Interview with Reefa Hackendorn [audio]
- Hackendon's early life; Hackendorn family history; Family photographsKeywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Alscace; Atonement Methodist Church (Claymont, Del.); California; Claymont, Del.; Free Park (Del.: Village); Freemasons; Hackendorn family; Harrisonburg, Va.; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Obituaries; Photographs; San Quentin Prison; Shenandoah Valley; Street-railroads; Sun Oil Company; Wilmington, Del.; World War (1914-1918)Transcript: Bennett: This is Peggy Bennett, and today is July 12, 1989,and I'm on the way to meet with Mrs. Hackendorn at the Methodist Country House. This will not be a standard interview as Mrs. Hackendorn did not live along the Brandywine. She will be relating experiences and memories of her husband,Eugene Hackendorn,Jr. I'm meeting with Mrs. Hackendorn at the Methodist Country House. It's a pleasure to be with you,Mrs. Hackendorn. Would you please tell me your full name, and would you mind spelling it.
Hackendorn: Yes, it's a name. Reefa, R-E-E-F-A, and my maiden name was Sites, S-I-T-E-S, and I married to a Hackendorn, H-A-C-K-E-N-D-O-R-N. He was Eugene Hackendorn, Jr.
Bennett: Thank you. Your address please.
Hackendorn: Well, I'm at the Methodist Country House.
Bennett: That's on Route 52.
Hackendorn: On Route 52 out of Wilmington, Delaware.
Bennett: Would you mind telling me your age?
Hackendorn: Well, I'm 85, I will be 86 in December.
Bennett: A young 85.
Hackendorn: I wouldn't say so. And I was born the day before Christmas, so I was a Christmas gift.
Bennett: Oh boy, that's real nice, except that if it were me I think I'd change my birthday until the 24th of June,You must get cheated.
Hackendorn: No, I really don't. Being Christmas, they'll always remember me, I've done very well.
Bennett: That's very nice. Do you have a telephone number here?
Hackendorn: Yes, I do, it's 654-5101, Wilmington.
Bennett: Thank you. It is my understanding that you did not live in the Henry Clay area. Would you tell me where you were born?
Hackendorn: No, I never lived in Henry Clay area. I was born near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in the Shennandoah Valley.
Bennett: And when did you come to Delaware?
Hackendorn: A 1918, just about two weeks before the armistice and I went to school one year in the old stone school in Claymont, and in the 8th grade, and then at that time we had no high school in Claymont andI took the trolley car and came from Claymont to Alexis I. du Pont school. I went to high school in Alexis I.
Bennett: That was a long ride every day.
Hackendorn: It was, every day.
Bennett: How long would you say it took?
Hackendorn: Well about an hour and a quarter every morning. We would leave on the 7:45 trolley and get to school just at five minutes of nine. And we would walk up from Rising Sun Lane to the school.
Bennett: Would it have been closer to go to Wilmington school?
Hackendorn: Well, it would have been, but it seems as though that is the way the school district planned it and that's what we did.
Bennett: I see. Would you give me your husband's name please?
Hackendorn: Eugene Hackendorn, Jr.
Bennett: And can you tell me where he lived? At Henry Clay?
Hackendorn: Not exactly. I've heard him speak of Free Park and Squirrel Run a lot and I think he was up there near the Christiana (phone rings). Well I understand that they lived up at Henry Clay before I knew them, around I think it was Free Park. Catherine Cheney would know because she lived up there too, they knew each other.Gene was born, as I understand it, at 5th and Madison in Wilmington. He was born in 1898.
Bennett: Can you tell me his father's name?
Hackendorn: His father was Eugene, Sr., Eugene Hackendorn, Sr.
Bennett: Can you tell me where he was born?
Hackendorn: I understood it was Lorraine Province.
Bennett: Do you know his date of birth?
Hackendorn: Unfortunately I don't. I don't know the date of his birth, he died in 1948.
Bennett: Do you know where he worked in the powder yards?
Hackendorn: I don't know where he worked previously, but when I knew him, he had worked for Mrs. Laird, W. W. Laird,as a gardener, but where he worked in his younger days I don't know.
Bennett: But he did work in the powder yards? Hackendron: I think so.
Bennett: Alright. How about his mother, do you know her name?
