Bio: Bart, William - Memories




Surnames: Bart, Krueger, Perkins, Crane, Mauel, McCrae, Grimes, Gummerson


----Source: Personal Memories of Bill Bart


Tales of Owen Horses by Bill Bart


When crazy Louis Krueger rode his white horse on a street in Owen or Withee, kids would run and hide. Although he had never molested any of us, we were all scared he would. In 1928 at age five, that was my first awareness of a horse in Owen. Later, when my dad, Jim Bart, worked as a teamster for Bill Perkins' "Livery and Dray Company" I got to go with him when he delivered coal to customers around the city. Dad drove a team of large, black horses pulling a big sleigh which was actually a four runner sled with a big box on it for hauling coal. Dad would unload the coal with a scoop shovel into coal chutes that went into bins in the customer's basements.


When I got a little older and started school, I would go with other kids hitching rides on farmers' sleighs when they came in on the North Road loaded with cans of milk for the H. B. Mauel's cheese factory and the Carnation Condensery. They also hauled sacks of grain to be ground at the E.J. Crane Feed Mill. We would hitch our coaster sleds to the sleighs and ride them all the way into town, and back out. This fascination for sleigh riding stayed with us right up through our teenage years, including sleigh ride parties.


At Christmas time, the local Chamber of Commerce borrowed a big sleigh with a beautifully decorated four horse dappled gray team, from the Clark County Hospital farm. My Dad drove it down Main Street, stopping on every block, and Mike McCrae, playing Santa Claus, handed out little bags of candy to the kids.


Up until I was about 10 years old our ice man, Nick Grimes, used a horse drawn wagon delivering ice. He kept his fine team of horses in a barn nearby. His son, Burleigh, who at the time was pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals, would send a couple of his race horses to winter with his father's horses. Nick got me and Chuck, son of the village blacksmith, John Gummerson, to exercise them with a method he called "posting." We would stand in the center of a circular path, and on a long rein the horses would run around us about 15 minutes every day. It was a great experience posting those beautiful race horses and to meet this great Cardinal pitcher.


In the summer of about the same years, there was an older gentleman name John Collier who rode past my home in a horse drawn buggy when he worked at the Clark County Hospital farm. His horse was a light brown bay (beige), a fine trotter, named Dan, and moved John and his buggy along at a good speed. Through my dad I got acquainted with John, and on one of his days off, he saddled Dan for me to ride.  What a great thrill!  Owen at last achieved the class of a "One Horse Town."  



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