Interview with James Kindbeiter, 1984 April 6 [audio](part 2)

Hagley ID:
  • Continuation of Christmas traditions; electrification; leaving school and starting a trucking company
    Keywords: Birthdays; Christmas; Dropouts; Electric lighting; Electric lighting, Incandescent; Electrification; Freight and freightage; Social security; Trucking
    Transcript: Bennett: Christmas ornaments. Did your sisters maybe make some fancy ones?

    Kindbeiter: No, I don't think they ever did.

    Bennett: Who got the Christmas tree. Where would you --?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, we would go out on -— well, it was DuPont property up there. And cut one, or we would go out on the farm and cut one. Out in the woods and cut one.

    Bennett: Was it the children's job -- the boys' job to go chop the thee?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah. Get the tree in and set it up in the house.

    Bennett: How did you stand it up, in a bucket?

    Kindbeiter: No. We had a base. The base was shaped like a cross and it had a piece of pipe on it with a flange on the bottom where it was screwed to that pipe. And we'd shove the tree down in it. We never kept the tree in water.

    Bennett: No, well, you didn't have lights on it?

    Kindbeiter: [Laughter]. No. We had oil lamps for lights. Man, when they turned electric on up there [Laughter], it was like the Fourth of July.

    Bennett: Exciting?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah.

    Bennett: When did you get that?

    Kindbeiter: Well, I can't tell you. We didn't get that until after Mrs. Copeland bought that. Now, you may be able to check on that and find out when she bought it, but I don't know when she had it. They run a water main first down the front of the road, that's next to the Brandywine. They run that water main down there and had a hydrant outside. Now, I guess we were lucky we had a hydrant somewhere between Mattie Ferraro's and our house. And then over where the stone houses were they had another hydrant. And then where McDades lived up on the hill they a hydrant up there. And then I had an uncle that lived down below the hill, Mike Farren, and then the Rumers lived next door to him, Harry Carter's, and I don't know who lived in the next house. But then Knotts lived in the next house below Harry Carter, skipping a house, and then we lived down on - Ned Thompson lived down there next to Harry Carter. And then Ned Thompson, and then the next house was where we lived. We were born under the bridge.

    Bennett: What did the electric lights look like? Where did they put them - in what rooms...

    Kindbeiter: Well, the electric lights were carbon lights. You could stand there and throw them against the door and they wouldn't break. They were that kind of lights. They sold them. And they would guarantee them for 10 years.

    Bennett: Were they expensive?

    Kindbeiter: No, they weren't expensive. Couple dollars a piece. Is that tape recorder going?

    Bennett: I hope so, yeah, why? You can say anything.

    Kindbeiter: Well, everybody that lived up there brought light bulbs home from the DuPont Company. [laughter]. So there you are.

    Bennett: They've lost a lot.

    Kindbeiter: And they knew that what going on.

    Bennett: The light bulbs — - was it like — - strung a naked light bulb hung in your room? How did they?

    Kindbeiter: They had a wire run in the room up on top of the ceiling and a grommet up there -- hang down -- and the light would connect to the socket. Would connect to it.

    Bennett: And how did you turn it on?

    Kindbeiter: You reach over and turn the button on the light. They didn't have switches on there like that.

    Bennett: How many lights in the big kitchen room -- your big room downstairs?

    Kindbeiter: Well, we done a little cheating there. We had one light in the room and we'd wind up with three or four of them by hooking them together.

    Bennett: Didn't blow the fuses or anything?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, no. They must have used iron for fuses in there. And they never had a fire up there, either. Never had a fire. In that whole powder yard.

    Bennett: Amazing.

    Kindbeiter: It is. Now if they build a new house, the house is burned down before it's done

    Bennett: Well, things were different; there's just no question. Was it that everybody got the electric at the same time, the whole complex?

    Kindbeiter: No. The whole complex got it at the same time. There was no charge extra for the electric. That all came with the house. We never had a meter in the house. It that someone knocking on the door?

    Bennett: It sound like something dropped. I don't think so.

    Kindbeiter: Drink up there, and I'll make you one.

    Bennett: Oh, no. You go ahead and fix one, and I'll turn this off while you get yourself a drink. You don't pay for it here?

    Kindbeiter: Electricity or heat.

    Bennett: Included in your rent?

    Kindbeiter: It costs me $137 a month rent here.

    Bennett: Oh, that's a steal.

    Kindbeiter: Well, you look like a pretty good sport, and I'm going to confess to you. We steal half of it.

    Bennett: O.K. We're back. Let's talk about a few -— how about birthdays? If it was your birthday, was it a special day?

    Kindbeiter: No special day at all. We had a birthday and that was it. You were just a year older.

    Bennett: No presents?

    Kindbeiter: No present. No nothing. Nobody could afford to buy a present.

    Bennett: And no cake?

    Kindbeiter: No cake. Now they make a big show of it. I got the same thing to do with that granddaughter of mine [Laughter].

    Bennett: When you graduated. Your graduation, was there anything special?

    Kindbeiter: No. I never graduated.

    Bennett: Well, I'm not surprised. [Laughter]

    Kindbeiter: I got throwed out 0f one school and went to the other and back to the other and back to the other, and I never graduated. I never went any more than the 8th grade in school. Now that sounds funny to you because you are a college graduate, but I never went any farther than the 8th grade and I got started and after Judge Laffey died -- he died in '38, I got started trucking business out on Red Oak Road. And that was unheard of, out there where all the wealthy people lived. You started a trucking business out there, oh man, you're shot. But I got along with all the people. I was a good skate, and I got along with all of them. And then we grew too big. And I got the Springmeyer Shipping Company in Philadelphia, and we were bringing trailers in here by rail. Took care of them and we took care of all the freight up to Montreal and Canada. West to the Mississippi River and down south to Richmond. We had a big business. I'll tell you something. You got that on?

    Bennett: Yes, it's on.

    Kindbeiter: Well, I never knew that there was so much money around. I wound up with $70,000. And we had an office in the house, in the cellar at 22 Alfred Avenue. My wife says, "There's something wrong here. You better get out of it." '62 I got on Social Security - got ahead of Reagan and I've been ahead of him ever since.
  • Tampering with trolley car switches and other mischief; Joe Valentine and his wine-drinking horse; Dr. Chandler and the undertaker
    Keywords: Bones--Wounds and injuries; Death; Diamond Bridge; Halloween; Physicians; Street-railroads; Tricks; Undertakers and undertaking
    Transcript: Bennett: Halloween? Did you do any tricks?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, yeah, we did a lot of tricks.

    Bennett: I have a feeling you did. Let me hear some of them.

    Kindbeiter: Well, the trolley car came up out of the woods at Rising Sun Lane. And most of them guys on the trolley cars were good. But they'd put some hillbilly on there once in a while and we'd go out to get on the trolley car. No money - we wouldn't pay no fare. He'd say, "15 cents to ride to the end of the line." What the hell are you talking about, 15 cents? Then the rocks would start flying though the windows and the motorman would say, "Hey, you better leave them alone." We'd go up to the end of the line.

    Bennett: All kinds of tricks.

    Kindbeiter: Yeah. That's the gang would stand outside throwing rocks at them. We had no business up to the end of the line. Well, Tom Catalina's store was at Diamond Bridge. That's, I guess that's defunct now, I don't know. In Squirrel Run. He was up above Squirrel Run. We used to take the switch boxes.

