May Belle Kemps Kirkpatrick

1881 – 1964

By Roger Kemps  and Philip Smith © 2009


May Belle Kemps was born on June 14, 1881 in Oakdale, Illinois. She died on February 16, 1964 in Pinckneyville, Illinois.


Her parents were Scotch-Irish Covenanters:


           Samuel Henry Kemps (3/27/1842 - 4/2/1921)

           Clara Amanda McClurken (6/7/1849 - 5/27/1936)


May Belle was the one of seven children. Her siblings were:


           Albert Rodman (6/1/1870 – 4/4/1958)

Lawrence Edward (4/20/1872 - 10/5/1873)

           Luther James (2/25/1876 – 11/22/1935)

           William Henry (10/29/1878 – 10/2/1964)

           (Clara) Ethel Boyle (12/23/1882 - 2/27/1953)

           Edna Adella Smith (8/26/1885 – 12/20/1932)




The 1900 Census shows May Belle, at age 18, living on a farm with her parents, three brothers and two sisters in the Oakdale Township of Washington County, Illinois. Her occupation was listed as a music teacher.


On October 14, 1903, May Belle married Raymond Pressley Kirkpatrick (1/21/1880 – 6/7/1979). Raymond Kirkpatrick was also born in Oakdale, Illinois. His parents were James Renwick Kirkpatrick (1854 – 1899) and Mary Jane Beggs (1857 – 1942). Raymond and May Belle had three children:


           Raymond Kemps Kirkpatrick (8/25/1904 – 8/15/1998)

           Renwick Merle Kirkpatrick (12/22/1907 – 9/1980)

           Richard Garnholz Kirkpatrick (6/2/1918 – 12/9/2000)


May Belle about 1905


The 1910 Census, shows May Belle and Raymond living with their two children on a farm in the Oakdale Township of Washington County, Illinois.


The “History of Oakdale Township” has two references to May Belle:

·      The plat in the Introduction shows parcels in Sections 11 and 14.

·      Page 103 lists May Belle Kemps as a pupil in the Oakdale School in 1896-97.


The 1920 Census shows May Belle and Raymond living in the town of Oakdale with their three boys.


May Belle and Raymond lived in Wichita, Kansas for about eight years until 1928. The 1925 Census of Kansas shows Raymond and May Belle living in Wichita with their three boys. Ray was a clerk for a wholesale company and May Belle was a music teacher.


The 1930 Census shows May Belle and Raymond living in Oakdale with their youngest son, Richard, and May Belle’s mother, Clara Amanda McClurken Kemps. At the time of the 1930 Census, Renwick Merle Kirkpatrick and his wife, of two years, Blanche, were living in St. Louis, Missouri. Living with them was, older brother, Raymond Kemps Kirkpatrick. Both Renwick Merle Kirkpatrick and Raymond Kemps Kirkpatrick were druggists.


The 1940 Census shows May Belle and Raymond living in Oakdale where Raymond was a clerk in a grocery store. The 1940 Census also shows: their oldest son, Raymond Kemps Kirkpatrick, as a druggist in St. Louis, Missouri; Renwick Merle Kirkpatrick working as a clerk in a glass factory in Brockway, Pennsylvania; and Richard Garnholz Kirkpatrick working for a farmer in Waukegan, Illinois.


May Belle and Raymond purchased a 160 acre parcel in Section 11, lived on it, and farmed it for many years. May Belle also owned the 80 acre parcel in Section 14 (immediately west of Oakdale) where her parent’s home and farm were located. See blowup to identify the locations.



May Belle used her mother’s Bible to record various favorite verses, family births, deaths and other family events. See Bible pages 1345,  and  6,  Pages 2, 7, 8 and 9 are not available for privacy reasons.


May Belle Kemps Kirkpatrick died on February 16, 1964 in Pinckneyville, Illinois. She is buried in Oakdale Cemetery; Old Section, Row 12, Grave 52. To see an image of the headstone, see this link. Her obituary provides additional details about her life.


Reference files:


Oakdale, Illinois




1900_Samuel_Kemps.jpg   see line 85

1910_Raymond_Kirkpatrick.jpg  see line 95

1920_Raymond_Kirkpatrick.jpg   see line 41

1925_R_P_Kirkpatrick_Kansas.jpg  see line 24

1930_Clara_Kemps.jpg   see line 19

1930_Kemps_Merle_Kirkpatrick.jpg see lines 75-77

1940 Raymond Kirkpatrick.jpg see line 24

1940 Kemps Kirkpatrick.jpg see line 18

1940 R M Kirkpatrick.jpg see line 64

1940 Richard Kirkpatrick.jpg see line 25

Blowup_of_Oakdale.pdf     see Sections 11 and 14

Bible pages  1,  3,  4,  5,  and  6




History of Oakdale Township and references


Genealogy Trails Washington County Website

Oakdale Cemetery Letter 1987.pdf

Narratives of Randolph County.pdf  page 80


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Last updated  8/12/2012