The Attic is a set of articles, written by members of our community, sharing a wide range of historical records, stories and events relating to the Museum.

Saying Goodbye

posted Aug 15, 2018, 6:51 AM by James Nennemann

By Lona Lewis

Fremont County is an area with a rich historical heritage and has been blessed with residents who recognized that the records of the pioneers had to be preserved—this mission was undertaken in the 1960s by the founders of the Fremont County Historical Society (FCHS).  The men and women who formed the society came from all walks of life, each bringing their own unique perspective and set of skills to the task.  Through years of hard work the volunteers created a museum on the east side of Sidney’s town square to be replaced in 2014 by a new building housing a world-class museum and genealogy center. The society maintains a collection of over 3,000 items donated by hundreds of area families.

One of the society’s founders and sustaining members has been Evelyn Birkby. Among her many contributions has been the View from the Attic, a biweekly reflection of the people and events that shaped southwest Iowa. It has remained virtually unchanged for almost four decades. Evelyn’s love of history combined with a keen sense of how storytelling could bring to life the tales of early settlement has paid many dividends to Fremont County and Iowa. Beginning in the late 1980s, Evelyn was the sole writer. She drew source material from the society’s extensive collection of manuscripts, newspapers, letters and books.  In the early years View from the Attic was published weekly and sent to county newspapers.

The View from the Attic was put on hold in the 1990s but revived in 2005 when Lona Lewis teamed up with Evelyn to start publication again, but with an important difference. The articles would remain dedicated to chronicling area history but would begin relying on the unique perspective of other writers.  The call went out and volunteers stepped forward:  From Randolph, Sherry Perkins became a regular contributor. Many of her articles were delightful firsthand accounts of her childhood during the mid 20thcentury. Other included Jerry Birkby, who shared his stories of Knox; Daisy Macolm added more stories from Randolph; Harry Wilkins contributed articles about Tabor and surrounding areas; and Emily Bengtson reminisced about growing up in Riverton. Sandra Bengston, current president of the society and our genealogy expert also wrote articles and provided ideas for others.       
 
The reach of the Attic was broadened by each one being sent to state websites such as GenWeb, the Iowa Historical Society, and the Iowa Cultural Affairs agency. Today each Attic is sent to the newspapers and seven other websites.  We regularly receive emails from individuals throughout the country who were touched by one of the stories.

There comes a time when things do come to an end and it is time for the Attic to sign off.  Evelyn, who is 99 this year, is the last of the original founders and agrees that this should be the last article. But recognizing the importance of the stories, the society is publishing an illustrated book of collected articles. It will soon go to print and be available through the FCHS website and the Museum.  As for Evelyn, we thank her for her dedication, hard work and unfailing leadership in preserving our history.

Harriet Townshend: Tabor Missionary

posted Aug 1, 2018, 6:51 AM by James Nennemann

By Harry Wilkins

Tabor was founded in 1852 as a Christian community built around a college that was open to everyone regardless of gender or race. The first graduating class of the Tabor Literary Institute, the forerunner to the college, included Harriet Eliza Townshend, daughter of one of the town’s pioneer families. Like her parents Isaac and Emiline, Harriet was deeply committed to her faith and was a sustaining member of the Congregational Church. She also believed strongly in education and, after leaving the literary institute in 1862, became a public school teacher. But over time she became restless, feeling the need to “enlarge her views of the Christian life.” In 1867 she volunteered her services to the Boston-based Women’s Board of Missions as a teacher in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

Harriet left Tabor August 13, 1867, for the arduous journey to the Jaffna district of Ceylon, home to the Hindu Tamil people.  Ceylon was a world apart from Harriet’s Iowa. She found herself in a windy, lowland tropical land drenched by monsoon rains in the winter and baked by the sun in the summer. With its rice fields, coconut trees and native elephants, the region presented an exciting and wholly unfamiliar culture and geography. Harriet worked with a small group of Americans under the leadership of an ordained minister and was one of several teachers assigned to the boarding school which housed Tamil girls ages 6-14. Harriet’s charges learned the gospels along with reading, writing and arithmetic; older girls were exposed to philosophy, history and astronomy.

