The Dale Family


Written by Betty Dale Summers. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”


John and Jennie Dale had eight children. Sylvia was horn at Phillips, Oklahoma near Coalgate. She married Clarence Williams, and had two children namede Nadine and Dale. A baby daughter died in infancy.

Fanny was born in Coalgate, Oklahoma. She married Kelly Costa and their only daughter died when a few months old. Georgia was born in Suffield. She married Frank Silva and had five children named June, Lorianne, Shirley, James and Gary. Jean was born in Yankee, New Mexico. She married Ed O’Donnell and had a daughter named Jackie. John Dale Jr. was born in Cokedale and he married Opal Britt. Their had two children named Joyce and Penni. Penni married Herman Moltrer and settled in the Trinidad area. The Dales then had twin daughters Alderine and Aline and the girls lived for a few short months. Their last child, daughter Betty, was born in Brodhead. She married John Summers and had a daughter Nannette and a son who lived only a few days.

The Dales endured the 1913-14 coal strike at the Aguilar Tent colony and as a child I enjoyed hearing the many interesting tales of what life was like during those trying days. One of the stories I remember hearing was that of John D. Rockefeller Jr., depositing five dollars in the collection plate at one of the Baptist churches. My mother was to become a Baptist and she wasn’t impressed with his treatment of the miners nor his giving habits. My older sisters and brother would happily tell of their wonderful days in Cokedale. They rode the street car in to Trinidad for shopping and also to attend high school.

My dad John was to later become a mine foreman at Brodhead and Rugby. I remember as a young child going to Aguilar with my family and everyone hurrying around to get a good parking place on the street on a Saturday night.

We moved to Lafayette in 1938. It was also a town we dearly loved, but the family has close ties with Trinidad. These roots deepened after John Dale Jr, and Georgia Silva and their families moved back to Trinidad. John Jr. and Frank Silva were foremen at the Allen Mine.

I don’t think any Christmas has been as exciting as it was for me as a small child going to see the toys at the Jamieson Department store. The Hausman drug store was another very special place to me. I can remember eating lunch there and always ordering a pimento ham sandwich accompanied with a cherry coke. One of our favorite places to eat was the Avalon Cafe located on Commercial Street. Eating out, so to speak, was not a common occurrence in those days.

John Dale died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1948. He remarked to family members a few days before his death that he was homesick for the southern part of the state. He and my mother are both buried in Trinidad.

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