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Trimble, Betty Jean "Butch"


Posted By: Ken Baker (email)
Date: 8/10/2022 at 16:34:40

From Armstrong Funeral Home, Mt. Ayr, Iowa

Betty Jean "Butch" Trimble
Betty Jean “Butch” Allen, daughter of Edgar Orr Allen and Helen Hope (Moore) Allen, was born October 5, 1925, about 6 ½ miles NW of Kellerton, Iowa, at the farm home of her widowed paternal grandmother, Harriett (Meadows) Allen. She was welcomed by her older sister, Nadine.

When Butch was about one month old, her parents purchased their first farm near the NE edge of Kellerton, where they lived in an old church her dad had remodeled. When Butch was about 10, her family moved into the telephone house in the town of Kellerton where her mother worked as the switchboard operator and her father as the telephone lineman.

Butch graduated from Kellerton High School in 1943. She played forward on the Kellerton Girl’s High School basketball team and received the MVP award in both her Junior and Senior years. She had taken a “Normal Training” course in high school, which permitted her to teach in Iowa’s rural schools. She also attended 2 summer school sessions at Simpson College in Indianola, IA. She taught school for 9 years at the 3 following schools: Woodland and Jackson Hill rural schools near Kellerton and then in Shannon City. By 1950, she had saved enough to buy a new 1950 red Dodge convertible. Then Butch worked at the Traveler’s Insurance Company in Des Moines, IA for 1 ½ years. In 1953-54, she taught at a rural school near Alleman, IA.

Butch was united in marriage to Glenn LeRoy Trimble on June 6, 1954, at the Kellerton Methodist Church. She traded her convertible for a Ford ton truck and for the next 11 years, they farmed LeRoy’s dad’s 200-acre farm 2 ½ miles SE of Kellerton. After they were married Butch helped with the farming and served as a substitute teacher for ten years at the Kellerton School, mainly in K-8 grades.

In 1959, Butch and LeRoy bought a 183-acre farm just over the Ringgold County line, about 3 miles SE of Kellerton. That same year they also built their first “pig parlor” on their farm and painted it pink. Yes, pink. Before the hogs moved in, they invited several friends, neighbors, and relatives to a dance on the new concrete floor. They had a live band, but Butch played her drums and her dad, Orr, played the fiddle that memorable night.

Trimble’s pig parlor was the first confinement hog parlor in southern Iowa. It had about 20 electric fans and a mist-system to keep the pigs cool during the hot summers. They had a stand-by generator powered by a tractor in case the electricity failed.

In 1965-66, they tore down the old farmhouse on the farm and built a new one-story two bedroom home and painted it pink! A pink “farrowing house” and “nursery grower” hog house soon followed. The farrowing house had 40 separate stalls which each housed a litter of nursing pigs with their 400–500-pound mommas. Each stall had its own water and feed bin. The baby pigs soon learned how to operate the waterspouts and grain feed bins with their snouts. After the pigs were about 15 pounds, they were sorted by size and moved to the nursery grower where they were fed “pig starter”, a mixture of corn, beans, and oats. The pigs’ first two homes had underground conveyer systems to remove waste, and both were automated so when feed bins became low, the farmer could turn on a switch to fill them. After the pigs reached 150 pounds, they were moved into the “pig parlor”, their last stop on the farm. When they reached about 250 pounds, they were sent to market. Hog farming was the Trimble’s main farming interest. They usually raised about 2,000 cross-bred (Yorkshire/Hampshire) hogs a year.

The Trimble’s also typically had about 200 head of stock cattle, mainly Herefords and 8 bulls (Charolais and Angus). Calves were raised until they reached about 525 pounds and then sold to middlemen. Butch always lent a hand when a newborn baby pig or calf was sickly or had trouble being born. She often took them to the house where she nursed them back to health with a baby bottle until they were strong enough to be on their own.

Butch loved pets and her particular favorite was their huge sow she called “Big Bertha.” She had raised her from a piglet and the spotted-Hampshire lived to be 8 years old and had a record 242 piglets in her lifetime. In her last days, Big Bertha was crippled up and liked to have Butch pet her. Butch also had several other pets including chickens, cats and dogs, as well as a pet goat called “Lilabelle” and a pet peacock named “Percy.” Peacock feathers were in demand at area craft shops and she raised peacocks for sale for about 5 years.

Butch loved music and played for many years at churches, funerals, and other events. Butch had a strong faith and enjoyed attending and supporting area churches. She will be remembered for her quick wit and sense of humor.

Betty Jean passed away on July 13, 2022. She was preceded in death by her husband LeRoy on June 26; parents; sister Nadine (Hallie) Myers; two sisters-in-law and their husbands Mary (Lloyd) Stephens and Doris (Paul) Hannon; and nephew Gordon Myers.

She is survived by nieces and nephews Richard (Linda) Stephens of Rock Port, MO, Dennis (Donna) Stephens of Mount Ayr, IA, Susan Stephens of Leavenworth, KS and Sandra Stephens of Lawrence, KS, Carol Ann (Ed) Larsen of Sarasota, Florida; several great nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.

Memorials are to the Mount Ayr Public Library.


Ringgold Obituaries maintained by Tony Mercer.
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