IX. Farm Life
In 1934 we moved to a house owned by Carl Wissman,
south of Ursa, in time for Bill to enter first grade at
That spring Jerry caught a cold and developed a bronchial cough which frequently returned making it necessary to keep him in bed several days at a time. He finally outgrew it.
In 1936 we moved onto the Chris Cramm farm located two miles south of Ursa
on Rock Creek, owned by the Wissman's. Jerry was now old enough to attend
During these years, community meetings at the schools were very important
social events. We had bought from my parents the piano on which I had played
and Virlee started to take piano lessons. Later the boys, Bill and Jerry,
became more interested in playing the mandolin and guitar, and took lessons
from Pete Hunter at the Weiler Music Store in
At the age of ten the children started their 4H projects, Virlee first in a
home economics club, and then, with the boys, in the Indian Grave Agricultural
4H Club. After her experience in
The hill above Rock Creek and our drive way was the scene of many accidents. Several times our car was knocked into the ditch as we were making the turn.
The most serious accident in which I was involved was at threshing time when Jerry and I went after the milk cows, as Wilmer was away helping a neighbor thresh. One cow, who had a new-born calf, turned on me, struck my back with her head, knocking me to the ground. She stepped on my left wrist, breaking it. I can still see her pawing over me, but, fortunately for me, she left to chase the dog and I was able to get to the house with Jerry's help, just as Wilmer got home.
Now I was an active member of the Ursa Home Bureau Unit, and served on the county board. I enjoyed taking and giving local leader lessons. For me, they took the place of attending college courses.
On July 29, 1941, when Jerry was eleven years of age our youngest son, Larry,
was born. While I was in
When Virlee finished grade school she rode to
Before Bill and Jerry were old enough to drive a car they had bicycles.
Several times on a
Sunday afternoon they rode to
On November 2, 1943, my father, then living south of
After Bill and Jerry graduated from Mendon High, Mendon,
While living in the Ursa community, besides serving on the school board and
leading a 4H club, Wilmer served as the Farm Bureau director of
Our life was not all work and no play. Several times we attended the
Springfield Fair. In 1946 we attended the fair, having won the honor as being
the most typical farm family in
As a family we attended neighborhood platform dances. We spent several days
Another time we spent several days vacationing at Chute's Beach at
One summer (1953) Wilmer and I took Larry and my mother on a motor trip to
Other places we visited were in Monte Vista, Colorado where Wilmer had
hunted deer; and in
While living on the Wissman farm we experienced some extreme weather and hard times. The summer of 1934 was so dry that the lawns were brown by Memorial Day, and the summer so hot we had to sleep out on the lawn. That fall Wilmer bought a rock crusher. To operate it was cold, hard work.
One winter an ice storm made our lane and highway very
slick. The ice stayed on the ground several weeks. The boys had fun skating
down the lane and all the way to
One summer a heavy rain caused Rock Creek to overflow and wash away shocks of oats from a field that was beside the creek. Another year corn had been planted in the same field. A heavy rain came and flooded the corn to the top of the corn tassels, but the ears had been pollinated, and the field produced a yield of 80 bushels per acre.
I remember a couple of tornados we experienced. The first was about noon.
Wilmer, Bill, and Jerry had gone to
The schools in
Another experience he had while in grade school, a couple of years, was to build a car to enter in the Soap Box Derby Contest which was held at 12th and Locust.
Virlee, Jerry, and Bill were each married while we lived south of Ursa.
Virlee, to Harold
Slater, at the Ellington Memorial Presbyterian Church, on June 21, 1947. They
went to live in
On November 9, 1952, while Jerry was in the service at
On October 15, 1954, Bill and Betty McGinnis were married
In 1948, with John and Ada Duncan we had celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
Before jerry was discharged from the Navy, Wilmer had bought the Sandridge
Farm, located west of Ursa by the
I was glad we were no longer living there in 1965 when the Mississippi River levee broke north of the Sandridge buildings.
Several times we had other anxious moments. Once was while Larry was in the lower grades; he had spinal meningitis. Penicillin and tetromyacin were new drugs then, but with them his life and health were saved.
One summer Jerry had a bout with a ruptured appendix and the infection that followed the rupture.
While riding a horse to Ursa one morning Wilmer was thrown, landing on his head, which caused a hearing loss. Hearing aids didn't give him much help. Once while hunting mushrooms he lost one, so he had to buy another expensive aid.
While several rooms were being papered one winter my diamond wedding ring was lost. I'll include that incident in my next chapter.
In spite of receiving financial loses and disappointments Wilmer remained in good spirits. He was religious and honest, and respected by everyone. He worked hard to provide our children with a good education and a name they could be proud of. As well as being a loving father, he was a good husband and helpmate. Due to his cooperation I was able to continue my education as I taught and get my teaching B.E. degree, and even afterward until my retirement in 1968.