History of Ollie Cirks and Mabel Falk

Editor's note: This article was taken from a brochure prepared by Evelyn Turner and Carol Cirks who are daughter and daughter-in-law of Ollie and Mabel Cirks. This article gives a glimpse into the life of a farmer in the Minonk area in the middle part of the 20th century. Ollie and his wife Mabel started their life together on a farm 1/4 a mile down the road from where I was raised. Although they moved off that farm while I was a young child, I heard stories later in my life on how hard the Cirks family worked. My father told me that he saw them run with buckets of feed and water when doing their daily chores. This article is dedicated to them and other farmers whose strong work ethic is something that we will probably never see again in our lifetime. - Dave Uphoff
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Ollie and Mabel Cirks in 1957 
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Ollie Cirks was born in a farm house west of Minonk in Clayton Township, Section 23.  His father Dick was born in Germany and his mother on the Janssen farm south of Minonk.  Ollie learned to speak German form his parents and could still recite his Christmas piece in German when he died.  He had two sisters, Minnie and Anna, and one brother Fred (Fritz). 

Mabel was born on her Great Grandfather's Knapp's farm west of Minonk in Clayton Township, Section 10.  Her mother was also born there.  Her father, Otto Falk, was born in Germany and came to the United States with his parents in Feburary of 1903 when he was 14.  Mabel had one older sister, Pearl. 

Ollie went to the Adams Country School while Mabel attended the Jackson Country School.  When he was a child on the farm he would walk the railroad tracks to the free movies in Benson where they would hang a sheet across a line on the main street and people would sit on boards laid on blocks for seats.  He also would skate on the pond down by the railroad in the winter.   Mabel could play the piano and guitar and was an avid photographer.  Two of her pictures were published in The Daily Pantagraph.

Ollie and Mabel were both members of St. Paul's Evangelical Church in Minonk.  Ollie was a member of the 1926 Confirmation Class while Mabel was a member of the 1929 class. 

Ollie helped with the farming and livestock chores when he was a youngster.  His mother died in January of 1941.  His father stayed on the farm for about a year before buying a house in Minonk and moving into town.  He died December of 1977.

Mabel's mother died in June of 1941.  Her father remarried and lived in Peoria, Illinois when he died in March of 1961.

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Dick and Ida Janssen Cirks - November 21, 1906


Otto and Pheobe Knapp Falk - Jan. 18, 1911


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