Bio: Hales, Verla
Contact: Loyal Public Library

----Source: Excerpt from "The Centennial History of the York Center United Methodist Church, 1880 - 1980..


My grandfather, William Rowe, was one who helped build the church and lived only a short distance from it. I remember his being caretaker for the building and especially his building the fire in the box heater. Some Sundays in the winter when it was extra cold, everyone sat on the benches around the wood heater to keep warm. Faces burned, and the feet froze while the minister preached the sermon.

There were horse sheds buut for the horses people drove to church. In the winter the horses that pulled the sleighs were blanketed.

My other grandparents, the Walter Graves, drove a horse and buggy or horse and cutter from near Granton where they lived on what is now the Marvin Naedler farm. The church service was held in the afternoon. My mother played the organ and the piano for the church. She started to play when she was 13 and played for many years. She also had a Sunday School class. The children sat back of the organ. In those days the organ sat out from the wall. The youngsters had a bench there and also the choir for the church sat there.

The Ladies Aid had ice cream socials called lawn socials. Some of the men and ladies gathered at home in the afternoon and made several freezers of ice cream that was ready to serve at night. Quite often there would be one social during strawberry time. The lawn would be lit with lanterns hanging from the trees and there were Japanese lanterns with a candle in them for decorations.

In 1949, my mother, Sadie Rowe, aged 74, planned the first anniversary celebration for the church's 70th. She wrote the history and was the leader in planning it. I remember the wonderful days at our house getting ready--writing invitations and receiving replies from several people.

The children's programs in June were memorable. We practiced on Saturday and then went out to the woods and brought back armsfull of ferns and wild flowers to decorate the altar. Quite often we had a new white dress for the occasion. I still have one of the pieces I spoke, "God Loves the Children."

My parents always attended church and always took me too, so I attended from late in 1900 and belonged to the church until I moved to Granton in 1963. I still went to York Center for a time until transportation became difficult and I joined the Methodist Church in Granton. I attend the Granton church with help from good friends. I've been treasurer of the United Methodist Church for several years but now I resigned to care for a baby.

I've taken bouquets of flowers during the summer time most every Sunday. I like to share the flowers that I grow with others. I do babysitting with several children of relatives and friends. I had one baby from the age of three weeks until she was five years old. She stayed during the day for five years. I have two children. Hazel attended Sunday School and church until after she finished high school. She went to Clintonville to work at Four Wheel Drive and sta.yed for five years. She then married William Miller. They have five children and thre e grandchildren. She is a Waupaca Co. Homemaker officer and works at the Lutheran Aid and Church. Now all the children except one are married. They are retired from farming but she works in a Clintonville men's clothing store.

Alvin and Jean Dahl live at Loyal where he operates the Ford garage. They are very busy so Jean helps out at times and she drives a school bus and has for several-years. There are five children--two married and live away, one goes to the University at Madison and two are at home. They are members of the York Center Church and hold offices and attend regularly. My family, along with my brother Milford and his family, gave a colored window for the church in memory of our parents and grandparents.

Truly this church may be called "The Church by the Side of the Road" that is calling to us all to come and worship.

Pictured below are four generations of this family: Sadie Rowe, daughter Verla Hales, Hazel Miller, and child.



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