LEWIS and NELLIE CUPP
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
These are our
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
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.
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.
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