A FAMILY STORY

By Lola Crim
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    Grandfather John Crim was born October 2, 1825 in Loudoun county, Virginia.  His parents moved to Carroll county, Ohio in 1826, where the rest of the family was born.  He married Salina Kail (November 11, 1849).  They heard there was good farmland in Iowa and decided to go west.  They started out with 2 small children in a Conestoga  wagon driving oxen.  They crossed the Mississippi River at Keokuk, Iowa, and went on to near Madrid, where they stayed a short time.
     In  1855 he bought land from the government for $1.25 an acre.  He also bought 20 acres of timberland for lumber to build a log cabin.  There were no trees, and not a cabin in sight other than his cabin.  Besides getting logs for his cabin,, he split rails for fences.  He also planted trees on the north for a windbreak and future timber. There were 4 or 5 of the original trees still standing in 1999.
     There were 3 boys and 6 girls born to the couple:  Charles William, Albert Allen, John Beldon, Margaret Ann (Richardson), Virginia (Richardson), Sophia Isabella (Faubion), Mary Etta (Hanson), Carrie (Condon) and Dora Mae (Mathre).
     He took grain to be ground to Des Moines, driving oxen.  I do not recall hearing how long it took.  On one occasion, when about 2 miles from home, they came to a small pond near the road.  The oxen went directly to it and stopped in the middle.  After drinking and resting, one ox hooked the other and they went on home.  Grandfather didn’t try to prevent them from stopping—he thought a long hard trip deserved a drink and a rest.
     In the early 1870’s he built a frame house with a kitchen, pantry, dining room, living room, parlor, and a small bedroom with a clothes closet under the stairway, where the heating stove was stored during the summer. (See Picture 1)  There were two bedrooms upstairs—no closets.  The stair treads and risers were made of black walnut.  In later years, no one lived in the house and the windows were broken out.  The last owner of the farm gave us permission to take the staircase boards.  They showed very little wear.  Several clocks were made out of them—some by Halbert Crim, a grandson, and some by Alton Crim, a great-grandson.
     He also built a “smoke” house for curing the pork they butchered (bacon, ham etc.)  They knew nothing about canning the meat then as they did later.
     There was an ice house.  When the ice was thick, they drove to the river and cut big chunks.  They were packed in sawdust and lasted until early summer.  There was an ice box in the kitchen with a pan under to catch the water.  It would be forgotten until it ran over – on the board floor.  No linoleum those days.  We made ice cream in early summer before it was used up.
    Grandfather began losing his eyesight when he was about 80 years old.  He enjoyed sitting outdoors in the shade and we children led him where he wanted to go.  Sometimes old friends would come to visit him.  He enjoyed talking about old times with them.  We could have heard many interesting stories, but we were too young to be interested.  In his later years, he would stay with his daughter Dora Mathre in Stanhope, Iowa during the winter months. . A furnace kept the house warm and comfortable for him, but he spent the summers with us in his old home.  He died in Stanhope, Iowa, May 9, 1914 at the age of 88, and was buried in the Mineral Ridge Cemetery beside his wife, who died December 12, 1893.
     Grandfather Anders S. Mathre was born in Matre, Skanavik  Parish, Norway, December 6, 1832.  His father’s brothers had gone to America before, and his father decided to go also.  Anders was 15 years old.  He sailed from Bergen May 1, 1847.
