Aunt Carol Speaking (Helen Caroline Miller)
Taken from Making Memories - Miller Family
by Lucille M. Wood 1997
Recorded on cassette while visiting us in North Ogden, Utah, Oct. 15, 1987:
My mother sent away for her china and it was very prized in our family. My parents were
Father went to
Cripple Creek for a few years to open a store That's why John (Miller) was born in Independence
County, Mom always said the county seat takes precedence over small towns - he was
actually born in Cripple Creek.
Mother left there (Glenwood Springs, Colorado) when I was about three and a half - that was about 1908 or 1909 and came to Calif. My father left us and after awhile she sold the store and brought the five of us out to Santa Barbara - from Santa Barbara we moved to San Diego and there she invested in a rooming house - each time selling for a bigger one.
My brother Will was working. Will and Blanch both graduated from Glenwood Springs High School. Margaret graduated in - Florida - John didn't graduate and I moved back to Glenwood Springs and graduated there. After Mother came to Santa Barbara we lived in an adobe house - it was covered in roses and had a big pepper tree out in back where I had my play house.
Margaret worked in a beauty shop and made beautiful hair pieces of all kinds. It was in San Diego that Will and Blanch both married. They married just a few months apart - Will married Lena Tyler and Blanch married Perley Payson Oar.
Will and Lena stayed in San Diego until Lena passed away with cancer. Blanch and Perley moved to Roseburg~ Oregon. He was a lumberman - worked in the saw mills.
In the meantime, Mother married Josiah Jacombs and he persuaded her to sell her rooming house and move to Florida - he was going to be a plantation owner with orange groves. He was a carpenter and he did good work - he built her a house - the orange grove never materialized. Mother had several jobs - Josiah left for Tampa, Florida and we do not know what happened to him. He wrote a couple of letters and then the letters ceased.
I was seven when we went to Florida and stayed there until I was seventeen. Then I went to my Aunt in Glenwood Springs and I finished my high school there. John left home when he was about 15 .
While we were in Florida, Margaret married Volney Kantz. My Dad was in Delta Utah, and he decided he wanted some of the family with him so Margaret and Volney moved to Delta. Volney didn't care for the west - he was thoroughly southern - so they stayed about a year or two. Margaret had Elvira when they came out here and Nelson was born here (Delta?)
John came out and stayed with Margaret and Volney. From here, John decided he would go into the navy - he lied about his age - he ate some bananas and drank water to make up enough weight to meet the navy's requirement.
He was stationed, I think at AlaMeda, he elected to be a cook. Just before he graduated from there they shipped him to New York. They told him in the east that he had to start all over again. I don't know what he told them but anyway it wasn't that he was going to do it. He shipped out as a common seaman and was put aboard a destroyer. It was during the time of the flue epidemic and they had hardly got out into the Atlantic - they were supposed to have their breakfast - the cook was sick and hadn't got out of his bunk. My brother (John Miller) went up and told the captain that he could make breakfast if the captain would give him the keys to the galley. The skipper told him to feed the men and then feed the officers - my brother did that. He was cook all the way to France - I think they docked at Brest.
When they got there they were out
of supplies so they got supplies from other battleships.
He was with this skipper until mother got him out of the navy because he was under age.
After he was out of the navy he came to Florida to see my mother and I, and my step-father
and then he came west and stayed with Dad. That' s how he met your mother in Delta.
Mother got a divorce from Jacobs because she couldn't trace him. Eventually she met and married Jefferson McClamma - he was the one that John didn't like and moved out on. Mother and McClamma lived together until in the twenties then something happened and they separated. Mother came to Ft Myers - I was then at Ft. Myers. Margaret' s house blew over in one of these tropical storms - to understand this you have to know that houses in Florida are put up on pilings. Because it is very damp - particularly because Margaret' s house was along a creek - the wind came and just pushed the house over. It didn't break anything - maybe a few dishes. I went over there to take care of the children. They were in town of course, because they couldn't get back across the river, the Tallahatchie River.
