Farmer’s Bank. I think there was something between, but I don’t know what.
Candy store, on the other side of the ally.
Karpeles Millinary Store. Mama used to take our hats in here or to Irene Ilger to be retrimmed every year.
Cahn’s Clothing Store.
Pille’s Store. Stoves, plumbing, etc.
McNulty House. This is where Bob lived before we were married.
Backhouse’s Saloon. Johnny, the son, was in Florence’s class, but he spelled his name “Baccus”.
Gray’s Livery Stable. Then there was a blacksmith at the foot of the hill on Claremont, south of Main.
Briggs and Shelly Shoe Store
Alley that runs straight through as an extension to Center Street
Kunkle and Goods Dry Goods Store. Dr. Hisey’s dental office on 2nd floor.
Bockley’s Drug Store
? Dry Goods Store. 3rd fllor was the Masonic Lodge, with entrance on Orange Street.
Several small stores. Dr. Kressinger’s dental office was over on of these. When Aunt Margaret came down from Cleveland one time, she had to have some dental work done and went to Dr. Krssinger. He always said afterwards that she came down from Cleveland to have him do it.
Miller House, later owned and run by Aunt Anna and Uncle George Hemmingway.
Keck’s Jewelry Store – where I bough my gold watch.
Louck’s Drug Store. All drug stores and both hotels sold whiskey.
Orange Street: Walleck & Frazee had their furniture and undertaking establishment on the east side of the street between Main and Third. Second Street was just an alley. On the other side of the street was the Post Office, back of the National Bank. There was a greenhouse between Third and Fourth, and from Fourth on to the railroad was the Myers factory.
Church Street: From Main Street to Second was a row of lowdown saloons on the west side. This block was called “Pious Row” on account of the saloons. Alsdolph’s was one of the worst, yet all the Alsdolph children have turned out well. There was a wide board walk along that side and the drunkards sat on tipped chairs against the 1 ½ story buildings. Alsdolphs lived upstairs.
Second to Third Street was the old stone jail, and to the left of it in the same yard was the Court House. Mr. Gates (Howard’s grandfather) was the jailer. Horne and Gribbons were two murderers who were in there, and we children used to stop on our way home from school to look at them. The scaffold was built just outside the jail, the day they were hanged we had no school and children were not allowed around the jail.
Third to Fourth Street, west side, were the Presbyterian Church of old stone and the old schoolhouse where Berta went to school. It looked like a two-room building, one story, but that is all I remember about it.
Right across from the school on the north-west corner was Dr. Clark’s office. He was the Hughes’ doctor. I remember once when Clair was a baby, he was having a hard time cutting his teeth and Berta called Dr. Clark. He looked at Clair and said he would have to score his gums. Then he started whetting his dirty pen knife on his boot, and I picked up Clair and ran off with him. They couldn’t find us, so Dr. Clark had to leave. The teeth came through by themselves.
On the south-east corner was the old Methodist Church where we used to go to church. A wide board walk led across the street. We went up steps to the auditorium. At the front of the room on the right was the “Amen Corner”. Some of the older people stat there and would yell “Amen” during the sermon. The seats went sideways to the rest of the congregation and almost up to the pulpit. Our pew was the second or third from the front. Just in front of us Mr. and Mrs. Corston sat. The whole tope of his head was bald so he left a little at the side grow long and brushed it over the top and fastened it with a hair pin. We were always watching to see if a fly would get on his bare spots.
As long as I can remember, Mrs. Sprengle was the infant teacher. My teacher was Mrs. Wardwell. At the time I was commencing to go with the boys, the girls of the crowd when to church regularly to evening services so the boys would take us home. This church later burned down.
Ashland was an incorporated town with a mayor and other officials. There was a volunteer fire department with two horse-drawn engines. Two horses were kept at the station, and they were the ones that were hitched to the pumper. When the fire-bell rang, the horses rant out of their stalls, under the harness which fell down on their backs, someone fastened the straps, and the horses went out of the station at a dead run pulling the pumper, with one man driving, and the other firing up the boiler to the pumper.
The hook-and-ladder was drawn by the first team of horses that reached the fire station after the bell rang. I think they used horses from drays, but my daughter remembers around 1914 hearing the fire-bell ring, and then seeing a moving van that had just loaded and pulled out of the yard pull up, while the drive jumped out, unharnessed the horses, jumped on one of them, and galloped to the fire station. She says teams were coming from all directions with their riders lashing them to win the race. The first driver got $2 and the honor of pulling the hook-and-ladder.
The city used to have a band wagon, with the last seat in the back up higher for the drum. It was pulled by two horses, and was used in all the parades. They had parades on all occasions and especially in the presidential years, when they always carried torches and wore capes made of oilcloth. I remember one time when Papa took part in the parade that Blain was running for president. They kept chanting “Blaine, Blaine, Blaine of Maine” while they marched – but Blaine got left anyway. I don’t know just what route the parades used, but they did go past our house.
I also remember that after electric arc lights replaced the gas ones, Charles Kettering came from his farm near Loudonville and serviced the street lights. Each day he’d have to go the rounds, lower the light, clean the two vertical carbons, and clean out the globe. Later he married Olive Williams who lived on Walnut Street. He invented the self-starter and the Delco lighting system, and later was with General Electric. When his son was married, he gave him a million dollars, and when he died he left an estate of 200 million dollars.
Papa was transferred to Marion and then to Dayton as station agent, and my only remembrance of Dayton is standing on the curb with a little bucket of candy that Papa had bought me at Johnny Jeckering’s store. I can’t remember Marion at all, and don’t know which place they moved first.
He was then transferred to Ashland as ticket agent, Erie Railroad. I was about three or four at that time. We first lived on West Walnut across from T.W. Hughes residence, which was on the corner of what is now Chestnut.
In a year or two we bought the Aiken’s house at the corner of Center and Pine (now East Liberty Street). Pine Street was named from a large pine tree we had in the corner of the front yard.
The house, as I have said before, was 1 ½ story, Cape Cod type house, with a side lattice porch. There were two bedrooms on the second floor, and a parlor, a parlor bedroom, dining room, and kitchen, and a back porch with a pantry off it, on the first floor. The cellar was entered from a sloping door from the outside, that we used as to slide down.
Berta, Edna and I slept in the one bedroom, and Mama and Papa in the other. I can remember when I first found out there wasn’t a Santa Claus. It was on Christmas Eve, and we three girls crept down and heard Mama say, “Where shall we put that?” so I knew they were doing it all. I was doubtful before, but that did it.
Shortly after Florence was born, Mama and Papa decided to remodel the house, and we moved down on West Washington Street, the first house from Center Street on the north side. It was a double house, and Karpeles lived on the other side. They had a millinery store on Main Street. They had two boys – Maurice who is a doctor in that fine Germantown suburb of Philadelphia, and Solomon. I think he studied law and became a lawyer. We used to have little picnics down at the foot of the hill where there was a spring.
The house was remodeled by McNeilly who was a carpenter, but no architect, as was customary at that time. The old house was moved back to be used for the back of the house, and a new two-story front with attic and cellar, was built on. The new part contained a reception room, a sitting room, and a front and back parlor downstairs, and three bedrooms and a hall upstairs, and a little room over the reception room that was later turned into a bathroom.
(When the bathroom was built in, the soil pipe was run down through the corner of the reception room near the front door, and often embarrassed the family when the toilet overhead was flushed when guests were arriving.)
The old parlor was turned into a dining room, the parlor bedroom was divided and half of it turned into a sewing room (later a lavatory) with floor-to-ceiling closets as a divider. The other half of the parlor bedroom and the dining room were turned into an L-shaped kitchen with a duplication of the floor-to-ceiling divider, this time in shelves where the dishes, kitchen utensils, and food were kept. The old kitchen was torn off, and an entrance to the cellar was put into the new kitchen, and the cellar was extended to go under the whole house.
At first the house was heated by coal stoves and grates in the new sitting room and parlors, and in the dining room by an open stove. A bucket of coal stood beside the stove, and provided a great temptation for Florence, who loved to eat coal. We finally got a coal furnace which was bought from a church. It was an immense thing, but it heated the whole house, upstairs and down.
The woodwork in the new part of the house was all cherry, and the long windows in the parlor went clear to the floor. There were inside shutters on all the new part of the house, up and down. There were blinds in the old part, and outside shutters, painted green. The whole house had wall paper on the walls. The parlors had a white paper with a gold design and a wide lacy gold border. The papers in the other rooms were changed more or less frequently and I don’t remember them, except one. Papa and Mama’s room was being papered in a lavender, that had some sort of a weird pattern. It didn’t have a white spot, but when you looked at the pattern it looked as though there were a white spot, with a pattern radiating out from it. It was a beautiful color, but it was the most terrible thing you ever saw, and Papa had to change it before they were quite finished putting it up.
Before the new house was built, we had a Brussels carpet in the parlor, and ingrain in the rest of the house. We used straw for the pad, as was customary, and the carpets were taken up every spring at housecleaning time, taken out in the back yard and beaten over the clothesline by Cooney Hammond, then fresh straw was put down, and the carpets stretched and tacked down. They certainly had to stretch them, too.
After the new house was built, we used newspapers for padding. The parlors had wall to wall carpet, but in the sitting room and dining room we had Brussels rugs, with green carpet filling around the outside. In the new house, the straw bed ticks were also replaced with mattresses, so it was much easier to keep the house clean.
Before the First World War, a new invention came to town which made our spring housecleaning much easier. A gasoline-driven vacuum cleaning machine as large as a truck would park at the curb, and the men would bring in a house about the size of a fire house with a cleaning nozzle on the end. This was supposed to take out all the dirt from the rugs clear down to the wooden floors without taking up the carpets, and it didn’t take long then to clean every floor in the house. The dirt was collected in big canvas bags on the machine out at the curb, and all the children for miles around gathered to compare the number of bags of dirt from each house.
When the new house was built, the oil lamps in the old house were replaced by gas burners. Originally we had a hanging lamp over the dining room table, and one in the sitting room. The gas chandeliers in the downstairs were placed in the middle of the rooms, shaped like this:
Later, when asbestos mantles came in, these were used. The mantle was very fragile, shaped like a cone and fastened at the top to a wire. We had to use a glass shade around it to protect it, as just touching it with a finger would break it.
We had lighters to light the gas. They were about three feet long, with a slit in the end to turn the key of the gas, and had a long wax taper in a hollow tube that could be pushed up as it was burned, to light the light.
We had well and cistern water piped into the kitchen, and also piped into the cellar where the family washings were done. Hot water in the cellar was heated in a wash boiler on a cook stove, and upstairs in a tea kettle. On Saturday nights, the large wash tub was brought up from the cellar to the kitchen, and water was heated on the stove for our baths. We always had fresh water for each person’s bath, but at Uncle Ezra’s, where there were so many children, there were about three children to a tub-full of water. As we were guests, we always got the first chance at it.
The washing was done in two wooden tubs with iron bands, and a washboard was used. When the tubs were emptied, the water was carried in buckets to a sink at one side of the cellar near the stairs, right under the kitchen pump. There was also a pump there from the cistern. We used yellow Lennox soap. It was awfully hard on hands, though the water was soft.
Mrs. Bryan was our “washwoman” for years, and charged 50 cents for a regular wash for four girls, Papa and Mama, and if the washing was extra large, Mama gave her 60 cents. Needless to say we didn’t put on clean outfits each day. The irons were called “flat irons” and were heated on top of the stove. The handles were also iron and were hot, so we used hot pads to hold them, but our hands were almost cooked. Mama had three irons – two about 7# apiece, and one small one about 3#. The ironing board was similar in shape to the ones now, but had no legs, and we put one end on the kitchen table, and the small one on the high chair or the back of a kitchen chair.
You couldn’t buy ready-made clothes, so all had to be made, except man’s suits which were tailor-made. Mama made many of our clothes, with lots of tucks, ruffles, and lace trimmings, and they were rally beautiful. Our very best thick dresses of wool were made by a “sewing woman”. Mama had a Howe sewing machine, and when the sewing woman came she would use it too. The woman would come to McDowel’s first and “sew them up”, then go to Frazee’s, and then come to our house. She usually spent at least a week in each place. She came from Reedsburg, was a widow, and well enough off so she didn’t have to work, but she liked to get away from home for awhile. She received $1 a day, and her keep.
It was a job keeping the house clean. We had a carpet sweeper, but most of the cleaning was done by broom. There were no paved streets, and the dust used to lie thick over everything. We used to sprinkle something damp around when we swept, to hold the dust, but I don’t remember what it was.
Another difficulty we had was with flies. We had just one screen door – on the side porch from the dining room, and we used to shoo the flies out with newspapers just before eating, and then close the screen. Even then, we took turns shooing the flies while we were eating. We used a stick a little over two feet long with about an eight or ten inch fringe of newspaper covering have the stick – swinging it slowly back and forth over the table. When we set the table, we put the knives and forks at our places with the plates turned over on top of them. The spoons were bowl-down in a glass spoon-holder. We always used linen napkins and tablecloths, and, of course, silver napkin rings. All the hot dishes were tureens, covered, with the exception of the roasts, which I don’t remember being covered.
