Mrs. Chester Scott Memoir - Part 1
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections Mrs. Chester Scott Memoir SCO83. Scott, Mrs. Chester (Marguerite Merritt) b. 1904 Interview and memoir 5 tapes, 450 mins., 2 vols., 146 pp. Mrs. Chester Scott discusses life in Michigan and Illinois: growing up, schools, and family in Albion and Cooks, Michigan; marriage to Chester Scott; entertainment and life in Chicago; her work in graduate school as a research assistant in dietary studies at the University of Chicago; community services; Methodist Churches; and family, schools, and community in Chatham, Illinois. Interview by Judy Mason, 1987 OPEN See collateral file Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1987, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Marguerite and Chester Scott 1970 Preface '!his rcanuscript is the product of tape-reaonied interviews oorXlucted by JUdy Mason for the oral Hi.stor:y Office in October an:i November of 1987. Judy Mason an:l Francie st:aggs transcribed. the tapes an:i Edited the transcript. Mrs. Olester SOott reviewe::l the transcript. Mrs. Chester SOott was bam on June 11, 1904 in ID.ther, Michigan. '!his JllE!IX)ir is filled with anecrlotes of her youth in small toims an:l in rural Michigan. '!his JllE!IX)ir :bas stories of sleigh rides, taffy p.Uls, fislrl.rq with her grardfatm.er, workin;J in a cannirg factoey, and favorite ani not so favorite teac;hlrs. Mrs. SOott graduated cum lauCie from Albion College in Albion, Michigan in 1926 with a major in Halle Economics. She taught three years; two years was in the upper peninsula of Michigan in a small F.renc"ll canaaian village. In 1929, she married Chester Scott an:i moved to arl.cago where she became a graduate st:udent at the university of arl.caqo. She an:i Mr. SOott did sate work with \ll'De:tpl::'ivileged youth in the city. '!hen Mr. Scott became a prd:>a.tion officer for the COok COUnty Juvenile COUrt. Upon obtaini.nq her master's degree frat the university of Olicago in 1930, Mrs. Scott worked for the university assistinq in dietary an:i nutritional studies. one study was on the effect of radiated milk on the teeth an:l bones of children. In addition to raising' two sons, Mrs. Scott has always been active tlu'alghout her life vol'Wlteerin;J for the church, scouts, 4-H, Sprinqfield CCI:I.1lmmity Action, an::l other worthw.hile causes. She continues to plt in many hours ~ clothes an:l mak:irq baby bl.an'kets for those in need. Mrs. SOatt' s JllE!IX)ir speaks of a life that has been fulfilled by education, hal::d work, an:i service to others. J'udy Mason has lived. in <llatham, Illinois for :met of her adult life. She graduated from A:nde:rson College, A:nde:rson, In:1ia:na an:l is married to Tan Mason. '!hey have two children. Judy, who has been active in several organizations in <llatham. ani Sprinqfield, is currently teaching Erqlish at Glenwocd Junior High SChool in <llatham.. She received. her master's degree in PUblic Histoey £:ran Sa:rgamon State University in 1988. Readers of this oral histol:y me!llOir should bear in mind that it is a transcript of the sp:>ken woni, and that the interviewer, narrator and editor sought to preserve the infonaal, conversatiooal style that is inherent in such historical sources. San;Janal state University is not responsible for the factual accuracy of this JllE!IX)ir, nor for the views expressed therein; these are for the reader to ju:lqe. 'lhe rcanuscript may be read, quoted an::l cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any ll.'leailS, electronic or med'lanical, withcut permission in writing fran the oral Histoey Office, Sangam:m state University, Sprinqfield, Illinois 62794-9243. Table of Contents Family Backgroun:i • Foods • Illnesses Clat:hirq. RecreatiOl'\IEntertainm. Fduca.tion • 'Ibys/Games. cannirg • BaJd.na". water • Methodist Orurcb/Socials Politics. Ethnic GraJps Favorite Teachers • Train WI'eck • Wlld Flowers. Jabs. High School Holidays. • Gramparents. High SChool Graduation. Albion COllege, Albion, Michigan. Cooks 1 Michigan/SChool Teacher • Clubs/organizations • Mr. Chester Scott • • • • • • • 1 3 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 17 20 22 25 31 33 34 38 41 42 47 52 55 56 57 Life in Cooks, Michigan. Brethren, Michigan/School Teacher 0 Marriage 0 SUmmer Ca:ap 0 Graduate SbJdentjUniversity of Chicago • Research Assistant;Dietaey studies • Albion Q)lleqe canp.m. Depression • Olildren 0 0 Sc:uthem Illinois Mines/Coal Miners. Chicago Entertai.rmw:mt. Quilt~ Bees. Ola.tham, Illinois Olatham Methodist Church 0 4-H Club/BOy SCouts. caldwell School. <llat.ham Schools. C21atham Ccrmramity arl.ldin:J 0 Grandchildren. Food St:an:i 0 Olatham Newspaper. Olatham Teaders SearastJ:ess 0 0 ~ Camty CCinmunity Action • Il'9ltherin;J 0 Snowflakes 0 0 60 66 72 73 78 82 82 86 88 92 95 101 107 114 116 117 118 119 123 123 128 131 132 133 135 138 Mrs. Chester Soott1 oct:o1::ler 15, 1987, Olatham, Illinois. JUdy Mason, Interviewer. Q: I knew you've lived here many years 1 Mrs. SCott, but Whe:r:e 'Wiel"e you bom? A: I was bom in the small town of ~' in lake c:ounty, Michigan. '!hat t s in north central Michigan. Q: Did you have a very large family? A: No. 