The following interview was from a 1975 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 Paul Franz of House Springs, Missouri

Ivr: Mr. Franz, what year were you born?


Ivr:  1904, September 30.


Ivr: Have you lived in Jefferson County all your life?


Ive: All my life.


Ivr: There's some questions here I wanted to ask you about has the recent increase in the population in Jefferson County changed your life?


Ive: Well, it's changed in several ways.  I don't think I'd care to talk about in what way, but it's made a difference in our lives.


Ivr: What is the greatest difference between the population now and what it was ten years ago?


Ive: You mean in numbers?


Ivr: Yes, as far as the population and the way of life style.


Ive: I imagine the population increased by a third in the last ten years in this area and as far as our schools, they can't really keep up with the increase in population out here, children moving in the area.


Ivr: I think you mentioned earlier that they had a ... school down here.


Ive: Two of them. Our daughter went to a ... school here. I think there were 6? children in the two rooms.  It was the old House Springs School.


Ivr: What year was that? 1938.  ... up through grade school. There was no high school here at that time, and she went to Eureka to high school.  Some of them went to Eureka and some went to Herculaneum.


Ivr:     Did you go to school here in this area?


Ive:     No, I went to Eureka.


Ivr:     What year was that?


Ive:     1910.  I quit the first year of high school.  I didn't finish high school.


Ivr:     How did you get to and from school?


Ive:     I walked.


Ivr:     You walked from here to Eureka?


Ive:     I walked two and a half miles to school. My dad had to pay tuition to the Eureka school district because the school in my area I'd had to walk five miles to get to

                                which was then the ... school.


Ivr:     Could you tell me, in your own opinion, what is the most important need in Jefferson County that has resulted  from the population increase?


Ive:     One thing, it's a little late now, but we should have had planning and zoning. There should be a different tax structure to maintain our schools.


Ivr:      Could you tell me some more about that?


Ive:       Well, I don't think I want to go any further on that.


Ivr:      Do you know anything about the Meramec Basin Project?


Ive:     Not too much.


Ivr:     Or the Jefferson County Port Authority?


Ive:     Only what I've read and I haven't formed any definite opinions.


Ivr:     Do you feel that the new population in Jefferson County has caused you any problems, any worries? I know that most of the people have mentioned different things about the young.


Ive:     Well, yes, it's made a lot of difference. You can usually tell when school's out by the sound of the automobiles. You can hear them screeching tires around any hour of the day or night.  It gets on old peoples' nerves. It's made a lot of difference in several ways. Used to be able you could go away from home. As far as leaving home, you're almost afraid to leave home if you have any valuables.  In fact, I just had a valuable collection I had to get rid of.  I didn't want to, but I was just afraid to go away and leave home and leave it here.  Of course, I do believe that the highways make a big difference.  It isn't all the people just moved in to Jefferson County.  It's people that can come out these new highways, make a hit, and get back in—out of the territory, out of the area, a lot .faster than they used to in the old days.  That's made a big difference too. You know what I mean.  They can come out over the new highway, they can hit Highway V and hit 66 or hit Highway 30 and hit 21 or 61 and get out of the area in just a matter of a few minutes.  But back in the old days it wasn't that convenient to get away from here.


Ivr:       What type of transportation did they use "back in the old days?


Ive:      When I was a kid going to school, we had a horse and an open buggy. That was our transportation. Vent shopping in Eureka about once a week, maybe not that often.  Go to the store, my mother would, and buy salt, pepper, sugar, and stuff like that you need.  The rest of the stuff you raised on your own farm. You raised your own garden, you raised your own chickens, you had your own meat, even as far as flour to make your bread. Threshing time, we'd leave the wheat at the mill and instead of exchanging it for cash money, you'd exchange wheat for flour.


Ivr:       You'd leave it at the old mill over here on the Big River?


Ive:      No, I'm talking about what is now the old ice plant. It's an antique place now.  It was the mill at that time.


Ivr:       The mill down here is the old ... mill and that's still standing, and I think they used the old ... wheels at that time.  Stone ... to grind corn and stuff here in House Springs.


Ivr:      Was House Springs called House Springs at that time?


Ive:      Through my lifetime, yes.


Ivr:     It changed names I understand about 1850 or so.


Ive:       Yes.


Ivr:     There was a stagecoach stop here in House Springs back when you were young, wasn't there? Where they had the old saloon and the general store that the Adams bought out later?


Ive:     I'm not familiar with that.


Ivr:     Do you by any chance remember your first train ride?


Ive:     Yes, my dad took me into St. Louis to a circus.  I think at that time it was on Grand and Laclede.  There's a big housing complex there now.  I'm talking about

                        probably 1909 or 1910.


