Month: December 2015

Dashing Through The Snow

In Muscatine on Sunday, December 31, 1950, Dale, Stanley, and Dalene went sledding.  Helen’s brother Harley, his wife Dot and son Keith arrived from Osceola to spend the evening with them.  Dale wrote, “Had fried chicken and watched TV all evening.”  Happy New Year!

Lunch With George And Wilma

In Osceola on Saturday, December 30, 1950, after his father’s funeral December 19, Dale gathered his family and they had lunch at the farm of Helen’s sister Wilma and George Casey (off U.S. Highway 69, about where the red star is above), and drove home to Muscatine.  He wrote, “Watched TV at night.  Good to be home.”

Return To Osceola

On Friday, December 29, 1950, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  Drove to Osceola 4:30 to 8:30.  Ate supper in Washington, Iowa.  Visited with Mother at night & to bed early.  Cold tonight.  Carol Jane here too.”  Carol was the daughter of Dale’s brother Lloyd.

Photo Studio

In Muscatine on Thursday, December 28, 1950, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  Got the car fixed again, $11, carburetor & fuel pump trouble.  Called Helen at noon from the plant.  Polished the kitchen floor & printed pictures at night & watched TV.”  Dale had a photography darkroom at home for developing negatives and prints.

Boxing On TV

In Muscatine on Wednesday, December 27, 1950, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  Got the fuel pump fixed $1.73.  Ate supper at Bushery’s.  Watched TV at night including boxing.  12° above tonight.  Got a letter from Helen.”

Home Alone

On Tuesday, December 26, 1950, Dale wrote, “Drove home to Muscatine from Osceola, alone, 3:45 A.M. to 7 A.M.  To work at 8 to 4:30.  Bought Fred & Nettie King tobacco & candy for firing our furnace.  Had supper at Lofgren’s.  Watched TV at night.”  King and Lofgren were co-workers.

Merry Christmas!

On Monday, December 25, 1950, in Osceola after his father’s funeral, Dale wrote, “We went to Lloyd’s in morning, Mother and Marie, too, for dinner.  We went out to Ruth and Louie’s to borrow 2 sleds.  Louie and Ruth here for supper.”  Lloyd and Marie were Dale’s brother and sister; Louie was Helen’s brother and Ruth was his wife.

Osceola Christmas Eve

In Osceola on Sunday, December 24, 1950, after his father’s funeral, Dale went to his brother Lloyd’s for breakfast.  He wrote, “We took Mother and went to Wilma’s for dinner.  Pearl, Lena, and Louise here in the evening.  Ralph, Marie, Susan and us had our Christmas tonight.  Nice.”  Wilma was Helen’s sister; Dale’s aunt Lena was married to Pearl Yates and Louise was their daughter; Ralph Kimmel was married to Dale’s sister Marie and Susan was their daughter.

TV Antenna

Still in Osceola on Saturday, December 23, 1950, Dale wrote, “Fixed my fender & tail light.  Ralph put up his TV aerial.  Christmas shopped most all afternoon.  Had dinner & supper at Marie’s.  To bed at midnight.”  Ralph Kimmel was married to Dale’s sister Marie.

Final Christmas On The Farm

In Osceola on Friday, December 22, 1950, after his father’s funeral, Dale wrote, “Helen and I went to Muscatine and back, after Christmas tree and presents.  Nice day.  Kids decorated the tree at night at Grandma’s.  Marie and Susan came out to stay all night.”  Above: ‘Grandma’ Jettie’s home two weeks earlier, for their farm sale.

Osceola Post Office

On Thursday, December 21, 1950, Dale wrote, “Got my check at the Osceola post office.  Brought Marie out to Mother’s.  Lloyd here for dinner.  Went to the bank in the afternoon to settle Mother’s sale account.  Warmer today, 44°.  Marie came out in the evening.”  That’s the post office above.


On Wednesday, December 20, 1950, Dale wrote, “No check today, yet.  Still at Osceola.  Brought Marie & Susan out to Mother’s at 10 A.M.  Helen, Dalene & I went out to Louie’s in the afternoon to visit.  To the cemetery to look at flowers on Dad’s grave.  Dalene & I went to a church program at night.”  Susan was the daughter of Dale’s sister Marie, married to Ralph Kimmel.  Helen’s brother Louie was married to Ruth Cherington.

Williams’ Final Rest

In Osceola on Tuesday, December 19, 1950, Dale wrote, “We buried Dad today at Maple Hill Cemetery.  Services were held at the Christian Church by Rev. Miller.  Lester Webster in charge of funeral.”  Williams would have been 70 years old had he lived one more month.

More Final Preparations

In Osceola on Monday, December 18, 1950, for his father’s funeral, Dale wrote, “Up at 8 A.M. & I got breakfast at Mother’s.  Jack & Ina were here for dinner.  Took Marie to Wilma’s to wash.  To Webster’s in the afternoon to see Dad.  Mother paid $609 complete funeral & lot expenses.”  Ina was Jettie’s sister, married to Sanford ‘Jack’ Hook.  Wilma was a sister of Helen’s, married to George Casey.  Webster’s was the funeral home (above).

Making Final Arrangements

In Osceola from Muscatine on Sunday, December 17, 1950, for his father Williams Gardner’s funeral, Dale with brother Lloyd, sister Marie, and mother Jettie made funeral arrangements and bought cemetery lots side by side.  The burial would take place two days later.  Above: the headstone for Williams.

A Sad Day

On Saturday, December 16, 1950, my grandfather Williams McBain Gardner died on his farm near Osceola, Iowa.  Dale’s sister Marie called us in Muscatine and Dale drove his family to Osceola that day.  Above, about 1931, left to right: father Williams, older brother Lloyd Norval Gardner, mother Jettie May Short, younger brother Lawrence Dale Gardner, little sister Marie Belle Gardner.

Junior High Play

In Muscatine on Friday, December 15, 1950, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  Took family to school at night to watch Stanley’s school play.  Watched TV until 12:30.”  I was in the 8th grade at Muscatine Junior High (above).

Pile Of Money

In Muscatine on Thursday, December 14, 1950, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  Wrote a letter to the folks.  Their sale totaled about $14,000.  Watched our TV shows at night.” That $14,000 from their December 7 farm sale would be over $138,000 today.

Williams Still Failing

In Muscatine on Wednesday, December 13, 1950, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  Letter from Mother all about the sale prices.  Dad is still not so good.  Watched TV at night.”

School Open House

In Muscatine on Tuesday, December 12, 1950, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  Loaded 1 tank car & 4 tank trucks.  Helen has a backache.  Stan, Dalene, & I went to a school open house at night.  To bed at 10:30.”
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