The Story of My Life
by Hazel D. Golliher
|Martha edited Aunt Hazels story (just a little), with minor punctuation changes, moving a few paragraphs for continuity, and adding a few words for clarity.
I was born March 10, 1897 in Mt. Carbon, East Murphysboro, Illinois, in a house on the banks of the Big Muddy River, which flows through the town. They called the row of houses White Row, and they were rented to the coal miners mostly at a very low rent; Big Muddy Coal and Iron Co., owning most of the land around the East part of Murphysboro, Ill., where the first coal mine every sunk is located, or was located.
My first recollection of my fathers place of employment was No. 6 coal mine, and I heard him speak of working in the tunnel many times. He worked in the coal mine fifty years and was given a bronze medal for this, which he wore on his watch chain many years.
We moved many times around Mt. Carbon and Murphysboro, Ill., as I remember while I was growing up. There was, and still is, a road in old Mt. Carbon named Fiddlers Ridge. I do not know why it is so named.
My father, whose name was John Calvin Johnston, was born in Murphysboro and also his brother George was born in Murphysboro after his father and mother came from the south, Fannin County, Georgia, to avoid fighting with the south in the Civil War. He was against slavery. Dads father was named Reuben Johnston and his mother was Elizabeth Kee. She had a sister Jewel and a brother, John. My fathers idol was Uncle John. As far back as I can remember, Dad talked about Uncle John and Aunt Jewel. Aunt Jewel had two girls, Ella and May.
Dad had two sisters, Frances and Susanna, both of whom died of small pox and are buried in the old Pleasant Grove Cemetery. They were grown when they died.
My mothers name was Eva May Bennett, her Fathers name was Arthur Bennett, who fought in the Civil War, was married and (this) wife died. They had a daughter named Sarah and when he came back from the war he married my Grandmother Laura Ryburn, my mothers mother. She took little Sarah in as a daughter, and loved her as her own. They had eight children, George, Edward, Emma, Eva May, Arthur (who died in infancy), Ada and Charles. I remember all of my aunts and uncles on my mothers side, mostly. I dont remember my Grandfather who died before she died. I always loved to visit Aunt Sarah, who married John Farley. They lived on a farm and my earliest recollections are going to Aunt Sarahs home and staying several days and nights and riding horseback. They always had a big shepherd dog I loved and was(nt) afraid of. I felt safe when he was there.
When I was a preschooler we moved on the Ridge, and just across the road was a family named Crombar, Pole and Annie Crombar, Moms best friend and neighbor. I think Lila and Leo were both born here.
My Mother and Dad had eight children; their first named Edith, who died at the age of two years and seven months. I was next, Ethel, then Lila, Leo, and it was here I started to school, had to walk about four miles to school, and always had older boys and girls to go with. Our school was later on moved to Mt. Carbon, where we all attended. I was graduated from Mt. Carbon School, eighth grade when I was 14 years old, altho I attended Washington School, Murphysboro, seventh grade. My father had a house built on Lucier Street just across from the school, which he traded to Alex Irwin for a place in Mt. Carbon. My father was so scared to be in debt. He only owed $600 and was off all summer from work because of a strike and owed almost $100.00 grocery bill with Ceasar Taveggia, and was afraid he wouldnt be able to keep his new home.
Before this we lived in Mt. Carbon on the road that led to the old sulphur pond and Dad always had cows and horses, chickens and pigs he did this to supplement his wages at the mine for we hungry children. It was here that I learned to ride horseback and loved it so much. I would race to the pond with a boy who was in my class at school, Harry Boston, who would bring his horse to the pond for water, and I would take mine for water. There was not much activities for youngsters in Mt. Carbon at that time, that I knew about, but horseback riding. I always loved my horse and loved to ride.
My first recollections of going to church and Sunday School was at the Mt. Carbon Christian (Order) Church, where I was in Mrs. Alex Irwins class, and when I was about 6 or 7 years old, there was to be a meeting of most of the rural churches at Crab Orchard Church out in the country. I was to sing a solo entitled Speak A Little Word for Jesus and our organist old fashioned organ, was Corinne Morgan and she had practiced with me until I felt that I was tops; and when the time came for me to go, I came down with the measles and could not go and this was one of my first disappointments and my Father and Mother were real sad that I could not go. I remember looking out the window and seeing them all leave in a horse drawn wagon and leaving me in bed.
