Interview with Alfred Dougherty, 1984 June 29 [audio]
- Early life and family background; visiting families on the BrandywineKeywords: Brandywine Creek; Forty Acres, Wilmington, Delaware; Free Park, Delaware; Gibbons family; Greenville, Delaware; Hagley Yard; Martin family; Montchanin, Delaware; Rockland, Delaware; Seitz familyTranscript: Bennett: It's nice to be with you today, Mr. Dougherty.
Dougherty: Thank you.
Bennett: And I'd like first of all your full name, and would you spell your family name for me please.
Bennett: And your first name?
Dougherty: Alfred, my middle initial is P for Paul.
Bennett: Paul. Where do you live?
Bennett: It's nice here, and this is Greenville?
Dougherty: Greenville, Delaware.
Bennett: And would you mind telling me your age?
Bennett: Eighty-six, and your phone number?
Bennett: Did you ever live in one of the villages along the Brandywine?
Dougherty: No, I never lived there.
Bennett: Where did you live?
Dougherty: In Forty Acres in the heart of Wilmington.
Bennett: But you visited along the Brandywine?
Dougherty: Oh yes. All the time.
Bennett: Would you tell me, please, your father's name?
Dougherty: Hugh Dougherty.
Bennett: And his place of birth?
Dougherty: Free Park, Delaware.
Bennett: And where did he work in the yards?
Dougherty: He was a leather manufacturer.
Bennett: And can you tell me his date of birth? You don't know?
Dougherty: No, no.
Bennett: His date of death was...
Dougherty: April the fifty, April the fourth, 1950.
Bennett: And he was how old?
Bennett: When he died. Now your mother, where was she born?
Dougherty: In Montchanin, no, I'm wrong, she was born in Rockland.
Bennett: Rockland. And do you know her place of birth, no I mean her date of birth, excuse me.
Dougherty: The date of her birth was April 15, 1944.
Bennett: That's when she died, she was...
Dougherty: That's when she died.
Bennett: And so she was born in 1867?
Bennett: And what was her first name?
Bennett: And her maiden name?
Bennett: Would you spell that for me?
Bennett: That's a pretty name. Did she ever work?
Dougherty: No, she was always a home mother.
Bennett: Would you name your brothers and sisters?
Dougherty: I had two brothers and one sister Alfred - or excuse me Daniel and Louise.
Bennett: Alfred, Daniel and...
Dougherty: And Louise.
Bennett: And Louise. And do you know their dates of birth or dates of death?
Dougherty: No, I'm sorry, I don't have a record of it.
Bennett: How about your grandfather's name?
Dougherty: My Grandfather's name was Daniel, and my Grandmother's name was Ellen. On my Father's side, and on my on my Grandmother's side, it was Prosper Chaxelle and Julia Chaxelle.
Bennett: Julia, was Julia Chaxelle born in...
Dougherty: Yeah and so was Prosper.
Bennett: Do you know what part of France?
Dougherty: I wouldn't be certain about it, I'm not certain.
Bennett: And Julia, when was she born - oh, 1837, I think we determined that.
Dougherty: Yeah, that's right.
Bennett: And Prosper was born in 1827?
Dougherty: That's right.
Bennett: Now, Daniel and Ellen Dougherty, were they where were they born?
Dougherty: I don't know where Ellen was born. Her name was Gibbons, her maiden name was Gibbons. My Father was born in Free Park. That's right below Christ Church, you know. You know where Free Park is? That was three doors below Christ Church and I don't know where my Grandmother was born, I have no idea.
Bennett: Maybe Ireland?
Dougherty: No, she was born in this country.
Bennett: And do you know what your grandfather did?
Dougherty: He was a powderman.
Dougherty: Yeah, he was in a mill when it went up. In a mill right below Hagley there, he was in a mill.
Bennett: Oh, I see. Is he the man that they called "Big Dan?"
Dougherty: I don't know, I wouldn't be surprised, he was a big man.
Bennett: That's the name that I keep seeing, Big Dan Dougherty.
Dougherty: Well, it didn't kill him, it just blew his eyes out, and he was unconscious for quite a long time.
Bennett: And then he couldn't work after that, I guess?
Bennett: Do you know of anybody else, Mr. Dougherty, that might be available for interviews like we're having today that would...
Dougherty: No, offhand, I'm about no one around my age any more.
Bennett: That's wonderful. Do you have any pictures of, let's say of the area or your family that were taken way back in those times?
Dougherty: I have a picture of my Father and Mother's - I think it was their 50th wedding anniversary picture, it's a big picture, you wouldn't want that, would you?
Bennett: Well, probably, you mean a group picture?
Dougherty: Group picture.
Bennett: I'd like to see it before I leave. Don't bother now, we'll look at it later. Do you have any artifacts like, let's say furniture or knick knacks or chairs?
Dougherty: I've got a book I'll give you.
Bennett: All right, a picture and a book.
Dougherty: No, just the book.
Bennett: Okay, I'd like to see the picture.
Dougherty: Oh, I'll show you the picture. I think I can - I discarded so much when I moved, it was fantastic what I got rid of when I moved here. I couldn't bring it all with me.
Bennett: Did you give some of it to your family?
Dougherty: My son and daughter took a lot and I got rid of a lot of the other.
Bennett: What - let's say, would you have had any furniture that might have been used - or let's say, dishes that belonged to your grandmother or things like that?
Dougherty: I gave them all to my son and daughter and told them to divide it up between them. I left it up to them.
Bennett: Well you know, we found a few things that were used along the Brandywine.
Dougherty: Did you?
Bennett: Yeah, and it's so interesting to know what they were like, that type of thing. Well, Mr. Dougherty, what we're really trying to do, is to find out what the family life and social life was like back in those days. Now you said that you were born at Forty Acres, but you visited along the Brandywine.
Dougherty: Brandywine, yeah.
Bennett: Who did you visit mostly?
Dougherty: Well, I visited my Grandparents out there and the Seitz's, Pauline Seitz and Florence Seitz and Jack Seitz. You've heard of the Seitz's?
Bennett: Florence and Pauline. When you say Jack Seitz...
Dougherty: That was their father.
Bennett: The father that was married to Anna Gibbons?
Dougherty: Anna Gibbons, yeah, yeah. And Charlie Seitz and, well Collins came later, of course. Well outside - my uncle, Gene Martin and I forget Clements Martin.
Bennett: Where were they living?
Dougherty: They lived in, you know where the DuPont cemetery is?
Dougherty: Well, they lived close by that, you know, the road down by that. He worked in the powder mill.
Bennett: Buck Road there, you mean?
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah, the end of Buck Road. I remember going- she had twins and I remember my Mother going up to see her, went up on the train. Got off at Winterthur and walked to see her. And we came back and snow was on the ground, we come back on the train, see, that's the way we got there.
Bennett: Doesn't seem very far today, but in those days...
Dougherty: It was quite a jaunt.
- Memories of Free (Flea) Park; grandparent's home and gardenKeywords: canning; Chaxelle family; cooking; coppersmiths; Dougherty family; fishing; Flea Park; Free Park, Delaware; furniture; gunning; kitchens; stoves; tinsmiths; vegetablesTranscript: Bennett: Do you remember your grandmother's house - was that in Free Park?
Dougherty: My Grandmother Dougherty's house?
Bennett: Yes, that you visited.
Dougherty: It was three doors down from Christ Church, I don't know the first house, I don't remember who lived there, I can't recall it. But the next house was, I think, the Seitz lived there, then my Father's people lived in the next house.
Bennett: Will you describe it to me?
Dougherty: Well, it was a big frame house, a lot of rooms in it, not much convenience, with an outdoor outhouse, you know, down at the end of the garden.
Bennett: In the back?
Dougherty: In the back, no indoor plumbing, you know. I can tell you a dirty story about it, but it's not very nice.
Bennett: I'd like to hear it.
Dougherty: Well, it's not very nice.
Bennett: That's okay, make it different.
Dougherty: You better disconnect the machine.
Bennett: No, tell it.
Dougherty: No, I don't want to tell it over the machine.
Bennett: Oh, okay, alright - are you sure. I'll stop the machine. (Machine turned off). Have to laugh at that one, and I'm sorry we couldn't share that with the...(laughs) Oh, that's funny. Do you remember what the kitchen looked like and what kind of furniture it had in it?
Dougherty: No, I remember sitting on the front porch, they had a front porch that was right out on the road, you might say, and sit out on the front porch. I was quite young then you know, my memory is not anywhere what it used to be.
Bennett: Did they have chairs or was it a swing, or what was on the front porch?
Dougherty: Chairs, chairs on it. I recollect correctly, it was just chairs, they didn't have any swings.
Bennett: Do you remember what kind of a stove was in the kitchen?