The trip took 6 weeks, with very rough seas, especially for the older people.  After arriving in America, it took 3 weeks by train to get to Lisbon, Illinois, where his brothers were.
     Ingeborg was with the same group, but did not know the Mathres.  She was from a different area in Norway.  After a couple of years, some newcomers came to the Lisbon area, and also brought the cholera.  Many people died after only a day or two of sickness.  It was very contagious, so no one dared help neighbors or friends.  Ingeborg’s father, mother and sisters died—only Ingeborg and a sister, Udna, lived.  Families had to build caskets for their own, and also bury them.  Some were buried on their farms. One man was sick in a barn to keep from spreading it to the rest of the family.  It was summer time.  Anders took a bowl of soup and put it inside the barn door for him.
     Anders and Ingeborg were married November 11, 1847, in the Lisbon church.  Two other couples were also married at the same time, to save heating up the large church again.
     Anders and Ingeborg moved to a farm, where they lived and raised their family.  Four died in early childhood.  Those who lived were Julia Ann Anderson, Helga Melinda (aka Helen) Duea-Weeks, Severt Scriver, Anna Elizabeth (Lizzie) Mathre, Betsey Caroline Crim, Peter Anders Mathre, Louisa Tomina (Minnie) Hove, and Halbert Lewis Mathre.
     Grandma Mathre died in September, 1900, and was buried in the Lisbon church cemetery.
     Because most of Grandpa Mathre’s children were living in Iowa, he bought a house in Story City and moved there in 1901.  With him were Lizzie, Minnie, Halbert, and a young boy who had no home, Henry Hendrickson.
     Anders Mathre died February 6, 1916, at the age of 82.  He was buried by his wife in the Lisbon Church cemetery in Illinois.
     Aunt Lizzie had been handicapped since she was 7 years old, so Ruby and Genevieve stayed and helped her while they were going to high school.  The Story City school offered  Normal Training, which led to a teaching certificate, that they were interested in.  Ruby graduated in 1919, and Genevieve in 1923.  Both taught in rural schools.
     My father, John Beldon Crim, was the youngest son of John and Salina Kail Crim.  He was born July 20, 1867 in the log cabin his father built in 1855 in Boone County.   My mother was Betsey Caroline Mathre, daughter of Anders and Ingeborg Mathre.  She was born December 16, 1869, in Nettle Creek, Grundy county, Illinois. They were married December 31, 1895, in the parsonage of the German Lutheran church in Boone, Iowa by the pastor, Rev. J. P. Guenther.  Dora Crim and Lizzie Mathre were the witnesses.
     A frame house had replaced the log cabin, and they moved in with his father Crim.  Grandmother Crim had died  December 12, 1893.
 The house had a kitchen, pantry, dining room, living room, and two bedrooms, with one small closet under the stairway which was also used to store the heating stove in the summer.  There were two bedrooms upstairs—no closets.  We used large wooden packing boxes standing on end, using the lid as a door.  It was papered with wallpaper and used to store out of season bedding and clothing.  A wood-coal heater in the living room warmed the front rooms,   and the range warmed the kitchen.
     There were 5 boys and 5 girls born to them.:  Floyd Mathre, b. November 20, 1896, d. April 23, 1970; Edith Alvira, b. August 2, 1898, d. March 18, 1899; Ruby Elizabeth, b. January 18,  1900; Edgar Alvin, b. August 12, 1901, d. May 15, 1997; Lola Salina, b. August 13, 1903; Genevieve Mae, b. May 22, 1905, d. April 7, 1971: Severt Arthur, January 3, 1907; Charles Albert, October 10, 1908, Halbert Peter, June 26, 1910; and Helen Jeanette, October 25, 1912.

