Interview with George Washington Jones, 1984 April 17 [audio](part 1)
- Location of family home in Henry Clay; Siblings and parents; Chores and weekly routines; Going to churchSynopsis: Jones talks about his early life. He discusses his parents, siblings, and the location of his family's home. Jones describes his family's weekly routine and some of the chores he had to do. He says that he had to scrub the kitchen floor. He talks about how his mother and father went to Wilmington to buy groceries. He mentions getting water from a spring. He talks about going to church and says that after church, the children played games. He describes the rules of a game called "Hunt the Hare."Keywords: Basketball; C.I.D. House; Chores; Games; Hagley Community House (Breck's Mill); Harrington (Del.); Hayward, Ethel Jones; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Hunt the Hare (game); Mt. Salem United Methodist Church (Wilmington, Del.); Walter Wood Meat Store; Wilmington (Del.); WorkTranscript: Myers: Today is April 17th, we are recording the memories of Mr. George Jones who lived in the Henry Clay Village. Would you please give me your name?
Jones: I'm George W. Jones.
Myers: Your address?
Jones: Here or there?
Jones: 161 Main Street, Henry Clay, Delaware.
Myers: Henry Clay, Delaware. Would you please speak a little louder? A little louder please.
Myers: Yes, please.
Jones: 161 Main Street, Henry Clay, Delaware.
Myers: Thank you. Your age?
Jones: My age is 80.
Myers: Your telephone number?
Myers: Thank you. We are now going into your background. In which village in the Henry Clay area did you live? In which village did you live? In which village did you live? Henry Clay?
Jones: That's right, this side of the Hagley Gates. That's the main village in Henry Clay.
Myers: What were the dates that you lived there?
Jones: That's like the picture I gave you there.
Myers: When did you move there?
Jones: I was born there.
Myers: You were born there.
Jones: I was born in 161 Main Street, Henry Clay, Delaware.
Myers: When were you born?
Myers: And you lived there how long?
Jones: Fifteen years.
Myers: Would you please describe the location of your home? In that village exactly where was that located?
Jones: The home itself is located, I would say 150 yards from the main gate at Hagley Yards on the old Main Road.
Myers: What was the name of your home?
Jones: C.I.D., 1823.
Myers: Thank you. What was your father's name?
Jones: George W. Jones, Sr.
Myers: Do you know where he was born?
Jones: He was born in Cecilton, Maryland.
Myers: And when was he born and when did he die?
Jones: Let's see.
Myers: Mr. Jones, can you give me the birth date of your father?
Jones: The birth date of my Father? 1851.
Myers: And when did he die?
Myers: Can you tell me your mother's maiden name?
Jones: Victoria Wallace.
Myers: W-I-L-L-I-S? Her place of birth?
Jones: Harrington, Delaware
Myers: When was she born?
Jones: I couldn't say.
Myers: You don't know. Let's talk about your brothers and your sisters. Can you give me the names of your brothers and sisters in the order of which they born and tell me, starting with the oldest, and just going backwards?
Jones: Wilmer, my oldest brother was born in 1898 and...
Jones: He's still living, still living.
Myers: Where was he born?
Jones: In Squirrel Run.
Myers: Alright, the next brother or sister?
Jones: My sister, next to him, she was born in 1900 and she's still living.
Myers: What was her name?
Jones: Ethel, and her name now is Ethel L. Hayward.
Myers: And who was next?
Jones: Was - I was next - I was born in 1903, and I'm still living of course.
Myers: Yes. Is that the family? Any more brothers or sisters?
Jones: Carla - no she's not in that - Beatrice was next.
Myers: What - who?
Jones: Beatrice was born, she's dead, Beatrice was born in 1907 and died in 1909.
Myers: And who came next?
Jones: And then Carla was born in 1910, she's still living, seventy-four.
Myers: Where was she born?
Jones: Carla was born in C.I.D. House, 1823.
Myers: How many of you were born in the C.I.D. House?
Jones: How many of us was born? Just the three of us, Beatrice, myself and Carla was born in the C.I.D. House.
Myers: Your grandfather, your two grandfathers, your maternal and paternal- let's take your maternal grandfather.
