The sur name Bedford is a very ancient one and was no doubt assumed as a sur name from the local or place named, Bedford, from a town and shire in England. Bedfords early settled in Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Southern States. We know little of great grandfather Bedford, but 'tis said the black eyes many of the Bedfords have had were bestowed upon us by this great grandfather. Of father's family, he and a number of his brothers had black eyes, while the three sisters all had blue eyes like their mother, who was a Molyneaux.
There is a sort of family tradition that the Molyneauxs came from Normandy France. That at the time of the evacuation of that country by the British armies, a certain Capt. Molyneaux came to England and the English branch began with him.
'Tis a curious fact that man often takes the greatest pride in the one thing for which he can rightfully claim no personal credit, ancestry. For example, witness the pride our D A R friend takes in relating the fact that centuries ago her great great etc. grandfather came over in the Mayflower. In the same vein some of us tell proudly of how Pricilla Mullins was said to be distantly related to us and that down thru the years the name Mullins has been changed to Molyneaux, the original name.
According to the account in the Molyneaux book our great, great grandfather William Molyneaux, came from Manchester, England to Pennsylvania in 1794. His son Edward, our great grandfather, married Rebecca Bird in 1814. She was the first white child born within the limits of what is now Sullivan Co., Pa. 'Tis said she was distinguished during the whole of her life of more than 85 years, as a woman of many virtues. She died in 1882. When father, mother, Josephine and I visited in Penn. in 1881, I remember our going to see her and she then seemed strong and active. These two, Edward and Rebecca Molyneaux, were the parents of a large family of sons and daughters, two of whom were Lydia, our grandmother, and Sarah, Aunt Sally to all who knew her.
Lydia Molyneaux married Jonas Bedford in 1843. Ten children were born to them. Daniel, our father, born July 2, 1845, was next to the oldest of the seven sons and three daughters, all of Sullivan Co., Pa. Grandfather and the eldest son, Edmund, both fought in the Civil War. Grandfather as a private in Battery D of the 2nd Pennsylvania Artillery. As a result of exposure and lack of medical care in the war, I do not remember ever seeing him walk without crutches or two canes. Uncle Edmund served as a private in company K of the 141st Penn. Regiment. He was once severely wounded.
Father with the help of the next younger sons managed the farm while they were in service. In 1867, father, Dorson, Edmund and wife Anna, left for the west, father coming at once to Black Hawk Co., Iowa.
Mother's parents Joseph and Mary Whiteley, came from Saddleworth, England to Philadelphia not long after their marriage in 1828. They did not stay there long but soon moved to a farm in Elkland twp., Sullivan Co. Pa. They lived there until 1875 where they rented the farm to their younger son, William, and moved to the village of Forksville. Grandfather was what Cousin Sophia termed, "a Country Gentleman" in appearance. Our picture we have of him shows him dressed in a velvet trimmed black frock coat and black satin vest. He never forgot the fact that he came from good old England. Grandmother was tiny and retiring in manner. I well remember the lovely back lace cap she always wore.
These two were the parents of six children, four girls and two boys. Ann, the oldest, was born before they left England. Mother, next to the youngest child, was born May 7, 1849. Being so much younger than her two older sisters, their children were more like brothers and sisters then nephews and nieces. Ann married John Wright and they were the parents of seven. John, the older brother, had a number of children. Will never married. He fought in the Civil War and must have been only seventeen when he enlisted, for his discharge papers show he enlisted Oct. 18, '61 and was discharged Oct. 1864, at the age of twenty. We have the knapsack he carried all thru the war and it contains many letters, pictures etc. of interest. Paper secession money is enclosed in one letter he wrote to mother. He told of hard fighting around Richmond. For St. Valentine's Day 1863 he sent a Soldier's Valentine Packet. An envelope filled with tax receipts for the years after his return home shows he paid yearly amounts of 75 cents, $1.00, $1.50 etc., for the 259 acre farm he managed for grandfather. The farm originally contained but 100 acres.
Mother's youngest sister, Mary, didn't marry until after the death of her parents, grandfather's in 1886 and grandmother's in 1888. Aunt Mary and grandfather were devoted to each other. She was gifted in many ways: playing the organ for the church choir and singing school, acting as the village milliner etc. She married Edmund Suell, 1893, they built a fine new house, furnishing much of it with the four-poster beds, parlor pipe organ and other pieces brought from England so many years before. Aunt Mary died in 1914.
