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"Others First" In Grandma Jerome'sLife


Tony Jerome

Sixth Grade


On May 18, 1896, the oldest daughter of Ida and AugustSandburg was born. They named her Nancy Olive Sandburg. She is my grandmother.

When Grandma was small she lived on a farm with her eightbrothers and sisters. In 1902 to 1905, she went to school in North Dakotain the fall and winter. In the spring, she had to work in the fields andwait till the river froze over. She studied subjects like history, spelling,and arithmetic. She only went to the fourth grade.

Grandma had to do chores after school and some housework.Her chores included milking the cows, tending the sheep and gathering eggs.She also helped her mother get supper ready.

When grandma had time, she played games. She liked gameslike tag, because you had to run a lot in it.

Grandma's family was very close. She didn't fight verymuch with her brothers and sisters. She was the oldest, so she was in chargeof things when her parents were away. One time when Grandma's parents wentto town, she and all the other kids went out to the chicken coop and butchereda chicken. They even roasted it and ate it. When her parents found out thatthere was a chicken missing they got very upset. Grandma told them whathappened, and her father made her pay for it, because she was supposed tohave been in charge.

Grandma started to work in the field when she was nineyears old and quit when she was eighteen. Her first professional job wascooking for a threshing crew. She was twenty-five at the time. She got paidtwenty-five cents an hour. After that, she worked in potato fields and gotnine cents a bushel for picking. She got paid one dollar an hour when sheused the potato picker.

Next, she worked in a cafe. She got one dollar an hour.While she worked at the cafe, she had some interesting experiences. Onetime the other woman she worked with didn't clean their messes, so Grandmagot stuck with it. They kept doing this so Grandma told the manager. Hestraightened things out and the other two women didn't talk to Grandma fortwo weeks.

Grandma likes to embroider pillow cases for a hobby. Sheis also a good artist.

Grandma's greatest accomplishment was marrying Grandpa.She met Grandpa in school, and they got married in 1917. Grandma was twenty-oneyears old when she got married. They had seven children. They were marriedfor fifty-six years.

Grandma's philosophy of life is to think of other firstand herself last.


Jerome, Nancy, Interview, February 2, 1975

IZE=+1>Jerome, Nancy, Interview, February 2, 1975