LYON COUNTY GENEALOGY

LESTER APIARIST AIDS WAR EFFORT
BY SUPPLYING WAX FOR BULLETS

Reprinted from the Lyon County Leader, December 29, 1942

Several residents in Lester are vital assistants in a program of national defense. Few people realize that these defense workers-beekeepers-are supplying the wax which coat bullets used in winning this war. The largest apiary is owned and operated by Charles Gall, village blacksmith for more than 40 years in Lester.

Gall started out his industry as a hobby 43 years ago with only one or two swarms and now has 74 hives producing honey and wax.

Years ago the price of honey dropped to 4 cents a pound but honey now sells for 15 to 20 cents a pound. The government has set a ceiling of 43 cents a pound for wax and urges expansion of this vital industry.

Wax is used for thread for soldier’s shoes and as a protective coating for certain types of shells. It also was used as a protective water-proofing for canvas in marine equipment as well as on airplane propellers, in varnishes, adhesive tape and other products.

Although synthetic articles have been produced during this war, there are no known substitutes for beeswax.

Mrs. Gall has an important part in running the apiary. She maintains beautiful flower and vegetable gardens where bees may secure pollen of which to make honey.

Keeping bees entails a great deal of work and sometimes pain, although Mr. Gall doesn’t even notice bee stings.

When “Charlie” as he is known to his customers, puts away his hammer, he plans to devote his full time to keeping bees and producing honey be it peace or war time.

Charlie Gall passed away in 1943 at the age of 78, and Mrs. Gall a short time later. His blacksmith shop was located at the site of the present post office and his lush gardens lay to the east. His home with its beautiful flower gardens is the present Daryl Hoogeveen residence on Thomas Street.

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