To return to father and mother: we have a letter mother wrote father March 6l '67. In it she says, "Thank you again for my ring. I shall always wear it to remind me of the dear friend who gave it." She asked it he were getting homesick and if he would like to be there to go to singing school and help with sugar making. June 26, '67 Father -------Iowa, "My Kind and Best Friend Marth.
I do feel, Marth, that I have your prayers and hope you may ever remember me as one who prays for your welfare. It seems so much different here than it is there. There does not seem to be that feeling in Christians that there should be. They have the form but the Spirit is not there."
Later he tells of the Waterloo and Marshalltown baseball clubs having a matched. game. One side dressed in red with white stockings and the other in white. Waterloo was beaten. He speaks of the river being very high, but that they were going for a boat ride that afternoon and wished she might have been there to go along.
In a letter written to father Dec. 12, '69 mother speaks of her school, "28 makes a nice school, nearly all large. I shall be so happy if they like me as well when school is out as they appear to now."
In another letter mother tells of an exhibition being given at the school house in which she took part in a piece entitled, "The Deaf Lovers". It must have been very funny, but she wrote, "Your father thought it was too much like the theatre."
In father's letters he mentions often the beautiful prairie land so different from the mountains of Pa. His most intimate friends seem to have been Tom and Stephen Hicks. He bought land in Lincoln Twp. less than one mile from William Hicks. brother of the two. It was to this farm he bought his 21 year old bride, Martha Whiteley. They were married Mar. 9, 1871 and came west at once. We can just imagine how new and strange everything was to the young bride. she had to learn to cook for hungry hired men and keep house without the comforts she had been used. to. Father's account book shows that even that first summer butter was made and sold, the price received being 18 and 20 cents per pound, potatoes also were listed as 30 cents per bushel.
In less than two years after their marriage I cam along, Dec. 5, 1872. In those days that was a busy time of year. That day threshers were there to cook for and the regular help available, a 14 year old neighbor girl, Mary Wyatt. She proved a treasure, however, and was in and out of the house until her marriage to Alex Rait. Her father had married a second time and she preferred our house to the one the stepmother made for the children. she taught school and used to come to us in vacations. All thru the years she and later her daughters, have been among our cherished friends.
In those first few years of marriage spent on the Lincoln Twp. farm many relatives and near friends from the East came to visit us. Some stayed only a few days, others weeks, and still others months.
Those of father's family still living in Pa. came west in April '73, grandfather, grandmother, the three daughters, Maggie, Ermina and Rebecca and the two youngest sons, Wilson and Salathial. They did not stay with us long but went on to Minn. to buy a large farm two miles south of what is now Rushmore. After a few years a railroad was put thru from Worthington to Sioux Falls and Rushmore, ten miles from Worthington, was founded. After farming a few years grandfather built a cozy home there and they lived there the rest of their lives. Worthington was quite a town even then and the children and grandchildren as they finished junior high would go there to finish high school. It was while attending school there that Wilson, next to the youngest of the Bedford boys was drowned while skating across the lake, Dec. '74. This being the first death in the family and coming so soon after their moving west was all the more tragic it seemed.
A few years after this Uncle John and Aunt Sally McGarty came west and stayed with us some time before buying a small farm midway between our place and Hudson. Uncle John had tuberculosis and did not live long, dying in 1885. A comfortable house had been built in Hudson before his death. Here Aunt Sally as she was called by all, lived the remainder of her life. She married Daniel Watters and was mother to the younger children of his large family, a few years after Uncle John's passing.
Feb. 21, 1876 mother's brother-in-law Will Marsden wrote of an accidental death of his brother, Will. It was after grandfathers had moved to Forksville and he was living alone while working the home farm. It seemed he was instantly killed when a tree he was chopping down fell upon him. He was scheduled to discuss the subject, "Resolved that the coming Centennial Exhibition will be a great benefit to the U.S." at a gathering at the school house that night and when he did not appear all felt worried but did not go to his house till after the meeting. Altho seven of the party went to the woods to look for him when they did not find him at home, his body was not found till the next morning. Aunt Mary and grandfather stayed at the place all night, poor grandmother was at home alone, not knowing what had happened to all of them. At the funeral, which was very large, 30 soldiers, commanded by a captain, were in attendance.
