Manchester, Iowa Is In My Roots

Manchester, Iowa is on highway 20 halfway between Waterloo and Dubuque. It’s a lovely town in the county of Delaware and has very special meaning to me. Population: 5,053 (2016). Please read on…!        .

On June 27, 2018 Todd Piro a correspondent from Fox and Friends stopped in to Jude’s Cafe on Main Street in Manchester, Iowa! He visited with some of the men eating breakfast and drinking coffee! It was broadcast on Fox and Friends!

Jerry and I were watching Fox and Friends, as we do every morning! Imagine our surprise when this segment came on. Oh, are you wondering why it was actually exciting to us?

My dad, Glen Williamson, grew up in Manchester, Iowa! Dad was the youngest of seven children and was born on the family farm near Masonville, Iowa. When dad was nine years old, his dad, my grandfather, Andrew Williamson, retired at age 59 from farming. Andrew and Rose bought a lot, at 152 Gay Street in Manchester, where Andrew, built a house for them! They moved in on February 4, 1920. Dad was 10 and the only child still living at home. He built a large enough house for the rest of the children to know they could always come home and especially for holidays.                                                                                                Scan_Pic0006

That’s Grandma and Grandpa Williamson on the steps of the front porch,  in their old age. Grandpa died in 1942. Grandma died in 1948. The last time I was in Manchester the house was still there on Gay Street. Their car, a 1916 Saxon is parked in the driveway! He bought it new and never bought another car!

Dad had gone to the one room school house, through half of fourth grade, that all of his brothers and sisters had attended. But now he was enrolled in Manchester Elementary School. He was in fourth grade. He did well in school and was the only child in the family to attend and graduate from high school! Scan_Pic0011

This is a picture of Manchester High that Dad attended and graduated from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the end of Dad’s Manchester days except to return to visit. But later Dad’s sister and brother-in-law, Bessie and Earnie retired from farming and moved to Manchester. We visited them several times. They lived very close to Main Street in a lovely home.

Bessie & Earnie                                    Aunt Bessie lived to be 102 years old! When she was 100 years a party was held for her at the Good Neighbor Nursing Home in Manchester where she then lived. What a wonderful party it was! Relatives and friends came from California, Iowa, Michigan, Washington, Illinois, Colorado, Arkansas, Minnesota and Saskatchewan, Canada all to honor my Aunt Bessie! This is a snapshot of Aunt Bessie and me at her birthday party. There were lots of pictures taken.  Bessie & me         DocFile (2)  She received this birthday letter from Willard Scott on the Today Show at NBC News.  Aunt Bessie lived for just over another two years.                                                                                      Uncle Earnie and Aunt Bessie are both buried in Manchester Cemetery along with their son, my cousin, Fred. Bessie & Earnie graveFred Sommer grave                                                                                             So you can see Manchester, Iowa means a lot to me and that’s why I got so excited when Fox and Friends featured Manchester, Iowa on their show! If you’re ever in Iowa it’s a great little town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise!!!

On Sunday, January 10, Jerry turns 80! Jerry & Anita Jan 8, '06  How can that be? Where have the years gone? Neither one of us know!

It’s been a few days of surprises for Jerry! Our Canadian son, Tim and daughter-in-law, Shauna, came as a surprise! I almost  spoiled it several times! I caught myself just in time and was able to keep the secret! On Thursday, about 3:30 PM I told Jerry I needed to go to the store to pick up a few items. Instead of going to the store, I drove to the airport to meet Tim and Shauna! When we arrived home I let them out so they could go to the front door. I drove into the garage and went in through the kitchen as normal. Jerry mentioned it took me a long time to buy a few items! Then Tim and Shauna walked up and knocked on the door! In they came! Jerry said he thought he was seeing things! He was thoroughly surprised! It was so fun! They brought a surprise gift to him from a friend, Keith. IMG_1673  IMG_1674

This morning, Saturday, we, Tim, Shauna, Jerry, and I went out for breakfast at our favorite restaurant, Lanny’s. When we walked in, there at the far end of the room sat our family! Jerry could hardly believe it! How fun it was!All Here  Here we all are! Shauna, me, Bella, Gene, Pam, Ted, Sydney, Christy, Jerry, and Tim! Jerry was so surprised! They had come from Chicago; South Carolina; and Holland, Michigan! They had stayed overnight at a motel so they could be at the restaurant before the four of us got there!

