Above: Johnny Shively and Dale, Williams, and Lloyd Gardner, shocking hay in 1930.
My father, Lawrence Dale Gardner, was a true man of the Twentieth Century; he was born in the first decade of the century and died in the last decade of the century. For much of his adult life, he kept written diaries. This website was created to host those diaries, and was named “Heartland Diary” because my parents lived most of their lives in the Midwest – primarily Iowa and Minnesota.
Dale, as he was known, and my mother, Helen, were born on farms and began their married life as farmers in south central Iowa during the Great Depression. They couldn’t make a go of it, and Dale got a job with the Civil Service in Washington, D.C. Most of his career, Dale was a Gauger in the Alcohol Tax Unit of the Internal Revenue Service, and he was posted to various alcohol plants and distilleries in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska.
After Dale’s retirement, he and Helen returned to their home town area of Osceola, Iowa, where they lived the rest of their lives among friends and relatives. These diaries preserve many of their experiences. I have selected a number of photographs from his collections as visual reminders of what life was like, and many of them are in the diaries as well as on different web pages.
Dale’s first diary was for 1934, and his last was for 1994, although there were a few gaps. As I was sorting through all of them, I found one written by my paternal grandmother, Jettie Short Gardner, for the end of 1918 through the beginning of 1920. That’s where we will start. I hope you enjoy browsing through these memories.
- Stanley Gardner
How to research and create your own family tree: