Chapter 4: Our Wedding and Early Married Years

Ashby’s Memories

It must have been at the Christmas vacation when I went to see Ruth at her home near Roanoke. We had been engaged since September and were expecting to marry in June after graduation. All of a sudden one evening we decided it would be better to marry December 23 so we would have the Christmas vacation together.

The 23rd came–a snow-covered, icy, cold day. I had just recovered from a short sick spell. I don’t remember how I got to Clarksburg, but I know I went to Weston on the trolley. Ruth met me at the station. We hurried to the courthouse, where we got our license and got back to the trolley station in less than one-half hour so we could catch the next trolley to Lost Creek. At Lost Creek we went to Pastor H. C. Van Horn’s, where he married us in the parsonage.

We caught the next streetcar to Clarksburg. Everett Williams and Ruth’s sister Susie met us in their big Oldsmobile and took us to my home in Salem. Before we met Everett, we hunted a restaurant and ate ice cream on raisin pie. For many years raisin pie with ice cream on it, if possible, was a special anniversary treat.

It was a very short two-week vacation, mostly spent at Ruth’s home playing Rook with my new in-laws and Ruth’s neighbors and relatives. We had the luck of the Irish–never losing a match.

Ruth’s Memories

That summer of 1925, 1 completed my Standard Normal. One of my good friends from West Milford and I were hired to teach the two room school at Kennedy Station near Jackson’s Mill. We were real excited about it.

Ashby and I had been corresponding since I had sent him a Christmas card. I saw him a time or two while I was in school at Salem College that summer. He was kept quite busy all that summer trying to save up enough money to go to school and get his Standard Normal the next summer.

Ada was teaching at Mt. Clare that year, and Lydia was teaching in Clarksburg. They were both staying with Susie and Everett (also his father and sister were staying there). Their schools started one week earlier than my school was to start in Lewis County. They had just started their school when llama fell and hurt her hip so badly she could not do her work. Someone had to stay at home and help out. Ada and Lydia were both willing to come back,, but I was already there and had time to notify my Board of Education so they could hire someone to take my place. Papa favored that plan, too. (Perhaps he was thinking he, too, might have some help.)

I really enjoyed being home. After Ashby enrolled in college, he came up home for the weekend once a month. We were engaged that fall but did not plan to be married until he finished school in June.

Main was teaching near home that year. We had a lot of pleasant evenings playing Rook with Harvey and Vesta Heavener. Most of the time they came down home.

Ada and Lydia gave me $25 a month for spending money, so I got along real well.

Our Wedding, December 23, 1925.

Christmas vacation started December 18 that year,-and Ashby came up home for the weekend. Sunday afternoon we decided it would be much more fun to spend most of the vacation together. He had to go home Monday, and we planned to meet in Weston on Wednesday at the streetcar terminal.

Tuesday Lydia and I took the train to Weston. We shopped around for a new dress, then went to our cousin Aura Tillman’s to stay overnight. (It was good winter weather–about a foot of snow was on the ground, but the streets were well cleared.)

We met Ashby at ten o’clock as planned and went to the court house to get our license (quite simple in our day!). We got back to the streetcar terminal in time to get on the same car he had come on.

We stopped over at Lost Creek and went to the Seventh Day Baptist parsonage. Ashby had stopped there on his way home on Monday and made arrangements, but he had not told the pastor who the bride would be. H. C. Van Horn was one surprised man when he met us at the door! He had marriage certificates, but he said had he known it was for me he would have had a much nicer one. His wife and daughter were the only witnesses. Orville was living about three miles away. He got to Lost Creek in time to wish us well before we left on the next streetcar to Clarksburg.

It was about noon when we got to Clarksburg, but we were not very hungry. We decided to just get raisin pie with ice cream.

We went to Everett and Susie’s home on Broadus Avenue. He had said he would take us to Salem to Ashby’s home. He had the car all decorated and a “Just Married” sign on the back. He drove slowly through Salem, but there was scarcely anyone on the street. Ashby’s family made me feel much a part of the family–and that feeling remains.

Elmo and some of his friends on the hill serenaded us that night.

