The following interview was from an assignment given to students at JEFFERSON COUNTY JUNIOR COLLEGE in Hillsboro, MO. They were to select a longtime resident of the county and ask them a prepared list of questions about their recollections of their family's experiences in the county.

      Interview with Lucy Ladd of De Soto Mo. - 1975


Ivr:  When and where were you born?

Ive:  Collinsvllle, Illinois, June 2,1893.

Ivr:  That makes you how old now?

Ive:  82½

Ivr:  How has the recent increase in population changed your life?


Ive:  Not an awful lot.


Ivr:  Is there a difference between now and 10 years ago?


Ive:  Yes, there's more freedom of speech.


Ivr:  What do you think is the most important need in Jefferson

    County that results from the population increase?


Ive:  Well, they're extending the county lines I think and

    moving farther west here in De Soto.  


Ivr:  Has the population caused you any worries?


Ive:  Not at all.


Ivr:  Why did you move to De Soto?


Ive:  Well, I had to come with my parents. I was just three

    years old.


Ivr:  Why did they make that move?


Ive:  Well, for the work. My dad had to find a job and here

    he worked at the shops*


Ivr:  Is that where most of the people worked in DeSoto?


Ive:  At that time, that was the only employment they could

    get was at the shops.


Ivr:  Did you move straight from Collinsvllle to DeSoto?


Ive:  Yes.


Ivr: Did your father work there all his life?

Ive:  No, not all his life.               

Ivr: I mean from when he moved to DeSoto.

Ive: When we first moved to DeSoto, he did.

Ivr: What area In DeSoto did you move to?             

Ive: On the east side.                        

Ivr: Is it in the area where you live right now?

Ive:  No, it was back upon the hill.

Ivr: What was your family life like? Where did you go to school?
Ive: I went to the East Ward School and then from there I

      went on up to the Central Building.
Ivr:  How much education did you have?

Ive:  I got to the eighth grade.

Ivr:  That's about as far as most children went.

Ive:  At that time, yes. You could teach school after you passed the eighth grade.

Ivr:  Really?

Ive:  In those days.

Ivr:  Was it real close to where you lived? You had to walk?

Ive:  We had to walk. We didn't know what a car was then.

Ivr:  Were there a lot of children that they had to do chores at home that they would not go to school, or did most of them have to attend?


Ive: Well, we didn't. We had our chores to do, but they    wasn't hard.


Ivr: The walking, did it seem really long?


Ive: We didn't think anything of it because we played on the way to school and back.


Ivr: Do you remember your first train ride?


Ive:  Yes, I can remember the first train ride. Our dad worked in Bonne Terre then and our uncle died and my mother called my dad up

from Bonne Terre and he met us at Riverside on the train. He got off the train at Riverside and got on the train that we was on to go

on to St. Louis.


Ivr: Did you go to the funeral?                  '


Ive: Yes, he died in Illinois, and we just crossed the river.


Ivr: Did everybody use the train?


Ive: Them was the only transportation then.


Ivr: The automobiles, how did they change your life?


Ive: We lived back upon the hill over the bluff up there and __

   had a bookstore here, he was the first one that bought a car, and he rode up

  and down the street in that car and we all run down on the hillside to see him.

Ivr: He was the only one?


Ive: He was the only one in De Soto then that had one, and he didn't go any farther than the bookstore, and then went past Hopson's

    lumberyard and back again. That was his trips. We stayed down there until he quit going, up there on the bluff, you know.


Ivr: When did more people, how were they more able to start ' buying automobiles? Was it little by little or did they, you know,

one get one and then they all started buying them?     :


Ire: Yes, it was more like that I guess. One got one and the    other one would try to outdo the other one. That's the way   

it was done and they still do.    


Ivr: Do you remember your first trip to St. Louis?     


Ive: Yes, we went to my mother's aunt's in South St. Louis and she took us to a meat market and of course they were all Germans and here

in DeSoto nobody ever gave you anything unless it was a hard look and he gave all of us kids, there was four of us, each one of us a wiener

and we thought we had it made.


Ivr: How often did you go to St. Louis?


Ive: Not too many times.


Ivr: Are there any influences of St. Louis on Jefferson County?


Ive:  I don't think so, because the counties are too close together and there's no difference.


Ivr:  Bid you ever take vacations when you were younger?


Ive:  No* We didn't know what a vacation was.


Ivr:  When did you get married?


Ive:  In 1915.


Ivr:  Where did you meet him at, your husband?


Ive:  At the shoe factory.


