Click photos to view larger.
1. Ration Stamp assortment.
The blue and red dots were plastic type ration
2. War Bond sample - Denominations available
were $25, $50, $75, $100, $200, $500,
$1,000, $5,000 and $10,000
K. E. Croy 1939-1951 "MEMORIES"
The "Good Ole Days", when money was scarce
and nobody knew what a credit card was!!
Maag Farm: 1939-1942
Frequently a man from the Maag family
would come to the farm for various reasons.
Almost every time he came he would bring a
young nephew, Francis Maag with him who was
about my age. We would play all day long
except when we had to help work. We talked
all the time, suggesting things to do with
each other. This should not be unusual
except, he only spoke German and I only
spoke English. We seemed to always know
what each other was saying. One time, we
played in the barn where the horses were.
We had been told not to go in there because
one of the horses was mean and would bite
you. Soon, we forgot about the mean horse
and I had my head sticking in the manager
watching a mouse or something.
Bing, my older brother, was in the hay mow
tossing down hay. He saw the horse headed
for me with my head sticking in the
manager, jumped from the hay mow and
pulled me back just as the horse snapped
her teeth so hard she broke a board in the
manager. The horses name was Pearl, a
lovely name for such a mean animal. Being
a quick learner and having healed from my
spanking, I never went back in the barn
again without permission.
America enters World War Two:
Excerpt from a WW Two History:
On December 7, 1941, while German armies were
freezing before Moscow, Japan suddenly pushed the
United States into the struggle by attacking the
American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Four
days later Hitler declared war on the United
States. President Roosevelt called on Congress
for immediate and massive expansion of the armed
forces. Twenty years of neglect and indifference
however, could not be overcome in a few days.
(REMEMBER, ALL PHOTOS CAN BE VIEWED
LARGER BY CLICKING ON THEM)
Grandma Hornung’s: 1942-1945
Grandpa Hornung died in 1938, a
year after I was born. Somewhere in the early
or middle 1930’s Grandpa an engineer, was in
charge of the Ottawa Water Works and Ottawa
Electric Company. After his death, the tools of
his trade were stored at home in the barn. What
a neat time it was to look through all the tool
boxes and the special tools. Can you imagine the
awe and wonderment looking through the tool
boxes that held these strange looking tools?
At that time I was only acquainted with maybe a
screwdriver, pliers and of course a hammer.
Experimentation was not allowed with any of the
trio of course. This trip into the unknown was
many times made with a visiting cousin or my
new friend from across the road, Gene Looser.
Grandma’s house was no less interesting.
The kitchen covered the east side of the house,
from the back door you could get to the
smokehouse (for meats, not cigars or cigarettes)
or to the outdoor privy (which is an outdoor
toilet for the uneducated) or out to feed the
The front door
of the kitchen opened onto the front porch and
the yard stretching down to the road. I loved
living at Grandma Hornung’s. Grandma’s
bedroom, off limits to the “kids”, was on the west
side of the house, just behind the living room. In
between were the stairs leading to the bedrooms.
Upstairs, Uncle Neil had the east bedroom which
ran front to back like the kitchen below. His
bedroom also was off limit to the “kids”. There
was a door in his room that opened on to the
upstairs porch. Also a door at the front of the
hallway opened on to the porch. This door was
forbidden. I was not go onto the porch because it
was not safe for me. The door called to me to
enter because I would have been able to peer
through the windows to observe Uncle Neil's
“forbidden” room. There were two bedrooms on
the west side and I do not remember the sleeping
arrangements, I probably slept in mom and dad’s
bedroom at the front of the house.
The trip upstairs was ominous because of the
large photo of Great-Grandma Linden, Grandma
Hornung’s mother, hanging in the hallway. At
top of the steps to the right was the doorway to
Uncle Neil's room, to the left was another
bedroom. A railing along the stairwell extended
from the top of the steps on the left down the
hallway and then back accross to the door
opening to the upstairs porch. On the wall
at the front of the house, next to the window
was where Great-Grandma's photo hung. She
was a very stern looking lady and her eyes
followed you all the way down the hall and into
the front bedroom. I was always relieved when
I made it safely into the bedroom. If I ventured
to the door to the porch, her eyes would follow
you over to the door and then back, either into
the bedroom or down the hall and down the
Weekends were very special, with visits by
mom’s sisters or brothers and their families. In
those days you knew who your cousins were. We
spent many happy hours in the big front yard or
walking down to the creek or wherever we roamed.
I remember Bing coming home on leave from
the Coast Guard. I remember how proud I was
the only time I was the first to see or hear him
coming down the road.
Christmas’s were very special at Grandma’s.
Aunts, Uncles and cousins, all who
could, came to visit and all brought their "special"
family foods. Some came days ahead of time to
help prepare the food.
Grandma worked hard preparing her special
Christmas candy, Divinity Fudge
and hard candy. Grandma’s kitchen smelled
good all year around.