    Bennett: Over the trolley you mean?

    Kindbeiter: The trolley would run up to the switches. And then they would throw these switches to let another trolley know they were coming. We'd put all kind of dirts on them things to keep the man away from them. They'd have a fit.

    Bennett: Did you do that only at Halloween or did you do that all year long?

    Kindbeiter: Most of the year long. Now I remember one other thing. We went up to the end of the trolley line. Barney [Hunter?] run a store up there. He was the trolley man. And Carpenter run the home over on the other side of the road. We'd go up that road and they'd say, "What are you doing up here?" "We came up to see you. See how you like it." And then they would get up against us and they'd want to throw us out of there. Well, then about 10 or 15 of us kids came up there. No question of throwing you out. So, that's the way it went. But then, what I never approved of was these switches they'd throw for the trolley coming up the road. They'd put all kinds of dirt on the handles. Now that's not right to do that.

    Bennett: It's dangerous.

    Kindbeiter: It is.

    Bennett: Do you remember any special occasions or parades or special things that happened in Henry Clay or around Walker's Bank? Were there any special events?

    Kindbeiter: No. I can't say. They went up to the horse fields - drinking booze up there.

    Bennett: Tell me about the horse that drank the wine.

    Kindbeiter: Well, now wait. The horse that drank the wine. He lived right up in back of our house - Joe Valentine. I don't know that it was his right name, but we always called him Joe Valentine. He specified that his horse lived in the barn with him. Now the barn - right across the road in back of us. Boxer was the horse. He was a race horse - excess race horse. He made a lot of wine up there and he stored it in that barn. And when he would store that wine in that barn, he decided he was going to take a ride in the horse and carriage that night. And he'd get Boxer out there and give Boxer a half-a-bucket full of wine and he'd get loaded up with wine and then they'd go on. So, that was Joe Valentine. He lived right up in back of us on Walker's Bank.

    Bennett: Did he ever end up in the Brandywine?

    Kindbeiter: No, I don't know why he didn't, but he never did. And I don't know what ever happened to that guy. I don't know whether he survived or what happened to him.

    Bennett: Moved away maybe...We were talking about sickness and so forth. What happened on the Brandywine if somebody got sick. Let's say if you had...

    Kindbeiter: All right. Now you're hitting right back in the area. Old Dr. Chandler lived up at Greenville - no Centerville. He'd put the harness on the horse; he'd come down to the Upper Banks or Henry Clay and find the person that was sick. He'd either order them into the hospital or he would tell them "You'll be all right." So what are you gonna do?

    Bennett: How did you get to the doctor? How did he get the message that somebody was sick?

    Kindbeiter: Telephone. They had a community telephone in Centerville, Delaware. He would answer - the person that had the telephone would call Dr. Chandler and say, "You're wanted down at Delaware." He'd come back, and he would call you up at old Dick Devenny's store or McClure's Drug store. And that's all there were to it. And that A.T.& amp; T. don't mean nothing anymore.

    Bennett: Did he come back often or would it depend on the illness?

    Kindbeiter: He'd come back at often at was necessary. And he done a good job on them, too.

    Bennett: How about if somebody broke a leg? What would happen?

    Kindbeiter: Well, he would put them down on the bed. He'd stretch the leg out, wrap it up and put a cast on it. And said, "Three months come back and see me." That's all there were it it. Now if you break a leg now, these doctors go along with six months on you - they get ahead of you. And then the old-time doctors - they'd say, "Come back in three months, four months to see me. You'll be all right." And that's the end of it. And he would charge you $10 for putting the cast on. And that's the trip from Centerville down there in an old iron buggy wheels.

    Bennett: Yeah, different than today. How about if somebody died? What happened then, do you remember?

    Kindbeiter: Well, if they died, then they'd call the undertaker.

    Bennett: Who was -- in the area — - right there in Henry Clay.

    Kindbeiter: Well, Mealey was the undertaker - or he was the Catholic undertaker. Now I don't know about the rest of them. Mealey would take care of the body.

    Bennett: Way back then in the early 1900s?

    Kindbeiter: And he would call - I just went by his place at Third and Lincoln or Scott or where the hell it is. They were at Third and Franklin. He was down there right by St. Paul's Church. And they would check up on him. Hell, they buried a lot of people here in Delaware that didn't belong to be buried.

    Bennett: Do you remember wakes? As children if somebody died in the community, did you stay home or did you go with you parents to the wake?

    Kindbeiter: To go to the wake with the parents, they would say this now. The undertaker and he would make a hell of a big preach about the undertaker was dead - the person that was dead. Now to give you a specific answer on that [Laughter]. The woman would stand in the door out there; says, "Johnny, go in and see if that's your father he's talking about." [Laughter]. So, now there you are. He was supposed to be a good guy and he was a son of a bitch all his life.

    Bennett: Well, you're not supposed to speak ill of the dead.
  • Looking up to Leon Lloyd; Harry Gregg, the grocer, extending credit when his parents were in the hospital [End of April 6 interview]
    Keywords: Grocery trade; Kindness; Mentoring; Neighbors; Reliability; Trust
    Transcript: Bennett: Do you remember somebody - we'll change the subject. The kids in the neighborhood, did you have somebody that you looked up to, like a hero? Was there somebody that was sort of special?

    Kindbeiter: Yes, I did. Leon Lloyd was a machinist down at the DuPont Experimental Station. And he kind of took me under his wraps. To look out for me. Now he married a woman that wasn't a hell of a lot of good, but he married her, anyway. And she'd say, "Well, Leon says you're all right and you're all right." and all that. Now Leon Lloyd was a good friend. If you got in to trouble, he'd take care of you and try to straighten you out. And then they had a girl running around in that neighborhood up there. What the hell was her name? Beulah McIlvaine. She lived over where Wanamaker's store is. And she was kind of a loose broad. No, no, the way you talk about it. And Leon says, "Look, Jim." Now, I got two names, Jim and Bud. "You keep away from that bitch over there. She's going to cause you trouble." Well, she would take 10 and 12 of them out at a time up in the park. And she'd work on them. No, I'm not being smart with you, you understand. You understand that? This Leon was a pretty good skate. He'd tell these guys. They weren't religious at all. He says, "Look, keep the hell away from that Beulah. You'll be better off." So, what are you gonna do?

    Bennett: So, he was a good friend to you?

    Kindbeiter: He was a good friend of mine. He was a good friend.

    Bennett: How much older than you?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, he was 10 years older than me roughly. And his father was down at Farmington and he come up here and was superintendent in the lower yards. And we never lost friendships at all. But we used to go down there on Sunday or Saturday night and stay at his house and go down on Sunday and go over to Lewes and go over to Rehoboth. All of that. And he was a good friend. But his wife, I don't know about her.

    Bennett: That's a shame. How about - was there somebody in the neighborhood that they considered the bully, the tough guy in the neighborhood? Was there somebody in that way that you can remember?

    Kindbeiter: Well, I don't know. Tough guy in the neighborhood.

    Bennett: Like a bully.

    Kindbeiter: Bully, I don't know. I would say no. They were all alike. They were all struggling for a living the same as I was. And the ancestors like that. And I can't say that we ever - You got more of them damn papers there?

    Bennett: Oh, I've got lots of them, but I have to quit very soon. Are you tired of doing this?

