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SAM SCHRAGER: What year were you born in?
CLARA PAYNE GROVE: 1879. May, 13. And I never have attributed any of the oddsand ends to the fact that it was the thirteenth!
SS: Had your parents homesteaded at all? Were they homesteading folks?How did they come to be in Idaho?
CG: I come of pioneer stock as far back as I know anything about; my familyline. One pioneer was a nice, big, strapping young Irish lad of sixteen who had gone to the seaside to see the wonder of the boats; the ships. That undoubtedly was somewhere in 1700's. And a sailor approached him as he was on the wharf staring at the boats, and asked him if he'd like to see the inside of a boat. So they went on board. And the sailor showed him all about the deck, and he said, "Let's go below deck, and see what's down there." So they went below deck and they came to one door that was shut, and the boy said, "What's in here?" And the sailor said, "Go in and see." So he opened the door and let the boy in ahead of him and pulled the door shut and bolted it. And it wasn't unbolted until the ship was so far at sea there was no possibility of anybody swimming ashore. And he was put on deck with the hands and lived with the hands. And all the while, this was summertime, all the while they— the crew slept on deck. They just lay down on the deck and slept. Well, when they got to this side of the Atlantic, the boy knew about the plan tation owners indenturing a man. And indenturing means that they took him as a slave until he was twenty-one. At that time the plantation owner was supposed to give him a horse, bridle and saddle, and some times he did, and sometimes he didn't, as he chose. But being indent ured was enough of a slave that anyone attempting to run away was fair game for anyone who shot him down. That was not murder, that was mere ly capturing a slave.
But, anyway, that's the Irish line which I always claim as my nationality. I have a mixture also of Swiss Dutch and of English and in late years I found out there was Scotch mixed in it. I hadn't known that until later years. But, on the other side, back in the 1700's an ancestor on my Swiss Du^ch side, in the forest around his house cut down such an enormous black walnut tree that he made a chest out of the boards that he made, and the boards were so large that the chest, which stood about two feet high, had no piecing in it. The cover, the bottom, the ends and the sides each was one board, No metal at all fastened it together. It was dovetailed together. And dovetailed so expertly and exactly that to this day that chest, I don't have it but my daughter does have it, to this day, that chest can be pulled apart and put back dovetailed together. There was that ancestry. And he made it as a wedding chest for his daughter, and immediately af ter the marriage ceremony the daughter and her nice husband with the chest in his two-wheeled, one ox cart, and they walking beside, started West from— now I'm not sure whether it was from Carolina or from Virginia—at any rate, it was back in 1700 before either state was divided. They started West and one place they came to the forest was so dense that they couldn't get through just as they were, so they took the chest off of the cart and took the ox loose from it and led the ox through for what trail that would make, then they turned the cart up on one wheel and carried the cart through, then they carried the chest through and put it back on the cart and went on West.
They came to another place that they couldn't get the chest through, so they pulled the dovetailing apart and laid the pieces and the contents out on the ground and led the ox through for what trail that would make, and then they went back and picked the chest up piece by piece and carried it piece by piece through. But still they went West. We have word of them in Indiana, where my mother and eleven other children of the same fam ily were born. And then from there they went to Minnesota and from there— well, they were there at the time of Indian war— but, they were never disturbed. At one time, perhaps not during the wartime, but at one time, an extremely cold winter morning, Grandfather got up and built the kitchen fire and put the teakettle on with what water was in it to get it boiling to thaw the pump so he could get a pail of water. So, when the teakettle boiled he took it out to the pump and just at that time an Indian came along, just one Indian alone, he was dressed solely in his breechclout, his mocassins and a blanket, and he asked if he might have a drink of water. And Grandfather told him, yes, as soon as he could get the pump thawed so he could get water. So, he went on and used what water he had to thaw the pump and got water. And he said to the Indian, "Aren't you cold?" And the Indian said, "Your face cold?" Grandfather said, "No, my face doesn't get "Indian all face!"
And it may have been at that special time or some other time, Grandmotherwas having a rag carpet woven;,that was what you did for a carpet in those days, you saved everything you could to sew into carpetrags, and then you got the person who had the loom to weave your carpet. Well, Grandmother was having this carpet woven, and she said to Grandfather one day to saddle a horse for her, she wanted to ride over to the woman who had the loom and tell her exactly how to stripe the colors. And Grandfather said, ho,, the Indians were out, she couldn't go, that he would go. And Grandmother said, "No, you'd forget before you got there how I want it striped, and I want it like I want it, and I'm going. You saddle old Dolly for me, she's afraid of the Indians and I'll know if there are any about. So Grandfather saddled old Dolly and Grandmother mounted on the sidesaddle. And when she got home, she said she knew that in a certain clump of bushes beside the road there must have been an Indian, because old Dolly just refused to pass it, and she had quite a time to make Dolly pass that clump of bushes. So she knew there was an Indian in it. But that was nothing compared to striping a carpet! That sidesaddle was in our family until, oh, it's been more than forty years ago, my sister, who had the sidesaddle, died. The children by a of her husband, by former marriage, swarmed in and took what they wanted and burned what they didn't want. Whether they burned the side saddle or took it, we never knew. That was the last of the sidesaddle.
Well, I came to Idaho; I came to Troy. The reason was, that thehome of myself and my daughter, which was my family, lived in Moore, Montana, and we had come West; pioneer stock and didn't know anything, any of us except to go West. We came West to the home of a brother at Ruby, Washington, which is north of Spokane, north of Newport, Washing ton. He was away. We lived in his home for a time. And back in Moore, Montana, there had been a weekly newspaper that was edited by a man by named -Wilbur Johns. And my daughter had set type a little for him in the office and I had been his local correspondent for news, and I wrote to Mr. Johns at Moore, where I still owned $„. house, to know if he would have work on the paper for me if I returned to my home in fcftoore. In the meantime, unknown to me, Mr. Johns had come to Troy, Idaho and taken over the weekly newspaper there. And he answered me from Troy, saying that if I wanted to come to Troy, he would give me half day work in the office. So, daughter and I, after we had been as far West as the land goes, which is Sliverdale, across the narrow neck of land from Seattle, out in the Pacific, and we had been at Sil verdale keeping house there for some people for a time. And then we went to Troy for me to take this half day position in the week ly with Mr. Johns.
SS: Did he ever tell you why he came to Troy?
CG: No, he never did. I never asked him and he never told me why he wentto Troy. But, I think it probably was because the little town of Moore had mostly dried up and blown away and times were hard there and I imagine he was not making a living off of his paper. So he just discon tinued it and went to Troy where the pickings were a little better. I am sure that was why.