What a modern kitchen it was. There was a
hand pump on a counter next to the
kitchen sink that brought water directly from
the cistern. Drinking water still had to be
“brought” from the well outside.
Mary Lou, the youngest of my older sisters,
would generously allow me to pump the water if
she was sent to "fetch" it. Soon, after building my
muscles from pumping all the time, she would
allow me to carry it back to the kitchen. This was
rewarding for two people. For my sister for
having “put something over on me” and for me
enjoying my unbelievable good fortune being
able to do "big kids" chores.
ELECTRICTY COMES to the BASE LINE:
1943 or 1944
When we first moved to Grandma Hornung’s
there was no electricity. We operated with
kerosene lamps. We were the first home east
of route 65 on the north side of the Base Line
road. In 1943 or 1944 they came down the south
side of the Base Line installing electricity in
each home. Then they turned around and
came back the north side and installed each
home. You should know, the electric light in
the stairway hall did not make the trip any
less scary because of Great-Grandma
Linden’s photo. When you went upstairs
with the kerosene lamp you carried it carefully
in front of you. As you came to the top step
and turned down the hallway, the lamp light
danced around her face in the photo, showing
her to be moving as she looked down at you.
The spooky radio show of the time period,
Inner Sanctum could never have described
such a frightful scene.
Fortunately my interest in genealogy later in
my life, allowed me to get to know what a kind
and great lady Great-Grandma Linden was.
VISITING with AUNTS & UNCLES:
Sometimes I was allowed to go along with
Uncle Neil to the property he farmed near
Gilboa. He farmed the ground with a team of
horses and would occasionally
let me “drive” the team, both of us holding
the reins of course.
I remember visits to Uncle Jude and Aunt
Jenny’s who lived on a dairy farm and also to
Uncle Frank and Aunt Gertie’s who lived further
down the road. His small house was filled with
interesting things to look at but not touch. We
would also visit the Aunts. Aunt Dale who lived
on a farm past the Fairgrounds a little ways,
Aunt Alberta who lived in the country close to
Kalida, Ohio, Aunt Lizzie who lived in Glandorf
Ohio and Aunt Molly and Aunt Gertie who lived
in an apartment together in Ottawa, Ohio.
Grandma Hornung would later come to live
1st GRADE: 1943-1944
I started first grade in school, while living at
Grandma Hornung’s. I remember riding the bus
to school. It was scary meeting all those new
people. Grade school was a happy time and I
was eager to learn so it was a lot of fun! I did
not go to a "one room school house" as my
mother and father had, but I did go to a
“one building school house” which had grades 1
through 12. I graduated in 1955, the last
class to graduate from the 4th street building
which opened in 1921. Present day, the building,
having survived time and floods, is home to just
three classes, Kindergarten and grades 1 and 2.
WORLD WAR TWO ENDS:
V-E Day stands for Victory in Europe Day,
and V-J Day stands for Victory over Japan Day.
After the German surrender, a treaty was
signed in Reims, France, the headquarters of
U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower. In the early
hours of May 7, 1945, U.S. President Harry S
Truman declared May 8 V-E Day, the end of
World War II (1939–45) in Europe. Nevertheless,
the war did not reach a final conclusion until
the surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945.
September 2, 1945, was declared the official
V-J Day because Japan signed the terms of
surrender on that date aboard the battleship
USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
Restaurant Days: 1945-1947/1948
I remember the day the war ended. Dad
and I went to the restaurant to help out
because they were so busy. I had never
stayed up so late at night. Celebrating
people would come in for something to eat
and coffee. We sold everything in the
restaurant. When some of the people found
we had no more food or coffee, they asked
for bread on a plate or crackers and would
put ketchup or mustard on them and drink
a glass of water. Mom offered to give them
the bread and crackers, but they still left
money. Everyone was so happy the war
Rex Theater & Hollywood Days:
I remember fondly the trips to the Rex or
Hollywood Theater’s. One could visit the whole
word and never leave town. Mary Lou, who ran
the popcorn booth at the Rex Theater during
her high school years, made better popcorn
than the Hollywood Theater. Later on Saturday
nights, Jack Jones had a popcorn machine he
stored in a stairway opening that led to the
rooms above a business on the north side of
Main Street. The stairway was just west across
the railroad tracks. Jack’s Hot Buttered Popcorn
was the best in the world, I was just sure.
Sherman Street: 1945-1951
I started my Third grade school year,
1945-1946, after we moved to Sherman Street
in Ottawa. Dad later sold the car. Mom said he
should not drive anymore. Dad had injured an
eye at work in an earlier year, impairing his left
side vision. The car had been parked in the
parking lot across from the restaurant in the
spaces next to the track. A semi-truck was hit
by a train and debris (dual wheels) from the
accident landed on the windshield of dad’s car.
Mom said, “Good time for you to quit driving
with your eyesight!” Dad sold the junk car and
did not replace it. We walked to store, work,
school, and church.