A POOL OF THOUGHTS ISBN: 978-1-7372058-0-7 (paperback) ISBN: 978-1-7372058-1-4 (ebk)

COOL FACTS: A laser technique has been developed that renders the surface of metals deep black. A femtosecond laser pulse deforms the surface of the metal, forming nanostructures. The immensely increased surface area can absorb virtually all the light that falls on it, thus rendering it deep black. This is one type of black gold.



This is the final revision of James Mapes Pools’ first published book, published under ISBN 978-17372058-0-7 and in paperback ISBN 978-1-7372058-1-4, electronic book format. The foregoing represents further research on James Mapes Pool, his life, and many others’ work until the year 2023. The title of the book is the same, but the cover has changed. VERA, James’ mother, is now the name on the cover, of his new revised book. It is an artfully rendered photo of his mother’s face. Please note that within this book there will be social, religious, economic, and political differences reflecting the times. These are the times when James’ ancestors lived, including but not limited to: American pioneers, American Indians, immigrants, and the United States military. The book originated from napkins, the reverse sides of political junk mail, grocery receipts, notebook paper, long-hand scribbles, and digital text.

Mr. Pool and his ancestors have an amazing history. His book is filled with exciting stories with interesting people. He has a new book coming out that elaborates more on some of his family history. The military background of his ancestors include 5 bronze stars and one purple heart. Mr. Pool is so modest it took a year to pull the stories out of him. “

Building Orange County, California from scratch

James Mapes Pool poured concrete to include but not limited to the following:

Honda Center

Home Depot on Katella Avenue

Hilton Hotel on Century Blvd, Near L.A.X

Almost all the curbs and gutters for new streets in Orange County and L.A. County

Housing tracks in Orange County

Lifetime member Teamsters Union 420 awarded 3 million mile of honor

MainPlace Mall

Library Tower (first interstate bank world center)

Repaired Taxiways At the L.A. Airport



Angel Stadium of Anaheim

The Spruce Goose dome base

Parking structure for St Josephs in Orange

West L.A. High Rise on Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles Metro Rail

Modjeska House

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What is Organic Gardening?

Organic Gardening and farming are about growing plants in harmony with nature using biologically sound cultural practices to improve the soil, promote healthy plant development and encourage a fruitful harvest. We can achieve this by utilizing a diverse selection of natural and organic fertilizers, as well as minerals and soil amendments, we can support this progress. Did you know?  Egg shells are a great way to put calcium in the soil.

Feeding the soil, like feeding the human body, is the foundation of organic gardening and farming.  Conventional gardening practices treat the soil as a structural medium and focus only on feeding the plant directly with synthetic fertilizers. You are what you eat. This may diminish the soil’s natural capacity for supporting plant health because it ignores, and may harm, the essential living components of the soil that plants rely on. Organic gardening emphasizes continually strengthening the complex soil environment. That promotes healthy, vibrant plant growth, and allows the plants to grow at a natural pace and produce the best, most nutritious foods your body craves.

For plants to grow and strive, they need air, water, food and porous medium for root expansion.  Soil should be tested for pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content. We have found that this is the best kit in the world:

National and International work with

Music: The best in the business


Stories and photos missing from the book are written on this website. We hope you have an opportunity to buy the book and read this entire website. Thank you for your attention.

DAN POOL 1918, father to James Mapes Pool

Dorothy Ann Mapes McConnell

At 92 years old, Dorothy left the earth. She always love to fly, but this time, it was far beyond the livings reach. Dorothy was a “Fly Girl” and a “Rosie”. She was born in 1917 on a farm in West Chatfield. Her father, my grandfather, Sam Maps, born in 1872, was a blacksmith, farmer, ham cure, wagonmaker, barn-builder and an all around smart man. Dorothy’s love for flying started in 1931, her and a girlfriend stumbled upon a biplane which landed on a flat near West Chatfield. They jumped up and down asking the pilot for a ride. The cost was $1.50, the pilot stated. Dorothy had exactly that in her savings for picking strawberries that summer, and she used it to fly.

