Friday, April 24, 2009

Methodist Church Observes 100th Year

The Seymour Herald - 22 December 1955
By Susie R. Sidles
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  The year 1955 is the centennial year of the Jerome Methodist church.  It was observed at an all-day meeting September 18, 1955. At that time several papers gave a brief history. So many have asked questions and discussed the past 100 years that I have tried to collect the history as far as possible.
  The first history there is any record of was collected by Ettie Sidles, now Mrs. J. E. Condra, for an Old People's Day that was observed in 1905. The pastor of the church was Rev. George Blagg. For this occasion the local people had part in the program and Rev. Springer, the foster father of Rev. Blagg, gave the address. His text was Colossians 8-11, "Christ is all and in All."
  At that time a number of people were living that remembered the building of the first church and Miss Sidles collected from the the following history in part.
  In 1855 the Jerome Methodist church was organized. The first meetings were held at the George Jackson home about five miles west of Jerome. The people remember the circuit rider's name being Allender and the conference journal gave the name Richard Ballender as entering the conference in 1854. It is presumed it was he.
First Conference Held
  The first conference session was held in Iowa City in 1844, so it was only 10 years later the Jerome circuit was organized. This circuit composed the greater part of Appanoose county.
  After holding services at Jackson's for about one year they then came to the home of William McClain. The farm for many years was owned by Jesse Kinney and is now the C. E. Ervin farm.
  They continued holding services then until after the school house was built in 1857.
  In the fall of 1870, they commenced to build a church. The work was mostly donated. Men took their teams and wagons and went into Missouri and cut the lumber and hauled it to the mill and from the mill, home. They would often be gone a week and sometimes two before they returned home. The heavy lumber was gotten in this way and the flooring, siding, and shingles were hauled from Albia. Rev. J. M. Loughridge was the pastor. He was a local minister and lived northwest of Jerome on a farm. 
Dedication Was in 1871
  James Hagan and Allan Taylor superintended the carpenter work. Mrs. Hagan and Mrs. Calvin Jackson boarded the workmen without cost. In October 1871 the building was dedicated. The land for the church was deeded to them by Peter and Susan Sidles. It was a gift and the deed was recorded June 23, 1871.
  Older people telling of this dedication said it was a great day and the house was crowded.
  Women of the community had donated rags and Mrs. Jackson had woven carpets for the aisles.
  The dedicatory address was given by a Rev. Jenico and his text was taken from John 6-12, "Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost."
  The charter members of the church were Jim Kinney and wife; George Jackson and wife; Delila Jackson, mother of Calvin Jackson; and a woman known as Grandma Thomas.
  The trustees were Calvin E. Jackson, James Hagan, John Pendergast, Peter Sidles and James M. Kinney.
Organ Purchased in 1886
  There was no musical instrument until 1886 when an organ was purchased. Mamie Kinney was the first organist and continued until her death in 1893. This organ lasted until the present piano was purchased in 1903.
  Many remember several years later the lovely music furnished by Ova Kinney, his sister Maude, and John Shelton and daughter, ...., who ran a store in Jerome ... years.  Effie Kinney, now Mrs. Effie Houx of Cedar Rapids, accompanied them and was the organist for many years.
  J. W. Pendergast was Sunday school superintendent many years in the old church. But there were others, Jane Barton, D. D. Wilson, Emma Hagan, now Mrs. Ogle, and Ettie Sidles, now Mrs. Condra, and no doubt others.
  One person who will always be remembered as a part of the old church was the janitor, W. R. Morrison, a well known character who built fires, rang the bell, put oil in the lamps, and was present for all occasions for many years.  He came to the community with Peter Sidles and James Hagan from Ohio in 1854 and remained here until his death May 22, 1918.
  During a great revival, under the leadership of Rev. J. H. Krenmyre in 1909, the church grew and the town had grown because of the mining industry and many people began to want a new church.
Old Church Sold
  On May 6, 1911, the old church was sold by the well-known auctioneer Ben Wells, who donated his services, and it was purchased by Henry Purdy for $200. It was moved down into the town and for many years was used for a store building, but was recently sold to the county and used for county machinery.
  As a farewell service in the old church a program was given and Mrs. Ettie Condra gave a brief history of the church again and wrote the following poem:

          And now old church, we say good bye,
          Your doors to us will close,
          You've stood the test for many years,
          Like members of your fold.

          You've ever had a welcome hand,
          To rich and poor alike.
          You've done your best for two score years,
          To lead men to the light.

          You've been the scene of sad events,
          Held many a breaking heart.
          They've gathered here from far and near,
          When pierced by trouble's dart.

          You've been the scene of joy supreme,
          When souls so tired of sin,
          Found to their greatest happiness,
          That Christ could them redeem.

          Many good times we've had together,
          Both in fair and stormy weather.
          But at last we say farewell,
          We can hear the parting knell.

          Nothing earthly can abide,
          There must come an even tide.
          And to all sometime, some day,
          Comes the parting of the way.

          So it has come the time to go,
          We feel sad that it is so.
          But thy day and work is o'er,
          And 'tis best to close the door.

          And as we new duties take,
          And our new acquaintance make,
          May it be to us most dear,
          Dearer with each coming year.

          May we to it believe true,
          Doing all that we can do.
          Knowing what is done in love,
          Will be done for Him above.

          Done for Him whose watchful eye,
          Guides the earth, the seas, the sky.
          And who'll lead us by the hand,
          Till we reach the golden strand.

          And when we assemble there,
          And in wonder view the scenes so fair,
          Scenes ever new as we behold,
          For in heaven things will n'er grow old.

