Mary Hancock Settelmeyer Oral History

Dublin Core


Mary Hancock Settelmeyer Oral History


Mary Hancock Settelmeyer Oral History


Churchill County Museum Association


Churchill County Museum Association


May 14, 1991


Analog Cassette Tape, Text File, Mp3 Audio



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Marian LaVoy


Mary Hancock Settelmeyer


4325 Schurz Highway, Fallon, Nevada




an interview with


May 14, 1991

This interview was conducted by Marian LaVoy; transcribed by Glenda Price; edited by Sylvia Arden; final typed by Pat Boden; index by Grace Viera; supervised by Myrl Nygren, Director of Oral History Project/Assistant Curator Churchill County Museum.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Churchill County Museum or any of its employees.


Mary Hancock Settelmeyer, a petite woman impeccably dressed and a bit nervous arrived for her interview. We visited for a few minutes and then started to record. Memories flooded back to her and within minutes an exciting life story unfolded.

Mary's love and respect for her father became immediately evident and she dwelled at great length on his attributes. The love and admiration of her mother became apparent as she gave details of her mother's sense of style and determination to hide a minor poliomyelitis disfiguration apparent in her bearing . . . the "cobbling" of her own shoes to make up the slight difference in the length of one leg and the subtle build-up of padding in her home tailored coats and suits portrayed a strong, determined pioneer woman who would not lose her sense of style in spite of the heavy work-load she had to carry or the conditions in which she had to live for a period of her life.

The parentally inherited determination carried on to Mary as she stubbornly pursued her education and eventually received her degree from the University of Nevada.

Mary's teaching career took her to the Minden-Gardnerville area of Nevada and the story of her friendship and courtship with Lawrence Settelmeyer is poignant. The ensuing years as a ranch wife gave Mary the opportunity to hone her literary talents. She is rightfully proud of the Press Association awards that she has received.

Interview with Mary Hancock Settelmeyer

LaVOY:  This is Marian Hennen Lavoy of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project interviewing Mary Hancock Settelmeyer at my home 4325 Schurz Highway, Fallon, Nevada. Today is May the 14, 1991. Good morning, Mary.

SETTELMEYER:   Good morning.

LaVOY:  So nice having you come from Gardnerville to be interviewed for the Churchill County Oral History Project. Can you tell me, where were you born?

SETTELMEYER:   I was born in Twin Falls, Idaho.

LaVOY:  And when?

SETTELMEYER:   January 3, 1907.

LaVOY:  My goodness!

SETTELMEYER:   I'm eighty-four years old this year.

LaVOY:  Well, you certainly don't look it. When did you come to Nevada?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, I had to reconstruct some of these times that things happened because, of course, I was thirteen months old as I remember my mother telling when she went back to Missouri. She and Dad had come from Missouri after they were married and Dad came because of the "go West, young man, go West" movement of the government. I was quite interested when I started thinking about my father's history that he was one of a crowd of people that moved West and the government was enticing these farmers and people who wanted to take up homesteads under the Homestead Act to come West and he had gone to Idaho first and he was there several years. I think they must have gone in about 1905. Like I say, I'm reconstructing. I know from the marriage license that I happen to have that was December 24, 1903, when they were married. He worked for awhile with construction gangs in Missouri, near Bosworth, I believe. But that's where he was born, near Bosworth, but I think he might of worked at a town, a suburb, perhaps of, I kinda figured, might have been St. Louis. Dad was a carpenter by trade, a farmer by occupation, and later a builder in Reno of small homes and all as a businessman. So he came out to Idaho, perhaps 1905 or 1906, because I was born in Idaho, so I know they had to be there. (laughing)

LaVOY:  Tell me what your father's full name was.

SETTELMEYER:   Charles Homer Hancock.

LaVOY:  And you say he was born, you think, in Bosworth?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, near Bosworth. He was born on a farm in Saline County, Missouri. That seems to be pretty much a correct record.

LaVOY:  Now what was your mother's full name?

SETTELMEYER:   Maggie Edna Rose.

LaVOY:  And where was she from?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, she was born in Hancock County, Ohio, and as a little girl, she thought around nine years old, at least that's the way I remember, they moved to Missouri and in the same area my father lived in and she married a Hancock. Coming from Hancock County, this was quite a coincidence.

LaVOY:  Yes. How did she and your father meet, do you know?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, I presume, they were both Methodists and imagine after church, Mount Carmel Church in the area where they lived, I heard them talk about that.

LaVOY:  How did they happen to come to Idaho?

SETTELMEYER:   Dad went to the University of Missouri at Columbia. He had gone, I think, three years and then he said my mother spoiled that. She wanted to get married, so he didn't finish his college work. He was in agriculture and I don't know whether he thought he might get a government job in agriculture or what, but anyway, after he worked as a foreman of some of these construction gangs, I would take it from what my mother said 'cause she worried about him being out. He had to go at night to check on some of these areas on account of the lumber and some of the stealing that went on and this kind of thing. So, as I say, Dad was taken up with this idea of irrigation and I can remember him telling me, I stood on the banks of the old Blanchard, and it's probably a bigger stream than the Carson River is in full stream, and said, "There oughta be some way to control this water that's going down here in the spring flooding out our corn crop and then in August we stand there in the same area and see it burn up 'cause we don't have any water. Surely there's some method of storing the water." Now this is probably about 1900. He graduated from high school in 1898, so then we presume he's going on to college and he was thinking about these things. When the government started putting out propaganda and literature about the West and opening up all of this land that was for farming, and he was of course a farm man and grew up in the farm country. It was just second nature for him to think of coming West to take up a farm and with little money to do it--that was just a very ordinary farm family--why this was an opportunity for these young people and my mother was a courageous little woman. She was very crippled from polio when she was two years old--of course they just called it a paralysis and not even infantile paralysis. Later we saw some pictures that she showed me from literature that was sent to her and she said, "This must have been what I had," because her back is just very crooked. So here she was, my dad had come to Twin Falls ahead of her, she came out, little woman, not as tall as I am, and she said, "I might have weighed ninety-nine and a half sometime or another in my life." But she leaves Kansas City on the train alone to meet my father out in Idaho. She went to Pocatello by train and from Pocatello to Twin Falls down that . . . by stage coach. Must have been very rugged country then. I've been over it by car with her, paved road, it's not the same thing. I think it was her father-in-law had given her--now he was a Mason--a Masonic pin, but I think her father was also a lodge member, but a different lodge and he said to her, "Now just wear this pin and if there's anybody around that's a Mason they will take care of you, you won't have to worry." So she says there was a man on the stagecoach that had a pin and of course that gave her confidence, you know, comfort. And they must have taken up several different homesteads in the Twin Falls area because I heard them talk about a town called Filer, a town called Burley, and then Twin Falls itself. Some material that I have that I sent for tells me that Twin Falls was just opening up in 1904 so they were there early in the program of opening up homestead land. Dad was a carpenter, as I said. He built a little two or three-room shack on Blue Lakes Boulevard. After we got our first car, my family went there by car, back to Twin Falls for a visit, 'cause in the meantime his mother and brother and family had moved to Twin Falls. So for a visit we'd gone back--I think it was 1916 or 1917--and they were just moving that shack off of that lot the day we went down Blue Lakes Boulevard.

LaVOY:  My goodness, that is unusual.

SETTELMEYER:   That would be like 1908 to 1917, say nine years, no less than that.

LaVOY:  He must have done a good job of building it to have it stand up that long.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, that'd be less than ten years, about eight years and he worked on as a carpenter on the Perrine Hotel. I have a trip scheduled to go back to Twin Falls and look at museums and libraries and so forth. I will look up the building of the Perrine Hotel and that Perrine Bridge. The Perrine project of irrigation was part of what brought him West 'cause Perrine was the financier.

LaVOY:  Oh, I see.

SETTELMEYER:   And so several things are named after Perrine. Dad worked as a carpenter on that hotel, so I can date that, you see, when I reconstruct this for my family. I'm going to use a lot from Twin Falls and they're coming out.

LaVOY:  Then what prompted them to come to Fallon?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, they were having problems financially with the irrigation project at Twin Falls. That's one thing, and then another, they raised wonderful crops there because of the lava flow and richness of those geographic things that happened in the area, but the markets were very poor inasmuch as it took by train to Salt Lake to reach a market and that wasn't too big a town at that time I guess because Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles were all three or four days away. Even after they got the railroad, which was soon after my mother and dad went there apparently from the records I have, you had to go from Twin Falls to Salt Lake, from Salt Lake to Portland or to San Francisco. So everything had to go through Pocatello to Salt Lake to pick up a railroad connection. As we went back in 1916, 1917 I saw all this too: I'd be ten years old in 1917, so I remember that trip very well, and the wonderful peaches and things. I was back there other times later on with my family, not too often, but once in awhile. Dad came down to Fallon because these markets were poor. He saw that and he was a very studious man and he had the engineering type of mind. He was innovative and he thought things out so he could see this--no matter what you raised, if you couldn't sell it at a good price you were just wasting time, like in marching, you just weren't getting anyplace. So then he took up a homestead in Fallon which must have been 1908, inasmuch as there was a newspaper article that said C.H. Hancock, and that's interesting to me because the family called him Homer naturally, workmen called him Charlie lots of times, but he signed his checks, everything, he was known as C.H. Hancock. So C.H. Hancock raised a nice crop of potatoes. This is about the issue of October in the Fallon Eagle, 1908. So we had to of gone there in the spring to have had a crop of potatoes.

LaVOY:  Now, where did he settle in this area?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, then in Harmon District, and see that's when my mother went back. They said I was around thirteen months old. Why she came then in that same year, probably June or July of 1908, then she came to Fallon on the railroad to Hazen and from Hazen, a short line to Fallon. We checked that yesterday. The first train into Fallon on the short line was January 10, 1907. So then when my mother came in 1908, I wasn't wrong to say that she transferred from the mainline to the short line and the conductor said, "My god, woman, a bird never flew over that country." Now I'm seeing this little mother with this fat little baby and a bunch of luggage gettin' off of that train coming into Fallon and if you go down towards Stillwater, There's nothing down there-just come out Stillwater a ways, no buildings, and I think this is what it looked like to my mother. How did those people do it?

LaVOY:  You have to give them a great deal of credit.

SETTELMEYER:   So then my dad, I don't know how come he picked Harmon District. This chart, if you want to see it later, has the plat, it's platted, and it shows the homestead number that my dad took up.

LaVOY:  Fine, we will put it with your eventual file.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, I will have to go home and get you a copy, well, I might give you this 'cause it's on the word processor so I can leave you this if you want it.

LaVOY:  Fine, now can you tell me where in the Harmon District you settled?

SETTELMEYER:   Well; today I can pinpoint it, I came by it this morning. It's at the corner of Downs Lane and the Stillwater Road.

LaVOY:  And how many acres did he have?

SETTELMEYER:   He had only the one section, forty-acre plots are what they took up, I believe, and how they got more, I don't quite understand. My deaf uncle, Uncle Hiram Hancock, came down with my father from Twin Falls, I understand in a one-horse spring wagon through Paradise Valley, Winnemucca, then on down to Fallon, that's something else that's unbelievable.

LaVOY:  Yes, but many of them did that. You think he took up land too?

SETTELMEYER:   I know he did. It shows on the plats. He had eighty acres, to sections they called them, two forty-acre plots.

LaVOY:  Did your father build a home the first thing?

SETTELMEYER:   Again, he had a two-room board and batten shack or cottage. They called them shacks. A little later he built a bedroom on that was like a shed room and there was a porch so there was a kind of a square little building with an open porch. They called it a desert cooler, that had the burlap on the sides of a frame and water dripped down and the cold air kept it cool, butter and milk and everything stayed just as cool as a modern refrigerator.

LaVOY:  Well, now, you were a little girl. Do you remember anything at all about the interior of this little house?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, yes. He whitewashed this little building every so often and my mother kept things like a band box. There was a kitchen, it was a little bit narrow and she had homemade cupboards there and the cupboards had cloth curtains on them instead of doors. Then the living room, we called it a living room, I think, and of course the kitchen had a table at one end, had a window, not that large, just a fairly good-sized window at the end of that kitchen and the table was by that window and we could open it up. We could seat quite a few people because they could extend it along the narrow kitchen. 'Course we had a wood and coal stove that had a reservoir for heating water on one side and, during the winter, we always had warm water for that Saturday night bath that we brought in a wash tub. Oh gosh, I can remember these things. It's not just being told about it. I remember that.

LaVOY:  Now, in the bedroom, was there the double bed and then the bed for the small children?

