Arthur Crumrin Memoir - Part 1
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections Arthur Crumrin Memoir C889A. Crumrin, Arthur b. 1908 Interview and memoir 8 tapes, 600 mins., 2 vols., 117 pp. Arthur Crumrin, long-time resident of Cass County, Illinois, discusses the history of Cass County; rural life, electrification, and education in one room schools; Depression; marriage; records of cemeteries; his collections; and old homes in Cass County. Interview by Nancy Cogburn, 1979 OPEN See collateral file: interviewer's notes, historical report of Cass County Service Company, 1840 census of Cass County, and photocopied pages from the Crumrin genealogy. Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1979 University of Illinois Board of Trustees Table of Contents Family Background • Life on the Farm Before Electricity . Life on the Farm After Electricity. Schooling Holidays. Early Transportation. Fanning • Depression. Farm Bureau • Married. Life. Declared 4-F. Records of cemeteries Indian Relics other Collections Foundin;r of cass county, Illinois Blinias underwood, ReVolutionary War Veteran. Old Homes 1 7 .10 .13 .19 .23 .26 .30 .36 .37 .40 .41 .51 .53 .65 .82 .84 Preface This manuscript is the product of a tape recorded inteJ:view conducted by Nancy COgbum for the Oral History Office on March 7, 1979. Linda s. Jett transcribed the tapes and Mrs. COgburn eO.ited the transcript. Arthur Cl:umrin talks of his early life on a fann and of the changes that the introduction of electricity brought to the rural existence. He has also involved himself a great deal with research into the history of cass CoUnty, Illinois. To this end Mr. Cl:umrin has conpiled an extensive record of the county 1 s cemeteries. He also has a thorough knowledge of the architectural styles of homes throughout the county. Readers of the oral history memoir should bear in mind that it is a transcript of the spoken word., and that the interviewer, narrator and editor sought to preseJ:Ve the infonnal, COJWersational style that is inherent in such historical sources. Sangamon state university is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the memoir, 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 means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the Oral History Office, Sangamon state university, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9243. Arthur c:rumrin, March 7, 1979, Virqinia, Illinois. Nancy Cogbu:m, Interviewer. Q: Mr. Cr:umrin, can ycu tell me a little bit aboUt your family bac:kgrourd? A: well, I was bom in West union, Illinois, in Clark County, NOVE!Il'lber 26, 1908. My father's name was Harry otto c:rumrin. He was born ani raised in Clark County, near west union. My m:>ther' s name was Emma Elnora Zorn. She was bo:m and raised near Qlan:llerville in Cass County, Illinois. Q: Do you have arrt idea why your father left Clark county and came to cass o:,unty? A: He left the fann of his father because there were yamger brothers to taka aver, help with the work, and he worked for other people. He -worked in NOrth Clark county, south of Decatur, hus1d.nq co:m, and finally fall'Xl a jd) at the state insane asylum in Jacksonville. Q: 'What did he do at the state hospital? A: He worked on the wards terxiin;J the patients. Q: What do you know abalt your m:Jther? A: After she grew up she also worked out, usually helpin} in the ho.lse, hot:Jser«tt'k for other people. 'Ihen she fall'Xl a job at the state insane asylum and she worked in the kitchen as a cook. Q: When were your parents married? A: 'lhey were married in January 1908. Q: After your parents were married, did they live in Jacksonville? A: No. '!hey D¥:JVed back to West union where my father worked in a luntJer yard for about a year and a half. 'Ihen my Grardn¥:7ther Zo:m passed away and my Gran:ifather Zo:m wanted them to ocme to the fannhcuse east of Olan:llerville, and live there ani fann. Q: Hew many brothers and sisters did you have? A: I had two sisters, I.ousie ani Harriet Emily, who died in infarcy. Died at birth. Q: 'What was your grandfather's name on your father's side? I! Artlrur crumrin A: His name was William crumrin. Q: Arxi his wife, your g:rarxim:Jther? A: Her name was Kline. I don't :knc:M her first name offhand.. Q: JUst Grandma, hUh? A: Yes. (laughter) Yes! Q: Arxi did your father haVe any brothers or sisters? A: Yes. He had sane brothers, no sisters. Q: What were their names? A: well, there was Roy, and Fred, and Herschel, and Reno. Q: What did Roy do? 2 A: Rt:Jy wrked for the western union CCilpmy as a lineman. He was in world war I as a cc:mm.mications man. Q: Arxi Fred? A: Fred was a fanner. He fanned on his father's place. Q: was Fred. older than your father? A: No. My father was the oldest in the family. Q: What did Reno do? A: Reno went to Montana, entered several sections of land up there, fanned and raised cattle. 'lhe northeastem part of Montana. He stayed there until he retixed. Q: Do you knc:w hati he got the m:mey to p.n:chase those sections? A: He borrowed it I think. I knc:w he borrowed sane fran I1r:1 dad. Q: What alxut Herschel? A: Herschel was a teacher, a school teacher. Q: · so that he was the only one of the boys to have an education? A: Right. Q: Why was that? A: When he was bom llr:l gran:lnDther died and was adc:pted, raised by her folks, the Kl.ines. He went by the name of Herschel Kline. Ani I think they [were] the one who put him through school. He had a Arthur Crumrin 3 criJ;Pled han:i. My gran::Jmther died when he was bom, ani that's the reascm he had a criJ;Pled han:i. Q: lblt was the name of your nether's father ani m::rt:her'? A: My mather's father's name was Ferdinand Zom, and nq grandmother was 'Iheresa Veach. Q: Ani ll<:M many children did they have beside your mather? A: 'lhere was tJncle Carl, an:i urx:J.e Atnil, ani then t:hera was Elizabeth, an:i Marie, ani Lena, an:i catherine. Q: Ani what did Carl do for a livfni? A: He fanned part of nq grarxifather' s place, right next to the, hane place. Q: Ani Amil? A: He manufactured cigars in ChmXllm.ville and then he was in WOrld war I. After that, he started a liveey stable ani sold feed ani so forth. 'lhen it evolved into a lumber yard ani he had buildil'g materials. · Q: Do you know Why he made the change fz:an a liveey stable to a lumber yard? A: Yes, because aut:cmJbiles began to be nore :rn.nnerous ani horses were );tlased out. Q: Did he shoe the horses? A: No, he never did shoe a:rr:1 horses. No, he didn't. 'Ihe blacksmith shop was where that was usually done. Q: Ycu say he made cigars. Did he have his own business or did he \<IIOX'k for a cigar factoxy? A: No, he had his own business, his own bran:1 of cigars. Q: Ani it was located where? A: In Cllan:tlerville. Q: Where did he get the Tobacco? A: I assnme he bcught it fran growers in Kentucky or carolinas or saneplace. Really I dal 't know for sure. Q: He went to World war I, and when he came back he started the liveey stable. Do you know Why he didn't continue the cigars? A: Part of the American revolutionary way of doin,; t:l'linas, I guess. '!he biq manufacturers were sellin;J cigars so lliJCh. cheaper. 'lhe little Arthur c:rmnrin 4 fellows that made them t;Mmselves aroun:i different times, they would put them cut of business I guess. 'Ihe only thing' I knc:'M. Q: What did Elizabeth do? A: Elizabeth married O'Jarles Ianey, who was a bal:ber in Jacksornrille. Q: Did she work at all prior to her marriage or after? A: She also worked at the state insane asylum before she was married. Q: HC7tl ab:Jut after she was married? A: She didn't work then, she • • • Q: Ani Marie? A: Marie married Al:dlie Barnhart, who ran a grocery store in Jacksawille. Q: Did Marie also work prior to her marriage? A: Did all the girls work there? Q: Except Aunt catherine, I guess. A: Aunt catherine was the only one that didn't. Q: Did she work at sc:met:hi.rg else before she was married.? A: Not that I knc:Jw of. Q: Who did catherine many? A: She married James Banii, who was an en.;rineer a1 the Burlin;Jtat Railroad in Beardstown. Q: ArXl who did Isna many? A: She :ma:a::ried A1J3ust. SChrinpt, who was a farmer, am they lived in Minnesota. Q: Did they oc:me back to visit very often? A: Not every year, but every few years they would cane back am visit, yes. Q: Did all of than haVe large families? A: No, not really. Aunt lena, I guess, had the largest family. 'll1ey had five or six children. Q: What aJ:xut your father's brothers? Did they have large families? I I I Arthur crumrin 5 A: No, they didn't. I guess uncle Fred. had three children. An:i uncle Roy • • • No, they didn •t haVe lm:qe families. Q: Do ycu have Bey children? A: No. I do not. Q: How about your sister, I..a.ti.se? A: one. A boy. Q: Do yw know' anyt:h.in;J about your great gran:1parents an your father's side? A: I never knew JFJ¥ great gran:lparents, no. His name was Peter erumrin, Jr., but I don't remember them. Q: Do you know' where he came fran? A: He lived in tJR;ler Ban:lusky, Ohio before he came to Illinois. He came to Illinois am settled in Clark o:mtty. Q: Did he live ~ before he lived in Ohio? A: I don't knoW. I don't know' whether he was born there or whether he came fran Pennsylvania with his parents. Q: Do you knc:M where his father came fran? Peter's? A: Peter senior I guess came from Pennsylvania. Q: Do you knew anyt:h.irq about your great-grarXJparents an your m:::rl:her's side? A: I don •t know too UDJCh about them. My gran:lfather was born ani raised in saxe Altenbel:g' in GeJ:many. I heard him speak of that. '!hat was back when GeJ:many was a oollectian of states, I guess, like saxony an:1 Prossia, Bavaria, arx1 those. art saxe Altenberq is where he said he came fran. I da1 •t know where that was in Gennany. Q: Why did he leave? A: Because he didn •t want to serve in the GeJ:man Azmy. All male members had to se:tVe in the Prussian A.rmy. He didn •t want to be a soldier. AlthQlgh he had, I believe, four brothers who were officers in the anny in Gennany. Q: Did he live on a farm While he was there? A: Yes, he lived on a farm, yes. No, not really on the farm. 'Ih.ey lived in little CCil'llDlllli.ties, little settlements you might say. Instead of livirq on the fann, they lived several families together. '!hey 'WOUld go out on the farms-they were small farms, in GeJ:many-to do tbair fami.rg. 'Ihe livestock, I heard him mention, they had them right arourr:i the house. Especially the hogs. I.an:i was so scarce ard Arthur crumrin 6 they needed it all to grow crops, I guess. 'lbat didn't give the livestock llllCh roan. 'lhey had them right around the house usually. Q: Did he have his livestock around the house when he came to America? A: No, he didn't. 