Memoirs of My Childhood


  
by Dorothy Brumbaugh Wise
(Edited by Travis Wise)


Homestead


I was born in the first house west of where the streets now called Duquette Ave and Pontius Street cross.  Our house was on what is now Pontius Street.  That crossroads in those days were called Brumbaugh’s Corners.  Pontius Street was called the County Line Road, and separated Portage County and Stark County.  We lived in Randolph Township, which was in Portage County.
  
 My paternal grandparents, Samuel (“Sam”) and Mary "Polly" Brumbaugh, lived on the north side of the crossroads, on a 60-acre farm.  Grandpa had a sawmill, cider press, and apple butter factory along the road.  My dad would carry me on his back to see my grandfather and grandmother (Sam and Polly).
 
My grandmother often talked about the hours she worked making crocks of apple butter for sale.  My grandparents would boil down apple butter for customers along with pressing cider.  The apple butter would be put in gallon crocks and when it cooled my grandmother would tie brown paper over the top.
 
My grandfather would usually have a round pink peppermint candy in his pocket and would give me one or more to snack on.  My grandfather died when I was 4 ½ years old.  After his death we moved across the street to their place.  My grandfather had wanted my dad to take over the farm and do the farming.
 
After we moved in, my grandmother lived with us part of the time.  She would keep busy cutting out quilt blocks and piecing quilts.  She added much to my mom’s unhappiness.   My grandmother and my mom did not get along well.  Sometimes my grandmother would go and stay with her other daughters, Verna Steffy and Jenny Dulabaum.
 
My dad didn’t like farming.  He wanted to be a thrasher instead, so they sold my grandparents’ farm, and we moved back to the place where I was born.  Before we could move back in, my dad had to evict the Amish family that had lived there as our tenants, because they weren’t able to pay the rent for the place.  My mother complained that they cut down and got rid of all the flowers and bushes she had when she previously lived there.

The Threshing Machine


My grandfather had a threshing machine that ran on a steam engine. My dad helped run it along with my grandfather.  The machine blew up the day before my grandfather died. Luckily, no one was hurt in the explosion.  Dad bought a new Rumbley engine and separator mechanism.  The separator took the grain from the straw.  The separator was run by the steam engine. The straw was blown out into the barnyard on a big pile called a straw stack.  Usually a man would stand out there and shape up the straw stack.  The straw stack was used to bed the livestock.  
 
The thresher would go around to all the different farms doing their threshing. It took several men to help on threshing day, so the neighbors would exchange help. The women would always cook a big dinner, and the men would eat really well.
 
The workers would carry the grain in big boxes and dump the grain in bins in the grainery. Today that work is all done with combines out in the field as it is cut off or harvested.  As a kid, I liked to play in the bins in the grainery when they would dump the grain on threshing day. I would push the grain to the back of the bin to make room for more as they brought it in.

Washing Clothes


Washday was always on Monday.  Washing was a big job.  The whole weekly wash was done in the same water, with the white clothes first, and the dark work clothes last.

The water all had to be pumped by hand outside at the well and carried to the kitchen, where it was heated in a big boiler on the cooking stove. The hot water had to be carried from the kitchen to the porch, where the washer was.  We had a big metal washtub for the cold rinse water. 
 
The stove was heated with wood or coal.  We mostly used wood, and it was my job to keep the wood box in the kitchen filled up with wood.  Every night I had to carry enough wood in for the next day.

Wash machines used to be wooden, and they had paddles that would be turned by hand to wash the clothes.  The wringer sat on top of the round wooden tub.  The wringer had to be turned by hand to get the water out of the clothes. 

The wringer was made of two rubber rollers, each about two or three inches in diameter. The rollers would press together, and were turned by whatever power was used to turn them.  The clothes would be put between the two rollers and that would squeeze the water out.  Sometimes the rollers would get worn and leave too much water in the clothes.  When that happened, we had to buy new rollers.

The best wash machine that we had was run by a little gasoline engine.  It would also turn the wringer to wring out the water from the clothes.  Dad would have to start the engine early in the morning before he left for work.  Sometimes it would run a few hours before Mom would have hot water and get around to wash.  Sometimes the engine didn’t want to work right and it would stop for Mom and she would have to wait till Dad came home to start it.  My parents had the back porch enclosed to protect the washer and engine. The engine had a pulley on it where a belt would run several feet to where the washer sat.  This would turn the agitator in the wash machine as well as the wringer.

Mother would use Blueing in the rinse water.  It would help to make the white clothes whiter.  The Blueing came in a small bottle and a few drops would be put in the rinse tub.

The water was not wasted. After the washing was done, the water was used to scrub the porches and the toilet, which was a little building down the hill.

Clothes driers were never heard of. The clothes were hung outside on the line.  Sometimes they would freeze stiff and then be brought in and hung on a rack in the kitchen.  Usually in the winter or on rainy days they were hung on a big wooden rack in the kitchen and dried from the heat off the cook stove.
 
Tuesday was usually ironing day.  The clothes had to be dampened and starched, because we did not have steam irons yet.  Mother usually dampened the clothes in the evening the night before we did ironing, and rolled each piece of clothing up separately and put them in the clothesbasket.  By the next morning, they would dampen thoroughly and they were easier to iron.

A pan of Argo Starch was cooked up until it was thick and put through a sieve into a bucket of cold water.  All the dresses, shirts, blouses and aprons were dipped in it, which made them look nicer when they were ironed.  When permanent press and no-iron material came on the market, we did not need to starch clothes anymore.  

The first irons I remember of were flat irons that were heated on top of the cook stove.  We would have three or four on the stove at a time, and one handle would fit on all of them.  Each iron might stay hot for five to ten minutes, and when one would cool off, there were always hot ones ready.

 One day a salesman came along selling gasoline irons. They had a little round gas tank on the back, about the size of a grapefruit. We had a hand pump about a foot long or more and had to pump air into the little round gas tank on the iron after it was filled with gas. Then we took a match and would turn a knob and as the gas was turned on it would light. I was always afraid of that iron.  Sometimes it would flame up when you would first light it and I was afraid of it exploding.  One time the tank blew off and flew up and made a hole in the ceiling.  But when it worked well, it did make ironing much faster and easier.
 
When I was small I would stand on the opposite side of the ironing board from my mother, and when she would put the iron down, I would grab it and try ironing.  She would get angry at me, and say, “When you are older, you will not like to iron.”  I have always remembered that, but I still like to iron, as long as I don’t have too much ironing to do.  
 
When we were old enough my sisters and I would have to iron the flat and un-dampened clothing.  We always had lots of handkerchiefs to iron because there were no tissues in those days.  So we all had a clean hanky to take to school everyday.  If we had colds we used many more.