Jones: His name was John Willis.
Myers: Willis. Now where was he born? You don't know. When was he born?
Jones: I couldn't say, I don't know.
Myers: You don't know. How about your paternal grandfather - your paternal grandfather?
Jones: Maternal father, or my father's father - I don't know when he was born because he died when my Father was 14.
Myers: Your grandmothers, do you remember your two grandmothers?
Jones: I don't remember her because she lived until I was about a year old, she died when I was about a year old.
Myers: Both of your grandmothers you don't remember? Neither one?
Myers: We're going to start some other questions, Mr. Jones. Do you know any other people that we might contact to be interviewed for Hagley? Do you know any other people that we might contact for interviews?
Jones: Only one I know is Ethel.
Myers: Ethel - we have interviewed Ethel Jones Hayward.
Jones: She lives in Dartmouth Woods.
Myers: We have interviewed her. You don't know of any others?
Jones: Her name is Mrs. Ethel Haywood.
Myers: Yes, I know, we have interviewed her. Do you recall any others - do you know anyone else that might be? Do you have pictures or letters in your possession, anything from those days - any pictures or letters from those days you lived in the Henry Clay Village?
Jones: I don't have any, no.
Myers: You don't have any pictures, letters, any artifacts of any kind? Just the picture you gave me here of the C.I.D. House?
Jones: Just the painting of the place where I lived.
Myers: But you have nothing else to give me? You have no pictures or letters other than this?
Jones: That's the only one.
Myers: Oh, thank you. I would like to talk about the family's weekly routine. Do you remember some of the chores you had to do - some of the chores?
Jones: Families that lived on the Brandywine with me?
Myers: Yes. I'd like to talk about the weekly routine, some of the chores that you had to do - cleaning, taking care of the children - what were some of the chores? Can we talk about that?
Jones: My mother, had a maid to come and work for her, her name was Rachel Brown.
Myers: Rachel Brown.
Jones: She's dead, a colored woman. And my Mother, all of us, we had to beat rugs and things like that.
Myers: Beat rugs?
Jones: Beat rugs on the line.
Myers: On the line. Did Rachel do...
Jones: Our livin' was, we had good food, and my Father went to town once a week and did the marketing.
Myers: Your father did?
Jones: My Father, sometimes my Mother would go on Wednesday in the middle of the week, but most of the time my Father did the shopping on Saturday.
Myers: Where did he go to do the shopping?
Jones: Down King Street in Wilmington.
Myers: King Street in Wilmington. Do you recall the name of the store?
Jones: Was - they weren't there then. Was Walter Wood meat store.
Myers: Walter Wood Meat Store?
Jones: He was between 6th and 7th on west side of King. Then there was a cake store at 5th and King, I don't remember - I have a time to think of the name of that and I can't.
Myers: Did you have livestock? Did you have livestock animals?
Myers: Did you have cows, horses - did you have a cow or a horse? Pigs? Livestock - pigs - horses.
Jones: Oh, no, no, no. We had no animals.
Myers: No, no livestock. Can you tell me, of all the chores that were done, the four - four chores that were more important - what were they? The chores, the most important chores?
Jones: My most important chores when I got nine years old, was scrub the kitchen floor, that was the most important chore that I had was scrub the kitchen floor.
Myers: You did that?
Jones: Yes, from the time I was nine years old at Henry Clay.
Myers: What else, can you name three more?
Jones: Well, yes, we used to go caddy at the Wilmington Country Club. But that wasn't a chore.
Myers: It wasn't a chore, no. Around the house, or did you cut the grass?
Jones: We had to help our Mother carry water and everything like that - wash water and also drinking water from a spring that we had to go get our drinking water, we had to carry that.
Myers: Where was that spring?
Myers: Where was the spring?
Jones: Up the road a little ways.
Myers: Which direction?
Jones: We couldn't use our spring because it was - wasn't any good.
Myers: Which direction was the spring? How far from your house?
Jones: Oh I'd say it was about maybe a hundred yards, where most people drew their water.
Myers: What tools did you use - tools?