'Ihe bam and feed lots were away fran the house here. Q: When he came first to America, did he farm right away? A: No. He came to Qum:ile:rville and he worked on a railroad that was beirq built through Qum:ile:rville at the tilne. '!hen after that he worked for a brickyaJ:d. 'Ihen he worked for other farmers for a while as a hired hand, and then he accunulated enough noney to buy a small farm ani start faxrni.rq h:imsP-lf. Q: can you tell me what job he did while he was with the railroad? A: He was a section hand. I guess when they l:uilt the road he helped lay the ties and rails • • • Q: What about when he worked at the brickyaJ:d? A: well., he had to help dig the clay and p.rt that into the fcmos and bake it in the kilns. Q: Were there any bricks that he helped make that are still in existence? A: Yes. My Uncle Amold had brick that had his name on it that he had scratched in when he made it. sanehow it got lost. I often wish I had it, b.It it c:iiscq:peared. Q: can you tell me anyt:hirg about your family beyon:i your great-gran::Jparents? A: on my father's side you mean? Q: on your father's side or your mother's side. Hail about your father's side? A: My father's side, yes. one of my distant relatives in califomia, Mrs. Delores Rutherford, has gone back. She went back to 1592 to recon1 the family. on my mother's side, no, I don't lcnaw any farther than that. Q: I notice you have three folders here on the table. Were those done by Mrs. Rutherford? A: Yes, they were. She went over to Gemany and got the rec:xm:ls as far !Jack as they went in the church, in the tcMn whel.'e they lived. She exttpiled that in this little booklet here, "Crumrin Genealogical. Record in wurt:enbe:l:q, Gemany." Am then she also had cna entitled, "Crumrin Genealogical Record in America." Am the other me here is Arthur cnnnrin kind of a family histcny written by a member of the family, Boyd crumrin. Q: What relation is Boyd to yoo.? A: '!hat I don't :know. Very distant, I knc:w that. 7 Q: Do yoo. knc:Jw why she got interested in tracin;J the family tree? A: No, I don't :know why she did really. Q: When did she first get in contact with yoo.? A: Sc::mehow or another I was collec::ti.rq relics of sane kind. I wrote to sanebody in either Arizona or New Mexico about sanethin;;J that I was interested in, ani this person knew of this Mrs. Rutherfoxd in califomia. She connected the names ani she gave me her name • • • I wrote to her. AD:i that's heM we got to c:orrespc:niin;. Q: Have yoo. fiNer met her? A: No, I never have met her. Q: It seems like all your family fanoed. A: Yes. On both sides. Q: Your dad was a fanrer and you were raised an the fam. What were your jobs while yoo. lived on the fann as a child? A: well, of course, ,.,.., fannad with horses ani we ple7ft'ed with a sulky or a garg plow ani three or four horses. I temeatber that we ~ have to pllverize it, harrt1.rl it, and plant it all with horses. Q: What's the difference between a sulky plow ani a 98n:J plow? A: A sulky plCM has one plow, and a gang plow has two plows or more, usually two. Q: You had both thoee plows? A: Besides a wal.k:in;J plow? Q: Did each ate serve a special p.u:pose? A: No, mt really. '1he.y did all the same jab. 'Ihe sulky plow or 98n:J plow, yoo. cxW.d ride on them, am the wal.k:in;J plow you had to walk behin:i it. (laur:Jhter) We used the wal.k:in;J plow just mainly to plat~ head land maybe, or difficult place to get with the ridin:J pl<7t1B, or to plCM" the garden. Q: 'Who took care of the garden? A: Usually Ifri nwXher did the garc:ierlin:J. We would help when we had time fran the field and on rainy days maybe, but she did l'l'K:)St of it. Arthur crumrin 8 Q: 1):) you xenemter what she planted? A: Just your basic tana.toes, beans, sweet com. Q: was there anyt:hirq else that your mother did besides take care of the gamen ard house? A: She took care of the chickens ard gathered eggs, ani took care of the hcuse. Q: so mst of your food was raised? A: On the faxm. Q: How' many times a year did you b.Itcher? A: once a year. well, usually four or five neighbors wt:W.d oa.ne in ard help us, ard then of CXII.lX'Se, my dad wt:W.d help them when they butchered. Q: How alxJut at harVest tilne? Did the neighbors help then? A: Yes. '!hey usually had what they call a thrashers ril'g. '!hey wt:W.d have a thrasherman who owned a thrashing machine with a steam ergine ani when he ame to the thrashing out of the shocks of wheat, wtrt they wt:W.d gather ani help each other the same way. Q: After the thrashing was ever or after the butcherirq was over did they haVe a get-together? A: No, they didn •t. Usually after the butcheril'g was aver they wc:uld fry up sane fresh sausage ani then they wt:W.d have sane cider or sanethinq like that. Meet of them usually wnt heme because they were tired. Q: Did you make your own cider? A: Yes. My gran:ifather had a cider mill. '!hey had a pretty good orchaxd. '!hey raised their own apples, pears, ard peaches. Q: What about other fnlit? Did you go out in the woods ani pick? A: No, no. Well maybe walnuts or hazel rru.ts we gathered. Q: Hc:1.rl did you store the sausage? A: 'lhe sausage was usually fried down. Fried ani p.xt in laxqe jars ard CCJY8l"ed with lard in laxge staleware jars. Made a ten gallon size. Q: Ani I bet you SIIVlksd the ham? A: Yes. Yes, they were cured in the snckehouse. we cut sane apple or hickory wcod, cut it green, ard then p.xt it in the small stove in I! ArthUr crumrin 9 the S1'110kehalse. It would make a lot of SlOOke for several days, until it was cured. Q: Did you ever bltcher beef? A: Not that I reauember. on the fam they didn't butcher beef, no. Q: Did you sell the milk? A: No. No. My mother sold butter am such. She would pit the milk in crocks, set it in her cellar. Until the cream was em the top, and then she wou1d skim that off and chum it. Usually in a dasher chum, which SCIIIBtimes was nr:1 jci> (laughter) to n.m that. '!han she would sell the bu:tter. Q: What did she do with the II'O'tej? Did she keep it and budget it or did she give it to your dad? A: No, she usually had her a.m ll'OJ'lSY, wtter ani egg money. She would buy sewirq goods, cloth to make her a dress. She used to make a lot of our c1ot:hin], too. She usually has her own pin ll¥lJ1SY to sperxi. Q: How did you heat your house? Ern of Tape one, side One. Q: When I was here before, we l1I8J:'e tal.ldn;J about your childhood em the fam. '1he last questiem I asked you on the other tape was hc::w you heated your house then. A: we heated with wood that we cut ani split cut of our awn tilnber. In l::IOth the heati.rq stave arri cook stave. Q: can you descril:Je the stove to me? A: 'lhe cook stove was an ordinary wood bJmin;J stove with about four lids en top. 'lhe heatil'q stove wasn't one of those farcy coal bumers. It was just an ordinary rcun:i type, elongated with a door in front. Q: OJ you ~ to rememb=o_r the bran:is of either stove? A: No, I don't. Sorry. Q: What kini of wood did you use in them? A: In the heatirg stove there were laJ:ger pieces of oak wood about two feet lcn;r an:i maybe s.ix to eight inches in diameter. 'lhe cook stove, w had to split it finer. 'Ihey were about three inches, maybe, in diameter. Q: Whose job was it to tend the fire? 1.0 A: U&JUal.ly my DDther. '!he fil:e would be out in the momings, ani she was usually the first ale up ani started the fires. 'l!ley had to be started every 1'IX>D'ling', ani the rest of us would carry in the wood fram outdoors into the wood box where we kept the wood inside. we al.l kept the fires go~ dur~ the day ani evenin;J. Q: What about the night? A: we tried to bank the heatirg stove so it would last as lorg as it would, but usually it would be out in the 1'IX>D'ling'. Of course, the cook stove, it was out. We didn't try to keep it goin;J. Q: What kin:i of bed did you sleep in? A: It was an ol.d fashiCI'led wooden bed. I don't remember whether it was walnUt, or oak, or what l'lCJW. '!he back board was high, plain wood. WOoden bed. Q: ltlat kird of mattress? A: Well, I don't recall. I su;ppose just an ordinal:y sprfn3' mattress. I ranemhar we used to have feather beds. '!hey were oanfortable on cold winter nights. Q: Did you use the feather beds in the summer? A: No. only in the winter. Q: Why didn •t you use them in the summer? A: Well. (laughter) we sank doWn in them. '!hey were too hot in the S\ll't'IDBr tilne. (laughter) I guess that was the reason. Q: oo you ranember when you first got electricity? A: Yes, I do. It was after the depression, It was around 1.938 or 1.939, when the :rural electrification came t.h:rough. Q: Do you remember when the C.I.P.S. power line went t.h:rough in this part of the camtry? A: No, I don't. Most towns had their am mmicipal light plants. I supp:lSe that was earlier in the tams. 'lhat would haVe been like Olarxll.mville arx1 Virginia. Probably would have been in the 1920's, early 1920's, I don't recall exactly. Q: Where did you see your first electric light? A: I don't remember seei.rq my first electric light. Where or when it was, I don't :t:eme:mber that. Q: can you describe the lanp; that you used prior to gettirg electricity? I I II I Arthur crumrin 11 A: Yes. We had o:rdinacy kerosene lall'pl. '!hen later, -we had the Ala.Ckiin lanp-which mmt kerosene-ani then I think -we had a gasoline 1anp that was pull1;)8d up. It used air pressure. It was supposed to be a better, give better light than the Ol.'dinazy kerosene lamp. Q: can you describe the difference between the first kerosene lamp you mentia'led and the Aladdin? A: '1he Aladdin lamp had a mantle that was 'JlV:)J:"e efficient. It wasn't a plain clear flame, it bJrnt inside a mantle. It gave a white light. Better light. Q: Whereas the first lamp before that? A: Just Ol.'dinazy 1 with wicks. Q: It didn't have a mantle at all? A: It didn't haVe a mantle, no. Q: 'Ihe gasoline lamp, hOI.\' was it different? A: It, if I recall, had two mantles, an:i there was a :pump that came with it that you puill)ed air in the bottan of it. It operated un:ler pressure, ani it was a little JOOre efficient than the Aladdin. Better light. Q: N1en you got electricity hew did that c.harge your life? A: Of course it did away with the lanps an:i -we oc:W.d enjoy electric fans. '!hen we qot an electric radio, ani well ather appliances, pe.rtlaps. I dal 't recall exactly. Q: Do you remember any of the old radio shows? A: Yes I J::eJDellllber-t was it, those two NEgzoes? Q: AliOS an::l An:iy? A: AmJs and Ardy, right. Ani Allen, what was his name? Q: Fred Allen? A: Fl:ed Allen, yes, I remember those. Oh, Gildersleeve, I remember hi:m, but I . . • • Q: What did you think of the first radio that you had? A: You mean the first electric radio or the first radio? Q: '!be first radio. A: I remember that very well. It was in the early 1920's-ani I still have the radio by the way. Arthur crumrin 12 Q: Fantastic! A: Yes. It was a three tube Mont:ganeJ:y Ward Airline, and of course it required an outside antenna. we st.run;r a wire between the house and a tree, and it had to haVe a groun:l. It had to have a battery, similar to what 1 s in an aut:a'ld,)ile today, besides a B battery and c batteries. An:i it had ea:r;pxmes, there was no speaker in it. You had to use the eaJ:];hanes. Q: Cbul.d nme than one person listen to it at one tilne or • . • . A: You could take the earpx,nes apart and use one, each person use half of it on one ear. (laughter) It had three tubes. Q: N01r1 you had a sister, right? A 'D.; ........ . : "'"'""::J& .. ... Q; Did you ever fight who was goirq to listen to the radio? A: No, not :really. As I recall, I bought the radio, so of course I had priority (laughter) I guess, but although we shared it. we finally got a speaker that you oould p.rt half the eai:];i1ones in the bottan of the speaker and it 'WOUld nr>re or less amplify it so the rest of us oould hear. All the rest of them could hear it. Q: were there any rules about listenin;J to the radio, that your parents gave you? A: No, not really. I saoetiJDes stayed up fairly late seeirg how many different statiaw I oould get. 'Ihe farthest one away and so forth. An:i there waren •t too many stations in those days. I recall mKA in Pittsl::wJrg, and liX in Davenport, I believe WSM in Atlanta, Georgia, and crosley Radio Ctuporatian in Cirx::innati had one. '!here weren • t too many stations in those days. Q: At that time, what type of progzams did they have on the radio? A: well of aou:rse, the news and the weather, and like Fred Allen, and those kin:i of shews. An:i DllSic-not near as much as today-but saae pnlgl:dJIIS had IIIJSic. Q: Did you hear the first broadcast of ''War of the worlds?" 'Ihe big hoax that orson wells pu:petrated? A: I xenllfJJtler that, but I don't temenier hearirg it. No, I don't remertber li.steni.n;J to that. Q: You wezen't affected by it then? A: No, no. Q: Do you know' of anybody that heard the program and was affect.e::l by it in this area? I I: I Arthur crumrin 13 A: I don • t remember anybody getting excited about it, no. (laughter) Q: You mentioned that the first radio you had was a Montgcmery Ward radio. A: Right. Q: Did you order that? A: OJt of the catalogue. Q: What else did you order out of the catalogue? A: Folks OJ:dered quite a few thin;Js out of both Montgcmery wards ani sears Roebuck catalc:gues. we just didn't qo to cities or anyplace where you could firKi ~, a lot of~ that we needed. '!hey ordered quite a few thi.rJ;pi, alt:ha.lgh Dt:f mather made a lot of her clothes ani sister• s clothes. Q: Did you ever order any fcxxl fran the catalogue? A: Yes. At that time, sears Roebuck sold groceries. You could order groceries thrc::ugh the mail, am Dt:f mat:her as I recall did order sane groceries. Q: Do you kr'lc7.rl what type of groceries? A: canned fcxxl and spices am just about anythin;J l"l0l1p8rishable, I guess. Q: I 111 be darned. I didn't realize that. Getting back to your childhood, can you reoent:er the first school that you went to? A: Yes. It was a country school, ani we walked. It was alxut two miles one way, which we walked every night ani nw::nniiq. It was a one roan country school, one teacher, ani they taught the first eight grades in the school. ~~~ describe the interior of the school and how the desks were A: '!hey were arran;J8d in rows. '1be smaller desks for the smaller children were on one side an:l they just got bigger and bigger, am the older kids were on the other side. sane of the students were really grown up because they didn't qo the full year because they had to help on the farm. sane of them were probably nineteen, twenty years old that came just a fa~ m:>nths a year. 'Ihay had a big :r:aJni stove in one corner that blrnt coal to heat the bli.ldi.rq in the winter time. Q: Where did you 9Bt your water fran? A: 'n1ere was a punp out in the school yam in a well. Arthur crumrm 14 Q: Hatl many outhouses did you have? A: '!WD. Q: '!WD. Oidn •t share than? A: No. one for the boys ani one for the girls. (laughter) Q: We1:e there arrt social activities that took place at the school? A: No, not really, outside of a Clrisbnas progxmn. Q: Was there any particular Clrisbnas progrmu that you can remember A: No, I really don't. Offhan:l, I can't think of any in particular. we used to get up in front ani recite ard maybe sane of us sin:J a song or so. 'lhe parents WOJJ.d probably all be there. No, I don't recall ~mxe. Q: HeM about valentine's D:Ly? Do yoo. have any mem:>ries of that at school? A: No, I don't. Not at the country school. No, I really don't. Q: SO you went through what grades at the country school? A: I went through the seventh grade at the school, ard then Jrr¥ folks decided we would go to the town school in Qlanllm:ville. so I started the eighth grade there ard my sister, I guess, was in the sixth grade. we both went to town school then. Q: Why did they decide to serxl you there rather than letti.rq you finish out your eighth year at the country school? A: I think they probably thought we • d have a better education, better because one teacher teac::hi.rg eight grades didn •t have much time for one grade. Arr:f one grade. In town, of CXII.lrSe, each grade was separate with a separate teacher, ard it was full time, all day, for each class ard each grade. I guess that was the reason. Q: Do you mean the town school was in session lorqer than the country school? A: I believe it was in session nine nrnths. As I recall, the country school was only eight m:mths maybe. Q: What about the lergt:h of the day? was it larger in town than it was in the oamtry? A: No, I d.al1t believe it was. I think it starte:i at nine, ard I dal't ra111ember whether it was three or fOJr naN in the afternoon. Q: Did you ever stay haoe ard help your dad with faJ:11linj rather than goirg to school? Arthur crumrin 15 A: No. No, my dad got alorg sc:me way I guess. No, I never stayed out of school to help on the farm, although a lot of kids did or had to. ait I forbmately didn't have to. Q: What did yat do at recess when you were at the country school? A: 'Well, we played Black Man and ArXly over, oh saue baseball maybe. Q: Describe the game Black Man to :me. A: 'Well, there were two sides, cme lined up on one side of the yam and one lined up on the other side, am then ycu were S\lR)OSEd to nm to the other side without bein;J tagged by the opposite side. If you were tagged by the opposite side, then you had to join their side. Am of course the one that 'Wa.1l'Xi up with all the kids won the game. As I remember, that was the way it was played. Q: 'Mlere did the name Black Man c::ane fran? A: '!hat, I don't know why. Why it was called that. Q: Did it have a racial overtone to it? A: No, I don't think so. Not that I know of. Q: were there a:ey blacks in and aro.m:i Virginia, Illinois? A: No, no there weren't. For saDe reason they never came to Virginia or O'Janllerville. Ani that • s true to this day. Q: was thm:e a:rrx racial overt:anes in the tam itself. Did you hear conversations at a:ey tilDe about black people? A: No, I don't recall if thm:e was anythin;J like that. ArJ:..1 agitation or anythin;;J. I guess I just didn't th1nk aityt:hirg about it. I don't know. . Q: Did yen go to school with a:ey of the swedish children in the area? A: Oh, I assume thm:e were a few possibly, bit I don't recall a:ey particular aleS, no. 'lhere were &r.ledes an:i GeJ:mans, of course, arrl Enqliah. No Italians that I recall. Q: You talked about a game called ArXty over. A: Yes. Q: HeW do you play that? A: well, you had a ball, smaller than a baseball, softball, and you thl:ew it. You chose up sides and one got on one side of the school ha1Se and the other side on the other side. 'lhen you wall.d t::hrc:M the ball aver the school house and if cme of the :pupils caught the ball, then they ran arouni to the other side. I don't remember just hai Arthur Crumrin 16 that 'WCUI'd up, or who 'W0111 1::ut I remember doirg that much though. I don •t remember just h.c::M' what you -were supposed to do' 110W'. Q: 'lhat 1 s a lot different than the way we played it. Games have ~· was baseball different when you were a child than the way it • s played ncM by children? A: wen no, I don't think so. I think the game was played the same way as it is rrM, the same general rules and all. Q; Did you ever play mamles? A: Yes, yes. Nat so much in the country school as when I went to town school. Q: Tell me a little bit about town school ard h.c::M it was different fran the country school. A: '1be kids were a little m::>:re sq;:histicated, I guess you 'Wall.d say. I dal't knoW. You learned m::>re thirgs ard not necessarily good either in town school that just wasn •t there at the country school. Q: Did they ever make :fun of you because you were fran the oountJ:y? A: No. I don't think so, no. Most or quite a few of the students were fran the country because it was a country town ard a lot of them came in fran the oountry. Q: YCll say you played marbles in town. What other games did you play in town that were different fran the games you played in the oountry? A: '1hey really didn't play too many games like they did in the. oountry, because a lot of kids went heme at noon, durirg the noon hour, to eat lunch, ani the recesses, they weren •t too lon;J to get started at really anythin:;J, aJri kin:i of a game. We just didn't have the time I guess. Q: YCll carried your lurdl then, to town. A: Yes. We had our dinner buckets, my sister ard I. Q: can you describe the blcket ard can you tell me what you usually ate for lunch? A: 'Ihey were just rourd metal buckets about a gallon size maybe, that had lids on them ard a bail. Most of the time durirg the year we drove a horse ard buggy to town to go to school, left it at the livery bam, ard carried our lunches with us. Q: What did you have to eat? A: Fired down sausage and perhaps BaDe fruit and cake ard maybe a piece of pie. Hanemade. Arthur Cl:umrin 17 Q: When you left the horse am ~ at the livery stable, did you have to pay so much a day to leave it there? A: Yes. He had to feed am water the horse duri.rg the day, am of course, unhitch it fran the ~ ani pit it in the barn, the live:ry barn, ani tie it in a stall ani feed it. Yes, there was a charge. Q: Did you go to college? A: Just business college. BrcMn' s Business COllege in JacksonVille. Q: Ani h.cM long -were you there? A: one year, wll, that was all there was, one year ani then you gradUated. I took the business administration course, which included sane ac:x:o.mt.irq. Typewritirg, I was supposed to take that, kAlt I dl:qpad out of that class, (lau:]hter) which I was sorry of many times later on. Q: Did your sister go beyord high school? A: No, she didn •t. She get married right after she was out of high school. Q: When you went to blsiness college, was this sanething that you wanted to do or sanething that your father wanted you to do? A: My folks en::ouraged me to go. I didn't particular want to, I guess, kAlt they encouraged me to go ani I did. Q: Back to when you were in the ocuntJ:y school ani you left school ani got bane, what did you have to do? A: Usually carey in sane wood, pit it in the wood box for the stoves. In the spring or fall, I wall.d have to pump a trough full of water for the work horses that nrt father wall.d he working in the field. Plowi.rg, cul.tivati.rg, or whatever. PUt feed in the lll2llJ:1e:t'S for the horses, ani scmetiJDes I helped milk. we had one or two c::x:1NS usually. Chores like that. Q: Atxi then after you were through with your chores, what did you do? A: Well, after eat.irg supper we just either read the papers or listened to our radio. 