John Keith>UIS Collection K-M>UIS Collection K-M, Segment 1


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No funeral homes for people who died. Put the body on a board between two chairs for the wake. Later, they would be embalmed in the home, but before then they were not embalmed. In summer, bodies were buried right away, but in the winter they would be kept out for a while. Neighbors would come and stay the night as a custom. Remembers very few vaults. Family made own caskets with walnut timber, ideally. Had the service at home and buried them in the cemetery.
Had a "pigeon pie" as children on Thanksgivings. Never had turkey, and sometimes goose or duck at Christmas. Told wife not to raise ducks and geese because they are messy.
Raised sheep from their marriage to his retirement. Some dogs killed sheep and he has had to kill some dogs. Had sheep in buildings at night but dogs would still get to them. Liked to raise sheep and liked that they would keep grass trimmed.
Had three sons when they moved to the new house, one six years younger than the other two who are 17 months apart. Wife was small and never complained. Kept a good house and cooked well. All three boys stayed until they were 21 to help father. Money was scarce because of the Depression. Due to gas rationing, they owned a 1935 Ford and could only use it to get groceries, and the boys were allowed to use the rest of the gas rationing. Youngest son started school as soon as possible after they moved when he was 6 at Ware Grove School, and all the boys went to high school. Sowed 150 acres of wheat the first year, and had 42 people over for dinner during the threshing, binding, and shocking for two days. Wife cooked for everyone.