by Larry E Heck
PO Box 1897
Castle Rock, CO 80104

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Our father, Charles Ervin Heck, called it the Ponderosa.  He was a big fan of the Ponderosa TV series with Lorne Green and liked to compare his sons with the cast of characters in the series.

The farm was purchased by Ted and Lillian Heck in 1945.  Their son, Charles Ervin, was coming home from serving in the Phillipines during World War II.  Why they chose Nason is still a mystery.  Ted, Lillian and Charles had all been born in Du Bois.  They still owned farmland in Du Bois.  

If they had not chosen Nason, Charles might never have met the Julius family and may have never married Leona.  We do know Nason was very familiar to the Hecks.  Ted's father, Peter Heck was apparently drawn to Nason after it sprung up in 1923. He was Police Magistrate in Nason for 1926 and 1927.  Charles can be found in a class photo from the Nason School when he was in the first grade in 1927.  Peter still lived in Nason on 9th street in the 1930 census but he died in 1939 and is buried in Du Bois.  

On the 29th of November, 1945, Ted received the deed for the farm.  On Dec 6, 1945, Charles received his honorable discharge from the army at Ft Sheridan in Illinois.  Members of our family have lived on that farm for 65 years.  The farmland is rented out and the funds from that rental support Leona and provide for her care.  

The farm house was devided like a duplex.  Each side was heated by a downstairs fireplace.  Ted and Lillian lived on one side.  Charles and Leona lived on the other.  As a child I remember traveling to Du Bois with them to farm the lands Ted owned there.  I recall an old barn and a huge pond.  They would park me at the pond and tell me to catch dinner while they were working.  I remember eating a lot of catfish.

Ted and Charles both worked in the coal mine in Du Bois during the winter.  A time came when Ted built a house in Du Bois and moved back.  He became the mine manager and lived across the railroad tracks from the entrance.  He retained ownership of the farm in ILL until his death at which time it was inherited by Charles and Leona.