The US declared war on Germany April 6, 1917. Selective Service for men ages 21-39 began in May for what was called the Great War, or even the War to End All Wars. Clabe Wilson’s name was among those subject for the draft, as well as three of Leora’s brothers–Merl, Wayne, and Jennings.
Nevertheless, both Merl and Jennings bought Kissel Kars.
The Kissel Company was founded by Conrad Kissel (who came to Wisconsin in 1857 from Prussia) and his four sons in 1906. They produced 35,000 automobiles in Hartford, Wisconsin, before the Great Depression and mounting losses forced them into bankruptcy in 1931.
That March, those optimistic Goff boys bought “the Powell ranch on Beaver Creek” and began planting a crop, mostly popcorn. Two months later their draft notices ordered them to report to Camp Dodge.
Jennings, who had bought a Kissel Kar the year before, “put it to good use” the day before leaving home. Then he asked Pa to sell it for him, which he did. For $1100.
From Leora’s Early Years: Guthrie County Roots.
I love the photo with Donald and Delbert as toddlers!
Interesting! I had never heard of a Kissel Kar!
I hadn’t either until it turned up in old postcards to Leora from her sister Georgia.
Very interesting, Joy. I had never heard of a Kissel Kar either. Love the photo too!
This was a new one on me, Joy. I had never heard of a Kissel Kar, but they must have been kind of expensive if he got $1,100 when he sold it.
He was a bachelor and headed to war, so he probably didn’t care how much it cost, just to have fun before the great unknown! (After the war he married a local girl. She died of mumps when their second child was just four days old! Jennings and his children lived with his folks through the Great Depression, so they were especially close to Leora’s children, first cousins.)
What a great photo! I love it. I had heard this name before, but if I was asked on Jeopardy I wouldn’t know the answer haha.
Now you will!
I keep thinking I need info for that show or Masterminds.
Never heard of the Kissel car, but it is interesting how many small car companies there were in the early 1900s. Back in those times a Case car was manufactured in Racine, WI, which is still the home of the Case tractor.
Well, I didn’t know about the Case car! Thanks, Bob!
Jennings got a really good price for a used Kissel-a car unknown to me. It must have had a lot of bells and whistles. A new Model T Ford sedan in 1917 cost just over half that price. I looked it up: $695.00!
His father started with a Model T, but quickly traded it for a Cadillac!
I have to be included in the group that never heard of Kissel Kars. I do love the picture of it though with the family.
Thanks, GP. It’s fun to see Leora still dressing up, which became less common as her little family grew.
Mothers are kept busy, especially back then.
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