Interview with Edward B. Cheney, 1958 June 5 [audio](part 1)

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  • Cheney's biographical information; Neighbors and families living in Squirrel Run, Wagoner's Row, Long Row, and Breck's Lane
    Partial Transcript: "I am seventy, I was born March 12, 1888 in a blizzard, in Squirrel Run." "My father was the first Cheney that settled here."
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about the circumstances of his birth. He details how his father immigrated to Delaware from Ireland in 1884 and later paid for the rest of the family to join him. He describes how his father worked in the powder yards. Cheney describes the location of his family's home in Squirrel Run and lists the family names of every neighbor that he can recall. He also lists the families that lived in Wagoner's Row and on Breck's Lane. He says that he believes there were 1,000 people employed at Hagley and talks about some of the wagoners who worked for DuPont.
    Keywords: Births; Blakeley's tavern; Blizzards; Breck's Lane (Del.:Village); County Tyrone, Ireland; Doctors; Dr. Chandler; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935l Hurley's Store; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.; Hagley Community House (Breck's Mill); Ireland; Long Row (Del.:Village); Medicine; Neighbors; Squirrel Run (Del.: Village); Wagoner's Row (Del.: Village)
  • Father's job at Hagley; Education and first job
    Partial Transcript: "My father was a laborer when he first came... he received a good education in Ireland..."
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about his father's first job at DuPont, which was as a laborer until Alfred I. du Pont discovered he could read and write and then had Cheney's father work on the newly installed lights. He says that his father eventually ran a storehouse on site. He talks about Pierre Gentieu's photography. He recalls his years in school and names his teachers. He finished his education at the Wilmington business school and got a job with the Remington Typewriter Company in Philadelphia.
    Keywords: Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Education; Family; Gentieu, Pierre A.; Govato's Chocolates; Remington Typewriter Company; School; Wilmington Business School; Work
  • Education; Pony rides with Louise du Pont; DuPont's 150th anniversary celebration
    Partial Transcript: "I started in as a boy.. at five or six at Christ Church Sunday School" "Miss Louise, one Sunday, informed us she was going to be married and we were all invited to her wedding..."
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about his education beginning with kindergarten and describes his classmates and teachers. He talks about getting a pin made from steel from the U.S.S. Maine as a gift from Louise du Pont Crowninshield. He talks about boyhood trips to Winterthur. He says that he ran into Mrs. Crowninshield at DuPont's 150th anniversary celebration and she recognized him after having not seen him in over fifty-four years.
    Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Boston, Massachusetts; Carney's Point (N.J.); Charles Banks (Del.: Village); Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Crowninshield, Louise du Pont, 1877-1958; Eleutherian Mills (Greenville, Del. : Estate); Lowther Cheney; Pony rides; Sunday School; U.S.S. Maine; Winterthur (Del.: Estate)
  • More on father's life and work; His brother, George, losing an arm in an accident
    Partial Transcript: "Due to having a large family, my father in addition to having a position on the plant decided to take the job of sexton at Christ Church...I'm pretty sure this took place in 1885..."
    Synopsis: Cheney discusses his father's working life. He says that he worked for the company for 29 years and also was a sexton at Christ Church. He describes how one of his brothers made a career at Hagley despite having lost his arm. His final job was as watchman at the yard. He describes how his brother, George Cheney, lost his arm in an accident.
    Keywords: Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Hagley Yard; Squirrel Run; Work
  • Swimming on the Brandywine; Cheney's poem about swimming at Sandy Bottom
    Partial Transcript: "We did not go into the mill to play..." "We started to learn to swim in Sandy Bottom, above Squirrel Run."
    Synopsis: Cheney describes learning how to swim. He says that children started to learn how to swim in some shallows near Squirrel Run, then the mill raceways, before they graduated to swimming in the Brandywine. He discusses the area where he swam after leaving Squirrel Run. He says that he has no personal memories of it, but that he heard the Alfred I. du Pont and Victor du Pont family used to swim in the same area. He says that drowning in the Brandywine was very rare because of their system of learning and supervision from adults. Cheney reads a poem he wrote about Sandy Bottom, above Squirrel Run.
    Keywords: Brandywine Creek; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Du Pont, S. Hallock (Samuel Hallock), 1901-1974; Du Pont, Victor, 1882-1943; Millraces; Sandy Bottom; Squirrel Run (Del.:Village); Swimming; Wagoner's Row (Del.: Village)
  • Community Rules and an illicit baseball game; Edward's brother, Simon; Rolling hoops for fun
    Partial Transcript: "They had certain rules here in our communities, one that there was no baseball to be played on the DuPont property on Sundays..."
    Synopsis: Cheney talks about an illicit Sunday night baseball game that occurred on DuPont property. He describes how one of the players was injured and aided by a local doctor. He talks about his brother Simon, who became a blacksmith in Centerville, Delaware. He describes how he showed the du Pont's horses and owned a wheelwright and paint shop. He says that during World War I he worked at Carney's Point, N.J., and that after the war he opened his own shop in New Castle, Delaware. He describes rolling iron hoops for fun as a child, mentioning a time when he lost his hoop and a local blacksmith said he didn't have time to make him a new hoop. When the smith found out he was a Cheney, however, he made the hoop for him. He attributes this to his father helping many Irish families come to the United States.
    Keywords: Baseball; Breck's Lane; Carney's Point (N.J.); Centerville, Del.; Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Games; New Castle, Del.; Rules; World War (1914-1918)