SETTELMEYER:   No, in the bedroom Dad had made a folding bed that you folded up under a shelf. It had kinda portable springs, portable isn't the word, but springs that were pliable. 'Course we had feather beds on some of those, on that one, I'm pretty sure. Maybe they had a different one in summer, but those feather beds I will remember. Anyway that would fold up under the shelf and had a curtain around it, so in the daytime there was fairly good space area and there would be a chest there, homemade, 'course Dad made so many things and the double bed in that corner and this other bed. When my brother and I had that bed, now you can kinda figure out the family of personal relationship that was going on, they'd roll up a big blanket down the middle of the bed so my brother and I both slept in that bed at times and then my mother and dad were in the big bed sometimes. But other times I was sleeping with my mother and my brother was sleeping with my dad.

LaVOY:  Oh, I see.

SETTELMEYER:   So they worked out their (laughing), what is it, family control? (laughing) I've never put it quite that way before. They had a big wicker buggy, I remember my mother telling about this. I do not remember my getting in there, I was like two years old I suppose by that time, and they wanted me to go to sleep. That was my sleeping quarters early in my life. They'd push that buggy in that bedroom and I was to go to sleep without the light. Well, I wasn't about to like that and they said I just raised my voice on high and I had wonderful lungs and I shook the buggy 'til they thought I was going to shake down, but my dad wouldn't let my mother go in there and change things.               "She's to learn," I can just hear him. "She's to learn to go to sleep without the light." And so she stuck it out because my dad stuck it out.

LaVOY:  Well, now, you're talking about the light, I imagine that would have been the kerosene lamp at that time.

SETTELMEYER:   It had to be lamps. In fact, there was a well and water pump on this porch. It was a big square 'like oh, at least I'd say ten feet square. The bedroom accordingly was ten or twelve feet square That was wonderful well water, more about that later, but there was galvanized tin that they would get and he had built a sink that was maybe three feet wide and four or five feet long and then the pump would pump and there would be buckets there for water and Dad always kept those buckets full of water in case of fire. So one night when they were getting these meetings for women's suffrage, my mother went with some of the neighbors to meetings and one night he woke up and smelled smoke and so he knew that it was that lamp he'd left for my mother, that coal oil lamp on that table in front of that window that had burst. They would do this, if the room was shut up too tight then the lamp didn't get air and the oil would get on fire.

LaVOY:  Oh, my goodness. So what did he do?

SETTELMEYER:   So, he was sure that was the source of the fire, so of course, he opened that door and dashed the water right onto the table and I guess put out the fire, the main part of it and by that time some neighbors had stopped and all. But when my mother got home she saw this, no light, and she could see enough light from the moon or stars, whatever, that there was a big black shaft going up from that window into the roof and I don't whether she surmised . . . well, Dad was probably waiting for her, too. So anyway they called the insurance people the next day. Well, I can see that purse hanging up there. She had a leather handbag that was crisp from the heat, it was all crinkled up and they were so pleased that the insurance had covered everything, including that purse that was all crinkled up. They really hadn't expected, you know, as the conversation that I remember, the insurance man saying, "What about that?" I remember because some remarks were made later that the insurance covered even that, that was hanging up there on the nail by the door.

LaVOY:  Well, how wise that your father had the foresight to get the insurance.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, like I say, my dad was a very astute man, really. As time has gone on, in just the last few years I've begun thinking about this and comparing with my aunt, Mary (Hancock), who was a very able woman and we always thought her one of the bright ones of the family, my dad was more astute than she was. He was more innovative, more creative. He used money in a more creative way than she did. She saved it and had quite an estate when she died at one hundred, a maiden lady, but my father was very innovative. Like I said, he had an engineering mind. He figured things out. He even figured out some things he wanted to patent, but he never got the drawings done. He didn't have enough knowledge about that or talent in that line.

LaVOY:  Well, that's something. I just want to regress a minute. You said that your mother went to the suffrage meeting. Was this Ann Martin that she went to hear?


LaVOY:  What were her comments on Ann Martin?

SETTELMEYER:   I don't remember. She must have believed in what she . . . and Dad believed in the program of getting women to have the right to vote and he believed in us having an education, me as a woman and . . . they just had the two children. They lost one baby when she was an infant, but Dad wanted us to have an education, man or woman, and he was very forward thinking, very forward thinking. [end of tape 1]

LaVOY:  Mary, would you please tell me something about the crops that your father raised?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, alfalfa was the main crop that they raised. Now he spoke of potatoes. We found an article in the Fallon Eagle about C.H. Hancock had this nice crop of potatoes the first fall he was in Fallon, 1908. But I remember, too, that forty acres would be reseeded from time to time in the alfalfa and, well most of that whole forty acres was in alfalfa. I remember too, the mowing machines mowing it and my brother and I drove derrick when they stacked the hay. So that was the main crop, but we had a garden. Dad hauled whips of cuttings from cottonwood trees down the Carson River and brought them up in that little spring wagon that he had come down from Idaho in, he used to tell, and all around this front yard, this little shack, was quite a grove of cottonwood trees. And he had planted, I s'pose it was blue grass and never was really mowed. It was just scythed off and my brother and I played in there. It was a wonderful playground for us. But going out of this yard was the garden and Dad had every kind of apple tree, seemed like to us, that you could think of. There was crab apples, of course, Mother used for jelly. There was Ben Davis apple, there was Jonathan apple, there was Winesaps, there was banana apples, rather large apples and they smelled like bananas. But I don't think they were much as keepers. My mother didn't care much [for them]. Her favorite was a Grimes golden apple. He had some plum trees; the pear didn't do well, peaches weren't very successful, but we did have lots of apple trees, and they had gooseberries. My mother was a good cook and she made gooseberries with plenty of sugar in it and were they ever good! Apple pies could never be matched in my- (laughing), whenever I want apple pie, it never tastes quite like my mother's.

LaVOY:  Now, one thing I wanted to ask you, do you have any idea where he got the stocks for those trees?

SETTELMEYER:   Yes, it'll come to me in a minute. I hadn't thought about that before. Well, Burbank was one seed company that they used. Stark Brothers was the trees.

LaVOY:  And that's still in business.

SETTELMEYER:   And so they had, like I said, gooseberries, they had strawberries, they had the red raspberries. Now it was a big deal with my dad because they had those in Missouri and he understood the culture, how it needed to have good soil but good drainage for raspberries. We watered often and so on and well manured, even had Black Cap raspberries which were rare for anyone to even know about Black Cap raspberries, but they were rich and delicious.

LaVOY:  Now, what did they do with all of the berries? Can them or make ice cream?

SETTELMEYER:   They canned them. I s'pose they gave a lot away, but we used them on ice cream. She didn't like them in the ice cream. Well, you couldn't keep it quite as well, I guess. I remember the winnowing of the gooseberries. We had that lane in the cottonwood trees, made a big shade, and picked an afternoon when the breeze was blowing, not too strong, but strong enough, and you'd rub the gooseberries around in a washtub so that you rubbed off the stems. And you needed to do this before they began to draw moisture or anything, while it was still dry, 'cause those stems came off. Then you would winnow, pour from one tub to the other and the breeze would blow those leaves off. It was fascinating. As a little kid I participated in this so it's all in my memory. They had currants, and currant jelly and gooseberry jam, but I don't remember that as being too special, but the pies were marvelous. We had every kind of vegetable that would grow in those areas, so it was quite a good-sized area that was garden. I don't know how to say it in the terms of yards or feet, I don't have a good understanding about that.

LaVOY:  Now, tell me, did your father have help with the harvesting and did your mother have to cook for the harvesters?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, I'm sure. Well, Dad had to have one man lots of times and then of course, if it was a year that he raised wheat, which was a nurse crop for alfalfa. One year they usually had grain with their alfalfa seeding. The contractors came in, the threshing crew, and I remember one time, a fella Murchison, how those names come back, I don't know . . . but, how many would be in a crew, eight, ten men I think?

LaVOY:  Yes.

SETTELMEYER:   And of course my mother cooked for them and she was a flirt and a jolly person and she would just have those men all, fun things, jollying up those men and, it was a big party to her and she'd play checkers with them in the evening after they had supper and beat them all.

LaVOY:  Oh, my. Now give me an example of what she normally cooked each day for the crew. 

SETTELMEYER:   Well, of course, she had meat and potatoes and a vegetable. And if it was summertime--the threshing crew, of course, would be in the fall-it was lettuce and things like that. We'd have lettuce with, I think a sour cream dressing maybe she used. She made her own mayonnaise if she used mayonnaise, but this cream dressing--and we had rich cream. She always had cake or pie and of course, the breakfast, noon and night. She'd have those for maybe two or three days, that many men. I guess they had their own bedrolls, I don't remember that we had to bed them down at all.

LaVOY:  Did you have a bunkhouse for them?

SETTELMEYER:   No, we didn't have a bunkhouse.

LaVOY:  Where did they sleep?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, they had their own rolls out on the haystack. It wouldn't be cold yet. Out around the stacks, I don't know that for sure, I'm just putting it together.

LaVOY:  Do you have any idea how much your father paid these men to work?

SETTELMEYER:   No, I don't have any access to records of that kind.

LaVOY:  Were they men that came every year to your father?

SETTELMEYER:   I think a group of farmers that got together as a threshing crew.

LaVOY:  Local farmers?

SETTELMEYER:   And the man Murchison had a farm and he had this thresher that undoubtedly, like all other farmers, they made a living through these extra jobs, contract type of things that they did. My father was in on some of it, not threshing, but I can tell you about his contracting work.

LaVOY:  Now, something you've been mentioning your brother, I just want to have you tell me your brother's name and when he was born.

SETTELMEYER:   Melville Hancock. Melville Davis Hancock was born April 8, 1909, and there was a notice of it in the paper that I found last fall. It was kind of exciting. I sent him a copy of that. He was happy about that.

LaVOY:  But you and your brother were very close?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, we were close in a sense, yes, because as youngsters because we were playmates and you didn't have close neighbors. It wasn't like kids in town that the boys go off with the boys and the girls with the girls. We played and we played stick horse with old brooms or switches off of the trees. And if it was in the spring when the leaves were coming and after Dad had trimmed, why those horses had swishy tails and the leaves on the end just added to our imagination.

LaVOY:  It's amazing what children can do to entertain themselves.

SETTELMEYER:   If people let 'em and don't buy 'em so many things, oh these days.

LaVOY:  Now, tell me, when did you start school?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, school just cater-cornered across from the lower forty, that forty there, the Downs and Stillwater Avenue, what it is now. It was a swampy place and I noticed this morning when I came by it was all graded ready for a crop to be planted. So they hauled in soil undoubtedly and of course with the advent of drain ditches that corner would have been drained. But there was a schoolhouse there when I was six years old and so I started school there. But my mother wasn't happy at all because the teacher--I don't know exactly, I might've started in January because my birthday was January, but anyway, my mother took me out of school because the teacher gave candy as a reward for accomplishment whether it was good behavior or whatever. So the next year they bought a lovely black pony, Bonnie, I called her and she was a lovely horse, a little black mustang, actually, but I rode her to Fallon to first grade. And I rode her for the second grade to Fallon.

LaVOY:  What distance was that?

SETTELMEYER:   Four miles. See I started riding horseback when I was five years old. I conned the herder – I’m gonna talk about the dairy later because that was a big part – into putting me on this sixteen-hand high horse and of course the minute I was in the saddle, off he went. Well, that suited me fine, but I was yelling because I was losing my sunbonnet. My mother came out of the house screaming and my father, I s'pose, was agitated up "to the beginning of the line" 'cause the herder had put me on the horse and he'd been warned not to because I'd been begging to get on that horse evidently, before that. But as I remember them telling, I can remember just riding the horse, but they said I was five years old. So I can believe it. I rode a horse then ever since after that I rode to school. That was four miles up and back.

LaVOY:  Excuse me, but what school were you going to then?

SETTELMEYER:   'Course I started that little first school was still in the Harmon District, but I didn't go there but a few weeks evidently.

LaVOY:  Do you remember what the teacher's name was?

SETTELMEYER:   No, she was a young girl, very young person, a girl, I kinda remember that. But, no, in Fallon I went to the Fallon Grammar School, I don't know that it had a name. The very first building that we were in was a temporary thing and then we were in what was known as the Westside school building, and it had first, second, third, and I don't know whether fourth was there or not. I skipped second grade because of all this mix-up on the beginning of my school, so when we got to the country school when my brother started in first grade I must have been starting fourth grade.

LaVOY:  And that was in Fallon?

SETTELMEYER:   No, this was out in the country school. Now this was on the Harmon land, this first school that I talked about being in, in that corner that was swampy, got so swampy after they started irrigating, so they moved that building up beyond, just east of Grandpa Harmon's house and the Harmon brothers, one of them anyway, had a farm there in what we called Grandpa Harmon's.

LaVOY:  Was that W.A. Harmon?

SETTELMEYER:   Guy Harmon, I think, was the one that had the farm just between us and the school building that Grandpa Harmon let us have next to his house, and that was on dry land there. And we went there for a few months, probably the fall of 1915, because in 1916, January, they opened Harmon District school, a brand new, two-room cement block school that you see there now that's been given a heritage rating.