  The building committee for the new church was Joe Barton, chairman; David Loofburrow, treasurer, and L. J. Norris.  The local minister was James Priestnal. Since there was no fund to start with these men worked very hard and spent many hours collecting the money.  Much credit was given David Loofburrow and Joe Barton for hours spent collecting the funds. D. D. Wilson was the carpenter and was known as a perfect workman. It was dedicated Dec. 17, 1911. The seating capacity was 300 and the house was filled. Rev. E. J. Shook, the district superintendent, preached, using as his text I Chronicles 17-12, "He shall build me an house and I shall establish his throne forever." The local minister at the time was Rev. J. H. Krenmyre.
Church Remembered in Will
  At the death of Anna Gorman in 1937 her will continued from the will of Mrs. Maria Pendergast left half their possessions to the Jerome Methodist church. Their home in Jerome was soon sold and a small sum of cash was collected and there was much enthusiasm that a kitchen and social room be built on the church.  It had been talked of at the time the church was built but there were not sufficient funds.
  On June 27, 1939, the church people and trustees met to discuss plans for the addition. Several who were trustees did not care to serve as a building committee and they finally organized with J. W. Workman, G. D. Mincks, L. J. McElvain, Mrs. G. D. Mincks and Susie Sidles. The pastor was Rev. J. E. McClellan.
  The contract was let Aug. 7, 1939, to Claude Lepper and Roy Packard of Numa. Except the money from the Gorman fund the money was raised by small subscriptions from many people, the largest being from Mr. and Mrs. Harry Stark. Much labor was donated.
  The dedication was Nov. 19, 1939. Dr. Levi P. Goodman, then district superintendent, preached, using as his text Ezekiel 47-9. The basket dinner at noon in the new room was attended by 200 people. Two former pastors, Rev. J. A. Wilson and Rev. S. P. Trostle, were present. It was dedicated in memory of Mrs. Maria Pendergast and Anna Gorman.
  Another occasion when church history was read and is remembered by many as a "big day" was when the 65th anniversary was observed in 1920. The Rev. S. P. Trostle was the pastor, Rev. W. H. Perdew, district superintendent, preached the sermon, and the Rev. F. V. Getty, pastor at Exline, had part in the service.
  Since there was much need for more Sunday school room and the Gorman estate had been fully settled, there was much talk of extending the old kitchen into the social room and adding a new kitchen.
  In the fall of 1953 the official board met and again chose J. W. Workman as chairman of a building committee with Eugene Glenn and Mrs. Gail Felkner.  Various committees were chosen for different things and Mrs. Joe Beer had a large part in planning the kitchen. Paul McElvain was treasurer.
  The old church was completely renovated and blocks put on the ceiling, walls redecorated, floors sanded and a porch built on the front. Mrs. Charley McGavran, Mrs. W. R. Hefner and Susie Sidles ere in charge of that work. Carl Barbaglia of Mystic was the carpenter and Paul Felkner assisted him much of the time.
  Many hours of labor were donated by men of the church and community. Some donated as much as two weeks labor.  Everything was completed in early January 1954. The church and all additions were dedicated free of debt. 
   The Epworth League was originally organized in 1889. Three years later an Epworth League was organized at Jerome Aug. 14, 1892. W. B. Williams, then of Centerville, came out and organized with 18 members. J. L. Payne, then a merchant here, was made president and Miss Ella Thomas, the late Mrs. George Sidles, was secretary. There has been an Epworth League or MYF with only a few short periods of disbanding through the years. Some of the Epworth League presidents were Emma Ogle, Ettie Sidles, Cadd Hawkins, Susie Sidles, Mrs. Joe Barton and many others.  MYF leaders have been Mrs. A. F. Hawkins, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Felkner, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Mincks and the present sponsor is Peter Sidles.
  People remember the early ladies aid leaders as Mrs. Addison Pendergast, Mrs. George Sidles, Mrs. George Frogge, Mrs. James Hunter, Mrs. G. D. Mincks, Mrs. A. F. Hawkins and many more.
First President
  The first president of the WSCS was the late Miss Kathryn Hawkins, followed by Mrs. James Felkner, who has also served as pianist for many years. Susie Sidles, Mrs. Richard Mincks, Mrs. Charley McGavran, Mrs. Gail Felkner and the present president, Mrs. Paul Felkner.
Methodist Ministers in Jerome, 1886-1953
  [This section on the ministers who served the Jerome Methodist Church in the period 1886-1953 was previously posted to The Jerome Journal on April 21, 2009.]
Sunday School Superintendents
  In spite of many changes the church has carried on for 100 years. Much of its success is due to the faithful Sunday school superintendents and teachers. After the new church was built Mrs. Joe Barton was superintendent. Harry Stark also was superintendent for many years, and the Mrs. G. D. Mincks.
  More recent superintendents have been Paul McElvain and Richard Mincks. Present superintendent is Paul Felkner. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paschal Thomas Butler, 72, 1840-1913

  Paschal T. Butler was born near Scipio, Jennings County, Indiana, December 13, 1840, and died May 15, 1913, aged 72 years, 5 months, 2 days.
  He moved with his parents to Iowa in 1853. He was united in marriage to Lucintha Jane Morlan on August 28, 1862. To them were born ten children, all of whom are living: Wm. Newton of Indianola, Iowa; Elmer E.; Belinda J. Willis; Lafayettee L.; Charles H. of Seymour, Iowa; Jesse E. of Centerville, Iowa; Viola Barton, Jerome, Iowa; Asa R., Seymour, Iowa; Emma E. Hiatt, Moravia, Iowa; Verna May Johnson, Seymour, Iowa.
Paschal Thomas Butler & Lucintha Jane Morlan Butler

  [P. T. and] his young wife settled near Milledgeville in Independence Township, Appanoose County, and in 1865 moved to Lincoln Township where they have resided ever since.  All the children and grandchildren are living and the wife who shared all his labors and was with him in the last moments of his life, survives him.  Deceased was a man of honor, true to his home and every obligation, loved and respected by all his acquaintances and endeared to his loved ones by ties that death cannot break.
  The community feels the loss of a citizen of ... worth and join one bereaved family in its grief for him.  It is not often that a man lives to see his family grow to maturity, married, happy, and he attain the age of three score years and ten, without a death in the family.  But this was the fortunate lot of the deceased. His is the first death in all the family.
  There was a short funeral service held at the late home, conducted by A. F. Clemons yesterday, May 16, at 10 a.m. The funeral proper was conducted by Elder Jones at the Union Church and the body was laid to rest in the Jones Cemetery near by [South Fork Township, Wayne County, Iowa]. A large company of friends of the family accompanied the remains to its last resting place.
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Card of Thanks
  We wish to thank the friends and neighbors for their kindness and assistance at the death and funeral of our husband and father, P. T. Butler, and also for many beautiful flowers.
  -- Mrs. P. T. Butler, W. N. Butler, E. E. Butler, Mrs. John Willis, L. L. Butler, C. H. Butler, J. E. Buter, Mrs. Joe Barton, A. R. Butler, Mrs. Clyde Hyatt, and Mrs. Carl Johnson.
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Paschal T. Butler's Farm in Lincoln Township

Plat Map of Northeastern Lincoln Township 1896
North West Publishing Company

Plat Map of Northeastern Lincoln Township 1908
W. E. Walter & Co., Des Moines, Iowa

Plat Map of Northeastern Lincoln Township 1915
Midland Map Company, Knoxville, Iowa
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  The editor sincerely appreciates the contribution of the above obituary and picture to The Jerome Journal by Leona Patton of Loveland, Colorado. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Viola Butler Barton, 1877-1928

  Mrs. W. J. [Viola Butler] Barton passed away at her home, 628 North Seventh street, Centerville, Iowa, Sunday, December 9th [1928] at 8:45 a.m., after a lingering illness, at the age of 51 years, 8 months and 8 days.
  Mrs. Barton was born April 1, 1877, at Seymour, Iowa. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. T. [Paschal Thomas] Butler.

