Life of Fran Young and Rural Routes
I was born in Nipissing township on the Alsace road, and called the Storie settlement, Enos Byers now lives on our farm. I attended Storie School till grade 8. I attended St John's Church in Alsace as a child, left home at age 16 to first work on a farm for Wilbert Culham, till fall, then went up North to Holdens Camp to work, so every summer I worked on the farm & winter in camps. In 1940 I got married to Maybelle Keall, and I still have her. That first winter I worked in T. Hummels camp and the next summer at Rowlandsons Mill all this was for $1.00 per day. The next place was to work at Nobel where I did not like the shift work. In the spring of 1942 I quit there, came home and worked for R. Rowlandson at saw mill for summers & then joined the army.
In Oct. I was discharged from the army back home again. That winter I worried worked at Duff Evers Camp at Commanda. In the spring of 1943, March 26th Mrs. Herman Paul came to me asking me to finish a mail contract which they had sponsored were responsible for. I said when and he replied tomorrow morning. Well I said OK but that was if I could buy a cart and horse. So I did over night and was ready in the morning to start. It was much easier for me because I was raised on that road. Well that was only for 2 months and it was put up for tender , I was the lucky man to get the job so by June the first I had a new contract at $1500.00 per year.
That didn't seem like much but it sure was better than $1.00/day. I used horses two winters right from Powassan to Commanda every day, then they started ploughing part of the Alsace Road, so for two or three winters I was able to go halfway by car & the rest by horse. My father lived in the right place to keep my horse there. I had 3 horses in all. In 1948 they started ploughing most of the Alsace Road and I was able to sell my horses & go all the way by motorized vehicle. That was good so I could work other places in the afternoon. I worked at planing mill in Trout Creek in summer at nights 10 hour shifts, Howard Humphrey & I. We always done a little taxi work also.
Then I worked part time for Bill Burns in garage where is now owned by Buck Tracey for a year or more. After that I started working a full shift at the Windsor Hotel in Powassan slinging beer. till about 1952. In that spring Herman Paul got me started working at Union Cemetery then I started doing part time work for him at funeral home. From then on I looked after many cemeteries, Powassan Union, St. Joseph's , Nipissing, Chisholm, and dug graves and put tombstones in many other cemeteries like Trout Creek, Chiswick, Golden Valley, Arnstein etc. You name it, I was there. In about 1974 or 75 I quit doing cemetery work, that was hard work and I worked more at the funeral home.
That was when Max Paul owned it. Aubrey McLachlan was full time and I was part time there till Richard Paul took over. About 3 years ago I stopped working there except occasional emergencies. I always liked working there. Through all of this I still ran my mail route every day. I have always enjoyed the mail route and have lots of memories from it. I remember the horse years when Alma Schmelefske always had a lunch for me & Alex Grabowski , he always had good coffee but you didn't have to heat it up. My mother always had a lunch when I changed horses going either way. I used to make a lot of money on cartage the first years, not many people out there had cars.
So we mail men brought them their groceries and feed and brought out cream cans to the station to ship to Lindsay. That was their living, selling cream. They'd kill pigs & turkeys and I bring them out to JJ Gaudaur who was the butcher here in town. Also bring their veal calves to Mr. Ellis, he had a butcher shop out of town, we'd bring them in alive to them. I remember one day I had a calf in the back of my truck for Mr. Ellis, and a 12 doz. crate of eggs from Mrs. Joe Young in the back, bringing them to Toswells store. I went to Ellis & first to unload the calf & set the crate of eggs on top of cab of truck.
Hell I forgot to set them back down, so when I was on my way in town I had to stop and that damn crate of eggs got ahead of me onto the highway. Well did I curse, so I went and took them to Toswells store and told them the whole story. Mrs. Toswell opened them and lucky for me only 2 eggs were broken. I remember poor old Wes Cox one morning coming to the post office with 2 loaves of bread & some tobacco, for Mr. R. Briggs, he said and I knew that night we had a terrible storm. Well Mr. Briggs told Wes Cox they were all blocked in but send that in with the mail man. We laughed about that. I got there though, stupid me. Mr. Cox owned the grocery store where Carl Hagland is.
The people on rural route north were very good to me at Christmas time I always had a load of goodies, no one had any money then so I got meat, vegetables, syrup, chocolate, everything imaginable. I remember poor old Herb Hummel struggling to make a living, he raised turkeys. Well he always gave me a turkey for Christmas, only for that we wouldn't have had turkey. I always looked forward to Collette Toeppner's box. It was everything she had, from meat to preserves, vegetables, and always the bottle of homemade wine. One year after I picked up the box at her place, I saw the bottle so right away I opened it to have a slug and imagine it was maple syrup!
So I had to wait till I got to Alex Grabowski before I got any wine that day. I remember Herb Hummel one day in October called me to his barn and said Fran do you want a duck, I said I'd be glad to have one. Well he said I'll make a bargain with you . If you take them all , I'll give the whole flock to you, but only if you take them all, I said Herb that would be too much to give me, he replied the dam shitting things are going to hell out of here and he went for a couple of bags. I held the bags and he caught nine ducks and gave them to me. That's the kind of people who lived on rural route no. 2. I was very glad to have nine roasting ducks.
I got a little even with him Herb one day. I had a set of scales and gave them to him. But when he moved from his farm and had a sale he said to me those are your scales what will I do with them? Well I said Herb, do like I done with the ducks, keep them. He was a good man. I never worried about getting stuck on the road because people were very good to come and pull me out. Poor old John Van Mierlo in the spring time if I was longer up the road than he thought, he'd come with the horses up the road to see, sure enough I was stuck.
I remember old George Geisler ,one day I had a flat tire near his place and no spare. That was in war time when tires were hard to get. He came with his car and drove me around the route, those were good people. That was true what Earl Purdon said at my retirement party about me driving a truck for six months with no brakes. I got as handy as if I had brakes. Could not stop where I liked : I drove it for 2 weeks with no windshield, and in the winter time no heater, leave the window open to keep windshield clear. After all that hard driving, in 1949 I got my first new 1/2 ton truck a Ford , no good but it was new cost $1704. Those days you had to have one third down to get any credit. From then on I always got a new truck every two years. I was always safe to drive their equipment in all those years.
Consisted of 3 horses, a buggy, cutter, 2 wheel cart, three used cars, one used truck, and 16 new trucks, 10 of which were Dodges. They served me the best, the cheapest to operate & tires and gasoline. Going back to the horse days, I'll never forget Lucy Oldfield she'd always have a coffee ready for me and a cookie, good job I was cold because she made poor cookies, hard as hell. My horses I never lost one dollar on them always sold them for as much as I paid for them, they didn't depreciate like a truck did, and mostly the keep was small as between my father and Mr. Rennette they mostly looked after them for me. Rennette's had one horse of mine for nearly 2 years, they used him so did I also used their horse.