'l1lere "WB.t:'11 three of us. I'lf. the youngest. I have a brother and. sister. · Q: What age differences "WB.t:'ll there? You "WB.t:'ll the youngest. Were there many years between you? A: My brother's five years older ard my sister was about a year ard a half older. Q: were your parents raised in that area also, or did they move to the area? A: No. My father was bam in Englani. He came to the united States as a teenager, I think in 1886. His older sister am her husbard had come here several years before am had bough.t a fa:nn in lake c:ounty, Michigan. I t.hink. their older son was bam in Engla:rrl, but I 1m not sure of that. Dad's other sister 1 who 1 s three years older than he, came with him at the same time in 1886. Q: He was a teenager? A: He was eighteen, I t.hink.. I think he came in 1886, ard he was eighteen at that time. Q: was that a large :Erqlish settlement? A: No. I don't k:naw' why the family came to that part of the COlm.try. My uncle had come several years before ard had bought a fa:nn in this little town or just out of this little town an:l he had gone back ard got his wife. I believe their first child was bam in Englan::l. I don •t know' why they settled in that part of Michigan or even why they came to Michigan. I8d never talked l'lllCh. about his family. Pe.t.'haps by the time I was bam, he didn •t reli.V:!l1lber too 1lllCh. about them because by that time he'd been here twenty years. Pe:tilaps he didn't remember very l1'JlCb. about his family 1 so I never knew much about my gra.ndpare:nts on that side of the family. Mrs. Chester scott 2 Q: What al:xJut your mother? A: My UDtlle:r was born in cana.d.a ani she came to Michigan with her family when she was five years old. 'lbat was in 1883. I don't lalc::M why they came to Michigan. '!hey d.idn' t settle in the same county. '!hey settled in Mason a:.xmty which is next to rake CcmJ.ty. She had two brothers at that time when they came. 'lb.e third brother was also bom in canada. Gran:ima. went back for the birth of the third son, so they all came to Michigan eventually. But m.Jther went back to canada a number of times in later years when the family was-well, there weren't too many of the family left by that time. She used to go back with a cousin of ours an::l visit scma of the relatives that were still there. I've l1fii!!\Ter met aey of the canadian relatives except two of my gra.rxhtDther's sisters came ax::e to Michigan, and. I met them. '!hey were, I suppose, in their early seventies at that time. I never net aey of the other canadian :relatives. . I bad .cna cousin, It¥ grandDDther's brother's gra.rrjdaughter 'Who lives close to Detroit, ani we're very good friems. Q: Ch, that's nice. A: But ather than that, there are no relatives arcuni here. Q: Do yoo. happen to know what province in canada they were fran? A: Ontario. Q: ontario? A: My l'IIJt:her was born in Brantforcl, ontario. Q: I see. So when your parents mar.rled, were they fam people? Did they live on the farm? A: No. '!bey were married in another little town in Michigan, also in Mason County. Dad had worked on the railroad in his earlier years. In fact, he 'WOrked on the railroad feu: a lag time. I think fran the time he came to Michigan, :fran when I remember, he was oon:iuctor on this railroad. You have to remember that the railroads were the chief means of transportation at that time. 'lhough this W8Sll 't a very lCilg line, I think it covered about four CDlllties in north central Michigan. It was a very iltrport.ant means of transportation because there 'Werel'l •t art:/ autanobiles am towns were quite far apart, so :most of the transportation in Michigan had to be by railroad. So it covered a section of n.orther.n Michigan that had, you might say, no other means of transportation. Q: '!be roads were probably ver.y pxr? A: I suppose so. I suppose they were gravel. Q: Not many cars, as you said. A: (Iaughter) Well, as far as I know, there were:n •t art:/ cars. After all, I was born in 1904. 3 Q: Your father was a corrlucter for most of his life? A: well, he work.ed on the ra.il:road until 1916 when he was critically injured in a train wreck. He had to quit railroading after that. So, he never went back to that particular :t:usiness. He wasn't employed for about a year. He wasn't able to go back to work. When he did finally go, he wnt to Midlan:l, Michigan an:l worked in DoW Clemical canpany. Q: were you bom at this time? were you a family at this time? ·A: I was twelve when he was lnlrt.. Q: so you all mewed to Midlan:l? A: No. we had moved. frail this little town of Inther when I was six. '!hat would have been in 1910. we mewed to Marion which was the er:d of the line for this little railroad. Marion was another little town in the next county to 'l'f1here :r was bom, an:l that's 'l'f1here :r started. to i school. we lived 'l'f1here w had several acres of lard, so we always lhad a big garden. We raised Jersey cx:JWS. My mt:her made butter an:l · cottage cheese, or sa1E!t.i.D¥as w sold just the cream an:l we also had cottage cheese. 