My grandfather, the 3rd child of William S. and Rosa (Bragg) Wendell, was born into poverty and illiteracy, but also into a strong belief in family values and work ethic. His father was a tenant farmer, originally in Guernsey County, but sometime between 1900 and 1910 the family migrated north to Columbiana County, and later to Stark County. A dispute with his eighth grade teacher led to Earl dropping out, and he went to work in the tire factories in Akron to help support the family. After he was married, a frightening industrial accident in the factory led my grandmother to demand that he find an alternative (safer) means of earning a living. He bought Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, and Russell H. Conwell's Acres of Diamonds and basically memorized them.  He quit the factory and began a career in sales, beginning by selling pianos at the O'Neil's store in downtown Akron.  He learned a single keyboard flourish that he used to demonstrate a piano to prospective customers.  My mother remembers him bringing a wooden piano crate home and using it to build a playhouse for her and her brother.  Soon Earl got involved in selling insurance -- he began selling "payday" life insurance, for which the premiums had to be collected on each payday from the factory workers.  He worked his way through the ranks of salesmen and managers at the National Life & Accident Insurance Company, and finished his career as district manager in the Akron, Ohio office.  He had a lifelong love of hunting and fishing, and had marvelous stories from his youth about experiences with his brother and father, reflecting the ingenuity and perseverence of poor folks living off the land.

My maternal grandparents, Earl and Olive (Rodgers) Wendell at a Wendell reunion, about 1940.
Earl and Olive Wendell at his office's 1949 Christmas party, Akron, Ohio. He was the district manager for National Life & Accident Insurance company.
Olive and Earl Wendell at the 1950 wedding of their son, Earl Wade Wendell.
Earl and Olive with grandchildren, Christmas, 1954. Grandchildren left to right are Lindy, Mary, Donny, Dan, and Libby.
Earl "Bud" Wendell, with his grandmother Olive (Kirkendall) Rodgers, celebrating their birthdays, August 1958 at the Rodgers home in Valleyview. Yours truly can be seen peeking from behind them, along with cousin Jane Ann Busenburg.
Earl W. "Bud" Wendell
Olive R. "Oddy" Wendell
Christmas 1961 -- photo with their ten grandchildren. Taken at "Wenwood", their retirement home near Hillsboro, Ohio.
Rosa M. (Bragg) Wendell with eight of her nine living children, about 1939. Son Clovis "Butch" Wendell was not present for this photo. She had eleven babies, but Roxa and Teddy died in infancy.