Interview with Bruce Green, 1974 March 28 [audio]

Hagley ID:
  • His father's early association with T. Coleman du Pont; furnishing the powder company and other companies with horses; T.C.'s farming activities; boarding with Bidermann du Pont and working around the farm for his father
    Keywords: Agricultural laborers; Draft horses; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irénée), 1864-1935; Du Pont, Bidermann, 1837-1923; Du Pont, T. Coleman (Thomas Coleman), 1863-1930; Du Pont, William K. (William Kemble), 1875-1907; Johnstown (Pa.); Johnstown flood (1889); Old Mill (Greenville, Del. : Dwelling)
    Transcript: Ward: This is an oral interview with Mr. Bruce Green, Wilmington, Delaware, March 28, 1974. Will you tell me about your father and when he first became associated with the du Pont family?

    Green: He became associated with T.C. in 1897. There was a depression on at that time, during the Cleveland administration. T.C. and W.K. and E.M. had what they called Folly Farms and to keep the people working at that time - they got my father to take some men out from the steel mills there in Johnstown to clean these farms up, you know. Of course after that they got to be fast friends. He went right on through with him so he came here with T.C. and of course he was the city forester and rebuilding the city of Johnstown and T.C. was bringing his family there. That would be Mrs. Buck, later on Alice and Ellen, Mrs. Meed. I think it was just the two of them at that time. They would bring them there to pick up stuff to put around their place on Park Ave. in Johnstown.

    Ward: Was your father born in the Johnstown area?

    Green: No, no he was born in Clearfield. Wait a minute, yes, Clearfield ... I forget what county that is. I think that maybe it was Clearfield County too. He went to Pittsburgh and then when the Johnstown flood come along why then he went back into Johnstown, and rebuilt or helped rebuild the town because it was all flooded out.

    Ward: What was T. Coleman doing when your father first met him?

    Green: He was working for the Lorain Steel Co. And he and W.K. and E.M. had the Cambria Ice and Coal, and I remember that Johnstown was 100 years old in 1898. And they had red, white and blue ice and they also owned the Traction Co. - the three of them. T.C. was working for Lorain Steel at that time, which was later on United States Steel. And he worked there up until the time that he did come here to Wilmington, Delaware and that was in 1902. He came here a little prior to 1902 when they made him president of the DuPont Powder Co. It was all due to Alfred I. putting up the controlling interest of the powder company because T.C. wasn't a powder man at all, and Alfred I. put up the controlling interest. They were just the E. I. de Nemours du Pont Powder Co. - at that time. And Alfred I. had to put up 550,000 some dollars for the controlling interest to make T.C. the president of the powder company at that time. [Audio cuts out briefly]

    Ward: You earlier spoke of your working with horses. Did they have many?

    Green: They furnished the powder company with the horses. And they used to furnish Stewart and Donohue(and also the brewery) with quite a few horses. They had probably 100 brood mares on the farm at that time, but of course the horse - the automobile - came in, the horses was going on their way out.

    Ward: Where would they get these horses?

    Green: Well, . . . my father used to go out in Illinois and Indiana and buy them out of Decatur, Indiana and Illion, Illinois. I remember those two places because the only way you could get the insurance was if somebody rode on the train with the horses coming in, see. And I had a couple of trips like that out to Illinois when I was about 15 or 16 years old and as long as they had somebody on the train, they could get insurance on the spot.

    Ward: Were theses large draft-type horses?

    Green: Oh yes, they were all draft horses and then of course they would show them at the fair in the fall and they'd travel them - maybe Trenton and go up through Pennsylvania with these horses and they were winning prizes, don't worry about it, beautiful horses. I know they had one pair of horses that one weighed 2100 lbs. And the other weighed 2200 and something and they wouldn't even pull the hat off your head.

    Ward: There were farming activities going on out there?

