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
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