Big changes have come to — all content is now read-only, and member subscriptions and the Shop have been discontinued.
Learn more

Home Page |Surname List |Index of Individuals |InterneTree |Sources


Margaret Metheny


 Includes NotesNotes for MARGARET LOUISE DEVORE:
Margaret Louise DeVore was born January 22, 1919, Tabor, Iowa, in the front downstairs bedroom of Grandpa and Grandma's house. Attending was Dr. McKebrict ,and nurse A. Ralston.
Six weeks old taken to Custer, Nebraska to see great grandparents Mr and Mrs. G. M. Childs. She was their first great grandchild. A week later she and Mother returned to Homestead in Wyoming," her father having come ahead." ( from notes made by Mother
. October, 1919 Family moved to the "Chamber Place," our home.
Winter, 1921 Spent in Tabor, IA. Father taught in Tabor High School--Math and German.
November 15, 1919,
September 1922 Recited four line pieces for Literary Society that me in school houses.
November 15, 1922 Evelyn born at Grandpa's, same place as I.
November 7, 1922
Christmas 1923 8 line pieces at Literary Society.
Winter 1924, Winter in Tabor, attended school at Hepzibah Faith school.
December, 1924 "Left after dinner Christmas day and drove to Blockton, IA for funeral of George's grandfather, John Arthur West Was buried December 26. We (Mother, Father, Margaret and Evelyn ) drove down in car."--Mother's notes.
March 29, 1925 Velma born same room at Grandpa Morehead's as Evelyn and I.
Fall 1925--Spring 1926 1st and 2nd grade in Sacajawea School in Wyoming. Nelle Joneson, teacher.
Margaret has two bibles: one given to her and the other to Evelyn on December 25, 1928 from "Grandfather Devore"
Five girls in first and second grade and 1 boy in 7th grade, Charles Barcley.
1929 June We as a family went to Iowa, Chicago and John Fletcher College. Visited Aunt Ruth in her dorm. Determined "I am going to college some day."
1932, February Entered Washington Bicentennial Speech Contest 2nd place in District 7. Did not place later in country contest.
June 29, 1931 Elvin Junior born in Gillette Hospital, Aunt Ruth Morehead spent the summer with us.
April 15, 1933 Placed first in District Oratorical Contest. Aunt Ruth Morehead, my teacher.
May 12, 1933 Placed second in oratory contest in county.
September, 1933 Entered Campbell County High School. Melba Miller and I had a bedroom-kitchen privileges at Hunters Went home on weekends.
November 1934 First place in oratory.
May 1934 4-H Club, president.
August 24 -26, 1934 4-H Camp in Buffalo. Evelyn and I gave a demonstration. Won first place, Laramie.
September - May 1934 Evenly and I roomed and boarded at Mrs. Sayles. Also, there, two Vanderhaydens, Merle and Fern.
November 19 Oratorical Contest, 1st place.
December 15 District Speech contest, oratory 2nd place.
February 7, 1935 Went to Casper and debated. Won. Sam Gilstrap and I affirmative.
February 14-15 Debate in Buffalo. Naomi Kitchen and I debated non-decision. Gained points for National Forensic League. Stayed in Western Hotel. Naomi and I won our debate.
May 13 Excellence from NFL in Assembly.
May 13-14 Wrote and gave "Tribute to Mothers."-- Girls Club and Women Auxiliary in Gillette.
Aug 6, 1935 Grandpa DeVore died.
Aug 24 Evelyn won the county 4-H Demo, so could go to state
September 1935-36 Evelyn and I had a two- room apartment for school with Maimee Pearson.
September 15-19, 1936 Laramie - Ohio State University for 4-H Camps, toured capitol at Cheyenne. Gave our demonstration on 17th.
November 25 First place in oratorical and original oratory, 2nd place.
December 6-7 Newcastle District Speech Contest, placed 1st original, 2nd oratory.
December 20-30, 1935 Grandpa and Grandma Moreheads, Paige, Neb. Grandpa was serving a church in Paige and we spent Christmas with them. Aunt Eunice was there and planning her wedding which was to be in the spring.
December 30 - Tabor, Iowa
January 3, 1936 - Jan 7 Paige, Neb.
February 14 - 15 Buffalo. Lost debate ( Val Anderson and I.)
March 6 Buffalo at Gillette, won debate (Jean and I).
March 20, 21 Sheridan, won debate
April 24-26 Speech contest at Ft. Collins. Stayed in Hotel near University. Didn't place While there Austin Allison who was the son of my father's first cousin, her father was Grandpa DeVore's brother Jim, came to the hotel and took me in his car to meet his boss who was president of the bank where he worked and a schoolmate of Daddy's . Austin took me around the area. I had met his sister in Missouri and we corresponded for a number of years.
