She tended her garden, not a weed in sight,
and the fruits of her labor were seen.
The meals she would cook and the bread she would bake,
believe me, would not leave you lean.
A Bassett by birth of the New England clan,
Yankees from dear old England.
A Conant in marriage, old English as well,
they were also from New England.
Born in Illinois, the County of Marion
and there spending her life did she.
With the exception of a visit to St. Louis and Indiana,
' there was she content to be.
Her house was spotless, no dust to be found,
not even in the nook and crannie.
Tastefully decorated with antiques and contemporary,
a combination that worked well for my grannie.
I miss her even now, nearly 20 years later,
what fun truly had we.
The memories are fond, my grandmother so dear,
and thus shall they always be.
So full of life I remember her being,
in my thoughts she remains to this day
I hold her so dear in my heart and my life,
always there forever will she stay.
To be profane in speech or degrading of others,
in her would be found no trace.
She bore her name with honor and good taste,
she truly was Grandma Grace.
Stephen P.H. Frakes
Saturday/Sabbath, 9 May 1998
the house in the country-learning to tie my shoes at her house-staying overnight, talking in bed-the "toilet," minus plumbing, at the foot of the stairs-the outhouse- I told her once,"You're too funny for me to like" - playing in the "huge" closed-in porch (Whats your trade? Lemonade Get to work and show me something, if you're not afraid!) - jars of home canned dill pickles (Aunt Polly loves them) - homemade bread (Aunt Polly like to eat the years dough before it's baked!) - featherbed upstairs looking out the upstairs windows - quilt with all the state flowers and birds on it - a narrow staircase with the window at the top - the other room upstairs, seldom used - going to Grandma's for Sunday dinner - her aprons - boiled chicken (I like it fried!) - slaw - the corn shaped dishes - homemade cottage cheese - eating my first pizza at her house (before pizza parlors, must have been in the 50's) - cabbage and cheese casserole - refrigerator cookies - chocolate cakes with thick pink icing - oyster soup (I got one with sand in it and wouldn't eat oysters for ages!) - she would bring lasagna to family dinners at Mom's for me - Uncle Dale - they thought I should enjoy the western on TV - boxing on TV - no running water, a pump in the kitchen - Dove soap - tiny kitchen - I'm told when I was little I colored all over her floor. When she found it she said, "Oh, I could just cry." And I said, "I
could too Grandma." - looking at her salt and pepper shakers in the north bedroom downstairs before she had a display case - Grandpa lay sick in that room later - a TV there playing a Shirley Temple movie - He died when I was in 3rd grade - Uncle Dale's room - the wheelchair - Grandpa's striped cap (railroad cap?) drying on a shortening can on the whatnot - a sideboard with shelves - outside, a tire swing - an old buggy which we would pull around - Pam being down for the summer and bringing building blocks which would lock together - tadpoles in the large square concrete horse watering trough - the hills behind the house leading to Uncle Bisch's - Pid and Elizabeth Williams - the barn with a picture of a horse on it - the pond west of the barn - the smokehouse - a cherry tree? - jack in the pulpit - the red clay cliffs beside the road and the steep hills leading to the house - the cemetery - walking south and west down the lane to where an old house used to be - Queen Anne's lace - hearing about the time mom started to school without her panties on! - spider plants - castor bean plants - using a toy that the boys left there, she wrapped it up and gave it to them for Christmas! - using that house so many times as the (my) mental setting for stories that I read.
After Grandpa died, she and Uncle Dale moved to Kinmundy - I remember walking form the grade school to Mrs. Leach's for my piano lessons; walking to Grandma's afterward - the old spinning wheel in the living room - plants everywhere - calling Jean and talking for ages - when Mr. Linton said Grandma had been jumping on the trampoline with her high heels on - (She worked at the funeral home for a time.) - she babysat - coffee (made in the morning and kept hot in a thermos to drink on all day) - a chair she upholstered herself, she was used to doing for herself, prepairing things - (a comment on homemade ice cream) "We've had it all our lives. I'd rather have boughten ice cream." - helping paint the trim on her house one year (She had an old rag that was in terrible shape -
said she'd have to take it to the club and fix it up) - I was just starting to appreciate her sense of humor - that little laugh of hers - Mom could hardly get away after a visit because she would follow her outside, still talking - fancy bottles filled with colored water in the kitchen window - the old blue coat and a head scarf - the little purple covered round butter dish which I liked (sold to an antique dealer) I was aggravated - her making "rugs" out of plastic bread sacks - blocks for my kids to play with - her making sunbonnets for Stephanie and myself - (comment on whether my kids were spoiled) "They all smell that way." - when we would leave...
To My Family,
I'm sitting here thinking of all the things I would have liked to say to Grandma if I had had the chance. I guess I was always too busy or else I was afraid she'd think I was stupid or something. But now I'll never have that chance to tell her how I feel. And right now I feel that I musht tell somebody. I don't want my thoughts to be unspoken anymore.
