Jim Davis's Biography
Davis Newsletters
Davis Family Genealogy
Request Directory
Stand by for new sections

Contact Jim
Contact Webmaster
You are here: Davis of Iowa > Jim Davis's Biography > Appendix Two                     Click HERE to go to Appendix Three








 The Davis Family-


I, unfortunately have very little knowledge about my grandparents Davis, despite the fact that I lived some 25 and 34 years concurrently before losing each of them.  I never once engaged either of them about their early years.  MY BAD.  The best information about their early married life with children and beyond, comes from the wonderfully documented life histories of Aunts Safrona and Pearl, Tom and Mary’s first and second child.  I have copied their stories as part of this Appendix  about our Grandparents Davis.  Our Grandparents Davis family history is otherwise  gone other than the memories of our Davis first cousins and me. Several of my cousins have sent me comments about our grandparents and memories of them which I have added at the end of this bit of history.  I am also asking all of our first cousins who are receiving this information to add their memories of our Grandparents Davis.  Does anyone have their family Bible?  If so, please send me any family historical information that is in it.  Thank you.  We will update this section to incorporate as much information about them as possible.  Afterall, this is my primary motivation for writing my autobiography and including as much information about our Davis and Ware families as I can.  (As I write this I am the second oldest living grandchild of our particular Davis Family.  Only Howard’s oldest daughter, Doris is older than me and hopefully, she can add some thoughts about her Grandparents Davis.)


Grandfather Thomas Wilson Davis was born on  June 5, 1885, in East Bend, Yadkin, NC and died on November 8, 1961 in Marshall County, IA.   He was one of nine siblings.  His parents were    Jesse Franklin Davis who lived from 1844 to 1890 and Sarah Matilda Hutchins Davis who lived from 1852 to 1932. Grandfather Tom was a farmer in North Carolina raising principally tobacco. He also worked  in West Virginia coal mines during those early winters.   Grandmother Mary Ann (Hobson) Davis was born  on 17 July 1888 in East Bend, Yadkin, NC and died on 6 July 1970 in Marshall County, IA.   Her parents were John Henry Hobson 1861 - 1929 and Virginia  Lee Hobson 1865 – 1918.  She  was one of eleven siblings. Tom and Mary are buried in the Bangor, IA Friends Church Cemetery.

My father was born at home in Yadkin County, North Carolina on March 11, 1913.  When father was two years his parents decided to relocate their family of six to IA where farming was more rewarding and the schools better.  They moved in with relatives  in Union, Iowa until they located a nearby farm to rent.  The farm had a very large house, which unfortunately was destroyed by fire in February 1917.  The family lost all of their belongings as well as the coming year’s seed corn.  The family lived in a temporary storage building while farming in 1917.  In November 1917, when dad was not yet five years old his parents decided to return to North Carolina.  In January 1919 the family decided to return to Iowa once again.  My father accompanied his father, older sister Safrona and older brother Howard on the return to Iowa.  Father’s mother, two sisters and one brother stayed in North Carolina until dad’s brother Thomas was born.  Two months after Thomas’ birth the five of them traveled to Iowa to rejoin the family.

My father began school in September 1920 at a country school south of Union, Iowa.  The family moved several times with dad and his brothers and sisters attending various country schools.  In 1923 the family moved to near Clemons,  Iowa where he and his siblings attended and most of them graduated from Clemons High School.  Father contracted osteomyelitis in 1930  which required surgery and  thirteen weeks of hospitalization at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.  He required the use of crutches for several months thereafter. He dropped out of school his sophomore year as he had lost  so much time because of his surgery.  He began working  as a hired man on a farm directly across the road from where mom lived with her parents on the then Ware family farm. 

My earliest memory of my Grandparents Davis is attending a summer family picnic at their farm located a little more than a mile north of Clemons, IA.  They had a big farmhouse located some ¼ from the gravel road leading to Clemons.  The long lane was bordered by fields of corn and soybeans of the farm which I believe they were renting.  I believe that it was the first time that I met Aunt Ruby and her son, our cousin Larry, who might have been living with her parents at the time.  (Ruby was widowed when her husband and Larry’s father was killed).We celebrated nearly every year in those days with a summer family picnic.  The other contemporary memories are the annual Christmas gatherings of our family at Grandparents Davis’ house.  On every occasion the kitchen table(s) were loaded with feasts, with foods provided by every family and featured nearly every common meat, vegetable, salad, rolls, deserts and condiments.  These were unbelievable noon-time dinners. No one went hungry. An interesting tradition which I had forgotten but cousin Doris reminded me about was that at these dinners the men always went first.  Then the mothers with young ones, then the older children and then the women.  Why, I don’t know.  I suspect that it might have been a family tradition from either the Davis or Hobson ancestors. My grandparents purchased a farm several miles east of the farm that I first remember and described earlier, where they spent the rest of their lives – although Grandmother Mary moved into a small house on an acreage just east of this farm after the death of Grandfather Tom.  I believe that subsequently Uncle Charlie then rented the farm that I first remember my grandparents renting. 


Our summer picnic venues rotated amongst dads sibling’s homes.  I remember attending picnics at Uncle Howards, Aunt Safronas, Aunt Pearls, Uncle Charlies and our place.  However, as long as the extended family gathered for Christmas, it was always at our Grandparent’s house. The Christmas decorations were modest, however there was always a large Christmas tree well decorated and loaded with presents.  I believe that my parents and dad’s siblings exchanged gifts with ones of that generation based, I suspect by a drawing of names.  Grandparents Davis had a gift for each of we grandchildren..  Additionally, they gave each of  we older grandchildren a silver dollar for our birthday.  I don’t remember how long they continued these gifts.  We cousins had the run of the two story large house  and if the weather was not too inclement we went outdoors to play in snow on the large lawn or to the large barn and hay mow – the large open storage typically in the upper part of a barn where hay is stored.


Neither Aunt Ruby or Uncle Bud were able to attend many of these family gatherings which were so important to many of our family.  We don’t know much about Aunt Ruby.  I don’t believe I ever met her first husband, presumably Larry’s father who was deceased in 1945.  Larry was born when Aunt Ruby was 18 years old.  I remember again meeting her, Larry and Aunt Ruby’s second husband and father of their two daughters,  Eddie Dauplaise at a family gathering in Iowa.  Eddie was a U.S. Navy submariner buddy of Uncle Bud, who introduced Ruby and Eddie.  Uncle Bud enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1937 and served on submarines as an electricians mate from before and through  WWII.  Throughout his service during the war the two submarines that he served on made nine patrols in the Pacific Ocean and were credited with sinking some 27,000 tons of Japanese ships.  He resigned from the U.S. Navy after Japan surrendered and returned to Marshalltown, IA.  After his return from his service and a short tenure of working for a Marshalltown electrical contractor, Bud joined the rest of the family as Iowa farmers.  Bud and his family were then able to participate in these important family events.   The first time I remember meeting Uncle Bud is noted in my autobiography.  He came home on leave from the U.S. Navy during the war and surprised his parents (and the rest of  us) who were not expecting him.  He telephoned dad and asked him to come to the Marshalltown railroad station to pick him up and take him to his parents’ home.  He had a full beard at the time. The extended Davis family, except for Ruby, all engaged in farming or farm service in central Iowa.   Pearl’s family operated grain elevators and sold related farming chemicals, feed and supplies.  They purchased and operated the elevator in Clemons throughout most of their life.  Ruby whose second husband was  career U.S. Navy  who served primarily on the U.S. west coast did not reside in central Iowa.  Consequently, we saw little of her and her family.


I remember visiting my grandparents, primarily with my family periodically, but not frequently.  For some reason we always seemed to be too busy to take time to go see our Grandparents Davis.  I never once stayed overnight with them and seldom visited them on my own. I never attended church with them. Never do I remember my grandparents visiting our home, with the exception of the one summer family reunion picnic, although they surely did.  In part, I am sure that the large family – eight children and thirty three living grandchildren, made it very difficult to be even remotely involved in their children or grandchildren’s lives. Squandered opportunities on my part!

My grandparents Davis celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary October 27, 1957.  Unfortunately, I was on active duty in California at that time and could not attend the gathering of our large family.  The celebration was attended by all of Tom and Mary’s children and spouses as well as many of their 33 surviving grandchildren and families.


Tom and Mary’s 50th Wedding Celebration

L to R: Wayne, Ruby, Howard, Safrona, Tom, Mary, Bud, Pearl, Ralph & Charlie


I was living and working in New Jersey when Grandfather Tom was diagnosed with leukemia.  I remember coming to Iowa for his service.  I remember the wake for him was held in their farm home between Clemons and Albion, IA.  Grandfather Tom was peacefully presented in his casket for the immediate family – and good friends to pay their respects.  I remember visiting Grandmother Mary after she moved to the nearby small house where she spent her next nine years, entertaining family and friends, tending the quite large garden, preserving her garden harvests  and baking her buttermilk biscuits for her guests.  I was not able to attend her funeral service as I was working in Kentucky at the time of her death.


I know that both of our grandparents worked hard, supported their family more than adequately, set a wonderful parental example for their children and their families.  We have several pictures of particularly Grandfather Tom – always working and in the interest of preserving them, I have copied several of them at the end of this short tribute to both of them.



Here are comments from several of our cousins about Grandfather Tom and Grandmother/Grandma Mary:


Doris Wrage’s  Comments:  Doris is Howard’s oldest child.  She is five months older than me and is our grandparent’s oldest granddaughter. 


“I remember my father telling me that when our grandparents lived in North Carolina, Grandpa Tom would leave home in the winter and go to West Virginia to work in the coal mines to earn extra money.  His job frequently was washing the coal in a sluice in which really cold river water was used.  Although he wore heavy rubber boots, his feet would get very cold. Thereafter, Grandpa did not want to have cold feet.


