In 1874-5, while the family was living in St. Vincent Twp, Minnie attended school in Meaford, staying with the Minthorn family. From the letters written to her in 1878 by Selena4 York and Louise Mallory (see York letters), it appears that when she finished school, Minnie may have gone to Iowa to live with her half-brother Henry3 and expected to teach there. She may have joined her family in Manitoba directly from Iowa.
George was a farmer.
Portage la Prairie (MB) Weekly Tribune 18 Apr 1884: High Bluff - Mr. Geo. Wilton disappeared suddenly the other day and the people were wondering where he had gone to, but their fears subsided somewhat when he appeared next day with two horses instead of one as he went away. This shows that people in this part of the country think that we are going to have spring and that seeding time is not far off.
The family struggled to make a living. In 1913, fire destroyed the family home and in 1914, a hail storm destroyed the crop. George was active in St. Paul's Anglican Church in Meskanaw, serving as warden from 1912-1916.
The family is not sure about his life in Alberta. He may have married and may have had stepchildren. He lived in Alberta until just before he died. He was in poor health, and the Doctor thought a change of climate might be good for him, so he went to his brother's home. He arrived on a Friday night and died the following Monday morning.
From the newspaper article about their wedding:
Many of the boys will be disappointed in not being present to give the popular "Tommy" a "kicking" send off, but Thomas knows from football experience, how to frustrate many a well concocted move.
They went on a short honeymoon to Fort La Corne by horse and buggy and tented in the pines.
He was a farmer, homesteading at Meskanaw on NW 10-44-22 2W, which was called "Silent Hollow". His Uncle Rennie gave him a start by giving him a team of horses and some cattle. They built a three story house in 1914. The basement walls are made of concrete and stone two feet in width. They had lumber shipped from British Columbia at a cost of around $2,000.
The house had plumbing and electricity from a lighting plant and wind charger. They always had plenty of water as a ravine and creek ran through the farm. The creek was named McCloy Creek after T.J.
There was great excitement when the CNR decided to run a line from Melfort to Saskatoon through Meskanaw. The railway ran through their farm. It was on a long wooden bridge and was a very difficult place to cross because of the muskeg. In order to build the bridge, they used wooden piles. After driving one pile in, they would pound in another but they drove piles down 90 feet in some places and never hit bottom.
There were thirty to forty men working on the bridge and they used horses for power. The McCloy children used to enjoy putting a show on for the bridge crew with their pony. They would make egg nogs and take them up to the bridge and sell them to the men. The first carload of grain to leave Meskanaw by rail was loaded by T.J. right by the bridge on their farm.
He had one of the first cars in the area, before his children were born. He was cutting grain and had a breakdown with the binder, which necessitated a trip to Kinistino by bicycle. While on the way, a terrific strong wind from the south came up. Rather than buck the strong wind he went to the garage and bought a Model T. On his way home, in the excitement he forgot to shift gears and went right by the approach to their place.
He was among the first councillors elected for the Rural Municipality in 1912. He was among the first trustees for the Meskanaw school district in 1920. The name of the school was changed in 1935 to the McCloy Creek school. He was active in the development of the Meskanaw (SK) Rural Telephone Co., serving as a canvasser and as chairman of the committee and then as one of the first directors of the company.
After Violet died, T.J. remained a widower for twenty years. He was married, on 18 Jan 1954, to Mrs. Clara Hill, a widow from Meskanaw. They resided in Saskatoon.
He was elected to the Manitoba Legislature from Cypress in 1912. He became a Captain in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (Army) Dental Corps in 1916 while still a member of the legislature and served overseas for a year. After entering law school at the University of Manitoba in 1921, he was called to the bar in 1924 but returned to dentistry four years later, practicing in Winnipeg MB and retiring in 1962. He was known as Watt.
Orange was appointed overseer for a portion of the Local Improvement District (L.I.D.) in 1907. It was his duty to find out who was moving in, where and what help the L.I.D. could give, if any. He also acted as assessor and enumerator. He was among the first councillors elected for the Rural Municipality in 1912 and held that position until 1929.