After Margaret married Volney Kantz -Volney was a wonderful swimmer and some nit-wit untied his boat so they could see him swim - unfortunately Volney had just eaten, as they all had. Volney jumped into the water to rescue his rowboat and took cramps and drowned. After that Margaret was a widow for three or four years and then she married Herbert Ivey. It was while she and Herbert were first married that this house blew over - I went down to take care of the children until the house could be straightened and everything - and when it was straightened I went across the river and stayed with her. I got a job in Ft. Meyers and she was working for Ft. Meyers Boat Ways as secretary. Herbert was a carpenter and he had good work - I was housemother for the three children because I didn't have a job.
I later got a job through Margaret at United Markets as cashier. Then I went to one of the
newspapers - I was with them about seven or eight months - I quit because they insisted on
my meeting the six o'clock train to get the news of who was coming in. I could have gotten
that information at ten o'clock in the morning at the hotels after they had registered. We
disagreed and I left them - then mother and I came out here to California.
McClamma died - I think he had a heart attack - he was going off the deep. He got involved with voodoo and that sort of stuff and Mom wouldn' t stand for it.
Mother and I came out to California and out here I worked for a Real Estate firm and
then the Southerland Roofing Company as a bookkeeper - I was with them until they went
broke. At that time I was going to Unity with Mother. Unity used to be a school of
Christianity. It was a congregation - we both went to it. Mother needed it because she
wasn't too well. We enjoyed this study of what Christ had taught.
I was going around to the various places to get work - one of the young men I had seen
several times and he had always said hello to me - walked over to see if he could go with
me - we made the date and I told him to come up to the apartment. He looked at me kind of
funny and I said, "Don't worry my mother's going to be there and I wouldn't let you
come if she wasn't.' He said, "Oh, that's all right." They hit it off and she
was his mother and he was her boy. His own mother was dead, his grandmother was dead. I
think he had a brother in the East at that time - who soon after passed away.
His father was still living but he and his father never got along. George left home when he was about fifteen or sixteen, but he had been working since he was about eight years old - mowing lawns and other things to get his own money. He wanted to go to work at a manufacturing place where he would get good money and his father wanted him to go to work for one of his friends in a pool hall. George didn't care for the pool hall. I had seen him for about five or six months that' s how I got going with him. Then when we set a date to get married - after I agreed to marry him - he kept jumping it up on me. I wanted a June wedding - finally we married the Twenty Seventh of March, 1932, in the . . . Chapel with a Methodist Minister.
I went to Aunt Melissa's - George was taking night courses - he was taking Chemistry
that year. Five of them were going to quit - I said, " You stay put and I came
home." Of course aunt Melissa loved me to wait on her, which was alright with me, but
anyway - when I got home it was just what I suspected - it was valence. I told him and the
whole five of them to wait until I got
home. I taught him valence - he taught them valence and they all passed.
Why don't I go back one generation beyond that? asked Lucille (Miller) Wood.
My great grandmother was Catherine Pence Bailor - she had married John Bailor and they lived in Ohio - she had a small family as families go - four boys and one girl. My Great-grandfather,
When they came over from Bavaria the name was Bence and the name became Pence because they settled in an English settlement and they could not manage the German "B". Rothburg was the name of the city where they came from. Christopher Miller came from Baden, Germany. The Doremire's were along the Rhine out from Essen - their place was Grauthal. It is a small place. I had a lot of trouble getting this information from a man in Germany - he asked for a year to gather this information. I understand that Christian Doremire married a woman from French Alsace Loraine, her name was Magdalla Helmsdater.
John Bailor, went hunting one
morning. In those days if you didn't get your own meat for breakfast you didn't have meat
- you had mush and milk. So he went out to get some grouse - he put his gun over the fence
and started to climb himself - the gun started to lean - he tried to grab it and the
hammer caught on a twig or something and shot his head off. So that left the family
without . . . But the boys were mostly grown so they took over and made great grandmother
My grandfather's name was Lewis, the Bavarian or German way of spelling. He had gone to Pennsylvania and was coming back to Ohio - it was raining and he stopped at a farm house and asked for shelter and they gave it to him. Mother said that grandmother (Margaret Doremire ?) told her it was the funniest sight she ever saw. He stood by the fire to dry out and kept turning - he had on a buckskin pair of trousers - as he warmed these trousers kept sneaking up until his ankles showed. That was terrible in those days and she and her sister Caroline got to giggling and got themselves sent out of the room. Grandfather Doremire did not condone that kind of behavior before a stranger. He didn't know why they were giggling. That's how they met. They eventually ran away and got married because great-grandfather Doremire thought that grandfather Lewis Irvine Bailar, didn't have much money because all he had was a horse and he was working on his mother's farm (his mother was a widow.) and didn't have land of his own and that was not for his daughter.
away and got married - they had children, Aunt Alice, Uncle Irv, then Uncle Will, then
mother, Margaret Jane, they had several little ones that were carried off by Small Pox,
Chicken Pox or Scarlet Fever. Those three things were rampant in the early days.