We usually had breakfast around seven o’clock, and dinner at noon. The whistles blew at 7, noon, and 5, everything was timed for the whistles. We had supper about six o’clock.
One dish we particularly liked was “prepared crackers”. Oyster crackers were covered with boiling water, and then sweetened with sugar, and a lot of nutmeg sprinkled on. We used milk over them. Another mainstay was cornmeal mush, which Mama made in the black iron kettle, stirred with a stick used for that purpose. She would have the water boiling, and then sprinkle the mush in slowly, stirring constantly, until the whole kettle was full of mush. We used to eat it hot in milk, and after our bowl of milk was gone, we put mush on our plates, dotted it with butter, and poured on syrup. What mush was left was cooled in crocks, and sliced and fried in butter for breakfast.
Another great favorite of ours was veal steak, which was about 25 cents a pound. Mama used to fry it in butter, and we would have it with gravy and mashed potatoes. We also used to take fried veal in our shoe-box lunches when we went by train to Urbana. It only took four hours, but we began to eat as soon as we got on the train.
At that time, eggs were 10 cents a dozen, and chickens were 25 cents apiece regardless of size. Mama bought her bread for 10 cents a loaf, and oyster crackers were three pounds for a quarter.
We had a garden at the back of the yard where we raised tomatoes, onions, leaf lettuce and sometimes string beans and radishes. Papa always had sweet peas and lots of roses, and peonies. We had five kinds of fruit trees – Marilla cherries, sour; early May cherries which weren’t quite so sour, plums, crabapples, and Baldwin apples. We had to can all our fruit, because of course you couldn’t buy canned fruit.
There was a fruit cellar with stone shelves partitioned off from the main cellar, and there we kept all the canned fruits, the pickles, the bushels of apples and potatoes. The jellies and jams were kept in the top shelf in the big kitchen cupboard.
Papa was the first one in the neighborhood to have a telephone, when electricity finally came to town, and then we were bothered by people calling up and asking us to call Gates’, Frazee’s, or other neighbors to the phone.
Before water works came to Ashland, we had a “Chic Sale” or privy, as we called it, about halfway back in the yard, with a board walk leading to it. It was a cold place to go on winter nights. We also had “slop jars” and “chambers” for use in our bedrooms.
In the kitchen we first had a coal stove, then we used wood in it, then we used oil. You had to turn the oil on into a kind of pan and light it, then when the oil was heated, you turned the burner on, and it was almost like gas. Once I turned the gas on and it didn’t light, so I struck a match and the thing blew up in my face and burned my eyebrows off and singed my eyelashes, but my glasses saved my eyes. My face was as red as a beet all over. That night I was to attend Cora Mowrey’s wedding to Will Balch. Edna thought she’d fix me up with penciled eyebrows, but I looked like a fright with them, so had to wash them off and go without. Papa bought a regular gas stove soon after.
We had an organ in the old house, and Berta took lessons on it, and when she moved to Creston she took the organ with her. After she left, we bought a big rosewood square piano from Roseberry’s. I don’t remember the make, but it was a very fine one. I took lessons on it from Professor Shilling. His father, who was a fine musician, also taught. Professor Shilling told us how he used to annoy his father when he was a young man. When he came in late, he would play a piece on the piano, all but the last note, then he would go to bed. His father would stand it as long as he could, then he would have to come downstairs and play that note before he could go back to sleep. I can just see how annoyed he would be.
The closets in the bedrooms weren’t large, just square places cut out of the corner of the room. But the other closets were big, and well used. The one in the dining room ran the whole length of the sitting room, and under the stairs in the reception room. It was a little wider than the door, and there were hooks along one side where we used to hang almost everything. We also kept the ironing board, the carpet sweeper, the sugar bucket, the rag bags and all that sort of thing there.
There was also a long closet in the “middle room” upstairs, which ran the length of the room under the eaves. We kept Mama’s chest in there, and some odds and ends. It was completely dark, and Clair was terrified of it and always called it the “pig closet”. I don’t know why.
We always saved our large flour sacks to hold rags of all kinds, and scraps of materials, as the rag man came around once a year which was a great occasion. He had a horse-drawn wagon covered with a wooden top, with sides that raised and a spring scale hanging on the back. He would weigh the bags of rags, and then they were exchanged for their value in tinware, stone china or glass. When he raised the side of the wagon, we would see the most wonderful things in tinware (no aluminum then), stone china dishes, and heavy glassware such as goblets, spoon holders, and cream pitchers. We would look forward for a whole year to the rag man’s coming.
Then there was the man who came around selling books before Christmas. He would carry these stiff-backed children’s books, and if he got to a home about mealtime, he would give them a book for a meal. I remember one year Mama bought me “Apples of Gold”, and Edna an animal book. I really don’t think she paid more than a quarter or 50 cents, and she gave him a meal for one book.
The Dunkard College, now Ashland College, had an annual meeting once, and so many came that everybody had to take them in. Mama filled ticks with straw and put them on the floor in the parlors and different rooms, and rented them for 25 cents a night. The principal subject of the meeting was “Hats or Bonnets”. The Progressives wanted hats, and the old-timers wanted to retain their bonnets and the men their frock coats, fastened shut by hooks and eyes instead of buttons. The Progressives won and took over the running of the college. I don’t know what the others did. The meals were all furnished on the college grounds under big tents. The downstairs bedroom was rented by three young women, evidently progressives, because they left lipstick on the towels, the first time I had ever seen lipstick.
School and Vacation Days
I started to school at six in the Walnut Street School. It was a little two-room brick building, one room down and one up. It had a wooden banister and nearly all the children slid down when they came from the upper room. My first grade teacher was Miss Caroline Bender (Callie). Berta and Edna had both had her, and years later my daughter Florence had her in the first grade at a much enlarged Walnut Street School. When I was upstairs in the second grade, my sister Florence was born. I haven’t the least idea who my teacher was.
Then we went to the Central building, between Church and Cottage Streets, the present location of Ashland High School. I went to four grades on the first floor (3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th), then the A and B Grammar Grades on the second floor. The High School was also on the second floor in the big room. I went three years there, and the last year I went to St. Mary’s of the Springs, near Columbus.
The first room in the build was the 3rd grade. I don’t remember the teacher’s name, but she was always standing us in the corner. One day, when I was in one of the front corners, the superintendent came in. I felt terrible. Belle Finkle had the 4th grade, I don’t remember the 5th grade teacher, and the 6th grade teacher was Emma Stuntz, who was a favorite of ours. She later married John Myers, who lived in the big house just north of the railroad, and the mother of Ted and Marguerite.
The 7th grade teacher was Rosie Humphrey, and Maria Curtis was the 8th. She used to teach us physiology by bringing a big wooden bucket with livers, kidneys, etc., in it, that she got from the butcher. One day she was talking about diseases, and she said some people pronounced it p-pneumonia, and we were very much embarrassed before the boys. While in the room, our old crowd was formed. There was Rena Myers (Kegey), Emma Myers (Beer), Maggie Shearer (Edwards), Cora Mowrey (Balch), Jennie Pierson (Moore), Hattie Alberson (Rudy), Kate Roller (Pancoast), and yours truly, Mary Brinton (Tubbs). The boys were Tull Kagey, Asa Grindle, Charlie Beer, John McDowell, Will Ridgley, Austin Hisey, Frank Heltman, and I don’t remember.
We went into High School, and the professor there was Prof. Joseph Stubbs, who later was president of Baldwin University of Berea. Our teachers were Belle Osborne and Lettie J. Poe.
When Florence’s crowd formed in Grammar School, it included Kit Weist, Eva Shinn, Ally Reep, Minnie Freer, Taff Moore, Kate Myers, Bess Cole, Lola Secrist, Guy Kinnamon, George Beer, Perce McDowell, Clugston,
When Florence graduated from High School, Taff Moore told her how many presents she had, and added gleefully, “and I haven’t heard from New York yet.”
We used to have bobsled parties and went to Hayesville for oyster suppers. The bobsleds were Milburn wagon bodies on runners instead of wheels, and drawn by a team of horses. There was a thick layer of straw in the bottom for warmth, and we leaned against the sides of the bobsled and covered our laps with the blankets. The harness of the horses had lots of bells, and we would sing, and if it was quite cold the runners of the bobsled would squeak on the slippery packed snow. Hayesville was eight miles away, and sometimes we went a little farther to Jeromeville or Mifflin. It took about two hours, one way. Sometimes it would snow quite hard, and that was all the more fun.
Another winter sport we enjoyed was skating on McIlvane’s pond. We had steel skates to strap on our shoes. Some of the boys had wooden skates with steel blades that had straps over the toe but screwed into the shoe heel.
There was a roller-skating rink off Main Street at the west end, and we used to go skating there after school. I remember playing crack-the-whip on roller skates, and it always seemed to me that they put me towards toe end because I was a poorer skater, and I would go flying. I don’t remember anyone getting hurt though.
I went to dancing school with Louis Cahn, one of my classmates at school. He has since become a prominent lawyer in Chicago. Papa didn’t want me to go to dances, but he finally consented and I went for one year. The teacher was Prof. Schuler from Mansfield. Later there was a revival meeting at the church, and they said that anyone who danced would be put out of the church unless they signed a pledge that they wouldn’t dance any more. Jennie Pierson of our crowd and quite a number of others signed. Then they found that they would be putting most of the young people out of the church so they just dropped it, but Jennie stuck to it and didn’t dance.
The big dance of the year was the Masonic Ball, in the Mason hall. They had supper and dancing. They always had a Fireman’s Ball, too, in the Fireman’s Hall, which was the ballroom on the third floor of the Opera House. One time when we were at the Masonic Ball, Papa had taken us all, and Florence was about six. We were coming down from the ballroom, which was on the third floor, and Florence fell all the way down one flight of stairs. She bent her arm – they called it a “green bend”, and she had to wear splints on it.
In vacation we went to Urbana to visit Aunt Mary, and into the country to visit Aunt Lucretia. Papa, working for the railroad, always got passes. Aunt Mary’s house was just an ordinary city house, but we always looked forward to going out in the country so we could ride horseback and try to milk he cows.
Aunt Lucretia’s house was different. It had a large living room in front, and also a bedroom. We slept upstairs. There was a long room with two full beds in it, foot to foot. There was one room up at the end of the hall, sort of a play room, but there were so many wasps in there that we always steered clear of it. The cellar had cupboards built over a cement trough, and water ran through from a spring in the orchard, keeping the contents of the cupboards always coo. There was also a tank at one end of the cupboards where they washed the milk utensils.
The side yard sloped down quite a great deal to a spring house at the foot of a hill. It had a large room with a cement trough containing a spring at one side where they set the cream cans. The water ran through the trough, and out into the watering troughs outside, for the horses. Over the spring house was the shop where they did all the mending of farm equipment.
When Aunt Lucretia’s girls milked, they always wore gloves made out of stockings to protect their hands, and when they worked outside they wore those gloves and sunbonnets, to avoid being tanned. They wanted to look as nice as the town cousins. These girl cousins all worked their way through college by teaching country school.
One year when Florence was very small, Papa and mama went West for a trip, leaving Florence and Edna at Aunt Lucretia’s, me at Aunt Mary’s and Berta boarded at Heltman’s and went to school. Florence was very fond of cookies, and though Aunt Lucretia usually had them on hand, she evidently wasn’t as generous with them as Florence could wish, and one day she told her aunt wistfully, “Aunt Lucusha, Mama has cookies evewy meal at home.”
It was at Aunt Lucretia’s that I learned to say the alphabet backward, when I was small, and I can still do it. Emma used to play the organ, and Maggie and I used to sing. I sang alto. One day there was a cousin, Myrtle Hackett, who came to spend the day. She had quite a pretty voice, and sang a hymn as a solo. Then Emma, Maggie and I were to follow with our song. We sang, “Work, for the Night is Coming”, and to our disgust she joined in.
We used to walk over to Uncle Haines Linvall’s farm for the day. Mama’s relatives who lived out there were Quakers, and Mama was a Quaker for six months before she was married. After marriage she joined the Methodist Church with Papa. We had a great uncle, Joseph Townsend, who lived on a farm in Champaign County. He was called a Quaker preacher, and we used to go to his church once in a while. Everybody would sit perfectly silent until the Spirit moved them, then would get up, say a few words, and sit down. Of course, we girls would get the giggles. The services would last most of the day. Emma and Maggie and I used to correspond, and we always used the Friends’ language – thee and thou. For instance, they would say, “Is thee well?” We did this for years.
At home, Annabel Damp, Carrie Frazee and I used to play together. Annabel lived across Pine Street and Carrie lived across Center Street. We used to play hide-go-seek, and jacks. We had regular jacks, but no ball, so we had to throw one of the gacks up and catch it. We also used to jump rope, and roll hoops. We would make kites out of newspaper, and fly them in the fields. And of course, we used to play with dolls and make dresses for them. Our dolls were 5 cent ones, about four or five inches high, with stiff arms and legs. I don’t remember ever having a large doll, but Berta had a “dollar” doll, with china head and hands, and the rest of it stuffed with sawdust. It was about fifteen inches high, and she used to make clothes for it. We never played with it, though.