She was a Journalist and teacher. In 1981, she taught Inuit children for a term in Barrow, Alaska and visited Rwanda in 1985. She lived in San Diego for 10 years and worked in an aircraft plant during World War II. It all began and ended with her first and last entry on January, 1932 and her last January 30, 2010. She had a stroke after 79 years of living life to the fullest.

Her mother, my grandmother, Mary Cheska Mapes, born in 1880, was a teacher. This was the first year after Mary Cheska Mapes graduated from High School. The photograph was taken in l899 with 5 other girls. In 1899, future teachers could take classes while still a Senior and thereafter, teach in a country school. Mary trained and then taught for 1 year, in the country. She lived seven miles from her home, so she stayed with a family who lived closer to the country school. The following year she attended Winona Teachers college. After graduation, she taught in town. My grandma taught children for one year and married Grandpa Mapes in l901.


Mildred Eason Moorhead in 1967, painstakingly researched the family history of “Pool” and Bosgra. She lived in Cherokee, Iowa and this website is dedicated in her honor.

Wedding Picture of Susan Pool and Stephen Eason

The hours spent in compiling our books have been most rewarding. Members of families moved to other areas of the word, although families seldom see each other and fail to correspond with one another, they are still family. Today, the internet allows families to research such data as births, deaths, and so on. We are grateful for websites like and others.

All of the buildings, trees and shrubs of our homestead south of Orange City have been removed. The original part of the house was moved into Orange City, and was used as a residence. It was near the City stand-pipe, but has since been torn down. The section built onto it by Stephen Eason to be the wing used by Grandmother Pool when Okke and his family moved into the house, was moved across the road to the Pennings farm and has ever since been used as a tool shed. The land now looks as it did when Stephanas first gazed upon “his acres.” except for the tall corn gowning now in place of the flowers and long stem prairie grass he first saw. The land of the Pool homestead was shaped in a semi-circle with the house and yard thus set off from the other buildings. One could drive onto the place from either the north or south entrance. The farm buildings were on the west side of the road directly across from the Pennings farm buildings still in use today as they were when the Pools were their neighbors.

There’s a lot of history on the Pennings family farm, southwest of Orange City, Ia. Maybe you remember it? There was a museum dedicated to a big animal and a lot of family history on display. The history there isn’t just a thing of the past, though, because the farm is alive and well. “This is the big attraction of the morning, of course,” said Lynnette Pennings, trying to shoo away a kitten while milking a goat. Goats are a passion for Pennings and she has a couple dozen of them right now. “I did not have goats growing up, but I became interested in them at the 4-H fair,” said Pennings. “(I) actually bought my first three goats from a 4-H kid.” Milking is a main morning chore for her, a big difference from her life in California. After growing up on the farm, she moved to the coast for work, then came back to Sioux County about ten years ago. She likes the rural lifestyle and wanted to keep making history on her family farm.

“It’s important to me to be able to pass this on to my kids, my nieces, other kids and people who want to see how it was and who long for something like this,” said Pennings. The milk from the goats will feed a couple of calves. “This is Pretty Boy Floyd,” said Pennings, pointing out one of the hungry calves. “You’re a good boy.” There are about 40 head of cattle living on the farm. This time of year they fight with geese for good grass in the pasture, one of the sights Pennings loves to see, living back home on the farm. “I’m so glad I took the risk, because this is where I want to be and this is what I want to be doing,” said Pennings. “It’s a good life, the life I want.”

School groups are more than welcome to visit the farm, or the family farming museum.



The Greater Sioux County Genealogy Society  has provided the majority of information for this site. Thanks to them and all the individuals who have submitted data! A full search of this website is not complete unless you do a search (see left column) on this county’s message boards. After clicking on each board, you will see another SEARCH indicator. Happy Hunting!

Linkage From Our Sites To Other Sites/Advertising
Our Web Sites have “links” to other external internet addresses. They are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes. They do not constitute an endorsement or approval of any product, service or opinion contained in the linked web site. Our reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by us nor do we guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or correct sequencing of information located at such addresses.

