Elgar Zeno and Vivian Haight
Pictured above are Elgar Haight and his wife Vivian Haight. They make their home 33-26th St., Mason City, Iowa. They raised their family on Iowa farms, were successful farmers and now rent their farm to their son, Keith Haight, while they live
in near by Mason City.
Winters they go south with the birds and back in time to see Iowa get green and for Iowa's hot nights, in the Good Old Summer Time.
Sorry to use this small picture but it is all I have. This was taken around 1954 or thereabouts.
The history of Elgar Haight family that follows was written by Elgar and his wife and the children.
I Dwight L. Haight, am doing this page only.
Elgar is easy to work for, Vivian is a good cook, easy to get along with etc. How do I know? I worked for them the first year they were married. nice folks if they are brother and sister-in-law, of mine. May 21, 1959.
Dwight L. Haight
I was born 10-1-1889 in Brook Twp, Buena Vista County, Iowa. I am the only one of the Haight Bro's that has a true claim to being odd. Notice the years of their birth??
My early childhood I don't remember, but am told I was a very uncomfortable child. Had lots of stomachaches. I have outgrown the aches, but wear a 44 waist now.
There are many I suppose, but two of my sayings were flung at me. First coming to dinner I was told I had not washed. I had them all sacked as I replied, "I have to" "Just go look at the towel". Just last week, May 1958 to be exact, my wife told me "You must have a dirty job from the looks of the towel". Direst surely has the easy way of following me. Second, another one was they were talking of butchering which I overheard. In those days they had to salt etc. pork to keep it for summer use which I did not know. I told them "Whenever you butcher, don't butcher such a salty hog".
My school life was as most boys. Had trouble with language and dates. I am still getting educated and also shown.
Brook Twp., No. 5 was the first school. I finished my high school at Prep in Cedar Falls, Iowa. also some college work. In Sept., 1914 I entered state college in Bozeman, Montana in an Ag course. After going about six weeks, my eyes were giving me so much heck I quit. I suppose I should have gone and got glasses but of the two I gave up glasses.
In the year 1910 I followed Ernest and Ray to Lewistown, Montana and on Oct. 2, 1910 filed on a homestead on the west. I commuted (Proved up) in two years. During homesteading I worked by the month. Made trips to and from the homestead occasionally and usually stayed over night once or twice a month. My homestead and Jess Fordyce homestead joined.
My first job was with the Vanek Bro's near Lewistown. That was my first try at bunkhouse sleeping. Not a bad idea. there was a new bunkhouse to get used to. They had a new wrinkle to me. They slept on one feather tick and put another feather tick over them for covers. If you don't think this takes practice just you try it in a Montana bunkhouse in November.
In Dec. 1910 Elmer Lytle wrote from Winston, Montana that he was looking for someone to do some required worked on a mining claim for him and his brother Charlie Lytle. (Elmer Lytle's wives mother and my mother were half sisters) As I was looking for a job I went over. On those mineral claims, you had to go a certain distance down on a shaft and then tunnel more feet each year to hold this claim. The claims were twenty acres each. This one was a tunnel and wasn't so bad. I was the mule that pushed the load of rock out and dumped it. The really hard push came in pushing it back. It was about 500 feet inside of a mountain and the shaft 110 feet down.
This was a little different. I had to pull the rock etc. to the top using a hand made winch, a pole about ten feet long that had a handle and a rope that would around it and all I had to do was turn the handle and the bucket a whiskey barrel) came up. To get it back I had a short piece of rope that served as a brake, when I pulled on it. The fellow in the bottom of the shaft was in a risky place, I thought. the other fellow, Andy Lebon, who Elmer Lytle had hired for the job was a miner and did all the blasting etc. He just bit the cap with his teeth to hold it on the fuse which looked rather risky to me. I worked at this about three weeks.
After that I worked for Lytle's neighbor until about the first of March. I hauled hay fifteen miles every other day to his horses, cattle and sheep. I helped mix concrete using ice water and some ice got by, Jess Fordyce helped on this job.
Jess Fordyce went back to Lewistown with me filing on his claim. (Homestead) We walked the 35 miles out to the homestead from Lewistown. Your feet sure dragged on the last end for in March the footing in the gumbo was not very good. Much of it stuck to your feet.
