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  • Writer's pictureGregory Winters

Tour of Sac City, Iowa - with Bert Wayt

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

The best part of genealogy research is the privilege of meeting "cuzzins" in person - people whom you know are part of the tree, but heretofore were only words and numbers in a database. It's even better when one of those cousins turns into a friend. Bert Wayt is one of those special folks.

Although our families originated in the West Virginia Panhandle area (upon arrival to America from Europe), there were a number of folks who decided that they didn't want to farm on rocky hillsides at 45-degree angle, or later, work in the dreaded mines, so they headed for points west and south. One branch of the family ended up in Arkansas, another in Indiana, yet another moved to Illinois, another to Kansas and the Oklahoma Territory, and still another to Minnesota.

There was another branch of Wayts who didn't bother stopping off 'early' in the Midwest and instead migrated all the way out to Iowa and eventually to Montana, Oregon, and California. William Chalfant and Elizabeth McCallister Wayt bore almost their entire family in Western Pennsylvania, but many of the offspring did not survive beyond childhood. Those that remained were toted off in the ol' family sedan, er...wagon and headed for points West.

After a number of important stops along the way (including Brookville, Indiana, where son Benjamin Franklin was born), the family eventually ended up in Iowa, slowly working their way across the state until one of of them - Wooster Beach Wayt - ended up in Sac City, Iowa.

I was fortunate to catch up with W.B. Wayt's last surviving grandson, Mr. Wooster Bertram 'Bert' Wayt, in his home town of Sac City, and he graciously and expertly performed the role of historian and tour guide for the day. Bert was born right in Sac County and worked at the monument company that his grandfather established in Sac City in 1890.

Click here for a nice gallery of photos and information from my tour with Bert.

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