Monday, June 13, 2011

Amy Busby Mayberry's Autobiography

I don't know how to attach a pdf to blogspot, but I do know how to use copy and paste!

Spelling and grammar mistakes were not corrected.

Amy Busby Mayberry

Information provided by herself

My name is Amy Busby. I was born October 24, 1904 at St. David, Arizona, Cochise County.

My father was Abraham John Busby. My mother Clara Grove Goodman.

Mama and Papa had nine children. These are the names of my brothers and sisters:

Margaret Clara

George Melvin

Rose Mary


John William


Abraham Vern

Dorrity Eugene

Joseph Elmer

We are all living at this date 10 October 1976 except Joseph Elmer. We called him Little Joe -- he died.

I was born at our home it was on the corner of Miller Lane and when I was born the streets weren't named. The streets were named in 1981.

There wasn't a doctor in our town. Brother Peter A. Lofgreen was what you would call a practical doctor, he had studied medicine and he would be with the mothers at birth. Sister Rhoda Merrill was the mid-wife. She and Brother Lofgreen would deliver the babies. Sister Rhoda Merrill would come every day for ten days and bathe the babies and take care of the mother. Mothers stayed in bed for ten days after child birth.

I was the fourth child born to my parents.

My sister Rose named me Amy. She was trying to say Emma and she said Amy so that was what they called me.

We lived in this home on Miller lane until I was about two years old (1906) when we moved to a farm. This farm was on main street of St. David about one mile east of the San Pedro River on the right hand side of the street or road going East. We lived here until 1919 when we moved on a farm up in Curtis Flat. This farm was about seven miles south of our place in St. David. We just rented this farm. We live here for three years then in 1922 we moved back to our home in St. David. This farm was owned by the Boquillas Land and Cattle Company. The one we rented.

Margaret had married and her second son was born at our home here in Curtis Flat.

Melvin was on his mission in 1920 when we were on the farm in Curtis Flat. He also married while we were on this farm.

I was blessed the 14th of November 1904 by Joseph McRae. Baptized 24 April 1913 by Francis N. Goodman, he was my mother's brother. I was baptized in a dirt pond on the property where I was born. I was confirmed 27 April 1913 by Peter A. Lofgreen.

I was a tiny active child. Mama said it took two people to watch me because I was always on the run. When we would go to my mother's mother's place, she owned a store, I would always head for the egg box and if they didn't move fast I would have some eggs broken. Mama said, they would entertain me by giving me a damp cloth and a wooden chair and I would wash that chair, then they would give me a feather duster and I would spend time dusting the furniture. I guess my mother marked me before I was born to like to clean house because I would rather clean house than read any day.

We were taught to work, our first jobs were to wash wooden chairs and dust. Then as we got older we had to wash the dishes on the side board every Saturday, then our next job was to wash windows and dishes. We all worked outside except Mama. We helped with anything or everything that was done outside. We mowed hay, raked and baled the hay -- Helped to harvest the grain, irrigate, plough the ground anything to be done outside we helped. I was considered a good milker, my brother John said I could get more foam on the milk than anyone, you have to be a fast milker to get foam on milk.

We had a dairy at one time and we would have to milk five, six or seven cows a piece night and morning. We had calves to feed and tend -- horses to feed and tend. We had to take care of the horses because they were what we made our living with and Papa was very particular about his horses, they had to fed right, they had to be fed grain, hay and water before we ate. As we got older Papa would wake Rose and I up by calling "Rose biscuits, Amy potatoes." Rose would make the biscuits and I would peel and fry the potatoes and Papa would get the meat ready and fry it for breakfast.

We had to help butcher and take care of the meat. We would butcher a beef and at nights we would hang that meat outside, in the morning that meat had to be brought in wrapped up in clean clothes then in a canvas then covered with a heavy quilt and kept in the cellar during the day. We would jerky some of the beef, put some in a big wooden barrel and make corn beef out of it. We made a salt solution with some other ingredients to cover this meat in the barrel.

We had pigs to tend to and we butchered them made ham, bacon, sausage with the pork. We raised our own beans they had to be planted, weeded, pulled, threshed and cleaned. We had our own bees we had to extract the honey from them. When Rose and I were 14, 15, 16 years old we did all the extracting our selves. Papa was busy on his ranch in the mountains. In those days we got five dollars for a case of honey two five gallons cans. Today 1981 honey sells for forty dollars for five gallons. We had to learn to make our own light bread, make our own cheese. We had to get our wood for the cook and heating stoves. Some times when we kids went for a load of wood when we came in Papa and Mama would say we had gotten a crow's nest. I guess some times we didn't get a very big load. We didn't have an electric saw to saw the mesquite trees down we had to chop them down with an ax. That was another job we had to have wood and chips in the wood box to heat and cook with. The little kids had to get the chips picked up and brought in. When Rose and I were in High School, Papa was farming his mother's farm uptown we had beans planted and before school we kids would have to go up to this farm and pull the beans then we would get ready for school out in the field, of course we had our school clothes on so we just washed our hands combed our hair and went to school. I guess we weren't too classy but we lived. Papa was very strict and when we went out to work we worked, we had so much to do and we didn't dilly dally around about it we got it done or else. Papa never spanked us he just told us.

We had a ranch in the Whetstone Mountains and we had to make frequent trips up there to check the windmills and water. My brother John and I would ride a horse up there to check we had to go through a culvert under the railroad track to get to the mountains and we were scared to death that tramp would be in that culvert but I can't remember of a tramp ever being in it. Maybe we prayed that there wouldn't be one there. We girls had to do the washing. We washed on a wash board. In those days the boys didn't have too many shirts and overalls so they got pretty dirty. We would wash a load of overalls and shirts after school. On Saturday Rose and I would wash the white clothes. They had to be rubbed on the board, put in a tub and boiled on a fire outside -- taken out of that boiling soapy water rubbed again then wrung out of that water, rinsed in a tub of clear water and then rinsed in a tub of bluing water, wrung out and hung on the clothes line to dry. This laundry had to be brought in and folded; beds made. Of course we didn't have the clothes we have now. We girls had two pair of pants to wear a week. Papa changed his underwear and overalls once a week. Maybe they didn't change their overalls that often. After we got our laundry done we had to do our Saturday cleaning -- floors had to be cleaned, scrubbed, everything moved and swept behind and dusting done. John and Melvin had one Sunday shirt so we had to get the shirts ironed for Sunday. Sometimes Rose and I would come home Friday night and wash and iron the dress we had worn to school to wear to a dance that night. Rose and I didn't have many dressed or many clothes. Rose and I use to pick corn take it to Tombstone and sell to get us our school clothes we would peddle it from house to house.

