The Story Of My Life

By Eudora Adelia "Dora" Wixon Bowe

Transcribed by Irene Dittemore

Copyright 2001 Renee Smelley

 

 

Introduction

Eudora Adelia Wixon Bowe was born August 13, 1885 in Dowling, Wood County, Ohio. Her nickname was Dora and she was the daughter of George William Wixson and Fannie Estella Heminger. Dora died November 18, 1970 in Blackwell, Kay County, Oklahoma. She married Frank Bowe on June 12, 1907 in Bowling Green, Wood County, Ohio. Frank Bowe was born August 22, 1882 in Bradner, Wood County, Ohio. Frank was the son of Michael Bovie or Bowe and Lucy Anna Keller Krotzer. He died July 27, 1966 in Blackwell, Kay County, Oklahoma. Frank and Dora are buried in Blackwell, Kay County, Oklahoma and this is her story.

 

The Story Of My Life.

 

I was born in Dinbridge, Ohio, August 13, 1885. My father's name was George William Wixson. My mother's name was Fannie Estella Heminger. They were married at the home of her father, Jocob Heminger, August 24, 1884. They went to live in Dinbridge, Ohio. My father was a carpenter by trade. He built a small house just across (the) road from a Presbyterian Church. I remember attending Sunday school (and) receiving (a) prize for perfect attendance when I was about 6 (years old).

He (my father) went to Michigan and paid some on a 40 a(cre) farm in Isabella County about (the) central part (of the state). But he chose a farm that was covered with rocks. Some (were) the size of (a) baseball to (the) size of one's head, some (were) 10 ft. across. The soil was rich and we raised a nice garden and crops. But the seasons were short. He (dad) did not have a team (of horses). (He) would exchange work with neighbors in exchange for plowing. (We) did not even have a cow.

One day my sister ask my mother to make some butter. She (mother) ask, out of what? Electa said, out of bread and tatters and stuff. Our fresh meat was fish, which we caught in a lake called Little Field using fish worms and grasshoppers for bait. They were blue gills, pike, sun fish, also white fish, which they speared. I think they were Lake Haren. My father who was a good shot would shoot quail and partridges, squirrels and rabbits which were in abundance. He never raised pigs. Otherwise we had salt pork. We raised a few chickens. My father sent to (the) fish hatchery and got baby brook trout and planted them in a stream near us. They grew fast, so we were catching them in a couple of years. The stream would flow underground in places. I remember finding a space where (the) stream came to (the) surface about 2 or 3 ft. across. I dropped my hook real careful(ly) and caught a trout before the hook had hit the water. When fishing for trout one has to be very careful. The last time Will and I went fishing for trout, we were caught in a thunder storm and (we) were drenched before we got home.

My mother made good bread until her health failed when I was about 13 or 14. Then I had to take over. (I) would have bread in a big loaf before I went to school. She (mother) could finish then. We used dry yeast foam using potato water from cooked potatoes and some of m(ashed) potatoes. We always had all dishes used that day to do after school.

 

 

 

We attended school about 1-1/2 miles by going across fields. (It was) a small one room (school that) had about 15 to 20 in attendance. (We) just had school during seven months. Snow got too deep for us to wade.

We had to carry water from a neighbor or from a spring (a) half mile West. He (dad) dug a well, but it soon caved in. We lived or rather existed there for 10 years. We raised a good garden of potatoes, sweet corn, string beans and soup beans.

By fencing in a patch, cattle grazed all Summer in open country. It was (the) job of (the) older children to go after (the) cows after 4 p.m. They wore strap(s) around (their) neck with a bell so we could locate them.

We had 3 in my class at school - Alla, Allen, Will and myself. Will and I sat together and shared (the) same books to save expenses. (I) went to (the) 8th grade before leaving Michigan.

My father finally bought a team, but one died of colic. He sold the other. He worked in (the) lumber woods during (the) Winter to provide money for our clothes and other expenses (like) my mother's medicine and Dr. bills. We children were seldom sick and his (dad's) health was good (un)till we went back to Ohio. He had stomach trouble. Will and I had Malaria one year from water in (the) lake being blocked back so co(ompany) could float logs along water stagnated.

My mother's health was so bad. We came to Dowling, Ohio Nov 1898 where he (dad) worded for my mother's brother, Fred, husking corn. We had finally bought a cow in Michigan, but one who kicked the stars out of the sky. We sold it for beef. We bought a Jersey in Ohio.

I was about 16 when we left Michigan. We entered school in Dowling, Ohio. J. N. Baker was (our) teacher. (I) was kept in the 8th grade. (There) was no high school. (It) was hard for us to get adjusted being (having been) in (the) back woods so long.