Ivr:     What was the usefulness of the train station at that       time? Did they use it for other than hauling passengers?


Ive:     Oh yes. At that time, the dairy there at Eureka, all the milk was shipped by train in eight gallon cans.  It was hauled down by team and wagon, put on the trucks, and when the train stopped, it was loaded into the baggage car.  That was the ... dairy.



Ivr:     And that was taken into St. Louis from there?


Ive:     Taken into St. Louis. Which dairy I don't know.  I don't know whether it was Pevely or one of the bigger dairies.


Ivr:     How about your first automobile ride. Do you remember when you first rode in an automobile?


Ive:     I imagine it was about 1917 or 1918. My neighbor bought a Model T Ford.  Our first car we bought in 1920, a Model T Ford.

Ivr:     Were they expensive in those days? Were they considered expensive?

Ive:     My neighbor when he bought his in 1917 I think it was something over $360. And the one ray dad bought in 1920 cost $704 if I'm not mistaken.

Ivr:     You mentioned before that the area has changed as a result of highways. We talked about the threat of being robbed, of being vandalized.  Do you feel that there have been any changes as a result of automobiles in this area? Do you think it's brought change to the Jefferson County area as a result of all the automobiles?


Ive:     Definitely.  In fact, as far as the business people and the real estate people, the automobile plants in this area has meant a whole lot.  Chrysler, Ford, and also the General Motors Plant. Especially Chrysler this near to us.

Ivr:     When did they build that plant? Do you recall?

Ive:     Within ten years.

Ivr:    So it's really new then. You were talking about going into St. Louis to see the circus. Was that your first trip to St. Louis?

Ive:     I believe it was.

Ivr:     You said you went to the circus.  Can you tell me some­thing about the circus at that time? Cr your first trip, what it was like, what you saw when you were in St. Louis'

Ive:     My father was born and raised on 8th and Washington and to go to town with him at that time was really interesting because he explained everything.  In fact, he went to the Old Cathedral—that's where he went to church when he was a boy. And then in later years they bought out here in Jefferson County.  There were five boys and five girls in the family.  Some way or other they made a living on an old hill side farm.

Ivr:     Where was this farm located?


Ive:     Right on the hill above ... Springs.


Ivr:     How often did you travel to 8t. Louis?


Ive:     Well, in later years when I left school, I went to a trade school in St. Louis.  I'd go in every Sunday night and come back on Saturday morning or Friday evening.

Ivr:     Did you travel by car?



Ive:     No, I went on the train. What they called the local. It went to St. Louis to Pacific. At that time, there was two stations in Eureka, the Missouri Pacific and the Frisco.  And it was really a busy railroad town at that time, Eureka was.  Now there's no station at all in Eureka for either one of the railroads.


Ivr:     Do you think that St. Louis has had a big influence on Jefferson County?


Ive:     Yes, as far as influx of population.


Ivr:     In other words, it's caused a lot of people to come out and settle in Jefferson County.

Ive:     That's right.  Due to the automobile and good highways.


Ivr:     I have some questions here about vacations and trips I'd like to ask you.  Did you ever take any vacations when you were young?


Ive:     You mean when I was' a boy?


Ivr:     Yes.


Ive:     I ... down to Chicago and up into Indiana one time when I was a boy.  I don't remember how old I was.  And when I was six years old, I went to Texas and some of the gulf states.  I know I was in New Orleans.


Ivr:     How often did you take vacations? Did they come very often?


Ive:     I can't remember how many years after that when"I was six that we went any place outside maybe into St. Louis.


Ivr:     In other words, you didn't take very many vacations because of the expense of it?



Ive:     That's right. At that time, you had to go on the train and you just couldn't afford to go.  Then in later years, I guess when I was around 20 or so, I had relatives in Chicago and I'd go up there for a week in the fall of the year.  If I'd had to pay a hotel room, I couldn't afford to have done that. I stayed with relatives.


Ivr:     What kind of work did you do when you were younger?


Ive:     I worked on the farm.

Ive:     It was hard work. And I got $5 a week and that was six days a week.  I'm talking about when I was about 18 or 19 years old. Of course, when you had $5 then, you had $5- You know what I mean.  My wife and I were going together at that time. You could go to a dance, probably cost you 50 cents to get into the dance, into the hall, whatever it would be, you could buy a bottle of soda and maybe a hotdog sandwich for a dime and a nickel for a bottle of soda, and you had a nice enjoyable evening.  It wouldn't cost you over a 31.00 or 51.50 for a whole Saturday evening and you really enjoyed yourself.


Ivr:     That was the type of recreation you had, dance halls.


