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Alice Marian Parr Kinley Irish

Autobiography

The following is a sketch of Alice Marian Parr, written in 1932 for her family. The text presented below has been copied as written (spelling and format), with page numbers noted in parenthesis.  It was submitted to the Linn County GenWeb by Pam Duimstra. 
 

     MOTHER SOLD OUR HOME WE MOVED INTO A SMALLER HOUSE FOR A LITTLE WHILE AND SHE AND MATTIE AND I WENT TO INDIANA TO SEE HER MOTHERS MRS BEVERLY.  MOTHERS MAIDEN NAME WAS HOUVER BUT HER MOTHER MARRIED HIRAM BEVERLY.

     WHILE WE WERE AT GRANDMA BEVERLYS THE BIG CANNON AT ATTICA, INDIANA WERE FIRED ANNOUNCING THE CLOSE OF THE WAR.  WHAT A TIME OF REJOICING.  ALL OF OUR YOUNG MEN RELATIVES CAME BACK HOME WITH OUT A SCRATCH.

     GUSS HINSDALE (25) MY SISTER MATTIES SWEET HEART CAME ALSO.  THEY LOVED EACH OTHER ALL OF THEIR SCHOOL DAYS AND AFTER HE CAME HOME FROM THE WAR, THEY WERE MARRIED.  THEY HAD TWO DAUGHTERS, LOUANA AND FREDERIKA OR FRITZ THEY NICKNAMED HER.

     WHEN WE CAME BACK FROM INDIANA MOTHER RENTED THE WHOLE UPPER STORY OF A LARGE FARM HOUSE OF A RICH FARMER UNTIL THE BOYS CAME HOME AND SHE WOULD THEN KNOW WHETHER TO BUY ANOTHER FARM OR NOT.  SHE BOUGHT ONE AND SOME TIMBER LAND NOT FAR FROM HER FARM, BUT THE EXCITEMENT OF THE WAR AND ABSENCE FROM HOME AND HOME DUTIES CAUSED MY BROTHER TO FEEL UNEASY AND DISSATISFIED SO HE DID NOT TAKE TO FARMING VERY MUCH.

     WE HAD ONE SUMMER WHEN IT RAINED ALMOST ALL OF THE TIME WHEN I WAS 8 OR 9 YRS OLD.  IT SEEMED AS IF THE SUN SIMPLY REFUSED TO SHINE, SO HE WAS DISCOURAGED, MOTHER IT SEEMED TOO (26)  (SEEM TO ME) NEVER SPENT AN IDLE MOMENT.  SHE KEPT 2 COWS AND MILKED THEM AND SAVED ALL OF THE CREAM NOT NEEDED FOR THE TABLE OR COOKING AND MADE BUTTER AND SHAPED 1/2 LB CAKES AND PRINTED A SHEAF OF WHEAT ON ONE SIDE OF THEM.  WHAT SWEET FRESH BUTTER AND WHAT WONDERFUL BREAD SHE MADE.

     SHE NEVER BAKED BISCUITS BUT SHE MADE PERFECTLY LOVELY LOAVES OF LIGHT BREAD AND I NEVER SAW SUCH SWEET SALT-RISING-BREAD AS SHE COULD MAKE.  SO WE ALWAYS HAD GOOD BREAD AND GOOD BUTTER.

     NO ONE CANNED FRUITS OR VEGETABLES THOSE DAYS BUT WE ALWAYS HAD A GOOD SUPPLY OF PRESERVES AND DRIED FRUITS.  AND ALWAYS SORGHAM MOLASSES AND QUITE OFTEN MAPLE SYRUP AND MAPLE SUGAR PLENTY OF GOOD PICKLES.

     WE LIVED WELL.  AND I ONLY WISH I COULD KEEP MY HOUSE AND ALL OF MY WORK INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE DONE UP AS WELL AS SHE DID.  HER GARDEN WAS A BEAUTIFUL (27) THING TO LOOK AT.  SHE SPADED IT DEEP AND WORKED THE DIRT UP FINE THEN SHAPED INTO BEDS AND PLANTED SEEDS IN ROWS ACROSS THE BEDS.  ALL LAID OUT WITH PATHS BETWEEN SO EVEN AND NEAT.  THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF HER GARDEN HOW WELL I REMEMBER THAT BROAD SMOOTH WALK WITH A BORDER OF SHORT GREEN FOLIAGE COVERED WITH LITTLE PINK FLOWERS THEN JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT, OLD FASHIONED FLOWERS.

     MARIGOLDS, BATCHELOR BUTTONS AND I NEVER COULD NAME ALL OF THE KINDS THAT SHE HAD.  THE BALSAM OF SO MANY DIFFERENT COLORS AND SPOTTED ONE RAGGED LADIES ETC.  THEN A FLOWERING CURRANT BUSH SMELLING SO SWEET & SPICY A CYPRESS VINE WITH SUCH LOVELY STARING RED FLOWERS, MORNING GLORYS AT THE WINDOW, ROWS OF HONEY LOCUST TREES THAT SURE CALLED THE BEES IN WARM WEATHER WHILE THEY WERE IN BLOOM.  THOSE WERE MY HAPPY HAPPY CHILD HOOD DAYS.  I USED TO LOVE TO GATHER WILD FLOWERS WHICH WERE TO BE HAD IN GREAT ABUNDANCE.

