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Mon May 30, Memorial Day

10:00a PHS Reunion

This was the day of the annual PHS reunion dinner at the high school. All PHS grads are invited, so it's another chance to meet some more people. I talked about the City of Richmond immigrants with several, but no progress. I'm beginning to wonder how much misinformation will spread from these conversations, but the only way I know to make progress is to keep talking to people.

After this event died down, I made a trip to Newton to spend a little time with Chuck and Susan and their son Caleb, his wife Whitney and their girls, Lexy and Gracie. This also was Susan's birthday celebration.

When Chuck and Susan left to take in a movie, I decided to make a run to the Hillcrest Cemetery in Florence, and the Brunk family cemetery near Canada. I was curious to see if flowers had been left at either place.

Leslie B. Allison. While my Sprint phone still was in range, I called Les. Speaking of the immigrants from the Vaderland in his 1965 college paper, "The Russian Mennonites Who Came to Florence" (3), he quotes from a letter dated January 23, 1875 written by Mrs. A. N. Allison, a resident of Florence, to her sister.

"There is in Florence about three hundred Russians and they have got the Smallpox and we have had our children vaccinated."

This letter may be the source of the "three hundred" that appears on the Russian Mennonite Memorial at Hillcrest, and I would like get a full copy. Les has not yet been able to find the letter, but the search continues.

Hillcrest Cemetery. There were a few flowers at the Russian Mennonite Memorial.

Brunk Family Cemetery. There were no flowers at the Brunk Cemetery, but there were small flags at the grave of one veteran. The Hett family really did a nice clean up job on that place last year, and I did discover a Good marker there that I had missed before.

When I stopped at a Wendy's in Hillsboro for some food to wrap up the day, I found Jerry and Carolee Mellott Foth. Carolee was one of my Peabody classmates and the little sister of Delbert, our driver for the great Marion Co. bus tour. Carolee used to live about a mile east of Catlin, and she was interested in that story. So, after we finished eating, I took them on a tour of Catlin, and while we were there, Don and Elnor appeared to make sure the cemetery had survived the weekend.

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