Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Spouse: Opal SINCLAIR

    Source: County Conservation News, Warren County Conservation Board, Fall 1989

    If you've ever gone to the Hickory Hills Hoedown, you're sure to have met Lyle Sinclair. He's been volunteering at Warren County's biggest musical event since it began ten years ago. Lyle has put up display boards. He's parked cars. He's helped the Medora Ladies Aide set up the food lines. In short, Lyle has contributed much to the Hoedown's success.

    Lyle first became involved with the WCCB through the Hoedown. "I remember it really rained at one of the first Hoedowns. We had trouble getting the cars in and out of the field!" Like other people, Lyle comes back every year for the music, but he is quick to mention the delicious homemade ice cream as well. Before his arthritis got bad, Lyle used to play a 4-string banjo. He learned to play by ear and when he was younger would entertain at many a "hoedown" in people's homs. "Back then, we'd move the furniture out of the front room to make space for the dancing." Lyle still enjoys listening to the banjo and also the french harp. Born in Vail, Southe Dakota, Lyle grew up on a small farm that "had a little bit of everything." One of eleven children, Lyle and his famly moved to Leon by wagon in the 1920s. His parents had been born and raised in Leon and returned there to be closer to family.

    Everyone had a job to do in Lyle's family. When the children came home from school, chores came before play. Lyle remembers picking up corn cobs and bringing them to the house. His mother burned the corncobs for fuel in a black cook stove. He also remembers carrying water from a spring to the house. Gardening was another important job, but one Lyle must have enjoyed for he still gardens today. His acre of garden space yields a bountiful crop. Squash, beets, cucumbers, and 226 hills of tomatos keep Lyle and his wife, Opal, busy canning and freezing. Lyle and Opal celebrated their 33rd anniversary this year.

    Lyle feels conservation efforts in Warren County are important, especially those that expose children to activities like fishing and hiking. Learning to appreciate the wonderful natural areas in Iowa "can do a lot for kids."

    His favorite county park is Hickory Hills. Lyle has enjoyed many a picnic at the site of the 1900s farmstead. He's enjoyed walking the wooded trails, too, and visiting the ridge-top Indian mound that overlooks the rolling countryside.

    Lyle has recently become a frequent visitor to a new conservation area, Lundy Acres. "I like the location of Lundy Acres" which is just 3 miles northwest of Indianola. He's got a few suggestions for the WCCB, in particular, offering more programs in the various parks and providing restroom facilities at all WCCB areas.

    Lyle has volunteered for many hours of service over the years. It's this kind of dedication that helps the WCCB provide quality programs like the Hickory Hills Hoedown. Thank you, Lyle Sinclair, for being a true friend of conservation.