Based on an interview of Geneal Ogden
Geneal Ogden shares experiences and feelings on the times during the Great Depression. Slow but sure in her responses, she relates experiences with a continuous smile, glad of the fact that she can be of help. Her timid voice, accentuated with intermittent sniffles, gives a true feeling what it was like living then.
I was born the twelfth of May, 1906 in Richfield, Utah. I have two sisters and two brothers.
I took one year of school over to Koosharem; then I came down here [Richfield] because I got the chicken pox over there; the whole family was going through six weeks of chicken pox. Then I came over to Richfield and finished first grade here. My mother set everything aside to make sure she could take me down to school. We were all in the same room, but I finished high school there. Anyway I went to Fish Lake and worked three summers for a dollar a day. It was fun, but there wasn't any money in it 'cause that was when the depression was on. We didn't have electricity, water, or power. We had an old pear tree down there by the toilet, but we didn't have much.
Morris worked for construction and helped build roads. So he got us a job. We didn't have any kids; it was still about three years before that so there was those three years that we worked construction. So we decided to go on the road to do construction from Price.. to . . . St. George or somewhere down in that area.
But first we stopped off around Helper to see if we could help there. Then the road moves . . . .We had a little canvas tent. And a cupboard that was really an old orange crate. We also had a bed about this wide (indicates approximately a foot and a half with her hands).
Just enough to hold on.
We went all the way down to Green River, and that's where the big geyser was. We stopped there to see the geyser. Then we went down to this road camp. There were about twenty-five there. We worked there until the job was finished.
We came home in September, LeIla was born in June. During that previous summer Morris had earned a thousand dollars working on the road. When we got back, he went down to put it in the bank. The next morning he went to get it out, and the bank had closed. The next five to nine years we got most of it back, but we didn't get all of it. The man that ran the bank, we called him Blackbird, he had moved and that was the last we saw of him. He was a nice man with a nice family and a pretty good house, but he kept two sets of books. One for the auditors and one for his own self. He got put in jail finally.
Our kids always had what they needed; they didn't have anything fancy, but they got along. Morris made them chairs and tables and a cupboard that they could play with. When they got ready to go to college, they all had enough money to buy a car, not a nice one, but a car. They always got what they needed . . . One time we had a little Indian boy that stayed with us, and he had a little scooter that he played on for hours at a time.
In the summer LeIla worked up at the pool as a lifeguard. Then she got a job down at the show house selling candy at first; she didn't like that job, but then she got to run the movie-projector, and she liked that job. The boys worked up at Fish Lake most every summer for the Forest Service. They were all three good workers and never had any trouble with their managers or bosses for that matter.
The Depression taught us to know where our money was and where it was going and to buy things that aren't going to put you broke.