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Milford Township and Proud of It

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Bill Horine, long time Milford area Mail Carrier from Nevada, writes:

"When Jurine Borton Moore asked me if I would write some of my remembrances when I was a Rural Letter Carrier in Milford Township during the 50s and into the 70s, I was very pleased as it brought back a flood of memories of the many friends I had in the Milford area and some remarkable moments that occurred while I was a rural mail carrier. Weather and the needs of the moment quite often necessitated some quick decisions.

"I recall one time when school was dismissed early in the day because of a blizzard blowing in. I came upon a school bus in the ditch. I stopped and the driver asked if I would call in and let them know what happened and that he had five children yet to be delivered. I told him I would stop and call in and when I saw the children I knew that I would be going by their homes. I offered to take the kids with me and drop them off. This really pleased them, the chance to ride with the mailman was a rare opportunity. Snow was blowing more all the time and I did not finish the route until about six that evening. About a week later a lady came out to her mail box and informed me that my job was to deliver mail, not children. I then asked her if she would have liked me to leave her child in the bus and she just turned and walked away. Thankfully you don't meet many persons with that mentality.

The Raymond and Florence Thompson Boys
Left: Roger `58, LaVerne Nevada `65N, and Jimmie `57. At the Janitor's house looking to the ENE with the farmstead that was a quarter mile east of the School in the background. Little sister Linda was born about this time. Note the good-looking Ford automobile in the background. More Thompson pictures on page 268-9.

"We had several bad winters during the 60s. I recall another time when the weather was bad and a blizzard lasted two days and we did not go out on the route. The morning of the third day the weather lifted, even though the snow plows hadn't yet gone out, since I had a 4 wheel drive pickup I would go out ahead of the plows. The challenge was to see what I could do with the drifted roads. After driving about 30 miles and a number of detours, I was out in Milford Township about midway between Nevada and Ames. At a driveback a young man came running out and said, "I'm stuck and can't get my car out and I have to get my wife to the hospital!" "Would you pull me out?" I knew what the problem was and I also knew he could never make it to the hospital with his wife who was in labor. I decided that I had to try and help him. I put all the mail and him in back and put his wife in front with me. I felt that if I could get to 13th street, which had been regraded to a higher grade that fall, I could get to Ames easier than I could get back to Nevada. It was a rough ride and she broke her water. I then had to decide what to do if the child came before I got to the hospital in Ames. I had left a note in a patrons mail box with his mail to call Mary Greeley and tell them I was going to try and get in with the lady. I got her to Ames and they rushed her to delivery. I left the hospital as soon as I dropped off her and her husband. She delivered 10 minutes later, I found out. I didn't tell anyone about that incident. That was a no-no on account of the liability factor. Stop and call in, yes, but taking a pregnant woman to the hospital was forbidden. Under the circumstances I was the only one that could help at that moment in need.

"Children used to come out to the mailbox many times to meet the mailman. I recall that Pauline Book used to come down to their mailbox at the corner south of the Book farm several times with her four little boys in the car. She would arrive there about the time I did. This was before drive backs were instituted. The Book's third son, Loren, later became my son-in-law when he married Ruth, our youngest daughter. Loren and Ruth's three daughters all attended Milford School at one time. So you see I had and still have many ties to the Milford area. I also delivered mail to Milford School before they joined the Nevada system. The hundreds of many wonderful memories when I delivered mail to patrons in Milford township will be with me until I leave this earth."

Jurine Borton Moore `56 writes that when she left the Milford area to attend college, she went to the mail box and, on the mail box door, wrote "Hi Bill" -- "since I'd be gone and I realized Bill always waived so friendly when he delivered our mail." Also 284

A report is a report, perhaps even a fictitious one:

Sometime before "the War", so the story goes, a grass fire somehow got burning near a Milford farm and the Ames City fire Dept came to put it out but it turned out to be more than they could deal with. A suggestion was made to call the Milford Volunteer Fire group. There was some reluctance but the Chief agreed. The Milford boys arrived in their dilapidated old truck and rumbled toward the fire, drove right into the middle of the flames and then stopped. The Milford boys jumped off the truck and frantically started spraying water in all directions and soon had put out the fire. Seeing this, the farmer was so impressed with the Volunteers' skills and was so grateful that his farm had been spared that he took out his check book and wrote the Volunteers a check for $100. By now there was a reporter on the scene and he asked the Milford Fire Capt what the Volunteers planned to do with all that money. "That ought to be obvious," he said, still wiping the soot off his coat. "The first thing we're gonna do is get the brakes fixed on our fire truck!"

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© 2012 Mark Christian
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