Saturday, August 13, 2011

Leo Bessie's Memoirs, May 31, 1958 - Rodenberger grandparents

Memoirs  The D. Ira Beamer Family, May 31, 1958
Written by Leo Bessie (Spieth) Beamer [20 pages]
[Copy was mailed to my mother by Leo Bessie in the 1970s.]
"I have been thinking for several months I should write a kind of history of my family - grandparents, parents, and myself and immediate family - for the sake of my children."
Excerpts -

Page 1 -"My grandfather, John Rodenberger, and my grandmother, Elizabeth Lowry Rodenberger, came by covered wagon with their family from near Terre Haute, Indiana, to Kansas, near the year 1870.  My grandfather homesteaded on a farm 4-1/2 miles northwest of Hallowell, Kansas, and built a log house; the house had 2 rooms and a loft above them which was reached by a sort of ladder.  Here they lived until after my mother and father were married.
     My grandfather then bought a farm adjoining the first one on the south of a neighbor named Higgins.  My grandfather and grandmother then moved to the new home where there was a six room house.  By this time three of their children were married and in their own homes.  My Uncle Charley, Aunt Iona, and my mother, Clara.  My mother was the third child.  At least two children were born in the new home.  There were 8 children, two boys and six girls."

Page 2 - ". . .I was the only child for 6 years, so I found all my entertainment at home enjoying these things I have mentioned, and visiting my grandparents.  My mother and I must have walked the 1/4 mile between the two places almost every day.  My grandmother made the loveliest molasses cookies, of which I could usually have plenty when there, and she would let me eat the uncooked dough, of which I was very fond. . ."

Page 4 - " . . . When I was ten years of age I had three experience that affected my life a great deal. . .   The third experience was the loss of my Grandmother Rodenberger.  She died after a very serious illness, which was supposedly gall stones.  It was a great loss to me, as I had been able to see her almost every day and it made a great difference in all our lives."

Page 8 - "I remember a party my grandparents had in their back yard when I was small.  It was an apple peeling and cutting party!  The neighbors came, both young and old, peeled and cut apples for making apple butter."

Leo Bessie concluded writing the Memoirs in April 1962 (dated on page 18).  I love her last paragraph which she wrote while living in the Methodist Home in Topeka, KS. 

Page 20 - "Some people wonder what we do with our time here.  That is no problem.  The question is, how will we get time to do all the things that come up to be done."

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