Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Friday, January 23, 2015

Horsepower or Powered by Horse.......

Tractors were few in the early 1800's in central United States.  Horses were the beasts to pull most all of the farm machinery. As this country was settled most farmers had only one horse. They would have to prepare the soil by plowing and raking but then would sow their seed by hand. Later horses of all sizes would become working teams and the larger the horse the better to use in the field. The photo is shown in the Granger, Iowa Centennial Book.  The town of Granger is just south of where I live so these are scenes of everyday farming in my county, Dallas County, Iowa.

You had to feed your powered buggy as the automobile was not readily available to purchase.  The doctor would make his calls by horse and buggy no matter what the weather would be.  As you can see this buggy did have a overhead to pull up to protect the driver from the falling elements.

One would have to wear warm clothes as they traveled in the winter.  I believe this was a doctor making a house call in the Granger area.

Having a horse drawn carriage, or wagon, meant tying it up to the rail next to the business you are visiting.  As you can see the streets are dirt streets and the telephone and/or electricity is in the town. The source book in which I found these photos was created in 1984 and they were celebrating their 100 years in existence as a town.  Some of these structures are still standing today as you look down the street. No many of them but some.

Horsepower was essential to bring in the harvest.  I do see there is some sort of a lift, gasoline powered, that will elevate the bundles of hay to the haymow. You can see the man standing at the top of the lift waiting for bundles to be sent to him in which he would take a pitchfork and heave it into the mow.

In southern Iowa where I grew up and went to school there was a man who used his horses to plow gardens.  This photo is in Murray, Iowa and George Both is driving his team through town to go plow another garden.  The date of this photo has to be 1956 or a little later judging by the look of the cars in the photo.  I remember seeing him drive through town and thought nothing of it.

I would help take care of my father in laws horse not 8 years ago. I am not a great horsemen but I did have to feed and water the horse on the farm twice a day.  It was important to check on them so they don't get out and wander onto the highway.  My wife's father had three horses and four mules for a while in my early years in the family.  The mules kept escaping and he had to eventually sell them or learn to shut his gates better.

Sepia Saturday is a great place to visit many people on both sides of the globe who are sharing photos and thoughts about the pictures.  Visit the others in this group by clicking here on  SEPIA SATURDAY to be taken to the listings of all the others.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Testify that I am Old.......

The box camera was hard to use.  If the photographer could see any image they would push down on the side button and take the shot.  The sliding of the button down would actually cause the box camera to lean. The photos I share today will not be edited to sit right with the world.

 To date my age I have been to this school house many times as a young boy.   I did not attend there as I was too young.  My three brothers did attend there.   I like seeing the American flag flying and also the bell tower with the school bell.  A wood burning stove would be the heating system and the shed out back held the wood and buckets for carrying water.  The outhouses didn't require a water system.  My brothers quit going to this school in 1954.  My parents were renting land to the back and left of this house way over the hill.  When they moved to the newly purchased farm in 1953 the brothers finished school here.  I am betting the school was shut down just a few years later.  I know of schools near our area that were in a different township that shut the country school in 1956.

I remember attending a Christmas party at the school when young and seeing bubble lights on the tree.  They did have electricity in the building.  I would wait,sitting on a running board of a car for the brothers to get out of school. Why I have the memory of sitting on the running board and running down into the ditch and then back again I really don't know.

To add to the slanted photo collection is this photo.  It is a school that was built in Murray, Iowa.  The town of Murray is directly north on the same road that the country school sat.  I don't know the number of miles but it is in the very next township north of the Doyle township that you saw above. The school had a short life as it burned down in 1925.  The school they built to replace this is the one my brothers and I attended.

This older barbershop scene is in Murray, Iowa. I use to walk past here in the 50's and 60's and see at least one barber in here still giving haircuts. I am thinking this photo was taken in the 40's.   I remember seeing these empty chairs for years as when the business closed it sat as a barbershop for quite a few years.

The barbershop sat in the left corner of this building.  The photo here is of main street Murray and at the time the photo was taken the building was a car dealership selling Model T Fords.  My Uncle Carl eventiually bought this building and it became the barbershop, in the first section, an apartment for my Uncle and Aunt in the second section, with the door as the entry.  The third section was the barbershop that I had my haricuts,  The last section was a cafe for quite a few years then became a laundry mat.

When my Uncle died in the 80's the building was sold and used as a car repair business in the back.  The owners let the roof's go, didn't repair them, and the roof collapsed  causing the whole building to be removed.  One can still see the different floors of all the rooms today as they didn't remove the foundation of the building.

I inherited a 1956 atlas from my parents of the Clarke County area.  The maps of each of the nine townships are marked with landowner's names identified, hand written, on the map.  The country schools in our area including the Doyle # 9 country school were still on the map at that time.