Viola Butler Barton

  She was united in marriage to W. J. [William Joseph] Barton, March 4, 1897. To this union were born seven children, one having preceded her in death.  She is survived by her husband, W. J. Barton and six children: Mrs. Gail Felkner of Centerville, Bermus Barton of Cheyenne, Wyo., Harlan Barton of Wallace Kansas, Miriam, Willard and Butler Barton of Centerville; also her age mother, Mrs. P. T. Butler [Lucintha Jane Morlan], six brothers, Newton of Indianola, Elmer, Lafe, and Charley of Seymour, Jesse of Des Moines, Asa of Seymour, and three sisters, Mrs. Linda Willis of Seymour, Mrs. Emma Hiatt of Centerville, and Mrs. Verna Johnson of Seymour, and a host of other relatives and friends.  Mrs. Barton was a loving wife and mother, and no service as too great for her to render to her family. Of a retiring nature she sought to make the home life pleasant for her family and also to give assistance in whatever form she could to her neighbors and friends. 
  She united with the Methodist Episcopal church at Jerome many years ago and has lived a consistent christian life and found comfort in her Savior who died for her--and passed away rejoicing in his hope.
  Funeral services were held at the Methodist Church at Jerome, Iowa, Tuesday, December 11, 1928 at 1:30 p.m., conducted by Rev. J. H. Krenmyer.

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  The editor sincerely appeciates the contribution of the above obituary, picture and funeral card to The Jerome Journal by Leona Patton of Loveland, Colorado. 

Obituary: James Z. Barton, 1849-1931

  James Z. Barton, son of Thomas and Ellen Barton, was born in Louisville, Ky., July 1, 1849, and passed away peacefully at the home of his daughter, Mrs. E. E. Butler, Seymour, March 29, 1931, having reached the age of 81 years, 8 months and 29 days.

  When Mr. Barton was about nine years of age he came with his parents to Illinois, where the family lived for a short period of time. During this time his mother was called to her reward.
  During the Civil War days, the family moved to Bloomfield, Iowa, where the deceased grew to manhood. He then moved to St. John, Mo.  On August 28, 1869, he was married to Sarah Jane Allen of Genoa and began home keeping at St. John. To this union six children were born, two sons and four daughters. In 1887, Mr. Barton moved to Jerome, where he followed the carpenter trade for a number of years.  April 19, 1896, his wife was called away in death.  Since the year 1900 he made his home with his daughter, Mrs. E. E. Butler, who tenderly cared for her father during his declining years.
  In early life he united with the United Brethren church. Since taking up his residence in Seymour he was affiliated with the Christian church.  During his long life, he was always actively engaged in the work of the church, always ready to do his part for the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ.
  November 30, 1889, he was made a Mason.  Since then, he stood firmly for the high principles of that ancient order.  He was also an honored member of the Knights of Pythias lodge.
  In death he is survived by one son and four daughters as follows: W. J. Barton of Centerville; Mrs. Anna M. Wilson, of Kansas City, Mo.; Mrs. Emma McCulloch, Des Moines; Mrs. Estella Brattain, Promise City; Mrs. E. E. Butler, Seymour.  One son, Ruben, passed away in 1918.  Mr. Barton is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Also many friends regret his departure.
  Funeral services were held at the Christian church Tuesday afternoon, March 31, 1931.  Many were present to bid farewell to their friend.  After the service, the remains were taken to Jerome and laid beside his wife. Elder G. A. Jeffrey officiated at the church and grave.
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  The editor sincerely appreciates the contribution of this newspaper obituary and picture to The Jerome Journal by Leona Patton of Loveland, Colorado. 

Methodist Ministers in Jerome 1886-1953

Jerome Methodist Church Observes 100th Year

by Susie R. Sidles
The Seymour Herald - 22 December 1955
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  After the first years with circuit riders the ministers were assigned very large circuits and preached a few times a year at each church. For many years young men were assigned to Jerome, Plano, Brazil, and several school houses where services were held. The ministers lived among the people or boarded in some home.
  In 1886, Rev. C. W. Powelson was assigned to this territory and lived on a farm east of town. He served five years, then the limit for any minister to stay.
  In 1892, Rev. Elias Handy was sent to Mystic and served Jerome and other churches. One year he had Paul McBeth as his assistant and another William Shearer. They both boarded at Jerome.
  In 1896, Jerome was assigned to the Cincinnati charge with Rev. George Pool as pastor, but in 1897 Jerome was again with Mystic with Rev. Richard Breeden as pastor in 1898, 1899 and 1900.  Rev. R. Collier served Mystic, Jerome and other points.  In 1901 and 1902, Rev. John Carson; 1903, 1904 and 1905 Rev. George Blagg were pastors.
  In 1906 another change was made and M. F. Butterfield boarded in Jerome and served Jerome, Numa and Simpson Chapel. Before the year was over Jerome again was with Cincinnati and a former Jerome pastor, Rev. Richard Collier, was serving there and the next year C. E. Coggshell.
  After so much changing Jerome decided in 1908 to build a parsonage.  A building was rented and Rev. S. F. Bishop moved in it and served Jerome, Plano and Brazil. He made a great effort to build a parsonage.  Mrs. Bishop planned the building. B. A. Morrison, L. J. Norris and Charley Norris were the building committee.  J. P. Wailes of Plano was the carpenter. It was almost completed when Rev. J. H. Krenmyre was assigned the charge in 1909.  He, with the help of the church women, painted and varnished after his arrival. That fall they built the barn and in 1940 it was torn down and the present garage was built.
  The minister in 1909 was J. H. Krenmyre, in 1910 James Prestnal, in 1911 and 1912 J. H. Krenmyre, 1913 Lacey Moore, 1914 and 1915 G. L. Roper, 1916 J. L. Johnson, 1917 C. R. Young, 1918 S. P. Trostle, 1920 Milford Bristol and student pastors F. V. Gitty, Charles Rowe, 1921 J. C. Austin, 1922 C. H. Boos, 1923 J. F. Barnett, 1924, 1925 B. F. Baker.  Most of these were students or supply pastors and stayed a time and moved on.  The parsonage had not been a solution to the problem for the town deteriorated because of the coal industry closing.  In 1926 Jerome was assigned to Mystic again with J. A. Wilson as pastor andhe remained until 1932. He was followed by J. C. Bruvold in 1933 and 1934, and C. H. Chader in 1935.
  In 1936 Jerome was joined to Promise City and F. B. Harris was the minister for two years, followed by J. E. McClellan in 1938 and 1939. In 1940, 1941, and 1942 H. B. Fay was pastor.
  In 1943 Jerome was again connected with the Mystic charge with Rev. Gonzalez, who had been there since 1938, as pastor. He remained until 1953 and Rev. S. H. Cox moved into the parsonage. It had been rented or used as a home for the janitor for many years. A good deal of work was done to it before the minister moved in.
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  The above is an excerpt from the 1955 article on the history of the Jerome Methodist Church written by Susie R. Sidles for The Seymour Herald.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Obituary: James Kelly, 69, 1860-1930