Dougherty: Just an old fashioned coal stove.
Bennett: Coal stove?
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah.
Bennett: Never a wood stove?
Dougherty: Not to my recollection. I remember he was blind and he could get around that stove like nobody's business.
Bennett: He knew...
Dougherty: Knew just what to do.
Bennett: He was a wonderful man, wasn't he?
Dougherty: He was a wonderful man, big strapping six footer.
Bennett: Do you remember if they had a summer kitchen?
Dougherty: No, I don't, I don't think so - they might have. In the summertime they cooked out back, I don't remember what was out back very well because, as I say, it's changed from the time my Father was there and he moved, and I just went back to visit later on.
Bennett: Do you remember if they had, in their yard, did they have chickens and so forth?
Dougherty: They had vegetables, vegetable garden.
Bennett: Vegetable garden?
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah. I'll tell you a story about that. My Father's neighbor on the lower side, he was Roman Catholic and he would plant his potatoes and sprinkle a little holy water on them. And the man next door was protestant, he'd plant his potatoes and say, "Grow you son of a guns, grow," and he always had better potatoes.
Bennett: That's funny, I like that. Was the most of the garden planted in potatoes?
Dougherty: Oh, they grew their own potatoes, they were big gardens, they ran half a block down in there.
Bennett: Like, can you come up with sort of a footage?
Dougherty: Oh, I'd day 150 to 200 feet, a big garden.
Bennett: And how wide?
Dougherty: Oh twenty feet.
Bennett: Do you remember what else they grew?
Dougherty: They grew almost all of their vegetables, of course I don't know if it would last them through the winter or not, but they grew quite a little bit. Stores weren't very close there you know. They went to Hunter's Store at what's now you know where 141 and Barley Mill Road, on that corner?
Dougherty: On the corner there.
Bennett: They would - now did your grandmother do a lot of canning?
Dougherty: Oh yes, yeah. My Grandmother Chaxelle did, I don't know about my Grandmother Dougherty. She wasn't such a wonderful cook, but my Grandmother Chaxelle was, French cook, wonderful, wonderful. My Grandfather Chaxelle was a coppersmith and he did some roofing for Colonel du Pont and the Colonel called him up and said, "Mr. Chaxelle, that roof didn't last very long. So he went up and he looked at the roof and he said, "Well, Mr. du Pont, the window is right in back of the maid's bedroom there and evidently cleaned out her chamber on the roof there, you know what that will do to the tin, it'll rot it out fast."
Bennett: So it was repaired again then, huh?
Daugherty: I imagine so.
Bennett: Where did your grandparents Chaxelle live?
Dougherty: You know where Montchanin Station is?
Dougherty: Well the road, you go past the station and you keep to the left, cross a little stream, and up the hill and on top of that hill is my Grandfather's farm. He didn't do much farming, he was a good coppersmith.
Bennett: He did a lot of work in the yards?
Dougherty: Yeah, a lot around that territory. He was a tinsmith, course it wasn't copper, it was tin, but he was really a coppersmith, you know.
Bennett: Did you visit them often?
Dougherty: Oh yes, yeah it was a treat for a kid to get on a farm you know, a novelty. We used to- we lived at Gilpin Avenue and Union, my Father lived at Gilpin Avenue and Union and on Sunday we would take the horse and carriage and drive up to see my Grandfather at Montchanin. That was a day's outing.
Bennett: Would you go for dinner?
Dougherty: Oh sure, big dinner, big French dinner.
Bennett: Could you describe one to me?
Dougherty: Well I know they had everything good and they had a big French salad, I remember that quite, great big bowl of salad.
Bennett: Do you remember maybe some of the things that might have been in it?
Dougherty: Well, they had lettuce and cucumbers and celery, peppers, onions, radishes...
Bennett: Like a regular tossed salad?
Dougherty: A big tossed salad with nice fresh curly lettuce. He had his own garden, you know, and chickens and everything, and he had a couple of horses and cows.
Dougherty: No, he didn't have any goats to my recollection.
Bennett: Could you go gunning from there perhaps, when you were older?
Dougherty: There was no gunning, that was all private property up there, you know. I imagine they would go gunning in the back in the woods there, but you'd have to have permission.
Bennett: But you never went?
Dougherty: I never went, no.
Bennett: Did you go fishing?
Dougherty: Oh I used to be an avid fisherman, yeah, when I was older, yeah.
Bennett: Where did you fish?
Dougherty: In Rehoboth, yeah.
Bennett: How did you get there?
Dougherty: I used to take a cottage in there for a month or two at Rehoboth every summer. I liked surf fishing.
Bennett: I think you're lucky when you catch things from the surf.
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah. Well, that died out since I used to do it.
Bennett: Back at Free Park when you visited your grandparents, did you help with the chores when you visited?
Dougherty: No, no I was a guest.
Bennett: Would you say that would you like say go and visit in the summertime and stay overnight?
- Memories of Breck's Lane; description of uncle Gene Martin's home and outbuildingsKeywords: animals; boilers; Breck's Lane, Delaware; chickens; chores; furniture; homes; Laundry; Martin family; root cellars; vegetablesTranscript: Dougherty: I used to stay at my Uncle Gene Martin's, my uncle on my...
Bennett: And he lived...
Dougherty: He lived at Breck's Lane, on Breck's Lane. I used to stay with him when I was a school boy.
Bennett: Can you describe his house?
Dougherty: His house over on Breck's Lane?
Dougherty: Well it was the third house down on Breck's Lane after you turn off Kennett Pike, second house down after you turn off the Kennett Pike. It was a nice house.
Bennett: Across sort of from the Raskob...
Dougherty: You know - right across from the Raskob estate, yeah.
Bennett: Could you describe visiting there, did they have indoor plumbing? Do you mind if I close the door because of the vacuum?
Bennett: I don't know whether that does any good or not.
Dougherty: That helps a little.
Bennett: Was it...
Dougherty: Do you want to close that other door too?
Bennett: Oh there's - I didn't see that one. Was that house a lot larger?
Dougherty: It was a big house, yeah.
Bennett: Did it have indoor plumbing?
Dougherty: No, I don't think they did to my recollection, they didn't have any refrigeration, they had a spring in the cellar where they kept their milk and butter.
Bennett: Would you call this like a root cellar, that type of a...It had a little canal where the spring water ran down through it and kept things cool.
Bennett: Oh, that's sounds nice. About how large was it?
Dougherty: The canal?
Dougherty: It was about eight or ten inches wide, the water from the spring trickled down, it kept it at a fairly low temperature. And everything was closed up, no sunlight every got in, it was kind of unsanitary, but it was the best they could do I guess, I don't know. They had no ice.
Bennett: Would they keep like the vegetables in there, like the root vegetables as well?
Dougherty: Yeah, they had a root cellar you know.
Bennett: In the same area?
Dougherty: Yeah, outside, at the side of the house.
Bennett: Could you describe that to me?
Dougherty: Well, I don't recall it very well, I know they kept their potatoes out there.
Bennett: About how large was it?
Dougherty: Oh, I'd say it was about two by six, or something like that.
Bennett: About how deep?
Dougherty: Oh, six or seven feet. Well, I don't know, maybe I'm a little wrong on it, maybe it was four or five feet deep.
Bennett: They must have- now was it close to the house or close to a garden?
Dougherty: I don't recall just the exact location of it, I'll tell you the truth.
Bennett: Now did they have a garden as well?
Dougherty: Yeah, they had a nice garden, and chickens, I remember they had a lot of chickens.
Bennett: Do you have any idea whose job it was to feed the chickens?
Dougherty: Well I guess my Aunt took care of them because my Uncle was working in the mills.
Bennett: Which mill did he work in?
Dougherty: He worked, later on, at Bancroft's, after the powder mill closed down.
Bennett: What did he do in the powder mill?
Dougherty: I think he was a powderman, I don't know exactly what he did, he used to come home smelling of saltpeter, I know.
Bennett: What does saltpeter smell like?
Dougherty: Well, it doesn't have a repugnant smell, it's not very obnoxious. I remember you could, when I was a youngster, you could go along, you could, a block away they used to have it when they would make the gunpowder, they'd have the saltpeter and the charcoal, and they'd hang the saltpeter bags out on the fence to dry, you could smell the saltpeter quite a distance away.
Bennett: Would they wash them, is that what you mean?
Dougherty: They'd just put them out to dry, I imagine, and use them over again.
Bennett: Then he worked there, you say, until the yards closed down?
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah, then he went to work for Bancroft's.
Bennett: Now that house, did it have an upstairs?
Dougherty: My Aunt?
Bennett: Yes, your aunt's house.
