(The following was written by Hulda Rader, and is reprinted from “Reflections”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum).
At this point in time, Dad decided that he wanted to farm. He bought four horses, Betty, Grace, Lady and Bell (we still had Topsy, our original delivery horse). He also bought cows, pigs and the usual run of stock for a farm.
Since Mom and Dad had the grocery in Columbus, their customers had given them the idea of farm produce. We gardened in the summer months as well as milked cows, raised chickens — hence there was homemade butter and milk products such as cottage cheese, sweet cream for whipping and buttermilk. We also had chickens for frying, hens for laying eggs, ducks and turkeys. We all had a hand in helping. Dad often said “I didn’t have any boys for farm help but I wouldn’t trade my girls for any boy.” Since we were renting the farm where we were living, the folks weren’t satisfied and decided they wanted their own farm. They purchased one in Licking County. This was right after World War I. Farm prices were high for a time, then the bottom dropped out.
The year was 1922, and the day was June 11th, a Sunday, when in the afternoon a terrific storm came out of the northwest. It was one of the worst storms we had ever seen with hail large as baseballs. It ruined the wheat crop at our place, dented the barn roof, then proceeded southeast doing damage all the way to Buckeye Lake where the strong winds did limitless damage to most of the rides and buildings.
Tuesday evening, June 13th, 1922, another bundle of joy was delivered to the home of the Wittemans in Licking County. How times changed. Irma was seventeen years old, I was fourteen, Catherine was eight. When the time came for delivery, we were carted off the neighbors until all of the activity was over.
Doctor George B. Nessley drove from Central Avenue in Columbus to Pataskala for the delivery. He delivered all four of us girls in the home. Originally Doctor Nessley practiced in Grove City. His office was in the frame building before the telephone office was there.
We lived in Pataskala approximately nine years, returning to Grove City in 1928. All farm machine was moved by horse and wagon. Topsy, our original delivery horse, mentioned earlier in the story, was one of the horses used in the move back to Grove CIty. Harry Kropp, my mother’s brother, here visiting from California, drove the team Topsy was in. It must have been a tiresome journey for the horse and driver alike. Uncle Harry stated that when he reached Mound Street and Central Avenue, there was no holding Topsy. She knew where she was, and she was going home. In the grocery store days in Grove City, she had made that trip many times hitched to the delivery wagon loaded with ice for the meat cooler.
September arrived and Marilyn started to school in the same grade school where we all started and with the same teacher, Laura Davis. Three in that class that started together, Jane Hyde (Keefe), Marilyn Witteman (Trapp) and Robert Trapp went through grade school and high school together. Marilyn went to Capital University; Robert als0 went to Capitol (pre-med), then to the OSU School of Dentistry. Jane did secretarial work.
Marilyn was the only one in our family to attend college. She graduated from the Capital Conservatory of Music. She taught music and other studies at Centerburg, Ohio, for two years. They didn’t have a band at the school. She started their first band. Soon after, she married Robert Trapp, then a practicing dentist in Columbus. They now have a family of five children and six nice grandchildren.
We spent our teen years on the farm south of Grove City. And to this day it sounds good when are going towards Grove City from our home on Harrisburg Pike when someone says, “We are going up home.” Each New Years we have a family dinner there, a family tradition — Goose and Sauerkraut, Black eyed Peas, and all of those goodies.