Ive:     We went to a lot of dances in our younger years when

                      we were going together.  That's about the only recreation we had.  Back when I was a kid, the neighbors Christmas week, every night you'd be at a different neighbor's house, and you'd play maybe cards, some different kind of cards, and have lunch, and everybody enjoyed themselves, That was every night during the Christmas week.


 Ivr:     Did they play any other games besides cards?


 Ive:     No, I don't think so.  Oh the kids would ... little things that kids do, you know, but the grownups they played cards. There wouldn't be any gambling or nothing like that.  It was just a friendly game of cards,



Ivr:     Do you remember anything about any of the games that the children might have played? Maybe when you were younger, the games that you played when you were in school?


Ivr:     Can you tell me a little about that?


Ive:    Well, at that time, we didn't know what a basketball was or a football. We did play some baseball. But outside of that, I don't think there was any athletic program of any kind.


Ivr:     Getting back to the kind of work that you did, after you started to work, other than the farm, where did you work? You mentioned that you went to trade school?


Ive:     Yes, well, I worked at the Fisher Body Plant and also the Chevrolet Plant in St. Louis in 1923 and 1924.  I boarded in there at that time.  ... come back out on weekends.  At that time, I had a 1922 Ford Couple Model T.  And there wasn't any pavement or anything such as a pavement on Highway 30, just a gravel road from House Springs all the way into the city limits.  I think the first pavement of Highway 30, I may be mistaken, but it seemed to me like it ended at the foot of Meramec Hill just on the other side of Fenton.  It was several years before it came any farther out, and when the next pavement was laid, it came to about three miles on the other side of High Ridge. And I think about 192? or 1928 it came on out as far as House Springs.  I know; the trucks at that time were ... Ford and Chevrolet trucks without any cabs on them.  That's what material was hauled in.


Ivr:     Do you remember anything about the wages at that time when you worked?


Ive:     When I worked in St. Louis?


Ivr:     Yes.


Ive:     $18 a week and I worked 9 hours a day for 5 days and 6 hours on Saturday.


Ivr:     Can you tell me something stout the type of labor that they had at that time?


Ive:     Well, now, I'm talking about a different place.  I was making this $18 at the Chevrolet Plant, and the Fisher Body Plant was a piece work thing at that time and you were paid so much a piece for the work and we didn't work on the line.  There wasn't any such thing as a line as far as the Jobs that I was doing. But the main car plant where they assembled motors and transmissions .*. was on the line at that time.


Ivr:     Does that differ from the way it's done today? Is the plant run differently today?


Ive:     Well, I think as far as the line, it's something like it, but a lot more modern today.  I haven't had an opportunity to get in to see the new plants which I would like to do sometime just to see the difference.


Ivr:     Do you feel that the work in Jefferson County has changed any?


Ive:     Well, yes.  That it has.



Ivr:     Because of the population and the highways and so on?


 Ive:     Well, I think so.  Back in those times, this was a farming community, and your town was kept up strictly by the people who lived here in this area who owned their own proper/by here and farmed. The only time that there'd probably be any outsiders come in maybe on Sunday. There was some city people out for a drive.  Of course as the years went by and you had better highways, people started buying property and moving out.



Ivr:     What businesses were in Jefferson County that aren't

now? Do you recall any businesses that were in Jefferson County that there aren't now, such as general stores?


Ive:     The individual owned stores and hardware stores and the blacksmith shop, but they were all individual owned. There wasn't any chain or any big grocery store chain.


Ivr:     Where was the blacksmith shop located?


Ive:     Eight here on Main Street where the Red Oxygen is.


Ivr:     Do you remember who that was run by?


Ive:     No.


Ivr:     Can you tell me something about that blacksmith shop?


Ive:     He was the undertaker also, and back in those times, the farmers would bring in their plow shears in the spring of the year and fall of the year when they were plowing for their crops which is done away with today because they have throw-away shears. And then the horse shoeing. Lots of horses and mules.  That's what was used on the farm.  Didn't know what a tractor was back in those days.  Horse shoeing at that time was a big thing cause there wasn't any automobiles and to travel on the road by horse you had to have shoes on them. Now mules that were used in the field they didn't have shoes on them.

Ivr:     Do you think it was harder to operate a business then

than it is now?


Ive:     No, I think it's much worse now.  It's more complicated.


Ivr:    What do you mean?



Ive:     There's so much paper work and stuff that has to be taken care of today. And records that you never even thought about back in those days.


Ivr:    Such as?


Ive:    Well, you have to have a record for your expenditures for the government and back in those days there wasn't any such thing as income tax.


Ivr:    Do you feel that the businesses were run a lot differently then than they are now?


Ive:    I think it had a more personal touch.