My first recollections were that my Mother was ailing most of the time, and I had to help with the housework from the time I was big enough to stand on a box and wipe dishes. When I was twelve year old, Helen was born, and I did the family washing and cooked the meals for our family. This was the place where Helen was born and when she was nine days old, our house caught fire and burned every rag of clothes and shoes we children had and Dad went to a second hand shoe store and purchased shoes for us to wear. Friends managed to get some of our furniture out of the house. I remember Dad coming home from work and smiling, and saying he was glad no one was burned and (I remember) how he overcame this trial. I have thought about it so many times since, during lifes trials. Another little ditty he would say to me was Hazel, dont be a tenderfoot. This has stayed with me all these years. It was from this house that we moved to Herrin, Ill., where Dad worked in the mines for 11 months. I was about 12 years old and I attended the Methodist Church there and went to the altar and was baptized by Rev. Whitlock, who was the Pastor. I learned the 23rd Psalm, The Lords Prayer, Beatitudes, the Apostles Creed and many things during Junior League, which I attended on Sunday afternoon.
My Father had a very dear friend who lived in Herrin named Grant Winchester, his wife was Ada, they had been boyhood friends. Also at this time, Uncle John Kee lived there.
Then we moved back to Murphysboro in what was called the flats where Ken was born and I attended the Ozburn School, also called Old Brick School.
While we lived on the Irwin place in Mt. Carbon, my Father and Mothers youngest child, Harold, was born on June 10, 1914, the year before I was married.
By this same time, (in the Mt. Carbon area), there came two coal miners named Jack Emmerson and Henry Matheny, preaching a revival in our Christian Church and they preached holiness and sanctification which some of the members there opposed and it was not long until they were told they could not preach that doctrine. They asked to preach in Mt. Carbon School house, where my Mother went to the altar, seeking the blessing of sanctification; she obtained it and this caused a division in our home. My Mother later joined the Holiness Church that was organized and built; my Father staying with the Christian church, although he later on said he believed in holiness and was an exhorter in his church and preached it. I have heard him do so, when I went with him to preach and I would play the piano and sing for him. Then a lady and man (husband) named Lillie and Allen Truelove offered to let the congregation of the new church have services in their yard. The men built benches without backs and an organ was rolled out on the long porch and a pulpit (was) built for the preacher and we would have church under the stars.
Later on a church was built at the fork of the old hard road and the road leading down to Fiddlers Ridge. I attended church there and met a boy who later became my husband, George Golliher. I started going with him in May and we kept company for two years and one month and on June 20, 1915 we were married in the church at high noon, by Rev. J. T. Kimbrough who was our Pastor at that time. Robt. and Sarah Wheeler stood up with us. Sarah is my husbands niece. He (Pastor Kimbrough) lived in Clifton Hill, Mo., and would come by train once a month to preach; our church was called Independent Holiness.
I think I should say what my wedding outfit was like. It was a white cotton dress, trimmed with lace insertion; my undies were white cotton, with beading in the skirt and corset cover which had blue baby ribbon run through to tie. I wore a borrowed veil which was about one-half the length of the dress, borrowed from Aunt Lizzie Gollihers sister, Kate Pittman. I wore white buck shoes. We spent our first night with my husbands Mother and Father, who had bought a new bedroom suite for us. We stayed with them until after our first child was born, Martha Elizabeth, then moved to North Street where we lived about three years, then bought a house on Clay Street where Robert Howard was born.
Back to our wedding. As near as I can remember, I carried a bouquet of carnations I think they were white and pink. As I mentioned before, Robert and Sarah Wheeler stood up with us as our witnesses. Catherine McGowan played the piano, and my Father gave a reception of dinner in our yard, on the old Carbondale road. We had a ham dinner; he also bought a stalk of bananas, hung it in our smoke house, as out buildings were called at that time. My brother, Ken, remembers this as he enjoyed the bananas so much, he says. We also had cake. I received many nice gifts, two of which I have now. Kate and John Sowman gave us an oval Bavarian China dish. Lizzie and Jesse Golliher gave us a round bowl in Bavarian China. My Father-in-law kissed me after our wedding and my husband teased him about it. He was always very nice to me; also my Mother-in-law was very good to me, taking wonderful care of me after my first child was born. She was my nurse, feeding me cookies and tea, so I could feed my baby, she said. I nursed all five of my children, never owned a bottle in my family life. God has been very good to me and my family, and I do thank Him so much.
Soon after we were married, Rev. C. I. DeBoard of East St. Louis, Illinois came and held a revival for us, and insisted that our church join the Church of the Nazarene, which he pastored in East St. Louis, Ill. He organized the church and my husband and I became charter members of the church. Im sorry I do not know the dates of all these happenings; the papers were lost in the tornado of 1925.
My Uncle George Johnston married Harriett Quillman and had four children, Stella, Elizabeth, George and John (whom everyone called Jack). He (Uncle George) was married before Dad and Mom, as he was older than Dad.
Some pleasant memories I have are about hitching the horse to the buggy and going to the mine for my Dad and Uncle George, who would ride with us. Sometimes the mine would blow-out as it was called, and not work all day and whatever I was doing when I heard that whistle blow nine short whistles, I would quit and run out in the pasture and get the horse, and hurry and hitch her to the buggy, and go quickly after my Dad. By this time we were living on the old Carbondale Road (which is old Route 13 now), and it was here Harold was born, when I was 17 years old.
And this is where my wedding reception was held in our front yard. Dad had made some make-shift tables and we had a large crowd of friends and relatives for the reception, serving ham and etc.
My Husbands father was George Golliher, (Sr.) and his mother was Sarah Reed Snowman; she had been married before she married my husbands father; and she was the second wife of Mr. Golliher who had married a Martha Wright; he had one son by this first wife named William. Mrs. Snowmans first husbands name was Tom Snowman and she had four children by him: Edward, Lizzie (Elizabeth), Tom and John. My husbands father and she had three children after they were married, Jesse, May and George, (Jr.)
After our marriage, we went to live with his (my husbands) Mother and Dad. We had our bedroom and we all lived together. We did not have a honeymoon as people do today; we went straight to live with his Mom and Dad; we shared the bills, and started saving for money to buy furniture and a home for ourselves.
It was in April 19, 1916 that my first child was born, at this house where we moved with my husbands parents. We didnt have a name for our first child picked, and when Grandpa Golliher came home from work that afternoon he said, Her name is Martha only he called it Marthy. We called her Martha Elizabeth, for my Grandmother (the Elizabeth).
My husband was employed by the Mobile and Ohio Railroad which had (its) shops in Murphysboro at that time. These shops were destroyed by the tornado of March 1925 and my husband was given work for the Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad in East St. Louis, at that time where he worked until he retired for health purposes in 1937.
We lived with Grandpa Golliher and Grandma Golliher a year and moved into a rented house on North Street in Murphysboro, where we saved to buy our own home, which we purchased after about three years, on North Street. Then we moved to Clay Street and bought the home. This was where my first son, Robert Howard was born August 7, 1918. This was about the time of World War I and my husband was exempted because he had two children.
I was lonely on Clay Street and wanted to move back to Mt. Carbon, so we rented a double house on White Row. Dora Clements, who was a widow with five children, lived on one side of the house and we lived on the other side. In the meantime, my husbands Father had died and Grandma Golliher sold her house to May and her husband, Charley Morgan. We bought their little house that was located down the road from Grandma Golliher. We lived there about three years. Hannah (Evelyn) was born there on February 21, 1921. She was named by her Father; I named Robert Howard. Shortly after her birth, we bought an 80 acre farm, located south of town, where we moved into in March after Hannah was born. My husband commuted by way of car to work (in Murphysboro). Martha and Robert attended the rural school called Sharon School, where a new school is built now; a beautiful school where Mt. Carbon and surrounding county children attend by way of school bus, now.
