Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More About Life in the 1940's

  More about life in the 1940’s

    I will go into a little more depth about what life was like in the 40’s.  In March of 1940 my parents moved from a farm 2 miles south of Hope MN to a farm 5 miles south of Owatonna on the Lemond Road.  This farm was large and had 360 acres.  I was in 8th grade at this time so here we go attending a new school where I didn’t know anyone.

    The school was located 2 and ½ miles from the farm.  One of the neighbors came over and said that they had a car pool going to school and we were welcome to be in the car pool.   Once a week each family drove the children to school.   There were 5 families involved and  7 children.  So 7 children were  in the car and off we went to school.  Remember this was before the days of seat belts and the cars were a lot smaller than they are now.

    I was the new kid on the block and was in 8th grade but I had no trouble getting along in this school.  I think we started at 9 a.m. and got out of school at 4 p.m.  We had an hour for lunch and then had a morning recess of 15 minutes and an afternoon recess of 15 minutes.  The 7th and 8th graders helped the teacher with the first graders and I think there was 6 children in first grade.  Only a couple of them had learned anything about learning to read.  So we helped them with their reading as best we could.  I remember listening to the first graders recite.

    At the end of school  we had a school picnic.  All the neighbors brought food and drinks for a nice mid day meal.  The older children in the neighborhood came to the picnic and some had already graduated from High School in Owatonna.  It was a good way for my folks to get acquainted with the neighbors and suppose my Dad made the connection with neighbors about harvesting oats.

    There was a small creamery about a mile from the house and my brother Larry went to the creamery every third day.  Two other neighbors exchanged days and they hauled the cream in the cars.  Steele county was known as the Butter Capital of the United States at that time and there were small creameries scattered all over the county.
Hope Creamery building


    This new farm had a small woods on it.  Suppose the woods covered about 10 acres.  I was always off exploring and in the summer there were several patches of wild raspberries.  There were also small patches of wild strawberries on the farm and they were very small but good to eat.  There was a huge hip roofed barn on this place and you could drive a team into it on the second floor or hay mow.  We used to go up in the hay mow and jump off the beams into the hay.  One time my brother Dick jumped about 10 feet but he didn’t get hurt.

    I was the only girl at home so I helped my Mother around the house.  By that time I was doing some cleaning by myself and always wiped the dishes after a meal.  We had a nice flat lawn in front of the house and I kept the lawn mowed.  The folks bought us a croquet set and my brother Dick and I played croquet every nice day that we had in summer.  Now remember I mowed that yard with a push mower by hand.

    At this time I was also milking cows.  We had been able to purchase a small milking machine that was run by a Briggs and Stratton motor.  There was no electricity on this farm.  After we washed the cows teats then my brother would put the milking machine on and milk the cows.  We always had to go back in with a pail and do what we called the final stripping to get all the milk.  We put the milk in a bowl on top of the cream separator and then turned a handle by hand to separate the milk from the cream.  There was 2 spouts on the cream separator and the cream came out one and the milk out the other.

    We put the cream in a can after the evening milking and then we put it in a cold water tank to keep it cool until the next morning.  Then we put the morning cream in and took it to the creamery early in the morning.  The separator had to be carefully washed every day.  We had a bench outside the pump house and I washed the separator every day.

We always ran cold water through the separator after we had finished separating the milk and the cream.  That came in handy to know when I had children as I rinsed the bottles out after feeding the babies.

    In the winter time we kept the cows in the barn and would let them out to drink water.  We had a cast iron stove of some kind or another and we had to light a fire in it to melt the ice on the water tank.  My Dad took the skim milk down to the hog house and he mixed it up with grain for the hogs.  We called that stuff slop.  In other words we slopped the pigs. We didn’t have an ice box until the summer time.  My Mother would make home made ice cream in the winter as we would get the ice out of the cattle watering tank.  She used pure cream and made a custard for the ice cream base.  Boy was it good.

    In the fall of 1940 I moved down to east of Ellendale  with my sister Dorothy and family.  This was so I could start High School at Ellendale. My nephew Warren was about 4 years old at that time.  I helped Dorothy the same as at home.  She was a terrible hard worker and she was out milking cows every morning and evening.  I didn’t do any milking there but I watched Warren and I picked up eggs and was just generally useful as a 13 year old can be.