    Kindbeiter: No. [Laughter].

    Bennett: I know you said that your mother canned a lot of your food.

    Kindbeiter: Yes, she did. An awful lot of it.

    Bennett: But let's say the stuff that wasn't canned, did you go to the local grocery store or did you go into Wilmington or somebody in your family go?

    Kindbeiter: No, now wait a minute. Let me get you straight. You talk about did my mother can a lot of goods. She had to can a hell of a lot of goods for us to eat. And we had a grocery store up at the foot of Rising Sun Hill and he was a good man; he was honest. And we never went in to Wilmington after groceries And that man and my wife, or my mother, carried things along pretty good. Now, he was Harry Gregg. Now, I'll tell you about him. My father got his both legs off in the hospital. Have you got that on? And my mother was in the hospital with twins at the same time. Harry Gregg came up to my mother and he said, "Rose, let me tell you," Now none of these people do that here now. "If you need anything from us, you can come and get it. We'll give you a bill at the end of it. Now your oldest brothers Lawrence and Jim working. They'll pay us. We're not in a hurry about that." Now they were good people. Now we were what you'd say like strangers to them. We always bought off them. They had a man come around in a carriage or in a wagon in the morning.

    Bennett: Every day?

    Kindbeiter: Every day. And he would take up what you'd want for the next day. They delivered the next day. And then he would take up what you needed. Well, now that was a pretty good damn system. And they were good, honest people. So when my father got his legs off in the hospital and my mother went to the hospital with twins, Harry Gregg - Harry Gregg later moved down to Brinckle Avenue and 14th Street or 16th Street. He says that if your family needs anything, come to me and forget about it. Now they don't do that now. We paid him every cent we owed him when we went to work. We paid him. And went up and congratulated him on it and we says, "I don't know how come you trusted us." He says, "You got an honest face." So, what are you gonna do? You're not gonna [trifle with?] a guy like that.

    Bennett: Yes, well, that's a good businessman.

    Kindbeiter: Yeah. Well, he opened up and then after he took out up on the Brandywine when they run the trolley cars through there and cut the bottom of Rising Sun Hill off, he had to move. He moved down to 18th and Brinckle Avenue. Now 18th and Brinckle Avenue -- not many people know where that is. That is between 17th Street and 18th Street in the West Side of Wilmington. Now, Brinckle Avenue is up at the top of the hill. I'm getting all tangled up on it.

    Bennett: Near Mount Salem Methodist Church in a way?

    Kindbeiter: Right by Mount Salem Church. One block below Mount Salem Church. And Harry Gregg carried his people on the strength of everybody being honest. So, what do you think about that?

    Bennett: I think it's wonderful.

    Kindbeiter: And it it.

    Bennett: And I think from what I've heard, the people in those days were that way.

    Kindbeiter: That's right. They were that way.

    Bennett: Everybody helped one another. And that's great.

    Kindbeiter: When are you going to throw that paper away?

    Bennett: You've had enough for today? I can turn it off right now.

    Kindbeiter: Oh, no, look, I want to talk to you.

    Bennett: Well, it's almost done and I can turn it off right now.

    [End of April 6 interview]
  • [Begin April 13 interview] Harry Gregg's grocery store; Mame Bonner managing Pat Daugherty's saloon; how "Blue Freckles" got his name from a gunpowder prank
    Keywords: Bars (Drinking establishments); Grocery trade; Henry Clay(Del.: Village) -- Buildings,structures,etc.; Henry Clay(Del.: Village) -- Social life and customs; Orange Grove whiskey; Practical jokes; Prohibition
    Transcript: Bennett: O.K. It's a week later than when we talked before.

    Kindbeiter: A week later.

    Bennett: Yeah. Today's Friday, the 13th.

    Kindbeiter: I thought you'd never come back.

    Bennett: Here I am. We were talking at that time about Harry Gregg and how he extended credit to your family.

    Kindbeiter: Credit. At the bottom of the hill. Right at the bottom of Rising Sun Hill.

    Bennett: Can you describe his store?

    Kindbeiter: Well, his store was about 40 foot by 30 foot and he sold all staple groceries and he had a man came around in the morning would take your order and then he'd have somebody else deliver it in the afternoon. That happened six days a week.

    Bennett: How many people did he have working for him?

    Kindbeiter: He had four people. He had — one man took up the orders up like Squirrel Run. The other took it up over on Walker's Bank's. And one man in the store and himself.

    Bennett: Did he have other things as well as groceries?

    Kindbeiter: Well, groceries and tobaccos and fresh vegetables and most everybody baked their own bread then. Didn't have no bakeries around. Well, he sold -— yes, he did, too. He sold gingham cloth. In bolts. And the women used to buy that. And then he would sell underwear for the men. He never went in for women at all. And he'd sell underwear and pants and shirts and stuff for the men.

    Bennett: Shoes?

    Kindbeiter: And he sold shoes, too. And when he tore that store down or when he moved out of that store, us kids up the Brandywine - it was right at the bottom of Rising Sun Hill - turn right goes over the covered bridge and goes straight ahead and up along the row up the - the main gate into the Hagley where your museum is - that was a long row. And they had a grocery store, drug store, McClure run the drug store up there. And they had a gambling joint and a saloon.

    Bennett: What saloon was that?

    Kindbeiter: That's Pat Daugherty's.

    Bennett: It that the one that was Tom Toy's before that?

    Kindbeiter: Tom Toy's before that. My cousin run that saloon for - she married Pat Daugherty. He come from the east side and she married him and that's Mame Bonner. And then when Prohibition came in, he went out of it altogether. But he had -- and I'll never forget this as long as I live. He had three or four barrels of Orange Grove whiskey. And he was drinking at the same time and that knocked him out. And the father helped my cousin, Mame Bonner, to bottle the whiskey. And she could hide it easier that way. So, we used to go over to help her father to bottle it.

    Bennett: How did you do it?

    Kindbeiter: Well, we would drain it out in a big copper bucket and then pour it into a funnel and the funnel had a lid -- a stop on it that would raise up inside. When the bottle would get near filled, you would take it out and put another bottle.

    Bennett: Did you use a cork then in the bottle?

    Kindbeiter: Put a cork in the bottle.

    Bennett: Were they any kind of bottles on were they special bottles?

    Kindbeiter: No, they were whiskey bottles. Some of them were square and some of them were round. And then she - she was kind of a religious kind of woman. She didn't like handling whiskey at all. But she did bend over backwards to handle that one [Laughter] when Prohibition came tn.

    Bennett: Then it was a lot more valuable.

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, well, it wasn't too valuable then. People used to buy 10 and 20 gallons at a time. And then they'd charge it and pay it off later on. I don't know whether she ever got paid for it or not.

    Bennett: You were mentioning the store, Harry Gregg's store, were the stores a lot alike? Like Harry Gregg's stone was it very similar to another one?

    Kindbeiter: No, there wasn't any other one up there like that. That was a store that -- oh -- 25 - 40 feet square. And you'd walk in the front store and merchandise would be piled up in there, throwed in there, to be exact with it. And if a woman went in there shopping, she helped herself -- got what she wanted. And, of course, the men went in and they were in a hurry to get up to Jeff's or over to Pat Daugherty's. [Laughter].

    Bennett: You were going to tell me something about freckles?

