Themes and Events:
* During March, the United States exploded its second Hydrogen bomb in the Marshall Islands. The monster explosion was much more powerful and violent that the scientists estimated, being 600 to 700 times more powerful than the A-bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Before the H-bomb was detonated, we common folk weren’t too concerned about nuclear weapons. Afterwards, seeing the destructive ability of this new super bomb, public concern with nuclear weapons and the possibility of nuclear annihilation grew.
* Computers, which made their appearance during World War II, had grown in processing capability. In 1954 the first commercial UNIVAC was sold. Advances in medical research and techniques allowed for the first successful kidney transplant. The popularity of television became so great that a large number of radio stations switch from drama and the spoken word to musical programming. “TV dinners” are introduced at grocery stores and the term “TV table” is coined for the small folding table you eat those dinners from. Chain supermarkets have become such a huge success in recent years that they now account for 40% of the food sold at retail level.
* Elvis Presley, a self taught 19-year-old, makes his first record, Country and Rhythm and Blues — the record heralds a revolution in popular music.
[Photograph above: Larry, 12 years old, 1954. Taken in the front yard of our rental home in the court at Limberlost Rd ,Tucson, AZ].
Valentine’s, mine and Dad’s oldie to Mom
On this day I gave Mom a Valentines Day card that shocked both my parents, on the card I wrote:
“From Tartastilina = Larry
To Iduss Miduss of Miduss = Mommy”
Decades have passed and this still makes me chuckle, because I remember where the little rhyme originated. One day, I was snooping through some of my parents files, curious to see what sort of things grownups saved, I came upon a letter that Dad wrote to Mom years earlier, when he was in the Navy. Dad had written a little homemade jingle in his letter that I thought was both cute and startling. Naturally, I memorized the poem then hurriedly put away their private papers. The poem read, in part:
Idus Didus Oh Midus, Buckets, _(deleted)_, Apple cider Idus [Robert]
I suspect Dad was feeling a little nostalgic for Mom’s company when he wrote those words. Of course he never realized they would go on into posterity– some 55+ years later. (grin)
Snooping through dad’s soft porn
Behind my parents bedroom door hung a nude picture calendar of movie star Marilyn Monroe. At my age I wasn’t too excited about the picture, but it was interesting to look at on occasion, though I never let anyone know I was studying Marylin’s curvy features.
Dad had a book-case in the master bedroom, in which he stored his large coin collection, books, some curios and a small, oblong wooden box, that was kept locked. One day while at home alone, I went exploring and found a small key. And yes, it happened to fit the lock on the mysterious small wooden box. I was rather surprised and perhaps delighted to find the divided box filled with several hundred small photographs of naked ladies. I became so nervous at having discovered Dad’s secret treasure trove that I hurriedly closed the box and put the key away. An opportunity to explore the contents of that box more thoroughly never presented it’s self again. It wasn’t long after this, perhaps during the summer that Dad burned his collection of “naked lady” cards. About an hour or so after the fire, I nonchalantly walked past and peered into the incinerator hoping to find some salvageable remnants to study, but they were all burned to ash. Nothing was ever said to me about the photographs so I don’t know for sure why Dad burned them. He probably saw things had been moved or were out-of-order in his dresser drawer organizer or on the book shelf, so began suspecting the presence of a ‘snoop’. HelloooO! Snooping is just part of what 11-12 year old boys do. 8-)
Since moving to Arizona, an environment so different from our home in the upper Midwest, the family jumped right into exploring. On weekends we visited the ‘Old Tucson’ movie lot, where a movie
title, ‘A Stranger In Town’ with Greer Garson was being filmed; we visited museums, state parks filled with many kinds of cactus, the ruins of ancient Indian town, and US Cavalry forts; everything that was within a weekends driving distance. I thought that driving to, exploring and seeing the many new sites were fun and exhilarating adventures.
Moving to East Limberlost Road
During early summer, our family moved across the city to the northern outskirts of Tucson and rented a house at,
912 East Limberlost Road,Tucson,Arizona
Phone Number: 4-6838.
Ha! The phone company doesn’t assign numbers like that any more!
We moved because the aircraft construction contract at Hughes Aircraft Co. was completed and Dad was laid off. He found a job working as a maintenance electrician with Portland Cement Company, about thirty or so miles NNW of our home. Dad got the job through his cousin, Dorothy Grubb Mount’s husband, Wayne Mount, who was a foreman at Portland Cement.
