Grandma Leora’s Home in Guthrie Center

Leora Wilson and her mother Laura Goff in November 1947, right before they both moved back to their roots in Guthrie County, Iowa.

From Leora Wilson’s memoirs: “My mother, Laura Jordan Goff, and I moved here to Guthrie Center, Iowa, February 10, 1948. Mother moved from Omaha where she had lived and kept house for my brother, Clarence Goff, for several years. I moved from near Perry.”

Laura left four grandchildren in Omaha, while Leora’s six (at the time) lived in Iowa. The two women had come home to their roots and were about the same distance for children and grandchildren to come for a visit.

The house had only two bedrooms, but they had a fold-out couch, where I remember sleeping with cousins. Eventually a bed was added to the unfinished basement.

Cousins visiting Grandma Leora and Great Grandmother Goff: Gloria Neal, Leora Darlene Wilson, Joy Neal, Donna Wilson. 515 North 4th Street, Guthrie Center, Iowa. About 1949.


“Mother and I lived here [in Guthrie Center] together almost 15 years,” Leora wrote. “Mother passed away December 6, 1962. She enjoyed life–crocheting, going places, and was hospitalized twelve days before her death. She was a wonderful mother, so good to look on the bright side of every problem. She was with Dad and me for all the births of our children.”

Grandma Leora could be described the same way: a wonderful mother, so good to look on the bright side.

The family who bought Grandma Leora’s house, also bought the small house to the north on the corner and tore it down. The picture window is how the window to the left behind the tree, so they expanded it to the north.


    • I think they were a godsend for each other. “Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression” will share more of what they endured even as neighbors through earlier challenges.

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