Little Black Cookbook

Kenny Black – husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather – had commented a few years before his passing, that the older stones in the Lenox cemeteries were in disrepair and it was too bad they weren’t being taken care of; Lenox history and family histories would soon be lost. As a final tribute to Kenny and to honor his many years of community service, the Black family has compiled The Little Black Cookbook to raise funds to restore the older cemetery stones.

We have been searching for easy and unique recipes since September, 2009 to offer you The Little Black Cookbook. We have been baking, cooking, and stirring to ultimately offer you 600 recipes in the normal cookbook categories, plus dog treats and 30 recipes that didn’t fit anywhere else! All of us like to cook and have different tastes in food, so there should be something for everyone! All the recipes in the book have been made by at least one of us, so we know they work!

The Little Black Cookbook will be available for sale beginning October 20. The cost is $18 for the book and $5 to mail. Email for information on how to purchase.

R.I.P Winnie Spring

winnie with rhinestone glassesWinnie Mae Spring, youngest daughter of Fred and Mary Josephine Else, was born May 30, 1911 outside of Guss, Iowa on the family farm. She left this life to rejoin her family and friends on August 29, 2009.

Winnie grew up on the farm. After her mother’s death Winnie spent her high school years with her brothers and sisters, therefore she attended several different schools and was thrilled to graduate from Corning High School in 1931. Winnie continued her education with night and summer classes and one of her proudest achievements was receiving her bachelor’s degree from Drake University in 1971.

After graduating from high school Winnie taught country school for two years before finding her life partner in Clyde Spring. They were united in marriage on December 28, 1932 in Maryville, Missouri. The pair were blessed with 5 children,Clytha, Berdine, Janette, Larry, and Reldon.

In 1961 Clyde and Winnie became members of the Prescott Order of the Eastern Star. Together they traveled many miles attending meetings and functions. Winnie served as Worthy Matron in 1986, 1989, and 1990. As well as serving as Worthy Matron she held a variety of other positions in Eastern Star. She served as Grand Warder from1989-1990 and traveled extensively all over Iowa with her traveling companion Ellen Grace Brown. She enjoyed meeting up with her fellow officers who served with her and the group-who dubbed themselves the Peanut Clusters-had regular reunions. They just had their annual gathering in August 2009 which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Clyde and Winnie farmed for several years near Guss and Corning, Iowa before they purchased a farm north of Prescott in 1944 where they lived for 31 years. While living on the farm Winnie always grew a big garden and canned lots of her garden treats. Winnie returned to teaching school in 1953 and taught country school for 5 years before taking a position teaching 7th grade at Prescott and retired there in 1975.

After retirement Clyde and Winnie moved to Las Vegas, NV for two years. They decided to move back to Iowa and built a home in Lenox. After their retirement they enjoyed traveling and visiting family all over the country.

Winnie was an active member in the Prescott Methodist Church and later the Lenox United Methodist Church. She served as Circle Leader and U.M.W. President and found greeters for each Sunday’s service for over 10 years.

Winnie was an avid card player and whenever friends and family gathered she could be counted on for a game of cards. She loved to tell jokes and make others laugh. She enjoyed reading and writing and could always be counted on to have a good book on hand to share. She enjoyed quilting and made many quilts for her friends and family. Winnie was a wonderful cook and her family especially enjoyed her roast and noodles and delicious pies, especially her rhubarb and peach.

Winnie was a devoted and loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother, and friend. Her family and friends will always remember her unfailing kindness and wonderful sense of humor.

Welcoming her to her new life are husband Clyde; Winnie’s parents, Fred and Mary Josephine Else; her siblings Bessie Lewis, Erma Clowser, Myrtle Corbin, Lester Else, Francis Else, Cassie Foster, Archie Else, and Victor Else; daughter Janette Johnson; grandson Curtis Johnson; father and mother-in-law John and Cora Spring; and son-in-law Kenneth Black. Left to cherish Winnie’s memory are her children; Clytha Black of Lenox, IA , Berdine (Florence) Spring of Palm Desert, CA, Larry (Diane) Spring of Lenox, Iowa, Reldon (Lometa) Spring of Las Vegas, NV, and son-in-law Larry Johnson of Fontanelle, IA. Nine grandchildren; Janell Black, Jim (Peggy) Black, Sheila Mansfield, Raymond(Teresa) Johnson, Belinda (Robert) Lawson, Pam Spring, Tony Spring, Paul (Sara) Spring, Sheri(Jack) Shores. Ten great-grandchildren; Rebecca Weaver Armes (Neil), Chris Black, Andy Black, Paige Lawson, Justine Lawson, Bailey Shores, Logan Shores, Joseph Spring, Derek Spring, Josh Spring, and one great-great granddaughter Keira Hauser. Sister-in-law and husband Ed and Marge Naven of Lenox, IA. Also many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

