In the summer of 1911, Gene was looking for the Citheronia realis (King Moth). She was "delighted to know that the rarest moth of America was native to the Limberlost." Gene's daughter found one along the road (now US 27) to Portland. A few days later, Arthur Fensler brought her a Hickory Horned Devil (King Moth caterpillar) as did Willis Glendenning.
Andrew Idlewine stopped at the Bank of Geneva to give a caterpillar to Charles for Gene. He said it was the "most forbidding insect" he had ever seen. It too was a Hickory Horned Devil and was 6" long. Andrew told Charles he did not want any money for it, only a copy of a picture if Gene photographed it.
Andrew was one of the "faithful." He was a native of Indiana and a Civil War veteran. He served with the 5th Indiana Cavalry. After the war, he married Catherine Shingledecker, and settled on a farm outside of Geneva, just west of the Westlawn Cemetery.
Gene watched Andrew's caterpillar eat hickory leaves for three days until it transformed to the pupa stage. She had three chances of them becoming the King Moth. She watched over them all winter and was rewarded with one female and two male moths! She had "reared specimens of the rarest moth in America." Andrew's was the best and the one photographed in her book.
Andrew passed away at age 87 in 1929. His obituary noted that he was "industrious and of a kind and friendly disposition."
If you want to read more of the King Moth story, it is in the Miracle Moth chapter in "Tales You Won't Believe." Gene's nature study books are perfect for summer reading.