Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Foltz Family, Sons

Buck, Cloice, Luther, Babe , Mike. 10-20-97. Back in the 1930's the Foltz"s would walk down the country road to the Taylor School, often stopping at the corner where the younger Arnold kids would join them in the walk on to the schoolhouse.

Foltz Family, Daughters

Picture taken 10-20-97 at Prairie  Manor Nursing Home in Chicago Heights when Leona was there. Louella, Leona, Verla, Adel, Cloice standing.

Mom's Thank You Notice


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mom, Donnie Walwer and his wife, Charlie Walwer, Devin Miller

Murdered Ed Arthur 1948

Ed was Tom Arthur's son. He was murdered in the park on Hobbie Avenue in Kankakee. Clayborne died while still in prison about 20 years ago.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Walwer Kids

right rear Kathy, the oldest, Pam on the left, Butch on the left then Scott and Donnie.

Wingerters and Marsha


Marsha Miller, Wayne, Tevis and Larry WingerterDec 1960

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mom's 85th Birthday Party

Denny behind Mom , me, Tubby
Ryan in front then Isabelle and Rosalee.

Grandma in the Kitchen

Grandma Arnold fixing supper (it's 5 o'clock) I'm sure this was at the Big Cote Place outside of St Anne. This was the house used in the Dillinger movie Public Enemies. I purchased the DVD and am taking it back with me on my next trip to show Aunt Dorothy. I will get her comments on it and post them later.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vernon Luther Miller

Dad started calling him Willy-Bill then just Bill and that's the name that stuck. September 11th is his birthday, not hard to remember now. He died Dec 13, 2003 at the age of 63. He too had five kids. So did Marilyn Rose and I.

Stephanie Wingerter 4th grade 1982


Friday, November 19, 2010

Good Neighbors Are Not Forgotten

Names of our neighbors who  gave  dontations when Grandpa & Grandma Arnold were killed 8 Nov 1952. From a note written by Mom and saved all of these years. We were living at 368 Tanner Avenue

All are Mr & Mrs…
Fenton Bourgeois         354  Tanner Next door to the north( Dora & Dorothy lived here in the 1970's, Edith in 1964 ,  and Marsha did too)
Lester Crevier                 382 Next door to the south
John Scanlon                    392 Two doors to the south
Wilbert Rice                      393 Across the street on the corner  (She is still living there. He passed away 2010)
George Beaudoin            369 Across the street  ( Son Kenny passed 2010)
Joe Gallager                        371 Across the street, north of Beaudoin's
Leo Scroggins                      345  North of Gallagers ( Son Billy lives there now)
Tom Murgach                       1820 W Station
Bernard Coda                        1812 W Station
William Olson                       1770 W Sation
Gerald Rigney                      
Floyd Thorn                             420 Yates  (Daughter Phyllis Masse was at Mom's 90th party)
A.G. Wilson                              1786 W Station
Harold Gierke                         345 1/2 Tanner
William Davison                     542 Roosevelt     (Doris Bourgeois' Father)

William Reynolds

He married Grandma Arnold's sister Lola. He died at a young age.

Mardene Gail Arnold about 1950


Winnie, Garnetta, Thelma Arnold


Cloice Foltz Sr Family about 1922

Cloice Sr holding Buck, Luella in the middle, Mrs Charlotte Foltz  (Lottie) on right, Leona, Paul in Rear

Grandma Arnold Holding Bill, Phyllis sucking thumb, about 1942

Mardene and the Miller Kids about 1947

Front row-Mardene, Denny, Dickie
Behind Mardene-Bill, Marilyn Rose, Phyllis

Lucille at Stonebarn House with Phyllis

I gave a copy of this to the Kankakee Daily Journal since they manage the house for the  Governor Small family.  I hoped to show them what it looked like in 1939-40 in case they renovate. Mom built the fires in that old potbellied stove. I believe we had that stroller at the house on Tanner Ave when I was a kid. It was blue.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

George Miller Family 12 kids

Top-Grace Ohrt, Ferd, George Jr, Maurice, Goldie Stone

Middle-Arlene Ohrt, Ruth DuBois, Ida May Shilky, Alice Jordan

Bottom-Marge Hengl, Ida, George Sr, Pearl Peterson
George Sr was My Grandpa's brother. They lived along the Kankakee river on Rte 113. Pearl is the remaining one and she is in her 90's. Mom's Uncle Tom Arthur farmed with Dad's Uncle George.  Tom farmed north of Ropers on the EZ -Way bumps Road.. The boys were all single except George Jr and they dug many of the graves at the Limestone Cemetery where most of the Millers and a some of the Arnolds (Welty, Martha, Loren, Larry) are buried.
Picture couresy of Adele Foltz Howard.

