following is transcribed from a tape made by Inez Carlton Johnson and her cousins,
daughters of Gus Barr. We know Evelyn
Puhlman was on the tape and we think her sister Geraldine is on the tape as
“Testing, testing, testing, testing ……”
________“Ok now, we’re getting ready to tape here”……
Inez “That’s why I’m glad your here, because maybe I don’t get it straight”…..
“Well you can……
“Ok, I’ve got to make an address here”. “It’s all going already-we’re already taping, so all of this is going on tape”.
“Today is Sunday, August 21st 1988, (oh July, excuse me, I keep saying August), and you are here with Inez Johnson (Carlton Johnson) the oldest remaining relative on the Barr side of the family, and she is going to tell us about the old days with my father, her mother, our grandmother, and some of all of the old things that we haven’t heard for a long time, and get them all straight and on record. So we’ll proceed now…”
“Inez, about when did your mother and my dad come over from the old country?”
Inez “He was 10 and she was 8”
“Uh-huh” “What year do you think that was?”
Inez “Evelyn, am I right on that?”
Evelyn “Dad was ten I know…”
Inez…. “And mother was eight, now let’s see, mother died in…… let me get pencil”.
(Do you have the volume up……got a pause on that?) . We stopped the tape while we were figuring up.
“Ok now, we decided that they came over in 1884 and Aunt Bertha was 8 years old and my dad Gus was ten”. “They left the other 2 children, Aunt Elva Kiley and Aunt Mary Lockie over there, they were younger, no, one was older and one was younger.
Inez “It was about 2 years after they came over that Aunt Elva , and Aunt Mary came”.
“I see” This is correct, Elva has 1887 on census records.
Inez “Because Grandma was married and mother always told the story when they came out, they ran out to meet them, and of course, they spoke in German and she had been a little Americanized and learned to say “Hello, hello” and they didn’t know what she was…Uncle Gus was there, and he was so tickled because grandma had a….they were out on some farm…”
“ Probably near Ipswich or Roscoe”?
Inez “I have that story all
twisted up. I’ve heard it from Uncle George - he always had it and he was
always going to…. What do you remember?”
“They came to Mitchell and from Mitchell they came to Watertown. But Dad was out west at Ipswich you know, he went out with Uncle Byers”.
Inez “He went to live with them, just him and Uncle Byers went, Grandma stayed in Mitchell”
“Well, evidently then, Aunt Byer, who was your mothers sister, (grandma’s sister rather), there were three girls came together, right, on the boat…”
Inez “No there were only 2 girls. On the boat,
Uncle Gus and Mother were the ones that came with Grandma. ”.
“Where did the Byers come in?”
Inez “They came over alone”.
“Oh I see”.
Inez “And you know that stinking old brother of Grandma’s, I don’t know which one was it, Adolph or someone, had the selling of their land and he kept the money and gave them such a little bit to come over with that Aunt Elva and Aunt Mary often told the story how they sold some of their things to eat on the boat- I forget how long- it took them pret’near a month didn’t it? The ship was very rocky, Aunt Elva always said, but then they landed. Where did they land, New York or Pennsylvania?” Still unknown.
“That was always the
question…Dad couldn’t remember the name where they landed”.
“Was the old Ellis Island in effect then, the old Ellis Island, you know that’s where all the ships came in the harbor there”. “I’m sure they went to Pennsylvania where Grandpa was killed. They must have looked up something there, to see where he was buried”.
Inez “I betcha Grandma Wohlleber never bothered to go to see where he was buried, because she didn’t have money and she was with Aunt Byers and them and it was all so strange for Grandma Wohlleber that she just followed with the Byers. Did they separate in Mitchell? The Byers went to...”
“That’s what dad used to say, that’s why I thought the Byers came over on the boat with them”.
Inez “They did”.
“Yeah, and then they separated and Grandma stayed there, got a job, working with this tailor. Right? And Dad and Uncle Byers went out to Roscoe”.
“Aberdeen first, they bought a cow and a what else was it, a oxen, or something so they had meat, and a pig..
“And a plow
“So they had something to work with when they got out there, that’s all they had, and a few eating supplies, flour……
Inez “Then did Grandma come from Mitchell out here near Florence and file for the claim and she had mother with her and your dad and that was later that your dad went to Roscoe?” No papers for a claim made by Eva.
“No, right away”
“He came from Roscoe to live with them at here by Medicine Lake”.