Grandfather had instructed Will Marsden to tell Dan and Martha he wished them to come back and take over the farm. To quote: "It is their wish that if you can possible sell or dispose of your property where you are, they would like you to do so and come and buy the old homestead, where they are satisfied you can get along and make money a great deal easier than you do where you are, altho not quite so fast. The original homestead contains 100 acres and the whole estate 259 acres."
Mother must have answered that they could not take over the farm for a year or more for in March of that year Aunt Mary wrote they had secured a man and his wife to run the farm for a year which would give more time for them to dispose of their Iowa farm and come back east to live. Events show that father did not dispose of his Iowa farm and go east to live.
In 1878 father's brother Alfred, who had graduated in medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. and taken post graduate work in Germany, came west and decided to locate in Reinbeck, Iowa. He married Jennie Baker of Waterloo, a lovely young woman unused to life in a country town. A few months after their marriage that dread disease, black diphtheria, became prevalent and many Reinbeck children died of it. Aunt Jennie contracted the disease and in spite of everything that could be done, died in a few days. Her death after but six months of married life, was a great shock to all, especially to Uncle Alf and 'twas given as the reason for his giving up the practise of medicine not long afterward. It was about this time that father nearly died from the effects of a broken ankle. "Twas election day and he was riding home on his favorite horse when it stepped in a hole and fell upon father's leg, breaking it at the ankle. It was a compound fracture and as always, the injury began to bleed in a few days. A consultation of doctors decided the only remedy was to amputate the limb. Father would not consent to such drastic measures, and "twas well he did not, for he recovered eventually, tho always some what lame after that. This accident occurred about the time of brother Lyman's birth, I think.
Soon after March 1st '81, father, mother, Josephine, or Josie, as she was then called, and I went East to visit the folks. Josie was six and I was eight years old at the time. I remember a few things about the trip. The two days ride on the train was quite an adventure, tho not as comfortable as a similar ride today, no pullman or observation car then, but we were too excited to sleep much and were glad when we reached Uncle Will Marsden's home in Towanda. We stayed there for a few days and had a lot of fun with the cousins of about our age. Their house was on a hillside and we could slide down hill onto their back porch. Soon we went on to Forksville to visit grandfather Whiteley and Aunt Mary, also Aunt Ann Wright and family. Uncle John's family lived in the country, as did most of father's relatives. After a few weeks stay we started for home, stopping for a few day in Chicago to visit Uncle Tom and Aunt Mary Hicks, as we always called them. The gas lights, horse drawn street cars and other city improvements were new to us and wonderful. We each had our picture taken, and those of father and mother were the best we ever had of them. Before we left for the east it had been a very mild winter, but on our return home we found deep snow and drifts so high we rode over fences and had to detour many places in fields. We found the folks had been burning corn in the hard-coal burner because of the shortage of coal. Uncle John and Aunt Sally and Mary Wyatt kept house during our absence and all had gone well. Brother Willie was but a few months old at the time.
In March 1886 mother went east to help care for her father who was very ill. Carleton accompanied her. In her letters home she was anxious about the children being out nights to "practice for the exhibition". she enjoyed the children's letters. "Even Willie's was appreciated. Carleton does all the chores for grandma. Father has been more comfortable, but he grows weaker day by day. He likes to have me wait on him, and I help him altogether when he gets up, which is about every hour day and night".
Grandfather must have died soon after her return home. The entire estate was left to Aunt Mary.
During these years of our childhood there were a few dull moments. In addition to the helpers kept to run the farm, a cousin or two from the east often were members of the family. Stanton Warburton, a distant cousin, spent some time with us before going west to Tacoma, Wash. He prospered and year later was State Senator. Sister Besse and Lloyd on their wedding journey visited them on their beautiful home.
Two of mother's nephews, George Marsden and Joe Whiteley, spent some months with us. Joe brought his bride, Ada, with him and later they went on to live in West Plains, Mo. where Ada's parents lived at the time.