'lhat was where I spent my first eight grades of school in this little town. Q: I want to get back to the food yaJr mt:her prepared in just a minute. At that time railroads probably had no CXIlq:)enSa.tion for people who were injured, did they? Like D.'Ciltey? Was he helpe:i out in arty way after the wreck? Or after his injucy? A: Pe:d:laps he was helped out with the doctor bills. I don't kn.ow. I don It remember that. Q: Do you remember what type of work he did for now Chemical? A: No. I don't. He took this job durirq world War I. Since DoW had government oontract:s, his work was classified. Q: Your DDther, did she ever have a1'\Y employnvant outside the bane? A: Nat in those earlier years. No. Wc::.atvan didn't work outside the home. (laughter) 'lbere was always en::surJb to do at bane. Q: I 'WOUld say so. You talked aloout the butter and cottage cheese. Did that mean you CMl"led. cows on your place? A: Yes. We had usually around five or six. I think one year w had eight. So it meant a lot of mil.Jd.rg. Mather milked. Maybe that's what I OJght to say. Maybe that was her occupation. (laughter) Mother did the mil.1d.n:J. Q: I should say so. What about you children? Did you help with the milk:in;t? Mrs. 01ester SCott 4 A: No. We always had sane:thi.ng to do. we always had chickens and we had ducks, and we always raised a couple of pigs that we :butchered for our own use. we always had a bit] gar:den with, oh., all k.i.n» of vegetables. I can :remember helping cut up carrots to feed the oows. Q: carrots? A: we always sliced them. we always had a lot of garden. we had strawberries ani raspber;ries ani different :ki.rxS of fruit, am a.sparagus in addition to the other garden. we had about two acres of garden. Q: So you dhildren probably worked in that quite a bit. A: Yes. we drove c.x:.r.~S to pasture, which was usually ab::lut, oh, I S'IJl:':."pose it ll.1l.lSt have been one or two miles eJt~ay. we took them before we went to sdlcol ani after we came back fran school. We lived right on the edge of this little t.awn. In the summertime, we used to go' over ani pick up potatoes for the farmer, and get two cents a ~ for pic'k:in:J them up. we used to top turnips that he stored forll.if" stock. Q: Ycu mean that was like an outside job for mak:in; a little bit of mney? A: Yes. '!hat's the way we made ours, I guess you'd call it, our spen;llng l'IOley. Q: Picking potatoes, and what is toppjn;J tmnips? A: JUst tak.inq the tops off. '!hey couldn't be stored with the tops on. Q: 'lhey 'Walld sprout with the tops aa? A: No. But they take up too lDlJCh roan. I think they feet the tumips to the pigs. Q: You 11.'1el1tianed b.ltdlerirg. Did you observe the butcherirg of the pig? A: No. 'lhe farmer used to do the l::IUtc::tlerinq for us. We didn't have the facilities for l:rutcherinq. we did the cutting up ani~ like that, but we didn't do the actual l:rutcherin;J, as I remember. we used to snrike our own hams, I remember. Q: ~ about mald..n:J sausage~ Did you make any sausage? A: No. We made headcheese, which I suppose is a little bit like sausage. (lal.I;Jhter) I can't remember that we ever made sausage. We smoked hams ani bacon. B.tt I can't remember that we ever made sausage. Maybe my family didn't like sausage, I don't k:now. Q: Did. you sell some of these products to other people? Mrs. Olester scott 5 A: 'lhe bltter and cottage cheese we did. We did sell milk saaet.bles. Q: I:b you recall how the cottage cheese was made? Did you ol:::se:l:.'ve that? ' A: Well, you just p.tt the milk en the stove l.U'ltil it began to thihen up and then put it in the strainer and strain the whey off, and it always had good rich Jersey cream en it. 'lhe cottage cheese I get now doesn't taste like that. Q: Is:M fat :now. A: Ani it doesn't have rich cream en it. Q: In other wonls, you have to cook the cottage cheese? A: Well, I don't Jmc::T..f if it is ClCIOked :now, but you heated it very slowly, and that separated cut the curd fran the whey. Q: As a ycJ1.1n3' child do you remember any illnesses or any tinva you \had to have doctors CXlme to ycur house? I'm t:ryirg to think of sane of the medical ~ that you used. A: I can remember the doctor CClt'd..n:J. I always seemed to get sick in the sprirg. 'lhe doctor always prescribed c:x::d-liver oil. I think that's one reason I don't like fish a.n.yiOOre. (laughter) It was calleci SCott's Emulsicn and it looked like Milk of Magnesia, only it tasted like fish. My mother always gave it to me in a little bit of milk, ani if she turned her back, after she gave it to me, I put it in the piq feed. (laughter) so I didn't get a great deal of c:x::d-livar oil. Q: You manaqed to su:tVive without it. A: I can remember havi.nq a sana throat. I can remeniber the doctor CClt'd..n:J ani leavirg a crystalline substance. I don't know what it was, but he put it in little papers and folded it down. My mot:her used to open that paper at the ems and she'd blow that in my nw:::uth. I don't know what it was. Q: Isn't that in.teresti:n;J. A: 'lhe doctor had a l:uggy. He drove a very beautiful team of black horses. '!ben I guess I had ll¥JSt of the other childhood diseases. I had :measles, and I had chic'ken pox. A few things like that. Q: I:b you r:emeaber how you felt when you had chicken pox? can you remember the disccmfort, or what they did to stop the it:dling? A: No. I can remember the sore throat JOOSt of all. I remember how it hurt when I p.:rt this medicine in my throat. (laughter) It was very painful. Q: '!he medicine was? 6 A: Yes. Q: 'Blat's interestir.q. You say the doctor had a beautiful set of horses and a buggy. was that considered. to be sanet::hi1YJ that prani:nent people had? was he considered a wealthy man or well to do? A: I think he was. He had a large family of children. '!hey were very well-educated people. He had, I think, about six or seven children. '!be oldest one was thra:lgb. college by that time am was, I believe a school tea.cher, rut I •m nat sure of that. 