was born on a farm ten miles west of Winterset, April 5, 1879, and
have lived during a wonderful period of time, as great progress in
invention and living conditions have been accomplished and yet my
early childhood ran pleasantly and smoothly as there was usually
plenty to eat and wear. Nature was at its loveliest, each man knew
and usually appreciated his neighbor, simplicity was not
objectionable, religion a necessity, and progress and opportunity
always ahead --- an open road for everyone, especially the young.
father’s mother, Mary Kenworthy, was an English girl and
came with her parents to this country during the early part of the
nineteenth century. His father, George Hart, was of
Scotch-Irish descent and both families settled in the state of
Ohio. My grandparents were married there, and to them five
children were born; Andrew Matthew, Mahala Jane, Nancy
Ann, Miles Harvey, and Margaret.
1855 they moved to Iowa and George Hart and wife bought several
acres of school land located in the eastern part of Webster
Township, Madison County, at the then prevailing price of $2.50
per acre. Iowa City was then the capitol of Iowa but in 1857 the
constitution was revised and Des Moines was made the capitol.
grandmother, perhaps unacquainted with pioneer hardships died
while young and grandfather again married, and to them were born
three more sons; George W., David F., and Thomas
George Hart had accumulated a considerable amount of land of which
he later gave eighty acres with improvements to each of his
grandmother on the maternal side, Delane (Lana) Schnellbacher,
was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, and at an early age, moved
with her parents to Indiana and later to Illinois where she met my
grandfather, Peter Welty, born of Dutch parents who had
migrated there from Pennsylvania.
were married, and had a family of three, Emmanual, Caroline,
and my mother, Martha Ellen, born in 1851. The family moved
in the customary covered wagon style to Iowa bringing their
furniture, horses and cattle with them. Two more children, John
A. and Samuel, who died in infancy came to them after
their arrival here.
Welty, like most settlers of the time was not only looking for
land to farm but for conditions which stood for both convenience
and safety. Accordingly, he purchased land a built a home near
running water and in a partly wooded section. A constant spring of
running water located in the side of a steep little rocky canyon
served them at all seasons of the year. A small room was excavated
in the rocky wall and tanks made of heavy boards were situated
underneath the flow of water -- the first to be used for drinking
and the second for cooling of milk, butter, etc. -- yes, everyone
skimmed his milk and churned his own butter in a wooden churn with
a homemade wooden dash. Stone steps were built down to this
cooling room and need I say it was a pleasant place to be on a hot
cattle and horses were watered at Rocky Branch (the nearby stream)
and a little later wells were dug from which water was drawn, but
later these wells were fitted with wooden pumps. nevertheless, for
years my grandmother used the soft cold water of the spring for
house and so-called stables or barns of the early settlers were
built of hewn logs procured from the woods, split slabs
constituting the roofs of the houses, while the barns were usually
covered with the native wild grasses. Blue stem or slough grass,
tall, tough, jointed grasses served this purpose well. Fences were
made of rails split from measured, hand-sawed lengths of trees and
lucky was the family who had at least one or two big boys to help
in this process. Also fuel for the fireplace which served for both
cooking and heating purposes must be plentifully furnished. But
when Mother dished the meat and vegetable dinners from the iron
kettle hanging on the crane, everyone felt repaid.
upland covered with blue stem and other wild grasses, the more
hilly portions of the land also partially covered with hazel,
redroot etc. has occasioned, shall I say, some temper, or at least
a prolonged whistle from the boy as his narrow-lathed hand plow
struck a root. Old Dobbin or the long horned steer has appreciated
his temporary rest in the sun as the repairs were made when,
perhaps, the adjustment of the yoke followed.
last the field of a few acres is plowed and "worked" and
now the handiest of tools, the hoe, must perform its work of
covering the hand dropped corn, one of the most useful of crops in
pioneer days -- for is not cornmeal made into bread, mush, cakes,
etc. one of the staple articles of diet of the time? The cows and
horses must also have their share and the pigs, -- but butchering
day will come later when from four to seven hogs must be butchered
and put into salt brine ready to smoke the following spring. Why
so much cured salt pork? No refrigeration, no facilities for
canning, no local meat market -- it must last for the year.