'then we -went to bed rather early. Q: Aba1t what time? A: Ch, I .imagine atart:. eight 0 I clock. '!bat 'WCIUl.d be the limit that wa kids could stay up a:rtfW8.Y • Q: At ~ did your DDther rNer have any special dishes that she fixed, maybe sane that might have been of a Gel:man origin? A: well no, not really. '!he basics, of course, potatoes ani eggs. Meat, usually pork ham was raised on the fann. Alt:hcu:jl she baked Arthur crumrin 18 what they called lo.lChen, a kir¥1 of a cake like. I think we usually ate that at breakfast time, probably k:in:i of a coffee cake. I remember that. cutside of that, I dal't recall anyt:h.:ing special, alt.tu:u;Jh there might have been. I den 't remember. Q: Before you had the radio, what did you do at haDe for entertainment? A: we were small kids. we had a few toys that we played with, llrf sister ani I. And I always liked to read. When I got old el'lOlgh to read, I read sane books. As far as llllSical instruments, entertairnnent that way, there were none of us were llllSically inclined so we didn't have DllCh of that. Although we had a pha1ograph that we played saoetimes. An old phonograph. Q: can you describe that phonograph? A: I guess the f:ixst one was an old Ekiison with the cylin:ler record ani a great big hom. (lalJ3hter) And then they got one that was :uore modern, in a cabinet, upright. M.lst have been about five feet high, that played the disk, I mean the rourd disk records. I guess they were called. Q: can you describe the f:ixst radio, it's physical appearance? A: '!he first radio that I remember was one our neighbor had, an Atwater Ksnt. And they called them Breadboal:ds. '!hey were just a flat board with the tubes that were exposed, ani about three or four dials in front to dial ani c:::harge the thirgs on it. Ard by the way, I bought four of those old Atwater Kent Breadboards fran a local mm:dlant who used to har:dle them back when they were sold, for about twenty or twenty five dollars apiece with the speaker. I sold them last year far $1,550. Q: WOW! (lalJ3hter) I might mentia1 that you are an antique collector ani a gun collector. A: Yes, I always liked antiques, although IXM I got out of that because I den' t have art:/ mre roan to pit anyt:h.:ing. (laughter) Q: When you were talking abwt ycur first radio, you mentioned a neighbor had it. Did ycur folks visit very much back ani forth? A: Yes. '!hey did quite a bit of visitin;J back ard forth in those days with neighbors. Q: When they went back ard forth to each others halse, did they have anyt:h.:ing speed al that they did? or did they just. • • • A: No, just 1'IMn"e or less talk ar gossip, I guess. (laughter) Well, sauetimes they played cal:ds of an evet'lin:J. '!hey' d get together of an everU.rw:J after supr.er arxi they sauetimes played cal:ds, card games. Q: What type of games? Arthur crumrin A: EUchre I think IOOStl.y Rook. Rook, I remember. Q: Do you remember holidays at bane? Olrisbnas in particular. A: well, yes Christmas, of course I remember it. (tape stopped) let • s see, you were as1d.n:J alxJut holidays? Q: Olristmas. 19 A: Cl'lristmas I remember especially. '1he other holidays, the Fourth of J'uly of course, but Olrist:mas is the a18 I remember llDre. We usually had a Cllri.st.mas tree am 71ti father went cut in our tiJDber am cut a cedar tree am bralght it in without us kids krntlin;J it. '!hey would have it in either the SIIDkehalse or the sunmer kitchen, sanepJ.aoe where we oculdn •t fini it, ard they 'WCUl.d have it decorated. AM they had cannes to light for lightin;J--of oourse. we had no electricity-ani~ 11Dther 'WCUl.d pop popoom ani make strin:;Js of popcorn to decorate with ani maybe a few other decoraticms. AM then on O'Jristmas Eve they 'WCUl.d brirg that in the house after ~ sister am I went to bed, ani the next mon'lin:J it was there. Of oourse Santa Claus brought it. (laughter) What feM toys we had wre urxier the tree. Ani of course, that was a very excitirg time for us. we had a new toy or two. Q: Is there aey particular toy that you remember? A: Not particular, no. We used to have little wagons, little red tin wagons. Am ~ sister had perhaps a doll, ani maybe sane wooden blocks, buildirq blocks. '!hey were very feM, we didn •t have too many toys. Q: What did you have for 01ristmas dinner? A: I don't know as it was very speciallml.ess we were to have c:x:rrpany or :relatives or sansth.i.rg. '!here 'WCUl.d be chicken pe:r::haps, or ham, or both. Maybe a cake li4U.ch JJtf nwXher mked, cakes on oocasialS, special oocasicms. Q: Did they attend 'WOt'Ship service on Chrisbnas? A: I don •t believe so that I remember, unless it ~ to be on SUrXJay. we wem cut in the countJ:y ani goin:J with horse ani buggy. I just don't believe they usually did. Q: What aJxut 'lhanksgivi.rg? A: Well, sauetimes it's kird of a ooinciden:le, I was born on 'lhanksgiviDJ :cay. My father always told the stoJ:y alxJut me rui.nin:J the doctor's 'lhanksgivirg dirmer. (laughter) sanetimes if that 'WOUld ha:t:Pm durirg a particular year, we might have sanethinq special for the birthday ani 'lhanksgivin:J. ot:he:twise, I don't know as it was aey special day zeal.ly, because It was usually durirg com harVes'tin;J season ani we 'WOUld usually just work that day like arry other day. Arthur crumrin 20 Q: can you remember when the feelin;Js about holidays cban:Jed, when there became more sentiment toward them? A: No, of course I can remember when they became more c:amnerclalized. Q: About When was that? A: I wtW.d say prct>ably when autanobiles became more plentifUl ani hard roads were begi.nnin:J to be built. Ani especially when television first started. Q: NCN at Cllristmas your sister ani you got toys. Did your nan ani dad excharge gifts? A: Yes. I think mother usually might haVe got a dress. Maybe a piece of jewal.l:y of sane k:ini, ani dad maybe sane cigars. Sanething like that. Not:hin;J big. Q: Did they celebrate their anniversary? A: Nat particularly, no. No partia.tlar celebration on that day that I remember. Q: What did they do for your birthday or your sister's birthday? A: we usually maybe got a dollar for our birthday. I recall nrt grardfather, who lived with us for scme time there, always gave me a dollar bill which was quite a thirg to me in those days. But that was aba1t it. Q: ret's see, your granifather lived with you because your folks had gone there to take care of the fann for him. A: After nrt ~ passed away. Q: What abalt NEM Year's? A: No special occasion or celebration or anythin;J that I remember, no. Q: Hew abc:.lut Valentines Day? A: well, we were usually in school then ani maybe the class, the teacher 'WCJUld have us make SCIIIe htJnemade valentines 0 Arvi they -wculd harq thai a:t'QlDi in the wind.c:Ms. Sanething like that. Q: Did ya1 ever give a valentine to a special little girl? A: No. Not that I remember llOI.IT. Girls didn't mean much to me then, goirq to school there in nrt yourger years. No, I don't remember that. Q: Had to qet a little older. A: Yes. Arthur crumrin 21 Em of side one, Tape TWo Q: Did your family celebrate Faster? A: No, not particularly Olltside of usually goin;J to church. 'ltlat' s about all I guess. Q: You told me earlier that Faster meant a lot to your m:rt:her. In what way? A: well she bein:j a Ilitheran, they observed lent. I think they had Lenten services durirq the week, l:ut I don •t recall goirq to lenten services when I was a kid. Q: Did she follow aey particular custans durirq lent? A: No, outside of havirq saoe eggs. 'Ihere were m:>re eggs than usual on Faster durirq the Easter season. Q: Did she do anyt:h.in;J special with the eggs? A: we used to color eggs, us kids, at Easter time. I remerrt:e:r the Easter bmny was SUR;XlS6d to brin:J sare Easter eggs am it seemed to me like she might have planted sane out in the yard that w went out ani fCAll'Ki. Q: Ha.lr old were you when you fCAll'Ki out there wasn't aey santa Claus ani there wasn •t any Easter bunny? A: well, I was fairly old. I mean I was not old, but I mean I was in JJ¥ teens probably, early teens before I knew it. Q: It seemed like that custan lasted lon:J&:r than what it did later. A: Yes, that's right. Q: What do you remember about the Fourth of July? A: Of course, fi.recrackers. Maybe dad waJ.l.d buy a package of firecrackers. Usually that was right in the wheat harvest. Sanetimes maybe if it rained or sanethin:J ani w ocul.dn't work in the field -we went to tam if they had a celebration of sane kird, or a parade. Q: thlt kin:1 of celebration did they have? A: Maybe a speaker and a ban:l oc:n::ert in the city park, tam park, ani of ocurae, kids shoot.irq off firecrackers. '!bat's about all that I can :r&llflni er. Q: Did you ever have ice craam socials? A: No, not that I recall. Q: HOw about box SU,J;:perS? Arthur crumrin 22 A: sanetimes at the oamtry school they had box suppers. Yes, an:i they brought in boxes and then they wcu1d auction them off up in front of the sdlool. 