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This is the barn Mr. Sam Mapes built in 1920. It was located in Chatfield. They lived about a mile from town. I think it was about 40 acres, most of it a wooded area. The earth was too hilly to do much farming. The reason a barn was built so high, it housed the loose hay to feed animals. There was a track in the upper ridge of the barn what a carried to hatch slings of hay and to pull them up into the barn. The far end of the barn had a big door at the upper part and that is how the hay was able to go inside. If we had to milk our cows, they had to be milked 2 x’s a day and 7 days a week. At least once a day, I would climb up and throw hay down with a pitch fork so the animals could eat. We let out the animals so they could visit the water stock tank. In the winter, when it was cold, ice formed on the water tank and I would break it with an Ax, so the cattle could drink. This was the process on every small farm in the Midwest that had a barn and animals on it.

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Military Records

Your ancestors may have played a role in the wars of history. Wars produce record. Search registration military draft, enlistment, promotion, transfer, discharge, military units, and other wartime activities in your family research.

Try here first. National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132. For Naval records: 1902 and later: Naval Personal, Department of the Navy, Washington, DC 20350. Please be advised that the Navy and Marine Corps are separate from the Army. Since WWW II, the Airforce is a separate unit of the military.

Draft records: Start by finding your relative’s residence. Mail: Selective Service Board of WWI. Order copies of a relative draft registration from the Federal Archives and Records Center, GSA. East Point, GA 303440.

Civil War: GSA Form 6751 to the National Archives, Washington, D.C. 20408. Check “Veterans’ Schedules” of the 1890 census first. The schedules identify the military unit of each individual veteran or the widow surviving at that time. It is with great sadness, we must report that the schedules for the states of Alabama through half of Kentucky are lost or destroyed. Alphabetically, the states are listed, when you perform your research. They have a “Organizational Pension Index,” which might be easier to search then the alphabetical name index. Check Amnesty Oaths, Amnesty papers, Union Provost Marshal Civilians file and Confederate Citizens files. The National Archives’ collection of records related to Confederate military service and other records have something called the complied military service records, it consists of card abstract from muster pay and some original papers which may include the name, state, company and regiment, rank, date and place of enlistment, and discharge, occupation, personal description, along with details of capture, release, parole, or death. Confederate military archival material may be in repositories such as the Confederate Memorial Building (United Daughters of the Confederacy– U.D.C. in Richmond, Virginia. Military records since the American Revolution.

Look as far back as the Pennamite war (1769-1799), Pontiac’s war, (1763-1766) the French and Indian Wars( 1754-1763 and before the Civil war; The Mexican War (1846-1848) and The war of 1812 (1812-1815). Check the old wars series of death and disability files. Bounty-land warrant application files based on wartime service from 1775 though March 3, 1855. The Revolutionary War records may be in two separate repositories. Continental Army, Navy, or Marine units of the provisional government. If service was in the state troops, check records in the state archives, at the National Archives. Many records have been destroyed in fire. The Colonial wars. There is a wonderful book that you may want to get. It will help and guide you to your research. TRACING YOUR ANCESTRY by F. Wilbur Helmbold and published by Oxmoor House. ISBN: 0-8487-0486-x

Mr. Dan Pool.

My ancestors in the military can be found here

Mr. James Mapes Pool was a ground transportation driver for #541 unit for the 82nd Airborne Division. He drove 6×6’s and later worked on fixing the trucks. These trucks took airmen to and from the helicopters and fixed wing planes at Pope, Airforce Base within Fort Bragg. Please enjoy scenes of the HU-1A in action with the 82nd Airborne Division slideshow below.





Quite a serious accident happened to one of A. M. Walker’s stages as it neared Fillmore village, in this county, on February 3. In attempting to cross a small stream or creek, the wheel of the stage came in contact with a large boulder and the stage was instantly thrown upon its side, forcing one of the wheel horses down with it. The horse, being held down by the tongue and fore part of the stage and hampered with the harness, was drowned. There were three passengers in the coach at the time, who luckily escaped without further injury than an “unsought wash” and good ducking. J. S. Weider, clerk in the office of the receiver of the U. S. Land office in Chatfield, enroute for Dubuque, was one of the three.

