Sunday, October 17, 2010

Elizabeth and Gifford Tuttle Interview Stories

This is the continuation of Fred Gay's interview with Elizabeth and Gifford Tuttle.

Fred asked Elizabeth to explain to him the day they were married and why that was a unique day in American History.

Elizabeth -  We were married June 28, 1914 and that was the very same day that Archduke Ferdinand, of Austria, was killed by Serbian students.  (Fred said - For many young people, they may not know that this is what started WWI.)  Until the day that we were married the whole world was at peace but since that day it has always been in pieces.  Sure enough the war did go on.  Of course we didn't start it but it was remarkable that it started that very same afternoon.

I taught school until the time that I knew we were going to move to Iowa.  I enjoyed it so much and I really liked to do it and it was my profession.  Gifford didn't object to it so I kept on teaching.

The city of Chariton has what is called a square.  There is a large park in the middle and the business houses were on the four sides of the square.  The north side seems to have always been the best side of the square.  There were good stores all around but the north side has always been considered the best.  This store was about in the middle on the north side, a double front hardware store.  Just the perfect location for anyone that wants to improve their business and to keep it active and have people come in.  The traffic is always good on the north side of the square.  We had large windows and we could put our large coal or wood burning kitchen ranges in there.  Of course they had a reservoir on the side.

There were a lot of walking farm engines.  Not riding, but walking.  You think about how long ago that was, 1923.  It was a fine location and we thought we had the finest location in the state of Iowa.  That is, we thought that it was very good for us and we got all the traffic that ever came to town.  The other stores on the north side also did good.  The dry good stores, and Pipers and a fine big grocery store and a drug store.  We thought we were in the Garden of Eden.

It was a very exciting time to be in business.  Everything went well and we were harmonious among ourselves.  Gifford had the good judgment to get a couple of his nephews to work for us.  Gifford's two brothers had sons and then I made a trip to western Kansas all by myself to ask Lawrence to come and be in business with us.  He did and then Chester joined us and they were perfect hardware men.  They loved the work and they prospered by it.  It was all very interesting.  We look back at a most harmonious business life in Chariton.  We are pleased with it.  As I said, we loved Chariton and wanted to stay here.  We like the people and it is enjoyable.  We are just happy.

In the late 1920's electricity which brought changes in appliances.  We still sold some kerosene lamps as it didn't start all at once.  It was gradual.  That seemed to be nature's way or the human's way.  It started slow and that was good for everybody.

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