While living on the farm we bought a little five room house on South 8th Street and rented it out for a few years until my husband decided to move from the farm because it was so hard to get to work during bad winter weather. While we lived on the farm, my husband planted peach and apple orchards. We had a hired hand named Ernie Marshall, who had a room upstairs in our big nine room house. Wages at that time were very low, and he worked for us for $1.00 a day and room and board. After we moved to South 8th St. on May 23, 1930, my second son Donald Reed was born. I named him. I have gotten ahead of my story. While we lived on the farm, my third daughter, Lila Mae, was born on February 27, 1926, the next year after the destructive Tornado of March 18, 1925, that did so much destruction in Murphysboro and killed so many; I believe over 200. It destroyed our church in Mt. Carbon, also the M & O Shops where my husband worked. He was transferred to Tolson Yards, East St. Louis, Ill., where he worked nine years. It was while working there that he started feeling so bad, that he came home one day and told me he was going to the Missouri Pacific Hospital that was affiliated with the M & O. It was at the MOPAC hospital he went through their clinic and they found that he had a serious heart condition. He stayed in the hospital until October; he went in August. He came home for one week, and our doctor wanted him to go back to the hospital; he went back in October and stayed all winter until the next January.
I shall never forget that year. I boarded Lila Mae and Don at my Mothers that winter, and I went up and stayed with my sister, Helen, and her husband, Howard, all winter, and went to the hospital every day but one by way of bus and street car to be with him. He was very ill and we felt he would never leave the hospital and the Good Lord let him come home in January; he was still very ill but he got well enough to go to church. While he was ill, I did what I could to help keep the wolf from the door, and my first child, Martha, had in the meantime graduated from high school and accepted a job in Springfield, Ill., with Federal Housing Administration, and she sent us a check every two weeks which was her pay day. I wall papered and cleaned wall paper for my friends during this time. My husband got well enough on several days, to come to the homes where we were working to visit us and talk with us. My good friend, Laura Franklin, would paste the paper for me and we would split the pay equally she did this to help me, she did not have to do it.
After my husbands death, which occurred July 20th, 1940 at the age of 46 years old, I still worked at this job of papering and cleaning wallpaper until one day while I was almost exhausted my friend, Gladys Mays, came by my house and said they wanted someone at the Brown Shoe Factory to come in and work in the place of the nurse who was taking her mother to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., for an eye operation, and she (Gladys) had recommended me to the Superintendent. I went out in February 1942, worked a week at the hospital and got along real good.
After the nurse came back, I was out of a job, and went back to my old occupation, and one day while papering at Dora Clements house, she came home from work (at Brown Shoe Company) on Friday, and told me she had asked her boss for a job for me at the shoe factory. He said for me to come the following Monday and start work in the packing room. During all this time, Robert had gone to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and gotten his Bachelors Degree and Hannah was training for nurse at the Memorial Hospital in Alton, Illinois. A year after my husbands death, I sold the farm and this money has helped a lot with the education of my family. Thank the Lord I have not had to spend much of it on myself, as I have made my own way pretty well. Dora said I was killing myself with my papering job and she wanted me to have work where I wouldnt slave so hard. I have always had good friends who have been very kind to me and my family. I only worked one year in the packing room, then went to work in the factory hospital to work.
It was while living on 8th Street that Don started school at SIU (Southern Illinois University) in Carbondale, Ill. Then after a Sunday nights sermon by Rev. James Campbell, who was our pastor at the time, he announced to me when we were going home from church, he was going to Olivet University at Kankakee, Ill. He didnt even have a suit case to leave home with (he had to borrow his Uncle Joe Hughes suitcase) when he left the next Monday morning. He graduated from Olivet, met Esther Ferguson while there and they were married later.
In the meantime, my oldest daughter, Martha, had married Lyle Heitz. They were married in Chicago where she had gone to work in the head office of FHA (Federal Housing Administration). Also Hannah had married Clarence Sellers from Michigan, whom she met at Percy Jones Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, while working there nursing.
Also, Lila Mae met and married Ed Cullinan from St. Louis, whom she met while working in St. Louis.
Robert had returned home and taught high school in Grand Tower, Ill., and when the school was moved into a new building in Wolf Lake, he decided he would not go there to teach, because he would have to accept the school as an assistant principal. This is the reason he gave me. He went to Michigan, lived in Lila Mae and Ed, taught one year in Niles, Michigan. Then he went to the Chicago area where he accepted the principalship of Wolcott School in Thornton, Illinois. It was here where he met and married Jeannette Richardson, and they became the parents of Daphne and Roberta.