When Rose was sixteen, me fourteen years old we cooked for the men Papa had working for him on a road camp. The road camp was at Servoss, Arizona this little place was close to Pearce, Arizona. We also had a camp near Douglas, Arizona. Papa was making a new road. Papa had about twenty men working. This work was all done with horses, plows and scrapers. One week Rose and I would cook and Mama would stay home with the little kids the next week Mama would go and cook and Rose and I would take care of the things at home. When we finished this road work at Douglas before we came home, Rose and I went shopping in Douglas. We bought us a pair of high lace top shoes and a skirt and blouse. We had to pay a lot for them we thought, really it took our wages to buy them. We didn't make very high wages. Rose got a gray skirt and I got a blue one they were a poplin material. We brought our clothes home and put them in Rose's trunk she kept clothes in. We would take them out and look at them and admire them saying we would wear them the following Sunday. On the following Friday night we got into the trunk, admired our new outfit and went to bed. We really planned on being all dressed up in a new outfit Sunday. When we got up Saturday morning and looked at the trunk there was our cat she had had her kittens on our new clothes. You can just see that gray skirt, blood all over on it. I can't remember what we did with our new clothes, more than likely we washed them and they shrank all up. I can't ever remember wearing them.

Another thing that happened on this road camp was one day the men killed a great big snake and brought it into camp. Papa was laying on his bed taking a nap and Rose and I got that snake curled it up at the side of his bed on the ground. We went and got a harness and we came by Papa's tent hollering, "Whoa, Whoa," and dragging that harness. Papa thought a team was running away. Papa jumped out of bed and saw that snake, well he jumped again because he was always afraid of snakes and especially a rattle snake and he didn't know what kind of a snake it was. Well when he hit the ground and saw it was a joke the tables turned. Rose and I began to jump, we didn't know just what Papa was going to do. Papa didn't do anything, he got calmed down and was OK. We never did that trick again.

Rose and I use to set the alarm clock on a tin plate so when the alarm went off it would ring louder and wake us up. We often laugh about our cooking we often mention salmon loaf we made lots of them. We had to cook beans every day because we had lots of Mexican men to cook for. There were two boys Rose and I liked and when the men were fed and gone Rose and I would eat and we would write their names on our plates with black strap molasses and eat it with bread. We didn't get to fool around much while we were at camp we had three big meals to cook for the men we had to get up early to get breakfast ready so we went to bed early too.

We would do custom baling of hay for the people in town. We had a crew in our own family that did the work. We always had two or three men or boys live with us that needed a home and they would help us. The first job a kid had to do was ride the horses that went around and around and made the baler work, then you went to punching the wires then the next job was to tie the wires on the bale of hay. The men and boys would feed the hay to the baler he was called the feeder -- two men would pitch the hay on the table so the feeder could get the hay -- one man had to stack the baled hay or move it away from the baler. The man we were working for would put the hay where ever he wanted to store it Papa said I was a good wire tier so I had that job for a long time. Farmers use to trade work and Papa would send me to tie wires on our neighbors baling crew. When you tied wires on a baler you were the one that had the bales of hay come out the right size. You had to watch and when the feeder had put several feeds of hay in the baler and the bale was being formed, when it was almost big enough you would call out how much more hay you wanted -- some times you would call, "Feeder," that meant just one more feed of hay then he would put the wooden block in that separated the bales of hay -- or maybe you would call, "Just a straw," or "Just a hair," then he would know how much you wanted and put that amount in and then put the block in. Sometimes you would just call, "Block it." The feeder knew just what you wanted. Sometimes you would have to splice the wire on the bale because you misjudged the length of the bale. Sometimes you would have to stop the horses and tie the bale but you didn't do that very often or you would be in the dog house. You had to be on your toes all the time to keep the work a going.

We tied the bales of hay with three strands of wire.

We baled mostly alfalfa hay --

The grain was cut with a binder that tied it in bundles. We would follow the binder around the field and if the binder failed to tie a bundle of grain we had to tie the bundle up.

We would stand several of these bundles or sheaves of grain in a pile so when we hauled them in to the thresher they could load the hay rack faster also if it rained the grain wasn't ruined it would shed the water better. If it rained before we got them standing up in piles we would have to turn the bundles over so they could dry. Sometimes we would have to turn them several times. When we hauled these bundles of grain in they had to be placed on the hay rack a certain way so they wouldn't slip off. We kids had to place the bundles around when the men loaded them on the hay rack (wagon).

One time when we were on the Boquillas Ranch we had just gotten our grain all cut and a big rain came and a big flood went through our fields and washed the grain into the river, there was a big flood in the river so all our grain went down the river. This was a big loss to the folks.

When we harvested the alfalfa hay we used a mower pulled by two horses. You had to keep these horses going at a certain speed and a regular speed. The hay was mowed and left flat on the field for a day or until it was pretty dry then you raked it. This rake was pulled by two horses. The rake had a foot pedal that you would push on and it would dump the hay. You would dump this hay in rows (straight) across the field, then you would have to cock this hay, (put in small piles) we did this with a fork. Then it was ready to be placed on a hay rack and hauled out to the baler. We had men that pitched the hay on the hay rack and we kids would help to place it around on the load and tromp the hay down so we could haul a good big load. Some of the men were good to place the hay around so we didn't have to handle it too much.

One day when they threw a cock of hay on my load there was a snake in it and boy when I saw that snake I jumped off that high load of hay to the ground, the guys surely kidded me, because it was just a garden snake, but I told Papa I just as soon be bit with a snake as scared to death. Boy I am telling you you didn't go to sleep up on that load of hay you kept your eyes opened for snakes and you had to keep out of the way of the hay or you got covered up and I surely didn't want a cock of hay on top of me and maybe a snake in it.

One day, John and I was on a load of hay headed for the barn and we hit a bump the wrong way and off that hay went and we went with it, it had to be reloaded on the hay rack.

