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Uticans and Ancestors
compiled by Darlean Cole
This book contains a bit of history and memories of individuals that did or do, at the writing of this, live in
Utica. There are many families that were not written up this year but perhaps those sections can
be taken up year after year until we have covered every one, so if your
family is not listed herein please allow for another year. All copy was read by
each family. The purpose of this is to reminisce a bit as we renew our memories.
This Booklet was printed for the sole purpose of earning proceeds for the Utica Fun Day, June 14, 1986
Page - Family
3 Bloom and McCain
8 Burgett and Davis
18 Crain and Cudgell
24 Dale and Jones
31 Dome and McDonnal
37 Hawkins and Waltz
42 Peterie and Hickman and Boston
49 Hightower and Cosgrove
59 Kent and Stamper
66 Kohl and Perkins
79 Smith (Schmitt), Baltis, Dome,
Mounce and Harter
Elnora Kerschnick married Frederick Bloom
while both were residents of Danzig, Germany. In 1859 the Bloom family including Elnora's sister, Flora, and her husband, Uncle Shinogle and their two sons, Gus and Ferninand decided to travel to America. Their trip started from Danzig to Hamburg, Germany by train to board an ocean vessel. The ship sailing through the North Sea and English Channel was crossing the Atlantic Ocean to reach its destination. While enroute an epidemic of smallpox was experienced
and the ship stopped at Crosse Isle to bury the Bloom's two year old daughter, Wilhemina, who had died while traveling. Elnora was quarantined after she contracted the disease. She and her husband were left behind until she was well enough to continue on and unite with the others of her kinfolk.
They reached Montreal, Canada at a later date and continued on by train to join their family in Detroit, Michigan. Elnora and Frederick took residency in Detroit but Flora and her family continued on South settling in Dawn, Missouri. At Dawn a third child, Tressie, was born to Flora.
While Elnora and Frederick were in Detroit, a son, Frederick II was born, after a few years the couple decided to move to Dawn after corresponding with Elnora's sister. After arriving the senior Frederick Bloom was somewhat appointed in what he termed the "wilderness" and would have returned to Michigan if he would have had the fare.
Frederick and Elnora raised four children, Frederick II, Mary Ella, Bertha A., and Jennie Caroline. This hard working family with thrifty management of Frederick working for the railroad and local orchards, raising produce for sale and by budgeting and laying aside a portion of all proceeds earned, the Blooms were able to purchase several parcels of land. They built the home that Ralph and Marie McCain now reside in. This was in 1900 and Mr. Bloom died in 1907 and Mrs. Bloom died in 1917. Both were very well respected for their sturdy independence
in earning their livelihood and their honesty.
George and Anna McCain were the parents of Troy, Myrtle, Nelle, Edith and Roe. This family moved from Bloomington, Illinois where they had operated a livery stable. Upon coming to this area they purchased some bottom land and farmed. After a period of time the family moved to the Southern parts except for their son Troy.
Troy McCain remained in Utica and married Jennie Caroline Bloom. Two children were born to them, Jennie Marie and Ralph. Troy like his father, was a farmer and worked at the local orchards.
Marie and Ralph attended school in Utica. Marie attended Chillicothe High School for a few months to obtain proper credits for graduation.
Troy McCain died of a sudden heart attack in his home when Ralph was only twenty-one years old. Ralph continued to farm the family land along with raising Polled China hogs and later registered Hereford cattle. Marie cared for the home and their widowed mother and their Uncle Fred Bloom until their deaths.
Ralph met Lois (Counts) through a mutual friend, Rev. Harold Garrett, who pastored the Utica Baptist Church while he was a student at William Jewell College. On June 27, 1961 Ralph and Lois were married by Rev. Garrett at Calvary Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. She recalls on her wedding day she was at the church and was about to walk down the aisle in black patent leather shoes because she hid forgotten
to bring her white ones. Her niece rushed home and arrived just as the bride was about to walk down the aisle.
Lois was the youngest of six children born to Frank And Lulu Counts, in Hensen, Missouri. The family moved from Farmington, Missouri in 1922 to Kansas City, Missouri. Frank was a carpenter. During the depression years all the
members of the family worked and pooled their earnings. Lois recalled she began to baby-sit
for twenty-five cents a week at the age of nine years old. She loved children
and decided early in life to become a teacher.
Lois graduated from Westport High in Kansas City. Her first job was as a file clerk at Kansas City Power and Light Company. During World War II she worked as a secretary at the North American Bomber Plant. She attended the State University of New York in Oswego, New York. She had gone to visit her sister who was then the secretary to the President of the college. Her sister later became a Children's Librarian,
then a Professor of English at the University.
While Lois was in college she was very active in many fields; her favorite being editor of the college newspaper and writing the college news for the local newspaper. She developed an interest in writing human interest stories. Lois received her Bachelor's degree in 1949.
She returned to Kansas City to teach sixth grade at Martin School in the East Bottoms. It was a neighborhood neglected as far as recreational opportunities for the youth. She became involved with work in the Valley Memorial Baptist Chapel. Then she moved into a little house next to the school and opened it for programs for both young and old. Programs included all scouting programs, wisdom club for the elderly, nursery school, youth clubs, Gra-y clubs for boys, Bible classes, choir practice, and
basketball and baseball teams.
When all was going well the home was vandalized, the calamity became a blessing in disguise because news in the Kansas City Star brought the problem to the attention of the Junior Chamber of Commerce who were looking for a project to undertake. S. R. Brunn of the construction company became interested in the work and volunteered his men and did the majority of the building of a large center. Lois
worked in this area for twelve years and had a sponsor for the work when she left it.
After her marriage she returned to Kansas City for a period of six months to help her mother care for her invalid father until his death.
In 1962 she became a teacher at Field School in Chillicothe and taught fourth through sixth grade until her retirement in 1982.
Lois talked about her parent's loyalty to their family and how they worked hard to give their children all of the advantages possible for those hard years of the depression. She recalls the fun they had while she was growing up and how her father taught her to clog dance and the old time jig.
She put on performances with this dancing in her high school musicals, during war years for the USO, the Bomber Plant noon shows, and in college musicals. She has also performed for the children at Field School.
She told of her brother, Frank, who died at the age of twenty-one as a result of rheumatic fever, he taught her much about courage, faith, and love. He had a tremendous affect on all members of his family and friends.
She loves to travel and likes people and civic work. She does slide presentations in the schools and nursing homes and works for her church. She, with the help of other members of the Utica Community Church have had a program for the children of Utica, called CLIA's for the last ten years.
Interesting memorabilia related by Marie is the document that she has in her possession of her grandfather's naturalization papers of 1893, that was witnessed by H. A. Stone and C. J. Hicks, here in Livingston County. She has fond memories of her youthful years in Utica going to school. Many of those that attended with her are still residents of Utica, as of this writing.
Marie laughed while being asked how Lois changed their lives when she and Ralph was married. Her reply was that Lois certainly has
added much interest to their lives.
Marie does a lot of embroidery work has done and lots of quilting in the past. She still loves to care for her home and does some gardening and canning on a smaller scale that in years past.
Ralph is semi-retired but still farms some. He has some livestock. He is a real home-body and does enjoy people. He is always glad to
welcome "the boys" to a game of pool in his basement. His enjoyment is caring for his home and farm land.
When he was in school he acted in many plays. He loves to listen to and tell funny stories.
All three of the McCains are dedicated Christians who are active in their church work. They are certainly a big part of the Utica History through their ancestry and living here all of their lives.
James and Eva Burgett moved from Illinois
to the farming area in the bottoms around Dean Lake, by Grand River, in Chariton County in the early part of 1920. They with their six children farmed from six to seven hundred acres of the bottoms. In those years the farming was done by horses or mules and James and family would own up to thirty head of mules to farm with.
The children attended the Stephenson Rural School in their elementary grades and high school in Triplett, Missouri.
It was during these years that Richard and Mary Davis moved from Kentucky to the same area to live and became acquainted with the Burgett family. Richard worked on the levies with a dragline company that traveled doing this kind of construction work. He was an explosive man and was later killed when the dynamite set went off too quickly.
It was through this relationship that (Jay) Geraldine Burgett and Nathaniel S. (Sam) Davis met. The other children of the Burgetts are Herschel, Dorothy, Helen, Bertha Belle, and Wayne.
Herschel passed away after a long term illness in 1984, leaving a wife and two daughters, four grandchildren, six great-great-grandchildren as of this writing.
Dorothy is married to Bob Copenhaver and they live in Independence, Missouri and have one son, Kenneth.
Helen passed away in 1960.
Bertha Belle Whitehurst lives in De Soto, Kansas and she has two daughters, five grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren
as of this writing.
Wayne lives in California, he has three daughters.
Of the Burgett family's children, Geraldine (Jay) is the only member left in Utica. She has two children, daughter Eva Boyd of Florida, who has three children, and her son Robert (Bob)
Davis of Flint, Michigan, who has three children.
In their teen years, Jay and her sister Helen only got to attend two years of high school. Due to the family's financial problems from the flooding and the depression years the family were all needed to help with the farming and gardening in order to survive.
Since Jay was not fond of housework and Helen did not like outside work the arrangement became that Jay was her father's right hand in the fieldwork. In her teens she would work in the fields from sunup to sundown behind a four hitch of mules that she harnessed, hooked up and cared for by herself and than would switch to another
set when the time for resting was necessary.
After meeting Sam, Jay remembers her first date, which was to a Dean Lake square dance. They borrowed her father's pickup and took her sister, Dorothy, along with them. The dance became somewhat rowdy but she and Sam did not leave. When they arrived hone late, Dorothy had to tattle all about everything that happened throughout the evening at the dance.
Jay's dad was not overly fond of Sam and believed him too old for Jay as she was still a teenager plus the fact that he did not really want her to be dating. After her eighteenth birthday, Jay and Sam ran off and were married. They went to live in Illinois and notified her parents of their marriage.
Due to the severe floods and the decline in land values as well as the economic conditions the Burgetts were forced to move from their farm and to share crop in the Dawn and Ludlow areas. This was in 1935 and the years following were the opposite with severe drought conditions.
After Sam and Jay were married for a very short time, Jay's father went to Illinois to move them back to help him farm. They lived in a trailer residence next door to her parents. Here Sam and James Burgett farmed and started a trucking business and a bond grew between them.
During these years the drought took its toll on the farmers and the Burgetts moved again with their remaining family to a small farm
to the Southwest of Utica and lived in a small farm house that has since been torn down. The property now as of this writing is owned by Marion and Sue Rose Harter.
Sam and the Burgetts continued to farm on a much smaller scale and operated their trucks.
For a short spell about this time, Sam and Jay along with the Burgetts went to Harrison, Arkansas to all work in the stave mill for a livelihood to sustain their living. It was here that daughter Eva was born to Sam and Jay. After a very short stay in Arkansas the Burgetts returned to Utica and the Davis family went to construction work near Quincy, Illinois. In 1941 while in Illinois their son Bob was born. Meanwhile the Burgett family had purchased the "Sophie Bench" farm that was close to the Brick plant. the property was that of orchards, grapes, and berries, well watered with springs
and of fertile soil. Here the Burgetts became known as Poppy and Granny Burgett to the Utica residents.
The couple lived here until James Burgett died in 1963. The widowed mother was encouraged, by her remaining children, to move into the town of Utica to live. She sold the "Bench" farm and purchased the property, for her home, where Russell Searcy and wife now live and own. Eva Burgett passed away in 1975.
When Bob was about three years old, the Davis family moved to Chillicothe and Sam became employed with Churchill Freight Lines, Inc. as a truck driver.
In 1902 Sam, Jay and the two children moved from Chillicothe to Utica and purchased the present home that Jay now lives in. The move was made to come to Utica to help Poppy Burgett farm but Mr. Burgett became ill and passed away the following year.
The Davis family continued to live in Utica to be near Jay's mother and Sam continued to drive for Churchills. He was one of their truckdrivers for twenty-eight years until his retirement in 1968. Sam passed away in 1972.
While the family was living in Chillicothe,
in 1952, Jay commenced her work at the Hedrick Medical Center. Except for a short period of time around 1962, Jay worked at the hospital until her retirement in 1982. She was an aide to the dietician, a nurses aide, and ward clerk during her employment there.
In 1974 she married Quentin E. Vandusen, who, she and Sam had known along with Quentin's wife in earlier years. The couples had been close acquaintances when all spouses were living. Quentin had moved to Chillicothe and was the production manager for Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. from which occupation he retired. After Quentin's
retirement, Jay would take a leave of absence and the two of them did lots of traveling
throughout the United States.
After Quentin's death, Jay continued to reside in her Utica home in between her many trips to visit her family and friends. Jay recalls that she never drove a car until in the 1960's. When on the farm she could handle those mules but her father never allowed her to drive the trucks or the car. After her marriage to Sam they did good to own a truck of which Sam was possessive. Now she goes and drives when and where she wants to.
When asked about some of the highlights of her life since she has retired, Jay talked about her children and her grandchildren and of one trip to Tampa, Florida to see a granddaughter in the Specia1 Olympics of softball throw, relays, gymnastics, and swimming.
Jay's daughter, Eva married William D. Boyd and they live in Orange Park, Florida. Their three children are Susan, a schoolteacher, Steven, who is a C. P. A. and Lynn, who resides with her parents and is employed part-time. Eva is a part-time checker and William (Bill) is a produce manager.
Jay's son, Robert (Bob) is married to Pamela (Wiley) who he met while in the service in England. They have three children, Gavin who is a race horse jockey, Lynn is employed part-time, while attending college in St. Louis, Missouri. Todd is eleven years old. Bob has retired from
the U. S. Air Force as a Chief Master Sergeant and is currently employed as a communication person with an electronic data service.
In recalling some past experiences, Jay remembered the dust trenches that her father would have her or Sam or himself drag down every day around the fields to control the chinch bugs from moving into the crops, how much she and the families enjoyed all of the fruit, berries and grapes from her fathers last farm.
When Jay was asked how her children felt about her remarriage after their father's death, she replied "I think they were relieved from worrying about me by myself".
In reminiscing about some cute things that she remembers of her children while they were young, she came up with these:
Her daughter and her boyfriend went over to shoot their gun at her Grandfather Burgett's. In seeing what they thought was a block of cattle salt they shot and killed one of Grandfather's pet ducks. Afraid of confronting him of what they had done, they stewed and fretted until they told him. To their surprise he just smiled and said I guess we'll just eat duck".
As for Bob, about twice a year Grandmother Burgett would go visit her relatives and Bob and his cousin Butch would offer to stay with Poppy Burgett but after about two days Bob would sneak to call his mother asking her to call back and say that she needed him at home for come reason. The boys always claimed that they needed to come home for awhile because Poppy's cooking was making them sick. Then Bob will recall that in his high school years it was said that "Bob was the kind of boy that his mother did not want him to run around with".
The house that Jay lives in has a history since the very beginning of Utica and has been sold but few times.
The original property was granted to Edward Mead from the U. S. Government in 1836 and sold to George Mead for $15.00 in 1837. In 1838 a coalition of partners was formed between the
Meads, Roderick Matson, William Vanzant and Edwin Adriance. These were the original men that laid out and recorded Utica in the County records. When George Mead died in 1854 the estate was settled through probate from out of the St. Louis probate court. The purchasers were Hanson, Chadwick, and J. S. Hoy for $230.00, but later sold to John Hoy in 1855, to Richard Drum in 1856, and in 1873 to Susan Chadwick. In 1929 the Property was passed down to the heirs of F. M., L. M. and Cora Dome and sold to the First National Bank then taken over by the Peoples Trust and Savings Company when the bank closed out due to the depression years.
In 1931 R. T. and Mae Bell McCoy purchased the property for $500.00. The McCoys deeded to John Attterbury in 1935, then to Ernest Steven and on down through the years to Sam and Jay Davis in 1962.
Delvern Lee Clark (Mike) and one brother were born to Veigh and Bessie Clark while his parents were farmers around Ludlow. Mike attended his early school years in the Ludlow area and finished his high school years and graduated from Breckenridge high school in the same building that still is active with school sessions as of this writing.
In 1940 Mike's parents purchased a Utica general merchandise store from Mike's aunt and uncle, Arvil and Grace McDonnal. As the new store owners moved to Utica they set up their residence in the house now owned by Jan Van Dusen. They operated the store but after one year the senior Clarks wanted to return to the farm so sold their business to Mike who in the meanwhile had met and married Mildred McCullly. The senior Clarks remained in the Ludlow area until their return to Utica after retirement. They then purchased the former home of Melvin McDonnal. The senior Clarks lived at this home until Veigh passed away in 1976 and Bessie was moved to Indian Hills home in 1984.
Milldred Clark was the middle child of six brothers and three sisters. She was born to Webb and Gladys McCulley near Chula, Missouri. Her father was a tenant farmer around that area and moved to farm around Utica while Mildred was a young girl. Her father worked for Ira Hedrick and later Bill Stone as a tenant farmer. Mildred attended the rural country School of Maple Grove, located to the Southwest of Utica and her family lived in the two story dwelling owned and built by the Stone Family that is currently still in the Stone family. Her father passed away in 1966 but her mother
is still living at the age of ninety-three years old and is a resident of Indian Hills Home.
Mildred and Mike met, while she was attending Utica High School (then in existence). On April 28, 1940, just a few weeks before her graduation, while the couple were on a date along with two of Mike's cousins, Mildred and Mike decided to get married that night from a whim
on the spur of the moment while in Trenton, Missouri.
Upon returning that night the four kept this event a secret from both sets of parents until after the graduation and each had continued to live with their parents. After a short time
with this kind of an arrangement, Mike decided they must tell their secret and both sets of
parents were told. Although the parents weren't elated over the situation, both sides accepted the fact that the two had made their decision.
