The Web Of The Years
By Kenneth Duncan

The Random Array Of The Years Passing By
We Recall With A Smile, Or Regret With A Sigh
Think Not They Are Gone, For Again & Again
We Shall Glimpse Them Once More In Times Spreading Seine
(unattributed poem at the beginning of the text)

Contributed By Alice Horner including Notes



Caption: Kenneth Duncan (seated in front), with his brothers Neal (standing) and Donald (seated).
This photo may have been taken about 1911.

Notes: This historical account covers the Duncan and O’Neal families and their neighbors in the Preston Prairie and Wacker area of Mt. Carroll Township, Carroll County, Illinois between 1900 - 1920. It was probably written sometime in the early 1980s. He gave it to Florence L. Downing Horner, who grew up within just a few miles of him on Preston Prairie, Mt. Carroll Township. She was a daughter of Loomer Downing, who is named in the manuscript. But I don’t know if it was written specifically for her. And it may have been part of a larger work Kenneth Duncan could have written on his whole life. But this part, the section titled “Setting The Stage,” is all I have.

I have provided photos of some of the people and places named in this text. All photos are from my collection unless stated otherwise. I have provided links in the text to other parts of Genealogy Trails, Carroll County, which give more information about these people, places and events. Refer also to the search engine for this site to find obituaries, tombstone photos, etc. for many of these people.

Kenneth Duncan’s full name was Charles Kenneth Duncan, and he was born December 9, 1906 in Carroll County, Illinois, the son of Joseph Warren Duncan and Myra O’Neal Duncan. He married Lucille Rubeck in Chicago. During part of his adult life, he was a farmer in Carroll County. He died May 28, 1995 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Mt. Carroll.  Kenneth Duncan Obituary

For more information about this family, and most of the other persons named, including full dates of birth, marriage, death, etc., refer to Alice Horner’s Rootsweb.com family tree, The Downing, Bickelhaupt, And Preston Families of Carroll County, Illinois

Kenneth Duncan drew this map and it came with his original manuscript.
It is not to scale, is incomplete in a few areas, and the Mt. Carroll portion is hard to read. Prairie Road, which links the Mt. Carroll –
Savanna Road and the Wacker – Ferrin Road, is now the South Preston Road. The South Road is now Airport Road. The Argo-Fa Road is now Big Cut Road.


Setting The Stage

The O’Neal land, later the Duncan farm, is located on the south side of the east-west Wacker-Ferrin road at the point where it T’s with the southbound Prairie road. The O’Neals, around 1840, had fled inclement conditions in Northern Ireland to settle in New York State, and then about mid-century had moved west to Illinois, to take up this land hold, abetted by a land grant from President Franklin Pierce (1853-57). The quarter section, while in Preston Prairie School District No. 64, lacks the levelness and overall favorable soil composition of Preston Prairie proper, generally that area north of the Milwaukee Railroad tracks. My grandfather, Dudley O’Neal, one of the westward settling O’Neals, was a soldier in the Union Army, and after mustering out married Anne Lambert, who, as a young girl, with parents and relatives, had, due to economic conditions in northern England, migrated to the United States, in time locating in the Preston Prairie area.

Dudley O'Neal and his wife Anne (Lambert) O'Neal

Dudley and Anne established their household in the farmhouse located near the road T, and Dudley, a small, not particularly robust man, with regularly engaged farm help, farmed the land. Dudley and Anne had three daughters, Ella, Myra, and Amy, born several years apart, all in the farmhouse. The girls grew up; Ella married Charles Casselberry, an area farmer, Myra, after several years of teaching area country schools, married Joseph Duncan, a country located Kentucky railway mail clerk; and several years later Amy married Percy Emmert, a young Mt. Carroll bank teller.

Ella (O'Neal) Casselberry & Amy (O'Neal) Emmert
(Daughters of Dudley & Anne (Lambert) O'Neal)

This narrative deals primarily with Joe and Myra Duncan. They were married in July of 1899, in Mt. Carroll, Joe then taking Myra to a farm located residence, on land which he and a younger brother had inherited from their maternal grandmother, this near Lebanon, Kentucky. The residence was a bit isolated, was not conveniently arranged, and Joe, due to his regular mail clerk duties, was away from home a fair portion of the time. It was not strange that Myra, for years a provincial country girl living with her family in Illinois, should feel a sense of loss and homesickness. Joe was aware of this, did what he could to comfort her, but when her father fell seriously ill back in his Illinois home, fretting Myra, he was quite agreeable that she should return home to comfort her father and mother. Joe took Myra, several months pregnant, back to Illinois. Her father died in March of 1900, Myra staying on to be with her mother and to have the care and attention of her long time local medical practitioner as she was experiencing a somewhat troubled pregnancy. Joe, with convenient access by railroad pass, came north on several occasions.

Myra’s first child, a healthy son, was born in the morning of July 14th in her mother’s house. During her pregnancy she and Joe discussed a name for the coming child, agreeing that if a girl the name would be “Anne,” for her mother and “Dudley O’Neal,” her father’s name, should it be a boy. Accordingly, it was Dudley O’Neal Duncan. However Myra, not wishing her son to be called “Dud” as was frequently the case with her father, decreed that he would be called “Neal” and Neal it has always been.

When Myra had fully recovered, had gained health and good spirits, Joe came north and returned with her to their rural residence. Both she and he conceived that a change of scene might be advantageous, arranged for a move to Knoxville, Tennessee, in a settled portion of the city. Knoxville is in a valley, can be quite warm in season, and their residence, which I have seen, was not on upper, cooler territory. To add to this, Neal had the misfortune to contract a lengthy attack of typhoid fever. Myra cared for him, assisted by Joe, through the illness and convalescence. When all was back to normal, Myra had enough of the upper south; arrangement was made for a relocation to Streator, Illinois where Joe had a pleasant, agreeable cousin, Dr. Clarence Reno. The location was much better, several hundred miles north in prairie upland and close enough to Myra’s home location so that she could, by train, make occasional visits there.

Following the death of Dudley O’Neal in March of 1900, and after Myra had, following the birth of her son, returned to Kentucky, Anne O’Neal had an opportunity to purchase a reasonably priced, suitably located house in Mt. Carroll. Accordingly she disposed of her small acreage (but not the O’Neal farm) and, with daughter Amy moved to the Mt. Carroll house, with large yard and garden space, part way down Melendy Hill. She liked the house, liked the convenience of town living, close to church, and an agreeable slow amble to the downtown business district. Amy secured a position in one of the downtown stores and there, in due time, came to the attention of a likely young bank teller. This situation would create another situation.