Inez “Oh he did”.
“Yeah” “It’s on the tape”.
“ So it must have been later… “Did Grandma marry Mr Wohlleber when she got to
Mitchell? Or when?”
Inez “In Watertown” Looks like wedding picture was in Mitchell.
Inez “Mother and she, they rented a little room and they lived together. Grandma Wohlleber did whatever she could, wait table, wash dishes. This was probably Mitchell.
Mother was only 8 years old, she wanted to go to school, and so she would go live in with families and get her board and room. And the Bradley’s, the old Bradley’s out here, they had a farm out here they had a family, money or a farm or something, they were very mean to Mother, because they’d leave all the work for her to do, the daughters were raised to think they were too good to work and mother didn’t stay there, then she went to work for Mrs. Sear”. This Dick Sear’s grandma is the one that mother went to live with for awhile. And then along the way, in between there I don’t know what, there was some Dr and his family that lived here and they wanted Mother to come and live with them, and they wanted to adopt her, and mother went over there and I can’t remember just exactly how long it was, but it wasn’t very long she stayed and she got so lonesome for her mother that one night she got up to these people and she told them that she wanted to go home to her mother and she was crying so, and she wanted to go home to her mother and she run where mother was living and she rapt on the windows and popped on the windows and says “Oh Momma, Momma, I want to come home to you”. And Grandma let her stay in”. This was probably Watertown, and Eva was probably married.
“What was Mary and Elva doing then during this time. ”
Inez “I understood they weren’t here yet. They were still in Germany, it was two years, then when Grandma had married Wohlleber, and moved out on some farm, girls….”
“ By Medicine Lake”
Inez “Ok, then old Grandpa Wohlleber did help with money, mother said, because they didn’t have enough when they left there…”
“ To get the girls home”….
Inez “So he got the girls here, helped, but the brother never did send Grandma the money…”
Inez “I guess so”.
“Well, maybe he got killed in the war ( I shouldn’t put that on the tape)”.
Inez “Mary Beth and Annette Larson went over to Germany, the year they graduated from college, they took those pictures, and they couldn’t find anything because it was all devastated from the war you see. But anyway, time went on with Grandma Wohlleber and Aunt Elva, and mother and Aunt Mary, and I guess your father was still with the Byers”. What pictures?
“ He came when they were living at Medicine Lake, I think, that’s what it said on Dad’s tape”.
Inez “Well I don’t know, he was in town,
Inez “Didn’t he go from there to
(There were Leberts in Codington County, Kampeska Township)
“ I don’t know about that”.
Inez “He worked for the Leberts for awhile”.
“In his older life, probably his teenage life, more before he farmed. I think when he left there he came to his mother and Wohlleber in town because I remember him telling about how he learned tailoring from his.. Mr Wohlleber”.
Inez “That was a little bit of history and I really feel bad because, no one took a picture of that cottage where Claytons is now, and he had his tailor shop in the front and he lived in the back”
“That was before the Carnegie Library was built or anything yet”.
Inez “Oh yes and there was just nothing there but his little cottage…”
“And he had a tailor shop”
Inez “And made suits, there was no such a thing as ready made suits as for men, and he made suits… there was a judge, a great big man and a judge, in fact he had a chair made for him, cause no ordinary chair….I had that all in my mind to tell you…. And he married a……. Bennett, Judge Bennett was his name and he made his suits and he made other suits….”.
“Probably cost him twice as much as an ordinary man since he was so large, huh?”.
Inez “Then came along that a man would come out from some company and make, through this company, made to measure suits for all the men, like old Bloom and Lovitt, you know, and that’s what put him out of business and then I guess he went out on the farm, wasn’t that it?”
“Well, they moved to a farm up by South Shore, that was on Uncle Will’s tape too, you know we had Uncle Will’s life history too, and that’s what Uncle Will said, we just played that, that they moved to South Shore, before they moved into town”. That was later- is there a tape of Uncle Will’s?
Inez “Well, you heard probably just as much or not more through your Dad, but I used to listen to Grandma, but we never talked about it, only when she would get to telling about it and I would love to hear about it and then what mother would say and….”
“That’s what I would like you to tell us about, all the stories that Grandma Wohlleber and your mother used to tell us, they have a lot of things…
Inez “Now which one of them, what was the girl, what was her name that died over in Germany”
“That’s right, was there one
Inez “One is the way I remember, Evelyn?”
“I thought there was twins over there, Dad used to talk about twins”.
