"Our Friends on the Acres"
Mr. & Mrs. Edwin R. Livingood
About seven miles north of Postville in the old Myron community, live Mr. and Mrs. Edwin R. Livingood, two of the oldest and most active residents of Allamakee county. Mr. and Mrs. Livingood own 290 (?) acres of land and with the exception of 18 months, have lived there continuously since they were married, October 2?, 1883 - over 56 years ago.
Mr. Livingood is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. G.J. Livingood, a carpenter and cabinet maker, who was born in Pennsylvania. The father moved to Ohio in his youth and after being married, came to Iowa in 185?. Ed Livingood was born at Forest Mills on December 11, 1858, where his parents were located for several years. "My father used to walk five or six miles every day into Hardin, where he was building a school house." Mr. Livingood related. "He earned one dollar a day, and had to work ten hours." "In about 1865 he purchased 120 acres of land from a speculator in Chicago and a few years later acquired an additional 40 acres of land from a neighbor, a Mr. Stull." "We immediately settled on the land, living in a house just over the hill from here."
Ed Livingood acquired an education in the district school of Franklin township and for six months studied at the Elkader high school. Until he was 21 years old he assisted his father with the farm work then took active charge of the place, which he operated until his 25th birthday. He bought the farm in 1883 and immediately began a series of improvements. He built modern and substantial barns, outbuildings and sheds, increasing the value of the property.
On October 21, 1883 he was married to Miss Mathilda Pechia, a native of Post township. They had been long acquainted attending school at Myron together. The bride was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pechia, who were among the earliest settlers of Allamakee county. Miss Pechia was born December 9, 1854 (? or 1864). Her grandfather, Reuben Smith, was one of the pioneers of the Yellow River, and constructed the "old stone house" which is located today on highway 51 between Postville and Waukon. After their marriage they moved to the Livingood farm. Ten children were born to their union. Maud (Mrs. Frank Miller) passed away November 24, 1917. All of the others are living: Willard, who lives on an adjoining farm; Charles of Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Stella (Mrs. Gerald Moose) living south of Rossville; Earl, of near Frankville; Abigail (Mrs. Carl Winters) living south of Waukon; Cecil, who lives four miles west of the home farm; Caroline (Mrs. Elwood Lawson) of Waukon; Nellie (Mrs. Alfred Winter) and Lynn, living six miles east of the home farm.
Mrs. Livingood laughed when she was asked about the number of their grandchildren. "Don't ask me," she said at first. Then she relented and began counting on her fingers. After a few minutes of silent calculation she announced that "we must hold a record because we have 53 living grandchildren. Four grandchildren have passed away. We also have 39 great grandchildren. The Herald reporter asked the Livingoods if they had any great-great grandchildren. Mrs. Livingood laughingly answered. "No, we haven't any great-great grandchildren, but we will have some in the time to come."
The only time the Livingoods have been absent from the Allamakee county farm was the 18 months they farmed in Emmet county, in northwestern Iowa. "We didn't like it so well out there and neither did our children," Mr. Livingood explained. "So we moved back home and have been here ever since."
He has always been active and at the advanced age of 81 years, he still likes to do farm work. "I still do chores, and occasionally work in the field," he said. Most of the farm work is done by their son-in-law, Alfred Winter, who lives with his wife and family in a house nearby. The Livingood house wasn't always located where it is today. Until early in the present century it was located on the north side of their property, near where the schoolhouse is now standing. "It was over a mile from the house to the fields, so in 1902 we moved it," the aged farmer explained. In those days the task must have been a difficult one as the house was moved up hill for half a mile. Today the house is located half way up the side of a hill. the farm is called "High Point Farm," getting its name from its lofty position.
Myron was quite a village back in the days when Mr. and Mrs. Livingood were children. "Seventy years ago, when I was five years old," Mrs. Livingood stated, "at least 30 houses were in use at Myron. There was a postoffice, a blacksmith shop, general store, and a cooper shop where barrels were made for the mill. I believe D.D. Hendricks operated the first store in Myron. In those days it was an all day's job to drive hogs to Postville. I can remember the men driving them across the river. My brother and I used to help them and we often were given ten cents for our work. Today, it takes about ten minutes to truck hogs to Postville. Another interesting even I can remember was the annual Fourth of July picnic at Myron. In those days Yellow River was navigable and every Fourth of July a steamer would take large crowds of people from Myron to a point about a mile up the river where a big picnic was held. The last picnic was held in about 1864. I'll never forget it as it ended in a tragedy. The steamboat was moving slowly with many people on board. Someone saw a muskrat on the bank and when everyone aboard ran to one side of the deck, the boat tipped over. One person drowned. Although I've almost forgotten, I believe his name was Powers. You remember those picnics, don't you, Ed?" she asked her husband. "You were about 12 years old at that time." "Sure. I remember the," Mr. Livingood answered, "I worked at a stand and helped dish out ice cream."
In conclusion, the pioneers agreed that the old pioneer days were the best. "People moved around slower in those days with oxen furnishing transportation power. Today people ride cars and fly around in the air. None of that flying for us. Just give us the good old days." they said.
~Postville Herald, February 7, 1940
~Note: my photocopy of this article was terrible, so there may be errors; especially hard to read were dates and other numbers. The (?) were added by the transcriber.
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