    Green: Oh yes, everything. They must have had a couple, three or four hundred acres in hay, because they fed everything right off of the farm there and they, of course, raised wheat, corn and oats principally. They never went into the wheat end of it too much, but I remember in the depression of Teddy Roosevelt's time - we had more of a depression - and T.C. decided they were going to put in a lot of potatoes, and we went out around 42nd and Market, out in the Swede neighborhood and we couldn't even sell potatoes for 25 cents a bushel at that time. On this hay wagon they had 4 or 500 bushels of potatoes so T.C., he went and bought a bunch of pigs and we boiled the potatoes and fed them to the pigs. That way he got his money out of the potatoes.

    Ward: You told me about your father being in Pennsylvania. When did you first come to Delaware?

    Green: We come here on February 9, 1906.

    Ward: Your mother and the children?

    Green: No, no - they didn't come here until late in 1907, because you see they couldn't get the house - my father and I was living with old man Bidermann du Pont, see.

    Ward: What do you remember about Mr. Bidermann's family?

    Green: Well, of course I know the first night we come here we got a pair of horses from T.C., Tom and Jerry they were, and going down Campbell Road. That used to be a big high bank; going down there was a persimmon tree on the right-hand side. One horse, I don't know which one it was, got down in a snow drift and got down and so - we had to get out of the sleigh - and it was a sleigh - and I set on the horse's head till my father went up to Bidermann's. And there was always somebody working around them farms, hanging around the old man's place and it was night time too, and so they come and shoveled the snow out and got blankets underneath the horse so that when he got up he wouldn't slide on the snow you know. And the first time I ever had a drink of liquor then, when we got up to the Bidermann's house - pretty near froze to death - he give me a drink of Green River Whiskey and, my God, it was lOO-proof. It was enough to knock the stone wall down, let alone knock your brains out. That's all he drank was Green River Whiskey - old man Bidermann.

    Ward: Then you and your father lived there until your mother came?

    Green: My mother - my father and of course they went back but I lived with the old man. I got $2.50 a week - got a lot of money.

    Ward: What types of jobs would you be doing then?

    Green: Well, I worked around the farm, you know, up until - after they built the Old Mill then of course, they built that in 1907 and 1908 along in there.

    Ward: Where was that mill located?

    Green: That was where Hoopes Reservoir is now only just about half way - well the road used to come out at Miss Evelina's and used to run over to Mt. Cuba and up to Yorklyn, you know, and then there was three roads there that come into a branch - one went on towards Mt. Cuba, and the other went down towards Wooddale and the other cut up over the hill and come in by Mrs. Henry B. Thompson and come back out by Dr. Alexis du Pont and come out at Greenville, these three roads you know, and this one that went across the breast of the dam, one went out to Walnut Green School and the other road went over towards Mt. Cuba, and T.C. had a quarry there and he built those roads - he built all those roads in there. He had a crusher in there and used water power to crush stones with, you know. He built those roads there.

    Ward: That must have been a beautiful old valley there before the dam.

    Green: Yeah, yes it was. T.C. spent a lot of money in there fixing up those places. Of course he did. He knew what turned out; the last I heard that the price the city paid for that reservoir was terrific. Of course, I'm not going to say what it was, but he got his money back.

    Ward: He had come in as president of the company at that time. Did you continue to work on then, with his father?

    Green: Of course I was working for my own father, but I was living with old man Bidermann, see, and I used to have to take him to town twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday, take butter in and eggs in to the different du Ponts you know. And they had the Holstein cattle then - bunch of old tubercular cows they were, and coughed their heads off over the fence. And I know them du Ponts when they got that butter they threw it out in the garbage anyway.

    Ward: Did he have large barns out there?

