Being the tenth of twelve children, life was better for me because of my older brothers and sisters. They seen to it that we had nice clothes and things we needed. ‘My older sisters made or bought us beautiful dresses, and the older boys worked hard to make the farm successful. When they left home one by one, it was up to Cleo, Naomi, Lloyd and I to carry on. We got up at 5:00 AM everyday and milked the cows. The milkman came at 6:30 AM. Then we had to wash and get ready for school. We walked 1/2 mile to catch the school bus at 7:15AM. If we.found time, we ate breakfast and made some school lunch. If we were running late, we did without.
We milked Jersey cows and raised tobacco for a living. We had a large garden. We raised chickens, sheep and pigs. We used -horses to farm and had a mule named “Ole Bert”. When I was about 14 years old, we got a brand new Allis-Chalmers tractor. We were up at 5 AM each morning and didn’t get to bed before 10 PM. Our lives were work, school, church & 4-H club. I had many wonderful experiences in 4-H.
When mother baked bread (we never had store-brought bread) she always made 8 loaves at a time (once a week). It was always tasted so good right out of the oven with home churned butter and jelly from the cellar. Our cellar was under the smokehouse. It had shelves for canned goods and a bin for the potatoes. Mother had us carry the jars of canned food down to the cellar when it was preserved. We had to really be careful not to drop a jar because it would break and would be a mess to clean up with glass and all. There was a certain way you could carry 4 or 5 at a time if you were able. Sometimes we carried them in a dishpan. At suppertime, we had to go down into the cellar to get vegetables, fruits, and meat to prepare.
When I was very small, I remember the family making molasses. We had a mule then. Her name was Old Bert. She was hitched to a pole and this pole turned the wheel that squeezed the juice from the cane. The mule went round and round. The juice spilled into a large vat that sat on a frame. Under the frame a good, hot fire was built that cooked the juice into molasses. It was cozy at night watching the making of molasses around the big fire. But I never could like molasses, although I did try.
When we moved from Schubert to Honey Creek, we hired a truck for $2.00 a load to move us. I don’t remember how many loads there were, probably three or four, but the last thing was the wagon, a small load of equipment and me to drive it to Honey Creek. I was 13 then. When I was going through Wardsville, dogs from Schrimpf’s farm came out barking at the mules and they were really spooked. We moved on March 15, 1940. The days were pretty long, so I got to Honey Creek before it got dark. While at Schubert, Daddy purchased the ‘32 Buick from Heisinger’s that was quite a step up for a family that had used a model T-Ford. While at Schubert there were many Roosevelt projects designed to help poor people. One was the Farm Credit Administration. They made loans to help people that lost everything and poor to get started again. We got $500 and from that we got a bull, a cow, 3 heifers, 10 ewes and a buck, a sow, a pressure choker and lots of canning jars. When Lolly was born, she had trouble with milk and Dr. Hill said to get a goat and give her goat milk. We would keep the goat on a long chain in the yard or the chicken yard and when Lolly got hungry, there was always some nice warm milk nearby.