Inez “Were there twins?”
“I don’t remember if they were girls or boys”
Inez “Well one of them was a girl, I thought it was one girl”.
“ No there was twins”.
Inez “ And this Grandpa Barr,
whatever he was doing, he used to do a lot of trading, as mother used to tell
it and Grandma Wohlleber, and he was away from home when these children, his
children died, and through the laws of the state, he must have been out of
around where they lived because he had quite a time getting back, and it was
some days before he got back and Grandma Wohlleber took a great big old board
and put (I think it was just one little girl, I don’t remember), but anyway,
laid her out herself and packed her in cold sand until the father got there for
the funeral. That story I remember.”
“ I never heard that one”
“Maybe there was another one plus two twins” Maybe one of them just died and one lived and died later”.
“Could have been”.
Inez “That it always struck, it was so vivid in mother’s mind, that she remembered, it was a little girl and he didn’t get home and didn’t get home and Grandma Wohlleber laid her out herself and packed her in cold, wet sand and mother would remember how they would go out and get pails of sand”.
“Hmm, what an experience, my goodness”
Inez “That was so clear in Mother’s mind”
“Must have been very dramatic for her, a young girl like that…”
Inez “If there were twins…were the twins born here?”
“No, in Germany”
“Could have been one died then, and maybe one died later, I don’t know, but I was sure Dad said there were twins…”
Inez “It was so long ago…. “
“I don’t remember hearing that on Dad’s tape at all, about that part”…
Inez “Where did this child that’s buried out here….”
“The Wohlleber child”
Inez “Yes, …where did he come in amongst Grandma’s family?”
“That one was born, while they lived out by Medicine Lake”
“Well, when did they move to Medicine Lake? They came from Mitchell and came to Watertown”.
Inez “George Wohlleber could never remember”.
“To Medicine Lake after they came from Mitchell”
“He was born out there near Medicine Lake and then he died when he was about 2 yrs old, I remember Uncle George saying he could remember when they took him in this buggy, they must have taken him to the cemetery to be buried and he said he remembered that trip.” Ernest is in Graceland Cemetery and so is a Girl Wohlleber- maybe this is where the twins came in.
Inez, “Was he younger than George?” Yes, 2 years younger.
“ Oh yes, he was just two
years old and Uncle George was like….”.
“ How could she have had all these kids from Wohlleber then, already? Here she is working for Wohlleber in Mitchell….”
Inez “No, she didn’t ever work for him in Mitchell, as I know…”
“How come she stopped in Mitchell, then?”.
Inez “She worked, when he was in the tailor shop, I never heard that she worked for him,
that’s when she met him, in Mitchell, and then she worked in different restaurants and that sort of thing, much like wherever you could get work”.
“When he had the tailor shop
here in town, were the Wohlleber boys small then, did they already have….?
Inez “ No, there were no children cause then he got out of business when these tailoring men….I understood they weren’t married then, because it was two years, then Grandma Wohlleber was married, and I don’t think there was any Wohlleber children when Aunt Mary and Aunt Elva came over. Yes, John was born in 1885.
“ They got married probably after the children came huh?”
Inez “No, they were married before, but no children as I remember”.
“That makes sense, I mean if
he couldn’t make a go of it in the tailoring business, he’d have to go to
something else, so why would he go to the farm and then come to tailoring…”
Inez. “Isn’t that where they went, this claim that she filed on when she came over from Germany?”
“I don’t remember that part… “I thought she stayed in Mitchell and that’s where she met him, I thought they were married there and then they came to Medicine Lake to farm”
“Unless they came to Watertown first and then went to Medicine Lake.”
“ This is very vivid, about her remembering the tailor shop and everything…”
“Then he went to Watertown to that farm or did they go to the South Shore one?’
“ It’s on Uncle Will’s tape”.
Inez “I thought they weren’t married while he was in the tailor shop, because he lived in the back and as I told you, mother worked at different places, then when the business went out, then the farm business came up and where that was I didn’t know. Does it tell anything about that in your Dad’s?”
“Uncle Will said something about that, where they went, so I think that’s on that tape of Uncle Will’s”
Inez “Uncle Will didn’t say they were married in Mitchell did he?”
“No, he didn’t say anything about that”. “Isn’t there a copy of these birth certificates and marriage certificates and all that someplace? Too early- and no church records in Mitchell in the Lutheran German church.