    Green: Oh yes. They had, let's see, on the McCollun place where young Doug Buck lives, they had a good sized barn. On the [Haines?]' place they had a good sized barn, on the Warren place they had a good sized barn there and the old Dickson place they had a good sized barn and they had smaller barns on some of these other places you know. They had some good sized barns there.
  • T. Coleman du Pont's house on Broom Street and his children, father, and wife; T.C.'s interest in electricity and in playing tricks on people
    Keywords: Buck, Alice du Pont, 1891-1967; Donaldson, Renée de Pelleport du Pont, 1897-; Du Pont, Alice, 1863-1937; Du Pont, Eleuthère Irénée, 1902-1920; Du Pont, Francis Victor, 1894-1962; Du Pont, T. Coleman (Thomas Coleman), 1863-1930; Old Mill (Greenville, Del. : Dwelling); Pierce-Arrow automobile; Wheelwright, Ellen Coleman du Pont 1889-1968
    Transcript: Ward: Where was T. Coleman living at this time?

    Green: 808 Broom Street.

    Ward: What did that house look like when he was there?

    Green: T.C.'s place? It was a regular brick house. It was pretty good sized property. It wasn't elaborate like the du Pont houses are today, but when he come in he took that over, and I remember W.K. come in right after T.C. come in about 1903 or 1904 and he lived in the old office building where Mrs. Paul du Pont lives now, right across from the du Pont cemetery - that's where he started out when he came here.

    Ward: Did T. Coleman bring his horses in town with him? There is a garage there now that used to be an old stable.

    Green: The stable used to be down on 9th Street there back of 808 Broom Street. There was a driveway back into that and of course he had the children growing up, Frank and Mrs. Buck and Mrs. Meed and Mrs. Donaldson and Eleuthere, and so as they growed up they just did away with the horses and he was getting automobiles all the time anyway, you know. He was great for Pierce Arrows, a Pierce Arrow was his car.

    Ward: What do you remember of his children as they were growing up?

    Green: Well, of course they were. Ellen was very sociable and so were Eleuthere and Mrs. Donaldson. I wouldn't say that for Mrs. Buck or Frank du Pont, but those three were, because they would have parties there at the Old Mill. And we generated our own electricity there and stuff like that you know, and they would have 400 or 500 Japanese lanterns hanging there and they would be hooked up with electricity. So young Eleuthere went to the Hill School in Pennsylvania. And he would have - he would come to me and get me to ground the system so that - ground the whole light system out so the place would go dark. And Frank and Mrs. Buck, they would raise hell about it you know, but not Mrs. Meed or young Eleuthere.

    Ward: What was T. Coleman's mother like, do you remember?

    Green: She had died back - she must have died back early in the 90s, 1891 or '92, because the old man Bidermann was in Louisville, Kentucky in the street railway business, and I think that's the reason that T.C. acquired this real estate was to keep his father in this country because he was going to marry some of the elites in France you know, some countess or something. And T.C. froze the money so that he couldn't take it out of the country and that's how he come to live out at Brookdale farm as near as I knew from his conversation of years ago. He was a great single taxer. He didn't mind telling you what, you know, but I never met her. I didn't know her at all. Mrs. T. C. du Pont was a fine woman. She was Victor du Pont's daughter. She was a very fine woman. [Audio cuts out]

    Ward: You referred to the Old Mill. How did they get this terminology?

    Green: It was where they ground wheat and grain and made cider and anything that come up in that line anything pertaining to flours or things like that. We used to grind wheat and make flour and everything there. I remember the guy who was there - Old Dusty Clark - he later on came over here to Smith's bridge and had a cider mill over there. But those mills used to be all around. The Puseys had one up at Yorklyn, there was one over at the workhouse, right at the workhouse there - there was one in that territory. They used to be scattered all around; those little mills, grist mills they called them.

    Ward: You mentioned electricity. Was T. Coleman interested in machinery and this sort of thing?

