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Conversation between Jackie Knadle Jones and Joy Hass Stefan


November 9, 1993

Transcription by Joy Hass Stefan
Editing and proofreading by Mary Lynn Axtman


Jackie: 1908 was their second trip over here. The first trip was like 1903.

Joy: Oh really.

Jackie: Yes. And they got sent back for some kind of health reasons.

Joy: Now, see that's in here [transcripts of August, 1993 trip to Dallas and Kerrville] too. Rudy couldn't pass the eye exam. He had some kind of eye infection or something. And that was even controversial in whether... the way they started out talking, I thought it meant that Granny Hert and Rudy went back over to Europe...

Jackie: They all went back.

Joy: Oh really?

Jackie: The whole family was sent back.

Joy: The whole family?

Jackie: The whole family was sent back.

Joy: Well, they said that Gottfried stayed here with all the kids, and they went to Lydia Young's and they were waiting for Rudy and Granny Hert. And then when we got to talking more about it, they decided well, no, they were just quarantined, the two of them were... well she wasn't quarantined, but she stayed with Rudy. And he was quarantined until his eye thing cleared up, and then they joined them. But of course they couldn't remember dates, and Hilda was only 2 years old, so she really wasn't any help on that part. So this must have been the second trip.

Jackie: Well, the story Grandma told me was that they all came over, and she had to go into the hospital, and they scraped her eyes with some kind of stone... and that she had Rudy with her. And then when she got out, she said, "I don't know how I did it. I got on the train and came down to Texas." And they were staying with the Youngs who were in Texas at that time, in Archer City.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jackie: I was looking at this first question here, how big was Nikolaevich? I'll tell you what Aunt Emma said. She said it was a little dirt street with houses on one side of it, that was as big as it was.

Joy: Yes, it was a village.

Jackie: It was a real little village, and there was a pond down below on the back side, and they drove the geese down there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Jackie: But Mom had always told me, and Aunt Emma confirmed it, that "Lydia was 7 years old when we came over the second time and stayed, and I was 5 years old, and then Rudy." They never mentioned Hilda.

Joy: But that would have been in 1906, and that's when Hilda was born.

Jackie: Yes.

Joy: So there really were 2 journeys then?

Jackie: Oh, yes. There were 2 journeys. But Mom can't remember Emma being with them the first time.

Joy: But Emma remembered it?

Jackie: No, not the first time, because she would have just maybe been a year old.

Joy: Oh. But, no, there wasn't but just a couple of years between... Lydia was born in 1899 and Emma was born in 1901. They were only 2 years apart.

Jackie: Yes, I know. That's what I say, Aunt Emma was only a year old. Mom was 3 and Aunt Emma was just 1 the first time.

Joy: I've never heard... I don't know about that at all. It was back on this 1908 trip, and see, your mom would have been 9 then.

Jackie: Yes, that's just mind boggling to me. I've never heard that extra time...

Joy: See, this one that died on the ship was born in Bessarabia and died June 14, 1908.

Jackie: No, on the ship? Grandma said he was born on the ship.

Joy: No, he died on the ship.

Jackie: And he didn't live. He was stillborn, I assumed.

Joy: In fact, when Michelle did this telephone conversation... I'll have to dig up a copy of the paper she wrote... But she asked your mom about the funeral and all of that, and at the time Lydia said, "Well, they had this little casket, and they put these big pieces of iron, junk iron I guess, that had holes in them..."

Jackie: To weight it down...

Joy: Yes, right. But she didn't know it was to weight it down, and she said she thought at the time,"well that would make an awfully hard bed for a baby. That would just be so hard for a baby to lie on, to put a baby on that." So you know she was young if she had those kind of thoughts... But that baby was born just before they got on the ship, and I guess back then, you would go when they had space for you.

Jackie: Sure.

Joy: And they didn't know, if you were pregnant, you would just take that in stride. They named that one William, they had another William that died in North Dakota, and then...

Jackie: Herbert William.

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