Children playing on the Welge Implement Co. truck in Argenta, circa 1959. -- Courtesy Curt Jackson

Children playing on the Welge Implement Co. truck in Argenta, circa 1959.

Courtesy Curt Jackson

The Youngster Workforce of Macon County

A little-known part of Macon County history is that from around 1940 through the 1960s, the people of Macon County grew tired of the daily grind and threw down their aprons, sat down in factories, kicked up their heels and gave up on work. Of course, the only logical thing to do was bring in children, the younger the better, to fill open positions so the adults could frolic. Below are just a few of the mature munchkins that joined the workforce to keep the economy going.

Jimmy and Danny found work preparing fireworks and toys. It certainly wasn’t “all work and no play” for these two. 

Jimmy and Danny Nichols, ages 6 and 10, handling fireworks and toy guns in 1939. -- Courtesy Herald & Review

Jimmy and Danny Nichols, ages 6 and 10, handling fireworks and toy guns in 1939.

Courtesy Herald & Review

Here we see a fleet of junior police officers preparing for patrol. One unlucky lad seems to have lost his hat in the line of duty.

The junior police force standing outside of Lincoln Theater on June 14, 1948. Courtesy Decatur Public Library

The junior police force standing outside of Lincoln Theater on June 14, 1948. Courtesy Decatur Public Library

Sally and Shiela started their own laundry business to help out. They still needed to be supervised when using the iron, though.

Five–year-old Sally Ann Vest (Kates) demonstrating how to use a Baulos ironer, 1948. Next to her is Shiela Jo Deneen (Deal). -- Courtesy Sally Ann Kates

Five–year-old Sally Ann Vest (Kates) demonstrating how to use a Baulos ironer, 1948. Next to her is Shiela Jo Deneen (Deal).

Courtesy Sally Ann Kates

These boys took jobs as mechanics. Hopefully they learned how to put that car back together first!

Two Decatur boys next to a disassembled Model T, circa 1965. -- Courtesy Macon County Historical Society Museum

Two Decatur boys next to a disassembled Model T, circa 1965.

Courtesy Macon County Historical Society Museum

Learn more about (real) Macon County history and see hundreds of beautiful, historic photos in the Herald & Review's new book, Macon County Memories Volume II.

Volume II: Macon County Memories: The 1940s, 1950s and 1960s Cover
Herald & Review presents Volume II: Macon County Memories: The 1940s, 1950s and 1960s

$44.95

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