St. Elmo News

Thursday, September 10
• Lunch Bunch, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• St. Elmo Public Library District Board, 6 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
Monday, September 14
• St. Elmo Lions Club, 6 p.m., Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Tuesday, September 15
• Embarras River District United Methodist Women annual meeting – Mask-Erade Party, 9:30 a.m.-noon, Neoga Grace United Methodist Church. Those attending are to wear face coverings.
• Fayette County Home and Community Education Get-Acquainted-Day scheduled for next Tuesday at the Brownstown Golden Year’s Club building has been postponed. It possibly will be rescheduled in November.
Council of Catholic Women
The first club year meeting of the Council of Catholic Women was held 6:30 p.m. on Sept 1 in St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall, with the following present: Helen Bergman, Karen Denning, Mona Durbin, LaVonne Kramer, Darlene May, Natalie Niemeyer, Carol Rine, Pat Porter and Betty Springman.
This is the first meeting since March, but they do not meet in in July or August.
The meeting opened with prayer to Our Lady of Good Council and the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was “What did you do this summer?”
St. Mary’s recently received Father Joseph as their pastor.
Officers for the new club year 2020-21 that started this month remains the same.
Hostesses Bergman and Springman served apple cake, cheese and crackers, candy corn, peanuts, tea and coffee from a fall decorated table.
St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club
Because of COVID-19, the St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club didn’t meet in April or May, when officers were to be elected and installed. The club does not meet in June, July or August, and the first meeting of the 2020-21 club year starts in September.
The Sept. 3 meeting of the club was held at 7 p.m. in the St. Elmo Public Library, with the following present: President Pat Porter, Susan Belden, Carrie Cox, Peggy Cox, Shelia Himes and Joyce Mauer. They wore face masks and sat 6 feet apart.
Porter opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and Club Collect. Because the secretary was absent, minutes were not read. The absent treasurer sent a report that the bank balance for September starts with $636.36.
The new program books were passed out and the proposed budget was adopted..
Officers were elected and they were installed by Hines. They are Porter, president; Mauer, first vice; Mary Myers, second vice; Mary Jane Mattix, third vice; Anna Jean Rhodes, recording and corresponding secretary; and Elizabeth Stoner, treasurer.
There was no program except for visiting after hostesses Himes and Belden served sodas, iced tea and water.
The October meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the St. Elmo Public Library.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings
Year 1956
The rigs shut down on Jan. 2, so Phil was laid off.
On Jan. 16, Phil and I and Mary Beth Kersey were initiated into the Golden Rule Chapter #278 Order of the Eastern Star.
The first Tuesday in November Phil and I, went to town early and I “voted straight Republican.”
At the November 4-H Achievement at Vandalia, my club, the Cloverines, won the Club of the Year award and Phil got a plaque for being an outstanding alumni.
Our collie was named Smoky, and he always helped Phil with the cows. The morning of Nov. 11, a cow stepped on Smoky and broke his leg. I took him to the Effingham vet to get his leg fixed.
In Nov. 1, and two other 4-H leaders in the county went with our Extension adviser, Mrs. Stabler, to a 4-H leader recognition banquet at Springfield. While there, we visited the capitol and the state museum.
Phil and I gave blood to the Red Cross on Nov. 21.
The night before Thanksgiving, Phil went to Vandalia to get Mom. On Thanksgiving Day, we had dinner with Alice and Earl; Don and family and Zona also were there. That night Phil, Mom and I went back to Rhodes to watch TV. Friends Alta and Marvin Hamilton had a baby girl Thanksgiving.
On Dec. 5, Mom was here and planted tulip bulbs and spirea.
We received a letter from Rose Ann Ford, my friend in California, on Dec. 6, on the possibility of us getting the baby a friend of hers was going to have and might put it up for adoption. The next day, we went to Vandalia to see Miss Goad, and the county judge about the possibility of us getting to adopt a baby.
The morning of Dec. 15 Phil and I and three of my 4-H members, Margaret Heischmidt, Adre Ann Potter and Marcia Walker, went with Mrs. Stabler to St. Louis. After dinner, we made a recording for the program honoring 4-H leaders at the KMOX Radio. We got to listen to the recording on KMOX Sunday morning, Jan. 13, 1957.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings on 1957
On Jan. 11 Phil and I had polio shots and the A-I test.
Sunday morning Jan. 13, before going to Sunday school, we listened over Radio KMOX that had the 4-H leaders honoring program we taped in December at KMOX in St. Louis.
Phil and I went to see attorney Bill Spitler about we should do to be adoptive parents.
Thursday the 17th we left for Decatur for Phil to attend a Farm Bureau Leadership Forum. From the hotel I called Dorothy Pullium Davis, a 1946 St. Elmo graduate, and went to her home for lunch. Audrey Pittman Tate, also a 1946 St. Elmo graduate, came in the afternoon. Tonight I ate supper with Zona and Phil ate at the Masonic Temple. After Phil’s meeting, we played bridge with Dorothy and Don Davis until midnight, then went to Zona’s to visit till 1 a.m. before going back to the hotel
Friday morning the 18th – Phil went to his meetings. We wives ate lunch together at the Masonic noon. The Farm Bureau meeting ended at 1:30 p.m.