So, I worked half day And in Troy, the women schoolteachers,secretaries and a store clerk got together and rented a furnished house and lived there, wanting a housekeeper. So, my daughter and I went there, she was in high school, and the next year graduated from the Troy High School, in 1927. We were in the house with the girls for a little while. Well, that just didn't do very well, because the child needed a home, which you don't get in one little upstairs room that isn't heated, nor in the kitchen. So, I got the loan of a cookhouse for a threshing crew that the man very kindly hauled up into the yard of the house where I was housekeeping. And my daughter and I lived in there and kept the house and did the cooking and so on for the girls. And we did that for the remainder of the year.
SS: Was your daughter able to help with the housework very much while shewas going to school?
CG: Oh, she did help some, but it wasn't difficult because the cooking waspractically the only part of it. And that was nothing to cook for half a dozen people. She did help, yes, but there just wasn't so much to do. It didn't bother me any at all to put in my half day at the office. She was busy with her high school, and I was busy with the office, and in our second year: One day Mr. Johns and I had been sticking type and we both met at the stone to empty our sticks at the same moment and as we emptied them Mr. Johns looked up at me and he said, "Do you want to buy this paper?" Well, that was the first I'd ever heard of such a thing, but just as though we had been talking about the weather. I said, "Yes, I do." He said, "Well, let's go to the bank and make out the papers." I said, "Alright, let's go." So we did. And as they were making out the papers, the banker— oh, you know his name—Ole Bowman, said, "And you will pay this amount every month." I said, "Well, make the contract that I will pay that amount and may pay as much more as I please." And, he said, "Oh, you won't need that." I said,"Well put it in the contract anyway," I said, "put it in." Well, he and Mr. Johns exchanged a little look between them of real amusement. But any way he put it in. There wasn't one payment but that I made the payment and a little more. Because the people seeing it under new hands swarm- ed in to hand their business to the Troy News. But any rag has it s own pet name. So, we were working on that. One day a man came in and offered me $500 for the plant and the building; everything, lock,stock and type. I told him "No, I wasn't interested." But I did begin to try to sell. And right out of the blue there came a man who at a form er time had had this same paper and given it up and gone elsewhere, and wanted to come back. And he came in and he offered me much more than the place was worth. It was said, for one thing, that the press was the one that Mark Twain had brought across the plains with him. And I always said, "That's pure nonsense, Mark Twain never brought any thing as useless as that old press across the plains!!" So I don't know whether or not it is the press that he brought. It was a huge thing it would have practically have filled that alcove. A huge thing.r I stood on a box, this high, to feed it by hand. But, anyway, we filled out the paper, and Mr. Johns as he was leaving said, "Now here's some boilerplate, you're going to need it when you have a vacant spot and nothing to put in it." I said, "Alright." Well, instead of having ever a vacant spot, I'd had it only just a little while, until I had to put out a supplement to have room to put all the news in! And I did really love that.
SS: Tell me how it changed under your hands; that it got to be so much bigger and that it got more business. What is it that you did that made you have to put out a supplement?
CG: Well, people bringing in news. Nobody could go to Moscow for a day oftrading. Nobody could go to Spokane to spend an afternoon. Nobody could do anything, everybody brought me the news. And when you have a town newspaper, what the people want and demand and frequently can't get, is whether Mr. and Mrs. John Smith spent the day in Spokane or whether Lillian Smith took a prize at school, or every little thing that happens, is what they want to know. And those were the things that people were just pouring into the office, and I was printing all of it, because it's what they wanted. And if they wanted it, I wanted 'em to have it. So that is how it happened that I had to put out a supplement. And as for knowing anything about owning a paper, or the legal aspects that are necessary to be conformed with or how to feed the press, or much of anything else, I didn't know anything about it. Not anything. I knew how to be a good correspondent for news, yes, but it takes a lit tle more than that to put a paper into the post office!!
SS: Did you have to learn the rest, or did you have help for the rest?
CG: I had a woman there that Mr. Johns had wanted me to put on for help.She didn't know as much about it as I did. And she was just a real nuisance, and I found that she had come because it was supposed that after just a little her husband would get the paper for practically nothing, and she'd already be there in the office!! So, I just kept her a little while and she was highly indignant when I told her I couldn't keep her any longer. But she was making the work so much harder for me that— it was hard enough before. And then I couldn't lift the chase —well dumbly, it didn't occur to me to have the chase put on the press and kept there. Mr. Johns hadn't done it that way. He put everything in it on the stone and then carried it to the press and then put it back on the stone. And it didn't occur to me that that chase could just sit on the press all the time and I could fill it there as well as anywhere. So—well, he was one of the Olsons in Troy, which one I can't tell you now—who would come in on press day and take the chase to the press and later take it off and bring it back to the stone for me. So, we got along.
SS: Did you have regular correspondents?
CG: I had one, or possibly two, I'm not sure which, regular outside correspondents. And Ethel and I both kept our ears wide for news all of the time, and people just came and brought it to me, because they were so happy to know what the news was. And I did enjoy it very much, but Ethel was graduating the second year; ready for university. And, we had de cided that we would go on with the paper and get a car and Ethel would drive from Troy to the University in good weather, or live in the hall through the winter. But, there began to be opposition to a woman own ing any business, and I wasn't hard enough— I've grown harder since, I hope— I wasn't hard enough to take it and tell them, "Well, object if you want to, I don't care!" So the opposition grew so pointed that I sold, when this man came along and offered me so much more than the place was worth.
SS: On what basis could these people be opposed to a woman owning a newspaper?
CG: They were all of foreign extract. It was common saying that the postmaster and his family and myself were the only Americans in there!! It was the foreign element where women do not, at that time— see this was forty-eight years ago— that's quite a little while— and a great many of these people themselves had come across, not descendants, but^them selves. And it was just simple this foreign idea—
SS: In Europe and the old countries, you were starting to say, the womendidn't have that kind of authority. Is that the case?
CG: No, women didn't own business. A woman didn't own a business. Sheowned her husband's name. That's not only in the foreign speaking peo ple— there was here in Moscow a woman whom I well knew; her husband was English and she said to me one time, she'd been asking me if I thought she should do this-that-or-the-other, and I said, "Yes." And she said, "Well, you know how it is, the English do not expect their women to have the-liberty that women in the United States have." So it isn't only the foreign speaking people who objected to women owning bus iness. But, according to her, an Englishman has an idea that a woman owns her husband's name and that is sufficient. Maybe it is!
SS: Do you think that the women in Troy supported your being the editor morethan the men did?
CG: I think that the common people did. The trouble did not come from thecommon people; it came higher up than that.
SS: The prosperous ones like the farmers or the businessmen?
CG: Well, I think some of the businessmen did not object. I know I had oneitem about a woman who was actually the head in Troy of a business that was part of a business in Moscow at that time. It was the outlying Sta tion, and this woman was the business. There was no question on it. And I had a nice little write-up for her, something about a woman doing this work, and so capably. And a relative of her's came in— he did read me the riot act!! For writing that article. He said, "She is not the head of that!(chuckles) Well, she was and there was no denying it, but, anyway, this man who was related to her, wasn't going to have any body say that any woman could run a business!!
SS: How deep-seated do you think this idea was, that the women were supposedto be in the home and be sort of subservient?
CG: Well, I don't know where that idea came from, but I think it was alwaysthere. To me, this idea of trying to decide which is greater, male or female, is just exactly as though the steering wheel on an automobile, and one of the wheels under the automobile got into a discussion and each of them claimed to be the greater! And the steering wheel said to the wheel with the tire on it, "I'd like to know how you'd get where you want to go if it wasn't for me up here guiding you?" And the wheel with the tire comes right back, "Well, how would you get there in spite of all the steering you do if I didn't run?" So, for one to say it's any greater than the other, is nonsense. Each one in place is it, and that's all there is to it!!
SS: Where you were, were you in such a place to see the struggle for theright to vote for women? Did that come about?
CG: Yes, yes, I remember distinctly about that time, that there really wasquite a struggle about women getting to vote. But they persevered and all the womens' organizations took it up and finally carried it over. And, I remember one campaign speech that I heard when the vote was new er than it is now, a good deal, and this woman was talking about the candidate "having a rainbow around his shoulders!" And I thought, "Well, that's a funny campaign talk." So I thought the women were sort of new at going at the business of voting and talking, and so on. I remember quite a number of things. I remember when Williams Jennings Bryan was so much in the public eye. My father— what I was going to say sort of slips from me. But, anyway, he was a politician first, and he was father afterwards, if there was any time left, but usually there wasn't much time left after the politics! So, I guess I come of my political activities honestly.
SS: What were your father's politics?
CG: He was straight Republican! There wasn't anything else on the faceof the earth that was any good but a Republican! A Democrat, was just dirt, that was all!! We had the two parties for a while and we had various other parties. We had the Populist Party. It happened that an uncle of mine was a Populist, and he wasn't in our county, but in his county, there was one Populist vote, and since he was a Populist, of course, they would know who had voted it! And someone was razzing him about it, says, "Well, how do you feel now?" He said, "Oh, I feel just like a good egg in a bushel basket of bad ones!" But the Populist Party did make quite a mark for a while.
SS: Your father, as a Republican, what did he think of the La Follette Republicans? What did he think of those progressive Republicans. The ones that wanted to reform the party?
CG: Oh no, no, no— no reform was needed, they were perfect like they were!
SS: He wasn't for the free silver and what Bryan
CG: I never heard him discuss silver. I do remember that I was at a gathering where an outside orator— and he was a real orator— was discus sing the silver question, and he explained it, that it was just a matter of sixteen to one, and very simple, and went on explaining it, and he says, "If I had a boy of sixteen who couldn't understand that, I'd whip him." Well, I wondered how that'd make him understand it. (Chuckles) But, this was a real orator and one of his remarks stuck with me, I was just a kid at the time, and he said','They go around talk ing about prosperity, parity, parity!" And he could put over little things like that just instantly and sweep on into other things with such ease that I just sat there and admired the way he could talk. And I heard— I wonder if I can remember her name at all— she was one of the greatest advocates of the vote for women, and she spoke from the rost rum in our courtroom, we were the county seat, she spoke there, and I went to hear her. And I admired— she was a large woman, tall, and wide and thick— and I admired the way, without a particle of self con sciousness, she went up onto the rostrum and took chair there. And she took for her text, telling us just where in the Bible it is found, which I do not remember now, "Let no man take thy crown." I've always remembered how she could bring out that word, But she gave a great talk, why women should vote.
SS: Do you remember the arguments she used in that talk? What her reasoningwas?
CG: I do not remember, excepting her giving the topic and in the way shedid. But, at the time, I fully agreed with her, that she was perfectly right about women having the vote.
SS: Where was this? That you saw her? What was the town, and the state?
CG: Redfield, South Dakota.
SS: Did many speakers come through and speak to the people there?
CG: We had many speakers. We were a county seat town and we were a verylarge town when I first knew it. I think there might have been two thousand people there, and it grew and grew. And we had, what we cal led Redfield College. It was a denominational college of the Congre gational Church. And the campus consisted of one three story red brick building with the customary path, of course. And the basement, at first was just merely a storage place, but very soon, it was made into a kit chen and dining room and a cook was employed. The men students— that was the basement, then the first floor was the classrooms; the second floor was the dormitory for the men students; the third floor was the dormitory for the women students. Well, a women's organization in the town took it up that that was not the proper way to lodge students. That there had to be a separate building for a dormitory for the women stu dents. So, about a block from the one building that we had at first, they put up a two story building with a bedroom and a sitting room for the housemother, and I think it was two extra bedrooms, and the second floor had bedrooms, what it would hold, and that was sufficient for the women who had no other lodging.
There was one student there that I always remember very distinctly.She had been to the college building, or near it, and then she came to our home, which was a block from the college building, and Mother took her in, and she was inquiring about how to get connected with the col lege. And Mother said, "Well, Reverend Beeton is the President, and Clara will take you over there to Reverend tfeeton and he will tell you all these things that you want to know." So, Clara listened carefully to her conversation with Mother, so that her ears didn't miss anything, and then she took the girl across town, clear to the other side, where the President Reverend Jeeton and his family lived. And when we got there to it, Mary Hart said, "Where is the house? Which one is it?" And I pointed, and I said, "That's the one." And she said, "Well, then you can go home now." Well, I didn't want to go home now, I wanted to take her right to the door. I wanted to know everything I could know. So, I kept going and she said, "You can go home now." And when we got somewhere near it, she said, "You'd better go home now." Well, I took the hint finally and went home. And she went on to see Reverend Jlfeeton.
Well, she made out someway. I found out later that she had given outat her home on a farm near Aberdeen, which was forty miles or so north of us, that she was going to college and her father told her she could n't, that he had no money for her to go with. She said she was going anyway. She was going to college and nothing was going to stop her. So, when she was ready to go to college he gave her a ten dollar bill, and he said, "Now, Mary, don't ask me for anything more, I cannot give you another penny and pay the taxes too." He said, "That is all I can give you for the whole year." So, with her ten dollar bill she got her self to Redfield. And I don't know just where she lived or how she got by that year, but she did. And she put in her four years there. Her brother joining her for the two last years, and when the brother was with her, they got a room over the drugstore. It was a drugstore and and, oh, sort of a general store, in a way, and up above there were two rooms that had a stove and a couple of chairs and she and her brother lived up there and they lived practically without heat through the whole university-college year. It wasn't a university, it was a college. And for their supper they would build just fire enough that she could cook some supper and when that fire was gone there was no more fire until the next supper. She and her brother, on the two kitchen chairs would sit at the table with their books and one blanket around the two of them, so they could keep a little warmer, and there they did their work for the next day. And she took all that, and living entirely without money—and it was just terrible how destitute she was, but she graduat ed anyway. And I don't know what became of her and her brother, but I do know that she graduated, and we were all proud of her.
