The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The 1919 Graphic

Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Registrar for Daniel McMillan Chapter, N.S.D.A.R.1919

Stronghurst Graphic, Nov.13, 1919 

COMES BACK TO STRONG-HURST: Through a change in their working arrangements whereby they have dispensed with the service of one roadmaster, the Santa Fe Co. has transferred Mr. T. E. Walker, who has held the position of roadmaster for this division with headquarters at Chillicothe for some time, back to Stronghurst and given him charge of the section here.  Mr. James Black, who has been section foreman here, has been transferred to Dallas City where he will hold a similar position.  While Mr. Walker's many friends here will regret that he has by the change in policy of the Santa Fe lost a position which carried with it more prestige and no doubt, more pay than that to which he returns, but they will be glad to welcome him back.

***OBITUARY***MRS. MARTHA REYNOLDS: Martha Rodman was born Feb. 25, 1856 and passed away on Nov. 6, 1919: in the 64 year of her age.  At the time of her death she was making her home with her sister, Mrs. Samuel Gilliland at Lacona, Iowa.

She was married in 1896 to Mr. John Reynolds of Stronghurst to whom she was a kind and faithful wife through many years of ill health and sickness.  Her husband preceded her in death by some six year.

Mrs. Reynolds was born in Henderson County about 3 miles southeast of Stronghurst and with the exception of three years in her childhood during which her family lived in Iowa, she has lived practically all her life in this community...By her death she leaves behind two brothers and two sisters, namely, Marion Rodman of Fauler, Ind., Ernest of Gladstone, Ill., Mrs. Giuidera Gilliland of Lacona, Iowa and Mrs. Olive Gilliland of Stronghurst, Ill.

PUSHED IT DOWN: The brick wall of the Loomis building on the west side of Broadway, two doors north of the post office, which has been a menace to the lives of individuals and to the adjacent property ever since the fire which gutted the interior of the building about two years ago, began swaying in an alarming manner during the high wind on Monday.  After a section of the wall had fallen, grazing the west end of the adjoining building occupied by Mr. and Mrs. James Pendry, tearing off the eave trough and doing some other slight damage, a force of men got busy and after working for several hours succeeded in pushing the balance of the insecure section of the wall over into the interior of the wrecked building.  It is a pity that this fire gutted building, situated as it is in a prominent place on the principal street of the village, should have been allowed to remain in its unsightly dangerous condition for so long a time. (City beautiful was a focus for the local women's club and besides a hazard, but the building detracted from their plans.)

CARMAN CONCERNS: Mr. and Mrs. Will Nolan returned to their home in Enid, Okla., after a two week visit here.  Mr. Lonnie Pendleton, Mr. and Mrs. Archie Vaughn and daughter Marguerite motored to Urbana, Ill and spent a week with Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn's son Troy who is a student at the University.  Mrs. John Hudson of Stronghurst spent a few days with sons, Willis and John Dowell, and her niece, Mrs. William Coffman.  Paul Marsden and Faye Vaughn have been victims of scarlet fever.  School has been closed for two weeks and it is hoped that there will be no more cases.  On Sunday, Nov.8th, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Vaughn, Sr. celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and Mr. Newt Vaughn, Sr's birthday at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Clyde Gittings.  A number of relatives and friends enjoyed a delightful time.

LOMAX LINGERINGS: Mr. and Mrs. Allen Crane departed for their new home in Wyoming where Allen has employment part time, proving up on his claim the remainder of the time.  The broom factory was forced to close down part of the week on account of the power plant not furnishing current while making necessary repairs.  Jasper Logan is remodeling his tenant house and moving it to an adjoining lot.  The Economy Man'fg Co. opened a down town office in the Real Estate Row.  The company has employed Mr. W.R.Gaddis as bookkeeper making the force five in the office. Mr. Lloyd Sparrow has closed down his canning factory after a very successful season of canning tomatoes amounting to almost seven car loads. 

LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: The Methodist Women of the December group will hold "The Revel of the Year" Saturday Dec. 13th; keep the date in mind and be there.  Do some Christmas shopping at the Japanese Bazaar conducted by the young ladies of the U.P. church at the Hollingsworth Hat Shop.  In response to a petition signed by a considerable number of citizens, the village board at its regular meeting decided to re-establish an all night watchman service to be operative on and after Dec.1st.  Marshal James Rezner will remain on duty each night until midnight when he will be relieved by James Brewer, who will be on duty until daylight.  A.L.Beaver is now the owner of a new Ford car.  An 8 lb. boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Will Voorhees of the southeast neighborhood on Nov.9th.  Mrs. Ruth Wilson entertained the Stronghurst high and grade school teacher at a six o'clock dinner at her home. 

