Marion Ester Schermerhorn Memoir
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections Marion Ester Schermerhorn Memoir SCH28. Schermerhorn, Marion Ester (1899-1994) Interview and memoir 4 tapes, 180 mins., 47 pp. Schermerhorn, lifelong resident of Springfield, recalls the city in the early and mid 20th century: family life, growing up, the race riot of 1908, Dome Building fire at the fairgrounds, downtown Springfield, Lincoln Law School, and Charles Street. Also discusses the Ridgely-Farmers Bank and First National Bank. Interview by Doann Murray, 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 Preface This manuscript is the product of tape-recorded interviews conducted by Ihann Murray for the Oral History Office during the fall of 1984. D:>ann MJ.rray transcribed the tapes and edited the transcripts; Marion Schennerhom revi~d the transcript. Marion Esther Schenrerhom was bom in Springfield, Illinois on N:Jvember 24, 1899. S:le graduated fran Springfield High School and has been a lifelong resident of Springfield. Miss Schennerhom v.urked in the Ridgely-Faro:ers Bank and the First National Bank as executive secretary for over fifty years. Her ccnm:mts on b!mking, especially covering the period of the depression of 1932 and its effects on the camnm.ity, plus her recollections of downtown Springfield are explored. She recalls her family life and the trials of "growing up." The intervi~r, Ihann Murray, is a graduate of the University of Illinois and a student in the Oral llistory course taught by Professor Cullan I.avis of Sangaroon State University. Mrs. Murray is a native of Springfield and is acquainted with Miss Schernerhom. Marion Schero:erhom is a contemporary of the intervi~r's aunt, Ibrothea Fredrickson McAnulty,whcm she refers to on several occasions. Readers of this oral history Il'leJOOir should bear in mind that it is a transcript of the spoken word, and that the interviev.er, narrator and editor sought to preserve the infonnal , conversational style that is inherent in such historical sources. Sangamon State University is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the IIBIDir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge. The manuscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any neans, electronic or 'I:OOchanical , without peiiDission in writing fran the Oral History Office, SangamonState University, Springfield, Illinois 62708. Table of Contents Family Background • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1 Neighbors ••••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 2 Charles Street. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 3 Father's Occupation • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 Family Life •••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 \Estminster Church. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 9 Growing up. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .10 Fashions. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .13 Race Riot of 1908 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .15 Iknne Building Fire. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .16 Ridgely-Famers Bank. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .18 Bank Closing. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ~20 First National Bank • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .20 • Officers and Tenants of Ridgely-Fanners • • • .26 Do'Wiltown Springfield. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .28 Lincoln Law School. .32 League of Wbmen Vbters. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .35 Armistice Days•••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .35 Family History. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .37 Importance of Mother. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .40 Public Fl.gures. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .42 Marion Esther Schermerhorn, October 17, 1984, Springfield, Illinois. lklann Murray, IntervieTNer. Q: Marion, men and mere TNere you oorn? A: \ell, I was hom on Nova:nber 24, 1899 on South Spring Street in a house W:rl.ch is gone now. It ~s in the area across fran the museum ~ that area. It's all tom dov.n now, you know. ! Q: Cb South Second? A: On South Spring. Q: South Spring. A: Yes. You know across fran the state wildings there. Q: (b yes. A: It's all tom down now. It hasn't been standing for years. Q: A lot of new wildings have been wilt in there. A: I think it was that area 'tlbere that parking lot is. It seems to ne on South Spring, kind of in that block fran the IIII.lSeum do'lllll to the Archives wilding and all those are. I believe it ~s. Q: <kay. Ware your father and mther raised in middle Illinois? A: W!ll, my father cane fran Sturgis, Michigan, lx>rn to a fann family and my nnther cane from Ship:nan, Illinois, hom to a fann family. Now let's see, my father came to Springfield around in the early--well, I ; imagine around 1890 or sooething and my DDther cane up there to visitir sister, ~was married to Will Schennerhom, and my father was visit" his brother. So they net and t'WJ sisters married ~brothers. Q: Ch, is that rightl A: Yes. And I had a double cousin. You knOW', we called him ''Double Cousin." Their son was our double cousin. Q: And then they married and set up housekeeping in Springfield, and t:Pen did the other half of this group also settle in Springfield? · A: Ch, my aunt and uncle had a~wch is still standing across frc+ the liestminster Presbyterian Clru.rch. My father and my 11Dther were marr~ed there in that house on Wilnut Street. I I I Q: Ch. A: 522 South Walrrut. Q: They ~remarried there. 'Ihen the aunt and uncle were married a little sooner. A: Ch, yes, they ~re married and had this boy. And she w:>uld cane up to visit my aunt and my father had cooe to Springfield. He'd go out to his brother's and they'd have dinners and everything. And that's how $he net him. (laughs) Q: That's a story I haven't heard. A: N:>w that's about all I know there. Of course, it was a home birth. They all were then. ~ know that. And then, let's see honey, when I ~ a'oout three years old we IOCNed to South Seventh in the six hundred blo¢k, just north of where I am now, and that's quite an interesting block. It's still standing. All the houses on the east side of Seventh are still standing. I can tell you everyone that lived in them you know at that time. Q: At that time • • • A: Che was the Johnson Hatcher family of the Jolmson Hatcher FUrnitu~ Canpany. 'Ihey lived in one house and the Bischs • • • You folks woulcJn't remember Bischs FUrniture Store. They had a Bisch FUrniture Store and; the Perek family, Herman Perek, and loren t-beeler, who was a congresSIIJ<ln.Then he was postJ:naster at one time. Now, loren W:leeler, you might putthat do'iln, L-0-R-E-N W:leeler. Q: Ckay. A: I shouldn't say that. Q: That's okay, that will help. A: He was JX>Stmaster at one time and also congressman. Q: And he was one of your neighbors? A: Yes. And the house is still there, that big pillar house down the e in the six lrundred block of South Seventh. 'lhey're all stand~ • • • the \'tl.ole block has those houses standing lltlich is unusual , ian t it? Q: Now your family hc:m3 is still standing? A: It's still there, rut we rented. ~ had a double house in those days. My father bought a house at one tine. He didn't like yard work or he didn't like fixing a furnace. \ohy back vben they had vthat they called, steam heat, I believe, and the city, well, one of the power cCIIp9ni.es ••• i:bw thatIs a long time ago rut they had ~t they called I think theycalled it steam heat. I don't know really, rut anyway, you didn't havei to have a furnace. You just tumed on the radiator and tumed it off ~ he didn't have to bother with stoking a fumace. (laughs) Q: He liked that? A: He loved itt (laughs) And the Pereks m;ned this place. It -was a double house and re lived on the south side and sa:te people by the naJ.l.'e of Starr • • • he ~s one of the newspapennen here. He was really fr011 Decatur, I believe. 'lhey lived in the other side of the house. Then the Bischs, the Jobnsons, the W:l.eelers, and the Quinlans. Th.ey all are standing--all those houses. Q: That's unusual that they're still around. A: And also you might be interested •• about tw:> blocks north of ne o on South Sixth the Buck family lived. lbl they used to have the Buck Hat Store on • o • you've heard of that? Q: I remember that. A: And they had a family of girls--one roy. And I -was great friends with them. I used to go stay all night sCJ:l2ti.u:es and they, I believe, they're all gone now. I know aoout three girls and one boy. And the Coes that bad the Coes Produce, not the book store. Th.ey lived on the corner of 7th and Edwards and they had quite a family of children, too. I don't know that they'd be interested in that Coe family. Of course, they rere ·related to the Coes of the Coe Book Store. Now that's about all I know. And I went to Stuart School. Q: You went to grade school at Stuart. A: And then ve. IWVed, after my aunt, this sister of my roother's died, iNe 1WVed and my uncle was a widover. ve IWVed out to their house on South Walnut Street and lived there for a while. And then he got married again so ve packed up and tWVed again. M.yway, that's aoout all I know there. Oh, I know what you might be. interested in, <lla.rles Street, which no ore sea:ns to remember that I know anyroore. Olarles Street ~s right Wl.ere the Illinois State Centennial Building is. That's on that street, you know, it ran fran Second Street to Spring Street. Q: Ckay. A: You never knew there was a street there? Q: I didn't. I never heard of <llarles Street. No. A: And no one I ever talked to • • • you see a lot of my friends that are my age are gone nON. 'lhey VJOuld remember. Th.ey went to school and after -we. 1WVed, I had to go to the old Edwards School. 'lhis was on the corner of Spring and Edwards and the old Ni:nian Edwards Place where Lincoln 'WaS married, I believe, was the old house back of that. To me, at that ti.me I was going to school, it was a foul looking place. It hadn't been kept up. le passed that going .to Edwards School. It was back of Charles and it wa.s a pretty street, really, and then right on the corner of Olarles and Spring Streets wa.s the Springfield Consez:vatory of Music. Mrs. Tiffany .... and, oh they bad quite a .... and Mrs. Bunn, I guess she was • • • and maybe. you know mo I mean, she's the mther of--she was Ruth Bunn. ~was a pianist. Jim BU1U1, you know Jim ••• used to be the president of Marine Ba.rk. She's his mther. She told n:e all this after I cao:e here. And she carae d<MJ. here fran, I don't know whether it was Wi.sconsin or Michigan. I can't remember. She used to tell ne. <h, I've heard it a thousand times because she used to tell n:e at cocktail parties. She used to tell IE all about it. She said she came down here to teach mJSic and that's men she net Mr. Burm. She ~s at the Conservatory of Music. Q: Ch, she was a IDJBic teacher and net him. A: Yes, she taught Elizabeth Lyons who lives in the wilding. No, I don't think she did. I know she's a pianist. She played even after she becao:e very deaf. She loved to play the piano. Now hcrw far along am I? I took lessons. (laughs) Q: You took lessons. Oh, you took piano lessons? A: Ch, yes, I took them for years and all I could play about 'lli1en I got through -was chop sticks. Oh no, I could do better than that. (laughs) Q: I'm sure you could. lell, you DEI'ltioned the Ninian Edwards Hane.. W>uld that be the son • • • A: Wlere Abraham Lincoln 'WaS married. Q: Yes, ~dthat be the son of Ninian Edwards who was the governor of Illinois? A: lell, honey, I don't think it was. '!hey called it the old Ninian Edwards Hane, b.J.t sane of the • • • I don't think the son lived there. I think it was SOOJe of the family. let's see, to tell the truth, I don't know if strangers were living there. Q: They called it the Ninian Edwards &me • A: It '65 the original hale where Abrahan Lincoln was married, you know. W:lo lived in it, I wasn't interested. I was a kid going to school. Q: You just called it the Old Edwards Ham. A: ve just called it the Old Edwards Place. '!hat's all ~ called it and who lived in there, relatives or what, I don't kn.c:M. Maybe I shouldn1 t say this, rut my father 'WaS in the legislab.ire. He was a DemJcrat for a couple of terns way back. in 1907 or 1908. I don't rB'Je'JlMr the year • • • and he introduced the bill to purchase the property on Cllarles Street for a m.JSeun, no, for the Centermial Building. Q: Ch, did bel A: Yes. You know, the funniest thing was, vben I was still in the b:mk and fifty ~s later, they used to have articles in the paper 11Fifty Years Ago.' One of my friends sent n:e the little article that said 1.......&........__________ ~---------- <llarles Schemerhom introduced that bill for the purchase of that ~ound for the Centem:ial Building. Now h<YN long that Centem:ial Buildings been b.rllt I don't know. It's been b.lilt a long time. Q: A long tine. A: Yes. You see that was aoout 1907 or 1908. I was still in the Stuart School I know and • • • Q: You were still little at that time. A: Yes • ( lau.gh.s) \obatever year we •re in I just say I 'm just as old as the year because-I was oom in November of 1899. So it makes n:e, you know, like 84, I'm 85 in November. Q: Coming up. A: Yes. (laughs) You•re right. Q: So your father was in politics? A: Just for a short time. li:>w long are they in the legislature--'b.lo : years? I don't know. I think he was in four years, honey. He really~· was in the insurance blsiness, rut he got in politics and he was re-el cted. It was interesting and I got very interested in politics when I was a id and I even got mad at some of my friends. (laughs) As young as I was ·I was really interested. Q: You were following ~twas going on and r..tlat your father -was doing. A: And I even--and then in my teens I wrote an article. 'lhis was before the WJDJen had votes, you knCM, I wrote an article on suffragettes. I didn't know about suffragettes then. I thought they ought to have the vote, that w:~s all. My father '017a.S so proud of that. Q: Oh. (laughter) A: \ohere are we IXM? I guess we better go back to my teens. Q: I wanted to ask you about the rest of your family. I know about your sister. Did you have • • • A: 'Iha.t's all. Q: N::> brothers or A: N:>, just Margaret. She was older than I was, three years older. That's all. Just the four of us, M:>ther, Daddy ••• Q: And the 'b.1o girls. And your father's office then When he was in the insuraJXe business? A: W:J.en he died--this might be interestlng--he had an office in the old Ridgely &.lidling, not the new one wilt f.n 1927. That's pretty old ruM. Franklin Life originally had offices in the old Ridgely Building and then, wiJen they Wilt that office at 6th and Lawrence, they DDVed OUt and the Ridgely Bank bought that l:uilding and they had the bank. It was the old Ridgely National Bank and they bought that and my father had an office up there and my sister--When she got out of high school--""':t:ked for him and we had a car and this is--you can't imagine this. My fatoor and sister take the car cioiNn to the Ridgely Bank, go to the office, go hone at noon, and have hmch. Those days they went h.ooe for lunch. Mymther had to get three ueals a day which was crazy, and then they goback, pat:k it again for all day, then go hooe at night. Never had to IIDV'e it. Never had to do anything. It just stays there in front of that wilding, just practically in front of the entrance to the wilding.