Jones: Just the bucket and brush that we scrubbed the kitchen with, also carry water, drinking water back, the ladle that they dipped it with.
Myers: Where did you get those tools - where did you get the tools?
Jones: Oh, we didn't have any tools, you know what I mean, only just what we used. Like I scrubbed the floor with a brush.
Myers: Did your family sometimes sit on the front porch together?
Jones: Most of the time - weekends, we would go to Mt. Salem Church.
Myers: What church?
Jones: Mt. Salem, we went to Mt. Salem in the morning, and Sunday School and church, that was the biggest thing that happened on Sunday. Then we children played games of all kinds.
Myers: Describe the games.
Jones: Hunt the Hare.
Myers: What was that?
Jones: Hunt the Hare and Run Sheepie Run was a...
Myers: What was Hunt the Hare?
Jones: Hunt the Hare was somebody was the nominated Hare and give him a chance to get away and we had to hunt him down.
Myers: Give him what?
Jones: Give him a chance to get away from us, then we had to hunt him down, that was played at night.
Myers: After dinner? After dark?
Jones: After dark most of the time. Then we had...
Myers: Tell me some more about that game, tell me some more. Somebody ran away and you had to find him?
Jones: We all would go different directions, try to find the Hare.
Myers: I see, and what else?
Jones: Baseball and the usual games that children play and basketball at Hagley.
Myers: Where did you play basketball?
Jones: Hagley - that a...
Myers: In what location?
Jones: The mill right down below Breck's Lane, Hagley Mill they called it. We had all kinds of – because they had a gymnasium in there.
Myers: In Hagley Mill - Breck's Mill?
Jones: They had a gymnasium in there, we went through all kinds of things.
Myers: What did you have there, what did you have in that gymnasium?
Jones: They had a regular gymnasium, the Company had fixed up a regular gymnasium for the children in there. And we also had instructors come out to instruct us.
- Swimming in the Brandywine; Music and bands; Going deaf and becoming a painter; Daily routine as a childSynopsis: Jones talks about learning how to swim in the Brandywine Creek. He says that as a child he heard stories about poisonous snakes in the Brandywine Creek. He says that they also enjoyed ice skating in the winter and fishing in the summer. He recalls having played the trumpet. He says that after he lost his hearing he became a painter. He shows the interviewer one of his paintings of Rockford Tower. He says that he also painted his childhood home and his sister has the original. Jones describes his daily routine as a childhood. He talks about some of the furniture his family had. He talks briefly about clothes and men's hats.Keywords: Boating; Brandywine Creek; C.I.D. House; Clothes; Deafness; Delaware Art Museum; Fishing; Furniture; Hats; Hayward, Ethel Jones; Ice Skating; Music; Painting; Rockford Tower (Wilmington, Del.); Routines; Snakes; Swimming; Trumpets; Walker's MillTranscript: Myers: You did, I see. Did you ever tell stories? Do you recall...
Jones: I could tell you a lot of stories about the Brandywine.
Myers: Alright, tell me some.
Jones: There was the man who lived across the Brandywine rowed the boats across to go to work in the powder and the older boys used to sometimes take the boat out and row up and down the creek. Well I was about - I think I was six, or I was four when they took me out for a ride and threw me over to make me swim. And two times out and I could swim and that happened right where Tyler McConnell's bridge crosses now.
Myers: Tyler McConnell Bridge.
Jones: And then after I could swim good, I asked the man at the gate if he would let me go off the wall, I used to dive off of there, off of this wall sticks out from the gate, the Hagley Gates, and we used to jump off there and dive.
Myers: How old were you then?
Jones: Five or six.
Myers: And you jumped off that wall? You could swim?
Jones: I could swim good. And of course after that, we swam anywhere in the Brandywine. And the thing that always surprised me was, there was a woolen mill, old Walkers Mill and sometimes snakes would come up in the wall where they sifted and they would find their way out to the Brandywine. Some people claimed that they were poisonous, but we used to swim among them anyway. Didn't seem to bother us. And then in the wintertime, I don't know why it's never - course they claim it's because of chemicals, but in the winter we always skated from just before Thanksgiving until January on the Brandywine. There was people came from town to skate on the Brandywine. There was quite a - quite a thing of it - it's in that book there, picture of it.