Dougherty: Yes, she had three floors, and a big living room and a side room with a big kitchen, and an out shed if I remember correctly.
Bennett: What would be kept in the shed?
Dougherty: Well, the usual things, you know.
Bennett: Maybe tools?
Dougherty: I imagine so, yeah, they had a big barn for their tools, yeah.
Bennett: A barn and a shed?
Dougherty: Yeah, that was a shed that was attached to the house.
Bennett: Oh, I see, okay. Where they would maybe do the washing?
Dougherty: I imagine so, they'd do their wash out there, they had a wash tub and a wringer.
Bennett: Oh, she had a wringer. Did your Grandmother have a wringer?
Dougherty: I don't recall, I would imagine they did. They had wash tubs, wringer, a boiler, clothes boiler. Remember the old clothes boilers?
Bennett: Uh-huh. Where did they get their water?
Dougherty: They all had wells.
Bennett: They had the well there at Free Park, a common well?
Dougherty: Common - each one had their well, yeah. I don't know how they got the water up, to tell you the truth, they didn't have any electricity.
Bennett: Well, maybe dropped the bucket down...
Dougherty: And brought it up.
Bennett: And brought it up on a handle, that type of a thing.
- The Seitz family; father's apprenticeship; traveling peddlers and hucksters; fishing on the Brandywine; making wine; local tavernsKeywords: Brandywine Creek; Brandywine Hundred; fishing; grapes; hucksters; making wine; peddlers; Salesianum School (Wilmington, Del.); Seitz family; tinkers; Tommy Lawless's Saloon; University of Notre Dame; wineTranscript: Bennett: Is this the time when you would go Visit the Seitz ladies as well?
Dougherty: Well, the Seitz ladies were a little older than I am, you know, they were eight or ten years older, the ladies. They were very, very- We were very friendly, Florence and Pauline and Catherine - Catherine lived in New York, she married a chemist - a pharmacist.
Bennett: And Jock Seitz was the father, is that correct?
Dougherty: Jock was the father, yeah.
Bennett: Would you describe him to me as you remember?
Dougherty: He was a tall - he was a pretty good-looking man he was a powderman too. He was a tall, good looking I don't remember his wife, his wife died before I knew them.
Bennett: What was he doing when you met him, or had he retired by then?
Dougherty: I imagine, I'm not certain, I think he was still working, he was working along with my Uncle Gene Martin. My Father lived there and he worked at Second and Madison. He was a leather apprentice and he got up this morning, and he went to get up, I don't know what time he got up, he had to be at Second and Madison at seven o'clock, so he was there and a snow storm came up and he said, "We'd better go home." So he walked back again to Free Park from Second and Madison. My Grandmother said, "What are you doing home? She sent him back to Second and Madison - she said, "You have no business coming home." So she sent him back again in the snow to stay on his job that afternoon. Imagine!
Bennett: That's a long walk and he went.
Dougherty: He went.
Bennett: Well, in those days to have a job was very important, wasn't it?
Dougherty: Yes it was. And he had a very strict task master, I remember him talking about it.
Bennett: Do you remember, let's say, when you were at Free Park, let's say the iceman coming or peddlers when you were there?
Dougherty: No, I remember the meat man coming around with his meat wagon.
Bennett: Do you know what day that was?
Dougherty: No, no, and I remember the tinker coming around, with his novelties, with his junk.
Bennett: Can you remember any of his junk?
Dougherty: Oh, he had needles and thread and pots and pans and a variety of stuff.
Bennett: Was there a fish man that you might remember?
Dougherty: I don't remember the fish man, they caught their own fish, most of them, you know.
Bennett: Right there on the Brandywine?
Dougherty: Yeah, on the Brandywine, yeah. Brandywine used to be pretty well stocked in those days.
Bennett: Did you ever fish there?
Dougherty: Oh sure, sure. Didn't catch much.
Bennett: I was just going to ask you what you caught.
Dougherty: Sun fish.
Bennett: Sun fish. Did you swim in the Brandywine?
Dougherty: Oh yes, we swam and that bridge above the museum there that crosses, there's a dam that runs over there, we used to swim off that bulkhead, yeah. It was Pauline Seitz and my cousin, Gene Martin, a bunch of us.
Bennett: Did you ice skate there in the winter?
Dougherty: I never ice skated in my life.
Bennett: I've seen pictures of people ice skating on the Brandywine. Do you know if your family if they made wine?
Dougherty: Oh yes, my Father made wine. My Grandfather Chaxelle made his own wine, yeah, yeah.
Bennett: Did they grow their grapes?
Dougherty: Sure, sure. My Father bought his, but my Grandfather Chaxelle raised his.
Bennett: Do you remember the wine making?
Dougherty: Yeah, they had a press and they would press and put it in the cask and let it ferment and add sugar to it, you know. Let it ferment and turn into wine and they'd bottle it, or leave it in the cask and draw it off. They always had their own wine, and it was powerful.
Bennett: Was it?
Bennett: What did they use, those red, those dark purple grapes?
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah.
Bennett: Did you help make it?
Dougherty: No, I was too young for that. They seemed to enjoy it, but that was out of my jurisdiction then.
Bennett: Do you remember how they crushed the grapes, do you have any idea?
Dougherty: They had a press, they had a press a big screw that turned down to squeeze the juice out.
Bennett: Okay. Now do you know where they stored the wine?
Dougherty: They had casks, kegs and put it in the cellar.
Bennett: In that cellar with the stream?
Dougherty: Yeah, where it was cool.
Bennett: Now, at Free Park, they bought their grapes?
Dougherty: Oh, I don't know about Free Park, but they didn't make wine at Free Park, they were whiskey people there.
Bennett: Oh, okay. Do you remember the taverns that the whiskey people visited?
Dougherty: Tommy Lawless's Saloon, you know where Tommy Lawless's...
Bennett: Yeah, I have an idea.
Dougherty: Do you know where the rectory is, you know where the convent is at St. Joseph's Church?
Dougherty: That was Tommy Lawless's Saloon. And the Buckley girls, the Buckley girls lived cattycorner from the saloon. Ever hear of the Buckley girls?
Bennett: No, Mr. Dougherty, I don't think so. I know some of the names, but that...
Dougherty: They were very prominent in St. Joseph's, the Buckley girls. But Tommy Lawless's saloon was very notorious spot in Brandywine Hundred.
Bennett: Everybody visited?
Dougherty: Yeah, everybody visited Tommy Lawless's Saloon.
Bennett: Do you remember, did you get to go with your family at any time to the saloon?
Dougherty: I very seldom visited saloons, I always did my socializing at home.
Bennett: You can't describe the saloon for my in any way?
Dougherty: I was never in there, to tell you the truth, I always went by it, but I never was in it. I have a very dear friend of mine, went to school with me, Bill Lawless, his father ran the saloon, he went to Salesianum with me and he went to Notre Dame and he turned out to be a very successful engineer, built the plant down in Virginia, yeah, he was very successful.
- Socializing; playing sports; Sunday activities; walking in Wilmington, DelawareKeywords: Alfred I. du Pont's band; baseball; basketball; football; Fourth and Madison, Wilmington Delaware; games; music; orchestra; Salesianum School (Wilmington, Del.); sports; Tancopanican Band; violin; walkingTranscript: Bennett: When you socialized, let's say when you were growing up, what did you do, where did you go?
Dougherty: Before I was married?
Bennett: Yeah, u-huh.
Dougherty: Oh, I went around all over the town I was great for sports, I played a lot of basketball and baseball, I didn't pay much attention to the girls for a while.
Bennett: Do you remember the Hagley House this would be Breck's Mill now they had a baseball team I believe and a basketball team?
Dougherty: Oh, a basketball team.
Bennett: Basketball team, okay.
Dougherty: Yeah, sure.
Bennett: Did you ever play for that team?
Dougherty: No, I played with the Bronson.
Bennett: Okay, that was from where?
Dougherty: Fourth and Madison.
Bennett: Okay, so you liked basketball?
Dougherty: Basketball, yeah, I was too small for football. I played on the freshman team at Delaware and had a broken collar bone so that ended my football career.
Bennett: Got it over in a hurry that first year. What else did you do, let's say as a social - did you was there theater, was there...
Dougherty: No, I got married when I was 24. I used to go to the theater occasionally.
Bennett: Did anybody play a musical instrument?
Dougherty: I used to play the violin a little bit. We had a so-called orchestra, we had a lot of fun.
Bennett: Who was associated with that?
Dougherty: Well, Jack Hanby and a fellow by the name of Leigh played the drums, Snakey Golbreigh played a violin, I played a violin, and I forget the fellow who played the trombone, and a fellow by the name of Carney played the piano.
Bennett: About what time was this, what year?
Dougherty: Oh this was when I was in the 18-19 something like that.
Bennett: Did you use that Hagley House which was Breck's Mill, for any of this?
Dougherty: No, we went around playing at a few dances and got a lot of criticisms.
Bennett: Do you remember Alfred I.'s band or hearing anything?
Dougherty: I heard about it, yeah.
Bennett: You don't remember it?
Dougherty: I remember reading about it, yeah.
Bennett: But you don't remember him?
Bennett: Did you ever well then, I'm thinking about the Hagley House, did you ever take a shower there, I understand it had the first indoor showers in the area.
Dougherty: Is that right? No, I was never in there, never played basketball there, I played at Fourth and Madison.
Bennett: Then you really didn't have like visiting teams that came?
Dougherty: No, they were a little older than I was.
Bennett: So, did you sing, did you have...
Dougherty: I was a terrible voice, I didn't try to sing.
Bennett: Did you have any, like group singing other than from the orchestra, let's say, was there...
Dougherty: No, no we didn't have any females singers. Had a female piano player by the name of I think she married my brother-in-law later on in life, Irene Glenn. She married my brother-in law, Dailey.
Bennett: My husband had an orchestra.
Dougherty: Did he?
Bennett: Uh-huh, so that's sort of familiar to me. Let's go back to the Brandywine again, let's say if you were visiting your grandmother or your uncle, would you describe a day, like when you got up in the morning, what would you have for breakfast?
Dougherty: I never had breakfast at my Grandmother's.
Bennett: You wouldn't stay overnight?
Dougherty: No, no, I would stay at my Aunt Clement's and I don't remember what we had - scrapple I think would be the main dish, yeah.
Bennett: And at lunchtime would you...
Dougherty: Have a sandwich, yeah.
Bennett: Did she make her own bread?
Dougherty: No, did they?
Bennett: Did she, yes, did they?
Dougherty: Oh sure, sure.
Bennett: Did you have any idea if she made it more than once a week, or was it just one time?
Dougherty: No, I don't remember. I imagine she made it twice a week.
Bennett: And when you were there and visiting, did everybody sit down to the dinner table together or was it...
Dougherty: Oh, we'd all sit together, yeah.
Bennett: Was there a dining room? In that house, the larger one?
Dougherty: They ate in a big kitchen. In a big kitchen. Yeah, no dining, there was a dining room, but that was for special guests.
Bennett: Was there a parlor?
Bennett: Was that for special guests?
Dougherty: Yeah, it had a piano in it, wasn't very big.
Bennett: Okay, now were you permitted to use the piano as a group?
Dougherty: Yes, sure.
Bennett: Some parlors, you know, were off limits. What kind of songs did you sing, do you remember that?
Dougherty: Oh those popular songs of the day.
Bennett: Do you remember any of them?
Dougherty: No, no.
Bennett: Was it a young group that would get around and sing, or was it the family that would sing?
Dougherty: The young groups, the old family didn't have very good voices.
Bennett: They just sat and enjoyed?
Dougherty: Yes, that's right.
Bennett: And, let's say if this was an evening entertainment or would it be a Sunday afternoon?
Dougherty: Sunday afternoon, yeah.
Bennett: And then was there something to eat after that?
Dougherty: You'd generally have a light lunch on a Sunday night.
Bennett: Can you describe what you had?
Dougherty: No, usually it was ham and potato salad I guess.
Bennett: Okay, that sounds good - like today, things haven't changed, is that right?
Dougherty: No, they haven't changed much in that respect.
Bennett: Did you mostly walk there when you...
Dougherty: Well, there was no other way of getting there unless you had a horse and carriage because...
Bennett: Carriage - and you didn't have one, huh?
Dougherty: My Father had a horse and carriage, but I walked, I always liked to walk. When I was a youngster I used to live at 2018 Gilpin Avenue, that's across from the rectory at St. Anne's rectory, and I would walk to Salesianum at 8th and West, and walk home for lunch and have lunch, and walk back. In the afternoon I would walk up to the Rockford Tower and play baseball, and then I would walk home. When I lived on Union Street right after I was married, I was walking at Fourth and Monroe, and I would walk home for lunch from Fourth and Monroe and walk back, and walk home.
- Participation in Army of Occupation, World War I; Spanish Flu epidemic; explosions at Hagley; games and amusements; celebrating Christmas; Celebrating New Year's; other celebrationsKeywords: Army of Occupation; bicycles; birthdays; celebrations; Christmas; games; Influenza Epidemic (1918-1919); Lenape, Pennsylvania; New Years; picnics; toys; World War (1914-1918)Transcript: Dougherty: And I was in the Army of Occupation and I walked from [Pont-a-Mousson?] in France up to Koblenz in Germany.
Bennett: How far would you estimate that was?
Dougherty: Thirty miles, I think, something like that, thirty miles.
Bennett: This was...
Dougherty: Course we got a lift whenever we could from a freight car or caisson, but most of the time we walked.
Bennett: But then you were used to it, I guess, weren't you?
Dougherty: Yeah, we were used to it by that time.
Bennett: How long were you in the Army?
Dougherty: A year.
Bennett: A year.
Dougherty: Yeah, the Marine Corps.
Bennett: Did you see a lot of action, or was it just...
Dougherty: No, I was only twenty, and I just got over there when it was winding up. I was at the battlefields, and we were in Brest when they signed the treaty, signed treaty. They come up out of the harbor and told us that the lights were flashing all over the sky and they said they had signed the peace.
Bennett: Had you from seeing the lights did you assume that's what it was?
Dougherty: No, we didn't know what was going on. The war was still on and everything.
Bennett: You probably thought it was...
Dougherty: Yeah, so then that started the Army of Occupation and we went up and crossed the Rhine into Germany.
Bennett: Quite a time, wasn't it?
Dougherty: It was quite a time.
Bennett: Then you missed the flu that was here within the...
Dougherty: Yeah, I missed all of that, a lot of friends died in that flu.
Bennett: Did you lose anyone in your family?
Dougherty: No, I lost a very dear friend, though, a school mate of mine, and he was my age too.
Bennett: It didn't matter how old you were.
Dougherty: No, no.
Bennett: Sort of a very sad time, really, wasn't it?
Dougherty: It was indeed.
Bennett: Do you remember any explosions at the powder yards?
Dougherty: Oh sure, I remember hearing them go off at Carney's Point too.
Bennett: Can you describe what you remember from the ones here at the Brandywine?
Dougherty: Well, you'd hear this terrible rumble, you know, they'd say, another mill going up. We all wondered how many got killed this time.
Bennett: Were you ever close by?
Dougherty: No, no, close as I was at home, you know, where that would be, compared to your place.
Bennett: You could hear the...
Bennett: Did you ever know anybody that was close to the family?
Dougherty: That was killed? No, outside of my Grandfather, that was the only one.
Bennett: When you think of it, that's very fortunate, isn't it?
Dougherty: It is.
Bennett: How many main explosions were there, like twelve I think, something like that? Is that right?
Dougherty: Something like that, yeah, I know there were quite a few, yeah.
Bennett: You have to wonder about working in something like that.
Dougherty: Yeah, miraculous that there wasn't more.
Bennett: Would you describe a bedroom on your uncle's house or your grandmother's house?
Dougherty: No, I doubt very much if I was in the bedrooms.
Bennett: You never really slept there, then?
Dougherty: Oh in my Uncle Martin's house, oh they had the old fashioned twin beds you know.
Bennett: How about mattresses and so forth.
Dougherty: Well, they were straw mattresses, you know, they weren't the mattresses we have today, they were straw, very uncomfortable.
Bennett: Was there heat in that part of the...
Dougherty: They had a stove in the kitchen and a stove in the living room and outside of that, that's the only heat they had.
Bennett: Can you tell me if they had, let's say, decorations on the walls, do you have any idea of anything like that?
Dougherty: Oh, they had a few pictures, yeah, they'd have family pictures.
Bennett: That type of a thing?
Bennett: Was there an attic?
Dougherty: I think there was, I wouldn't be positive about it, I was never up there, to tell you the truth.
Bennett: Do you know anything about a trunk room?
Bennett: A lot of the people had what they called trunk rooms.
Bennett: This would be - I guess for storage and the trunks stayed there.
Dougherty: I imagine so.
Bennett: That doesn't ring any bell to you, huh?
Bennett: Did you have a special time at Christmas?
Dougherty: To see them?
Dougherty: Well, we generally spent Christmas at home, you know.
Bennett: Okay, but did you go to visit them there or did they come to visit you?
Dougherty: They'd come to visit me. I remember my Grandfather Chaxelle was a little short man and he had a beard, that's the only recollection I have of him. I must have been three or four years old. He came and hitched his horse to the hitching post in front of my house - that's the only recollection I have of him. I don't know whether it was Christmas Day or not.
