Oct. 1951: 'Glory!' Henhouse Has Water


The big news in October of 1951 is the addition to the farm's water system. Running water to the barn yard will now save Grandma and Grandpa a lot of extra work. No more filling the stock tank by hand or carrying buckets of water to the henhouse. Grandma is now 68 years old and Grandpa is six years older–definitely time for some labor-saving improvements. She will now have more time to read. Grandma and Grandpa were great readers. They subscribed to the Morrisonville paper, the Montgomery News, and the Springfield Journal. Grandma was also a regular customer at the Hillsboro Library. She introduced me to the library. I have wonderful memories of our spending lots of time surrounded by all those books! It was paradise for me.  I was amazed that with that little yellow card, I could take home stacks of books. An entry about the visit to the Prairietown reminds me of a story about one or more of the nine children being reared in Grandpa's family after the death of Mrs. Ruenhold. I wish I knew more about this story.

Monday, Oct. 1, 1951–I washed then ironed after supper. Carl disked and harrowed the bean ground. Margaret, Connie and I went to Litchfield to the A&P egg wholesale and took 27 dozen eggs. She bought material to make Connie two new dresses. Print is 49 cents per yard, nearly all stores.

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1951–Geraldine, Dorothy Ward, Dorothy Harris, Margaret and I went to Springfield on a shopping trip. I didn't shop with them, and I ate by myself at Strong's Cafeteria. The girls came later. Bought a pair of slippers, $11.32. Got a gadget to hold my ironing cord. Supposed to keep it from twisting. Got some print at one cent an inch.

Thursday, Oct. 4, 1951–John Keith sowed the bean ground, 13 acres in wheat. He finished by noon. They ate dinner here, and John went on to sow wheat for Haubner. Carl bought 30 shoats from Norval Hicks for $502. Mr. McCaslin brought them. Charlie Campbell came in the afternoon, and he and Carl shucked some corn for feed.

Friday, Oct. 5, 1951–Carl and I went to Alfred Mundhenke's and got two sewer tile. Mary and I went to quilt. Larry came and stayed all night, and we practiced reading music notes. Wayne is helping Howy Ward shuck corn to crib.

Saturday, Oct. 6, 1951–.4 inches of rain which continued most of the day. Wayne's help came and castrated and rung the shoats Carl bought. We went to Hillsboro after noon. Carl paid Dorsey for the pipes, etc. for the new water line. I got One World by Wendell Wilkie and a handicraft book from the library. Most everyone is done combining beans.

Sunday, Oct. 7, 1951–We had communion at the Presbyterian church where we still hold services. The Methodists tore their flues down May 29 and have never had them rebuilt. So long as we have services in our church, we must roll up our quilts and put them away on Friday. We went to Wayne's for dinner. Geraldine had food I could eat without teeth.

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 1951–Mr. Campbell was here helping dig the ditch for the new water system. Clear. I have been looking for George and Fern (Best) for two weeks, and they came today. It was Home Bureau meeting at the Challacombe House in Hillsboro. I never mentioned it to Fern. We had a nice visit, but Carl had to keep on working as Charles Campbell was here. Wayne got done husking all but ten acres of corn about 9 a.m. The Pocklington Seed Company had already husked their three-quarter. He thought the corn made about 125 bushels per acre.

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 1951–Got dinner, Then Carl and I made a hurry-up trip to Hillsboro to Sears. Carl had to buy 14 feet more gas pipes and a hydrant for the chicken house. Glory! We now have running water for the hens.

Thursday, Oct. 11, 1951–Clear. No killing frost yet, though the nights are very chilly. Made Connie two dresses after dinner.

Saturday, Oct. 13, 1951–Real warm. I hurried with my dinner to get it over with so I could go to Harry Yoffie's sale of household goods. I didn't buy anything. Wayne's got a bedroom suite for Linda's room.

Sunday, Oct. 14, 1951–Looked somewhat like rain, but didn't. Carl and I drove to Greenville, then went west and north and stopped at Prairietown. We found Lou Ruenhold's grave in the last row about halfway down on the east side. She was 44 when she died and the mother of nine children.

Monday, Oct. 15, 1951–Dr. Berg came to test the cows for brucellosis. Carl didn't have to get any help. I washed, but it was almost noon when I finished. Took the eggs to Litchfield after noon. They are 64 cents for grade A. I ironed after supper. David Osborn is rebuilding the north wall under the kitchen. The waterworks is finished. We have water in the henhouse and out north for the stock.

Thursday, Oct. 18, 1951–I got dinner for Carl, Charles Campbell, Merle and Fred Taylor. Went to Butler after potatoes and bread. Mr. and Mrs. Keith came after 15 dozen eggs at .64 for Wilber and Mary Louise (Foster), $9.60. Wow! The highest price I ever got for October eggs. Turning colder by 8 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 19, 1951–Margaret and Connie came with Merle. Carole was at Howy Ward's, and Jim was at Grandma "Toby's." I took Margaret and Connie home after dinner, so Connie could take her nap. There seemed to be too many things to look at here. Wayne got done shucking corn in the late evening.

Saturday, Oct. 20, 1951–Jake Mutchler and wife went home to Missouri with their son, Wade. Carl got done picking corn just before noon. Ed Best and wife Amy called about 10 a.m. They stayed about one hour. They were from Oxford, NE. Carl and I drove to Palmyra about 2 p.m. to see Julia Best. Her husband Willie passed away Thursday p.m. at Memorial Hospital, Springfield.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 1951–Wayne's went to Sunday School and got here about 11 a.m. and we left right away for Palmyra. We ate dinner at the "Dot" in Carlinville. Such a large crowd. We didn't get inside, but went on to the cemetery north of Palmyra. Nice day, but windy. Merle's went to Toberman's to help them celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary. Wayne's have a new Studebaker car which we rode in to the funeral.

Monday, Oct. 22, 1951–Haven't had any rain since Oct. 6. Rained most of the day. We went to Hillsboro. Carl paid $228.75 to Dorsey for our pipes, etc. for the water system. We bought a quart of paint and after noon proceeded to paint the storm windows. We didn't get done by supper time. After we ate, we took the little radio out and finished the job. Margaret got worried because we didn't answer the phones, so Wayne's came on the way to PTA to check on us.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 1951–We had 2.2 inches rain by the time this two-day rain ended. Mary Nimmons, Ione Streight, and I went with May Stein to a Presbyterian meeting at Witt. They stressed being neighbors to South America. Dinner was goulash, lettuce, green beans, cookies, apples, coffee. Margaret has seven little chix. I got them and on Friday got three more.

Friday, Oct. 26, 1951–Nice weather again. Mary and I went quilting. I built the fires though we didn't need much. Eliza, May, and Florence came. I made Connie two dresses in two hours. We went to Merle's at night. Margaret and sprouts went to PTA Halloween. We watched Joe Louis get knocked out by Rocky Graziano.

Monday, Oct. 29, 1951–Margaret went to the doctor. She has a strep throat. Geraldine has Connie with her.

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 rosebudbooks@gmail.com.