“Aunt Ruby and cousin Larry lived with our grandparents for a time during WWII.  One time Larry crawled behind the sofa and went to sleep. No one knew he was there.  Our grandparents and many neighbors conducted a search for Larry including walking the cornfields.  Later that evening Larry awakened and crawled out from behind the sofa – everyone was relieved, although exasperated.


“I remember that Grandpa Tom particularly liked my mother.  And mother really liked Grandma Mary.  She so liked her that she saved her money and purchased some small pearl earrings for Grandma Mary.  Grandma Mary was so appreciative that whenever we saw her afterwards, Grandma Mary was wearing those pearl earrings.”


“I also remember my father telling me about the time that Grandma Mary asked my dad and his brother, Ralph, to plant pumpkin seeds in the garden or a nearby field.  Grandma Mary had saved the seeds from the prior year’s crop and carefully stored them for the following years crop.  Dad and Ralph planted about one-half of the seeds and decided that it was enough.  They hid the rest of the seeds under a large flat rock at the end of the row.  After the plants had grown sufficiently, Grandpa Tom went into the garden and saw that the big rock had been raised up by plants growing under it.  Soon the rock was surrounded by pumpkin vines.”


Mary Dorman’s Comments:  Mary is Howard’s fifth oldest child.  She is eight years younger than me.


“I do have one special memory of Grandpa Tom.  I do not remember what the occasion was, as I was very young.  For some reason Grandpa picked me up in his car and I assume was taking me to their home.  I was sitting in the front seat and he was driving. I do not recall anyone else being with us.  It was snowing and he started singing winter songs which he  loved to sing.  "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."  I could sing the chorus with him.  He sang songs for the whole trip and it made me happy.  Maybe it was when Jane was born since that was in January.  He always called me Mary Kathryn pronounced “Kathern”.


“I don't recall Grandma Mary sitting down much. Always busy. I can imagine what it took to feed that many family members daily, all without the amenities we have today.  She made awesome strawberry shortcakes and biscuits that melted in your mouth.  Her sweet smile in that lovely little face was precious.”   



Toni McCabe’s comments:  Toni is Wayne’s oldest child.  She is fourteen years younger than me and had the very good fortune of living near our grandparents.  We are blessed to document some of  her memories.


“Granddad Davis (Tom) passed from leukemia. He was diagnosed only 1 week before he died, though he had been sick for quite a while. I got to sit on his lap a lot, even though he was sick, because I was little and didn't weigh much.  He would sing to me and give me coconut candy.


“Grandma Davis (Mary) had hardening of the arteries and it affected her cognitive abilities. My sisters and I would take turns staying with  Grandma every night and the school bus would pick us up there in the morning. We did that for quite some time. No one thought to give us some little thing of Grandma's to remember her. Kids weren't really given considerations then as they are now. We lived next to her our entire childhoods. Her possessions were auctioned between her children. These are my memories specifically so others may have different perspectives. We lived so close to Grandma that we were at her home almost every day, either by walking or by pony. We helped Grandma in the house and in the garden. Many times, we were rewarded with a fried pie! So many wonderful memories!!”


Vickie (Davis) Mackin Ryther:  Vickie is Wayne’s second oldest daughter who is 16 years younger than me.


“I am two years younger than Toni, and like her, felt blessed to live so close to my grandparents.  Approx. ¼ mi to the west was my grandma and Grandpa Ross, and the other side was my Grandma Davis.  This was after she was in the little house.  I do remember going to the big house when Grandad was passing.  I remember being upset to not be able to see him.  We were told it was too hard on him, so we had to stay in the kitchen.  But like Toni I remember sitting on his lap, while he played the harmonica and bounced me on his knee. I also remember him spitting into his can by the chair. ( I think this is accurate, but who knows what you remember accurately as a kid!) I loved seeing them and I remember eating watermelon at the picnics.


“After Grandma moved to the little house, she was so close.  I remember going there often, either by bicycle or walking. Since it was so close, we were allowed to go about anytime we wanted. One story I have is I was playing in the little lot where there were sheep, I think, out back of her house. I stepped into a nest of yellowjackets and started screaming.  She came running out of the house with her kitchen towel swinging and swatting those wasps!!!!


“I stayed overnight with her a lot.  She would take her long hair down, brush it.  Then she would always kneel and say her prayers. I especially loved when she fixed me breakfast the next day.  She always watched the Billie Graham specials on tv.  They probably weren’t on that often, but I thought it seemed like they were on all the time!  If we could be granted a “re-do” for a specific time in our lives, I would choose time with my Grandparents, oh how I loved them all.


 “Grandma Davis wrote in a small 3x5 diary every day.  I have a few of these.  One of them is from the year I was born, where she wrote “ Wayne baby born today”.  Her entries always started with the weather, what she did that day and if any of them went anywhere or if anyone came to visit.  I believe this was when my mom and Dad lived in a little house on the farm and Grandma and Grandad lived in the big two-story house.”



Dixie Walters’ comments.  Dixie is Charlie’s third oldest child.  She is nineteen years younger than me


“I have fond memories of my sister Jo and I staying overnight often with Grandma Davis on Saturday nights. Sometimes we would ride our horses over to her house and keep them in the barn and grove.  We were welcomed into her house, just east of Wayne and Clarice's, with homemade apple pies awaiting us cooling on the washer and dryer.  After a stomach stuffing grand supper, we would watch Lawrence Welk then it was off to bed.  In the winter she would pile several wool blankets on us. We could barely move, but sleep we did until called for breakfast in the morning. At breakfast we had homemade biscuits which she never measured any of the ingredients, just kept adding ingredients until they "felt" right as she kneaded them with her hands. They turned out perfect. Grandma Davis would put milk in her coffee, then pour it into a saucer to cool it.  The practice of putting milk in the coffee transferred to Dad (Charlie) and then to me and Jo to this day.  Before we ate, Grandma said this prayer.  "Our heavenly father, we thank thee for this food.  Bless it for our bodies for its intended use. Go with us through life, save us Christ's name and bless our companionship together." "I thank thee for the young ones here to help the long and lonely days and nights. Amen." 


“Along the "Davis road", now named 148th street for 911 calls, farm driveways remain, a few out buildings, the silo at Wayne and Clarice's and the pampas grass blowing in the wind in the ditches, but oh the memories!  One day at Mom and Dad's we saw Grandma Davis's house going down the highway toward St. Anthony!  Dad said, "There goes Ma's house!"  It was being moved to its new home west of St. Anthony.  It was set on a new basement and is still there.


“Hard, hard physical work was the order of the day for Grandad and the sons.  Dad always called him Grandad. My sister Ruth's grandchildren called Dad that also.  Horses were loved and were for fun, but were primarily for work. Grandad's first aid given to sores on the horses backs was grease, to ease their discomfort so they could keep on working.  The love and enjoyment of working with horses is a common thread among us Davis grandchildren and beyond. 


"All Is Safely Gathered In" as the song Come Ye Thankful People Come says was a major accomplishment by Thanksgiving.  Grandad told Dad once that he would be able to tell if Dad ran the horses on the way back from Clemons because he could hear the clip clopping on the wooden bridge a mile or so away.


“Grandad and Grandma are buried in the Bangor Friends cemetery and other family members since.  There are also graves of runaway slaves there who traveled on the underground railroad. Dad said one time Ruby was riding a horse or mule on that little gravel road near the cemetery and the animal bucked her off.  He said her little white dress poofed out like a parachute!”


Dixie also provided this 1963 picture of Grandma Mary, Dixie and her sisters Ruth (the tallest) and JoDee (the shortest) in Grandma Mary’s home.

Judy Speas Beane's comments.

I do have a couple of memories of Grandpa and Grandma also. I vaguely remember that it was quite an occasion when Grandpa had his few remaining strands of hair cut, and he became "really bald."  One fond memory of Grandpa is that he let me rub his shiny bald head.  I somehow liked the feel--my dad had a full head of hair, so this was a curiosity for me.

When I visited Grandpa and Grandma with my parents in the summer, Grandma would always go to her garden or orchard and fill her apron with whatever  was in season and send it home with us.  My favorites were her homegrown peaches!  Early in our marriage, Dave and I would stop to see Grandma in her small house.  This was after Grandpa had died, and she was still struggling to adjust to living alone in this small house. But--she always wanted us to eat something--usually a fried pie that she had made.  I think she always kept them on hand in case someone stopped by.  After Matthew was born she loved to see the "little one."  Every time we stopped she would tell us about teaching Wayne to walk by having him push a cream can across the floor.”


What follows are several pictures of Mary, Tom and the family:



Grandma Mary, Dixie, JoDee And Ruth

Dixie also provided the following photograph which was taken in 1952  which includes Grandfather Tom and Grandmother Mary along with a number of our family members.

We believe the names of these family members are, from L to R, Front to Back are: Clarice holding Vicki; Lynda in front of Ruby; Grandmother Mary, Pearl, Toni in front of Safrona; John Davis, grand-father’s Tom’s nephew from NC and his son Duane.  Larry Davis; Tom Speas, Grandfather Tom; Charlie; Ralph; Wayne; Glenn Speas.


Grandfather Tom Removing A Tree Stump From His Farmland

Grandmother Mary And Grandfather Tom Harvesting Very Large Pumpkins


 Grandfather Tom On Maybe His First Tractor


   L to R:  Charlie, Mary, Ruby, Howard, Safrona, Ralph, Pearl, Wayne, Tom (Where is Bud?) circa 1931


    L to R:  Safrona, Tom, Wayne, Mary, Ruby, Bud, Howard, Pearl, Charlie and Ralph - Circa 1940


L to R: Safrona,  Mary, Ruby  and Pearl - Circa 1945


L to R:  Ralph, Charlie, Howard, Bud, Tom and Wayne - Circa 1945

L to R:     Wayne, Pearl, Charlie, Safrona, Bud, Ruby, Ralph and Howard

(Possibly the last picture of all eight together, maybe at the time of Grandmother Mary’s funeral in 1970?)

