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.
Leona's father came to the Rangely area in 1885 from Texas, and her mother arrived in 1899 after her marriage. They purchased a ranch on the White River. There were twelve to fourteen families in the area when Leona and her sister (Ruby Rector Kirby) and brother were children. She talks about: her mother's childbirths, community dances at their house, winter activities, musical instruments, play, school, work, and clothing. Leona discusses: cooking, baking bread, eating their own cows, hogs, chickens, turkeys, staples, washing clothes, home remedies (Ute Indians), and diseases. She talks about relations with the Ute Indians who came by their house during hunting season. She and her siblings attended high school in Grand Junction. Leona attended Western State College for three years and then married Clarence Hinricks. Her husband worked in oil fields in Wyoming and near Craig (Iles Grove). She taught in rural schools for seven years. They had one son. She talks about teaching one winter at the Moropas one room school. She later worked as an office manager. She worked outside the home for thirty years. Leona died in 1995.
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.
Stella was born in Oak Creek, Colorado and grew up near McCoy, Colorado on a ranch until she was six years old when her father died. She had five siblings. Stella's mother moved the family to Glenwood Springs so that she could work and her children could finish high school. The children spent summers on the ranch. She talks about: homemade clothing, working during the depression, and summers on the ranch. Stella married Jay Rector and traveled with him to construction jobs. Later they worked on the Kirk ranch, and finally on her husband's father's ranch, both near Rangely. She talks about her husband's mother, who had ten children and first came to the area in 1898 at six years old. Stella describes: washing clothes, cooking for family and extra help, gardening, sewing, roundup, and needlework. The ranch was twenty miles from town, and she saw few neighbors. She liked the chores outside, but not the cooking. She had four children, and talks about her daughter's education, etc. Stella describes the town library, 4H, and women's clubs. Stella died in 1991.
Wilma's father arrived in the Meeker area to homestead in 1885. Her mother arrived in a covered wagon with her sister. She remembers coming to town on a sled for the mail. She talks about her life on the ranch: play, work inside and outside, clothing, and washing clothes. And she describes a typical day's activities. She attended a winter rural school 1 1/2 miles away. She talks about dances, sleigh rides, and ice skating. Wilma liked to play baseball - she was the catcher. She talks about the first automobiles, which they had to put up on blocks in the winter. Wilma went to college at the University of Colorado at Boulder for two years, taking French, physics, and English. Then she married and had one child. Her husband died in an accident when her daughter was two years old. She lived with her mother in Meeker and worked at various jobs (housecleaning, babysitting, as a clerk, in a laundry, and in a garage). Wilma died in 1993.
Ethelyn was born in Thornberg, Rio Blanco County in 1913. In her early years, Ethelyn grew up on a ranch on Wilson Creek near Meeker. There were eight children in the family. Her mother taught the children at home until they started school in Meeker. She also attended the Axial School for one year. She talks about many childhood memories of play, home, daily activities, and clothing. As a teen ager she talks about: puberty, dances, clubs, poetry, epilepsy, and travel to California. Ethelyn married at twenty-one and later divorced. Ethelyn had two children. She later married twice. She worked "between marriages" as a real estate broker and business administrator. Ethelyn talks about how she arranged for child care and about women's clubs in Meeker. Ethelyn died in 2001.
Ethel's father came to the White River area in 1883 and her mother arrived in 1900 from Iowa for her health. Ethel was born in 1904 and grew up on ranches on the White River. She talks about: household chores, outdoor chores, hard winters; transportation; rural school; flu of 1918; home remedies; clothing; community life. She worked on a ranch after eighth grade until attending business college at nineteen. She married Tim Chrisler at twenty-two and lived on various ranches where her husband worked. They had two children. She talks about: coal/wood stoves, gas lamps, food storage, quilting groups, and church. They later owned a motel in Meeker. Ethel died in 1995.
When she was eight years old, Glee came to the Rangely area with her father and two siblings (1921?). Her mother had just died of diabetes. Her father had worked in the coal mines in Winterquarters, Utah where Glee was born in 1913. Her father leased a ranch near Rangely where he felt he could take better care of the three children. She describes: household chores, winter activities, dances, school, puberty, and clothing. Glee also describes the town of Rangely and what staples her family bought at the one store. She talks about their food sources: meat from cows, and hunting. Glee married Lester Kenney at seventeen and lived on several ranches owned by her husband's father in the Rangely area. She had three children and went to Vernal, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado for their births. She describes the small school in Rangely (twelve children) that had teachers who boarded with local families. Glee died in 2000.
