(sic) next to a number or name means a recognized/found error in the original story. rt
SILVER CREEK STORY
A Community in
With the family data available at the time of publication, together with miscellaneous accounts of Silver Creek pioneers and their descendants, verified and published by the community.
Copyright 1952 - Blanche Swindell
This little book is compiled from information secured from descendants of Silver Creek pioneers, from old records, old notebooks and faded diaries, from newspaper clippings, from any source which was found to be authentic. The most valuable accounts have come from the lips of the little group of Silver Creek pioneers still living for they were children on this very ground when its history was being made. These men and women, though now advanced in years, are possessed of keen, clear minds to this day and date. We are thus indebted to Elizabeth Swindell Johnston, W. B. Robinson, Mrs. Alice Falconer Robinson, Frank Swindle, Charles Swindle, W. L. Carrothers, George W. Carrothers, and Mrs. Jemima Wilson Wood.
Wherever any person, dates, or other data have been omitted, it was because we were unable to get the information necessary. Whatever is recorded here is as nearly accurate as it is possible for us to make it. If hearsay is included, it is stated as hearsay.
Much more material of historical and human interest value in connection with the Silver Creek story should be included were there time to search it out before the Centennial celebration occurs. Perhaps what is here preserved will be the nucleus of a larger work in the future.
We, the descendants of the Silver Creek pioneers are ever mindful of the high intent of the men and women whose labor and sacrifices took form in the fine community which is the heritage of their children and their children's children now into the fifth generation. And that is a long time in this fast moving and ever changing world.
"A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered."
- Thomas B. Macaulay
SILVER CREEK STORY
In the spring of 1852 Silver Creek community had its beginning. Who it was that gave the picturesque name to the stream that cuts diagonally through this tract of land is one of the things that are lost. Never once has anyone thought of changing the name of stream or neighborhood. Silver Creek it stands after 100 years.
There is not anything spectacular in
the story of Silver Creek. But then there is nothing spectacular about many
things that have proved good and worthy and even beautiful. Take for instance
the way the fields green up in spring and eventually turn into rich harvest. Or
the loveliness of bird song that drifts over our acres at the first streaks of
summer dawn. Or the steadfastness of true friends. This little
Turn back the pages to April, 1852.
So three of the group of Irish
relatives and friends, all of whom had contacted Uncle Alex, left the
"In the fall of 1851, James
Robinson and Anthony Swindle worked on a boat down the
"Anthony Swindle, while in
"Robinson returned and stopped
"They set out from
"They followed the creek south until they came to the beginning of the timber, where the old barn on the Alex Robinson farm now stands. Here they found a small stream of pure spring water and decided to make camp. They cooked their first meal, which included coon. Next morning they saw to the west the smoke from McNulty home, almost straight west of where the Silver Creek church now stands, and went to the McNulty house.
"They met Terrence Gaffney and
through his help they located the original eight forties, located on the north
and the south sides of the present road, going west to the Buchanan county
line, and going one mile south of the Silver Creek church, except one forty
acres now the Cliff Robinson home. The next day they walked to Quasqueton, ten
miles west, where they obtained supplies of flour and groceries. Then they went
"The homestead laws entitled a buyer to buy 160 acres at $1.25 per acre, but did not restrict the purchase to one tract. Thus the three entered for William Robinson, James Robinson, James Lendrum, William Swindle, Anthony Swindle, John McKay, and John Robinson, with an additional 120 acres, - land that later became their farms. They had, I think, three years to pay for the last 120 acres. However, later they had to pay a speculator $9.00 an acre for land."
When the three men were scouting for land, quite naturally they wanted to find good land. It was the middle of April and the winter frost was all out. It looked like fertile ground, but they wanted to be as sure as possible. At last they hit upon it. Here and there over the ground they saw gopher hills freshly thrown up. They stooped and examined the black dirt the gophers had dug. It was rich and heavy and showed great possibilities in tilth, they agreed. This was the place.
Thus it was done a hundred years
ago. They sent word to their relatives and friends in
According to best account now
possible, the next comers were James Lendrum and his wife, Elizabeth, twin
sister to Thomas Robinson. The Lendrums arrived in 1852, coming from
In due course came a time when the parcels of land must be distributed, allotted, for the owners who were not there would be arriving soon. The forties, eight in number, were properly designated, each separate parcel described on a piece of paper. It is common knowledge that the allocation was made in this way: The pieces of paper bearing individual descriptions were put into a hat or a box-we do not know which--and Mrs. Lendrum was asked to "draw lots" on the papers as the names were called out. Each man wanted a piece of land with timber on it, for he needed wood for his log house, for warmth, for a dozen good uses. There was which they considered less valuable than the others because it had little or no timber and there was some slough in it. This piece was put in as a forty, though it really contained eighty acres.
The drawing was done and each man accepted his lot. To William Swindle (Swindell), who was not present when the drawing was made, fell the odd lot. He was not sure at the time that he had not been put upon. Today that forty is the one which lies just south of the Swindell homestead. A hundred crops have been grown upon it! Its landfall is such that year after year there are on it never marked ravages of water or wind or snow. And, coincidentally, a few years later William bought another of his forties for a team of horses.
In 1852 the country-side of Silver
Creek was primitive. It was rich and green and beautiful of summer, though
snowbound and rugged through long weeks of winter. But it was the
The timber was full of berries and
nuts,-"black-caps," red raspberries, blackberries, wild cherries,
wild grapes, wild crabs, haw apples, hazel nuts and hickory nuts bushel upon
bushel. The creek, which now and then spread out into what the settlers called
a lake, was full of fish, good fish. In fact, Anthony Swindle, during the
winter before his brother William and wife reached
W. B. Robinson, now almost eighty-seven, says he can remember when the sky would actually be dark above his young eyes from flights of wild geese and wild pigeons. He says that one could stand still and shoot squirrels and bring down any number of them from one position, so thick were they every where. W. B. maintains that frequently a man would put himself into a range where he could kill two or three birds with one shot.
In the timber were plenty of wolves and foxes, coons, rabbits, rattle snakes, and other wild creatures that populated the place generously. Through 100 years the timber has been cut away in large part, but there are still spots in Adams township, in the timber belonging to the Chas. A. Swindell and T. S. McRoberts properties, that are thick with bracken, Jack-in-the-pulpits, bittersweet, wild grapes, May-apples, ivy, woodbine, and the like, enough to give more than a faint idea of what the woods was like a century ago.
From the very beginning of the
Silver Creek Community its church has been at the center of all community life.
We have a little brown-covered book, bound in something like lightweight
calfskin, its pages saffron-yellow from time, its records set down in a
curiously fine and legible hand; in fact, there are several different hands,
but all of much the same character. The cover of the book carries the title
CLASS BOOK for use in the in the METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, NEW YORK,
PUBLISHED BY CARLTON & PHILLIPS,
The first record of the "Class-Meeting" (now we call it Congregation) was dated May 1855, and shows twelve names, which were as follows: Frederick Young, Leader, Ann Young, Jas. Landrum, Elizabeth Landrum, Wm. Robinson, Jas. Robinson, John Robinson, Marget Robinson, John McCoy, Ann McCoy, Thomas Robinson, William Dover. On this page under the column headed "Relations in Life", all the names are marked M (married) except Wm. Dover's. From May through August there are very few A's (absent); a few D's (distant), and only five S's (sick).
This book leaves off with the 1855 record at the end of August. The next roll shows a membership of twenty. Frederick Young's name is there, but is crossed out after an A is recorded for him. Ann Young's name remains. The present research shows no other account of the Young family. Probably Frederick died, for on the next page of record for 1859 Ann's name is there alone. In the latter half of the record she is marked as "Removed".
On the 1857 roll are the new names of John A. Parmiter, Leader, and Ann Parmiter. On the page of the 1859 roll the Parmiter names are still there, but in the latter part of that record they are marked as "Removed to Philadelphia". On the records after the first one are written more Robinsons and Isabella Swindell. On the 1859 pages Margaret Anderson and Mary Ann Robinson are marked as "Joined on Probation, April 16, A. D., 1860." Elizabeth Baxter's name shows on these 1859 pages. Added also are the new names of Joshua Courtney, "On Probation on January 15, 1860", Jas. Taylor, Katherine Taylor, Wm. McKay, John Bruce, and Mrs. Bruce, the latter marked "Departed this life, January 5, A. D., 1861, Eliza Jane Landrum, "Joined on Probation", Richard Carr, marked "Dropt April 1, A. D., Maria Carr and Margaret Carr, "Joined on Probation, September 8, A. D., 1861. No more heard from the above". (We copy the scribe exactly.)
By August 25, 1869, the membership had increased to twenty-seven. To the names given at first were added the names of James Taylor, James Johnson, Wm. West, Susan West, David Foy, Adellia Foy, Jane West, Eliza West, John Viech. Susan West is marked as "died", but no date is given. John Viech is marked as "Remitted by Letter, Transcribed, February 26th, 1872. Wm. F. Dove P. C. Below the last item above is written "Winthrop Ct. Fayette Dist. W. F. Paxton P. E." The last two initials probably meant Presiding Elder. Perhaps W. F. Dove was Presiding Elder and the writer slipped a little in the writing.
This old brown book shows that in 1885 the membership had mounted to forty-six. For the sake of history this list copied from the book may be of definite interest for all time: John Robinson, Thomas Robinson, Elizabeth Robinson, T. J. Robinson, Catherine Robinson, Esther E. Robinson, James Robinson, Robert Robinson, John Carrothers, Margaret Carrothers, Ann Carrothers, John McKay, Ann McKay, Wm. Dover, Isabella Swindell, Mary Carradus, Wm. Rockwell, Elizabeth Rockwell, Lucy Rockwell, Amanda Short, Martha Rockwell, Mary Wilson, Ella Wilson, George Wilson (marked on the second part of page "dead"), Annie Wilson, Ella Wilson, James Landrum, Elizabeth Landrum, Martha E. Landrum, Wm. Fair, James Anderson, Mary E. Anderson, (the latter three marked "gone"), Charles Buck, Rachell Robinson, Maria Robinson, Robert Robinson, George Logan, Wm. Kennedy, Rachell E. Landrum, George T. Robinson, Christopher Logan, Eliza Jane Logan, James Lowery Moore, Mary E. Wilson, Eliza Robinson, James Dover, (marked "gone"), Maggie Belle Wilson. (The double "l" on Rachel is probably an error in spelling.)
Whether this latter was total membership or an occasional congregation we are not able to tell. For by this time the secretary had grown somewhat careless, and there was not the former painstaking care in the matters of record. Too, we can no longer tell from the book the "Relationships in Life". There were several "Joined on Probation" lines here and there. By 1881 there were the Todd names, Albert, Charlotte, Levi, and Ella added, as well as that of Albert Ward. The Todds all were "Received by Letter, May, 1881". For those who will look for certain names let us say there were undoubtedly errors of omission; or perhaps we do not read the record quite clearly. But this is interesting data on the early days of the Silver Creek church. At the very end is a notation that many of the members of this group had "Paid in Full". On the inside of the back page there is a line stating, "Meeting at Thomas Robinson's in two weeks". Thus endeth the record of one period of our church history - as the book gives it, though not all the record in this book is here quoted.
The first church meetings in Silver Creek were held in homes. These meetings began as soon as there were enough people in the community to start church services. Not long after the first settlers came they had need of a school house. They decided to erect a building which would serve as both school and church. We do not know the date. The architecture was simple, the building made of logs. It was set somewhat south of the present cemetery line. This center of learning and of worship was not unlike hundreds of other such buildings used for churches and schools over any newly opened country. It served the people very well.
One night there was a spelling bee in the log building and later in the night it caught fire from something and burned completely. It's an ill wind that blows nobody good; the fire brought about the building of a new church and a new school, housed separately. The center section of the present church was begun in 1865. This new church was completed and dedicated in 1867, without debt.
James Landrum, one of the very earliest pioneers in our group, a master cabinet maker and carpenter, built the first pulpit. It is said that the cabinet-like piece still used in the back of the present church is what is left of that first pulpit. A fine new pulpit was purchased when the frame church was built.
The new church opened at the south end as does the present building, but inside it was different. The seats ran east and west with an aisle in the middle. The women sat on the east side and the men on the west.
The first child to receive baptism in the new church was the infant Mary Ann Swindle. In 1892 she became Mrs. W. B. Robinson. The first wedding in this church was that of Fannie Swindell and John Scanlon, on June 2, 1877. The latest wedding in this little church was that of Margaret Mary Robinson, daughter of Milton Robinson, and Glen Searcy, on December 19, 1948.
After twenty - five years the church was too small for its growing membership. In 1894 the building was remodeled and enlarged to its present proportions. It was re-dedicated in that year, and again without debt, during the pastorate of the Reverend C. W. Wheat. The next improvement of consequence was the re-plastering of the church, at which time the walls were covered with the embossed material now there. In 1938 the interior of the church was refinished as it is today.
Other changes have been made from time to time. The old foot-pedaled organ, faithfully played by Maria Robinson for many, many years, and as faithfully played by her niece, Etna Carrothers, after Maria was gone, was replaced in Etna's time by a piano. Now Marilyn Robinson, daughter of A. T. Robinson, is the regular pianist, assisted on occasion by Mrs. Cliff Robinson. On the altar of our church is a cross made from the wood of the old organ. On the wall of the altar is a painting of the Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, done by the Reverend Charles H. Hahn, who was pastor in Silver Creek from 1928 to 1932, beloved by his parish. The two old communion "cups", which are still among our families, were long since replaced by modern individual glasses. A beautiful big Bible rests on the pulpit. A new carpet was laid when the old red one wore out. New hymnals are purchased when need arises.
In the 1850's when everyone was young and healthy, there was no thought about a cemetery. In 1859 the Bruce family lost a baby. Because there was no cemetery, the child was buried on the family farm. Shortly after the baby's death a cemetery was secured and properly laid out. The land for the first cemetery was given by Anthony Swindle from his farm. Then James Robinson added to the cemetery on the south side, from his home farm. Later on Alex Robinson, James's son who inherited his father's home place, gave another addition to the south part of the cemetery. The very first grave made in the "burying ground" was that of Mrs. Bruce, mother of the infant whose small body was buried on the family farm. Later Baby Bruce's remains were moved to the regular cemetery. All the first caskets were made by John (sic) Lendrum. The diptheria epidemic of 1865 caused seventeen deaths in the community.
The Silver Creek Cemetery Association is an organization which handles all matters pertaining to the cemetery. There is never any faltering on the part of this association. The fine administration of its business; the excellence of its work in the care of our cemetery; the vision behind its whole plan - all these attest the wisdom of the government of this Association.
Now a fine new fence incloses the resting place of our dead. To walk through Silver Creek's hallowed ground is to walk through our history. Here is all that is mortal of our earliest settlers. The stones that mark the graves of these men and women may be so beaten by wind and weather that the lines graven there are almost gone, but we love our old grave stones. There is the one that has at its top a little sliding marble door behind which was once a clear photograph of the woman whose loved ones sought thus to keep her human presence with them a little longer. Now the strong face of that pioneer woman is only a blur - if you push back the marble door to look. The slabs showing the clasped hands, the marble sheaf, the broken tree, the recumbent lamb above a baby's couch - all these we cherish. Long ago they were put there "In Loving Memory", above caskets that were wooden boxes made by neighbors. There are costly and beautiful monuments too, often replacing crumbling marble, erected by our generations which will never know the sacrifices of pioneer times. But we have wished to express to our dead in the only material way we know, these noble new memorials, our appreciation of their courageous struggles to make the homes which now are ours.
On Memorial Day everybody who can possibly do so comes back home and to the cemetery. We put flowers on the graves of our fore-fathers. We decorate the graves of our soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic, and the graves of the boys who went out yonder in the World Wars, the American Legion Post of Ryan assisting. On these we put flowers and flags. There are lovely flowers for young mothers whose light was gone so soon their children can scarcely recall the faces of those bore them. On Memorial Day we remember especially all those who came back to us in death, home again for the last long sleep. We never forget the graves of the few who were strangers within our gates, but who wanted to stay. These are all our graves, our dead gone toward the Bright Dawn.
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: Death thou shalt die.
Across from the new church was built in early days a long "buggy shed". There was a stall for every family, where familiar horses in pairs or singles were tied on Sundays. The horses were hitched to top buggies, to open buggies, to the elegant surreys with their fringes, or in later days, their fancy if impractical lamps at each side. Of course, the fore-runners of all these modes of carriage were the lowly wagon, or the buck-board, or the cutter, or the sled. The buggy shed is gone, converted so far as its lumber would serve, into the Community Hall. The wagon, the sled, the top buggy - these are no more. Who can remember a horse at church in a quarter of a century!
Now a long row of shining cars, many of them the very latest models, reflect the Sunday morning sun. The old order has passed, yielding place to new. But we sing the old songs, and we read the old Scripture, and we pray the old prayer. How often the congregation of this little country church has lifted up its voice in the familiar words,
The church's one foundation
Is Jesus Christ the Lord.
Even as we, our pioneer fathers and mothers no doubt often erred in their earthly course. But now, at the end of a century, there is all about us evidence that in spirit and in deed they constantly sought to build the sound foundation. May we keep faith with those who paved our way!
Nellie Scanlon, (Mrs. Chas.), found in an old record book of the Masonville church a sheet of a newspaper, date July 1906. It looks like a sheet from a Winthrop paper and the story is in special on the history of the Winthrop Methodist Church. In this writing there is an article entitled "Silver Creek Church'. We quote the whole of the article for its definite record of our church.
SILVER CREEK CLASS
This class was formed in 1852 by Mr. Phillips, a local preacher, and meetings were held during the first two years at Mr. John McKay's house. In 1854 Rev. Brown, a missionary, preached to the people at private houses. About the fall of 1857 Silver Creek was made one of the preaching points of the Quasqueton circuit and Rev. Hood was pastor in charge for two years. Then followed Rev. Bailey one year, Rev. Shapper one year, Rev. Fawcett two years, Rev. Baines one year, Rev. Smith two years. During the year 1866, Silver Creek had no conference preacher. Rev. Stoneman, local preacher, and Van Wyck supplied. At this time Silver Creek was made a part of the Winthrop circuit, and Elder Stevens, a local preacher, supplied for two years, during which time the old church was built.
This same newspaper article gives a column of paragraphs under dates of succeeding years. The paragraphs of interest to Silver Creek people are these, reproduced exactly:
At an annual conference held at Charles City, September 30, 1874, Bishop Haven presiding, I (E. Ketchum) was appointed to Manchester. Our first quarterly meeting was held at Masonville, Nov. 21st and 22nd. The presiding elder; E. Skinner was present only on Saturday afternoon. Elder Smith, a local preacher, supplied. During the winter, people at Silver Creek made us a donation amounting to $45.00. Also at Masonville they made us a present of a fine Buffalo robe on New Year's Day. A third series of meetings were held in the latter part of March and April, 5 professed conversion and 4 united with the church on probation, three weekly prayer meetings have been sustained during the entire spring and summer at Masonville, Sand Creek and Portable.
At the annual conference held at Dubuque, September 22-29, I was re-appointed to this charge. Our first quarterly meeting was held at Silver Creek, October 30-31. There was about an inch of snow, and many places about a foot of mud, but few from a distance could attend. Commenced a protracted meeting at Portable on December 5th, and continued through the month, whenever it was at all practicable. Began a series of meetings at Sand Creek Church on January 16th. I was assisted by H. D. Hollenbeck for about two weeks. Twenty-three went forward as seekers. Many confessed conversion and sixteen united on probation, at another meeting at Silver Creek in which Bro. Hollenbeck helped me a couple of weeks. At the close of the meeting 17 united with the church on probation, Sept. 18, 1876. The classes at Sand Creek and Silver Creek have sustained each weekly prayer meetings throughout the entire spring and summer up to the present. E. Ketchum
J. F. Hestwood was appointed to the charge in 1882. It then consisted of Masonville, Silver Creek, Portable and Middlefield. The work was getting too heavy for one man's labors.
In the fall of 1884, Silver Creek, Sand Creek, and Portable were set off as the Silver Creek Circuit, under the pastorate of W. H. Keege, and E.R. Leaman was appointed to the Masonville, Middlefield, and Fremont Center, the latter preaching point, but no society formed. Bro. Leamon stayed one year.
On October 25, 1942, Silver Creek celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the church. In the bulletin issued on that date there is a brief church history, at the end of which there is a list of pastors who have served the church, as nearly complete a list as the committee was able to make. We give this list as it stands: The Reverends Stoneman, W. F. Dove, Coleman, Fawcett, W. Cummings, E. Ketchum, James Hestwood, Stone, Kresge, Montgomery, B. D. Alden, C. M. Wheat, J. D. Perry, F.C. Wolfe, C. H. Taylor, T. S. Metcalf, D. C Perry, Charles Rodgers, T. Carson, T. B. Cooper, C. Rose, J. C. Wharton, T. J. Elwick, W. E. Edie, H. Davis, C. H. Dunlevy, C. H. Hawn, F. C. Griewe, A. R. Coover, B A. Wendtland, R. McNichols, Paul Heath, H. D. Green, and the present man, Clarence Thompson. We have been fortunate through the years in that each pastor we have had left his mark. We took from each some good and worthy things.
SILVER CREEK SCHOOL
On the August day in 1936 when Mrs. Ella Moles read a paper at the reunion held at the old Silver Creek school, she made history come alive again. How fortunate we are to have her paper to record in this brief history of Silver Creek! Nothing could be more opportune. Here is the story from one who truly knew the school history of the community in veriest detail. Mrs. Moles' paper was published in the Manchester Democrat and we quote exactly the article, with the newspaper introduction:
Teachers and pupils of the Silver Creek school, District 3, Adams township, together with their families and friends, held a reunion on the school ground Aug. 23, 1936. The plans now are to make this an annual affair. A bountiful picnic dinner was enjoyed by 155. The afternoon program consisted of talks by Messrs. Frank Ryan, Sr., and W. B. Robinson. Mrs. Ella Robinson Moles prepared and read the following paper:
"I have been asked to tell what I can of the earlier school days especially in connection with the Silver Creek school. When I first went to school, my sister Cassie and I attended a summer term in a vacant log house which was across the creek and northwest of the place called the Wigwam. At that time the Wigwam was a small grove, about 1 1/2 miles north of here. But as that was in Prairie township, it has nothing to do with this Silver Creek school, which is in Adams township.
"About the year 1859, when I was one year old, a log schoolhouse was built on the northwest corner of what was then Uncle James Robinson's farm. At least some of those school grounds have since been made a part of the Silver Creek cemetery. Uncle James Lendrum was the carpenter who did the work on this well-built log schoolhouse. As I recall, there was a door in the south, windows in the east and west, a teacher's platform and a blackboard in the north, and the seats faced the north. There were about five long desks and seats across the room which were fastened solidly to the floor. The carpenter made these and planed them to a very smooth finish. Recitation seats were built against the east and west walls. This building was heated by a large square stove which burned wood. Candles and lanterns were used for lighting purposes when evening meetings were held. For equipment there was a globe and a set of either ten or twelve maps. We used McGuffey's readers and McGuffey's spelling books, Ray's arithmetics (first or primary, second part mental, and Ray's practical or third part), Pinneo's grammar. We had copy books, slates and slate pencils, but no tablets or lead pencils. Mr. Newcomb, a penmanship teacher from Manchester, gave evening writing lessons in this log schoolhouse one winter. Parents as well as pupils attended these meetings. I was pleased and proud to sit beside my father and learn to write.
"This log schoolhouse also served as a church until the Silver Creek church was built. I went to school in the log schoolhouse for a number of years. I do not remember all of the teachers' names, but I recall the following: Kate Henry, Libbie Frink, who later married Uncle Anthony Robinson, Maggie Behan, Emma Butterfield, whose home was at Quasqueton, and Marietta Cooley, who lived near Manchester. Nellie Gray, whose home was north of Masonville in Coffin's Grove, was teaching the winter term of 1868-1869 when the log schoolhouse burned one night after there had been a spelling school in it. Some of the seats and desks, all of the maps and the globe were saved and used in the next building. I remember a map of the United States which had a number of small holes burned in it. My keenest loss was a new McGuffey's sixth reader which I had had only a very short time. That term of school was finished in a vacant log house on what was then the Terrance Gaffney place. Carl Emerson lives on that place now. If there is any one here today who attended school in this log schoolhouse, will you please stand at this time? (Those responding were Mrs. Maggie Robinson Carrothers, Mrs. Lizzie Dover Carradus, John Reilly, Mike and Frank Ryan, Sr. J. J. Carrothers visited this school one day.)
"A new frame building schoolhouse, the one we have here today, was built in time for the summer term of 1869. Uncle James Lendrum and Uncle Robert Wilson were the carpenters who built it. Mary Washburn from near Masonville was the first teacher. Mr. Gray, the father of Nellie Gray; taught the first winter term in the new building. Some of the other teachers who taught there during the years of 1870-1878 were Isabel McGee from west of Manchester, Ella Graham, William James Robinson, Maggie Smith, Matthew Kerr, C. A. Swindell, Frank Ryan, Sr., Anna Moles, and myself. I taught a number of terms in this building, five terms, as I recall it. My last term was the summer of 1878. During all of these years of which I have been telling you, the school year was divided into two terms, a winter term of four months and a summer term of three and one-half or four months. When I taught here I was paid $35.00 per month for the winter term and $20.00 per month for the summer term. At that time the county superintendent of Delaware County stated in an article printed in the Manchester paper that no other rural schools in Delaware county were paying more wage than those in Adams township, and many schools were not paying as much wage.
"Singing schools and spelling schools were held in the evenings in Silver Creek school.
"In closing, I would like to give in memory of those who used to be with us, but are absent today, the third verse of the poem, The Family Meeting,' taken from McGuffey's sixth reader:
We are all here!
Even they, the dead though dead, so dear.
Fond memory, to her duty true,
Brings back their faded forms to view.
How life-like through the mist of years,
Each well-remembered face appears!
We see them as in times long past;
From each to each kind looks are cast;
We hear their words, their smiles behold,
They're round us as they were of old.
We are all here."
Those present from a distance were Bob Robinson and nephew, Robert, and Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Buck and daughter, all of Schaller, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Robinson and Mary Lou, Cedar Rapids; Mrs. Ella Moles and daughters, and Mr. and Mrs. Park Forest, Central City; Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Carrothers and daughters, Waterloo.
Others present were Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Robinson, Will Temple, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Robinson, Mrs. C. A. Swindell and Chas., Mrs. Margaret Guilgot, Mrs. Alice Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. Willard Robinson and family, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Robinson and family, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Emerson and family, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wenger and family, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Robinson and family, J. J. Carrothers and Etna, Frank Swindle and sons, Lacy brothers, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Robinson and family, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Falconer, Mrs. Rebecca Rein-burg and daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gaffney and family, Mr. and Mrs. John Reilly and family, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wade and family, Miss Maggie Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar McCloud, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ryan and daughter, Mike Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Duggan, Mrs. Louise Preston and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Johnston and son, Mrs. Lizzie Johnson, Mrs. Isabel Sisler, Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Annis, Mrs. Mary Rein-burg and Victor, Mrs. Alice Winnemark and children, Mrs. Lucille Moss and children, Mrs. Lillian Mitch, Mrs. Chas. Lemrond and children, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Robinson and family, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hahesy and daughter, Mrs. Paul Young and daughters, Mrs. Lizzie Carradus and George, Mrs. Maggie Carrothers and Robert, William Robinson and daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hansen and family, Miss Annie Gaffney, Bernard Brophy, and Mr. and Mrs. Alex Robinson and family.