Waterloo Daily Courier - 22 May 1930
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JAMES KELLY, 69, OF MYSTIC DIES; SHOT SELF IN ABDOMEN
  Independence, IA -- Funeral services for James Kelly, 69, Mystic, Ia., who died Wednesday night at People's hospital as the result of gunshot wounds in the abdomen, self inflected, Thursday awaited arrival of relatives. The body is at the Swan & Leyze undertaking parlors.
  Mr. Kelly was visiting at the home of a daughter, Mrs. George Schaefer, living one mile north of Jesup, at 5:45 pm Wednesday.
  Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kelly, 415 Parker street, Waterloo, are relatives.  Four sons and three daughters survive. No cause is known for the self-destruction.
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  James Kelly was born 20 December 1860 in Knockmarloch, Riccarton, Ayr, Scotland, son of James Kelly and Agnes Reid, immigrated to the USA in 1884, was naturalized in 1896, died 21 May 1930 in Jessup, Buchanan County, Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery, Appanoose County, Iowa. James married (1) 25 July 1881 in Riccarton, Scotland, Mary Reid who was born 27 February 1861, daughter of William Reid and Mary Overend, died 24 September 1902 in Mystic, Appanoose County, Iowa  and buried in the Jerome Cemetery in Appanoose County, Iowa.  James married (2) c1906 Jane Scott who was born c1860 in Scotland, daughter of William Scott and Margaret Semple and immigrated to the USA in 1882. 
  Ten children were born during his first marriage to Mary Reid:  (1) Mary Kelly who was born 20 November 1881 in Scotland, married Charles Wesley Fox (son of Elias Z. Fox and Amanda Hoover), died 27 December 1935, and buried in the Jerome Cemetery; (2) Robert Kelly was born 23 October 1882 in Scotland, married 1 March 1903 Myrtle Lula Morrison (daughter of Lewis Kossuth Morrison and Celestia Elizabeth Crowder), died 16 September 1919 in Mystic, Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in Elgin Cemetery, Mystic, Iowa; (3) William Reed Kelly was born 22 Jun 1884 in Scotland, married Kate Lewis (daughter of Daniel Lewis and Mary Ann Griffith), and died 7 May 1962; (4) Martha Kelly was born 5 March 1886 in Missouri, married 4 November 1904 in Mystic, Iowa, Samuel Oscar Wickline (son of Alonzo Wickline and Mary Whan), died 1 January 1956 in Ottumwa, Wapello County, Iowa; (5) Margaret Kelly was born November 1887, died 22 June 1902, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery; (6) John Kelly was born 25 September 1889 in Brazil, Appanoose County, Iowa, married 30 January 1910 Jennie E. Johnson (daughter of Henry Clark Johnson and Virginia Matilda Strunk), died 5 January 1974 in Mystic, Appanoose County, Iowa; (7) James J. Kelly was born 12 August 1891, married Mary Magdalene Lewis (daughter of Daniel Lewis and Mary Ann Griffith), died 21 July 1929 in Mystic, Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in Highland Cemetery in Mystic, Iowa; (8) Thomas Kelly was born Aug 1896 in Iowa, married Minnie Schafer (daughter of John and Mary Schafer of Winthrop, Iowa), lived in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1930, died 21 July 1956 in Yakima, Washington, and was buried in Winthrop, Iowa; (9) Anna Kelly was born 17 September 1898 in Iowa, married Iver Leonard Blomgren (son of August Blomgren and Hattie Peterson), and died 16 December 1965; and (10) Andrew R. Kelly was born 13 July 1900, married 21 May 1932 Theresa M. Hoerner (daughter of Julius Hoerner), died 13 October 1962, and was buried in Highland Cemetery, Mystic, Appanoose County, Iowa.
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  The editor sincerely appreciates the contribution of this obituary to The Jerome Journal by Susan Kelly Templin of Albia, Iowa.  Additional information taken from her GEDCOM Roots, Branches, Limbs, and Twigs of the Blythe-Kelly Family Tree posted on RootsWeb.com. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lera Dove, 95, Dies After Lingering Illness

Daily Iowegian - 2 August 2007
By Ethel Ira - Numa Correspondent
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  The neighborhood bid goodbye to one of its long-time residents this past week when Lera Dove, 95, died at the Continental Care Center in Seymour after a lingering illness.  Lera andher late husband, Leishman (Red) Dove lived and raised their family on a farmstead on what is now known as 160th Avenue, the gravel road leading from Numa to Highway 2 North for many years, until Red's passing.  This caused Lera to leave the farm and move to Seymour. As her health worsened, she relocated to the Continental Care Center.
  Lera was a devout member of the now-closed Numa Methodist Church, a good neighbor and friend. She leaves a son, Larry (Sonja) Dove of Numa, daughter Sandy (Gary) Banks of Seymour and several grand- and great-grand children. She was laid to rest in the Jerome Cemetery beside her husband. Memorials may be made to the Seymour First Responders or Horizon Special Project and funneled through the Thomas Lange Funeral Home at 1900 S. 18th Street in Centerville.  Our community sympathies are extended to her survivors.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Visiting with Neighbors - 17 March 1995