Immediately following are Aunts Pearl and Safrona’s documented memories about our family.  I have placed Pearl’s comments ahead of Safrona’s despite Safrona being two years older, as Aunt Pearl’s Story presents a better and more comprehensive coverage of particularly the family’s early years.


My Life Story


Claudia Pearl Davis Christensen

August 1995

 I, Claudia Pearl Davis Christensen, was born April 28, 1910. in Yadkin County, near East Bend, North Carolina. I was the second of the eight children born to Thomas Wilson and Mary Ann Hobson Davis. l had an older sister. Safrona Edna. born October 2i. 1908. A brother Howard Franklin was born July 10, 1911. My earliest recollection was the day my brother, Ralph Weldon, was born. It was March 11, 1913. and before the doctor arrived Safrona, Howard and I were sent over to Grandma Hobson's. It was raining and we walked under a huge yellow umbrella. On June 8, 1915, another brother, Charlie Laurence joined the family. He had the 6 month's colic and he cried a lot.

In September 1915, the family attended the funeral of my Mother's brother, Roy. My sister and I were dressed in our little white dresses and we rode over to Grandma's in a horse-drawn wagon. Roy had been paralyzed since birth, but lived to be eleven years old and spent most of his time in a cradle which was made especially for him.

Dad farmed with one horse and a plow. Mother would take us children to the field and make a pallet for us to stay on while she helped with the tobacco. There was a lot of work to raising tobacco. People went through the fields to pull the suckers (as they were called) by hand --- then when harvested, it was hung in a barn especially built for curing. I remember Dad spending several nights at the tobacco barn. When the tobacco was ready for market, it was loaded in a covered wagon and delivered to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston Salem. This was a 2-day trip.

My sister Safrona and I started to the Wilhelm School near East Bend in the fall of 19"14. The one-room schoolhouse had a pot-bellied stove in the center of the room and the girls sat on one side and the boys on the other. There was no plumbing. Drinking water was a bucket at the back of the room and everyone used the same dipper. We did not have pencils and paper, but used a slate and slate pencils. The schoolhouse was located at the edge of a timber. There were no toilet facilities so the girls took to the woods in one direction and the boys in another.

Walking was the way of transportation. Wheat and corn were "carried" to the mill and ground into flour and meal. Older women still spun the thread and knit stockings for the family. Grandma Hobson had a spinning wheel. She had suffered from "milk leg" for years and always spun and knit her own white stockings. My Mother was a good seamstress and made most of the clothing for the family. She was also a good cook. Her chicken pies and "dried apple fried pies" were her specialties. She never measured ingredients and the food was always very tasty. One day my young son asked why I didn't cook like Grandma. My Dad loved music and played the harmonica. Also, he would play and sing church hymns on the organ using only the black keys. He played by ear.

The Davis descendants held a family reunion in August 1980. All eight children and 32 grandchildren were present. The event drew 76 family members including spouses, for 100 percent attendance. The group met for a picnic at the New Providence Friend's Church with 156 present. There were 73 great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

The following is a tribute to Mother and Dad written by a granddaughter, Ruth Eggers and read at the family reunion held in 1980.

               * *



I  don’t think I am exaggerating when I remember him as the tallest man around!

It seemed that he was 10 ft. tall.

 He had the biggest lap – I never did touch the floor when I sat there, even as I grew up.

Grand Dad always chewed tobacco and for some reason, this aroused my curiosity, as did the shine on the top of his bald head. It was rare, though, that I could ever see over the top of his head to see that.

He was a hard worker, we all know, and expected the same from those around him, but when his work was done for the day, out came the harmonica and the toe tapping started! We loved to hear him yodel, too.

One of my fondest memories--although I never got to do this with him--was tor him to talk about taking me to North Carolina and "go down the road just kickin' up the dust!"

The following is a tribute to Mother and Dad written by a granddaughter, Ruth Eggers, and read at the family reunion held in 1980


She was the shortest TALL lady around, always wore a dress, usually a cobbler apron and lots of times, a bonnet in the garden. She had the smallest feet and longest hair I'd ever seen. No one at our house had long hair back then. Once in a great while when we were around, she would take it down, comb it, and put it back up, never using a mirror in the process.

Let's talk about Grandma's kitchen. The first thing that comes back to mind is biscuits and jam, but then. too, chicken pie so big it was made in a dish pan, spice cake, and always the smell of bacon in the morning--EARL Y in the morning!

Grandma told me right after our first son was born that "youngins" take a lot of doing for. AND HOW.

Her family, her garden and home were her main projects in life. She had a smiling little face and as I look around this room, I see her face over and over again in your faces!

And on it goes.

 * *

In November 1915, my folks, hoping for better living conditions and a better education for us children decided to move to Iowa. Lots of excitement. We were driven to Donahue in a surrey "no fringe" and crossed the Yadkin River on a ferry -- then on to Winston Salem where we boarded the train. It was a long ride and Mother had packed a lunch for us to eat on the way. The highlights of the trip were going through tunnels in the Blue Ridge Mountains and crossing the Mississippi River. My sister and I were poor, travelers -- motion sickness most of the way. We arrived in Union. Iowa and stayed with relatives until a house and furniture were available. We moved into a rented house just north of where the Liberty Church used to stand. We attended Sunday School at the Liberty Church and enrolled in the Liberty Consolidated school. Rode to school in a horse-drawn hack - very cold.

In the Spring of 1916, the family moved to a farm east of the Bangor Cemetery. Sometimes as we walked to the Bangor School, we would take a short-cut through the cemetery. We attended Sunday School at the Bangor Friend's Church in the old church building before the present one was built. The house we lived in was huge. Grandma Davis, Aunt Susie and Uncle Wiley Davis lived in part of it. A new baby sister. Ruby Virginia joined us on December i0, 1916.

In February 1917, the big old house caught fire and burned to the ground and we lost most of the contents. Dad had his seed corn stored in the attic and it was all lost That summer we lived in a temporary large 3 room building and when the storms came, we went to the com crib. Many nights we were awakened and spent part of the night in the corn crib. As the cool weather approached, we moved into a house in Bangor. When the 1st World War ended the school teacher, Mr. Sparks, paraded all the children around town while he played his cornet

Then in late November, the folks yearning for their homeland decided to move back to North Carolina. The flu was prevalent and before we boarded the train each one of us wore a small piece of "asafetida" tied in a cloth and suspended around our necks. Although the supposed prevention was hidden from view, the aroma was no secret. Because of, or in spite of, the asafetida none of us got the dreaded flu which afflicted so many. Dad shipped a team of Percheron horses and Mother's sewing machine to N.C. People came from miles around to see those "big horses".

Christmas was spent in the sunny south. I was visiting at Aunt Tina's. The day before Christmas, we cousins went out to the woods and cut a pine tree and stood it in the front yard. Next morning it was covered with snow - a big surprise since snow was a rarity in that area. I remember how good the yams were that were roasted in the ashes in Grandma Hobson's fireplace. It was interesting to see that the ashes were saved, put in an ash hopper in the yard and the lye from these ashes was used to make soap. The drinking water was carried up a hill from a spring. For a cooling system, a large box with openings on each end was placed in the stream close to the spring so the cold water would flow through it  The butter and milk were placed in the box to keep cool and brought up to the house for each meal. Another fascination was watching Grandma grind the coffee in her little coffee grinder.

We lived in house near Grandma Hobson and walked to King Knob School. I remember there was a holly bush beside the road. A Negro family lived near the school, but they walked five miles to their school because of segregation.

By January 1919, the folks had decided to move back to Iowa. My Father, Safrona, Howard and Ralph went on first to locate a farm and they moved to the Moorman farm east of Bangor. Another brother, Thomas Ambrose, was born February 23, 1919 and when he was six weeks old, Mother and baby and I along with Ruby and Charlie boarded the train for Iowa. A con man was on the train and said he had to report all money the people had with them. When he handed it back to Mother, the baby was crying . A bit later when she counted it $40.00 was missing. Several others on the train were also robbed. No trace of the con man could be found. A friend of the family was on his way to Iowa and helped us when we had to change trains. 

The soil on the Moorman farm was quite sandy and dad raised the best watermelons and cantaloupe.  We attended the Hocket School south of Union near the Stanfield farm and went to Sunday School at Bangor. That summer I remember seeing the Iowa river flood out of its banks east of Liscomb.

Our next move was to the Arney farm on Mormon Ridge. We attended Hazel green Country School. Dad sold his crops in the field and we moved into a house ln Bangor for the winter. The school at Bangor had two rooms and two teachers.

In the spring of 1921, we moved to the Farber place north of St Anthony, just south of the gravel pit. Again, we attended the Liberty Consolidated School and attended Sunday School at the Illinois Grove Church. The hack route didn't include us the 1st year so we walked two miles to school. The next year when we were riding in the horse-drawn hack and coming down the coal bank hill, the tongue of the hack came unfastened and we all had to. get out before the driver got the team stopped. We were all scared but thankful no one was hurt.

In 1923 when I was in the 8th grade, we moved to the Sadie Magee farm northwest of Clemons. There was a new house which had been built amid the bricks and ashes of the house which had burned the year before. There was no electricity or water in the house. We attended the Clemons Consolidated School -- Sunday School at the Clemons Church. In the fall I entered high school and played center on the girls’ basketball team. During the 1st years in high school, all the plays, operettas and programs were presented in the Clemons Church. There were three high school teachers and R. C. Ringold was Superintendent. The school did not have a gymnasium so arrangements were made for us to use the hall above the storage quarters of the elevator. The basketball games were played around 4 supporting posts. My 1927 graduation was the last one to be held in the hall. The school gymnasium was built in 1928 and I had a part in the play, "Mummy and the Mumps," which was put on to raise money for the curtains for the stage. After graduation I did housework for Potsanders, Fred Clemons and Cady Everists. In the Fall of 1928, I entered Central Iowa Business College and worked for my board and room in the Frank Smith home.

