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Marietta (Washburn) Thomas was born in Dakota Territory on April 11, 1886 to Henry Theodore and Emma (Crittenden) Washburn.

As a young girl Marietta and the Washburn family made many trips by train to Gary for celebrations and stayed over night at the Herrick Hotel.

In 1910 a young man by the name of Charles Thomas moved near the Washburn farm and after a fey buggy rides and apple pies from Marietta, their wedding took place in her home. They moved many times and their last home was in Gary, much to Marietta's pleasure.

From her home in Gary of 33 tears, Marietta wrote many articles and poems about nature and her "town".













 Poems by Marietta Thomas

The Whistle  |  The Old Bridge  |  The Old Depot  |  My Wrens  |  Spring Dreams  |  Easter  |  The Weather
Autumn  |  Christmas  |  The Empty House  |  Wake Up and Read  |  Springtime  |  Long Ago and Now
Mother's Day  |  Our Garden  |  Poppy Day  |  Memorial Day  |  The Litterbug  |  Father's Day
Fourth of July  |  To Jim and Agnes  |  Take Time Out To Live  |  My Prayer


The Whistle

Now again we have a whistle, with which so long we went without,
And so many missed its signal, of that statement there is no doubt.
Tells the children that its meal time, so each can scurry to their home
Sometimes it is quite a distance, for in summer, children like to roam.

Tells the grownups that it’s noontime, and to be on their merry way,
Or it’s time to cease their labor, at the end of a busy day.
In the evening there is a curfew, to tell the younger ones to go
To their homes and to their parents, and they are safe there then will know.

Sort of nice to hear a whistle, that doesn’t call the fire engines out,
Then we know there is a heartache and tragedy somewhere about.
It’s another nice improvement, in our city of Gary here,
Which can keep the new advancements, with any little town that’s near.

It will never be a ghost town, like many little towns out west,
For all those I’ve known and lived in, this is the town I like the best.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas



The Old Bridge

The railroad bridge they say, is gone, in the west part of our town,
A wrecking crew came late last fall, and wrecked and tore our old bridge down.
So went the last link of our track, that so far to the westward lay,
Which was laid by men so long ago, in years gone by in yesterday.
How many people traveled o’er, that is a secret none will know?
The iron horse of long ago, rumbled over the glistening rails.
Its shrilling whistle filled the air, in summer time or winter gales.
It carried folks on journeys gay, and others on a mission sad.
Some to a country far away and some to visit mom and dad.
The old steam power had to go; a modern Diesel took its place.
But trucks and cars have killed its use, in this fast and modern pace.
How many children walked the rails, to others show their courage then.
But now an empty gap is there, to remind us where our bridge has been.
It’s hard to see the old things go and replaced with progress new,
I’d rather see those times again, when the old steam whistle blew.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas



The Old Depot

Another landmark is soon to go, when they tear our old depot down,
Another building to be razed, in our own progressive town.
Just a reminder to us all, that a through railroad will be no more,
No more to hear that whistle blow, no trains go through as once before.
Our ways of travel have been changed, in this last new modern pace.
Here, railroad travel is no more, and cars and planes to take its place.
How many times I’ve waited there, for that old train to rumble in.
To meet a friend of long ago, or a dear face or next of kin.
The many tears that have been shed, when many said that last goodbye,
And the train was lost around the curve, and the smoke curled against the sky.
Why obliterate the iron horse? Old timers hate to see it go;
I’d love to see it round the curve, and hear again, that whistle blow.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




They are such a tiny bird that live within their house,
Where nothing can molest them, like a larger bird or pesky mouse.
They sing their cheery message, just at the break of dawn,
And through the day till sunset, till the twilight time is gone.
They make one forget their troubles, with their pretty little song,
As they gather worms and insects, thru the summer days so long.
Soon their fledglings will be leaving, and be out upon their own,
Where they’ll be out in all the danger, and miss the mother’s care they’ve known.
Then I’ll miss their morning greeting, and the happy notes it sends,

As nothing can chase the blues away, like my pair of little wrens.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




Yesterday when the mailman came, he brought bills and circulars galore,
But a certain catalogue he brought, which we flower lovers adore.
It was a catalogue of spring, with many pictures bright and gay.
Which really gets your spirits up, with patience wait that spring time day.
Flowers of every kind you know, and some which are a stranger, too,
There’s red and yellow, green and pink, some purple, lavender and blue.
There’s vegetables which look so nice, so real and good enough to eat,
To raise them like in catalogue, would really be a triumph feat.
Why do we love to dream of spring? When every thing is brown and bare,
The frost is in the ground so deep, and ice and snow are every where.
The trees sway naked in the breeze, the wind from northern landscape blow,
The birds and rabbits gather seeds, and leave their tracks within the snow.
It’s joy to have those dreams of spring, and plan of raising flowers once more,
To dig the soil in Mother Earth, and raise our gardens as before.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas





When springtime comes with all it’s song, of many things it brings,
Of grasses green when Easter comes and every church bell rings.

We think of Easter at a time, when the rabbit hops around,
And hides the eggs of every hue, which by children are soon found.

We think of pretty dresses and coats and bonnets too
That go with Easter outfits, of things that are so new.

But all these things are nice to have, at this glorious Easter time,
But let us think of our Lord Jesus, who died for your kin and mine.

How he was nailed upon the cross, in that time so long ago
And the long hours that he suffered, for the Bible tells us so.

Then upon that morn of Easter, there was Resurrection from the dead,   

And He lives and watches o’er us, that our lives from sin be lead.

So when in the House of Worship, when Easter Morn is here,
Be thankful that you are living, and that our good Lord is soon near.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas



The Weather

The weather is the queerest thing; it so often changes its mind,
But it can jot please all people, as they have much fault to find.

When it is bright and sunny, and the sun is piping hot,
Then we wish it cold and freezing, and the wind to blow a lot.

When winter comes so cold and icy, and we face the chilly breeze,
We would like it hot and humid; People are so hard to please.

Each one has their own opinion, what the weather man should do,
And it’s hard to please all people, and to know this to be true.

But if we had no kind of weather, that would change from day to day.
What would we use for conversation, when we wish few words to say?

No matter if it’s hot or chilly or the wind blows east or west,
Let us take it with a cheery greeting, for the weather man knows best.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




The summer days are all but gone,

and Autumn time is creeping fast.

And 'tis the wish of everyone

those wonder days could only last.

The cottonwoods are dressed in gold

And her maple in her red

The willow soon with naked boughs,

And the leaves will rustle to one's tread.

The goldenrod too soon will die;

The wild aster fade away,

The meadow lark no more will sing

At dawn of the coming day.

The wild Geese will gather in a flock;

The ducks will join them, too.

The robins have left their empty nests

And the prairie bids are few.

So summer's gone and autumn's here

On this prairie vast and lone,

And we may be proud to claim

That Gary is our very own.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




Christmas is a happy time
With the country all aglow
And the mistletoe and holly
The prairie white with snow.

The trees are decked with tinsel
And the colored lights are strung
Which glisten in the darkness
When the stockings late are hung.

The packages are of many
All wrapped in colors bright
And each holds a hidden Secret
Which will unfold on Christmas nite.

Old Santa Claus was welcome
On the fire truck so red
But he didn’t have his reindeer
Or give candy from his sled.

Young folks will sing their carols
To the poor and sick and old
And sing about the Christ Child
And the Shepherd with his fold.

So let us all be thankful
That we have a home to love
And thank our Heavenly Father
Who watches from above.

So each will wish the other
At this time so full of cheer
A very Merry Christmas
And a Happy gay new Year.

by Marietta Thomas





It stands alone on the spacious lawn
Like a tree on the prairie vast
And holds fond memories all so dear
Of the days that are now past.

The shades are drawn on the sunny side
To hold the sunlight out,
And the leaves they seem to play a game
As they scurry all about.

The lawn will miss the helping hand
Which rakes and mows with care,
No one to tend the flower beds
Which all winter have lain bare.

The rooms that once were filled with joy
Now echo with each little noise,
There is no laughter as of yore
Or shouts from girls and boys.

It seems to beckon as it stands
So deserted and lone
For some family to move within
And make it once again a home.

by Mrs. Marietta Thomas




This is our Library Week
In all our nation thru,
And are suppose to read the book
For us which much good will do.

There’s books of every nature
From the good books to the bad,
And books about the outer space
Are also to be had.

We have a modern library
with books on every shelf,
On almost every topic
Which you can pick yourself.

There are books on every subject
Written by those who know,
All about the current science
Or some were written long ago.

There’s the book we call the Bible
Which we should read from day to day,
It will give us Christian comfort
And will guide us on our way.

Books are our one great asset
To find out what others know,
And magazines and papers many
What happens each day will show.

So wake up and read for pleasure
Or for knowledge or pass the time,
And be glad the books are many
In this land of yours and mine.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




The trees have started to give bud
And the lawns have a tinge of green,
The farmers are busy in the fields
And many song birds have been seen.

Some birds have started to build nests
In the trees that still are bare.
But soon will be all robed in foliage
And the homes be hidden there.

Folks are busy in their gardens
Aplanting all the tiny seeds,
Which will sprout and soon be growing
Along with all the many different weeds.

The little chix are in their houses
Which some busy person tends
But was different in past ages
When they run with mother hens.

The little calves are in the pasture
Following behind the mother cow,
And the piglets are all asquealing
As they tag the mother sow.

The little lambs they run and frolic
In the sunlight, bright and clear,
And seem to enjoy living
When the mother sheep is near.

All the world seems to awaken
When the springtime comes around,
We will watch for each new flower
Which on our prairies can be found.

After all the cold and snowfalls
Which we had thru winter time,
We so welcome another springtime
In this land of yours and mine.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




Long ago when our state was new
Our prairies were wide and vast,
And wild flowers grew on every knoll
But those days so long have past.

The antelope roamed upon the hills,
The prairie chickens in flocks were seen,
The bob-white whistled his cheery call
And frogs were thick in each ravine.

Our faithful horsed did our work
From morn till setting sun,
We put the hay within the stack
And not in bales like now is done.

They’ve broken up our prairie sod,
Our wild flowers are mostly gone.
The prairie chicken we do not see
Or hear their drums at break of dawn.

The cheery calling of the quail
Is a sound no more we hear,
If not protected from the gun
Extinction of them is near.

Things have changed so very much
In this time of modern ways,
But if I had the one to choose
I’d gladly take the good old days.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




There is one day in every May time
That we call her very own,
And our heart goes out to anyone
Who never a mother’s love has known.

She will stand by you in trouble
And forgive you when you’re wrong,
She will comfort you in sadness
And fill your heart with song.

She will nurse you in your illness
Thru many anxious hours,
So don’t wait till she’s departed
To show your love with flowers.

She will give her only dollar
To help you on your way,
So don’t wait to tell you love her
On this special Mothers day.

No matter if you’re young or older
And have children of your own,
She still loves and worries o’er you
Tho from home you long have flown.

She don’t ask for any favors
All for you that she has done,
Only show that still you love her
Whether daughter or her son.

So be sure and really show her
Whether near or far away,
That she’s still your special sweetheart
On this very special day.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




It’s strange when winters’ finally gone
And springtime comes around again,
And everything is fresh and green
Amidst the gentle rain.

We get so much ambition then
To dig within the soil,
That we sometimes over do it
Beneath the sun with heavy toil.

We place the many tiny seeds
Whether of garden or of flowers,
And watch the tiny sprouts appear
When they’re kissed by welcome showers.

There is radish, peas and spinach
There is beans and squash and corn,
And flowers by the dozens
That open up in early morn.

We await the first red radish
that is large enough to eat,
Or asparagus or the lettuce
As each is such a treat.

But what a joy and satisfaction
We get while working in the loam,
But are glad we have a garden
By a house that is a home.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas



Poppy Day

The poppy flower is green and red
Brings memories of days of old,
When men lay on the battle field
Through suffering and pain untold.

The red stands for blood they shed
And green for the grass below,
Where the poppies hung their scarlet heads
Where the crosses stood there row by row

The men who make this paper flower
Were maimed by the things of war,
Freedom and peace and the loved ones home
Where the things they were fighting for.

So buy a poppy, won’t you please
And wear it with much pride,
And be thankful we in freedom live
On these prairies vast and wide.

So give your dimes and buy a few
Of the flowers so bright and red,
In honor of our living boys
And in memory of our dead.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas





Summer time has come once more
As the days have slipped away,
And brought to us a sacred time
Known to us as Memorial Day.

We honor those of many wars,
Some fought so long ago;
Upon some far off land
And sleep beneath the crosses row.

Here we hang the many wreaths
Of colors green and red,
On the crosses snowy white
In honor of our dead.

Each cross a story well can tell
Of the one it’s standing for,
If they sleep on foreign soil
Where they fought in time of war.

Each stands for a broken home,
A husband, brother or a son,
Or a sweetheart of some lass
Whose lover’s life had just begun.

So when our soldiers go marching by
And our flags and rifles bear,
Think of our heroes of the wars
And offer them a silent prayer.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




Nature gave us all the trees
Decked in so many tints of green,
And gave us flowers of every hue
Which adds a lot to any scene.