The atlas was made when I was six years old. I am going to glean a lot of history from it as I dig deeper in the different parts of the county and townships.  The country schools are all marked on the maps with a dark square box with a symbol of at flag sticking out of it.  That will be another whole blog to write as I see how they were the institutions that educated most of rural Iowans at the time.

There are others who are posting blogs today on SEPIA SATURDAY.
Click on the name and you can vist others who may more closely follow the court room testifying theme.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Common Beard.......

I tried to find a single relative that has an unshaven face.  I guess central United States has a tight rule that you have to shave your face.  In the past thirty years that has changed as beards have come into style.  I have a friend at school who grew a beard and it did improve his appearance. The hippie era while I was in college did bring on more hair on the face and now the hunters of the world must all have beards. The unshaven look is really in for now.

The guy above had his photo taken in his fine Mason's finery.  The late 1800's was a time when Free Masonry clubs become strong and there was Eastern Star for the women.  The sense of belonging was very strong in the city social structure.  I have seen a photo of citizens of this town standing on main street and they filled up most of the first block of town.  A lot of buildings in the old Iowa towns have Masonry symbols on the top of the building, second floor, where they had their meetings. The town I live in had two different meeting halls.  One is still in existence and the other was lost when they tore down the opera house.

The photo above came from one of these albums. My dad had rescued them from this house below, in Osceola, Iowa as he was about to tear down the house.  At that time, in the 70's, a man or a group of men would take down a house with hammers, pry bars and sledge hammers.  No machinery was involved.

The house's history is lost as they had to create an abstract for the property for my dad before he could buy it.  It had been donated to a church and the house sat empty and boarded shut for over 30 years or more. One photo in the two set albums had the name of Webster on the back of it.  There is a street named Webster in Osceola and also the first owners of the funeral home for a long time stood about a block and a half away from this house.

I don't have a name for the bearded man but I did find different photos of him through out the album.

In this posed setting you can see that I have his photo under the scattering of the two top photos.  There is an older gentlemen with his white beard. These two older people may be grandparents to him and then maybe not.  They are all from Osceola or the books came into the house from relatives who lived in Osceola, Iowa.

I am assuming that this is a different time and setting for the man and his wife to have their photo taken. I like the classical decoration in the backdrop.  The woman must have taken a long time to button down her top article of clothing. The collar of the man's coat is cut the same way as the one at top.  All the added pieces to his coat does sort of cover up the view of the coat.

The last photo shares the name of the business that took the photo. As you can see I could have some fun researching some of the tid bits of information from the Osceola area.

Again I want to point out that none of my relatives wore beards two generations back on my family tree.  I couldn't find a photo.  There was a centennial celebration of Murray, Iowa,  back in 1968 when all the men grew beards.  It was a short period of time and I don't have proof in photos.  All this being said I want to thank you for stopping in at my blog.  Sepia Saturday members have  posted many interesting things on their blogs so check them out by clicking HERE.  They are friends of mine from all over the world.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

On the Ground Photos Become United.....

I have posted a couple of photos at different times before in the last three years of my dad with his brothers and sisters.  As time passes I now have answers as to where the photos were taken and even the year that they were taken.

I had posted this photo at a separate time from when I had posted the top photo.  Still not seeing any connection other than my mom was in this photo. The theme on Sepia Saturday is people out on the ground and as you can see they are doing so.  I like seeing how no grass was mowed back then as a horse drawn mower is about all that was invented for cutting hay and not for mowing down grass in the park.

The two photos had been laid to rest in the archives, my blog, so to speak as I really didn't have anyone at the time to ask about the photos.  My first cousin Joan owns this above photo and she is the little girl on the left. She recently posted the above photo on our family facebook site and all the dull bulbs became bright lights. I then knew the two that I had  did belong together, same place and time of a family reunion in Mallory Park in Murray, Iowa.  If I had my two photos laying side by side I could have compared the clothing they are wearing. My grandmother wears the same dress and an obvious dark dress on Aunt Amye is the same one too.  Of course in all three photos they are all wearing the same outfits.

The bottom photo is a picture of my grandfather Charles Thomas Burgus and grandmother Grace Elizabeth Turner Burgus.  At that time the seven children were all the grandchildren that they had. I dated the photos to 1941 because of the youngest child in the photo which is of my cousin Jerry Ramsey.

My newly wed parents are in the second photo and were married December 1940.  They were at the summer picnic with no children.  In the fall after this photo was taken my oldest brother was born in October, 1941.  My mom was glad to tell everyone that her son was born 10 months after they were married. After cousin Jerry was born, there were 10 more grandchildren added to this family. I ended up being the last of these grandchildren to be born in 1950.

Family trees can be so extensive but I am restarting and refreshing the immediate lines right now.  I am getting connections from second and third cousins that are asking questions.  I have started to write it all down so that as I become a source.  I do need to know what I am talking about and give out correct info.

Thanks for stopping in today at my Sepia Saturday post.  Check out all the others who post in this group from all around the world.  Just click here and pick a site to find it for more historic stuff.