The following year after Mike and Mildred set up housekeeping in a rental house, that is next door North to the one they now live in, they purchased his parents' general store.
In 1942 their only child, Edwin Lee (Butch), was born. The nickname "Butch" was given by Arolene (Jones) Crow who cared for the baby remarking "isn't he a Butch" Butch was only eight months old when Mike was drafted into the Navy leaving Mildred to care for Butch and run the store business.
On Mike's first leave to visit home, the Clarks decided to purchase their first home and bought the property from Mayme Stone which is the home of Ruth Davis as of this writing.
After Mike's discharge the Clarks worked very hard and long hours at the business enterprise. They have seen lots of tough times and mastered each obstacle that presented itself to them.
In 1947 tragedy struck when Butch became badly burned from his clothing catching afire while he watched a trash fire. His father fought desperately to beat out the flames but even then both legs and thighs were badly burned so that much that Butch was unable to use his legs at all.
Like the material his parents were made of and an extreme love and care given to him by his parents, his relatives as well as his little friends, his parents say he didn't miss out on a thing. By the fall of that year Butch was enrolled in the first grade with his friends pulling him to school in a coaster wagon and
helping him into the classrooms. The teachers reserved special places for him and special consideration given by all at playtimes.
In addition to his schoolwork, there was lots of skin grafting, prescribed continual rubbing and oil therapy to the damaged and healing areas that first year. Miraculously by February of his first year in school, Butch was gaining some use of his legs. With continued treatments and therapy over many years, Butch recovered the use of his legs and his legs was growing stronger. By the time he had reached his freshman year his determination, pain and suffering had paid off and he was playing football, baseball and basketball and reportedly well too.
After completing his elementary grades at Utica he went to Chillicothe for his High School years. At that time a student could make their choice of surrounding high schools and because of the variety of sports at Chillicothe he chose to attend there due to the sports which included football.
After his High School graduation, Butch continued his education and graduated from Missouri Valley College at Marshall, Missouri. While studying business management, Butch vowed many times that when he returned he would never, never and never go into the furniture business.
In 1965 Butch married Marilee Sue (Hill) and did go into the furniture business with his father. He and Marilee have two children, Camille and Travis and make their home in Chillicothe.
In 1966 Mike and Mildred purchased a much desired property where they live at now. At that time there was a large three story structure standing, that the Merrifields had lived in for years. The Clarks had that structure torn down to make room for the erecting of their brand new home.
In 1971 Mildred became employed as the postal clerk under Edgar Kohl, Postmaster and in 1980 she was appointed the Postmaster when Edgar retired. This is the same year that Mike retired from his furniture business with his son Butch
continuing the family business. Mildred re
tired as the Postmaster in April 1984.
Mike's hobbies are fishing, gardening, his yard and any type of ballgames. He will drive a long distance to see a game, especially if his grandson is playing. His special interests are his church and community activities, to be able to help when needed at the furniture store, and his family ties.
Mildred's hobbies are reading, bowling, golf and her social interests are her church work, civic affairs within Utica and her specialty is her grandchildren.
Some interesting things found out while researching for this information were:
The amazing amount of credit business that the Clarks did: in the general store in Utica with very little of the accounts left unpaid; that Mike was the fabled "Ice Man" in Utica, delivering before daybreak in the mornings, before opening the store up. He was teased with all of the "ice man jokes."
Although Mike and Mildred spent most of their time at the store, Butch never lacked for care, but rather spent his time with them at the store, or with his grandparents.
The telephone at the store was used by many that did not have a telephone and there were not pay telephones in town.
Other known facts are that they both have always been active in church work; that Mike is a big tease and that he was considered one of the best, in his day, in playing baseball, basketball or tennis but that all came to a stop when he married and purchased the store; that Mildred is a golf fiend does well too; that Butch once played hooky in high school and went to a Trenton track meet and his parents were told by the school before he returned home, that Marilee looked so young that her age was always in question at the movies; and the funny experience that Mildred remembers when a party kept trying to
use Easter Seals as postage stamps.
The Clarks feel that they have had a busy but good life, they do hope to remain in good heath and stay as active as possible.
Joseph A. Crain came from Kentucky after the
civil war in the latter part of the 1800s. He settled in the North area of Ludlow about one mile on the now blacktop from the four corners. He married Margaret Gudgell and the couple had ten children.
Albert C. Crain was the ninth child of the ten and was born in the farm house at Ludlow. Like his father before, Albert was a hired laborer working mostly for the local farmers around that area. He was well known for his ability as a fast corn husker.
Albert married Irene (Bland) from Chillicothe and the couple had nine children with four of the babies dying in their infancy. The surviving children are Margaret and Alberta now deceased, Ruth Nelson of Omaha, Nebraska, Charles of Chillicothe, and Earl of Kansas City.
Albert and Irene moved to Utica in 1909 and lived in a house (since torn down) very near the depot. The Crain family lived at this location until 1931 when they moved to Mooresville to live until 1955. Albert worked on the labor section with Burlington (CB&Q) railroad for forty-six years. Even though he certainly qualified as a foreman for all of those years, due to the unfortunate social structure befalling a black man he remained only considered as common labor.
Charles A. Crain was born in the house near the Utica Depot and as a child growing up there recalls the many trains arriving in Utica. He remembers P. E. Bagley, the daytime station agent and Otis Smith, the nighttime agent. As a young boy, Charles was used as the message deliverer for the Western Union telegrams. He got to deliver around the local area for ten cents a delivery. He recalls the excitement of that much money, and he was only a little guy then.
Charles went to the Attucks School in Utica, through the eight grade. His
parents, sisters, and brothers were active in their local church and school
At the age of thirteen, after his eighth grade graduation in 1931, he moved to Mooresville with his parents. During his high school years Charles lived with his mother's sister, Ruth Anderson and attended school in Chillicothe at Garrison High School. He worked for Hagar's Restaurant, across from the courthouse to the North, Adalines Dress Shop (now where Fletchells is), and did cleaning work at the Windmoor whenever his school time would permit him, to earn a living while attending school full time. In the summer months during vacations Charles would return to the surrounding areas of Utica and Mooresville and do odd jobs, farm work, or weed onions for his Uncle Floyd Gudgell or weed flowers for others. He remembers his uncle paying him ten cents a row for weeding the onions. It seemed like the rows were from "here to town" as he reminisced from his home on Conn Street in Chillicothe. The last year of high school he worked the summer cleaning rugs at Slifer's Cleaners (now Model Cleaners).
After finishing high school and being unable to find a profitable full time job, Charles decided to sign with the C. C. C.. (Civilian Conservation Corp) Camp in 1937. He was sent to Delta, Missouri near the Missouri boothill.
The work at the camp was that of cleaning and maintaining levies and drainage ditches. One could only sign up on this State program for a two year period, and although Charles hated to leave, his term was up in 1939. During the time he was at the camp he became one of the overseers of a group of fifteen or so. Each group was given so much area to maintain during the daytime shift. Charles would divide his area by walking off a space for each of his men and himself and each person was responsible to service their own area assigned. By this method each man was working by himself and the job appeared to get done quicker with less goofing off.
Charles returned to Chillicothe but after about one year of doing odd jobs and unable
to find any steady work, at the age of twenty-three, he and three of his friends, Clifton Scott, Lester Williams and Bill Frazier went to join other friends who had gone previously to Los Angeles, California. They each struggled at finding work and Charles became employed by Pittsburg Water Heater Company. He worked for this company until his draft notice of March 1942.
All of his friends also received their notices and in order for all of the boys to leave together they returned to Chillicothe. The young men were sent to Fort Leavenworth to take their physicals and to be inducted.
Charles was transferred to Tuskegee, Alabama from Fort McClellan to an all black army air force unit. From there he went to Scottfield, Illinois to a radio operator mechanic school and then to Tomah, Wisconsin to a control net systems school which was similar to todays radar. After a short stay at Selfridge Field, Michigan he was sent to Godman Field, Kentucky where he was a radio operator on a B-25 Bomber. When he
was discharged he was a staff sergeant with all of his time being within the United States, as the war ended before his group had finished their training to go overseas. He was not over elated about his service years and can remember just how long the time was, "three years, eight months twenty days, and some minutes.
Charles remembers quite well arriving home on the train in Chillicothe. It was on a Christmas Eve around dusk. He was met by his mother, and brother who had just been discharged also.
He took a job at the Utica brick plant for about a year and then was hired by Slifer's Cleaners once again as a cleaner and presser. He worked at Slifer's for twenty years and during this period he took side jobs, cleaning at Mart Drugs, North Missouri Lumber, a local-church and anything else including being a bellhop at the Strand Hotel, in order to earn a good living for his family.
At the age of thirty-one years, he married
his wife, Betty Jane (Parker) who had been a previous acquaintance before his service days. They have raised nine children, all being born in Chillicothe and all graduated from the Chillicothe High School. Their children are Pamela of Rochester, New York; Clarence of Los Angeles, California; Michael who is a preacher in Columbia, Missouri; Steven of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Shelly of Elgin, Illinois; Rodney of San ;Diego, California; Charles Jr. of Denver, Colorado, Marsha and Gregory both of Chillicothe, Missouri.
In l966, Charles took a position as custodian at Central School where he worked until his retirement in 1983. He still does some part-time filling in at the Chillicothe schools whenever needed.
Other than one day a week on an outside job working for Lenora Lambert, Mrs. Crain has cared for her nine children and the housework plus raising big gardens and still finds time for her favorite hobby of fishing.
Betty and Charles have lived on Conn Street for the past twenty-five years and are both in fair health. Both are devoted to their church work and feel that God has given them many blessings as they struggled throughout their lives to be Christians and raise a good family. Charles recalls his great blessing of a good wife and mother to their children.
As parents they have tried to teach their children to be independent; knowing how to work, tried to give them a basic education, and tried to instill in them the real values of life.
Their ambition for the future is to rest more and take life easier. As they try to fulfill these hopes they plan to travel more to visit their children and their fourteen grandchildren, all of whom they love very much. Since these children are scattered from one coast to the other they can always find a different area to travel through.
Charles likes to fish, hunt, and most all types of sports. He remembers the more youthful years of playing on the basketball, baseball
and track teams.
He could remember his grade school teachers while living in Utica and Mooresville areas and attending the Attucks School. Those he mentioned were Mrs. Saunders, Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Rosemand, Mrs. Kinney, Mrs. Winfry, and Mrs. Green (no relation of Emma Green of Utica.) These were but a few of those teachers that have
taught over the past years at Attucks School.
Charles was considered the cut-up of the school and if he got into trouble at school he could expect trouble at home.
He told of the great fun that the white and black children had playing together with their sleighs and sleds on snow and ice down "Dietrich Hill" (road between Harold Romeiser and Gary Sirois residences and the ice skating on the brick plant pond. The fond memories of John and May Lee who were respected by the whites and the blacks alike and livened up Utica with their hall above their restaurant with the many social events that took place there and the dances, music and other gatherings.
He remembered their first auto after Betty and Charles were married. It was a used 1946 Dodge. Both knew how to drive but Betty has never had a license or driven since licenses have been required.
One amusing remark made by Charles is when he remarked that his families had always been Methodists and Republicans. He said that no black man would ever admit publicly that he was anything but a Republican since that was the political party of Abraham Lincoln. Other black people would certainly look on or take harsh action on their people if they admitted they were a Democrat. That has all changed now and their people believe that in voting one should vote for the man best qualified regardless of his party.
One of the highpoints of Charles' life is being selected the first black person to serve on a jury in Livingston County, in 1968.
As he reminisced of some of his orneriness,
he talked about the times that his cousins from Ludlow stayed with the Crain family to go to school, Walter and Leon Frazier. At this time of his life all of his sisters had left home so the four boys left, including the cousins, had to take turns doing the morning dishes. While Walter and Earl were doing dishes Leon and Charles would be out in the outhouse taking their morning smoke and visa versa with the other two boys. One morning while Walter and Earl were taking their smoke, their mother looked out the window and saw all of the smoke coming out of the cracks. She washed their mouths out with P. & G. laundry soap and that
stopped the morning smoking.
The old school bell would ring at 8:30 am and again at 9:00 am when time for school to begin. The boys always liked to go early to play but their mother would not let them go until the first bell rang. The boys would climb up on the roof of the home and ring an old bell that they kept hidden so that their mother would think it was the school bell and they would get to go earlier.
Another tie to the Utica area with Charles Crain was his Great Uncle and Aunt, John and Bertie Gudgell. John was the brother to his Grandmother Crain. John is well known by some of the older residents of Utica and the surrounding towns. He was an extremely popular and good carpenter. John is credited with building many of the homes
in Utica and the vicinity around.
He was born in Ludlow and came to Utica with his family. The Gudgells made their home at one time in the house that Minnie Taylor lived in for a good number of years and later was completely remodeled by Bill Cole, Sr.
John and Bertie left this home to move in with their Aunt Susan Smith to care for her until her death. Her property was passed on to the Gudgells where they lived until their death. They are buried in the Utica Cemetery. They had five children of which two are still living.
The Dale family was one of the earlier
families to locate in Utica after the plat had
been laid out. Daniel J. Dale brought his young son, William, to the United States after
his wife died in England. On their journey across the ocean, while aboard the ship, Daniel met a young widow whose last name was Smith. She also had a young son. At a later time, after arriving in the United States the two
William Dale was born in England in 1843 and died in 1918 and is buried in the Utica Cemetery. After arriving with his father from their trip across, he migrated to the Braymer area, it is not known just when the family came to Utica but family history shows that William married Hannah Welker and they had six children. John Daniel Dale was born on February 23, 1867 and always told people that he was just one day younger than George Washington. His brothers and sisters were Mary, who married Will Lyons of Braymer, Elizabeth (Lizzie) who married Otto Neushafer of Utica, William who married Emma Creason, Maggie who married Otto Anderson and Otto who married Ruby (maiden name unknown). John Daniel married Minnie May Smith.
Lizzie and Otto Neushafer, Will and Emma Dale, and John and Minnie all lived in Utica.
Mary and Will were of Braymer and Otto and Ruby lived in St. Joseph, Missouri while Maggie and Otto moved to Oregon.
Minnie May Smith was born in Utica in l869
and was the daughter of Elias and Nancy Jane Smith. They were married on Christmas Day in1885 at Chillicothe, Missouri. The couple had four children that survived and several children that died in their infancy. The surviving children were Clyde, Clara May, Rollo, and Eunice Roxy. Roxy is still living in Alexandria, Virginia.
After the children of John and Minnie were raised and away from home the couple enjoyed
spending their anniversary day alone, however their first Christmas together, all of their children and the children's families except for one person spent the day with them during his life, John Daniel operated a meat market in Utica, but in later years he farmed and worked a the fruit orchards picking apples. While working at the brick plant he worked six days a week. He liked his meat to eat and did his own butchering with the help of his family. He butchered several hogs and usually one beef
every year for the family's use.
He was a staunch Republican and there were many political discussions while sitting in John's front yard on Sunday afternoons. He smoked cigars but Minnie didn't let him smoke them in the house. John Daniel died in 1937 and Minnie May died the following spring in 1938.
Clara May (Dale), daughter of John Daniel and Minnie married Curtis Cyrus Thompson of Chillicothe. They lived south of Utica, in the Maple Grove District on a farm. On this farm their first child, John Alden, was born. The house burned and the family moved to temporary living quarters in a house nearby until the new house could be completed. In the temporary quarters a daughter, Helen May, was born. Finally, the new house was completed and the family moved into their new home. Here in the new home two more daughters were born.
In 1940 the family moved to a farm southeast of Nettleton the family moved to a farm Southeast of Nettleton, Missouri. When their son, John Alden married Erma (Douglas) they settled on a farm close to his parents.
Hope married Alvin W. Warner of Kansas City and had one daughter who died in her infancy, Hope resides in Independence, Missouri.
Marion married Ted Satterlee of Utica and they had two children, Floyd Curtis and Roxy Ann. At a later date Marion married John Byler of Melbourne, Arkansas.
Helen married Vincelle Rollin Jones of Chillicothe and they had four children, John Rollin, Barbara May, Dale Arthur, and Paul Everett.
Clara May and Curtis Cyrus passed away
while living in the Nettleton area they are buried in the Utica Cemetery. Their son, John died at a later date, but his widow Erma still lives on their Nettleton farm. John and Erma had one son, John Alden, who lives in Hamilton and teaches at the Hamilton High School as of this writing.
Vincelle Jones came to Utica from Java, South Dakota when he was eighteen years old. After his marriage to Helen they spent the first few years of their married life in Kansas City. Vincelle was employed as a diesel mechanic for a Caterpillar business. While in Kansas City John Rollin was born. When John Rollin was three months old, Helen's mother passed away and Vincelle and the family moved to the farm at Nettleton to help Helen's father with the farm. At this time the brother, John, was in the Navy.
While living on the farm their daughter Barbara May was born.
After the discharge of John from the Navy and soon after the end of World War II, the Jones family left the farm and moved to Chillicothe as John was farming with his Father. Vincelle went to work with a Caterpillar business and while in Chillicothe their two other sons were born, Dale Arthur and Paul Everett. When Paul was six weeks old, Vincelle, Helen, and the family moved to Utica to the house where they now reside.
Vincelle worked for the Caterpillar company for twenty-six years until he retired in 1975. During this time Helen worked five years in the County Clerk's office while the children were in college.
The Jones family were always involved in school and church activities. Vincelle and Helen are charter members of the Community Baptist Church of Utica and are still very active. Helen has taught Sunday School and Bible School for many years as Vincelle is active in other areas in the church. Vincelle has served on the Green Township Road District for many years as well as the Utica Cemetery Committee. Both are involved in other civic
Their son John married Doris Jean (Bartholomew) of Fayette, Missouri. They have two daughters, Amy Elizabeth and Reba Janine. John works for the State of Missouri as an auditor in the Family Services Department. The family lives in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Their daughter, Barbara married Kenneth Leroy Branson of New Haven, Missouri. He is a Baptist minister and a school teacher. Barbara teaches school, as of this writing they have two children and the family resides in Waynesville, Missouri.
