It was the mid-sixties. The Kentucky Mountain Gospel Crusade Mission School had long served Puncheon under the direction of founders Byron and Jewel Moore Smith. Byron was from New York, Jewel was a local Magoffin lady.
By the time my story begins age and health issues were taking their toll on the Smiths. This is where my story begins. (For more about the Smiths read my article THE KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN GOSPEL CRUSADE at www.salyersvilleindependent.com/article/kentucky-mountain-gospel-crusade published July 11, 2014).
The Smith’s son-in-law, my uncle Garland Risner, related his first encounter with the Sigls to me. Garland lived close to the school on high ground. This gave him a commanding view of the grounds. One afternoon he noticed a strange middle-aged couple surveying the Mission and immediately went to inquire about their purpose. Harold and Mildred introduced themselves and related how after much prayer the Lord had led them to this small mission that they might serve his purpose for bringing them to Puncheon Creek.
I spent two years of my schooling under Mr. Sigl who proved to be an excellent teacher. Highly intellectual and well educated the tall robust Harold seemed ill-matched with the short frumpy rotund Mildred. As the old saying goes, little could be farther from the truth. They simply adored one another. Mildred was as much a friend and confidant as she was wife to Harold. Mr. Sigl was the product of German immigrants, Mrs. Sigls father was Dutch. Perhaps more than any other mountain area, Puncheon Creek was exposed to a broader spectrum of culture and diverse world views. The mission attracted a steady stream of outsider’s bursting at the seams with new knowledge of the outside world.
Harold Frank Sigl was born in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1919 to Peter Sigl and Eugenia Caroline (Jean) Belling. He served his country as a soldier during WW2. In 1942 he married Mildred Mary Vanzummeren in Flynt, Michigan, daughter of Henry Vanzummeren and Alice Menard. Mildred was born in 1923 in Appleton, Wisconsin. In 1955 Mr. and Mrs. Sigl lived in Peoria, Illinois where he pastored a church. In 1959 they were living in Belvidere, Illinois were he pastored another church. Harold was of the Methodist faith, Mildred was born Catholic but converted. Mr. Sigl spent his last year’s associated with the Prater Memorial Methodist Church in Salyersville, Kentucky. Harold F. Sigl born on the 21 Nov 1919 passed unto Death 1 Apr 2005 Salyersville, Magoffin, Kentucky. The light of his life had predeceased him. Mildred Sigl born on the 20 Sep 1923 transitioned unto death 10 Feb 1997. May they forever be reunited behind Pearly Gates!