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  • Thumbnail for Levkulich, Mary Birovchak
    Levkulich, Mary Birovchak by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Rector, Katherine Warren
    Rector, Katherine Warren by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Oldland, Audrey Macy Ruckman
    Oldland, Audrey Macy Ruckman by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    Audrey's mother came to visit her brother in Meeker at the age of fourteen in the early 1900s. She worked at the halfway house between Rifle and Meeker for several years. It was there she met her husband John Oldland, who was working as a guide for Teddy Roosevelt. They settled in Powell Park and had ten children. Audrey describes: her mother's cooking, sewing, the houses they lived in, children's play (dolls), and inside/outside work. She rode a horse five miles to school in the winter. When she was twelve years old she worked for neighbors, cooking and washing dishes to pay for her clothes and school books. She talks about a bad first menstruation experience. Audrey describes home remedies and the 1918 flu which struck her family. She attended beauty school in Grand Junction and worked for a short time in Meeker before marrying John Oldland. She describes beauty shop experiences. She had three children and talks about pregnancy and birthing experiences. The family lived on the Oldland ranch. She learned to fly and was the only woman at that time that flew in the area. Audrey died in 1993.

  • Thumbnail for Mott, Jennie J. Steele
    Mott, Jennie J. Steele by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Smith, Wilma Gertrude Crawford
    Smith, Wilma Gertrude Crawford by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Whalin, Inez Ely
    Whalin, Inez Ely by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Graham, Oma Jensen
    Graham, Oma Jensen by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Kawcak, Julia Biskup
    Kawcak, Julia Biskup by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Coles, Catharine Rebecca Craig
    Coles, Catharine Rebecca Craig by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Rector, Stella B. LaForce
    Rector, Stella B. LaForce by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Villa, Mary Wear
    Villa, Mary Wear by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Holland, Norine
    Holland, Norine by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    Norine's grandparents came to Meeker in the early 1900's and lived on a ranch on the White River. Her mother, a teacher, came from Denver in 1912. She tells many stories of her mother teaching in rural schools and as Rio Blanco County Superintendent, and of her own experiences in rural schools. She tells of life on the ranch: cooking, clothing, animals, food preservation, transportation, heating, washing, and play. She talks about: access to medical help, home remedies, the early death of her father, mother's midwifery, pregnancy, childbirth, puberty, and divorce. Norine attended college and became a teacher in Meeker. Her fiancé was killed in WWII, so she earned a Master's degree in social work and worked in Denver until retirement. She now spends her summers in the Meeker area.

  • Thumbnail for Bair, Elva Lois Wells Biles
    Bair, Elva Lois Wells Biles by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    Lois (Elva) was born in Oklahoma in 1912 and moved to Colorado in 1923. Her parents bought 320 acres in Skull Creek, near Vernal, Utah, and the family of ten children lived in a one room log cabin. She talks about: attending school in a one room school through eighth grade, taking care of siblings, food sources and preparation, play, homemade clothes, puberty, long distances to town, school, church, women's clubs, and deep winter snow. Lois married Bud Biles, a cowboy, at seventeen and settled in Red Wash (near Utah border). They were married for forty-nine years. She rode in rodeos with her husband. Her two daughters were born in Denver due to complications. She was married to her second husband, Everette Bair, for just two years before he died. Lois died in 1988.

  • Thumbnail for Jones, Margaret Tagert
    Jones, Margaret Tagert by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Blevins, Freddie White
    Blevins, Freddie White by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Crawford, Ethelyn Whalin
    Crawford, Ethelyn Whalin by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Campbell, Esther Anderson (Chandler)
    Campbell, Esther Anderson (Chandler) by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Chrisler, Ethel La Kamp
    Chrisler, Ethel La Kamp by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Woolley, Estel Aicher
    Woolley, Estel Aicher by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    Estel's father came to the Meeker area in about 1888, and her mother came in 1898 to visit her sister. They married and lived on the homestead on Flag Creek. Estel was the only child. She describes her mother's life on the ranch. Estel wasn't expected to do any of the work. She talks about: riding her horse to school in very cold winters, play with neighbors, home remedies, puberty, and sports in school. Her parents bought a ranch in Grand Junction where Estel attended high school. She also went high school in Denver. She went to Business College in Grand Junction and then returned to Meeker to work in the County Clerk's office, where she worked for several years. Estel married a man from Craig, Raymond "Ray" Woolley, but they eventually settled in Meeker where she had two daughters. She talks about: childbirth and aftercare. While she worked, her mother did her housework and ironing, and cooked for her in-laws. Estel also talks about surgery in homes - her father drove the doctor to country appointments and administered ether. Estel died in 1990.

  • Thumbnail for Sweeney, June Marion O'Connell
    Sweeney, June Marion O'Connell by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Vaughan, Chloe Bunker
    Vaughan, Chloe Bunker by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Warren, Doris Stephenson
    Warren, Doris Stephenson by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Kirby, Ruby Lucile Rector
    Kirby, Ruby Lucile Rector by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    Ruby Kirby's parents (sister is Leona Rector Hinricks) came to the Rangely area in 1898-99. They had three children, Ruby (born in 1902), Leona, and a son. Ruby talks about Ute Indians who visited the ranch. And she describes: home remedies, chores, play, and riding horses. The children had tutors at home and also spent winters in Grand Junction for school. Ruby describes activities at the ranch during their teenage years: house work, horses, picnics, dances, and the family band. She and her sister went to Western State College. Ruby worked in San Francisco for three years in 1927 and then returned home. She married Russel Dare in 1936, but he was shot in front of the Rangely store by a "squatter" when she was eight months pregnant. After having her daughter, she soon married Albert Kirby, a local rancher. They continued to ranch in the area until Albert died two years prior to this interview, but Ruby's daughter and family live on the ranch and she continues to move between summer and winter ranches. Ruby died in 1995.

  • Thumbnail for Powell, Ila Alma Bowman
    Powell, Ila Alma Bowman by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    Ila's parents came to the Rangely area to homestead on Douglas Creek in 1908. Her mother made friends with Ute Indians who passed through the area hunting along the White River. As a child she remembers: caring for bum lambs, milking cows, irrigation, the garden, planting potatoes, clearing sage brush, making deer jerky, washing clothes, baking bread, ironing, and clothing (dresses). She remembers: home remedies, injuries, 1918 flu, and puberty. For fun they fished, rode horses, made horse tail ropes, went to dances, and visited with neighbors. She went to school in Utah, Rangely, and Grand Junction. She regrets quitting school in Junior High to get married (1927) to Lester Powell. She and her husband moved to Seattle, Washington for three years, but returned to homestead on Douglas Creek during the Depression. They had 10 children. They dug their own coal mine and helped build the school. Ila expresses attitudes towards: working mothers, birth control, children, and not having a career. Ila died in 2008.

  • Thumbnail for Shepherd, Virginia M.
    Shepherd, Virginia M. by Jones-Eddy, Julie

    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.