That year the Tall Corn Hotel in Marshalltown was finished. During the celebration of its opening, there was a contest for Miss Marshall County and I was chosen Miss Clemons. A girl from State Center was chosen queen. 

On March 7, 1929, a baby brother, Wayne Burton, was born.  The snow drifts were so high the bobsled went right over the top of the fences to bring Dr. Noble.

After college I worked in Marshalltown and in January 1933, I was secretary for D. V. McLean (Marshall County) and Oscar Grace {Buena Vista County) at the Iowa Legislature in Des Moines. I was also chosen beauty queen of the house, a very nice honor. That was the year the banks closed, the Beer Bill was passed and hybrid seed corn came into use.

In May 1933 Harold escorted me home from the Alumni Banquet. He had been a senior when I was a freshman and we hadn't noticed each other. After working at the Clemons Elevator, he went to Stratford, Iowa in 1933 to manage a co-op elevator. We were married February i0, 1934 at the Little Brown Church at Nashua, Iowa. Ruby Davis and Ronald Everist were our attendants. Rev Jesse M. Kauffman was the minister. We moved into the house owned by the elevator -- bought our furniture on time and paid $300.00 for the whole bit and paid it off in a year. We attended the Methodist Church in Stratford. Our delayed honeymoon was spent at the World's Fair in Chicago in August of 1934.

Our son Marvin Harold was born December 30, 1934.  It was a  cold night and Dr. Cunningham’s car stalled so we pushed him on into the hospital in Webster City.  The country was in a depression – hogs were $0.03 a pound and corn was a dime a bushel.

During the winter of i936, the snow blocked the roads and railroads. Coal for heating was scarce and the temperatures below zero for several days. Finally, when a carload of coal was delivered it was rationed. 1936 was not a good year weatherwise, - dust storms in the hot summer, - zero temperatures and snow drifts in the winter.

On May 24, 1938, Sharon Lee was born. Harold kept busy with work at the elevator and served on the state grain boards. We attended conventions in Des Moines in January and June each year. In February 1939, I had goiter surgery at the Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines.

     Harold always liked to hunt and fish. He and Marvin were out hunting on December 7, i941 when the news came over the radio that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. In 1943 we moved to Malcom, Iowa and Harold managed the Co-op Elevator there. Again, we lived in a house owned by the elevator and attended the Presbyterian Church. Harold's father Albert S. Christensen, passed away in October 1943.

Edward and Lenore Barnes and children, Jeanne and Jack, became our very close friends and we spent our vacations together on Deer Lake in northern Minnesota.

In October of 1950, we brought the Clemons Grain & Supply Elevator and moved to Clemons, Iowa on January 2, 1951, our old home town. No house was available so an apartment was made in the hall where years before we had played basketball_ And we lived there six years. It was a busy time keeping up with the school activities. Sharon on the basketball team and both she and Marvin were in band. Marvin graduated from high school in 1952 and attended Iowa State College a couple of years and then went into the Air Force January 1, 1957 for 4 years. Sharon graduated in 1956 and was valedictorian. Our whole family graduated from Clemons High. After high school, she worked for Carr & Moehl for a year and then to Iowa State College for 4 years, graduating in May of 1961..

We built our new home in the fall of 1956 and moved into it January 20, 1957. Harold's Mother, Malinda Christensen, passed away July 12, 1958. In 1959 the feed mill was put in at the elevator.

Sharon and Dick Brown were married August 23, 1959. I made her wedding dress. After finishing college,  they both taught in high schools in Davenport, Iowa. Marvin came home from the service in December '1960 and worked at the elevator. Harold learned he had glaucoma. My Dad, Thomas Wilson Davis passed away November 8, 1961. Services were at the Clemons Church with burial at the Bangor Cemetery.

Clemons Grain and Supply was incorporated and became Clemons Grain and Supply, Inc. on January 1, 1962.

Marvin and Dorothy Channell were married July 1, 1962. I helped Dorothy make her wedding dress. In 1963 we built a cabin on Holiday Lake near Brooklyn, Iowa and spent summer week-ends there for several years. November 11, 1963, our first grandson, Christopher James Brown, was born and on December 15, 1963, Rex Marvin Christensen was born. Eric Michael Brown was born July 18, 1966 and on November 25, 1969, Steven Paul Brown joined his brothers. The Browns moved to Atlantic in August of 1965. I served as Secretary and Treasurer of the United Church of Christ Board and was Secretary and Treasurer Of the Memorial Committee for 30 years.  I was also treasurer of the school board.

We made our first trip to Texas in 1965 and visited the Lyndon Johnson Ranch. My Mother passed away July 6, 1970. Marvin got his pilot's license February 1971. Harold retired in 1972. We bought our mobile home in Texas and we spent 25 winters in Mission.

Clemons Grain and Supply, Inc. was sold to Marvin and Dorothy Christensen in January 1978.

We attended Sharon's graduation in May 1978 when she received her Master's Degree in political science and public administration from Iowa State University. She was appointed Cass County Treasurer, May 1, 1979.

We attended the United Methodist Church in Mission and bowled at the Grapefruit Bowl. In an effort to keep the railroad in Clemons we flew to a meeting in Chicago in 1977, but to no avail. We celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary February 10, 1979 in Rollin' Home Park in Texas with all family members present. Marvin flew his plane down leaving Ames at sunrise and landing in McAllen. Texas at sunset.

Sharon and Sid Winchell were married August 10, 1979 enlarging our family with four step grandchildren, Kevin, Kelli, Kim and Kris. We sold our lake property in August 1982 -- celebrated 50th wedding anniversary on April 20, 1984 at the Clemons United Church of Christ. A heart attack in September 1987 slowed me down a bit and Harold had surgery in September of 1988. Harold's health continued to worsen and in 1991, he was diagnosed as having Alzheimer's. Our last winter in Texas was rough but somehow we managed with the help of good friends and neighbors.

On April 6, 1992, Harold entered the Health Center in Indianola, IA.  I moved into the Village on May 3, 1992 to be close to Harold. During the summer I had cataract surgery on both eyes. Problems continued for Harold and on December 17th, he fell and broke his hip. He was in Iowa Methodist Hospital after surgery for 17 days and was brought back to the Health Center. He just didn't improve and passed away February 22, 1993. The funeral was held in the Clemons United Church of Christ and internment in the Clemons Cemetery.

On June 11, 1993 my youngest brother, Wayne passed away with cancer. The summer of 1993 was a very rainy season and we had lots of floods in Iowa. In the fall, I sold our home in Clemons to a grandson Rex Christensen. October 29th, Sharon helped me drive to Mission, Texas for the winter. With the birth of Kevin and Julie Winchell's baby May 26, 1994, I now have 6 great step­ grandchildren

      Some trips that we enjoyed:

  • 1937 – Took my folks with us to Yellowstone National Park

  • 1939 -  Took  Harold’s folks with us to Deer Lake, MN.

  • 1957 -  We visited Marvin  in the Air Force in Moultrie, GA

  • 1958 -                                  in Rantoul, IL

  • 1960 -                                  in Mountain Home, ID

  • 1961 -  Trip to Colorado with Bill Everists and to Enid, OK for a Legion baseball game

  • 1974 - Visited Ruby and Eddie on Vashon Island, Washington. Harold and Ruby celebrated birthdays with dinner in the Space Needle

  • 1975 - January - Kent Feeds awards banquet in Hawaii •· while island hopping, we flew over a rainbow

  • 1975 - April - I went with Safrona and Glen to North Carolina and up the East    Coast and home through Pennsylvania and Ohio

  • 1979 - Bus trip - Pacific Northwest Tour - through Canada, rode the ferry from Vancouver to Seattle

  • 1982 - A trip to Branson, Mo with Sharon and Sid. Saw the play "Shepherd of the Hills" and the "Passion Play" at Eureka Springs

  • 1992 - A trip to New Jersey to Eric and Jenny's wedding. Also to the Statue of  Liberty and Ellis Island



  •  Rex Marvin Christensen

  •  Rex lives in the house we built in Clemons and carries on the family tradition at Clemons Grain and Supply, Inc.

  •  Christopher James Brown and his wife, Debbie, live in Clive, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines.

  • Chris is Director of Systems at Equitable of Iowa. Debbie currently works at International Travel Associates. They are expecting their first child in December.

  • Eric Michael Brown and his wife, Jennifer, live in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

  • Eric is a Write analyst in the Tax Practices Development Section of Commerce Clearing House, Inc. Jennifer is a lawyer with the firm of Kantor and Apter.

  • Steven Paul Brown resides in San Francisco, California.


  • Steve is a bartender at Fisherman's Wharf and will be attending San Francisco State part-time in the Fall.


  • Kevin Sidney Winchell and his wife, Julie, live on an acreage near Kelley, Iowa.


Kevin is a pressman at Computer Forms in Ames. Julie works in Information Services at the McFarland Clinic also in Ames.

They have three children: James Theo, born May 30, 1982, Christine Ann, born September 19, 1985 and Stephanie Brooke, born May 26, 1994.



  • Kelli Lynn Garrett lives in Atlantic, Iowa and works at Easter Foods.

                                     She has one son, Travis Paul, born September 17, 1979.


  • Kimberly Susan Whiley and her husband, Allen live in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Kim works at State Farm Insurance and Allen is a Manager at Iowa Select Farms. They have two children, Tyler Allen, born May 15, 1984, and Danielle Leigh, born June 4, '1987.


  • Kristin Kae Winchell lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. Kris is the tournament director at Majestic Oaks, a 45-hole golf course

I am blessed with a fine family and wonderful friends and I treasure my time with them. I enjoy relatively good health, though back surgery is forthcoming. Thank you all for your part in my life story.


