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Title: A Special Person Remembered from the Past
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Maybe in years gone by you will remember a special public servant that provided a place for you to pick up your mail, or write a money order to Spiegle or Montgomery Wards. If you lived in Steuben Township or near Marshfield, you may remember Mabel Patton the Postmistress. She would surely remember you, she knew just about everyone. Having served as the postmistress for 13 years and having lived in the area almost all of her 98+ years, she knew well and was well known. Since there was no barbershop in town neighbors came to the Post Office to hear the chatter not necessarily gossip. She dissiminated and distributed the local news, I would like to say. I can remember her consoling friends and giving strangers directions to State Line or Danville. Some would get off the main road and get lost, and find their way to the Post Office for redeeming directions back to the highway of life.

Mabel's humble beginnings started in adjacent Illinois, county of Vermillion near Bismark. She was a farm girl but had the privelage of going to Indianapolis Music Conservatory to learn piana and organ. While the train ride was long she stayed with her Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Charles Lowe. She would sometimes come home on the train for a week-end to visit her family and visit the Church at Walnut Corners where they had worshipped for 80 years by then. She then met her lover and started to teach school. They both were hired by the Westville, Ill. school board and were told by the school board director that it would be best if they were married if they were to work together. So in 1911 they were married in her parents' house near Bismark. Teaching another year of school and having the privelage of playing the organ at a Danville revival for the popular Billy Sunday was to occupy her before she became a mother of son Robert Edward Patton.

The father was a happy man, also. This was the fourth generation to be born in the area. Mr. Cecil Hugh Patton was then a farmer and found a store in West Lebanon for sale by Mr. Kidwell. It was a general store and they struggled to keep it going. One day in walked a friend, Ira Warrick. He had just come from Ohio having bought farmland there. In the conversation Cecil was compelled to go back into farming, this time in the fertile soil of Darke County, Ohio.

All the furniture was loaded in the train and try

All the furniture was loaded on the train and they were off to Brookville, Ohio. In 1916 they were Ohio farmers moving from one opportunity to another. During this time their three daughters, Marguerite, Betty and Willa, were born. The children grew up into school and by 1936 they had moved to back to the farmstead near Johnsonville, Warren county, Indiana.

Their son now married and with one son, accompanied them back to Indiana, Robert living near Marshfield at the Pearl and Lew Stockard Place. Cecil went back to farming and Mabel made piano lessons available to the neighborhood children. She also fed the big crowds of men that came during the threshings. I can remember the big table full of foods. Grandpa fell ill with a heart ailment and was unable to continue farming. Mabel was then to milk cows and manage the farm until 1952 when she took the Post Office in Marshfield. The building was the Nail store now owned by Daisy Brenner. Grams service was under several Post Office Generals. In January, 1954 her husband, Cecil, succumbed to his heart trouble. After he passed away, Mabel served another 11 years in the office until she herself had some health problems and had to resign in January, 1965. She moved to her little house in Johnsonville till she had to go into Meadow Heights rest home in Williamsport. She has been gone for a year having passed away in September, 1989. A year and two months she would have been a century old.

Bless you Gram, I always called her Gram.
I hope you remember her as fondly as I do.
She raised a fine family and was a friend to all who met her...

Date: 10/1/1990
Origin: Backward Glances
Author: Donald L. Patton
Record ID: 00000952
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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