As I mentioned in Part II, Jake got a job at Layman's place. We had very little money and even less furnishing. Jake and Barry got the idea that fall to open up a little restaurant at the Iowa State Fair. It was a stand with a counter that the people would come up to on the outside. They could then stand there and eat. There was a little booth in front, off to one side. They sold bubble gum candy cigars and all sorts of things like that at this booth. Barry handled this booth. They hired an elderly German woman, who was a fine cook to handle all the cooking. She made the best applesauce that I ever tasted. She had a daughter who helped work the counter. Jake was the business manager and door-keeper. One day an old man came up to Jake and asked him if the restaurant sold ears of corn. Jake told him yes and the man went in to eat. The man shortly thereafter came back and yelled at Jake, "You re out of roasted corn. The guy in front of me got the last one" Well Jake hadn't known that they had run short of corn. Jake and Barry stayed there at the Fairgrounds the whole run of the Fair. They had a place fixed to sleep in a loft over the restaurant. It had a ladder to climb up to it. They hired a man to bring fresh vegetables and fruit everyday to supply the restaurant. At the close of the Fair, my sister and I, and our children went to the Fair Grounds. We stayed all that day and the next. Both families slept, or tried to sleep, in the loft. I was afraid that some of the children would get up and fall over-board. We all had a good time. After the Fair was over and Jake and Barry took an accounting of how they had done. There had been quite a bit of rain that year's Fair, which kept some people from coming. They figured that they had broke about even. Jake and Barry stayed an extra day after the Fair closed so they could get their things fixed up and close down the restaurant. After closing down everything, they headed back on foot to their respective homes. They had no team!! Barry enjoyed walking but Jake would wait four extra hours if he thought he could hitch a ride with someone. Barry showed up home, but Jake did not. I saw Barry later that day and asked what had happened to Jake. He said, "He stayed back in town to try to catch a grasshopper to ride home on." I knew how Jake was, so I was tickled by Barry's remark. Later that evening, Jake arrived after receiving a ride from someone. He brought home some ham trimming from the restaurant that was left over. Oh what good seasoning they did make. I cooked beans with the ham and it was lovely.
Now back to Layman's Place. After the Fair, Jake worked there all winter. He hauled cord wood to town and did chores like that. There wasn't else much to do in wintertime. The weather was terrible cold. He would bundle all up and put on a heavy overcoat. He wrapped gunny sacks around his feet clear up to his knees over his boots. He tied them on with bailing wire. He wore a pair of mittens made of yarn next to his skin and then I made him gloves out of sail cloth to fit over the mittens. He said that he constantly had to keep moving while working outside, or he would of froze to death. He was so good about working in that cold to make a living for our family. Our house and the firewood for our cook stove was furnished as part of Jake's wages. We had to buy our own coal for the heater. Jake received $30.00 a month besides our house and firewood. Effie went to school at the Layman School House and it was near where we lived. It snowed lots that winter and was terribly cold. The house roof was covered with a heavy coat of snow and when the sun shined during the day, the snow would melt and run down the eaves of the roof. It made icicles so long, they almost touched the ground. I have to admit, it did look pretty.
One day, just after moping the floor, I started to fix dinner. Jake was expected home soon so I was in a big hurry to have his dinner ready. I noticed out the window that the girls were playing outside. One of them came in and told me, "Ked (we called Helen that when she was a child) has got a piece of broken glass and is making shadows in the sun." I looked around the corner and saw that she was having so much fun that I'll just let her play with it until after I got dinner finished. What a foolish thing I did. A moment later I heard her cry out. I went out and picked her up. She had fallen on that piece of glass and cut a gash just under her chin. Oh how it bled. I took her to the stove and got some ashes. I put the ashes on that cut to stop the blood. I sent Effie to get Jake and tell him what had happened. He stopped at Mrs. Layman's on the way and brought her back to help me. She brought a handful of spider webs with her. This was an old-fashioned remedy to stop bleeding. By the time she got there, I had got it all but stopped by using the ashes. Everybody was pretty upset for awhile. Helen felt poorly for several days and ran quite a fever. We didn't have the money to call the doctor. It was wonderful that she soon got well.
Late that winter, Carl and Minnie Wilkins came driving up in their covered wagon and told us they were off to Nebraska. They said they were prepared for cold weather. They had mounted a cook stove in the wagon and the vent pipe went right up through the canvas cover. They said they would build a fire right inside the wagon while they where riding along. I thought that I would never travel that way. I'd be afraid something would catch a fire. We heard later that they got through all right.
