HORNUNG WW Two and Post War Memories
K. E. Croy 1939-1951

1. 2. Click photos to view larger.
1. Ration Stamp assortment. The blue and red dots were plastic type ration coins 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: December 1941
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.
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 chickens. 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 steps. Scarey! 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: 1942-1945
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 with them.
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.
see the following notes 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 had ended.
Rex Theater & Hollywood Days: 1945-1948
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.
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