Then along came Uncle Lewis (or Lewtie) Uncle John, Christian Bailar, and Laura Melissa Bailar. After that they came from Ohio to Illinois, to Kansas, to Leadville, Colorado, then to Glenwood Springs. Over in Glenwood Springs - Mother met my Father - August Miller, and they were married there. Their children were Blanch Louise, William Earl, Margaret Mellisa, John August and Helen Caroline. I am the Carol.
I don' t know very much about the Millers - they never visited us - Mother went there once - I think that was when grandmother died - I sent the obituary to Susan Bartholomew.
The legend of the Yampa Springs, at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, was told me by Mr.
Jakey Schwarts who got it from an Indian that he knew. There were many Indians in Glenwood
Springs in the early days. It went like this: the Yampa Indians came over the mountains to
the hot springs - they were camped not at the springs but about two miles out - away from
the roaring fork river. The hot springs were along the Colorado River - there were many
hot springs there along the river and they would go there and lay in the hot water and the
mud especially the older ones because of the rheumatism they had. They had been told from
time immemorial that as long as there was no strife along the springs the healing power
would heal them - so with that in mind they went very often and bathed but camped away
from the springs so if there was any quarreling it would not reach the spirit of the Yampa
This Yampa spirit blessed them with good health. One time when they were there and the
older people had gone down to the spring to bathe, they saw coming over the mountains -
for this is in a valley - a tribe of Navajo. There were no women with the Navajo so they
knew it was a war party. One of the older men said he was terrified - he didn't know what
to do so he started praying - praying that all of the healing waters would not be
destroyed. As he prayed they came about half way down the mountain and suddenly he saw
them turned to stone! The ranks were there until a few years ago. I have seen them and it
looked very much like horses heads the way the stones were arranged. In this upthrust it
did look like horses and the springs still heal people. That's the legend.
They wanted me at a junior college - they didn't have anyone and they wanted me very
badly but I would have had to give up my pension with the L A School District and my
husband would have had to give up his pension. Neither one of us would have been on social
When we moved up to Calamesa from Maywood we soon learned that there was a chapter of
The American Association of Retired Persons and then we got acquainted with the Dave
Clausen tours. We didn't drive into town, we would go on the bus and sit back and enjoy
the scenery, the shows only cost sixty cents a week. We decided we'd rather go to one good
show once in a while - so our very first show was the Olympic games in 1932 in Los
Angeles. The next year we went to the Holiday Bowl - we took in a lot of good shows and
went to nice places to eat once a year but that was all we could afford.
My husband and my brother, Jack (John Miller), were born in the same year - my brother was born in March and George was born April 4th, right after.
I've been very well but I always say if you eat the right things you'll be well and
strong. I've been thinking of going back to the museum to do volunteer work. I've worked
there for about four years in archeology. They tell me my desk is setting there and
waiting for me. I got interested in it very early in life. My brother John was an
archaeologist (said with tongue in cheek /Imw) when I was six weeks old he dug up an
Indian doll and I chewed on it.
I was amused when we were in Canada at the Montreal Exposition - they had Indians there
and they were saying how peaceful the Indians were and they never fought anyone. He looked
at me and said, "You believe that, don't you." and I said, "No I don't.
Right here in our country the Indians were at war - the Athabascans were raiding the
Navajos and the Navajos were raiding in the west." (She adds more about archaeology
that I have left out. /Imw)
My great grandparents as far as I know - my great grandmother was Catherine Pence and
she married John Bailar - lived in Ohio. They lived on a farm and they raised their own
food - I think they raised sorghum too, and they made syrup to use on their pancakes.They
lived on game mostly because they didn't have animals to kill. ( She repeats the story of
the gun leaning against the fence.)
