This memoir came to me as a copy from another researcher of the Ramsthal family. I believe it was written in the 1960s.
I have added a few hyperlinks and illustrative photos.
A BIT OF HISTORY
LAURA EMILY RAMSTHEL PIGMAN
TO MY PROGENY
BUT FOR WHOSE ENCOURAGEMENT
I SHOULD NOT HAVE HAD THE CONFIDENCE
TO COMMIT THIS ACT.
A BIT OF HISTORY.
The Pigman progenies, for which I am partly responsible, have expressed the wish that I record some of the facts about our family history. At least that part of it which has come to my knowledge or experience. I feel very incompetent for this undertaking, not knowing what to include or exclude, and being a very inexperienced writer. But I shall do my best. If the matter is boring to any reader he or she should not feel duty-bound to continue reading. I shall understand.
My grandfather, who was the first of my ancestors to land on the
George Hieronemus Ramsthaler born Dec. 50 1799.
Johanne Elisabeth Marie Roedger born Dec 21 1806 in Seebergen. They were married July 22 1827. To this union there were eight or ten children. Many of them died in
The passenger list from May 3, 1852 showing G. H. Ramsthaler and family
The living coming with them were:
Augusta Theresie Louise born Mar. 7 1841.
Angelica Eline Wilhemine Born Dec 28 1845.
August Albinus born May 14, 1846.
Christian Ernst Reinhold born Nov. 9 1850. [Arrow to “Reinhold”, “Mother’s maiden name.”]
Angelica married Frank Cour, of French extraction, and lived in
[ Correction by E.L. Ramsthel. Nephew of Author. Two boys Frank + Ralph Cour were both living in
August married Pauline Hensey. [Ed.: actually Haentze] There were eight children I think, five girls and three boys, all grew to maturity. Two girls did not marry. At one time August lived on a farm near
The homestead in Fillmore, many years later
Each child went to work at some trade when he or she was in the early teens. All had educated tastes, however, for the best to be had.
August and Pauline at the time of their fiftieth anniversary
One married the daughter of a Mr. Prinz, a Swiss millright, who came to
Ernst was my father. He never used the name Christian. In fact he would not tell us what other name he had. His father and mother died before he was in his teens. I think he must have lived with August in
I was told that grandfather and grandmother Ramsthaler were buried under some apple trees on the farm near Filmore. We tried to find the spot one time when we were in
My father changed the family name further to Ramsthel, and went to
Father built a sod house, possibly one or two rooms, which was constructed in the fashion of laying brick, but instead of brick the material used is called sod. A certain kind of plow will turn over a furrow of a certain width and depth, producing blocks of dirt held together by grass roots and easily handled. These blocks are three or four inches thick and possibly ten or twelve inches wide. They are cut up into desired lengths for handling and laying up in masonry style. Probably the house would have one door and not many windows. The floor hard dirt if necessary. The roof would have little pitch or angle, if any, but would have to be supported by some sort of timbers, and probably a sod layed on for a roof. I don’t know how the chimney was fashioned. I have heard that it was quite a task to make the structure leak proof, and in heavy rains one needed pails and pans to catch the water from the leaks. Snakes were not the easiest problem to meet.
The furniture father needed had to be constructed by his own hands, money was a rare item. I don’t know when he first owned an ox or a team of oxen. Of course that made cultivating the soil much easier. Then a barn was needed.
The first one was a straw barn. I remember seeing that sort in my early childhood among the poorer farmsteads. They were made of posts for framing with cross supports to bank the straw against for walls and on top for roof. Maybe there were some wires or other material to help hold the straw together against the storms, but again money was a rarity with which to buy things that might answer the needs, and ingenuity was a high priority need. I remember so well hearing that when my father and mother married they had a homestead, a sod house, straw barn, homemade furniture and $1.50 in money. There were few if any trees in this prairie country, so it must have been difficult to get timbers of any sort, to say nothing of the expense and transportation. Farther on by the
One's imagination could run quite a gamut wondering what the diet was in those times, and the struggle there must have been to keep the food supply adequate. I remember the remark that father used a pound of butter a day when he was living as a bachelor for five years before he married. The food variety could not have been very wide, and our extravagancies would have been looked on with horror. Even nails were a cherished item. When father was a youngster he came home with a few in his hand. His father asked where he had come by them, and made him take them back and say he had stolen them.
It was told that father was borne with a caul over his face or head, superstitiously supposed to be good luck, and an infallible preventative against drowning. One is left to judge about his luck, but he was involved in several drownings and near drownings. I think it was a Fourth of July when he and Delbert with a neighbor and his two sons drove down to a pasture on the
Edwin D. Kent born 1858, died about 1907, my mother's father, migrated from
Sarah Jane, my mother, born at
John Kent died young I think.
Scott went to the Klondike in the
William lived in
Edwin (Ted) lived in
Dora, mother’s sister was the youngest of the
Edwin Kent had two brothers and a sister I think, who were:
Alfred Kent born April 18, 1857 was a First Lieutenant in the third Michigan Cavalry. V.V. Lived for many years in
He had a son, also a daughter Edith Kent McMillan, both residing in
I knew Grandfather
When I was a child grandfather had a lovely farm, extensive farm buildings and machinery and a nice house, but he had very extravagant ideas. One of his sons told me many years later that he could not remember that grandfather ever did an honest days work in his life. I would not know about that. Many times when mother and we girls went to visit there, mother's step mother had hidden all of the guns because he had threatened to clean out the family. He had great bouts of lumbago and was in bed, but could dash out of bed and leap over any object in his path if he were infuriated enough at someone. I think he married again within six months of grandmother's death, and that marriage lasted about six months, and his third marriage ended in separation at least, tho that wife, and mother, nursed him thru his final illness. An adopted daughter remained with the step mother. She married, had a pair of twins, who died in infancy and were buried on the
Nothing of the
At the time of mother's visit to
How many children were at home, I can't say, while grandfather was in the war. Mother could not have been more than six or eight years old at the most. It must have been a difficult time for grandmother. Mother spoke of the price of things needed by the family, considering them to be very expensive, but probably not much of a comparison to what we have in our time. I think grandmother must have been a capable person as mother often spoke of her talents in sewing, embroidering etc. She must have been a particular housekeeper as she refused to have lace curtains at the windows, saying they were just to cover up dirty windows. There were indians about in these early days, and they were quite apt to appear for begging, saying “coff, sug” or putting their faces to the window and saying “White squaw fraid.” Once mother was sent to the covered wagon to bring some into the house. She was climbing into the wagon from the front where she must step up on the wagon tongue, past the mechanism that fastened to the wagon. She heard the indians coming thru the scrub and was so frightened she fell on what is called the wagon hammer incurring a bad shin injury. She bore the scar as long as she lived.
My mother must have been a nice looking young girl. She had very curly hair inherited from her father, who reminded me of the old Greek pictures, with tiny curls all over his head. Where she and father met I do not know, but I have heard then say that he walked ten miles when he went courting my mother. That was in one direction, if they lived in the same localities I remember. I often wonder if there were adequate bridges, or mostly foot bridges, for crossing all the many creeks . Old Prairie creek meandered all around that vicinity, as I have memories of it in other experiences.
