The Minburn Farm in Winter

This is the farm where the Clabe and Leora Wilson family lived SW of Minburn from early 1939-October 1944, as tenant farmers until all five brothers had left to serve in WWII.
    The photo was taken from the hill west of the house. You can see the outhouse. It was taken when they still had the old “smoking Buick,” which is partway down the lane, so was before November 1941.
    The snow-covered gravel road leads left to the main road, where their mailbox was. The North Raccoon flows through that wooded area to the east.
The house and garage, taken from the east along the driveway. There were two bedrooms, a living room and kitchen with area enough for a table and buffet downstairs, and one large attic room where the brothers slept.
    After I was born at Dexter in June of 1944, Mom (Doris) and I stayed in the hospital the required ten days. Dad had already gone back to Texas to instruct his next class of advanced cadets, so Mom and I stayed here with her folks until Dad could come back for us that August. This house near Minburn was my very first home.

Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II is the story behind the Wilson brothers on the Dallas County Freedom Rock. All five served. Only two came home.


  1. Those two photographs are a piece of history for sure. I hope the family had chamberpots in the bedrooms. That would have been a very long, dark, cold trek to the outhouse on a winter’s night!

      • I’ve realized that Clabe was a great help to her, hauling water, doing much of the gardening, and possibly the chamber pots! (We had a chemical toilet in our old farmhouse, and changing the bucket was Dad’s job. Don’t know details, thankfully!) Those Wilson boys were mentored well. I’m impressed with how they took care of their sturdy little mother!

  2. What will the next generations have to recall such moments in history? These are precious photographs that convey so much detail from the past.

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