SCHOOL DAYS
from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

The earliest school record that I could find dates back to 1898. William Sommers was the County Superintendent and Robert Riemer was the teacher. In 1900 Winifred Cole was the teacher.

The pupils at that time were Kitty Dredge, Rose McMillan, Ethel Van Kelck, Belle and Gertrude Ainsworth, Floyd and Ward Black, Charley Thompson, Grover McMillan, Walter and Vina Muck, Esther and Lydia Shute, Martha Lueke, Lizzie and Ray Martin, Anna Thompson, Nettie Madison, Neal Stronach, Adolph and Emil Tank, May and Hilda Madison, Hilda and Tony Pejsa, Will Polczynski, Jennie, Tom and John Nowaczyk. L.D. Roberts was County Superintendent in 1899.

In the early 1900's the school burned down. It was located south of the Wm. Ainsworth farm on Highway 29. School was held in the old Woodman Hall.

There was a lot of trouble in the location as to where the new school was to be built. Some members of the district wanted it built in the same place. Members from the south wanted it built near Angelica so that their children didn't have to walk so far. It was finally built on the corner of Highway 29 and C.

The work on the new building was continually being torn down so at last the contractors hired a guard, but still they always knew when the guard was off duty, their work was torn down. Finally it dawned on them that some of the workmen were the culprits. They changed the nights that the guards were on, unknown to the help and in that way found out who the guilty ones were that were responsible for all the mischief. The school was finally built and the town folks had their way.

Harvey Stewart, Stanley Ramsett, Mrs. Nancy Curran and Katie Johnson taught school in the Woodman Hall, while the new school was being built. Roy Boyden and his wife Nettie, Agnes Johnson were the first teachers in the new two room State Graded School in Angelica. Jim Shepherd was the Principal. Amelia Thompson, Ella Horn, Velma Cannon, and Kathryn Brady were primary teachers. Other teachers were Irene Krueger, Lovel O'Grady, Myrtle Ollman, Charlotte Ollman, Amelia Holtz, Gertrude Ainsworth, Frank Dedrieck, Marie Hanson, Alvin Sievert, Luella Schmidt, Richard Ihlenfelt, Josephine Augustine, Florence Reetz, Lucille Runge, Beatrice Muck, Winifred and Wilfred McGillivray, Miss Bur, Marie Schroeder, Marion Schroeder, Charlotte Olson, Janet and Marion Johnson, Florence Rawlsky, Evelyn Mastey, Mrs. Bretschneider, Lucille Steffen, Nina Olson, and Mary Ann Passon, and the possibility of others not listed.

In 1956, which was the last year it was in session, the teacher was Mr. Brittle which was when my niece's son Gerald Graf was in the first grade. Angelica State Graded then consolidated with the Pulaski School System and from then on the children have been bussed to school.

After the last recess on Friday, we would have spelling bees, or geography contests and sometimes a program which would be of our own choosing like essays, recitations, book reviews, or a debate. It could be most anything we wanted. We sure could choose some interesting subjects.

The Angelica State Graded School was one cold building. We used to sit in the primary room in zero weather as it was much warmer in there. On cold winter and rainy days we would play in the school basement, or otherwise we played and fought as children do now. "Long Dutch" was our favorite ball game.

We had to walk to school summer and winter. In bad weather the Phillips family took us children with their ponies, Barney and Billy, but not too often. Mrs. Nels Madison took her children, Walter and Matie, to and from school in bad weather and she also gave Lucille Phillips, Elsie Luecker and me a ride too. The weather had to be real bad for that luxury. Despite all the mud roads, deep snow and drifted sleigh trails and pitch holes that the sleighs made, we went to school in snow, rain, wind or sunny weather.

We had double seats up to now. Since Angelica was a State Graded School, C. P. Carey, the state superintendent ordered individual seats. Some of the old seats were given to members of the district and what were left we children smashed up. They made fine boards to slide down the small hill we had on our playground. OH! We did have a lot of fun with them as long as they lasted.

We always had a program at Christmas and the last day of school.  We would practice a   month before each program, which consisted of songs, recitations, drills, and dialogues.   On the last day of school, we usually had a three-act play by the upper grades.  It was for the graduates but other pupils took part in it also.

