James Ray 'Bud' Nuckols Memoir - Part 1
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L. Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections James Ray “Bud” Nuckols Memoir N883. Nuckols, James Ray “Bud” (1903-1989) Interview and memoir 3 tapes, 270 mins., 93 pp. Nuckols, resident of Auburn, Illinois, discusses early to mid 20th century life in Auburn: family and schools, teaching, prohibition, transportation and businesses. Also discusses farm life: farming techniques and problems, tractors, cattle, electrification and television. Interview by Shirley Marshall, 1980 OPEN See collateral file Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1980, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Helen and Bud Nuckols Family Background • School. Ra~si.ng Tobacco Family Life M.:>ther' s Relatives. Social Life Teaching School O:lildhood Days • 1-twing to Illinois . High School • 'lbe First Fire District Hign SChool Graduation. Experiences as a Teacher. Mrs. Nuckols. Table of Contents Bootlegging and Gangsters Streets and Parks of Auburn . Cars and Filling Stations Minority Families World War II. Farming • • 'lbe FAA and the Farm Bureau • Electricity • Goverrment Subsidizing. 1 5 7 . 9 .11 .14 .15 .17 .26 .28 .33 .40 .40 .42 .45 .47 .49 .50 .51 .52 .58 .59 .61 Preface '1his manuscript is the product of a tape recorded interview conducted by Shirley Marshall for the Oral History Office in Novanber of 1980. Shirley Marshall transcribed and edited the transcript. Mr. Nuckols revie~ the transcript. Ray (Bud) Nuchols has lived in Auburn roost of his life. 'lhis tape is an accaunt of his recollections and perceptions of the growth and history of Auburn. This interview ms cooducted in his bane mich is across fran the. FdgelAOOd Colmtry Club. Shirley Marshall is public librarian in Auburn and is beginning a collection of Oral History of AubJrn to be housed in the Auburn Public Library. Readers of the oral history IIBOOir should bear in mind that it is a transcript of the spoken lll>rd, and that the intervi~r, narrator and editor sought to preserve the informal, conversational style that is inherent in such historical sources. Sanga:non State T.hiversity is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the DellOir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge. The m:.muscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any Jl.'S8ns, electronic or nechanical, witb:rut pemdssion in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sangamon State Uhiversity, Springfield, Illinois, 62708. Bud Nuckols, November 1980, Auburn, Illinois. Shirley Marshall , Interviewer. Q: Can you tell xre Thhen and where you were born, Ray? A: Glasgow, Kentucky. Q: Ch ~t date? A: February 16, 1903. Q: Can you tell rre sanething about your parents? A: 'lhey were fanrers my folks were, and they lived in Glasgow and owned a fa:rm. In 1916 we m::wed to Auburn, but prior to that we moved fran Glasgow to Taylorville. t..e lived over there, I guess, three years, then c.:ma down here. Q: \<bat nationality was your father? A: Scotch-Irish on both sides. Q: Did you remember his parents on your dad's side? A: Ch yes. Q: Did they cane over fran the old country? A: No, they CBDE fran Pennsylvania. Q: And how did they cane, by covered wagon? A: I w:ruld assUIIE that \«>Ul.d be the only way they could get there. Th.ey did settle there and stayed there all their life. Q: They were fanrers also? A: Yes. Q: I)) you reneriber your grandmother very well? A: \ell, yes. Q: lfhat was she like? Bud Nuckols 2 A: She was a bard w::~rking wanan, I reroo:nber that. She had to be out of necessity, because there ~re eleven kids in the family. Q: Your father was one of eleven children? A: Right. I remember the kitchen. It was a huge roan, and there was a hanemade table in the dining roan and hCfi!eiMde chairs. W:len they all got around the table, it was a crowd, you knCM with that many kids and all. But ~n dinner was over, or any meal for that fact, the dishes 'Oilere taken off the table, the ones that ~reused, and the other dishes, well, like fruit and whatever they had extra, stayed on the table all the time in these huge glasses, I forget What they called them now. Q: \ere they like casserole dishes? A: No, they 'Oilere cut glass dishes with a top on them. Really they called them preserve stands, and they had all kinds of preserves on the table and different relishes and things like that that ~d be left on the table. They just put a cloth over it fran noon to night and they'd uncover the table and put the food back on and go again. And there was always a demijohn of Whiskey setting on the table and a bottle of wine. Q: Did you have wine with your rreals? A: It was available if you wanted it, yes. It was hanema.de wine. Q: Did they have animals on the fann? A: Yes, cattle, and what any farmer w::~uld have: hogs, chickens, and they raised sooe turkeys, and that sort of thing. Q: They have their own garden? For the family? A: Ch yes, definitely. Q: 'Ihat was a trend in those days, you n:ore or less grew r,.bat you ate yourself, is that correct? A: Yes, because ~ lEre five miles fran town and to go to town like 'We do now was unheard of. Granddad w:ruld usually go to tOTID on Saturday afternoon, and whatever was bought, the staples, like sugar, 'WOUld be tiDstly \\fult it ~d be, because the flour and the com rreal was processed in the area down there. 'Ihere' d be a mill, a grist mill, you've seen tha:n I 'm sure. Q: You want to describe Wla.t a grist mill looks like. A: Well, it's a .•• the nechanics of it I .•• it's a mill that's propelled by water, a water Wheel, they ~re in those days. And, of course, there ~e no engines or electricity or anything like that, but it was propelled by water. 1be water was dal:naed up and fl~d over it and turned it and it in turn was belted to a mill, a grinding mill , inside the mill. And you put the corn or the vileat or whatever in there Bud Nuckols 3 and grind it up and process it and sack it up. [It ~uld] be for your 0'41. use or for sale. Q: And that is where he v.uuld go to pick up the flour or the com IIEal? A: Right. Well, he'd take the com, you'd take the corn Q: Ch, you had to take your own com? A: You didn't have to, you could buy it there, but mst far~~Ers did, take their CMn grain. That ~uld be true with wheat too. Q: And you just paid a fee to have it ground up for you? A: Yes. Q: Did mst of the little towns grow up arOI.md a creek, then, since you had to have water for the mill? A. There had to be water. Usually if there wasn't a dam available, they built a small dam to hold the water so it ~d flow over the Weel, the water ~el. 'Ihat way it was similiar to the paddle wheel that 'I'Na.S on boats, you know, the steam boats. But that's the way they developed their ~r. Q: Wlat else do you ra:oomber about your grandparents' hane? What did she do when it was very hot and she needed to cook? Did she have an outdoor kitchen? A: She cooked, she cooked. This house was, it was a huge house, but it was a log house and 't\eatherboarded with haDe-sawed lumber, covered that 'I'Na.y, you know. And there was only--it was a ~-story house. There was only one bedroan downstairs, that 'I'Na.S for Granddad and Gran.dnnther and all the kids slept upstairs. There was no heat up there, it was cold as the devil and I can remember they'd--I 1 ve heard my dad say many tinEs, they 1 d get up of a roorning and shake the snow off the covers, grab their clothes, and run downstairs to the fire place to get their clothes on. Q: The snaw blew in then? A: Ch yes, you know how snow does here. \Ell if you have cracks in your house you 1 d get sane snow in. Q: Did they sleep in a feather bed? A: Yes, and ~ol blankets and TNOol covers of all kinds, and they were hananade. Q: Did your grandma make quilts? A: Q..d.l ts and even the clothing that they w:>re, the w:>ol clothes. You didn 1 t buy nu.ch in those days really, because she w::ruld spin her ovn yarn, you know, and the neighbor ~n w:>uld get together and do those things together and then they 1 d . . • Bud Nuckols 4 Q: That would be like their social time, if they worked on sanething together? A: 'Ihey'd have quilting bees, they called than. \ell, all the 'W:>rk was done as a neighbor project, you knOW", they worked together. Q: Did your grandmother ever make soap? A: Ch yes! Q: Did she make candles? A: I don't renember seeing any candle m:>lds, but the soap, they'd take the ashes fran the fire place in ~t they called an ash hopper outside the rouse a ways, and it was a V-shaped conta:iner like a bin and the bottan had a trench. 