Their son Dale lives in Chillicothe and works for Mid-America Dairymen, Inc.
Their son Paul married Roberta Lottie (Pancoast) of Chillicothe and they live in Chillicothe. Paul works at Milbank's Mills in Chillicothe.
In recalling memories of her grandfather, Helen remembers when her dad would help butcher. Sometimes it would be on Thanksgiving Day and the families would all make a day of it together.
There was a small orchard on the farm where Helen lived and when gathering the apples each Fall would always ask his father-in-law what kinds of apples he wanted for the winter. John Daniel would reply that he wanted a barrel of some of the varieties and a half of barrel of other kinds.
John Daniel built the house which J. C. Neal owns now, Helen can remember that there was only the porch swing and chairs were carried out of the house to sit on when other seating was needed out of doors, since there was no lawn furniture in those days.
When the Thompson family would visit the grandparents occasionally at night, John Daniel would go downtown Utica to the Dome's Store and come back with a large sack of candy for the grandchildren and some bananas. He often would buy a whole stalk of bananas. Helen recalls that banana crates were used for a clothes hamper in the Thompson home.
Vincelle and Helen are both retired and do enjoy their golden years. They putter in their
garden, flowers and lawn. They enjoy their children and grandchildren.
Ruth Davis was the second oldest child of
six children born to Ina and Ervin Crookshanks in Exeter, California. In her early years the Crookshanks moved to browning, Missouri where her father was a farmer in addition to an interest in the Crookshanks' bakery in Browning.
As a very young child, while visiting her grandparents' farm, Ruth lost her foot when she ran in front of her grandfather's mowing machine. Even at such an early age, Ruth was a strong hearted person and after the emergency care she received following the accident, by the following December she was fitted for an artificial limb and adjusted extremely well and has never considered her loss a handicap, nor does it appear to affect any of her many activities in the past or present.
Ruth attended her first year of school at Browning and the following years of schooling were at Springfield and her graduation from high school at Moberly.
Her father pursued the occupation of a baker with shops at each place they moved. an item found in the news items of an old paper writes of the Crookshanks' families opened one of the first bakeries in Chillicothe, and it was located at First and Vine Streets. The bakery operation was owned by Ruth's father, two of her brothers and a grandfather. The store was of retail truck route and even shipping by railroad.
Before Ruth's graduation, her father purchased a farm located Southwest of Utica.
While operating his bakery business in Moberly, he hired tenant farmers to care for the farm until he sold the bakery business and moved full time to farm.
Ruth recalled a phone call received by her father on April 2, 1933 that one of the tenant farmers, and the wife, and all of their five children were killed when their car was struck by a fast moving passenger train at the Miller Crossing Southwest of Utica.
After completing her high school, Ruth met
and married William (Pete) C. Davis and they moved to California near Los Angeles. In 1942 Pete went into construction work, during World War II, with the Navy CBs. Ruth came back to stay with her parents, on the farm, as her father was in poor health. Her sisters also came back to stay with their parents while their husbands were in the service.
The three sisters decided to care for all of the farming and cattle and hold the farm
intact for their parents. They did all of the haying, feeding, planting, harvesting or whatever there was to do. Ruth recalls lots of help from their neighbors, and other experiences, some bad, or happy, or funny during this period of farming.
When Pete returned, he and Ruth moved back to California and lived there until Pete's death, in January 1966, from an apparent heart attack while asleep. Before his death Pete was an x-ray technician inspecting seams in a boiler factory, and Ruth was a comtometer operator with U. S. Rubber for fourteen years.
It was during this time that the Davis's were fortunate to adopt two children Michael (Mike) at four years old, and Debra (Debi) eight months old, a brother and sister. there was a little sister, Glenda, in between but while the Davis's were in the legal process of adopting her she has given to another family. With the help of Ruth in later years, the three children were able to make contact with each other and they continue to keep in contact with each other.
After the death of Pete, Ruth moved with her children back to stay with her widowed mother in Ludlow until she purchased the home in Utica where she is now living.
This home site was purchased from Mike and Mildred Clark and was formerly the site of the trinity Espicopal Church Parish in the year of 1859 and later sold to W. T. Stone, one of the earlier settlers of the Utica area.
Ruth became employed at the former IGA Grocery Store in Chillicothe and retired in 1977.
Ruth's children finished their high school
at Southwest. Mike continued his education obtaining his Master's degree in business management while serving in the Navy Air Force. He married Jeanie Griffith of Dawn. They have two children. Mike's present occupation is in management in a restaurant chain and Jeanie is a lab technician, Mike and family live in the city of Carrollton, Texas.
Debi received her Master's degree in elementary education and is now teaching in Columbia Missouri where she resides with her family. She married Jim Scanlon of Breckenridge, Missouri and they have two children. Jim is the head basketball coach in the school where he teaches.
Ruth was always involved in Church, school, civic, as well as family activities,
retirement did not slow down Ruth's activities. It is said of those that know Ruth, "one needs to make an appointment to catch Ruth." Some of her friends call her business "gadding" but Ruth calls it fun or worthwhile causes.
Other than her children and their spouses, the grandchildren are her special joy. Ruth cherishes her close relationship with her family.
At the present her interests are shopping, Church activities, civic affairs and gadding, she is a voluntary taxi service. She enjoys all types of ball sports and specially
when her grandson plays basketball.
Mike and Debi will probably always remember the sense of ESP that their parents seem to have when they misbehaved and were found out, the roast that was put in the oven every Sunday morn as the family went off to Church, the fact that if they did not attend Church, they could have no other activities that day and probably the worst was when the parents seemed to always agree with the teacher until there was proof otherwise.
Ruth's wishes for the future are good health, to continue to be able to drive her car, to be a part of her Church and most of all to be a loving mother and grandmother.
To sum up this story of Ruth, she is a survivor, bored with inactivity and is a jolly person and makes friends easily.
Louise Florence Smith was one of four children born to Florence and Ernest Smith from the state of Illinois. At the birth of the youngest boy the mother passed away leaving the four children to be cared for. Grandfather Smith
took two of the children to raise and Louise Florence and her baby brother, Ray, came to live with their mother's sister, Josephine (Smith) and they owned the property at the top of what is now known as "Stamper's Hill" and it was here that Louise and Ray came to call home.
Through the financial support of their wealthy grandfather, Louise graduated from a business college in Galesburg, Illinois and Ray returned to Illinois after his high school years. While in Illinois Ray studied for a position with the Burlington Railroad.
G. F. Drake was later widowed when Josephine succumbed to a bout with cancer.
At a later date he married Mattie (Stone). There was only one child born to G. F. Drake during the marriage and the child died at a young age. There were not any children from the marriage to Josephine. G. F. Drake did take some nieces and nephews under his wing as his own.
Francis Marion Dome was born in Elkhart, Indiana and in 1865 left Elkhart by covered wagon to come to Livingston County. He settled in Utica where he met and married Elizabeth (Baltis). Her family had been some of the earlier settlers of this vicinity. The couple had three sons and one daughter all born within Utica and all attending school here. The three sons grew up to become prominent citizens of
Utica and the daughter never married.
In 1899 Charles and his brother Leonard opened up the Dome Brothers Grocery and were partners until 1929. The first building housing the store was located by the existing buildings of the post office and building to the North. When this building burned the store was moved to the site where the Fire Station is now and in later years before the fire station
was the Clark's General Store.
The Dome's competition was that of the Dietrich Brothers General Mercantile Store and it was located just up the street to the South on the Southeast corner of the property now owned by Gary Sirois.
The Dome Brothers operated the store until they sold it to one of their employees, Tom McCoy who became the Postmaster and operated the store for many years later.
The other Dome brother of Ralph Loomis is given his family history through the history of Smith, Baltis, Dome, Mounce, and Harter families.
In 1905 Charles Dome fell in love with Louise Florence Smith and they were married. Their children are Francis Marion II, Florence Elizabeth, and Charles Max.
Francis Marion Dome II married Mary Alice (Bradford) and they had one daughter Mary Marlene. Before his marriage, Francis attended the Chillicothe Business College and after that graduation he became employed by Montgomery Ward Co.
when the first Ward's store was opened up in Chillicothe. During this employment he met and married Mary Alice Bradford. He later transferred to Pueblo, Colorado. After leaving Pueblo he moved his family to Brunswick, Missouri where he owned and operated his own Gambles Store. It was in these years that he became associated with the W. J. Small Firm and assumed full operation of his farm of one thousand acres. He continued this enterprise until his death, at the age of fifty-one. Mary Alice survived
him for one year.
Their daughter, Mary Marlene, graduated from Brunswick High School to go on to Christian College and from there to the University of Missouri to obtain her teachers degrees. She taught home economics at Brentwood High School in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1961 she married Dr. Tom J. Coy of Keytesville, Missouri. They now live in Nashville, Illinois where Dr. McCoy and two other associates operate their own
clinic. The couple has three children, Megan Michelle, Thomas Bradford, and
Charles Max Dome married Mary Lee (Cramer) of the Maple Grove area. He was an enterprising person and started a bulk oil business and a Skelly Oil Service Station in Chillicothe. He was inducted into the service during World War II and was killed in action while on Luzon in 1945. The couple had no children, Mary Lee remained widowed for many years before she remarried to become Mary Lee Everett.
Florence Elizabeth Dome, like her brothers, was born in Utica and graduated from high school in Utica. After her graduation she attended two years at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri to obtain her associate degree in order to teach. She returned to this area and taught a sum of forty-three years in the Utica, Chillicothe,
Hamilton, and Kidder schools. During most of her teaching career she was a high school English and dramatics teacher. She has to her credit the directing of forty-eight plays. Before she retired she was contracted by the government to operate reading machines in the school system.
During her first summers, except for one, she would attend college at Warrensburg until she received her bachelor's degree. The one summer she accepted the position of Postmaster operating out of her father's store. After one year of that she was happy to return for her degree. This was just prior to the purchase of the store by Tom McCoy.
During these years of teaching she met Elmer McDonnal. Elmer's parents were Willard and Grace McDonnal. Willard and his family were residents of Utica and he was employed by the local orchards. The family resided in the former house that was located where Edgar Kohl has his home now, Elmer and Grace had four children that survived to adulthood. These four were Arnold, Howard, Elmer, and George.
Elmer was a few years older than Florence and was employed as a salesman for Monarch and Consolidated Foods, Florence was in her late thirties and not particularly interested in a steady beau. She was living with her parents and very career minded. She received her first phone
call from Elmer asking for a date to attend the movies in Trenton. She accepted not really caring if the date materialized or not and much against the wishes of her mother, since Elmer was older than Florence. After their first date in June the relationship grew until they were married in December of the same year.
Not many people or her students recognized that the two were becoming serious since they both had new Chevrolets exactly alike. Little attention was paid when Elmer came to call because many thought that it was Florence's car parked in front of her house. Some students first realized that she was dating when the bus was following the couple home one evening from school in Chillicothe. She was teased a lot by her students from then until her marriage to Elmer.
Elmer and Florence moved. into a home that Elmer had built in Chillicothe. They lived there approximately four years before their move to Utica to live in the home of her parents.
She had a terrible dilemma as to what to do with all of the furniture that she had and that of her Mother's not wanting to part with any of it. She rented two rooms from the old hotel to store the unused pieces in but after a period of running back and forth shuffling what she wanted in her house and caring for all at two locations she made a decision to sort through and have an auction. This was good news to Elmer.
After Elmer's retirement he took a part-time job as a salesman with Marts Drugs and remained employed part-time until about two months before his death.
After Florence's retirement she remained in the home until about one year ago when she took residence in a residential care unit, although she still owns the old home place as of this writing.
Florence and Elmer did not have any children of their own but her niece, Marlene, was like her own.
As a child growing up in Utica, she recalls lots of fun and memories.
Some of the memories appear to be funnier
now as Florence reminisces, Once there was a crowd of students gathered after school to observe a fight between her cousin, Evelyn Dome and Beulah Alexander. The fight was broken up after a severe struggle. The next morning, Florence was one of the students called into the office for watching the fight.
When a teacher had given an assignment to a class of her students on one occasion a student, Vern Bagley, let out an oath for disapproval. There was quite a bit of controversy over the teacher's punishment of having Vern wash his mouth out with coconut oil shampoo.
She relates of the times that the students would lock their sixth grade teacher out of the classroom and another time when the teacher, B. B. Dowell left his classroom for a short time to visit his wife who was having a baby. While he was gone, instead of doing the assignment left for the students to do, they decided to play with the basketball in the classroom and it went out of the open window, down into the parking lot, in front of the car, just as Mr. Dowell drove into the school.
Then there was the time that Florence and a bunch of her friends all smoked some cigars at a chivaree and how sick they all got.
She remembers when Lela Sherman and herself found Wilfred (Willie) Potts in the school library and talked him into letting them braid his long straight hair into many, many small pigtails. When the superintendent wandered in on the process, he asked what they were doing. They replied that they were starting a beauty shop. They were told to unbraid all of the pigtails and only reprimanded not to let it happen again.
She remembers all of the Dome relatives living close around each other in the homes that they either built, purchased from each other, or inherited.
After becoming a teacher she had many funny experiences. One time she was playing basketball with the older boys out on the court.
The medal fastener on the overall suspenders of Leo Sissell cut her across her forehead deeply enough that she was compelled to take the rest of the day off to go have stitches made.
One time that stands out was when she had constantly scolded and warned her students against playing marbles for keeps and that she would not tolerate it. When she left the classroom on one occasion and returned later she found fourteen boys in the middle of the floor playing marbles "for keeps." She contacted the superintendent of her intentions of punishment and was offered
his assistance but she insisted on administering all of the paddlings herself. When she was finished with all fourteen she was exhausted
and said that she never ever gave anyone else a paddling during the rest of her teaching career.
One of the memories of her mother was how kind and thoughtful Mrs. Ira Hedrick was to her mother (Josephine Smith that raised her). She was such a caring person that she would ride most every day horseback to look after Aunt Josephine (Jo) during her illness. Mrs. Hedrick journeyed from the Hedrick farm (which is now a part of the Beetsma Farm) to and up "Stamper Hill." Mrs. Hedrick was loved by everyone and
although she was a woman of financial means she was most common to all of her friends and acquaintances. Louise Dome said "Everyone should have known Ella Hedrick, for she was a very sweet person"
Florence Elizabeth is still quite active in her new residence. She visits daily with all of her friends in the residential facility. She is involved in the craft programs, the exercise classes, and takes jaunts almost daily in the tour bus with the other residents. She has an extremely sharp mind, but then one does expect that of a school teacher. She never gets bored for the lack of something to do.
Although Florence is not confined to a wheelchair she finds it the quickest and most comfortable mode of getting around as much and as fast as she wishes to travel about within the housing units.
She remains a very busy person.
Howard McMillen Hawkins was the fourth child
born to Walter Carl Hawkins and Susan Golda (McMillen) Hawkins. The other three children are Mary Fae, Hattie Mae, and Walter. Being the youngest, Walter's brothers and sisters were just the right age to spoil their baby brother.
The parents of Walter Carl Hawkins were Othello Smith Hawkins and Melissa Ann (Eliott) Hawkins. they had seven children. Othello and Melissa came to this area, South of Utica, in the early 1880s and purchased the farm that Howard Hawkins was later born at. Othello was a school teacher and also fought in the Civil War.
The parents of Susan Golda (McMillen) Hawkins were John Alfred McMillen and Susan Melvina (Stone) McMillen. John and Susan had ten children and raised their family one mile south of Utica where John farmed. Susan Melvina was the daughter of the earlier settlers, Judge John and Susannah Stone the only girl of eight children.
Madeline Annabell Walz was the oldest of five children born to Herbert Martin Walz and Caroline Earnestine (Myers) Walz. The other children are Carolyn Ruby (Rawlins), Reta (Coleman), Robert Lee, and Fontelle Marilyn (Lemon).
The parents of Herbert Walz were George Walz and Anna (Osborn) Walz. Herbert was the seventh of nine children raised in Utica. George was a farmer and in later years operated a gas station and bus station at the Utica Junction.
Caroline's parents were Harry (Hal) Myers and Emily Belle (Kerr) Myers. She had one brother and one sister who died in infancy. Hal Myers worked on the railroad, built a number of bridges in Livingston County and in later years operated a blacksmith shop in Utica, which was South of the now existing Masonic building .
Howard Hawkins spent his boyhood on the
farm where he was born and where he still lives. He walked a mile and a half each day to attend the Maple Grove School and three miles each day to attend High School in Utica where he graduated. His last two years he was allowed to drive his parents 1927 Buick car to school, part of the time. The first car he can remember his parents owning is a Buick touring car. Life was great for Howard as he spent his boyhood going to school and doing a lot of fishing and hunting and riding ponies with his friends and relatives. He has attended lots of family reunions. Howard has always attended the Utica Baptist Church.
Madeline was raised in Utica and there was always a new brother or sister to help care for. She was blessed with lots of relatives and her friends to play with. She enjoyed school at Utica and all of the different activities at school. Her father worked on the railroad and was away from home a good deal of the time. One of her favorite pastimes was going next door to Grandpa and Grannie Myers. All of her brothers and sisters were born in Utica. Madeline was enrolled in the nursery at the Utica Baptist Church when she was a baby and has regularly attended church since that time. The first car she can remember was her parents owning a Model A Ford.