Our eighth grade graduation was a special program. We had a Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Class Prophecy, Class Will, Class History, Class Flower (pink rose), and colors which were pink and green and a Class Motto "Paddle your Own Canoe". Members of our graduating class were Clara Blashe, Ruth Black, Martha Stanton, Maude McKenna, Charles Murawski, Norman Christensen and myself. The boys had new suits and the girls wore white dresses. It was a glad day for the graduates. They made just as much of the eighth grade graduation as they do of a high school diploma now. We graduated on May 12, 1916. William Nowaczyk was director and he presented us with our diplomas signed by him and our county superintendent, L. D. Roberts.

L. D. Roberts was a tall man with black eyes that just seemed to look right through us. When Mr. Roberts visited our schoolroom he came in unannounced and it would be some time before we children noticed his presence. Now this was one person that all pupils respected, and we were scared of him, if you ever seen such a group of well mannered children, it was us, the pupils of the classroom "ANGELICA STATE GRADED SCHOOL", when he visited our school. He usually had some difficult problem for us to solve and would hold up a cent or a nickel as a prize if any one in the room could give the correct answer. We were to upset and no one could so he always put his money back in his pocket, or else he would hear a class recite and he got us so confused that we didn't know what to do or say, and then he'd leave a one cent postal card with our teacher and when we'd agreed on the right answer she'd mail it to him.

I just bet he chuckled over these hassles a good many times. Gertrude Ainsworth (Vandermoss) who was born and raised in Angelica was County Supervisor for the years of 1920 and 1921, and Mrs. Emma (Albert) Krueger (Graf), now living living in Zachow was also a Shawano County Supervisor for the years of 1925 to 1928.

We had a lot of fun coming home from school. We played on the way and fought too. It was then that our dinner pails came in handy. I was told in later years that my dinner pail was respected very much as I never hesitated to us it.  It took a long time to get home unless we could catch a ride - we didn't care what we rode on as long as we could ride. Otherwise our first stop was at Jim Christensens. Jim had a talking crow named "Sam". Sam had quite a vocabulary of words which were not all said in polite society. We children made sure that he didn't forget any either. He always enjoyed the tidbits from our dinner pails. After that on our way home we would get so very dry and had to have a drink so we called on Mrs. Barnaski and watched her roll a Bull Durham cigarette. Then we would slide downhill on our sitdowns, take our shoes off and go barefoot as far as the creek north of Murawski's, then we put our shoes back on. We never teased our mothers to go barefoot until the weather was suitable, but they never knew about how long we went barefoot without their permission.

There were a lot of church activities. The Epworth League gatherings such as lawn parties, ice cream socials, basket lunch auctions, bazaars, parties in the homes and whatnot.

Camp meetings were held in McKenna's woods. Rev. Geo. Tennant was in charge of these meetings. There would be services from neighboring pastors, beautiful singing and then the testimonies from whoever felt the urge to testify to the Glory of God, and Communion.

People came for miles to attend these meetings and it was all with horse and buggies. These meetings lasted for a week. Large bonfires were built to keep mosquitos away.  Gertrude Muck, Gertrude Ainsworth, Hulda Johnson, Edna Johnson and Lilly McGillivray were all church organists at various times.

Most all children attended Sunday School. Cards with beautiful pictures from the Bible were given to the children in the primary grades. I still have mine. They date back to 1904 and were of the Creation to Revelations and the cards are now collector's items.  On Christmas Eve the Sunday School always had a beautiful program. The choir sang, children sang carols and we had a beautiful large Christmas tree. After the program we exchanged gifts among our friends and children. They weren't expensive gifts but they were gifts of love and were cherished by all.

The Murawski and Michkowiak General Store was directly across the road from the church and a lot of people came early on Christmas Eve and did some last minute shopping. Presents were not wrapped up in pretty paper but we enjoyed the gifts just as well in brown paper bags. It was all given in honor of the Christ Child's birthday.

I learned later that the Andrew Murawski and Frank Michkowiak Store was the former Robert McLaren Store that was sold to William McMillian, who in turn sold the business to Murawski and Michkowiak. Besides their large general store, the post office was also in their building.

The Murawski home was the Wescott house. Diphtheria saddened the Murawski home, two daughters Kathryn and Irene died of it and a son Edmund was left deaf and is now residing in the County Home in Shawano. During this time Murawski and Michkowiak dissolved partnership, and Andrew Murawski became the sole owner. Later on after the post office was closed Mr. Murawski bought a farm near Clintonville and went there to live in February 1917. There were eleven children in the family.


WINTERS IN ANGELICA
from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

Winter was a time to do a lot of inside work during the cold winter months, such as spinning yarn, knitting socks, quilting bees, sewing clothes for the family and even some fancy work, their hands were never idle.