Oma's parents came to Blue Mountain, Colorado, near the Utah border, in 1902 to homestead. Oma was born in 1909 in Jensen, Utah (named after her grandfather.) She talks about: Ute Indians, illness, accidents, home remedies, children's play and work, hard winters, Mormon crickets, and work with cattle. They left the homestead in 1926 and moved to the White River (Meeker). She attended high school in Jensen and Meeker, and began her life of working on ranches, inside and outside. She married June Graham when she was twenty-one and he was thirty-seven. They had known each other for three years. They worked on ranches in the White River area. She speaks about: dances, living conditions, cooking, always "enjoying her work", problems with elk, and isolation from neighbors in winter. They worked for the Roosevelt family on their ranch for a time. Oma had an accident with a grubbing hoe which later resulted in the amputation of her leg. Oma tells many stories about experiences in rural Colorado. Oma died in 1988.
Freddie's grandfather was one of the first homesteaders in Moffat County in 1902. Freddie speaks about her mother's and her own life in the Craig area. Freddie was born in 1912. She talks about: play, work, sports, puberty, music (piano and singing), and dating. Members of her family played instruments and they played and sang together. She studied music at the University of Colorado and Chicago Conservatory of Music. After living in Hollywood for two years, she returned home and married her high school boyfriend, Tom Blevins, at twenty-six and lived on the family ranch in Brown's Park with their two children. She taught in rural schools for twenty years, earning a teaching certificate in the summers. Freddie died in 2006.
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.
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.
Katherine's father homesteaded on two, forty acre tracts of a pre-emption in 1891. He had arrived in Meeker in 1882. Her mother grew up on the mesa south of Meeker. Katherine was born in 1909. Her mother left the family when Katherine was twelve and she became the housewife. Nellie Parks is her older sister. Katherine married Ralph Rector, and they lived on her father's ranch for seventy-three years because her husband worked the ranch with her father. She talks about: raising pigs, chickens and turkeys, killing deer out of season for food, and canning garden vegetables. She also describes: washing on the board, hanging clothes, working in the hayfield, milking cows, and puberty. They traveled the twelve miles to town very seldom. The rural school (winter school) teacher boarded with them. She talks about: home remedies, doctors for births, accidents, and surgery on the kitchen table. She describes her marriage and living for a short time in Frazier, Colorado while her husband worked on the Moffat Tunnel. It was very cold. They had two daughters and she describes their births. Katherine died in 1999.
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.
Jennie's parents came to Rangely in 1926 with nine children. They homesteaded on Little Foundation in 1931, thirty miles from Rangely. Jennie was born in 1930. The family eventually had eleven children, but two died with "crib death," and one was a still birth. Her mother didn't have a doctor for some of them. She talks about her mother doing the work inside and outside the house: irrigation, milking, and feeding cows. Jennie talks about medical care in a very rural area: broken bones, scarlet fever, and the doctor who came from Meeker for emergencies. Jennie discusses big winter snows and cold, and riding to school on horses. Her mother home schooled the children some years. Her mother eventually got her B.A. and Master's degrees and taught in the Rangely schools for twenty years. Jennie finished high school in Rangely. Jennie talks about the house they lived in on the ranch, sometimes sleeping three to a bed in the two room house. Later they built a new house, and the children slept in the old house. Jennie also talks about what they did for entertainment, and travel away from the ranch.
Mary's older sister, Elinor Anderson, was visiting during this interview and contributes her memories of their mother, Bessie Maudlin, who was born in Moffat County in 1896. The Maudlin's were very early homesteaders in the area. They both talk about their mother's experiences. Mary was born in 1925 and grew up in Meeker. She describes the town and her life as a child: chores, clothing, cold winters, play, and music. As a teenager music became a more important part of her life as she played the piano for dances and the chorus. She graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder in Music. She taught in Sterling until she married. She stopped teaching for a while when she had her two children. Her husband, Martin Villa, was a rancher, and she worked with him on the ranch on the weekends. Mary talks about: puberty, hopes for her daughter, and the Great Depression. Mary died in 1989.