One day I got a letter from Mother saying they would send money for me and the children to come to California, if I wanted to come. Mother had gotten acquainted with some elderly people named Bacon. These people needed a woman to work for them. They told mother that they would advance the money for my fare, and then I could pay them back by working. Jake and I talked it over and we knew that it would be a long time before we ever got enough ahead to send me to California. I wanted to go so bad and get us out of that cold climate. Jake figured it wouldn't take him to long to make enough to bring him to California later. We answered Mother's letter and asked them to send the money. We started working very hard to get ready for the trip. I started sewing and fixing our clothes and other things for the journey This, I thought at the time, was the biggest undertaking I had done. I had never travelled to much, and to start to California, seemed an almost impossible task. I made up my mind to try it. We sold off all our household things and moved in with my sister Mattie. She was living near Auntie Milnor's. I kept my sewing machine until the last moment. I made Helen a dress one day and left it lying out. I ran over to a friend's house for a short time leaving Effie to take care of the little folks. I wasn't gone long and when I came back, what do you suppose I found. Helen had got hold of the scissors and cut several holes right in the front part of her new dress. Well, what was I to do. What was done, was done. I mended it as best I could, but it was ruined. I had been feeling so good about getting ready for California and this little set-back came along to slow me up a bit.
Auntie Milner, who I mentioned before, loved me so much. When she heard about my trying to go alone with the children to California, she got upset. She became interested and told us that she would lend us the money so Jake could go to. After we had sold off everything we could and put the money that the folks sent us with it, we were still short $15.00. She got the money and loaned it to us. Oh how thankful we were. We really worked with a will to get ready to go. Jake went to town to get us a packing trunk to put our things in for California. We could only take just so many pounds that the train tickets allowed. Jake came in with this big trunk. Mattie said to him, "Why didn't you get a house and be done with it." This trunk was so large that we were afraid to fill it to capacity for fear that it would weigh to much. We got our packing all done and then started preparing the food for the journey. Our train tickets did not include any eats so we had to bring it all with us. Mattie made us a cake and helped me fix up the lunch. At last we were finally ready. We went downtown that Sunday morning and had dinner with some friends of ours named Kieth. That afternoon we went to the train depot and were on our way to California. When we arrive in Kansas City, we had to change cars and layover there for three hours. Jake went and bought us some little straw mattresses to put on our seats so we could make them into a bed. Jake and Effie slept in the upper berth and the rest of the children and I slept in the lower berth. I remember Jake saying, as we pulled out from Kansas City, "In three days you will see your mother." I couldn't even realize that in such a short time, we'd be in California. It seemed to me that California was like going to the end of the world. The next day Jake pointed out to me a snow covered mountain in the distance. He said, "That's Pike's Peak." I had heard of Pike's Peak and I couldn't believe I was seeing it with my own eyes. Jake fell asleep one afternoon with his head lying on the window. He always wore a hat and he had that hat on when he went to sleep. The window was part way up and sometime while asleep, his hat blew off and fell out the window. When he woke up, he was quite upset to think he lost that hat. The train stopped at a town called Trinadad just before we crossed the Rocky Mountains. Jake got off the train to get some bread. He had to pay 25¢ a loaf and they were small loaves at that. He felt embarrassed to do his shopping bareheaded. I did not see him get back on the train. The train started up and there I was with him gone with our tickets. Whatever was I going to do. I got quite nervous for a little bit. All of a sudden, here he came from the rear of the coach. He had gotten on at the back and I hadn't seen him. I told him that I figured he had done it on purpose to scare me. He just laughed and laughed. The next day he got the fool notion that he wanted some fried bacon. Well I didn't see anyway for him to cook bacon on the train. He took a tin pie pan, cut his bacon, then put it in the pan. Then he took the pan back to where the heater was. It was just one of those old fashioned drum stoves with the door on the side. On the top was a small lid. He set the frying pan on this lid and little while later he came back with bacon fried as nice as you please. I don't know he did it.
As we were climbing the mountains, Jake asked me how I felt. He said, "Do you feel any difference, light-headed or anything?" I told him that I hadn't noticed any change. The air was thinner so he though maybe I had felt short of breath. We got to this tunnel and everybody started putting the windows closed and shutting Things up so as to keep the smoke out. That was a new experience for me. The woman across the isle raised her window a little and lay her head on the window sill where she could get a little air. She had a bottle of camphor under her nose. She acted like she was going to faint or pass out. Our family got along just fine- no trouble at all. Some fellows that sat behind us gave Jake a cap to wear. He got so upset that he had lot his hat. He wore that all the way to Los Angeles.