(laughs) Q: W:tat kind of a car did you have then that they were driving? A: \ell, I don't remember. toe had different ones. My father believed in getting a new one every year. I think the first one was a Reo or spme thing, I don't know, and then I think he had Dodges mst of the tine. In tlx>se days they had no parking proble:n. 'lb.ey just parked and there trey were and they didn't have DEters or anything. Can you imagine that? Q: No, it• s a lot different D.CM. A: And mther had dinner for them. If they wanted to take a little longer lunch or sooething I ~ss they r«ruld. I don't kn.cM, I don't rEm!llber that part. 'lhen they'd go back again. But, anyway, those T.Ere the days of w::>Ik. Q: tbw, 'ttlat year T.\Uuld we be in? A: My father died in 1921, honey, andre had the car, I'd say he purchased the car about, oh, n:aybe 1917, or s<XIething like that, and then Margaret got out of high school. No, he had the car before that because Marga'"F graduated--! graduated in 1917 and she graduated three years before. I guess about 1914 maybe. , Q: And then do you remember before you had the car, did he drive a horse or how did he get to llllOrld A: tell, we had a horse and hlggy (laughs) rut I don't ever renanber taking that to w::>rk. Vbetber he walked or nther he took ruses, I =F' they had streetcars, of coo.rse. I suppose he probably took the street ar to l410:rk. I don't know. I don't rem::mber • • • Q: As to how he got to llllOt:k. A: Because we bad the horse and ruggy at bane to ride around in all day so I don't kncrw how • • • (laughs) Q: Poor fellow, he got there sanehow, rut he didn't take the horse to llllO:tk. A: I don't think it \«J\lld have reen good for it to stand there all day anyway_ Q: I thought maybe you might have taken him to \'40rk or sarething ••• A: No, I don't think so, honey. I kn.cM he got there, that's all I know. (laughs) He was younger, too. He may have just enjoyed the walk. You know, when you•re younger you can do a lot of things you don•t ·do ~ you get older. Q: <h, yes. My daddy used to walk to TNOrk, too. A: ~11, honey, I used to walk miles. I loved it and now here I am, b.lt I 'm not fussing because I 'in thankful I can walk. Q: Sure. Going back still when you were a little girl • • • M:>ther talks alxnlt having help at l1aiE to do different things than Y.E do now. Did you have hired help? A: Ye didn• t have round the clock help. 'lbat is, at times ~ did; SOJ:D:!t:ines W3 didn•t. le had an old black colored lillOlDBI1 named Amie soak the clothes in Fels Naptha, Which you can hardly get now. watts. She ••• Q: Wlat was her name? A: Ye just called her Annie Witts. Q: Armie Witts? A: Her last name was Witts, I guess. (laughter) She soaked ••• you know, They called her Amie Witts. W9 had tubs and everything. She'd You can hardly get a bar of Fels Naptha n<J~N. I heard sareone try to buy it the other day and I heard the druggist say, ·~ just don• t have it." But, anyway, it makes the clothes so nice and mite, you know, for them and they like it. She'd cane and she'd iron. I remember that M:>ther said she'd just iron beautifully and then we get a little, you know, W9 called them hired girls in those days and we had one that lived in with us "~Ne called Hulda, a Ge:rman girl. Her father was a German lutheran minister fran Indianapolis, I think. She sent us lliristmas cards for years after that. \e'd correspond, you know, a little bit, just at lliristma.st:i.DE. M:>ther always had--'\\le did have bolo or three, rut maybe they'd caoo for a day or so, I can•t remember. Hulda is the one I remember better than anyone. 'Ihat •s all I can tell you. But M:>ther never had to do her OWl washing. Q: 'lbat's ~t I had heard that various girls did certain things. A: They didn't think anything about it. You know, they were just so glad to get the TNOrk. I don't know how t;hey stood it. IX> you? Q: It would be hard work. A: You bet, and sane of them \<!Jere rather old. Q: Did you feed than then? W1s that part of it? A: Yes, yes, because you paid them very little. She always had to have lunch and sam of them wanted dinner, too, you know". Now when I think alxrut it, it was oore like breakfast and lunch. I don't know were I was, tut I. don't t:hi.rk I paid very IIUCh attention as long as things got done. (laughs) Q: They got done. \ell, did your nnther sew or did you have sooeone ••• A: Ch yes, honey, every spring and fall you had a seamstress cooe in. You'd tuy up materials and hly up thread and l:uy snaps. Oh, I don't know if they bad snaps then or not. I know they didn't have zippers then. But snywa.y te 'd go <k»n--~ther'd stock up on material, patterns and things and they'd cam and they'd stay. I'm sure they didn't stay all. night. tb, they lived here in town. They'd ccma and it'd be about a · week· to fix us up sooething for fall and spring with SUDIIEr clothes. · Isn't that sanething, honey? Q: That soonds so different. A: I'd forgotten all alxrut that. Q: vell, Mother talks about that--having SCJIIeone Cc:Jlle tO make her pretty clothes. A: ve loved all that help. 'Ihey sea:ned like they were ccmpany for her. My DDther enjoyed them :im:Ielsely. Of course, my nnther was a great one. She was a ~nderful cook and she \<IB.S a great housekeeper, too. She wasn't like her daughters. Her daughter didn't take after her. (laughter) Of course, the spring and fall, you know, take out the curtains, rugs, I DEBl1, beat them on the • • • Can you :insgine doing all that? Yoo. stretched the curtains, had stretchers up. I just can't imagineI (laughs) Q: They really did fall cleaning for winter and when spring cane you did your spring house cleaning. A: 'Ihat's right, and, honey, it \<IB.S a job. Oh, I hated that time! I wanted to be away rut, of course, I had to be ham. Of course when I •s going to school • • • I never did like that • • • to do housew:>rk, honE!ff. I liked to see things clean, rut I don't want to do it. (laughter) 1 \ Q: \ell, I don't blame you for that. I have mre on family things. Cb &mdays did you have a different kind of a schedule? Did you have any sort of custans? A: My mther and father \<!Jere married in the old Central Baptist Church at Fourth and Capitol and they owere Baptists and I was of course in those days • • • and still • • • ve kids were sent to the Baptist &mday School. '!ben my aunt and uncle lived on. South Walrrut across fran the Presbyterian Church and my uncle ms an elder in the W:!stlninster Church. It was at that time the Second Presbyterian Church and hems elder in that so we girls got interested and s~ of our friends lllere going out there so -we started out there at the Second Presbyterian Church. And then my father started going and we all started going and we went to Sunday School and church and I used to love it, rut I ~uldn't love it now, rut I did then. (laughs) No, I really enjoyed church. It didn't b:>ther n:e. \E went practically ewery 9.mday of our lives, rut n.crw I never go. Isn't that awful? Q: \ell, times change. (laughter) A: I th.i.rk I'm too old to sit anym::>re. (laughs) Q: Ch, it just keeps going. (laughter) A: It's bard for n:e to walk and I have a little pride. I don't have •s Dl.lch as I should have, I guess, and going up the steps and everything ••• Q: It's a lot more effort. A: \ell, now I have to stand and if I have to stand and sing. • • • I just don't want to do it so I just don't go. I '11 go s~t:i.l.m--about once a year. Q: I see, b.J.t then the mole family llent on Sundays. A: wa were all members. Q: It \leS T.that • • • the Second Presbyterian? A: It was the Second Presbyterian for sooe years, rut, oh, that was changed to rest.minster. I don't know how long ago. I have a history of the clrurch. I might give that to you if you'd be interested in it. It's kind of a pretty b:>oklet. I know right W:lere it is so I can find it. Q: I might just like to look at it. A: 'Ihe teacher might like to lodt at it, too. Q: Yes. It's always been vestminster to ne. A: Wall, honey, it's been a long time sin~ they changed. My sister ,00 I lllere in the comerstone picture with a lot of our friends. Helen 1 Becker, you don•t know Helen Becker. Helen Hanm:lck, her father and ! IIDther -were Hamii.cks, and Helen Becker and her sister and a lot of kid$ were all sitting around. They had this picture for years in the librazyof ves1lDi.nster <lru.rch. wa were all in church circles when the comerst;:one was laid so I've been a m:m.ber--I 'm probably the oldest member of the church. So many of them have died off you know. Q: You're a charter member then. A: \ell, aliJX)st, of that wilding, not of the church, you know. Ch, it's been a good life, honey. I 've enjoyed life im'Iensely, I really have. I tell you I get so tickled. A lot of people hesitate to call tre an old 1lBid and I kind of like it myself. I haven't ever had to cater to anybody, a man or anything. It's been kind of fun. (laughs) Q: W:!ll, there are advantages both "Ways. A: That's right, honey. Of course, now, if I were married and bad a family, I'd have sooebody to look after tre, rut I believe, they might not look after rre. You never can tell. , Q: 'Iha.t 's right. \Ell, if yru were a young woman now might you be an ERA supporter or sooething like that? A: You know, I used to be mre that way when I was younger. Dorothea [Dorothea Fredrickson McAnulty, local attorney and a close friend of the narrator. Fd.] and I, Dorothea, she got ne to be a charter nanber of the League of 'W.::IIIen Voters, you know. ve mt lbNn in the basement of the ~. She was the first president and I think I was secretary-treasurer. I was secretary anyway. I think it 'WaS secretary and treasurer. At that tine they had just one of them. And I lea strong for that stuff, rut, you knt.IJw, as you get older it gets kind of crazy. (laughs) Q: You're not quite as radical then. A: NJ, and not only that, I like for ltDile11 to have their rights, rut I think it's kind of nice to have IIEil. look after you too, don't you? Q: Ch, yes. A: rre And watch, you know, When I go out now, they're always so I don't fall and everything. It's kind of gocxl. so careful of Q: It's nice to have saoebody look after you--to have som ebody care. A: You bet. Q: tbw if lie go back to men you were a girl, maybe just before you ~re a teenager, 'What did you do for fun? Can you remember? Did you read or have lots of friends? A: lbney, I always loved to read. Reading was really I think scm:!times is the lazy person's hobby, rut I loved to read. I never wanted to wo"Pt, rut I loved to read. I had in those days that block we lived in up t~re were a lot of girls. Girls and boys, too, and lie had and, of course, tiy IIDther always gave us parties--birthday parties and things and then, too, we roller skated. I was real good at roller skating. Q: Ch, you did. A: Maybe you don't know about jacks. \£ used to play jacks. <he of my friends would cam and we'd play jacks and. • • • Oh, just stuff like that. I don't ever remember being oored, I really don't. Of course, as I say, my father encouraged us to read. He used to say, ''Marion, if you read the daily newspaper and the Bible, you're ~11 infornE<l.11 He always wanted--he'd get these Dickens books and all those sort you know, series. You 1ny then fran these salesnen. So I, as a girl in high school, I was not a bit popular. I was shy. Can you imagine n:e being shy? Q: No. (laughter) A: I dm't sound like it. Honey, I was so shy that if a boy came up to walk with ue upstairs fran one class to the other I'd shy away fran him. I wouldn't know \1ha.t to say to him. Isn't that crazy? Q: Yes. A: I was awful shy and I gained my height men I was about twelve years old and I was skinny as a rail and I just didn't. • • • I had a terrible inferiority canplex. I always had a lot of girl friends. They seemed to like rre. Ckle fellow one day sat in front of n:e, he said, ''Wls your mther Carrie Hillier?" I said, ''Yes." "Fran ShiiiiJBI1?" And I said, ''Yes." And I cane hcxiE. ''M:>ther," I said, ''he asked if you ~re my mther." She said, "And my didn't you ask him ~t he wanted to know for?" I said, "I was scared to." (laughs) Anyway his DDther and my toother had known one another way back men. I finally got up my courage, but wasn't that crazy? Q: \ell, it just took a mile then. A: To tell you the truth, honey, I -went to w::n:k for my father, too, after I got out of high school. I was still shy. He put me up in his office and he didn't have enough for n:e to do and I just hated it. He knew I hated it so I stayed bane for a vhile and tried to learn how to make raisin pie. (laughs) Q: I:bw to make raisin pie? Oh, Marion! (laughs) A: That was my favorite. But 8IrJW8.Y one day he called and he said, '"l'bey have a job for you d.ov.n at the Ridgely Bank.11 So that's l\hen I ~nt there. And I was so shy when I w:>t:ked at his office, he'd want m to take a deposit down to the tank. He said, ''Now, Marion, you've got to learn to do those things." But I was scared to death to go do<:.«t in the bank and make a deposit. N:lw isn't that crazy? You can't imagine that. Q: .tere you seventeen years old? A: I was seventeen about that time. I was nineteen by the time I ~nt to w:>rk. I graduated in June when I was seventeen and then I wt:>rked for a W:rl.le. And then I think it was about 1919 lilen I went to w:>:tk for Ridgely Bal"k. Then after that I began • • • ~11, I began to fill out and got a little pluopish, looked better and I ~sI just began to develop a little personality or sOIJething. Ian t that crazy? No one will tNer believe I was shy, rut I wasl (laughs) .__._._.