About storiesfromsmalltownillinois

DadandmeThis blog was created in May of 2015 when Karl’s youngest daughter decided that more people needed the opportunity to enjoy his short stories. She knew whether folks were from his hometown or from other small towns around the U.S. they would be able to relate. A promoter by profession, she decided to teach herself how to blog so she could share his vivid memories with the world. We encourage you to share this blog with your friends and colleagues from small towns and those who just enjoy reading descriptive short stories from simpler times. Karl really enjoys comments from readers and is thrilled to see how far his audience has spread so quickly! Thanks for sticking with us. ~ Amy Jo (Taylor) Steinbruecker

11 thoughts on “About storiesfromsmalltownillinois

  1. I absolutely love reading your stories. The history of our little town is so encompassing and unique and to read it through your eyes adds excitement. I am looking forward to the next story and the awesome research that you put into them.


  2. My wife Nancy and I just finished reading and enjoying the Elmwood stories by Karl. A real joy, Karl has a knack for keeping it interesting, informative and entertaining. I actually rode with Karl in his 1954 Ford Hardtop. I attended Elmwood grade and high school, 1 year behind Karl, so we knew each other pretty well. Karl is using his interest in Elmwood history and its personalities with his talent for writing, to make these bits of the past live again, and be a record into the future.


  3. Hi Amy. I talked with your dad yesterday. A common (Jim Nowlan) put me in touch with him. I recently wrote a book about the summer vacations of a group of girls from my home town of Bradford in the 1930′ and 1940’s. I’m looking for ways to move the books regional interest more to a national audience who I believe will appreciate the story. A Blog was suggested. I don’t have a series of short stories to fill a blog. Any thoughts?


    • Hi John, the first thing that comes to mind is perhaps going back to your book and writing a shortened version that you could submit to magazines or writing competitions. I couldn’t tell you how long, my educated guess would be no more than 2-3 typed pages. Something that would tempt readers into wanting to know the whole story. Hope that helps. If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. Best of luck!


  4. I just read the story on Mickey McGuire. Thanks so much for sharing it. I remember him from when I was a child. He was friends with my grandparents, Eldon and Gertrude McKown. I moved from Elmwood when I was in the 6th grade but visit there three or four times a year. What a great community! I hope I find more stories such as these, such great memories!


  5. Hello Karl
    My name is Phillip Cunningham and am from the country down by Edwards on the Taylor road and I went to Elmwood HC and grad in 1959. My Parents Carrol and Margaret Vance Cunningham Taught in Elmwood HC in the 1930s and a few of the kids I went to school with there parents went to school with my parents and I remember Mrs. Metz very well as she was principal the last 20 or 3 years I went there and also she taught about the same time my parents did. Just a bit of triva information
    Phillip V. Cunningham


  6. I read with interest your comments about the 1900 Elmwood High School football team. My grandfather was the player you mentioned as the leading scorer for the team. After high school he preferred to be called L. R. instead of Leroy, even though he only had a first name and no middle name. Here is the rest of the story.

    Leroy “L. R.” Kershaw (1880-1969) was an American attorney, banker, businessman, cattleman and political candidate. He is considered one of the pioneers of the Muskogee, Oklahoma area and the founder of Morris, Oklahoma. He was born on December 6, 1880 in Elmwood, Illinois, the son of David R. and Jennie Mariet (Cole) Kershaw. He led the team in scoring as the football running back for the Elmwood High School Trojans in 1900. The team went undefeated that year, winning twelve games scoring 87 points versus the competition, which scored only 11 points all season.

    Kershaw graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois with a degree in Law where he was a charter member of the law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta in 1904.

    Professionally, he first became an Immigrant Agent for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, selling land to farmers along the wide railroad right-of way in Northeastern Oklahoma. With the connections he had established with the railroad, he platted the town site of Morris, Oklahoma, in 1904, before statehood. He was one of the founders of the Farmer’s State Bank in Morris, (Indian Territory) Oklahoma (in 1905) and the First National Bank of Morris, Oklahoma (in 1908). Active in state politics since 1905, L. R. Kershaw was nominated to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention, which became the new state of Oklahoma in 1907.