368 Today

368 Tanner Vinyl

What a difference the siding made. It seems expensive but when I think of all of the times this house was painted over the years I know it is cheaper to side it. I haven't been in the house since Mom sold it and sometimes I see an old picture of the stairway or something I wonder what it looks like today. There never was a garage that we knew of but the house is really old and may of had a shed at one time. It was just a few years ago that the neighbor to the north put up a fence. We were all surprised to see where the property line ran- five feet south of where everyone thought it was. George Beaudoin had a farm house across the street and when the area was plotted to be subdivided (1920's) they told him his house was on his neighbor's property so he had to buy five foot off of them. That line is the one we had always followed too. LESSON LEARNED: Have the property you are to purchase surveyed. They also told him that the address for his house 369 was incorrect and for a fee it could be corrected. He said he didn't make the error and he wasn't paying to have it corrected so the neighbor to the north has an address of 371 and always has been because George wouldn't pay.

368 Tanner Avenue

Saturday, April 01, 2006

368 Tanner Avenue

Home for the Millers from 1943 till the 1980's. there were very few two-story homes in West Kankakee but we needed the five bedrooms. Most of the homes were small, one story houses built on land once owned by Governor Small. We walked three blocks to Longfellow Grade School and then six blocks to West Jr High and took the bus across town to the only high school.

May 1943 Move

229 North 6th Avenue

This is the first house my parents purchased. It was in May of 43. After they moved in and got settled down I came along. This was a small house for four kids but we were four years old and younger. The house was in "White City", north of Court St, and as kids we thought it was racial but actually it was based on something like a store or farmers name, can't remember for sure. Mom and I took these pictures 3 July 87 and that is the last time I was near that house. Can't remember ever going by it before then.

Another Miller Move

529 South Popular Ave

This was a very good neighborhood in its day. Only five blocks north to Court St, the main drag dividing the town north/south and 12 blocks east of the IC RR tracks dividing the town east/west. You could walk to most everything downtown or use the bus or one of the three taxi services. I can remember Dad driving a cab in the winter when construction was shut down. I helped stack and count the coins. Today the neighborhood has changed and you lock your doors when you drive through or do as most people do and just avoid it period.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fourth Home for the Millers

365 South Roosevelt Ave

The fourth home was at 365 Roosevelt Avenue in West Kankakee, shown here. They rented this place and this is where they were living when Marilyn Rose was born. It is on the last street on the west end of West Kankakee. As a kid I was around this house many times and didn't realize my folks had once lived there. I used to walk or drive by here on the way to work at Ropers back in late 64 and 65 when we lived at 2245 Calista, phone number 933-8424, three blocks south of this house.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stonebrook Farm

Stonebrook Farm

Mom and Dad lived here in the early 40's. It's a beautiful spot overlooking the Kankakee River and Wiley Creek. Dad always joked that Bill never learned to close the door because he was born in this barn. Grandpa Miller bought Dad the first electric start tractor in the township. But Dad would rather spend the night on the town instead of on the tractor. First a barn was built here by the Wiley family in 1858 using stone cut from the property. Then in 1862 the house was built and later a blacksmith's shop. In 1938 lawyer Luther Bratton bought the farm (240 acres) from the Wiley family and gave it to his girlfriend, Vida Kirk. Her heirs auctioned it off in 1980 and the home was purchased by the Daily Journal, owned by Guv Small's heirs, and the farm was purchased by Merlin Karlock, bank President and onetime Republican candidate for the US House. They renovated the house and barn after these pictures were taken in 1983 and now use the barn for select meetings. Today the area is growing over with beautiful new large homes everywhere.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Second House for the Millers, 1939

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Henry Kleen Farmhouse 2006

  They lived here in when Phyllis was born in July 1939  Dad worked the 80 acres and hauled milk for Mr Rathman. The farm was a few miles or so from Grandpa Millers farms and the farm where Grandpa Arnold lived. Henry Kleen and family have been friends of the Millers for more than  a century. He lived on a farm next to George Miller, my great uncle (father of the "short" Millers), on the Kankakee River. Henry's daughter Wilda still lives in the area and I meet her at family wakes, parties, and that sort of thing. She and Bill were the same age and he went to school with her for a while when he lived on the Miller farm to help out with an ill Gramma Miller. He was with her when she died. When he tried to call someone for help, the neighbor was on the party line and wouldn't give it up. Wilda was at Mom's 85th birthday party and also the 90th. Her family is buried across  the lane from Great Grandpa Miller's family in the Limestone cemetery.