    Kindbeiter: Freckles. Blue Freckles. Well, I'll tell you about him. We had the system going there where we used to sit on the wall at night. Where the road went over to the Experimental Station and went ahead up to your museum, up Long Row, up that way. We used to sit on the wall there -- young fellows -- and talk. And then they'd have a high crick came up and the powder kegs would wash down the crick. And we'd get several powder kegs and put them alongside the wall and they were sealed up. The water didn't hurt them. So, this night, there was a big drain — culvert - right up from where we would sit. So, we were putting off a cannon there. we had the cannon. We used to get the cannons made down at the Experimental Station. It was a two-inch or three-inch steel shaft. Bored a hole down through the middle all but about half an inch. Stick a fuse down in that half-inch. We'd get the fuse up at the Ballistic, up at the top of the hill. And we would pack that with a wet newspaper and powder -- had a wooden tamper to pack it with - and sometimes we would use a hammer to drive it down — pack it up tight. There wasn't much danger of explosion. So, then we'd light the fuse and throw it down this culvert. So, this night we throwed one down there and sitting on the wall and we'd - just making a noise, that was all. It would make a good noise. [Laughter]. So, it didn't go off -- oh, 15 - 20 minutes. And those fuses were delayed fuses up at the Ballistics Department at the Experimental Station. So, this fellow, Nippy Haley -- we called him Nippy. Bernie was his right name. He went over to check the explosion -- to check the cannon to see what was wrong with it. It didn't go off. Man, he no sooner got over there and it let go. And it blowed newspaper that was packed in it all through his face, forehead and eyes and all over him. And we took him down to Doc Daugherty's, down at Shallcross Avenue and - Shallcross Avenue and Scott. And he picked the paper out of him - all that he could get out of him. And until his dying day, he still had paper in his face. [Laughter].

    Bennett: He was lucky he wasn't blinded.

    Kindbeiter: Oh, yeah, he was.

    Bennett: And he didn't lose any - his arms or legs — nothing happened other than just the face?

    Kindbeiter: No, nothing happened. It all hit him in the face.

    Bennett: He must have been bending aver, I guess. Wow. So, is that why you called him Freckles?

    Kindbeiter: No. That's Blue Freckles. We used to call him that -— Blue Freckles. But he was quite a character, little short fellow. His father was superintendent of the black powder works up there - Joe Haley. I don't know whether you have any record of him or not. They lived up on Barley Mill Lane right two doors above the Hall of Records. Hallock du Pont bought all the rest of it. Bought the bocce grounds and all that where the Catholic Church up there owned that. He wiggled that out of them.

    Bennett: Yeah, that's sort of off limits. It's a shame.
  • Saloon interiors; smallpox case and the 1918 Flu Epidemic; property litigation near Swamp Hall
    Keywords: Bars (Drinking establishments); Burial; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Ir& #xE9; e), 1864-1935; Influenza Epidemic (1918-1919); Mass burials; n& #xE9; Smallpox; Smallpox--Prevention; Steam shovels; Swamp Hall (Henry Clay, Del. : Dwelling)
    Transcript: Bennett: Describe the saloons on the inside. Which - well, name it and tell me how they looked on the inside.

    Kindbeiter: Well, they had - the way they looked inside - they had a long bar.

    Bennett: Are you speaking of a certain one or they all were this way?

    Kindbeiter: They all had a long bar. And I don't remember any tables or chairs in there because when the people went in there to drink, they'd stand up and drink. And all of them were the same price. Now Jeff's - Jeff Blakeley - and Pat Daugherty and Tommy Lawless. But the fourth one up at the top of Rising Sun Hill - they got smallpox up there. That's the first time and the last time I ever saw a case of smallpox. They had yellow flags up all over the place.

    Bennett: To keep you away?

    Kindbeiter: To keep people out of there. I don't know of anybody went through there because it was off limits for the men down the Brandywine to walk up to the top of that hill.

    Bennett: The yellow flags -- that indicated danger and stay away?

    Kindbeiter: That was smallpox - that was an indication of smallpox. I didn't know it, either, but I can remember that. The flags were all up there.

    Bennett: Were there quite a few of them?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, yeah, they must have had a dozen of them up there. The place wasn't that long - it was about 25 foot long by 30 foot deep -- roughly, now, I could be wrong a little bit on that

    Bennett: How about other diseases. Did they have flags for those?

    Kindbeiter: No. They never did. The only disease they had up there other than that smallpox was the flu - the time of the flu - they buried them in a trench in the cemetery.

    Bennett: Do you remember the flu epidemic?

    Kindbeiter: I remember it, yeah, I remember it well.

    Bennett: Did you have it?

    Kindbeiter: No, I never had it.

    Bennett: Tell me about it. How did people manage?

    Kindbeiter: Well, what the doctors prescribed for the flu was whiskey - all you could drink. My father kept us pretty well loaded up with it. He was a firm believer in that and his sister - lived over on 19th and Market. She married a guy by the name of Schrick from Baltimore. And she died with the flu and when they went to bury her, they had a horse-drawn hearse in them days. They loaded her in the hearse to take her out to Cathedral Cemetery out Lancaster Avenue and trolley car came along and ran into the hearse. Dumped her out on the ground. Now that's before she even got buried in the trench. And then after the flu was over, they come and took the bodies and put them in a grave.

    Bennett: They kept them in the trench because they were so busy?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, they were so busy, they couldn't bury them. Didn't have room to bury them.

    Bennett: Then they moved her afterwards?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, they got a steam shovel in the cemetery to dig the graves. And that's the way they handled them. Now, my aunt was Kindbeiter - no she was Schrick - in the next grave to her was McLaughlin - the next person. Well, she was buried in one part of the cemetery and he was buried in another and that's the reason it took them so long to bury them.

    Bennett: That was quite a bad time. Do you remember a lot of people that died in your neighborhood?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, a lot of people died.

    Bennett: In your neighborhood?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah. A couple of Ferraras died from it. Pete Bazou - He married one of the Ferraras and all up and down. Thompson down Walker's Banks, he died. I mean there were a lot of people died from it.

    Bennett: It must have been pretty bad. Let's talk about something more pleasant.

    Kindbeiter: All right, we got them buried now.

    Bennett: We were talking about Alfred I. and we discussed Swamp Hall. His home, Swamp Hall, up on Breck's Lane. And you told me about the property that was under litigation. Would you tell me that for the tape recorder, please?

    Kindbeiter: Alfred I. du Pont was married to Bessie Gardner and they lived at the top of Breck's Lane - the right of Breck's Lane. They owned that property on the right all the way up to Lammot du Pont's place. Lammot [Tape momentarily cuts out] And he divorced Bessie Gardner. Now, Alfred I. was married three times. And who his second wife was, I don't know. But the third wife was Ball, Jessie Ball. And she was a movie actress out in California at that time. I don't know how important she was, but she was some kind of movie actress. And he married her. And I got a book over there with all the scandal in it about him marrying her. But she come from Virginia. Oh, let me get this book here, it's right on top. Ed Ball. Ed Ball was a salesman. I don't know what he sold, but he was a salesman. And he lived in flea bag hotels and all that. And Alfred I. offered him a job when he got running his sister in Virginia. And this Ball made the money for the Alfred I. estate. I don't know whether you ever saw this book or not, did you? Well, my grandson over in St. Croix gave me this book.