    About a mile west of our home there was a small settlement known as Ridgeport, also called Mineral Ridge. There were about a dozen houses, a school house, Methodist and Baptist Churches, a grocery and a blacksmith shop. We attended the Methodist church – walking during the summer. When the Methodist pastor was at his other church, we walked across the road to the Baptist services, they did the same. We were also in the Christmas programs.
    My father and his sisters attended the school in Ridgeport, which was replaced by a new one in later years. It is used as a Community Building now. The Methodist church was later sold and converted into a home. There were few members left and they went to Boone. The Baptist church is still in use and is over 150 years old with a small congregation.
    The grocery store was very handy for people living far from Boone. We walked to the store carrying an egg case to trade for groceries. Sometimes we were given a piece of candy which was a nice reward to us.
    The cream was churned with the extra taken to the creamery and sold. Edgar drove the single buggy to take the can of cream to the creamery. I went along for company. He was 11 and I was 9 years old. Later Mother churned the extra cream and sold the butter to Zimbecks grocery store in Boone for many years. In the warm summer time she got up as early as 4 a.m. to churn when it was cool and easier to work the butter firm. She enjoyed the early morning hours – the birds and chickens starting to stir around.
    One summer day Edgar and I drove to Story city to visit Aunt Lizz. He tied the horse in the back yard to a clothesline post using the line, this allowed the horse to eat more grass. We had a thunderstorm with sharp lightning. When Edgar went to see about the horse in the morning, it was gone. She had stepped on the line and broke it off. Edgar looked around the neighborhood and went down town to call the folks – Grandpa had no telephone. The folks said the horse was standing at the front gate waiting to be let in. Floyd rode a horse and led the other back to Story City. He could see the horse tracks in the mud all the way.
    On 4th of July Father would buy some fireworks – sky rockets, Roman candles which we could hold, pinwheels that were nailed to a tree and firecrackers. A small v-shaped pig trough was used for the sky rockets. One 4th of July, Ruby was stung on the forehead by a bee and by night her eyes were swollen shut and she had to miss the display.
    In 1912, my father bought a 240-acre farm in Webster County and we moved there March 3, 1913. It was cold and there was a lot of snow. The fires in the stove had to be put out and cooled before they could be handled. Meantime, the rooms we were in got cold, and it was necessary to put our coats on.
    It was 5 or 6 miles to go in a wagon, and there were problems getting the stovepipes to fit, and the right length. We waited two hours or so in the cool rooms before we got started in the bobsled with blankets and robes in 20-degree weather, with Helen who was five months old. A couple of miles from our home the road was blocked with snow and we went through a neighbors barnyard and through the fields to get to our new home. Imagine our surprise to see a pink house with green shutters! All we had ever seen were white.
    When the men with the furniture arrived, the people who had lived there did not have all of their things out, as his wife had been ill. Our men helped them and got our things put in. A built-on room was the kitchen, not used in the wintertime, as it was cold. Instead, it was a catchall—full of empty boxes, pails, cast-off clothing, overshoes, and cats. It took much cleaning to make it ready to use as a kitchen. A dining room, living room, and a bedroom (no closet) were downstairs. An S-shaped stairway led to two bedrooms upstairs (no closets) and a storage attic. The walls were sloping and were painted with pink calcimine. [a water-soluble paint] Mother papered the rooms to cover up the bare walls and discovered wallpaper would not stick. The entire strips fell off when dry--easier than putting the paper on. Some of the furniture that had to go upstairs wouldn't go up the crooked stairway, so they removed an entire window to get it up.
    It took practice and many tumbles for the small children before they were able to go up and down the stairs safely. It took time to get a little order in the house and be able to find what we were looking for--Mother had never had to move before.
    Father took Ruby, Edgar, Severt, and I [Lola] to enroll in Hardin township No. 1 school for the spring term. The schoolhouse was one room, exactly--no hall. The coats, caps, etc. were hung on nails on the entrance wall. The water pail with a dipper and our lunch pails were on a shelf. Under the shelf on the floor were our overshoes. Rows of double seats were on each side of the room. The stove was in the center with double seats back of it.
    The front part of the room where the teacher's desk sat had a raised platform. The recitation bench was in front of the desk. Gail Berryhill was the teacher. Teachers rang a hand bell at 9 a.m., after the 15-minute recess in the forenoon, after 1 hour at noon, and after the 15 minute afternoon recess. We were dismissed at 4 p.m.
    Everyone always sat in his or her seat, only going to the recitation bench to recite. We raised our hand to ask permission to speak to some one about the lesson or to leave the room.
    Each teacher had different rules. One called the class, told us to turn in our seats, rise, and then pass to the recitation bench. We had Reading, Arithmetic, History, Geography, Grammar, Physiology, and Spelling. Sometimes on Fridays we had Penmanship, using the Palmer method, or Drawing. For the beginners, after reciting the teacher would draw an object or alphabet letter on their desk with chalk for them to outline with kernels of corn. The older boys attended school during the winter months. In the spring and fall, they helped with the farm work. We usually had a new teacher every 2 1/2-month term, but later they might stay 2 terms or even a whole year.
