Mary came to the United States from Austria-Hungary when she was eighteen. She was born in 1896. She was the only child of six in her family who got to immigrate and tells of coming through Ellis Island by herself. She lived in New York City, and then moved to Minersville, Penn. where she met her husband, George Levkulich, also an immigrant. They moved wherever he could find work in coal mines. They moved to the Craig area in 1926 and found they had to buy 160 acres because all the homesteading land in Breeze Basin was taken. She tells many stories about: poor living conditions, learning to drive horses, raising 300 chickens, raising animals, growing crops, and butchering and storing meat. She describes "the shack" they first had on their farm and living conditions. Mary had seven children. They had several fire disasters with the chickens and crops. She talks about killing a rattlesnake, and getting rid of gophers. Mary talks about: baking bread in a coal stove, making clothes, and preserving food. She was afraid to visit her home in "Europe" because she would have to deal with the Russian Embassy. Mary died in 1990.
Velma's parents came to the Meeker area in1896 where she was born December 31, 1901. Her mother had eleven children and Velma was the oldest girl. They lived on ranches where her father worked. She remembers: walking a mile to school in the winter, inside chores, outside chores, haying, care for animals, clothing, play, puberty, Christmas, and the Mormon religion in her family. She talks about her mother's births at home. Velma gives details about: washing and ironing, attending rural schools, and high school in Meeker. She went to Western State College for 2 1/2 years and then began teaching. She continued college during the summers. Velma married Hoyt Deaver at twenty-five and continued teaching while her husband worked on ranches and in coal mines. They lived in Rangely and Craig and had one child. She talks about enjoying her teaching career. Velma died in 1999.
Minnie came to Craig in 1910 with her family when she was fourteen. They lived on a ranch near Craig until they moved to their homestead south of Craig. There were nine children and Minnie was the oldest girl, responsible for many of the household and babysitting chores. She talks about: hauling water from the river, cooking on the coal stove, the cattle/sheep wars, clothing, play, school, and taking care of her sick mother. Minnie boarded in town for high school and talks about activities. She had one year of college and took the state teacher's exam. She then taught in a rural school but didn't like teaching. Minnie moved to California with a friend and went to a business college. She worked as a secretary/bookkeeper for a time and then returned to Craig in 1941. She married Lewis James and moved to the James ranch. Her husband died a year and a half later of pneumonia. She moved back into Craig and worked as a secretary/bookkeeper until retirement. Minnie died in 1989.
Margaret's mother, Fannie Wear, came to northwestern Colorado in about 1889, first settling at Juniper Springs, near the Lay stockade. Margaret talks about: her mother's experience with the river (Bear/Yampa), supply trips to Wyoming, Ute Indians, dangerous pregnancies and births, and birth control. Margaret talks about her life in Meeker. She was the only girl with four brothers and her mother was in poor health. She did many of the household chores and took care of her younger brother. Her older brothers had no responsibilities at home, but worked on ranches from age twelve on. Margaret describes life on the homestead where they lived in the summer. She talks about: play, cooking, school, working, puberty - herself and earlier generations, and travel outside northwestern Colorado. She also talks about serious illness and other medical issues. She describes: attitudes towards divorce, working married women, and the advantages of the homemaker role. Margaret earned a B.S. at Colo. State Univ. and taught high school in Craig for a year before marrying Hugh A Jones in Craig. She had two daughters. Margaret died in 1999.
June was born in Leadville, Colorado in 1904. She graduated from Colorado State College of Education in Greeley and accepted a job in Maybell in 1925(?). She lived in the motel and met a local cowboy, Henry Sweeney, who became her husband. They lived on the land his father had homesteaded in 1896. She tells stories about her trip to Maybell, and her year of teaching. She talks about her marriage, honeymoon, and new home seven miles south of Lay. June talks about: her pregnancies, riding a horse, teaching in rural schools, teaching in Craig, serving as the Moffat County School Superintendent. Her husband did the housework when she was too busy. June relates stories of her mother-in-law, who came from Ireland. She was a maid in Meeker when she met Pat Sweeney and they homesteaded in Lay. She talks the illness of one adult son. June died in 1987.
Julia's parents settled on a homestead in Breeze Basin near Craig in 1908. Her parents were Austrian immigrants and had six children. There was a large Catholic community in Breeze Basin and Elk Head, the areas where families gathered for church (in a tent) and in homes for dances and activities. She describes: her mother's trip from Austria, the homestead cabin, her father's jobs, the J.W. Hugas store in Craig, "Mormon crickets," chores, play, school, clothes washing, and teenage activities. Julia married Paul Kawcak at sixteen and describes a "wedding shivaree." Paul was a coal miner from Walsenburg and many of his friends followed him to Craig to farm and ranch. She describes their homestead: clearing the land, building the house, and digging the well. Her husband worked in the mines while she worked the homestead with their nine boys and seven girls. She talks about: milking cows, cooking, making clothing, Catholic Church activities, dances at the school, and home remedies. Julia died in 1987.
