As I start this sixth chapter, it is March 27, 1944. Eva's LIVING called me today and said he received his draft notice to report to the Army training on April 6th. He said he was worried about breaking the news to his mother. Poor boy, it certainly will be hard on both of them.
I have lived to be 85 years old. I have seen the good time and I have seen some very hard times. These times of war are hard times for everyone. My mother had a plaque on her wall, which helped her to cope during her hard times. It read, "God's grace is sufficient."
Most of my past writings have told of the good times and privileges and pleasures, I have experienced. I now feel that I must tell about some of the difficult, trying, and unhappy times of my life. I feel sorry to have to relate them, but since this is my life story, I feel that I must tell all.
I have in a past chapter told about my baby, Nellies death. I want to relate more about her birth, sickness, and death. She was born on September 26, 1879 and died on June 10, 1881. She was one year-9months-16days old. She had a fair complexion, golden hair, and large blue eyes. She was a very pretty child with a cute little body. She could walk and had just begun to talk. She called me Ma. She would wake up in the morning and call me to pick her up. When she saw me coming, she would begin kicking and laughing. She and Effie had great times playing house together. Nellie would carry her doll all around and Effie would make up a pretend playhouse near the living room wall. Effie had a little steamer trunk that she played with. Nellie would sit on this trunk and hold her dolly. She looked so cute and it was nice to watch them play.
When Nellie was four months old, she, Effie, and I all came down with the measles. Nellie didn't seem to be getting better as she should. We had the doctor to come see her. She improved slightly but then came down with the lung fever. We called the doctor again. He said the measles had settled on her lungs. After that, even though she got a little better, she had a sick spell about once a month. I always wanted to have her picture taken, but every time I was going to have it taken, she was sick. I just put it off to long and never got a picture at all. We lived way off in the country and it was difficult for me to get her to town.
Nellie seemed to have an un-natural appetite. She wanted to eat things that I felt she shouldn't. I was cooking some greens for dinner and she wanted some of those. I gave her a little and she wanted even more. I was afraid to give her too much, because she was already having trouble with her bowels. After I put her to bed that night, she wanted something more to eat. I got up and got her something and pretty soon she took a high fever. I did all I knew to do for her. She just grew worse and Pa went for the doctor. He came and left medicine but it didn't do any good. The next morning I tried to bath her but she was so weak that I had to put her back in bed. The doctor told me not to give her water. She was so thirsty, but all she got to drink was her medicine and she just swallowed it right down. She wanted a drink so badly. I prayed, I read the Bible, I tried to find comfort and have faith that she would get well. I finally resigned myself to the Lord's will. If he wanted to take her Home, I would have to let her go. The next morning, I had the window open near her bed. There was no screen on the window and a little bird flew in and perched on a picture hanging on the wall over her bed. It sat there a bit and then flew out again. I felt so strange almost like that bird was an omen. Nellie grew worse and worse. She suffered so badly that poor little darling. We couldn't do a thing to relieve her suffering. I sat on the bed with her all night before she died. I knew it was the Lord's will to take her from her suffering. The next evening, I went to give her some more medicine. She did not pay any attention to me. I saw that she was almost gone. I went out into the front yard and got Pa. We both stood there by the bed and saw the breath leave her little body. We knew the little spirit had gone back to God who had given it. There was just Pa, my sister Dora, Effie, and myself there. We didn't know what to do. Pa didn't want to leave for help and leave me alone. We walked out to the front yard and just about then, some people we knew drove along the road. We hailed them down and told them what had happened. The lady came in and washed and dressed our little darling and laid her out. Pa and I just stood out in the yard feeling so terrible about our loss. All of a sudden, just like a miracle, Pa's brother Harmon Haworth came driving up the road. I never was gladder to see him in my life. It seemed like the Lord had sent him to us just at the right time. We, in the mean time, sent Dora about a half-mile to tell the folks what had happened. The next day, Pa borrowed Mr. Close's team and wagon and went to town to get the little coffin for the funeral. On the way back from town, he dropped the team back off at the Close's house and came the rest of the way home on foot. I looked out the window and saw him coming down the road with the little white coffin on his shoulder. I felt so bad and to think we would never see her anymore in this life. We had the funeral on Sunday morning. We had a little service at the house. My mother hadn't been well, but she came and prayed at the service. Many of our neighbors also came. We put the little coffin in a big wagon and Pa, Effie, and I took the little body by wagon down to the cemetery in Des Moines. We buried her next to my little sister that had died the year before. My mother had wanted us to some back by her house and stay for dinner. I didn't want to do that. I felt I would feel better to just go back home and be alone for a while. I gathered up all of Nellie's things, the next day and washed up the clothes and then put them away. My eyes are filled with tears now as I sit here and write this story. Nellie's sickness was what they then called Infant Cholera and is usually always fatal in children.