Howard and Madeline accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior at the same revival meeting, held at the Utica Baptist Church by Rev. Charles Foley and were both baptized on September 23, 1934. They have been members there since that time. Howard has served as a Sunday School superintendent, trustee, treasurer, song leader,
and was ordained as a deacon on February 21, 1954. Madeline has taught Sunday School since she was fourteen years old, been a G. A. and training union leader and has served as the church clerk since June 1956.
Howard and Madeline had their first date on September 11, 1937 and on December 21, 1938 they decided to elope and were married. They moved to the farm two and half miles South of Utica, where they now live and have lived all but one year of their married life. The one year was spent in Utica.
The first car they owned was a used 1933 Ford coupe and the first new vehicle they owned was a red 1952 one-half ton Dodge pick-up truck.
During the first years of their marriage, life was quite different than the present. The farming was done with horses. Their first tractor purchased was a F-12 1937 Farmall (steel wheeled)in January 1940. Large gardens were raised, there was no electricity and the house was heated with wood which they cut. Cows were milked by hand to sell cream from and chickens were raised for the family's use and to sell in order to buy other necessities. There were no refrigerators and the way you kept food cool was to carry it back and forth to the cellar.
Howard always worked with the threshing crews and Madeline would cook for about eighteen of the threshers when the crew was at their farm for threshing.
To supplement income, Howard would work at Central States Orchard Company, picking sorting apples each fall.
There were two daughters born to Howard and Madeline. Shirley Jean and Madalyn Karol. Both girls attended Maple Grove grade school and Chillicothe High School. While Shirley and Karol were growing up their home was always a busy place with the entertaining of lot of friends and relatives in the home, their regular attendance at the Utica Baptist Church and any other church activities, all school activities in both grade and high school, as well as the visiting of their relatives and grandparents. In
addition the girls always found time for the playing of fishing, going ice skating and sled
riding with their friends and family.
Shirley now lives in Lubbock, Texas and she has two children, Her daughter Ronda Kay is married to Garry Brandt, and the son, Todd Howard Thompson who is a senior at Southwest Baptist University at Bolivar and works as a
computer programmer. He plans to be married to Judy Newbold of O'Fallon, Missouri during 1986. Ronda's husband, Garry, is a football coach and a teacher at Camdenton.
Karol attended Central Missouri State University at Warrensburg for two and half
years after her high school graduation. She is married to Raymond Eugene Jones. Raymond is the Vice-President of Shelter Insurance Companies and they reside in Columbia, Missouri. They have one daughter, Andrea Rae who is fourteen and a freshman in high school.
Howard and Madeline have always belonged and been active in the Democratic party during their married life. Howard served as Democrat Committee from Green Township for years. He has also served as Green Township Trustee and a member of the Township Board.
By the insistence of a very dear friend and a Democrat, Howard McDonnal, Madeline filed as a candidate for Green Township Collector and served in that office from l953 through 1959. She made collector settlements with the County Clerk, who at that time was H. Earl Barnes. One
day as Madeline was making her settlement, he asked if she wanted to work part-time as a deputy county clerk which she accepted and from
June 1956 until March 16, 1959 she worked part-time. After then Mr. Barnes asked her to work as a full time deputy. She served as a deputy until Mr. Barnes resigned his position, due to poor health and Madeline was appointed by the Governor of Missouri as the Livingston County Clerk, on January 20, 1964. She has served at this position for the past twenty-two years and has filed for another term and is running unopposed. This part of Madeline's life has been very interesting. They have made many friends and its has been their pleasure to serve the residents of Livingston County.
As they look back over their lives, they feel that they have been well blessed and that reasoning due to the trusting in the Lord to care for them each day, which he has done and in doing so the lord
has made life a beautiful experience for both. They have thoroughly enjoyed their parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters, their daughters, and grandchildren, all of their friends and their work.
They are devoted to their Church work and their worshiping of the Lord as their Savior, and feel an extra closeness to their Christian friends.
Some interesting facts from the Hawkins' is that of the ten children of Susan Melvina (Stone) McMillen, one drowned in the Grand River at the age of fourteen, a son Drury Edwin. Church history shows that another daughter joined the Utica Baptist Church in 1898.
Of the children of Othello and Melissa Hawkins two were a set of twins.
Although at one time the relatives were many in the Utica area, as of this writing Madeline is the only one remaining in the local vicinity.
In the early 1900's O. Peterie married Ida
Marie Boston. The parents of Ida Marie were residents of Utica and the Bostons were quite involved business wise. Mr. Boston operated a blacksmith shop in the small building still standing and now used as a mechanic garage across the street to the West of the present fire station, and a livery stable in that same vicinity was operated by the Bostons, they ran a butcher shop on the Southwest corner of the property now owned by Robert and Marge Searcy. The Boston family were busy people and hired quite a few employees.
To the marriage of O. Peterie and Ida Marie were born three children, daughter Leon married Ear Kit Carson (not the legendary figure) and Leon's daughter married a Tom Sawyer. The Peterie's son Dana O., and their daughter (Buck) Beatrice were the other two children.
Due to a separation of O. Peterie and Ida Marie, the children remained with their father. Later O. Peterie met Mary Cobb, from the Chillicothe area and they were married. From this union three children were born to add to the household, Paul who died at an early age, Josephine who died in her infancy, and Adveline (Allie Hickman) who is the only surviving child of her mother from this marriage.
Mary Cobb at an early age married a man by the name of Ray Dusenberry at Odessa, Missouri. Most of that marriage was spent living in a covered wagon where she gave birth to three children, Forrest, Elmer, and Neva. It was when this marriage ended that Mary came back to this area around Chillicothe that O. Peterie met her. They were married in 1916. Her maiden name was Cobb.
Mary's son Forrest continued to live with them until he was married. At the age of nineteen he had a hunting accident and shot himself through the arm, which had to be amputated. Later, he married a woman that walked with a crutch because of a crippled hip. Even with these handicaps the pair, Forrest and wife Birdie, owned and operated a restaurant on Southwest
Boulevard in Kansas City for many years,
Mr. Peterie was a brick mason, carpenter and an interior decorator in the Livingston County area in addition to farming on the side.
When Allie was of a young, age Mr. Peterie and his family moved to the area South of Chillicothe known as "Jim Town Bottoms" where they resided in an original log cabin. This farm was located near the area now known as Roach Lake. Allie remembers ice-skating on the lake before the Roach Lake Club was formed.
Allie attended McCreary rural school for seven years before her family moved into Chillicothe where Allie went to the eighth and ninth grades. When Allie's father became ill it became necessary for her to help earn her way through school, so she chose to go live with her half-brother, Dana, and his wife in North Kansas City. While living there she worked her way through the balance of her high school years and graduated from North Kansas City High School. During this time her parents remained in Chillicothe.
After her graduation she attended one year of courses at the Trenton Junior College. Allie worked part-time at Brown Shoe Store while going to college and roomed at a boarding house with five other girls.
Charles and Retta Hickman came to Livingston County by covered wagon, from the south. They had a baby boy who became very ill and died one night while they were camped on the Black River in South Missouri. After arriving in the County, the Hickmans first settled in the Grand River bottoms, South of Chillicothe in a place called
"Isril Flats.'' They had four boys, Earnest, James B., (Jim), Clarence, and Alfred, and two
girls, Ruth and Eva. The family was farming in these bottoms during the flood of 1909 and the Hickmans lost some of their livestock in that flood. The Hickman family moved to a farm North of Avalon where their children were raised.
James B.(Jim as those of Utica know him) attended the rural Greene School through the sixth grade and due to hard times he went to live with his Aunt Clara Moffitt at Desoto, Kansas. Here, he was able to finish the eighth grade. He helped his aunt, who owned a grocery store, by delivering groceries, ice, and coal. At the age of fourteen years he was driving the delivery truck to all points of delivery and through the Kansas City areas.
As a young adult Jim returned to Avalon to hire out as a farm laborer. Allie's and Jim's parents had been good friends for many years and it was this way that the two became interested in each other.
While the two families were visiting one day, Jim asked Allie for a date. They went to Chillicothe on this date in Jim's Model T Ford car, to see a silent movie. Jim had purchased his Model T Ford for fifteen dollars and paid it off in monthly installments.
Allie recalled many other dates with Jim on horseback or in a two seated high front buggy, when the roads were not passable for automobiles.
The two went steady for two years and were married at Chillicothe, by the Justice of the Peace. They had to obtain their marriage license in Trenton, as the man at the Chillicothe license bureau knew Allie and her age. She recalled her wedding day as a beautiful sunny day.
They returned that same day to the Hickman homeplace to set up housekeeping in the upstairs of the two story house, while Jim's sister, Eva and her husband Leon Newman and their daughter (now Marge Searcy) occupied the downstairs portion.
After a few months, Jim rented a farm in the "Low Land" area North of Avalon for about two to three years. Here, their first daughter, Mary Louise was born on Allie's birthday. Times were hard and Jim moved his family South of Chillicothe and went to work on W. P. A. for about three months before obtaining a job with the railroad. They lived in the small house on the South side of old Highway 36 across from the present R. E. A. Office. Where the R. E. A. office now stands, Allie's parents, the Peteries, managed and operated a restaurant and service station before the present R. E. A. office was built. Nora Lucille was born to the Hickman's
while living at this location.
The family then moved to a house Northwest of Central States Orchards in the Mooresville district for a very short period of time. They were able to move to Spring Town, North of Mooresville, and rent the house, all out buildings, and ten acres and the mineral springs that had been the location of the old scenic hotel in the years past. All of this was rented for twelve dollars per month. The family was excited over the pump in the house even though it took some getting use to the taste of the mineral water. James Richard was born here. During this move Jim changed employment to the Utica brick plant.
When James was about four years old the Hickman's moved back to Chillicothe and purchased a two story dwelling near the Chillicothe Business College. Their last child, Linda Kay, was born while living here.
This was the era of World War II. Jim was unable to pass the service exam to enlist due to a heart, murmur. To be involved Jim went to Sunflower, Kansas to work in an explosive factory. Allie remained in Chillicothe with her family and rented a portion of the house for apartments to girls attending the business college. Marge Newman (Searcy later) stayed some with Allie and the family during these years. Marge was an only child and she really enjoyed the companionship of her cousins.
After the war Jim returned to the Utica brick plant and in 1950 the Hickmans purchased the present home from Edgar Kohl. The house had been originally built by Joseph (Judge) and Mollie Bonderer.
Jim continued his employment at the brick plant until he was forced to retire due to his health in 1961. In addition to his employment full time, he operated the road maintainer for Green Township and continued on the maintainer and mowing of the roadsides for the Village of Utica even after his retirement. Jim passed away December 3, 1985, suddenly with an apparent heart attack.
After moving to Utica, Allie has been employed by Union Bankers Insurance, National Bell
Hess, Gibsons, two nursing homes, and seven years at IGA Grocery before it closed in Chillicothe. She remains at their hone at the present.
Before the passing of Jim, he was the president of the Roach Lake Boat Club. The year of his retirement, he and Alllie moved out and bought a cabin to retire in at the Lake. They moved in the cabin for the fall and stayed through the winter but were flooded out in the Spring. They gave up the idea of full time retirement there and moved back to their home in Utica. Jim, did however, continue to care for the maintenance and remain the president of the club until his death.
Jim, enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and horse shoe pitching. He passed away as he had desired "in a hurry with his boots on"
Since a tomb stone could not be erected until the ground had settled more, one grandson made a nice temporary wooden monument with Jim's famous slogan "Have no fear J. B.'s here" plus other loving words and beloved Grandpa as the epitaph.
Allie enjoys fishing, outdoor activities, gardening, especially flowers, and sewing crafts. Her wishes for the future are to remain in good health, go when she wants to go and where she wants to go, continue to be able to drive her car, and be a help to any of her family when they need her.
Both Jim and Allie are proud of their nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. They hold a special love for their own children and their mates who are always there whenever they are needed.
Allie recalled some memories worth mentioning. While living with her parents in the Jim Town Bottoms the home was flooded in and her father became ill. Just before he was to leave by boat to go to the car on higher ground and drive into the doctor's office, Allie decided to go out the front door and forgot the water. She was swept out into the flood water and carried down to be caught in the chicken fence.
She was very young and screaming loudly when her half sister heard her. Her father was able to rescue her safely.
The first car she remembers that her parents owned was a Willys with side-curtains to pull down in the winter.
When O. Peterie, Allie's father, was married to Ida Marie Boston and they lived in Utica, Mr. Peterie and Tom McCoy helped move the brick plant equipment from Red Oak, Iowa to the present site, the two assembled all of the equipment by hand after moving it.
Jim's mother raised her granddaughter, Vera, after her mother passed away at childbirth. The baby Vera weighed less than two pounds and was premature Her grandmother kept the baby wrapped in cotton and olive oil and warmed on a pillow on the oven door and fed the baby with an eye dropper. The baby required this care for many months. Vera grew strong and has led a normal life. She has raised six of the seven children that she gave birth by her husband, James Jones, from the Dawn area. Vera (Hickman) Jones is now living in the Mooresville area.
Jim and his brothers plowed five acres while pulling a walking plow with a 1926 Dodge touring car.
Other interesting facts connected with Allie's life is that Beatrice, her half-sister that they called Buck, left this area to go to Florida and there met her husband she married. This man was Frank Buck of the safaris and Northwest Mounties Movies. His first wife was Pearl of the famous "Pearl and Frank Buck bring em back alive." Beatrice was his second wife.
The vacant area between the Hickman home and the two story tin building to the South, was the place that the Utica Opera House once stood. Jim from time to time had found some coins, silver dollars, and other relics from the past in this area.
The children of Jim and Allie will remember the many good times that the family did enjoy like the times each year that they went to
Minnesota to fish at Star Light Lake.
Allie remembers the many hours on the pontoon in South Missouri just fishing all day with their lunch aboard.
Some of the funnier memories of the children while growing up were recalled; Louise fell out of the family car while traveling and was missed some distance later. She had not been hurt.
Lucille used to think that her elbows were given her to keep her from falling in while using the outside toilet.
Linda was sobbing to her daddy after his return trying to tell why her mother had given her a spanking for not getting to the outside toilet earlier. Her reason was that "How can I keep the door shut, hold my nose, and still pull down my underwear to go with just two hands?"
The family had a very mean buck sheep that no one dared to go into the pasture with, but one day here came Jimmy (son James) up through the gate with his arm around that buck like they were buddies.
There were hard times but the joys of the love in a family and the togetherness is worth it all.
Walter Lee Hightower came from Shelby County
to Livingston County about the turn of the century as an employee of the Burlington Railroad. He married Bertie Lee (Frith) who came from the state of Kansas. They had six children and one of these being George Walter, the youngest of the six children. The couple and their family settled in the Mooresville community.
Bertie and her daughters worked in the old Mooresville telephone exchange for several years.
George Walter attended the schools in the Mooresville area of that time and later married Hazel Lucille (Gilliland). From this union two children were born, Peggy Lou and William Walter.
George and Hazel settled on a farm and have farmed all of their married life in the Mooresville vicinity and as of this writing are still living on their farm.
Peggy and Bill attended their elementary years at Mooresville. Peggy graduated from Mooresville High School. She is married to Clarence Sams. They have four children. The Sams live in Liberty, Missouri.
Fay S. Cosgrove and Nevada F. (Norman) Cosgrove came from Iowa to Chillicothe with two of their three children. Edward and Barbara were born in Salem, Iowa and the third child, Larry was born in Chillicothe. The Cosgroves moved to the Mooresville farm while Barbara was in the third grade. Edward married Delaine (Curtis) of Chillicothe. They have four children. Larry married Wilma (Garrison) of Chillicothe. They have two boys and they reside in Utica at the present.
Fay's occupation, other than some time farming was that of a carpenter and electrician.
Barbara recalls that her friendship grew with Bill as they were school chums and neighbors. Bill was one grade ahead of her in school.
The friendship was further cultivated since the older children were permitted to walk home from school if they so desired. Bill, Barbara, and another neighbor girl, Sandra Brown, walked
home rather than ride the station wagon bus that was provided by the school.
The eighth grade year was the last year that Barbara went to Mooresville School. by this time the consolidated district to Southwest School had been formed and Bill and Barbara continued their high school years there.
By the time Barbara was a sophomore and Bill was a junior, they considered that they were going steady. The first date requested by Bill was while Barbara was in the garden picking peas. The event was a double date with all going to the movies in Chillicothe.
In the month of June after her graduation, the two were married at the Church of Christ in Chillicothe by Ralph Acree. Barbara's brother, Edward was the best man, and Bill's sister, Peggy was the brides maid.
The two first set up housekeeping in a rented house North of Mooresville. Later they rented another house North of Ludlow where they were living when their first son, Douglas, was born. Their next move was to Utica where they live now, and here their second son, David, was born. They moved to Chillicothe for a short time and returned to purchase the house from Ralph and Marie McCain that they had previously rented.
The family remembers the excitement of modernizing the home with the help of Barbara's dad. They recall the wonderful neighbors they had and named those of Hazel Lemon, Ura Minnick, Mary Treon, and Tannessee Bryan. These women often dropped in to help Barbara dress her fryers or old hens, prepare her garden items for canning, or whatever seemed to be at hand. Their help was all volunteered and very much appreciated
by the Hightowers.
The remarks were made while preparing this for this writing that the world and neighborhoods are much too caught up in a busy way to socialize and befriend each other in this manner much anymore.
Bill recalled working at the hog farm using the old Mooresville school building. He also worked for Barbara's uncle, Cecil Higgins,
who owned the R. C. Bottling Plant. He drove a feed truck delivering Morman Feed for Council
Feeds and still later, Bill was employed by the Dr. Pepper Bottlers. For the past twelve years he has been employed at the Donaldson Company in Chillicothe. In addition to the named employment he farmed with his father, worked for other farmers and worked at other odd jobs.
In the early years of their marriage, Barbara taught playschool at the United Methodist Church for about three years. In 1973 she started working for the Bailey Studio in Chillicothe. She is still working there and enjoys her work very much.
