Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bill and Edna Takeover

Bill and Edna Takeover
Prior to his dad's death Bill (William McKinley Overhiser 25Dec1896/27Dec1969) had planned on attending Purdue University and becoming an engineer.  Then Albert died in May, Bill graduated in June, and married Edna (Edna Mildred Trowbridge 20Sept1895/7Dec1991) on September 15, 1915.  The wedding was at the Trowbridge home on Phoenix Road east of South Haven.  That would be the north side of the road on the east side of the "Trowbridge Flats".  

The popular Reverend W. N. Breidenstein performed the ceremony.  He was a United Brethren pastor at both East and West Casco.  Edna's sister Mable and her husband Burrell Wenban were witnesses.  From old photos it appears that Bill's side of the family did not attend.  Bill had aunts, uncles and cousins.  So why they were not in photos is a mystery.

Sometime after the wedding Daisy (Bill's mother) moved to Kalamazoo.  On February 25, 1916 Daisy signed her interest to the farm over to Bill and Edna for $3,000.  We have the real estate document signed by Daisy and notarized in Los Angeles, as she must have been touring the west coast.  Daisy lived in Kalamazoo until her last few years when she moved back to the farm because of her dementia.  Many family stories confirm that Daisy held a grudge against Edan for taking her only son.  However, Daisy did make trips to the farm when children started arriving.

Bill and Edna became the 3rd generation farmers and made a great team.  Edna was always the more social and outgoing.  She knew how to run a household from her upbringing and her work at local resorts.  Bill knew about running a fruit farm.  His dad had replanted orchards after the 1906 killing freeze so the farm was again productive.  The marketing of fruit was changing in those days.  Buyers from the Chicago commission houses still made farm visits to obtain signed contracts for fruit.  In 1913 the Fruit Exchange was organized in South Haven.  So Bill did take some fruit to the Exchange.  A packing fee was charged plus a 5% commission on the sale of the fruit.  The rail road connection provided access to the established Chicago market as well as the rest of the Midwest.  The Exchange also sold farm supplies, spray materials, feed and seed to the area farmers.

Kids start arriving in the next episode.  Until then stay fit.
Martin Overhiser (first grand child of Bill and Edna)

At The Farm
October 6, 2010
The current Overhiser farm family (5th generation) is very busy with school activities.  Aaron is playing football, Alex and Adam are playing soccer and Kelsy and Kortny are playing volleyball.  Allan and his workers will complete the apple picking this week and start fall cleanup.  This involves storing boxes, crates and ladders.  The equipment and containers will be repaired and stored for the winter.  You can get apples and cider at the retail building daily through Halloween (Sunday Oct 31).  In November they will be open on weekends (Nov 6/7, 13/14 and 20/21) prior to Thanksgiving. 

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