This issue of West Bend News marks nearly one year since our beloved Stan Jordan passed through those “pearly gates”. We still miss his office banter, his jolly chuckle, and his fierce devotion to family, to Antwerp and to Paulding County. Sit back and reminisce with us a few of Stan’s articles that he wrote over the years.
Last night was February 12, 2020 and here in Paulding County we celebrated being 200 years old (1820 – 2020). There was a big gathering at the former armory, that was remodeled into a fine church, and all the seats were taken.
I was seated down front so I could hear and see what was going on. I was sitting right across the aisle from Governor DeWine and we had a nice talk about WWII and his father being a veteran. I enjoyed talking to him.
The program consisted of a number of dignitaries from the area to Columbus, but there was some local people who talked and made the evening very interesting. After the meeting everyone was invited to go to the court house and see the 200 years in pictures.
Some of these pictures are from the John Paulding Historical Society, assembled and finished by the West Bend News.
The Governor visited all the floors of the court house and were very interested in all of the pictures. He re- marked that he had not seen any display that was any better. When the people started home, it was snowing and I think it got worse the farther south people traveled. I hope everyone got home alright.
I had a very interesting talk with Mr. and Mrs. George Carter, the CEO of PPEC. I want to thank An- gel and Julia Steiner for all of their help for that memorable evening. Most people don’t know how many volunteer hours were put in by everyone involved with get- ting this event prepared.
I am going to take this means to try to thank all of them, from all of us…Thank You!
THE 589th FIGHTER WING: THE LOW-BOW (LOBO) OUTFIT
This is May of 1944 and I am Willie Wilson, first lieu- tenant of the Army Air force. I hail from Pale Moon, Montana, back in the good ol’ U.S.A. We are here in Lop- shire Airbase in southern England. We fly the P51D Mustang for the 589th Fight- er wing, but basically we are a tank busting outfit. At the present time, our ship is armed with 6 – .50 caliber ma- chine guns, 2-20 millimeter cannons, and 4- 4 inch jumbo rockets. We are the best tank busters in the ETO, bar none.
We are off by ourselves here in Lopshire Air Base at the end of the runway. We eat at the main mess hall and obey all of the rules and regulations of the base, but we answer to Col. Baxter Bain- bridge from Rocky Ridge, Tennessee. We are a hush- hush group, we usually get all of the new equipment to try out. We get all of the new ordinance and ideas from General George Patton. He is the best armored man in the continent. We have our crew and boys that keep our planes flying. We have Lt. Alva Ames from Bad Axe, Michigan. Next guy we have is Basil Barnes from Komo, Mississippi. Then, we have Neil Nelson from Grafton, Minnesota. We are loaded up for to make the dawn patrol, as soon as we get enough light to take off.
I am Willie Wilson, and my wing man is Basil Barnes. The other two planes fly off to our right and a little to our rear all the time. We head east across the channel to the Calais area to see what is up this early. We see a huge flight of B17 bombers coming back from a night-raid over Ger- many. There is a large number
of English bombers headed towards Germany. We are over France now and we must remain alert at all times. We are plenty safe from ground- fire, but there are still a lot of German fighter planes around.
We are looking for trains, trucks or any other type of vehicle that belongs to the Krauts. We went down to 1,000ft. and slowed down to about 250mph. There is plen- ty of daylight now and we can see pretty good. Here we go, there is a column of supply trucks heading for the coast. I blow up a truck and Basil gets a truck and the other boys are also having a little luck. We have the whole column burn- ing on the roadside.
We fly south towards Caen, but we don’t find any more action. We turn and head back towards Lopshire. We hold it at about 350mph and fly right down on the waves of the channel.
It is 1846 and our family is just leaving Germantown, Ohio, heading west. Here in the Midwest, Ohio hasn’t been a state very long – 1803 and Indiana in 1816. We are Buckeyes but the Indiana State Line is just a few miles to our west.
My parents, William & Mollie Metzger and I and my 2 younger sisters, Margo is 12 and Mazie is 10 years old and I am going on 15 years old.
Grandpa Metzger fought in the Revolutionary War and for a bonus he was given 160 acres called the Firelands. He had to improve it and we did. After grandpa died, my father inherited the farm. My folks talked a lot at night about going west on the Oregon Trail, to the Land of Milk and Honey.
Dad sold the farm and bought 2 wagons with canvas covers to get us to Independence, Missouri. Dad burned the house and buildings down about 2 days before we left. Then we searched the ashes for all of the wrought iron nails. We have been told to do this as iron nails are hard to get after you leave the Mississippi River.
