Emma Wells, sixth grade student at Cypress Elementary School, recently submitted an essay titled “The Most Famous Person From My School” to the National Rural Education Association. Her essay won the elementary division of this national competition.
Emma wrote about James Edwin Montgomery, her great-grandfather, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Upon returning home, Mr. Montgomery realized that there was no longer a need for his families town ice house due to refrigeration. He learned about refrigeration and opened a business that lasted for 43 years. He then retired to his family’s farm.
Emma notes in her essay, printed below, that the definition of a famous person is “well honored for achievement.”
Mr. Montgomery may not have been known worldwide, but he certainly was “famous” in his small town.
The Most Famous Person From My School
At my school, there are not many “famous” people. Most people stay in the small communities of Southern Illinois.
I’m going to tell you about a man who was well known in one of these small towns, James Edwin Montgomery.
Born in 1920, James completed school through the 12th grade, married Myra Holt in 1941, and had two children. He and his father ran the town ice-house and peddled ice to homes.
During World War II, he was drafted into the U.S. Navy. After he returned home from the war, most people had refrigerators, and there was no need for the ice-house. He then learned about refrigeration, and started a refrigeration business which lasted for 43 years.
He had always lived on the family farm, so after those 43 years, he helped run it full time. James died in 2006 at the age of 86.
He was not famous by many standards, but was well known for his strong work ethic, kindness and determination. He didn’t give up when his skill was no longer needed, he learned another.
Famous people don’t have to be known to everyone. The dictionary defines famous as “well honored for achievement.”
When I think about what he did over the years, he was indeed well honored. James was famous to me. I lived right across the road from him. He was my great-grandfather, and I certainly looked up to him.
In conclusion, James Montgomery was famous in our small community for his many accomplishments.