On 15 Nov 1912, Orange was granted homestead rites on NW 36-43-21-W2 which he held and lived on until August 1946. In 1920 he bought the quarter just south of him from his father who had homesteaded this parcel. Having a rheumatic heart meant that Orange needed to hire help to run his farm. One lad, being asked to split freshly sawed wood and trying to be shown how, for safety's sake was told to stand in a metal wash tub till he "got the hang of it," to keep from cutting his feet.
Always game to try something new, one spring Orange and Lena decided to try some "Jersey Black Giant" chickens. These chickens grew like turkeys and roamed the farm at will, until a couple of roosters decided to "take on" the lady of the house. She retaliated with a handy stick while retreating to the shelter of the verandah. That night found the birds confined and roast rooster next day.
In 1946, they sold out and after forty years on the same farm, they retired to Carey Road, Victoria BC, where they spent their remaining days.
He was 16 years old when his family moved to Meskanaw SK. He accompanied his family's belongings on a freight car from High Bluff to Kinistino. He recalled that he left Portage la Prairie accompanying five horses, a dog, ducks, chickens and household effects. At Carberry, the engine of the train broke down and they had to remain there for three days until the engine was repaired. During these days, John had to carry water from quite a distance to water the livestock.
For many years, John operated the threshing separator for his brother-in-law, T.J. McCloy.
Their children attended school in McCloy Creek as there was not yet a school in Meskanaw. In the summer their transportation was by cart and horse and in the winter by horse and tobaggan. On one or two occasions the horse and tobaggan turned the corned too short, spilling out the children and the quilts they were wrapped in. The horse continued on its way home, while the children trudged along behind.
He moved with his parents to Manitoba in 1878. While helping with the building of the Rosebank school, Will was quite badly injured. As he bent forward scoring one log, Charles4 Laycock was scoring the log behind him. Charles had a long reach and as William stooped the sharp axe in the hands of Charles sliced his gluteal region badly. Nathan Albert3 raced to town bareback to get the doctor and fortunately he came at once and sewed up the wound which healed nicely.
About 1882, Will found work at Rat Portage and remained there all winter. One of his enterprises was the making of a skating rink and another enterprise was hiring men to cut wood which he then sold in the town.
The latter business almost cost him his life. He was a good axe man but as he was measuring up the day's work after the men had left, he picked up the axe to cut a few more sticks to finish a rick when the axe slipped and severed an artery in his foot.
He at once tied his handkerchief tightly around his foot above the bleeding vessel but he was off the timber road some distance and before reaching the road he lost consciousness from loss of blood. Luck was with him for a man came by with a sled and team and took him to Rat Portage where he found a doctor. Infection slowed his recovery and it was many years before he could walk without a limp.
He remained at home for a year or more and spent the following winter at Joe McGill's home in Carman where he attended school to brush up on fundamentals before entering business college in Winnipeg. Later he learned telegraphy which was useful to him as long as he was in the railway service.
Will was a promoter. There was no room in the house for a bathtub and he conceived the idea of installing a bathtub in a corner of the granary which was empty. Nathan Albert3 bought a few sheets of zinc and Will made a tub that would hold nine barrels of water. The seams and nail holes were sealed with tallow. When this was filled from the well it was allowed to stand until the air warmed it and then it was used by all the men. The water was changed only when they found leisure time to haul more water.
Will had a colorful career. He was a farmer, railroad man, politician, poet, writer, mining engineer (in Llano TX), oil operator and artist with pen and brush.
He was a member of a Masonic Lodge. His residences included Sicamous BC (1890), Vancouver (later in 1890 - he was an accountant there), Roland MB (where he was a railway agent in 1891), Helena MT (about 1898) and Hailebury ON. In March 1894, he was living in or near Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, when the Morden (MB) Monitor reported a visit of his wife to his brother N.A.3 York in Morden.