Bennett: When they visited, what would you get as presents at Christmas or, what did Santa Claus bring?
Dougherty: Mostly clothing, you didn't have much for toys in those days.
Bennett: No toys?
Dougherty: No. I imagine, I got a colored doll baby when I was young and I didn't know it was chocolate candy until I struck my front tooth on it.
Bennett: ...doll was chocolate?
Dougherty: Chocolate, yeah.
Bennett: Then it didn't last very long. What was your favorite toy?
Dougherty: Baseball bat.
Bennett: All boys like that seems like. Did you ever play marbles?
Dougherty: Not very much, I wasn't very good at it.
Bennett: You did what you could do best, is that correct?
Bennett: Did you have a scooter or a bike later on?
Dougherty: I had a bike, I had a bike. My Father had a bike and my older brother said "We'll take a ride on it." So he set me up on the handlebars, we went over the curb and broke the fork right off, broke it right in half.
Bennett: Oh boy.
Dougherty: We come home with a wheel in our hand to my Father with his new bike. I remember.
Bennett: What did he say?
Dougherty: Oh, I won't tell you.
Bennett: Did you get punished?
Dougherty: I don't remember, I know we kind of kept shady for a while.
Bennett: What else did you do for amusement let's say, after school?
Dougherty: Well, played football, we played basketball, we played baseball most of the time. From the time I was 14 until I was 18 - didn't pay much attention to the girls, after 18 then you started to pay more attention to the girls and your studies suffered. When I went to school, they told me if I had wound up like I started, I'd be the head of the class.
Bennett: But things got in the way. Let's back to Christmastime, did you have decorations in your house?
Dougherty: We always had a Christmas tree. I had four small children, see. Not all at one time, of course, but we always had a Christmas tree. We had a swan that went around the circle, you know.
Bennett: What about New Year's, was there anything special about New Year's?
Dougherty: Nothing special. It was a holiday, of course, and we always celebrate it and congratulated each other and made resolutions that we never kept.
Bennett: A lot of people still do that, that's for sure. But did you have any tradition with the New Year?
Dougherty: No, not particularly.
Bennett: How about the Fourth of July?
Dougherty: Well, we always used to have when I was young we mostly always had an outdoor picnic on the Fourth of July, some place, family would get together you know. My Father had seven sisters and two brothers and that gave me about 56 cousins I think, I don't know, and we used to get together, some of them. We've kind of lost sight of each other.
Bennett: It's too bad what happens. Where did you usually have the picnics?
Dougherty: Well, I don't recall. We'd go to Lenape a lot you know.
Bennett: Did you ever attend any of the ones along the Brandywine?
Dougherty: Yes, down at the Josephine Gardens, you know, yeah we'd go down.
Bennett: Did you, do you remember fireworks?
Dougherty: No, I never went to any fireworks, always read about them, but I never attended any.
Bennett: How about birthdays in your family, or to your grandparents or your uncle or whatever was it a special day?
Dougherty: We always celebrated birthdays, the families always - course it dwindled down, there's not many of us left, but we'd always go to dinner for a birthday, celebrate, go to some restaurant.
Bennett: But back in the days before restaurants were popular as a child, what would you do?
Dougherty: Have a family dinner, you know. Still have family dinners a great deal.
Bennett: That's nice. What would be a typical present for a birthday?
Dougherty: Well, of course the usual neckties that you'd despise, or scarves, gloves.
Bennett: How about when you were young, did you get toys for your birthday at all?
Dougherty: Oh sure, sure, we got some kind of a little gadget.
Bennett: A ball?
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah.
Bennett: How about games, did you...
Dougherty: I used to like to play bridge, I still like to play bridge. We always got cards and bridge accessories.
Bennett: Even when you were young, that was a...
Dougherty: Well I started playing twenty years ago - twenty or thirty years ago.
Bennett: It's a good game. Did your family take pictures and so forth?
Dougherty: No, there was nobody in my family. My brother has a collection of slides that he took, that he never shows, and bores people to death when he does.
- Celebrating Halloween; parades; graduationsKeywords: circuses; fairs; Ferris wheels; festivals; graduations; Halloween; parades; rides; Rockford Park, Wilmington, DelawareTranscript: Bennett: You've got a good sense of humor, Mr. Dougherty. How about Halloween, when you were young, did you - mischief night, did you have mischief night?
Dougherty: Yeah, yes I'd say between 14 and 18 we went in for that, but after that there wasn't much doing.
Bennett: What did you do between 14 and 18?
Dougherty: We used to go around, get into little pranks here, let out air out of tires and break down hedges and things that we shouldn't do.
Bennett: When you were younger...
Bennett:. ...before there was tires and stuff, were you permitted out to do mischief?
Dougherty: Well, I imagine we were. My Father and Mother were pretty strict that way, but we were allowed to go out Visiting.
Bennett: Did you wear costumes on Halloween?
Dougherty: Yeah, make up your own costume. A bed sheet with holes cut in it you know.
Bennett: A ghost?
Dougherty: A ghost or charcoal on the face.
Bennett: And what were treats - do you remember what you would get?
Dougherty: No, I don't remember that.
Bennett: Probably apples or nuts or something like that?
Dougherty: Yeah, I imagine, it wasn't trick or treat in those days, that was unheard of when I was a youngster, that's more modern.
Bennett: Okay, but when you did Visit a house, did they give you something usually?
Dougherty: Oh sure, they had something on the table for you, but you didn't carry it out, you ate it.
Bennett: Oh you had it there, Oh I see, that's interesting. Did the girls go as well as the boys in those days? Were they permitted out?
Dougherty: Well, my recollection's not too good about the girls. As I say, I wasn't interested, didn't pay attention.
Bennett: You didn't pay any attention to them. How about parades, do you remember any parades?
Dougherty: Oh they used to have parades, used to have some wonderful parades. The circus would come to town and the circus would have a parade. They would come to Fourth and Union, they'd march downtown and back again. They had on St. Patrick's well, they still do. I imagine that's something new that's been revived. And they would have a parade once or twice in the city, yeah.
Bennett: More than one band?
Dougherty: Oh yes, they had the novelty bands.
Bennett: How about it, was there anything special for graduation?
Dougherty: Well you'd go graduate ~ they weren't so much for the alcohol in those days, we didn't know any better. We would stay up all night, or half the night after graduation and have a little fun, but it wasn't like it is today, they didn't have beer parties or drug parties or like that. That wasn't heard of in those days.
Bennett: Yeah, it's very different, isn't it?
Bennett: It's a shame, just don't understand a lot of that. It's a very different world, really.
Dougherty: Yes it is.
Bennett: I guess you thought you were being very risque' by staying up half the night.
Dougherty: Oh, you thought you was wonderful, yeah.
Bennett: You just grew up or something. Probably needed toothpicks or something to keep your eyes open. The house that the Seitz ladies lived in, do you remember that?
Dougherty: Where they live recently, the schoolhouse?
Bennett: Yes, the schoolhouse, do you remember that?
Dougherty: Oh sure, I used to visit them there. It was a schoolhouse down at the end of the road there.
Bennett: Do you remember that as a schoolhouse, I mean before it was turned into...
Dougherty: Well, it wasn't a schoolhouse in my Father's time it was a schoolhouse. But I don't know what it was between the interval when he left and the Seitzs they renovated it and fixed it all up for the Seitz girls, it was a nice place inside.
Bennett: Everybody says that it was, yes.
Dougherty: Very nice, they fixed it all up nice. And I visited them quite often up there.
Bennett: It is now back to the Sunday School room you know. Is it?
Dougherty: I didn't know what they did with it.
Bennett: It's turned back and it's part of the-what they call Blacksmith Hill area.
Dougherty: Is that right?
Bennett: And if you tour there, it's been turned back to the Sunday School as it was in it's early days, 1817, something like that.
Dougherty: Well, there's no outlet to that road.
Bennett: No, well you come in past - past where Free Park was.
Dougherty: Yeah, past the church.
Bennett: That's right, and come down where Free Park had been.
Dougherty: Yeah, and you turn right.
Bennett: And then- but the visitors to Hagley, they come up the hill from the Brandywine, through the Blacksmith Hill gates.
Dougherty: Oh, through the gates. I remember we come up there, we walked over somebody's lawn and he got very indignant. We come up from - up the back way, got very indignant about walking up to see the Seitz's.
Bennett: Everybody says that was a very nice house there.
Dougherty: It was nice, spacious and modern.
Bennett: Well, of course it was built a little later. So now they come up the hill, you see, they stop at what was the foreman house, which they call the Gibbons' House. Then next is the carriage house, across sort of where the Belin House was.
Dougherty: Oh yeah, yeah.
