By Ruby Watson ca 1985
Elizabeth and Rose, being the oldest in the family, had to work very hard. When Grandpa was building the house, Mother tells of the time she had to come to Atwater for a load of supplies. On the way home, down around Mud Lake , the mules refused to go up hill with the load. Two young fellows came along and unloaded part of the load so she finally got going. It was getting late afternoon and it started to rain so she stopped at a farm place. The man wouldn't let her go on so he put her load in the barn and took care of the mules and made her stay overnight.
Mother worked for several families in the Atwater area the Wallace Hedlund family and a family by the name of Johnson that lived in the house that Lindens lived in.
In 1917 Uncle Frank and Aunt Lizzie Hill (Grandpa Gauer's half sister) came back to visit. Mom returned to South Dakota with them. Their daughter, Mable was married to Roy Watson and they had a girl, Neoma, and a son, Alvin. Mable passed away in 1914.
Mother met Roy and they were married in February of 1919. They came back to Minnesota to get married. They lived in Britton , South Dakota where Dad was working on a railroad crew. Mother helped with the cooking for the crew. Doris was born there in Britton. They moved back to Grandpa Watson's farm by Meadow. They lived at Grandpa Watson's and Mom kept house for Grandpa, Daddy, and his brothers. Dorothy was born there at the farm. Just before Ruth was born they moved into Meadow where Daddy had a garage and blacksmith shop, which he ran until the drought years of 1932-1934. Ruth, Ruby, Gene, and Eleanor were born in Meadow.
This is a clipping from the paper, The Lemmon Leader, on Dad's experience with kidnappers and robbers.
12 Cents From
Roy Watson, Meadow garage man, doesn't think much of kidnapers or the kidnapping profession. In fact, he is very emphatic in his statements concerning both.Watson was aroused from his slumbers at 5 a.m. last Friday by a knock at the door of his home. He opened it to find two strangers who said their car had run out of gas. They wanted to buy some. Watson obliged by going to his garage.
As he finished filling the gas tank one of the pair shoved a revolver in his ribs and ordered him to climb into the car. Then they took a little used road running south-west from the village and drove hastily for a few miles where they stopped, searched Mr. Watson and escaped with 12 cents after leaving him alone by the roadside.
He walked to the J. E. Morris home and spread the alarm.
Perkins county authorities took up the search immediately but as yet have discovered no trace of the bandits. It is believed they were the same pair who held up a Selby oil station the day previous.
People owed Dad a lot of money and they just didn't have any, so he decided to go to Grandin , North Dakota , where his uncle, Will Millar, lived. He got a job as a blacksmith working for a young fellow by the name of John Gordon. After a year in Grandin, Uncle Otto Gauer and Clifford Olson came to see us and told Dad there was a job as mechanic at the Ford Garage at Lake Lillian . We moved the fall of 1935. We lived at Big Kandiyohi Lake for awhile, in Lake Lillian for a short time and then to a farm site southeast of town. Dalton was born there. After a few years at the garage, Dad went to carpentering.
We always had a group of young people at our house on Sunday afternoons. Mom always had chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake and dill pickles on hand. The folks liked to fish.
During the war Dad worked at Rosemont and then he went to Hanford , Washington . It was while Dad was in Hanford in 1942 that we moved to Atwater . In 1946 Dad built the house on the north shore of Tad Lake . That house was sold in 1974.
Dad and Howard Reamer did a lot of building in the area. He had arthritis the last few years he lived and was unable to do for himself. We celebrated his 80th birthday in October 1967. He went into the hospital in December 1967 and a few days later Mother went in with bleeding ulcers. It was too much for her to care for him so he went into Willmar Nursing Center where he passed away on January 27, 1968.
Mother had a nerve problem in her face. She had surgery several times without much success. She went into the Christian Nursing Center in August of 1974 and was there until she had a stroke and passed away April 26, 1982.