'lhere may have been an older :t::oy who was also t:hrcugh college. I don't remember that too well. 'lbe:re was one qirl a little your.ger than I am. She was the ytrui",geSt in the family. ~there were two boys in high school at the same time my bn:Jt.her was. Q: Did you have horses in your family? A: No. Q: How wa.lld you get arou:rd where YQU needed to go? A: 'Wal.ked. If 'We wanted to qo very far 1 'We went on the train. '!be northern Michiqan state Fair was at cadillac, which is nineteen miles fran where 'We lived. We used to qo to the state fair every year 1 but 'We went by train. Q: Yc:ur whole family would qo? A: Yes. Q: Would you stay a day or • A: Yes. We 'WOUld qo in the mominq an::i a::me back at night. Q: What lc.irDs of thirr;rs wa.Ud you do and see at the fair? What would they have for exhibits? Or fun? A: I don't really remember. I'm quite sure • had a Ferris wheel and a ~. But they had exhibits. I can nmeober that there were tb.i.fgs to buy. My 1'IDther one year bought a jar of Poncl's Vanisll.irg cream. NCM 'Why I remember that, I don't lcrlaw. I guess because you didn't usually buy t:hirgs like that. (laughs) Q: Maybe it was saueth.i.rg new and they were introducirq it. A: Probably. I don't remember too lllllCh about it, rut I can reneober she qot this jar of Poncl' s Vanish.in; Cream. I don •t k:nclw what it was S\.1R.X)Eled to vanish. Q: Probably wrinkles, maybe. A: Perhaps. Q: Do you remember tak.i.rq fcxxi with you or buyir.q food there? I Mrs. Olester scott 7 A: I think we probably took food with us. I S1.JR?OSe there must have been aoncessions. I don • t remember them. Q: I imagine it would be sane1:hin;J you looked fozward to, qoinJ to a fair. A: Oh, yes. Because in small towns, though eventually we had a theater, there weren •t very many things to do. we didn •t go downtown and l'larq arouni the corner the way children do now. We lived about, I suppose it :must have been, probably three-quarters of a mile to the begi.nnirg of Main street to where we lived. Since there were no other towns close by, the Main street was quite long. I'Jhere were a lot of stores in this little t:.c7.rm. You didn't get in your alltcm:Jbile and go to the next tam to do yair shq:pi.rg. You did all yair shq:pi.rg there. You got a sears and Roel:Juck catalog and a Mant:ganecy Ward catalog and you used to shop fran there. I can even remember buying groceries: soda crackers and cookies fran sears, Roebuck. Q: Really? A: Yes. We'd buy big boxes of soda crackers. And. we'd buy big boxes of raisins. Q: 'lhey were ordered? A: Yes. Q: Would they came in the mail? A: Yes. I guess so. 'Ihey really came by freight because we used to sern quite large orders. Q: What about clothes? Would you OJ:.'tler clothes fran sears? A: When we had clothes that came fran the store. • . . My mother sewed. She had been apprenticed to a seamstress when she was a very little girl. so, she did nw:st of our sewin:J for us. But if we got one fran sears, that was sane1:hin;J special. I think our winter coats came fran sears. I think our shoes came fran the local stores I rut I don't believe our coats came fran the local stores. I'm not sure whether they had clot:J:ti.rg in the stores. ~ had a men's store, ani I suppose there :must have been sane clothi.rq m the other stores, rut most of them were grocecy stores and haJ:dwares and there was a confectionery store and a CXJUple of dnlg stores. '!here were two or three dep:!rtment stores, because in those days, you went to the store to buy gin;Jha:m and yard goods and thread and t:hi.n:Js of that sort. so we didn •t sern away for t:hin;Js like that. I guess probably we sent for bed linens fran sears. I don •t remember that they sold things like that in the local stores. Maybe they did. Q: Do you remember if all the stores were in one line an the street, or was there a square like so many of the small • • • A: No. It was a long street probably-well, it seemed very long to me. It may not have been nore than a half-mile long with stores an Mrs. Cbester Scott 8 each side of the street ani then there were a couple an a little side street. 'Ibel::e was a gristmill, an insuranoe office, ani another little store aver here. We had a bakery ani we had a weekly newspaper. We had a bank, ani probably five churches. It seemed ~ike a 101'11 street to me. I Q: It soun:ls ver.y cartpl.ete. A: Well it had to be because you didn't go to cadillac ever.y day of the week. Q: '!bat was the nearest large town? A: '!bat was the nearest lal::ge town. I suppose it wasn't a ver.y large tc:Mn. It was perhaps und.er ten thousand. It seemE!Id. like a great c::ity to us. Q: In your town, were there trees alon:;J the streets in town? A: '11lere weren't on the main street. '1be.l:e were on the side ~. But the main street, as I remember it, was just stores. I t:h.i:n.k they came right up to the sidewalk. Probably there wasn't any parkway. Probably the sidewalk came right up next to the street. I don •t believe there were any cm:t::s. I don •t remember those. Q: What about a park? Did they set aside lani in those days for a park? A: No. 