Talking about the good people in the early 40's, I'm talking about the Alex & Tony Grabowskis, Ulrichs, Toeppners, both Walter & Herb. At that time Schmelefske, Hummels, Van Mierlos, at the far end Haufes & Culhams. All those people were good as the road never was as good out there. Then there was old Annie Spetz, I'll never forget this. I remember old Silas Culham he was dead a couple of days, so I told Alex Grabowski that he never picked up his mail in checking it out he was dead, sitting up in his chair. Allan Culham his son then came from out west by train with about 15 horses and a bunch of cattle. One day I met them on the Alsace Road chasing them out by Alsace Road to farm on Silas Culham's farms.
They had the wrong idea about farming, letting the stock, horses and cows run all they wanted and pick their own field like out west. They lost most of them in 2 or 3 years of starvation. Ernie & Oscar Haufe were good, I never forget Oscar he always told people how old he was and no gray hair. If you see him, unexpected at home, his hair was quite gray. That color was good. I'll never forget the Ricker boys. Always had a beer handy , that was the only problem. I'll never forget Norm Ricker one day when I was driving horses yet. I heard a shot when I went by, coming back Norm was at the mail box.
I asked him if he heard the shot, he said yes it was me. He shot one of his horses because they crowded him in the stall in the barn. Now it's all the new people on that end of the road, no fun at all. I remember when I started one day Walter Toeppner met me at the box with a little shy girl behind him and a dog. The girl was a little dark girl, now Betty Campbell. I asked Walter why she was so dark. He answered it must have been those Hurrels That's who Collette was. Old Tom Ulrich was good, he lived 3/4 mile from the mail box, he used to carry a shovel out with him and clean the box out. I remember old Bogardus he lived on the Gibson farm, he'd stand behind a tree till I went past then he'd come out he must have been afraid of me.
Now Everett Gibson lives there. He runs a resort Ruth Haven. I got to know a lot of people that came back every year for holidays. Boston Eckensviller Sr. lived at Wolfe lake then moved in town he used to shoe my horses. Then Allan Crawford ran boys camp there for a few years. Then sold it to Floyd & Ina Best, they were good friends of ours, we always could go pick tame raspberries by the pail full. When they made their will a lazy boy chair and stool and a grinder was willed to me, I still have them in use. The Besters & Rennettes were always my friends from kids.
The Matt Rennette family went to Storie school with us also Wynotte Rennette family & the Odds. Joe Young lived a mile or two in the bush as we called it , in by Butterfield's creek & Mud Lake. Joe was quite a horse man always had them up in the lot, till one day Harry Hummel sold him a pair doped up. Good for a few weeks, then died down. Joe was really mad at Hummel. The Stories, old Alf and young Alf. Geo. Albert, all lived on the Alsace on Storie line when I started. Mike O'drowski he and Alf Storie always shared one mail box no problem. Tom and Henry Storie lived in the old house off the road half a mile or so only picked mail up when out or the school kids would bring it. Tom Storie was always Santa Claus at our Christmas concert at school.
All us kids knew it was Tom because he always acted like Santa. The Eckfords either were gone or went shortly after I started. Irwin Byers the Callander mail man for a lot of years was on Eckfords farm a while. Also Mrs. Marie Van Mierlo was on the route for a while. Till Johnny B. Van Mierlo took over the farming. Geo. Aultman was a farmer there too where Henry is farming now. His mother also lives with him, she is one of the originals that was on my route when I started. The Buschs, Pete & John were on the farm that Geo. & Martin and Lena still operate. We always understood as kids that they had lots of money, now as grown up I still think they have. Ken Byers was also there when I started, so was Tom Byers. Maybelle used to visit Mrs. Tom Byers.
She always had lots of flowers. One time we were visiting Mrs. Tom Byers & a grand-daughter of hers that used to come in the summer & put on a drink in the box for me, said Oh you are married aye. She was surprised: Gordon and Enos Byers moved in our neighborhood shortly after and are still there. Jack Topham was a long time customer on the route a fine fellow he was. Down in Christian Valley was Isaac Stillar & the Simpsons, Henry, Geo. & Billy; I bought a horse from Billy one time a while after I bought the horse Billy said I forgot to tell you it would run away. Well that's the kind of horse I needed. It never ran away on me but one day my father was doing the mail for me & she ran away on him, broke some of his ribs, and really hurt his pride, he said.
I'd get rid of that damn fool. I did that spring because I was in no need of any more horses. I sold her to Sol St. Jean, he was using her on disc harrows in the spring and sure enough she ran away on him, upset the discs on herself and cut one hind leg off, that was the end of her. While I was using horses I used to plough gardens in town. I was really busy doing that for a month or so. Also Maybelle and I used them to did the foundation out from under our house, she'd drive the horses and I'd hold the scraper. She was pregnant at the time so I couldn't let her hold the scraper. We worked hard to get started and somehow she kept having children.
So we had to work harder to feed them. Geo. Rich & Billy Armstrong also lived in Christian Valley as old timers. I had lots of chats with Bill, he and my father were good friends so we had lots to talk about. Then there was his daughter Helen she lived there a long while after, before moving to town. I laughed at Bill one day. His son in law Geo. councillor? was on his farm. He was a little late bringing his hay in & Bill said he farmed there for 50 years & never saw hay being brought in the barn in hunting season. Bill sold me his 30-30 rifle one day when he thought it was getting too heavy to carry . It was heavy but like a new gun. Bill mostly only fired one shot at a deer.
Now his great grandson bugs me about once a year to get it. It's still not too heavy for me. I will always keep it just to remember old Bill Armstrong. Tony Rich and Julian lived up in the bush from Armstrong and brother Chris lived with them. Chris was stooped over about 45 degrees. I asked Bill Armstrong one day what happened. He said nothing, just that their doors were all low, so Chris decided why straighten up every time. So he stayed that way. Apparently Chris wasn't very ambitious. They lived mostly on wild life. I remember Tom and his big black team of horses, he was kind of a neighborhood veterinary. I remember him one time coming to our place when we were still on the farm.
