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Crouse Family Reunion of Grundy Pioneers


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 3/21/2015 at 20:02:06

Crouse Family Have Reunion of Grundy Pioneers

Large Gathering Were Guests At The Home In Fairfield Wednesday

Program By The Pioneers

History of Dairyville Re-Told by Those Who Were Identified With Inland Station

(By R. M. Finlayson)

The early settlers who once lived in the vicinity of Dairyville and their descendants were given a splendid treat recently by the Crouse families of Fairfield township.

All of those whose present address is known were made the recipients of a special invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Crouse to assemble at their home one mile north and three-fourths of a mile west from Dike on Friday, June 26th, for the purpose of holding a re-union of the "old timers" of that vicinity.

Dairyville was the name by which a community center situated two miles west and one mile north from the town of Dike was known for a long term of years. Nearly fifty years ago the farmers of that locality built a co-operative creamery on the southeast corner of section 30 in Fairfield township, which was a prosperous and profitable concern for a number of years. Later a fair sized store building was erected and stocked with a good supply of goods. A blacksmith shop and several residences also were built and used.

But the history of Dairyville is similar to that of numerous small places throughout the state, which in early days grew and prospered for years, but were deserted and allowed to disappear in after years because of the location of a railroad town near them or for some other unforeseen reason.

The advent of the railroad and the location of the town of Dike only three miles distant proved disastrous to the small inland town and there is not now a stick or stone to mark the spot where once a thriving business was done. But the name of Dairyville is still fondly remembered by the early settlers who were its promoters and patrons.

The weather was ideal for the occasion and autos loaded with people began to arrive at the Crouse home soon after 9 o'clock, and they continued to come for the next three hours, when it was estimated that not less than one hundred and fifty to two hundred people had arrived. Some came quite long distances.

The forenoon was spent in handshaking, renewing old acquaintances and visiting. Many met old time friends whom they had not seen for years. Every face was illumined with a smile, and all seemed to be enjoying themselves to the limit. All who came brought abundant supplies for dinner, which were arranged by the ladies on a line of tables placed end to end, and when the noon hour arrived the crowd was served in genuine cafeteria style. Coffee and ice cream were also served in addition to the provisions brought by the visitors.

Eli F. Crouse, patriarch and long time resident of the premises upon which we were gathered whose descendants number five sons and three daughters, nineteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, every one of whom was present, was the honored guest of the occasion. The mother, Mrs. Emma Roadman Crouse, was called away by death July 21, 1921.

This large family had not had the privilege of meeting together all at one time for about fifteen years.

They have been more widely separated from each other by actual mileage for the past five years than have any other family in this section of the country, we believe, as may be seen by reference to their places of resident, given below:

The first generation, after Mr. Crouse Sr. is composed of the following names persons:

Mrs. Effa Crouse Deacon, wife of Will Deacon, Almyra, Arkansas

Mrs. Mary Crouse Saul, wife of David Saul, Stuttgart, Arkansas

Frank Crouse, Fairfield township, Grundy county, Iowa

Dr. Roy Crouse, dentist, Chicago, Ill.

Ralph Crouse, Fairfield township, president of the Grundy County Farm Bureau

Mrs. Blanch Crouse Tilton, Chicago

Ray Crouse, tea rooms, etc., Cedar Falls, Iowa

Floyd Crouse, manager of a large ranch, owned by the M.E. church, near Argol, in central Chili, South America. Mr. Crouse and family have been in Chili almost six years.

All of the children of those named above, nineteen in number, as has already been mentioned, were present. Several of them took part in the program given, which added to the pleasure of the occasion.

Mr. Lee Deacon, son of Will Deacon, named above, and his wife, of Almyra, Ark., were also present, and their two children made up the fourth generation of Crouses.

Will Deacon and David Saul are both former Grundy county men and belong to old time Grundy families, and no doubt will be remembered by many who may read this account.

After dinner the people were asked to occupy seats which were placed on the north side of the house for their use, where a very interesting program was given. Dr. Ray Crouse acted as toastmaster. The porch on that side of the house served as a convenient platform for the use of those who had a part in the program.

The program was opened by a song, "Auld Lang Syne." by the five Crouse brothers. As an encore they sang "How Do You Do, Dairyville, How Do You Do"

Address ----- Rev. Earl Roadman
Mr. Roadman is a cousin to the Crouse families. He is in charge of the department of Rural Education, Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa. He told of his recollections of the people and things generally in the vicinity of Dairyville when he was a boy.

Talk ----- "Reminisces"
R. M. Finlayson

Recitation ----- "Coming Back to Iowa"
Miss Ferrol Huyck

Songs, "Philosophy" and "Three Little Chestnuts."
Miss Elizabeth Crouse

Talk ----- "Old Times As I Remember Them"
Forest Wynegar, Cedar Falls

Reading ----- "Arithmetic"
Miss Lorna Saul

Talk ----- "Old Times at Dairyville"
J. H. Sperry, Grundy Center

Song ----- "Arkansas"
The Deacon Families

Song ----- Master John Crouse
He is a young son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Crouse. He was accompanied by his mother on the piano. He sang the Spanish National Anthem in the Spanish language.

Song ----- "Iowa Corn Song"
Crouse Families and Audience

Address ----- "Living in South America"
Floyd Crouse
He told of his five years' experience as manager of a live stock and grain ranch of almost 4,000 acres near Argol, in the central part of Chili. He also told of his connection and work with the mission and school maintained there by the M.E. church. He described the country and the people who live there: their manner of living, customs and habits; products raised and prices received for them; winter there while it is summer here. He also answered many questions asked by the audience at his request. It was intensely interesting. Mr. Crouse is here on a vacation and he will soon return to resume the management of the ranch.

Mr. Eli F. Crouse, whose 80th birthday occurred on the 25th of June, which was duly celebrated by his family at that time, and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Harvey Roadman, of Cedar Falls, whose birthday occurred two days later, were escorted to the platform and presented to the audience, while the relatives sang "A Happy Birthday to You."

All joined in singing "Blest Be the Tie That Binds" following which Rev. A. B. Chamberlin, of Dike, pronounced the benediction and the audience was dismissed.

On motion of Forest Wynegar, a hearty vote of thanks was tendered Mr. and Mrs. Frank Crouse and the other Crouse families for their thoughtfulness and kindness in inviting the old settlers to their home for the reunion.

Mr. and Mrs. Lee Deacon gathered the older persons together for the purpose of having their pictures taken together.

Among the older pioneers present, as to age and also with reference to their early settlement were Mr. and Mrs. Eldredge Wilson, Mrs. F. M. Hemmerling, E. A. Wright, Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Wright, Mrs. Harvey Roadman, Mrs. Ed. Guernsey, Mrs. David Wilson, and John Cowie, now all of Cedar Falls; Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Whitney, New Hartford; Mr. and Mrs. Jess Ahrends, Dike; J. H. Sperry and Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Finlayson, Grundy Center, and others whose names we cannot now recall. A number of other old time settlers expected to attend, but were prevented by the condition of their health or by other causes. Among these may be mentioned Mr. and Mrs. William Meyers, of Cedar Falls, former and early residents in Beaver township.

As evening approached the pioneers and their descendants reluctantly parted from their old-time friends, each feeling that they had spent one of the most enjoyable days in a lifetime.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 2 July 1925, pg 1


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