Some times we would put the hay in the barn loose. We had a big barn and we would drive to the east side of the barn and we had a big derrick fork that they would load, this fork was pulled up to the top of the barn come in contact with a trolley that would pull the fork of hay inside the barn and the man inside the barn would call out when he wanted the hay dumped, then the hay was placed where they wanted it. We had a big, big mule that we used to pull this fork up, we kids would lead the mule when the man that loaded the fork with hay was ready for us to raise the fork up, he would holler arevia, arevia that means raise it up in Spanish (I think). This fork was connected to a long rope and we would lead the mule and pull this fork up when the hay was dumped in the barn we would back the mule up and the fork would come back to be loaded again you did this over and over again until the load of hay was in the barn. When we were standing holding the reins of the mule he would raise his head up and just raise us kids right up off the ground.

This big barn we had was burned down. We were baling hay in the barn when it caught fire. One of the men smoked and we always thought that was how the fire got started. This man always said our little brother Vern started the fire. Anyway we lost the barn, baler, a room full of threshed grain, farm tools, harnesses, I guess we never ever knew all that was burned up. We had to work fast to get the horses, cows and calves out of the corral and away from the fire. We had a cement tank out by the road that was full of water and the men of the town made a bucket water brigade from this tank to the top of our house and poured this water on the top of our house to keep it from burning. The top of the house was so hot it just steamed when the water was poured on it.

When the barn burned Papa was in Patagonia, Arizona freighting. Papa was always impressed about things and he felt like something was wrong at home so he got on a horse and rode home, he got home in the middle of the night and found out what the trouble was. I guess we will never know how he must of felt when he saw that barn burned down and still smoldering. Papa said the first thing he did was to pray that his family were all safe. There were three barns built in St. David like the one we lost by fire. Uncle Joe Goodman, Uncle Johnnie Merrill and Papa had them built. Now March 3, 1982 there is one of the barns left, it is Uncle Johnnie Merrill's, Jim Judd owns this barn now. As I go up the road now called Patton Street I look at Jim Judd's barn and have many memories go through my mind.

This cement tank we had out in the front of our house and next to the road had an artesian well running into it which kept the tank full of water. (Jim our son was baptized in this tank.) It was in this tank all of we kids learned to swim. Papa would put a horse trough in the tank and we would get in this trough and Papa would give it a push if it tipped over we had to swim to get out. The tank wasn't very big it was about 20 ft X 20 ft and 4 ft deep. Gee it seemed bigger than that when we were kids. Papa said he wanted us all to learn how to swim for safety sake. The well that furnished water for this tank wasn't very big, in later years it stopped flowing. We watered our orchard we had from this tank. We had large apricot trees about eight or ten. They didn't bear fruit every year because they would get frozen but when they did bear Mama would really can, She would can in 2 qt jars. Oh! Those good apricot pies Mama would make. We also had pear trees, peach trees, plum trees. The damsel plum trees would have fruit every year. Mama canned them they were lots like cherries: surely made to good jelly and preserves could be canned as fresh fruit. The plum trees weren't very big. Mama always had me climb these trees to pick the fruit I was little and like Mama said not afraid to climb to the very top.

When we went to live on the Boquillas Ranch we rented our home here in St. David and the folks let horses in the orchard and they just ruined the peach trees.

Papa and Mama worked. Papa was always out in the fields with us when he was home. Sometimes Papa would take his teams and go freighting so it was up to the hired men and us kids to do the work on the farm.

Mama worked hard too. She had to cook for all for us. Make homemade bread - can - make cheese, homemade soap - patch. I use to tell Mama she would take a button and sew a pair of underwear on it. Mama would put patches on patches. She had to cook beans and make bread every day for the bunch. We didn't have an ice box to keep cool. Mama always raised chickens and turkeys. Mama pieced quilts. I have seen her wash gunny sacks and put between the quilts for bats she didn't have any cotton bats. She pieced the quilts out of old overalls or old wool pieces. Mama was always busy.

We never went to bed hungry or slept cold.

The folks would buy a ton of flour and store it in a corner of the bed room - we always had sacks of beans we raised these beans - the bought potatoes by the hundred pounds. As I told you before we always had fried potatoes for breakfast with fried meat, hot biscuits and gravy.

Mama would strip the fat off the guts of the beef we killed and make soap out of it.

We had a big fruit orchard - the apricot trees were very big. We would get a crop about every seven years - they would get frozen - but when we hot fruit Mama canned quarts and quarts of fruit. She canned in two quart jars. Mama planted a few rows of corn in the orchard and we watered the corn with buckets of water.

Mama made cheese. We made it in a tub on the wood stove. Mama didn't color the cheese she sold it to the Mexican people in Tombstone ad Benson. I have taken Mama to Tombstone and Benson to sell stuff. She would have some wheat in little jars to sell - when we had corn she sold it too - Mama made lots of mustard pickles - we ate lots of mustard pickles with beans. We ate beans every day - bean sandwiches was our school lunch - tied up in a news paper - they were good - we use to trade our bean sandwiches to our friend for a lard sandwich - lard with salt and pepper - no lettuce on sandwich. Those days.

When we lived on the Boquillas Farm u in Curtis Flat we had a man a geologist stay with us. They had found a petrified mastodon up on Dode Curtis' ranch. Which was just east of the Boquillas ranch. This man worked digging out this mastodon for about three months so he roomed and boarded with us. I think he gave the folks thirty dollars. Papa didn't want to take it but the man Mr. McGuire insisted. They also found a big turtle about three feet wide up at the same place. Mr. McGuire said this mastodon had come for a drink got in this mud hole and couldn't get out, the mastodon was just standing up. We don't know how many years ago these animals lived in this area. This mastodon and turtle are in the Smithsonian at Washington, D.C. Esker and I saw them when we were at Washington, D.C. It tells where they were found, and about St. David.

This Boquillas Ranch was owned by a company called the Boquillas Land and Cattle Company. This Boquillas land and Cattle Company owned lots of land around St. David, they also had lots of cattle. This company had bout thirty cow boys working for them around close to St. David. These cow boys were friends of Papa's. They would come to our place to eat, not all at one time but sometimes two or three. We use to say Papa would go out to the road and wait for someone to come by so he could invite them into eat. Mama always had plenty cooked so that she could feed a few extra.

When this Boquillas Cattle Co. would have their round ups Papa would help them, sometimes he would take us to their camp and we would eat with them. The name of their cook was Bill Smith and boy could he cook. It was really a treat to eat with them, biscuits, steak, and gravy and potatoes.

