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Linus Reinhart
b. July 28, 1892
Kirby, Ohio. USA

During World War II, Linus had three sons missing in action. The family was amazed that he accepted this with a kind of inner tranquility. All came back. One had been a prisoner of war for twenty months, another a survivor on a ship that went down, killing seven hundred men, and the third was saved after his ship sank at Iwo Jima. " He just took life as it comes," said Linus's son. When I met Linus, though his sight and hearing were impaired, he seemed still to be taking life as it came.

The Reinhart family used gold from the California gold rush to buy four hundred acres of land in Kirby ,Ohio. When Linus was born, the family still lived in a log house that had been constructed by the local Native Americans. He could remember the natives' wooden huts without windows in the fields behind their house. The family farmed the land to produce their food and they hunted and gathered together as well. Linus recalled that, as a young boy, the family once went out to pick mushrooms for dinner, and mistakenly picked poisoned toadstools. Only because the children were picky eaters did they manage not to get sick. After eating the mushrooms, Linus's father and the local minister died. At thirteen, Linus was given the responsibility of running of the farm with his eight siblings and his mother. He milked cows and grew crops. When World War I began, he tried to enlist but since his three other brothers were already in the service, the recruiting officer told him to "go back to the farm; we need food more than we need men."

During the Depression there was enough food to eat on the farm, but, since live produce such as hogs were selling for so little, it was more economical to sell the grain. Linus developed a variety of seed corn that sprouted consistently and matured faster than native corn. His pioneering of the corn germinated into a seed company, L. A. Reinhart & Son Certified Seed. He became one of the pioneers of hybrid corn in the United States.

An extremely religious man, Linus never raised his voice to his children, and although strict, preferred discipline his children by taking them aside, to " "talk some sense," one on one, His son said that he was never "derailed by an obstacle. He just sat down and figured out how to get around them." These are simple enough concepts but Linus applied them to everyday life, abiding by his set of golden rules. He was an honest man, a man who believed in his faith, and who worked for what he needed. His son said that perhaps his greatest gift to his family "was his example and the life he lived that made him a special person." In our current day and age, when the media bombards us with politicians, celebrities and other role models that are fleeting and uninspiring, how poignant and refreshing it is to come into contact with the Linus Reinharts of this country, who remind us of what it means to be a light for others to follow.

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