Inez Whalin tells her experiences through her daughter, Ethelyn Crawford. When she was twenty-three years old, Inez married her husband at her home in rural Illinois, a much more settled area than northwestern Colorado in 1912. At that time he was the foreman on the James ranch in Moffat County. Inez cooked for all the ranch hands. They soon moved to Mr. Whalin's homestead on Thornburg near Meeker, a one room log cabin, which she describes. Inez had eight children, but lost one who was eight months old to pneumonia. The doctor usually missed the births. She talks about: birth control, childless women, home remedies, and poetry. She was sorry that she didn't go to college; her parents thought her too frail. Instead, she worked in a knitting factory before her marriage. Her neighbors asked her to teach, but her husband said she couldn't. Inez died in 1989.
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.
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.
Doris's mother was born on the trip west in a covered wagon train from Indiana. Doris's grandparents came to the Meeker area in 1889 to homestead on Flag Creek. Her grandmother, Minirva Wilson, told her about the trip west. Doris describes: the homestead cabin, the reservoir, home remedies, and cooking. Doris's mother, Goldie May Stephenson, went to college in Boulder at the University, against her father's wishes, and Doris relates stories of her experiences. She returned to Meeker to teach in the Coal Creek School and in Meeker. Goldie May stopped teaching when her children were born, but went back because of the Great Depression. She was also elected Rio Blanco County Superintendent of Schools, but had to resign because she was pregnant. Goldie May tended to sick people during the 1918 flu, and Doris relates her mother's experiences during that time. Doris grew up in Meeker. She didn't attend college because of lack of funds. She worked in the County Clerk's office, until she ran for County Treasurer and was elected, the first woman elected to that post. She talks about working women and working mothers.
Eleanor was teaching school in Missouri and wanted to make more money by moving west. She came to the Pagoda School in 1927 at nineteen. She boarded with a family, but saw few other people except at holidays and dances. They traveled in the winter by sled. She taught in rural schools at Lime Kiln near Meeker, Axial and Hamilton between Meeker and Craig, and in the Meeker schools. Eleanor completed two years of college and many extension courses. She tells many stories of her years in rural schools: taking her breast fed child with her, her school pet deer, making teaching materials, driving to the schools from Meeker in the winter, becoming a foster parent for two of her students. She married a rancher, James F. Service, but wanted to continue to teach while she raised her children. She had three children and two foster children. Eleanor died in 1985.
Ellen was born in Lipol(?) New Mexico on September 6, 1907. Her parents had twelve children. Her father had a stroke shortly after they moved to Meeker in hopes of buying a ranch. Soon they moved to Rifle where the older brothers and sisters, including Ellen, worked to support the family (drugstore clerk, babysitting). She talks about reading, home remedies, illness, education, and puberty. Ellen married Phil Dunn at twenty-three. Her husband worked for the Colorado State Highway Dept. They moved all over the state as roads were built. She describes: rustic housing, cooking, cold winters, road crew communities, and moving often. She lived in Rangely in a tent for a time during the oil boom. She describes the community and the building of the roads. They finally settled in Grand Junction where her husband worked in the pipe business. She describes: women's clubs, activities, marriage, divorce, and working. Ellen died in 1989.
Esther was born in Harmony, Minnesota in 1899. She came to teach in the Skull Creek School from Denver when she was twenty-two. She boarded with a family who lived near the school. She soon married a local cowboy, Duard Campbell, and moved into his mother's homestead dugout cabin, which she describes. She continued teaching until retirement. They later moved to Brown's Park and raised cattle. Esther had one child who lived in Denver with her mother until he was school age because she had to teach. She talks about: hard winters, living conditions, social gatherings, school programs, isolated rural schools, the Home Demonstration Club, Freddie Blevins, June Sweeney, her husband's home duties, and Ute Indians. Esther died in 1995.
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.
Chloe came to Sunbeam, Colorado, from Illinois in 1926 to visit her sister. She met her husband, Minford, who had been born in Maybell. They were married in 1927 and lived for two years north of Craig while they bought cattle, sheep, and horses. Chloe had never ridden a horse. They moved to their homestead in Brown's Park on Zenobia Peak, seventy miles from Craig, and lived in a tent until they had the 20' X 30' cabin built. The logs, which they cut themselves, came from the mountain. Chloe describes the furniture, travel by horse and wagon, neighbors, medical problems, and home remedies. They moved their sheep from summer to winter ranges. Chloe describes one summer when her husband was ill and she "herded the sheep." She had her only child in Hayden where there was a hospital. Esther Campbell was her best friend and lived eight miles away. They communicated over a phone line strung by their husbands. Chloe describes the Home Demonstration Club. She also describes creative activities: horse hair ropes, leatherwork, horse blankets, knitting, crocheting, and quilting. Chloe died in 1990.