Since December 1956, Rose Ann Ford in California and we had much correspondence concerning her pregnant friend.
In the mail the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 23, we had a letter from Rose Ann to tell us that her friend finally had decided to definitely give up her baby for adoption. We went to the county judge at Vandalia, then came back to St. Elmo to see Bill Spitler. When we got back home at 5 p.m., Rose Ann called and said her friend’s baby was born that morning at 1:30 a.m. in Los Angeles. He weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 19 inches long. We told her we had picked the name of Steven Earl for a boy.
In anticipation of adopting a baby, Phil and I had been putting together various names for a boy or a girl and decided if it was a boy it would be Steven Earl. We liked Steven and the middle name was for Phil’s Dad.
Bridge club was at Billye Jo’s that night and I announced at the meeting that we would have us a boy on the weekend.
The next morning Billye Jo and I went to Effingham to shop for baby clothes. In the afternoon I cleaned the upstairs. That night we went to Phil’s folks and I called Rose Ann to make sure everything was okay.
The next morning Billye Jo had a shower in her home for Steven and the diary says “He got everything! P.M. I played with baby clothes!” Many friends, in addition to the bridge club members, were invited to attend.
We had Polio Coffees and Saturday morning I worked 8-10 a.m. That evening Marchmans, our neighbors, the Potters, and Phil’s sister, Zona,  came out to see the baby clothes that I had washed for a new baby.
Phil and I left at 4 a.m. Sunday to go to the St. Louis airport to meet Rose Ann and Steven Earl. The diary says, “He is so precious!” We stayed at the airport with Rose Ann until 11 a.m., we then headed back home.
We stopped in Vandalia to pick up Mom, then we went to Phil’s folks and the diary says “all relatives there.”  That night Potters came to see Steve. The diary says, “Steven is a perfect baby – just beautiful – Phil and I thank God for him.”
Steve’s complexion was not red and he had hair and it wasn’t long before I could make a curl on top.
The next day I washed diapers, baby clothes, fixed formula, etc all morning. In the afternoon we took Steve to Dr. Phillips for a check-up – Dr. Phillips said “He’s fine.”
Having a baby kept me busy and we had many, many visitors. On January 31, I got announcements ready to send off and on February 1 wrote baby gift thank-you notes and the diary says “Steve is still getting gifts!”
After we got Steve, I spent most of the time in the kitchen—washed the diapers on the stove and made formula. I wasn’t able to go to the basement to wash. On February 4 we got a new Frigidaire automatic washer and dryer and they were put in the dining room on the north wall between the kitchen and bathroom doors.
The next day they were finished being hooked up and my diary says we did four loads of washing.
I had six dozen diapers, but I had to use about three dozen a day, some on my shoulder, because each day Steve took several bottles of formula and threw up much of it … but in a week he gained 8½ ounces.
In December 1956 I told about young Smokey who got his leg broken. We had to keep him in the house every night and the next morning I had to re-bandage his leg because each night he chewed the bandage off.
 I’m thankful the leg was almost completely healed because, when we got Steve, we quit letting Smokey sleep in the house at night.
On February 8 Bill Spitler and we took Steve to Vandalia to the courthouse and had a summons for adoption served on him – it had to touch his hand. The diary says, “He will be ours in March.”
On February 11, the diary says that we got Steven all dolled up and went to Vandalia to take him to the hospital to show him off.
The next day Phil and I had our second polio shots. That night Phil took his 4th degree of Masonic work – he took his 5th degree on February 22, his 6th degree on the 23rd.
Miss Goad of Vandalia came February 20. She had to check on how we were handling being parents – and we got a good report.
On February 26, Steve, just a little over a month old, weighed 9 pounds, 10 ½ ounces. Even throwing up much of the time, he had gained over 3 pounds in a month – we did have a very healthy baby!
In February I received a letter from the Prairie Farmer Women’s Section that wanted me to become a member of the Prairie Farmer – WLS Survey Staff. The letter said: You have been selected, with the help of your county extension agent, because yours is a representative Prairie Farmer Land family and because of your dependability.
I accepted through 1963. In 1959 I have recipes in two of their recipe brochures. In the Holiday Parade Little Helpers is a frozen apple salad recipe and in the Favorite Pickles and Relishes is a green tomato recipe.  
On March 12, 1957 Phil and I took Steve to Vandalia for a hearing on his adoption and he became legally ours.
The county judge said we had bonded with him, so we didn’t have to wait to be his legal parents. Normally, it took months to become the legal parents. That night Phil received his 7th degree in the Royal Arch.
Even with a baby I kept sewing – in just a couple of weeks I made a black wool coat, dress and jacket for Mom and a shirt for Phil.


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