Dad bought a team of mules to pull the second wag- on. This is filled with supplies more than household goods. It carries all the food for the animals and a crate of chick- ens. We have a small barrel of water on each side. We have 3 bushels of potatoes, cabbages, carrots, etc. from last year’s garden.
I drove the horses today and dad drove the mules. The girls rode on the seat with
me.We crossed through Ohio and Indiana, it’s pretty much straight west to Indianapolis. I think that is the capital of the state. This land is also pretty flat, a little rolling maybe.
We went through a town today called Richmond, Indiana. It’s a little place but the townspeople said it would soon be incorporated. An-other nice day, pretty dry for April.
I haven’t written for a few days, they are all the same. We are about half way to Indianapolis, pretty good roads, quite a few people going west and a few going east. When you are in the sun you can take your coat off for a while.
Met a local man today and he said pretty good trail into Indianapolis, four maybe three days travel yet. Well, we finally left Indianapolis. We got groceries there, salt, bacon, flour, baking soda, beans, coffee, sugar, soap, dried fruit, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, hard tack, tobacco for dad, cornmeal and a sack of horehound candy.
All of the supplies we put into the first wagon. Filled the water barrels also. I guess we go about 10 miles each day. Not too much mud. We keep the mules on the first wagon now, they are slower than the horses.
Had a goose drown last night and we didn’t only go a couple of miles. Lots of sandy ground here and our wheels sink down in the sand, slow going.
Met a horseback rider to- day, he was going east. He said about 3 days at a mules pace to the Illinois line, a little place called Danville. This country is flat, but the farm ground looks good. That rider said they call this the prairie.
Got into Danville today. Been on the trail about 6 weeks. An old timer told us today to stay pretty much straight west to get to Quincy, the last town in Illinois.
The days are getting a little longer and mom has school every night before dark. Boy, she sees to it that we can read, write and cipher. If we have a rainy day and don’t travel she holds school in the big wagon.
This is just the first install- ment of the Metzger’s journey across the Oregon Trail. The next installment will be in the W.B.N. next week.
**The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
**Maybe I’m not always right, but I’m never wrong.
**There is the correct way and then the Army way.
**What do you call a smart blonde? A golden retriever.
**Why are husbands like lawn mowers? They’re hard to get started, emits foul odors and don’t work half of the time.
**I never understood why women liked cats. Cats are independent, they don’t listen, don’t come when they’re called, they like to stay out all night and when they are at home, they like to sleep. In other words, everything women hate in men, and they love in cats!
**What is the difference between a new husband and a new dog? A dog is always glad to see you, and a dog only takes a couple of months to train.
**Farmer John took his cow away and had her de-calfinated.
**Today is the tomorrow, you worried about yesterday.
**She took her half of the road right out of the center.
**When a woman drives with her arm out of the window she might be signaling left turn, right turn, drying her nails, flipping the ashes off her cigarette… all you can be sure of is, her window is down.
**The waiter at the restaurant asked me, “How did you find your steak?”
“I moved three peas and there it was.”
**A bad day at fishing, is still better than a good day at work.
**I graduated with an illness diploma, they were sick of having me around.
**Charlie got his new wife at the Bargain Barn.
In the History of Antwerp, the Schilb family name stands out quite brightly. Andrew Schilb started the first mortuary in Antwerp in 1857. It sat on the west side of South Main Street about where the McQuire Building now sits.
But this column is about a lovely lady of 92 years named Ruth Schilb, who with her husband, Tom, I consider modern day pioneers for An- twerp. So why don’t I start in the beginning.
Ruth was born on August, 29, 1915. At that time, her parents, George and Rose Clemmer lived right in the area of the Bethel Church and school. She did not attend that school. They moved to Antwerp in 1920. She had three brothers and two half sisters.
One of the sisters married Russell Jenkins and the other married Paul Jump.
After they lived in Antwerp a while they moved to Montpelier, Ohio. Ruth’s father, George, was a construction man and there was plenty of work up there. While at Monpelier, George helped build the Roundhouse for the Wabash Railroad. I think the Clemmer boys graduated there.
They moved back to Antwerp and Ruth started in the 7th grade. She liked school very well and she met a neighbor boy named Tom Schilb.
Tom graduated in 1933 and they were married that same year. While Tom was away to college in Cleveland she stayed with his parents and helped out at the funeral home. Tom’s mother was very helpful in getting her used to her new job.
I forgot that Tom had a twin brother, Andrew, and they both went to college at the same time.
Tom and Ruth had a baby girl named Mary. After a few years they had Jane and then Walter. While this was going on Tom worked at the Schilb Furniture Store, the Appliance Store and the Funeral Parlor. Meantime, two of Ruth’s brothers, Wilber and George, became teachers at Antwerp High School.
