Joe wrote this little story, published in the book, "Frederick Helle & Katharine Krauser" by Alice Riley in 1985: "When I came to Smithfield bare footed and bare bottomed, up to the present (1983). One of thirteen children, ten boys and three girls. When five sons overflowed the village of Smithfield in a few short years, Dad took his growing family to the country for more space. I never knew if the move was by request or by choice. I had the usual experiences of going to a country school, a little high school and then a drop out. Then a much larger school; the school of hard work and hard knocks. We grew up with steam threshing machines and sawmills trying to keep u with many problems that are a part of life. I married a country girl, Myrtle Muriel Bolon, in 1930. I continued in sawmill and lumber business, bought a couple of farms along the way, which were mostly timbered. With ill health in the family and no children, I quit the lumber business and devoted my time to farming, which was my first love." "After the death of Myrtle, I married Henrietta Stevenson Jackson, a widow with two sons. Eventually I sold one farm, rented the other and retired to Cuba. I question retirement being a time of leisure".

Sheldon Helle: "As kids we learned early not to fib to Joe. He always knew when we were telling the truth and when we were not. We bult a fire too close to the barn ONCE!!! Joe saw the smoke. We found out that was not a very smart thing to do. I still remember his tone of voice. He educated us. Fire of any kind near the hay was forbidden. Joe told us many tall tales as we were growing up. A great story teller. A great brother."

Gail Helle: "Joe was the rock of Gibraltar, the responsible guy, a good second father, always looked after us. One time Gene as a small boy, climbed the silo. As he reached the top, Joe was coming in with a load of hay. Gene slipped and by the time he hit the ground, Joe had made it across the barnyard and was waiting for him. (O'l Gene stood up at the supper table that night!) In the dark days of the depression Joe would come on Sunday and have new overalls for us boys and dresses for Charlotte and June. I can merely say, "Thank you, Big Brother". You always stood tall in the saddle to all your kid brothers. What a great father you would have been and how happy we all are to see you enjoying sons and grandchildren, even if you did wait to get them."

On July 14, 1966, Joe deeded to Smithfield eight lots as a playground at the south side of the village in memory of his deceased wife, Myrtle. The land was developed into a ball field for the young people of Smithfield area. To show their appreciation for the gift, the citizens of Smithfield named the playground Helle Park and dedicated it on Oct 4, 1985.

Lee Helle: "Uncle Joe had the ability to see through smoke and mirrors. He was devoted to the betterment of the Helle Clan and mankind. Joe was one of the major forces behind the research, and development and printing of the Helle Genealogy."

Source: Family writings, letters and the manybooks published by the family. (Sharon Bearce)