Sarah Jane Kent and Ernst Ramsthel were married Dec. 25, 1875. Children:
Delbert Dane Ramsthel Jan. 18, 1877-
Albert Lloyd Ramsthel Sept. 21, 1878.
Martin Scott Ramsthel May 26, 1880.
Laura Emily Ramsthel Dec. 8, 1887. (named for cousin Laura Cour).
Myrtle Lucille Ramsthel July 15, 1891.
How mother produced such a brood I have always wondered. It is said that when she was born she weighed one and one half pounds, and the doctor could slip his finger ring over her arm to the shoulder. She was carried on a pillow for the first six months of her life. From my earliest memory she was not well, tho she worked disregarding the fact. When my youngest brother Martin was born there was quite an accident. It was several years later the doctor repaired her on the kitchen table, without anesthetic. Some time later I came along. There were many times when she did not weigh one hundred pounds, but also she was one hundred and forty at one time.
I can remember when Myrtle was born. I was about three and a half years old. The neighbor woman who brot her, a midwife I'm sure, wore a shawl, and I was certain she had Myrtle under it. When she was a few months old she rejected her dinner from mother's breast, and it was offered to me, probably to make her more likely to respond. I was all for that, but was shamed down by a brother, and I just did not understand why. I could not see that I had done anything to be ashamed of.
I was born about twelve years' after my parents were married, and by that time there must have been many changes in their economic status. There were no marks left of the sod house and straw barn. The frame house was built in two steps, and the second addition was built before my, memory was operative. Neither can I remember when the big barn, granary, corncribs, sheds etc, were built. There were big corrals on all sides of the barn, well layed out for driving stock from one to the other, and large feeding bunks from which the cattle ate the snapped or shucked corn. A few times I was asked to throw out the cobs remaining in the bunks after the critters had finished eating, and I was scared stiff. Most of the time I was shooed away from the barn environment. My brothers would tell me to go to the house. I can understand now. There were hired men around usually, and brothers were only protecting their young sister. Sometimes they were neighbor's boys, but mostly they were more of a migrating class picked up in town when help was needed.
When I was four years old 1 wanted to go to school with the boys. I was not of school age, but the teacher said to let me come. I think I must have enjoyed it, but can't remember the first days. It seems to me the readers we studied were Swinton’s, grades one thru eight. They were bound in maroon covers with black lettering, and I enjoyed the stories and poems in them. Almost the first page of the first reader had three squares of colors, red, yellow, and blue, and explained how other colors were made by mixing them in the right combinations. There was what was called a literary society which met in the school building occasionally, for debates, song feats, speeches etc. I don't know whose idea it was nor how old I was, but many times I sang hillbilly or western songs a cappella. Can't remember now that I was scared.
Spelling class always stood in line in front of the long bench at side front of the room to recite. If one misspelled a word given him the next in line had an opportunity to spell it correctly. If he did so he changed places with the one who had misspelled it, and then was one place nearer the head of the class, his friend going one place down class. When leaving the formation to take our seats the head pupil called out “George Washington”, the second pupil “John Adams”, next “Thomas Jefferson”, and so on down the line; thus we learned the sequence of the presidents of the
We usually walked to school, unless the weather was very bad; one mile if we went straight across the fields, possibly a quarter of a mile farther if we walked the roads and went to the corners at each end of the mile. I can’t remember the number of pupils in the one room, one teacher school, maybe twenty or thirty. The grounds were possibly two hundred feet square with fencing all around, and in the middle front facing the road was a wooden stile, about eight feet long, with ascending and descending steps to take one over the fence. The building had three or four windows on the east and west sides, none in the rear. The front toward the road had two entrances, one for the girls, and one for the boys, with separate coat rooms, and from them entrances into the main room, with the teachers rostrum between these doors and desk facing the rear of the room. The rear wall had slate blackboards its full width. In the center of the room was a large pot-bellied stove. . On either side of the room and the center back of the stove were several rows of desks and seats, mostly for two pupils each. The heights of the desks and seats were graduated, front ones for the little folk, and back ones for the taller pupils. Boys sat on the west side and girls on the east side of the room. One front side wall had a long seat for a class to occupy while reciting. The other front side wall had a table with dictionary, and maybe book shelves. Outside was a water pump, and in opposite rear corners of the yard a privy on the west side for boys and one on the east side for girls.
We usually had a woman teacher, tho I remember two men teachers. A Mr Scott with a family of five or six. How he could support them I don't know. Also a Mr Schuman, whose sister, I think, married Ted Kent, and whose wife taught at the
When my brothers were teenagers they loved to embarrass the women teachers by catching them in wrong answers in spelling, definitions or pronunciation. I don't know that the boys ever did anything vicious, but one new teacher evidently had gotten some gossip and bad report about the Ramsthel boys. She launched her first day with a tirade that she would “cowhide” the first guy that got out of line, and I think displayed a big stick. That was all that was needed. All morning recess everyone, especially the boys, was yelling at everyone else “I'll cowhide you.” I can't remember how long the boys stayed in school. Of course there was farm work to do part time, so they may have had to stay out some for that. Father persuaded Delbert to go to high school in Grand Island, but later found out that he was not doing anything, so that was that. It had been hoped that he would go to the university at
I probably was about eight or nine when mother took me to visit uncle Will Kent about ten miles west. I liked aunt Huldah and little Myrtle, but I found out some way that mother, Albert and my sister Myrtle then took off for Kansas to father’s sister's family, and were to bring back a load of peaches. Seems insane now to think of carting peaches several hundred miles in a lumber wagon.
I was furious as it seemed to me I was always getting the raw end of a deal, and I thot that was a dirty one. I demanded to be taken home, and evidently was, and a neighbor a year or so older came to stay with me during the day, for the men were hauling hay from a field father had rented a few miles west of us, as we had no hay acreage, and possibly before we had alfalfa, so he needed great quantities for the cattle and horses. Ida and I were there alone while the men were on these trips to the field and back. One day a man came to the house and asked us several questions. We did not know him and were frightened because he kept one hand in his coat pocket. He wanted to talk to an adult, and we had to tell there was no one home. When he left we were scared stiff, so we locked the door and went to the home of another neighbor and told them what had frightened us. They laughed and said we need not worry that the man was selling cook ware and had minature samples in his pocket. On the way going home we were running along the dusty road when the door key slipped from my palm into the dust. We searched but found no door key, we were locked out. What a mess. Can't remember all the incident, but that evening or next day when mother returned she offered fifty cents to the boy who filed a key first to fit that door. I can't remember one thing about peaches, whether there were any, but our experience with the key was monumental in my memory.