'llle highest bidder, ~ ever box they bc:A.lght, they ate with thsm, ate the box supper with them. Q: wm:e you old enc:u;lh at that time to bid on boXes? A: No. I don't recall ever doin;J it myself, no. Q: What happened to the lll:l1eY fran the box SUJ:P!r? A: '!hat I don't remember either. I don't Jcnow what happened to that. I can't tell you. Q: What about Halloween? Especially when you -were goin;J to school. A: 'Well, they would cut out faces in p,mp1dns and put a carrlle inside of it of a night. It wasn't a big thiig ln those days that I remember. Q: Did they stress 'Ihanksgivin;J in sdlool? Did they talk much about the Pilgrims ani the famcli.n:J of our countJ:y? A: Usually I guess, at that time. Q: were you interested in history at that time? A: HistoJ:y was one of nr:1 favorite subjects, yes, and biology. Arithmetic, mathematics I didn't care abcut those at all. Q: You 'WeJ:e t:al.kin;;J abcut YQlr DDther goin;J to the I11theran Qlurch. Did YQlr father attend the I11theran Olurch? A: In later years. He belCJtged. to the Cllristian CllUrch in 01annerville. '!hen it dissolved an:i then he went with JJri :aother to the I.utheran Olurch, alth.c:u;Jh I don't recall that he ever joined the churctl. My :aother was I.utheran because her parents were. Ani I joined the I11theran Olurch after I was maybe eighteen years old, sanet:h.iir.l like that in Qlan:llerville. Q: Are you still a I.utheran? A: Yes, yes. I atterrl the I.utheran Olurch, Missouri Synod. Q: Did your D:Jther an:i father ever go to separate churches on suroay or did they both generally go together? A: My 1'tDther went to the Olristian Qn1J:c:h with my father quite a bit When that c:tmn:n was still organized. Ani then he went with her to the I.utheran Qmrch after it dissolved. Q: Your DXher was raised a I11theran and she came fran a GeJ::n\an ~. Did she ever atterrl a Getman school? ArthUr crumrin 23 A: Yes, she did. At that time they had a chUrch school in Chan:Uerville, an:i she att:erded possibly two or three years there at the church school. Ani then in later years she attended a public school, a ocuntry plblic school. Q: Did she speak German? A: Yes. She knew German an:i cnlld speak it, yes. Although in later years I guess she had forgotten quite a bit of it, l:ut in her younger years, yes she oc:W.d urx1erst:arli ft ard speak it because that was the 1~ that my grar:dDDther ani gran:ifather spoke for several years after they came to this ocuntry. Q: Ani you said earlier that your gran:ifather had care fran Pennsylvania. A: '!hat's em rrrt father side. Q: on your father's side. Yo.Jr llDther was German ard your father was fran down arourxt southern Illinois. wm:e you ever raised with a:ey folk :r:amedies or folk tales, anyt:hirq of that nature? A: No. Remedies you mean like . Q: at, if you • • • A: • • • tie a sack art'llll'¥1 your neck to ward off colds or sanetl'lin;J like that? Q: Yes. A: 'Well, no not really. I don •t recall a:ey folk tales. Q: Did you ever tie a sack at'tJUni your neck? A: No, I don't remember that. '!hey used to have sanetl'lin;J made out of goose grease or scmething like that that they wc:uld grease your chest an:i pit a pad aver it or scme.t:hin;J. I can remember that. I don't :krol just what all was mixed in there. (lauJhter) Q: If you got sick who took caxe of you? A: 'Ihe ocuntry doctor there in our tcMn of Cllanilerville made hcuse calls. If they thought it was very seriOIJS they would call hiln and he walld cane out to the house. Q: How did he get aut? A: With a horse. I da11t believe he rode horseback, although the f01ll'J3er of Chandlerville, DoCtor Chandler, always rode horseback. He was, by the way, the man who introduced • • • Q: QUinine. I Arthur O:umrin 24 A: Quinine, yes, to this country. But that was before nrt time. OUr doctor was Doctor Boone, cur famll.y doctor. He would cane out in a horse ani bJggy in the earlier days. Q: What about the road oc:niitions in the winter when you still had the horse ard l:luggy? A: 'lhey ware rough. 'lhey were all dirt roads especially in the spr~ of the year when they thawed out. Q: was there ever a time when the road was so bad that you oc:uldn' t get out ani you needed a dootor? A: Not, that I recall, although roads were .ilrpassable at times. Not at any real critical time that I can recall, no. Q: You ware pretty self sufficient then? A: Yes. Although I :t:aiDIBIIb!r I had a sister who died. at birth ani -we had tel&plcnes, a oountry line that the farmers built themselves. I remember my father tryirq to get the doctor in the night ani he oc:W.dn't get the cperator. central -we called. them then. I believe he had a Model...rr Ford than. He had to crank up the Ford ani run into town ani get the doctor. But they lost the baby. Q: Al:la1t what year was this? A: 'that walld have been about in the early 1920's. Q: was the Model-T the first car you fNer had? A: Yes. My father balght the Model-T-I believe a 1918 m:::del. -beca.11se that was right after the war years ani the price of wheat was very good ani he had sane extra m:mey that he could buy an autcm::lbile. Q: When he had the horse ani l:uggy haw many blgqies did he have at cna time? A: JUst one bJggy. Q: can you describe that blggy? A: It wasn't what they called the stoJ:m buggy, which was enclosed.. It was just an open buggy with the top on it, a one seater, ani usually one horse pll.led it. Q: Did you have any mecms of conveyance ather than a carriage or a blggy? A: No. sanetiJnes if the road drifted with snt:M the neighbors would get t:ogether in a wagat, in a grain wagon, hitch up a team of horses to them ani get their SCCXJP shoVels an:l scoop through the drifts to make a road Into town. Arthur crumrin 25 Q: Did you ever go sled ridin:J? A: My father didn't have a sleigh of any kini, although I recall one of my neighbors did. When we went to town school, he had a sled an:1 durirq dritt:.irq snow, when they oouldn •t get through, he hitched up a team of horses to the sled and we went to school that way. Q: How about ice skatin;j? A: Yes. My gran:ifather had a pair of leather boots that he wore quite a bit and my uncle had a pair of ice skates that he left there that would clanp on to these leather boots, ani that's how' I leamed to skate on overflowed frozen pards. Q: Did you ever cut any ice in the winter? A: No, we didn't. In <llan:U.erville they had an ice house where they cut ice off the lake. If we wanted to make sane haDemade ice cream or sanet:hirg we would go there ani buy a dumk of ice. Q: What lake did they cut the ice off of? A: It was a lake near Olan:lle:r:ville called Big I..ake. '!here was a Big Lake and a Little Lake. (laughter) Q: Is it still there? A: It's filled up now. In periods of high water yes, you can tell where it is. In fact, if you cress over the bridge--the first bridge north of <llan:U.erville there, before you get to the river bridge. You cross over Big Lake. Goirq north fran Olan:llerville. Q: You said you made haDemade ice cream. A: Yes, they did that. Q: How often duriig the summer did you make it ani what was the process? A: well, they didn •t make it too often. Maybe on a special occasion or sanet:hirg when they 'W8J:.'e goiig to have relatives CXBDe in or sanet:hirg. ~ liDt:her wcul.d, of course they had their own milk an:1 cream, and she would take cream Daltly, flavor it. Vanilla probably. I don't remenie;r mat all she p.tt in there, rut I remember p.rttirg the ice in the burlap sack ard Cl:\1Shin:) it with an axe in small pieces for the freezer, and then turnin:J the freezer until your ann gave out. sanetxxty else wculd tum it then until it got so stiff you couldn't turn it ani then it was ready to eat. Q: Did you ever pack it after it was turned? A: Yes, if they didn't eat it all they would pack it to keep awhile. Q: ltlat kW of refrigeration did you have as you 'Were growiig up on the fann? 'i' Arthur crumrin 26 A: we had an open well which was our water supply, dri.nki.rg water, ani JJlf D.7ther wculd lower cream in a cream b.tcket da.m in that well with a rcpa. 'the well was fairly deep, probably fifty or sixty feet. She wculd la.~er it dc:Mn maybe thirty or forty feet. Arrl then -we had a eel Jar which had a brick floor where she stored her milk in crocks and the cream wculd cane up to the top. She would skim the cream off to make butter, for ClOOk:iiq pm:poses. Arrl that was our refrigeration. Q: lihen you grew up an the fann, did you have a refrigerator? Rather than a refrigerator I shc:W.d say icebox. A: No, we did not. Q: When did you have your first ice box? A: 'lhe first ice box -we had was a refrigerator aft:ar the electric line went by. Q: You never had a • • • A: An ice box? Q: An ice box. A: '!hat used ice, no we didn't. Q: How' was the fann different when you were a boy to when you were a married man? By that I mean :hc:M were the fannin;J methOOs different? A: When I was a boy, all the farmin:J was done with horses. I think my father bought his Fol:dsan tractor alx:ut 1920. Q: Fol:dsan? A: Fol:dson. Made by the Ford Motor caJpany. Q: Haw did the tractor operate? on what kind of fuel? A: As I recall it used kel:osene. I think it used gasoline to start ani then when it qot hot you switched aver to kerosene. '!he first one. Q: Why did you have to switch after it got hot? A: well, because it wouldn't start an kerosene. You have to have gasoline to start the erqine lmtll it qot hot enough to ignite the kerosene, which it wall.d aft:ar it qot hat. Q: Did ycm- father farm more acreage after he got the tractor than he did with the horses? A: Yes, he did. Q: A1:x:ut how 11llCh more? Arthur crumrin 27 A: Probably sixty acres, sanethiir;J like that. He fanned doWn in the 8an:jaJla'l River bottan, rented groun:l there. '!here was abcut three different fields as I :t'8Cal.l. '!bey were abcut thirty acres each, which he rented after he got the tractor. 'Ihat was besides the small fam that 1ft:1 gramtather had. Q: After you got the tractor did that charqe the schedule of yaJr work day any? A: No. You mean as to hoW many hours we put in a day? Q: Yes. A: No, rvX; really. we just got DDre done with the tractor because we didn't haVe to leave it sit an the en:i of the field to catch its breath am pant, (lau:J):1ter) like we did with horses. Q: HOW often did you let the horses rest? A: In hot weather, especially plllirg a plow, you would have to let them rest about each rourd. ' Q: When did you get rid of yaJr last horse? A: 'Ihat would have been probably in the early 1930's if I remember right. I believe it was. I •m rvX; sure. Q: When you got the tractor am you planted the additional acreage did that c::barge ycm- life style any due to havirg extra J.JrJrej? A: '1he extra acreage was subject to overflow by the river ani they got two good crops out of three, which was about average. Although it raised qood crops when the water didn't get aver it, but one out of three they lost. Q: What did you raise besides wheat? A: In those days it was wheat ard aorn, oats, an::1 hay. Q: SO that you were rotatin;J crops? A: :Rat:atilq' yes • Q: was your father rotatilq when you were veey yourq or did he start that later? A: I think he rotated when I can :raueoher. Red clover of course. When he plowed it l.llder it put a lot of nitrogen in the grcun:i. '1hey raised red clover for hay and for fertilizer too. 