Ivr:   You said that you grew up on a farm.  Do you feel that farm life was different then than it is now?


Ive:    It wasn't near as complicated then either. Back in those times, all your work was done by ..., I'm talking about prior to 1920 as far as I was concerned on the farm, and    you didn't know what commercial fertilizer was. And you grew your own corn.  Each year you saved your own corn from seed one year to the other. You lived off the farm if you know what I mean. Always had big gardens. Another thing back in those days, especially at threshing time,

                 that's when you loaded the grain on the wagons and haul it to the thresher which is run by a big steam engine, the neighbors would help one another.  Probably have 25 men in the threshing crew and maybe only have two that you paid a salary to. The rest are all neighbors swapping work. And that went on up til about 15 years ago.  Swap work with the neighbors.


Ivr:   And this stopped about 15 years ago?


Ive:    Yes.


Ivr:   Why do you think the people would stop helping each other?



Ive:   Well, the small farmers went out of business.  The bigger operators took over the land. And it just didn't work out that way any more.


Ivr:   Can you tell me some ways that agriculture has changed?


Ive:   Well, it's changed in a lot of ways. Agriculture today is a scientific operation.


Ivr:   Do you remember anything about the depression?


Ive:   Very well.


Ivr:   Could you go into it and tell me something about it?


Ive:   Well, at first on Monday and Thursday nights a man by the name of ... came out with a full truck load of stale bread that he would pick up from the bakeries. And it would only be day old bread. It would be from Monday probably to Thursday old and they'd be lined up every Monday and Thursday night, people would be, to buy this bread ... a penny a loaf. And a cake maybe only a penny or two.  But it was good. Probably a lot of bread bought

up in the county today wouldn't be any better. Also, they had what they called the commission down there. You could go down there and "buy a bushel of beans for SI.25 and take them home and can them.  The same man, people raised cucumbers and beans and stuff like that and sent them into commission row, well, he'd take the stuff in on a Monday and he could go down there and buy right here in House Springs, buy the stuff by the bushel. And then he would take this on in to commission row and that's when he would bring the bread back that night. And there'd be lines of people.


Ivr:    Were you still living on the farm then during the depression?


Ive:     No, we lived here at that time.


Ivr:     You lived here in House Springs?



Ive:     Yes.


Ivr:     Were you still working at the car plant?


Ive:     No, I had the tavern here at that time.


Ivr:     What year was that?


Ive:     1934-.


Ivr:     You talked about the wages of the carpenter and what did you say—


Ive:    The house that we moved into new in 1937* it was a two story house, full basement, labor at 25 cents an hour and the head carpenters 35 cents an hour, and the house cost less than $4,000.

Ivr:  How did the depression affect the other people in this area?

Ive:  It affected everyone. There's no doubt about it. But at the same time there was people hungry at that timeand didn't know where their next dollar was coming from.

                        But you could still leave your doors open and go to bed at night. If they could get a Job for three hours some place, they'd drive ten miles to get that job and only get three or fours work.


Ivr:   What type of work would they do?


Ive:     Any kind.


Ivr:     It didn't make any difference if it was digging ditches,

carpenter work, or any thing that they could earn an

honest dollar.


Ivr:     Was there a lot of that type of work around?


Ive:     Not too much.


Ivr:     Do you know anything about the industry in the country during the time of the depression?


Ive:     You mean in this area here?


Ivr:     Yes, in this county.


Ive:     No, I can't say that I do.


Ivr:     Was there any industry?


Ive:     Yes, Pittsburgh Plate Glass.  That's one of the big industries of the area.


Ivr:     Did the depression affect them?


Ive:     That I don't know. What kind of schools did you have in this area during that time?


Ivr:                        One and two room schools.


Ivr:                        Would that be the same school as we talked about before?


Ive:                      Yes. At that time, I think a teacher got $50 a month.One teacher taught all eight grades.


Ivr:                        How much school did they have?


Ive:                      Eighth grade.


Ivr:                        Did it meet every day?


Ive:                      Oh yes.


Ivr:                        Five days a week?


Ive:                      Yes, five days a week.


  Ivr:                      You mentioned that it turned out some pretty smart people. what was the quality of education at that time? What subjects did they have?


Ive:                  I think they had the basic things at that time. You were taught how to figure how many square feet in an acre and how many square feet in a room. Now whether

                         they do that today or not, I don't know.  But that's the things we were taught.


Ivr:                        So what they basically had was reading, writing, and arithmetic.


Ive:     Right.


Ivr:    Did they have any special kind of activities?


Ive:    In later years, I think about the first activities as        far as athletic programs was in about 1936 or 1937.


Ivr:    Did they have a special kind of place where they met and scrapped?