__~~~--~--~~------~-------------------- Q: \ell, I think girls do attain their height sooner than the ooys and A: And in those days a tall woman was rather unknCMl and nowadays with mtrition and everything they develop a lot of tall people. I was the tallest person in the ~rld in those days, I really was. I got to be 5'9" when I was about twelve or thirteen years old. vell, you can im!lgine and I was the only tall girl in my class so it did do sanething to rre. Q: You grew all at once and then yru quit growing because you • .. • A: I don't know my. Q: 'lbat was your final height at 5 '9". A: Yes, probably I was thirteen or SCJiething. I know men I started in bigjl school I just was so ash.an:ed of myself. Isn't that crazy? Q: In high school did you go to dances with girls or ltlat kind of social life was there? A: tell, honey, I belonged to a sorority. My sister belonged to one sorority. They had three sororities and my sister belonged to it, she got me in, and that helped, too. It was called Pi Beta Phi, 'Which really doesn't make any difference. Anyway they had three fraternities and three sororities. I went to a few dances rut, believe it or not, we went in carriages to these formal dances at the Leland. I ~t with another couple and this other couple was not COJllenial , and the girl, the ooy was not her boyfriend, she dido't have a boyfriend. You know, we'd ask and they'd be glad to go to these formal dances because they \ere dirm.er dances. tell, we got in this carriage and we'd ride one block and no one said a ~rd. (laughs) My goodness, the Leland wasn't too far away so we finally got there. It was really a disaster! (laughs) Q: You remember these dates as disasters, do you? (laughter) A: \ell, I think by the tine I got to be a senior I began to have a few little dates. No, I had a lot of friends. Isabelle Bradford used to be head of the Red Cross. I rret her in high school. It was my fresbnan year and we all went to art class and I had knOiill Suzie • • • a lot of girls, you kn(7;tll', and we were all ••• and my mther was a hospitable person. She'd always invite people to ~in and, of course, during Vbrld Wir I when we IIDVed fran Seventh Street to South Grand Averrue, w:t had friends that ~dca:oe in and we knit for the soldiers wer in the war and everything. • • • In those days • • • ~t do the Hawaiians play? A ukelele. I had to have a ukelele, never learned to play it. (laughs) I did probably a little, but the folks got me a ukelele. Sometimes we tried to play the ukelele a little bit and we knit a little bit. ve used to have--it was a lot of fun. 'lhe girls that had dates with these boyfriends. 'Ihey were all over in the Wir and so, you know, l.E were all just all with a lot of ~. rut it was ftm. te had a good time. Marion Esther Schemerhom Q: tell, you knew a lot of the fellows that went off to war? A: Yes, yes, I did know a lot and, you know, of course, my IIDther was friendly, too, and we knew it seemed like we knew a lot of people and I don't wer remember being lonely. Isn't that funny? Even though I didn't have dates, I didn't mind it. It didn't bother ue because I was so scared with the boys. I wasn't scared with waren. (laughs) Q: You just had a lot of friends and ••• A: I didn't really start having dates before I "Was about in my twenties. Different De:l, you know, and everything. I should have had a lonely life, b.lt I never felt deprived. Isn't that crazy? Q: No, I don't think you were. You had other interests • • • A: \tell, I '11 tell you my family life ••• my IIDther had a lot of humor. My dad did, too, and we used to have good times. You know, talking and having a good tinE together. Going out riding and &mday, we had :relatives, aunts, you knCJ'N' and everything and Margaret and I were • • • others had their children and were grmc and married and soo:eti:Des away so we 'Were just sort of favorite nieces you might say. That helped a Whole lot, you see. Q: You -went visiting relatives and friends? A: Right here in to~. Yes, they were all here. They cooked Christ:Dils dinners, 'Ihanksgiving dinners, and all that sort of stuff. It was a good life. Q: A good family life. A: It Wis, honey, and it's still a good life in a lot of ways. It really is. Q: Ib you remember the clothes that you w:>re as a teenager because I know they were different. A: Honey, I'm trying to think. Of course, I know as a teenager I had a sorority picture. \e all had--! don't know where we put than in that sorority picture. I wasn't the only one, they all had great big bows that stuck back here sooeti.nes and they stood out like b.ltterfly wings in the back. Ib you ever remember seeing pictures like that? Q: Not very IIm1Y. A: Ibn't you? tell • • • Q: Ib you have pictures like that? (laughter) A: 'lhey were all in a group. It was in the paper about four, five, six years ago. This Pi Beta Phi sorority pi,cture of all of us, practically eight or ten, fifteen of those girls, had these big lx>ws sticking out. You might be interested, Maude Hanes, who was the sister of M.J.rray HarEs, I was in that sorority and I don't think she had a big row sticking up. I have that picture sane place, rut I don't know where it is, honey. I cruldn't find it for you, rut I did cut out the clipping. \e wore, to tell the truth, I know I wanted to ~black. I think my oother thought I was crazy and I could sew in those days, a little bit, and I made myself a black chiffon blouse and wore it to high school. (laughs) Q: Cb, you l!E.re dressed up! I A: (laughs) But anyway, I don't renember now a lot of than wore skirts, yw. kn<:M, pulled dom and had • • • urJ sister wore skirts, you know, pulled dawn and bad ••• my sister v.10re skirts and a certain way and she always had sooe kind of a metal t~that had a dip dmn here like this and sc::oething [not clear] rut I don't really remember ~t I tNOre. I know liE. -were wearing high shoes. Q: Ch, you ~re. Up above your ankles then? A: Oh, yes, and I can't remember whether they ruttoned or laced. I was trying to think of that the other day rut sanetimes ••• oh, they "~Nere quite sanething. I think sane of them • • • I had white tops, black patent leather around and then the ¥hite kid tops. Oh, they were scrumptious! Q: Oh, they were fancy and did they have little heels? A: I don't think they had high heels. Now, that I don't rem:mber perfectly. I was tNOrking in the old Ridgely B.a.t:K. Now this probably doesn't nean anything to you. \ell, you knOW' fulen, did you know Helen Lloyd and Nan Uoyd? You know married Noonan, Paul Noonan? Q: Cb, I do know the name. A: \tell, Polly lloyd was the oldest sister and she was a very beautiful young woman. I don't know whether you'd call her beautiful. She was a pretty~. an attractive~. and she was going to get married. I was tNOrking in the Ridgely Bank, I renenber, and all the officers made CNer her. 9le cane in for h.tsi.ness affairs or sCJD'ething and I saw her with low shoes on without the high shoes. This was in the wintertine sod the first time I had ever seen anybody wear low shoes because lNe all wore high sh:les in the wintertiDe. You had to lEar--you couldn't go without them and I thought, "Oh boy, she's really up there." Her feet and legs looked .SO pretty with her low shoes on and • • • rut it wasn't too many years after that they were all wearing them. \e were all wearing them and never thought a thing about it, lut isn't that strange, honey? Q: 5he w;t.s the first one you e11er remember seeing? A: Yes, she was the first. She was SCJD9 Hays granddaughter. He wa.sn' t secretary to Lincoln, rut, anyway, they lived in this big bane over on Second Street near St. Paul's Qrurch and, of course, Nan is still alive, rut Helen and Polly are both dead. But anyway, that's the only thing I can remember IIUCh. and I don't know what we l«:>re. I don't remember people wearing fur coats, rut maybe I wa.sn't around where they wore them. I don't knOW". Is that forty..five mirrutes, honey? End of Side Two, Tape One L-.ll----------------~···-~--~----------- Q: Going tack to another historical event in Springfield, can you renanber anything about the race riot of 1908? A: \ell, I reoenber that, of course, it started in the Lyric Theatre o~ed by the !Dpers and it seems as though Mr. loper was employing one of his ~ters or his cook or sanething was black. 'Dlere was sane trouble wflether Satebody was killed or 'What it 'WaS, rut anyway they started to bum up the restaurant. He had a restaurant and a theatre right together. I t:hi.rit I 'm correct on this and anyway, it kind of started there and then the first thing you know everybody was disturbed because--I can't know why the blacks got so disturbed. \ell, they started, rut they were over on Spring and Cook. '!here was a horse trough and some mite man that was living with a black w:man.. I 'm sure that was the way it was. 'Ihey got her rut and I think they either killed him or killed her and drCMled them A: Right over there. \ell I think a beauty parlor is now or saneth:i.ng. But, anyway, that's ~re it was. 1hen we had a horse and bJggy and it was our habit to drive out to Wlshington Pa:t'k and they had, supposedly, a natural spring and people ~dgo out there. It wa.s spring water and they thought it was healthy. So we were going out one night, the four of us, and Mrs. Keys who lived across the street, the wife of Mr. Keys Who was the President of, at that time, Ridgely-Fanners National Bank, she cane over and said, "Don't you folks go. It's too dangerous." \ell, it was still light. It was the SlDDiertime, hot weather and she said, ''Don't you go out. It's too dangerous." \ell, we went out and cane back safely. So that night then my father had the vnter running in the bathroan. All of a sudden in the back of our house we heard a lot of horses hoofs and so on and so forth and it sounded like a young cavalry or something and, anyway, my mther said, •-rum off all the lights." And we did and they were searching--in those days they were called a bam--because the man next door, Mr. Bisch, who runs a furniture store, at one tine he had employed a coacltuan, a colored coachman and they wanted to get him. 'Ihey thought he was living in this bam out in the back there and they went down the alley. It was a regular troop of horses. They were soldiers. I think they had the National G.Jard out with this race riot and they were searching for this man, mether they wanted to protect him or to get him I don't l.cnaw. It scared us all to death. NCM that's my one experience with • • • Other than that I don't rememl-er too liilCb.. I do remember that distinctly because we all were just scared to death. You know with that happening. in that horse trough right on Spring and Edwards, it was. Did I say Spring and Cook? Spring and Edwards. · Q: Oh, it's Spring and Edwards. Q: \ell, you were close to where things were happening. A: Yes. \ell, you see we lived in the 600 block of South Seventh and that wasn't far fran town. I don't know if all those places•••• \ell, that was a nice neigJ:J.borhood. Of course, many people had servants in those days, a coaclman or sanething, and mst all of them in those positions were nari.al. positioo.s, you knOW', were blacks. NCM I kind of think these were National Guard IIEt1 on horses and I think they were trying to protect the fellow, really, l::ut we just never knew exactly What. It just scared us to death men \e saw all that you knOW' eight or ten nen all on horseba.d<. It scared us to death. Q: :hre. A: .tbw that 1s practically all I knOW" aoout the race riot. I can1t tell you anYJlDre. Q: \ell, you \ere a young girl then. A: I was eight years old. Q: But that impressed you enough that you still remember. A: I sure did. (laughs) There's that giggling again. Q: That's all right. ve talked earlier and you \~Jere going to tell De about B; big fire out at the Fairgrounds. Did that happen, do you 1:h:ink alx:rut 19 ••• A: \ell, I 'WOUld say alx:rut 1919, rut I am not sure. I believe my father died in 1921. He was sick about a year before he died. He was in the insurance rosiness and he had many different men fran other offices CCJIJe dom fran these big insurance canpanies to visit him, you knOW', and see about things. 'Ibis man was fran Chicago and he came drn.on and my mother was a ~nderful cook and he was always telling these people to cooe to dinner and he'd bring than lone. \oe were sitting there with Mr. Dickerson, Fred Dickerson, and my tlDther, Father, Margaret and I sitting around the dinner table. ve lived at Fifth and Ash and our dining roan was on the north side of the wilding and all of a sudden--we had windows' yqu know. facing en the north--we saw all this smoke out north. ve ~ndered mat it was and then, of course, we had radio. I 1m sure we had radio in those years. Didn1t \e have radio in those years in 1918-1919? Q: I was going to ask you when you heard the first radio. A: I 1m sure we had radio because it cane over the radio or sanething that the dane. • • • This was one of the biggest dooes in the world. Now that1s my understanding and it had been at the W:>rld1s Fair in 1893. \then this fair was wilt, whenever it was wilt, it was wilt before the 1900s. I know" that. 'Ihey shipped it dot.n here and erected it again and it was, I'm sure, when it was 1:u.rned it was one of the biggest dooes in the ~rld and it was at the W>rld's Fair in Qrl.cago and it rumed canpletely and that's it. NOW" that's all I knOW'. Q: Did you go out to the fire? A: I'm sure we did the next day, honey because we all. • • • In fact in those days we had a car and I 1m sure, so it was either in 1919 or 1920 but, as I say, my father died in 1921, in March of 1921, and he wasn't well for about a year so I would say it was about 1919. Q: That ~dpinpoint it pretty \ell. Yell, had you been in this claJe l:uilding? I! A: Yes, all my life. You see in those days when I was yo~, the fair was a DllSt rut now I don't even thiri< I want to go nOW". Ian t that awful? Q: ~11, I used to go when I was a kid, too. A: Go on the rides. It was part of our life. W:! "«>Uldn't dare not go to the fair. Q: Did they have exhibits in the dale b.rl.lding? A: Yes, they did. It was really an :i.Iolense thing and, of course, I suppose the state bought it I imagine fran the Vbrld's Fair men they \~~Jere probably dismantling it up there in Clrl.cago. You see my m:>ther and her friend, my m:>ther didn't marry until 1894 and she and some of her friends went up to the Wbrld's Fair in 1893 and she tells me a little bit about that and she knew all about this big dcme wilding. Q: She'd seen it up there. A: Yes, she'd seen it up there. Yes. 'lhat's all I knQW now l:ut I do know it was quite an exciting event. l-e were all we might have been no, we had too ID.1Ch sense to go out there that night when they lii'ere fighting the fire. ve didn't go out I 'm sure until the next day. Q: You could see the smoke and light fran your house? A: \ell, of course, there loilere not meny tall wildings. You could see it -was straight out to the Fairgrounds north and if you know mere Fifth and Ash iS there IS an apartm:nt Wilding there real niCe apartiJe:lt Wilding and the wind just rolled in fran the north there and we could just, ~ were just sitting there enjoying the meal and we said, ''L:>ok at that srooke up there!" It was saoething, it really was. But, as I say, we, probably now with sooe of these wildings there you _probably w:ruldn 't be able to see it. M:>st of those tall b.J.ildings dovnt<Ml. like the CIPS and the Illinois Building and all those things weren't there way back then. 