Families - Owen

Memoirs of Sadie Haynes Owen
This is my life as I remember it.
I, Sadie Levica Haynes Owen, fourth child of James Albert Haynes and Laura Ann Clark Haynes, second daughter, born September 8, 1895, in a small town in Elmwood, Peoria County, IL. Just north of the Methodist church.
At the age of three we moved to a small town west of Farmington by the name of Middlegrove. [The picture on the right is of Sadies' parents, James and Laura Clark Haynes.]
My father was a coal miner. We lived there a short time and moved to a coalminers settlement by the Nickle Plate mine in the south west part of Farmington (Barlow). Then we moved to the Ed Seltzer farm south west of Elmwood in the Graham Chapel neighborhood. Dad worked on the farm for Mr. Seltzer.
The next place we moved was Farmington. He went back to work at the mine.
1901 - At the age of six I started to school in the old brick school house on Court Street in Farmington which was the east side of town. Miss Rebecca Wilson was my first teacher. Only went part of my first year there then dad hired to a veterinarian in Williamsfield by the name of Dr. John Oberhauster to work by the month. He owned two farms in Elba Township. Bill Blust lived on the other farm and worked for him also.
My two brothers, Grover and Charlie, and my sister Pearl, two years older than I, went to the Ford School. Edna Ware was the teacher. At Christmas she gave me five dollars for having whispered the least from the first of the year until Christmas. Was I ever happy. My mother took the money and bought Pearl and I a new coat, and she bought dark blue cashmere and made us each a dress trimmed in light blue baby ribbon. We had a program at school at Christmas time. Did we think we were dressed up!
From there we moved to Elba Center where dad hired to John Adams to work for him by the month on the farm. Mr. Adams and his sister Clara lived near the Methodist Church with their mother. We lived a quarter of a mile north of Elba Corners. My brothers Grover and Charlie, Pearl and I and Harry went to the school in Elba Center. Jim McKee was our teacher.
My brother Ogden was three years younger than Harry. My sister Stella was born July 31, 1905 when we lived at Elba Center. I remember well when she was born, I was nine years old.
My father rented a farm one mile east of Maquon from Henry Selby. It was near the railroad trestle. We walked up the railroad track to school in Maquon. The wagon road was a quarter of a mile south of Maquon and a mile east. At that time people went on east and could ford the river.
My brother Charlie was drowned in Spoon River on July 31, 1906. Frank and Lou Bigelow lived on the Lyman Selby farm about half a mile south of us. The farm now belongs to Irene Swanson. They were thrashing at Bigelow's. Three boys, Charlie, Leroy Morrison (Lois Bigelow's brother), and Charlie Miller (an older man) stacked the straw. It was a very hot day. After Supper they walked down to the river to have a swim and cool off. In a short time Leroy came to the house and told us what had happened. The hole they were in was about 14 feet deep and a whirlpool. We always thought he had cramps as it was so soon after supper. They got a rowboat and a seine but couldn't get him until about 10 PM. They brought him to Frank and Lou's to lay him out. The undertaker was Frank Hurd. He was buried in Maquon Cemetery. He was buried on August 2, 1906. Now mother and dad are buried on the same lot.
On August 31, 1906, my sister Clara was born. She was named for Clara Adams Bigler. My brother Robert C. Haynes was born December 10, 1907. He was named for Robert and Charlie (Buzz) Simkins.
The next place we moved was about six miles south west of Maquon in Chestnut Township, owned by Charley Burnside on the river around the hill from the John Burkhalter farm. Pearl, I, Harry, and Ogden started to school at Fruit Hill School.
1908 - We moved across the river to the C. J. Off farm now owned by Eddie Seaman. Pearl, I, Ogden and Harry went to Bennington School about five miles south of Maquon on Route 97 between Maquon and Rapatee. The highway was opened in 1941 but was a dirt road when we went to school at Bennington. Now it's a dwelling house. Pearl and I graduated from the 8th grade there. Jim McKee and Lola Foster were our teachers.
1911 - In 1911, when I became sixteen, I went to a barn dance across the river on the John Burkhalter farm where I met a boy by the name of Philip Owen. We started going together in September, after I was 16. He was the only steady boyfriend I ever had. [The picture on the right is of Philip Owen in 1912.]

We moved from the Off farm to a farm owned by Frank Briggs. We only lived there one year when Dr. Walker, our family doctor, bought the farm now owned by Mrs. Harold (Mike) Halsey. He rented it to dad. That's where we lived when Phil and I were married on October 22, 1913.

The day we were married we drove our little bay mare into the livery stable, which was back of the grocery store in Maquon, and went to Galesburg on the 8:30 AM passenger train and were married by the Justice of the Peace in his office on the south side of Main Street. Then we came home on the 5:30 PM train. It rained and snowed and was a very bad day. [The picture on the left is of Sadie Haynes in 1913.]

Dad (Phil) went to the harvest fields in Minnesota in the fall before we were married. He saved $100.00 and borrowed $100.00 from the bank in Maquon and mortgaged his horse and buggy.
His mother gave us a kerosene cook stove, a bed, a comfort, table cloth, and a few other things. I worked in the restaurant, helped cook for a crew of telephone men, and stayed with Pearl and George who lived in a little house on Main Street, owned by Joe Bennett, where one of the Gooding boys built a new house south of Floyd Housh's.
A week before we were married we went to a farmers house and Dad (Phil) hired out to work for him by the month. He got $25 or $30 per month, some meat, and a quart of milk a day. He fed a dozen hens for us. In the spring I set hens and raised chickens, kept the pullets for next year and ate the roosters.
On Monday after we were married we borrowed a team of mules George had and gathered up what things Grandma Owen had given us. We bought a big heating stove from Newt Belden, a washboard boiler in a store and a tub, some dishes and silverware and groceries. The rest of the furniture we bought in Galesburg was shipped by the freight in two weeks, but we kept house with what we had until it got there. We lived in a little four room house one mile east of the Blue Sky Schoolhouse. We had a nice garden. I canned fruit and vegetables, also dried corn.
1914 - On August 11, 1914 we had our first child, a baby girl, weight 9 lbs. We named her Leona Mae Owen (Leona for Leona Scudder).
In October, we moved to a house west of Yates City, a mile and three quarters, where Weber now lives. Dad (Phil) worked by the day and paid house rent. Got about $1.25 per day. He worked for the neighbors around Harrison Kay, who lived where Leonard Hills now lives east of Douglas, George Matthews, John Steck, Dwight Lawrence, and many others. In winter he hunted rabbits and picked up coal along the railroad track. We also bought coal at the mine.
On July 18, 1916, a son, our second child, was born 8 lbs. We named him Rollin Lyle Owen.
In January 1917, Phil hired out to Levi McGirr to work on the farm by the month. We lived in the tenant house which was about five or six miles south and east of Maquon. He worked for Levi until the spring of 1918 when he hired out to Seymour Hartsook who was President of the Bank of Maquon.
On August 10, 1917, I had a miscarriage. We lost a baby girl at eight months which only weighed 4 lbs. It had a lot of black hair. We named her Marion Faye. She only lived about 10 hours. Dad (Phil) and a couple of other men took her in the carriage to the Maquon Cemetery where she was buried on our family lot. She had a little white casket and looked like a little doll. Two black horses pulled the carriage.
1918 - We moved to the Hartsook farm 1 mile east of Maquon Cemetery in spring of 1918. On Sept. 7, 1918 another son weighing 7 1/2 lbs was born to us, Merrill Eugene.
1920-1922 - In 1920 we moved to the George Bigelow farm where we lived until 1922. On Dec 19, 1921 another son was born. He weighed 8 lbs. We named him Gerald Dean Owen.
1923 - We moved to the Clay Simkins farm about 4 miles north and west of Douglas.
1924 - We rented the Jim Hendricks farm in the Harper School district. It was about 6 miles south and west of Maquon. A hale storm came and took our crops and killed our baby chicks.
1925 - We moved back on the then Frank Bigelow farm on the river. The Bigelows, Franks parents, passed away and he bought the farm. On July 13, 1925 a baby girl was born to us. She weighed 6 lbs. We named her Phyllis Eloise Owen.
1926 - It was a wet season, the river and French Creek got pretty high. The neighbors came in wagons one evening to move us out. Dad (Phil) kept putting the high water mark a little higher. We put the chickens in the hay mow and got the stock in a lot near the house. We sat up all night and by morning the river had quit rising so we didn't have to move out.
1928 - In 1928 Phyllis was 4 years old. Levi McGirr came and wanted Dad (Phil) to go into partnership farming with him. He farmed there two years and Mr. McGirr decided to retire and sell the farm. We had a partnership sale and the farm was sold to Ross Dunlevey who moved on it and farmed.
1932 - We moved to the Margaret Young farm in the Foster School district which was about four miles south of Maquon and a quarter mile east, which is across the road from the Kay Harper, now Maudie Sherman farm now occupied by Bobby Sherman.
1936 - We moved from the Young farm to the John Harper farm. Lived there one year the Chintz bugs took our crops that year. Leona Owen and Albert Goedeke were married Feb 8, 1936.
August 31, 1936. Rollin was 19 years old on July 18, 1936. He went to work at Keystone Steel and wire at Bartonville, Ill. He only worked a half day. He and another boy were cleaning out gutters on a building (45 ft high) without safety belts. It was an awfully hot day. Soon after noon they went back to work (after lunch) and they both fell. The gutter gave way and Rollin fell in a pile of scrap iron and had a skull fracture, left wrist and left hip broken about 1 1/2 inches below the joint. The other boy was only slightly injured.
Rollin was taken to the Proctor Hospital, which was the old hospital on 2nd and Fisher streets. Dad (Phil) had taken Rollin to work that morning and got a room for him in the hotel in Bartonville. He bought a magazine and parked under a tree to read waiting for the factory to be out at 3 o'clock. He saw the ambulances go by with the boys, never thinking it was his son in one of them. At 3 o'clock he went to the factory to get Rollin and show him his room. He sat down on the steps where the men were coming out when some man said that was a bad accident we had here today, two boys fell off the building. He went into the desk and someone told him about the accident and Rollin was taken to the Proctor hospital. Dad (Phil) didn't know where the hospital was so he drove a couple of hours before he found it.
Someone from Bartonville called us at home about 2:30 and Mr. Rosenbaum and August Deitmers took me down to the hospital and Dad (Phil) had just gotten there. We got some supper and went across the street and rented a room. We stayed in the hospital until 8:30 and Dad and I stayed all night. The next day Dad went home and brought me some clothes and a quilt I was working on. I stayed at the hospital every day for three weeks. There was as many as five doctors would see Rollin in a day. He was unconscious six weeks and had a cast on his arm from his fingers to above his elbow. Also one around his waist and over his toes. They were on six weeks. The doctor didn't set the broken bones for two weeks. He always knew Dad when he came to his room but sometimes he would introduce me as one of his nurses. I was there three weeks when he began talking about painting machinery (which he and Dad were doing when he went to Keystone).
Leona and Albert were married and Al was working for Roy Simkins just north and west of Douglas.
1937 - Rollin was in the hospital until January. In March we moved to the Lee Hoxworth farm 1 mile north of Rapatee. We lived there that year. Rollin went back to work at Keystone. They started him off sorting staples for wire fence.
1938 - In 1938 we rented the Fullmer 240 acre farm. It was located 1 mile north and 3/4 mile west of Rapatee. We lived there six years. Phillis started to high school in Fairview. She rode the bus which Reynold Conlin drove. She went to Fairview 1 year and the schools consolidated and she was in the London Mills district so she went there graduating in 1942.