Claudia Pearl Davis Christensen



Sofrona E. (Davis) Speas

Life Story



   I, Safrona E. Davis Speas, was born October 21, 1908 near East Bend, North Carolina, the oldest of eight children.  My parents were Thomas Wilson and Mary Ann Hobson Davis.  My first home was a log house.  Dad said that the song Dixie was appropriate for me because I really did arrive in Dixie Land early on a frosty morning.

   On April 28, 1910 another baby girl arrived, and I had a sister who has been very close to me all of our years.  A family friend wanted her for a namesake, and she was named Claudia Pearl.  During our early school days, I remember the “Claudia” part was not too popular with Pearl.  Likewise, I had some problems with my “odd” name. We both did survive!

   The third child to arrive in the Davis household was a boy, Howard Franklin.  He was born July 10, 1911 with white hair, blue eyes, and a very red complexion (according to Dad’s description).  Pearl, too, had blue eyes like Dad’s.  Mine were hazel-colored, more like Mother’s brown eyes.

   Ralph Weldon, also white-haired, but brown-eyed was born March 11, 1913.

   Another blue-eyed boy, Charlie Lawrence, joined the family June 8, 1915. 

       The first few months of his life, he had colic and cried a lot.  I imagined I could hear him crying even when out of ear-shot.  I remember being in the field one day and starting to run toward the house.  When Dad asked where I was going, I said, “The baby is crying.”  I guess I thought I could help.  The folks kidded me about that episode.

   When I was about six years old, and my sister Pearl and cousin Blanche Davis were nearly five, we started to the Wilhelm School near East Bend, N.C.  Dad had taught me to read, the A B C’s and how to count.

         Memories of my early schooling are sketchy.  It was necessary for us to walk through some timber to reach the schoolhouse.  My Aunt Wilda tied a rag on a tree where Blanche was to leave the traveled road when she returned home. 

The school was nearly surrounded by timber.  In those days there were no outhouses.  The boys used the timber on one side of the schoolhouse, and the girls used the other side.

   We didn’t have pencils and paper, but each of us, when we started to write, used a slate and a slate pencil.

   Wearing apparel was very different form school-clothes now.  The girls wore coverall aprons over their dresses.  We often tucked some home-dried peaches or apples in our apron pockets for recess snacks.  Fruit was abundant in season.  In winter we had lots of baked sweet potatoes, dried fruit, fried apple-pies, and sometimes home-grown peanuts in our lunches.  Those in one family usually shared a shiny round lunch pail or a syrup bucket for carrying their lunch.

   Drinking water was brought from a neighbor’s well.  We had a dipper in the water bucket, from which we drank.  A wash basin sat on a shelf near the water bucket in case we needed to wash our hands.

   At Christmas-time the teacher treated her students with striped stick candy from a wooden box.

   When we wished to visit close neighbors or go to the store or mill, we usually walked.  Wheat or corn was “carried” to the mill and ground into flour and meal.

   Occasionally our whole family traveled in a horse-drawn wagon to visit an aunt’s family a few miles away.  We usually did this on a weekend and remained overnight.  The children used forerunners of sleeping bags at night.  We had pallets on the floor (home-made quilts).

   Older women still spun their thread and knit stockings for the family.  My mother sewed and knit.  Grandma Hobson still had a spinning wheel.  She had suffered from milk-leg for years, so she always spun and knit her own white stockings.

   Mother made all the clothing for our family except Dad’s underwear, overalls, suits and the hats.  About everything not raised or made at home was purchased at the country store.


   I remember once riding with Dad to Winston Salem in a covered wagon loaded with tobacco for market.  I was very interested in a blind man who sat in the warehouse singing, “Life’s Railway to Heaven.”

   Some of Dad’s family had moved to Iowa and gave reports of better advantages in farming there.  His sister, Martha Speer, and her husband invited our family to come and rent their farm located just southeast of the Bangor Cemetery.  They built a new house on the farm and planned to sort of retire.

   In November, 1915 my parents held a closing-out sale, and we left our North Carolina home for Ioway!  Family friends and relatives took us and our belongings by team and wagon to Winston Salem.

   Enroute we crossed the Yadkin River at Donaha on a ferry.  We came to Union, Iowa on the train.

   A special piece of our baggage was a large trunk which Dad had purchased while a young man.  It carried his belongings to West Virginia where he worked during the winter seasons in the coal mines.  I still have the old trunk, with a leather packet in the lid for business papers, a round rack for a man’s “Sunday hat”, a deep covered tray for special storage, and lots of room beneath.

   There were five children when we came to Iowa.  I, the oldest, was seven years old, and Charlie was five months of age.  I’m sure my parents had their hands full as we traveled.  We took along cold lunches to eat on the train.  In Roanoke Virginia, Dad got hot sandwiches and fried potatoes.  My, how good they tasted!  Sister Pearl and I were poor travelers.  We were train-sick most of the way.

   From November until March 1, we lived in a farm tenant house near the old Liberty Church, along with Uncle Jesse Davis’ family.  When they learned that we were moving to Iowa, they decided to come also.  The move was made in the fall so the men could purchase farm equipment and horses at farm sales during the winter months.  Uncle Jesse’s moved south of Union.  They became homesick after a year and returned to N.C.

   School in Iowa was different.  We rode in a horse-drawn hack to the Liberty Consolidated School.  In winter we wore long black leggings which we buttoned from ankle to knee with a button hook (the girls) and overshoes.  When our feet got cold riding, we ran behind the hack to get them warm.  We all used robes and blankets, and some even had soap stones heated to place under their feet.

   Because I was older and already reading, I was placed in a grade ahead of Pearl.  Later, we graduated a year apart as we should have because of our ages.

   We moved to Uncle Jim Speer’s farm in the spring of 1916.  While living there, we walked to school in Bangor.  We began attending Sunday school at the Bangor Friend’s Meeting in the old church.

   Uncle Wiley and Grandma Sara M. Davis lived in part of our large farmhouse.  Later, Uncle Wiley got married, and Grandma returned to North Carolina to live.

   Our kitchen had “running water” which, as I remember, was hand pumped from a cistern and ran through a sort of cooling trough.

   On December 10, 1916 following my eighth birthday, a baby sister, Ruby Virginia, came to join the family.  Because of a birth injury a lump appeared on her head and didn’t disappear for several months.  One day as the folks were preparing to take her to the doctor (via horse and buggy), a neighbor came by to report that one of Dad’s best work horses had been struck by lightning.  He’d discovered it lying by a roadside fence.  The doctor’s appointment had to be postponed while the neighbor helped Dad skin the horse.  The hide was later made into a fur coat which Dad wore for several winters.  During cold weather, many farmers wore horsehide coats to farm sales and whenever they left home.

   Free lunches were served at the farm sales.  It was said that some patrons went home with those large fur coat pockets full of the free doughnuts.

   Bangor had a two-room school.  The lower grades were taught by Wilma Pelham, and Ruby Shahan was the upper elementary teacher.  It was at this school that I first met Hester Green Parsons and her sister, Frances Green Norman, Florida and S.T. Willits, Luella Good Speas, Ben Harris, Maxine Kersey Wright, the children of Steve and Jack Jessup, and the Moorman children.

   In September preceding my ninth birthday, I became ill at school and had to rest on the way home.  That evening Uncle Jim Speer and Dad took me to see Dr. Marble in Liscomb.  He referred us to a Marshalltown doctor.  The next morning, I underwent mastoid surgery which was followed by a two-week stay in the (then Deaconess) hospital.  Since my hair was long, it was cut, and the right side of my head was shaved for the surgery.  Afterwards Mother parted my hair in the middle and pulled some down over the bare side.  I started back to school with my head encased in a muslin bandage.  The surgeon returned from a vacation, discovered an infection, and stopped my school attendance for four and a half months.

   In February of 1918 while the eighth graders were taking their county exams, we younger students were at home.  The weather was very cold.  In the afternoon, Mother went to feed the hens and gather the eggs.  Dad was bringing in wood for the heater.  Pearl and I were watching the younger children.  We heard something fall upstairs, but were afraid to investigate.  When Dad came inside, he asked why there was smoke in the house.  We told him we’d heard a noise upstairs.  He ran up, opened the attic door and discovered that the house was on fire.  Apparently, a chimney going up through the attic had collapsed.

   Dad called to Mother and then gave a general ring on our several party telephone line.  He saw that all of us children were bundled up and hustled us outside.  The neighbors began arriving in wagons and buggies to help in any way they could.  One neighbor, Will Macy, took Mother and us children to their home.  We watched from their east window as our house burned to the ground.  Uncle Jim, who owned the place, and his family were wintering in Texas.  We lived in their house until they came home.  Later a three room “shack” was built as a temporary home, and we lived there until fall.

   We had many wind and thunder storms during that summer.  On more than one occasion, the folks roused us during the night and took us to the corn crib where they felt safer.  It had a strong foundation, which the temporary house did not have.

   When the weather became cold, we moved into a house in Bangor until the corn was picked.  This was during the fall of 1918 when the influenza epidemic was wide-spread.

   Our school had only one teacher then, Mr. Myron Sparks.  He impressed on the students the importance of being careful about spreading germs.  We were instructed to drink only from our own cups and to brush our teeth regularly.

   I don’t remember why we were using thread but each of us had to moisten only the end that we broke off before threading our needles for hand-work.

   On Armistice Day, news of the end of World War I was received by Mr. Sparks.  The students formed a procession and marched around the Bangor Square, each of us beating on or blowing into whatever we could find that would make a noise.  I’m sure the U.S. flag was carried at the head of the procession.  Everyone was celebrating the good news.

