Rolfe, Iowa, in the ’40s and ’50s: The Wickre Story (About those feed sacks…Part II)


To better understand the following post, click here to view Part I. Both posts include details from my communication with Loel Diggs regarding the 1950s and…well, you’ll just have to read.

* * * * * * * *

Louise: I see you mentioned the year 1955 in reference to the photo of the pickup [immediately below]. Is that the model year of the pickup in the photo?

The Diggs' 1955 Chevy pickup. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Loel: Yes, the pickup is a 1st series 3100 Advance Design 1/2-ton 1955 Chevy Pickup. The “Advanced Design” body styled pickup was manufactured from 1947 to mid-year 1955 with minor styling changes and mechanical improvements occurring for every model year. In the photo [immediately above] is what it looked like when Dad brought it home from the Chevy dealer in Rolfe.

Louise: I know you said that your dad bought it. Was it a pickup that anyone in your family could drive, or was it meant to be for you? And, when did you become the official owner?

Pictured here is the Diggs' 1955 Chevy pickup and 1949 Chevy car. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Loel: The pickup was purchased for the sole purpose to serve as the Diggs Farm pickup. Dad, myself and Mom were the drivers of the pickup, but having only the family car and  the pickup for me to ask for, such as on Saturday nights or date nights, the pickup became my preferred daily driver.

Loel: Dad liked customized accessories, added to vehicles, as I did, so his comment was: I could add any accessory I wanted, as long it was my $s (my 4-H calf monies) that were spent on the pickup accessories. That helped me  get the pickup, just about (not always) any time I wished to drive it for something other than farm use. I purchased the pickup from my Dad in the summer of 1980, driving it from the farm to Watertown, SD, where I have kept it ever since.*

* * * * * * * *

Louise: When you mentioned doing business with the mill (i.e., taking your corn and oats to the mill, etc.), was it always with the mill that Wickre’s had? Or, sometimes was it ever with any other  mill?

Loel: The only mill that my folks did business with was the Wickre mill.

Louise: When you said in your paragraph, “By the time we had the pickup…,” about when are you  referring to…was that by 1955?

Loel: Up until that  time my folks had no pickup. My folks considered a pickup to be a non-essential piece of equipment to effectively run the farming operation. Two tractors and the necessary farm implements were all that were needed.

Louise: Do you think the reason the imprinted sacks only saw the original fill was because they were then sewn into something (like the dresses, aprons, etc.) and didn’t have a chance to  get used for subsequent fills?

Loel: If my Mom liked the print, then the sacks never saw another fill of feed. If the design was not of what anyone wanted, then they might see multiple filling or be used as cleaning supplies as other fabric bags were used on the farm.

*Pictured here is Loel's 1955 pickup this past July 4th, the same day it was entered in the Watertown, South Dakota, holiday parade. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


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3 Responses to “Rolfe, Iowa, in the ’40s and ’50s: The Wickre Story (About those feed sacks…Part II)”

  1. Peg Moore Says:

    GREAT photos, Loel! All three of them! Thanks for sharing them with us via Louise!

    Peg, Class of 1969, and one of Louise’s sisters 🙂

  2. Clara Hoover Says:

    Neat truck! I’ve enjoyed your stories, Loel. When I was young I sometimes spent after school time with Sharon is her “play room” on the west side of Climax. I well remember the cotton sacks and that women would make towels out of them, perhaps dresses, too. That didn’t happen at our house, however. But I have seen lots of those towels. They were one of best types of towels for drying dishes.

    Your 1955 Chevy truck looks familiar. There were probably several around Rolfe when I was growing up. Our father had a larger truck. Maybe the front part was the same, but the flat bed part was larger. And it had wooden sides that perhaps were removeable. I believe it was used to haul ear corn and whatever else my father wanted to take from farm to farm or from farm to town, maybe even some hogs. One year my father converted the truck to a very crude “camper,” and we camped out at the State Fair.

    Thanks for telling your stories and providing the photos, too.

  3. Clara Hoover Says:

    I should have added that I’m another of Louise’s sisters. RHS Class of 1960.

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