Before Delbert and Albert were thru their teens they were on their own, away from home, working for other people. Very probably because father was a strict German supervisor, and if one could not do things his way then one did not do them at all. Father needed more acreage gradually, so he would mortgage what he already owned, end buy another eighty acres or so, either for pasture or for raising grain. During the proper season he bot calves, steers, hogs etc and put them in the fattening pens readying them to ship to
We had a Welsh neighbor whom father must have tried to shepherd to some extent. They toured the countryside looking for stock to buy. He had a large family, did little work himself, but his wife worked like a horse. She died after childbirth, leaving an infant for the oldest girl to care for. She was a very fat girl, and it was reported that she accidently smothered the baby. She grew to be an immense woman. The father drank excessively, and many times his faithful old horse brot him safely home from town without him falling out of the cart or buggy. Father persuaded him to take what was known as “The Keely Cure.” I don't know what happened after that, but think he was much improved. I was told that he was killed years later when riding in a car with other men, when his body was thrown from the car. His oldest son was about my age, and nothing made me madder than to be teased about him, for I disliked him heartily.
Another neighbor, friend and fellow church associate, offered father some hogs to buy. When mother was told about it she told father that she and we girls had driven past their farm that day and seen hogs being burned. That was the usual method of destroying them when they died of cholorea, and it was rampant at that time. This neighbor family was one of the elite of the vicinity. They had two girls, one about my age who later years married a graduate of
It is said there are more hair raising experiences and accidents on farms than anywhere else. We seemed to have our share, mostly with horses. Possibly because of my adventurous brothers. If there happened to be a horse not accustomed to halter, bridle saddle or harness that fellow was in for some training. I don't need to go to a rodeo now, I've seen most of it in my childhood. We girls and women saw much of it from our kitchen window, holding our breath and wringing our hands, afraid to look, but helpless not to. Some turned into fine animals, some never could be trusted. One especially which mother and we girls drove, early in the game. I don't know where our regular horse was, but anyway we drove him to grandfather's house. We had to cross about ten bridges over winding Prairie creek, and this lively fellow didn't like bridges. Mother had to get out of the buggy at every bridge and lead him across. Later while hitched to a post in Abbott, while some of the boys were in the school house, a train went thru town on the
Delbert had married a woman not of our type, but father and mother, patiently bot a one hundred sixty acres farm about ten miles west, simple furniture, and set them up in housekeeping. Ralph and Ernest were born to them, but things went from bad to worse and they separated, the boys going with the mother. Father had not been too well and had repeated attacks of what the doctor called gastritis digestive trouble. I don't know that the doctor did much about it except to prescribe a diet. Mother said that a visit to the doctor was spent talking farm and cattle. Years later I was informed that what he was suffering from was a form of heart trouble. He had seizures of terrible pain and gasping for breath. In June 1900 a friend of the family with two small boys came to visit us from a nearby town. On Sunday July 1 some of us drove to
Everyone for miles around was stunned, to say nothing of what the family experienced. I just would not accept it and wanted my daddy back. Poor mother had no experience with business, there were cattle in the pens half fattened, as well as hogs, horses etc to be taken care of. The only insurance was two thousand dollars from the IOOF lodge. Father left no will, as he felt he could not treat the boys equally. Martin had stayed at home to help him while the others went off for themselves.
The funeral was at the Methodist church in
Mother was appointed by the probate court as administrator, of father's estate, which could not be settled until the youngest child was eighteen, and I was drafted to help mother keep records of receipts and expenditures. Martin and mother carried on. He was just twenty, quite level headed and thrifty, had done nothing but farming and knew pretty much what to do. It was not easy for him and mother always to agree, but they did fairly well. He liked to boss me when she was on a trip to town, and I guess I resented it. We had a battle or two.
The following spring in May I was taken violently ill suddenly, followed soon by Myrtle, Martin and the hired man. It was scarlet fever and diphtheria. A friend of mothers and her daughter about my age were visiting us at the time. (I think our farm must have been a good place for a vacation, as it seemed some one was there much of the time, usually people who could not go anywhere else.) Somehow these people did not contract the sickness. They never were in our part of the house. I can't imagine where they slept if they stayed in the kitchen and dining room. There was a sofa in the dining room, so mother must have solved that adequately. The men were upstairs and we girls down. There was no one to care for us but mother, tho the guest probably helped in the kitchen. I think I was in bed about three weeks, and midway of the session, when it was thot I was doing well, I suddenly realized my fingers and toes were blue, and called mother to see them. Someone was dispatched to town for the doctor. He gave me a shot in the thigh, and as I remember he had trouble getting the needle out. I thot he had broken it. Really don't know what happened. He said I probably had experienced the turning point or crisis, and might have more trouble. No one knew I had heard this. When I finally did get up I had to learn to walk, my feet seeming to have been affected. My teeth and nails were loose and I shed my skin. Mother found many pills on the floor behind Myrtle's improvised bed, which she had stashed away there instead of swallowing. That was the source of much humor to Myrtle's way of thinking.
Mother was always very certain that a couple of soliciting church women friends had brot the disease to us. They had called on us shortly before our scourge, and wore furs, which mother figured must have harbored the germs. One of the women had buried two small children the fall before who died of the disease. Whether that were possible who knows?
It still seems a mistery why I came thru it, as I had had pneumonia or close to it almost every year of my life, once combined with whooping cough, another time when two years of age two doctors said I could not live. Then there were all the other things, chicken pox etc. etc. Too mean to die I guess.
About this time Albert married Vessie Wade, who lived at her sister’s home in Abbott. The Wyatts ran a grocery store in that little burg, (which by the way was named Abbott for a prominent family in
While we were still in bed with our illness, but improving, a terrible storm of tornado force hit our district. It might have been the fourth of July. Albert and Vessie were in
I don't know who harvested the cherries that year, but have a dim rememberance that Albert and Vessie picked some. I'm sure mother had no time for that, but the guests may have helped, or the neighbors allowed to help themselves. Usually mother aimed to can one hundred quarts, all pitted, mostly by hand, as the pitters available then were slow and not very efficient, tie had two pear trees that bore about that many pears in all the time I can ember. Also father planted an orchard of fifty blue plum trees, and I can't recall that they ever bore any fruit. I wonder why? The cherries pollinated well. What is the answer? We had several kinds of apples too.
The next summer we spent the fourth of July at an old settlers picnick at
The next summer, 1902, Martin was taken ill in the night after assisting one of the neighbors at some farm work, threshing or something. Another man who went with him said that on the way home they had stopped at the Abbott store, where Martin had bot some snacks, one of which was a lot of cheddar cheese. I think he ate too much of it and caused an impaction in his digestive system. The Alda doctor attended him, but could not relieve his condition. He was very ill for a few weeks and died Aug. 5. 1902.
Now there was nothing for mother, Myrtle and me to do but to move to
Mother rented a small house in town, and Albert and Vessie moved onto the farm and took charge. An auction sale was held to dispose of Martin’s personal holdings. There was a small sum left over when his obligations had been met.
After two months mother bot a small cottage across the street . Of course in those days there were no modern conveniences, the water was at the hydrant in the yard and the toilet was at the rear of the lot. There was a barn so our driving horse Old Dan and a four-seater carriage were brot in. Aleo a cow for our milk supply. In summer she was driven to pasture with other cows by a boy who gathered up a number of them. I can't remember that we had her very long. When she was feeling high she would jump the fence and get away, beside making a terrible racket. Then Dan had too little exercise and when mother went in to feed him he would lay back his ears and raise the dickens almost ready to attack her. If let run on the lush vacant lot next door he refused to be caught and returned to his stall, but chased mother instead as if to bite her. Later we exchange him for another driving horse from the farm but had trouble with him. It seemed he was hooked too short in the traces, so that his heels hit something under the carriage, then he would kick up his heels over the dashboard, frightening us out of our wits. I think we must have gotten that matter straightened out because mother used to drive us to school later, when we went to Grand Island Baptist college and academy outside of town. But later one day when mother was leading him and the carriage to the street he bolted, ran down the street and ripped things up in general, cutting one hind leg beyond repair. He finished his days in a pasture where he was boarding, and finally was struck by lightening and was killed. Mother was paid seventy-five dollars insurance.
Myrtle and I started city grade school, which was about three blocks from our house. Myrtle was in the seventh and I in the eighth I think, since I had lost some time because of illnesses. The next year I went to the high school, which was on the south side of town about a mile away. I was anything but well, having many migraine headaches which completely incapacitated me, and many times having to push my bicycle thru town when I scarcely could see where I was going. Finally I had to leave school in February. That summer a representative of the Grand Island Baptist school came to call. He was recruiting students for that September opening. Mother thot it might be a good idea for Myrtle to enter there. I was feeling better by that time and thot I might be able to get some more education. I could not rejoin my high school class of course. Mother vetoed the idea and when I asked why she said there were not enough funds. I thot about that and decided I was going. I could at least take shorthand, typewriting and a few other subjects and see what I could do. When mother asked how I could do it I said the small amount I had received from Martin's estate would more than pay my tuition and I was using that, possibly forty dollars a semester. So it was that I went to school a year then would work a while and repeat the process. That way I attained what bit of education I was able to get. I selected my subjects as I liked, knowing I would not be able to finish anyway, English, geometry, German algebra, piano voice etc.
Myrtle took the regular academic work in the four year course. Somehow, it was not until almost graduation time that she was informed that she lacked a a credit of graduating. It was quite a blow. She already had her dress for the occasion. She attended state normal in
A widow with two little boys and her parents lived across the street from us. We were close friends. One day I was invited to meet a girl about my age who were visiting them from Broken Bow, a town about eighty miles northwest of
Later the boy where I was living in town made the remark “Ruemont would like to take you to the Amsberry party next week, but he is afraid to ask you.” I said “I don't see why.” Within an hour there was a telephone call, for me and I accepted his invitation, that was our first date. My remark travelled fast as these boys were great pals, did many things together, canoeing, etc, and had a private telephone strung between their homes a block or so apart.
I was home in
I attended the Broken Bow graduation exercises in 1906 when Ruemont graduated, and valedictorian, and delivered a treatise on the “The Development of The Future Electrical Age.” The next year he taught in a small country school. His uncle Oba and aunt Emma, his mother's sister wanted him to be a United Brethren minister, and train at their school at
It seemed that electrical engineering was the idea most on Ruemont’s mind, even tho no one had suggested any further education, and he didn't quite see how he could get it. He was the only son to finish high school. He came to Grand Island Baptist college for his freshman year, tho there was no prospect for engineering there, but the first year would not matter too much. In conference with the dean of the school he was advised that
We had many opportunities to develop our acquaintance. We belonged to one of the organizations called the “Athenian Literary Society” which put on programs Friday or Saturday evening regularly. There were debates, declamations, musical numbers of various types, piano or voice solos, quartets etc. (Myrtle had a talent for interpretive reading, and did considerable of it even in contests. Her English professor was convinced she should go to the Emerson school in
I wasn't too happy, because this young man was getting too serious for my taste. It would upset me terribly when I would get word that he wanted me to meet him in the music room during a certain class period, to talk. It was the kind of talk I didn't care for, because I was not in the mood to promise to marry him or anyone else. Nevertheless he did not give up. It was quite useless to try to convince him that nobody could love me, and I could not be cruel enough to say I did not love him. Mother was always talking about what a fine boy he was, so one day I asked her “Why don't you marry him then!” Mother was very kind to any students we brot in, so there was quite often several boys and girls there for Sunday dinner etc. Usually there was a songfest with me playing for the crowd, but Ruemont usually sat thru it, which irked me and when I chided him about it he said “I'd much rather sit and look at you.” When he left in June to go home and work in the county clerk's office he brot me a small box of candy and gave me a big hug and kiss, which stunned me considerably, but didn't change my mind about anything.
Late that summer I went to Broken Bow to visit for a week or two, met many of Mother Pigman's family and visited at my girl friends home and with others I had met previously. The only thing that bothered me was that Ruemont just insisted that I promise to marry him. I knew that I never could carry the responsibilities of a home, husband and family, but I did not know then the tenacity of that Pigman fellow. Finally he said that if I would not say “Yes” he would join the navy and leave. So I said “Yes” knowing all the time that I had no intention of going thru with the deal. Later in our correspondence I said I was only twenty and did not know what it was best to do, and his query was “How old do you need to be, forty?”
When my girl friend came to town to take me to her home, I had scarcely gotten seated in the buggy when she blurted out “Are you and Ruemont engaged?” I must have looked queer, because it was unexpected and gave me a shock. I managed to say “Well, yes, why.” And her reply was “I thot I might have another chance.” She was a character, sort of a bull in a china shop, rather crude, and I can't picture Ruemont being proud of her had he married her. His opinion of her certainly changed thru the years, and her future from there on was a novel.
Later Ruemont and I had amusing moments. It seemed that when mother sensed that things might be getting serious between him and me, she was a bit on the defensive about it, for she would try to find some way to include Myrtle in my activity we planned together, as if to prevent the development of a serious situation. Ruemont would laugh and say “Well, she is too late, isn’t she?”
During the summer of 1908 Ruemont sent his grade records to Purdue and made application for entrance there, which was given. He had had one year of German, but two years was required at Purdue. He was offered the opportunity of omitting the second year if he could pass an examination in technical German, which he did. I didn’t quite understand that. He was there his sophomore end junior, but was unable to finance his senior year. His brother Elba decided he wanted to go to Kansas City to a veterinary school, and mother Pigman could not finance two in school, so Ruemont stayed out and taught manual training at Crete Nebraska, a small town about twenty miles from Lincoln. Mother enjoyed office work, but detested housework and cooking. Her job paid fifty dollars a month in those days. Both she and dad Pigman were fine penman, and that was a requirement for records in those times. Before living in Broken Bow they had lived in the country where Father taught school, and had some farming on the side, with which mother and Ruemont helped. While in high school he helped in many ways at home. Many mornings he ran for school nearby with bread dough still under his finger nails. Mother usually had a girl for cooking and housework afterward. There was a family of German extraction named Bauer. Tillie was first to work for mother. I think she was married, then her sister Adeline came and Merle Pigman later married her. I think Ruemont’s father had one year of college at
In the summer of 1909, when Myrtle was eighteen, the time had come to settle father’s estate. Mother had the income until then, which had been quite uncertain at times. Only one who depends on a farm or its rental can know all of the uncertainties connected with it. According to the state law mother was entitled to a certain part of the estate and some widow’s rights. My attorney made the suggestion, that if we chose, we couild quit claim the home place to her as her own, and not adhere to the law, which gave her only a lifetime interest. All of us agreed to do that. The other lands were sold, the two eighties nearby and one hundred sixty near
I can't recall the year now, but mother had a letter from Delbert in the west, where he always was to make a sudden fortune somehow, asking if she would take Ralph and Ernest to raise if he kidnapped them from their mother, they were about six and nine. I was very much against the idea, but mother was all for it, and I was informed that I did not love my brother. Well it went thru and we then had two little boys to support and train.
