My Grandfather, Floyd League
Floyd Forrest League is my grandfather. He and my grandmother, Nellie Ovendon had ten children.
He was born in Bloomington, Nebraska into a pioneering family. My great, Grandfather was a member of the United Brethren and when he moved to Dundy County, Nebraska at the once existing town of Pleasant Valley, and attended the Friends Church. My grandfather grew up attending this church at least for part of his childhood. The Pleasant Valley Cemetery is located about seven miles North of Benkleman, Nebraska.
My grandfather was a laborer and a prairie pioneer lay preacher. He substituted when other preachers had quit the job, or became ill. You might say that my Grandfather was there when the others weren't. He also worked at different jobs; whatever was available at the time. He worked for the railroad, for ranchers, for farmers, and during the war he worked at an airplane assembly plant. He couldn't be picky about where he worked, because he had ten children to feed.
My grandfather was a kind man, and he loved God. He and my grandmother had beautiful gardens, her a flower garden and my grandfather raise a huge vegetable garden every year. He kept a life size bust of Abraham Lincoln above his stairwell. They had a lot of old fashioned kitchen utensils, a wood burning stove, and a wringer washer. I remember they had an old piano in their living room. I loved visiting them very much. I do not remember any ethnic foods because they had lived in the United States a few generations by then and had always been poor. When your poor you only worry about having enough of whatever is available. Rice must have been inexpensive in those days, because they had so much of it that my Mom will not eat rice to this day. They also had plenty of garden vegetables and fruits though. When we went to go visit, we had new potatoes, corn on the cob, fried chicken, boiled green beans, and strawberries and cream. We also had squash, turnips, lettuce salad with cucumbers and bits of radishes, freshly pulled and boiled carrots, and garden onions.
My grandfather always told me about the big flood, when his oldest daughter woke them up to say there was water surrounding the house. My grandfather had a horse called Stormy, who was very stubborn and almost impossible to ride, but that night he was as calm and gentle and cooperative as any horse ever has been. My grandfather would put two or three children on Stormy's back and carry them to safety, and he did this over and over again until the children, and grandmother were all safe. My mom only remembers water swirling all around her, because she was really young when this happened.
My grandmothers flower garden was beautiful and beside the flower bed was a large, old tree with a tire swing and a tree house. There were irises surrounding the house, and many other flowers also. In the front yard, in those days were large drainage ditches to drain off the water, a dirt road, large and very old trees, and a gravel driveway leading from the front to the back of my grandparent's house. Every time we went to visit them it was like stepping into the sunshine! My grandmother also was always very kind and caring. She died in 1969 when I was twelve and grandfather passed away in 1978. After all these years I still miss both of them.