RIP Kenny Black

Grandpa Black and Me

Kenneth James Black was born June 26, 1926, on the family farm one-fourth mile south of Lenox to Edgar and Etta (Recknor) Black. He left this life on May 12, 2008, to rejoin departed family and friends after a long illness with lung disease. Kenny grew up on the farm, enjoyed riding horses and attended country school. He was a life-long member of the Lenox Methodist Church beginning as a member of the Cradle Roll.

He graduated from Lenox High School in 1944, went on to serve in the United States Army as Corporal in Company B of the 328th Engineering Combat Battalion during the Korean conflict as a chauffeur to Army Generals and foreign dignitaries in Washington, D. C. Upon his honorable discharge he served 10 years in the Army Reserve and travelled annually to Camp McCoy for training. He later joined the American Legion Post 250 and served as Commander and recently received his 60 year certificate of service.

In his youth, Kenny could be found running the projector at the Lenox movie theater on weekends. After high school and upon returning from the service he drove a truck for Miller and Roy Trucking. In 1950 he became a salesman for Dixon Motor Company. He won numerous Ford Motor Company 300-500 Club sales awards over the course of his 34 years with Ford. Later Kenny and Bud Carey purchased Dixon Motor and operated it until closing in 1984.

Kenny found his life partner, Clytha Spring and they married July 12, 1952. They welcomed three children into their family: Janell, Kenneth James Jr (Jim), and Sheila. They were blessed with three grandchildren Chris, Andy, and Rebecca and one great granddaughter Keira.

Kenny served his community in several different capacities. He served as a volunteer on the Lenox Fire Department for over 21 years, multiple terms on the Lenox City Council, Taylor County Sheriff’s Posse, and was Civil Defense Director of Taylor County for many years. Kenny was an original member of the Taylor County Historical Society and served on the Board of Directors. He was instrumental in procuring land for the museum, getting the Round Barn moved to the Bedford site, and was one of the grounds keepers.

In 1955 he passed through the Degrees of the Tremont Masonic Operative Lodge No. 343 and also became a member of the Salome Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star serving as officers in both. He later served as Rainbow Dad for Janell and Sheila.

He had many hobbies and activities to occupy his time. He spent time mowing Wilson’s Lake and watered the trees twice a week when the park first started. Kenny and Clytha started the Country Goose craft business in 1980 and created crafts until his health failed and he was no longer able to run the saw and do the sanding.

As an amateur photographer he enjoyed taking pictures of his family, civic events, and sites around town. He was creative and innovative as shown when he designed and built the “Stars for Illinois Street” annual Christmas display.

During his years as a member of the Sheriff’s Posse he helped with the Pony Express ride and spent countless hours parking cars for community events and was a trained weather spotter. He spent time qualifying at the target range and taught his son and grandchildren valuable safety and target lessons.

Through the years he always gardened. He made this a family event involving the kids and later the grandchildren. Kenny grew a record turnip that measured 23 inches around and weighed nearly 6 pounds. He loved to share the bounties of the garden with friends and neighbors. He loved spending time with his grandchildren passing on his knowledge to them and enjoying reading stories to his great-granddaughter Keira.

Preceding him in death were his mother Etta and father Edgar, brother Raymond and father-in-law Clyde Spring. Left to cherish his memory are his wife Clytha of 55 years, daughters Janell Black, Jim (Peggy) Black, Sheila (Dwaine) Mansfield. Three grandchildren Rebecca Weaver-Armes (Neil Hauser) of West Des Moines, Iowa; Chris Black of Redondo Beach, California; and Andy Black of Polk City, Iowa. He is also survived by one great granddaughter Keira Hauser, his mother-in-law Winnie Spring of Lenox and Raymond’s daughter Deb Black-Ralston (Jim Ralston) of Fontana, California. Surviving siblings are sister Betty (Dean) Weller of Sharpsburg and his brother Don of Lenox. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.