That spring in March 1911 I went to work for Homer Knerr near Kendall, Montana. (In 1958 Kendall is a ghost-mining town) He farmed and hauled dynamite to the gold mines to Kendall. He also ran a threshing rig. The hauling was from Lewistown to Kendall a distance of about 20 miles. We used a six-horse team. We took two wagons and twelve horses (six to a rig) to haul the dynamite. Dynamite was duck soup to me but those caps I never did like to handle. (Wonder what a run away with a load would have done) I worked there until Dec. and then went to the homestead. I built another shack there and as it joined Ernest's homestead I ate my meals with him and Maude. Ernest Haight was my brother. Jess Fordyce homestead and mine joined so we stayed together all that winter.
The spring of 1912 I worked for Joe Montgomery about four miles south on Salt Creek. In the latter part of March I was given the job "of walking" a breaking plow turning over the virgin sod. Had four horses pulling the plow. I broke sod until in June sometime. Sure was a nice job, as I did not mind walking as the furrow made good footing.
Some of the highlights in Montana was, seeing a roundup of steers to be sold for beef. They were fat for grass cattle. The roundup at weaning time was a roaring time. Hundreds of cows separated from their calves with the cows going one way and the calves to the home ranch. I saw over 700 Mexican hide and bones brought in and turned loose to find feed and water. Others found to much water in someone's kettle in a beef stew. No fence would stop these cattle as they were nimble as a jackrabbit.
The railroad was built through the Knerr ranch from Lewistown to Winifred and Roy in 1912 the year I worked there. They used all horses and mules with 20 horses on a grader and 3 horses on a dump wagon.
Lots of work was done with four horses on a kind of scrapper or slip known as a Frisno or Fresno. The contractor was "Pick Handle Burk" who got that name because he carried a pick handle to kind of remind the men. He meant what he said. he retired and built a large hotel after completing this railroad job having built a lot of the Milwaukee track between St. Paul, Minn. and Winifred, Montana. He did have brought out on trial in 1912 on Ohio Pitts gas tractor to use on the 20-horse grader job. Used it about a day and refused to buy it for it was to slow. I am not sure if this was 1911 or 1912. Some change in dirt moving in 1911 and now in 1958.
Had lots of picnics, dances and also tried deer hunting for past time. Roamed around Fergus county and various places in Montana until the fall of 1914 when I went back to the old home in Iowa.
I stayed with my folks (Laura and Fred Haight) for the next four years farming on shares with them. I meet in Mason City, Iowa a very fine, red head who was taking nurses training in the hospital there. I was visiting my cousin Eva Hunter who was doing likewise taking nurses training. On Feb. 2, 1918 she having decided we should get hitched we were married at her parents home, Benjamin and Anna Baker. One of the best if not the best thing I ever did. The folks retired and we lived on the home place known as Glenn Alphine Home until the spring of 1920.
I suppose I should say more right here and now where I met Vivian Baker. It was an important event for me and we have had a very good life together. Part of it was on a poor mans income. Eva Hunter (a daughter of my mother's sister Lizzetta Cassiday, in other words my cousin) went to take nurses training in the Park hospital in Mason City, Iowa so I made a trip to visit her and Vivian was Eva's roommate. (Eva Hunter latter married Clifford Mc Arthur and now in 1958 live in Phoenix, Arizona). The first evening that I was there the three of us went to East Park in Mason City and did it rain, hail, thunder, lightening etc. In time the usual things happened and we became engaged and then married 2-2-1918 at Clear Lake, Iowa.
We had four Children:
Charleen Haight born 6-17-1919 married 3-5-1944 to Donald Sirwright
Amy Haight 9-3-1921 married 6-25-1944 to Paul Poppen (she died suddenly 7-15-1946)
Keith Haight 4-2-1923 married 2-11-1948 to Marguerite Ver Helst
Shirley Haight 6-11-1929 married 8-8-1950 to Richard Dean.
We sure had some good times as well as some very rough ones while farming. Making the shift form western Iowa at Glenn Alphine Home in 1920-1921 to eastern Iowa was not to bad times for us.
