Victor Fay Wimer’s dairy farm was four miles east of New Castle. If he wanted to go to a bar he had to drive home, which is why, in 1946, he was sentenced to a month in jail (or three days, if he paid a $100 fine) for drunk driving.
The previous years had been hard. Just after the depression hit Lawrence County, Victor’s house burned down, which wiped out his savings. Two years later, his barn burned down, taking with it all his pigs, his tractor, his ploughs and his stores of corn and oats. More bad luck followed his arrest—in 1947, Victor’s son’s car collided with a semi-trailer truck near the farm and Victor’s seven-month-old grandchild was killed.
Victor wanted to get out of farming as soon as he could. He turned fifty in 1951 and spent the rest of the decade trying to raise enough money to move to Florida. Every couple of years throughout the 50s, he posted advertisements in the classified section of the New Castle News announcing closing-down auctions at his farm. One ran, “Sale of 14 head of Ayrshire cattle and all dairy machinery. Reason—quitting farming.” Another, announcing the sale of sixty assorted cows, declared, “Terms: Cash. Quitting the dairy business”. It took until 1958—when the list of goods that were included in the sale featured a small collie pup—before he found a buyer.
Victor bought a house in Maitland, Florida, where he lived for the rest of his life. He kept a summer home near New Castle, on the edge of the abandoned strip-mine wasteland of Muddy Creek valley, where he died at the age of sixty-seven.Sources: New Castle News (29 May 1934, “Grant City Barn Burns To Ground”; 4 Sep 1946, “Driver Is Arrested”; 26 Sep 1946, “Sentence Pronounced”; 28 Oct 1947, “Baby Is Killed, Parents Injured; In Auto Crash Near Rose Point Bridge”; 16 March 1954, Classifieds; May 12 1955, Classifieds; March 16 1956, Classifieds; Nov 11 1958, Classifieds; 6 July 1966, “Victor Fay Wimer Service Set Friday”).