'lbere was one. '1be.l:e was a race track right at the edge of tc:Mn. It was sane distance fran whet:e we lived, ard there nDJSt ha.ve been a park there. I believe it was callecl Riverside. Probably it was. Q: A race t:ra.ck? Horse race track? A: Yes. Q: People 'WOJ.ld go ani bet an the races? A: I don •t knc::lw whether they'd bet or nat. I'm nat sure they bet in those days. (lau;Jhs) I have a vague recollection of going there a:tee in a while to see the races. We had a h.anecc::ani.rg that started when we lived there. It was always held on the 7th of AUgust, ard it was almost like a county fair. Ard they had races on that day ard there were CXlJ.'lCeSSia1s up ani dclwn Main street. l?eople came back. the way they do far the ~ here in Cbltham. It was quite an affair. l?eople came fran quite a distance. I can remember that the railroad used. to pxt on extra coaches to bring people fran the other small towns artW.1I'd to this 7th of AugUst celebration. 'lhey had it a good many years. 'lhey had it after I grew up. I went back a couple of times before I was married.. We were back there several times for the 7th of AUgust. Q: What else would they have in your ya..1D;J childhood? What all would they ••• Mrs. Cllester Scott 9 A: 'Well, they used to plt on plays. '!bat would be ~e. I remember scme of the high school teachers used to take part m the plays. '!hey were quite good. plays. I can't remember the names of them rDtl. But they were good plays. We didn • t have any gymnasiUillll!l. '!here was no organized ball. '!here was a t.cMn team that played basketball, but I don't remember where they practiced. '!hey had a very qood. basketball team, but they weren't high sc::h:x>l boys. 'lhey were grcwn men. One of them was a high school teacher. 'lhey played quite a few of the small towns around. there. 'lhey were a very sucessful team at one time. Q: You had a theater right there, that came later, you said. A: Eventually we had a l'OCN'ie theater. Q: Do you :haJ;:'pen to recall any of the early D:Wies? A: No. I don't remember goinq very many times. We had to walk. 'Ihe:re were no street lights out as far as we lived ani you didn't walk in the Clark. we had lanterns, but I don't think we had flashlight!$. I don't remember ever havirg a flashlight when -we were children. l think they took in the sidewalks at night. I don •t remember goir¥] down to the village after dark. Q: People stayed bane in those days, I imagine. A: Well, yes. '!here wasn't anyt::hi.D;J to do. After the l'OCN'ie came I guess .-we used to go to the movie, but the stores closed at ~. '!bey didn't stay open in the evenin:Js except on saturday. saturday, I think they were open a little later. out where we lived there weren't any electric lights. We lighted em- house with lanps. Q: Oil lanps? A: Yes. Q: ret's talk about your sc::h:x>l a little bit. Do you nmiEIDber when you were sta.rt.in:J in first grade? 'Ihey probably didn't have kinc1et:garten, did they? . A: No. I didn •t start to school until I was a.lloost seven. My sister was sick quite a lot, and. had problEIIll!l goin'J to school in the little town where we lived when she would have started to sc::h:x>l. IJhe school house b.u:ned. so, she didn't get a dlance to go as much as she should have the year she was six. so when -we 100Ved to Marion, tl:l<::ugh I was six years old, Mother didn •t want me to start school because she didn't want me in the same grade as my sister. So, I didn •t start until I was a.l:nDit seven. a.zt the teacher plt me in the second grade the next year anyway. We -went through school together. Q: How did your 1lDther feel about that? A: Well, I don't remember that she ever said very much. My brother was enc::u;Jh older that he had taught me quite a lot of thir.gs they had Mrs. Cllaster SOott 10 learned in the first grade. He taught me my letters ani my nuni:::lers ani how to write my name. I think he taught me to read. Q: You llllSt have known how. 'lhat's probably why they :pJt you in the secord grade. A: I think I had ab1rt two nart:hs in the first grade. Q: Were you ani your sister good friends? A: I suppose -we fought as all kids do. I guess -we became closer after -we grew up. '!hough -we USEd to do thi.rqs together. '!here weren't too many children arourxl where -we lived. I had a couple of chums that lived close by. In fact about three. One girl lived in the first house in the oount.ey l::ut it was aver across the highway. I used to get up on the top of our house ani "You whoo11 to her ani that's how -we ta.lked across the i.nte.lvenirg distance. (l.aughter) Q: at, that's f\mny. I .imagine your parents weren't too haPPY' to have you on the house, were they? A: I can't remember that they ever said nuch about it. we always OJ:ganized our play :better than the kids do J'lOW". we played games. We lived at the erd of the road so that w c::lalld play out on the street. There was no traffic that went by because there were no aut.ald::>iles. '!here was no particular reason for anybody to came down there with a horse because there were just two houses on that erd of the street. So, -we played out in the road. I guess kids fran quite a ways away nDJSt have cane because we USEd to play baseball and w played Illck on the Rock an:l a few thi.rqs like that and ma:r:bles. We always had cats