Ike Saner used to drive the hurdig, an omnibus which was the only thing going between the railroad station and town. There were no taxis at that time. He was a great lover of children, and each year he had a picnic for all the children in Ashland at Sampsell’s Grove, about a mile from town. Everybody called it Ike Saner’s picnic, though it was really a town picnic, with everyone bringing food and putting it all together on the tables. Of course the mothers went along to help with the meal and help look after the children. There were games after the dinner – races, catch, and that sort of thing. The men weren’t there, as this was during the week. It was one of the year’s highlights.
Papa sold the lot between our house and Cowan’s and Rev. and Mrs. Roseberry built a house on it. Phronie, their daughter who was about twenty, was insane, but was kept at home. She didn’t like Mama, so Mama never went over except at night, just to inquire. Phronie would say the nest day, “Mrs. Brinton was over last night to see how I was”, but they never knew how she would know. She was quite destructive, and they had to watch her closely. I remember she used to wear a bright red mother hubbard wrapper. She was finally taken to Massilon Hospital, and died there.
After Roseberrys moved, Rev. Mather lived there. He was so strict that he wouldn’t buy a Sunday paper, but he always came over and read ours. He walked a little sideways. He had one of the sweetest wives I ever saw, and a daughter Mary who taught school in Galion. I wrote to her for years.
There was a girl in High School, Alice Reynolds, whose father was editor of the Times. He was later killed by Cal Mason’s brother over a law suit. Alice went to St. Mary’s of the Springs, and told Papa about the art courses there, as they specialized in painting. After Edna graduated from High School, Papa sent her there for three years. I went with Edna her last year, after I finished the Junior year in High School.
It was Edna’s last year and she was taking the regular course, and painting. Sister Catherine was a very fine artist, and Edna took china, pastel, crayon, water color, oil, and painting on velvet. She go the gold metal for painting. After she graduated, she went back for two summers and took extra painting lessons.
I just had the regular course – shorthand, typing, church history, history, chemistry, astronomy, physics, geology, and literature. I was the worst in the class, but I got a silver medal as the best of the first-year students. I think now that it was probably to persuade me to come back the next year.
We slept in dormitories divided into individual rooms by muslin curtains on wires. Each room had a bed, wash stand, chair and rug. Our clothes were kept upstairs in a clothes room that Miss Jane and Miss Mary took care of. They weren’t sisters, but they were very old, very fat women who had been there for years.
Once a week, I think Wednesday, our clothes that needed mending were sent down and put on our desks in the study room. We had to mend them, then they were inspected by Sister Gregory, who had charge of the girls, and returned to the clothes room. I had never darned a stocking before, so Sister Gregory loaned me on of hers to practice with. I stitched clear around the hole, then darned across the stitching with the result that there was a ridge all around the hole. Sister Gregory taught me how to darn it right, then.
We didn’t have uniforms, we wore dark clothes – not washable. Of course there were no dry cleaners either. We had to have a black dress for Sunday, but I don’t remember what else. They used to send down clean underwear for us once a week. We bathed in our washbowls in our rooms.
Of course we had no inside plumbing, so we had an outhouse called the “Ginz”, a round “eight-holer” with partitions between. There was a covered walk leading out to it, enclosed with latticework to within two feet of the roof. Later a second-floor outhouse was built adjoing the dormitory, just a “one-holer”. I remember there was always a cold breeze blowing up from the two story shaft, and I was terrified to go in there for fear the whole edifice would collapse with me.
One night some of the girls were making candy, and put it out on the porch to cool. Mary Snider of Zanesville, who had been there for several years and was a good Catholic, suggested to me that we go over the lattice to see if we could get some of the candy. We squeezed through the two-foot gap, and had just touched the candy, but hadn’t gotten any, when we heard someone coming. We managed to get over the lattice without getting caught, but I had whitewash all over the front of my dress, so Sister Gregory and the other girls suspected me. Mary and I could both say truthfully that we hadn’t had any candy, so later that night after we went to bed, Sister Gregory brought us a special treat. The food at the school was always very good, though.
I had two favorite sisters – Sister Mary Ambrose, and Sister Winifrede. Sister Mary Ambrose taught shorthand, typing, and literature, and Sister Winifrede taught the sciences. Sister Winifrede was in her twenties, and she came to the convent when both her parents died, mostly because she was lonely. She had some property, but of course it all had to be turned over to the convent.
My eyes were giving me a lot of trouble. When I first went there, I was wearing gold pinz-nez glasses with a gold chain that fastened to my dress. I went to Dr. Clark in Columbus, which was about three miles from Shepherd Station where St. Mary’s of the Springs was located, and he had me wear regular glasses with gold rims and ear pieces. But my eyes were so bad I couldn’t go back to school there next year.
The year after I left St. Mary’s was the year of the Columbian Exposition at Chicago. I think this was the first of the world fairs. It was called “The White City”, as all the exposition buildings were pure white, and terrible on the eyes.
I had been helping Papa in the office with reports and selling tickets, so when he, Mama and Berta went to Chicago, I took over with the help of Joe Matthews, Papa’s night man. I even sold coupon tickets, and only refused to make out a coupon ticket when a man came running in while the train was standing there. I didn’t have time to look up rates and kind of coupons.
Coupon tickets were the forerunner of the travel bureau. I would sell a ticket to, say, Seattle, and the ticket which would be about two feet long, would have all the transportation covered, in order, on perhaps as man as six railroads. The return trip would be in reverse. This just covered the ordinary railroad car. Papa had a great high case, and the tickets were hung on spikes inside the case, and included every possible rout to any place in America, starting in Ashland.
After Papa, Mama and Berta returned, Edna and I went to Chicago, and we stayed about a week. We spent a great deal of our time in the art gallery, which was wonderful. We also went to the “Midway Pleasance”, where the first big Ferris Wheel in the United States was located. I think we paid 50 cents apiece to go on it! I don’t remember anything else about the exposition, but I know we didn’t miss much.
Edna taught painting for several years after leaving school, and then she went to New York for more advanced instruction. Aunt Margaret, Mama’s youngest sister, had married Robert George and moved to Bellevue, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Allegheny, across the river from Pittsburg. Edna moved there on account of Uncle George’s failing health, both mental and physical, and she had a class in painting made up of Pittsburg painting teachers, and she also had many private pupils. Addison McKean’s mother was one of her pupils, and that’s how she met him.
Berta and Charles moved to Creston after Clair was born, and Charles was the station agent of the Erie and Wheeling Lake Erie Railroads. I went to Hamel Business College on Howard Street in Akron, commuting to Creston by train. I stayed with Berta and Charles, and while there I helped Charles with freight reports.
At Charles’ insistence, I sent in an application to F.J. Stout, Superintendent of Wheeling, Lake Erie Railroad, and was hired as a stenographer. I was first in the Car Accountant’s office in Massillon, then went to the superintendent’s office in the same town.
Shortly after that, Robert Blickensderfer was made general superintendent with the W & LE, with office in Toledo. One day, while in Massillon, R.B. told Mr. Stout that he wanted me in Toledo, so I went up there. I lived first with Charles’ sister Harriet Neal, on Erie Street, across the road from the court house. Then when Charles was made agent at Toledo, I roomed with them on 10th Street.
C.C. Needham was Claim Agent, and I helped with his personal injury reports and took dictation from RB for his personal business, such as his 1500 acre farm in Lebanon County, Missouri. Katharine Van Ness became his business secretary, and we were the greatest of friends. James P. Stark was chief clerk.
When I first moved to Toledo, our offices were in the Spitzer Building at the corner of Huron and Madison, on the fourth floor. At this time Willys-Overland was testing their first engines for cars. They would put an engine on a chassis and drive it around town. We could hear it coming a block or two away, and we would rush to the windows to see the “horseless carriage” coming down Madison. It was quite a curiosity, but it wasn’t long before the Willys Overland Company was really in business making cars.
RB was a widower and marries a very nice woman. I think her name was Josephine. We were very good friends. When the St. Louis Exposition was on RB took me to St. Louis with Mrs. RB, Mr. and Mrs. Stark, and Mrs. Stark’s young brother, in the 01 (his private car). Car 01 was parked on a private siding just outside the exposition grounds, so we ate most meals and slept in the car. RB, Mrs. RB and I had a lot of fun together; part of the time he would go alone, and his wife and I would go out together. The Starks went alone, since Mrs. Stark’s brother was quite a handful.
I never was fast at shorthand, and Mr. Blickensderfer had had a slight stroke which affected one side of his face, and then he would put a cigar in the good side of his mouth, and then dictate. He would start dictating the minute I came into the room, and I had to write shorthand holding my tablet, until I could find a chance to sit down. I used to sweat blood trying to read my notes, but he was always very kind and considerate when I would ask him about them.
However, I was finally in such a nervous condition that he sent me with Florence to his farm near Oakland, Missouri, for a rest. Actually he took us out there with his family in the private car, and then left Florence and me there for about eight months.
RB’s house on the farm was called “The Mansion” because it was the largest house in that part of the country. It was painted red, and had six immense bedrooms with high ceilings. The house gave an appearance of being square, but the middle section had two indented porches, one on each side. It also had a big porch part way across the front, the other part being taken up by a bay window in the front of the library.
The library had a high wainscoting of solid black walnut, a big fireplace, and across the back of the room were bookshelves to the ceiling with cabinets below. Off the end of the room was a small room which was supposed to be on the line of latitude. RB’s father was an astronomer, and he had equipment there. On the third floor was an observatory with a moving tower and telescope, or at least there has been. The equipment was all gone when we were there.
Each room downstairs had woodwork of a different wood – one was white walnut, another was a red wood, etc., and each room had a big fireplace. There was no furnace. The wide hall was all in black walnut wainscoting, and went clear through the center of the house. The stairs went clear to the third floor with big black walnut banisters. All this wood for the house was shipped in from California, we were told.
The white walnut room was the one we used for sewing; the dining room was an immense room back of that. There were two kitchens, but we used the big kitchen between those two porches, and the help ate right with us in the regular dining room.
There were about five acres in the yard and the barnyard, and in summer it was just covered with violets, which were different from any I had ever seen, with the two dark upper petals and the five lighter lower ones, and a yellow center. They had no scent. Some were all the lighter shade, but they were all much larger than we had in Ohio. There was a pond near the barn that we swept off in winter and skated on.
The ones who lived at The Mansion were John Berger, the hired man, Kitty Litzenburg, the hired girl, Joe Fox, a farm hand, Joe Tietze, RB’s nephew, who was also a farm hand. RB had his hand right on it all the time; I kept track of the finances, and Mr. Mumford, RB’s son-in-law who was a storekeeper and postmaster in Oakland, sort of kept an eye on things.
Mr. Mumford was also superintendent of the Moravian Church at Oakland. He and Mary, his wife, had three small children – a daughter Mary who was about five or six, and two boys whom I don’t remember. The church was half a mile from The Mansion, and we walked across lots and over a stile to shorten the distance. There were many poor people with large families, and it was said that if a mother had only enough material for half a dress or suit, she made the front of one material and the back of another, as “you can’t see him comin’ an’ goin’ at the same time.”
At harvest time, we had to feed twenty to thirty harvest hands, and Kitty Litzenburg’s mother and Emma Fox helped out. That year I made up my mind I was going to give those harvest hands a treat and mentioned apple dumplings. Everyone but Emma, Florence and me was opposed, so the three of us made them, and you should have seen those men eat! It was something unusual for harvest hands to get anything like that. For the harvest we bought our bread in Lebanon, but ordinarily Kitty made it.
A short time after we came, Emma Sears, the daughter of RB’s doctor in Cleveland, who was not too strong, came out to live at the farm as a paying guest. She had a very good voice.
When the wild plums got ripe, Louis Tietze brought us a large basket of them. He said they made grand jelly, so not knowing anything about how to make jelly, Florence and I made it. We cooked, and cooked, and cooked it; it seemed that it would never get thick. Then we put it in quarts and pint cants. When it got cold, you couldn’t cut it out with a knife, you couldn’t dig it out with a spoon. We managed to out a little bite to taste it, and though you couldn’t chew it, you could suck it, and it tasted good. You couldn’t even soak it out of the cans – and when we left it was still there.
At Christmas time, we decided to make a nice Christmas for the church, the Mumfords and us. We made stockings out of red mosquito netting and filled them with hard candy, apples, and it seems to me we had a popcorn ball in them. A stocking was given to every child in the church, and it was wonderful how the families grew suddenly. We had an entertainment, songs, etc., and I know the church was well filled.
When we went down to Lebanon to buy Christmas supplies, we started before daylight in Milburn wagon, sitting on chairs in the back of the wagon. The mud came up to the axles, and the horses had to walk the entire distance. We passed a herd of angora goats just as the sun was coming up, and their soft hair shown just like haloes.
Mama and Papa sent us Christmas presents ahead of time, but told us not to open them until Christmas. We opened the big box, but didn’t’ take out anything and each day Florence would sniff it and say, “I smell a diamond necklace.” I think this was the first Christmas we had been away from home. RB, his wife, son, and daughter, and Katherine Van Ness came out in the private car to spend Christmas with us.