Daily Iowegian - 17 March 1995
  Several kinds of birds in various locations must think that spring is on its way.  Jean said they have robins in their yard and the blue herons are already nesting. These birds build nests along a scenic route called Bath Road where a river runs close to the road and many trees are growing.
  I will wait for the wrens before I predict springtime.
* * *
  The other day I was listening to the radio and on the farm news was a commercial for a chemical to destroy obnoxious weeds and among them was cockle burrs. Has spraying along the roads eradicated most of them?  I remember when we were kids we were always getting cockle burs and Spanish needles in our stockings.  Dogs, too, would get cockle burrs and if their fur was long it was sometimes necessary to get the scissors and clip the burrs out. 
* * *
  Our Y. W. Study Club is scheduled to meet the first Tuesday of the month but because of the weather, Catherine postponed the meeting until the following Friday.  Tuesday was pretty overhead but the freezing rain of the night before made it treacherous for both driving and walking.  Friday was a beautiful winter day and all of our members were present to celebrate our 50th club year.  Reavis Beer and I were charter members and were happy and thankful that we had kept well enough to attend.
* * *
  I limped in with a throbbing gouty foot and Helen McElvain limped along on a sprained ankle. Helen and Paul, with some of their family, had been visiting the Omaha zoo. Somehow Helen had stepped on a boulder, slipped off and landed in water.  The way Helen told the story she made it sound so funny that we had to laugh rather than give her the proper sympathy. Her ankle was just painful to look at and we hope she will soon be able to be up and around.
  For our meeting, Catherine had all the historian books and pictures on display. It was really amusing to see ourselves as we looked 50 years ago.  I will tell you one thing -- we all wore our hats, matching gloves and high heels.
  When we first organized our club there were a number of clubs in the county and most of us joined the county and state federation of clubs.  Each spring we had a county dinner meeting and three times, our club served as hostess.  (We were all young then and had no fear of taking on that responsibility.)
  One time we worked hard and fixed the gym of the Jerome School for our meeting place.  You will be amused when I tell you what most of the members recalled about that meeting when we met Friday.
  We remembered how lovely all the women were dressed -- hats, gloves, heels -- but our group recalled what a beautiful picture Charlotte Beck made when she came down those stairs.  Although they agree her hat was blue, one person declared there was a touch of yellow someplace in the trimming.  You did not know you made such an impression, did you, Charlotte?
* * *
  What I remembered most vividly about that meeting involved Charlotte, too.  Our state president and another lady drove a considerable distance from their home town to attend this county meeting.  I hate to admit it but right now I cannot remember Lois's last name. It is all the worse because after that meeting she wrote and we exchanged Christmas greetings and letters until her death.  Anyway, Lois and the lady with her had tickets for some special program and left as soon as Lois had completed her business part of the meeting.
  Quite some time later, Lois appeared at the door with a rather sheepish smile. The ladies were off to a flying start to Des Moines.  Lois opened her purse for something and to her chagrin she had the wrong purse. She must have been seated next to Charlotte Beck.  Their purses were identical and Lois had picked up the wrong one. She was rather disgusted with herself but was glad they had not gone any farther.
* * *
  We all had a good time reminiscing and stayed past our regular meeting time.  But we had to make the most of it; we know we will never enjoy another 50th celebration.
* * *
  Recently when we ate dinner in Seymour we were seated at a table with the Wades. Like many other parents, they, too, live a considerable distance from their children. Gary lives in Vermont and Glenda lives in Washington. Gary has his doctor's degree.
  I wondered how many other students I had in junior high would be addressed as "Dr."  I could think of Dr. Wade, Dr. Wells, Dr. Steven Casady, Dr. Mark Wickam, Dr. Mary Morgan and I understood that Donna Niday is working toward that goal.  There are other graduates but I had not had them in class.  If I have forgotten any, I hope someone will remind me.
  Readers are good to share information.  Last week, when I mentioned the comics, I could not be sure which one suffered from the gout and made a wild guess that it might be Jiggs. A reader called to inform me it was the Captain in the comic strip "The Katzenjammer Kids."
  The kids were named Hans and Fritz and were stepping on, hitting or in other ways hurting the Captain's foot that was painful with gout.  I imagine I laughed when the Captain exploded but now I would not blame him if he whacked the kids so hard he could be arrested for child abuse.
* * *
  Elizabeth Sherrard came by Thursday so we could attend a Delta Kappa Gamma meeting but because she is on the review board at the care center we went there first so she could attend to some business. I was glad to go and I took advantage of the opportunity to visit Avis Medland.
  She looked so pretty.  Someone must have just fixed her hair as there was not a hair out of place. She had on a pretty bright top and, as always, had her happy smile.  I was glad to be with her for the short visit but I was sad when I left and thought of the Avis who was always so faithful to atend the meetings of the various organizations to which I and many of her other friends were also members.
* * *
  When I was sitting in the lobby waiting for Elizabeth, a nurse came up and asked if I were Mrs. Cathcart.  A former student, Sheila Bunnel, she is now married and lives with her husband Dan Squires, and four children. She graduated from Indian Hills school of nursing and then completed her education in Ottumwa to become a registered nurse.  I was proud of her. Almost all teachers are pleased when a former student is considerate enough to come up and speak.
* * *
  Sunday we went to a smorgasbord at the Cincinnati Methodist Church and we had to agree that they have good cooks in their church, too.  It looked as if they, too, were going to have a good attendance.
* * *
  "A gossip is a person who creates the smoke in which other people assume there is fire."
---------------------------
Transcribed with permission of the Daily Iowegian.

Richard F. Ponsetto, 1931-1995

   Richard F. Ponsetto was born 30 March 1931 in Jerome, Appanoose County, Iowa, son of Mike Ponsetto and Eleanor Nobile, died 5 February 1995 in Russellville, Pope County, Arkansas, and was buried in Oakland Cemetery in Russellville, Pope County, Arkansas.
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Daily Iowegian - February 1995
--------------------------------
  Richard Ponsetto, 63, of Russellville, Ark., died Sunday, Feb. 5, 1995, at AMI St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Russellville.
  He was a native of Jerome.
  Survivors include two sons, Alan and Gene Ponsetto, both of Russellville; a daughter, Christina Ponsetto of Russellville; a brother, John Ponsetto of Seymour; and a sister, Louise Radwick of Davenport.
  He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty.
  He was a retired branch manager of the Worthen Bank. He most recently served as deacon in the Alliance Church.  He was a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean Conflict.
  Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Alliance Church with the Rev. Paul Northcut officiating.  Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery in Russellville.
  Arrangements were made by the Shinn Funeral Service of Russellville.
--------------------------
  Mildred Dooley Cathcart in her column, Visiting with Neighbors, wrote on 24 February 1995 in the Daily Iowegian:  
  Friends were sorry to hear of the death of another former Jerome resident, Richard Ponsetto, who had lived for a number of years in Arkansas.  His wife, too, died not too long ago with cancer.  Richard was visiting with his brother, John, when we had our first Jerome reunion.  He came for a short time and we were all happy to see him.
  Many of you will remember the Mike Ponsetto family and their children, Peter, Mary Louise, Leon, Jim and Richard.  Now only Mary Louise and John survive.
---------------------------
  SSDI:  Richard F. Ponsetto, born 30 March 1931, died 5 February 1995, SSN issued in Iowa (Before 1951), Last Residence: Russellville, Pope, Arkansas 72801.