May 4, l936 Evelyn died. She was sick for three days and we were staying with Grandma DeVore in Gillette. At the end of the week she was to represent our High School in a typing contest in Sundance. She was so sick I was frightened and begged Grandma to call the Dr. but she wouldn't. On the second day I skipped school and went to see Dora Haden who was staying in town with her two children who were in High School. She drove out to the folks and Daddy came in immediately and put Evelyn in the hospital. We were so close her death was shattering to me. We had just finished a project for World History that we were taking together. Our assignment was to write a journal for a person and Evelyn and I chose a French King and his wife. We coordinated our journals. I can't remember what king we chose or which of us was the king or wife.
August 11, l936 Viola was born in Gillette Elvin who was five years old and cook for Daddy. He was working in the field and I was not a good cook. I wonder how he survived but he never complained. In the evenings we would go see Mother and since there were just four or five in the hospital one evening we made ice cream and took in for the patients and nurse.
The school year of l936 to l937 I stayed with Rev. and Mrs. Kitchen, pastor of Grandma Devore church., Christian church. His daughter Naomi and I were good friends and on the High School Debate team.
In March of that year I started working in the High School office as Secretary, I went to classes when I had time and did a lot of the typing of letters Mr. Morgan dictated at night. The job included cutting the stencils for all the teachers exams and running them off on an electric mimeograph that at times could be very temperamental. Mr. Morgan and I spent many a night putting grades by hand on grade cards taking the grades from teachers grade sheets that they turned into the office, sometimes on time and sometimes not. I always went home on the week ends. I usually taught a children's Sunday School class. During the summer I moved to a room in Monet's home and ate my meals out. The hours during the summer were not as long, I registered students for the coming year, they came in from all over the County and when the family came to town they would come up to the High School and register ;for the coming year.
l937-l939 Worked at the High School during the week and home on weekends. Always enjoyed them because on Saturday Daddy and I would ride horseback and check the cattle. Often times we would hear the melancholy whistle of the train which was probably ten or twelve miles away. In winter we would ride over fresh fallen snow and the tracks of our horses were the only tracks and the stillness of the day was great and the Big Horn Mountains blue and white in the distance. These were times that we had so many discussions and again when just Daddy and I were together and he took me back to town. In nice weather we waited until mornings and many January and February l939 I worked in the House of Representatives as a stenographer. The president of the school board, Mr. Marquiss was elected that year as Campbell County's representative and ask Mr. Morgan for permission to let me go and work. The salary was much better than the $60.00 a month I got at the high school. The Marquis's had to go early and so I went by train and they met me and had found a place for me to stay. I roomed with a widow lady within walking distance of the State Capitol. She was a Methodist and took me to church with her and I was invited to go to Epworth League with some of the young people, who were nearly all out of high school and young adults working. There was a man and his wife that were our counselors and nearly every Sunday night we met at their house for snacks and fellowship. Out of the group were several young men some of whom names I cannot remember that at various times took me sightseeing around the area of Cheyenne and Laramie which was in the mountains. My roommate was a girl that worked in the same office I did and every day when we went for lunch she would drink so much that we girls had a hard time getting her back to work and so she did little the rest of the day. One evening one of the representatives that had a ranch home near Cheyenne invited all the workers in the House to a dinner at his home. I went out with a fellow that was a page who had his own car. As the evening progressed the party became very wild and I saw a lot that my sheltered background had never seen before. Couples paring off after drinking heavily and seeking bedrooms and sometimes not bothering to. Jack Williams and I were the only ones not drinking and felt very out of place and he ask me if I wanted to go back to Cheyenne which I did. It was Jack I had come with. The next morning my roommate really berated me for being a party pooper. But when I got back to Gillette, Mrs. Stimson, who is Ray's mother and an ardent member of the WCTU really took me to task because she said I ;had been drinking because they had received word that a girl in the Senate had not been drinking and the WCTU sent her a dozen roses. I had trouble getting it across to Mrs. Stimson that that part was for Senate employees and I did not go to it. During the time I was there I applied to a job in some of the offices in the Capitol because it was a complete change over from Democrat to Republican. I did not get a job and was very disappointed and went back to work at the high school. Now I feel that God closed that door for me. During the time I was at Cheyenne and after I cam back I kept getting letters from my cousin Evyn Adams who had gone to Asbury his Soph year wanting me to go to Asbury. But I had been unable to save money on my salary in fact times were so hard that about every week I gave Daddy five dollars because he always came after me in the car for weekends.