'Ihey've been b.J.ilt probably in the 1920s. "\tell, I know the First National was not wilt until 1921 and the Ridgely wasn't wilt until 1927 and I don't think the CIPS was h.dlt until about 1927 or sooething like that. So the view ••• you could see it. Q: I can see that "«>Uld be quite impressive. A: It was. (laughs) Q: \ell, I think 'We '11 go back to your career. off last tiDe you were 'tllO:dd.ng for your father. I think mere we left You had just care out of high school and he decided to employ you for a Yhile. You 'Weren't terribly happy there.. A: ·& didn't know Wl.at else to do with·me. (laughter) Marg, my sister, was ~rld.ng there, too, you knOW'. She was very efficient and I just hated it. I really did because I didn't think I was needed particularly. I had taken shorthand and typing at school, blt I didn't like it. So , I then after he knew I hated it so, I just stayed home with my 100ther and, like I t:h1.rk I said before, she tried to teach ne to cook. I was really one of those misfit people. 'n1en I decided to take up to be an artist. My father said, ''\ell, if you will really w:>l:k at it I'll pay for a correspondence course. \e 'll see how you do." So sooe kind of a correspondence course and I--oh, I was Jmking sketches and I was doing this and that and the other thing and then he called ne up one day and said they wanted ne at the Ridgely Bark. At that ti.IJE I think that was consolidated with the Famers National and the Ridgely National and so I 'Wetlt dCMl and, scared to death, started in at my job. And that started my career and I was happy. (laughs) Isn't that sooething? Q: That's when you started. W:lat year TNOUJ.d that have been? A: Actually, honey, it was the latter part of 1919. See I got out of school in 1917 I was only 17 years old. I had started school When I was five. You see my birthday was in November so I started in September. I wasn't so smart. 'lhen I was 18 in the fall of that year. Q: You ~re young for your class then? A: Yes, just a few IIDilths younger than ordinarily because--! think they still let you do that, don't they? Q: Yes, they do. A: So then as long as I didn't fail or do anything why I got out in 1917 and I was 17 years. old. Q: You started at the bank men you ~re 19 years old. A: Yes, that's right. Q: Vbat did they have you doing? A: tbw this is sanething thatIs crazy. I was just a typist then rut aeyway in those days evet:ythi.ng--of course you know there were no cooputors, there was no anything. L. L. E.bmarson mo was Secretary of State--all the checks that ~dcOOE in they had auto licenses then even t:holJW:l it was back in the dax:k ages, they had them. Mr. George Keys, vice-president was a great politician with the Republicans and he had a lot of these state accounts. So all these checks that ~dcane in, everyone, ~had to list them on long sheets of paper, like the n.aoe of the payor, the name of the one that wrote the check, \llOUld be the payor, vmlidn't it? A lot of people don't know it rut they have runbers like What bank it was 7022 or 78242 and ~'d have to list the aoount the bank was on, see that number shows what bank and What city and evet:ythi.ng and then endorses them. They r.ere long sheets and we didn't have adding machines and we'd run all those things and make them balance. It was the DDst tiresare job in the w:>rld, l:ut I was because of the people I was around I enjoyed the place and then finally, I don't know Wn.y they thought I was maybe a little better than just doing that. 'lhey put me with the general bookkeeper, I was the assistant general bookkeeper so I got to do llhl.ch I enjoyed then and -we. • • • (laughs) Is that interesting, do you think? (1~) Q: Ch, yes. Yes. A: \tell, anyway she was real good. 'Ihey needed someoody each day. Now these were not the accounts of the custooers of the bank, these were the accounts of the bank itself. She was the general oookkeeper and they had long big ledgers long. • • • 'Ihe whole days "WOrk--we'd get the figures and~'d post them by hand I want you to know. 'Ihey'd question vhether they could use ne because I had such poor handwriting so Marion had to practice her handwriting and I practiced because I wanted that job. I practiced and practiced especially my figures so to this day my handwriting isn't so good, rut my figures are clear. t-ell anyway so we posted all that stuff. 'lhen when the bank closed she'd get on her side and add and I 'd get on my side and add, if you can imagine that, in our heads. Of course we'd put dom the figures on a piece of paper. We 1d add one colurn and put that down and then. if we agreed that was fine, and if~ didn't we'd have to go CNer. 'Ihat was for the books for the bank and I was on that job. 'lhen she left and so that made ue the general lx>okkeeper, ~ch was real good, and then I had a little assistant. Of course by that time I was used to it and I liked it•. It -was really kind of a challenge. Then after a vhile they decided I could go--they put ue--they opened up a trust department vhich in those early days they didn't have trust departnents in barKs. At least, I'm not aware they had and we opened up a trust department. So they decided to put ue in the trust depart.o:ent and they put ue up in a cage right up in the front and then I had an assistant and then I had to keep all those rooks for the trust departuent (laughs) by hand, if you can imagine that. Isn't that crazy? Q: It's very different now. A: I'm saying that all by hand. ve had typewriters. Of course they were not electric and my little assistant in those sheets that we could get in the type and I believe, I may be wrong, but it seems like the sheets were small enough that we could get those in the typewriter and she would type up the transactions and headings and everything, you knO'iN. Q: Yes. A: And this might be of interest. Old Dick Sullivan was very IID.JCh. a part of Republican politics and then Schwaner was his brother-in-law. I don't know llbether you ever heard lhrothea talk abJut Schwaner or not hlt anyway Schwaner. • • • 'Ibere are sooe of the Schwaner children here in Springfield. lhrothea knows them rut anyway Dick Sullivan and his wife and he had a daughter, Alma Sullivan. She married a Stureman, S-T-U-R-E-M-A-N, Stureman Brothers. 'Ihey were pltmbing and heating people and they were--the gossip •s--alilDst on the point of separation and they reconciled and so he and his wife took Alma and her J:rusband on a trip to New York. Either going or coming it seem; like caning back. It leS one like the New Yotk Central. 'Ihey had a train wreck and they all four v.ere killed. And W.le I 1m toying with this trust departnent for many years they had another daughter younger than this Alma. She1 s still alive I think. She's an albino and I think she's still alive. She n:ay be in Springfield and anyway she for many years I can remember~ ~re guardian for the property of the state of Harry L. Sturemen, a minor, I can rem:mber. See, she was the daughter of Alma and that's my I'm trying to think of it. SJ.e 's the daughter of Alma Stureman that was killed in this train accident and she was a minor and I can ranemher typing that da:m thing. (laughs) Property of the state of Harry S. Stureman, a minor. Q: Ib you still remember typing that? (laughter) A: I sure do. It's just like. • • • there's a J. F. Boynton. '!here's a lot of Boyntons around Pleasant Plains or New Berlin, I~. \e were also conservators for J. F. Boynton. He was--be had becaoe shell shocked in \obrld Wir I and he's still alive. He's Ben Boynton's brother, I don't know ~ther he'd older or younger. Ben's in his nineties out in a nursing h.ale. He 'WaS a lawyer. Now IX>rothea knows all these people I'm talking about and I can remember typ~ all that conservators of the estate of (laughs) J. F. Boynton. let s see conservator for the estate of J. F. Boynton an incaopetent or something like that and all those sort of things. They just sort of cam in my mind and I just can't ••• Q: You typed up the trusts then? A: Like the headings for these sheets, you knCM, and everything. Q: Ch. A: '1hey v.ere the kind of ledgers that had a key and you kind of tighten then up so they couldn't get them open unless you had a key and all that. Ch, it was fun. (laughs) It wasn't an easy job. Q: No. A: And this is the '!iDrst part of all. And you might be interested, we had goverment bonds. And I also had the canbina.tion to the vaults. Of coorse W2 bad securities too for these people and I had dra\ers in this cage that I'd lock up like rA1en I'd go out at noon and soemt:i.ues we had to cut coupons or something men they caDe due. So I put them in this dra~r and locked them up. I had the key so I went ahead and locked then up and I forgot to put them away that night. Ye Gods, when I got hone at night I thought about it, rut they were there the next thing in the IIDrning. Ch, it was such a terrible thing! I didn't sleep a wink all night. (laughs) Q: W:l.s that the only time you forgot? A: That was the only time I forgot. \ell, ordinarily you -were handling those things. I just happened not to handle them again or scmething and forgot to do it. vell, BirJWB.Y, that was that and then I went on. 'That's mere I was on the night of December 28th ~en these bankers came dov.n from Cld.cago. 'lhat's when I told you I wm::ked until tw:> and three o'clock in the mrning with Mrs. Rhineback and Mr. Keys so that they could loan them sam DDneY to open the bad<. 'Ihe next DDming -we called the state bank. \e called the state auditors, the chief, or ~erit was. 'lh&y caae over and closed the bark, and that was it. That was the end of the Ridgely-Farmers Bank. Q: Ch, and was this in 1932? A: 1932, December 19th. See the depression came in 1929 rut~ ~athered the stotm for a few years and a lot of the banks were closing earlier. Of course the tragic thing alx>ut that was that the great majority of those employed were just out of jobs just that day. There was just nothing mre for them to do, you know, after the--like tellers and everything. 'Ihey -were just out of a job. Sale of than had families. It was reallysad and it just happened that old girl Marion--she was lucky and I thank the dear L:>rd for all these lucky things that happened. I was a DemJcrat in a democratic administration and they said, "Can you do typing?" 'lhey knew I could type. They said, "Are you a stenographer?" I said, ''Yes," rut I wasn't really a good one. So I w:mt back to school at night to study. So then they IJBde n:e--I don't think you'd call ue a secretary, just a stenographer in those days. So men the receivers came in they kept ue on and I'd been typing, you kncw, and got to stay on for four years, in fact, I stayed on longer I guess. 'lhen I got a job with First National SO I ~UDSt fortunate. Q: tell, were you ~:r:king • • • you weren't w:>rking for the bank that had closed were you? A: The bank closed, rut the receiver cane in and set up offices on the first floor. The rest of the bank had an in.v'est:mmt departnent. Now these nanes don't~ anything to you, rut Mr. Nathan Cole was head of the in.v'estmmt departnent and they were on like the uezzanine floor ani, of course, his office was closed and then all the tellers. • • • 'Iheykept about ten or eight employees, maybe a little bit mre. 'lbat's all they could handle you know. Ch, and by the way this might be interesting to you. 'lialeomers lDan Corporation vas established by Roosevelt; I think they call it HOLC. I don't think it's still in existence as HOI.C. I'm aluost sure it isn't. It ~for eight years and it was established by the Demoo.rats and they had a • • • on the west side of the bank they had a large enough space that the lialE.oWiers lDan had their offices in there, really, to save m:ney I guess. Mrs. Batterton 'NB.S--sbe now--there again they did have wooen in those days doing things. She was ph.nq>ish and I guess very efficient and, of course, a good Ianocrat. They put her in the head of that office there. Q: Ch, she .a. A: So she was right in there. So it's not just real new having~ doing things. But an;yway they were over there and we on oore the east side 'WIJ'dd.ng and then the receiver Wl.o came dc:Ml he was appointed fran Oti.cago, be cane do~ and kept one or t~ of the officers to help h:im rut mst of the • • • It was really a tragic thing--not only for people that had their DDlleY in there--it was a tragic thing for the help because it was hard to find another job you know. Q: How many people were employed there at the bank? A: I was trying to think, honey. \e had our bookkeeping deparbDeilt on the third floor. Of course they had the elevators in the wilding. 1ben they had an elevator :in the bank part, like one of those smaller elevators, you know, self-operating. They I w::>uld say, now I think, fifty rut maybe there \ieren• t that many. I imagine it WJUl.d be about fifty because if you've eNer been in that Wilding. • • • lb you remember when Wilgreens took it over after. • • • You don• t knc:M'. Q: I don't. A: \ell, anyway it was a large beautiful lobby, beautiful chandeliers. It was really a very beautiful wilding and, of course, ~ had a safety deposit box vbich they kept open after it closed and they kept it, oh, for years. They organized another ca:npany and operated for years and now it's used. • • • For this explosion--you've read about that the other day didn't you? 'lhe Ridgely Building. Maybe you didn't, just the other day ••• Q: No. A: ~11, I just think it was in ••• Q: Oh, yes, where the man was badly hurt? Yes, I did. A: W:!ll, you read maybe the food stamps "tere--now they -were all in this vault where they used to have--it• s a very good valut. In fact I read an article in the paper about ten years ago, it's one of the best vaults in the state for a safety box. But now they have those food stamps and the government stores all those in it. I guess it's the government or the state. Or is it the state? I don't know. They changed so much. I think since Reagan's been in they put that bade on the state. Q: ~ybe so. Is this the sane valult that you had? A: That they had, yes. And they said none of them -were damaged or anything. It was a very nice vault. Q: It nust be. A: I just thought they really must 'be in a safe place d<Ml. in there. I grew up in that wilding. So my foot doctor--and I thought, ''Ye, Gods, if I 'd••••" (laughs) But it w;:,n't happen again. Q: Oh, no, I don't think so. A: vell, now that• s about. • • • do you want any more? Q: \oell, I was curious about the size of the Ridgely-Farners Bank as canpared to the Marine Bank, the First National, and the Illinois National. A: \Ell, I '11 tell you. At one t:i.nE • • • of course the Marine Bank really, I hate to say it, rut it has always been the Bank of Springfield in size, in deposits, in everything. It has always been the largest bank in Springfield, and its assets and everything are the largest. As I say, I hate to say it and then the Ridgely at one t:i.nE was considered a better hank than the First National l:ut in deposits and so on and then of course the First National--you don't knor.v, you \\leren 't alive, you don't know . these things. At the time ~ closed, the First National was closed for six l1leeks or longer, just absolutely closed. And then Mr. Hatch, whose wife 'itBB Ellen Smith fran Alton, very W!althy people, put in a million dollars in the First National and enabled it to reopen. Othei:Wi.se they ~dhave been as bad off as -we ~re. And they fired a lot of the officers that weren't so good for the bank and brought in a roan that knew how to operate it. In fact Mr. LJgan Hay • • • now these names are all very familiar to historic people that live here. You knc:M, you've heard of l.Dgan Hay? Q: Yes, I have. A: T,ell, he 'WaS on the board of directors and he'd seen this man. '!his roan was a national bank examiner and he1d seen him '«ltk. He brought him in and this man fired ~of them right and left. 