(Morden) Manitoba News 14 Nov 1884: The following is from the Rat Portage Progress, and refers to our own "Billy", who is in the lumber business in that town. "Mr. W.D. York, although not a long resident here, is one of our most popular young men, and a diabolical plot was hatched this week by a number of jealous young men whereby Mr. York was arraigned as a witness in a liquor case. The villainous part of the plot is apparent from the fact that the victim is a prominent member of Minton Council, I.O.G.T.
Carman (MB) Standard 31 Oct 1901: W.D. York, who is to be the station agent of the Canadian Northern Railway in Carman, arrived here on Monday. Mr. York is well known to many of our citizens, having been agent for the Deering Harvesting Co. in the early days of Carman.
Manitoba Mountaineer 8 Nov 1881: Mr. Wm. York, of 4-5, has purchased from Mr. John Parsons, of the Boyne, the handsome team of general purpose horses which took first prize at the late exhibition here. The price paid was $400. 22 Sep 1883: Arrivals at Mountain House [Hotel] ... W. York, Carman;
Many family notes and newspaper articles refer to William Milton Yorke as William Dickens York. He also used the name Waldo Milton York.
In the spring of 1884, after the crop was in, there was some spare time. He, R.P. Thompson, John Henry York and Nathan3 York got work on the construction of a road west from the first bench of the mountain to Lizzard Lake. They stayed with the Thompsons, where Alice put up their lunches each day. They walked three miles to work. They had to be there at seven and work all day in water and mud until six and then walk the three miles home. They were paid $2.00 a day.
He taught school in Winnipeg MB in 1885. Apparently he had already begun to work for the railroad late that year. The 1 Jan 1886 edition of the (Morden) Manitoba News ran the following ad:
LEARN TO WRITE
In the local news column of that same paper, the editor drew attention to the ad:
Good penmanship is an accomplishment possessed by few though easily acquired. Parties desiring to improve their calligraphy should note advertisement of Mr. L.C. York in this issue. Mr. York slings an elegant pen, and no doubt throughly understands the art of giving instructions.
In the winter of 1886, Levi, John York and Nathan York undertook to do some threshing jobs for neighbors who had been caught by winter storms before the grain was threshed. The ground was frozen and in order to transport the separator, they had to put it on a sled and had to chop deep holes in the frozen ground to anchor the engine. They poured water into the holes and when it froze they were ready to go.
They had one blizzard after another that winter and their machinery had to be shoveled out from under drifts of snow. In most places, their sleeping quarters were quite primitive. In one, they crawled up a ladder to the attic and into a bed made by a straw tick covered with buffalo robes. They could see the stars through the thatched roof.
At the time of his marriage, he and Nellie both resided in Regina SK where he was a telegraph operator for the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1891 he was a station agent at Broadview, Assiniboia (later part of Saskatchewan).
In 1884, with money borrowed from his father-in-law, Levi purchased a general store-hotel-telegraph office-wharf in Whonnock BC on the banks of the Fraser River.
As part of the operation, he was the postmaster of Whonnock from 1 Jul 1894 to 13 Jun 1906, at at time when the post office was the hub of society. Everybody gathered there when the mail came in to gossip and talk to their neighbours. The post office also served as an agency for mail order companies. The store carried only staple goods and feed, thus making it necessary to order all other supplies from catalogues.
"York's Store" had a salesroom, living quarters for the Yorks, a room for John Williamson, Nellie's father who worked in the store, rooms for the women who helped in the store and living areas, a room for the man who ran the office, a general dining area, telegraph office and post office as well as spare rooms for paying guests. A gravity system brought water from a well on the north side of the River Road.
In his diary, John Williamson further describes the area: a tram, wagon, pony, plow, barrow, and sometimes a cow, pig and chickens are mentioned - all requiring shelter;
Our two prospectors from Whatcom camped in the children's play house & got there things all wet. They brought their packs upstairs & dried them. ... cleaned the flour house, and a room upstairs to hold flour. They held 1/2 of a railroad boxcar of flour. There must have been a large warehouse - Today got 2 tons hay on the Str. Transfer.