Onto another terrible and painful memory of the past on May 5, 1935 I was staying with Earl and Sue while recovering from an illness; Earl had taken a drive out east over across the railroad tracks. I don't remember where he had gone. He apparently came to sort of a blind crossing and the train was coming downhill. The train sometimes doesn't make much noise when coming from that direction. The train struck Earl's vehicle and we now feel that he never heard the train coming. We, at the time, didn't know anything about the accident until the hospital called and told Sue that Earl was there. She went right to the hospital since it was close to their house. One of the neighbors went with her and another stayed with me. When they arrived, they found that he was in awful bad shape. They found out that someone had seen the wreck and had picked him up and taken him to the hospital unconscious. Two days later, he passed away. We telephoned to Los Angeles and Jim and Alta came up right away and they brought Helen and Lillie with them. The day before he died, he regained consciousness and seemed to recognize everyone. The children talked to him and prayed with him. He smiled and seemed to understand what they said. Shortly after that, he was gone. Oh, we all felt so bad and we could hardly realize what had happened. It was awfully hard on Sue. Jim and Alta took Sue to Los Angeles, as she wanted to bury Earl in the Evergreen Cemetery. She had the funeral in Oxnard. After it was all over, she had to go back home and take up the responsibility of carrying on the business. It was very hard on her and she wasn't strong. She didn't know a thing about the business. Earl was a good businessman and had never required that Sue learn anything about it. The Lord came to her rescue and it was wonderful how she got along with it all. She stayed up there until Thanksgiving and then decided to move to Los Angeles. I think she moved to El Monte and took up housekeeping with Eva. They rented a nice house and lived there for sometime. Later she made a trip East to visit Earl's people.
I have said so much about Eva and I living together after she was Married, and of her living with various other sister's, etc. I never mentioned her husband during these times and I know whoever might be reading this at a later date, might wonder what the trouble was. Well, I will try to explain the circumstances. After Eva and Mahlon were married, they lived with me in my home for several months. They then went to Highland Park and stayed with Walter and Helen. While staying there, Mahlon, one Sunday evening, told Eva that he was going to get a newspaper. She thought nothing unusual about that. Well it came on dark and he had not come back. In fact he did not come back all night. She called John and Efffie at the Mission and told them what had happened. They came right over. Everyone was afraid that something had happened to him. They thought he might have been hurt or killed. They called the hospital but they had no news of him. More time went by and still no word came of his whereabouts. We all didn't know what to do. Sue and Earl came down from Oxnard for support. Mahlon was such a good fellow and to our knowledge had never been in any trouble. It was really all very strange. He was gone a total of nine days and then came back. He wouldn't explain to us much about where he had been. Things settled down and they rented a house on 56th St. in Highland Park. He went back to his job and they seemed to be getting along just fine. They had a baby and named him LIVING. When LIVING was 8 months old, a woman came from the East to my home. She was looking for Mahlon Hunsinger. I was not home as I had rented the house out. I was living with Effie at the time. The tenant got a hold of me and told me about this woman and her inquiry. The woman in the meantime went to the Missions where my sister worked. My sister told her where Mahlon worked. The woman told my sister that Mahlon had a wife and several children back East. The woman went to Mahlon's work and told him who she was. She told Mahlon to send his wife some money. She then