We had a sick sow soon to have little pigs, Tony Rich said she had a fever so he split the skin on her forehead and rubbed salt in it, that sure sounded stupid to my father, but the next day the pig was OK & I think that was a good guess. Up around Ruth & Wolfe lake there were a lot of people just as summer residents I got to know real well and look for them every year. One lady Mrs. Dent, Jack Redpath, Chas Percy and lots more. I always look forward to seeing Chas & Sadie Percy. I always told them around Thanksgiving it was time to go back south, go with the geese I say to Chas. See you again next year. But this year they never came. Whiteheads told me they weren't real well. Clifford Stillar lived in Christian Valley on the Dick Rowlandson farm.
He was always a good friend of mine. I used to see him nearly every day either in the field or along the road collecting minnows. He sold minnows from his place also he trapped in fall & winter so I'd see him along the road. The old Helen and Alfred Cameron Smiths lived in Christian Valley where W. Nubels now live. I had a lot of connections with them as I done all this business & bring their supplies. Helen was an intelligent woman, Alfred not quite so. Going back to Clifford Stillar I remember him at a New Year's party saying I was the best mail man he ever had, I laughed & said You old fool I was the only mail man you ever had. The old Nesbitts were good people but different than average.
Billy, Fanny & Mildred lived where Barry Garland now lives. I used to have a lot of laughs at them. Jack lived across the road where the Wheeldons now live, he was a strawberry man & always digging in his mine at the back of his lot hoping to get rich but only ended up with a hole in the ground. He also made moonshine that would burn like coal oil. Powerful liquid. I asked him one day how he made it, he said scratch feed, potatoes and some Gilletts lye if it needed it. From this to Bingham Chute only Kealls, Oldfields & Selwoods. Harry Kunkel lived at the Chute the Hydro was operating to capacity and all operations lived there. Gerry Drinkwalter, Art Oldfield, Ash Armstrong & Geo. Oldfield.
I'll never forget Geo. the morning we were to be married, Mrs. Keall that's Maybelle's mother was Geo.'s sister. Well he came to her place and told Mrs. Keall not to let Maybelle marry me. He said I wouldn't be able to keep her. I wasn't sure myself then but was willing to try. After we were married a few years Geo. & I became very good friends. So one day I reminded him about the episode, all he said, well he was wrong. Really the only difference was religion. It all worked out good. I made a lot of money on him, he had a whole barn yard of old manure like black earth. I bought it all from him for $1.00 per load and sold it all over town, all 500 loads. A lot of hard work, Maybelle helped me when she had time.
She was a good woman for me and had a lot to do with my success. When I was not able or gone hunting she always looked after my mail route till I got back. Going back to the Nesbitts I forgot about Frank. He was a gentleman labourer always dressed up and a brief case under his arm. Always hitch hiking that's how he managed as a salesman. He raised his three boys up here after his wife died, with help from everybody. I remember one day he sent the 3 boys with me out to John Stillar's to pick berries, he said to his boys "if you see a bear spit in his face". I forgot about the John Stillars and the Joe Quigleys they lived on the side road to Christian Valley. Joe and Pearl are dead & the Stillars are mostly passed away. Six of the seven boys: Tom, Ray, Lawrence, Elinor, Buddy & Melvin.
Only Wilmer of the boys left who lives at Listowel. Edith, Earlene & Audrey still are alive of the girls. I went to Storie school with most of them. The Quigleys went to Christian Valley school & also the Welsey Dowdall family lived back by where we called Pugs Creek. Laura & Ethel are still around. We always went there as my father & Welsey Dowdall were good friends & also to fish suckers in the spring. My father used to go with Welsey Dowdall hunting, to cage them with horses by Squaw Creek road to the Elkheart hunt camp near the mouth of French river. About 20 miles by horses from where we lived. He'd stay there for 2 weeks. I now hunt about 4 miles from where my father used to go.
Horses got really good on a mail route, you didn't even have to pull them over to a mail box. In fact you couldn't get them past if you had no mail until you stop them. I remember one day at Mike Besters a dam dog came out and scared my horses while I was putting mail in their box, they ran and stopped at John Van Mierlo's box down the road till I caught up: I used to get a great kick out of people along the route, "did you see my cows down the road? would you come in and cut the head off a couple of roosters for me? Oscar forgot and I can't do it ...There's something wrong with my hydro box, it still works but I smell it all over the house." One lady had a partridge fly into the window and she would not pick it up.
I always was glad to do those things for people. I'm very pleased that they all trusted me. John Rowan a school teacher at Alsace separate school, he had a large family and lived in a house at the school, I done all his grocery shopping. He must have been better paid than I was because they lived well. I was glad to do this, he always gave me extra dollars for doing so. He was Frank Rowan's father. Frank is still on RR#2. I remember Mrs. Louis Straus, she used to send all kinds of ads away for things not needed. I always left them at her daughters place, Mrs. Herb Hummel. Mrs. Straus always gave me hell about it, but she'd do it again.
We always went to Church at Alsace either walked or by horses, seven miles one way. People would not do it now. Maybe we were the crazy ones but it never done us any harm. I always said if a child only learned to sit still for half an hour they'd learn something. Over the years I have seen a lot of wild animals on my route...deer, moose, bear, wolf, foxes, rabbits, partridge...this would all help to make your day. Stop and look at them till they ran away. I never ever shot anything on the route, never even carried a gun. Lots of wild geese & some ducks. The most deer I ever saw was in Christian Valley on Bob Rowlandson's farm, there were seven in a bunch in the field, I think. I remember Ross Williamson got 3 or 4 of them that fall.
One day Billy Simpson who lived in Christian Valley where Daryl Storie now lives, he was waiting at the mail box for a ride to town, I had Mrs Leo Schmelefske, Mr. Tony Grabowski, and Mrs. Loretta Strauss in the cab at the time with me. I said Billy I'm loaded in here and he replied I see so, but I'm sick and I have to see a doctor. OK jump in the back, so he did. I got to the post office & Billy got out to go to his sister's place Mrs. Steele who lived where R. Williamson now lives, but he never made it there.......he dropped dead in front of the funeral home.
I always kidded Max Paul about that for bringing him his business. There was always something exciting going on. One day in hunting season Henry Rich shot a deer & it ran on Mrs. Damude's property before dropping dead. Henry went to Mrs. Damude's place proudly saying I shot a deer and I want to go on your place to get it. Says Mrs. Damude, no Dam way you poacher! Just leave it there. Henry called the game warden but never won. I think Russell Hamilton ended up with the deer. Mrs. Damude didn't believe in anyone shooting wild animals. She's let the mice chew her ears off in bed before she would even scare them away. Good way to be but we all know Henry Rich liked wild meat and always got it somehow.
