Cliffie Smith Patterson Memoir - Part 1
|Previous||1 of 6||Next|
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large ( > 500x500)
University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L. Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections Cliffie Smith Patterson Memoir P277. Patterson, Cliffie (1895-1993) Interview and memoir 3 tapes, 270 mins., 90 pp. Patterson, school teacher, recalls rural early 20th century rural life, family, education, country schools, farming, LaClede County, Missouri and Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. Also recalls teaching, her children's education and changes in her life over the years. Interview by Jean Hauffe, 1984 OPEN See collateral file Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1984, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Cliffie Smith Patterson's brother Sgt. E. H. Smith. He served in World War I in France as a machine gunner. Family Background Education . Cliffie Patterson's Husband Farm Life Family Background Childhood School Teachers Farm in Illinois. Sewing. Farm Life Genealogy • Enterta.i.:t'lmmt Traveling • Disasters Table of Contents Cliffie Patterson's Children. Activities. Cliffie Patterson's Brother Senior Citizens Group 1 5 7 .10 .12 .24 .29 .34 .39 .51 .59 .67 .69 .71 .74 .80 .82 .84 I Preface This manuscript is a product of a tape-recorded interview conducted by Jean Hauffe for the Oral History Office in December, 1984. Jean Hauffe transcribed and edited the transcript. Cliffie Smlth Patterson reviewed the transcript. Cliffie Smith Patterson ;;,as bom in LaClede County, Missouri, C'Ctober 29, 1895. She had just celebrate:! her ninetieth birtb:lay shortly before this interview took place. Cliffie ms the third generation of schoolteachers in her family, her son and granddaughters foll~ in her footsteps, making five generations of teachers, a fact she is very proud of. She reminisces about her school days, her teaching days, and her children's e:iucation, and how things have changed CNer the years. Readers of the oral history mamir should bear in m:i..ni that it is a transcript of the spoken v.ord, and that the interviewer, narrator and e:litor sought to preserve the informal, conversational style that is inherent in such historical sources. Sangamon State University is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the metiDir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge. The narruscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be reproduced in \\hole or in part by any means, electronic or IIEChanical~ without permission in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sangam:m State University, Springfield, Illinois, 62708. Cliffie Smith Patterson, O:tober 3, 1984, Jean Hauffe, Intervie~. Q: NJw, 1Ahen TRre you hom, Cliffie? Ib you Y«mt to tell us that? (laughs) A: I vas hom October the 29th, 1895. Q: 1895? A: And that school was taken in, that picture was taken in 1892. Q: That was a little before you ~re bom then? A: It certainly was. Q: Your dad was a school teacher? A: For 13 years, then 13 years he ran for Recorder of LaClede County. Q: That was laClede County, Missouri . • • A: Arrl was nominated [elected] and his health--is that recording there? Q: Yes. That's okay. 'Ihat 1 s what ~ want. A: And his health wasn 1 t too good, about the end of his term, so ~ DDV'ed back to the farm. Vk ~re farmers to start and then we, as I say, ~ IWVed to town, and his health wasn't very good and then~ IWVed to Colorado. Vk was in Colorado tw:> years. But still his health still wasn't very good, but then ~ came back to Lebanon. 'Iha' s mere we lived, in Lebanon. 'Iha.t's where my parents are buried. Arrl before he passed--he knew that his life was short and he wmted Blanche and I, my sister and I, to go live with my grand.Iwther, until--he knew he was going to be gone--you know. And~ had a sale--oh, ~ had a sale before v.e went to Colorado, after we IIINed to the country, back to the country. And, did I tell you that 'We four children li.Ere born there in LaClede County? Q: Wlat are your siblings 1 names here? A: Well, t.E ~re all -were hom there in the house. I guess that was on the place when Poppa bought it. They don't say Poppa anynDre, either, do they? (laughs) Cliffie Smith Patterson 2 Q: N:>, they don't, do they? A: Well, then he built another house on the same farm, and then it l<l:ls fran there that we went to lebanon. Q: I see, and you had three brothers and sisters? A: I had ~ brothers and one sister. Q: Were they older or younger than you? A: I l<l:lS next to the ymmgest. Q: W:l.o llllS the oldest? A: Fdrun.i. Q: W:l.en "WaS he bom, about? A: He was born in 1891. Q: W:l.o was next? A: And my brother, Claude, "WaS bom in 1893. Q: 1893? A: 1893. And Cliffie was bom 1895, and Blanche "Was born 1897. Q: Are they are still wandering arO'Lliii with us? A: W:lat? Q: Are they all still alive, just like you? A: I'm the only one that's left. And my mther, her Il.Bim was Cook. And her grandmother' s name "WaS . • • Yhat "Was their name • • • Q: let's see, I have warren, "Mary Warren here. Here's the chart, can you read the writing on there? A: It was Margaret r-buser. Q: Ch, okay. We don't have it on this sheet then. A: N:>. She was the mther of my grandfather. Q: Ch. A: But it 1 s Margaret Mmser. Q: Mmser, okay. Cliffie Smith Patterson 3 A: M-0-U-S-E-R, I finally get it. Q: Yes, it CODeS back men you w:>rk on it. A: Mirgaret M:Juser, and they said that she married my granifather' s father, and she had a brogue when she talked., she never got rid of it. Q: She lD.lSt have been Irish? A: She's Germanl Q: Ch, okay. A: And onmymther's side, oh, let's see, onmymther's side, her people caae fran England. And there is a lady in Massachusetts that is V~riting a book. She belongs to that Cook strain and she's V~riting a book relative to our Cooks ani she's been CNer to England, I