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After that inventory was completed, I spent the next 4 years (2001-2005), on my own, doing a thorough plant inventory of the entire Hamilton County, where I collected specimens of 973 different species. Thirty nine of these plants had not been previously reported in Iowa, and 24 plant are on the DNR's endangered, threatened, or of special concern list. My manuscript of this inventory will be appearing in the Iowa Academy of Science Journal within the next few months.

The last 2 years, 2005 and 2006, I have been working on a plant inventory of the Ledges State Park and also, the entire Boone County. I have encountered approximately 700 species in the ledges and near 1000 for all of Boone County including the Ledges. In Milford Township I have collected specimens for the I.S.U. Herbarium of the DNR threatened species. Spiranthes ovalis (Oval ladies'-tresses orchid), the rare but not listed by the DNR, Liparis loeselii (Bog twayblade orchid), the rare but not listed by the DNR, Asplenium platyneuron (Ebonyspleenwort fern), and DNR special concern species- Tomanthera auriculata (Eared false foxglove). Spiranthes ovalis, Liparis loeselii, and Asplenium platyneuron are growing in what once was cultivated fields 30 + years ago and is now thin canopy newer growth woods in section 6 just northwest of the southbound Interstate 35 rest stop. Tornanthera auriculata can be found in the Story County Conservation's Cooper's Marsh 1 mile south and 3/4 mile west of the Milford School.

Since retiring from the Ames Post Office 11 years ago, I haven't been sitting around watching the Poa pratensis grow. For those that don't know, that is Kentucky bluegrass.

Edit: As an ISU Botonist said, "Jimmie has a PHD - a Plant Hunting Degree".

Milford Creamery Report

In Jan of 1897, the Milford Farmer's Creamery took in over 100,000 pounds of milk. They paid 18 1/2 cents per pound for butter for the month. This money will greatly help the patrons during these close times. Will Young, the popular butter maker, churned 495 pounds of butter at one churning. This creamery was one mile west of the Milford Center School site on the southeast corner of that intersection. They had an ice house that was filled with ice from a "nearby" slew and it was an event when they got the ice stored for the upcoming summer's heat. Most everything had disappeared from this site by the 1950's.

Driving a School Bus at Milford Twp
by Dale Hughes `55.

When the young people of today hear that, at Milford Twp, high school students were among those who drove school busses, well, it is a real eye-opening surprise to them. I drove a school bus my senior year as a sixteen and seventeen year old for the school year of 1954-'55. It was an early fifties Ford model. It was a 36 passenger bus

Below: Jimmie Thompson `57, son of Raymond Thompson who was the janitor at Milford in 1952-`53. Picture to the north from Janitor's house with the baseball backstop and the Christy farm in view. He shot the jackrabbit in the field to the north and east of the School. It seems as though, right after the War, there were very few jackrabbits around. In the late forties, and for ten or fifteen years, there were quite a few. Then, after that, it was quite unusual to see one. Jimmie also on page 273.
with six rows of seats and a center aisle. I don't recall which engine it had but it was very adequate. The strongest memory I have of this machine was the difficulty shifting gears. It was a three speed and shifting up the gears wasn't too bad provided one "double clutched" it and was patient. Shifting down was another matter. The engine speed and the ground speed had to be matched quite closely or it sounded as though one was not using the clutch at all.

Each morning I would begin my route at about 7:40 and travel 11 3/4 miles and pick up a bus load of youngsters and be at School at 8:18 or no later than 8:20. The State speed limit for a school bus transporting students to or from school was 35 miles per hour. A good portion of the year I had 39 students assigned to the 36 passenger bus so it was very common to arrive at school with a student sitting on the steps going up into the bus. If one were to drive that same route in 2007, I believe the school age youngsters from those 11 3/4 miles would fit comfortably in a Volkswagon*. It almost shocks me now to recall, but for this task and responsibility I was paid $50.00 a month. That amounts to a little over a $1.50 an hour or about $1.15 a trip. However, for that $1.15, I could buy over 3 gallons of gasoline or five McDonald burger type burgers. I saved up my first two pay checks and bought a guitar.

Classmate Dave Allen `55 was the other High School student that year who drove a bus. We both had 36 passenger busses and the adult drivers had the larger 42 or 48 passenger busses. Arnie Munson and Rex Needham were the other two drivers. Arnie was the Chief Driver and he kept the busses fueled and greased and would have them parked east of the sidewalk that extended south from the main door of the School when it was time to head home. Arnie also was the man who drove to almost all the ball games and other special

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© 2012 Mark Christian
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