DAR Group tours WHS Museum
At age 103, Frances (Rickey) Asher arrived in Winfield in a black convertible (with the top down) to visit the Winfield Museum.
The James Harlan Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, toured the Winfield Historical Society Museum Saturday morning, July 21, 2006. Frances Lowe, Historical Society board member, conducted the tour and explained the many artifacts from the Winfield area.
Frances Asher, DAR member, was a special guest. Judith Robinette, Historical Society board member, and Robert Robinette video recorded the many stories Frances recalled of her childhood and growing up in the Winfield area. Frances Rickey Asher is 103 years old. She was born north of Winfield in the same house where her mother was born. That home was in later years known as the Dwight and Jim Patterson farm home, one of the oldest houses today in Scott township. When Frances was eight years old her parents, the John W. Rickeys, moved to the farm on Quaker Avenue about two miles southeast of Winfield, where they lived for many years. (They built this home in 1917. It was ordered through Sears & Roebuck and arrived in pieces by rail. It still stands on South Quaker Avenue and is presently being remodeled.
Receipts belonging to the Rickey family, depicting farm life in Winfield in the early twentieth century, are on display in the museum's new exhibit stand for museum visitors viewing pleasure.
Frances attended RoundGrove country school. She told of playing Andy Over at recess and racing her horse with the neighbor kids on the way to school. She graduated from Winfield High School in the class of 1922. During her visit to the museum, she enjoyed looking at the picture of her graduating class on display there and reminiscing about her school days.
Frances told of her helping pick corn, and while riding in the wagon, the horses were spooked and took off running. Frances was thrown into the cross member of the wagon and injured. It knocked her lower front teeth out and seriously broke her lower jaw. All this on a day that Dr. Duncan, Winfield's dentist, was out of town. Days later when packing and cement failed, doc sent her to Iowa City. She credited her stay there - her daily contacts and advice from the staff - with putting her on her career path.
After graduation from High School, Frances taught school for two years before going to Burlington for nurses training. She was a nurse at the Henry County Memorial Hospital until her retirement. Now she is living at the VanVorhies Haus in Mt. Pleasant.
A few months ago, Frances attended the centenarian gathering held by Governor Vilsack at the State Capitol in Des Moines. At 103 she was the oldest in attendance.
Following the museum tour, the James Harlan Chapter of the DAR members and guest enjoyed lunch and held their monthly meeting at Pork's Restaurant. the chapter appreciated Carla Kephart Menees bringing her aunt, Frances Asher, to the meeting. Frances seemed none the worse for wear as she was driven away in the open topped LeBaron convertible she came in, her floral scarf waving in the breeze.
March 2007, Frances celebrates St. Patrick's Day, on her way to 104th birthday!