When we got a hanky as a gift we were really pleased.  At Christmas time my aunts would usually give my sisters and me hankies, and we thought that was great.  That really helped to make our Christmas special.  It didn’t take much to make us happy.

Lighting


We had a gasoline lamp and lantern.  Just like the gasoline iron, they needed air pumped into the gasoline tank on the bottom of the lamp.  The lamps used two mantels, where the light would shine through and it would make a very bright white light.  This made a much better light than the oil lamps.  However, the mantels were very fragile.  A bump or a light touch to the mantels would cause them to go to pieces.  We would have to have several on hand.  If the mantle would break, they would all go to a white powder.  The gas lights had a round white glass shade, about twelve inches in diameter, surrounding the mantle.

Before we had the gasoline lamps we had oil lamps, which burned kerosene.  The oil lamps had plain glass chimneys and a long wick that would go down into the oil.  The wick would be turned up by a little knob through the burner.  The wicks had to be trimmed occasionally.  When we trimmed the wick, they had to be trimmed evenly or they would make an uneven flame.  Usually on Saturday we would wash the chimneys and trim the wicks.

We always had the oil lamps as extra lights, although we preferred to use the gas lamps. We usually used oil lamps to go to bed or when we had trouble with the gas lamps.

Christmas 


We always went to Grandma Fall’s home for Christmas dinner.  There were eleven children in her family.  Most all of them that lived in the area with their families would come to Christmas dinner.  Grandma had a big dinning room.  We usually had to set the table twice and they had a long extension table with several boards in it.  

The men and children would sit down to eat at the first table.  The women ate at the second table after the men had their stomachs filled.  Sometimes they would have to wash some dishes first before the women could eat.  But there always was a plenty of food to eat.
 
Each family brought one or more covered dishes.  The main dish was a turkey sent from Kansas.  We had mashed potatoes, gravy and dressing with the turkey, besides all the side dishes, and deserts.  Everyone looked forward to the turkey coming every year from Kansas.  My Aunt Minnie Tompson, my mother’s sister, lived in Kansas and since she couldn’t be with her relatives for Christmas, she would send a turkey.  The turkey was live and came by train in a cart.  My uncle that lived in Hartville would kill the turkey and some of my aunts or Grandma would dress it and prepare it.

My Mom and her sisters would exchange gifts and us children would be given hankies or some little gift.  Sometimes they would give material for our Mom to make us a dress.

The year before I got married was the last Christmas dinner at my grandmother’s home. She passed away in 1937 and her home was sold.
 
When I was a child we usually had a Christmas tree.  It was a live tree that was cut and we would decorate it with ornaments and tinsel.  We didn’t have lights for on it because we didn’t have electricity at that point.
 
We would always draw names at school and exchange gifts with a classmate.  The teacher would give us a little box of hard Christmas candy.  We might be given an orange, but any little thing meant a lot to us.



Water


Our well was side of the milk house. It had a hand pump on it.  All our water for house use had to be carried to the house.  Every night we had to make sure our buckets were filled up with water for the next day.  Our drinking water was in a granite bucket that sat on a small table in the kitchen.  It was the same table used to wash dishes on and do the baking.  It was an all-purpose worktable.  We had a dipper in the bucket of water and everyone drank out of the same dipper.  If we had colds we got a separate cup.

We always had a teakettle full of water on the stove.  Some people had reservoirs at the back of their stove that held water and would keep it hot as long as the stove was heated.

For our bath water we would heat large kettles of water on the stove and get the big wash tub in the kitchen and take a bath every Saturday afternoon, if we needed it or not. Sometimes a couple of us kids would use the same water.

People usually would have it so the rain water would run into a cistern. This was a reservoir or a tank of some kind underground, and the rain water from the downspouts would run into it.  The water would be pumped up with a pitcher pump and could be used for washing or scrubbing.  In the barnyard, next to the barn was a big cement trough and the rain water would run in there to have water for the cows.

Unfortunately something happened to our cistern, I don’t remember if it froze up and cracked, but at some point we didn’t use it anymore.  So we got a big metal trough up by our pump at the well.  We had to pump the water into the trough everyday for the cows.  That was one of the children’s chores.  We usually only had three cows.  About five o’clock every evening they were ready to come from the pasture field where they were grazing all day, and they would want to drink water before going into the barn to be milked.
 
 We would have to go back the lane to the pasture field and open the gate to let the cows out of pasture. We had a collie dog that would go with us and round them up. But usually they were ready at a regular time to come in and drink and be feed and milked.

Milking Cows


Sometimes I had to milk one of the cows.  We had a very gentile Jersey cow that was easy to milk.  We had a stool with three legs that we sat on, and a large aluminum bucket we used to milk the cow.

My sister Florence liked to come to the barn and drink the warm milk.  Sometimes our mother would squirt the milk from the cow directly into Florence’s mouth, just for fun. Mom said, “that’s the reason Florence had the best teeth, because she drank so much milk.”  When Florence was 91, she still had all her teeth except one, and she only had a couple of fillings.

We usually had three or four cats, and they were given a dish of milk to drink at the barn.  They always knew when the cows were being milked, because that was when they would get their warm milk to drink.

When the milk was brought from the barn to the milk house, before it was separated from the cream, we would take a big pitcher or two from the house and go up the to the milk house and fill the pitchers with milk to use for cooking and drinking.

The milk was carried from the barn in pails to the milk house.  There we had a separator that separated the cream from the milk.  The separator stood on the floor in the milk house.  It was around 5 foot tall and had a big metal bowl on top where the milk would be poured into.  The separator had a crank on it that had to be turned and the milk would flow down through several discs which would separate the cream from the milk.  The skimmed milk would go out one nozzle and the cream another.

The skimmed milk was feed to the pigs and the cream was taken in the house and put in crocks and made into butter once or twice a week.

The separator bowl and all the equipment where the milk went through had to be taken into the house and washed every day.  Mother was the only one who knew how to wash it.
  
The kids, including me, got our turn to help when we had to churn the butter.  We had a wooden churn with a crank on it and sometimes it wouldn’t take long to get butter.  Other times we would have to turn and turn before we would get butter.  The crank was connected to paddles inside the churn that splashed the cream around until it turned into butter.

The condition of the cream made a difference how long it took to make butter. When the cows were first put out to green pasture in the spring it seemed to take longer to make butter. What the cows ate made a difference on how much milk they gave and the condition of the cream.
 
Mother had a large wooden bowl that she would put the butter in, along with some salt.  Then she took a wooden paddle, like a spatula, and would work the butter over and over to get the butter milk extracted.  She had a butter print made of wood which held one pound when it was full.  She would put the butter in the butter print and press out one pound at a time.
 
We didn’t sell milk like a lot of farmers did.  We would have had to have more cows to make it worthwhile, and my father didn’t care to do much farming.  He would rather be a thrasher.  So we usually had about three cows, which was enough to supply our milk needs, and for my mother to make butter.
 
