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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jayne was born at home in Sunbeam, Colorado in 1918. Her grandmother, Sarah Farrell, came to the Sunbeam area to homestead as a single woman in 1887 from Ohio. She came at age thirty-two because she hadn't married and was considered a failure. She married a cowboy in 1890. Sarah was a practical nurse and delivered many babies in this remote area. Jayne tells stories of her grandmother and mother living on the homestead: home remedies, dances, food, outside work, and isolation in the winter. Jayne talks about her own childhood as a "tomboy." When she started school she went to a rural school and then moved to Denver to live with her grandparents. She returned to the Maybell area in 1944 at age twenty-six with one son and divorced. She married again to Carl E. "Mike" Hoth, and lived on ranches where her husband worked. Jayne cooked for the ranch hands and also worked outside with her husband. They had three children. Jayne talks about: ranch life, hobbies, and clubs. Jayne died in 1989.
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.
Nellie's parents came to Meeker in 1882 and she was born in 1893. She had four sisters and brothers. Their ranch was fourteen miles from Meeker. She remembers milking seventeen cows and selling the butter in Meeker, helping her father in the potato field and her mother in the kitchen, and loading hay with a buck rake (which is when they had to switch from wearing skirts to pants). Nellie remembers the visits of Ute Indians to their ranch looking for coffee and sugar. She talks about the rural school in the summer and the teacher who boarded with them. Nellie describes: home remedies, family injuries, the flu of 1918, and diseases. As a teenager she worked at home and did some work for other families until she married. When she married, she and her husband, George Parks, worked on several ranches and raised six children. She worked outside and inside and talks about those activities. She describes a difficult childbirth and a "damaged" child because of birthing conditions. She talks about: early dresses, later clothing, and caring for her children. Nellie died in 1985.