Folks lived through hard times even 100 years ago. They still didn’t have electricity, usually no running water, but neighbors readily helped a new family in town. Especially when their house burned!
Clabe and Leora Wilson struggled after the Great War, while farm prices slumped during that time. Clabe and his father-in-law had lost farmland in Guthrie County.
Leora and Clabe had both come down with influenza, but survived. Leora didn’t recover for months.
Clabe held a sale in February of 1921, on what was known as the Russell farm, 1 mile north and 1/2 mile east of Stuart, Iowa. I think the farm had been sold. This sale bill was among the keepsakes of Grandma Leora Wilson. Items listed under Miscellaneous are transcribed below.
After the sale, they moved into Stuart, but on the edge of town where they could still have a milk cow. Their young sons went with Clabe to buy a cow that windy day, while Leora and young daughter were stayed at the new home.
Leora tore off old wallpaper, burning it in the kitchen range. A neighbor man stopped by. “Lady, I think your house is on fire.” It sure was.
Leora quickly carried 18-month-old Doris and a rocking chair to the front yard, telling her to stay right there. Soon firemen came and neighbors helped haul out most of the family’s things. When Clabe and boys got home, their things were sitting in the yard.
The couple who’d bought the big stucco house, and moved in before Wilsons had moved out, invited them to stay there until they found a place. The next day, Clabe learned that the Chittick house on Gaines Street was for rent, so they moved there right away. Mrs. Knox, who’d been widowed not long before, lived next door. Her husband was a retired Stuart doctor. She and Leora became good friends.
The Wilsons’ twins, Dale and Darlene, would be born in the Chittick house just two months later.
Good Ford Touring car; 1 new 3-in. wagon, complete; 1 new Oscillating bob sled; 1 Hayes Jr. corn planter, 80 rods wire; 1 drill planter; 1 See-Saw cultivator; 1 Champion 6-ft. mower; 1 2-section harrow; 1 14-inch stirring plow; 1 New DeLaval separator, No. 15; 1 1/2-inch harness; three 400 bushel hardwood picket corn cribs; 3 new hog crates; 135-ft. hay rope; one 50-ft. guy rope; one 100-ft. guy rope, 1 dozen galvanized chicken coops; 2 1/2 dozen pure bred White Leghorn pullets; some carpenter tools; about 60 lbs. Austlian [sic] hulless popcorn, and other articles too numerous to mention.
Terms:–All sums under $10., cash; on sums over $10. a credit of 6 months at 8 % will be given on bankable note. No property to be removed until settled for.
McKEE & DOUD, Auctioneers.
GEO. MARTIN, Clerk.