The men had their work too, they made firewood from the wood lot, the logs were cut for lumber so as to do some building that was planned to be done. They sawed and cut ice for their summer use from the near by lakes and packed the ice blocks in the ice house and covered the ice well with sawdust so it would not melt, that way our perishables would keep well in our ice boxes if we had enough ice. If we knew we would not run short we could have the luxury of ice cream once in a while.

An ice house was a rather makeshift building, all it needed was a roof that was boarded up on the sides so as to keep the sawdust around the ice to keep it from melting during the summer months.

Most of the homes were heated with wood heaters that used a lot of wood to keep the fires going. There were hard coal base burners, these stoves gave a beautiful golden glow that shown through the little mica windows that were encased in the doors of the stove, some homes had hot water furnaces and then there were the pipeless furnaces which were the most common, all took either wood or soft coal to heat.

Most of the homes upstairs bedrooms were unheated and they were cold, in fact so cold that you could see the frost come out of nail heads in the wall. Heated bricks and flat stones were heated in the oven and wrapped in clothes or towels and were placed between the blankets to take the chill out of the bed clothes and to make it more comfortable for one to sleep in, in the morning we would crawl out of bed and run down stairs to dress by the heater.

No such thing as electricity, gas stoves or refrigerators in the early twenty's, it was about that time or earlier that electric irons and wash machines with motors were being used in Angelica. They were starting to take the place of gasoline engines.

Butchering was also done, then came the big job of preparing the meat and making sausage, sausages such as meat sausage, liver sausage, blood sausage, head cheese, etc. were made. Meat was prepared for by packing it close together in large earthen crocks and making a salt brine strong enough to float an egg, this was poured on the meat and a weight was placed on top so all the meat was well covered with salt brine. It was in this brine for about four to six weeks depending on the size of the hams, shoulders and sides of meat to be smoked. When it was in the brine long enough it was hung up in the smoke house and smoked until it was smoked enough to keep, it was then wrapped in cloth to keep the insects out and buried in the oats bin and used as needed.

Children too had extra duties during the winter months, their job was to keep the woodbox full and coal in the hod which kept the fires going in the stoves to keep the home comfortable.

Our lamp chimneys had to be sparkling clean, the wicks trimmed and filled with Kerosene. In the morning the chamber pots had to be emptied, ashes carried out, the water pails filled and the reservoir refilled. Then we would get ready for school.

It wasn't all work and no play, they had their fun too. In the winter they would slide down hill, skate on the ice, have snowball fights and enjoy themselves the same as children do today. Such was the life in the early twenties.


POLISH WEDDING
from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

A family begins with marriage and as the Polish say a man really becomes a man when he marries. No one would ask an old bachelor why he had not married and he himself would not dream of telling why he had not either.

Still worse is an old maid's lot as a girl's future is marriage from the day of her birth. So while she is young and beautiful she is doing her best to build up her dowery to make herself likeable so as to find a suitor on her own. If either boy or girl fail to find a mate on their own, their parents seek the help of a match maker, a person who is highly respected in the community, as he knows where the families that have children of marriageable ages are. If the match is made and both agree on the dowery a wedding follows.

Two men who are friends or relatives of each side of the family are chosen as official inviters with a band around their arm signifies their authority and they were to invite relatives, neighbors, and friends of the whole area.

Weeks are spent in baking and the preporation of food for the big event, wedding bans are anounced in their church, a large tent is made for the unmarried folks to dance in, and another is made if there isn't a room large enough for the married folks to dance in, as these two groups don't dance together.

After the wedding service is solemnized the feasting and dancing begin. Later on in the evening the bride's dance begins. The custom is for every man at reception to dance with the bride for a short time and then to break a cheap dinner plate with a silver dollar. If he does not succeed in his first attempt, he must dance until he is successful.

There were stacks of plates to be broken and a damp towel was placed underneath the plate that wyas to be broken so the plate wouldn't break easy as this was their wedding gifts and the more dollars the more the young people have to start their married life together.

After the bride's dance is over she is unveiled by some of the older ladies and they sing a song while they are doing this and were crying at the time. Later on I learned this song that was sung was a very sad song. It prophesies their future and told of the joys and sorrows and the problems that may be theirs in their new life. I didn't understand a word that was said and because I was a tender-hearted little girl I cried along with them. These wedding celebrations some times lasted three days, by this time the wedding celebration was over and it was time for them to(go)home to the work that awaited them, and to wait for the time when they would receive another invitation to another wedding.


