Friday, July 31, 2009

Jerome - from "Maggie's Story," her life, by Maggie (Agan) Moore, 1903-1996

One day Manford and I were job-hunting. He had heard that there was a vacancy for a school superintendent (I don't remember in what town). We were driving down Highway 2 toward Centerville and saw the sign pointing toward Jerome. Manford was acquainted with the Superintendent there, Harold Main, having met him at one of the summer schools. So he said, "I believe we better drive in here. Harold might know of a vacancy somewhere."

In Jerome we learned that Harold had already left. The school term wasn't over. A woman in Jerome, who had been the Principal years before, finished out the term. And they were looking for a Superintendent. He met some School Board members. They didn't hire him that day. But they told him to come back and meet the whole Board.

I have always remembered that, when we left Jerome that day, Manford and I were singing the hymn,

"The sign of the fire by night,
and the sign of the cloud by day,
hovering over, just before,
as we journey on our way,
shall a guide and a leader be
till the wilderness be passed.
For the Lord our God
In his own good time
Will lead to the light at last."

We sent down the road singing that hymn, because we were so thankful. Jobs were hard to find. We felt that the Lord led us to Jerome.

Howard Carter and Manford borrowed a trailer to pull behind the car and move our furniture to Jerome in 1934. We had to sell a lot of our furniture, because the only house we could rent in Jerome was furnished. It was an old house with a kitchen, a dining room, living room, and two bedrooms. Another room was full of furniture which belonged to the owner of the house, Anna Gorman. We had a big heating stove in the dining room. We didn't heat the living room or
bedrooms in the winter. There was also an old cook stove in the kitchen for heat and cooking. In the summer time we used a three-burner kerosene stove for cooking.


Figure 1.
Manford Moore, 1934 school photo

We had an electric washing machine in Lovilia, but because Jerome didn't have electricity in town, we sold the washing machine and I had to wash clothes on a "wash board." We heated the water in a boiler on the cook stove.

The fuel for the heating stove and the cook stove was both corn cobs and coal. Jerome was a coal mining town.

We had good friends Cloe and Stitcher Hawkins [1] there. They had no children, and were very fond of Gay and Leroy. Cloe and I worked together in the church. We were adult supervisors of the Epworth League, the young peoples' group. Our minister lived in another town and wasn't able to be in Jerome on Sunday evening for Epworth League.

I went to Iowa Wesleyan College for a week on summer for the Epworth League Institute.

The great depression was on, at that time. For entertainment people went to church and Sunday School. Manford taught a Sunday School class. We also had many school affairs. One a month we had an evening for parents at the school. We also spent many evenings with Cloe and Stitcher Hawkins. His brother [2] ran one of the two grocery stores in Jerome and lived across the street west of us. They had three little girls. The oldest girl [3] and Gay were good friends.

Stitcher's sister [4] was a nurse. When she was not on duty, she would stay at the Hawkins' family in Jerome. She was a good friend to us, too. Also, she was quite helpful to us when there was illness. The closest doctor was at Centerville, ten miles away. It cost $10 whenever the doctor came out.

The family [5] across the street south of us ran the other grocery store. They had one grown son [6] who no longer lived in Jerome. They also had Pekinese dogs.

Jerome had a two-year high school. Leroy started to kindergarten there, the first day Manford was Superintendent of a school. The school building was made of brick. In addition to several classrooms, it had an auditorium. At the top of the stairs, in the center of the building, was the Superintendent's office. There was a telephone in that office. The school janitor, Jordie Anderson [7], had a wooden leg. He was very cross with the students. He stood at the door whenever the children were coming in from recess to make everyone clean their shoes.

One of the teaches, Miss King [8], was from Centerville. Another teacher [9] lived in Promise City and drove to Jerome every day.

The school had outdoor toilets.

The basketball games were played outdoors, on a dirt court. Manford would mark the court lines with lime, before a game was played with another school.

Manford was going to buy a great big plank to make a teeter-totter for the school yard. But my father donated the blank from a tree on the farm where I grew up, and Manford made it into a teeter-totter.

The town cemetery was just over the fence from the school yard.

Many years later Leroy and I drove to Jerome, just to see it again. The school had been closed, sold, and made into an antique shop. The woman who was operating it used to teach at Jerome.

The church was about half-way between our house and the school.

There was also another church in Jerome, called The Believers. I never heard of them anywhere else.

During the summers we went to summer school at William Penn College in Oskaloosa. We had an apartment at the home of Professor and Mrs. Stanley. They were very fine people and were good to us. Both Manford and I went to college. We took a very heavy load of courses.

One of those summers Edna "Tootie" Hardy went with us from Jerome. She did our cooking and took care of Gay and Leroy. She took them to the town's library every day of the week. They would come home with their arms full of books; five each. After reading their own books, they would exchange. The next day they would get other books. We had no radio, and, of course, no television.I can't remember how much we paid her. But it was a very small sum.

Manford's brother, Marshall, lived with us part of the time while we were in Jerome. So Tootie and Marshall met. And she went to Nebraska with us on one of our trips to visit Manford's family there.

Later Tootie and Marhall were married and lived in Jerome. They had two boys, Jerry and Roger. Both of these boys worked their way through college.


Figure 2.
Edna "Tootie" Hardy married

Marshall Moore, Manford's brother.

Years later, when Marshall died, Leroy officiated at his funeral. Marshall was buried at Jerome. Even later, Tootie was buried there, too.

Manford also took Saturday college courses at Iowa City. He was working hard to complete his Bachelor of Arts degree, and received that degree while we lived at Jerome.


Figure 3.
Manford Moore in his Bachelor of Arts cap and gown,
on receiving the degree from William Penn College.
Photo in the yard of Anna Gorman's house

where we lived in Jerome.

We had a very hard winter one of the years we lived in Jerome. The snow fell so heavily that the roads were blocked. We couldn't get out to the highway north of Jerome for several days. The snow was higher than the tops of the cars. The men did a lot of hand shoveling, before they could get the machines through. Some of them paid off their poll taxes by that work on the road.

The Walnut Creek Coal Company was near the junction of the Jerome road and Highway 2. There was also a pig farm at that corner. We used to hold our breath, whenever we passed it.
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Editor's Notes: [1] Mary Chloe Vail came to Jerome to teach at the Jerome School, met and married Archibald Franklin "Stitcher" Hawkins, [2] William Earl and Lora (Patrick) Hawkins, [3] Phyllis Carolyn Hawkins, [4] Cadd Hawkins who was in the first class of nurses (1912) to graduate from St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital in Centerville, [5] Herbert and Etta (Frogge) Warnick, [6] Walter L. Warnick, [7] George "Gordy" Anderson, [8] Georgia King, and [9] Cleo Baughman.
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The editor sincerely appreciates the contribution and permission to publish this section from Maggie's Story by Maggie (Agan) Moore, 1903-1996, with pictures to The Jerome Journal by her son, the Rev. Leroy Moore of Indianola, Iowa.

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