Elliott Centennial, 1879 - 1979

Elliott Centennial Committee

Page 86-87




    Forrest Abramson was born January 11, 1893 at Holton, Kansas, the son of John and Annie [Miller] Abramson.  He was raised around Valley Falls and Arrington. He came to Iowa as a young man and worked as a farm hand in the Wales vicinity.  In December 1917, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a seaman 2nd class aboard the battleship "U. S. S. New Mexico". He was honorably discharged Oct. 6, 1919.  He returned to Iowa in the early 1920's and again located near Wales.  In June 1924 he married Molly Marie McVay, daughter of Milton and Anna [Guffey] McVay of Macedonia. She was born May 12, 1902.  They lived on a farm south of Wales and he did farm work for others, was school bus mechanic, and drove a bus.

    Two daughters were born, Wilma Faye, July 5, 1925; and Anna Elizabeth, May 10, 1928.

    They moved to Elliott and Forrest started a garage. Three more daughters were born: Margaret Louise, February 7, 1931; Bonnie Marie, April 27, 1932; and Barbara Deane, October 8, 1933.

    By now the depression years were well underway and my parents had to work very hard to provide for their family.  They raised a large garden, and canned what they could. They owned a fine milk cow, which provided milk, butter and cheese for their family.  They sold butter, cottage cheese, and bread and rolls, which my mother baked.  I can faintly remember the bouquets of crepe paper flowers she made and sold for a small sum.  We also had a large strawberry patch.  These we sold for 10 cents a quart.  My mother made our clothes, and also did washings and ironings for others.

     During the years 1933 to 1936 my father was quite ill. I donít know what the illness was but I do recall him using crutches to walk. It was also during these years that I first experienced our home without my mother. She was burdened with a mental illness which resulted in nervous breakdowns. During these breakdowns she had to be hospitalized away from her family, sometimes for several months. When we were small, others in my motherís family helped to care for us. But as we grew up, we learned, with the help of my father and many good neighbors, to care for one another and also to take care of the home.

    The sixth and last daughter, Alice Mae, was born April 18, 1937; one of the first babies delivered by Dr. C. G. Johnson, who had just settled in Elliott.

    My father also worked for John Buss, in the West End Garage, and drove a gasoline transport for the Community Oil Co.  During the war years gas was rationed, his loads were limited; and he also drove a school bus.  In the early 50's he suffered a slight stroke which forced him to retire. In 1958 a stroke left him paralyzed on the left side.  It was also confirmed that he had lung cancer, and he passed away at the Veterans Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska, on Nov. 4, 1965.  He is buried at Hillside Cemetery, Elliott.

    My mother is 77 now and resides at the Griswold Care Center.

    We six girls all started to school in Elliott, and four of us graduated there. Wilma married Nels Swendson from Sioux City, Iowa. They had 2 daughters. Nels passed away in 1958 and she married James Taylor, also from Sioux City. James passed away in 1971. Wilma is retired from Northwestern Bell Telephone Co., where she worked for 28 years. She lives in Sioux City. Elizabeth married Gyle Tye of Griswold. They have 3 sons and a daughter, all of whom started school in Elliott and graduated from Griswold after the school merger. They have farmed near Elliott for 30 years. Bonnie married Jay Tye of Griswold. They had 2 sons and 3 daughters, four of whom graduated from Griswold. Patrick, age 14 was killed in a car and go-cart accident in Elliott in Nov. 1966. They now live in Lakewood, Colo. Barbara married Norman Hanson of Tekamah, Nebr. They have 2 sons, and live on a farm at Stennett which they have owned for 18 years. Alice is married to Phillip Rife from Omaha, Nebr. They have 3 sons and 2 daughters and have lived in Omaha for over 20 years. I, Margaret, am married to Newell Laire from Stennett. We have a daughter and 2 sons and have lived in Stennett for 23 years.

     It has taken several weeks to write this history, and I have so enjoyed visiting with my sisters about our childhood memories. It is with loving memory of my father; and with love, pride, and respect for my mother and sisters; that I submit this history to be published in the Elliott Centennial History Book of 1979.




~ Margaret Abramson Laire