Harriet wrote letters to her family, friends, and former students in Iowa describing her work and her admiration for her young students. In one letter she wrote that her girls “can read pretty well—know the geography of Ceylon and India and add and subtract mentally. When they learn to write they may send you letters of their own.” Harriet also felt duty-bound to help Tabor College’s natural history museum: she sent the school a 500-pound box with 150 varieties of shells and “articles of curiosity from different parts of the island and some from India.” To her childhood friend Maria Gaston, Harriet wrote that she wanted “all the Tabor children who have ever been to school with me or in my Sabbath school class to have a shell from Ceylon.”

Harriet’s long exposure to difficult living conditions, a harsh climate, and tropical diseases took their toll and her health began to fail. She came home to Tabor in the spring of 1877 to recuperate but returned too soon to Ceylon, over the objections of her friends. She never fully regained her strength and became progressively weaker, passing on August 15, 1882. She was 40 years old. Harriet was buried in Ceylon and a monument was erected for her in Tabor Cemetery.

Harriet’s legacy can best be summed up in a letter she wrote to a friend: “I could not have pleasanter surroundings or a better home, kinder friends or more satisfying work. The school is doing beautifully and we are now a happy household.”

Platt Family - Civil Bend Early Pioneers

posted Aug 1, 2018, 6:47 AM by James Nennemann   [ updated Aug 1, 2018, 6:48 AM ]

By Lona Lewis

Imagine building a house in Fremont County in the 1840s.  Some of the early pioneers coming into the county arrived via the Missouri River and settled in what was known as the Civil Bend area. The river bottoms were covered with large trees, mostly cottonwoods.  In our museum collection is a picture of a cottonwood tree from that area. It was declared the largest of its kind in Iowa.  
One of the exhibits in the museum is a hand-hewn log from the Platt Family home built in Civil Bend in the mid 1800s.  The heavy timber was estimated to weigh 65 pounds and is only about four feet long with a notch at one end.  The piece likely would have been used in a short wall, maybe in the corner, where the notch would have fit with other timbers, and the other end helping make a window frame. We have large axe blades typical of the kind that would have been used to cut down the tree and fashion the log into a house timber. There is also a picture of the house which is much larger than most of the early log cabins.
Looking at the axe blade and the timber, what comes to mind is the strength it took to physically cut down the tree and then shape the timbers. There had to have been a lot of manpower to help lift each timber in place. One last observation:  Though they had no machines to make a straight cut, it is remarkably uniform in its width.
 Lester Ward Platt and his wife Elvira Gaston Platt came from Oberlin, Ohio, in the 1840s and settled in the Civil Bend area. They were graduates of Oberlin College, the first federal grant college in the nation, and Elvira was one of its first women graduates. Their mission was to help the Pawnee Indians living in what is now the Bellevue, Nebraska area. They left a civilized Ohio to come to Fremont County, which was still very primitive. 
Working with the Pawnees was not easy because they were constantly attacked by the Lakota Sioux. The Platts’ first year’s work was to help the Pawnees survive after their crops had been destroyed by the Sioux. They had arrived intending to build a school immediately but instead had to put it on hold. It took a year to build and open the school, during which the Sioux constantly harassed them. The couple came close to leaving and going back to Ohio, but instead they stayed and eventually spent several years working with the Pawnees.
Lester worked in Nebraska running a trading post for the Native Americans. Elvira used her degree in agriculture to work with the Pawnees to grow better crops. In the warm weather they would live among the Native Americans and then come to Civil Bend to live in their house the rest of the year. In later years, the couple became very active in the Abolitionist movement and helped to establish Tabor College. Today their relatives still live in Fremont County. 

Disappearing Fences and Garden Gates

posted Jul 10, 2018, 7:19 AM by James Nennemann

By Sherry Perkins

At one time they multiplied as fast as rabbits across the Midwest and western United States. Fences were put up quickly as farms and ranches were established, defining boundaries while keeping the livestock under control. Although fences could stop disputes, they weren’t always seen as harmless--range wars could be triggered by the wrong fence in the wrong location. Most were made of wire–some barbed–some not, and some made of wood. Fence posts were often made from the limbs of the Osage Orange tree, known for its durable wood. Later on, the steel post became a part of the equation. Today, the fences are disappearing along with the old barns and windmills. Fewer farmers need to build or repair fences, particularly if they do not keep livestock—the routine of having a rider open the gate is becoming a thing of the past.

