A Winslow Auction and A Muren Reunion

This past weekend my mother and I found some pleasant diversions in Winslow, an auction and a reunion.

We spent the morning hours at an estate sale on Porter Street.  One of my Grandma’s former neighbors, Eva McCord, recently passed away.  Her home was on an immense hill next to the grade school.  When we were children and played Red Rover on that slope,  she would come outside and yell at us to get off of her property.  She was quite eccentric and regularly dug through the school’s trash dumpsters.

I, the lover of old paper that I am, found a few things to drag home that I think Miss McCord had drug home from a trash bin somewhere.  In fact, I am sure that the old Bibles I purchased were a dump rescue because Miss McCord had written a note and placed it inside of them, “I found these Bibles at the dump when there was open dump & they are Grandma and Grandpa McCord’s bibles.  Writen by Eva McCord”.  I remember open dump on Cato Road in the 60s.  People placed the good stuff on the edges and others could take it.  I don’t know what I will do with the Bibles, try to return them to some family members, or put them on Ebay to see if I can find the family members.  There was family at the auction, but they obviously didn’t want such a fantastic treasure.  I would give anything to be reunited an old family bible from one of my ancestors,  but that is just me.

There is also an old book, which she had covered the pages of  in scrapbook fashion with clippings and articles all related to Prohibition.  She cared deeply about the Temperance Movement.  There are also little radio talk show books by Sam Morris, “The Voice of Temperance”.  I am especially fond of “The Female Bar Fly”.  The really sad part of that sexist story is that it is a tad bit prophetic.

Me at our house in Muren, the little house in the background is where my parents lived with I was born in 1960.

Me at our house in Muren, the little house in the background is where my parents lived when I was born in 1960.

Later in the afternoon, we attended the Muren reunion held at the Winslow Community Center.  There were a number of Sharps, Barretts, Bolins, McCandless, Youngs, Reeds, Brewsters and other in attendance that grew up in Muren.  My mother had a fine time visiting with everyone, some of whom she hadn’t seen for probably close to 50 years.  There was good food, old pictures and congenial company.

Muren General Store in the early 1900s.  William R. Berlin is man in the middle in white shirt.   Link to jwww.jddedman.com

Muren General Store in the early 1900s. William R. Berlin is man in the middle in white shirt. Link to http://www.jddedman.com

I don’t believe there was an inch of Muren that we did not explore as kids growing up there.   We picked wild asparagus in the spring and cracked black walnuts from Grandma’s trees in the fall.

John and Allie Young of Muren.  Family of and submitted by David Young, Colorado

John and Allie Young of Muren. Family of and submitted by David Young, Colorado

We learned to swim in Muren Pit.   I can still remember the anticipation of driving down that old dirt road with the sandstone highwalls, walking down that narrow washout path, and  my mother warning us not to go out too far because of the drop offs.  My dad would hover at the drop off point so none of us could drown.  For those of you  not growing up swimming in the strip pits, the drop off is where the shovel dug deeper, it gets deep very fast and is nearly bottomless.

Remaining Portland Cement Mine Company house built in early 1900s in Muren.  2007

Remaining Portland Cement Mine Company house built in early 1900s in Muren. 2007

 

J.C. Muren was the man that Muren was named after.  In the late 1800’s Muren was called Carbon,named after the Carbon Coal Mine operating in the area.  In 1890, Carbon had it’s first post office.  Being that there was already a town and post office in Indiana named Carbon, the  village had to choose a new name and became known as Sophia.   Sophia was the wife of Alex Wiggs and the postmistress.  Her husband also ran the company store where the post office was located.  In the early 1900s it became Muren, named after the underground mine operating in the village from 1904 to 1921.  The post office was replaced by a mail carrier early on.  The first mail carrier was George Pirkle.  In the summers he drove a buggy with one horse, but during winter and rainy season he used two horses.  When the roads became impassable, he unhitched the wagon and rode horseback.  By 1900, Muren had many stores, a hotel, a school, a church and a train depot.

My great uncle, Wesley Bolin, Great Grandfather, Aaron Bolin and friend, Tuffy Wade in Muren in the 1920s.

My great uncle, Wesley Bolin, Great Grandfather, Aaron Bolin and friend, Tuffy Wade in Muren in the 1920s.

By 1900, there were 50 or more houses in the town.  Company houses were built from tile and Portland Cement after David Ingle built the large Ingle dairy barn on Ayrshire Road, one of seven on his property.  It was durable and inexpensive.  The row of Company mine houses were on the Muren Road, or Orchard Hill Road as it used to be called.  There is only one left standing in the area, and maybe another one covered in siding.  You rented the houses from the mine owner and shopped at the company store with mine tokens you were paid.