SS: Did you see her during those years?
CG: I saw her frequently. Yes, I saw her frequently. And I guess she never had more than money enough to barely subsist. But she did live in the girls' dormitory. And the girls' dormitory, of course, had a nick name, why not? It was the Cheese Factory! (Chuckles) That is the way it was known.
SS: Did she visit with the family? Is that how you saw her? Or did youused to go over to the college to see her. Where would you run into her during the school years?
CG: Where was I?
SS: No, where did you run into her? Did she come to the house and visit?
CG: She had come to our house, and we lived only a block from the collegeand at one time we lived a block in front of it, and then we had our own home a block sort of to one side of it. But going to and from town the students passed by our door as we lived in front of the building, and I'd see her, as she'd go back and forth. And sometimes I'd meet her here and there. Never had any close connection with her.
SS: You said a while ago, that the women's organization wanted the buildingof the new dormitory for the girls, and I'm wondering—were the women's organizations very active when you were young?
CG: Yes, they were. There weren't so many of them by any means. There wasthe Ladies Aid of the churches; that was one group. And that was it, for the women; was the Ladies Aid. But it was very active. I do not recall any name of any other womens organization.
SS: What about the Womens Christian Temperance Union?
CG: The Womens Christian Temperance Union was organized by Frances Willardin 1876. Next year is our centennial year. My Grandmother Connor was one of the first members of that group. My mother was a member of that group. I am a member of that group, and have been District President for several years, and for two years was state organizer with national recognition,to work across the border in Washington. That happened, because as I was driving from one place to another in Idaho, naturally, because the highway ran on both sides of the state line, I was sometimes in Washington and a group there would ask me for help there, and so I wrote to National and explained it to them and they gave me recognition to work in Washington as well as in Idaho.
SS: Your grandmother was one of the earliest people to—?
CG: She was one of the earliest of the members of the Womens Christian Temperance Union.
SS: Did she ever speak to you about it? Did you know why she became a—she grew to want to join it?
CG: It's very plain to me (Chuckles) that you don't know the old-time pioneer women! They didn't speak,(Chuckles) they were quite a silent group! Everything was scarce with them, even words! No, my grandmother didn't talk with me. I can't remember any time that she ever really talked with me. And I did her housework for her for several months one time, but she would speak to me, if necessary, but she didn't talk with me. But my grandfather— how he came to be my grandfather—he was the beau of his community, away back when. And Grandmother was the belle of her community. My grandfather heard about that belle Sally Lillie— he'd go over and break her heart and go back home! Grandmother heard of that beau, Elias Connor, "Huh, he didn't need to come seeing her!" So, Elias left his community and rode his horse over to Sally's community Huh, six weeks later they were married. (Chuckles) Their first morning in their new home, Grandfather went out to take care of his saddle hor se, and Grandmother was going to show him how lively she was, how she could get around and do things. She'd have breakfast ready when he got that horse taken care of!! So, she fried a skillet of eggs on the fire place, which was the only way of having fire they had. She fried a skil let of eggs and pulled it back onto the hearth of the fireplace, and turned around and stepped in it! (Laughter) Her children never got ov er teasing her about that. But, anyway, they lived together for more than fifty years. And, as usual, she got up very early in the morning, got the breakfast, washed it up; got the dinner, washed it up; got the supper, washed it up; went to bed and died instantly. After, I think it was about fifty-four years they were together. And Grandfather expres sed himself this way, "I have a good home, I have one of my children still with me, but I am utterly bankrupt." That was his way of expres sing his thought for the death of his wife.
SS: Sounds like they must have had a very good marriage.
CG: They had a good marriage. And, as far as the Womens Christian Temperance Union is concerned; he drank quite a bit when he was young. And when some of his children were teenagers, there was an evangelist came to their community in Minnesota and Grandfather and Grandmother and some of the children were thoroughly converted from the life they'd had to a Christian life, a Grandfather never drank another drop in his life! And none of his children drank. And Grandmother was all for everything that could be done to fight the liquor traffic. She made her mark in her community. And, by nature, she was not a mother; she was never in tended for a mother. But she was the most marvelous gardener that the world has ever known. When they moved to South Dakota it is said that the government report of the annual rainfall for that portion of South Dakota was fourteen inches. Well, that's below anything that is sup posed to be able to raise a crop. But, have a garden, this woman would! The very first thing she did was to begin to pick up stones and she did n't have to look anywhere for them; they were all over everywhere. She picked up stones and built a stone wall, oh, probably nearly three feet high around a plot right by the house for her garden.
Well, when I knew it, I wasn't even in South Dakota, Territory, when we wentthere. But she built the stone wall around this garden plot, and at the time that I knew it, in the fall she would have several inches deep of litter from the cattle barn spread all over her garden and left there until spring. The garden was plowed as deep as possible, getting this litter mixed into the soil. Then after it was plowed with the two-horse plow as deep as possible, she had it raked and raked and raked with the horse rake. They went over and over and over that with the horse rake. Then, when she would finally let the horse rake go, she took the hand rake and she hand raked every inch of it. And only then, could seeds be put in the ground. But when that little old lady put a seed in the ground and said, "Now you grow!" it grew and it produced! She had, in that dry country— they had no water except what was hauled in a bar so you can be sure she didn't water her garden, and she didn't raise plants in the house, because there was no place in the house to put a plant, for one thing. But she planted the seeds right in the ground and she had tomatoes, watermelons and muskmelons— they were not canta loupe at that time, they were muskmelon—and finally they degraded into cantaloupe. And asparagus. And she would plant a few potatoes, just for early new potatoes. And she had corn aplenty, and lettuce and rad ish. She had one radish that was known as a winter radish, and it got to be about six inches long and, well, about half an inch in diameter and it was white and she took great pride in it at harvesttime having those radishes on the table for the harvesters. And they were good and sweet and tender at that time of year. And I had the seed of them at one time, but I finally lost it. Now, talking about that—
SS: May I just ask you one thing here? I take it gardening was her prideand joy, was it especially
CG: That was her pride and,,joy! Was gardening. And there wasn't anythingthat anybody could tell or knew about gardening that she didn't already know! And she had currant bushes that were just loaded, and she sold the currants, and she sold her garden stuff, too, so that she had a lit tle supply of cash of her own all the time. Uncle Will would hitch Old Kate to the buggy. Kate couldn't run away if she'd wanted to, and Grand mother would hold the lines— I wouldn't say she drove— but she held the lines and Old Kate took her to town and around the little streets and she sold her gardeware that way. And she had just about everything that is raised in a garden.
SS: Was this a lifelong interest of hers, or one that she developed in herlater years?
