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Helen Worthy Townsend Rogers
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Birth: Dec. 26, 1909
Hartford City
Blackford County
Indiana, USA
Death: Dec. 24, 1999
Hartford City
Blackford County
Indiana, USA

This story was written by Carly Townsend at age 9 for a school assignment (Burris School, Muncie, IN) and copied below:
My report is about my great-aunt, Vivian Bauer, and her family. She was my grandfather's [Marion Mayo Townsend] sister. They had ten children in their family, and their grandmother lived with them, too. Aunt Vivian lived in Hartford City, IN her whole life. Aunt Vivian was born in 1911 and was the second oldest [child] in the family. Her older sister, Aunt Helen [Helen Worthy Townsend Rogers], was her best friend. I talked to Aunt Vivian, and she told me some stories of how things were when she was my age. They didn't have much money, and they had to do what they could to get by.
They took baths in the kitchen, and brought an old wash tub and put it behind the stove. They had to bring in water from the well and heat it on the old coal stove. Then they filled the tub about half-full, and everybody took baths in the same water. "We had an outhouse by the alley. Grandma made sure we had a 'slop jar' to use at night, so we didn't have to go out into the cold."
I asked her about doing chores for such a big family. "Doing the laundry was a big job, especially because there were so many people living in the house. It took all day. We had to heat water on the boiler on the stove and pour it into the tubs. Then, we used a washboard. We hung the clothes outside in the warm weather, and inside during the winter. We didn't have a washer and dryer back then. The next day, we had to do the ironing. Mom was always afraid we would waste something, so she wouldn't let us cook. But--we could always do the dishes. With 12 or 13 people in the house, there were a lot of dishes to wash! I remember Dad butchering hogs, and salting the meat in a barrel to preserve it. In the summers, my Dad used to take orders for pickling cucumbers. I remember crawling all over the pickle patch. It was a job keeping it weeded, hoed and harvested. After they were pickled, we had to grade them by size."
I asked her about going to school. "I was pretty smart in school. I went 1st through 6th grades at the North Ward School, 7th & 8th grades at the Junior High, then I went two years at the Catholic School. I took a business course with my sister, Helen, and we graduated in 1928. Helen worked harder than I did to learn. I was so proud of her when she got a job uptown. When we were young girls, Mom was always very particular about how we looked when we went to school. She had to comb our hair every morning. Helen's hair was down her back and braided. We always had big hair bows. Sometimes Mom would visit us in school, and I was always proud when she came."
Times were hard and everybody had to pitch in to help out. I went to work at age 14 at E. Cox Printers. There was a man who was selling sewing machines for $1.00 per week. Mom [Nellie Bly Casterline Townsend] was pregnant again and didn't have a sewing machine to make baby clothes. I bought her a sewing machine, and she gave it back to me before she died in 1987. I gave it to my granddaughter, Cindy, a couple of weeks ago. Cindy was the only other person to use it after Mom died. Helen started working at the Sneath Glass Factory the fall after she graduated. I worked at the printers for a few years, but then I went to the Sneath a couple of years after Helen did. We would take our paychecks and buy groceries for the family. We usually had only a couple of dollars left over each week. When I was a child, I had one pair of shoes and wore them until they fell apart. Dad could take old tires and make new soles. I had three dresses to wear to school. We couldn't wear pants at all. I didn't have many toys, but I usually had a doll. Grandma [Miriam Maxwell Phillips Casterline Sherry] would see to that."
I asked Aunt Vivian about what they used to do for fun when she was a little girl. "My favorite game we played was "Go Sheepy Go." We played it around dusk, and one would have to find everybody. It was kind of like Hide and Seek. I was 8 years old when we got the Model T. We got to ride in it to get to go milk our two cows that were in the pasture on Wabash Avenue. Helen, our brother, Carl [Carl Adam Townsend], would practically knock each other over running to the car, yelling, 'Side going to milk!' We would ride on the running boards, and there was only enough room for one child per side. On Sundays, my Grandma [Sherry] would hitch up Daisy, her gray horse, and take me and the neighbor lady for rides. She would put a board across the bottom, and that's where I'd sit. There wasn't a top, so the ladies would take umbrellas for shade. In 1920, State Road 3, was still a gravel road. The City workers used to put cinders on the streets and alleys so they wouldn't be muddy, because we didn't live where the streets were brick."
Aunt Vivian's family visits were always something to look forward to when she was little. "Uncle Ralph and Uncle Walter used to come every summer and visit after they moved to Corning, New York. Uncle Walter bought me my first Ever Sharp pencil when I was in the fourth grade. They used to treat Helen and me like princesses, because we were their only nieces. When we lived on Cherry Street, Uncle Ralph and Uncle Walter came to visit one time. Mrs. Moyer, who lived behind us, had such lovely flowers. She had sweet peas growing along her fence. One day, I cried to Uncle Ralph and Uncle Walter to go with them to Grandma's house down the street. As we passed Mrs. Moyer's flowers, Uncle Walter picked a flower, and I thought, 'That's all you have to do!' The next day, I picked a whole bouquet gave them to my mother. My mother said I was a sinner for stealing those flowers. She whipped me and made me go back and apologize to Mrs. Moyer. Awhile later, Mrs. Moyer brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, because I was honest enough to tell her I took the flowers." Aunt Vivian told me that Mrs. Moyer's son was the first man from Blackford County to die in World War I.
Aunt Vivian liked talking to me about her life when she was a young girl. It was 1920 when she was the same age as me. It was a long time ago, and a lot has changed since she was nine years old. 
Family links: 
  Adam Carl Townsend (1886 - 1968)
  Nellie Bly Casterline Townsend (1890 - 1987)
  Eldo Crosley Rogers (1911 - 1986)*
  Helen Worthy Townsend Rogers (1909 - 1999)
  Vivian Thelma Townsend Bauer (1911 - 2005)*
  Carl Adam Townsend (1914 - 1968)*
  Kermit Casterline Townsend (1916 - 1918)*
  Marion Mayo Townsend (1920 - 1985)*
  Julia Catherine Townsend Bates (1923 - 2016)*
*Calculated relationship
Gardens of Memory
Delaware County
Indiana, USA
Created by: Kristin
Record added: Dec 06, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 101833709
Helen Worthy <i>Townsend</i> Rogers
Added by: Kristin
Helen Worthy <i>Townsend</i> Rogers
Added by: Kristin
Helen Worthy <i>Townsend</i> Rogers
Added by: DSON1492
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- Glenda Barry
 Added: Feb. 8, 2013

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