A Portland Cement brochure with the Ingle Barn in Ayrshire on the cover.  Early 1900s.

A Portland Cement brochure with the Ingle Barn in Ayrshire on the cover. Early 1900s.

My great grandparents, Aaron and Maggie Dixon Bolin at a Muren Store

My great grandparents, Aaron and Maggie Dixon Bolin at a Muren Store

Most of our ancestors from the area were coal miners or made a living associated with the mines.  My family, the Dixons and the  Bolins, migrated here from Perry county to work the coal mines.   We still have family in the mines and can point out the remnants of the old mines in the area.   There were several injuries and deaths in the coal mines.   March 25, 1906  Elisha Copeland was killed by falling slate at the Muren Mine.  His wife was pregnant with their 5th child.   March 7, 1915  Alex Wiggs was killed by falling slate.  His wife Sophia, was the one the town had been named after.

 

John Young's Miner License, submitted by David Young, Colorado

John Young’s Miner License, submitted by David Young, Colorado

 

Young Family Gathering at Muren  Submitted by David Young, Colorado

Young Family Gathering at Muren Submitted by David Young, Colorado

My parents, James and Nell Hair Lynn, married at Muren Church of God, February 28, 1960.

My parents, James and Nell Hair Lynn, married at Muren Church of God, February 28, 1960.

Muren Church of God, where my parents were married nearly 50 years ago, has now moved out to Highway 64 where Kirby’s Drive Inn used to be.  Kirby’s Drive Inn was the place to be in the summer during the 60s.  The local boys played music on the bandstand.  We’d have a mug of root beer delivered to our car on a tray that hung on the window.  If we had the money, dad would buy a gallon in a glass jug to take home.

Two passenger trains passed through Muren daily.  The train was also used to ship livestock.   The old depot stood in between the railroad tracks.  There was a church on the corner of the Ayrshire Muren Road that was dilapidated when my dad was a kid.  They used to go in there and play the old piano that had crashed through the rotten floor.    The creosote plant purchased the land and it is now torn down.  The creosote plant owns all of that land now.

 

My great grandparents, Aaron and Maggie Bolin and great great grandparents, John Wesley and Louis McMahon Dixon at the Muren Train Depot in the early 1900s

My great grandparents, Aaron and Maggie Bolin and great great grandparents, John Wesley and Louis McMahon Dixon at their gas station in Kentucky.

Seated:  Unknown, Evelyn Bolin, 2 Simmons girls, Bessie Davis Simmons, Maggie Dixon Bolin, standing:  Joda Simmons, Lorene Bolin, Odyne Simmons Sharp and baby, Charlie.  Early 1900s

Seated: Unknown, Evelyn Bolin, 2 Simmons girls, Bessie Davis Simmons, Maggie Dixon Bolin, standing: Joda Simmons, Lorene Bolin, Odyne Simmons Sharp and baby, Charlie. Early 1900s

Muren holds many memories for me.  I drive through there every now and again.  I will attend the next reunion and hope to see everyone there.

11 comments on “A Winslow Auction and A Muren Reunion

  1. Paul Austin says:

    Thank you for your writing of Muren. My father also moved to Muren due to the coal mines. His father moved them to Muren from Mt Carmel, Ill. Father was Dallas Austin who was the son of Joseph Austin and Amanda (Bryant) Austin. Dad used to have fond memeries of Muren he was born in 1902 and he worked in a Coal Mine owned by his father in law. Don’t know what it was called. Good to read your writings. I moved back to Petersburg after being gone for 43 years.

  2. Kaye Walker says:

    I love this!

    My great-great grandparents, Elijah and Louvina Davis settled in Muren and raised their family there. Bessie Davis Simmons was one of their daughters, and their son Charles was my great-grandfather. Charles, his wife Viola, and two of their daughters are buried at Williams Cemetery. Pop Charlie and his children lived in several locations in the Muren/Maryville area. Several years after Viola died, he married Barbara Dixon Frasier, a Bolin descendant.

    My grandmother, Mary Davis married Orvan Thompson, who grew up in Monroe Township, and moved to Oakland City, then later to Winslow.

    I spent a lot of my childhood in Winslow with my grandparents, so I am just loving the stories on this blog. Keep them coming, please!

  3. Kaye Walker says:

    Oops, I meant that Barbara was a Bolin, relative, not descendant!

  4. Michele Hammond Gorman says:

    Aaron and Maggie Bolin were my great grandpa and grandma

  5. Ralph Rodriguez says:

    Were the Bolins and the Berlins related? (rrod49@comcast.net) Seeking more information on William R. Berlin, my ancestor, who is pictured in front of the Muren store.