Maybe I should say something about our family. We had six children. Patricia the oldest married Pat Cotnam, they now live in Montreal, he works for CPR. She was unfortunate and developed multiple sclerosis and is part time not so mobile but manages, they have 3 children. Wendy, Tammy & Terry. Patricia in her teen days was a secretary & worked at Cochrane Hardware North Bay till after she was married. Ronnie was next, he was a smart boy in school & everyone was his friend. At age 16 he changed like a flash, rambled all over the country, work for a while, do something wrong & move on. He married Cathy Heasman they had 5 children, Cheryl, Chris, Shawn, Stephen & Valerie,.... they are divorced now.
He married again in Windsor. Divorced her. Now he is in London alone. Still unemployed smart guy. Wayne was a good kid always had to work hard for what he got. At age 18 after finishing grade 12, he worked for Max Paul for 2 months then went to Stratford to work at Heinbuck Funeral Home, got his funeral director's licence. Worked there for 21 yrs. Now he has built his own funeral home in Stratford and is doing well. He married Joanne ? of Stratford, they have 2 children Scott and Greg. Scott is now working on his funeral director licence and will be joining business with his father I hope. Charlene married Bob O'Hallarn, they have no children, only a dam cat. Charlene works in Toronto at a Bank on computers. Bob is a fireman in Toronto, he says he puts out a lot of fires.
They are doing very well, no children makes it easier. Eric lives in Powassan, he could have done better in school but chose not to and left at grade 10 to go to work. It proved out for him, so far he always had a job. He is now employed at Sears. He married Laura McDaniel of Matheson, I don't know how he got strayed away up there. They have two children Dwayne and Stephanie. Judy the youngest a bit spoiled like all the baby of the family. She worked at the North Bay Nugget till she got married to Claude Gagnon, he is still a plumber. They have 4 children, Marc, Michelle, Bridgett and Melanie. You'd almost think they were Frenchmen. Well they are.
Those children are kind of lucky they can speak French and English. Always an old saying there's a bad apple in every barrel and Ronnie proved to be the one. He always said he's enjoying it. I wonder but I hope he is , as that is not my way of life style. Going back to the rural route # 2 again, the place next to Alsace Church had a lot of changes I remember when August Schmelefske lived there then if I remember right Adam & Ann Schmelefske were there for quite a while. Norman Schmelefske & his brother that was handicapped were also there. Then the O'drowskis, Frank and his mother lived there for a long time, till she died. And Eva Gendron, Vincent Michaud lived there with Frank till he died. Now Vincent's daughter Joyce Beatty and family live with the two old gals.
I remember Frank he always had a horse and looked after it well, but never used him. Also Frank had around 40 cats he used to buy feed for them, ask Joe Grabowski about that. He kind of thinned them out at times, and told Frank they must have ran away. I can't help but think about Annie K. Spetz, she lived in the bush behind O'drowskis, the two old girls had a lot of problems on who put the best water on the flowers on the altar in the church at Alsace. Miss Spetz said her water was the best so she carried it out for one mile and dumped the other out. I always had to tell Miss Spetz a lot of lies to get along with her. If you told her the truth she'd disagree, so this kept us better friends. At election time, you know she was a liberal & if you put any conservative flyers in her box, you were sure to get a letter from her.
It was a lot of fun, I'd always be sure she got some. That cat story was the best when she went to Rome. She had 16 cats, had them all bagged up for me to give them to people for good homes. I did , I left the bag open and let them pick their own homes. They were all at home when she got back. Imagine getting back from seeing the Pope and having to lose her temper about cats and me. If I wanted, I could write all month about the old critter. I used to tell people when she was lost for 9 days, they made the mistake of looking for her. Mind you an odd time she could be nice to people but only for a short time. The Mechefskis, Gustavs family they lived over by Herb Toeppner's by Porcupine Hill, they used to come to the Alsace School for their mail.
Frank, Simon, Matt, Abbey, also Mary lived there some after her husband Peter Aultman was killed. Matt mostly lived at his sister's place Loretta Straus. Then he moved out west, you generally see him every 4 or 5 years. Frank married Josephine Leduca they moved down south. Also Simon married Sadie Leduca those two were twin sisters. So the Mechefskis petered out of my route in the early years. I remember Mrs. Aultman she lived there after a large family, and most of them had eye problems, they always got brail correspondence, they educated themselves that way. It was a weekly large brown envelope from Dept. of Education. For a lot of years a hunt party from Kitchener, Waterloo used to come up.
They made their headquarters at Alma Schmelefske's and hunted from there. One of the head guys was a priest Father Becker and the Hergots, Father of John who now lives on Route 2, I remember one year they got an all white deer, first one I have ever seen, they called it a freak. In those days it was supposed to be bad luck to get a white deer. It never hurt them, they still came back, even Father Becker. I got to know a lot of them from year to year, seeing them along the Alsace Road watching while someone chased a deer out to them. Some of that club still exists, they own the Annie K. Spetz property and a camp at the Alsace school, a property that Dave Magolski lived in for awhile. Albert & Pius Keiswetter also had property by the school. I always done the Keiswetter boys chores.
Get their supplies, on Pension day they would come to town with me & I would taxi them home in the afternoon if I had time. Most of those places have new people in now and I never got to know them so well as everyone have their own transportation now and can look after themselves. I can remember as a child when Mrs. Ulrich lived at Wolfe Lake, the Eckensvillers place , after them Bests & Crawford now Lafrance. Steve Ulrich lived on Herb Hummel farm, I remember his nice grey team of horses. This Mrs. Ulrich & my grandmother Young were sisters, they were Magolskis. I remember the old log church at Alsace it stood awhile after the new one was built. It was across the road where those Pines are now. Also down the hill across the road was a large barn where people put their horses when they came to church.
These would be a dozen or more teams of horses, right from Mike Odrowskis to Commanda. People would hardly ever miss going to church then, now any excuse will keep them at home. Those days we used to fast at midnight till afternoon when we'd get home hungry as a bear but it never done us any harm. Now you can take your lunch along when you take communion, how things change over the years. More of the little messages along my rural route was my telephone is out of order, please call the telephone co. and report it. Mrs. Ken Haufe just reminded me about when her father was sick in hospital. She got her news on how he was from me when I happened to have a phone call & the Garlands would call me to relay messages to Mrs. Haufe.