The next morning we took the nine o’clock train to Clarksburg, then on to Roanoke, arriving about 2 p.m. Main met us at the train. We were busy the rest of the day making popcorn balls and candy to have ready for the serenaders that night.

We played Rook a lot that vacation, and “Luck” was with us most of the time. All too soon, vacation was over; and Ashby was back in school.

Our First Year of Marriage

Ashby’s Memories — Completing My Standard Normal Degree.

Soon I was back in school, leaving my queen at her home because she had to take care of her mother (who had hurt her hip). I did go back some weekends, and Ruth came to my home for a week after her mother got well enough to get around to do the housework. She also came to my graduation. In this third graduation on the Salem College stage, I played a doctor in our play.

Our first home.

When school was out, we moved into an old two story house with Aunt Jane Bond, where we lived in the lower story. It was a nice piece of ground with about an acre of garden and two acres for corn. Besides this farming, I had two jobs. I pitched about fifteen stacks of hay for Henry Watson. Then I got a job with a construction company,making the culverts for Route 19 from Weston to Roanoke.

This company also had a factory that made round culverts. One extremely hot day they took us away from making forms for a culvert to unload a steel gondola railroad car. The sun was so hot we could not put a hand on the car. We shoveled the gravel with a scoop shovel. Mr. Peters, one of the owners, told us he wanted it unloaded that day to save a holdover charge. He also came from the factory every little bit and shoveled like a house afire. I tried to shovel as fast as he did, even while he got his breaks. We had it unloaded by four o’clock; then we went with Mr. Rhodes, the other owner, to the culvert job. Mr. Rhodes told me to sit in the shade under a maple tree; I guess he could see I had a severe sick headache.

Teaching at Shady Grove School.

School time came again. I had to leave Ruth at her home at Roanoke while I stayed at my home in Salem and taught the Shady Grove School. This school was five miles from home by walking paths across the hills that cut miles from the way by roads.

Our first new car.

When I went to see Ruth over the first weekend, she suggested we buy a Ford Roadster, and I quickly agreed. I had to borrow the money to pay for the car, and I charged the gas to fill the tank.

The eight miles to school was mud all but two miles, and the trip to Roanoke each weekend had either eight or twelve miles of dirt–mostly mud–roads. On one trip to Roanoke, I took Elmo with me, and we had to detour the twelve-mile way. After we were thinking maybe we were lost or we would have found Route 19 (the main road), we came to a country store. A man was sitting on the porch, and Elmo asked, “What is the best way to Roanoke?” He answered, “You walk.” That didn’t stop Lizzy! She made it!

Lizzy only cost us $490 brand new–a 1927 Roadster. We paid for her in 11 months instead of the 12 months they gave us at the bank. Lizzy worked faithfully until our family outgrew her in 1933. The only repairs were once a year, when I would clean the cylinder head and occasionally repair a spark plug.

Our first son is born.

The third week after school started, I was going to bring Ruth to Salem, where Aunt Doc was to take care of her and the baby. It was not to be that way. Uncle Main (Ruth’s youngest brother) and I went for Dr. Obrien about 2 a.m. on September 19. He took his time, but he came. Aunt Doc found a nurse, Miss Young; and she stayed with Ruth at Roanoke, caring for her and Bond for ten days. The doctor charged $10, and the nurse charged $75. Ashby Bond has been worth every bit of it.

More about Shady Grove School.

Near the end of school, we practiced or a field day at West Milford for our district. We had a field day with our neighbor, Morris School, before the district meet. We won enough at Morris to get our pupils and parents interested. So I paid $10 to one of my patrons to take as many as we could on a wagon to the West Milford meet. We won quite a few first-, second-, and third-place ribbons, which made everyone proud and happy.

Another thing I was proud of was that my eighth grade girl, Edna Day, took and passed the state examination. She was my first eighth grader to take the exam. She also won the District Girls’ Softball Throw. (We named one of our girls, Edna Ruth, for Edna Day.)