The Maxwell hardware store and the Warren clothing store of LaHarpe were both burglarized last Saturday night.  About $60 in cash and checks and some cutlery were stolen from the former and several overcoats for the latter.  The State Bank of Good Hope was visited by Yeggmen last Saturday morning, the safety deposit vault blown open and the private boxes rifled of securities and other valuables.  The total haul will not be known until the box renters have all checked their boxes.

Otto Steffey made a trip to Michigan and purchased a 120 acre farm near Mason, a town of about 2,000 situated about 7 miles from Lansing.  The farm is finely improved and has on it 700 hard maple trees and is equipped with an evaporator for converting the sap from these trees into maple syrup.  Wouldn't that make your mouth water, just now, when the flap-jack days are here? Mr. and Mrs. Steffey expect to move to Michigan and take possession of their farm in the early spring.  Mrs. Hettie McLain has suffered with rheumatism for the past several days.  Joe Wilcox is confined to his home by an attack of pleurisy and grippe.  Paul Bell has been kept pretty close to home for the past few days with a cold and a case of hives. Frank and Mary Apt of Decorra neighborhood are confined to their home by an attack of chicken pox.  The Peter Bainter residence is being electrically equipped by the Live Wire Supply Co.  Waldo Johnson has purchased from Ed Parish the barber shop which has been conducted for the past year or more above the Jones grocery store.  C.W.Walker shipped four carloads of cattle from Decorra to the Chicago market; he and Charles Peasley went in charge of the stock.  A.W.Griggs of Galesburg installed a Johnson oil heater in the basement furnace of the Morgan barber shop, which he claims is cheaper and cleaner than a coal fuel.  Reed Salter came home from the hunting camp on Burlington Island with a fine bunch of ducks.  M.E. and Earl Beardsley and Emmett Milliken departed for their hunting camp on Burlington Island for a few days shooting.  W.V.Curtis drove them over in his car and the boys returned the next day with a fine lot of ducks.

The high winds which raged here Monday blew down the awning in front of the Dr. H.L.Marshall office and also tore the awning from the fronts of Dr. McClellan's office and the A.E.Jones grocery store.  Joe Baxter, a citizen of this place before the war and who served in France with the Rainbow Division until he received his honorable discharge, is now employed by the Midland Lumber Co. at Dixon, Ill.  Alfred A. Johnson, who some 12 years ago was a resident of this vicinity, is now employed by the city of Pomona, Calif.  Uncle Will Patterson in company with Fred Gray, insurance agent drove to Gladstone where Mr. Gray wrote something over $15,000 insurance.  The farmers report that the heavy rain and wind storm of Sunday night and Monday blew down and twisted the corn, making the gathering much more difficult and tedious.  Chesley Towler and Dr. Ash of LaHarpe returned with a new Hudson, sport model, and an Essex roadster car to supply the increasing demand at the new Sutliff & Wallin Garage.

Flags were displayed on the streets Nov. 11, Armistice Day, in commemoration of the German submission to the Allies.  The town hall and church bells were rung at eleven o'clock in the morning and some demonstrations in honor of the day was participated in by the younger element.  School was dismissed in the afternoon and the banks also took a half holiday.  Quite a number went to La Harpe in the afternoon and took in the celebration and football game there.

PUBLIC LIBRARY NOTES: Nelson' Encyclopedia has been added to the Library and the public is invited to use them at any time.  They must not be taken away from the restroom but arrangements have been made with Mrs. Armstrong, who has the care of the room, to see that they are available at any time.  The room is kept heated and lighted and will be found open all of the time.  The Library committee wishes to say that some 20 books of fiction are out and they would like that returned at once or they will assess a fine for overtime.(Stronghurst had their own library in the Community Club restroom on Broadway).

BREAKING UP THE BIGGEST FARM: In the issue of the Country Gentleman of Nov.8 appeared a lengthy article from the pen of Donald Angus telling of the "breaking up" of the big 23,000 acre Rankin farm near Tarkio, Mo.. .(David Rankin originally lived in Media Township on the farm now owned by Corzatt Farms.)

"The 23,000 acre farm of Rankin, the Corn King" near Tarkio, Missouri is being broken up.

