Home Plain Country Hello from Huntsburg – By William Bender

Hello from Huntsburg – By William Bender


Oct. 24, 2018: We just came home from Middlefield. I had to go to some doctor appointments. I am late with my finger stick. We were in South Dakota in the Ortman Clinic last week. Today, I could not work as they set trusses yesterday and are putting on sheeting today. 

Yesterday, we were in Holmes County. Some of the cousins want to go to Delaware in a few weeks. I am ready to slow down and stay home for a while. I am getting too old for this.

We found out yesterday that widower Corny Fehr is getting married in Indiana and will move out there. And widow Leroy Mary is getting married too. We wish both of them the best. We lived next door neighbors with Leroys back in the early eighties. And Corny, we knew before we married. He came down from Canada and had his home with my in-laws. He then married Edna Troyer, one of Anna’s friends that she worked with in the Aluminum Plant. Edna died a few years ago.

It is cold enough that we have a fire going in the kitchen stove since we are back from South Dakota. That means that I have to carry wood as the stove needs fuel to burn.

We missed a wedding down on Coffee Corner Road while we were gone. Some Weaver girl married one of Clayton Miller’s boys. Hated to miss the wedding, but so it goes. Cannot do two things at the same time.

Oct. 25: Here it is a day later and I had to change batteries in this typewriter. Why do I wait till the last minute to write my letters? They want to pick this up this afternoon. Anna still has the birthdays to get ready.

A few weeks ago, we went with a load to Williamsfield to a benefit fish fry. We enjoyed the evening. Had a nice visit with Yost Hershberger. His roots go back to Wayne County in Maysville. Tonight, there is a fish fry at Curve Andy’s. At least we can walk. Will, I can walk and take Anna on the wheelchair. Do not have to worry if there is room for a horse or wait on a driver.

We want to go to Delaware to cousin Rudy Lydia on Nov. 17. Rudy died this past summer. I still have 1 cousin on the Bender side, Henry Byler Alma. And then I want to stop and see Harvey’s Owen. Heard he is up and about. He had an aneurism and was a sick man. Seen Danny Byler in South Dakota and he said he saw Harvey’s Owen on the road going to church. He is ready for visitors.

I will close wishing you a mild winter.

Sept. 26, 2018: I might as well start my letter. I do not know what will be on this paper by the time I get done. I could write that we are having a lot of rain. But you know that.

We have a neighbor girl with a broken arm, Miss Catherine Troyer, daughter of Elwin Ray and Susan. She was in a car/buggy accident. Her arm is broken in two places above the elbow. Four of Ewin Ray’s boys came home from out west with one elk and three mule deer. They should not run out of meat this winter.

Some of the church women went to see John Detweiler’s baby this forenoon. They moved out of our church a few months ago.

I did not go to work today, so it’s a good time to get this out of the way. The calendar says it is fall. I do not mind fall, but what comes after fall, I do not like.

The big willow tree down by Pleasant Valley School went down last Tuesday. I remember 66 years ago, it was Huntsburg Private School. Teacher Uria R. Byler took a willow switch and stuck it in the ground. He told us school children that day that once we are grandparents, that switch would be a big tree. Back then, that day was a longways off.

Where is time going? By Oct. 2, Anna will be 71. Two of the grandchildren, Anna Mae Miller will be 12, and Wayne Bender will be 11. They are double cousins.

We have plans to go to the Ortman Clinic in South Dakota the middle of October. It is over a year since we went. We have a load this time …10 or 11… last time there were only five of us.  I am not sure of who all are coming, so I better not try to name them all. Albert and Susie Miller do the work getting the load and the motels. Don’t forget the driver. They have Dorothy Moses. This is the third time she is taking us out.

Anna had her Holmes group get-together last week at Roy Emma’s. That is one of her highlights. The next gathering is planned to be at Sonny Sara Esther’s. A few were missing this time.

Sister Susie called and wants to go to the Big Valley the 11-12-14. That does not suit us as the 10th I have my doctor yearly checkup. And the 14th, we want to start for South Dakota. That is too much for this young man. Well, I better head for the Harness Shop.

Aug. 30, 2018: Want to get this out of my way, but don’t know what I will get on this paper.

Mrs. John Troyer passed away and her funeral was on Tuesday. Then, a former Huntsburg resident passed away on Sunday, Mrs. Crist Fisher Esther. She grew up on Burton Windsor Road. She was a widow for a few years.

Most of the second crop of hay is in the barns, and the thrashing is done. And it is about time to start filling silo. By the looks of it, Fall is on the way. I do not mind Fall. To me, it is the best season. It is what comes after that … cold, snow, wind that I object to. But if I want to live in Huntsburg, I have to put up with the weather. I do not want to live where we have all this heat year-round. So, when it gets cold, I will just stay in by the stove. But that makes long days.

I hope the warm weather is behind us for this year. The last few days it was not hard to lose a lot of sweat. But the inch and a half of rain last evening cooled us off a little.

Tuesday, school bells will start ringing. Robbie will be in the eighth grade. The grandchildren are coming out of school fast. Here, I was afraid I would not live till I got out of school. I used to think that once I am out if school, no more worries. How wrong.