Back in the day, garden gates were a part of every farmstead and even some town yards. Every farm yard was surrounded by a wire fence on all sides with each side having a “garden gate” from which you either entered or exited.
In the country there were many reasons for the gate and fence, including keeping at bay farm animals who thought the grass was greener on the inside. The barrier kept out the chickens who liked to scratch Mom’s flowers while leaving you-know-what for the kids’ barefoot toes to find. And speaking of kids, the fence kept little ones from venturing off into the many dangers lurking in stock tanks, hay mows, hog pens and machinery. 

The gate itself was sometimes tricky to unlatch. Some gates had attached weights which could create a strong spring action catching slow-moving humans, knocking some folks over. Gates drew children like a magnet; they were fun to swing on and climb over. Some gates were very decorative with curly-cues on the top bar and others were just plain squares or rectangles of wire that invited small feet to climb aboard. Words of Did you shut the gate? were common at most houses. Sometimes the family vegetable garden had its own fence which didn’t keep away small predators or deer of course, but the growing vegetables were protected from hooves of cows, pigs, and horses.  But only if you Shut The Garden Gate! Yard fences were also often used for drying the heavy, wet overalls on wash day when the clothesline was full.

Songs and poems about the garden gate aren’t being written anymore. Youngsters today would probably struggle in simply opening a gate but they are commanding good prices at auctions, being used for decorative purposes in the flower and rock gardens of this 21st Century where they sit like royalty among the tulips, peonies and yucca. Their ornate wires and square pipe have the ability to take one back to a simpler time and open one’s mind to the many memories they hold.


A white picket fence in Tabor around 1890

Fremont County Historical Society History

posted Jun 21, 2018, 8:33 AM by James Nennemann

By Evelyn Birkby

This is Evelyn Birkby, sitting here in my study, at almost 99 years old, thinking about the beginning of the Sidney Historical Society. I’m determined before I leave this earth to write about that beginning. 



The Fremont County Historical Society was incorporated with the State of Iowa on July 10, 1962, to preserve the heritage of southwest Iowa and the stories of its people. The first officers were Ralph H. Greenwood, president (county engineer); James H. Pullman Jr., vice president (Sidney Bank); and Lela Parkison, Secretary-Treasurer (James Mosley’s office staff). Besides the officers the directors were Ralph Lovelady, a local physician and rodeo hospital doctor, and Nina Christopher, wife of Sheriff Al Christopher.



Until the society acquired a building, James Moseley gathered and stored many archival materials and Ernest Wilson used his local grocery store to store antiques. The society was surprised at the number of donated items and membership was strong in the early years. In 1966, the Sidney Baptist Church disbanded and its members voted to give their 1893 church building to the Historical Society. 

In 1969, the County Farm Bureau Women purchased the Sunnyside one-room country school house located west of Waubonsie State Park on Bluff Road south of Highway 2 and moved it to a lot, which was donated by James Moseley, north of the museum church. Soon Winifred Rhoades was arranging tours for local schools and special interest groups.



In 1971, the Society purchased the Archie Garage from Verbal Schnepp and began transforming it into the main museum. Gilbert Benson and Chester Ballinger razed an old house in Sidney and used the materials to construct three period rooms. Volunteers built display cases with windows salvaged from the old Sidney school. New additions included a prehistoric display, an Indian room, a pioneer room with family histories of those who contributed five hundred dollars, a library, and a genealogy department.



In 1976, the Society elected Evelyn Birkby as chairperson of the Fremont County Bicentennial Committee. People from across the county organized and presented an historical pageant with the assistance of Andy Orton. The Society used a grant from the State Bicentennial Commission to rewire and repair the main museum building and to add a pioneer store, a room for genealogy, and space for the original Penn Drug soda fountain, donated by William Penn.



Society members published reprints of county histories from1876 and 1881. Volunteers recorded the gravestones in the county and in 1983 printed the Fremont County Cemetery Records Book. In 1989, Winifred Rhoades and Inez Killam compiled the Fremont County, Early Marriages from 1849-1885 published by the Iowa Genealogical Society. Members promoted the Centennial Celebration of the present County Court House (built in 1889) and the publication of its history book. Another unique publication was The Story of August Werner, written about the Imogene native who “flew” a helicopter.



