This month, we wrap up the memoire of Goldie Gorman Webster by sharing her memories of her adult life in Geary County, including her marriage, community involvement and her final thoughts on her childhood and life in Geary County. If you’ve enjoyed Goldie’s stories, remember, we are always looking to add to our collection of local memories. Come in and share your own memories of growing up in Geary County. The Geary County Historical Society is open Tuesday-Sunday 1-4pm. And now, the final segment of Goldie Webster’s story:
“When I was teaching, I first taught the Rosey school on Davis Creek. Otto Roesler was the school board member who interviewed me and gave me my job. For the year I taught there, I lived in the home of Mrs. Behrend, a widow. I had as pupils, Leo Shane, Agnes Marie Brunswick and Florence Ashbaugh. The next two years I taught the Hardscrabble school, south of town. It was while teaching there that I met my future husband, a member of the school board.. The fourth year I taught the Pleasant View school. Mr. Younkin hired me for this job.
At the close of that term, I was married, June 7, 1916, to William G. Webster, who was my husband for almost 50 years. He passed away January 16, 1966. I came to the farm to live. My husband was an auctioneer, working in Geary County & surrounding territory. He sometimes was called to distant places to conduct a sale of pure bred cattle. He sold the government surplus material at Fort Riley after the war of World War I. We lived busy lives, being involved in many areas. We operated a dairy, had an insurance agency and were partners with R. H. Christenson in a wholesale hay and grain business. We built the large warehouse on East 8th. Later we owned an automobile agency that operated in that building. It was later known as the Mid Quinn building. We sold cars and had a repair shop in connection with the car agency. We were agents for the Avery line of machinery and the Bankers Life of Lincoln, Nebraska. These activities were not simultaneously engaged in but were spread over the years.
We for some years had a large feed lot at the home place and at times fed out two hundred head of cattle. We once had sheep. They were gentle little creatures, nice to have around. That venture did not last long, due to the problem of stay dogs. We lived so close to town that we are always plagued with homeless animals. All these activities required a lot of help and that help often was quartered in our home.
During the early years I worked on many community projects, such as selling war bonds, Red Cross drives, etc. I kept up with my church work during these years. For nine years I taught a group of Senior ladies Sunday School Class called the Co-Workers. We had church suppers and bazaars in those days. Our church group had bought the Congregational Church building at 5th and Adams and moved it to the corner of 8th & Madison Streets, the site of the old City Hotel. We worked hard to enlarge the building and to build an Educational Building. Later we sold that edifice and built our present church building on St. Mary’s Road. Two daughters were born to us. Jean Lee, who passed away in 1932, and Shirley Ruth, now Mrs. Theodore R. Laven of Emporia, Kansas.
My years have all been happy ones. Of course there have been some sorrows which are the common lot. I recall my mother’s love of flowers and her love of all God’s creatures, great and small. When I was only four she took me to the timber to pick violets. She raised fowl of many species. I can still see the proud peacocks and the guineas. The guineas alerted us when a strange person or animal approached. She took time to make doll clothes for us and had birthday parties. My birthday which came in December was celebrated with that of my sister’s which came in May. December was usually cold and stormy and not pleasant for little folks to play outside, so we did it in May. I remember one time when we were having a party on Saturday, our father and his workman went into a grove along the Kearney branch track and each man picked a bunch of violets which he marked with a leaf to identify his bunch. They put them into the bottom of the lunch pails in water and father brought them home to us. That was one gift which I will never forget.
Our parents insisted on obedience but were never harsh with us. We learned that no meant no and not "maybe" or "after a while". They taught us that promises were made to be kept. Once when we were young, some older children talked us into going with them down to the Republican River bridge. We were never allowed there unless an adult was along. We came home without accident. When father came home, he gave us each a few strokes with his razor strap with his big hand. The strokes administered to our rears were gentle. In my case nothing was hurt except my dignity. Father never used the strap again, we had learned our lesson.
I have made many foot prints on the sands of time. How long they will endure, I do not know, but I do know this, I have had fun making them!
Much has been left out of this writing, but all that has been written is real.Goldie