Inez “Probably not, never saw such things, I don’t think they ever recorded things did they?”
“Oh, they must have…” “ It would seem like it, I don’t know…”
Inez “ I don’t suppose you could ever find anything …”
“That would be under Dakota Territory then you know”
Inez “ I don’t suppose you could ever find anything in the courthouse…”
“ I doubt if they’d be recorded in the courthouse”. “You think they were married in Watertown?”
Inez “The way I understood it”
“You’d have to look at the courthouse records and see if they have anything of Dakota Territory yet on file, they sometime keep old records don’t always throw things away, unless they have a fire, it would be interesting to go back and research that…Now what?” “I just need another month”
Inez “Now where are we? Aunt Mary came over, then Aunt Elva went to work in a hotel, she was 17 when she came over and Aunt Mary was 8. Because mother often/Grandma often told, she was a little five year old, and going to be six when she left her in Germany with her mother”.
“And Dad always said the oldest one was ready to be confirmed and she had to finish her lessons over there before that she could come”
Inez “She was 15”
Inez “And during those years, she was 17 years old, almost 17 and Aunt Mary was almost 8 and ….”
“ Where did Aunt Elva meet Jim Kiley, must have been not too many years that she met Jim Kiley then, if she was 17, how old was she when she was married?
Inez “That I can’t tell you, she must have been 18 or 19, they were a young couple and mother was married when she was 18 and was working with somebody, well mother worked all the time until she was married, and my father bought grain out at Grover, and that’s where she met him.”
“He was a grain buyer”
Inez “And then they went to ND, my father left Grover and went to town of Hannock/Hanton, north of Grand Forks, that’s where they first started, then transferred to Larrimore, that’s where I was born” .
“And you’re the oldest”
Inez “And Aunt Elva , I don’t know where she was …I know this, that I was five years old and my mother had not seen her mother in 5 or 6/7 years and so she wanted to home to see her mother, there was Lowell and I, me and Lowell and the little solder brother Ernest, imagine, she brought him and he wasn’t 2, because I was 5 going on 6. When I was a year and ½ when Lowell came and when Lowell came, I was 1/1/2 and when Lowell was 1 year old, Ernest came, so mother had 3 in 2 years and a half. Yeah-yeah-you see what kind of babying I got!”
“You had to take over and be the oldest helper didn’t you?”
Inez “Then, when I was about 5 or 6 we came to Watertown to see Grandma Wohlleber and they were living on some farm”.
“How did you come?”
Inez “On a train, and they were living on some farm, it seemed to me that it was South Shore”
Inez “And Aunt Elva was living here and Uncle Jim was working for Elfie Schoener, Elfie Schoener had a cigar factory down there on Kemp, around about the Star Laundry and Uncle Jim made cigars and worked for him, then they moved away from here and went to Redwood Falls (isn’t that right) in Minnesota. And Ed was the oldest, then Ella came and then Uncle Jim went in the liquor business and then he came back here and went into some saloon”.
“ What year was it that he bought the Grand Hotel?”
Inez “ Well, I was married in 1914 and they were in the hotel at least 2 years cause they were quite well established. Aunt Mary lived in Aberdeen. But I must tell you along the way, that Aunt Mary, after mother was married, came to live with her, in Larrimore ND. I was born and she was expecting Lowell, and Aunt Mary met Uncle Nick and oh, he was quite the flower of the town, because he made ladies clothes, and oh, he was picked up by, what you call, the higher, not the better people, but say people who had money. He was bound to have a wedding, and a white wedding, he was going to have a white suit and he wanted Aunt Mary to have a pretty little white dress and Mother put on the wedding…they were married in a church, I think it was the Presbyterian Church and Uncle Nick had a little room, I suppose where he did all his ladies tailoring and everything, and mother being pregnant with my brother Lowell, she put on the wedding dinner, she often told about that, how many angel foods she made and she made chicken and she often told about that, and she told about Aunt Mary’s dress. Somewhere we used to have a picture of it but it was white and had pretty little pink and orchid flowers, kind of a “Big Bertha” thing, Uncle Nick made it. They lived in a little small roomed apartment and somewhere I’ve got the picture of them in their little apartment, Uncle Nick, had a piano, they were very musical you know, and they were sitting there at this piano and Aunt Mary had her arm on him and she on him, and then of course Clarence was coming and then they had to get a different place. But she lived with Mother….