When my grandmother and my grandfather were married. She, Catherine Pence, gave them a team of horses. Horses were very expensive in those days so they were extremely well off.
She came west to see my grandparents and I think they were then living in Kansas. Somebody had written her that they didn't have the prairie chickens that she was used to - they killed frogs. She was a very proper German lady and she had to go to church on Sunday. Great Grandmother cooked a chicken before they went to church - I have an Uncle Irvin and while they were gone he and Uncle Will went down to the creek and went frog hunting. Aunt Alice cooked them up and when Grandmother came home there was a great platter of fried chicken on the table. Uncle Irv kept plying my Grandmother saying have another leg. Grandmother said, "My these are delicious - my these are so tender."
Among other things they had mashed potatoes and gravy and string beans and home made bread. Just before Grandmother left they admitted all those tender legs she had eaten were frog legs. She said, "Well, if they tasted that good - they could eat them."
Margaret Doremire met my grandfather, Lewis Bailar, when he was passing through on his way home from Pennsylvania. (Wet Buckskin suit story told here.) Tells of the Amish relatives that Lewis Bailar had gone to visit in Pennsylvania - no names were known. Uncle John told Berl. (Ask Berl if he remembers anything about this./ LMW)
Pences came from the Shanendoa Valley in Virginia. All the Pence families moved together to Sidney, Ohio. That would be Heinrich Pence's children, or Adam Pence's children, or we could be Jacob Pence' s children they all had big families. There were a lot of brothers - that' s why we are all so confused. My grandfather's name was Lewis.
Henrich Pence had a son Lewis and he married two women by the name of Catherine and he had daughters by each of them and named them Catherine. That is the fun of doing genealogy - unravelling it, I guess.
Now I did
read a book that Adam Pence settled on Nettle Creek in Ohio, around Sidney. They all
settled around there.
The Millers settled in Michigan - I sent Susan the obituary of my grandparents of where
they came from in Germany. All I know is that her name is Louise and his name is
(Richard said that he saw an album with pictures taken in St. Louis, Missouri./LMW)
My Aunt said that my great grandmother's name was Helmstadder. (Bloom?
Some connecting thought.) They came from French Alsace Loraine. Grandfather had rheumatism
and grandmother was always rubbing him with lotions. (She started saying something about
them moving because of this.)
Aunt Carol' s Story - Second Tape
Margie (Boyack) (Lucille's sister) asked Aunt Carol to tell about her family life when they were all little ones.
Aunt Carol continues:
We came from Colorado to California - first to Santa Barbara and then down to San Diego.
In San Diego my mother married Jacombs and then we went to Florida. We were not all living
at home - Will and Blanche were already married so that left Margaret, John and myself -
Mom and Jacombs. Out there we lived out along the Tamy Yami Trail and took up a homestead
and we were going to plant Citrus trees and be rich. We planted the citrus trees - we
didn't know they had to be budded - we got some nice trees that first year. We were five
miles from town and had to drive through a pond to get to town. That was where we got our
supplies. John was given a gun for his twelfth birthday and was told not to point it at
anything he didn't intend to shoot. He and I roamed around together - he was pretty good
about taking me even if he was a lot older than I was. If he climbed a tree I climbed
right after. That' s when my mother put me in overalls. She said she was tired of mending
We moved to town and Jacombs went to Tampa - he was a carpenter - he wrote four letters
and then quit writing. We had no way of tracing him so Mom took jobs here there and
everywhere. She worked at the Bradford Hotel and finally she and Margaret worked at the
packing house - that' s where my sister Margaret met Vollney Kantz. He was working there.
After that we moved to Jacksonville, Florida because Mom thought she would have a better
chance of getting work up there. Mom met McClamma who became my stepfather. My stepfather
never liked John and John liked him less - I didn't care much either way only when he was
cross with John it made me mad.
We went to Ft. Myers, Florida and we had a hotel there - it had a dining room and I poured coffee - John helped around - but the rift between John and my stepfather widened and John took off and went to Sanabell Island to work for somebody - we found out John was working on a coconut plantation. From there John went to Jacksonville, Florida, and got a job as a bookkeeper for a railroad while I stayed with Mom and McClamma.
