I feel like Bridget and I have gotten all Linenberger family histories we
expect to get. So this is to end
our part, I hope someone else carries it on.
Andrew Linenberger our (Grandfather), Born 4-19-1858 in Herzog, Russia.
He married Margaret Brungardt in 1877, (1877-1858) age 19.
When Andrew and Margaret came to America they homesteaded tow and 1/2 miles
north of Victoria until 1893. In 1896 Andrew purchased land near Emmeram, Kansas.
On December 2, 1900, Margaret died. Thirteen
boys were born to Andrew & Margaret Five
sons died before they reached adulthood.
Andrew then married Barbara Quint, a widow with nine children, five girls and
From 1877 when Andrew married Margaret till 1900 when Margaret died.
They had undertaken to come to America from Russia.
Had lost five children, gave 8 children a home.
Andrew was left widowed and had their youngest boy (Vince) burned to
death. After those hardships Andrew
undertook fatherhood for Barbara Quints 9 children.
I think we all know Victor remembers Grandpa Andrew Linenberger, filed for,
or went bankrupt. But I don't know
any details. So here I will tell
what I was told by Frank Gilchrist, he is our cousin Bill Linenberger's
Anyway, Al I suppose your fingers still tingle.
You remember when we was out plowing with the old Dodge, northwest of the
house and it quit on us. You were
doing the driving and I was to run the plow probably just ride along I reckon.
Anyway it quit and just wouldn't start.
You knew enough to know it had to have fire to start.
So you told me to turn the crank while you held the plug wire to see if
it had fire. Well fine you took the
plug wire off and I turned the crank and it shocked you.
And brother you grabbed me and you beat me, man you pretty near beat me
to pulp because it shocked you. When
we got done fighting the motor had cooled off enough so it started again. I don't remember how much plowing we done, but that is how it
worked that time. I remember we
used it several times.
You Al remember the time me and you were picking corn for Earl Nutter up
there by Steel City and Earl Nutter and that other guy I don't know his name.
But they were telling about their horses, runaways really I guess it was
and this other guy told about his team he had.
They could run fast enough that the chain tugs, he was using would float
in mid air straight back.
Well Al I don't think you got Pat and Daze to run that fast.
Then I always windup not windup but I have to bring it to an end.
Because by now I have laughed and balled myself half to death.
And life must go on.
You remember the time when you took our pigs to Fairbury to the sale.
I imagine Dad told us to sell'im, anyway you took them to the sale.
Boy I was all set to see what it was going to be like to have a pocket
full of money, that was going to be a thrill.
But anyway that evening you told me well Omer I spent your half of the
money to buy a ring for Josephine. And
I remember I thought to myself, now that's a hell-of-a-note.
I bought the ring and it's your girl.
And you assured me you would pay me on your next payday.
And you did I knew you would.
Al if you ever hear this (God Bless you) for the hundreds and hundreds of
times that the thoughts of yours and my growing up days helped me through some
lonely days. I suppose every widow
or widower has their own way of doing it. But Al this has been such a wonderful thing to think back on
and outside of exercising my lungs, it helped me lots and lots of times in
keeping me from going crazy. I know
it's just a bunch of foolishness. But
I have no family but you guys, I don't know how else to say it and Al you are in
Al do you suppose our folks ever in their lifetime believed me and you that
we didn't set that lousy fire over Southwest about a mile or whatever.
But that is one time we didn't even attempt to lie to the folks did we. Because we just absolutely didn't start that fire that's all
there is to it; isn't it.
Al am I right I often think about it, I guess it's just idle thoughts.
But I got a feeling that's how you learned about Santa Claus, when we
lived by Collyer and Dad sent you out to close the henhouse, granary or whatever
and you stumbled over the toys on the step by the door.
Santa Claus had left the toys there according to Dad. That's all I can remember about it. I do remember that you was the one Dad picked to go outside
to do whatever you were to do.
