Rev. Edgar F. Wheeler: 33 Milton College

After working on the farm the summer of 1941, I was persuaded by friends to transfer to Milton College in Wisconsin in the fall. A job was offered for room and board there, in addition to work as night janitor at the college. One reason for the change was the high expense at Wheaton.

By fall, I had acquired the old family Model A Ford, which had gone to Charles, who then sold it to me. I took Boyden Crouch and Ronald McClure as passengers. I stayed and worked at Calvin Crandall’s farm in the country for room and board. I worked HARD on the farm there. I brought my bicycle, so in the very early morning hours I rode into Milton, two miles away, to clean the gym from football players. Mud! I shoveled first, then mopped each morning during the football season.

In late November the weather got too cold to ride my bicycle to town. I didn’t want to drive the car. A job was then offered to me as night janitor at the college. So, I moved to campus. I shoveled coal, removed clinkers (rock nuggets left after coal burns) from the furnace, and cleaned. Quite an experience, policing students trying to use the facilities for personal and improper uses. I was threatened once, too. I had to act brave, whether I felt brave or not, and I watched around dark corners.

Professor Si Inglis was my French teacher – an interesting man. I also had courses in biology, Bible Survey, and English Literature. It was a good year, though the college was not too impressive. It helped to have Bill and Marie Prentice and Loyal and Lucille Todd (a former teacher at Lane School) living on a farm nearby. The church was an important part of both religious and social life.

Dating was a part of life that first semester. After that, there was just time for work and study. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. That considerably changed the lives of all Americans. At Christmas vacation I took Boyden Crouch and Herbert and Virginia Crouch to Nortonville. It was good to be home again.

At the end of that school year, I drove to Ohio where I picked up Grandma Lugibihl and took her home with me. We stopped overnight with Louise and Roy and family at Minonk, Illinois. I had several flat tires on the way. I got perturbed, but Grandma patiently said in her German way, “Oh, we’ll get there after a while.” In Missouri the clutch rod broke. It was too late in the day for a garage, so after being pushed to start it, I drove all the way in high gear. I finally stalled the car pulling into the driveway at home.

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