    My clothes for High School weren’t to classy but then no one else had anything that looked much better.  I remember that Dorothy made me a nice wool skirt out of some things that Uncle Ernie had sent to us.  I caught the bus into High school and they had two routes to cover.  I was on the late route going to school and then I was on the late route coming home.  In the winter we had about 45 minutes after school and so the boys and girls would play basketball .  We would get up a team from various classes and I played forward.  Got half way good at shooting baskets.  We usually got on our bus to go home about 4:30.   Wouldn’t the teachers today have a fit if they had to watch a bunch of kids after school for 45 minutes.  But we probably acted better.  I also read and did home work in that period of time.

    I remember the terrible blizzard that we had on Nov 11 1940.  I went to school that day and it was a real warm day for November.  About 11 a.m. it started to snow.  I remember our High school Supt looking out the window at the snow.  The Supt’s office was right across the hall from our home room.  A little while later he called for the early morning bus riders to get ready to go home.  He had called the bus drivers early and decided it was best that we get home.  I of course went home on what we called the 2nd bus.  By 2p.m. we had a raging blizzard on our hands.  My sister Dorothy told me that we had to go out and round up the chickens and get them in the chicken house.  The chickens had been out all morning scratching around for seeds and bugs and whatever.  The blizzard lasted for about 3 days and a lot of people died.  They got caught out away from home in their cars and couldn’t get to shelter.

    My brother Don was a Senior in High School while I was in 9th grade.  He worked on a farm that year and rode the bus to school.  Don played football, basketball and he was a baseball pitcher.  I think he pitched a no hit no run game in High School one time.  They wanted him to play on the Legion team but World war 2 started and he was off to the Navy.

    While I was in school in Ellendale I sold candy at noon to the other students.  Most of the kids didn’t want to sell candy, they wanted to walk up and down the halls and flirt with the boys.  If you sold candy at noon you were able to eat one candy bar without paying for it.  I sampled every kind of candy that we sold.  We had to make change and turn it in and all that good stuff.

    We had the starting of a hot lunch program in our school at that time.  I think it cost 5 cents.  A woman came in and made stuff for us to eat with our lunch packed from home.  Sometimes we had macaroni and cheese and sometimes hot soup and sometimes hot chocolate.  At Ellendale we all took our lunches to school in a lunch bucket.  The next year when I went to Owatonna all the kids packed their lunches in a paper sack.  A lunch bucket was a no no in Owatonna.

    In the winter time when I was staying with Dorothy I used to go up the road and Eugene and I would go ice skating on a frozen pond close to his house.  Would just do that on Saturdays.  I think we probably played some games with Eugene’s step mother.

    I remember some of  kids problems that were on my school bus.  One of the neighbor girl’s Mother had died and she was in 10th grade.  I think she was going to school and doing most of the housework and helping take care of her younger sister who was in 7th grade.  Another family on the route had lost both parents and there was 5 or 6 children in the family.  The oldest boy was about 22 and he had a sister about 20 and he did the farming with the help of some uncles and managed to put the rest of the kids through school.  Some of the younger children were just in second or third grade.  I think that maybe some of the other farmers in the area helped out with the farm work and advise.  But they kept the children together and they turned out all right.

    People were more inclined to help their neighbors back in that time.  Farmers exchanged work back and forth so that they could get harvesting done and also haying and other chores.  But you didn’t take advantage of your neighbors and try to get by without returning favors.

    I enjoyed the library that we had in the school at Ellendale and was always checking books out to read and take home.  Dorothy liked to read so we would both read the same books.  I probably left the books home and she read them in the day time in winter when there was not much you could be doing outside.  At that time there was no electricity in the house and your heat came from a wood cook stove and then another heating stove in the living room.  There was a wood pile outside and someone had to bring the wood in and think it was stored in a small entryway.   I don’t remember if we used much coal or not.  It came in real handy when I went to work for the railroad to know how to start a fire in a pot bellied stove and how to bank a stove in those cold railroad stations so that all you had to do was add more coal in the morning.

    Dorothy had a big garden and when I was first there in September she had an ever bearing strawberry patch.  I remember her going down and picking a dish pan full of strawberries.  She made shortcake and of course we poured pure cream over all of it.  We did eat good on the farm.  Dorothy was an exceptionally good cook and I enjoyed that. 

    Most of the farming families where I grew up got by in the depression quite well.  We didn’t have anything to spend on stuff we didn’t need but we were always able to have good shoes and clothes to wear and we never went hungry.  Things begin to get better about 1938 and then after the War started there was more money available to buy things.

