Today as we focus on celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, let us not forget that this is also the birthday of one Cornelius “Chris” P Buller. Grandpa was born on this day in 1906 to Peter P and Margaretha Epp Buller. As recounted in a 2018 post (here), Grandpa first lived in the house pictured below (roughly 4 miles east-southeast of Henderson), which had been built the prior year. Remarkably, although it has been expanded considerably, the original house still stands today (see here).
Grandpa is not immediately visible, but if we zoom in closer he can be seen in the baby carriage or bassinet just to the right of his mother, who is holding the umbrella. Grandpa was probably less than six months old when this picture was taken.
That was 116 years ago. The Wright brothers had made their first powered flight only three years earlier. When Grandpa was born, Theodore Roosevelt was president of the US, which included forty-give states (Oklahoma was not granted statehood until the following year). Two days after his birth, San Francisco suffered its most devastating earthquake ever (see photos here).
Nicholas II was tsar of the Russian Empire, although the 1905 revolution had weakened his autocratic rule, and he was now forced to share power (at least in theory) with a parliamentary body known as the Duma. Before Grandpa turned nine, the world would be thrust into the brutal and deadly stalemate of World War I. Before Grandpa reached his teen years, Nicholas would abdicate in the face of the 1917 revolution, and by the following year he and his wife and children would all be dead.
Although Grandpa was born during an exciting time, he was probably sheltered from most of the good and bad that rocked the broader world. In that he was fortunate, I think. His early life was by no means easy, but it was safer and more secure than the lives of those closer to the action. Grandpa’s simpler life contributed to who he turned out to be, someone to remember and celebrate 116 years later.