    Bennett: I like this, "when you finish reading the du Pont propaganda, you can tell us the real story." I've not read this book.

    Kindbeiter: Let's see if we can find this right quick about Jessie Ball. That's Alfred I. there. He wore a high celluloid collar. Choking - up around his neck. And that's how "Dirty" Gene got his name - with a high celluloid collar. He would wear a high collar and he'd look at it and oh, I can get a couple more days out of that he'd put it back on again. Now "Clean" Gene run the Cadillac agency in Wilmington and "Clean" Gene was pretty good kind of a guy. But, Dirty Gene lived up on Centerville Road, right out of Centerville.

    Bennett: Did "Dirty" Gene work for the Company?

    Kindbeiter: I don't know whether — - it don't say nothing about "Clean" Gene or "Dirty" Gene working for the Company. They - that's in here somewhere about that — - this is the secretary that fell in good with Ball. She worked for Ball after she worked for Alfred I. She worked for Alfred I. first and then she went over with Ball. And she done good working for Ball. Ball lived in three hotels down in Jacksonville. I've been in that Mayflower Hotel where he lived. He used to live there and then he moved out a couple more. And then he finally died. But he owned the St. Joe Paper and they were scattered out all over Florida. Florida East Coast Railroad and the banks and they took the banks away from him.
  • Hagey's Saloon; Simon Dorman's grocery store and his practical jokes; the Ferraro family; Ninnie Baird's son buying a camera instead of a turkey on Christmas Eve
    Keywords: Bars (Drinking establishments); Drowning; Grocery trade; Henry Clay(Del.: Village) -- Buildings,structures,etc.; Henry Clay(Del.: Village) -- Social life and customs; HenryClay(Del.:Village)--Working class families; Industrial relations; Practical jokes
    Transcript: Bennett: You were telling me about Alfred I's daughter that married the Count. Tell me about how that property - I guess that's why that property is not developed yet. Is that correct?

    Kindbeiter: No. They can't develop it. The du Ponts won't handle it. Because it would give them a black eye to take it over now. The same way with that Hagey's Saloon up there. Now Chick Laird took that over and he's got no business taking that over. That belongs to the alien property custodian.

    Bennett: Hagey's does, too?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, Hagey's does too. Alfred I. owned that. And that's where a club house for the men working the powder — — I guess women, too. I never head of any women up there, but mostly men worked in the powder. And the trolley track that run up to the end of the car line - up to Barney Hunter's store and R.R.M. Carpenter's place on the right. Single line trolley run up there. Well, my uncle - Uncle Mike, he throwed Lammot du Pont by the seat of the pants and the back of the neck out on that trolley track and that's when they were talking about a strike in the Hagley yards. So, they settled the strike. DuPont's scared them and they settled it.

    Bennett: But he picked him up and threw him out?

    Kindbeiter: Throwed him out the door. And then that stood empty for quite a few years. And then Simon Dorman started a grocery store there. [Laughter]. And I'll never forget this as long as I live. He had a great big pot bellied stove right in the middle of the floor. And he would put a candle or a red lantern in that stove. Open the door and put the lantern in so the people would think it was warm in there. And he was the magistrate, so called; he appointed himself. And every bee hunter they'd take out there they would catch and put him in the cellar. And he'd give them a trial. He was a joker. He put the red lantern in that stove. when Hagey started that beer garden. Now Bill Hagey got killed down at the Experimental -- well, he got drowned down the Experimental Station. He used to drive a truck down there and he went on a drunk. And, well, he had been on numerous drunks. And they didn't pay much attention to him and they put him out, took him off the truck and put him out raking leaves up. He fell in the Brandywine and got drowned one day. So then his wife took over the tap room down there. Simon Dorman had died; he got drowned in the Brandywine. And she took over the store. Oh, there was a lot of scandal about the whole thing. About Pierre Ferraro. You asked about Mattie and Dauphine. They lived up at the end of the row of houses that we lived in. Old Pierre was a guy that could never get enough to eat. And he was a great friend of all the cooks everywhere -- Lammot du Pont and W. W. Laird and all of them. He specialized in cooks. And then old Lizzie Dorman got tired of cooking and she went to work in the store for Agnes Hagey. And old Pierre was still high man. He was still the boss. So, there you go.

    Bennett: Was he a big man?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, Pierre was a big man, and Pierre had a leg cut off, too. He was a blacksmith worked for the DuPont Company at the Experimental Station. And after the blacksmiths faded out and welding come in, he was working in the yard gang and they put a lathe on a truck one day on a wagon and the lathe turned over on him and cut his leg off.

    Bennett: Was he a young man then?

    Kindbeiter: Well, no, he wasn't young. He was about 50 - 55 years old then.

    Bennett: None of that family married, did they?

    Kindbeiter: No.

    Bennett: Wonder why?

    Kindbeiter: No, they never did. Now Mattie was a dressmaker and she never married. And Dauphine, she never married. And Gino, he never married and Pierre never married. I don't know why none of them never married.

    Bennett: It seems strange.

    Kindbeiter: It does.

    Bennett: What did Dauphine do?

    Kindbeiter: She helped Mattie.

    Bennett: With sewing. They both sewed?

    Kindbeiter: She was an expert at sewing. Both of them were. And Mattie was the dressmaker. I guess you would call her that.

    Bennett: Yes, that's what she's known as. It does seem strange, though, that none of them married.

    Kindbeiter: No, none of them ever did marry. Now they had a nephew or somebody by the name of Pete Bazou lived in the first house on the Long Row. Now I'm speaking about the Long Row down the crick on the right. after you come off Rising Sun Hill, past the drug store; now there used to be a shoemaker shop and all that up on the right. But this was down on the right side of the road going up toward the Hagley Yard. Pete Bazou was relative of theirs and he never married, and he lived in a house alone. Next door to him was Lundy. The next house was Thompson. The next house was Johnny Connelly, the barber. Now there's nobody in that family ever worked for DuPont's that I know of. And then there's an open space across from Bonner's and Pat Daugherty's and all that on the right. Sadie Toner's mother lived down there. And then Ninnie Baird lived next door. He's the man that he sent his son in town on Christmas Eve to buy a turkey. And he got drunk and come home and the trolley car stopped down at the Hagley House -- you know, the circle down there -- and Ninnie says, "Show me the bird." He says, "Pop, I didn't get the bird, I got a snap box to take the bird's picture." [Laughter]. That was Jimmy Stewart.

    Bennett: The photographer?

    Kindbeiter: No. No, he wasn't related to the photographer. That photographer bought Able [Claw?]'s house over on Pennsylvania Avenue. I knew Able [Claw?] pretty well. Able worked for the DuPont Company up in the legal department. I don't know where Stewart come from. I think Stewart was up at Hagley House up at Breck's Mill.

    Bennett: I just thought maybe that was the beginning of a very good career when he traded a turkey for a camera. I bet he got his ears boxed, didn't he?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, he got it -- old Ninnie Baird worked on him with a club. That's Jimmy Stewart. He was married to Jimmy Stewart's daughter. What the devil was her name? Isabel. They lived next door to Flemings and then there was nothing built between Ninnie Baird's house and Hagley Community House. And then there was nothing built on that side of the road up there, all the way up to the gates.
  • The Black Cat bar room and barbershop; men and women in Henry Clay wearing hats
    Keywords: Barbershops; Bars (Drinking establishments); Cadillac automobile; Gambling; Haircutting; Hats; Henry Clay(Del.: Village) -- Social life and customs; newby women's hats; Police Gazette
    Transcript: Bennett: You mentioned a barbershop along there.