On February 10 a party of gentlemen left Chatfield for the purpose of hunting. At that day game of every species abounded in Fillmore county, and especially may this be said of the country immediately surrounding the village of Chatfield. The gunning party was having good luck, and the indications were that they would be bountifully repaid for their labor, when, by the accidental discharge of one of the guns, Nathan P. Langdon, of Chatfield, was shot in the leg below the knee, breaking both bones and otherwise mangling his limb in a horrible manner. He was immediately taken to Chatfield and placed under the treatment of Dr. Cole of that place, but in spite of the best of care it became necessary to amputate the limb.

On April 15 the county of Fillmore held its election in regard to the loan of the state credit to various railroads to the amount of $5,000,000. The vote of the then principal towns in the county was as follows: Chatfield, for 292, against 86; Preston, for 178, against 68. Throughout the county the vote averaged 4 to 1 in favor of the loan; the majority was 1,500. A table compiled June 5 shows that at that date Fillmore county had 9,893 inhabitants and 1,822 dwellings. The county contained an area of 864 square miles. On August 16 five prisoners confined in the county jail at Preston for various offenses, entered into a conspiracy to escape. They succeeded in their undertaking by bending the window bars. Of the five who got away only one was ever heard from; he, after traveling on foot some forty or fifty miles, returned once more to the jail.

On September 5 a little daughter of Maj. J. R. Bennett, of Chatfield, being alone in the yard, fell headforemost into a tub of water and remained there some time before being found. When discovered and taken out life appeared to be extinct, but with exercise of great presence of mind by the parents taking the necessary course to effect a resuscitation, the life of the little one was saved.

On Friday, September 17, T. Sawyer, a citizen in the vicinity of Chatfield, met with a very serious accident. He was engaged with a machine threshing grain several miles from town and while it was in motion he attempted to pass from one side of the feeder to the other when, his foot slipping through, was caught and torn off above the ankle, ripping flesh and bones to strips and mangling the limb in a frightful manner. Physicians were immediately brought, who amputated the fractured limb close to the knee joint. William Henry Dean, M. D., died October 18 at Spring Valley. The doctor was a graduate of the Michigan University at Ann Arbor and came here at an early day.

October 7, in company with several ladies and gentlemen, he was at the mill of Mr. Stevens and the members of the party were being weighed on a platform scale. It being just at dusk, the doctor did not observe a rapidly revolving shaft near where they stood, which caught a shawl he wore and whirled him around and around, striking him against the scales at every revolution until the mill was stopped. Death came to his relief eleven days afterward.


Author, James Mapes Pool is a steward of the Little Free Library. It is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. You can Donate to them in his honor and your gift is tax-deductible to the extent of the law.  If you prefer, you may call 1-715-690-2488 or mail a check to them at 2327 Wycliff St., Suite 220, St. Paul, MN 55114. You can donate, in the name of “A POOL OF THOUGHTS” If you donate at least $50, you will have the opportunity to share a story or memory of someone special in your life on their Honor Wall! Shortly after you complete your donation, they will send you an email with instructions on how to add a story to their wall.

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The Pool Family photo Book – A Pool of Thoughts© ( –

The Pool Family


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“Chuck” was a slang term for food.

Chuckwagon food included easy-to-preserve items like beans and salted meats, coffee, and sourdough biscuits. During the 1880s to 1890s the menu consisted of beans, beef, biscuits (sourdough type), salt pork, lick (molasses), rice, dried fruit (mainly raisins, apples, and prunes), and, of course, coffee. Canned tomatoes, canned peaches, and canned milk slowly became available on the northern range—Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming—in the late 1880s; while the southern range did not start importing airtight until the late 1890s. Various spices and herbs were available and used by many of the range cooks, even in the very early days, to give variety to the meals. [source: National Park Service]

How to Make Sun Tea at Home – Best Sun Tea Recipe (


Please recycle this book and give it to a local library, if you no longer want to keep the book. Drop it off on a park bench or use a creative way to share it. Let us know in pictures how you donated your used copy.


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