patch of wheat and perhaps a small patch of oats must also be put
in if the ground has been prepared or it must lie for a season to
deteriorate the tough roots. The hoe must take care of corn field
and a generous garden which mother and the girls have planted, and
a cave or cellar must be dug that fall in which to put the
vegetables raised from the seed, perhaps, saved from the garden
grain was harvested with sickle and scythe and it was many years
before the binder with sickle for cutting, and platform catching
the cut grain on which sat the tier who gathered the grain in
bundles and tied them with some of the grain itself was used.
despite all handicaps, our worthy predecessors lived in
comparative comfort, and left us a legacy of strong bones, sturdy
muscles and a feeling of dependence on the source from which all
spiritual and moral help comes.
grist mill, located several miles east of my grandfather’s, at
what is now known as Pammel State Park, ground the settlers’
grain for miles around, and friends and relatives living farther
west occasionally made their home a stopping place, going to, and
returning from the grist mill. As the good roads and convenient
modes of travel bring near to us friends living at a distance, in
those days sympathy and the need of companionship made emigrant
homes open to everyone -- and everyone was his neighbor’s
Pammel Park, Middle River makes and abrupt turn around a high,
narrow jutting neck of land and Mr. Clark, a miller,
conceived the idea of digging a tunnel through this narrow rocky
strip, which was accomplished with hand tools. The water brought
down to a lower level served to turn the mill wheel. The tunnel
has been enlarged, strengthened, and instead of water passing
through it, a road has been constructed in place of the flume. The
old stone burrs still may be seen in about the location where the
grist mill operated. I never enter Pammel State Park but I think
of a trip my three girl cousins and myself took with my uncle,
riding several miles in a lumber wagon, shall I say "among
sacks of grain", eating a picnic dinner in the shade,
climbing the high strip of land above the tunnel and interestingly
watching the mill and the miller.
then local nurseryman, Judge Lewis, planted, and there are
now standing on the high wooded slope, several large beautiful
evergreen trees. Quantities of various kinds of wildflowers also
abound in the shaded wooded portions of the park. It is connected
to the state highway by a paved road and hundreds of tourists and
people from neighboring counties visit each year.
early times Madison County could boast of a woolen mill which was
a real asset to settlers, not only to chose raising some sheep but
for everyone requiring wool clothing. Woolen cloth was not only
used for outside garments such as coats, dresses, jackets, etc.,
but almost all persons, especially those living in open country,
wore woolen underwear. These together with mittens, socks, and
stockings knitted from the yarn made, were fashioned by the
housewives of that day.
system of large ponds situated on rapidly receding ground produced
the water and the power to operate the mill which was owned by a
man named Compton. The family occupied a two story stone house
(built of good quality limestone) which was recently tumbled down
on account of improper foundations. The large two story stone
house built by John Drake, of Webster Township, with its native
walnut woodwork, built in cupboards, fireplaces, etc. is still in
excellent condition, as are the two large three-story stone barns
with hay lofts built by James Bush who lived in the edge of
Adair County. Unluckily, later, his two-story stone house burned
but a modern bungalow has been erected from part of the
resurrected stone. The state had planned to buy the Compton house
and land for a state park but due to the condition of the house
this transaction did not occur.
father, Miles Harvey Hart, born March 5, 1836, grew to
manhood and enlisted in his country’s service in the Union Army.
He was a member of the 9th Iowa Cavalry, re-enlisted in 1863 and
was with General Wilson’s Cavalry Division in the south when
peace was declared in 1865. Father, a good story teller, told many
tales of early pioneer days but never any of army life for which I
give him credit. On being mustered out of service he returned home
and three years later he and Martha Ellen Welty were
married. Juanita, Florence Ellen, Caroline
Magdaline, and a son, Edward Arthur were born to them.
farmed and worked at carpentry, but hearing of the wonderful
prairie soil to be obtained for a mere pittance in northwestern
Iowa, he and mother’s brother, Emmanual Welty, determined
to locate there. Father drove through with wagon, taking furniture
and some implements. Stopping at Wall Lake, Iowa, he told of the
wonderful catch of fish he and others made there. Mother followed
a little later with her brother’s family and took with her the
six weeks old Edward, who soon afterwards died of membrane croup.
obtained land seven miles west of Pringhar, O’Brien County, and
Mother said the country was so level that in the evening they
could see the reflections of the sun’s rays shining on the
little town. The prairie was covered with tall tough grasses and
they immediately went to work to break the soil for cultivation.