Hackendorn: Yes, she was Mary Elizabeth Foley - Foley - F-O-L-E-Y.
Bennett: Do you know where she was born?
Hackendorn: Ireland, I think. I shouldn’ t say that, I'm not sure, I think it was Ireland. They were Irish.
Bennett: Well, that's a good assumption. Do you know her date of birth?
Hackendorn: No, I do not know her date of birth, but she died in 1940.
Bennett: Alright. How about their grandparents, do you know...
Hackendorn: I never met them.
Bennett: But do you know their names and where they were born, the grandfather?
Hackendorn: Well, his name was Joseph, as I understand it, I've been told that.
Bennett: He was born in France?
Hackendorn: Oh yes.
Bennett: And his grandmother, do you know what her name was?
Hackendorn: In France apparently.
Bennett: Do you know her name?
Hackendorn: No, not for sure, but it was Marc, I've been told that, but I don't have it written down.
Bennett: You're not sure of the name or the spelling. Maybe some very glamorous French name do you suppose? Would you please list the brothers and sisters of your husband.
Hackendorn: There was Joseph, John Joseph his name was, John Joseph Hackendorn, and Emma Hackendorn.
Bennett: Just the two?
Hackendorn: Just the sister and brother- I understood there was a child that died before the first one, before Joseph was born.
Bennett: That seems to be…
Hackendorn: Pretty usual.
Bennett: Common at that time, yes. Do you know of any other people that might be available for an interview such as we are doing today?
Hackendorn: The only one that I would know would be Catherine Cheney.
Bennett: Well she has been interviewed.
Hackendorn: But she would know some of these answers. She would know at least when they lived up there, when she was a child.
Bennett: Well, that I think, is a matter sort of record. We just wanted to establish...
Hackendorn: As far as the family, I don't know how much she would know about the family. Now Emma married -- Emma Hackendorn married Joe Garrity, and Joseph, the brother, married Elsie Wolf, and Joe and Elsie had two children, Elsie -- well I'll say it the other way because the oldest one was Delores and the second child was Elsie.
Bennett: Thank you. Do you have any pictures or letters or objects that we might be interested in?
Hackendorn: Well, I have a few things. I have a picture of his mother and father, which I assume were taken maybe around the time they were married, I don't really know.
Bennett: Do you have any dates, maybe on the back, something that might...
Hackendorn: Not really. I have -- a wonderful old, Mr. Cummings that did all the photography, but I have written a few things on there, but it's what I had known, not previously. I've written the names on the back .And then I have a picture of Eugene when he was a baby.
Bennett: Now is he wearing in that, is that one of those dresses?
Hackendorn: One of the dresses with ruffles on it (laughs). I would think he was about a year old, I don't know.I would think something around that.
Bennett: Well he's propped up there nice and - yes, I would say so. Look at that, that's cute.
Hackendorn: Then I have two pictures taken of him - they lived in California for a few years. I think possibly seven or eight years, I don't know just how long and I have one picture where he's with his short pants on -- oh, and how old would he be there?
Bennett: Let me see.
Hackendorn: Possibly twelve?
Bennett: Yeah, I think that's...
Hackendorn: Which is kind of cute, and then I have another one where he delivered papers in California and this was when he was delivering at San Quentin Prison.
Bennett: This is right at the prison?
Hackendorn: M-hum, he delivered them right into the prison.
Bennett: Did he make any interesting comments about the prison? That you might remember?
Hackendorn: Well, I don't remember anything especially, but apparently he took them to the prisoners, to some of the prisoners.
Bennett: Did he mention how much he got for doing this?
Hackendorn: No, he didn’ t. That was taken in California, of course.Then I have his obituary here that I thought you might be interested in. He died in - September 19, 1960.He was very well liked, he was a very well liked man, really. And a very - course they must have been partiality, but he was well liked and he was a very attractive man. He belonged to the Masonic order and Eastern Star, he was Past Patron there, belonged to the Methodist church at Claymont,the Atonement Methodist Church, and he worked at the Sun Oil Company for -- it says on here twenty some years, 28 or 30, something like that. I guess that's about all that you want to know about that part of it.