    One morning when Gail Berryhill came to school, a band of gypsies were there. They had camped there and slept in the schoolhouse overnight, crawling in through a window. The women had gone around the neighborhood begging for money and food. It was exciting to hear about them, but we were glad they had left by the time we got to school.
    In the summer of 1914 a new, more modern schoolhouse was built at Hardin township No. l--such a contrast. There were windows along the south side--we faced north. It was so light and airy. Blackboards were on the north wall. One entered a large hall for brooms and other equipment for the school; also overshoes in the winter. To the right was the boys' hall with shelves for lunch pails and hooks on the walls for hanging coats. To the left was the girls hall. There were shelves for lunch pails and a water jar with a faucet for drinking Each had their own drinking cup. There was also a wash basin.
    That fall, 3 young men from Sweden came to school to learn the English language. They were 20 and 21 years of age. It was interesting to listen to them studying the American language. I believe they enjoyed going to school in America with young students. We walked a mile to school and back. It was very pleasant to walk home in the spring. There were wildflowers growing along the road--violets, buttercups, spiderwort, and wild roses. A small pond or swamp had other colorful wild flowers we could not name, as well as small frogs, toads, and garter snakes.
    Floyd graduated from St. Paul Business school in St. Paul Nebraska in 1914. Ruby graduated from Story City High School in 1919 and went to Iowa State University in Ames for 2 years. Edgar went to Stratford High School one year but was needed to help with farming. Lola’s formal education ended in 1918 due to health. Genevieve graduated from Story City High School, Fairview School of Nursing and Denver University, Denver Colorado. Severt, Charles, Halbert and Helen graduated from Stratford High School. It is now 70 years since Helen, the youngest, graduated and 81 years since Ruby, the oldest, graduated.
    When school was out, we were always anxious to go barefoot. It was hard for our feet to get used to the rough ground, and just as hard to put shoes on again in the fall.
    Mother sewed all our dresses, aprons, slips, etc. We wore blue figured percale aprons over our dresses to school. When we got home, we changed the apron to a long sleeved brown denim apron for our evening chores. We filled baskets with corncobs from the pig pen. We carried in cordwood for the kitchen stove, and in the wintertime larger chunks of wood for the heating stoves.
    We hunted all over for eggs, as the chickens were not confined in the summer, and the nests were anyplace; in the barns, or in the tall grass or weeds.
    When the turkeys started to lay eggs in the spring, they had special care. Shallow boxes were filled with sawdust and each egg was stood on one end and turned end for end every day. They were large and covered with brown spots – "freckled."
    We did not have electricity, and another chore was to fill the lamps with kerosene, trim the wicks, and wash the lamp chimneys, which got black with soot from turning the wick too high. We also put kerosene in a tin can and knocked the striped potato bugs into it from the potato plants.
    In the fall of 1918 there was an influenza epidemic over the country and our family included. All the family had it except Father and Genevieve. We got a nurse to take care of the others who were ill. Beds were put up in the parlor as well as those in the bedroom. Some were more sick than others. Mrs. Henry Peterson, a neighbor, offered to bake bread for us. She baked twice a week and was amazed at the amount of bread we consumed—they had no children. The appetites of those ill was for mostly toast and milk.
    There was always a lot of laundry, which took most of the day before we had a power washer. It was especially hard in the winter. Soft water was carried to fill two boilers for hot water. One tub that was used for rinsing had bluing added to keep the clothes white. The hand-operated machine took over half a day, with time out for dinner.
    One summer the folks went to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, and saw a Dexter Double Tub washing machine, powered by a gas engine. They liked it and bought one. The gasoline engine was noisy and smelly, but with the two tubs the washing time was cut in half and kept us busy hanging up the clothes. It was quite a sight to see the clothesline, especially in the winter with 6 pair of blue denim overalls, long underwear, roller towels, dresses, dish towels all frozen on the line. The wash house and contents burned down in 1919, and the washing machine was replaced by a gasoline motor powered Maytag. Mother was interested in the advertisement showing a lady sitting in a rocking chair reading a magazine while the Maytag was doing the washing. She found out that was false advertising--she was busy all the time.
    In September 1939, the R.E.A. (later R.E.C.) came to the area and the Maytag was converted to electricity, which was more quiet.
    Ironing before electricity, the ironing board was placed on the kitchen table. Four sad irons heated on the kitchen stove were used to do the ironing. It was a hot job in the summertime, with more clothes to be ironed. We got an electric iron when we got electricity.
    Spring was the time to set brood hens to hatch baby chicks. That was a real trial--some hens broke the eggs, and some abandoned their eggs. After they hatched, there was more work feeding them and protecting them from skunks, trying to get them under cover when it rained, and drying them if they got wet. Most of that was forgotten when we had the first fried chicken.
    Oats harvesting was often at a hot dry time. The children took jugs of cold water to those shocking the oats. It was tough walking in the stubble barefoot.
    When threshing time came, it was always exciting to hear the engine whistle coming down the lane, and watching them line up the engine with the separator. The engineer came very early in the morning to start the fire under the boiler to make enough steam for threshing the oats. It took a while for the horses to get used to all the noise.