In 1987, Charles Polk acquired a century-old peg barn (with wooden pegs substituted for nails). Volunteers helped him dismantle the barn and then build an overhang at the front of the main museum.  

In the first 27 years of the Society, a solid foundation had been built to “help preserve the past for future generations”

The Oldest Woman in Iowa

posted Jun 6, 2018, 6:03 PM by James Nennemann

Harry Wilkins

In the year 1831 Andrew Jackson was president of the United States, the first steamboat navigated the upper Missouri River, and Nancy Jane Nees was born in Hendrix County, Indiana. Nancy’s June 22nd birth was most certainly a cause for celebration for her parents George and Cynthia, but hardly worthy of historical note. That would change 106 years, seven months and seven days later when Nancy quietly passed away at the Hastings home of her daughter, Martha Jane Benedict; the date was January 29, 1938, and on that Sunday she was the oldest person living in Iowa.

Nancy lived the life of a pioneer woman in every sense of the word, first as a daughter who learned the value of hard work on her parents’ farm in Indiana and later as a farm wife and mother of eleven children. As a girl she attended school through her 17th year and in 1850, still a teenager, married Levi Hurst. The newlyweds were not destined to stay in Indiana though—by 1853 they decided that cheap land in Iowa was an irresistible opportunity and took off with several other families on a trek to Appanoose County. They purchased a place, settled down and began raising a family. But by the spring of 1865, Levi and Nancy and their six children decided western Iowa was where they needed to be and struck out once again in a covered wagon pulled by oxen. Along the way they stopped at Red Oak to nurse their ailing infant daughter. While there, they were shocked to learn of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Sadly, their daughter did not survive and they buried her before moving on to Fremont County, where Levi purchased 40 acres of untilled land five miles northeast of Sidney.

The family settled into the daily routine of an Iowa farm family, with Levi taking on the added responsibility of preaching in a nearby school used by the Christian Church. Tragically, he died in 1876 leaving Nancy to raise her family alone but she kept the family together. Although Nancy owned the homestead her entire life, by 1912 she realized the time had come to move to Tabor to live with her sons, John and Frank and, later, with her daughter. She never gave up her independence, insisting on living in a separate room where she cooked her own meals. Nancy was remembered by her family and friends as being content with her simple life, yet she regretted one thing: she was never able to fly in an airplane. Still mentally alert at 101, she decided that it was time to cast her first vote for president, which she did in the 1932 election. Thinking of those suffering during the Great Depression she decided to support Franklin Roosevelt, commenting as she did: “something ought to be done about these times.” And if anyone was an expert on time, it would have been Nancy Hurst.

Life of an Early Pioneer

posted May 28, 2018, 1:57 PM by James Nennemann

By Sherry Perkins

Editor’s note: The information below is taken from an article celebrating the life of Seymore Rhode. It was published in the “Randolph Enterprise,” May 30, 1935 a few days after his death. The article was written by Rev. Peter Jacobs of Randolph.

Seymore T. Rhode was born June 23, 1852 in a log cabin a few miles southwest of Tabor, Iowa.  Sidney was but a year old when he entered the world.  He was married to Violet Allensworth on October 24, 1880. Six children called him “father.” His own father was Joseph Rhodes who how came by wagon train from Indian in 1851. It required three months to get here as they drove cattle with them.  His great-grandfather was a master of a Southern Planation and therefore an owner of slaves.  This great-grandfather became disgusted with slave traffic, so dispersed his interests and came north to a free territory.

The cabin where Seymore was born was a one room structure typical of the simple, rough shelters that housed most of the early pioneers in Fremont County.  Animal skins were used to cover the doors-there were no windows- a log fireplace provided cooking option and heated the cabin.  There was an attic in the cabin that filled with snow during a terrible snow storm several years after his birth. To empty the attic, they carried out 22 bushels of snow.  This snow storm was argument enough to call for a new shelter. Therefore a new house was built on the homestead in 1859 and it was home for seven years. 

Wild deer and turkey provided meat for the family. Indians were seen often. They would return from their reservations in Kansas and Nebraska because hunting on this side of the Missouri was more lucrative.  One day his mother was alone with the children when her brother-in-law, Daniel Rhode, saw some Indians coming from the direction of Daniel’s cabin. He feared the worst. He found the Indians had tied up his wife hand and foot, trying to scare her into revealing where the family stored their meat.  She refused to divulge the secret place. The Indians left and the family felt it was because they heard Daniel coming back.  