I often wondered in my lifetime not having a family of my own just how
children learn. Whether it's a
natural thing for them to learn on their own. That its all just a make believe. Because for myself I remember when we lived by Grinnell, one
Christmas Eve, mom sent me upstairs to change cloths before Santa Claus came.
And she sent Isabell up with me and in reality Isabell was supposed to
explain Santa Claus to me. And she
did, she made a believer out of me I guess.
Because I remember the next morning as Dad, Victor, you Al, me and
Isabell were going out to milk. I
can just plainly see Dad out there with mile pails hanging in his arm and
getting himself a chew of tobacco out of his tobacco sack.
If I remember right he smoked and chewed (Advertiser).
But anyway he made sure he walked right next to me. Now whether he had asked if Isabell told me I don't know.
And I spoke up and said Dad you've been lying to me and Dad said oh how
come. And I said here I found out
or Isabell explained (Santa Claus) to me last night.
Brother I no more than had that said and boy he slapped me alongside the
head. When I think about that I pretty near always, after I have my
spell of balling or something whatever I do anything to pass my time.
Of course then when I come to my senses, I am blessed by liking to write
letters and read. So I am sure that's part of Bridget's training me for being
left alone. Because she lost her
mother when she was just a little girl and from then on she was pretty much the
house mother. I am sure no one in
the world could have done more for me to get me ready for this than Bridget did.
But I can recall when I was teaching Agnes to drive, I say I because it was
me. She would agree.
Anyway this one morning we were coming home from church in that 1948 Ford
I had and Agnes was driving it was a new car, but she had driven all my car's
before and she missed the drive like I did out there by (Orion) and run in the
ditch and put a tiny little dent in the fender.
And Agnes cried and wasn't ever going to drive again she couldn't eat
that noon, she knew that I would be mad at her.
I often think about them things it passes time.
When I think about Bridget driving after we came to Salina.
She drove quite a little out on the farm.
She never drove to town but she would drive to the neighbors.
And in Salina she drove pretty often coming home from church or if we
were out in the country, lots of times she could only drive a block or less she
was that sick. And she would always
stop and put the car in low gear before starting up our drive. That was real smart, but this one time she drove in and put
the transmission from low to reverse without stopping and it damaged the gears.
And Bridget swore she would never drive again and she never did.
And it probably was a blessing.
All I have to say to you brother Al if you happen to be the one to get this
tape after I am gone. And you don't
like what's on here please throw it away because then you will do me a favor
then. Otherwise I hope you also get
a laugh out of it too. Maybe you
think about those things too. I
know it's just a bunch of foolishness. But it has sure done a lot of good for my time after I was a
Al you remember the time me and you were coming home from Morrowville with
your Model T Ford, at least I think you owned it.
Boy we were going down the road lickity split, happy as a lark and a rod
flew out through the block and brother we came to a screeching halt better then
any brake could have done.
I remember a few of Bridget's memories. Bridget and brother John were papering their kitchen. John was hanging the paper and he walked off the bench. Bridget's family had a cousin that lived 1/2 mile from them, this cousin had a bull that he couldn't keep at home. One day Bridget's three brothers caught this (bull) in their barn. They got the bull down, tied his head down and started to drill a hole in his nose with a brace and wood bits. When this cousin walked in, he said hold everything. Let me do that, I want the fun drilling that hole. Bridget got a pleasure out of telling about her grandmother (being blind) would hold and carry Bridget upside down and try to feed or change Bridget.
The reason for me writing the following is to have on paper, just in case
(they) whoever they are come and ask me again whether I would share what I done
to help pass my time after I was left a widower.
On December 9-1992 after the 6:30 mass as we came out of the church, I was
asked by a lady to meet her at Hardies café for coffee.
We did have coffee. Two
other people were also asked to be there. But
only me and the lady were there. The
lady asked whether I would tell her what if anyone thing I done besides praying. I see you do about every morning. I told her after balling, walking, reading and whatever.
But my thoughts of my growing up days always brought on a laugh for me.
She said oh wouldn't that be wonderful.
I wish the other two were here.
I told her Bridget and I used to write down some of our growing up memories.
After Bridget passed away I decided to put my part on tape and threw all our memories away. And that lady said again Oh I wish the other two were here. Then she asked if I would share that tape with others. I agreed to. She left for Texas that week.
Bridget and my married life according to my memory
In June 1951 I met my wife Bridget. We
had written to each other as early as April 1951.
We knew each other only from June till we got married September 24-1951,
in the Catholic Church in St. Peter, Kansas.
We spent our honeymoon in Wakeeny, Kansas in the hotel. From
12:30 a.m. till 8:45 a.m. September 25-1951.
After Bridget was dressed that morning, she said Omer, I think if you
don't mind, I should go back home and do Dad and Johns washing and clean house
for them. Do you mind?
I told her no if that is what she wants.
So that's what we done. Her
Dad was a widower. Dad and her
brother John they were going to batch, till whenever.
We went back home. Bridget
washed, cleaned house done some cooking and changed all the bedding.
I helped Bridget. We had
planned on taking a week long trip. I
had time off my job. I worked and
lived in Washington, Kansas at the time. After
Bridget done the cleaning etc at her home, we went back to Washington.
We lived and worked there. In
about Jan. 1952, Bridget's dad got sick, they put him in the hospital in Salina,
Kansas. He lived 31/2 miles West and 3 North of St. Peter, Kansas.
That is where Bridget was born. St.
Peter is located about half way between Collyer, KS and Morland, Ks.
Dad was in the Salina hospital a long time.
Then when he was well, John got sick and developed rhumatic fever, he was
put in the hospital and stayed in Salina a long time.
We would drive out to visit her Dad a lot and came to Salina to visit
John often. Bridget told me Omer I
see the writing on the wall. Worse
is coming for me and you. Soon
after that John asked us to give up our job and house (we had bought a house) in
Washington. John asked us to move
back out home live with Dad & John and do their farming.
He knew and said there isn't a house big enough on earth for 2 families
to live in. We took John home, he
was in a hospital bed a long time. In
1953 John got well enough that he said I have to try to do my own farming again.
Do you mind if I pay you off. We
were with Dad and John 11 months. So
we went back to our house in Washington. I
again worked for Car & Tractor dealers.
I got ahead of my story the night before we got married, we were asked by
the Parish Priest to come to St. Peter for a little instructions.
He first asked us both in, he talked to us about married life in general.
The good, bad etc. then he called Bridget in alone. Then he asked me in alone.
He said Omer I don't want to hurt you, nor discourage you.
But I want to know Bridget is sick.
I know her condition, you can back out yet tonight if you want to, there
is nothing wrong with that. I know
Bridget is sick. But I am too, I
said. I have a bad stomach, there's
a lot of things I can't eat. Fr.
said has Bridget told you. Sure she
has, and I told her. Then I said
Father I would rather do it this way. If
I can make a home for Bridget isn't she entitle to that as much as anyone else.
He said of course she is Omer, as long as you know there will be
obstructions. And when I told
Bridget about my stomach, she said Omer don't worry about that, cause I had to
cook special for my dad for 10 years. Father
asked Bridget to come back in. And
told us if you can't have children, make real sure Bridget you are able to be a
good adopted mother before you try to adopt.
This Priest was a brother to Bridget's sisters husband.
After John got well, we moved back to Washington.
In July 1956 a cousin to Bridget died of a heart attack.
His wife asked us to rent that farm, which we did.
In November 1956 we moved on that farm 2 miles from Bridget's home place.
During our time in Washington from 1953 thru 1956, two parish priests
talked to us about adoption, which we had tried but didn't qualify.
One Priest understood, the other priest told us do you want a baby, we
thought we did but didn't qualify. Father
John said no no just give me a little time.
After a while he came and told me and Bridget, I can't get you a baby
there are lots of babies but you don't qualify he said.
Bridget spoke up and said well isn't that what we tried to tell you.
About 3 weeks or so after we moved out on the farm we rented.
I had to take Bridget to Wakeeney Kansas, 30 miles away.
That is where we were going to Doctor.
The doctor examined Bridget. Then
he explained how sick Bridget's heart was.
He asked whether she knew. She
knew. Then the doctor gave us a
heck of a scolding for bringing Bridget out of a town.
Not because he thought we shouldn't try farming.
But surely in town we would have indoor plumbing and cloths dryer if we
could. And surely a doctor would be
pretty close. He knew we lived 30 miles from Wakeeney.
In fact the man who owned the farm was a patient of this Doctor.
We doctored with him going every 3 weeks, then every 2 weeks, then once
and twice a week and several times twice a day till May 1960, the medicine kept
getting stronger. Doc kept telling
Bridget you have to give in to heart surgery.
No way was All Bridget would say. During
early spring in 1960, Doc kept saying Bridget me and you aren’t getting along
there’s no use of you coming back. But
he would schedule appointments. We
kept coming for help. This Doctor
had scheduled me for hemorrhoid surgery the next Monday after he seen Bridget
that time. Doc told us have John
bring you in Omer, and stop at my office before going to the hospital. We done as Doc told us.
I walked in and Doc said John bring you.
I said he sure did. Then Doc
said is Bridget here, no I said, she stayed home cause I am scheduled for
surgery. Good Doc said I hoped she
would stay home. Because Bridget
has only about 2 months left if she doesn’t give in to heart surgery.
And Omer you can live with your trouble the rest of you life.
You had them a long time, haven’t you.
I did since I was 10-12 years old. The
Doctor then said Omer a Doctor Brungardt in Salina, Kansas, that has lived with
a heart condition like Bridget has. I
am going to call him and ask him to accept Bridget, to check her.
He phone Dr. Brungardt, I heard him talk.
He then turned to me and said Bridget has an appointment this Thursday,
We came to Dr. Brungardt. Bridget
got on the examining table. Soon
Dr. Brungardt said (Bridget) Dr. Bise at Wakeeney is right, you have to have
heart surgery if you want to live. But I think if you are only a few minutes
away from a doctor you may have a chance. You will have an appointment here 3 weeks from now.
And then your address must be Salina, Kansas, I mean in town.
If you want to be my patient. But
come back before 3 weeks if you need to. With
that we decided on the way home to have a sale, let it be known why.
In hopes we could have a sale and move to Salina in 3 weeks.
May 19-1960 we had our sale, May 20.
Bridget was to see Dr. Brungardt. On
our way to Salina we decided to buy a house if we could with our means. Bridget said buy if we can, lets not rent.
Then if I die soon like we were told then just walk off Omer and don’t
pay anymore. Dr. Brungardt had told
us (Bridget) you have about 3 weeks left is all, if you don’t give in to heart
surgery. On May 20 1960 we bought
our house we lived in the rest of Bridget's life.
On May 20th we went home and on may 26-1960 we moved to
Salina. We got to our house a
little after 4 p.m. Between then and midnight I called Dr. Brungardt twice for
help. He told me what to do.
But bring Bridget in by 8 o’clock the next morning, which we done.
From then on for about a year Bridget went to doctor Brungardt 3 times a
week, lots of times once and twice a day. It
did get better for Bridget, then she went every 2 weeks till Dr. Brungardt died
in 1962. His wife asked us to go to
another Dr here in Salina. This Dr.
had us come in every 2 weeks some times sooner from 1962 till 1968 when Bridget
was sent to the KU Med Center in Kansas City, KS knowing they would do heart
surgery. They replaced her aorta
valve that time June 1968. In 1970
Bridget had her gallbladder removed in 1980 Bridget was sent to St. Lukes
Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri to have another heart surgery, the mitral
valve was replaced. The aorta valve
was a plastic valve ball in a cage, the mitral valve was a metal baffle type on
a hinge. In 1986 Bridget was to
have another valve replaced at St. Lukes. But
the Doctors decided that would do more harm than good, so she was sent home to
die. From May 1960 till April
27-1990 when Bridget and I (Omer) was asked by 2 priest, 2 Drs. and several
nurses to pray Bridget can die, not that she will die for that is wrong.