Cattle, produce, crates of chickens, ore samples, furniture were all held for transshipment by boat or train.
By 1903 Levi was a member of St. John the Divine church of nearby Derby BC. He belonged to the Masonic Lodge, and was Master of the lodge in Mission City BC in 1904.
He was active in looking for mining properties locally, and when the big gold rush started in the Yukon (the Trail of 98), he was anxious to go but he cut his foot badly chopping wood.
In 1906 they sold the store in Whonnock and moved to Vancouver BC where he was in the insurance and real estate business. He and two partners bought a Gulf of Georgia Salmon Cannery at Steveston BC, near the mouth of the Fraser River. He was the manager of the Cannery.
In November 1909 he purchased Lot 9 in Block 176A of Kinistino for $3,025. In 1910 the family moved to West Vancouver where they attended St. Paul's church. His son remembers him wearing a silk hat and a sort of morning coat to church. They had a summer home at Hollyburn, West Vancouver.
At one time he was worth about $100,000 but around 1913-1915 he lost it all because he signed a note for a cousin and a bank went bankrupt. He went back to working for the CPR as a telegraph operator and in 1917 moved to Kelloe MB, in 1919 to Bredenbury SK, back to Vancouver, and then in 1924 to Glenogle BC. He was fired by CPR in 1929 (at age 65) for letting a train get by without their Train Orders. He returned to West Vancouver.
Norman5 Cooke recalled a story about his grandfather Levi:
I remember Grandfather visiting us when I was about five years old. Our family had a summer cottage at Belcarra Park, which was a summer resort about fifteen or so miles out of Vancouver, in Burrard Inlet. It could only be reached by boat. ...
Her daughter Adele remembered her playing the piano every night and the family singing hymns. She also taught Sunday School at Whonnock BC. She was known as Lizzie or Nellie.
She was a very talented needleworker. She knit her own two piece suits. She crocheted beautiful table cloths that became family heirlooms. Her granddaughter Sylvia has the cloth that her mother used on the table when there were small weddings at their home. Nellie made each of her daughters a Double Wedding Ring quilt.
She attended St. Helen's Hall, an Anglican College in Portland OR. She went to Kelloe MB and Bredenbury SK with her father. In Bredenbury she got a job as a teacher.
After getting out of the garage business he worked in Sutherland SK as a brakeman on the C.P.R. When he was laid off, he moved to the coast. He bought land on Lynn Creek in North Vancouver where he built a house and kept rabbits, pigeons, goats and chickens. He later bought land at a place called Green Timbers in the Fraser Valley (now Surrey BC).
He got steady work at Sutherland on the C.P.R. so he sold the Green Timbers property and moved the family to Sutherland and worked there until he retired. He and Adele lived in a Seniors home in Ontario near their son Keith and then followed him to Coquitlam BC where they lived in another Seniors home.
Alfred Cooke had two children by his first wife, Ewart and Eileen. Ewart later recounted the following to Norman Cooke:
When Ewart was about eleven years old he was seriously ill with pneumonia. He was taken unconcious to the hospital. When he regained consciousness he thought he had died and gone to heaven. Particularly, because there was a beautiful angel standing beside his bed! The 'angel' convinced him he was not dead.
After her marriage, Gwen raised the two children from her husband's first marriage and helped her husband with his ministry. She also took in University students as boarders.
He served a number of churches, including Kitsilano (BC) Congregational Church, First Congregational Church in Vancouver BC, several churches in the United States from 1923 to 1935, St. John's United Church in Vancouver BC, and Qualicum (BC) United Church. He was granted the degree of Doctor of Divinity on 14 Jan 1948 by the Union College of British Columbia, the theological college of the United Church of Canada.
He organized station CFKC which originated United Church broadcasting in British Columbia. He was one of the first to broadcast sermons by radio in Vancouver. While at the First Congregational Church in Vancouver, he led the Ministerial Association in a campaign credited with defeating the provincial government in 1916. A life-long enemy of alcohol, he was the first president of the People's Prohibition Association of British Columbia.
His wife was a school teacher. They had no children.
