The year 1921 appeared to be the beginning of better things for Ernest as he and Goldie welcomed their first baby into their home. Goldie gave birth to Charles Franklin Ganus who was likely named for Goldie's father, Charles, and Ernest's father, (William) Franklin. Things were looking up for Ernest.
Ernest, now a family man, returned to the oil fields, but this time he took a job in a refinery working as a still man's helper. In a refinery a still is a large column where oil is heated to a high temperature in order to distill the oil to different grades.
October 28, 1922 likely began like most any other day for the Ganus family, but in the oil fields, any day has the potential for danger. That afternoon, as Ernest worked at the Indiahoma refinery, an agitator exploded, setting fire to three oil tanks, killing one man, burning two horses to death and according to newspaper reports, it was feared that two other men, including "E. Ganus," who had been engulfed in flames, would possibly die from their burns. (1) The article further stated that both men were hospitalized.
On the 29th of October 1922, the very day following the explosion, Ernest's and Goldie's only child, Charles, died. I can't imagine the grief they must have felt. Was Ernest even able to help Goldie make arrangements for Charles' burial or was that a burden she carried alone? How did they afford both the cost of burial as well as Ernest's medical expenses? How did they manage as they faced one of the most difficult tragedies any parent could face? Surely there were many dark and difficult days in the weeks and months that followed.
The following year, while still in Okmulgee, Ernest and Goldie again welcomed a baby into their home. This time their baby was a girl and they named her Louise. Once again I felt hope that maybe now life would even out for Ernest, and then I remembered what the 1930's held for Oklahoma.
(1) "Explosion Kills Oil Worker and Injures Others,: (Miami), Miama District News, 29 Oct 1922, p. 1; digital images, GenealogyBank.com, (http://www.genealogybank.com: accessed 28 August 2014).
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