Before this happened one of father's nephews appeared from
Both Delbert and Albert had borrowed money on their interest in their father’s estate, so that when the funds were distributed they received only some fraction of what otherwise would have gone to them. (Myrtle's and my shares were intact.)
They had operated a garage in the center of town, this was sold and Delbert took off for the west, leaving mother with the entire care of the little boys, do contributed not a cent for any of their needs over the years they were in her care, on the contrary, he was always trying to get money from her, and was very angry when it did not come. He thot mother had plenty, and she was supporting us with funds that probably were due him, since the estate was held up so long. He did not realize that he had been supported until he was an adult.
After we moved into the little house mother bot, our friends across the street rented out some of their rooms to students of the
When we girls were paid our share of the estate funds I suggested to Myrtle that it would be nice to provide mother with a better place to live, and that if she were willing, I’d like to suggest to her that she let us move the old small house to an inexpensive lot on the outskirts of town where we could rent or sell it, and that Myrtle and I contribute fifteen dollars each and have a modern place built for mother and us. Looking back now I wonder at my nerve at twenty-one.
We moved to an old but adequate place a couple block away and the house was built. We moved in in early spring. Aunt Lina Cour who was father's widowed sister came from
In April Myrtle had a physical breakdown. Of course she had to leave her freshman class. Later when she was better, and Auntie decided to go to
Midsummer Delbert sent a rush call for money, as he knew Myrtle and I had not wasted ours. He had bot wild horses with the understanding that a down payment would be made, then a second payment when the herd was starting the drive to a railway loading point, and the final payment when loading was finished. He should have known he did not have sufficient funds to cover the deal, but felt confident we would come across and help him probably. Well, we said “No”. Mother was stunned, “we did not love our brother.” Then I called Albert and asked him if he wanted to send money. Then mother, Albert and I, and father’s old Welsh friend held a conference, deciding that Albert would go out to
Toward the end of summer Albert came in and asked if we wanted to go to
A few days after the wedding the gang came by to pick us up and we were off. Mrs Roberts had slept them all over night in the big ranch house on this two thousand acre hay ranch. Ruemont went by train to
Everywhere they attempted to cash a travellers check it was too late in the day, and nearly found it necessary to walk miles to get back to the cottage. We visited the garden of the gods, and one day joined a party leaving in late afternoon arranged to ride burros up
Then back home, I to Ryan's office where I now was making ten dollars a week. (Of that I used five a week for expenses, giving mother five for groceries one week and the alternating week putting five in the savings and loan account I had taken over when some one wanted to get out.) Ruemont reported to Crete, Nebraska to teach manual training, which began in the middle grades and was a privilege for those getting good grades, making it a rewarding thing for the teacher.
During September after Myrtle had made several trips to our doctor she announced that she wanted to have surgery for her cranky appendix. Not too much was known them about thyroid trouble, but it seems that in going to visit in Milwaukee she had gone right into a deficient iodine zone and big goiter belt, which had made her trouble more acute. It seems that surgery for the bad appendix was a risky thing to have done, but she was so anxious to be rid of her trouble. This thyroid trouble may have been with her all her life, for she was subject to attacks of hysterical screaming frequently. Coming while she appeared to be sound asleep, and more often when she was not feeling too well or had a bit of fever. She never remembered the bouts and always begged us to tell her the silly things she had done. It was very frightening to us, she looked wide awake but was not. When she was small father would carry her about the house in his arms, and she probably would be slapping both of his cheeks just as fast as her little hands could fly; she might run from one bedroom to the other and jump on the bed find off again. When she began to yawn we knew the attack was subsiding. Doctors knew so little about thyroid in those days, even the Mayos. The mother of one of my girl friends went there for thyroid surgery. She spent her last days in a mental institution. That was before it was known that certain associated glands next to the thyroid should not be taken out.
Myrtle went to St. Francis for the surgery, and mother spent a lot of time there with her, even being allowed to stay with her at night. In a couple weeks the doctor gave permission for her to be brot home. She seemed to be recuperating well when suddenly things went all wrong. The doctor and his assistant decided to do some restitching then and there, and drafted me to help. I shall remember it always. I'm sure they knew what was impending, as I could see for myself. She lived a couple days and left us on October 14, 1910. Ruemont came from
During that summer Ruemont and I had decided that we would be married at Thanksgiving time. I had had two years to grow into the idea and decided to risk the move, but not until Ruemont talked at length with mother and asked her consent. This she granted, but assured him that I could do no heavy work, and that he should know he was getting anything but a sturdy mate. (What a joke that seems now, after the various types of manual labor I've turned out.)
After Myrtle's death, when things were quieted down a bit, I told mother I would not get married, knowing that she would be loosing us both within six weeks, tho aunt Lina and the boys would be with her. It didn't seem right to have a wedding so soon afterward either. Mother would not hear to the change in plans. About a week before Thanksgiving I left Mr Ryan's office, we were married at ten AM Thanksgiving, no attendants, and only fifteen or twenty guests. I think mother was right when she said that if I called the marriage off or postponed it I might never marry, and she would feel she had been the cause of it. Mother had prepared a turkey breakfast-dinner, and her friends served it while she sat at the table with us and the wedding guests, and the minister end his wife. We left on the train for
Ruemont had roomed in a home at the edge of
The people in the
The year soon was finished and all the stuff went back with us to mother. Some where along the way she had disposed of the old square Bradbury rosewood piano, which we had bot from a woman on our block, who had brot it from
Many hours a day my Broken Bow girlfriend and I kept that old piano hot, and many times when mother could not take any more of it she put a shawl around her shoulders and went to visit a neighbor. All that piano, plus the voice practice was more than anyone should be called on to endure.
While Ruemont had been away at Purdue both of us wrote two letters a week, which made quite a volume. I had left them at mothers home after I was married. Ralph Bnd Ernest found them when mother was moving and had a merry time over them. Later when they were grown they would not have gotten any kick from them. There was nothing in them that would not bear inspection by anyone. It might be fun to read them now, or maybe it wouldn't. A young fellow in Broken Bow in our crowd seemed to get a kick out of writing to me and pretending he was Ruemont. That didn’t work long. We used a secret identifying mark at the end of our letters,
We called this fellow “Ceaser”; he had very curly blond hair, another boy had a fine voice, which I liked a lot, but his father was in a mental institution.
