12 min read

Chapter Ten (Part Two)

Chapter Ten (Part Two)
L to R: June Rose Dugger, Samuel Everett Stockwell

Biological Family

As you can imagine, piecing together the lives of two individuals in a short and forbidden relationship has been a major challenge. For years, I knew nothing. Then, suddenly the truth began to unravel, and it is still unraveling as I write this!

As the story unfolds it will be easy to understand why I chose the page title; they both lived a mixed-up life separately except for the brief time they were together. Meet June Rose Dugger, my biological mother (June), and Samuel Everett Stockwell, my biological father (Sam).

The first question you would probably ask is: Why was their relationship forbidden? June was young (15 or 16) when she met Sam. She had had a troubled life as a young teen and (according to the 1950 census record) spent some time in the Girl's Industrial School, Correctional Institution in Delaware, Ohio. How she ended up there is uncertain. I was told she had been abused by a family member and rebelled. This, however, has not been confirmed but was her story as she told it.

Dugger, June (1953?)
June Rose Dugger

June had been staying with her aunt Mildred in Marion, Ohio either before or after her time in the Institution. It's hard to understand exactly how June met Sam, but I'm living proof that they did! I'm fairly certain that she was "kicked out" of her home in Northern Ohio (either Bucyrus or Lorain) after the claims of abuse caused some serious problems in the family.

When her life was falling apart, June's mother (my grandmother Dugger) refused to allow June to return home with her child (me). Her mother had a warrant issued for my bio-dad's arrest if he returned to Ohio. Apparently, it worked; he was arrested and June returned home with a baby and another one on the way.

A hearing was held with Social Services; June's parental rights were severed (at Grandma Dugger's insistence) and I was placed in foster care. Once Tom (Dean Everett Stockwell) was born, he was placed in the same foster home in LaGrange, Ohio. We remained in foster care until we were separated and adopted.

June & Sam


I don't know much about the Dugger family except what I've been able to piece together using Google and Ancestry.com.

Unie Barger Dugger (1903-1962) and Clara Mae Scroggins (1903-1984) had eight children: Mildred Keoma Dugger (1924-1997), Dorothy Leona Dugger (1926-1997), Julie Mae Dugger (1927-1969), Unie Lee “Bud” Dugger (1929-1985), Nadie “Nettie” Edna Dugger (1931-2008), June Rose Dugger (1934-1987), Howard William Dugger (1936-1987), and Michael David Dugger (1942-2013). 

Grandfather Unie B. Dugger
(L to R) Dorothy, June, Mildred, Sonny; Grandma Dugger (front)

I assume, perhaps mistakenly, that at the time of my birth, they lived in Bucyrus, Ohio, but there are records of them being in Lorain not much later. That could be why the adoption happened in Lorain County and the foster care home was in LaGrange (Lorain County).

My bio-mom told me that Grandma Dugger was the reason she lost custody of both me and Tom. She refused to raise illegitimate children since her daughter was mixed up in a forbidden relationship with a married man. I'm sure there was more to it, but that was the story she told. I'm hoping that one day the information from the social worker in charge of our removal from her custody will show up. (They're somewhere in the house along with other notes from my family research dated as far back as the late 1970's).

June told me that my bio-dad was uninterested in claiming either me or Tom as his children and never signed the adoption papers. Tom was the third child he fathered but didn't want to be responsible for. To be honest, it hurts to even write that! As it turns out, he later had other children by other women who were not his wife and were given up for adoption. All along he was having children with his wife and even raised a nephew as his own.

So, here's the list of June's children as far as we know: Mary Louise Stockwell [me] (1951-Living), Everett Dean Dugger (1952-2012), Paula (Angel) Mae Allen (1954-Living), Shayne Paulk Wallace (1956-Living), Charlie Henry McLemore Jr. (1958-2013), Sharon Denise McLemore (1959-Living), and Tamara Lynn Lackey (1967-Living).