During the war John came west - our Dad was out here - and I still stayed with Mom. Mom
and McClamma moved to Swanee County Florida on a farm. During the war they made good money
- raised a little cotton and everything we wanted to eat. We couldn't get any help so Mom
and I had to work in the fields. John had come out west - he decided to join the navy.
Because he had always cooked at home he decided he would be a cook. Because John had night
vision they would wake him up in the middle of the night if they thought they had seen
something and say, " Come and look - is it a submarine?"
While he was there we were in Swanee county on a farm - school there was three months of
the year - the three months you couldn't work in the fields. In Ft. Meyers I was in the
fifth grade - when we were in the hotel. I read all the time and so I made my grades -
even though there wasn't much school. When John came home at the end of the war - I was in
sixth grade - my school teacher would ask John to come up and show him how to do
mathematics. I was always good in mathematics. I boarded out one summer and the teacher
there taught algebra - so I had had
algebra in the eighth grade.
Then we went to Jacksonville, Florida - Mom and I and McClamma. I entered high school
there. I didn't quite complete the ninth grade - I had a sort of a nervous breakdown. Mom
thought that Colorado would do my health good so she sent me to my Aunt Laura Mellisa
Bailar, in Colorado so I finished my high school there. I graduated from Garfield High
School, 1925, Glenwood Springs, CO. (I have her yearbook. Lmw)
I was going to High School in San Diego - my stepfather came out and he didn't like
anything but Florida - so we went back to Florida. While John was in New York, Sinclair
Lewis offered to adopt him. (John told us this story. / Imw)
I began having nightmares, Honey, it was a good thing - they were a warning. The man that I dreamed about did come into Glenwood Springs. I was out on the street. We had the store and lived up above - there was no yard. In the pictures of the store - Blanche with her doll outside. I had a little chair out there and I was outside and I came screaming into the house, Mom said, I said, "There's that man - there's that man." She snatched me up and told Blanche to take me upstairs so she could find out what was what. This man came into the store and asked where the little girl was - he wanted to talk to her. Mom told him to get out. He kinda sassed Mom and she picked up the skillet and told him to get out or she would smash him over the head with this.
I remember there were three of us children that were out in this area. John was out
there. Mom called John in and sent him down to the sheriff's office to tell him what had
happened. The sheriff found him talking to a little girl up the street trying to tow her
away. They put him on the first freight that came through.
Elvira said she didn't have a red head in her family - finally her husband admitted
that there were some red heads on his side of the family, but I found out through my
genealogy that my great grandmother was a red head. That is on the Doremirer side. I also
found out that my grandmother on the Doremirer side - I had a lock of her hair and when we
had a reunion at my place - we examined it and found auburn hair in it. We had never
suspected. We always thought she had black hair it was so dark . I told Margaret to go
home and tell Elvira that it was on both sides of the family - but she was unhappy with
the red heads. Margaret herself had beautiful chestnut hair when she was eighteen - just
beautiful chestnut hair. If my hair had been that color instead of blond - light brown . .
I have quite a bit on the Bailars because they were mother's family. Mother was born in Illinois, Champagne Co. - Near Urbana. Grandfather's health wasn't very good so they moved into Kansas - unfortunately it was damp so his health wasn't any better so that's when they moved to Colorado.
Grandfather built two heavy wagons made out of planks. He loaded the cook stove and as much bedding as he could into one wagon - food, clothing and stuff and started for Colorado. When they got into Colorado - they came in someplace close to Los Animos in the eastern part. Grandmother rode with a shotgun between her knees and a baby on her lap because they were afraid of Indians. Grandfather had his own horse and rode as a scout - he would ride ahead of the wagon - my Uncle Irv drove one wagon, Uncle Will drove the other wagon and Aunt Alice sat with him.
Now where were the older children?
Mother and Uncle John walked all the way and drove the cows for Grandfather would have
milk for his family - no matter what. They ran out of flour - Grandfather was a crack shot
and they had plenty of game but after all you've got to have bread to go with your meat.
He heard of a railroad camp so they went up there and he asked if the boss man would sell
him a barrel of flour. They were going on up to Pueblo. The man said no he wouldn't sell
him anything and he was rather curt. Grandfather talked a bit, the man said we've got a
strike on and we don't know how long it will be. Grandfather asked, "What is a
strike? He said, " Well the Mexicans won' t eat the salt pork we've brought along for
them and neither will the Italians. They won't work unless they get fresh meat."