The train arrived at Barstow. We got off the train and they put us on another coach and we got detoured into Mojave instead of going directly from Barstow to Los Angeles. We arrived in Mojave early in the morning. We changed cars again and had a two hour layover. We all ate breakfast in the Mojave Depot. I had taken cold and was quite sick. I felt awful bad. There was a doctor that had come on our train. He was waiting in the Depot to leave for Los Angeles, also. He noticed my feeling bad and asked if he could do anything to help. He gave me some medicine but I don't remember if I took it or not. The train finally arrived in Los Angeles that evening. Some of Jake's relatives, who had come to California from Kansas earlier, named Phil and Emaline Nokes, met us at the depot. My sister, Dora, also came with them. The Noke's little girl handed me a Calla Lilli flower when I got off. I thought it was the strangest looking flower I had ever seen. The children and I went to Mother's from the depot. Jake couldn't stand it--he had to go to town to get him a hat. Since the train had made us all take a detour, they gave us a $25.00 rebate when we got off. This was wonderful and Jake immediately sent the $l5.00 we borrowed from Auntie Milner back to her. We were all so happy to get through to California and the folks were so glad to see us. My sister Annie had gotton some oranges for us all to have when we got to the house. Mother had also purchased some green vegetables for us to eat. They looked strange to us. We never had anything like that at this time of the year in Iowa. We stayed at the folks a little while. There was a man named Sutherland, that mother knew, and he owned a lot up on what was then called Chestnut St. (It's Avenue 19, now) He told mother that he would build a small house on this lot right away if we would be interested in renting it. He built a small two room plank house in a hurry and we moved right in. Since we were able to pay Auntie Milner back the $15.00 right away, I decided not to go to work for the elderly couple. Jake's first job was hauling stove wood for a company. They furnished him a team and wagon. The wood was up in the hills in back of Elysian Park. The wood had been cut for a long time. One day I told Jake that I would like to go with him on the job. I took baby Sue and off we went. When we got up to where the wood was, there was an awful lot of brush. The wood was all corded up, but it was just full of lizzards and bugs. I was to afraid to even sit down. I couldn't put the baby down, so I just stood there and held the baby with one arm and held up my skirts with the other. I was afraid of all those lizzards. I certainly did not enjoy the outing very well and I was glad to get started home. I did not ever go again!! Jake took us shopping one day on Downey Ave to get some things for our housekeeping. I didn't like the look of the tin tubs so we bought second hand wooden wash tubs. Later folks told us that the California climate caused wooden tubs to fall to staves. Well I found out the hard way that these tubs weren't good. We had bought them and I had to make the best of it. We also bought baby Sue a high chair that day. It was one without a table in front and it was quite high. Shortly after that, she fell out of the highchair right on her face on the hard floor. I was afraid that her head was broken because she fell hard. I ran and picked her up. A big knot raised up on her little forehead. Soon, though, she seemed alright.
We got acquainted with our neighbors, a young couple named Roper. Mrs. Roper and I became good friends and had some good times together. We lived in this house for a few weeks and Effie came down with a spell of fever. I was afraid for a time that she wouldn't get well. She finally came out of it alright. We had some other neighbors who were Spanish. Only their daughters could speak English. One of these children died and it was a curiousity to see how they handled the funeral. They were Catholics and they kept the body home and had candles burning. This looked funny to us since we had never seen anything like that before.
One Sunday, the Noke's family and our family took our lunch and went to spend the day over at Elysian Park. There was no Sunday School or Church then so we just went out for a good time together. Jake, Phil, and some of the children climbed up on top of a hill nearby. They said it was a lovely view.
After several months, we met some men that belonged to the Friend's Church in Pasadena. They said they would help us to get a Sunday School and Church started. My mother, & Emaline, and I had all been to the Church in Pasadena. We couldn't go to often because it was just to far. We started a Sunday School at the Noke's house. One of the men was older, and named Grinnell. The other, a younger man, named Charlie Reynolds. We were so glad to have some kind of church services to go to.
Coincidently, Phil Nokes was a plasterer. Jake got a job with him and was able to finish learning the trade. He hadn't got the chance to finish learning the hard-finish work while we were in Iowa. He finished learning everything under Phil.
The house we were living in was built on a hillside. We hardly had any level yard at all. I told my folks that I never was so tired of walking on a hillside. There was a large ravine between us and our neighbors to the north. They had their chicken house down the bank across from us. One day a big rain storm came along. It filled this ravine full of water and that water ran a river down through the property. The water almost filled this ravine to the top. It washed our neighbors chicken house off it's moorings and the chickens were floating around in that water. We had chickens too. Jake had built our chicken house up higher so we didn't have any trouble.
The next Spring, Jake decide to buy a place down on Walnut St. (It's now called Avenue 20) (It was south of what's now called North Broadway) We moved there and it wasn't much of a house. It was one big room with a sort of upstairs. The children slept upstairs. There had been Spanish folks that had lived there before us. It was quite a dilapidated looking house. We fixed it up the best we could. Jake dug a well but he only went down to the surface vane water. This water wasn't too good. Jake then got a job working at a lumber yard on the corner of Avenue 20 and Pasadena Avenue. He drove a one-horse truck and delivered lumber. The horse was a beautiful big iron-grey horse. Jake said somedays he drove or hauled all the lumber for one whole house in just one load. He worked all the time and had no time to work at our home. May came and the weather got so warm that we needed a summer kitchen. We were trying to cook and eat and sleep all in one room. Some friends of mother's named Day got interested in our family. They came to see us and they offered to help do a summer kitchen for us. Mr. Day put up a frame on the back of our hose and covered it all over with gunny sacks. We put the stove and the kitchen table out there--it helped a lot.