George was quite a musician and we loved to hear him play on our parlor organ. He went into business with Joe in West Plains and all these years they have lived there. John Marsden too came to visit us, but not until we were living near Hudson. Being town boys these nephews knew nothing of farm life and it seemed strange to us to see father patiently showing them how to hitch up a team or milk a cow. They or we children never learned any bad words or habits from the hired men for father never tolerated such men around the place. Red letter days for us children were when Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom Hicks would visit us. Born and raised in Chicago, Aunt Mary's pretty clothes and charming ways appealed to all. She would always sing and play for us and I can just hear father saying, "Mary sing, 'the Cows are in the Clover'" and she would always do as he asked
We four older children began our schooling in what is termed "The Little Red Schoolhouse", the first one was one and one half miles from our home, and was typical of those first ones built in the mid west. Having no basement, storm windows or furnace they were cold in all parts of the room except next to the pot-bellied stove, which was usually redhot in places. We kept on our overshoes in winter. I remember years later when I taught a couple of terms in that same building it was just the same. However we had some excellent teachers there. Ella Nichols was my first. She, Emma Hunt and Clara Jackson all came from Waterloo, were well educated and interested in their work with children. During the winter months when the big boys attended school, men teachers sometimes were hired. A few years later a schoolhouse was built one half mile south of our home, and we attended school there until we moved to Waterloo in 1887. church services and Sunday School were held in these buildings. A Congregational preacher coming from Reinbeck, Sunday afternoons.
Joe Maehrlein had been father's "right hand man" for three or four year when he decided to rent the farm to him and move to Waterloo, for those times father had one of the best equipped farms in the country. One whole section could be farmed with but five acres untillable. It had quite a modern house for those days, and in addition a smaller house for hired help was built nearby.
The sale of livestock and equipment was an all-day affair and I well remember the days spent in preparing the lunch to be served out doors and in. A barrel of donuts and cookies, a washboiler full of chicken and sandwiches by the hundred.
Before March 1st we moved to 4th and Allen St. Waterloo. We children at once entered school, I in the 9th grade. We found that our country schooling had prepared us to enter grades with those of our own age or older.
For a number of months prior to this, father's brothers, Edmund, Alfred and Lyman had been writing from Calif. urging him to come west and invest with them in real estate they had bought and were dividing up into town lots for a town, later named North Ontario. So in early spring father decided to go out and look over the situation. Grandfather Bedford went along to investigate the place for Uncles Dorson and Salathial. Father was there all summer and had charge of the Mexicans and others, clearing the land of cactus and sage brush. Uncles Alfred and Lyman were located in San Bernardino and did not give all their time to the project as did Uncle Edmund. Father stayed with him and Aunt Anna part of the time. Before he returned home in August the contract had been let for the building of a large hotel, a brick block planned, and lots were being sold. Two lots were given to the Presbyterians who planned to build a church there. The hotel was named Magnolia Villa and the town, North Ontario.
Mother and we children were kept busy that summer, for we had a garden and fruit to care for, in addition to caring for a cow and Old Fred, the family horse that had been with us from the beginning. He was almost as small as a pony, pure white and so gentle even the smallest child was safe on his back. If one fell off he stopped and waited for him to climb back on. Needless to say a bevy of neighboring children were waiting to ride each day. In those days living was far different than now, no electricity with its many labor saving devices, no neighborhood store with shelves laden with canned food and bakery goods, no street cars or autos for transportation, not even bicycles for us children to ride, still we enjoyed life to the full. There was Sunday School picnics held at Rounds Park on the Cedar, games of baseball in a nearby pasture and most thrilling of all the circus, then, mass entertainment of America. In those days a huge parade was held in the morning, headed by a big brass band, crimson wagons, clowns, camels, elephants and other strange animals paraded before our eager eyes. We were satisfied even if denied attendance at the afternoon or evening performance.
To quote from a letter mother wrote to father May 12 of that summer: "Clara and Josie are both taking music lessons. Josie is doing nicely, we will be surprised if some time she is the best player. She is going to be a good scholar too, and is a dear, merry little girl. Lyman is the boy for business. He teases for something all the time, a pig, calf, chickens or something that will make money. He has a new scheme every day, am afraid we will never make a preacher of him."
Many of our Hudson friends visited us that summer, Etta Shaffner and Hattie Brandhorst among the rest. In July cousins Emma Wright Smith and Sophia Marsden came from the east. They and mother were busy much of the time making a layette for the baby expected in the fall. It was the warmest summer Iowa had had in years and the cousins would pin up wet towels before open windows to cool the air. Electric fans of course were unheard of then. Sophia, a graduate nurse, was a beautiful young woman then so enthusiastic about her work. I recall her telling of a patient whose dainty night garments and under things all were of silk (something unheard of by most people then).
Father returned home in early fall and was with mother Oct. 23, when Martha Elizabeth (Betty for short) was born. Judging from a photo taken while she still wore the long dresses then in vogue, Betty, or Besse, was the prettiest of all mother's babies.