think about three t:imes looking up material. I'm expecting to get that book pretty soon. Q: Yes, that T40Uld be nice. Did your tmther die when you were young? You didn' t say 111.1Ch about her. A: Oh, yes. Q: I missed that. A: I was just six. Q: Ch, my heavens. A: Oh, yes. Q: r,bat did she die of~ She was so young. A: At that t:ima they didn't have the doctors like they have tcxiay. And the way I've heard it, they talked. like it was quick consumption. They don't call it conSL1IDption anynvre, they call it TB. Q: I've heard the quick consumption term. A: Well, I renember my mther, we had tw:> hon:es there in lebanon. At::. the first bane, it was out at the edge, pretty close to the edge of town ani we had a small acreage and they had fruit on it. I remember, although we were small, I rE!DE!Illber my mther going out and picking berries and things ani men she Ca:rJE hon:e, she sat in the, well, a doorway between the kitchen and--well it wasn't a screened-in porch, l:::ut it was filled in. Like a little roan. She "Na.8 so tired, she sat dmn there and that was the begi.nning of her sickrtess. And I v;ell remember we had a colored nurse for iiiy mtfier--Mrs. Miller--and anyway 'When my mther passed away then, she passed away Decanber 31, 1903. It was December, vell, I guess I was about saren. Well, anyway, Poppa bought a place up closer to, nearer the 'business part of the town. Cliffie Smith Patterson Q: He '!fiRS County Clerk at this t~? A: Oh, no. Q: tbt at this time? A: He ~s Recorder of Deeds. Q: Recorder of Deeds at this tine? 4 A: Yes. I remember ~ ~re still on the fann, he had a man, it was a young mm that did the farm w:>rk, and had a lot of peach seeds and he told that guy to go out ani plant than and he dug a hole an:l planted all of than in one hole. (laughs) Q: Did your father tmke him replant than? A: That's all I ren:enber about it. Q: Okay. A: That's all I remember about, rut wasn't that S<X~Ething? Q: He planted than all in one place? A: He just went out there and dug a hole and p.1t the v.ihole outfit in there. Q: He Wisn' t about to ~rk too hard. How long was your father Recorder of Deeds of LaClede County? A: Just four years. Q: Just the one term. A: Just the--that's W:len his health wasn't very gocxi. He '!fiRS only 43 when he passed away. Q: I know he was young. Wlat year was it, do you recall , that you lAml.t to Colorado? W:ruld this have been after your rrother died? A: Ch, yes. \..e had a step-mther then. \..e hardly e.~er n:entioned her. (laughs) Q: I don't nention mine, either. (laughs) A: Sea:DS like she's not in the family. But, see, before Poppa die.:i, he wanted Blanche ani I to be down there with his rrother. See, our rrother was gone. Q: Now was his rrother still in LaClede County or mere was she? A: Oh, Tt.e was all in LaClede County. That was the only place. But talking about my grandfather Cook, didn't you ~nder the other day if was married? Cliffie Smith Patterson 5 Q: Yes. A: He was only 27 when he v.ent out there, and he got married men he cau:e hoo:e. Q: Ch, I see. A: W::Jat else you want n:e to tell you? Q: Well, I was kind of l\01.1dering--¥ihat kind. of pets did you have whE:p you v.ere on the farm? Did you have cats and dogs? ' A: And do you kncM when my father was teaching school , my nnther would put on her coat and ¥ihatever she had on her head--a scarf--and go out and milk the cows. Q: She did? A: She did. Q: Did you ever milk cows when you v.ere young? A: Oh, yes. We had cows and horses and I remember when wa v.ent to Lebanon, my dad bought a surrey. Q: Well, that was fancy, wasn't it? A: It v.as fancy. I think it had fringe arourd on top. Q: Just like the D'DV'ie? A: And, let's see, it was a one horse affair. Q: t.\hat was the horse's nau:e? Ih you rem:m:iber? A: <ll.arlie, I think. (laughter) Q: Did you start to school in the country or did you go to school in Lebanon? A: Went to school at Lebanon. And my secorrl grade teacher there at Lebanon--she took mi.ne and Blanche's pictures near where wa all v.ent to the bathroan--well, wa didn't have no bathroan then. We had a little building on the outside where the boys had their building and wa had our building. Q: Yes, they still had that when I was in school. A: And, I think they got their water out of a pump. Q: W:ruldn' t be surprised. A: kl.ywa.y, my second grade teacher, she took mi.ne and Blanche's pictQres and at that ti.D:e, when people had a Chrisb:lla.s tree, it was always at tlhe church. Log schoolhouse where Cliffie Smith Patterson's father taught in LaClede County, Missouri ca. 1890. Mr. Smith is standing in the doorway. Cliffie Smith Patterson and her sister Blanche ca. 1901 when Cliffie was in the second grade. Cliffie Smith Patterson Q: '!hat '\iias the only place that had a ChristJ:nas tree? A: Well, I think so. (laughter) That's all I rem:mber. Q: You didn't have one at bane? 6 A: P.ut anyway there at the Olristian Orurch there at Lebanon, my seccnd grade teacher p.1t that picture on the tree for ne. Q: Well, that was nice. A: I '11 show it to you after a mile. Q: Okay. A: I have the original picture that she took. \ell, vmat else will I tell you? Q: \ell, v.hat was the school like? Was it a big school, ws it a one-roan school? A: Ch, in Lebanon? Q: Yes. A: Oh no, it had upstairs an:l downstairs and all. Q: Oh, separate classes? A: I think it was the Vick School. Q: Oh, that was just really m:x:lern. A: Ch, yes. Q: And up-to-date here. A: And at that time people bad the outdoor toilets. Q: Yes, that's not all that far wy. I renenber those. A: You can rema:nber that? Q: Yes, afraid so. Okay. A: \Ell, now, v.hat else? Q: You stayed in • • . A: We was in Colorado tw:> years just for Poppa • s health and then ~ Qame back to Lebanon. Q: And you went to school there? Did you go to high school there in 1.