For the 1968 valve our insurance paid $41,000.00.
People donated 26 pints of blood, for Bridget and for the 1980 valve the
same insurance paid $141,000.00, we didn’t know how much blood was donated.
I retired in 1984 from the Postal Service at the age of 62½
The following is repeat Tape #1A some how
(Omer) remembering life this way
on Tape #2A, Side B
I am Omer the 5th child of the 13. I was born on Feb. 6-1922, on a farm northeast of Hays, Kansas about 20 miles. I don’t remember anything about my birthplace. Our folks moved from there to a farm, about 8 miles Southeast of Collyer, Kansas when I was 3 years old. On this place I remember the poor house, and our Dad bringing a tree trunk home to put across the barn that had been dug in a bank. I think the tree trunk was about 40 foot long. The tree was used as the main roof support. I remember mom getting her new sewing machine and Dad trading their Model T Ford car for a used Chevy car I think in 1928. I remember our mail box was about 2 miles from our house. I started school, it was a little over 2 miles from our house. On this place I remember (my growing up days began) accidents, fights, serious playing, eating poison milkweed, play farming and fear,
For details listen to tape number 1 and 2
I remember moving from this farm to a
farm southwest of Grinnell, Kansas, there our mailbox and school, both were
about ½ mile from our house. I
remember the teacher there gave me a good spanking.
That was my second spanking, the teacher at Collyer also laid the ruler
on me. Both times it was because I
cried my eyes out, for no reason. On
this place I learned how to skin (cats the animal) and haul feed.
For details listen to tape number 1 and 2.
I remember moving from this farm to a
farm 20 miles southeast of Oakley Kansas or 3 miles west and 2 miles south of
(Orion, Kansas our address). While we lived on this farm I helped or learned cow or cattle
herding. Driving the cow herd, 2
miles morning and evening 6 and 7 days a week, 2 summers. I learned how to get home after the buggy wheel brakes down,
how to use a buggy for fun. I
remember the folks built all the buildings on this farm.
It had no buildings or well when the folks bought it.
Our mailbox was 2¼ miles from the house.
Our schoolhouse was 2½ miles from the house.
On this farm we planted 4 crops of wheat and 3 plantings of corn and
never got enough rain to sprot the kernels.
The drought and dust storms caused mom and dad to lose this farm.
From there I remember moving to a farm 1 mile east ¼ mile north of
Enosdale, Kansas or 6 miles south 1 mile east of Morrowville, Kansas.
Our mailbox was ¼ mile from this house, our schoolhouse was 1½ miles
from this house. I finished my
schooling (8th grade) in that school.
On this farm I remember me nursing a mule colt back to life.
I remember also plowing with a 1926 Dodge car on this farm I had my last
fight or beating.
For details listen to tape number 1 and 2.
From this farm I remember moving to a
farm 2 miles West and 8½ miles north of Morrowville, Kansas.
On this farm I learned how it feels to be told after my brother and I
sold our pigs. Well Omer I spent
you half of the money to buy a ring.
For details listen to tape number 1 and 2.
From this farm I went to the Army.
While I was in the Army, only 5 months.
Dad and Mom moved to a farm 2½ miles south of Washington, Kansas.
On this farm I remember (me) saving a litter of 7 pigs.
The mother died soon after giving birth.
I took a pie tin with milk in it and somehow I got all 7 to drink out of
the pie tin. They all 7 grew up. From
this farm I went on my own working for other farmers, then car and tractor
dealers in Washington till after me and Bridget got married at the age of 29½
both the same age. In the St.
Peters, Kansas Catholic Church. I
remember in 1937 I was glad to go to my last day of my school classes.