We had sold our live stock grain etc. at a good price in the fall of 1920 at G. A. H. and when it came time to buy at Clear Lake in the spring of 1921 it was much cheaper making it very nice for us.
For nine years we farmed a 240 a. farm at Clear Lake, Iowa on a 50-50 stock share lease. In June of 1929 we bought a farm four or so miles S.E. of Mason City, Iowa. We moved there in the spring of 1930 and for a time the times were tough. we bought corn delivered for 12 cents per bushel. We sold hogs for $1.50 per cwt. Some weighed over five hundred pounds. What could one do on taxes, interest living etc. on the dollars they brought? We sold 64 hogs in June for $213.00. Cattle, eggs and butterfat were about the same accordingly.
Then in the spring of 1956 we bought a house in Mason City, Iowa and moved into town. Keith and family took over the farm home and farm in 1957, is doing fine, likes it, and so do we.
We have done quite a bit of church work, When at Clear Lake which is fifteen or so miles from where we now live we were active in the Sunday school at the Lakeside church, a country church about nine miles south west of Clear Lake. Vivian was Supt. a number of years. I served as trustee on the church board. In Mason City we attend the Methodist church and Sunday school at what used to be known as the Olive Church. It is now known as the Wesley Methodist Church. I was on this church board for quite a spell. There was a new church built while I was on the board. Recently or now we attend the First Methodist Church in Mason City. One thing I think holds true in all the churches is "Take care of the youngster's now and they will take care of the church later on". I couldn't get the job done in all cases.
My first office was Township Trustee in Brooke Township near Peterson, Iowa. I was reelected and then moved out of the county. At Clear Lake I took active part in school affairs. Was secretary of the school board. In Mason Twp., was director for a number of years. I was Township committeeman on the farm program. Also was district corn sealer. I served on the Farm Machinery Board the entire period W.W.II. It had to do with the rationing of farm machinery. No pay but lots of gripes.
I took part in the Farm Cooperatives when in Buena Vista County and also after we came to the Mason City country. In Clear Lake I helped organize the Elevator Shipping Association and the Poultry Buying Station. Also helped start the Cooperative Farmers Gas and Oil Company in Cerro Gordo County and was on the board a number of years.
Have helped with Farm Bureau work since 1919. They were tied up with county extension for about thirty years. I was chairman of the county Planning Committee. I always practiced not staying on any board over three terms. If it was such a good job, pass it around and if not a good job then give the other fellow a chance to see the inside workings. Makes for a better cooperative spirit. I believe this holds true in all elective offices.
The foregoing was at the request of my brother Dwight L. Haight for my family history.
I could have written more but will close with saying of an old neighbor, Billy Brooks, in Buena Vista County, Iowa. Brooks had a renter on the farm and while sitting under a tree the renter said, "Gee I wish I had a car and could go for a ride and get cooled off". Billy Brooks replied, "It would be an expensive cool off, wouldn't it?. This was in 1907 or so when cars were new.
Another saying of Billy Brooks was, "I would not give two rows of corn for the best woman in Iowa". A Winfield Ericksen who was the son of one of his renters told my brother Dwight Haight. Some years later that in Billy Brooks early life due to mumps or something some Dr. had worked Billy Brooks over so not only would he have
not give tow rows of corn for a woman, but no woman would give half that much corn for him. Believe it or not.
Brooks creek headed near Storm Lake and the mouth of which was within rods of Billy Brooks house where it ran into the Little Sioux River as well as Brook Twp., was named after Mr. Brooks.
He was a large landowner having come to that spot in 1856. He died there leaving his property in its entirety to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. There seemed to be some question whether or not some slick operators did not defraud the college on that deal.
He sat days on end under his favorite oak tree near the old wagon road. In his will this tree was to never be destroyed. I don't think it ever was and perhaps is still standing.
Aren't You Glad?
Signed, Elgar Z. Haight June 1958.
"Vivian Baker Haight"
A note from me, Vivian Haight wife of Elgar Haight.
Born Jan. 6, 1893. Graduated from High School in Clear Lake, Iowa in 1910.
from Nurses Training School at the Park Hospital Mason City, Iowa in 1918.
Weight 106, then.
Forty years and four babies later
Weight 145 lb.