'Ihere was no OJI&Ier'Cial fertilizer then SO they almost had to rotate. Q: Hclw close was the house to your :bottan larrls? A: To the bottan lan:!s 'WOUld be about a mile. Arthur crumri.n Q: When he pJrCilased his first tractor, did he awn those battan lams? A: No, he ranted. Q: He was rentin;J them than? A: Yes. 28 Q: He was rentin:J the bottau lam before he bcught his first tractor? A: No, not all of it. After he got the tractor he rented 100re ground.. He wasn't fa.nni.n;J near as many acres before he got the tractor. Q: Haw far did he drive his horses to the field to 'WOrk? A: 'lbe haDe place, the so called hane place, was right aorcss the road. 'Ihe grourrl he rented in the battan, he rented maybe thirty acres am there was another probably al:xut fifty acres. one of them was a1:x:IUt half a mile, am cme was aba1t a mile fran haDe. Q: After he rented that aantional bottan lam did he· acquire more lam after that? A: No, he didn't. Q: Did you enlarge the fann? A: No. '!he grourn he rented in the ~ River bottan there, we never did awn any of that. Although he bought sane ground. fran nr:1 IIDther's relatives who inherited it, which Is next to our hane place. '!here was ninety acres. He did l:Aly that, but that was about the tilne he retired frcm farminJ ani than It¥ bl:other-in-law started fannin;J. Q: Your father helped your DDther's father fann after his wife passed away. A: He really took aver the fann am operated it himself. My grardfather then quit farminJ. He was qetti.nJ up in years. Q: so that your grardfather was rentin;J also. A: No, mz grardfather owned the place that he farmed. It wasn't too many acres, J:ut he owned that. '!hen 1!¥ father rented it fran rum arxi he started to farm. Q: 111at ~ to that same groun:i after your grardfather passed away? A: After Jtt:i granjfather passed away it was sold am nr:1 m:Jther bought the place where they lived there. 'lhat would have been, I guess eighty acres. AM I bought forty acres. Q: Do you still own the forty acres? Arthur crumrin 29 A: Yes. Q: At'8 yen rrM re.tltin;J it? A: Yes. Q: Did your father belcn;J to any particular political party? A: He was a pretty strcn:J Republican, as his folks were before him. Q: Did he vote at all? A: Yes, he voted. Q: What precinct? A: Oumllezville Precinct. Q: Aba1t what year might I find his name on the poll book record? A: I assume about 1909 or 1910, probably. Q: Why was your father a staunch Republican? A: I guess because he father was before him. I guess he believed in the Republican principle, the only reason I lcnow. Q: Might I ask you what your political persuasions are? A: 'lhe same. Q: can you remember ~ for Hoover? A: 1st's see, that would have been about 1928, I guess, would it not? Q: '!hey blamed the depression an him. A: When he ran I would have been twenty years old. I don't remember whether I voted or not really, to tell yen the truth. I could have I guess. I.et see was it twenty-ale or eighteen years of age to vote? Q: I don't laxM. A: I don't xenemher either now. I don't remember that I voted for Hoover, alt.hc:ugh I remember when he ran. Q: Did :your father vote for Hoover? A: I think he did. Q: Did he ever express aey opinion aftexwards? A: Of can:ae, if Hoover was blamed for the depressim, yes, but I heard a lot of smarter men than I say he wasn't resp::ansible either. I reDflllter a1e election thalgh w.heJ:e he did vote tor the Dellkx:rat for Arthur crumrin 30 president, and that was let's see .•. Hughes, Teddy Roosevelt? Anyway he switched for sane reason one time in the election. He might have in others, I don •t remember all of them. Q: Who was the first president you voted for that you remember? A: '!hat I remember. '1he first president that I voted for who :became president. Roosevelt was in there so lcn:r it prcbably was the first Replblican after Roosevelt. I dan •t remember really. (lau;hter) Q: Since we have been~ about the depression, :tlow did fam life charJ3e after the depression hit? A: we had to do withcut in those years. '!he prices -were unbelievable lCM. Q: can you qive me an exanple of SCl11e of the prices? A: I ra•enter c::mn was 15 cents, ani that's when I quit SllDkirg because a bJshel of com cost the same as a packaqe of SllDkirg tobacco. Hoqs were abc:ut three cents or four cents a :pouni. I can remember Irrf dad usually let me have alS SC1il ani her pigs, to raise the pigs I and sell them. I recall think.ing that the pigs' when they qat to the market aqe, about two :tn:Jmred or two hurxlred and twenty :poun:U;, they were the same as five dollar bills wal.k:in:J arourd. NOW' one of those wcul.d bri.rg over ate lulD:1red dollars. we did withcut a lot of thi.rJjJs in those years. Q: can you remember anyt:hi.rg in particular besides tobacco that you did without? A: Yes, like maybe goirq to a picture shew or sane.th.irq. we didn • t go. My DXher wcul.d patch overalls and shirts, and socks and make them last. Q: Did she generally pat:cb UJ:XieJ:Wear, overall, and socks before the depression? A: Yes, she did. I think that was the German inherited. Q: How did your diet c:han;Je durirq the depression? A: Not really too llllCh. we had our own Iteat we raised on the fam. we had our own milk, 1:utter, ani cream. We had our own eggs ani vegetables out of the qalX!en. SO there wasn •t too 11llCh we had to buy. It didn •t d1arqe a whole lot. Q: Did you see arrt difference between the people on the fann and the people in tam during the depression? A: 'Ihe farm prices in any depression or recession usually go down first. we felt it on the fann first before it hit the town people. You ocW.dn1t firr:l a job anywhere. '!here were many lll1ellployed. I recall the winter of 1927, 1928, I got a job at the Elliot state Bank in Jacksonville to help a little, to make a little na'18Y· '1hen I .. Arthur Crumrin 31 helped lfti father farm the next summer. '!hen the next winter I got a job at the Equitable Life Insurance SOCiety in Peoria and worked up there that winter. '!hen the next winter, abart the 1930's, in the early 1930's, you oouldn't find a job anyplace. I finally got a job in the office in 1;:he local service caupany after it was fcmned. 'Ihat was abart 1933, I think. Q: How lon;r did you work there? A: I worked there a little over forty years in the office. Q: I see that you have a slip of paper with sane notes on the depression. I won::ler if you \VO\lld tell me what you have there? A: only t.mat I've already said that • • • Well another t:h.in;J I got here is that we had no high priced fuel bills like we have today because we bJmt our C7tll1 wood. we didn't have electricity, so we had no fuel bills or electric bills. A few gallons of kerosene would J::mn in the lamps a lon;J tilne. My DDther could sew pretty qood am she made sane of her own clothes ani my sister• s clothes. We got by. Q: What abart the peq>le in Vil:g"inia, did they have fuel bills? A: Yes, I guess. 'lhey would have had coal. I think JOOSt everybXly bJmt coal. Q: What if BaDebc:dy needed JIXJlleY hew did they get it? If they just couldn't fin::i work am they had to feed their family or pay doctor bills or :fuel bills, haw did they obtain that m:ll'lE!Y. A: You mean durin; the depressicm? Q: D.lrin.J the depression, yes. A: I don •t knc:7...7. Of course, a lot of the banks closed and they couldn't l:x>rrow DDney. '!here were a lot of bills aroun:i, a lot of credit was given which was never collected. Of course that didn't help the prosperity aey, of the camtJ:y. A lot of peq>le went bankrupt. 'lhsy just did wi't.halt, or I don't knc:w :rm.1Ch in the case of the doctor bill, but I suppose the doctor just went if they had to. '!hey did have those prcyz:ams, health. Q: 'Dley had these programs when? A: It was attar Rcosevelt was in there, you remember, or maybe you don't z:a1&1i:er. No, you woul.dn't. Q: I was bom in 1941. A: Yes. When was Roosevelt elected? 1932 I guess. well, after Roosevelt was elected in 1932 the :refoxms started that's when relief started ani the government helped those who had no other means. Q: Did your family ever have to go on relief? 32 A: No. Fortuna~y they didn •t. Q: What about other fann families that you knew of? A: ~!here were a lot of farms that were lost durin;J the depression because they couldn't make it, ani they were goin;J to foreclose, ani they lost their farms. A lot of that. Q: Yrur father managed to keep up the rent payments durirq this time? A: He managed to get through, yes. Q: Arlyth.irJ3 else that you remember al:x:lit. the depression? Erd of Side '!Wo, Tape Two Q: When you worked at the Elliot state Bank durin:] the depression was that your first jab? A: Yes, it was. Q: What did you do lr.bil.e you were at the bank? A: WOrksd C11 pass books~ deposits ani withdraWals. At that time it was all done by hand ani that was ~t I did at the bank. Q: You worked at an insurance oaapany then in Peoria? A: Yes, in Peoria. Q: lb7 did you like Peoria? A: I didn •t like it too good. It was all right, it VciS a job, am that was the main t.hir:q. Q: What did you do at the insurance cx:atpany? A: I filed insurance records-policy :reool:ds-an:i so forth. At that time there was a lot of people who canceled their insurance or borrowed m:rJSY on their insurance. 'lhel:e was quite a bit of activity, ani that 1 s ~t I did. I 1lm'9 or less filed the records. Q: Where did you live lr.bil.e you were in Peoria? A: At haDe. In Peoria? Q: In Peoria. A: I had a school lad who went to school with me in O'lanllerville whose ~ lived in Peoria. He was lNOrkirq in Peoria at the time an:i we lived there with them. I rented a roam you might say. Q: What were their names? A: stuber. S-T-U-B-E-R. Arthur CJ::umrin Q: How DllCh di.cl they chal:ge you to rent the roan? A: I think it was $5.00 a week if I J:."AAIIFFI!!h right. Q: Arxi did that inclu:ie yt:JUr meals? A: No. I ate uptown at the restaurant. 33 Q: What percentage of your incc:me were you able to serd back heme? A: I don 1 t recall what I made up there at Peoria. I do recall when I got the job at the sm:vice canpany, it was $12.00 a week. No, it wasn't $5.00 a week, it was $5.00 a Itatth in Peoria. '!hat's right. Yes, $5.00 a narth. I don1t remember just what I earned up there, to tell you the truth, wat the salary was, :tut I did save sane m:mey. Q: Did you have any experiences lttbile you were in Peoria that was different fran anything that you had knc7,m aroun::i here? A: well, I didn't get out much of a night there or go to any shows or any night life. What I eal.1'led I saved, 'beawse I had to. Q: When you were world.rg at the Elliot state Bank in JacksonVille did you liva in Jacksonville? A: Yes. I lived with nr:t aunt. I had an aunt that lived in Jac'ksa1Ville. Q: What was her nama? A: Bainhart. Q: What was her first nama? A: Marie. Aunt Marie. Q: (pause) Yc:u missed World war I ani World war II. A: Yes. I was drafted in World war II, :tut I was classified 4-F, so I didn't have to serve. I was at the right age at the time. Q: Did you have arti relatives that served in world war I? A: I had two un::les that I knew of that did. Q: Ani did they fight overseas? A: one of them was overseas in France, yes. '1he other one--my uncle Who lived in Olardlerville--was scheduled to leave NeW York to qo overseas, b.tt he was a big man ani they couldn •t fini a unifom big encu#l for hlm. (laughter) When they left, he had to stay there Which he regretted. He wanted to qo with them. He didn •t qo ani about that time the war en:ied.. I guess, because he never did get overseas. T-Arthur CIUm:rin 34 Q: How big was he? A: He was probably 6 110" or sanethi.n; like that, because I knr:w in his ycurqer days saneone came through am wanted to train hi:m to be a boxer. 