(written March 2002)

At age 70 I have a tendency to remember less and less about my life. Some of the things I remember, I’m not very proud of, and am not about to put it into writing.

I was born on August 29, 1931. I had an older brother, Jerry S. Klobe, about 20 months older than I; and a younger sister, Martha Patricia Jane Klobe, nearly 13 months younger than I. We were all delivered at our country home at Seventysix, Missouri by a country doctor who lived at Frohna, about 7 miles away. His name was Dr. Polische.

My Dad, George N. Klobe, married Harriet Winfred Hatch in 1929. (Daughter of George Sanford Hatch). All of us kids grew up during the great depression of the 1930’s. We were fortunate that our dad had a job as rural mail carrier during the depression. We attended a one room country school at Seventysix which was only about a mile from where we lived. We usually started to school right after Labor Day, and got out the end of April. This allowed us extra time to help with the farm work that increased in the spring and summer.

Seventysix was a thriving community and steamboat landing at the turn of the century. Additional jobs were provided when the Frisco railroad was built, and it ran from St. Louis to Memphis along the Mississippi River. Seventysix supposedly got its name from steamboat landing 76 from St. Louis to somewhere.

After the railroad was built, there was a depot with two telegraph operators, two railroad section crews, and a water tower for the steam engines. The town itself had a saloon, sawmill, scale shed and lumber shed, general merchandise store, hotel, white and colored schools, a colored church, and many small houses scattered along the county road and throughout the woods.

My grandfather, George Sanford Hatch, was a school teacher at Brazeau and he married my grandmother, Martha Jane Wilkinson-McPike (daughter of John Wilkinson). He amassed about 1000 acres of land, and started one of the largest orchards in Perry County. He employed as many as six hired hands, and had several teams of horses housed in a barn built on the homestead. He also built a large general merchandise store, and many small houses for those who worked on his farm and on the railroad. He became the first postmaster of the town of Seventysix. Land was donated to build a one room county school. At one time over 60 children attended the school.

The railroad and better farm to market roads eventually eliminated the steamboat trade. The town of Seventysix began to die. There was a dead end road that ended at the Mississippi River. The railroad section crews decreased, and eventually worked out of St. Mary Mo. My grandfather died in 1936, and the large orchard and need for labor rapidly declined. About all that was left was the post office and general store, and these were closed in the early 1950’s. That essentially was the end of the town of Seventysix.

My parents made many sacrifices so their children could get a good education. When my older brother graduated from 8th grade, he boarded at one of mom’s friends house in Cape Girardeau as he started to high school. There was no school bus in those days. mom and Dad knew that my sister and I would soon be going to high school, so they bought a small three bedroom brick house at 1625 Broadway in Cape Girardeau. As we went through high school, my mother stayed with us kids at Cape Girardeau while Dad carried the mail and worked on the farm at Seventysix. He would drive down on weekends and bring milk, chickens, eggs, and vegetables from the farm.

Mom and Dad wanted all of us kids to have a college education. They felt this would be a big benefit throughout our lives. Each of us attended two years of college at Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau. After two years, Jerry finished his college education at Rolla School of Mines, I went to University of Missouri, and Pat to Iowa State. Our majors were chemical engineering, agronomy, and home economics, respectively.

As soon as Jerry and I finished our college education, we were drafted into the US Army. We went into the Army together. This was in January 1955 and the Korean war was about to end. Jerry and I served in a Nike surface to air guided missile battalion in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. defense area, so we did not have to go overseas.

Jerry worked as an area engineer at the K-25 enriched uranium plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His job was waiting when he got out of the Army in 1957. I took and interview when I got out of the Army and was also hired as an area engineer, although my education was in agronomy.

While working at Oak Ridge, Tennessee I met Jane F. Luttrell at the Catholic Church’s young adult social club. We were married on May 13, 1961.

Shortly after my marriage to Jane, I received a “reduction in force” notice from Union Carbide Corporation at K-25 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I was interviewed at several locations, then accepted an engineering position with Linde Co. in Youngstown, Ohio - Linde being a subsidiary of Union Carbide Corp. We purchased a house in Struthers, Ohio which is a suburb of Youngstown, Ohio. I helped in the building of a bulk oxygen plant that extracted oxygen from the air, liquefied it, then fed it through pipelines to steel mills in the Youngstown area.

While working at Youngstown, Ohio, Jane and I became the parents of our first two children: Karen Denise born 3-1-62 and Patrice Marie born 6-12-63. Also, my father died on February 13, 1963, so Karen was the only one of our children that he saw before his death.

Jand and I wanted to work and live in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. We got that opportunity in 1964 when I was offered a position doing research at the University of Tennessee - Atomic Energy Corp. lab at Oak Ridge. Although I took a reduction in pay, we were happy to again live in Oak Ridge. Our last two children were born at the Oak Ridge Hospital: George Robert born 10-15-65 and Julie Ann born 3-12-68.

It was rough changing jobs. I was trying to do research, go to school, and raise a family with four children all at the same time. I eventually took a position of assistant professor, but had to travel from Oak Ridge, to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN each day. My research also involved trying to develop soybean varieties that were resistant to the soybean cyst nematode. This involved making many trips across the state to Jackson, Tennessee.

After my dad died in 1963, my sister (Pat) and I tried to manage the farm at Seventysix as best we could. We worked closely with state foresters in a timber stand improvement program, and rented cultivatable land to neighbors. I helped play crop rotations, and made some farm improvements.

Shortly after my dad’s death in 1963, my sister, Pat, took a position with the University of Missouri as State Extension Specialist in Interior Design. She and my mother lived in an apartment in Columbia, Missouri, but later bought a house at 2023 Vine St. in Columbia. By this time, my mother required 24 hour care.

I did as best as I could to manage the farm at Seventysix. The cultivatable land was rented to neighbors on half shares of the returns. I worked with a state forester to divide the timbered part of the farm into ten “Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) areas. Each year the forester would mark the trees that needed to be removed from one of the TSI units. The timber was also cut and sold on shares by Dwain Manche, with Jerry, Pat and I receiving a half share. After working with the state forestry service for a number of years, the farm was eventually sold entirely to the Missouri Department of Conservation. After the sale, all remaining buildings on the property, including our homeplace was bull dozed. Then there was no longer any semblance of a town at Seventysix.

In 1977 I resigned my position with the University of Tennessee, and assumed a position as Extension Area Agronomist with the University of Missouri Cooperative Extension Service. My office was in New Madrid, Missouri. I sold our house in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and built a house in New Madrid. My family moved to New Madrid in the summer of 1977. The two younger children attended elementary school at Immaculate Conception parochial school. All four children graduated from New Madrid County Central High School. All four children received a college education and B.S. degree, Karen from University of Missouri, Patrice from Murray State in Murray, Kentucky, and George and Julie from Southeast Missouri State at Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

I took early retirement from the University of Missouri Extension Service in 1994. At this time we sold our house at 485 St. Peter Dr. in New Madrid, and purchased a home at 1757 Anna St. In Cape Girardeau, Missouri.