Ten pounds per child.
This sums it all up.
My parents were Annie May Miner born ------died 12-27-1954 married 3-4-1878 to Benjamin Franklin Baker at Brodhead, Wisconsin 3-31-1857.
To this union were born five children:
Bessie, Vivian, Vern, Ray and a child Elbert who died in infancy.
Signed Vivian Baker, Haight June 1958.
Charleen Bessie Haight Sirwright
A baby girl was born in June the 17th to be exact. Her eyes were blue as summer skies! Her hair was red. Alas! Alack!
They were so shocked, her dad and Ma they just could not believe their eyes! A red hared babe just could not be it came as one great, big surprise. Well, anyhow, that child was me. Now 1919 was the year, Glen Alphine Home was where I lived 'til March of '21, I hear. We left the farm at Peterson, Iowa and moved to one right near Clear Lake, Iowa. While here I played as all kids do and started school which made me quake. While in 6th grade we moved again my sisters two and brother one. Mason City, Iowa was our address. Our family life it was full of fun.
Began high school at age thirteen. It really was much, much too young. But that's the way they used to do. (I'll sure be glad when this song's sung) At sixteen years I was through school. Stayed home a year and worked and played 'twas really because I was too young to get a job, I was afraid.
I worked first at the Triple A for two weeks, it was in the spring with money earned I bought a watch, I surely thought it quite a thing. Two dollars per my wages were, I thought it quite a lot of money. Eight hours each day no half day off that salary now, would seem quite funny.
Then in the fall of '37 I started in to work again. I didn't stop for seven years except vacations, now and then. For six good years, I worked real hard as secretary at the Triple A. Then quit to take an office job to help make hemp, with darned good pay.
On March 5th, 1944 we went to church and said "I do". My husband's name is Don Sirwright he is a farmer through and through. We rent near Rockwell, Iowa all 14 years on this same farm. Two hundred twenty-four acres here. Requires much time and strong right arm!
We raise some pigs then some more, some beef, some corn, some oats, some hay. We really have a happy life with lots of work and a little play.
Our boy James Donald (we call him Jim) is thirteen now and in 8th grade. Our girl, named Beverly Diane, is ten and quite a happy maid. They go to school and ride the bus it comes right to our driveway gate. On Sundays then to church we go. (and we are never, never late!)
We think our church should take first place in all the things we try to do. we know that we should share with God our time, our gifts and our talents too.
Don was chairman of the building committee when we enlarged our church last year. I'm president of W.S.C.S. in the Methodist Church in Rockwell here.
Community activities take much time, right now, Don is director in three. The local locker, the Farm Bureau, and the Farmers Cooperative Society.
I also go to Woman's Club we help the local library. We are a study group, you know. We number two plus twenty-three.
I'm gong to quit aren't you glad? Do you still love me, Uncle Dwight? I really have no good excuse for being late, just hate to write!
Signed Charleen Bessie Haight Sirwright
Information about Donald Sirwright (husband of Charleen Haight) Donald Sirwright born March 16, 1912 in Sycamore, Ill. His parents were:
John Guy Sirwright 8-16-1883
Charlotte Ziplhy Wyke Sirwright 10-12-1888
Brothers and sisters of Donald Sirwright are:
Joseph Annis Sirwright 10-28-1907
Fred Raymond Sirwright 5-25-1918
Alice Bell Sirwright Harris 3-5-1944
Charleen and Donald Sirwright were married 3-5-1944.
When Donald was six months old, he moved with his parents and older brother to a farm south of Mason City, Iowa. From Ill. He attended local schools. He always loved farming and worked at home and for several farmers near Mason City, Iowa and on farms near Sycamore, Ill. for several years. In 1940 he rented a farm near his home. In 1944 when he married Charleen Haight we moved onto the farm on which we now live (1958). In the fall of 1954 we bought a farm near Plymouth, Iowa which is about 25 miles from here. We have a tenant on that 160-acre farm.
We have two children:
James Donald 12-18-1944
Beverly Diane 1-2-1948
This about covers things as they now stand this tenth day of October 1958.