I remember the local draft board classified me 4F twice, then I asked the
draft board to please put me in 1A. Then
in Nov. 1942 I was drafted and inducted in the Army 104 Infantry.
In April of 1943 I was medically discharged.
I remember my major sickness in my life (71 years to date) besides a
belly ache all my life. In 1934
appendicitis surgery, 1935 dust pneumonia, 1937 Dr. Bitzer sent me to K.U. Med
Center for my stomach trouble, double hernia and vasectomy surgery to correct my
hernia and testicle swelling, prostrate surgery, lower back surgery and left
rotator cuff surgery and hemorrhoid surgery.
I being to young to have many
responsibilities I have no right to explain the 1930’s dust storms or the
1930’s depression. I do remember
the dust storms, I wore a cloth over my nose and mouth after I had dust
pneumonia, I do remember the complete crop failures 4 or 5 years.
Our, the 13 brothers & sisters parent hardships can be heard on Tape
number 0, or what our mother wrote. In
what Norman Moore wrote in 1977, or a book called (making do and doing without,
Kansas in the Great Depression)
On page 3B I will go in detail on what I know about the move.
This is on side B, Tape #2A
I do remember the move from the farm 3 miles west and 2 miles south of Orion,
Kansas, to the farm 1 miles East of Enosdale, Kansas in 1936.
Dad had taken the farm machinery all apart.
The 28 foot semi truck was sent out from Belleville, Kansas by August
Nutsch. In that truck dad put the household items (what all I don’t
remember) the farm machinery, 4 cows, 1 or 2 calves, 5 horses, 2 pigs, 1 dog, 2
cats and 12 chickens. Brother Elmer
and I 9Omer) got in with the driver and took off.
Dad, mom, Irene, Edna, Haddie, Jack, Agnes, Phillip and Betty took off in
a 1929 Chevy car with a 2 wheel trailer hooked on. We with the truck went 1 mile east of Enosdale there we
should have turned north to get to the place the folds had rented.
But we turned south and went ½ miles
to a vacant place, there we unloaded the truck.
The driver then took me and Elmer about 15 miles north to August Nutsch,
we got there a little after midnight, the next morning me, Elmer, Richard and
August Nutsch went to check on our goods. We
didn’t find it where it was to be. So
we looked for and found it a mile South. So
we moved our belongings to the place it belonged.
Our parents came three days after that.
I think it was 284 miles from Orion to Enosdale.
I remember our parents never (ever) had indoor plumbing, never had
electricity till 1945 or 1946. Cow
chips (dry cow manure) was their fuel for cooking and heating till 1936.
The first telephone we had was 1940 or 1941.
Our parents bought their first radio in 1937 or 1938, powered by 1, 6
volt battery. When I say our folks
never had electricity or running water I mean before the folks moved into town.
There of course they had it.
is on Tape #2 A Side B
# 01 and side A
A few thoughts about the cattle herding
that I played a part in. In the
fore part of the 1930’s dad acquired the right to graze our cattle on ground 2
miles from where we lived. I think
it was on 640 acres we could graze. Our folks had 110 of cattle.
My brother Albinus and I would drive the herd 2 miles to graze in the
morning. We would leave home
anytime after sunup, we had 1 pony or saddle horse and 1 light weight work
horse. We didn’t have any saddle,
we rode bare back. We stayed with
the herd till around mid afternoon, then we drove them home.
After a while another brother Elmer joined us two.
From then on two of us rode the same horse.
I don’t remember us boys taking a lunch with us.
We may have, water we took along, or go to a close neighbor for water.
I started working for farmers in the
summer of 1937 for $2.50 a week and room and board.
I worked full time for farmers starting in 1939.
In 1941 I learned to pick corn. I
had picked corn before. But in 1941
I hired out to pick corn for 4¢ a bushel.
I hired out to Joe Weber and the first thing Joe said when I came to his
place. He said I am going to go with you this first morning and show
you how to pick so you can make good wages.