On May l2, 1887, our baby Harry was born. This was our first boy and were we ever proud of him. My sister Dora came and helped me after Harry's birth. One morning I told her I wanted to get up. I asked her to get my shoes and set them in the oven. It was cold and I thought it would be nice to step into nice warm shoes. Well we got talking about something else and forgot the shoes. When she got them out, they were burned to a crisp. They were burned so bad that I could never wear them again. We didn't have much money so I felt bad to have to buy new shoes un-necessarily. It was sad in one way but we had a laugh about it too. I was up and around after that and somehow took cold and had an awful gathering in my face. I was very sick for several days.
There were some people who lived a few blocks from us down by the river. They broke out with the Small Pox. We thought we had better have the children vaccinated. Jake got some vacine and the vacine quills and he vaccinated all of us. We all had sore arms. I remember Jake and Sue had the worst sore arms. Sue broke out all over. Our closest neighbors thought she had the Small Pox and called the Health Department. The Health Officer came to see us about her. After he looked her over, he decided that it was just a reaction from the vacine. That August the whole family came down with a sickness and fever, except Alta. Effie and I were the sickest. I really thought one night that I was going to die. I told Jake to gather the children so that I might see them before I was gone. He went and got a doctor instead. The doctor applied a mustard plaster to my chest. I soon thereafter started getting better. Jake had a terrible time trying to take care of us all. He didn't know who he could get to help us out. He tried to do the work and take care of the baby Harry. I was to sick to nurse him. One of our aunts lived not to far and Jake got her to come and take care of the baby for us. Jake took Effie and I to mother's house and she helped take care of us. I was afraid for awhile that I would loose Harry. He was so thin and sickly looking. When I finely was well enough to nurse him, he began to get better. In about a month, we all moved back into our house.
My mother got quite interested in real estate. She bought a place in Whittier. When Whittier was founded, she heard about it so she and Father went out to take a look. Thats when they decided to buy some property there. She traded their home in Los Angeles for a plot of ground with a nice little cottage on it. She got Jake in the notion to trade our, property for two lots in Whittier. Whittier, at that time, was only a tent city--just a barley and mustard field. I had never seen such mustard patches and stalks in my life as grew in what is now the City of Whittier. The first houses were just plank type, tents, and one ranch house up close to Turnbull Canyon. Jake helped plaster the first store building in Whittier. It was on the corner of Philadelphia and Greenleaf. The man who owned the building was named Dotey. As I write this story, the building is still standing. He also helped to plaster the first Friend's Church which now belongs to the Free Methodist. Several years later, the Friends Church built another big brick church.
Just before we all moved to Whittier, my little brother Frankie took bed sick. They tried everything for him but he just didn't get any better. He got so bad that he couldn't hardly breathe. One night he couldn't eat his supper and got worse by the minute. Then Father sent for the doctor sometime in the night. The doctor mixed up some kind of concoction and put in a bucket. He sat on the bed and put Frankie's head on his lap. He put a sheet over them and let this mixture make fumes for Frankie to enhale. All of this was to no avail. He then gave Frankie something to make him throw up but that failed to do any good either. At 9:00 am the following morning, Frankie died. Oh how hard it was to give him up. It was so pitiful to think he just had to choke to death. At the end he didn't seem to struggle so much, he passed away easy and we were thankful for that. Frankie was rather a strange child. He was old in many ways for his age. His favorite thing to play was--pack a lunch and go to work. Mother would put him up a lunch in the morning sometimes and he would say, "I'm going to work like Papa." He would start off with his lunch and a little hatchet or some other little tool. Sometimes he would walk to our house or somebody's elses house before he headed back home. He could sing real good. He would sit in his little rocking chair and rock and sing so sweetly. One of his songs was "Bringing in the Slaves". Oh how he could sing that song. He was only six years old when he died. After he died they kept the body at home. Thy layed him out right by a window and his pet goats would come up to that window outside and would put their feet up on the window sill just like they were trying to look at him. They kicked and carried on something awful just like they knew he had died.
Jake went to Whittier to build a house on our lots for us to move into. He stayed out there several days. He just put up a two room plank house in a hurry. Jake stayed at Phil Noke's house while building ours. The Nokes had moved to Whittier before any of our family did. Our house was on Pierce Avenue and mother's house was down on the country road. None of the streets were cut through and nothing was graded just layed out for the future. Every where you looked you saw acres of land covered with weeds. We set a trap in our yard and caught a badger. Our closest grocery store was Charley Vernon's.