· Lebanon? Cliffie Smith Patterson 7 A: All the high school that I had I got in college. And listen, at that tine, they had high school ¥Drk in the grade schools. We had algebra and everything. Q: Did you go to grade school eight years or did you go longer? A: • • • and, I had an tJIX: le that was a teacher, and before ~ had to take our teacher' s examination, and before ~ took that teacher's examination, Uncle Frank \\UUJ.d have us to cone over--my cousin and !-because we wanted to take the examination, he wanted to train us. And ~ w:mt to Lebanon--and now ren:enber, Poppa and Mcm:oa was gone. Q: Yes. A: \E went to Lebanon, and belie.re it or not, 'INe went in a wagon. Q: Oh, yes. A: lbcle Joe took Lela and I up there and we took the teacher's examination and then if you'd pass the teacher's examination you could teach school. You'd get a teacher's certificate. Q: Now had you been to college yet, or you just • • • A: I 'Wellt to college after that. Q: Oh, okay. Just out of your grade school? A: Soutl:uest, well, it's called Southwest Teacher's College now, but at that t:i.nE they called it Teacher's Normal, but they've changed it to Sou~st Missouri now. Q: Is this in Lebanon? A: All right, I taught one year .•. just one year. My sister tau~t t¥D. And then I stayai with my great-grandfather and grandm>ther • • • just before I got married. Got married after I ~nt down there to stay with them. Q: Now ~re \ere they? A: 'Ihey was at Redtop, Missouri. Q: Now is that in Dallas County? A: That was Dallas. You knew about that too, don't you? (laughs) Q: I looked in the atlas to see 'Where these counties were. A: Ch, yes. \Ell then men Herve and I got married • . . Q: Now did you IIEet him at college? Vbere did you UEet him? Cliffie Smith Patterson 8 A: I wmt to college before I got rrarried. Q: I know, but did you ueet him, ueet Herve at college? A: I mat lrim there at my great-grandfather's and my great-grandm::>ther 's homa. Well, it was not their home, it was my aunt by rrariage, her sister is the one that got us together. All right, then his first '\IX>rk--after ve got married--be was the conductor on a streetcar. Q: In Redtop? A: :tb , no, no, in Springfield. Q: Oh, okay. A: And because his brothers was out here all farming around Mt. Pulaski, you know, Herve didn't like that, when he was raise:l up in the country, being a streetcar mtorman. All right then, then v.e came out here. Q: What year WJU!d that have been? A: All right, then, ~ came out here, as I said, let ma see--! have to think a minute. But he was on the streetcar, he 'WJrked for the traction canpany, and as I said v.e came out here. And he came on a freight train carrying our • • • I think ~ had t'WJ cows and sorre horses. Q: \-bat ~re the cows' nanes? IX> you remember? A: Oh, heavens, no. I don't remember that. But anyway, Steve Patterson, Hel:Ve' s brother, got us a place out here, out be Mt. Pulaski there, and wa were there five years on that place. Q: Vbo owne:l the place? A: And the man that had bought the place, he was renting and he owed n:x:>ney but he bought that place. All rigJ:lt, after ~ v.ere there five years his sister lost their farm CNer by Elkhart. Well, anyway, Herve wanted to C()(Je out here on account of the other boys being out here. Well, then a man called us up that had a farm for rent. And he's the guy that everybody hated. (laughter) Q: Mercy. A: Well, anyway, he said he saw--v.e even had our sale bills printed. Q: You ~e all ready to quit farming then? A: We didn't want to. Q: But you didn't have a choice, looked like. A: But the man that place, his sister and her husban:i had lost their place, and. he cried When he told us that he 'WJUld have to let his sis r have it because he said, "She had uoney when I didn't have mney." 1 Cliffie Smith Patterson 9 right, this other man up there, be~en Mt. Pulaski and Latham, he called us ani he said he bad a place, so ve 'W< CNer there and ~ was 011er there five years, every year we was looking for another place. Q: You didn't like him either? A: \e didn't like him. All right, there was a man called Leimbach t;hat had a farm up close to Latham. And he lived on it but the farm that !he wanted us to take was closer to Mt. Pulaski than it was to Latham. But the kids first bad to start to school in Latham because they had us in that district. Wasn't that awful. Q: 'lhat's always an aggravation. A: But anyway, we got 011er that because Mr. I.ukenbill, you've heard of him, haven't you? Q: Oh, I remember Mr. lJJkenbill. A: Oh, yes, he used to visit all the schools. vell, let's see--how was that now--oh, he said he'd let us be in the district of Mt. Pulaski because ve were the only ones around there that was so interested in their kids. Q: So they didn't have to go to Latham? A: And he said this, "Don't ask me," in his last term because he was going to have to be re-elected, says, ''because I'll have to go electioneering again." (laughter) And we didn't ask him, just one year ve bad to pay. And now Mt. Pulaski or Latham, the Latham district t.hfit we was in when they bad to go to school there, it 'WaS put in Mt. Pul~ki so our kids had to go to Mt. Pulaski to high school. 1. Q: lhey do change the districts. A: That was terrible. And we 'WaS closer to Mt. Pulaski. And, anyway, we got this Mr. leimbach--yes, I.eimbach--wanted us to take one of his fanns ani it was closer to Mt. Pulaski than it was to Latham and we ~re there 32 years. Q: \ell , that' s where I ren:enber you living, isn't • . . A: And we bad no contract .