an:l dogs so we'd dress up the cats. We had doll clothes. our house had an attic an:l my sister and. I fixed roams up there and. had doll families. My grandl:rc:Jther had made each of us a monkey and the lOOl'l)geys were always the fathe:rs. we each had a girl doll ard we had smaller dolls for the children. I think we nade nart of our fumiture, but we had pretty good-sized. houses in the attic fran the t:hin:js that we had made. Q: The doll your g:randnDther made looked just like a lOOl'1key? A: Yes. Q: How do you play J:lllC'Jt on a Rock? A: You pit one rock on anot:he:r ard then you t:h:r:cW a rock at it an:l tey to knock the rock off. We played Auntie-I -over where you thl:."cw" a ball over the roof of a h.aJse and sanehody on the other side catches it or is SIJRXlSed. to. When you t:h:r:cW. it you say, "Antie-r-over." we played Hide a:nd Seek an:i seve:r:a1 other games. I can't remember What we called. them. Usually they were games where we hid saoewhere. But I can remember playirg Antie-I -over. Q: Did you ever play Kick the can? A: No. I don't think so. Mrs. Ol.ester SCott 11 Q: When you played Al.mtie-I-over and the ball didn •t 90 a.Jer, would you say, "Piqta.il "? A: No. I think the ball always 'Went a.Jer. (laughs) Q: Oh, really. so you didn't have to have a word for that? A: No. We played Blind Man's Bluff. Do you knc7ll hew to play that? Q: Yes. I think I've played that. A: We used to play that quite a lot. But we played with our dolls, I think DDre. We didn't have any sidewalks so we didn't roller skate. Only my brother had a bicycle. So anywhere we went, we walked. Q: Do you remember it bein;J hot up in that attic? A: Yes. Q: It didn't bother you, t.hough. You'd 90 up aeyway. A: No. We went anyway. You didn't notice the heat in those days. You never had air-conclitioning. Michigan isn't that hot. Q: 'lbat 1 s true. It wouldn 1t be like down here. A: No. At least not the part of Miclhigan where we lived. It's about halfway up in the state. It didn't get hot the way it does in Illinois. or at least we didn't notice it. Q: '1he hnmicHty is probably a lot less. A: I suppose so. Q: I knew Michigan nrN is a great fruit-prcducirq state. Were they producirg fruit . . • A: Not where w. lived. It was too cold. Well, the::t"e is sane that is raised. '!bey raised cherries farther north. But D¥JSt of the fruit is raisecl over alo.ng the shore line where they get the win:i that keeps the weather milder. Q: I see. A: We had fruit trees and we did have sane fruit. I ~ they must have been hal:dy apples. Ard we did raise strawbel:r1es, bJ:t of course, those take a shorter season. But ll¥JSt of the orc:iha:tds are over alo.ng Iake Michigan. Q: I see. Your mother probably canned a lot of t.l:l.in:Js. A: Oh, yes. We always p.rt thin;Js in the basement. Actually it was a cellar, I suppose. She canned all ld..n::ls of fruit and. pickles. She canned sane vegetables. I can remember that we canned tauatoes, but th.e:t:e weren't any pressure ot::lOkers, at least not that I :r:ertl!lllber. We Mrs. <llester scott 12 didn't have one artJWaY. If you canned vegetables, you put sane sort of a preservative in them. I don't know' What that was. We did can sane COJ:n, succotash ani t:hi.r'gs of that sort, but mostly we stored squash ani beets am carrots ani thin;Js of that sort in the cellar. I can remember that one year we made ~kraut. we had lots of cabba.ge so we made sauerkraut. But of CCJUJ:'S$ that could be put in the basement, too. Q: D::> yru remember how that was made? A: Yes. You shredded the cabbage and yru pouMed it with a mallet. I guess that's what yru call it. You put salt on it every so often. You kept poun:iin;J it until the juice beqins to came up on it. After awhile it begins to be sauerkraut. (laughs) Q: It doesn't have to be oc:x>ked? A: No. No, it will keep in a barrel. I don't know' how lon;J we ~ it. Probably ate it up before it would spoil. Sanetilnes you put ~t in the can t.hlle it's just shredded cahhage ard put it out UIXIer a bush. At least they did in southem Illinois. But in those days it was just made in an open crock. Arxi pickles were stored in crocks. Mother made COJ:n relish ani camed that, but of course the vinegar would have preserved that. '!hen she made green tanato pickles ani nustani pickles. we had cucumbers ani onions ani cauliflower in it. I guess that was all. Q: You're maki.n;J me hurgry. (laughter) How about baking? I imagine she baked a lot, didn't she? A: Yes. Because there weren't any cake mixes in those days. She baked quite a lot of cakes. She baked her C1t1Il bread for years. We didn't buy bread fran the bakery very much because it was expensive ani the loaves weren't very large ard it always seemed to us kini of doughy. Maybe it wasn't, but it didn't taste like hanemade bread. so m:rt:her made m:st of her am bread. DJrin;J the war, durin;;r the first world war, when you ccW.dn't get a lot of wheat you had to buy other cereals. You ccW.dn't buy just 'M'leat. She learned to make bread with cooked rice as a substitution for part of the flour. 'Ihat was one of the cereals yru could get better than buyin;J wheat. Yoo. had to take sane rice. Yoo. had to take coznmeal, I suppose, because she used to always :make--we called it Johnny Cakes--arrl thin;Js of that sort. 