Going back on my story a little bit and before we moved to Whittier, Jake got a plastering job in Norwalk. My sister Mattie came out from Iowa about that time for a visit with her two children. It would take Jake several days for him to finish this plastering job. It was just to far to drive back and forth with a horse and wagon. We decided for me and the children to go with . He put up a tent for us to live in and I cooked for him. We just stayed right there. I took Sue and baby Harry with us, and left all the rest at home with my sister Mattie. While we were down in Norwalk, a close friend named Tom Morris road up and told us my little sister Della had died. She wasn't well when we left home. She wasn't a very strong child and was sickly a great deal of the time. She had something called dropsey. We, of course, packed up and went back home as quick as we could. Mother told us that Della's last words were to put her things away in a box and bury her next to Frankie. She also told mother to tell me that she had gone to heaven. She was buried in Evergreen Cemetery. Shortly after that Mattie had to return to Iowa. I didn't try to go with Jake to Norwalk again.
The folks lived in Whittier for about two years and then they decided to rent a farm near Norwalk. A lady named gramma Strong owned the farm. She was a widow. The folks spent the whole summer there.The folks came by to visit us in August and I asked mother to take the children all home with her for awhile. On Tuesday afternoon, August 19, 1889, our baby boy was born. We named him Alva Elmer. The children stayed several days with the folks. One day Father brought the little girls home on a load of hay that he was delivering to Whittier. Sister Dora came and stayed with us and did the work. She was outside one evening just before supper when all of a sudden the house began to shake. Things on the stove began to rattle. I wondered what it could mean. At first I thought the cow had got tangled up in the clothes line that was fastened to the side of the house. I found out later that it was an earthquake. I had never felt an earthquake before. It was a light one but it sure shook things pretty good.
Jake came home one day with some bed springs. We had never had any before. We always had cord or slat beds. I was so proud of those nice bed springs. It really was comfortable to sleep on. Harry, one morning, was springing up and down on the bed. Soon he went right on his head onto the hard floor. When I picked him up he was limp. I ran out into the yard and told one of the girls to get the camphor bottle. Finally I brought him to. I thought he had been killed.
When Alva was just a little over a year old, we sold our place to a man named Triplet. We moved over on Milton Avenue. Jake was working for a building contractor in Covina. He did quite a lot of plastering for him. Jake was so busy working that Father helped me to move. We would load up a few things at a time and take them over to the new place which was just a short distance. We didn't have to pack things much. We just piled them off on the floor at the new place. Oh what a time I had to get them straightened out. I had a cow to care for and chickens to feed. We had no place for the cow and no hen house for the chickens. On top of it all, it rained and rained and rained some more. I had to take care of everything and everybody as best I could until Jake came home. I was just about at my wit's end by the time he got home. He came home bringing a half a gunny sack of peanuts. The man he worked for had given them to him. This building contractor's name was Moxley and he raised peanuts on the side. He was awfully nice and treated us real good. Well I sure was glad to see Jake come home. I told him a plenty about what a time I had had moving and taking care of children, chickens, and the rain. I'm sure he just laughed to himself and knew that I loved him just the same. Soon all was forgotten. We certainly had plenty of other cares and trials that go along with the every day life. Jake started to build a chicken house and when he got the frame up, it looked so nice, I said, "That would make a nice room for our house." So we decided to use it for that. He moved it up to the house on the back and attached it to the house. It made a nice little room out of it. I used it for a bedroom. It sure helped out for we only had two rooms at first. Later on he made a place for the chickens. One day I found little Harry sitting down on the ground with a little chicken in each hand. He was holding them by the neck and they were just gasping for breath. If I hadn't seen him they would have soon choked to death. He was just looking first at one and then at the other. I guess he thought they looked funny.
It came Christmas time and I wanted to fix a Christmas tree for the children. We had no money for a Christmas tree so I took a nice gum tree limb (pine tree) and poked it down in a barrel so it would stand up. I fixed their presents by the tree as best I could. I had bought some pearl sleeve buttons from a peddler for Jake and some small toys for the children. We enjoyed our Christmas tree such as it was.
Jakes brother's daughter, Jennie Rothrock, and her husband Abe came to California from Kansas. Her husband worked for Jake on a job in Artesia. Jennie and her baby stayed with just while the men were gone. Jennie and Effie were getting supper one night and they made such a hot fire that they set the roof on fire. We women and children were alone and couldn't climb up and put out the fire. We called for one of the neighbor men to come and help us. That night we were afraid to go to bed for fear the fire might start up again. Fortunately, everything was alright. The next day we laughed after it was all over.
Later on Jake bought two lots on Pickering Avenue. He moved our house over onto one of those lots and we moved into it. Jake added another room and a porch. He traded the lot for a young horse named Nell. Later he traded Nell for an organ. Effie began taking lessons and we were so proud. She did not keep it up very long and I felt sorry. Alva was just two year old and when Effie would play a certain song, he would notice it and would just laugh and look so pleased. He couldn't talk yet but he knew the difference in the songs. The children would learn songs at school and would come home and sing them. Alva would then pick up the tune and later on he would make up his own word and sing the tunes as good as the older children. He had a very good voice always.