One time we were going on a picnic in the Milburn wagon with the high sides and the chairs in the back and were going across the Osage fork of the Gasconade River. John Berger was driving the two horses. We inquired of a man who was leaning on a gate near the river where the ford was. He said “Just bear upstream right smart, then angle down around the pint, and you’ll git thar all right.” However we missed the ford, and the water came into the bed of the wagon. John Berger told us to hold on tight, because if we fell out he couldn’t have saved us – the current was too strong. He turned around in the middle of the river and went back again, and we finally found the ford. We crossed the Osage fork to the island. There were big sycamore trees, dead, leaning over the water. Violets were blooming all over the island, and big land turtles roaming all over and out on the fallen trees over the water.
All of the people in the house except Emma Sears knew what “snipe hunting” was, so we decided to have a snipe hunt. As she was quite delicate, I stayed with her. When you go snipe hunting, the one who is to catch the snipe has a bag with a stick holding it open, and a string to the stick to pull it away and let the bag close. The other people were supposed to go in circles around the “trap” yelling to scare the snipe in. They got farther and farther away until finally we couldn’t hear them any more. (Actually they just went home). The snipe seemed to be scarce in the woods, naturally, but Emma was bound we were going to stay to catch one. Of course I knew the joke, and I was getting tired, but Emma didn’t want to go. Finally we saw several big buggies coming up the road near the woods, and I said we ought to go because people might come into the woods. She didn’t want to, but I just said I was going home, so she came too. We found all the people waiting for us at the big gate, and she took it very good naturedly.
Papa had taught Florence and me to shoot a revolver in the cellar of our house in Ashland, so we went to Missouri armed with his.22 Smith and Wesson. We used to practice target shooting out by the barn, and we got so we could hit the side of the barn. One night everyone except Florence and me had gone to the church, and some boys in the neighborhood thought they would frighten us. We heard them walk up the steps to the side porch. We turned the lights out and stood in the hall facing the window that was at the end of the porch, and I had the gun in my hand. I could hardly hold it. I shook so, and Florence was just as bad. I can see us shake yet. We made up our minds that if they got in the door we would shoot. We stood there for what seemed like hours before the rest of the people came home. Well, they didn’t get in , but if they had we would have shot them.
There was a young girl and her brother – I think their name was Light – who lived several miles away, but used to come once in a while to see us. They had a good-sized farm, and were in quite good circumstances. The girl said one day that they would soon be able to eat eggs again because they had gone down to 10 cents a dozen.
The Fox family used bacon fryings on their bread instead of butter. We made butter and took it to Lebanon and traded it for groceries. Everyone ate lots of yams, which were very big, but there was one yam that was so big it wouldn’t go into a milking bucket.
After we left the farm, Florence went back to Ashland, and I went back to work again in the Toledo office, but I did the clerical work for the clam agent as well as some of RB’s secretarial work.
After four years in Toledo, the offices were moved to Cleveland, where they stayed for five years. While there, the railroad bought the CC & S (Cleveland, Cochocton, & Southern). Katherine Van Ness and I roomed down on Huron Street for awhile, then I roomed with Uncle Linvill Pennington on Euclid Avenue for a year.
Then Katherine and I went to live at Dr. L. B. Snow’s house. Dr. Snow had worked for Uncle Linvill when he was a young man, then went into medical college. He became a very fine physician. We always called his wife “Aunt Ella” though she was no relation.
While I was at Uncle Linvill’s house, I received a letter from Sister Winifrede, who had been one of my teachers at St. Mary’s. One of her parents was Catholic and one Protestant, and they had died when she was young and left her with no relatives, so far as she knew. At any rate, she asked me to help her get out of the convent. She and a young priest had fallen in love, and they were both planning to leave and be married. She had nothing, so I bought her a complete outfit and went down to Ironton or where it was whe had been transferred to, prepared to bring her back. Uncle Linvill said she could stay there until she got a position. When I got there, she and the priest had decided to try it a little longer. I heard nothing more from Sister Winifrede then until after I was married and Florence was born, when I received a second letter asking for help. I wrote and told her that now I was married and had a family, and could do nothing more for her. I had give her her chance. Some years later I heard that she had died.
After some months I went to Dennison’s. This was a rooming house, and they had two sons and a daughter. One of the sons went with Katherine. One year while we were there, a bunch of us went out to Euclid Beach and camped in three tents – a tent for the girls, one for the boys, and another tent for the colored cook. The ones that were there were Ed White, Dodge Dennison and his brother, Katherine Van Ness, Dol Dennison, Florence and I. One night there was a terrible storm, and it blew the tent down flat – the cook’s tent – so she had to come in and sleep in our tent. We had a raft out in front that we dived off of. I couldn’t swim a stroke. They would help me out, and I would dive off, then someone would catch me when I came up.
Then the Wabash Railroad bought the Wheeling Lake Erie, and the CC & S, and the Wabash built the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal, which took the line into Allegheny, which was right across the river from Pittsburgh. They built an office building about one block from the Allegheny River, and the Monongahela River was about a block behind. The tracks for passenger trains came in on the second floor of the building.
I lived with Aunt Margaret George, Uncle Robert, and Edna in Bellevue. I was there about a year until I cam home to be married. Edna was teaching painting – water colors, oils, pastels, china, and all kinds of painting. I took some lessons in china painting from her, and was painting the dinner set, the light green set with the pink roases, for my own use after I was married. I also helped put the past on the serving plates and a few cups and saucers for the afternoon tea set, but we got only part of this set finished. Everything I painted she had to fix up, but I enjoyed it.
Ida Gove from the Auditor’s Office, who lived with Aunt Margaret too, was taking private lessons from Edna. She painted a dinner set, at least a good many pieces of it, and said it was one of her choice possessions. Martha Hagen from Wheeling roomed with Ida, and Edna and I shared a room. Katherine Van Ness had married one of the men from the Auditor’s Office in Cleveland, and had moved to Colorado Springs.
Uncle Robert had failed increasingly, and the last few months I was there he had a male nurse. Before that, Edna sometimes had to help out with home when he got obstreperous and Aunt Margaret couldn’t handle him. Sometimes he would say plaintively “Edney, you’re so mean to me,” after she had scolded him. He was childish, and thought everyone was against him.
Romance and Wedding
I met Bob around 1896, when he was working for F. E. Myers & Bros. in the book keeping department. He had come to Ashland to go to school, but I don’t know whether or not he ever did go, as I knew when he was working there, before I went away to business school.
When I cam home for a weekend or for vacation, I used to see him. He ran around with our bunch – Edna (Mrs. Addison G. McKean), Nora Hisey and Rose Marsh (who never married), Rene Myers (Mrs. Tull Kegey), Em Myers (Mrs. Charlie Beer), Kate Roller (Mrs. Duff Pancoast), Ethel Hanford (Mrs. J. R. Garver), Cora Mowrey (Mrs. Will Balch), Hattie Alberson (Mrs. Vinton Rudy), Jennie Pearson (Mrs. Will Moore), Grace Reaser (Mrs. Frank Heltman), Maggie Shearer (Mrs. Milt Edwards), and the boys, Tull Kegey, Ace Grindle, Charlie Beer, John McDowell, Frank Heltman, Will Ridgley, Austin Hisey, and several more I can’t remember.
We used to go to dances in the Fireman’s Hall, and Bob and I used to lead the grand march at the dances. He was a favorite with all the girls, and one of the best dancers.
Bob and I used to play cribbage too, it was a very popular game then. Of course there were no movies to go to. One evening Bob was coming to the house, and since Belle Osborne had given me a recipe for a jelly cake that she said was very good, I thought I would make it for him though I hadn’t had much chance to learn to bake. For the jelly, which was to be mixed in with the cake batter, I used elderberry jelly. The cake rose and browed beautifully, and I frosted it white. After Bob arrived, I cut the cake, and to my amazement, it was green! Of course, with the blue jelly and the yellow cake batter I should have known. He was too polite to refuse it, but in spite of the color it tasted good.
I had joined the Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh while I was working there. The minister was a millionaire who had married Miss McLaughlin, the daughter of a steel magnate, and turned all his salary back to the church. I called on him before I joined, to talk to him, and said that if they were opposed to dancing I wouldn’t join. But he assured me that they weren’t. When I joined, he simply asked us to stand up in our pews, and afterwards several of the ladies around me welcomed me and invited me to occupy their pews.
That was quite different from the downtown Methodist Church in Toledo where Stella Hughes and I joined when I was working there. We had to come forward, and there was a big row of people joining. The minister asked the congregation to come forward and welcome us after the service, but not a soul came. Stella and I never went back, but I attended a new Methodist Church out farther where the minister was quite progressive. At that time the ladies wore large hats, and the minister asked the ladies to please remove their hats. All did, except one. He told her it was a beautiful hat, but to please remove it, which she did. I’ll bet she never went back.
We were married on Jun 23rd, 1906. We chose June 23rd because Bob was one year younger, and his birthday was on June 22nd, so on the license we both showed the same age. Florence was married two years earlier to Paul Weeks Litchfield, also on June 23rd. I left Pittsburgh in April and came home to get ready.
My wedding dress was made by Mrs. B. J. Osborn on Highland Avenue. It was radium silk over taffeta, and was terrible to work with as it kept sagging. We also made my wedding veil, which was long, coming to the bottom of my dress.
Clara Moherman Goodman gave me a recipe shower, a small one, just the girls of the crowd. I also had a miscellaneous shower given by Nona Brown, and this was much larger. I still have some of the things I received. This is a list of the gifts and donors:
Mrs. Jane E. Tubbs – pieced quilt
Clara Goodman – fancy basket
Lotta Thomas – stocking bag
Mama Myers – sheet and pillow cases
Nora Hisey – white apron
Mrs. George Hemmingway – den pillow
Emma Beer – etched finger bowl
Rose Marsh – cut glass finger bowl
Grace Heltman – china olive dish
Murt Freer – Venetian olive dish with handle
Anna Brubaker – cut glass tumbler
Harriet King and Edna Sterns – bouquet vase
Eva Reaser – bon bon spoon
Mable Beer – silver fork
Ella Swartz – two doilies
Kate Pantcoast – plate with pansies
Rena Myers – plate with green edge
Cora Balch – plate with pink edge
Florence – two “baby pins”
Edna – lace edged centerpiece
Mrs. Helen Heath – Battenburg centerpiece
Carrie Smilie – fringed towel
Mrs. Patterson – hemstitched towel
Jennie Moore – pair of towels
Nona and Blanch Heath – lunch cloth.
Some old accounts show the following purchases:
silk lining for wedding dress - $6.00
veil - $3.00
white slippers - $2.00
gloves - $2.50
allover for yoke - $1.50
walking shoes - $3.50
traveling gloves - $3.50
hat - $8.00
white hat - $10.00
traveling suit - $30.00
short skirt - $8.00
6 yards gingham for 2 aprons – 36 cents
1 bolt lace for petticoats – 55 cents
1 nightgown - $1.25
2 gauze vests – 50 cents
1 pair plain sheets – 55 cents
4 pairs towels - $1.00
2 dust caps (2 yards) – 40 cents
2 and ½ yards sateen for pillow cover – 68 cents
2 pairs pillows - $9.00
4 comforts - $12.00
1 spread - $3.00
1 down pillow – 75 cents
2 floss cushions - $1.00
1 pillow roll - $2.00
6 yards calico for 2 aprons – 35 cents
pocket book, invitations, note paper, letter paper, yolking for dimity, fancy work.
My trousseau included:
1 pair blue night slippers
1 blue kimona
1 pair patent leather kid slippers
1 combing towel
1 emb. Swiss goods for waist
5 shirt waists
1 emb. waist
Emb. for 2 corset covers
Insertion for over arms of one cover
3 corset covers (bought)
2 made emb. corset covers
5 gauze vests
9 pairs drawers
2 long new skirts
5 pairs lace stockings
1 pink corset pad
6 yards Irish insertion
4 yards lace for short skirt
3 yards ecru insertion for silk dress
1 stocking bag
1 fancy work bag
1 red opera bag
black silk petticoat
white gloves long
pair of suit gloves long
pair of silk gloves long
white satin slippers
pair of elastics
pair of white stockings
My linens included:
1 pair plain sheets
2 lunch cloths
2 ½ dozen napkins
11 round doilies
1 square centerpiece in white daisies
1 centerpiece in red and blue
3 round Battenburg doilies
1 square Battenburg doily
6 glass doilies
3 small drawn-work doilies – square
1 larger drawn-work doily – square
4 tray cloths
1 cut-work stand cover
6 pairs plain pillow covers
3 pairs hemstitched pillow covers
3 pairs plain sheets
2 pairs hemstitched sheets
1 plain spread
1 red pillow cover
1 tan and green pillow cover (bought)
1 tan and blue pillow cover (bought)
2 covers like box – 1 tan and red top
1 brown den table cover
5 cushion tops (get material for bottoms)
7 pairs hemstitched towels
2 pairs towels
1 pair scalloped end towels
4 pairs bath towels
4 rough washcloths
5 aircell washcloths
27 tea towels
10 kitchen towels
10 class towels
8 dish cloths
6 dust cloths
3 gingham aprons – one partly finished and 1 loose one
1 dozen common teaspoons
½ dozen tablespoons
½ dozen dessert spoons
½ dozen solid teaspoons
½ dozen plated teaspoons
½ dozen buillon spoons
½ dozen clam forks
1 olive spoon
½ dozen after dinner coffees
10 odd small spoons
18 souvenir teaspoons
1 steak set
1 salt spoon
1 bonbon spoon
The Ashland Times wrote up the wedding as follows:
Radiant June Wedding
Marriage of Miss Mary Elizabeth Brinton and Mr. Robert M. Tubbs
Perfectly Planned from Impressive Ceremony to Enjoyable Going Away Parade
Perfect in all its appointments, smiled upon by the weather man and witnessed by a brilliant assemblage of more than one hundred guests, the marriage of Miss Mary Elizabeth Brinton and Mr. Robert M. Tubbs is marked in society’s calendar as one of the most beautiful ever solemnized in Ashland.
