Saturday, June 30, 2012

Paul Leonard Ervin, 1917-2001

Moravia Union - 18 July 2001
  Paul Ervin, age 83, of Centerville died Saturday, July 14, 2001 at Golden Age Care Center, Centerville.
  Paul was born December 16, 1917 at Cincinnati, Iowa to Clarence and Grace Euwer Ervin. He was raised in Cincinnati and graduated from Cincinnati High School. He was married to Dorothy Stagner on December 24, 1938 at Bloomfield, Iowa and she survives him. Paul farmed in
  Appanoose County. He owned and operated the Appanoose County Ambulance Service for many years and later was a custodian at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital (Mercy Medical Center). He was a member of the Drake Ave. Christian Church.
  He is survived by: his wife, Dorothy of Centerville; four sons, Donald and his wife Karen Ervin of Otho, Iowa, Max and his wife Mary Ervin of Centerville, Jim and his wife Cheryl Ervin of Huxley, Iowa and Bob Ervin of Indianola, Iowa; 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
  He was preceded in death by: his parents and two brothers Rodney and Tommy.
  Services were held on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at Drake Ave. Christian Church with Pastor Carl Heien and Fr. Joe Bathke C.PP.S. officiating. Burial was in the Jerome Cemetery in Jerome, Iowa. A memorial has been established and may be left at the Thomas Lange Funeral Home.
Gravestone for Paul & Dorothy Ervin
in the Jerome Cemetery
  The editor appreciates the contribution of the above updated gravestone picture by Jimmy Ervin of Centerville, Iowa.
Ad-Express/Iowegian - 18 July 2001
  Paul Ervin, 83, of Centerville died Saturday, July 14, 2001, at Golden Age Care Center.
  He was born Dec. 16, 1917, in Cincinnati, the son of Clarence and Grace (Euwer) Ervin.
  He married Dorothy Stagner Dec. 24, 1938, in Bloomfield. She survives.
  Also surviving are four sons, Donald Ervin and his wife, Karen, of Otho, Max Ervin and his wife, Mary, of Centerville, Jim Ervin and his wife, Cheryl, of Huxley and Bob Ervin of Indianola; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
  He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Rodney and Tommy.
  He was raised in Cincinnati, graduating from Cincinnati High School. He farmed in Appanoose County and owned and operated the Appanoose County Ambulance Service for many years. He later was custodian at St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital (Mercy Medical Center). He was a member of the Drake Avenue Christian Church.
  Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Drake Avenue Christian Church with Pastor Carl Heien and Fr. Joe Bathke, C.PP.S., officiating.
  Friends may call all day today, Monday, at the Thomas Lange Funeral Home, Centerville, with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m.  Burial will be in Jerome Cemetery in Jerome.
  A memorial has been established to the Seymour First Responders and contributions may be left at the funeral home.

Velta Lorene Barrell, 1914-2003

Iowegian - 3 April 2003
  Velta Lorene Barrell, 89, of Centerville died Tuesday, April 1, 2003 at her home.
  She was born March 21, 1914 near Albia, the daughter of Robert Thomas and Margaret Elsie (Wells) Agan. She received her education in rural Appanoose County schools.
  Velta was united in marriage to Robert W. Barrell on Sept. 5, 1937 in Centerville. She was a homemaker.
  Velta was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert W. Barrell, on Oct. 28, 1998; a brother, Homer Agan; sisters, Edna Smith, Bertha Ross and Audrey Varney; daughter-in-law, Carol McVeigh Burrell; son-in-law, Jack Miller; grandson, Walter Gene Engle; and great-grandson, Craig Engle.
  Surviving family members are four sons, Roger Barrell and his wife, Janie, of Centerville, Gary Barrell and his wife, Dorothy, of Mystic; Donnie Barrell and his wife, Marilyn, of Milo and Perry Barrell and his wife, Louisa, of Royal Beach, Md.; four daughters, Darlene Miller of Centerville, Sharon Phelps and her husband, Don, of Centerville, Carma Morrow and her husband, Bill, of Centerville and Shirley Tomlinson and her husbad, Robert, of Castle Rock, Colo.; 22 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchilren; and eight great-great grandchildren.
  Funeral services will be heldon Saturday, April 5, 2003, at 10 a.m. at the Schmidt Family Funeral Home in Centerville with Rev. Mark Waits officiaating. Burial will follow inthe Jerome Cemetery in Jerome.
  Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 4, at the Schmidt Family Funeral Home in Centerville with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
  A memorial has been established to the family and may be left at or mailed to the Schmidt Family Funeral Home, 501 North 18th Street, Centerville.