The two became engaged, this in 1903; their plans, after marriage, to establish a household of their own. Such procedure would have left Anne alone in her house. Family discussion resulted in the suggestion that, should Joe be successful in, as mail clerk, transferring to the Milwaukee Railroad passing through Mt. Carroll, that he, Myra, and Neal would establish residence with Anne. The transfer was accomplished; residence was established shortly before Amy and her Percy were married on January 1, 1904.

In the steps that finally established Joe, Myra and Neal on the O’Neal farm, were the foregoing, plus the circumstance whereby the several year tenant on the O’Neal farm had the opportunity of moving to what he considered a more suitable location. While Joe had a well paying, well established railway mail clerk career, it was also one that for half the time kept him separated from his family. He and Myra were a devoted couple. There was the possibility, concurred in by Anne, that they might become proprietor-owners of the farm. Both Joe and Myra were country born and raised, with knowledge of farm procedure. So, after a weighing of pros and cons, it was decided that Anne, under reasonable contract, would pass possession of the O’Neal farm to Joe and Myra.

Joe arranged to resign from the mail service at the end of February 1905 and during the several months preceding was engaged in putting together adequate farm machinery and sufficient animals to operate the venture. He became a familiar figure at winter farm sales. On March 1, 1905 they moved to the O’Neal farm, establishing their household in the house where Myra had first seen the light of day. It was home again for her, and home for Joe and Neal too.

A hundred and forty acre hilly to rolling farm that over the years had not had too good caring for is no task for one man, so Joe had the good fortune to employ a steady adult farm hand, Ed Nest, who would be a good right arm for several seasons. The O’Neal farm would be the last and final home for both Myra and Joe, terminating for her in 1915, for him in 1947.

In the previous portion I noted that Myra had experienced a somewhat troubled first pregnancy, sufficiently so that she felt she did not care to repeat the experience. She so informed Joe. So it was as time went by until she was well settled and established in her mother’s home in Mt. Carroll. Content, and with Neal now in his fourth year, she remarked to Joe that she thought she would welcome a second pregnancy. And so it came about that in early November of 1904 she again conceived. When she moved to the O’Neal farm in March of 1905 she was five months away from her second child, and experiencing a much more tolerable pregnancy.

Father remarked that in the late afternoon of August 3rd a storm had come on, and on going to the house he found Myra, sheltering from the storm’s threat, sitting with Neal halfway up the stairs. The storm passed without undue violence. The next morning, August 4th, 1905 she was delivered of a sound baby boy. He would be named Donald Vinson, the Vinson for his paternal grandmother. Over his lifetime the then baby boy has been known as Donald, Donald V., D. V., Don, and Don V. Duncan. Neal and I now call him Don.

Father, following Mother’s death, talked to me a good deal about her. One of his conversations was about the closeness together of Don and me, sixteen months, he saying it was nothing they were anticipating, but that it occurred, and that she had not resented it, but had cheerfully anticipated the birth, hoping that this time it might be the girl child that she would have so enjoyed. It didn’t turn out that way, it was another boy, a healthy boy; she felt no resentment but welcomed me gladly.

I was named Charles Kenneth Duncan, the Charles for my paternal grandfather, and again Mother degreed I would not be called Charles, as Charles was continually referred to as “Chuck,” and that I would be called Kenneth. I have answered to Kenneth, or Ken, never Charles. I have, at varied times, signed myself as Kenneth, C. K., C. Kenneth, Ken, or Charles Kenneth, my present manner of signing legal papers and the like. I prefer to be called Kenneth, as Neal, Don, and relatives do, or Ken, as certain acquaintances do. Shakespeare said “What’s in a name?” I think a great deal. Many years ago when I attended the Hickory Grove Methodist Church at Wacker one of the boys who regularly came to church with his parents and siblings was Charles Getz, son of Jake Getz. He preferred to be called Charles, not Charlie. This Charles Getz has done very well as I recall in chemistry at Iowa State, where among other things he initiated the practice of gasifying whipped cream, a considerable boon to the whipped cream user.

I wasn’t a girl baby but Mother to an extent cozened me as such. I had various dolls to play with, had a doll bed for them, for which Mother helped me put together a really attractive tied comforter. For quite a time she and Father had the pet name of “Babe” for me. However I do not recall that I had curls, but I did have a sort of bangs effect. I was, I guess, their girl baby substitute.

But I was a boy, romping happily with Don. Father told me I walked at eleven months, and was pretty much an into things pest. He remarked that Mother took great pleasure in watching her small boys play.

What do I remember early on? I remember dolls, one of them an all china one. I remember the doll bed with the comforter I made. I remember sitting on the living room floor, beside the mica faced round heating stove with Don, when on bitter cold winter afternoons Father came in wearing heavy winter clothing to stand by the comforting warmth, snapping icicles from his heavy mustache. Those things when I was two. When I was three I remember Don and I one sunny June noontime going down to the barnyard to greet Father and hired hand Charlie Jones, a late teenage boy, as they brought their teams up for nooning. I remember earlier that spring, while scampering around the downstairs, of somehow latching onto a mower section rivet and thrusting it up my right nostril, from which it could not be retrieved, necessitating a call for the doctor, who with long nosed surgical pliers removed it, much to the relief of small boy and mother.

In writing such as this, the writer should use care in the use of sequence, and this I have not done. I have failed to note that Don and I were born in the house where our mother was born. My birthplace was the downstairs parlor, which had the advantage of an efficient large round heating stove. At the time of Mother’s approaching accouchement, she had a sturdy young woman house helper by the name of Susie Sharp, who remained on for a time following my arrival. I seem to vaguely remember her, but vaguely. Later on Susie would marry a well to do farmer north of Mt. Carroll. I do remember in later years with Mother in downtown Mt. Carroll, of her meetings with Susie on the street or in one of the stores, and how pleased they were to see one another.

Other memories were of catbirds calling from their location in a crowded bramble patch just beyond a yard edging row of hemlock trees, of lavish flowering lilacs in the northeast corner of the front lawn, equally lavish syringa bush in the north west corner, a lavish pink peony bush some twenty feet south of a single tall pine tree at the mid west edge of the lawn.