Ive:    No, not that I know of. That only happened on election days.


Ivr:                   Can you tell me something about the election days, where they held the polls, and so on?


Ive:                 At that time, there was only one polling place in House Springs, there was one at Cedar Hill, one at Burnsville, and one at High Ridge. At one time, I don't remember whether it was Democrats or Republicans, but there were only two and they had to take shot guns to go to vote because the other opposition wouldn't let them vote unless they went that way, but I don't remember which way it was. Back in those days, this area and High Ridge was pretty much Republican.



Ivr:                   Can you tell me something about the medicine and the doctors that they had in this area when you were a child?


Ive: You were treated in your home at that time. .The doctor would come to your home and treat you.  In other words, he was not only your doctor but he was a family friend. Very seldom that anyone was taken into the hospital unless it was just a major operation or something.  Of course they didn't have such things as penicillin at that time. I don't know what drugs was widely used, but I know that they didn't have penicillin.  They used a lot of quinine.


Ivr:    Did they use folk medicines?


Ive:    Well, yes, in a way they did.  If you had a sore throat, . you'd get a few drops of turpentine and some sugar or some coal oil and some sugar, and I think it worked.  I think I've taken at least five gallons of it myself.


Ivr:    Did you have to do without a lot of times as far as doctors or medicines were concerned? Was it hard to get a doctor out to you sometimes?


Ive:     Not near as hard as it is now. A doctor would probably come quicker to your home in a horse and buggy quicker than you can get waited on when you go to a doctor's office today.


Ivr:    Getting back to social life again, you said that what you did for a good time around here was go to dances. Is that all you did usually as far as having good times?


Ive:     Well, we'd go swimming down here at the Big River at Rockford Beach every Sunday afternoon, but as far as other activities, well, as we got older and had a car, we'd go into St. Louis to a show.  I think at that time you could go to a show for 50 cents admission down at Loew's State Theater.  But little children just manufac­tured their own games.  If they had a little red wagon, that was it.


Ivr:     Manufacturing your own games, you mean they made games?


  Ive:    They'd just make up games. As far as Christmas time if you     had a few ..,, some nuts, and a toy, you thought Santa Claus was good to you.  It was very much community life, I mean the whole community joined in together, •everybody helping everybody with anything that came up whether it was farm work, making apple butter, making quilts, and things like that.  Everybody was in it together.


Ivr:    Can you tell me something about dating, the style or type of dating that you had during that time?


Ive:     Get as many in one car as you could.  The transportation wasn't too good and if someone had a car, at least be six young folks in the car going either to Eureka to a dance or maybe to Fenton or House Springs.  They'd be loaded to capacity and you'd probably have anywhere from two to three flat tires before you'd get back home. Wasn't any question of just two people striking off at that time by themselves. You just had to go together. If someone had a car, he had a car full.


Ivr:     Did you have a certain time that you had to be in?


Ive:     Well, of course, we could always have flat tires.  We usually got to a dance at 8:CO and didn't miss one dance until 3:00 in the morning. And our parents went right along and stayed there till the dance was over.


Ivr:     Keep an eye on you sort of?


Ive:     No. My wife's parents were young, and they were just one of the young folks. We looked on them as one of us. Of course, my parents are quite a bit older. 


Ivr:     Can you tell me something about the holidays and type of celebrations that they had around here?



  Ive:    The Fourth of July was always a big day. There was always a picnic.  There'd be a dance floor, a big dinner, a country get-together was what it would be.


  Ivr:    What about Easter?


  Ive:    Well, more of a family affair, go to church, kids would always come to their parent's home for dinner. But as far as other activity, there wasn't too much on Easter. At least in our family there wasn't.


  Ivr:     What about hobbies?


  Ive:     You're talking about way back?


 Ivr:     Well, when you were younger. What type of hobbies did  you have?


Ive:     I don't think there was much time for hobbies. I collected Indian arrows on the farm. I always watched trying to find Indian arrows.


Ivr:     Did you have a lot of success at that?


Ive:     Yes. I had a nice collection.  To me it is. But outside of that I don't ... any hobbies. A few antique guns maybe.


Ivr:     Did you hunt?


Ive:     In my younger years I did, but after oh I think sometime in the 30’s I just quit.


Ivr:    Was hunting good during that time?


Ive:    Yes, it was.


Ivr:     A lot of deer?


Ive:     Deer no, rabbits yes. Lots of rabbits.


Ivr:     As far as a license, were you required to have a license,   and was it seasonal then?


Ive:     Not on your own farm, as far as I knew anyway.  I might   have been violating the law, but I never had a license until I was 21 years old or so.