After the days Mrs. Moles so ably recounts, Silver Creek school continued in its notable story. Were there time, we should proudly give full chronicle of teachers and pupils (It does not seem quite right here to use the more modern term "students") and events, all bound up with the old school. We have not access to the school records in the brief time open for research, but there is a roll of excellent teachers who came after Maria Robinson and who helped to make the old school outstanding in all its relations. In special we pay tribute to Maria Robinson, who taught in this one school through a long, long period of years. Maria held her pupils to highest standards and wherever they went after their years with her they bore the hall-mark of this good teacher. Her pupils had special proficiency in spelling. Several of her little flock won first honors in county spelling contests. Her first eighth grade graduating class was made up of three, Byron Robinson, Mollie Robinson, and Roy Emerson. There was never any question in relation to Maria's procedures. Her best memorial is in the record of the students she turned out through the years.
In 1947 the little old school was closed forever. In the fall of that year the children who attended the Silver Creek school began their first year in the Coggon Independent School District, transported to the Coggon school by bus. Of course it is wonderful for the youngsters to have the opportunities offered them in a school with all modern facilities and a large and well-trained staff of teachers. It is wonderful for them to be able to do work in specialized departments, like music, art, athletics, manual training, home-making. The day of the community water pail, the coal burner, the recesses of hide-and-seek around the big old trees, and the bushes in the school-yard, the "last day" programs and picnic all that is gone. Gone too are the excursions teachers and pupils used to make along the creek, in the woods for bird-study or to pick early spring flowers, or just to have fun. Parents want their children to keep step with the modern world, but fond memories will ever cling to the plain little old school house that sits along the Silver Creek road. Whoever went to W. B's with the water pail will ever remember the hand-outs Aunt Mary Ann gave them, fresh bread, cookies, apples -- by the bushel she gave apples -- whatever she was making or had at hand. Clifford Robinson bought the old school building. The old horse turned out to pasture, that's what our old school is now. So long, old friend!
THE STAR LITERARY SOCIETY
There is much verbal account of the Star Literary Society, which flourished about seventy years ago in Silver Creek. "Almost everybody belonged to it, old and young" said W. B. Robinson. The meetings were held in the school. The programs were carefully planned by a duly appointed committee. There were debates, recitations, discussions, even several full-sized plays, all done with serious effort and intent. Every move of the society was governed, and very strictly, by Robert's Rules of Order, which is still the highest authority on all parliamentarian practice. Every member of the Star Literary Society had a thorough grounding in Robert's Rules. W. B. says his brother, A. T., went to Upper Iowa University after his earlier schooling. At the university, he took part in various public presentations and he was possessed of such ease in his appearances and had such sound knowledge of Robert's Rules of Order that inquiring went out as to what college he had come from. His reply, of course, was that his Alma Mater was Silver Creek country school, his training ground, the Star Literary Society of his home community.
Careful record of the Society's meetings and programs was kept. The time came when many of the most active members married and moved away or went elsewhere for some other reason, and so the society fell by the wayside. The records were sent with some other things to be stored for safekeeping in the Wm. Swindell home. When the old Swindell house burned long years ago, the society's minutes went too. That same record book would have been a priceless help to us in the preparation of this history. And, W. B. adds, "Looking back I think the Star Literary Society kept people out of trouble. Nobody missed the programs and so nobody was in mischief."
ANTHONY SWINDLE FAMILY
The story of Anthony Swindle is so bound up with Silver Creek that the two names are inseparable. In the introductory part of this little book is an account of the beginnings of the community with the arrival of Anthony Swindle, James Robinson, and John McCoy. Each man has his individual history, which covers his life on his own land, his family, and his general experience.
Anthony was one of a large family whose home was near the town of Clonus in North Ireland. The parents died of black diphtheria, within a few hours of each other. Quite naturally the old home broke up and the children came to America. How Anthony reached Silver Creek we have recounted.
Arriving in April, 1852, Anthony had an important place among the settlers of Silver Creek to the very day of his death, November 1, 1906, in the big white house he built for his family. For a number of years he was a bachelor, but was always actively interested in helping the other men and women of the group establish their homes. On April 9, 1863, Anthony Swindle and Lucy Norris of Boston were married. Their first home was a typical log house built on his own farm land.
Their first child, William, born 1864, died in infancy, of the dread diphtheria. Almost immediately after that Anthony went to the Civil War in a period of service that took him through the historic march of General Sherman to the Sea. Mary Ann, his daughter, used to tell the stories she had head from her father's lips, of the hardships the soldiers suffered. The worst was their lack of food. Some of the men even took dry corn meant for the mules and horses and chewed on it. They were long, long days and hard. In 1893, when Sherman's army had a grand reunion in Washington, Anthony bought himself a fine new blue suit and joined his comrades in the historic reunion.
Back to the young wife again. With the help of her brother Benjamin, Lucy kept the farm going. They had a large store of wheat they were supposed to sell. They did not get it sold, which was a fortunate misfortune. The price of wheat doubled and when the store of wheat was sold, there was a goodly amount of money which no doubt went into more land.
The days passed and Anthony was home again. He was a thrifty man, a far-seeing man. From the beginning he went on to accumulate through the years large holdings of land and other property. He built a large house, a house with a marble fire-place in the parlor, an open stairway, and many green-shuttered windows. He loved beautiful surroundings, and, no doubt, with the picture in mind of old-country places he had remembered from his youth, he planted a lovely orchard and garden. In early spring the old place still abounds in asparagus scattered along the road and over the grounds from the bed he set out and cared for. Some of his old apple trees still bear fruit. He put an ornate grilled iron fence about the houseyard and planted along it an evergreen hedge which he kept clipped, each tree in pyramid shape, to the time of his death. His farm will always be remembered for its white paint, every building always a fresh white.
Anthony never came home from a trip without thing new and fine for the house or family. Mary Ann, his daughter, never forgot the thrill which was hers when her father brought home from one of his trips the first kerosene lamp she had ever seen. It was an elaborate affair which hung from the ceiling and could be raised or lowered by chains. Many of these things are still in the possession of members of the family.
Lucy, his wife, was a soft-spoken, modest woman whose greatest pleasure was in her home and family. All her days she kept her charge well. She had a long period of inactive life toward the end of her days, when she was attended with greatest care by her daughter Bessie. The words of the Psalmist, "Give her the fruits of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates," aptly close a tribute to this good woman.
Mary Ann, their first daughter, married W. B. Robinson. Account of her appears in the William Robinson family story. Their second daughter, Bessie, married William Henderson, who died on August 27, 1897. We have a yellowed clipping, pasted into an old scrap book, which speaks of the great sympathy for the young wife "left a widow and the babe left fatherless." This young wife carried on and reared her son, Dale, and with never a breath of self-pity. Bessie and her son went back to her parents' home where they lived for many years. Later she and her mother moved to Manchester where Lucy Norris Swindle spent her last days. For three years she was a helpless invalid, unable even to speak. The care her daughter Bessie gave her could not be surpassed. At the present time Bessie is lying in helpless invalidism in a rest home. Her patient care of her mother surely is finding its reward in the devotion given her by Dale and his wife through these long, unhappy months.
Bessie's son, Dale, married Laura Blair and they lived for a number of years on their farm near Thorpe. Dale is at present in business with Russell Preston, husband of Dale's cousin Louise. Russell is a buyer for the Dubuque Packing Company and Dale is his assistant. Dale manages his own farm business in addition to his work with the Dubuque company. Dale and Laura have a son, Robert, who married Mabel Keller of Manchester. The couple lives in Ohio, where Robert is a salesman for the Rath Packing Company.
The oldest son in Anthony's family is Frank. He married Maude Briggs in 1896. Maude died in 1897. In 1903 Frank married Florence Linderman and they were parents of three children, Louise, Charles, and Paul. Louise married Russell, son of Herman and Melinda Preston, and they make their home in Manchester. Charles is a farmer in the Silver Creek community. He is married to Iva Wade, daughter of Fred and Etta (Robinson) Wade, and they have three children, two bright-eyed little girls, Janice and Lynda Ann, and a handsome little son, Wade. Paul married Imogene Meyers and they have two attractive children, a boy, Larry, and a girl, Penny Lou. Young Larry is troubled with asthma which has necessitated the family's leaving the farm to go west in search of a climate suited to the boy's needs. At present the family is living in Tucson, Arizona.
Frank has farmed most of his life. For the last several years he has made his home with his son Charles. Frank was one of Silver Creek's teachers in the school's long roll. He is an educated man and has ever had keen interest in the world about him. He always took his politics seriously and was ready any moment for a good argument or discussion.
Charles, the second son, married Annie Pitts of Cherokee County, Iowa, in 1899. For years they lived on Charles' farm here. Later they moved to Ryan where he managed a lumber yard. Still later they went to western Iowa to make their home. They had two children, Francis and Marian. Francis was accidentally killed while at work in a lumber yard, leaving his young wife and two daughters, Francella and Joyce Ellen. Charlie's daughter, Marian, married Ray S. Pierce and their home is in Cherokee, the town to which Charles and Annie have retired. Ray and Marian have also retired from their farm to their home in Cherokee. The granddaughter Francella and her husband are living on Charles' farm, and the Pierces' son, Craig, is living on the Pierce farm.
No one can be remembered with more affection than Charles. He was always everyone's friend. His happy nature just naturally endears him to people. It has been said he "would give you the shirt off his back" and many a person can testify to the truth of that statement. Readers of this little book are indebted in a large measure to Charles for the history of the early days of Silver Creek. In a time of hard physical stress he labored for days to set down for the Centennial occasion pages and pages of things he knew from his pioneer father, Anthony, and from his own youthful experience in the neighborhood. He has a natural talent for retelling old stories, and he possesses an unusually good memory. His wife, Annie, was one of the most beloved women in Silver Creek's history.
Anthony, the third son, was graduated in law from the University of Iowa. He established his practice in Tacoma, Washington, where he carried on in his profession for many years. In 1907 he was married to Ida McCloud, daughter of Erwin McCloud. Their only child, Glen Harold, died in infancy. For many years Anthony has been sponsor for groups of Rainbow girls in his home city. He has long been active in the civic movements in Tacoma.
William Henry, the fourth son, married Opal Van Fleet, daughter of H. J. Van Fleet of Earlville, in 1907. They lived on the home place and operated it for a period of years, later moving to a farm they owned near Earlville. In 1917 "Willie", as his friends all knew him, was stricken suddenly with an illness which took him without warning. He was buried in a family lot in Earlville. He left two small sons, Earl and Duane. Opal is an artist and after Willie's death taught art for a time in the college in Cedar Falls. Later she married the Reverend W. J. Suckow, father of Ruth Suckow, an author of note in the field of realistic writing on the Middle West scene. Since the death of Reverend Suckow, Opal has been living in Earlville and at the present time is in charge of the Earlville library. Her son, Earl, married Carmen Miller and is in business in Fort Dodge. They have no children. Duane is married to Ethel Cameron and they have two children, Jonathan and Shannon, boy and girl. Both Earl and Duane saw active service in World War II, Duane was seriously injured in action. Duane is still serving in the army in an administrative capacity. The boys and their mother own the old Swindle estate in Silver Creek, which they have rented for many years.
Robert Norris, the youngest son, was graduated in medicine and for many years has been a successful physician and surgeon in Chicago. In 1908 he married Nancy Bergendorf and they had a daughter, Marian. Nancy died when Marian was about two years old. Marian became a graduate nurse and followed her profession for several years. She is married to William Marteny and they live in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, where Bill is employed as a chemist in one of Wisconsin's large paper factories. He is a graduate of the Paper Institute of America, an exclusive training school for paper chemists which accepts only specially prepared college graduates. Marian and Bill have two children, Nancy and Michael.
In 1928 Robert married Mae Ruprecht and they have two sons, Norris and Edgar. Norris is married to Ruth Curtis of Richland, Iowa, and they are at present in California where Norris is in the Air Force. He was in Service in World War II, flying planes over the famous "Hump" in China. He re-enlisted because of his interest in the new phase of aviation which is the Jet plane. Edgar is married to Patricia Warren of Tulsa, Oklahoma, both graduates of Rollins College in Florida. They are now living in Florida where Edgar is engaged in the brokerage business.
Robert, this youngest son of Anthony, must have tended early toward medical science. The story is told by his older brothers that when he was sent to a far field by his father, to do farm work such as cultivating or harrowing, he was likely to spend most of his time catching a squirrel or some other specimen to dissect. Anyway, he arrived in a marked way in his chosen field.
RACHAEL SWINDLE CRAEMER FAMILY
Besides Anthony, there were in America two Swindle sisters, Margaret and Rachael, all connected with Silver Creek. Rachel was married to Joe Craemer and they lived here for some years. There are in our cemetery the graves of three Craemer children: John who died July 14, 1861 (sic) age 9 yrs., 3 mo., 21 da; Rosela, 1861 (sic) age 6 yr., 2 mo., 20 da; Samuel, age 4 mo., 1862. We have no late information on the Craemers. They did live in James, Iowa, where Joe died. Rachael died at the home of a daughter in Montana, but was buried beside her husband in James. The other Craemer children were: Ed, Caroline, Joe, Theodore, Addie, and Sadie. We have no track of any of them.
JAMES ROBINSON STORY
There was never any question in the minds of the early settlers of Silver Creek about Jim Robinson. From the April day 1852, when he and his two companions set foot on Delaware County soil to the June day, 1909, when Jim's valiant spirit went out of the body, he was a leader. There is not a record here where Jim's name is missing.
James Robinson was a man of large physique. He carried himself in a manner that betokened the set of his mind and his purpose. He had had good practical experience in his young years in Ireland, and he was far-sighted. His judgment was good and his reputation for fair dealing lives, long after his presence is gone.
We have much account of Jim Robinson from the older people here who were children with his children, whose fathers dealt with him in many relations. Mrs. Elizabeth (Swindell) Johnston told his granddaughter Rebecca Robinson this story: "Your grandfather was a very strong man, athletic. For example, the first horse he owned was an unbroken colt he bought from the monks at New Melleray monastery. One Sunday morning John Devlin and his wife, Kitty McEnany, and her father, Art McEnany, were going to Mass. They had to ford Silver Creek and the water was up, the creek so swollen that the high water raised the box from their wagon. Jim Robinson rode his unbroken colt into the raging torrent of the creek. He forced that colt into the water by main strength, threw a rope to the people, which they tied to the standard of the wagon, and then he pulled them to shore."
One person told us, "Jim Robinson was strictly honest. He bought a lot of cattle every fall. He always paid what he thought the cattle were worth even though it was more than the seller asked."
Among Jim's contemporaries, if there was a dispute or a question calling for decision, they wanted his judgment and were willing to abide by it. When he had built his new home and things were developing every where, James Robinson was the only man around who had a safe. After his death, when the family emptied the old safe, they found various things people had brought him for safe-keeping. There is here a box containing some old papers. On top is Jim's naturalization paper, dated the Seventh Day of September, A. D., 1855, showing that he "renounces forever, all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potentate, State, or Sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly the Queen of Great Britain, of whom he was at the time a subject, and There of the Court admitted the said James Robinson to become a CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES" etc., issued at the "Town of Delhi''. There are in the box several formal sheets from the Department of the Interior, General Land Office, showing land grants to descendants of men who fought in the War of 1812. A number of these papers are signed by Franklin Pierce, President of the United States of America, in his own handwriting, with several signed by one of his assistants. There is here also, a "Subcontract - Star Service, Route No. 34495", Guaranteeing the payment of $120 per annum to Catherine Robinson, Silver Creek, Delaware County, Iowa, for "transportating the mail" on this route "from Silver Creek to Ryan and back 3 times a week from July, 1895, to June 30, 1899," etc. (A number of older people here remember when Iowa, for "transporting the mail" on this route "from Silver Route and Aunt Kate are long since gone. The yellowed copy of the contract was secure in Uncle Jim's safe.)
Again, in recounting things in the life of James Robinson, Mrs. Johnston told Mollie and Rebecca this story about their grandfather: "Uncle Jim delighted in going bare-footed. Once went bare-foot to the prairie to work. A pump needed fixing; the stock were not getting water. As he worked, he threw his hat aside. He decided to ride on in to Manchester for pump parts. His son R. R. was there and met his father. R. R. was always what we called dressy, very particular about how he looked. Said he to his father, 'Dad, where are your boots? Where's your hat?' All that wouldn't concern Uncle Jim. And often he would take his cattle to the lake at Billy Carrothers' school", said Mrs. Johnston.
Mollie and Rebecca, who grew up in their grandfather's old home, recall that anyone who drove into the farm home about meal time was always urged to stay and eat, regardless of whether the "women folks" were prepared for an extra person. His philosophy was that "What's good enough for us all the time is good enough for them once". Until his death he maintained a lively interest in everything and every body about him. He was not always able to accompany the men on cattle or hog "drives", but he would help start them off. He could not always accompany the men on winter rabbit hunts, but he always dressed the kill, much to the pleasure of the hunters. The older members of the community will remember Uncle Jim driving about the neighborhood in his road cart. Hitched to it would be his big bay driving horse, Colonel, or the small white one, Stub. He did not depend on the telephone to know how his neighbors were, but made bi-weekly calls on the old settlers like Aunt Tillie, Aunt Ann McCay, and Aunt Margaret.
In this box of relics there is a sheaf of pages from an old ledger about 10 by 12 inches in size, carrying in a fine, old-fashioned handwriting, with shaded letters, the Quarterly Conference Record, Manchester Circuit, Dubuque District, Upper Iowa Conference. James Robinson was secretary and scribe and all the records are here in the best of order.
James Robinson married Mary Ann Gregg, in 1854. She also was a native of County Fermanagh, Ireland. They set out at once for Iowa and the log home Jim had prepared for his bride. Various old-fashioned photographs which relatives have show Mary Ann at sixteen as a really beautiful girl, and others in her maturity as a "fine figure of a woman". A dark shadow in Jim's life was Mary Ann's death when she was only forty-two. She had what we know now as appendicitis. In these days a comparatively simple operation will take care of the ailment. James and Mary Ann were the parents of twelve children. Repeatedly we hear the story of their Mary Jane, a beautiful baby, old enough to talk. One morning she was sent upstairs to call the boys. It was corn-shelling time and there was some shelled corn in the boys' room. Little Mary Jane put some kernels into her mouth. She threw back her head to laugh at some antics of the boys and a kernel lodged in her windpipe. She died at four that afternoon." Mrs. Johnston, a cousin and near neighbor of the family, recounted this story to James Robinson's granddaughters, Mollie and Rebecca Robinson.
Through the years after Mary Ann's death, James stayed at the helm and reared his big family. He educated them, the oldest son becoming a minister, the second a doctor, all the others stepping into roles that were worthy. In that family is reflection of their father's vision and judgment, as well as his material success.
Chapters and chapters could be written on this man. Before us lies a lengthy clipping from a Manchester paper published on the occasion of James Robinson's death on June 25, 1909:
"The funeral of Mr. Robinson was held on Saturday afternoon at from the Methodist Episcopal church at Silver Creek, and was attended by a great company of friends and neighbors. The services were held in the quiet churchyard, where, surrounded by the friends of years and those of his own kindred, all that was mortal of this splendid citizen were consigned to rest.
"Mr. Robinson came to Delaware comity in the days of its veriest infancy. The country was practically an untracked and unbroken wilderness, with but here and there the log shack of some venturesome pioneer. He cast his lot in a settlement containing as fine a body of citizens as exists in the county, but with its proportion forty years ago of disputes and quarrels which Mr. Robinson adjudicated with eminent fair ness and unfailing tact. He became known as the peace-maker of the community, enjoying the respect and confidence of all and earning the affection of the citizens of Silver Creek by the consistency and up rightness of his own life."
William James was the oldest son of James Robinson. He studied for the ministry, graduating from Upper Iowa University. In his student days he roomed and boarded at the home of Professor Glasner. William James was married to Emma Glasner on the night of his graduation. Said our historian, "In that day ministers received very low salaries. Teachers were scarce and William James augmented his salary by teaching during the week, preaching on Sunday. At Chelsea, Iowa, he was superintendent of the school and his wife, Emma, was principal. Two of their four sons were born at Chelsea." Farming paid better than teaching or preaching, and a family had to eat. William James moved to a farm in northeast Iowa, and later to South Dakota.
William James was the father of four sons. His granddaughter, Ruth (Mrs. Harold Chasta), lives in Washington, D. C. where her husband is in the United States Government Service. She was formerly debate coach of the Tyndall, S. D., high school. Having had a life-long interest in family history, she has worked out a very complete family tree. Their two adopted children are John Joseph, 2 1/2 years, and Ruth Ann, 1 1/2 years.
Margaret (Mrs. Christy Bleakly) attended Upper Iowa University for one or two years. "She had no time to teach school, said Mrs. Johnston to the Robinson granddaughters. "There were always one or two hired men to cook for as well as the family of eleven. Her mother was not well". "Maggie" Bleakly's name still rises in the community when people are talking of the old days, old ways. Often they speak of Mrs. Bleakly and always with kindliest of thoughts. They moved to Galva, Silver Creek Township, Ida County, Iowa. They were the parents of three daughters and four sons. Three of these children, Mamie, Jamie and Ruth, have passed away.
Mamie, the oldest daughter, was Mrs. Fred Noll. Her husband, daughter, and one son live in or near Arthur, Iowa. The daughter Margaret works on the Holstein Weekly at Holstein, Iowa, and edits the Galva News. One son, Allen, died soon after graduation from high school. The youngest son, Francis, is an electrical engineer in Davenport.
Jamie Bleakly was engaged in the implement business in Cherokee at the time of his death. His wife and family continue to live there.
Ruth (Mrs. Dick Bennett) passed away at a very early age, leaving a husband and three small children who were fortunate enough to have an aunt, Miss Sarah Bleakly, come to their home to live.
One son, Francis, has long lived in Schaller, Iowa, where he has been active in propagating seed for the pop corn industry. His wife is Frances Meier, of Schaller. They have recently moved to Storm Lake to educate their son Edward, but Francis continues to hold his interest in the Schaller pop corn plant.
David Bleakly maintains one of the most up to date seed corn plants in Iowa. He and his wife, Edith Cole, have given over their entire farm to seed production and storage of thousands of bushels of oats, soy beans, and corn.
Lewis, the youngest Bleakly son, is an Electrical Engineer, and lives in Montana with his wife, Mary Isabell Montgomery, and three sons.
Thomas Robinson, James' son, took his pre-medic work at Upper Iowa University. He was graduated from Keokuk Medical College. After graduation he arrived home in time to attend the wedding of Fannie Swindell and John Scanlon in the Silver Creek Church. In a few days he "drove through" to
Ida Grove, where he was to practice. One of his generation put it this way: "He had a beautiful bay team, an extra long wagon, and a large stock of medicine. He joked with Billy Swindell, saying he planned to practice along the way, all the way out to Ida County."
After leaving Iowa, Thomas practiced in the South West. In 1903 he planned to visit his father and Silver Creek friends. He stopped off in St. Louis to go to the Exposition, suffered an attack of appendicitis, was operated on, and died.
Robert Robinson, or R. R., was graduated from Epworth Seminary and Upper Iowa University, as well as Bayless Business College of Dubuque. Then he farmed a large tract of land in Prairie township, and his cousin Eliza Ann Robinson (the late Mrs. William Temple) kept house for him until his marriage to Mabel Hixon. R. R. and Mabel had one child, Robert Ray. She died in 1891 and he moved to Manchester where he was for a time County Auditor before he organized the Delaware County Abstract Company. In 1893 he married Ella Parmalee, and they had two children Allen and Glenn. Allen died in 1912. Glenn lives in Georgia. After his son Robert Ray was graduated from high school and had returned from a European trip, the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida. In 1913 Mr. Robinson met a tragic death in Jacksonville when he was struck down by a brick hurled from the rear by a quarrelsome negro of the town.
Eliza Robinson married the Reverend J. D. Perry, a Methodist minister. Eliza was only sixteen years old when her mother died. She went to Epworth Seminary for one year, after which she kept house for her father and brothers until her marriage. Within the memory of many persons living here now, the Reverend Perry and his wife Eliza often returned to visit family and friends in Silver Creek.
Eliza's son Gregg lived for a time in the Alex Robinson home before enlisting in World War I. He married Mary Newton of Fayette, Iowa, and after his discharge, traveled for the Mid-West Auto Supply Co. of Dubuque before his death. His wife is librarian at the U. S. Naval Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Randall, the younger son, is professor of History in a school in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He is married to Helen Jaycox, and is the father of three children. His older daughter, Helen Jeanette, is married. She and her husband are instructors in the University at Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Alexander, better known as Alec, attended Epworth Seminary for a short time. He later owned and operated the homestead most of his life. He married Eva Falconer and they had five daughters, Mollie, Rebecca, and Bertha, and two who died in infancy. Alec and his family moved to Manchester on retirement from the farm, where he died in 1934. Mrs. Robinson died in 1944. Mollie graduated from the State University of Iowa School of Nursing and is considered one of the best nurses to be found. Rebecca is graduated from Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls and has taught most successfully ever since graduation. She has been teaching in Clarion, Iowa, for number of years. Bertha also is a graduate of Iowa State Teachers College and for a number of years she taught in the college at Emporia, Kansas. She married George Humphrey and their home is in Deming, New Mexico. Mr. Humphrey is a contractor. Bertha teaches in the Deming Public Schools.
There never was a better neighbor or friend than Alec Robinson. Quiet, unassuming, dependable, he was all his life a pillar in any group with which he was associated. Mrs. Robinson, formerly Eva Falconer, was a beloved woman, active in every worthy interest of her community, a fine mother and home-maker.
John Burnside, James's fourth son, was a lively young man, jolly and very energetic. He went to Epworth Seminary, as did other members of his family. He was quite a horseman. It is said that once he had a mustang which was a mean one. John was thrown from his mount over and over, but he would get up and try it over. Finally he conquered the horse. He was also interested in cattle and early in his life went to Nebraska where he had a ranch and ran cattle in large numbers. He was gone from here a year before his uncle Tom Robinson was shot in a fatal accident. Through a Mr. Lister who once had a hardware store in Manchester, and who received immediate word of the gun accident, John Burnside had the message. There was some confusion of names in the communication and John came home at once, thinking it was his own father who was dead. He came to the funeral of his father, in 1909, the last time he was in Silver Creek.
John Burnside married Frances Adeline Shain and they had two children. One daughter, Lillian Shain, married Clinton Gross. They live in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and they have no children. The other daughter is Nellie Burnside, who married Edward Leibel and has three children, Lynn Lou, Patty Jean, and Charnell. Both John Burnside and his wife are dead.
Henry Robinson attended Upper Iowa University for several years, and was graduated from Bayless Business College of Dubuque. He married Ursa Hill of Manchester and they had three children. Mabel, their youngest child, is married to Willard Robinson and they are parents of a son, Robert, and a daughter, Joan. Account of these young people appears under the Thomas Robinson family story.
Henry Robinson went to Pearl City, Illinois, in the beginning of his career, to manage a branch lumber yard of the Manchester Lumber Company, owned by Mr. Hollister of Manchester. Later he went to Caldwell, Idaho, in lumber business and contracting, where the family lived for years. Still later he came back to Iowa to look after his farm interests here, and he continued in this business until his death. Henry was a favorite neighbor and friend throughout all his days.
His son Sidney has been with the Pacific Electric Power Company for more than twenty-five years. He married Helen Rice and they have three children living. They had a son who died when he was about ten years of age. Their daughter, Helen May, is married to Harry Miller. Their son Bruce is married to Betty Jane Jones. Jerry, the youngest son, is still in high school.
Henry's daughter Marion married Lowell Morse and they had two children. Marion died untimely at their home in Yakima, Washington. A fine young woman, her death was a heavy trial for all connected with her. Her son's name is Glen Owen and he was in the Canadian army during World War II.
Marion's daughter, Betty Jane, is married and lives in Saskatchewan, Ontario.