Well, after working 18 years at the Shoe Factory, (their way of counting seniority) I retired in June, 1959 at the age of 62, and sold my home on South 8th Street, and after living with my sister, Ethel a year, I decided I would go to Hannahs in Union Lake, Michigan, to live. I lived there one year, visiting with Don and Esther, who were living nearby in Madison Heights, Michigan. I have been visiting with all of my children since, trying to visit with each for a time.
Since I retired I have done some nice traveling. I went with Don and Esther to Niagara Falls, which I enjoyed so much. Also went to the Worlds Fair in New York with Martha and Lyle also to Gettysburg, Pa., where we saw the cemetery where (President) Lincoln delivered his famous speech. I went with Hannah and Clarence, and (daughter), Diann, to California by car. We visited the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and other places of interest. Also, my sister, Helen, and her husband (Howard), took me to Yosemite National Park, which was a beautiful place and was so enjoyable. Lila and Ernst have taken me to several pretty towns in Southern California, also up in the mountains. Leo and Ruth have taken me (also Lila) to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm. I have enjoyed going to Santa Ana on the bus with Lila and Ethel, after she moved to Southern California; also Joe and Ethel took me to many small towns in So. Calif. My brother, Ken and wife Edythe, have been very kind to me. They made it possible for me to go to Florida, since they are retired and live there. They helped me in many other ways, like getting seats for us to attend the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California also to see a football game.
My relatives have been so kind to me and I thank the Lord for each and every one also my dear children who are so kind to me when I am ill and do everything they can to make me happy. I also have five grandsons, the best in the world, (John, Douglas, Michael, Kerry, Donald, Jr., Dennis, my step-grandson,) and five granddaughters, (Diann, Patricia, Wendy, Daphne and Roberta), also they are the best.
When I was a child one of the highlights of fun was when Mom and Dad would take us all to Herrin, Illinois to visit with the Winchesters. We would get on old Billy Bryants train at Texas Junction in Mt. Carbon. We would sleep on pallets on the floor; and play with Ruby, Myrtle, Elsie, and Pearl, their children. And Aunt Emma and Uncle Silas Stowers would come from where they lived in Williamson County to visit our family, bringing their children, Fred, Arlie, Alma, Clyde. Later on they had Ralph and Elsie, who are younger than I. Uncle Charlie lived most of his life in Chicago and never brought his family down to see us many times. His wife was aunt Rose (Burklow); his children were Thelma, Vernon, Eileen (they lost a child named Earl), and Arthur.
Uncle George (Bennett) married Lottie Engram who was married before and had a daughter name Mayme; they had no children by each other. Uncle Ed (Bennett) and his wife name Maude (Crews) had Ardell and George.
Aunt Ada married Amos Brewer, and had a daughter by him named Ora, who died in her teens with tuberculosis, whom I sat with all night the night before she died. Later she (Aunt Ada) married James Sorenson and had three children by him, named Marie, Paul and Virgil. They lived in Murphysboro and we visited a lot. What I remember about Aunt Ada was that she could dance so well and bake bread. We called it light bread; we loved her bread.
This story is chopped up and some things should have been said at different places in the transcript, but I have thought later on about some of the story and didnt want to leave anything out.
My Aunt Hattie would attend we children and help Mom when we were born and help with the housework. I remember her for that mostly. Mama had so many hired girls, as they were called at that time, who would do our house work when Mom was sick. Some were named Kate Jones, Nell Mays, Myrtle Crombar and Florence Rosin.
Some of the fun times I can remember, since I have been married, is when my husbands relatives and our friends would get together, mostly on New Years Eve; we would play the piano, Dad the violin, Tullie Mays the Hawaiian guitar, and all would sing. We would have midnight lunch, probably of hot dogs, etc., coffee, tea and soda pop to drink; no strong drinks ever. The children that were old enough can remember these gatherings; they were when we were all younger, since growing older we mostly spent the New Years eve at watch night service at church, being on our knees when the old year passed away and the new was ushered in.