Tragic as this may seem, during the two following years the
Country was visited by a scourge of grasshoppers which never
appeared in quantities again. Mother’s people sent the family
boxes of clothing and groceries but with nothing encouraging in
sight and no funds to operate with, both families returned to the
old home. Shortly after, a little sister, Sadie May was
born but she lived to be only about two years old. The family felt
very badly about this so when I came, April 5, 1879, I was made
George Hart, had sold his property and secured land in
Rawlins County, situated in northwestern Kansas. He invested in
cattle and entered into the ranching business. However, he was
alone, he became sick, and Father thought it his duty to go to
him. Consequently, when I was one year old, Father, Mother, my
three sisters and myself, left in a covered wagon for western
Kansas. One can imagine how long the trip took, stopping on the
way to cook and eat, rest the horses, etc. I do not doubt it was a
tiresome trip for Mother and Father but that my older sisters
enjoyed sitting around the campfire and picking wildflowers on the
arriving at Grandfather’s place, we found that he had passed
away, but my folks determined to stay. Father took a claim, an
adjoining tract of land, and went into the stock farming. In those
years the country was very dry and raising of crops by then
existing methods was not possible. Mother, always a good gardener,
raised some early garden but later crops were not very successful.
Father accumulated some cattle and in spare time, helped build
some of the railroad then being constructed in western Kansas.
U. S. government advocated the planting of trees in that flat
treeless region and furnished free land and the trees to plant it
with. So in addition to the land already acquired he had what was
then known as a tree claim. This being mainly a cattle country,
cowboys with their gay trappings were not infrequently seen. Rains
when experienced were sometimes very copious and sudden and the
family told the story of how my oldest sister who was keeping the
baby (myself) while the rest of the family went to town, had to
stay alone all night because they could not cross the full creek
did not lack for neighbors as the level country covered with its
growth of buffalo grass (where buffaloes had fed not many years
prior to this) looked quite attractive, especially to cattlemen.
It, no doubt, seemed more attractive than the level land of
northern Iowa covered with tall blue stem and other grasses and
remaining wet, sometimes, from one season to another. But when
turning the soil and later laying some tile, brought about
conditions which converted the Iowa soil into the wonderfully
productive land which it is. The plowing under of the buffalo
grass in Kansas removed the soil’s only protection from
evaporation in that comparatively rainless region.
lived in a sod house which was the type most commonly used by the
settlers at that time. It was made and occupied by my Grandfather
Hart but afterward Father built us a frame house, and Mother said
she was very satisfied indeed when we moved in.
had been an uprising of the Indians a short time before our moving
to the country and Mother was always a little anxious when alone,
and there were no rural schools or country churches in that
section of country, so when her father and mother asked them to
come back to Iowa she was glad to comply. I never heard my father’s
views on the subject. Grandfather Welty was ill with diabetes and
though still somewhat active, did not have long to live and wanted
to see us all. Accordingly, after three years of pioneering father
drove his cattle, and we followed in covered wagon back to Iowa.
arrived in the early fall of 1883 when I was four years old.
several of the relatives gathered to meet us, and one of my
cousins afterward remarked that she thought the folks had brought
back a little Indian as I was so reddened and tanned from continuous
exposure to the sun.
house that we formerly occupied was moved near the highway,
out-buildings erected, and we were soon at home again in Iowa.
grandfather, Peter Welty, passed away December 7th of that
year and Grandmother lived on in the old home with her remaining
unmarried son, John. On just two occasions do I remember
Grandfather. He and Uncle John had passed our house in a bobsled
and he asked that I might go home with him. Mother, thinking I
might be of some trouble said she thought I’d better not go, but
after they had started home she thought that my going my give my
grandfather a little pleasure and bundled me into my white coat,
mittens and hood and Father carried me to where they had stopped
the sled. The other time was the day he passed away.