Dad was happy to have the job, but it was long drive to work and worst of all, it had rotating shifts.
Frequently, he went to work as part of a carpool with several other men. For two weeks he’d work days, the next two weeks would be “swing shift” and finally the dreaded “graveyard” shift. We kids were told in no uncertain terms to keep it quiet around the house when Dad was sleeping. That wasn’t a problem during the school year, but during the summer, between loafing, playing indoors and out, having friends over, etc. we occasionally got in trouble.
The house court on East Limberlost Road
Our new house was one of ten houses situated in a court that spread along a U-shaped loop whose legs terminated on East Limberlost Road, we lived at the bottom of the loop. There were houses on either outer leg and two in the middle, we lived in the second house from the road in the middle. All the
houses were two bedroom ramblers with rose white stucco exteriors, each had an attached “car port”, and a lawn. Of all the places we lived, I enjoyed this the best. There were several families of kids about my age to play with, we had daily free access to the court swimming pool, while the desert offered many places to hunt and explore.
The family who owned the ten unit court lived in a much larger and nicer house on the east side of the property. Their house was surrounded by tall privacy bushes and a lush lawn. Beside their house was a large swimming pool which was opened to court residents. During the couple of years that we lived here, I spent a lot of time with the other kids at the pool. Once in a while, there were several week long periods when we kids didn’t swimming for even a day.
One day while playing tag and running along the edge of the pool, I slipped, fell on my face breaking my top, left center tooth. The tooth broke horizontally requiring a cap. I don’t know if porcelain caps were available at the time, but I ended up with an ugly gold cap. Instead of having a nice smile, I had a smile punctuated by a front tooth with a gold cap. When you’re talking to someone and their looking at your eyes then you smile and their gaze shifts down to your mouth, you get confused signals. Are they wondering, ‘what is the matter with your teeth?’ The resulting embarrassment and self-consciousness caused me, thereafter, to smile with my mouth closed. Twenty years later I had the gold cap replaced with a porcelain cap that looks just like my other teeth. It has been real nice being able to smile broadly without concern.
Sixth Grade: At Amphitheater School
Linda and I began attending Amphitheater School, located about a mile from home. During Sixth grade I was assigned to the math class taught by my cousin Dorothy Grubb Mount. Dorothy was Dad’s first cousin, her father was my Grandma Elsie Pierce’s brother. Having Dorothy as my teacher was fun, and a responsibility. I was attentive in her class and did my studies and assignments thoroughly, as a result I earned an “A” in math. That was the only time I ever excelled in a math class.
Academic performance: Q for questionable?
On the otherhand, my academic performance from about Second Grade through High School was frankly, less than outstanding. School subjects were not hard for me, they were for the most part, irrelevant and boring. If I liked a teacher or some section of the particular topic being presented, I studied enthusiastically, but only when I took an interest in the subject.
Although in the later years of school, my parents more or less required that I bring books home and study thirty minutes nightly, I seldom studied. My grades were almost entirely based on what ever attention and learning soaked in from the teacher’s discussion during class. Every year I received report card grades of an infrequent A, maybe one or two B‘s, mostly C‘s, and on occasion a D.
A spanking always followed those lower grades.
Over the years several teachers became riled over my lapsidasical lack of interest and the incongruent nature of my capabilities, which occasionally showed through. Several teachers said things to me that either hurt or were irritating and which I never forgot. Put in perspective, I suppose across the span of our lives, we are all bound to hear inaccurate assessments and ignorant statements made about our person. Two that I remember, were:
“Dumbest kid in class”
During Second Grade, our teacher, a rather curt young woman, would have groups of six to eight students come to the front of the class and sit in a circle, in prearranged chairs. We would then take turns going around and around the circle, each reading from our Dick and Jane readers. Meanwhile, the other two-thirds of the class, who were still seated at their desks, continued work on another project until they in turn were called to the reading circle.
On a couple consecutive days, I stumbled over the pronunciation of the new words we were suppose to have learned at home the previous night (but didn’t). In a fit of desperation, the teacher snapped at me in front of the others, stating, “You’re the dumbest kid in class!” The statement shocked more than embarrassed me. Looking around I saw that the other kids didn’t react to or care about what the teacher said, so her abusive words were soon overlooked, but not forgotten.
“You’re 6 months ahead of the class”
In Sixth Grade the entire class was given an IQ test and a standardized achievement test. Several weeks later, when the tests had been assessed, our “Homeroom” teacher called us individually to his desk, where he told us privately, where we stood in relation to the rest of our Sixth Grade class.
