Regarding Dennis Paulson, son of William & Margaret Paulson.
We know that Dennis Paulson was married to Lula Nelson in 1889 because that’s when they had their first child, Jacob Paulson. (He may have a middle name, but we don’t know what it is.) In 1892 they also had Margaret. (We called her Aunt Maggie).
Both Jacob and Margaret were born in Oklahoma. (At that time it was called Indian Territory.) Sometime between 1892 when Aunt Maggie was born and before 1896 Lula Nelson died and Dennis Paulson married Dolly Tomlinson.
Dennis and Dolly (probably Dorothy) had William Charlie Paulson in 1896 and Jesse R. Paulson in 1897.
Around 1900 Dennis Paulson died, cause unknown. He is thought to be buried in Maud, OK and we have a picture of a gravestone, but we have no absolute proof that it is his grave.
Dolly and one or two of her brothers took her stepchildren, Jacob and Margaret to Dennis’ mother, Margaret Sullivan (then married to Dick Sullivan and living in Oklahoma City). On their way back to Dolly’s kin, (we don’t know where), Dolly was riding in a wagon with her children William Charlie and Jesse R. Her one or two brothers were riding horseback. While crossing a creek somewhere in Oklahoma, Dolly fell off the wagon and into the water. She became very ill, or perhaps she was ill before she fell off. She was thought to be pregnant at the time. The brother’s found a very poor family in the hills somewhere and left Dolly and the two children with them. The brother or brothers never came back and no one knows why. Shortly after they left, Dolly died.
The family just kept the Charlie and Jesse because there wasn’t anyone else around to care for them. Charlie’s memories of that time (he was only about 4 years old) were not happy, but keep in the mind that the family was already rather large and they were very poor. A man named Russell Beene from Ada, OK came by the house. He stopped there from time to time when he was on business trips. He stayed the night and went on to wherever he was going. A few months later when Russell was returning from his business trip and going back to Ada, he again stayed the night with this family. He was very surprised when he found the two boys still there, as everyone had expected Dolly’s brother or brothers to return for the boys.
Russell Beene took Charlie and Jesse with him to his home in Ada, and in later years legally adopted them both. Jesse kept the name of Beene throughout his life. Charlie grew up as a Beene, and when he married, he was married under that name, and all his children were born under that name.
Times were very hard then and Charlie was a moon shiner. (He and his wife and seven children lived somewhere in the hills of Oklahoma.) The revenuer, a man named Whitehead, was very close to proving that Charlie was a moon shiner and was and inch or so away from arresting him and sending him to prison. This was in 1935.
Russell and Martha Beene had kept the memory of Charlie and Jesse’s parents and history alive for them. So… in 1935, in order to escape the law, Charlie looked up his older half brother, Jacob, in Oklahoma City. Charlie and his family instantly became Paulson’s again and moved his family to Oklahoma City. (How he knew where to find Jacob is somewhere in my notes, somewhere in my house.) Jesse also moved to Oklahoma City shortly after that. I don’t know where Jesse was living prior to 1935. Maggie had always lived in the Oklahoma City area.
At the time the four children, Jacob, Maggie, Charlie and Jesse were separated, Jacob was about 11 years old, Maggie was about 8 years old, Charlie was about 4 years old and Jesse was about 3 years old. They were reunited 35 years later and they and their families all became very close.