Obituary: Alta M. Harsh Seals

Daily Iowegian - 20 January 1995
--------------------------------
  Alta M. Seals, 85, of Boonville, Mo., formerly of Centerville died Thursday, Jan. 19, 1995, at the Colony Garden Nursing Home in Boonville.
  She was born Dec. 30, 1909, in Ringgold County, the daughter of Claude and Edith (Clayton) Harsh. 
  She married Harry (Otis) Seals May 6, 1934, near Exline. He preceded her in death June 12, 1982.
  Survivors include two sons, Richard Seals of Boonville, Mo., and Norman Seals of Aberdeen, Wash.; three grandchildren; and two sisters, Wilma Taylor of Bloomfield and Viola McWilliams of Bettendorf.
  She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and three sisters, Neva Parcel, Ada Harsh and Gladys Parcel.
  She was a cook and housekeeper for a nursing home and a homemaker.  She was a member of the Methodist Church.
  Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Lange Funeral Home.  Burial will be in the Highland Cemetery in Mystic.  An open visitation will be held.
  A memorial to the Jerome Methodist Church has been established and may be left at the funeral home. 
------------------------------
  Mildred Dooley Cathcart in her column, Visiting with Neighbors, wrote on 27 January 1995:
  We were sorry to learn of the death of Alta Seals last week. She and Otis and their sons lived on a farm east of Jerome for several years.  The house had been formerly occupied by Edith and Harry Stickler and now the Byron Felkners own the farm.  Alta became a member of the club and was a faithful member and very seldom missed a meeting.  I remember when she lived east of town, she often made huge, fluffy donuts for part of her club refreshments.
  About two and a half years ago Alta could no longer live alone so her son, Richard, took her to a care center in Boonsville (sic), Mo., to be near him and his family.  Sue worked at the care center so Alta was not among strangers.  When Alta was able to enjoy mail, we would bring a card when we had our monthly meeting and we would write a little note to Alta and we would remember her birthdays and holidays.  She was a kind, caring person and her family and friends will miss her.
  Alta's funeral was not until 3:30 Saturday and then the burial was at Highland Cemetery in Mystic.  I don't think there is any place more dreary and miserable than a cemetery in bad weather.  It can be the coldest place in winter and the hottest in summer.
  Patty and Bert Murphy were at Alta's funeral and I was happy to have a short visit with them. They are a striking looking couple.  Bertie lamented to me that he would be 60 years old on his birthday.  I told him to wait until he is my age and he would think just being 60 was like being a spring chicken. He and Patty have a granddaughter name Rachel, too.  They enjoyed a visit back east and thoroughly enjoyed being let alone with complete charge of the little girl. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Obituary: Margaret (Mag) Vonevich Betts

Daily Iowegian - 14 April 1995
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  Margaret (Mag) Vonevich Betts, 85, of Rockford, Ill., died Tuesday, April 11, 1995.
  She was born Jan. 15, 1910, in Jerome.
  She married Wayne Betts Feb. 14, 1928. He preceded her in death November 1980.
  Survivors include a daughter, Collette Rohm and her husband, John, of Rockford, Ill.; a son, Butch Betts of Rockford, Ill.; a daughter-in-law, Claudia; three sisters-in-law, Leah Vonevich of Mystic, Mildred Vonevich of Moline, Ill., and Mert Vonevich of East Moline, Ill.; grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
  Preceding her in death were a son, Jerry; four brothers, Tony Thomas, Charles Vonevich, John Vonevich and Tom Vonevich; and five sisters, Mary Morgan, Anne Bolton, Madeline Cline, Tilda Simon and Victoria Hawkins.
  She lived in Jerome and attended school there.  She moved to Rockford, Ill., and worked for many years.
  Private funeral services were held Thursday with a special memorial service to follow in four weeks.  Burial was in Rockford, Ill.
  Memorials may be sent to Collette Rohm, 3418 Bartholomew St., Rockford, Ill., 61101. 

Mormon Trails Association Gets $112,000

Daily Iowegian - 25 April 1995
-----------------------------
  The Iowa Mormon Trails Association, a non-profit historic preservation organization, has received $112,000 from federal ISTEA funds.
  The IMTA has worked for over a year to research, develop and market the Mormon Pioneer Trail across southern Iowa.  This trail has been designated a National Historical Trail by the National Park Service.

  The project funded by ISTEA is a three-tiered one. First, the funding will be used for consistent, statewide signage across the trail.  A sign will be placed anywhere that the trail crosses a county road. This will make it much easier to follow the actual trail route as closely as possible.
  Currently, the NPS has put signs on a designated auto tour route on state highways.  These signs are going to be replaced with bigger, more noticeable ones this spring.  The IMTA is also working on placing directional signs in key locations for specific trail sites.
  The second portion of the project involves funding for a statewide brochure/map of the Mormon Pioneer Trail.  It is planned as an 11 by 17-inch full color, glossy brochure which will be put at Iowa Welcome Centers, sites in Nauvoo, Ill., and Council Bluffs/Omaha, Neb. and other key locations.  The brochure will highlight the locations of signs and of wayside exhibits being developed by the IMTA all along the trail.
  The third phase will involve wayside exhibits with interpretive panels. The NPS has partially funded enough interpretive panels for each of the 12 counties crossed by the Mormon Pioneer Trail to have one panel. 
----------------------------
  For detailed information:  Mormon Trails Across Appanoose County, Iowa, edited by Willis M. Heusinkveld [Centerville, IA: Appanoose County Mormon Trail Association, 1995]

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Visiting with Neighbors - March 1995