Bennett: And it's on exhibit and it's really kind of very nice. Do you remember any fairs?
Bennett: Well we used to have the fair at Pennsylvania Avenue and Woodlawn, they had a big fair there. would run his horses and they had quite a time there. And they used to have the Chitauguh at Fourth and, Delaware Avenue and Union, where the apartment house where the Diocese headquarter is now, Fourth and Union, Delaware Avenue and Union, that was a vacant lot there and had the [Chitauguh?] there and they had where the Acme is now, above the Acme, there was a plot in back of the B. & amp; O. station, they used to have fairs there too and circuses, little circuses you know, not big.
Bennett: Small, not like the Ringling Brothers you mean?
Dougherty: No, no, no - Ringling Brothers went to Fourth and Lancaster Avenue. They were in south Wilmington for a while and then they went to Fourth and Lancaster Avenue.
Bennett: What would they have - like wheels and...
Dougherty: What do you mean?
Bennett: At a fair.
Dougherty: Oh they'd have a Ferris wheel and a couple of rides and a lot of cotton candy and stuff like that.
Bennett: That cotton candy?
Dougherty: Cotton candy.
Bennett: How about festivals?
Dougherty: Well, St. Anne's used to have a festival on their lawn. All the churches used to have festivals or a strawberry festival. They used to have festivals in Rockford Park, not up towards the tower, but down there at Woodlawn Avenue, between Woodlawn and Tower Road, where that park is now, you know? We used to have strawberry festivals there, every summer.
Bennett: Sounds good, doesn't it?
Dougherty: Yeah, I was a mere child then. And then they used to have festivals on their lawn too. Gambling wheels and different things.
Bennett: Do you remember any at St. Joe's?
Dougherty: No, no. I remember St. Anthony's, course you can't forget St. Anthony's now.
Bennett: No, well they're not going to let that one go. I think that's big business.
Dougherty: Yeah $200,000 they tell me.
Bennett: Really? Have you been?
Dougherty: No, it's too much of a crowd for me in my old age.
Bennett: I went a few years ago and it's very hot, you know, and if you get a good day, and a bit crowded.
Dougherty: Yeah, I don't go out much any more.
- Childhood work and jobs; trip across the Allegheny mountains; Wilmington, Delaware streetcars; tobacco useKeywords: Allegheny Mountains; Altoona, Pennsylvania; catalog; chewing tobacco; cosmetics; Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania; Kennard's department store; Lippincott's department store; Longwood Gardens; shopping; smoking tobacco; street cars; Street-railroads; tobacco; Wilmington, DelawareTranscript: Bennett: Did you ever, as a young boy, work like having a paper route or did you do anything like that?
Dougherty: Oh I worked on Longwood Gardens for a little while.
Bennett: What did you do there?
Dougherty: Carrying lumber when they were building it. But my Father wanted to take a trip over the Allegheny Mountains, he had a 1909 Ford, and he wanted to go over the mountains, he had relatives that lived in Hollidaysburg and he wanted to go see them and he asked me to come with him, I'd drive the Ford. So we drove the Ford up to Hollidaysburg and Altoona and Mt. Tuscara, and Patton and all those places up there. We had a wonderful time, ran over a pig.
Bennett: How long were you gone?
Dougherty: A week.
Bennett: And you got that far in a 1909?
Dougherty: Yeah, the thing would break down. It would stall every once in a while, but he was a wonderful man, he'd take a chance and go with that machine and go any place. And there were no service...
Bennett: Could you repair it?
Dougherty: No, I didn't know anything about it, I knew how it started and run it.
Bennett: But he did, huh?
Dougherty: Yeah, apparently he did. But there were no service stations, they were miles and miles apart in those days.
Bennett: How many miles did you get on a gallon of gas?
Dougherty: Oh, I guess I don't know, eight or ten I guess.
Bennett: Oh, I bet more than that.
Dougherty: I guess so, well, the tank only held ten gallons, you could go all day on the ten gallons.
Bennett: Didn't have the weight, you know.
Dougherty: No, no.
Bennett: How about tires, was it...
Dougherty: Well, you'd have to change your own tires, patch the tubes with cement and patches, pump them up by your hand.
Bennett: How long would it take? Quite a while I guess, wasn't it?
Dougherty: Oh yes, it would take him a long time.
Bennett: Did you have a lot of flats?
Dougherty: No, we didn't have much tire trouble if I remember correctly. We were very fortunate in that way.
Bennett: That was quite a trip.
Dougherty: Was a trip, when you come to think of it. Up that mountain, up the mountains.
Bennett: Yeah, that Tuscara, I can picture that's sort of a...How about the streetcars in Wilmington, you must remember them?
Bennett: Oh yeah, the streetcars used to run from out Delaware Avenue when I was a - that was the first one, then they used to have a, there was two lines, there was a Wilmington, I don't know, Wilmington City Line. And then the car barn was at Third and Greenhill, was a car barn, and they ran to Brandywine Springs and ran to Rockford Park. They would come up Shallcross Avenue and they would turn around and run up to the park, and turn the trolley car around and they would run back again.
Bennett: Did you use it very often?
Dougherty: Oh yeah, yes, it run every half hour or so.
Bennett: Do you remember how much it costs?
Dougherty: A nickel.
Bennett: A nickel. Those days are gone, aren't they?
Dougherty: Yeah - I think it's ninety cents in Philadelphia now.
Bennett: Is it really?
Dougherty: I think that's what I saw.
Bennett: Wow, I used to be - when I worked there - seven and a half cents, or round trip for fifteen cents. Two tokens were fifteen cents. Well, those days are gone, I suppose. When- I'm going back to the Brandywine and so forth, do you remember if they, or if your mother and father, did you use the catalogs for shopping, or did you go in to Wilmington to shop, how did they do this?
Dougherty: That I'm not familiar with. My Mother used to have a woman come and sell her cosmetics. Every Saturday afternoon she'd come around and sell a few little articles you know, she bought them that way.
Bennett: You mean like lipstick?
Dougherty: Lipstick and powder, yeah. And she would go to market, she would go to Second and Market to shop, go in on the trolley car, I'd go with her and we'd go into the big market at Second and King. And they had the butter man, the meat man, and the delicatessen and the horseradish man. The horseradish man's nose was always running in the horseradish, I remember it as a kid. And the butter man lived a few doors from me after I was married, Tommy Curtis. Mrs. Lober was the delicatessen, had wonderful salami and liverwurst, yeah.
Bennett: I like it. Then did you go for a treat before you came home for ice cream or something like that?
Dougherty: Well, the ice cream - Tunnell's ice cream on Market Street was famous. They had wonderful ice cream, they got the reputation of having a dirty kitchen, see, but they had wonderful ice cream.
Bennett: I'm interested with your mother with cosmetics, because did many of the people, ladies wear cosmetics?
Dougherty: No, it wasn't so prevalent, you didn't see them with violent lipstick or a lot of powder on, they hid it better than they do today, I guess, I don't know.
Bennett: But they used it?
Dougherty: Yeah, but you know - kids don't take notice of those things.
Bennett: No, I think that's very true. But I was interested in you saying that, because I guess that's not come up before. Did your mother buy clothing in Wilmington or would you buy from catalogs, like Sears?
Dougherty: That I can't answer, she was always, I don't know, she went to Kennard's I believe, Lippincott's.
Bennett: So probably most of the things were...
Dougherty: Ready made.
Bennett: Did she sew?
Dougherty: Yeah, she was a good seamstress. She had a seamstress come in and do some work for her, I remember. The ladies would come in and do the house.
Bennett: Did your father use tobacco?
Dougherty: Yeah, he used to smoke, smoked cigars and a pipe. And he liked his little drink now and then.
Bennett: But whiskey?
Dougherty: Yeah, and later on in later life he liked wine. He lived to be, as you know, 88.
Bennett: And he switched to wine? There's nothing the matter with that, is there?
Bennett: I think it's good. Did he ever chew tobacco, that type of...
Dougherty: Not as a habit, he might - I remember he used to have tobacco. I would go to the tobacco store and have the lady cut the tobacco plug up into one inch squares and he would put it in his pocket and give it to the men that worked for him to boost their productivity up.
Bennett: A bribe, huh?
Dougherty: A bribe.
Bennett: Now did he use it also?
Dougherty: No, I never saw him, remember him chewing tobacco.
Bennett: My Mother wouldn't tolerate it, I don't think.
- Illness and medicine; his sister's funeral; wedding traditions; Dougherty's own weddingKeywords: Biece family; death; DuPont Country Club; funerals; honeymoons; injuries; Irish traditions; Irish wakes; pneumonia; receptions; sickness; weddingsTranscript: Bennett: Well, I think a lot of men have that problem cause the ladies just couldn't stand it. How about if someone in the family became ill?