   Late in November, 1918 the folks held a farm-sale, and we returned to North Carolina on the train.  The flu was still prevalent.  Each one of use wore a tiny piece of asafetida tied in a cloth and suspended around the neck.  Although the supposed preventative was hidden from view, the aroma was no secret.  It almost made on ill just to smell it.  Because of, or in spite of the asafetida, none of us ever got the dreaded flu which afflicted so many.

   From late November until February we lived in a house quite near my Grandmother Hobson’s home.  We walked to King Knob School.  It had the same kind of plumbing and facilities as the first school I attended.  Near the schoolhouse was a negro church.  The colored people had their own separate schools and churches. 

   We had happy times visiting relatives and friends in the south again, but Dad wasn’t satisfied in North Carolina after having lived and farmed in Iowa.  In February, 1919 after another sale, we came back to Iowa.  Since Mother was expecting again, Dad, Howard, Ralph and I came ahead of the others in order for him to rent a place and buy equipment.  The Moorman place east of Bangor was our next home.  Mother and the other children remained with her folks until Thomas Ambrose who arrived February 23, 1919, was three weeks old.  Then they arrived, also coming on the train.  While enroute several of the passengers were filched out of their money by a man posing as an inspector.  Mother lost $40.00.

   We attended the Hocket School south of Union near the Stanfield farm.  Gail Jessup and Burma Barnes were our teachers while there.

   A year later we were on the Arney farm southeast of Bangor.  While there, we were students at Hazel Green School with Rie Arney Dickover as our teacher.

   Another move when I was in seventh grade brought us to the “Farber Place” north of St. Anthony and south of the present gravel pit.  We were enrolled in the Liberty School again.  Our junior high teacher was Marie McCoy. My classmates were all girls; Gladys Gilmore, Irene Dunn, Ruby Reece, Eva Gabard, Irene Botts, and Regina Dunn.  In ninth grade, Mae and Ambrose Blayney and Dan Dunn joined our class.

       The spring I was an eighth grader three pupils from our room had pneumonia:  Earl Drew from seventh grade and Irene Botts and I from grade eight.  Irene lost all of her hair.  When school started the next fall, she had beautiful short curls.  I envied her because they were so pretty.

        I represented Liberty School in the county spelling contest in Marshalltown and won third place.  I misspelled “acquitting” leaving out one “t.”

   In 1923, I made my last move (with my parents) to the Sadie Magle farm northwest of Clemons.  I was a freshman in high-school.  There were three teachers in the high-school besides Miss Golly.  She came by train from Zearing one day each week to teach music in all 12 grades.  She also directed the orchestra.  Miss McPherson and Mrs. Easton were our other teachers, and Mr. Ringold, our superintendent, also taught several classes.  We had only one school building and rode to school in a horse-drawn bus.  Edward Ross, a tenth-grade student, was our driver.

   Hampered by visual problems, schoolwork wasn’t always easy.  I was assigned a seat with the best available light near a window.  Our electric lights were not too efficient, just bulbs suspended from the ceiling.

   Test questions were usually written on the blackboards.  This required several trips to the board to read the questions, and then back to my desk to write the answers.  I started wearing glasses when ten years old.  They helped, but never solved the near-sightedness problem.

   In May, 1926 our class of nine was graduated from the Clemons High School.  Hazel Roseburrough and Hazel Bryant had been our classmates but dropped out of school during the senior year.  The grades were:  John Goecke, Leland Fricke, Lloyd Davis, Roland Camp, Delbert Lee, Helen Nichols, Minnie Wantz, Katherine Hiatt, and Safrona Davis.  All of the boys in my class are now deceased.

   We had other teachers during our high-school career, but Mr. Ringold remained as superintendent.  Our last teachers were Evelyn Gebhardt, Edna Collar, and Bertha Schneider.

   During my first years at CHS, all plays and operettas were presented in the Clemons church.  By the time we graduated, the hall above the storage quarters for the elevator had been made into an auditorium.  Our basketball games were played around the supporting posts.  We had no paid coaches.  Edna Collar, the English teacher, coached the girls, and Herbert Armbrecht, the local banker, coached the boys.

   In winter, we had a heating stove in the northeast corner of the auditorium to keep us warm.  A stage was built across the east end of the room.  It was here that we presented our senior class play and held our class night activities.  The high-school glee clubs presented the operetta “Love Pirates of Hawaii” also that year.  Baccalaureate was held in the church, but we graduated in our new auditorium.

   The summer following high-school graduation, I enrolled in the Industrial Science course at Iowa State College.  My first roommate was Velma Pike, the seventh and eighth grade teacher at Clemons.  I shared a room with Sylvia Boeyink of Sioux Center the second summer session.  The following year, Essie Wykert from near Wapello was my roommate.  We lived in the old wooden Elm Lodge.  During my sophomore year, Clara Blank, my twin in age, from Coin, Iowa roomed with me in East Hall.

   During that spring I met Glen for the first time.  He came to our dorm to visit his then girl-friend, Verna Vieth.

   I have many fond memories of my sophomore year at Iowa State College.  We had a much better place to live.  The girls on our floor were friendly and fun to be with.  We enjoyed many happy times together.

   I had planned to teach following my two years of college but didn’t find a job.  I stayed at home for a year, working part-time in the Fred Clemons home and doing odd jobs.  My youngest brother, Wayne Burton, was born March 7, 1929, so there was plenty of work to keep me busy.  Grandma Davis was living with us.  Pearl was working in Marshalltown, and Howard and Ralph were away helping other farmers.

   In the fall of 1929, I started my teaching career at Clemons with fifth and sixth graders as my students.  Mr. Ringold had been my superintendent throughout high-school and was still there during my first year of teaching.  He was a man of integrity and did a lot to help me both as a student and during that first year as a teacher.


   I enjoyed my three years of teaching.  I feel now that if I’d had fewer vision problems I could have done a better job.  I don’t think I really realized how handicapped I was until much later in life.

   In December, 1929 Grandpa Hobson died in North Carolina.  Mother took Wayne, then ten months old, to her old home for the funeral.  Grandma Davis accompanied her and remained with Uncle Jesse Davis’ family until her death in June, 1932.  During the time Mother was away, Glen came to visit me for the first time.

   The summer of 1930 found me back at Iowa State College with Mabel Foster as a roommate.  We lived in the then new Birch Hall.  Our friendship has lasted throughout the years.  Glen and I visited her once in her home in Clinton, Iowa.  We kept in touch by correspondence.  Mabel died in March, 1987.

   Following my second year of teaching, I again attended Iowa State College for the first summer-school session.

   In the late summer of 1931, the Clemons bank closed its doors, and the whole community was in a turmoil.  Dad had put over $600.00 in the bank with the intention of paying the rent in September.  That year my salary was $100.00 a month.  I loaned him my first month’s salary.

   During my teaching career, I lived at home and rode to school in the bus which Ralph and Charlie drove (still horse-drawn).  I helped when I could in the home and purchased things that mother needed:  silverware, curtains, towels, springs, mattresses and a living room set, to mention some of them.  I also found a lot of pleasure in buying things for my little brother, Wayne.  One article of clothing was a red snow-suit which Tom later inherited.

   Glen and I started seeing each other more often during the winter of 1931-1932.  Our wedding date was set for June 1, 1932.  In those depression days, we saw each other about every two or three weeks.  Postage for a letter was two cents.  We did a lot of letter writing.

   Glen lived at home and drove a school bus.  He farmed some of the neighbor’s land and helped his father who no longer picked corn or did the main field work.

   Shortly before our wedding my students gave me a shower.  Most of my gifts were ten-cent items.  I received several green glass dishes and some green and tan kitchen utensils.  Those were my chosen colors.

   The adult ladies Sunday school class held a shower for me at the Earl Van Metre home.  That night the restaurant in Clemons burned.  The shower committee had left some refreshments in the cooler in the restaurant because no one had the freezing space to keep them.  Needless to say, they didn’t get to enjoy the left-overs.

   We were married on Wednesday afternoon, June 1, 1932, in the formal gardens at Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa.  We stood beneath a natural green arch over a gateway.  Reverend Jesse M. Kaufman, pastor of the Clemons church, officiated. Glen’s parents, Maxine, my mother and all my family except Dad and Wayne were there.  Pearl was my attendant and Wayne Powers, Glen’s cousin, was his best-man.  I wore an orchid taffeta long dress with white hat, shoes and gloves.  Glen had a navy tailor-made suit for the occasion. 

   We spent our first night in the Sheldon-Munn hotel in Ames and then drove to Albany, Missouri to visit Helen and Gordon Murray for a few days.  It was pouring rain as we drove south.  At one point, the motor in our Model T. Ford wet down, and the car stopped.  It was raining very hard, and the visibility was almost nil.  While thus stranded, one car met us at the same time that another passed on the opposite side.  As we neared the Murray’s we went through water covering the road, but there were no more problems.

   On the way home we stopped in Marshalltown to buy groceries and to get candy-bars for the expected charivari.

   My new home wasn’t new to Glen since he had lived in the same house from babyhood.  His parents built the house the year he was born.  We had an apartment upstairs during our first one and three-quarters years of marriage.

   Glen’s parents had a dinner-bell, the one that stands by my back door, mounted on a closeline post.  Glen’s mother thought it might be damaged by the charivari crowd, so the clapper was removed.  As they arrived, Glen and I watched from an upstairs window.  Imagine their surprise when the bell didn’t ring.

   During the time we lived near Ferguson, we sometimes went to church in a buggy.  Many country roads were not graveled, and ours was one of them.  I rode with Glen and his father to Laurel in a buggy to cast my first presidential vote in November, 1932.


   I helped Glen pick corn with a team and wagon the first fall we were married.

Money was very scarce in the depression days.  For entertainment, we visited with our neighbors and families and attended extra church functions.  The men gathered and sawed wood to heat the church, and the women prepared the dinner.  There was much more exchange of work in the 1930’s.  On wood-sawing days, moving days, corn-shelling, threshing, butchering, and hay-making days, some of the neighbors were always there to help.  Women also helped to prepare the meals.