Myers: The "Workers' World" book that I gave to you.
Jones: Skating on the Brandywine.
Myers: Yes. You enjoyed that?
Jones: We used to skate all the time there.
Myers: Did you ever go fishing?
Jones: We used to fish for sun fish.
Myers: Any other kind of fish - sun fish and what else? Mostly sun fish?
Jones: Fishing - we didn't - we did fishing, but a lot of played games and stuff like that.
Myers: Did you play a musical instrument?
Jones: A trumpet. I played a trumpet and I played in the United States Naval Band after I go up so I could play.
Myers: Did your brothers and sisters play any instrument?
Jones: My brother mostly made his living at music. He played around town in dance orchestras and things like that.
Myers: Your brother?
Jones: My oldest brother.
Myers: What was his name?
Jones: Wilmer D. Jones. He played with the Old Original Six.
Myers: Old Original what?
Jones: Six - that was formed by George Kelley.
Myers: Who was George Calley?
Woman: George Kelley was the leader of it. Kelley?
Jones: His name was George Kelley, the Old Original Sixit was called.
Woman: Were they in the Henry Clay area - the Original...
Jones: Oh, no.
Myers: They were not.
Jones: My brother is the only one living in that.
Myers: Your brother, I see.
Jones: Yeah, he's out in the Episcopal Home on Lancaster Pike.
Myers: Did you sing - sing - did you sing songs? Did you sing?
Jones: Sing - no, I wasn't a singer. When I lost my hearing, I went back to painting.
Myers: You went back to what?
Jones: Painting, I used to draw when I was a child on the blackboard in school, draw all kinds of art work. Then when I studied music, I left the art work until I went deaf, then I went back to it again, when I went deaf.
Myers: Do you have any of the paintings that you did?
Jones: That one there.
Myers: You painted that?
Jones: That's one, I painted that.
Myers: The C.I.D. House - that's your painting?
Jones: Ethel has it now, Ethel Hayward.
Myers: That's my painting.
Jones: You painted this - this is beautiful.
Myers: That picture - you ought to see - really see the picture. It is positively beautiful.
Myers: Where is that picture?
Woman: In Ethel Hayward's home.
Myers: She has the original of this?
Myers: Of the C.I.D. House - your original painting of that?
Jones: Yes, in Dart - the original painting is in Dartmouth Woods at my sister's house.
Myers: Yes, I interviewed her also. The original is in her home? Alright, thank you. You painted Rockford Tower
Jones: That was in the Art Museum.
Myers: You’ re showing me this picture in your living room right now of Rockford Tower. You painted that? You did paint it?
Jones: Painted the Rockford Tower.
Myers: That's the original? When did you paint that? I think in nineteen - what's the date? 1950 isn't it?
Myers: The date on that Rockford Tower painting is 1950. Let's talk about the daily routine in your home. Who got up first in the morning?
Jones: My Father was first up and my Mother, then we followed. My Father was mostly ready to go to work when we come downstairs to get our breakfast and go to school. And that was typical for everyday in the week but Saturday and Sunday.
Myers: How were you awakened in the morning? When you were awakened, how did that happen - did your Mother wake you up?
Jones: Most of the time, yes, she had to wake us up in the wintertime.
Myers: Did you have an alarm. She would - no alarms in the house? What did you do when you first got up?
Jones: When we first got up we would dress, we would carry them - we would come down in our nightclothes and then dress at the stove if it was wintertime cause it was so cold, there wasn't any heat in the house.
Myers: Where did you keep your clothes?
Jones: Right alongside our beds. We had closets of course and dressers and things like that.
Myers: You kept some in the dressers? You did have closets?
Jones: It was practically like living in a country house, you know what I mean, there wasn't much convenience.
Myers: Tell me about your clothes, what did they look like?
Jones: Well, I will say, I always dressed very well, my Mother always provided very nice clothes for all of us. We very seldom that we wore patches, sometimes we had to, you know what I mean, but very seldom. And then as we went to school, we always went to school with pretty nice clothes.