When we would have our 4th and 24th of July celebrations these cow boys always came to the celebration, they always came to our place to get ready and to eat. Mama would cook for days preparing for these celebrations. Papa was in charge of most of these celebrations especially the rodeos and the barbecues. They would barbecue at our place the night of the 3rd of 23rd of July. They would barbecue on an open pit. The barbecue had to be turned and basted with a sauce they would make. It took all night to get it cooked. Town people would come down the night of the 3rd and 23rd and some would bring pot luck and Frank Sabin always made a mulligan stew or the real name was (son of a bitch) and we would have a big feed and program. About 1 a.m. the party would be over and just a few men would stay to finish the job.

For the rodeo Papa would bring his cattle from the Whetstone Mountains where his ranch was. Papa used these cattle for the rodeo. Local men and the Boquillas cow boys did the roping and calf bull dogging or whatever they do at a rodeo. Sometimes they had bucking horses to ride. Sometimes some of the cattle would get injured or lost but Papa took it on the chin. Papa was out for a good time and liked to see other people have fun too.

For the barbecues the Boquillas Cattle Company would furnish the meat usually two beefs. People from Benson and Tombstone would join St. David in the celebration. If it was around election time a lot of the men running for office would come to the celebration to do some politicking.

We always had a program in the morning and when we came out of the program around noon the street would be lined with the Spanish people from Benson. The barbecue as free so there were always plenty of people there to get it. When the Boquillas Cattle Company sold out we would have to buy the beef that was barbecued so they had to charge for the barbecue so this kind of cleared out some of the people that just came for barbecue.

After Papa sold his ranch and cattle and moved to Tucson in 1934 they didn't have many rodeos and not too much celebration.

When we had these big celebrations we would have a kids dance. I can remember my cousin Morten Goodman and myself dancing and going around and around the big wood stove in the middle of the church where we held all programs and parties. We moved the chairs to the side of the hall and there the dances for kids and grown people were held. The school used the church for their dances, parties and plays. There was usually a dance every Friday night. This was all the entertainment we had. Two or three times a year we would have a 3 act play sponsored by the Mutual Improvement Association (M.I.A.) of the church. We had dance managers at the dances you had to dance respectable or they would tell you to leave the floor. We didn't gave much trouble. When we had big dances on the 4th, 24th and May Day the boys would have numbers and they would have the men with the numbers from one to say sixty dance then the next time sixty to a hundred would dance. Girls were quite popular because there were more boys than girls. The girls would get to dance nearly every dance.

We would have Sunday school at 10 a.m. church at 2 p.m. After church the young people would go to one of the homes and make ice cream or honey candy. One of the kids would bring some eggs, another sugar, another milk and so on to make the ice cream - we had good times all of us together. We didn't have movies to go to, we had to make our own entertainment. Aunt Lizzie Merrill (Mama's sister) played the organ and Uncle Jim Christenson played the violin and that was the music we had for the dances. We all had a good time young and old danced together. The parents would take their children to the dance with them, they would make them a bed on the stage and you stayed there and went to sleep. No one danced until they were about fourteen years old. The kids had their kid dances as I told before.

We had other entertainment too. In the summer time a group of families would take their families in their wagon and we would go to the mountains and hunt (gather) acorns and black walnuts climb the mountains and camp out for a few days.

One thing our family did was to go broom tail (wild horse) chasing. There were lots of wild horses up by the mountains and people would catch them some of them they sold and some of them made good saddle horses and some good horses to use in their buggies. We had several horses that were real good buggy horses, they could trot, pace, gallop, whatever speed you wanted to go.

Papa homesteaded a ranch in the Whetstone mountains in 1917. We spent a lot of time up on this ranch improving it. Sometimes Papa, Mama and little kids stayed at the ranch and we older kids held the farm down we did what had to be done.

One time on a wild horse chase Papa put John on a hill with a horse and Rose and I on another hill with two horses. These horses were for the men chasing the wild horses. When they came our way they would stop and get a fresh horse and leave their tired horse with us to rest then maybe in a little while someone else would come by and leave their horse and take a rested horse. We had waited on this hill this one morning and no one came by. Soon we heard John calling us he motioned for Rose and I to come where he was, we went because we thought we should, when we got there he said, "Did Papa tell you to stay there?" Well you can believe Rose and I didn't waste any time getting back to our post. Lucky for us no one came by for a fresh horse while we were gone.

One time Rose and I went deer hunting with Papa and Frank Sabin in the Whetstone mountains. We had three horses and a Burro we rode. When we went up the mountain Rose said you ride the burro (donkey) up and I will ride it down so that is what we did. Coming down we came down a real steep mountain and Rose went right over the donkeys head and rolled down the mountain. We had a good laugh but Rose didn't think it was very funny. Rose and I wore our shoes out on this hunt and Papa had to wrap gunny sacks around our feet for shoes. We didn't get a deer.

Frank Sabin had a homestead or ranch next to Papa - they worked together. Frank could sure make good biscuits (Dutch oven) and fry good rabbit. We loved to go and eat with him.

When I finished High School I went to Tucson to work. I had a good job with a family named Romine, they had two children a boy five years old and a girl two and a half years old. They were nice to work for she had the days planned what I was to do. I got up at six a.m. and got the front part of the house clean before the family got up. Mrs. Romine had the meals planned and the page in the cook book I would find the receipt of different things she wanted me to cook. I could go out in the p.m. and evening. Many nights I would go and stay all night with Rose and Alfred. I worked here for the summer then Rose and Alfred left Tucson and I quit my job and went home too. I didn't think I could stay in Tucson if Rose wasn't there. The Romines wanted me to stay and go to the University and they would cut my work down. They liked me and the kids liked me too but I didn't think I could stay.

I went to Bisbee to stay with Margaret my sister. I worked in Bisbee for Mrs. Freeman. They had a store I worked in it and did house work too. They were nice to work for. While I was working here I stayed with Margaret and Farrel at nights. I could help Margaret too, she had Bob and Ray and was pregnant with Clara. We had lots of fun together Farrel was just like a father to me he was really good we all had lots of fun together.

While I was here I met Esker. Esker worked in the mines with Farrel. I wasn't too fond of Esker at first. Esker and his brother Curt went on a trip to Texas and while they were there Esker wrote me a letter and called me his girlfriend it didn't set very good with me.