And I did learn and had no problem picking up to 100 bushels a day and
unloaded it by shoveling it in the corn crib.
From then on I picked up to about 5000 bushels each fall.
Then I would stop picking per bushel and go work for farmers by the month
doing all kinds of farm work. I
recall one guy hired me to pick corn. I
had told him his wagon wheels are not good enough.
He was a John Deere dealer. The
second day about 4:00 I had a full wagon piled high but it would hold the rest
of the 2 rows which is what you picked as you went.
The one rear wheel broke down, as it went down it also broke the wagon
In November of 1942 I went to the Army
104th Infantry. I was in
the Army only 5 months. I spent
over 2 months of that time in the hospital.
I was sick before, during, after and still have the same bad stomach.
April 1943 I was discharged with a medical discharge.
(In May 1943 I went to work for Uncle Tony Kinderknecht at Parks, Kansas.
There we hauled 43 loads of sand to build their new house.
After we shoveled the sand on Uncle Tony's 1931 Ford 1½ ton truck we
took it 8 miles to shovel the sand off, we made 2 trips a day.
I done the farming when Uncle Tony wasn’t able he was sick a lot at
harvest Aunt Susan and I done the harvesting.
Uncle Tony was out in the truck to watch and haul the wheat to town when
he was able. When the wheat had to
be shoveled in the bin, then I done that and Aunt Susan would go to the house
till I was unloaded. After harvest
we moved Uncle Tony and family into an old Butcher shop building setting in
their yard, and we tore down their old house the house our Grandparents build.
Uncle Tony got well enough to help tear down some and do some of his
farming. When he wasn’t able then
I done most of the farming at night because I was to help tear down the house
for time reasons. So the new house
could be started. Since the butcher
shop building was too small for all of us to sleep in.
Uncle Tony and family slept in that place and I had the truck or barn to
sleep in which is how it should be. Only
2 times I can remember I had any unwelcome guest.
Both times I slept in the barn, when I woke up in the morning there was a
rat sitting on my stomach. Neither
time did the rat bite me. The new
basement was dug and poured. We
mixed the cement with an old type mixer the mixture was for each batch 40
shovels of sand and 10 shovels of Portland cement.
The mixture was poured in a wheel-barrow, then the loaded wheelbarrow was
pushed to the proper spot and dumped into the basement form.
Digging the basement Uncle Tony and I done alone using 4 horses, a
walking plow, spades, 1 fresseno. For
tearing the old house down and running the cement, neighbors, Uncle Alex, 2 of
his boys and the carpenter our Uncle Andrew Linenberger were there. I think in September 1943 I came back to Washington to pick
corn. When I left Uncle Tony his
new house was just the basement, it was done, but on hold.
In March or April 1944 I went back out to
Uncle Tony to do his farming when he was not able and during the daytime I
helped build the house to finish. Uncle Tony was in the Quinter, KS hospital and laid up about
In 1944 while the new house was being
build. Myself a nephew to Uncle
Tony and a nephew to Aunt Susan worked there.
The big difference I could see was from 8 to 5 the carpenter and the
other nephew was part of the crew. But
at 5:00 the other nephew and uncle Andrew Linenberger went to town to live.
I helped do chores before 8:00 a.m., helped do chores and or done the
farming after 5:00 p.m. and I got $60.00 a month plus room and board.
The other nephew got $60.00 a month and dinner only.
After the house was done, Uncle Tony and I set into digging 2 cesspools.
One was 6 feet across and 31 feet deep and 1 on the other side of the
house was 7 foot across 27 feet deep, plus 5-8 inch post holes beyond the 27
feet. I myself dug every inch of
both. We put a tripod over the hole
with an attached pulley and a rope tied to a 15 gallon barrel and attached the
rope to a single tree so 1 horse hitched to it, would pull the barrel of dirt up
to be dumped. Uncle Tony was able
to handle the horse and at times he could dump the barrel other times other help
handled that part. When the cesspools were done, we set out to dig the water
line trench from the house to the well a little over 200 feet, for that we used
a walking plow, 2 horses and long handled shovels. Uncle Tony was able to help some on that otherwise, I done it
alone. After the fall work was
pretty well done, I come back to Washington to pick corn in the fall of 1944.