LaVOY:  Designation. I'm just a little bit confused. I want to clear this up. You started school in the little school down in the corner where the girl gave the candy and your mother took you out of the school. Then you went to Westside School for two years?


LaVOY:  And that was in Fallon?

SETTELMEYER:   That was in Fallon.

LaVOY:  Then you came back out to the Harmon School.

SETTELMEYER:   That's right.

LaVOY:  Fine, let's go from there.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, at the time I was in third grade in Fallon I had polio, which was diagnosed as rheumatism, and so I limped and was subject to some considerable pain when they pushed me or anything happened, but if they gave me time to walk, I seemed to have been all right. So later, many, many years later, I was over forty years old when they diagnosed it because of curvature of the spine that the doctor discovered when I was carrying my second baby. "Why," he said, "you've had polio." I said, "No." Well I've figured it all out that that must have been when I had it and so they took x-rays and proved pretty much by the bone structure and so forth that that had been a polio attack and had been remarkable recovery. So I was riding horse and doing things which evidently were good exercise.

LaVOY:  Do you recall who your teachers were in Fallon at the West End School?

SETTELMEYER:   Yeah, Miss Price, Josephine Price, was the first grade teacher and she would have been, I think, the second grade teacher. The third grade teacher I don't remember.

LaVOY:  Then when you moved back out to the Harmon School, I'd like to have you tell me what the Harmon School looked like and some of the things that you did there.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, the little school that we went to, the building that they moved was just a little one-room school and then over there by Grandpa Harmon's house they evidently put another building with it because my brother said, too, when I talked to him, that there were two rooms, and he remembered kinda like a two-building thing and we would play, well toss that ball over the building

LaVOY:  Ante, ante, over?

SETTELMEYER:   Ante, ante, over. So we kinda remembered that building. There is a snapshot of the building that I saw that kinda reminded me then, I'd forgotten exactly that, 'course it was a little wood building and pretty ugly looking building (laughing), I thought oh my goodness. So when we got to the new building I am sure as kids we must have felt the glory, like we were elegant in that new building, two nice rooms and it was a cement block building and of course that bank of steps going up there. It had a basement and they started the new lunch program in that building and I remember the girls would go down about 11:30 and help get that lunch in order, set the table, whatever they did, I don't remember just what we did, but I remember something about going down there.

LaVOY:  Was there a woman in charge of the school lunch program?

SETTELMEYER:   I wouldn't remember. Must have been, but I don't remember. I don't remember anybody talking about that.

LaVOY:  Did the teachers have to heat the building? Did they have to carry in the coal for the stoves, or did you have coal stoves in the building?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, I don't know about this, but it seems to me that we did have a floor furnace in that building and that's what that basement would justify that, see? I think they had heat in that building from a central furnace.

LaVOY:  Did you have a janitor?

SETTELMEYER:   I wouldn't know. I don't remember.

LaVOY:  What were some of the courses that you took there?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, I remember something about arithmetic in the fourth grade which was in that first room that I was in and then the next time I was in the second room in the sixth grade.

LaVOY:  Who were your teachers there?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, a Miss Gerjets, I think, must have had her and I guess my brother and I must have been in that same room. He would have been second grade, I'd been fourth grade and the boys called her Miss Gobble Guts.

LaVOY:  Oh, my.

SETTELMEYER: Well, then we had Miss Mary Lou Ferguson. I don't think I had her, Mel had her and then Miss Izell, I had for those two years. And then Miss [Anabel] Hunter who was Myrl and Mae's [Nygren] mother. I think maybe Mel had her, I'm not sure. I didn't have her, I had Miss Izell. I had Miss Gerjets and Miss Izell. And then for sixth grade, for seventh grade and eighth grade we went to town school into Fallon to the Oats Park Grammar School. Then, like I told you, my father was very strong on education and he must have felt that we would have better education with one teacher to a room than when we had more than one grade in a room like we had in the country school. Furthermore he had money enough to send us to town school--we had to pay tuition. We were in the Harmon District by the system of schools and if a parent sent his children into another district he had to pay tuition into that new second district. He couldn't cross the line.

LaVOY: My goodness…

SETTELMEYER: I understand the Williamses--this is a little bit that Orva told me when I was visiting Orva Williams Smith--that her father had quite a bit of influence. I don't want to say too much about this, but he was quite a political fellow evidently. I know my brother commented a little bit on the influence he had around the district and in the community. But he inveigled the powers-that-be to move the district line a little bit so that his residence, which was situated in the corner toward the town side, was in the town district so he could send his kids to school without paying 'cause they were in the town district.

LaVOY:  What was this gentleman's name?

SETTELMEYER:   Will Williams. And his property went up the road from ours toward town. On this plat you can see quite a few holdings that he had---units of property.

LaVOY:  Now when you went to the Oats Park School, is that the school that is still standing?

SETTELMEYER:   Yes. Yes, that was a relatively new school. I don't know quite when that was built. I did read it there one time when I was visiting in Fallon the last year or two, but I can't remember the date on it.

LaVOY:  Who were some of your friends when you were going to Oats Park School?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, course this is one thing I've been kinda reviewing lately. Because we lived in the country and I hadn't really developed girl chums. I was kind of a loner and because I had this handicap I was the last chosen for games. And I never seemed to complain about it, but I suffered through it. We had a little court out there to play basketball opposite the Oats Park, what's now in the park area and I had to persuade people, seems to me I had to kinda push my way in to get to be even a side center in playing basketball 'cause I didn't move easily. Mildred Howser was a girlfriend I developed more through, I think, Sunday School. I don't believe she was in the same grade, I think she was a grade ahead of me, maybe, and Louvena McLean who taught out at the Harmon District School. What's her name now?

LaVOY:  Louvena Chapman, I believe.

SETTELMEYER:   Chapman, yes. So I talked with her at the reunion and she laughed and said, "Oh, yes, we played jacks." You'd sit out there on those banisters and play jacks. They also played hopscotch, but, again, I wasn't very good at it because I couldn't balance on that one leg very good. My mother, I think understood something, but nobody called it the polio or even infantile paralysis'. Nobody really gave me very much break on helping me I don't think, although my mother, I'm sure, was careful not to make me sorry for myself.

LaVOY:  A very wise woman. Now continuing on with school, you said that you enjoyed mathematics.

SETTELMEYER:   I kinda remember something about oral mathematics and I kinda liked it, but I wasn't particularly good in mathematics. I have a very bad astigmatic eye and that was not diagnosed properly. I did not have glasses till late in seventh grade, so I was poor at reading although I liked history. I got it by listening. I was good at grammar, I loved to diagram all those things and parse the sentences. The people now say, "Oh, I hated it!" I loved it, but I was along the line of this business of likin' words and likin' organization and I was gifted with drawing and I liked diagramming and I did fairly well in algebra for the first few months, then I got hung up on it and then I had trouble. Well, beginning geometry, I was good in that and I liked it, but once again, my mind works on planes, it works with diagrams, it analyzes, it organizes.

LaVOY:  Now, from Oats Park School . .

SETTELMEYER:   Let me tell . . . Laura Mills was one of our teachers. She was the art teacher and Gladys… oh, I loved her so. In my seventh grade Mrs . . . not McKinley, but Mac something, she was a married lady and she gave us picnics and did things at her house at the end of the year and she was such an outgoing, gregarious kind of a woman I think she must have kinda recognized my shyness and gave me a little encouragement somehow, one reason I liked her so. I got acquainted with pastels a little bit. Of course I loved drawing and making pictures and things, I had some talent that way. So now you were asking something else.

LaVOY:  I just wondered from Oats Park School where did you do to school?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, of course, I went to Churchill County High School.

LaVOY:  Where was the Churchill County High School?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, where you see it now, that is, they've just recently, within the last few years, gone from the old high school. I looked at it yesterday. Of course they've added a wing on going north but those shop-like buildings were there and I took elocution and debating from Earl Wooster and that school in Reno named Wooster High was named after Earl Wooster. One of his first assignments out of college, I think, was Churchill County School and his fiancee, Miss Clinton, was my business teacher in high school, Adele Clinton.

LaVOY:  That is most unusual.

SETTELMEYER:   There was another case of Noble Waite and June Harriman, I think her name was, the same thing. These boys would come where their girls were teaching and they'd have a year of teaching. It was a different story, it was a different moral attitude or climate in those years. You followed your girls around and you were engaged for a year or two before you married and you weren't shackin' up either. Nobel Waite, he was athletic and he was there from the University because of his coaching and he did math, I think, and things like that.

LaVOY:  Very true. Now in high school, can you tell me something about what you were involved in, what organizations?

SETTELMEYER:   Well because my dad had always been so sensitive about getting up in public, he wanted us to learn debating. So I was kinda forced into debating. I was the one who could drive the car, we had a Ford touring car and I was old enough to drive the car. Mel wasn't, so in order to get Mel to debating I had to go to debating. (laughing)

LaVOY:  Who taught that? Who was the sponsor for debating?

SETTELMEYER:   Earl Wooster. And plays, I was in a play under Earl Wooster. When I took graduate work, I took an extra year of high school while my brother finished so we could go into Reno. Dad couldn't afford to send me, evidently, tuition and board and room, he didn't have that kind of money. They were on the second farm by that time, we haven't gotten to that.

LaVOY:  You were talking about you're ready now to graduate from high school.

SETTELMEYER:   Once I did belong like to 4-H and sewing, was into some of that, I didn't have music ability so I wasn't into anything. I wasn't into organizations very much

LaVOY:  Tell me about your high school graduation.

SETTELMEYER:   I can remember the baccalaureate service was "Are you a reed or redwood?" The minister's name was Hoyt. How's that for memory? (laughing)

LaVOY:  Wonderful.

SETTELMEYER:   (laughing) So that tells you the theme, were you going to be just a limp little reed, not doing too much or you gonna be a tall stalwart redwood?

LaVOY:  Who were some of the people that graduated with you?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, Jim Bailey who was outstanding in athletics and there's a street named for Jim, and he was in the motor vehicle department later and so on. I remember Lem Allen, I'm not sure whether Lem was in my class. These were people in high school, they might not have been in my class. Lorraine Brandon was in my class and Louvena McLean, Norman Haight, his father was a lawyer here. I think Norman died, he wasn't very old when he died. Oh, Mary Strouse, Mary Chamberlain, these were in my eighth grade. I have that picture and I gave it to the Museum of my eighth-grade class and had all the names in it.

LaVOY:  And they graduated from high school with you?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, I wouldn't know about that. I was wondering how many of them went to this high school. Now you see some of 'em's families may have moved or some of 'em maybe didn't go to high school.

LaVOY:  While you were in high school had your father moved to a different piece of ground? [End of tape 2 side A]

SETTELMEYER:   This first forty-acre unit of homestead land, had an opportunity to sell it, evidently at a good price, on about the time that World War I was coming on and he bought a hundred and sixty acres of land that was just across Stillwater Road, and extended up toward town. He built a nice cement block house on that property on the town side a little bit nearer town, and we went to high school from that home. And we sometimes used a cart and horse. By that time we had a cousin living with us who my father raised because of the death of his mother.

LaVOY:  What was his name?

SETTELMEYER: Earl Hancock. We sometimes drove that horse and cart when we went into Oats Park School. Earl would’ve gone to a different school building, I don't know whether it was West Side or what, there was another building in town that had grammar school, at the old high school building I think. I don't know for sure about his grades. My father had this opportunity to sell this forty acres at a very good price. There was a man known as Daddy Draper who came in there with a group of partially orphaned children. They had mothers or fathers who put them in this particular orphanage group who had a van and all that and toured. He trained them in music, they had a band and they could sing and do things. Dad had built a big hay barn on this forty-acre place just before this man came along and this man was interested in the place and the price, I guess, suited him and he took the big barn and converted it into a dormitory for his children and they called it Daddy Draper's Children's Home. Of course, my father and mother thought it was something to take that barn which was just a shell of a construction, it was a frame building and all and well enough constructed, but to make a home out of it for these kids and they had a house mother whose name I can't seem to remember now. Dad built this cement block house and my mother must have just gloried in it because she had never had a home that was this . . . it had a great big front room, or seemed big to us, pretty good size. I visited it not too many years ago. The dining room, living room was a big long room and kinda divided by a sort of a colonnade. It was heated with a wood-coal heating sitting stove, like in sitting rooms, and it had a maple floor, hardwood floor, the kitchen was linoleum, it had a sink and running water was piped in. The sink drained, we didn't have a regular drainage system yet, though he had a septic tank and we had a bathroom that had a toilet in it, but it didn't have any other fixtures, and just a sub-floor that went diagonal like and cracks in it that was hard to. get (laughing) clean on cleaning days. Then there were two bedrooms in that house and a big front porch where the boys slept, Earl and Mel, and they shared a bed. I had a separate bedroom, the oldest, well, growing up and being a girl they kind of I think, had a sensitivity about what a girl needed in the privacy. So then Mother and Dad, 'course they had their bedroom and we had closets, nice clothes closets. I think Mama had that old cupboard from the little shack house as her first cupboard there. You had to stretch the money to see how much it would go. But I always said he must have gotten a pretty good price for that house, for that old first forty acres, because Mama bought furniture. She found very good second-hand furniture. People would [move] and the Kennys were moving, I don't just know what his job was in Fallon. He probably was connected with the reclamation. Most of those fellows had families of that kind and had homes that had nice furniture in it. So we had a nice dining room table with matching chairs and we had a Wilton rug, a great big Wilton rug. I had quite a lesson in the quality of rugs. My mother seems to understand that and showed me about the pile and how you understood turning the back over, about quality of a rug close woven and so on. There was a little rug, a smaller rug for under the dining room table. So I know I felt the elegance of that home compared to what I'd come from and it must have give us quite a boost in self-image.

