Myron "Penny" Nail
The Panhandle Educational Foundation is proud to announce the newest Distinguished Alumni. He is in fact, the oldest known alumni and is Myron "Penny" Nail of Waggoner. Mr. Nail is said by friends and relatives to have a tremendous love for life and is always looking for the positive side in things. He has always been active, both physically and mentally, overcoming the loss of loved ones and the disappointments that came his way. He is known for his tremendous devotion to the things he finds important, like his family, and is especially known for his sense of humor. Myron "Penny" Hooper Nail was born on December 3, 1901, south of Raymond. He was the second of six children born to Richard H. And Lucy M (Hooper) Nail. His siblings include three brothers, Clarence (deceased) Henry and Kenneth and two sisters, Edith and Irene (both deceased) Mr. Nail started school at Amhurst School, south of Taylor Springs in 1907. His family moved to Waggoner in 1910 and he went to school there until his junior year. Like many males in this era, he was unable to finish school because of an accident. However, in August, of 2000 he was presented with his High School diploma by the Panhandle School District Superintendent.
Early in his life Mr. Nail went to work for Roy Webb for one year, receiving $40 a month, which included room and board. He then worked as a janitor at Waggoner School for three years. While working for the school he married Bertha Bessie Bergman on August 26, 1926. In 1927 he went to work for Kessler and Son Groceries. During this time, his children were born. First son, Myron Hooper Jr., was stillborn on March 25, 1928. Daughter Wilma Kathleen was born November 23, 1929 and son Edwin Leon was born, January 15, 1993. Both children are now deceased. He worked at several different jobs, including working for the State of Illinois and at Waggoner Elevator for Joe Whitworth. He also worked for Walter Webb for a year. Mr. Nail tried to retire at the age of 61 but decided to help his brother in-law, Fred Hantla, with farming. Working for Fred lasted for the next 21 years. He finally retired and enjoyed his hobbies of refinishing furniture, caning chairs and making woodcrafts. These days his favorite activities include playing cards and getting to visit with friends. His wife, Bertha, died on August 4, 1991 at the age of 84. They were married almost 65 years. His daughter, Wilma, died on March 15, 1995 at the age of 65 and son, Edwin died December 27, 1998 and was also 65. He has three grandchildren: Kathy Nail (Kate Capshaw), David Nail and Rodney Matthews. He also has nine great-grandchildren. Mr. Nail and his wife have been involved in numerous organizations throughout his 101 years including: Member of school board; Waggoner Town Board member; Waggoner Town Auditor for over 40 years; Macoupin Creek Cemetery Board; and 4-H Leader. He is an 82 year member of the Waggoner United Methodist Church where he has served as a Board member and Treasurer.