L to R: Jan (Mary Lou), Denise, Paula (Angel), Tammy

As my memory continues to be stirred, there may be more to fill in on the Dugger family. All I know for certain is that June passed down some genes that caused real challenges in all our lives. Don't ever try to tell me that life choices cannot be genetic because my family is living proof!


So ... Sam. What a tangled web he wove as he allowed his unbridled impulses to get him in trouble. Not once. Not twice. Not even three times. In fact, it would be difficult to determine just how many children he left behind when his needs usurped his morals if he had any. I know that sounds harsh but it's the truth. I cannot begin to imagine all his wife endured throughout their marriage; I wonder if she even knew the whole story.

Let's first talk about Sam's family starting with his dad, Samuel Isaac Stockwell (Sam-Sr). He was born in Framtown, WV, on May 26, 1892.

In 1917, he registered for military service as a coal miner in Braxton County, WV.

According to marriage records in WV, Sam's father (Samuel Isaac Stockwell) married Mary Dunlarry on October 28, 1919; no one has found anything else on his first wife but that she was born about 1896 in Braxton County, WV. It is assumed she died before the 1920 census was taken.

At the time of the 1920 census taken on January 8, 1920, he was reportedly 27 years old, single, and living as a boarder with the Boyce family. Coal mining is listed as his occupation at the time of the census.

At the time of the 1930 census taken on April 14, 1930, Sam-Sr was still single working as a coal loader and boarding with the Conners family.

The next ten years were filled with love, joy, and a great amount of heartache. He married Josephine Hannah Henry, my bio- grandmother; Sam-Jr, my bio-dad, was the first of their five children. She had three more children which included Rosey Gale Stockwell, born prematurely and who passed when she was only 28 days old.

Rosey Gale Stockwell Death Certificate

Their fifth child, only known as Baby Boy Stockwell died on the day he was born. Josephine tragically perished giving birth on February 19, 1935.

Henry, Josephine Death Cert
Josephine Henry Stockwell Death Certificate

After she passed, Sam-Sr married Alma Beaver in 1936, a year after Josephine died. She remarried after Sam-Sr passed away to Roy Alvin Short. She lived in WV until her death in 1974.

Samuel Isaac Stockwell (1892-1947)

Sam Senior died on September 16, 1947, in Ramsey, WV. From what I could tell, he worked in coal mines most of his life.

Samuel Isaac Stockwell Obituary

Alma, his wife at the time of his passing, applied for a military headstone. He is buried in Mount Zion United Methodist Church Cemetery in Ramsey, WV.

Application for Military Headstone dated May 12, 1948

Interestingly, when I was searching for my bio-family, I tracked down some members of the Stockwell family in WV. I worked up the nerve to call and remember reaching Budgie Stockwell, Sam-Sr's brother. I tried to explain why I was calling but once he realized who I was and what I wanted, he hung up the phone. I recall reaching another relative with the same result but don't remember her name.

Shortly after these encounters, I felt God speaking to my heart that I should stop my search and He would bring my bio-family to me in His time. It was not the right time for me to be reunited. So, I packed away my notes and stopped my search until God came through and the answers began to come like a flood.

My great-grandfather and grandmother on the Stockwell side of the family were James French Stockwell (1869-1923) and Sabina Rose Keener (1874-1923). They married on August 30, 1890 in Braxton County, WV.

James French Stockwell (L) ... Marriage Certificate (R)

Sabina (called "Rosana") died in 1923, having given French nine children; my grandfather (Sam-Sr) was their first child. Apparently they split ways and French married Ruth (Ruthie) L. Salisbury in 1911.

(L) Marriage Record ... (R) Gravestone

French and Ruth had (at least) seven children together. The ancestry records show three other children born before 1911 but I suspect and have not traced it, that they took in his sister's children but that's just a guess. From the looks of the records, it's just another Stockwell tangled web.

I could go on forever with the Stockwell ancestry since I've traced it for a few more generations as it branched out to include great-great grandparents and more. But, let's change the focus to Sam, the bio-dad. I saved him for last only because it's another tangled web that I'm still not convinced we've found all his offspring.