When I was called, I went to the teacher’s desk to hear him say (paraphrased), “Your test scores indicate you’re six months ahead of the class average. Frankly, I find that hard to believe.” I shrugged off the teachers sarcasm and returned to my seat, thinking to my self he was ignorant for making that statement.
Friends in the Limberlost court
Just to the east of our house, across the court driveway, was a family named, Smith. The family was headed by the rather high-strung, religious and recently divorced, Mrs. Mary Smith . Her children descended in age, from Mike, age 11; Christy, 9 years; Wendy, 7; and Gregory, about 5 years
Mike Smith and I “hung around” together all the time and became close friends. Although Mike was a couple of years younger than I, we were the same height, he was extremely bright for his age and had an adventurous spirit.
Kick the Can, a popular game
Ever so often during the late afternoon, particularly toward dusk, the kids in out court would get together and play a game called “Kick the Can” which was a cross between Hide And Go Seek and Tag. The usual players were Mike, Christy and Wendy Smith, Linda and I, the court owners youngest son, also a girl my age named, Sandra, and periodically, Rob, all who lived in the court.
Rules: Everyone gathers around and one person is chosen, “It”. An “X” is drawn on the ground and a tin can placed on it. One person gives the can a hard, running kick. Immediately, everyone else, except the person chosen “It”, runs to hide. The game is played within specified boundaries, which no player can leave. The “It” person brings the can back to the X, closes his/her eyes and counts to some predetermined number, i.e., 50 or 100. After counting, the “It” person sneaks around looking for the other hidden players.
When he sees one of the others, he runs back to the can and loudly shouts the name of the player he spotted and where that player was seen. The “caught” player must come out and stand idly near the can while the “It” player returns to his search for the others. With each find, the “It” player runs back to the can to shout the identity of the most recent player caught. The “It” person must always be on guard, because any ‘uncaught player’ can sneak back and kick the can again, thus freeing those previously
‘caught’ players. If this occurs, the “It” player must return the can to the X and immediately return to hunting the others who have run off to hide again. When all players are caught a new “It” person
The ice-cream man cometh
During the early afternoon on hot summer days, a small white truck would come along East Limberlost Road and turn into our court — it was “the ice-cream man”. We could tell the vehicle was coming while it was still several blocks away, because it played loud carnival type music through a loudspeaker. The ice cream man drove very slowly through areas that were heavily infested with children, giving everyone plenty of time to run home and beg nickels and dimes from their parents. It was a treat to run back outdoors on a sweltering day,meet with your friends and buy a popsicle, fudge bar, Sundae cup or drumstick. We’d then sit under a tree or in someone’s car port savoring our delicacy whilst chatting or planning our next playful activity.
Exploring the desert north of Tucson
The desert began right across Limberlost Road from the court. It extended about 1/4 to 3/8 miles to the Rillito River. Beyond the river was a short flat expanse which rose abruptly to the desert hills. There were few or no houses to be seen anywhere in this area. The desert was sparcly covered with a mix of prickley pear and barrel cactus, a few creosote bushed and the occasional tufts of some kind of desert grass.
The Rillito River bed was dry most of the year, and periodically flood filled during the winter’s rainy season. At this time, rainfall from the distant mountains would rush down the dry bed, filling the river from bank to bank with a dangerous, fast moving and boiling current. When the flood waters receded and the river bed began to dry and crack, thousands of toads could be seen hopping about congregating near the dwindling ponds and puddles of water. On the far side of the river channel was a slightly higher area which was covered with a large area of dense tall brush. This seven to ten acre strip of bushes was honeycombed with trails. On occasion one would see a jack rabbit or a coyote.
Deep in the bush there were several old couches, fire sites, and remnants of shelters habitated by hobo’s.
We lived at the extreme north edge of the city, beyond Limberlost Road there was nothing but desert. Here and there were cottonwood trees, but the primary vegetation was creosote bushes, prickly pear and Cholla cactus, all growing from sandy tan colored soil.
Here and there scattered randomly across the desert there were pieces of cardboard, an occasional sheet of corrugated tin, a derelict and burned auto or pieces of gray, weathered lumber. I mention this because during the several years we lived on Limberlost, I became interested in animal life. [Internet image of an area that looks similar to the area of desert described here.]