Ruth’s Memories

In late January I went to take care of Lee and Charles while Susie was in the hospital with a third son, Roxie Dane. I started having morning sickness while I was there. After I went home, it did not improve; in fact I got to the place where I could not sit up. Ashby came home that weekend. I was doing a little better by Monday, so he went back to school. I got better so I was up and around, but food and drink never stayed down very long. I got used to that. Later I went to Salem and stayed a week at Ashby’s home. I went to see Aunt Doc while I was there. She said, “Some get sick, and some don’t. You just have to take what comes.”

At long last graduation time came. I went to Salem for that. Ashby went home with me that time for keeps–we thought.

Our first home (rented apartment). Uncle Sammie was gone by that time, and Aunt Jane had fixed an apartment upstairs where she stayed; she rented the downstairs so she could have a little money coming in. I learned her renter was leaving in May, so I rented the apartment. We had enough donations so we furnished the place very comfortably. We bought the kitchen stove from the previous renter. We soon were living in our first home.

By the time our folks had gathered up things they could do without and some friends and neighbors came up with a few things, we were quite comfortable with little expense.

My sisters bought us a hand-operated washing machine. We had to carry our water from a cold spring some distance from the house. Water was handy at home, so they kept the washer there that summer and did our washing and ironing.

We lived about one-half mile from home. We raised a good garden and corn patch. Ashby worked for farmers anytime he could. I went down home every day that I did not have work to do at home. I was not too ambitious that summer, for I still could not keep food down any length of time. (I felt all right between times.)

Ashby tried to get a school near home that summer, but none were available. Orville came up home. (He was supervisor of Union District in Harrison County.) He had not been able to find a teacher for the one-room school at Shady Grove near the Doddridge County line. Ashby readily agreed to take the job. School was to start the following Monday. We decided I should stay at home and get things in shape there for three weeks; then I would go to Salem where we would both stay so Aunt Doc could take care of me when the baby came.

Our first baby arrives.

Ashby came home after school on Friday to take me back with him on Sunday. (I weighed less at that time than I did when we were married.) Plans changed fast. We had to call a local doctor on Sunday morning; and our first child, Bond, arrived. He only weighed 5 1/2 pounds, but otherwise he was a healthy baby. I put my thumb down beside his wrist and ankle, and my thumb was decidedly larger.

Mama asked the doctor what I should eat. He said, “Give her anythingshe wants and all she wants. She is starved.” That was music to my ears. Food never tasted better!

Mama was nervous about taking care of a baby so small, so Aunt Doc sent a nurse to take care of us for ten days.

We were so glad Ashby was there, but he had to go back to his school. I think that was the only time I was ever “homesick” at home. Nevertheless, I had to stay there three more weeks before I got to go to Salem with Bond.

Moving to Salem–and then to Shady Grove.

We stayed with Mother Randolph until November 11 when Ashby took us to Shady Grove. He had found a little cottage (furnished enough to make out) within a half mile of his school. By that time the road was getting so bad we had a hard time getting there. We never had the car out again until the next spring.

We made a lot of lasting friends that winter. When the weather permitted, we walked about one mile to the Meadow Valley Evangelical United Brethren Church. We were made to feel very welcome.

I had never been away from my old home before on Christmas Day. I missed being there; but Ashby and Bond were with me, and we were healthy and happy. What more could one ask!

A Summer at Lost Creek–1927

Ashby’s Memories

We moved to Lost Creek, where I put in two gardens and took care of Uncle Tom Bond’s farm during his vacation. It seemed everything went wrong the two weeks I was responsible for Uncle Tom’s farm. Ruth got sick (very sick) with the pregnancy of Xenia Lee. Two heifers came fresh (with very small, tedious teets to milk); this made twelve cows to milk, when I hadn’t milked more than one in five years. Then after all that, his hogs took cholera, and I had them to doctor and everything to sterilize. When Uncle Tom’s returned, everything was fine; and they seemed to appreciate the job.

Ruth’s Memories

The next spring, we rented a house on Lost Creek, not far from where Orville and Lucille lived. We moved our things in on Friday, but the gas was not yet connected. So we went up to Orville’s for the weekend. Susie, Everett, and their children also came out there for the weekend. We had the beds set up at our house; so Ashby, Orville, and his boys went there to sleep. I slept with Lucille. Orville got up early the next morning and came home. When he came in, Lucille said, “Oh, Orville, rub my legs. They have almost had cramps all night, but you were not here to rub them out.”