•. and wasn't that something? And ~ never had to IID\Te. Q: That was something to stay on a farm for 32 years. A: 'lbirty-~ years. And the t:t.x:> grandsons inherited that farm and . . Q: 1he Leimbach grandsons? A: Leimbach's grandsons. And they had been 011er here to visit us. Cliffie Smith Patterson 10 Q: Oler here, to this place? A: Oler here, at this place, and now their husbands--the Leimbach grandsons, they both died--and both of their WJIDetl. have been CNer here to see us. Q: 'Ihey must have really liked you. A: Well, and then 'When Herve--his funeral wa.s in Mt. Pulaski, or in Lincoln--one of them was sick before he passed away, rut they cane to that :flmeral. Q: I'll declare. W:tile you T£re on Leimbach's fa:nn, v.uuld that have been during the depression? In the thirties, 1930s? A: W:!ll, sure, it was long about that time, wasn't it? Q: Yes, things got really bad. W:lat did you get for crops back then A: Yes, T£ know all about that depression. Q: Yes. 'What was the low;st price you ever got for com during the depression? Can you rem:mber that? A: Ch, I don't know ~t it was ••• now that's terrible that I can't think • , • Kenneth w::>Uld • • • Q: That's a long time ago to ask a question like that. A: As I say, wa ware there 32 years, and \e never had to have a contract and wa didn' t have to liDile. Q: Did you farm on halves or what A: Yes. . . . Q: Or how did it w::>rk? It wa.sn' t • • • A: We farue:i on halves. Q: Now they do cash rent. A: Yes. And now I believe--! forget--T£ had a SDB.ll acreage in a pasture, and I believe at that t:i.ne all wa had to pay was ten dollars on whole BI.DOI.Ult . Q: Did you keep livestcx::k in that or ••• A: Yes. And \e had a little building dam there that the cows could go in, you know. Q: Were they milk cows or beef cows? Cliffie Smith Patterson 11 A: Ch, they was milk cows, and -we had a cream separator, you know. Q: Oh, yes. You sold milk then? A: We didn't sell milk then, -we just sold cream. Q: Oh, llD.lSt sold the cream. You didn't sell the milk? A: Yes. N:>t the milk. Q: Oh, -we used to sell the milk too. A: Well, you lived in lighter days. Q: (laughs) A different ti.roe. A: A later day. (laughs) Q: Did you sell eggs? Did you have chickens or did you just have chickens for yourself? A: Oh heavens, yes. Always had chickens. Q: Did you make butter out of your O\<il'l cream? I can remember Mcm doing that. A: Your IIDm doing \\bat? Q: Making butter fran the cream. Did you do that? A: Oh, yes, -we made butter ani everything. Q: So you didn't have to go to tow:1 ani buy all those things. A: I always had a big garden. Q: I was going to say you had to can then, you didn't have a freezer did you? Early? A: Oh, heavens not Oh. no, -we had the freezer CNer hare though. Q: Yes. What kind of things did you can, do you renenber? A: Vllat? Q: Vbat kind of vegetables ani things--what all did you can '0\b.en you p.1t things up? A: I '11 have to tell something about that canning deal. Now my bane--! '11 shcrw you a picture after a while--"We had an upstairs. That's When my mother was alive. And you know she'd even dry p.u:npkins? Q: How did she do it? IX> you reae:nber? Cliffie Smith Patterson 12 A: I remember her cutting it in little circles and w::~uld hang it CNer-I don't knOW" \\bat it w:~s--Whether it was a rope or a string or TNhat it was. Now wasn't that sanething? Q: And just leave it to dry? Vbat w::~uld she do with dried pumpkin after it was • • • A: I don't know. I really don't knOW". And I do remember my oother nust have passed away in the night, but the next m::>ming he said to we children, he said, ''Your nnther is in heaven this m::>rning." 'Iha.t's the way he said it. Q: Th.at was a nice way to put it, wasn't it? A: Well, yes, but you know you begin Q: It's hard for children. A: You begin to kind of wooer too, you know. But that's exactly ~t he said. Q: Did he have consumption too? A: Have \\bat? Q: Did )')ltt' father have consumption? A: No. No, no, no. It was heart trouble. I 'WBilt to tell you • • • I reuenber men my father taught school not too far fran bane. \Ell' it might be quite a little ways, too. But he had to ride his horse when the river W'!S up to get bane. Q: He'd have to cross this river? A: To cross the river, his school was across the river. And I think on Friday night then, I think he COllE COJ.Ie; rut the river was up, he'd ride that horse across that. And Grandma always said--his m:>ther--tha.t he just exposed himself. Q: He got too tillCh bad weather? A: Now thin, he was only 43 years old and he bad a family and he raised those four kids. An:l going, and then Recorder of laClede County, I think it was all too DllCh for him. Q: Did he have to swim the horse across the river so that he got \\et? A: Sure! His clothes w::ruld be "V.et. I think they said they w:ruld even be froze on him sometimes. Now imagine such as that. Q: There's not too mmy people do that ncm. A: well, at that time, though people didn It live so long either. Cliffie Smith Patterson 13 Q: I:b' rut still that was young even for that time. A: Yes, oh yes. Q: let's see, v.hat you've got in the way of pictures here. let's t4k about those a little bit. A: Well, let's see. let's see. You knew I ~t away to school. Did you put that do\\tl? Q: Yes, yes, I think so. fbw long ~re you in school? How long did you go to college? A: I think about five IIDilths • • • I want to tell you, they taught a lot of subjects when you was in the grade school like they do in high school today. Q: 'lhat 's What I've heard, that it was a lot different then. You learned IIDre. A: Well, I should say so. And you said you 1NBilt to take the picture of that, didn't you? Q: Yes, I want a copy of that after a bit here. A: Oh, I want to tell you this Q: Okay. A: I have traced a lot of my relatives ani a lot of than cc::ma fran ~rth Carolina. They corre fran North Carolina into Tennessee, and my grand~ther on my father's side, was hom in Bradley County, Tennessee. All right. Sooe of these relatives that--~11, one of them vas a Signer--of mine lNB.S the great-great-great grandfather of mine. He signed. He signed this what they called--a bunch of then w.nt dom there into Tennessee ani Whoarer went ••• Q: <h, yes the wautauga Canpac.t, I beliare it was here, yes. A: My uncle's nanes on here sanewhere. Q: Jesse Maxey? A: 'Ihat's right. Q: Okay. 