History Questionnaire Results – Merla Area/Brookman

3. What businesses do you remember being in town and where
were they located?

Smith’s Cafe (on the south side of main street; then they
moved across the street . The post office; the general store; the
gas station.

I remember my Mother and the other local women picking seed at
the Seed Store.

I remember City Hall and when election day came the women
would come to our house for breaks because there was no other
place in town with facilities that were open

5. Did you attend school here? What years? Any special
memories (such as your first day, etc?)

Yes from first grade until I graduated from high school in
1964. I remember Steve Shaw (my cousin) would always protect me
from the bullies. (I had no brothers or sisters)

6. Where was your favorite place to spend spare/free time?
How much did it cost?

Cost?? That’s funny…..we just hung out on the street corner
and in the 60′s it was safe.

7. What job opportunities were there for kids? Adults?

None that I can recall for kids except delivering the

8. What recreational activities did you partake in? (i.e.,
sports, skating rink, band, etc)

Played in the school band but there wasn’t a skating rink. My
Dad would take me to the local pond when it froze over to ice

9. How did most people get around the town (and

When I was growing up we walked. Before my parents had a car
there was bus service between Manhattan, St. George, and

We got our first car (that I can remember) in about 1950/51. I
remember it had a mouse in it that ran across on the floor. Of
course in those days it was ok for kids to stand in the car and I
stood up in the front seat between the driver and the

10. Did you have a phone? Was it on a party-line? What’s your
favorite party-line memory? Do you remember any phone

Yes we had a party line phone. Our number was 502; same as our
post office box.

11. When did you get electricity? What kind of difference did
it make?

Mom and Dad electricity by the time as I born; same as indoor

14. How many floods have you experienced here in St. George?
What do you remember most from each one?

Just the one in 1951. I remember all the water, I remember
Dale Miller had a boat and was giving rides.

Also my father worked for the railroad and a big truck would
come and pick him up and take him away for days and then bring
him back.

We did not have water in our house. My cousin was in nurses
training in Topeka and had come to visit for a few days and then
we couldn’t take her home because of the flood. I remember the
gasline exploding also just east of St. George.

15. What are the biggest local news stories you

When Eli (can’t remember the last name) shot and killed a
woman. A lot of people never did believe he was guilty.

16. What wartime memories stand out, and how did they affect
the community?

Please………that’s before my time.

18. What are your memories of the Spring Tank?

My Mother had a picture of me (which I can not find) drinking
out of the spring tank. My father was holding me and I was about
10 months old.

When I was in high school it was cool to be thrown into the
spring tank. Yes I made the cool list.

20. What single thing (event, invention, etc) made the
biggest impact on St. George, in your opinion?

When the new highway was built and it didn’t go through St.
George that was the beginning of the end.

My father met my mother in St. George. She worked/lived at the
boarding house with her sister and family. My father worked for
the railroad and ate at the restaurant, where she was also
working. That had the biggest impact on MY life.