|Birth: ||Oct. 26, 1881|
La Porte County
|Death: ||Sep. 21, 1971|
Memories:by Daughter Bernice (Burgess) Kendig
Othella Miriam Welch and Jimmy Harvey Burgess though having known of one another many, many years, began taking special notice of each other along about the spring of 1901. To Othia, Jim's black wavy hair, his high top buggy with its shiny red wheels, and his high steppin' horse,"Bill, "became just about the most important attraction in and around Old Elkhart." That peppy little blue-eyed Welch girl looked just pretty nice to Jimmy, too.
Well, along about July that year, Othia and her best girl chum, Mamie Abuhl, hearing that the Burgess Boys Band was going to give a band concert at the Saylorville celebration the Fourth of July, decided, for one reason or another, that Saylorville would be a fine place for them to go also.
The Burgess Boys Band, in their snappy blue serge uniforms, easily were the chief attraction of the entire celebration! At least for the girls. After the band had finished playing for the day, excitement just seemed to die down somewhat, until, that is-one of the young boys had a brilliant idea. Why not the whole gang drive to Des Moines? Well, that plan resulted in 14 couples in as many high top buggies, heading southward down the dirt road toward the big city.
You guessed it, Othia and Jim occupied one of the fast moving vehicles, and oh yes, Mamie and Gerry (Jim's brother), another. A cloud of dust was kicked up by the horses heels, but the girls' sheer ruffled dresses were well protected with elegantly embroidered cotton fringed lap robes. And, if one of the horses dragged a little, he was promptly prodded along with a five foot buggy whip, on the handle of which was tied the girl friend's hair bow. Shy, believe it or not Susan, the girls in those days had to buy a new hair ribbon every time she had a date! Weren't the boys just terrible?
Upon reaching the city, the horses were all put up in a livery stable and the 28 young folks jumped aboard a streetcar headed toward Ingersoll park.
The greatest attraction at the park seemed to be the merry-go-round and the big ferris wheel. So, the boys each purchased two 5 cent tickets and they and the girls friends all seated themselves for a romantic, thrilling ride! The ride proved to be exciting also, because the big wheel broke down and a repair man labored an hour or more before he got it in running shape again. What were our hero and heroine doing all that time? They were gently swinging to and fro on the very topmost seat. The reason, no doubt, that this incident is so well remembered. Othia and Jim must have had a lot of interesting things to talk about on that four-hour trip home that night because, it wasn't very long afterward that Othia began sewing on her wedding gown.
Yes, Othia and Jim were married on April 30, 1902. The groom was resplendent in his dark blue suit and high laced shoes. The bride was very lovely in a white India linen dress trimmed with 15 ruffles and an artificial bouquet of orange blossoms extending from shoulder to waist. The wedding ceremony was performed by the Rev. Allan Hickie and the delicious wedding cake was baked by Kate Ault.
From April to August, the newlyweds lived with the home folks on the Burgess farm, two and one-half miles north of Enterprise. Jim tilled the soil with horses and walking plow, while Othia cooked for him on the old black nickel-trimmed cook stove.
That fall, they moved to Ankeny into a new house Jim had built in his spare time, but spring found them back on the farm again, this time on the old Boozel place (where the Stewarts now reside). There in April, 1903, a baby girl was born and the parents named her Bernice.
A few months passed and they decided to go back to Ankeny-this time into the restaurant business. But once again, the farm beckoned so they sold the restaurant and purchased a 40-acre farm near Linn Grove. After a while, times grew very hard and Othia got homesick for Elkhart, so when John and Allie Abuhl offered to rent them a house one mile north of Elkhart, they moved in and Jim farmed the Dave Schultz farm close by. A year later, the 80-acre Frank Green farm two miles north of Elkhart was for rent so they moved there. Here in 1906, another daughter was born and named Vernal.
Vernal was two years old when Othia became ill and the doctor advised a drier climate. The young couple decided to go to Colorado and take up a homestead near the Irvie and Eva Iseminger's who were also homesteading.
So, March, 1908, found them living in a sod house near Arabie, Colorado. Their first home a wooden structure, having burned to the ground in a blazing prairie fire before the family got moved into it.
There were no telephones, no roads, no bridges and no schools. No excitement you might ask? Why, every Sunday we put on our best white sun bonnets climbed into the lumber wagon and struck out across the prairie to Sunday school eight miles away. Then in the afternoon, drove to the little town of Shaw to watch the cowboys ride. At night, there was no radio to listen to or television to watch, nothing but the howling of the wolves, the cry of the coyotes, the often fierce windstorms and dangerous prairie fires which made for plenty of excitement! 1910- with Othia's health much improved and with Bernice then seven, they felt they should return to Iowa so that she could be in school.