Then to Purdue. Found a room on
A Mr Fred Best, a representative from the Nebraska Telephone company had been interviewing graduates at Purdue, and was interested in Ruemont joining the company, so it was arranged that we were to stop in
Ruemont and Alfred Hague, a classmate, established the first telegraph or radio station at Purdue. I don't know which is the right name. By flying a huge kite they finally succeeded in getting a line between the powerhouse smoke stack and the lightening rod running up its side, then a heavier line, and finally the necessary line was taken across to the electrical building tower, and there installation was in a small room in the tower, as I remember it. This kite raised a lot of curiosity, it was the cause of a lot of comment, and wonderment as to what was going on. Just before graduation, when we were going to use the seniors week vacation for a trip, Ruemont was called to some committee, or professor for a talk. Ha. was advised that he had been selected to deliver an oral abstract of his thesis, written about this installation, at graduation exercises in Fowler hall. And thus it was that he spent senior vacation in preparation for that speech delivery, both writing and drilling with Miss Schumaker the speech specialist.
There was an opening available with the Southwestern Bell in
Later I went to
When we had decided against that move we began looking for an apartment where we could settle down and get our things in one place and buy other furniture. Found a first floor with two bedrooms, beyond our means, at
The Price and Teeple piano was one that Ruemont won in an advertising contest popular thruout the country at that time. A sentence “The Ryerson company sells the reliable Price and Teeple piano.” was to be written the most possible times on an ordinary postal card. Ruemont knew that a fellow in another town had won there with a record of nine hundred, and he would have to beat that number probably. He layed out the card for ten columns across the length of it and figured to get forty lines to the inch, but fell a bit short of it. It had to be legible without a glass. He took a week off, hired a chum to sharpen pencils, and worked on the upper balcony where there was very good light. I think he wrote it 1085 or 1185 times, and won the piano. Of course there was a gimmick. By paying an additional hundred dollars a much better and nicer instrument could be had, and that was what his parents did. (Son has the card in his files. I’m sure it is smeared and illegible now. It should have been put under glass.) Ruemont called me by 'phone to tell me, but did not have the nerve to say what his friends dared him to say: “Won piano, need player.” We sold it when we left
On Easter Sunday, March 25, 1915
At four PM Monday November 10, 1915 our joy was complete by the arrival of a six pound, four ounce baby boy, and I must say things were never the same since. Mrs Rummel had said it would be that way. He was born in our bedroom with Obstetrician Dr Mack and nurse Mary Reeper in attendance, and mother hovering in the background. I had tried to keep her in Grand Island until after the event, telling her was sure it would be late, but she was there on the seventh, he was three days late.
In a few days mother had word that aunt Lina was ill and she was needed at home. Mother had a Y.M.C.A. secretary and his wife and son staying in her home, and Ralph and Ernest were with them. Mother went home, auntie was in a diabetic coma and died in a few days. Her youngest son Henry Cour came for the funeral, and took her to
Our little daughter was to have been called Anita Helen, but she was a son, end we had not put too much effort into selecting a boy's name. (There were boys galore among the Pigman tribe, and we were going to show them a thing or two.) Well, the names I mentioned brot to Ruemont's mind someone he didn't particularly care fore and vice-versa. So what to do. Then I rmembered our
Our little bundle soon developed digestive trouble. Mother took him up from his basket one day in what seemed to fee a convulsion, others came later. Then his source of food supply failed. Certified milk was recommended, and a special food called cereal. The milk was ten cents a quart, an unheard of price in that day. One time when the milk bill came due and I was short of cash I sold Ruemont’s wedding suit, which he never wore, to old John the Buyer for four dollars, and paid the milk bill. After mother went home I had a young Swedish child's nurse to help.
I think she got three dollars a week. She was about to put son into the bathtub one morning when he stiffened in another attack, and she dunked him clothes and all. After she left another Swedish girl was with us, but she did not do so well. I was frightened to be alone at home with son after the help was all gone. It was an unhappy succession of weeks that summer and fall. He grew in length but did not gain an ounce for weeks. He looked Just like the pictures one sees of the famine sufferers in
When son was about a year old we bot a new house on
In May I was preparing to visit in
While we lived on Park Ave. Ruemont's father had surgery at the Methodist, by Dr. Jonas for on intestinal loop which had bothered him for a long time, and other doctors had pronounced caused by all sorts of eroneous things. That finished his trouble. (Mrs. Jonas taught my Sunday school class and was very generous about entertaining our group of church women in the church. They had a luxurious home on
We had been home only a few weeks when Ruemont told me that a man from the AT&T in
There were a number of things to consider. Mother was to be considered, and living conditions in the east was all Greek to us green
Mother was quite unhappy, but finally recovered. The company sent in packers to handle everything except the china, which fell to me to do, as Ruemont was in the midst of a lumbago attack. We were told that things were being packed as if being sent to
We decided to have aunt Emma come from
Ruemont had made windows screens, frames fitted with screening for the entire house, including a sizable back porch with four or five screens on two sides, and a couple, plus the door on the entrance side, the lower section was sided up to window sill height. The front porch was not screened yet. The terrain of the property was quite sloping, and there were two other houses neat to and second door away almost identical to ours. We did not care for the sloping terrain, and when we found that the city was cutting down a hill not too far away, we arranged to have one hundred five loads of dirt hauled in to level off the lot, it cost fifteen cents a load. Also we had a garden, how we did it all so soon I don’t know. We had paid cash for the house, and I think we had something more than thirty-five hundred dollars in it when we left it in the hands of a realtor to sell or rent. It rented for several years to a railroad man, a wife and small daughter. Shortly after they moved in the wife came home one day and found the place ransacked. We were anxious to sell the place and did so at the first opportunity, not knowing that when the war came it would have sold for several thousand dollars more.
We took aunt Emma with us via Union Pacific to
Mother was sure she would never see us again, saying “You just as well be going to
A couple of fellows, named Egner and Rockey from New York AT&T had been on missions of some length to the Omaha office, so Ruemont had that much contact with someone to make suggestions as to living accommodations. They shared their rented room in
I looked out the dining room window and then said “Mother here comes Delbert.” Of course he was looking for money as usual, mother could not let him have any, and when he left in a day or two he was more than angry. In a day or so we heard from him in
Rennier had his second birthday while hie daddy was in
When Ruemont had finished at
Son and I developed colds, and when Ruemont was ready to return to
I was disappointed in the things I saw, as I thot the east would have the latest of everything, but things proved to be exactly opposite from that. First I asked Ruemont where these awful railroad cars came from, and where all the black haired people likewise. I couldn't understand how such large wooden houses could be safe from fire. My idea of perfection was an all brick city like
Spring began to open up and we began house hunting. We heard of an upper floor in an old house which a young couple was vacating, being transferred back to
Ruemont was away on trips some of the time. One night about midnight I got up to check son's covers, and as I was half-posed to get back into bed there was a terrible shock and roar. I was terribly frightened, and later found it was the Black Tom explosion, supposedly set by the Germans at
Mother came east to visit us in 1917 and again in 1919. I often thot of how worried she had been when we left the west, and here she was with us and enjoying it. We took her to Coney Island and other places, up to Bear Mountain on the
When we were forced to move early in 1920 there was nothing to rent at all. One day I looked out the kitchen window and remarked “I wonder if that nice looking house over there an
He took us to look at the house, and I realized that he was doing something very displeasing to the tenants; he had offered to sell it to them, but they were not interested, and now he was selling it out from under them. They were very snooty people, he having a good position with the New York Central. They did not like us one bit, and took their time to hunt a place, having to buy too finally. We had to vacate before we could get possession of our house. A neighbor next door where we were living offered us a room for a few weeks. The man was a railway employee and our meals were staggered so that we did not interfere with each other in the kitchen. I can't remember where our furniture was. (My tears in
After we moved into the house son and I left on a trip about July first. Ruemont was coming west on a business trip later. I'll never forget the night we left on the
Brother Albert's health began to fail, finally he was taken to the Mayos in
Mother was not too well, she had had trouble with dental equipment and had surgery for it and other troubles. Albert seemed to sense that she was in serious trouble, and said he thot she had the same trouble he had. Ruemont was on a western trip in early 1923 and stopped to visit mother. She was very poorly and discouraged; she suddenly made up her mind that she was coming east with him, breaking up her home, giving many things away to friends and to Ralph and Leah, and letting them stay in the house, where they had been living with her.
