Mama visits her sister and “Betty” injures a thumb (Original Boomerang for February 13, 1923)


Original Boomerang for February 13, 1923

The top story in this issue of the original Boomerang is that “Mama” (i.e. Mary, the Boomerang Man’s wife) is following the example of her “illustrious daughters” and “going on the road” — to visit her sister Helen Scott in Dexter. At a distance of around thirty-five miles from Des Moines, Dexter isn’t nearly as far as most of the Eno girls have journeyed; still, though, Mama will be gone for two nights! Sister Helen was referred to back in the original Boomerang of March 23, 1919 (in this post here) as “wealthy Aunt Helen.” The introduction of her married name “Scott” helps to identify a few more people in a more recently posted original Boomerang (here): specifically, Wesley Scott, Helen’s husband and Alma, their daughter! That issue notes that Wesley is in town to give his son-in-law some father-in-lawly advice, which note is followed by a mention of Alma, who is said to be “still working for Successful Farming.” Could the advice to in the first note have any relation to the “still working” of the second?

In other news, “Betty” (not Beth) is playing basketball! And has hurt her thumb in the process … it’s on the mend, though!

And the punch line to the inside joke about Ferne McLaughlin and her valentine remains obscured by the giggling …

“Flunk day” and “Lightnin”: or, February is hopping! (Original Boomerang for February 4, 1923)


Original Boomerang, February 4, 1923

The top stories in this issue of the Original Boomerang are about Ruth’s travels as a drama coach–so exciting!–and the weather–brrrr! A couple stories further in to the issue have some intriguing references: what’s “flunk day,” one wonders, and what’s “Lightnin”? The former is mentioned in the story about Des Moines beating the University of North Dakota in a basketball game; quoting the Boomerang Man, “the next day was flunk day for Beth and the bunch, with pickles, sandwiches, victrola records in our happy home.” Flunk day sounds like fun, in a homey roaring twenties kind of way! As it turns out, it wasn’t exactly an occasion brought about by the university’s basketball win; it just happened to coincide. Flunk day was an annual day for skipping classes at Coe College! And in fact the flyer for it for 1923 was at the Iowa Heritage site — wow! Flyers for other years didn’t have near this “pinko” frame — I guess it’s truly a sign of the times!


As for “Lightnin,” which the Boomerang Man and “Mama” are planning to to see on Valentine’s Day, it was a comedy written by Winchell Smith and Frank Bacon. It was on Broadway from 1918 to 1921, breaking the record for number of performances, and then went on tour around the country, including to Des Moines Iowa! Read all about it here.

There’s also a mention in this issue of Horace and Hellen taking charge of the Loper farm, which is an intriguing bit of family history, which I will look into when Horace and Hellen come up again.

Money-bags Ruth and another Im! (Original Boomerang for January 21, 1923)


Original Boomerang, January 21, 1923

There’s lots of interest in this issue of the Original Boomerang, but for this commentator, the most intriguing (and, at first glance, daunting) item is the reference to yet another Imle Eno (that would be in addition to the three identified in this post here of a few weeks ago!)! The Imles are getting so numerous that I made a little back-of-the-envelope chart of them all, below.


Four Imles, July 23, 2017

Our new Imle, mentioned in this issue’s second column as one a member of the California branch of the Eno clan, is Imle #3, counting down generation by generation from Imle #1, who relocated this branch of the family tree in the United States. Imle #2 was one of his sons, and this new Imle is one of his grandsons and a cousin to the Boomerang Man. Another way of looking at these four Imle’s would be to put Fred Eno in the center and note that he had a grandfather named Imle, and uncle named Imle, a cousin named Imle and a nephew named Imle. No wonder we have been having a hard time keeping track! Other Enos that are identified in this little chart are Rufus, mentioned in this issue as a California Eno, who is also a cousin of the Boomerang Man, and Ray Eno, mentioned in another issue of this international publication. is a brother of Imle #4 (the one who was killed in the war) and a nephew of Fred’s. Simple! 🙂

In other news in this issue, Ruth has made it big time! The purchasing power of $6.50 in 1923 is equivalent to $91.40 in 2016, according to this site here. Pretty good!

Another silky rose and … the plot thickens (another Imle)!


White rose, June 18, 2017

Well … this picture turned out quite well, if I do say so myself!

