|Townships of Mitchell county, 1917|Beloit township (T7S R7W), 1917
Custer township (T9S R10W), 1917
Pittsburg township (T8S R10W), 1917
Carr Creek township (T7S R10W), 1917
I began searching through the probate records also, and I completed photographing four files (for Anna F. Deneke, Anna Butler-Deneke, Louis Livie Bulthaup, and Elizabeth Ottley-Kohn. I was able to work directly in the probate vault, photographing in the same room. I could have worked beyond 5 p.m., when the offices typically close. Tomorrow, I will need to ask help in bringing some files to the photography area, as they are not accessible in the vault I've been working in.
Afterward, I drove out to the Peter Deneke farm, where I found the old post rock barn still standing but the rock house was replaced with a new building from about the 1980s. On the drive, I photographed several post rock fences and distant views of Beloit.
Charlotte Gengler-Campbell had made reservations for several classmates at Plum Creek Café. The group included Charlotte and her husband Terry, Becky Davies, Brian Doyle, and his wife Alice. The food was better than the soggy sandwich I had there the day before, but it wasn't memorable. After Brian's eyes glistened from a couple whiskey-sevens, he said, "Ya know, we didn't have any meanness in the things we said back then in high school. I think everybody knew it was all in good fun." From his position as a lanky jock and farm kid, that's an easy attitude to take. Charlotte and Becky, being once members of the same tight clique, objected and remembered the girls who were excluded, with more than some little remorse.
I haven't dwelled on slights and taunting from teenaged classmates, likely because I've had stronger bonds made in college and later years. Perhaps because of a retained focus on Beloit and those who stayed, several classmates still remember the bonds and slights of 1969 much better than I. It's my hope that this weekend is a chance to reset connections to some of my class, and together to bypass the earlier history.