went back to the Mission to tell my sister that Mahlon, was indeed, the man she had been looking for. The word got around to the entire family as to what had taken place. We all were shocked and did not know what could be done. We wanted to hear Mahlon's side of the story before we did anything. Some of the boys went down to the shop where Mahlon worked. Harry went in to see him and told him that he would like to talk with him when he was through with his work. He told them that he would talk with them right then. He excused himself for a moment and said he would be right back. He went behind some boxes. Harry went outside and they waited for him to come back out. Well he never did come back out. They then went to Eva to tell her what had happened. The poor girl didn't know what was going on. She went back with them to Mahlon's work but he was gone. His car was standing there, so she took it home. We were all left to wonder where he had gone. She got one letter from him postmarked from Bakersfield - she never has heard another word from him since. We don't know if he is dead or alive. She since has corresponded with his mother and sisters. They tell her that they have never heard anything either. His mother never knew what became of them. Well this whole thing was very hard on all of us. We loved Mahlon and he seemed like such a good boy - so good-natured. I think he was afraid to tell us that he had been married before. He probably thought that we would not have been in favor of he and Eva getting married. He had apparently made a great mistake in the first marriage and didn't know just what to do about it. This whole thing has been very hard on Eva. She worked so hard and has raised her boy well. LIVING is a noble boy and he loves his mother. We all love him. As I am writing this, he is going off to war as many men have gone already to try to save our nation. We, I know must do all we can to bring peace to our country again.
Another sadness in my life came during the marriage of Walter and Stella. They seemed to be happily married for a number of years. We all loved Stella and Johnnie and got along fine with them. I used to enjoy making rugs and crocheting with Stella. One time we made quilts. We finished two and pieced and set them together for a third. She seemed to love to do this kind of work. One day her former husband appeared but Walter wasn't aware of her seeing him. I guess she was seeing him for quite awhile. She told Walter that she wanted to go back to him. He had made her many wonderful promises. He wanted to get his son Johnnie back also. Johnnie was only a child and didn't realize what was happening. He had been only a baby when the father had left them. Walter was terribly hurt and told Stella to go on back to her ex-husband. He made a mistake right there for that left Stella with the impression that he didn't care. She took another couple of weeks to finally make up her mind. Walter then had a change of heart and tried desperately to get her to stay with him. He was awfully broken up about the situation. She finally left with her former husband. Walter came and stayed nights with us for a while. I tried to comfort him the best I could. There, apparently, had been no trouble between them except for the small little difference that go with everyday life. Walter disposed of all the household goods. He had had a good business in an oil station and he let that go. The depression came and we all had a hard time. Some time after that we heard that Stella was in San Francisco and that she wasn't with the former husband. Sue and Helen went to the Fair in San Francisco and they visited Stella. She, to this day, still sends me birthday cards and Christmas cards. I write to her and tell her I would love to see her. Johnnie loves us and comes to see us. He is now in the Army and oversees. We hear from him quite often. He feels that we are his people. I love him like a grandchild and he calls me grandma. I feel very sorry for the way things happened. When you children are in trouble, it comes very close to "your" own heart. It's pitiful to have to tell the sorrows.