    I went to Owatonna the next year and stayed at home and car pooled with 2 other neighbors.  My brother Larry said that all he did was car pool at that time.  He went to Owatonna twice a day every 3 days.  Then Dick was in grade school and he had 2 trips to grade school once every 5 days.  Then he went to the creamery every 3rd day.  He said he spent a lot of time in the car getting all the running done.

    When we lived on the farm south of Owatonna a terrible fire happened to one of our neighbors about a mile south of us.  Their 5 year old little boy went out in the barn with some matches and started a fire.  The barn burned down and the little boy was in it.  It was a terrible windy day and pieces of the barn came into our pasture which was about ¾ of a mile north of the barn .  My parents never left any of us alone in the house if they had to go out at night.  We used kerosene lamps and they just didn’t trust us to be careful around those lamps.  We had a healthy respect for fire.  We used kerosene lamps when we were milking in the evening and we were so careful with them.  To this day I do not want a lighted candle in my house.

    My  tenth grade in school was the last year that I stayed at home all year.  The neighbors that we car pooled with graduated from High School and so I worked for my room and board and stayed with the Supt of our High School in my 11th and 12th grade.  A lot of girls that lived on the farm did that and the Dean of Women in our High School kept a list of people that wanted a girl to stay and help them and she  picked out the girls who she thought would make a good fit with  some one on the list.

    I answered the phone and helped with the house work and watched after the two little boys when they had to go at night.  I could go out if they weren’t going anywhere and I had to be in at ten on school nights and at twelve on Friday and Saturday nights.  I sold them about 3 dozen eggs when I would go home every other week and used that money to go to the movies.  The movies were fifteen cents and that was for the shoot em up westerns.  The better movies were twenty five cents.  There were three or four movie theatres in Owatonna.  At that time the population of Owatonna was 5000 people.

    I did go to the football and basketball games at that time.  I also went roller skating and did some ice skating in the winter time.  Mrs Burt sold me her ice skates for two dollars and the city in Owatonna had a ice rink on the Straight river.  They had an attendant at the rink that kept a bonfire going so that we could warm up when we got too cold.  It was high school age kids that went skating and think it stayed open until about 9 p.m.

    This is just a little bit more detail about my life in the forties for a couple of years.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stories my parents told me.

    I was fortunate  in that I would go see my parents in Minnesota and would usually stay with them at least a week and we did a lot of visiting in that period of time.  I have been working with genealogy for the past 30 years and have found  out a lot more information on my own.

    I will start with my Mother’s family as I know very little about them.  Her father’s name before coming to America from Denmark was Mads Goldfelt.  We think he was Jewish.  He came from the part of Denmark which was next to Germany  and I suppose he was looking for a better life in the States.  My Mother’s mother came from Copenhagen and her name was Anna Thompson.  They  were married and came to the States in about 1865. 

    My grandfather changed his name to Chris Madison when he came to America.  He had been trained as a barrel maker and they came to Linn County Iowa.  He was one of the first employees at the Wilson-Sinclair packing house and was employed as a barrel maker.

Wilson-Sinclair was later changed to the Wilson Packing Co.  My Mother told me that everyone in Denmark was trained to do some kind of work.  Isn’t that amazing that people in Europe were trained for a job and we still do not  do that here in America.

English: Cooper's workshop, Open air museum Roscheider Hof, Konz, Germany
Deutsch: Holz- und Waldmuseum, K├╝ferwerkstatt, Freilichtmuseum Roscheider Hof, Konz


    There were 6 children born in this marriage.  George, Carl ,Ernest, Tillie , a girl who died at 6 years of age and my mother Irene.  My grandfather worked at the packing house and he also did some fishing in the Mississippi River.  They lived in  Marion Iowa.  My grandfather was crippled as a result of an accident.  He was out cutting wood and his axe hit his leg somewhere.  It was a terrible wound and he started a fire and think he cut off his leg and he put the leg in the fire to keep from bleeding to death. 

    My grandmother died when she was 57 years old as a result of an operation to take out her gall bladder.  I did not know  my Uncle’s George and Carl as they moved to Washington state years before I was born.  I did know my Uncle Ernest.  He was a depot agent for the CNW Railroad at Fox Lake Minn and lived about 100 miles from us.  We went down one time and stayed about a week.  I was about 9 years old at that time.  Uncle Ernie raised his 3 children by himself as his wife had died a few years before. 

