Mae McKnight, 2005 SFTD Queen

The 2005, Santa Fe Trail Daze Queen is Ella Mae McKnight.

She will be coronated at 7 p.m, Tuesday, May 31, at the First Baptist Church, a reception will follow.

Mae was born on Aug. 30, 1912 in Kileen, Texas, to Thomas and Ethel Baldridge.

The family moved to Noble, Okla. by train. She had a thirst for learning, and starting to school in Noble gave direction to her artistic talent. Penmanship was a favorite and she worked to have perfect papers. Mae's interest in people and events and her love of writing have produced daily journals. Any relative or friend can check to see when they last visited or how much moisture fell.

Her father took a job with the Tennessee Dairy in Dallas, Texas.

They drove two covered wagons, equipped with a bed and chuck box with iron skillet and two Dutch ovens.

In addition to their own farming the family followed the cotton harvest.

A place to stay was provided and transportation back and forth to the field.

In January of 1927 the family moved to Seneca, N. M.

Here they cleared the land of soap weeds and planted crops that were new to them broomcorn, maize and corn.

After finishing school Mae worked in Clayton as Dr. Daniels secretary and took a nursing course. She assisted with her sister Janie's tonsillectomy.

Her sister Juanita dated a man from Wheeless and he brought along a friend Albert McKnight to an Easter Egg Hunt.

Mae and Albert were married on Jan. 7, 1934 in Boise City.

Their first home was the vacant filling station belonging to Albert's dad.

Mae was proud of her home, making curtains, and cabinets out of orange crates for their few dishes and cooking utensils.

In 1941 Albert bought a place nine-and-one-half miles west of Felt. The sifting dirt from the dust storms still covered the fences and sheds.

Mae remembered the sultry Sunday the first duster rolled in and ruined a picnic as well as the devastation it brought to this area.

The family moved into their new home in January 1942.

Albert worked for the County and farmed.

On week-ends he did home repairs. He built a windcharger so the family had electric lights before rural electric came to their area.

Mae is listed as a housewife on the tax return. She is like the housewives of her generation schooled by necessities. She was wife, nurse, mother and hired hand. Her love of life and adventure made the summer vacations of work an enjoyment.

Mae loves the outdoors. There were camping vacations for the family where she showed her son how to build and bank a fire, and the girls how to cook on an open fire. Mae had picnics with her children when they were not busy in the fields or canning. She showed them how to make hollyhock dolls and entertained them with singing and yodeling.

Mae enjoys sewing crafts of crocheting, knitting, tatting, and quilt making. Belonging to the Ladies Aid Quilt Makes she pieced tops and quilted a Disaster Quilt each year.

Her children and grandchildren are happy to have doilies and quilts made by her loving fingers.

She has five children; thirteen grandchildren, twenty great grandchildren and two great great-grandchildren.

She still lives in the first home she and Albert owned.

Boise City News
P.O. Box 278
105 W. Main Street
Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
Phone: 580 544-2222
Fax: 580 544-3281
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