One of David Rankin's mottoes was: "Never sell the farm." He spent fifty years gathering together the land that made his the biggest tillable farm in the world.  There were larger landed estates than his, but it has been said that his was the largest farm in the world actually cultivated and managed by one man.  On his 23,000 acres there was not a tenant.  He had scores of overseers and foremen and thousands of hired hands, but no tenants; and "Uncle Dave" personally supervised the farming of his vast acres and selected the seed that planted his thousands of acres of corn and directed the rotation of crops, the drainage of the land, the buying, feeding and selling of cattle and hogs, the buying of work horses and mules and machinery, even the buying of harness.  He knew personally every one of the thousands of men who worked on his place; and he would not have a man who drank whiskey or who did not work well.  One of his sayings was: "I never keep a man who can't raise two acres of corn for every day he goes into the field."

I went to see David Rankin one time when he was 81 years old.  It was early in the morning of an October day, and he was just starting out on a tour of inspection.

"Hop in here and go along if you want to visit with me," he said, and I sat with him in the buggy that day and he held the lines and drove.  He said that we had covered fifty miles before he returned at nightfall and he seemed just as fresh then as when he started.  His farm was divided into fourteen ranches and each was numbered; Ranch No.1, Ranch No.2, and so on, each ranch under the superintendency of a foreman.  That day we visited several of these ranches, drove in among the standing corn and examined it; drove in among droves of cattle and hogs; had a dinner of corn bread and sowbelly at one of the ranch houses; inspected a ditch that was being dug to drain a low lying level of wet land; met many foremen and workers;; and old "Uncle Dave" talked and clucked the team and jerked the reins over their backs and told me how he had gathered that fortune of three million dollars together, of his early struggles, of his theories about farming and of why corn was king and would always be so and why the price of corn land was going to increase, and why the price of beef and pork would never be low again.

Once he stopped the team a moment at the brow of a hill that over looked great fields of corn stretching away to the horizon and he said: "I hope this farm will always be kept together under the name of Rankin Farm."

There was a pathetic note in his voice that made me turn quickly and take a better look at him.  He was a raw-boned Scotchman, two inches more than six feet tall and 72 years of hard work had not put even a trace of a stoop into his broad back and shoulders.  He was yet an iron man, strong of will and dauntless courage, pitiless of his body, denying him ease or pleasure in his old age as he always had.  A white beard covered the lower half of his face; shaggy gray eyebrows stood out over gray eyes that looked at the world through gold-rimmed spectacles.  It was a chilly morning and he wore a shaggy old fur coat.

I had asked him what he thought would become of all those rolling fields of corn and pasture and clover when he was gone and he put the leather reins between his knees and gripped them there and held out his two hands, palms up.  "I gathered it all with my bare hands," he said.  They were rough hands, big as all his body was big.

"I began with one ox," he said, "and I have often owned 12,000 head of cattle and 25,000 hogs at one time and fattened them all on my own corn too.  I once measured up 118 bushels to the acre and many a year I grew a million bushels of corn in one crop.  That's a big job for one man to do in a lifetime."

He took the reins, clucked to the team, sat in silence awhile and then said, "I would like the place held together after I am gone."

He has been dead only a few years and his big land holdings are being divided.  The people of Tarkio and Atchison County are glad of it.  They want the place broken up into farms of 160 and 80 acres with a farmhouse and a family on each one.  As it is now, you may ride for miles through the Rankin farms and not pass a house; and go yet farther and not pass a schoolhouse, for there are few families on the Rankin land.  Hired men till wide stretches of it.

One of the leading merchants of Tarkio said to me the other day when for a second time I visited the Rankin farms: "We want families on those acres, for that will mean more trade for the stores in town, more taxes, more schools and a better community life.  Take Ranches 5, 6 and 7, right southeast of town, there are 7,600 acres of land there in one body owned the the Rankin heirs, and there are cornfields on it of over one thousand acres in extent, and cornstalks there so high that a man has to stand on tiptoes to reach an ear; and all of it is worked by hired men under the direction of foremen and the families of those foremen are the only ones on the place.  There aren't a half dozen women on all that 7,500 acres and not more than a dozen children.  Now that's not good for a community.  Who was the fellow, some poet, who wrote about "Ill fares the land that doesn't keep on producing crops of good men" or something like that? Well, that's true.  What we want here is for these lands to be broken up and a family on each quarter section and owning it.  That's the best way." (to be continued in the future issues)