Deep roots, strong bonds

Eleven of the 17 surviving grandchildren of James and Iva Sheridan gathered for a reunion and memorial services last weekend.
Eleven of the 17 surviving grandchildren of James and Iva Sheridan gathered for a reunion and memorial services last weekend.

MEEKER I James and Iva Sheridan lived on the Bar Seven Ranch in the summer and moved to the “home place” (now occupied by Pat and Mary Francis Coryell) in the winter to be closer to town. Initially, James and Iva resided across the river from the “home place,” where they had Shirley and Suzanne.
In 1919, James told the two girls he had a surprise for them in their new home. Under a wicker basket in the living room they discovered their new baby brother, Jim.
The family then moved to “the red house” (currently owned by Mike and Jackie Brennan) on Eighth Street across from the Methodist church. Dorcas and Sally were born while the family lived there.
In 1923, they moved to the original ranch for the remainder of their children’s school years. The five children enjoyed their time on the ranch. There were always lots of people around and the ranch offered plenty to do for young kids.
Sometimes they antagonized the bull in the corral or crossed the river on the water pipeline bridge. A favorite with friends was to hitch the horse to the buckboard and take turns getting and giving rides. Each day was filled with a new adventure and made great memories for the children. On Sundays the family nearly always had a chicken dinner and ice cream for dessert. The cellar was full of canned goods and their grandmother’s cookie recipe was passed down through the generations. On special evenings, their grandpa would visit and crank up the Edison in the living room and dance with the children.
It has been said of Grandpa Sheridan that when he went into Meeker with his buggy and horse, he would leave it tied on Main Street so anyone who wished to borrow it to take their packages home or whatever else they needed were free to do so.
“I guess you say that was Meeker’s first – and maybe only – taxi or U-haul?” Shirley Coppack, who researched her family’s lineage, wrote.
James Wash Sheridan’s father, the grandpa the children talked about, was Frank E. Sheridan, one of the founders of Meeker. His pride in his family and interest in the community has been passed down through generations.
The Sheridans had five children. Suzanne married David Ruddy. Shirley married Donald Coppack. Jim married Pauline Sheridan and later MaryAnn Sheridan. Dorcas married Phil Jensen and Sally married Roy Sizemore. Sally Sizemore is the last surviving child of Iva and James Sheridan. James and Iva’s five children had 20 children between them. Of the 17 surviving grandchildren, 11 gathered for a reunion and memorial services for the Ruddys and Phil Jensen last weekend. The family met Friday evening for a reunion and dinner in Charlotte Mobley’s beautiful yard. In attendance were 11 of the surviving 17 grandchildren of James and Iva Sheridan.
Today, Iva and James would have 40 great-grandchildren, 37 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-grandchild, Bryant James Turner. There was a time when five generations of Sheridans all lived in the Meeker area at the same time.
In words written by Shirley Coppack, as well as ideas expressed in the memorial for Suzanne and David Ruddy and stories shared during the reunion, it is clear that the Sheridans were, and are, very proud of their family. Words like kind, proud, polite, (and perhaps ornery), were common descriptions of this pioneering family that has survived into its seventh generation.
The Sheridan family has played a substantial role in Meeker’s history, from one of Meeker’s founding fathers to the historical site once inhabited by Dorcas and Phil Jensen. The Bar Seven Ranch remains in part in the family, owned and operated by Paul Sheridan.
Intrigued by her family lineage, Shirley researched, discovered and documented the family’s rich history prior to her death. Her invaluable pages of research have been passed down to succeeding generations, ensuring the continuation of history and the family’s legacy.