Grandfather said, "This morning we passed a herd of Buffalo - they must be going up the other side. Why don't you send somebody out?" The man said, "We've sent them out and they can't hit anything." Grandfather said, "You give me five shells and I'll bring you back some fresh meat if you' sell me a barrel of flour." The fellow thought a minute and he said all right but take a whole box of shells." Grandfather said, "I don't need them and I don't want to be bothered with them."
They took five horses and three men to
help carry the meat back. Grandfather had a good idea where the buffalo were heading and
he told the men where to herd the buffalo up the ridge. They didn't wait for grandfather
to get up above them and they started stampeding the buffalo - so grandfather got two
buffalo and a calf. He took them back and the fellow gave him the flour. Grandfather gave
him three shells back and the man said, "You mean you got two buffalo with two shells
?" Grandfather said, "Yes - I got one for my family but I used my shells."
Grandmother had put the children into digging wild onions, so when grandfather got back she took the liver and put the wild onions in and started to cook. Then she saw twelve men marching over - grandmother looked up and wondered what was happening now. The men said, "Howdy mam, your cooking sure smells good. I am glad to see you can cook. We need a cook." He said, "The men are sick all the time, if you'll cook for us I'll get a big cook tent sent over from Denver and a big cook stove."
He turned to Granddad and said, "I'll give you two dollars a day
to go out and hunt." Fifty cents a day was all he was paying anybody on the work
gangs. Furthermore he said, "If you'll go with us all the way to Pueblo, I'll
give your boys a dollar a day." Grandfather said only on one condition, "The
boys do not shovel any dirt. It' s up to you to load the wagons." The boys were
to drive the wagons. Aunt Alice was a little bit jealous - so she came to my
mother - Mom was ten. She said, "Those men (the engineers) have to have a white
shirt everyday. Why can't we wash and iron the shirts and make a little money -
we'll charge ten cents a piece for them." So they
did. When they got into the mountains they had money to buy clothes for school and went in
as well dressed ladies.
They first went to Pueblo - then they went to Manitou - then there was a silver strike
at Leadville. They went up there. They stayed at Leadville quite a few years. They rented
out the wagons to haul ore - there again grandfather wouldn't let the boys load. They
could hire the boys to drive the teams and they wouldn't let anybody else drive but they
were not to load. Someplace there's a picture of a log cabin with a bunch of people
sitting in front - that was the family at Leadville.
Berl nearly always got his deer. This happened all the time but his sister-in-law beat
him one year. She had the boys get her a deer hunting license every fall. This particular
fall - the fellows liked to go out hunting - they grew up together - four or five or six
went out hunting every fall. Berl and Derwood always go together - Perley used to go with
them when he was alive - they went out and only one of the boys got a shot and I think it
was Derwood. Ila had her hunting license - someone had to stay there and take care of the
cows and the chickens - dogs - and all the rest of the animals so it became Ila's duty.
She took the truck and went out into the pasture and was doing something with the cows but
she had her rifle with her and she saw a deer come up over the hill and so she just got
out her little rifle and she had venison before the boys did. That was the year - for some
reason - Berl didn't get his deer. They make salami out of the deer meat and oh boy, is it
ever good. Once in a while they will send me a little chunk and am I happy.
They are still living near Roseburg - they are out of Roseburg living on Wild River Drive. It's up toward Glade. They are still on the ranch that they bought - Berl runs sheep and he usually rents a pasture. Derwood has his own land and has his cows on it. They bring the sheep into his place if they have to be vaccinated - which they usually do every year. They each have the separate income. Derwood bought a piece of land - that was alright - that was the home place it had a house on it. Then Derwood wanted to buy some acreage - I don' t remember how much it was but it was over a hundred acres and Ila was just sure they were going to lose everything. I was up there so I said, "Derwood, use your head - you're going to run cows - you're going to have more cows because you are going to have more pasture. Sell off the old cows and put that money on your mortgage." They had five good years and they paid off the mortgage in five years - Derwood told me. Ila wanted to put that money into a home, but now they've got everything.
