Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wilford and Larry

Albertus Schaffer home, Wilford in the goat cart?  Pre Larry?
No this isn't about a comedy team or a musical act.  Several months ago I was asked if I had knowledge of  an Albertus Schaffer, or if he was a relative because she had a newspaper article.  Well, being the genealogist that I am,  I knew the name and had filed away a little information about the family.  In the Community section of the Hoffman, Mn newspaper there appeared a story by Jim Belgum about "A boy and his pony" and the boy's name was Wilford/Wilferd, son of Albertus and Louisa (Caesar) Schaffer/Schaeffer.  Sometime between ca 1905-1940 the publishers of Farmer's Wife Magazine promoted a contest awarding prizes to children who could sell the most subscriptions.  The grand prize was a shetland pony with a saddle or small cart, but this offer was viewed with skepticism by many, so the company also included the requirement that each winner needed to submit a photo in addition to a short story about his or her new  pony.  Wilford wrote a charming description of his life with his new buddy, Larry, which included details about riding to school where he patiently gave rides to students, going to the village drugstore where the proprieter handed out treats such as ice cream cones, pop and root beer and even gum; the pony partaking of these goodies while standing at the counter!  In reading several of these stories, it was obvious that the ponies became like a pet dog or cat and spent time with their new families in the house.  Larry  was also attached to the goat cart or was coaxed into the cart for rides around the yard. (I actually found a picture of the goat cart in front of the family home in Pelican lake Township.)  While looking through my collection of family Christmas postcards--which I just wrote about ----I found A POSTCARD OF WILFORD ON LARRY'S BACK---sent to my aunt Elaine!!! The message:  "Dear Elaine, come over sometime and we will have a gay old time."  Wilford's father Albertus was descended from Abraham and Marie (Losack) Schaeffer of Saxony Germany and I am descended from his brother August and Minna (Caeser) Schaeffer  Love family trees!  google Pony Club and read about some of the 500 stories that were collected.

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