Life on the JA Ranch, 1915-1923
Source: Iva Belle (Moore) Tucker. Undated, 2 pages handwritten.
Transcript (spelling in original):
I was born November 10th 1915 near Vigo Park which is about 25 miles from Silverton Texas. Soon after my parents moved back to the area of Lakeview and Clarendon where they grew up. Dad got a job working for the J.A. Ranch as a single worker as there was no home available for his family. So my mother and I lived with her mother.
The Ranch had eight or ten homes for men with families could live. These homes were very nice and well built for these days. They were called camps and each had a name. Dad had only worked there a few months when the Campbell creek camp became available and we moved in. (We called it Camel Creek.) It could only be reached by wagon or horseback. I suppose I was about one year old when we moved there so don’t remember much about the place except it was a bushy place, hills near by, no yard fence. (I’m guessing now that it was near the end of the Palo Dura Canyon.) One thing I do remember is a man visitor was there one day and I suppose he was sent there to help Dad with the cattle work. This day they were getting ready to cook a meal outside. They dug a space in the ground in the back yard, and just guessing of course, that it was about 3 feet long and 2 feet wide and one foot deep. They built a fire in the hole and lay branding irons across it to lay the steaks on to cook. I guess that was Bar B. Q. I remember the man took me for a ride on the horse.
I don’t remember moving from Campbell camp to the Woodburn place but according to family records we were living there when my sister Ruth was born on Sept 17/1918. According to articles Mr. Blasingame was living at the Campbell place at that time. After we moved out,
— on July 21/1920 My sister Florence was born
— on July 27/1922 my brother William was born (Bill)
at this Woodburn place.
We had a telephone and could call headquarters and give them our grocery list and they had a truck that went into Clarendon on certain days and they would get the groceries and bring them to us and also to other camps. Dad bought a buggy and one Christmas we went to Grandma’s place.
I think it was about a twenty-five mile trip. It was cold and snow on the ground. Dad took some bricks and heated them. Then wraped them in feedsacks so then we could put our feet on them so they would stay warm during the trip.
Later Dad bought a Model T Ford. We had chickens, pigs, milk cows with feed for them furnished by the Ranch. We also had a vegetable garden. The hogs were killed near Christmas time and stored in a smoke house. Dad was paid $75.00 per month.He would take a wagon and go into nearby woods and cut trees for our fire place and cook stove.
In August of 1922 the Ghram Place home was available so we moved there as it was near the school that’s pictured in the inclosed articles and I was old enough for school. (We thought.) We found out that I had to be seven years old by September and I wouldn’t get to go until the next year as I would be seven until Nov. So the next year I was ready. The teacher lived in Clarendon but boarded with us during the school term. A family that lived a mile or two north of us that had a 12 year son, and a teen age son and a daughter. They came in a two seated buggy and picked me and the teacher up and we went about 2 more miles to the school. Then there was a teen age boy who came by horseback from the opposite direction. The three teenagers were in the 6th grade. The 12 year old in the 4th grade and I began my famous education.
The following August Mom & Dad decided to leave the J.A. and moved to Clarendon.