Our doctor ordered blood tests immediately and found mother's hemoglobin count at fifty-five, which he didn’t seem to think was too bad. He came several times a week and gave her shots, which upset her terribly, but with no improvement. She thot caring for her was too much for me as I was having my own troubles, and she did everything she could to avoid being a burden. She would not wait to be helped to the bathroom in the morning. One morning she fell, bruising her ankle very badly. Her blood stream could not repair the damage, and she lived just ten days.
The funeral services were held at our house in the evening, with Rev. Alec Fraser in charge. People of our church attended. Next day her body was put on the train at Penn station and Ruemont and I accompanied her to
Attorney Ryan called and asked that we come to see him at his home. I had heard that he was not well and had been to the Mayos. He said he had turned mother's affairs over to Attorney Horth, whom we had know for many years. I could see Mr. Ryan was in a bad way; he died about two months after mother.
Delbert cane from the west for the funeral, and before he left he had borrowed money from Mr. Horth on his share of mother's estate.
Son stayed with a friend while we were away. Miss Decker was rooming with us that year; I think she stayed in the house alone.
Mother's estate was not settled for a long time. The bottom had fallen out of the price of land, and it was thot it might come back to a better figure if we waited. The income from the farm applied to the cash bequests that were named in the will. Delbert and I were to get the residual equally There were ye.rs of severe drought, which further decreased the value of land, and huge dams were installed in the state, lowering the water table in general. When I pondered what was to happen Ruemont said “Forget it. I haven’t counted on it nor depended on it, so we shall not miss it.” In the end Atty, did not get much of the money back from that he had loaned Delbert. Nevertheless periodically I received letters from Delbert, asking me to buy out his interest for a thousand dollars or so. I don't know whether he couldn’t or did not want to see that he had nothing left.
When I saw a letter from him I always had to brace myself for something unhappy or disagreeable. So I had it both ways. Mother wouldn’t give the boys money behind my back, and then when she was short she wanted me to collect for her. I could not win.
Some time before mother's death after auntie died, Ernest left for the west and this left her and Ralph alone. She was anxious for a smaller house, and also get back to a hard coal heater instead of furnace with central heating. So she sold the house and bot a one floor cottage in the next block. That was where she was living when she left to come to us. She left this house to me since I had put money into the big house. After many years I think I sold it for fourteen hundred dollars. She had paid thirty-five hundred for it. We did not use Rennier’s legacy toward his education, neither did we tell him about it. When he was ready to make the first home for his family we presented him with it. He and his wife Jean were quite astonished.
The united State, government lowered the boom. It was decided that a huge ordinance loading plant was needed between the
Mother’s will provisions had estimated the property at two hundred dollars an acre at Mr. Ryan’s estimate. It doesn't take much brains to see what the results were at $55 an acre. The specific bequests ranged from five hundred to two thousand dollars, depending on the age of the descendant, and how much aid mother had previously given each one. The younger ones were given the larger amounts. There were seven grandchildren. I can’t remember whether Vessie shared in it, since mother had helped her so much, and she had had quite an inheritance from her father.
When my grandfather brot his family from
When we bot our lot in Ridgefield Park in 1920 and found it impossible to build on it, and then bot the house at 119 Hobart street, we waited several years for times to get better. We improved the lot with sewer, paving and trees on the curb. Finally I started planning a house to fit the site, fully modern as houses went then, two bedrooms, living, dining, bath rooms, many closets, garage underneath on
The funds from the sale of our place, plus a huge mortgage from the savings and loan put us on the road to the first home of our own design and choosing. From here Rennier went to eight grade at
In 1959 Rennier and Jean had a
A few years later Ruemont happen to meet the Illinois Bell Telephone president in the elevator of the company building in
By force of necessity it has been inevitable that I learn to call Ruemont by his first name given to him at birth. It came about, of course, by the fact that all business associates and friends knew him as George Ruemont Pigman, and consequently he was George to them. I have called him by that name for some time now, tho it has taken years to train myself to do so, and still seems unnatural. I am referring to him from now on as “George.”
During summer vacations George, Rennier and I travelled many miles thru out the east,
In 1946, I think, returning from a circuit of northern
In 1947 we travelled to
In 1948 we took title to a plot one hundred fifty feet on the water front, and extending four hundred feet to the public highway. (
That year or the following we started improvements in a small way. Also in the fall of 1948 we sold our house at
He decided to build a home and an auxiliary guest house, rather than one large place to maintain, figuring it would work out best that way in all ways. Then I began house plans all over again. The terrain again was on a slope and needed plans to accommodate it. We .found a builder who was highly recommended as to skills and integrity.
Our doctor had thot it advisable that George retire before reaching sixty-five, saying it probably would prolong his life. He had had several serious bouts, surgeries, virus pneumonia, which turned up scar shadows on his lung, which showed arrested tuberculosis. (Probably contracted from aunt Emma's daughters). We were not sure our economics would permit early retirement, but I surely was glad to attempt it, and there were few economies with which I was not already acquainted. So George asked for retirement April 1, 1950, which was granted. This meant that our apartment lease had some time to run, and as the shortages were decreased by that time the realtor required one hundred dollars to release us from the several months still in our contract.
On March 30, 1950 George's associates feted him with luncheon, afternoon reception, gifts and mementoes, while I was working against time loading our Ford beetle, and watching the Allied Van men load up our furniture and junk. When that was finished I went home to bed exhausted. George came home loaded with all sorts of things, plus goodies left over from the parties. That was our last night with the Brownings. George complained the next morning that his entire night was a procession of people approaching him from the distance with hands extended toward him. We took early leave of the Brownings with regrets. They had been staunch friends indeed.
We stayed a couple nights with son's family in Downers Grove, then word came that the van with our worldly goods would be in
Snow was on the ground all the way from
While pouring cement walls for the larger house basement the builder also did the foundation for the guest house, which we hoped to do mostly ourselves. Son helped to frame the guest house during his vacation, the family was in a cottage down the road. It took a year for George and me to finish the house for the occupancy of our family the following summer during their vacation. We had help with other parts of the building such as plumbing, heating, shingles and ceiling board. We did all the insulating, wall board, window installations, painting inside and out etc. cabinets, cupboards and closets.
We lived in our house the winters of 1950-1951 and 1951-1952. The temperature was down to thirty-two degrees below zero for three days at one time. We were snug with plenty of food and heat, and didn't have to go out or commute to business.