'Ib.ey'd put the ashes in there during the winter. Then in the spring, as the rains came, they'd carry water and put on it and v.hat C<m! out of that vas pure lye at the bottan in this, through this V-shaped trench. And they'd save that. That is what they made soap out of. Q: t-hat else did they use beside lye to make soap? A: I don't remember anything. Q: Did you have to have sane grease? A: Ch yes, definitely, you had to have grease and lye. Q: And then did they have to heat these in a big kettle or anything like that? A: They cooked it in like a lard kettle. You seen a lard kettle? Q: No, I haven't. Are they great big black wrought iron kettles? A: Yes, that' s what they are, they usually are. Well, the ones we used for butchering 'W:>Uld be around forty gallon kettles, scxrething like that, and they'd cook the soap in those too. Put your lye and grease in there and get it hot and stand and stir and stir and stir and then, well I guess experience, they knew at what point it was ready to take it off, and then take it off and pour it into a m:>ld. And when it got cold then they'd just slice it up in cakes about like half a brick, sanething like that, that's what they used. Q: 'Ihey used that for their laundry and for doing dishes? A: Even washing your face, if you wanted soap. It was pretty strong. Q: How often during the year did they have to make soap, was that a -week thing? A: No, no, it depended on the size of the family. Bud tbckols 5 Q: And how fast the soap goes? A: Yes, and it wouldn't spoil. You could have it fran year to year. That wasn't a problem. Q: \<bat did they store this soap in mtil they needed it? A: In the srooke house. They had a srooke house where they kept the n:eat and the soap. Q: Did your grandtwther have to bake a lot of bread? A: She baked all of it, all the bread. Q: \<bat time of day did she have to get up? To get started? A: Oh, by daylight. Q: Did your grandfather go out on his farm early, did he have to milk the cows? A; <l1 yes, they had cows to milk and kids to get ready for school , you kn<M. And they had to walk to school fran where they lived. I expect they walked, the closest school house was at least three miles. So you can see they had to get up early to get that mmy kids ready for school. Q: About how much schooling did they have in those years? A: Through the eighth grade was about the extent of it, but the kids, the boys especially, w::>uld be taken out of school in the fall of the year to help with the crops, you know, to harvest the crops. And they may have to be out, oh well, at our school we had six months school, not nine UDilths, and they WJUJ.d probably be out a couple of lWil.ths. So, they wouldn't graduate fran the grade school tmtil they were twenty years old. Q: Oh, is that right? A: Yes, and we WJUJ.d be, we little kids ~d be in school with grown boys and it made it pretty rough on the little kids. Q: \ere you in a one-roan schoolhouse? A: Cbe-roan school, one-roan school. Q: You still remember the teachers? A: Well, a couple of them I do. Q: \ere they pretty strict? A Well, they had to be, otherwise the boys \\Uuld take over, as big as they were. I can remember they always sat in the back of the roan, you know. They had the seats graduated fran the front to the back and the little kids ~re all up here. And the big boys back there put a pin in Bud Nuckols 6 their shoe and cane down the aisle and kick sane kid in the shin and he'd squall and the teacher w:ruld cOOE out and try to find out Who it was. 'Ihey never w:>uld, they were pretty sharp those big kids. But it was an experience. Q: Gan you describe your schoolroan for TIE? Did you have a stove in the schoolroan that the teacher had to take care of? A: Ch yes, I was trying to canpare it to sane building around here. It was just sidewalls and a roof and finished inside. Q: \bat kind of desks did you have, or did you have desks? A: Yes, we had desks, we had desks. Q: Did you write with ink? A: Yes. Q: And inkwells? Dip the pigtails in the i.J:lkwalls? A: Yes, that's right. Q: Did the girls mstly have pigtails in those days? A: Not too many of them really, they had just reasonably long hair. It wa.sn' t short hair, but reasonably long and it was always a problem for them. Q: '!hey always w:>re dresses back in those days? A: Ch yes, with bloOOErs. Q: How did the boys dress? A: OVeralls, just like Rutkoski's wear up here, same thing, only sane of them were hi'Jl'eT!Bde out of, the winter clothes ~d be w:>ol, you knOW". 'Ihe trousers ~uld and the jackets too, they'd be made out of hanespun material. Q: Did you go barefoot m.J.ch? A: Q.lite a bit in the swmertime, but it wa.sn' t the best place in the w:>rld to do that, because there was a lot of little rocks in the ground, you knOW", and it wasn't easy to do, but you did, you knOW'. Q: W:lat w:~.s the terrain like there in GlasgOW", Kentucky? A: \Ell, we lived, like I say, we lived five miles out and it was very similiar to southern Illinois, rolling hills and timber and the fields "~Nere all small. A couple acres of tobacco w:ruld be a big crop down there. Bud Nuckols 7 Q: You grew tobacco? A: Ch yes, and maybe ten acres of corn or sarething like that. Your tobacco was your cash crop and your corn, what little corn you raised and 'What little vbeat you raised, you used the \tleat to eat really. You ground it up for flour and the corn you'd use it for livestock and for corn:neal. You just ~nt fran season to season like that. You didn't really have any cash crops to sell other than tobacco. Q: lbw long does it take to grow a crop of tobacco? A: Well, it's planted in the spring, I uean it's not planted, it is set out. Q: Vbat do you nean it's set out? A: They are plants like tanato plants. re'd always burn a space in the edge of the t:imber, pile logs and burn them, and then dig it up and plant it in the tobacco seed. You'd get the tobacco plants fran that. And you'd burn it so there w::ruldn' t be any \eeds in your tobacco bed. You'd cOlTer it with muslin cloth to keep the insects off them, and then when the plants got up to a good start, then you'd take that off and let the sun in. And you'd pull the plants W:len they ~re like three to four inches high. And you'd have your ground ready and you'd lay the ground off in rows like this, like we w::ruld to plant corn, and then you'd check it crossways and you'd put a plant Where the rows crossed. And you'd put your fertilizer there at that spot. Q: '1hi.s wa.s all done by hand? A: All done by hand. You drop the plants. There'd be a guy care behind you pushing the dirt arotmd them and another coming behind him watering the plants. All done by hand. Q: Back breaki.rlgY.Drk probably? A: Ch yes, it was hard ~rk, but real simple now because they have machines to drop the plants, press the dirt around them, and the machine has a tank of water on it and gives them a squirt and that's it. Q: And fertilizer at the sanE time, I guess? A: Yes, everything canes out of this machine. Q: So you could plant what probably took you a couple of \eeks in just a few hours or a day maybe? A: Yes, the patches are always small, because they're selected in places where the best soil is and now, at this time, you have an allotment, you can have only so many acres or so many tenths of an acre really. A Thu or three acre allot::n:ent ~uld be a pretty good size crop down there. Q: How about insects, were they a problem back in those days? Bud Nuckols 8 A: Not so nuch, the roost problan ~ bad with insects was the tobacco ~rm and you've seen that I'm sure on the tamto vines, a big green ~rm with horns on it. \E'd have to go through it and pluck those things off the tobacco. Q: You had to keep your eye on the crop then as it was growing? A: Ch yes. Well, you had to go through and take the suckers off too. You've seen those, I'm sure on the tana.to vine, a little sprout cane up by the leaf, you know. If you didn't take those off you'd have a poorer quality of tobacco, because it took strength away fran the growth of the leaves and the rest of the plant. There was ~rk to it right up to the t:i.n'e to harvest. Q: And men did you harvest the tobacco? A: Usually in August. Q: W:lat does it look like men it is ready to be harvested? A: It's about the color of that bush right out there, the leaves turned about that yellow. Q: And What size of leaf is this? A: Ch, leaves as big as that thing right there. Q: Oh, that's about fifteen inches long and about five or six inches wide? A: They'd be large at the bottan and as they ~nt up, the leaves' d get smaller just like a cone, you knew, it's the way it'd grow. Q: 'lhen after you gathered all those leaves, what did you do with them? A: Well, you don't gather the leaves, you cut the stalk. 