Daily Iowegian - 31 March 1995

  We were fortunate not to get the thunderstorms predicted for Sunday afternoon.  So many of our children live distances from us so we have to watch the whole United States.
* * *
  Sarah finished a study tour of the Washington, D. C., area and if the weather was good her uncle who lives in Virginia area just outside Washington would pick her up Sunday. Since it was the Stow school's spring break, Jean and Rachel planned to drive and have a short family visit and pick up Sarah.  Then Jean and the girls planned to take a short tour of the Gettysburg historic sights.  All these arrangements would depend on the weather.
* * *
  When I went to the Jerome Methodist Church Sunday it was the first time I had heard Mrs. Flannigan conduct the services.  She, like her husband, had a well prepared sermon and easily kept the attention of her audience.
* * *
  The ladies asked me to remind you that they are planning a smorgasbord for Sunday, April 9. Serving will be from noon to 1:30 p.m.  These plans, of course, are 'weather permitting."
* * *
  When I am in the church I think it looks just like one would picture a typical, pretty, country church.  Too, I often think of the fun times there -- programs, Christmas Eve festivities and weddings.  But I also think of the many funerals when services were held at a church and not a funeral home.
  Of course, I remember funerals of relatives and close friends but there is one that I think I shall never forget and that was the funeral of Lazelle Inman who was so young to die and left Ruth, a young widow with two small children to raise.  I can still see so plainly Ruth coming down those church steps with two little children, one on each side, holding their mother's hands.
  Another funeral I remember well but for a different reason. That was the funeral of Kathryn Hawkins and it was an extremely hot day. There were no fans or air conditioning. The pall bearers always wore dark blue (serge) suits and white shirts so starched and pressed that they must have been miserable.  Ties were of a somber color.
  Dad was a pallbearer and when the hearse, flower girls and pallbearers arrived at the church, Arch, Kate's Brother, met the men and told them to remove their coats, it was so hot he thought they would be ill.  It would be Kathryn's wish to have the men be as comfortable as possible.  I still recall the shock of seeing those men without their coats.  It was a kind of shock as they entered the church.
* * *
  Rachel called to tell me about an unusual lecture she and her mother attended this past weekend. The program was about wolves.  The speaker was part Indian, had lived many hears in Alaska and brought a wolf with her.  One of the wolf's parents was a white wolf, the other a black one. The wolf on display had long white fur with some black trimming. The lady was speaking on preserving the animals and showed slides of some of the cruelty used in exterminating the animals.
  It is a controversial subject but both Jean and Rachel thought it an interesting lecture, especially since they got a close-up view of the animal.
* * *
  The other day Catherine and I were talking about our grandchildren starting to school in August and not getting out until often as late as the middle of June.  However, there are many free days during the year.  We usually started the first of September and were out by the middle of May.
* * *
  Getting out early did not mean that we did not put in many hours.  We had never heard the term "snow day."  We went back to school the Friday after Thanksgiving. School was dismissed a little early after a school program in the afternoon.  We did not have many days vacation after Christmas Day.
* * *
  Looking at pictures taken long ago, the eighth grade students often looked rather grown up just to be eighth graders but I was reminded that often rural schools were closed for some time so the children could help with spring and fall seasonal work.  When you think of farm work without the aid of tractors, you can see the extra hands would be a necessity.
* * *
  It seemed to me that rural schools usually had eight month terms. Jerome was considered a town school and we went nine months. 
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  Transcribed with permission of the Daily Iowegian.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Obituary: Lloyd R. Crouch

  Lloyd R. Crouch of 210 Main St., Seymour, passed away at the Wayne County hospital Thursday, Nov. 2 [1972], at 2 a.m. at the age of 82 years, three months and 26 days.  He had been in failing health for several months. He was born July 6, 1890, in Blair county, Nebr., the son of Alfred B. and Mary M. Crouch.  When he was 10 the family moved to Iowa and he spent most of his life in Appanoose and Wayne counties.  He was married to Marcia Stoner, Jan. 1, 1914. She preceded him in death in 1952.
  He was united in marriage to Cecile McElvain Aug. 4, 1953. They lived several years on a farm in Franklin township and upon retirement in 1959 they moved to their home in Seymour.
  In his early year he was a member of Seymour Baptist church and later changed his membership to Simpson Chapel.
  He was always interested and active in school and community government, and served many years as township trustee, school director and member of county ASC.
  His parents, two sisters, Lottie and Dorotha, and a step-daughter-in-law, Kathryn McElvain, preceded him in death. 
  He is survived by his wife, Cecile; two sisters, Katie and Nettie Stoner, and two brothers, Arthur B. and Clarence, all of Seymour; a step-daughter, Marjorie Inman of Denver, Colo.; three step-sons, Richard McElvain of Madison, Wisc., and Harold and Paul McElvain of Seymour; several step-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and many friends and neighbors.
  Funeral was Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Liggett-Randolph Funeral home with Rev. Joseph Ricks officiating.  Milton Albertson sang "The Old Rugged Cross" and "How Great Thou Art," accompanied by Mrs. Iris Merritt.
  Bearers were Max Rash, Farris Wade, Reo Bryant, Herbert Harl, Maurice Haney and Addis Staggs.  Interment was in Jerome cemetery.
---------------------------
  Transcribed from an unidentified 1972 newspaper obituary in Item #8: Seymour Area Death Notices and Obituaries, 1957-1978, page 196, on FHL US/CAN Film #1673236 [Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990].
---------------------------
  1910 U.S. Federal Census, Lincoln Township, Appanoose County, Iowa, Roll: T624_390, Page 24, Enumeration District 21, Dwelling 21, Family 21:  Alfred B. Crouch, head, 40, married 21 years, born PA, father born DE, mother born PA, farmer; Mary Crouch, wife, 40, married 21 years, mother of six children, six living; born IL, father born IL, mother born IL; Loyd R Crouch, son, 19, born NE, father born PA, mother born IL, laborer, home farm; Lottie Crouch, daughter, 18, born NE, father born PA, mother born IL; Katie Crouch, daughter, 16, born NE, father born PA, mother born IL; Arthur B. Crouch, son, 14, born NE, father born PA, mother born IL; Nettie Crouch, daughter, 12, born WY, father born PA, mother born IL; Clarence B. Crouch, son, 1 6/12, born IA, father born PA, mother born IL.
-----------------------------
1915 Iowa State Census - Franklin Township, Appanoose County, Iowa


-----------------------------
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
Appanoose County, Iowa

------------------------------
  1930 U.S. Federal Census, Franklin Township, Appanoose County, Iowa, Roll: 641, Page 3B, Enumeration District 12, Dwelling 73, Family 74:  Loyd R. Crouch, head, 39, married at age 23, born NE, father born PA, mother born IL, farmer; Marcia E. Crouch, wife, 39, married at age 23, born IA, father born OH, mother born IA. 
-----------------------------
  SSDI:  Lloyd Crouch, SSN issued Iowa (Before 1951), born 6 Jul 1890, died Nov 1972.

