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The Missing Letters An Excerpt from Ghosts of the Iowa Great Lakes

By Joseph Schany - | Oct 14, 2020

October is in full swing, and for many that means scary movie marathons, haunted houses, and overall frights and delights. However, COVID-19 has disrupted most plans for the coming holiday and forced us all to face REAL horror right outside our front door. With that said, it’s still fun to share a ghost story or two this time of year, and what follows is a chapter from Ghosts of the Iowa Great Lakes, written by Bruce Carlson and printed with permission from the author for your “spooky month” enjoyment.

Chapter VII

The Missing Letters

(Editors note: The following excerpt is Part One of Two):

Hermann Yoeman was a small-time farmer not too far from Emmetsburg back in the 1910s and 1920s.

It wasn’t too long after his marriage and the coming of their first child that Hermann realized that their little farm wasn’t going to be big enough to support a family.

Since the Yoeman’s had very little money, they couldn’t afford to buy more land.

This forced Hermann into a long series of extra chores to make ends meet. He tried his luck at fishing and trapping. He even served as a part-time fireman for a while for Spencer. He’d work at something for awhile, then move onto something else.

At one point Hermann took up hog buying for a packing company. He’d also buy hogs on a commission basis for local butchers. Hermann had enough buildings and lots on his place to hold the hogs and he knew his way around those critters so it worked pretty well.

That is, it worked pretty well except for one thing. He had a problem and it was of his own making. The sign he stuck out by the road said:

MR. & MRS. H. YOEMAN

HOG BUYERS

Now that just didn’t set too well with Mrs. Yoeman. She didn’t have any part of that hog-buying enterprise and she saw no reason whatsoever for her name to be included on that sign. She made her point pretty strongly with Hermann. She told him in no uncertain terms that she wanted that “Mrs.” taken off the sign. She wasn’t any hog buyer and didn’t want it on there.

Hermann, however, was just stubborn enough to insist on leaving that sign just the way it was. Besides, he wan’t too anxious to have to repaint the sign.

Part Two of “The Missing Letters” will continue in The Reporter on Tuesday, Oct. 20.