'Iha.t's interesting. let's see if I can find this. <h, the OJmberland ~t. A: Yes. Q: let's see, let me get the date on that here. May l, 1870. A: Well, I lNSilt to tell you. I wrote dom there and I wanted a copy of the Canpact. Well she wanted it as it is and I think one or tv.u of Cliffie Smith Patterson 14 the--that you could hardly read SOOJe of it. And this is the best part of it . . . let me see • • • oh, that tells about that Compact. Q: Ch, I see. A: But there's another page in here that tells quite a bit. And listen, they settled around Nashville, but Nashville was not there, the IlBim of their town, village or vha.tever it was. And they called it Nashboro. It's in there. Did you know about that? Q: Yes, I knew it was Nashboro before it 'WB.S Nashville. A: Yes. Q: I think it IIBY have ha:l another name before that, rut I '11 read these after a bit so . • • This is interesting. A: Ch, you wanted to see scme of these pictures. Q: Oh, yes, let's look at the pictures and talk about those. Those are always interesting. I like pictures. A: Well, you saw this? Q: Yes , I ha\Te a copy of that. A: Oh, you do. Well, do you have Grandpa's picture? Q: NJ, I don't have a copy of his picture. I'll take a copy of that when I'm copying pictures here after a Wile. A: And now listen, Grandpa Cook and his brother 'li!Uuld teach school. O:le 'WJUld teach one ~ek and one 'WJUld teach the other ~. Q: The same school? A: I suppose it was. I have that inforiiBtion. Now sare of those things didn't have Grandpa's picture in it. Q: NJ, the one I got didn't have it. Now, if your great gran:lpa--if your grandpa was a teacher, and your daddy was a teacher ani you're a teacher and Kenneth 'iNB.S a teacher • • . A: Kenneth and Rita, five generations. Q: • • • ani your granddaughter is a teacher, five generations of teachers. A: Five generations. Now I don't know whether there's anything here that you want to see, I don't know. Q: Did your grandfather teach in Missouri, also? A: Yes. NJw, Grand.pa Cook's folks--the reason they got to Missouri-.. they'd beard about the fur trade. And that's how cooe our folks cane 1to even be in Missouri. ____....____~~~~~~~-------- Cliffie Smith Patterson 15 Q: I '11 be darned. A: And they came there due to the fur trade. <h, I guess when you get to rey age you can remember a lot of things. Q: A lot of things the rest of us don't. A: Let's see what this is--I don't know. Q: was your dad elec ta:i • • . A: Oh, now there's the school. Q: 'Ihe house? A: 'Ihe house that my dad bad built. I don't know Yho ruil t it. Q: Here, let ne turn it around where you can see it better this way here. N:Jw you can see. A: '!here's his dogs and there's chicken coops out there. And there's my dad's brother and his wife and their t\\U daughters, and these three are all dead and there's my m::>ther and her father that \\ent to California during the Gold Rush. Q: N:>w he's the one that wrote the diary? A: Oh, yes. My aunt ~' her nane was Aunt Angeline--Grandpa lived with her his last years. let s see, how was that? Now, what was I going to tell you? Q: He's the one that wrote the diary, right? A: He's the one that wrote the diary. Q: 'Ihat' s incredible, absolutely incredible. A: And there's my m::>ther and there I an and there's my Grandpa Smith and Grandma Smith; there's my dad. Q: You've just got the whole tribe, right there. A: And then there's Blanche, my sister; and my brother, Ed; and my brother, Claude; and there's Uncle Fred. 'Ihat' s Poppa' s youngest brother. Q: 'Ihat' s just a right nice frame house with 0\o stories and a nice porch and • • • a kitchen wing. A: Well, after all, in that day it vas pretty good. Q: It was a nice house. A: And it was on this place that that man buried the peach seeds. Cliffie Smith Patterson 16 Q: (laughs) In one place. let 1 s see. let tre ask you saneth.ing, Cliffie, that school ~ a log cabin, did you ever live in a log cabin? A: Heavens, nol Q: 01, not at all? I thought maybe ••• A: NOW' listen, I knew of people that did. Q: I knew they had them way up into the 1900s and I just w:>ndered. A: Well, I think, well, I knOW' there ~ log cabins then. I knOW' that. Q: Ch, yes, I know that. A: But I never did. Q: My Aunt Lillie--my aunt said that they did, just for a Wrl.le Ol'lCe; and I just 'WJtldered. A: (h, now Grandma Smith did have a log cabin. Q: In laClede County? A: Yes. Q: Yes. A: She did. Q: So you got to see it anyway. A: But that ~ • • • Q: But that \\aS your house. A: That ~ ours. Q: So you didn 1 t get that fun. Okay, now Who are these people? A: Here's my m:>ther and my dad. That's my m:>ther 1 s sister and her husband. And here 1 s my DDther' s sister and her husband. Q: Turn it this way you can see it better. A: And here's my dad and my mther, oh, that's the same picture. Q: Had your dad gone to college? Did I ask that? I can't renenber. A: In those days you 1 d teach a vhile and go to school; you'd teach a while and go to school. Well, my dad v.lmt to Richland, Missouri, to a school ••• Cliffie Smith Patterson 17 Q: Richland, Missouri? A: And he was a real gcxxl friend. of sane doctor and that doctor had a girl named Cliffie and that 1 s where I got my name. (laughter) Q: '!bat's nice. A: There' s that same school. Poppa and Momna. Here's my dad and IItf uother. Ani here's my Grandpa Smith and his wife. Ani they had a,n or three sons that \\ere teachers • They Y~Jere parents of my father • Ch, there's Margaret Mauser Cook. Q: Ch, then that's an old picture. Q: She was my grandpa' s gran:iuother • Q: Oh, my goodness. A: Yes. And she's the one that came fran Germany and she's the one that she had a brogue. Q: So thick you couldn't urrlerstarrl her. A: It was hard to understand than. And there 1 s Grandpa. Well, I think some of those are later ones. Q: Did she ever--the German grand!:wther--did she ever speak German to you? A: Oh, I never saw her. Q: Ch, she was dead . <kay, she's gone before you ~re here. I 1Ve gpt sane of these people mixed up. A: And there' s M:mna and Poppa and there's Grandpa. And here I am. And there's my uother and there I am when I was a little girl. looks like I was dressed like an old ~. Q: Well, that's the way they dressed little girls to make them like little people. A: Well, everybody v.ure long dresses. Q: At least it kept you l<m:m. A: There's my Grandma and Grandpa Smith. And there's Herve's grandpa, and that's the only picture ~ could ever find. Q: tbw Herve's folks, they lived in Dallas County, Missouri? A: Yes, it joined LaClede. Q: Yes, it's adjacent. Cliffie Smith Patterson 18 A: And those people \<ere related to m= was on M:mma' s side and they lived, a lot of than did, in not Dallas ••• oh, What's the nane of that county? Q: Back into LaClede? A: It joined LaClede. Q: But not Dallas? A: Not Dallas. Q: Well, VJe '11 look in the plat book here. Let's go on and look at these pictures here ani we'll see if \<e can find What that cmmty was here. I just happened to bring a plat book. Never know \then you'll want to know where someplace ••. let's see, I've got Dallas and LaClede and Wright and Webster. let's see, Wright's south of LaClede. Texas is east, Pulaski is A: That was it! Q: Okay. A: It was Pulaski Cot.mty. Q: Just due east there? A: Isn't that awful Yhen you want to think of something you can't? Q: Well, it never fails if you want something, that's exactly what doesn't come to mind, this is all • . . A: All of these •.• oh, this is my Grandpa, my Grandpa Cook's hone. Q: It's pretty, it's as big as Doris' house, a big blO-story house. A: It reminds ne of Doris' house. An:l, Grandpa Cook, I think made DDSt of his 100ney when he t.<ent to California during the Gold Rush. Q: He really struck gold? A: Well, I guess he did. And listen, he brought some gold back and he gave tw:> of my cousins--t.<e wasn't close to him--some pieces of gold that he had got in California. Q: Oh, my goodness. A: N:>w ,.,sn•t that something? Q: Do they still have, the family still have it? A: Yes, they do. But so t.<e kids didn't get none of it because . . . oh, I think mst of these are . . . Cliffie Smith Patterson 19 Q: Yes, these all sean to be A: ••• oh, there ~ four kids are. Q: Ch, you girls ~re dressed alike, pretty dresses with, \t'lat is it, gold flm.ers on it or what color fl~rs? A: Wli.te. Q: Were they \\bite? A: 'Ihey ~re \\hi.te, and the dresses v.Jere navy blue. And Blanche and I . that was taken after Manna passed away. Arxl there was SOliE dressmaker frcm St. louis, Missouri made our dresses. Q: All the way down there. And how far southv.est of St. louis are you down there, about one l:run:lred miles? A: Vhat? Q: lbw far sout:h\est of St. louis v.Jere you, about one hurrlred mlles? A: Oh, I imagine. Q: It's pretty close to Springfield, Missouri. A: It isn't too far, it ian' t too far. I believe these are all. (inaudible) Oh, here's an old-timer. Now see Herve was the youngest of all the family. That's his nnther, and his father and next to the oldest brother. Q: Ch, his father has a fine mite beard there. A: Isn't that an old thing? And there's Blanche, my sister. Q: Now did she stay in Missouri or did she cane up here too? A: Oh, no, she lives in Kansas. Now my brother w::>rked in the office for the traction canpany in Springfield, Missouri. 'Yell, I guess the superintendent, the lAUrkers all ~t on strike, and the superintendent left Springfield, Missouri and ~nt to Wichita, Kansas. And Wen. he llent to Wickita, Kansas, he had my brother cOJDa too. And my brother was in the office for the traction canpany there in Wichita. Q: He just stayed in Wichita, he liked it? A: Well, yes, after they had IIDV'ed out there, you know, and the canpany liked him so well. He says, "You just cane," he was w::>rldng in the office there in Springfield, Missouri. Q: If they weren't going to w::>rk, they'd go to Wichita and \\Urk. A: \Ell, after all, that superintendent I guess got lAUrk out there. 'He told ••• Cliffie Smith Patterson Q: He saw a good man to have with him. A: Yes. 20 Q: Now those are . . . that's Cook, I can't read ~t the first name is on these tanbestones here. A: I think . . . I believe that's Gran:lpa Cook. Q: Probably, let's turn this here and get the light A: That's good of Doris and Kenneth, isn't it? Q: Yes, that's a good one. A: let's see, W:tat does that say? . . . Q: let's see, can you read that? I usually carry a magnifying glass with tre • • • A: Now W:tat in the w::>rld does that say? Q: let rre turn it this way and see if I can A: See if you can see it. . . . Q: I've got bi-focals and I can't ... oh, Margaret, this one says Margaret. A: Ch, that's that Margaret M:ruser. Q: Yes. A: And her husba.rxi. 'lliey were the grandparents . . . I tell you, you get mixed up in this deal . Q: D:m't you? All families are confusing. let's see here, I think I've got that all on the chart . . . yes, here she is, she's • . . A: It's Margaret M:ru.ser. Q: Yes, she's your mther' s grancl.m>ther? A: Yes, yes. Yes, that's the wa.y Q: Your IJDtber was Wc.y Elvira? A: Yes, that's my nnther. Q: They prol'lDlln:ed it Elvira or Elvera? A: E-L-V-I-R-A. Cliffie Smith Patterson Q: Yes, how did they pronounce that? A: Elvira. 21 Q: Elvira, okay. So, she ~ld have been her grandm:>ther; be your great-gramnnth.er, that's a long way back. A: N:>w, Margaret M:ruser, is her lrusban:l 's name down there? Q: Yes, Joel Burton Cook. A: Joel, oh yes. Ibn 1 t you get bounl with all this stuff scmetimes? Q: Yes, I have to look it up. I can't remember all the nanes. A: I do too, I do too. Q: There's too many names. I laughed, I said there 1 s days I have to look at my driver's license to see Who I am. A: I want to tell you sane thing. There 1 s just so nuch to think about, an:l it 1 s a job that you never get through. Q: ~. A: You're never done. Q: Now what, you 1ve got mre pictures? A: Oh • • • Q: Ch, this is beautiful. A: N:>w here is the picture that my school teacher took of Blanche and I. It's not in the very best of ... that's .