Gregg Robinson, the youngest child in the James Robinson family, attended Upper Iowa University one year and helped on the family farm until he went to Pearl City, Illinois, to manage his brother's lumber yard when Henry came back to Iowa to develop his "prairie" farm. Gregg married Elsie Wise. They have an adopted daughter, Ardath, now Mrs. Kenneth Stimpson, who, since Gregg's death in 1925, lives with her mother, in Orlando, Florida.
THE STAGE COACH ROAD
In another letter mailed on July 28, 1952, Charlie Swindle continued his account of the first days of the three men who took up the Silver Creek land. He wrote of the trip they made to Quasqueton for supplies __ "following the old stage coach road. This old road, starting back at Bailey's Ford, crossed over the old Alf Wells and the Barry land, the Frank Ryan, the Sandiland place (now James Emerson's farm), and the Dover property (now Harry Wenger's farm), over the John Robinson farm and the Swindle farm, crossing Silver Creek about 40 rods south of the cross-roads that are one-half mile north of the church, and continuing west through the Willard Robinson farm and then southwest near the present McRoberts farm, and on west by the Devlin and McKay farms, then northerly by the bridge west of the McDowell farm, crossing the creek near the Dunn farm (later the George Johnston land), and on west to Quasqueton.
"The Swindle house stands on the stage coach road. The locations of the McRoberts, the Devlin, and the McKay homes is explained by the fact that they were built on the stage road. Also the road accounts for the fact that these places were not built on the section lines or the road where it is now located. The stage route followed the high land because of the impossibility of crossing the slough and the creeks much of the year. As late as 1910 the wheel tracks of the coaches were plainly visible on the Barry land, now owned by Art Lyness. Many Silver Creek people will remember the road diagonally across the Sandilands farm until 1890 or 1891.
To the younger generations John McCay seems like a legend. We have long looked at the huge, beautiful stone in the cemetery, erected to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. McCay, and its tall granite letters are fixed in our minds. The story of Mr. McCay's tragic death on the first mechanical reaper in the neighborhood is part of the legend. Now that the time has come to look into Mr. McCay's history more deeply, we have authentic account of him. Fortunately there are still with us some who knew him in person.
Mr. McCay was one of the three men who came ahead of the larger group in the beginnings of Silver Creek. It was in part his judgment that fixed this spot of America as our home place. From his own original forty acres Mr. McCay went on to purchase more and more land until he had 360 acres of good Iowa ground. He raised stock and grain on a large scale. His business acumen was such that long before his death he had become a wealthy man.
In 1852, and before he came to Iowa, Mr. McCay had married Ann Robinson, in Alleghany. She was a most capable helpmate for him. Their farmstead is located in the very western part of Silver Creek community. In 1878 Mr. and Mrs. McCay made a trip to Ireland to their native places. The next year they built their new house. It was a very fine house indeed, one of the finest in all the country, costing over $4,000. Think what that would mean today for the same scale of building. It was a large house, made of choice wood and filled with the best furniture of that day, such pieces as chairs and sofa covered with "horse-hair", and an eight-foot mirror in a hand-carved walnut frame and with a little marble shelf below for the metal-clasped family Bible. Mr. McCay had many plans for landscaping, for orchards, for vineyards, and other things that grew out of his dreams of a home in the New World, plans not completed, cut off by his sudden death.
Mr. McCay was a lover of good horses. There are still present people who know the place where he maintained on his farm a small race track for the sole purpose of exercising his horses. He was proud of his saddles, harness, buggies and other equipment, all of which he gave great care.
On July 31, 1880, he was reaping with a four-horse team, and then came the fatal accident. Mr. McCay was a strong man and knew his horses. It is easy to think that four spirited horses, as Mr. McCay's horses always were, hitched to an unaccustomed and dangerous piece of the new high-powered machinery, probably got away from him. He was thrown in front of the machine and horribly cut. The story still lives that two teams were ruined on that fateful day. Some one took a McCay team and drove to Manchester for a doctor, Dr. C. C. Bradley, racing the horses unbelievably fast. The return trip took another team. It was a hot day and both pairs of horses were driven so hard they were winded and therefore of no further use. Dr. Bradley had with him a young intern who was later Ryan's revered Dr. Wm. Donnelly. It is said that the young doctor, unused to so gruesome a sight as the mangled leg Dr. Bradley had to amputate with the help of his intern, fainted dead away. Mr. McCay lived for two weeks after the accident. He lived in his new house only seven months.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. McCay lived on for many years, with the companionship of her faithful niece, Bessie Reed. How many a person has passed this once beautiful home and looking at it has meditated what change slow time can work on the best laid plans of men! Mrs. McCay lived her long life almost alone in the big house. The McCays had never had any children. There was a very large estate to be dispersed after the death of Mrs. McCay.
A copy of a large folder showing the pictures of Mr. and Mrs. McCay has come to light. Under the pictures is an account of the couple, written by some unknown hand. We give the text of the article exactly as it stands in the folder. We wish we could here print the likeness of the strong faces of the McCays. With this tribute handed down from 1880 we close the record of John McCay, Pioneer.
"Mr. John McCay, deceased, was born in Antrim County, Ireland, May 4, 1815. In that country he spent his childhood and early manhood days. In the year 1847, he came to America to share its liberal institutions and make his future home. His first three years in this country were spent in the employ of a physician in New York City, at the expiration of which time he went to Pittsburgh, Pa., and was engaged as a laborer on the farm of a merchant with whom he remained two years. On the eleventh day of June, 1852, he married Miss Ann Robinson, a lady of Irish birth, born in Fermanagh County, in 1826, and came to America in 1850. After their marriage they purchased forty acres of land in Iowa, where Mrs. McCay still resides, in section one, Newton township, this county. They were among the first substantial settlers of this county, and among the few who held to the plow and did not look back, till the farm consists now of three hundred and sixty acres. It is beautifully located, and is of the finest soil the west affords. During Mr. McCay's life time he devoted this farm principally to the interests of stock raising, learning its profits exceeded that of farming. In the year, 1879, he built one of the finest farm residences in the county, costing over four thousand dollars. But, sad to say, fate decreed that he should enjoy it only seven short months.
On the thirty-first day of July, 1880, while he was engaged in reaping with a four-horse team, the horses became frightened and threw him in front of the guards, where he was so mangled that he died in two weeks afterward. Thus ended the career of a man whose life was a beacon of hope to the poor man, and a model to the church. He was a man, who by his exertions, won from the hard hand of toil one of the finest properties in the west. When he first became a citizen of this country, his only possessions were about three hundred dollars. But with his and his wife's combined efforts they won for themselves a fortune that classed them not only among the well-to-do farmers of the county, but among the wealthiest citizens of the state.
Both Mr. and Mrs. McCay were earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal church, which relation Mrs. McCay still sustains. They commanded the highest respect of the community, and Mrs. McCay still lives to enjoy it, while Mr. McCay only lives in the memory of his friends and acquaintances, who will thank Mrs. McCay for the mark of respect she has displayed for him, and the favor she has conferred upon them, by having the above portraits in this work. Of Mrs. McCay we are pleased to state she is a woman who has always had the will and dare to do, as the event of her coming to this country alone, when only a little girl, testifies. She is a lady whose morality, friendship and generosity cannot be excelled."
JOHN AND MARGARET (SWINDLE) ROBINSON
The story of John and Margaret Robinson, pioneers, is one that should not be compressed within a few pages. They were both born in County Fermanagh, Ireland, and came to this country before 1850. They were married in Pittsburg on March 16, 1854, and started almost immediately for Iowa and their newly purchased land along Silver Creek. In April, 1854, they came with a group of relatives and friends, making the trip by boat over several rivers to Dubuque and by ox team and wagon from Dubuque to Delaware County. They spent their first night in the John McCay home. (Mrs. McCay was sister to John Robinson.) They built a log house, their first home, along the creek in the field almost opposite the Anthony Swindle place, a little southeast of where they later built the "big" house. (Mrs. Robinson was sister to Anthony Swindle). In 1879 they built the frame house which continued to be their home throughout their lives and which stands now much as it was originally, occupied at the present time by Jack Robinson, a descendant. In and out of both houses flowed a goodly share of the history of Silver Creek settlement. The doors of their home were ever open to any one who came their way. There is a story to explain in part their unusual hospitality:
When Uncle John first came to America, he once went on a trip inland to the home of an uncle in Pittsburg. The boat he was on was stranded and he undertook to make the rest of the trip a-foot. It started to rain and he asked for shelter at several homes he came to, walking. Each time he was turned away. He finally found shelter for the night under a railroad bridge. Then and there he vowed that if ever he had a home of his own, he would never turn a stranger from his door. So long as he lived he kept his vow. Friends and relatives always found warm welcome, of course, but also there was through the years a motley line of perfect strangers who came by and who were always taken in and cared for. Hearsay has it that sometimes there were visitors who stayed the night and who were of such character that a member of the household would stay up on something like guard lest the guest be one with ill intent. Uncle John feared nothing at all from those he befriended; and he was never once the worse for his practice of taking in wayfarers who needed shelter. In the early times, the log cabin days, the strangers slept on the cabin floor.
The Robinsons prospered. Their big house was a fine one indeed. The parlor was upstairs, a custom brought with them from the old country. There was in the "parlor bedroom" downstairs a fireplace on the mantel of which sat a china cat from Ireland. There was beautiful walnut furniture covered with horsehair cloth. There was a tall old "secretary" in the living room, in which stood such books as Josephus' History of the Jews, the McGuffey Readers the children used, and other like works. The feather ticks and the pillows Aunt Margaret had were huge things stuffed with the choicest of "down". None of this chicken-feather stuffing for her. Her quilts were hand-made, from cloth in bright colors, cotton or wool, and quilted in fine stitching. There is now in use in the community one of Aunt Margaret's quilts in the Irish Chain pattern, the background white, the chain in blue, the quilting pattern beautiful, done by Aunt Margaret herself. Until her late years-and she lived to be almost 98-Aunt Margaret made her own soap and starch. She and her husband were thrifty and far-sighted.
The Robinsons had six children, only two of whom lived to maturity, George Thomas and Anthony. George Thomas died in 1902, at the age of forty-five. Anthony lived to be 74, dying in 1932. In his babyhood he had some fearful sickness that left him crippled badly for life. From the standpoint of modern diagnosis it would seem the child was a victim of something like infantile paralysis. There were twin girls named Louisa and Margaret who died a month apart, of black measles. There was a girl named Sarah Ann who died of diphtheria in 1864, aged nine. There was an infant who died at birth. After this last child Aunt Margaret suffered illness that finally necessitated her going to a doctor in New York City, one famous for his skill in the particularly difficult physical condition which was hers then.
When the young Margaret went to this New York doctor, she found she would have to remain under treatment for a year. It turned out that the doctor had come from Ireland, and doctor and patient had knowledge of each other from the Irish family background. The doctor suggested to Margaret that she work with the hospital nurses in the obstetrical department and learn how to be a skillful "midwife". That she did and when she came home at the end of her year of care and treatment, completely well, she had also good training which she used freely and successfully in her home community. She was all her active life considered the best nurse and helper anywhere in time of sickness. It is said that there was not a home in which she had not given, with her whole heart, all she could do in time of illness (or of any other need, for that matter). She did not stop within the borders of Silver Creek; she would go to any family in need of help, to any place within range. And, she did not stay her steps because the illness might be one of the dread contagious ailments that flourished too well in those days of too few or no doctors, within reach.
Aunt Margaret and Uncle John once went back to Ireland on a six-months visit to their early homes. When they returned, Aunt Margaret brought with her a quantity of "oil boiled calico", "fast color" and durable calico, which she gave to all the relatives and friends in Silver Creek. It is said that one of the patterns she brought was "a Chinese design and very pretty". She brought also an egg-case full of duck eggs of some breed of duck she especially wanted to have in America. She carried this case of eggs on shipboard and to Iowa, successfully, hatching her Irish ducks in due time and of course later distributing this kind of duck among her Silver Creek friends. A relative of hers in the present generation said, "It was some kind of gray duck she brought". There is in the community a gift she brought with the many she gathered up on that trip to Ireland, this token a white "mug" cup with "A Present from Largs" in gold letters on it.
There is a story of Uncle John's finding an ox yoke on a road one day long ago, a yoke lost by some one. He carried it home and cut it up into chunks and planted the chunks in watered holes. The ox yoke grew into a row of poplar trees finally. There is another story of Aunt Margaret's picking up a teamster's green willow whip lying along a wagon trail when she went on a long trip across unfenced country-side, after their milk cows. She planted her willow whip and from it came the willow trees some of which still grow along the creek that lies to the east of the old home. Their big outdoor oven was in use until Aunt Margaret was in her nineties.
Uncle John and Aunt Margaret had the devoted care of nieces who came from Ireland to live in their home and who stood in the capacity of daughters. Mary Robinson, later Mrs. T. S. McRoberts, was with them for a number of years. Later her sister Martha came and stayed for a year before returning to be married in Ireland. In 1910 Sarah Robinson came and spent forty years in devoted care of Aunt Margaret and Anthony. Sarah died only last summer (1951), leaving behind her the memory of a woman kind and faithful to all whose lives she touched. For several years after Anthony died Sarah lived on in the old home, and at the last she, in turn, had all the kindly care possible to give any one, in the home of her niece Sarah McRoberts Robinson (Mrs. Milton Robinson).
Uncle John died in 1908; Aunt Margaret died in 1917. They are buried in Silver Creek cemetery, where is erected a beautiful stone in their memory. We have barely touched the surface of their story. Through a long stretch of time they stood as leaders in the community they helped to found. "Their works do praise their name".
JAMES LENDRUM FAMILY
The Lendrum name figures prominently in all accounts of early times in Silver Creek. The records there are show two spellings of the name. The first version was spelled with an a, Landrum. For some reason we do not know the name finally appeared consistently with the letter e, Lendrum. There are in most of the old homes here photographs of Mr. and Mrs. Lendrum in their later years, showing him as a man of fine appearance. Mrs. Lendrum, always referred to as "Aunt Lizzie Lendrum", is in her photograph a woman of unusually keen eyes, of strong features, of kindly aspect. She was twin sister of Thomas Robinson, father of Wesley. She died within two weeks after Thomas's tragic death by a gun accident, seemingly unable to recover from the shock of his passing. Lately one of the older people here, who knew Mrs. Lendrum personally, said, "Everybody went to Aunt Lizzie when they wanted anything. She was a capable, resourceful, fine woman in all ways".
We know that Mr. Lendrum was a skilled cabinet maker and carpenter. There are a good many pieces of his work in the old homes here at the present time. He had been apprenticed in Ireland for three years and came out of that experience possessed of great skill. He made many of the "what-nots'' our people have. Mollie and Rebecca have a walnut bedstead, a bookcase of cherry wood, a walnut chest of drawers, and a cherry dish-cupboard all made by Mr. Lendrum. Elsewhere in this booklet is mention of the fact that he made most of the caskets used for his neighbors and friends. He was almost fanatical about his tools, said one of the persons who knew him. He would not let a stranger touch the things he worked with. There is here Mr. Lendrum' s tool box, which he gave or sold to William Swindell, whose daughter, Lizzie insists she wants to keep this box for sentiment's sake. In the winter months Mr. Lendrum made by hand the shingles he wanted to use in his building. All in all, Mr. Lendrum must have been one of the most useful and esteemed of all the pioneer group.
The story of their trip from Pittsburgh to Iowa stays in the minds of the older people. The family came by train, and there was a curious accident. A cow went onto the railroad track and the engine of the train hit her, causing a train wreck. An iron bar was dislodged some way and came through the train window and struck and killed the Lendrums' baby boy about six weeks old, the only son they ever had. They had two daughters who died of black diphtheria. They had also a daughter Eliza Jane, who married James Taylor. They were the grandparents of Miss Stella Taylor who is a popular teacher in Manchester High School. Another daughter, Maggie, married Ben Taylor. The daughter Martha, or Mattie, married John Anderson. Rachel Lendrum married Ed Foster and went to Ohio to live.
The Lendrums owned the farm where Art Goos now lives, just east of the Wigwam. They lived at another location in log house days, on the McGuire road, according to various accounts. In his later years Mr. Lendrum moved to Manchester and died there. He and Lizzie are buried in Silver Creek cemetery.
We have a letter written several weeks ago by Mrs. Luther Wiltse of Manchester, granddaughter of James Lendrum. She writes: "James Landrum was born June 9, 1822, in County Tyrone, Ireland, and was united in marriage with Elizabeth Robinson on February 8, 1842. They came to America in 1845 and lived in Alleghany, Pennsylvania. In 1852 they joined the tide of immigrants to the new west and settled in the Silver Creek neighborhood, living there most of their lives. After the death of his first wife he remarried and later went to Manchester to live. He was the father of nine children. One infant son was killed in a train wreck when they were coming to Iowa.
"Mrs. Eliza Jane (Lendrum) Taylor daughter of James and Eliza, had four children, Tom, Walter, Anna, and Lou. She had two grandchildren. Mrs. Maggie (Lendrum) Taylor was mother to six children; Bess (Taylor) Knapp, Mattie C., Jim, Nell (Taylor) Canfield, Will, and Reuben. I think there were two grand-children, Stella and Raymond.
"Mrs. Martha (Lendrum) Anderson was mother to six children: Edith Wiltse of Manchester ; Earl Anderson of Arnold's Park, Iowa; Archie, who died in 1914; William who died in 1936; Herbert who lives at DeKalb, Illinois; Bess (Anderson) DeMoss who lives at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Edith Wiltse has two children, Gerald Wiltse, who lives in Des Moines; Jean who married Tom Hattel and they live at Loves Grove, Illinois. They have two children, Marcia, age eight; Alan age three.
"Bess (Taylor) Knapp (sic) had one girl, Dorothy, who died in Albuquerque in 1944. There were no other grandchildren in the Anderson family. There was Rachel Lendrum (James' daughter) who married Ed Foster and they lived in Ohio. They had no children. The older children of Grandpa Lendrum - I don't remember their names. Someone else may be able to help you out on that."
John R. Lendrum was born near Five Mile Town, County Tyrone, Ireland. He lived three years with Uncle James Lendrum in Delaware County and moved to a homestead at Minatare, Nebraska, in 1886. Three months after his marriage to a Miss Harshman of Minatare he met his death by drowning. His body was never recovered. It is believed that John Lendrum came to this country with James Emerson, father of James, Roy, and Carl, and William McKeown, in the year 1882. McKeown died this same year at the age of 20.
WILLIAM and ISABELLE (CARROTHERS) SWINDELL FAMILY
William and Isabelle (Carrothers) Swindell were both born in County Fermanagh, Ireland, not very far apart. The Carrothers family lived near a town named Lisnaskae, a place where the famous Belleek china and pottery are made. The Carrothers house is still used as a dwelling, occupied twenty years ago by a family named Warnock. It is a long house, a typical Irish country cottage, covered on the outside by something like white plaster, and thatched as to roof.
Isabelle, born November 13, 1824, was the third sister. A sister named Eliza married a man named Montgomery and the couple lived and died in Ireland. Their daughter Mary came to America when she was a young woman and lived for a time with her aunt Isabelle. She married Jimmy Robinson here and an account of her and her family appears elsewhere in this booklet.
Isabelle's brothers, Christopher, John, and Thomas, came to America. Christy lived his life out in Silver Creek, dying here in 1891. John lived here for a time on what we know as the Baxter place on the Ryan road east from Cottonwood Lane. Later he and his family moved to Ida County, Iowa, and eventually to California. Account of this family appears in a separate section of this writing. Thomas stayed in the East long enough to be taken into the army in the Civil War, and he died on Gettysburg field on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Isabelle came to America in October, 1850. with Ann Robinson (later the wife of John McCay) and Ann's half-brother, Johnston Robinson (sic). Isabelle had an aunt in Alleghany, Pennsylvania, whom the family called Aunt Graham. Isabelle was married to William Swindell in 1852, at the home of this aunt. They went to live in Pittsburg and they had a baby son named John who died just before the family was to leave Pittsburg for Iowa, in 1854. William and Isabelle traveled to Iowa with John and Margaret Robinson and James Robinson and his wife Mary Ann (Gregg) Robinson. (Mary Ann was the daughter of Isabelle's (sic) sister who died and left the child to the care of her aunts and uncles.) They went down the Monongahela river by tow boat. Then they traveled the Ohio river and the Mississippi river by steamboat to Dubuque. William's brother, Anthony, had managed some way to get an ox team and wagon and met the party in Dubuque. The women walked from Dubuque to Delhi, arriving there about three o'clock in the afternoon. John and Margaret stayed the first night in Silver Creek with the John McCays. The rest of the party stayed all night with the Lendrums. One wonders how they all crowded into the Lendrum log house, the visitors and the Lendrum family.
Mrs. Johnston described her parents' first home. Immediately William made a dug-out 14 feet square, near the bank of the creek. He cut poles and put them across the dug-out and on the poles laid a thatching of long grass. This hay thatch turned the rain well. They left one side open the width of a door and made a big sheaf of grass for this doorway, to keep out snakes and other marauders. On bad days they kept the sheaf in place all day. On good days the sheaf was put outside. Isabelle had the things she had brought from Ireland, a feather tick and two pillows, and some blankets and sheets she, herself had woven. She had also some black-handled knives and forks and a pair of brass candle sticks Aunt Graham had given her when she left Pittsburg. These candle sticks stand in the family home at the present moment. Brother Anthony had found them a spring for their drinking water. William and Isabelle lived in this dug-out from April 19, 1854, until December 22. William and his brother Anthony worked all summer building the new log house and had it ready for occupancy by December 22, and in time for the first Christmas dinner, to which they invited everybody. Elsewhere in this writing is a little story of this Christmas dinner.
On the first Sunday after they reached here, William and Isabelle and Margaret started out to follow the creek to see where it sprang up. They followed it to "the lake", which spread out at the place where the upper school stands. The lake had a limestone bottom and the water was very clear and full of big fish. Elsewhere is record of the provisions of game and fish salted away ready for the newcomers when they arrived that April day in 1854. As soon as he could get brick, William built a brick oven down by the creek. Before that there was only a fireplace for all the cooking and baking to be done. A Dutch oven was the main utensil for fire-place cooking.
On February 22, 1855, a few months after William and his wife moved into their log house, their first child here was born, Charles A. Swindell, whose name is familiar to young and old. In eighteen months the second child was born, William. In all there were ten children, counting the infant son who died in Pittsburg and the baby girl who died of diptheria in 1864. Charles A. once told his remembrance of that event in their family life. The baby had been ill for several days. They were all sitting at supper one evening, the sick baby in its cradle near by. The baby made a strange sound. The mother stooped over the child, trying to give some relief to the little one. Then she straightened up and said, "The baby is dead". Diptheria was a dread disease then, for there was no doctor or other help when diptheria struck.
On the other side of the family is this account. The house in which the Swindle (Swindell) family were all born still stands, the old home place near the town of Clonus, in County Fermanagh, Ireland. It is owned by a man named John Liddle whose father, Robert, bought "the place in Kiltern". (The term "Kiltern" probably is the same as the name Silver Creek; that is, each is the name of a community or area.) The house is the same typical Irish cottage. Mr. Liddle was not using it as a dwelling twenty years ago, though it was in fairly good repair. The little house is not very far from one of the old Irish castles, called Castle Crom. It is part of the estate owned by the Earl of Erin. The castle is like the pictures we have all seen in books, a big, towered, ornate building with basements. It is a strange sight to American eyes, but the castles have their own stories that belong to an order of things quite different from this modern world. Aunt Margaret used often to tell of hearing from their cottage home the clock on the Crom Castle tower strike the hour. Too, she often talked about "Loch Erne" (Lake Erin). The men in her family were slaters and had worked on Crom Castle.
Mrs. Johnston says her father had two brothers who came to America, but not to Iowa. One brother, named Charles, settled in Michigan; another named Frank went to New Orleans, where he died of "ship fever", probably yellow fever. Communication a hundred years ago was not easy and the brothers lost track of each other.
In 1903 Charles and family returned to Iowa and to the old home place. Anthony, his brother, had been running the farm, but Anthony's sight failed and he was forced to give up farming. So, C. A. operated the old farm, doing general farming and stock raising. He developed a fine herd of Shorthorn cattle over a period of years. He had particular interest in raising excellent quality grains, and on several occasions was awarded medals and other tokens for his top quality grains. He was a member of the County Board of Supervisors for nine years, 1914 to 1923, and was active in many other county or state relationships. He was deeply interested in his church and taught the Adult Bible Class of the Silver Creek church over a long period of years. He pored over his Bible lessons evening after evening through all that time, in making the best preparation a good teacher could give to his lessons. It would be difficult to say in a page or two what deep and abiding feeling Charles had for his home community and its people or what his always ready to take time for anyone. A line spoken by his minister in the funeral address expresses aptly the whole tenor of his life, for it truly was filled by "his little, nameless, un-remembered acts of kindness and of love", as his pastor said.
Charles' wife, Ida, was a woman of unusual capability. She was able mistress of the old home, active in all neighborhood projects, always with her mind on doing her part in all good works. The home of which she and Charles were heads was a haven for many a person in time of need. They gave to a number of persons a home and the gift of friendship as well as material sustenance. Their names are indelible in Silver Creek's story.
Their son, Charles W., was born in New York City and came here at the age of seventeen. He lived his life out on the family farm. He was an upright man, always interested in doing any kindly thing in his power for a neighbor or friend. Mr. Swindell's niece Blanche made her home with the family most of her life and following the deaths of her uncle, aunt, and cousin inherited the family home,
A strand in the home life of Mr. and Mrs. Swindell is bound up with Mrs. Marguerite Guilgot, a French war widow, who came to America after her husband was killed in World War I. She arrived with her two children, Paul and Suzanne. They came to Silver Creek because Marguerite had two brothers living here at that time. Shortly after their arrival Marguerite and Suzanne came to the Swindell home and remained for 26 years. The faithfulness of Mrs. Guilgot in her consideration of Uncle Anthony's need in his blindness was enough for continued praise; but when there was need for similar care of the older members of the household who were growing in years, she gave unstinted devotion to them. Close ties developed between the Swindell family and Mrs. Guilgot and her family. Suzanne grew up in the home and Paul was there from time to time. Mrs. Guilgot made a place for herself in the community too, insomuch that we consider her part of it basically. She now lives with Suzanne and her husband, Fay Johnston, in Long Beach, California.
William's second son was William B., who left Iowa in his early twenties, for the Nebraska frontier. He died in 1943 at the age of 88. He married Ida Johnston of New York state, on her eighteenth birthday, and they went west to a life of rugged pioneering, as rugged as his father's generation had known. They had two sons, Earl and Donald W. Earl has retired from an active business life and is living in Polson, Montana. He married Clara B. Smith and they have two children. The son, Bill, is a captain in the army Air Force. He is now stationed at Ft. Worth, Texas, with the 7th Wing, Bomber Group. Bill is married to Adelaide Smith and has a son named Charles William Jr. Earl's daughter, Erla Mae, is married to James F. Crowley, an Attorney in Hastings, Nebraska. They have three children, Thomas Jerome, Mary Patricia, and Joseph Earle.
W. B. Swindell refused his father's request that he stay in his home surroundings and he set off for Nebraska. He had a world of experience in his life as a pioneer and was an important figure in the development of that part of the west. He was a rancher, a surveyor, a stock raiser, a post master. On the occasion of his death, in 1943, another "old timer" said, "Billy needs no big monument, lying here in the old pioneer cemetery that the Wilbergers and he established. His monument is all about him, in this fine farming country he helped to develop". He filed the first homestead entry on the table lands northwest of Minatare. He built the first frame house in Minatare. He served as post master in Minatare under Presidents Grover Cleveland, McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Wm. H. Taft. He was secretary of the Farmers Irrigation district during the first construction period of that canal, and he promoted and financed the first survey. He also promoted the building of the irrigation systems of which Nebraska now boasts. The Gering, Nebraska Historical Society has all his pioneer records, to be used in compiling a history of western Nebraska.