    There was activity early in the kitchen. With no refrigeration, someone went to town early for the meat, usually beef roast. There were pies to make, besides other foods for 15 or 20 men for dinner, as well as lunch in the afternoon.
    A bench was put out in the yard with water, soap, basin, and towels for the men to wash. Sometimes it was difficult to know exactly how long it would take to finish one place and get to the next, which caused some anxious moments for the cooks.
    Father planted sorghum cane several years. The cane was stripped of leaves and the stalks put between rollers to press out the juice--it was green! The juice was cooked in large metal pans over a fire that had to be fed carefully. Too much heat would make it boil over or scorch. The foam had to be skimmed off often, and if it was the right stage to be taken off, stop adding fuel. Sometimes they raked the fire out from under the pans to empty it sooner. Everything stuck together in our kitchen, and our feet to the floor when emptying the large stone jars into gallon pails. Flies were drawn to the kitchen too. The molasses was very good, and we ate many slices of bread and molasses.
    There was a large orchard on the farm in Webster county and many quarts of apples were canned every year besides peaches, pears, and Bing cherries. One year there were many bushels on the trees and we canned 125 quarts besides other boughten fruits.
    There was also a lot of baking - bread, cookies, kringla, pies and cakes. At one time 8 large loaves of white bread, a pan of biscuits, and 5 loaves of graham bread were baked every week. With so much experience, her bread was always good. A large batch of ginger cookies, the same of cream or white cookies and kringlas every other week. Mother’s "downfall" was angel food cakes. They were good, but not the "melt-in-your-mouth" type that others made, and it bothered her.
    Corn husking was always a hard job, especially if the wind had blown down the stalks. It was backbreaking to have to stoop for each ear, remove most of the husk, and hit the bang board so it would drop in the wagon. They used a peg on one hand to help take off the husks. If there was frost on the corn, the mittens soon got wet, and hands chapped. There was always a row of mittens drying by the stove. When holes wore in them, they were patched and worn for another day or two. They were a little warmer, then.
    The corn was hand scooped from the wagon into the corncrib--another backbreaking job until we got a horse powered elevator. It carried the corn to the top of the crib and dropped it in.

