The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Deb Olson, The Quill La Harpe Office Manager

Meet your neighbor and one of La Harpe's special veterans Wendell Link.

Wendell was born and raised in rural La Harpe, the son of Lewis and Eva (Lawbourne) Link.

He attend La Harpe schools, graduating from La Harpe High School in 1947.

On July 27, 1951 he married Eleanor Klossing of Dallas City.

They have three married children, 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Their son Brad (Sheila) Link, lives west of La Harpe.

They raised 4 children and have 8 grandchildren. Brad took over the farming operation and is being helped by his son Chris who lives in the farm home where his parents grew up.

Wendell and Eleanor's two daughters are Barbara (Alan) Mehaffy of Burlington, IA and Susan (Wayne) Bray of rural La Harpe.

Barbara is a dental hygeniest at Dr. Steve Rodeffer's in La Harpe where she comes 3 days a week, and her husband is in charge of food supplies for schools. They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

Susan teaches at Nauvoo school and her husband farms. They have 3 children and one grandchild.

Wendell is one of the La Harpe's honored United States' veterans.

In 1951 Wendell joined the National Guard. He was with the 44th Division a West Central Illinois unit. The group met weekly in Carthage, where Wendell got training in artillery.

The Illinois National Guard was called up for duty and sent to California for training. He and Eleanor had been married just 6 months.

Eleanor and her mother drove to California so Eleanor could stay with her husband for his 10 months of duty there. The guardsmen were put up in a hotel which they had made into 3 room apartments.

Wendell was selected for combat in Korea. He and Eleanor, along with others from the area, drove home for 3 weeks before he was shipped out. Eleanor remained with his parents and worked at the bank in La Harpe where she worked close to 20 years.

After more training, including CBR school in Japan, Wendell was sent to Korea.

Because of his artillery training, in Korea, Wendell's assignment was to locate enemy gun emplacements. He spent the majority of his time in Korea in the combat zone.

Upon his return to La Harpe in August of 1953, Wendell farmed with his dad.

Eventually, he farmed for many years on his own, but now, his son is the farmer and Wendell and his wife Eleanor have moved into town.

Wendell and Eleanor attend the Union Church. Wendell missing farming but he is enjoying his trips walking to the coffee shop each day.

He has enjoyed some surprises, such as on a recent Father's Day. His wife had sent for all of his awards the government hadn't time to send to him, including two gold stars and many other medals. Then, their daughter Barbara, had them framed for him as a surprise.

Wendell is one of 9 children. Bob and Donald Link Louise, Louella, and Dorothy (Gale) Kern are deceased. Still living is Jean Louden, 92, a retired nurse of La Harpe, Leah Belle Hicks of Stronghurst, and Wayne Link of La Harpe.