Donald, Neal, and Kenneth Duncan with their mother, Myra (O'Neal) Duncan; Erma Krum collection

On an August afternoon of the year I was four, I played in the front yard until I grew tired, had gone into the house to crawl up onto the tuffeted sofa where I fell asleep, not to wake until after deep dusk of those shortening summer days. I called out, Mother came, took me to the adjoining dining room where, under the light from the overhead double angle kerosene lamps and comfortably on her lap, fed me fresh blackberry jam on fresh bread. We two were the only ones in the room, the others outside somewhere, mother and son, son and mother were sharing an equal delight.

Dusty roads in summer prevailed at the time. Our farmhouse was at the intersection of where the Wacker Road turned north onto the Prairie Road, and it was an interesting sight, particularly on Saturday afternoons, when neighborhood farmers, in one or two horse driving rigs, horses feet pounding, carriage wheels rolling, raised clouds of dust as they swept the corner enroute to their afternoon in Mt. Carroll.

Thursday night band concerts were summer attractions, and out our way, sometime after six o’clock the stylish rigs, young men conveying their girl friends would come from the west, sleek driving horses, shining carriages with laid back tops, making the scene. I remember one rig in particular, Felix Manning, from west of Wacker, squiring Florence Wilcke of Wacker, driving a team of superb light bays, whip in hand, cigar in mouth, sailor straw hat on head, with Florence demure, delightfully summer dressed, by his side. But one of several, all enjoying the summer evening, anticipating what lay ahead. The road dust would roll, our dog, Carlo, would bark agreeably; it was quite a parade.

Dog Carlo was a long haired, tawny brown and white, mostly Collie. When automobiles commenced to appear on our adjoining roads, Carlo formed the disagreeable habit of chasing after them, barking and nipping at their wheels. On occasion he suffered slight contact, but was never run over.

A family dog, as Carlo was, amounts to a family friend, especially with children. They can tussle him around, maul him, all of which he takes in good humor. We had Carlo until Don and I were nearing our teens, we were growing away from him, so Father found another family, dogless, who were happy to have him. Stephen Foster composed a song, “Old Dog Tray,” which has remained elegiac, a lasting memorial to the breed.

We did not have an automobile during Mother’s time with us, it being the fall of 1919 before we were so endowed. Soon after Father and Mother came to the farm, Father secured for her a gentle, young black mare, Dell her name. She proved a proper driver, generally safe although she would shy, and skittish a bit, should a sudden moving small object, such as a large sheet of paper or a tumbleweed come across the immediate roadway. Automobiles would cause her to flinch, but she endured them. Road traveling, huffing puffing steam engines were a continuing peril to her. In those times, when such a machine encountered a shy horse, one of the engine men would leap down, take the bridle and escort the horse past. One of these engine man escorting incidents occurred when Mother and I, returning from a late October inspection visit to a Dakota Land company railway passenger car display at the Mt. Carroll station siding, came up behind an engine drawn clover huller as we approached the Knauer corner. With Dell showing an onset of skittishness, Mother pulled up, called out to the engine crew, Spood Bowman and Orville Smith, as I recall. Spood shutting down the forward progress of the engine and Orville coming back to take Dell in hand, lead us well past where their rig was standing. Mother knew who Orville was, saluting him with an appreciative, “Thank you, Mr. Smith.” Orville replied that it was no trouble, touched his cap, and were safely away.

The black mare was a great one, when starting out the buggy, to get away with a great burst of speed, this lasting for not more than an eighth of a mile, she then settling into her customary comfortable trot. We became well aware of this foible. It was part of her personality.

Dell, primarily a driving horse, was occasionally used as a member of a four horse team hitch. She was an excellent brood mare, over the years giving us a number of fine colts. A pair of them, black full brothers, a year apart, were bought by a Chicago supplying horse buyer, Finer, by name, father of recent Mt. Carroll attorney, Melvin Finer. Later on, when Dell had a well formed, bay road horse colt, the intent was, as a result of a promise to Neal, that the colt, named “Fleet,” would be Neal’s special driving horse. Fleet proved too high strung for ordinary buggy driving, and so was disposed of, again to Finer, who undoubtedly had just the place to put him. The money was put aside for Neal’s later education expenses.

Farm power was horse and man supplied in those days. Farmers would have from six to eight horses, mares among them to keep the supply going. Teams were usually comprised of four-horse, three-horse, or two-horse, depending upon the equipment operated. Saddle horse back riding was not much in vogue. Our horses were fair, we had one really good willing worker by the name of Rex, a big rawboned sorrel, who was paired with Duke, a son of Dell, a bit of an idler whom Father characterized as “never having overexerted himself.” We had a pair of grey geldings, half brothers, Jerry and Jed. Three mares, Luce, Dell, and Nita, all of whom were buggy broken.

Neighbors had substantially the same horse set up. Charles Freeman, Sr., to our west had an especially good bay work gelding by the name of Dick, a wry tailed good sized bay, who actually seemed to welcome the prospect of work, ears up, stepping briskly. He teamed with a bay mare, substantially the same color, just a bit smaller, but not quite up to Dick. The Freemans were excellent land men, good livestock men, profitable operators. They worked hard, managed well, and deserved their success.

Adjoining our farm to the south was Ira Newell, with wife Pearl, three blond daughters of varying ages, with their farm home set about a half mile back in the fields from the road. Ira, customarily called Pete, had an excellent hired man by the name of Frank Dennis, a tall rawboned Irishman with an excellent work capacity.

Pete, for work animals, had a bay work team and a team of big dark mules, fast steppers, great workers, with accompanying other work horses. On Newell’s long, half mile field adjoining ours I have watched Pete with the mules harnessed to a riding corn cultivator, and Dennis, with the bays traversing back and fork, the mules steadily forging ahead.

Pete, farming successfully, had the opportunity during the land price boom following World War One to dispose of his farm at what amounted to an inflated price. He took advantage of the favorable offer, had a closing out sale, and with his family moved to a substantial two story house south of the water tower in Mt. Carroll. He and his family adapted well to town life and later Pete, a well dressed personable man, made a profitable Rockford connection and the family moved there.

Across the road from the Newell farm was the Adam Bower farm, and just around the corner to the south and about a half mile west across the Burlington Railroad tracks was the home of Aunt Ella Casselberry, Mother’s oldest sister. Dear, dear Aunt Ella, always so delighted to have us boys visit, literally quivering with delight, standing, her hands under her apron, waiting for our hug, hugging us in return. So pleased with Myra’s boys. No one could make apple dumplings like Aunt Ella; no one could make as good a cole slaw. James Whitcomb Riley’s “Out To Old Aunt Mary’s” had nothing on “Down To Good Aunt Ella’s.” It was wonderful.