Father planned to return to Calif. as soon as possible and to take mother the baby and Willie with him, for mother had said she would not think of moving there until she had looked the place over. Before long the letters from Uncle Edmund were not so glowing as before. Dec. 17 he wrote telling of terrible storms, the orange crop was ruined, 15 houses nearby in Ontario were blown down, 5 hotels destroyed, as was all of Cucamonga. He concluded, "We escaped very light compared with the rest, but sales for the present was stopped of course." Dec. 22 he again wrote of a storm that did more damage than the first. He said, "It knocked the bottom out of my plans and am now ready to do the best we can. Shall make every effort to save ourselves." Fortunately father had risked only the proceeds of the farm sale, so did not stand to lose everything should the venture fail.
Soon after the holidays, 1888, grandfather Bedford came for us four older children. We were to spend the winter in Rushmore while father, mother and the two younger children were in Calif. Scarcely were we started when one of our mid-west blizzards was upon us. We got as far as Spirit Lake when the train was held up by great snow drifts. We and a few other passengers secured sleighs and rode from there to Worthington, 30 miles away. 'Twas intensely cold and we stopped at a shack to get warm. The only stove was a two burner affair with no oven and the woman had only twisted hay to burn for fuel. Needless to say she was kept busy feeding the stove. she invited us to stay for lunch but we were soon on our way again. Reaching Worthington we found the train to Rushmore snow bound also. Grandfather took us children to the home of Rev. Louis, where we stayed for a number of days. Tho only 12 miles from Rushmore roads to Worthington were often blocked for days, both by rail and sled.
On reaching Rushmore we were welcomed by grandmother, Uncle Dan and aunt Emma Jordan and their year old daughter, Winnifred. so our coming meant there were to be nine in the family for the next few months, but as aunt Nina wrote recently when asked about it, "We got along just fine and had lots of fun, sledding, popping corn etc." Almost at once we entered school. The school house was nearby, but old and so poorly heated we were often sent home for the day. among other subjects I wished to study Algebra but the teacher could not teach that so Aunt Nina coached me in it. That was a severe winter and storms kept us indoors days at a time. One best remembered was the blizzard of Jan. '88 which to this day is referred to as the worst ever in the U.S. It struck in late afternoon and at once sounded like a freight train going by. In a few moments 'twas pitch dark, Uncle Dan managed to get home from the store, guided by trees along the way. We realized 'twas a bad storm but not until morning did we know the worst. The mother of our schoolmate's took a lantern to go to meet her husband coming from town, the light was blown out, she became confused and wandered on to the prairie and was found frozen to death next morning. 'Twas 40 below zero when men went to aid those snow bound. The tragic death of this woman was a great shock to all of us schoolmates.
These few months in grandfather's house made a lasting impression on all of us. Each evening a portion of scripture was read, followed by family prayers. Sunday was a day of rest, only necessary duties being done then. Saturday grandmother and Aunt Nina would spend all morning baking bread, pie, cake and often a big pot of baked beans so that little cooking need be done on the Sabbath. Carl and Lyman were told to blacken their shoes the night before. Weather permitting all went to Sunday School and church in the morning, the afternoon to be spent quietly reading etc. At home we went to the church services each Sunday morning but were allowed to play in the afternoon, however, Uncle Salathial and family usually spent Sunday afternoons with us and the cousins, Bess, Mabel and Clayton were full of fun. Uncle Lath and Aunt Alida both sang in the choir, taught classes in S.S. etc. We were always welcome in their home which was then in an apartment over his general store. Aunt Maggie McChord lived a few miles in the country and we all visited them once at least. We also spent a few days with Uncle Dorson and family who lived near Jackson, Fred the oldest child was just Carl's age.