The entire family has always been known for their huge gardens, raising of their chickens and livestock for their own meat as well as for extra income, their canning and preserving of foods, and the menagerie of all types of fowl and animals on their small acreage in Utica. Their neighbors and all friends know the Hightowers to be busy people.
In addition to their normal routine of employment and family life the family is also involved in their church work and community
Bill helped organize the present fire district and is the present fire chief. Barbara
has been a Sunday School teacher of pre-school and kindergarten for the past twenty years. Both are involved in projects of the Utica Community Betterment Association.
Bill and the boys still find time to hunt and fish, which is their favorite pastime.
Barbara enjoys her flowers and the garden.
Both Bill and Barbara feel they have had a good life and were well blessed with loving in-laws on both sides.
The Hightowers are extremely conscience in trying to help others without needing to be asked. Bill and the boys are well known for their weed mowing and snow removal from driveways, their garden plowing or whatever they find to do for others. The family is an asset to the Village of Utica.
Henry and Mary Howerton lived near the Iowa
line on the Missouri side and were the parents of Press Howerton. Press married Lottie and the couple had twelve children. Not much is known of Lottie's side of the family except as a young girl she grew up in the Lock Springs area.
In naming of the children of Press and Lottie, there were six boys and six girls.
Evelyn was the oldest and married Arthur Drummond from the Bedford area. They had seven children and lived around Wheeling until their move to Quincy, Illinois. Arthur was a fireman of the furnace at the St. Marys Hospital after moving to Illinois and prior to that he was a farmer.
Charles remained unmarried. He served in the tank division in the Infantry. After his discharge, he did farm labor but passed away in his mid-fifties due to illness.
Opal married Sam Eller from Mooresville. They had seven children. He was employed at farm labor and the Mooresville township. He later moved to Utica to work at the brick plant until his retirement. He lived at one time, when in Utica, where the Goodman family now resides.
Alma married Dwayne Gaunt and they had six children. He too, did farm labor for a few years until he was hired as a truck driver for the brick plant and later was just a laborer around the plant. When he moved to Richmond, Missouri he became employed at the rock quarry until his retirement.
Perry lives at Mooresville and he and his wife had five children. He served in the ground forces of the Infantry in World War II. After his discharge he worked for the Burlington Railroad until his retirement.
Betty married Jack Curtis of Kansas City. They had two children and he served in the U. S. Air Force as a mechanic. After his discharge he was hired as a tool and die maker with
Westinghouse until his retirement.
Lonzo served in the U. S. Army in Food and Medical Divisions until his discharge. He then worked at farm labor until his death at the age of thirty-nine. He became ill while husking corn in the field and was brought about three miles by a wagon to the doctor at Breckenridge. He was pronounced dead by suffocation from the chaff and dust from the corn husks. Lonzo had one daughter by a previous marriage but was unmarried at the time of his death.
Donald remains unmarried as of this writing. He served as a parachute jumper in the U. S. Infantry. He now resides with his sister and her husband in Richmond, Missouri. He does odd jobs as employment.
Gordon married Marjorie (Marge) Jane O'Dell and further history will be given after the remaining brothers and sisters of Gordon have been listed herein.
Madaline married Raymond Wyman and they had three children. Raymond served as a U. S. Serviceman and took employment with the John Deere factory as a welder after his discharge from the service. Raymond is retired and lives with his family in Rock Island, Illinois.
Mary married Gene Snook and they live at Belton, Missouri. They had two children. Gene made a career of the service and served in the U. S. Infantry until his retirement.
Archie lives with his wife, Marge, in Knoxworth, California. They have two boys. Archie made a career of his service years in the U. S. Navy from which he retired. He is now employed with some type of secret service work with the government.
Press and Lottie were a hard working couple and passed this heritage down to their twelve children who all at an early age started to earn their livelihoods.
Press Howerton was a fireman on the Wabash Railroad for fourteen years going to the same occupation at the Chillicothe Business College and on St. Marys Hospital in Quincy, Illinois. Here he was employed as the furnace
and boiler man for approximately six years or so. He moved to Utica area and fired the kilns for about three years before taking on all around odd job labor at the Midland Brick and Tile Co. When it was near his retirement he moved to Mooresville and spent the rest of his life there until his death. He is buried in the Utica Cemetery next to his wife, who died at a later date.
Lottie was a full time housewife with her family of twelve children. She continued to teach each of her family to make do with what they had. She tried to raise each with a good set of values. She is buried in the Utica Cemetery next to her husband.
Marjorie (Marge) is one of eight children of Benjamin and Minnie O'Dell of Breckenridge. Her brothers and sisters are Robert, living at Lakeside, California; Thomas E. of Hawaiian Gardens, California; Ben A. of Clay Center, Kansas; Darlene (Hughes) of Breckenridge; Peggy (Neal) of Plano, Illinois; and Judy (Romine) of Kansas City, Missouri. All of the children were born at home except for Marjorie who was born at the General Hospital in Kansas City by the insistence of her grandmother. She remarked that she has probably spent more time in the hospital than any of the others and she laughingly said maybe that her being born in the hospital was a bad omen.
Benjamin O'Dell lived his entire life in the Breckenridge area and raised all of his eight children there. As a young Man he was a farm laborer but later hired out as a bulldozer operator for several years. He served the Breckenridge Township, on the maintainer, for sixteen years, before becoming a contractor in bulldozing on his own in his latter years. Benjamin passed away in his mid-sixties. Minnie continued to live in their home place and is in really good mind and cares for herself as of this writing.
Gordon met Marge while with some other teenagers riding around in Breckenridge. He wanted to date her but he needed her father's permission which he got in a round about way by becom
ing well acquainted with her brothers and father before asking at a later date.
Gordon had been working out at an early age when he was attending school in Chillicothe. He was helping to fire the furnaces and boilers when his father worked at the business college and also at the St. Marys Hospital while at Quincy.
In 1943 when his older brothers were in the service, Gordon at the age of fifteen, came to Utica with his parents. They moved into the housing area of the brick plant called "Smokey Road" and at fifteen years old, Gordon started working at the brick plant as a full time employee.
After he met Marge and they dated for a year or so they were married and set up their home in the old service station building that was located just Southeast on the old Highway 36 Utica Junction. The building has since been torn down and the property is now owned by the Anthony Bonderer family. After a short while here, the couple moved to be neighbors with Gordon's parents at "Smokey Road" housing area. Throughout their early years of marriage, Gordon and Marge moved to many locations in Utica. Once they lived in the brick house to the South of Stamper's garage that is now torn down, other
places were the home now owned by Frank Cannon, two different times in the upstairs apartments of the "Tin Building" now owned by Allie Hickman, and other rentals, until they purchased the property where Bill and Debbie Anderson now own.
Here the couple tore down the old two story "Hawkins" blacksmith shop and buried the debris in the ground before building the present home located there now. They purchased the easement right of way that ran along the side on the North. This was the access to the once existing stave factory in Utica. After around eighteen years the Howertons sold the property to the Andersons, who in turn sold their property to the Howertons and as of this writing both families are still residing in the respective locations.
Gordon and Marge have two children, Janice
who has three children and David who is unmarried and lives with his parents Janice works as a nurse at Wright Memorial Hospital in Trenton and David is a truck driver. Both were born in the upstairs apartments of the well know "Tin Building" that is located next to the North of the Howerton residence. Janice and David have lived in Utica all of their lives and graduated from Southwest High School.
Marge has worked in sales for years and is presently an Avon saleslady. Gordon is still
employed with the brick plant and has been so employed for forty-three years.
Gordon recalls lots of days of hand work and said he never had much time to get into trouble but did tell of one event that really made a lasting impression on him. He was working the graveyard shift at the brick plant and a bunch of boys and he decided
that they would go, about dusk in the evening, to visit two watermelons patches in the vicinity near the river. One patch, he recalled were the big green striped melons and the other patch was the all green type. The boys chose some of the striped melons first and got them into the back of the pickup truck without any problems and then traveled on to the next patch. As they were in the next patch the lights came on near the patch and the boys left in a hurry and went on with the melons they had already. They went into Utica in the school yard and ate their fill. Gordon told of scattering the rinds in all of the ditches all along the roads to get rid of their evidence.
Gordon wore a partial plate of teeth and had taken them out and had put them in his pocket so as not to lose them in his haste or in melon hunting or eating. After going to work that night, during the rest period, the older man that he worked with ask where his teeth were. Gordon went immediately to his pocket to find them gone. Being on duty and unable to locate them in the dark, he waited until his shift was over and he started retracing his previous night of adventure. He found his partial plate smashed in the
rut of a large truck tire track that had just passed over shortly just before he went to look for them. He was sick when he saw the condition of the plate. He must have lost them from his scramble that the boys made to get out of the second patch.
When he arrived home that morning, his mother immediately questioned as to why was his teeth were missing. After telling her, his mother remarked that if he had of not been where he was not supposed to be he would not have had that problem.
When Gordon had to tell the story over and over to all who asked what had happened to his teeth they would just laugh and tease him but he did not think it so funny. It was a very expensive ordeal for him as he had paid a goodly price for that partial plate, considering the amount of salary that he was making. He can laugh about it now.
Gordon and Marge both like to garden and to
refinish old pieces of furniture. Marge is a collector of dolls. As for their grandchildren, they are the joy of their lives. They are looking forward to their retirement and maybe to be able to do a little traveling. They want to take life a whole lot easier.
Hazel and Mae are the children of W. G. and Bessie Kent. The Kent ancestors were one of the originators of the town of Osgood, Missouri. W. G. and Bessie moved with one daughter, Hazel along with Bessie's parents, Jared and Mary Cady, to Utica in 1910. The Kents and Cadys came to start a banking business. The two families built the bank building and their two residences with the help of a local carpenter, John Gudgell. Upon the completion of the homes and the bank building the families entered into the banking partnership.
Hazel was born to the Kents while they lived in Osgood and Mae was born in Utica. There is twelve years difference in the ages of the two sisters.
Hazel Kent, at the age of eleven years old was a bookkeeper at the bank during her summer vacations from school and until she was married. All postings were done by hand until fourteen or so years later when the posting machine came into being.
The bank continued in operation until approximately eighteen years later when the families felt compelled to sell due to government rules and regulations which made it difficult for a small bank to survive. The bank business was sold to the First National Bank in Chillicothe. The First National Bank was forced to close two years later due to the depression years.
The bank was a great asset to the people of Utica and the surrounding areas before it was closed. The Kents and Cadys were very caring people. Rarely was a loan refused and a loan was often given with little collateral. At the close of the bank, all depositors received their money however the Kents and Cadys found themselves nearly broke.
Mr. Cady retired and Mr. Kent returned to his previous occupation as a cabinet maker. At one time Mr. Kent was employed as a bookkeeper at the brick plant.
The bank building was later purchased by Edgar Kohl and is the present post office in Utica. The houses that were constructed for the
Kent and Cady families are owned at this writing by the Slaters where Jared Cady built and the house built for Mr. Kent's family is the residence of the Goodmans.
Ashford Stamper was the second son of Hiram and Susie (Stone). Hiram came from Randolph County to Livingston County to be a teacher and he met Susie Stone who was also a teacher. The couple was married and four sons were born to them, one son died in his infancy, and the remaining sons are Ashford, Harry, and John. After Susie's death as a very young woman, Hiram left this area with his three sons and moved to
Alice, Texas where he continued as a teacher. After retiring as a teacher he owned and operated his own lumber yard.
Ashford left during his senior year of high school to join the Army as all of the other boys of the same class. They all were allowed to return to graduate together at the end of the senior year. While in the Army he was with the medical Corp and toured across seas and later, after the war, he became a member of the composite army of Pershing's Own. This group was formed from men with perfect records, all of the same height and weight to be honor guards on horses.
During the time he was in the service his health began to fail and after being discharged from the service he went one year to college at Austin, Texas. Due to a nervous breakdown his Grandfather, Ashford A. Stone, sent for him to try to gain his health back on the farm, here in Utica.
During the service years, young Ashford's brother John, had given a picture of Ashford and his address to Hazel Kent to write to him, while Ashford was overseas. When Ashford arrived at a later date at the depot in Utica they recognized each other from pictures sent back and forth through the mail. On the Friday night of his arrival in Utica they were formerly introduced, and by three nights later on a Sunday they had their first date. They went steady for over a year and were
After their marriage the couple moved up on what is now known as "Stamper's Hill" and lived in an older residence that had been built many years prior. Ashford farmed with his grandfather and rented other ground nearby over the period of the following years. Young Ashford and Hazel were taken under the wing of their
Aunt Mattie Drake, who was the daughter of his grandfather Ashford A. and Mary Stone. Aunt
Mattie was a sister to Susie (Stone) Stamper. The older home burned down in the early 1930s. With the aid of Ed Thomas and W. G. Kent, Hazel's father, the present structure was built for the new home of Ashford, Hazel and their family.
After the death of Aunt Mattie Drake the one hundred thirty-seven acres and the home was passed on to Ashford and his family for the care they had given Aunt Mattie in her widowed years. Aunt Mattie only had one child and the child died when it was very young.
Mattie (Stone) Drake had received the land through her inheritance, thus the "Stamper Hill" land has belonged to the descendants of the Stone families for a period of approximately one hundred and fifty-one years since the original purchase by Judge John Stone, as part of his purchase of the original one thousand acres, he purchased in 1837 for one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. That deed given to Judge John Stone was signed by Martin Van Buren President of the United States.
Ashford and Hazel raised six children on this "Stamper Hill" In the latter 1930s, Ashford had to semi-retire due to poor health. After a stay in the hospital the medics suggested two more years left of his life, however he lived twelve years longer and died in 1948.
Hazel remained a widow raising her children with the help of each member helping to provide and managed the best they could. At the age of nine years old, the youngest child contacted polio but through the determination of the entire family and Hazel and the blessings of her God, each crisis was overcome.
A few years after the death of Ashford,
Joseph Remick became a friend of the family through the acquaintance of one of the daughters of Hazel. Joseph was working at the Hedrick Medical Center, as was the daughter. He knew the plight of the family. He became their real friend by caring for anything that needed to be done while the family was away, taking care of Ashford Jr. while he was undergoing his bouts at the hospital in Kansas City.
Joseph was very well liked by all of the children and they were grateful for the love and care he had shown the family. He had become a person to lean on and the relation grew until Hazel and he were married in 1952. Joseph likewise felt a good relationship as he became a part of the Stamper families. He remarked to them that "he really started to live after becoming one of them." Joseph remained working as a maintenance person at the hospital until he was forced to retire because of illness. He
died in 1971 from cancer of the lungs.
The children continued to look after Hazel, even with their own busy lives and families.
Mary graduated from Utica High School and entered Chillicothe Business College. She became employed by the County Agriculture office. Her marriage to Marvin Bosler, from the Mooresville area, was shortly before he was inducted
into the Air Force during World War II. After his discharge the couple moved to Mexico, Missouri. Marvin went to work at the brick plant there and Mary transferred to the County Extension office in Mexico. At a later date she was promoted to office manager and remained at this employment until the couple retired. One son was born to them, Michael.
Susie likewise graduated from Utica High School to go on to take nursing training in Kansas City. She enlisted in the service and was stationed in England during her service years. After her discharge she became employed at the St. Joseph Hospital and later taking a position at Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe. At a still later date, she was accepted for the position of head nurse with Armco Steel in Kansas City, She married Elton Potts from
the Breckenridge area. Elton too had been in the U. S. Service and after his discharge was in the television and radio department at Sears in Kansas City. They have four children, Jerry, Greg, David and Cady.
William (Bill) left shortly after his graduation from the Utica High School to enter into the U. S. Air Force. After his discharge he took one year of business agriculture intending to farm but his talents led him to set up a blacksmith and maintenance repair business in Utica. After building the present metal building that he houses his business in, he became a busy person, one that many people still depend upon to help them in any number of problems in maintenance and repair.
From seeing this "cute girl" that his sister, Susie, worked with at the hospital, Bill asked how he could get acquainted. Before Susie could pursue this matter any further, Bill had already introduced himself to Nadine Bradshaw from Lock Springs, Missouri. When she was introduced to Bill's mother, Hazel too thought Nadine "cute."
Bill and Nadine were married and there were three children born, Pamela, Marsha and son Patrick. The family built their home at the bottom of the "Stamper Hill" and there have raised all of their children.
John Stamper also graduated from Utica High School and soon after joined the U. S. Navy. He made a career of the Navy to return after his retirement from the service. He met Elsie Murphy while in the service. The two were married and after his retirement returned to the "Stamper Hill" The couple built a home near his mother at the top of the hill. John became employed at the Missouri State Training School for Girls and continues to work there even after the facility became a Missouri Correctional Center for Women. After Elsie passed away, he married Viola Shakelford an acquaintance from his employment. There were no children by either marriage.
Bessie finished her high school years while
living with her sister, Mary, in Mexico, Missouri. After her graduation she studied nursing receiving her R. N. Degree. She worked with her sister, Susie, at Armco Steel in Kansas City and filled the same position of head nurse when her sister, left Armco Steel. Bessie married Marvin Glick from Breckenridge and they have three boys, Robert, Phillip, and Wallace. Marvin was a serviceman and after his discharge took employment as an ambulance driver. From a tragic car accident, Marvin and two of their sons were killed.
At a later date Bessie met and married John McGinty from being introduced by friends. He was the yard master for the railroad in Kansas City until his retirement.