Mrs. Franz:  We had one old character in town here who lived by himself.  He was old when I first remember and he made his entire living by digging roots—ginseng, May apples—

Ive:  Ginseng was the paying crop at that time.


Ivr:     Why ginseng?


Ive:     They made medicine out of it.  It's still being used.        Probably raised commercially now.


Ivr:     So this was sort of the town medicine man.  He got roots          and made up medicine out of them?


Ive:     No, he sold the roots.


Ivr:     I'd like to talk a little bit about land use. What was the land basically used for?


Ive:     Cultivated land was farmed and pasture and timber. At one time, the railroad got lots of ties from this area. They were all hand made at that time.


Ivr:    Where did they get these railroad ties?


Ive:     Right here, a lot of them.  They were all hand hewn..


Ivr:     We talked about hunting before. What effect do you think that wildlife management and game wardens have -had on the wildlife?


Ive:     Well, I think if we hadn't had a program like that,

                      there wouldn't be anything as far as wildlife in this area.  I think it's one of the finest things that ever happened.  It isn't only the regulation on the game but the sale of licenses, things like that, that's kept up a lot of parks and whatnot.


         Ivr:     Do you think there's still people in Jefferson County that live off the land?


Ive:     Yes, I think so.


Ivr:     Do you know of anybody?


Ive:     Well, we have people on farms and I know they raise their own meat as far as their own beef and hogs.  They have chickens, they have their own eggs.  They always have a big garden, do a lot of canning.  But nothing like it used to be of course.


Ivr:     You were speaking while ago about prices of land in this area and you were talking about this area down here. Could you repeat what you said about that?


Ive:     Back in 1934 or '36, land down here at the shopping center and the bank in the House Springs area, 160 acres, I think it sold for $16,000.  I forget how old the post office is, but when they bought that piece of ground, it's seven-tenths of an acre, and they paid $10,000 for that.  I don't know what the bank paid for their property, but the little restaurant down there paid a fabulous •price for that little lot.  So there's no doubt about it. Land is going up.


Ivr:     Do you know about the legend of House Springs, or how it got started?



Ive:     Well, I know something about it.  There was a record of it.  I had the record at one time, but I don't know whatever happened to it. As the story goes, the Indians came to Mr. House, which is the south side of the town here, and wanted to borrow some horses to go into St. Louis. And they were refused. And they came back at a later date, and I don't remember if it was that night or when, and massacred the whole family but two children, a little boy and a little girl. And the nearest settle­ment to House Springs was Penton and Kimmswick.  The children one went one place and one the other for help, and when the help came why the House family had all been killed, and that's the site right out of town here where *., And that's how the town got its name—House—and there was a big spring here at that time.  Of course when the highway was made, the old Highway 50, it done a lot to destroy the spring, or else the water ... was dropped to the point where it doesn't flow like it used to. At one time, it was a big spring.

Mrs.:    This old house down here next to what was the old. Bank building belonged to my parents.  It's way over 100 years old.  It started out with two log rooms.


Ivr:     Are you talking about the Webers — it used to be the Webers first?   


Mrs:               Yes.     


Ive:      This red brick tavern is way over 100 years old. At one time it was a grocery store.


Ivr:     You owned this in 1939?    


Ive:                No, we just rented it.  Her father owned it at that time.


Ivr:     Do you know any stories about county events and so on?


Ive.:     Well, at one time, Jefferson County always had a fair at Hillsboro.  I don't think I ever attended one of the fairs, but I know at one time they used to have county fairs.



Ivr:     How about folklore? Can you tell me anything about folklore?


Ive.:     No, I don't believe.


Ivr:     Or family stories?


Ive.:     I don't know whether this would be of any interest or not, but my wife's grandfather was a Collector of the county at one time.


Ivr:     What was his job?


Ive.:     County Collector.


Ivr:     What year was that?

Ive.:     He had a blacksmith at High Hidge.  Blacksmith and made caskets. And then he was elected Collector and he moved to Hillsboro.  Drove around in a horse and buggy campaigning,


Ivr:     Mrs. Franz, you said you went to work and worked for 40 years.


Mrs.:    Yes, I went to work in a bank. I graduated on a Friday and went to work in a bank on Monday, 330 a month.


Ivr:     This the House Springs Bank?


Mrs.:    Yes.


Ivr:     How long has that bank been there?


Mrs.:    1912.


Ivr:     Do you think the business there differs now that what it was then?


Mrs.:    Oh yes. It's entirely different. My dad and I used to run it, just the two of us. I did all the hand posting and everything.


Ivr:     What kind of transportation did they have when you went to work?


Mrs.:    They had cars then.  That was in 1925-


Ivr:     So you rode to work?