  6. William O. Berlin, Sr. says:

    William R. Berlin was my paternal grandfather.He died in 1925 before I was born in Nov. 1926 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Winslow, IN, along with my grandmother, Audie May Gray Berlin (d. 1946). He came to IN from IL about 1890, where he had had a previous marriage (spouse deceased) and two male children, the older named Jake, the other unknown to me. He sold McCormick Reapers and other farm eqipment before acquiring the store in Muren, but he resided in Winslow, where grandmother operated a hotel. (She operated three in succession before retiring.) He was deeply interested and involved in politics, and, as a result, was able to secure an appointment as the first postmaster of Orlando, FL. Grandfather and grandmother and daughter Georgia moved to FL for a few years (my father did not go, preferring to stay in the Winslow area, working on relatives’ farms and as a teamster to the mill). They returned to Winslow circa 1922/23. In my earliest recollection of grandmother, she lived upstairs in an apartment in what was called the Fettinger Building on the east side of MainStreet occupying the north end of the block, with the Ford Garage on the south. Today, the “Bob Inn” is all that’s left of the building, and, of course, it has been reconfigured extensively.

  7. Ralph Rodriguez says:

    WILLIAM R. BERLIN OBITUARY

    This must be the same William R. Berlin. I have his birth as 1857 in Illinois. The “Other Children” listed in Indiana in his Obituary below would have been:
    Edward Everett Berlin, Ralph Raymond Berlin, Flora Little Berlin, and my great grandmother Caroline Harrison Berlin.

    Pike County Library Genealogy Dept.
    sbayme@pikeco.lib.in.us
    Marty or (Shirley)

    Obituary for William R. Berlin: Winslow Dispatch – May 4, 1923, pg 1

    The death angel visited Winslow Saturday forenoon and removed one of the best known of the town when William R. Berlin was called. he had been in poor health for serveral months. For several weeks he was confined to his bed but recently became so much improved that he was able to be out. A little more than a week prior to his death he again took his bed and passed away Saturday morning. His death was caused by heart trouble. Deceased came to Winslow in 1898 as a traveling salesman for the Plano binders and mowers. He was an expert in his line. He made Winslow his headquarters, later taking up his permanent residence here. He was born in Lancaster, Illinois, June 6, 1857 and was at the time of his death 65 years, 10 months, and 22 days old. In 1899, he married Audie Gray with whom he has lived since that time. They had conducted the Berlin hotel for several years. It has been a popular stopping place, Mr. Berlin’s ever ready welcome to guests and his eagerness to be of service making the place a very popular one with the traveling public. To this union four children were born, two of whom, Eskel Berlin and Mrs. Harry Ackeridge, with the widow, surivive. Two sons and two daughters survive by a former marriage. He was a man who had a large circle of friends. He never failed to express himself as he stood always for the law and order and standing on the side of right. He was a member of the Winslow Christian church and expressed to friends some weeks ago that his time was short he knew but that he was not afraid nor did he dread the end. The funeral was conducted Monday afternoon from the Berlin hotel and was attended by a large number of relatives and friends. Rev. E.M. Hale conducted the service. Burial was in Oak Hills cemetery.

  8. luckyoldman says:

    I believe the George Pirkle you are talking about was My Great Grandfather. My Mother was Roberta Pirkle and her father Was Scott Pirkle. He was born in Ayshire and settled and died in Arthur, My home town.
    My Great Great grandfather was Elisha Braxton Copeland. He’s the one buried in Williams cemetary next to his Daughter Sina.
    I have always believed that the Elisha Copeland who was killed in the mine accident was his son, but have never been able to prove it.I have a single picture of Elisha Braxton Copeland taken in the 1920″s so I know it wasn’t him. If I remember correctly that picture was taken in the Brownstown section of Winslow.
    My mother graduated from Winslow High School and My father from Spurgeon.
    He used to catch the bus in front of the old store in Coe.
    There’s so much more I could tell you,and I suspect there is much you could tell me..

    • Rose says:

      Thanks for all of the likes and reading my blogs! I may have another story for you about the Copelands. Email me at rosebeyke@gmail.com.

      • luckyoldman says:

        Rose,
        Thank you so much for responding to my comment.
        I love your blogs.
        I am very hungry for more information on the Copelands. I know quite a lot about them untill I get to my great grandfather. No one spoke about him or even wanted to talk about it. As a result I don’t know who he was.
        I am going to e-mail you right away.
        Thanks again.

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