- Husband's letter certifying his employment as a clerk with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company; Husbands role identifying bodies after a powder yard explosion; Letter from a friend in California; Family life on the BrandywineKeywords: Cathedral Cemetery; DuPont; Employment; Explosions; Hagley Yard; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Letters; Preparedness Day Bombing; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); San Francisco, Ca.; Silverbrook Cemetery; Southern Pacific Railroad Company; Work; World War (1914-1918)Transcript: Bennett: Okay. And what is that you have in there?
Hackendorn: That's a...
Bennett: Oh, alright, would you describe what that's...
Hackendorn: This is a mass card for his mother, Mary Elizabeth Hackendorn, who was Mary Foley.
Bennett: And that was when, Mrs. Hackendorn?
Bennett: And then you seem to have something there that's a typewritten letter or something?
Hackendorn: I don't know of a letter.
Bennett: Oh no, this I guess it's...
Hackendorn: I know, but where's the little one? Well, this is a letter which...
Bennett: Is it behind it -- did you open it up, maybe, and put it behind?
Hackendorn: Well, we'll find that directly.
Bennett: Alright, you tell me about that and I'll...
Hackendorn: Well, this is written from the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.
Bennett: When is it dated?
Hackendorn: November 18, 1915. You want me to read it?
Hackendorn: It says, "Mr. Eugene Hackendorn, 1129 Lancaster Avenue, Wilmington, Delaware” . Apparently they had come back there.
Bennett: To Wilmington from California?
Hackendorn: Right. "Dear Sir, Received you letter of November 10th and am glad to hear you have already secured suitable employment. As requested in your letter, I am sending you herewith Certificate of Service No. 617, which covers your employment in this office. Before using, however, please give your signature - please place your signature in the lower left corner under caption 'Signature of Employee'. Yours truly, F. W. Polk. And then on the inside it says, "Southern Pacific Company, Certificate of Service, San Francisco,California, November 16, 1915. This is to certify that Eugene Hackendorn, age 16, height 5' 8", weight 133 pounds, color of eyes brown, color of hair brown,complexion fair, has been employed in the capacity of Junior Clerk of San Francisco, California, Freight Accounting Department of the Southern Pacific Company,Pacific System, from December 2, 1914 until October 31, 1915. Service generally satisfactory." And it's dated October 31, 1915. "Resigned on account of leaving city” . And his signature's on here.
Bennett: Thank you.
Hackendorn: Now that shows that they had left California and came back to Wilmington at that time.
Bennett: And that his service for the company was satisfactory.
Hackendorn: Was satisfactory and he had resigned.
Bennett: Just a minute (tape turned off and then back on again). Here we go again. Then, I believe, that your husband became an employee of the DuPont Company, is that correct, Mrs. Hackendorn?
Hackendorn: Well, he did.
Bennett: What was his job there?
Hackendorn: He was time keeper.
Bennett: Time keeper? Where?
Hackendorn: Time keeper up in the powdermills, up in the yard there on the Brandywine. I guess it's about where Hagley is now.
Bennett: That's right.
Hackendorn: I think that would be where the office - in fact I think the old office is there, part of it, isn't it?
Bennett: Yes, yes.
Hackendorn: I haven't been there for a long time.
Bennett: Now what was it that he told you that he never forgot?
Hackendorn: The explosion?
Bennett: Yes, please.
Hackendorn: Well he told me he was time keeper, and I've heard this story many times, and they had the explosion and there were 33 men working there, and he and a Mr. Sykes, I think, S-Y-K-E-S, I believe that's the name…
Bennett: It's not S-E-I-T-Z?
Hackendorn: No, it's S-Y-K-E-S, and he and Mr. Sykes were the only two survivors of the explosion. And he was designated, and I guess had to identify the bodies because being time keeper, he knew all the men. He knew their names and it did a great deal to his nervous system because it must have been a terrible situation, with bodies blown up over the trees and everywhere. And some they could not identify, as I understand it, but I'm sure that he did the best he could. The ones that he could see he knew them and he did identify them.
Bennett: Were they all put in a common grave or were those that were identified given to their families?
Hackendorn: I think some of them were given to the families,but as I understand it, there were some buried in Silverbrook Cemetery and some in Cathederal Cemetery,depending on which religious faith they were, but there were quite a few in a common grave, the number I wouldn't know. There may have been two common graves, I don't know.
Bennett: Well probably, one to satisfy the different religions.
Hackendorn: Each of the religions, that's right. But I was told it was Silverbook Cemetery and Cathedral -- on Lancaster Pike.
