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A Point of View: Remembering the unsung heroes

SPRINGVILLE — Some of our country’s most productive individuals fly under the radar. They are not seen as celebrities and their voices are often not heard. You probably will not see them on the main stage, but, in many ways, they are real heroes.

I knew a young man who brought his work ethic and energetic drive from the south to our town and started a grocery store.

With physical and mental strength, plus long, tedious hours, he built his business into a thriving supermarket. In time, the business went to new management, but the strong, early underpinnings of the business remained.

Today, the business serves a broad geographical area of satisfied customers.

A young dairy farmer got ahold of property that he believed had potential. It was just waiting to be developed.

One day, he sold a load of topsoil to a friend. With that, a major corporation was born. A productive family of companies took shape and is still in place.

Today, this dynamic corporation is a major, respected asphalt products supplier, well known east of the Mississippi.

Back in the mid-1930s, a young farm lad worked for a neighboring farmer. One day, while picking cucumbers, he asked the farmer if he could put a basket of cucumbers on the roadside, to sell to passing vehicles. Within the first hour, he sold all of the produce.

That site is now the location of a large and well-known fresh vegetable and fruit market.

My great-grandfather bought a piece of under-developed property in the mid-1800s. The uncultivated land in the Boston Hills included 75 acres of brush, bushes, wild shrubs, stones and scattered fallen trees.

With one horse, a pickaxe, shovel, crowbar, a cross-cut saw and hundreds of hours of hard work, my great-grandfather developed that land for cultivation. For many years, it was a successful dairy and vegetable farm, serving as the chief source of income for five generations. I was a part of the third generation.

My in-laws purchased a 30-acre parcel of land in the Chaffee/Sardinia area. The soil was rich, but it had not been cultivated, for many years. The old farmhouse was badly in need of repair and, thankfully, my father-in-law was skilled in carpentry, in addition to agriculture.

With a hammer, saw, nails and hard work, he brought life back into the structure and created a comfortable farmhouse.

For the following harvest season, and many thereafter, corn, potatoes, cucumbers, beans and other vegetables were transported to the Clinton and Bailey Market Terminal in Buffalo. The farm has expanded to 70 cultivated acres.

Each of these individuals has made valuable, lasting contributions to the quality of life for many generations. They had character, drive, energy and ingenuity.

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