On the other hand, further poking around revealed that I had the wrong Imle in my post of yesterday — there are so many of them all of a sudden! For instance: there was the Imle Eno who was born in 1797 (we learned about him in this post here); then there was his son, who was born in 1830 and who was a brother of John Hollister Eno and Daniel Eno, who was the Boomerang Man’s father. You’ll recall that John Hollister had a son also named John Hollister Eno (aka “Hollie”), who was a cousin of the Boomerang Man’s (we learned that here too), and … wouldn’t you know, he had a son he named Imle!! So that’s three Imles, one for each of three generations. I won’t go into all the details (perhaps another time), but this younger Imle fought in the “Great War” and was killed in France — one source says on October 6, 1918. A notice in the Pocahontas Record of October 6, 1921 reports John Hollister Eno’s having just received news of his son’s body returning from abroad. As we know from the original Boomerang (from the issue featured in this post here), his memorial service was held a few weeks later, on October 22. An obituary for Imle’s mother Libbie (who died in 1947) called her a Gold Star mother and said that the local (Havelock) post of the American Legion was named after Imle. So! That gets closer to explaining the crowd at his memorial service. It wasn’t for the Civil War Imle; it was for the Great War Imle. This was quite a fruitful mystery, as it turns out! Libbie’s obituary mentions a few other characters (e.g. Ray Eno) who have been mentioned here and there in the original Boomerang; find it (in .pdf format) here. It appeared in the Rolfe Arrow on March 27, 1947.


Update on “the mysterious Im”

In place of the publication of a new issue of the original Boomerang today, I’m writing an update on “the mysterious Im,” who was mentioned in the original Boomerang of  October 23, 1921 (published in this post here). Sometime after noting, in my on comments on the most recently featured original Boomerang (here), that Daniel and Hollie Eno were brothers and the sons of Mariah and Imle Eno, it occurred to me that “Im” might be a nickname for Imle! Aha!!! Retracing my steps a bit, I discovered that Daniel and Hollie had a brother named Imle, so we may now declare the formerly mysterious Im to be Fred Eno’s uncle. Hurray! Now the question is, why would 1500 people come out for his memorial service? A look through various newspaper databases turned up nary an Imle Eno, so he doesn’t seem to have acquired that kind of fame, but … he was born in 1830, so that would have made it possible for him to have fought in the Civil War … I don’t know if that’s what would have brought out so many people, but as it turns out, he did fight in it — and his brother Daniel did too! They’re both listed in the document photographed below, which I think is a draft register. It seems that Imle at least (I don’t know about Daniel) served in the 77th Infantry; find a short history of its accomplishments here.

77thInfantryImleDaniel.jpgWith the major mystery about “Im” solved, some questions remain … in addition to the matter of the memorial service crowd, what kind of name is Imle? Perhaps it was originally a surname? People with Imle as a last name seem to come from northern Germany … but the paternal side of our Im’s family goes cold after his father Imle. There are records of his mother Mariah’s family going back further but nothing on Imle’s … perhaps his parents came over from northern Germany though … ?

New members of the Eno clan!


Original Boomerang for December 31, 1922

In this issue of the original Boomerang, some previously unmentioned Eno’s come out of the woodwork: specifically, Hollie and Libbie, who are setting out for California, and Ray, their son, who is living in Des Moines! Who are these people and what is their relationship to our Eno family? to the rescue. It would seem that Hollie is John Hollister Eno, who was born in 1858; his wife Libbie was born Elizabeth Ford. The Boomerang Man was born in the 1863, so perhaps he and Hollie are cousins? Why yes! The 1870 census lists John Hollister Eno, aged 12, as the son of John Hollister Eno senior and Silvie Eno, who live right next door to Daniel and Rikeline Eno (in Indianola): i.e. the parents of Fred Eno! (Curiously, Fred isn’t listed among their children … but then the census people didn’t always get everyone … ). So John Hollister Eno senior and Daniel Eno must have been brothers. And … presuming that they are, makes for a search that turns them up as the sons of Mariah Marcia Eno (née Winchell), who was born on July 16 in 1799, and Imle Eno, who was born on November 16, 1797. (I think that makes them great, great, great grandparents of the Rust kids?) Beyond that … the crystal ball dims — at least for now!

In other news in this issue: it’s New Year’s Eve and the home bodies are planning to see a play the next day: “The Bat,” which seems to have been just beginning a long theatrical and film “career”: read all about it here.



Old fashioned Christmas scene (Original Boomerang for December 17, 1922)


Original Boomerang, December 17, 1922

The picture created by the first story in this issue of the original Boomerang does look like a quaint old-fashioned Christmas, but as one reads on to the second, it starts to look more Dickensian: as in, like the household of poor Tiny Tim, what with that poor “collapsed” family pocketbook! Meanwhile, Beth and Ruth are working, so that may help … and Dr Eula is off in Honolulu!