Elsie and some of her daughters were here to clean house. That gives Anna a big lift. The children take turns to clean our house. I feel sorry for the childless couples. The grandchildren who live here save us a lot of steps.

Sister Becky was in South Dakota at the Ortman Clinic. She comes home sometime today. I made a few phone calls today as we want to be out there the week of Oct. 15. Our old Doctor Lon retired. We had one of the young doctors the past two years. I am not sure how many trips we made out there … 10 or 12, maybe more.

Labor Day weekend is coming. Not sure what we will be doing. One thing to do is the laundry, if it doesn’t rain. 

I pushed these buttons long enough. I will ring off for this time.

July 13, 2018: Friday the 13th and it’s time to get another letter out. I think everyone knows it is a nice summer day. Most of the first cutting hay is in the barns. We got ours in last Wednesday. I helped like I always do … by staying out of the way.

It sure was different when I was a boy. No more hayloaders or them big hay forks that you use a horse to pull it up. Then Father used to say that when he was at home they did not have a hayloader. Everything was done by hand. In them days, they did not have a big herd, maybe 10 or 12 cows.

July 14: Friday the 13th is now over. We were in Middlefield this morning. It was the funeral of Dan Yoder Edna. It was a nice but warm day for the funeral.

Found out last evening that we have a new neighbor since Regina came to live with Jacob and Ruth Yoder. This is their first. Grandparents are Dan S. Yoders and Noah J. Schrock. The only greats are John (Buster) and Emma Schrock.

We were in Clymer last Saturday to see brother Uria. He was better healthwise than the last time we were there. We had a nice visit with him; am not sure who talked the most, my sisters or Uria. Had a nice surprise when Joe Schmuckers stopped in the afternoon. They are from Munfordville, Ky. We went with a load that went to a homecoming. Our old aunt Reuben Dorothy went along. She is 90.

A week or two ago we went to Holmes County to see Anna’s sick siblings. Brother John was not at home. (Sometimes they go to one of their children that live out of town for a few days.) Then, we stopped in to see Yosya Danny. He was out in the garden. Amanda was feeling some better. The day was not long enough to visit everyone we wanted to. We did not stop in at Dan Shetlers since Emily died. We want to go again before the snow flies. We found out that brother Joe has cancer. They do not know where. They found it in his blood.

Sister Susie and Jonas Nisley were here a week ago from McKay. They wanted to go to the Corner Field to see the trains. Jonas has only one eye, but he did not miss anything. He wants to bring his grandchildren to see it. The last time we were at Jonas, he was working to run his train around his shop. His track is about a foot down from the ceiling. He had holes cut in the walls to run the track from one room to the next. I asked him, the other day, if he changed any plans. He just said, “No, I can’t compete with this.”


June 16, 2018: Hello everyone! We were in Middlefield today and saw Katherine from Katherine’s Korner. She asked me if I have my letter done.  No, I did not. From there, we went to Dutch Country Restaurant, thanks to the Middlefield Post. It was good, and we had to ask for a doggie bag.

We got hay from Marvin Detweiler Friday evening, and he told me the Big Puzzle is now done and hangs on the wall at Jacob Yoder’s shop. I want to stop in and see it, if I ever get time. Anna wants to take her puzzle along as it is the world’s smallest puzzle. It is 4 inches by 6 inches and has 234 pieces. It has a tweezer along to pick up the pieces.

Last week, we were to the funeral of cousin Mahlon Byler Fanny in Fredonia. She was born here, in Huntsburg on Huntley Road. It was called the Pete Dan Farm. Pete Dan bought it from Uncle Andy R. Byler when Andy moved to Delaware. They later moved back on Clay Street on the McNish Farm for a year and, then, went back to Delaware. There are only two girls left of the Andy R. Bylers and five in-laws. Some old-timers would remember this family.

The farmers are busy in the hay fields.  I see three teams in the field next to our house, and it looks like the rain will hold off till they are done. We saw a lot of hay cut on the way to town today. I don’t think it all will get in the barns before it rains. 

I just came back in from helping with the hay. If you want to know what I did … I stayed out of their way. I had an easy chair and sat out in the shade and watched them.

Just found out that Melvin Yoder Anna died. She was a widow for a few years. They lived on the Rajki Farm for a number of years. She had her home with her daughter, the Mervin Millers, on Hays Road.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. Just another day for this father. How can it be the middle of June already?

 This year, we are having a hard time getting strawberries. That is the one fruit that I can eat with anything but pie. Why would anyone waste a good strawberry and put it in a pie? 

Now, take a blueberry, I do not care for them. For my way of thinking, the Good Lord made them for the birds. We all know the birds have to have something to eat. Why do we want to take them (the blueberries) away from the birds?

May 19. 2018: Anna is after me to get this letter ready. I will try and get started. What this typewriter will put on here, we have to wait and see.

The way it looks, the snow left us. We did get some rain today. The stove is getting a break. But Anna is not ready to clean it for the summer. We have not had Blackberry Winter yet.

Thursday was the wedding at Dan S. Yoders for their daughter Sadie and James son of Owen Jr. Millers. This is the third of Owen’s boys that married at Dan Yoders. It was a nice wedding and a nice day. We were invited to another wedding that day. We have two more to go to. Tuesday will be at Eli Slabaughs. Then, the next week, there is one at Enos Bylers. I might put on a few pounds with three weddings in three weeks.

