Mud puddles and sun cover the basketball court in the old gym at Seymour Community High School, where banners from the old Bluegrass Conference still hang below what remains of the roof. Photo by Caleb Housh
PIONEER CEMETERY COMMISSION AND CENTERVILLE MONUMENT COMPANY COMBINE RESOURCES TO FIX GRAVES
As mayor of Seymour, on the morning of March 7, Caleb Housh at first light was able to view the wreckage left behind by an EF2 tornado, which hit the town the previous evening. The storm destroyed at least four homes, while the school building took a direct hit. It spread insulation throughout ash trees and power lines. Each subsequent morning, Housh woke to another mess, as debris took its time falling from branches to the now snow-covered ground.
Housh lives around two blocks north of the school building. At first, nothing seemed out of place or unusual on that late winter evening, besides the fact it was too early in the year for a spring rain. Mar 20, 2017, 12:52
Through the twisted frame of Seymour Community High School’s field goal posts, the old gym took the brunt of the damage from a tornado that raged through Wayne County on the night of March 6, leaving the skeleton of its roof frame. Photos by Jason Selby
EF2 TWISTER TOUCHES DOWN IN WAYNE COUNTY MARCH 6, DESTROYING HOMES AND RIPPING ROOFS FROM BOTH GYMS
On Monday night, March 6, an estimated EF2 strength tornado roared through Wayne County and touched down in the middle of Seymour. The storm left Wayne County a disaster area.
When residents woke the next morning, the widespread destruction was inescapable. Several homes in Seymour were damaged or leveled. Yet despite the disaster, none of the town’s 700 residents were seriously injured during the tornado—stumbling upon the debris and downed trees, a bystander might call that a miracle. Mar 13, 2017, 08:47
Luke Jones, riding mare Tommy Boon, ropes a calf at the NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman competition. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Duquette/National Reined Cow Horse Association
BEFORE 2017, ALLERTON NATIVE HAD NOT FINISHED HIGHER THAN 12TH IN WORLD’S GREATEST HORSEMAN COMPETITION
On Feb. 18, in the same stadium where Luke Jones once suffered a potentially career ending injury, the Allerton native reached the pinnacle of his profession. At the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth, Texas, Jones won Reserve Champion in the NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman competition. It is the World Series of riding. His wife Erin jumped the fence after both events—in 2005 after Jones fractured his leg, and this year for a much better reason.
“When it was over, she jumped over the wall and came running across the arena,” Jones said. “She was in tears." Mar 9, 2017, 16:16
On Feb. 4, Burton Prunty was inducted into the Iowa Auctioneers Hall of Fame. Presenting the award was the 2016 inductee, Jeff Hoyer, left.
BURTON AND WIFE LINDA EXTOL VIRTUES OF WAYNE COUNTY DESPITE STRUGGLE OF SMALL TOWNS AND FAMILY FARMS
On Feb. 4 at the Iowa Auctioneers Association banquet at the Holiday Inn in Des Moines, Burton Prunty received the distinguished honor of induction into the Iowa Auctioneers Hall of Fame. His wife Linda had known about it since last December. But it was a Christmas gift she could not present to Burton until February.
“I could tell by his face he was surprised,” Linda said. “It was a fun time.”
“It was very humbling,” Burton said. Feb 27, 2017, 09:39
Below a photo of D.E. Pidcock with a Corsair fighter plane during World War II are four native artifacts he and wife Thelma found throughout the years. The top two are axe heads, with a handle built by Dale Clark. Below left is a celt found by Thelma near the South Chariton River. To the right is a five pound, 4 ounce game ball. Photo by Jason Selby
WORLD WAR II VET AND LATE WIFE—AFTER FINDING EACH OTHER—DISCOVER NATIVE ARTIFACTS AND HYMN OF SAINTS
Local archeologist D.E. Pidcock, at 99-years-old, continues his love affair with the native land and the people that once established a thriving civilization in what is now the United States. A World War II veteran born in Ringgold County in 1917, Pidcock took his late wife Thelma on dates across southcentral Iowa and northern Missouri, which consisted of artifact hunting for indigenous campsites. They marked each arrowhead and axe for posterity so their love for the past would last beyond the burial mound.
As a postal worker, Pidcock once kept sweets in his vehicle to distribute to any child who ran out to get the mail.
“I know a number of mail carriers that made a habit of giving kids candy,” Pidcock said. “Good deal, but only one accident would ruin it all. I quit that. [A family] lived on the north side of the street, and the mailbox was across on the south side. I put the mail in the box, and stepped on the gas as usual, and I thought 'oh, what was that on the front of the radiator?’ Here a kid got up—I had hit him just enough I had knocked him down. I just saw the top of his head, or I would’ve drove right over him." Feb 20, 2017, 13:29