Another was where can I rent a house or buy some hay, or pigs etc? "Do you know anyone that has seed potatoes?, Do you remember who all got jury calls? I'd like a ride down to Parry Sound, or When you give them their mail....an old saying was "Is that all?" Well if I'd have had more I would have gave it to them. How come I never got my cheque? Well I only delivered them, I didn't post them. People never meant it that way it sounded, I hope. How come you're later today....some never thought the mail could have been late coming to post office. I used to often say I slept in which never happened at our place, my wife gets up at 6 o'clock. People used to say every time I got a new truck which was every 2 years, rich making all the money?
Well it wasn't that way, but I used to work hard at every job I could to do so. I even was an ambulance driver for a while, until it used to interfere with funeral calls. A lot of times they both happened at once. When I started on Rural Route 2, it was only 36 miles, now when I finished it was 55 miles. The extensions included from 10th concession down to 8th concession to foot of Alston, Beatty hill and up to Geo Burns, also up to Ed Young from corner also south up to Maple Hill and further to where Beattys live now by old Joe Alstons place now Geo Bonser. Also up the ski hill road and from Ken Haufe's to past Commanda to Pilger road to serve all the Bennetts & John Wilson. In Christian Valley at corner I went up to Simpson Farm now owned by Austin Heasman, and up to Bill Armstrong and to Cline Hill where Heinz Lingner now live German people.
Also up the Bella Hill road to serve two customers. The route won't have many more extensions as there is no place to go for one. Some of the mail boxes weren't very good, and sometimes not too well shovelled out, but I always I was just as good as they were, if they could get to them, well so could I. And I never complained very much about it. Some of the new mailmen, when a large parcel comes, they put a note in their box and tell them to come and pick it up at the Post Office. Well I never did that, I'd either take it to their house or phone them that it was coming or blow the horn and signal to them that a parcel was at the box. It never hurt me to do favors, people do lots of favors for me.
For example when I was to finish my route in October of 1985, three ladies from my route took time out and went all around my route and collected money from the good people & gave it to me at my retirement party. They were Helen Councillor, Winona Heasman and Eva Damude (Shale) was away for a long while but came back and bought the Geo Rich and Bill Armstrong farms to retire on. They retired with 20 or 30 head of cattle and Earl is a writer and still spends 4 or 5 days a week in Toronto, and on weekends keeps the farm in shape. I always checked on Eva, if she was in the window I'd know she was still living, always a wave and a toot of the horn. She always told me when she went away for a few days. I miss things like that to look forward to each day.
How the mail was brought in the early day by train to the Station in Powassan, Ed Hummel as long as I can remember brought the mail from the station to Post office. First he used a horse, then by a big dog and sleigh, old Sparky, lots of times he brought Eddy down. Then he had a half ton truck which he used till he finished. And mail started coming by truck dropped off at each post office, they run a later schedule than the train did, which delays the sorting of mail. We used to be away from the Post office lots of times at 8 o'clock, now you are lucky if you get away by 10, or much later. I can remember a couple of years when the mail came later on Saturday. Us mail men done our route on Sunday as it was close to Christmas.
A little about the Postmasters. Mrs. Porter was the first one. She was OK except she used to wonder why we weren't back earlier than 5 or 6 o'clock when we used horses from town, we were dam lucky to even get back that early. She also always made it hard for me with A. K. Spetz, she always thought what that old girl said was true. Nettie Humphrey was next, she was pretty good, but horses had petered out by then. Al Johnson was the best of all, he always looked at both sides of a complaint and was very fair about things, he was a bugger to work with and expected everyone else to do the same. Now we have Elmer Perkins he's a nice guy to talk to but isn't crazy about work. Kind of joined the young work force group.
Verena Eckford and Isabel Warner were there for a long while, they were also good and didn't mind working or doing us a favor as we mailmen always emptied the bags of mail for them, we didn't have to but we did. The first class mail is not near as heavy now as it was 35 years ago. I think there is almost as much stuff to handle but mostly lower class mail & flyers, nearly every day. We used to have a lot of parcels, when everybody ordered their supplies from Robert J. Simpson & The Eaton catalogues, so we had a lot of parcels. In early days till about 15 years ago and people almost quit catalogue shopping. More other stores and transportation is better for people to shop on their own. We used to never see chickens come by mail till the last few years.
Also bees, they were a noisy thing to take with you in the cab of a truck. Also nursery things like apple trees etc, never used to come by mail, someone always delivered them now they come by mail. Money orders were a thing nearly every day, now you hardly ever bring in a money order for the route. People are out and by their owner use cheques. I think when I started Christmas cards were 2cents, letters were 3cents, quite a difference from now. Not really in cost. In 1943 wages were about $1.06 per day for 10 hours/day. about 10cents/hour that was for labourer. Now it's 10-15 dollars per hour and postage is only 34 cents per letter. It really isn't the cost now it's the service we get that makes people upset. Labourers can blame themselves for what has happened. One time they needed a union or something for protection as they were being treated poorly.
Now the Union controls everything, tells labourers when to work and what to get, and almost tells them not to work at all. Between unions causing strikes and high wages has ruined our country. All small businesses have had to close on that account. We are pricing ourselves from the market. Japs China and those places can make things cheaper than in our own country. Between holidays & sick leave I'll bet every civil servant person loses one month to 6 weeks per year at the cost of the employer...that's why everything costs so much. And also no one wants to do anybody a favor anymore. We have an example in our own little post office.
Some employees just say we don't have to do that. Go get your own key is the answer or I got to go for a coffee break. That has ruined things. A 10 min. one was OK but the majority take 3 quarters of an hour break. This never used to be the case in our little post office in Powassan, but lately they have fallen in the union regulations of I don't have to, they can't fire me, no pride of being a good fellow. I always done things for people and most of the people on the rural route # 2 done the same for me. I was told many times by the present post master of 1985 that I was crazy doing that kind of things for people. It sure proved out good for me and I feel good about how they treated me when I left.
Even new mailmen thought I was crazy to do those favours over the years. I done a lot of things to get the mail through. I've walked some, even went horseback one spring when the Alsace far end of road was slush and water. Often Alex Grabowski and Culhams came part way to meet me they knew how tough it was. If we would have had the clothes those days that we have now like snowmobile suits, even a snowmobile would have been great. But it would have been hard to get money enough to buy that type of clothes, so you couldn't win. The people on the route closest to town, I never got as close to them, as they mostly done their own business, only drop their mail off was my job.
Most of them posted their own mail. There have been a lot of changes on the route over the past 40 years. A lot of places three or four times the property changed ownership. Some I never even got to know before they moved. A lot of them stayed on their parents farm after they passed away. Like Martin Busch, Henry Aultman, J.B. Van Mierlo, Francis Strauss, Ken Haufe, Nick Rennette, Paul Toeppner is still in the same neighborhood by the lake. Garnet Storie is also on some property. Eug. Kunkel, Len Geisler, B. Briggs, ? Young & Emerson Bartraw still live on these old properties from parents. Also Don Closs, he has a few toes less, he tried to stop the snowblower with his foot. Garry Skuce is on his parents farm. Also the Geo. Burns family still run that farm.