'lhat -was my boss I 'Wellt to 'WOrk for, Mr. Ultler. He fired them right and left and then they put :in Mr. Hatch as president and he told them ~t to do for a long t:i.De. Then he got--and then things happened and he wasn1t the boss. I mean he was a good boss, rut then sane of then pushed him around a little bit. I shouldn't say that. But anyway, the Marine has always been the biggest bank and the First, the Illinois and I think the Ridgely came right next to the Marine and then the Illinois. The First really was the lesser of the. • • • oh, they had a lot of banks. They had another bank, ~rcial Trust and Savings, that I think Mr. Ernest E. Helmle was president. '!here was saoo bmks, sma.ll banks fanned in the golden years l:efore the depression and be~the 1920s and 1929 and they had sooe banks, South Side State Bank. And they had one I think on South Grand Averrue rut the one that Helmle had was I thi.rk Cam:ercial Trust. It failed. In those days if you were a stockholder you lost your mney. If you were an investor you had to pay double indam.ity. And they just lost their shirts, SOiDe of those directors did, rut now they have another law Where they don1 t have to pay that. Q: W:1en these banks folded a lot of people went mtder with them? A: That's right. It was really a very serious thing. Soae of them never did cane lEek. You know and their investJnents a lot of them ~t bad too. And sooe of them never cane back. Now the Keys--they of course--Ed, you remember Alvin Keys, I 1m sure you raxe»>Or him? Q: I do. A: \ell, you see he -was the son of Mr. Fdwa.rd L. Keys. He never, of course I thi.rit, he was in the :insurance b.Jsiness and then, too, Ed Keys his twin brother and George, of course. George had a hard time. He went--well they offered him a job up at Havana, Illinois. He was vice...president and he went with a bank up there. H:! had a friend up there. Then he caoe back do~ here and his wife w:>rked in Rolanda for a Wile. It was hard on people. You know, really hard. They had been used to everything and then•••• Q: SJ.re. A: But then it's just one of those things that happens. Now, honey, I think I told you evezything I knCTW. (laughs) Q: You've told ue a lot. I suppose a lot of people you ~rked with lost their jobs. A: They did, honey, and especially--now some of them--Oliver Orr, you know the Orr Insurance. Oliver Orr -was a teller and I felt so sorry for him, a young man, married, and he lost his job ~iately, but he did have a little. His family; I thi.nk, his grandfather -was old Oliver Steinmell. They had fatm properties and, anyway, he started an insurance b.Jsiness. Really in sooe of than it was a blessing. But What happened some of than were offered a job in the Marine Bank. Some of the tellers were with experience and I would say mybe or about I wouldn't say 50 percent, maybe 25 percent of them were offered jobs in the other banks and va1t over there. It helped a 'Afu>le lot. Q: 'Ihey could hire some of them. A: tb. Ii:> one was hiring anybody at that t~, you know. Even ~en I went over to the First National I knew this receivership was coming to an end and I was kind of thinking I TNOuld have to· find ~thing and I didn't know where I l«>Ul.d lad<. It just happened that I had a friend, TAho was a real good friend of mine, and she wanted to go to Cllicago to ~rk and she called ne up and told re if I wanted to apply for her job and I said, ''I sure do.'' I was very forbmate. Q: Yes, you were. Then when you ~t with First National, what TNere you doing there? A: You see she r.es a secretary. By that time I had becooe a little bit DDre efficient. I never was a typist or shorthand. It was not my. • • • I loved it because I could ~rk Tihere I wanted to Y.Jt:n:k. I never r.es efficient really. I really wasn't. (laughs) I lDJSt have gotten by all these years. Q: I think so. A: \ell, anyway, I think W:lat I had was kind of--would you call it intuition or sooething--I could anticipate things and think about thi.ngs and remind people of things, you knOW", and that helped a ~le lot. Tell them to do this and they better do that or the other thing. I -was very ID.lch aware of What was going on around me and I think that was mere rrrJ efficiency canE in, mre than my Y.JtJ:rldng ability. I don't think I had it. I never felt I did. (laughs) Q: You had sooething, Marion. (laughter) A: I had sanething. lmyway I l\1ent over there and I TNOrked hard. W:l.en the Ridgely Bank closed I had been getting, which in 1932, honey, was a good salary, $150 a mnth. <h, I could do everything with $150. '!hen they told me after the receivershop--they waited a little ~le--they reduced IE down to $135. \Ell, I was glad to get $135. 'Ibat was all right. 'lben I went wer to the First National and Mr. Oltler talked to ue and said, ''\e '11 have to start at $100 a DDilth." \ell, that was really bard, $100 a UDnth. \ell, I began to get a little mre then. After a Wile they approved Tirf lack of efficiency. (laughs) Q: 'Ibey gave you a raise for your lack of efficiency. (laughter) A: \ell, anyway. Then l--and I really I got so--see I met the public and I loved the public and I set right up where they caue by and, of course, it did delay me in my l«>rk rut I loved it. I 'd rather have net the public than anything in the v.urld. 'lbat was my life, you kn.cM. And I had--besides Mr. ilitler--I had Mr. luers and I had O:Jy Gilman and I had Ed Easley. Harriet told me, this girl that got n:e this job. She said, ''Marion, you'll w:>rk like a dog." vell, I did. I tell you sanetimes I'd be so tired, rut I was young and I woul.dn It have given in for anything. I worked, I really did. Q: \ere you secretary to several people? A: See, really they say you're secretary to Mr. ilitler. He was the executive vice-president. But I was really v.urking. I had to take dictation fran about five n:en and, of course, they were nice n:en to wxk for. Really they v,ere ~erful to me, rut I never knew which one's letters to get out first. (laughs) You know they'd dictate to me and I'd think, ''Now should I do these ones first?" And I did get so bewildered sometimes I didn't know W.t to • • • b.lt it was hard, honey, rut in those days you could take it. Q: You had mre than one ross then? A: Yes, I did, I had alx>ut five bosses. I really did. And Harriet did, too. And finally after a tine they got another girl dom there and she llllOrked in that departoent. She helped there and that helped a mole lot. But it took them a long tine to get wise to do it. Q: You were d.cMl. there really alone for a long time. A: On one side. I was on--these uen I'm talking about were all on the north side, right in the lobby. You knCM in those days they \Ere right in the lobby. They net the public and now they all hide away up on tbf! third or fourth floor. But new on the south side -was Mr. Hatch, the 1 president, and one other officer and they just had ~over there. 1bf.m. they had one se~retary over there and she'd go home a~t 3: 30 P. .m. o~j 4:00 p.m. and I d used to ~et so•••• (laughs) and I d think 'Ye Gods, here I am. I probably won t get to go through my work until five o'clock," rut, anyway, I tDide it. Now it doesn't seem so bad, blt I got tired. Q: &.tre, sure you did and then you w:>uld n:eet or see everybody that came into the bank where you were. A: Yes and that's the reason I know so many people. I really know an awful--and even the other day I was sitting, you know, now I go in the bank and I take a cab and go in the back door. '!hen I sit to get myself organized and get my 11Dl1eY out and whatever I'm going to do. Sate little w:xnan, a little foreign w:>man, I don't rffJ)f!llher at all said, ''Didn't you 26 used to ~rk in the bank?" She said, "I remember you so \<¥ell." She told n:e her IlBile. She sat dov.n and talked to n:e a little bit and I'd see people and they'd CCIIE up tone and say, ''You used to ~rk in the bank." You know it's kind of fun. Q: Sure, yes. A: But anyway I think ~'ve about covered the waterfront. End of Side 1\.u, Tape '1.\.u Q: Going back to the time you t~Drked in Ridgely-Farmers Bank, can youtell n:e who were the officers of the bark when you were there? A: The President was Mr. Edward D. Keys, K-E-Y-S, and then one of the Vice-presidents was George Keys, his son. Then there was an assistant cashier, another son, Edward Uncoln Keys, and then there was Mr. Alferd 0. Peterson, cashier, and Mr. Fra.t.i<. lauer was assistant cashier. Mrs. Jo Rh:ineba.ck was, she 'il.ent by Margaret T. Rhineba.ck, assistant-cashier and assistant trust officer and, to tell you the truth, there were other officers, but I just cannot rEm3Ilber. You know, those were the ones I can remember better than others. Q: Those '\\ere the ma:in officers then. A: Yes. 'Ihat's right. Q: tbw I know there T£re sane tenants in the bank building. lh youre.nenber anyone in particular that was there when you 'i.Ere? A: ~11, the law firm of Art Fitzgerald, ArtlDJ.r M. Fitzgerald. He was a very colorful lawyer and very brilliant lawyer and he was really like em actor or something, rut anyway, he became the attomey for the receiver. He was appointed by the closed bank and let's see what else should I say about. • • • Maybe, now do you remember, it's not this William Roberts that's been in the county and just elected. There was a Bill Roberts. Your aunt would remember his name and I think your m::>ther t~Duld, too. Bill Roberts, he married--oh, I think he married--that gal THho is married to Henry Barber now. You know that gal that's married to Henry Barber? Now maybe it was her sister. They Y.Jere the lAmseth girls or sooething. But anyway they went out west and she • • • they got a divorce and he married again. He was a lawyer up there. And lee Fnsel, you'd know Iae Fnsel? Q: Ch, sure I know that name. A: They were all young nr:m. Ralph 'fumb.Ill, of course, Ralph's dead--the one that had the accounting finn. Q: I knew him. A: Of course, they T.Nere the accountants for they worked through Fitzgerald, too, I thiri<.. They T.Nere appointed and that's about all I can reaenber, rut I just thought you might have remembered this Bill Roberts. & hasn't been dead too long. Ycu v.mtidn't, rut Dorothea v.mtid. Yes, she knew him well. Q: \tell, in sane of my readings I came across the name of Art Fitzgerald. You may know this--that he was a contenp:>rary of Vachel Lindsay's. Did Vachel Lindsay ever erne into the bank or did your paths cross? A: If be did I don't reuenber. The only ti.n:e I remember Vachel Lindsay was in the high school. They had what they called an assembly roan. It was old Springfield High School and they'd have a certain period sareti.n:e lltlere they'd have all the classes assembled in this roan and they had Vachel Lindsay care aver and give us one of his poems, mich was '"lhe Congo." He recited that. Q: Oh, yes. A: It was quite interesting really. He put all the emphasis on it and did all the things that were necessary to Imke it tum out well and that's the first time I ever saw him to my knowledge. Then later on I ~t dom to the <llristian Church one night. He gave, I guess you call it, a recital. I don't know ~t you'd call it. Q: A recitation? A: Yes and then later I heard him again. But "The Congo" he did very well. Of course, he was younger, too, and about the ti..De he gave this at the First Cll.ristian Church he '\<BS a little depressed. You know things weren't lNOxki.ng so TNell for him. Q: And he didn't perfonn quite as TNell? A: No. Now that's about all, rut I don't know what. • • • Art fit¥rald was a brilliant man and I don't think it's out of line to say. • • • I told you he was an alcoholic for years and then vhen he got the third wife, ltlo was his fotmer secretary, she straightened him out. For ~ last tWJ or three years to my knowledge, maybe longer than that he d~'t drink a drop, rut really be didn't waste his life because he'd go a s 11 when he v.mtidn't drink and he could just perfonn, you know, and have trials and everything and he '\<BS just a brilliant lawyer. If anybody wanted to win a case they'd hire· Art Fitzgerald. . Q: He was a trial lawye~ then? A: Yes, a defense lawyer and everything else. He was, really, people. • • • \Ell, I '11 tell you. H. L. Wi.lliBDEon, here I am again. Do you ever reuenber the Williamson twins? Q: No, I don't. A: (laughs) That's before your time, b.lt anyway he got into•••• don't reoenber circumstances. rut he had Art Fitzgerald defend him he got off all ~t. He got into same kind of trouble and Art Fitzgerald defended him. He uay have had to pay a f:ine rut he didn't have to go to prison or anything for it. Art was quite a guy. Q: Quite a successful lawyer. A: He was. He was his CM1 w::>rst enemy I guess, really. Q: Sounds like it. I think back to where the bank was and that was Fifth and MJnroe. Was that as hlsy a comer then as it is now? A: It was lD.lCh busier, honey. In a way, of course traffic was not like it is now. '!here weren't the automobiles and everything. l'bw across the street fran the Ridgely Barik was Mitchells Drugstore and then cattycornered W:lere Thrifty is was lhdds Drugstore and, I 'm trying to think, right across fran the north of us where those apartmmt wildings are I won't say because I don • t remember. It seemed to rre that, of course, in later years The Bootery was there at one t:i.ne, The Bootery Shoe Store. It jJ.l.Stseemed to lie that Coes Bookstore was dovn there at one time, rut I won't say; I believe I'm wrong on that; I thirit I am; I don't kn<JW". Q: I rE!lllE!Illber back to The Bootery, rut I don't reuenber before that. A: No, that ~dbe before The Bootery was there, you know, rut I don't know, b.lt I don't believe it was. I was trying to think. Isn't that funny? 