    Birthdays were always remembered. Mother always baked a cake, iced and decorated with the name, date, and age. The plate was turned upside down, covering as many pennies as the person's age. Imagine how a birthday child of today would react to such a small gift. We were happy getting them.
    At Thanksgiving we usually invited relatives for turkey dinner, dressing flavored with sage, pumpkin pie with thick whipped cream for dessert.We raised our own turkeys.
 
 




    Father's family never did or had anything special at Christmas, but Mother's family in Illinois did, and she brought many traditions to our family, which we continued as long as we were home. In Mother's home, they always hung up their stockings, making sure their father knew which one was theirs--he never forgot. There was no talk of Santa Claus.
    Their mother baked many special Norwegian cookies and other baked goods, including lefse and potato cakes. At our home we studied the Sears, Roebuck catalog for weeks--it seemed--looking for appropriate, inexpensive gifts, then waiting for the box to arrive. We claimed our packages, wrapped and hid them until Christmas eve. The boys cut a branch from a large evergreen tree for our Christmas tree, and we decorated it with tinsel and a few ornaments. We used wax candles in the beginning, and with the fresh tree the room smelled so good. Later, we did not light the candles because of the danger of fire. We hung our stockings on the dining room chairs, as they had "ears". In 1913, babies wore black stockings, and we hung Helen's on her high chair. Christmas morning, a banana filled one stocking!
    We wakened early Christmas morning, but could not come downstairs until the fires were started in the stoves and the rooms were a little warm. It didn't take long for everyone to explore his stocking. It was hard to leave their gifts, but everyone was at the breakfast table Christmas, if not at any other time. The table looked very festive with a red checked tablecloth which we used at Christmas time over the everyday oilcloth. Each of us had a fancy cup received as a gift at some other time. For drink, Mother heated a kettle of milk and shaved some bar chocolate in it and called it Chocolate Tea. I do not know if cocoa was on the market at that time--we did not have any. Mother added raisins to the white and graham bread at Christmas time, and also put chopped dates in the breakfast oatmeal. For dinner we usually had roast chicken with sage flavored dressing, cranberry jelly, vegetables, fruit salad, and homemade mincemeat pie for dessert.
    The South Marion Methodist church we attended always had a Christmas program by the Sunday school children, and we took part in it.

    The programs were very good and the church was full to capacity with parents and friends. Sometimes it was very cold, and when the front doors were opened to go home, a big cloud of steam condensed outside the door.
    One year we went in a surrey driving two horses. When it was time to go home it rained hard with lightning and loud thunder. It seemed so very dark after the lightning. I marveled that the horses could tell where to go. We got home safely--the only disaster was that Halbert lost the box of candy he received from the Sunday school. We had potato cakes and lefse when we got home. During Christmas vacation, we enjoyed any games we had received for Christmas or read the new books. All liked to read, and a book was special. One Christmas the number of books we received totaled 23. Mother decided that was too many, it distracted us from our chores.
    The farm in Webster County had quite a lot of low ground which left large ponds after spring rains. In 1918 Father, working with the county supervisors, started a 3-county drainage project that would drain low ground, including our farm. The starting ditch used a 52-inch tile made of blocks that fit together. The tile through our farm was 16 inches.

    The entire farm is under cultivation at this time. The first corn planted on the new ground was Reeds Yellow Dent. The stalks were very tall, with the ears over 8 feet on the stalk. Hybrid corn was used after that.



    In 1930 the old kitchen was torn off and a new 16 x 16 room was built with more cupboards in addition to the original one between the kitchen and dining room. Kitchen utensils were stored below on the kitchen side, with two drawers on the dining room side. It was a very handy convenient part of the kitchen.
    A small room was built on the south for the DeLaval cream separator and milk pails at one end, coats and caps at the opposite end with room for rubbers and overshoes on the floor.
    The front porch was torn off at the same time. It was made wider and enclosed with windows. It was a pleasant place to sit in the summer, and kept out some of the cold in the winter.
    In the early days we did not visit relatives very often because of the distance and poor roads. After a rain they were muddy and in dry weather were very dusty. They did not drag the roads very often. Once in a while men could pay their poll tax by dragging the roads.
    In September 1917 we got our first automobile--a Ford touring car, hand cranked, with curtains to button on in rainy or cold weather.

They were poor protection in winter. The first winter, the car was put up on blocks in the garage, which was the best place then.
    In 1929 we had heavy snowstorms that blocked the roads. We did not get mail for over a week. People ran out of coal, which was rationed in Stratford, because the trains could not go through the drifts. Some people burned corn for fuel. Charles and Halbert sawed old fence posts every day, saving the small amount of coal to use at night to hold a fire. The fence post pile was six feet high, and when the roads were finally opened there was only one layer of posts left. (When the road around our farm was widened 2 or 3 years before, the wooden posts were replaced by steel). Helen stayed in town so she could attend school.

