weighs 16 3/4 lbs and has $1.85.
       May 16 took "Billie" to town first time. Went into Reeders, Dr Bollinger's office & to the spring.
       Tues Aug 21. Grandma, Billie & Mama had pictures taken. Went out to depot and told Grandma goodby.

Dr. Bollinger

Frank Churchill drew this birth announcement when Stella was born on 5 Jan 1906.
The Postcard is addressed to Bert Churchill, Parsons, KS (Franks's father)
1906 Picture referred to in the notebook above by Stella. Mary A. Peden, Billee Churchill and Georgia Estella Peden.

Written on back:  "Billie with Grandmother Peden and Grandmother Huff", August 25, 1908
(Grandmother Peden is Mary Angeline Bryant Peden and
Grandmother Huff is Lillian Hutley Boyer Huff)


Billee and her Mom, Georgia Estella Churchill, on the porch of their house in El Dorado Springs, Mo. A picture of Billee and her Dad, Frank Bert Churchill. Taken on front porch of their house in El Dorado Springs, Mo.
Postcard from Grandma Huff. Dated 28 Oct. 1908. Front side says Greetings from Fletcher, Okla. Addressed to "Little Billy Churchill". A Valentine card from Great Aunt Josephine to niece Billee. Dated 14 Feb 1907.
(Josephine McNeil (Bryant) Peden - Mrs. James Thompson Peden)

Another Valentine's Day Card from Josephine to Billee. Dated 14 Feb 1912.
Billee and brother Fred on that very famous porch.
"Two Billies" Aug. 7, 1910
The Churchills 1912. Frank, Stella, daughter Billee and Grandmother Mary. In front of their house in El Dorado Springs, Mo.
The car is a Chalmers Model 30.

In a footnote to history, auto manufacturer Hugh Chalmers created the Chalmers Award in 1910, in which the winner of the batting title in each league in Major League Baseball won a free automobile. In the American League, the top contenders were Ty Cobb, the most hated player in the league, and Nap Lajoie, a beloved star who was having his last great season. There was a controversy surrounding the scoring of games. At the end of the season, both players were given cars and Cobb was given the award. The Chalmers Award was not brought back in 1915 mainly because the company would not allow the same player to win twice and the public simply lost interest. The winner of Chalmers Award was given a brand new Chalmers "30" roadster, and when Ty Cobb won in 1910 he already owned one of the automobiles.
Maybe about 14 Billee was quite the artist. There are dozens of drawings and water colors dating back to her youth. This one is dated 1920.
Billee Churchill and her brother Fred. Probably taken in El Dorado Springs, MO.
1923 High School Graduation
From a small red notebook:

My name is Wenona Churchill
My Address is ElDorado Springs Missouri
Name of  my Lodge is Billy lock
Number of  my Lodge is 4286
Name of Secretary is  Wenona
Make of my automoble is Beuick
Is number is 45K6 MO
The number on my watch case is 59
The number of the works is 859682
The number of my Bank book is 5280
The number of my Telephone is 59
My Weight is 65
on March 29, 1917
and my Height 4 feet inches
Size of Hat 6 7/8  Gloves
Size of Hosiery  8   Collar 12½
Size of Cuffs 13  Shoes 2

1945 Sketch made of Billee by art student

Billee graduated from El Dorado Springs High School, class of 1923.

El Dorado Springs High School
This Certifies that
Wenona B. Churchill
having completed the regular course of study, prescribed by the Board of Education,
is hereby declared a graduate of El Dorado Springs High School, and is entitled to this
In witness thereof, we have hereunto affixed our names at El Dorado Springs
Missouri, this 18th day of May A.D. 1923
Alfred N. Weiser, Superintendent
Luther G. Edge, Principal

She attended Central College (now Central Methodist College) in Fayette, Mo. Her college pictures below were from the college annual, the Ragout. She graduated in 1927. We have donated all of Billee's college days mementos to the college.


The Curators
of the
Central College
on the nomination of the Faculty
have admitted
Wenona Billee Churchill
to the degree of Bachelor of Arts
and have conferred on her, all the honors, rights and privileges
appertaining  to that degree. In witness whereof  this diploma
is granted and the signatures of the proper officials and the
seal of the college are affixed.
Given at Fayette, Missouri, this 8th day of June, in the year
of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven.
W.F. <unreadable>, President of the College
E.P. Puckett, Dean of the College

In a "Do You Remeber?" column probably from the El Dorado Springs Sun:

From the Sun Aug. 4 1927:
The El Dorado public schools will open next Monday Aug 27. The following are in charge: ..... English, Winona Churchill, ....