Mother was married in what year did I say, but anyway…”
“You have another brother George…”
Inez “That was way later, I was 8 or 9 years old before George came, we were in York N.D. then, but I’m trying to think of Aunt Mary and Uncle Nick. Oh, OK, either Aunt Mary was hungry to come back here to be with her people or whether Uncle Nick didn’t have any more business or what, oh he liked the best of everything, and whether they couldn’t come up with meeting it, whatever, but anyway, they came back to Watertown, where did they go, girls, if you remember, your father was on the farm.. and they came and kept house for him!
“They kept house for them? Before Dad was married? How long were they there with Dad? That was on the home place? He bached it there for awhile, I remember him saying that….”
Inez “In the meantime, Grandma had more kids, more Wohlleber kids, and so forth and so on, had many hard years, my they had hard years out there, like now, you meet with conditions…and let me tell you…”
“We stopped with Grandma Wohlleber… How old was her family when they moved to town, in that little cottage?”
Inez “Aunt Elva and Uncle Jim were in the Grand Hotel. We had been here, we came in 1919 and Grandpa Wohlleber died in 1920”
Inez “Because George Wohlleber took him to Rochester, you remember hearing, he had this great big thing on his neck, and they took him to Rochester, George took him down and he did fine and he contracted pneumonia and George Wohlleber called the Grand Hotel and talked to Uncle Jim and told him the stand of things and to tell George to come down, he didn’t want to be there alone.
Inez “So my Dad boarded the train that night and when Dad got there he couldn’t be saved, he got pneumonia and so then he came back with Grandpa Wohlleber’s body with Uncle George”.
“Uncle George who?”
“Was he old enough by then, how old was he then?”
Inez “That was in 1920”.
“How old was Uncle George?”
Inez “Well, they moved to town, Violet”. Grandma and Grandpa Wohlleber had moved to town, in late fall or early fall and he went to Rochester in January. She hadn’t been down there very long, had she?
Evelyn “I don’t remember, I was only five years old then when this happened, I remember somebody fell down the stairs about that time”
“Aunt Byers, in that little house, mother and I were there, that was about the same time,
just before the funeral”
Inez “If I remember rightly, Grandma Wohlleber got sick, I can’t remember if she got to go to the funeral, after the funeral mother stayed with her because no one could leave her alone, and mother got the flu and she was down there oh so sick for quite awhile. Grandma didn’t stay very long, until next fall, then am I right in saying that she came to live with us?”
“That’s what I was going to say”. “And that was in the house over here already.”
Inez “No it was on the first cottage we lived in up on NE”.
“It was kind of a duplex”.
Inez “She came there and she was living with us when mother got the word that Lowell had drowned”.
Inez “And mother couldn’t – those days girls, they used to bring the body home you know, and she had Lowells body into her home. I was teaching and my husband was managing a store in ND, we had been out for a ride, it was a wicked looking Sunday, on the way back, it was just black. I was pregnant with Betty, it was 1921and I looked at those black clouds and I remember saying to myself that it was wicked. We drove up, we didn’t have a car…”
“What were you driving?”
Inez “We went with friends”.
“ Oh, I see”.
Inez “And we drove up in front of The Farmers Cooperative Store that Tom was
managing and this fellow was in the bank and we drove up and parked, and this
banker came out and said to stop by the car and said “Mrs Johnson, your brother
“Oh how cruel”
Inez “On a Sunday night- there had been a terrible storm here in Watertown…so.. Tom wanted to get full details and get all about it and all about it and I went prit’near crazy…”
“Where did he drown?”
(ok that one is going now)
Inez “That was the 20st day of May and the next day was the 21st and my mother, on a Monday morning goes to the door and gets that telegram about Lowell and the next day was Tuesday and the telegram boy came again and handed her the telegram and it was from the government and they said “The body of Ernest P Carlton will arrive at Holocome?, New Jersey the 26/ 27th day of May”. Well, poor mother, she just couldn’t stand that cottage up there, that was Mrs Heathcoats cottage, (well now, Earl’s mother-mother Heathcoat)”
“Well, just a minute, before we get any further, on the brother that was killed overseas in the war- Ernest-how long had it been from time he was killed until they shipped his body home?”
Inez “He died in 1918 and his body got in here in 1921”.