I went to work for Roscol Lofgreen's wife who had a new baby. One day Margaret, Farrel, Roscol & wife and myself went to a show when we came out of the show we met Curt and he said did you get our letter? I said I got Esker's letter and you can tell him I am not his girlfriend, in a minute Esker came up and my heart went pitty pat. I fell in love with him right then. He came up to see me once in a while. Esker took sick and Margaret had him to come up to their place and we took care of him. I would go to work in the day time. It was while he was up here that Esker fell in love with me.

I was working for a family by the name of Freeman. They owned a store on the corner of curve street and Tombstone Canyon. I did house work and worked in the store too. Just about a block from them going west on Tombstone Canyon was Mrs. Freeman's sister Mrs. Moore they owned a store too, once in a while I would go up and help Mrs. Moore. I enjoyed working at this place (Freeman's) they thought I was a good worker. We were friends always after this. Esker and I bought a old wood cook stove from them when we moved in our home above the barber shop - we also bought groceries from Freeman and Moores. We were buying groceries from Moores when Esker retired from the barber shop (1967 or 66) - Freeman had moved away years before we retired and both Mr. & Mrs. Freeman were dead - you might say we traded with Moores for forty years. I was working for Freeman's when Esker came up to Margarets and Farrels sick. Esker had what they called quinsey (real bad sore throat) they couldn't get the blade of a knife between his teeth, he couldn't open his mouth his throat was so bad. Doctor French pried his mouth open and lanced his throat. Esker stayed up at Margarets for over a week. Esker and Curt were batching at this time.

While I worked for Freeman I could help Margaret too. Margaret was pregnant with Clara her third child.

We had lots of fun together. Farrell was just like a father to me. I quit my job at Freemans and helped Margaret. At this time Feb. 1924 Margaret and Farrell lived up Tombstone Canyon, on the hill across from Locklin Ave. About April 1924 they moved to Bakerville Ariz. This was in the Bisbee District about four miles east of Bisbee. I helped them move. Margaret and I made some shelves in the kitchen with a butcher knife and hammer. We did a good job. It was here in Bakerville that Clara was born - I was with Margaret when Clara was born I stayed and helped her for a while. When Margaret was up and around then mothers stayed in bed ten days with a new baby - we did our laundry on a wash board no washing machine. Farrell was good to help, he would help wash the overalls and carry and dump the wash water.

After Esker stayed with Margaret and Farrell when he was sick we stared going together.

It was Feb. 10, 1925 that I saw Esker at the show and knew I liked him. On Feb. 21, 1925 Esker and I went for a ride that was our first date, it was after this date Esker came to Margaret’s sick. Time went on and on the 29th of June 1925 we were engaged. Esker got my engagement ring from Mr. Kruger's store up the Gulch. At this time Esker and Curt his brother had a Studebaker car together. Esker was to have it one night and Curt one night, but it didn't always turn out that way. Curt would have it most of the time, finally Esker had enough of Curt and the car so they sold the Studebaker and Curt bought a Dodge Roadster and Esker a Dodge touring car. Esker didn't buy the Dodge for a while after he sold the Studebaker, he use to walk from Lowell where he lived to Bakerville where I lived with Margaret to see me it was about a mile.

At this time I was working for a family in Warren, their name was Whittnaw, he was the superintendent of the Phelps Dodge Concentrator. They were very good to me it was a nice place to work. I worked five or six hours a day here six days a week. There were three in the family - husband, wife and son.

Sometimes they would have a big party at night and I would go back in the evening and serve. They always paid me extra. Some of the people that came to their parties would hire me to come to their parties to serve there. I made a dollar a day.

When I worked at night time and Esker didn't have a car he would walk to Warren and wait in the park for me to get off work and we would walk home. After he got his car he would meet me in the car.

Esker and I use to take Margaret and Farrell and kids with us lots. People in town thought Esker was going with a widow who had two kids because we always had Margarets kids (boys) Bob and Ray with us.

When I first started to go with Esker I was afraid Papa would make me come home because Esker wasn't a member of the church and the folks didn't know him.

Margaret, Farrell and family and Esker and I went to St David often. Esker took us in his car.

Esker joined the church Nov. 7, 1925 and became a strong member in the church. He was converted to the gospel by the faithful work of Elder Herman Bjork a missionary. Of course I talked to him about the church we would study together. Margaret and Farrell were good examples and helped to convert him. They thought lots of Esker.

Esker's folks didn't object to Esker joining the church - they were very good people. Ma and Pa they boys called them. Ma and I enjoyed each other, she was lots of fun. Pa was kind of a sober man --

Esker joined the L.D.S. church or was baptized 7 Nov. 1925 in the Bisbee Ward Chapel 315 Tombstone Canyon by Herman Bjork. Confirmed 7 Nov. 1925 by Herman Bjork. Confirmed in Aaronic Priesthood Feb. 8, 1926 by Charles N. McRae. Ordained an Elder 21 Oct. 1926 by James E Crook a missionary.

Esker and I were married Feb. 4, 1926 by Alvin E. Miller a missionary. We were married in the Bisbee Chapel about 8 p.m. Elder Dunn from Canada and Charles N. McRae were the witnesses.

We weren't to be married on this date but the kids in St. David were really going to chivaree us. I was at home in St. David and we planned on being married at St. David, but when I found out what they planned on doing to us, I caught the bus and went to Bisbee and met Esker at the mines when he got off work and told him what the kids were going to do so we decided we would go to Tombstone, Ariz. and get our licenses and get married. We had to really hurry because it was about 20 miles to Tombstone. Esker had to borrow money from the cleaner in Johnson Addition to get the licenses. We just got to the court house in Tombstone in time to get our licenses, then we went on back to Bisbee hunted up the missionaries and got married at 8 p.m. The missionaries lived at the church at this time. Elder Miller said, we needed another witness besides Elder Dunn so we were wondering who we were going to get when Charles N. McRae walked in the church house so Elder Miller said there's your other witnesses so that's what happened. We were married in the L.D.S. Church in Bisbee Ariz. Feb. 4, 1926 8 p.m. - we went to Johnson Addition and told his folks then on to Bakerville and told Margaret and Farrell. Johnson Addition is the town between Bisbee and Lowell - Bakerville is a town between Lowell and Warren.