LaVOY:  I imagine so. Now, tell me once again, how far was this home from your original?

SETTELMEYER:   Just up the road a quarter of a mile on the opposite side and it had been abandoned. A man named Bill Lytle name is involved in the deed there, but I'm not sure about the order of ownership. [Father bought one hundred sixty acres from Maude McGregor; Lytle had it earlier.] There was some people lived on that place named Baldwin, had a little square building back up in the field and Dad moved it down to the residence site and used it for a barn and a shop and there was like three or four rooms to that house. Before we moved, Mel and I were little kids, we would trek up through that sagebrush and the land had been partially leveled but never taken care of, so we'd go in that house and the windows were pretty, much broken, the wallpaper was loose and we'd hear that swishing of the wallpaper and it sound so spooky to us and we'd look around, we hear these noises. (laughing)

LaVOY:  I'll bet you entertained yourselves.

SETTELMEYER:   It's kind of a marvel to me as I realize now that I do have an exceptional memory compared to many people [who] don't have these memories.

LaVOY:  Well, you were very observant.

SETTELMEYER:   And my brother remembers almost the same way I do and I'll bring up incidents and he'll say, "Oh, I remember that." And though he's very ill with this Parkinson's, his mind is still all right.

LaVOY:  That's wonderful. Your father must have had quite a string of horses for all the work that he did.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, he had this Dan which was a big horse and we rode him and worked him and drove him, he was a fine driving horse. He would drive four miles in an hour, big strides. He was recruited from the Spanish-American War, the government. And Mel told me the other day, he said Dan had a scar, he'd been injured somehow and any of these horses that were in the government string of horses for wartimes, if there's any little thing the matter with them, they put them up for sale, surplus. The government had always had horses and mules. The government had a lot of mules and Dad rented mules from the government for certain work, I know.

LaVOY:  Were those reclamation project mules that he rented from the Dam, do you have any idea? 'Cause I know when the Dam was being built they used a lot of mules and many of the ranchers bought those mules.

SETTELMEYER:   Dad didn't buy them, he would have rented them. It was government mules, so whatever they had been used for before, I wouldn't know. And Dolly was the brood mare. She was a driving horse which was a kind of a lazy trotter where Dan got out and he loved it. He liked the wind in his ears, I guess. (laughing) And then we had Bonnie, my black pony. She was bought from a music teacher who couldn't afford to keep her in town anymore. Then we bought Bessie when we had to have a cart horse. We had to get another horse, she was a black mustang too, but not nearly the proud little bowed-necked beautiful horse that Bonnie was. I wanna go back about the dairy.

LaVOY:  All right. Now, did your father go into the dairy business?

SETTELMEYER:   Yes, that's how he made a living. So early in his homestead as he got alfalfa going, I wouldn't know how soon he got this dairy, but quite early because I was just a little girl and remember going to the milk house and about the cows. Oh, we rode 'em. We have a picture of my brother and I riding the cow, Watson, 'course everything had names in that herd.

LaVOY:  Watson?

SETTELMEYER:   Watson. I think she might have been part Guernsey. Otherwise it was mainly Jerseys, this first herd. Later some Holsteins come into the story. On that forty-acre farm for that dairy it was mostly Jerseys and their cream was very rich and the butterfat count was high.

LaVOY:  How many cows did you have?

SETTELMEYER:   I would say twenty five or thirty maybe. Maybe not all milking at once, fifteen or so milking at one time, perhaps.

LaVOY:  Who did the milking?

SETTELMEYER:   Dad did the milking. He had a milking machine. He ran the machines with a gasoline engine. He ran the pump with a gasoline engine. He ran the separator with a gasoline engine. They had milk machines, of course you had to strip after milking machines. Mama did quite a bit of that. Mel didn't think she did too much of it. He did a lot of that as he got old enough. He could change the cups from one cow to another and strip 'cause the early milking machines did not milk a clean udder so you had to be sure that udder was clean or else it would get mastitis, something like that I believe it was called, you know, swelled up and infected the bag.

LaVOY:  Who did your father sell the milk to?

SETTELMEYER:   A creamery in Modesto [ Modesto Milk Producers Association] was one place that he sent milk, is a name that comes to me.

LaVOY:  Now, tell me, Modesto is such a distance away. How did he get the milk there?

SETTELMEYER:   The farmers would get together, too, on cooperative deals. It was separated cream so it wasn't really milk. The skim milk was sent to the pigs and calves.    I'll tell you about that, but the cream would be maybe like once a week, perhaps, taken by horse and buggy to start with, to the depot in Fallon and shipped by rail to Modesto until they had a local creamery. I don't know much about that, there might be other people tell you about the local creameries, how the farmers got together and had their own creamery there at one time. Always had a hard time making these go because it was so hard to get the farmers to cooperate on the plans for management, et cetera. I only know that from hearing them talk. I don't course know that from first hand.

LaVOY:  Now, the thing that's interesting to me is if they picked up the cream only every three or four days how did they keep it from souring?

SETTELMEYER:   Sour cream makes good butter.

LaVOY:  So they didn't care if it soured?

SETTELMEYER:   If it soured some. Oh, yes, I think we let cream age in order to make good butter. We churned our own butter, of course, for our own use.

LaVOY:  Tell me about that.

SETTELMEYER:   I tried to read a book and churn butter and of course it was the churning with an old fashioned-I don't know what they called those churns that you churned up and down with a up and down motion. But anyway you had to keep up a pretty lively motion in order to get the cream to coagulate and collect into butter modules. But then of course after you drained off the buttermilk and squeezed it, we had a butter paddle in a bowl, you could squeeze the milk out of the butter and all that. Later on we had a glass churn that had a crank on it. I don't know that my mother ever had that, I don't believe we ever had that out there. I had that later when I got married and lived in Gardnerville.

LaVOY:  You had the old churn--the plunger type.

SETTELMEYER:   The plunger type that you had to go up and down with that paddle.

LaVOY:  You were reading books trying to do that?

SETTELMEYER:   Yes, and my mother would say, "You're not going fast enough." See, 'cause I'd get interested in reading. Little Shepherd of the Hills is one book I read about that time. Those Harold Bell Wright books--I don't think he wrote Little Shepherd of the Hills.                                   

LaVOY:  You would read as you were churning?

SETTELMEYER:   I was trying to but I had to either churn and maybe read, but not read and maybe churn.

LaVOY:  How often did you have to make butter?

SETTELMEYER:   I'm guessing, once a week, I don't know. My mother was an excellent organizer, so things would be organized where she knew when she was making butter, she knew when she was making bread, it was on a schedule. You didn't just happen to do things with my mother.

LaVOY:  You're talking about her making bread. How often

did she bake bread for the family?

SETTELMEYER:   We'd get that fresh bread on Saturday. At noon we'd have fresh bread and fresh cooked pot roast. Oh, gee, that was good eating! That gravy broth on the bread, you'd dip it in the kettle and oh... It was seasoned so well, I can still wish, wouldn't I sit down to that? Ah. I wonder if it would taste like it did then? But in this dairy it was an interesting incident happened one afternoon. Dad probably started milking about four o'clock or so, so here along about five o'clock a couple of men showed up in business suits and oh, my dad came up. "Lewis!" he said and he shook hands. Do you know he roomed with this man as an ag student back in Columbia, Missouri, in the University of Missouri, and Lewis Cline, whose name is on a lot of things that people will see in the Museum on extension work, was a United States Government Agriculturist, I think that was his title. [United States Department of Agriculture Extension Agent, 1914 1930's]

LaVOY:  How did he happen to be in Fallon?

SETTELMEYER:   He was assigned this job out here by the United States government in the Newlands Project.

LaVOY:  And he and your father had gone to school together.

SETTELMEYER:   And I believe they roomed together. I'm quite sure they had been roommates. So of course, the families were kinda of friends after that. They lived in Fallon. There was quite a lot about Lewis Cline that you can find in the files. And on these government bulletins--I brought a handful of bulletins that I've collected and gave them yesterday to the Museum and Lewis Cline's name is on the front of a lot of those. Headley's on there too, but Cline is on there also as having written that bulletin.

 LaVOY: Tell me, your father, besides the dairy, did he raise cantaloupes or . . .?

SETTELMEYER:   That first forty-acre unit we just had melons and such things for our own use. Oh we'd go down there about ten, eleven o'clock in the shade of the tree and burst open a big melon. My mother and dad'd be there. It would be kinda of a morning break I guess, and eat that. That melon still had the night cold on it--oh, it was so good. When we got to the hundred and sixty-acre place, that would be after World War I, and this project and experiment with Hearts of Gold came along about the time we were in high school. We were cantaloupe pickers. I never played basketball, of course. You can understand why. My brother did a little, I think, but it was a case of getting in there to practice. We sold cantaloupe right out there, set up a little stand at the end of the lane into our house which was just a few paces in and so, it was a big wide lane, it was planned that way so you 'could come in and turn around in that lane. So we had quite a patch of cantaloupe and the prices were pretty fair, but as time went on and the experiment proved that they were not good shippers and they had to be ripe and they cracked so easily, that's when they were good. Well, they weren't good for shipping then because they would get spoiled easily.

LaVOY:  Did you say you had little stand out in front of your road?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, just a temporary kind of thing. Whenever we had extra cantaloupes we were allowed to have a table out there and not too much of that went on. And people knew we had cantaloupe. They would come in and they'd drive from town to come out to get the cantaloupes. Two or three cantaloupe, I think, for twenty-five cents.

LaVOY:  My goodness. Did he go into the sugar beet era too?

SETTELMEYER:   No, well we were there and I remember going through the sugar beet factory. I remember the smell of that sugar beet factory and, oh, fascinated to go through it--we were still grammar school kids--we went through that. I suppose that was after World War I, seems to me that it was. And judging from our age as kids we'd have to been sixth or seventh grade.

LaVOY:  You keep mentioning World War I. Your father, because he was a farmer, was not called up, but would . . .

SETTELMEYER:   Well, he probably wouldn't be the age either. He was twenty-five, I think, when I was born.

LaVOY:  Did any of your people that you knew that lived in the area go into World War I?

SETTELMEYER:   OH, yes, George Davis was killed. Well, he wasn't killed. He died of influenza which was rampant at that point in time. Quite a few people we knew died of influenza. There were two, a mother and daughter in the Lowe family. There was Kenneth, the younger brother. My mother and father were very close friends with that family and they felt so deeply that the mother and this daughter about eighteen years old, I think, died of influenza and left this man, kind of an awkward farmer, with this growing boy who was, I think he would be next in age to the girl that died and then Juanita Lowe that was about my age and we knew each other in college later and Kenneth Lowe and they lived in an adobe-like house. It was very crude and no wood on the floors.

LaVOY:  In what area?

SETTELMEYER:   It was kinda about south of Fallon.

LaVOY:  This is the St. Clair District.

SETTELMEYER:   It wasn't this far out. I'm sure it wasn't this far out. I think it was more like the Harrigan Road, probably, maybe five miles out on the Harrigan Road.

LaVOY:  Were there other people in Fallon that died of flu at the same time?

SETTELMEYER:   There were but wouldn't have been as dramatic to me because we knew this family, we were close to that family.

LaVOY:  What doctors were in Fallon at that time?

SETTELMEYER:   Dr. Nichols was our doctor. My mother considered him the best in the area, Dr. Leners, Dr. Dempsey. Now Dempsey was considered one of the best with pneumonia and that was such a dangerous disease in those days. They had no antibiotics to fight it and the doctor had to be a nurse and doctor to that patient to pull 'em through and he was well respected for that, but he drank so much. His father was tryin' to tell his son not to drink that much and he said, "Now, you see those two posts out there?" He said, "Dad, there's only one there."