Back in Elkhart, they moved temporarily into the Central Office and Jim worked at the Al Peterson hardware. A few months later, they purchased the Isaac Keller residence, now the Charles Carman home and there in 1911, a third girl was born, Naomi Ruth.
Week days, Othia was kept busy with her family and Jim continued working in the hardware. Sundays found them at Sunday school and church. Rev. Abe Kern was minister at that time, Mrs. Clark was pianist, Charlie Keller, choir director, and I.M.T. Cory one of the elders. West of the church were the old horse sheds as most folks still came to services in buggies. However, it wasn't long until a car or two began parking south of the church, making it necessary to set a row of posts to protect the lawn.
By 1914, Jim made up his mind he'd rather carpenter than do anything else and began working at that trade in earnest. He built and help build many homes in and around Elkhart, among those built at that time were the Bill Lentz home, Milt Hall, Ote Beck, Jim Hildreth, Lute McClung, Don Wohlwend and the present parsonage.
All this building must have made him feel quite rich for in the summer of 1915, he purchased a shiny new Model T Ford. What a luxury! I can still see him polishing up the wide expanse of brass on the radiator. At first, only on Sundays were the garage doors unpadlocked, the machine wound up with a crank, the family settled comfortably on the black leather cushions for a fast ride around the mile square.
In 1917, Jim began working on a new home for himself and family. This was just across the alley from the old house which they sold to Mr. and Mrs. Whitcomb. Work progressed slowly as he worked on it only when not busy on other jobs.
In 1919, another baby was born, this time a boy! He was promptly named after Dorus Myers, who had just returned from serving as a sailor in World War I.
When Dorus was four, the first daughter was married and changed her name to Kendig. Othia was busier than ever-when she wasn't looking after the needs of her family, she was working in the garden or making quilts for the Ladies Aid. Jim was doing quite a bit of cabinet work, making lovely walnut furniture and on Sunday teaching his Sunday school class, as he had been doing since 1913. Rev. Sandy was pastor.
The years slipped by-many changes taking place, both in the family and in the community.
The second daughter exchanged the name of Burgess for Higginbottom in 1930 and two years later Jim and Othia became the adoring and adored grandparents to Richard and Karolyn and in 1934 to Fred as well. In 1936, Janet Kendig was added to the growing list of grandchildren and a year later, grandma had a new namesake in little Miriam Higginbottom. Naomi took the name of Risvold in 1937 and in 1939, David, was born.
Dorus, the baby of the family, left the family nest in 1940 to wed Miss Marilyn Marshall. They now have two daughters, Barbara born in 1941 and Bev in 1943. Oh, yes, Susan Risvold came in 1942, and little Martha only last fall- which accounts for all of us up to date, and as Susan has already told you, grandma and granddad have ten grandchildren, all of which love to visit them often. Our special get-together time is Christmas and with the exception of the dreadful "flu" year, children, in-laws, and grandchildren, as they came along, have spent Christmas under the Burgess roof. There, to be tucked in like old times. We are a lucky family, indeed.
We can scarcely believe the energetic, youthful looking couple whom we are honoring, are celebrating fifty golden years of marriage!
There are, we know, many other interesting events and wonderful people we could have mentioned. May I conclude by saying...... There are new joys and old joys and big ones and small, May we add one more comment, YOU deserve them ALL.
Amos Reynolds Burgess (1853 - 1928)
Myrta Ann [Anna] Eacret Burgess (1857 - 1947)
Othella Miriam Welch Burgess (1884 - 1965)
Bernice Fern Burgess Kendig (1903 - 2002)*
Vernal May Burgess Higginbottom (1906 - 1994)*
Naomi Ruth Burgess Risvold (1911 - 1993)*
Dorus James Burgess (1919 - 2001)*
Arthur Edmund Burgess (1876 - 1949)*
Perry Alfred Burgess (1880 - 1971)*
Gerry Leroy Burgess (1880 - 1962)*
James Harvey Burgess (1881 - 1971)
Glen Chester Burgess (1884 - 1885)*
Floyd Burgess (1886 - 1979)*
Nora Velma Burgess (1889 - 1949)*
Almond Oliver Burgess (1895 - 1988)*
White Oak Cemetery
Created by: Karolyn [Kendig] McLain
Record added: Feb 01, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 47410834
Grandpa I hope you have forgiven Richard and I for picking your tulips one spring long ago when we were two years old.|
Karolyn [Kendig] McLain
Added: Feb. 23, 2010