Mrs.:    I lived next door.


Ivr:     When was your first train ride?


Mrs.:   Well, I don't know when it was, but one thing I do remember. My aunt took my brother and I into Union Station and we were going out to their place.  The station was at Victoria, Missouri.  Somebody had to meet us there. And she bought us a sandwich before we

                 left to eat on the train. It was nothing but butter bread with lettuce on it, but I thought that was the             best thing I ever ate in my life. Probably the first

                 bought sandwich I ever had.


Ivr:                            Do  you  remember  your  first  automobile  ride?


Mrs:   No, I don't really remember that, but I remember how I learned to drive. We had one of those old open maybe a Model A car, and I just sat in the front seat with my dad and watched him, he never told me anything, but I    just watched what he was doing, and one day when nobody was around I just got in it and took off. And I'd go    up around school, turn around, and back up, and pretty soon I was on my way. I was 14 then.


Ivr:   Were you required to have a license at that time?


Mrs:   No.


Ivr:   I understand that they bought their licenses at the bank, Is that right?


Mrs:   No, I don't think so.  Not that I remember.



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


Mrs:              No, not in particular I don't.  I think we probably got   in a little more often than Paul did. First we would hit ... Street downtown.  That was the only place to go



Ivr:                 What year was that?


Mrs:              Oh, I guess that was probably about 1916, something like     that.

Ivr:  You said you went in more often than Paul. How often did you get to go?


Mrs: .Well, it wasn't much more often, but a few more times than he did, especially for shopping expeditions and things of that sort. And then after I got working in the "bank, I would have to drive in there after money and deliver money and stuff like that.


Ivr:  Do you think that St. Louis has a big influence on Jefferson County?


Mrs.:  Oh sure it does.


Ivr:   Why do you feel that way.


Mrs.:  Actually, now, it's practically next door.  Had some good things come out of it and a lot of bad things come out of it too. We do have some people who move out here to have more ground around them, and then of course all of these trailer courts, they're Just the opposite, they're gust jamming up in there so thick that you can't hardly get through, and, as I say, it does make a big difference in your feeling of security since it's so easy to get into the city and out now.  You have to lock everything up so tight, you can hardly get in when you get home.



Ivr:  Do you remember any vacations that you might have taken when you were a girl?


Mrs.: Oh yes. We went all the way to Sedalia when they were building a highway and we got caught in a rain storm. Everybody was out in the mud trying to hold the car on the road.  And I guess that was what we called our first trip—Sedalia to the Fair,  Now I guess we've been in -practically every state. I believe we've missed Maine and North Dakota.  That's about all.


Ivr:  How often did you get a chance to take a vacation?


Mrs:   Very, very seldom when we were younger. We didn't really start taking a lot of vacations until 1955*  That's when we first started.


Ivr:  Why did you not have a chance to take a lot of vacations?


Mrs:  Well, we didn't have the money for one thing.


Ivr:  We discussed that you worked in the bank. How does that differ from the same job today?


Mrs:  Oh, it's completely different. Everything is computerized now. At that time, it was just very, very simple.  Like I say, it started out slow enough that you could do all hand posting and my dad did the loan work and I did all the rest of the work.  In ... several robberies and holdups. One time they broke in there in 1927 at night, evidently the same people because the vault door was broken, and when they came in the day time, before they even went in there, they knew that the vault door was broken, so they were probably the ones that were in there at night and set everything afire in the vault, but most of it was recovered because in these deposit boxes you could take a knife and you could lift these papers off and a lot of them were written in pencil which would shine and they could be reproduced better than the ink writing papers. And all we had to start over again was when I entered everything into the daily statement book, I had the adding machine tape from the two balances and I knew what everyone stood for, and that's what we started out our balance with, and we had to balance every passbook and call in all time certificates for renewal before we could really come to the proper balance.  And we were off very little.


Ivr:  Were you ever there whenever any holdups happened?


Mrs:  No, I didn't happen to be there.  There was this one daylight holdup and there was some people across the street over at the hardware store and my mother I remember was right next door, she was mopping the front porch, and the people across the street said that looks like a bank holdup joking about it. And my mother saw them carrying these sacks out and didn't think a thing of it until she heard them set the sacks down in the car and realized that it was money. And after they located the car, we found out that about a week or two before I had had a ride in that very same car which had been stolen. It was a ... and it was the same car,.  But that was quite a struggle getting started from an adding machine tape. Now there's so many tapes, it would be impossible I imagine.


Ivr:   Did they catch the robbers?


Mrs.: Yes, they caught them in another bank robbery I believe a bank robbery at Pevely and they admitted doing this -one too.


Ivr:  How do you feel that the type of work in Jefferson Count  has changed?