The oldest Wm. Swindell daughter was Fannie, who married John Scanlon. Full account of Fannie is given in the Scanlon family history.
Anthony, the third son, farmed the home place for a number of years after his father's death. He and his mother and sister Elizabeth lived together on the place until Elizabeth's marriage to Henry Johnston. In a few years Anthony's eye sight failed. For some years he was treated by specialists in New York City and by other doctors in Iowa City, but there was no help for him. He finally became entirely blind and had to give up active life. When Charles and family came from New York City to operate the home place, Anthony made his home with them until his death in 1932. Anthony was never married. He was a kind man, gentle and considerate in every least way. Blindness is a sore affliction for any one. Few people would accept such a lot so patiently as did Anthony. He is remembered with affection.
Mary Ann, second daughter, married W. R. Swindal and lived all her married life in Poweshiek County, Iowa, where her husband had extensive holdings in farms. He was also a stock raiser. Mary Ann's whole life was given unreservedly to her home and her family. She lived her 86 years in the quietness of her own home circle. She was entirely loyal to the friends and the community of her youth. She was often home on visits, and she never failed to respond to any call of her parental home or of old friends. There seemed to be a special bond between her, and all the cousins back home. The story "Little Girl Lost'', to be found in this booklet, covers one memorable event of her childhood in Silver Creek. She lived the latter half of her life in a home that tops the high hill one sees on approaching Brooklyn. After her husband's death, her daughter Alice and her family came to live with Mary Ann, and they gave her the tender and considerate care that made her last days peaceful and full.
Mary Ann's oldest child, Willie, died at 14, from pneumonia. The boy's father had set his hopes on this son as his successor in his successful business and the lad's passing was a heavy blow to the family. The oldest child, Mabel, married John Goff and they have lived all their married life in Brooklyn, where John had his business as a baker. They had two children, Marjorie and Randall. Marjorie married George Foley of Chicago. She died just before Christmas, 1951, as result of a car accident. She left four very young children. Randall is unmarried, and his home is, of course, in Brooklyn.
Alice married Earl Evans, a farmer, and they live in the home at the top of the hill at Brooklyn. They have one child, a son, Robert, who married Glenna Keller. They have a baby daughter, Karen Rae. Robert is a young man of unusual ability in mechanics and in farming.
Nellie, third daughter, married Homer Simmons and they had a daughter and three sons. The daughter, Evelyn, died as a small child. The oldest son, Lloyd, married Marian Boky and they had a daughter, Sharon. Lloyd was killed in World War II. The second son is Leslie, who married Kathryn Combs. They have three children, Connie, Cherry, and Leslie Kay. The third son, Leland, married Marilyn Morgan and they have one child, David. These young men live away from their maternal relatives so far that we have comparatively little information on them save names.
Mary Ann and William had another son, Charles, whose birth was the delight of all the family; a boy would help take Willie's place. Charles was a student at the University of Iowa for several years, finally going into business in Iowa City. Later he went to Arizona on account of his health and he died there. He was married to Retta Norris of Grinnell and they had one daughter, Phyllis Jane. Phyllis Jane is married and lives in Maine. Charles was a highly intelligent young man and his passing was a sad thing.
John H. was the youngest son. He was married to Flora Davis and they lived on John's large farm in Silver Creek most of their married life. They moved to Manchester for three years and there Flora died, a young woman, leaving four small children. John sold his Silver Creek farm and moved to Missouri. Later he moved to Kansas and he died in Dodge City, Kansas. His body was brought back to his home and he was buried beside his wife Flora.
The oldest of the family is Blanche, who was graduated from Cornell College and from Columbia University in New York, with a Master's degree in English. She has been a teacher of literature and writing all her professional life. She is presently an instructor in English for the University of Wisconsin. Florence, second daughter, is a graduate of Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago and is a registered nurse. Her home is in Altadena, California. She has had a successful career as a nurse. Howard Anthony, the only son, is a graduate of Iowa State College at Ames, in electrical engineering. He has been with the Northwest Bell Telephone Company ever since his graduation. He married Lillian Nelson of Garfield, Kansas, and they have a son, Howard Jr., a junior in high school. Their home is in Sioux City, Iowa, where Howard's office is located.
Lucy Isabelle, third daughter, was graduated from Cornell College and from Columbia University in New York, with a Master's degree in English. She taught English for a number
of years in Washington High School, East Chicago, Illinois, before her marriage to Ernest R. Hegi, who is with the American Express Company in Chicago. Lucy is presently an instructor in English for the University of Illinois in the Navy Pier branch in Chicago. She and Ernest have their home on the South Side in Chicago.
Margaret, third daughter of William and Isabelle, married Henry Johnston, and they had a son, Forrest Anthony. Margaret died when her son was about two years old. Forrest married Gladys Marolf and they have a son, Donald. Forrest has long been a rural mail carrier. He and Gladys have a very nice home in Coggon. Don is a junior in high school, a young man with marked interest in things mechanical.
Elizabeth, youngest child in the Swindell family, married Henry Johnston and they bought a farm in Silver Creek, the old Dover farm, a pioneer holding. Later they sold this and bought property in Coggon. Later still they bought a farm on the edge of Coggon, where Henry died. Elizabeth finally bought a house in Hopkinton, to be near her daughter, Marion. Mrs. Johnston has been spending winters in California for several years, but returns to her home surroundings when spring arrives. The Johnstons had five children besides Forrest, Margaret's son. Elizabeth and Henry's oldest child, Harlan, died in infancy. Margaret, the older daughter, was graduated from Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, and from Pestalozzi Teachers College in Chicago. She is now principal of a school in Wheaton, Illinois, where she has spent most of her teaching career. She has had much success in her work as teacher and administrator.
The third child in this family was Charlie, who died at six years of age, of pneumonia. He was a bright, attractive little boy and his passing was a grievous event in the family life. The next child was Fay Milton, who is in the army, now stationed in Alaska. He is a staff sergeant. Fay married Hollis White and they had two children, Jack and Linda Sue. Jack is a promising young man, graduated just last June from high school, and he is planning to go to the University of Iowa in the fall. Linda is in high school, doing well. Fay married Suzanne Guilgot and they have a fine new home in Long Beach, where they have lived for several years.
Marion, youngest child in the family, taught for several years and then married Harold Taylor. Harold has a thriving business in Hopkinton, the Taylor Implement Company. Their home is in Hopkinton.
W. B. ROBINSON FAMILY
The beginnings of the William Robinson family in America were with William and his wife, Matilda (Williamson). William, son of James and Margaret (Johnston) Robinson, was born in North Ireland, in 1814. He died in Silver Creek in 1873. He came west in 1852 and settled in Silver Creek where two of his brothers, James and Thomas, were also settling. He married Matilda Williamson, who was born in Ireland and died in Silver Creek in 1910.
Like all their neighbors, William and "Tillie" lived at first in a log house, which was situated a little north of his own land on the property of his brother, James. The pioneers always looked for timber when they built. Timber provided warmth and protection. He set the log house on his brother's property because there was the very surrounding of trees he wanted. Later they built, on their own land, the first frame house in the community. The same house is in use on the family farm at the present time. Six children were born to the couple, part of them in the new frame house. In the high tide of their family development the heavy blow fell. William contracted typhoid fever at a time when that disease was taking its toll in the community. Within the next two years the remaining members of the family, including the mother, had typhoid fever and two children, Sarah and James died. Anyone looking back across the years feels an inexpressible sympathy for this young mother left with a broken home and the mountainous task before her of wresting a home from what was then largely a wilderness.
Through the years Aunt Tillie and the four children, Maggie, Eliza Ann, William B., and Anthony T., carried on. Eventually theirs was one of the best farms in the country. The two daughters married and established homes of their own. Maggie (later Mrs. William Carrothers) lived all her active life in Silver Creek and was beloved of relatives and neighbors, a woman given to good works. More account of her appears under the Carrothers story. Eliza Ann married William Temple and they lived most of their years in Ft. Dodge, where Mr. Temple was employed. They had one son, William, Jr., who is an artist. He married Elsie McMahan who is also an artist and both are employed by Younker's Store in Des Moines, Elsie in charge of the Art Department and William an executive of another department. It is interesting to know that William made the excellent drawing of the Silver Creek church which was used in making the Centennial plates showing this church. Eliza Ann's name always comes up when old friends get together, and she is remembered happily by one and all who grew up in the neighborhood.
W. B. is a term as familiar in our community as the name Silver Creek itself. Throughout their life together, the couple, W. B. and Mary Ann, his wife, were foremost in every project, every move for the good of the community. The fact that W. B. very naturally fell into the position early vacated by the untimely passing of his father accounts in part for his place in leadership among his group. When W. B. married, he built a larger house beside the first frame dwelling, in which he and his wife, Mary Ann, lived and reared their five children. Mary Ann was the oldest child of pioneer Anthony Swindle and his wife Lucy Norris. Mary Ann had seen the growth of her home community almost from its very beginning. In her young years she went to Epworth Seminary and later to Cornell College. She was a woman of energy, warm-hearted, and unselfish, always loyal and kind to family and friends, giving of her time and strength all her days. W. B. and Mary Ann celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary on February 26, 1942. Mary Ann died on January 12, 1948, and was laid to well-earned rest in the cemetery her own father helped to lay out nearly a century ago.
W. B. was for eighteen years a member of the County Board of Supervisors. He was a director in several county banks and served in other official capacities in these same banks. In almost every civic project in the neighborhood and the county W. B. has always been a staunch promoter. Many of us remember the enthusiasm and the fun which were his when he was helping with the annual Ryan Colt Show not many years ago. Now grown in years, W. B. lives in his own little frame house, the very house in which he was born, helping about the farm, and watching the flock of children that keep the old place lively even as did his own five. His grandson, seven year old Jimmy Robinson, was born on Grandpa W. B.' birthday, November 12.
Byron, the oldest son of W. B. and Mary Ann, finished his grade school education in Silver Creek school, a stone's throw from his home. Then he went to Upper Iowa University and after that to Cedar Rapids Business College from which he was graduated. He served in the last year of World War I. For several years he worked as cashier in two small banks in the county, of which his great-uncle, W. H. Norris, was president. Then he bought and operated Elk Creek ranch, which lies in the Black Forest region between Denver and Colorado Springs. He married Beulah Larabee, daughter of Frank Larabee of Dundee. They had three children, William (Billy), Betty, and Lucille, account of whom appears in the family tree. Byron died untimely, a victim of the dust storms that swept the western region in 1934. He is buried in Colorado Springs. His wife, Beulah, disposed of the ranch and taught school in Colorado and reared the three children. In 1942 Beulah died and was buried beside Byron in Colorado Springs. The children are fine young people, all married happily and established in their own homes.
Milton, the second son of W. B., followed the family pattern in the Silver Creek home school. Then he was graduated from Manchester High School. After high school he farmed with his father on the home place, doing general farming and raising pure-bred cattle for the Robinson Shorthorn herd. In 1921 Milton married Sarah, daughter of T. S. McRoberts, and they went to live on the farm which is their home, just east of Wigwam hill. For a long period of years Milton was employed by Delaware County, operating the Road Maintainer until his youngest son went into Service and the total responsibility of the farm fell on Milton's shoulders.
Sarah and Milton have eight children, whose account is in the family tree. They have reared these children in the mold of their families on each side-country school, high school, and further training in whatever pursuit each child chose. The two older sons, Raymond and Wayne, are married and in business positions is Cedar Rapids. They both were in the Service during World War II. Raymond saw heavy fighting all the way, starting at Casa Blanca across Africa to Bizerte, from there into the Italian campaign at Anzio Beachhead and southern France, working with the Seventh Army into southern Germany. Wayne was in the Navy and his service was in the Pacific. The oldest daughter, Mary Margaret, was graduated from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in preparation for work in religious leadership. She married Glenn Searcy whom she met during their training at Moody Institute, and who also is a graduate of that school. The couple are at present engaged in religious work in Arkansas. Milton has two sons. Jack, the third son, is married and living on the John Robinson estate in Silver Creek. Jack and his wife, Lesta Jean, have just become the parents of a son named (by Jack) Kelly Dean, their first-born. Howard, the youngest son, is in Service. The daughter Lois was graduated from high school last June and has a position in the office of a Cedar Rapids business firm. The other two girls, Virginia and Carol, are at home.
Anthony, third son of the W. B. family, and his wife, Alice, live in the big home on the family estate and are rearing their children in the tradition of the two earlier families on this home place. Tony and Alice are continuing in a marked way the community leadership which is a heritage for them. Tony operates the home farm and, in partnership with his brother Lloyd, continues the Silver Vale purebred herd of Shorthorn cattle. Their home is open to all who come. Their two daughters, Marilyn and Donna Jean, are in high school. Twelve-year old Roger and Jimmy, the youngest, are in grade school, all in the Coggon Independent District. Roger is active in 4-H Club work and is following most aptly in the family footsteps in the cattle business.
Lucy, W. B's. daughter, was graduated from Manchester High School and Cornell College. She taught for several years in Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs. Her field was Speech, Interpretation, and Dramatics. She married Dr. John W. Baird of Council Bluffs, where they built a home and where Dr. Baird is in practice in dentistry. The Bairds have one child, Barbara, who this year will be graduated from the University of Colorado. At the present time Barbara is on a trip through Europe with a group of college girls.
Lloyd, youngest in the W. B. family, married Borghild Haukland, born in Norway, a niece of Mrs. Urban Baxter of Ryan, Iowa. Borghild was graduated from Morningside College and took her Masters Degree at the University of Wisconsin. Later she spent a year studying languages at Munich, Germany. They live in Algona, Iowa, where Lloyd is Farm Loan Manager for Banker's Life, engaged in appraising farms the farm loans for this insurance company. Lloyd was graduated from Manchester High School after which he went one year to Cornell College and then to Iowa State College at Ames for two years. Interested in the family cattle business, he is frequently a visitor to the home place, and he continues actively his interest in his home surroundings.
Anthony T., youngest son of the original William Robinson family in America, grew up on the home farm. After his schooling on the home ground, A. T. went to Upper Iowa University where in those days it was possible for young people to do secondary school work in the old-time academy. He worked for the Hollister Lumber Company and finally became manager of the Winthrop Lumber Company. Later he was manager for the Hollister firm in their lumber company in Columbia Falls, Montana, where he remained for ten years. Later still he was manager for lumber companies in Delaware County. To his death he was engaged in lumber business. He married Irene Biglow and theirs was a happy home. A. T. was away from Silver Creek for many years, but his roots were here and he came at last to live in his home surroundings, He had a stepson, Norman Biglow, but no child of his own.
THOMAS ROBINSON FAMILY
Thomas Robinson was born in Ireland on September 16, 1816, and died in Silver Creek on August 11, 1889. He was one of the very early pioneers, having come to Iowa in 1852. His brother James, who had come ahead with two other men and made the purchase of the "parcels" of land to be distributed among the group, was in Silver Creek and had something like a welcome waiting for his brother Tom. Thomas married Elizabeth Robinson (last names the same) and they settled on their farmstead where they lived all their lives. Thomas built a log house near the creek, their first home here. It is noteworthy that a few years ago Clifford Robinson, grandson of Tom, moved this same log house to a farm he bought from the estate of his aunt Maria, and had it encased in a shingle covering. It is now used as a dwelling by Cliff's renters. The Tom Robinson home, both log and later frame, was a center of hospitality all through the years.
A story which is told and retold in Silver Creek is a little drama of deeds. Thomas Robinson and his brother James had purchased their farms and had all rights clear except the recording of the deeds. In common with all their countrymen here they were so busy settling in their new homes that they had neglected going to the courthouse in Dubuque to do the registering of their papers. One day they saw a stranger on horseback riding around inspecting various pieces of land in the community. For some reason-shall we say providential warning-they suddenly thought "land speculators". The speculator was a grim threat to early settlers. "Land shark" is the bald term used for the unscrupulous man who would come around to find any loose spot in a settler's claim on his holdings and snatch the land from the unwary owner. It was done many a time. So, acting on their premonition, the brothers, Thomas and James, set off at once, about four o'clock in the afternoon, the two men and one horse. History does not record why there was but one horse. The supposition is that one was all they had. One man rode the horse and the other walked. The man on the horse would go a distance, get off and tie the horse, and walk on. When the second man had walked to where the horse was tied, he would mount and ride ahead, pass the man on foot, and ride to another stopping place, where he would tie the horse and go on, walking. They kept this procedure up all night and were in Dubuque, on the courthouse steps, when the building was opened next morning. Sure enough, while they were waiting for the doors to open, who should arrive but the land shark. But the brothers Robinson were a step ahead at the recorder's desk, had their deeds recorded, and went back home next day. We have no account of the homeward journey; we need none. We rejoice in spirit with Tom and James.
Elizabeth, Tom's wife, or Eliza as she was usually called, was a woman of strong qualities. We have account of her as Silver Creek's very first teacher; that she had classes in her own home in the days when there was no such thing as a school building. "Aunt Eliza" as the neighborhood youngsters knew her, set in her teaching a worthy pattern followed by her daughters, Ella (later Mrs. John Moles), Almyra, and Maria, all of whom taught in the old Silver Creek school, Maria's tenure far exceeding that of any other teacher in the history of the community.
There is a story that has to do with Ella Robinson as a child. Little Ella one day had a bad cold. Her mother persuaded father Tom to take the two little girls, Ella and Maria, to school in the bob sled because of Ella's indisposition. Father hitched the team to the sled to take the girls, but Ella - with the cold - walked behind the conveyance because walking in the snow was so delightful. The episodes in the life of any family here are legion had we only time to find out and record that side of the Silver Creek story before the Centennial celebration. The Tom Robinson family had its share and to spare of experiences that were trying, happy, significant in the history of the area. It is all there among these pioneer families. We regret that Ella Robinson Moles's daughters are in Europe as we write, for they have done considerable research on family history and would have much to contribute to the whole story of the days when their mother was a girl "on the creek."
Uncle Tom Robinson's death is a tragic story. On an August morning he was sitting at table in his own home. It was after family devotions and he was still in his chair, reading in the Bible when the others had gone about their daily business. Upstairs were two young men, not family members. Innocently one of them picked up an unusually high-powered gun which Uncle Tom had bought for his son, Wesley. The "lad" did not realize the gun was loaded and there was an accident. The bullet went through the floor and mortally wounded Uncle Tom sitting at his table. He died shortly. And so ended the personal story of another pioneer. The Robinson log house still shows the bullet hole in the floor, sad token of a fatal moment in the household.
Aunt Eliza lived on until April 13, 1899, ten years after Uncle Tom, faithfully and tenderly cared for by her family. She was wife and mother and friend whose story would be a chapter all composed of important early history and of real human interest.
Tom and Eliza Robinson had ten children. The oldest was Eliza Jane who died in infancy. The second was James Alexander, who lived one short year. The third was Thomas Johnston, so tall he was often called "Long Tom'' among his companions. He left Silver Creek early. He bought a farm near Madison, Kansas, where he lived all his life. He married Sadie File (sic) of Delaware County and they had three children, Stella, Grace, and Rex. Rex lived for some years in Salt Lake City, but is now dead. We do not at this time have much account of this Tom Robinson family. Time has not permitted our going into their history. Tom is remembered as a man of strict principle, an upright man and a good neighbor.
The fourth was Catherine Ann (Cassie) whom we all knew well in the Silver Creek neighborhood. She married John Carrothers and their home place is in the north end of the community was well-known to all neighbors and friends. There never was a kindlier, more sincere person than Aunt Cassie. A thing treasured in our group is the photograph of Cassie and John in their wedding finery, with all the wedding guests ranged to each side of the bride and groom. There are the young faces of many a person we knew in his older years, and the picture makes us think it was really a great day among all the friends and neighbors. John was a happy, fun-loving man, proud and happy in his home. Cassie and John are dead. Their two children, Etna B. and Wesley, lived most of their lives in Silver Creek. Etna is now living in Los Angeles, California. She is interested in every least thing that happens in her Iowa family-and-friend group, though she says she has now fallen under the spell of sunny California and loves it. Wesley married Clara Cox and they have three children. The family lives in their own home near Oneida. Their son Earl has just graduated from Upper Iowa University and expects to teach in the fall. Vera is married to Kenneth Sickels and has three children. Donald, Wesley's youngest child, is in high school.
A son of Thomas named William Alexander lived only a year. Esther Ella, who married John Moles, was a woman of unusual qualities. An account of the old Silver Creek school is token of her type, appreciative of good things, loyal to friend or group, a woman whose vision took definite form in the family she and John Moles reared. The members of this family unit have gone out to do their part in the world, educated, established in professions, making excellent records, one and all. In the old home of the Moles family are pieces of beautiful furniture which the mother planned for and purchased, some with her "school teaching" money. Ella taught for several years before her marriage.
Rachel Almyra (Myra to us) was wife of James J. Carrothers. She taught school before her marriage. She and Jimmy her husband, were leaders in the community all their years with us - in particular, leaders in church work. They sold their farm and moved to Fayette when their sons came of age to continue advanced schooling. Under the Carrothers family story is further account of Myra and Jimmy's three sons.
Maria B. was the teacher, the mentor of a long line of Silver Creek young people. She lived with her mother for the period of years the mother survived Uncle Tom. Maria then made her home with her brother Wesley and his family until she retired from teaching and moved to Manchester where she spent the last years of her life. In Manchester she established a home which she opened to many of her old pupils who went to Manchester High School. (They "boarded" with her.) Thus she was still teacher and friend to a goodly number of her flock, and she loved the continued association. Maria was a faithful Sunday School teacher all her years, and as faithfully the organist of the Silver Creek church in the days when the congregation sang with the old organ pumped by the player who must regulate certain parts of the music by pulling out the right stops, "Fortissimo", "Pianissimo", "Oboe", "Flute". Indeed Maria was faithful to the end, in whatever she undertook.
There is record of another daughter, Margaret Eliza, who died in infancy. The youngest child was John Wesley, always called Wesley. There is here a clipping from the Manchester Press of September, 1921, date, which ran a prominent headline, "J. W. Robinson Dies in Iowa City. Was Only 54". That was over thirty years ago - Wesley's passing, but his memory is very clear in our group. The newspaper account is lengthy. It states that Wesley went to Epworth Seminary and Upper Iowa University, that "he spent his life on the farm and was in love with his work", A statement of his minister, the Reverend Warton, made in the funeral address is given: "Mr. Robinson lived a useful Christian life, a member and faithful worker in the Methodist Church. His life was an example of right living and Christian leadership, and his sound judgment and loving guidance will be a priceless boon to the two sons who are left to care for their mother and sisters.'' Those words say what Wesley's neighbors and friends truly felt.
Wesley and Alice Falconer were married on October 17, 1897, and they lived all their married life in the homestead of Wesley's family. They had five children. Alice continued to live in the family home after her husband's death. "Aunt Alice," to us, is a beloved figure in our midst. Quiet and somewhat retiring, she has always had secure place in the esteem and affection of all who know her. How happy we are that she is here to take part in the honoring of the pioneers of Silver Creek, of whom her own parents were important part, as were the parents of her husband, Wesley!
Willard, oldest child in Wesley's family, married Mabel Robinson (same surname) and they have two children, Robert and Joan. Willard built up one of the finest farmsteads in the country on his part of the original home acres. There for some years he carried on general farming and with his brother Clifford developed a fine herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle. Three years ago Willard and Mabel retired from the farm and established their home in Coggon. North Glenside, the name of their Silver Creek farm, remains chief interest with Willard, though his son, Robert, lives on North Glenside and operates it. Willard and his wife have been from the beginning of their married life outstanding in every community relation.
Robert, son of Willard, married Ruth Walsdorf and they have a little son, Gary. Bob was in the Navy for a period of service before his marriage and received a Presidential citation for distinguished service on the destroyer "Jarvis". Bob is a thriving young farmer just getting a toe-hold in his father's business. Joan is a graduate nurse. She married Richard Miller and is at present living in San Diego, California, to which base Dick was returned after two years in Korea in Navy duty. Joan is in practice of her profession there, she and Dick both waiting for the glad news of his release from a worthy period of service.
Ethel, second child in Wesley's family, married Harry Wenger and they operate one of the best farms in the county. Their farm was once the possession of one of the early pioneers, William Dover. Harry is a prosperous farmer, dealing in DeKalb Seed Corn in connection with his farm business.
They have two sons, Dean and Dick. Dean married Patricia LeClere and they have four small children, Kathie, Harriet, Terry, and Sandra. Dean was in Service for three years. He enlisted in the Air Force and spent 28 months in the European theater. On his return he established himself on the home estate and is farming with his father. Dean is a most promising young agriculturist. The second son of Ethel and
Harry is Dick. For one year Dick was in the University of Dubuque. Then he entered Service. He is in the Medical Corps and is now located in Darmstadt, Germany. His present plan is that when his time in the Service is over, he will go into farming as his father and his brother, Dean, did.
Clifford, third child of Wesley, married Helen Daniels and they live in the big white house which was the Wesley Robinson home. Cliff and Helen have five sons. Dan, the oldest, was within a few months of his degree from Iowa State College at Ames when he gave up school to help his father in the family business before the army would require him. Dan is in the 28th Division, now stationed at Augsburg, Germany. Paul, his brother, was in college one year, at Upper Iowa University. He married Mary Lou Henderson and they lived on Cliffs "Upper 80" farm until Paul entered service. Paul is in Military Police in the army and is at present in Kreuznach, Germany, only 175 miles from Dan,-so near and yet so far.
Post Script: Since the above was written and set for print, Paul and Mary Lou have become the parents of a baby girl, born September 3, 1952, as yet unnamed. Happily we record this latest addition to our book, - Baby Robinson, a girl in Cliff's Family.
At home is Dave, graduated from high school last June. Dave as a small boy was the neighborhood bird-lover, acquainted with all the birds hereabouts, and their habits. Dave is an avid reader, probably headed toward a professional career when the day of freedom comes for all young men in our land. Clifford John, better known as C. J., is the family strong-man, a young boy compounded of muscle, good sense, and somewhat marked ability as a farmer though he is only a sophomore in high school. Stephen is five, still very much monarch of all his young eyes survey, happy addition to the Robinson Boys. South Glenside is the name of this family farm, where is part of the excellent Angus herd previously mentioned.
Carmine, youngest child in the Wesley Robinson family, taught school for a number of years before her marriage to John Hansen. The couple has lived away from Silver Creek most of their married life, but they are familiar to the friends here from their occasional visits to the old home. They have three children. The oldest is a son, Douglas, who has been in the army for five years. He was in Alaska for one and one-half years of that time. He is a staff sergeant and is now stationed at Columbus, Ohio. Douglas is married and has a baby daughter, Susan Kay. Carmine's second child is Yvonne, who is living in Columbus, Ohio, at the present time, near to her brother. The youngest child is John Lee, still in lower grades of school. Carmine and her husband live in Dubuque.
WILLIAM DOVER FAMILY STORY
From Mrs. George McDowell we have account of the William Dover family. Her mother was a daughter of the Dovers. We set the story down largely as Mamie wrote it.
William A. Dover was born at Murton Parish, Westmorland, England. He was a gardener there. He emigrated to this country in 1848, stopping at Watertown, Massachusetts, where he met Lucy B. Pratt. He came west by train to Dubuque and walked from there to Silver Creek community, in 1854. He worked around Silver Creek that year. In 1855 he purchased some land one mile north and one mile east of where the church stands. He put in a crop and built a log house on the north side of the road, later building a nice frame house on the south side of the road. This farm is the Wenger farm today.