Coming back to Adam Bower’s, adjoining him to the north was the Charles Freeman Jr. farm. This had been the Tom Rush farm, bought by Charles Freeman Sr. for Charles Freeman Jr. Charles, Sr. constructed a fine tile basemented, two-story square frame house for Charles Jr. and his bride Olive Schreiner. They would have five living children: Earl’s life was sacrificed in World War 2, Lucille married a Minnesota Lutheran church man, Lloyd married Nancy Cauliflower, and after farming for a number of years, located in Mt. Carroll, Arthur farms in Ohio, and Kenneth is cashier of the Mt. Carroll Bank. Charles and Olive, after farming for forty years, moved to a newly constructed house in Mt. Carroll. They have been dead for some time.

North of Charles Freeman Jr. is the original Charles Freeman Sr. farm, later occupied by Will Freeman and his wife Margaret. They had two sons, Robert and Donald, residents now, I believe, of Freeport and Rockford. A carefully, profitably operated farm. The farm was rented to Carl and Mildred Gengenbach in I believe late 1948, Will and Margaret moving to their purchased house in Mt. Carroll. Perhaps two years later Will was struck by a moving vehicle on a Mt. Carroll street, causing his death. Gengenbach’s now own there.

West of the Freeman farm, on the Wacker Road, is the Milwaukee Railroad blind crossing, obscured both north and south by slopes and banks. It was somewhere around 1916 or 1917 that this blind crossing brought about the automobile riding Lydia Schmaling Fulrath, an accompanying itinerant preacher, and Lydia's son Bert, deaths. Bert, driving their Overland car, unsure of the distance of a fast approaching train, view obscured by the screening banks, attempted to speed across the tracks and was struck full on. It was a case of locking the stable door after the horse was stolen when the railroad later installed a swinging red light signal and a bell to signal oncoming trains. For more information click here for the Town of Wacker

Lydia Schmaling Fulrath was the widow Schmaling before she married Dan Fulrath. She had three Schmaling children: Randy, Irene, and Bert. She was a capable woman, with money. She bought what had been the Bowman farm, directly east of the Wacker Church of the Brethren, tore down the decrepit barn and had erected a truly model barn, large with matched fir siding, tall hip roof, with splendid topping metal ventilator, concrete floors throughout, lavish horse stalls, equally lavish cow stable, with an almost unheard of litter carrier, ample grain storage bins, vast loft space for hay and bedding, a superb structure of such a nature that the then Mt. Carroll veterinarian, Dr/ Parkinson, whose business took him over the county, described it as the finest barn in the county. The farm itself was a fair laying farm, of a moderate fertility. She was making it into a pleasing project when her life was snuffed out.

I must write more in regard to Aunt Ella, and then later about Mother’s other sister, Amy. Aunt Ella and Uncle Charley had no children, and wanting a child in the house to rear and cherish, they arranged to secure a quite young girl from a Methodist orphanage. And so it was that on a mid-afternoon of a gloomy November day of 1911, Ella, stopping at our place, drove horse and buggy to the Mt. Carroll railway station, there to meet the train carrying a woman supervisor, accompanied by the small girl Ella and Charley had selected. The train arrived, the little girl was delivered, and in the oncoming darkness, still raining, Ella and new daughter came west to Preston Prairie, and then south to our home. It was dark when they arrived, Father and Mother greeted them, Father taking the horse and carriage to shelter and delighted Mother with delighted Ella, carrying the girl, came into the lamplighted warmth of our living room. I remember Ella seated in a rocking chair, the long curls of the little girl framing her face, we boys, with Mother and Father, gathered around to admire and compliment. Indeed, an attractive small person; round faced, blond hair. Mother had arranged for supper, there was a high chair, our new relative there in the place of honor. Ella and Charley had decided on the name of Ruth Ree for the newcomer. She was three years at the time. In due time, after supper was over, Ella and Ree departed for their home and what would have had to be a delighted Charley.

She was raised there, attending a moderate walk away, Hickory Grove country school. Then Mt. Carroll High School. After graduation she attended what was termed Normal School, to qualify for a school teacher’s certificate. Securing this, she taught in country schools for several years, later on; after marriage and children, in Lanark grade school. She married a Savanna rural mail carrier, Neal Dauphin by name. They had four children, three boys and a girl.

She has been always known as Ree. An even tempered, equable person. Father characterized her as a person who was always the same, even dispositioned. “Ah, consistency thou art a gem.” She and her husband are retired, for some years residents of Clermont, Florida.

Aunt Amy, married at the onset of 1904, would have five children, she dying in November of 1918. Most of her married life was in Wisconsin, her husband Percy a CPA. Her second child, Dudley, was a handful, never a delinquent, but full of life and high spirits. Her oldest child, Margaret, as an elementary school teacher became engaged to a young Catholic man. Margaret, preparing for marriage, was taking instruction in Catholicism when her fiancée died. A dreadful blow to her, she decided to become a nun, did so, taking the name of Sister Bridget. She was in the St. Paul Priory when she died some two years ago. All of the other children, except Dudley, are gone. Interesting to consider, isn’t it, that the original Irish Catholic O’Neals should again emerge in the person of Sister Bridget.

Incidentally, in Wacker graveyard is a lot of the O’Neals; grandfather and grandmother at rest there, with others of the O’Neals, and also one Bridget McGee, and you can’t get a much more Irish name than that, a relative, is also interred there, a grave marker so indicating.

Mother, Amy, each in their 40’s, Aunt Ella in her early 70’s. I remember Father, at Ella’s winter funeral brushing tears from his eyes, I remarking of this to Neal, somewhat surprised, he rejoining that Father had a considerable streak of sentimentality, always had. Uncle Percy and Margaret came down for the services, I remembering them standing in the chill, windswept church yard, Percy’s arm around Margaret, the long familiar lock of errant hair fallen down on his forehead. Seedtime and harvest for us all, how true!

Now that we are in the Wacker church area, a description of the two churches there is indicated. First on the east, south side of the Wacker Road, was what we termed The Dunkard Church. I suppose the modern usage would be Church of the Brethren. It was a good sized building, with a moderate pitched roof, and no steeple. Painted white, with paned windows. It had a large church yard, kept mowed, with ample horse hitching racks. This church had its own minister; morning services were the custom. I remember early on that a number of the women communicants wore Dunkard bonnets, a number of the men black, high collared coats. But this was not standard required apparel.