Bio-dad lived in Lorain, Ohio, at some point. When he moved there is uncertain; he was born in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania; his extended family was living in northern West Virginia, Akron, Ohio, and Ypsilanti, Michigan. His draft card (dated June 10, 1946) lists Drennen, Nicholas County, West Virginia, as his legal address when he turned 18.

Samuel Everett Stockwell's Draft Registration Card

There is a newspaper clipping dated September 18, 1947, indicating he was living in Beckley, WV. In September 1950, he married Gladys Rose Miller, age 16; Sam was 22 years old. Gladys was pregnant with Carol Ann Stockwell-Adlon, born on October 9, 1950.

Marriage Certificate: Sam & Gladys Rose Miller (a minor)

It is not known if Sam's bride knew he had another baby on the way in West Virginia. Somehow he managed to keep his life in Akron and his life in Terra Alta separate; whether or not it was secret is unknown.

Carol Ann shared the story she was told that Sam and Gladys decided they weren't ready for a child and gave her up for adoption. She has a faint memory of them checking on Carol's well-being when she was a little older but, other than that, she doesn't have any memory of them.

Seven months later, I was born in Terra Alta, shortly before June's 17th birthday. According to the story told to me by the nurse who assisted the doctor who delivered me, Sam was by June's side during her labor and delivery. I was full-term so it's obvious Sam had messed up! Further proof was that young June and mixed-up Sam found themselves expecting again. Tom was born in Delaware County, Ohio after a major upset in Sam's and June's relationship.

So, at this point, Sam has three children, one with Gladys and two with bio-mom: Carol Ann, me, and Tom. We were all given up for adoption. According to public records, bio-dad and his wife, Gladys, had more children together: Sharon Rose Stockwell (1957-2016), Judy A. Stockwell (1959-Living) and James Everett Stockwell (1962-Living).

They also had Stanley Everett (Butch) Kriston (1951-Living) who was raised by them as an unofficially adopted son. He was the son of Joseph Stanley Kriston (1931-1965) and Irene Nancy Stockwell (1929-1994). There’s an tragic story about Stanley’s father’s death and somehow his mother, Irene “Nancy” was involved or at least witnessed the horrible accident. I was told there was more to the story than what was in the newspapers. Nancy ended up with severe mental disabilities and spent the rest of her life in a convalescent home. 

Joseph Stanley Kriston Tragic Death

Bio-dad's story continues as he continues with his moral struggles. In May, 1959, another son, Rick Van Dam, was born to bio-dad and an unnamed mother. It's unsure whether or not he claimed Rick as a son and gave up parental rights. If he was true to form, he ignored his responsibility.

An interesting story about how Rick was found. My half-brother, Jim Stockwell's friend happened to be eating at a diner in or around Detroit and saw Rick. Apparently he looked so much like Jim that he approached him and began talking. He told Jim about Rick who was also adopted. I'm unsure of all the facts, but it's an accepted fact that Rick is another son of bio-dad but not with his wife.

By now, most of my family knows that my bio-dad was an NHRA driver. Unfortunately, he died before he could take his talent to a place of greater success and recognition.

Sam (R)
(L) Sam ... (R) Gladys
Samuel E. Stockwell Death Certificate

Milan Dragway sponsored an annual Sam Stockwell Memorial Day for several years after he passed. The dragway is now closed and only the echoes of victories and defeats remain. Perhaps one day there will be a resurrection of the glory of dragracing at Milan Dragway. Until then, Sam remains a legend in the memory of those who knew him and raced with and against him.

A tragic ending to what many would deem an exciting and successful life. Unfortunately, he didn't live long enough to fulfill his greatest potential as a man, father and title-winning NHRA drag racer.

Chapter OneChapter TwoChapter ThreeChapter FourChapter FiveChapter Six
Chapter SevenChapter NineChapter TenChapter ElevenChapter Twelve
Chapter ThirteenChapter FourteenChapter FifteenChapter SixteenChapter SeventeenChapter Eighteen
Chapter NineteenChapter 20Chapter Twenty-OneChapter Twenty-TwoChapter Twenty-ThreeMom's Health History