Lillie's marriage has caused me much grievance. My dear daughter has suffered and I have suffered with her. We thought the man Lillie married, Walter Plumb, was alright before they married. But they had trouble from the very beginning of their married life. He was so disagreeable that she hardly knew what to do with him at times. She did the best she could or knew how. Walter was a good worker and he had a good trade and made considerable money. He did good in providing for his family. This was a comendable thing about him. He had a nature, however, that was had to cope with. She did the best she could with him and they ended up having eight children. They lost a baby daughter, Barbara, when she was 2 ½. She was a sweet child and had to endure great suffering and later died in the hospital. This was exceptionally hard on Lilly with all the rest that she had to bear. The Lord came to her help and she bore her problems with Christian grace. Lillie had a cheerful disposition. When LIVING and LIVING were about grown, Walter began drinking. When he was drinking, he couldn't be trusted and the boys worried about what he might do. They told their mother that they wouldn't stay home if she didn't do something. She didn't want them to leave so she decided to separate from Walter. Prior to the separation, Lillie had a nervous breakdown. Jim and Alta took her from her home to a dear friend and she stayed there for awhile until she felt better. She then came to Effie's and she and Eva took up housekeeping in my house - the big one was empty at the time. Lillie had all the little children with her and the three boys stayed with Walter in the home. Walter kept after her to come home and I don't know what kind of promises he made. He came to me one time and asked me if I would forgive him. I suppose he thought I would hold it against him for the way he had been treating Lillie. I hardly knew what to say. He really hadn't done anything to me personally. I told him that I would forgive his actions, since I was a good Christian. There was something about Walter that you couldn't help but love. I prayed constantly that he would see the error of his ways. Lillie did go back home to live with him but it wasn't any better and gradually grew worse and worse. She finally couldn't stand it any more and they separated permanently. She and the children got along as best they could. Walter helped them a little. After some years, Lillie's oldest daughter, LIVING, got married. Next, LIVING, the oldest boy got married, and then Doris and then LIVING. LIVING went off to war. He was a wonderful and noble boy. He has been always concerned about his mother's home, and especially his mother. He does all he can to help her. As I am now writing this story, we last heard that he is oversees. Lillie's son, Walter Jr., was in the Army about a year. His health failed, I guess the training was to strenuous for him. He was in the hospital for awile and they finally discharged him and he came home. He is now living with Lillie and he youngest boy, LIVING. The three girls husband's are all in the service. LIVING lost a baby at birth and has gone East to join her husband at his service base. LIVING and his wife have a sweet little baby girl, named LIVING. Doris has a baby girl named Roberta and LIVING had a baby boy named LIVING.
Today is March 2, 1944. I've written everything you have read so far in a year and a half period of time. I've loved writing about my past for it is such a pleasure to think about my childhood and young womanhood. I know you feel that 85 years old is getting along in years. I can't realize that I am that old even though my hearing and eyesight are quite poor. I thank the Lord that I can see well enough to do this story. I am also thankful to the Lord for sparing my life to be able to see old age. Remember when you are reading this that I did the best I could. I believe that what I have told is all true and done to the best of my memory. Some of the details are so plain in my mind that I can never forget them.
There are some things I want to tell about that happened while we lived in Whittier. Some of it I have missed in earlier chapters. This story is about Walter when he was little. My mother always thought so much of Walter. One time she saw a picture in an advertisement of a magazine and she cut it out. She thought the picture looked just like Walter. She framed it. The little boy did look a lot like Walter with golden curls and happy face. When he was three years old, mother made him a little kilt-suit. She took him to have his picture taken in the outfit. I let him wear his long curls until he was four years old. Finally I made him a little pair of pants and then cut off his curls. He said he didn't ever want to wear his kilt suit again because it looked like a skirt. Whenever the girls wanted him to do something that he didn't want to do, all they had to do was threaten him with putting that skirt back on him. He was ready to do anything not to have to wear that skirt again. He loved his little pair of pants and he would walk down the street with his hands in his pockets just as proud as he could be. He sure looked cute.
Now I will skip back to Jasper County, Missouri. I remember one day mother and I and some other neighbor woman all went down to Spring River to gather black berries. We were walking along a path in the weeds and I was the leader. Some one behind me saw a rattle snake all coiled up under a clump of bushes just ahead of where I was walking. It was just ready to strike. They grabbed me and pulled me out of the way. We all left hurriedly. If that snake had struck me with its poison fangs, I would no doubt have been killed. There was no doctor near where we lived. I am sure the Lord protected me than, as he has many times since, of my life. A friend of ours, names Luke Mayfield, went down to his corn crib one evening to get some corn. It was just about dark. He put his hand through a little door on one side of the crib and a snake struck him on the wrist. He took a chicken and tore it open alive and took out the entrails. He bound them in place onto his wrist and then took a shot of whiskey.
