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Runaway Boy with Itchy Feet

Even a hundred years ago boys ran away from home seeking the bright lights or at least new experiences. On September 21st Cecil Bryant told his family he was going to church in Towanda and left the farm. He apparently had a habit of going by himself to the church service, but on this occasion, he return home and his parents Harry and Josephine were frantic with worry. They called the police and a hunt for the 15 year old boy was started.

Three days later Cecil sheepishly returned home. He had thought to go to Chicago, but after reaching Joliet, realized he was homesick and returned.

In 1919 Cecil was mentioned again in the Pantagraph for his travels. Cecil was returning to Wyoming to do some ranching. His time there had been interrupted when his brothers fought in World War I. He returned to Towanda and married Rae McKenzie of Towanda on October 13, 1921. They settled on a farm for some time, but in January of 1923, Cecil was ill and had a nasal surgery at Brokaw Hospital. In February, he decided to sell his farm.

At this time Cecil was just 23 years old. How had he managed to accumulate so much farm equipment and livestock? His father was still living, and he had three older brothers, Lloyd, Howard and Harley. He did not inherit this property from his father (who died in 1950)

Cecil and Rae took a home in Towanda and for the 1930 census gave his occupation as carpenter. They had three children, Robert, Shirley and Wanda. In 1934 the Pantagraph reported that Cecil had a federal civil service job in Danville, and the family moved there.

In the 1940 census they were still living in Danville and Cecil was still a carpenter.

The death record for Cecil indicates that he died in Sheridan, Montana in 1962. His father's obituary reflected that Cecil was living in Wyoming in 1950 as well. Apparently Cecil couldn't resist his itchy feet and had travelled away from Illinois again.

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