Lucy B. Pratt was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, on January 24, 1832. She came west in 1856, to Delhi, Iowa, where she was united in marriage with William Dover on July 26, 1856. They lived together fifty-three years. They lived on their farm until they sold it and retired to Manchester in 1898. Henry H. Johnston bought their farm, and he and his wife, Elizabeth Swindell, lived there for a number of years.
The Dovers were the parents of eight children, two dying in infancy. They had seventeen grandchildren and fourteen great-grand-children. Mrs. Dover joined the Silver Creek church during the pastorate of the Reverend B. D. Alden. Mrs. Dover died three years later, on November 30, 1912. The Dover family tree shows the descendants of the Dovers.
JAMES DOVER, BROTHER OF WILLIAM
James Dover, with his wife, Jane Nicholsen, and their family and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Jane Nicholsen, came to America from Murton Parish, Westmorland, England, early in 1860. They settled first in Winchester, New York, leaving there a few years later to come to Silver Creek community where his brother William lived. They lived here for a time, but finally went on to Nebraska where members of the family still live. They were the parents of nine children, who are John, James, Sarah, Jane, Alfred, Thomas, Henry, Bessie, and Annie. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dover died a number of years ago. The Dover family tree will give further data on this group.
CHRISTOPHER CARROTHERS FAMILY
No direct descendant of Uncle Christy and Aunt Ann Carrothers is now living in Silver Creek, but the mark of the family is ever present. Two sons of a large family survive and from them we have brief account. But, it is relatively easy to give a record of the Carrothers family, for we have full and pleasant memories of them all. Uncle Christy died in 1891, but many persons in Silver Creek knew Aunt Ann personally.
Christopher Carrothers was born in North Ireland, near the town of Lisnaskea, and died on May 22, 1891. He was the son of John and Dorcas (Robinson) Carrothers. There is a record to show that Christy's father, John, was born in 1766 and died in 1863, aged 97 years and 3 months. For this latter data we were indebted to Judge George E. Crothers (Carrothers) of San Francisco, whose father was John, brother to Christy. Judge Crothers verified much family data firsthand, in Europe. He writes further of the family: My little grandmother Dorcas had eight children and died of the 'decline', as I understand it, before she was 40 years of age."
Aunt Ann Carrothers' maiden name was Johnston and she was born in County Fermanagh, Ireland, May 15, 1833. She died on June 17, 1919, at 86 years. She too was of Scotch-Irish descent. She was married to Christopher Carrothers in 1860, in Alleghany, Pennsylvania.
Throughout her life Aunt Ann was completely the mistress of her home, a gracious mistress. In the last two or three years of her life she had an ailment which finally necessitated the amputation of one limb and in a year or so, of the other. Patiently she sat in her wheel-chair through that difficult time, attended lovingly by her family, who, one and all, gave her most devoted care; and secure in her trust "that somehow good would be the final goal of ill", in the words of the poet Tennyson.
The Carrothers' son, Wm. L., writes this: "My parents left Alleghany on February 16, 1860, for Iowa, by boat on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Dubuque. On October 21, 1864, father left for Nashville and joined the Union army and was a member of General Sherman's campaign through Georgia. Father kept a diary while in service, but being so old it is scarcely readable. On the last page I deciphered that he arrived in Dubuque on his way home on July 5, 1865, walked 15 miles, was picked up by a wagon near Epworth, rode to Dyersville, arriving about one, and slept in the wagon till morning. Thus ended the record.
"I have a small book presented to my mother by a church she attended in Belfast, Ireland, for having committed to memory the entire book of Romans.
"The only name I can give of grandparents is mother's father's name, James Johnston, who made his home with us for years, after his wife's death in Ireland. He died in 1883 and is buried in front of the church in the lot just north of ours, with his son, Wm. and daughter Susan."
The Christopher Carrothers home was on a hill called the Wigwam, so named because long ago Indians camped there from time to time. The Wigwam in early days was about an acre of wild cherry, poplar, and plum trees, and much hazel brush. The first Carrothers house was of logs, of course, and stood south from the site of the frame dwelling built later and still occupied as it was originally. When the time came, Christy built the large frame house at almost the crest of the hill, and this was long the family home. North of the house was a large orchard. The farm land sloped away from the buildings on all sides. A windmill topped the rise of ground to the east in the 600 acres, a mill that is still in important use. This farm was one of Delaware County's most imposing farm properties.
When the farm descended to the brothers, Wm. L. and Thomas H., they built large stock barns on the place. These brothers formed a partnership and for years carried on an expansive stock-breeding farm, dealing in both pure-bred cattle and horses. In 1921 they dissolved this partnership and sold the farm. W. L. and his wife now live in Grand Junction, Iowa. Thomas died in Denver in 1936, in the midst of a somewhat notably successful career as representative and salesman for a large feed company. Both men were well-known in the county and the state, and highly esteemed. Both were very active in the Silver Creek church and in the general life of the community. W. L. returns to his native ground now and then and is always a welcome figure. He married Tressie Elliot on June 29, 1916. She died September 12, 1917. Some years later he married Maude Moore, who has long been his devoted helpmate. Thomas was never married.
James J., or Jimmy as he was best known, the oldest son, owned a farm at the north end of Silver Creek. He and Almyra Robinson, daughter of Thomas Robinson, were married on August 27, 1891, and made their home in "Silver Creek for many years. They sold their farm and moved to Fayette to give their sons the opportunity to go through college. Their oldest son, Chester, went on to do graduate work and he earned a Ph. D. He is now a university professor. The second son, Randall, is in advertising business in Charles City, Iowa. Wilson, the youngest of the family, has a produce business in Jacksonville, Texas.
George Carrothers, the youngest son of the Christopher Carrothers family, in his young years studied in Chicago. There is an edition of a large book entitled the Soper School of Oratory in which are numerous illustrations showing the handsome young George Carrothers in his student days. He was featured by the college in pictorial demonstration of their courses. George now lives in Milwaukee where he has been engaged in business for many years. He was never married.
The Carrothers daughters, Bessie and Mary, both married Ida Grove men. Bessie was the wife of R. J. Graham, one of Ida County's most extensive land owners. Both Mr. and Mrs. Graham were leaders in Methodist church work all their lives. Their two sons, Wesley J. and Leonard, are graduates of Northwestern University. Wesley is a land owner and farm manager in Ida County. Leonard is an attorney.
Mary married Wm. J. Anderson, who for many years was a banker in Ida Grove. He died in 1945. Mrs. Anderson and her son, Wm. Jr., went to California to live and Mrs. Anderson died there on May 19, 1950. Her son is in automobile business in California. Mrs. Anderson was a most gracious person, an unusually fine home-maker.
It will forever be recalled that Uncle Christy Carrothers' family were all their lives sincerely devoted to good works. The interests of their church were always paramount in their thinking. They believed in education. No history of Silver Creek could fail to record them, parents and children, as men and women who followed the high road. Their home was open to all comers. The Wigwam always reminds Silver Creek people of the Carrothers family.
WM. CARROTHERS FAMILY
William (Billy) and Margaret (Maggie) Carrothers began their married life on a farm they purchased in Buchanan County, in the Monti neighborhood. Wishing to be near their people and their church, they purchased what was the Christy Logan farm, which lay between the farms owned by John and Christy Carrothers, his brothers. Here Billy and Maggie resided during all the years of their active life. A deep sorrow came to the home of William and Margaret Carrothers when their oldest son, Willie, in childhood accidentally drank a quantity of lye which left him a semi-invalid for life. The best doctors in Chicago were unable to do for him what medical scientists could do quite easily now. In 1915 Billy's twenty-two year old son, James, a boy of promise and very dearly beloved, died of peritonitis following an appendectomy.
William R., son of William and Margaret (Robinson) Carrothers, was born in Buchanan County, in 1883, and moved with his parents to the home farm in Silver Creek in 1891, where he lived until his marriage to Blanche Raus, a teacher in the schools of Delaware County. After several years residence in this county, W. R. moved his family to Waterloo. He secured employment with the John Deere Co. and was there to the time of his last illness. Always more or less an invalid, Willie lived only a few months to enjoy a comfortable home they bought in Waterloo.
Madonna, the oldest daughter, was a public school teacher for several years, but is now a very efficient worker in the Hinson Mfg. Co. in Waterloo. She is interested in the work of the Y.W.C.A., especially among employed colored girls.
The second daughter, Garnet, like her sisters, was employed by the Hinson Co. and was one of their best employees. Following her marriage to Harry Wagoner, son of a Waterloo contractor, they answered the call to go as foreign missionaries to Africa. They enrolled in Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where they graduated. Eight years ago they went to the Sudan district in Africa. Their work there has been very successful. They will return home next year for a year's furlough.
Hazel finished high school and later worked at the Hinson Co. She has an attractive modern home in Cedar Falls where she is Mrs. Clifford Paulus and the mother of Douglas and Marlys. Clifford is an office worker for a trucking company.
Laurel has been a bookkeeper in various banks and insurance companies in Waterloo the past several years, a very competent worker. She lives at home with her mother and sister Madonna, in Waterloo.
Ruth is Mrs. Gunnar Frey of Storm Lake. Ruth is a bookkeeper in a bank in Storm Lake and Gunnar is an agent for the International Harvester Co. They have bought a home and plan to make Storm Lake their permanent residence.
Edna, the eldest daughter of Billy and Maggie, married William, son of Robert and Katharine Robinson. They lived in Silver Creek for many years, later moving to Manchester. They are now residents of Ryan where they purchased a home four years ago. Theirs is a friendly little home, shared by their daughter, Irene, who has taught with success in rural schools for a number of years. She is now a teacher in the Ryan public school.
The son, Everett, has always worked in Manchester, where he has been an industrious and trusted employee of several business houses. His wife, Iola, is court reporter for the tenth judicial district. They are both members of the popular Manchester Riding Club.
Roberta's home is in Ryan, close by that of her parents. She married Wilbur Wade, son of Fred and Etta Wade, and they have four children, Sharon, Richard, Keith, and Douglas. Roberta is devoted to her home and family. Wilbur has been employed for a number of years by the LaPlante Choate Mfg. Co. in Cedar Rapids. He is a veteran of World War II.
May, the second daughter in the Carrothers family, taught for several years and then married Roy Emerson. The couple lived on the old Swindle farm for thirty-six years. They then retired from farming and bought a house in Robinson, where they are now living. May and Roy have six children, Leslie, Margaret, Alice, Frances, Roy, Jr., and Maxine. Leslie has served with marked success in the United States Army since 1941, entering with the invasion and serving until the end of the war, returning overseas twice since, once to Manchuria in 1946, and to Japan, in 1949. He rose to the rank of Major in the reserves and is now a Warrant Officer in the regular army, stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas. He has earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star medals, and he was decorated by the Belgian, English, and Chinese governments.
Margaret, second child in the Emerson family, taught for several years and then married Roy McDowell, son of George McDowell. They live on their farm here, and they have two sons, Jimmy and Jerry. Roy is a successful farmer and stock raiser. Both Margaret and Roy enter into the life of their group to full extent.
Alice married Harlan Carradus and they live on their farm on Highway 20, not far from Manchester. They continue their church and other relations in Silver Creek. They have two attractive young daughters, Mary Lou and Judy Ann. Harlan has qualities of leadership that give him definite place in the community. Alice carries well all her responsibilities in the neighborhood.
Frances taught for a few years and then married Verle Graybill. They have four sons who keep their parents busy on home grounds most of the time. The family lives on a farm on the Ryan road.
Roy, Jr., farmed with his father until he took over the farm on his father's retirement. He married June Ayers, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Ayers of Robinson, and they have a daughter, Nancy Sue.
Maxine, youngest Emerson child, has taught for several years. She lives at home with her parents and carries her share of all activities in the youth group of Silver Creek.
May and Roy have from the beginning taken an unusually active part in the life of Silver Creek. May has done much work with church groups.
Leslie, son of Billie and Maggie, for many years connected with Congdon and Battles, nationally famous Angus cattle breeders, is now a resident of Pine Plains, New York, where he, his wife Christine, and son Bobby operate a famous little restaurant in the Stissing Mountains.
The son Anthony served overseas during World War I, an experience which left him in discouraging health. Many, many months he spent in veterans' hospitals, but courage and hope prevailed and he now enjoys fair health. He is a florist at Daly City, California, where he purchased a home. His wife, Mildred, is a registered nurse.
Robert, the fifth son of Wm. and Margaret, and a veteran of World War II, is married and he and his wife, DeVonna, live in Tacoma, Washington, where he is employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad. Bob, as he is familiarly known, is a typical "chip off the old block", witty, full of fun.
Victor has been employed by the Quaker Oats Company of Cedar Rapids for the past twenty-three years. In the city he has purchased a home. His family consists of his wife, Maude, and children, Roberta and Dale.
Henry, son of Robert and Mary McMullen, came to this country when he was a lad. His sister Maggie, who came with him, remained with an aunt in New York. Henry came to Delaware County. He was joined by two sisters, Sarah and Fannie, in 1892. Henry had two children, Mary and Roy. Mary was a high school teacher until she suffered a break in her health, since when she has been at home. Roy, an educator, founded the Mankato, Minnesota, Business College. He has two sons, Dean and Keith, who are both in service and in Korea at the present time.
Sarah McMullan married Ben Falconer. Their children have remained close to the family home with the exception of Willard, who is district superintendent of the Bell Telephone Company, at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Harold is a special agent for the Quaker Oats Company and his home is in Madison, Wisconsin. Howard was a veteran of World War I. His death lately occurred (1952) in Greeley, Colorado, where he had gone because of ill health. His wife, Olga, and their son, Howard, are living in Greeley.
Iola Falconer married Elzo Powell, and they live on the original Falconer homestead in Silver Creek. They have two small children, Diana and Benny James. Elzo saw service in Italy. The other Falconer children, Dale, Douglas, Oswald, and Esther Hauessler, are successful farmers and farmer's wife. Douglas lives with his mother on the home place and farms with his brother Dale, who also has a farm home there with his wife and family.
Fannie McMullan married Richard Condon and they were residents of Manchester during their entire married life. Four children were born to them, Robert, William, Marguerite, and Dorothy.
THE CHARLES FALCONER FAMILY
Charles Lowe Falconer (1826-1918), son of James and Isabelle Cunningham Falconer, was born at Cambe Farms, Scotland, where his father was head gardener for Lord Kelly and Sir David Erskin. At the age of fifteen years and five months he left Scotland for America.
His entire possessions consisted of 3 pounds or $15.00 in his pocket and his "goods" stored in a hand-made chest (today in the possession of his granddaughter, Miss Mollie Robinson).
He took passage in the sailing vessel, "Stirling", under protection of Captain Anderson. After nine weeks, he landed in New York and went directly to Brockton, Massachusetts, where his elder brother, John, was head gardener in a large nursery. After looking for work for two or three weeks, he was employed as gardener on one of the large colonial estates near Boston, where he remained for fourteen years.
In 1855 he came to Delaware County and purchased land in Adams Township. In 1857 he returned to Boston to marry Rebecca Pierce, of Beverly, a town in Massachusetts.
Prosperity in those times was measured by the amount of property a man owned and by the size of his family. What matter if each boy had only one shirt to his name and had to be put to bed so his shirt could be washed! Soon the original 120 acres purchased from the government was increased to 200 acres. Later 600 acres were purchased in Sac County, Iowa. Most of this land is still in the Falconer family.
Shortly after establishing his Silver Creek homestead, Mr. Falconer answered his country's call. Leaving his young wife and four small children to carry on the farm work, he volunteered for service in Company I, 4th Iowa Infantry. He was fortunate in missing the "thick of the battle"; he was on the skirmish line only once. He was in Sherman's March to the Sea, and was honorably discharged at Clinton, Iowa.
His grandson Carl Emerson tells this story: "There is no denying the Scotch are thrifty! As grandfather was on his way home from the war, walking most of the way, and cutting through the fields, he came to his potato patch which was quite a distance from his house. It was about the noon hour; so he stopped and dug potatoes, until supper time, before proceeding to the house to receive a hero's welcome and to make the acquaintance of his new son, Frank, born after the father had left for war."
Evidence of his early experience as a gardener was in the enormous flower beds surrounding the large lawn of his homestead. Beautiful flower gardens do not just happen; they take endless planning, great care and much hard work. In his later years, Grandpa Falconer depended a great deal on his grandson Carl Emerson who, on the untimely death of his own father, came to live with his grandparents. Grandpa would diplomatically ask the young boy, "Carl, may I have the loan of your powerful right arm for a minute?" "To this day," says Carl, "I hate the sight of a hoe."
As though the flowers themselves were not brilliant enough, Mr. Falconer always had peacocks about the place, as did the Mike Gaffney family, his neighbors to the west.
Grandpa Falconer is still remembered by the older people of our community as a man of military bearing, with snow-white hair, and snow-white beard, driving about the country with "Old Bess" (also snow-white) hitched to the road cart.
Mrs. Falconer is remembered as a pioneer mother of dauntless courage. Born in a large Eastern city, she had had no contact with country living. Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston tells us this story: "On their way here from Dubuque as bride and groom, the Falconers stayed over night in the home of a Mr. Risk (believed to live somewhere near Epworth, Iowa). Mr. Risk welcomed her with these words, 'So you're the city girl that's to live on a farm! Can you milk a cow?' Her reply was, 'No, but I can learn.' 'Well, take this pail and go learn', he challenged her. She picked up the pail, and went to the barn, not knowing which side of the cow to approach. One of the men in the barn showed her. She knelt by the cow and started to pull, pull, pull. He showed her 'how to milk' and she milked a quart. Next morning she arose before the family did, went to the barn and milked the cow. When she brought the pail brimming full of milk to Mr. Risk, he was sure she'd make a good farm wife."
Farming in those days was not just a man's job. Wives and children did their share. Garnet Falconer Main, who grew up in her grandfather's home, recounts from family stories how women and children would gather the grain cut by the scythe and tie it into bundles. The entire family would work in the field. Children too young to work played about and kept an "eye" on the baby wrapped in a shawl and lying on a sheaf of oats.
Mrs. Falconer's grandson, Will Scanlan, relates this story: "Grandmother was equal to almost any emergency. Mr. A. O. Moore, George Lister's father-in-law, was cutting wood for Granddad. He accidentally chopped his foot, almost severing his big toe. Grandmother took needle and thread and sewed the toe back on. No complications."
Mrs. Asenath Falconer McCloud remembers being vaccinated by her mother and says it was a common practice in those pioneer homes for the mother to vaccinate the rest of the family after one member had been vaccinated by the doctor, scratching a place on the child's arm with a needle and using a "scab" from the first vaccination.
Carl Emerson remembers how once a month, when the milk check came, he would hitch the team to the democrat wagon and drive his grandmother to Ryan. This was a typical grocery order: one 30-lb. box of large, square, unsalted soda crackers; one barrel of oatmeal; three or four sacks of flour; and a large beef-roast as well as countless smaller items; and, course, beans, because for every Saturday night supper this New England-born grandmother served baked beans and brown bread.
What more fitting epitaph could be found for a pioneer other than that inscriped on her tombstone in the Silver Creek cemetery: "Her children rise up to call her blessed".
ROBERT ROBINSON FAMILY
The family record of the Robert Robinson Family, which is given in this booklet, tells us the same story that all the rest of the records do. There was a large family of nine children, four girls and five boys. One son, Charles, died in infancy, and as, was true of all the other families, one or two babies died when very young. Our cemetery in Silver Creek has so many babies and young children buried in it that it is a silent reminder of the days when doctors were not available and the knowledge of child care was not the science it is now.
Robert Robinson was the son of James and Margaret (Johnson or Johnston) Robinson, and he married Katherine Simpson. They were both born in County Fermanagh, Ireland. The father of Robert Robinson was married twice, both times to a Margaret Johnson (or Johnston), though the women were not related. The children of the second marriage of whom we have record were Robert, Anthony, and Johnston Robinson, who came to Silver Creek several years later than did their half-brothers, James, Thomas and William, who were of the original group. Robert's mother made her home with him in Silver Creek; in fact, she kept house for him in his log house until his marriage. She was known to all as "Aunt Peggy". It is her monument in the Silver Creek cemetery that has a circle of marble attached in such a way that it can be moved aside to show her picture, which has gradually grown dimmer with the years. She was the "Aunt Peggy'', who went from home to home in the neighborhood and stayed for a week or two at a time and knitted socks for the children and other members of the family. W. B. Robinson says his remembrance of her is that she was always knitting.
Robert Robinson served in the Civil War and marched with Sherman from Atlanta to the Sea. It is told that he was one in his group entrusted to carry the precious supply of food because the men could depend upon him to distribute it fairly. He was a prosperous farmer, at one time owning all the land that bordered the creek from where it starts near the Mike Ryan farm to the bridge at Robinson, except for two small points.
"Aunt Kate", his wife was a happy, generous person and very sociable. We are told that theirs was the musical family of the neighborhood. Silver Creek has never had very many musicians, but the Robert Robinson family were talented in music. They were first in the neighborhood to own one of the old cylinder type phonographs. They also were noted for the fine "rigs" and fancy horses with which each son of the family liked to drive out. "Aunt Kate'' is the one mentioned elsewhere who left her contract for safekeeping in the James Robinson safe, to carry the mail "from Silver Creek to Ryan and back 3 times a week from July, 1895, to June 30, 1899''. So we have an idea that she could drive pretty well too.
Their daughter Mary married William Reinbird and they had four daughters and one son, Victor. Account of their family will be found in the family tree which follows. Will Reinbird was accidentally drowned in the Maquoketa river at Manchester. Mary is now living in Cedar Rapids, where most of her children are located.
James married Mary Montgomery and they were the parents of five girls and four boys. Robert, married Hope Buck, and their children are John, who served during World War II in the army, Fred (deceased), and Mary Viola. They make their home at Shaller, Iowa. Florence married Maurice Duggan and they have had a family of two sons and two daughters living and two sons who died in infancy. The Duggans have farmed in the vicinity most of their lives and are now retired and live in Ryan. Kathryn married John Hahesy, who died suddenly leaving his family of three young children, Beverly, Billy, and John, to the care of their mother who has bravely and successfully gone ahead.
Lewis is married to Opal Falconer, daughter of Charles and Adelaide (Reinbird) Falconer. They have one son, Donald, who was in the service in the Navy during World War II, enlisting when he was sixteen. He is married to Kathleen Pickle and they have two boys, Lewis and Charles. Wanda, their older daughter graduated from Coggon High School and attended Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls. She is married to Donald Henderson, who is a florist. They live in Texas and have two sons, Rex and Randy. Their youngest child, Beverly, is in grade school at Coggon. Lewis and Opal live at Robinson, where they own a farm. They are highly respected in their community.
Esther married Charles Lemrond, who is deceased. They had two children, Billy and Marilyn. After the death of Charles, Esther married Jack Miller and their home is in Anamosa. Victor married Angeline Adams and they have three children, Bernard, Virgil, and Dennis. Their home is at Storm Lake.
Marjorie married Marshall Arduser and they have two children, John and Sharon. Their home is Boise, Idaho, where Marshall has employment in the shoe business. Glenn Robinson, married Irene Hahesy, and their home is at Manchester where Glenn works with the County Road Department. They have three children, Agnes, Delores, and Jimmy. One child, Marieta, died in infancy. Elsie married Ray Hutchinson and lives in Manchester. They have a family of five boys and three girls. Leo and Robert have both served in the Navy. Their other children are Harold, Jimmy, Richard, Delia, Irene, and Betty.
Rebecca Robinson married John Reinbird and they had a home in Robinson for a great many years, until the death of John. After that they moved to Manchester, where Rebecca lives with her daughters, Ida and Ella. John and Rebecca were a congenial couple, good neighbors, ready to help anyone in trouble. They were always loyal in their support of the Silver Creek church. They were the parents of five girls, Emma and Ella, twins; Ida, Fern, and Grace. Account of their family will be found in the Robert Robinson family tree which follows.
Robert married Annie Buck and they were the parents of two sons and four daughters. Robert is now deceased and Annie makes her home at Shaller with her daughter, Blanche, who is Mrs. Don Pfrimmer, and her son, Robert, who served in the army in Alaska and Germany during World War II. Their daughter Hope is married to Glenn Wade, son of Fred and Etta Wade. Account of their family will be found in the Wade history. The rest of the family of Robert and Annie are living at Shaller, Iowa.
Henry Robinson, who is now deceased, married Cecelia Meyers. They farmed in Delaware County for some time before moving to Cedar Rapids, where they made their home for many years. Their three daughters are married and live far apart. Lillian is Mrs. John Mitch and her home is in Texas. The Mitch parents have a son, Douglas. Mildred married Robert Hedges and they have four boys, Richard, Robert, David and James. They are living in California. Mary Louise is married to Don Dolezal and their home is at Mount Vernon.
Etta married Fred Wade and account of their family is given in the Wade family history elsewhere in this booklet.
Maggie, daughter of Robert and Kathryn Robinson, was never married. She has been making her home in Cedar Rapids with her sister, Mary, but at the present is in Manchester with Mrs. Kathryn Hahesy.
William Robinson married Edna Carrothers, daughter of William Carrothers. They lived for many years in Manchester, but now have a home in Ryan. Their son Everett is married to lola Barker and they live in Manchester where they are both employed. They are both active in civic affairs of the town and much interested in fine horses. Irene lives with her parents and Roberta is married to Wilbur Wade and they live in Ryan. Irene teaches in the Ryan Public School. Wilbur has employment in Cedar Rapids. Their children are Sharon, Richard, Keith, and Douglas.
JAMES REINBIRD FAMILY
The Reinbird family came to Delaware County in the year 1882 and settled on a farm at Silver Creek. Since that time they have been an integral part of the life and happenings of the community. Mrs. Virginia (Reinbird) Annis has sent us a history of the family which we present just as she gave it to us:
"James Reinbird was born in Ireland in the year 1842, and grew to young manhood in the land of his birth. At the age of twenty-five he was united in marriage with Miss Margaret J. Tarleton, who was born March 4, 1852. Her mother's maiden name was Swindle. She was a sister of the late Anthony and Wm. Swindle, and Mrs. John Robinson. Six children were born to them in their native land. They are as follows: Mary A., William, John J., Katherine, Isaac, and Sam.
"They are all deceased except Isaac who always made his home with his grandparents in Ireland. In 1879 the family took passage on a sailing vessel, and made the slow trip across the Atlantic, to this the land of promise. They landed in New York city, where another daughter, Virginia, now Mrs. Ed Annis, was born. In the year 1882 they came to Delaware County, and settled on a farm at Silver Creek, which was long their home. Three children were born to them at this place, Adelaide, Anthony and Margaret. Mrs. Reinbird died July 24, 1907, and Mr. Reinbird died on November 4, 1926. They, together with one daughter and two sons, are laid to rest in the Silver Creek cemetery. The son Sam, whose home was at Townley, Alabama, for a number of years, passed away in 1930 and he was buried at that place."
JOHN SCANLON FAMILY
Whoever of the older people made report to us of the outstanding events of pioneer days was sure to give the wedding of Fannie Swindell and John Scanlon. This wedding occurred on June 2, 1877 the Silver Creek church, with the wedding dinner at the bride's home, of course. And a wedding dinner in those days was really a dinner. Fannie was the oldest daughter of William and Isabelle Swindell. John Scanlon was born in County Longford, Ireland, and came to America with his parents, in 1867. Fannie and John went at once to live on their farm at the north end of Silver Creek, where they spent all their lives and on which the Scanlon Brothers, William and Charles, now live. It is a very fine farm indeed, modernized, tilled according to the best methods, in all ways good.
