By Barbara Timmons
She discovers why she visited Chariton Library
Hello, my name is Barbara Timmins, and I'm from Altoona, Iowa. My dad lived in Chariton from 1933 to 1943 when his family moved to Des Moines. Dad died on Dec. 2, 2009. My dad thought family history was very important, and told my brothers and I many stories from when he was growing up, both in Chariton and in Des Moines. I have a wonderful story for you about an experience I had in Chariton in July of this year. I thought I'd share it with you.
In July of this year, my mom and I went to Chariton, where my dad, Earl Agan grew up, to the public library so I could look at microfilm of Chariton newspapers. Someone has compiled a database of every name that has ever been in any of the Chariton papers and listed them as obituaries, marriage announcement, birth announcement or story, etc.
I had a list of things I wanted to look at from this database. When we got there, the woman said to me, "You know, you can look at these newspapers in Des Moines at the Historical Building?" And I said, "Well that's okay, I needed to go to the cemetery, too, so it was okay I traveled down here."
I was in a back room in the basement of the Chariton Library; sitting at the microfilm machine and to my right was a bookshelf with Chariton school yearbooks, information about Chariton schools, etc. There is this one binder, black or dark blue, I can't remember. It was nothing fancy. It had a paper taped to the spine that said "Chariton School Photos," and I could tell that there were some plastic sleeves inside with photos stuck in them. Again, nothing fancy, but my eye kept getting drawn to this binder. I had looked inside a few yearbooks and one big binder with information about Chariton schools but I finally gave in and took the binder off of the shelf. I decided that there must be a reason for me to look at this darn binder.
So I opened it up, and the first page, first photo, is a group of kindergarten or first graders, and in the front row, center, is my dad. I took the binder out and showed it to my mom, and told her that was the reason I was to come to Chariton and sit in that little room! It's like my dad was there with me, egging me on to look inside this plain binder, because he knew he would be there looking back at me.
There are no names or dates on this photo or the three following it. I've sent the photo to my dad's best friend growing up to see if he is in the photo as well and if he can shed some light on when it was taken, or other names of children in the photo.