Seldom did any of the other kids wander out onto the desert with me, usually I walked alone; just me with my cap, pocket knife, occasionally a canteen and my bow. Thinking back, I usually went in the desert toward the middle of the day, when the other kids were either watching TV, having lunch, maybe taking a nap, or had gone somewhere with their parents. Besides, none of them had an interest to just walk about exploring the brush, the dry river bed, collecting bugs or things of that nature. Life hasn’t changed.
The aerial photograph, below, was taken 45-50 years after our family lived on East Limberlost Road. When first viewing the aerial image, I was startled and temporarily lost, almost everything was different, only the geometry of previous large land holding, and major roads remain the same, all the topography had become a high population density, residential area. The people who live here have no clue as to the life’s that were lived and of those who played and crossed the once wild landscape beneath their feet. During the mid 1950s there were probably not more than a couple dozen houses in the entire area shown above, the rest was desert.
Aerial map: Internet image from Google maps: East Limberlost Road and home environs.
Limberlost road is the east -west road seen running across the center of the picture, the Rillito River cuts diagonally across at the top. The Amphitheater Grade School where we kids attended school, is southwest off the Prince road at left.
I’ve marked three locations on the aerial picture with a small yellow square:
1) Lower left. The yellow square is just below the house (seen as a white dot) that our family lived in. My friend Mike Smith, lived in the house to our immediate right. The court owners house was just to the right of the court on Limberlost Road and their swimming pool, to the east beside the house, now gone. The vacant field behind (east) Mike Smith’s house and south of the owners, use to have several
large cottonwood trees, a horse barn and corral, it had a very ‘western cowboy’ look, but was vacant by the time the aerial photo was taken.
Just north of the court, directly across Limberlost Road is a white house, that was the only other house I remember in the whole central portion of the picture. The entire area across Limberlost Rd was desert; as was the area north, on the other side of the river.
Behind the our house to the south, were large blocks of desert, now filled with housing tracts. Town was to the south-west.
The area I use to explore, hunt and play by myself was to the north east, where there is now a large square subdivision. I use to hike across the desert on my way to the usually dry Rillito river bed.
2) Yellow square in river bed at top of picture: There was a hobo jungle across the river bed from the yellow square. It was in the location of this yellow square that I was shooting my bow and arrows when a horse rider wanted to try them out (see ‘Of bows and arrows’ short story below).
3) The yellow square on the right side of the aerial image: Marks the stable where the horse and rider came from mentioned above; buzzards use to circle high on the thermals above this area, and Prickly Pair cactus grew all about. The entire northern desert area in this image was sandy, hot and dry, it was a great place for me to play, hunt and explore as a 12 year old.
Of bows and arrows and a runaway horse
Frequently, I went out on the desert and hiked to the Rillito River bed. Usually I carried a stick to poke at things. One year for my birthday, Mom and Dad bought me a twenty five pound pull, fiberglass recurve bow and several wooden arrows. Before long, I’d purchased a quiver and replaced the arrow’s ‘target tips’ with much more durable ‘field tips’.
One afternoon while in the dry river bed shooting arrows, along came a Mexican man of about twenty-two years age, riding a nice looking horse. I was shooting at a cardboard box when the rider stopped nearby to watch. As we chatted, he said he was exercising one of the horses from the racing horse stable, just around the bend in the river. After watching me for a few minutes, he asked to shoot my bow, I said, “All right, if you let me sit on your horse.” Shortly thereafter, I climbed up in the saddle and the man prepared to shoot the bow.
All of a sudden, the horse began skittering and prancing around then wheeled about and took off in a full gallop back along the trail from whence he’d come. At first, I tried to stop him by pulling on the reins, but my efforts had no effect. My YMCA riding experience hadn’t prepared me for a run away horse. As the animal galloped his head stretched out and mane flying, all I could think of was riding him until either he decided to quit or I was thrown. Alarmed and scared, I bent low over his back holding onto his mane Indian style, with one hand and the saddle horn (chicken style) with the other. On we dashed, speeding like the wind along the river bank and out across the desert.
Finally, the sweaty horse galloped up to one of the riding stable corrals slowed to a walk then stopped. When I rode up, another trainer, an older Mexican man, was in a corral walking a horse around in
circles. He stopped and yelled out at me in broken English, “Hey! Where is ???” Without answering I swung down from the saddle and with weak knees lit out across the desert back down the horse
exercise trail toward the river bed. Shortly thereafter, while running along the river bank, I passed the trainer who was running lickety split toward the stable. As we sped past one another, he yelled, “Where’s the horse?” I yelled back my reply, “Stable! Where’s the bow?” He yelled, “Cardboard box!” We both kept running pell mell in our own opposite directions. I retrieved my equipment, then still a bit shaken, hurried off across the desert toward home.