He had a variety of jobs: farm labourer, cream tester, bank teller, and brick carrier. In 1925 he began full time work as an operator with the CPR at Leanchoil BC. After many moves he settled in Revelstoke in 1942. He was the station agent there in 1963. He retired in 1965 after 40 years of service.
From a letter written by Levi to one of his sisters on 3 Aug 1924 from Glenagle BC:
Harold was staying with Adele and going to High School. He just got through & was promoted to his 3rd [mar?] at end of June. I had written for passes for him to come up with me for part of his holidays as I was all alone & I thought what a nice time we would have fishing trout & seeing the mountain goats & deer.
N.A. spent the early years of his life in St. Vincent Twp, near Meaford. About the year 1884 he moved with his family to land west of Winnipeg.
When he was in his 13th year, N.A. was helping thrash at his sister Alice's home and one morning went to split some wood for Alice. He tried to split a piece of hard wood and the axe slipped and he buried the full length of the blade in his leg. The cut went clear to the bone and he ran bleeding to the house. Alice got linen thread and sewed up the cut but it was some time before it healed completely and he had only light work to do for a time. Many of his adventures as a young man occurred with his brothers and have been told in their sections.
When N.A. was preparing to marry, plans were made for him to take over his father's farm. He built a house for his parents in Miami. With her first baby on the way, Tacy returned to Iowa for the summer of 1890. As soon as the fall work was done, Nathan joined her. Tacy's sister (and Tom's wife) Calla came with her son during the winter to visit, and they all returned to Manitoba together. Tom and his family stayed with them that winter.
In the spring, Nathan hired help and put in a big crop. All looked fine until just before harvest when a hail storm completely destroyed the wheat crop. The oats seemed to benefit from the hail and turned out 100 bushels to the acre.
They got the oats threshed and were ready to start on the barley when a blizzard came up which continued for three days and buried them under drifts. There was so much snow in the air it was difficult to breathe. The sixteen threshing men had to stay in the house all that time and be fed. The stock were drifted under in the barn. After the storm was over they had to dig a tunnel to reach the barn.
It was then that Nathan decided to leave the farm and to leave Manitoba. The first move in that direction was to sell a team of horses and buy two lots in the town of Morden. They built a home in Morden, on Ninth Street,
... one of the largest in town, with nine or ten rooms, and of lofty dimensions (Morden Monitor 26 May 1892).
Nathan did much of the work himself. That fall, Tacy returned to Iowa to await the birth of their second child. Nathan was working for the Singer Manufacturing Co. as a traveling salesman in Manitoba. In May, after Alton was born, Nathan went down to Iowa and brought his family back to Morden.
Nathan was traveling by train the night he got word of his father's death. He had stopped overnight in a town where he received the telegram. The first train he could get was a freight. As Nathan knew the crew, they offered to let him ride free. Before they had gone ten miles, they were caught by a blizzard and got stuck in a snow drift. They kept a fire in the caboose but Nathan could not get warm and contracted a heavy cold.
The next morning the section crew shoveled them out, and eventually they were picked up by a passenger train. This train got stuck many times. The train carried a crew of shovelers. Some of the crew were afflicted with snow blindness and could not work. Nathan arrived at Miami about midnight and drove home to make arrangements for his father's burial. His cold got worse and he was unable to attend the funeral.
Nathan continued to attract the attention of the Morden (MB) Monitor:
A bear story in Morden is something new but several weeks ago Mr. York left Morden for a visit to the States. Among other commissions he persuaded Mr. Little to take charge of a young bear which he did intend to take to Chicago to astonish the Yanks, but found the cost too great, so he left his bearship behind.
That year of 1894 brought a bad business depression. The Yorks rented out their home in Morden and with a few suitcases they went to Iowa to look for work.
Morden (MB) Monitor 11 Oct 1894: Mr. N.A. York being about to leave for the states, the business and agency of the Singer Sewing Machine Co. has been transferred to Mr. William Steele.