In the early years, they stored the funeral caskets on the upper floor of the furniture store. Later on, the house was remodeled and made bigger and they had a casket showroom upstairs.
Tom built the appliance store across the street with an apartment upstairs, they lived there a few years. That building is now a laundromat.
Before this and during this time, Tom got interested in the new game of softball. He organized a good team and got permission to play and remodel the high school ball diamond.
Everyone helped at the ball diamond. The Schilbs made coffee in a ten gallon milk can. They then took the funeral tent to the ball park and used it as a concession tent. It was a good time then and a busy time. But everyone came to Antwerp on Sunday night. Schilb’s Reds were as good as any area ball club and the town backed them also.
Well, after a few years, Tom retired from all the Schilb businesses and he and Ruth moved to Sebring, Florida in early 1970’s. They fit in down there very well. Tom was a good golfer and they had a beautiful home just a stones throw from #1 tee. They had their own golf cart and there was an easement to the club house.
After a couple of seasons, Ruth became a good golfer and she was President of the Ladies’ Golf Association. Tommy served a couple terms as President of the Country Club. Like I said, they really enjoyed living in Florida and they had a million friends.
After a good retirement life, Tom died in 1990. Ruth lived in Sebring for another 10-11 years. She came back to Antwerp to her children and grandchildren in the year 2000.
She lived in an assisted living apartment a couple of years and then her grand- daughter, Karen (Walter’s daughter) wanted her to come live with them. Now let me tell you about that situation. Her granddaughter, Karen Fenker and her husband and children live at the corner of Lockner Road and The County Line Road in Allen County. They have llamas, dogs, cats, birds, and various and asunder creatures for pets. Besides the llamas, they have a dog that is a German Shephard that is called Wahoo, a house dog (Bishon) named Coconut that loves Ruth, a cat named Potsie, Zebra Finches and a tropical bird that rides on Karen’s shoulder.
The Fenker’s have five children: two boys and three girls and all the above mentioned pets. Ruth is very happy in this fine home, you can tell by the big grin and her smiling eyes. She gets along fine with all the pets except for the bird—he will bite once in a while.
She watched the Chicago Cubs along with her grand- son, Mark, and they did plenty of coaching and umping from the living room. Mark now goes to college. There are two children left at home, with the rest being in college.
I have known this lovely lady all my life. When she and Tom had that lovely home in Sebring they had the Powells and the Jordans over for a fine dinner. You might say Tom was a role model for me and they had a zillion friends.
Yes, you bet, I really enjoyed seeing Ruth again and I think she enjoyed seeing Sue, Pauline and I. Ruth, a tip of
my ball cap to you and may you enjoy many more years at that very homey place.
EL PASO SAM, INDIAN AGENT CHAPTER 1: SAM & CALLIE GET MARRIED
El Paso Sam and Slim Jim Martin arrived in North Platte, Nebraska Territory right at Christmas time in 1851.
The fellows had to go to the livery stable and take care of the animals and equipment. When Billy Metzger was with them he always did that chore and they sure miss him now.
After they took care of the animals, they walked down the street to the North Platte Hotel. When they walked through the front door Callie looked up from her job and ran to Sam and gave him a hug and a kiss that was a little more than friendship. Everyone stood around and shook their head for a bit then things settled down.
If you will remember, Callie is the hotel owner’s niece but she is also Sam’s girlfriend and more than that even. Things was sort of slow in the hotel lobby so Callie could spend a lot of time with Sam.
All went into the restaurant and got a table in the corner and the happiness flowed like spring rain.
They all had the evening meal and talked quite a bit. Slim went on upstairs to bed, but they all agreed to meet for breakfast at 8:00 a.m. right here at the same corner table.
Callie Thorton was born in Cape May, NJ in 1825. She graduated from high school there and had a year at the Community College.
Cape May is on the sea shore and damp most of the time. She didn’t like any- thing about this area, so she went west to North Platte to work for her uncle in his hotel. That is where she met El Paso Sam Rivers.
If you will remember, Sam was born in Como, Mississippi in 1824. He went on west in his late teens and worked for the El Paso Devil’s Gate Stage Coach Line. He got quite serious with a girl there, but she wasn’t so serious and Sam left El Paso and worked his way on west to the desert southwest and was a civilian scout for Colonial Stockton in California Territory. He left that outfit and worked his way back to Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory. He caught a ride with a wagon outfit going back to Independence, MO. He met Slim Martin there and signed on with a wagon train going west to Fort Bridger, Wyoming Territory. That was in 1848, and he and Slim are still together having just disbanded the 3M Wagon Train.