We had butter customers and also egg customers, and we would also sell butter and eggs to grocery stores in exchange for groceries.  The Tessemer Store and Hartville Acme would buy some of our produce.  Saturday evenings we would deliver our produce and then get groceries.

Ice


Hot summer weather made it difficult to handle the butter, but our cellar was cool and that was the best storage we had.  Eventually we got a wooden ice refrigerator, which helped a lot.  It would keep the pound prints of butter in nice shape and keep it fresh.  The refrigerator would hold a fifty-pound chunk of ice, which would last most of a week.  We would have to go to Hartville to buy the ice, which they had stored in insulated ice houses, usually at grocery stores or filling stations.  
 
Congress Lake had large icehouses where ice was kept. It was cut out of the lake in the winter and stored in the icehouse, and covered with sawdust for insulation.  It was available for purchase in the summer.  Before electric refrigerators were available, ice was delivered from door-to-door in the city, for those that wanted it.  There were signs people could put in their windows if they wanted the iceman to stop.

At Home

 
Our evenings were usually spent sitting around a big round table in the sitting room, as it was called back then.  A lamp would sit in the center of the table so everyone could see clearly.  We did our homework at the table, or sometimes played games, such as Flinch, Old Maid, Dominos, Checkers, or other games played on paper. We also had slates and chalk which we used to play Tic-Tac-Toe and other similar games.
 
If we had anything to snack on in the evening it was usually popcorn or apples.  If we raised corn for popping the summer before, that fall and early winter we would lay the corn on the floor around the stove pipe to dry.
 
In the sitting room we had a round heating stove that heated the room. Wood or coal was used as fuel for heating.  A stovepipe went from the stove up through the ceiling and through an upstairs bedroom. This helped to give a little heat to the bedroom.  I was lucky enough to have that room sometimes, although usually I shared it with my sister.

The one bedroom that I usually slept in had no source of heat.  On very cold bitter nights we would heat a flat iron on the stove and wrap it in heavy newspaper and put it in our bed. It would help to warm up the bed and made it nice to get in bed and put our feet on the warm iron.

Automobiles


I can remember when mother would hitch the horse and buggy up and we would go to Hartville, to Grandpa and Grandma Falls, or to the store, or even to church, or we would visit Aunt Maggie Smith, my mother’s sister.

The church we attended had a big long shed with places to tie horses up while people went to church.
 
Around the square at Hartville there were also hitching posts to tie horses and buggies to. Some of those were kept even after automobiles became popular, for the Amish to tie horses to.

The first automobile that I can remember didn’t have a self-starter.  Dad had to crank the engine to get the car to start.  In the front of the car on the outside, below the radiator, was a crank. Dad would have to give it several turns to start the engine.  One day my Dad gave it several turns and it kicked back and broke his arm. That was the end of the crank-start cars for our family.  Self-starters were being invented and he was able to get one installed on the car.  If the battery would run down and the car wouldn’t start, dad usually could get it started by cranking the engine.  But ever since the accident with the handle, dad was always afraid to try cranking the engine.

The first cars, before the automatics came out, had brake and clutch peddles on the floor. The accelerator was controlled by hand.  There were two levers on the steering wheel. The one on the left side of the steering wheel was the spark, and the one on the right side of the steering wheel was the accelerator, which would regulate the speed of the car.
  
 When the first sedans came out with glass windows, dad said he would never get a “enclosed car.”  He thought the glass was too dangerous.  He had a cousin who lived in Kent who had just bought a new enclosed car.  A street car in Kent hit him and killed him.  But years later everybody was getting that type of car, and eventually that was all that was available.  So he gave in and got a Model-T Ford, which was glass enclosed.
  
The first couple cars we had were Ford open touring cars. They had curtains made of icing glass and leather that could be snapped on if it started to rain, or if it was cold. I can remember being away in the car and we would have to stop and put the curtains on to keep from getting wet.  The buggies had leather curtains with icing glass windows, like they had on the cars. In the winter they would put the curtains on the buggies.

Before heaters were invented in cars, mother had what was called a soap stone.  It was a slab of cement, about two inches thick and around fifteen inches square. She would heat the stone in the oven and wrap it in heavy paper and put it in the car to keep her feet warm during winter trips.

The windshield wiper in the car was regulated with a handle. It was just usually on the divers side and when it would rain hard you had to move the blade back and forth manually by turning the handle.

Mother resisted learning to drive, but finally got to driving the older type Fords.  But she never learned to drive the later models that had gear shifts. 

My Dad also had a one seated open car they called a “Run About.”  He put a small truck bed on that to carry his barrels of gas and oil for thrashing.

Horses and In-Laws


The days mother would use the horse, dad would put the harness and the collar on the horse in the morning, because mother couldn’t harness it herself.  The collar was made of thick leather, and shaped like a large horseshoe to fit around the horse’s neck.

The leather reins that we held onto to drive the horse were fastened to the harness, one on each side of the horse. If we wanted to go right, we pulled on the rein on the right side.  If we wanted to go left, we pulled on the rein on the left side. When we wanted the horse to go we said, “get app.”  When we wanted the horse to stop we said, “woo.”

Horses had to be shod occasionally.  How often depended how thick their huff’s were. We had to take the horses to a blacksmith to have horse shoes put on.  The shoes helped the horse to run and walk better, and keep from getting sore feet.

My Grandfather Brumbaugh had a red building on the opposite side of the crossroads from where the cider press and sawmill was.  He had a blacksmith shop in that building.  I can remember a fireplace and chimney in there.  He would shoe some horses in there as well. He had lots of tools and equipment in the building.  I enjoyed playing in there.
 
Horses also had to be curried, which means they had to be brushed, to keep their coat nice. 

We had blankets for the horses.  They were heavy blankets, usually gray or brown with some colored stripes in them.  When it was cold and we would take the horses somewhere, the horse would be covered with a blanket.

We also used the horse blanket to cover ourselves up when it was very cold. We used the blankets when we rode in the buggy and in the car in the winter, since the cars had no heaters.

We had one special horse that I can remember.  The horse’s name was Rob.  I think it was named after Rob Price, who worked for dad before Rob went to the Army in World War I.  Rob Price had helped dad thrash.  Dad always had a hired man for thrashing, because it took two people to run the equipment and to move the machinery from place to place.

Rob Price was rather sweet on my sister Grace.  He would buy her boxes of chocolate candy.  But then he was called into the Army, and dad had to get someone else to help him thrash.  Years later, Grace and Rob did get together and were married.

  
We also had another horse named Prince, which we didn’t like as well as Rob.  We didn’t have Prince as long as Rob.  Rob was always the one Grandma would use with the buggy.

