Voices of the Ozarks – Linda Whitener

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My name is Linda Gay Whitener. I was born March 11, 1953 at Saint Mary’s in Ironton Missouri.

What to you remember of your childhood?

It’s really easy to remember because I lived there until the 6th grade. I’ve been here all my life. Just recently moved in with my significant other on High Street just a couple of houses down from the elementary school.

Right after my birth we lived on Z Highway but I don’t remember that. My parents were George Robert Whitener and Helen Maple Miller Whitener. We moved to 310 High Street soon after I was born. One of my early memories is sitting with my dog Peppy, a black and white chihuahua on our gray couch and chair while everyone was working. Her dad would bring her a snack and drink while she sat and watched. read more

Voices of the Ozarks – Glenda Pierce

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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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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.

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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