October 1952 George and I drove to
We established a large garden of vegetables, flowers, berries rhubarb etc, and enjoyed sharing it with the neighbors. Later we cut the size of the plot as it was more than needed even when sharing. Eventually we rented a frozen food locker down town where we could store frozen produce year around and have it for use when we came home in the spring.
In October 1955 we drove to the west coast with a new Ford, rented a top floor in
Fall of 1954 we journed east, up into New England visiting many old friends, then down the Atlantic coast to
During summer of 1957 we were informed that the pioneer telephone association of
She was Mrs. Schillings sister Miss Hansen, and did considerable travelling. She decided to go, and we had a nice travelling companion. The group totaled about nineteen, mostly from
Our friend Elizabeth Browning had gone on a trip a short time ahead of us and when we arrived at the Surfrider hotel she was there to greet us. Her party left the next day to return home. I can't remember whether by plane or boat.
He toured the
Later Fredrick Taube came to the island and organized some short term classes, and I persuaded George to Sign up there also, altho he thot it wee too expensive. It turned out rather humorously, because the two teacher were diametrically opposite in their methods and ideas. Nevertheless he enjoyed the work and learned some new things.
I had surgery on my feet in Queen Emma hospital, the most rewarding thing of my entire life, I think. In 1958 we were back with the Crum group in Sebring, then in 1959 we decided to try the east coast and settled in a comfortable place in
In l960 we found a house in
We had known for seven years that his time was limited, but we tried to live as normally as possible between hospital bouts. He filled every minute with some absorbing hobby or travel. He was very brave and never complained; left me a beautiful letter.
Our children decided that our burial plot should be in an IOOF plot in Waverly,
On September 5, 1961 I sold the
In the fall of 1962 Rennier and Jean decided to accept another transfer to the AT&T in
From a single descendant who had a very doubtful physical start in life, I now have quite an entourage. At present all have promising prospects in life, in every way. (If only this old world will settle down and engender some peace, love and good will). There never is a dull moment, and I enjoy watching the development of each one. Frankly I am quite relieved that all of the guidance, support and other vital influences molded into the developing of young humans all is not entirely on my shoulders at my time of life. I trust that all of my influence has not been totaled up on the negative side. I never shall cease encouraging everyone to get as much education as he or she can absorb, end to strive to make this old world a better habitation for all people.
Richard Edwin Pigman January 12, 1939; married June 10, 1961 to Nancy Ann Rodgers October 3, 1938. (Divorced 1969)
Children: Elizabeth Ann September 19, 1962
George Richard June 4, 1965.
Anne Louise Pigman September 1, 1942; married August 24, 1963 to
William Curtis Patrick April 15, 1940.
Children: Kristin Laura June 9, 1967
Kathleen Anne August 29, 1969
John Howard Pigman August 30, 1945. Married Aug. 1, 1970 to Constance Marie Zizunas, June 6, 1945, Catholic.
Marcia Emily Pigman September 16, 1947• Harried Sept. 27, 1970 to
Steven Gary Morrell, March 19-- Jewish.
Sarah Emily Pigman February 3, 1954.
Richard Edwin Pigman remarried Dec. 11, 1970 to Patricia Ann Sprang Oct. 1942.
This bit of history covering period from 1799 to 1966 compiled by Laura Emily Ramsthel Pigman during 1966. Later statistics added.
Thru the Ramsthals in
The date of Delbert's death is obscure now, but it probably was in the middle 1940s. As always, he sought quick fortune but never found it. He and a friend obtained permission from the park authorities to go prospecting for gold, I think, in the vast area of the west. They had an old car and were admitted to the area on a certain date, and expected to emerge by a certain day. When they did not return a search by plane was instigated. The car was sighted, and shortly afterward their bodies. They had taken a supply of water with them, but had used it in the car radiator. Finally becoming confused, went the wrong way for water which was near by, eventually dying from thirst and heat exposure.
My great uncle Adelbert Kent a bachelor farmer living near
A strange thing comes to mind. While we were living in
My mother always was very sympathetic to friends and relatives needing help in any form, money, nursing, help in the home, etc. However, I can't recall one instance of the assistance being reversed. It may be that such treatment begets only contempt.
I can recall similar experiences. One concerned a young man whose mother was a widow. His father had been in a mental institution, since the son was an infant, and died there. We thot the son worthy and assisted him some as we could, but the mother had an idea that she wanted us to do something in a larger way, so asked us to take a mortgage on her house. This George refused, saying that we expected nothing in return for what we were able to do, but that he did not went to go in the mortgage business. The mother was furious.
A similar incident was a close relative, whose husband an inventor died and left her nearly penniless, tho they had lived much beyond us all their lived. She admitted that what she aspired to was a marble castle with a golden stairs. We contributed a modest sum each month to her over a period of a few years. On our last ca11 at her home she related how she had been received at the hospital center in
Somewhere about the age of six or seven I must have realized I was the the family's ugly duckling. I imagine some of that feeling was caused by one brother who didn't let me forget it. Then too my little sister was a pretty child, with dark snappy eyes and hair inclined to curl, and of course all “youngest” are much cherished. How I got the idea that all girls turned beautiful when they reached eighteen I don't know, but that was what I really anticipated. What a disappointment!
When George and I left
When Ralph and Ernest were with mother, one of them must have had some foot infection, athlete’s foot possibly. Mother made up a solution of Potassium Permanganate and stored it in a quart jar on a cellar shelf. Later she sent one of the boys to the storage to bring up a quart of grape juice. She opened it and drank a bit before she realized she had swallowed not grape juice but poison. Of course she was terribly frightened, but she had presence of mind enough to do something immediately. She telephoned the druggist and he instructed her what to take as antidote. It was effective and probably saved her from serious consequences.
About the time son was twelve or fourteen years old I asked him to dispose of an Energene [Ed.: Energine was a spot remover] bottle full of water he had left standing on the sink drain for several days. It was about five inches high, with hexagonal sides and a screw cap; he took it to the basement. It was about five o’clock and I was starting dinner. I noticed I need bread and asked son to go to a nearby store and get a loaf. While he was away I was preparing carrots at the sink when I heard a loud report quite unusual. I went looking for the cause about the house and out the window at the house next door. Finding nothing I went down to the basement. From the stairs everything looked normal, but I continued to search. I opened the floor to the furnace room. The furnace doors were wide open and the fire pit of live coals had a deep depression in the center. Ashes and burning coals were scattered in front of the furnace as far as the wall fronting opposite. A stack of newspapers piled at some distance to the left of the furnace were ready to ignite, and the air was so full of dust it was difficult to see. I ran around the furnace and opened the basement window, then dashed upstairs for a towel to wrap around my head, and back down stairs to shovel up the coals and ashes. What would have resulted had I not been there or not insisted on thoro investigation I hate to think about.
A bit of imagination was all it took on my part. When the boy and the bread arrived I asked “Son what did you do with the Energene bottle I asked you to to dispose of?” “Why?” “Did you put it in the furnace?” “Why?” “Because you nearly burned us out of a home.” He learned what steam under pressure could do. And I learned never to depend too much on a juvenile.