This is an undated newspaper photo of the demolition of the Church of the Brethren (Dunkard Church) in Wacker.
The Hickory Grove Methodist Episcopal Church and cemetery is in the background.

West of the Dunkard Church was a good sized cemetery, this between it and the Hickory Grove Methodist Episcopal Church. This had more of the standardized appearance of a church building, high steep roof, church steeple with bell. The windows of this church were plain glass, high windows. The church had an outdoor vestibule, two inside aisles, with golden oak pews on each side and wider pews down the middle. There was a raised altar area, with communion rail in front. The south gable end of the nave would have been a superb setting for a stained glass window, but this it did not have. There was place for a piano, later electric organ, east of the altar area. Choir space to the south of that.

For many years the Hickory Grove Methodist Church was affiliated with the Mt. Carroll Methodist Church, the Mt. Carroll Church minister being the Hickory Grove minister. The practice was, morning church in Mt. Carroll, afternoon church at Hickory Grove, the minister making the same six mile trip to fulfill that charge. Sunday School at 2:00 p.m., church services at 3:00 p.m. Our family were members of the Hickory Grove Methodist Church, Mother having been a communicant there with her O’Neal family. It is interesting to note that when the O’Neals were living in Northern Ireland they were Catholics, but when on arriving in the United States they found no neighborhood Catholic Church and rather than go unchurched, they attended the local Protestant Church. So our O’Neals became Protestantized.

Hickory Grove United Methodist Church. This photo was taken by Leroy Getz, after 2000.

Country church was more than a religious ceremony connection. In pre-automobile days, it had a community social significance. Much less mobile then, neighborhood people from miles around came in horse drawn carriages, regularly, to meet one another in a social church connection. What it amounted to was neighboring, sprinkled with the Holy Water of church sanctity. Communicants enjoyed seeing one another in church, and enjoyed being seen in church. Our Sunday afternoons were an easing, and a change in our weekly home routines.

Our church had various Sunday School classes, for various age groups. These classes as such would have their social meetings at homes of members, their various church activities, such as ice cream socials, box socials, oyster suppers, baked bean and ham dinners were most pleasant aids to church activities. There was an active, regularly meeting Ladies Aid, with noontime lunch, quilting, crocheting, tatting, getting together of fancy work to place on community sale a few weeks before Christmas. The church had a substantial, well apportioned basement, fit space for the above mentioned activities. I remember in preschool days of attending with Mother on a late morning, including eating a lunch. Ladies Aid meeting at the home of Mrs. Will (Edith) Bird, a Wacker resident. It was a sunny, pleasant March day. Among the many other women in attendance was Aunt Ella, and daughter Ree. After lunch we were allowed to romp outside, later sitting on a concrete wall, pleasant in the sun. The Ladies Aid of that particular meeting were featuring the crocheting of hand bags; Mother made one, a rather long, dangling model, which she was pleased to carry for some time. Dark beige it was, with a bottom tassel.

Many years ago in church as a small boy, seated in a side seat with Mother, I was watching in a center pew, Harley Welch and his wife Lizzie and their several children, small people, squirming on the hard pew seats, with Lizzie and Harley riding effective herd. I knew the oldest boy Stanley, sometimes termed “Cricket,” due to his smallness and activity, and a girl, Maxine; the other children’s names I do not recall. Years later, when I returned to the Mt. Carroll area, attending the Methodist Church and one of the various Sunday School classes, I became aware of a class member, Mrs. Alvin (Maxine) Zillhart, an attractive, poised woman. Conversation revealed she had been Maxine Welch. You can imagine that difficulty I had in making the reconciliation.

There was a vision who came to church. I had not seen her there before. Sitting in the side aisle, I looked across to the center aisle and there she was, lovely head above a fur collar, rosy flushed face, superb small hat. She held herself marvelously. There was a young man beside her whom I did not recognize. Neal, who had known her in high school, informed she was the former Sylvia LaBore, now Mrs. Ed Becker. She had a younger sister, Winifred, whom you may remember. I thought Sylvia was simply beautiful.

Women church goers, then as now, liked to look nice. Those were the days when practically all women beyond early teens wore hats. Marvelous, beautiful creations some of them were. “The bird on Nellie’s hat?” Of course, red cherries, beautiful roses, splendid ribbons, all were there. I recall a Mrs. Carswell, svelte attractive bride of the middle aged Reverend Carswell, who often came out with him from the Mt. Carroll Methodist parsonage to attend his Sunday sermon at Hickory Grove. She, a former city woman, was a particular chic woman, rose complexioned, who liked to wear small hats, beautifully draped in muted colors. Gracious, charming, it was always nice to see her, usually at the end of a mid-center aisle, intent on her husband’s sermon. She must have been an inspiration to him.

Several houses beyond the Methodist Church was Wacker Store, across from which was Nick Krier’s blacksmith shop. The adjoining Deer Creek was crossed by a heavy concrete bridge, and beyond it was Ferd Grimm’s Creamery, later enlarged to accommodate cheese making facilities. Wacker Store carried a good representative stock of groceries, staples, and clothing. It sold soda pop, ice cream, candy, tobacco. It had a front glass enclosed cigar case, with an ample supply and various brands of cigars. There was a general practice among the morning men shoppers, most of whom had brought milk or cream to Grimm’s Creamery & Milk Plant, to banteringly shake dice in a leather box for cigars with the store proprietor. Seemingly it was about a fifty-fifty break. The men enjoyed the brief morning loaf at the store, chatting, smoking, purchasing needed supplies. At one time Wacker Store was a valuable commercial venture. Open all day and well into the night it was a favored stopping place. Nick Frier, across the road in his blacksmith shop, did a good business, including a considerable amount of horse shoeing. Many years before Nick had come over from Europe, capable in blacksmithing, had settled there. Small, wiry, I have seen Nick shoeing heavy farm horses, their hooves in his leather apron. Nick allowed it was quite a day when he was able to replace his hand operated forge with an electric powered one. He understood cherry heat, white hot heat, forging, shaping. Much easier, he said, with steady electric forge blowing to attain the proper heat staging. A good man, Nick.

Grimm’s Creamery & Cheese Factory turned out excellent butter and good cheese. His brand was named “Deer Creek.” Ferd was a Swiss, had come from there. Many years later on Ferd left Wacker to operate a milk plant, with accompanying restaurant, in Mt. Carroll. The general introduction of the auto and the transport truck made once environmentally suited Wacker passé. But in its day, quite a thriving place. The advent of the automobile, radio, television, and aeroplane were tremendous factors in changing the face of society everywhere.