    Kindbeiter: The barbershop was in the Black Cat.

    Bennett: Describe that -- what was the Black Cat?

    Kindbeiter: Well, the Black Cat was a gambling joint. That was in Pat Daugherty's Saloon. Now after Prohibition came into effect, Pat died, and Mame Bonner who was a cousin of mine, she closed up the saloon. Tom Toy owned that saloons. And Hackendorns -- that's Catherine lived next door to that. And then over on the end of the house — - the end of the row was Lawless. They were all tied together some way. And then Bonners, Tom Sterling, Oliver and Chick Laird.

    Bennett: Describe the Black Cat to me.

    Kindbeiter: [Laughter]. The Black Cat, yeah. They heated it by wood stove. People would get cold and go out and get some wood and throw it in there. They would keep throwing wood in until it got warm in there. Well, the Black Cat -— now Barney DeStapheney — - from up around Hockessin. Barney DeStapheney run the Black Cat and they had poker games, crap games -- any game of chance you want. And Connelly had the barbershop petitioned off. Right coming down the hill.

    Bennett: In the same building?

    Kindbeiter: In the same building. And then after Barney DeStapheney got out of there a fellow by the name of Maney rented that house out and they fixed it up and he rented it out for a house. And then I understand about three or four years ago one of the du Ponts got running with a girl somewhere in Wilmington and she lived -— they put Maney out. He lived up in — - oh — — up the Kennett Pike up there --

    Bennett: You mean Greenville?

    Kindbeiter: Right this side of Greenville. It was a big apartment development. My sister lived up there at one time. I can't think of the name of it.

    Bennett: The Devon?

    Kindbeiter: No, not the Devon. It was no well-known apartment. Well, it was on the right of the Kennett Pike. The first road was Barley Mill Lane, cut across the Kennett Pike and on the right was this apartment house. There was a bunch of apartments. I can't think of the name.

    Bennett: I know where you mean. I can't help you, either, but a lot of small complexes like...

    Kindbeiter: And there were two or three stores on the end there coming out on to the Kennett Pike. Well, Maney used to work for Coca Cola. He was a truck driver for Coca Cola and he had the Chester Run. And then he retired. And he bought himself a Cadillac after he retired and he got a job hauling a lot of these du Pont people around. The women who wanted to go to Philadelphia or New York, he'd take the Cadillac, and take them out where they wanted to go. Course, he was well paid for it. But now I don't know whether he's still alive or he died.

    Bennett: So, you were telling me about the Black Cat. How big was that whole building? If there was a barbershop in there as well as the...

    Kindbeiter: The barbershop was in the side door. That's where the women used to go — - in the side door.

    Bennett: Oh, they used the same barbershop?

    Kindbeiter: No, they used the same barroom.

    Bennett: Oh, O.K. I thought just the men went to the barroom.

    Kindbeiter: The barbershop wasn't there when they -- they would go in the side door. In the back room was where the women went, and would sit.

    Bennett: Did they have tables for the ladies?

    Kindbeiter: Yes, tables for the ladies. They never had any trouble back there.

    Bennett: Did they have things on the wall, decorations and stuff?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, they had decorations -- pictures and Police Gazette. Now, I don't know whether you remember that or not. That was -- the women and all that -- excuse me for that. But they would get in and read the Police Gazette in there, and then when they'd get done with that, it would be pretty well torn up and they'd give it to the men out in front.

    Bennett: Did you get your hair cut there?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, got it cut there when I got old enough, but my father before that -- my father would cut it. He had scissors and clippers and everything and you'd get some kind of haircut.

    Bennett: He did the whole family. Did he do other children as well as yours?

    Kindbeiter: No, just our own gang.

    Bennett: I think that was a common practice.

    Kindbeiter: Well, they didn't have any barbers for kids. They'd put a bowl over their heads and cut around it and get out.

    Bennett: How old were you when you started with the barber?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, 12 or 14 years old -- I'm going to say that.

    Bennett: Do you remember how much it cost to get your hair cut?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, 25 or 35 cents. Never cost much. I have an appointment with the barber down there now. He only cuts hair on Friday, but he's a pretty good skate. He was down on Market Street across from -- oh, the high-rise apartment there -- and he goes around to all the people who are disabled. Charlie Santis is his name, and he takes care of cutting their hair. That's about all he does is cut their hair. Now, he's got a certain clientele. I'm one of them and another fellow in there, Mike Lammana and George Worrilow. We all go down together. Today I'm not going down with them, but I could still stand a haircut.

    Bennett: Oh, it looks fine. You have pretty hair.

    Kindbeiter: But that's the way it goes. That fellow, Charlie Santis deserves a lot of credit because he's propping people up in the bed and cutting their hair and he cleans up after them. You know. And he does a good job on them.

    Bennett: That's really very nice. When you had your hair cut, did you wear a hat then? Because you know in the picture, "The Worker's World...”

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, always wore a hat.

    Bennett: Everybody always wore a hat?

    Kindbeiter: A hat of some kind. Even when we'd go to church. And I laughed like hell. There was a guy down at Corpus Christi -- no not Corpus Christi. My nephew is a priest at Corpus Christi -- Billy Hazzard. That's Catherine Hazzard on Delaware Avenue. There's a fellow that sits over on the left, wears a hat, pulled down over his ears. And he never takes that hat off -- all during the services. And over on the right there's another guy with a hat on. It got the best of me one day. I says to the woman -- she was kinda sociable when you go to put your money in the collection, the sticks are not long enough for them -- the basket -- I'd give it to her and she'd put it in for me. Well, there's nothing wrong with that. I got talking to that woman and I says, "Tell me one thing. Where did you ever go to church?" She says, "I went to church in Ireland." Well, right away that settled it. I says, "Well, did the Irishmen ever wear hats?" She says, "If they wore a hat to church, somebody would kill them." But, there's two men. Now, there's an assistant priest over there and what the devil is his name? He lived down on Scott Street. He was a friend of my sister's boy. He says to me, "Tell me something." He stands outside, you know. They shake hands outside like -- same thing -- they shake hands with everybody when they come out whether they know them or not. I says, "Tell me one thing. Where did you -- " He went to St. Ann's. I know where he went. I says, "You went to St. Ann's." "Yeah," he says, "I did." "Well, did you ever see a man in a church with a hat on?" He says, "We better not see one in there with a hat on." Now, come up the Philadelphia Pike, there's two men wear hats.

    Bennett: Did you wear a hat always around the Brandywine?

    Kindbeiter: Wore a hat all the time. You get up in the morning and put a hat on. Sometimes it would slide down over your ears and sometimes it would sit on top of your head.

    Bennett: Did you have a favorite one?

    Kindbeiter: No. Take the first one in the row. Everybody wore them.

    Bennett: I wonder why?

    Kindbeiter: I don't know and I don't own a hat now. The last hat I had, I gave to my granddaughter. On Halloween night. She wanted a hat. And I says, "Take this hat." And that's the last hat I owned.

    Bennett: Hagley would love to have a couple of old hats. They don't have any. There's pictures and so forth, but I think probably everybody threw the old hats away.

