On a frigid, snowy day in January 1912, a young man, just shy of his 19th birthday, sat near the stove in his father’s farmhouse in rural O’Fallon and penned a poem describing what he saw that morning.
Fluent in German and English, he chose the latter to paint the scene with words. And he submitted it to the Progress, which published it on Jan. 26 that year, titled simply, “The Snowy Morn.” Edgar, the young man, would soon marry and raise five boys of which one was my dad. Here’s what he wrote so long ago. Happy New Year!
As the clock struck ten,
The stock ran to their pen;
Never miss a local story.
And the snow was drifting,
Thru the cracks it was sifting.
The snow is getting deep,
And drifts all in a heap;
The snow is going on its way,
Covering corn shocks and stacks of hay.
The birds in the field of snow,
Where the wintry wind does blow;
The snow is coming faster,
And in the garden lies the frozen Aster.
The writer with his pen in hand,
Beside him the stove does stand;
Writing these several lines,
Looking at the bending trees of pines.
75 years ago Jan. 7, 1943
Independent Engineering Company purchased the massive William G. Willard mansion at Willard’s Station. The two-story brick building has 15 rooms, all 16 feet square with 12-foot ceilings. Extensive alterations will be made for barracks to house soldier students at the Bertram School of Gases, operated by Independent. (The mansion, no longer standing, was on Betty Lane.)
50 years ago Jan. 4, 1968
O.C. Joseph, automotive dealer, farmer and livestock fancier, has slaughtered a bull buffalo and it was being marketed at the O’Fallon Locker Co. retail outlet (220 E. State) in home-sized packages. Joseph said the buffalo on sale is one of five sold by him this year. He still has a herd of 11 on his farm north of town. The animal sold here is a 1250-pound one fed on corn the past six months.