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Circumstances of Interview
Federal Writers' Project
Works Progress Administration
OREGON FOLKLORE STUDIES
Name of worker : Sara B. Wrenn Date December 12, 1938
Address : 505 Elks Building, Portland, Oregon
Subject: Social Life
Name and address of informant: Mrs. Margaret Weightman Cor. Oak Cornell, Oswego, Oregon
Date and time of interview: Dec. 7, 1938 1:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Place of interview: Home, above address
Name and address of person, if any, who put you in touch with informant : ----
Name and address of person, if any, accompanying you : none
Description of room, house, surroundings, etc. : Description of room, house, surroundings, etc. Comfortable two-story house, attractively furnished. The usual suburban garden, with shrubs and flowers, looking as Oregon greens do in the month of December -- somewhat barren.
Personal History of Informant
Information obtained should supply the following facts:
1. Ancestry : Irish.
2. Place and date of birth : Oswego, Oregon August 29, 1884.
3. Family : Father, Wm. Stock Halliman, b. Dublin, Ireland; Mother, Katherine Margaret DeLashmutt, b. Burlington, Iowa.
4. Places lived in, with dates : Oswego, 1884-1908; Seattle, 1908-1913; Spokane, 1913-1916; Oswego, 1916-1918; San Francisco, 1918-1929, Oswego, 1929 and since.
5. Education, with dates : Public schools including high school, 1896-1906, Business College, 1908.
6. Occupations and accomplishments with dates : Millinery saleswoman, 1912-1926; Music off and on, piano.
7. Special skills and interests : Dancing.
8. Community and religious activities : Christian Science. All civic activities.
9. Description of informant : Medium height and weight; faded blonde, with gray hair, well dressed and quite attractive.
10. Other points gained in interview : Very cooperative in every way. While informant was under 65, the interview seemed worth while because of the information given concerning her mother and father of earlier days. Mother born in 1847, died May 16, 1937.
My mother, who was entering her 91st year when she died last year, spent the last six years of her life in bed, the result of a fractured hip. She had always been very active, and took a keen interest in everything right up to her death. The night before breaking her hip she was dancing -- waltzing -- with my daughter. She was always very fond of dancing, as were all of our family and relatives. Mother was very musical, both instrumental and vocal. Whenever there was a crowd of young people in the house she would play for the rest of us to sing. Her favorite song was "Old Lang Syne". I think that was because we could all sing it together. Another of her own favorites was [Rock Me to Sleep, Mother?]. She used to say her mother sang that to her. There were six of us children, but only three are left. My brother Leonard was named for J.D. (I think are the initials) Leonard. Anyway he was the man who at one time was interested in the old White House and race course that used to be at Riverside. As I recall this man Leonard was also interested in the old Oswego smelter, and father worked there for six years. That old brown majolica pitcher over there -- it holds a gallon -- we used to carry down to the men full of milk. And did they lap it up on a hot day!
Mother taught the first Sunday School in Oswego. She gathered in the children [ather?] house, and played the melodeon for them. I have the melodeon still.
Mother was a Methodist. One of her Sunday School pupils was Belle Trullinger, who afterwards married Governor Geer. She was his second wife. Mother used to tell a story of how Belle's mother bought her a little fringed parasols and the very first Sunday she had it here she came, carrying her parasol with a great air and her little face and hands were as dirty as they could be. She couldn't wait and ran off from home before getting cleaned up.
Mother loved poetry. She kept a scrap book and pasted poetry in it. Scrap books of that sort were quite popular in her day. She was religious, but never interfered with us young people having a good time. We danced a lot. The folks used to belong to Good Templars Lodge, which was very popular with everybody around here in those days.
Extra Comment : This interview was made chiefly because of the informant's mother and what she could remember. This trip out to the hill south of Oswego was made to interview an old lady who was not at hone, and the worker interviewed such as she could find who might tell something. It was poor hunting, with a long walk in vain.