    Green: Oh yes. He was very very very smart. He was a graduate of Massachusetts Tech. you see. And he had all the tools at the Old Mill down in the basement of course. That was where the garage and turbines and everything were. He had everything hooked up with electricity and come along a wet day or something. The Italians - we didn't have enough colored help - it was all Italians there, you put a silver dollar down in the bucket you know, and they go in to put their hand - a fire would fly six inches, you know. You get six inches - it was such a hell of a charge in that water they never did take that dollar out of the water, I'll tell you; but he had everything hooked up. I remember. He used to keep his car, back it in the garage there, and he'd charge that car up - Henry Dallett, Jimmy Winchester, Henry Winchester - they would hang around with the du Ponts you know, and just as soon as they lay against the car, hang against the car, T.C. would say, "Turn that switch on." If he didn't turn it on he'd get someone else to turn it on, you know. [laughter]

    Ward: Sounds like he liked to have a good time.

    Green: Oh yes. Like they had frogs - that pond down in the bottom - Mrs. du Pont had six or seven acres in there I guess of flowers and stuff, you know, below the old mill. You came in on two different grades you see. In other words where she had her garden was probably twenty feet lower than the grade of the old mill - where the overflow come over. And she had these frogs and different ones T.C. would have out there. He'd have these frogs and they'd sneak up on them and let on. I don't know how it was they didn't break their feet cause they'd kick those frogs - kick them in the water. They were stone frogs - bronze, iron - he loved a good time I'll tell you.

    Ward: Was he a large man?

    Green: Why, he could take and put his hands on a six foot fence and jump right through his hands, and so could W.K. - all three of them could. He, him or W.K. because I know at Holly Farm they did it and my father when he was in Johnstown there he had a six foot fence, and they could put their hands on top of that fence and jump right over it. They were 6'6, 6'7.

    Ward: You mentioned these gardens. Was he interested in the flowers and gardening or was that his wife's interest?

    Green: That was Mrs. T.C., yes. There at the Old Mill every fourth of July they had a couple of carloads of fireworks off on the bank facing the water. People used to come around like they do from all over the country to watch them fireworks.
  • Breaking mules to work on DuPont Highway; T.C.'s attitude toward DuPont Highway; fence for the elk and buffalo given to T.C. by Theodore Roosevelt; T.C.'s interest in politics
    Keywords: American bison; Du Pont, T. Coleman (Thomas Coleman), 1863-1930; DuPont Highway; Elk; Roads--Design and construction; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919
    Transcript: Ward: Can you tell me something of your work after you completed this type of work?

    Green: Well, I went down - T.C. when he had cancer he went into Louisville, Kentucky, and Lexington, and he bought the mules to work on the DuPont Road. And those mules - 145 of them - and they were shipped in here on Easter Saturday, 1911. And they brought all the harness that they had. These were run broke mules, these mules weren't broke at all and they bought all the wagons that White Bros. had and all the harness that Conners and Yerger had. And on Easter Monday we proceeded to go to Cambridge, Maryland down to Hills Point where T.C. had big holdings down there and take these mules and break them to be used on the DuPont Highway. When they got started on it - and after they broke these mules then we put an oyster shell road in from Cambridge, Maryland to Hills Point, that was I think 14 miles, if I remember right and by that time they were ready to start on the DuPont Highway at Snow Hill, Maryland. Of course they put some of that road in but he wanted a 200 ft. right of way and now you can see that it was really necessary. He could see 50 years ahead of time, but all the farmers thought that he was trying to steal something - with a street railway down there going to do this or going to do that. They got up in Sussex County there and they got nothing but injunctions against them. The road should have been finished in four, five or six years. I think it was 137 miles. It should have been finished in five or six years, but it took 20 some years to finish with injunctions. I remember the first injunction. An old man by the name of Glenndenning - I think got the first. That was March the 4th, 1912 - that was the first injunction.

    Ward: Do you remember when he first got the idea of building the road?

    Green: That was - he had that in his mind - Scott Townsend and different ones - Scott was with the Security Trust Co. - but different ones of those people that back in 1907 and '08 he had it in his mind to do it then and he was, going to put the road through himself without any cost to the state and not going to be any cost to anybody only himself, and instead of it costing what it should have cost it probably cost 20 times more by being held up with court battles and so forth.