You all have given me what so many people long for their whole lives and never get. My whole life I've felt loved and cared for. I've learned how to love myself and others by your excellent examples. I've also learned how to laugh even when things are really tough. And to me thse are very precious lessons to be learnt. Sometimes my feeling for you all are so warm and so huge that I feel that I might burst with joy. It's hard for me to express those words. But from now on I'm going to work harder at it. I'd like to think that Grandma knew how I felt about her. I was so proud of her (as I am all my family) that I could have just burst. If I can have 1/10 of her strength and endurance I'll be doing quite well. I've thought about this many times___ If anyone wants to know more about me, they have to meet my family. Because in that family lies all my inspirations, influences, support, and a tremendous amount of love.
I couldn't have done a better job if I picked you all myself. Thanks for being you.
Oh! and thanks Grandma, for starting it all!
I love you all,
born 14 February 1903, Bassett Homestead, Foster Township, Marion County, Illinois, daughter of Elmer and Maggie (McWHIRTER) BASSETT. She died 27 December 1979, Centralia, Marion County, Illinois.
Grace married George William "Bill" Conant 24 December 1920, Foster Township, Marion County, Illinois.
They lived their entire life in Marion County, Illinois, most of which was in the Eli Conant Home in Sandy Branch, Foster Township, Marion County, Illinois. Bill was the son of Eli and Valinda M. (Owens) Conant and the grandson of John Berry and Mary Elizabeth (Atkins) Conant. John was a wealthy man living in Kinmundy Township.
Grace attended Pleasant Grove School, aslo known as Buzzard Roost and Jones School. The school was located on the west side of Jones Road about half way between Kinoka Road and Sandy Branch Road. It was surrounded on the north and on the east by Apple Groves, which is why it was named Pleasant Grove. They began calling it Buzzard Roost because the buzzards would roost next to the school in the large trees there. And of course it later was called Jones School because in later days it was all Jones' who attended there. The school was torn down in the early 1980's.
Grace and Bill are buried at Sandy Branch Cemetery.
1. Lyle Eli CONANT, born 1 Dec 1921 and died 24 Sep 1988. Burial in Sandy Branch Cemetery.
Joan Evelyn REDDEN (1926-1959), of Northamptonshire, England.
2. Elmer Dale CONANT, born 28 Sep 1925 and died 29 Jun 1961. Burial in Sandy Branch Cemetery.
3. Betty Lou CONANT, born 31 May 1927 and died 12 Jan 2014. Burial in Sandy Branch Cemetery.
Betty married 1st Charles Robert SEE (1921-1990).
Betty married 2nd Bill BOYD (1926-2009).
4. Marjorie Edith CONANT, born 15 Dec 1929 and died 25 Jun 2013. Burial in Sandy Branch Cemetery.
married Darrell Floyd JONES (1926-1993). Burial in Sandy Branch Cemetery.
5. Donna June CONANT, born 1 Jun 1932 and died 31 Jul 1946. Burial in Sandy Branch Cemetery.
6. Monna Marilyn "Polly" CONANT, born 17 Dec 1933.
Monna married Philip Howard FRAKES (1929-2005). Burial in Sandy Branch Cemetery.
Grandchildren of Grace Bassett Conant:
1. Lyle Conant REDDEN, born 28 Aug 1944, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.
Lyle married Diana Kathleen PAGE. She was born 25 Sep 1945.
2. Connie LaDon JONES, born 15 Sep 1949, Marion County, Illinois.
Connie married James Ray BRUBAKER. He was born 8 Jul 1946, Salem, Illinois.
3. Stanley Floyd "Stan" JONES, born 31 Oct 1951, Salem, Illinois.
Stan married Linda Gayle MITCHELL. She was born 12 Jul 1952, Salem, Illinois.
4. Pamela Renee "Pam" SEE, born 29 Mar 1953, Oak Park, Illinois.
Pam married Douglas Mark FONTANA. He was born 30 Jul 1955, Phoenix, Arizona.
5. Roger Merle JONES, born 21 Aug 1953, Salem, Illinois.
Roger married Cathy Ann DeVORE. She was born 2 Jan 1956, Salem, Illinois.
6. Tanya Rae FRAKES, born 7 Jul 1955, Highland, Illinois. Tanya died 23 Jan 2010, Salem, Marion County, Illinois.
Tanya married 1st Roddy Alan COURTRIGHT.
Tanya married 2nd David Joseph BELFIORE.
7. Stephen Philip Howard FRAKES, born 2 Oct 1957, Highland, Illinois.
8. Terri June FRAKES, born 22 Apr 1962, Highland, Illinois.
Terri married Richard Dale ADAMS. He was born 9 May 1961, Centralia, Illinois.
