My father, Merrill, was an only child and my grandfather Main died before I was born. Dad never talked much about his father's family, only that they were from Indiana and our branch had died off due to sons not having sons to carry on the family name. I had one scrap of paper with notes he had jotted down of first names of his father's brothers and sisters and I tried once, unsuccessfully, long ago to find graves in one Indiana cemetery. My mother, Frances, joined the D.A.R. in the distant past so we knew that her line somehow went back far enough for her to qualify.

One evening, exploring on the web, I stumbled into an ancestors index. After many resultless searches, I found the following entry quoting a very old undated newspaper article.

Dinner Party Mr. and Mrs. M. D. Main  and son, Merrill, of Indianola, Ill.,
who are visiting at the home of Mr. Main's mother, Mrs. Surrelda Main, in Shideler,
were honor guests at a dinner party  given by Mrs. Main on Sunday.
There were present, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Gilmore and Mrs. Sylvester Williams, of Springport;
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Williams, of Mt. Summit;  Mrs. H. C. Main, of Muncie; Mr. and Mrs.
W. H. Main, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Main,  Mr. and Mrs. S. B. White, the Misses Edna White,
Flora Main, Blanche Rutherford, Helen Main,  Nellie Williams, Mildred Berry,  Messrs.
Harley Main, Leonard Williams, Erville Main and Gerald Williams all of Shideler.

Naturally, I have added the bold face for emphasis, but the names jumped out at me as they were many of the names Dad had listed as the members of his father's family. When I compared the article with his note, it turned out to include even more relatives as his aunt Emma Main was Mrs. Matthew Williams, his aunt Lousia Belle Main was Mrs. Sylvester Williams, his aunt  Mollie Main was Mrs. S. B. White and that made Edna White a cousin as were Harley Main and Erville Main. I found Shideler, Indiana on a map and now had a (very small) place to start looking.

For quite a while, I have believed that computers and the internet are wonderful; but now, I have a fun way to explore my roots and find out more about those elusive Mains as well as documenting some genealogy for my children and theirs if that should happen. In addition to Main, the other family trees that I am interested in are McKee, Pugh, Baum &Weaver, Martindale, Hunt & Denton, and Quickenden & Siroky.

Now, to start documenting and sharing some of what I have known and will learn through the magic of computers and the internet;
here begins the tale...working backwards:

My father's mother, Maude Pugh Main, was one of five daughters of a farmer who began farming in east central Illinois about 1860.  The  same land has been farmed as a joint venture for the benefit of the daughters or their heirs since then. Over the years many of the daughters or their heirs have "cashed out" and yet the farm operated as Pugh Heirs through 2001.

Here is an artist's conception of the old Pugh homestead as it appeared in the mid 1880s.


Dad went to both town and country schools and then 40 miles away to the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.
Despite his scruffy appearance above, he cleaned up well and was his mother's and grandfather's pride and joy.

While off at college he met one of those big city girls. The question became whether she would come to the farm or he would go off to the city.
Frances brought her mother and maternal grandmother, from Chicago and Albany NY respectively, to Indianola for a visit. Any doubt which two they are?

"Deck" Main died in 1936 and Maude lived in the Indianola house until her death in 1951.

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