I failed to tell at the right place that I was only a child when I joined the church in Herrin, Ill., and felt that I needed to have a know-so experience as I grew older, and on thanksgiving afternoon, when I was 15 years old, I went to the altar in the holiness church in Mt. Carbon and accepted the Lord Jesus in my heart, and since that time I have found that trusting in Him was my only help in this world, and He has been my guide and stay through life, thus far.
One of the things I remember about living on the Irwin place is the butternut tree in our pasture. They were so good, we called them butternuts; our Dad called them that. It may not be the official name. I havent tasted one since we lived there when I was a teenager. There were also hazelnuts in those woods around Mt. Carbon and paw-paws; my father loved them.
(I recall) also how Dad and Uncle George would go geese and duck hunting and bring them back hung by the neck on their hunting coats. They would go to Wolff Lake which is not far away and come back with tall stories. I loved to hear about their hunting.
I remember some sayings my Mother hand. One was When a task is once begun, never leave it til its done; Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all. And another Never put off til tomorrow, what can be done today. This was her unique way of getting things done and sometimes in a hurry. These are things I can remember, which should have been put in an another place in the story.
One Christmas when I was keeping company with my husband, my Dad walked to town from our home where we lived when I was married, and he brought Ethel and I a set of furs that were beautiful. They were a neck piece and muff for our hands. He also brought us a new suit, the first I ever had in my life. It was a jacket and skirt, green in color and button trimmed. I cant remember what Ethels looked like. I was so enthused over mine; I can just see it in my minds eye even now!
Mom saw to it that we had good food, a warm home, and plenty of cover for our beds.Dad carried the purse at our house. Mom was very generous with us; all she could do, she did, to make us all happy.
I know this should have been written at the time I was telling about my school days. Well, I remember some of my teachers in the old Ozburn School. My 2nd grade teacher was Lizzie Murphy and in the 3rd grade (and I think the 4th) was Emily Roberts. At Washington (School), in the 7th grade, was Mollie Rawlings. We moved to Mt. Carbon and Adda Trobaugh was my teacher in the last part of the 7th. She wanted me to go to High School so much that she said I could come and live with her on Spruce Street, and wash her dishes and she would let me live with them. She had two boys, Frank and Bain; Frank is a lawyer now and Bain died.
The next year was by 8th grade, and Emmett Fisher was my teacher and there were only two pupils who graduated. The rest were drop-outs, mostly boys. Myself and Stella were the graduates.
In those days, 8th grade students had to go to the High School and take exams called final. I had a very good grade and only wish I had something to show for my grades; and I won a scholarship that would have helped me to go to Carbondale College. It was then called Normal College tand is now S.I.U. Southern Illinois University. I do not have my 8th grade card; our County Superintendent at that time was a J. Rendleman, and the old Mt. Carbon School has long since been abandoned and sold. I guess there are no papers that could be found about the students that once attended there. I think most of my brothers and sisters graduated from Mt. Carbon School. Being the children of a middle class coal miner, we didnt have the opportunity that children have now-days.
I had to stay at home most every Monday at least until noon and help my mother wash on the board. We had no machines in those days and Mom wasnt able to do it all by herself. I knew this when I was invited to stay at Mrs. Trobaughs and go to High School. I also wondered if I could have the nice clothes that kids wore to school. I really believe now that my Father would have done all that was in his power to dress me good to go to (High) School.
I remember the next year after I graduated being outside washing and hearing the school bell ring and I had tears drop in the wash tub I wanted to go to school so badly I cried. Of course, I was all done with Mt. Carbon School.
I also made up my mind when young that if ever I had children, I would do all I could to see that they were able to get an education. I realize an education by itself isnt all thats important. There is the importance of being a Christian that is the most important than all else, and being a Golden Rule person. We must live by the Golden Rule, and see that our heart is right with our Maker, first of all. These are important!
Today is February 7, 1968, Wednesday, and at 4:17 A.M., our (Grandson) Michael and Ellen had their first born and my first great grand-child whom they have named Melinda and I only wish her great grandfather was here to share our joy. It was not Gods will and I will never understand why, until I hear it from our Heavenly Father.