•• Q: Oh, out on those big rocks. Was that sare they pulled out of the fields? A: \ell, I don't know what they v;ere there, rut I think this is the wilding for the girls. And I had Sotre copies made off of them like that. Q: Oh, the copies are better then the originals, yes. Did you girls always dress alike? A: \-hat? Q: Did you ani Blanche always dress alike? I see you 1ve got the same dresses here. SBlle dres sma.ker make these? A: Yes, I think it was that lady fran St. louis; but I don 1 t know wt happened here, but I had sare made off them, but that's the picture tlnat that teacher of mine put on the Chriso:nas tree. Cliffie Smith Patterson Q: Th.a.t 'WaS a nice present, 'W:lsn1 t it? A: Well, I W:lSn't expecting it. Q: Back then, a picture 'WaS really scmething. A: I like that picture. 22 Q: It's a pretty picture, it's v.;ell set-up and everything. I'll copy that after while ani keep that in the file. A: I think that's the negative of that. Ch, I get calls, I've gotten calls • • • now I have a cousin of my mther 's, he's a doctor dow:1 there in the state of Georgia. And he has called ne twice relative to sane of this stuff. Q: The pictures and the family tree? A: Well, you see, he 'WaS related to my nnther and he's writing a book. Q: Ch your oother 's family? A: Yes. And the same 'WaY that lady that 1 s in Massachusetts, she 1 s writing a book. I think • • . Q: You're going to have biD books on the same family? A: Oh, I think these are all late. Q: l'bw that looks like those are all color pictures. A: Yes, I think they're all late. Q: I want to back up a little bit here now. We v.;ere talking about your lady frau St. lDuis that cane dom and did sewing for you; is she the one that taught you to sew? \\here did you learn to sew? A: My grandnother on my father's side WiS a real good seanstress and different ones, I remember people that lived aroum her in the country VDU!d c~ and have Grandma to cut the dresses out. She \\CUldn' t make t:hail • • • Q: She'd cut than out? A: They done well to even get than cut out. Q: They bad to make their CIW£l patterns then, didn't they? You didn't have DJJCh in the way of patterns. A: fu.t they just figured that Grandma ~uld cut the pattem to suit them. Q: She Dl.lSt have then. Th.a.t tiUSt not have been too easy, really. Cliffie Smith Patterson 23 A: Wl.at? Q: If you didn't have a pa.ttem, Wla.t, did she l'l'eaSure than, h.cM" diJft. she kna.v. Or did she just have an eye for it. A: I think she just bad an eye for it. And. different ones ¥Duld come there and have her to cut the material out. Ian' t that S()I]Ething? Q: '!bat's incredible. A: \tell, I guess they didn't have IIDney enough to hire it done. If she'd hired it done, I don't suppose she'd charged IWCh for it. Q: Did you learn to cut out frcm her or did you prefer patterns? A: Oh, v.ben I was in the fourth grade there at Lebanon, they bad contests, or sanething, sane project that you'd me.ke in sewing. I got high prize. Ckle dollar . Q: 'lba.t was a lot of mney then. A; And do you know, Blanche am I v.-ent bane and YJe was telling my dad about it and Blanche cried, ani Poppa gave her a dollar. Q: 'Ihat wasn't hardly fair, was it? A: Now W!Bn 't that SOJ.'IIathing though? She cried. And listen, when my dad W!B in office there at Labanon, Missouri, maybe of a noon hour we'd pass by the court house ani maybe he'd give us a nickel a piece. A nickel. Q: That was a lot of mney then. You thought you YJere rich. A: Let's see, what else, if there's anything else. You saw that. Q: Yes, v:e saw that one. Did you sew~ you '\\e\re in Missouri or did you v.m.it till you got up to Illinois to do that very seriously? A: '!hat's me. Q: (laughs) You're a little pixie there. Was are you, about six IIdlths old or so? A: looks ldrd of like a baby about six mnths, don't it? Q: Yes, just barely sitting up good. A: My dad and my m:::>ther . • • look at that dress she has on. Q: '!hat's a fine dress. You see she's got a watch up here on it; isn't it? Is that a watch or a brooch? A: It mi.ght be a brooch. But you know they're using them about that, sane style here today. ! Cliffie Smith Patterson Q: She's a pretty woman. A: The crazy sleeves • . • Q: Yes, leg-o-mJ.tton sleeves • A: I think they're terrible. Q: I'd hate to iron them. A: Now this is a bunch of stuff I've collected. 24 Q: Ch, you've got all kinis of scrap books. It's a real good scrap book there. I'll have to look at that in a little bit, and see 'What's in there. I see your father's Jan:.:s Harrison Smith. Vbere did the name Harrison ccme from? A: Wlat was that? Q: Janes Harrison. A: Yes. Q: was he named for a president Harrison? A: I imagine he was. In those days they l18I.1Erl kids after scmebody. Now like JJJl, I was n.aJ.1l:!d after that doctor's ••. <h, did you want to look at this? Q: Yes, I'd like to look at that in a mi.:mlte. let's turn this off for a little bit here and • • • EcJd of Side One, Tape One Q: Okay, Cliffie, let's start back here with, "i\ell, let's start with your hone. ~t 's go back and let's be a little girl. let's talk about being a little girl this whole time and your family; everybody in Missouri. A: I 'Wellt to school to my father the last term he taught. He taught for thirteen years. And he and I--my tw::> brothers ~re older, they had walked to school--no, my dad rode a horse and I rode behini him to that school. And that was the first school that I "lillent to, and the last school that my father taught. Q: How far was that fran your home.? A: Ch, my, I jmagine three miles, maybe. I don't know', I'm just guessing. And do you know, that W.en Poppa and I WJUld--Poppa, you don't say that no mre--~ "liiJe w::>uld ride to school, I'd be scared, afraid a panther WJUld jump d0w.1 on us. Now I was a little girl.