1he top is already out of the plant. They top it, and then you take the knife and split the stalk dmn to Where you want to cut it off. Then you go this way and cut it off, and then you cut your stalk of tobacco and all the leaves on the stalk. Q: Then 'Ahat goes with that? IX>es that have to be hung up? A: Ch yes. In those days they had tobacco barns and they ~re just an open shed. They had rails through there that you'd hang these sticks of tobacco on. In the field, you'd go dCMJ. the reM and pick these stalks of tobacco and straddle than 0\ler a stick, tobacco stick they called it, and that's 'What you'd hang it on in the barn. You'd haul it in a flat bed wagon. Q: How many horses. did you have on your farm? A: About four dOWl there, but when~ came here, ~ used 24 nnles. See on a small farm you didn't need too many horses. Bud Nuckols 9 Q: You didn't '0\Urk them all at the same time? A: No, no, you didn't use four horse teams, unless you v.Jere pulling logs out of the timber or sanething like that, not for farm w:>rk. Q: Did your grandfather build that hc:n:e that you v.Jere talking about? A: Yes. The fireplace in the living roan was huge. It '0\Uuld take t'O\U mm to put the fire\tlOod in, if you wanted to fill it full. Q: How did your grandmother cook at this fireplace? A: She had a swinging thing you hung pots on. Vbat do you call those things? Q: \Ell, I don't know, it's like an arm, an extended arm fran the fireplace, wasn't it? A. Rotated in the fire and pulled it out, you know. Yes, she did a lot of cooking in there. Roasted chestnuts in the ashes under the front of the fireplace. Q: Are chestnuts anything like buckeyes? A: Just exactly alike. You ever seen one? Q: I've seen a buckeye, I've Y.JOndered if that A: You ever seen a chestnut? Q: .Buckeyes are very shine and A: BroYD. (shows a chestnut) Q: Very beautiful. A: They had a disease hit the chestnuts dc:Mn there about the same time VIE had the elm disease here. Killed every tree in the whole county. I DEB11 really, but they have been setting out plants in the last twenty years and that's off of one of those new trees. Q: Did they find any way to protect the trees fran disease? A: No, they still haven't, the new trees haven't developed the disease yet. So they're doing pretty good with it. Q: Well, that's very interesting, I guess I have never seen a chestnut before, but you hear Jolumy Mathis sing about roasting the chestnuts over the fire. Wis that a Christnas custan at your place? A: Ch yes, well anytime during the wintertime it was just a normal thing to do. Bud Nuckols Q: Did you pop popcorn? A: SUre. Q: Did you grow popcorn? A: Yes. Q: \-hat was Christmas like W:len you vere a boy on the fann? 10 A: Well, it lf.Bsn' t IIJJ.Ch different than it is today. Course ~ didn't have the electric lights on the trees. I'm not sure. Q: Did you bring a tree into the house? A: Yes. Q: String popcorn and cranberries? A: 'lbat's W.t you decorated with. Colored com, sa:tetines, after it was popped to make colors on the tree, but the only thing you had on the tree in the way of illumination ~s, it \«nlld have to be candles and you had to be very careful with those because you could burn the house down real easy. Q: Did you hang a stocking? A: Yes, on the mantel , always on the mantel in Kentucky. 'lhere -was a whole string of them with that many kids, you know, the grandkids and that many kids in the family. \<ben Christmas time came, there was a house full. Q: You knew most of your aunts and uncles? A: Ch yes. Q: Did they all settle in that area? A: We \ere the only ones that left out of the ~ole, out of the family of my dad's. Q: I suppose that upset his mother and dad pretty much that he was leaving to go to Illinois? A: Well, they v.lere, my granddad w:>uld have been :in his eighties at that time, and Tirf grandm:>ther was gone already Wen Vole cama out here. So I really dan' t know Yhat possessed Dad to want to cane to Illinois, because he had a farm dmn there. \e lived on it. An uncle of my DDther's had IDOITed out here to Taylorville and he had written sane real exciting views about how nice it was up here as CCIIIpared to Kentucky. You know it is all SIOOOth and level around here and farming is lots different. It was at that tine and still is, but he just decided all at once and "i.E got out here just· in time to start school in Septanber, and "i.E ~re satisfied and just stayed. Bud Nuckols Q: How old ~re you then? A: I was ten years old. Q: 'lhat was when you ~re at Tay !orville or here in Auburn? A: Taylorville, ~ IOOVed to Taylorville first. 11 Q: W:lere was the fann located in Auburn, the first fann that your father had? South of here? A: Yes. Q: 'lhat would be be~en Auburn and Thayer? A: You knc:M where Lloyd Ping lives, don't you? Ch the wast side of the road in the brick house as you go down the road here. 1he white house on the east side. That's where wa lived, always. Q: Did your father have that hane built? A: No, he CallE down here as a fann manager for Hay Brm-n that raised cattle at Tay !orville and he had a purebred herd down here and Dad came to take care of it. That's how~ happened to move dOWl. Q: was farming quite a bit different in Illinois than Kentucky? A: It was. Q: You can't raise tobacco here? A: I don't think so. Maybe a little bit in southern Illinois. I think there are small patches, but you don't have the quality of tobacco you do down there on account of the different type of soil. You couldn't raise good tobacco in black soil. It l.\UUldn' t have the color and it would be strong. Q: Bud, I haven't asked you about your DDther' s side of the family. Ib you r€!ll'I3Jlber your IIDther ' s IIDther and father? A: I remember my granclnother. My grandfather was killed in the Civil War. So at the age I was, I don't remember him at all. Q: W:lat state was he fran, your grandfather on your mother's side? A: I'm not sure. Q: Did he fight for the North or for the South? A: For the North. See, ~ would have been in central Kentucky. It was the dividing line, of course, even in that area there ~re families that the relation fought against each other depending on how they felt about the situation, but it happened and it happened in all the border states, you know, where there \\.'ere relations back and forth. It was just like Bud Nuckols 12 belo~ing to the clru.rch I guess, if you believe in one thing you are going to fight for it and that's the way they did. Q: So your grandfather was killed in the Civil war. How many children \ere in your mther 's family? A: 'Ihree, two boys and a gir 1. Q: You ra:nember your granchoother then on that side of the family? A: Cb yes. " Q: W:lat nationality was she? A: I just don't knOW", but to say Kentuckian. Q: '!hen you really don't reoenber any of your ancestors that came across fran the old country? A :ti:> , I YllOuldn' t . Q: Can you remember any stories that they might have told you about their ancestors? A: 'lhe only thing I remember about my grandroother' s father and mther Yiho lived close by there, my great grandfather vas killed in the war too, and wile he was in the war they had a tru.ge amcnmt of Confederate mney and she dug a hole out on the side of the bank of the creek there and buried that mney. Th.ey 1Alere pretty close to where they ~re raised of one kind or another, and one army to the other and she buried that mney and then men the war was over, it wasn't even YIJOrth digging up. It lost its value as soon as the war was over. But that's about all I ranember about that. Q: \Ell, if she 'NaB all alone, how did she make a living? A: She had a bunch of boys, a whole bunch of gr~ boys. You're talking about my great gran.dtoother nOW" and they tere grOWl men as I remember than. let's see, the war YIJOUl.d have been over 25 years at that time, 27. 'lhese boys all stayed around l'la:!le, lillere married, and lived in that area close by. Q: W:lat 1Alere their last ~s? A: Barber. Q: And your toother was a Barber also? A: She was a Matthews, my gran.dtoother married a Matthews. And my dad 1 s sister, he only had one sister that lived. (be of them died early with infantile paralysis, but the other sister married my nnther 1 s brother so we got a '\fbole flock of double cousins down there. Bud Nuckols 13 Q: Jl:> you still have family reunions down there? A: Yes, 'i.E had one just recently. Q: Did nnst of your cousins remain on the farm? A: No, they're pretty 'i.Ell scattered out. There was that many of them that live in that area that you see in that picture, but there is some in Indiana and scma in northern Illinois, scma in Missouri. You know they just kind of trickled out. Q: So actually, you are just about the only fanner that was there? A: 'lbat nnved out in this area. '!here are farners dmc there. Q: \-bat did your father look like, did he have a tmJStache? In sane of those little pictures you see, they have a kind of handlebar tmJStache. A: I don't think my dad ever had a nus tache at all that I ever remember. I had a little one one time, but it wasn't very productive so I wacked. it off. No, my dad was clean shaven, but my granddad had a full beard way dom like that, but Dad never did have a beard. Q: W:lat were ~ of the Sundays like, when you were a small boy? A: Well • . . Q: You still had to milk cows, I guess? A: \e had--I'm talking about when we lived up here--normally three hired tren, because all the work was done with teams and horses, you know. Q:> to Sunday School on Sunday nnrning, and afternoon the hired n:en, they didn't go to church, but usually they had their hair cutting on Sunday rwrning. They cut each other's hair out under the shade of a tree, something like that. '!hen they'd wrestle and play horse shoes and scmething like that. In the afternoon