CG: I think she had been born with a hoe and rake in her hands! And shehad gardened before she went to South Dakota. She had gardened in Min nesota. And she had one hoe that she used for more than fifty years! And it was worn down until the blade was only half the usual width. But the things she could do with that hoe!! She would get up at four o'clock in the morning and go right out to her garden and start hoeing, and when she would get it hoed from this corner to that, she would come right back and start again at this corner. She hoed continually! She said there was water in the ground; she was going to have it up where her plants could get it and she did! She proved her theory. And, her gardening ability showed up in many of her descendants. Many of them were great gardeners. I'm not a great gardener and never was, but I do kno w an experiment that possibly if our population continues to in crease so rapidly, and if the adverse elements continue taking land away from the common people into government hands, this thing that I know maybe a real lifesaver.
It is this: Up near Everett, Washington,a little town there, a man was given, what the one who gave it to him said was a separate kind of potato— just Irish potato—that you plant deep in the ground and keep covering it til you get to ground level with the cover, and at each joint it will put out a crop of potatoes. Well, this man planted the potato, oh, perhaps a foot and a half or even deeper in a hole in the ground and at Everett, in that country up there, the soil is bigwoods loam, which never hardens like the clay. And, he harvested almost one bushel of potatoes from that one little hole in the ground. Well, I had that seed, and I had it for years un til I had ten years of illness—did quite a lot to me— and during that time I lost the seed of it. But, when I was able again to do some gar dening I planted a common potato and it performed in the same way. A year ago I had a student gardening my ground here in Moscow and I plan ted just a common potato in a hole that he dug and I was going to keep track exactly of the produce from it, but low and behold, he,an Ag major, senior, without my consent or knowledge, just to be good to me, at po tato digging time, went out and dug that up and never kept any record at all of anything about it, an Ag student, a senior!! So I don't know just how performed, excepting that when I happened to go out and found what he was doing, he was almost through with it, he had on the ground about four good sized potatoes and a large number of very small po tatoes of various small sizes; they were really small, and it was so many— I was 50 furious at him doing this, although he had meant it for kindness, that I wouldn't ask him anything about it. I wouldn't speak to him about it. But he had so many of these small ones, that it looked to me as though they could not have come from one joint, they must have been from more than one joint, because there certainly were twenty or more of them.
SS: —WCTU— When did you yourself become interested in the WCTU, and becomean active member?
CG: I became a member of the WCTU after I came to Moscow. And, it is a factthat I didn't join when I was first asked to join because the dues were a dollar and I didn't have quite dollars enough to feed myself and my daughter as we should have been fed. So I waited two or three years until I had a dollar I could spare for the dues. And that's more than forty years ago, I don't remember what year it was, but I've been here forty-eight years, and I think it's about forty two or three years ago perhaps, that I joined. And I have now given up most of the activities of it, excepting that I have charge of the devotions at every meeting. Not because I want to give up, but ninety-six years makes you give up quite a number of things, whether you will or no.
SS: And your mother was active in WCTU before you?
CG: My mother was jail visitor in Redfield, South Dakota. And for yearsI was jail visitor here in Moscow. And I confined my jail visiting to the juveniles. There was one juvenile, I wouldn't mention his name if I did remember,names and faces have no meaning for me any more. They don't register. I remember the person, all the incidents, but the name and the face don't register.
SS: In some ways that's the least important part anyway.
CG: But there was this one boy who was a perfectly good boy, but a bunch—a group, and this was a blood-sworn group of boys— can you feature it?- just young boys in grade school being blood-sworn? Every one of them had had his wrist slit for blood token of his loyalty to the group. Well, this boy was not that kind of a boy at all, either by raising or by nature, but they heeded, a stool pigeon, and they got him in some way or other and he didn't know how to get out. And when it came to a mat ter of the officers, low and behold, here's this stool pigeon to put up. And I visited him in jail. And the sheriff was very considerate. He took me and the boy into his private office and let us talk there. Well, the boy was— in spite of the fact that he nearly bit his tongue out trying to avoid it— he was crying bitterly. His ideal was that every thing for him was over; there was no future; there was nothing. Well, I talked to him and showed him that there was a future. That he could recover from this and finally got him comforted and quieted. And I kept track of him the while that he was in the jail. During this time I was cooking on the campus, but, anyway, found time to visit this boy in the evening. And at that time, the sheriff would let a jail visi tor in at any time that she could be there, so there was no question on that. When I'd get home in the evening, I'd go visit this boy every now and then. He was in the jail a while. And they sent him to the re form school.
SS: Did he actually commit a crime?
CG: He was with the boys who did, and how much of it he did, I do not know.But he was with the boys.
SS: Do you think he came to trust you? Do you think he grew to trust youas someone who wanted to help him?
Well, he was just in this position that he was jailed, and they had tokeep him, and I am sure that the sheriff, himself, saw the proposition as it was; that he was merely the stool pigeon who had been taken in for the purpose of being taken, and he was with the boys when they com mitted whatever it was, I do not remember. But, whether he actually was a committant, I do not know. I didn't try to find out. But anyway, I wrote to him all the while that he was in the home, and as soon as he came back to Moscow discharged from the home, he had a good home here, he had a good Christian Mother, had been well raised. As soon as he came he came to see me and I kept track of him. Well, as years went on, he grew up and married a good girl; had a nice family, and he brought me home from a church nursery, that I had charge of— he brought me home from there one day with his son with him; I don't remember, per haps he had two children with him, I know he had a son with as he brought me home. And his son was a lively rascal and he wanted to know if I knew his father, and I said, "Yes,"I knew his father. Well, I could see instantly that the father's record was not known to the children and that he was afraid that it would leak out now. (Chuckles) I took a lot of care that it didn't leak out. It was his business, not mine, whether this record was known to the children. He was just on nettles for a minute for fear of an answer that I would make to the boy, but I made a round about answer that quieted the boy, and said nothing.
SS: It sounds as though he appreciated you for helping him then.
CG: He did. He was very appreciative. And, there was another boy who stoleoil or gas or something in Troy. And he was sent to the Home. I visit ed him while he was in the jail here. And I wrote to him all the time. And one time I said, "Now is there anything you want, that I could send you?" He replied, "Yes, I'm building a chest and I want you to send me a lock that nobody can open!" (Laughter) Evidently he didn't remem ber that he'd opened a lock! Because he had opened a lock to get in. But sometimes you get a little fun along with all these things you do.
SS: Was this position of "gail walker"— this was a responsibility that theWCTU had a person take on?