Fannie and John had ten children, five girls and five boys, in that order. Account of all these children and their children is given in the Scanlon family tree to follow. Fannie's death occurred on April 2, 1928, two days after her 70th birthday. She lived and died on her beloved home place. She always had an excellent garden and she enjoyed tending it and watching over her fruit trees and bushes. We all remember her pleasure in her "house plants", purchased or grown from "slips" she had collected from everywhere. Quilts were her foremost hobby. She made quilt after quilt in all sorts of patterns and designs. She and John were familiar figures at every Silver Creek gathering of whatever nature; or driving along together, always together, to make a visit or to go on some other mission.
An old scrap book we have used almost constantly in assembling material for this historical booklet was Fannie's. She had kept faithful record of the things that happened, pasting her accounts into a copy of "Pollard's Synthetic First Reader", dated 1891. On the fly-sheets of this old reader are pencil drawn stick-pictures and childish hieroglyphics. Fannie kept in it obituaries, stories of weddings, anniversaries and other such events, together with pieces of poetry and recipes (One is "Hot Onion Remedy"), almost anything is to be found pasted into her book.
A clipping she did not see is there, taken from a Manchester paper on the occasion of her, death, April 2, 1928. The long article on her life closes with lines which aptly put the general feeling about Mrs. Scanlon: "The passing of this widely known woman is a grievous blow to the neighborhood and to all attached to her by ties of friendship and family. All will attest to her fidelity and the unselfishness of her life, always thinking of the comforts of others. During the years of her illness she was tenderly and devotedly cared for by all of her family and her daughter-in-law (Mrs. Charles Scanlon), who spared no time or labor in making her comfortable and happy. Her children and friends revere the memory of her faithful life, dedicated to the simple pursuits of home, and rich in helpfulness and service to those she loved."
John Scanlon was a great story-teller. He had a favorite expression he used over and over, "Now, boys, there never was such-" He loved getting together with old friends and covering ground verbally, by the hour. There is here an article published on his death, June 3, 1932, from which we take these lines: "An immense gathering of relatives and friends assembled to pay last honors to his memory. The death of Mr. ScanIon terminates a residence of sixty-five years in Delaware County-by far the most eventful years in the history of the country from the standpoint of progress and development of invention and science. A lover of the soil, Mr. Scanlon would not have been happy save in those familiar surroundings amid which he reared his family, and he found deep satisfaction and peace of mind in the reflection that life had been good to him".
The Scanlon family, like any large family, has had diversified history, though the children of the first generation have not gone far from home grounds for any length of time. Margaret, the oldest daughter, married John O. Johnston, on February 20, 1901. They were married in a double wedding with Margaret's sister, Ida, who married Merton Joslyn, the beloved pastor, the Reverend C. H. Taylor, performing the ceremony. There were many gifts at this big wedding, most of which were duplicates; that is, a gift of a kind for each couple. The J. O. Johnstons had seven children, all married and established in their own homes. The family tree gives the marriage relationships of this large family. Margaret was a devoted daughter, wife, and mother. She died on January 30, 1939.
Edna, second daughter, married Verner T. Joslyn, and they were the parents of nine children, two of whom died very young. During most of their married life, Edna and Vern farmed, and always not far from their home ground. Like all of her sisters, Edna gave her undivided attention to her home and family. Her children are all married and prospering well. Edna died on May 29, 1941, sincerely mourned by her large family relationship and a wide circle of friends.
Ida, third daughter, married Merton J. Joslyn, in the double wedding with her sister, Margaret, in 1901. Ida and Mert moved at once to the Barr farm on the edge of Oneida, and did general farming and stock raising. They lived on this farm until they retired in 1945 and bought a home in the village of Oneida. Their son, Harold, continues on the farm. Detailed account of the whole family is shown in the family tree to follow.
Mamie, fourth daughter, married Alvin R. Johnston. They have one daughter, Mildred, who still is at home, devoted to her parents. Mamie and Alvin have farmed, and successfully, all their married life. They live near Manchester.
Maude, the youngest daughter, died untimely, and within forty-eight hours of the death of her brother, Fred, the youngest son. The two died of kidney and rheumatic ailments. On Easter Sunday, April, 1911, these two young people were buried in a double funeral attended by a large concourse of relatives and friends. It was a heavy day for the family and for the whole community.
William, the oldest son, farms the home place with his brother, Charles. Will was married to Mabel Mosher of Masonville on November 15, 1917. Mabel and Will had a short, but unusually happy married life. She died on September 23, 1923, after an operation from which she was unable to rally. We have a sheaf of clippings all of which emphasize the grief and sorrow Mabel's death brought to the young husband and the families of the two and to the entire community as well. She had made a large place for herself in Silver Creek though she had lived in the neighborhood only six years. She died at twenty-nine.
Harry was the Scanlon family's second son. Those of us who knew Harry remember him as a most likable young man, always happy and kind, a boy with much promise. He died on June 4, 1905, when he was sixteen years and eight months old, of an unusual illness for one so young, namely dropsy. His death was a shock to his family, the first break in their large circle. The whole community was bowed in sorrow with the parents and the other nine children. Even now, in looking back, Harry's friends have painful remembrance of the untimely passing of that fine boy in our neighborhood.
Charles, third son, inherited with his brothers, Will and Ross, the home place. Will and Charles operate a prosperous farm business with the full and capable cooperation of Charlie's wife, Nellie. She was Nellie Rose, daughter of John L. Rose of Masonville, a well-known farmer and business man of the county. Charlie and Nellie, and Will as well, are acknowledged leaders in this generation of Silver Creek people. Their home is a hospitable one, comfortable and comforting to all who enter. Charlie was particularly active in promoting the Lord's Acre day in the church here.
Ross, the fourth son, married Ora Joslyn, sister of Verner and Merton who married Scanlon sisters. Ross and Ora had four children, all daughters, a family group which was broken by the death of the daughter Iola Muriel, who was married to John Van Engelenberg, They had been married not a year when Iola's death occurred as result of a curious blood disease which defied satisfactory diagnosis. The girl wife's death called out large sympathy from alt who knew her and the family. Ross and Ora farmed for some time. Within a few years they bought a home in Masonville where Ross is employed.
The brief life of Fred, the youngest Scanlon child, was discussed earlier in this article. An adequate coverage of this large family and the children's children would require more time and space than are possible for us in the scope of this booklet. The family of Fannie and John Scanlon are integrated with the whole of Silver Creek.
THE KENNEDY STORY
Sarah (Scanlon) Kennedy was born in County Longford, Ireland, a daughter of Wm. and Sarah (Mills) Scanlon. The father emigrated with his family to America, arriving here October 31, 1867. He made his way to the interior of the country and decided to make their home in Delaware County, where they spent the rest of their lives.
Sarah married David Kennedy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kennedy of Ireland. Sarah and Dave made their home in Prairie Township in the Silver Creek settlement for many years. Then they moved to a farm in Sand Creek where they spent the rest of their days.
Sarah and Dave were the parents of four girls and four boys. The girls married and made their homes in or near Ida Grove, Iowa. William died on November 22, 1895. John, Robert, and Thomas, the other Kennedy brothers, were all successful farmers in Prairie Township. Recently, John moved to Cedar Rapids. Thomas and Robert still live in Prairie Township, Robert and family on the old homestead.
Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy were very active members of the Sand Creek Methodist Church, and have reared their family to live by a good Christian faith. The Kennedy family were, and are, all very active in all Township and County affairs.
BAXTER FAMILY STORY
The Baxter family name is an old one in Silver Creek. There is a piece of land lying along the south side of the Ryan road which is always referred to as "the old Baxter place." There is nothing left there of the Baxter property but a drilled well pump, but still it is the Baxter place. We have been unable in the short time we had to secure a proper history of this family. We do know there were four Baxter sisters who lived most of their lives among Silver Creek people-Sarah, who was Mrs. Erwin McCloud; Maria, who was Mrs. John Preston; Martha, who was Mrs. Quintin Searight; Jennie, who married James
Sarah married Erwin McCloud and they lived most of their active life on their large farm on the Ryan road. There was a time when Erwin McCloud owned nearly all of the land in the community called Tower Hill. For years he and John Reilly owned a large part of the land known as the Devil's Backbone. They sold this tract to the State of Iowa and it was converted into the beautiful Backbone State Park.
The McClouds had eight children, but five of them died in infancy or later childhood. Austin, the oldest son, went to Canada where he lived for many years. He had large holdings in Canadian land to the time of his death. He was unmarried.
Edgar E., the second son, married Asenath Woodberry Falconer and they were the parents of five children. Rita, the oldest, married Parley Carr and they lived on the McCloud homestead for several years. They had three children, the oldest of whom died early. Rita died when she was quite young, leaving two small children.
Amber, second daughter, married Elmer Richardson and they had two children, Elmer Jr. and Doran. Elmer Sr. died and Amber married Wayne Alderson. They live in Strawberry Point. Elmer Jr. is in the Navy, now working in the Sonar school in San Diego, in a line of work like radar only this work is done under water. Erwin II married Maycel Porter and they live on the McCloud homestead. They have had five children, one of whom is dead. Alice, Edgar's third daughter, married Marlowe Raeburn and they have two children, Calvin Marlowe and Kenneth Earl. They live in Manchester. Pierce, the youngest child, is a graduate of Iowa State College in Ames. He has a government position in research in the field of mechanics, in Peoria, Illinois.
Ida McCloud married Anthony J. Swindle. Account of them is given in the Swindle family story.
The McCloud family, all the way through, has always held a prominent place in the community. Mr. McCloud, Sr., was an unusually good business man, and he had the respect of his neighbors and friends everywhere. Mrs. McCloud was a genial person, sociable, kindly, neighborly. Their home was open to everyone. The later generations have inherited many of the traits of their elders.
We have this brief account bearing on the John Handel Preston family: John Handel Preston came from Manchester, England, to Manchester, Iowa, at the age of eighteen, or about 1858, to the George Lister farm about five miles from Silver Creek. It is said that John Preston often walked from the farm to the church at Silver Creek to attend services. In 1867, he was married to Maria Baxter, who was born in Ireland. They bought 160 acres of land from the Listers and spent most of their lives on that farm except for a few years when they lived in Coggon and Ryan. Maria died in 1912, and John, in 1914.
Martha Baxter married Quintin Searight. They had both come from Ireland, probably around 1860. They bought a farm of 160 acres just east of the John Preston farm. They had no children of their own, but they reared Charles McCay. Many of the older people here knew the Searights well and respected them. There was undoubtedly much of interest in their experiences as pioneers, but we cannot at this time get a proper account.
Jennie Baxter married James McCay and they lived in Milo Township on a farm northwest of Billy Carrothers' old farm. They had four children, Annie, Sarah, Jimmy, and Robert. In this section we can not give more account of the McCays at the moment.
Urban Baxter is the one person who bears the name and who is well-known to us. He married Joanna Craning of Norway who came to America and taught school in Ida Grove, Iowa. For a time after their marriage the Baxters lived on his farm near Ida Grove. Later he retired from the farm and worked in a bank in Ida Grove. Later still the Baxters moved to Ryan, where he was cashier of the Security State Savings Bank. Now he is owner and manager of the Ryan Oil Company.
The Baxters have no children. Mrs. Baxter's niece, Borghild Haukland, came from Norway after her high school years and made her home with the Baxters until her marriage to Lloyd Robinson. Mrs. Baxter is a member of P. E. O. and has various other social activities, besides being the mistress of a lovely home. The Baxters take an active part in the life of Ryan. Mr. Baxter does a great deal of work in assisting business men and farmers in the area roundabout Ryan in making up their Income Tax reports.
THE JOHN DOVER FAMILY
John Carradus and Mary E. Dover married on Oct. 18, 1883, and they made their home in Silver Creek until 1918, when they retired and moved to Manchester. They celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1933. John died November 20, 1935, at seventy-five years, and Mary died on February 7, 1948, at seventy-eight. Mr. and Mrs. Carradus were both people who did not ever seek the lime-light. They were good, responsible citizens, attending to their home and farm business steadfastly, rearing a large family, and carrying their share of all neighborhood affairs. They stood high in the estimation of neighbors and friends.
Mr. and Mrs. Carradus had eight children. We have some account of the families who live nearest to Silver Creek, and the family tree gives pertinent facts about the others. The oldest, William, married Nellie McAdaragh and they live on the David Carradus homestead. They have a family of five, two sons, James and Francis, three daughters, Marian, Artazena, and Hazel. John R. Carradus married Mae Hamilton. They farmed for many years on their home place until they retired to Manchester where they now live. They were always active in the community, and loyal supporters of the Silver Creek church. They are now just as active in the Methodist church in Manchester. Their son LeRoy, who is married to Grace Wickman, now lives on the home farm. Their youngest son Ellison was in the service a period of years. Their daughter Eleanor married John Lyness and they have a family of two girls and two boys. A daughter is deceased. The Carradus's son, Harlan married Alice Emerson, and though this couple and their children live near Masonville, they take an active part in the life of the Silver Creek community.
Mary E. (Mamie) married George McDowell. They lived on their farm until they retired to Manchester in 1941. George has long farmed on an extensive scale, raising grain, buying and feeding cattle. He and Mamie lived on the John Carradus home place until their retirement, when their twin sons, Merle and Verle, took over the farm and business. These boys and their families are an asset to the community. The oldest son, Roy, married Margaret Emerson and they have a farm in the west part of Silver Creek, where they operate a farming business on a large scale. They have two sons, James and Gerald.
Iva, the older daughter, is at home with her parents in Manchester. Arlene, the second daughter, married Floyd Kuhn and they live near Lamont. They have a daughter, Elaine, and a son, Bruce. Elmer F. Carradus married Lavina Pratt and they farmed for some time on their place here. About six years ago they moved to New Hampton, Iowa, and their son Bob took over his father's farm. Bob is married to Geneva LeGassick and they have a son, Gary Lee. Their daughter Emily is married to Wilbur Wendt and they have a son, Ronald. Dean is married to Francis Stimson and they have a son, Allen Dean. Dean is in the Service.
Lucy Carradus married Earl Basquin and has lived all her married life in Davenport, Iowa. Earl Basquin died and Lucy married Harla Connor of Davenport. Lucy's three daughters are married. George Carradus is unmarried and he makes his home with his sister Mrs. George McDowell in Manchester. The youngest Carradus son, Fred, has been dead for many years.
John McDowell was born in County Antrim, Ireland, June 1, 1844, and in 1865 came from there to Newton Township, Buchanan County. He was married July 3, 1871 to Matilda McKay, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William McKay.
They farmed on the McKay homestead and reared a family of twelve children. They were William of Ryan, Robert and Charles (deceased), Harry on the homestead, Gordon of Quasqueton, Russell of Washington state, Claire, British Columbia, George of Manchester, Mrs. Sarah Crawford of Waterloo, Mrs. Mayme Hammersmith of California, and Mrs. Tillie McKay of Winthrop, also deceased. John and Matilda McDowell lived to celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary.
In March, 1910, they retired and moved to Quasqueton, Iowa, where Mr. McDowell passed away in 1935 at the age of 91 years. Mrs. McDowell died one year later, July 14, 1936, aged 83 years.
The Todd family are recorded in an old church book as "joining by letter" in May, 1881. From Ella Todd Emerson, oldest daughter of Albert Todd, we have record that her grandfather, Andrew G. Todd, and family arrived in Iowa, March 19, 1868, from Fredonia, New York. They crossed Lake Erie on a ferry boat. They first settled on the farm where Glen Henderson now lives, near Ryan, after which the son Salah took over the place and Elihu lived across the road on the farm owned by the late Chris Enabnit. Then Andrew Todd and wife and the other children, Albert, Lottie, Levi, Isaac, and Nancy, moved to the old David Carradus place in Silver Creek, "the brick house". The Todds had nine children. Ella married Lowery Moore. Nancy died. Mrs. Andrew Todd died on May 14, 1890, and after that Andrew went to Carroll, Minnesota, to locate his son Isaac on a farm. In the meantime, Albert and Levi bought the old Todd farm. Lottie married Orin Richardson and lived on a farm south of the old McDowell place on the Linn County Line. She now resides in California.
Albert attended Epworth Seminary, and he married Ada Manchester at Fairfield, Iowa. He and Levi farmed together on the old Todd place until Andrew, their father, died, in Minnesota in 1896. Then Levi moved to Edge wood to a farm and Albert continued on the homestead. In 1910, while Albert and his daughter Lottie were in Colorado on a vacation, lightning struck the large barn on their farm and it was completely burned. He built a new barn and then sold the farm to T. S. McRoberts and C. A. Swindell. Mr. McRoberts later bought the whole farm and this is now the McRoberts home place. Albert then bought the old McCay place. The family moved to Coggon where Mrs. Todd died on August 8, 1919, when their youngest child was six years old.
When the C. A. N. railroad was built through this part of the country, the right of way fence ran through the Todd orchard, just south of the old log house in which the McCays lived before they built the fine big square house. On top of this big house was a cupalo built as a small-size duplicate of
the large house. That cupalo and the rail fences here and there on the McCay place were the novelty of the neighborhood. The cupalo stood until 1936.
Albert and his three daughters farmed the place for a few years. Ella married James Emerson, grandson of pioneer Charles Falconer, the wedding taking place in the McCay house. They went to live for a year on the old James Robinson place. On November 14, 1928, during a tornado, Lottie, Albert's second daughter, who had married Alpha Hawkins, was killed in the storm. She had gone to close a door on the south side of the barn and was struck by some flying object. The two daughters, Ella and Lottie, had bought from their father the McCay place and Ella and Jim lived on it for several years. Albert Todd died on January 75, 1940.
Ella and Jim Emerson now own and live on the old Thomas Sandilands homestead, which Mr. Sandiland bequeathed to them. The Emersons have had five daughters, one dying in infancy. The oldest daughter, Isabel is married to Roger Hammond and they live in Cedar Rapids. They have a little red-haired daughter named Karen. Bernita is taking nurses training in Ravenswood Hospital in Chicago. Marjorie graduate from high school; Wilda is a senior this year in the Coggon High School.
Ruth Alice, Albert's youngest child, was graduated from Fletcher College, which was in University Park, Iowa, but is now incorporated with another institution. Ruth taught for a number of years and then went into a position with the Printograph Company of Kansas City, and still later into a position with the Hollywood Eastern Incorporated of Hollywood, California. She has had unusual success in her selling and commands excellent ranking in her field, as well as a fine salary. Ruth is a regular and very substantial contributor to the financial budget of her home church in Silver Creek, according to the officers who handle the business of the church and who admire and esteem this young woman's loyalty.
THE WADE FAMILY
Robert Montgomery Wade was born in Tipperara, Ireland, in 1840, and was educated at Wesleyan University in Dublin, for work as a medical missionary, going to school the year around. He came to the United States right after the close of the Civil War. He was married in 1868 to Cassie Homan of Tama, Iowa. In 1883 he moved to Masonville from Parley and practiced there as a physician until 1893, when he moved with his family to Independence. Later he moved to Rowley, where he passed away very quietly, while his family were attending church.
Robert's father, who was born in Ireland, was a surveyor, and he had been in the British Army. Robert had one brother, Christopher, who went to Australia from Ireland. Another brother, Irving, settled in New York and another brother John Wade engaged in farming near Mount Vernon, Iowa, John Wade and his wife were the first couple to obtain a marriage license in the vicinity. They had three sons and three daughters, all of whom were graduated from Cornell College in Mount Vernon. In later years the Wade home was just across the campus from the college. The three sons were all doctors.
Dr. Robert Wade had three sons and four daughters, Lulu, Mrs. Carl Evans, (Mrs. Carl Evans is deceased. Her husband is 83 years of age. They had two daughters, Florence, who is at home with her father, and Fern, now Mrs. Bill Channing of Spokane); Elenore, Mrs. Joe Henkel; Vinnie, Mrs.
Bert Kragelund, (Mrs. Bert Kragelund had one son, Wade, who married Lenora Miller of Spokane. They have three daughters, Karen, age nine; Linda, age eight; and Christine, age four); Miss Lillian, and William, these all of Spokane, Washington. Harry Wade of Iowa, deceased, married Mabel Bullis of Minneapolis. They had one daughter, Dorothy, who married Douglas Baber. The Babers have one daughter, Susan Kay, who is about twelve years old now. Fred Wade, deceased, married Esther Ella (Etta) Robinson, also deceased. Fred and Etta had nine children. Their oldest son, Glenn, of Manchester, married Hope Robinson and they have three children, Roger, Glenda and Barbara. Muriel, of Robinson, married Wilbur Falconer. Vivian died at the age of one and a half years. Iva, married Charles Swindle, and they have three children, Janet, Lynda and Wade. Wayne was killed in action in the Infantry in Italy, September 13, 1943. He was married to La Vina Ammeter and they had one son Marshall. Wilbur of Ryan served in the armed forces and came home in October 1945. He is married to Roberta Robinson and they have four children, Sharon, Richard, Keith and Douglas. Robert enlisted in the armed forces and served in the Infantry in the South Pacific. He is married to Lois Topping and they have one son, Gary. Leland, of Cedar Rapids, married Corrine Hilsenbeck. Marlyn, who is fighting with the 8th Army in Korea, is married to Patricia Hess.
The above paragraphs were written by Iva Wade Swindle.
Many people in Silver Creek remember Harry Wade, for he used to work in this neighborhood when he was young. Fred Wade and his wife, Etta, lived here for many years and the family took an active part in community affairs. The death of their son Wayne, in Italy, sat heavily on both Fred and Etta. The general feeling is that this break in their family circle hastened the death of both parents. Iva (Wade) Swindle, and her sister Muriel (Wade) Falconer are both gracious kindly women, and faithful workers in the Silver Creek church and community.
THOMAS MCROBERTS FAMILY
Thomas S. McRoberts came to Silver Creek in 1894, married Mary Robinson and established a family home, first on the farm in Prairie Township where Milton and Sarah Robinson now live and then on the old Todd place which is now McRobert's homestead. His family is now a definite part of the Silver Creek community. Mr. McRoberts was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1874. He is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth McWilliams McRoberts. His mother died when he was eight and at the age of fifteen he came to America, to his uncle, Samuel McWilliams of Memphis, Missouri. He had three sisters who lived and died in Ireland, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Minnie. Also, he had three brothers and one sister, all of whom came to America. William lives in Scotland County, Missouri; John lived in Detroit, Michigan, and died there; James lived and died in Wilmington, Delaware; Ethel lives in Detroit, Michigan.
Mary (Robinson) McRoberts was born in Ireland. She was the daughter of Anthony Robinson of Ireland. She came to America to make her home with her uncle, John Robinson. Mrs. McRoberts was a retiring woman whose greatest happiness was in tending her home and family. She died two years ago at the home of her daughter Margaret, in Michigan, where she had gone for a visit. She was truly an estimable woman.
The McRoberts family numbers six. All of these children grew up here and took part in the young people's life in the community. Three of them are established in their own homes in Silver Creek. Sarah, the oldest, married Milton Robinson. Account of Sarah and her family is given in the W. B. Robinson family record. John Burnside has farmed with his father and brother all his life. At present he and his brother, Thomas, operate the big family home place. They are excellent farmers and raise much grain and stock.
Margaret E. married Emmet G. Lee, who is in the lumber business in Michigan. They lived for years in Battle Creek, Michigan. They now live at Luzerne, Michigan, where Mr. Lee's business is located.
Ethel was graduated from the University of Iowa in the Liberal Arts Course. She married Dr. Robert Barker and they live in Sequim, Washington, where he practices medicine. Their son died in childhood. Their daughter, Sandra, is now fourteen and is in high school.
Thomas A. married Minnie Haren and the couple lives on the family home place. They are the parents of five bright, lively youngsters whose names spread the family tree considerably.
Viola was the baby of the family of Thomas and Mary McRoberts. She died at the age of eight after a year of distressing illness.
T. S. McRoberts has proved himself an able farmer and a good business man. His holdings in farm property include some of the best and most productive land in the country. His family are integrated with the Silver Creek community in all ways.
TERRANCE GAFFNEY FAMILY
Frank Gaffney, son of Mike, who now lives on his father’s home place at the southeast of Silver Creek community wrote the following account. It is good history.
"I will attempt to outline a little sketch of our granddad and family, Terrence and Ann Gaffney. They immigrated into Iowa in 1849 from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. My father was six months old at that time. They came across the Mississippi on a ferry. They had a small amount of livestock, a few chickens, pigs, a few cows and oxen, and a team of horses. They crossed the rough country and prairie until they came to Adams township where they settled a mile south of Silver Creek, and built a log house. The old pioneers always tried to settle near a stream and timber. The first thing they needed was wood and water to survive. They also brought a small flock of sheep which were full of cockleburs which are known to a lot of the old settlers as the ‘Gaffney burs’.
A few years later came the Swindles, Colemans, Robinsons. They would butcher their hogs in winter, freeze them, and haul them to Delhi in sleighs. The neighbors would have a bee-butchering (sic). I recall my father saying he stuck 90 hogs in a day. My grandma would give the new settlers a few chickens to get started. They broke the old prairie sod and sowed wheat. There wasn’t a road or a bridge; so they hauled their wheat to Manchester in wagons, with horses and oxen. I recall the story that my Dad one very hot day came to a ford and there was a load of wheat and a very nice span of chestnut sorrel horses, stuck in the midst of the stream. So Dad said, ‘Unhitch your horses and I’ll pull you out with these oxen’. The man gave a hearty laugh but finally consented to let Dad pull him through. In a few minutes they were on their way. I forget that man’s name, but he said, ‘Til help unload your load of wheat in Manchester if you get there today. So the man and team went ahead. When they came to the railroad siding to unload into a boxcar, the oxen’s heads were bumping the back of his wagon.
Patrick Gaffney was killed in the Civil War and Tom was wounded. He had one of his toes shot off. At the time of the Civil War, while Tom and Patrick Gaffney were fighting in the far South, their father was called to the colors in the northwest to help quiet the Indians. But it didn’t take long to subdue them and put them back in their place. In later years Uncle Sam provided a tract of land now known as the Indian Reservation.
"In the old days most of the visiting was done on foot. People would walk across the prairies on foot and take their children with them and stay a week or more at a time."
DENNIS COLEMAN FAMILY
The Coleman family has long been a part of our community life in all the things that go with neighboring. Dennis Coleman wrote the following account of his family. No one has shown keener interest in the revival and recording of the early history of Silver Creek than Dennis. Here are his original lines:
"Dennis Coleman was born in County Monahan, Ireland. Also, Mary (Woods) Coleman his wife was born in County Monahan. Dennis Coleman came to Iowa in 1854 and his first night was spent in the home of William Swindell. His wife and children came to Iowa in 1854. It was in 1854 they filed claim to the land now owned by Joe Coleman and known as the James Coleman, Sr., farm. They had a family of seven children, Patrick M., Bernard, Rosy (McBride), William, John, and James and Thomas the twins.
"My grandparents on my mother's side were Patrick Keenan, born in County Down, Ireland, and his wife, Susan (Trainor) Keenan, who was born in County Down. They came to this country in the late sixties and settled at Troy Mills near a brother, Peter Keenan. In the early seventies they moved to the home which they bought on what is known now as the James McGuire farm and is owned by Wm. Gavin. They had a family of seven children: Catherine (Coleman), Daniel, Susan (Mangold), Rosy (Burns), Arthur and Frank the twins, and Peter.
"My father, Thomas Coleman, was born at "Quality Ridge", a few miles south of the Coleman homestead, in the year 1859. He attended school on the banks of the Buffalo and among some of his schoolmates were Robinson Baxter and Erwin McCloud. My mother was born in County Down, Ireland. She came to Iowa with her mother, brother, and sister at the age of four-and-a-half years. She attended Silver Creek school and some of her school companions were John Carrothers, Sarah Patton Carrothers, James Anderson, and many others of the Silver Creek settlement.