there really wasn't Illl.ch going on, it "WaS too OOt in the S'l.IIIIertime for DD.lch activity. No air conditioning, we just roughed it. Q: \bat was one of the things you did as a young boy that you enjoyed the nnst? Did you ever go lumting? A: Cb definitely, but I enjoyed the \'hole spectnm. Q: You had a good childhood? A: Ch yes, I really did and I did everything that any normal kid would do and followed that procedure up till ten years ago. I used to duck ln.mt and quail l:n.mt, pheasant hunt, goose hunt down in southern Illinois, go to the river fishing, just enjoyed all those things and really took part in them. Q: W:l.en you were a boy, did you have a pet? Bud tbckols 14 A: I had a dog. Q: W:tat WlS your dog's naoe? A: Pug. Q: was Pug a lumting clog? A: Yes, not the kind you'd--! would lumt opossum with him. Those t:\ol) girls and I v.uuld take a lantern and--we lived right on the edge of the wocx:ls--and we'd take that dog and !fO out through the ~ods hunting opossum and slwnks at night, you know. We d catch a opossu:n once in a While, but we didn't try to catch the skunk too nuch, but the dog ~uld tree them and you'd know they were there. Q: Did you have brothers and sisters, Bud? A: Those t:\ol). I've got tl.tl> sisters. Lilly, you know her, and Howard's wife, no brothers. Q: And you lived pretty far I guess fran any other farmhouse? A: You're talking about do~ there or here? Q: lrben you were a young boy? A: I w:ml.d say not m:>re than a half mile to the closest neighbor, no, I'm sure it ~dn't be any mre than that. 'Ihere ware several neighbors within a half a mile really like a circle or sanething like that, but all the farms were small so the houses were reasonably close together. Q: Did you have a celebration like after the harvest ever? A: tE did out here. Do~ there we had What they called a husking bee. See, we didn't slruck the com. tE pulled it off the stalk and left the slruck on it, dmn there, bring it into the crib, put it into the crib, and when the harvest was all in, then you'd have a sl:rucking bee, and a dance, the whole thing you know. '1he neighbors would all get around and shuck that corn and someplace along the line they'd slip in a red ear and Whoever found the red ear got to kiss any girl they wanted to at the party. And you'd go fran neighbor to neighbor and do that sort of thing. It 'VaS just a part of the social life. Q: W:la.t kind of mJSic did they have in those days for the dances? A: You WJU.ldn't believe it, everybody played but me. M:}r cousins were all, they even had a band, a dance band for local entertainment, you know, just my cousins, fiddles and guitars. Q: Did you have square dances? A. Ch yes, and party game dances. I'm sure you have never been to a party, r,ell like "Skip to My Lou" and all that stuff, that kind of a thing. It wasn't a dance, it was, I don't know how you describe that Bud Nuckols 15 function. You go around in a circle and go this way and that way, but it wasn't called square dancing. Q: It 'WaS like a "Virginia Reel" type of thing? A: Yes. And it was called party dancing, that's what they called it. But it was a lot of fun. We even had that out here in this neighborhood after \e moved doto.n here. I taught school dO'in there seven years at the schoolhouse back east of our place, and we'd have dances at the schoolhouse. Q: You taught school? Vbat did you teach? A: Eight grades. I had as high as 40 pupils in that schoolhouse. Q: You taught for seven years? A: t-ell, sane of the kids that I taught "tt.Uuld be Bob MacMurdo, Florence, Ilene, Gerald, he died you knCM, married to the Quisenberry girl. There was five of those kids in school when I taught. Q: t-ell, where was this schoolhouse? A: Well, fran our house, I'm talking about the -white house down there we lived in, it was just half a mile east, right across the farm. MacMurdos at that time lived here mere Jim lives. See they moved there right after the game farm closed and the kids -were all bom out here in this house *re Jim lives. It wa.s a little house at that time. Q: W:lat is the road sign dOlttll here? A: Seventeen south. Q: So your first farm was about one mile or one-fourth mile fran seventeen south? A: Half a mile, -well actually back to it \10Ul.d be three-quarters. Q: And this h.al2 you are talking about that M9.cMurdos lived in ~d be half way between sixteen south and seventeen south? A: Right, just in the middle. Q: en the Auburn Cematery road? A: Yes. Q: So ~t were sane of your duties as teacher in the little schoolhouse? A: Well, I taught all eight grades, and the duties v.uuld be to try to control the kids for one thing, '0\hich wa.sn' t any great problem with tre, because I got along real gooo with the kids and played with than all the tin£ and everything. I didn't have a problem with discipline. Bud Nuckols 16 Q: Did you have to choose the textbooks that they ~re to use? A: No, they cane fran the county office. I nean it 'W3.S determined up t~re. You bought your books locally, but the books and the curriculun w:>rk was sent out by the county superintendent of schools at that time, ~ich they don't do anynx>re. Q: \llat ~re the hours of the school day then? A: Nine to four. Q: Now you taught spelling, reading, writing and arithematic? A: The Whole bit. Q: lbw much science did you teach in those days? Or -was it even called science? A: No. Q: was it mre or less like nature? A: \e didn't have a nature book. Q: W:lat about geography? A: Ch yes, and physiology was strong on that, I remember that, and graiin9r. Q: lbw about history? A: Ch yes. We had the full line of books like they have today, only these ll!eren't anything like the ones ~ got now. I can pick up Stuart's algebra book and I can't tell heads or tails out of it. I was over at the other daughter 1 s a few ~eks ago, 'When we ~t to Kentucky, and I was looking at Chris 1 geanetry book and I -was lost in that thing. It's a different process altogether now, it's no canparison. And I don't know ~y, maybe it's a better deal. Seen to ne like it'd be hard for the kids to understand what they're doing with this kind of teaching. Because the basics aren't anything like they were in the old books. Q: It seems that they really have to absorb nnre mterial that is mre complicated and explicit than ~ used to have. A: It seem like so IIU.Ch of it's irrevelant to ~t your trying to teach. Maybe it's to teach them to think, I don't know. I don't understand it. Q: But back in our days they really taught you n:m'e about how to deal with the problems around you like a sewing problem, or papering a house, or building a cabinet, samthing of that nature? A: Basics, that's what they dealt in really. Bud Nuckols 17 Q: Things that you v.x>uld be encountering around you. A: It'd be sa:xething like if you ware going to a teclmical school now, and learning things Iike that you v.x>uldn' t get in your schools. But a lot of this school do...n here, there was one family of five kids, the Peliter family, you know Ora Searls, ~11 she was a Pel iter and her folks lived dow:1. there just east of the school. 'Ihen another son that had six kids lived over here in the timber where Gravits live and there was three boys and tWJ girls, maybe there 'iNB.s four boys, I'm not sure. But three of those boys became chemical engineers, out of my grade school down here. Junior went to the l.hiversity of Illinois, that's the oldest boy, and graduated in some kind of ceramic enigneering Fnd of Side <he, Tape Che Q: Bud, on side one \\1e ware talking about the Peliter family. You were describing the education sane of these boys got and you ware talking about Junior. Do you want to continue? A: Well, there ~re three of the boys, Junior, Loy and Maxie. They all three ~t to the university, tlfK> of them at Illinois and one dawn at Texas. I don't know the nan:e of the university he attended, but during their schooling or directly after, they ware out of school, they developed a paint, an autawbile paint, and sold the patent to General MJtors and they established a factory in South Chicago around Vheaton. 'lbat' s where they lived and they becaiiE fairly waalthy, really. 