In the next year or so, Susie and Everett bought about fifty acres of Orville’s farm and built a summer home. Everett was teaching in Clarksburg, so they needed their home on Broadus Avenue.

We had a good garden that summer and had a cow; so we had our own milk and butter.

Uncle Tom had a dairy farm joining Orville. He also had hogs and chickens. They wanted to take a two-week vacation that summer and wanted Ashby to take care of everything while they were gone. We looked forward to that with great anticipation, for we both loved that kind of work. When the time came, poor Ashby had it all to do alone–I was sick again.

Living and Teaching at Jarvisville

Ashby’s Memories

The fall of 1927 I started teaching as principal of the two room school at Jarvisville. Mostly, I had a great time at Jarvisville. The pupils were bright and had been well taught–and besides, they were very athletic. The parents were mostly cooperative. Even the ministers were extremely helpful. They took week about (there were two of them) conducting an opening exercise.

When it came hiring time for the 1928-29 year, a member of one of the churches wanted my job. A number of the church members and the minister, Rev. Vanscoy, went to the meeting. Each member got up and said he had nothing against me but he wanted the other man to teach the school. Then Rev. Vanscoy got up and said, “I like Mr. Randolph and want him to have the school.” I kept teaching there until the fall of 1932.

The following are some of the successes I enjoyed at the Jarvisville School: All my eighth-grade pupils passed the state exam; our fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade pupils won many ribbons–both in scholastics and athletics–at the District Field Meet.

Ruth’s Memories

Ashby was principal at Jarvisville the next school year. We found a cottage we could rent near the schoolhouse. Ada helped me clean the windows and the whole house before we moved, so all we had to do was to put things where they belonged as they were unloaded. What fun!!

We made a lot more friends there. A good neighbor (Walter and Esta Cozad) lived just across the road from us. They had one girl. (By the way, she went through grade school and high school without missing one day of school.)

At that time a hard surface road connected Jarvisville with Route 50, so we could get out any time we needed to. We rented a garage from the storekeeper.

Our second babv arrives. Near the end of February, we went to Salem to Ashby’s home so Aunt Doc could take care of our new baby. On February 28, Xenia Lee arrived about 11 a.m. She was a plump little baby–6 3/4 pounds. Elmo had to bring in all his friends to see her, and most of the relatives in Salem were in. By evening, she had had 27 visitors. Papa was plenty proud of her; she was the second girl in eight grandchildren. We went back to Jarvisville when Xenia Lee was three weeks old.

Owning Our Home

Ruth’s Memories

That spring Ashby found a little place for sale 2 1/2 miles west of Jarvisville. We were tired of moving twice a year. Ashby went to look at the place. The roads were still bad, so he had to walk. He liked the place with 18 acres, so we bought it. When a friend heard we had bought it, she said, “Did you let him buy that without your seeing it? What if you don’t like it?” I said, “He likes it, and I don’t have any doubt that I will like it too.” We are still here almost 53 years later and still loving it!

Maybe one of the biggest attractions of this place is 200,000 cubic feet of free gas each year. We have only paid three gas bills since we have lived here. The biggest one was about $11. Our meter is back on the hill. A boy from the other side of the hill was riding his motorcycle up and down the gas line right-of-way. Some way he ran into the meter house, upset it, and almost broke the gas line in two. Ashby was fishing at the pond and heard the crash but did not know what was wrong until we found we had no gas. That year we paid a $12 gas bill.

We had a good garden here, a hill meadow, and pasture for cows. We also kept chickens and pigs.

That first summer I wanted to help Ashby cut the filth on the hill, so we put a comfort in a wash tub and put Xenia Lee in it in the shade. She was quite happy, and Bond played close by her. I did not get to do that many times, for it seemed there were things at the house to be done, too.

There were lots of wild strawberries around over the place. I remember one summer Ada was staying with us while Ashby was in 4-H camp. She watched the children while I went on the hill and picked a 2 1/2-gallon bucket full of wild strawberries. We took them over to Aunt Elsie and Aunt Doc’s and had a big strawberry shortcake for dinner. It makes my mouth water to even write about it!