Bennett: Where was your husband at the time of the explosion,was he close to the building, and where was Mr. Sykes,do you have any idea?
Hackendorn: I think they were in the building, but I'm not sure of that, I think so. Of course that was away a little bit from the powder plant.
Bennett: Okay, they were not in the...
Hackendorn: They were not in one of the places that blew up.
Bennett: There were a few injured, I think, that survived, is that correct?
Hackendorn: I was told the only two that survived were he and Mr..Sykes.
Bennett: Okay. Well, maybe that's the ones that I'm thinking of. Now you have there a very interesting letter.Let's see, the date is not there, or is it there?
Hackendorn: No, it's not there, unfortunately.
Bennett: The corner of the letter has been torn away and Mrs. Hackendorn's going to read this, it's from a friend in California, which shows that these experiences happened to everybody.
Hackendorn: Well, this was written by a girlfriend, and he says, "I received your letter and was glad to hear you were not killed in the ammunition factory. Everyone around here thinks you were killed. Someone told me that one month ago and it still seems to circulate. I wrote to Emma." Emma is his sister. "two times and I never got an answer. I came believing it in the end myself. When I received the letter I cannot express in words my great relief because I thought by this time you must be moulding in your grave. Why didn't you write, were you too bashful? I will now tell you about Frisco news. Saturday down on Market Street, nine people were killed and forty injured and I am one of the lucky ones myself as I was near the bomb explosion. They had a preparedness parade and someone against it set a bomb in a suitcase among the crowd on Stewart and Market. The City now offers $17,000 for the person that catches the man. They have about ten persons all locked up and just for the same crime until the judge decides. Every bum, man that was in jail, they think he put the suitcase there, but I think they caught the right one now - a boy 19 years old. He lives right next door to the college.Why didn't I know that? I would have gotten the $17,000. The papers are just full of that outrage.I go to college to learn to be a stenographer and bookkeeper. Everytime I pass you house on Geneva I think of you all. The name of the place where you have lived is dull enough."
Bennett: That's meaning Delaware, I think.
Hackendorn: That's right, in Delaware. "And you must be pretty dull too." (she laughs) "Wouldn't know me now, a tough hat with plenty of powder on (part of the letter is torn and it is hard to make out the writing), then she has "thinking you are working and making something. And then it's "birds." “ I remain a friend, Emma" Then she has a P.S."Write soon as you get this because I did not tell me something in the berg".
Bennett: The berg, does she mean…
Hackendorn: Berg, Wilmington, I guess. "Hoping to see you come back in Frisco and many are the chickens.” I don't know what that is.
Bennett: Thank you, Mrs. Hackendorn.
Hackendorn: Now this kind of proves, between these two letters,that he was working for the DuPont Company around 1915.
Bennett: And the explosion...
Hackendorn: Previous to the explosion.
Bennett: Yes, and the explosion occurred on the 30th of November in 1915, I checked that out.
Hackendorn: Thirtieth of November and this other letter was dated November 18th. And he was already employed.
Bennett: That's right, which would give him time to communicate and so forth. Thank you. May I borrow those things and...
Hackendorn: Well I would be happy to loan them, just so they come back, and I know they will.
Bennett: Oh, I'll bring them back, I know I will. Thank you.I'm just going to ask you a few questions. Maybe something will come up that you might remember that he's told you. Actually we were interested in the family life of the workers around Henry Clay, and I'm wondering if he ever mentioned the activities,what they did as children together, for instance did they go to church together?
Hackendorn: Well, they went to St. Joseph's Church and I think the children were all christened in the church. His mother and father were married in St. Anne's Church down at, I think it's 4th and Adams. They were married there. They never discussed those things much that I recall.
Bennett: Well, it was past, really. Do you know whether the boys went fishing or hunting?
Hackendorn: Oh yes, they did that and they would go swimming. They loved the Brandywine, they were real swimmers.They would go blackberry hunting and that sort of thing, with their father. Mr. Hackendorn was avery genial, kind type man, we were very fond of him.
Bennett: When they went fishing, they fished in the Brandywine?
Hackendorn: Oh yes, yes.
Bennett: How about ice skating in the winter?
Hackendorn: I never heard of that. I'll have to tell you this,this probably isn't for publication.