School


My older sisters all went to a one-room school called Brumbaugh School. They had to walk about a mile.  Mother , when she was a child, also went to the same school, but she had further to walk because she lived further away.  At that time, they lived on Greggie Road, the first road to the right on Pontius.  She would walk across the fields to the 
schoolhouse.

The school would have all eight grades in a single room, and only one teacher for all the grades.  It was heated with a heating stove that burned wood or coal.  The teacher had to take care of that the stove. There were no inside toilets, electricity, or water.

I was lucky I never went to a one-room school. The year I started going to school our township was centralized, and one large school was built at Randolph so that all the children in the township could attend one school.  That was when they did away with the one-room schools.

The school at Randolph wasn’t finished when I started in the first grade, so my sisters and I went to Hartville for my first year.  The second year I went to an old wooden school at Randolph, because the new building still wasn’t finished. They put up temporary buildings for some of the grades.

We had to travel five miles to Randolph.  Our transportation was horses and wagon. The wagon was enclosed with seats in it and they called it the “Kid Hack.” (A picture of a Randolph School "Kid Hack" is included above).

 The roads were just dirt roads, and in the spring of the year when the weather would frost, the roads would become so muddy the horses would get stuck. We would have to get out and walk a ways, so the horse could pull the wagon out of the mud.

Before there was electricity or water in the schools, there was always a well with a hand pump outside in the schoolyard.  We would take our own drinking cup to school, or there might be an old rusty tin cup hanging on the pump to use for drinking.  There was a folding drinking cup that students could buy.  It was easy to carry to school. It was composed of three or four metal rings that fit into one ring, and had a lid on top.

The new school was finished when I entered third grade.  We were all thrilled to have drinking fountains, flushing toilets, and where we didn’t have to go outside in the cold and rain to wash our hands.




Games


The games we played when I was a child were very simple and didn’t require purchased equipment, but yet we had a lot of fun.

One of the outside games I recall playing was called “zippie.”  Any number of kids could play from two and more.  We would have two sticks.  One was about two feet long and the smaller one around ten inches long.  A cut broom handle was sometimes used.  We would make a little hole in the ground and lay the small stick across it.  With the larger stick we would get under the smaller stick and use it to throw the smaller stick into the air.  Then with the larger stick we would measure the distance the smaller stick went. In the next part of the game, we would hold the small stick up with one hand and take the long stick and hit it, and again we would use the large stick to measure the distance the short stick went.  Then in the third part of the game, we would put the short stick partially standing up in a hole and hit the end with the long stick, to make the small stick fly up in the air.  Then we would hit the small stick again with the large stick, and then measure the distance to see how far the small stick went.  We would total all three plays together and that was our score.  Then the next player would take over and the one with the highest score won the game.

Some of the other games we played were Hide and Seek, Kick the Can, Jumping Rope, and Marbles.  Marbles was typically more of a boys game. Baseball was very popular, and played a lot, although I never cared for the game because I could never catch the ball.

We use to take a ring off of an old vinegar barrel and nail it up on the chicken house and we would take a ball and shoot baskets.

Flinch, Old Maid, Checkers, Jacks and Dominos were some of the inside games we played in the house evenings.

News and Entertainment


The newspaper was delivered by the mailman, so it was always a day late by the time it got to us.  When I was very small, the mailman delivered the mail with a horse and enclosed wagon.  Later on he had a car.  But in those days the roads were just dirt roads, and when they were bad in the spring of the year, he had to rely on the horse and wagon.

It was in the late 1920’s when we got a radio.  We did not have electricity yet, so the radio was run by battery.  The radios used a regular car battery.  One battery would just last about a week. Then my parents would take it to Hartville to the drugstore where they would recharge it, which would take a few days.

We always looked forward to Saturday night to listen to the Barn Dance from Wheeling, West Virginia. That was usually when the battery would run down. Finally we got another battery, so when one ran down we had a replacement.  Amos and Andy was another favorite program we liked to listen to.

Conveniences


We didn’t have soft drinks when I was a child.  The drugstore may have had them, but they weren’t a popular drink like today.  People would make lemonade for picnics, or even at home if lemons were available.  Fruits like lemons were a luxury item, and we didn’t buy too many luxury items in those days.

Mother had a good recipe for a thirst-quenching drink that she would make when they were making hay.  She would bring it in to the barn, or wherever people were working hard in hot weather.  She would take cold water and put some vinegar, sugar, and spices in it, and that would make a refreshing drink.

Another thing that I am glad we don’t have to do today is make our own laundry and dish soap.  Mother would make soap using grease drippings and old lard, which we had a lot of accumulated from doing our own butchering.  I cannot give the exact formula because I do not know exactly how she made the soap.  But I know she got cans of lye and mixed that with the grease drippings and would pour that in a big pan, like an old dish pan.  The mixture would harden and she would cut the soap into cakes, maybe like two by four inches.  For laundry she would shave the soap into small pieces. For dishes, we would use the whole cake.  I am sure this was not easy on the hands.  To bathe and wash our face we used other more gentle soap that we bought. Palmolive seems to be the first brand of soap that I recall.

Food and Produce


Most all our food was raised and produced at our farm. We had a small farm of twenty-eight acres.  It had a pasture field for the cows, a small woods and huckleberry swamp. We had an orchard, garden, and truck patch.  With this, we had all our fruit and vegetables, our milk, butter and eggs, chicken and pork.  Sometimes during hunting season my father would get rabbits.

During the depression, the people living out in the country, who usually had some land, were able to raise enough food to get by on. Those living in town and out of work had a rough time.  We did have to buy some groceries such as sugar, salt, and toilet soap, which we could not raise or make ourselves.  

We always had apples at home, because we had a nice size orchard. Every home had an orchard and garden.  Spraying the orchard for insects wasn’t as necessary as today. We didn’t have as many insects, although later I remember dad having a man come in to spray once or twice.  That seemed to be enough to last for a long time.  We had a ground floor cellar in the house and no furnace, which made a good place to store apples. We had apples till spring.

The apples that fell on the ground would be picked up for cider.  They would be put in burlap bags and hauled to Randolph to the cider press.  We had fifty-gallon wooden barrels that the cider would be stored in.  Mother wanted the cider to make vinegar, but much to her dismay, father would let some get hard to drink, which led too much unhappiness in the family.

Mother and father would take apples, lard, butter, eggs, and whatever else they had to sell to Canton.  They had customers that would buy from them whenever they came around. My Aunt, Verna Steffy, lived in Canton, and she got all her neighbors as customers.

Besides apples, oranges and bananas were usually available in the stores.  But they were more a delicacy.  They also had grapes and melons in season.  At Christmas we were thrilled if we got an orange.