    Uncle Ernie never got upset about anything.  I could play with the typewriter in the office and helped him carry the mail up to the post office.  They had a turntable at Fox Lake and I could go out and play on it and think he let me fool around climbing on the baggage wagons.  Of course he knew there were not any trains coming while I was doing all that messing around.

    Uncle Ernie had a grape arbor and I remember the grapes were ripe and I think I got sick eating all those grapes.  He used to send my Mother clothing so that she could remake things for our family.   My Mother and Ernie were real close and my two older sister’s used to go see him.  I know my sister Daisy caught the train at Albert Lea and went out to Fox Lake at least one time.

    My Mother graduated from Marion High School in 1907 and she worked as a school teacher for 4 or 5 years.  She met my Father when she was teaching at rural School No 9 and was staying with my Great Uncle Jim Hagerman.  She taught my cousin Everett Cress when he was about in first grade.  Everett and Erma were visiting my folks in Sandstone Minn one time when I was there and they were talking about the old days.  Seems that dist No 9 had ran off several teachers.  My Mother had been teaching for a while when she came out there and the first day a 17 year old boy sassed her and she proceeded to grab him by the shoulders and sit him down in his seat and said “There will be no more of that.“  She didn’t have any trouble after that.

    Everett told another story about a teacher.  He said this woman was small and some child gave her fits and she took the broom and smacked him a few times.  She then got up in front of the class and said ”Now if anyone else wants to sass me, just come on up”  Everett said there was no more trouble in that school.

    Mother met my father while she was teaching at No 9 as I think my father was working for his Uncle Jim.  They were married in 1912 and my Mother didn’t know how to cook.  My folks laughed and told the story about how my Mother made biscuits and they were hard and my Dad couldn’t eat them.  He said ”Irene I think I better go down to Toddville and get my Mother to teach  you how to do some cooking.”  So his Mother came out and stayed a week and my Mother’s biscuits were the best.

    My folks also talked about how my Dad’s grandmother Angelina Hagerman came out and spent a week or so visiting with them after they were married.  She always waited about a month after any of her grandchildren were married and then she would come out a visit for a week.  I remember my father telling me about that when he was past 80 years old  and he said” Oh, how I would like to have those days back.”

      My  folks were married in 1912 and they farmed in the Marion Iowa area for about 5 years.  They then bought a farm about 5 miles north of Albert Lea Minn and farmed there for a few years.  Dorothy was born in Iowa and Daisy was born in Minnesota.  They moved their household equipment and their livestock from Marion to Albert Lea in a immigrant car.  That is you went down to the railroad and arranged to get a car to put all your stuff in it.    You loaded your stuff and then the railroad took you to your destination.  Remember there were not any trucks or roads to move you around in 1917.  Most of your traveling was by train and there were passenger trains everywhere.  My dad went ahead and got settled and then my Mother came later with Dorothy.

    When they moved to Albert Lea my Dad had to take cream to the creamery and there were a lot of Norwegian farmers in that area.  My Dad went home and told my Mother that they were making fun of him and he didn’t like it.  So the next time he went to the creamery he took my Mother and she could speak all the Scandinavian languages and she told the Norwegians  something and they didn’t bother my father again.

    My folks later moved to 3 miles west of Geneva Minn and I have told you some other stories about my life on the farm at Geneva.  We did have a nice orchard and a huge garden on the farm at Geneva.  It was just an 80 acre farm and that is about all one farmer could take care of using horses and no mechanical equipment to do the farming.

    Now I will tell you about my fathers family and it is a long story as his family had been in the states as early as 1630.  My great great grandmother was a Howe and her family goes back to the early families in New England.  She was related to the Hibberd’s and the Walden’s and the Gardiner’s and the Fuller’s.  My great grandmother Angelina Gray Hagerman claimed to be related to the early White family and also to Lady Jane Gray in England. 

    The Gray family showed up in Sharon Conn early on and then they went to Oswego New York and  then they bought land in Tioga County Pa about 1798.  I have a post card that my great grandmother wrote to my grandmother  Sarah Hagerman Cress that says she was born in Gray Valley Sullivan Twp Tioga County  Pa in 1825.  Now you need to remember that my Father knew his grandmother very well.  He was born in 1882 and my great grandmother died in 1914.  Now I will tell you about that families trip westward.