“That had to be right after your other brother was killed/drowned”
Inez “My brother Lowell that was drowned was buried the 25th day of May and all this time poor mother sat there waiting to hear from the government. In the meantime, this duplex on Broadway was for rent, mother couldn’t stand the cottage after they brought Lowell’s body in the front door, she just couldn’t stand it, so we moved, oh she was he movingest women you know, that ever was. All right, we got over here and we called it the Tappen duplex on North Broadway right along here, and then we got another word from the government that they were leaving New York or Pennsylvania or someplace and his body would be in Chicago and from Chicago to Minneapolis and they told the day that it would be would be June 12th, and I must tell you there was a man, a solder that accompanied the body from New York to Chicago, Chicago to Minneapolis, and another man, he was the one who came with the body from Chicago. We lived up there in the duplex and mother was…. Dad wanted the body opened but Shaw said no, but mother left it to Dad and Dad didn’t want it so bad, he was the 2nd solder to be brought back to Watertown, however he was not a Codington County soldier but they honored him as the 2nd soldier.
“His name is not down there on the courthouse marker,it’s not there, they should put that name on there…”
Inez “He was a North Dakota boy”…
Inez “But they should put it on. But I must tell you girls, that we had the funeral Flag Day, June 14. At that time great military rights were given a solder (you said remember, didn’t you, you went?) The funeral was in the Methodist Church, they all couldn’t get in, they had to have part of them out in the courthouse, that time they put the body on a casson driven by horses. Hot! It was like one of these 100 day things, and Earl Hurnt and Ed Kiley were two of his pallbearers. I think, well I guess the legion put in the other ….. They walked down Kemp Avenue, everyone in the stores were out in front and the flags were at half mast and Mother, Dad and I rolled in behind the casson, you now what a casson is? And the “Pax” man played and Mother turned to Dad “Dad, wouldn’t Bizzy love to know he was being honored?”
Inez “So every flag day, every Armistace day when those bells and things would whistle the war was over, because, here we lived in little York, and the war was over, my brother that drowned was in Towner and he wanted to know the minute we heard anything from Ernest and of course my Dad let him know and oh, he says “I’m coming right home, I’ll be home tomorrow, Dad”. And so, we heard the whistles and trains, we lived on the main line of the Great Northern, whistles just blew, blew, blew… and we said “Now our Bizzy will come home, now our Bizzy will come home, and about 3 in the afternoon, the dept agent.. I happened to be looking out the window I saw him coming down the street and I thought Oh-oh and here he was at our door and he stood there at the door his great big tears running down his cheeks and I said “Is it Ernest?” “Yes”. My Dad had gone to the county seat to pick up the boxes that you could send the Christmas stuff over seas and he wasn’t home, there was Mother and I, and I turned to mother and I’ll never forget it, I says, “Mother, you’re not going to like this,,,,” but Grandma… lived with us when Lowell was brought back and she was still there when Ernest, no she didn’t go right away up on Broadway, she went to the Grand Hotel and Grandma Kiley was there too, Uncle Jim’s mother..
“Oh I see, uh-huh…you were telling about those two ladies, go ahead and tell that story again”
Inez “You’ve heard me tell that a dozen times…., well anyway Grandma Wohlleber and Grandma Kiley used to sit down there in the lobby and those two old ladies and they were awfully cute, and they just loved to talk about the war and everything and traveling salesman would come up and talk to them. So, I happened to be down there that evening having supper with ______ and I was sitting in the lobby waiting for her and these men were talking to Grandma Kiley and Grandma Wohlleber and I said to Grandma Kiley/ Wohlleber “Now there’s a boyfriend for you” and she raised up her hand and said “Inez, Inez, for what I want a man to sleep on mine shirttail? You heard it Violet…” “And I thought after 13 kids you wouldn’t …..”
Inez “Oh she was so cute-she just raised her hands…She came back to live with us while we were in the duplex, I think or don’t I, no I was wrong, she stayed there until they moved to California”
“Didn’t she stay there until Uncle Jim went to California, is that when she went to the Ritz?”
Inez “And so did Grandma Kiley”
Isn’t that when she went to the Ritz? No. Didn’t she live with you before she went to the Ritz or after…..
Inez “Now that that period of time, I can’ t…I think she came to live with us, I’m trying to think where we lived, did we live down on the Waddel house?
Or that church, next to the church?
Inez Wasn’t that when you were in the high school, and you were down on 1st Ave, and she came to live with us there.
Then after that she lived in the Ritz apartments. But first she lived in the Liebert building,
up above the Harbor Bar.
Quite a place, to put Grandma above the Harbor Bar, cockroaches, oh…….