'lhere was a Dodds Drugstore and Mitchells and then later on, after the bank closed, Wilgreens had a drugstore, a real nice store there in the lobby of the old Ridgely Bank. lh you remember that? Q: I do remember that now. A: Then you do, rut I don't know. • • • it was a nice drugstore from the way I remember it. Q: I think so. A: Yes, b.lt it didn't last too long I don't think. I guess downtov.n•• • • The traffic and so forth. The comer of Fifth and M:mroe and as you came down fran high school When you left high school--right back of mere the Thrifty Drugstore is there was Muellers Cigar Store and the lien lNOuld--it was just a typical cigar store, you know, kind of like Allens only it didn't have a fountain, I don't believe. I think it was a typ~caltobacco store and everything. The ooys fran high school w::>uld go and stand in front of there and look at the girls as they cao:e down, you know. Sane of them would cooe dc::Mn to have a soda at Dodds or sane placeand then they'd be around to look at all the girls. (laughs) My father, W:lo was very strict, didn't v.tmt us, Margaret and lie, to stand around Dodds Drugstore with those lx>ys. (laughs) Q: Cb, my. (laughter) A: 'lhose were streetcar days , honey. ve took the streetcar d<Ml. to Fifth and Monroe, you know. Q: All the streetcars came to that intersection? A: Really, I think you could almst get a streetcar to any place at fifth and Monroe there. And Saturday nights--oh lx>y, it was quite a place--and Saturday nights vere. • • • 'lhat was our time to go dcM:ltc:Jt..n and, you know, look around. Wiy back when I was a child, now later I don't suppose they ~re open, rut the stores V~Jere open you know and • • • Q: On Saturday? Saturday night? A: Ch, yes. 'Ihat's v.hen the fa~rs cane in to do their shopping. (laughs) Q: Ch. vas there a IlX'I\Tie theatre very close there? A: \<ell, the Lyric Theatre. • • • that was where that race riot started. 'Ihis loper • • • the Lyric Theatre was just a little bit north of W::lat 'iE call Dodds Comer there. See Dodds was right where the Thrifty Drugstore is OOW' and then a little bit north of that, I think right next to it, ~s Muellers Cigar Store and then just beyond that was the Lyric Theatre. : 'Ihen at one time lopers was there rut that was gone, long gone, rut t:l1¢ Lyric Theatre was there and then across the street there was another theatre. It seems to ne the Vaudette, but I--you know, back on the east side of the street they tore. • • • \oell, you know when they had the fire, I think that wilding was still standing, wasn't it? Q: Are you on fifth Street now? A: Yes. You know, on fifth Street right ba.ck of ...m.ere those apartments are now. Do you rem:mber that? Q: I think there was a theatre in there. A: I think so too. I think that was the Vaudette. Q: I don't remember the name rut • • • (laughter) A: No, you w:>uldn' t, honey. 'lhat was a long way back. But I don't know What they used that wilding for. It was just standing there. Maybe it had storage or sCXIething. For years that wilding wasn't used. ·And then, of course, the Gaiety 'Iheatre--I 'm sure it was called the Gaiety.\ohat was the one they just. • • • <h 1-brroe where the aparonents are · OOW"? It just went down men they rulldozed the whole thing. Wlat wasi that one? Q: Wa.s that the Senate? A: Senate. Yes, the Senate. Q: And before that, was that called the Gaiety? A: No, I believe. • • • I think it was, honey. I'm sure it was and they used to have. • • • Dorothea remembers it. 'Ihey used to have live shows. They called themselves '"'he Gifted Players" and they cane here. 'Ihey 'd cane and stay, perhaps for a season, and people. • • • 'Ihey were very popular. They'd have different shows rut they'd have the sane people in them and they'd take different parts and everything. It was quite a thing. Oh, I IDUld say wer al:xrut nayl:e one or two seasons, seems to ue, they came back for the second season, rut they would be here only three or four IIDnths and they'd go sane place else. Dorothea will remember though because she used to go to some of them. They called themselves '"'he Gifted Players" and I believe, though I don't kn.ow, when the Gaiety became the Senate. I guess after Kerosotes oought it. I don't know, rut it was long years ago I'm sure rut nCM I could be wrong.Those are some of the things I don't remember exactly. Q: The Gaiety was giving plays then, live enterta:i.rn'Ie:lt, not IOOVies? A: .tb, ''I'h.e Gifted Players." ve 'd see them sometimes on the street too, you know. They just becane. • • • I don't know whether they had a hotel--they didn't have so many hotels. This was way back, honey, let's see, I'm trying to think, probably in the early 1930s because I was still v.urking at the bank, the old Ridgely. It was before the bank closed so it had to be in the 1920s. I remember one of the uen that worked in the Trust Department of the bank--good looking guy, he was tall--and he took ne one night to one of those shows. Ch, I was so thrilled! So I'm sure it was called "The Gaiety Theatre." I think I'm right on that and then they changed it. See that was in the 1920s. Q: That was in the ~ties, the • • • A: The late ~nties, yes. Q: That sounds like fun. A: It wa.s fun. It was a lot of fun and I don't know though, Dorothea cane in 1927 so I know she renanbers them because~ talked about it a little bit. Q: .tbw at lunch time, were did you eat lunch? A: Gosh, honey, I'm trying to remember. Believe it or not, in all the years I worked the najority of times we always lived not too far fran to\<n and, in those days, I could walk. I lwed to walk. My little roother '\\ho vas at least up in her late eighties, she'd get my hmch fol' ue and I 'd go and have lunch and walk back to to\<n. Q: Ch, how nice. A: It was only about five or six blocks, you know, and it was good for ue. She'd have lunch ready and I 'd walk hone and walk back. Then when the bank, of course, that -was in later years, had a cafeteria, ~'d eat our lunch up there. Of course, I won't say always because. • • • This might be :interesting. Do you rem:mber Nonnans Restaurant? Q: Yes. A: \ell, Normans had a counter. Il:> you reosnber that ccnmter they had? Q: I t:h:ink: so. It TNaS still going for quite a while. A: I -would n:eet one of my friends vito ~rked for Barber & Barber, who were in the First National Bank. I'd l.ll!.!et her and we'd have our little lunch at the ccnmter and then \'tile' d go to Barkers and Bressmers or sane place shopping. In that hour \'tile could do roore things and now it takes n:e an hour to (laughs) walk across the street. Q: You DDVed quickly then? A: It makes a difference. Q: \ell, you had long legs and away you \'tilent. (laughs) A: It TNaS wonderful really to walk around. rut, anyway, (laughs) that was kind of fun and this girl that ~n:ked for Barber--she was 'J.':!ite a shopper. She loved to shop and I didn't like to shop so well, rut I d go tagging along with her. Sclxet:i.nes I 1d b.ly something rut I never did like to shop. Isn't that funny? Il:> you like to shop? Q: Not particularly. A: I don1 t either. She w.:ruld just go and look and lock, blt I 1d have to buy Sa:lBthing, I suppose. '\ell , that1s that I guess. Q: vas Ma.ldaners around on Sixth Street? A: Yes, honey it1s been there before I 'WaS bam. Q: I knew it bad been there a long time. A: And I rE:JIJBD.ber old Mr. • • • Of course, he was quite old, the old man, I think, the one that opened the restaurant, old John Ma.ldaner. He TNaS a nice old guy and then, of course, I remember old Mr. John--! v.un't say John Bressmer, John Bressmer's son, I think. He got to be in a W:l.eel chair before he died and they'd have him around the store at one t:i.n:e men Margaret and I were little girls. Bressmers was on the corner W:l.ere Rolands is and then they wilt the wilding back where they were Wlen they closed. Q: Did you tell n:e you v.urked at Bressmers? A: Oh, when I was wo:rking at the bank. Mr. Parr was at Bressaers store, I n:ean, he was manager of it and he said, ''W:luld you like to wo:rk during O:u:istmast:i.n:e on your off hours?.. He satd, ''le need sooebody," so I said yes and so he put n:e in, of all places, they had a balcony in those days, a gift balcony. They put n:e there. \Ell, I didn't mind selling, blt then I 1d have to wrap up the gifts and I never could wrap anything. I suppose they had soo:ebody--you kn.ow, they nust, I t:h:ink:, they had tubes in them. I don It know how they got their change bick' rut that was the part, I couldn't tie 'bor.vs. It was just terrible, (laughs) rut I filled out my term at <llristmast:l.ae. It was just like two weeks at <llrisbnastime or sometimes I wo:rked in the evenings. You know, the stores ¥Jere open at night and I Tt.Urked in the evenings and then naybe on Saturdays or sooething. loved it, in a way, and I got a beautiful hat on discount because anybody that Tt.Urked in the store could get a discount. Q: You spent all the IIDney that you made then? A: That's right. (laughter) It was kind of fun though, honey. Q: You w:>rked in the 1mlk full time and then in the evenings and Saturdays you worked at • • • A: I don't think I worked every evening. Maybe t:w:> evenings a ~ek and then Saturdays, rut I enjoyed it. Then, of course, what I have always enjoyed is meeting ~ople and knowing different people. 'Ihe reason I liked working--that s the only reason, I don't like to TNOrk. (laughs) Q: That's a good reason. (laughs) A: That's crazy. (laughs) Q: I know that you attended Lincoln Law School. Ib you ranember vhen that was? A: Yes, honey, Ihrothea, I think she graduated in June or Wlatever it is do~ there in Gillespie. In 1927, she cane up here. Now you can verify that with her if you ~t to, l:ut, I believe in the fall of 1927 we both started Lincoln Law, that's when I net her you know. And how I happened to meet her over there just right off the bat I don't know, l:ut anyway, this is what is interesting tone about it. Paul Angle was one of our teachers and Ben Thomas was one of them. To me that "Was the IIDSt interesting faculty personally. I didn't realize at the tine. I liked both of thf!D.. They ~re wonderful teachers, l:ut it was just nice to know later on th.tt they becanE so. • • • You know, like Ben 'lb.omas wrote those l:xloks , you. know. Q: <h Lincoln. A: Yes, and then Paul Angle was quite a guy. Paul Angle worked up in the Abraham Lincoln Association with L::>gan Hay's office with Brow.1, Hay, and Stephens, I believe. 'Ihen I saw both of them in the bank because Ben 'l1lon:e.s was a director of the ~rst National, too. Then he was also my landlord later on, so all these things came later on after I had gone to law school. 'lhey ~re teachers at that tine. Now Dorothea can verify that year for you because she Tt.Uuld remember it better, l:ut I 'm sure it was 1927. Q: W:lere was Lincoln Law School located? A: \Ell, she'll have to tell you that, too. I would say it was on the corner of Adams and Second. It would be the southeast comer of Adams and Second, l:ut you might verify that with her. I know it wasn't, you see--~·bther and I lived in the Hickox and that's how Ibrothea and !--she lived over on Eighth Street and we'd walk hale at night. She'd leave IE at the Hickox. W:! lived there in the apartment at Third and Cook and she'd leave ne and walk hellE at night. She Wl.Sn't afraid. • • • t.e newer thought of being afraid. <hce in a \\bile though, I believe, I had her call ne or sonething because once she had, I think she said, t~ boys she thinks they just wanted to flirt with her though rut you know she •• 0 Q: Wis this late at night? A: \ell, aoout ten o'clock I voould say because, I imagine, Lincoln Law School lasted, I really don't know the hours rut, I imagine, it was 9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m. before 'i.e got out. You know as a rule it ~uld be al::x:mt three hours, I imagine. I just don't remember those things, rut it was interesting. There were a lot of teachers there, young n:en, you know. I guess they \Ere knowledgeable and I think they \Ere paid a certain aJ.1D\lrlt. They didn't have to get too tDJch, lut they ~re young, probably glad to n:ake sone extra m:mey, you knCM. To ne it Wl.S quite a thing later on in life to know they'd taught me. I loved it rut it was hard on rre. Q: \Ell, you tNere ~:rking hard all during the day, too. A: And I was gatting a lot, too. (laughs) You're supposed to study when you go to school and I didn't have tine to study (laughs) and then times l:ecame kind of difficult. The bocks v.ere expensive and, of course, 1-bther had her incCll1e rut, of course, it was just a little bit too nu.ch for me with my social life not only physically, but financially, too. So I just quit. Q: How long did you go? Ib you remember that? A: I just \\'ellt one year. Q: <he year? A: Yes. But that year I really loved it. Isn't it strange how you neet. • • • circumstances. Ibrothea and I have been friends ever since. t-hat it is I think, she's nine years younger than I am and that's the way I can remember it so well. She graduated when she was seventeen I t:hitlk and I was, I think that's vilen it was, it's amazing. I believe she was eighteen when she cane up here. I don't knCM, rut anyway, I can remeiiJ.\ler it all so v.ell and 1-bther just took to her right away. · Q: Did any of your classmates beccme knoTNn lawyers in town? A: funey, Ibrothea can tell you that. ·&re you're supposed to be interviewing me, because she talked not long ago that she reoe:nbered so and so 'Went there, a lawyer. There ~re several of them that became, you know, good lawyers here in tCMJ. and I can't remember their IlBil1eS. I ~dn't want to tell you because I don't know, but Dorothea rene:nbers a lot of them. She was saying not long ago she always liked. • • • See she \\'ellt on and took a course out at Junior College in those days. It's the Springfield College, isn't it~ Q: Yes, rut it was called "JC" then, wasn't it? A: Yes. She VHJ.t on, you kn.aw, and finished m:>st of the courses that way and took her extension course. Che of these law lawyers she was saying used to have a car or walked back to to'W:l. together or souething from out there and he's practicing law. Ch, I think several of them are practicing law here. But of course, honey, they'd be up in years now. Some of them are gone. Q: Oh, sure they ~dbe. A: A lot of then it seems to 'lie. • • • sOJ:Ie of the obituaries I've read, you know, I don't remember the nanes, rut they attended Lincoln Law School. It was really a very nice thing for people with m:xierate cirCllllStances to be able to go there. I believe it was a four year course. Q: 1hat's ~t I w:>ndered, how long you ~nt. A: Yes, I think it was. But you did have to take the law examination. You had to have this other training like "JC," and then I think Ibrothea took this course, didn't she, like extension or what do they call it? Q: Correspondence? I think she did. A: She was determined and, of course, she was younger, honey. That makes a difference, too. Q: ~11, how long was Lincoln Law School functioning? A: \ell, it had been in existence for quite a while before Ibrothea and I went there and I w:>n' t be able to tell you. You see I wasn't too IIJ.JCh interested in it till I ~t to it, but I know it had been in that location, I think, ever since it started. It wasn't a big school or anything. I don't know these nen may have contriruted and not gotten paid. They may have just given of their services. 