When we got back home it was interesting to see how everyone was enjoying catching up with each other! Reminscising  Bella and Pam are looking at the calendar Sydney had made and given to us for Christmas. Christy and Ted are looking at the book of photos Christy had made and given us for Christmas! Dad overwhelmed  Jerry is a bit overwhelmed with everyone here since he didn’t know they were even coming! On the sofa is Bella, Ted, Christy, Sydney, Tim is sitting in a chair talking with Sydney. Bella, Grandpa, Sydney Bella and Sydney love Papa! They were the only two grandchildren who got to be in on this birthday surprise! Then Christy decided grandchildren couldn’t take her place on Dad’s lap! Christy loving Dad  Two in-laws escaped to the kitchen to chat! Shauna and Gene  Shauna and Gene.  Finally, Pam had to escape to the sun room to get some work done. In today’s world, you can take your job with you, wherever you go! Pam still working

We missed Rob’s family from Georgia but they were here between Christmas and New Year and just couldn’t take the time from jobs and school to make a return trip so we celebrated birthdays while they were here! Haleigh turned 19 on January 8 and Jerry will be 80 on January 10.Jerry & Haleigh B-day cake

 

FAMILY! The most important and special people in the world!

Happy Birthday, Chrystalene Beth

Happy Birthday, Christy!  Christy & Pam 2015 (2)  You are on the left of my two beautiful daughters, Christy and Pam! I don’t seem to have a recent picture of just you! But this is a good, recent one! Sisters! I love both of you! You were the baby of the family for five years! Then a new brother, Rob, was born, giving us five wonderful and beautiful children.

Now, even though you assured me you were not following me, you have five wonderful, beautiful children! You’ve given me five fantastic, gorgeous grandchildren! Thank you for this precious gift! I wish I could be there to help them, and Sean, celebrate your day!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Christy! You have blessed her with five children. Please help her as she guides, plays, comforts, disciplines, and loves them. Please keep Christy well and safe as she drives here and there. Help her with her business. Keep her trusting in You, draw her ever closer to You. I love Christy so much and You love her even more. 

Happy Birthday, Rob

Happy Birthday, Robert Glen.

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I can’t find a recent picture of just you! But this is a good one of both you and Jessica.

You were named after both of your grandfathers! They were both good men so you are honored to bear their names. You didn’t get to meet Robert because he died, from cancer, in 1951. He would have been pleased to have a grandson named for him. You did get to know Glen. He was a happy and proud grandpa to have you bear his name.

Your dad and I are both very proud of you. You’ve taken on a huge responsibility adopting two children, giving you a family of six. We wish we could celebrate your birthday with you. Happy, Happy Birthday!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Rob! Please give him an extra sense of Your presence today. Keep him safe as he drives, alert as he works, loving as a husband and dad, ever-growing in his walk with You. He’s a fine man, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, friend, and neighbor. I love Rob so much and You love him even more.

 

Happy Birthday, Maddie

Happy Birthday, Maddie! Maddie nine years old! Madelyn Grace…a beautiful name for a beautiful girl! You are my youngest grandchild and just look at you! Nine years old! I can hardly believe it! You’re a very sweet granddaughter! I do wish we could be together more! But with you in South Carolina and me in Michigan, well, we get together as often as we can. I’m sure your family is celebrating with you! I wish Grandpa and I could be there, too.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Maddie! She’s such a sweet girl. Please be with her, keep her safe as she goes to school each day on the bus. Please keep her well as she grows up. Help her to make good friends who will influence her in the right ways. Help her to learn of You and to love You. I love Maddie so much and You love her even more!

Happy Birthday, Annie

Happy Birthday, Annie! Twenty-two years ago you were born! My first granddaughter!  Annie & Pup  My only Canadian granddaughter! This is a very sweet picture of you. You’re so busy now, with going to college and working, but you still have time for a sweet little dog! You’re a dog lover, just like I am! It’s so good your mom got to visit you for your birthday! I wish I could have celebrated with you too.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Annie! She’s a lovely young woman! Please watch over her as she studies, works, plays, and drives. Help her with the friends she makes that they will be good positive influences in her life. Please work out the plan that only You have for her life. I love Annie so much and You love her even more.

 

Happy Birthday, Ted

Happy Birthday, Ted! ??????????????????????????????? Oh, how the years slip by! But, my memory of this day, fifty-four years ago, hasn’t faded one bit! You were my second baby but my first-born son! You were my smallest baby of all five, at only six pounds and five ounces. You have grown to be my tallest, at six feet!

Another memory I have, not of the day you were born, but of the day you and I were to go home from the hospital, was of me becoming very sick with the flu! Back then, mothers and babies stayed in the hospital for five days. On that fifth day I became so sick I was transferred to a private room! I couldn’t have you with me even to nurse you! I cried and cried! Finally on the seventh day, late in the afternoon, I was permitted to go home, if I would stay in bed and rest! Grandma, my mother, had come to stay with us so your daddy assured the doctor we would both be well taken care of!

The rest is history!

Heavenly Father, thank You, for Ted! Please watch over him. He’s so busy working and raising our granddaughters. Please keep him well and safe and trusting in You. He’s a fine man, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin,  friend, and neighbor. I love Ted so much, and You love him even more!