    Ward: You were talking about buying these mules. Do you have any idea what he would have to pay for them back in those days?

    Green: Oh, I don't think he paid over $20-$25 apiece because at that time things were really cheap and that was just coming out of Teddy Roosevelt's depression too.

    Ward: Do you think he got discouraged during all these hassles?

    Green: You would have thought he would have given up as a bad job you know, because there was only two turns in the road because I worked on that DuPont Highway. In fact I worked on the DuPont Highway probably six months after the injunction was put there - but there was a turn out at Milford and there was a turn in Dover back of Richards, Robbins Canning place - they were the only two turns in the DuPont Highway from Snow Hill, Maryland to Claymont, Wilmington, rather.

    Ward: Do you think he was interested in getting the road just for the convenience of the people as well as the transportation of industry and that sort of thing?

    Green: Well, I don't think T.C. had too much interest in down the state. The du Ponts didn't go down in Sussex County until way later on and that you know, and he was down in Cambridge, Maryland. Well, that was Little Baltimore. I think he had the idea of giving something to the state, that's all. He made himself some money and he wanted to give it. Well, I think he just wanted to give something to this state and the people.

    Ward: It was certainly something useful and practical. Was he practical type of man?

    Green: Oh yes. He was smart, boy. He was a smart man, T.C. was. I think he was the smartest du Pont that ever lived myself. I think he was the one that made the powder company - made the du Ponts - because they were never incorporated until he incorporated them and when he incorporated them he made himself $5 million as soon as he incorporated, that's all.

    Ward: Can you tell me about the little fence?

    Green: That was a 10 foot fence and we, during when T.C. had cancer of the stomach that time, we made these concrete posts down in the cellar or basement of the Old Mill. And we made them with a dove tailed strip so when - that you nailed to and when that strip rotted out you could always take it out and put another one back in there again, and I guess some of them old posts are still standing over there. But that was on the Walnut Green School Road. Teddy Roosevelt probably gave him two or three dozen elk from Yellowstone Park and right at the Old Mill we also had the same thing down there because we had buffalo and we raised buffalo down there, I mean we had little young buffalo that we raised there, but we had the same fence around there too but those fences were - they had to be 8 foot or 10 foot - they were at least 8 foot anyway I would say.

    Ward: Did people come from all around to see the elk?

    Green: Oh yeah. Back then that was up on the Macguire place. They must have had a couple of hundred acres fenced in - up by the brick church in fact - in that territory where they had that.

    Ward: When you refer to brick church is that the Presbyterian Church on the Kennett Pike?

    Green: Yes, Lower Brandywine. I ought to know because I went up there.

    Ward: That was a hobby for T. Coleman to have these animals?

    Green: Well, I think probably it was you know. He and Teddy Roosevelt was very good friends, and in fact I saw Teddy Roosevelt. T.C. had him there on a couple of different occasions when he was the President of the United States, in Wilmington. I don't think - I know he worked pretty hard for Teddy Roosevelt in the Bull Moose ticket to defeat Taft and Wilson in 1912. That was when Taft was elected and Teddy Roosevelt had been President in 1908. He just lost that election by a very small majority and then Taft run again. No, he didn't either. It was Hughes that run against Wilson in 1916. The election was supposed to be won by the Republicans and then the next morning they found out that California had gone for Wilson. That carried the election. T.C. was very interested in politics.

    Ward: Was he active?

    Green: Oh yes, he was active in politics.
  • Tearing down buildings along the Brandywine and in Wilmington; finding a 1794 coin while demolishing Green's tavern at Penny Hill
    Keywords: Coins--Collectors and collecting; Historic buildings; Lost architecture; Wrecking
    Transcript: Ward: Mr. Green, will you tell me some of your activities in tearing down some of these old buildings, some of the landmarks really?

    Green: Well, them old farm buildings, as T.C. acquired those, why then my father would give me - we just had Italian workers on the farm at that time. I would take these men and go out and tear these old places down you know, as a kid, because that would at least keep me out of trouble you know. You know, when you are about 15-16 years old, why anything can happen you know.

