A Sad Tale

Daily Ardmoreite. (Ardmore, Indian Terr.), Vol. 1, No. 214, Ed. 1 Tuesday, July 10, 1894 carries a sad story on its front page of a woman who committed suicide in east Ardmore.  She left behind a letter she had received from a brother in law that had 'blasted' her and the two letters she wrote to him and to her estranged husband.  Then, she laid down on a bed, placed a chloroform cloth over her face and died. She was known as Vivia Gale alias Rose Welch.

The newspaper alleged she was a fallen woman, who had been widely known the year before playing piano for a musical comedy troupe, but her letter indicate that perhaps more was going on in her life and that truly she was a victim of circumstances facing a woman on her  own.

Her brother in law was identified in the article and the letter as J.M. Barton of Iowa Park, Texas and her husband as John Gale of Butte, Montana.  

The news writer was quick to point out that she was a fine example of womanhood and did not appear as many in that life but left the reader with the assurance she was indeed such a woman of ill repute.  Strangely, townfolk, allegedly stepped forward to give her a decent burial but the second news article carrying that story does not say where she was buried or who may have shown the 'Christian charity' such an act required.  

It was a sad tale and one that may answer the questions of distant relatives of these individuals. Attempts to locate a grave for the woman have so far met with no success.  If anyone knows more about this grave and these people, I would love to hear more. 

All in all it is a cautionary tale for all that forgiveness is the best gift we can give another human being and charity should be for everyone and not a select few..


Rest IN Peace Paula Sue Steinback.

Today June 30th marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of Paula Sue Steinback.  A heart-felt message was left on the page by the grandmother of this victim. However, due to legal constraints, I am un able to post all that this family member had to say. 

See the complete entry related to many lost children at  ALL THE LITTLE CHILDREN
 In June 1966 in Aurora, Colorado a nine year old, Paula Steinbach, was found in a cave under a shed used as a playhouse. It appeared her clothes had been disarranged. [ “Body of Girl Found in Cave,” The Oklahoman (June 30, 1966) pg. 42].

The family member continues to believe in the guilt of the suspect of that crime.  "I am fearful for the little girls living in his community. The young residents dwelling in his neighborhood may need to be advised of his past murderous history and their parents and grandparents need to be cautious. The victims of these crimes typically are forgotten after a period of time--but I will never forget Paula Sue Steinback or the overwhelming grief her family experienced."

Paula Sue Steinback was murdered by [name redacted] at the age of 9 and my precious little granddaughter will soon be turning 9 in July of this year. Sadly, there are millions of [predators ] out there looking for children. God Bless Paula Sue...



Old Crimes 



Our Mother is Missing: Walcie Rae Downing

Photo Courtesy of her Descendants
She had a smile that was bright and an inner strength visible in the set of her shoulders and the pert tilt of her head.  She was about 5 feet 6 inches, brown eyed, with short curly black hair that touched her shoulders and weighed around 130 pounds.  As the photo supplied by her family indicates she was attractive, confident and reflected a firm strength of inner pride in herself.

Walcie Rae Downing (also known as Walcie Rae Alston, and Walcie Rae Pearce) was a Native American born July 18, 1924 and went missing December 14, 1956 near Gallup, McKinley County, New Mexico.   Family members believe that she may have been killed in the Grants, New Mexico and the area of the Malpais.  One vivid and stark memory of her children is the assurance she could not stay away from her children. She was very determined to see them and be with them. So for her to disappear from their lives is their indication she was taken from them by person or persons unknown.
When last seen she was wearing a white blouse with blue jeans, an engagement ring, and driving a 1952 or 1954 Ford car, possibly cream or a faded tan,  that some felt may have been purchased in Casa Grande, Arizona where she and her children lived at one time.

She was going through a difficult time with a broken relationship, five children whom she adored and all the struggles such a time produces.  It is believed that she may have been attempting to see her children when she disappeared due to accident or intentional desire to prevent her from seeing her children. Her family has memories of some difficulties along that line and that may help authorities to follow up leads.

There is the distinct possibility, based on childhood memories, that someone may have been trying to keep her from seeing her children or that a third party involved may have in some similar manner interfered with her resulting in her disappearance.

Her children and extended family have missed her, that smile and that strong woman, left a large void in many lives.  Children grew to adulthood without her and friends were deprived of her laughter and care. The lessons of life, courage, love and determination she could have shared with her family never happened.  The guidance and direction she could have shared with others and her society were never put to use. 

Someone, out there, may hold the key....may have memories....may know what happened to this lovely, strong, and full of potential woman.  Someone may be able to, at long last, bless her children with the story of what happened to this woman and respond to them with closure.

Across the years, their voices whisper, "Our mother is missing...Walcie Rae Downing...do know where she is?"

[I was contacted in early 2016 by family members asking if I would profile their mother to inspire renewed interest in her case and I am happy to do so. Her case has been profiled on several missing persons platforms and forums over the decades. These include the Doe Network her case file number there is Case File:  Walcie Rae Downing - 3226DFNM.  Please contact the Gallup Police Department or the Doe Network with additional information. Let's help bring her home to her family and friends.]

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