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Michael Henry Reding Family

(from the Canadian County History Book, sent in by Marion Privett)

The seventh child of Hubert and Magdalena Reding was Michael Henry, (November 24, 1879 - April 22, 1954). He married Catherine C. (Kate) Blum (July 16, 1886 - May 10, 1979) (see table three) of Westphalia, IA. They married on July 20, 1905 at El Reno, OK. 

Kate's parents were Bernard and Theresa Schechinger Blum. Michael and Kate had four children: Hubert Bernard (07/31/06 - 09/04/31); Loretta Marie (05/11/08 - 04/17/96); Bernard Henry (Ben) (06/30/10) and Edward William (08/07/15). 

Mike and Kate farmed several farms from north of El Reno to Calumet (also operating a feed store at this time). In 1907 he built a 2-story home on 5 acres, (.9 mile north Foreman Road on the old Meridian Highway). Loretta and Ben were born there.

In 1914, Mike purchased an 80 acre farm, 1 1/2 miles north of Darlington.  The post office was Kerfoot, which became a ghost town after 1917. On this farm they built a new home, where Edward, their 4th child was born. Hubert, Loretta, and Ben walked to school at Darlington. 

As early as 1914, they had electricity and crank-type magneto telephones. 

In 1917, the Clift farm, 2 1/2 miles north of El Reno was purchased. 

In 1918, modern 4-bedroom home was built on this place. From there the children drove a horse and buggy to school in El Reno until 1923, when they began driving a Model T Ford. 

In the fall of 1923, year of the big flood on the North Canadian River, water stretched from one mile north of El Reno to Concho Hill. All bridges across several counties were washed out. To get to school, the children were forced to go by the way of the railroad bridge. Approaches to bridge had washed out and rail and ties were left dangling. All children on the north side walked on rails across the river to a transfer truck that took them into town. This truck had solid rubber tires. There were about 15 children - all going to Sacred Heart School in El Reno. 

Mike started growing rhubarb for market in 1926. By the 1930's the patch had grown to about 8 acres and was trucked by the tons to Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Dallas. (He also sold to local stores.) Local people purchased at the patch for canning and pie making. The rhubarb was mulched with straw to depth of 6 to 8 inches to keep it moist and cool. The farming became known as "The Rhubarb Farm". Hubert actually started growing rhubarb as a gardening experiment, but passed away with typhoid before the project was fully developed. 

Mike raised a great many hogs which were referred to as "mortgage lifters". (Hogs were used to harvest some of the corn from the fields.) Kate kept busy with usual household chores, canning all types of vegetables, making lye soap, gardening and helping with outside chores. One time she sold enough canning pickles to buy a living room rug. She belonged to the Good Neighbor Club and Reno Valley Extension club since 1932. 

In 1928, Ben graduated from high school and started farming one of the family farms. Mike had purchased that farm in 1928. Ben married Mildred Penwright on January 6, 1930. 

Loretta married George Walch (11/01/08 - 10/03/58) on May 9, 1933.  George was a SeaBee in WWII in the South Pacific. He joined the US Postal Service upon returning. 

Edward served as glider pilot in WWII.  Afterwards he returned to farm the homeplace. He married Margaret Bednarek while in the service. 

Ben farmed all the farm land during WWII.