People are busy in the gardens. We are retired from that. Anna cannot work in the garden anymore and I do not have a green thumb. I had a black and blue one a few times when I hit the wrong nail. In today’s world, we use airnailers. (We still carry a hammer with us.)

Someone gave Mahlon Detweilers a pony. Now, a free pony might not be so cheap, as little Sammy fell off and broke his arm. He was in the ER a few hours. The boys ride the pony a lot, so I do not know if the pony did something or if Sammy just fell off.

We lost a good friend of ours, Mary Yoder in Holmes County. She is a month younger than Anna. She was a healthy woman as far as we know but she had a stroke and passed away a few days later. You can read about her in a book “House Calls and Hitching Posts”. Her name is changed in the book. I asked her why they did not use her real name and she said she did not want them to. We wanted to go down for her viewing, but her siblings would not know us. We got to know Mary when she worked at Barb’s.

April 19, 2018: I might as well start this tonight so it will be ready on time.

We are here by ourselves as Nancy’s mother died in Cass City, Michigan and Urias left late Friday evening. She was not responding any more by then. She was not well the last few months. She died early Sunday morning. Monday a load went out and took Joni along. The funeral was Wednesday. Urias wanted to start home Friday. We were glad to see them come home. We can feel for the family as we know what they are going through. She was the first of our eight in-laws to lose a parent.

Saturday morning, we want to leave for Holmes County with the syrup. Also, we have to stop in McKay. Then the boys want to make more stops.

We are getting older as we have another great-grandchild. Little Marlene came to make her home with Gideon Jr. and Mary Bender. First time grandparents are Gideon and Freida Bender. The other grands are Sam Weavers. There is one great, Mrs. Eura Miller Sara.

And we have another grandson! Mahlon and Susan Detweiler have a little James. Other grands are Sam Weavers. There are no greats. This little chap has six brothers and three sisters. And this brings us grandchild number 59 living.

Most of our wood is cut and split, thanks to our grandson. They were here Tuesday eve and put a big dent in it. What would we do without the grandchildren! I still have six or seven logs to cut and split and stack in the wood shed. We ran out of last year’s wood the first part of April. Good thing I got my wood early this time.

Hidden View School is getting ready to close its doors. May first is their last day. It might just be in my head, but the school term doesn’t last as long as it did when I went to school. When I went to school the length of the school year was the biggest problem I had. I felt that once I ever got out of school, that would be the end of all my troubles, if I lived that long.

Now it is 70 some years later. And you know how wrong I was. (And, that was not the last time I was wrong.)

March 3, 2018: Hello to everyone. We have a lot of snow this morning. Is this a “sugar snow”? I think so.  It’s a wet, heavy snow. But it is not so cold.

Thursday, we were in Holmes County at the funeral of Emma Byler (Emily). Seventy-one years old, she was a cousin to Anna. This little girl was in her crib all her life. She had what they called “waterhead”. There was no way that she could sit, as she could not hold her head up. I said a seventy-one year old little girl. Yes, she was little, but her head was bigger than a basketball. She took a lot of care. When she was born, the doctors said she would not live long. A few years ago, they said she made a world record for living longer than anyone with a waterhead that big.

I sure hope this weather changes by morning, as I have to go for a finger stick.  I do not like to be out in the buggy when it snows. Is it old age? I am not old … but must be I am getting older. As the old guys were not in the funeral Thursday when we lived down there.  Had a long visit with Yosta Levi; he is one of the Old Guys (two years older than I).

There was a lot of that sweet maple syrup made in Huntsburg. The guys tap a lot earlier then they did years ago. When I was a young chap at home, Dad tapped when it was warm and the sap started to drip as soon as the hole was drilled. He used an old brace and it was done by hand. It was not hard to keep up with Dad to put the spile in, hang the bucket, and put the lid on. Most of our lids were wood. I used to think it would be nice to have all Wheeling Sap Buckets, King spiles, and the tin lids. We could not use tin lids with some of our older buckets.  Today, with the plastic bags, it saves a lot of work. When the season is over, just take the bags off, put them in a trash bag and put them out for the trash truck. You do not have to go out and pull the lids, wait on the rain and then go wash the buckets, turn them upside-down to dry out and then take the team and stack those buckets in the sugarhouse.  Back then, all that took a week or more depending on the weather.

Nov. 27, 2017: What I will put on this paper, I am not sure. I am here by my lonesome. Anna went to her stamping party, or whatever you call it, And to write about the weather don’t do any good. As you all know that we had out killing frost. And that we had some snow. And that it is colder then warm.

It is the first day of gun season for deer. My hunting days are over. I am about too lazy to go out in the cold after them white tails. And if I would happen to get one (now, I said happen to get one) what would I do with it? Anna don’t eat deer meat. (Not if she knows it is deer meat.)

Found out today that Dan S. Yoder is in Hillcrest Hospital. It might be a stroke. This morning he could not lift his left arm.