Myers: What did they look like?
Jones: They were made of wool and of course they came from Mullins Store in Wilmington.
Jones: Mullins - and Crosby and Hills, Kennard Pyle, our shirts and things like that. They were very neat and of course we dressed according to the fashion of the day, do you know what I mean.
Myers: Did your Mother sew - did your Mother sew any clothes?
Jones: Oh yes, she sewed for my sisters, she sewed most of the time for my sisters, and she'd mend our stockings and things like that.
Myers: Did she do any fancy sewing - did she make party dresses or...
Jones: She did for my sisters, yes, she sewed very much for my sisters.
Myers: How about hats - did anybody - did they wear hats at all.
Jones: No - she didn't make any hats, they bought them, they purchased the hats.
Myers: Did you wear a hat?
Jones: Oh yes, we wore caps at that time - caps.
Myers: What did your father wear?
Jones: He wore a hat.
Myers: Describe that.
Jones: He wore a hat, a felt hat.
- Breakfast and other food; Going to school; After school activities ; Dinner and supperSynopsis: Jones talks about the kind of breakfasts his mother cooked. He talks about going to school and carrying his lunch with him. He notes that they rarely had fruit. Jones describes what he did after school, including playing with other kids and using an Irish Mail, which he describes as a four wheeled vehicle. He talks about the evening meal. He describes the foods they ate and said they had meat about twice a week. He says that his family talked as they ate. He says that after dinner the children did homework and practiced their musical instruments. He says everyone went to bed at around 9:30.Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Apples; Breakfasts; Dinner; Food; Fruit; Homework; Irish Mails; Lunch; Quaker Oats; SupperTranscript: Myers: What chores did you do before breakfast - what did you do before breakfast, what chores?
Jones: We had at that time, we just had possibly eggs or bacon or something like that.
Myers: No chores before breakfast? Who cooked breakfast, who cooked breakfast? Who cooked you your breakfast?
Myers: Who set the table?
Jones: My sisters and all of us, chores for the day.
Myers: And you started to tell me what you ate - what did you eat? What did you eat for breakfast? Bacon and eggs?
Jones: We had cereal, we'd eat eggs or bacon, anything like that, whatever my Mother provided.
Jones: Hot cereal - hot cereal or cold?
Myers: Cold cereal.
Jones: Oh yeah, milk and cold cereal, sometimes oatmeal, hot oatmeal in the wintertime.
Myers: What was the cold cereal, what was it?
Jones: What kind of cereal?
Myers: It was Quakers Oats I guess - Quakers Oats, yeah.
Myers: Maybe corn flakes?
Jones: Quakers Oats is what they had most of the time.
Myers: How did you sit at the table?
Jones: We all set at the table, Mother cooked the breakfast and we all set at the table at the Same time.
Myers: How did your family spend the mornings - the rest of the morning, what did your family do? I mean some of you went to school...
Jones: The two oldest children went to school when I was younger, and then of course I painted anything – out in the shed, you know what I mean, but it was a continuation of everything, you know what I mean?
Myers: Tell me how you went to school.
Jones: We went to Alfred I. du Pont School, Alexis I. du Pont School on the Pike. We left our home we went up through the back yards and through Miss Mary's woods and cut across back of - at that Swamp Hall where Mr. Alfred I. du Pont lived, and on up Breck's Lane to the Pike where the toll gate was and then we went down the Pike to the school. There was a toll gate up at the Pike, it was kept by Mr. Eaton, had a toll gate.
Myers: Toll gate, uh-huh. And then of course you went onto school, so that took care of the morning. How long were you in school?
Myers: What time did you go to school?
Jones: We had to be at school by a quarter of nine.
Myers: What time did you come home?
Myers: Did you come home for lunch? Did you take your lunch?
Jones: Carried our lunch.
Myers: Did your Mother prepare it? Where did...
Jones: She prepared a sandwich for us, very seldom did we have fruit at that time. It was during apple season when you could get the apples from the farmers.
Myers: Did you have any other kind of fruit - just apples when they were available?
Jones: Not much fruit at that time.
