Posted by: marthabernie | May 19, 2015

Warren, Flora and Baby Betty Lou McMenus – About 1935

scan0006This photo is of my mother’s first cousin Warren McMenus, his wife Flora (Graves) and their first child, Betty Lou McMenus.  Warren’s father, Eli Preston McMenus, was my grandmother’s older brother.  He ran the general store in Phillipsburg for many years until in his early 40’s he died from some lung disease or complication.  When he was taken to the hospital in Kansas City, he had lung surgery and a watermelon seed was found in his lung and because of the moist environment, the seed had sprouted.   However, since he was a smoker, I would suspect it was lung cancer or some other related lung disease that killed him.  His funeral was attended by 600 people, the largest crowd the community had ever seen at a funeral.  This was in 1920.  My grandmother mourned him deeply and she passed away the following year.  EP McMenus married Sade Bilderback and they had two sons, Warren (above) and Billy.  Warren took over his father’s business and eventually went into business doing carnival and fair concessions.  Warren, Flora and family eventually moved from Missouri to California.  They had other children, but this is the earliest one I have after they started their family.


  1. Wow, always thought that was an urban legend, watermelon seeds sprouting inside of a person.


  2. Hi Martha, my name is Constance. I was looking at your picture of Warren and Flora and little betty. Wanted to let you know that betty was my mom and Warren and Flora were my grandparents. I had not seen that picture before.


    • Hi Constance, there are other photos that I have not yet posted, so keep watching. There are a few already posted of Warren and his parents. Also, I think one of Warren’s baby photos is already up.
      Where do you live? Are you in Southern California?


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