Catherine was born in Canon City in 1901. Her mother died when she was three and her father remarried. They moved to the Colorado Western Slope and lived on ranches in the Steamboat Springs and Craig areas. She talks about: cooking, caring for children, hauling water, play, rural schools, household chores, and transportation. After three years of high school she qualified for a second grade teaching certificate and taught at the Pagoda one-room school. She talks about the students and teaching experiences. She married her husband, Russell Coles, at age twenty-two. They spent their early married years on the Coles ranch in southeastern Moffat County and had five children. She talks about rural dances. Russell left the ranch and moved to Craig to become the County Treasurer, a post he held until retirement. She talks about the depression, Roosevelt's social programs, and World War II. Catharine died in 1994.
Lena came to Hayden with her husband, a teacher, who had been invited by Ferry Carpenter to come to teach there in 1921. Their first child was born at the Hayden Inn. They filed on a six hundred and forty acre homestead, which they maintained for six years. They sold it to an area sheep rancher for enough money to buy the Empire Courier newspaper in Craig, which they continued to run for two generations. In the early years Lena answered the telephone, read proof, and collected social news. They also maintained the area weather station for eight years. Readings were taken every three hours and reported to the regional weather office. Lena talks about: women's clubs, use of sleds in the 1920's and 30's, the sheep trail that went by their house in Craig, newspaper subscriptions paid with local produce, political activities, and home remedies. Lena had five children. Lena died in 1991.
Mabel was born in Leheigh, Oklahoma in 1897, and she arrived in Craig when she was seventeen. Her father was a Choctaw Indian. She married in 1915. Her husband, Earl, worked in the community and they had two children. She speaks about: Baptists, entertainment, horse and buggies, 8th grade education, clubs, housework, food preparation, winter, 1918 flu, and camping. Mabel died in 1986.
Mary's family came to the Craig area over the mountains in a covered wagon to homestead on Black Mountain in 1911 when she was eight. She had three brothers and the family lived in a two bedroom log cabin. She talks about: living conditions, winter cold and snow, cooking, washing clothes, making clothing, yearly trips to town, rural schools, play, and home remedies. Mary attended high school in Craig and describes school activities. She taught in rural schools for five years after graduating from high school in 1921. Mary lived at the school or with nearby families. She talks about: the schools, students, snowstorms, and homesteading. Mary married, Clarence Haughey, at twenty-two, and they lived in various places in Moffat County. They had four children. Mary talks about her family's interest in politics (women were allowed to vote in 1920). She was the Deputy County Clerk when her husband died at age fifty-one. She later won election to be the County Clerk and served sixteen years. Mary was a quilter. Mary died in 2003.
CeCelia's mother came to Northwestern Colorado in 1910 at about age 17. Her grandfather Sullivan had established a homestead on the Williams Fork River, and later her father filed on a homestead in the same area, which is where her parents settled and raised eleven children. CeCelia talks about her mother's life on the homestead. She worked outside taking care of the animals and helped with haying, etc., as well as all the house work. They hauled water in barrels from the river. CeCelia was born in 1918. When CeCelia was seven her mother was injured by a cow and the children took over all the inside and outside work for a time. CeCelia went to the Pagoda one room summer school through the eighth grade, and then boarded with families to attend high school in Hayden. She had hopes for a career, but married at eighteen. CeCelia had one child. She worked at various jobs in Craig to provide needed income and extra opportunities for her daughter. She was divorced in 1957 and often worked two jobs after that. The job she enjoyed by far the most was as a teacher's aide in the elementary school in her later years. CeCelia died in 2005.
Janet was born in Kersey, Colorado on February 11, 1911. She came to the Craig area in 1918 with her parents, as an only child. They lived on her grandfather's ranch on Little Bear, for three years. They moved to various rural schools where her mother taught and her father helped at the school and worked at odd jobs. Then they filed on a homestead in 1925 and Janet's mother continued to teach in rural schools. Janet talks about: women being able to support themselves, homestead work, home schooling, clothing, puberty, play as a "tomboy", and play with sleds and skis. Janet describes: the homestead cabin, cooking, food preservation, sleeping with quilts and flat irons, lack of illness, health concerns in her rural community, death of neighbor from self abortion, and care of the deceased. She talks about: Craig high school activities, college, and her own teaching in rural schools. She married Ernest at twenty-six and had two children in her mid-thirties. Their home was in Hamilton on a ranch, where she served as census enumerator and Moffat County Superintendent of Schools.
Iris's parents came from Georgia to Spring Gulch, two miles north of Williams Fork in Moffat County in 1914 with seven children. Iris was born in 1905. The nearest neighbor was 5 miles away. Her father had a college education and taught at the Wattle Creek school and was also a preacher. Her mother found life much harder than in Georgia. Iris describes life on the homestead: garden, cows, wheat, deer, hogs, clothing, play, puberty, and the one room school. For high school the children stayed in a rented house in Craig while their parents stayed on the ranch. Iris was interested in science and wanted to be a nurse. She went to Denver General Hospital for nurses training after high school. She describes some early nursing techniques and home remedies. Iris came home to marry Wayne Lyons and they lived on the Lyon's family homestead in Breeze Basin in 1930 and had four children. She worked as a nurse when she was needed. At one point they would have closed the Hayden hospital if not for her. Later she worked at the Craig hospital. Iris died in 1999.
Leona was born in Greece, coming to America in 1913 when she was eight years old. She talks about: Ellis Island ; sheep herding with her husband, John; trailing sheep; cooking and rearing children; hauling water for washing; limited access to church services; other Greek families in the area; good medical care; good health; the death of one of her daughters and husband.