'Ihey may have felt kind of a civic duty or sOil'ething. Q: '!hey t-ere mainly young lawyers that ~re teaching? A: I was trying to think. I thought of his nane this m:>ming and we all. • • • one of them was Mr. Gullett, Noah Gullett. He was a teacher, but he was an old, old nml. He v.as nu.ch older than the rest of than and then there was this fellow and he'd still around now. He's still practicing law. Kind of good looking, he was at one tine, and I can't think who be married. His wife is still alive. You ask I.brothea. She'll think she's being interviewed, rut she can tell you Who he is. I 'm not so good on my names today. I was thi.nldng and I knew his IlBI.lle so ..ell and now I don't kn.aw. Q: G:>od looking lawyer that's still around • A: Yes. And his wife--he married sorrelx>dy with m:::mey and I think Dorqthea knows his wife and everything and they're both around. Q: <kay, I'll check with her. (laughter) I want to ask you alx:>ut an organization you n:entioned before. You said you were a nenber of the league of W:>men Voters. Now about v.hat time ms that in your history? A: W:!ll, I 'm trying to see, honey. I w:ts ~rking at the First National and I didn't go there until 1936. I was even trying to renenber that the other day. Dorothea was the one that got n:e into a lot of .these t:hings (laughs) and I was glad, I was 'willing. She some way or the other, of course, she was a lawyer and they got a hold of her and she asked ne if I didn't want to go with her. I remember it had to be, I believe, in the early 1940s, l:ut there again. • • • She still belongs to the league, Dorothea does. Q: I think you may be right. I've read, I believe, that they started in 1939 so that would be right in there. A: So that's What it ~dl:e then because~ v.ere charter m:mbers. re all fonmed this Chapter or Whatever they called it. I guess they called it a chapter down in the YWCA, dC'IINtl in the basement, and right away they made her president and then I know I '!NaS IIBde secretary l:ut it seems like I was made secretary and treasurer and then I kind of pulled a fast one on them. Maybe this shouldn't be on there. (laughter) It isn't anything bad. My sister lived in Joliet and I wanted to go up to Joliet to see her and they wanted a delegate up to Chicago. No one else seemed to want it so I got my way paid up to Cllicago by being a delegate to the corwention. 'lhen I went to ueetings there and then when I got through, I just went back to Joliet and visited Margaret. Of course, I stayed there l:ut I didn't like to go to those ueetings. Itwas so dumb. I didn't think about I 've got to go to those neetings because I 've got to report on this thing when I get back. Q: Sure. A: That's v.hat they sent n:e up there for, l:ut I don't enjoy conventions like that. I'm just not that type b.lt anyway I got my way paid up and back and attended the n:eetings. I guess I was in there several years, I believe I was. Well, it was all right rut I 'm not for • • • I suppose they do a lot of good. I don't know. Q: 'Ibey're still active in • • • A: lDok at all the debates they've raisThe first couple years I 10\Ted it and I enthusiasm for it. ed. was That's about all, hall enthused, then I oney. lost my End of Tape Three Q: I thought -wa 'd start today with sane of your nanories of Annistice Day following W:lrld Wir I. Can you remember a little about that? A: \ell, I know we went--my sister was ~rking for my father and she -went to Vl:>rk when ~ were living at 2002 . South Fifth. They ~t to Y.JOik. The reason I think--! don't think I ~nt to 14t>rk at the bank until 1919, rut maybe I did. But anyway I ~w:>rking for the bank and they let the banks out, closed them I guess, and my father was one of those kind. • • • Margaret and I, of course, 'Nere young enough to be enntional and he said, ''Now you girls, be careful." He was always afraid we'd be carried away with th:ings, you know. Oh, they W3.re blowing whistles, throwing confetti and there were just crowds milling the streets, but they were orderly. They -were not like they might be now. Of course, Scm:! of them nowadays, Wa.t I read in the papers at some of these baseball games and everything where they have a victory, they go crazyo It really Wa.s something that everybody in the tO'\ICJ. was out and they'd go aver to the railroad station, I didn't go over there, rut we just milled around. CrOINds and crowds you know--singing songso It was real exciting and there wasn't any rowiness at all. It was different people in those days . than now. That's all I can tell you. I just rE!IJ:allber it was a beautiful day. I know that because we were all out and it wasn't cold like some November elevenths are, rut other than that I just. • • • Isn't that crazy? That was a long tine ago, wasn't it? (laughs) Q: It is a long time ago. A: Yes and I remember my little sister was so sub:iued after fathero • My father was strict and he said, ''You just be careful," and so on and so forth, rut you know he was really a••• He didn't think emotions 0 were good, I guess, hlt we TNellt on anyway and my mther was able to celebrate too with us. '\E just went around and waved--! don't know if we had little flags or what, rut we waved things and we had a ball for about the \'tlole day long. Q: The '\tbcle day long ••• did they have a parade dOY.n. Fifth Street? A: I'm sure they did, honey. I don't know what street it was dovn rut they bad parades and they had bands out and it really was quite a ••• You see I was either nineteen or--I'm as old as the years and I was either eighteen or nineteen years old, michever year it was in, and Margaret was three years older than I am so we really thought it was. • • • Ch, we -were so happy! It was so v.underful you know. Q: Everybody was happy that day. A: They were. And everybody knew they were strangers, but they knew everyone and we talked. A lot of than sang and all that sort of thing. It was really quite an affair. Q: \ell, do you ren:anber anything alxrut Armistice Day after the Second WJrld Wir? A: Didn't they call that V-Day or something like that? Q: I think so. A: Just a little bit. To ne I don't know that they had the celebration at that tine that they did after the First W:>rld Wir. But I know--! was ~rking at the bank at the time and Helen Gibson and !--it was in May of or do you renenber? It was in M:ly of 1945. Marion Esther Sche~rhom Q: Right ab:>ut there. You're close. A: \Ell, anyway, it just seened to ne it was on her birthday and she and I :went to Maldaners for lunch. 'W:! vere w;:>rld.ng, l:ut 'NB toci< an hour for lunch and I think ~heard it before ve left. I don't know "Whether it cane CNer the wires or ~t, but we knew the "NB.r was ended and oh • • • but to rre the way I remember it, I don't reue:nber any great celebratioo like there was after tbrld W3.r I. \brld tilr I, there -;ere just m::>bs of people l:ut they all were, as I say, orderly, l:ut in Wlrld W3.r II EWeryb:>dy I know was tickled to death l:ut I just don1 t know Whether we were just mre staid then or what it was IIBybe. Q: It "NB.sn1 t the same kind of feeling? A: No. And yet we were tickled to death, EWerybody was. Maybe we were just too, not naive, just the opposite of naive. Q: CoSDDpolitan. • • • sophisticated? (laughter) A: Maybe that's the w;:>rd, I don't know. Q: It was just a different feeling? A: Yes. Because we were right downtown and I know everybody we met •s tickled to death. W:! didn't get so excited. Isn't that strange? Or course, we ware older. &len and I were see, 1945 I was 45 and Helen Justice was, too. I suppose other people. • • • there vweren't the m::>Ps dawn there. They ware not going around the streets like they did befote. I remember that distinctly. But isn't that strange, honey, and those are tM> really important events. You'd t:hir.k they'd be mre in my mind, r,nlldn't you? Q: W:!ll, you do ranember the feelings .. A: Yes. (laughs) Of course, I don't think we had been it too long, bad -we? \E didn't get in for a W:dle. Ch, I guess ve bad 1Jeen in. Didn't we get in in 19417 Wlsn't that Pearl Harb:>r Day? Q: Yes, yes. A: 1941.. W:lat was it, ~cember 7? Q: Right, right. A: 'lb.at's Yila.t I thought. 'W! should have been .... l:ut I don't know whether it affected the younger people mre to celebrate. Wall, Helen .and I just went back to YD'tk and they didn't close the bank or anything. (laughs) Q: 'lb.at's interesting though. I want to go back even further in your history. 'W:! talked a little before aOOut your oother and your father. IX> you remember something about your granchoother and grandfather? A: Honey, I never knew either one of my grandfathers. My mother1 s father died when he was 54. I knCM he had pneum:m.ia and my grandn:other, my mother1 s mther, died men she was 38. She'd had eleven children so she. • • • (laughs) Eleven was al:xJut enough. Then, I didn1t know them. They died before Mother was even married. Then ••• see it 'f<1a.S eleven children. M:>ther -was do-wn the line a little bit. At 38 when she died, 1-bther was only thirteen years old I think and my father's folks--now my sister remembers Grandfather Schemerhom, rut I don't. They ~re fran Michigan, Sturgis, Michigan and I have no recollection of him at all. He died and then when my Grandrrother Sche:rnerhom cane do\'111 to visit us later. • • • Ch, I was a little girl and I remember her. She had this old arthritis that I did, (laughs) rut, as I say, they Y.lere both gone bam up in Sturgis, Michigan and the Hillier family were dCMn in Ship::oon, Illinois. They had a farm do\'111 there and both of them Y.lere farm people. And my grandparents on my mother's side came over fran Fngland and they both, my grando:other and grandfather, they ~re not married rut they carre over fran England and ~t one another. Ship:nan was quite an Fnglish settleom.t. They said they cane up to New Orleans in a ship in that area and then they took an CNer flatooat and cane up to Alton, you know, ani then up to ShiiJIBI1. There were a lot of Fnglish people in Shipnan, Illinois. And you. • • • do you know mere that is? It's not far fran Carlinville. Q: I do know that Daddy's fran Fidelity and M:>ther said that it's dCMl in that area. A: It's in Macoupin Q:mnty like Carlinville is Q: Like Gillespie. A: Is Gillespie in Macoupin County? Q: Yes. A: You see, Carlinville is the county seat of Ma.coupin County. That's where that big courthouse is, you knCM, they b.lilt way back when a million dollar courthouse and then the man that was the architect or S<XIEthing•• • • you know, you1 re heard that story. Q: I'm not sure. I don't think so. A: I think his nan:e was Holliday, H-0-J...-L-I-D-A-Y. It's a beautiful courthouse, it's still a beautiful--it looks kind of like our statehouse. Q: I've seen it, rut I don't remember the story. A: He got away. • • • 'IAhether he was the architect, I'm sure he was the architect. I don't think be was the contractor. Anyway he got away with a lot of lDJl'ley. They corwicted him later and I read, you knCM, in those weeklys about Carlinville, oh, maybe ten or fifteen years ago. It just confirms vtlat my mother had told n:e about you know--it always impressed her. Her father used to take the kids over there on a springwagon, she said, over to Carlinville and then they went through the big courthouse. But anyway going back to my grandaother Schernerhom--she had--! llllSt have inherited my arthritis fran her because she had arthritis. Nice old \\lOillai'l the way I reue:nber, and then she went out to California to stay with one of her daughters, wo w:ts married, and she died out there. You see, I just remember one grandparent because all the rest were gone. They ~re Holland Dutch, the Schemerhorns were ••• Q: And then your Ill)therIS IIDther and father were OOth English. A: N:>t my father, you see he was Holland OJ.tch. But my mother was English. I n::ean, her father and JIDther cane wer from England and, of course, her grandfather. Her grandparents, one of them (laughs), this sounds--! don't nean it this way--he never worked a day in his life. He was an English gentleman. They came CNer fran Eogland and he r..ns an · Episcopalian. M:>ther said he read his prayer oook all the tine and he and his wife lived with my 100ther and my grandfather and his wife. M:>ther said he had the grandparents on her m:>ther's side and the grandparents on his father's side, the four of them, and they had eleven children, and then they didn't think they "Were going to have a boy so they adopted a boy. N:>, I think they adopted one son. After they had 1:\\U girls he wanted a ooy so they adopted one, so they had the twelve children (laughs) and Mother said .....O.en they sat down to dinner with the four grandparents living there and all the kids, she said it was sooethingl (laughs) Q: vell, did she have t:\«> children, both girls, and then he was "'«>rried, so they adopted a boy and then they had eight mre or sooething? A: Yes, and the very next one was a boy, George. I remember they talked about it. M:>ther was dovn the line a little bit. They had a Rose and a lDuise and then they adopted this Tan and the next one I think--no, they adopted this--what did I say his narJE was? I don't knCM", Tan, I think it was and then Joe. • • • I don't r~r. You know I don't know What happened to that family. I have never kept in touch with them or anything, but then after my graru.i:oother died my grandfather married again and married. • • • MJther liked her• She was a nice StelliDther, rut She had all these kids to cope with and it wasn't easy for her and then he died and so on and so forth. But anyway I still keep in touch with the stepmther's granddaughter. She's a person about 75 to 76 years old and she lives in Califomia. She's my first cousin. Her JIDther was my mther's half sister, but we were very close. M:>ther 'WaS always close to her. Sle was young and M:>ther looked after her. So that's all I know now, honey. My family I don't know. I think my grandfather's name was John Schennerhorn and I know that Hillier was Edward. You see, I used to have pictures of them and everything rut 'WE've IOO\Ted so IIJJCh and I donIt care anyroore. I don't have anybody to hand than on to, you knCM". Q; vell t did your m::>ther I8 m:>thert your great grandiwtherJ Yil.CJm you did not know, did she die in childbirth then, because she died at age 38? A: N:>, in those days, you know, they called it consumption. She contracted that. Q: (h. 40 A: Ch, she was sick for a oonth and they told her it was consumption and she used to get so tired. At school they'd all say, ''How's your IIDther, how's your IIDther?" Of course, she wasn't getting any better. It was just too n:uch for her and all. Isn't that crazy? Q: <h, my. lbw much schooling did your oother have? IX> you know? A: I think that M:>ther nOW" I would say old man Terry, you know, Q.leenie 's A: I'm sure it was. He'd bring her to school. She was younger than my mther, about five or six years, and he'd bring her to school and he'd say, "Now look she can ~rall these questions