And today is the funeral of Geauga’s oldest Amish man. Enos Barkman was 94 years old. Jonas Miller’s funeral is tomorrow. He was 93 years old. Jonas was the oldest Amish man for a day. Now it is Ervin Miller who is 92.  Dan Byler Ada is the oldest Amish person at 97. (We are all getting older.)

Thanksgiving Day we were in Holmes County at Anna’s nephew Mose Nisleys. We had an Anderson Coach. We had a good driver. And we had a nice surprise when we got there as a long time friend, Ezra Petersheims were there. I am not sure who talked the most. But I am about sure it was Ezra. Sister Susie the Jonas Nisleys from McKay were also there. I must say we had a short day.

My first year hunting was in 1958. I was 16. The hunting license was $2.25. That took care of hunting and trapping. The season was 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Coon was 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. I did more rabbit hunting than deer. I did some deer hunting, but there were no deer. If we saw a track we saw something.

Sept. 1, 2017: We started a new month. Yes, it is September already. Tuesday, we will hear the school bells.

Melvin will be in his last year. The grandchildren are growing up fast. Yesterday, the 31st, we were in a granddaughter’s wedding, Freida Yoder and Andrew Fisher. Eli Millers are grandparents of Andrew. Now, this is the third time we were together for weddings. Two of our children married Eli’s children. Now, our grandchildren marred together.

This makes three grandchildren that are married. Our family is getting bigger. If we were all together, there would be 86 of us.

We were in South Dakota at the Ortman Clinic for treatments. Saw a lot of people out there. There was only 1 family there that we knew, Abe Miller from Danville, Ohio. This was the 12th time we were out there. We were gone 1 week. We take five treatments.

We retired our Bakers Choice kitchen stove and got a new stove out of Cheery Valley Stoves … a Heco that comes out of Lancaster, Pa. I got it ready to move it in tonight. I have to get some of my good neighbors to help move it in here.

Fire would not feel too bad. It is a little on the cool side.

July 18, 2017: Well, Jacquie was here today and needs a letter. I sure don’t know what will be on this paper when I get done. Everyone knows we are in the Dog Days, so it will not do any good to write about that.

We have a wedding to go to the 20th of this month … Simon Shrock and Clara Slabaugh.  Simon came up from Kentucky with his brother David. A little later, their sister Emma came up. They rent from Joe Yoder. Now Simon is getting married and will move to where Bill A.J. Byler lived. We will miss Simon.

We did not put out a garden this year. The last few years we didn’t. My green thumb turned black. Well, I really never had a green thumb. The best thing I can raise is weeds. I never liked to work in the garden. Now there are guys that raise produce for a living. When I go to son Gideons we drive down Patch Road and pass Joe Miller’s produce field.  All I see is sweat.

I liked to go to Melvin Wengerds to pick blackberries. A lot of the time, the cousins went with us to help pick. Then we had more time to go down to the river. Us boys did a lot of fishing in that river. That old farm is all growed up. You cannot see that there ever was a farm there. I think it was Crist Weaver Fanny that has a picture of that place. When she showed me that picture, it sure made me homesick. We spent many a day on that farm. I would really enjoy to go back there and walk along that river. In my little mind, I can see every bend and hole in that river. One place we went in, it was real shallow and it would get deeper the farther we went. I know Aunt Agnes and my mother would have had a fit if they would of seen us. Boys do not see the danger like older people do.

We did a lot of fishing with brother Reuben in the Akron Dam. We did not have far to go, Reuben, Uria and I. Bill Fisher was the watchman. We always got away. We would go back where we called the Bullhead Bay. We would hear his truck come around the bend and we could see across the bay. And when we saw that truck, we would take off like scared rabbits.

May 25, 2017: Greetings on a wet Thursday evening. Let’s see if this typewriter gets something on this paper worth reading. Davids, Urias and Dans were here for super. Now they all went home and here Anna and I sit. I better get this letter out of the way, so it will be ready by tomorrow.

Jr.’s wedding is now history. Jr. and Mary Weaver were married on the 23rd. This is the second grandson to get married. It sure makes me feel old. Nathan was married last September. Jr. and Mary had a nice wedding day.

Harold McNish passed away last week. He had the McNish Farm on 528 years ago. Then, some years back, he moved on the Ray Harper Farm on 608.

Also neighbor John Fuduric (not sure that is spelled right) is a Huntsburg resident and lives on the Splitstone farm. Anyone going to Huntsburg School knew Mrs. Splitstone, as she was the second grade teacher for many years. I’m not sure what year the Splitstones moved. I left for Holmes Country. Seven years later when I moved back, they had moved. Fuduric lived there some 40 some years.

Crist Yoder had another surgery a few weeks ago. He has some long days. He has to take it easy for a while and that is hard on Chris. He wants to take care and not hurt his back.

Nancy Bender had her last check-up in Pittsburg. She was at the wedding all day and was a little tired when we came home. She still has to take it easy and not overdo it.

April 27, 2017: Greetings to all Plain Country Readers.

Let’s see what this typewriter puts on this paper this time. How many words will it skip or misspell?

Yes, we are in the last week of April. For Hidden View School, the last day is May 10 if everything goes as planned. They have some sick days they had to make up.

Nancy Bender was in the Pittsburg hospital from April 18 until April 21. She had a tumor removed. She is up and about, but no work for 2 weeks and then she goes back for a check up.