I started keeping company with him (George) at the age of 16 and we were married when I was 18 and he 21. I never had another boy friend but my husband, whom I loved very much, and have missed all these long years, and I hope my grandchildren will be as much in love with their companions, when and if they get married. I have had to trust in the good Lord all these years, and am glad He has been with me.
Some thing during the depression years are real comical, looking back over them. Martha, Bob and Hannah were not at home. Dad (George), me and the other children would go to prayer meeting on Wednesday night, and invariably he would ask if we could not all go by Shemwells and get pop and ice cream. Sometimes I would not have the money for such a small thing to do and would proceed to tell him so, to the chagrin of the children. He wanted to have a little social doings with his family; I was always so sorry to say, we could not afford it. It seems funny thinking back on it. We would think it funny now. We always had plenty of warm fire and bed clothes in the winter, and clothes enough to wear; if I had to send an order off to Montgomery Ward and pay for it by the month. Also had grocers to get food from on time most always it was Pautlers. Thank Heaven, I managed to pay all my bills. Sometimes I would write to Martha, who was working, and tell her my plight, and she would help me to catch up as I never wanted to worry Dad with those things, as he almost had a nervous breakdown about the time Don was born. I was happier to keep all worry away from him, also he was happier.
After his death, and when Don was in Olivet, I had obtained work and I sent him $10.00 a week for food which was such a small amount. I know now he had trouble keeping himself in food with this meager amount. Once I was left with only $3.00 to buy my food and luckily I had staple groceries in and only had to buy meat, etc. I ate lunch at the shoe factory; it cost most always about $.50 a day. I would go to town on Friday and get my check cashed and send Dons money to him. I kept two envelopes in the cabinet in my little hospital; one marked tithe which I always put money in first, then the other was marked MOM. We all contributed so much a month for her keep. I am glad I learned to accept responsibility early in my life. Although I am like all human beings and have made mistakes all along the way; I do not claim to be perfect in every way.
In our modern times, the widows and orphans are cared for much better than in my younger days. Widows had to wash (clothes), have festivals for friends who would come and buy oyster soup, sandwiches, candy and pop and the festival would most times end in the young couples would have square dances. They were called (play parties then) but as I remember then they were square dances. Some widows got school janitor jobs which kindly friends voted for on the school board helped them obtain. In fact, my sister-in-law, Lizzie Loftus (my husbands half-sister) was janitor at Mt. Carbon School quite a long time; also Mrs. Lillian Holt, who had a big family and many trials after her husband died. They were our neighbors during the time we lived in the old Irwin place. She also sold candy, etc., to school children after she moved closer to the school. I remember going with our hired girl, Myrtle Crombar, and her boy friend, Jack Tonner (she later on married), to a festival and I remember watching them dancing and playing in the dusty big road. I believe this festival was at the home of a widow named Mrs. Jones, who cared for her mother who was bedfast for years. Our country has gone a long way since then in caring for widows and orphans.
I well remember before F. D. Roosevelt was elected, that my husband and I went to Carbondale to hear a speaker called Kent Keller from Ava, Illinois and he was speaking for Social Security, which I thought at the time never would come true and which is truly here now, and I hope to stay. There, of course, are different aids for needy people. I remember, when I was growing up, we also had old men and old women living alone such as Grandpa Cooper and Granny Underwood. Coopers first name was Flavis and his daughter, Mrs. Etta Underwood, lived across the road from him and also our family. Grandpa used to come down the road and sit on our front porch with Dad and talk about the Bible. I was always there and listened and learned a lot about the Bible from them. It was always in the evening before going to bed. Not always would Grandpa and Dad agree on what was meant by what the bible said. I really believe I had one of the happiest childhoods that anyone could have, even though I had lots of responsibilities as a child. I feel they were the makings of my character which I hope is alright.
The first days of our Nazarene Church were filled with hardships. The first D.S. (District Superintendent) I remember was Rev. Chas. A. Brown, who would come to visit our church and was entertained in our home most always.
