Ashford Family

Thomas Charles Buckle Story

Thomas Charles Buckle was the son of George William Buckle and Ellen Martin. (Note: The information on his death certificate is not correct.) Thomas was born in London, England on November 6, 1876. Family history says he had a sister, but no records are available regarding her. His mother and father died when he was eight years old. He was placed in an orphanage until he was about twelve years old when he was sent to the English Navy, assigned to a sailing ship, and trained to be a sailor.

When he was fourteen, he was indentured to a large landholder in Canada. He did not like the work there, so he ran away and signed up on a ship as a sailor. Family history holds that during his years as a sailor, he sailed around the world three times. In the late eighteen-nineties, Thomas joined the U.S. Army and fought in three campaigns in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.

After the war, he was released from active duty and signed on a ship that took him to San Francisco. He worked as a cook in a hotel for a while, then about 1905 he went to work on a dredge which was dredging a canal for the Oakland Salt Works. He was in San Francisco when the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1906. After the earthquake, Thomas left San Francisco with a co-worker Ed Stillwell, taking a packet ship up the coast to Coos Bay, Oregon where Ed’s family lived.

Thomas met Ed’s niece Mollie Leona Jones and his traveling days were over. Thomas and Mollie Leona were married in 1907 in Coquille. Thomas and his family lived in Prosper, Oregon, where Tom worked in a lumber mill until 1929. All of their children were born while they lived at Prosper except the youngest son Harvey. In 1929 Tom and Mollie Leona moved to Melrose, Oregon, where Tom engaged in the fuel business, supplying firewood to the businesses in town. Son Harvey was born while they lived at Melrose.

In 1937 Tom and Mollie moved their family to Lookingglass, Oregon, into the house which all the grandchildren today remember as “Grandma Buckle’s house”. (The house remains in the family.) Tom continued in the firewood business until his health deteriorated and he was no longer able to do physical labor. All the children, growing up, helped with that family business.

Tom passed away in 1945. Mollie lived another 41 years and passed away in 1986.