'lhey made a lot of money off of it. Junior is still up there and the other tlfK> boys I've lost track of. I really don't know what's happened to them. Q: Bud, I want to take you back to your early childhood days again, and I want to ask you about sooe of the things you can renenber. Tell me what were some of the things like during the fall of the year. What kind of things did you do as a boy in the fall? A: \ell, going to school would be the main thing that you lNOUld do. We had to walk about a mile and a half to the schoolhouse and through lNOOds. Q: Was this a hilly area? A: <ll yes! Definitely, and at that early age, I wasn't involved in any BIIIJUilt of the f~rk, you know, you'd just do what any other kid lNt'>uld do at. that age. Nothing that I can think of outstanding. Q: Did you go squirrel hunting? A: Ch yes, and the two girls and I, we did quite a bit of hunting because we lived right in the \IX>Ods, you know, and we'd go out at night with a lantem. Q: Ch, at nighttime? Bud Nuckols 18 A: lli yes, hunt opossu:n. That's when you trunt opossu:n. Q: Oh, how do you go about that? A: \ell, you take a dog and he' 11 pick up a track or a scent and you usually find than in a hollow log or a dead tree with a hollow in it. And you take a--if we found one like up in a tree, like that in a hollow place--we take a briar that grows dmill. there. They call a sawbriar. It's got little sharp teeth all around it and you cut off one of those vines and start twisting it up in a tree and you could pull an animal or a rabbit or anythlng out of a tree with that briar because it ~uld wind up their hair, you know, you could pull him out. Q: So you didn't need a gt.m for that? A: No. Q: You just brought than in alive? . A: 'Ibat's right. Q: Did you leam to dress these animals yourself? A: Not down there. Q: Your father took care of that or did your twther do any of that? A: If they wanted to save it: they Ynll.d, but we didn't eat it. You know a lot of people did eat opossu:n in those days, but we never did pay much attention to them. Q: Did you catch them nainly for their furs? A: Well, rmstly just for the sport, nothlng to sell or anything like that. They were a rruisance around the chicken house and places like that, you know, they'd eat chickens, really. So it liaS just a fun thing mre than anythlng. Q: Did you ever go nut lumting? You talked about chestnuts, did you pick them up in the fall? A. Yes, but we didn't have to go anyplace. They were right in the yard. Q: Oh, you had nut trees right there in the yard? A: Hickory, "ialnut and chestnuts were all right there, we didn't have to go anyplace. Q: Did the whole family sit around the table and pick the nuts out? A: Well, in the wintertine we Y.JOuld eat them, of course. You w:ruld gather around but the chestnuts, when the burr--they're fonned in a burr--and there'd be three or four nuts inside of a bJrr and usually if they're ripe when they hit the ground, they shatter out. So all you got to do is pick them up. Bud Nuckols 19 Q: Otherwise do you have to use a hannrar to get the burr off of the nuts? A: If it would be a green one, yes, but mst of them that fall off the tree are ripe. They just pop open. Q: \hat other kind of trees did you have on your farm? Did you have any kind of fruit trees? A: <h yes, we had orchard trees : apples , peaches , pl tiiiS • Q: Did you ever eat a persin:m:>n? A: <h yes, we had persimnons. They were all over the place. Q: Did you ever eat one that wasn't quite ripe? A: Not if I knew it. (laughs) Q: Did your oother and the girls put up preserves? A: \ell, my toother did. Course the girls ~ren't old enough to take UDJCh part in it at the t:ine d~ there. Q: But you v.Jent out to gather the fruits? A: Ch yes, she took care of that. Q: W:lat was 'lhanksgiving Day like in your family? Did the grandparents c~? A: \ell, normally 'iNe'd go there. It'd be like a reunion thing, you know, and if sOil'ething happened that W! didn't, 'iNe'd have just a normal 'lhanksgiving like you would here, turkey and the Whole bit. Q: How far away did your grandparents live fran your hOilE? A: Not mre than a mile. Q: You could see than often? A: Yes. Q: Did you have ~lls for your water W:len you lollere a kid or did you get your water fran a spring? A: We d.idn' t have one early. Wlen TNe built the new house, we dug a well. It wasn't too dependable, really, because there was so IIUCh linestone in the area that it was pretty hard to dig through to get to the water, but W! had a spring house probably the distance fran here to that Miller muse down there and we carried the milk and the butter down there. ve had a spring house and the water fl~ through there and you put the milk and butter in there and then go back and get it before another IIEal . Bud Nuckols Q: How did your IIDther make butter? A: With a churn. Q: Ch, you had a w:>oden clrum? A: Yes. Q: · Did you kids take turns helping to clrurn that? A: Ch yes, it tvas kind of fun. Q: I:bw long does it take to make butter? 20 A: Oh, it depends on the temperature of the cream that you put in it. The crean has to be, ~11, it has to be sour cream. The cream sours and then the temperature of it, if it's too hot, it will be nmny, you know, and won't gather in the churn and what you'd have to do is take the lid off and drain the buttermilk out, take the lid off and put cold water in it and turn it sooe mre. '!hen the butter would all gather up and you'd have a cane of butter. Q: Did you drink buttennilk? A: Ch yes. Q: And your nnther used it for baking? A: Yes. Q: Probably never wasted anything like that? A: No, you used everything and about everything you used -was on the farm. You dido' t go to town for very many things, mostly sugar. OJ.tside of that, everything, practically everything, the IIEB.t and everything was butchered on the farm and stored, not tDJch beef. Q: You had like a SIIDkehouse? A: Ch yes, and you could put maa.t d<Ml. in different ways. Sanetimes ~·d SIIDke it and sooetinEs ~·d put it dow:t a big w:>Oden box, put dow:1 a layer of salt, a layer of ~at, a layer of salt, a layer of meat, and it w::ruld keep that way. Q: Did you have people cane in to do the butchering, or was that sort of a big thing in that area? A: Well, it wasn't as big down there as it -was after we came out here, because the neighbors ~e farther apart and they dido' t butcher as many. :t-bstly hogs was what we butchered down there and up here too. We hardly, very seldan ever had beef because there was no -way to keep it. You didn't have refrigeration and you can't salt it down. Bud Nuckols 21 Q: Ch you can't, it's just too salty to eat? A: It soaks into it and it's so salty you can't eat it, but I guess the old timers had a method of drying it sanehow. Q: Is that where beef jerky cates fran? A: That's ~ere jerky cOOJes fran, dried beef and it v.x::m't spoil. tell, you've seen it in the mvies and on television where they reach in their saddlebag and get a strip of jeky and chanp on it. 'Tilat 'lf.Uuld keep them alive. I don't imagine it was very nourishing. Q: 'Ihey still sell beef jerky in the store. A: Ch yes, I've seen that. Q: The kids like it. A: It's not too bad. Q: ~t were sane of the things that your mther fixed for you when you were a kid? A: vell, I think I enjoyed pancakes and maple syrup as IIJJ.Ch as anything. 'Ihat maple syrup, I've always loved it and sausage. Q: Did you tap for the syrup yourself? A: Yes. Q: At \tlat t:ime of the year? A: Usually February, it don't have to be February, but~ the sap starts up in the tree. See the sap all goes to the roots in the wintert:inE and when it starts to thaw in the--course the tree freezes and when it thaws out in the early spring--the sap starts to care up to the leaves and you can tap it and get the water. Q: How tmJ.Ch syrup do you get fran one tree, say for instance? A It takes a hell of a lot. It takes forty gallons of sugar water, that's what we call What comes out of the tree, to make a quart of syrup. Q: Now you don't kill the tree, do you? A: No, it doesn't hurt the tree at all. Q: Can you tap that same tree again next year? A: Ch yes. In fact all the way around or up and dCMl. and it doesn't affect the tree. Q: So it takes forty gallons of sugar water? Bud Nuckols 22 A: To make a quart of syrup. Q: You talked the other day about sorghum. How is sorghum different fran the uaple syrup? Is it a different kind of tree? A: No, it's a plant like a cornstalk or something like that. Q: Is it grown especially for sorghun or is it sort of wild? A: No, it's a sorghum cane like sugarcane ~d be in the south. This is a sorglrum. cane and like I said there's tv.u varieties, one is for black strap oolasses and the other one is for edible food. Q: And you can tell the difference by looking at it? A.: \ell, you raise it. W:latever kind you want. Plant the seed just like you v.uuld, well, it grows on the head and the top has, heads out, and has like a cone on the top and that seed you cook that off, you know, and save whatever anxrunt you want. Q: It has a lot of seed? A: Cb yes. Q: lJ.ke a sunflO'tNer? A: tell, only it isn't like a sunflO'tNer. It's more like the, you've seen this elderberry thing growing along the road that's got that cone shaped thing on it in the fall of the year, there's a lot of them around here. And it's the sBIIe type of thing like that. It could be sumac or, well, it would be su:na.c that has that. I' 11 show you one when we get ready to leave, but that's the way cane 'i«>uld grow with that seed in the top of it. Q: So one of your favorite things was pancakes and maple syrup? A: Yes, I loved that. Q: Did your oother ever make hooenade candy for the kids? A: Cb sure, Christma.st:ine we always had it. Q: ~scribe '«hat Christmastime was like 'When you were a young boy. A: Well, it ws pretty Dl.lCh the sBIIe as it would be out here except we didn't have the gifts the kids have now days, of course. Q: But yru lmng a