LaVOY:  Oh, my. (laughing)

SETTELMEYER:   (laughing) That was of course a joke that they would tell on Dempsey because he was known to drink too much. I think that was the three doctors. Well, a Dr. Warden was the doctor for my brother when he was born. Now these bits of gossip amost – Dr. Warden’s wife got into drugs, into using morphine and became an addict. Of course I can hear my mother say “So sorry about that.” I picked that up from her talking about it. Cars would come by our place in those years, those touring cars, and be stuck in those ruts and have to have the mules or some farmer's team of horses pull 'em out of the sandy ruts and they used to give dances at the Harmon District School, I guess it was to raise money, and the one accident that happened just down the road from our place, just a little bit, this hundred and sixty acre place I'm talking about, Ernie (E.H.) Hursh, a name in this community, and the house they lived in is still on Williams Avenue, and his brother-in-law, Phil Hursh             . . now wait a minute, they weren't brothers . . . the brother-in-law was Hursh. What was Ernie's name?

LaVOY:  Ernie was Hursh.

SETTELMEYER:   His wife’s name was Edna… Anyway, he was killed. Phil was killed. Phil's name wasn't Hursh then.

LaVOY:  No, it wasn't.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, anyway, he was killed and I know my family 'course were very adamant about drinking and all that. That was absolutely out of their religious feeling. It was the wrong thing to do and so they were quite judgmental about Ernie Hursh killing his brother-in-law. 'Course, a big open car and they hit the culvert and they had been drinking and it was like four or five o'clock on a Sunday morning after a Saturday dance. I of course remember, if anybody want to catalog it, they'd have to go back to the files.

LaVOY:  And you saw the accident?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, no, but we heard greatly about it 'cause it was so close. The neighbors, the Masons, lived across the road from us, up a little, must have been very close to their house that it happened because that ditch came across the road about just west of their house a little bit. I think we've pretty well finished dairy.

LaVOY:  Yes and your father moving to the new place.

SETTELMEYER:   He sold out the dairy and it turned out that he was-

LaVOY:  Who did he sell it to? Excuse me.

SETTELMEYER:   I wouldn't know. Dairy people who were interested in buying out of his herd 'cause he had a good herd. I think I told you, did I, I'm pretty sure that he must have gone to Portland to get the herd and of course they would have had to come on the train to Fallon and I s'pose they were driven on foot then, on hoof, out to the little farm.

LaVOY:  And they were basically Guernseys?

SETTELMEYER:   No, Jerseys. Some Guernsey in there, but it was a pretty good herd. He was a judge of livestock, of dairy livestock, because he bought for another person one time and got in some problems about it. He had gone to Portland to get that herd, so I imagine he went to Portland to get his own herd.

LaVOY:  What did he do until…

SETTELMEYER:   To supplement? Oh, I'd like to say what he did to supplement his income.

LaVOY:  Yes, I'd like to know.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, for one thing, he contracted other fields of alfalfa and harvested them in the summer, irrigated them and harvested them and had the hay for his own dairy. He also contracted road work. Now that's where he hired mules, I think, from the government and he had a little cook house that would be horse drawn or mule drawn and he surveyed on hands and knees the Swingle Bench Road. It would be a river road that went towards Derby Dam and there's a road that goes up to a Bench land that's called Bench, you'll see it on the road coming down here from the highway called Bench Road. Well that area of farm, there seem to have been a good area of farm land up there and they were able to get water to it. I guess a ditch came out above on the river.

LaVOY:  Is that what they call Swingle Bench?

SETTELMEYER:   Yes. So that the people didn't have to go almost to Hazen to get into that land, they got together somehow, the county must have been under county auspices and had this road built up to Swingle Bench from the river road. And Dad was the one who surveyed that on hands and knees and built the road under contract with team and scraper.

LaVOY:  My! About what year was this, do you have any idea at all?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, he was still on the homestead, so it was before World War I, 'cause after we moved to the other 'place he didn't do that kind of contracting, I don't think. He had a little better income off of a bigger acreage and so he did mostly alfalfa on that new land.

LaVOY:  Now on the new land

SETTELMEYER:   Didn't have the big dairy on the new land. He found out he was allergic to that dandruff of the cattle and he evidently had pretty bad allergy condition, sinus condition, from that.

LaVOY:  Oh, that's interesting.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, that's not uncommon to have cattle dandruff give you an allergy, a sinus allergy.

LaVOY:  Getting back to yourself, you finished high school here and you said that your family moved into Reno?


LaVOY:  So that is when you left Fallon?

SETTELMEYER:   That's when we left Fallon.

LaVOY:  Did your father sell his property?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, that's quite a . . . no, I was reviewing that and there is a contract on file, in the county files here, showing how my father worked it out. Some neighbors said about Hancock, he was honest but he was crooked as a barrel of snakes.

LaVOY:  (laughing)

SETTELMEYER:   That is, he could work around you and he worked devious ways to get done what he wanted to do. [end of tape 2] He wanted to go Reno, this was evidently a plan that had been going on for some time to get to Reno, so my brother and I could go to college since they couldn't afford to send us to pay board and room and tuition too. There was a man and family named Gott, I think he had 3 bots and one girl, living cater-cornered across the road from us and the place belonged to Masons, but the Gotts were renting it and Dad thought they were a good prospect to buy his place. So he worked it out. He bought a Holstein herd for them. He heard about a herd that was for sale and I think Tru Fencill maybe had that herd, but I don't know too much about the connection. Anyway, my brother tells me that my father bought that herd of Holstein cows, set Gott up with this herd and they had a very involved contract, so that Gott could make money off of this herd and pay my father the installments for the place, the farm, this hundred and sixty-acre farm.

LaVOY:  Well, that was good thinking.

SETTELMEYER:   And so, it evidently succeeded because the place never came back to my father and it was still being paid for when the banks started closing in 1929, 1930, 1931, when they had so much banking problems and my dad did lose something like three hundred dollars in the Wingfield Bank because of all this closing, otherwise he didn't lose any money in the Depression.

LaVOY:  He was one of the very fortunate ones.

SETTELMEYER: Well, as I told you, I've come to appreciate how very astute my father was.

LaVOY: Did he, by any chance, ever want to run for politics in the area?

SETTELMEYER: Well, 'course I told you earlier in my story that he was very devoted to the idea of his family being educated. Himself, he had worked to get his own education and so he wanted us to be educated. He, like I said, [was] open-minded. He didn't talk a lot, you didn't really get much out of him that way in a conversation. He wasn't a great conversationalist, but he wanted to run for the school board in Harmon District and there was a man who had been on the board a number of years. I don't know how long. His name was Nelson and he was a notorious drunk, often drunk. So my dad just put in his bid for the school board and was beat hands down. Well, Nelson was a great socializer and my family were strict Methodists and didn't believe in dancing and liquor and all those kinds of things, so I suppose that the populace around Harmon District felt like they might have their style cramped over there at the school with dances and things 'cause Hancock wouldn't approve of 'em. So anyway, and of course, our dad, thinking we'd say that Nelson was an alcoholic but to Dad he was a drunk and to be beat by a drunk hurt his pride a lot.

LaVOY:  So, he never ran for office again?

SETTELMEYER:   I never heard of it anyway.

LaVOY: My goodness. Something that I wanted to ask you about your mother before we go on. How did she manage to keep food going since you didn't have any refrigeration?

SETTELMEYER: Again my father's ingeniousness--there'd be these coolers called desert coolers that are a framework of wood and they're covered with the burlap and there's a tank on top that drips water. Well, the average desert cooler of that time that families were using, you had to be sure that you constantly kept water in the top of it, otherwise when it ran dry then your burlap would be dry and your food would get warm. On this back porch Dad left a corner open, so that he built this frame for the air cooler, the desert cooler, well, he had this frame, wood frame of course, and shelves and they were slatted shelves, possibly because then the air circulated better and it had a galvanized tin top around it that had screws into the latticed round of wood on the top and those screws were set just so the water would leak automatically at a certain speed over the burlap. Of course being in the corner of the porch where it was open most always there was a flow of air through there because it was a screened porch. It wasn't filled in with glass or anything. They didn't have to lift water to put it into this tank. He had a water hose fixed so that when you needed water you could pump it into some kind of an arrangement from this pump that was two or three yards from the cooler by a hose and my mother could do this. He was always doing things to help my mother on account of her crippledness, so even she could fill this tank when it got low by pumping the water through this hose.

LaVOY:  That was ingenious.

SETTELMEYER:   I don't know quite how he did that. But I remember something about that hose. It was some kind of a syphon effect, I guess, that they worked to get that hose to work. Don't ask me.

LaVOY:  And that kept the food cool?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, the butter was just as hard as it is in any ice refrigerator and then they had the drain down low and that had of course to be cleaned just like a regular icebox. There was some cleaning to do. It also had a vent to the outside so it never ran over into the porch floor, but it had to be cleaned from time to time on account of collection of the water.

LaVOY:  Now, did she dry food too?

SETTELMEYER:   Again, my dad's ability with wood and the hammer and nails, we always had nice frames and they were screen covered with cheesecloth. I think the screens themselves had some cheesecloth in them. They were like window screens so that bugs, flies anyway, couldn't get onto the food. Oh, my father was adamant about that--you know, the care of food and I s'pose he taught my mother part, maybe she learned from him, 'cause he'd have these classes in school and he was very conscious of bacteria.

LaVOY:  How did they dry the food?

SETTELMEYER:   So it was laid out, you know, like corn, of course the cobs would be dipped in hot water and that way just for a minute or two and then cut off and spread out very evenly on these trays, big long trays, they would be maybe six feet long.

LaVOY:  You say cut off, you mean the corn was cut ...?

SETTELMEYER:   Cut from the cob and spread then, just kernels, onto the cloth and then covered with cloth and bricks or rocks around it, maybe pieces of timber, so that no flies got to the food and they dried apples that way and I think if they had enough plums or prunes, sometimes the neighbors had some of these things that you could get fruit, but those were the main things that they dried was apples and corn.

LaVOY:  How did they store those after they were dried?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, in those days you had flour sacks. You bought flour by the hundred pound that was in a cloth sack and if you didn't make dish towels out of 'em or panties for your little girl, you had them to store food in and you'd hang them up in the cellar and we had a dirt cellar. It was a natural hill that went up and I still see it there when I come by that little place. It was a dugout cellar and those natural earth cellars were wonderful keeping things because there was enough moisture to keep things from drying out. Potatoes didn't get as crinkled up as they do in cement cellars.

LaVOY:  You just made a comment that I have to inquire about. You said making drawers for little girls?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, oh, panties . . . our underwear. Then we'd have little waists that the garters were attached to for our stockings, those long black ribbed stockings.

LaVOY:  Garter belts?

SETTELMEYER:   No, they were vests and I think my mother usually bought those from like Sears and Roebuck or Montgomery Ward and they had little garter things attached to them so they would hold your stockings. But the panties she made out of these flour sacks. I don't know whether they were always that but I can remember many of them being made out of flour sacks and some women weren't very--and this was kinda common among the farm women--if they didn't bleach their sacks you might have written across your bottom: "farmers' best". (laughing)

LaVOY:  Oh, I think that's great.  (laughing)

SETTELMEYER:   I learned that little story more than once. I think using them for dish towels, well my mother made some with rickrack on 'em and used 'em as a table cover. I don't remember that in our house that we ever had oil cloth. We had something like that as a covering for our table, and of course we didn't have hired men, so much of the time it was just family, one hired man sometimes. And my mother had a way with these guys and tease 'em. She'd bring out their weaknesses and make fun of them in such a way that it was funny and they would think it was funny. She did drawn work. I remember one of these covers that like if you left the condiments on the table it would cover the whole table like, reminds me of the sacraments today, covered with this nice linen cloth. She was a proud woman and she did not appear in a robe ever and she cobbled her own shoes to correct this, so she could walk, she could not walk without shoes. The left shoe had a lateral on it on the heel and opposite the bottom of the foot.

LaVOY:  And she did this herself?

SETTELMEYER:   She must have learned it from her brother. She had six brothers, five brothers and a sister, so there was seven in the family and she was the youngest and I've heard her say that somebody or other would say, "Perry, take care of Maggie." And she was carried around by Perry, the one next to her. So I imagine those men, one of them was a veterinarian, they had ability also, the families really were that kind of family and so she learned somewhere along the way to handle the awl. We had a stand for cobbling shoes. It was about eighteen or twenty inches, I guess, and they had lasts for each side of the shoe. You had like six, maybe, different lasts. The little girls' shoes, the boys' shoes, and then mama shoes, maybe, and dad shoes and some in between ones, they had half a dozen different sizes of lasts. She didn't trust Pop or anybody to do those shoes because they didn't know just how thick to make 'em, just how long to make 'em, anything about that, and they had to slope off just so. House slippers had to have leather soles so that she could use those to walk in and she never got breakfast, to my knowledge, except she was fully dressed. She never wore a robe until half the morning was over and nobody else did it either. We got up and got dressed and did our work.

LaVOY:  Now, going back to the shoes just a little bit, did your father make shoes too?


LaVOY:  It was just your mother.