Butchering day was always a big day, usually after the first of the year when the weather was cold.  My Father always had two or three pigs that he raised, and that would supply most of our meat we had to eat for the year.  Luncheon meat was a treat, and sometimes we would have a little beef and chicken if we had company or for Sunday dinner.

Dad knew a man by the name of Miller who lived in New Baltimore who would come and help with the butchering.  He was originally from Switzerland, and specialized in butchering.  He would come early in the morning around five or six o’clock, and we would have breakfast ready for them to eat.  Dad would have a fire going outside and the big black fifty-gallon kettle heated with boiling water.

We would see Mr. Miller from in the east with a lantern light on his wagon pulled by a horse early in darkness of the morning.  He had his wagon loaded with equipment, like the sausage grinder and stuffer and the big polls they hung the pigs on after they were killed, and other equipment.

Mother had to be ready to clean the casings when they brought them in the kitchen.  The casings were made out of the pig’s intestines.  She had a board in a bucket and with a knife she would scrape them and then soak them in salt water. These would be filled with sausage. 

The pigs were cut into many different parts.  Ham was cut from the legs, and then there were pork chops, roasts, ribs, and side meat that was put in salt water in a big crock. Some of the meat was ground up for sausage and some for pan pudding.  Even the pig legs were put in a crock in salt water.  The fat of the pigs was cut up in chunks and cooked up in the big black kettle for lard. This was then pressed out with a press that the butcher brought. What was left from the lard that was pressed was called cracklings. We used to like to go out and eat some of the cracklings.  They were used to feed the chickens.  The lard was put into gallon crocks and that was our shortening for pies and  other cooking.

Mother fried the pork chops and sausage and put them in gallon crocks and covered them with lard. They would keep that way and we would have our meat year round.

We liked to take the pig stomach and stuff it with potatoes, onions, celery and sausage and bake it in the oven.  That made a very delicious meal.  The stomach would be emptied, and we would rub salt onto the lining of the stomach, and pull the lining off. Then we would scrape the inside of the stomach and put it in salt water.

Next to our home we had a “truck patch,” which is like a big garden were we raised many vegetables.  In the truck patch we would raise potatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, sometimes melons.  We also had a regular garden, where we would grow lettuce, onions, and cauliflower, which my mother needed for her special recipe of mixed pickle, which she would make for canning.

We had an aluminum dryer that was about twenty-four by thirty-six inches.  It was put on the back of the stove and the bottom of it held water.  My parents would use the dryer to dry green beans, corn, apples, and sugar pears.  After they dried for a few days, they would be put in a tight can or cloth bag and stored for use.  Then they were soaked in water a few hours before cooking. We also canned many of the vegetables.  We had peach trees, pears, cherries and plums and canned those as well.

There was a small woods and huckleberry swamp on our property.  Mother could hardly wait until the huckleberries were ripe, which was in late July.  She loved to pick them, and if she didn’t have enough in our swamp, she would go to other swamps where people would let us pick the berries, if we left some of what we picked for the owners. 

Mother would can some of the berries, and she sold many of them as well. She always looked forward to making some extra cash selling them.  Sometimes Tessemer Grocery Store would buy them.

I can recall when I was very small, my Mother taking the horse and buggy and taking me along to the swamp.  I can’t remember if any of my sisters went along.  She drove over to Griggies’ Huckelberry Swamp.  That was a mile or two from where we lived.  She tied the horse to a tree, and sat on the horse while she picked berries.  She would pick a cup of berries for me to eat.  The she would go and pick berries for a few hours.  She would check back and empty her bucket when it got full.  When I was much older, I would go along with mother and help pick berries.

The huckleberries grew wild in the woods and swamps. Many people buy small bushes and plant them on their land.  The blueberries we buy today in the stores and markets are similar, only they are planted and cultivated, and are usually larger. 

I can remember my mother canning food into tin cans.  The cans were made especially for canning, and the lids were sealed by putting melted rosin around the lid.  I think that was the way they canned before glass Mason jars came along.

We would go along the fence rows and gather wild blackberries and raspberries to make jelly and jam.  We also gathered elderberries and had to stem the tiny little berries, which were canned and used for pies.

In the fall we would go out and gather nuts, and that would be where we got our supply of nuts. We had a very tall walnut tree along the road east of our house.  We would get bushels of nuts from it.  The nuts would have to be laid out and dried.  Then we would have to skin the outside shell off of them.  The shells would stain our hands very badly.

We had a little red stool that had a hole in the center, slightly smaller than the walnut. With a hammer you could pound the walnut through the hole, and all the outside shell would come off. Then the walnuts were left to dry, sometimes on the floor around the stovepipe.  We would crack them and pick the nuts out when we needed them.

We would also gather chestnuts and hickernuts.  Mother had a special cake she would bake using hickernuts. She would put whip cream on top, using our own cream that we would get from our cows.

We would also make candy, usually fudge, and put the black walnuts into the candy and fudge.

My parents always sow their cucumber seeds in the truck patch on June 21, which is the longest day of the year.  They thought if they didn’t sow them on that day, they wouldn’t grow well.  I think that was an old tale.  But a lot of older people believed that.  And they always did have a lot of pickles.

Mother would put a lot of pickles in five or ten gallon crocks and add vinegar and spice with them.  She had one recipe where she would cover them in the crock with grape leaves.  After they were in a crock a few weeks, she would can them.  Others she would can right away, depending on the recipe.

My parents would make a lot of sauerkraut from the cabbage they raised in the garden. They would make the sauerkraut in large crocks.  They would cut the cabbage with a wooden slaw cutter, which had a sharp knife on it.  They would put a layer of cabbage in the crock and sprinkle salt on it and then another layer of cabbage, and so on.  They used a wooden stumper that had a long handle on it, and would stump the cabbage until it was compact and juicy.  We ate a lot of sauerkraut, with all the pork we had, it made many good meals with mashed potatoes.

In the early spring we would gather dandelions and make a hot sweet-sour dressing with a little ham and bacon.  This would make a delicious salad-like dish along with boiled potatoes.  Rhubarb was also grown in the garden.  It would come up every year.  It was used for pies or sauce.  Asparagus was another vegetable we had that would come up every year.

We raised some wheat, oats and corn on our small farm, but this usually wasn’t enough or the right kind of food for the animals.  The pigs had to have a special food in their slop.  The young chickens had to have a mash food and cracked corn and cows had a bran they had to eat.

Lots of the egg and butter money was used to buy food for the livestock. The eggs and butter also helped buy the groceries that were needed. My parents would take the butter and eggs to the store and the store clerk would buy them in exchange for groceries. Mother would try to have money left over.  She also had other customers that would buy every week from her.