   Our garden and fruit-trees provided fresh vegetables and fruits in summer and fall, and canned and preserved food for winter.  A flock of chickens provided us with eggs and some meat.  We traded the surplus eggs for staples at the grocery store.  A cow herd produced milk for our use, and the separated cream brought in some income.         We kept enough cream for cooking and table use and to churn our own butter.  Glen’s father raised some wheat which he had ground to use for cereal.  It tasted a lot like Malto-meal, but it took longer to cook.  Most of our bread was home-made.  How good it smelled and tasted with butter and sorghum or home-made jam or jelly.  Needless to say, we raised our own animals for butchering, and our chickens for frying and canning.

        On Sunday morning, January 14, 1934 our first child, Thomas Williams, arrived at the Marshalltown Evangelical Hospital.  A neighbor, Ernie Zesch, drove us to the hospital Saturday evening.  He  and Glen were equipped with scoop shovels.  Luckily, we followed the snow plow into town and they didn’t have to use them.

   The winter of 1933-1934 was a hard one financially.  People tried every way to cut expenses.  We shut off extra rooms and used a heater instead of the furnace.  We all lived together sharing the cooking and home duties.  Hogs brought two and a half cents per pound.  Corn was ten cents a bushel and eggs ten cents per dozen.  Income was at a very low ebb on the farm.  We always had plenty to eat but lacked many of the frills which we consider necessities today.

   March 1, 1934 Glen, Tom and I moved to an 80 acre farm northwest of Marshalltown known as the Shewalter Place.  We were just south of the farm where Burleigh and his family lived.  We were happy to have them as neighbors and enjoyed being near some of the family.  Our house was in a bad state of neglect, so the officers of the Fidelity Bank, who owned the farm, hired Carl Anderson to paint and paper the interior.  The house was large so we only used one bedroom upstairs.

   1934 was a drought year and our crops were very poor.  We didn’t raise enough feed for the livestock.  Glen bought corn fodder, and people made fox-tail hay.

   While living near Ferguson, we attended the Christian Church there were Glen was a member.  After moving, we attended the Clemons Christian Church where I had been a member before our marriage.

   Outside activities besides church and visiting families included programs at the Moninger School were Burleigh’s children went, and programs where the Minerva band played.  Glen had played the trombone in the band at Laurel for several years.  Now he played with the Minerva band for several summers.

   Winter began in earnest in November of 1935.  I think the ground was snow-covered until spring.  It was bitterly cold, and the snow continued to come.  Roads were closed and also schools and churches.  Mail was relayed from one farm to another when possible to get through.  Getting to town was next to impossible.  Neighbors were burning corn to keep warm.  Coal, if one could get to town, was rationed.  We had several dead trees in a grove near the house.  Glen cut them down, but it was so cold that he couldn’t stand to cut them up outside.  Sometimes he dragged a log into the kitchen and sawed it into shorter blocks for the heater.

On February 8, about the worst day of the winter we discovered that Tom had a strangulated hernia.  We knew that some way we must get him to the hospital.  Cordis Speas drove a team and wagon ahead of the car until we reached the Hartland Church.  It was blizzarding and bitterly cold.  Snow was piled high on both sides of the road and blowing so hard that Burleigh stood on the running board to tell Glen where to drive.  I held Tom in the backseat and covered him with a quilt and a horse-hide robe.  We finally reached a service station just south of the Soldier’s Home gate.  I urged Glen to stop because we were afraid his feet were freezing, and Burleigh was so cold.  I always felt that the Lord was watching over us, for the car refused to go any further.  Kind station attendants took us to the hospital.  We later learned that we were about the last car into Marshalltown that day, and no one was permitted to leave.

   There were no complications from the surgery which took place on a Saturday afternoon.  Glen and Burleigh stayed with relatives in town until Tuesday.  I’m not sure how they got home.  Glen never did get back to the hospital to see us.  The roads were still blocked, so Ralph took Tom and me to their home on West Main Street road until Glen could get to town.  He finally caught a ride to town and tried to get someone to deliver coal to Hartland, where he planned to pick it up in a bobsled.   Our allotment was 200 lbs. because “of sickness in the family”.  We stretched it by mixing it with wood.

   When Tom and I finally went home, we rode to Hartland in the car and finished our journey in a bobsled, going over the tops of fences in places.  I was practically exhausted from trying to keep a very active two-year old off his feet when I was nearly seven months pregnant.  With that kind of surgery today, one is allowed to walk almost immediately.

Neighbors had done chores while Glen was marooned in town.  When he returned home, frozen milk was sitting around in pails, dish pans, and whatever containers they could find.  Canned food in the cupboard was frozen solid.  Also, the water system was frozen up.  From then until March 1, when we moved, we couldn’t use the bathroom.  The only way we could get water for the house and livestock was to draw it up with a rope and bucket from the well.

   There were 32 consecutive days that winter when the thermometer never registered above zero degrees.  By March 1 when we moved to the Robertson farm southwest of Union it had thawed some but many roads were still impassable.  The movers detoured through Albion.  Glen’s car door came open and several of my dishes, which were packed in the backseat, were broken.  Tom and I stayed at my parents’ home during the transition.

   This house also needed paint and paper.  Carl Anderson again came and did that.  The house was very old and much smaller, but we spent eight happy years there.  All three of our girls arrived while we lived there.

   Marilyn Ruth was born about 8 A.M. on May 6, 1936.  Dr. E. H. Nobel from Clemons officiated and Mildred Hughs, also from Clemons and a practical nurse, attended.  My sister Ruby helped in the home later.

   Margaret Anne joined the family on July 31, 1938, with the same doctor and practical nurse attending.  She arrived on one of the hottest days of the summer about 5 A.M.  Her father had to go threshing that day after having been up most of the night.

   Dr. Nobel had retired before Judy arrived so Dr. P. L. Marble was the attending physician.  A neighbor, Cozzie Dillon, acted as nurse.  Lela Yantis Bacon worked for us prior to and after her birth.  Judith Dianne made her appearance about 8:30 P.M. on February 7, 1942 on the day of Grandpa Speas’s closing out farm sale.

Glen’s parents had moved to a house east of Liscomb where they resided for about a year and a half before buying their home in Le Grand.  They had lived on the same farm for all except two years of their married life.  They celebrated their golden wedding while I was still in bed following Judy’s birth.  Glen took Tom, Marilyn and Margaret to their open-house at the Ferguson Christian Church.  Lela stayed with Judy and me.

   While farming near Bangor we joined the Friends Church there.  Several people who attended were acquaintances of mine since I had formerly lived in the area.  I taught the high school Sunday school class, and Glen was active in the music department.  He frequently sang in a mixed quartet with Maurice Griggs, Bea Eurom and Mabel Mostellar.  Our pastors were Charles Thomas, Lewis Savage and Arthur Hadley.

   We had a telephone at the Robertson farm but no electricity.  I called my folks by going through three exchanges; Union, Bangor, and Clemons.  It was sometimes difficult to get through all of them, but persistence usually paid off.  We received electric service from REC in February of 1939, when Margaret was a year and a half old.  Glen had purchased me an electric iron for Christmas, hoping that I could soon use it.  Ralph Beecher from the hardware store in Whitten was at our house within a few hours to sell us an electric radio.  We then sold our battery operated radio to a neighbor.

   Tom began his schooling in Union in 1939, Marilyn in 1942, and Margaret in 1943.

   In January 1944, we moved from the Robertson farm to one in the New Providence community owned by Jim Hutchens.  The children were enrolled in the New Providence School.

       The Hutchens farm was sold, and two years later, we made another move, this time to the Eaton farm north of Clemons where the children then went to school.

   Soon after we moved, Margaret contracted scarlet fever and the family was quarantined, an unusual experience for us.  We never did know where she got it since no one we knew had it.

   We attended the Liberty Friends Church near us.  Wade and Luella Dillavou were our pastors there.  We milked several cows and had our first experience with milking machines.  Crops were good.  That was probably the best year we ever had on the farm.

   We were saddened by the loss of Glen’s mother on December 7, 1946.  She had a lingering illness and was hospitalized for three months.

Our stay in the Clemons area was short-lived.  A son-in-law who returned from the service wanted to farm.  We had liked the New Providence community, so when we learned that Mrs. Olive Martin was seeking a renter, we contacted her.  We lived on her farm for eight years.  We were in a partnership farming operation, milking several cows, raised many baby chicks and kept about 400 laying hens.  While there, Tom, Marilyn, and Margaret graduated from high‑school and Marilyn and Tom were married.

   In the fall of 1948, Glen contracted Malta fever and was ill all winter.  We had to sell most of our cow herd.  Before we left the farm, he had his first hernia surgery.  Following that there were five more; gall bladder removal, diverticulitis, another hernia, prostate, and finally surgery to release adhesions from all the others.

Our years at Mrs. Martin’s farm were busy ones.  There were many church and school activities.  Tom, Marilyn and Margaret all played basketball, and all were in the band.  Tom was active in F.F.A.  Marilyn and Margaret both accompanied school musical programs.

   After Tom went to college, a Quakerdale boy, Ernie Davis, lived with us for a year.  He helped with the chores.  We paid him $5.00 per week and paid for his school lunches.  Later Carl Hansen also lived with us.  Both boys have returned to visit.  We visited Carl on two occasions when in North Carolina.

   In the fall of 1955, we held a closing-out farm sale and moved to an acreage on the west edge of New Providence which we purchased from Mary Whitehead.  Margaret was in college at University of Northern Iowa, and Judy was an eighth-grader.