Aunt Alice, after she found out that she could make money by washing - there were so many miners in Leadville - so she would wash for the engineers there. So she and Mom teamed up and they did it.
One day they went uptown and found out there was a new color in. It was called crushed strawberry - Aunt Alice said, " We've got some money so let's have some new dresses." Mom said, " Okay." Anything Aunt Alice said was okay by her - she was about eight years older.
They went in and inquired the price of the
"crushed strawberry" and it was $7.95 now this was back when it took about 5 or
6 yards to make a dress for a lady in those days with a full skirt and all. So - no way -
they went down the street and hadn't gone more than two blocks Mom said, when Aunt Alice
grabbed her and said, "Pet, you know we're a couple of fools." Mom said,
"Well what do you mean?" She said, "Why don' t we get that white wool and
dye it and make ourselves crushed strawberry dresses." So that's what they did. Aunt
Alice and Grandmother sewed and Mother washed dishes, baked and did the housework. That
Sunday morning they went to church and went in crushed strawberry dresses - they bought
crushed strawberry hats and gloves and they went to church. They heard one of the
daughters of the mine owners say, "Well if the washerwomen can have crushed
strawberry dresses, I am going to cancel my order." She had ordered it from Denver.
My mother was named Margaret Jane Bailar and was nicknamed Pet. My grandmother was Margaret Bailar. While they were in Leadville they went to dances - they went to dancing school. The girls were then old enough to have beaus and they went to shows. They could hear a song once and then go home and sing it - I've got in the back of my head those old show songs. I don't sing - some of them were risqué - they weren't miner's songs they were dance hall songs. The songs in the east would come west and they would paraphrase them here and sometimes they were a bit risqué.
Mother and Dad met in Glenwood Springs. Grandfather left Leadville and went by way of
Aspin over the mountains and down on the other side and took up a ranch - one hundred and
sixty acres - it's on this ranch where they had an Indian trace. They came over the
mountain - through this ranch - down the valley to Yampa Springs.
My father had a store - I don't believe it was this one - anyway they got going together got married - Aunt Alice - in the same town - Glenwood Springs - was going with George St. Bernard. George Nellis St. Bernard had one son and his name was Bion.
Uncle George was
killed in a hunting accident in Mexico and then Aunt Alice died. She is the only one we
know of that has ever had cancer in the family - in our immediate family. She had it
because she was injected with cancer cells at the time they were discovering that
injections could kill things. For instance - I guess they had just found out about typhoid
or something like that. She was injected it was a mole that bothered her. Mother said it
wasn't growing as far as she knew - it was just on her shoulder and rubbed
every time she
moved. This Doctor gave her this injection and in three years she was dead but she's the
only one we know of. Now Perly Oar and Perly Payson Jr. both died from cancer but it came
from the other side of the family.
(Uncle George) He went to Mexico with a lot of money and we think it was a Spanish
bandit that killed him.
In the Bailar family Aunt Alice was the oldest - then there was Uncle Irvin, Uncle Will,
Mother, Uncle Lewis, Uncle John and Aunt Mellisa. Those were the ones that lived - in
those days they had a lot of Scarlet Fever, Small Pox and those sorts of things that would
take off the little ones. Maybe diptheria took off one or two. There was a pair of twins
in there but I don't know the names - Mother told me much of this.
We moved away from there when I was about three and a half - I remember this one thing
Uncle Irv carried me through the snow to the train because it was too deep for my little
feet. We have four in the cemetery in Glenwood Springs - Grandma & Grandpa - Aunt
Mellisa and Uncle
Uncle John and his wife, Aunt Ella, were cremated and their ashes were
scattered over the mountain back of Golden. Aunt Alice and Uncle George are buried at
Leadville. Bion, the last I heard of him was in Connecticut - Shreveport - Uncle Lewis must be buried in Leadville,
he died of pneumonia or something like that. Mom is (buried) in Inglewood Park in Los
Aunt Mellisa was a reporter for the paper in Glenwood and I worked afternoons and
evenings - once we got the paper out - all sorts of things. I finished school and
graduated there. She always had her horse until they sold the ranch. When Grandfather died
they sold the ranch divided it up. She always had her horse - Grandfather always had a
riding pony. Now the horses for the wagons - one team was Grandmothers and one team was
Grandfathers. They were wedding presents from their families. As the horses got older
Grandfather would trade them in and get another team - he still spoke of this one team as
Ma' s wedding present.