We lived there a year, then moved to Bowling Green, OH. My mother had inherited some money from her grandfather's estate. He (dad) used it to buy a lot on Reed Ave. and built a house. We attended school there for one year. Will and I went to work. He (Will worked) at (the) glass plant where he learned the trade. They cut patterns of different sorts on glass dishes. Me (I worked) for a Mrs. Leet doing house work who helped me to get adjusted. Then (I went) to a factory where they made men's union suits. I did pressing at first at 3.00 to 5.00 (dollars) a week. Then (I did) folding at 5.00 a week. They (the company) sold and went to Puqua, Ohio. A co(mpany) by the name of Monarch moved in a year. In the meantime I worked at housework for (a) lawyer group. I got acquainted with my future husband (Frank Bowe) while working there. We were married June 12, 1907. My mother died Nov 27, 1906. She never met my future husband.

 

 

 

Our Family

We bought and paid for our furniture and moved to Rudolph, Ohio where he was working as (a) roustabout in (the) oil field. We lived there from June to Nov in (the) first house, then (the) South part of town to Jan. Then (we) decided to move near his work North of town. Thelma was born there. When she was about 2, we bought a 5 room oil field house in November 1909.

Our baby boy, William Russel, was born Dec 16, 1909. He died in Jan, was premature (and) 6 weeks old.

Hazel was born April 9, 1911. He was promoted to pumping about this time. His lease was North of us about 3/4 mile. (It) was a straight time job. Helen came (Private). Grandma Wixon stayed with us. She was my father's stepmother. Hazel called her Bocca. Esther was born Mar 14, 1918.

We had Scarlet Fever and were under quarantine and I had smashed my finger. We were under quarantine over a month. Thelma had it first. (The) doctor was afraid I might take it so (he) advised me to go stay with someone. Aunt Louella Medger took us in, in Bowling Green, OH. I was with her 3 weeks. An elderly lady, Aunt Helen Abbott, stayed with the girls.

We had bought a pretty bay horse for driving. She was very wild, but I got her so I could drive her.

When Esther was about 3, the oil co(mpany) began to double the work, so he and Barney Wismer decided to go to Texas where there was an oil field boom to find work. (They) left (the) first of October. The girls and I stayed (with) Mrs. Wismer. (We) moved to Bowling Green. They did not find work there (in Texas, so they) worked at a number of towns - Pahuska, OK, -----------(can not make out the names of these towns) for Ed Tippet as rig builder.

(We) came to Blackwell in (the) Spring of 1920. (We) liked the town and (there) was plenty of work, so (he) sent for us. We stored our furniture. (There) was (an) embargo on sending furniture West. (We) stored it with Aunt Louella. They sold most of it (and) kept the table and a few other articles.

We arrived in Blackwell, OK (in) September 1920 (and) rented a furnished house of a Mrs. Drum. She was a crackpot. Was using gas from our meter. We discovered it and told her. She said (that) if we didn't like it to move. We rented 4 rooms of a Mrs. Hollingstead. (It) was (like going) from the frying pan into (the) fire. So we bought us some second hand furniture and rented a house on N. First across from (the) Christian Church November 28, 1921. (We) lived there about 2 years. He was making 14.00 a day. We decided to buy. (We) found a cute bungalow at 623 S. Main (and) moved there in November 1922. (We) lived there 29 years.

The rig building got to be too much for him and a depression was on. He did anything he could find to do, even W.P.A. Franklin was born in (the) Blackwell Hospital. Dr. Pesser was (the) Dr.

Thelma had been married and had two children. The other girls were in school. Hazel went on to graduate. Helen worked as (a) office girl for Dr. Becker. She had baby sat for his 2 boys while she was attending school. She was married to George Wilson August 13, 1933. They went to Pahuska to live. He drove (a) truck. They moved to Blackwell while (he) worked for Moore Truck Co., then moved to Tulsa where he drove (for) Allied Van. He finally got to running around with other women and left Helen. (She) was married to him 28 years. (He) left her in 1939. She had set up a shop in her garage, which was attached to (her) house. We had advanced 800.00 as first payment. She was married to a barber, W. W. White, from Blackwell (in) October 1966.

Esther was married to Butch Butcher (in) October 1933. They left for California (the) next day. He went to work for Douglas Air Plane Co. where he learned the trade. She worked to help pay expenses. They bought a home in N. Hollywood in May 1951, the same year we bought our home (at) 1124 S. Third. Their son, John Jeffery was born.

Our house (was) new. Was bought off Don Porter for cash. We like it out here away from (the) traffic. He was working at (the) Jr. High as (a) Janitor. (He) worked there 15 years. Then they put him in (the) new Northside School for 2 years. He did Sub (substitute for) several years. (He was) the oldest Janitor of schools - 20 years on the pay roll. Then (he) retired. We drew S. S. till he died. Our checks were near 100.00.

Hazel went to California September ----. Did house work. Esther gave herself as a ref (erence).