THE GYPSIES
from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

The gypsies came to Angelica in horsedrawn covered wagons. When they entered the town their coming spread like wildfire. Everyone was on the alert, doors were locked, business places were closed. It just seemed that they were all over at once and everyone stood guard. The women wore wide flowing skirts of real bright colors and the skirts had plenty of pockets. There were usually two that traveled together. One wanted to tell your fortune so as to hold your attention and the other one would take whatever wasn't nailed down even the vegetables in the garden, and they could beg too. The men could crack a whip so skilfully that they could take the head off a chicken so fast she didn't even have the time to make a squawk. I presume that, that night there was chicken in the gypsies soup kettle.

One time when gypsies came to town as mother was locking the front door another gypsy came in the back way. The table was all set for dinner and the result was she carried away everything she could get including a platter of meat, bread, cookies, etc., anything that could go in her pockets. Mother grabbed her broom and chased her but it was a lost cause, the gypsy ran faster than she did but that was their way of survival.

Men were expert coppersmiths and are the only one that to this day know how to temper copper. They have kept that secret to themselves. They do a lot of repair work in knitting mills but under no observation by anyone. When they work they are all by themselves, are in such a demand and so skilled that the mill owners were glad to have them and they can be trusted. The men don't do any lifting, that was left to their women. They were also good horse traders and usually came out the best on the long end. The gypsies were the first to make violins. They originated from India but they are true nomads. There is a saying that it's hard times when the gypsies are on the move.


RATIONING
from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

In World War I flour and sugar were scarce. If you bought a sack of wheat flour, you had to buy an equal amount of dark flour such as cornmeal, oatmeal, barley, rice or rye. All were pretty bad but we were patriotic and we tried to use it as well as we could even if we did make some rather poor bread. Two pounds of sugar was allowed per person a month and twenty five pounds of sugar could be had per family to do our canning with. We used corn syrup, molasses, maple
syrup and honey a lot, even saccharine in some things. There was no rationing on gas and oil.

In World War II ration books were issued to each person. Red points were for meat, fats, fish and cheese so many points for each article we bought and tokens were given in change. Blue points were for canned goods. These the country people had plenty of as they did their own canning and raised their own vegetables. For us our red points came out alright too because we did our own butchering and butter. Our city friends really admired our fat pigs and cows then and that was okay with us. Fowl was not rationed. Oh, those precious ration stamps.

We had special sugar stamps and also sugar stamps for home canning. At first coffee was rationed but it wasn't on the ration list too long.

We could buy two pair of shoes a year. Every week new stamps were issued or rather were made good. Butter was hard to get, as were bananas, jello and chocolate. We sometimes found these articles among our groceries when the grocer had them in stock, they were never on display. We were always glad to be remembered by our grocer, and it was wise to stick to one grocer.

There was a very small amount of yard goods, never any on the store shelves. We stood in line for nylon stockings when the word got around these were to be had, everyone was after them.

Then feedbags came in printed cotton bags and we made good use of them. We made aprons, nighties, dresses, pajamas, quilt tops, shirts, or just everything. Oh, how we farmers were envied.

Cigarettes were also in demand and hard to get, and they too were among our groceries even if they were Raleighs.

When we heard of something hard to get and had a chance to buy, we bought. Maybe we were called hoarders, but most everyone was guilty of this offense.

Metal of any sort was scarce during the rationing period such as barbed wire, machinery, cars, nails, appliances, hairpins, pins of any kind and even Copenhagen covers. During the war Copenhagen boxes had paper covers and they crushed easily in the pockets so if a snuff user was fortunate enough to still have an old tin cover he was indeed envied by his fellow snuff users.

When our first grandchild was born, Virginia Louise Bergsbaken we were very happy over the event, and pleased with it because of those extra ration stamps and especially sugar stamps. Safety pins were also very scarce but if there was a baby in the house you could get some.

Gas and fuel oil was also rationed, but with a baby in the house we got extra oil stamps too. Virginia and her mother lived with us while her daddy was in the U. S. Army.

Gas was a problem but we got enough for our farm work and our car. Everything was done to conserve gas. People went to work in car pools and also on shopping trips. Any kind of metal and tires were hard to get. Fortunately Emil bought two sets of tires against my will before we knew that they were to be rationed, a set of car tires and a set of storm tires to boot and this was to our advantage so we had no trouble during the rationing.