I delivered mail over the years to a lot of schools, along the route, first was Maple Hill school, the teachers in those days boarded at places near the school. I think mostly at Bill Bartraws because Emerson Bartraw married one that boarded at their place. The next school was the Storie school where I was to go to school. Their teacher mostly boarded at Eckfords. I remember Agnes Rich, she boarded at Peter Buschs, but nearly all others boarded at Jas. Eckfords. Even old? Froud. Then was the school at Alsace. It was a Separate School. A lot of teachers there as it was far out. They mostly boarded at Alma Schmelefske's, close to school. Then came one in Christian Valley. When amalgamation of schools took place, all those little schools were closed.
Too bad, that was Bill Davis's doing, promoting larger schools, and higher costs, education is a like a lot of other things, got slightly out of hand for cost. Welfare was another thing that got costly. I remember when the clerk of town or township acted as welfare officers. It was tough, you had to be on your last breath almost from starvation, and almost naked before you could get any help. Only 20 years ago now when I was first on South Himsworth council when welfare cost approx. $200.00 per year and you got 80% of it from Prov. Gov't. Now, more like close to $20,000 the cost to same township. It is a good thing where it is needed but still some people are abusing it. I spent 14 years on S. Himsworth council, 7 years as Reeve. I thoroughly enjoyed being on it.
A few things we accomplished while I was Reeve was No. 1 Garbage collection for all ratepayers. No. 2 was fire protection, a new firetruck and a new firehall. No. 3 was the joint operation of all the surrounding Municipalities south town of Powassan in building Sportsplex. It is one building that is being used by all for winter and summer sports. I also spent16 years on social service board of directors and 4 years on Sportsplex board, and 2 years I was Chairman. I am still Chairman of Service Committee for children and also I have been a member of Powassan Lions Club since 1963 & a long time member of the Legion Branch 453 Powassan.
The difference of now and thirty five or forty years ago if anyone had bad luck through sickness etc. well you just made the best of it and got along. I remember my wife was in hospital in Toronto for 12 weeks in one spell. I had 6 children from ages 8 yrs old to 2 years old. It was tough, but I managed. Kept working and had a woman housekeep and pay her and manage the best way we could. That spring when she came home from the hospital, I owed a lot of people that gave me credit, till it was all over, but I managed to pay them all back in time , but no welfare help I got. Mr. & Mrs Cox, Mr. Herman Paul, & Mr. L. F. Robertson all helped me out. I was always thankful of them. No help from your parents in those days. They were poor too, just like us.
I had 3 brothers, Ernie of town, Connie of RR4 Powassan, Emil of Trout Creek. He always was a different sort of a fellow, and two sisters. Mrs. Geo. ? of Trout Creek & Leona, deceased. My father Albert Young was raised on the Alsace road, from where John Van Mierlo lived at and now it is sold. He farmed most of his life where Enos Byers now lives. My mother Rose Busch was born on Alsace Road where Wynotte Rennette lived. Now the house is torn down. My father is deceased 10 years ago. My mother is now in Lady Isabelle in Trout Creek. at age 89. -Sept. '95-They always told me how tough it was for them and how hard they had to work. True, but it sure never hurt them, he was 89 when he died and she's now the same age and still living.
My Grandfather Young was born in Alsace Lorraine border of Germany and France. My Grandmother Young was a thoroughbred Pollock. My Grandfather Busch was born in Germany & so was my Grandmother Busch, she was a Straus, a quite a mixture this leaves us. They are the ones that had it tough, no roads, no trains, no transportation of any kind, all walking and carrying supplies and clear their own farms. I remember Grandfather Young telling us of carrying a bag of wheat 10 or 15 miles to be ground for flour, then carry the flour back home. He lived till he was 89 years old. That sounds good for me, my father and my Grandfather both lived to 89. Going back to the mail route in early days, the mail was family letters, now done by telephone.
But your bills didn't come so often. No hydro bills, your telephone bill, once a year or your taxes. But papers I remember the old Family Herald, Farmers Advocate, Canadian Countryman and the Powassan News, everyone got it. It was printed by J. B. Lake. It was the only news we had. Every fall, the Almanac, everyone looked forward to it. A lot of guessing, but sometimes right, every spring & fall was the Eatons' and Simpsons' catalogue. Canadian Tire always had a catalogue once a year for a long time. People always saved their papers, not like now, the next day they are thrown out. Those days, they needed the paper for starting wood fires and also came in handy in the old out house. Everybody had one of them.
Naming along the line the changes from Commanda to Powassan that I can remember is a lot. Ernie Haufe farm still owned by Ken. ? Riches farm, now owned by German people & raising sheep, about 75 ewes. Norm Riches place idle. Henry Magolski's owned by Bill Young and Francis Rich, now idle, used as a hunt camp. Fred Bone place, Loretta Straus for a while now. Ron Redwood runs a garage & body shop. The Silas Culham farm, was Allan's now owned by Larry Evers. The Alex Grabowski farm now owned by Greg Marner not much farming. Anthony Grabowski, the same owned by Hankinson only hobby farm now. The Kieswetter place, then Alma Schmelefske, then Saslik?, and Lee Allen, never was a real farm.