Friday, November 12, 2010

First Home of LaVerne and Lucille Miller

Bonfield House 1938

One day Mom and I decided to take a picture of each place my folks had lived. That was July 3, 1987. We drove around taking pictures, talking about the old days, the people, the events and such. This was their first home in 1938, on Main St in Bonfield. It was also the first house ever built in Bonfield. My Dad's cousin, Mike Foltz still lives in Bonfield and his brother Luther's son Herb Foltz lives on the family homestead just east of town. Dad paid $15 dollars a month rent for this house. Dad worked for George Rathman, a neighbor to his Dad (Luther), hauling milk. He loved to drive trucks. It took a big man to drive those trucks back then and he was really big for the time, 6' 2 1/2 "! It took a lot of muscle to turn the steering wheel, change a tire, deal with the snow, mud, and potholes. Dad didn't want to work stuck on the farm, always inside a fence, always another row to plow, and always alone.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tom Martin Place

Martin Farm

When Mom was a kid they lived outside Bonfield on Tom Martin's farm. I've heard about the Martin Place and we searched for it several times without success. Aunt Dorothy drew us a map and after our great Mother's Day lunch (May 2006) we went to Bonfield. We found their old one-room school that is now a house and Mom didn't need a map from there. We found the place, went up the long lane and a huge dog was standing guard. Their house is gone and another one had been built behind the old one. Mom told Marilyn Rose and I how the Arnold kids would roll down the incline in the front yard. So much fun. They would walk down to the mailbox, which was further north of the lane, and meet the mailman. Her brother Welty was the musician/singer of the family and he would sing for them on the way to the mailbox. Her Mother would sometimes sing hymns and old songs around the house.

Uncle Berle and Mary Jane, Feb 1961

Uncle Berle Cool Coat

Uncle Berle with one of his wives, Mary Jane. He reminded me a little of Bogart. The eyes, the hat, coat and naturally the cigarette. This was at the Dallas airport. He and I both liked this picture. He was a black and white guy. Mom, Marilyn Rose and I were talking about him one day in 2006 as we were driving by the Watseka City jail. Mom told us a story about Berle. One day Berle woke up in the jail and didn't know why he was there. He had been drinking but didn't know what he had done to be there; kept wondering but kept quiet. He had talked about those Texas jails and how they would beat you up for making noise or "for being a wise guy." I can still hear him talking in his unique way "for being a wise guy!"and I knew what that meant. He learned to keep quiet. He went in Friday night and hadn't had any food and it was Monday! Mom thought it was a janitor that finally found him. They let him go and he quietly left. The jail sets empty and has been sold. I learned a lot from my favorite uncle and I miss him. Aunt Dorothy added this info-seems the jailers took him out for something to eat and then took him home.

Buck Arthur and Wife Rachel 1878

Aunt Sally's Parents 1878

William "Buck" (1861-1941)and Rachel Taylor(1855-1917) Arthur (Sally's parents).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Miller Kids

Stairstep Picture about 1947

I've always called this the "Stairstep Picture". It was taken at 368 Tanner Avenue at the SE corner near the basement entrance about 1947. Mom named all of us kids except for Bill, Dad insisted he name him, the others didn't make any difference. Mom would be expecting and would read a name in a book, magazine, or newspaper that she liked and that was it! Phyllis Ann was first on 19 July 1939. Vernon Luther (after Dad and Grandpa Miller) was next on 11 September 1940. Marilyn Rose came on 3 June 1942 and I was 8 August 1943. Denny Ray was the baby from 15 November 1944 until 4 September 1950 when Marsha Lynn arrived. I asked Mom where she got the nickname "Tubby" and she said "You gave it to her!" seems she was a fat baby and I called her Tubby and it stuck. Dad also gave Bill his nickname. He always called him "Willy Bill" and then shortened it to Bill. Dad's family spoke German around the house and when the family would gather on Sunday they all spoke it except for Mom. She refused to. Dad was a hard-headed Kraut but he wasn't as hard-headed as Mom. After spending some time with the Arthur's in Kentucky I now know where the hard heads in the family come from! Dad had a lot of old German tales, jokes and sayings. The Kaiser was winning the war when Dad was born (20 July 1917). Kaiser Wilhelm was called "Kaiser Willy", "Kaiser Bill" and other names. I theorize that was the origin of Bill's name. Look at the picture and you can see Dad's truck parked up in the yard. The yard had ruts in it from his trucks. The tall elm trees can also be seen, lost those to Dutch elm tree disease in the late fifties. There is a little snow on the ground.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Arnold Family 1906?