CG: It's a separate department. We have a lot of departments of work. Andthis was one department, and the "jail visitor" carried it on in her own way. On one of my organizing trips in South Idaho, I went to a Sun day morning service at the jail with the jail visitor there. And every Sunday morning at this hour, she went to the jail and the sheriff had the men all congregated where she could stand in the hall with every- thing between the men— the men were not given any liberty at all, they were confined-— but they were all in one place and she could stand in the hall outside, and she sang with them and prayed with them, and talk ed with them. And that was her regular Sunday morning service as jail visitor. And each one carries on the department in her own way. My way was to visit them personally. I visited one boy in the jail here— there was something wrong with his mentality—to destroy and steal and kill. It was the only thing he knew anything about. But, anyway, I went to visit him and the sheriff said that he really was dangerous, but if I wanted to I might talk with him. I said, "Yes, I would like to talk with him." So the sheriff took me upstairs to the boy's cell and put me in the cell and locked the door. And, I had just gotten the boy from his braggadocio mood to where he could make some response to what I was saying to him, when the jailer got worried about it, because the time had gone along, and he came up to see if I was still alive or not. He said when they took the boy he was carrying a six shooter. And he was just a kid. But, anyway, I didn't go back to see this boy because, apparently there was nothing in the brief time that he would be here that anybody could do, that would have been lasting with him. He was just mentally down. But, we do have— One woman said to me the other day, she said, "Well, I don't care so much about your WCTU. All you ever do is just to fight booze." "Oh," I said, ,"I don't believe it is." I said, "It happens that the woman who created the WCTU was responsible for the eight hour law, and for the child labor law." I said, "We do quite a lot of things besides fight booze, although we do fight it tooth and toenail all of the time." We do have all these dep artments, and at present, whether they have found the person or not, I don't know, but we are looking— if they haven't already found it— we are looking for a family, a whole family, that absolutely cannot buy a real Thanksgiving dinner, so that we may send them a dinner, so that we may send them a dinner. We do that each year. Last year we sent two dinners to two families. You don't know how diff icult it is, when you want to give somebody something to find the person who ought to have it. It's just like finding a needle in a haystack. Last year we couldn't find anybody that fitted the classification of someone who simply could not buy a dinner. But, we were given two names; one of them was a family where the mother worked, the father was invalid and while they got along, it was just to the end of everything every pay check. And the other one was a woman whose husband was incarcerated eiVWer in Idaho or somewhere, I presume in Boise, and they were not only welfare cared for, but in each year the lodges have their Thanksgiving dinners that they give— you probably know about that—they were to get one of those dinners. So the President said to me, "Well, what will we do?" I said, "We were given the name, let's give her the dinner any way." And, I said, "This other one that you mention, since they are sort of provided for, but just on a shoestring basis,"I said, "let's give them a dinner, too." So, we gave two dinners last year, which is unusual.
SS: Was it easier in the early days— was the suffering or the want of families much more obvious than it is today? Was it more apparent? Well, in the early days, if you were looking for families to help, were they easier to find?
CG: No, they never have been easy to find. For instance, there was a family— well it's over right on the border of the campus where they were living—Railroad Street, somewhere over there, and I said — this was at Christmastime, we were looking for someone, because they had suggest ed to find a family with children and send toys for the children at Christmas besides^Thanksgiving dinner, which we had done. And, I said. I thought that we had no business giving just helter-skelter, that ev ery name that we got, that person should be visited and find out if they 5hould receive help or if there was no use for it. "Well," they said, "if that's the way you feel, go and do it!" (Laughter) So, I was going around visiting these people, and I found one place where the father was a painter and, at that time, the painter, if you please, was getting the enormous wage of eight dollars a day. At that year eight dollars was a lot of money. And he was getting eight dollars a day, but the saloon was getting it. And we had been given that name. And, when I went there, they had an apartment, a good sized apartment, and there was a bay window, like an old house would have, and that bay win dow was fairly well filled with donations that had been given them. But, anyway, there was a University professor and his wife wKo took me around to deliver the gift and they had some huge oranges, a special shipment of them at the store, those immense size oranges, and so they left oranges there.in spite of all that had been given them. Another place that I went to previously for a visit I asked the woman about what they would need for dinner; what they would like to have besides the turkey. "Why," she said, "I don't want a dinner given me." I said, "Well, we were given your name." "Well," she said, "before my husband's death he had made provision for me. I don't need anything. I have ev erything that myself and the children need, because my husband provided it." Her husband's death had been very sudden and very recent. He was in an accident of some kind. And, I said, "Well, but you put your name in at a certain place, that I designated and I do not know what the de signation was. She said, "Yes, but I thought it merely meant some littie treat- candy or something, for the children. A woman said to me, ''Why don't you put your name in? I put mine, why don't you put yours.' So, I put my name in, just thinking it'll be something that will help to make the day for the children." "But," she said, "I will not take a dinner. I wouldn't think of it!" Well, that place was providing din ners, that's what they were for, was dinners, but she had thought dif ferently, so that one was out.
SS: What about this family that got all the other food—that was gettingso much, that you just old me about? Did you give them a dinner?
CG: No. No, we weren't giving dinners for Christmas. We were just givinga treat. And, we had, I think it was two little Christmas trees, one anyway. But, anyway, there was another place that had been given me. I was in the car with this University man and his wife and when we were half a block from the place, we knew it by the odor. Oh! It was ter rible! Well, I hadn't visited them before, I was just simply taking the treats. So, I did the best I could about the odor and went to the door. Well, it was very plain to me what the place was for. I didn't know whether the man at the back door had just come in and was inter rupted by my knocking at the front door, or whether he was just leaving. But I found out that it was place that was being maintained—well,what will I say— the upper class men who wouldn't go there? I don't think there is any such thing as upper class and lower class, I think we're all people, but still to express it, it was a place kept for other than upper class. And I found out later, not then, but later I found out that the mother,who had just died, was getting welfare for herself and the family; that the son had a fulltime job; he was a moron— that he had a fulltime job at something or other,, was getting his full wage and then the daughter was making this extra money. And, yet, we were asked to take them a Christmas treat! Well, there were two little boys, the woman didn't make any pretense at all that she'd ever been married, but she had two little boys. And, it looked to me like they were both of at least first grade school age. They were playing in the backyard; it was a nice day. And I asked her if she would like to have a Christ mas tree, thinking of the boys. She said, "I wouldn't have anything to put on it if I did have one." And I said, "I think the boys would like it, and we have with us some things to put on it if you'll let us come and put it up." So, she said, "Yes, put it up." So we did with the things to put on it. And that's my kind of experiences we had.
SS: When you said odor, by the way, was that just stink? You said the housesmelled from a half a block away.
CG: It was just their way of living, that was all. They had been there foryears in that one spot. And I just can't describe it. It was sort of a one-room place with some of it curtained off. And the moron son was standing there grinning at me, and the woman was really much embarrassed. But she didn't get up from her cot, where she was lying.
SS: Was the house itself— probably filthy.
CG: It was, absolutely filthy and the yard was filthy. Although other placeswere not rain wet, this place seemed to be. I don't know whether they threw out their dishwater or what, but, anyway the ground was wet around it and there was a plank from the street to the door. I never have seen anything quite as terrible as that was. And, I complained so loudly to the health officer, Dr. Litch was health officer at that time, and I knew him, and I just laid it on in complaining to him. No— he was health officer at one time—somebody else was at that time. But, any way, I didn't spare anything to tell him about it. And not long after ward the family went to California. And someone said to me, "Well, you didn't do anything for them, did you?" I said, "At least I did enough for the town that they're gone." "Yes, but somebody else will have them." I said, "It will take them some years to get another place to be like the one they left. And, at least, where they were can be cleaned up." I think that making them move was a perfectly right thing to do, even if somebody else did get them.
