By Carol Esbenshade
Back in the late 1920s there were a number of men from Lancaster County, PA working in Circleville to establish a new feed mill in the town. While the plant was located on South Court Street in Circleville, these men were employed by Eshelman Feed Mill of Lancaster, PA. Many years later this mill was bought by Purina.
While the men were in town Vesta (Walker) Heath, my grandmother, found a way to earn extra money by providing a delicious, home-cooked evening meal to some of the men. They also rented rooms in private homes in Circleville as there weren’t many hotels or restaurants nearby.
My mother, Pauline Heath, was a teenager at the time and helped her mother with grocery shopping, preparing and serving a meal every evening to this group of men. It didn’t take long for a romance to blossom between Pauline and one of the young men, Musser Esbenshade of Lancaster County, PA.
After a short courtship the two were married in Circleville in 1930, and they had two young sons. With the possibility of war looming in 1939 Musser decided it would be prudent to move his young family back to Lancaster County, PA to be closer to his roots. The two young boys stayed with Grandma Heath in Circleville for another year until Musser and Pauline found a home and were established.
In 1945 Musser and Pauline were blessed by the birth of a daughter, which is who I am.
Life was good in Pennsylvania, but we still looked forward to our annual visits to Circleville to reconnect with aunts, uncles, cousins and especially grandma. Likewise they always enjoyed their visits to Lancaster County, PA!
While many of those beloved Ohio relatives are interred at Forest Cemetery in Circleville their wonderful memories live on!
Most images supplied by Carol Esbenshade.
Image of Eshelman Feed Mill was by Ben Shahn in 1938.
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