The children went to school in Whittier. They had built a big school house on Bailey St. One day I went to the children's school program for the last day of school. The principal, Miss Dewolf had came to see me about a month before and asked me to make some kitten suits for three little girls at the school. Helen was one of he special little girls chosen to recite the kitten rhyme. I had never made anything like that and I wondered why she had come to me. She could have asked one of the other's girl's mothers? I took the job and made the suits. I made just a straight coat with long sleeves down over their hands and gathered at the hand to look like kitten paws. I made hoods for the heads and attached them to the coats. I made ears on the hoods and they looked just like kitten ears. I made stockings too. Well they were very cute. I made the suits out of cotton flannel. Two kittens were white and one kitten was gray. The girls sure looked the part.
Another time Alta and Helen was supposed to sing in a school exercise. They got up on the platform to sing and then they singing. All at once Alta stopped singing. She said, "Miss Mason Helen is singing off tune." Helen said, "Miss Masson I'm not either off tune." Well, there they stood arguing in front of the audience. Poor Miss Mason, their teacher, was so embarrassed. I just sat there no knowing what to do. As I remember, they started up singing again and it turned out alright.
They started digging this big water ditch through Whittier and the children all went down to play in this ditch. The dirt was damp and Sue took cold and had lung fever. The other children caught the whooping cough. Sue had the hardest time. We had the doctor in for her. I never saw anyone cough like she did. She was always strong and healthy looking and that, I suppose, helped her to get well. She was the fattest most round faced baby I ever saw. A friend of mine named Kittie wrote to me from Iowa an wanted to know if Sue still had that round moon face.
One day my mother introduced me to a church fellow named Alfred Adams. He was so friendly and nice. Alfred lived on a ranch in Sunland later on I met him again at the Downey Camp Meeting. I got help and light at the meeting that I hadn't known before. I made a new covenent and knew everything would be alright. Some of the other Haworth's were at the camp meeting. We met up with Soloman and Addie and Charlie and his wife Wesley. One of the preachers read the 115th Psalm. The first verse read, " Not Unto us oh Lord, Not unto us but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truths sake." Oh this verse did me so much good that I just felt encouraged to go on. The folks lived so close to the camp meeting,that they could hear the singing at night when everything was still.
The summer after Alva was born, my sister Annie and I planned to go to the beach. We were going to Long Beach and stay awhile. She wasn't that well and she wanted to go and me to go with her. We got ourselves some little beach hats and I fixed the children all up for the trip. I was going to take all the children and we planned for a lovely time. Well, before we got started, father was going to take us down and get us settled. Annie got so sick before we left that we couldn't go. She got down in bed and they called the doctor. He said she had typhoid fever. Mother went down to the campground to the church meeting and got some of the preachers to come and pray for her. My brother Al knew of a doctor, named Burley, in Los Angeles and he had him come to see Annie. But all our efforts failed and it seemed it was the Lord's will to take her. She asked to see my baby Alva the day before she died. She was so glad to see him. She was a wonderful girl an only seventeen when she died. We had the funeral in the Friend's Church and buried her in the Whittier Cemetery. I know she is in heaven with the loved ones that have gone on before.
That fall my sister Dora got married. Her husband's name was Harry. They got married at home on Thanksgiving day. It was a nice home wedding with just close relatives and a few friends. Mother prepared the wedding dinner. That evening they bid us all good bye and left for Los Angeles. Harry made his home in Los Angeles and that's where they lived for awhile. He had business up north once in awhile. When he would be gone, she would come and stay with the folks. She loved my baby Alva very much. She would dress him all up and take him to church with her on Sunday.