    Hosea Wilson Gray was in Iowa about 1838.  He was a young man and I assume he rode horseback from probably Bradford Pa to Linn County Iowa.  I have no idea who else came west with him.  My research shows that he went back to Pa and told the family about the good land to be had and so several of the Gray families got together and formed a wagon train to move west.  Included in the wagon train was  George White Gray and his family and Silas Gray his brother and his family.  Silas Gray had several sons that were probably in their late teens or early twenties.  George White Gray brought 4 children west with him.  They were Angelina Gray,, Parthenia White Gray, Calista Gray and William Wallace Gray.

    I have the obituary of William Wallace Gray in Sarah Hagerman Cress Sparks bible.  It tells of the trip west and the difficulties that they encountered.  I think they stayed in Ohio for a year and then came on to Linn county.  At that time they must have crossed the Mississippi river on some kind of a ferry.  Now here comes the interesting part.  Amariah Hagerman came west with the wagon train.  He was about 21 years old at that time.  He did not have a wagon and probably rode horseback all the way.  He was very important to the wagon train as he was a trained wheel wright.  That  is he knew how to fix the wheels on the wagons.

    Angelina Gray was a comely 15 years old at that time and Ameriah probably took a shine to her as they were married in 1845.  Ameriah came from near Williamsport Pa and his father James and grandfather  Aaron came into that area soon after the Revolutionary War.  There is a creek or small river in the Williamsport area named Hagerman’s Run.

    My father, Rob Hagerman and Mary Beggs made a trip by train to Williamsport Pa in 1907 and I have a picture of them in my possession at their great grandfathers grave at Newbury Jct Pa.  This is close to  Williamsport.  Dale and I tried to find the grave and we found the church and some older people said there used to be a grave yard near where the church was located but that the headstones had  been taken down  several years before.  That was about 25 years ago. 

    My Father used to get letters from one of his cousins Anna Hagerman  into the 30’s.  I have my fathers letters that were saved and some go back over 100 years.  Dale and I went into an antique shop in Williamsport and were asking around about the Hagerman’s and an elderly lady in the shop knew about Anna Hagerman.  She said she had been a school teacher.

    While in Williamsport we went to the library and did some research.  They have a wonderful genealogy section in the library at Williamsport.  At that time I didn’t know much about the Gray’s except what my Dad had told me.  So I found a history book in the library and it was the history of Tioga County which is the next county north of Williamsport.  Lo and Behold  the Gray’s were in the book.  Now my dad’s name was Lafayette Gray Cress and I have a picture of Lafayette Gray who my father was named after.  Well here Lafayette Gray shows up in that book along with some other Gray’s.  I copied that stuff off and then Dale and I decided to go to the county seat of Tioga Pa which is Wellsboro Pa.

    We went in the library and they had 40 pages of information about the Gray’s including the info about the Gray family burial ground.  We photocopied off that information and then head out in the country south of Mainesburg Pa trying to find the family plot.  We had a map  where it was located and stopped at a farm near by and asked about it and if it would be all right to go check it out.  The young man at the farm didn’t know about the burial ground but he knew where to take  us.  We walked across a field of tall grass and found it.

    Parthenia White Gray and James Gray were there as was Angelina Gray Hagerman’s mother Sarah Howe.  There was a flag at James  grave indicating that he was a Revolutionary War veteran.   We also read Sarah’s stone and it read Howe.  So my grandmother Sarah Hagerman Cress was named after her grandmother.  Sarah Howe died in 1834 before the family came west.

    My Father was named after Lafayette Gray and I think he was probably a favorite cousin of my great grandmother’s.  I do have a picture of him and his wife in my collection of things.

    The family came west about 1840 or 41 and I think George White Gray settled in the Marion area.  You could homestead at that point in time and the land probably didn’t cost anything except the filing fees.  Ameriah Hagerman and Angelina Gray were married in 1845 and they settled in Otter Tail Twp close to Toddville Iowa.  They had 10 children and raised 5 of them to maturity.  Angelina lost 3 little girls before my grandmother Sarah was born in 1850.

    The whole family lived close to each other after they were grown.  Jim Hagerman, Robert Hagerman, George Hagerman, Billy Beggs who was my Aunt Ellen’s husband and Jacob Cress who was my grandmother’s husband all lived close to each other.  My grandfather Jacob Cress died in 1895 when my father was 13 years old and his brother John was 15.  The boys had to do the farm work and my  Father talked about hoeing corn by hand.

    I will now tell you a few stories about life on that farm.  My grandmother was a very religious woman and they all walked down the railroad tracks to church on Wednesday night and then they walked to church twice on Sunday.  This was after my grandfather died and I suppose my grandmother was lonely and  farm work was hard.  I think her brothers helped with the farm work as they were living close to each other.

