Saturday, May 17, 2014

Life History of Velma Tyler Glenn (1906-1996): Part 5: The depression of the 30's and some early incidents

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

1930's----The depression of the 30's (1930)

We were married August 30, 1929, just when the "depression" was beginning, and when it hit, the bottom dropped out of everything. It went on into the 40's. People couldn't get a job anywhere. It they did, the person that hired them didn't have any money to pay them for their work.

People couldn't sell anything, if they had anything to sell, because no one had any money to buy.

The banks closed. Those that did have any money in the banks couldn't get it out (That is one disadvantage of a bank). In this area, the two banks in Twin Falls, Bank and Trust and Fidelity, finally got enough together to open and keep open a little bank in Filer. That helped some.

Very few people in those days had a furnace to heat their homes, which was an advantage at that time. Heaters were used to heat the homes. The people couldn't sell their crops--so they burned them for fuel. We could keep one room quite warm by starting a fire with some small peices [sic] of wood then carefully piling some beans on. About all they did was smoulder. But, they kept many from freezing. Slack (powdered) coal was also used the same way. Extreme care had to be taken to keep a draft through it or it would blow up and fog the smoke and fumes all over the house, which it did quite often. Most every one had a difficult time getting the coal because they didn't have the money to buy it with. Everyone had a hard time getting the necessities of life and I mean NECESSITIES---existing---

Wesley and the other Glenn boys worked with their dad on the farm. Their dad did not want them to work away from home. When we got married, his dad gave him $100 to buy some furniture for our house. We took it to a furniture store in Twin Falls and asked them how much we could buy with it. They figured for a while and let us have a brown iron bedstead, a pair of springs , a mattress, a dresser and a 9 by 12 ft lenoleum rug for the bedroom and a dinnette set (a small table and four chairs) . Wesley's folks gave us two small rockers and a camp stove (we used to heat the room and cook what we could on top of it). They also gave us an old iron folding cot that I put a folded quilt on and used it for more sitting room if anyone came. The $100 and a once a month $5 hand out was Wesley's pay for the years work, I guess. We managed to exist on it. The only furniture we had for 20 or 25 years was something Wesley's folks didn't want or had worn out, I should say.

We had our four children between 1931 and 1936, which made our financial condition worse. We didn't get the Doctor's bill paid until after our last child was born. I'll bet the Doctor was glad to see the last of us. He was very good to those who didn't have and poured it on to those who did have.

I made all the clothes and canned everything we ate. We did have a cow which helped.

Moena was almost two her second Christmas . We didn't have any money to buy her a present. We asked a merchant in Kimberly, Russel (Rus) Wilson, if he would take two sacks (100 lbs each) of beans in trade for a little red wagon and a little red rocking chair he had in his store (they were $1.00 each) . He said he would. That is the way Moena got her first Christmas present.

Some of the prices--at that time ---
Beef - 10 to 15 ¢ per pound - live weight
Eggs - 20 to 25 ¢ per dozen
50 lbs of flour - 98 ¢
Butter - about 50 ¢ per pound
Cotton cloth - 5 to 35¢ depending on grade -- could push a broom straw through the 5¢.
Beans - 98¢ to a $1 per hundred weight
Wheat - about 25 to 50 ¢ per bushel
Apples - wind falls - 25¢ per bushel, or free sometimes if you picked them off the ground. Better grade - 75¢ to $1 per bushel.
Mens overalls - 98¢, shirt - about the same.
Womens work and childrens shoes - 98¢
If you could find work--women or girls, $5 per week--men $1.50 per day for stacking hay. later men got $17.50 per week (9 hour day, 6 days a week).
Everyone that had any space had a cow and a few chilckens which helped the meals a bit.
Men stacked hay by hand for $1.50 per day.
The houses couldn't be kept very warm so I bought all you children a pair of coveralls. I washed them out at night, let them dry and you put them on the next day.

In 1970, bib overalls were $3.98 per pair, a denem [sic0 jacket the same. In March, 1979, overalls were $15. and up and jackets, 15 to 35 dollars.
The cheapest dresses were $20 to $70 and over $100 or more for the best.
Milk $2.09 for whole, $1.89 pergal for 2%. Fruit, apples, peaches, etc., $6 to $10 per bushel (1978). Beef, 60¢ and up per pound live weight.

Everything gradually started to pick up after Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president and started a lot of government spending projects. This is when the government started getting in debt and it gets worse every year. (1979)

This is our 50th year of marriage (Velma and Wesley). We have our property all paid for (in 1975). We have our home furnished comfortably and have enough money to pay our expenses by being very careful of our spending and hope we will always have.

Some early incidents--When I was very small, my father made a swing and hung it between two large cedar trees in our yard. We children had to take turns for a certain period of time, then we had to let the next child, brother or sister, take a turn, etc. Sometimes we would get to arguing about whose turn was next or someone took turn too long. If Dad came around and heard us arguing, he would put the swing up so high we couldn't reach it and say, "Now when you think you can play with the swing without arguing, I will take the swing down." Sometimes he would let it hang there for a day or two.

All the people in this area were very bitter toward the "Mormons" and didn't want them in that area, and didn't want them preaching to the people. Some of the men in the community planned to burn the church to try to get rid of them. They piled some wood against the church house and lit a fire and went away thinking it would burn. The fire went out. The house didn't burn. They went inside another night, built a fire, set the wood afire and ran away. It went out. They tried again. This time they piled a lot of fine pieces of wood and larger pieces in between the benches, poured kerosene all over it, lit it and ran away, thinking for sure it would burn this time. It burned long enough to scorch some of the wood and went out, not damaging anything. They never tried it again. Grandpa and grandma said it was a testimony to them that "God moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform". He wouldn't let the church house burn.

Jerald Wesley Glenn Family (Taken 1952)
Velma Tyler &Jerald Wesley Glenn (Front Seated)
Back Row L to R Patricia Ann, Donald Wesley, Derald Boyd & Moena

>>Part 6

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