SS: What about times when there were people who were in need? In very desperate need? Do you remember situations like that?
CG: I've seen way back in Redfield when I was a kid— Redfield, South Dakota-Mother fed every man who came to the door. There was a string of them. Sometimes it'd be a businessman in his business suit; sometimes it'd be some bedraggled tramp in his Levis, although they weren't Levis at that time, they were overalls. But, Mother fed everyone who came. Someone said to me one time, "Well, your mother has no business to do that, she'll be found dead there by one of those fellows some of these days." Well, I ran home as hard as I could go and told Mother. And Mother said, "Well, there is no man as dangerous as a hungry man." And she went right on feeding them! But, really, it was pitiful. It was hardttimes after that I was temporarily, just for a short time in DesMoines, Iowa and one day when the landlady was gone, and I tended the door for her when she was gone, a man came to the door. He was just a common businessman in his business suit. It was very apparent that he was not a tramp in any way whatever, and he asked me if he could have something to eat. Well, my self and a little girl in an apartment just for a little short time— but I found something for him anyway. And, he said to me, "Do you have any coffee?" I said, "No, I never drink it. I don't have any in the house." Oh, was so disappointed. (Chuckles) And at one time, later "' than that, I was at Heath, Montana in the country. He had evidently lost his means and something about a picture machine— well, at that time, a picture machine was a very new thing; the movies, it was very new. And he would mumble to himself about a picture machine. Well, it was plain that his mind was turned. Well, here I was, alone with a lit tle child in the country, I didn't know whether he was going to go or not! But finally, he did go on. But a person meets all kinds.
SS: Do you have much of an idea of what caused businessmen or people whohad some means to lose what they had? Was it just hard times in the country? What happened?
CG: The banks were all closed, with all the person had in the bank. He hadjust what he had in his pocket. Just one bank after another went out. And it was real hard times. At your age you've never seen real hard times! But, there were people who had been living in comfort that when they ate what was in the house;they were out! I remember one time, we were living on a farm at Geyser, Montana, near Geyser, and there were two men came along. We were seven miles from town. I don't know, maybe they came out with my husband when he drove out from town. Anyway, they were there to supper. My husband gave them a blanket and they slept in the manger. One of them was a tramp. I don't see tramps any more. We used to have them, they were known as tramps and they were tramps. They had no other destination than some place that isn't here! And they had that all^the time. And they lived on what they could get at back doors. But, anyway, these two men were there at our ranch and they came in and supper with us. And then, they had this blanket and slept in the manger and they came in to breakfast and then they went on. One of them was thoroughly a tramp, and the other was absolutely an educated businessman. And, I marveled at the combination and why this businessman was out like this, 'it is possible that he was running from the law. He may have been in on some crooked deal, I don't know, that was as near as I could get p,t- any guess that seemed reasonable. But, anyway, the two men were so different, but when they had their break fast they just wandered on. But why they would be here seven miles from town— so I thought probably the man might have been running from the law.
SS: When you were young and your mother was feeding the men who came to thedoor, was it common for someone to come to the door? Knock on the door and say, "I'm hungry?"
CG: Just very common. There were just one after another. And, sometimes,they would— oh, if there was a piece of wood to be cut up, maybe they would cut up, or something like that. But usually they were just fed, and that was all. And, Mother always had coffee for them. Of course that was a treat. It was so common that we thought nothing of it at at all.
SS: Would this be during one very bad year, or two bad years, or did it goon year after year?
CG: No. It was, I think not more than two years anyway. It might havebeen even shorter, I don't know.
SS: Perhaps a depression going on in the country?
CG: The depression was general; the whole United States. It was general.That was about 1890. I have that as a pivotal date, because my baby brother was born in 1890, so I have the date. And he was, I think he was about a year old at this time.
SS: Were most of these men just traveling around from town to town?
CG: Just going. Of course, the tramps were finding it harder because therewere so many cutting in on them to get handouts! And perhaps someplace wouldn't give so many handouts as all that.
I had one odd circumstance right here on this doorstep, and I'vewondered about it ever since. I happened to be looking out, it was summertime, and a big, longrown tall man carrying a sack in his hand, was coming up the drive, and I wondered who or what. So I stood looking out the window, and he went to the steps that go up the bank, of the garage, and he looked up there quite a little bit and then he turned and went away. And after a while, here was this same man at the door. So I went to the door, and asked him what it was, and he said,— he wanted to know if there was a Mission in this town. I said "well, but what kind of a mission?" "The kind that have dinners, that kind, I haven't eaten much for the last two days." And I said, "No, there is no such Mission here, but you sit right down here on the door step and I'll bring you something." Well, it happened that I had just a very little bread in the house. And one person alone, one old woman doesn't have a lot of food around like families do, but, anyway, I took the bread and some butter and something else, what I could find and told him that it was all the bread that I had in the house. And later he said to me, "When I asked you, I wondered if you would have supplies in the house." Well, he very evidently was not the ordinary traveler; he was something more. And I took a little folding stool and went^and sat on the other end of the step and talked with him. After a little I said, "If I make coffee for you will you drink it?" Well, you know, some people drink it and some don't. And he said, "If it wouldn't be too much trouble." I said, "It's no trouble at all." So I a bowl full of coffee, and he was very grateful for it. And we talked on. He had this sack that he was carrying and around his neck he had a strap with a billfold— not a billfold but a briefcase— hanging around his neck. And finally, my curiosity got the better of me and it came into the conversation that I could fit it in, I said, "And what is in that?" He said, "That is some personal items." So we didn't say any more about it. And, among other things, while we were talking, he said that at one time he owned his business. Well, I didn't doubt that he was correct. And, we had quite a conversation, and when he had gotten up he said, "I want to do something for you. What can I do that will help you?" I said, "Well, I have a little piece of ground that is hard to spade, you could spade that if you would." Well, it was plain to me that he had never handled a spade, he didn't know what they were for!! But he did the best he could at it. And I thought that he was gone, he had brought the shovel up and left it, and I thought he was gone, but he came to the screen— there was a screen in the outer door at the time, it was summer— he came to the door and he said, "Good bye, Mrs. Grove." Well, I was too overthrown to say, "How do you know who I am?" And he left very quickly. How did he know who I am? Who was he? I would like to know. I have thought it out from every angle; there was no newspaper, no no nothing with my name on it any where. So he didn't get it here. Well, where did he get it? How did he know it? Evidently I had known him somewhere; perhaps back in school I don't know. But he had come to those steps and gone away and then he had come back. He was that determined to find me.
SS: There are things that are just impossible to explain. I don't know theexplanation either.