They went to Cedar Rapids and stayed with his brother Tom, helping him with his dairy. In 1894, after a brief selling experience in Chariton IA, they moved to Iowa City where he sold pianos and organs. While living there, they made frequent trips to the Markle farm near West Branch, traveling in a surrey with a fringe on top pulled by a horse named "Dick."
He filed his intent for U.S. citizenship on 27 Sep 1899 in Johnson County IA and received his certificate of citizenship on 2 Nov 1903. His grandson, Robert Alton5 York, has the original documents.
Since childhood, N.A. had wanted to become a doctor. Encouraged by local doctors, and after two years of special study, he entered the medical department of the State University of Iowa in September, 1896. At the end of two years' study he was advised by Dr. W.D. Middleton, then chief surgeon and dean of the faculty, to take an examination before the state board of medical examiners. This he did in December, 1898, and succeeded in securing a certificate to practice medicine.
During the vacation periods of the following two years he was associated in practice with Dr. John Clinton Shrader, president of the state board of health and a professor and surgeon of the university for twenty years. In March, 1900, he completed the first four-year course required by the university and was graduated with the degree of M.D. The following April he located for practice in Lisbon, where he practiced medicine until his retirement.
His office was in their home at 150 West Main Street in Lisbon. He was the epitome of a small town doctor - doing everything, including going off to rural homes to treat patients, which meant that modes of transportation were very important to him. For years, all country calls were made with a fine team of black horses. Other teams followed them.
As automobiles began to appear, in summer when the roads were good he sometimes would hire a fellow with a car to take him out to emergency calls. The car was a one cylinder 2 passenger Reo runabout.
The transmission had only high gear and low gear and reverse. They had to get in low gear for each hill. Top speed was 10 miles per hour. There was no top or windshield, and they wore goggles to protect them from the flies and bugs that would hit them in the face. They wore dusters to keep the dust off of their clothes. The gas tank was in back of the radiator and the engine was under the seat. It was driven by a chain to the rear axle which was entirely open and exposed to mud and dirt.
The headlights operated on Carbide gas generated by a gas generator bolted to the running board. It was filled with powdered carbide in the bottom compartment, and the top compartment was filled with water which was dripped down onto the carbide to produce the gas. They had to open each headlight and light it with a match. The sidelights were kerosene. There were no taillights.
All motors had to be started with a hand crank in the front of the car. Sometimes, because of preignition, the motor would start to run backward, and many wrists were broken by the crank flying around.
In the winter, cars were jacked up in the garage, the tires taken off and wrapped in newspapers, and the battery taken out to prevent freezing. The car rested on wooden blocks and was entirely covered with a muslin cover to protect the finish.
There were no paved roads anywhere except in large cities. When it rained it was nearly impossible to drive a car in the deep mud. Many cars skidded into the ditch beside the road. The farmers horses were always scared of cars, and drivers had to stop, pull off the road, stop the engine, and walk up to the horses and lead them past the car.
Finally, in 1912, N.A. was able to go by automobile even in winter. Alton went to Cedar Rapids to learn how to take a car apart and put it together again. Then he and the boys went to Kenosha WI where they purchased a Rambler and drove it home.
They also purchased an automobile agency and the boys, though still in high school, sold and repaired cars. There were not enough cars to make a go of it, so they sold the agency after a few years. They had a gas pump that pumped one quart per stroke. They carried the gas out to the car in a five gallon can, and poured it into the car through a big funnel with a chamois skin in it to strain out water or dirt. The gas tank on most cars was under the driver's seat and all of the front cushions had to be removed to get the gas into the tank.
Over the years, N.A. took an active part in educational matters and his energies were directed toward the improvement of school conditions and educational standards. For five years he served as a member of the Lisbon Board of Education and acted as its president a part of the time. Fraternally he was identified with the Masons and the Modern Woodmen of America.
After Nathan's brother Thomas and Tacy's sister Calla were married, Nathan was planning to visit his brother, Henry3 York, in Cedar Rapids IA. Tom's wife Calla asked him to also visit her family.