Billee married Walter Rothwell Clark. Billee and the family called him "Clark". I found an amazing pair of letters:

June 5, 1932
Hotel Ruff, Marshall, Mo
Dearest Folks:
    I hope you are braced for something of a shock at least I suppose it will be a bit of a shock to you. Clark and I left Fayette yesterday - got Charlotte and Jimmy in Glasgow and found a Justice of the Peace. I hate to disappoint you though I really have done pretty well to wait until I am nearly twenty-seven years old, don't you think? Please try to see it my way, won't you. My job runs out the fifteenth and then we will come home and stay - maybe as long you want. I wish I could be there now, we would come down today if it wasn't so far, but it won't be very long now, anyhow.
    This is Mr. Van Arsdale's hotel - he and Jim are sitting over there now. It's awfully nice - he has fixed it up a lot.
    For you I hate to have done this but you know there's nothing at all in the sort of life I have been living. We have nothing at all but we'll get by and after all it makes little difference. I will write again real soon. I hardly realize it all myself yet. Please now don't be mad or disappointed in me or anything like that - and don't be angry with Clark either. Just realize now you have another son, instead of losing me.
    Clark sends his love and I send my love. Will write soon and you do it too.
So much love,
Then this letter in return:
Dearest Billee -
    You stab me then insist on seeing the blood. I tried to spare you the gruesome details but you keep turning the knife.
    I can't write. I'll need time to try to see how I deserved to have the worship I put into building the only think I considered worth while spurned.
    Come home and maybe all together we can piece something together. We do love you and we'll be trying desperately to be fair to you both.
    Let us know when you will come and if you need us to come up for you.
    You've told us nothing of your plans. Has Clark a job and what do you hope to do?
    Love, Mom
Left to Right
Fred Bert Churchill (son of Frank Bert)
Betty Jane (Frank) Churchill
Wenona Billee (Churchill) Clark
Walter Clark

Taken on the front porch of Fred and Betty's home in San Diego, CA.

Walter Rothwell Clark. There is not much information about his ancestors in the Notes. I do have one item that has the name "R.T. Clark" on it. He may have been his father. I've since found more information about his father, Rothwell Thomas Clark, and his mother, Mabel Kidd. I've put what I found in the family tree.
Stella, Billee & "Ten Ton Tillie"

above written on back of photo.

Printed on back:
May Photo Co.
Springfield, Mo.

This photo was taken in San Diego, CA in front of what was the Civic Center and is now the San Diego County Administration Building. The statue was dedicated on June 10, 1939 so the date on the photo must not be correct.

Here is Billee in a relatively modern setting. Taken in 1964. At this point, Billee and Walter had moved to Prescott, AZ. Billee worked for the Veterans Administration.Walter worked for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Department. Information on Billee's Death Certificate indicates they moved to Prescott in 1950.
1970's ?  picture of Walter and Billee in front of Fred Churchill's house in San Diego, CA. Betty Churchill and Billee, Christmas 1985

Billee retired from the Veterans Administration on Feb. 1, 1976. From an undated clipping:

RETIRED - Mrs. Wenona Clark, chief of library services at the Prescott Veterans Administration Center, was honored by fellow employees at a farewell party marking her retirement. She completed 30 years of government service, 26 of them at the Prescott center.

Walter Clark died in 1984. From his funeral booklet:

In Loving Memory Of
Walter R. Clark
October 5, 1908
San Francisco, California

July 7, 1984
Prescott, Arizona

Central Methodist College
Fayette, Missouri
Class of 1931

Arizona Ruffner Funeral Home
Prescott, Arizona

Billee died of Alzheimer's Disease in Prescott, AZ on 23 Feb 1997. She was cremated. Her brother Fred wrote this obiturary after her death:

Wenona Billie Churchill Clark passed away Feb. 23, 1997, at the age of 91. Born to Stella and Frank Churchill in El Dorado Springs, MO. Jan 5, 1906. Graduated with Honors from Central College, Fayette, MO, in 1927. After graduation, she taught high school English and French before returning to Central College where she worked in the College Library, studied art and advanced her education. Later she was employed in library work in Springfield and St. Joseph, MO and in 1949 transfered to Whipple Hospital. Billee and her husband, Walter, were active in Prescott bridge clubs. She was an avid sports fan and her hobbies were painting, traveling and tennis. She retired from Whipple Hospital as Chief Medical Librarian on 7/31/75 after 30 years of government service. Billee is survived by her brother, Fred B. Churchill and wife Betty in San Diego, CA where private services will be held with her ashes scattered at sea.

This site prepared and maintained by Mark DiVecchio

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