    Kindbeiter: Yea, they did.

    Bennett: They might have saved the dresses and something else, but the hats were -- and they threw them away. And they don't have an old hat. They know what they look like from pictures.

    Kindbeiter: They'd pull the size out and they'd go buy a new one.

    Bennett: Oh. In other words --

    Kindbeiter: The size was always stuck inside of it. Sometimes it was lost, sometimes it was still there. And you'd go get a hat. You'd go in to buy a hat -- pick out a hat you liked -- give the man the size. He'd come right up with it and give it to you.

    Bennett: Would you always buy the same style?

    Kindbeiter: Same style, yeah. They only had one style. They had -- well, they had two styles. They had one style that the teamsters wore up around in the powder workers wore. And the other style was -- we never went in for them. They were felt hats. Bowler. They were real special hats. We never had money enough to buy one of them.

    Bennett: Do you have any idea how much it would cost?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, they cost a couple dollars then. Now that's a lot of money. And we'd pay 50 cents or 30 cents for a hat.

    Bennett: Did you buy them at the stores like Harry Gregg's?

    Kindbeiter: No, we would always go to town after them.

    Bennett: Where would you go?

    Kindbeiter: Fourth and Market -- DuBell. I'll never forget that Jew run that down there. DuBell. Maybe two or three of us would go in there together. He says, "Here comes the people from up the Brandywine. Get the hats out."

    Bennett: Well, everybody along the Brandywine wore hats, then?

    Kindbeiter: Everybody wore hats. Even the women wore a hat. You never saw a woman without a hat.

    Bennett: Well, ladies always wore them to church, but I didn't realize they...

    Kindbeiter: Yeah. When they went out of the house, they put a hat on. Either a hat or what they called a newby. That's right -- a newby. It was a knit - piece of knit material they would knit and wrap it around their heads. That's a newby.

    Bennett: Sort of like a scarf, you mean?

    Kindbeiter: Like a scarf. I guess later on they got high-toned and called it a scarf.

    Bennett: Was it a long rectangle or was it a triangle?

    Kindbeiter: It was a rectangle and it was long and they used to hit them around about the knees. They'd put it over the top of their heads, cross it over their shoulders and hang it down in the front.

    Bennett: And they made them themselves?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah. All them people all knit.

    Bennett: Would they wear them to Church?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, they'd wear them to church everywhere.

    Bennett: And how about if they went in to Wilmington on the trolley? Would they wear that or would they wear a hat?

    Kindbeiter: Well, if they had a hat handy, they'd put it on. If they didn't, they'd wear the newby. I don't know -- that name, newby, it just struck me. But that's what they called it.

    Bennett: Well, that's interesting.
  • Cigarettes and chewing tobacco habits; carrying penknives; machinist tools provided by DuPont Co.
    Keywords: Gunpowder industry; Machine-tools; Pocketknives; Smokeless tobacco; Smoking; Tobacco chewing
    Transcript: Bennett: You mentioned tobacco. Did you smoke?

    Kindbeiter: Sure we did. We smoked all the time.

    Bennett: As young boys?

    Kindbeiter: The first time -- We used to have a cigar tree up where they got the Experimental Station now. The long things grow on that cigar tree -- as we called it -- it had some other name but that's the name we give it -- them cigars would -- they looked like a wax bean only it was about three times as long. And we'd leave that stay on the tree until it matured and got good and brown and then we'd pull it. And then we'd light it and smoke it.

    Bennett: Did you get sick?

    Kindbeiter: You'd get sick until after you smoked two or three of them and then you could smoke them.

    Bennett: Did you smoke regular cigars or cigarettes?

    Kindbeiter: No. Not until we got old enough to go out and buy our own.

    Bennett: You would buy those like in grocery stores, Harry Gregg's?

    Kindbeiter: Piedmont. Piedmont cigarettes. And then Sweet Caps. Sweet Caprol.

    Bennett: No. But I do remember Piedmont. Boy that's putting some age on me, isn't it?

    Kindbeiter: You'll be telling your age after a while.

    Bennett: My uncle -- he used to smoke Piedmonts. And I remember that pack very well. It had a round circle on it.

    Kindbeiter: Even after I got married, I smoked Piedmonts. And my wife always smoked Fatimas or some fancy brand like that. And she'd run out of cigarettes -- "You got any cigarettes?" She'd take the pack and take a couple Piedmonts out of it.

    Bennett: They were pretty strong, weren't they?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah. Knock a mule down.

    Bennett: Did you chew tobacco?

    Kindbeiter: No. I never got that habit.

    Bennett: Did the men around the Brandywine chew tobacco?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, they chewed tobacco. And you'd be in your bare feet, walking along the road and they'd spit tobacco juice out on your feet. That's right. They would. It seems that you'd go along in your bare feet, that gave them a license to spit tobacco juice on you.

    Bennett: See if they could hit you for a target? I guess they chewed tobacco because they couldn't smoke in the yards?

    Kindbeiter: Well, as far as I know, they never smoked in the Hagley Yard. Up where the powder works was. They could have smoked without me knowing it. But if they did, they snuck it it. Now down at the Experimental Station, they had smoking rooms where the men could go in and smoke. And they didn't abuse that, either. They'd go in and take a smoke and come out and go to work again.

    Bennett: Kinda like we have coffee breaks today.

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, that's right. They'd go in and take a smoke and get out.

    Bennett: Well, it's better to have it in a place like that that's controlled than somebody just tossing a cigarette. It was a safety factor, really. Was there certain kind of chewing tobacco?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, Red Men and Beechnut. And then plug tobacco.

    Bennett: Was plug the name?

    Kindbeiter: Plug was a thick slice of tobacco about like that book.

    Bennett: About four inches square?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah. And that was plug tobacco. And that got harder than blue hell. It really got hard. And when you'd buy that in the store, you'd have to keep it wrapped up so that it wouldn't get harder on you. And then -- but the plug tobacco -- you'd cut off a chew of that -- about inch and a half by inch and a half square and put that in your mouth and it would be half an hour before it would get soft.

    Bennett: You had to cut it off, I guess.

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, you cut it off to start with. Well, everybody had a penknife in them days. And they'd cut it off. In fact I got one around here somewhere -- a penknife.

    Bennett: What else. Everybody carried a pen knife. What else did you carry in your pockets?

    Kindbeiter: Well, we always carried marbles and something like that. But, a penknife. Everybody carried a penknife, and I don't know why. The blade would get so dirty you'd cut an apple up and the black stuff would stay on the apple. But, we never had any reason to carry that penknife. But everybody had a penknife.

    Bennett: Nothing else. How about a handkerchief?

    Kindbeiter: Well, sometimes you would and sometimes -- you never had no Kleenex or anything like that. You'd carry a handkerchief if your nose was running, like mine is mostly. But, we never went on that particular. I think I got a penknife in that closet there now. It's got a big string tied to it.

    Bennett: You kept the string on the penknife?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah.

    Bennett: So you could identify it or...

    Kindbeiter: Oh, I don't know why we had it on there. I think it's either here or it's in the car.

    Bennett: Did you -- maybe had it tied to like a belt or something so you wouldn't lose it?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, we had it tied to the belt. I don't know whether I got it up here or not. Now, this is a box of junk.

    Bennett: I like boxes of junk. Oh, that looks like your tools.

