"Resident of the Month"
Interviews featuring residents at the Postville Good Samaritan home.

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Transcribed by S. Ferrall for Clayton co. IAGenWeb
Any notes following the biographies were added by S. Ferrall.


William & Anna (Gruver) Kerr

The spotlight this month at the Good Samaritan Center focuses on a couple who observed their 60th wedding anniversary in 1970 with an open house at the Elgin Legion Hall with all their eight children and grandchildren present except one family.

The couple, Mr. and Mrs. William Kerr, were married January 15, 1910 at the Methodist parsonage in West Union.

William was born near Volga, December 3, 1886. Anna Gruver Kerr was born at Elgin, January 18, 1892. He courted Anna with a team of fancy driving horses for about a year. She worked as a waitress in the hotel in Elgin, he worked on a farm for his father and uncle. After their marriage they started farming near Volga. Anna drove a team to Volga to sell their cream twice a week over muddy roads.

They moved to the Illyria community in 1916 and farmed until retiring in 1957. They raised a large vegetable and flower garden, enjoyed going to harnes races and visiting their children. They belong to the Illyria Community Church and after retiring mowed the Illyria Community Cemetery for three years.

Their eight children are, Mrs. Ralph (Leone) Shafer; Mrs. Cleve (Ferne) Bennett; Mrs. Virgil (Nona) Torson and Robert, all of Elgin; Mrs. Reuben (June) Light and James of Waterloo; Thomas of Raymond; and Clifton of Nashville, Tennessee. The Kerrs always enjoyed family reunions each year.

Mrs. Kerr moved to the home in April, 1972 and William in May, 1973, after living with his son Robert and family for 11 months. Anna is confined to a wheelchair but is cared for daily by Will who takes her outdoors, using his hat to shield her head from the wind and sun. Their devotion to each other is shown daily. When Anna is resting, Will enjoys taking part in all activities at the center.

~Postville Herald, Wednesday, September 12, 1973 (column: Resident of the Month, Good Samaritan Center, Postville, Iowa)

Notes: William died in 1977 and Anna in 1975. They are buried in the Illyria cemetery, Fayette co. Iowa
~Anna (Gruver) Kerr's obituary
~William Y. Kerr's obituary


Earl Kiple

The spotlight focuses on Earl Kiple as the January Resident of the Month at the Good Samaritan Center, Postville.

Mr. Kiple was born in Elgin, Iowa, March 21, 1896, attended the Elgin public schools and worked in and about his home town for a number of years.

On December 10, 1917 he enlisted in the United States Armed Services and served during World War I at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri and later overseas in the 309th Aero Squadron in France.

December 29, 1920, he was united in marriage to Esther Reusser. The couple operated different farms near Elgin before settling on their own farm just off Highway 56, four miles southwest of Elgin.

In 1962 Mr. Kiple retired from farming and moved into Elgin. He worked at various jobs after retirement, including Field Man for the Canning Factory in season, assessed property for the county and for a time was mayor of Elgin. He is a member of the First Baptist Church, Elgin.

Mrs. Kiple died July 29, 1970.

Earl entered the Center April 27, 1973 and takes part in all the activities.

~Postville Herald, Wednesday, January 2, 1974 (column: Resident of the Month, Good Samaritan Center, Postville, Iowa)

Notes: Earl W. Kiple entered the service December 14, 1917, at Cedar Rapids, and was discharged December 27, 1918, at Camp Dodge. He served as a Private in an Aero Squadron with the American Expeditionary Forces in France from July 31, 1918, until Decmeber 10, 1918, receiving the Victory Medal and one sky blue war service chevron. Kiple received his discharge from Co. 7, 163 D.B. and was formerly assigned to 307 Aero Squadron. (transcription is from the Honoring our Veterans column in the Elgin Echo, July 9, 1986)

~Earl Kiple's obituary


'Resident of the Month' index