   From then until we bought the café in 1959, we did various things.  Glen farmed Wilmer Cook’s land, worked in the Harris furniture store, and drove a star mail route from Gifford to Jewell.  I worked in the post office and the telephone office.  When we purchased the cafe, Glen was also driving a school bus.  We remained in the building on the north side of Main Street until August 1962.

   We lost Glen’s father in the last of December 1960 and my father November 8, 1961.

Margaret and Lisle Cook were married in November, 1958.  By 1962, when we moved to our present home, we had nine grandchildren:  Craig, Ellen and David Moon, Steven, Michael, Kathy and Kindera Speas, and Jeffrey and Scott Cook.

   In February, 1962 I learned that I needed corneal transplants to preserve my vision.  The telephone building was for sale.  Glen decided to buy it, and we moved the restaurant to our remodeled home.

We hired Mary Waldo to cook while I was in the hospital and recuperating from the eye surgery.  The first transplant was received on the left eye on October 20, 1962 at University Hospital in Iowa City.  I was there for 26 days.  Glen wasn’t feeling well when he took me to the hospital.  He ended up in the Eldora hospital with bronchitis.

   For three months following the surgery, I was cautioned not to bend forward or to lift anything heavy.  The 20-20 vision in the left eye made it a very successful transplant, and I rejoiced over being able to see so well.

   I continued wearing a small contact lens in the right eye until November, 1963, when I underwent surgery for a second transplant.  This time I wasn’t so lucky.  It had to be resutured twice and then when completely healed, the cornea clouded.  I returned to the hospital for a week of daily typhoid shots meant to give my system something to fight besides the new cornea.  That didn’t remedy the rejection situation, and the cornea is still clouded.

   Because the eye bank network was new, my first cornea was flown from the Chicago area to Cedar Rapids, picked up by the Highway Patrol, and delivered to the University Hospitals at Iowa City.  It was the first one received from out of state, and the 200th one transplanted in Iowa City.  I learned that it was donated by a lady around 40 years of age.  I never knew from whom the second one came.

   Again, when I arrived home from the hospital Glen had just returned from a stay in the Eldora Hospital.  Marcia Schradle was our good helper while we were disabled.

   I returned to Iowa City in October, 1965 to have adhesions released in the uncooperative eye, but the cloudiness persisted.

   We ran the café in our home for eight years.  During that time Judy received her degree from the University of Northern Iowa and taught in Ames for a year.  She and David Beane were married in July, 1964, and the rest of our 15 grandchildren arrived:  Mark Speas, Daniel and Paul Cook, and Matthew, Kristin and Laura Beane.  We lost Matthew on December 29, 1968 at the age of 20 months with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,  a deep shock and a sad experience for all of us.

   Glen was the substitute mail carrier for several years.  From money earned from that, we took several enjoyable trips.  We went to the Ozarks with Burleigh and Maude Speas and went to North Carolina three times.  On our second trip there, we drove south to New Orleans, east through northern Florida and then north to Jekyl Island.  We spent a week in North Carolina visiting relatives in High Point, Winston Salem and Yadkin County.

   In 1976, we drove to Fayetteville, Arkansas to visit the Mosey Dheils’.  (He had been a college friend of Glen’s.)  We then traveled to Lafayette, Louisiana to visit Craig and Missy Moon who were living there while Craig earned his M.A. degree.  From the Moons, we drove to Mission, Texas and visited Pearl and Harold for a week.  On our homeward trek, tours of the Johnson Ranch, Oral Roberts University, and the Eisenhower museum and burial site interested us.

   There were seven trips to California, the first two by train.  Glen said that riding the rails was disappearing as a method of travel so we took advantage of the opportunity.  Lisle, Margaret, Jeff and Scott took us to the Perry station on a wintry December day the first time.  The second time we traveled on the Rock Island line to Kansas City and took a southern route.

   Twice we went by plane to Seattle to visit Ruby and Eddie, and then traveled by bus to Fullerton, California.  We wanted to see the scenic Oregon coastline and the redwood trees.  Both times we visited Wayne and Isabelle Powers in Salem, Oregon.  In 1975 we also stopped in Oakhurst, California to see Edwin and Caroline Snyder.  This was our last trip to California to visit our children and grandchildren, the Robert Moon family.

   My sister Pearl accompanied us when we took our last trip to North Carolina in April, 1975.  She drove part of the time to relieve Glen.  We stopped in Akron, Ohio and attended the Cathedral of Tomorrow Sunday morning church service.  Glen was interested in the Rex Humbard ministry and especially enjoyed the music.  It was really quite a thrill to be in the meeting.  While in North Carolina, we visited our Aunt Susie Davis, Aunt Tina Smitherman, and Aunt Laura Shaver and many cousins.  On our way home, Aunt Laura accompanied us to Virginia Beach to spend some time with her son, Jerry Sneed Jr. and his family.

   From Virginia Beach, we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, visited Asateaque Island where we saw the wild ponies and then drove to Atlantic City.


Mother –

 After Dad’s death in 1961, mother moved into a smaller house west of their last home together.  We visited her often, usually going on Sunday afternoons.  Pearl took her shopping, to the doctor, and visited during the week.  Wayne lived nearby, and they saw her about every day.  Bud’s stopped by after Sunday A.M. church services.  She did quite well until arthritis and hardening of the arteries made it impossible for her to garden and do her canning.  She had a lady helper live in from July to November in 1969.  Then, much against her will, we seemed to have no other choice than a nursing home.  It was very difficult for her and for us, her children.  At that time, I assumed the responsibility of managing her affairs at the nursing home (Valley View in Eldora).

   In March, 1970, she apparently suffered a stroke and was in the hospital in Eldora for a time.  She returned to the nursing home, but was hospitalized again the last of June.  On Monday, July 6, she had a massive stroke and died.  Her funeral was held in the Clemons Church on July 8, 1970 with a large crowd attending.  Burial was in the Bangor Cemetery. 

On July 25, shortly after Mother’s funeral, Paul Rodney Cook arrived in the Eldora Hospital to complete Lisle and Margaret’s family of four boys.

   Before Margaret left the hospital Glen was admitted with his first heart attack.  On August 10, we closed the café, later selling the equipment to Marian Reiks.  She then opened an eating place west of the garage.  I cooked for her until she sold out to Joan Hoff.  I was employed as a cook for her until Glen had another series of heart attacks.  At that time, Joan decided to give up the restaurant business and later held a closing-out sale to sell the equipment.

   Later, I baked pies for Joan Broer when she ran another eating place in New Providence.  I also helped Margaret Winters, Betty Wooten, and Twila Winters serve dinners at the sale barn in Eldora on Tuesdays for two years or so.  Glen took care of the cash register at noon.

   In September, 1977 Glen and I attended the Cattle Congress in Waterloo together.  He had always wanted to see the northeastern states especially in the fall.  We stopped in Mt. Morris, Illinois where he had attended college for a semester.  We spent a day and night at Niagara Falls and then went east to Groton, Connecticut where we visited the ship yards.  From there we drove to Boston and Cape Code and visited Plymouth Rock.  We went as far north as Bangor, Maine and then headed west.  The fall colors were at their peak of beauty.  Glen especially enjoyed the farmsteads along the way.  We drove west through southern Quebec and Ontario and spent the night in a rustic motel on the shore of Lake Superior near where we planned to take the ferry to tour Macinac Island the next day.  We had planned to take pictures of a nearby mountain and the lake, but it was pouring rain.  It was still raining when we crossed by ferry to Macinac Island and for part of the time we were there.  We toured the island in an open horse-drawn surrey with room for eight passengers and the driver.  He was clad in yellow plastic rain hat, coat and trousers.  We were supplied with blankets to keep our feet warm.  The only motor vehicles on the island were firetrucks and ambulances.  Near our tour’s end the sun came out, making our return ferry trip much more pleasant.

   We stopped briefly at the Wisconsin Dells, since we’d been there before.  Our last stop was at Waverly, Iowa to visit Ruth Crawford.  We ate out together in honor of her upcoming birthday and then drove home in the rain.  It was an enjoyable and educational two weeks.

   The early months of 1978 were very cold, and we had lots of snow.  Howard Fuller was on vacation so Glen carried the mail.  I loaded the mail for him, and when the snow was so deep, I rode along to put it into the boxes.  We sensed that the job was getting to be too much for him, and he gave notice that he would retire in November, 1978.


Wesley John Beane

December 20, 1974


   Early on the morning of April 7, 1978 David, Judy, Kristin and Laura Beane welcomed into their family three year old Wesley John.  He arrived from Korea at the Minneapolis Airport where they met him for the first time.  He knew only a few English words, but with two older sisters around, he soon learned to express himself quite well.

   Along with the rest of us Glen enjoyed him so much.  When they came for a visit, he would rush out of the car and toward the house yelling “Grandpa!”.  I have always been happy that Glen could enjoy him.

   Because Glen didn’t feel up to par during the spring, I encouraged him to go to the doctor.  Since he didn’t seem to improve, Dr. Thompson scheduled an appointment for him in Iowa City for July 31, 1978.  On the morning of July 15, he was experiencing pain in the arms and chest.  Virginia Tatum and I took him to the Eldora Hospital where he was placed in intensive care, this time with more heart trouble.  After twelve days of ups and downs, he passed away about 3:00 P.M. on July 27.

   Marilyn and Bob had been here on vacation in June.  They came back on July 18 and stayed about five days until Glen’s condition seemed stabilized.  Marilyn came alone for the funeral, returning on Margaret’s birthday, July 31.

   The service was held in the New Providence Friends Church on Saturday afternoon July 29, with a very large crowd attending.  Friends Virginia Tatum, Violet Moon, and Fern Cook were in charge of the lunch afterwards in our home.  Glen was buried in the Bangor Cemetery beside my parents.  Reverend Lloyd McDonald was minister at the funeral service.  Mary Ellen Power was organist and Fred Marsh soloist.



 Click HERE to go to Appendix Three