The ceremony took place Saturday evening at the home of the bride’s parents, Captain and Mrs. J. B. Brinton on Center Street and the spacious rooms were tastefully decorated throughout, making a fitting frame for the rites which were to follow. The mantel was banked with roses, and with palms, ferns and flowers was formed an arch beneath which the vows were plighted.
At 7 o’clock, as Mrs. Howard Swartz played Lohengrin’s wedding march the bridal party entered the parlor between the aisle marked out by Gaylord and Harriet Freer, the ribbon bearers, and took their places beneath the arch. The beautiful and impressive ring service of the Presbyterian Church was used by Rev. Clover, Mrs. Swartz softly playing Nevin’s Love Song as the impressive ceremony proceeded.
The bride was radiant in her lovely costume of white radium silk over taffeta, trimmed with Duchess lace. She carried bride’s roses and wore a handsome pearl brooch, the gift of the groom. Miss Edna Brinton, sister of the bride, was the gracious maid of honor, and wore an exquisite embroidered gown and carried pink roses. The groom’s best man was Mr. Emory Brown.
Congratulations and best wishes which could be offered in all sincerity were showered upon the happy couple and delightful hours were enjoyed until train time brought the hour of departure. The refreshments, tastefully served buffet, were furnished by Caterer Goodman.
The room in which the presents were shown was crowed with beautiful and costly expressions of good will. Indeed, they proved so numerous that it became necessary to provide an overflow room. The list included silver, but glass, and furniture, useful and ornamental, selected with rare good taste and infinite in variety.
The going away hour brought the happiest expression of good will, for not content with the downpour of flowers and rice, the office associates of the groom planned a more elaborate demonstration, which was received in the same happy spirit in which it was extended.
The carriage which took Mr. and Mrs. Tubbs to the Erie depot was preceded by a swallow-tailed guard of honor headed by a martial band whose lack of practice was made up for by a show of zeal seldom equaled. Following the long line of carriages came half a dozen automobiles whose horns added to the inspiring features of the parade.
At the depot there was another downpour of rice amid which Mr. and Mrs. Tubbs boarded Erie Train 9 and started on their journey to Muskoka Lake, Ontario Canada, where they will enjoy a two week’s outing. On their return they will be at home in their residence on West Walnut Street now fitted for their reception.
Mr. and Mrs. Tubbs are both worthy of the heartiest congratulations. The bride is a social favorite and is as lovely in person as she is gifted in mind and heart. The groom, for a number of years, has held the position of bookkeeper for F.E. Myers & Bros. and his ability has won him a high place in the office of the great firm.
The out-of-town guests were Mrs. J. E. Tubbs of Republic, mother of the groom; Miss Edna Brinton, Pittsburgh; Mrs. Paul Litchfield, Akron; Mrs. Frank Heath, Candor N.Y.; Mrs. E.E. Heath, Republic; Mr. & Mrs. Wyant, Republic; Miss Martha Hagen, Miss Maude McKeon, Miss Lydia Pennington and Mrs. Sattersthwaite, Cleveland; Mrs. R.S. George and Miss Ida Gould, Pittsburgh; Miss Dennison, Alliance; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Blickendorfer, Oakland, MO; Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Needham and Miss Stella Hughes, Canton; Mrs. T. W. Hughes and Mr. and Mrs. C. Z. Hughes and children, Toledo; Mrs. Will McKnight, Urbana.
In the Republic News, Republic, Ohio Friday, June 29, 1906
Marriage of Miss Mary E. Brinton and Robert M. Tubbs
The Marriage of Miss Mary E. Brinton and Mr. Robert M. Tubbs occurred at Ashland Saturday evening. After the ceremony refreshments were served and an enjoyable time passed until train time brought the hour of departure.
The carriage which took Mr. and Mrs. Tubbs to the depot was preceded by a swallow-tailed guard of honor headed by a martial band. Following the long line of carriages came half a dozen automobiles.
The couple will enjoy a tow week’s outing in Ontario, Canada.
Following is a list of presents:
(I have left out the rest of the article, and given a list that was taken from the slips of paper Edna and I made out when the presents came.)
Mr. and Mrs. F. E. Myers and Family – clock (glass & gold pendulum)
Anna Browdy and Emma Graves – cut glass dish (#1)
Dr. and Mrs. King – cut glass oil bottle (#1)
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Swartz, Mr. and Mrs. Irv Thomas – 1 dozen etched tumblers (grape)
Sister Winifrede – sugar spoon
Frank Henkle – gravy ladle (marked MEB)
Mrs. Frazee, Miss Frazee, and Robert Milie – ½ dozen oyster forks (trumpet flowers)
Mr. and Mrs. R. Patterson and Ada Patterson – ½ dozen teaspoons (colonial)
Fanny Cahn Holtzheimer and husband – brass candlestick
Mr. and Mrs. Sterns – baking dish (silver with poppies)
Mr. and Mrs. Ned Topping – lettuce fork (violet)
Mr. and Mrs. John Coss – olive dish (#1)
Dr. and Mrs. Walter Hisey – silver tea strainer
Goldie Priest – marmalade jar (currants)
Uncle Heaton and wife – silver card tray (T)
Hortense Paulin and mother – Hanging of the Crane (picture)
spoon cases (?)
Susie Hisey, Kit Wiest, Bess Cole – cut glass vase
Mrs. Rose Tubbs and Miss Frances Tubbs – cut glass bowl (#2) (aunt and cousin, Elmira)
Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Mathews, Jos. Murphy, Sam Miller, Julius Lutz and Lorin Miller (friends where he had his meals) – cut glass water set
Nora Hisey and Rose Marsh – brass fern bowl
Mr. and Mrs. P. A. Myers and Mr. and Mrs. Guy Myers – large lace table cover
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Harkenss, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Heltman, Mr. and mrs. Will Balch, Mr. and Mrs. Chas Beer, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Reid, Mr. and Mrs. Geo Freer, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Brubaker, and Mr. and Mrs. John Goodman – cut glass water pitcher
Ida Gove – water color
Uncle Linville family – large water color
Aunt Margaret – bed spread and roll
Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Gates, Mr. and Mrs. Chas Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Freer, Dr. and Mrs. McClellen – baking dish (silver with T)
Mrs. B. J. Osborn – vinegar cruet (#2)
Ralph Beer and Cloyd Mansfield – cut glass dish #3
Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Garver – cut glass compote (low)
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Ingmand and Miss Carrie Shillito – large cut glass vinegar cruet (#3)
Mr. and Mrs. C. Z. Hughes and Family – mahogany stand
Peg and Paul – buffet (Florence and Paul. We sometimes called Florence “Peg”)
Baby Katharine – 2 mahogany chairs
Susie Swineford – sardine fork (long handle)
Belle F. Osborne, Lettie J. Poe, Lou M. Cown and Neil Sackett – out glass dish (#4)
Stella Hughes – ½ dozen cut glasses (slender crystal with star on side)
Rena Myers and Eva Reaser – ½ dozen etched claret glasses
Mrs. Van Ness and Gene – sofa billow (white)
Aunt Phebe Egbert – 4 embroidered doilies (Mrs. Van Ness’ aunt)
Mr. and Mrs. Henry D. Heath (uncle) – cut glass olive dish (#2)
Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Bogniard and Mr. and Mrs. Duff Pancoast – cut glass compote (high)
Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Brown – gold clock (figured) (this never did run)
Martha Hagen – laced-edged center piece
Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Bretherton – sugar spoon (flower at base of bowl)
J. E. McDowell, E. A. McDowell and wife and Percy McDowell and wife – cut glass dish (#5)
Dr. and Mrs. M. J. Karpeles – fruit spoon (gold bowl)
Mr. and Mrs. V. H. Madden – tomato spoon
Mr. and Mrs. Geo Hemmingway and Mrs. Nell Heath – china closet
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. W. Moore – bed spread
Mama, Papa and Edna – kitchen outfit, chop dish, platter, tureen, nut dish, lemonade pitcher, vegetable dish, asparagus set, baking set, vase hot roll dish, pansy vase
Mrs. Cully and Louise – silk fancy work bag
Mr. and Mrs. Milt Edwards – salt nut spoon
Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Stark – Venetian glass dish
Maud McCuen – pitcher and tumbler doilies
Mrs. George Mather – towels, fringed
Mrs. J. L. Guthridge – hemstitched towels
Myers Office Force – gas range, etc.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Heath and Family – carving set with cut glass knife rest
Dr. and Mrs. Snow – pie knife
Lusie P. Palmer – cream ladle (lily pattern)
Mrs. Irvine Yost – 6 doilies, wheels (Irish)
Mr. and Mrs. O. D. Mitchell – cut glass finger bowl
Katherine Van Ness and Fred (Pratt – husband) – heart shaped cut glass dish and gold bowled bonbon spoon
Mr. and Mrs. Alf C. Neel – cream ladle – (plain bowl)
Mr. and Mrs. Carl C. Lembke – small cold meat fork (gold prongs)
T. W. Hughes and Family – glass candlestick
Mr. Dunbaugh – drip coffee pot
Will and Louie Cahn – bronze statue (Dante)
Mollie McCarthy – white silk stockings
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. N. Zurfluh – drawn work sideboard cover (cousins from Lima)
Mr. and Mrs. Walter C. Bradley – sugar spoon (rose design)
John A. Sowers – cut glass dish
Vic Luce – cheese knife (scoop)
Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Needham – large cut glass bowl (star in bottom)
Needhams and Blickensderfers as a joke – a small go-cart (I didn’t display this)
Mr. E. J. March – embroidered pillow cases
Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Blickensderfer – ½ dozen tablespoons, ½ dozen soup spoons and 1 dozen teaspoons
Mr. and Mrs. T. J. McRoberts – bonbon spoon like Kath’s
Mrs. Elizabeth Dennison – cut glass dish (diamonds)
Grace Pennington – cut glass wheel bonbon
Blanch Work – centerpiece
Grace and Jack Satterthwaite – ½ dozen knives and forks
Mr. and Mrs. McK. Duncan – library table (nephew of President McKinley)
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Bryant, Mrs. E. S. Dempey and Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Speiker – silver berry spoon
Mr. and Mrs. Will Young – ½ dozen etched ice cream glasses
J. K. Tubbs – cut glass bowl (small design) Rantoul, Kansas
Mr. and Mrs. Vinton Rudy – pink cake plate
Mr. and Mrs. Will Knight – pair towels
Mrs. Neikirk (Republic) – tea strainer with double handles
There were some details, however, that were not included in the newspaper reports: we were married at 603 Center Street, Ashland, June 23rd, 1906. The new minister, Rev. Joel C. Glover performed the ceremony (I never did like him but he was the Presbyterian minister.)
Ella Grosscup Schwartz had commenced playing the wedding march, when we discovered we had forgotten to send for Mother Tubbs and Aunt Anna at the Hemmingway Hotel, so she switched onto something else and we sent a cab for them. The wedding was in the parlor, in front of the mantel, and everyone stood around the back parlor, living room and hall.
John Goodman was caterer, and served in the dining room and sitting room. The menu was: 1st course – chicken croquettes, pea patties, 2 bread and butter sandwiches, 2 olives and 1 pickle on each plate, cold turkey; 2nd course – ice cream, cake, candy, nuts; 3rd and last course – coffee.
At nine o’clock we left for the train, preceded by a band composed of friends of ours – an impromptu band – playing all kinds of instruments. It being Saturday night, the town was crowed. We went down Center Street, up the full length of Main, and up Cottage Street to the depot. I don’t know how many people went, but there was a long line of cabs, the waiting room was full.
We had a small steamer truck which we checked to Buffalo. We didn’t know it, but our friends had taken it over, pasted our pictures on top, pasted red hearts all over , and printed all kinds of inscriptions, then fastened log chains through both handles with a big cow-bell at each end, crossed the chains on top, fastened them with a big padlock, and threw the key away. And the girls had taken my nightgown and stitched it back and forth across.
We went to Galion where we transferred to the Buffalo train. The girls had told me just before we left that something had happened to my nightgown, so I pulled it out of my bag and ripped the stitches out in the waiting room. It was late and we were the only ones there.
On our way to Buffalo, the brakeman came through and looked at us, and said, “That’s the worst looking trunk that has ever gone over the Erie.” He knew us by the pictures on the trunk. When we got to Buffalo in the morning we expected something, but when we went into the baggage room and saw the trunk, we were stumped. Bob asked the baggage master if he had a key, and he said no. Then he saw Bob’s Masonic watch charm, and he, being a Mason, found a key to open the padlock. We tore off all the hearts and pictures and put them with the chain and cowbells into the trunk. After we got home, we had to varnish the trunk to get the rest of the inscriptions off.