    Ward: I believe you mentioned that some of the woolen mills and some of the buildings here on this property you tore down...

    Green: I tore down the Experimental Station - I tore buildings down, down there; old powder mills down there. Of course they would probably tell you there was never no powder mills down there but there was because there was graining mills down there right out on the Brandywine. We tore down in, wait a minute - what year was that? 1946...We tore Bancroft's house down in 1939 and in 1949 we tore - where the old Frenchman lived - we tore all those old properties; we tore, I forget the size the contract was, but I think we were in there from December until July tearing buildings down in the Experimental Station.

    Ward: Where did you take all this rubble?

    Green: Them days - plenty of places to dump it in them days. Now you can't do it you see. And I forget where we hauled that...we were in there quite a while working in there. We tore places down all along the creek here, up where Bill Christopher lives, Charles du Pont - we tore six or eight of them down there for Hallock du Pont.

    Ward: I think that was called Long Row. Were they in pretty good condition?

    Green: They were just stone houses see, but then there was Chicken Alley down here, and I forget where Chicken Alley was now whether it was, where was that. I can't think where Chicken Alley was no more.

    Ward: Up in Black Gates, up in that area.

    Green: Yes, that's right. It went up at the old office building.

    Ward: And I believe you told me some of the woolen mill buildings on the other side - they tore some of those old mills down...on the other side of the creek over here?

    Green: Over in here, yes. That was of course, for the Experimental Station see.

    Ward: Are there any other places around the general Wilmington area that you have taken down that has great interest?

    Green: We tore a lot of buildings down in this town I'm telling you, over a period of 57 years time.

    Ward: How do you assess all this - one generation builds up and another tears down?

    Green: Well, I just had a little experience the other day with a property that was in a wealthy neighborhood and the house was just built and the kid set it on fire, so we had to gut it out and clean the place out and the lumber was actually rotten that they were putting in the house. And that's a fact and by God we saw it.

    Ward: I suppose most of the buildings in the past generation, especially in this area, were old stone buildings?

    Green: Oh yeah - we took down the - up at Penny Hill - where Penny Hill Police Station is we took down and it was the second year that the U.S. made money - made coins and, of course, they had these big two-inch well, like here see, that was an old tavern, Green's old tavern, and the coins must have fell down between the cracks here and there was an old coin that I picked up that was 1794 - 1794.

    Ward: Do you still have it?

    Green: That coin was worth 10,000 bucks. It was perfect. That coin was absolutely perfect. It was dark on the one side where it was down against the moisture of this wall. My wife and I went to the Pacific Coast in 1937 so she had to stop some place coming home to get some silver dollars that she wanted to give to her friends, see - well you could get silver dollars out there any place, but I always said that that coin went with these coins because I used to take them home and throw them in a drawer at home. I never had no interest in money. Hell, I always could make a dollar. You know, in fact I give my granddaughters 3 or $4,000 worth of old coins - no American coins but the old half pence, you know, and all that stuff you pick up around these farms as you work the ground. I used to have a lot of that stuff. I had saved a lot of coins. I give them to my granddaughter. What am I going to do with them you know? I mean so I give them away. But I always felt that the wife give that silver dollar away. It had around the edge 100 for $1.00 on the rough edge, not on the face but on the outside edge.

    Ward: Well, Mr. Green, I think you have had many interesting experiences working. Perhaps knowing T. Coleman was probably one of the most exciting things that you have talked about this morning. [Audio stops. Resumes at 43:44]
  • Hauling sand and stone for Col. Henry A. du Pont; family history; Green's independent spirit and selling his shares of DuPont Co. stock; memory of explosion while working as receiving clerk in Hagley Yard
    Keywords: Du Pont, H. A. (Henry Algernon), 1838-1926; Genealogy; Gunpowder industry--Explosions; Stocks
    Transcript: Ward: You mentioned that you also did some work for Col. Henry A. What type of things did you do there?