Some of the women that I knew very well, teachers, wives of Drs. and head of the local newspaper, belonged to PEO and they knew I wanted to go to college. Mr. Morgan was a trustee at the University of Wyo and he kept telling me could get me a good job there so I could go to school but these letters from Evyn kept coming. The women of the PEO told me they would loan me the money that they had not made a loan for several years because the last girl did not pay them back. My contract was to pay back before marriage.
Sept l6, l939 Left Gillette by train reaching Lincoln at midnight after an all day ride. Transferred in Lincoln to the Lincoln Zepher a streamlined fast train that took me to Chicago in the morning of the l7th transferred to a train that traveled all day to Cincinnati, in the huge Cincinnati terminal it was frighteningly wild and noisy, Cincinnati had just won a baseball game. I found a corner and tried to be inconspicuous. After boarding the train for Ky all the Black people disappeared and my first initiation to the south of the 40's. I arrived in Wilmore about nine o'clock in eve. I was the only one getting off and a truck with a student driver met me and took me to the dorm where my trunk and checked baggage with sheets etc. did not arrive.
Sept l8 I slept late and my big sister who had been corresponding with me, Ava Brown, came to my room and took me to the registrar office where I had a job. In the building in Talbot Chapel we found Evyn and he took me to the Dynamite for breakfast. My baggage was two days late arriving but this began my freshman year.
Oct 2l Artist Series and a date with Eldon Hoover from California . After the program we went the " {Shack" We shared a booth with another couple but across from us facing us was a fellow with dark hair and his date. I was puzzled what about us that made this guy keep watching us, were we his entertainment, we were having a good time laughing and joking.
Later in Oct at a noon meal I sat across the table from this same fellow and we proceeded to have a lively discussion of what I called his Fl. swamps and he called Wyo. a shepherds country. No sheep for us we were cattle people! But I forgot his name.
Nov. 3 I had studied in the evening in the library, which I usually did because I had a court room faced the other wing in which the basement were the music practice rooms and in our room of evenings it was a mad blend of horns, piano and vocal. My friend and I were heading for the dorm when she remembered she had to go to the basement of the library for something and I waited in the hall and this guy popped up in front of me and ask me to go to the freshman talent program with him the next night and I said ok and he was gone as fast he came. I asked the girls across the hall what they thought his name was and from my description they said Carl Foshee. Somehow I got straightened out because in my diary for the next night I said I went to the program with Ralph Metheny.
I had two more dates in Nov. with him and then the Artist Series was coming up and another fellow asked me for a date for it but I turned him down because I thought Ralph would ask me. But he didn't and I went to the Artist Series with Dorita Smith from across the hall and from Brazil. Then I saw Ralph there with another girl. So I decided this was nothing but a few dates and off. Later he asked me for another date and we went to two other basketball games together and he left Dec. l5 for Fl and Evyn left for Ca. Not many were left for the next month. I worked eight hours a day in the office and was the only girl on third floor of the dorm.
It was during this time that I dated Skid and Morrison Carnes, and Milo Myers and Ralph's famous story through the 58 years that he sent me oranges and I fed them to his friends. They would come over and ring my bell and say they wanted one of Finny's (their nickname for Ralph) oranges, Skid had delivered them to my room so they knew about them. It was really a very lonely month, there was a kitchen off the parlor and we would pop corn and I brought my radio down and we would listen to it and have popcorn or play Chinese Checkers. After two evenings of checkers with Morrison Carnes where I beat him badly he didn't come back! Dr. Johnson had all of us that were working in the business offices to his home one evening and Nancy Crary's mother had us over several evenings but Christmas morning I opened my gifts in my room alone and wrote letters to thank the PEO and parents for the gifts. Skid had gone home for Christmas Day in Ohio and so too Milo. They came back Carl Forshee had spent Christmas in Fl. with Ralph and he came back before Ralph and he came over to the dorm and we sat in the parlor and he told me about Ralph and Fl.
Then Skid came back and rang my bell and ask for a date but I had received a long talk from my big sister and she said I was making a bad mistake if I didn't date Ralph so I turned Skid down. Milo came and asked and I turned him down and they both said Ralph was back, I waited and waited and wondered if I had made a mistake and then he came, exhausted after driving straight through in an unheated car. So this is the story of the oranges that has gone on and on.
Ralph asked me to go to his mission with him on a Sunday afternoon. He preached and then we walked and called on some of the people. I did not know the situation but it was back in a hollow and I wore heels, the ground was damp and wet and going down a bank I fell, tearing the knees out of my hose, which were hard to get, and was very very embarrassed, guess you can say at that point I fell for him.
Just before my birthday in Jan. I had an episode of bronchitis and ended up in the infirmary but for my birthday Ralph sent me a dozen red roses. Evyn said I got well really quick after that.
During the rest of my freshman year we spent a great deal of time together, studied in the library of an evening, he would walk me to the dorm, we met between classes sometimes, ate many meals together went to basketball games, three artist series in the spring we would go hiking on Monday afternoon, or play pin pong.
March l I received word that Aunt Ruth had died, it was devastating, Evyn and I spent time together in grief. She had been my 7th and 8th grade teacher and my role model.
Feb. 7 Evyn and I went to the dynamite as we frequently did and talked to me about dating other fellows, he said I was a freshman and shouldn't date just one. I was very depressed. Although younger than I he felt like he was my big brother
May 20, l940 Ralph gave me his picture, carried my luggage to the car and I headed for Wyo. with Evyn and in Iowa met Uncle Warren. Letters of summer of l940 Ralph in the Ky Mts. and I worked in high school office , tell of our experiences.
Sept. l4 Left Gillette by train, Daddy took me in to train and watched him standing on the platform as the train pulled out and I remember a sinking feeling that wouldn't see him again. On the l9th I arrived in Wilmore and Ralph met me So glad to see him!
Nov. 3, l940 Went to the Ky mountains with Ralph and the fellows that also went and one of their girl friends. Got to see where Ralph had spent his summer and weekends during His senior year. Because we couldn't be together on Sat nights a regular date night we were given special privilege to be together one evening a week. Someone told us we were together too much but in retrospect it is good we had that time because we would be apart so much during 4l and 42 until married
Nov. 29 Ralph asked me to be"Queen of his parsonage" I really loved him but to make a commitment frightened me and I put him off and spent the next few days thinking and praying trying to overcome my feeling of inadequacy of being a minister's wife.
On this day I received a letter from Daddy's Dr. saying his condition was serious as well as a letter from Mother saying the same I was depressed. My parents had sent me a permission slip to go with Ralph to Florida for Christmas.
Dec. 6 Ralph and I sat in the balcony of Talbot Chapel for hours, he helping me deal with my anxiety about my Father and settling our relationship from my diary "After a long talk we are going to spend the rest of our lives together and Ralph is staying on Campus this week end, I am so happy!!!"
Dec. 9 Coming from Freshman prayer meeting a girl met me and said there was a telegram for me, "Daddy worse come home to stay"
Dec. l0 Left in early morning hours from Lex. A prof took Ralph and me to train and started the long anxious two day trip Dec. 2 Arrived in Gillette and Uncle Elmer met me and told me Daddy had gone home. I sent Ralph a telegram. (quotes are from my diary)"oh the awful sorrow of that hour"
Dec. "Surprised to get a telegram from Ralph that he was coming for the funeral. Am so glad he is coming ! Feel I can go on living if he is here
Dec. "Ralph's train was 3 hours late but there he was really and truly! We stopped to see Daddy and then went on to the country.
Dec. l4 Today we all told Daddy good bye until we shall meet again. Oh my Daddy, why did he have to go? But he and Evelyn are happy together.
Jan. l94l Ralph spent Christmas vacation with us and I hunted for a job because Mother had no income because Daddy had no will and there were car payments and funeral expenses. Mr. Morgan wanted me to work for him but I needed a better paying job. Ralph went with me as I job hunted that winter and I got a job teaching at Spotted Horse until school was out. During this time there were letters from Spotted Horse to Wilmore and back to Spotted Horse.
May l94l As soon as school was out I went to Wilmore and was there for Ralph's graduation. His parents came and then I went with Ralph and his parents to Indiana where I met many Metheny's. I took the bus back to Wilmore and went to summer school. Ralph came back and went back to the mountains to work. So there are again letters from Wilmore to Kay Jay, Kettle Island etc and then letters back again. At the end of summer school Ralph's parents came through Wilmore on their way to Fl and we picked up Ralph in the mountains and I made my first trip to Ralph's land of sunshine and flowers. We came back by car with a fellow Asburian to Wilmore and I caught a bus and went back to Wyoming to teach and Ralph stayed to do his first year of Seminary.
Sept l94l to May l942 I taught a school near Gillette. Mother and I rented an apartment in Gillette and Velma was in high school and I took Elvin with me to school because we were residents legally of Dist. 7.. Elvin was in 5th grade and there were two other families, each family had two girls in school. So again the letters made their way between Gillette and Wilmore.
Dec to Jan l94l Ralph spent Christmas vacation with us and held services in our country church, Bethlehem.
Jan. l942 to June l942 letters again.
June l942 Two days before the date of our wedding I watched the hill south of the house and finally a little black Ford coupe appeared coming down the trail to the house. June l7, l942 at four o'clock we were married in Bethlehem church to begin our life together. After the wedding and reception we went to the Big Horn Mts. but never found the place we were looking for but made it to the mountain top! We came back and packed my things in the "cooter shell" and started back to Ky. The car had a way of stopping and Ralph would get out and use a fingernail file and it would go again. We started housekeeping in the upstairs of one of the Shaker buildings in Shakertown where Ralph had served through the school year. The apartment was furnished with Quaker cherry furniture During the summer Ralph held meetings and we traveled by bus because of the shortage of gas and tires. We were in the middle of rationing of WWII. The first meeting was at Fort Knox , Ky. Huge tanks and trucks would roar by all day and night as servicemen prepared to go overseas. The second meeting was in Chattanooga , TN at the home church of Charlie Boss. Charlie later married my cousin Katherine Adams, Evyn's sister. From there we traveled by bus to Georgia and saw Harold where he was in service and then on to Florida to spend some time with Dad and Mom Metheny.
Sept l942 We moved from Shakertown to an apartment on Kenyon Row, we had a bedroom and a closet that was turned into a kitchen. Ralph was appointed to Wesley Chapel where we served to two years. We would go through Nicholasville on Sunday morning and pick up the patron saint of the church Mrs. Overstreet and would spend the whole day there. After preaching services on Sunday morning we went to a home for dinner and half the congregation went also and so we spent the afternoon and then back for evening services. There was a sign on the church which said "When does your rooster lose its head?" and below people signed up for the Sunday that they were going to feed us and all the others. They really did cook!
This church was the home church of the parents of Phil Brooks. His Aunt Charity who just died this winter (2000) was a dear person, she helped me so much as a new ministers wife.
June l944 I went back to Wyo for two months and helped Mother get ready to move to Iowa. She had so many chickens and she could kill a chicken so I did and she dressed them and took them to town to grocery store and people she for whom she had orders. We packed and sorted that summer. When I left Asbury I thought I would be going to Fl but I got a letter from Ralph and he had come to Lakeside, Oh and had been appointed to Adena which was a charge of 4 churches. When I got ready to leave Gillette I went to the train station and the station master looked and looked and he could not find Steubenville so he sold me a ticket to Columbus and there I was able to get my ticket to Steubenville. I taught school the first winter at New Athens, Oh. Because of gas shortage Ralph would take me to where I met a school bus. I was to teach Home Ec. but because of the war and shortage of teachers they did not have an English teacher so they had me teach English which was a nightmare because I was not prepared for it. But I did manage to get through the year and was able once again to help Mother financially . The next year she got a job teaching in Iowa.
l945 Summer We made a trip to Washington DC taking one of the girls from our Harrrisville church who worked there and then on to Florida.
l945 to l946 I helped Ralph with youth groups, On a week night he would drop me off at Georgetown and I ;met with their youth and he went on to Harrisville to meet with the youth there. Some of these "youth" came to our retirement party in Fremont in l982. Some of them we had not seen in years




Ralph and Margaret's wedding cert

Marriage: 17 Jun 1942, BETHLEHEM CHURCH, GILLETTE, WY.

April 2000

watching and listening to the birds at feed in our back yard, blue jays, scrub jays and a red bellied woodpecker, doves and a squirrel just scurried around their feeding ground all took off in a loud flutter of wings. This is my favorite room of the house we had built here in Lake Placid. When the wind blows the pines sigh, the pignut hickory has lost its leaves Bob sent us a picture for Christmas that he had made an enlargement of 2 pictures he took last summer when they were in Wyoming of the ranch and frames the pictures with wood from the old barn. I sit here and look at the buttes that looked at as a child and remember.
It has been a wonderful Christmas Philip was here and it so good to have him. Then Viola came and we had family here and it was so good.
But I look at the pictures and remember the house on the prairie, to the west of the house was a windmill with a big tank for watering the cattle and horses. Then the reservoir beyond the windmill which froze over in the winter. We would take shovels and brooms and clean off the snow and sake and pull a sled on it. Elvin still has the sled. We had it ever since I can remember. Time every winter the neighbors, Uncle Elmer, Uncle Johnny Smelser, Alex Wilson, Ed Rhoades , Long John Maple, Oklahoma John, and Bill Carroll would come and they would saw large squares of ice and bring them by sled and horses to a large pit in the ground. They covered each layer with sawdust until the pit was filled and cover it. Later Daddy built a shed over the pit it was the "ice house" After they finished with our ice they would go to the next neighbor and put up ice for their family.
Aunt Ruby Morehead and Mother would make dinner for all the men.
In the summer the ice was washed free of the sawdust and used in the ice box (our source of refrigeration in the summer in the winter it was the back porch where a quarter of beef or antelope would hang frozen and Mother slice off what she needed for each meal) and the ice was used to make ice cream that was our usual dinner desert along with angel food cake which Mother always made from scratch with a whisk beating the egg white and banking in a kerosene stove oven because it had better regulated heat than the wood, coal stove on which she cooked our meals.
Mother made the best ice cream. She cooked with cream had been separated, sometimes she made a carmel ice cream by "burning sugar" in an iron skillet until it was amber and had hard crystals and then putting in the and I can remember stirring until the sugar crystals dissolved. I could do that with my right hand so it didn't bother Mother!
All year long dinner was usually with some of the family at our house or theirs, . Uncle Elmers, Uncle Johnnies, or Grandpa and Grandma DeVore 's Sometimes we went to Silas and Dora Haden's or they came to our house.
Of course I remember before Aunt Alma and Uncle Johnny were married and also before Uncle Elmer and Aunt Ruby were married--Aunt Alms and Aunt Susie taught school and I especially thought Aunt Alms special, she laughed a lot and brought Evelyn and me gifts and took our pictures. I remember watching her comb her long blonde hair and putting it up on what she called a "rat". Aunt Susie was Mother's friend from high school and normal training in Iowa. In Tabor Aunt Susie and Mother and Daddy went to the Faith Home High School and Aunt Alma went to the local high school. Grandma and Aunt Alma went to the Christian Church in Tabor and Grandpa and Daddy and Aunt Susie went to the Tabor Hepsabah Faith school. Aunt Susie expected children to sit still and never move. I know for I had her for a Sunday School teacher. I think I thought more about trying never to move than what she said. aunt Alms and Daddy were more alike and Aunt Susie and Uncle Lester were alike.
When we went to Grandma for dinner I was intrigued with a toy train that was Uncle Lester's. It was big about 8 inches high and l0 inches long and it was an old fashioned train engine, also we would spend hours looking through a at pictures.
Some of my earliest memories in Wyoming ere going to Literary Club , I am not sure whether it met once or twice a month. But the meetings were in the schoolhouses in the evenings, the adults wrote papers they read or poetry they had written, my father would write poetry. The school housed would be packed and I remember sitting on top of a desk because that was the only place, I gave my first 4 line "piece" at these probably at the age of 4 to 6. I do not remember going after I started to school. But for years they were one the homesteader social activities.
Another social activity was the IPB Club. My mother and a friends organized a women's club that met regularly homes. Sometimes an extension agent would come and do demonstrations. Lately looking a picture of one of these gatherings I was surprised how many people would come. They would often be family affairs and they would have games for the children. Evelyn was 3 years young than I. We were very close, I always felt I had to take care of her. at one of these extension gatherings the children running races. I was ahead but I looked back and saw little Evelyn about two or three the last one. I didn't want her to be last so I slowed down and ran with her. My father wondered why I stopped and waited for Evelyn when I could have won he said.
She was always small, petite with dark flashing eyes and full of fun, I was the more serious. We played together, we slept together and when we started to school we rod horseback together. My parents held me back a year and started her a yea early so that we could have a school built near us. One of our parents would put us on "old Prince" a big white horse I rode in the saddle and Evelyn behind and Mrs. Joneson would take us off at school. At the end of the day we would reverse the pattern. We did not have a lot of toys but I never felt deprived. No one we knew had a lot. We were happy. I remember one Christmas during the depression, which I really did not know about until was older, that I have always remembered as the best. A number of years ago I remember telling Mother what a good Christmas it was and she was flabbergasted because she said they had no money for Christmas but what they did Daddy made a doll trunk out of wood, with a tray just like Mothers, It was probably and ;two feet high and four feet long. We usually got new dolls for Christmas but that Christmas the trunk was full of clothes for last years dolls and the dolls from the two years before, beautiful dresses with lace, coats with fur hats, blanket, pillows that Mother had made. I dimly remember that the sewing machine would be running at night when I was half asleep. Daddy made a wooden doll bed that really was far nicer than any I have ever seen. Too bad I waited so many years to share how much that Christmas meant but I never realized how hard times were. We had plenty of food, Mother canned vegetables from the garden and we made a yearly trip to Sheridan and bought vegetables in bushel baskets from the Japanese truck farmers. They were such dear people, the little women always made over us children and would tramp through their irrigation fields in their big boots and native dress picking beans. Years later I heard they were all put in concentration camps during the war. It made me sad because they were gentle people. We had our own milk and Daddy separated each evening in the separator that stood on the porch, the cream in one container and milk in the other. It was usually my job to churn butter. I remember the first one was a tall ceramic type with a cover with a hole through which a dashed went down and I pushed it up and down until the butter formed. Later we got one that was glass and one turned with a handle. Viola has it today in her house in Omaha. It seemed such a mindless job that I would prop a book and read and Mother would say if I would just churn and not read I would get butter quicker.
Our family name was originally spelled Devore but for some reason and I am not sure when Daddy capitalized the V. Perhaps in going through the papers I have of copies of the homestead from Washington DC I might find about the year he changed it.
Our dolls and our imaginations were our play. Evelyn and I would cut out the pictures of people from Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogues and keep them in shoe boxes. We had sets of families we played with them. One was "growing'. We sorted the boys and girls into piles and then in layered ages. We started with sets of parents and added babies and then babies changed to children gradually growing up. Doing the things we were familiar with. We had blocks that we formed rooms for our houses and the shoe boxes became cars with P and G Laundry soap bars the seats, the days that Mother had to destroy a seat to do the laundry was not a happy one and we had to wait for groceries to come from town. But our families traveled to church, to town and made trips across the country to see grandparents in other states. And then sometimes there was a wedding and it would be in the front room of a house and in the bedroom while the ceremony was going on there had to be a sister sitting and crying and the father of the bride sitting in there with the weeping sister. Why? Because we thought this was part of a wedding because when Aunt Alma married Uncle Johnny this was what happened. As I grew older and discovered this wasn't the procedure I thought it was because she crying for the loss of her sister but years later I heard someone say that Aunt Susie had had her eye on Uncle Johnny I do not know but she never married. We spent hours cutting and sorting and going through new catalogues eagerly waiting for them to become obsolete and victims of our scissors.
In the summer we had pretend games we played outside. In the winter we played in the deep snow making ourselves Igloos in which we could crawl in and pretend to be Eskimos. We had a sled that we pulled one another around or found slopes to coast. Later in upper grades and high school groups of neighbor boys and girls would take sleds and toboggans and slide down the buttes. In the winter when we were in grade school Daddy would take us to school in the bob sled. It was always fun sitting in the clean hay that covered the bottom with blankets pulled up over us, watching the runners make lines in the snow.
I loved to ride Old prince over trackless snow and all you could see were tracks of rabbits, antelopes and then look in the distance and see the Big Horn Mountains. I loved vastness and the stillness . Our schoolhouse had been built in the summer of l935 to accommodate Evelyn and I, the two Carroll girls, and Charles Barkley. We girls were all first graders, five--Olive Ruth Joneson was daughter of our teacher. Charles has always felt sorry for himself being the only boy with a bunch of little girls, at our fifth High School reunion he was there because he only graduated on HA one year ahead of me because he stayed out of school awhile and was still talking about being the only boy. The next year the Rhoades children came and they were in the seventh and eighth grades. Our teacher for three years was Nell Joneson, a widow. By that time women were not allowed to teach if they were married. My Mother taught the Dye School after she and Daddy were married but things changed during the depression years. Joneson's owned the land just west of Uncle Elmer
and one evening Mr. Joneson took his rifle as usual when he was going after the milk cows but as he mounted his horse with his gun, it went off and he lost his life. The incident made a deep impression on me in regard to guns. Daddy had a rifle but he was very careful with it. He used to shoot antelope, sage chickens, when they are young they are good but older ones have strong sage taste, he only shot for food.

This is a writing I wrote for Julie in November l992
Dear Julie: This is to be the partial keeping of a promise I made to you last summer, to write you some of my early memories. As we traveled from Lakeside to Lake Placid I watched the changing scenery and many memories came to m6 mind and so this is my trip of memories.
On Thursday Oct. 22 we closed the cottage, windows were boarded and plastic covered against the winter snow and wind. Grandpa drained all the pipes and put anti freeze in them. So the cottage was "put to bed" for the winter. Do you thank if might dream about the summer months of Julie and Laura running up and down the stairs? Julie working Grandma's knitter, Laura making horse pillows Grandma's serger, girls squealing with delight on the telephone when they heard Krista was to be in their school. Paul playing Intendo on the porch, family gathered around the table--family coming and going, leaving to ride in the boat with Uncle Phil and Aunt Lu--the excitement of everyone for Grandpa and Grandma's 50th anniversary. Oh it has a lot to dream abut this winter It will probably remember two tiny little girls whose heads couldn't reach the counter top that have grown to teenager, two little boys are now in college and come as young men with girl friends and a little boy.
So we said goodbye to the cottage and in a car loaded until it groaned we headed for Columbus. It was a delightful fall day, the bay was smooth and there were fishing boats out. As I looked at the lake I remembered that as a child growing up on the prairie I used to wonder what a large body of water really looked like. We had reservoirs where the cattle drank and in the spring the creeks ran with water. When I was nine years old we made a trip to Chicago and I saw Lake Michigan and that was exciting / We visited museums in Chicago. It seemed we walked and miles and saw so many fascinating things. While we were there we went to Uncle Merle Dooly's seminary graduation. Velma was only three and Kenneth Dooley was about the same age and he had a tricycle that he kept running toward Velma and she would scream. It kept Mother and Aunt Agnes busy trying to keep them separated. On that same trip we went to Iowa and to John Fletcher College where Aunt Ruth was in school and I was on a college campus for the first time. I thought it was most exciting and decided then I was going to college some day.
As Grandpa and I drove on toward Columbus I was thrilled with the beauty of the fall trees. I love the fall and was so glad that the trees had turned colors before we left. As I looked at their brilliance I remembered that as a child in the early grades in our school the teacher would give us construction paper of orange, red and yellow and we would draw leaves and then cut them out and they would be placed above the blackboard until replaced in Oct. with witches and pumpkins. In December Santas and bells marched along the top of the blackboard, January were snowman, February hearts, March kites April and May various flowers. I could identify with all of them but the leaves. There were few trees in Wyo. on prairie. My Mother missed them and she would plant little trees and care for them carefully but they did not grow. Along the creek banks were cottonwoods but they did not turn colors. So a I cut out colored leaves I would wonder a tree with red orange and yellow leaves looked like. I saw pictures of such trees but to feel them and really see them I tried to imagine climbing in a tree of colored leaves. It was the fall l939 when I went to Kentucky to college that I really saw them for the first time. I was enthralled with their beauty . On Sunday afternoons a college friend, Dorita Smith from Brazil, and I would walk the country roads around Asbury and drink in the beauty. On Sundays at noon in the dining hall which was family style, we were given sack lunches for evening. We would take our sack lunches and sit beside a little rocky stream shaded by blushing trees and picnic.
The road we took from Columbus goes through some of Ohio's farm land. There are still some of the big white 2 and 3 storied farmhouses. They made me remember that early morning in Sept. l939 when it was just beginning to get light and I was on the Lincoln Zepher on my way to college for the first time. I had packed my trunk, which is the one that I still have in the cottage storage, and had taken the train, the Burlington in Gillette early one morning. All day the train had rumbled across eastern Wyo., a corner of South Dakota and Nebraska and about midnight we reached Lincoln ,Nee. and I changed to the Lincoln Zepher which clean slick and fast, I saw big 2 and 3 story farmhouses close together across the farmland. In Chicago I changed to a train that took me to Cincinnati, Ohio. It was evening when the train got there and I had to wait awhile in the Cincinnati terminal for a train to Ky. It was after a ball game in Cincinnati and apparently Cincinnati had won, people were shouting, laughing and screaming, it frightened me, I thought they were the wildest people I had ever seen I found a secluded corner to be inconspicuous and I thought I ought to be back on my quiet peaceful prairie with just me my horse and the mountains in the distance. In the station were a number of blacks which was new to be for the only black people I had seen were the porters on the trains that used to wave and smile at us when we were at the station and watched a train pull out. Also new to me was that when we got on train the blacks went to the back of the train and we were in Ky.
As we traveled through Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky I would look at the houses and wonder about the children in them and remember my childhood. Evelyn and I played together because we lived so far from other children. We had many pretend games we played replaying life as we saw it. We cut paper dolls from catalogs and they were "sized" so as we made a family our children would grow. Our families enteracted with one another. In the winter when the snow piled high we bundled up and made snow forts and "igloos" and pretended to be Eskimos living in our snow houses.
Sometimes Daddy and we girls would put on skates, clear the snow off the reservoir and ice skate. I was never very good because I was an awkward child, Evelyn was smaller and more graceful.
We did have times that we got to play with other children. When I was in third grade our teacher, Mrs. Joneson stayed with us. We started first grade together in a new school building. We named our school Sacajawea after the Indian girl who led Lewis and Clark through Wyo. to the coast. She was from the Wyo. Shoshone tribe. In our school there were five first grade girls and one boy seventh grade, Charles Barkley. During that winter the three of us had a playroom upstairs in a small room. Mrs. Joneson spent one winter with her brother, John Maple who lived near the school. She was a widow who had lost her husband when he accidentally shot himself as he got on his horse with a loaded gun. Olive Ruth was her daughter.

  1. +RALPH ROBERT METHENY, JR, b. 03 Jul 1946, Wheeling, WVA Ohio Valley General Hosp., Wheeling, WVA.
  2. +CAROL LYNETTE METHENY SMITH, b. 01 Nov 1950, Wheeling, West Virginia.
Created with Family Tree Maker

Home | Help | About Us | | | Site Index | Terms of Service | PRIVACY
© 2009