Late that year, Jake rented a place with a few acres down at El Modena. It was a small fruit ranch. We moved down there in January. The place was all run down. The orchard hadn't been cultivated or taken care of as it should have been. Jake worked very hard to try to get it into shape. The trees had to all be pruned. It was mostly apricots and some peach trees. Jake worked and worked but the job was endless and didn't seem to acomplish much. He finally got so discouraged that he decided to give it up. He figured he got lots of experience, and hopefully, that was worth something. We all got sick down there except Effie. I don't think I have ever seen Jake so sick. The climate in El Modena was just terrible. When I say the wind blew--I mean it blew something awful. The wind blew three out every seven days the whole time we were there. There was a big apricot tree stood close to one corner of the house and when those wind storms came, the limbs would just thrash the roof and make a terrible noise. We got enough of El Modena and trying to be fruit farmers. The following April we moved back home and were glad we had one to move back to.Just before we moved back to our old house, I had a serious kitchen accident. I was baking bread and we had a five gallon can of molassas that I used for baking. I had used most of it but there was some hard sugar bits in the bottom that I didn't want to waste. I got the idea to put the can on the stove while the bread was baking and melt that sugar so I could pour it out. I didn't think to loosen the cap on the can. I went to the other room to sew while the bread was baking. I heard a sputter in the kitchen and when I went to check, I saw molasses was coming out around the cap and dropping on the hot stove. I picked up the can by the ring and in doing so, the can exploded. Hot sugar molasses spurted all over my arm and into my face and ear. I ran to the water bucket and began to wash it off. The soda can was sitting on the table near the water bucket so I sprinkled soda all over the burn. A huge blister rose on my face and ear. When Jake came home, he had a fit. I told him what had happened and he was upset. I had a hard time healing from the burns and carried the scars for quite some time. While we still lived there, Harry swallowed a peach seed. He started choking and told me what he'd done. I got scared and sent Helen to get her pa. I thought maybe we would have to have the doctor to come and see what he thought about it. Jake decided that Harry was all right, but we watched him closely that night.
Once we got back home to Whittier, we found that work was very scarce that year. Jake couldn't find much to do in his line of plastering. Times were really hard and people weren't doing much building. That summer was one of the roughest we had in California. We got to the point that we hadn't much to eat. We weren't starving but we just didn't know where our next meal was coming from day to day. He had some money coming to him from work he had done but he couldn't seem to collect from these people. One morning, things were bad. We were out of all our food. Jake said he was going to make one more effort to get some of the money owed him. After he had been gone for awhile, the grocery man came driving up in front of the house. He brought in a 50 pound bag of flour and quite a lot of groceries. I don't think I was ever so thankful before. The grocery man put the sack of flour on a chair and after he was gone, I kneeled down by that chair and prayed to the Lord. I thanked him for that food to feed our children. People often remarked how wonderful it was the way Jake provided for his big family. All we had we got by hard labor and by Jake's knowing how to do business. He would buy lot and build and then sell the house. He did that a good many times. He did a lot of the work himself. Sometimes we would move into the house until it was sold. I use to say that I lived in more new houses than any "poor" woman I knew. Jake was a wonderful man and a good provider. He loved his family and there was nothing to hard for him to do to make us a11 comfortable. I never knew what a blessing I had, until he was gone. As I grew older, I seemed to miss him more and more. I trust he is in heaven with all the little darlings we lost.
In December, we had an addition built on our house. The other rooms had never been plastered, so we had it all finish plastered and it looked in good shape. We enjoyed having company over once the house got looking so nice. The little girls used to love to sing when company came in. They were real good singers and we were never ashamed to have them entertain. The year we had the plastering done was 1891. Phil and Emaline had us to come and stay at their house for a few weeks while the plastering was being done. They Let us have a bedroom and use of thier dining room.
The original boom that Whittier experienced began to settle down. The times didn't flourish like at first. There was quite a drop in business and for some time things were very dull. There was a large hotel up near the mouth of Turnbull Canyon and it had been built by C. W. Harvey. He was one of the early founders and builders in Whittier. When things got so slow, Mr. Harvey closed this hotel and sold the furnishings. Jake bought me a lovely Brussel' s carpet that had been in that hotel. It was a pretty thing and a good carpet. It was just like new and I was so proud of it. My friend Melissa Hill came in and said, "Thee has got a carpet that will last ten years. " I'm sure it lasted much longer than that.
On August 14, l892, our baby Walter was born. He was born on a Sunday morning at sun up. His given name was Walter Leroy and he was our third boy. When Walter was about four months old, I developed an infection in one of my fingers. I tried to doctor it myself but it just grew worse. One Sunday morning I was just suffering so bad that I couldn't sleep or hardly eat. Jake went to milk the cow before breakfast. I was in such pain that I walked down to the barn and told him that I would have to have something done because I couldn't go on suffering any longer. He hitched up the horse to the wagon and took me to the doctor before breakfast. We went right up to the doctor's house. The doctor's wife gave me a cup of tea and I drank that. Then the doctor lanced my finger. It was bad to have him cut it open, but I can't tell you what a relief it was after he was done. Jake took the children and me for a ride that afternoon over by Santa Fe Springs. Oh how good I felt and my finger didn't hurt near like it had before. Effie had been doing the cooking and the work while I was in so much pain. Charlie and Rose Haworth took care of the baby for me during this time. What a blessing that was and I shall never forget their help.