Seymore ‘s mother spun, wove the cloth and made all of their clothes. She went into town, Sidney, once a year. She was so careful of her meager house hold equipment that she expected her sewing needle to last the whole year.  It was one of the items on her annual shopping list.

 Seymore started as a farmer but in a few years moved to Tabor where he was a partner in a drugstore. He also worked in hardware and groceries. When the new railroad came down the Nishan Botna River Valley in 1878, he took up residence in the newly forming town of Randolph, IA.  Here he ventured into business for himself -hardware, lumber and implements.  Later he handled grain and coal.  He was a supporter of every community endeavor.  For many years his home was the largest, most modern one in the village. The house still stands at the corner of Lambert and Randolph streets. He is leaving a legacy that will be difficult for anyone to surpass.

John Todd’s Civil War

posted May 13, 2018, 7:14 PM by James Nennemann

By Harry Wilkins

Not only was Tabor’s Reverend John Todd a dedicated abolitionist who wrote and spoke against the institution of slavery for many years, he also served for a brief time in the Union Army during the Civil War. Todd and his eldest son James volunteered for duty with military units known as “Hundred Days Men.” These regiments served in rear areas guarding rail lines, depots, and towns against Confederate raiders while the regular army pushed the fight south to its conclusion, or so it was hoped. The term of enlistment for the men was short, generally three to four months. In June of 1864, the 45-year-old Todd was appointed chaplain of the 46th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a position where he ministered to the spiritual needs of over 900 men and officers. His unit, composed of Iowans from across the state, deployed to Collierville, Tennessee, a small town near Memphis where it guarded several miles of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad against attack by southern guerillas operating in the area. 

Todd regularly wrote letters home to his family in Tabor, telling them about the routine of army life. He described the main camp where the men pitched their tents and cooked meals, as well as the nearby fort built of dirt and logs, surrounded by a ditch, which was to be used as a defensive position if a determined Rebel force attacked. Chaplain Todd earned $118.50 per month, the equivalent pay of a junior officer. The soldiers were fed bacon (called “sowbelly”), hardtack (an extremely dry flour biscuit often softened with grease in a frying pan), rice, hominy beans, coffee, and occasionally fresh beef.  Their diet was supplemented by gathering blackberries, peaches, and apples from the countryside.

Although not on the front line, the threat of attack was real. In one letter, Todd described hearing the firing of heavy cannons only a few miles away which were repelling a Confederate cavalry raid on Memphis. During the attack several men from the 46th Iowa were seriously wounded and at least four men were captured. Another deadly threat looming over all Civil War soldiers was disease, and the 46th Iowa lost men to typhoid, measles, and dysentery, among other maladies. Accidents also took a toll. The men, some of whom Todd described as “mere boys,” often became sleepy or frightened while on guard duty and fired their weapons at shadows and tree stumps; there were several deaths from the accidental discharge of weapons.

John Todd and his regiment mustered out at Camp Kinsman, near Davenport. In his final report he noted that attendance at Sunday services was “not always so good as it ought to have been,” due in part to regimental officers not compelling attendance. As for the moral tenor of the regiment, Reverend Todd felt that budding vices brought into the army by the men in some cases became “fully developed” under the “hotbed influence of camp life.” What the vices were, he didn’t say, but hastened to add that the 46th Iowa would certainly compare favorably with other units in active service at the time.

Making Thelma Ferrel’s Dream a Reality- Part Two

posted Apr 25, 2018, 1:50 PM by James Nennemann

By Evelyn Birkby


(Editor’s Note: Part One told the story of how Randolph’s Ferrel House became a museum. This article describes remodeling projects and special features of the house.)


The house was built in 1873 by Anson and Clarissa Rood who had arrived in Riverside Township three years earlier.  Anson was a businessman and farmer who laid the plat for Randolph and would later be president of a regional railroad and the town’s bank. His home was built in a grand fashion which befitted his station. At one time there were four large homes in Randolph.   Rude built the first one. Each of the subsequent three houses was one room bigger so it could become the biggest house in Randolph. 



