I can still remember as a child when I was still in elementary school in Winfield visiting my great- great Grandfather Casper Schlick’s home and farm on Mack Road.
From my recollections, to the best of my current memory, my family would visit Casper’s home at least once a month. My father had purchased our family home (27W359 Beecher in Winfield, Illinois) from Casper. My dad would each month drop off the mortgage payment check to Casper.
I can still remember Grandpa Casper sitting in his bedroom in the back of the house off the old main parlor (or living room) of the farmhouse. I learned on a visit and tour of the Klein Family house on Klein Creek Farm Forest Preserve, that the back bedroom was reserved for the grandparents on a farm after they had turned over the farm to their son and or grandkids. Casper I recalled was always wearing his Sears and Roebuck bib overalls on under which was a blue denim workshirt. His head was bald with strands and whisps of gray hair grasping the air. His hands were greatly weathered and large with signs of arthritis. Hands can tell a lot about a person and what type of work they do or had done in their lifetime. Casper’s hands were worn from years of milking several dairy cows by hand for days on end twice a day in his lifetime.
The farm on Mack Road when I was a child was owned by my Mother’s Uncle John and Aunt Agnes Schlick. They had a son Fred and two daughters Pauline and Barbara. My mother would keep in touch with Agnes and the two girls via phone and or cards and letters. I liked going onto the farm to see the cows and the farm house. If one would like to get an idea of what the inside of the Schlick home looked like the closest I have come to experiencing this is to visit the Kline Creek Farm (part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Illinois) in Winfield Illinois.
I vividly remember that the home was very old. It was interesting from the viewpoint of a young boy visiting this farm. I remember the kitchen. This was perhaps the only room of the home that I can remember. I remember in the kitchen above the table was a long piece of tape that was sticky that was used to catch flies. The back door overlooked the barn yard and from the kitchen table one could see the barn and barn door banked entrance doors to the grain and hay storage area.
One story or memory I have that is very vivid in my memory is concerning our family dropping off kittens at the Mack Road Farm. My family had a mother tabby cat named Nipper. This mother cat from my young mind was either just gettting done having a litter of kittens or was always having a litter of kittens. My parents never had this cat fixed for some reason. One reason may have been due to the cost of the procedure. Growing up in a family of six people with four kids other needs can take a priority. On occasions we would drop off some of the kittens at Uncle John’s farm and put them in the Mack Road Dairy barn to catch mice. On one occasion one of the poor kittens had fall asleep in the cow barn under the hay in the manger to stay warm. Well, one time one of the cows laid down on the hay and also on top of the unsuspecting kitten and unfortunately the cat was smothered. I remember my mom telling me what had happened to “our kitten” and was upset. Such is the life of an innocent and naive kitten that moved from a city home to the farm.
I remember that Aunt Agnes Schlick had a hugh vegetable and flower garden near the east side of the house near the driveway. She was always growing something. I loved and can still hear her sing songy voice that would rise and fall as she spoke. My Sister Mary and Brother Robert still get a kick when I attempt to recreate or imitate her voice ( I do so of course respectfully). Agnes and Uncle John were fun people and were funny they seemed to be very easy going and enjoyed life. Uncle John and for that matter my Grandfather Frank were always joking around or joshing or teasing each other or us grandkids. I think this is where I derive my sense of humor.
A reminder to anyone reading this blog to remember to write down your memories and share as part of your family’s history.
See the two part blog post on Frank Schlick and more about life on the Mack Road farm: Part 1 click here and part 2 click here.