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Traer Museum looking for Endicott information

June 17, 2009
Traer Star-Clipper

Do you remember WOZ Endicott and his carving collection? We are looking for pictures of him or his carvings and any information or memories any Traerite might have of Mr. Endicott.

The Traer Museum is working to display a recently acquired collection of carved wooden figurines and pieces from Pauline Kober and the Kober sisters' estate. They were carved by past Traer resident W.O.Z. Endicott, affectionately known as "Oolie" who was married to Emma, a cousin of the Kober sisters. One item of particular interest is a large Ferris wheel with carved individuals in each of the seats. One pair we believe is the replica of a famous duo dated back to the early 1900's era when the Ferris wheel was created. Each individual on the Ferris wheel seems very unique and it is speculated that perhaps some of the carvings are of people known to Mr. Endicott. There are also various wagons with teams of horses, a sleigh with Santa and reindeer, covered wagon with oxen, a merry-go-round, and several human and animal figurines plus other items of interest.

Some of the information we have gained so far about Mr. Endicott is that he was born in Chesterville, Ohio on September 1, 1883, son of Isaac and Elizabeth Lambert Endicott. He seems to have resided in the Carroll and/or Glidden area for some time, once working at a Webb service station where he displayed his carvings and where area residents were able to enjoy his work. They were also displayed at the Carroll library. He married Emma Kober in 1947 and resided for many years on the farm, known as the Kober or Endicott farm, northeast of Traer. They moved to Traer at some point in time and lived by the park where he was Traer's park commissioner for many years. He, with his wife, was active in the Traer Garden Club and a trustee of Ripley United Church of Christ.

After he was crippled by a stroke, many people and friends discovered Mr. Endicott's unique wood carving talent, and his carvings were displayed at the Traer nursing care center. All pieces were carved with a simple pen knife from various pieces of wood acquired or gourds he grew specifically for that purpose.

The Traer Historical Museum is interested in learning more about Oolie Endicott and his unique wood carving talents. We hope to have some history and information to go with this extraordinary collection. A few pieces have been selected to be currently displayed but the majority of the collection is "under wraps" and will possibly be ready for public viewing during Winding Stairs Festival. If you have any information or pictures to share, stop in at the museum or contact the museum by email at or by mail at 514 2nd Street, Traer, IA 50675.



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