We stayed all night at Hotel Warner in Bisbee. The next morning we got up, Esker got his check from the mine office then we went to Tucson - we stopped at St. David to see my folks before going to Tucson. As I said before Esker had to borrow some money from the cleaner to get our licenses and to pay for our Hotel room. We paid the cleaner back when Esker got his check and from that day to now April 21, 1982 we have never been broke or borrowed money.

We stayed all night in Tucson Ariz. we stayed in the Lewis Hotel on Broadway, the next morning we bought groceries to set up housekeeping. We went back to Bisbee and stayed a few days with Margaret and Farrell until Mrs. Pinteck fixed an apartment for us. The apartment was on the same street in Bakerville as Margaret and Farrell lived on. This apartment was small just a bed room and a real small kitchen, outside toilet. We had to bathe in a wash tub of course Esker took his shower at the mine. I did my laundry on a wash board.

I quit working for the Whittnaws to get married. Mrs. Whittnaw came to see me several times to try to get me to come and work for her but I never went back there to work we were good friends we visited each other.

A short time after we were married Esker decided he would like to be a barber so I decided to go to work at the Ozark Boarding house up Brewery Gulch - I started to work here around the first of April worked to the last of September 1926. I worked for our board and room. I stared cleaning rooms and washing dishes. I soon was put to waiting tables. Mrs. Clements was my boss she was nice to work for she soon thought I was pretty good she would give me lots of responsibilities she said she could trust me. We worked hard saved our money, paid our car off. We saved enough money so Esker decided to go to barber school in Los Angeles. Esker quit the mines Oct. 5, 1926 and we left Bisbee, we went to St. David and stayed there a few weeks. While we were at St. David Esker helped to tear down our old house, the folks were going to build a new house.

We had a rain storm while at St. David, it rained for several days. At this time we really had a flood down the San Pedro River. It washed out Hereford Bridge, Palaminos Bridge, Fairbanks Bridge, St. David Bridge, Pomerene Bridge. It didn't wash out the Railroad Bridge at Benson - people could walk across it. Here at St. David people would ford the river after the water went down. My brother John made a little money pulling peoples cars across the river with his horses. Some people would get stuck and he would have to pull them out and across the river, he would be there with his team of horses if people wanted him to pull them across. Some people wouldn't try to go across by themselves, others would try and get stuck.

We left St. David to go to Salt Lake City to go through the Salt Lake Temple and get our endowments and to be sealed. It took us five days to go to Lehi Utah, which was about seven miles from Salt Lake City. The reason we stopped here was there was a missionary from Lehi laboring in Bisbee, he was to our place a lot and he wanted us to go to his home and stay with his folks and his mother would go to the Temple with us, this is what we did, they treated us real nice. They were so happy we had been nice to their son missionary. This missionary's name was Raymond Stewart. We stayed one night with them the next day we went to the Temple, sister Steward went with us. Sr. Stewart and Esker and I stayed with sister Steward's daughter in Salt Lake one night. I did some washing here and hung it out and when I went to get them they were covered with cool dust oh I was mad.

We went through the Temple Oct. 29, 1926. It was a wonderful experience.

We toured Salt Lake took in all the sights and Historical places, Salt Air, Capital Building, Tabernacle, Museum we had a nice time here.

I must say on our way to Salt Lake we had to cross the Colorado River, there wasn't a bridge across the River so we had to cross on a Ferry at Lee's Ferry - it was at this point when my folks on Papa's and Mama's side crossed the Colorado River when they came to Ariz. from Utah. Papa's family crossed in 1879 and Mama's folks in 1882.

We arrived in the Los Angel Calif. era Nov. 4, 1926 a place called Home Gardens. We had friends here Milton and Metta Marks, they invited us to stay with them until we could find a house. We stayed with the Marks for two weeks, then we moved to a little five room house at 9514 San Gabriel St. This was a new home the man had been called on a mission for the church he was a widower, the Relief Society of the church in Home Gardens was responsible for renting it so we rented it.

Esker started to Barber School American Barber College on 5th St. in Los Angeles Nov. 6, 1926. Esker would leave home about 6 a.m. catch the bus for school and didn't get home until 9 p.m. This was a long lonesome day for me and I was scared too. I wasn't only scared I was afraid. This was my first time to be this far away from home and I was homesick and lonely. The Marks were very good to us they didn't have a car so we would load them they had two little girls and we would all go to the beach and take in all the sights and rides. We had some nice times together. We also had another family friend the Matthews (Nettie Miller of St. David) they were so good to me they would come and get me in the day time and show me around. I don't know if I could of taken it out there without these friends. I would help them every way I could.

I got me a job in a home to help pay expenses I would work about six hours a day.

This was my first Christmas away from home. Mama and Margaret sent me or us Christmas presents. Mama sent a suet pudding and a cooked turkey. Just think a cooked turkey sent in the mail. We ate it, it didn't make us sick, boy you wouldn't do that now (December 1982) we know we would get poisoned I guess the Lord protected us in those days. I would get a package out of the mail box and run all the way home and open it then I would go out back of the garage and cry. I was turned around in California and I would say if I only knew which way to look toward home I would be happier. Boy I kept that house clean when I wasn't working out I would clean and polish that house - the furniture shinned and windows didn't have a spot on them.

Esker had always cut hair in Texas for his friends he would put them on the wagon tongue and cut their hair. It didn't take Esker long to finish his college training. We got word there was a barber shop for sale in the Bisbee district so we left Home Gardens and started for Bisbee, Ariz. We arrived in Bisbee Feb. 10, 1927.

We went to my sister & husbands home. (Margaret & Farrell) When we got to Bisbee the shop had been sold so Esker started back to work in the mines he worked about two months I got my job back at the Boarding House where I worked before we went to Calif. I worked for our board and room.

The place I worked up Brewery Gulch was called the Ozark Boarding House the people I worked for was the Clements. Mrs. Clements got sick and had to leave Bisbee for a while, while she was gone her husband got drunk and fired his help the men all left and went to the Sunset Boarding House and they got us girls a job at this boarding house. These people's name were the Haygreens, so we worked here. Mrs. Clements was a wonderful person to work for she thought I was tops and I really liked her too. When she came home from California where she went for treatments I would go see her. They didn't run the boarding house then.

I worked for the Haygreens for some time I worked until Oct. 1927. I was pregnant with Jim and didn't feel very good so I stopped working steady. Mrs. Haygreen would come to get me to help her on pay days. I would take care of the money the men paid in on Pay day. If Mrs. Haygreen wanted to go some place she would come to get me to take care of the business.

