REMEMBERING GLOIE M. FLORASubmitted by: JP Smith Madison county
I was born December 20, 1890 about a mile from where I now live, just a quarter of a mile south of roads 900 West and 900 North. My parents were William Benton Etchison (b. August 27, 1866) and Rosetta May (Smith) Etchison (October 9, 1865 - November 15, 1956). They began housekeeping in March 1889 in a house owned by my grandfather, Henry Etchison, who then moved into Elwood. In 1892 we moved to Elwood as my mother had poor health, and my father and his brother decided to go into the well-drilling business.
Two years later, however, my folks decided they liked country living better, so they bought 40 acres of land south of Elwood and moved in 1894. The farming was done by a man hired at $15 per month, while my father continued in the well-drilling business, buying the pipe and drilling for $1.25 per foot. Our house was back off the road, so they turned it, using logs and jacks. While moving it there was some trouble-the stove pipe fell down and the tea kettle fell off the stove. That scared mama and me, so we ran outdoors to see what had happened.
My sister, Eloy Eva, was born in 1895; she married Harold Foust in 1920. My brother, Harold, was born in 1902. In 1903 my father took sick with typhoid fever, and, as he had had spinal meningitis at age seven, the doctor didn’t seem able to help him very much. He passed away on September 27. In January 1904 my brother caught the measles from me and died after complications.
I started to school when I was six at the Cale School, which was located at the northwest corner of State Roads 37 and 13. It had two outside toilets, a big play yard, and a pump with a tin cup tied to it just outside the school door. The school had one big room, two cloak rooms, a big stove that burned either coal or wood, and a long table on which the water bucket say. After four years I went to the newly-opened Hawkins School, and I graduated from the eighth grade there. I went on to Elwood High School, graduating in 1909.
Two years after high school I became Mrs. Dale E. Flora. Dale was born in Carroll County, December 25, 1888. As my mother had to hire help to farm, my husband now took over the farming, which included the original 40 acres that my parents bought and 34 acres which my father inherited. Our first daughter, Frances Eloy, was born June 4, 1918, and our second daughter, Marilyn Rose, February 7, 1925.
Frances went to Cale School and then started to high school at Frankton the same year that Marilyn started to grade school there. They both graduated from Frankton. Frances went to Ball State University, became a teacher and came back to teach at Frankton High School. She married Jack L. Sigler in 1941, and they are the parents of five children: Anita, Barbara, Thomas, Ronald, and Mark. Marilyn decided not to go to college and married Robert C. Brown in 1946; they have one daughter, Kathy.
Until 1927 we used coal and wood for heating and cooking, and coal oil lamps for light. That year an arrangement was made with the electric company at Elwood whereby the farmers installed the telephone poles and the company put in the wires. Our first purchases were an electric stove and a Maytag washing machine.
Then came the Depression, which took what money we had in the bank. We sold hogs as low as $3.75 per hundred pounds and milk for as little as $.25 a gallon. I like to sew, and we would make a dress for $1 (material was $.25 a yard). A major event of that time was the summer threshing ring. For the men it meant their wheat and oats were harvested. For the women it meant cooking for 40 men, more or less; once it was 65. Another thing I remember was butchering day. This too, was shared work. Three, four or five families would go together and butcher for each family. One time we went to Uncle Frank Etchison’s just as daylight was showing. They butchered ten 300-pound hogs, getting the hams, shoulder, and sides ready to put in the barrel with salt; grinding the sausage putting it in casings. (casings are the hog’s small intestines thoroughly cleansed and scraped and put in salt water until ready to be used.) There is nothing like good home-made sausage seasoned the way you like it.
A few years before Dale was called home (May, 1963) he said, “Well, I have done what I wanted to do-been a farmer, a county commissioner, a member of the Indiana State Legislature, a worker in the Farm Bureau, a banker, a lay leader in the church.” We have gone to the Aroma Church since 1907 and I still enjoy going. I have now lived in the same house for 81 years. We lived here because we felt at home, and even though we did travel during our vacations, we felt no desire to move anywhere else.
Gloie loved to fish sitting for long hours at the end of a pier with her big straw hat on. When a child, a Quaker relative would call her, "Wee Apple Dumpling".
GLOIE FLORA, a patient at the Parkview Convalescent Centre, celebrated her 94th birthday Dec. 20. Helping her celebrate were her two daughters, Frances Sigler of Frankton and Marilyn Brown of Elwood along with other members of her family and friends. Her hobby is crocheting afghans. Elwood Call Leader newspaper.