Dougherty: Oh yeah, we had the old family doctor come around in a buggy.
Bennett: What was his name?
Dougherty: Dr. Flynn, he had a place on Jefferson Street. Yeah, he'd come in.
Bennett: How did you get him?
Dougherty: Well I don't know, he was there when I came around. I think he delivered my Mother. I remember I broke my collarbone playing football at Delaware College, and they had me all strapped up, you know, strapped in that, didn't have casts, but I was strapped. My Mother told me, she said "You're starting to get a little odorous with that, you better go into the doctor and get him to take that bandage off. So I walked into Dr. Flynn's office and he says, we'll take the bandage off. And he had this basin there with a sponge. He put the sponge in the basin with the water in it and the water turned black. He must have washed his carriage with the sponge before he washed me.
Bennett: Oh my gosh. Do you know, let's say if you just felt sort of a little sick or had a stomach ache did your mother use home remedies, or did... ,
Dougherty: Oh sure, sure. We didn't have the doctor but very rare.
Bennett: You had to break a collarbone or something?
Dougherty: Yeah. My sister died when she was two years old with pneumonia. In those days, penicillin wasn't heard of, if you got pneumonia you were done. They'd give you twenty-four hours to live.
Bennett: Can you. do you remember the funeral?
Dougherty: Yeah, my uncle Carried the little casket out and put it in the cabin the - didn't have a hearse, put it in the back of a two- horse cab.
Bennett: And did you all go together to the cemetery?
Dougherty: Yeah, we all went to the cemetery.
Bennett: Was there a wake?
Dougherty: No, no, no wake.
Bennett: Because she was so little?
Dougherty: So little, yeah. Had her on ice, you know. Didn't embalm in those days, put them on ice.
Bennett: I see. That's sad isn't it when children die that young?
Bennett: Do you remember any other wakes?
Dougherty: Oh I remember when my Uncle John Biece died, my aunt's husband died. All my cousins were there, it was two or three o'clock in the morning and they went around and smeared shoe polish on everybody's face, they were half asleep, you know, this Irish wake. And they weren't feeling no pain, so I reached down the cellar window, they were having hot dogs, and stole some of the hot dogs, ran down the alley right into the arms of a policeman at two o'clock in the morning. That was an Irish wake.
Bennett: In those days, the wake, it was always at the home, right?
Dougherty: Yeah, they didn't have any funeral parlors, they didn't have no funeral parlors, and they had pipes to smoke.
Bennett: Pipes to smoke?
Dougherty: Yeah, clay pipes to smoke. Everybody smoked a clay pipe.
Bennett: What was the reason for that?
Dougherty: I don't know, it was just a custom, Irish custom, I guess. A little schnapps on the side, you know.
Bennett: What was the significance of the shoe polish?
Dougherty: I don't know, it was just devilment.
Bennett: Devilment, okay. And then can you describe the actual funeral, going to the cemetery, how did they accomplish that?
Dougherty: Oh - a regular funeral?
Bennett: Yeah, was it a wagon, or by then...
Dougherty: Oh in those days, they had a hearse, a big black hearse with two horses and a black hearse that had black curtains with tassels on them. You opened the back door and shoved the casket in. And had the cab with a charcoal heater in the back of it, keep it warm in the wintertime, see. Put charcoal in it and it would keep your feet warm. Had a blanket to cover your knees, cause it was cold.
Bennett: Then did the people come back to the house like they do today?
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah. Generally come back and had a little something to eat. Get together and fight.
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah. I can remember, one aunt would be made because she didn't sit ahead of the other one, you know, she was older or something, in the church, and would get very indignant.
Bennett: Things that are so...
Bennett: Yeah, really it is, but in those days it was very important, it was status, wasn't it?
Dougherty: Yeah, status, yeah. I'm older than you, I should sit ahead of you.
Bennett: It's, the world's very different. In those ways, it's a better world, don't you think?
Dougherty: I think you're right, much better.
Bennett: But, that was an important thing in those days, I think weddings and funerals and births were the big occasions really. How about weddings, can you describe a wedding to me?
Dougherty: In those days? Well, they were the usual thing, wasn't much different from what they were today.
Bennett: Did they have, like showers for the brides beforehand?
Dougherty: That I don't remember, I don't remember in those days whether they had showers, I imagine they did. I don't remember whether they had showers or not.
Bennett: How about wedding presents?
Dougherty: Yeah, they had wedding presents, don't forget, they'll never do away with wedding presents.
Bennett: What was a typical gift?
Dougherty: Well, I don't know, pots and pans I guess was the most usual things, or place settings or dishes, I don't know. I never had much experience in that regard.
Bennett: How about when you got married, what was considered important things to have for your apartment or your home?
Dougherty: Well, I guess the most important thing was a bed. And then after that a kitchen stove.
Bennett: The stoves didn't come with the apartments or the houses?
Dougherty: No, not in those days, you bought your own stove. In fact when I got married they didn't have any heat in the house, they had a stove in the parlor.
Bennett: Well, that was typical of a lot of places, really. Did you buy, with the bed, an entire bedroom suite or did you just...
Dougherty: Well, there was a funny story. I was working, like I say, at 4th and Monroe, and I was only making $24.00 a week, so I said to my Mother, "I'll pay you ten dollars a week board and she said alright. So I worked for a couple of years, and I told her I was gonna get married. She knew the girl, knew the girl's family, my father and her father, the girl's father were old boy friends, so she was very favorable. So I come to buy the bedroom furniture, yeah the bedroom furniture, so my finances, I went into she said "Here's the money to pay for it." I said, "Where did you get it?" She said, "Well that's the ten dollars that you bring to me over the last two years." I said, "That was for board." She said, "That's for you to get married on.
Bennett: That was nice.
Dougherty: Wasn't that nice?
Bennett: Yes it was.
Dougherty: So we went in to McGary's and picked up the furniture, nice furniture. You get it for, I think, four hundred dollars, you get a whole bedroom suit for four hundred dollars, a whole five or six pieces. So he said, "We'll go into the manager's office and arrange terms." So he went in and said, "How are you going to pay for it?" I said, "I'm gonna pay cash." He said, "What?"
Bennett: Then after that you needed, you needed a stove, and then I suppose a table and chairs, was that sort of...
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah. Well I had very good relatives on both my Father and Mother's side that were very generous, helped me a lot.
Bennett: Did you have a honeymoon?
Dougherty: Yeah, one - a couple of days, I come back from my honeymoon and I had two dollars left in my pocket.
Bennett: How far did you go?
Dougherty: Not very far, not very far.
Bennett: How long were you gone?
Dougherty: About three or four days.
Bennett: At the wedding, did you have a reception?
Dougherty: Yeah, we had a reception at The DuPont Country Club. My brother-in-law was a member of the DuPont, and he arranged it.
Bennett: Where was The DuPont Country Club in those days?
Dougherty: Where it is now wasn't it?
Bennett:: No. That was built, the one now was built in the late forties, I think.
Dougherty: Was it. Where was it before?
Bennett: One on Pennsylvania Avenue which is now Wilcastle?
Dougherty: That was the Wilmington Country Club.
Bennett: Wilcastle was...
Dougherty: Was the old Wilmington Country Club. I don't know where the...
Bennett: You'll have to think about that one.
Dougherty: Uh-huh, got me stumped.
Bennett: Well, let me see, I can't think. There was a - I thought it was out there at Pennsylvania Avenue and Greenhill, that's what I thought was it. Well, it's okay.
Dougherty: I don't remember.
Bennett: You know, things have changed so much, you just don't think of where they've what's happened to places until you are asked a question like that I think. Did you have flowers like they do today, in a big wedding, or was it simple?
Dougherty: It was a fairly good wedding.
Bennett:A lot of bridesmaids and best man and all that type of thing?
Dougherty: I don't remember about the bridesmaids, to tell you the truth, we had two or three ushers.
Bennett: And I guess everybody got dressed up in their best...
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah.
- His mother's jewelry; pets; haircuts; newspapers and magazines; Germany ghost story; memories of his parentsKeywords: American Boy; barbershops; brooches; cameos; Catholicism; cosmetics; dogs; Evening Journal; Germany; hair; haircuts; horses; Labor Herald; parents; pets; rings; Rover Boys; Saturday Evening Post; Sunday Star; watches; World War (1914-1918)Transcript: Bennett: Let me see here, you mentioned that your mother wore cosmetics, that surprised me. Did she wear jewelry?
Dougherty: She wore her wedding ring, that's the only ring she had, or all she wore.
Bennett: Did she have a watch?
Dougherty: I think she did, I wouldn't be positive.