Ashford, Jr. (Jack) was nine years old when he was stricken with polio. He did continue his schooling throughout the many, many years of treatments and operations. The family, as well as Jack, remember the tough experiences and the times they all went through during these years. After his high school years he entered the college at Fayette, Missouri to receive his Bachelor's degree in business administration. He returned determined to be a farmer but after one summer that was enough. Jack found employment in administration at the Truman Medical Center in Kansas City and at a later date took the same type of position at the Hospital of Osage Beach, Missouri. He has
outlived his expected time that the doctors had said he would live. He was married to
Harriet Adams and he adopted one daughter, Celesta. Jack never remarried after his divorce from Harriet.
Hazel lives on "Stamper Hill" and would not have it any other way. All of her family was born there and she has lots of good memories and blessings to remember. She is quite proud of her family and feels that they are a most loving family to her. She could not have picked better daughter-in-laws or son-in-laws for her children in her estimation. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are her special joy. She recalls many years of hardships and pain but the many years of joy and the blessings of two good husbands to help her care for the family of six children do outweigh the sadder times. She believes that her children were all basically good growing up and she does not want to know of the bad things that they might have done as she laughs about their adolescent years.
Hazel's hobbies are reading, a bit of television and enjoying the nature surrounding her. Her ambition for the future is to lead a quiet peaceful life and keep her health. She wishes to live in her own home as long as possible and to be buried by her family in the Stone Cemetery on top of "Stamper Hill."
The Stone Cemetery is to the North of her home on the hill. Both of her husbands are buried there as are many others of the Stone Ancestors including Judge John Stone, the first of the Stones of this area.
John Stamper cares for the Cemetery with help occasionally from other members when they are able
The atmosphere on that hill is that of peace, tranquility, and pure nature.
Edgar Kohl was born as the tenth child to John and Minnie Kohl at Newcomer, Missouri. He was one of five brothers and five sisters. As a child, he went to the Newcomer and Kincaid Country schools and graduated from Mendon High School.
After his graduation, Edgar came to live with his sister and her husband, Emma and Tom McCoy, who resided beside another sister and her husband, Lena and Ross (Dyke) McCoy. These residences were on the road running East and West as one travels to the brick plant.
With the doting caring by his two older sisters, Edgar began his adult years. He attended Jackson Business School in Chillicothe while doing odd jobs to help with his support, and also spent two years working on the section gang for the railroad.
In about 1937, Edgar's parents retired from farming and came to Utica to live. Edgar purchased the property that is now owned by Allie and the late Jim Hickman. Edgar moved in with his parents here, and one remaining unmarried sister, Louise.
In 1940 Edgar enrolled in a sheet metal school in Kansas City and later became employed by airplane factories of Beechcraft and later Boeing, both in Wichita, Kansas.
Due to the draft of World War II in 1941, Edgar entered into the service and took his training at St. Petersburg, Florida in the U.S. Army-Air Force. He was a crew-chief and flew as an engineer. In 1945 Edgar received his discharge and returned back to Utica to live with his parents. He recalls becoming an employee of the Bend Service Station in Chillicothe and working there for two full years without a single day off.
In 1947 Edgar was hired as a signalman with the Burlington Railroad. In 1948 he met his wife Juanita Perkins, and they were married after a very short courtship. To this union were born three children, James (Jim), Sandra
(Sandy), and Ronald (Ronnie). Juanita's parents were Will and Ruby Perkins. She was the oldest of five girls and born in Newell, Iowa. Juanita's mother passed away in 1939 and Will remarried at a later date to Rose Ernese who at that time was a school teacher at Shelton, Iowa.
During the year of the death of her mother, Juanita enrolled for her nurses training through the Methodist Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa and graduated as a R. N. in 1942. She enlisted in the Army Nurse Corp during World War II and was commissioned as a second lieutenant while she was stationed at Fort Warren, Wyoming. Juanita took further training for an overseas station in England. She received her discharge in 1944 and returned to Iowa to live. In 1947 she moved with her sisters and parents to Missouri.
Will, Rose and the girls moved to continue farming after purchasing the "Merriman Farm," just Southwest of Utica. The Perkins family prided themselves in their raising of whiteface cattle, and the entire family worked hard at making their farming productive and successful.
A few years prior to the sale of the farm, Will, Rose and the remaining daughter, Jerree purchased property in Utica and built a new home for their retirement but continued running cattle at the farm while their son-in-law, L. Johnson, farmed the row crops on the farm. In 1973 they fully retired and sold the farm to William and Darlean Cole. In 1981 the Coles sold the farm to Beetsma Farms, Inc. In 1986 the old landmark house that was built by the Merrimans in the early 1900s was destroyed by fire.
Shortly after the marriage of Edgar to Juanita, the Kohls moved to care for a second farm that the Perkins had purchased South of Dawn. For a few years the Kohls lived on the Dawn farm until another Perkins daughter and her husband, Betty and Leonard Johnson purchased the farm.
From Dawn, Edgar and his family moved back to help care for a large dairy operation that
the Perkins had. They had separate living quarters in the large farm house and lived on the farm until 1958. It was during the years prior to 1958 that the upright silos were built that one can see across the landscape.
In 1958 Edgar became Postmaster of Utica, and he held this position for twenty-two years. The Kohls purchased the property they now reside on. They tore down the older structure and built the basement part of their house to live in while the upper portion was being completed. Juanita pursued her vocation in nursing and became an instructor in nursing at the State Training School for Girls in Chillicothe. She continued as the nursing instructor upon the conversion of the school to a State Prison for
women. Juanita was employed in this position from 1971 until 1985 when she fully retired. She is still involved in some volunteer programs.
The Kohls love to travel abroad, work in their garden and dote over their children.
Their son Jim is in construction, Sandy is a teacher in Taiwan, and Ronnie is a truck driver.
The Kohls are actively involved with their church work, all civic affairs, and hold positions on boards of the fire district, water district, village council, and the Utica Betterment Association.
Their future hope is to maintain their health, stay active physically, travel yet more abroad, and to continue their bond with their children.
Some interesting facts about the Kohls are:
Juanita's sister, Jerree Davis still resides in Utica, on the property adjoining that of the home that Will and Rose Perkins built. Jerree has three children that all live in Topeka, Kansas.
Edgar once was the justice of the Peace and performed several weddings. Edgar's father was one of the seven who instigated the forming of the "Newcomer Farm Club" in Newcomer, Missouri which we know today as the MFA Exchange of Missouri.
Edgar's two sisters married two McCoy brothers and they lived side by side for years each
being in business in Utica. One as a merchant and the other as a blacksmith in the early 1900s. Tom McCoy was a Postmaster of Utica and Edgar delivered the mail to the railroad depot for Tom for a very small fee.
The Kohl children will always remember the protection and faithfulness of their dog, their fun years and their school chums of Utica, and how news of their misbehavior away from home could travel faster from their aunts' homes to their parents than they themselves could do so on foot.
John Romeiser and wife were immigrants from
Germany and came West and settled in the Utica area in the mid 1800s. They purchased land located between the now existing brick plant and the Grand River. They had eight children, one of these being Frank the grandfather to Frank A., Calvin and Harold.
Grandfather Frank lived in the Utica area during all of his lifetime. He married Sarah and they had two boys, Charles and Edward.
Charles married Zoola (Collar) and they had three boys, Frank A., Calvin, and
Frank A. met Delpha Funk when her father became the minister for the Utica Baptist Church at the location of the older church site. Delpha was the middle girl of the three daughters born to Ford A. and Josie E. Funk. Ford served the church a little over two years.
It was during this two to three year period while the Funk family was in Utica when Frank A. and Delpha were married and they were the parents of five children, Joyce, Frances, Arthur, Frank Jr., and Cathy.
After they were married the couple took residence in the old Bosler house, that was near the depot but has been torn down since. Frank A. did some farming with his father and operated a trucking business on the side. A short time later he left to move to Maysville and was a tenant farmer for one season. The following year the family returned to Utica and Frank worked for Everett Culling on the farm across from the brick plant. After two years, the family moved to a rental house owned by the McCains on Highway 36. Here Frank devoted full time to trucking, hauling mostly lime and rock around Chillicothe until 1950.
The family moved to Chillicothe and Frank became employed with Moore Monument where he worked
until he was forced to retire due to illness.
They returned to Utica in 1954 and rented
the Stottlemyre property which was later purchased by Anthony Bonderer. In 1959 the Frank A. Romeiser's purchased the present home to have more room to live and rear their children. Frank A. died in 1982 from a heart condition and cancer. During the years before Frank's death Delpha became the Green Township collector. Delpha has been re-elected each term since her first term and she does enjoy her work. This position, her church work, her friends, and her family have been her consolation after the passing of her husband.
The children of Frank A. and Delpha were all born in the Chillicothe hospital except for son Arthur who was born in the McCain rental house. All of the children attended Utica School or Southwest School after the districts were consolidated.
Joyce and her husband Dale operate D & J Fire Extinguisher Equipment Company in their home and her husband, Dale Gladish, is the assistant fire chief of Grandview, Missouri, where the couple live with their daughter, Karen and son, Randy.
Frances remains at home with her mother and is involved with the nursery at the Utica Baptist Church and has been for the past ten years. In addition she does babysitting around the community for individuals.
Arthur works as the assistant manager at Westlakes in Chillicothe and is married to Sarah (Tucker). They have one son Jason.
Frank Jr. married Kimberly Kellison and they have two sons, Sean and Kurt. Frank Jr. is employed by the Chillicothe Power and Light Plant.
Cathy is married to John Roney and they have a daughter, Connie and a son, John. Cathy works at Susan's Nursing Home and John runs John's Second Hand Store.
Delpha and her children have a close relationship.
In recalling memories Of being the township collector she remembered once by winning only by the flip of a coin due to a tie vote.
Delpha's favorite hobby, when she has time,
after her first loves of the church, her family, and the cares of her home, is writing of novels, poems, and skits. She has written many pieces of poetry and several are published in seven editions of World of Poetry. She has written one novel and is working on a sequel. In addition she has written children stories, church skits, and the column in the Chillicothe Tribune.
Other activities that Delpha and Frances are involved are any community affair that she is needed in and the Utica Community Betterment Association.
When asked of some memories that her children would recall, she spoke of these: How she would hang a diaper on a pole in the front yard of the rental house that was on Highway 36 so that Frank would know that she needed him as he went by with his truck from the gravel pits, they did not have a telephone. How Joyce met her husband in Kansas City and Cathy met her husband while both were employed by the same nursing home. Then the time that Jack Stottlemyre took the kids fishing and he tied a rock on
Cathy's pole instead of a dangerous fish hook.
She remembered the trips to Oregon and the family would pitch their tent along the way to camp. She spoke of how accident prone Frank Jr. was and how fortunate he is to have all six foot of him intact in becoming an adult and how much pizza he ate while Kim worked at the Pizza parlor. How Arthur was in the Coast Guard and how he met Sarah while a group was watching the eclipse of the moon. Then the fact of how fast Frances can get her coat on at a mention of going somewhere.
The Frank A. Romeiser family is a well blessed group of families that show a great deal of respect and love for each other.
Calvin married Minnie (Banks) from the Breckenridge area. Like Calvin, Minnie was the middle child of three children. The parents of Minnie were Kenny and Sadie Banks. Kenny was a farmer, carpenter, paper hanger, and painter.
After their marriage, Calvin and Minnie resided in Breckenridge. The couple was married in the month of March and by July Calvin was inducted into the service in the Infantry Division. He spent two years in the service in the European conflicts. He was in heavy combat and was one of the four survivors that spearheaded the battle at the Rhine River in Germany. He remembers that as his company was trying to swim to a small tin shelter on the bank of the river when the enemy opened up fire with machine guns and riddled the building. The four survivors patched each other up the best they could and waited until a Red Cross boat came down the river. They sneaked to the bank until they could board the boat but the enemy opened fire unethically on the Red Cross. He
was in the hospital a few months and then upon recovery from his wounds he was transferred to Food Division. Calvin started out as a cook and was promoted to Mess Sergeant before his discharge. He on the duty of delivering the food to the front lines which often was a hairy experience.
Calvin received two purple hearts, a gold medal, a bronze star, and in addition, many other good conduct medals.
While doing this stint in the service, a son Calvin Gene was born to Calvin Sr. and Minnie. Also during this time Minnie was attending the Chillicothe Beauty Academy and graduated to become one of the employees at the Academy before she set up her own shop in Breckenridge
After his discharge from the service, Calvin became employed by Bram Funeral Home in Hamilton for about four years. He left Brams to drive for Jim Wagy's Chillicothe Coach and Ambulance Service. Shortly before Wagy merged with the funeral home, Calvin left to go to Kingston as the supervisor for Caldwell Ambulance Service. Before he was forced to retire, he was working for the Chillicothe Ambulance Service and the Chillicothe Fire Department. Forced retirement was due to a massive heart
attack while on duty.
He was flown to St. Luke's Hospital by helicopter and it was found that extensive damage was done by the heart attack previously plus another attack occurred while there in intensive care. He was sent home and to retire from his job.
Several years before his heart attack, Minnie had a serious accident from icy conditions resulting in severe injuries to the head. She was flown to K. U. Medical Center at Columbia, Missouri to undergo surgery. When a second surgery became necessary Minnie died during the operation. She was buried in the family plot in Hamilton.
Their son Calvin was married shortly before his mother's death. This marriage ended in a divorce and Calvin remains unmarried as of this writing. He lives in Chillicothe and is employed by the Missouri State Highway Department.
In later years Calvin Sr. remarried. His second wife is Marian Lucille (Woods) from Salem, Arkansas. They met through the acquaintance of her father while riding in an ambulance with Calvin Sr. Marian had two children by a previous marriage.
In reminiscing, Calvin Sr. recalls his youthful years when he lived in Utica. He was on the ball teams of softball, basketball, soccer and such like. In those years all sports were held out of doors, in an open field--or courts marked off.
He recalled once when he and a few other boys found a civet cat in their traps. They sacked the animal up and placed the cat behind the heat register in the class room. As the heat became warmer the odor became stronger. The animal was found and the school was closed down to fumigate and air out. No one ever told who did it - until now.
He remembers that in order to visit his grandmother who lived in Ludlow that his father would hitch up the team of mules to the buggy and the family would all ride by buggy to Dawn to catch the train that would take them on to Ludlow. It took much more time to go to Dawn than it
did the minutes to Ludlow by train. The train through Utica did not go by Ludlow.
Calvin is remembered as a young boy with lots of life. After his graduation
from high school he never spent much of his life in Utica, except to visit his
family here. Before his confinement at home, his hobbies were fishing and
Harold Romeiser married Elaine (Dunn). Her grandparents were Dwight and Ada (Bassett) Dunn of Kingston and Hamilton areas. They had two children, Juanita and Floyd.
Floyd married Cortie (Blue). Cortie was the youngest of fourteen children with six of those being three sets of twins. Floyd met Cortie in a barber shop in Hamilton. After the couple was married they moved to Hamilton to live. Floyd's occupation was that of a paper hanger and painter until he became bedfast with a severe case of arthritis. He was bedfast for twenty-one years and died at the age of sixty-four.
Floyd and Cortie had five children. Daughter Lorraine married Clyde Heer. They had four boys and live in Glendale, Arizona. Clyde is retired from the Postal Service. Daughter Jean married Raymond Heer. They live in Garden City, Kansas and have two children. Raymond is retired from Sunflower Electric. Lorraine and Jean married brothers. Daughter Wilma Lee (Billie) married Neal Corbin. They have five children and live in Chillicothe. Neal is in general construction work. Son Floyd Jr. married Zona (Kavanaugh) and they live in Tucson, Arizona. They have five children. Floyd Jr. works as an inspector of dams for the Department of Reclamation. The family refers to Zona as "Skip" and calls Floyd Jr. the "Dam Inspector." Daughter Elaine was the youngest of the family and married Harold Romeiser of the Utica Area. (More is written later on Harold's children).
Elaine was born and raised in Hamilton, Missouri and graduated from the school there. Harold met Elaine through on acquaintance. After the
couple was married they set up their home in Chillicothe where Harold worked for the Rupp's Service Station. Mr. Rupp was the originator of the Super Saver Station started many years ago on the location of Second and Washington Streets in Chillicothe.
After a period of time, Harold and Elaine moved to Hale to open up another service station but were there only a few months. They moved from Hale to Utica. They rented the former house that was torn down when Edgar Kohl purchased the property to build his present residence. They moved to a small home to the West of their present home after living a very short time in the house that Bill Hightower purchased. From the small home to the West of their present home they moved into the larger house that they purchased from Harold's mother before she died.
In 1952, Harold became employed with Moore's Monument full time as an engraver and farmed with his father on the side. In 1960 they purchased their present home. Elaine remained as a housewife until 1979 when she became employed by Chuck's Pet and Garden Supply primarily on a part-time basis.
Harold and Elaine are the parents of three children, Anita was born in Chillicothe and attended her first year of school there. After moving to Utica she attended Southwest. She married Larry Biswell and they have two boys. Larry is employed as farm labor and Anita is a computer operator in the credit department of MFA Cooperative. They live in Columbia, Mo. Son Gary was born in Utica and attended his
entire schooling at Southwest. He was disappointed to have to graduate on crutches due
to an accident shortly before his graduation. He was helped onto the stage and did not get
to march with the other seniors. Gary married Janice (Stottlemyre). They live in Chula and have two children. Gary is working for Trager Quarries. Janice is an employee of Walmarts. Son Darrell was born in Utica and attended all
of his school years at Southwest. After his graduation he went to work for Churchill Trucklines in the maintenance department. He is unmarried and resides in Chillicothe.
The home of the Harold Romeisers was erected in 1912. According to a news article written after the house was finished, "it was a grand residence built under the supervision of John Gudgell." John was a local black carpenter who was well known for his craftsmanship of painstaking and careful detail work. It was said in the article that only the best of materials were used and the cost was near three thousand five hundred dollars.