Where’d we leave the Wohllebers, out on the farm?…..
“Well Grandma was in town then when she lost her husband, all the Wohllebers had made their way more or less, right, I know some, getting back to the younger days, I know that some of the Wohllebers went to Grover school, it’s in the records in the Grover book, they must have stayed with Grandpa/Dad. Aunt Emma, Will and Fred, it’s in the book that they went to school in Grover. Was that before Dad and Mother were married?
Yes. OK then he had lots of people visiting before he was married.
Did Grandma live with Uncle George out on the farm?
Inez Not that I remember for awhile, out on the farm.
After Grandpa died, I always thought…
Inez “Not that I remember, because Violet…”
“She had a house in town”. “That was on 4th street”. Cause I know they used to tip the toilet every Halloween”
Inez “She didn’t stay very long after Grandpa died, that fall, he died in Jan, she didn’t want to say there to tend to the fires, someone had to be with her, she wasn’t capable of it, you know, I wouldn’t make that sure”.
“But she lived in lived in 2 different houses, she lived in that one on 4th street and she lived on that one down here on Maple..”
Evelyn: “She had two house, I’ m not sure if she lived in both…”
“She had that ….”
Inez “Violet dear, I’ll contradict you on that, why, because Grandpa Wohlleber came to town to buy the house, and Grandma didn’t want to go in, “Well Pa I trust you, you pick me out a nice house with a BR”
“That was the one on 4th Street”
Inez “No, that was the one on Maple”… “Ok, so Grandpa Wohlleber goes to Uncle Jim and these people with name of Schultz wanted to sell that house awful bad, it had no bathroom, just a little bit of cottage, so on a day or two after the deal was made, and so forth and so on Grandma says, “Pa, you take me to town, I want to see the house” (you remember that-I remember the story), and he takes her to town and takes her to see the house and she looks at it from the outside and he took her in the front door and she said “Pa, Pa, for what you buy this house, I will not live here and there’s no bathroom.” She would not move, she would not move….”
“But they owned the house”
Inez “Yes, they owned the house, but she never lived in it. So then, this other house was on 4th street, was by the cottage, you girls were….”
“Mildred Munson lives there now”
Inez “Yes she lives there now, I stopped there one night, but they bought it from, what was that fellow that used to be, he was some relation of Mrs. Argabrite, they bought it from him, she would not move in that, so they had to buy another house, she was so mad, that was bad enough, cause she had dreamed of coming to town and living in a house that she had had in her mind, of course”.
’This one had a bathroom then, on 4th street it must have been the house on Maple that got tipped over all the time”. “I remember Owen and Edger had to go and set that up so many times- the last time they done it they moved that toilet back and they covered up the hole with sod and…”
Inez “Violet, she never lived it
“No, but it was her property, I’m telling what they done on Halloween, they always tipped it over, so Edgar and Owen went it and moved that toilet off of that hole and moved it off the hole it was setting on and they covered up that hole so it looked like grass on top and then they went away and they watched that night, and those guys came to tip over the toilet and fell in that hole”
Inez “I want to tell you something girls, they rented that place, and rented that and there was always undesirable people got in there and wouldn’t pay rent, and they would come to the dorr, by that time, Grandma Wohlleber was with us then, and mother and she would go down and dig at that house, and no rent : they never did sell it, until…
“Remember Elizabeth Jens____ , they bought that” “On 4th street? “No, that’s on Maple” “Maple and what” “Maple, right on the corner, they fixed it up pretty good, they remodeled”
Inez “Mother always wanted to buy that house and fix it up and live in it and I said “Oh mother, what would you do down there alone”
So when did you move over here on 2nd street?
Inez, “ Oh my world, Geraldine, we lived in houses, and houses and houses….”
Geraldine “You know what I remember, one of the first things I remember about my childhood and Betty and you….when you lived on other side of town, on Broadway,
the Wadell house, you had a birthday party for Betty, we all made crepe paper dresses, do you remember that, they were all different pastel colors, we had to make the ruffles, and crinkles around the bottom and I don’t know how we stitched them on, by hand I suppose, maybe we pasted them all, but we all had these crepe paper dresses, all decorated up and I came to one of Betty’s birthday parties…I never forget that…..
Inez “Was that the year your mother gave Betty a little white dog with a big pink bow on it?”