This is my Mother's Father's side.  Far left rear: Aunt Dora Hargis, her husband and baby. Uncle Rube Arthur, Aunt Mary (b: 9 June 1889, d: 12 Sep 1974) and baby Annie. Aunt Susie and baby. Uncle McKinley and George Arnold (my Grandfather). Sitting: Grandpa Nathan Arnold, Grandma Lizzie. Aunt Sarah Owens (b:4 March 1901, d: 28 Oct 1991) and Uncle Ernest "Big Boy" Arnold.

I remember some of these people. Rube lived in Bradley, McKinley was the cop in Mt Vernon (arrested his own daughter for drinking in a dry county, never drove a car) and we visited him in 71.  Sarah lived in Aroma Park, Big Boy had a big hump on his back as an older guy in the 8mm movies, but he still smoked. His wife was an American Indian named Zerelda (same name as Jesse James's wife and Mother) and he died in Dayton Ohio. He was a big man. Very likeable too. Before he and I left the house to go uptown he got his gun,said he never left the house without his pistol in his pocket. Was a miner, a union miner. Fought a lot of union battles with his size and blood.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mom and Dad Get Married

The Wedding- 4 Aug 1938

LaVerne Henry Louis Miller married Lucille (no middle name) Arnold 4 Aug 1938. The picture was taken at his parent's home. He was 21 and she 18. Her older brother Welty Arnold (Best Man) and his wife Martha attended. They wanted a small, quiet wedding and that's what they had. People were invited to the wedding dance based on a notice in the Kankakee Republican News newspaper. The dance was held two Saturday nights after the wedding at the Dreamland nightclub. Dreamland was located on the corner of Rte 17 W and what is now called the Limestone School Road. It was a huge place that ran wide open during the war. It burnt down in early 1950, I think. Limestone Township finally formed a Fire Department after this fire. Some people brought gifts and others threw cash in a hat. Mom's parents, George and Marietta (Et) Arthur Arnold, did not come because she never drank or danced and didn't believe in it. He did and did. Dad's parents, Luther and Anna Nacke Miller, came  and danced but didn't stay long. Attendees were primarily their friends. And that was the beginning of my family!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Great-Aunt Dora

Dora Hargis (8 May 1882-27 Nov 1971) was Grandpa Arnold's sister. Her second husband  was William Andrew Hargis (29 Aug 1868-29 April 1964). My Aunt Dora Arnold is named after her.

Arnold Girls

Gertie, Lucille, Edith
Dora, Dorothy, Velma

Celia Mathews

Celia is the second wife of "Paw" Arthur. She passed away in January of this year at the age of 91.


Aunt Dora Arnold

This picture was taken on the farm NE of Martinton about 1950. She was a teenager. She and Aunt Dorothy have lived together most of their lives,
along with Mardene. They even went back to Kentucky and lived awhile. They also lived in Kentland Indiana for some time and next door to us on Tanner Avenue. They have been the closest of the Arnold girls to my folks. As youngsters they spent a lot of time at our house. Dad was never one to go visit many people but he would go to their homes. Her son Randy is living in Colorado and is
reading this blog. See the push lawn mower in the background. Calorie burner!

Another 90th Birthday, from January 2006

90th Birthday, Pearle Miller Peterson

Barb and I joined with Mom and Marilyn Rose and attended a nice birthday party; Pearle Petersons! She is one of the "short" Miller's from Rte 113 along the river. Mom and I have spent hours riding around soaking up the lore of the Miller's and others in Limestone Township with Pearle. Her mind is always sharp and between the two of them I've had an education.