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Erstwhile Encounters
Mrs. Martha Ruth Smith (Buhrmeister)  
Born: July 29th, 1910

Providence Prairie: Tell us about the Flood of 1937.

Martha Ruth Smith: Oh Boy, that’s another one.  Oh it just rained and rained
and rained.  That was the year our youngest boy, well a little, well, older than
Sue was born then.  And you couldn’t get no where.  And from Broughton they
had uh, the highway was covered with water. And they’d go up and down and
take the mail in boats from Dale to Broughton.  And all those fields were
flooded over; it looked like you were goin’ through the ocean.  We could get to
town in the wagon, but from there it was flooded as far as the eye could see.  
But thank the Lord we was high enough here that it didn’t reach us.  

(Prairie Proclamtion Volume 9, Issue #1)
The following is an interview we had with Joe Cross on June 3, 2001. Joe was 83
years old, born in 1918, and raised in Middle Creek, Illinois, between McLeansboro and
Dahlgren.  We visited him at Hamilton Memorial Nursing Center that June afternoon, and
the following is part of our interview with him.  

Providence Prairie:  We just recently got some honeybees.  Did you ever have bees?  
Joe Cross:  Oh yeah.  We raised honeybees, had honey bees.  
Providence Prairie:  Did you?  
Joe Cross:  Yeah, yeah.  Yeah we’d rob’m, take out a smoker and rob’m, and they’d fall.  We had
beehives what we called ’em beehives ya’ know.  You go in there and take the honey out.  Use
that smoker.  Sometimes you’d get a sting, sometimes you wouldn’t.  
Providence Prairie:  Did you have to go and catch your bees like from a hollow tree or
Joe Cross:  Oh yeah ya’d, ya’d, See they’d swarm in the tree or a limb or somethin’, and you’d
rake them off in the hive.   

(Prairie Proclamtion Volume 8, Issue #2)    
As Christmas time draws nigh, we often pause to reflect how the times have
changed.  Our celebrations and traditions may not be the same as those of
yesteryear, but we still honor the same Child who came into the world to
save us.

Here are a few bits of knowledge these granfolk shared with the Prairie
Proclamation, in answer to the question:
 “How did you celebrate

Gladys Von Moore, born: September 20, 1920

Well, we used to make different things for on the tree . . . Chains of paper.  We’d
bring a cedar tree in.  Um.  We’d string popcorn.  I uh, set and string popcorn til’ I’s
blue in the face.  And sometimes we would uh, cut the bells and dolls out and cover
‘em with foil we’d get off a cigarette packs.  The boys, the boys all smoked.

Velma Ritchey Wood, born: December 1, 1920

My dad would go out with my brother, and cut a; the only time Bill wanted to cut his
own tree.  And uh, they went out and cut a cedar.  You talk about Mother and I being
angry about it.  “Oh it’s sticky.  And it hurts.  And oh!  Never again- don’t ever do

(Prairie Proclamtion Volume 7, Issue #6)