There are two colts in the neighborhood, as Uria has one and Crist has one. The little children sure like to come and see the colts.

It is getting the time of year to think garden. Anna and I don’t put a garden out anymore, Anna can’t take care of it anymore and I am too lazy to take care of it by myself. We have enough children that we get fresh garden goodies.

We have a wedding May 11 at Andy Bylers. Miriam and Joe Byler are the bride and groom. This will be the first wedding for us this spring. The way we hear, there will be a few more this summer.

We did see some of the cousins at Harvey Weaver’s funeral. His brother, Joe, was not able to be at the funeral, but we did see him Sunday at the viewing.

I see Rosanna and Melvin Ray are here helping Uria cut the grass. The others have something going at the schoolhouse.

Feb. 16, 2017: A snowy February day. There was a lot of maple syrup made already. The old timers would think there is something wrong with the young guys. The boys here at home want to start this afternoon and it is snowing. Oh well, it is nothing to me, All I do is walk back in the sugarhouse and sit down and watch the boys do the work. The tubing guys are having a good year. The weatherman says this weather will break by the weekend. I sure hope they are right.

We had some welcome visitors here Saturday afternoon when Les and Sue Mullet brought Noah Yoders from North Fairfield, Maine here along with one of Sue’s sisters and also, Yost Hershbergers from Williamsfield, Ohio. Needless to say, we had a short afternoon. Noah and Yost went to the same school in Maysville, Ohio.

I have Dad’s old Diary from the year 1926. It was the first year that he lived in Delaware. He worked for his Uncle Iddo. Must be Iddo was what they called a truck farmer. On Sept. 28 he writes they finished picking tomatoes. Then they hauled them to Dover and got 25 cents for one load. The rest, they got 35 cents. I think that was a basket.

Iddo had a lot of hired help. They also had a lot of grapes, On Sept. 28, he cut 20 baskets of grapes and the rest of the time he helped to scatter baskitshaul and pack grapes. Mr. Baker got 400 baskets at noon and Mr. Brown got 230 baskets that evening

On Oct. 8, he wrote they had 2156 baskets in the young vineyard and 1684 in the old vineyard. That would be 3840 baskets all together.

Nov. 27, 2016: Will try to get some turkey tracks ready for the Post. Thanksgiving was … and is now past. We are in the last days of November. That puts Christmas just around the corner. I am waiting on Indian Summer since we had snow. Uria Benders and Crist Byler and his sisters were in Cass City to a wedding over Thanksgiving. They came home Saturday eve at 8 bells. The way Uria feels, Cass City weather was not god for him. Nancy says he is going to the doctor Monday. We just came home. We walked down to Old Dan Yoders this forenoon.

He was sitting on a chair. Crist and his sisters and Sime’s Dans were also there. Dan is 80 years old and lived on that farm all his life. He can tell you more about Clay Street than anyone else. Here I am, about 74 and lived in 12 different places. We always had a family gathering on Thanksgiving … uncles, aunts, cousins and my grandparents (as long as they were able). Christmas, my siblings got together. It was not always on Christmas Day.

Oct. 28, 2016: Greetings to everyone. It is late and I forgot about this till just a few minutes ago. I hope I can get a few lines on here before Jacquie comes to pick it up. Ervin’s children were all at their home place today to divide their late parents’ things. Melvins from Mio and Ervins and Simons from Cass City were there. I did stick my nose in for about an hour this afternoon. Melvins were on their way home before I got there. It is over 2 years that Anna passed away. When you find things that were packed away, you find things that you forgot about.

Then it brings back memories. Grandson Joni got an 8-point across the road the other evening. Some kids get all the luck. If we had had all the deer around here that we do today when I was in my teens, I would have a few deer under my belt. In them days, if you saw a track, it was you really saw something. An x-Huntsberg man passed away in Clymer, New York, Allen A. Byler. We went to the same school back in the early 50s. Later, they moved down on Donnelly Road. After he married, he lived on 322 east of Huntsburg on the Howard McElroy Farm.

From there, he moved to Clymer. Dan J. Yoder spent a few weeks in Cleveland Hospital; he is now in Briar Hill till he goes back in for heart surgery. He has cancer. They just found out since he went to the hospital. Last Thursday, we were in Sparty in a wedding. It was a wet, rainy day. This one guy was glad to come home and sit in my Lazy Boy. We had a nice wedding. I saw some of my nephews that I don’t see much of. Last night, we were to son Davids for supper as our landlords were there from California. We lived on their place over 14 years. They come every year for supper. One year, they took us out to Dutch Country restaurant. There were all our children and grandchildren and they picked up the bill.

Sept. 30, 2016: We sure are giving fall weather. Rain and on the cool side … not cold, but we do have a fire in the stove. We are ready to go into the month of October. Anna’s birthday is Sunday … 69 years young. And two of the grandchildren are on the same day … Anna Mae Miller, 10 years old, and Wayne Bender, 9 years old.