After that I started to work in town and farmers.
In 1945 I started to work for car and
tractor dealer. In 1945 or 1946 I
bougth the acreage that brother Victor and Katie lived on and they bought the
acreage from me. In 1944 I slept in
the basement instead of the barn or the truck.
Uncle Tony, Alex and Felix Kinderknecht, helped each other in 1943 and
1944, so when Alex or Felix needed extra help, I was sent to help them.
Which is how it should be. Uncle
Tony had a 3 day limit for me to help the other two.
I do believe one of my most treasured
thoughts I have of my single life is, knowing I gave 50¢ out of every dollar I
earned to my parents, after I was out on my own till four years before I got
married. Before that I like my
sisters and brothers gave all our money earned to Dad and Mom.
The water line trench was 36 inches deep.
I think I had to make it about 18 inches wide so I could dig and shovel
out the ground.
Getting the sand for the new house
Uncle Tony and I took his farm tractor,
his 1½ ton 1931 Ford truck and a 6 foot freeseno, about 8 miles north to the
Saline River to the sand bar. Uncle Tony drove the tractor hitched to the freeseno out on
the sand bar to drag the sand out on the grass, put on windrows.
I handled the freeseno by controlling the handle loaded and followed
behind to the place where, by controlling the fresseno handle the sand was
dumped on windrows. After a few days we would have enough sand windrows for
several days of hauling. We would
park the truck beside the windrow. Then
shovel the sand up on the truck bed. Go
home and shovel the sand off for latter use.
We hauled enough sand on three piles so the whole house could be and was
After the room partitions or studs were
in the house we nailed lath to the ceiling joist and wall studs.
(Lath) are narrow strips of lumber 4 ft long to be nailed with 1 nail for
each ceiling joists, which were 16 or 24 inches apart, and to each partition
studding. The Lath nails were
number 5 made for lath. Buted or
treated so they wouldn’t rust. The
lath were spaced, the thickness of a lath apart the lath were 5/16 inch thick.
That left an open slit between lath to let the plaster cement mixture to
cling to, on the back side the cement would form a little roll like.
The lath were used before sheetrock or drywall was used to enclose the
inner walls or ceiling joists.
The plaster cement was prepared by screening the sand I think we used number 16 screen. For each batch we shoveled in 30 shovels of sand, 10 shovels of plaster cement, 3 shovels nunslacked lime and enough water. It was put in a mixing box ours was 24” wide, 6 ft long, 6 inches deep. It was mixed with a mortar hoe, which was a large hoe with a hole in the hoe on each side of the handle. The cement was mixed, then shoveled in a pail and carried in the house, dumped on a table. The man doing the plastering would take this cement to apply it to the lath with a plastering trowel. Putting on enough pressure so the cement mixture would go through the slits in between the lath and smooth it as you plastered. The thickness of the plaster or (mixture) plus the lath was to be ¾ inch, the lath 5/16”, the plaster 3/8”. When this layer was dry then a 1/16 in finish coat, cement, water, and sand that had been through or over a screen I think number 24 screen. For the basement walls and floor, the sand we hauled was used as it came. Then for laying up the brick the sand was shoveled over a number 10 screen, I think #10. The brick mortar was 20 shovels of sand, 5 shovels of mortar cement and water, that was mixed in a mortar box 2 ft wide, 6 ft long, 6 inches deep, then shoveled in a pail and taken to the brick layer. Myself and Aunt Susan’s nephew took turns mixing the cement and carrying it and carrying the brick, and doing the jointing which is using a round iron to smooth out the cement between each two brick or joint. I do not remember the number of sacks of mortar cement we mixed each day. I do remember Uncle Andrew laid up to 1500 brick per day. And I remember when the house was