Signed Charleen and Donald Sirwright
Amy Lorene Haight
Amy Lorene Haight had a very short life but a full one. She did a great deal of 4-H handwork and also in state recreational activities.
She graduated from both grand and high school with honors. She then took two years in Jr. College her in Mason City, Iowa where she was active in YWCA work.
After college she taught school for two years and then was married to Paul R. Poppen, a farmer and dairyman, on June 25-1944.
They had one daughter born August 31-1945 who they named Kathryn Vivian Poppen.
Amy Lou was blessed with a beautiful control to voice and spent much time singing for various organizations and for funerals and for church work.
She died very suddenly on the morning of July 15-1946 but her memory lives on in the hearts of all who knew her, as a mischievous, fun loving person, who loved everyone.
The above was written to Dwight L. Haight June 1-1958 by her mother Mrs. Elgar Haight (Vivian Baker Haight) from Mason City, Iowa.
Keith Laverne Haight
Keith did lots of 4-H work both in grade and high school. During his last two years in high school he worked in a green house.
The first year out of school he worked for two different neighbors as a farm hand. After that being to young for most jobs he went to Alaska as a camp helper on the Alcan highway. He also did some truck work on that same highway. (Great Falls, Montana to Fairbanks, Alaska)
He enlisted in the U.S. army 6-8-1943 serving sixteen months in the European area, where he received four bronze service stars for northern France's Rhineland-Arenennes etc. He had a hernia and nose operation while in England and also a bout with the mumps. He was sent into France with the 9th Infantry under General James J. Patton, then sent back to the Field Artillery where he was taken prisoner in Luxembourg. He was a P.O.W. for six months recuperating from a bayonet would through one lung. Had to work in a mine and scrounge for food in his spare time. The Russians liberated him.
After his return from overseas he was rehabilitated at Hot Springs, Arkansas where all but the tip of his lung was again inflated. He then went to Lamar, Colo. where he guarded German P.O.W.'s. He was discharged from Carson, Colo.
He was married to Marguerita Ver Helst 2-11-1948. Their first child born 1-7-1950 and died 5-13-1950 from a spinal defect. Her name was Nancy Lou Haight.
Julian Ann 12-2-1951 @ Mason City, Iowa
Alan Keith 11-5-1954 @ Mason City, Iowa
Marguerite is a fine mother, homemaker, excellent cook and wonderful gardener.
Keith is still a happy-go-lucky Irishman ready to help a neighbor at the drop of a hat. Sort of crusty on the outside and soft inside. His wife says he has a wonderful disposition. (She should know) He now lives on our farm and in addition farms another piece of land. With the help of his dad (Elgar Haight) raises a lot of hogs, and does custom baling.
Each fall he puts in a hitch in the boiler room as foreman in the sugar beet plant here in Mason City, Iowa.
Above was written by Keith's mother (Vivian Haight) from Mason City, Iowa to Dwight L. Haight at Great Falls, Montana. 6-1-1958.
Shirley Ann Haight Dean
I am the youngest of the Laura and Fred Haight grandchildren and the youngest of the Elgar and Vivian Haight children.
A Methodist minister married me to Richard Dean 8-8-1950 in the Congregational Church in Mason City, Iowa City. I was Methodist and "Rich" a Congregationalist; so we compromised. We took a week's honeymoon at a cabin on Gull Lake, a fishing resort in Minn. I have thought so often since that I will bet the folks in the other cabin and our neighbors really got a laugh out of the "Honeymooning Fisherman" who never went near
We lived with my very nice in-laws for eight months and then moved into a house we built on the same farm. The Dean's and us did all the work on the house.
"Products of the Shirley and Dean Union"
One son born in 1954 and another in 1955 both in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. ??? Dec. 1958. This being May 1958 name and sex unknown.
(Note: someone added 11-28-1958 Mark Bradley Dean)
Richard and I attended Mason Twp., No. 7 school together and were childhood sweethearts, even though he was two years ahead of me. I was graduated from grade school in Cerro Gordo County as one of the tope five in the county. We both went to Mason City High School I being lucky enough to be one of the top 12 in 280 graduates. I was class president and active in Y.M.C.A. work. Rich was in the orchestra and helped farm at home.