Bennett: It's okay.
Hackendorn: There was a girl, and I know the woman, she's still living, I wouldn't say her name, but she went swimming, and I guess just had her panties on, you know, and they got her clothes and tied them all up in knots (laughs). They wet them and tied them all up.
Bennett: The boys did this, I'm sure.
Hackendorn: Oh yes, the boys did that, oh, he was in it, he was into that. But I never heard them talk much about things like that. Now my family did, they were always talking about something, but I never heard them talk much about - I understand, now this should be verified, that the grandfather worked for the DuPont Company for forty years, up in the powder mill.
- Hackendorn family's coming to America; Family life on the Brandywine 2Keywords: Brandywine Creek; Catholics; English language; Free Park (Del.: Village); French language; Hackendorn family; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Immigration; Protestants; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); School; Seitz family; Shopping; Wilmington, DelTranscript: Bennett: Now this would be Joseph?
Hackendorn: Joseph, the original Hackendorn.I I understand, and I'm sure it would be a matter of record, that he was brought over because of his expertise, by the DuPont Company. I've often wondered, and I've wondered just exactly the year they came, I'm not sure of that.
Bennett: Well, if I can find out, I'll try and let you know.I think that maybe I...
Hackendorn: I’ ˜ m sure that you'd have that some place in records. When they came over and the number of children that came. I understood that my father-in-law, Eugene, Sr.,was in dresses. I had in the back of my mind he was about two years old, but I can be wrong on that too.
Bennett: Well now, Mrs. Samuel Hackendorn, that would be Catherine Hackendorn Sheldrick's father, he was born over there in 1872. Okay, now you said your husband was 1898, right.
Hackendorn: Yes. I don't know the year they were married and I don't know the year either of them were born, or their father.
Bennett: So there was a long span there of...
Hackendorn: I think she was older than he, but again, this is something that I couldn't prove. And I haven't even looked it up. That should be on their death certificate if we would find it.
Bennett: Did they, coming from France, did they speak French or English?
Hackendorn: They spoke French, I don't think my husband knew a bit of French. At that time, they weren't interested in learning foreign languages, but I understand, and again this is what I've been told, that the grandmother learned English very well, but the grandfather,who worked in the powder mills, never learned to speak good English.
Bennett: He could speak enough, are you saying, do you think,to get by?
Hackendorn: Oh I'm sure he could.
Bennett: Or he found a good Frenchman to...
Hackendorn: And he probably had other people that -- and working there, they would learn certain words, but they said he never learned to talk English nearly as well as his mother - as his wife. And they said she used to go into Wilmington and come out with big baskets of food, you know, into the Wilmington market? Come out on the trolley car.
Bennett: Yes. He would do that, or they would do that together?
Hackendorn: I think she did it.
Bennett: She did it.
Hackendorn: She did it while he was working. 'Course they had a large family, so maybe some of the kids went and helped her, you know. But they said she did it. Apparently she was a very fine woman, I don't know,I never met her. They were both gone before I met my husband.
Bennett: Did any of them play any musical instruments that you might know of?
Hackendorn: Not that I know of.
Bennett: You don't know what the girls might have done? Did they sew, knit, crochet, this type of thing?
Hackendorn: No, I don't know.
Bennett: Did they ever mention - now let me see, where would they be living at this time -- this would be up in Free Park, I'm assuming?
Hackendorn: Well, now you see, there again, I don't know when they lived up there. They must have lived in Free Park before they went to California. But my husband was born in town and then they must have moved up there - this is all supposition, I really shouldn't even say it cause I don't know. Then they went to California, and they came back, and when I knew them, that was -- we were married in '27, and in 1926 they lived on Breck's Lane, and he worked for Mrs. Laird. My husband's father worked for Mrs. Laird.
Bennett: That was later on?
Hackendorn: That was later, so I really don't know, but they must have lived up in that area, up in Free Park,or wherever they lived, previous to going to California.
Bennett: I know that grandfather, that's Joseph, yes, he did live up at Free Park because Mrs. Sheldrick mentions going up there to see the grandfather and she showed me approximately -- well actually part of the building is still there.
Hackendorn: Oh, is it still there?
Bennett: It's now -- well, it's changed up there and she did describe the changes. It's really now an apartment,sort of like two-story apartments.