Jake bought a pony horse, a real beauty, for him to drive to work. He called her Dutch. He got another little larger horse and called her Dot. Dutch was so gentle and never got excited, just minded her own business. But Dot was always looking for trouble and I was a little afraid of her. They made a lovely team, however. He bought another horse from a farmer. This horse was poor and thin and she wasn't nice looking at all. The farmer had said she was a gentle horse and good with children. He thought she would be a good family horse. Well, it wasn't long until he had her looking completely different. He always fed and took such good care of his horses. If they had any life to start with, they really showed it after he got them. This gentle horse turned into a real powerful and headstrong animal. I tried to drive her a couple of times and she was more than I could handle. Sometimes I would take the lines when Jake and I were in the wagon together. She just seemed to know when someone else had hold of the lines. When I had the lines, she always started to go faster.
While we were living in Whittier, some people named Weed moved in near our place. Mrs. Weed didn't have a stove at first so I invited her to do her baking at our house. She baked a lot of bread and cooked a lot of other things. We got well acquainted and I thought a lot of her. She was a very good woman. Her oldest boy, named Arthur, worked for Jake and Jake liked him fine. I noticed one dav that Helen Weed didn't seem to well. She was running a temperature and I got real uneasy about her. I told Jake that I thought we had better take her to Los Angeles to the doctor we knew there. His name was Dr. Shumacher. She said she would go, so we took her and her husband went along with us. We took the wagon and the team and when we got to Pico Blvd. We had to cross the river. The bridge was out of commission from the rains so we had to fjiord the river. We had our daughter, Sue, with us and when we got near the water, she said, "Ma, where is our house, I'm scared." It really was quite scary crossing that river, and I didn't blame her for being aprehensive. Dr. Shumacher gave Helen some medicine and before long, she got well. Later on Mrs. Weed's other boy who was much older, hauled gravel from the old reservoir to fix the roads. He worked with a construction group and there were many men hauling gravel. One day, as he was coming down a hill, somehow he slipped off and fell under the wagon an the wheels rolled over him. Well, someone picked him up and brought him home. It was a miracle he wasn't crushed to death. He was unconscious when they brought him and layed his on his bed. The doctor came and started working on him. He gave him some kind of medicine. He couldn't tell how bad he was hurt internally until he got him awake. Helen was nervous and excited. She stood by the bed shaking all over. I felt sorry for her. He looked to me like he might die any minute. As we watched him, however, he slowly opened his eyes and turned his head and then came to. We were all so glad to see him awake. His internal injuries weren't to serious and in time, he finally got back to normal. He had a hard time standing up straight and walked around stooped over for quite awhile. Poor Helen, she really had her hands full. Her husband lost his mind later on that year. Whether it was caused from sickness or what, we didn't know. He came prowling around our house one night barefooted. We were scared. We got the children out the back door. Jake and some other fellows coaxed him to go with them. They called the sheriff in Los Angeles and they came and took him away. We felt awfully sorry for the family. He was confined in an institution for as long as I can remember. The rest of the family moved on to Santa Fe Springs.
Jake bought two lots on the corner of Newlin and Pennsylvania in Whittier. He started building a house for us on the very corner lot. We always called this the big house. It had eight rooms--four downstairs and four bedrooms upstairs. It had a living room, dining room, Master bedroom, and kitchen downstairs. It was a nice house with a chimney in the center and a nice fire place in the dining room.
That summer, our church had a Sunday School picnic down at Long Beach. Father took his mules and wagon and took a load of children. Several other families took their own rigs. Jake and I took the little children and went in our own spring wagon. We started early and drove down there. We spread our dinner on the sand on tableclothes. We had a lovely time and a good dinner. I made a cake and put the word "picnic" on the frosting with colored candies. I remember Frank Hill was there and he came and stood looking at the food we had sat out. He spied my cake and remarked about how nice it was. I felt good to think he had noticed it. Well, it was a hard day riding so far for such a short time at the beach. Everyone enjoyed the day and that made up for the huge effort of getting ready and taking that long trip. It was a happy day.
Christmas came and I knew I had to go shopping for the children's presents. Walter had been very sick the last few months. Sore throats, fever, and what have you. I wanted to go to town so I left him with the girls. I could hardly do any shopping because I was so uneasy about leaving him. I even noticed I started talking to myself in the shops. I didn't know what the people thought if they heard me. They probably thought I was crazy and I felt awful silly. I don't remember what all I bought. I do remember buying Harry a little hammer. He loved little tools. After Christmas, one day, I caught him sawing one of our window sills. Another time, he nailed a potato to a chair. I counted thirty nails through that potato. Some of them went right into the chair. Maybe that hammer was a mistake. When he was a little older, Jake sent him to the barn to cut up a pumpkin to feed the cow. Sue went with him. He picked up the axe to cut the pumpkin and when he swung it, the axe glanced off the pumpkin and struck Sue on the leg. It cut a gash clean to the bone. We had an awful time getting it to heal. After over a month, it still wasn't better. We consulted a doctor and he said he would have to talk to a surgeon he knew in Los Angeles about the case. The surgeon told him what to do and after he worked on her, she started getting better. I have sure had some experiences raising these children. No matter what, though, I always remember the happy times.
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