(The following was written by Dexter White, and is reprinted from “Reflections II”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
The old farm house where I was born, just south of Pleasant Corners, burned a few years ago, but whenever I go back in that area, I have memories of the Great Depression era in which I grew up.
Driving south from Pleasant Corners looking to the left side of the old 3C Highway, I see the place where Louie Zielgenspeck once lived. Then there is the house where Jake and Minnie Miller lived, with their daughter, Ellen Jane. Next is the house where Carl Miller lived, that is where the William H. Nichols family had lived before him. Next is where the house once stood that was the home of George Francis following his arrival from England in the late 1830s.
George Francis and his wife Ann (Walter) brought their young son, Frederick with them to this country. George was one of the highly educated citizens in the area, and served as census Taker, and in a number of other capacities in the community.
Following the death of George Francis, his son Frederick and wife Elizabeth (Heath) lived in the homestead, and raised their large family there. Their fourth child was Charles Francis, born September 15, 1862. He was my maternal grandfather. Charles Francis and his wife Mary Ellen Nichols moved into that house following the death of Frederick Francis in about 1912, and it was there, in the house on the old Francis farm that I was born in 1926.
My father was Charles D. White, and he married my mother, Myrtle Ruth Francis in March 1913. My mother was the second of three daughters of Charles Francis.
While attending grade school at Harrisburg and high school at Grove City, I was actually attending school with quite a few kids that were related to me, but I did not know it at the time. My father, Charles D. White was born in Union County, Illinois on July 14, 1884. His father was Dexter Gantz White, born in Grove City, Ohio in 1851, the son of William Paxton White, and wife, Elizabeth Gantz. That White family had lived across Rt. 665 from the old Ferguson home place. That house still stands.
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry).