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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Agnes Roe BLAKEY Memories (30 Jul 1992)

Growing Up

I was born in Des Moines Township, Jackson County, Minnesota, America.

My birthdate is August 22, 1909.

My parent’s full names and birthdates are:
Father Albert Roe
Mother Mina Hoganson Roe
They had the following occupations:
Father Coal hauler and farmer
Mother Housewife – Seamstress before marriage
The most memorable times we had as a family were:
On Sunday evenings sitting around the table singing hymns. Evenings when we all played a card game called bunco [?]. It was a fun game. On memorial day when we went to the cemetery.
I remember this amusing incident involving my father/mother:
The time we went to Jackson for the celebration for the ending of world war and the car stalled. We walked home. No one complained, we had such a good evening.

The time dad rolled the car on Thanksgiving day only about a mile from home. No one hurt.
The names and birthdates of my brothers and sisters are:
Ella Roe Graves – July 12, 1902
Sherman Arthur Roe – August 25, 1907
An interesting story about my brothers, sisters and me is:
The time when it was a small blizzard. Ella was always late in getting ready so as we were going to school, and Sherman and Edward Burreson went on ahead. Ella and I had just gotten up to the track when the train came, it sure whistled and we were sure the boys would not hear so well bundled up and wind blowing. We were relieved when we saw them. They had heard it in time so they had each scrambled one way and the other between two steep hills.
My grandparent’s names and birthplaces are:
On my mother’s side Semming Hoganson born in Haarset, Norway on November 12, 1856. Lena Larson was born at Hornset, Norway, a neighboring community. Was born on November 8, 1857.

On my father’s side Anders Roe born in Lerdahl, Norway, Sept. 13, 1844. Elsa Frederickson Roe, Lerdahl, Norway, Sept. 9, 1844.
This is where they lived:
When I knew them the Hogansons lived about 4 miles north of Jackson depot. The Roes lived on the same road only a couple miles further north.
This is what I remember about my grandparents:
I loved grandmother dearly. She seemed so very kind all the time. She always got up early and served Grandpa and Charlie, every day cake and coffee before they went out to chore. I just had to be up for this. She always told me when she was going to gather eggs in her apron and I could help. She taught me what glass eggs [?] were for. I wasn’t too fond of my grandfather. He teased me in a way I didn’t like. He would take horses and wagon and haul the cream to the creamery. I would ride along not so much by choice as being urged to. Looking back I think they wanted me gone for awhile. One time he said, “Can you see where I live?” I looked and looked for their grove, and when I thought I had the right one, I told him. He said, “No, I am living right here.” Grandma spoke no English. Grandpa spoke very broken English. I only knew dad’s parents slightly.
Some things I remember doing with my grandparents are:
Gathering eggs, washing hankies on the board when Grandma stood in the shade washing clothes. Taking lunch out to the field for Grandpa and riding to the creamery.
Other members of my extended family who were important to me include:
Charlie – Very kind, but I wasn’t allowed in his room. He sold me gum but I had to have my penny half way under the door before he would send the gum out. He was one of my sponsors.

Randy – She worked in a store and it was so much fun to go in there. She was also a sponsor.

In later years it was Lillie and Emma. Emma took me along on a couple trips when I was a kid. She was the most fun of all.
They were important to me because:
I suppose they were the ones that made over me.
These were the first memories I have of myself as a child:
Maybe the first one was when my Grandpa Roe asked me to go with him to the toilet. He left the door open, but my mother came out and saw us. She called me and boy, did I get spanked. We had a sack [?] swing over the driveway and one day as I was swinging the rope busted and when I came to I was sitting behind the house. I had no idea how I got there.

On the 4th of July dad always took Sherman and I to Jackson. I don’t remember anything about the celebration but we waited for time to go home because then we got an ice cream cone. We had very few toys but I would sit in the corner of the kitchen and cut out chickens from paper. Very simple ones but it would get to be a big flock.
Some humorous or memorable incidents that I remember from my childhood are:
When Edward built a raft and we took it out on the river and it tipped over. The was little more than waist deep. Sherman and I went fishing a lot and one day we caught over a hundred when we quit counting—all bullheads.
The similarities I see between my grandchildren and myself when I was young are:
Full of pep and good humor. I hope my grandparents enjoyed my visits as much as I have enjoyed mine.
When I was a child, this is how my family celebrated Christmas:
We had dad’s bachelor uncle come over for dinner. He always brought a sack of nuts and one of peanuts. No tree, no nothing. My uncle’s name was Richard Roe.
Unique celebrations my family had were:
Not unique but we always went to Hogansons for dinner on Thanksgiving. And we kids sure enjoyed that one. One Thanksgiving we did not get there. Dad rolled the car on the way. The car never did have a top again. No one hurt.
When I was a child, some of the gifts I received and gave on holidays were:
The gifts were few and far apart. I can remember one year mother was telling me about the great gift Sherman was making for me and how disappointed I was. It was a plain old board shaped like an ironing board. I suppose I was at the age of playing with dolls and maybe it was a great accomplishment for him. If Mother just had not said anything. I got a slipover sweater from Emma one Christmas but I was just blossoming and it was tight. I used it very little tho’ I did need it.
My responsibilities on holidays included:
I had no responsibilities. I left home at 13. I can’t remember giving any gifts ‘til I was grown.
The pets I had as a child, and their names, were:
I had a pig named Asley. Since he had given it to me, Dad carried it home under his coat once when we had been down there. It was a runt but sure did not stay that way. He roamed around the place and came to the house to be fed. The family had a dog named Anton after one of the neighbors. Sherman and I thought a lot of that dog. He was just a mixture.
The one thing I remember most about my pet(s) is:
When I had to sell Asley. Dad took him down in the sled and I went along. I got 56 dollars for him. Then mother told at the supper table that night how they would kill him. I would gladly have given back the money if I could have gotten him back. The one thing I remember most about Anton was Sherman and I worrying about him during a bad storm. We were in the basement. All windows were gone, the bridge across the river went and of course all crops, but Anton was safe under the porch.
I remember when a candy bar cost 5 cents, I could go to the movies for 25 cents and gasoline was 15 cents per gallon.

When I was a child, William H. Taft and Woodrow Wilson were Presidents of the U.S.

My favorite meal my mother made, and what made it so special, was:
When dad would have a little money left from his cream check after gas and tobacco he would buy steak. Mother would sure pound it and brown it, pour cream on it and it would simmer a long time. Was that ever good. Also when mother made [illegible] (Norwegian) she would start with a big bottle of milk and end up with a small bowl, but it was divided between us. Elise made it for me once here in Windom.
These are some of the things I remember about trips my family took as I was growing up:
I went with mother and dad to Sioux Falls to visit dad’s aunt and to Redwood Falls to visit Randy and Herman when they lived there.
This is how I would describe the house and neighborhood I lived in as I was growing up:
The house was comfortable as to size, but always cold in the winter time because just a cook stove was used to heat it. Hot in the summer. A big grove in front on the north and that same cook stove. The neighborhood very friendly. Neighbors enjoyed each other back then.
These are ways that neighborhood has changed over time:
Not many left of those that lived there then and not the togetherness there was.
When I started school I was 6 years old. My favorite and least favorite subjects were:
My favorite was math and reading. My least favorite were geography and history.
One of my favorite teachers in elementary school—and why—was:
Anna Jenson later married and was Fawcett. She was our teacher for 4 years.
This is how I got to school each day:
Walked the railroad tracks.
Things I enjoyed doing most as a child were:
On winter evenings playing bunco. Summer—chasing fireflies and hide and go seek. Edward and I spent hours in a play house on the bank of the creek between his place and ours. Oh, for the mud pies we made.
These are the things I remember most about my teen-age years (friends, activities, school, special events, favorite foods and songs, jobs, heroes, etc.):
Very few activities, no money and no time. I tried roller skating once, I went to one girls’ basketball game. I did not enjoy high school. I worked for Eastvolds [?] at the parsonage for almost 2 school years. Summers I worked for Mother doing house work and sometimes helped fold papers at the reporter office where they put our a weekly paper. The last two years I worked at Clozes [?]. Part of the time at the house and part time at the store. I enjoyed most all foods. The last two years of school Bertha was my friend. I had others in school when I stayed at Eastvolds but very little time to spend with them outside of school.
This is how I would describe myself when I was a teenager:
Quiet, inferior feeling, seemed it was always work. There was nothing to go home for. No money to do anything with. When I worked money went for what I needed. Even paid my own dentist bill.
This is what I remember about my first date:
I don’t recall my first date, but he was from Iowa. He had a friend, Bertha and I went, but together with them. I can’t remember the name of the girl that introduced us. We went with them to Okoboji on 4th of July. And when talked about it afterward what good spenders they were. They each spent about $20.
Things that are different now than they were when I was growing up are:
Kids now don’t have the responsibility we had. They don’t work like we did, they have much money that comes easy which we did not have. Few had the clothes that they do now. Parents did not take us places like they do now. No one used babysitters, the children went with us. We sat still in church without something to play with or to eat.
Other comments I have about growing up:
The folks took me no place. I walked to take my music lessons. We always walked to school in all kinds of weather. The mailman usesd horses and was usually right on time. I rode with ours when I went to Eastvolds to work. Otherwise I would have had to walk.

My first job was:
At Eastvolds where I did housework and took care of two kids. I had Friday night off and Sunday afternoon and evening.
The work that I did in that job involved:
Cleaning, baking, ironing and taking care of the kids.
The things that I especially remember about my first job were:
Work, good food and more work. Being very tied down. I could only go out Friday nights until 10 and Sunday afternoons.
Other employment I have had over the years included:
Mallahans [?] in the summer, and in the last of high school I worked at Clozen [?] house and store. I also washed windows in spring and fall. One lady was so tight, she thought I was taking too long so decided they just needed wiping off. She was supposed to be wealthy. Guess that’s the way she got it.
The jobs I liked the best, and why I liked them, were:
The store. I like people and it was the most interesting.
The jobs I disliked the most were:
Cleaning and washing windows.
Some important things I have learned in choosing a career are:
[Left blank.]
Marriage and Children

This is how I met my spouse:
On a mud hole ride [?] with Joe Graves [?] at the [illegible] and Bertha with him. Joe did not introduce us so I had no idea who he was. The next Sunday night Joe came up and asked me. Verland did not have the nerve.
Before we were married, we dated each other for about 2 years.

We were married on August 22, 1927.

When were first married, we lived:
With Verland’s folks for 1 and 1/2 years. Then we moved to a farm south of Jackson where we were happy. Had good neighbors. Uncle Erv [?] and Aunt Ella Pierson lived about a mile and a half from us. Gordon, Verla and Averland were all born there.
We bought our first house (and farm) in 1942 for about $11,000. Our first car was a Whippit [?] and cost about $[Left blank.]

This was the rage in music, dance and clothes when we were first married:
Most of our clothes were made and we were not style conscious.
These are the homes and communities I have lived in since I was married, and here is how they’ve changed over the years:
The place in Middletown township south of Jackson, the place we rented from Oscar Teigen north of Jackson. The place we bought northeast of Windom.
Some important things I have learned about marriage are:
Don’t always want your own way. Work together. Be thoughtful of the other one, remembering the wishes of the other one are as important as yours. Live within your means.
These are the names and birthdays of my children:
Gordon – December 19, 1929, Verla – April 28, 1932, Averland – April 9, 1934, Sharon – February 20, 1946, Pamella – Nov. 9, 1949.
My spouse and I and our children celebrated Christmas, birthdays and other holidays by:
Christmas we got together with other relatives. We had a nice program honoring Jesus’ birthday, exchanged gifts and had a good meal together.

Birthdays were celebrated with some other relatives if possible and we always had a birthday cake.
Family traditions that we began were:
Our Christmas gatherings. Thanksgiving spent with the Blakeys. Grandma always made a very good dinner. We did have them for Christmas along with my our relatives.
These are the traditions which I hope my children and grandchildren will carry on with their own families:
To have Christmas like we have had.
I best remember these trips which our family took as our children were growing up:
We went to Duluth to visit Sherman. Averland and Sharon went along. We stayed about a week. They lived at Lutson [?] and had a small group of cabins. We went to Harlingen, Texas to see Verla. Averland, Sharon, and Pam were with us. This was at Christmas time.
I remember these humorous or memorable stories about our children as they were growing up:
Gordon falling off a load of corn. Being run over by a horse, but she just knocked him over and stepped over him. Fell off the arm of the day bed and knocked himself. He was really sick the rest of the day. Dad backing over Verla but left her with just a black and blue lump on her forehead.
My grandchildren remind me of my own children in these ways:
Peppy, enjoy life.
What I have enjoyed most about being a parent is:
The companionship I have had through all these years. The many things I learned as they were learning. Being able to give and do more for them than I had.
Some of the things I have learned as a parent are:
Be a part of each child. Every one is different and each one is precious, but each one has to grow up to be himself or herself.
This is what I have enjoyed about being a grandparent:
Enjoying them without having the responsibility that went with being a parent.
This is how I would describe our family over the years, in terms of its character and unique aspects:
I have felt that our family has been close knit family. We enjoy being together and have tried to help one another accomplish what is important to them. We have tried to be the kind of parents that our children could turn to.
Other Areas of My Life

As an adult, I have enjoyed these hobbies or pastimes:
Crocheting, making quilt tops, going with lady friends on short trips. I enjoy writing letters.
If I could teach a special hobby or skill to my grandchildren, I would choose:
I would like to teach them several kinds of hand work.
My faith has influenced and contributed to my life in these ways:
I have not been concerned about having enough things that are really needed. It has given me a deep concern for the children. It has given a peace in illness.
This is what I remember about the church activities I was involved in over the years:
Sunday school teaching, Bible school teaching, Zion society circles, Chairman of circles.
As an adult, these friends have been especially important to me:
Ruth, Lina [?], Bertha, Elenora Olson.
Friendships have enriched my life by:
By being there when I needed someone to talk to – Ruth. Taking me along for fun trips – Lina. A good friend when I was in my teens – Bertha. By needing me and always being good natured – Elenora.
Numerous historical events have occurred during my lifetime (the depression, World War II, the Korean War, the war in Vietnam, the assassinations of important leaders, the space program and many more). Some events that I particularly remember or that affected my life, and the reasons why, include:
The depression taught me a lot. Neighbors became more important, we learned to make do with what we had.

When the war quit we went to the celebration. Such happiness I will never forget.
As I look back over the events of my life, the things that made me the happiest and about which I feel especially proud are:
Having a home of my own. Each time a baby arrived, the time Gordon arrived so cute and perfect. Each one after that was equally precious.
As I look to the future, I have these hopes and goals for our family and for myself:
That each family will be happy and grow stronger in their Christian life. That all four families will enjoy each other and have no conflict between them.

For myself that I might never doubt Christ’s love or His saving grace and be ready to say goodbye when he comes for me.


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