Voices of the Ozarks – Glenda Pierce

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0:13

My name is Glenda, my maiden name was Robinson, I was married to John Skaggs who passed away and then I was married to Judd Pierce who also passed away. I was born July 2nd, 1934. I’ll be 85 years old this year.  I had 6 brothers and sisters, 4 brothers, 2 sisters. There were seven children in the family. I was born north of Patton Junction on a farm where we lived until I was about 5 years old. One story I remember about the farm house is going out for the day and forgetting my little sister.  Back then you didn’t have playpens or strollers so you would put a child’s dress tail under a table leg to keep them from crawling away.

Glenda, her husband John Paul Skaggs and their children.

We moved out to a place on HWY 51 north of Patton Junction. My father opened a filling station there. We lived there until I was 9 years old and that’s when we moved to Fredericktown. While we were there one of the things I remember best was working in the truck garden. We would work there while my dad worked at his filling station. I remember my mom would put my little sister in a horse collar to keep her from crawling away while we were working. read more

Voices of the Ozarks – Margaret Miller

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0:17

My name is Margaret Miller. I was a Warnicker. I was born in Iron Mountain Missouri in 1931. My dad was a miner. In 1931, of course, the depression was starting. Iron Mountain was a mining town and there was a strip of company houses across from the mines. We lived in a big house. Then the mines shut down and my dad lost his job. At that point he began taking city people on hunting trips as a guide which provided a good income. He also hunted and fished for food. We also had a garden.

I was the only girl. I had an older brother, Charles, who was eight years older than I was. I was the only girl in the extended family. I was probably a little spoiled. When I was six my younger was born.

I went to school in Iron mountain but often also stayed with my grandmother in Mine LaMotte and would sometimes go to school there. There was no high school in Iron Mountain so my older brother went to high school in Mine LaMotte and would stay with my grandmother. read more

Voices of the Ozarks – Della Rhodes

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My name is Della Starkey Rhodes, my parents were Roy and Nellie Starkey. I was born in 11/1 of 1935 just below Marquand across from the Whitener cemetery. I was born in a two story house in the upstairs bedroom. I don’t remember the doctor’s name.

Our house was on DD HWY but back then it was called Castor River Road.

1:00

My First memories are living a mile down below that where my grandparents lived. My dad built a house there. My grandparents were “truck” farmers. They hauled a lot of lime, farmer supplies and logs.

Truck farming is large fields of product such as corn, beans, and potatoes which are sold. We moved from there when I was 10. My dad bought a 325 acre farm about a mile below that. At the time my dad worked at the mines here in Fredericktown at National Lead. read more

Voices of the Ozarks – Norman Boland

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0:18

Norman Boland, born in Desloge, Missouri in 1930. Before that, in Desloge, they lived about a half mile from the chat dump. Before Norman was born his dad worked at the National mine mill. He was laid off around 1930 and worked at the WPA a few days a week but was otherwise unemployed for awhile. Norman eventually had seven siblings.

During their time in Desloge they didn’t have much. They would get out of date food from the dumpster and salvage food that was still good.  He talks about being six years old and going out to play for the day. He’d take off with cornbread in his pocket and pick fruit from trees and bushes.  Norman describes the house they lived in and tells the story of that house burning and getting rebuilt. read more

Voices of the Ozarks – AJ Fencl

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:16

My name is Albert Joseph Fencl, I go by AJ though. I was born on May 2, 1937. I was born on the head of Cedar Creek, Wayne County.  AJ describes his birth place and his dad’s farm. He lived there till he was 18, almost 19.

He started school at Burlington Grade School which was a little country school, no longer there. His first teacher was Wanda Stevens Leach. AJ was the only student there until the Bridges kids moved into he area. Later he went to Cold water for grades 6-8.

2:00

AJ points out that the roads were not rock but dirt and so they would often get muddy. When he was in the 6th grade he saved his money for a used bicycle. When the roads were dry he would ride the bike. If the roads were wet he would ride one of his dads mules or he would run.  Either way it was 5 miles to the school. read more

Voices of the Ozarks – Connie Nicholson

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:18

What’s your name? Connie Nicholson

When were you born?  April 7, 1948?

And where were you born? Fredericktown  

Well, I lived on, well, I don’t know the address. Across the street from where I live. I was going into the 5th grade. I went to school in Fredericktown over there on High Street. 

So, as a child, you lived across the street from where you live now? 

Yes, the house that I bought now on 306 North Mine LaMotte, yes.

I have four brothers and I’m the only daughter.  I raised Mikey, Ricky, and Randy and I’ve got a brother, we’re 14 months apart, so I just helped take care of them as I was growing up.

Were you the oldest?

Next to the oldest. My brother is older than me, Jerry.

So, as a kid in Fredericktown, what did you like to do? read more

Voices of the Ozarks – Victor Bailey

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00:17

My name is Victor Bailey and today is January 11, 2019. It is my birthday and I am 92 years old. I was born in 1927, the year that Charles Lindbergh became famous for flying the Atlantic. 

His parents moved to St. Louis county around the time that Lindbergh’s baby was kidnapped. The neighbors called the FBI because his family was new to the neighborhood. Victor suggests he may have been the youngest person ever arrested by the FBI.

He’s not sure why or exactly when the Bailey’s left Scotland. Later Bailey’s were Quakers. He mentions Patrick Bailey who, in 1680, had business dealings in that period. His mother’s native name was LaChance. He discusses the founding of the local village, St. Michaels which would later become Fredericktown. Among the founders of St. Michaels were 6 LaChances.  read more

Voices of the Ozarks – Rita Kayser

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Rita Kayser

0:15 

My Name is Rita Kayser, I live outside of Marquand with my husband of 55 years. We have 4 sons, 3 daughter in laws and 6 granddaughters and we’re expecting our first great grandchild.

She was born in 1945 and grew up in the boot heel near Glennonville and Wilhelmina settlements which was purchased by the St. Louis Archdioceses and sold to the people as a great place to settle. Actually it was a dismal swamp. 

Her parents, Ed and Lucille Larken moved to Willemena from Kentucky in 1925. She shares the story of her parents’ drive from Kentucky to Missouri. 

3:00 

Rita shares the difficulties of her parents and others living in the area due to flooding and crop loss. 

4:15 

Her parents struggled during the Great Depression but like many, they were already poor before so it didn’t matter much.  read more

Voices of the Ozarks – Phyllis Fencl

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0:17

Phyllis was born in 1936 in Zion Missouri, 12 miles south of Fredericktown. She’s lived in Zion her whole life with the exception of a short time in St. Louis when she and her husband felt like fish out of water. She was born at home and had an older brother and an older sister.

02:40 

Her childhood school was in a 2 room brick building with no electricity but thanks to close proximity to the  Mississippi River Fuel Transmission  (Now Center-point Energy) running water was available. Phyllis describes what it was like to be in a 1 room, then 2 room school with various grades in the same room. The school had a beautiful library full of books which Phyllis enjoyed because she loved reading books. 

“Every year the teacher got to order more books. I devoured them. I read books I didn’t even like because they were books and I wanted to read.” read more