Clothing


This morning as I was putting my boots on to go out in the snow, I just had to step into them and pull the Velcro tab over to fasten them.  Years ago the boots, or galoshes as they were called, came almost up to the knees.  They had metal fasteners, probably six or more, which had to be snapped over to fasten.  Then later they invented the zipper, and that made putting boots on much easier.

Mother made most of our clothes except our underwear.  As a child we had to wear long underwear in the winter.  The legs would come down to the ankles and the arms would come to the wrists.  We would change them once a week, usually Saturday when we took a bath.  We would also wear long stockings, usually dark brown or black, with high top laced shoes.

During the Depression and World War II, the chicken feed and cow and pig feed that we had to buy came in sacks made out of colored print or plain material that could be used to make dresses, shirts, and other clothing. The material was usually very nice.  I had many nice dresses made from that material.  The sacks were sold at feed or grain elevators in fifty pound bags.

The Depression


I was in high school when the Depression started.  At that time the Asplin Basket Co. had opened in Hartville.  They made baskets for the swampers to put their vegetables in to take to market.  Sometimes they were shut down in the winter unless they got special orders from Florida where some of the vegetable growers went for the winter to do vegetable farming.

My two sisters, Thelma and Florence, got a job at the basket factory.  This helped the family out a lot.  They paid my Mother a little board and that helped her to have a little money to buy things.  Even though their pay wasn’t very large, it sure helped a lot.  No one got big pay in those days, but the money went much further.  They were paid piece work and sometimes they would run out of stock and just have to wait until they got more supplies cut out in the stock room.  During this time they didn’t earn any money, they were on their own.  If they made two dollars a day they were doing good, sometimes they did better.

The stock used for weaving baskets was cut from big logs hauled in from the northern part of the state, where they cut big trees down.  The logs were cooked in large vats and run through a sawmill and through a machine that shaved the material into thin strips to make the different size baskets needed.  They made peck-size, twelve quarts and half bushels.

The summer before my senior year in high school, I got a job working there at the basket factory.  I saved the money and put it into the bank, so I would have it for clothes and expenses the next spring when I graduated.  Around March of that year the banks closed and no one could get money out.

Two of my good aunts came to my rescue and took me to Canton and bought me the clothes I needed for my school graduation.  My Grandmother Fall gave me money to buy a coat.  It seemed we always got along some way. It turned out I had a good graduation.

The hardest experience we had during the Depression was when we lost our home.  My Dad had borrowed money from a man or probably several men, and gave them a note for the loan.  This was to pay for some of his thrashing machinery.  People made personal loans at that time rather than going to a bank.  If someone had money they wanted to invest they would loan it for a note with interest.  There wasn’t such things as credit cards.

In this case the note or notes came due and my father couldn’t pay them, and his creditors foreclosed on him.  So my father declared bankruptcy and the home and all his equipment had to be sold at a public auction.

The man that had the largest note and was pushing most for the money took over the home.  He allowed us to live there by paying rent.  I think it was $35 a month.

Dad didn’t keep up the rent.  The man that owned the place, I can’t remember his name anymore, was very considerate with mother.  He knew she was trying and he made an offer that he would sell the place to her for $2,700 if she could get half of the money and he would take a mortgage on the rest. Then she was to pay that off $200 a year and keep up the taxes.  He knew my sisters were working and he thought maybe they could help her.  Mother didn’t think it was fair to them, that they were planning on their life.

Grandma Fall had money and she already had helped some of her sons with money.  It was to be their share of the estate.  Mother asked my Grandmother for a $1,000, which she reluctantly gave, and my sisters made up the remaining with money they saved in the bank.  Mother gave them a note and she latter paid them back.

My grandmother had quite a bit of money that I think they saved when they sold their farm and moved to Hartville. Hartville at that time was known as a retired farmers town.  She also got a pension every month after my grandfather died, for him being in the Civil War.  My Grandparents were very thrifty people.

So my Mother bought the property and put it in her name. She would save from year to year to make the $200.00 payment in the fall.  At that time I was through school and I got some part time work at the basket factory for a year or more and then I got full-time. I helped my Mother make her payments.

 One winter we worked all winter long at the basket factory. They had several big orders. That was one of those cold winters with zero weather and deep snow. The stock we had to work with after it was cooked and shaven and would sit a while, it would freeze and we would have to pound it apart to work with it. We wore gloves to work, but it didn’t take long to wear the fingers through. But that work really helped out a lot.

In 1937 my Grandmother died and her home was sold. They had a public sale and sold everything. Her home still stands on South Prospect in Hartville.  It took about a year till they had everything settled up. In 1938 the same year I got married my mother inherited $1,700 besides the $1,000 she already got. She had $700 to pay on the home and she paid the mortgage off.  They built an extra room on the East side of the house and Thelma and Raymond moved in with my parents, after I got married.  My parents got a furnace, electric and water in the house.  My Mother used some of her inheritance money and got a refrigerator. The rest she put in the bank.

One of the winters after I graduated from high school I spent with my Aunt Nora and Uncle Charlie Kanel in Alliance.  My Aunt parked her car in the drive and got out and opened the garage door and the car coasted and pinned her between the car and the garage door. It injured her legs, so that she couldn’t get around. Then she ended up with blood clots, so they wanted me to come and stay with her six weeks. She was my Mother’s sister.

In the spring I went home and worked in the basket factory.  I graduated in 1933 and worked in the basket factory until 1936 when Hoover’s was hiring.  I got a job there and worked two years until I got married. When I got married in 1938 I had to quit, because it was against the policy for Hoover’s to hire married women. Only a few years later when the war started they hired all the women they could get.

In the later 1930’s when Franklin Roosevelt was President he originated the WPA, a program that put men back to work. They would work on public projects, like roads and ditches. They started to build the Arsenal East of Ravenna and they put men to work up there. My dad got a job with WPA. That helped a lot.

Later on things begin to pick up and dad got a job at Taylor Craft, North of Alliance, where they were making small aircraft for the Army. He worked there until he became ill and that was the last he worked.

Music


When I was around ten years old, my Mother had Florence and I take piano lessons. Our teacher was Gladyes Faylor who lived in New Baltimore. She was the daughter of our doctor.  My Mother would drive the old Ford and take us over for lessons.  Sometimes she would wait on us and sometimes we would walk home.  We took lessons a couple summers and then we quit, but I did a lot of practicing and I learned to play hymns.  My sister Thelma would like to have me play the piano and she would sing. That’s the way we spent a lot of evenings.

Our piano was in the “Parlor Room.”  That’s the room people usually keep for company. The “sitting room” where we usually spent our time was comparable to family rooms today.

Florence started taking violin lessons from a teacher by the name of Mr. Weston.  He lived in Sawerwood and he had an orchestra with all his students.  We would go out there once a week, so she could practice with this orchestra.  I had to go along, but I felt left out, because many of the students were my age and I didn’t have an instrument.  It was a group of people, for a time we had picnics and parties with, and I always had to go along and yet I felt I didn’t belong.