Let’s go back a few years when I was in my early teens. Melvin Wengerds lived on the Durkee Farm. We did a lot of fishing in that river. One day comes to mind when more of the Bylers were there. We were back in the river fishing. Atlee, Uria and I worked our way up the river, crossed 608 and went to the spillway and just started fishing when Melvin Wengerd called us and told to us to get out of there. Well, we knew there was no fishing in the spillway. But how did Melvin know what we had in mind to do? (Must be he was a boy himself at one time.) Anna had her Holmes get-together Wednesday ay Roy Erma’s.

This is a day she looks forward to with the women that grew up in Holmes County and moved to Geauga after they were married. There are 9 of them and sometimes Dan Ada and Reuben Dorothy are with them. We will all miss Saw Mill Joe. It sure was a shock when we got word that he died. He was a 1942 model. We want to go and visit Sarah. Now, Sarah, don’t hold your breath till we get there as it takes me a long time to do everything that I want to. And some things, I never get done. I am not as young as I was years ago. And it takes me a lot longer to get my brain to kick in. We now have a married grandchild. Time just keeps on slipping away.

They had a real nice wedding. We did get a lot of rain in the afternoon. Some of Anna’s siblings were there from Holmes County. One of Anna’s half brothers died on the 16th. He was 83. He lived in the Port Washington settlement. We went down on Saturday afternoon with some of the children. Then, Davids and Gideon went with us to the funeral on Monday. Nevin was there from Tennessee. It was a few years since we saw him.

Aug. 30, 2016: August is about over. And school is ready to start. Fall cannot be too far off. For me, I am ready for cooler weather. Not cold and snowy … just cooler. I must be getting older as we have a grandson getting married Sept. 8, the Lord willing. This will be our first grandchild to get married. Nathan Yoder son of Raymond Yoders will marry Cindy Miller, daughter of Nelson Millers. This is their first wedding also. We must all be getting older. Monday, I was to the doctor to have my Coumadin check up. It was good this time. It is now 15 years that I am on Coumadin.

Ever since I have been going to the doctor every 4 weeks and sometimes every 2 weeks. Andy and Alma Yoder have a little son since my last writing. Dan S. Yoders and Albert Millers both claim him for a grandson. A day later: the rain chased us home. We worked off and on all forenoon. I better get this on the way. I still have another letter to write. We were at the wedding at Crist Yoders last Thursday for their daughter Martha and Nevin Bender. It was a real nice wedding. We even stayed for supper. It was a warm day. Andy Yoder started to fill silo. I think old Dan was on the chopper. When we were on the Rajki Farm, that was a job I liked. It was before it got cold. Picking corn, sometimes we got a little cold. Labor Day is Monday. Why is it called Labor Day?

No one wants to work that day. In my school days, I didn’t like Labor Day, as we had to start school the next day. Now, when I look back, I can see that I had it made in those days. No bills to pay and I stuck my feet under Dad’s table. There was always something there to eat. Sometimes I didn’t really like what was there. But you ate or went hungry. I always ate. It is time I get this out of my hair. I sure don’t know what else to write. I will turn this over to Anna for the birthdays. That is her job.

July 22, 2016: Hello everyone! Here we are in the warm Dog Days. My memory on my thermometer shows 100.7. So, we did have some warm weather. I do not want to complain, as last winter was cold. But, I am a fair weather person. I do not like it cold or warm. Right around 65 degrees is fine, The twenty-first we sent the day in Clymer at brother Urias. He is feeling a lot better than he did a few years ago.

He still is not ready to run a race, though. Huntsburg has a new resident since Joseph came to live with Joe and Katie Mae Kauffman. He has two sisters and two brothers. We go to Barb’s this afternoon. Being it is the due date, I will try and surprise Jacquie Foote and get this ready and take it along for her. Is it really time for our luncheon at Barbs? I don’t think that we had 100 percent attendance since we started. Always some are not there. Barb does a lot of work to get this ready.

My Grandmother Mary (Yoder) Bender died at the young age of 35. Father was the youngest at the age of 6. He had four older sisters. Sara was the oldest, age 14. The day of Mary’s funeral when they opened her casket, something was not right. Being one of the youngest grandchildren, I am not sure what it was. I have heard that she had a nosebleed or was turned in her casket. I do not know what it was. But I do know they took her back home. I am not sure how many days they had her before they buried her. Some say it was until she started to smell. Some say she was afraid they would bury her while she was still alive.

And this was one reason Grandfather took her home. I sure would like to find a Budget letter with this in it. Aunt Lizzie used to tell how they sat by her and rubbed her arms to get her blood started. But she never responded. I hope they are about done with Clay Street. They have Blacktop from Route 322 to Burton Windsor Road. I do not know what they are going to do with Pioneer Road. But I do know it is posted as 45 days. I better start and get ready to go.