     I HAD A PET YELLOW HEN WITH A RED BROWN HEAD & NECK.  MARY WAS HER NAME.  SHE ONLY HAD ONE EYE.  I COULD HOLD HER AND SHE WOULD STICK HER HEAD ON ONE SIDE AND LOOK UP AT ME (28) IT MADE ME LAUGH AND SHE WOULD TALK HEN TALK TO ME.  I LOVED MARY.

     I HAD A LITTLE BROWN RAT TERRIER, HE GOT THE WIGGLES SO BAD WHEN YOU TRIED TO HOLD HIM AND PET HIM.  HE WAS NOT VERY MUCH COMFORT.  HE GOT TO SUCKING EGGS, SO I FINALLY MISSED HIM AND ASKED WHERE TIPPIE?  SO THEY SAID THEY KILLED HIM.  I CRIED OF COURSE.

     THEN MY BROTHER WENT TO A NEIGHBORS, WHERE THEY HAD LOTS OF SHEEP.  THEY HAD SO MANY EWES THAT HAD TWINS & TRIPLETS THAT THEY WENT AROUND KILLING ALL BUT THE BEST LAMBS.  MY BROTHER BROT ME ONE FOR A PET.  IT WAS ALL WET FROM THE RAIN AND CHILLED BUT MOTHER MADE A NIPPLE OUT OF A GOOSE QUILL & RAG AND PUT WARM MILK IN A BOTTLE AND DRIED HER NICE AND DRY.

     IN A FEW DAYS SHE WAS WOBBLING ABOUT PRETTY WELL. WHEN I CAME HOME FROM SCHOOL SHE CAME TO MEET ME IN THE BACK YARD.  WE HAD A CAVE OUT THERE AND IT WASN'T LONG UNTILL LUCY (THAT WAS HER NAME) AND I (29) WERE RUNNING AND JUMPING WITH ALL OUT MIGHT UP & DOWN & AROUND THE CAVE AND I WOULD RUN UP THE STEPS AND INTO THE KITCHEN AND LUCY RIGHT AT MY HEELS.  AFTER AWHILE SHE WOULD RUN AT ME AND BUTT ME OFF OF MY FEET.

     WE SHEERED HER AND SOLD THE FLEECE AND MOTHER GOT ME A BEAUTIFUL SKIRT WITH SO MANY STRIPES OF GAY COLORS IN IT AND A LONG STRAN OF SPARKLING GLASS BEADS THAT WER CUT SO THAT THEY SPARKLED.

     I HAD NO CHILDREN TO PLAY WITH BUT I HAD A DOLL I CALLED JULIA.  I MADE CAPES AND THE FUNNIEST LOOKING HATS FOR HER.  ONCE I MADE A HAT OUT OF PASTEBOARD AND PUT RED CALICO STREAMERS ON IT AND RED TIES AND I WENT UP TO OUR OLD TURKEY GOBBLER AND TIED IT ON HIS HEAR.  I DON'T KNOW NOW HOW I EVER DID IT, BUT I REMEMBER HOW SQUIRMY THOSE LUMPS ON HIS NECK FELT TO MY FINGERS WHILE I TIED HIS HAT ON.  AND WOULD YOU BELIEVE HE STRUTTED AROUND WITH THAT SILLY HAT ON AND MOTHER SURE DID LAUGH.

     MOTHER SOLD THE (30) FARM AND I WENT OVER TO VISIT THE FOLKS WHO BOUGHT IT.  THEIR NAME WAS TOMPSON.  THEY HAD ONE CHILD, JENNIE, SHE WAS A YOUNG LADY.  WE SAT DOWN TO DINNER. THEY ASKED ME IF I WOULD LIKE A PIECE OF EAT, I SAID YES.  I ATE IT IT WAS TENDER AND SWEET AS COULD BE.  THEY SAID HOW DO YOU LIKE THE MEAT, I SAID IT WAS GOOD.  THEY SAID THAT IS SOME OF YOUR LAMB.  I WAS ALL THROUGH.  I ATE NO MORE DINNER.  IF THEY HAD SAID THAT WAS A PIECE OF YOUR GRANDMOTHER I DON'T BELIEVE I COULD HAVE FELT ANY WORSE.

     WE MOVED TO KELLOGG A LITTLE TOWN BETWEEN NEWTON AND GRINNELL.  WENT TO SCHOOL WHILE THERE.  WE MOVED FROM KELLOGG IN A YEAR OR SO TO WAMEGO, POTTAWOTTAMIE CO, KANSAS.  MOTHERS SISTER IN LAW AND HER HUSBAND AND FAMILY HAD MOVED OUT THERE JUST OUTSIDE WAMEGO ON A LITTLE FARM AND WANTED US TO COME TO KAN.  THERE WAS A GREAT BOOM ON THERE AT THAT TIME.  ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE FROM ALL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY POURING IN. (31) A LOT OF PEOPLE FOOLED TOO.  HARD-PAN SOIL AROUND THERE AND GREAT BUFFALO WALLOWS, BLACK JACK TIMBER, COARSE BUFFALO GRASS, AND SCARCITY OF GOOD WATER.  WE ONLY STAYED ABOUT ONE YEAR.

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