Elliott Centennial, 1879 - 1979

Elliott Centennial Committee

Page 106




       I didn't come to Elliott in a covered wagon, but I am probably one of the last ones living who as an outsider, came to the Elliott community to pick corn in 1910.  In those days we shucked, husked, or snapped the corn off the stalks and the team pulled the wagon along the corn rows while we worked with both hands -- hands cold, with cuts from the shucks, I might add.  We all tried to pick the most, or at least to say we did. If we picked by the bushel you could hear the side boards banging from before daybreak to dark.

   I came to Elliott on the C. B. & Q. train on May 3, 1910 the first time and went to work right away for W. L. "Till" DeWitt.  I was 20 years old. I gained a second home, a second father, a second mother, - "Mrs. D." and two sisters, Maude and Dorothy.

   In 1913, I went back to Missouri (Marceline, Mo was and still is my first home.) and on Dec. 24, 1914, I married the sweetest girl I ever knew, Nellie Sportsman.  She was always a real lady.  Iowa, my second home, still called to me and in the spring of 1917, Nellie and I went back to Iowa. I was with the DeWitts for 10 years.  "Till" was my friend. We knew who the Boss-man was but he never made us feel like "hired hands."  

   These are our children:

      Mildred b. July 6, 1917, Cass C., Iowa

      Dean b. August 26, 1919, Cass Co., Iowa

      Dorothy b. March 11, 1922, in Missouri

      Dale b. Oct. 30, 1924, Montgomery Co., Iowa

      Geraldine b. April 1, 1927, in Missouri

      Mary Lou b. Nov. 13, 1933, in Missouri

      Martha Alice b. Jack Ellis b. Nov. 9, 1939 in Missouri

   Mildred and Dean were born on the old Wallace Reed farm across the road from Charley Reed's; Geraldine and Dorothy on a farm near Marceline; Mary Lou, Martha Alice, and Jack Ellis on a farm near Kirksville; and Dale on the hill place just south of Till's.

   I, (Lewis) was born August 27, 1890 and Nellie was born Feb. 8, 1898.  I have been blessed with good health.  I built and finished a new Seventh  Day Adventist Church with a steeple when I was 80, and the Educational addition when I was 87; but I just supervised that and did the finishing work.  My beloved Nellie died Jan. 2, 1975. All the children are living except Dean and Dorothy.

   Dean spent 20 years in the Army; was in WWII and the Korean conflict.  Dale was in the Navy in WWII.



-as told by Lewis Culp to Dorothy DeWitt Wilkerson