The house was the joint ownership of Sarah Romeiser (Harold's grandmother), Charles and Zoola Romeiser (Harold's parents), and an Uncle Eddie (one of the two sons of Sarah). After the death of Sarah and Eddie the house was left to the surviving ownership of Charles and Zoola, who continued to live there throughout the rest
of their lives.
In 1957 Charles passed away from a heart attack. In 1960 Harold and Elaine purchased the home to live with and care for Zoola during her incurable illness of about three years until her death.
At the present, Elaine's mother, Cortie, is living with them at the age of eighty-nine years old. Cortie is of good mind and fairly active for her age. Cortie raised her family with the combined efforts of her children working at anything available to make a living and survive. Cortie took in laundry and ironing in her home. The family always raised large gardens to can and preserve their food. Elaine can not remember when she ever saw her father not bedfast, when she was a child growing up.
Darrell Romeiser was born after the death of both of his grandfathers and one grandmother, thus was cheated out of the joys of knowing them while they were living.
Anita has a hobby of drawing and art work. She was called on many times for poster work
while in high school and on different occasions has drawn sketches and layout work for her father to engraved on monuments.
In Harold's family, he and his two brothers were all three born in Utica and attended all of their school years in Utica. His brother Frank is deceased and his brother Calvin lives in Chillicothe.
Harold, himself, likes to hunt and fish as well as garden but his special love is the restoring of older cars. At the present he has a Model A under restoration.
Son Gary has the traits of his grandfather, Charles, in the wild life and outdoors hobbies.
Elaine is content to enjoy her African Violets, do some gardening, care for her mother and the home, and her special joy is her four grandchildren.
Phillip Schmitt, was the sixth child born to
Michael and his wife, after the family had came from Hesse-Darmstedt, Germany in 1849. Phillip was born the following year after the arrival of his parents in America.
Phillips's older brother, George, first settled in Atttica, New York and then came on to Utica in 1866. He established a blacksmith and wagon-making shop in Utica. When Phillip was sixteen years old he came to his brother as an apprentice and in 1870, Phillip established his own shop in Utica.
After Phillip came to Utica he had his German name changed to an Americanized spelling of "Philip Smith." He became active in community affairs, one being the Anti-Horsethief Association. He was a member of the local Masonic Lodge in Utica and later the master of the same.
In 1869 Emily Johnson came to Utica with her family from Rockford, Illinois and through this acquaintance Philip met and married Emily in 1874. They had three children of whom Rosina Jane (Rose) was the third.
Emily was involved in the Order of the Eastern Star and the local Baptist Church.
Philip was killed in 1916 by an exploding emery wheel.
Emily passed away in 1926.
In 1889 Rosina Jane (Rose Smith) married Ralph Dome, who was a son of Francis Marion and Elizabeth (Baltis) Dome. In 1904 Ralph and Rosina purchased from the remaining heirs of his maternal grandparents, Mathias and Susan Baltis, the farm on the old Dawn road and they purchased fifteen acres from Jasper White, making the farm ninety-six acres.
A new barn was erected at the farm with timber for the structure from a grove of trees owned by Philip Smith and like most timbers of that day, all were hand hewn. The timbers were prepared by a totally deaf Civil War Veteran and the barn was erected by Bert McCoy and Oral Lemon using wooden pegs. The barn still stands in excellent condition except the outer sides are covered with cedar siding to further preserve the structure.
The interior is much the same as to the mangers and cow stanchions where a dairy operation was a part of the farming of the ninety-six acres.
The original two story house was destroyed by fire and on the same basement foundation the present one story dwelling was built by Mathias and Ellen Baltis, the Ralph Domes expanded the original three rooms to six rooms.
Ralph and Rosina (Rose) were both quite active in their community and church during their entire married life. Ralph was a member of the Masonic Lodge for fifty years and a deacon in the Utica Baptist Church. He also served on the school board and the township board. Rose was a pianist and organist for three of the Utica churches and
played for the Utica Baptist Church for fifty-eight years. She was a member of the order of Eastern Star for fifty years, holding an office in every position at one time or other during that period.
Only one child was born to the Domes, Nadine LaVilla, at her grandparents Smith's home in Utica. Ralph died in 1953 after spending his entire life in the area of Utica. Rosina died in 1958 and had also been born and spent her entire life in the Utica area.
Not too much is known of the original Baltis family, except that they migrated to the Utica vicinity as immigrants from Prussia. They settled on a farm of eighty-one acres to the Southwest of Utica, that has been passed down either through purchase or heirs to the present Sue Rose (Mounce) Harter.
Mathais and Susan Baltis came with their family to Utica in the latter 1880s. They were the parents of four children, Peter, Gary, Frank, and Elizabeth. The Baltis family first settled in Pennsylvania, on to St. Louis and then to Utica. After Susan died, Mathias remarried and he had three children by his second wife, Ellen.
Peter is the grandfather of Grace and Calvin Stone through their mother Edith (Baltis) Stone. Gary married and had several children. Frank did not have any children, Elizabeth married Francis Marion Dome in 1872.
Francis was born in Elkhart, Indiana and at
the age of sixteen traveled by covered wagon and settled in Utica. After the couple were married they remained in Utica. Their three sons all were born in Utica, Leonard Mathias, Ralph Loomis, and Charles Nicholas, and one daughter Susie.
Nadine LaVilla Dome attended ten years of schooling in Utica and traveled by train to Chillicothe for the last two years of high school. After her graduation from Chillicothe she went to Columbia, Missouri to attend two years at Stephens College. It was here at Columbia that she met Earl Winfield Mounce. Earl was just finishing
his masters degree to embark upon his career in teaching and law practice.
After their marriage, Nadine was content to be a housewife and worked in civic groups, but each chance she received she did further her education through college. She became very active as a member of the League of Women Voters, the Order of Eastern Star, and of PEO which is a philanthropic and educational organization.
Earl and Nadine moved to Liberty shortly after his college years to teach at William Jewel College. From this assignment they left Missouri to go for one year where Earl taught at the University of Redlands in California. They returned to Columbia and Earl continued to teach history and political sciences at the University. During this period their only child, Sue Rose, was born to them.
Earl was offered a position at the Missouri State Teachers College at Maryville, Missouri, shortly after the birth of Sue Rose.
Nadine and the tiny baby came to stay with the grandparents on the Utica farm while Earl went to Maryville to start teaching and found the family suitable living quarters where they joined him later.
While at Maryville, Sue Rose started her primary schooling on the campus for classes especially for the campus "brats". This was a name given for the children of the faculty.
The Mounce family left Maryville to go to St. Joseph, when Sue Rose was in about the third
grade. Earl opened a law office and Sue Rose started to her first public schools. Since the previous school classes had been much more advanced, Sue Rose found school to be boring until the family moved to an area in which Sue Rose was better able to adjust. She left high school with an early out to attend one year of college and returned to graduate with her senior class at St. Joseph.
During the latter part of the high school years of his daughter, Earl took a position with the University of Maryland, while Nadine remained in St. Joseph with Sue Rose. Due to the housing conditions, war years, and school, the family commuted back and forth until Nadine was able to join Earl in College Park, Maryland and Sue Rose pursued her college education.
Earl served two years with the Navy during World War I. He was a marksmanship training officer in the Quanico, Virginia Marine Training Station. During World War II he taught International Law to high ranking officers at the Pentagon in Washington. D. C. In addition to his teaching at the university and at the Pentagon he had a private law practice, specializing in corporation law and was licensed to practice
before the United State Supreme Court.
Due to a stroke resulting in poor health, Earl was forced to retire. With the help of their daughter, they moved their household possessions to Kansas City to be near their daughter.
Earl was a man of great education and was an author and editor of many law texts. He held seven degrees including two doctorates. He had attended universities at Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Southern California, National, and Harvard. His bibliography appears in nine publications of distinguished persons.
Sue Rose Mounce continued her education while her parents were in Maryland receiving her bachelor degree from University of Kansas and her masters degree from the University of Missouri. From 1949 to 1983 she taught language arts in school, in Kansas and Missouri.
Marion Monroe Harter was a student at the
same high school as Sue Rose. Although he was in a higher grade, Marion was much attracted to Sue Rose. They were in the orchestra together, Sue Rose played the violin and Marion played the base viol. From this attraction and a courtship of five to six years, the two were married in 1950. The marriage was in Leavenworth, Kansas performed by Paul Brinkley who had been a student minister at the Utica Church at an earlier date.
Marion Monroe Harter was born in St. Joseph and graduated from his high school years there. His parents are Austin and Dollier Barter. The parents owned and operated the Hodson Cleaners and had other income producing properties in the St. Joseph area.
Marion completed high school R.O.T.C. training and was then accepted into the highly competitive Navy V-12 Officers Training Programs for service in World War II. He was given the option to make a career of the service but he decided to continue his college education to receive his masters degree from the University of Kansas in engineering and science.
After the Harters were married, Sue Rose continued to teach and Marion became employed by the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers and later became the chief of the Design Branch of the Kansas City District of the Corps. One daughter, Rosina Suzanne was born to the Harters while they were living in Leavenworth, Kansas and remains their only child.
Marion was the president of the Kansas City Section of American Society of Civil Engineers and presided at the1976 National Convention in Kansas City. He served as International Chairman of the American Society of Testing and Materials C 27. He is an author of Standard References for the use of the electronic computer in structural design. His biography appears in five publications of world recognized persons.
The Harters resided in a home they built in Kansas City for a period of thirty-one years. It was during this time that the grandmother Rosina Jane (Rose Smith) Dome came to live with them. After the death of Earl Mounce, Nadine
came to also reside in the same household. With this arrangement there were four generations living under the same roof all at one time. The family was that of a good arrangement, each taking their responsibility thus making for a good relationship. Grandmother Rosina died four months following the death of Earl Mounce.
After the retirement of Marion and Sue Rose, the two and Nadine came back to the old Utica farm which they had been preparing for retirement throughout their career years. They had in the meanwhile purchased adjoining land of Adolph Todt, the Charles White property, and the property to the North of the highway that once belonged to George Schmitt, brother to the original Phillip Schmitt (Smith), one of their earlier ancestors, and also the Frank Rice property on which was the earlier brick plant.
After much detailed planning, the Harters built a new spacious two story residence with large rooms to accommodate their collection and heirlooms of beautiful antique furniture they have preserved down through their generations.
The couple wanted to be young enough to enjoy their country life and tease about starting their second time around.
The Harter's daughter remained in Kansas City and has a career as a marketing director for Grant Thorton International Accounting and Business Advisory Firm. Rosina has two masters degrees, one in anthropology and one in business and public administration (both from the University of Missouri. She graduated from Stephens
College following the footsteps of her grandmother Nadine and cousins, Florence McDonnal and Grace Stone. Rosina is the alumni chairman for fund raising for her Alma. Mater.
After the new Harter residence, on the farm, was built and the family had moved in, Marion took employment on another full time basis with Farmer's Electric Cooperative, Inc. as a service representative. He is a member of the Chillicothe Shrine and the Ararat Shrine in Kansas City. He is chairman of a committee overseeing the grounds and a member of the Vestry (church governing body).
His ambitions are to lead a more quiet and peaceful life in the country, do some traveling and enjoy their new home.
Sue Rose enjoys taking care of the remaining details of their new house at her own pace. She is very concerned for the preservation of wild life. She appreciates antiques and does own the original dining table from the "Rogers House," the Lemon's hotel of Utica. Sue Rose does lots of reading on religions and philosophies of the
Her ambitions are to travel, more time to read, try to add something to the future for posterity, and maybe be able to do some writing for publication.
She is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, PEO, O. E. S., the Friendly Neighbors Club, and the chairman of the Christian education as well as a member of the Altar Guild of the Grace Episcopal Church in Chillicothe.
Nadine's hobbies collecting and preserving antique furniture especially those of the family heirlooms, refinishing pieces when needed and keeping her family in line.
Her ambitions are to take life easier away from the bustle of the city, never to move again, and keep her health, and to stay active in the home.
She is a member of O. E. S., Friendly Neighbors, and a member of PEO. She has made six trips overseas with four of those being with her granddaughter, Rosina Suzanne. She does not care to do much traveling in the future.
Many good memories were brought to mind as this was being written. Nadine recalled the story told of her birth. Her parents had planned and felt prepared for that special moment that Nadine would enter the world. They were at the grandparents Smiths in Utica and her father had the horses all prepared to ride to telegraph the
doctor. When Rose Dome announced that the time was ready, Ralph forgot the horses and rushed across to his brother's house to tell him to telegraph Dr. Tracy from Chillicothe, the family
doctor. Meanwhile Grandma Elizabeth rushed to the Smith house through the mud with the father and an uncle following a short time later on horseback, the horses got loose and tore up the garden badly due to the extreme muddy conditions.
The doctor did not arrive in time and the local doctor, Dr. Gibson, had to be summoned.
Nadine remembered how she met Earl while playing basketball at college. A sorority sister and her boyfriend arranged a date for the two to get acquainted.
She has memories of her music lessons in Chillicothe and her debut at the Utica Opera House. She recalled how Mrs. Gus Sherman had hooks at the ceiling to hoist up her piano whenever the river flooded. Nadine recalled the brick sidewalk on the side of the street from the center of town clear to near the old highway. The memories of staying in town with her grandparents on stormy nights rather than walking home from school to the farm from Utica. Then there was the time that a teacher was caught, on a Utica road, smoking during the lunch hour and the school board called a special meeting to fire her that very day.
Sue hose is full of memories also. She recalled the times every summer that she would get to come to spend her vacations with the grandparents on the farm where she now lives. Then the first time that she saw Marion. He walked into the room wearing his uniform while she was studying her music. She was just overwhelmed and remembers the goose pumps that she felt. She was only a sophomore and he was a senior.
Their first real date was on the DeMolay hayride. The years that Marion was in the service or in college and they were going steady except; for "an occasional date" with someone else. Then the feeling of her parents who liked Marion right off but felt he was far too immature at that time to get serious about.
The four remaining of these families herein felt they had a good life and a great heritage has been handed down over their lifetime.
(Judge) John Stone and wife Susannah Stover
migrated originally from Virginia and settled in Utica in 1837. Judge John was the tenth of twelve children. Susannah was the eighth of thirteen children. Judge John and Susannah had eight children of their own, seven boys and one girl. The girl, Susan Melvina was the grandmother of Howard Hawkins. Of the boys, one was John C., the grandfather of Grace and Calvin Stone and one boy was Ashford, the great-grandfather to John and Bill Stamper.
At the time of their arrival there were only two other cabins in the immediate Utica area. With the money he had accumulated from farming and prior inheritance, Judge Stone purchased one thousand acres to the West and South of Utica which included the now known "Stamper Hill." The couple built a home making the third residence in this vicinity.
He became a very prominent citizen of Livingston County and was appointed as District Judge twice and also the Justice of the Peace.
John C. was born in 1839, on the farm, and as he grew up he continued to farm with his father Judge Stone, and he like his father became a prominent citizen and most active in all local, political, religious, civic, and lodge affairs. John C. married Eliza Harper, the daughter of another earlier settler of these parts of Missouri.
In 1860 he took charge of his father's homeplace where he had been born, when Judge John retired from any active management. John C. farmed a portion and rented out the balance of the land. In 1882 he went into a partnership arrangement with Dr. J. C. Waters to open a general store in Utica. History reports that both were men of energy, perseverance, progressive spirit, good management, thrifty with very good results from their mercantile establishment. These details led to the doubtless secret of John's prosperity.
John and Eliza had three children, the second being William T. Stone.
William T. Stone grew up on the Stone home farm and attended the Utica School. He farmed in his earlier years with his father. He met and married Edith Baltis. Edith's grandparents were emigrants from Prussia coming to the United States in 1844 and settling first in Pennsylvania, then to St. Louis, and on West to the farm Southwest of Utica. As of this writing, the same farm is owned by direct descendants, Sue Rose
(Mounce) who married Marion Harter.
In about 1880 John C. bought the house in Utica where Grace and Calvin now live. The sum of the price of this home at that time was two hundred dollars. Later he deeded the home and one hundred and eighty-seven acres of the farm to William and Edith.
After a period of time William and Edith tore down the older farm house and built the present house now standing. The site on which the house is built gives a beautiful view of all of the surrounding landscape.
When William later became a rural mail carrier, he hired laborers to aid in the farming operation. The couple had two children, Grace was born in the old house that her father later tore down, and ten years later Calvin was born in the new house.
Grace started to school in Utica while still living on the farm. She could ride with her father into town as he came for the mail. After school Grace would walk home.
A few years later Grandmother Eliza passed away and Grandfather John C. asked William, Edith and their two children to move into town and make their home with him. It was after the family moved into Utica that Calvin began his schooling in Utica.
Grace graduated from Utica High School and Calvin attended through the middle of his senior year and for some other credits needed he had to attend Chillicothe High School to obtain his diploma.
William retired from rural mail delivery
with a pension and continued to help at the farm with light chores and around the Utica home until a very short time before his bout with Leukemia in 1953. He was eighty-three years old at his death.
Edith lived with her children and was active until a few months before her death in 1984. She passed away at the age of one hundred and one years old. After her high school graduation Grace attended two years St. Stephens College in Columbia. She lived in the girls dormitory. She returned to teach three years in the primary grades at Utica to earn and save finances to finish her Bachelor's degree. After obtaining this degree she taught highschool level, one year at Rushville, two years in Utica, seven years at Bath, Illinois. In 1939 Grace went to Miami, Florida to teach and while there she attended the University of Miami to receive her Masters degree. She taught thirty years in Florida. She would return to Utica in the summer months or other occasions for visits. Grace taught for a total of forty-three years.
Calvin left to attend two years at Central College in Fayette, Missouri after his high school graduation. From Fayette he came to enter the Chillicothe Business College for two more years. After his education he became employed in the office of wholesale sporting goods company in Atchison, Kansas. A short time later he was employed as a teller and general office work in Citizens National Bank, in Atchison.