|Title||Patterson, Cliffie Smith - Interview and Memoir|
Farms and Farming
Mount Pulaski (Ill.)
|Description||Patterson, school teacher, recalls rural early 20th century rural life, family, education, country schools, farming, LaClede County, Missouri and Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. Also recalls teaching, her children's education and changes in her life over the years.|
|Creator||Patterson, Cliffie Smith (1895-1993)|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Hauffe, Jean [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|
|Title||Cliffie Smith Patterson 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
Cliffie Smith Patterson Memoir
P277. Patterson, Cliffie (1895-1993)
Interview and memoir
3 tapes, 270 mins., 90 pp.
Patterson, school teacher, recalls rural early 20th century rural life, family,
education, country schools, farming, LaClede County, Missouri and Mt. Pulaski,
Illinois. Also recalls teaching, her children's education and changes in her life over
Interview by Jean Hauffe, 1984
See collateral file
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1984, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
Cliffie Smith Patterson's brother Sgt. E. H. Smith.
He served in World War I in France as a machine gunner.
Cliffie Patterson's Husband
Farm in Illinois.
Table of Contents
Cliffie Patterson's Children.
Cliffie Patterson's Brother
Senior Citizens Group
This manuscript is a product of a tape-recorded interview conducted by
Jean Hauffe for the Oral History Office in December, 1984. Jean Hauffe
transcribed and edited the transcript. Cliffie Smlth Patterson reviewed
Cliffie Smith Patterson ;;,as bom in LaClede County, Missouri, C'Ctober 29,
1895. She had just celebrate:! her ninetieth birtb:lay shortly before this
interview took place. Cliffie ms the third generation of schoolteachers
in her family, her son and granddaughters foll~ in her footsteps,
making five generations of teachers, a fact she is very proud of. She
reminisces about her school days, her teaching days, and her children's
e:iucation, and how things have changed CNer the years.
Readers of the oral history mamir should bear in m:i..ni that it is a
transcript of the spoken v.ord, and that the interviewer, narrator and
e:litor sought to preserve the informal, conversational style that is
inherent in such historical sources. Sangamon State University is not
responsible for the factual accuracy of the metiDir, nor for views
expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge.
The narruscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be
reproduced in \\hole or in part by any means, electronic or IIEChanical~
without permission in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sangam:m
State University, Springfield, Illinois, 62708.
Cliffie Smith Patterson, O:tober 3, 1984,
Jean Hauffe, Intervie~.
Q: NJw, 1Ahen TRre you hom, Cliffie? Ib you Y«mt to tell us that?
A: I vas hom October the 29th, 1895.
A: And that school was taken in, that picture was taken in 1892.
Q: That was a little before you ~re bom then?
A: It certainly was.
Q: Your dad was a school teacher?
A: For 13 years, then 13 years he ran for Recorder of LaClede County.
Q: That was laClede County, Missouri . • •
A: Arrl was nominated [elected] and his health--is that recording there?
Q: Yes. That's okay. 'Ihat 1 s what ~ want.
A: And his health wasn 1 t too good, about the end of his term, so ~
DDV'ed back to the farm. Vk ~re farmers to start and then we, as I say,
~ IWVed to town, and his health wasn't very good and then~ IWVed to
Colorado. Vk was in Colorado tw:> years. But still his health still
wasn't very good, but then ~ came back to Lebanon. 'Iha' s mere we
lived, in Lebanon. 'Iha.t's where my parents are buried. Arrl before he
passed--he knew that his life was short and he wmted Blanche and I, my
sister and I, to go live with my grand.Iwther, until--he knew he was going
to be gone--you know. And~ had a sale--oh, ~ had a sale before v.e
went to Colorado, after we IIINed to the country, back to the country.
And, did I tell you that 'We four children li.Ere born there in LaClede
Q: Wlat are your siblings 1 names here?
A: Well, t.E ~re all -were hom there in the house. I guess that was on
the place when Poppa bought it. They don't say Poppa anynDre, either, do
Cliffie Smith Patterson 2
Q: N:>, they don't, do they?
A: Well, then he built another house on the same farm, and then it l