    In 1910 he purchased the controlling interest in the National Bank of Okmulgee, Oklahoma. In 1910, a young L. R. Kershaw played host to the Vice President of the United States, James S. Sherman, in his visit to Oklahoma City. In 1912, Kershaw began a long career as a cattleman. Kershaw served as a Director of the American Aberdeen-Angus Breeder’s Association from 1916 through 1920. Kershaw showed the Grand Champion Steer, Muskogee Boy at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago in 1917. In March, 1918, this prize steer was offered for sale in a public auction held in the lobby of the Lee-Huckins Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City for the benefit of the American Red Cross. The auction brought $3.16 a pound for the steer, for a total of $5,890 for the Red Cross Fund, establishing a world record price. The coat from the steer was made into an overcoat for U. S. President Woodrow Wilson and the meat was processed for General “Blackjack” Pershing’s staff in France. Later that year, Kershaw was elected President of the Southwest American Livestock Show. In 1919, Kershaw won the Grand Champion Steer trophy, with Muskogee Boy II, the brother to Muskogee Boy at the Texas State Fair in Dallas. That same year, his prize bull, Plowman, won the Grand Champion Bull trophy at five of the nation’s most prestigious livestock shows. Plowman claimed 53 grand championships, more than any other show bull, living or dead.

    The bull was sold in Kershaw’s 1920 sale for $40,000 – a price unheard of at that time and a world record for many years. There has never been another herd of cattle that has shown over as wide an area of country and won so many premiums as that belonging to Kershaw. The herd had won 266 grand championships, 685 first place rankings, 376 second-place, 186 third-place, 79 fourth-place and 53 fifth-place rankings, within a period of six years, bringing to the owner innumerable cups and silver trophies. He showed his prize herd of cattle in more than 22 cities in 8 states, and in Canada.

    In 1920, as President of the Southwest Livestock Show, he convinced officials with the Armour and Company packing house in Chicago to contribute $200,000 charged to advertising to go towards the construction of a Livestock Pavilion at the Oklahoma City stockyards. The new facility, the largest of its kind in the Southwest, was completed in 1922. As a public servant and as a business leader in his hometown of Muskogee, Oklahoma, Mr. Kershaw was a member of the Council of Defense during World War I. From 1924 through 1926, he was the Muskogee County Republican Party Chairman. In 1924, he was appointed as a delegate to the Republican National Convention held in Cleveland, Ohio.

    In 1924, he married Clara Amanda Harrison, of Princeton, Indiana. Their first child, Patricia Ann was born the next year. In 1927 they produced their first set of twins, Robert Eugene and Elizabeth “Betty” Kershaw and in 1933 they produced a second set of twins, Jean Mary and Joan Mary Kershaw. In 1930, Kershaw was a Republican candidate for the Governor of the state of Oklahoma. Starting in 1926, and through the Great Depression he was appointed by the U. S. Treasury Department, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as the receiver for a number of national banks, located in three states, including Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. At one time, he was receiver for 13 banks during the depression.

    During World War II he began platting residential subdivisions on the north and west side of Muskogee. He financed many of these homes with his own capital, offering many first-time home buyers the opportunity to own their own home. These additions included Kershaw Heights, Kershaw Circle, Kershaw Acres, East Park Place, Ridge Crest Addition, Home Acres 1st and 2nd Additions, Lincoln Park and Carver’s First Addition. Kershaw lived in the family home at 1320 West Okmulgee until his death on June 25, 1969 at the age of 88. He was survived by 28 grandchildren. The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, by the National Park Service in 1984 as property #84003322.


    • Patrick, I am embarrassed. I just now found your remarks about the football team and I was blown away by your story which needs to be shared. If you have a copy of this e-mail you sent me, I would suggest that you send it to Jeff Lampe, the owner and publisher of the Weekly Post in Elmwood. It is a fine weekly paper which is thriving. You can find the address on Google. I think he would be interested in publishing your response. You might like to know that one of the other players on the team was Nelson Dean Jay. I think you would be interested in reading my piece on this blog, called “Why Central Illinois needs to know about Nelson Dean Jay.” He was the head of the J. P. Banking company in Paris from 1920-1955. I am working on his life for a book as well as a potential documentary for PBS. So sorry for having failed to see comments. thanks so much. I would appreciate knowing your e-mail address. .


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