years previously, my grandparents had built a frame house and also
a large frame barn and outbuildings. The yard was fenced in with a
home-made picket fence -- the pickets being pointed both at top
and bottom. I realized this to my sorrow one day when having
caught my bare foot under one, I tried to extricate it. It tore a
fair sized three cornered hole on top of it and the scar remains
of the house stood the smoke house where a generous supply of meat
was salted and afterwards smoked. Then on line east of it, was the
long, native board woodshed open to the south, accommodating its
workbench and large tool chest. Everything was in apple pie order
in this building even to the piling of the wood. In direct line
east followed the machinery and chicken houses. the garden lay
north of the house. On either side of the gate was planted a lilac
bush. I think those flowers as the sweetest lilacs that I ever
knew. Extending along the remainder of the fence, just inside the
garden were the old fashioned roses, including Harrison’s
yellow, Pink Cinnamon, Cabbage Roses, The White Scotch Prior and
moss roses. Also, there were the Bleeding Heart and Flowering
garden, though not large (potatoes were planted in the field) was
fenced in also, and always abounded in the "must have
vegetables" lettuce, radishes, peas, beans, cabbage,
tomatoes, turnips, etc., and was tended with the hoe but needed no
spraying as insect pests were not prevalent. There "There is
the orchard, the very trees where my childhood knew long hours of
ease. And watched the shadowy moments run till my life imbibed
more shade than sun. The swing from the bough still sweeps the
air, but the stranger’s children are swinging there."
grandfather, Peter Welty, as did several of the surrounding
early pioneers, planted a fair sized apple orchard with several of
the varieties which stood the test of quality and hardiness.
Jonathan, Grimes Golden, Roman Stems, Red June, Ben Davis, etc.,
were some of the leading varieties planted. Siberian Crabs were
also planted and made into sweet pickles and jellies. Apple
diseases were not prevalent in this new country and the spraying
of fruit trees and vegetables was not necessary. Consequently, the
trees and shrubs grew lustily. Grandfather’s cellar was equipped
with homemade tray like bins of wood, built several inches above
the cellar floor, and I remember how late the Jonathans, Roman
stems, etc. kept in the spring and how good they tasted when
Grandmother handed them out. Incidentally, she had a smile and
kind word for everyone and I shall always remember her as
happiness personified, but did not then realize just what that
sometimes may have cost her.
her religion was the true and practical kind. Her generous skirt
pocket always contained cookies, candy, apples, etc., for the
little folk when she visited us. Her knitting almost always
accompanied her for besides stockings and socks for her own
family, she supplied many pairs of mittens for her grandchildren.
I am not over eulogizing her when I say she was a splendid cook,
and her puddings, apple and cream pies, cookies, etc., were
enjoyed by many outside the family.
provided juice for jelly and fruit for pies, which were also made
from the wild gooseberry, rhubarb, etc. Wild plums and grapes,
apples and crabs, were made into butter and preserves. Wild
strawberries (sometimes found quite plentifully on untouched
prairie soil), raspberries and blackberries were tasty luxuries.
Sorghum mills were scattered over the country, which provided each
grower of cane with syrup for table use and also the tasty ginger
snaps and sorghum cakes, and even sweetening for plum butter, etc.
not to mention the sorghum candy which was so much fun to
county was liberally provided with hazel, hickory and walnuts, and
in some sections butternuts were found. So many pleasant evenings
were spent cracking nuts and usually Mother saw to it that a
portion was set aside to some cookies or cake.
soap may have been quite a task for grandmother, but an intriguing
episode for me. The "ash hopper", a large V shaped
container made of upright planks or slabs and elevated perhaps a
foot above the ground served as a container for wood ashes
obtained form the fireplaces and the cook stove during the winter
months. In the spring, buckets of water were poured on these ashes
and a container placed underneath into which a spout guided the
lye water. By emptying this into a larger container, enough lye
was soon accumulated for soap making. This liquid was emptied into
the large iron kettle (an indispensable) holding perhaps twenty or
thirty gallons, and was "boiled down" until by stroking
the wing feather of a fowl across the contents of the kettle three
times, it was denuded of fuzz. Now came the emptying of a portion
of cracklings, waste grease and rinds from the winter butchering
into it, which when boiled until it "haired out" on
lifting the stirring paddle from the kettle, or became thickened
when cooled in a small testing vessel, produced soft soap. If hard
soap was wanted, a longer period of boiling was required. Several
kettles of soap were sometimes made, the soft soap kept in large
jars or wooden containers, being especially handy for dish
washing. It also proved convenient to spread on soiled portions of
clothing when the early method of washing on the washboard was
order to promote education, school land was set aside by the
government at an early date before pioneers established
homesteads. The first schoolhouses were built of logs, but my
earliest recollection of a schoolhouse was a large frame building
with board siding, shingled and equipped with varnished desks and
recitation seats (though a few of the old long benches were still
sitting on the sides). Three large glass paned windows on each
side of the building and a tall iron coal burning stove situated
near the center, and a large blackboard completed the picture.