Ivr:  Is that where you worked then at the time?


Ive:   I worked at the shoe factory.


Ivr:  Did you date a long time?


Ire:  A little over two years.


Ivr:  Did you get married in a church? 


Ive:  We got married in a parsonage.


Ivr    Were there a let of people that maybe had children that   weren't married like there is now?


Ive:  No, that wasn't common then. That was highly forbidden.


Ivr:  When you worked at the shoe factory, do they still do that same kind of work there now?


Ive:  Yes.


Ivr:  Has the work in Jefferson County changed any at all in the other stores or factories?


Ive:  Quite-a lot.


Ivr:  Is there any way that you think they may have changed?


Ive:  Things are a whole lot higher now than they were then.


Ivr:  What businesses were there in Jefferson County or in De Soto that are not there now?


Ive:  We had a flour mill here that they don't have now. We had the shops working. And that's about it.


Ivr:  Were the businesses run any differently than now?


Ive:  Yesf I think people were more friendly then than they   are now.


Ivr: Was it harder to operate a business back then than it is now?


Ive:  I don’t believe so.


Ivr: Was there a lot of farms around?


Ive: Yes, there was quite a few, and dairies.


Ivr: Was It different than now? 


Ive: Yes, you don't have any dairies here any more. There isn't any.

Ivr: Has the agriculture changed?


Ive: Yes.


Ivr:    How did the depression affect you?  j


Ive:  Well, I guess we were like anyone else. If we had a dime, we spent it.                    , -


Ivr:  Did it ever really get people down, or did they Just live with it? Did it put them in a down mood?


ve:    I don't believe it did.


Ivr:    how much work was there?


Ive:    Well, the shops worked, and during that time the shops was working, why the war was going on, the First World

   War. ... Of course, there was quite a few more that left and that made plenty of work for the others that was left here.


Ivr:    How did people commute back and forth to work?


Ive:    Well, the biggest part of them walked. Some of them had horses and buggies.


Ivr:    Was that kind of a status symbol, you know, before the

      Car, the buggies? Did everybody have buggies?


Ive:    No, not everybody.


Ivr:    What were the churches like, the services?


Ive:    They were then just like they are now. 


Ivr:    Did you date a long time before people decided to get married, and did they date a lot?


Ire:    Well, we dated a little over two years.


Ivr:    Did people date like a lot of boys, like a girl would she, you know, go out with a lot of boys?


Ive:    No, there wasn't too much of that going on. ,


Ivr:    What were the holiday celebrations like?


Ive:    Well, they were a whole lot nicer than they are now because they always had a Fourth of July picnic up at the Fairgrounds and

they had baseball teams playing and they had a Fair the farmers raised their produce and brought the best looking ones to town for

the Fair for prizes, and that was it.


Ivr:    Did, you ever enter anything in the Fair?


Ive:    My mother did. She raised grapes and she always took first prize in the grapes. And, I generally run in the races up there. ...


Ivr:    Was the hunting better in Jefferson County then than it is now?


Ive:    Yes. They were allowed to go hunting there was no restrictions put on guns then, you know.

      You could go to the farmers and get permission from them to hunt on their land and sometimes the hunter would divide up

what he killed with the man that owned the farm where he hunted.


Ivr:    When they started putting restrictions, how did it affect game wardens and wildlife management?


Ive:    That's when the game wardens com in. When they went to putting restrictions on why they had to have game wardens. anybody in

Jefferson County who still lives off the land?  


Ive:    Not now no more.


Ivr:    Who do you think has been the best President in all of your life that you think has helped the country the most?


Ive:    Theodore Roosevelt, the first Theodore Roosevelt,


Ivr:    How come?


Ive:    Well, I guess because I'm a Republican. I can remember William McKinley getting killed because my mother cried and I wanted to

know what she was crying about. She said a mean man had killed the President, and then of course Roosevelt took over from him.


Ivr:    Who do you think was the worst?


Ive:    I could say this last Roosevelt because he got us in this big war,


Ivr:    Was he a Republican or was he a Democrat?


Ive:    He was a Democrat.


Ivr:    Was there a lot of difference, you know, did people in De Soto, did they know that somebody was Republican.


Ive:    Oh yes. Everybody knew everybody else's business.


Ivr:    Did it cause any kind of arguments or anything?


Iva:    There was arguments constantly.                       


Ivr:      Do you think life right now isare you happy with it?


Ive:    I'm satisfied.


Ivr:    O.K. Thank you.


               Conclusion of interview.