Mother wrote us at least weekly all those weeks we were in Rushmore, but as few letters were saved cannot write much of their experience, do remember hearing her say more than once that she never was warm all those weeks they lived in the new hotel, Magnolia Villa, like other hotels in Calif. then it was heated by stoves and fire places only. since the folks planned to be away only a few months we were back in Waterloo, in early spring. The Calif. venture not proving a success they decided to remain in Iowa. A house on W. 2nd St. was rented and we four children enrolled in the classes we were in before Christmas. When summer vacation came the boys were restless and Carl spent a few weeks in the country. Father too was tiring of nothing to do so he purchased the Ward farm near Hudson and planned to move there the coming spring. Early in '89 all but myself left for the new house less than one mile west of Hudson. I stayed on to finish my year in H.S. Maude Humphrey, a classmate from Eagle Center, wished me to room with her at the home of her uncle, Jake Humphrey, on Bluff St. Shall always remember with pleasure the stay in their house. Ida Ayer, a daughter, was housekeeper, and so lovely. Instead of finishing H.S. entered I.S.N.S., or Normal as I.S.T.C. was then called. In the fall Etta Shaffner was my roommate for the fall and winter terms, and in the spring I remained at home to help with the housework as mother was again "Expecting". I might mention that at no time did mother mention the coming ordeal either then or before Besse was born. How times change! Dear little Helen Dorothy came to us April 25th. What a darling she was and so short a time she was with us. Seven beautiful years! She died Sept. 30, 1897.
Since I could not get the schedule I wished at Teacher's College the fall of 1890 I applied for and was elected to teach at the Hicks school where years before I had first entered school, With less than a dozen pupils the work was easy, tho making fires some mornings during the winter term was not an enjoyable experience. Mabel Hicks and Martha Taylor were two exceptionally bright pupils, I remember.
Returning to T.C., Maude Humphrey and I roomed together again, this time at the Chas. Bley home. Both of us graduated the spring of '94. Looking back over the years I considered it a privilege to have graduated under the regime of Pres. Seerley, that grand old man who for forty-two years, guided the reins of T.C. and to have had such instructors as Profs. D.S. Wright, M.W. Bartlett, Abbott C. Page, L.W. Parish, Emma M. Ridley, and others. When the 1894 class observed its 50th anniversary in June of '44, 19 of our large class met at the Commons for dinner and a program. Each of us received a 50 year gold medal from Pres. Malcolm Price. At that time seven of the 1894 faculty were still living.
May 25, 1893 was the 50th wedding anniversary of grandfather and grandmother Bedford's marriage. They decided to celebrate the event even though a number of the children had so recently moved to Calif. Of the nine living sons and daughters, uncles Edmund, Alfred and Lyman and Aunt Ermina lived in Calif., Uncles Salathial and Dorson and Aunt Maggie lived in Minn. and father and Aunt Rebecca in Iowa. Thus 'this seen that father, who in the early 70's lived farthest west, now in the 90's, lived farthest east. All but Aunt Ermina and family were able to attend the Golden Wedding. She wrote recently that she was all ready to come when Ramona, the second daughter, was taken very ill. 'Twas the only time all seven of us children, father and mother went together on a journey by train. When all gathered for the event there were 50 or more, including Uncle Dan and Aunt Sally Watters. 'Twas a very warm day, I remember, so the porch and yard could be used for the overflow of children and all. The only grandchild married at that time was Lulu Rivers, Uncle Edmund's daughter, she came and brought her 3 year old son, Henry. Each of the grandchildren was given a Sterling Silver teaspoon, Lily of the Valley pattern, as a souvenir of the occasion. Of the older generation of that time, only Aunt Ermina Jordan survives. She will be 90 years old this May 4, 1950. she is still young and active in appearance, and writes us very newsy letters every few months.
Those ten years spent on the Hudson farm were busy ones for the entire family, tho I was there only week-ends and vacations. Father and the boys, occasionally aided by hired help, worked the large farm and made it pay dividends. Compared with now, prices received for stock and grain would seem very small, but the land increased in value each year, and a dollar would purchase more than twice the amount today's dollar will buy. As each of the children finished the Hudson school, he or she went for further study to T.C., all but Besse, who chose Grinnell College after finishing H.S. in Waterloo. Carl and Lyman had two years at T.C. before staying out to enter banks. Josie, or Jo, as we shall now call her, had a few terms at T.C. before going to Chicago to take work at the Art Institute. She had shown talent in that direction for years, and the many beautiful pictures in oil, pastel and water-color testify to her ability as an artist. she stayed with Uncle Tom and Aunt Mary Hicks while in Chicago.
Carl's bank work was done in Hudson, where he was cashier of Hudson's Saving's bank for 22 years. After moving to Calif. he was in the Insurance business, in Alhambra. He died of a hear attack in Oct. 1943.
Bankers in country towns such as Hudson deserve much credit, for they are called upon to serve in many capacities outside the province of true banking. Down thru the years Carl was even willing and ready to do more than his share for the community's welfare.