Monday, April 6, 2009

William Dwight Hughes & Lennie I. Banks

    These articles were transcribed with permission from page 217 of Appanoose County, Iowa (1986) compiled by the Appanoose County Historical Society, Centerville, Iowa.
---------------------------
William Dwight Hughes Family History
  (William) Dwight Hughes, son of Benjamin F. and Merica (Petro) Hughes was born September 2, 1897 in Appanoose County, Iowa the youngest of four children.  He grew to manhood in this county and on May 27, 1917 he married Lennie I. Banks, daughter of Tom and Eva (Criswell) Banks. Mr. and Mrs. Hughes were farmers and in later years Mr. Hughes worked in the coal mines in the area. Dwight, as he was commonly known, died June 1Bold3, 1971 and Lennie died April 30, 1982. They are buried in the Jerome Cemetery.
  Dwight and Lennie raised five children: Harold, born October 12, 1918 now lives in Mesa, Arizona; Raymond born July 1, 1921 lives in Bellair Township, Appanoose County; Marjorie (Smith) born July 27, 1924 lives in Corydon, Iowa; Wayne born September 15, 1930 passed away December 6, 1979 having lived and raised his family in Lees Summit, Missouri [See Below]; Glen born February 21, 1933 lives in Summersville, South Carolina. 
-------------------------
Wayne Edward Hughes
  Wayne Edward Hughes was born September 15, 1930 in Appanoose County, Iowa to Dwight William and Lennie (Banks) Hughes. He was one of five children.  He attended Centerville rural schools and graduated from Centerville High in 1947. He worked for a brief time at The Case Company in Bettendorf then spent six years in the U.S. Air Force, part of that time as a dental assistant at the Air Force Base in San Diego, California. He graduated from Centerville Community College in 1956 and from Northeast Missouri State College in 1958. He started his teaching career in Art in Vandalia, Missouri in 1958.
  On September 1,1963 Wayne married Sylvia Dee Maune of Columbia, Missouri. He continued his education and received the Masters Degree from University of Missouri in Columbia in 1964.
  Wayne and Sylvia moved to Lees Summit, Missouri in 1964 where Wayne taught Art in the Public School until his death December 6, 1979 following a short illness.
  Wayne and Sylvia have two children:  Doug age 18 and Dee Anne age 15.
  In spite of the pain and crippling effects of rheumatoid arthritis that was part of Wayne's life for the last twenty years, he never ceased to be a vital father, husband and teacher devoted to his community and profession. His gentle character, sharp wit and good judgement were an inspiration to all with whom he worked and was acquainted. Submitted by Mrs. Sylvia Hughes and Raymond Hughes.

Harry F. and Myrtle Banks

  This article was transcribed with permission from pages 135-136 of Appanoose County, Iowa (1986) compiled by the Appanoose County Historical Society, Centerville, Iowa.
---------------------------
  Harry F. Banks was born November 30, 1896 in Appanoose County, Centerville, Iowa, and died February 9, 1984 in Detroit, Michigan.  His father, Frank T. Banks, born in 1871 and died in 1938, was a substantial landowner there and one of eight children of Wesley Johnson Banks who was born in 1875 (sic) and died in 1913, coming to Appanoose County with his wife, Nancy Wells Talbott, in 1854. Harry's mother, Lottie D. Streepy, born in 1876 and died in 1956, was the daughter of Isaac Freeland Streepy and Mary Jane Reynolds, highly regarded residents of Appanoose County and life-long members of the Methodist Church. Harry's grandfather, Wesley Johnson Banks, a member of "Iowa Society of the Sons of the American Revolution" died and buried in Oakland Cemetery, Centerville, where special services honoring him were held May 23, 1981. A Democrat, he believed in the pure and simple Jeffersonian principles and not going off after false gods of latter-day democracy.  Of the 46 known Banks descendants, great-grandson Raymond Hughes wtill lives on the Frank Banks' farm southwest of Centerville, where Harry, an only child, grew up to Manhood, and where his parents lived, died and also were buried in Oakland Cemetery.  The Banks family were of fighting stock like great-grandfather William Banks, a Revolutionary War hero who was born in 1762 and died in 1839.
  Harry Banks, a 1916 graduate of Centerville High School, class president, football and baseball athlete, also possessed a fighting spirit, studying electrical engineering, accounting, salesmanship and business management at Alexander Hamilton Institute, and after a year in retail selling, enlisted and served in World War I as instructor in Army aviation and also during World War II managed a Shell plant in Janesville,k Wisconsin.  Returning from Army service in 1919, Harry, in partnership with his father in the grain, livestock and farming business until 1921, started his career in automotive sales which began at a General Motors dealership in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as retail salesman. Two years later, he joined G. M. Corporation as a district representative for Buick in the Chicago zone, and in 1932, was appointed as Buick/Oldsmobile/Pontiac sales representative in Milwaukee, a post he held until 1945 when he was transferred to Detroit as a Zone manager there.
  Harry Banks was married October 13, 1945 to Myrtle D. Paap, daughter of the Reverend and Mrs. August H. Paap, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Farmington, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, where Myrtle's father was the pastor.
  After coming to Detroit as a zone manager, Harry Banks was appointed assistant sales manager for Oldsmobile and transferred to the Lansing office until 1949, subsequently taking important positions in Detroit and Memphis, becoming regional manager in 1952, a Detroit assignment he held until his retirement in 1961. A distinguished automotive career spanning 35 years with General Motors brought satisfaction in the knowledge of selecting and training men and then seeing them in responsible positions afterward.
  In 1962, Harry Banks managed a leasing business for an Oldsmobile dealership, and having a genuine concern for the customer and a positive attitude which favorably affected sales, his programs devised and implemented so successfully over 30 years nationwide, he became an example of how well those plans and thoughts on living in general worked.
  "For success, attitude is equally as important as ability."
  "Lack of will power and drive cause more failures than lack of ability and intelligence."
  If those sayings sound familiar, you might have read them in Dr. Joyce Brothers' "How to Succeed in the People Business," or seen them in Forbes magazine, next to quotes by Shakespeare, Andrew Carnegie and Socrates.  Harry and his wife, Myrtle, were members of Indian Village Lutheran Church, because they felt that church work and attendance cultivates a feeling of responsibility and love for one another and showing faith by actions. Harry was also a 50-year member of Iowa Elks Lodge and the patriotic Freemasons, and he believed in creating peace forces instead of armed forces.
  Always concerned for the safety of G.M. personnel in his charge, Harry kept an equally watchful eye on the security of his home, Whittier Towers.  A resident for 38 years, Harry improved the Whittier's grounds, walk railings and made other safety suggestions. He even nurtured a flock of pheasants in the Whittier Park, to the delight of many of his fellow residents.  A man of ideas and action, a dear friend, a beloved husband and one of the kindest and gentlest topflight managers ever connected with the auto industry, Harry Banks is being missed as he could not rally from injuries which he suffered after a fall early this year, when he died February 9, 1984, at the age of 87.