Posts Tagged ‘Speedway West Virginia’

I woke this morning listening to a slight drizzle of rain knocking on my window. There is a bit of a chill in the air, just enough to let the arthritis in my shoulder know that something – not sure it it is good or bad –  is about to change in the weather. What a perfect morning to crawl back between the sheets with a good book! After all – I AM the only one in my neighborhood who hasn’t read  Fifty Shades of Grey.  Tonight is “girl’s” night out with Krewe Hanover Farms  and I really want to have something to talk about that has nothing to do with weeds, husbands or home owner’s associations.

However; after thinking it over a bit I realized if I get engrossed in a book right now, it will be noon before I start my day.   Instead, I decided to spend my morning productively by tackling my overwhelming batch of papers that need filing.   About five minutes into filing I ran across a document that I intended to publish a while back .  After shoving all of the other papers back into an already overflowing, wardrobe sized crate  labeled “Things to File” – I sat down at my computer to bring you the words of my Great Aunt – Lillian Ruth Caperton Wimmer.   This essay, written by Ruth, tells of life around Speedway, West Virginia just before – during – and after WWII.

Growing up in the 30’s and 40’s in Speedway, West Virginia – By Lillian Ruth Caperton Wimmer

I was born September 7, 1931, during the “Great Depression.”  Times then were very (more…)


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I would like to give a huge welcome to all of the new subscribers who joined this week!  We’re glad to have you.  Before I get to the story, and since there are so many new readers I’ll spend a minute and explain what this posting is about.  Julia Caperton was my great-grandmother.  Her daughters, Ruth and Gertrude put their memories down in the form of a handwritten story sometime around 1969 – just a few years after Julia passed away.  I have the original copies – in pencil – and I’m placing a little bit of the story online each week.   The words are not edited – they are copied just as they were written.  If you wish to catch up, all of the chapters can be found by clicking this link: Julia Caperton Family Story.

Chapter 10 – Starting Over

1920 – 1923

The only income Julia had was twenty dollars a month – paid to her by a lodge that Mark had belonged to.   Her friends all wanted her to send the children to an orphanage, but she loved them dearly and wouldn’t give them up.   Julia knew she couldn’t sit down and give into her sorrow, and the burden was now hers, so she straightened her brave young shoulders and looked to the future.  Had it been possible for her to see into the future, she would not have had the courage to go on.

Julia moved in with her mother and brother Bob, they were glad to have her and the children live with them, it had been lonely for Bob and his mother since they had moved back to the farm.  Julia bought another cow, her mother already had one cow.  Now they would have plenty of milk and butter to use for the family, and a little left over to sell at the country store nearby.

Julia planned each move carefully.  She bought Bob another horse, so he could have a team to do the farm plowing and hauling.   She raised turkeys to  have for sale in the fall.  She raised more chickens so they would have more eggs to sell.   Julia was proud of the big hogs they raised, they had plenty of meat to eat.  She sold all of the hams, but kept the rest of the meat for the family.

Happiness, poverty, tragedy and sorrows were to be Julia’s life, but greatness and a great life will emerge out of this.  If only there are words to express her life.  Through all of her troubles, she stood like a brave soldier.  All who met her, or even knew her felt there was something special about her.   It was like being close to an angel, a great gift God had given her.   Julia had faith in God,and in all the tragedies which she suffered, she was able to come out of all of it, stronger than ever.

Julia and her children were like a team, all pulling together.  They helped with each chore to be done, they helped in the garden, in the cane field, some times they would work all day in the corn field.  They went out in the fields to pick berries to can for jelly and jam and on special days they picked the berries to make a cobbler.   The children climbed the large cherry trees to  pick cherries for canning.  All summer long she canned fruits and vegetables.  In the fall they dug potatoes and buried them in a mound of straw and earth to keep for the winter.   They gathered apples then buried them or placed them around the flu in the attic.

Around Christmas time she would take the apples out of the mound of straw.  They were so delicious – somehow burying them made them taste so good.  The apples that were placed around the flu were good too.   It was great to sit around the cook stove in the middle of winter eating the tasty apples.  The family and many times other relatives were visiting.  Someone would start telling a big tale, then someone else would start telling a bigger one.   Suddenly, someone would break out with a ghost story, then the fun began.  That’s when your spine would tingle – the hair on the back of your neck would stand up.  The children would get up and move if there backs were against a window or door – they would move to a safer spot against a wall, never to move again.  The eyes of the children were so big and wide, looking up as if they expected to see a ghost any minute.  As scared as they were, they enjoyed and hung on to every word – thrilled and excited – half way believing it all.

The children liked to help milk the cows, feed the hogs and gather the eggs.  Most of the time the eggs had to be sold for groceries.  They didn’t get to each much of the ham either, the hams also had to be sold.   Sometimes they got to eat a chicken, especially if the preacher was going to be there.  Usually the chicken was about gone by the time the children got to the table, as they had to wait and let the company eat first.  Company always came first – that was like the law in those days.  They knew well to stand back and wait, if they did get impatient and said or did something they shouldn’t, they would be scolded or sometimes spanked.

To the children, Julia’s word was the law and they didn’t question it.  She ruled with a kind hand but a stern one.   They knew she loved them, and they loved their mother.  I don’t think any children could ever love their mother as much as Julia’s children loved her.


During the time this part of the story was written – it’s likely that the two children who had to do all of the work were Helen and Gertrude!  In 1920, Helen would have been 10 years old and Gertrude 8.  The two younger children, Bessie (Tootsie) and Mark would have been 4 and 1.  It’s unlikely they were a lot of help.

Julia’s brother, Bob – was a young man of 18.  Her mother Ella was in her early 50’s, and most likely took charge of the two younger children while the others worked the farm.

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As I began searching for an appropriate name for this web site it was becoming more and more difficult to find a single word or phrase that would somehow connect the Ford family of California to the Landreth family of Maryland as well as those in the far north and far south.

For my first post – I am going to pose this question to all of you.

Why do you think I chose the word “Pride” for the subject of this blog?

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