Schools as a general rule were large, often both boys and girls
twenty-one years of age, attending (especially) in winter.
Consequently, discipline and order had to be strictly observed.
One of our gentlemen teachers, having heard of our school’s
reputation, sometimes stamped his foot and cried out
"Order" until some of us smaller ones fairly quaked in
the old time country school was a great institution of learning,
for not only self discipline was acquired and appreciated, but
through the perusal and study for several years of those subjects
most important in education, we learned and comprehended
mathematics, orthography, English and (the best of literature) ,
history, geography, and government, which proved the best
foundation for subsequent reading and education. The school yard
was a large sloping grassy one with a grove of tall hickory and
oak trees at the eastern edge. Here we had our summer "Play
Houses" and when fall arrived the recesses and noon hours of
the first school days were spent in gathering hickory nuts—the
larger boys climbing the tees and flailing them off, and the
remainder of the children picking them up. A nice long hill was
directly south of the yard and this proved good coasting ground.
The big boys sometimes operated a section form a bobsled which
would accommodate several pupils. It was just too bad if it wasn’t
year when I was yet a small girl of seven we had a
"singing" school. Liston Darnell, a gentleman
from a neighboring school district, was our singing teacher. Not
only most of the pupils but many of the older people from our and
neighboring school districts attended. Several other winters
literary societies formed and everybody participated.
earlier days, religion was not neglected. Usually schoolhouses,
and prior to them private homes, were used for worship. The
minister, who traveled on horseback from place to place,
accommodated audiences for a while. But soon parsonages were
erected at certain points and the ministers living in these
preached in two or three communities, perhaps every alternate or
third Sabbath.. His salary was sometimes meager but he had a
garden and several of his parishioners usually provided grain for
the team he drove. Also, he usually helped nearby farmers with
their grain, hay, etc., and received something in return.
1890, when I was eleven years old our home community built oak
Grove Church which was about three quarters of a mile from our
home. Uncle Matt Hart gave the land on which it stands and
much of the work was contributed by members of the church,
including Father and Uncle Matt. My Grandmother Welty’s people,
her sister’s families (Adam Krells and Jonathan
Wisslers) Henry Krells, John Schnellbachers, Will
Elsbury, Mathew and Miles Hart families (all
relatives) and almost all the community attended church services. Henry
Krell was for several years both Sunday School Superintendent
and leader of the congregational singing. Mr. Owens, who
taught vocal Music classes, conducted a "Singing School"
at oak Grove (also at Webster) one winter and nearly everyone
except the oldest persons attended. Hence, part singing, was
practiced and enjoyed.
Methodist Church, Pleasant View, situated about two miles
southwest of Oak Grove, was built a year or two later (1892). It
was a nice large country church, equipped with a bell. Fine
interest was shown for a good many years but on account of lack of
attendance it was torn down a few years later, and the material
used to help rebuild the Methodist Church at Macksburg.
little primitive building with its small windows, bench seats,
homemade desk and plank floor, was situated on the opposite corner
of the new church (and had been used in earlier times as a
schoolhouse) is my earliest recollection of a country church.
so completely describes the village and country blacksmith there
is nothing to add. He was a handy and indispensable man to the
farmer, for the shoeing of horses and the sharpening and mending
of the tools and implements. He was also called on to reset tires
and replace broken spokes or fellows of the wooden wagon used. Our
neighborhood was fortunate to have a neighbor work at this trade.
His little shop was near the road and it was interesting to look
in at the open door as we made an occasional trip to town.
early days the country store was a great asset to the communities.
Our nearest trading point was the town of Macksburg named in honor
of its resident, Dr. Mack, whom I can remember, but the
neighbors chose Winterset as their town as the two miles of
distance traveled was more than compensated for by the better
prices and selection of goods.
as did the neighbors, used a lumber wagon furnished with two seats
when the family accompanied him. Later on, he purchased a spring
wagon similar in type to a heavy buggy, and having a box about
seven feet long with removable seats. We children thought to ride
in it was quite a treat.
the county seat of Madison County, was incorporated as a town in
1851, about three years before the Weltys located. Here is the
story of how it got its name. A delegation from the settlement met
one cold night for that purpose. Accordingly, a gentleman arose
and suggested the name – Summerset. When a drunken bystander
muttered, "I think you’d better call it Winterset." So
Winterset it became.
had no local post office and all the communities’ mail was
addressed to Winterset. A neighbor, Fred Walker, (later the
blacksmith) was interested in reading and as keeping the mail
afforded him the privilege of reading everyone’s local
newspapers he agreed to make home a central point of distribution.