We had a hand-drilled well with a pitcher pump on our back porch. It was only about twelve feet deep. One could pump a two gallon bucket of water every hour or so. The water was nice and cold. A stream of water ran between the house and garden. It was clear except when it rained, and then it cleared quickly. There was enough drop to place a three-inch pipe and put a wash tub under it at the lower end. That made a good water supply for washing. We had to build a fire outside and heat the water in a twelve-gallon kettle, then carry it to the wash tub. We finally got our first gasoline motor Maytag. That was really something! We still had to carry all of the water to it–and also away.

Mr. and Mrs. Stull lived for a while in the house just west of us. They were a dear old couple, and we enjoyed their company. At that time a continued story was in the daily paper. Every day Mrs. Stull would come down to hear me read that story. Sometimes she would get so provoked at some of the characters in the story she wanted to shake them.

About this time we saw our first deer in this part of the county. At first, we saw it in the hill meadow. Then it came down to a pen where we had a Jersey calf. The deer nosed the calf quite a while before taking off up over the hill.

Ashby’s Memories

Maybe you would be interested in the getting and developing of the home of our family. The first summer Ruth and I were married, we lived in the downstairs of an old house near Ruth’s home. After I started teaching at Shady Grove, at the very head of Turtle Tree Fork of Tenmile, Ruth stayed at her home and I lived with my mother and my brother Elmo at Salem until three weeks after Bond was born. Ruth and Bond came to live in my Salem home until November 11, 1926, when we moved to within 1/2 mile of my Shady Grove School. We rented it from Fred Day, a wonderful friend (as was his wife and three daughters). Arvilla, the youngest, brought fresh milk to us each morning after they milked and usually asked Ruth if she had any cake because she loved it. Edna, her older sister, was the girl I mentioned as my first pupil to pass the state 8th grade exam.

When school was out the next spring, 1927, we moved to Lost Creek near Orville, which Ruth has told you about. After I started teaching at Jarvisville and driving about 7 miles each way, I rented a small house from Walter Cozad, which Ruth has mentioned in her stories. We enjoyed our life there until the spring of 1928 after Xenia Lee arrived, when we bought the home where we raised you children and still live.

The place had a four-room house with each room leaking when it rained, and in winter snow would blow through some of the cracks in the siding. There were 18 acres of hill land in the farm. We soon traded a good milk cow for 3 acres of bottom land between our farm and the road. That let us have a good way to the road instead of the right of way 200 yards up the creek and then through another farmer’s swampy meadow. An important part of the original buy was 200,000 cu. ft. of free natural gas each year. In the 57 years we have lived here so far, we have only paid a gas bill three different years.

Making improvements.

Gradually our house changed. We had Uncle Tom Randolph and Uncle Oris Stutler put in masonite wallboard on every room. Tommy Thomas, Glen Matthey, and Raymond Post built us a stone cellar 12 by 14 feet from rock cut from our own farm. In 1945 Edgar and his brother Bob built us a cellar house 12 by 18 feet, where Xenia Lee and Edgar lived for a while and where Annita was born. Somewhere in the early 1930’s we got imitation brick siding to cover the whole house. That, with the masonite inside, helped a lot. Still later we had aluminum siding and storm windows put on the four rooms. The combination brick cost about $300, and the aluminum siding cost $700 put on.

While I taught at West Milford, about 1965, we got a big room across the whole front of the house where the front porch had been, a good bathroom, and a garage, besides a new roof built over the original one for $3,000. Still later, about 1969, Neil Matheny and his two sons built our TV room and half bath for $2,500.

Water problems.

Water was a big problem for many years. We started with a hand-drilled well on our back porch that gave us two gallons of drinking water about every two or three hours and creek or spring water to boil outside over a wood fire in a 12-gallon kettle for washing. Some years later a company drilled a 2 1/2-inch test core about 400 feet deep in our yard west of the house. As pay for the damage, they left us a pump that gave us plenty of water until the sides began caving in, which made the water muddy.

