Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

October 3, 2013

No Headline Provided

To the Editor:

My wife and I are writing to express our appreciation for the wonderful visit we recently made to Knoxville and Pella. We came to Marion County to visit the birthplace of my grandfather and the grave sites of my great-great grandparents. We had found the cemetery where they are buried through the work of Marion County GIS Coordinator Bill Buttrey and through information provided to us by Bev Jones of the Pioneer Cemetery Commission. Both of these individuals showed us many kindnesses and provided us with the main reasons we traveled the 1,000 miles from our home in North Carolina.

We also thank the Danny Van Wyk family for their hospitality and for taking on the task of restoring the Mikesell Cemetery (AKA Yowell Cemetery) where my family members are buried. Our special thanks to Preston Van Wyk for his interest in the history of those buried there and his efforts in rehabilitating the cemetery site. Given that John Huff Mikesell, one of the true Red Rock pioneers, is buried there, the cemetery has great historical significance. My great-great grandparents would have very likely known him.

Only a year ago, I knew nothing of my great-great grandparents and very little about my grandfather. Now, we feel a real connection with Marion County and will have many fond memories of our visit and the friendship that was extended to us.

Ron Yowell

Sylva, NC

To the Editor:

Last Friday, Iowa’s Senator Tom Harkin gave a speech from the Senate floor. He was addressing the most current fight-to-the-death squabble between Congressional liberals and conservatives. In that speech he issued the following warning; “It’s dangerous. It’s very dangerous. I believe, Mr. President, we are at one of the most dangerous points in our history right now. Every bit as dangerous as the break-up of the Union before the Civil War.”

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