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Home Sweet Home
Rural Ogden, Illinois

March 26, 2020

The farm came through the Clark family. Wallace Clark, Ava Youmans, Clark Youmans then you are the fourth owners of the 1903 house. Ava’s older brother Loren Clark inherited two farms south of us on the old state road. One of these farms became the Homer Lake park, much of it now the lake. The old original house on our farm was on the road rise north of the front pasture. Two bedrooms and a kitchen/living room. Russell says it was about 20 x 30 feet. The old well up there has been filled in.

The current house was built in 1903 by Wallace Clark. Russ believes Ava was born in the old house in 1891. The new house had a small one story front porch. I have found no early picture of that porch though I remember it was rotten and slumping when my parents removed it to build the two story porch. Ike and Ava left my father with Grandad Wallace Clark in St.Joseph to try their luck in the then booming town of Detroit during the mid to late 1920’s. Tenants were then living on and farming for Ike and Ava who returned from Detroit after the 1929 crash. Electricity came in 1949. Russ says the parlor had double doors and a formal fireplace with a mirror over the mantle and stone facing from floor to mantle. Later the Franklin coal stove was placed on the living room side with flue up the same chimney and the two rooms were partially opened.

The small bedroom west of the parlor was opened up in about 1962 to enlarge the kitchen and a large window installed facing north. I believe the upstairs bathroom was put in then. The old hand pump at the sink was truly gone, a gas cooking stove was pure luxury. The outside two hole house of easement was long gone.

It is a house with history. We are glad it is still giving host to people who appreciate it.

Sincerely, Ann (Youmans) Hawkins

We purchased this homestead on 3 acres in April of 2000 from Ruth Youmans. The only outbuilding that remained at the time of the purchase is the large shed directly behind the home. I'm not even certain that the shed shown is my pole barn shed as I do not have a window in the peak and this roof looks steeper than my sheds roof. The fence across the front yard had also been removed before our purchase and the lot size had been decreased on the left side. We were told just after signing all the closing papers that the house had been damaged by three tornadoes over the homes lifetime. Those tornadoes may be why only one outbuilding remained. The shed sustained heavy damage during a storm with high winds in 2012; we repaired it. It is a wind tunnel here. The Youmans family still owns about 200 acres around us and rents the land to a farmer. We have spent the last 10 years remodeling/refurbishing this old house we love. We unknowingly put the parlor back the way it was originally by closing in one side and adding French Doors into the room. This year we have remodeled the 1962 kitchen but we used the "north bedroom" that had been the new 1962 dining room as our kitchen. We opened up the doorway between the parlor and that "bedroom" again. In the next year or two we plan to build a new barn and I'd kind of like to put it were the barn is behind the shed although I think it will be to the left of the remaining shed. She is a labor of love that we hope will stand for another 100 years.

Dawn & Stephen Bury

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