I graduated from Mason City Jr. College in 1949 and again was in the top 12. Rich graduated from Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa, 1950 in Farm Operation.
I was library assistant and hospital receptionist during 1947 and 48 during high school and summers. I taught school in 4th grade 1949-50 in Kanawhs, Iowa 1949-50. Other jobs have been and are housewife, teacher, bookkeeper, and last but not least lover, from 1950-??
We live on a 320-acre farm S.E. of Mason City, Iowa 1/2 mile from where I grew up where Rich is in partnership with his dad. He feeds cattle and follows the advice of his folks, Uncle Herbert, Uncle Ernest and my dad, that is not jumping in and out but staying with it through thick and thin.
Rich is very active in all community work. He has been nominated for state Recognition in 4-H work. Having done a lot of work I would not be surprised he is chosen as the winner in the State of Iowa. He plays saxophone in a dance band, sings in the choir and has all kinds of musical ability. I scarcely open my mouth to even "hum"
for I know I am off key.
My activities have been limited since the arrival of the little "farmer Dean's" and future prospects. I have been an officer in the following at various times, Congregational Women's Guild, Cerro Gordo Farm Bureau, Beta Sigma Phi and other smaller clubs.
I am not a card player so I don't get to go "cut with the girls" as much as I would like to. At present I am a "Deaconess" of our church.
Rich and I have a yearning to travel though so far we have only gone on some two and one week vacations. A reunion in 1959 in Denver or Salt Lake City sounds wonderful to us.
Rich had not service record. I married a 4-fer he having a heart mummer as a result of rheumatic fever, as does our youngest. He has a faulty valve and has to go to Rochester this winter to have some tests run to see if he needs surgery.
Rich had a glandular fever in 1957 and also surgery. Kerwin had a hernia operation the same year so I would call 1957 our hardship year. I will fill in other hardships after Dec. of this year 1958. (Note: someone added son #3)
Rich was the oldest of three boys. The middle brother Jerry, is a professor at the University of California at Davis. His is only 28 has his pH. D. and is a real worker.
Rich's youngest brother is a student at the University of Iowa at Iowa City, Iowa. He plans to go on to New York to study Music. Hi is twenty. All the boys are very musical.
The Dean family have always been farmers the present farm having been in the family over a hundred years.
Keep the good work up, Dwight, and we will see you in Denver or Salt Lake City in 1959 at the reunion.
signed Shirley Haight Dean (May 1958 at Mason City, Iowa)
Elgar Zeno Haight 10-1-1889 at Brook Twp., Peterson Iowa. married 2-2-1918 to Vivian Gladys Baker at Clear Lake, Iowa. 1-6-1893 at Clear Lake, Iowa. (address 1958- 33-26th St. Mason City, Iowa.)
Charleen Bessie Haight 6-17-1919 at Mason City, Iowa married 3-5-1944 to Donald Wyke Sirwright 3-16-1912 at Sycamore, Illinois. (1958 address- R.R. 2 Rockwell, Iowa)
James Donald Sirwright 12-18-1944 At Mason City, Iowa
Beverly Diane Sirwright 1-2-1948
Amy Lou Haight 9-3-1921 At Clear Lake, Iowa married 6-25-1944 at Mason City, Iowa to Paul Robert Poppen 4-19-1914 at Mason City, Iowa. (1958 address- R.R. 3 Mason City, Iowa)
Amy died 7-15-1946. Kathryn Vivian Poppen 8-31-1945.
Keith Laverne Haight 4-12-1922 at Mason City, Iowa. married 2-11-1948 to Marguerite Louise Ver Helst at Mason City, Iowa 11-15-1926. (1958 address- R.R. 3 Mason City, Iowa.)
Nancy Lou 1-7-1950 5-13-1950
Julie Ann 12-2-1951 at Mason City, Iowa
Alan Keith 11-5-1954 at Mason City, Iowa.
Shirley Ann Haight 6-11-1929 at Mason City, Iowa 8-8-1950 to Richard Wendell Dean at Mason City, Iowa 12-16-1927. (1958 address R.R. 3 Mason City, Iowa)
Kerin Richard 1-10-1954
Bruce Gordon 10-10-1955
Mark Bradley 11-28-1958
Haight Family Photo Album