Death came calling in my community this past week with the passing of Jack Colburn, Robert Ryan and Lyda Ainsworth.
All three were well known to me. Jack who lived just outside of Hersey and Bob who lived south of Glenwood City, both would go out of their way just to say a few words to me. Most of the time it was encouragement that was very much appreciated. These have left an impression on our community.
Bob always had words of current events and could tell you a story or two about things past. Jack and his wife Betty operated a shoe and harness repair business at their farm. I remember taking Jack’s picture doing fieldwork with a team of horses.
Lyda was a local girl that took her talents to the classroom for many years of teaching. She taught at many schools including Glenwood City, Boyceville and Prairie Farm.
Paula and I had the honor of being pallbearers at her funeral last week. Only a small group of people attended that service at the local Methodist Church. But at 103, most of your friends and family have gone before you. A couple of people spoke of her as their teacher.
Not only was Lyda a teacher, but also wrote the local school news for the Tribune for a number of years. Her brother, Bill, and her sister Ellen, served in World War II. Ellen was the only woman from Wisconsin to died as the result of hostile action in that war and the local legion is named in her honor as are several military medical buildings, plus a room at the Pentagon.
As we were at the cemetery for committal, I stumbled over the marker for a former Glenwood City Mayor, Solman B. Sage, and that brought back memories of my youth.
I couldn’t have been more than eight or nine years old when Sage was Mayor and my father was city clerk. Dad and Mother ran a local tavern and Dad’s office was in a room attached to the tavern and he did the city clerk’s business out of that office. It was a part time job for which he received fifty bucks a month. Sage operated a hardware store in the building that is now housing the Fort Bar and Grill. Several times Dad would hand me the city checkbook and say, “run up and have Sol sign some blank checks.” So up to the hardware store I would go and return with the signed checks. I wonder what kind of trouble those two would be in today?