We stayed at Buffalo that day and night. When Bob registered at the hotel he forgot to register for me. I was standing right behind him, so the clerk changed it. We went to Niagara Falls and spent the day there, and went on the “Maid of the Mist”, the little boat that goes to the foot of the falls.
We went from Buffalo to Muskoka Lakes, where we spent ten days, then came back to Ashland to our new home at the corner of Chestnut and Walnut in the old Hughes home that had been turned into a double house.
Married Life in Ashland
We lived in the Hughes house at the corner of Chestnut and Walnut for about three years. Florence Elizabeth was born June 13, 1907, and Bob (Robert Edward) on January 22, 1909. Everything went along as smoothly as can be expected with two small children.
Shortly after we were married, The Tyro Club, a literary club with a fixed membership of twelve, asked me to consider joining the first time they had an opening. Then the Lotus Club, which had a membership of approximately that number, but no fixed number, asked me to join immediately, and I accepted.
We met once a month, and had book reviews, discussions, and a social time. When I joined, members included Nona Brown, Blanch Harkness, Ally Livingston, Mary Clark, Mrs. Hess, Murt Freer, Anna Brubaker, Mary Patterson, Mrs. I. L. Miller, Cora Beach, Florence Topping, Jane Mykrantz, Bessie Reaser, Maggie Mansfield, Anna Snader Reaser, Mrs. Reid, and a Mrs. Miller who lived on Sandusky Street. There may have been one or two more.
Bob was the treasurer of the Presbyterian Church, and also sang in the choir. He had a very fine bass voice, and loved to sing. The organ at the church was run by water power, and about once a month, in the middle of a hymn or anthem, it would give a horrible groan and stop. Then Bob would have to get up from his seat in the choir loft and go down in the basement and fix it. He was the only one who could make it work, and after he moved away they had to get an electric organ.
Bob was very popular with the girls before we were married, in fact he was popular with everyone. When we went to dances, there were always fewer boys than girls, so each boy would take several girls. He was a good athlete, also, and could turn cartwheels, handsprings, do the split, and that sort of thing. He was a wonderful ice skater, and could turn cartwheels on skates, and jump fences along the frozen pond down on the freer farm. He was a Knight Templer in the Masonic Lodge, and was Worshipful Master twice.
Bob and I used to play cribbage in the evenings before Florence was born, because we couldn’t go. We used to take walks after dark, as was the custom then under the circumstances, because of course I was too modest to be seen in my delicate condition. And afterward, I was too tied down with the baby to go anywhere, so everything stayed the same until after Bobbie was born.
Since I will be talking form now on about both father and son, until further notice, “Bob” will refer to the father, and “Bob Jr.” to the son, although there middle names were different and he wasn’t actually a “Jr.”
Soon after Bob Jr. was born, Papa was retired by the railroad on account of age. He was at that time 71 years old, having served continuously as station agent with the Erie for 32 years. This left him with only his army pension of $75 a month, since railroad pensions did not begin until the following year. Papa and Mama asked us to move into the family home on Center Street, and take over the expenses of the house in lieu of rent. We did, and we lived there for around four years – when Florence was in first grade.
By the time, also, Paul was born, and it was obvious from the very first that something was wrong. He was very weak and bloated, and demanded constant care. His intestinal trouble was diagnosed in 1919 at Mayo Brothers Clinic as Hirschsprung’s Disease, a very rare disease, which caused the ballooning of the lower intestine. When he was a little older, he used to play with other children, but since he was always so bloated they used to think he had a pillow under his clothes, and poke him in the stomach, and then I would have to run out and stop them, as the doctor had said that a hard blow on the intestine while it was distended this much might rupture it and kill him. But he lived as normal a life as he could.
We rented a house at the end of West Walnut between Lamprecht’s Greenhouse and the ravine. Back of us was the Ashland Floral Company, owned by Mr. Karper. We had an immense garden, and raised our own vegetables for canning and eating, and supplying our friends and neighbors.
Shortly after we moved in, the children came down with chickenpox, and then whooping cough. The sewing women was there when they started whooping cough, and she spent more time taking care of the children than she did sewing, because it was a handful even for three. We all were completely tired out.
That summer, Florence and Paul took little Paul and Me to Green Harbor. I loved to go bathing, but Paul was afraid of the water, so we used to put him down on the sand on a blanket, and then dig the sand from around him until gradually he was sitting in the water. While we were gone, Mother Tubbs came and kept house for Bob, Florence and Bob Jr.
Green Harbor, which was a summer resort, was on Cape Cod Bay, across the bay from Provincetown, and we could see the Provincetown light on clear nights. Out cottage was about a mile from the village post office, located on a sort of an island with the bay in front and the salt marshes behind, and a stream completing the cut-off. The town was owned, half by Duxbury and half by Marshfield, the stream being the boundary. We were about twenty-five miles south of Boston, on the NYNH & H Railroad.
The cottage stood on a bank, with steps leading down to the beach. At low tide there was about 200 feet of fine sand, with a lot of small shells, starfish, clams, etc. At high tide, there was only about fifty feet of sand from the bank, and when there was a bad storm the water washed up the bank, but this was mostly in the winter. It was so much more beautiful there than the beaches along the Pacific.
Shortly after World War I started, Bob was offered a position overseas with the YMCA. With three children, and Paul always ill, he couldn’t possibly do it, but he always regretted it. I think Ed Arnold went in his place. He was still at Myers Bros. as a bookkeeper. Outside of sugar rationing, and meatless and wheatless days, the war didn’t particularly affect us. I still have a few of the sugar stamps.
Along about this time, Florence and Paul gave Papa and Mama a new Ford car, Bob to do the driving. It was an open five-passenger car, with a top, a brass front on the radiator, and side-curtains to use in case of rain. Bob took delivery of the car, had the garage man teach him for half an hour how to start and stop it, steer it, and crank it, then came up for us and took us for a ride, with bob bowing and tipping his hat to all our friends.
Later, when Florence and Paul came down in their Packard, we all went out for a ride in the two cars. Bob had all the children from both families in his car, and Paul had Mama, Papa, Florence and me. Bob saw Tom and Edna Sterns on the sidewalk up on Center Street, and in bowing and tipping his hat to them, turned the wheel toward them. Fortunately there was a driveway there, and he went up the drive, shot past the Stearns’ up the sidewalk, and down the next drive. Tom Stearns told him afterwards, “Bob, if you see me again when you’re out in that auto, just pretend you don’t know me.”
Sometime after that, Mother Tubbs had operation for appendicitis in Ashland Hospital, and after she recovered we drive to Republic to take her to Aunt Nell’s house, where she lived. On the way, near Attica, we were driving along a road being repaired. There was a buggy in front of us, being driven by a deaf man, we found out later. Bob honked, but the buggy kept on going on the left side of the road, so Bob started to pass to the right. Then the buggy turned to the right, in front of him, so Bob had to go into the ditch to avoid hitting it. The car tipped over on its side. Bob Jr. had a broken collar bone, and only injury, and the top of the car was mashed and the headlights and windshield broken. Fortunately nobody was cut. The speed limit was only 25 miles per hour at that time, and we were going between 10 and 15 when the accident happened.
In 1917 we bought the house on College Avenue nest to Aunt Anna. Shortly after we moved in, Papa became ill. I don’t know what he had, but I think it was Bright’s Disease, and Mrs. Wood, the nurse, was there full time and Berta came down from Toledo frequently to help care for him.
That winter the flu epidemic hit, and we were all sick, but not as sick as many others. The Hootman family next door was much worse. Mrs. L. L. Garber came to take care of us, but I think she was in charge of all the volunteer nurses in the area, because she spent more time on the phone arranging for the care of others than she did looking after us. Bob Jr. had recovered and went out to play for the first time, and fell in the creek back of the house. He took pneumonia, and was very ill for several months.
Leland was in the Army and was stationed at Akron inspecting rubber for gas masks. He lived with Florence and Paul, and all of them took flu, and all recovered except Leland. At the same time, Tom took a cold and it went into military tuberculosis, and he also died. That left, of Berta and Charles’ children, just Clair, the oldest son who was in service in Washington, and Lucile who was working in a factory in Toledo doing war work.
In the summer, we went down to Mama’s to stay and help out, leaving the College Avenue house as it was. Bob started to work in Akron at Goodyear Tires and bought a lot in Goodyear Heights where we hoped to build. Paul started to school at Walnut Street School in the fall.
Before school was out, I went up to Akron to arrange with an architect to build our new home in Goodyear Heights, taking Paul with me, and Florence insisted that I take him to her doctor, Dr. Chase. He examined Paul, and diagnosed the difficulty, and said we must take him to May Brothers immediately, but that even with an operation there was only on chance in a thousand.
We went to Mayo Brothers Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and after two weeks of treatment and tests, he was operated on in July, and they made him a colostomy. We were there at the hospital for ten weeks. We had sent Florence Elizabeth to Berta’s to stay and go to school, and she spent the summer and went on a motor trip to the east with them, then returned and entered seventh grade in the Fulton School, Toledo.
After we returned to Ashland, we had a nurse, Mrs. Taylor, who helped take care of Paul, though he objected to anyone else but me touching him. His skin was row from his waist to his hips, and he had to be kept covered with lanolin and absorbent cotton, and dressed many times in the day and night.
One night, I gave him eleven complete dressings and I guess it was that night that he said to me, “I’ll be so happy up there.” And I said, “Where, little sweetheart?” He seemed to be so surprised that I asked, and said, “Up in Heaven.” He never complained about his pain, and he an angelic disposition.
Papa died August 26th, 1919, and received a Masonic funeral and was buried in Ashland Cemetery. Paul had his second operation at Mayo’s January 20, 1920, and died four days later. The doctors had told us that even if Paul had survived the operations, he would never have been strong, and never been able to live a normal life, so perhaps it was better.
We had sold the house on College Avenue when Papa died, and in 1921 we sold the lot in Goodyear Heights, and Bob went to Toledo to work on the Ann Arbor Railroad as a Tie and Timber Inspector. He lived with Berta and Charlie and Lucile on Collingwood Avenue.
In 1924 Bob Jr. joined the Navy just in time to finish training and get in on the big Australian Cruise. In 1925 Florence graduated from high school, and she and I spent the summer in Green Harbor. She started to Ashland College in the fall. In the summer of 1926, we sent her to Chautauqua Lake Physical Education Camp, as she hoped to be a physical education teacher, but after injuring her back at camp she had to give up the idea.
In 1927 Berta and Charles were divorced, and Berta and I went to Litchfield Park on a trip. Lucile stayed in Ashland to look after things, and in March Mama took pneumonia, and Lucile wired us to come home at once. However Mama passed away before we could reach Ashland.
Bob was still working in Toledo, but now with Jennison and Wright as timber expert. We bought a lot in Old Orchard, at 2239 Densmore Drive, and started to build a house. Florence and I used to spend about half the week in Toledo, and the other half in Ashland, driving back and forth. The house was finished, and we moved in during the winter of 1928, then the house in Ashland was sold. We had two of the large vans full of furniture – of course some of this was furniture from the old home that was to go to Berta.
Before we left, we had a photographer go in and photograph each room of the Ashland house, so that we could have a record of just how it looked, what furniture was in each room, etc., so that each of us sisters would have a record of it.
Bob Jr. finished his four years in the service in 1928, and returned home to Toledo. He started to school at Toledo University, and also took courses at the YMCA. He was particularly interested in aeronautics, and had been Crew Chief on navy planes, after receiving training in airplane mechanics.
The “Akron” dirigible was being built by Goodyear-Zeppelin in Akron, and Bob Jr. went there to work on it. He lived part of the time with Florence and Paul. One time while I was visiting Florence in Akron, the “Graf Zeppelin” came in, and I had the chance to ride into the hanger in it. Commander Hugo Eckner visited Florence and Paul, and I enjoyed meeting him, and a good many other persons whose names are familiar to all.
Our house in Toledo was a large one, having tree stories and a complete basement. The basement held a large recreation room with fireplace, a lavatory, a fruit cellar, a laundry room, a furnace cellar and (the furnace having been converted to gas) a dark room in place of the coal cellar.
On the first floor was the living room above the recreation room, with French doors leading out to a terrace at the back, and an open staircase to the second floor, a dining room through the arch from the living room, a breakfast room with floor to ceiling cupboards at the side, and a good sized kitchen.
The second floor included three good sized bedrooms, a bath, and a sort of writing room in the front of the hall, lighted by the big double windows over the front door. This was large enough to contain a single four-poster bed which we used as a day bed, and a writing desk and chair. Over the attached garage was the sleeping porch and a large deck in the back and beside it, over the rest of the garage. This deck was used as an upstairs patio, and Bob had built flower boxes for all the railings around it, which he kept filled with Rosy Morn petunias. There was an awning over the deck, and we had some folding chairs out there. It was a lovely place in the summer as it faced due west and the sunsets were glorious.
The third floor had tree dormer windows in the front and one at the back, and was one immense room, with the exception of a portion at one end that was divided off for storage, with a partition and a screen door. Near where the eaves met the floor, Bob tacked up bright cretonne curtains to make a closet three feet high at the front, and the full length of the room on each side. This space we used for trunks, luggage, etc. The rest of the room held two double beds, a single bed, cots, and extra mattresses, and there were rugs on the floor, and other furniture there wasn’t room for downstairs.
