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Pioneer Days

December 2, 2013
By Ellayne Conyers , Marshall Independent

From the diary of Julia Ueland Johnson, former Marshall resident, written in 1966.

Part IV:

"September 8, 1901, we were married at my home by Rev. Martin Romstad. I was also his first confirmation class. We all liked Pastor Romstad. Well, in 1902 August 6, Anne was born, she was such a good baby. But the sad part of it was I dressed her so warm so she broke out in rash. I called the doctor and he said take off all those clothes. First it was a woolen shirt, belly ban, pinning blanket to keep the babys feet warm, then a long flannel skirt, a nice long fancy skirt with small tucks and lace, and then the long fancy dress with lace and ribbon and a pretty cap of lace and ribbon. When I think of it she looked like a little bride. After I got the dress her lighter everything was fine. Anne had wavy blond hair. Anne's mama had a lot to learn how to take care of babys. The neighbor lady where we lived came over every day to see Anne and to hold her, she called her a little queen.

1903 October 6, Edith Jeannette (Johnson) was born. She had dark wavy hair and so cute. When her aunt Olena came to see us she said I just can't take my eyes from that pretty baby. That's exactly the way she said it. We had quite a time with Edith nothing seemed to agree with her, till the doctor told me to get milk from a herd of cows instead of one and to quit all that canned milk, and after that she picked up and got well.

Edith was only six months old when we moved to Chicago to live. Andrew had gone to Chicago in February to work, as there was nothing, or no plastering in Marshall then in his line of work. So I stayed home and sold some of our furniture, gave away some, and took the rest with us as bedding and linens. We left the last day of March on the train and came into Chicago in the morning, and Andrew was there at the depot to meet us. He took us to south Chicago where he had rented a house not to far from the big Steel Mills where he was working. And it was so smoky and dingy, I didn't even like to take my trunks off the depot. I shure didn't like Chicago at first, but I decided I would make the best of it.

We didn't live in that house more then the first month. Andrew quit the Steel Miles and went to work for Mr. Cumingham, plastering again. And we moved into a nicer house in Jackson Park and I commenced to like it better. Ann and Edith was growing and we were all in good health. Our neighbors there used to call the girls the blond twins from Minnesota. On Sundays when they were all dress up nice Andrew took them out for a walk and they always came home with a bag of candy each, they sure like their Daddy.

1906 July twenty six Clarence Andrew was born, he was such a small baby and didn't learn to talk till he was quite old. When Clarence was three years old us two went on the train on the North Western to Minnesota on a two week vacation to visit my folks. I had hired a lady to take care of the girls and also keep house for Andrew while I was gone. The trip was fine and we shure enjoyed it. Going back to Chicago again, Lena my Sister had packed a box of lunch for us. And we had just got settled down and Clarence decided he was hungry and wanted lunch, so I got the box down and he ate good so he must have been hungry. Clarence sat next to the window in the train and I set the box up on the shelf. Clarence yelled out Mama stop the train your purse fell out through the window. Lucky enough there was a messenger train man that saw what happened and he came over to me and asked if that wasn't my purse that fell out. He said when we got to the next town he was going to send the Section man back to look for my purse. The conductor had been in and collected my ticket, and put that little stub above my seat. So I got to Chicago but in the meantime the Messenger man called back to the depot in Marshall, and also called Gust Johnson and he called me and said if I needed any money would wire me some right away. But I told Gust I didn't think I needed any because Andrew would be at the Depot to meet, which he was. But when I came to get my luggage the Depot man wasn't going to let me get them with out the tag, and that was in my lost purse. And he said you have to deposit a dollar and if your purse is found I would get the dollar back. Well Andrew gave me five dollars, so when I showed them that, or was going to pay the dollar, he wanted to know where I got all that money from. So I told him and he said where is your husband? So I went over and told Andrew he had to come and verifie it and also sign his name and I had to sign mine, then he said can you tell me what was in each bag. And I hit that just right. When he opened the grips, so he let me get them, and started to be a little more polite, and said they have to be careful. Well everything was fine at home and Ann and Edith was glad to see me home again.

In the meantime my purse was found and they told me to come and get it and to sign my name and tell what was in the purse beside my money. I happened to have nine silver dollars, besides my ticket, tags, for my grips and a letter with my name on, so he finely decided it was mine. So I signed for it and got the dollar back and purse. But I was a nervous wreck. Well things straightened out again and Clarence got stronger. And it was nice to be free again. What a relief.

Clarence ran over to the neighbor boy Walsh to tell what happened. And they were quarantined for diptheria, they sent Clarence right back, but he had already got the bug and a few days later he got sick with diphtheria. The doctor came every day and our house was quarantined to. Andrew had to move out. And for groceries and things I needed I had to put it on a post by the wood shed, then the man from the store stopped and write it down and brought me the things. I went in Clarence room I had to put a sheet over me, and a sheet dipped in some solution and hung in the door going into the room. Clarence was very sick, and every day the doctor gave him a shot in his arm."

(Continued next week)



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