Hackendorn: Now in what location is that?
Bennett: Really beside Christ Church.
Hackendorn: You know where Christ Church is?
Bennett: Right beside it.
Hackendorn: Well that is what I had understood. that some of them lived there, and the Cheney's lived in the house next to them, the second house to the church.
Bennett: He was the sexton at that time, yes. And you did mention the Seitz family. They lived up along,this would be Jacques Seitz who also came over from Alsace about the same time.
Hackendorn: Do you have the year they came over?
Bennett: My training should tell me this. I think he came,not positive, about 18 - well, I'm going to say 1872 or 1873.
Hackendorn: That's the era, in that era is the time I think the Hackendorns come over.
Bennett: Yes, and I should know exactly when he did, but at the moment I'm not positive. I'm ashamed of myself.
Hackendorn: I figured that they came over around that time because I have heard that they said that they would not -- the grandfather, Joseph, said he wouldn't raise his family under the German flag, and the Germans had just taken over that part of France.
Bennett: That's exactly what Jacques Seitz said. That was the feeling of a lot of them. Yet with the German-sounding names, they were good Frenchmen, weren't they?
Hackendorn: Oh, they were French!
Bennett: Yes, definitely.
Hackendorn: Even though the name was probably originally German,but they were still French. And when the oldest son, my husband's father's brother, Joseph, became 21, he got a letter from Germany to come back to enter the German service.
Bennett: You're kidding!
Hackendorn: But of course he never went in it.
Bennett: Oh, I'll be darned. Was he then a citizen, had he become a citizen of United States do you know?
Hackendorn: Well, wasn't that the time that if the father became a citizen, the children automatically did?
Bennett: I'm not sure about that, I would assume so, but I know if you married, if the wife married an American citizen, she became an American citizen.
Hackendorn: Well, there was on back, further than that back I guess, there was a -- if you didn't become a citizen,you couldn't own property.
Bennett: That goes way back.
Hackendorn: That goes back into the late 1700's. Because I have records of some in my family that took up their citizenship in order to get the property. Well,then you could own the property, but you couldn't get government property, I think that's the way it was.
Bennett: When they were settling and opening the west, that type of thing, yes.
Hackendorn: Well, this was in Maryland, I'm speaking of, Maryland.
Bennett: Okay. Did I ask you if they played any musical instruments?
Hackendorn: Yes, I don't know anything about that.
Bennett: Do you have any idea of their daily routine, did they mention getting up in the morning, if it was cold...
Hackendorn: I'm sure it was, but I don't remember. I think that they, perhaps, had much more severe winters than we do today.
Bennett: I think that's very true, yes.
Hackendorn: I think - I mean the ice would freeze more and that sort of thing, but as far as their daily living, they never discussed it, I never heard much about it.
Bennett: Well, you know, maybe if, I think females talk more about this than males, I think with men it was just a matter of course, don't you think?
Hackendorn: You may have something there. And then so many people simply are not interested.
Bennett: Yes, this is true.
Hackendorn: They don't pay any attention to it, so what?
Bennett: You're interested in it when it's really too late, let's put it that way. Do you know where they went to school?
Hackendorn: Well, I think some of them went to St. Joseph's School up there on the Brandywine. My husband went - I know he went -- before they went to California, he went to Alexis I. for a short time. He went there when he was a little boy.
Bennett: How about holidays, did he ever mention the different holidays, how they might have celebrated?
Hackendorn: No, not at all.
Bennett: Did he mention the Fourth of July, the picnics and parades?
Hackendorn: Not at all, nothing that I recall. Now if he were here, he might be able to tell you, but not that I know of.
Bennett: Oh sure, nothing that you -- nothing about Halloween, mischief and so forth?
Hackendorn: No, but I'm sure he was in it (laughs).
Bennett: But you know of nothing in that vein. At the moment I really can't think of anything else that you might know. Is there anything that you might be able to tell me that I haven't thought of?
Hackendorn: I can't think of anything else offhand. Unfortunately,there's a few things that I knew, and when that's said, it's about all said. I just don't think of anything else.
Bennett: Well, you know sometimes one thought brings on another one.
Hackendorn: I know it does.
Bennett: You mentioned, for instance, the large family and that Mrs. Hackendorn went to town to shop -- do you know if she used the vendors that came in - the peddlers.