About a year after we moved to Toledo, the Lotus Club drove up for an overnight “meeting”, and Bob and Florence were sent to Berta’s for the duration. The girls brought food along for a pot luck dinner. They all wanted to sleep on the third floor, and I don’t remember how we arranged it, but every bed in the house was occupied for at least a few hours of the night. Of course, no one got much sleep, but we all had fun.
Shortly after we moved to Toledo, Mother Tubbs had introduced us to her cousin, Addie Chittenden, whose son, Judge Charles Chittenden lived not too far from us in Ottawa Hills. We all became very friendly, and on several occasions held a “Meeting of the Clans” in our recreation room. Bob had built a ping pong table there, and it made an ideal dinner table, supplemented by several card tables. I can remember one particular occasion that turned out rather unexpectedly. It was an unusually large group – Berta and Lucile, Cousin Addie, Charlie and Edith, and May, Edith’s sister. Then there were Charlie’s son Ted and his wife, his daughter Katherine and husband Jesse Myers and daughter Edith Ann and Jessemae, Mother Tubbs, Bob, Florence and I. We were just eating dinner in the recreation room when there was a loud boom from the fruit cellar. The Chittendens, who were rather straight-laced, looked definitely disapproving (this being Prohibition days) but all was explained shortly. Some ginger ale which we had made some months before, but not liked had blown up loudly for some reason or other.
Mother Tubbs’ health had been poor, and she was operated on at Tiffin Hospital in 1929. We didn’t even know she was to have an operation until we received a letter which she had mailed the morning she went into the hospital. After her convalescence, we brought her to Toledo to live with us.
She loved to go to the big city market, and would buy quantities of vegetables, which we would bring home and can. She received a widow’s pension and wanted to pay board, but of course we wouldn’t permit that. So she decided to give me a sewing machine, and sent for the Singer salesman. We discovered, while the salesman was there, that Mother had been the first Singer representative in her area in Ohio, so the salesman gave her a discount, and wrote an article about her in the Singer magazine.
She was a very agreeable person to have around, and after she passed away, I found a roll of her memoirs in her belongings, and that is what gave me the idea of writing mine. There are so many things I would have liked to ask her about, but then it was too late.
In the last year of her life she was making quilted spreads for both Bob Jr. and Florence – “Drunkard’s Walk”, a very complicated pattern in pink and white for Bob Jr. and the Indian swastika in a soft green and white for Florence. Sometimes when I got up in the morning I would find she had been working on the quilts since daylight, she was so afraid she would die before she had finished.
Her serious trouble had returned, and she had an immense tumor, so that for the last few months she could not even walk downstairs. She slept away September 21st, 1930, and was buried in Republic, Ohio.
In the spring of 1931 I went with Florence to Litchfield Park, Arizona, for three months. Florence Elizabeth was engaged to Mark Mila de la Roca, a designing engineer at Toledo Scale, and was working as a secretary at the Lion Store. She kept house for Bob while I was gone.
On June 23, 1931, Florence and Mark were married at our home in Toledo. It was also our 25th anniversary, and Florence and Paul’s 27th anniversary. In May, just before the wedding, Bob had lost his job at Jennison Wright, the depression having hit Toledo very hard. He started working in the office at Goodyear Stores.
About five months after mark and Florence were married, and with John on the way, mark lost his job at Toledo Scale, along with all but the chief engineers, and they gave up their apartment and moved in with us. Mark did some translating for Willys Overland, and worked as a commission salesman for Goodyear. He was the best salesman of the bunch, out of the eight engineers in different branches of the profession who were working there as commission salesman, and often brought home as much as $9 in a week.
All the banks had been closed, and only the Toledo Trust Company reopened. Most of the factories closed, and many thousands were on relief. Even in our area, which was considered on of the nicest sections of Toledo, there were people on relief, but due to the fact that we had always canned more fruits and vegetables than we could use, and the very important fact that Bob had a job, we had no trouble.
We were very proud of our fruit cellar, and used to show it off to our friends. We always lined up the fruits and vegetables on the deep shelves so that the colors contrasted, and the shallow shelves of jam and jellies were beautiful. We used to can hundreds of cans every year, using the water bath method. Bob had rigged up a pulley over the hot plate in the basement, and we could attach the basket to it and then swing it over onto the cover of the stationary tubs, which saved us really all the heavy work.
Mrs. Wm. McCoy lived beside us on the south side, and our kitchen windows faced each other, so we used to visit as awe did our cooking. She was the one who gave us the fruit cake recipe which we still use. We correspond with her once a year, at Christmas, and she keeps us informed about our old neighbors.
Mrs. Josephine Hoehler lived on the north side, and we were very fond of her, though we couldn’t stand her husband Arthur. They were divorced shortly after we moved there, and we still correspond with her. She lives in Traverse City, Michigan.
John was born March 31, 1932, and according to Berta and Lucile he was about the only perfect child that ever lived. They used to spend a lot of time at the house, and we were able to prevail upon them to stay for dinner frequently, but only by setting their places at the table before we invited them. And then the next day they would arrive with great bags of fruit and something for John (we called him Jackie then).
After Berta and Charlie were divorced, Lucile and Berta had taken me on many motor trips through the east and Canada, and Florence took me several times to Litchfield Park in the cold weather. Since Florence Elizabeth was there to keep house for Bob it made it easier for me to get away, and none of the trips cost me anything. One year, when he was four, I took John to Green Harbor with me, because he was having so much trouble with asthma and the doctor felt he was to young to start the shots.
One trip I especially remember was one fall when Berta, Lucile and I went east, picked up Edna in New Jersey, and went up to Portland, Maine. Then we started south, stopping at Scituate, Gloucester, Boston, Green Harbor, Plymouth (where we always got the fresh lobsters and visited Plymouth Rock), and then on to Provincetown.
At Provincetown, Berta and Lucile went to the gift shop, so Edna and I went out on the sand. It was low tide so we could walk out quite a way, and we stood there on a sand bar looking at the sea, enjoying the scenery, the sea breeze, and the conversation. When Berta and Lucile came out of the gift shop, they were flabbergasted to see us completely surrounded by water. We had been so busy visiting that we hadn’t notice that the tide was coming in, and a stream of water about seven feet wide ran between the sand bar and the main beach. Lucile called an old fisherman and asked him to get a plank or something so we could get across, but the one he found wasn’t long enough to reach, so Lucile asked him to carry us over. He looked us over and said, “I’ll carry her, (Edna) but I won’t carry her (me).” We weighed about the same, but my winter coat may have looked heavier than hers. He carried her over piggyback, while I took off my shoes and stockings, held up my clothes and waded through. One of Edna’s feet slipped from his grasp, so she was just as wet as I was, but she had the easier trip. We didn’t suffer from the exposure, but we almost laughed ourselves sick.
When John was three, Florence took a secretarial position, and put John into day school. Mark had gotten a job at Surface Combustion as a sheet metal worker, as engineering jobs were still very scarce. Richard was born July 7, 1937, and the following year they bough half an acre and a house on King Road, about six miles out of town.
In the meantime, Bob Jr. had met Ruth Wall at Edith Litchfield’s wedding, and they were married and moved to Buffalo, N.Y. where Bob Jr. was working at the Curtiss Wright Aircraft plant. They had two sons, Donald Edward, and James Brinton, and shortly after Jimmy was born they moved to the Los Angeles area where Bob Jr. joined the Vought Aircraft organization.
In 1939 Bob was retired from Goodyear on account of age, and we sold our home on Densmore Drive and moved into a smaller house. Soon after that, Paul said that if we would move to Arizona he would build us a house on the property there, and Bob could keep an eye on Rancho La Loma for him. So we sold most of our furniture, shipped what was left in a van, and loaded out car with all the china and cut glass and set our for Arizona.
We had a very pleasant trip out, Bob driving quite slowly because of the china and glass. We stopped on the way at Lebanon, Missouri and visited with Mrs. Mumford and Mar, who is now a clerk in the bank at Lebanon. We expected to go out and see “The Mansion” but they advised us not to, as it had changed hands a number of times and was then in bad condition, and it would spoil my memories of it.
We also stopped at the Will Rogers museum in Claremore, Oklahoma, and at Carlsbad Caverns, and when we arrived at Litchfield Park, moved into #4 on the Rancho La Loma, where we lived until our house was finished.
Litchfield Park, Arizona – and After
Our new house, #5 on the Rancho La Loma was finished January 31st, 1941, and we moved in. The house was ideal in every way – the kind I had never expected to live in. We had along screened porch at one end, large living room and dining room, and kitchen. Paul had said that if I didn’t have enough cupboards it would be my own fault, so I had cupboards put everywhere.
We had two large bedrooms, a hall, and a bathroom with shower. A terrace led out from our bedroom, and we had an enclosed back porch, also with cupboards. There was a large open terrace across the front, with a covered door leading to the living room and double doors on the uncovered part. The house had a fireplace, and electric heaters, and Paul had the finest air conditioner that he could find, put in. It seemed like home from the first, and we enjoyed every minute that we were there.
Where were palm trees and pepper trees along the front next to the road. There were two date palms near the house, and an immense Chinese lemon tree. We also had orange and other lemon trees on the place, and the house was shaded by an enormous cottonwood tree. There was a large yard surrounding the house, and the orange grove was across the driveway. We had climbing roses at the side of the covered terrace and at the back of the house, and below our back bedroom window was a lard bed of English violets.
The desert came up to the edge of the lawn, and extended to the hill in back of the house, and off to the southwest as far as we could see. There were cacti of every kind, mesquite, creosote bush, palos verdes, chukker quail, jack rabbits, cottontails, road runners, chipmunks, and doves. And, of course, rattlesnakes, sidewinders, scorpions – large and small – centipedes, and a few vinagaroons, as well as every size, shape and color of hard shelled insect. We loved every bit of the desert, even the unlovable parts.
The house was near the southeast corner of the ranch and just a mile from the post office and Abraham’s store. Rancho La Loma was considered one of the most beautiful ranches in that part of the country. There were four ranch houses for members of the family, a Wingfoot Home for the pilots, a cottage for the two maids, and a caretaker’s cottage near the back gate. A large swimming pool with dressing rooms at the top of the hill was near #4.
The tea house on Sunset Terrace overlooked the desert and the White Tank Mountains to the west, and we went there to see the gorgeous sunsets. This tea house was completely covered with red oleanders, along the west edge of the terrace was a hedge, and every so often there was a “spike pine” as Jock used to call them. On the highest point of the hill was an observation tower that stood up above the highest tree and gave a view for miles in all directions.
At the top of the hill, not too far from the swimming pool, was a dance floor, and a cement building that served variously as a platform for an orchestra and for an open air chapel. At one end of this building was an enclosure that protected the electric organ and radio. Three times in the summer they had the non-denominational services here, and people came from the country round. I remember one Sunday when the service was conducted by a Jew, a Presbyterian, and another Protestant minister. The Catholics were the only ones who wouldn’t take part, and Paul still had hopes that they would join. Cardinal Spellman visited him on several occasions at the ranch, and they were very great friends.
On Easter morning, they always had early service – just as the sun came up the organist commenced playing. The sun coming trough the palm trees was a gorgeous sight. Chairs were placed on the cement dance floor, which would hold several hundred. The service was always well attended.
One time the Mormons were in charge of the open air service at four pm. They came in droves, bringing all their children, their lunches, bedding, and even a cot. Every char was filled, and the grass was covered with people. They even up a clothesline between two trees on the next lower terrace to hang diapers to dry. They helped themselves to all the fruit they could eat or carry. Florence was going down toward the pool and had to dodge out of the ay of a man coming up with his arms loaded with grapefruit. Some people even brought their suppers. I don’t remember how it looked after they left, but it was always cleaned up afterward by the gardeners anyway, but that was the last time the Mormons were permitted to hold a meeting there. It was the largest attendance that ever attended the meetings – they came by the hundreds.
The family usually started arriving towards the end of February, and left when it commenced to get too war. Florence had the largest house - #1, which contained three bedrooms and two baths. Next to Florence’s was #3, used by Paul and men who came out with him on business. #2 was Edith’s house with two bedrooms, and #4 was Katherine’s, also with two bedrooms.
There were a number of date palms, fig trees, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and cumquats all over the hill. The main drive, which bisected the citrus grove and went straight from the road to the high hill, was lined with alternate ornamental or sour orange trees and palm trees. At the top of the drive, the roads branched and circled the hill, winding past the houses, the cactus gardens, the rose gardens, and around the reservoir, and people were always getting lost on the drives. Another road went from the hill out to the grill where the desert picnics were held, right on the desert.
I used to make cumquat preserves. It’s really a terrible job, but they are grand. Also made many fig preserves, and processed dates. In processing dates, I wet a large bath towel, laid half of it on the sink, spread the dates close together, folded the other end of the towel over and rolled them with my hands to get the dates clean. Then I would put them in roasting pans two layers deep, place them in the oven at the lowest temperature and let them process for eight hours. When cool, I would box them in pound boxes. These were for the Litchfield family and ourselves. One year I sent over sixty pounds back to Akron. It was a job, but well worth it.