1941 - In 1941 the draft got Merrill. He went into the service in April. He went to Camp Forrest, TN for his first training. We went down to camp to see him in May. Dad and I, Rollin and Philly, and Alice Combs. Merrill was shipped out from New York in January, 1942 to Melbourne, Australia. He was sent to New Caledonia to guard those islands that belonged to the United States. He went from there to the battle of Guadal Canal. He was in the trenches on the front lines for twenty one days in rain, mud, and heat. He contracted Malarial Fever. He stayed until they carried him to the first aid tent. Then he was sent to the Fiji Islands Hospital until August, 1942 when he was sent to a hospital in Temple, Texas. He got a medical discharge in 1943. He was a pretty disturbed boy for some time after he got home. He and Alice Combs were married Dec 31, 1943.
On July 3, 1941, Grandma (Nettie) Owen fell down the basement steps. She was living with her daughter Fern Browning in Dallas City, IL. She wouldn't go to the hospital so her children took turns going over to help take care of her. She only lived about six weeks. She was buried Aug 10, 1941 in Maquon Cemetery. Her funeral was held at Huggins Funeral Home in Abingdon.
On the way from Dallas City to Abingdon the car that Fern, Leon, and the lady that helped take care of Grandma were in, that belonged to George Privie, who owned the house that Fern and Leon lived in, ran a stop sign at a junction. George was driving. The car was hit broadside by a car coming from the north. It burst into flames but some of them were thrown out. Some were thrown out, some were killed instantly, and others died before morning. Mrs Francher, the Maquon telephone operator, was waiting at the cemetery in Maquon with word for us to come to Ft. Madison. Dad and I, Rollin and Uncle George Owen went right over and stayed until after Fern and Leon's funeral.
On August 19, 1941, my oldest brother Grover C. Haynes took his life by hanging himself in a barn on a small farm they had just bought, located about five miles east of the St. Augustine junction. He was also buried in Maquon Cemetery.
On September 2, 1941 Nellie Combs and Gerald Owen were married. Also Rollin Owen, Wayne Owen, and Walter Collins went into the service.
1942 - The strip mine bought the Fullmer Farm. In December we moved to the Frank Thurman farm five or six miles west and south of Yates City. We lived there that year (1943). We had a farm sale which brought about $10,000. Then we retired and bought three acres of land one mile east of Elmwood which had a small greenhouse on it, and also a house and a garage, from Mrs. Blanche Barrett. Dad and Joe Van Huffle (a neighbor who lived across the road) did remodeling on the house and also brought the city water in, put in a septic and a bathroom. We moved into the house just before Christmas 1943.
Dad took his small tractor, a plow, harrow and other equipment and did some custom farming such as plowing gardens. From the greenhouse we sold some vegetable plants, also flowers for Mothers Day, Memorial Day, and Easter which we bought from a Greenhouse outside of Peoria. We lived there four years.
One year he worked for Jim Leuwallen. In the fall he was getting a barrel from overhead in the garage and the step ladder fell with him and he broke his wrist, cracked his pelvic bone, and developed ulcers in his stomach. He was in a wheelchair and on crutches for some time. Dad wasn't able to do much so we sold the place east of Elmwood and bought a small half lot in Yates City where we moved. It was uptown north of the Standard Oil station, the first house. The laundry mat was built the first year we lived there. We also raised the house and put a basement under it. He improved in health and, in 1951, he was janitor of the Yates City High school where he only worked one year.
1952 - He worked for the city one year.
1953 - Dad, Clyde Blust, Earl Moses started to work for Harry and Grace Haynes at St. Martha's Home and remodeling old houses. I don't remember how long he worked at this but as long as he was able. We stayed at Harry and Grace's when they went to Montana. We were there when we had our 45th wedding anniversary. Phil and I helped build the brown house with the lake in the southeast part of Knoxville. That's where Harry and Grace lived when they parted. They were married eight years.