We also got extra sugar and meat stamps for threshing and silo filling, five pounds of sugar for each silo. I don't recall how many meat stamps. Threshing we got according to the meals we served and ten pounds of sugar for baking. Our threshers were treated extra special.

When Daryl came home on furlough we also got extra special ration stamps.


WASH DAY
from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

On Monday we washed the family clothes and on Tuesday we ironed them whatever the weather rain or snow, such was the way of doing the house work in the early nineteen hundreds. Equipment needed was a tub, washboard, hand wringer, boiler, soap and the carved end of a broom-stick and now you were all set but for a strong back.

Some were fortunate to have a cistern and a pump right near the kitchen sink. The wash boiler was filled right after breakfast and set on the range to heat, otherwise it was filled from the rainwater barrel or the pump where we got our drinking water from. In the winter we would melt snow so as to have soft water to rub the soiled clothes in, then the clothes were sorted in the order that they were to be washed from the best whites down to the towels and the underwear. These clothes were rubbed clean on a washboard that took a lot of elbow grease and backache to get clean, then they were boiled and rinsed in another tub in the order that they were rubbed. Now they were put in a blueing water, the clothes that were to be starched and were ready to be hung out on the line, the dark was washed in the soapy water that the boiled clothes were boiled in and rinses, and then starched in the same order as the white clothes were done.

Clothes were hung out on the line, summer or winter, in the winter on a north sice or a building or in some protected place from the cold wind, it was no fun hanging up clothes in the winter.

Then came the hand operated washmachines, the tub mounted on four wooden legs, with the operating gears on the top of the cover, and the agitator beneath a wooden handle was attached to the gears on top, and all one had to do was to fill the tub with hot soapy water and push the handle back and forth for about fifteen or twenty minutes and the clothes were beautifully clean, all you had to do was to carry out the dirty water. Pictures were shown in magazines of ladies pushing the handle back and forth reading a novel from the other hand. Really, did women ever have it so easy?

The last job to do on washday was to use the soapy water the clothes were boiled in to scrub out the privy, that had to be clean too.

Along came the washmachines with the gasoline motors and the ones that used electric current, and later the automatic washers and dryers, what did people do with all the time they saved, and now just to press a button and your hard is done.

In the winter it didn't matter when we did our ironing. Our cook stove was always going all day to keep our kitchen warm and sad irons were used everywhere. The ironing board too was set up in the kitchen and the ironing was done there.

In the summer it was the heat that we had to contend with, sometimes it was so hot that the sweat ran in rivers down our backs so we usually ironed early in the morning when it was cool or when we did our baking. Some ladies even had gasoline irons but they were not too well accepted because the little gas tank that attached to the iron was not too safe, anyway the gas iron didn't last long. Later everyone who had electricity had an electric iron and then ironing was a real pleasure.


OUTSIDE PLUMBING
from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

Nobody had inside plumbing, but every home had a privy, and whoever bought toilet paper? Nobody even thought of it and besides it was a waste of money. Mail order catalogues were plentiful and used, an absolute must, anything but the colored pages, they were to stiff. Anything to keep the overhead low. I guess that is why these books were called "WISH BOOKS" one could do a lot of wishing while doing what came naturally while in the privy. Maybe that's why catalogues are such a collectors item as those famous old books were mostly all used in the same way.


WELLS
from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

A divining rod was used to locate a water vein, this was a forked stick and was usually of hazel or willow wood and was used to locate a water vein.

The rod was held lightly in the hand of the diviner who walked slowly about and when the stick slowly bent downwards on its own violation there was water underneath and then the digging of a well began.

Wells were all dug by hand, that is the dirt was shoveled by hand, when the hole got too deep it was shoveled in buckets and pulled up to the top with a pully. This was done with horses, they had to dig several feet until they got water. After they were satisfied that the well was deep enough so as to have an ample supply of water, the well had to be lined. This was to keep the water clean and to protect it from caving in.

This job was done by a mason who made it his profession. Stones were lowered the same way that the dirt was hauled out, and were placed so they would stay put. Charley McKeefry was one to do that kind of work and he did it well. Henry Luecker also lined wells.
After the well was lined way up to the top it was covered up tight with heavy planks to keep it clean.

Then the pump was installed and attached to the pipe lowered in the well and was all set to pump up water.  If there was no pump the water was pulled up with a rope attached to a bucket.

One had to take precautions even when digging a well as gas sometimes formed, so a candle was lit and loweredin the well to make sure that it was safe to continue the digging of the well.

 
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