Bug collecting and ‘the FBI’ club
The small creatures which lived in burrows on the desert floor, under the old boards, cardboard and tin were different than the types I’d seen in Michigan’s temperate woods. As my interest turned into a hobby, I collected examples of the various life forms that I could catch.
For preservation, each creature was put in its own labeled jar of rubbing alcohol. I borrowed books
from the school library and wrote about the creatures ecology, including its description, habits, food preferences and adaptations to the hot and arid conditions. Among the creatures in my collection were a Gecko lizard, Blue Racer lizard, Black Widow spider, Tarantula, Tarantula Hawk (a wasp), Horned
Toad (a lizard), Black Back Scorpion, Yellow Back Scorpion, a large centipede, a millipede, and a bat.
Soon after moving to East Limberlost Road I started a club named “The Federal Bureau of Investigation”. The club consisted of a couple of new playmates, Linda and myself. I made each
of us a “FBI Club Identification Card, which my parents thoughtfully preserved over the years for me. At twelve years old, I stood 4 foot 9 inches and weighed 73 pounds.
Traveling across the USA on a Greyhound bus
During the early summer Grandma and Grandpa Pierce sent my parents money to purchase me round trip Greyhound bus ticket so I could travel to Michigan and visit them. As a mere eleven year old I was excited and nervous over my up coming big adventure. It wasn’t often that someone my age got to travel across country on a bus all by themselves. As the departure day approached, I packed a suitcase and Mom made a small cardboard name tag which was pinned to my shirt.
The family drove me to the Tucson Greyhound Bus terminal and waved good-bye as the bus pulled away.
So, at eleven years and eleven months of age I traveled across the USA alone, changing busses two times, (once in St Louis, MO) buying my own meals, and looking out for my own welfare. That was the first time I was really allowed to demonstrate an important responsibility. Of course, the alternative to personal responsibility would have been becoming lost somewhere on the North American continent. During the several day trip, I sat looking out the window at the passing scenery, occasionally
chatting with what ever adult passenger was seated next to me, and looking about at the sights of people talking and riding the bus.
During the 1950s, riding Greyhound Bus Lines was a convenient and inexpensive way to travel, the people were just common folk. Over the years, the use of private cars and airplanes for long distance travel cut into Greyhound’s profits. For several decades, extending probably back into the 1970s, Greyhound increasingly become the mode of transport for the relatively poor. The social class of individual people (as opposed to tour groups) traveling long distance by bus declined, both racially and socially.
Meanwhile back on the farm: Grandpa Glen Pierce had come out of retirement and taken a part-time job, working rotating shifts, at some type of military hardware factory near Benton Harbor,
It was a real joy being back on the farm, running, playing and visiting all the neat old places I had enjoyed so much: the foot bridge behind the barn needed rebuilding, a new Tarzan vine needed cutting, I had a bow and arrows to make…
Grandma tells me the old family stories
While visiting my grandparents, I slept with Grandma, downstairs, in her big double bed. Often she
was up until sometime after I’d gone to sleep, but once in a while, if I was up
late and she went to bed earlier than normal, we’d have a chance to talk and sometimes that talk was about our ‘old time family’.
Among the interesting stories she told me were:
1. “In the old days,” seven (or several) Anderson brothers and their family rode west on horses with covered wagons and their families. Most of the brothers and families traveled together, from near Xenia, Ohio to Iowa. She thought her maternal Grandfather, Harmon Anderson’s family, came later; traveling part way by river boat, then by train.
2. When Grandma was a child, her mother Anna Flora told her about how her own father, Harmon Anderson had gone to fight in the Civil War. After Harmon had not been heard from for a long time and fearing the worst, his wife, Margaret (Horney) Anderson, who was at wits end, went to a fortune-teller. The fortune-teller told Margaret that Harmon was not dead, that he would soon be coming home, but when he did come, he would look so different he wouldn’t be recognized.
It wasn’t long after this, while the young Anderson children were in town that they passed two bearded, partially crippled and limping soldiers returning from the war. They didn’t learn until returning home later, that one of the men was their fatther, Harmon. When the children first came home and saw one of the soldiers, at their house they were afraid and ran and to hide in the barn.