We bought a carpet or rug loom and dad wove rugs as long as he was able. I also washed old woolen coats, suits or anything suitable for braiding rugs. He helped me to cut the strips and roll them up. I sewed them on the old portable sewing machine that I still have. I braided them in three strands and laced them with a metal lacer and nylon fish cord which would hold a 20 or 25 lb fish. One rug was about ten feet by 12 feet. The other two were 36 x 54 inches.
1962 - On November 6, 1962, I had my heart attack and Leona and Al took me to Graham Hospital in Canton. I was there four days. The night I had my heart attack I had sold the rugs to Lois Strode, Gene's wife, for a lady in Chicago that dealt in antiques for $200. My hospital bill was a little over $200 so there went the rug money I had worked so hard for four years to get.
When I got out of the hospital, Dad and I went to Leona and Albert's for three months. The boys moved our kitchen upstairs in the south end of the living room as we couldn't get up and down steps. We got along for a while. I gradually got worse as I was allergic to my medication. The children tried staying with us, the girls in the daytime, the boys at night. Alta Woolsey stayed with us for two weeks. They then decided they would have to take us to a home, Good Samaritan in Knoxville.
We paid $320 per month for our care. We had to sell our home in Yates City and also our furniture. We sold the house to a barber from Elmwood for $4500. As I improved I did hand sewing, made tie aprons, embroidered them. I also dressed dolls, pieced quilts; a necktie quilt for Leona and appliqu├ęd a quilt for Philly. Dad was able for a while to play cards, which he loved to do. Rosco Simkins came to the home to live. Iva and Alvin Potter, Illif and Flossie Simkins came also. They would come to our room so Dad could play cards with them. I would watch sometimes and sometimes I'd sew. We had a lot of company while we were in the home.
On October 22, 1962, we had our 50th wedding anniversary.
1965 - Phil got worse and coughed night and day. He had emphysema. On October 14th he got out of his bed over the side rails and fell. He bumped his head on the oxygen tank and had a big black and blue mark. I told him he would have to go to the hospital where he would have better care. We got the ambulance the next day and took him to St. Mary's Hospital. I stayed at Pearl's, she lived on South street. I went to the hospital every day. I was there on Oct 18 and thought he was better. Al came after me at 7 AM on Oct 19th and he only lived a short time after I got there. We buried him in our lot in Maquon Cemetery.
1966 - I stayed at the Good Samaritan Home until January, 1966, when I moved in with my sister Pearl on south St. in Galesburg. I lived with her four months. Then Merrill and Gerald brought me up here to see this apartment, 609 East Main St. in Knoxville. Mrs. Lucille Baker owns it and she lives upstairs in a four room and bath apt. I rented it from her daughter Phyllis Linder for $50 a month with heat and water furnished. The children gave me some things to start housekeeping. Don and Bob (Owen) gave me the tropical fish and bowl. Merrill and Alice got the coral in Florida. Leona gave me the pink and white sea shells she got when they went to Arizona. The other shells Dad and I picked up in the Gulf of Mexico when we went on our three week trip to Old Mexico. We also went on a trip to the Ozarks, Smokey Mountains, and other places with Grace and Harry, which we enjoyed very much.
I have quilted around 50 quilts since I came here. My wedding ring was the first one I quilted. I also have made Mrs. Beasley dolls, Mr. and Mrs. Farmer, Mr. and Mrs. Uncle Sam, a college boy and girl, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus with red velvet clothes, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus made out of Reader's Digest, Sister Nurses, and Little Red Riding Hood. I don't know how many of each, but many dollars worth. They were made on detergent bottles. I have crocheted many afghans, made myself many dresses, slack suits, blouses, slips, cushion tops, pot holders, and placemats (chickens and owls made from garden seeds).
Sadie Owen, January 1977
Sadie Levica (Haynes) Owen died January 13, 1985. She was buried next her husband Phil in Maquon.

Contributed Nov 2000 by great-grandson Todd Walter.

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