Myers: Not much fruit. Who was at home in the daytime, in the afternoon - you were at school, but your Mother was at home.
Jones: Well, you mean when we came home from school?
Myers: Yes, what did you do then?
Jones: We used to cut a heavy slice of homemade bread because everybody made bread at that time.
Myers: Did you help, you helped your mother?
Jones: She made the bread. We would cut a slice of bread and put butter and sugar on it.
Myers: What did you do after school?
Jones: After school?
Myers: Yes, According to what - there was so much going on there, there was so much to do, you know what I mean, the children played together and everything like that.
Myers: Did you have roller skates? Skates, roller skates? Shoes? No, skates - skates - roller skates.
Jones: I didn't learn to dance until I was in high school.
Myers: No, I don't mean dancing, I mean - skating, you didn't roller skate? Let me see, here we go
Jones: You couldn't roller skate on account of the road.
Myers: Oh, I see. You had a fishing pole of course?
Jones: Course we had Irish Mails.
Myers: Irish what?
Jones: Irish Mails they called them.
Myers: What's that now?
Jones: That was a thing you could steer - well it had a chain on it and two wheels in the back, you set on it - they called them Irish Mails.
Myers: It only had two wheels? In the back?
Jones: Four wheels, two in the back and two in the front. You know you steer it with your feet. They were toys that we played with then.
Myers: Did somebody push you - somebody pushed it?
Jones: Sometimes - had wagons, had wagons, we had small express wagons, things like that.
Myers: Where did you get them - the wagons?
Jones: At Christmastime we'd get 'em, for Christmas only.
Myers: Okay. How about an evening, at night - what did you eat for dinner? Dinnertime, dinnertime.
Jones: Well, that depended - most of the time we had things that - we had soup that was prepared by Mother that would last a few days, dried things in the wintertime, and dumplings. Usually had meat twice a week.
Jones: Saturday and Wednesday.
Jones: Beef or pork chops or things like that.
Myers: Did you call it dinner - did you call it dinner?
Jones: Did she cook them?
Myers: No, did you call it dinner or supper?
Jones: See, my Mother - my Mother did all the cooking.
Myers: I understand.
Jones: Yeah, that was dinner, we called it dinner. After my Father come home from work, and like that, it was most of the time we would eat dinner.
Myers: You called it dinner when he came home from work you ate. Did you eat your dinner in the same place?
Jones: Was only one room.
Myers: Every meal was served there - every meal?
Jones: We had the kitchen and the dining room right together, see. Wasn't that, we only had two rooms in that house downstairs.
Myers: Did you eat in the kitchen or the dining room?
Jones: The table was right in the place where you did the cooking.
Myers: In the kitchen. Did you eat with your Mother and Father?
Jones: Oh yeah, we all ate together, the whole family eat together - whole family eat together at one time.
Myers: Did someone say a prayer before the meal?
Jones: My Father always said Grace.
Myers: Did you talk around the table about what you did...
Jones: General subjects.
Myers: Tell me about that.
Jones: Well, whatever went on at school, arguments with children, difference in people, you know what I mean, things like that. And also what was going- most of the time my Father would talk about what was going on in the world and at that time there was - we had the Mexican War and we also had to talk about the war that was starting in Europe in 1914, that was the beginning of World War I, that was talked about a good bit because of the United States getting into it. But we didn't enter it at that time, we didn't enter it until 1918 or '19 I think it was.
Myers: Can you speak a little louder - little louder? What did you do after dinner, what did the family do after you finished dinner?
Jones: Well, that depended - sometimes we practiced our music or we did our lessons after dinner was over, before we went to bed. Wintertime was mostly doing your lessons or practicing our music, in the winter. In the summertime you had a few games after dinner you'd play, you know what I mean, with the other children outside, when it was still light, or growing dark.
Myers: What time did you go to bed?
Jones: About nine, nine-thirty.
Myers: Did everybody go to bed at the same time?
Jones: Yes, because my Father had to get up - they worked long hours, then, in the powder. They worked long hours, they did, although they loved their work - all of them loved it, but they worked long hours.
Myers: How long?