Mention of Sylvia and Winifred LaBore incurs recollection of their father, George LaBore, a Mt. Carroll resident who for a period of years operated an area route for W. T. Rawleigh Company, manufactures of articles for household and personal use. Rawleigh’s had a large factory in Freeport, turning out flavoring extracts, spices, lotions, soaps, toilet articles in profusion, aids to housekeeping, ungents, salves, tonics, aids to livestock care, and considerably more, all aimed at supplementing and benefiting rural areas in their endeavors for general care. LaBore traveled the country in a horse drawn covered light wagon, the Rawleigh name on the sides, making regular rounds. He provided a considerable convenience, in the days when country housewives did not have the freedom of movement to easily visit the towns with their variety of shops. A man of around forty, medium tall, mustached, well turned out, he was a welcome visitor, usually good for an hour or longer general visit, displaying his ample sample case, then bringing from his wagon the desired articles. Mother especially liked the Rawleigh vanilla extract, lemon extract, scented toilet soap, talcum powder, pepper, and various spices, remarking they seemed of a greater strength than the customary store purchases. Urbane was the name for George, his personality a considerable asset in what was a profitable occupation.

There were a number of such agents as LaBore; Watkins, and McNess, traveling men, using the same general conveyance as LaBore. They supplied a general need, and because they traveled the countryside bringing their merchandise into the homes of their clients, were adjuncts not competitors of the set established town shops.

We have visited Wacker; now coming east from the Wacker Store, first on the south side of the road was the pleasant home of John Tenley, his wife and son Kenneth. A two-story front, one story back, white house, with dark green shutters, set well back in a large grassy lawn, pine trees near the house. A small barn, and chicken yard. John was a railroad employee; he and his wife and son devoted to the nearby Dunkard Church. She wore a Dunkard bonnet, he a buttoned to the throat Dunkard coat. Each Sunday morning without fail the Tenley’s were in church. Kenneth, when young, was a bit of a harum scarum lad, but stabilized, later marrying Frank Blair’s daughter, Elrena, established himself as a general aide to Bob Acker, particularly in his farm machine business.

The first property on the north side of the road east out of Wacker was the small farm of Dick Keefer. A solid two story front house, with a splendid large, what we would now call a picture window, where flourishing plants were effectively displayed. Dick was a breeder and raiser of quality black Poland China hogs. Each fall Dick would have a well advertised sale of his good young boars and gilts, getting out an illustrated catalog. His sales were well attended, his A-1 conditioned offerings bringing good prices. Dick was a middle aged, somewhat rotund bearded man who used a hearing aid. A ravine cut through his acreage, behind his livestock buildings, one of the features of that ravine being a large gravel bank and gravel pit. Dick made a commercial venture of the pit, farmers from miles around coming in with their gravel wagons, hauling out full loads.

The gravel pit was largely responsible for the establishment of an all weather road from Wacker east to the sandy stretch beyond the Benson farm. This stretch in spring was notorious for the depth of soft muddy soil forming the road base. The farmers of the neighborhood got together on the project, and for more than a month in early fall, with their horse drawn gravel wagons, days on end, wagonload by wagonload, yard after yard, deposited a foot of gravel on the road’s dirt surface, a road maintaining scraper leveling it off. Traffic over the road packed the gravel moderately before the late fall freeze up, and lo, the next spring there was a solid base, not the customary near to hub deep mud ruts. Believe me then, the participating farmers were patting themselves and one another on their respective backs. For more information and photos of Town of Wacker. Note, the second photo is the house of Dick Keefer, as it looked in 2004.

East of Keefer, across 7 Hill Road, was the farm of John Fulrath, two sets of buildings, the main farm buildings and the house, north of the Wacker Road, about a third of a mile north, a supplementary set of buildings with house facing Wacker Road, just east of the 7 Hills Road. Both of the houses were occupied. I do not recall exactly the distribution of those who lived there, but they were Fulraths. Some time in my early years, before I had started to school, on a pleasant early May afternoon, Father, Mother, and I, driving Dell and buggy, attended John Fulrath’s funeral at the Dunkard Church, and afterwards drove down to Wacker Store to secure some needed grocery items. Mother and I went into the store, Father waiting outside in the buggy. I had in my possession a nickel, and from previous visits to the store knowledge where the soda pop was kept, went back to the large ice refrigerator and extracted a bottle of my favorite, strawberry, taking off the cap, and coming forward with my nickel. Mother was agreeable that I should have it, somewhat surprised that I had made it on my own. When we went out to the buggy, I proud with my strawberry, settled between them. Father and Mother were quite amused at the cupidity of their small son. Maybe I was blasé, I don’t know, but I had got what I had in mind.

Across the road from Fulrath’s was what had been the Lydia Schmaling Fulrath farm, later the residence of Frank Blair. As I recall, Frank and his wife had three children: Freeman, Elrena, and Florence. Somewhat later on Frank and his wife moved to Mt. Carroll, and as I remember he was the office man for the Drs. Deerer, veterinarians. Frank was a rather imposing man in appearance, and well regarded.

East of Fulrath’s was the Henry Kessler farm, with land on both sides of the road. Henry and his wife had a son, Charles (Charlie), a large chap with good ideas as to farm operation and general community. Charlie later became a substantial dairyman, a considerable custom farmer, an operator of large mechanized farm equipment. After Father quit farming on his own, he rented our shares to Charlie Kessler who, with his three capable sons, so effectively managed, using modern equipment, fertilizer, and hybrid seeds that Father remarked that his half share, under Kessler, was greater than when he produced the entire crop.

East of Kessler was the medium sized Benson farm. The elder Bensons were Swedish and I believe immigrated from there, with possibly a prior American location. Steady working, good managers, thrifty. There were, as I recall, seven children, two of the girls dying in their teens. As a small boy, I recall the black hearse, black horse drawn, turning north past our corner from one of the girl’s funerals. Zelma, the oldest girl, I do not recall having seen, she I believe settling somewhere in Ohio. Victor, the next oldest, was a house and building painter, until his father died, then took over the farm operation. Julia was an A-1 country school teacher, and as such a particular object of appreciation of John Hay, the then County Superintendent of Schools. She later taught in town schools. As I recall, the two younger, Ethel and Gus, graduated from grade school at about the same time as Neal, completed high school, and I believe Gus attended and graduated from the University of Illinois. Ethel, later, was a country and town school teacher for many years. Victor died some years ago, and as of today I believe the three, Julia, Ethel, and Gus maintain a home together in the household their parents established. On occasion, as a farm boy, I helped at the Benson farm, recalling that one of their horses was called “Gilmore.” Victor, as a farmer, raised quite a few hogs for market, having good accommodations for them. One fine late September afternoon Father and I helped Victor place into shocks, prior to shredding, corn bundles previously cut with a corn binder, this in return for binder corn cutting he had done for us at our silo filling time.

