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Telegrapher's daughter worked in telephone, printing businesses

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opinion Wadena,Minnesota 56482
Wadena PJ
Telegrapher's daughter worked in telephone, printing businesses
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson 56482

There was the usual round of activities at Fair Oaks Lodge this week, with a few being changed or canceled because of the weather. Leon, the Gypsy Cowboy, ended the week with an hour of music.


This week it was Isabelle Kingsley who told me her story. Isabelle was born in 1920 in Wadena to William and Marie Buckley. It never occurred to her to think of her father as special because he was a telegrapher. Sending telegrams was a part of his job as a Wadena depot agent for the Great Northern line.

After high school Isabelle went to work as a telephone operator in an office over Brinks Jewelry store, with Irv Borden the main man. Those were the days there were telephone wires with plugs. At one time or another she worked all shifts.

When telephone exchange came to Wadena in 1894 it was a big event. They set up in an office over what is Boondocks in a building that later burned to the ground.

Isabelle married Maurice Kingsley in 1942 and they have three children. Maurice learned the printing business from his father who lived in Sebeka.

Isabelle soon learned the printing industry from beginning to end. Kingsley Press printed all kinds of jobs from auction sale bills to church bulletins.

The Kingsleys were rock hounds. They both enjoyed looking for agates as far away as Billings, Mont. After a session in the tumbler, the most common appearing rock can turn out to be a beauty, each one a surprise. When polished, jewelry was made from them.

Family camping trips with a tent took them to Yellowstone Park, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and many other points of interest. Maurice died several years ago.

Isabelle has no desire to travel abroad. The world is too full of trouble to enjoy traveling so far from home. There were still places to see on their list when their traveling days came to a halt.

Isabelle liked to cook for her family. She made quilts, some were quilted and others tied. Now, while Isabelle spends time with us, her son Dean lives next door in an Fair Oaks apartment. Each day he visits his mom.

Isabelle remains interested in what is taking place in Wadena. Along with many others, she thinks a lake near Wadena would solve many problems.

This next week a trip to the old depot should stir a few memories.