King and Queen of hearts
By Robin Scott
On Monday, February 15th, Coon Memorial Home named this year’s King and Queen of Hearts: Everett and Myrtle Riggs. The couple met at the Baptist Church in Beaver, Oklahoma. Everett was working on a farm and Myrtle was a schoolteacher. The couple enjoyed an old fashioned courtship, dating for about two years before they married in Goodwell, Oklahoma. The pastor that married the couple had teased Myrtle that she would become an old maid. She promised him that if she ever married, he could perform the ceremony.
The Riggs went to live near Forgan, Oklahoma near Everett’s family homestead. His folks homesteaded in a Soddy in 1905. They later built a two-room house that they shared with their four children. They moved an old home onto the homestead and added new lumber to make it livable.
Back in those days, Everett earned $15 to $35 a month working for a combination farm/ranch. He heard of an opportunity to work in a bakery in Liberal, Kansas, so the family moved, and he earned six cents per hour, which was more than the $35 a month working on the farm.
The couple later moved to Denver, Colorado where Everett worked for the Gate’s Rubber Factory. While in Denver, their first daughter Jessie Jean was born. The Riggs moved back to Forgan to care for Everett’s dad after he was crippled chasing cattle. While in Forgan, Everett helped his dad get out a crop. The family then moved to Hugoton, Kansas to work on a combination farm/ranch. A second daughter was born, just before he shipped out to Germany to serve in World War II.
Myrtle moved to Elkhart, Kansas to stay with her sister, while Everett was overseas. Son, Charles, was born in August of 1946 in Felt, Oklahoma. The Riggs have eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren who they state have blessed them.
Myrtle commented, “I’m glad we weren’t the type of people who got married and then just stayed in one home our whole lives. It wasn’t that I liked moving, but it was all of the fine people we met and got to know everywhere we went.” Everett commented, “We never made a move that we didn’t meet good people and make good friends, and we always went to church.”
May 17th will mark the couple’s 69th wedding anniversary. Everett noted, “The secret to our successful marriage is threefold: Believe in the Lord.
Respect the one’s you go out with, and treat your wife as you would treat your own daughter. Be serious about love and always trust each other. It’s the glue that bound us tight!”