Good morning readers!
It’s late January now, and I bet that many of you are probably tired of the snow. It has started melting a little bit now, but it will be back come next week, if we are to believe the weather forecasts. Fortunately for us, we are not on the east coast where places like West Virginia got somewhere around 42” of snow. Thankfully, we have a lot better ways of clearing snow now than we did in the past. Now we have all our fancy snow blowers, plows, and other devices. However, imagine what it must have been like in the past, without these contraptions! It must have been much more difficult.
Maybe the picture below can help you imagine what that would be like. The picture was taken in February 1961, and as you can see, the vehicle is rather stuck in the snow. According to our catalog, the truck belonged to Gene Hurd. He had been out during the day installing wiring in the town and came home during a blizzard, and his truck was stranded in the lane. Unfortunately, there was no easy way for him to dig it out since snow blowers were not easily available to the public. The first practical snow blower was prototyped in 1925 by Arthur Sicard, and most of these were big, car sized blowers. It was actually just during the beginning of the 1960’s that companies had started to introduce their own, smaller, human powered models. As evidenced by the picture, Gene definitely did not have one of these early snow blowers. In fact, it was not until the next morning that he even got his truck out of the snow and he had the help of Steve, age 12, and Dick, age 8, to accomplish his goal. It looks to have been a tough job too, as it seems like the entire car was covered with snow.
Although this seems like it must have been more difficult, in reality things really have not changed that much. For instance, people in New York and other places hit by the recent storm still have to dig their cars out, as snow blowers are difficult to maneuver around in tight places. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same!
Happy Wednesday readers!
I have a little update for all of you before we get to today’s topic. Do you all remember the photo of Rich Saemisch presenting couples at the 1976 prom? Well, thanks to some help from Kathy Lenz, we have figured out who they are! Two people in the front closest to Rich are Janice Godwin and David Wempe, and the couple in the back are David Hanson and Lynn Paulsen. Therefore, for those of you who were wondering, now you know!
Now for today’s topic. If you look around Perry today, many of you may think that it is a quiet little town. You may think that nothing much of national importance ever happens here. However, that has not always been the case. For instance, here is one story that got Perry quite a lot of national attention: the death of a Bonnie and Clyde gang member! The year was 1933, and Perry had a hospital called the Kings Daughters Hospital. On July 24, Marvin Barrow was admitted with four wounds: One .45 caliber bullet in the shoulder, two in the hip, and one in the forehead. He was in serious condition, and near death. He received these injuries during a gunfight near Dexfield Park, an area between Dexter and Redfield. During the escape after the gunfight, the gang had to ditch their cars. Unable to continue on foot due to his injuries, Marvin had to stay behind and his wife stayed with him. Bonnie and Clyde, along with another member got away from Iowa police. On July 25th, police question Marvin about a recent murder, and he apparently responded “unconcernedly.” Many officers from around the country came on the 25th, attempting to identify him for various crimes. On the 26th, Barrow’s mother came to the hospital, and Barrow, who had slipped into a coma, awakened briefly and was able to see his mother. It was discovered from his mother that his nickname was “Buck.” Unfortunately, Marvin “Buck” Barrow was to die on July 29th at the age of 31.
As you can see, Perry has had some interesting brushes with criminals. There are also stories about a man who faked his death for insurance money, someone who owned a bank and took all the money to flee to the Bahamas, and of course the KKK march that happened here. If you wish to know more about Marvin’s story, or about any of the other interesting stories, please do not hesitate to stop by!
Hello again readers,
Have you ever looked back on a picture, and realized that you have no idea who is actually in the picture? Perhaps you took it to capture a moment that you liked, perhaps it was at a social gathering where you did not know everyone, or maybe you just have forgotten some people that you once knew. Whatever the case maybe, you have somehow gotten a picture of people that you do not know any more. I hope that you have wrote down on the back the names of the people so that you could remember them. If you are less lucky, you might have the kind of situation that we have right now at Hometown Heritage.
Recently someone came in and asked us to identify two people in a picture that we have on rotation in the commons of the high school. The picture, as you can see below, is of Rich Saemisch introducing couples at the 1976 prom. However, there is little more information than that about this picture. We know that Rich is wearing a blue, red, and white suit (I will leave the decision about how fashionable that is to you), and that this was a 1976 prom. The couple were wearing very similar clothes too. Unfortunately, that is all we know about this photo. Little other description is given, aside from the fact that Mr. Saemisch is introducing couples.
This is where you come in, readers. Please take a careful look at this photo, and see if you can recognize either of the couples. If you do, please tell us! We searched high and low to see if we could find an answer. We checked the old newspapers, our database, and even the old Eclipse yearbooks, but could not find any more information. So please, if you recognize any of the couples in the picture, contact us with the information! We would greatly appreciate, and it would allow us to grow our database, be more informative, and answer the question of the person who came in asking.
Hello again Readers,
Welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog! I hope that you all had a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Speaking of Christmas, I hope all of you took the time to take pictures during the holidays, because it is a perfect time to capture little moments of history.
Now, you may ask why this is the perfect time, and I will tell you. First, during Christmas, the whole family is gathered together, and if you take enough pictures, you can see them grow and change throughout the years. It is like recording your own personal family history. In the future, you can look back and remember when you were young, or how much your grand-kids have grown. Secondly, the pictures themselves reveal a lot about the past. Take, for instance, this picture of Doris and Gary Lewiston. This picture was taken around 1950, and you can learn a lot from it. You can learn about the kinds of clothes people liked to wear by looking at Doris and Gary. You can learn about the world by looking around the room (notice the old tube television) and by looking at the present Gary is playing with. Most of the time children will ask for what is popular at the time, so one can assume that model tanks and planes were popular in the 1950s. You can also learn that pets were just as nosy as ever when it came to new presents.
I encourage all of you to take as many photos as you can around the holidays. You will be preserving not only your own family memories, but also little snapshots of what life was like in the past. It does not just have to be the Christmas holidays either, any holiday or birthday or big event holds in it a little piece of history. All you have to do is capture it.