Great-Grandchildren of Grace Bassett Conant:
1. Bernadette Joan REDDEN, born 2 Sep 1967, Northamptonshire, England.
Bernadette married Jonathan Mark FRISBY. He was born 13 Feb 1963.
2. Louise Catherine REDDEN, born 23 Jun 1970, Northamptonshire, England.
Louise married Phillip Paul MORTIMER. He was born 10 Sep 1972.
3. Nathan Roddy Alan COURTRIGHT, born 11 Dec 1973, Centralia, Illinois.
Nathan married Angela Jaye "Angie" (ALBERT) RILEY. She was born 18 Mar 1972.
4. Stephanie Joan "Steph" BRUBAKER, born 7 Nov 1975, Litchfield, Illinois.
Stephanie married Matthew Alan LAWSON.
3. Ryan Stanton JONES, born 4 Jun 1978, Centralia, Illinois. (Son of Stan and Linda)
4. Benjamin James "Ben" BRUBAKER, born 21 Feb 1979 in Litchfield, Illinois.
Ben married Jennifer Kaye "Jenny" GRAHAM. She was born 17 Sep 1980.
5. Denise Lynn JONES, born 10 Feb 1981, Centralia, Illinois. (Daughter of Stan and Linda)
6. Joseph Adam "Joey" JONES, born 3 Jul 1981, Centralia, Illinois. (Son of Roger and Cathy)
Joey married Candice Michelle MALONE.
7. Trent Maurice ADAMS, born 5 Dec 1982, Centralia, Illinois.
8. Elaine Nichole "Elly" JONES, born 29 Sep 1983, St. Louis, Missouri. (Daughter of Roger and Cathy)
Elly married 1st Justin Joseph GRZEGOREK.
Elly married 2nd Troy OWENS.
9. Dustin Kade "Dusty" JONES, born 23 Aug 1985, Effingham, Illinois. (Son of Roger and Cathy) He died 22 Apr 2005, Foster Township, Marion County, Illinois.
10.Brock Richard ADAMS, born 26 Sep 1985, Centralia, Illinois.
Brock married Lauren Elizabeth Matheny 2013.
11.David Philip Anthony BELFIORE, born 18 Oct 1985, Orlando, Florida.
David married 1st Samantha DANIELS. She was born 17 Aug 1990.
David married 2nd Andrea MORLAN. She was born 23 Jan 1991.
12.Daniel William Eli BELIFRORE, born 3 Feb 1992, Belleville, Illinois.
Daniel married Erica Amber-lynn CASNER. Daughter of Nikki CASNER and Terry L. GARREN. She was born 21 Jul 1994.
Great-Great-Grandchildren of Grace Bassett Conant:
1. Christopher James FRISBY, born 3 Nov 1991, Northamptonshire Engalnd.
2. Matthew Lyle MORTIMER, born 3 Oct 1997, Northamptonshire, England.
3. Thomas Phillip MORTIMER, born 17 Feb 1999, Northamptonshire, England.
4. Mitchell Connor FRISBY, born 17 Dec 1999, Northamptonshire, England.
5. Madison Jaye COURTRIGHT, born 29 Mar 2002, Breese, Illinois.
6. Jayden Mikeal McCLELLAND GRZEGOREK, born 5 Aug 2002. (Son of Elly and adopted son of Justin.)
7. Wyatt Joseph JONES, born 10 May 2006, Breese, Clinton County, Illinois. (Son of Joey and Candice.)
8. Macee Lynn GRZEGOREK, born 28 Sep 2007, Illinois.
9. Emma Eileen "Emie" JONES, born 2007, daughter of Joey and Candice.
10. Hannah Grace LAWSON, born 31 Dec 2008, Rush Copley Hospital, Aurora, Kane County, Illinois.
11. Wyatt Rodney William BELFIORE, born 17 Dec 2009, Breese, Clinton County, Illinois. (Son of David and Samantha.)
12. Emma Eileen BRUBAKER, born 23 Jan 2010, Illinois.
13. Grace Marie "Gracie" BRUBAKER, born Thursday, 26 Apr 2012, Illinois.
14. Ryleigh Rae BELFIORE, born 6 Dec 2013, Centralia, Marion County, Illinois. (Daughter of Daniel & Erica.)
15. child OWENS, born 2014, Illinois.
16. Hadleigh Drew BELFIORE, born 11 Jul 2014, Breese, Clinton County, Illinois. (Daughter of David & Andrea.)
17. Grayson Leo ADAMS, born 17 Aug 2015, Effingham, Effingham County, Illinois. (Son of Brock & Lauren)
18. Waylon David Maverick BELFIORE, born 26 Nov 2015, Breese, Clinton County, Illinois. (Son of David & Andrea.)