'Ihe wheat was sent to the soldiers, so ya1 had to buy quite a lot of cereal. She used to buy barley once in a while. She used to make muffins. we always called them Gems. '!hey were made of graham floor. She made those quite a lot. It was sanethin;J we liked ani gave us sanethin;J different. I don't rensnber whether she made other muffins or not. She used to make rolls. She baked pies arrl cakes ani lots of aookies. As children we always had lots of cookies aroun:i. Q: Would she get these grains at the grisbnill? A: No. '!hey came fran the store. I don't remember that the gristmill sold. • • • I think that was mostly feed for the animals. Mrs. Qlester Scott 13 Q: You prcj:)ably didn't hiy much mre fran the store, did you? EKcept flour am grains? You raised so :mch of your focxi. A: We always had chickens so we had our own eggs. Of course, we bad our own milk. so, we never bc::lugh.t vegetables. I don • t believe the stores stocked fresh vegetables. Maybe tlley did. It seems to me that :rrost pecple even farther down in the ; town where they had only lots must have had their own gardens. I can :ra.narNJer that they had bananas in the store. Ani they had oran;res. But I don •t remember that we had veey much fresh food in the store. It was :rrostly staples: flour, baJdn;J ~' soda, sugar, ani pickles, I suppose. I think pickles were in barrels. Qleese came in big rourxl-like wheels that always had a glass CJ:Ner aver it ani they cut it off 'When you wanted it. Q: Would you buy it by the p::llll'rl? A: Yes. It was in a wedge not a slice. I think cookies were also sanetimes in bal:rels. Usually they came in a box, a tin box with a glass cover over the t:q> so you could see what kirrl of cookies were there. 'lhen it was in a big case. 'l!lere would be pert1aps four rows of cookies of different kirds. Prc:iJably not as many kin1s. I can remember Fig Newtons when I little. But I don't remember that they had them very much. We used to get \ltlat we called Nabisoos. I don't know what you call them J'lC:M. '!hey 1 re still on the market, b.rt you don't call them Nabiscos anyn"Ore. (laughs) But they had like a waffle-weave tq> with a sugar frostin;1 between them, about three layers. SanetiJDes it was pink ani sanetimes it was chocolate ani sanetilnes it was White. 'nley were quite a treat. We didn't get them veey often. Q: was it sane kirxi of a wafer? Is that what it's called nt:llt? A: '!hey call them sugar wafers. Q: I knc:M what you mean. '!hey are delicious. You had those? Ani you called them Nabisoos? A: We called them Nabisco& 0 Probably that Is the c:x:mpany that made them. Q: I would bnagine. Do you happen to remember if there -were fanners near you who had 1IDley crops? Like com or beans? A: '!hey raised beans for dl:y beans. Q: were they soybeans? A: No. '!hey were usually navy beans am kidney beans. We had one that we called cranberry beans. 'Ih.ey were red and white. '!bey raised a great many potatoes up there. 'Ihe oom was shucksi by ham. Q: Did you f!Ner help do that? A: No. I never did that. My brother helped sanetilnes. He was :much older. He used to go over ani shuck com, b.rt I never did that. we Mrs. Olester Scott 14 used to cut up corn stalks to feed the cows. we had a corn cutter that turned by hand. You put the corn stalks in and they came out in pieces about three inches lorq. Q: '!hey ate them? A: Yes. Q: '!bat corn. Is that sanet:h.in:j ytQ. raised yourself? You didn't buy that ••• A: No. I ~ w had about an acre of corn. We used to raise it on purpose to feed the cows. Q: tk.Uld they also get to eat the ears? A: No. we feCI. the shell corn to the chickens am the pigs. No, the ears were always taken off. Ani of course w raised sweet corn f01t ourselves-for the family to eat. We bol.:lght feed for the cows~ bol.:lght what was cal.leri middlings. I don •t knew what that was. It was groun:l quite fine. What was the other thirg calleri? I can middlings. But I don't remember what the other was cal.leri. Q: HeM did you get your water? Did you have a well? A: we had an artesian well. I don't knew if you knew what an artesian well is or not. '!bat little town-everyone had their own well. We calleri them flowil'Jg 'Wells. Artesian came into the vocabulary in later years. We called them flowirg wells. '1he water runs all the time. Q: Is is like an 1ll'Xlel:ground stream? A: Well, it canes up in a fa.ucet--well, not a fa.ucet because we didn •t have a faucet. I guess we must have had one outside. But you don't have to p.mp it the way you do a p.mp. It just flaws. But you have to let it flow all the time or it will d:ty up. so we had it piped down to the barn and it flC'JiioMld down there all the time. But 'We must have had a faucet up by the house. It wasn •t in the house. we had to car.r:y it in fran outside. I don't :t:emember that it was in the house. I think we cm:ried it in, in a l:uc:.ket. Eve:rybod.y had their awn well. Q: And roost of them were artesian? A: Yes. Q: '!hat IS int:erest.in;J • A: We always calleri them flowin; wells. Q: SO there was plenty of water. A: Oh, yes. we didn't lack for water. I don't even :remember anyone ever havirrJ a purtp. Maybe they did, I don't .