SETTELMEYER:   My mother bought shoes but she cobbled the correction. She didn't cobble a shoe, I think that was a misstatement. No, she cobbled the correction for her shoes. Of course, there were places in town to buy shoes. But also, I think she bought shoes from the catalogs some. Once you knew your size and the make and so on, you could do that.

LaVOY:  Amazing. You mentioned a hired hand and you didn't finish telling about him, Tump, is that the name?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, there was one, I remember that one 'cause she had so much fun teasing him and how Old Tump would break horses. Dad would have a new horse from time to time. He didn't have a big string of horses, he'd have six or eight horses and I 'member this one that was so kinda ornery to handle and Tump would get ahold of its ear in his mouth and hang on 'til he got the bridle on or whatever he wanted to do and that horse had to learn what to do and do it right. Up at the hundred and sixty acres I ran and drove the horses for mowing alfalfa, would be a pair of horses, you always had a pair. My brother ran the side delivery rake . . . yes I think we had a side delivery rake . . . see I'm almost getting ahead . . . 'cause I don't believe he run that dump rake, I don't think his legs would've been long enough to use a dump rake. I think it was a side delivery and he had this new horse on there. And it started in a cloudburst like we had here yesterday, just poured rain down. Here we were, these two little kids, high school kids, out there in the fields with these horses, four horses, one of 'em kind of wild and Mama worrying about us in the house and I don't know where Papa was but anyway we stopped the horses and we just sat there 'til the rain was over.

LaVOY:  My goodness.

SETTELMEYER:   And held those horses, nobody ran away. But Mel got drug one time with the horses, I think it was the derrick cart, caught a foot in the line and got drug through the corrals. [Gasps] My dad brought him in over his shoulder, limp and white as the paper, and my mother--he was her mama's boy and I was papa's girl, some psychological problems mixed up with that. But oh, anything went wrong with Mel, my mother just almost hysterical and she wasn't hysterical kind of person, though she was highstrung and emotional and vivacious and all that, but she didn't go beside herself. [Doorbell, tape cuts] Over Papa's shoulder one day, he'd been driving derrick, I guess, and when he got off the line a horse started up and his foot was caught in the line and he was drug through these corrals. It's a wonder he didn't get really hurt badly 'cause he could've hit his head or hurt his body with going through these, 'cause the horses were bent for the hay rack, I guess. But he recovered all right, there was no serious damage there, it was just a big scare.

LaVOY:  Did your mother doctor him?

SETTELMEYER: She was a good home doctor, pathologist, and she was excellent at diagnosing where hurts came from. If your knee hurt, maybe it wasn't your knee, the hurt was really in your hip and so on. She had a doctor book that she relied on and it was put out by the Seventh Day Adventist people. One thing that Mama did for sprains and that kind of thing was use hot and cold fomations. She had wool cloths that were probably a yard or so square and she used a stick. If she wrung 'em out the water'd be so hot she couldn't have her hands on them, so they were folded in such a way that she had a stick through the ends and could wring them by twisting the sticks in opposite directions and wring 'em real dry and put those hot things on your legs or wherever the sprain place was--you'd almost scream. Then after, I don't know what length of time, woe, there'd be a time limit there about using the hot. Then you would have the real cold packs on. The theory, as I understood it, was that you brought blood to the area and then you forced the blood away with the cold and that built up a circulation so you could have a healing effect in the body. She used iodine and learned to be very careful with that--we called it i-o-dine--and as it got old it would burn if you applied it onto cuts and so forth for sterilizing the cut. She was great with mentholatum, oh that was her mainstay. I burst three of these fingers open, fingers on my left hand open, real bad playing in a washing machine that had a crank and cogs in it and I got my fingers caught in the cog 'cause my brother was running the crank and here that night we were s'posed to go to a wedding and here I came with this bloody hand crying, and she took the mentholatum and a silver knife—She insisted you never used something like tin or anything that might be contaminated easily, why she was careful with that--and so she just took a knife, she never washed 'em, she didn't believe in washing cuts like that, she put mentholatum on 'em and wrapped 'em up with homemade gauze that was from old sheets and such and we went to the wedding.

LaVOY:  My goodness. You said she had surgery or something?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, she had to have tonsils taken out and so Dr. Nichols that she believed in very much and swore by as being a good, and I think he was quite a good surgeon, better than Leners, quite a bit better than she considered anyway, I'd better say, 'cause Leners was more of a society type of doctor, but Dr. Nichols had his own hospital. She wanted to be home and Papa had bought at surplus from the Dam buildings and work a great big long table, I guess it was a surgical table that had been used in the hospital at the Dam. They had a temporary emergency thing there. And so that was set up, sterilized and everything, and Dr. Nichols operated on my mother in our living room, this is at the cement block house, and took out her tonsils and he gave her morphine and she tried to tell him not to give her morphine, that she was allergic, and sure enough it swelled up like a big egg or boil on her arm where he injected morphine. So whether it worked as an anesthetic even though she was allergic to it, I don't know, anyway she got her tonsils out.

LaVOY:  That's a wonder if she was allergic to it she didn't die from it.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, anyway, she didn't, but I wear a bracelet and I've got half a dozen serious allergies for drugs.

LaVOY:  But in those days they didn't have that. Now, do you recall, were you anyplace near when the surgery was going on?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, they probably sent us to the neighbors. I doubt if my brother and I were on the premises for that.

LaVOY:  But she actually had her tonsils removed?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, yes, and very successful. They never grew back or anything.

LaVOY:  That is amazing. Well, now can you think of anything else you'd like to tell me about your family's life in Fallon before they moved with you to the university, to Reno?

SETTELMEYER:   Well let’s shut it off a second [tape cuts out] It seems to me that trip to Idaho embodied several things that like getting back to this anthrax came in, come back into the cattle.

LaVOY:  So one of the things you wanted to remember was that you took a trip to Idaho in a car that you had just recently purchased. Suppose you tell me about that.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, just before the War and about the time we sold that forty acres, we got the car before we sold that, I remember, it was a 1914 Buick my brother told me. My father went to Reno on the train to buy it and then the salesman in the Reno shop came home with Dad and so that was his learning experience to drive a car.

LaVOY:  Oh, my.

SETTELMEYER:   So this seventy-five miles or so, maybe a little better in those days, from Reno and soon after that, I spose a year or two, he'd gotten pretty well acquainted with the car, we went to Idaho. His mother lived by that time in Twin Falls and he had a brother, Heber Hancock, lived in Twin Falls with his family. So it was the first vacation the family had ever had and we went up there in this car. It took us about, I think, five days.

LaVOY:  Were the roads paved?

SETTELMEYER:   The roads, oh, I was going to tell you. No, the roads were very indefinite sometimes and other times, like out in Elko County, I have a picture of that road on the hillside, one rut after the other where cars had tried a new track and here that heavy adobe stuff after a storm would be so difficult to get through and make such ruts and then the next car'd make another set of tracks and try to drive over that after it was dry to miss those ruts! And then we drove down through meadows, across the field, then we'd go down into these swells that were water courses, a little water in the bottom and then it would fill our carburetor with water and we'd be half way up and have to wait 'til that carburetor drained from being flooded with water. Dad got sick in Wells, a nervous headache kind of sickness from driving and the back of his head ached and all that. But we got into Twin Falls and after we were there a few days, here came a letter from the man who had taken care of his dairy saying there was anthrax in the herd and Dad was beside himself. Why didn't that man telegraph? It took at least three days for a letter to come, like I told you, it had to go to Salt Lake, to Pocatello, down to Twin Falls. So of course as fast as we could get packed and in the car we were off for Fallon. I guess we went out through the Stillwater Range into Dixie Valley and up by Mill City into Winnemucca and then on to Wells and we went north from Wells to Twin Falls. And we came back, somehow we took a shortcut somewhere in there, and of course there were no farms or houses hardly in between these places and if we'd broken down, how long would we have been there? Well, we got home about twelve o'clock, I think, the fourth day, twelve o'clock midnight and we'd come in home through Stillwater, I know we came home by that way. And here were two of his very best cows, Blossom, a great big beautiful Jersey, dead, and Watson, that cow was a pet cow and we rode her. Well, of course, we had to burn those carcasses. Oh, it was an upset thing, I'm sure for Dad.

LaVOY:  Where did they get the anthrax from?

SETTELMEYER:   All right, okay, that takes us to something I didn't tell you. Mel and I in the summertime would herd the cattle along the roadways or down by the swamps and as long as it was early in the spring didn't have any fear of disease there. But later in the summer, and this was about August that we had gone to Twin Falls, why those things got stagnant and anthrax developed from old molds or I don't know the story of how anthrax produces, but anyway it was always a fear of farmers that they would get anthrax and it would go through the herd, it was very contagious. So I think that's the only two cows Dad lost though were those two best ones of the herd. Naturally, that's the way it goes. They're highbred and susceptible to diseases more than, really, the common stock.

LaVOY:  Well, at that point in time, then, did he have to vaccinate the rest of the herd against that?

SETTELMEYER:   I don't remember hearing about vaccination. That was pretty early -For vaccination. I heard about it when I got to Gardnerville, them vaccinating for cows that threw their calves, aborted. I think I would have remembered that.

LaVOY:  Well, he just lost the two cows?

SETTELMEYER:   As far as I can remember, it was only those two cows.

LaVOY:  Does that affect the selling of the milk for awhile?

SETTELMEYER:   For the rest of the herd I wouldn't know. I never heard 'em talk about it that way. I doubt it with anthrax, it was a little different time. Red water was another disease they would get from these swampy places, I think it was from those places, and it was contagious.

LaVOY:  You said that your brother was the one that fed the calves?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, he was quite an expert and he just had a knack. There'd be maybe twelve or fifteen of those little calves and they'd have little stanchions they'd come into and they'd put these buckets of skim milk, I don't know how many he handled at one time and then here, of course, they'd come back for seconds and he would know and he'd slap them off and say, "You had yours. Get outta here." And Mel was sick one time, he told me the other day that he was the only one who really knew how to handle those little calves and their feeding time, so they wrapped him up in a blanket and took him down there to where they fed the calves so he could tell 'em and guide which ones were fed and which ones weren't.

LaVOY:  My goodness. That certainly is a knowledge of your cattle, isn't it?

SETTELMEYER:   It certainly is. Their little faces look so alike, those Jerseys, you can hardly tell them apart.

LaVOY:  All right then, do you have any other little stories that you'd like to tell about your family? [tape cuts]

SETTELMEYER:   Something more I'd like to tell about my mother. Of course, I spose our mothers to us are outstanding people, but she was especially talented and one thing she did for herself. She was very proud, as I told you she had this polio and such a crippled back and her body was crippled, but to many people who met her, they didn't ever realize this because she made herself what was called a padded waist. The basis of this waist was muslin that had pockets in it and she would put the proper amount of cotton in each pocket to fill out the shoulder, to fill out the low hip, and so when she was in her dress you didn't notice this deformity. She always wore high enough dresses because her neck was very wry and so she never wore low necks and she had a little lace collar, very attractively dressed. Her hems were straight to the inch, to the quarter of an inch and she would be so aggravated to see people going along whose hems weren't straight or their petticoats showing 'cause she would dress immaculately and precisely to offset her crippledness. She made her coats. She corrected coats that she bought like at one time you could buy seal skin coats, plush coats from one of the catalogs and she would open up the shoulders, open up the sides wherever it was necessary to make that coat fit her straight. She never wore a crooked seam in anything. When the home economics people came through the Farm Bureau, she began to get active in these small communities. Why she was one of the demonstrators for the [tape cuts, end of tape 3 side A] Home Economics Club of the housewives about making hats. They had the wire frames and they made really very fine looking hats and my mother was, of course, expert at it and very excited. Her imagination to work on those things filled her with joy and she made this one Alice blue silk hat, taffeta, and she also had a dress to match which she made, of course. I think the dress was like the style, ankle length, and then the skirt a little bit full. She really always made an impression. She worked with crepe paper a lot in making costumes. She made me a costume when I was Alice in Wonderland and it had these Alice blue ruffles on it and it was so cute and my hair curled. She enjoyed her children and she did lots of things for them. So that was pretty much…

LaVOY:  Where did she . .

SETTELMEYER:   At the school, like Harmon District School, they'd have programs and this is where she would do it, in these programs. Then they put on plays. She was a member of the Harmony Club and that's in some of the literature, some of your histories that people talk about that Harmony Club. It was kind of a classic group of women, but Mama sometimes said, "I don't know whether this is a Harmony Club or not." There'd be so much gain' on and more confusion and lack of agreement among the ladies, she said "I don't think it's a Harmony Club."

LaVOY:  This Harmony Club was basically the ladies that lived in the Harmon District?


LaVOY:  How often did they meet?

SETTELMEYER:   I suppose once a month, not oftener I'm sure, but very regularly though. It was a regular group of women and they put these plays on and very likely those programs were to raise money for the school.

