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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. 
 

     THERE CAME A TERRIBLE STORM WHILE WE WERE THERE AND WAMEGO IS ON THE BANK OF THE MISSOURI RIVER AND BLUFFS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE RIVER.  OUR CELLAR WAS SOON FULL OF WATER.  WE WERE FRIGHTENED ALMOST TO DEATH.  A LUMBER YARD AND ONE HOUSE FLOATED AWAY AND QUITE A LOT OF DAMAGE WAS DONE.  WE CAME BACK TO IOWA.

     I HAD A BEAU WHILE AT WAMEGO.  HE TOOK ME TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE.  I THOT AS MUCH OF HIM AS A 12 YR OLD GIRL CAN THINK OF HER SWEET HEART.  HE WENT OVER ACROSS THE RIVER TO WORK AND THE DAY WE LEFT KAN. I THOT I WOULD NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN.  BUT JUST BEFORE THE TRAIN STARTED HE CAME TO THE CAR WINDOW AND GAVE ME A LOCKET AND CHAIN AND BID ME GOODBYE.

     WE MOVED TO MOBERLY, RANDOLPH CO, MO. NEXT.  THE PLACE (32) WAS FULL OF DEMOCRATS AND DARKIES.  MOTHER WAS A STRONG REPUBLICAN.  OF COURSE IT WAS SO SOON AFTER THE WAR THAT THE SOUTH COULD HARDLY BEAR THE SIGHT OF THE REPUBLICANS AND THEY STILL TREATED THE "NIGGERS" AS THEY CALLED THEM AS ROUGH AND MEAN AS THEY COULD.

     ON THE 4TH OF JULY OUT CAME THE MOBERLY DARKIES ALL DRESSED IN WHITE WITH GAY RED & BLUE TRIMMINGS.  AND A GREAT BIG FINE LOOKING DARKEY DRESSED FIT TO KILL RIDING ON A LARGE IRON GREY HORSE WITH WHITE MANE & TAIL.  THE COLORED GENTLEMAN WORE A HIGH SHINEY HAT AND WORE A LONG SCARF OF RED WHITE & BLUE.  ANY THEY PARADED THRU THE STREETS WITH MORE STYLE THAN WISDOM.  FOR BEFORE NIGHT THE TOWN WAS IN AN UPROAR AND FIGHTS AND SHOOTING GOING ON AND DARKIES THROWN INTO JAIL AND LOCKED IN.

     IT WAS ALMOST EQUAL TO SOME OF THE HALF BREED INDIANS AND TOUGH SCRAPS IN KANSAS.  WHERE THEY HAD A DRUNKEN (33) CROWD AT A DANCE ONE NITE AND THEY STARTED A ROW AND THEY HAD A LARGE KITTLE OF BOILING SOUP OVER THE FIREPLACE AND THE SQUAWS HELPED OUT ON THEIR SIDE BY THROWING BOILING HOT SOUP ON THEIR ENEMIES.  THE DANCE BROKE UP.

     AT MOBERLY THE WOMAN ACROSS THE STREET FROM US SHOOK HER FIST AT THE DARKIES AS THEY PASSED BY AND TOLD THEM "WE WILL HAVE YOU BACK INTO SLAVERY BEFORE LONG."  SHE FOUND OUT THAT MOTHER WAS A REPUBLICAN AND SHE REFUSED TO LET US HAVE WATER FROM HER WELL.  WE HAD ONLY CISTERN WATER AND IT CAUSED US TO GET SICK WITH THE AGUE OR CHILLS & FIVER.

     OUR BOYS WERE RAIL ROAD MEN ONE A BRAKEMAN ANOTHER AN ENGINEER.  THE ENGINEER WILL LOWELL MADE HIS HOME WITH US BEFORE THE WAR AWHILE AND STILL MADE IT HIS HOME WHEN HE CAME BACK.

     OLIVER MARRIED ANNA GRAHAM THE DAUGHTER OF A PENNSYLVANIS DUTCHMAN (34) WHILE WE LIVED AT MOBERLY.  I CRIED, I DID NOT WANT HIM TO GET MARRIED.  ANN WAS MY SCHOOL TEACHER WHEN I WAS LIVING WHERE I HAD THOSE PETS I MENTIONED.  BUT HE MARRIED ANNA AND THEY MOVED TO RED OAK, IOWA.