Then we got a Mr. Mitchell with his peach limb to hunt us a good water supply. We didn’t have much faith in the method, but he only charged $5 and he located the spots for the Hope Gas to drill their water wells. When he found the place, he let Ruth and me try holding the limb; it pointed to the ground no difference how hard we tried to hold it up. This was about 60 feet east of the house. When they drilled it, they found the water 35 feet down after going through 15 feet of solid limestone. They tried bailing it down and couldn’t lower the water any. For a while we used a pitcher pump in a sink; then finally we had running water in the kitchen and bathrooms. What a happy day!

Work-saving appliances.

There were two things I got for Ruth quite soon after we were married. In 1927 I got her a Singer sewing machine for $100. Then in 1936 I got her a Maytag washing machine with a gas motor. They were work- and money-savers.

Paying for our home.

With all these expenses, it was mighty hard to pay the- $1,500 for our home. I gave notes for the payment due each six months. We made small payments each time when they were due. Finally, James Coffindaffer, from whom we bought, needed all the money and sold the notes to Truman Howell. He soon called for the notes to be paid, and we got a lawyer in Clarksburg to free our deed of all claims for 50 years back so we could borrow the money to pay Mr. Howell. They gave us 13 years to pay it off at 4 1/2 percent interest. This was the Land Bank of Baltimore. What a relief when the last payment was made in 1948.

Ruth’s Memories of a Growing Family — Our Second Son Arrives

On July 21, 1929, Alois joined our family. Papa and Mama came down to see him and took Bond back home with them for a week. He got along real well; but when they started to bring him home, he said, “Grandma, I don’t want dark to ever catch me here again.”

Bond was so thrilled to see Xenia Lee again. She could not have cared less. He would follow her around until she stopped; then he would squat down in front of her and laugh and laugh.

The children both loved their baby brother. Each one had to hold him a little bit when I would take him out of his crib. One day I was in the kitchen and heard Bond and Xenia Lee singing as hard as they could and Alois crying. I went to investigate and found Bond in the rocking chair with Xenia Lee sitting on the arm and Alois in Bond’s arms, rocking and singing. I guess I spoiled their fun, for they never tried that again.

One day Bond and Xenia Lee were playing that they were eating candy. Suddenly Bond said, “There, I got the last piece.” Xenia Lee just “boohooed.” She called, “Mama, Bond ate the last piece of candy.”

Two More Daughters Arrive

Mae arrived December 25, 1930. It had been a mild winter, so the dirt road could be traveled with a car most of the time. Mama’s youngest brother (Uncle Otto) was visiting in Salem with his wife and 16-year-old son. Clyde had never seen a tiny baby, and he desperately wanted to see Mae. Ada happened to be in Salem at the time (also Greta and Mary Randolph). Ada agreed to come over here with them if Clyde could get the car. He got the car but did not tell his father where he was going. They got over here all right, and we had a nice visit. But when they started back, they got in a ditch and had a terrible time getting out. The car was muddy all over. When they got back to Salem and the folks found out where they had been, they were really upset. Poor Ada was really in the “Dog House.” They thought she should have known better, even if the others did not. Anyway, all survived.

The hard surface road was one-half mile from us at that time. Uncle Erlo and Aunt Antha (also Velma) wanted to see Mae so much that they walked the half mile. Mae was so loose-jointed that I used to say I could almost tie her feet together behind her head.

October 12, 1932, Edna Ruth joined our family.

Another Son Arrives

Rex Main arrived the 19th of December, 1934. Grandma Sutton was staying with us. When we needed him, my doctor was sick. We called Grandma Randolph at Salem; she got Dr. Pearcy to come, but Elmo had to come with him to show him the way. Ashby had taken Alois to school with him and left Mae and Edna Ruth with neighbors. Before noon, we called a family by the schoolhouse to tell Ashby that Rex had arrived and all were well. The children could hardly wait to get home so they could see their little brother.