LaVOY:  I see. Now something that is back a ways, but I just want to ask you about, when you mentioned this Mr. Draper that bought your barn and turned it into the dormitory. There was a Draper Culture Club in Fallon. Was that name taken from him?

SETTELMEYER:   I don't remember, I doubt it. I wouldn't know. Daddy Draper 'course, I don't think he lasted around here too awfully long. The next people that owned that place that I knew about was some Japanese. And then now it's one of those good dairies down there that . . . I don't know the name . . . I've stopped a time or two trying to catch up with the people that have it. They've built a nice house there and they have a big dairy there.

LaVOY:  Guazzini?

SETTELMEYER:   Yes, I think that's the people.

LaVOY:  Oh, I see.

SETTELMEYER:   I think that's the ones who have it now. They've had it for quite awhile.

LaVOY:  All right, can you think of anything else?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, to go right along maybe with that point a little bit, the people who bought after the Gotts had that place, then there were several different owners whose names don't come right quickly. But what's interesting is in the earthquake of 1955-that house was built of cement block, I told you, but Dad did not build a frame inside of it. The blocks were not tied to two by fours and so when that earthquake shook it, it just about shook it down,loosened the blocks. So the people who were living there then, they had it banded it with steel bands at the edge of the eaves to hold it together, bolted it at the corners to hold it together. It's since then been torn down and a completely new house built there. But it's only been just about within the last five years they tore it down.

LaVOY: Now tell me, to whom did your father sell the property when he moved to Reno, when you went to University?

SETTELMEYER: Oh, I told you he sold it to Gott. We went through that. 

LaVOY:  Alright, Now let's get on to your years of Reno. Did you like moving into Reno?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, it was quite an exciting thing and to go to the University, oh, it was a great development. Speaking for myself, the little country girl began to unfold and I got into journalism. Though I'd done some writing in high school and people should've really picked up on the idea that I had that kind of talent, nobody really seemed to think too much about it until I got to college and my freshman English teacher--I'll forever bless him-got me to go to the University newspaper and work on the staff. I got my honor pin after I worked there three years. And then I went into journalism class from having that freshman English teacher who opened my eyes to the fact that I really liked to write and had some talent to write.

LaVOY:  Was Mr. Higginbotham there?

SETTELMEYER:   I was in his class and I have some memorabilia from that class in the way of a style book and so forth, oh, yes.

LaVOY:  Tell me about your years at the University. Did you live at home?

SETTELMEYER:   Yes, Mel and I both lived at home and that was, of course, the excuse for my father going there to see that we could go to the University. And my cousin, Earl, that was still with us, was in the junior college about that time and he did some fine woodwork. He was very talented in woodwork. He was bashful. His parents were deaf people and he was bashful and wouldn't go on. My dad offered to pay his way to a specialized school because Mr. Beatty, who was one of the principals we had in Oats Park School, and Earl evidently went there eventually, said that he would make a fine model maker because he was accurate to the thirty secondth of a degree. But he was so bashful and timid about this because of his early boyhood, being alone with deaf people and not having much relationship with others, Dad couldn't get him to go.

LaVOY:  Where did your parents build or live in Reno?

SETTELMEYER:   My mother moved twenty-six times in twenty-five years.

LaVOY:  My goodness. How did that happen?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, Dad was a builder and he would sell and if you lived in a house and people walked in and saw it furnished, you sold it by the way it looked and she had had a way of making the place homey and attractive because she coordinated colors and things like that. She really never had very fine furniture and they even wanted her to leave the pictures which is one thing she wouldn't do. But otherwise she would have new furniture every time she moved and she sold the Chickering piano for twenty-five dollars. She got tired of moving it because nobody played it.

LaVOY:  What streets were these that you lived on?

SETTELMEYER: Well, we started out west of the University on Buena Vista Avenue, involved going up as far as Ralston Avenue [Ralston Street]. I don't recall what addition that was called. But Dad told us, "Well, if you don't get through the University, it isn't my fault," he said, because he built around the University. He bought lots and he would speculate, sell on contract and also build and sell on speculation. This is why I say he was very innovative, that's a good word, that he was a very good businessman and had no trouble borrowing money. The banks recognized his honesty and his quality of building and so they were always ready to loan Hancock money that he needed for his speculation. Perhaps he lost money occasionally, but most of the time he came out even or better, most of the time better. During the Depression years, 1929, 1930, 1931, he lost a little money in the Fallon bank that had been put there for taxes for the Fallon property that wasn't completely paid for yet. And he went to work for the bank as an appraiser, a land appraiser, because he did understand land values. The bank asked him to do that.

LaVOY: Now, which bank?

SETTELMEYER:   First-National Bank, from 1926. My mother died in 1946, and my father in 1949. Then my brother took over the business. My brother got into the business after he found out he didn't want to be a lawyer, goin' one year to law school. He worked at Penney's in the men's department and course that didn't make much money and he had a chance to come in and work for Dad. He got a little better pay. Then he eventually got into a partnership kind of arrangement, and 'course Mel by this time was married and they got their house built and all through Dad's buying and selling. Mel got in on this buying and selling. So he worked right into the business. Mel himself acknowledged that he didn't have the kind of pioneering ability that my father had. He started from scratch with this building business. He built one little house, brick house, on what is now the edge of Reno, Vassar Avenue, which was at the edge of Reno in 1926. My dad built a little house out there on a big Italian estate and went from there. Then he got up on Buena Vista, 'course that's down south of town, and sort of in there found a man who owned some of that property that had been farm land and so he must have built almost a dozen houses up in there. And of course my mother didn't live in all of these. I don't know how many houses he might have built, but one time he bought a chicken ranch after we were out of college, out in southwest Reno, Shannon [Sharon] Way is where the street is now. I spose that was twenty or forty acres, and he built on that. It was a part of a subdivision, it had to be 'cause it was platted and he worked with the city engineers and so forth. I would see some of these things and I even made a Christmas card one Christmas that had a scene of houses and hills and a kind of a silhouette thing made with a blueprint and folded over with Hancock Builders or something on it as his greeting for his clients.

LaVOY:  That's great. Let's get back to you and your years in college. You graduated. Did you join a sorority while you were there?

SETTELMEYER:   I belonged to Beta Sigma Omicron. It started out a local but that was a national sorority, that name.

LaVOY:  Who were some of your sorority sisters?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, this Mabel Hartley, Connie Phillips Walters, Mabel Hartley's name had been Connors, Melva Fowler Anderson, Maybelle . . . some of those names elude me now, but those are some of the women that would be known, today people'd recognize those names.

LaVOY:  You belonged for three years or four years to the sorority?

SETTELMEYER:   I joined in the second semester, I think, of freshman year and so of course I was a member all the way through.

LaVOY:  Tell me what you remember about the University campus.

SETTELMEYER:   'Oh, we loved it. Looking back, it was a small, petite almost, mini sort of a campus and that Manzanita Lake and had two swans on it. Dr. Hazeman, the music director, had a barge out there and in the spring he would give a musical concert. He was the director of the music and he had quite a chorus of men, 'course fine singers, and that music coming in the spring, like May, was pretty romantic sounding to some of us who sat on the shores, the grassy shores, and along where the new library was built, what was new then, was the Alice McManus Library that now is the administrative building [Clark Administration Building] and 'course that tram across the end of the lake was a romantic spot to stop and do a little necking.  (laughing) I think I said somethin' about bill and coo to one fellow and he said, "Oh, quit sayin' that!" (laughing) And Manzanita Hall I visited but I never lived there. Margaret Mack was a very well-known housemother for so many years.

LaVOY:  Did you meet your husband while you were at the University?

SETTELMEYER:   No, no. I went to Berkeley and worked in offices and I was headed to be a commercial teacher or business teacher. I wanted to learn business, know something about business from working in offices and not just out of a textbook. So this had been my kind of goal along the way. I'd taken a lot of business in high school and realized that I needed to go to college, that I didn't have the maturity. I had an aunt that I admired and looked up to and she was a very fine executive secretary and I didn't begin to measure up.           I could see that I lacked a lot. So I thought, "I'm not gonna throw away all this that I learned in high school. I'm gonna teach it." So then I got my degree in education and English and journalism and that and almost psychology, I missed a little bit.

LaVOY:  What year was that that you graduated?

SETTELMEYER:   1930. Well, I was with the class of 1930, but because I was out a year on account of some romantic problems, a broken engagement and I couldn't get over it, so I was out a semester and worked downtown. I went back at Christmas and finished up in 1931, but I really was with the class of 1930, I considered myself the class of 1930.

LaVOY:  So you're not going to tell us who the romantic involvement was with?

SETTELMEYER:   It was Taylor, Taylor Smith. We talked about him a minute ago, I knew your sisters knew Francis and how I knew them.

LaVOY:  Taylor Smith from Lovelock.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, and they lived in Sparks too. I'm not quite, I think we considered him from Lovelock at that point in time.

LaVOY:  Frances Crumley's brother.


LaVOY:  So then you came back and graduated in the spring of 1931?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, in January, I got my degree at the end of semester but you see, it wasn't until January. Sometimes I'm registered with 1931 on the reports but I call myself 1930.

LaVOY:  Then after you graduated from the University, what did you do?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, I went to Berkeley. Well, I worked in a law office downtown for about two years.

LaVOY:  For whom?

SETTELMEYER:   Ernie Brown. About that time, I guess maybe, he became district attorney, but he also was a legislator, an assemblyman from Washoe, and I started working for him before I was out of college, I think. Then I worked about two years and went on leave of absence to Berkeley for the summer of 1932. Then the banks closed and Ernie wrote that his wife would take my place because-I knew this was legitimate--his finances was always right on the shoestring, and that his wife had been a secretary, and probably a better one than I, so here I was in Berkeley without a job. And I want to say I'd fallen in love with a guy down there, so I did eventually get the job after a few weeks. Well, the school was very good to me. I went to Armstrong Business College. That was where I was going to get some extra understanding of business and kind of compare myself to people in the cities and what they needed in offices and so on. I was really doing a lot of learning in between the lines in those years, I was absorbing life around me. This man named Carl Jensen, that was kind of a double-triangle thing, and anyway it fell through and I went with a man named V.A. Leonard, dated. I wouldn't agree to marrying him and so anyway I eventually got back. About five years after I had graduated from college I had the opportunity to come back to Nevada as a teacher and I would not lose my priority. I could get my teaching certificate at that point and not be sacrificing anything and have to go back to college to make up credits to qualify. So I picked up on a job out in Lovelock for a teacher had quit because her husband's in the service and she wanted to go meet him and get married. They weren't married at that point. So anyway I took her place and that was kind of a miserable experience. It started out pretty good, but I'd been out of college so long, I was trying to teach English and I really didn't have good classical background. I had all this journalism background. I had my English credits and when I went to the University of Washington for a summer school after I did start teaching again, I couldn't rate a classical English grade, you know, qualify for that as a minor because I didn't have classical credits. I had all these journalism credits. But I got involved in Lovelock in putting on plays and one thing another like that so there a year and a quarter and this first summer between the first quarter that I was there and the next year, which is 1935, I went to the University of Washington for summer school and took dramatics and took poetry and things like that and my journalism stood me in good stead. I got an A in poetry for the kind of paper I wrote as a test paper, not because I knew very much about poetry. And I got a good grade in dramatics because I knew how to sew and make all these costumes. I was backstage all the time. I didn't go there to do any acting. I went there with the idea of putting on a play and so I was learning how to do a school play. We did these things about costumes and I learned a lot of things.

LaVOY:  And then where did you teach?

SETTELMEYER:   From there I went to Gardnerville. Well, I was in Reno one semester without doing full-time teaching, but then this job opened up in Gardnerville. I made application there and I made application in Sparks, application in Tonopah. There was a man died in the system in Sparks and so all of these teachers were trying to get in on one of these jobs that moved along. The Tonopah teacher wanted to come to Gardnerville or Sparks and I wanted to go Sparks, Gardnerville, or if I had to, I'd go to Tonopah 'cause I wanted a job, I was out of a job. So I fortunately had the job at Garnerville. That's of course where I met Lawrence. I was introduced to him by Doris Dangberg at one of the school's . . . the school put on little dances to raise money for their publications and mostly that, the annual and so on. So we got to dating and I thought well . . . I'd had a couple of love affairs that didn't go. So I thought I'd better be careful how I'm handling this one. I know one fellow that asked me for a date one night and I said no, I got a date with Lawrence Settelemeyer to go up and ride at the range and I'm not gonna spoil it by going to a dance tonight or Saturday night. He was pretty mad at me. I was tellin' the truth though. I really didn't want to encourage him 'cause I had no interest in him, I really didn't, but people around the valley and kids at school thought we . . . he was another teacher, see, and I took him for a ride in my Oldsmobile a time or two and oh, they thought that's a big romance going. But, no, Lawrence was a very fine man. He wasn't a great student person but he was dedicated to the farming work and an earnest, sincere fellow and we had no unfaithfulness or anything like that. We had trouble in our partnership, I mean as far as the women were concerned. The men got along fine, they were brothers.

