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Every family has a Keeper–of old pictures, relics, stories.

How did I end up the Keeper, on both sides of the family?

Before our son was born, I’d discovered genealogy, which finally made history make sense to me. I shared everything I learned with near and distant relatives, corresponding through the mail, sending self-addressed stamped envelopes for replies.

Dan’s growing-up years were devoted to helping with his activities–at church, school, scouts, wherever.

Then after Grandma Wilson died, in 1987 at age 97, I began to read the letters she’d saved–dating from the early 1900s. She also left a hand-written story of her life. So many of her stories fleshed out the names and faces on my family tree. Now, in addition to knowing many of her stories, I’ve started setting them in their history so that they will never be forgotten–especially the ones about her losing three of five sons who served in WW II.

You won’t be interested in all the stories here, but I’ve divided them into categories:

Books & Authors–Books I’ve especially appreciated.

Depression Era–Stories of my mother and grandmother, information from the letters they wrote to their “Navy boys,” who enlisted in 1934.

Dexter (Iowa) History–I administer the Dexter (Iowa) Historical Museum Facebook page. This is the handiest place to keep those stories and pictures.

Early Ancestry–Stories too early to include in Turn of Century.

Growing Up on a Farm–Stories from the 1950s and early 1960s in and around Dexter, Iowa.

Kidney-Walker Genealogy–Just started this one in 2018. Stories from my husband’s side of the family that need sharing.

Miscellaneous–These are essays or stories that don’t fit another category.

Turn of Century–Stories of my Grandma Wilson, who was born in 1890, through WWI, and even my mother’s early memories before the Depression.

Uncategorized–Would like to delete it, but it won’t go away.

WW II–From letters, telegrams, stories, and research. This category is the main reason I started writing–to make sure the Wilson story is never forgotten.


Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. – Exodus 20:12



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