It was a period in my life that I got foolish ideas and yet I knew better.  Sometimes I got the idea that maybe I was adopted.  I don’t think I really believed it and yet it would cross my mind.

My Mother knew I would like to have an instrument and I am sure she tried hard to see that I could have one.  I really wanted a saxophone, but I never got it.

Mr. Weston knew of a cello he thought was reasonably priced, and he talked mother into buying it for $50.  He and his wife would drive out from Sawerwood every week and give Florence and I lessons.  I took lessons on the cello.  They always liked to buy my Mom’s butter and eggs.

It was the year that I was a freshman in high school, they started an orchestra there.  The school hired a music director and I started playing in the orchestra. We would play ahead of basketball games and plays and different school activities. The problem was, I had to carry that big cello on the school bus, and I was very self-conscious of it.  I was at that age where things like that bothered me.  But they wanted a cello in the orchestra.  I finally left it there and didn’t carry it back and forth.  But really I never did care for the cello.  I don’t know how long I played the cello in the orchestra, but at least the last year in high school I took my sisters violin and played it.  It was easy to pick up. It played similar to the cello.

I think if I would have had a real good teacher for the cello, I would have been more interested in it later on.  Cellos make beautiful music if played by a professional and it is in demand for orchestras.

I always liked playing the piano.  One summer after I was finished with school and worked at the basket factory, Miriam and I took piano lessons from a woman that came to our house in the evening, once a week and gave us lessons.  She was good and I learned a lot from her.  I do wish I would have went further with the piano.

What came first the chicken or the egg?

 
My Mother always liked to raise chickens.  Sometimes she would send away somewhere and get a hundred peepies or baby chicks at a time.  The mailman would deliver them, or sometimes I recall there were places near by that we would go and get them.  They were called hatcheries.

She had a round brooder about 3 to 4 ft in diameter.  It had an oil light or heater in the center.  The round metal cover would have a curtain around it so the chicks could get under and keep warm.  They would huddle under and then come out to eat and drink.  This was out in the brooder house, as it was called.

When I was very small I can remember my Mother having two incubators in the basement.  They were like a closed box with a door to it, and stood on legs.  There were a couple of trays in each one and were heated with some kind of kerosene burner.  She had eggs on these trays and every so often she would turn them. It took three weeks for the eggs to hatch.  About three weeks or so there would be a little peck on the egg and then gradually the little chick would peck its way out. Maybe it would take a day for the chick to hatch.

Of course the eggs had to be fertile to start with.  We always had a couple nice big roosters kept from the year before.  The rest of the roosters we ate or sold them, but all the hens were kept to lay eggs.

I don’t recall when my Mother quit using the incubator. I imagine it wasn’t very efficient and too much work.  So she bought the chicks ready hatched and also set hens and they hatched out baby chicks.

Every spring or summer there would be hens that wanted to hatch.  They would quit laying and just set on the nest.  They wanted to become mother hens.

Mother had individual little coops. She would put a nest of straw and a dozen fertilized eggs and set the hen on the eggs and in three weeks the hen would have baby chicks. The eggs didn’t always all hatch, but usually most of them did. Sometimes she would set two hens at the same time and then if they didn’t hatch, she would give all the baby chicks to one hen.

The hen would take care of the chicks for several weeks being with them protecting them all day long. They usually ran all around the yard, then at night they would go back to their coup.

So what comes first the chicken or the egg? You decide!!!

The Fall Heritage


Mother’s father, Issac Fall (my grandfather) was born in Pennsylvania.  As a very young child his father and mother took the family in a covered wagon, drawn by horses, and traveled to Indiana.  They settled where the city of Elcart stands today.  They got land through the government and built a log cabin on the land they acquired.

The father (George) and some of the older boys went deer hunting one day. A herd of deer came running down past the house. Issac’s mother was making the bed beside the window and one of them shot a gun and the bullet went through the window and killed her.  She was my great-grandmother.

  My great-grandfather took some of the children and went back to Pennsylvania. My grandfather and his brother, Jim Fall, were taken in and raised by a family at Mogadore, Ohio. I don’t know the particulars of how they became acquainted and took the boys in. My grandfather was in the Civil War. He was a water boy, carrying water to the soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was only seventeen when he went in the Army.

My grandmother lived in the Mogadore area. There is where she met my grandfather. Her maiden name was Leah Royer.  After their marriage they moved to a farm on Greggie Road. This is the first road to the right from where I was born. There is where they raised their family of eleven children.  This wasn’t far from where my father was raised.  My mother and father both went to the same school – Brumbaugh School.  Mother talked many times about walking across the fields to go to school. She did have a ways to walk.
 
After their children were raised, my grandfather became very crippled with arthritis. They sold the farm and moved to Hartville.  Before my grandfather became disabled and when mother was a child, they had planned to move to Kansas and get land from the government, through the Homestead Act, which laid out big plots of land for people moving west.  But due to his illness, they gave it up.

I remember my grandfather as a rather frail man with a long-white beard. I was around nine years old when he died. I think he died of pneumonia. I had just gotten over chicken pox, but I was able to go to the funeral.

My grandmother told me one time he was a very good man, easy to get along with. He was very good to her.

How Hartville Appeared To Me As A Child


As I recall there were three grocery stores on the square. On the north side was the old hotel, which is the Pantry Restaurant now.  During Civil War days it was an underground station for slaves going north to Canada to get freedom.

They had a confectionary in the lower part of the building and lots of times if we were in Hartville on hot summer days my dad would stop and get us an ice cream cone. They were only 5 cents a cone then.  That was a real treat.  This building was later sold and the new owners took over the restaurant. It is called The New Hartville Pantry.

The next building to the west on the north side of the square was the Bank Building. It was a rather unique building made out of cement blocks and had 3 stories to it. The basement was the post office. The second floor that had cement steps going up to it, was the bank. The only bank in town. The old bank building was torn down years ago.
 
The third or top floor was the telephone office.  They always had an operator in their office 24 hours a day. Every call that was made went through the operator. She had to ring the call.

Our phones were box type wooden phones that hung on the wall. They had a bell, mouthpiece, and receiver on the end of a cord, that you held to your ear. Then there was a little crank at the side of the box that you turned. When you turned the crank, the operator would answer, “number please” and you would give her the number of the one you wanted to call. She would ring the party you wanted to talk to. We had party lines, sometimes 3 or 4 families on one line. They usually were neighbors and some would get nosey and listen in or talk so long you had to wait to make a call. It wasn’t too convenient.

West of the bank building was Getz and Keller Grocery Store. They also carried dry goods and shoes and boots. That store was taken over by Acme for several years and then a furniture store came in there.

