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Charles & Cora (Henderson) Palmer


Posted By: Errin Wilker (email)
Date: 12/30/2006 at 16:41:55

Charles Aaron Palmer was born October 3, 1900, in Elkader, Iowa. He was the seventh of nine children born to Emma Niblock Palmer and Aaron V. Palmer. The family moved to a 240 acre farm in Jefferson Township, Allamakee County, Iowa when Charles was two years old.

He attended rural school, business college and three years in Iowa State Teachers' College, now the University of Northern Iowa. He taught school for five years, served in the U.S. Navy in World War I.

He married Cora V. Henderson of Clermont, Iowa in 1920. They are the parents of five: Lee Henderson Palmer, deceased; Allen Verle Palmer, retired abstractor; Patri­cia Palmer Schwager of Portland, OR, retired teacher; Helen Mar Palmer, high school English teacher in Highland Park, IL, and Roger Palmer of Omaha, NE, an actuary. They have 18 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.

He was Allamakee County auditor from 1921 to 1925. He engaged in the abstract business from 1925 to 1953, when he became the Waukon postmaster and served in that office until 1962 when he retired.

Both he and his family belonged to the Waukon Presbyterian Church and he belonged to The American Legion and Cora belonged to the American Legion Auxiliary. They were both charter members and Cora is now the only living charter member of the aux­iliary.

He belonged to the Masonic lodge and Consistory, Farm Bureau, secretary to the Park Board from 1937 to 1952, Allamakee County chairman of the Republican party, was state representative from AIlamakee County to the Iowa Assembly In 1945.

Cora Palmer taught fourth grade in Waterville and remedial reading in Waukon.

We have lived through war and depression. I agree with Grant that war is "hell" but we didn't consider ourselves "poor" in the depression because we were all in the same condition. I think we helped each other and often missed a movie because the 35 cents for two of us would buy a good roast for the family.

Our bank was closed for a day (July 20, 1933) and we had only a 50 cent piece. It was the day Helen Palmer was born. Verla was 11 and was sent to the store for something. He lost the coin and three of the neighbors helped him find it. At that time it would have bought a loaf of bread (5 cents), three pounds of hamburger (25 cents) and a pound of butter (20 cents).

The store was owned and run by Ahlstrom and Olson. If we didn't have money we could charge our groceries. Many people had store bills.

Changes in clothing since then might begin with men's clothing. Blue, gray or dark brown suits with starched collars on shirts that were laundered at the Chinese laundry on Main Street.

Women wore high shoes, hats, dresses and long hair.

Probably the world has seen more changes since 1920 than occurred in the previous 2000 years. It has been an exciting time to live.

Charles A. Palmer's long and useful life ended on January 22, 1975.

By Cora V. Palmer, October 17, 1988

Source: 1989 Allamakee County, Iowa History Book


Allamakee Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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