Consequently each person making a trip to Winterset brought out
the mail. As the little schoolhouse church was nearby, and as he
did blacksmithing, it afforded the people of the community a handy
means of getting their mail, both on Sunday while attending church
or when having blacksmithing done.
wild flowers of this and other countries hold a place in our
hearts which cannot be supplanted. They are the very essence of
spring and the purity and the brightness of summer, and together
with the autumn leaves, the gold of fall.
April always greeted wild flower lovers with low growing perennial
Trillium with its simple stem, three leaves and single three
petaled white flower. It loved the semi-shady spots where nature
accumulated leaves from season to season. The white flowers
peeping above this carpet were a thrilling spring greeting.
lovely spring tramp to look forward to a little later, was a trip
to Middle River about a quarter mile north of our home. Here one
steep north slope which , unfenced, was not pastured intensively,
nestled quantities of Hepaticas, Spring Beauties, False or Rue
Anemones, wood Anemones, and the common violets, and where too
grew the Downy yellow violet. Many bouquets of these flowers,
though short lived, were carried home or to school, but the
greatest pleasure derived was seeing them growing there in the
Breeches and the White Dog Tooth Violet or Lamb’s Tongue were
found in most wooded sections while in certain places, principally
along streams, grew the Blood Root, which opens its white waxy
petals in the morning and closes them I the evening.
the above flowers are beautiful and may and should be grown in
woodsy soil by all wild flower lovers.
have never seen so many wild columbine as grew on a rock, south
hillside near home and when they were in bloom it was a beautiful
sight to see. The Jewel Weed and the Touch-me-not sent up its
hollow transparent plant stalks along the spring where our school
sometimes obtained its drinking water. Children like to pop the
seed pods of this Touch-me-not.
wild Bluebell (Polonium) and the May Apple or American Mandrake
were a little more choosy as to their wooded locations but both
were produced in quantities where found.
finding of a Cypripedium (lady slipper) which grew in woodsy soil
in shady or semi-shady locations was an event. The yellow Lady
Slipper (parviflorum) were found occasionally and a small, White
Moccasin Flower, very rarely. My sister found a pair one day and
dressed her doll (a rather smallish one with china feet) up with
them. The handsome native lily, Philadelphicun, with cup shaped
flowers and the wild lily resembling the Tiger Lily were found.
Both of these may be easily naturalized. The beautiful native
Maiden Hair Fern with its black stems and branching delicate green
fronds and a tiny variety with finely cut pinnules grew on shad
slopes while two large varieties of fern grew, usually in deep
shady outs or ditches. This plant, together with the than,
prolific March Buttercup (single) are not now found in many
localities as both depend on moisture. This is also true of the
Blue Flag or Wild Iris which was then a common flower.
with its beautiful two three-parted leaves and its bronzy dull
green hooded deep cup below them, Solomons Seal and false Solomons
Seal were also found in wooded country as was also the Wild
Geranium or Cranesbill with its purplish pink flower.
wild Rose and the Strawberry choose the uplands and both may be
seen along uncultivated roadsides today.
square stemmed Monkey Flower with its purple flower consisting of
an erect, two lobed upper lip and a three lobed lower one, the
Great Lobelia or Blue Cardinal Flower somewhat similarly shaped,
the Joe Pye Weed, Boneset or thoroughwort, and the annual Blue
Fringed Gentian (which is almost extinct) chose low damp ground
and bloomed from July to September.
about this same period the wild flowers that bloomed and graced
the upland prairie and partially timbered tracts consisted of the
brilliant Orange Butterfly Weed,, two varieties of Purple
Gayfeather (Liatrus), Horsemint, or Wild Bergamot, Black-Eyed
Susan, the Purple Cone Flower, the Asters, Mew England (the large
purple aster growing in the eastern U. S.), the Heart-leaved Aster
and the Blue or Smooth Aster. Also, the glory of yellow flowers -
the Goldenrods, the Compass Flower whose large cut leaves point so
accurately that they sometimes guided lost travelers in early
days, the Resin Weed, Wild Sunflowers and artichokes – the
tuberous root of which is sometimes used as a substitute for
parents had three children (younger) than I: John Archibald,
born 1883; Charles Orie, born 1886, both farmers in Madison
County; and Beatrice, born 1889, who died when nine years
old. She was quite musical and could improvise accompaniments and
play music from memory.