Ashby’s Memories of Extra Jobs–Fun and Work

During the summers I took summer classes at Salem College and organized and transported softball and volleyball community teams. The last two years I was president of the Tenmile Softball League, which I had organized to solve the problem of scheduling games. I also was on a district school maintenance crew that did painting, etc., to get the schools ready for the next term. During the winter and until planting time, I would grub the roots of brush out in preparation for the field of corn of one-half to one acre. This corn we fed to our cow, chickens, and hogs.

Teaching at Morris School, 1931-37

In the spring of 1931, the board decided to cut the Jarvisville School to one room, so I got moved to the Morris School. This was only one mile for me to walk instead of the 2 1/2 miles I had been walking to Jarvisville. I taught seven mighty pleasant years at Morris.

I persuaded the District Superintendent to include the first, second, third, and fourth grades in the scholastic competition for the Field Day. We won many ribbons each year. Five of the pupils went on to be valedictorians at Bristol High School.

Another thing that made me very proud happened when I had two boys move to a Clarksburg school. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law, who taught in Clarksburg, had told me they always moved the pupils from country schools back one grade to start them. One of my boys was put in the A section for his grade, and the other one was put in a small especially gifted group for his grade.

We had Parent Teacher Associations and Country Life Programs. Sometimes, we took part in the Jackson’s Mill Roundups. I remember our playing checkers and taking a one-act play and a musical reading. We put on programs for Christmas and other special times. My brother, Elmo, always played Santa Claus. The Santas the children had seen had tried to scare them. Elmo was careful and kind to everyone, so they called him the real Santa and kept asking for him.

Making a living for my family was difficult on $110 per month. I also went to school at night during the school term and twelve weeks most summers until I got my Bachelors degree in Education the spring on 1936. After that, I checked farms to find out how much lime and fertilizer the government would give them. I had to draw a map of each field. Some of them I could estimate by stepping off, and some I had to measure with a chain. In either case, I had to find the size in acres. Another summer I cut pulp wood; and others I got jobs for farmers, cutting filth, hacking brush, and harvesting hay, oats, and wheat.

The fall of 1936 I did not know whether I would have a school or not until the day before it was to start. Many schools were being discontinued. The school at Shady Grove had been discontinued, and the Board of Education was trying to stop mine. Dean Van Horn, the county grade superintendent came the day before school was to start and told me I had the Morris School another year.

I didn’t take a chance on the Morris School again the next year. Instead, I got the principalship at Jarvisville, which had become a two-room school again.

School Discipline Methods

The discipline of the school is one of its biggest problems. There must be an attitude of learning and respect and obedience. From my first school, I have used the theory that if I was with the pupils at all play periods and got them to have fun (fair, clean, tiring fun), they would appreciate me enough to obey me and learn during study time. I am sure playing with the children helped, but it didn’t solve all the problems.

At my first school an eighth grade boy enticed a first grade boy to blow a French harp during school. I asked him to come to the front of the room. He refused. When I took hold of him, he grabbed his seat. I took him to the back of the room, took off my belt, and used it. When I got back to my class at the front, I asked him to come up to me. He came, and I explained that we couldn’t learn with disturbances. I had no more trouble at the Hannah School, and we enjoyed learning and playing.

I remember no discipline troubles at the Astor School, but I remember a play accident. Alfred Reppart was accidentally hit with a bat. I had to carry him a half mile to his home. He was back to school the next day.

At the Shady Grove School, my third one, I paddled three sixth grade pupils’ palms because they refused to use the rule which I taught for finding the area of a circle. For a while I thought I might have trouble. The year before, one of their parents had made the teacher, Melvin McClain (a close friend of mine), pay $10 judgment in a Justice of the Peace trial for paddling his child.

Once I had a big husky boy sit on nothing (back up to the wall with his hands loose at his sides and squat into a sitting position). He looked as though he would rebel at any second, but he didn’t. Not long after that, I took him and two other boys with me walking to a Salem College basketball game. (By giving some honor or privilege, I always tried to prove to everyone I punished that I held no hard feelings against him or her.) I also tried to stay extra calm during the punishment by pausing between times (if the punishment was physical) to explain why the student had to be punished. It never took more than three licks for any kind of paddling.

