INMAN - The only son of John and Martha Elrod Inman, Orval William was born in the home his father built in Section 35, Clark Township, Wright County. Although Orval left the farm to work at many different jobs throughout his life, he always came back to the home area. He bought 40 acres just north of John and Martha's farm and built a small house from lumber that had been cut from the land. John made all the shingles for the buildings, splitting them out by hand. Later Orval added more land to the.original purchase. In the 1940s he bought the adjoining farm of Floyd Hylton's and moved onto that in 1944. Parts of this land adjoined John's.
As a youngster, Orval worked the wheat harvests, beginning in the Texas Panhandle, through Kansas and Nebraska, then finishing up with corn picking through parts of Nebraska and Iowa. He and his cousin "Bird" spent several years working in the oil fields of Oklahoma and in the Bakersfield and Taft, CA, area. During World War II, he worked one summer in the shipyards at Long Beach. Another summer job was picking fruit in the San Joaquin Valley, CA.
In 1955 he was in the first crew hired to start building bridges near Sidney, NE, that was the beginning of Interstate 80 across Nebraska. It took 17 years to complete the 455.3 miles of roadway. Other "neighbors" from Norwood put their labors into this highway before its completion.
In 1930 Orval was united in marriage to Velma Marie Jones, daughter of Frank and Audrey Moshier Jones, at Norwood and had six children: Opal married Irvin Williams; Roy Kenneth married Patsy Ballard; Barbara married Chester York and Robert Johnston; John married Carol Ann Peterson: Ronnie married Melba Jo Collins; and a son who died at birth and is buried in "Inman row" in the Thomas Cemetery.
Opal and Irvin's two children are James and Susan. Kenneth and Patsy have twins, Sherry and Jerry. Barbara and Chester's two sons are Tim and Lane. Ronnie and Melba have three girls; Jaimie Jo, Mandy Marie and Leslie Lark.
At this writing Orval and Velma had two great grandsons: Justin Levi York and Ian Charles James Williams.
Orval attended Cornelius, district #92 through the eighth grade, as did Opal and Kenneth. Cornelius consolidated with the Norwood School in 1951, so the younger children finished their elementary educafion there. All five children followed their mother's footsteps to attend and graduate from high school at Norwood, but only Ronnie became a teacher as she did. Orval's life began April 4, 1903, on "Dry Creek" and came to an end in the hospital in Springfield Feb. 4, 1991.Velma (March24, 1910 - June 20, 1991) and Orval are buried in Thomas Cemetery.
Submitted by Opal Inman Williams