3. Grandma Elsie, also said that when she was a child, and she’d done something wrong to really rile her father, George Grubb, she’d get out of the house in order to avoid his temper and the sound thrashing that was sure to follow. She’d run upstairs to her bedroom, crawl out her window and run across the porch roof, climb down the trellis and run over to the neighbors until tempers quieted down.
Ha. Isn’t it interesting how we all remember our fathers as such ferocious ‘spanksters’? I guess Dad’s have a generic knack for being able to scare the ‘bejebbers’ out of a wrong doing child.
4. Several times, Grandmother told me of a haunting experience she had a few years earlier, on the night of 30 December 1950, the night, unbeknown to her at the time, that her mother, Anna (Annie) Flora Anderson Grubb, died.
Grandma Elsie and her Mother had been emotionally close to one another their whole lives. Grandma said she was laying in bed going to sleep, when suddenly, just beyond the foot of her bed, she saw standing the glowing image of her mother. Grandma said she sat up in bed startled and frightened. Anna’s glowing image told her, “If you are afraid, I can not come back.” The apparition then disappeared.
The next day Elsie and Glen received a phone call from relatives in Grand Junction, IA,
informing them that Anna Flora had passed away during the night.
During September, SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) was formed with alliances and pacts between the USA, Britain, France, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.
Movies I went to see with my friend Mike Smith’s family:
20000 Leagues Under The Sea with Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Peter Lorre, Paul Lukas
Movies our family saw together (parents choice), all seen at the drive-in theaters:
Bad Day at Black Rock with Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger
Demetrius and the Gladiators with Victor Mature, Susan Hayward, Michael Rennie
Jivaro with Fernando Lamas, Rhonda Fleming, Brian Kieth, Lon Chaney
Magnificent Obsession with Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead, Barbara Rush
River of No Return with Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun, Tommy Rettig
The Caine Mutiny with Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurry, Jose Ferrer
The Naked Jungle with Charlton Heston, Eleanor Parker, William Conrad
The Silver Chalice with Paul Newman, Jack Palance, Virginia Mayo
White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen
“ Forty two years in the future, in a typical correspondence letter, from my father, I learned Mary Smith died on 7 Feb 2006, at or near, Prescott, AZ.
 From the October 1900, Greene County, Iowa obituary of William Anderson, elder brother of my ancestor, Harmon Anderson:
“In 1856 they came to Iowa driving a Conestoga wagon, typical of the Pennsylvania Dutch. He [William Anderson] was the only one of the brothers to make the entire trip overland. He came overland from Ohio and was some six weeks in making the trip. Now the journey can be made in less than 48 hours. At that time, Des Moines was his Post Office and nearest trading point. Many were the changes in his ninety years. Steam applied to navigation had been in use but three years when he was born. The first railroad was built when he was but fifteen years old. He was thirty-four when the first telegram was sent. Our country was war on four different occasions during his lifetime.
It is interesting to recall some of the changes brought within the 90 years he lived. Steam had applied to navigation but three years before he was born, and had become of little practical value up to that time. He lived through the years of the War of 1812, the War with Mexico, the Civil War, and the late Spanish-American War. The first railroad in America was built when he was 15 years of age. He was 34 years when the first telegraph message was sent. In his boyhood the farmer gathered his wheat by the handful, reaping it with the hand sickle. It was trampled from the straw by oxen, threshed out with the flail. No other 90 years of human history can compare with the 90 years which mark the limit of his earthly life.
In the autumn of 1856 with his family he moved from Greene Co. Ohio to Greene Co. Iowa on a farm about 3 miles southeast of Jefferson, which he had purchased the fall before. For 30 years he lived upon the same farm but in 1886 he sold the old homestead and purchased a farm of M.B. McDuffie, to which he removed and where he resided until the spring of 1899, since which time he has made his home with his eldest daughter, Sarah C. Snodgrass of this city
William Anderson was the father of seventeen children, thirteen of whom were yet living and were present at the funeral. He had 50 grandchildren all but two of whom were living and 18 great grandchildren. His immediate posterity on the day of his death, living and dead was 85 souls, 79 of whom were still living, and nearly all were in attendance at the funeral.
He was one of six brothers and two sisters, of whom only two brothers survive him; Abijah Anderson and Robert Anderson of Spring Valley, Ohio. Two other brothers, Preston and ♥ ‘Hiram’ (Harmon) came west many years ago and settled in Greene County.