    Kindbeiter: No, the penknife is not in here...No, that -- that's a key to the electric drill. I don't know where that penknife is. It's probably down in the car somewhere. I got a lot of tools in there that --

    Bennett: When you were older, did you have a watch?

    Kindbeiter: No, never needed a lock. Only when you'd go out to work. You'd need a lock. But we never had anybody steal anything on us. You'd go down through the machine shop and you'd say, "Hey, where did you get that wrench?" "I borrowed it off somebody up the line here.” "That belongs to me." "Well, take it; I'm done with it." That's the way it went. And then the DuPont Company gave us a set of tools -- machinist tools. They spent money on them. Micrometers and all that that cost money. I must have got three sets of them give them away while I worked there. Of course, they didn't know. I'd give them away and that was the end of it.

    Bennett: And you had no trouble getting another set? They would give you another set?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, I'd get another set.

    Bennett: They wouldn't question?

    Kindbeiter: No, Howard Sheppard was the boss machinist. "Hey, somebody stole that set of tools on me." "All right, now, keep quiet. I'll give you another set." Well, that only happened maybe two or three times. They've lost a lot of stuff. Talking about that powder coming in 25-pounds kegs, all painted green and they must have stored them outside somewhere in the Hagley Yard. The crick would come up and the powder kegs were washed down and we'd catch them down there by Breck's Mill. Pull them up to let them dry off and then we had powder that would last a long while.

    Bennett: I don't understand why if they knew the crick would be coming up, why they didn't move it to a higher...

    Kindbeiter: You'd think they would. They never moved it.
  • Alien Property Custodian overseeing property of Alfred I. du Pont's daughter near Swamp Hall; Alfred I. du Pont's mechanic; William Penn Tavern and Hotel
    Keywords: Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Ire& #xE9; e), 1864-1935; Hotels; n& #xE9; Swamp Hall (Henry Clay, Del. : Dwelling); Taverns (Inns); United States. Office for Emergency Management. Office of Alien Property Custodian; Weddings; Wilmington Friends School
    Transcript: Kindbeiter: Do you have that book?

    Bennett: I've never seen that book. Looks interesting.

    Kindbeiter: Well, that is. That's Ed Ball, Alfred I's right-hand man.

    Bennett: We got off. We were talking about Alfred I. What I wanted you to tell me about was the property that's owned now by...

    Kindbeiter: On top of Breck's Lane. Well, that property belonged to Alfred I's daughter.

    Bennett: That's where Swamp Hall was?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, up at the top of the hill. And they owned both sides of the hill. Now, she married a German count during World War I. And that made the gang mad in Washington. So, they seized her property and when they seized that property, she says, "Well, let it go." She didn't pay no attention to it. And then - now how I know about that property up there was -- the Alien Property custodian own it -- Billy Montgomery lives in a brick house up next to where Lammot du Pont lives -- up Breck's Lane.

    Bennett: Up on the same side?

    Kindbeiter: The same side as Alfred I.'s. Well, Billy Montgomery wrote the Alien Property custodian to send him up a new water pump. They had a well up here. And Alien Property custodian wrote him back and said, "You go to hell and if you want a water pump, you buy it. We're not going to furnish it for you." He paid a dollar a year rent on that property. And then he had guts enough to ask them to send up a water pump.

    Bennett: How long ago was that?

    Kindbeiter: Oh, that's 20-25 years ago. I think he still lives up there. There's a brick house -- now Bill Raskob owned that; that's John's brother, the one that owned this place down there -- he -- Bill Raskob built a new house inside the old one. He kept the old house -- the walls standing up -- and he built the new house inside of that and made it a little smaller. And then he died. He married his secretary and he died and the secretary died. And he give the property to the Catholic organization in Wilmington here. But that's how the Catholics got it. And Billy Montgomery's house butts right up against that.

    Bennett: So, it's still with this Alien Property?

    Kindbeiter: Alien Property Custodian. The Alien Property Custodian seized that on Alfred I's daughter because she married a German count during World War I. And she also got the blacksmith shop across the road. It's a yellow building. Hackendorns -- no relation -- some distant relation to Catherine. I don't know what the connection is there.

    Bennett: A yellow house?

    Kindbeiter: A yellow house. And then there was a white house right where the hill broke off to the level -- Tom Dunlap the plasterer lived up there. He used to be the coach for the basketball team down the Brandywine. And they'd have a game in Friends School. Friends School was around at Fourth and West. Old Tom Dunlap would get drinking and then he would drink the whiskey out of the bottle. "Come on, your next," and he'd rub them down then with the bottle. [Laughter]. So, there were a lot of characters up there.

    Bennett: Yes, there were. Those houses up there, most of them were like double houses, weren't they?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, most of them were -- double and triple and sometimes four in a row.

    Bennett: I think Alfred I. had a good friend that was a mechanic and lived across the road that used to help him with his car.

    Kindbeiter: Yeah. That was -- I used to haul motorcycles with that guy. He was up in Indian Motorcycle up in Massachusetts. We'd haul the motorcycles down here to them. And I can't think of that guy's name. But he's overhauling the cars up there now. The man that's the landscape man up there is a graduate of the University of Delaware -- Paul Lloyd. He knows this guy well and he says, "Come up and see him. He wants to see you." Now, Paul Lloyd takes care of all the outside grounds -- the trees and the lawns and everything. And his wife is a nurse in that hospital there -- Alfred I.'s hospital. Well, that guy lives out in -- out -- going up into -- you got me now. I know the name of the house and go up to see him. It's up in back of where Wanamaker's store is -- up Silverside Road -- no.

    Bennett: Alapocas?

    Kindbeiter: No. Alapocas is up back of Wanamaker's. Well, Wanamaker's store is going out of business up Milltown Road and Avondale or Kennett Square road.

    Bennett: Oh I thought Wanamaker's on the other side of town.

    Kindbeiter: No, Wanamaker's -- Van Sciver's.

    Bennett: Pike Creek Valley area?

    Kindbeiter: Yeah, up in there. That's where he lives.

    Bennett: Do you remember the William Penn Tavern?

    Kindbeiter: No, I don't. Where was that, New Castle?

    Bennett: No. Do you remember the William Penn Hotel?

    Kindbeiter: No, I don't.

    Bennett: Well, Catherine Hackendorn said that Toy's Tavern was the William Penn Hotel before it was Toy's.

    Kindbeiter: Well, that's on me. I don't know that.

    Bennett: And yet, there has been a reference to the William Penn Tavern. And she said that she can remember the day they brought the sign out from the attic. She describes this. And I guess it must have been well before you and she were born. Must have been a time when it was like a little hotel as well. It would have been in the 80's.

    Kindbeiter: Well, I wouldn't know.

    Bennett: I just wondered if you knew anything about it.

    Kindbeiter: I never knew what they'd do with a hotel up there. Well, they always called the gin mills hotels, anyway.

    Bennett: She said -- I guess there was two floors and it would be like a bunch of beds like dormitory style. It was not a fancy hotel as such. And I suppose if somebody was visiting on business, they would stay there -- nothing like we would think of as a hotel today.

    Kindbeiter: You've got me stopped on that one.

    Bennett: Another thing I would like to talk to you about. You mentioned your wedding and your wedding reception. How many people have a reception that goes on for five days? Tell me about your wedding first and usually the bride...

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