We heard about the Tombstone Canyon Barber Shop was for sale it was at 318 Tombstone Canyon. We decided to buy the shop we bought it about 21 Apr. 1927. We paid three hundred and seventy five dollars for the business and furniture in the shop. We paid $25.00 a month rent for the building.

(We paid $25.00 a month rent to the Bank for the shop - September 7, 1928 we started to pay Mr. John Quill for the whole house - Mr. Quill had bought the property and he sold us the house - we finished paying for the house in 193 - I quit work at the Boarding house Oct. 1927 - we fixed up three rooms above the Barber Shop to live in - There were two other rooms up stairs and we rented them to the shoe maker. The shoe maker Mr. Charley Smith had a shoe shop down stairs next to the Barber Shop - Later years, Wesley owned the shop this is the shoe maker that our kids remember.)

(We paid $25.00 a month for the rent of Barber Shop. We paid rent to the Bank. September 7, 1928 we started to buy the place from John Quill - we paid $15.00. We finished paying John Quill Aug. 18, 1930 - we bought the farm at St. David - Aug. 31, 1931 from Papa and Mama. We paid one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) a little short of 10 acres - My brother Vern was going on a mission and we bought the farm so the folks could have money to send him.)

There were three rooms above the Barber Shop so we fixed these rooms up for us to live in. There was a rooming house being torn down close to our place and the lady was selling the furniture. We bought a dresser for 50 cents, a wash stand for 25 cents. I think Aunt Margaret gave us a bed. We bought an old wood stove from Mrs. Freeman the lady I worked for before Esker and I were married. We paid three dollars for it. It was really an old one but it worked. The floor was wood. In the kitchen there was an old linoleum on the floor the pattern was all worn off of it, it was a dark brown color. Every time anyone would come in from outside you could tract them right across the floor. Just as soon as they left I would mop the floor. I would just scrub the wood floors in the other part of the house. There was only one entrance into the house and that was in the kitchen. There was a sink in the kitchen no cupboard - we bought a little wood table and someone gave us a few chairs. Esker made a few shelves for our dishes. We didn't have much furniture but we really had the bed bugs. They didn't like Esker but they really liked me. It was a morning job fighting bed bugs and trying to get rid of them. I wanted so much to get rid of them before we had our baby. There was another apartment on the other side of our apartment and they didn't do anything to get rid of the bed bugs so it was a big job. (Jim's birth)

When Jim was born we bought him a bed from Aunt Lizzie Merrill, Mama's sister. We put the legs of Jim's bed in cans of water with some coil oil in it so the bed bugs couldn't crawl up the legs. The bed bugs like Jim so they would crawl on the ceiling and drop on him. When he would cry out we knew one had bitten him so we would get up to find it. Big welts would come where they had bitten him. The bites didn't hurt like a bee sting the just itched.

We bought the house Sept. 7, 1928 so we could do with it what we wanted to do. At this time there was a man by the name of Charley Smith that rented the apartment on the other side of us and he also had a shoe shop down stairs next to Esker's barber shop we rented these places to him for some time.

When Jim was 4 years old - 1932 we took the whole house to live in. We tore all the wall paper off the walls all he wood siding off the walls started remodeling the house and got rid of the bed bugs. We had a kitchen, dining room, front room, and two small bedrooms. We worked for years on the place, put hard wood floors in all the rooms, built another room over the garage made it a bed room - we made one big bed room and closets and hall out of the two small bed rooms. Made a wash room off of the back porch.

The back porch floor was rotten when I was pregnant with Jim I went through the floor of he porch so we made a cement floor on the back porch - there was a little hill in the back yard and when it would rain the water would run off the hill on to the back porch - also water would run down into the room back of the barber shop - Esker built a wall on the back porch to keep the water off. They also dug the hill down in the backyard. Esker's father dug some of the hill down. When Eskers mother and father stayed with us and helped to dig the back yard down we only had the three little rooms. Esker's dad we called Pa and his mother we called Ma. To sleep Ma and Pa slept on our mattress on the floor and Esker and I slept on the springs. Esker's mother and father were staying with us then. We didn't have very good soil in the back yard it was so rocky the rocks were so big they couldn't be dug out. Esker kind of terraced the back yard. I could raise some flowers there in these terraces. We had three levels to the back yard. On the west side of the house and on the bottom level we had three apricot trees. I watered these trees from my wash water I could siphon it down to them. We got some nice apricots from these trees.

When we first moved into this home we had to climb a hill to get up to our back yard. When Jim was about 4 years old they made cement steps up the hill to our back porch and then on up the hill to the next street. The city built the steps. In late years they put a railing along the side of the steps. Our house was located at 318 Tombstone Canyon.

When we remodeled the house we had three entrances off the back porch into the house - one went into the dinning room, one into the kitchen and one into the wash house.

For many years the person who had the shoe shop and the people that rented the apartment before we took the whole house had to use our bath room - there was only a toilet in the bath room - we had to bathe in a laundry tub for years.

Later on we built a bath room in the back of the shoe shop and the shoe maker didn't have to use our toilet.

After the shoe maker sold out his business we had an art studio in the room where the shoe shop was this was about 1956. Then we had an Insurance man in there.

Jim was born 3 May 1928 up Quarry Canyon (Bisbee) in Aunt Margaret & Uncle Farrell's home. Dr. Moon came up to see me in the morning left and came back about noon and stayed until Jim was born about 4 p.m. - Everything went OK - I stayed in bed ten days then I stayed for a week after I got up with Margaret. She took good care of us - Margaret and Farrell were just like a mother and dad to me - of course I thought there never had been a cuter or prettier baby born than Jim - Jim was a clean baby he could of wear a dress all week he never did throw up like some kids he was always neat too - everything had to be just right.

I kept him in white for a long time. Jim was bald headed and every one that passed by would rub his head. People at church thought he was about it, he was a church baby. Everyone liked him. Jim liked to work - he would build the fire in the wood stove when he was 5 years old - he loved his dad. He loved to get in bed and talk.