East of Benson’s was the Dwight Fickes farm. About the size of Benson’s, Fickes, in addition to farming, was a considerable purveyor and constructor of quality glazed tile used in house basements, barn walls, silos, and various other uses. Fickes himself had a tile walled barn and two tile silos. In the community he erected various tile buildings. Dwight and his wife had a son Glenn. He also had for a time a White Steamer automobile, somewhat of a curiosity in the customary gasoline powered type of locomotion. Fickes departed the farm to establish a plumbing business in Mt. Carroll, being succeeded by, as I recall, Bert and Albertine Hicks. Albertine’s maiden name was James, she being daughter of Will and Minnie James, our next east neighbors. Bert and Albertine had a quite shy small daughter, Mildred, who I understand as time went by, grew into a self-confident person.

I haven’t noted this on the map, but a bit to the east, across the road from the Fickes farm, was a small acreage, about ten acres, with a two-story house and accompanying small barn. In the house lived Henry Wagner, a general handy workman, his wife, and her three daughters from a previous marriage, practically grown girls: Katherine, Elizabeth, and Lily Eisenhaur. The two oldest girls were known as Katie and Lizzie. All three girls, being steady, reliable and cheerful persons were in frequent demand as household helpers. At one time or another, Mother had their help at busy times. One late September Katie was helping Mother in a considerable canning of garden and orchard produce, and at this particular moment was engaged in chopping what was termed “chow-chow” in a large wooden bowl; the ingredients were green and red peppers, cabbage, raw beets, and pungent onions. The fumes arose from the onions, the tears streamed from Katie’s eyes. Good Katie, I looked at her and she laughed, brushing at her cheeks. Mother had a continuing interest in the Eisenhaur girls. Katie married a young farmer by the name of Hartman, who later on, had a good landed, well kept farm on the far outskirts of Lanark. Lizzie married a young Thomson located farmer by the name of Manning, and Lily married Ollie Fickes, brother of Dwight. One evening when Lily was staying at our house I recall Ollie driving in at the wheel of his Saxon roadster, he and Lily on their way to a picture show. I believe that our mutual acquaintance, Eva Mae Finer, is the daughter of the one time Lily Eisenhaur Wagner. Henry Wagner was a steady working man at whatever he was put to. Fence building, most any phase of farm work. Henry believed in a day’s work for a day’s wages. He was seldom idle.

Eva Mae Finer - August 14, 1921

We are across the railroad tracks now, nearing our home corner. It’s time I started my school career. In as much as the remaining unmentioned farms are on my way to school, I shall mention them as I mention my school going. Put first, note the map where, in the north east corner of the Duncan farm, appears a small patch labeled James, an arrow connecting this with the William James farm. This 20-acre corner contained the house where Grandmother Anne and Grandfather Dudley O’Neal and daughter Amy lived for a number of years after Dudley had leased the O’Neal farm. Dudley contracted his final illness there, Myra coming up from Kentucky to be with him and her mother and Amy. It was in this house that Neal was born. Later on, in 1965 I believe, I purchased this house, along with a few acres of adjacent land, from Clarence and Richard Colehour. It had been abused by a series of tenants, would have been too expensive to remodel, so was torn down and a new house built there, now the residence of Steve Buehler. Steve is proud of his home, has done a considerable amount of most attractive landscaping, possessing a truly scenic homestead. A credit to the community. This location, after Dudley’s death, had been disposed of by Anne O’Neal before she moved to Mt. Carroll, the James family taking over. In this house lived Harry and Sarah James, parents of Will James, who lived to the east, and Daisy James, daughter of Will’s first marriage.

The James farm, indicated on the map, was a good sized acreage, running back to the County Farm Road. The farm house and barn, a new large tall structure, lower tile walled, were set down below the road. There was a splendid, never failing spring east of the house, concreted around and over, the spring’s flow used for the house and for cooling tanks in the milk house. James maintained a considerable herd of milk cows, mostly Holsteins. He and sons Harry and Walter, with the assistance of perennial steady hand, Charley Bundy, and with the aid of Sarah’s brother, Frank Vincent, maintained the farming operation. Among the operations of the James family was the appointed maintaining of the then dirt road surface, this including from the County Farm Road west of the Milwaukee Railroad, then south to the Charles Freeman Jr. farm, and north to the Mt. Carroll – Savanna Road, a distance of substantially five miles. They were conscientious in this, using a horse drawn slanting steel drag. This was a free operation. When roads were drying out in the spring, after the winter freeze up, or after regular seasonal rains, either Harry or Walter could be seen, atop the drag, patrolling their territory.

The James family were communicants of the Hickory Grove Methodist Church. Mrs. James (Minnie), a fussy, careful dresser, attended the Ladies Aid. I remember one November night, early, rainy, when a baked bean dinner was being held at the Church, that Mother and I were picked up by the James surrey, sidecurtains on, Walter driving a dark roan gray and a white, the horses feet plunking in the road mud. Minnie, Mother and I were in the back seat, Walter and Daisy in the front seat. I must have been six or seven. Father, Neal and Don came later in our surrey, Mother and I joining them for the return trip. It was a cozy evening at the church, the basement bright with light, good food. Proper old style baked beans were prepared in a long cake pan, with real dark molasses, and strips of bacon laid over the top, baked in the oven until about the consistency of cake. Scooped out with a spoon. This with ham, cold slaw, and coffee, home baked bread, made a fine meal, especially if a wedge of pie followed. This was not an especially unusual affair, the church communicants over the seasons holding regular seasonal dinners such as this, the menu depending on the season.