We went through Glenwood Springs on our way to Florida - I was seven years old the last
time I saw Grandfather. (She remembered his build as somewhat like Richard's only shorter.
/Lmw) Uncle Irv was alive then and they took me out in the orchard and pressed apple cider
and they wouldn' t give me but just a little glass. I tell you I' m the most frustrated
person in the world.
I saw a few apples hanging up in the tree and I wanted John to get them for me. Of
course Uncle Irv wouldn't let him. He did find one I tasted and so did he, but it wasn't
that good after freezing and thawing.
My father had a store of sorts up at Cripple Creek - he also had a store down in Glenwood Springs at the same time. I don't know who was looking after the store while mother went up and was with him when John was born. The store up there didn't prosper so Dad packed up everything and brought them down to Glenwood Springs. Then he left from Glenwood Springs and a couple of years later we left from Glenwood Springs. I haven' t the slightest idea what made my father come to Delta because his family lived in Michigan and Ohio.
My father, August Miller, was trained as a butcher but he didn't like butchering so he
got a job in a store as a young fellow and then - I don't have the slightest idea what
brought him to Glenwood Springs - I don' t know if he was working for someone or not.
When mother and I came out here to Delta in 1929, I had an auto and we drove - visited
along with relatives. George and I were married in 1932 and Mom married Johnston in about
1934 My life has been kind of higglety-pigglety we moved so much because Mom was never
satisfied - she had a twin nature - that was her birth sign and she sure lived up to it.
She couldn't live out of town - she'd move in town - this side to this side.
We needed three hundred dollars to buy a house. It was eleven fifty and we had eight
fifty - we needed three hundred dollars to get the house. George said I'll go down and ask
my friend Max Light if he will let me have the three hundred dollars. Max Light was a
diamond broker so he should have lots of money someplace - so we went in and Mr. Light was
delighted to see George. George said, "Maxie, I want you to do me a favor, will
you?" Max said, "I don't know if I will or not until I know what it is."
George said, "I want you to lend me three hundred dollars or go on my note for three
hundred." Max thought a minute and said, "Well, I don' t have the three hundred
dollars. I'll go on your note. I'll make arrangements with the Bank of America, where I do
business." He went all around the building and said, "Did you know that George
out-Jewed a Jew?" The next day his wife called me and said Mr. Light was in bed and
couldn't get up. Please forgive him - he'd be down just as soon as he could. We had to
have the money right away so that night I called my brother, Will and asked him if he
would - I knew he had excellent credit. He said, " Are you sure you can pay it back?
And I said, "Yes, we'll pay it back 25 plus interest." He got it and sent it so
we had $600.00 in about three days because Mr. Light got up out of bed and went down and
signed as co-signer for us. That' s how we got the house.
My brother, Will, had a stamp collection and oh, if I'd only had a set of those I'd have
been in seventh heaven. Nobody ever gave me one until my husband and then we learned a lot
about world history through them. (Fred (Wood) gave her stamps we had saved. She said she was
going to do them at Christmas. /Lmw)
I have a garden at home - that's going to be my first job when I go home. First I will
get some groceries in and then I'll get out in my yard and get the weeds out. The weeds
there ever since I've been there and we moved in 1970. Of course I could read if I
didn't have those to do - I've read four books while I' ve been here. I' ve read three on
Canada and LaMaurs' The Last of the Breed - Prehistoric Indians by Doctor Wormington - I
don't know her but I may have seen her. She may have given a talk at a symposium at the
University. She is a friend of my boss - the one who has taught me most about archeaology
- I work in the archeaology department sometimes - I volunteer for the San Bemadino County
Museum at Redlands.
(I haven't included her last tape - it was all about archaeology and taking classes at a junior college. Not much of personal interest or family history. She was trying to impress us with her keen mind - and she succeeded. She was a very impressive lady in her knowledge and sharp, alert, personality. Lucille Miller Wood.)
Copyright © 1996 - 2019 Shirl R Weight Tuesday, 01 January 2019 08:33:23 AM