The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Christy Kienast -The Quill

Meet your neighbor Carl Bainter, 82 of rural Fountain Green. Carl is one of Hancock County's veterans, proud to have been able to serve his country during the Korean War.

His life began in McDonough County in 1929 when he was born to Dison and Marie Bainter of Macomb, the oldest of 3 children.

His younger brother Conrad is deceased and his younger sister, Mariana Schrader, lives at Little Swan Lake and is married to Ken, a surveyor.

Carl and his family moved to the Fountain Green Township in 1938 in the midst of the depression when his parents swapped their new home for a 190 acre farm.

His father owned his own trucking company while the family lived in Macomb and kept one truck when they moved to the farm. "The big trucks back then are what we call one ton trucks now." They used to double deck hogs to Peoria, Chicago, and St. Louis.

One day Wayne and Jim McConnell ( bros. both deceased) "lifted a 300# sow by rear and ear.

Carl laughed saying they had a full load when they drove up to add one more sow.

One took the tail and the other the ear and lifted it right to the upper deck with ease. We always laughed about that.

Carl went to school at the one room schoolhouse in Eagle. Since they lived on the edge of the district, it took a little over a mile and a half to walk to school from the farmhouse. In the winter he said, "You had to wear all the clothes you had."

Back then you didn't get out early for a lot of snow or below zero weather.

The schoolhouse in Eagle had 16-18 students up to eighth grade of all

ages. Between the schoolhouse and home there was a big hill that everyone

loved to sled on. From the top to bottom of the hill it was about mile.

They kept horses at the bottom of the hill to pull their sled back up to the top.

Carl grew up during The Great Depression when "If You had a pot in the

window, you were pretty lucky," he said.

Carl graduated from La Harpe High School in 1948. During high school Carl was involved with choir and he loved to sing. His favorite memory was of his music instructor, Erma Hecox, who could " Beat that piano to death."

Carl was in the Air Force from 1949 to 1952. He was in Guam and Hawaii

twice and stationed at what is now the Travis Air Force Base in


After the Air Force, Carl worked for the Macomb Journal for 13 and a half years in advertising, circulation and makeup.

For 6 years he worked for Ralston-Purina as a feed salesman. He also farmed and raised hogs and cattle.

In 1978 he went to work at the Hancock County Courthouse and was the Supervisor of Assessments. Carl semi-retired in 1990 and is fully retired now.

Although he sold off some of the farm ground in 2004, Carl still lives in the same house he grew up in and still has some outbuildings.

The grainery on the farm used to be the house where the original owners lived. It still has the spiral staircase that lead up to the second floor where they used to sleep on the floor on mats. Carl now uses the grainery for storage.

Carl was an active member of the Carthage Kiwanis where he was President from 1985-1986. He helped spearhead the fundraising to finish restoration of the clocks in the Hancock County Courthouse.

He is a member of the Masonic Lodge AF and AM, Valley of Quincy Consistory and the LaMoine River Valley Association.

He is also an active member of the Ft. Green Presbytarian Church where he has been a Men's Sunday School teacher for 20 years.

He is proud to say the new cookbook for the church is just out and has some of his mother's delicious recipes in it.

Although he never liked to vacation like many do today, he has enjoyed the sport of golf and bowling.

Although Carl has never married, he has a vast number of friends.

As far as a companion, Carl has had three of the best Elk Hounds over his lifetime, and lost his last faithful friend last May. It still saddens him to think about not having his traveling companion in the truck when he goes to town. .

Having been in World War II, Carl would like to express his sincere appreciation for the honor flights that so many have contributed to.

Although he hasn't gone on one, he feels it's a really wonderful thing to do for those who have served in the war.

Carl has a heart of gold and has served his community well and continues to do what he can to serve the church.

Many times his work kept him from doing what he wanted to do there, but since his retirement, he has served as elder and trustee along with teaching and thoroughly enjoys the good people of the Fountain Green Presbyterian Church.