"Thomas and Catherine (Keenan) Coleman were the parents of six children: Mary Ann, Francis, James, Dennis, Susan (Burke), and Bernice (McCarthy). Three of this family have passed away, Mary Ann, Francis, and James Coleman.
"One of the hardships the early pioneers had to contend with was the lack of transportation. I recall my grandfather Dennis Coleman's telling of going with Anthony Swindle on foot to Dubuque. and walking back carrying a sack of white flour and a walking-plow home. The white flour was divided between them and was used entirely for pastry cooking.
"Dennis Coleman was Justice of the Peace of Adams township for a long time and I recall a story of a case that was tried in his court, involving two Silver Creek neighbors. One man's hogs damaged the other man's wheat crop. My grandfather was blind in one eye and almost blind in the other and had a catalogue from a mail order house to help him detect numbers. In this particular case he opened the catalogue to a grinding stone advertisement which was priced around fourteen dollars. He awarded the man whose crop was damaged that sum. The other man put up a very strong argument and was not going to pay it, but the man whose crop was damaged said, 'John, you better be thankful-on the opposite page there is a buggy priced at $149.50."
JAMES LYNESS FAMILY
The Lyness and the Devine families were ever the best of neighbors and friends. We give here a family account written by Mrs. Arthur Lyness of Ryan, she who was "Kit" Devine.
"Catherine and James Lyness came from Grant County, Wisconsin, with their nine children, six boys and three girls, and settled in Hazel Green township. The following year they purchased one hundred sixty acres of land along the southern line of Prairie township. This land was purchased from Roy B. Griffen, at twenty-five dollars an acre, in March, 1872.
"James Lyness was born in County Down, Ireland, and came to America with his three brothers at the invitation of a friend who had lived in Ireland, but later settled in Wisconsin. Catherine (Keenan) Lyness, also born in County Down, Ireland, came to the United States at the age of 17. After seven weeks at sea in a sailing vessel, the passengers were brought up the Mississippi river by boat as far as McGregor. The remainder of the journey to St. Paul was made by stagecoach. Catherine Keenan worked at a fur trading post in what is now St. Paul, for two years, and made friends with many of the Indians. The offer of land for homesteading, even though it was the land on which the capital city now stands, was not sufficient to keep Catherine Keenan from going to former countrymen and friends who had settled in Wisconsin. While visiting these friends in Grant County, Catherine met James Lyness. They were married and lived in Wisconsin for several years. Iowa was open for settlement and Catherine wanted to be near her brother, Patrick Keenan, who had settled just two miles west of the Silver Creek community; so the family came to Iowa. Catherine and James Lyness had nine children: George, Joseph, Less, Rose, James, Daniel, Arthur, Ella, and Catherine.
"Their land has been in the family possession ever since it was purchased from Mr. Griffen. The youngest son, Arthur, married Catherine Devine in 1906 and they lived on the farm for forty-two years. Their son, Louis, now lives on this farm.
"Arthur Lyness can tell many interesting happenings of earlier days. He was working for Robert Robinson when Robert bought the first corn planter in the Silver Creek community. Art recalls how he sat on the new machine and dropped the corn while Robert drove along the marked line. Great improvement was made on the next model three years later, when the planter did its own dropping by means of a wire.
"Elihu Todd improvised a hay loader that was given a trial run on his brother's farm. Art was to build the load and all were eager to watch the operation. It caused considerable excitement and trouble, too, for the 'teeth' were not only not tempered, but reversed.
"Art recalls hauling milk to the creamery where it was weighed and churned into butter. The creamery located on Anthony Swindle's land was built by George Packer and Clare Lillibridge. Art went to Barryville for his mail."
JOHN CROTHERS FAMILY
The family of John Crothers belongs to the era of our pioneers, though they moved west when their children were still quite young. Mr. Crothers was brother to Christopher Carrothers and Isabelle Swindell, of the earliest pioneer group here. John Crothers' wife was Margaret Fair, sister to James Fair whose name is prominent in the history of the American West in connection with the early fabulous fortunes of the gold and silver mines there, and with consequent developments in business and other expansions in the west. He was one of the four "Bonanza Kings".
John and Margaret Fair Crothers were both born in North Ireland. After 1868 they came to America, first to Illinois, and then Wapello, Iowa, where they lived for a time. Mrs. Crothers' father had come to America in the 40's and purchased land in several places. Later the Crothers family lived in Silver Creek on a farm which lies along the Ryan road, one often referred to as the Baxter place, because the Baxters later owned it. The buildings of this place have long since been removed, but there is still an old pump to mark the spot. Some of the Crothers children went to Silver Creek school for some years. One of the brothers, now Judge George E. Crothers wrote this interesting bit in setting down memories of his childhood years here. He said, "My chum was Wesley Robinson, who later visited us in Ida County. When we parted in Ida County, where he bought me an orange, he said goodbye in tears, and I planned for years to go back to Silver Creek to see him. Also, I wanted to see Aunt Tillie Robinson, mother of W. B. Robinson, for whom I had a feeling of devoted friendship and appreciation. Afternoons when we left school to walk to our home, she would always give us something to eat, to make our trip shorter and pleasanter. I had often planned to write her to send Christmas greetings until I heard she had passed away. I always regretted I did not let her know how much I cared for her and how I appreciated her kindness to us children."
Three years ago Judge Crothers stopped here on his way home from a business trip to Washington D. C, to see the places among which he had lived as a child. He had a long visit with W. B. Robinson, but in the few hours he was here he was unable to contact any others he might have known in the early days. The family moved from here to Ida Grove, Iowa, and later to California at the urgence of Mrs. Crothers' brother, James Fair. The Crothers established a family home in San Jose where the parents and their oldest son, John James, died. The family members have kept in touch with their Silver Creek associations all these years and Judge Crothers is particularly interested in this historical booklet. He has for years been accumulating family history and wants record of the Silver Creek background.
We have here account of the Crothers family which will be of interest to many people connected with them on the Crothers side, as well as those who are related through the Andersons of Ida Grove, Mrs. Crothers' relatives, most of whom once lived here. The name, which was originally Carrothers, was abbreviated to Crothers at the request of the mother, Margaret Fair, because of the varied pronunciation of the Carrothers name. Over the country there are several well-known families who have abbreviated the name in a like manner.
There were eight children in the John Crothers family. The oldest son was John James, who became a successful orchardist in Santa Clara County, California. The oldest daughter, Fannie Jane, married Robert Graham of Ida County and had one son, Earl, now a farmer with extensive holdings in Ida County. Fannie died and Mr. Graham married Bessie Carrothers of Silver Creek, cousin to his first wife. Account of this second family appears in the Carrothers family tree.
William Henry Crothers was graduated from Stanford University and from Cooper Medical College. He married Blanche Cook and spent a year in Berlin and Vienna, studying medicine. He practiced medicine in California all his life.
Thomas Graham Crothers was graduated from Stanford University and later from Michigan Law School. He has practiced law in San Francisco for more than fifty-six years. He is a member of the firm, Crothers and Crothers.
George E. Crothers was graduated from Stanford University with B. A., Masters, and Law degrees. He has practiced law in San Francisco for over fifty years, in association with his brother Thomas, except for seven and a half years when he was on the Superior Court Bench of San Francisco. Judge Crothers' name has appeared in Who's Who in America since 1901.
Mary E., second daughter, was graduated from the University of the Pacific and married Samuel R. Cook, a professor of Physics and Mathematics. She had one son, Richard Crothers Cook, who is one of the Chief Engineers of the Buick plant in Flint, Michigan. Charles Fair Crothers was graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and practiced law and operated a real estate and loan business in San Jose, California, all his life.
Theresa, third daughter, was graduated from the University of the Pacific with a degree of Master of Music. She married Robert Craig, a minister. Theresa died in childbirth. Her husband is noted for his work in the religious field, as pastor and as administrator. Virginia, the little sister of the family, died in early childhood. Wesley Elsworth Crothers attended Stanford University, made two trips around the world, and served in the Canadian army in World War I. Wesley spent years of his life in mining enterprises in California and Nevada, wintering in Palm Springs usually. All the Crothers family are deceased except Thomas and George.
Judge George E. Crothers gave to Stanford University Crothers Hall, a Dormitory and Library for Law School students, together with 6,000 volumes for use in the Law School. The gift has been widely publicized and we here present a cut of Crothers Hall. This is done as token of our appreciation of Judge Crothers' continued interest in the community where he spent part of his boyhood, and in the families represented here whose elders he remembers with the pleasure that attends recollections of our earliest years. Here we also acknowledge with sincere gratitude Judge Crothers gift to us of a sum of money to be used in the production of this little historical book.
WILLIAM CARROTHERS FAMILY
The Carrothers name is identified with Silver Creek from the beginning of the "neighborhood". Only a few remaining sons and daughters of the original settlers here have any personal remembrance of the first William Carrothers and his wife, Margaret Ramsay. But through the third generation we all have definite - better say vivid memories of the three sons who lived among us, Christy, Billy, and Johnny, as they were always called. After much persuasion, May Carrothers Emerson, daughter of Billy, set down account of her father's family as she knows it from family narration. And there never was in our midst anyone with quicker wit or greater gift in storytelling than Billy Carrothers. We quote from Mrs. Emerson:
"Grandfather's family, so typical of all the pioneers of that time, consisted of the father and mother, eight daughters, and four sons. Three children, Jane, Christy, and Andrew, came to America in 1864. There was no railroad west of Dubuque; so these three young people found it necessary to make the trip to the Silver Creek settlement on foot. Exhausted and hungry, they stopped at a farm house east of Earlville to rest. There they were given cold buttermilk to drink, and they often declared this was the most delicious and welcome nourishment they ever had. Mary, who married Robert McMullan, remained in Ireland. Christy came to take over the work for his uncle, Christy Carrothers, Sr., who was called to duty in the Civil War. Young Christy found the work much different from that of his native land. For instance, he had to milk the cows. In Ireland that was a woman's work, and most families had but one cow. At Uncle Christy's he would milk a while and cry a while; for after all, he was only a boy.
"His sister, Jane, was employed in the John Robinson home, where she helped with both the house and farm work, receiving fifty cents a week for her labor. Christy and Jane shared a great sorrow in this strange place when their brother, Andrew, aged 17, died two months after their arrival. This was surely heart-breaking word for the rest of the family when they arrived here a year later. The father and mother and eight remaining children came in 1865.
"An amusing incident happened when the family arrived in the harbor of New York City. Seeing all the negroes at work around the dock, one of the children asked a policeman if the black-smiths were having a holiday. And, a great misfortune befell this family after their arrival in New York, when they lost their passes to Dubuque. A friendly negro informed the police of their loss and contact was made with Paxton and Seeds of Manchester, Iowa, who arranged a guarantee for their fares to Dubuque.
"Upon arrival here, the family was taken into the homes of friends where they were given the warm welcome always extended by those early pioneers. The family soon moved into a log cabin which stood just south of the William Swindell home, and here they remained until spring. Then they moved into a house just west of what was then known as McGuire's bridge, where they lived until they purchased land in Buchanan County, land now owned by Reuben Gentz. The husband and father died less than two years after his arrival here, leaving the mother the burden of a large family that was trying to get a foothold in this new, strange world. Fortunately, hers was a family of sturdy, industrious children, who as they reached maturity, married and immediately purchased land, built their homes, and became good citizens, devoted to their homes and to their God.
"William, John, and Christy purchased several hundred acres of land close together and built comfortable and commodious farmsteads. Outstanding for their hospitality and native Irish wit, these men headed homes that were happy places where old and young alike were welcome, homes where everybody enjoyed himself and enjoyed the company.
"William Carrothers married Margaret, daughter of William Robinson, and John Carrothers married Catherine, daughter of Thomas Robinson, these fathers both pioneers among the first who came to Silver Creek. Christy married Ann Jane Anderson, also the daughter of a well-known pioneer family. Jane and Sarah married Nathan and John Patton, both residents of the south part of Delaware County, Through hard work and honesty the Patton family acquired large farms, and comfortable homes; and they were outstanding in community and church work.
"Two sisters, Annie, wife of James Baxter of Silver Creek, and Fannie, who married Charles Leidy, moved to homesteads in Nebraska. They spent their entire lives in these homes and were industrious citizens. Some members of their families still live on the Nebraska home places and many of the children live close by. Shortly after the Baxters arrival in Nebraska, a rattlesnake bit little Maggie, their small daughter, and she died from the snake-bite. Another daughter, Alma, died many years later at the age of seventeen.
"Maggie, another daughter, married Henry Manz and they took up residence at Merrill, Iowa. They reared a large family, who today are among the most respected and prosperous members of their community.
"Lettie, who married John Berg, and a sister, Lizzie, went to Kansas where they have always lived. As is sometimes the case, distance and the unending duties of everyday life have prohibited personal contact among the members of this family for now many years. But the ideas of the original home have always been maintained in the families of Grandfather William. This large family has given good account of itself.
"The story of Jane Carrothers and Nathan Patton is another pioneer family story. Their outstanding characteristics were industry, honesty, and devotion to their family and their church. Their family consisted of two daughters and four sons. One son, Charles died in infancy. Their sons, Tom, William, and Dave, assisted their parents on their farm of several hundred acres. These men had adequate rural and advanced educations, married, and lived their entire lives on the farms given to them by their parents. Thomas and Lena had one daughter, Alberta, now Mrs. James Gardner of Dayton, Ohio, and an only son, Dorrance, who died from a foot injury when he was ten years old. This boy's death was a life-long sorrow to the parents; they were devoted to their son.
"Dave Patton and his wife Bessie had two sons. Dale lives on the home place since the death of his father. Kenneth is a teacher and coach in the school at Wilton Junction. Kenneth was a captain in World War II and saw service in the Pacific.
"Mary Jane, daughter of Nathan and Jane Patton, married Bert Henderson, pioneer storekeeper and stock buyer at Ehler. Will Henderson, another son of James, married Bessie, daughter of Anthony and Lucy Swindle. James Henderson built a large brick store building and sold groceries and dry goods. The post office was also in this building. The farmers in the Silver Creek community sold their stock to the Hendersons for years. Will Patton remembers going into Chicago with eleven car loads of hogs at one shipment.
"Two children, Ruth and Esther, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bert Henderson while they were residents of Ehler. They later removed to Wessington, South Dakota, where Bert was in the banking business. Two more children, Willard and Marian, were born there.
"Ruth, their oldest daughter, married Bill McDonald (deceased) and their son, Julian, lives with his wife and two daughters at Highmore, South Dakota. Esther, their second daughter, married Oscar Pedicord and lives at Wessington. Willard is a dentist and is living in New Orleans with his wife, Ruth and three children, Peter, Mary and Joe. Marian married Millard Kiel and is living at Highmore, South Dakota.
"Leona, the youngest daughter of Nathan and Jane Patton, married Charles Boeke of Wessington, in 1913. They lived on their farm there for many years, later moving to Rockford, Illinois, to be near their sons. Their only daughter, Wilma, a girl in her teens, died in 1938 while still in Dakota. Her sudden death of peritonitis was a great sorrow to her family. Of the boys of the Boeke family, two sons, Howard and Loal, are living near Rockford. Duane, who is unmarried, and Harlan, who is married, are in the lumber business in Rockford. Carl is married and living at Clear Lake, South Dakota. Each of the Boeke boys has served in some branch of the service.
(Account of Christy and Ann Jane Carrothers is given separately.)
(Account of the John Carrothers family will be found in the Thomas Robinson history.)
"Sarah Carrothers married John Patton. Their home was famous for its friendliness, its old-fashioned Irish wit, the kindliness and generosity that lived there, and its never-failing a cup of tea". Sarah and John Patton had two sons and two daughters. George died at seventeen after a long illness from an incurable kidney ailment. Stella, a skillful teacher, died on Christmas morning, 1947. Mamie married Harley Williams and they live on the old Williams place. Charles, the younger son, lived a self-sacrificing life. He cared for his invalid wife, Rilla, over a long period of years, at the same time carrying the responsibilities of father and mother to his four sons. Charles had the hard experience of seeing all four of his sons go into military service. James, Leland, and Merl served overseas. Merl was wounded in Italy and hospitalized for months in Italy and in America. He has a twin brother Verl. All of Charles's sons are married and have established their own homes."
CHRISTY CARROTHERS FAMILY
Christy Carrothers married Ann Jane Anderson and they went immediately to live on their farm, one of the old farms of Silver Creek, situated at the north end of the community. They had twelve children. Sickness and death darkened the home of this pioneer couple many times, as it did so many pioneer homes.
Christy and Ann Jane's oldest daughter, Effie, died at eighteen years of age. There were three infants who died in succession, and later they lost a son named Archie, their youngest child.
William, the oldest son in the Carrothers family, remained on the home farm until his marriage in 1904 to Grace Simons of Earlville, a teacher in the country schools. This couple met while they were students at Epworth Seminary. After their marriage they lived on their farm here for many years, later moving to Manchester. They had a son, Raymond, a veteran of World War II. He is now a successful chef, employed by some of the largest hotels in Iowa.
Henry, second son, attended Epworth Seminary and helped on the home farm until his marriage to Florence Baskerville of Earlville. Florence was a teacher in the schools of Delaware County and upon taking up residence here quickly identified herself with community and church work. Henry and Florence had five children, two sons and three daughters. Vinton, the oldest, married Hazel Mangold and they have a fine farm near Coggon. They have one son, Marshall. Donald has taught in Iowa's high schools and, always interested in athletics, he was a successful coach. His wife was Louise Reinking of Central City and they have two sons, Nile and Dicky. Donald is now a farm manager and lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
Arnett, oldest daughter, went through high school and later obtained a good position in office work. She is now married to Edward Bruntz and living in California, where she is stenographer for the Standard Oil Company. Her husband is department manager in a gas furnace manufacturing company. Mary Jane married Dale Patton. The have a most comfortable farm home near Coggon. They have a daughter, Beverly, and three sons, Jimmy, David and Mark. Ilene, the youngest daughter of Henry and Florence, was a teacher and is married to Miles Gulick. Their home is in Fresno, California. After graduating from the Forestry Department in college, Miles went to Frenso where he is in Civil Service.
Frank, who remained on the home farm after his parents retired to Manchester, married Binnie Lane of Masonville. They lived on the farm until their eldest son, Albert, married and took over. Frank and Binnie spend their winters in Mesa, Arizona. Albert married Naomi Haynes and they have a son, Eugene. Allyn, the second son, attended college, taught school, and then became a Baptist minister. His wife was Jean Cocking, a teacher, and they have a son, Ronald. Their home is in Denver, Colorado.
Annabel, Frank's daughter, married Nyle Bergstrand and they live in Manchester. Nyle works for the Stearns and McCormick Furniture Company. They have a son named Kevin.
Erwin, the fourth son, went to Denver, Colorado, to live, because that climate was suited to his health, which was somewhat impaired by a long siege of whooping cough in his childhood. He married Lucile Burnett. Erwin, with his other brothers attended school and then helped on the home farm until his removal to Denver.
Charles, youngest living son of Christy and Ann Jane, also attended school and helped on the home farm. He never married. Never very strong physically, he was given affectionate care at home. He and his brother Will were in the restaurant business in Manchester for several years, after which he moved to his own farm where he lived during his active life.
Sarah, the oldest living daughter of Christy and Ann Jane, attended Epworth Seminary after which she helped her mother at home. She married Ray Childs, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Childs of the Masonville neighborhood. Sarah and Ray lived many years on their farm near Masonville and are residents of that village. They spend their winters in Mesa, Arizona. Their only child, Willard, lives on the home farm. His wife was Emily Sacks of Kansas. They have one son, Gerald. A baby daughter died in infancy.
Mabel, after finishing high school, lived with her parents until their death. Capable and kind, she was a blessing to them during their older years and final illness. After their death she traveled through the west for a few years and now makes her home with her sister, Sarah, in Masonville.
There is a story that it was James Emerson, Sr., who taught Henry Logan to smoke. Jim played the flute and he also smoked a pipe. No man can play a flute and smoke at the same time. So, he would give Henry his pipe to "keep it alive" while he played. Result, the first thing Henry knew he was a pipe smoker too.
There was a band here way back when, probably a fife and drum band in those early days along the creek. The names that linger in the memory of the teller are those of Jim Emerson, Jim Landrum, Henry Logan. There no doubt would be a Robinson, a Taylor, and a Dover.
When the first settlers needed to buy some cattle, they went to the Monks at New Melleray and purchased several cows. The monks "trusted" them on the matter of payment, The Silver Creek people never forgot that.
EMERSON - SISLER FAMILY
Isabel Falconer married James Emerson and they went to Minatare, Nebraska, to a homestead, in 1887, a year after their marriage. They had three sons, James Jr., Roy, and Carl.
On July 11, 1892, James died suddenly and untimely; he was only twenty-nine. He had appendicitis, an ailment which now is comparatively simple to care for. Isabel and her three sons returned to her parents' home in Silver Creek. She kept Carl with her; James stayed for a time in the Ben Falconer home (his uncle Ben); Roy went to live with his aunt Alice and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Robinson. James now owns and operates the old Thomas Sandilands homestead; Roy farmed almost all his life, but moved to Robinson three years ago where he bought a home; Carl bought his mother's house in Coggon and now lives and works in Coggon.
Mrs. Emerson later married Thomas Sisler and they had two children, Rufus and Ruth, twins. Rufus is a banker in Coggon. Ruth lives in Anderson, Indiana, and works as a bookkeeper in the Delco Remy Plant located in Anderson. She is married to Roy Hon and they have three children. Mr. Sisler was a man who was esteemed by all those who knew him. His son Rufus has, on request, written a sketch which presents such interesting account of strands of his father's life that we quote Rufus's paragraphs.
"My father's grandfather was born on a sailing vessel on the way from Switzerland to America. He died in 1793 and is buried at East Aurora, New York. He had seven sons. One of them was my father's father. Another was George Sisler's father (the famous 1st baseman of the St. Louis Browns and a member of the baseball hall of fame at Tarrytown, N. Y.).
My father, Thomas Jefferson Sisler, was named by his father after the great Democrat. However, after he grew up and attended the College of the City of Akron, Ohio, he became an ardent student of political history and all of his mature life was a Republican. It is still recalled by the older people how aggressive he was in all political matters. In Adams Township, where the Democrats were predominant, he never hesitated to expound Republican principles, and at one election had to be restrained from getting closer to the polling place than the law permitted.
In his early years he was a lumberman in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. He was the only one of a family of nine children to leave the original home in Akron. While logging in Massachusetts, he had both feet badly frozen and nearly lost them. I have heard him tell of the chewing gum of those days; they would take the pitch from the spruce trees and chew it.
I have heard him tell of how his father took him to Cleveland to hear Abraham Lincoln speak during his second campaign for the presidency. He said he looked "seven feet tall with his hat on". I have also heard him tell of an uncle who was in the battle of Gettysburg, who said that "the peach orchard", where the battle was the fiercest, could be crossed afterwards by walking upon the dead and never touching the ground. It changed hands seven times in one afternoon. It covered several acres. (I have been there.)
Father was a man that could stand a great amount of cold. It is said that in his earlier years he never wore anything on his hands, or an overcoat. At one time he and Jim Dunn, afterwards a Linn County supervisor, were partners in the produce business. He was going home with a load of turkeys to West Prairie where he lived, and became snowbound at R. W. Trumbull's, four miles southwest of Coggon. He finally got out to go home, but left the turkeys to the care of Mr. Trumbull, intending to come back in a few days to get them. It was several weeks before he was able to return.
He was a good swimmer. Once my twin sister and I were at the edge of a hole at the end of a bridge after a storm, looking down at the high-water, for the creek was bank full. The bank gave way and I went with it. I went down and lodged against the fence across the creek at the edge of the road and only my feet were above the water. Father swam out and got me, and I came to in front of the open door of an old-fashioned oven and on my mother's lap."
Isabel Sisler died in 1947, surviving Mr. Sisler by quite a number of years.
On a plain little stone in our cemetery is the name Ora Jones, 1865-1944. Nobody ever called him anything but Orry Jones; and nobody ever knew much about him. When he was about nine years old, John Scanlon brought him home from the "poor farm" at Delhi and he stayed at the Scanlon home for a time. Later he worked around at different farms. For many years he worked for Jimmy Robinson. When Jimmy left the farm, Orry worked other places around here except for nine or ten years he spent in one of the Dakotas. In his later years Mr. and Mrs. Charles Falconer gave him a room in their home. When Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Falconer took possession of this home, Orry stayed on in his room until his death on December 30, 1941. On a stormy day he was buried in our cemetery near the graves of those he had known best and longest. Ora Jones was a quiet man. Whatever he knew about himself the general public did not know. No one spoke ill of him. Out of the unknown, he was befriended in our community. It is simple story.
THE FIRST CHRISTMAS DINNER
On December 22, 1854, William and Isabelle Swindell moved into their new long house. William's brother Anthony had helped build it and it was a good one. It even had a partition upstairs. It was done, ready for Christmas. There was but one thing to do, - have every body for Christmas dinner.
Every body came, the men and their wives, the Lendrums' two little girls, Anthony the bachelor. It was a potluck dinner and every body brought what they had. There was Isabella's rooster, and there was Margaret's goose. There were potatoes and bread, big brown loaves of bread. In summer the women had picked and dried ripe berries and other fruits they could get. There would have been that, of course, in sauce. Whatever it was they had for the potluck Christmas dinner that day, the details are long gone by. But it was a good dinner.
They had a blessing and then they ate. "I remember my mother's saying they had a good time that day, such a good time", said Elizabeth Swindell Johnston. They ate at a table James Lendrum had made, a cherry table with a drawer in it, said Elizabeth. And they had a gracious plenty, and the story of that Christmas dinner comes down to us.
That was the first of the dinners for which Silver Creek has long been known. How many a time those same men and women and their children shared food and all else, through good times and bad!
Hearsay has it that once an agent for President William McKinley bought a horse that Anthony Swindle, Sr. had raised, the horse to be used in the president's driving team.
This was one way the pioneers got shoe strings. Anthony Swindle shot a deer one day and his brother helped him tan the hide. From that hide they made shoe-strings by the dozen.
LITTLE GIRL LOST
A story that still lives in Silver Creek still strikes chill into the hearts of parents, for it is the tale of a child lost in the woods. The story goes back to July 17, 1861 (sic), the fifth birthday of little Mary Ann, daughter of William and Isabelle Swindell.
On the afternoon of that day all the grown-up children of the Swindell and William Carrothers families were going berrying in the woods. Mary Ann had received a little tin pail on her birthday, a pail for her very own. She wanted to go berrying too, with her new pail. The older ones protested because she was so small, but she cried to go and her father said the others should take her. Because Mary Ann was going, "Johnny" Carrothers, who was about her age, wanted to go too. So off they went, tagging along behind the big boys and girls.
The berry pickers went hither and yon in the woods, picking great handfuls of the ripe berries. Mary Ann wanted to fill her new pail; so she wandered in and out among the bushes and the rest forgot to keep track of her.
About four o'clock, when the older children were ready to go home, they missed Mary Ann. They called and looked, but could not find the little girl. They finally decided they should go home and tell the father and mother Mary Ann was lost.
There were no telephones in those days, but the word spread rapidly and from several square miles roundabout men came to hunt for the child. A storm was gathering and too soon it became so dark that search was difficult. The men separated into two parties and kept looking through the timber until they could no longer see anything. They then decided to go home and wait until daylight, when they would take up the search again. All except Mary Ann's father. He continued to walk the woods, calling her.
"Uncle Tom" Robinson, the next door neighbor north, went to his home and lay down to rest, instructing his wife, Eliza, to call him at two o'clock in the morning, when it would be light enough to see. He fell asleep and had a dream. The rest of his life he maintained that this dream prompted what he did. In the dream he saw Mary Ann a few miles below where the berrying party had been, at a place where there was a foot-log, a tree cut to fall over the stream so passers-by could cross the water. Uncle Tom awoke and got up, telling his wife he was taking his horse "Arabia" and going to the foot-log place to look for Mary Ann.