As he arrived at the house, he noticed a young woman driving a spirited horse around the bend on her way to town. He stayed a few days and became interested in that girl who drove the horse so well. In 1889, Calla was pregnant with her first child and she asked Tacy to come and be with her. Tacy went to Manitoba with N. A.. They traveled by coach. Brother Tom met them in Morden and drove them the fourteen miles home in a bobsled.
Morden (MB) Monitor 2 May 1889: A singing class or choir has been formed in the Rosebank Methodist church, which was much needed. Miss Tacie Markle, Miss Sarah Smith, and Miss Sophia Wilson take the soprano, Mrs. T.H. York, Miss Alice Smith, and Miss Lillie Prentice, alto, Mr. T. Smith, V. Driver, and Wm. Car.. tenor, N.A. York, Geo. Mitchell, A. York and Geo. DeWitt bass.
After Nathan became a doctor, Tacy assisted her husband in the discharge of his professional duties, her rare natural and acquired ability in this line of work greatly appreciated by many of the doctor's patrons. She had considerable musical talent and enjoyed her work as organist in the church after her marriage. Two years before her death, she took up the study of the violin and acquired sufficient skill to play the selections she loved most.
Several accidents were critical in her life. When she was a young woman, she and her date were attending a Fourth of July celebration. They were in a buggy, parked near the bandstand, from which the fireworks were to be shot.
Someone dropped a lighted cigar butt into the fireworks and they began to shoot off in all directions. One skyrocket shot across to the buggy where they were sitting. It struck one side of Tacy's neck, went through it, and came out the other side. She recovered but was left with bad scars on her neck so she always wore dresses with high neck bands or collars.
In 1923 she was in an accident which resulted in a serious injury to her spine, which left her in continuing pain for the rest of her life.
She received a home economics degree from Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) at Ames IA in 1915. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She was also active in P.E.O., the League of Women Voters, Toastmistress and the United Nations Organization. She and her husband were owners of Kensinger Insurance Agency.
When her father was in medical school in Iowa City, she spent most of her summers at the farm of her Markle grandparents, about four miles from West Branch.
As a young couple, Ethel and Harry homesteaded in Montana. In 1920, they were living in School District #12, Fergus Co. MT. Her brother Alton York described their ranch:
... my brother Everett, and my sister Ethel, who had been in the ranch in Montana, which Dad had bought for them. They were both married, and lived in separate houses at the ranch. ... It was known as the Valley Ranch and consisted of 2,300 acres.
In those days it was difficult to make any sort of a living in a harsh environment so they returned to Iowa. Harry was a school superintendent at Mt. Vernon, Grimes and Sioux Center IA, a farmer and an insurance agent. He graduated from Grinnell College in 1912. He was a member of Mizpah lodge, AF and AM; Cedar Rapids Consistory, where he sang in a quartet for 30 years; El Kahir Shrine; and Order of KCCH.
He was in the room alone, and no one else was on that floor in the house. Fortunately, his father happened to be coming toward the house from the barn, and noticed the smoke coming out of the second floor window. He rushed in and met Alton coming down the stairway backward on his hands and knees (he had not yet learned to do it upright). His father was able to extinguish the fire.
When he was a little older, the family went to Cedar Rapids to visit Ethbert York and his mother.
While there, the children went to an outbuilding in which Ethbert had several pet rabbits. He was afraid the rabbits might get away so he asked the children to climb in through a window rather than go through the door. They raised the sash to get in. As Alton put both hands on the window sill, the sash fell down with a crash and all of the broken glass fell out of the window and down across his hands, almost cutting off one of his fingers. He retained a scar on that finger for the rest of his life.
When he was five years old, he was playing "hide and seek" with other children in their barn. He got the idea of hiding in the hay loft, which was reached by climbing a vertical ladder about 10 feet high. He was in such a hurry to get to the loft that as he reached the top of the ladder his foot slipped off and he fell.