and none of you can," rut Mother used to say she was terrifically netvous and he was very strict. He YBS very knowledgable, real smart old guy, you know, and he taught his daughter at h.cxie a lot of things. M:>ther said she could answer all these questions and they all felt so dunb, l:ut I think she only had an eighth grade schooling. I really do, l:ut she v.ns sm:rrt, hon. In later years she just loved to read and she could cook. I don't care if you brought her a wren or sooething she could cook it. She knew how to cook. Wlen I worked sooe of the m:m would go out shooting and bring in things like--! didn't particularly care for duck. They'd bring in some of these things like--Wa.t are those small things you cook that ate really a delicacy. • • • a dove? No, not dove, what would it be? grandfather, taught my mother. He taught in Shirman, Illinois. Q: Oh. A: And he had this Ellen, Who -wa.s Ellen? Ellen Ter::ry. Queenie's mther. Wlsn 't her name Q: I don't remember. Q: Pheasant? Quail? A: Q.lail, that's what. MJther knew how to cook them and I wouldn't have knom anyiiDre than a rabbit. You'd bring her hoo:E sooething. • • • how \\1e doing? Q: Cb, we 're fine. (laughter) A: But she just--Ibrothea always said she was a marvelous cook and she 'ili1B.S. She knew how to do anything. Sew, she could sew and cook and do anything and to ue she was a marvelous woman. In later years she said, ''I'm having the t:ine of my life, Marion." That was probably when she was in her seventies and eighties. I was woxking and ~ just had a small apartment and she'd read. She belonged to Kings Daughters and took part in things, you know, and she just was really doing all the things she couldn't do when we -were kids, you kncrw. It was a marvelous life for her in later years. Q: Did she cook for all her brothers and sisters? Is that how she leamed how? A: Evidently. All the sisters \ere good cooks so evidently. • • • :t-bther said they called them hired girls in those days and hired IIEl, rut she said the actual cooking ~s done by the girls. You know they helped one another. And 11\Y Aunt Lou, I knCM, she was a marvelous cook and my Aunt Lizzie, VI:! called her, that lived here--the sister of the one that married the other Schernerhom--sbe was w:>nderful. ~'d have these Thanksgiving. • • • one w:>uld have 'lbanksgiving there and one YDuld have Chrismas. '!he food was just out of this world! I've never had food so good in my life. I'm kind of spoiled, I think. M:>ther used to have Dorothea over a lot too because she was alone up here and M::>ther loved to cook for Dorothea and she'd have a. • • • and what did Dorothea say? She'd have a. • • • She always was such a marvelous cook. I 'd go hone from w:>rk even \\hen Mother was 88, 89, even 90. She'd have a full neal every night. She'd have neat, and a vegetable, and a salad and a dess~rt all ready for ne and it was just marvelous. (laughs) · Q: You really appreciated all that after w:>rking all ••• A: I appreciate it mre now because I can't have it any more. Q: And how old was she when she died? A: W=ll, she was 90. She died in August. She 'WOuld have been 91 in October. Q: She lived a long life then. A: Yes, she did. I don't want to live that long. Q: Ch, my. (laughs) A: I don't. vell, she had these • • • you know the Ga.rveys w=re awfully good to Mother, and Margaret and Irene have always liked older people. They'd take M:>ther and rre and we'd go out for rides and they w=re awful good. She got to go out, in fact, she got so she couldn't walk very uuch, rut she was a marvelous Y.JOJDail. She got so she couldn't hear which ws really a terrible handicap for her. She was interested in things, you know. Q: 'lhat's interesting. I'd heard a little alx>ut her fran Mother and Daddy. A: Yes, that's right. They toDuld have known her too, VDUldn't they? Q: Yes. A: And, of course, men you ~re just a! little baby~ lived over there at 517. They brought you over one day itl the car. 'Ihey wanted us to see you, you know, and we all went out to the car. 'Ihey wouldn't c<IDe in, I don't think. ~ went out to see you and you. were just a little baby. (laughs) Q: Ch, my, that's a long time ago. (la\lghter) I had been recalling our collV'ersations al:xru.t Ridgely-Fanrers Bank; and I had heard in sane of my reading, and talking with people that that was one of the banks that .....ns able to pay back its depositors after it was closed. Is that true? A: I don't counterdict it because if the depositors happen to think that I'm glad of it. They only paid about 87 percent back which was • • • Honey, wait just a minute. (tape stopped) Q: \e were talking about Ridgely-Famers Bank paying back its depositors and you IISltioned you thought it was al:out • • • A: Eighty-seven percent. Q: That's pretty good. A: 'Ihat's good. It's a lot better than aoout 50 percent or something. Q: Yes. \ell, I wanted to check on that because I had heard that and I knew you "WJUld know. OJ you ren:anber, since ~ -were talking about parades and things like that, do you rem:mber any prominent politicians or gcwemors that came into the bank? A: N:>, I told you in my earlier interview that Oglesby c~ into the bank once and I think that was the old Ridgely-Famers though way back when, honey. But I was trying to think. Of course I met Adlai Stevenson at a formal dance one night at the Leland. He and. • • • oh, what's his name? He used to nm the St. Nick futel. His wife, he married a Pasfield. Oh, I can't think of his nan:e. They were there. I don't know whether they ~re there in a political capacity or v.hat it was, rut ~ got there late and the SliD.parlor of the Leland--they had the liquor in there and they served it at these dances. \oe got there late and nu couples of us and there was Adlai Stevenson and. • • • oh, I know them so well and his wife's still alive, his widow. Cb, I know it so ~11 l:ut anyway•••• Susan ••• Q: Bartholf? A: Bartholf. '!hat's right, honey. And he was with Adlai Stevenson and Can:E. up. Of course, they were feeling no pain and we 'I'.Eren't either so ~ all got real friendly before. • • • bl:> couples, Adlai, and the Bartholfs and so then the next day--those were the days when they had receptions, New Year's Day receptions at the mansion. Next day M:>ther and I went and Govemor Stevenson said to his son, his son was in line with him because, of course, he didn't. • • • His wife and he ~re divorced. He said, '"'bis is the young lady I met at the party." So I was real flattered to think he remembered. (laughs) He had a personality. He really did. · Q: Yes, I had heard that ~s true. A: But I can't think of any other public officials. I told you once alx>ut John L. lewis can:ing in the bank, head of the United Mine Vbrkers. He was quite a prominent. • • • you know he headed the mines for years and years. Marion Esther Sche~rhom Q: Did he look like his pictures? A: Yes, he did, very much. Q: Big rushy eyebrows. A: And the crazy thing was no one was paying any attention and right away I knew who it was and I wmt over to one of the officers and said, "'Ihere's Jolm L. lewis. You retter get rusy." So anyway. • • • (laughter) Q: You alerted everybody? A: The important officers. I didnIt know mat he was in there for. I don't know yet what he was in there for, rut I wanted him to get attenl;ion. They really think they should have it, you know, and I think they should too. Q: Yes, well, I think I would have recognized him. A: Yes, you would, honey. I think a lot and--you know, it's amazing to Ire men I 've reen in to the Mansion View' SOJ:Ieoody canes in that I recognize. Now, Bakalis, I recognized him one day. NCM, I 've never liked Bakalis, he's a Democrat. I didn't particUlarly care for him l:ut he came in and I thought. • • • You knc:M, they didn't--sooe of those girls, those waitresses, don't know beans. Really, they don't, and I recognized him and I told them and so on and so forth. (laughs) Maybe they think it's none of my business, anyway but I wanted them to kind of show them sane respect because they have held those offices you know. Bakalis was Superintendent of Schools or something like that. Q: For the State? A: Yes, for the State of Illinois. A lot of people didn't like him. Maybe I shouldn't have that on there. Q: I don't think that will lrurt. (laughter) A: ~11 anyway, honey, that's all. I don't renenber. 'Ihere probably vere lots of them that came in. Of course, old l.Dgan Hay used to cane in rut he was on our Board of Directors and he was quite a prominent man. That's all I know. Of course, he was a pran:i.nent man in Springfield, civic and everything, rut I don't knCM. • • • he was kind of a man l:ehind the scenes, I think. Q: You talked about Governor Green. Did he cane into the bank? A: No, oh, it wasn't Green, honey, it was Stratton. Did I say Green? It was Stratton. Q: It was Stratton instead of Green. Ckay. A: Stratton and thEm had 1l'e over there one tine. Vhen we arranged this reception for the Mayor. You know, I was President of Mary Bryant Evening Group and if I said Green, it was wrong. Marion Esther Sche:t'llerhom 44 And they were very gracious and nice to ne. I couldn't have asked for anybody to be any nicer and we lEllt over there and had our picture taken. Ckay, and, by the way. honey, do you r.ent that little picture? Q: Sure, I do. A: tka.y. Q: \ell, Marion, thank you for sharing your recollections with IlY:'! and with the Oral History IeparDient at Sangam:>n State. I 've enjoyed being with you. A: vell, honey, I've enjoyed it, too. It's been fun. And I've had a chance to talk. (laughs)
|Title||Schermerhorn, Marion Ester - Interview and Memoir|
Banks and Banking
Illinois State Fair
Lincoln College of Law, Springfield (Ill.)
Springfield (Ill.)--Banks and Banking
Springfield (Ill.)--Race Riot, 1908
|Description||Schermerhorn, lifelong resident of Springfield, recalls the city in the early and mid 20th century: family life, growing up, the race riot of 1908, Dome Building fire at the fairgrounds, downtown Springfield, Lincoln Law School, and Charles Street. Also discusses the Ridgely-Farmers Bank and First National Bank.|
|Creator||Schermerhorn, Marion Ester (1899-1994)|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Murray, Doann [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||Marion Ester Schermerhorn Memoir|
|Source||Marion Ester Schermerhorn Memoir.pdf|
|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
Marion Ester Schermerhorn Memoir
SCH28. Schermerhorn, Marion Ester (1899-1994)
Interview and memoir
4 tapes, 180 mins., 47 pp.
Schermerhorn, lifelong resident of Springfield, recalls the city in the early and mid 20th century: family life, growing up, the race riot of 1908, Dome Building fire at the fairgrounds, downtown Springfield, Lincoln Law School, and Charles Street. Also discusses the Ridgely-Farmers Bank and First National Bank.
Interview by Doann Murray, 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
This manuscript is the product of tape-recorded interviews conducted
by Ihann Murray for the Oral History Office during the fall of 1984.
D:>ann MJ.rray transcribed the tapes and edited the transcripts; Marion
Schennerhom revi~d the transcript.
Marion Esther Schenrerhom was bom in Springfield, Illinois on N:Jvember 24, 1899. S:le graduated fran Springfield High School and has been a lifelong resident of Springfield.
Miss Schennerhom v.urked in the Ridgely-Faro:ers Bank and the First
National Bank as executive secretary for over fifty years. Her ccnm:mts
on b!mking, especially covering the period of the depression of 1932 and
its effects on the camnm.ity, plus her recollections of downtown
Springfield are explored. She recalls her family life and the trials of "growing up."
The intervi~r, Ihann Murray, is a graduate of the University of Illinois and a student in the Oral llistory course taught by Professor Cullan I.avis of Sangaroon State University. Mrs. Murray is a native of Springfield and is acquainted with Miss Schernerhom. Marion Schero:erhom is a contemporary of the intervi~r's aunt, Ibrothea Fredrickson McAnulty,whcm she refers to on several occasions.
Readers of this oral history Il'leJOOir should bear in mind that it is a
transcript of the spoken word, and that the interviev.er, narrator and editor sought to preserve the infonnal , conversational style that is inherent in such historical sources. Sangamon State University is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the IIBIDir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge.
The manuscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any neans, electronic or 'I:OOchanical , without peiiDission in writing fran the Oral History Office, SangamonState University, Springfield, Illinois 62708.
Table of Contents
Family Background • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1 Neighbors ••••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 2 Charles Street. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 3 Father's Occupation • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 Family Life •••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 \Estminster Church. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 9 Growing up. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .10 Fashions. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .13 Race Riot of 1908 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .15 Iknne Building Fire. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .16 Ridgely-Famers Bank. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .18 Bank Closing. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ~20 First National Bank • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .20
Officers and Tenants of Ridgely-Fanners • • • .26 Do'Wiltown Springfield. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .28 Lincoln Law School. .32 League of Wbmen Vbters. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .35
Armistice Days•••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .35 Family History. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .37 Importance of Mother. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .40
Public Fl.gures. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .42
Marion Esther Schermerhorn, October 17, 1984, Springfield, Illinois. lklann Murray, IntervieTNer.
Q: Marion, men and mere TNere you oorn?
A: \ell, I was hom on Nova:nber 24, 1899 on South Spring Street in a house W:rl.ch is gone now. It ~s in the area across fran the museum ~ that area. It's all tom dov.n now, you know. !
Q: Cb South Second?
A: On South Spring.
Q: South Spring.
A: Yes. You know across fran the state wildings there.
Q: (b yes.
A: It's all tom down now. It hasn't been standing for years.
Q: A lot of new wildings have been wilt in there.
A: I think it was that area 'tlbere that parking lot is. It seems to ne on South Spring, kind of in that block fran the IIII.lSeum do'lllll to the Archives wilding and all those are. I believe it ~s.