Above the store was a meeting room. It had a stage in it. When I was in the first grade at Hartville School, we had a play and put it on up there. All the school programs were put on up there. It was the only place around for public meetings. Schools had no gym or auditorium.

Next to this building was another store which is standing today. I am not just sure what that was. I think a confectionary, at least I can remember they sold a lot of candy. Today there is a laundry there.

Across the street on the south-west side was another grocery store and they also carried and dry goods. It was called Merkle and Wertengergir. There were apartments on the second floor with a porch overhead.

Next to this store was a barber shop. Then there were apartments above them.

Across the street on the south-east side of the square was a Tessemer’s store. They sold groceries, meats and dry goods. That was the longest store to stay in business. It was in 2000 that Minnie Tessemer died and the store closed up. She was in her nineties and run the store not to long before she died.

Next to Tessemers was a drug store. Orville Whylie owned and run that till he sold it to Vernon Wagner.

Next to the drugstore was a hardware store. Today it is the home of the Hartville Chocolate Factory. They sell all kinds of candies.

East of the square was a meat market owned by Ira Eshelman.

Then they finally built a new post office in the place where the meat market was. This building had a hall upstairs for a meeting room and they would get together and play cards.

The railroad station was east of the square, along side the railroad tracks. This building is still standing , but isn’t used for trains anymore.

As far back as I can remember mother had a camera and took pictures. It was a square box type with a lid that opened. The lens pulled out like an accordion. It had a rubber tube with a bulb on that you would squeeze when you took a picture. The film was square shaped also, the size the picture would be. I can just recall her pulling a paper or something out every time she took a picture. I don’t know if it was just a paper that covered the film. I don’t think the film itself was taken out. The pictures were just black along until recent years.

It was during the time William McKinley was President that they bricked the road from Canton through Hartville to Congress Lake, for McKinley to go up to Congress Lake Club. Before that it was just dirt road that followed the Indian Trail.  All the improved roads were first made of brick. The streets in Canton that were improved were made of paving brick.  

From the late 1800’s through the 1930’s, Canton was the world’s leading manufacturer of paving bricks.  The industry’s roots in Ohio go back to the French and Indian War. The regions natural abundance of high quality clay and shalae and established shipping routes made it a natural for brick making.

The first brick building was built in Marietta, around 1788.

Early bricks were sun dried, taking sometimes as long as a month to dry. As technology advanced, demand increased.

The first brick was used for houses. After early attempts to use them for roads failed, a heavier pressed paving brick was created. Ohio’s first paved street was built in Steubenville in 1884.

At one time there were 15 brick plants operating in the city of Canton. The Pro Football Hall of Fame sits on the site of the old Williams Brick Co., and Fawcett Stadium occupies what was the company’s shale pit.

Between 1885 and 1920, attorney Henry S. Belden, Sr. started five brick companies. Belden who also served a term as mayor, installed Canton’s first paved road, two blocks of what is now Cleveland Ave. S.W.

Belden’s Fire Brick Co. is known today as Belden Brick, with 500 employees. The company produces 225 million bricks a year and still is owned and operated by the Belden family.  It takes 500,000 bricks to pave one mile of road 25 feet wide.

Ohio’s brick industry remained viable until the 1930’s. As the number of automobiles increased, demand to find faster methods of road construction resulted in more use of asphalt and blacktop, which also were cheaper.

Little Incidents I Recall of My Childhood


The Rumbley Tractor, my Dad had for thrashing was made in Toledo. It was a large tractor with a roof. Many times he would have a break down and sometimes he would have to go to Toledo to get parts. One time he took Florence and me along. This was quite a trip at that time. There were no expressways and the turnpike wasn’t made yet. We stayed in a hotel overnight. This was a thrill for Florence and I to eat in restaurants and sleep in a hotel. My Dad had one room and Florence and I had another. At that time we had a Model T Ford, no automatic shift. This was back in the late 1920’s.

Another trip I took when I was 9 or 10, was to Columbus to the State Fair. Thelma and I went along with Mom and Dad. Again the express roads weren’t made yet and the roads we had to go over were very hilly. I wasn’t use to such high hills and I was scared we couldn’t make it up. It took us about all day to get there. It was very hot and we had the windows on the car open. We didn’t ever hear of air conditioning.

We stayed over night at a big home where a woman rented out rooms to college girls. It was close to Ohio State University. We stayed two nights.

One of the things we did besides going to the fair was to take a tour of the State Penitentiary. They showed us the electric chair and we saw where they ate. It left an impression on my mind. As I can recall they had long metal tables. That is about all I can remember. It was a rather dismal place to take a 9 or 10 year old.  They have since moved it out of Columbus and I don’t know what they did with the buildings.  I never got back to the State Fair. But fairs seemed to be a place people liked to go to.

We would go to the Randolph Fair, and they use to have a Ravenna Fair. There also was the Canton Fair. My Dad liked to look at machinery and my Mom like to look at quilts and such things.

When some of the older people wanted to make children obey, they would try to scare them and say the buggy man would get them. I think I heard my grandmother say that. But anyhow I was never afraid. I guess I was always good. Ha!

One thing I was afraid of were gypsies. They would go around and steal from people. They traveled around in groups. One day my Dad and some other men were out in the wheat field shocking wheat and a group came along and tried to get money out of their pockets. I don’t know how they got rid of them. I was too small to remember much about it. But they would steal chickens or what ever they could get their hands on. That is the way they made a living. I recall my Mother locking the doors and hiding when she thought any were around.

Another fear I had when I was very small and I didn’t understand when I would hear them talk about was the war. World War I was going on at the time. Mother especially would talk about the Kaiser. He was the Ruler of Germany and that is who we were at war with. I thought he was some bad man and had him to be something like the buggy man.  I had an uncle, my mother’s brother, Briel Fall, who was in the Army over in France during World War I.

If we had a bad cold or sore throat, Mom would give us hot lemonade before we went to bed. That was to sweat the cold out. We had an ointment, similar to Vicks, and we had to grease ourselves up with it. If we had a sore throat we would grease our neck and wrap cloth around it. There was a medicine sometimes we would get, supposed to help a sore throat. It was real bitter, and tasted awful. The bottle had a Jariff on it. We had to take a teaspoon of that. It was bound to kill or cure. I don’t know if it did either.

Old Sayings or Proverbs


1. Stitch in time saves nine.
2. To many cooks spoil the broth.
3. Where there is a will, there’s a way
4. Red in the East in the morning, sailors warning. Red in the West at night, sailors delight.
5. Two heads are better than one.
6. When the days begin to lengthen, than the cold begins to strengthen.
7. Haste makes waste.
8. A penny saved is a penny earned.
9. Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
10. Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.
11. The faster I go the behinder I get.
12. Birds of a feather flock together.