Somehow he got better. The Lord must have had something to do with it or I'm sure he would have died. After that, we always carried a butcher knife with us when we went to pick berries.
One time when we lived in Missouri, my father bought a wagon load of crockery ware. He got one of mother's cousin's boy named Fred Schafer, to take this load of crockery up to Pearidge and try to sell it. He thought that people up there in the mountains, would perhaps buy most of it. Fred, his lady friend and her son, and I all set off to try to sell this crockery and see a little of the countryside at the same time. We didn't turn out to be very good sale people or peddlers. We only sold a little to one family. We did have a lovely trip. We did miss one area that I wanted to see. It was a famous battleground area from the Civil War. My father had fought at the battle of Pearidge. I always felt badly that I hadn't got to visit these grounds.
I now want to tell you about my experience with my bad teeth. From the time I was a young woman, I had been a toothache sufferer for years. When I was working for the people at Lyngrove, Iowa, the lady got very sick. Her husband sent Jake to fetch the doctor. Jake told the doctor to also bring a tool along for removing a bad tooth. The doctor came and delivered this lady's baby. He stayed all night and remained for breakfast. I served him his breakfast and he asked me if I was the one who needed the tooth removed. I played dumb and told the doctor that I didn't know a thing about it. Well I was really peeved to think that Jake had taken so muck authority about telling the doctor about my tooth. I was also a big coward and afraid to let that doctor pull my tooth. I now know that I was being very naughty and should have been grateful to Jake for his concern at the time. He was always so good to look after my needs. I didn't know how to appreciate his goodness until after he was gone. My teeth problems continued after we moved to California. We were living in Whittier and oh haw I suffered. There wasn't any dentist in Whittier at that time. There was a dentist from Pasadena who came to Whittier at certain times. He would stay for several days and do dental work for people. Jake went to town one day and saw that the dentist was visiting. He went to see him and told him about my needing work and asked if he would come to our house. Jake knew that I would never go see him at his office. Jake came home and told me about what had taken place and that the dentist was coming to next day to see me. I don't remember exactly what I said to him. I knew that I was trapped and had better make up my mind. Sure enough the next afternoon, the dentist came. He was very pleasant and tried to talk to me and help me feel better. I walked outdoors by myself. I thought to myself that sooner or later, something had to be done and I would never have a better chance than now. I made up my mind that I would try it and I told him so. Well he began and pulled all the badly decayed teeth. He had injected something in my gums and the pain wasn't so awful. I got pretty brave then and the next thing I knew he had pulled twelve teeth before he quit. When Jake came home that evening from work, I met him in the yard. My head was all bundled up and he knew what that meant and he was glad. I miss Jake and I just realized that he has been gone about 35 years now.
One time, several years ago, Aunt Dora and her oldest son, Charlie, were living at Long Beach. I went down to make a visit with her but I had not written and told her that I was coming. When I got there, she wasn't home. She had gone to Whittier to visit her daughter, Ethel. She had another son named Harry and he lived not to far from her house. So, I went over to Harry's I stayed with them for supper. There place was to small for me to stay overnight. There was nothing for me to do only to go back to Aunt Dora's and stay alone in a strange place. Harry's wife, Genevieve, went with me to let me in the house. After I got in, I looked around. I went to the bathroom and saw this fire lit under the tank I noticed that the bathtub hadn't been emptied and know one had turned off the fire under the tank. I was afraid to go to bed and leave that fire going. I didn't know that might happen because I wasn't familiar with those new fangled tanks or how they worked. I wondered what I should do. It was to last to go back to tell Harry. I was afraid to try to turn it off. Well, I thought I would let the water out of the bathtub and when I did that, the flame got even larger. I felt I had made matters worse. I just didn't know about the workings of those automatic heaters. After a short while, the flame got small again. I trusted the Lord could take care of me and I made ready and went to bed. Aunt Dora came home the next day and I had a visit with her. That morning we went and visited a neighbor lady whom we had known in Missouri. Her name was Mrs. Stith. Her father was a Quaker preacher named Jerry Hubbard. I was so glad to see her since I hadn't talked to her since we were young girls. It's always a real treat for me to see old friends like that. Many of my relatives and friends are gone. I don't know why I have been spared but the Lord knows and has a purpose in sparing my life. My life has been lived and I can't change many of the things that I would like to. I mean to put in the rest of my years in service for the Lord in the best way I know how.