Lyman received his first banking experience in 1897 under John Wilson of the Bank of Reinbeck. There only a bookkeeper, he decided he needed further education. Graduating from S.U.I. in 1904 he re-entered the banking business at the Black Hawk Nat'l Bank , Waterloo, remaining there until he went to Calif. as cashier of the Citizen's Bank of Corona in 1913. In 1922 he was elected president of the First Nat'l Bank of Alhambra which position he held until it was purchased by the Bank of America in 1932. He was Vice Pres. of this bank until his retirement. Forty years in the banking business.
Will, too, chose banking for his life work, His first bank job was with the Adrian State Bank where he remained four years. Returning to Iowa he was with the Cedar Falls Nat'l Bank for eleven years as cashier. In 1916 he was made cashier of the Janesville Savings Bank, staying there until he became cashier of the First Nat'l Bank of Alhambra in 1920. After its purchase by the Bank of America he was manager of the B. of A. Nat'l Trust and Savings Ass'n. On retiring in 1948 he was presented with a diamond studded button in appreciation of 25 years of service in California banks.
Sister Besse was less than two years old when the folds moved to the Hudson farm in 1889. she and Helen Dorothy, born the following year, were inseparable companions never a quarrel between them. Soon Besse was of school age and entered the Primary grade at Hudson, being the only one of the children to go thru the grades and enter the H.S. there. The year 1903 and '04 she spent in the Cedar Falls H.S., staying with us at 221 Franklin St. until we began building our new home there in March 1904. Brother Carl was married to Nelle Loonan in July of that year so mother, Lyman and Besse moved to Waterloo and Carl and Nelle lived in the Hudson home. Besse graduated from the West Waterloo H.S. and went on to finish her education at Grinnell College. There she took a special Music course and was gifted then as now with a rare soprano voice. she took the part of Puck in "Mid Summer Nights Dream" for which she received many compliments.
After graduating from T.S. in 1894 I was elected to the principalship of the Rushmore Minn. schools and for two years enjoyed teaching in that village where twice before I had lived for a few months. At that time Minn. schools were superior to those of Iowa in many ways. All H.S. to be accredited were required to give examinations in subjects whose questions were sent out and examined by the State School Board, so even the small schools graduates were eligible for University and college. During those Christian home in every respect. A bank had just been added to Uncle Lath's other enterprises, Father was made president of it and Uncle cashier. He was then a leading figure in town, county and state affairs, becoming State Senator a few years later, 1906- '11.
Early in 1897, father's health failing, and the three brothers having decided to be other than farmers, the folks decided to rent the farm and move to Hudson. The summer was spent in building a fine new home there. Scarcely were we settled there when sister Helen became very ill with what seemed to be indigestion. She had a high fever but little pain. The third day she became suddenly worse, had a convulsion and died almost immediately. An autopsy showed she died of a ruptured appendix, the unheard of in one of her age. It was a great shock to all of us. Tho the youngest and pet of the family she was unspoiled and was as Aunt Mary Hicks wrote, "A little genteel lady."
Father's health continued to decline and Helen's death seemed to aggravate his trouble. Years before while helping to put up hay, the hayfork fell, striking father on the temple. It was not considered a serious injury at the time but latter doctors thought this was the cause of his fatal illness. His death came quite suddenly May 1st, 1899 at the age of 54. Just in his prime. He had a host of friends, and no enemies. To quote from the Waterloo Courier, "He was a kind husband, a loving father and true friend, never weary in well doing. In fact his life was made up of little deeds of kindness for his friends and neighbors."
Tho only 54 father had experienced many changes in educational facilities modes of travel, improvements in farming methods etc., could he have lived another generation he would have noted still more wonderful improvements: the fringed top phayton replaced by an up-to-date auto, the corn planter and plough propelled by a tractor and electricity utilized for heating, lighting and the motive power for our many household appliances. Most wonderful of all the invention of the airplane, the radio, the movies and television.
Mother bore bravely father's passing but we realized his going so suddenly was a shocking blow. Father had always been there to consult and plan with, but as ever she took up life as 'twas meted out and continued to make a home for all of us to come back to as one by one each married and had a family of his own.
The home she built at 214 South St., Waterloo was spacious and beautifully furnished and a warm welcome was always given relatives and friends. Lyman and Belle were with her here until each married. Interest in church and its activities occupied much of her leisure, tho she did her part as a member of the Waterloo Woman's Club whenever called upon to do so.