After accepting the house from the Thelma Ferrel estate in 1994, committees were formed to supervise the home’s restoration. Several unique things were discovered, among them storage closets, an unusual architectural feature for the time. Another interesting innovation was found in the master bedroom: a marble sink fed by rain water collected from a storage tank in the attic. We later learned that at one time all upstairs bedrooms had sinks.


A more common design feature for stately homes of the late 1800s was multiple front entrances and the Ferrel House was no exception. Ther

e is a special outside entry at the bottom of the main entrance stairway which some historians believe was used to bring and remove deceased family members, since it was considered bad luck for the living to use the same portal as the dead. In the kitchen there is a second stairway, probably used by servants.  Almost every room downstairs could be blocked off by large sliding “pocket doors” that recessed inside the walls when not in use. All required removal and refinishing.  As well as providing privacy they were used for channeling heat.


Our most personal find is displayed in a glass cupboard in the living room. It holds Thelma Ferrel's tiny blown-glass animal figurines. We found this collection with a note that revealed they had been given to Thelma by a gentleman friend who traveled a great deal. Each time he returned from a trip he brought her an animal.  Sadly, her parents were adamant that she not marry and eventually the gentleman friend did not return. It spoke to us of Thelma’s sadness. The display with this story is there so the friendship will not be forgotten.

Faithful and accurate restoration required careful attention to the smallest detail, including floor color. The curator hired to advise us believed the floors should be painted red and did just that in spite of our contention that red was not used in southwest Iowa in homes of this style. In response, the committee scraped the floors and determined that the original colors were walnut and cream, fired the curator, and refinished them in the correct colors. 


The result of over five years of loving care and labor is a stunning Victorian home which accurately depicts daily life of that time. Today it is used for educational programs and tours that have been enjoyed by many since 2000.


Making Thelma Ferrel’s Dream a Reality- Part One

posted Apr 20, 2018, 11:11 AM by James Nennemann

By Evelyn Birkby
 
One of Fremont County’s most important historical landmarks is Randolph’s Ferrel House, constructed in 1871. The last owner of the house, purchased in 1936, was Thelma Theresa Ferrel. Thelma was a Randolph native who taught school and remained single to care for her parents in their old age—she remained in the house for 58 years. A sustaining member of Fremont County Historical Society for many years, Thelma made it clear that she would will her Victorian house and its contents, an adjoining washhouse, carriage house, and a small stretch of native land to the society.  As well as historically preserving the structures, located on 13 acres, she dreamt of turning the land into a wildlife refuge, complete with native grasses and wild flowers.
 
Thelma passed in 1994 but before accepting her bequest, the society asked Jerome Thompson from the Iowa State Historical Society to inspect the property to assess its potential as a museum—after a professional evaluation he was very enthusiastic about its potential to become an important part of the county’s historical complex. The society stepped up to the plate. 
 
Many tasks awaited a committee of volunteers in bringing the property into the society’s fold: First off, an accounting firm was chosen to manage the trust, which included a small farm, proceeds from which would support restoration and maintenance. Next on the list was conducting an inventory, a daunting task considering the size of the home and the numbers of antiques and other items it contained. Those who participated in the inventory said it felt as though they were on an extended treasure hunt.
 
With a complete list of items in hand, the society then had to determine what to keep—items and furniture that didn’t fit into a Victorian-era motif would be culled. A curator was hired who assisted in transforming the house by identifying what could be saved and what needed to go, a process that included disposing of four of five davenports. Some things, like antique light fixtures, would need to be acquired from outside sources. When original items weren’t available, replicas were ordered from companies that specialized in vintage furnishings and fixtures.
 
The wall coverings were an important consideration requiring the services of a company in Shenandoah that knew how to find period-correct wallpaper patterns. They carefully peeled off layers of paper in the house until the original (oldest) was exposed. At that point, expert eyes searched catalogs for similar patterns that could be applied with modern techniques to bring out the proper atmosphere for each room. The home’s new entry hall paper was almost identical to the original. 
 
Craftsmen were found to do the wallpapering, painting, metal polishing, and carpentry. Wayne Hardy worked outside and Greg and Ellen Stultz worked on the inside. No detail was too small and windows, locks, hinges, and door knobs all required attention. Slowly but surely, the home took shape and was reborn in its turn-of-the-century glory.
 
The next Attic will share some of the special challenges encountered to fulfill Thelma’s dream.  

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