    One spring break when Helen was attending college in Cedar Falls, Charles and Halbert started out early while the frost was still in the ground. They drove to Ames and round about to keep on the pavement. Coming back in the afternoon, the road on the east side of our farm had planks covering the deepest ruts. Had the car slipped off the planks, they would have been there a long time.
    Our next car was an Overland touring car, also with curtains but with a battery starter. After a few years, we had a Dodge car with roll-up windows--what luxury.
    In the early 20's, people were talking about radios that were capable of receiving music through the air from as far away as New York City without wires. It was impossible! In November of 1924, we pooled our money and bought a two-tube Radiola RCA radio—a small box 10"x10"and 8" high, with the tubes sticking up on top.

    It had 2 sets of ear phones. By dividing them and giving one half to each person, four could listen to the programs. The radio used dry batteries. The first inauguration speech by the newly elected president was broadcast in November, 1924. It was as people said: we were getting entertainment over the air without a direct wire. We put up a high wire aerial outdoors for better reception. We were always trying to get distant stations at night, and got a station in Cuba one night. As more stations were added over the country, it was more difficult. The next radio was a 5 tube Atwater Kent with a separate loudspeaker so all could hear. It was operated by a storage battery that had to be taken to an automobile shop to be recharged. When we got electricity, we got an RCA radio with the speaker in the cabinet. From radio, television gave us entertainment we could see--we were given one for Christmas in 1950.

We have had various kinds of programs since then.

    Edgar married Opal Westrum July 29, 1925. Ruby married Victor Jacobson February 24, 1926. Floyd married Hildegarde Bergstrom June 24, 1937. Helen married Leonard Bergman October 10, 1938. Genevieve married Angus Cameron October 15, 1941. Severt married Margaret Iles May 9, 1942. Charles married Mildred Erickson March 18, 1944. Halbert married Patricia Lundquist April 5, 1947.
    After a few years, grandchildren were added to our Christmas dinners. Once after a big dinner a niece took a piece of lefse and when her mother asked her if she could eat all of that, she said she would fold it and could.
    It was always interesting to see them learn to talk and walk. They said and did so many funny things. Their parents often left them when they went shopping. Sometimes it was nap time--the best results were lying on the bed with them telling a story in a droning monotone voice--worked like magic! When they were older I'm sure they would rather go to town, but we had fun when they were with us. One niece, being hurried to go home, complained she didn't get to see a little china dog on a shelf in the bookcase. We went back to let her look--she wanted to see it with her hands. Another one was leisurely exploring the rooms and was in the kitchen when the stove timer buzzed off. It frightened her, and she ran to her mother and said "A dinger went off in the kitchen". Knobs intrigued a small nephew--they were made to be turned. He turned the sound knob on the television set and was startled by a loud blast--he ran and hid his head in his mother's lap.
    All the children enjoyed Mother's Norwegian kringla--a cookie-like dough rolled like a rope and shaped like the figure 8. The shape intrigued them. There were also ginger cookies and sour cream cookies.
    When Charles married Mildred Erickson in 1944, father bought a house in Boone and moved there September 4, 1944. Mother was very pleased with the nice house on 1717 Boone Street, and enjoyed living in town.


    They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary December 31, 1945.

    It was a cold day and icy. She died January 24, 1948 and was buried in the Mineral Ridge cemetery near Ridgeport. She was 79 years of age. My father died September 7, 1959 after a fall at home that broke his hip. He was 92 years old. He was buried in the Mineral Ridge cemetery beside Mother.
    I continued to live at 1717 Boone Street, until I sold the house and moved to a duplex on 13th street that Marjorie and Ilene bought as a retirement home for Ruby. She moved from the farm in November, 1988. It is a very nice home, and it was good to be closer to her.
    There were many changes in Hardin Township since we moved there in 1913. At least 6 farmsteads we could see from our house have been razed and the land farmed. Also, the schoolhouse we attended. There was a large cottonwood tree not far from our house that helped to keep the house cool on a hot summer day.
 
 

    It was cut down in 1962 and measured 14 feet around at the base. A hitching ring that hung loose when we moved there was imbedded several inches after 49 years.
    Charles and Mildred built a new home in 1961 using electricity for heat. The electric wires were put in the ceiling--a decided contrast to the wood and coal burning stoves we had. They retired from farming in 1992, selling all machinery and tools, and moved to Boone, Iowa where they bought a house on College Street.

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