stocking? A: lbng a stocking. Maybe you'd have an apple or stick of peppermint candy, things like that, or if you needed clothes, or llibatever, that would be there too. It wasn't as extensive as out here. i I Bud Nuckols 23 Q: Did you make gifts for each other? Did you make little hanema.de type gifts for each other? A: SalE little things at school ~ul.d be about it. Q: Did your parents teach you that there was a Santa Claus? Did they talk about that? A: Ch yes, and we all believed in it. Q: Did you have a best friend vthen you were a little boy? A: 1-bt especially. No, I had a lot of cousins around and ~ played together and in school too, but. not one in particular. Q: W:la.t was one of your favorite seasons? A: I think fall of the year dom there is beautiful. Q: Since it was hilly, did you do sane sleigh riding and sledding in the winter? A: ve had sleds, but we didn't have sleighs, you know the horse-drawn sleds. Course you could take the whole family on that, bundle the hay on it or straw or sanething, you could all go along on the sled. ve never did have a sleigh that I can remanber. Q: Did you ever take a sleigh ride? A: Yes, my neighbor over here used to have one. Q: That lD.lSt of been nice men it was quiet, and there was a big mxm. A: It was .kind of ranantic, I guess. Course the sleigh you pulled with one horse and the sled you had to have two horses because they were quite a bit bigger. Q: So you kids in the winter, you did a lot of sledding and did you do any ice skating? A: Not down there, because there wasn't any water close enough. ve did in Christian County and ~ did dQTNil here on Sugar Creek, but earlier, no, we didn't. Q: Did you build snc:JW~~En and make forts? A: Ch yes, we did everything that everybody else, all other kids did. Q: In the SliJIIert:ime, did you have--you said you ~ren't too close to any \titer, but did you do any swimning in a swimning hole? A: The only water we had nearby was the branch that we put the milk and everything else in and it Y.Bsn' t deep enough to swim in. Q: You just waded around? Bud Nuckols 24 A: Yes, 'INe' d play in it, but there -was a river I guess two or three miles away, and I rema:nber a couple of t:ines ~ ~t swimning there with my dad and my uncle and we'd go there fishing quite often, usually on Saturday afternoon. Q: Did you love to fish? A: Ch yes, I always have. Q: Did your family eat lots of fish? A: No, we didn't fish that nuch, but they 'WOUld eat fish anyt:ine we had it. EVerybody was too busy to fool around fishing, you know. Q: You had quite a few chores then? A: Well , yes. Q: Vhat -were sane of your chores? A: Well, just take care of the livestock, really. That ~uld be chickens, whatever animals you had aratm.d, you know. Q: Did your m:>ther ever make heme remedies for illnesses 7 A: Goose grease -was the only thing I can think of. Q: Goose grease, ~t -was that used for? A: Sore throats, congestion in your chest. Goose grease and turpentine mixed together. Q: Did you ever hear _of asafetida? A: We had it. You carry that around your neck. Q: I had never heard of that, but Howard and Marie both said they used it. A: Yes, that was an old time remedy. Q: How did it smell? A: Terriblel You put it in a little sack and tie it around your neck. Q: Bud, can you remember the first tiae you ever had a radio? A: I'm not so sure, it WJUldn't have been after we were married, but lll1hen we first got married. Q: You didn't have a radio \\hen you were a youngster? A: I don't think so. I had a player piano. The folks bought ne a player piano and thought that -would keep ne hane on Saturday nights, you Bud Nuckols 25 know. 'Ihe first night it was delivered down there, 'Nell, I played on it a little bit and got up and vent to tovn and my mther thought that wasn't too good. Q: Did you play a piano? A: tb, I played player pianos that's about all. No, I used to thu:np around on a banjo a little, but I never did play any music. Q: W:lat was the closest big town to mere you lived down there? A: I:lcM1. there, well Bowling Green 'Vi.UUld have been the closest tOWl. of any size. Q: Ib you ever remember taking trips into Bowling Green? A: No, I never did, but my sister did. 'Ihey had--around Bowling Green-str~ rry patches and they raised them, like camercially, you know, and they'd have kids cooe fran different areas to pick strawberries and one t:i.DE she went, as a group to harvest strawberries. But no, I never tEnt over there for anything. Q: So the closest town you lEnt to was Glasgow? A: Yes, that '\\B.S about five miles. Bowling Green '\\B.S about fifteen, maybe twenty miles fran Glasgow. Q: \bat was Glasgow like back in your day? A: tell, I thought it was a great big town. I "NNuld guess then probably five thousand. I think it's about eighteen thousand n.c:M. It's a real busy town ru::M. Q: Did you look forward to going into town? A: Ch yes, that li6S a treat.~ Q: W:lat did the stores look like in those days? A: About the sane as they do n<M. You 'Vi.UUld have a variety of things, everything that you do now, but . . . Q: But you'd have- open pickle barrels? A: And cracker barrels. 'lbey lNere just sitting there. You ~d help yourself. Q: Did they have a potbelly stove that people sat aroond and chatted? A: Yes, that's the only heat in the stores that I rEm31lber, and I'm thinking about country stores now, but there was no fireplaces in those stores. I'm sure there wasn't, but how they heated the stores in tOWl, like in Glasgow, I don't know, really. 'Ihey may have had sane heating systa:n for the town, I don't know. Bud Nuckols 26 Q: Did they have materials there were your mther could get sane ma.tetial to make clothes? A: Ch yes, and then besides that, you had wagons that c.:me around through the country delivering, yru kr:low, selling. Q: And I bet they had everything on them? A: They'd sell groceries, everything, the whole bit, patent n:edic:ine. But they'd cane around, maybe they'd hit your area once a mnth, sanething like that. 'Ihey covered large territories, you know. Q: Did you have a teacher that influenced your life? A: I doubt it very much. Q: 'lhere wasn't any one particular teacher that you admired especially? A: No, I didn't find any fault with any of than, really. You're talking about younger. Q: \Ell, just during your school days. A: No, I don't think so. Q: \Ell, mat did you think Wen your parents decided to tDJVe fran that area that yoo grew up in? A: Really didn't know or realize. G:>ing to Illinois was like going across the ~rld to a kid my age, and really didn't think too nuch about it. \e just knew we was going. \e rode into town in a wagon. 'Ihen the first car I ever rode in, they had a--the station was I guess a mile fran downt<Ml--and we rode to the station in an open car, didn't have a top on it, and that was quite a thrill. First car I'd ever ridden in. But it was like a taxi "WOUld be, well it was really, but it took passengers to the railroad and brought than back. Q: Did you take all your belongings with you or did you have to have sare of them shipped? A: 'lbey were shipped. 'Ihat had already been taken care of. Q: Your father had already found a place? A: <h yes. Q: So TJilat ~ your new hellE like then? Were you on a farm? A: Yes, and it wa.s just an ordinary farnhane, tvx> story, lots of roan, big roaDS. Q: 'Ihis was in Taylorville, Illinois? Bud Nuckols 27 A: No, it was in the country. ve lived in the country. Q: But outside of Taylorville? A: Be~en Taylorville and Sharpsburg. Sharpsburg's about say ten, fifteen miles north of Taylorville, next to Fdinburg. Q: W:lere did you go to school? A: Sharps 'i.IBB the nane of the school. Q: was that a one-roan schoolhouse also? A: Yes. And TNe had, I guess, the teacher had about every grade. I'm alm:>st sure, I don't ranember T.\hen there w:>uldn't have been all eight grades :in that school. Q: \Ent to eight grades and What grade -were you in at the time that you IDJVed? A: \+ben I ooved out there to that school, I would have been in the fifth grade. We were there three years and I 'i.IBB in the eighth grade When I came down here. Q: Wla.t kind of games did the kids play during recess? A: Oh, depending on the \1JE'.ather, course i£ there va.s snow on, they played ..• oh they had that ring, you know, ~t did they call it? Solie kind of a goose thing they called it. There was a ditch close to the school, maybe like this one down here, and we'd all go down there and skate during noon hour and then as soon as school was out -we'd head for l'laiE. But down in Kentucky, we had a marble yard and marbles was the great thing in those days, you know, and it was a prepared yard, like you would be right out there. It was SIOOOthed off, there was no grass or anything on it, just clay, and we'd play a lot of marbles. <he day you'd have a sack full and the next day you'd lose than all.