Time to get another letter on the way. We did get a much needed rain. The rain did chase us home early from work. We did some inside work. Strawberries are on the table for a few weeks now, but they are about passed. We got most of ours from Bill Miller. I like to eat them, but not pick them. I never had a green thumb. I never liked to work in the garden. There is a lot of other work to keep a guy out of mischief. Last night, we were in our old neighborhood in Parkman. Noah Yutzys put up with us. Ellen Hershberger was our host. Noah was telling us about time when his boys were younger they were putting up hay and Noah had to go to the house. When he came back to the field, the boys had a little skunk. When they saw dad, they dropped the skunk. Wrong thing to do! The poor boy that had the skunk got sprayed. Noah said they put the clothes in tomato juice, then they buried them … and finally burned them. He wasn’t the first guy that got sprayed by a skink. Eli S. once told me that when he was growing up, when they smelled skunk, they smelled money. I never was that hard up that I would skin a skunk. Even working in the garden would be better than that. Monday was finger stick day. It was a little on the thin side. He didn’t change anything. It is now 15 years that I am on blood thinner. Hidden View School had their school trip on the 8th of June. They went to the Falls. They didn’t go on the Canada side. They are working on the corner of Pioneer and Clay Street. I will not say too much as I might be the only one who wishes that they would have kept their hands off. Why take the hills down and mess up the driveways? Here I go … that is enough said. We must be in the wedding season. We got an invitation to Windsor at Melvin and Sara Miller’s for their daughter Barbara to one of Freeman Mullet’s boys. Boy, it is not that long that Barbara was just a schoolgirl when she went along to Montana in the Mines. I am not sure what year that was. Let’s go back a few years. I am not sure what year it was, but it was June 1. Brother Uria and I were weeding the garden when the sisters called us and told us to get in the house. No, we were going to finish the garden before we go in, we said. But we got orders to “get in the house NOW! A big storm is coming.” We went. But we didn’t get in the house before the storm hit. We had to fight wind and rain, but we made it in. I do not know how long it lasted … not real long. We lost a lot of trees in the sugar bush. The way we hear it, we are going to lose one of our neighbors, Willard Slaubaughs. They are going to Cox Road.

May 27,2016: Is it really time for another letter? And what am I going to write? To start with, Andy Byler is still under doctor’s care. His heart is not working like we would want it to. He is up and about, but can’t do any work. Clarence Weaver can put some weight on his foot now. Still uses his crutches. We walked up last Sunday.

Crist Yoder’s Joseph was in the hospital and had surgery on his knee and is on crutches to get around. He goes back to the doctor on the nineteenth. Rudy Wengerd’s Katie just got her cast off her arm. Now Amanda, her sister, is wearing a cast after breaking her arm when the little wagon tipped over. So Rudys know what broken bones are.

Weddings are in season. We have 4 invitations and the bad part is two are for May 26 and two are for June 2. One is in Clymer, New York. We will pass on that one. One is at Benny Bylers and at Billy Gingerich’s the same day. We didn’t want to miss either one. Anna says we will go to one for dinner and the other one for supper. There is a funeral in Florida of a schoolmate. Her maiden name was Dena Miller. I don’t know what it is since she married. I haven’t seen her for 50 years or more. She died the day after her 72nd birthday. She was a sister to David R.S. Miller.

Most of the Amish schools closed their doors for another summer. Hidden View had their picnic last Saturday. It comes a lot faster than it did when I went to school. That is one thing I can truthfully say … I did not like school. We drove passed the Rajki Farm and there isn’t anything there any more. They didn’t leave as much as a corner stone. How did everyone like the snow last Sunday morning? For me, I thought summer was here.

April 28, 2016: Good evening to everyone. We came home from Canastota, South Dakota on Saturday. We were in the Ortman Clinic. We had Dr. Derrick this time. This was our eleventh trip out there and we had Dr. Lon the other times. Anna wanted a change. Clarence Weaver broke his foot. He was cutting grass. Must be he stepped in a hole or something; anyway, down he went. Andy Byler is not feeling the best. He went into the hospital twice to have his heart shocked, and it did not stay. He is thinking about going in and burning it some way. I hope the doctors know what they are doing. Anna had her Holmes group get together today. She really enjoyed the day. Everyone was there but Roy Erma. We have a wedding invitation at Sam Yoder’s. The wedding is in Cass City. Mich. Time will tell if we will go. Robert Benders have a sale in Hastings, Mich. that I’d like to go to. But, being we just came home from South Dakota, I better stay home. This is a day later … we came back early as the rain chased us home. A few times we sat in the van. One time we even picked up the tools and went back to work. But about 1:30 p.m. we had enough. When we came home from South Dakota, there was a sign on our door, “Welcome home, Grandpa and Grandma”. So the grandchildren were glad to have us back. I did go for a fingerstick on Monday. It is still on the thick side. We go to Sam Millers this coming Monday. I better hang this up, as my head is blank. I was sitting here for the longest time. Will try to do better next time.Feb. 19, 2016: I am a day late and a dollar short. Jacquie was here to pick up my letter and I was way out in left field. I can blame it on the bump on my head. Last Monday, I was back to the doctor. All this, “How are you feeling?” and all that goes with a check-up. My head isn’t right; the nurse says it never was. Well, she knows me, as I was going there every  four weeks for the last 15 years.

I am a lot better than I was five weeks ago. I drove the horse to Middlefield three times now and I can read an hour at a time now.

The boys are getting ready to tap. If everything goes as planned, they will tap tomorrow. Is this boy ready to see Spring come! The last few years, I am not a winter man.