Friday, June 29, 2012

William H Thompson, 1825-1906

The Seymour Press - 15 February 1906
  The funeral of W. H. Thompson was conducted from the church in Jerome on last Wednesday, the 7th.  Mr. Thompson died at his home west of Plano, on the 5th.  He was 80 years, 9 months and 5 days old. He has been a resident of Appanoose county sine 1854 and was highly respected. His wife died 10 years ago, and three children, two sons and one daughter, are left to mourn the father.  Burial at the Jerome cemetery.

JEROME News - 10 November 1953 - Iowegian

Centerville Iowegian - 10 November 1953
Report Mr. Fry Much Improved
  JEROME - Mrs. I. E. Fry reports that her husband, who has been in the Bloomfield hospital for seven weeks, is very much improved in health and is eating better.
  Mrs. Johnny Vruble attended a pink and blue shower this past week in honor of her sister-in-law, Mrs. Carl Micetich in Centerville.
  The high school students of Jerome enjoyed two days' vacation due to the State Teachers convention in Des Moines.
  Walter Warnick drove his dad to Kirksville, Mo., to the hospital there for a medical checkup. Both returned the same day.
  Vera Scott has gone to Davenport where she has employment for the winter.
  Mr. and Mrs. Gene Wray have named their new baby son, Carl  Eugene.
  The Jerome Methodist church is having a room built on to serve as a kitchen. Carl Barbaglia of Mystic, with the assistance of some of the farmers, plans to begin building soon in time to have it finished for Thanksgiving.
  Mrs. Stella Dooley reports that her daughter, Bertha, has gone to Pensacola, 
Fla. to live for the winter. Bertha will stay with her niece, the former Patty Dooley, whose husband is stationed there with the Army.
  A new family by th name of Williams have moved into the Stanley Matelski property. They have two small children.
  Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Vruble and family and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Johnson, all drove to Rock Island, Ill., Friday to attend the wedding of Jackie Vruble to Joe Verihoores that took place Saturday. The Vruble returned home Sunday evening. They report that the bridegroom and best man were in a car action the night before the wedding and were hospitalized. The groom was released an hour before the wedding ceremony, but the best man was unable to be present due to a broken rib and bruises. The groom's 17 year old brother was made best man instead.
  A birthday dinner was held at the Carl Hamm home honoring Carl Hamm and his granddaughter, Barbara Jones.  Carl's mother, Mrs. Mae Hamm; his sister, Mrs. Artie Barrell and family of Centerville; his daughter, Mrs. Geo. Jones and family of Davenport; another daughter, Mrs. K. E. Owen and family of Jerome; and his wife, Belle, and their son, Carl Jr.; were all present to help the honorees celebrate their birthdays on Sunday.