LaVOY:  Now, tell me one thing. How long did you date before you were married?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, roughly a year, I think. I think we started in the fall of 1939 and then we were married in August of 1940.

LaVOY:  Well, where did he propose to you?

SETTELMEYER:   I think it was in the automobile. I kinda wanted to encourage him, and so I said, "You know, I think it'd be a good idea if I changed schools and made a little advance for myself by going in to Reno schools." Well that did what I wanted it to do. (laughing) So then it was one evening we were together, been to a show or something, I guess, and so, I said yes.

LaVOY:  And tell me about your wedding.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, my father at that time, he had a lot of buildings going in a big block he had bought in southwest Reno. It was before he bought that Shannon [Sharon] property. And he had a lot of houses going in that block and so, the house that we announced our engagement in was just within the block of the house where we had our wedding reception or, the reception was at the church, the night we were married anyway. So I was always sorry we were never in the first house, the house where we announced [our] engagement because that was a nice big house. The second house wasn't quite so formidable. Anyway we had our honeymoon in the northwest but we had stopped in Quincy, California. The wedding night was in Quincy.

LaVOY:  Tell me where were you married?

SETTELMEYER:   In the First Methodist Church in Reno on First Street.

LaVOY:  And who were your attendants?

SETTELMEYER:   Doris Dangberg that had introduced us was my maid of honor and that was it, just one attendant.

LaVOY:  And who attended your husband?

SETTELMEYER:   Emory Gronke, his nephew.

LaVOY:  We have talked about your husband, Lawrence, but on tape we don't have his full name.' Would you give it to me?

SETTELMEYER: Lawrence Edward Settelmeyer was born August 31, 1905. We were married on his birthday. He died August 30, 1985, one day before his eightieth birthday. We had a big yard reception on his seventieth birthday which was our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary which was halfway through his life. He'd never really had a big birthday party and so this was his first big party and I said, "Which was the best half, the first thirty-five years or the second thirty-five years?" Well, there were witnesses so he had only one thing he could say.      (laughing)

LaVOY:  (laughing) Did you give up teaching then when you married him?

SETTELMEYER:   Yes, I would like to've done so and I think it might have been a very good thing considering everything now in retrospect. But, no, he said it might look like the farmers wanna gain taxes back and I said a few years later "Wouldn't you like to have those taxes back?" 'cause we got to paying thousands of dollars in taxes. Times got so much better and money was coming in for cattle and the hay was selling, but we didn't sell the hay, we fed it to the cattle. It was a cattle and alfalfa ranch, that ranch.

LaVOY:  How many acres did he have?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, he and his brother, Arthur Settelmeyer, ran the ranch from about 1928 'til 1965 when they dissolved the partnership. I think they ran what was considered a five hundred cow outfit for the cow and calf, that's the way they counted them by the active cow and calf.

LaVOY:  Now you say he was in a partnership with his brother. Did you live in a compound there?

SETTELMEYER:   That's a good word for it--compound. (laughing) There were two houses on that ranch. Arthur had been married in 1933 and built a new house and so when Lawrence and I got married, we lived with his mother in the old house which is well over a hundred years old now. Then along the way, Grace and Arthur had three children and the house seemed crowded. The house they built had three bedrooms upstairs. They had three children, then papa and mama, so she suggested that we trade houses--two or three motives in that, anyway the main one was that there would be more bedrooms in the old house.

LaVOY:  You were living with your mother-in-law?

SETTELMEYER: Mother-in-law, and of course this would be her mother-in-law then, trading around and she seemed to think that maybe she would be a happier combination with Grandma Settelmeyer than I was, but debate that question. Anyway I talked to Lawrence about it and I said, well we lose a little on the sense of the space in the house and I had done some remodeling in the old house and out of the parlor and the sitting room we had a great big living room that was like twenty-four feet long and maybe twelve or fourteen feet wide, at least fourteen, I guess. So 'course I think Grace saw some of these things too 'cause it had a little better place to entertain and she liked to entertain, she was good at that. And she had a different type of social group than I did. We were the same age but we were in a different kind of social group. And I was having my first baby and I wasn't feeling too good and that was another good reason to trade some. Lawrence and I, I said, okay, let's trade. We will gain spiritually about this 'cause for the first time, we'll be by ourselves, even though the space will be very crowded. The living room, kitchen was the downstairs and a little room for laundry . . . a nice house, I've really gotten to like the house very much, I love it. And so we traded. The idea was that we would trade back sometime but since Grace never suggested it, I didn't either. Grace, was pretty much the boss about what went on for the women. Why she dismissed some of the cooks from the kitchen and help that way, so then I was given more cooking work to do. Well, then I cornered my brother-in-law one morning after breakfast 'cause I had all the men for breakfast, I'd have five, maybe, men counting the two men, my brother-in-law and my husband and so I said, "If I'm going to do all this cooking, I'm willing to do it but I gotta have more space and more place for modern equipment, I want freezers, I want this, I want that." So I got what I asked for. I asked for a budget and I got what I asked for. I expected at that time that maybe I would not get this and I'd have to trade houses again. But I was more or less prepared for what would happen. She'd remodeled the kitchen in a way I didn't exactly like, in the old house, but she was a little taller. I was kinda careful. I'd have some things that I could work on easier. Of course at that time I didn't limp much, nobody recognized, even I didn't recognize my handicap what was potential coming up for me. So things got along fairly well, but there was jealousy and oh, these people that can make snide remarks, I spose I made my own. I was a little tartar. I didn't give up about anything and I stood my grounds sometimes, but it wasn't a happy thing all the time. However, there were family affairs. We always had Thanksgiving with a big affair, the whole family would come, Grandma Settelmeyer set a table . . . we had a big long dining room there in the old house and we could seat twenty people. Well, it got a little more than that and had to bring in card tables and extra dishes, why then we started going to a hotel for the dinner part and then come home or to somebody's house of the family for the afternoon socializing.

LaVOY:  How many children did you and your [husband have]?

SETTELMEYER:   Well, I had Frances in 1944 and that's after we traded that house, why she was born there. Then, she was born in Reno, but grew up in that house. Then in 1950 we had Charlotte and that same year Frances died very suddenly of edema of the glottis [streptococci infection caused swelling of glottis], oh a very shocking thing. I had my peace about it though, I was evidently quite a model to other mothers. They just couldn't believe that I took the death as calmly as I did, by the grace of God, though. It was my faith and it was kind of a miracle, really, that I had children, I guess, when we went into my physical being. So I was so disappointed however, the big thing was that this little girl, Charlotte, would be growing up alone and I thought I'd have playmates and they wouldn't be so lonely at home. We grew up in that house, we continued to occupy that house even after the dissolution of the partnership. But first Charlotte went to the University of Nevada and she became a teacher and got into, kind of by accident, to teaching deaf children. She had the opportunity of learning in that handicapped field and she took the advantage of it and became certified as a teacher of the deaf and she's still teaching the deaf today. She has two little girls and she married Roland Scarselli who's the son of the superintendent of the Gardnerville, for the Douglas County Schools, and Eva and Gene Scarselli were his parents. Rollie and Charlotte were married in 1971. They have the two little girls, Angela Marie and Laura Catherine. They're very pretty little girls, the grandmother tells you, and they're very bright little girls. Both the grandmothers are living and we're both very proud and happy with our little grandchildren. To go back to the ranch a little bit, in 1965, Arthur Settelmeyer had a son Arnold and he wanted to come in on the ranching business. We all agreed we really didn't want a three-way partnership so Lawrence and I were quite happy to get out of the ranching business and the partner in it. Lawrence went on working for his brother, Arthur, on a daily basis and I got out of the cooking part of it which of course pleased me greatly and I got into community work. I worked with Easter Seal and was on the state board of Easter Seal for several years and resigned from that. Earlier in my life when Lawrence was active in Farm Bureau I was on the state board of the State Farm Bureau and was head of the women's auxiliary. I'd never been able to get into this community work in any big way as I was too busy with cooking and had only a limited amount of physical energy and so I was happy to work with this Easter Seal. On a local basis we organized a guild under my leadership and I later was put on the state board because they saw that kind of ability. I come back and was elected to the board of the local Carson Valley Historical Society and served there for thirteen years. I initiated and founded their newsletter and wrote it myself and edited it for ten years then resigned and turned the job over to somebody else. In the meantime I had begun getting started in writing again, picking up some of my journalism interests. In 1980, I wrote the story called "The Settelemeyer Story" which was a review of the ranching of the Arnold Settelmeyer family [which] began actually in 1890 when Grandma Settelmeyer, Charlotte Schacht Settelmeyer and Arnold A. Settelemeyer were married and ranched down in the Genoa area. Then in 1890 they moved to what was termed the homeplace and because my husband said that March day at breakfast, "This is the day my family came to this place. That's where I now live. It's still known as the homeplace--divided up a little bit now.” So I thought, "That's a story!" and I immediately called the Record Courier and they would be quite happy to print the story so I had six issues of the story taking the story of the Arnold Settelmeyer family from the time they followed behind a horse-drawn plow to the time when they were leveling with a laser beam on the lower field they called it. It was some nine hundred acres down there that they had acquired many years before. They also had range land up in California at the Sonora and [Highway] 395 junction and they still own all of that and this Arnold, son of Arthur, still runs that outfit. He has a son, James, who, it appears, will be carrying on. Their daughter, just older than James, is studying also in agriculture college in California. They both are in agriculture colleges, different ones, and so, presumably, they'll carry on this Settelmeyer ranching lands. Lawrence and I ended up having eighty some acres of the homeplace. We sold out our cattle. We were able to retain the house we had lived in all the time since we traded in 1944 and it continues to be our house. I was able to add on to it and I just really love it. It's a very interesting architectural plan. It's a basic, sound house. It's a brick and frame. I think they term it colonial style, a little bit, it has a cantilevered upstairs floor, cantilevered over the first. So I got into doing these feature things for the Record Courier and I'm having a wonderful time doing my own interviews with old-timers. Mine are feature stories . . . they're done with tape but they are also printed in the paper.

LaVOY:  I understand you received some awards. Would you tell me about that?

SETTELMEYER:   Oh, well, of course, that's quite a thrill. In 1988, I had the second position award as a rural columnist and the next year I got first place as rural columnist. This year is about the time this press association should be meeting, but I don't know what's going to happen this year 'cause the paper turns in one of my stories that they consider, you know, outstanding, and I don't know what they turned in for this last period of time. I don't know really quite from what date to what date that period of time goes, that they choose and I don't know what they turned in.

LaVOY:  Tell me who owns the paper.

SETTELMEYER:   Well, I think the Tahoe Tribune owns the Record Courier now. I think a man named Tom Wixson had been an owner previously but I don't understand this business end of that just so they pay me for my column.

LaVOY: One last thing I want to ask you, I believe you told me before, but from what did your husband pass away?

SETTELMEYER: It was really a heart condition, I guess. He was sick for a good five years, in and out of hospitals and rest homes and part of the time he wasn't very conscious of who he was. He seemed to know me always but didn't always know other people. But through kind of an accident that I happened onto minerals and things that was needed in his diet, things the doctors even didn't recognize, why we got his mind in pretty good shape. He was always pretty alert about communicating, though he fell a few times and we'd have him in the hospital and then we'd have him in the rest home 'cause I couldn't take care of him. It ended up that the last time he fell was about March 17, I think, and he was going in to do some church work there in Gardnerville and he somehow stumbled on a step and fell back and broke his hip and an elbow and I just about lost heart that day. I thought I can't do it much longer. The man who had been working for us for seven or eight years was still staying with me and he helped with that last year because he came in the house. We had a hospital bed for Lawrence and turned our dining room into a bedroom which had a toilet facility just across a little hall and that all worked out pretty good. Lawrence came home from Sierra Rest Home in Carson on the sixteenth of August, 1984, and then he died in August [30], 1985.

LaVOY:  I see, and left you alone.

SETTELMEYER:   And so I was alone. Charlotte was married, of course, and lived in Verdi. A lady came and lived with me who had been a college friend and sorority sister, Melva Fowler Anderson. I was looking that up the other night. We were together about two years. Well we had a wonderful time the first year. The next year wasn't, we'd see each other's faults the second year and so then she had the chance to do some house sitting and other things and so then we separated. Getting into more writing and all I was happy to be alone. I didn't have any problem with adjusting to that after a month or two.

LaVOY:  Well, that's very interesting and you've had a very, very interesting life. On behalf of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project I want to thank you.

SETTELMEYER:   It's been fun and I've enjoyed doing this because I take interviews and here now I'm being shown how's a better way to take interviews.

LaVOY:  Well, thank you.

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Churchill County Museum Association , “Mary Hancock Settelmeyer Oral History,” Churchill County Museum Digital Archive: Fallon, Nevada, accessed July 1, 2022,