Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Morgan 3: Jessie Christensen Morgan, Part V

I came to Salt Lake and lived with Addie and Andrew and went to the LDS High School, Mother paid them board for me to stay there and she would send me a couple of dollars extra just for me because it was hard to get extra money in those days and especially for mother. We just lived a little ways down from West High School but I walked to the LDS High School right across from the temple.

In high school in St. Johns Harold Morgan was President of the student body and I was Vice-president. Harold danced at the dances like he was saying his prayers or something. He’d hold your arm and we’d dance up one side of the dance hall and get to a corner and we’d have to stop and walk out because he couldn’t turn around. So we’d have to start all over again and then he could do pretty well until we got to the other corner. He was funny.

We got married in Mother’s front room on March 28, 1914. He didn’t buy me a ring until we moved to Salt Lake and then he bought me the one I have now. It was wider then and it was all gold. Later he took it and had it cut down and covered with silver gold and left the yellow-gold on the inside because he was afraid we’d look old.

When I was first married we lived in an old house that was just a slim house two stories high. It was called the air castle. I lived in the back in two little rooms and my mother-in-law lived in front.

This is not Jessie.
It is a single-operator telephone switchboard from the right era, however.

I was a telephone operator for five towns and I’d go to work every morning and keep the telephone office. People would call me up and say, “Jessie, has Lavenia left home?” and I’d say, “I don’t know whether Lavenia has left home or not,” I’d say, “I’ll plug you in.” I’d plug in and nobody would answer and so I’d say I guess nobody answered so she wasn’t home. One day the St. Johns newspaper called me up and George Waite ran it and he said, “Jessie, if you don’t stop having every old woman in town call here, I’m going to get your job,” I said, “Go ahead and get it—you won’t get much, I only plug it into the paper when they ask for you,” I worked for the telephone company before I was married and kept right on working after I was married.

Harold taught school out to Sadro. Sadro is a little place between Gallup and St. Johns. He lived with a Mexican family. He’d come into town and the first thing he’d want was to go up to the drugstore and buy a big bucket of hot chili because that’s what the Mexicans ate. He always got a bucket and ate it. I never ate it because it was too hot.

Addie, my only sister, lived just a block below me, and we’d meet every morning and go up to mother’s and she’d walk back with us. One morning I had the boiler on to have wash water because I was going to do my washing as soon as I got home. My mother-in-law was going to do my washing as soon as I got home. My mother-in-law Mrs. Morgan, lived right in front of me and she went in after I had left one morning to teach me to do my work before I went anyplace. She put a big log of wood in the stove and got the water to boiling and then she put a cup of coal oil in the water and it boiled up on the stove and blazed up and burned the ceiling that we’d put up. We’d just returned home and saw all the smoke and found it was our own house. We got the hose and put it out.

I was so glad because I got to move over to the Dormitory. It was a great big house that the Whitings owned and they had it a long time as a Dormitory for the high school for kids that would come up for school from out of town. So I moved up there and then pretty soon Roll Jones and his wife moved over there and then George Brown and his wife Comfort. They had to call Comfort, Amy, to make her happy. And the three married couples lived upstairs in this house. We all had a baby about the same age and we kept a screen across the stairs so they would not get hurt.

To be continued...

Photo of the telephone operator from flickr.com/photos/32912172@N00/3173597640/

1 comment:

  1. when she says he didn't want them to look old (ie the ring) was it common back then to have white gold rings instead of yellow?