Former nurse works at Solid Rock Cafe; Beverly Hart attended one-room schoolhouse
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Jan 14, 2014 | 937 views |  0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beverly Riessen Hart has fond memories of growing up on her family’s dairy farm in Stockton, Iowa, near Davenport. There were all kinds of animals ̶ cows, pigs, sheep, horses and chickens ̶ and corn. Lots of corn and hay.

One of Beverly’s jobs on the farm was driving the tractor to which the baler was attached, to bale hay. She also helped milk the cows and feed all the animals.

There was a lot of hard work, but there was also a lot of fun and good times. She was one of seven children.

She remembers riding horses, tagging along with her father to check fence lines and helping in the garden.

She attended a one-room schoolhouse through fifth grade and was 18 when she graduated from Davenport High School. She and some of her friends decided they wanted to be nurses. Many of them, including Beverly, went on to St. Luke’s Hospital in Davenport get a two-year degree to be a registered nurse.

“I felt like I wanted to help people,” said Beverly. “I felt encouraged by my classmates because they were going into that field as well. We thought it would be a good field to get into.”

During Beverly’s nursing career, she worked in a number of areas. Her favorite is probably recovery.

“I worked in recovery about 15 years,” she said. “There, you get to see people when they’re coming out of the anesthesia. You get to see them go onto the floor and recover.”

Beverly lived in Florida for awhile. She and her husband, who was a postal employee, decided they wanted to move a little to the north to be closer to their children. They moved Calhoun, Ga., then to Cave Spring. Beverly worked 14 years at Redmond Hospital in Rome.

She and William are retired. They moved to Piedmont from Cedar Spring because of their children and church, First Baptist.

Beverly has two children. Her daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Pierre Gillette, own the Solid Rock Café on Centre Avenue. The Gillettes have three children. Mikey Trainor is 21 and Molly Trainor is 20. Lorelei Gillette is 2 ½. Beverly’s son is Kenneth Clark. His children are Grant, 24; Paige, 20 and Faith 10. Kenneth has three step-children ̶ David, Josh and Rachel.

Bill has a daughter, Lori George, who lives in Farrell, Pa. She has four step-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild.

Beverly likes gardening, reading and baking. She says the Bible is her favorite book. She enjoys canning and freezing vegetables from her garden.

One of Beverly’s favorite things is working at the Solid Rock Café.

“I help out as needed,” she said. “I love working there. It’s like a ministry to me. I just like working with my daughter and granddaughter. I enjoy the people coming in. It’s fun, but it’s work too.”

Beverly said she learned to cook at an early age.

“It was necessary,” she said. “We had a big family, and we were always either helping outside or cooking. My mother taught all of us girls how to cook.”

Beverly said she still uses some of her mother’s recipes.

She enjoys making Iowa Chocolate Cake, Sweet Corn for Freezing, Cabbage Plate and Butternut Squash Stew.

Contact Margaret at


Iowa Chocolate Cake

¾ c. shortening
2 c. sugar
1 ½ c. boiling water
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. soda
½ c. cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla

Put shortening and sugar in mixing bowl. Pour boiling water over it. Stir to melt shortening. Sift dry ingredients and add to hot mixture. Add eggs and vanilla. Batter will be very thin. Pour into well-greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees 35-40 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan. This is my family’s favorite. No icing is necessary but extra tasty with vanilla ice cream.

Sweet Corn for Freezing

Cut corn off cob without blanching
6 c. corn
1 c. water
3 T. sugar
1 t. salt

Boil 1-2 minutes. Cool and put in containers.

Cabbage Plate

3 c. coarsely chopped cabbage
2 c. sliced carrots
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped onion
1 T. sugar
1 ½ t. salt
¼ c. salad oil
½ c. hot water

Combine vegetables. Add sugar, salt, and oil. Mix. Add water and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Butternut Squash Stew

3 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T. minced fresh rosemary
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
2 lb. stew beef
½ t. salt
½ t. black pepper
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 lb. butternut squash
¼ c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
4 c. beef broth
2 T. parsley

Heat 3 T. olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Saute about two minutes Cut stew meat in 2-inch cubes and toss with salt, pepper and flour. Turn heat to medium high and add beef to the pot. Cook beef until brown with golden edges, about 5 minutes.

Add beef broth and, using a wooden spoon, gently stir up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the butternut squash, which has been trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes. Then add tomatoes and bring all to a boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer. Cover for one hour. Sprinkle with parsley. Good with crusty bread.
Comments must be made through Facebook
No personal attacks
No name-calling
No offensive language
Comments must stay on topic
No infringement of copyrighted material

Friends to Follow

Most Recommended
Today's Events

event calendar

post a new event

Thursday, April 17, 2014