Born February 17, 1927 in Decatur, IL, the oldest child. Had two sisters and four brothers. Parents moved them to Oakley, IL, when Mrs. Siburt was one year old. Father needed work, so uncles hired him at their sawmill on Sangamon River. Parents rented a house, then bought 5 acres and built a three room house. No indoor plumbing, but drew bucket with water from well. Children were bathed once a week in a washtub. Heated water on top of stove. Oldest got bath first.
Father worked at sawmill and leased river bottom land to grow corn and soybeans. Raised cows, pigs, and a team of horses. Father borrowed horses if his own was lame. All planting was manual. Does not think sawmill salary was high.
FOOD & MEALS
Picked blackberries and cherries in the garden. Picked cherry tree clean. Enjoyed cherry pies in the winter. Garden helped support children. Remembers helping mother can 400-600 quarts of food per year. Canned sausage in grease in half gallon Mason jars to preserve it. Stored fried chicken similarly. Women would cook for two days to make enough food for threshing dinners for 15-16 men. Learned to cook big meals early on but was not as good early in marriage on a new gas stove. Stored food in "cave." Describes the cave. Separated cream from milk with a separator and sold cream for money. Kept cream in cave. Had an icebox of solid oak and ice man would come twice a week. Parents still have theirs even though it is an antique.