Stories About Home Place

In the beginning

Chapter I

                 When the 20th century ended, there was a big rush to welcome the new millennium, but also it seems every new magazine and newspaper felt the need to review the past 100 years. In the many newspaper articles I reviewed, it occurred to me that a goodly percentage of the more prominent events happened during my  own lifetime (not that I had anything to do with them), but then again, there is nothing better than a living tribute to an era.

It was a great feeling to be able to recall so many things my children and grandchildren only read about or were taught in school.  There is also a down side to all this, you suddenly realize you are older that dirt.  You really notice it when you read the obituaries in the newspaper and find another notice that you have lost another friend or family member.  On a lighter note, it is a warm and fuzzy feeling when you notice the section in the Sunday paper celebrating the 50th wedding anniversaries of so many of your friends.

Some events during my lifetime have been outstanding, interesting, newsworthy and joyous and    others have been almost the opposite; but luckily, time has a way of editing out the bad and enhancing the good, so it keeps life on an even keel (at least on paper) You eventually become the family historian and a keeper of the old family proverbs and sayings, which seem to delight the current generation.

My generation was before television, before penicillin, polio shots, antibiotics and Frisbees.  Before frozen foods, nylons, Dacron, Xerox, etc.  We were before radar, florescent lights, credit cards and ball point pens.  Time sharing meant togetherness, not computers, a chip meant a piece of wood, hardware meant    hardware, and software wasn’t even a word. In our time, closets were for clothes, not for coming out of.  In those days bunnies were small rabbits and rabbits were not Volkswagens.

We were before Batman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Snoopy.  Before DDT and vitamin pills and the white wine craze, disposable diapers, jeeps, scotch tape, M & M’s and the automatic shift and Lincoln Continentals.  We were also in the era without Pizzas, Cheerios, frozen orange juice and McDonalds was      unheard of.  We thought fast food was what you ate during Lent.

We were before FM radio, tape recorders, electric typewriters, and Word processors (let alone      computers), and even disco dancing. We were before the transatlantic flight of Lindberg and Earhart, before United Nations and before many countries became independent nations.

In our day, grass was mower, Code was something you drank and pot was something you cooked in or peed in. There were no sex changes and we made do with what we had.  We were made before vending      machines, jet planes, helicopters and interstate highways.


But I’m ahead of myself.  Let’s start at the beginning.

Obviously I had nothing to say as to when I would arrive in this brave new world, but certainly I wouldn’t have chosen to be born three days after Christmas, nor would I have picked the time when the    economy had taken such a hit and there was so much despair and anguish resulting from the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression which was still going on.  But then, there had been a bright spot, of sorts, in 1933 – prohibition came to an end.  New President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had worked extremely hard pulling the Nation out of the Depression, pleaded with Americans to use moderation when drinking     alcohol. It must have been a big relief to have their bathtubs back for bathing instead of making gin.

When I was hungry, my Mom was there to breast feed me. That’s the way it was then.  However, when my sister was born15 months before me, she turned out to be allergic to mother’s milk as well as cow’s milk and the only option was soy milk.  I don’t think the term “lactose intolerant” existed then.  But back then life was too simple to worry about politically correct terms like they have today: such as, if you’re  handicapped, you are now physically challenged; if you’re short – you’re height disadvantaged, etc., etc.

A gallon of milk cost about .41 cents and a loaf of bread was .07 cents.  At least Daddy had a good job and I’m not too sure how much he made, but the average income was $1,487.00.


Intro from It Seems Like Yesterday by Marlene Craig Richard Littleton, Home Place Native

More to come in future Tattlers


The Naming Of “Home Place”

Just a quick foreword to the article below; this was copied from Jack Edwards book “a view

of Home Place Indiana, published in 1992. There were a few copies still left at but not many. Some are also available on Amazon, in used condition.

Mrs. Mabel Howard taught many of us at Pleasant Grove Methodist church in Sunday school
and babysat for my sister and me in the early 1950’s. Her husband, everyone called him Sam,
was the home place blacksmith. His shop was behind his house on the corner of 107th and
Bellefontaine. They had one child, Donald, who was born with cerebral palsy, but lived with
them until their deaths. He graduated from Carmel high with a regular class and was self
sufficient. Later in his life, when traffic in the neighborhood got so bad he could no longer
ride his 3 wheel bike, the one with the orange banner proclaiming slow moving vehicle, he

would sometimes rely on others for assistance. Everyone knew Donald and gave him plenty

of space when we saw him on the streets running his errands. Despite his condition, Donald

often wrote articles for the local newspaper, Phoebe Hudler’ Topics.
Before the Orin/Jessup Corporation put a prize on naming home place it had always been
called the “little farms.” So, for nearly 100 years now the name has been constant and very
few now remember, or even knew of Mabel, her family, the naming, or the contest she won.
She was a special Christian lady.

June 1916  

The prize for the best verse was awarded to Mrs. E.P. (Mable) Howard, 28 years old at the
time of writing the verse.

~It Was About Two Years Ago
A Man Came To This Place,
And Found A Lonely Cornfield
To Stare Him In The Face.
But Beneath It All Was Prospects
Of A Grand And Glorious Town,
If The Support Of All He Could Get
To Prove His Treasure Found.
Then Many Agreed With All His Plans
For They Seemed To Be Alright,
And Houses Sprang Up In That Cornfield Like Mushrooms In The Night.
What Shall We Call The Little Town
Came Now To Every Mind,
It Is So Nice And Homelike
“Home Place” Is The Best 
Name We Can Find.
In The Few Short Years That Pass By
Some Skeptics Walking Around
Will Ask ‘Who Are These People?’
In Gladness So Profound.
I Will Not Pause Or Hesitate
But Answer On The Spot,
When “Home Place” Was A Little Town
They Invested In Some Lots~

Mrs. Howard was born February 29, 1888. She passed away January 1, 1976 in Camargo, Illinois


Stephen C. Brown
The Old Home Place Rat