Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Mary Uible Horton: The Early Years - Part 1

Mary Uible Horton August 8, 1913 - March 2, 2012

Written by the Hortons for Aunt Mary's 90th Birthday [with notes added by Catherine].  Transcription follows.

A Mary Life . . .  Reflections and Special Recollections

All of us pretty much know what Mom has been up to the last few decades, but what about "Mary – the Early Years"?  Well we went to the source and asked Mom to reflect back over four score and ten years ago and share some of her special recollections.  So, with a little help from other family members and in her own words, here goes some things you many not have been aware of, may be worthwhile remembering yourself or may just be some tidbits that you'll get a kick out of.

In the Beginning . . .
I was born at my Grandmother's home in Hillsboro, Ohio.  I was a "Preemie."  We didn't have a special hospital.  I weighed less than five pounds.  They fed me Eagle Brand Milk (no wonder my teeth were so bad).  When I went riding in the carriage, Mother was sure to put a bonnet on my head because I had a head shaped like an "egg"; but Mother admitted I had a cute face!

My Dad built and owned a grocery store in a "hick town" called Westboro, Ohio.  He went to work on the local train.  We lived in the "big house" with my Grandmother.  Grandpa died before Mother was married. [Actually he died on 27-July-1912, about six weeks after the wedding.]  We had indoor plumbing!  Spoiled!!  The family lived on a large estate at the top of the hill.  The big excitement was running to the window to see the electric car [also called an interurban, traction or electric railroad, which ran from Hillsboro to Cincinnati from 1906-1920, GHU wrote a postcard about riding this, see September 2, 1910 Grandma Takes Traction.]  Imagine seeing the first car going down the hill!

I'm sure Dad got tired of taking the train back and forth, so they decided to move to Westboro.  Dad had a wagon and a team of horses to haul our bit of "this and that" . . . . to keep house.  We drove the back roads through the farm country.  We caused quite a commotion . . . .  They thought we were gypsies!  I didn't understand???

I take a bite outa life . . .
Our house was in what they called a row house . . . houses "knit" together and we lived in one next to the store.  No "niceties" here.  I'd say we "roughed" it . . . outdoor toilet and the like!!  We learned to adjust to the new life style.  I wasn't allowed to go in the  store by myself.  WE had a young couple who were clerks and they kind of watched me.  I saw men come in and buy tobacco to chew.  One day, I sneaked in the store to grab a piece of tobacco.  Boyeee, it tasted terrible!  Couldn't believe men chewed this stuff.

My special playmate . . .
Most of the families lived on farms.  Not too many lived in towns.  No kids!  Just Walter Nichols [1913-2007, he became Clinton County Superintendent of Schools] whose Father lived up the street from us.  His father was a blacksmith (shoed horses).  Walter would run down to my place and we would play on the swing.  His Mother was afraid he'd hurt me.  Walter always had a knife or some "weapon."  She would come down and take him home.  I kept in touch with Walter, off and on, over the years.  He ended up as Superintendent of the local school in that area (years later consolidated).

What to do when there's no TV . . .
For entertainment we took horse and buggy rides on Sunday.  We always went to the Methodist Church.  Our front door had a big window facing public buildings and they would show movies and I could see movies, such as they were!  Dad and I liked musicals (that was years later when we moved back to Hillsboro).  He would bribe me to eat my spinach and then he would take me to the movies.  In summer, we had those large metal tubs to play in the water.  Indoors, the metal tubs served as our bathtub.  We took baths in the kitchen.  Also I remember making rooms (playing house) out of the fallen leaves in Autumn.  What a far cry that is from today!

To be continued . . .

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Items from Uible photo album