•• 15 Q: You didn't though. A: No. we didn't. Q: Did you have housework chores that you had to do inside the house? A: Yes. We always had to do the di$hes ani cut up carrots for the caws. Ani we used to help with the ga:rdenin;J. We used to have to pull weeds. End of Tape one, Side one Q: we wre tal.ki.ng a:tx:ut sare of your chores, ani you said you picked potato J::Ju;s off of the potatoes. Do you re.meoiJer what they looked like or w.hat you did with them? A: We put them in a can ani then we :poure::i kerosene on them. '!hey are small, probably about a quarter-of-an-inch l<:nJ with wings. '!hey fly. '!hey have hard shells but they have wings. 'lhey're striped. I can re.rneniber it was a black. stripe. .It must have been black ani yellO'tl, but I don't J:'eiiE1'l1ber for sure. '!hen the young potato bugs don't have those hard shells. 'they're sort of pinkish in color. We always tried to .get the mature bugs off before the little ones wtW.d hatch out, otherwise there wculd be just too many to pick. off. They're easier to pick. off with hard shells. Q: You put t:hem in a jar with sarethinq in them? A: :Ke:rosene. '!hen they die. Q: Did you use sprays at all? A: Paris Green is the only t.hirq I can :remember. We never sprayea the fruit trees. But I'm not sure of that. I don't believe people sprayea in those days. Q: You mentioned ratialE!d Wheat flour in world war I. Do you recall arrt other ration:i.r.gs or anyth.ir.g else you had to do for the war effort durirq WOrld war I? A: our S\.Irr.iay sc:llool class was goirq to 1'lli!lke wash cloths for the soldiers. And I lea:mad to knit a wash cloth. I never fin.ished it. Years later I finished it, but that was the only knittin;J I ever did-that wash cloth I did for the army. (laughter) I don't reillBltiler that we did~ else in this little ta.tm. Maybe we did. I don't rEIII'tfi:!!IDber anyth.ir.g else that we did. Q: Do you remember anyone who went off to the war? A: Yes. I can remember a number of people. '!hey had a pJ:Ogram in the schools ani colleges 'Where the young men-I don •t SUJ;PCJSe the girls had anyth.ir.g to do with it. But the men went ani were paid for goirg, the way the G.I. bill is nt:Nt, only they were just out of high
|Title||Scott, Mrs. Chester - Interview and Memoir|
Women--Roles, Occupations, etc.
|Description||Mrs. Chester Scott discusses life in Michigan and Illinois: growing up, schools, and family in Albion and Cooks, Michigan; marriage to Chester Scott; entertainment and life in Chicago; her work in graduate school as a research assistant in dietary studies at the University of Chicago; community services; Methodist Churches; and family, schools, and community in Chatham, Illinois.|
|Creator||Scott, Mrs. Chester (Marguerite Merritt) b. 1904|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Mason, Judy [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||Mrs. Chester Scott Memoir - Part 1|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
University of Illinois at Springfield
Norris L Brookens Library
Mrs. Chester Scott Memoir
SCO83. Scott, Mrs. Chester (Marguerite Merritt) b. 1904
Interview and memoir
5 tapes, 450 mins., 2 vols., 146 pp.
Mrs. Chester Scott discusses life in Michigan and Illinois: growing up, schools,
and family in Albion and Cooks, Michigan; marriage to Chester Scott;
entertainment and life in Chicago; her work in graduate school as a research
assistant in dietary studies at the University of Chicago; community services;
Methodist Churches; and family, schools, and community in Chatham, Illinois.
Interview by Judy Mason, 1987
See collateral file
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1987, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
Marguerite and Chester Scott
'!his rcanuscript is the product of tape-reaonied interviews oorXlucted
by JUdy Mason for the oral Hi.stor:y Office in October an:i November of
1987. Judy Mason an:l Francie st:aggs transcribed. the tapes an:i Edited
the transcript. Mrs. Olester SOott reviewe::l the transcript.
Mrs. Chester SOott was bam on June 11, 1904 in ID.ther, Michigan.
'!his JllE!IX)ir is filled with anecrlotes of her youth in small toims an:l
in rural Michigan. '!his JllE!IX)ir :bas stories of sleigh rides, taffy
p.Uls, fislrl.rq with her grardfatm.er, workin;J in a cannirg factoey, and
favorite ani not so favorite teac;hlrs.
Mrs. SOott graduated cum lauCie from Albion College in Albion, Michigan
in 1926 with a major in Halle Economics. She taught three years; two
years was in the upper peninsula of Michigan in a small F.renc"ll
canaaian village. In 1929, she married Chester Scott an:i moved to
arl.cago where she became a graduate st:udent at the university of
arl.caqo. She an:i Mr. SOott did sate work with \ll'De:tpl::'ivileged youth
in the city. '!hen Mr. Scott became a prd:>a.tion officer for the COok
COUnty Juvenile COUrt. Upon obtaini.nq her master's degree frat the
university of Olicago in 1930, Mrs. Scott worked for the university
assistinq in dietary an:i nutritional studies. one study was on the
effect of radiated milk on the teeth an:l bones of children.
In addition to raising' two sons, Mrs. Scott has always been active
tlu'alghout her life vol'Wlteerin;J for the church, scouts, 4-H,
Sprinqfield CCI:I.1lmmity Action, an::l other worthw.hile causes. She
continues to plt in many hours ~ clothes an:l mak:irq baby
bl.an'kets for those in need. Mrs. SOatt' s JllE!IX)ir speaks of a life that
has been fulfilled by education, hal::d work, an:i service to others.
J'udy Mason has lived. in