Years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing William Ralph Caskey whose father, James E. Caskey, owned the Greensburg Daily News from 1902 until his death in 1915.
Caskey, who started the Cheer Fund in 1911, married Mabel Kercheval who was of a family of doctors here at one time and the same family as Ken Kercheval of “Dallas” fame. When William agreed to the interview I asked Van Batterton if he would come too. I figured the two of them would have lots to talk about. William was 91 years old at the time and Van was 84. Van and William talked and I listened. It was wonderful listening to them. One day I must reprint what they talked about.
In 1997, I talked with Anna Paul Lowe whose husband Walter B. Lowe was with the Greensburg Daily News from 1923 to 1974. Walter B. would say many times, “It’s for the children,” and kept the Cheer Fund going. Anna Paul remembered the Cheer Fund from years back when the goal was not more than two or three thousand dollars. She said, “In the early years Faye Childress and I worked together and later, after Faye’s death, Freida Mae Miller and I worked together. She said they visited families to get sizes and determine what a family needed.
Greta Solgere, who had worked for the Cheer Fund since the 1960s as typist, boxer and doing whatever was needed said, “Our family has been involved in the Cheer Fund for so long that it wouldn’t be Christmas without it.” She also mentioned Jim and Sheila Doerflinger, Bob Scheidler, Bob Bostic, Patt Luken and others who had spent hours on behalf of the fund and its recipients. The Solgere children helped too and after they were frown, always wanted to help when they came home for Christmas.