Dougherty: Yeah. She had a cameo what do you call it?
Bennett: Yeah, a lot of ladies had a pretty cameo, yes, the pin.
Dougherty: I remember that, I don't know what ever happened to it.
Bennett: Now did you have a watch?
Dougherty: I had a lot of watches, they didn't amount to much.
Bennett: The pocket kind?
Dougherty: Yeah, pocket watch with a chain, with a chain that goes across your chest, you know.
Bennett: From a vest?
Bennett: Did you wear a medal or something like that or pins?
Dougherty: No, I never did, always carried on, but I never wore it .
Bennett:. You carried it in your pocket?
Bennett: What else did you carry in your pocket?
Dougherty: Oh, the usual things.
Bennett:: Like what?
Dougherty: Well, for instance, a little money in a wallet, and a handkerchief.
Bennett: Did you have a penknife?
Dougherty: No, not usual, no.
Bennett: Did you have like a rabbit's foot or...
Bennett: You didn't believe in those kind of things either? Do you know what your mother might have carried in her pocketbook?
Dougherty: That I can't answer.
Bennett: You never got into there, huh? I couldn't tell you what mine had in hers either. This is where you got a perspective of the different sides of the family. Let me see what else we have here, did you have any pets?
Dougherty: Yeah, we used to have, oh my father always had horses before he got his automobile. We had dogs.
Bennett: Did anybody wear glasses in your family?
Dougherty: My Father wore glasses, I think my Mother wore them too.
Bennett: How about any children?
Dougherty: Well, no they didn't wear glasses until late in life, no, no.
Bennett: Can you remember how, if somebody wore glasses in school, they used to tease them and so forth?
Dougherty: No, tell you the truth.
Bennett: Yeah, even when I went to school, you know they'd tease them because they had- they don't do that anymore, which is...
Dougherty: Kids didn't wear glasses when I was young, they didn't have enough sense to get their eyes examined.
Bennett: I guess that's a good point, yeah. Did you go barefoot?
Dougherty: No, never, never. I never took a fancy to it. My brother went barefoot and he stepped in a puddle of water and stepped on a broken bottle. That taught me a lesson.
Bennett: That did it, huh? So you always wore shoes. Now at home, did you wear slippers or did you wear your regular shoes?
Dougherty: Regular shoes, yeah.
Bennett: Now when your dad came home from work, did he put on like soft slippers, and your mother, or did they wear their regular shoes?
Dougherty: He always wore his regular shoes, to my knowledge. I don't think he changed his slippers, very seldom.
Bennett: My father would come home and change and put his slippers on.
Dougherty: Would he?
Bennett: Yeah, yeah.
Dougherty: Some people do that.
Bennett: It's just habit is the way these things develop, I think. Do you remember any births of any...
Dougherty: Not particularly, they all came and go.
Bennett: Nobody special other than the...
Dougherty: No, no.
Bennett: Did people in those days lock their doors?
Dougherty: Well, that I can't answer very well, I imagine some did and some didn't. There was no robberies like there are today. It was very seldom that you would have any theft, it was unheard of in those day when I was a child.
Bennett: So really locking the door would really be...
Dougherty: Unusual I guess.
Bennett: U-huh. Did you have screens in the summertime?
Dougherty: Oh sure, had those screens that you pull apart, fit in the window.
Bennett: Like a half screen?
Dougherty: Yeah, two half screens that slide into one another and you pull them apart, and fit the window. Fit any size window.
Bennett: Lots of flies?
Dougherty: Terrible, used to have fly paper covered with flies. People don't realize what it was in those days to have flies, millions of them. Used to have a- you'd go to a picnic or a family gathering, one of the older girls would stand back with a big branch and wave it over the food to keep the flies off.
Dougherty: Lot of mosquitoes, as you go to Rehoboth, walk up around Bethany Beach, open your mouth and you'd get it full of mosquitoes.
Bennett: Why did you go back?
Dougherty: Well, they wouldn't last long, you know. I mean they've improved these things today, you know.
Bennett: Do you remember mosquitoes where you lived here in Wilmington?
Dougherty: They weren't so bad here in Wilmington, we did get an occasional mosquito that would come in, take a bite out of you.
Bennett: The flies were worse?
Dougherty: Oh, the flies were much worse.
Bennett: How about newspapers and magazines.
Dougherty: Well, we had the Evening Journal, and the Sunday Star, and the Labor Herald.
Bennett: The who?
Dougherty: The Labor Herald, that was a Union paper put out by a man by the name of Taylor. His place was at Second and Orange I think. And Morning News, and the Sunday Star, was it, the Sunday Star, yeah, Morning News and the Evening Journal, and the Labor Herald. And the Saturday Evening Post.
Bennett: The Labor Herald, was that a daily paper or was that a...
Dougherty: Weekly, I think it was a weekly, yeah.
Bennett: Weekly, and then you got the Saturday Evening Post?
Dougherty: We bought the Saturday Evening Post.
Bennett: Oh, you bought it.
Dougherty: At the news stand. I don't think they had any mail in those days.
Bennett: Did you look forward to the magazine as well as your parents?
Dougherty: I looked forward to the Saturday Evening Post and the American, I used to get The American Boy, American Boy was a juvenile magazine, and the Rover Boys, I always read the Rover Boys.
Bennett: The books.
Dougherty: Every hear of the Rover Boys?
Bennett: Yes, yes. Do you remember the Child Life?
Bennett: Okay, that's the magazine that we used to get. It was called Child - maybe the American Boy and American Girl became Child Life, that could be.
Dougherty: Right, I wouldn't be surprised.
Bennett: That could be- sounds like it would go together. And you read the Rover Boys, that was a series.
Dougherty: Yeah, that was a series of books.
Bennett: What else did you enjoy reading?
Dougherty: Well, I liked detective stories for a while.
Bennett: I think every growing up boy gets interested in those, don't you?
Dougherty: Yeah - Sherlock Holmes.
Bennett: In your neighborhood, was there somebody that you had a nickname for that was like a bully or maybe a hero, remember any special nicknames of people?
Dougherty: Yeah, but I can't recall them exactly now. There was all kinds of nicknames, nobody called by his real name.
Bennett: There were some funny ones, weren't there?
Dougherty: Yeah, funny ones, yeah.
Bennett: You can't remember, huh?
Bennett: How about hair cuts, how did you get your hair cut?
Dougherty: Well, we had a barber shop, you know where Trolley Square is now?
Dougherty: Well, the barber shop was two doors where's that restaurant above the bridge there? Well, the barber shop was two doors above the bridge on Delaware Avenue, Matt Haley had the barber shop for fifty years there, he cut my hair for fifty years.
Bennett: So your mother or your father never out your hair?
Dougherty: No, I always went to the barber.
Bennett: Would your mother go to the hairdresser or to have her hair cut?
Dougherty: I can't answer that, I don't think they had very many lady hairdressers around this part of the, around my part of the town.
Bennett: They probably out each other's hair?
Bennett: How about your dad, did he go where you went?
Dougherty: Yeah, yeah.
Bennett: You wouldn't know if the ladies got permanents or things like that?
Bennett: You don't remember any ... When you said about Sherlock Holmes, makes me think of ghost stories, were you scared of ghosts, did you hear about ghosts?
Dougherty: No, I never was scared of ghosts. Tell you a story later on about the ghosts.
Bennett: Oh, you're not going to tell me now?
Dougherty: Well, when I was in Germany they said - we were up in the mountains there above [Arendorf?] - and there was a sign on the tree and it said, I think it said, "We think the Germans are going to spring a surprise attack tonight, so they took us out and placed us in the woods and I got in the woods where it was dark as the back of your hand. We were spaced a hundred yards apart and I heard this rustling in the leaves and I thought, "Well, here they come." So I was too bashful to yell "Halt" or "Stop" or "I'll fire," or this or that and I was scared lifeless, see. So I kept on and daylight come a couple of hours later, you know what it was: a field mouse running through the leaves.
Bennett: That's funny, you were relieved, huh?
Dougherty: I was relieved beyond expression.
Bennett: Oh, that's funny. Mr. Dougherty, what would you say was the most important thing your parents taught you?
Dougherty: Well, to be a good Catholic, I guess is what I would say, yeah, with my Father and Mother.
Bennett: That was their aim?
Bennett: Which is you can't beat that, can you?
Bennett: Well, I'm here just about at the end of the tape, is there anything else that you might...
Dougherty: Well, I'll give you that book there.
Bennett: All right, let me see, I'll mention that on the tape before - oh boy what is it?
Dougherty: My aunt's school book.
Bennett: isn't that wonderful. Did she go - this is the one from the- let's see, 1877, copyrighted in 1877, The New Normal Written Arithmetic, and it's a Philadelphia printer.