When he was about a quarter of a mile from the log, Uncle Tom went into the water and kept calling, "Mary Ann, Mary Ann''. Back came her voice, "Here I am". She was sitting on the logs, holding on to a branch. Beneath her was ten feet of water. She knew Uncle Tom, and he lifted her off the log. Strangely enough, when Uncle Tom found the child, her father was only twenty rods or so away from her, calling too.
Uncle Tom took Mary Ann and wrapped her in his coat. The he fired off his gun, which was to be the signal if any one found the child. Every little while he fired his gun three times, that all might hear it and know the glad news. The little girl was bare-footed and her small body was scratched and insect-bitten from top to toe so it was swollen all over. About six years ago Mary Ann, then past eighty years of age, told her niece, Blanche Swindell, about that faraway experience. At the end she said, "I cannot remember much about it except that my mother greased me all over with goose grease and put me into her bed".
The little girl told at home that on the berrying trip that day she got up from filling her tin pail and could not see the big folks though she could hear their voices. She called, but no one heard her. She said that she ran and ran and by and by she heard the family "bell cow'', Kate. She thought she would follow the cows home, but they were across the creek and the water was too deep for her. She then thought she would walk around the deep place, but the cows were too quick and got away. So she climbed out on the log. She looked down and the water was so deep she was afraid and had to hold on tight. She spent the night there. Pioneer children were wise in their generation and knew ways of helping themselves.
Mary Ann told her niece that years later, on a day when in the old home preparations were going on for her wedding, a man named Sherwin, who had been a well known auctioneer around the country, came to the Swindell home. He had stopped to get some pet coons Anthony wanted to be rid of and he was talking with Mary Ann. He told her of his being at that farm once before when a little girl was lost. "But you wouldn't remember it," he said, "It was years ago." "Wouldn't I?' said Mary Ann. "I was the little girl."
Mr. Sherwin went on to tell her that he had stopped the other time with two cattle buyers and they joined in the search. They had stayed all night to continue the hunt in the morning. The next day he and the drovers started off to go to Manchester and on the way turned back six or eight wagons carrying men who were coming from Manchester to look for the child.
More than four score years have gone by since the little girl was lost in the woods of Silver Creek, but now and then some one still goes to the place where the foot-log was, to point out the spot where Uncle Tom found Mary Ann. These five years now Mary Ann has been dead, but the story is told over and over. For the woods then were thick and fearsome and the little girl was only five years old, five years to the day.
A SOLDIER'S FAREWELL
Scarcely a dozen years after Silver Creek came into being the call went out from Lincoln for men to serve in the Union Army. Even as now there was heart-break in the community when a summons came. Stories of these dark days still live, stories that stir the emotions though the actors in each little drama are long since dead.
It is more than eighty-eight years since the day when Christy Carrothers, two of whose sons still live, W. L., of Grand Junction, Iowa, and George W. of Milwaukee, set off for war. He was to report in Manchester and he had to walk the long trail to the county seat. The story runs that when Christy was leaving that morning, he said to the family, "Don't go with me." He went out of the door and started off. When he reached the top of the Wigwam hill, above his home, he turned to look back at what he was leaving behind. His eyes dwelt on the log house, the acres he had tilled, on all that represented his triumph in the new world, on all his hopes. Even across long years, in the mind one walks beside him, feeling poignant sympathy for this young farmer every step of the twelve miles between his cherished home and the departure center for soldiers that dark morning.
Christy's son George wrote, under date of July 27, 1952:
"Father was called to the service of his adopted country in the Civil War. He joined General Sherman's army and was in Sherman's march from Atlanta to the Sea, in 1865. Mother with two babies and the help of two of father's cousins, mere boys, kept the home fires burning. With all the other work on the farm, she husked corn in the snow while father was serving in the last months of the Civil War.
"Father's brother Thomas, who was a cooper by trade in Pittsburg, also joined the army of the North and was killed in the battle of Gettysburg. They served in the Civil War at $13 a month. Father died in 1891, on the 22nd of May. He never received one dollar from the government as a pension.
In further connection with the brother, Thomas Carrothers, cited in the preceding paragraph, this incident we record. Thomas served for two years and then was wounded and honorably discharged. Later still, when a fresh division was being assembled for service, Thomas re-enlisted in the Infantry. He was in close touch with his friend in Pittsburg, Quintin Searight, later a Silver Creek pioneer. When Thomas was leaving for his service in the Infantry, he gave Quintin Searight a dirk knife he had carried during his first period of service under the colors. He asked of Quintin this favor: "If anything happens to me, take this knife to Iowa and give it to my sister Belle (Mrs. Isabelle Swindell)". Thomas was killed on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The trust was carried out; Belle received the knife. She gave this knife to her daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston, its present possessor.
SILVER CREEK SCHOOL TEACHERS
We have here what we think is a complete list of the teachers in the Silver Creek school to the end of its history, beginning with Maria Robinson, who taught there for many years.
Maria B. Robinson
Maria B. Robinson (same as above)
Mrs. A. T. Robinson
Lillie M. Cornwell
Eva A. Butler
Mollie A. Robinson
ON GOOD HEARTS
There are stories a-plenty which give token of the human sympathy that lived in these early settlers. At the front of the Silver Creek Cemetery is a simple stone that bears this brief legend:
May 15, 1882 Age 20 Years
"For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come".
The story is this: "Willie'' McKeown came to America from Ireland, a boy seeking his fortune in greener fields. He came with James Emerson, father of James, Roy, and Carl who grew up in Silver Creek. But just how he landed in Silver no one really knows. He was here only a month when he died of measles at the home of "Red" Jim Baxter, who lived in what was later the Alf Wells place. With their customary kindliness the Silver Creek neighbors took over the situation of the young Irish lad. They had a funeral for him at Jim and Annie Baxter's home, with burial in Silver Creek cemetery. "They gave him a Christian burial", said Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston, who retold the story just now. She knew the circumstances first-hand. At the graveside on the day of the boy's burial, Uncle Tom Robinson, one of the original pioneers, made a little talk to the friends assembled. The theme of Uncle Tom's brief discourse was that here was a boy in a strange land, one who had come with nothing but his youth and his ambition. Misfortune had overtaken him and untimely he was cut down. So then and there Mr. Robinson suggested that "we all raise an offering to pay Willie's burial expenses and to buy a little stone." That was done and the stone stands as a memorial to Willie McKeown, but also to the generous, warm hearts of those early Silver Creek neighbors.
Another part of the story relates how a Mrs. Morrison, who once lived where Erwin McCloud now lives, came back to Silver Creek from her home in Ida County, to visit. In Ida County she had as a neighbor a young woman who had been neighbor to Willie in Ireland. The boy's sister in Ireland had written to ask the old friend in Ida County if she knew where Willie was buried. Mrs. Morrison happened to be here on a Sunday which was Children's Day in Silver Creek Church. Maria Robinson had charge of the Children's Day program and she asked the children to take their bouquets of flowers used in the exercises and put them on the graves. One of the bouquets went to Willie's resting place. Mrs. Morrison took back to the Ida Grove friend the bouquet that lay on Willie's grave, who sent these humble flowers all the way to Ireland to the McKeown mother and sister, just to be able to say these flowers had come from Willie's grave in America.
A story lives here almost a century after its events happened. Horses had been missing from the neighborhoods round about and there was no law to help on the situation. There were times when a man had to take the law into his own hands. This is the tale.
Where the horse-thieving business was good, there would be men called spotters. Somebody with a sharp eye went over the ground to find out where there was a likely horse and how to get at him. There had been a man traveling around the country selling patent medicine. He was there and he was there with his medicines. He did not look good to the settlers. They watched him a while. Then men from all over the country-side got together and made plans. They knew where the medicine man came from and knew his brother-in-law traveled with him now and then. So the men gathered one evening, and waited.
Just at daylight the posse saw him. He was coming over a hill near "Squire" Donnelly's place north of Coggon. He saw the posse and ran. They surrounded him and he took refuge behind a big rock. They gave him time to say his prayers and offered him a running chance up the hill. Every man had his gun loaded and everybody fired. Who would know whose bullet did it?
They buried the poor spotter under the big rock, Horse-Thief Rock. They gave the brother-in-law a matter of hours to get out of the country. He went. Silver Creek was well represented in the posse.
Anthony Swindell, (son of William), the patient, good Anthony who was forced to sit the years out in blindness that overtook him before he was thirty, told of a prank he and "Willie" Reinbird once played on one of their friends who had a haunting fear of ghosts. One evening when the two boys knew their friend would be passing the churchyard after dark, they lay down in the grass around the gravestones in Silver Creek cemetery and when the friend came by on his horse, the pranksters moaned and groaned and made weird noises. Horse and horseman fairly flew up the road; and a new ghost story was born.
In our revival of old memories, as Silver Creek prepares for its Centennial, the name of Mrs. Foy, who "lived on the prairie", has come up often. In an old church book the names of David Foy and Adellia Foy appear in the 1869 and the 1870 record, but not thereafter. No one really knows their story after the couple left here. Hearsay was that Mrs. Foy was finally in an institution for the mentally ill and died early in an eastern state. Mrs. Foy was known here as a woman who loved to visit. She was happiest when she sat in on a good chat. When the urge to go visiting seized her, nothing halted her. She was known to decide suddenly on a trip to a neighbor, in the middle of bread-baking. Nothing daunted, she would get into her wagon, take the breadpan on her lap, and start off. (We have to assume that her husband was party to her visits, for the stories say she would always take her rocking chair in the wagon and sit in it as she rode.) She would let the bread rise as she visited and then bake it wherever she was. It was said that on occasion she would take her "wash" along and do it where she visited. If the bit of information we have on her experience after she left here is true, we can reasonably think that perhaps there was cause for her odd actions. It could very well be that she was not at all prepared to face the loneliness she felt here, or to cope with the hardships of life in a raw new country, and that trying to adjust herself unsettled her or made worse something already there. Anyway, even as now, people then did not understand much about the ills of mind and spirit. The stories went as stories. Had her neighbors really known what was back of her arrival in a pioneer settlement, perhaps the funny things she did would have taken on new light. She did do queer things, no doubt.
The pioneer days were not without their fun. There were parties, charivaris, (shivarees), dancing, quiltings, and stories, stories without end. The native Irish wit - and most of the people "on the creek'' were born on Erin's Isle - lightened many a load. Hearsay has it that there were among them some who believed in ghosts. Within the memory of people now present in the community are recollections of men who used to go to spend an evening with a neighbor, when they would fall to telling ghost stories. Oftener than once a visitor would grow more and more frightened by his own tales of ghosts and their doings, so frightened that some one would have to walk home with the storyteller.
A figure that stands out in Silver Creek's history is that of Negro Brown. Two generations ago a negro, called in the vernacular of the time. "Nigger Brown", came to live near Barryville. At the close of the Civil War, Colonel Van Anda of Delhi had brought two colored boys from the South. These boys were about sixteen or seventeen years of age. Negro Brown had been Colonel Van Anda's personal attendant during the war. Negro Brown finally came to live with John S. Barry and stayed to work for Mr. Barry for several years. Mr. Barry gave the negro forty acres of land where he built a cabin in which he lived for a number of years.
When Silver Creek people who would now be about eighty-five were young and having the fun the days afforded, Nigger Brown was an important factor in their pastime. He played the violin, played it with the feeling which only his race knows. He played for dances and weddings all over the vicinity. He taught the young people the square dances. He would "call" the dances and if any one became mixed up on the floor, he would stop playing and say, "Get straight out there! Get it right!" Here and there may still be found in Silver Creek a violin of sorts on which some Irish lad tried his hand under the tutelage of Nigger Brown.
Later Negro Brown moved to Manchester where he lived for several years. He sold his land to the Brayton family and moved away. For years no one knew where he had gone. About fourteen or fifteen years ago Tom Donahue of Ryan had a letter from him. He was living in Nebraska, and had married an Indian woman. About seven or eight years ago Mr. Donahue received another letter enclosing a clipping on the death of the old negro.
Charlie Swindle in the long letter he wrote to help us on early history said this about relationships:
"James and William (W. B.'s father), Thomas, and Mrs. James Lendrum were brothers and sister. Mrs. Lendrum (Elizabeth) and Thomas were twins.
John Robinson and Mrs. John McCay were brother and sister.
William and Anthony Swindle and Margaret, John Robinson's wife and Rachael Craemer were brothers and sisters.
Those were the seven original families, and all first cousins. Shortly afterward more brothers and sisters and cousins, all from Pennsylvania, arrived and bought land.
A partial list of these later people covers Thomas Robinson and his wife Eliza; Robert Robinson (sic) and his wife Catherine; Robert (sic) Baxter and his wife Bessie, These three women were sisters (sic); William McCay, Robert McCay, Christopher Carrothers, and Ann Johnston, his wife; William Johnston; Robert Robinson; Joseph Craemer (His wife, Rachel was a sister to William and Anthony and Margaret Swindle), Christopher Anderson, James Anderson, William Dover, James Dover, David Carradus, Charles Falconer. The nine named first above were all related by blood or marriage. Christopher Carrothers, Isabel Swindle, and John Carrothers (Crothers) who came later after Christy and Isabel, were brothers and sister.
In the Robinson family Thomas Robinson and his twin sister Elizabeth, William Robinson (W. B.'s father). James Robinson were brothers and sister and they had three half-brothers here, Johnston Robinson, Robert Robinson, and Anthony Robinson. Thomas Williamson, who came later, and Matilda Robinson, wife of the above named William, were brother and sister. John Robinson, Ann McCay, and Bessie Baxter were brother and sisters.
The seven original purchasers of the Silver Creek land were these: Anthony Swindle, John McCay, James Robinson, James Lendrum, William Robinson, William Swindle (Swindell), John Robinson. Their relationships to each other have been covered above."
(sic - Eliza Robinson (husband Thomas Robinson) and Catherine Robinson (husband Robert Wilson) were sisters. Bessie Robinson (husband George Baxter) was a cousin. rt)
DO YOU REMEMBER-
It is a sad day in anybody's life when there is no longer anyone to whom he can say, "Do you remember --?" We touch on a few things here which are sure to bring back old memories to a goodly number of people.
* * * *
Our present mail carrier is Joseph W. McElliott, who has been on the route for fifteen years. Joe stopped one day lately to tell us a piece of interesting historical matter. Joe said his grandfather, John Ward, came West from Binghamton, New York in the 60's. He had the first blacksmith shop in this community. He set up his shop on a spot about where the Falconer house is now. He and his wife, Ann Thornton, lived here about five years. He died unexpectedly and the Silver Creek neighbors helped to bury him. They took his body to Castle Grove for burial. Joe said his grandfather had a warm spot in his heart for his neighbors here.
Joe himself is a good friend. Come day, go day, Joe drives his blue mail truck down Silver Creek road, bringing the world to our doors. Of course he is still "a boy'' compared with Ollie Wright and his successors. But time will help Joe on that.
* * * *
Do you remember Ollie Wright, our first mailman when rural delivery went in? Ollie was everybody's friend. He knew our daily doings, all about the crops, how the stock was getting along, when the baby had its first tooth, where the hidden watermelon patches were. He could deliver letters with never a fumble, no matter how they were addressed. Once a letter came no address but "Aunt Myra, Ryan, Iowa''. Ollie took the letter straight to the J. J. Carrothers' home, for there she was, Aunt Myra, Mrs. J. J. How Ollie enjoyed the hand-outs on wintry days, hot coffee, a fresh "biscuit", a piece of pie! And come Christmas there was sure to be a present for our mailman, a chicken, a duck, a goose, or all three, shoved into the mailbox or delivered first-hand by an eager and shivering youngster who loved the hearty thanks Ollie was sure to give, with messages to be carried home. And, do you remember Ollie's old team?
Do you remember Rich Houldan's red hair and freckles? And God rest his soul - Rich always brought the mail on Christmas; for even though he would have liked to be home on that day, he knew that people out on the route wanted to have their Christmas packages and letters for the family celebration. We lost Rich when a new administration juggled the mail routes every where and we were changed from Ryan to Masonville. People thought they just couldn't stand it to be taken away from Ryan and lose Rich.
But they got used to it, and, anyway, along came Willie McCool, who was all a mailman should be. After Rich retired, he used sometimes to sit along the stores in Ryan, and everybody liked to stop to greet him. He never forgot anyone either. He had watched so many of us grow up, all the way from the crawling stage to maturity, that going back in our memories we think of Rich as if he had been a member of the family.
Mr. McCool, our mailman after we were changed to Masonville, must have been properly christened William, but nobody ever called him anything but Willie McCool. Willie it was who always carried stick candy with him to give to the children who waited at the mail box for him. If Mom were along, she got a stick of candy too. Mr. McCool loves flowers and truly has the green thumb. He and Mrs. McCool lived on the edge of Masonville during his years as carrier. Their home was surrounded by beds of beautiful flowers. Willie has in him, too, a little Izaac Walton; he loves to fish. After he retired and had free days, he fished hither and yon in our quiet spots; for instance, in the Buffalo at Gaffney's bridge, where we saw him holding his rod of a summer's evening. He moved to Central City, where he still lives, spending the winter months in Florida. He is still growing lovely flowers, still fishing. Another thing everybody along his old route says about him is that he was the most obliging person anywhere. We are all Willie's friends.
* * * *
Do you remember when every family had a "rag bag"? Out of that bag would come, on call, strips of old sheets, a right good piece of flannel, the back of an old blue shirt turned gray from washing - almost anything you wanted from a bandage to a "scrub rag".
Who still remembers the horse power threshing machine? Jim Falconer had one he used around here. W. B. Robinson, Wesley Robinson, and Alex Robinson owned a horse power thresher together and operated it in partnership for two years. Then W. B. took it over and operated it for ten years more. W. B. had a "buzz saw" with this machine and he buzzed plenty of wood for everybody. The first steam power thresher here was run by Ernie Crosky and Roy Joslyn. (Do you remember that Ernie had only one arm? That was true of his father too.) Many of us remember W. L. Carrothers' old threshing machine with its stately prow, moving in to "set" for the next day's threshing.
In this vein, do you recall the McAreavy creamery that sat by the bridge at the Robinson four corners? It was John J. McAreavy who ran this creamery, and he had a store with it. Mr. McAreavy, now advanced in years, lives in Coggon. His son John (he is William John) is a rural delivery mailman out of Coggon.
* * * *
Do you remember George Packer sitting up in his wagon with its double sideboards, the big wagon piled high with butter tubs? Can't you just see George jogging along Silver Creek road, looking out over every thing from his butter-tub throne? George is dead. Mrs. Packer, now 80, is living in Annandale, Minnesota, with her daughter, Olive, a teacher in the Minneapolis schools. From here the Packer family moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he was connected with a creamery or some allied business. It was after 1909 that they left here. They lived in Manchester for a few years before going to Minnesota.
Everybody who was around when the Packers had the creamery that stood at the bridge where Chuck Swindle now lives will remember the store, too. It was a thriving business and a sort of social center and clearing house for the neighborhood. There was almost everything in that store, even shoes. Once little Anthony Carrothers, Billy's son, rode down on the milk wagon to the store on his mother's birthday, to get her a birthday present. Mrs. Packer asked him as he knew the size of the "slippers" he wanted. He said he did; he wanted size 20. Mrs. Packer helped him to figure the size a little more closely.
This brings us to a consideration of the old-fashioned creameries every county had in days gone by. The creamery was an all-important business in a community. In a way the creameries flourished as a necessary institution much as gas stations do now. Seven days in the week the creamery smoke stacks sent up heavy black spirals. The machinery pounded away until all the day's intake had been cared for, the milk separated, the cans washed, the butter made and put away, the cleaning-up for next day's business finished. Do you remember the buttermilk jug mother sent to get buttermilk for the morning pancakes? Why doesn't buttermilk today taste the way it used to at those old creameries?) At the creamery many a neighborhood agreement or difference took form or found settlement. The creamery man himself stood aloof, lost somewhere in the dim reaches of all the machinery he operated in taking care of the milk. Usually there was a general store, which took in a goodly share of the milk profits. It was all too easy to charge things, and the monthly statements for each family were sometimes staggering. Of course, everybody had to eat and wear shoestrings and buy candy and chewing gum and writing tablets other things ad infinitum. The creamery was really an Institution.
* * * *
Do you remember when the first telephones were put in? Uncle John Robinson didn't see how they could possibly work, "unless", said he, "the wire had a wee hole in it." Every home had a long box fastened to the wall. To make a call one had to turn a little crank, - say five-and-a-half times, which procedure made the bell ring out in every house to indicate somebody's call to the five-and-a-half party. Receivers would clack down all along the line. After all, weren't we a "party" line, and didn't we all want to know what was going on? If there were an emergency like a fire or an accident; or if there were a car load of potatoes or coal on the tracks at Ryan, there were eight rings to signal everybody to listen.
* * * *
Does anyone remember going down to the old "Can" railroad at Robinson on the day when T. H. and W. L. Carrothers shipped thirteen loads of cattle, billed from Carrothers Bros, to Paris, France? There were banners all over the cars to tell the story. That was just before America went into World War L A good many of our boys saw Paris, France, after the Carrothers Brothers' big consignment of cattle went overseas. But that's another story.
When there was a "run-away'' in the neighborhood, that was big news. Always there were all sorts of reasons advanced as cause of the horses' revolt. The point is, the runaway made conversation for days. Sometimes there was a broken bone or some other bad result, but often the affair gave just a little scare to the community and furnished a tingle of excitement.
* * * *
Do you remember when Nick Weiler's Meat Wagon came around every week, right to our doors, with meat and fish a-plenty, and really good meat and fish? Nick would ring a bell when he arrived in the yard. If the order were a big one, Nick would throw in a link of "bolony". When Nick himself was not on the wagon, his son Jimmy was there. The same Jimmy, who with his wife, Pearl, operates the fine butcher shop in Ryan, the Weiler Market, was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago this summer. We wager he did not feel half so important on this political mission as he felt when he managed that meat wagon route for his dad.
* * * *
Reviving old memories, we retrace in mind the Farmers' Institute and Grain Show that was held in Manchester every year for a long time. We recall that Tommy Carrothers was a leader in this project among farmers. We think back to the corn C. A. Swindell used to grow and exhibit at the grain shows. "Glenwood Dent" was one kind he bred, the name taken from the name of his farm. C. A. would deliberate long and earnestly over his every ear of corn. In his home are now plaques, ribbons, and other awards he received for the corn he tended so carefully and so proudly.
* * * *
Do you remember the excitement when in winter a saw mill moved into the woods and stayed there for weeks on end, sawing up lumber for the farmers roundabout? Now if we have any of our own trees sawed up, the big trucks come in, take the felled trees away to the power saws, and return the boards to their owner, all in the wink of an eye. There are spots here and there through our woods where were the great piles of saw dust, the remains now black from rain and years, but still recognizable as the saw-mill places.
And do you remember Arch Clark who for years had a "shanty" in Alec's timber, where he lived and from which he set out every winter day when it was possible to work in the woods, cutting posts or fire wood? Everybody took a turn with Arch. He cut wood, dug ditches, tiled, or did anything else he could get in for the farmers all around. Arch finally went to Cedar Rapids, where he died some years ago. Sometimes Orry Jones lived with Arch and helped him at his jobs. Arch's shanty was later moved across the road and taken over by "the Swedes". Carl Roous, or Carl the Swede, still later had his shanty (Just why they were called shanties we don't know.) on C. A. Swindell's land, where he set out some cedar trees, dug a fuel cellar outside the shanty, and settled himself for life, and was really quite comfortable. On Thanksgiving Day and Christmas and New Year the neighbors liked to send Carl a share of their holiday dinners. One day when Carl went off to work in the woods, his shanty burned down, probably set afire from the cookstove he used. After Carl went away, he became ill and was cared for by his sister in Illinois in whose home he died. For years scraggly cedars grew around the ruins of Carl's shanty, and the fuel hole is still a depression in the earth. Carl was a quiet man, a good soul, as was Arch Clark.
A FORWARD LOOK
The turn of the century - that is where we are at the present moment. The old names carry on in the community; the old ways persist in large measure. But into our group have come new families who have not taken anybody else's place, but have made places of their own. The church shows new names on its roll, families who help carry on in the life of our church - its worship, its business, its church school, its services to individuals and to groups. The Ray Guthrie family is one of these. Ray and Esther bear their full share of everything we undertake. Their attractive and hospitable home is ever open to all.
The Art Goos family, who live on the old Lendrum place, are another unit we prize. Busy with their little flock of young children, they still find time to share everything with us. It may be that by some subtle alchemy the spirit of the Lendrum and Johnnie Carrothers families, who preceded them on their farm, has passed to them. Whatever it is, pridefully we claim the Art Goos coterie.
The Elzo Powell family, on the edge of Robinson, contribute greatly to Silver Creek life. They live on the Falconer home place (lola is a Falconer) and they are carrying on the wholesome tradition of the old family. They are good neighbors, good friends, good workers in our group.
In this little book we have made no account of the town of Robinson which sprang into being at the lower end of Silver Creek, in 1911. A railroad was built through that area and for a few years the sound of daily trains broke the quiet of our woods and country-side. But before long the railroad was disbanded and Robinson folded its wings, - the bank, the lumber yard, the hotel, the post office, the barber shop, the general store - everything vanished except the store. Through the years the store changed hands several times, but now for eighteen years it has been the property and business of the Kolembar family. Joe and Mary Kolembar came here from Brookfield, Illinois, and opened the Robinson store. Faithfully they served us until their son, Charlie, took over. Charlie married Lillian Dvorak and they are operating the Robinson store competently. We by groceries, gasoline, paint, some hardware supplies, all necessary oddments, the Sunday paper, in addition to all which we get a generous helping of great good will from the Kolembar family.
Too, at Robinson is a family who are now a part of us, that of Harold Ayres. Harold is an excellent plumber and nothing is too much for him to do - come troubles with our pressure pumps, our furnaces, our lights, or almost anything else. He is also a fine citizen. His family are shoulder to shoulder with us. Mrs. Ayres and the children enter heartily into our neighborhood affairs and help us dispatch whatever there is to do.
The Dunham family, who live on the old Art Keenan farm, have added their contribution to life here. Mr. Dunham did his share in the Lord's Acre day, (and, by the way, we must record that day as the time when every Silver Creek farm is represented with a load of corn which is sold and the proceeds given to the church.)
With one more backward glance we record the name of the James Riser family, long associated with Silver Creek community, church, school, and general activities. They have all left us, but we remember with gratitude their share in our life.
Before the larger group of pioneers
came to Silver Creek, two families had come to the
Mrs. William Swindell, Belle, often
told how Mrs. Terrance Gaffney (great-great grandmother of the newest member of
the Gaffney family, six months old Kathy, daughter of Charles and Janet Gaffney
Out of Belle's eight eggs hatched seven chickens, four pullets and three roosters. She gave Margaret two of the pullets and one rooster. She kept two pullets and one rooster to start her own flock of poultry, "dedicating" the rooster to Christmas dinner. The seed potatoes were carefully cut not to waste an eye, and in the fall there was a goodly load of potatoes for winter food, thanks to Mrs. Gaffney. Margaret's goose eggs brought forth two ganders and one hen goose. Margaret set aside one of the ganders for a Christmas dinner.
And now 'tis done. To assemble and verify this material, to set it down in writing, to make it ready for presentation - all this in the space of one short month - is something of a feat. Forgive us our shortcomings.
Go, little book, and bring to many
readers fond memories. You are the record to a century's end of the history of
a little community that sits in the midst of
Contributed by Becky Teubner