The Cook place on the hill, Adam & Louis Straus had it, now Francis Straus still has these, his son below the hill. Steve Ulrich place, then Walter Toeppner, then Herb Hummel. Now a fellow from the South owns it. Mrs Andy Ulrich, then Boston Eckensviller. It used to be where he had a dance hall, sheep shit hall. It was sold many times since Lloyd Best, Allan Crawford and now Lafrance. Tom Ulrich lived in the side road, and his sons family still live there. The Gibsons owned it from Joe Young, till it was sold to Bogardners, then Everett Gibson purchased it and now Ruth Haven. My Grandfather's farm was bought by John Van Mierlo and had it till a few years ago &
sold it to Strongs from south. They tell me there used to be a Saw Mill by the bridge at Besters Creek. The Besters were the only ones I knew who lived there. My other Grandfather (Busch ) owned where Wynatt Rennette lived, now Nick Rennette still lives there. Mary Smith lived in the side road then Dave Toeppner, and now a Soutin? has it. Fred Toeppner, then the Odds?. Then Albert Storie and his wife and son & son-in-law still live on that property. I understand ?, then Matt Rennette and since that a lot of different people lived on that property, Vern Evers now. Gramma Rennette's place was bought by Jake Young and now JB Van Mierlo, Chas Hanselmans live on that property. But Mechefskis place was
purchased by my father Albert Young and that's where we were raised. Then it was sold to Enos Byers and he is still on it. I understand that the old Stories lived across the road from us. I can still remember the old house on it. The Gormans lived next and bought by Geo Storie now Hughes. Tom and Henry Storie lived in the side road, now vacant. And Garnet Storie lives on property of old Alf Storie then Alf Jr. Now Donnie Storie lives there. Mike O'drowski now Howard Storie. James Eckford, then Irwin Byers, now the place is vacant, house burned down. And R. French owns the land. I understand the Glenns, Hubert Van Mierlo, now owned by Robin French. Bob Eckford place, then Adam Straus, then Gordon Byers,
and now Lloyd Byers lives there. Ed McDaniel, then Geo Aultman and now Henry Aultman. The Busches as long as I can remember & still Busches. Frank Duncan, Ken Byers and still Ken Byers Jr. Tom Byers, Fred Cobb & still Cobb's. Mrs. Barton was the oldest person still living that was still receiving mail on RR2 that was there when I started in 1943. Since I quit, she died on Christmas day at 94 years of age, the next oldest person living that was there when I started was Mrs. Aultman, then Herb Hummel. Those people have died since, and a whole new lot of people live on the route now. I toured it last summer and in 3 years about half of the people I didn't know.
And while I don't remember anything till after I started school, I was always called kind of stupid, but from then on I managed my youth well for myself. Worked hard but always had enough to eat. About for 6 years it was tough, but after that, ends kind of met. And sometimes a little left over. We were able to retire and be independent, we got no subsidy, only pension that we paid for. The basic old age and our Canada pension, and our income on what we saved for old age. Maybelle was a good saver when I was earning it. But when she got working, she kind of got loose on the spending. But I didn't mind, it wasn't for a long time. She had none to spend. So kind of making up for lost time. She was good to the children, made most of the clothes, I always say
now when I look back at the pictures of the children, they were the best dressed children in school. She never allowed the children to waste or ruin their clothing or toys, they had to change when they got home, and always put things away. I think they all appreciate what she has done for them, except one Ronnie. We have a lot of memories here, that is why we can't move away from this house. We've been here since 1942. We bought this house from Jerry Armstrong for $550.00, that was a lot of money then. $100.00 down, and $15.00 per month at 6% interest. After a few years we managed to get some money to raise it up, put a foundation under it, and build a piece to it. It was fun digging the foundation from under the house. I had horses then, so Maybelle drove the horses and I handled the scraper, well that
did for a few years, then had children, so I had to build on upstairs to the addition. I got the lumber from R. Rowlandson and done the carpentry work myself. Shortly before all the children left, we remodelled the kitchen and after they all left we were able to add some more to have another living room & downstairs bedroom. Now we are quite comfortable. When gas came to town I installed a gas furnace and very pleased with the results. I always was able to belong to a lot of organizations. I belong to the Legion now for over 40 years, the Lions Club more than 25 years. Both clubs done a lot of charity work for the community. I believe I am repeating some stuff so it is time to stop for a while. We hope this year to do some travelling to Florida and other places. Someday I'll write more on RR2.
Where I spent most of my life and memories. I could write a whole book on the memoirs from Storie school, where I went to school. I see a lot of the people I went to school with often like Heather Eckford, Tony & Johnny Van Mierlo, Henrietta Van Mierlo, Nick Rennette & Dorothy Rennette all live around her. Also the Aultmans, Dave O'drowski. The Stories are all away and a lot of them passed on. Since 1985 after retiring life was a lot different, Maybelle worked for 3 or 4 years after at the Post Office. So I just kind of cruised around. We had a few good trips. Charlene and Bob & us were to east Coast. Then Geo and Susan Keall were to Calgary. We also were to Florida with Lou & Verna Fitzes. In 1990 I had a heart attack and it changed my life a lot, had to change eating and work style. But here it's 1993 and feeling pretty good.
We were in Florida in 1991 with Wayne & Joanne at Treasure Island, had a great time & Holiday. Now we travel to the children's' place each a couple of times a year. We are involved in community work, CWL, Legion, Seniors, Cancer Society, Maybelle is involved in them all. We also both curl in winter time. I am up to 21 new vehicles now, 16 trucks and 5 cars. I have lots and lots of good friends. It seems HE just don't want me. Larry Froud and Helen Councillor both passed away this year. Soon we will be the old ones left, and some day gone.
How things change over years, like 50 years ago. In the winter time the mail route you had your mail sorted by 8:30 latest, and go to almost Commanda at that time was 36 miles return by horse in winter time, now I see the mail men coming back most days at 2 or 3 o'clock with vehicle, truck or car. They don't get mail in till 9 o'clock. You'd wonder why everything is going back instead of going ahead. The whole Country is going the same way....backwards. We are pricing ourselves out of reach of other countries. I remember when an American would come here and their dollar was only worth .75, now here we are in worse shape, our dollar at .70. That's a large drop, about .50 in 40 years. I think if everyone done a good days work and no sick leave for nothing and a day or two for every holiday, we could get back to a good country like we used to have.
We had no coverage for nothing, no OHIP, no Canada pension, no unemployment insurance, no doctor paid, and we managed. Save it yourself, and nothing will be wasted, like going to Dr. every week for small things. I think the day may come when this all happens again. The Canada pension was OK, but unemployment insurance has made a lot of lazy people, just work long enough to collect. I never collected anything until I retired, and got a basic old age pension, and my Canada pension that I paid on. A lot of people who never worked or never paid tax receive just as much from the government as I receive on what I paid for, don't seem fair.
Just for record of service committees that I was involved in. I was president of Powassan Agricultural Society for 3 years. I received my 50 years pin from Royal Canadian legion last year. I was on South Himsworth Council for 14 years, 7 years as Reeve. I got my 30 years pin from Powassan Lions Club this year. I was on Children's aid society and social services board for 18 years as representative for this area, including Powassan, Trout Creek, South and North Himsworth & Nipissing Twp. I have been on Union cemetery board for approx. 15 years. The last 5 years as chairman of the joint cemetery board. I'm on my sixth term as chairman of St. Joseph Parish Council. In 1994, myself and Mick Cox got the highest award a legion can give, Certificate & medal of merit for Legion and community work.