*Blozovich, Messa recall days in county's mines

Ad-Express/Iowegian, 20 February 1998
Annual Progress Edition - Heritage Section
By Julie McClure, Staff Writer
 "I finished school after the eighth grade and began working with my father in 1929 in a coal mine. Back then most 14 year olds were finishing school and would then go to work with their fathers in the mine," said Rudy Blozovich, who worked in coal mines during 1929-1956. He graduated from eight grade at Rathbun school. There wasn't a high school when he was going to school.
  Blozovich worked in several mines including Empire mine, Sunshine Coal Co.'s No. 3 and 4, and out west in New Mexico.
  He performed several jobs while working in the mines. He loaded coal adn ran a mining machine.  It took three peope to run the machine so they worked as a team. The machine that they used is on display at the old post office museum in Centerville.
  The miners worked eight hour days when he first started mining, but later they switched to seven-hour days. "We did just as much work in seven hours as we did in eight," said Blozovich.
  During the winter months when a large amount of coal was needed they sometimes worked six days per week. The sixth day was on Saturday. During the regular season they cut back to five days per week.
  It was not always a day job; sometimes Blozovich worked from 4 p.m. to midnight or the swing shift. During the swing shift the miners would have to cut coal so the next day the miners would have coal to load.
  Safety equipment was not invented for the mines so there were minor injuries.
Pit lamps and hard hats were about the only pieces of equipment that miners wore in the mines. When Blozovich worked in the mine out west, he wore hard hats and used a battery light.
  Around 130-150 men at one time worked at Sunshine No. 3 mine.
  "Most of the old timers are all gone now, most of by buddies anyway," said Blozovich. "I didn't make much money as a coal miner, but we made a living out of it."
  Blozovich enjoys to hunt and fish and cultivates a property in Rathbun to raise a pretty good sized garden each year.
Frank Messa
  In 1921 Frank Messa began his career in the coal mines. He worked in the mines from the time that he turned 16 years old until 1971 when the mines shut down due to the railroads switching to diesel engines.
  "The coal mines went to the dogs when the railways began using diesel. We were about finished when they shut down," said Messa.
  "I've just about done everything there is to do in a mine," said Messa. Messa began working in the Walnut Creek mine and trucked for the mine. The miners at this particular mine shipped coal up to 100 mines to the west.
  Messa also dug goal by hand, ran a mining machine, drove ponies and mules, trucked and loaded the coal while working in the mines.
  The machine that he ran is now at the museum in Centerville. "The machine ran real good at the time and it was still working when we shut the mine down," said Messa.
  When Messa started working in the mines he father, Dominick Messa, was on strike. He along with many other miners were out of work for two years due to the strike.  After the strike the miners were represented by a union. Messa also had three brothers that all mined.
  When he graduated from school after the eighth grade, he began working in the mine.  He attended school in Jerome. At that time there was a two-year high school, but he didn't attend.
  Messa worked five days per week during the winter months from about August through April and then when ever there was work to be done. The work days covered eight hours. "When I was younger the eight-hour days seemed to drag on, but as I got older they were hardly long enough," said Messa.
  One time when he ws trying to pump some water to get a drink the water wouldn't come on so he turned the air shaft[s fan on and the stairs fell out. This was an escape route which had been rotted by the ice from the winter. They had to repair the stairs before returning to work so that if the mine fell in they would have a way to escape.
  Messa recalled a close call once when he had his head between the roof on a coal car.  Another near accident was when a 10-foot rock of coal fell and covered the hole the he was in. The tunnels that the miners worked in were 28 inches deep. Eighteen inches were known as the top coal and the other 10 inches were called the bottom coal. "We worked on our hands and knees all the time, so we had really rough hands after working in the mine," commented Messa.
  In 1971 when Mess was forced to end his job in the mine, he went to work at the lake for Earl Simmons and Bill Webb at the hatchery. In his free time now he enjoys playing cards, especially pitch.
  "I was just a hard working coal miner in those days," laughed Messa.
  Editor's Note:  *Blozevich and Massa are the correct spelling of the names of these miners.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Maurice Stamps Publishes New Book

The Seymour Herald - 14 June 2012
  Maurice Stamps has published a new book, Shoal Creek Legends 4 which is on sale at The Seymour Herald and from Nancy and LaNanc Salon,
  This is the fifth book he has written.  Legends 1 and 2 are sold out.  SNAFUS (World War II) and Legends 3 are also available.
  The new book sells for $12.  If you wish to have one mailed, send $15 and your address to P.O, Box 6, Seymour, IA 52590.  Checks should be made out to the Seymour Community Club,  Proceeds are used for the Enid and Maurice Stamps Scholarships,
  Maurice will have a book signing inthe park during Old Settlers.