East of the James farm, across the County Farm Road, was the Gill Craig farm and the Ferrin School. The James family was in Ferrin School territory. South of the James farm was the hilly, large John Dale farm, and south of the Dale the now McDearmon farm. At land plowing time in the spring, from the higher land of our farm looking off to the southeast, John Dale could be seen in one of his upper western fields, with horse-drawn plow turning his furrows; when he made the swing at the corners, the bright sun reflecting from the mirror bright surface of his plow lathes, like a now-a-day laser beam. Dale was a pre-threshing small grain stacker, building up medium tall round stacks of grain sheaves, and then at threshing time, pulling the threshing machine between the stacks and, with a man on each stack, pitching the sheaves into the machine. This cut down considerably on the size of the threshing crew required. Dale being the exception to the usual method of, at threshing time, hauling bundles by rack wagons from field to threshing machine.

The Dale farm was in the Mt. Carroll High School District. When Neal was in high school, one of the Dale girls (was it Grace?), when spring roads were deep with mud and difficult to travel, would join him, horseback on her steed, at the road corner east of James, the two riding in together. Then frequently back again in the afternoon. That might seem like a hardship today, but they thought nothing of it. Just part of the then present scene.

Bad roads were part of late winter and early spring. They were accepted, to be endured until thawing was complete, the road surface drying. Then, as I have noted, out would come the various district road patrollers, the roads would be smoothed and easily the wagons, buggies, and surreys could roll again.

And so I’m off to school, in early spring after my sixth birthday. It was custom in those days not to start a student to school until he or she had reached or passed their sixth birthday. Each early spring there would be held what was known as The County Teacher’s Institute, at various county locations, the corps of county teachers being obligated to attend. There would be a week of no school, known as Spring Vacation, then school would take up again, usually in quite early April. It was then eligible early students would commence their school careers.

Our farm was substantially two miles from school, we being at the south edge of Preston Prairie District No. 64. The Charles Freeman Sr. farm to our west was also in the district. At the time I commenced school there was Emma Freeman, from the west, to join we three boys, up the road were three of George Fulrath’s girls, and a girl and a boy from the Lew Weidman farm, a quarter mile beyond Fulrath’s. From the north arm of the district there were nine students, or a total of eighteen in the school. Our teacher was Maude Mader, a good teacher, a disciplinarian, who demanded and enforced order. I had her for just a few weeks, or until school dismissed in early May. This with a large community school picnic, cloths spread out on the lawn, lots of picnic fare, a complete gathering of mothers, and others of the district who could manage to come. Ending with ice cream and cake. Among things I remembered was Mrs. Charles Gillespie’s hard boiled eggs pickled in beet juice. This would be Maude’s last term at Preston Prairie, she leaving to marry a Freeman Law; I believe they settled in the Sterling area. It was just a few years back that I saw a notice in the Mt. Carroll Mirror-Democrat that Maude, in her 90s, had died in a Sterling area nursing home.

I would have six more years of country school, and it would have been better to have had an extra one or two. In those times it was possible to combine 5th and 6th grades via what was known as spring central examination at the school, and if passed, to combine 7th and 8th grades, again with a spring examination, which if passed could lead to what was known as final examination. This was held in the Mt. Carroll High School Assembly Room, under the supervision of the then County Superintendent of Schools, John Hay. It is my thought that if Mother had been living she would not have permitted me to combine the grades, and it would have been the better for me, as I was too young and too small in size to complete elementary school at twelve, as I did. Mother had been a country school teacher before her marriage and would have been averse to have her small son ahead of a proper grade rating. It is interesting to note that during Neal’s grade schooling, while Mother was living, he spent eight years in Preston Prairie School, while Donald and I, after Mother’s death, combined grades, as I have noted.

Country school went all right. I had five different teachers. In later years, I believe it was in 1948 or 1949, one of my former teachers, Dollie Mahood, who left the Mt. Carroll area to move to California, later becoming a school principal in Pasadena, was back for a summer visit in Mt. Carroll, being at her sister-in-law’s, where a Sunday reception was held. I attended, was very pleased to view a not too much changed Dollie, had a pleasant chat, with an invitation to visit her in Pasadena should I ever be there. I came to California in 1974, was in Pasadena briefly in 1976 when Dollie quite possibly might have been living, but inadvertently failed to telephone, which I quite readily could have done had it come to my mind. I’m sorry about that. Dollie was a capable country school teacher, well thought of by my parents and the school board. Pasadena is a delightful town, with especially scenic residential districts. And, I would think, a pleasant place to teach.

Country school wasn’t all study and discipline, although certainly that had its place. We played great games at recess and at noon, slid down the school hill in winter, skated on Cliff Downing’s pond. Shame on the boys, the fastest runner in school was red haired Helen Petty, daughter of Charles and Della Petty. A real speedster, we could not escape her. I believe Helen later settled in Arizona. Her younger sister, Margaret, took up residence in, I believe, the Pacific Beach section of San Diego. For a time her married name was in the telephone directory, but not the latest one.

School grew, as additional children came of school age. I recall a twenty-five student school. We had the usually country school house, with one large inner room, varied size desks, large heating furnace in one corner, several ample sized windows on each side of the east-west located building. One of the various socials held at the school, box or pie, I do not remember which, resulted in funds to secure needed items, among them pull up from the bottom translucent window shades for the south windows, and a good sized crockery drinking fountain, completed with bubbler. This gave drinking water in the school room, we filling it from the outside well. Another item was various new books for the small school library. Another was sets of small reproductions of master paintings, among these “The Horse Fair,” “The Song of the Lark,” and “The Gleaners.” As I recall, quite generally our teachers were interested in what could be described as “upward education,” this in addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic. For photos and information see Preston Prairie School

The school house, once a month in fall, winter and spring seasons, was the location of community club meetings, consisting of arranged programs, recitations, short plays, singing, and the like. One of the favorite performers was the Reverend Canfield, pastor of the Church of the Brethren at Wacker, he and his family of two small daughters having residence at what had been the Flaharty house, not shown on the map, but south from the school house about a third of a mile on the west side of the road, this house, for a time, being the parsonage for the Wacker Church. Canfield was a man in his early 30’s, of good height, erect, blond curing hair, wearer of the button to the chin gray ministerial coat. His act was singing, accompanied by self-held guitar. He was a handsome figure, sang well, chose the old songs. One I remember him singing was “Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve!” He did not stint, singing a number of songs. Received with hearty applause. He had a blonde wife and blond daughters. He was a popular man, and justly so, not only in his church but equally so in the Prairie Community. He was a frequent repeater on the monthly programs, always having new songs to sing.

The Web of the Years - Page 1

The Web of the Years - Page 2

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