So Sam proposed to Callie and she accepted readily. Those two just seemed to be made for each other. The wedding was set for the day after tomorrow in the hotel lobby at 11:00 a.m. on December 31, 1851. Slim Mar- tin was the best man and Callie’s Aunt Nellie stood up with Callie. Aunt Nellie also gave her mother’s wed- ding ring to Callie because there was no jewelry store in North Platte.
After the wedding there was a fine dinner for all the folks and friends, and it last- ed well into the evening.
Jim, Callie and Sam all discussed when they would head east to Fort Kearney. Callie could be ready in three days, and then the boys could load all her be- longings in Sam’s wagon. Jim was ready to go any- time.
Sam wanted to be in Fort Kearney before the first of February so he could start his new job by February 1st. Sam is to be the Indian Agent
for the Lakota Nation. It was located in Broken Bow, Nebraska Territory. The build- ing was already built and ready for occupancy.
Callie had all her clothes packed and in a few trunks and bags, and she had some furniture and a dandy bed complete with mattress and bed clothes. That is just fine because Sam doesn’t have hardly any possessions be- cause he has been on the road in a wagon train for about three years.
Well, they left North Platte and headed east to Fort Kearney. Jim’s wagon went first and broke a trail for Sam’s wagon. Callie sat with Sam’s buffalo robe and was plenty warm, but she wasn’t used to all the bouncing the wagon got from the holes in the snow on the trail, but it really wasn’t all that bad.
She was a good rider, she knew she would have to get used to the trail riding as it is around two hundred miles to Fort Kearney.
Next Week: On the Trail to Fort Kearney
This is sort of a testimonial of a blue and red farm truck that works for Kenny Hahn and Nick Bragg.
I am a 1982 Chevrolet farm truck and I would like to publish my history before I end up in the crusher.
For years, I hauled grain for a nice fellow over in Payne. I liked those folks, we got along fine, but he needed a bigger truck to haul his grain so he put me up for sale.
Kenny Hahn bought my services and I have been here on Hahn Farms ever since. Now, I’m not the only truck on the farm that hauls grain. Kenny has 2 semi outfits also, but I have a little seniority over them.
I don’t work much till it’s soybean harvest time at the end of September. Then Nick will come out to the new barn and take me over to the gas tanks and check my oil and get me ready for the big push. They will fill the semi trailers first and then I and my trailer, “Jenny” come into use. You can cut beans from about noon till supper time or a little later according to the dew.
What we don’t get to the elevator that evening we take over in the morning while someone gets the combine ready for a day’s work. And someone is working up the bean ground so it will be ready for corn next spring. Everybody works on the farm, even some extra long days at harvest time. They keep me and Jenny and the 2 big trucks ready at all times. That’s the way it goes, about two weeks and we have soy- beans combined and a lot of the corn ground worked up.
Those big semis will haul about a thousand bushels of grain and I and Jenny about 700 bushel all together.
I don’t know why, but Mike and Nick would rather drive one of the big semi trucks. Well, yes they do have more power, but I have a 427 engine. One time Nick was driving me and we had a big load and right in down town Antwerp my tranny stuck in fourth gear right under the light. I couldn’t move and the traffic was held up and the police came and said, “What’s the trouble?” Nick said, “I can’t move, it’s in fourth gear, stuck there and I can’t get it out of fourth.
Someone called the elevator and they came over with a tractor and chain and pulled us down to the elevator and got us out of the city traffic.
As luck would have it, one of the boys there waiting in line knew what to do and he got my tranny out of fourth gear and we went on from there.
It’s according to the weather, but we might get a few days being a little slower till the corn is dry enough to combine. Then it’s “Nellie hold hold the nanny goat” at corn time on Hahn Farms. Everybody works early morn- ing till late at night, Sunday and all, and probably an extra driver or so. Just like in the beans, they fill the big trucks and then me and Jenny; this goes on till we are done with the corn.
It makes no difference if it’s eastern standard time or Russian standard time, we work around the clock.
It is usually Kenny and Nick doing the farming, but at corn combining time we need about 3 more drivers and me and Jenny do a lot of road work.
Then all at once, the busy work is done. Kenny and Nick make the necessary repairs on
the equipment. Then Nick cleans everything and washes and waxes everything before they put it away.
They take Jenny and me out to the new barn and we get pushed back in the far, northwest corner. Jenny gets nothing, but I get about two quarts of Zerex for the winter.
I guess Kenny is going to put me up for sale. I’m sure sorry about that, I like all these boys.
Tags:antwerp history Billy Metzger El Paso Sam Indian Agent Lobo Tank Busters Stan Jordan Stanley Woods Jordan
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