Geraldine “Could be, we used to raise those white collies, could be, I don’t remember that part of it, but I remember the crepe paper dress, I thought, boy, we better not get near the candles we’ll all catch on fire…”
Inez “Grandma Wohlleber was in the Grand Hotel when Eunice and Wilber were married. They had a fuel and coal business and later went bunk. Eunice and Wilbur moved in with the old folks down on 2nd street SW in a little room”.
“That’s the house he still
Inez “It’s all remodeled now, it looks so nice”
“Did he sell it yet, he still has the house?”
Inez “No they moved out of there, the cottage where Wilbur and Eunice lived was mother McBath’s and so they agreed to buy it, whether they did or not, anyway Wilber got it and that’s where they still live…”
Inez Aunt Elva and Uncle Jim, I will say this girls, that Uncle Jim Kiley was wonderful to Grandma Wohlleber…
I think he was pretty good to everybody, seems like he always had people there at the hotel ….
Inez “When we landed in
Watertown, I often think of that, in 1919 girls, and we had sold out the things
we didn’t want to bring along from York, and Tom had just got back the first of
June from the war after being gone 2 years and ½ , and mother wanted to come to Watertown , she had to get to Watertown
because she wanted her son Ernest, solder boy,
buried in Watertown, she didn’t want him in York, and I can readily see,
cause she wanted to, she was very lonesome for her people, Aunt Mary, Aunt
Elva, your Dad and her mother out here, who wouldn’t be?”
Inez “Well anyway, I’ll tell you, we lived, when we first came then we got a house, we stayed with Uncle Jim in the Grand Hotel, imagine he put up with us, mother and I and dad, Tom said for me to go with them because he was going out to get a job, he was just out of the Army, he’d been in the Phillipines for 2 years and a half. She had this all planned, before we knew when Tom was coming home from the service, so he said you go on and go with your mother, so I went with Mother and Dad. We stayed in the Grand Hotel, imagine, for a month, and then it was on Mrs Heathcotes cottage up on NE, and we lived there practically, let’s see 1918 till 1921-right?”
Sounds about right.
Inez “Yeah, because Betty was coming. And then we lived in the duplex about 2 years and the place was too hard to heat, so then we moved back up on the north side, in a little house, a nice little house, and mother didn’t like that, we lived there maybe not 2 yrs, then we moved down on Broadway where Aunt Mary used to live, up at about 7 or 800 block, it was old man….
That’s North Broadway or south Broadway?
Inez “North. Then I got this job at Paulis’s, but Mother thought it was too far for me to walk all the time…so we moved down the Waddel house on First Avenue”.
Evelyn “Didn’t you live on Maple there, where the telephone office was, next to that great big house, that was a parsonage…?”
Inez “Yes, we moved into that house, that house, I’m getting ahead of my story, we moved from that house down to the big house next to the Episcopal church, then a Mr Micheals, a real estate man, sold it because it belonged to somebody else, then we moved down to the Waddel house and my dad died when were living in the Waddell house, then we moved to the May Apartments.”
“Where are they? I remember they…Across from the Messer, west of the Elks”…
Inez And I want to tell you
girls the cockroaches were so bad it was awful. Then there came this nice house
down on 2nd avenue SE, the Horsewell house, and so we moved down
there. Tom was traveling for some coffee house or something and we were there 2
years and half and Mr Horsewell was out on a state house and a state job and
they were coming back because he didn’t get re-elected, so we moved again to
the house over here on 2nd avenue and we were there 45 years.
“45 years- I liked that house,that was neat- it was fun..”
Inez “That ended the moving. My Dad had died when we lived down in the Horsewell house, that was the year you graduated, because you graduated from high school ….
“Well that’s a good
interesting story we went through…
Inez “Well, listen, if there’s anything….I kind of forgotten, I tried to but, ..Then Uncle Jim, (if you remember was it 1924/1925) went out got out of the Grand Hotel, business got awfully dull…
What year was that?
Inez “No, Betty was 5 years old, so was Jim, Jim was born in 1922…..”
“I was born in 1924 and my mother stayed at the Grand Hotel in Jan cause it was such a bad winter before I was born”
Inez “1924? Then it was 1923 that….” …
“So he still had it in ‘24”
Evelyn “Yes, cause mother was staying there, I remember that”
Inez “Anyway, I’ll tell you, I’ll never forget the day we moved in over there, of course it was old, after living in the nice Horsewell house, I just cried and cried and cried, 45 years we lived there, then Tom you see came and we went into the Palace….