· (laughs) Q: Did you have any close friends during that tine? A: I don't think especially. I don't ranember. Q: 'lhis COI.Ultry WiS rather flat canpared to your Kentucky hare? A: Ch yes, that's probably the big change in the farming operation fran \4hat it was dCMl there. Everything dOW'l there was one and 0«> horse operation, and 'We came out here, was four and six and like that you know-, becauae you pulled larger tools and w:>rked unre ground. So you had to have UDre livestock. Q: About how long did it take to put in a crop? A: J:lcM1 there? ··-··--·-·-------------------------------~ ____!____ ··-- Bud Nuckols 28 Q: No, in Taylorville area. A: Qrl.te a mile, but ~ always managed to get it done. I thought a lot of tinBs this farm dow:1 there ~re Jim farms, there liiiBS another 160 that was with that when ~ m:>Ved down here and ~ farmed all that with trules and horses, mstly nules. And I don't ever ra:nember not getting a crop in, :in the spring of the year and mst of the v.urk was done in the spring of the year. Rather than like now, they plow it all up in the fall you know. They didn't practice that in those days. 'Ihe only thing they plow in the fall would be the sod ground. It worked better in the spring if it -was plc::Med in the fall , but the rest of it, we had 24 mules that we would put in the field in the spring of the year, and with decent 'Weather, we managed to get the crop in the whole thing and that's about all you do ncM even with the big tractors and all that you know. Course, you didn't go to the country club and drink coffee all the time. Q: But besides putting the crop in, you still had animals to care for, is that correct? A: Ch yes. Q: Did you still have the chickens? You gathered eggs? A: 1be whole bit. Q: Did you have a garden outside your house? A: A big one. Q: So it took probably fran daylight till dark? A: Well, close to it. \e would always get up, start early in the 100rning, but we always quit at six o'clock at night. \e always did and we always took an hour off at noon. And that was a Ca:IIIDn practice. 'Ihere was sane that \\UIJJ.d \<IJOrk longer hours than that, but you had to be pressed for time if you did. Q: lbw old were you when you m:>Ved to Auburn? A: Fourteen. Q: You lere fourteen. You were in high school, then probably? A: No. Q: G:>ing into high school? A: Yes. Q: Wis the new high school built at that time? A: Yes, that school~i~~Bs opened in 1916, wasn't it? wasn't that the date that was on the front of that building? I guess the year before the kids ~e going to Paw:1ee and sOOE of then to <llathan to school. And then Bud Nuckols 29 '\4ihen this school was opened, Paw:1ee didn't cane, rut all the kids fran Chathan caue to Auburn and all the Thayer kids went to Auburn to high school. Q: It 'WaS like a consolidated school? A: Yes, but it wasn't, it was a tOWlShip high school. Q: <ll, a township? A: Yes, but Olatham was out of the township, but still those kids cane fran Olatham.. lbey carre on interurban [train] . Q: Did they have to pay tuition? A: No, because you didn't have the distributive fund then, issued by the state that supported your schools. There was local taxation. Q: So then you are entering a new area and a new school and it certainly wasn't anything like that one-roan school house you ~e in. Vba.t were sane of your feelings about going to a big school with a lot of kids? A: vell' it didn It bother rre and I don It think it bothered 11DSt kids fran the country. Q: I:bw did you get back and forth fran school? A: Buggy, horse and buggy. I never did ride a horse to school. Q: Did you ever ride a horse? A: <l1 yes, I had to ride a horse, but I never rode to school. And a rn.mi>er of tiDes, I 'd say a lot of tiDes, I walked across the field and catch the. interurban over there, just a half mile across to the interurban, and all the Tilayer kids 10«Jtll.d be on the interurban going to school. So it wasn't any problem, really. You get an interurban, they drove through there about every half hour in those days and if it was night, all you had to do was light a match and they'd stop for you. Q: Is that right? A: Ch yes. Q: \ell, is this more like a little streetcar or train that ~·re talking about? A: \ell, doo' t you know the interurban that was right over here? Q: Well, I do rem:mber the tracks, rut ~t I re:IIf!Dber was freight cars. A: Wltll, this was an electric car like a streetcar. It run all the way fran St. lDuis to Champaign and north to Peoria. Bud Nuckols 30 Q: So it would just stop wherever anyone needed a ride? A: Ch yes, and they stopped at the crossing. You'd take your milk over there and put it on a stand there. Put your milk on there. !hey' d stop and pick up your milk. It l.6S good service really •1 Q: 'lbey take it to the market for you? A: To Springfield to the dairy. Q: 'Ihen all the famers brought their milk to the interurban and they stopped and picked that up, and What did you have, a label on it, on the milk can? A: You had a Ill1IIber on it and your I:1aD:! on the can. Q: lhey could keep track? A: Sure, then in later years a truck w:>uld cane by your house and pick it up and take it into Springfield or sanetin:es sane of the trucks went to LitChfield to the creamery d(1N[l there, but after that, there was very little milk taken to the interurban, you knOW", to be taken in. Q: Did you have time to participate in any of the sports in school? A: I played football and basketball. Q: Did they play against other towns? A: Ch yes, lot mre than they do now. \e used to go to Lincoln, Pana, Taylorville, Carlinville, Gillespie, Pittsfield, as far over as Pittsfield, and the schedule Yns longer than it is now. \e always played till 'Ihanksgiving, had games scheduled till Thanksgiving. Q: I'll bet sooe of those ga:res you had snow maybe and sleet? A: Ch yes, the ground \<WOUld be froze bard. ve always played waverly on 'lhanksgiving Day, either there or here. Q: How did you travel then? A: Iepending an how far we was going, like ~ \\ent to Pana, we had a couple of kids in school that had old M:xiel T Fords and we'd try to make it there in them, if they run that far. (laughs) It was quite a problem. Take a can or sack of corn neal along in case the radiator started leaking, we'd pour corn neal in it, "Water it up again, and go on. But like if we \t.lere going no father than Divernon, we'd go in a carriage. Q: How many could go in a carriage? A: Six, it'd crowd you, but you could put six in it. Course, you had to have the unifonns and that took up sane roan. Six was all you could get in a carriage. Bud Nuckols 31 Q: \tlat kind of social activities did they have? You ever have a school dance? A: \ell, yes and no, there was sane objection to dancing in the school at that t:ima. Helen, they didn't dance I1llCh in the school, did they? It really wasn't a c.ooroon practice. If you went to a dance, well they had a dance hall up over the restaurant on the liolest side of the square, over the old restaurant there on the west side of the square in Auburn. Then, of course, Irvin Park was out there then and there were dances out there all the time, weren't many kids that went out there. Q: You were a kid when Irvin Park was out there? A: Yes. Q: Can you reme:nber anything about it? Where was it located? A: Well, you kn.c:M l+ilere Ul.erry Grove School was? Well, you know where Panther Creek M:i.ne is? You don't know much, do you? Q: You have to realize that I'm fran Missouri. You have to show me all these things. A: G:> out on Route 104 to, I'm sure you know ~ere the Studebaker farm is out there. Well, there's a schoolhouse made into a house that sits right there. Well, Irvin Park was down east to the railroad and back to the left. It was in a WJOds there and it was just a dance pavilion and then later on they bad a, on north of that they had a swimni.ng area. It was a pond, is What it was. 'lhey had bath. houses and that sort of thing. Q: You could go out there for a picnic, if you wanted to? A: Ch yes, and they did allow its use for that purpose. Q: Did people cane fran all around? A: Every place, there were no restrictions. Q: Did they hire bands? A: SUre, and the pool •s used a lot. 'lb.ey cane fran all over for that, because it '4BS, you 'kn.ow, just wasn't sanething that you find everyplace and I don't suppose now a days you could operate it, because no filters, nothing li,ke that, you 'kn.ow, just jttrp in the water, that was it. 'lhey did put a lot of sand and gravel out in an area you know, before the pond was filled. Q: \ell, doesn't Virden have sort of a pond like that right now where kids swiol? A: Yes, but that was a mine watering. Q: But they did allow that. Bud Nuckols 32 A: Yes, they swam out there, didn't they? 'lb.en they got a new pool , haven't they? Q: \ell, I think so, I don't know where it is. A: It's in the west end of tom out in the ~st park. Q: So, did you graduate fran Auburn High School? A: Yes. Q: In vtlat year? A: 1922. Q: About haw old were you then? A: Eighteen, I guess . Q: So 1922, World war I was already over? A: It r,;as over. Q: But can you remember anything at all about Vbrld war I? A: \ell, nothing in particular only that you just knew that it was going on and all the young people around ~re being drafted and going into the service and • • • Q: Did you have any friends that were in the service or did you have any relatives? A: No, I didn't have any friends my age that wruld have been in, because they ~dn't have been old enough, but it took all of our hired IIEn, I know that. And wa had to hire different help. 