When Leora Met Clabe

Leora’s Grandpap and Grandmother Jordan (David and Emilia) had lived on a farm just east of the village of Monteith, Iowa, since just after the end of the Civil War. Their oldest child was Laura Arminta, born in 1868. Their youngest was Frederick David Jordan, born in 1889. 

Laura Arminta married Sherd Goff. Their oldest child, born in 1890, was Leora. Yes, young Fred Jordan was the uncle of Leora Goff, with just over a year’s difference in their ages.

David and Emelia Jordan are at the left, with their youngest child Fred Jordan. Next is the oldest Jordan sister, Laura Jordan Goff, with daughter Georgia Goff in front. Laura’s oldest child was Leora, who is at the far right. Young Fred Jordan was Leora’s uncle. 1897, Monteith, Guthrie County, Iowa

As a young adult, Leora took turns with her sister Georgia staying with their elderly grandparents, helping them even after they retired into the village of Monteith. When Grandpap Jordan died in early 1913, Grandmother Emilia enjoyed the companionship of a granddaughter even more.

In 1909, Fred Jordan, Emilia’s youngest son and Leora’s uncle, married Rectha Wilson. They also lived in Monteith.

In 1913, Leora and her grandmother Emilia walked to Fred and Rectha’s to see their new baby, Leonard Clabe Jordan. They had another visitor, Rectha’s brother Clabe Wilson.

And that’s how Leora met Clabe.

Leora grew up in a large family who enjoyed visiting and having rousing discussions. She could start up a conversation with anyone, a winsome asset around a handsome man of few words.

In June of 1913, Clabe sent her a tentative Good Luck postcard, signed “C.D.W.” That’s all that was on it. I guess it was his way of letting her know he was interested. . . . early “texting.”

It evidently worked. She replied with a To Greet You card. “Dear friend,” it began, then some chitchat, ending “Answer soon. L.G. Guthrie Center.”

Their first real date was to the Chautauqua in Panora in June of that year, traveling there (and everywhere else) by horse and buggy. The Chautauqua advertisement offered “a new set of delightful surprises every day” to the citizens of Guthrie County. “Fine education and uplift. It’s an educational picnic.”

An easy way for shy Clabe to get acquainted with Leora.




  1. Such a wonderful story…you never disappoint! I can picture these two perfectly in their horse and carriage. 🙂 I love those postcards!

    • I had wondered how these two ever got together and made it work, so it’s been fun to discover details. This couple will go through some terrible times during the Great Depression and WWII.

  2. I first thought $2.00 was a lot, also. Then I saw that was for ten “double programs”.

    • I’ve got other similar ones sent to Leora by young men, probably trying to see if there was any interest. They quit sending them after she met Clabe!

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