Another sadness in my life was in 1935 when my dear brother, Alva died. He and I enjoyed our childhood together so much. I loved him almost like my own life. I loved all my brothers and sisters, but I felt a special love for Alva. Oh, I always felt that I couldn't bear to see him go. The Lord wonderfully helped me when I had to look on his dear face for the last time. Al's wife had become so feebleminded that one of their daughter's was taking care of her in her home. Al lived alone and was doing for himself as best he could. He had become so deaf that he could hardly hear. He was always cheerful and full of fun. He never complained about his problems. One day his land-lady heard him fall out in the hallway and she went to check. She couldn't get him up so she called for some help from the fellows at the store nearby. They picked him up but he was gone. We didn't find out about it for three days. The people at the rooming house didn't know how to contact us. Finally the authorities found and notified us. I was shocked and in hopes that it was a mistake. We went to the mortuary and they gave us his clothes and we prepared for the funeral. A friend of ours took charge of everything and we had a nice funeral for him and buried him by my father in the Whittier Cemetary.
Another sadness I want to tell about was regarding my father. As I have told earlier, father was not well and was very difficult for mother to take care of, as time went on. She finally took him to the soldier's home at Sawtelle in West Los Angeles. As you know, he had been a soldier in the Civil War and was entitled to the benefits of this old soldier's home. She had spoken to him about going there some time before, but he hadn't wanted to go. She went and made all the arrangements. He was almost helpless at that time. Mother had to feed him and wait on him almost like a baby. Alva helped her quite a bit with him. They had to lift him, pull him, and move him all around. They just got worn out. She bought a little place on Sawtelle and moved in to be near him. She was allowed to see him any time. I spent some time with her and went to visit him. They put him in a wheel chair and took him out doors to enjoy the sun. He was so much better off than he had been at home. After a time he got really bad and couldn't even talk. He passed away. We felt sad to think he was gone and we could never have him with us any more. We were glad, however, that he didn't have to suffer anymore. Life had become a burden for him. I was afraid that mother would collapse or something. But it was wonderful the way she took it. It makes me weep as I write this story to remember him. He was always so good to everybody. Mother still remained in her place on Sawtelle. Mother remained a widow for five years. She met an old soldier named James Young. He was living at the soldier's home. And was a very nice old man. They got married and moved in mother's little house. Sometimes he took some meals at the soldier's home but most of the time, he stayed with mother in her place. Well I wasn't very much pleased to see her get married again. I was selfish, I guess. I had asked her after father's death to come and live with me and the children. I hadn't realized that she was getting along in years and couldn't stand all the confusion that one has with a house full of children. Lillie and Eva were just school girls at the time. She enjoyed coming to visit but then she wanted her own quiet place to rest. I realized as I got older, her need to be alone. We had a nice wedding for her at my house. Brother Alf Adams, Jim's father, performed the wedding ceremony. We all called her husband, Grandpa Young.
Mr. Young were married about two years when
she had an accident. She got her finger caught in the front door and cut it
badly. She just wrapped a handkerchief around it and went on downtown. She got
a serious infection and then got really sick. I went to help take care of her.
She didn't seem to get any better and in fact, got worse. The doctor came and
saw her but he couldn't do any good. An abcess formed under her arm from the
wound on the finger. She grew worse and worse and one evening, just after dark,
she passed away. We watched her until the breath left her. I felt so bad. Many
times, after her passing, I think of something that happened years ago, and
I wish I could share it with my mother.
Mr. Young insisted that we bury her a the
|Forward||Part I||Part II||Part III||Part IV||Part V||Conclusion|
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