'lhen when the war was over, they cane back and '\Ellt to w:>rk again for us. Q: I understand that during that time there Y.BS a terrible flu epidemic, do you remember anything about that? A: 'Iha.t was in 1918, I guess. I think it was. Everybody at our house had it but IIE, I reoenber that, and had it bad. And I Y.Bs trapping in the winter and catching a lot of skunks, and the doctor told IIE that was the reason I didn't ~et it, because that scent of the skunk on liE. (laughs) But I didn t have the flu. 'lhe rest of the family did. Q: But people did die fran that epidemic during that time? A: Ch heavens yes, many, many, many people did. I guess that was w:>rse than any flu they've had since that time, course now they can vaccinate for it mich they couldn't do then or didn't do. Q: W:la.t was Auburn like during your high school days, can you remember? Did they have big fish frys then? Bud 'Nuckols 33 A: \tell, on the Fourth of July and l.a.bor Day they w;,uld have and after I got out of school, mile I lr.BS on the fire district board for fourteen years, and we had fish frys to raise IIDney enough to buy a fire engine. Q: W:1en did you first go on the fire district? A: I was one of the organizers. Q: You were an organizer. can you tell t1'e about sane of the things that you did then? llbit lr.BB the fire departm.:m.t like up to that point? A: Pretty near zero. I can remember my dad had a roof fire out there ahead of this time and they had a M::xlel T that had a pumper on it and it started rut to the fire and got to the yard fence and died and never did get it started. We put the roof fire out by carrying water up on ladders and pour~ it on the house. 'Dle old pump just gave out, the old Ford did. That s the kind of service we had at that t:i.DE, but men we organized the fire district, we had all these different functions, and we had a very low tax rate assessment, but we raised m:ney fran the district to buy a fire engine. I don 1 t remember ~t it cost now, not too nu.ch. I 1 d say less than five thousand dollars. And later on we got a tanker that would take water like to the country. If you went to a country fire, you could take a thousand gallons of water with you in case the well lEilt dry or sauething. Q: \oho else was with you on the first org~ing cann:i.ttee? A: Well, Fred Harms, Fred Hanns and Fstle Slru.tt and I were the first fire D811ber district. We were the organizers of the district. OUr attorney was Clifford Blunk fran Springfield. He w:is fomerly of Virden. He YS.s an attorney down there for a mile, but he handled all of our legal problems. You know it lr.BB really quite a problan to organize a fire district because, well, it w:~.s like~ I was president of the high school board \ttlen we organized the unit district. That ~ another proolem, because people, getting people in the country accustaned to the idea of riding a bus and having all the kids transported to tOW'l, you know, you had a lot of resentment, but we w:>rked on it. Q: Hc.M old were you then, Bud? A: I was out of school. I think we organized the fire district in 1946, I believe. I think I 1 ve got a plaque in there that they gave t1'e for being on the district for so long, and I think it was given to me in 1965. Q: You 1ere very busy, then. You were on the school board and you ¥Jere also trying to organize a fire district? A: \ell, by the t:ime ~ had the unit district cane along we were, we had this pretty ~u Set t1p • \oe ~ren It having any problems with that' but just ahead of that, I was assessor for seven years too in Auburn township. I always found sOOEthing to do Whether it atiDUilted to anything or not. Q: And at the same t:ime you ~re farming? Bud l.'bckols 34 A: Sure. Q: let's go back to getting this new fire truck. Wlat ...were sane of the first things you had to do? Did you incorporate saiE help? A: To buy it ¥~Je had camdttees. Q: Yru evidently got several people to join in on this project? A: lbgh McGill ~s one of the main ones that really TAent forward with the IOOVEm:mt. In fact, he donated noo.ey out of his pocket toward the purchase of that engine. Q: And who is lilgh McGill? What did he do here in Auburn? A: Well, he retired here. He was a formar senator, state senator. Fnd. of Side Two, Tape cne Q: Bud, you ~re telling me about Hugh McGill. You said that he was a formar state senator and also a teacher, you thought. A: Yes. Q: \oben did he cane to Auburn? A: vell, he came after he retired. I didn't kn.cM" him in his early life, he wa.s at retira:xent age ~he can:e to Auburn. He was raised in Auburn, in the Auburn area and the McGills CMned a farm nortll...vest of Auburn. That's where ~ lived all those years. Q: So he helped with the organizing of this fire district? A: And the library. Q: And the library. A: Yes, he was real interested in both of them. Q: So, what ~re SOOE of the first things you had to do before you could get your fire truck? A: You had to raise the liDilBY. Q: Ckay, so ~t were BaDe of the things you did to raise the money? · A: Many, mmy different things. Anything that ~d make a little money, we tried it. We had fish fries and chicken fries and on holidays, like Fourth of July or Labor Day, we'd have picnics and served the whole bit, you knew.
|Title||Nuckols, James Ray 'Bud' - Interview and Memoir|
Farms and Farming
|Description||Nuckols, resident of Auburn, Illinois, discusses early to mid 20th century life in Auburn: family and schools, teaching, prohibition, transportation and businesses. Also discusses farm life: farming techniques and problems, tractors, cattle, electrification and television.|
|Creator||Nuckols, James Ray "Bud" (1903-1989)|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Marshall, Shirley [interviewer]|
|Digital Format||PDF; MP3|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Title||James Ray 'Bud' Nuckols Memoir - Part 1|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
University of Illinois at Springfield
Norris L. Brookens Library
James Ray “Bud” Nuckols Memoir
N883. Nuckols, James Ray “Bud” (1903-1989)
Interview and memoir
3 tapes, 270 mins., 93 pp.
Nuckols, resident of Auburn, Illinois, discusses early to mid 20th century life in Auburn:
family and schools, teaching, prohibition, transportation and businesses. Also discusses
farm life: farming techniques and problems, tractors, cattle, electrification and television.
Interview by Shirley Marshall, 1980
See collateral file
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1980, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
Helen and Bud Nuckols
Family Background •
M.:>ther' s Relatives.
O:lildhood Days •
1-twing to Illinois .
High School •
'lbe First Fire District
Hign SChool Graduation.
Experiences as a Teacher.
Table of Contents
Bootlegging and Gangsters
Streets and Parks of Auburn .
Cars and Filling Stations
World War II.
Farming • •
'lbe FAA and the Farm Bureau •
'1his manuscript is the product of a tape recorded interview conducted by
Shirley Marshall for the Oral History Office in Novanber of 1980. Shirley
Marshall transcribed and edited the transcript. Mr. Nuckols revie~ the
Ray (Bud) Nuchols has lived in Auburn roost of his life. 'lhis tape is an
accaunt of his recollections and perceptions of the growth and history of
Auburn. This interview ms cooducted in his bane mich is across fran
the. FdgelAOOd Colmtry Club.
Shirley Marshall is public librarian in Auburn and is beginning a
collection of Oral History of AubJrn to be housed in the Auburn Public
Readers of the oral history IIBOOir should bear in mind that it is a
transcript of the spoken lll>rd, and that the intervi~r, narrator and
editor sought to preserve the informal, conversational style that is
inherent in such historical sources. Sanga:non State T.hiversity is not
responsible for the factual accuracy of the DellOir, nor for views
expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge.
The m:.muscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be
reproduced in whole or in part by any Jl.'S8ns, electronic or nechanical,
witb:rut pemdssion in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sangamon
State Uhiversity, Springfield, Illinois, 62708.
Bud Nuckols, November 1980, Auburn, Illinois.
Shirley Marshall , Interviewer.
Q: Can you tell xre Thhen and where you were born, Ray?
A: Glasgow, Kentucky.
Q: Ch ~t date?
A: February 16, 1903.
Q: Can you tell rre sanething about your parents?
A: 'lhey were fanrers my folks were, and they lived in Glasgow and owned
a fa:rm. In 1916 we m::wed to Auburn, but prior to that we moved fran
Glasgow to Taylorville. t..e lived over there, I guess, three years, then
c.:ma down here.
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|