Needie

Preston, Illinois USA

Who are you and what do you do?
'I am a senior citizen and I’m over seventy years of age. I was born to parents in rural America. We raised chickens, pigs, cattle, vegetables, picked dewberries and blackberries for jelly. We were very self-sufficient except for flour, sugar and coffee. A big family, one of ten, we all had to work each and every day, taking care of the animals and milking by hand morning and night. It taught me to be very sympathetic and caring.

I got married right out of high school and raised three children. My first husband died at the young age of forty-six and I remarried to a wonderful man with the same faith and work ethic. He had four grown children. We are a family of forty-six immediate relatives only! We are both retired but love to hunt deer (bow and shotgun) and squirrels. We eat everything and also share the bounty.'

Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'My husband lived here so I only moved two miles when we got married.'

What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'My home is my favourite place in Preston because it is the prettiest home here.'

What is Preston proud of?
'Many years ago there was a dancehall called Blue Heaven. People came from far away to dance.'

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'The community of Preston was incorporated when it was laid out in lots. The surveyor was James Thompson who later laid out Chicago, Illinois. It has gone down hill over the years and most of the families that came here rent, so they do not take pride or care. What a loss. There are only about fifty people now, but they move in and out so quickly you can’t keep track of them.'