She gave us lakes of every size
That ripple in the silent breeze,
And gave us birds to sing their songs
From homes there nestled in the trees.

Man has made the highways wide
And gave us cars of fastest speed,
That we may see these beauty spots
Where ever these roads may lead.

Then there are some who do not care
For Nature’s beauty along the way,
And throw their junk from out their cars
And let it scatter where it may.

They toss their bottles on the road
Where they might cut the tires,
They litter up the picnic grounds
And are careless of their fires.

We call these folks the Litterbug
Who do not keep our country nice,
Or do not care the work they make
For other people, or the price.

So dump your trash where it should be
So not to mar this wondrous scene,
And not become a Litterbug
And help to keep our country green.

By Mrs Marietta Thomas




In this June the twenty-first
Known as Father’s Day is near,
The third Sunday of the month
For that Dad of yours so dear.

Perhaps he’s spry and youthful
And still in boyhood days,
And has not reached those golden years
And with you so often plays.

Perhaps he’s old and feeble
And in later years of life,
But still loves you and adores you
In this world of toil and strife.

He has worked and cared and loved you
In the years that are not here,
There’ll be a time of tearful parting
And perhaps it’s growing near.

So if he’s young or old or crippled
On this day just meant for dad,
Make it so that he’ll remember
It’s the best day he’s ever had.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas




It soon will be our July 4th
Known as Independence Day,
When many folks will travel
To celebrations far way.

One hundred, three and eighty years
Have passed since long ago,
That they signed that document
So freedom we would know.

There’ll be the usual bang with rockets
And brilliant fire works at nite,
And sparklers for the tiny tots
Which fills them with delight.

There’ll be tragedies and heartbreaks
Before the day is o’er,
And deaths upon the highways
Or drowning near some shore.

So if you care to celebrate
And whatever you chose to do,
Take care about an accident
And pray it will not be you.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas





Written and read by Mrs. Marietta Thomas

Forty-eight years of married life
In the little town upon the line,
Where they’ve lived a peaceful life
And been a friend of yours and mine.

They’ve lived through times of sorrow
Thru hardship, joy and strife,
But have always been contented
And lived a very useful life.

They’ve raised a nice large family
Of seven boys and Norma and Neatha too,
And brought them up as Christians
And all in High School have sent them thru.

Ever have they been so willing
To help a neighbor in distress,
Or the first to offer comfort
When a loved ones’ laid to rest.

Agnes has been a cheerful worker
In our Church and Sunday School,
Has been an outstanding teacher
Where they taught the Golden Rule.

When this was a rugged prairie
Jim is one of our old settlers,
And a settler’s hardships know
In those years so long ago.

So your friends and all your neighbors
Who have gathered here today,
Wish you all the joy and happiness
And God’s care along the way.

(Written for Mr. and Mrs. James Donaldson
for their 48 wedding anniversary.)




I went to church the other morn
On a glorious Sabbath day,
And listened to the preacher’s prayer
And what he had to say.

“Take time out to live,” he said
And offer up a prayer,
And thank the Lord for all He’s done
And also for His care.

Thank Him for the birds and bees
And for the trees and flowers,
And for the sun and bladed grass
And for the needed showers.

Thank your banker for his help
When everything goes wrong,
And thank the merchant at your store
When her totes your bills along.

Thank your doctor for the care
He gives your loved ones dear,
For he is always willing
And be glad he lives so near.

Be glad you have a family
To love and care for you,
For loneliness is a heartache
When you have no one so true.

Drive careful on the highway,
Cut down the excess speed,
Not be a victim of any accident
For that there is no need.

So thank your Heavenly Father
For He has so much to give,
Love the things around you,
And take time out to live.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas





I do not ask for any more, than all of this that I own now,
I do not ask for treasures rare, or any more to me endow.

I only wish to offer thanks, for the beauty things on earth,
For many things on Nature’s land, to which has been given birth.

I’m thankful for the many flowers, and all the trees with graceful spread,
Which give us shade in summer time, and golden leaves in autumn shed.

I’m thankful for the birds that sing, at the very break of dawn,
And for the lonely crickets chirp, when the sun’s last rays are gone.

I’m thankful for my many friends, who live within our country town,
And thankful for the painted clouds, when the evening sun goes down.

So many things I’m thankful for, why would I need to ask for more,
And for the fragrant smell around, when the summer showers are o’er.

I only wish to thank you, Lord, for all these things of beauty rare,
And thankful Thou hast given these, it is the substance of my prayer.

By Mrs. Marietta Thomas