CG: I've wondered and wondered about that. There was one old flame thatdisappeared. But when I compared the two, I didn't see how it could be, because there wasn't the physical resemblance. So, I never have known and I have often wondered who he was.
And when I bought this place I had no fitting of any kind for shifting for myself, and I wasn't making a very good out at it. Well, I was offered this place for a small sum, naturally, they were going to pave right away! Well, it didn't occur to me that you inquired about anything like that before you bought. But, anyway, it was a small enough price that I could pay it right down and be done with it. And there were just those two rooms, nothing more. The water was in, but it wasn't out! And from right here to the street, it was alfalfa about this high-(mea sured with hands) oh, it was a wonderful crop of alfalfa! Well, we got along with the two rooms for a little til we could kiMcf"/V get settled and get our breath and find where the University was and one thing and another. And, then I had a little shedroom built right on there, from that door for a bedroom. And that was there for years before.it was so I could have this part built on. One of my brothers built this in 1940. You see, I had come in '27 and it was '40 before I had got financially fixed so that I could have this built. And in that year, and I think it was at least two years later, carpenters were working for forty-five cents an hour. I have to this day some cupboard shelves and doors that a man— he was the best carpenter I think, that had ever been turned out— and when he got through, he was a very rapid worker, when he got through, I asked him how much I owed him and he said, "Sixty-seven cents!" And he had put up two sets of shelves with doors. Well, I gave him three quarters, and he said, "But I have no change with me." I thought, "Yes, and you don't have any home either." So, I said, "Well, never mind, give it to the children for candy." Well, I knew it wasn't going to anybody for candy. But, anyway, he accepted the three quarters. I wasn't so awfully flush myself, I was feeding college men and while I had a profit every month, it wasn't big by any means. But you know, that time I had those college men is one of the highest lights of my life!! And there's one of them, from whom I hear a real folio every Christmas, telling about the whole You may run across his name sometime around this country— Paul Rice; Dr. Paul Rice. He was getting his masters at the time that he ate here for two years. And later from an eastern univ ersity, I don't know where, he got his doctor^ degree. And he was an entymologist with Uncle Sam. And Uncle Sam sent him to-huh— oh, it was a place that was a place that was in all the papers and on every tongue at the time— across the waters—sent him there. And he wrote to me every now and then and even yet, after all these years, every Christmas I get a whole folio about the whole family.
SS: When you say it was one of the highest lights in your life, was that because the young men were looking for a home away from home, or why was it such a special occasion?
CG: It was the calibre of the young men, and their suitability to each other.I had two frosh here a while, and I wasn't making any profit on those two frosh! They were farm boys, both of them, and it took about as much to feed the two as it did the others, all the others. So one day, one of them came in and he hated to say it, and I was just tickled to pieces about it, he said, "Mrs. Grove, we found a place where we can get lodg ing and board and laundry for fifteen dollars a month." I said, "Well, Wayne, if I knew a place like that, I'd go and take it and shut this up!" (Chuckles) So, the two of them left, and I was so delighted. And that left these older men.
SS: Were they lodging here as well as boarding?
CG: No. No, they just ate, just the same as at a restaurant, that was all.
SS: But they came every day?
CG: Three times a day, except Sunday, they came twice. They had an invitation if they wanted anything later on Sunday, they could come in at any time and I'd get them something. Well, there was one time that Paul came in, and I said, "What shall I fix for you, Paul?" "Well," he said, "how about an egg?" I said, "Just fine." He said, "Do you think I could possibly make you see twice?" I said, "Yes, I believe you could!" (Chuckles) And there was only one other time, and that was one of these frosh, at the time they were here, came in on Sunday evening, but other wise .
SS: You served them all the same menu?
CG: They all sat at the table and ate family style. Well, I fed them reallyfeed, with plenty of it. They had meat every dinner, and sometimes other times, but they had the best of meat every dinner and we had, always,two vegetables at dinner, instead of only one, and there was hot bread, home baked frequently. Just exactly like home. And they were all so congen ial. There was Floyd, who was teaching in the high school, and Paul, who was getting his masters and Louie, I don't know whether he was getting his masters or not, I don't know. And I don't know just who
SS: How many?
CG: I had six. That was the limit of what I should have.
SS: Could you make a living from doing that? Was that enough for you tomake a living?
CG: That was my living. That was all I had, was what I made out of that.
SS: And you could save from that, too, to put it aside?
CG: A little, a little. Yes, I saved a little every month. Yes. And theyoften spoke about the marvel of getting so much food and the kind of food, and they were so congenial. They would discuss, you know, their math problems and oh, this, that and the other. Politics and everything under the sun, like men do when they are gathered together and are con genial. And the last meal that they ate was evening dinner, and they were very silent, looking at their plates. And finally, Floyd, at the far end of the table, lifted his head, and he said, "Well, there is one thing sure, we will never meet this again. There is no such thing as another bunch like this." That was the general opinion.
SS: Was this the end of the school year?
CG: It was the end of the University year.
SS: How much did you charge them for board?
CG: I wonder if I know.
SS: It's not important, I just was wondering what it would have cost. Thiswas in the late '20's?
CG: It was in '32 and '33, ,and '34. I can't remember what I chargedthem. I know I charged them in advance. I wasn't taking any chances on it at all! And, more than that, _I paid for the food as I bought it. And in that way I got the best of it. For instance, with the butcher, I never told him, "I want chicken today." "I want beef roast today." I always said, "Well, what are we going to have today?" And he'd say, "Well, I'm long on pork roast today." I said, "That's fine, send me one." And that's the way I bought my meat. And did I get the best of meat on the market, and lots of it!! I know that finally one day, he said, "I'm long on steak today." I said, "Fine, we'll have steak." So we did. But he always chose the meat, and it was just as easy as any other way, and^I chose what to put with that meat. I wish I could remember what I did charge.
SS: Mrs. Grove, I'm going to have to.
CG: I matriculated at the University when I was eighty-two. And, of course,I filled out the blank and at the bottom of it it said, "name the occup ations you have followed." Well, I filled that line and I filled all the space below it and I went on both sides (chuckles) and if there was anything I hadn't done, I don't know what it was! And I have had many adventures.
SS: I'd like to come back again at another time, in a week or so, and tapeup some more. Lots of things to ask I'm sure. But I think it's very good to take this down on tape, because in the future, when people want to know what these early days were like, I think your voice will be a good source to tell them. I know that your articles are good, too, but it's different you know.
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26:00 - Why she sold the newspaper; a man complained because his relative was given credit as a businesswoman
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46:00 - Women's Christian Temperance Union is family tradition; Grandparents' courtship and marriage; how grandparents got started in WCTU
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63:00 - working as a jail visitor for WCTU; discussions of different people she saw as a jail visitor
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75:00 - WCTU doesn't do much except fight booze; trying to locate needy families for Thanksgiving dinner
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