His (Frank) heart began to give him trouble after he had pneumonia. I worked for different people. Began first for Mrs. Jake Krisman, then for others a day now and then for Mrs. L. C. Moore. Began to work for Mrs. Harold Turvey February 25, 1947 to January 1962 - 15 years till I broke my hip. Had worked for Jane Turvey several years. Was getting 1.00 a day at first, so I was getting 75 cents and hour.

 

 

 

Thelma came to help care for me after I was dismissed from the hospital after my hip was broken. She stayed 7 weeks. Then Hazel came and stayed 11 weeks. I was in the hospital 3 weeks. (I was) in (a) wheel chair 6 months, walker 6 months, cane several months. I had (the) best of care. Dr. Robert Morgan was (the) doctor who treated me. Daddy (Frank) finally went to Dr. Morgan. He was doctoring with old Dr. Becker. (He) liked him so much better.

We started to make bread after Hazel left. He sifted (the) flower and mixed it with a spoon and electric beater. I was still in my wheel chair. (I) would take (the) dish pan on my lap and finish mixing it. Had good bread, too. I made his birthday cake with him helping too.

Went to church for (the) first time June 17, 1963. Began to teach (Sunday school) again. Taught them about 11 years. I finally went into Class 13 with Daddy.

Daddy had a severe heart attack July 27, 1966. (The) Dr. put him in the hospital with oxygen at 8 a.m. We called (the) children. The Heinzers came and were with me. (The) Clifton's were out of town. Came home just as we were taking him to (the) hospital. She came and stayed, too. He passed away at 2:40. None of the children go there in time. (The) Clifton's brought me home. Franklin had got there by then. Thelma came soon after. Helen came in (the) eve. Hazel came by train. (There) was (an) airplane strike on. (She) got her Friday night. Porter undertaker had charge of everything. He always wanted a metal casket with a vault. (We) had (the) funeral on Saturday at 2 p.m. Class 13 served our meals. Furnished everything. Neighbors sent food, too. We prepared and served them ourselves. (There) was an abundance of food, also flowers. Rev. John Downs preached, a Mrs. Prontef sang Rock of Ages and Beyond the Sunset. He is buried at the South part of (the) cemetery. I had insurance enough to pay for (the) funeral. Medicare paid 200.00. A lot of friends sent money instead of flowers. I used it to buy a memorial stone with his name engraved on it. Hazel stayed a week to help me get thank you notes, etc. sent.

I decided to live by myself as he and I had decided if either of us went first. Is not easy. I stayed with Thelma for Thanksgiving. Then with Helen Christmas 1968 - 1969. They think I should not be alone during icy weather.

Ross Murry is making a garden. I do not charge him. Want to be free to get vegetables as I wish. (I) keep the West end for my roses and flowers. (I) have a nice asparagus bed along (the) curbing.

I had a gall stone attack (the) middle of August 1968. Was in the hospital 5 days. Thelma and Percy stayed there (and) took me home with them for a while. Dr. had 4 ex-ray(s) taken. I have a large stone and some smaller ones. He put me on a low fat diet and a lot of pills. (He) did not think it was advisable to operate at my age. I began to lose weight from 143 till I am 102 1/2. (He is) giving me shots once a month.

Bea and Audrey came for me for Thanksgiving 1968. Helen and Bill came for me December 1st. I stayed with them till February 12th 1969. Murry had a nice garden. I enjoyed the flowers.

I'm Not Growing Old

They say that I am growing old, in language bold,

I've heard them tell it time untold.

But I'm no growing old.

This frail old shell in which I dwell,

Is growing old I know full well.

But I'm not the shell.

What if my hair is turning gray,

Gray hair is honorable they say.

What if my sight is growing dim,

I still can see to follow him.

Who sacrificed his life for me,

Upon the cross of Calvary.

What should of times old plan,

Has left its furors on my brow.

Another house not made by my hand,

Awaits me in that promised Land.

What tho I falter when I walk,

What tho my tongue refuses to talk.

I still can tread the narrow way,

I still can watch and praise and pray.

My hearing may not be so keen,

As in the passed it may have been.

I still can hear my Savior say,

In whisper soft "This is the day."

The outward man do what he can,

To bring them out his life's short span.

Shall perish and return to dust,

As everything in nature must.

The inward man the scriptures say,

Is growing stronger every day.

Then how can I be growing old,

When safe within my Savior's fold.

Ere long my soul shall fly away,

And leave this instrument of clay.

This robe of flesh I'll drop and rise,

To seize the everlasting prize.

I'll meet you on the streets of gold,

And prove that I'm not growing old.

 

 

Copyright 2001 This copy of The Story of My Life by Eudora Wixson Bowe may not be reproduced for profit without the written consent of Renee Smelley. All copies made must contain this copyright information.

 

 

 This web page is part of Renee's Family Genealogy

 

Read What I Remember of My Childhood by Thelma (Bowe) Dittemore

Read 6 Generations of Daughters by Renee Smelley

 

This page was created on May 8, 2000

Last update was on March 12, 2001

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