'Ihat was about the tiJne that Jess Willard was the heavyweight champion. '!bey wanted to train hi:m to be a boxer, but he didn't do it. He was a pretty good size man. Q: Now' this is the uncle that mads cigars am had the lumber yard am liveey stable? A: '!hat's right. '!hat's hi:m, IT.JY uncle Amil. Q: You're tall too. A: I'm about 6'. Q: Are all members of your family tall? A: Yes, I think IOOSt of them are , yes, fairly good size. Q: 'Ihe uncle who went to France, did he ever speak much about it after he came hane? A: No, not a whole lat. I remember he gave ma sane souvenirs, same shrapnel an:l stuff that he had picke:i up over there in France. He was there right after the united states got into the war an:l he remembers sane of the early battles, Saint Mihiel, Al'gon Forrest, am those. No, I don't recall anyt:hiiq really, personal t.hin;Js or anytl'rl.rg like that. Q: Your family was GeJ:man. A: Right. Q: was there arti anti-German sentiment directed toward your family at that time? A: No. No, there wasn't because 'Well I remember one of the neighbors who had been appointed to go aram:i ani collect contributions for same J;ilase of the war. Whoever was the head of it had down what they assume that yoU. W:W.d give. He came to our house ani I know rrr:t gran:lfather ZOm was there an:l this fellcw said they had hi:m down for $200.00 My gran:lfather says, "I give, I give." A lot of them, of course, didn't give what they had down, what they supposedly should give. But did. I think he realized the Gennans ••• 'lhat's the reasa'l he came aver to this country, to escape the militaey. '!here was no anti...am:man sentiment against our family, no. Q: Exactly what did they use the llD1ey for that they collected? A:- I dcn't remember now what it was used for exactly. Salle phase of the war. I was fairly small then and I dal't remember what it was really. Arthur Crumrin Q: Hc:Jw about durin; 'World war II. Did they make that sort of collectien then also? A: No, not that I know about. Q: Did your life en the fazm charqe durirq world war I? 35 A: well, it chan:jed because prices 'Wel.'e qood. Wheat especially was awful good price. Farmers made nore 1l'Dl'lE!Y durin;J world war I than ordinarily. Ani they had nore m:mey to spen:l, of course. Q: What about durin:J world war II? A: -n. same t:hirg durin;J world war II. Farm prices were high and fanners did all right durirq the war years. Q: What year did you first meet your wife? A: What year did I first meet her? Q: Yes. A: 'lhat was the year when I started work:i.rg for the service oc:mpmy that I mentianed amile aqo. I guess about 1933. She was workirq for the Fam Bureau, cass camty FaJ:m Bureau. She was a secretary for the case Ccunty Fam Bureau. -n. sezvioe c::x::mpany offices were in the same buildi:rg of the Fa:m Ellreau Office. Q: What was your job with that oc:.upany? A: Keepfna' books, l:xxlkkseper in the office. Q: I thought you didn't like math. A: We had a machine there, the Moon Hcpkins that BurroUghs took over. '!hey se:tVioed it. All the transactialS were nm through that machine, the pJrChases fn:m the custaaers. '!hat was one of rrt:f jobs to nm it, but you had to punch b.1ttalS there instead of figurin;J in your head. (laughter) Q: Why did you choose to leave the farm and to make your livin; elsewhere? A: '1hel:e really wasn't enough work en the fann for two people full time, all year jcb. I didn't particularly like fann work any work. SO when this ogx:>rtunity came alQ'¥1 why, I started. I thought I'd t:cy it. I ccW.d always quit, but I stuck with it. Q: What was your wife's name? A: Edna earls. e-A-R-L-S. Q: Do ycu kr'lc:M anyt.hirg about her family? Arthur crumrin 36 A: 'lhey were farmers who lived alxut a mile ani a half sart:hWest of Bluff Spr.in:js. Her father helped organize the case county Fann Bureau, as did 1ffi father. 'lhat was about 1918. I remember goirxJ arami with 1ffi dad ani a neighbor tJ:yirxJ to get fanners to sign up in the Faxm Bureau. '!his one day, they hitched up a horse to the buggy to go arourxi ani see the neighbors, ani of course, I wanted to go alaq. 'Ihey had a little wooden box, sanert:hirg like a shotgun shell box, that they had in t:hose days, made out of woc::d. 'lhey put it doWn in the battan of the buggy where their feet usually are, ani those buggies were very :narrt'JW. 'Ihey oauld get one foot in ani let the other l'lan1 cut on the other side. What I remember was it was in the S1..1l11lner-tht horse switc.hirq it's tail at the flies ani it 'WO.ll.d cane arour¥:1 and hit me in the face. It really stun:.J. Tears care to Itri eyes at times. 'lhat' s the thought that came to me when I thalght of the Fann Bureau. Q: Why did they want to fonn the Fal:m Bureau? A: 'lhey thought if farmers got together • • • which the idea was all right. I mean, they thalght they could pool their resources, like se11f.rxJ livestock. Usually before the Farm Bureau they 'WO.ll.d sell to a buyer that came arcurd, ani he'd pay them about whatever he thought that~ 'WO.ll.d stam for. 'lhey fonned like produoers, livestock associations where they built small stockyards in these tcMns • • • they 'WO.ll.d take their livestock there, ani then ship to st. Louis to the market t:henvMl.ves. 'lhen later on they had the service oc:.t1pU'ly which banned oil ani gasoline for the fanus. 'Ihey bought their awn gas ani sold it, made a profit but the profit went back to them in the fonn of patronage dividends. Ard of oourse life insurance, other thin;Js like that, was the reasa1 they formed it to start with. Q: Did it also evolve into sane kirvi of social outlet for the farmers where they oau1d barxi together ani have dinners or get toqethers? A: Not oormected with the Fal:m Bureau really. At the annual meetin;J they always had a dinner that they served, but outside of that I don't knt:M as the:re was any social activities. Q: How long did you go with ycm- wife before you were married? A: well, I had saae dates arcurrl the mi.C.klle 1930's. It liiJSt have been maykle amun:i 1939 or 1940 wan we • • • you might say went steady together. I :ransmber first I had a Medel T Ford. It was 11q first car, ani I drove it back ani forth to "WOrk. I went down to see her in it too. '1ban I got a used o-s. BUt I remember the first new car I balght. In 1939 I :balght it fl:an Bcb Ha111a1 here in Vil:ginia, a Ford dealer, for $805.00 '1be deluxe m:xiel. It had a radio in it too. 'lhat was scanething in those days. we were married in 1942. Q: What did you do on a typical date? A: Usually went to a picture show. Maybe a hant:lurger afterwards. Arthur Cr:umrin 37 Q: Were her folks livilq at the time? A: Yes, they 'Were. Q: Did they haVe aey certain restrictiCI'lS for her c::x:miD;J in at night? A: No, not really that I lcnow of. we -were both 'NOrld.n:J, an:l we usually got in at a dec::ent boor. Q: '!bat was just unspoken then? A: Yes, I think so. Q: Did she continue to work after you -were married? A: Yes, she did. She worked for the Fann Bureau. well, the cass CcRJnty Farm Bureau an:l the Morgan Cbunty Farm BureaU went together in the last years, al:xUt 1970 :maybe, sanet:hin;J like that. She continued worJdn;J-well, she wanted to work 1.U1ti1 1965. She had to drive to Jacksa'lVille then because the Farm Bureau office had :nx:wed there when they CXIIIbined CCUities. An:l she did work until she was 65. '!hat woold have been about five or six years ago, I guess. Q: What k:irr:i of a weCkii1q did you have? A: we -were married in the st. John's Iutheran Church in Beardstown. Q: was she I..utheran also? A: Yes, she was. Q: What was her nationality? A: German. Q: Did you have a big wedciirg or a small? A: No, just the families. Q: Did you take a trip after you were married? A: Yes. we went to-I t.l'lcu;;Jht here awhile back-we went to Spril'gfiel.d at the Abe Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln Hat:el) which they just wrecksd :recently. Ard then we wnt to st. I.ouis. I had been in the civilian ••• let's see, what was that? '1he military training that they had at· Jefferscm Barracks south of st. I..a.rl.s. I was there in abc:A:rt 1927 and took acme military service there. I wanted to go down there and look that aver again, so we went to st. Louis an:l that was abalt it. Q: I thought you -were rated 4-F. A: Well, that was in world war II. Q: Ch, I see. You had military training in world war I. Art:lmr crumrin 38 A: No, it was a ••• I forgot what they called that l'lC711. All yourg men CX::W.d go in the SUl'llllertime to this mllital:y trai.ni.n:J amp. 'lhey had that several years there. Q: Abalt what year? A: It was about 1927, I believe, when I went there. Q: Did you go voluntarily? A: Yes. Q: HoW laq were you there? A: I think a nart:h or maybe two m::mt.hs. A nw::mth I believe, maybe a little lager. 'lhey had a regular amy canp at Jefferson Barracks. Regular army officers 'NOUld train us. I did win a marksman medal for shootinq a Jo-06 Spri.rqfield Rifle. Q: Did you hUnt any when you were gi'C1tlirg up? A: Yes, sane. We had a t:lnter in back of our house. My dad had an old stevens 22 si.rgle shot rifle. 1bat's what I first shot an:i lnmted sane with. He had a 12 gatqe shotgun, but that was a little too big for me. It kicked quite a bit. 