Friends from Olin, Iowa

Sunday, July 18, 2010

If any of you stopping by have relatives from the town of Olin, Iowa, you just might want to read this. This is a poem written by my Great Grandfather, John Wesley Lyon. He lived out most of his life there. He considered himself a poet and there are several I will share with you later. Other items he was written are "Life in Olin", "Letter to my Children" and his own "Obituary". He was an intersting character to say the least.

See if there is anyone you may recognize in the following poem.

Olin Friends
By John Wesley Lyon

We lost the Olin Recorder,
Mr. Hansen found it;
And when we got it back again,
He put it’s name around it.

But Mr. Hansen could not make it,
He could not its’ pages fill;
It was only printed on one side,
Something like a sale bill.

So Mr. Hospers took it over,
And business is his creed;
So business men send in your add,
For that is one thing he will need.

And if you want to write an article,
And your time is not all invested;
Mr. Hospers will try and write it,
And others will be interested.

Westfahl buys your produce,
And he buys it on the square;
And he pays you more for eggs and cream
Than you can get anywhere.

Westfahl buys your chickens,
And he also sells you feed;
He also has the oyster shells,
Or anything else you need.

Dayton sells the jewelry,
And glasses on the side;
And he has the best silverware,
Ever you have tried.

Guy Thompson fixes the telephones,
And he surely knows his stuff;
And when he works all day,
That ought to be enough.

The operators are now planning
And working out a scheme;
So that the monthly payday
Will not be so far between.

Fred said he would like to pay
The operators at least one a week;
But when he came to look,
The bank had sprung a leak.

Stingley repairs your shoes,
And they look so nice and neat;
It looks almost a shame
To put them on your feet.

Dave Curtright, he’s a workman,
And don’t you think he aint;
You ought to see him hang the paper
And how he slings the paint.

Macomber runs the drugstore,
And Jerry was his clerk;
He had been the business so long
He understood the work.

Macomber sells all kinds of drugs,
Everything down to salts;
And if taken according to directions,
You sure will have to waltz.

Frank Fall says “I have not much to worry me,
And my troubles would be few;
If it wasn’t for that ornery
And ever good for nothing J. W.

Earl Hart says you need not worry,
Although it seems so awful funny;
The depression will soon be past,
And we will all have lots of money.

His wife she listened, then she said,
“Earl I know your always right;
But I have worked here two months,
And theres not a payday yet in sight.

Houstman works for Uncle Sam,
And his ability is unsurpassed;
And you had ought to see his clerks,
If anyone should ask.

Save up for old age,
I thought it meant for me;
But when the boom was busted,
I began to see.

Hart sells hardware and groceries,
He sells them on the square;
And the milk and meat,
You will always find them there.

If you call for Dr. White,
And he tells you what you need;
Take his medicine according to directions,
And he will have you on full feed.

Now Reva White, his wife,
We could not do without her;
She looks after those in need,
All around about her.

Vernon moved his auto shop,
He moved it on the street;
And when you get your work done,
It looks so nice and neat.

Vernon went to Chicago,
To learn the auto trade;
And by his skill and practice,
Can fix any car that’s made.

Frank and Payson run a shop
On the east side of the street;
And when you buy your groceries,
You can also buy your meat.

Frank he works so hard
And he has his books to keep;
And when he goes to bed,
He can hardly go to sleep.

Miles, he keeps his books,
Although he never trusted;
And if the bank had been the same,
It never would have busted.

Yet the bank went busted,
But it did not all leak out;
And when the receivers turned the key;
They will get the rest no doubt.

If Mayor Carter sees anyone
Comitt a minor crime
He calls them in to court
And imposes on them a fine.

And Marshall Freeman watches
And if they can not give the bail
He takes them by the collar
And throws them in the jail.

He fed them bread and water
Until they were almost dead
But times got so hard
He had to cut out the bread.

But if the bank has busted
And had not left a cent
The receivers would of turned the key
And away they would of went.

Mason does the plumbing
Everything up to date
And Fluton runs the hardware
And you never find him late.

Taylor sells the Buick,
Just the car you need;
He also sells the Chevy,
That has got it skinned for speed.

He also carries a line of repairs,
And he always has enough;
He also has a gang of workman,
That surely know their stuff.

William Peck runs a restaurant,
On the west side of the street;
And when you go there,
You can get something good to eat.

We have three stations,
That sell oil and gasoline;
But the competition on all three
Is so very, very keen.

Mr. Cole is our lawyer,
And he does our legal work;
And if he has a case in court,
Will never duty shirk.

We have three good barbers on the street,
And they want their cash right down;
And we also have a lady barber,
In the northeast part of town.

John Gordon has farming tools,
And would sell them if he could;
But the farmers have no money
And their paper is no good.

We finally got our school house,
By a long continued fight;
And sometimes it was hard to tell,
Who was in the right.

Lawsons sell dry goods by the yard,
And sells the groceries by the pound;
And he gets the news on the radio,
Almost the world around.

Swartzell handles groceries,
And dry goods on the side;
He also has a line of shoes,
The best you ever tried.

And if you trade with Nellie,
And she tells you what’s the price;
You had better not try to Jew her,
For she will charge you twice.

If there is a nice young lady
Coming at the door;
And Nellie waits on her,
Then Robert he is sore.

Mr. Swartzell says it’s easy
To figure the gain and the loss;
But it’s sometimes hard to tell
Who is the boss.

Richell Miller says
Everything’s on the bum;
But according to the laws of nature,
Good times are sure to come.

Jurgenson has the highest job,
He elevates the grain;
And when he gets a supply on hand,
He loads it on the train.

And now in writing this poem
I hope I have not lost a friend
And wishing you many kind wishes
I bring it to an end.

John Wesley Lyon
Born September 23, 1860
Died December 20, 1883 in Jones County, Olin, Iowa


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Neat! Thanks for sharing. Also, thanks for commenting on my blog! I had Preston (and Thomas) relatives in Jones Co - east of Olin - in the latter half of the 1800s. Small world.

Bill ;-)