Boy, did we have a surprise last Wednesday evening when a load from Fredonia came up to see us.  Coming were Allen Bylers, Enoch Byler, Melvin Troyers, Widow Emma Byler, Joe Mullets, Uriah Hostetlers, and William Yoders. There was only one thing wrong. They didn’t stay long enough. Now, today, I got two letters from Delaware. We get a lot of visitors; I cannot name them all. But, if they come from out of state, I try and write their names down.

We got word that Roman Troyer passed away. We want to go to the viewing sometime Saturday. We knew the Troyers for a long time.

I saw Melvin Miller in Walmart and didn’t recognize him. I knew I should know him, but my mind was blank. Later on, it came to me that it was Mel. Sorry, Mel, you can see that I still have a ways to come – I mean my brain does.

Jan. 23, 2016: Will try to write a few lines. Don’t know how far I will get. My head is not clear since my accident.

We were on our way to work last Friday, the 15th, when the driver lost control or something. I was knocked out and was in Akron City Hospital for 2 days. The good news is that I have a brain. The bad news is that I have blood on the brain, and 11 staples in my head. Three more weeks of this sitting around.

I have more good news. Son Daniels have a little Nathan since the 11th. The other grandparents are Eli and Katie Miller. He has one great, Mrs. John Miller Sadie. He also has two sisters and four brothers.

This will do for this time. Anna might add a few lines.

From Anna Bender and family …

We can’t be thankful enough for Bill to be home and doing OK. He does a lot of sleeping!


Jan. 5, 2016: A nice sunny day, but COLD! I didn’t go to work today. In this cold weather, my job is to keep the fire going so we can stay warm. This is the coldest we’ve had this season. We had 4.5 degrees this morning. We are one day closer to spring!

Last Saturday, the second of January, we were in Holmes County to the farm sale of David Bylers. This is Anna’s nephew. It was a cold day, but we enjoyed the day, saw a lot of the nephews and nieces who we don’t see very often. David had a good sale. One of the children is moving home and taking the farm over.

We started a brand new year and already we had a funeral of a good friend, Allen J. Byler. He was first cousin to my mother.

Huntsburg lost a resident who lived here most of his life, Park Thurling. I knew Park since I was just a little chap. My father did a lot of carpenter work for him. Park started the L.P. Gas in Middlefield. Father, Park Sr., and myself went to Willoughby and took an old building down for the lumber to build that building for Park Jr., That had to be in the 1950s.

Let’s go back a few years to January of ’77. We were living in Holmes County at the time. I was working for Maysville Contractors. Larry Weaver was our driver. This one morning, he came to pick me up. It was not cold and we didn’t have any snow. Anyway, I went out in the van. We started out the drive and he says, “Look at this place. It will be a long time till you see it again.”

I said, “If it is that bad, let me off now.”

We decided to get Eli and see what he says. We let the other guys stay at home and we went on to get that little barn we were doing out of the way.

We went to Curry Lumber in Wooster. We were working out of Curry Lumber. When we drove in Curry, Alfred was standing in the doorway waving his arms, yelling, “Get home! There is no one coming in here today!”

We headed back to Fredericksburg and decided to stop and have a coffee. To make a long story short, we were drinking our coffee and all at once, Larry says, “Boys! If you want to get home, we better go!” We looked out. It was snowing and blowing and getting colder by the minute.

We got home, but I had to walk down Thompson Hill, as Larry didn’t want to try and get back up the hill.

Needless to say, we didn’t go to work for a few days.


Nov. 28, 2015: Am glad to see you all again. As everyone in Huntsburg knows, it is a rainy day.

Thanksgiving is past for 2015. And Christmas is right behind it. As a school kid, it was a long time between the two. When the children were still at home, they sang Christmas carols. Now it is just the wife and me. We go to bed a few times and the next thing we know, it is Christmas.

We didn’t do much Christmas shopping yet. We want to take the grandsons that are out of school to Holmes County. Other years, we took the granddaughters. The boys think they should have a turn. They are right. The boys won’t want to stop at every store they come to … sports stores are a little different. There are nine boys. Dorothy Moses is the driver. She took this trip the last few years.

Anna was by Doctor Berman this forenoon. She says she can feel it that she wasn’t in South Dakota this year. It is a little too far to drive with horse and buggy. With winter coming, I like to stay close to home. Maybe, early spring we will go.

Reuben Emma was in the hospital from Monday to Saturday a few weeks ago. We stayed at home as the buggy was in the shop. It is ready to go the first of the week. My hands are tied if I don’t have horse and buggy.

Everyone in the state of Ohio knows that deer gun season opens on Monday. I did hang it up a few years ago. I never was a “deer hunter”. In my book, it is a difference between a “deer hunter” and to go deer hunting. You can ask Joe Novak.

Now, a “deer hunter” sits in a tree from early morning till late at night and does not move as much as a finger as he is afraid a deer will see him move.  And he does not shoot the first deer that walks by, as it is not big enough. The same thing happens the next day. Sooner or later, the deer comes by that he is waiting for.

A guy who goes deer hunting moves his stand every hour and more deer see him than he sees deer. And he shoots at the first deer he sees … but he can’t hit him or her.

Over the years I went, a lot of days I didn’t see hide nor hair of deer. How many deer saw me, I don’t know.

So that’s why I put me in the class that hunt deer.

My birthday girl wasn’t home, so I hope I didn’t mess the birthdays up!


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