In 1942 Calvin war drafted into the U. S. Infantry and remained in the service until his discharge in December 1945. He returned to work at the same bank as before the war. In 1948 he was hired by the American Legion Department of Kansas to work in the office of Veterans Hospitals in Topeka, Kansas City, and Wadsworth, Kansas.
He remained at this occupation for thirty-one years until his retirement in 1979. He returned to Utica to help Grace care for their widowed mother.
The Stone families from the earliest Stones
in the Utica area and through the later of Grace and Calvin have all been extremely active in the Baptist Church and reportedly staunch Democrats.
Many land donations were made from the Stone families. To name a few was land given for the railroad, the cattleyards and the freed slaves after the Civil War. A Baptist Church was erected next to the present Stone home.
In later years the building was torn down and the church relocated. The old belfry bell
from the old location still remains at the present Baptist Church in the center of town.
When asked if Grace helped with the outside chores, she recalled having to bring the family cow in from and take back to the pasture a quarter mile or so from the house in Utica. She quit this chore when Clifford Merriman called her a "cowboy" one day and from then on Calvin inherited that chore. Calvin said that outside work was never one of Grace's desires. Grace recalled the day that Calvin was born. Her father had gotten a brand new Model T. Ford and he took her for a ride. Unaware of the brakes, Grace took a tumble forward when her father used the brakes to stop. The same day her father had given Dr. Carpenter some watermelons. As the doctor left he said "Grace, if these watermelons aren't any good, I'll be back and get your little brother".
Grace got her own first car around 1930 but had been driving the family auto before this. Her mother never drove the family car but in her earlier years, would harness up the horse and hitch up the buggy whenever she wanted to Grace recalls that the trip to Chillicothe the buggy was a BIG TRIP.
Grace recalled when Calvin was running through the upstairs hall in the new farm house and failed to stop at the floor level window at the end. He fell, through the window screen and down into the yard and the fall only knocked the wind out of him.
Calvin remembered visiting the school often
before he became a pupil and coming home whenever he wanted to but tried that after he was enrolled several times and it just didn't work.
Calvin was one of Grace's students in high school, His parents told him "If you give Grace trouble at school, you will answer for it when you get home" Calvin gave her no trouble.
Calvin recalled travelling with other students to Chillicothe during the later part of their senior year. This was a period that Utica did not have sufficient subjects to graduate fully.
Calvin got his first car in 1941 end he remembers it was a Chevrolet.
Calvin is the youngest of cousins and there are no direct heirs after him.
After her retirement, Grace became active in Red Cross at the Hedrick Medical Center. She reported for service every Tuesday for ten years. Presently she is active in R.S.V.P., D.A.R., and Colonial Dames, and involved with the museum of the Livingston County Historical Society.
Grace likes to read novels, crochet, and is active in her church. She has made six oversea tours to different countries.
Calvin likes to read current events, to watch athletic sports, and loves to garden. He is presently in volunteer work with R.S.V.P., the mowing of the yards and light maintenance work for the church and is a member of the Masonic Lodge.
Both hope the future brings them continued good health, to be able to continue to drive, to travel locally, and to go on shopping sprees.
In recalling their past they both felt they had a good life but perhaps somewhat sheltered, especially during the depression years. Their father had a regular monthly income from the postal service and neither Grace or Calvin have seen many hardships.
Robert Washington Taylor was one of six
children born to parents that came from England. Not much is known of the ancestry of Robert except that there were three girls and three boys in his family with one set of those being twin girls. The names of the brothers and sisters were Robert (Bert), Leslie, Jessie, Archie, Ada and Eva.
Robert was born on February 22, in the town of Utica. He lived his entire life here and raised all of his family within the area.
His parents gave him the middle name of Washington due to his birthdate. He was always joking about that saying "George Washington was a bit older but like George, he never told a lie either"
He was employed throughout his adult life as a laborer, at the brick plant, at Central States Orchards, each at various times and for some of those years he was the night watchman at the Chillicothe Training School for Girls. He was extremely fond of gardening and together with his own family they tried to raise and preserve most of their food supply.
Minnie met Robert W. Taylor through her brother when the brother was the pastor in a local Utica Church. She had come to visit her brother during the summer and by the following December the two were married. She remembers their wedding day as a cold bleak day with about three-foot of snow as it was up and over some of the fence posts. They were married on a Sunday at the home of her parents in Troy, Kansas. It was a
small wedding with only his sister Jessie attending with her parents and the preacher. Due to the weather and being held on a Sunday, the couple was spared the usual chivaree.
Minnie does not know much about her family beyond her parents except that her father, Frank Wilfred Porter came from the Iowa area and her mother, Martha Louise Roland came from Kansas. Wilfred and Martha had nine children, Roy, Ella, Alma, June, Minnie, Fern, Nina, John, and Bill. Roy was the brother that was the pastor through whom Minnie met Robert. As a girl grow
ing up Minnie's family lived mostly in the area
of Troy, Kansas but in about 1914 as the brothers and sisters married they started to scatter over the Western States.
After Robert and Minnie Taylor were married they returned to Utica, to the house where he was born, to live with Robert's father for a short period. They moved for a time to a rental of the McCains just to the North of McCain's residence. The house has since been torn down. After a period of time they moved back into the home of his father and remained there until they moved into the home that they lived in for over forty years. This locations is the present dwelling of Bill Cole Sr. as of this writing .
Robert's father continued to live with them until his death and for several years Robert's grandmother also lived with them.
Minnie remembers the thrill of moving into the new house as it had not been lived in but a very short while after it was built. John Gudgell had constructed the house but due to illness occurring within his family, and the depression and war years, Mr. Gudgell was forced to relinquish the property to Mr. Taylor Sr. due to being unable to pay the mortgage payments. John Gudgell went to care for his aunt who lived on the adjoining property.
Robert and Minnie had six children, all of them were born in Utica and attended school there.
LeRoy was their oldest son and was nicknamed "Spud". Minnie relates that he was caller Tator when in school which was short for Taylor, and Tator turned into Spud later. LeRoy was married in his earlier years but the marriage lasted but a very short time. A baby girl was born to the couple but was awarded by the courts to Robert and Minnie who raised her until she was married. In later years, LeRoy married Betty Stevenson.
They did not have any children and they live in Cowgill, Missouri.
Daughter Geraldine married Morris (Mike) Clemens. They have two children. Mike worked as a delivery truck driver before his death. The family lived in Battle Creek, Michigan until Mike died. Since then Geraldine lives in Springfield, Missouri.
Daughter Ellen married Herman (Hermie) Holt. They had three children Herman was killed while in the service during the war years, Ellen remained on the farm at Breckenridge until she died of cancer about two years ago.
Arthur remained single and was inducted into the service. He was killed in action while in Germany at the age of twenty-one. Minnie still has a lace tablecloth that he purchased for her shortly before he went into the service. He was then working at Sears Roebuck. She says she always felt proud of that tablecloth because Arthur told her "it was the most expensive tablecloth that Sears sells."
Son Alden married Emily Regan and they had three children. They purchased the property on the corner to the Southwest of the senior Taylors after Alden and family returned from Battle Creek, Michigan, where he had worked for Kelloggs, Alden died from a sudden heart attack in his mid forties. He had been on a hunting trip when the attack occurred. He was brought to his home but died very shortly after his arrival home. Emily remarried at a later date and resides in Kansas City. One of the sons, James Taylor married an Utica girl, Vickie (Ross) and they have two children. They are still residents of Utica and lived in his parents house for a number of years after his mother moved to Kansas City.
Daughter Inez married Hubert Franklin and they have three daughters. They live in Chillicothe. Hubert owned and operated Franklin's One Stop Service Station and Garage for around thirty-eight years until his retirement. The business was located at Calhoun and Washington
The granddaughter that Robert and Minnie raised is Mary Lorraine. After her graduation from high school she attended college. During the time that she was at college she met and
later married Robert (Bob) Nary. Bob was in the Army at this time. The couple live in the state of Connecticut. Her family tease her with the new name of Mary Nary.
In 1971 Robert W. Taylor was injured severely in a tragic car accident at the corner of Calhoun and Washington Streets. Their car was struck by a young boy driving a pickup. The boy failed to observe the traffic light properly. The Taylors were enroute to buy flowers for his sister who had passed away that very day when the accident happened. Robert died of his injuries two days later and Minnie was hospitalized for around two weeks from her injuries.
Minnie continued to live in her Utica home with son LeRoy (Spud) until his marriage to Betty. In 1979 Minnie became ill and her family helped her to dispose of most of her household items and the property was sold. Minnie now resides in the Chillicothe Senior Citizens housing units.
Robert and Minnie had three sons and three sons-in-law in the U. S. Service at one time during World War II. One son and one son-in-law were killed in action.
Minnie was proud of her children and commented that all graduated from high school.
As for her home that she so much loved she recalled when she and Robert planted the large elm trees that surround the house yet today. The family had planted many kinds of berries and grapes in additions to their annual large garden each year. Later when the grandchildren were growing up Robert had the pond dug for the kids to fish out of and skate on in the wintertime. He even purchased a boat for them to sit in while they were fishing in the middle. Mary and one cousin used the boat most frequently.
Minnie remembers one incident with a daughter-in-law becoming unhappy with her. A raisin pie was left at Minnie's house. Since no explanation was given when the pie was left, Minnie proceeded to cut and eat a piece of it. When the daughter-in-law came to pick up the pie for her husband, Minnie was in trouble as the pie
had been especially for Minnie's son.
She related of how frightened she became when she found out how her boys had learned to swim. They had been practicing by crawling across the bottom of the riverbed while playing around the Grand River.
Minnie chuckled as she told many funny stories. One occasion was when she fried up a big bunch of chicken for guests, that were expected to arrive, Alden and one of the Gudgell boys packed themselves a lunch out of the fried chicken to go fishing for the day while Minnie was out.
Another event was the time that LeRoy and another Utica boy broke out the large front glass window of Clark's general store while the boys were playing ball. The parents had to pay for the damages.
One highlight of her life was when Robert and Minnie went into a Chillicothe car agency and paid in cash, five hundred dollars total for a brand new 1922 Model T. Later they purchased a new Model A, but had to make payments on that one. Minnie had learned to drive the car by the following Sunday. She had driven ever since until the accident of her husband. She had never received a citations in all of her years of driving.
Once on her way home on the road near Maple Grove School, her car slid off of the icy road and down over an embankment. She was unable to get the car out without calling the towing service from Dawn. By the time the tow truck arrived so had Robert. After the car was towed back onto the road Robert decided he would drive the car home. The tow truck had to be called back to pull Robert out as when he went to drive off the car slipped off into the very same spot. He was really teased when the tow truck arrived
for the second pull out.
Minnie recalled a time that the wrong daughter got the spanking. Robert had always told his girls that they were not to go to the Clark's Store while in school. One of the girls slipped over to the store but wore her sister's coat. When the owner of the coat arrived home that
afternoon she got the spanking before Robert was aware of the other daughter had worn the coat.
Minnie remembers lots of snakes throughout the property area that they owned. She even found them in the house from time to time. One snake lost its tail as Robert was trying to pull it out from under the hot water tank. Unable to get the snake out they just kept watch and found the tailless critter under the bed at a later date. Another one was swimming in the bath water that Minnie had been too pressed for time and would empty after her return home.
Minnie remembered how her Robert (Bert), always loved Utica, and how she would of liked to have been closer to her sisters and brothers but her love for her husband kept her here in Utica all of her married life. She recalled when there were six churches in Utica and all with a sizable membership.
Minnie is a positive person. She is very active and witty in mind at her age of ninety years old. She does keep herself busy. She loves to piece quilts and do handiwork. She works in her flowers as her pastime, and visits daily with her neighbors. She has a good relationship with those remaining of her living children.
The grandparents, John Alonzo Williams and his wife, Anna (Kenner) Williams were born
and reared in the Mooresville area. They were the parents of seven children. James, Maude, Edmund, Albert, Lawrence, Floyd, Lena, and they are buried in the Mooresville Cemetery.
The other grandparents, Nelson Alnutt, was born and reared West of Chillicothe on a farm. His wife Adeline (Edwards) Alnutt was born and reared in Pattonsburg, Missouri. They were the parents of seven children, William, Katie, Frank, Carrie, Bessie, Lottie, and Pearl. These grandparents are also buried in the Mooresville Cemetery
The son of the Williams, Edmund, was born and raised in Mooresville. His wife Lottie (Alnutt) was born and raised West of Chillicothe. They were the parents of five children, Ernest, Jessie, Lester, Meridith, and Russell.
Edmund and Lottie set up their first home in Mooresville for a short time, They moved to Chillicothe where Ernest and Jessie were born. Later they moved to Utica where the father worked at the brick plant for possibly thirty years or more.
Lester, Meridith, and Russell were born in Utica. The latter two died shortly after their births. They too are buried at Mooresville.
Ernest, the oldest of the children, went to Attucks School in Utica for eight years, then worked at the brick plant for awhile. He left to work in Kansas, Nebraska, and St. Joseph, Missouri. He married Charlotte (Madison) of St. Joseph. He lived in Utica for awhile and Charlotte taught at the Attucks School. Ernest went to work at the brick plant again. After they moved back to St. Joseph, Ernest was inducted into the Navy Sea Bees in 1943, where he served in the Pacific theater for two years and received three battle stars. While he was in the Pacific he got Malaria fever, and was in poor health after his discharge and died of leukemia in 1947. He is buried in the Mooresville cemetery.
Jessie (Williams) Allen lives in Chillicothe.
She was married to Bazel Allen who was killed in Italy during World War II. They are the parents of two children, Bazel Allen II and Shirley (Miller). Bazel lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is married and is the father of one daughter, Elizabeth Ann.
Shirley is married and lives in Kansas City, Missouri. She has one daughter, Sicily Miller.
Jessie went to Garrison High School in Chillicothe where she graduated. She has worked many years for several prominent families doing domestic work. Later she worked at the State Training School for Girls for twelve years, as a youth specialist. She is now retired.
Lester is retired and living in Chillicothe, with his wife LaVerna (Douglas) Williams.
Lester too finished his high school education at Garrison high school after he finished the eighth grade at Attucks School in Utica. He too worked at the brick plant for awhile before being drafted into the army. He did his basic training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, then on to serve in the South Pacific until his discharge in 1945. He went to work at Southwestern Bell and was employed at this job for thirty-six years.
Lester and his first wife, Minnie K. (Martin), (now deceased) were the parents of one son Don Lester, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri. He is married and the father of four daughters, Shari, Dawn, LaTonya, Leslie and one step-son LaMonte .
Some of Jessie's first memories of living in Utica were living next door to her cousins and playing in the sand pile. The cousins were the children of her father's sister, Maude Alnutt and the mother's brother, Frank Alnutt, who were the parents of five children, Leon, John Carl, Olivia, Ralph, and Frances. Her Uncle Frank worked at the brick plant for awhile before moving to Olathe, Kansas.
While in Utica, he helped John Gudgell build the new house for the Williams
family home. John Carl and Olivia Alnutt returned in later years to teach at
Other memories of Jessie were that there was a revival at the church, and there was a lady preacher that conducted the service. She really got Jessie's attention because she can remember the preacher's first sermon titled "The Eagle Stirs the Nest." Jessie never figured out if it was the outstanding sermon, or the long robe with the huge flowing sleeves, that hung down when she raised her arms, that made such an impression on Jessie.
Jessie recalls the piano lessons from Mrs. Mae Lee and Mrs. Blanch Dowell, and Jessie playing the organ at church with a little friend from Ludlow, Keith Frazier, who just loved to pump the organ for her. He was too small to realize that Jessie could have done it herself, but Jessie loved it.
Jessie's worst memory was the time a horse kicked Mr. Trent who lived just across the alley from the school. after the children were told at the school, the Williams children ran all the way home to tell their mother.
All of Lester's memories were good, except maybe working in the garden with his father, but he did have lots of fun with all of the schoolmates, neighbors and friends and that made up for the work.
One of the bigger thrills of all was when he was giving himself "driving lessons" in his dad's car by backing the auto back and driving forward in the driveway in the yard.
At the time of the rebuilding of the Utica white school, Lester helped on that construction. He earned enough money to buy his own car.
While working on this job, one day as usual, he went to the grocery store (Clarks) and bought liverwurst and crackers for lunch. The young lady clerk brought out a large uncut roll of liverwurst and sliced it. When she left the butcher block and went to wrap the meat for Lester, a large dog came in the back door and made off with the whole roll.
Jessie and Lester will always remember
with fond memories of the families that they grew up with in Utica. There were the Albert Browns, Jim Browns, Bill and Arletta Holland, the George Ballenger and Cordia family, Charlie and Ann Ballenger, Mac and Mabel Brown, John and Birdie Gudgell, Ed and Kate Jones, Clarence and Gustavia Brown, Bob and Ollie Lee, Lucy Brown, Tobe Lowes, Albert and Irene's family, and our good neighbors the Lemons and the Willards.
They remember John and Mae Lee who owned and operated Lee's Hall where as children we would always go upstairs to the hall for our "last day of school programs." What fun that was.
Now that Jessie and Lester and wife LaVerna are retired they want more restful times for their lives. Jessie likes to work in the yard and flowers, and Lester, jokingly, wants to just relax.
All three are in good health and enjoy travelling with their ambitions to remain in good health.
As Lester and Jessie talked and reminisced, they had seen some tougher times, but now that they are retired and can enjoy their children and grandchildren at a slower pace, they look back to see that they are blessed, with loving families and good values of life.
Sometimes we all need to look back to see that the so called "good ole days" weren't so bad to remember, but few of us would want to return to them as they were.
As of this writing only four cousins, Jessie and Lester of the Williams, and Olivia and John Carl of the Alnutts are the survivors of the Williams and Alnutt families.