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Ruby Christian Freeman '30 (Mrs. Adio) reports ( 6-26-07): " Milford was constructed as a country school where the surrounding farm community could have access to a formal education, grades one through twelve years. In 1927 my sisters Olive and Arlet were seniors, my sister Frances was a third grader and I was a freshman. We lived with our parents, John and Helen Christian on a farm one mile east and one half a mile north of the School. It is essential to keep in mind that this was the time of the nationwide depressions with the approaching stock market crash of 1929. Farmers were cash poor and feared farm foreclosurer. The farms were without electricity or running water and the work was of long hours. Kerosene lamps were used for light and telephones were party lines with about five or six families on each line. The plumbing was a small house in back called a“privy", complete with a Sears catalogue hanging from a string on the wall. I felt a certain sense of smugness that we had a two holer while most of my friends had only one holers. On Halloween My Father would lay the privy on its side to keep the pranksters from pushing it over as they were wont to do.

“My father was called Papa and definitely the head of the household. Every thing was done with his permission and he was strict. He was Very generous in his help to others in need. My mother called Mama was soft spoken and rather philosophical. I asked her why she never yelled and she said "someone has to keep the peace". She had her own way to discipline us -Like the first time she let me cut up a chicken for frying she said I did a good job but she couldn't recognize the pieces, or when I told her I hated a certain girl she said it was all right because she might she might not like you either. She had experienced the loss of her mother and taking care of family at an early age and it seemed to make her stronger to care for the large family she would have. I was the eighth of nine children. Without fail she would wash clothes on Monday using her homemade soap, on Tuesday she would iron using sadd irons which were kept hot on top of the cooking range. Wednesdays and Saturdays were bread baking days.

“Our cellar was filled with canned food. She was always busy, cleaning, churning butter gathering eggs and making three meals a day for my father and two brothers, Hansel and Marion, who were my fathers farm help. “I have fond memories of clothes she made for me, especially a green middy blouse with white braid. When I was confirmed in church my mother went extravagant and I had my first store bought dress. It was expensive for the time at eight dollars.

“On Saturday evenings the family would go to Nevada to buy the staple goods, visit the Doctor, visits with farm friends and such. We would get a nickel or a dime or even a quarter sometimes to spend as we pleased.

“On Sundays we would go to the small town of Roland to church services and visit my Grandmother Christian. Everyone in the town was of Norwegian descent. There were two churches of identical faith and rituals and membership depended on where your ancestors were from in Norway. That fostered intense, sometimes bitter, rivalry for many years. All four of my grand parents immigrated to the Midwest from Norway in the mid-eighteen hundreds and had large families. I had over a hundred adult first cousins! My Grandfather Christian was a land owner in Iowa Minnesota and South Dakota. My Grandfather Jondall was a carpenter who had built boats in Norway.

“Monday was back to school day. Our Bus was a Model T Ford driven by Mr Erickson for which he was paid thirty dollars a month. I liked school and my report card says I was a good student. Some of the subjects we studied were -Domestic Science, Agriculture, algebra, geometry, common Law, ancient History, General science, English Literature, English, Biology, and Physics. Some of the teachers that I remember were Mr Lee, Mr Halverson, Edith Meyers, Mr Michelson, Mr Beilefelt and the one I remember the most, Mildred Welty. She taught Literature and Drama. In her classroom we had debates, lively discussions and good participation from the students. Declamatory contests were popular at that time, with divisions in oratory, Dramatic and Comedy. Miss Welty made a very good showing as coach for Margaret Hereim in Oratory, me in Dramatic, and Lois Cook in Comedy. We made a good showing in competition with other much larger schools. Miss Welty put on plays, operettas, skits and in general seemed to enjoy working with students. In 1929 Milford mourned the loss of Superintendent Weyrock who was killed in an automobile-train accident. Mr Wayne Pratt was then hired as the new Superintendent. The high School numbered around fifty or sixty students and some of the names I remember were Marie and Helen McCaffrey, Wayne Slocum, twins Bernice and Bernita Howland, Jeanette Sowers, Millard McCoy, John Allen, Orlene Twedt, Dorothy Sowers, Reva Rhodes, Ruth and Bernice Durby, Sylvia Thompson, Edith Jacobson, Ethyl Durby, Emoreen Sloan, Viola Danielson, Kimbal Peterson, Margaret Twedt, Louise Hovland, Earl Prescott, Marion Gilreath and the class of 1930.

“After graduation Margaret and I kept up our close friendship; however, we were not going in any serious direction as what we wanted to do with the future until Miss Welty invited us to visit her sister in Evanston, Ill. And possibly find employment.

“We both stayed in the Chicago area where several years later Margaret had earned her teaching credentials then went back to Iowa to teach at Milford and marry Willard Gilreath. I trained to become an RN in a private hospital, Michael Reed and married a Doctor, Adio Freeman. After serving in WWII he studied at the Menninger Institute in

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© 2012 Mark Christian
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