'Ihen when I got to be about eleven or twelve years old, he lx:AJght me a stevens 410 gauge, sirqle barrel shotgun, an:i I hunted quite a bit with that. Q: Do you ever fish? A: Yes. I like to fish. I do quite a bit of fishing. I've been up in Minnesota an:i up in canada, Wisconsin. Yes, I do like to fish rather than hUnt. I didn •t care too 1lllCb. about huntin:J. I do like to fish. Q: Where did you and your wife live after you got married? A: Right here in this house. I brllt this house. Q: Aba.tt what year? A: In 1942. we•ve lived here ever since. Q: was it bani in 1942 to finance a house? A: Yes, it was. well, really nat too bani. Interest was cheap. Of course, I had to l:lorrow the money, but I had a job an:i I didn • t have any diffiOJl.ty fi.riancin;J. Q: Haw' did your life differ frau your parent's life? I knew' you weren •t on the farm any lon:rer, but maybe in the way you ate or • A: Ycu mean when I qat married an:l when they qat married? Arthur crumrin 39 Q: I was ••• tlli.n1dn:J al:x:Klt your life at hane with your parents ocmpared to your life after you were imeperDent an:i had a wife. A: Mf wife beirg German, she was a good cxx:>k. we never had nay traJble that way. (laughter) Q: Did she brirxJ any special recipes or dishes to the marriage that you had never tasted before? A: No, not that I recall. Arrj special t:hirgs, no. Q: I might ask you. Is your wife still livin:fl A: Oh, yes. She is stayin;J with her l1DI:her nt:M. Her DJt:her is 91 years old and not able to take care of herself. For the past four years she has lived with her rt:M taJdrq care of her. Southwest of Bluff Spr:i.n;ls, in her own bane. Q: Ard that's on the farm? A: Yes. Q: D:les her m::rther still own groun:i? A: Yes. She owns the place where they live. Q: Did your wife ever talk al:x:Klt grcMirxJ up on the farm? A: No, not :really. She had one sister and one brother. Q: What were their names? A: Clarence was her brother. Dorthea was her sister. D-0-R-T-H-E-A. 'Ihey had the usual chores I presume, like they do on every farm. Q: What was her father's name? A: HeJ:man earls Q: And her mather? A: Alllla, Davidsmeyer was her majden name. Q: Did you ever trace her family back as you did your am? A: No. Just maybe a couple of generations. Q: Do you :knc:N anything about those generations? A: only that they were large families. 'Ihere nust have been probably ten in the family. And her father was fran a big family too. '!here was abart six boys ani two girls in his family. 'Ihe earls family. Q: Gocx:l German family. Why did your wife go c3.arm south of Bluff SprjnJs to take care of her mother rather than bringing' her here? Arthur CJ:umrin 40 A: we bJ:t:u3ht her toot:her here at this house for a couple of weeks or so, but she wasn't satisfied at all. She wanted to go hane, so rather than pl'ttin:J her in a nursin;J hane, why llr;l wife decided-ani it was agreeable-to take care of her at her own bane. Erd of Side one, Tape 'lhree Q: We were just tal.ki.rg about Pearl Hal:bor. You were tellin;J me your feelirqs about it. A: I can remember I was at hane at the time, urnnarried at the time. '!hat was one time. in llr;l life when I had kird of a scared feelirq, a little a,;:prehensive because I knew I would be drafted. I cc:W.d rafW!illber the first world war, the battles, am I read quite a feM :books about the battles ard so forth, and I could see in llr;l min:i Where I would be in the same positicm probably. But it so luq;pmed I wasn't, because they pit me 4-F and I didn't have to serve. Q: Why did they p.tt you 4-F? A: I had a bad operation in 1918. It turned out to be a];pmd!citis. our c:amtry doctor thought it was just a stanach problem or saoething. He doctored for that but it didn't do any good, so he called a couple of doctors fran Jacksonville. An:i of course, when they got aver there, they thclught it was ~citis. '1hey took me 011er to Jacksawllle and it was ~citis. 'ttle ~had ruptured; ~had set in. 'lhey didn't think I was goin;J to live, but I did. well, anyway, fran that qmaticm I had bad adhesions. I had a bad side. My eyes didn't pass either. 'lhey pit me in 4-F ard that's where I stayed durirg the war. Q: How old were you when you were drafted? A: Let's see, 1942 am 1908, that would be thirty four wouldn't it? '1hirty four. 'lhat' s how old I was. Q: H<::w laJ;J did you stay in the hospital? A: When I had the apperdicitis? Q: When ycu had the ~citis, yes. A: It as about a :mnth, I guess. Q: How old were you at that time? A: I was either nine or ten years old. Q: 'Ihe doctors came out fran Jacksonvllle to your haDe to eDDdne you? A: Yes.
|Title||Crumrin, Arthur - Interview and Memoir|
Cass County (Ill.)
Farms and Farming
Social Life and Customs
|Description||Arthur Crumrin, long-time resident of Cass County, Illinois, discusses the history of Cass County; rural life, electrification, and education in one room schools; Depression; marriage; records of cemeteries; his collections; and old homes in Cass County.|
|Creator||Crumrin, Arthur b. 1908|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Cogburn, Nancy [interviewer]|
|Digital Format||PDF; MP3|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Title||Arthur Crumrin 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
Arthur Crumrin Memoir
C889A. Crumrin, Arthur b. 1908
Interview and memoir
8 tapes, 600 mins., 2 vols., 117 pp.
Arthur Crumrin, long-time resident of Cass County, Illinois, discusses the history
of Cass County; rural life, electrification, and education in one room schools;
Depression; marriage; records of cemeteries; his collections; and old homes in
Interview by Nancy Cogburn, 1979
See collateral file: interviewer's notes, historical report of Cass County Service
Company, 1840 census of Cass County, and photocopied pages from the Crumrin
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1979 University of Illinois Board of Trustees
Table of Contents
Family Background •
Life on the Farm Before Electricity .
Life on the Farm After Electricity.
Farm Bureau •
Records of cemeteries
Foundin;r of cass county, Illinois
Blinias underwood, ReVolutionary War Veteran.
This manuscript is the product of a tape recorded inteJ:view conducted
by Nancy COgbum for the Oral History Office on March 7, 1979. Linda
s. Jett transcribed the tapes and Mrs. COgburn eO.ited the transcript.
Arthur Cl:umrin talks of his early life on a fann and of the changes
that the introduction of electricity brought to the rural existence.
He has also involved himself a great deal with research into the
history of cass CoUnty, Illinois. To this end Mr. Cl:umrin has
conpiled an extensive record of the county 1 s cemeteries. He also has
a thorough knowledge of the architectural styles of homes throughout
Readers of the oral history memoir should bear in mind that it is a
transcript of the spoken word., and that the interviewer, narrator and
editor sought to preseJ:Ve the infonnal, COJWersational style that is
inherent in such historical sources. Sangamon state university is not
responsible for the factual accuracy of the memoir, 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 means, electronic or mechanical,
without permission in writing from the Oral History Office, Sangamon
state university, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9243.
Arthur c:rumrin, March 7, 1979, Virqinia, Illinois.
Nancy Cogbu:m, Interviewer.
Q: Mr. Cr:umrin, can ycu tell me a little bit aboUt your family
A: well, I was bom in West union, Illinois, in Clark County,
NOVE!Il'lber 26, 1908. My father's name was Harry otto c:rumrin. He was
born ani raised in Clark County, near west union. My m:>ther' s name
was Emma Elnora Zorn. She was bo:m and raised near Qlan:llerville in
Cass County, Illinois.
Q: Do you have arrt idea why your father left Clark county and came to
A: He left the fann of his father because there were yamger brothers
to taka aver, help with the work, and he worked for other people. He
-worked in NOrth Clark county, south of Decatur, hus1d.nq co:m, and
finally fall'Xl a jd) at the state insane asylum in Jacksonville.
Q: 'What did he do at the state hospital?
A: He worked on the wards terxiin;J the patients.
Q: What do you know abalt your m:Jther?
A: After she grew up she also worked out, usually helpin} in the
ho.lse, hot:Jser«tt'k for other people. 'Ihen she fall'Xl a job at the state
insane asylum and she worked in the kitchen as a cook.
Q: When were your parents married?
A: 'lhey were married in January 1908.
Q: After your parents were married, did they live in Jacksonville?
A: No. '!hey D¥:JVed back to West union where my father worked in a
luntJer yard for about a year and a half. 'Ihen my Grardn¥:7ther Zo:m
passed away and my Gran:ifather Zo:m wanted them to ocme to the
fannhcuse east of Olan:llerville, and live there ani fann.
Q: Hew many brothers and sisters did you have?
A: I had two sisters, I.ousie ani Harriet Emily, who died in infarcy.
Died at birth.
Q: 'What was your grandfather's name on your father's side?
A: His name was William crumrin.
Q: Arxi his wife, your g:rarxim:Jther?
A: Her name was Kline. I don't :knc:M her first name offhand..
Q: JUst Grandma, hUh?
A: Yes. (laughter) Yes!
Q: Arxi did your father haVe any brothers or sisters?
A: Yes. He had sane brothers, no sisters.
Q: What were their names?
A: well, there was Roy, and Fred, and Herschel, and Reno.
Q: What did Roy do?
A: Rt:Jy wrked for the western union CCilpmy as a lineman. He was in
world war I as a cc:mm.mications man.
Q: Arxi Fred?
A: Fred was a fanner. He fanned on his father's place.
Q: was Fred. older than your father?
A: No. My father was the oldest in the family.
Q: What did Reno do?
A: Reno went to Montana, entered several sections of land up there,
fanned and raised cattle. 'lhe northeastem part of Montana. He
stayed there until he retixed.
Q: Do you knc:w hati he got the m:mey to p.n:chase those sections?
A: He borrowed it I think. I knc:w he borrowed sane fran I1r:1 dad.
Q: What alxut Herschel?
A: Herschel was a teacher, a school teacher.
Q: · so that he was the only one of the boys to have an education?
Q: Why was that?
A: When he was bom llr:l gran:lnDther died and was adc:pted, raised by
her folks, the Kl.ines. He went by the name of Herschel Kline. Ani I
think they [were] the one who put him through school. He had a
Arthur Crumrin 3
criJ;Pled han:i. My gran::Jmther died when he was bom, ani that's the
reascm he had a criJ;Pled han:i.
Q: lblt was the name of your nether's father ani m::rt:her'?
A: My mather's father's name was Ferdinand Zom, and nq grandmother
was 'Iheresa Veach.
Q: Ani ll<:M many children did they have beside your mather?
A: 'lhere was tJncle Carl, an:i urx:J.e Atnil, ani then t:hera was
Elizabeth, an:i Marie, ani Lena, an:i catherine.
Q: Ani what did Carl do for a livfni?
A: He fanned part of nq grarxifather' s place, right next to the, hane
Q: Ani Amil?
A: He manufactured cigars in ChmXllm.ville and then he was in WOrld
war I. After that, he started a liveey stable ani sold feed ani so
forth. 'lhen it evolved into a lumber yard ani he had buildil'g
Q: Do you know Why he made the change fz:an a liveey stable to a
A: Yes, because aut:cmJbiles began to be nore :rn.nnerous ani horses were
Q: Did he shoe the horses?
A: No, he never did shoe a:rr:1 horses. No, he didn't. 'Ihe blacksmith
shop was where that was usually done.
Q: Ycu say he made cigars. Did he have his own business or did he
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|