Marcella's Secret Dreams and Stories book

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William J. (Bill) and Marcella Schaumburg

Courtship, Marriage, and Farming Years (1930-1944)

"Bill got a $1,000 government loan to buy seed and equipment. He had a Fordson tractor and two cows, and Dad and Mom gave us 12 hens and a rooster. It was a disastrous year." - A note in Marcella's memoir

Bill, sometime in the early thirties.


Bill, courting Marcella in 1933, wearing his only dress clothes.

Marcella and lifelong friend, Martha Newman. Bill is behind the wheel of this Model T Ford.

Bill and Marcella's wedding photo,
June 26, 1935.

Wearing his ragged work clothes, Bill stands proudly between the two horses he started farming with. He shucked corn for two cents a bushel to earn enough money to buy these horses and two cows. Few today can imagine being this poor and cheerfully accepting it as a way of life. 

Bill with his faithful friend, Gene. Barbara remembers going with her Daddy as Gene led the way into the timber to bring the cows in every evening for milking.

Barbara loved helping her mother take care of the chickens she raised for sale. She cuddled the baby chicks and carried them around when they got older.

"Look at your Daddy and smile, Barbara," Mother might have been saying as this picture was snapped in the back yard.

To save money, which was so scarce, Mother made pretty dresses for Barbara out of the chicken feed sacks, which came in many colorful designs.

This was "Barney's Place," the farm Bill and Marcella leased right after they married. They were here from 1935 to mid-1946. This photo shows the house and outbuildings in 1942 when the river flooded.

Some time in the early eighties after the house and buildings on this property had long been deserted, some kids burned the house down. In time, it was as if nothing had ever been there.

The 1942 flood was just plain fun for five-year-old Barbara, except for the fact that Mother had promised to take her to see the movie, Bambi, and the flooded river cut off access to the road. It would be several years before the film came around again to a town near Buckley.

Bill loved cats and there were many on the farm, so Barbara had her pick. This isn't Boston Blackie (Mother liked that radio program), but another cat whose name is not remembered. (See a Christmas story about Barbara's  current cat, Charlee, here.)

Barbara loved to ride this pet cow, who she named "Old Vi."

Ollie, Marcella's mom, came to help with her chicken-and-egg business in 1941.

Bill, sometime in the forties; looks like he's checking out a cotton field.

When Marcella's brother, Raymond, joined the Army in 1941, Bill bought his 1936 Plymouth, which replaced their Model A Ford, which had replaced the Model T Bill had bought in 1926.

Barbara started to school in a little one-room country school in 1943.

Mary Lee, born in 1941, was about two at this time. (The harmonica was her favorite toy then.)

Bill quit farming in 1946. In her memoir, Marcella wrote, "We cleared $5,000 for the nine years we had farmed, and we thought this was pretty good since we only had $100 when we started."

Bill moved his family into town that year, bought two side-by-side lots in Buckley and, with Marcella's help, built a home and garage business. He was entirely self-taught as a mechanic, but until computers began to appear in vehicles, he could fix any car or tractor that was broken.  

The Schaumburg Family in Buckley, Illinois in the 50s, continued next page ->    

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