4-H, Life Saving, and Teaching at Camps

When I was at Jarvisville in 1927-1928, I organized a 4-H Club. The members did wonderfully. I went to State 4-H Leaders’ Camp, where I learned crafts and got my Senior Life Saving Certificate. My Life Saving instructors were Brownie Wheeler and Commadore Longfellow. (Commadore Longfellow started life-saving courses for the Red Cross and Boy Scouts.) If they hadn’t been extra good teachers, I wouldn’t have been able to have completed the course in that twelve days.

For ten years, I kept my certificate renewed each three years and taught swimming and life saving at our church camps, as well beginning swimming at Jackson’s Mill one year. I also taught “Recognition of Trees” and “Leather Craft” for our county camp at Jackson’s Mill. Also I went to Clarksburg and took a First Aid Course to Dewey Rosell. I received my instructor’s certificate. In one of my classes at Morris, I was instructing on the control of severe bleeding when one of my big husky men fainted. I had a practical demonstration of recovery from fainting.

My getting to teach beginning swimming at Jackson’s Mill was unique. The head swimming instructor was Jack Ickenberry, whom I had taught to swim in our church camp at Middle Island. He was one of those sinkers but was almost too brave and determined to do whatever I asked. He kept me so worried watching to see if he would come up. I think I never saw anyone so proud as he was when he learned to stay on top–unless it was Lenore and Leonard Williams at Berea, who had the same problem.

Ruth’s Memories of Neighbors and Ashby’s Graduation

The summer Edna Ruth was two years old, we had a family living next to us with four children. The mother was not very healthy. Since we had a Maytag gasoline washer and water handy from a stream close by, she did her washing down here. The oldest girl was about Bond’s age, and they just could not live peaceably. A boy was Edna Ruth’s age. He always went home with a sore head from pulled hair, but he left teeth prints all over her arms.

Wallace and Hazel Burnside

That was so different from the next family who moved in there-Wallace and Hazel Burnside. They had previously lived about a mile up the next hollow. They had two children (Guy and Bernice) the ages of Bond and Xenia Lee; and they loved to play together (along with the younger children). They played together a lot.

When Wallace and Ashby had time, they liked to pitch horseshoes and to target shoot with a 22 rifle. Sometimes one won, and then the other. They loved to hunt, too. As for Hazel and me, we were like sisters. She had no sister, and mine were miles away. We did our canning together (and everything we could). She was not very well, so I would gather things in while she watched the children and got jars ready. Then we worked together. What good times we had!


A family of Musgraves moved into the hollow a mile and one-half from us. He was out of work, so they thought they would get out where they could grow gardens and have a place to keep pigs and chickens. Also, there were good fruit trees and lots of berries on that farm. They lived at the end of the hollow. One other family lived on the way there.

They had always lived in town. She knew very little about country life, but he had been reared on a farm. She did not like it there away from close neighbors (besides, she was pregnant for the seventh time). She was a lot of fun to be with. Their 14-year-old son loved to come down here. He would sweep, mop, or do anything he could. He was really a big help.

I went up there after supper one evening. As I was starting to leave, she had a faint warning. She said, “You are not going now!” In a little while she said, “Children, get to Randolphs”; and she sent Mr. Musgrave to call the doctor. The doctor got there, and we waited. It seemed to me that Mr. Musgrave was doing everything he could to “upset” her. She wanted him to stay with her, but he went to the kitchen to bake some pies.

In due time, a baby girl arrived–the pride and joy of the whole family. Mr. Musgrave said later that he always had to do something to make her mad or she would never have enough spunk to have the baby.

Their son Carroll was a “life saver” for Bond when he started to junior high. Some of Ashby’s school boys who had to do things they did not want to do tried to take it out on Bond. Carroll kept a watchful eye out for him, and they soon learned not to tangle with Carroll.

They later moved near Akron, where Mr. Musgrave ran a restaurant. Whenever any of the family came back to Clarksburg on a visit, they would stop in to see us for a little while. Two of the boys were here a little while just last fall. It is so good to have old friends drop in!

Ashby Graduates

By the summer of 1936, Ashby’s night classes and a summer term or two had paid off. He received his degree in elementary education. We were all there to see him get his diploma.

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