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.
Hilda's parents homesteaded in Dry Lake, fifteen miles south of Maybell in 1916. They lived in a rented house, a tent, and a dugout before they built the homestead. They also homesteaded a second time on Wolf Mountain, further south on Price Creek. Hilda talks about: grubbing sage brush, building the school, homeschooling, description of the dugout, and hauling water. She describes the 1918 flu, death, and burial. She talks about the outside work she did as the oldest girl: building fence, herding cows, breaking horses, plowing fields, mowing and pitching hay. She also describes: types of clothing, transportation, play, dances in Maybell, doctors, pregnancy, births, medical issues, and home remedies. She worked as a maternity helper from age fifteen to eighteen, and then worked at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction until she married at age twenty. They went to California to work on a fruit farm until the depression and then returned to Price Creek to buy a ranch. She talks about difficult years with lack of water, loss of animals, and Home Demonstration clubs. They had one child. Hilda enjoyed painting with oils. Hilda died in 2001.
Bernice and Beryl are twin sisters who were born in Oregon in 1903. They came to Meeker in 1903 with their father, a carpenter, and their mother, a teacher. The women wanted to be interviewed together. Bernice tells of their mother's death from surgery on the dining room table - they were six years old. She describes life in Meeker in the early 1900's: clothes washing, schools, games, women's activities, a "poor farm", and adult activities. She also describes her career as a bank cashier. Then Beryl speaks and talks about the early death of their mother and their relationship to the woman their father married, in part, to care for them. Beryl describes the organization of Meeker's first library by a group of women in 1925. Both sisters were then interviewed and they spoke about: school, play, baking, housekeeping, view of marriage, and coping without their mother. Beryl talks about her marriage to Father Richards and her role as an Episcopal priest's wife. Bernice talks about her married life with William "Bill" Sides, and her career in the bank. Neither sister had children. Beryl died in 1994, and Bernice died in 1990.
Alta came to homestead in the Great Divide (Moffat County) area in 1929 from Brighton, Colorado where she and her husband were farmers. They had seven children. Her husband, John Lawrence, died shortly after they arrived. They also lost a son to Mountain Fever and strep throat. Alta found that the homestead was too much to care for and moved her family to a house near the Great Divide Community Center. She and the children worked at whatever jobs they could find: cleaning the community center, working for other homesteaders, and boarded school teachers and the mailman. They raised much of their own food. The children went to school in the summer at the community school. Alta describes food handling, washing clothes, and making clothing. She also talks about home remedies. Alta died in 1984.
Lana was born in Elk, Wyoming in 1915. When she was three years old her mother died of cancer and she came to Meeker with her five siblings to live with her Aunt Purdy. Her father continued to run the ranch in Wyoming. After three years they went back to Wyoming to live on the remote ranch. She describes life on the ranch: work, play, school, and transportation. Lana attended high school in Meeker and to receive some "feminine attention." Aunt Purdy took care of thirteen motherless children and homesteaded in the summers. Lana married Loren Idol and had seven children. Loren's parents homesteaded near Meeker in 1916 and Lana tells stories of their lives. Nellie Idol was a rural school teacher. Nellie used home remedies to help people when they were ill (Chuck White). Lana talks about the births of her children and general after birthing care. Lana died in 2006.
Joseph Douglas Mertz, a 1938 graduate of Ursinus College, received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1942. After two years teaching law at Dickinson Law School in Carlyle, Pennsylvania, he joined the Political Science Department at Colorado College in 1948, as assistant professor. He became associate professor and chairman of the department in 1953. He served as chairman until 1972 and retired in 1982. In addition to his faculty appointment, he also served the college as legal consultant from 1970 to 1982, and as general secretary from 1982 through 1983. He discusses the effects of McCarthyism during the Gill presidency, the growth of the Political Science Department, the effects of the Block Plan, and his work with President Worner and the Board of Trustees.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rosamay was born in 1898 on a ranch near Juniper Springs. Her mother, Bell, lived as a young woman in Maybell and the town may have been named after her and her sister, May. Rosamay's father was the foreman on the K-Diamond Ranch and there were no nearby neighbors. She and her sister rode horses and played with dolls. After her father died, they moved to Maybell where her mother owned a drugstore. She describes visiting an Indian camp at Cross Mountain. Rosamay also talks about: clothing for school, riding, home remedies, and dances. Her education ended after one year in high school for financial reasons. She later went to business college and worked for three years before marrying. Her husband, George Savage, was the chief of police in Boulder, Colorado. When he retired they bought a ranch near Rangely and she joined the Home Demonstration Club. She had no children. She enjoyed textile painting and quilting. Rosamay died in 1993.
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.
Jennie was born in 1897. Her parents came to the Meeker area in 1898 in a covered wagon. Her father began teaching in rural schools around the Meeker area until they moved to Meeker and had a store. They also started a homestead on Flag Creek. Jennie tells many stories about her mother who: made hats, ran the store, sewed clothes, had boarders, was Dr. French's nurse, took care of other people's children, made funeral shrouds, and "laid out people." Jennie tells stories about her childhood: play, chores, basketball, piano, and riding horses. She taught school for three years before she married. Jennie describes: home remedies, puberty, births of children, and women who died in childbirth. She and her husband, Joe Spence, lived on several ranches and she describes the living conditions in the early years: coal oil lights, carrying water, milking cows, making butter, and making soap. She went on roundup with her husband from September to November. They had two children. She describes a typical day in the summer. Jennie began teaching again after her children left home. Jennie enjoyed painting. Jennie died in 1995.
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.
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.
Virginia's father came to Meeker in 1898 and her mother came in 1901. They settled on a ranch near Buford (on the White River east of Meeker). Virginia tells stories about her mother's difficult adjustment to the West after growing up in Virginia. Virginia attended a rural school about three miles away. After her older sister died of pneumonia because they couldn't get her into town soon enough, the family moved to Meeker. Virginia describes her life as a child: play, clothing, travel to Virginia, church youth group, and high school parties. She talks about the 1918 flu: many people in Meeker died. Virginia describes instructions on becoming a "lady" and her mother's "reading club." Virginia graduated from college and talks about her experiences at Colorado College and Colorado State College of Education (Greeley). She later earned an M.A. at Colorado College. She talks about her teaching and counseling experiences in the Meeker schools. Virginia died in 1994.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.