He landed with his face across the steel tire of his father's buggy, breaking his jawbone and cutting his lower lip clear through. His father was on a business trip to Canada so another doctor was called. He failed to notice that the jaw was broken. Fortunately, the pain was so great that Alton refused to open his mouth and kept his teeth shut tightly for a week. That held the bones in place to heal.
Summers on the farm for Alton and his sister and brother were probably very typical of farm life for young children in those days. He remembered such incidents as:
... never put our shoes on till we came home. Sometimes we would try to duck into bed without washing our feet. It was fun to walk around in the squashy mud after a good rain and watch the mud squeeze up between our toes.
As he got older, his adventures continued.
One summer day, he and two friends were walking along the railroad tracks, and a freight train stopped for water at Lisbon. We saw an open box car and jumped in. We though we would bum a ride up to Mt. Vernon, the next town west of us a couple of miles.
After he left high school, he attended normal school at Cornell and taught at a country school for a year. He lived with a farmer nearby, and walked back and forth to school, about a mile across the fields.
After attending Cornell College for two years, he transferred to Iowa State University at Ames, where he studied mechanical engineering. He was a member of the Chi-Phi fraternity. When war with Germany was declared in 1917, he left school and went to the Rock Island (IL) Arsenal where he made parts for Springfield rifles. Then he worked at the Moline (IL) Tractor Works making gear blanks for tractors.
Just before Christmas in 1917, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in the Ordnance Corps at the Rock Island Arsenal. After training there, he was shipped to Camp Dodge, from there to Camp Hancock at Augusta GA, and then to Camp Mills NY. After delays because of reports of German submarines off the Jersey coast, they went overseas in June 1918.
He was a sergeant in the Army Expeditionary Force (AEF). His outfit, the 601 Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop (MORS), had trucks equipped like a machine shop. They went along with the gun batteries to take care of breakdowns on artillery pieces. They were at the front in France and were in the battle at Argonne woods, and at Toul, Upper Meuse and Verdun, in drives with the coast Artillery.
He returned in 1919, in time to go to Montana with his parents to visit his sister and brother on their ranch. His parents returned to Lisbon and he stayed on at the ranch. One day he developed a severe tooth pain, and traveled 40 miles to the nearest dentist in Lewistown, the first 6 miles on horseback and the remainder by train.
He returned to Iowa that fall. His father became interested in drilling an oil well in Texas. Alton went down to Texas, bought an oil lease and managed the companies they formed which drilled for oil. By 1922, the oil wells had run out and he again returned to Iowa. He became a salesman, establishing distribution outlets for a new type of cylinder hone, with a territory covering everything west of the Mississippi and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. He then worked for a company in Denver where he was in charge of equipment sales.
He wanted to get back to Chicago, so in 1925 he went to work there as a salesman for Black & Decker. The first year he won a national prize for selling drills. By 1929 he was made a Branch manager. After the 1929 stock market crash, the company had to cut expenses to remain in business, so they discontinued many of their Branch Managers and replaced them with personnel from the home office. As he was relatively new, he was without a job so he became sales manager for the Clifford Peterson Tool Co. and stayed there until 1947.
In that year he established his own company, the York Equipment and Supply Co., an industrial supply business which he operated for almost 25 years until his retirement in 1971.
He gave his residence as Stanford MT at the time of his marriage. After he was married, he and Leila went to Montana to join his sister and her husband in farming. They soon returned to Iowa and he became the manager of the Nagle lumberyard in Cedar Rapids IA. Then they moved to Grinnell IA where he opened and operated the York Lumber Co. Later he established, and was the first president of, Grinnell Federal Savings & Loan.
He was active in the Kiwanis and Odd Fellows, and was a 32 degree Mason (Worthy Patron).
Before her marriage she was a teacher and an advertising copy writer. She also assisted in running N.A.'s practice. After he died, she moved to LaJolla CA with her sister, Eloise, and went into real estate and investments. In 1971 she was ordained a minister in the Christian Church.
It was my responsibility and also my pleasure to look after him as best I could and I remember how I lugged him around wherever I went. He developed intestinal trouble - likely cholera - and when the little fellow died it almost broke my heart.