we were not dressed as children are nowadays, mother with her
sewing machine, mending basket and knitting needles and yarn,
always kept us supplied with neat and clean garments. She did the
family wash on the board with no help except in vacation time, as
my older sisters were teaching school and the rest of us attending
school. She also planted and, to a great extent tended a big
garden. Tribute should be paid our mother for her care and the
management of our lives.
bought forty acres of land lying east of us, farmed and
accumulated too many horses and cattle, he was a very pleasant,
self disciplined man. Consequently that was a great factor in the
disciplining of his family. He helped care for the sick in the
neighborhood and almost everyone liked him.
we grew up as children do, went to the nearest country school and
led a carefree existence. The last year I attended my teacher
taught me English, Akgebram Civil Government, Physical Geography,
and Methods of teaching. The following year I attended high school
in Greenfield, staying with my sister, Ella Quick and her
then embarked on teaching country school and continued that for
seven years, staying at home part of the time and walking three
miles or farther.
1903 I met the man who has proved to be my ideal and the following
year we were married. Sister Ella Quick helped make my
wedding dress of white wool with lace drop yoke which was trimmed
with a wide ruffle of lace. The skirt was long and pleated. Also
had a black short taffeta jacket with quilted drop yoke and
pointed belt, and long full sleeves with quilted cuffs. My hat was
white and wide and was trimmed with along whit feather. Dad in
black suit and high linen collar looked, I thought, swell.
were married the evening of August 10, 1904, at the home by Dr.
Lanely. Dad’s and my nearest relatives were present and
refreshments of homemade ice cream were served. The following day
Mother Hollen served a reception dinner.
had purchased machinery and enough livestock to give us a fair
start and I, besides the piano (costing $375) had accumulated
another $300 with which we purchased carpets and furniture. Then
came the fun of buying it in Winterset and hauling it home in a
lumber wagon with side boards. The first trip (after purchasing
all of it) we reached home at about 3 o’clock A. M. as the roads
were frozen and rough. I laid my head over on poor Dad’s
shoulder and slept part of the time. I had previously bought table
linen and our mothers had helped make quilts and comforters so
everything was new and shining.
and I taught three terms of school each after we were married.
Then he became assessor for two terms. We were busy and happy, as
I suppose all young married folks are or should be.
Hollen bought and moved to a forty acre farm adjoining us on the
southwest and had a little house built, where she and Erma lived.
The family had always enjoyed her, principally I think for her
practical Christianity and helpfulness.
affiliated with our Webster Methodist Church of which Dad was a
member and for several years was organist; I was followed by Angie
Estell Beaman who has been a good attender and has done a
wonderful service for her church for many years.
Lucille was born July 14, 1907, and developed into a cute
bronzy gold curly haired toddler who was always carrying her best
shoes to us and saying "I want to go my shoes" when she
thought there was a chance of anyone leaving the house.
came to us April 4, 1911, a day before my 32nd birthday and a
busier, finer present one couldn’t ask for. He was always poking
his fingers into every keyhole and crevice, and picking up and
interested in everything he could find on the floor. Perhaps that
was indicative of his choice of Engineering as his life’s work.
and I were fortunate to receive another fine present, Eugene
Hubert a day early for Christmas and was nonetheless welcomed,
and reached us December 24, 1912. It wasn’t long until his deep
little voice was engaged in singing and in fact the children all
sang about as early as they talked.
we lived over a mile from the school house, I taught the children
at home until they were about seven years old and ready for the
fourth grade. They continued in school, graduating from the eighth
grade in 1920 and 1924 respectively.
graduated from Simpson Conservatory of Music, and both boys are
Mechanical Engineering graduates of Iowa state. They are all
happily married, Lucille to Arnold W. Koch, John to Dorthea
Schooler of Indianola, and Eugene to Marjorie Mettlem
generation and the preceding one has witnessed many changes. Great
progress has been made in invention and science. The next century
may witness greater changes. Along with these, may advancement
also come in the are of true living by simply practicing this
axiom that, "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye to
by Emma Hart Hollen