GRANDMA'S DIARIES • June 1953: Road Trip For 22 Club


June is a busy month filled with farming and gardening. Grandma notes that the 22 Club families traveled to St. Louis to enjoy a day on the Admiral. Many readers may remember what fun it was to spend a day or evening on the tour boat that cruised up and down the Mississippi River. The 22 Club was a unique organization in the 1950s. Twenty-two families in Montgomery County rural communities created a group that planned leisure time get togethers for the member families. Some of the activities, such as card parties centered on the adults, but others included the whole family. We had roller skating parties at the Litchfield Skating Rink, wiener roasts, swimming parties, and trips to New Salem, the St. Louis Zoo and of course the Admiral river cruise. It was great fun for both the adults and children. I don't recall how long the club lasted, but I bet as families began acquiring television sets, the interest waned. By the way, the question about the Toasted Chicken recipe mystery has been solved by Rev. Jim Howie. He shared his memory that the dish consisted of baked chicken covered in a rich gravy, served on toasted bread. Sounds very tasty. I plan to give it a try. I can always trust Rev. Howie to solve many of the "unknowns" in Grandma's Diary.

Monday, June 1, 1953–Cooler. Practical top on hogs 26 and a half. By pushing and neither of us saying, “Let's stay home” we went to Vern Mundhenke and Joan White's wedding at 9 a.m. We felt better by the time we got home. At night we went with Merle and Margaret to the reception at Challacombe House. Merle came after beans, and Harold Anderson is planting for him.

Friday, June 5, 1953–Nights are cool. Bit of a shower. We had feed ground for the chicks. Mary Nimmons and I went quilting in p.m. Bob Nimmons helped Carl get the guards off the mower. It was dance review for the little ones at Hillsboro. Carole had to drop out when she had appendicitis, and Linda quit when she moved away.

Saturday, June 6, 1953–I transplanted some gloxinias, geraniums, etc. Wayne’s and us went to Grace Bemis' executor sale northeast of Fillmore. Larry got a set of single harness, $3. I set out tomato plants.

Sunday, June 7, 1953–Hot. We went to Sunday School. Thought we might go to the Fillmore and Kettlekamp cemeteries but was too hot. We went to Bob Nimmons and had ice cream, strawberries and cup cakes.

Monday, June 8, 1953–Showered. We went early to Roy Kessinger's farm. Carl bought five little shoats, two larger ones and two sows which they delivered before noon. I washed when we got home. Carl hoed corn. Harold Anderson mowed the hay, 14 acres.

Tuesday, June 9, 1953–98 degrees at noon. Cyclone at Flint, Michigan and in Ohio. Carl mowed weeds. Harold started baling late. They put four loads in the barn. I took Mrs. Keith to her Home Bureau meeting at the Community House. Nine o'clock when we ate supper. Cyclones and rains around us.

Wednesday, June 10, 1953–Awful hot. Carl got 298 bales of hay. He hoed beans. I ironed after dinner. I seeded and canned four pints cherries and made a pie.

Thursday, June 11, 1953–Hard wind near noon. Little shower. I took 30 dozen eggs to A&P house, .48 for grade A. Carl finished hauling his beans to Montgomery Service. 128 bushels at $2.74 = $350.42.

Friday, June 12, 1953–Awful hot to quilt. Mary and I went for a while, came home and watered chickens, etc. Carl was having trouble putting his cultivators on.

Saturday, June 13, 1953–Larry got his physical exam so he can go to 4-H camp. .6 inch rain. Carl thinks we better go put valuable papers in bank; insurance on buildings, hail insurance on wheat, Blue Cross, Cappers, car insurance. We went to Wayne's to stay only a short time but came up such a wind and rain that we stayed for dinner. They had 1.1 inches. Later I went to Hillsboro for cracked corn for chicks, five cents per pound.

Sunday, June 14, 1953–.6 inch  of rain last night. Carl went after two fryers at Howy Ward's, $1 each. Wayne’s came for dinner. We went to Hillsboro swimming pool. Larry swam. The rest of us went out to the Hillsboro Lake. Merles, except Connie, went on the Admiral boat trip, 42 of the 22 Club went on a bus.

Monday, June 15, 1953–Shipped 13 hogs. Margaret began work at Butler factory. I washed. Carl plowed corn. I went to see Harley (Newport) after dinner. He didn't know me. Said I didn't look natural.

Tuesday, June 16, 1953–Carl finished plowing his corn the first time, 20 acres. I exchanged 50-foot hose at Sears. Ironed after noon. Mrs. Keith came at night. County ATA meeting at Community House. Carl got return for the 13 Howy Ward hogs: 12 at $25.15 = $667.73. One at $24.50. Total after all expenses 707.50. 

Saturday, June 20, 1953–104 degrees at 2:30. South wind feels hot. Carl paid Woodrow Harris for his half of baling hay, $37. Eggs at wholesale house, .50 grade A. We went to Merle's at 6 p.m. All but Connie went to a wedding at Mt. Moriah church. When we pulled off the hard road, the car stopped. Would not start. Orvil Hayes pushed us home. Merle combined a bit of his wheat. One piece of Merle's wheat made 31-plus bushels.

Sunday, June 21, 1953–Wind, cooler. Car started OK. We went to church and Sunday School and on to George Best's for dinner. Later called at Harley's. He was brighter. Twinkle (Wayne Best's Shetland pony) has a new baby. John Hanson, a neighbor years ago, passed away about 5:30 p.m. at Taylorville hospital.

Monday, June 22, 1953–I washed. Oat lice terrible. We went to Wayne's after noon. Wayne was helping Jim Ward haul wheat.

Thursday, June 25, 1953–Ware’s Grove ice cream supper rained out. Nice cool wind last night. I got a $3 bottle of ABDOL vitamins for us to take. Alberta thinks we should. Carl finished plowing beans. I got caught in a heavy downpour at Raymond coming home.

Friday, June 26, 1953–We had three inches of rain since 5 p.m. yesterday. Everything looks grand. I baked a cake, and we went to the ice cream supper at Butler. It was to defray the expenses of the two weeks of Bible School which closed today. Larry got home from 4-H camp.

Sunday, June 28, 1953–.3 inch rain last night. We went to Sunday School. Larry played at Merle's while we went. Took Charles Dammann and went to the Hillsboro swimming pool. Later, Carl, Larry and I picked three quarts of blackberries.

Tuesday, June 30, 1953–Hot! Hot! Merle did some more combining. Carl took a sample of wheat to Raymond. No dock there. I pulled weeds in garden and got awful hot. We went to Ware’s Grove to their ice cream social.

Carole (Best) Brown of Golconda provides Journal-News readers with this glimpse of the past from her grandmother, Mary Edith (Newport) Best, Butler farm wife. Carole may be reached at


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