Hackendorn: Oh they probably did, but I never heard of it.
Bennett: They never mentioned the stores that were in the area?
Hackendorn: No. See, I didn't know the elder people, I didn't know them at all, that's the problem. Of course I knew my husband's mother and father and they were not a close family. They kind of separated and I didn't see most of the Hackendorns except at funerals. That would be the only time I would see them.
Bennett: Would it be impolite to ask why they separated?
Hackendorn: Well, I think there were two things, they tell me,my husband's told me, that when the grandmother died, there was a little hard feelings over money.They felt that that the sister, Lizzie, when she married a Winnington, had received more than her share, yet she took care of the grandmother. I personally know nothing about it, it's only hearsay.Then there was a feeling of religion because the Uncle Charlie, the youngest, I think he was the youngest of the family, he became Protestant and they wouldn't have anything to do with him.
Bennett: Now, let me see, let's put Uncle Charlie in the right…
Hackendorn: I think you said he was the only one who was born in this country.
Bennett: Did I? Maybe who you were speaking with on the phone, maybe your relative told you that, that doesn't ring a bell to me.
Hackendorn: Well anyway, Uncle Charlie, just disregard that,Uncle Charlie, I guess it was, I guess she told me, he left the Catholic Church.
Bennett: He was the youngest of the...
Hackendorn: I think he was the youngest. Again, I hesitate to say these things, because I can't prove them, I guess Elsie told me on the phone, said Uncle Charlie was the youngest, and Catherine, I told her. But anyway, he left the Catholic church and some of them would never speak to him. They were the two things. I never saw much of them, really, I mean the family.
Bennett: Was he the only Hackendorn that became Protestant?
Hackendorn: Well, that immediately family, my husband was Protestant.
Bennett: No, no, but I mean of the original ones, he was the only one?
Hackendorn: Yes, of the original ones, yes, I think so. He had a sister, Aunt Kate, my husband's Aunt Kate, and she had a son who was a priest. She married -- I can't -- McCorkle and he become a priest (laughs)again I don't want to tell gossip, but when my husband joined the Masons and become Protestant she said he didn't ever need to come see her anymore. And they didn't, he didn't see her except at funerals for years and years. I think eventually, why -- the daughter died and he went to see her, you know, went to the funeral, went to see her, but there was quite a feeling there about religion, really.
Bennett: I've had that feeling from talking with Mrs.Sheldrick, although I don't think we ever really...
Hackendorn: Oh, I don't think she'd probably get into it.
Bennett: No, no.
Hackendorn: Well, I'm sure that she would know a lot more about than I, I'm sure she would, because I only know what my husband saw, and feeling things. But whenever there was a funeral, they were all there. When one of them died, they were all there, but that's the only time that I saw a lot of them, really. Of course I was Protestant, however, I had nothing to do with my husband changing. He was changing before we were ever married. In fact he was joining the Masons before we were married. But as far as I know Uncle Charlie was the only one that turned Protestant from the immediate family -- the children of Joseph and whatever her name was.
Bennett: One thing when you were talking occurred to me, I think we might have gotten off the tract, and I don't know that you told me the names of your husband's brothers and sisters.
Hackendorn: Yeah, I told you.
Bennett: Did you tell me? Okay, cause I don't remember the…
Hackendorn: The oldest boy was Don Joseph, and there was my husband, Eugene, Jr., and that's all the name he had,was Eugene. Then there was Emma.
Bennett: Emma, I do remember now, okay. But then was the Charlie, but that was the generation before.
Hackendorn: But Charlie was the original -- that's where you got confused.
Bennett: Is there anything else that you might...
Hackendorn: I can't think of anything else.
Bennett: Well, I'm gonna tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed being with you, Mrs. Hackendorn.
Hackendorn: Well I've enjoyed being with you too.
Bennett: And I will take these things to the museum and I'll return the things as soon as they're copied by them.
Hackendorn: That'll be fine.
Bennett: And thank you.
Hackendorn: Thank you.
Digitized material in this online archive may document imagery or language that reflects racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise offensive and harmful beliefs and actions in history. Hagley Library is engaged in ongoing efforts to address and responsibly present evidence of oppression and injustice in our collections. If you are concerned about the archival material presented here, or want to learn more about our ongoing work, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.