     MOTHER AND I WENT THERE WITH THEM.  MOTHER HAD SOLD OUT FIRST ONE PIECE OF PROPERTY & THEN ANOTHER AND HELPED OLIVER AND KEPT ME TOO.  ALL OF THIS TIME UNTIL SHE DID NOT HAVE MUCH READY MONEY AND HAD NO HOME EXCEPT WITH HER SON OLIVER OR HER DAUGHTER MATTIE.

     WE STAYED AT RED OAK A LITTLE WHILE AND CAME TO NEWTON, JASPER CO WHERE MY SISTER MATTIED & HER HUSBAND AND TWO GIRLS LIVED.  I WAS 15 YEARS OLD THEN.  I WENT TO SCHOOL, TO CHURCH, AND TO SUNDAY SCHOOL.  I ENJOYED MY SELF PRETTY WELL THERE.  I MADE A GREAT MANY FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTENCES.  WHILE THERE MY FOLKS ALL WENT TO PLAYS, WENT TO PICNICS, AND TO PARTIES SOCIABLES BELONGED TO A CLUB DANCE THERE. (35) ONLY MOTHER OF COURSE DID NOT GO TO THE DANCES.  I WAS ALLOWED TO GO TO A PARTY NOW & THEN WITH MY FRIENDS & SCHOOLMATES.  BUT NEVER TO BE OUT OF NIGHTS RUNNING WITH A TOUGH CROWD.

     I WAS HAPPY AND CONTENTED HAD PLENTY OF GOOD CLOTHES, PLENTY TO EAT.  AND THE PEOPLE WHO RAISED ME WERE GOOD TO ME UNTIL I MET A FELLOW AT A 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION.  WE KNEW THE MOMENT WE SAW EACH OTHER THAT WE COULD NEVER FIND ANY ONE ELSE THAT WE WOULD CARE SO MUCH FOR AS WE DID FOR EACH OTHER.

     WELL MY FOLKS, THAT IS MY BROTHER-IN-LAW AND MY SISTER-IN-LAW BUT MOSTLY HER HUSBAND, SET THEMSELVES TO SEE TO IT THAT WE SHOULD NEVER BE ANYTHING TO EACH OTHER BUT STRANGERS, AS FAR AS THEY COULD GO WITH IT.

     HE WAS A GOOD RESPECTABLE WELL EDUCATED YOUNG MAN GRADUATED AT THE NEWTON HIGH SCHOOL.  WORKED IN THE PRINTING OFFICE AWHILE, THEN IN HIS STEP FATHERS DRUG STORE AND (36) HE HAD NO BAD HABITS AND HE BELONGED TO THE YOUNG MENS CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION.  USED TO WRITE AND READ TO THEM AT THEIR MEETINGS AND WAS AN ALL AROUND GOOD YOUNG MAN.  BUT THEY RUINED OUR HAPPINESS.

     HE WAS RATHER TALL AND BROAD SHOULDERED BUT NOT FLESHY, HAD BLACK HAIR AND DARK EYES.  NOT REAL DARK COMPLEXIONED BUT NOT FAIR.  NOT MUCH COLOR IN HIS FACE.  RATHER QUIET AND DID MORE LISTENING THAN TALKING.

     I THINK IT IS WICKED TO MAKE OR BREAK UP YOUNG COUPLES PLANS.  LET PEOPLE NATURALLY CHOOSE THEIR OWN LIFES PARDNER. THEY KNOW BETTER THAN ANY ONE ELSE DOES WHO THEY CHOOSE TO LIVE WITH.  IT MEANS SO MUCH TO THEM.

     WE MOVED TO DES MOINES FROM NEWTON AND I NEVER SAW OR HEARD OF HIM AGAIN.  I ASKED MY SISTER MATTIE WHAT EVER BECAME OF HIM AND SHE SAID O I DON'T KNOW.  GUSS (37) NEVER LIKED HIM.  I SAID NO MORE BUT I SURE HAD AN ACHING HEART TO THINK HOW THEY RUINED MY HAPPINESS.  IT JUST MEANT A LOVELESS LIFE FOR ME.

Contributed by Pam Duimstra
(duimstra@earthlink.net)

Afterward:
At the age of 18, Alice married Israel M. Irish in Marion, Linn County. He was the son of Joel S. Irish and Mary Ann Brockman.  Together Alice and her husband had 6 children, and spent the remainder of their lives in Linn county, first in Marion and later Springville, where they are buried.
Carl & Lulu (Irish) Schliemann photo

 

 

 

To the right is the wedding photo of Lulu Bess Irish, daughter of Alice Marian Parr & Israel Mason Irish, with her new husband, Carl Schliemann.

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