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A Last Hurrah?

Although the automobile was enjoying popularity at this time, the day of the horse and buggy was not quite over. On this date 100 years ago the members of the Horseshoers Union were enjoying their annual picnic. There were almost 60 members present plus members of their families. The Journeymen beat the Bosses 23 to 12 in a rousing baseball game. The prizes for the winners of the 100 hundred yard dash, P. Olsen, and ball throwing contest, Thomas Crawford, were kegs of horseshoe nails. The winner of the women's ball throwing contest, Mrs. Snodgrass, received two pounds of chocolates and the oldest woman present, Mrs. George Phares also was presented with two pounds of chocolate candies.

All attendees were eligible to play the guessing game -- the challenge was to guess the number of pebbles in a jar. This is truly one of the older games, which is only varied by the objects in the jar! Gladys Heller won two pounds of chocolates for guessing closest to the number.

Honors were paid to the oldest horseshoer present, Mr. E Diebold, who had been shoeing for 42 years and still had a place of business near his home on East Douglas Street. Mr. Eugene Diebold was an immigrant from Germany in 1872. He was a soldier in the Franco Prussian War before immigrating. He stayed in New York only a few months before moving directly to Bloomington, IL and made his home here until his death in 1922. He married Miss Emma Bauers in 1877, and she died three years before her husband. He lived at 210 E Douglas and had his business at 208 E Douglas. He continued shoeing horses up until 1920, when ill health forced him to give up his work at age 71! This was a very physical occupation and Mr. Diebold must have been quite the physical specimen. At the time of his death his four living children: Otto, William, Anna and Josephine were all still living at home. In 1940 the four siblings were living together on McLean Street. Apparently the Diebold line died with Eugene's children who never married. Otto was a baker and William was a clerk in a retail store. The two sisters kept house for their brothers and themselves.

Miss Gladys Heller was truly a world class guesser! In November of 1915 she ventured a guess as to the weight of the pumpkin in the window of Miller's Drug and Jewelry Store and won first prize! On July 14, 1919 we hope that she was as good a chooser when she married Roy V. Martin of Normal. Roy was just back from World War I where he fought in France. They lived in Bloomington all their lives, where Roy was a union painter at State Farm Insurance Companies. He was active with his union and was secretary treasurer with the Bloomington-Normal Construction Trades Council for many years. He was also elected to be Commander of the Louis E Davis post of the American Legion in Bloomington in 1945. He was active in public life in Bloomington and volunteered for local defense work in the early 1950's. They had three children, Harriet, Helen and Darrell.

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