Aunt Margaret had Bob - Roy and Clara and they loved Jim too - he spent lots of time at Aunt Margaret’s place (Moca) as Jim called her - if we weren't at Margaret’s place they were at our place -

We lived in the three rooms until Jim was about 4 years old. Our bed and Jim's bed, a dresser was the furniture we had in the bed room. In one corner of the bed room we had a curtain hung up and that was our clothes closet. There was a door that went out of the bed room on to the front porch - now our house was built on a hill the back porch was on the level but the front porch was ten or twelve feet from the ground. The street, main street, Tombstone Canyon was right in front of our place or Esker's barber shop. He would go out of his front door onto a porch then two steps down and he was on the side walk. Where we lived was above his Barber Shop and shoe shop. When I had dinner ready I would stomp on the floor (Kitchen floor) three times. If I needed him some time I would stomp on the bed room floor which was above his shop. If he wasn't busy he would come out side in front outside in front of shop and I would go out on the front porch and call down to him what I wanted.

The John Quills lived across the street from us they were 317 Tombstone Canyon. Her name was Gertrude they had two sons Jim and Fred. We were neighbors all the time we were in Bisbee. They were wonderful people. Mr. Quill John died about 1964 Esker was good to help Mrs. Quill when he could - they were good to us also.

You couldn't get off this front porch, you went out onto the porch through a door out of the bed room - we put a three foot lumber wall around this porch and above the wall a two foot chicken wire fence so no one could fall off. When the kids wee little they could play out on this porch. It was a nice cool place to sit out on in the summer time.

Down stairs back of Esker's barber shop was a room - it was nice and cool here - this is where I kept my canned food - this is where the hot water tank was - this hot water tank served for the family up stairs and Esker's Barber shop. It wasn't automatic we would have to turn it on and off. When I was going to use a lot of water up stairs I would stomp on the floor and tell Esker and he would light it, it was necessary for Esker to have hot water because he gave lot of shaves, twenty five cents a shave. Later years we bought an automatic water heater it was still down stairs.

When we bought the house there was a rap door in the kitchen floor and steps that went down into this back room back of Esker's barber shop we closed it up didn't use it very long.

When we were first married and up until Jim was a baby I did my washing up at Margaret's place. They lived on Quarry Canyon. By this time Margaret and Farrell had bought a Maytag washing machine not automatic. We would wash together I could help Margaret and she helped me. I would wash Jim's diaper out at home every day. Jim's diapers were made out of 100 # (one hundred pound) flour sacks - but they were as white as snow. Sacks cost 5 cents each. Flour sacks made good diapers because they really absorbed the water. We didn't know anything about pampers. We used cloth diapers and rubber pants. You had to keep the baby dry or they would really get sore and that would be a disgrace.

Soon after Jim was born we bought a washer. I washed on the back porch we hadn't made the wash house yet.

We used coal to heat Esker's shop and to burn in the old cook stove up stairs. We used this cook stove for heat upstairs too. We might say we lived in the kitchen. When we took the whole house about 1932 we bought a used gas stove for the kitchen, put a gas heater in the front room. Esker had a gas heater down stair now, 1932. We had Jim help build the fires in the wood stove when he was little before we got the gas stove. Jim was a good worker always wanted to help - very independent wanted to do for himself.

After Papa died we fixed up the old shoe shop room and Mama would stay in this room when she came to our place to stay a while. We called it Mama's room - I fixed Mama a bed and I had a bed I slept there with her. Mama couldn't climb the steps. I would fix our eats and I would eat dinner and supper with her. Esker usually ate up stairs. Esker would visit with Mama when he wasn't busy - he was good to Mama he liked her very much. Mama really liked Esker. I would take some of my hand work I was doing down to Mama's room to work on -

Mama was a widow now, Papa died Dec. 10, 1959 - after this Mama stayed with her children, right at first after Papa died Mama would go to the slaughter pen in the day time and stay. Our brother Vern was running the slaughter pen Mama's house was about a hundred yards from the slaughter house. Vern would check on her in the day time then she would go to one of the kids place at nights. Rose lived in Tucson then, Mama had a car, Rose would drive it and take Mama where she needed to go. Mama lived three years after Papa died her last years she lived with the kids. Mama was with me when she had her last sick spell. We came from Bisbee to St. David she was having a lot of pain she said she thought I should take her to Benson Hospital to see Doctor Max Kartchner - he checked her, he told me he thought it was a terminal case. I called the brothers and sisters and they thought I should take her to Tucson to her doctor who had been treating her for years. We put her in the Tucson Medical Hospital. Mama always was afraid to stay in the hospital. I told her we wouldn't leave her alone a minute night or day and we didn't; some of her children stayed with her every minute. Mama was in the hospital about a week when she passed away. Vern and Ethel were with her when she passed away - Mama passed away June 11, 1963.

My first church job was in Bisbee Branch Sunday School. I taught with a Sister Stringer. At the time I was working at the Ozark Boarding and Rooming house. We would go to Sunday School at 10 a.m. I would come home and finish my work.

When Jim was about five and a half months old I was a counselor to Sister Emmaline McBride in the Primary (Bisbee), then I was put in as the President of Primary when the McBrides left Bisbee. Our Branch was small and we had to have several church jobs at one time. When Jim was a baby Esker and I was at the church nearly every night of the week to meetings. When I was Primary President I was Secretary of Relief Society. I was Primary President two different times. 1929 - 1939 -

I was a Relief society teacher all my married life.

I was a teacher in Primary different times.

I was Sunday School teacher in Bisbee and St. David.

I was Relief Society Secretary several times.

I was a Relief Society counselor two different times.

I was Relief Society President 1938 -

I was Secretary in the Stake Primary - also a counselor - also a teacher.

I was President of the Southern Arizona Stake Primary from Dec. 21, 1959 to Nov. 1964 -

I was a teacher in the Stake Sunday School.

I was a Bee Hive teacher in the Stake Mutual.

I was Mutual President in Bisbee.

I was put in as a Sunday School teacher in the Benson Ward. Jan. 7, 1979 -

I was St. David Second Ward Relief Society Welfare Leader for a year -

I feel I was a failure when I was a teacher in the Benson ward Sunday School - I never did get the love and respect of some of the pupils.


  1. I am working on my own family history blog and found yours while searching for stories about Grandma Amy:) I posted it on mine giving you credit and posting the link...not exactly sure how all to do that, but let me know if I ought to do more. Thanks:)

  2. I am working on my own family history blog and found yours while searching for stories about Grandma Amy:) I posted it on mine giving you credit and posting the link...not exactly sure how all to do that, but let me know if I ought to do more. Thanks:)