    My Aunt Mina, my dad’s sister told me about the children swimming in the Cedar river and my dad told me about catching catfish in the Cedar River.  My aunt Mina said all the kids were down at the river one time and the boys had gone in swimming and left all their clothes on the bank.  The girls came down and took their clothes and she said Uncle John just stayed in the water but my Dad came out naked and got his clothes.  Aunt Mina was probably about 80 at that time and we laughed and laughed about that.  Her granddaughter Ann told me just about a year ago that  Mina never talked about any of her sister’s and brother except my Dad.

    My Dad brought a deck of cards home once and his Mother took them and burned them in the cook stove.  When my Dad was past 80 he would say ”My Mother would turn over in her grave if she knew I was playing cards.”  He loved pinochle and 500 and think he used to play gin rummy at the tavern in Hope for money.  When Dale and I would go to Minnesota we wouldn’t be in the house 10 minutes before my Dad was getting the card table set up.

    My grandmother remarried in 1905 and the boys were grown so they were out on their own.  John married at 18 but my Father married when he was 30.  He left Toddville for a while and went to Duncan Ariz with someone who was going to farm in that area.  He said they left El Paso Texas on the train coming back to Iowa and it took all day for the train to go from El Paso to Ft Worth.  It’s about 550 miles.

    Now I need to tell you about his other grandparents who also came to Iowa about 1840.  His grandmother Lydia Neighbor died in 1864 and her family had been in the States since 1738.  Her Mother Margaret Weise Neighbor came west out of Newcomerstown  Ohio in about 1840.  Margret had 8 children with her when she came to Iowa.  The Neighbors or Nachbar’s had settled in and around Dover New Jersey in 1738.  They came west in 1815 along with several other families and settled in what was later called Newcomerstown Ohio.   I know quite a lot about the Neighbors that I have found out on my own as not to many stories were passed down to my Father.  They did come by wagon train and I think they spent a year in Ohio and then came on west and settled in the same area that the Hagerman’s settled.  The Neighbors and the Oliphants were good friends and my Great grandfather John Cress and Lydia Neighbor and my Grandmother Sarah Hagerman Cress and Jacob Cress are all buried in the Oliphant Cemetery near Center Point Iowa.

    They were farmers and teachers and preachers and were in every kind of business close to Center Point Iowa.  My Dad said at one time that he was related to almost every one in Center Point Iowa.

    Lydia Neighbor and John Cress had 6 children and I have family information on all of them.  Lydia died in 1864 and suppose it was child birth fever.  I do know that her sister Mrs Thomas and her husband raised 5 nieces and nephews including my Great Aunt Mary Cress who later married a Mounce.  About 20 years ago  two of Mary’s daughters were still alive and living in Center Point and I visited with them a couple of times.  The oldest Maude Price could remember my grandfather Jake Cress as she was 97 years old at that time and had been about 10 years old when my grandfather  died.

    John Cress my father’s grandfather came west about 1841 or so with several brothers.  He had came out of the Richmond Virginia area and they were probably looking for land to homestead out west.  He and Lydia were married in 1845 and he lived until 1888.  My Dad said he was always afraid of him as I guess he had red hair and he was just a small child at that time.  They had changed their name from Grass to Cress and they were also of German stock and I have information on that family all the way back to Germany into the 1600’s.  It was a tradition in that family that the Fathers name would be John and that his oldest son would be Jacob and then Jacobs oldest son would be named John.

    Many of the daughters were named after their grandmother’s.  Sarah Hagerman was named after her grandmother Sarah Howe Gray.  My Aunt Angie was the first born child of Sarah and Jacob Cress and her given name was Angelina Lydia Cress.  She was named after both grandmothers.  You will find that a lot when checking through the old records.

    I remember one more story that my Dad told and that was when he was working for someone as a hired hand and his employer got into a squabble with a neighbor about a cow.  They had to go to court and spent a lot of money getting this settled.  My Dad always said to stay out of troubles with the neighbors and save your money for something else.

    My Father also told about the time he went to Cedar Rapids for something and decided that he would do a little drinking.  He went down and bough a bottle of Peach Brandy and got a little tight on it.  He said he got up the next morning and took a drink of water and he got tight again.  He said that cured him from drinking.  He never smoked or drank and lived to the ripe old age of 95.  This is a few of the stories that I remember.