Mrs.: Well, I don't know too much about that because I stay home pretty close.


Ivr:  What year were you born?


Mrs.:    1907.


Ivr:   What businesses were in Jefferson County then that aren't here now?


Mrs.:  Right in town here we had the blacksmith shop and next to it, well, they didn't have an undertaker parlor, it was just a place where they kept caskets because bodies were kept in the home at that time. And then this store up here on the corner, and Light's store, the tavern which at that time I think was just a regular old time saloon.  I guess that's about the only businesses that were in town.  This old blacksmith shop had a sort of a lean-to in the front.  I don't think it was closed across the front. And every fall that's where people congregated and cooked apple butter in there in the lean-to just for shelter.



Ivr:  Did they ride horses during that tine? They had hitching posts up and down the street?


Mrs.:    Oh sure.  Yes.

Ivr:   Were the businesses run differently than they are now?

Mrs:   They're entirely different.  Nothing was packaged. 'Everything was in "big "barrels, like crackers and pickels, and there would be a big long counter and a man behind the counter to wait on you. You didn't go around taking things out of shelves.  The shelves were all behind the counters and if you wanted something, you went in and asked for it.  They would wait on you then. No self-service whatsoever.


Ivr:  What about the taverns? Were the women allowed in the tavern then?


Mrs:   Well, there was no women in the taverns. Do you think it was harder to operate the businesses then than it is now? No, I think it was really simpler.


Ivr:   Why do you feel that way?


Mrs:   Well, as Paul said, they would get their produce or whatever they had to do, pay for it, what they made was theirs.  That was it. That's about all the record keeping there was to it. Now you have to keep hundreds of records for every kind of tax under the sun. You lived on a farm too, didn't you? No, I never did live on a farm.


Ivr:   You lived on a farm when you came out with Paul? Well, we stayed with his folks just for awhile until we built this house downtown next to my folks, or my dad built the house. We were in St. Louis for about a year, in a chili parlor in there.  Then we came out -here in 1930 and stayed.


Ivr:  Were you involved in any of the agricultural farm life • out here? Did you help in putting up canned foods and so on?



Mrs:  Well, like in preparing meat and things like that, I would go up and help. A lot of times now people think they have really got a full time job if they do 8 hours of work.  I'd get up, straighten the whole house, go to work from 8:00 until 4:00, come home and do the usual chores, and did every bit of my own sewing, and one summer I remember I canned 400 jars of fruit and vegetables at night. And that was a day's work. Do you think the agriculture has changed? Oh yes.  It's more mechanized now.  So many farms and a lot of farm homes now are hardly your idea of the old time farm homes,  I mean they're all modern like most all homes.


Ivr:  What do you remember about the depression? As I said before, I don't remember much about the depression.  Didn't seem to have much effect on me.


Ivr:  Did you work during the depression?


Mrs:  Yes.


Ivr:  At the bank?


Mrs:  Yes.


Ivr:  So you had a steady job during the depression?


Mrs   Yes.  I guess maybe by that tine I was all the way up to $50 a month.


Ivr: From working in the bank during the depression, did you see a lot of the troubles that people had keeping their farms, keeping their places?


Mrs.: Well, yes.  They would, of course we were always pretty lenient with them because you knew everybody, you knew what kind of person they were, whether they were really reliable or not. A lot of people you could loan money without even having them sign a note and you'd know it would be all right.  And a lot of them you knew wouldn't be all right no matter how many signatures you had on them. But that made an awful difference, the closer contact with people and knowing people so much. You knew their whole life history, the type  of person they were.


Ivr:  How has the increase in the population in Jefferson County-do you feel it has changed your life any with more people being here?


Mrs.: Yes, I feel it has, and I don't like it. We're practically being overrun with people.


Ivr: Do you see any great difference between now and just 10 years ago.


Mrs.: Oh yes.  That's when I see the biggest difference.


Ivr:  Because of the new highways or what?


Mrs.: Well, that sure has had a lot to do with it.


Ivr:  In your opinion, what's the most important need that we have here in Jefferson County that results from this - population increase?


Mrs.: Well, I think one of the biggest needs we have is for people in general to raise their children properly, to respect their elders, and not the mothers take off in one direction and the fathers in another direction and the kids run wild, no supervision whatsoever.  And I think the home life is the "biggest problem, of all.


Ivr:  Do you think the population has caused any worries in this area? What do you feel has caused the biggest worries? :   


Mrs: Well, a lot of crime, and so many people, it's just like the city, you don't really get to know people, you may think you know them on the surface, but you don't really know people. And, as I said before, I think the biggest breakdown of all is home life.



 - Conclusion of interview.