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Mrs. Lucille (Flanders) Twamley


Cindy Twamley

Senior High Division


"When God thought of Mother, He must have

laughed with satisfaction and framed it

quickly-so rich, so divine, so full of soul,

power and beauty, was the conception." (1)


My mother, a woman of love with a heart full of kindness,truly was an angel of time. From what I have been told, she was the originalpioneer woman of all times. There were thirteen of us children in a smallshanty. All that we had that was worth anything was each other and the lovethat mother gave to each of us.. For, if love was riches, Mother made usthe richest of all. Mother was always a hard worked, and she worked up tothe day, when a sudden heart attack took her away from all of us. Her deathwas quick-like the moment of darkness right before dawn.

Her grandparents were Edward and Clara Hazelton. They wereamong the first white folks to settle on a piece of land near the Indianssomewhere between Brainard and Minneapolis, Minnesota. They came and homesteadedto make themselves a home and a new life. They spent many days clearingthe land and building a shelter for themselves. Later, a bouncing baby girlwas born to the proud parents, and they had every right to be proud fortheir baby was the first white child to be born in Hazelton Township, whichwas named after the Hazelton family. They named the baby Charlotte MaryHazelton. Often Edward Hazelton would have to go for supplies; with horses,the trip took four days. Clara and the children would be frightened thatthe Indians would harm them. But later they had some good Indian friends.

Charlotte met a young man named Steven Richard Flanders;he was the son of Steven and Elvira Flanders. Steven and his parents homesteadedin Crowing County. Later, Charlotte and Steven decided to join hands inHoly Matrimony; they were married in Brainard, Minnesota. They took up ahomestead near Brainard, and that is where their first two children, Merleand Ednid, were born. Later, the family packed up and moved to Rollage,Minnesota, where they farmed and ran a sawmill. Eight more children wereborn there: Elvira, Richard, Florence, Charlotte, Lillian, (my mother, Lucille),Leonard, and Opal. In the year of 1927, Steve and Charlotte, with theirten children, moved to Northome, Minnesota. The children were raised there,and another new addition to the family was added. They named the baby Arlene.

Mother was always very active in life. She loved to getoutside and often she would show hunters and fishermen where the best placesto hunt and fish were around Northome. She often would laugh at the menbecause she could out walk them by quite some distance and not tire as quicklyas they did.

Mother, and my dad (Merlin Twamley) met and married inNorthome. They lived around Northome for a while, but then moved to KittsonCounty and rented a small house out in the country. One day, while fatherwas out working, and Mother was home with Merlin, (nicknamed Manny) theoldest child, she found herself in a strange position. She was ready todeliver another baby. She sent Manny over to the Reed's to get Mrs. Reedto help, while Mrs. Reed was on her way to help, the baby was born. Mothernamed the baby Ralph.

Dad worked for the Reed's for about four or five years.Most of the time, he would work around home in the summer and then go andwork in Northome in the winter; often Mother would be at home during thecold winter months alone with the growing children. Dad's construction companygrew with time. He started with a caterpillar and a bulldozer, "a bulldozeris an earth moving machine. It consists of a large blade attached to thefront of a tractor. The tractor can either be one with rubber tires or acrawler (track laying) machine." (2) Dad built logging roads in Northome,so his construction outfit also included some scrapers and trucks. Whenthe boys were old enough, they started helping Dad. Mother was busy withus children at home in Kittson County.

Mother used to scrub clothes down by the little pond acrossthe road from us. She used a scrub board and she would have to rub the clothesback and forth across the rungs to get the clothes clean. I tried it oncejust to see what it really was like to have to wash clothes like that. Afterabout one T-shirt I gave up. That was just a little too tiresome for me.

Mother liked the outdoors, and she liked to have a gardenin which she grew everything from carrots to peas. Mother seemed to enjoywork outside the house better than work inside. Often she would make a biglunch and drive thirty to forty miles to take Dad and the boys lunch. Butif Mother needed groceries and the boys or Dad had the car, Mother wouldwalk to Noyes, Minnesota, to get groceries. Which was around three or fourmiles to walk. Mother sewed quite a bit. Most of the time her sewing wasdone by hand, but then she got a sewing machine; one that you pump withyour feet.

Our house really was just one medium sized room downstairsand one room upstairs, but we had a blanket hung across upstairs so we hadtwo rooms. Also, we had a lean-to on the porch. First, we had wood stove,then we got an oil stove. We had a cistern along the side of the house fromwhich we got drinking water. One day our goat fell into it and Mother, usinga rope, had to pull the goat out. It took some time to get the cistern cleanedout!

In 1947, sometime around December, Mother gave birth toa small baby girl which we named Marion Ruth. She was a blue baby. "ABlue Baby has a bluish color because of heart defects. Such a baby is bornwith a partial obstruction in the lower chambers of the heart, with a holein the wall between the right and left ventricles. In the blue baby, onlypart of the unoxygenated blood goes to the lung. The rest goes through thehole into the left ventricle, where it mixes with oxygenated blood. Thus,all the blood pumped through the body has a bluish tinge." (3)

Marion was always sickly. Small, weak and thin. Motherspent every minute she could talking to Marion encouraging her to keep onstruggling for life. Marion, after some encouraging words from Mother wouldstruggle so hard just to hold her head up and smile, a weak, sad kind ofsmile. And then she would drop her head. Mother even got Marion to takea few steps around the yard. She had Mother's courage and would always tryto please Mother in small ways like smiling, or trying to walk. Then Mariongot too sick, and Dad and Mother had to take her to the hospital. Motherheard Marion whimpering in the hospital room, and went in to quiet her.As she walked up and down the hall with the tiny, frail Marion in her arms,she kept whispering encouragement to the baby. Marion quieted and settledback in Mother's arms for eternal sleep. She died April 11, 1952, at theage of 5 years, 9 months, and 4 days, from congested heart failure.

Mother kept on spreading more and more happiness and loveto each of us children. And then nine years later on April 14, 1961, Motherpassed away in the car on the way to the hospital. She was 43 years of ageand had brought 13 children into this world and filled each one's heartwith the meaning of love.

"For when you looked into my Mother's eyes you

knew as if He had told you why God sent her

into this world - it was to open the minds of all

who looked, to beautiful thoughts." (4)


(1) Henry W. Beecher, Quotations for Special Occasions,Van Buren, 1961, p. 119

(2) "Bulldozers," World Book Encyclopedia - F.H. Kellogg, Volume 2, pg. 582 (1972 ed.,)

(3) "Blue Baby," World Book Encyclopedia (1972ed.,) Volume 2 pg. 332

(4) James M. Barrie, Quotations for Special Occasions VanBuren, 1961, pg. 119


Dibble, Elvira, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Interviewed, January25, 1975

Giffen, Don, St. Vincent, Minnesota, Interviewed, January23, 1975

Roberts, Martha, Humboldt, Minnesota, Interviewed, January21, 1975

Ward, Lauwrence, St. Vincent, Minnesota, Interviewed, January29, 1975

ha, Humboldt, Minnesota, Interviewed, January21, 1975

Ward, Lauwrence, St. Vincent, Minnesota, Interviewed, January29, 1975