    Green: Well I hauled sand and stone up to all the estates up there. When they had - he had about 25 or 30 stonemasons that lived in Montchanin that he kept busy repairing the work all the time. He was a fine old man, the old colonel was. He and old man Chappell - old man Chappell was his secretary, or his foreman. Old man Chappell, he was about 5 foot 6, and the old Colonel was about 6 foot 6, you know. They were both in their 80s and fall over a sandpile, one would go down and then the other would go down and then you'd see them helping each other up and brushing each other off, and of course they were 87 or 88 years old at that time. [laughter] The old Colonel was a nice old man.

    Ward: You said you also hauled some of that stone for the fences?

    Green: Oh those stone walls that they put up, I furnished them with stones - concrete for the walls you know.

    Ward: I believe you also said you knew Mrs. Crowninshield?

    Green: Well, I hauled to that property - J. W. Barnes rebuilt that house, that old office building, and I run into her on maybe a couple of different occasions but I wouldn't know anything other than just meeting her, you know.

    Ward: Mr. Green I forgot to ask you where your mother was from?

    Green: She was born in Wales.

    Ward: And what was her name?

    Green: Her name was Clemens and she came to this country when she was 13 years old and moved into the hard coal region of Pennsylvania, and the father and the brothers was miners. Then they went into the soft coal up around Clearfield, up around Tyrone, Clearfield County.

    Ward: Where did your father's family come from?

    Green: Well, my grandmother was from up at Somerset County and my grandfather was from down around Tyrone in that particular part of the country. My great-grandfather built a courthouse at Somerset.

    Ward: He was building them and you've been tearing them down!

    Green: Yes. Every time I used to go out that old road I used to look at that damn courthouse. [laughter] Now you see it from the tunnel or the turnpike now.

    Ward: When were you born? What was your birthdate?

    Green: February 14th - you've got it down there - February 14th, 1893.

    Ward: That was in Johnstown. Have you been back to Johnstown recently?

    Green: No, I haven't been .. Hell, I don't want to go back to that place. Everybody in the morning they get up in the morning everybody has their head over the fence talking their heads off. The sulfur or what it would be...the water, the water was awful full of sulfur. My wife and I even drove back through Tyrone, and back through there. I was never the kind that "sponged" on anybody. When I went through there I went to a hotel or a motel, rent a motel and then I went out and got something to eat and the next day I went out maybe to see my relatives and goodbye and I didn't cost them a nickel.

    Ward: Sounds like you're pretty independent?

    Green: Right - damn right.

    Ward: ....a rugged individual.

    Green: I didn't have anything at all, anything that I had - there was ten of us kids. I sent a couple of sisters to Delaware College and saw that some of them others got trades and things like that. Never had no money - in fact - when I got married I didn't have nothing. Today your kids expect you to keep them - them days you kept your family, your parents and that's just the difference in 50-60 years time. And I bought, when I worked up in Hagley Yard, I bought stock up there. I got a $25 a share - I bought four shares, and I sold them for $3,000 for four shares and I never give it a thought. I was working for Midville Steel in Philadelphia, but if I probably kept that stock but probably them four shares of stock probably would've been worth a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

    Ward: What did you do when you worked in the Hagley Yard?

    Green: I was the - more or less of a receiving clerk up there, you know.

    Ward: And did you work up there very long?

    Green: Couple years. I was up there when they had the explosion. Let me try to think; I remember two fellows - there was thirty that got killed. I'm pretty sure but I remember two : Jimmy Baird and Allen Crozier. The only two that I can remember that got killed. And that day I had been in town and I got them seats to the playhouse and - but try to think of that was November the 30th, I think. I'm pretty sure that's when the explosion was. And I had gone up and give the different ones - quite a few of them wanted tickets and I give the tickets around and left there and then they had that explosion. They all got blown up - a whole bunch. I see they changed the landscape and everything up there. You know where them old presses blowed up.

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