We have spent a week for 2 different years in Las Vegas. I love going there. Lots of things to see and shows. Also some gambling. Two years ago Wayne and Joanne & us flew to Vancouver and toured by car to Whistler & the Island and drove to Calgary & flew home. A real trip. The mountains and animals, elk, mt. goats, deer, moose. We went to Florida twice but was not really caring to go again. In 1996 we went with Wayne & Joanne and friends to Michigan a real nice trip. We were on the Island of Camp Mackinaw, all horse vehicles, it was great. On the way home we also stopped at Detroit Michigan, gambling, just donated. Now in 1997, we are going to Las Vegas again.
My mother was Rose Busch & father Albert Young, we were raised on the Alsace Road in Nipissing twp. RR2 Powassan, we were raised like the rest of the poor. We always had lots to eat but not much money. We lived on a farm, grew all our own food except tea, and sugar & flour. We made our coffee from field peas roasted in the oven and ground, good coffee. Our parents worked hard & so did we children. There was no saying we wouldn't do what we were told, as we were kind of scared of our mother. She was a strong woman. I often say to our children, if my mother was living and corrected children now like that time, she would be in jail most of the time. That's what still should be done, children should listen to their parents. It would be a better country, not so much violence.
In our family there were six of us. Ernie, Ethel Grasser, Emil, Connie, Leona, and myself. Leona had multiple sclerosis, she died at 56. We always had to do chores in the morning before we went to school. Then walk to school about a mile, also after school we had to do chores. We went to Storie School now closed and kids are bused to Nipissing 7 etc. Every Fall we butchered 7 or 8 pigs and a beef. That was our winter meat. It mostly done us till after seeding in the spring. The hams were smoked, no fridges then. By July 1st we always had venison for haying time and a roll of bologna for change. Then by fall time a calf or a lamb would be ready to kill for fall meat. We grew our own potatoes, carrots & beets, and in the fall we made a 45 gallon barrel of sauerkraut, that done all winter and a few jars for summer.
We always had a lot of roosters to kill in the fall. If we had visitors on Sunday our mother would send us out to catch a couple of roosters & they'd be roasted for supper. She always had lots of preserves & pickles on hand and whip up a pie or 2 quick. Our house was cold in the winter, we'd cut 2 1/2 cord of wood to take to Powassan and sell for groceries or pay a doctor bill. And half a cord a day to heat the house. It made you tough living like that, people would not survive now under those conditions.
In 1996 we went to Michigan US, went to Frankenmuth, also Mackinaw Island, all horses, even taxis. The only motor vehicle was a fire engine. It was about a 10 mile square island. Go over by boat (illegible paragraph)
Feb 13th 1997 a bad morning, a good friend Mick Cox passed away. I had to make all veterans arrangements for legion service etc., glad to do it as he was a good person. They at the store helped us a lot in hard times. The Coxs were among lots who helped us in hard times. In 1997 us & Wayne's and Joe & Wendy went to Las Vegas. I love it there, made no money, but.
One story true. In 1943 Alex Grabowski who lived down past Alsace Church broke a wheel on his litter carrier. That's what they used to carry manure from the stable to outside piles. This day when I was driving horses from Powassan to Commanda and back every day all winter to deliver the mail, Alex had a phone number & address of Beatty that who made the litter carriers in Toronto. I got back at 4 o'clock that day and telephoned this phone no. in Toronto, they in return put it on the midnite train C.O.D. and I had it the next morning and shortly after lunch time that day Alex had his part for carrier that was all done by train and horses. Approx. 20 or 22 hrs. This time now it would probably take 3 or 4 days by computer & all. So what all is gained from 1943 - 1997 in this respect?
This is January 1998, Maybelle & I are still active in organizations & curl every week all winter. In good health. I am still chairman of Joint cemetery board of Powassan area. Maybelle at Legion helping. Service to patients of cancer Society for a long time, next year we said we were going to give up all this. BUT
In 1994 we had a Young reunion all was good, but in 1999 we had a real good one, in Powassan arena. It started by Andrew Young, Father of Jake, Phillip and Antoine Young, they all came from Alsace Lorraine, border of Germany and France. Phillip was never married, Antoine two children that I knew were Alf & Joe Young. Joe had five children, 4 I never knew but heard of. Francis was adopted by Mrs. Martin Rich so he was Rich. Joe had a sale then ran away and left all his children. He was a rambler. Joe had a lot of children. Him & wife Julia, had Emilia, John, Ed., Francis, Clara, Gilbert, Laurette, Rita, & Erma. I knew all well went to school with them, at Storie School. Albert & Rose had Ernie, Fran, Ethel, Emil, Connie, Leona, she died young with M.S.
There is a family record nearly finished of all down to our grandchildren. We had two bus tours of the Alsace Road where all the old ones lived. I was speaker of the bus tours, our stops were at both cemeteries at Powassan. Joe, Julia, John, Gilbert, Barney & Fred. They were at St. Jos Cemetery. At Powassan Union Cem. Ed Young. Then we hit the Alsace road & explained about all the horse and cutter days, that I spent as rural mail carrier for 43 years. I started in Mar. 1943. Imagine going 40 miles a day by horse & cutter & delivering to 80 boxes. Then was the old Storie School where Joe Young's family & our family attended school. I told them about the wrestler at Storie and his name was Clara. Then I told about Joe Young & his horses, they always were wild. Joe was good with
the whip when he got where people saw him. The Albert Young farm where I was raised, only the old barn still stands, a new house. Next was our Grandfather Jake Young he was a nice old man no swearing like the rest of the Youngs. Next was the farm where he raised all his family. Just the old barn was there, a new house. I told a few stories about my rural route experience. One about Julia Young egg crate & Herb Hummel's veal calf. About Collette Toeppner's boxes of goodies, like I got from a lot of people, also the one about Alma Schmelefske. Medal she gave me. Then we came to where Antoine Young lived he was kind of a crank by what my Grandpa told me. Then the stories about Annie K. Spetz.
She lived back in the bush about a mile, a reg. nurse an old devil with lots of good points, I could write a book of her. One story about her 16 cats when she went to Rome & the one that I swore at her and she reported me by letter but it never got there. Then to Alsace Church where we all went to church, I showed them where the old barn was, the old log church, and cemetery where my grandparents were buried, and in the Alsace Church History room . All enjoyed the 2 hour trip.
The preceding is Fran Young's memoirs as transcribed by Rose Marie Toeppner in 2015. Some of the handwriting was hard to read and we have done the best that we could with the names and spelling herein. We hope that you found this an interesting read, I did, as many of the people Fran wrote about are my relatives who lived along the Alsace Road.