several booths and two or three long tables down the middle of the room. These long tables were always in use - mostly by working men sharing the latest small town news and jokes. Until his death in 1978 their son David helped in the restaurant after school, weekends and during the summer months. Family members usually used the back door of the building and any one of them might find themselves helping clear tables or wash dishes in exchange for a snack.
Clair was known for his carpentry work. He built a barn on the “little farm’’ in Section 14 in Decorah Twp. He also built a large barn on the home farm in Pleasant Twp. Both barns have been destroyed by fire. When Clair became partially disabled with a lung disease he occupied his time making wind chimes of plexiglass and conduit. It is estimated he made 700 of these and they can be heard all over the city of Decorah.
Viola is still an excellent cook. She quilts, crochets and spends time with her family and friends. Viola and Clair moved to 303 North Street in 1973 and Viola still lives there. They are long-time members of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Decorah.
Palmer, Henry and Florence (Schroeder)
(Gerald N. Johnson)
Henry Raymond Palmer was born 1 Jul 1890 near Garber IA, the 11th child of 13 of Ransford Burdette and Amelia (Knee) Palmer. He married Florence Schroeder 9 Dec 1913. Florence was the daughter of Edward H. and Mary Elizabeth (Clair) Schroeder of Postville. Florence had come to teach in the little country school near the Palmer farm.
Henry and Florence farmed the home place, later farming around Edgewood until they bought a farm in Pleasant Twp., Section 18. In 1940 Florence and Mrs. Oscar Rognas started the first 4-H Club in Winneshiek Co. The club was named The Pleasant Livewires and has been an active club for 55 years as of 1995. The family was very active in their community. Henry loved farming with horses and used them long after tractors had become the norm.
Florence and Henry had 5 children: David, Edward, Nina, Mary and Ransford. David Clair (b. 16 Dec 1914) married Viola Louise Tieskotter 15 Jun 1938. (See separate story on David Clair Palmer.) Edward Burdette (b. 14 Mar 1916) served his country as a cook and trucked food into the battle lines in England during World War II. He returned after the war to farm with his father. Later he moved to Garber to care for his paternal aunt and uncle, the J. W. Hansels (affectionately known as Aunt Cass and Uncle Bid) through their declining years. Later he lived with his uncle David Franklin Palmer. He bought a home in Garber, IA and married Betty Schmock Cole 9 Jun 1973. Edward passed away 19 Feb 1976 and is buried in a rural cemetery near Garber. Nina Florence (b. 17 Dec 1917) married Willis Carl Gottschalk of rural Elkport. Willis (b. 17 May 1918) was the son of John and Edith (Knuth) Gottschalk. They farmed the Gottschalk family farm and later moved to the Decorah area where Willis worked for
Henry Palmer and Florence Schroeder Back row: Nina, Burdette, Clair and Edward.
Fred Holland. Their daughter was Edith Marie. Nina died 28 Oct 1985 and Willis died 27 Jul 1987. Both are buried in Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Freeport, IA near her parents. Mary Ellen died at age 3 months. Ransford Burdette (known as Burdette) served with the U.S. Navy during World War II. He married Eileen Bruchfield, daughter of Garret Earl and Mary Jane (Jones) Bruchfield. Burdette started his own freight company, P K. Trucking, in Wilmington, DE. They have one son Ransford Burdett, Jr.
Florence died 9 Jul 1952 and Henry died 23 Oct 1955. They are buried in Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Freeport.
William "Bill" Partridge was born to Dean F. Partridge and Margery Ann Stafford (14 Aug 1927-5 Feb 1985). Bill grew up on his father's farm near Collins, IA. Bill is not married and has no children.
Bill helped with the farm work which included feeding livestock and fieldwork. He learned to drive a tractor at age 9 and soon helped with field preparation, planting, bean walking and harvest. Bill attended Collins Community School and graduated from Collins High School in 1975, one of the “top 3” in a graduating class of 15. He then attended the Des Moines Area Community College at Ankeny, IA and graduated from the Architectural Drafting Program in 1977. He started his first job one day before his 20th birthday as a draftsman for Calmar Manufacturing Company in Calmar, IA. He prepared blueprints for manufacturing wood products and cabinets. He left Calmar Manufacturing in 1988. Bill completed the Carpentry Program at Northeast Iowa Community College in 1991. He has been employed at various jobs since but hopes to return to the drafting profession.
Bill is an accomplished artist and although he received training at the Des Moines Art Center in high school, he considers himself self taught. He works mostly in pencil but has worked with colored pencil, charcoal, watercolor,
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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021