We had (Missionary) Lula Schmelzenbach and daughter at our church and we entertained them in our home for Sunday dinner. We also had Dr. R. T. Williams and Dr. Goodwin in our home for Sunday dinners. I also remember Dr. Reynolds also, and his wife; they were old and gray when I first saw them at old Olivet College, Olivet, Illinois, where we used to go to Assemblys and Camp Meetings. I also remember the Lillenas, both Haldor and Bertha, who would sing and most of the congregation would shout and run the aisles.
I remember going out in dusty roads and soliciting people to take dime folders to fill for different things we would have to raise money for (mostly interest on our bank loan for our property) after we bought the old Methodist Church building on 7th and Walnut Streets, in Murphysboro. My husband and Rev. I. G. Young made a trip to Kansas City, Mo., for a loan from Church Extension of $1,000.00 There was some opposition to us moving to town and we lost some good members.
I also had Brother Thakabia from Israel in my home, a missionary. Our first Pastor, Frank Robinson stayed in our home until the parsonage could be built for him and his wife, Leona, and their son, Radcliffe.
Those were the pioneering days of our church. I also remember Dr. J. G. Morrison, our Missionary Representative whose slogan Cant you do a little bit more was spoken so often for Missions. His untimely death was a shock to us all.
Postlude by Martha
I have copied this from Moms handwritten text, and there are a lot of parts in her story that are not in chronological order, but it is written as she remembered it and also after she had suffered her stroke. I feel it is best to let it remain as is in her own words.
After editing Moms story of her life, I would like you to know that after she retired in June, 1959 at age 62, and had sold her home in Murphysboro, Ill., she shared the rest of her life with her brothers and sisters (as you will note in her account of her many travels) and with her five children and their families, always helping everywhere she went. One day I came home from my school job and brought a red notebook, and suggested that she start writing her story of her life.
This was not long after she had returned to Chicago from spending several months with her sister and brother-in-law, Aunt Ethel and Uncle Joe. They lived in Southern California and Aunt Ethel was suffering from cancer. Mom stayed until Aunt Ethel had passed away, and until after her funeral. Lyle and I were celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary on July 19, 1966 with a home reception on that Sunday afternoon and evening, and Mom had ridden the train back to surprise us and be present at our celebration. She arrived Saturday, July 18, and Bob and family picked her up at the train station. What a happy surprise she gave us! All of my brothers and sisters were there too. We had relatives and friends and a very nice time of celebrating our Anniversary.
The next morning our Mom suffered a stroke, and had to be taken to Roseland Hospital, on Chicagos Southside, where she spent about six weeks recovering.
She stayed on with us until she was able to travel again; then she divided her time between the five of us. Her death at age 72 came while she was with Hannah and Clarence in Union Lake, Michigan. We took her back home to Murphysboro for her funeral and burial at Mr. Pleasant Cemetery, next to our Dad.
A Tribute to My Grandmother
by John Heitz, her oldest grandson
To observe the industriousness and vitality of my Grandmother as she goes about her daily routine of taking care of our home, one would scarcely believe that she has reached the age of retirement. She possesses the same degree of strength and stamina that would characterize an individual of a more youthful age. Her untiring devotion to a task until it is completed produces remarkable results in the quality and quantity of work which she can accomplish. Her tremendous capacity for work probably stems from having been the oldest child in a large family thereby creating responsibilities for her at an early age.
A dominant trait of my Grandmothers personality is her deep and unselfish desire to help those in need of assistance. Many times she has sacrificed and denied herself items of personal comfort in an attempt to help those relatives and acquaintances in need of her service. I have never known her to refuse assistance to an individual who was experiencing hardship or tragedy. Out of her compassionate nature also stems a sense of humor which overflows with the cheerfulness and mirth of a person who is enjoying life to the fullest. Her attitude toward life is radiated in the vigorous manner in which she pursues each daily activity.
Since retirement and deciding to dispose of her home, she divides her time among five children, (10 grandchildren) and six brothers and sisters, who maintain residences throughout the U.S.A. from California to Michigan. One son-in-law affectionately has nick-named her John Foster Dulles because of her ability to pack up and be ready to go the minute she feels needed in one of her eleven places of abode.
A real sense of devotion to her family, and a willingness to quickly lend a helping hand to her children and friends, is her most admirable characteristic.