Bob and I used to pick up limes off the ground by the half bushel, and we always had as many oranges and grapefruit as we could use. Bob and I would start with bags and pick up the good fallen fruit which was always the sweetest, and would give our friends what we couldn’t use. One time I remember I picked up sixty navel oranges under one tree. We used some of them for marmalade and citrus jellies of all kinds.
We used to go swimming frequently. The pool was a beautiful one, curved to fit the landscape more beautifully, with the overflow going in a little waterfall into a shady stream with goldfish and frogs, and with iris and other shade plats around it. A wading pool was separated from the swimming pool by a cement walk, which also went all the way around the pool. Beyond the walk was a very green lawn which was bordered with orange trees that were left unpicked to provide a permanent refreshment stand for the swimmers. Beyond the orange trees, the hill led up steeply on three sides, and was covered with shrubs and flowering trees. On the fourth side it led out toward the road and #4 right across the road.
Soon after we went to Arizona, I joined the bridge club as a spare, because they had their number. Among the members were Sylvia Adams, Ethel McMicken, Lec Owen, Helen Zieske, Gladys Sweeney, Dora Kring, Elizabeth Ely, Corinne Hall, Roberta Hilton, Ruth Pentacost, Beth McMillan, Mary Howard, Mrs. Abraham Sr., and Gladys Clorino. Some of these were the early members, and some joined after I was taken in. Later, part of us played canasta, then Bolivia, while the rest played bridge.
The Wigwam, a guest ranch owned and run by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. was located in the center of town. It had a main building, and separate bungalows called “wickiups” that were filled to overflowing from Thanksgiving until after Easter. People came from every part of the country and Canada, and many would make their reservations for the next year before leaving. Some of the guests were the most delightful people I ever met. We used to take part in some of the Wigwam activities such as the evening entertainments, in charge of Yellowstone Chip, the dud wrangler, and the desert picnics.
There was a 9-hole golf course near the Wigwam, and Bob used to play there. He had learned to play in Ashland when the Country Club was built there, and had kept it up ever since. We had joined the Ashland Country Club almost at the beginning, and he played regularly there two or three times a week. Florence Elizabeth and I used to go out early in the morning sometimes and gather mushrooms and puffballs on the greens, and then the whole neighborhood on Center Street would get together for steak and fresh mushrooms. But that was jest a side-line, Bob’s golf was the main thing. After we left Ashland, he played every Sunday at Ottawa Park in Toledo, and in Litchfield Park he sometimes played four or five times a week, eighteen holes on Saturday and Sunday.
When the war started in December 1941, Paul turned over all the bungalows on the hill except ours for the use of the high officers of Luke Field, which adjoined Rancho La Loma on the north. #1 was used by the commandant and his family, #4 by the colonel in charge of the hospital, #3 by a major, and #2 by a captain, and the maid’s cottage was used by lower officers.
Bob was almost immediately drafted into the Goodyear, and had charge of all government-owned tools and equipment at Goodyear Aircraft. Within six months he looked and acted ten years younger.
A group of Gray Ladies was formed by the Red Cross to work in Luke Field hospitals, and it was specified by the commandant that only ladies from Litchfield Park were allowed on the base. Elizabeth Ely was in charge, and there were around twenty, and others joined as they arrived in Litchfield Park with Goodyear Aircraft. Members I can remember were Ethel McMicken, Helen Zieske, Peggy Palmeter, Beulah Watt, Lec Owen, Lillian Garkey, ? Pickett, Buna Burgstresser, Lita Reed, Maggie Davis, Marie Titus, Bernadine Fields, Sunny Keller, Madeline Carlson, Agnes Brintnall, Lou Styer, Sally Abbott, Annie Chambers, Babe Doolittle, Thelma Penn, Aggie White, Bea Crandall, Juanita Bliss, Helen Hudson, ? Cockran, and I think Mary Howard, who had charge of the bandage rolling and dressings in the village. And, of course, me.
Several of us went each day, and visited all the wards, taking magazines, and if necessary writing letters for the patients, and cheering them up. If anyone in the ward had a birthday, one of us made a cake and it was served to all the patients in the ward. At Christmas time Florence and Paul furnished bushels of oranges so that each patient would have at least two. We made cakes and cookies for all the patients. The bas was large, as it was training not only our own boys, but Chinese boys for service in China. Beulah and I went every Saturday, and while I was the oldest one of all, I could out walk many of them. According to Elizabeth Ely I should no longer have been in, and she tried to oust me. The other girls took it up to the headquarters in Phoenix, and I stayed. We went all during the war, until after VJ day. Between times we rolled bandages at the Wigwam, which was closed for the duration.
Toward the last, the gardener had given us permission one day to pick some of the beautiful sweet peas near the hospital. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and I saw some larger ones a littler farther which I wanted to pick, not knowing that the gardener had placed a low wire along the walk to keep people from going over there. I caught my foot, and landed on my left arm, breaking it just below the shoulder joint. Beulah took me back to the hospital, and they sent me to Dr. Hilton in the village. He put on a cast and tried to find an opening in a hospital in Phoenix for me, but they were all full, so Colonel Jones of Luke Field hospital said to bring me out there. I was there two weeks, in bed one, and after I was able to be up, the patients who were ambulatory would take me in a wheel chair over to the Red Cross building at nights for the entertainments. I paid $1 a day for room and board, and had a good chance to see the “receiving” side of the Gray Ladies, and they were grand. So were the patients and doctors and nurses, and they couldn’t do enough for me.
In 1942 back in Toledo, Florence and Richard were very ill with pneumonia, and were in different hospitals. I was sent for to come back, and went back in a walking cast, having broken a bone in my foot just before. They were both critically ill, but finally recovered and were taken back to the King Road house. However, the doctor warned that they must get out of that climate, and recommended that they go to the desert. This was the third siege of pneumonia Richard had had that year.
I brought them back with me, after assisting with the sale of their furniture, and John remained in Sylvania with Mark, boarding with friends. We arrived in Litchfield Park the middle of June, and about a week later, Bob Jr., who was in charge of war work at Payne Furnace in Beverly Hills, phone Mark to come out and work with him as a tool designer. Mark and John drove out at once, arriving on July 5th, and mark went on to Beverly Hills the next day, leaving John with us.
Several days later Florence came down with paratyphoid and was taken to the hospital in Phoenix, where she was in an isolation ward for three weeks. The only other person to get it was Elizabeth Ely whose health was also very poor, as this disease attacks only the very weak or frail person. They never found out where the germs came from, but thought it must have been carried by lettuce, as repeated testing of all water supplies showed that that was all right.
By December, Florence’s health was much improved, and she and mark started to search for an apartment in Beverly Hills, which was overflowing because of the war. Mark finally had to settle for a one bedroom unit, and secured it only by moving in and sleeping on the davenport until the people moved out. So a few days later, the family moved to Beverly Hills. This was in May, 1943.
In 1944, Bob’s health failed, and the plant doctor ordered a rest for a week, saying his heart was not very good. On the 22nd of June, His 71st birthday, he had a heart attack after he had gone to bed. After the second attack that night, I called Dr. Hilton’s office, but he had gone to his parents’ home because of sickness there. But his nurse, Sadie, and another nurse from town came out. They called a doctor from a nearby town who was to take Dr. Hilton’s place while he was gone. They worked all night, and the next morning took him to the hospital in Phoenix. The doctor said he was liable to go at any minute. He had coronary thrombosis, the clot being behind the right knee, and gangrene set in, and his leg had to be packed in ice. He lived until August 18th, and I stayed with him day and night, going home for a few hours occasionally. There was a memorial service in Phoenix, and he was buried in Ashland Cemetery.
After the funeral in Ashland, I spent some time with Florence in Akron, then Florence, Berta, Lucile and I went to Green Harbor for two weeks, to Edna’s for a brief visit, back to Akron, and then to Ashland. I returned to Arizona with Blanche Heath the middle of November.
In June, 1947, Ethel, Pat, Aileen and I drove East. Ethel was going to pick up a car in Detroit, and since Berta was ill they asked me to come. We received bulletins all along the way, but she died just before we arrived. I remained there with Lucile for six weeks, trying to sort out the sentimental accumulations of years. She sold the house and moved into an apartment on Torrey Hill Drive, overlooking Ottawa Park.
On August 18, 1948, my granddaughter, Carmen Maria Mila de la Roca was born, Mark, Florence and the boys were living in a nice home in Westchester at the time. Mark was a designing engineer with Payne Furnace. A year later, Payne moved to a suburb on the other side of Los Angeles, and they sold their Westchester house and moved to Duarte.
1950 was a very bad year for the whole family. In March Edna died after a short illness. In June Mark was in an automobile accident and received 47 fractures and serious internal injuries. While he was still in the hospital, his older son John, who had just graduated from high school, was alerted with the 40th Division National Guard for Korean duty. Mark left the hospital in September and was able to return to work on crutches in October.
On November 16th, still in 1950, I fell and broke my hip. This was to be expected, since I was the last one of the sisters to break a hip. Berta broke hers in a fail in Ashland and was in the hospital there for eight months. Florence was next. She fell in her home and was in the hospital in Akron for a long time. Then Edna broke hers, and was in a New Jersey hospital. Florence and I went to see her in the hospital there. I was in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix for four months, then brought Louise Alcott home with me for a month. Ruth came over and stayed for awhile, then took me home with her to Cheviot Hills.
After Bob died, I had lived in #5 by myself, and at the suggestion of Paul, had various officials of Goodyear who made short trips to Litchfield Park occupy my guest room. This was not only company for me, but helped pay expenses. At one time, Hilda Von Siller, who wrote mystery books under the name Von Siller, spent a month with me while she was writing a book.
However, after I broke my hip, it was too dangerous for me to stay alone, So I moved to Bob’s. We lived in Cheviot Hills for a year, then moved to Manning Avenue. While we were there, Bob left for the Virgin Islands and secured a divorce from Ruth. After his return, Bob and I moved to an apartment on Oakhurst, where we kept house together. On December 19th, 1953, Bob married Helene Phipps, whom he had met in Mexico City. She had a daughter Sally by her first marriage, whom I grew to love dearly, as I did her mother.
We moved next to Olympia Blvd., a large home, beautifully arranged for entertaining. We lived there two years, and during that time Sally was married to C. A. Korkowski, whom we call “Corky”. After her marriage, the house was much too large for the three of us, so we moved to an apartment in the LaBrea Towers, where we lived for two years, and then to our present apartment at 8222 De Longpre, in Hollywood.
We have a very nice apartment in a two story building with only ten other apartments surrounding a pool on three sides. Our neighbors are very pleasant, and we have barbeques beside the pool frequently. Bob loves to cook and is quite as good a cook as Helene, so our meals are more of a gourmet type.
Mark, Florence and Carmen had moved to Sacramento in 1956 with Aerojet General Corporation where he is a designing engineer, and since that time I have divided my life between the two places, spending the winter months in Sacramento, and the summers at Los Angeles, contrary to general custom. However in this case the summers in Los Angeles are quite pleasant, especially with the pool, while they are unbearable hot in the north. I have also gone to Litchfield Park nearly every year.
In March 1959, after years of semi-invalidism, Paul died following an operation in Phoenix. And three weeks later, Kenneth McMicken died suddenly from a hear attack. I have been back twice since then, but it doesn’t seem the same. Paul was always a great friend of everyone’s, and Litchfield Park was his pride and joy. Kenneth, who was Paul’s cousin, was another one who was loved by all, and the double loss was a great one to not only Litchfield Park but the country.
Now I must slow down because of my age, and although my eyes aren’t good I do some reading, and play Bolivia. I can’t be on my feet long at a time, and must rest often. When I started dictating these “memories” I planned about twenty pages, but they have multiplied and multiplied until they have almost reached the size of a book.
I have searched through my pictures, and found many that I am including in this boo,. Some, of which I have only one copy, I sent to San Francisco and had copies made to include in all the books. On the back of Pap’s picture, taken in Columbus in civilian clothes before he was married he had written, “Truly, Joe.” Mama’s, taken in Alliance, has on the back in her handwriting, “Aunt E. A. Linville, accept this as a picture shadow of your absent niece, L. A. P.” Papa’s war picture, Mama’s and Papa’s later pictures, a picture of Father Tubbs which I included in Florence Elizabeth’s and Bob Jr.’s books, were among the copies. Other pictures that would hold more interest for one or the other, I placed in the appropriate books. In each book, I have placed at the back an envelope holding clippings and pictures of particular interest to that family. Florence Elizabeth has the negatives of the pictures we had copied in San Francisco, and if other copies are needed she will loan the negatives, but they are to be returned to her.
I am also putting extra pages in the books for your family histories, or for any notes you want to add. All of this is to the best of my memory. I am not sure of many of the dates, and there may be things you want to add, so there is room at the bottom of the pages for footnotes.
I feel as if I had been brainwashed, and I’m glad it’s out of my system. Now I can start in on the fruit cake, and coloring sugar for the Christmas cookies, while Florence E. types this. Believe me, she’s worked at if for weeks and weeks. It’s all in my words, though, she hasn’t changed it a bit.
December 14, 1961