Sunday, February 22, 2015

Murry & Effie Sanders

For extra credit in a college history class, I interviewed all four of my grandparents.  The next few posts will be from the information they gave me and the papers I wrote in 1975.  I can't tell you how glad I am that I did this.  When I presented these papers to my grandparents, their own children had never heard some of the following information.  I want to pass this on to my children and grandchildren...and all of those Sanders out there.

Murry Sanders and Effie Jones met at a wedding in Grayson County, Texas, September 1924.  Murry's parents had already selected a bride for him, but he wasn't happy with their choice.  He began seeing Effie against the will of his parents and on June 7, 1925, they were married.  When his parents found out, they were very displeased and never approved of Effie and were always hostile towards her.  Murry had asked her dad for her hand in marriage and had gotten her parent's approval.  So, on June 7, 1925, they were married in her home.

Murry & Effie lived in Wheeler, Texas after they were married and Murry worked at many different jobs.  He worked on the railroad for a while and then began working as a carpenter.  While living in Wheeler, they had three children:  Millard, Raymond, and Weldon.  Then, in 1930, they moved to Amarillo, Texas where Murry worked at construction and truck farmed.  After they returned to Wheeler, Effie had three more children, Lindon, Dixie and Glen.  This time, Murry was doing anything from putting up windmills, digging cellars, to block laying, stuccoing, plumbing or floor finishing.  He was making anywhere from fifty cents a day to one dollar an hour.

The next move was made to fifty miles east of Springfield, Missouri in 1935.  Here they remained for one year.  While living there, they raised vegetables for the cannery.  This was during the time of the most severe dust storms in the panhandle of Texas.  Often, a couple of days after such a storm had hit Texas, the after-effects could be seen in Missouri.  The sky was foggy with dust and the sun didn't shine enough to cast a shadow.  Afterwards, Effie would have to give the house a good cleaning to clear out all the dirt.  In 1936, the family moved back to the panhandle of Texas, making their home in Kelton.  Because of financial conditions and lack of proper diet, Dixie was suffering from malnutrition when the family reached Kelton.  Once they arrived, she was put under the doctor's care and retained her good health.  In 1937, the last of their children was born...a daughter, named Juanita.  Now, Murry was working for the government as a meat inspector plus working at the school as a janitor.  Some cold mornings, the boys helped their dad stoke up the furnace at the school with coal.  When Juanita was just a few months old, Weldon died of an illness.  They really never knew what was wrong with him.  Years later, Effie guessed he'd had a heart condition.  The last and final move was made to Wheeler in 1951.  Once again, Murry found work as a carpenter and mechanic.  During his lifetime, his wages ranged from fifty cents to twenty dollars a day.

All of their children attended school and graduated.  Sometimes, they didn't start until the middle of the year because of work on the farm.  Each child had his or her own chores and was expected to do them each night.  The boys helped with their dad at his various jobs and learned his trades.  The girls helped their mother clean house and wash clothes.

During a usual day, Effie would get up, fix a hearty breakfast, clean house, and then work in the garden or yard or pick cotton bolls.  Then she would hurry back to fix lunch, clean up the mess, then go back out and work.  Then supper had to be prepared and the girls helped with the dishes.  Everyone went to bed early and was up at the crack of dawn.  She washed clothes once a week all day.  There were no modern conveniences.  Water had to be drawn with a bucket, heated over a fire, then clothes were scrubbed on a scrub board with homemade lye soap.  Baths were taken in a wash tub usually more than once a week, but always on Saturday night.

Murry got their first car in 1924--before they were married.  The first car Murry ever rode in was a seven passenger Krit.  Murry first farmed with a one-horse two-row tractor.  He got his first tractor in 1944.  in 1956, after their last child graduated from high school, they got their first television.  Their first radio was a crystal radio set and it could pick up long-distance stations--at least within a five or six mile range.  The family income was usually spent on food, clothes, and school.  Sometimes it was saved for such luxuries as ice for making ice cream, or later, to wash clothes at the laundromat.  Both parents disciplined the children.  If the strap was used, daddy did it, and if the switch was used, mama did it.  The boys were always getting into trouble.  Once, when sitting up in a tree learning to smoke, Lindon and Raymond dropped their ashes on the old sow and she caught on fire.  They quickly put it out and never said anything to anybody about it.  That night it rained and the next morning, Murry came in reporting lightening had hit the old sow.  

The boys often got strapped for stealing watermelons.  Sometimes, the boys were grounded for punishment and couldn't use the car for a week.  Whenever the boys used the car for dates, they usually had to take Juanita along so she would have a way to get to town to be with her friends.

Millard, Raymond, and Juanita all attended college and Millard, Raymond, and Lindon joined the navy for at least two years...while Glen joined the army.  Around 1945, while the Sanders lived on the farm and after his wife died, Effie's father moved in with them and continued to live with them until his death.  Later, Murry's mom, who never approved of Effie, moved in with them and remained there until she was moved to a nursing home where she died.

Murry went home to be with the Lord May 1, 1979.  He died quietly in his sleep.  Effie went home to be with the Lord February 6, 1992.  She was laid to rest beside her beloved husband in the Wheeler Cemetery.

*Bob Sanders became very interested in genealogy and created a chart going back 6 generations to William Sanders and Madison Jones in the Sanders/Jones family.  He compiled a book with Becky's interview of her grandparents along with copies of a couple of death certificates, a family tree, and photos marked with the names of the family members.

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