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June 2005

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MEMORIES OF THE ALBERT CULP FAMILY

BY JESSIE CULP O'DONNELL

as printed in the June 2005 issue of "Tales and Trails"

Albert Culp and his twin brother Herbert, were born on September 11, 1895 in Pleasant Dale Nebraska.  His family later moved to a farm near Denton, Ne. 

He served in the Army Infantry during World War I.  He trained at Camp Funston, Kansas, and  was later sent to France.  While in France he guarded German prisoners of war, because he could speak and understand the language, which his parents spoke at home.

Near the end of his tour of duty, his twin brother Herbert died of influenza.  His parents had written him about his death, but he did not receive the letter, as he was on the way home to the states,  When he got off the train the first thing he asked was, "Where is Herbert?"

After being home several years he married Marie Shea, and they settled on a farm near Denton,  I remember Mom telling me about when all of their friends showed up for a newlywed party, it was an extremely cold night.  The pump was frozen, so her brother, Bud, went to the horse tank, broke through the ice and got water for the coffee.  The house they lived in was poorly built and they could lay in bed and see the sky through the ceiling.  When it snowed, some would be on their bed in the morning.

Of their five children, I was their youngest, and by the time I was born they had moved to the big city of Denton, population about 100.

Dad had several trucks, and was in the hauling business.  He hauled about anything, milk, cattle, grain, coal, etc.  Also after Grandpa Elmer (Culp) died, Dad did most of the heavy work on his parents farm especially the harvesting of the wheat and corn.  Mom was often in the fields with him.  I can remember her being exhausted after coming home from picking corn and still making a big supper for all the family.   And what good food it was.

Mom made most all of our clothes, including coats, mittens, dressed, slips and bloomers.  She would sit at the sewing machine for hours chewing her Juicy Fruit gum and working the treadle on the old Singer.  She had so much pride and all of us children always looked good when we went anywhere, especially church.  A lot of the clothes were made from hand-me-downs of dresses and coats given her by her sisters.

In the summer we had a shower rigged up in a small building close to the house. In the winter it was a tub in the kitchen and you hoped you were first in line as the water wasn't changed after every bath.

Mom was the oldest of twelve children. Two died as infants, but Aunt Jessie, my namesake, died at the age of twelve from complications of a broken leg. Before marriage Mom worked as the local telephone operator. She also taught piano and organ. She played the organ for your church services.  I understand she tried to teach some of her older children, and gave up on all of us.

After they moved to Wichita, during World War ll, they both worked in the airplane factories.  Dad later went into the carpentry business, but Mom stayed at Beach Aircraft until she retired.  They always had the whole family for holiday meals.  We had many a good time at those gatherings with new babies joining the group every year.

Mom loved nice clothes especially shoes.  After she retired, she was standing on a chair, fixing a curtain, when she fell.  She lay on the floor for several hours before anyone found her  Her hip was broken and since it was Thanksgiving holiday time, the doctors put off her surgery till after the football games.  She never fully recovered and for over twenty years she suffered.  She wore a brace on one leg and could never wear any of her beautiful shoes again.  She died on August 2, 1991

Dad died from a stroke in 1976. He had several heart attacks in the years preceding his death.


MEMORIES OF DAD AND MOM

Mom and Dad ice skating on the pond and the grilled cheese sandwiches and hot cocoa after.

Dad's old pickup truck "Danger" and the Farmall tractor.

Dad loading all the high school seniors in the back of his truck and taking them on "Skip Day", after the majority of the school board of which he was one, had disapproved.

Mom ironing with the flat irons heated on the cook stove.

The fresh baked bread and cinnamon rolls on wash day, when the stove was going full blast to heat the boiler she bleached clothes in.  The many trips to the cob shed to keep that fire going.

Dad buying big crocks of pickled herring every Lenten season, and Mom making him keep his Limburger cheese outside the house, because if smelled so bad. 

Most of all they were both hard working, honest, people; they did their best to instill good values in their children.

 

Editor's note----Jessie passed away on January 28, 2011.


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