Warren Roudebush's Reminiscences of Oxford and Miami University
Warren Roudebush standing on the east side of the McGuffey House, ca. 1927
Ed. Note: Warren “Bud” Roudebush (1914-1984) was one of three children born to Wallace P. and Dorothy T. Roudebush. Warren lived with his family in Oxford from 1914-1924 before moving into the McGuffey House on Spring Street in 1925. He received his BA from Miami in 1936 and a MA from Ohio State in 1937. Warren served overseas in the US Navy as a gunnery officer on the USS Lee from 1943-1945. Roudebush was the first director of the President’s Council on Aging, 1959-1965. He died in Oldney, MD in 1984 and was survived by his wife and four children.
S. Gordon, April 2021
Warren T. Roudebush
The Roudebush chidren outside the McGuffey House, L-R Jane, Waren, and Wallace, ca. 1928
(J.B.) Jane (Roudebush) Bourne, talking with my brother, Warren T. “Bud” Roudebush, at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland. The date is March 27, 1982. Bud, for the record, please state your full name.
(W.R) Okay. Warren Thompson Roudebush.
(J.B.) And you were born where and when?
(W.R.) Specifically, the second or third house east of Church Street, on the north side of Campus Avenue. June 29, ’14.
(J.B.) Tell me about your earliest recollection having to do with the war… First World War, that is.
(W.R) Well, my first recollection, I guess, is the First World War, and it has to do with the Armistice. How much of this is a figment of the imagination and how much a reality, I don’t know, but apparently, Mom carried me in her arms up on High Street… I do remember a tremendous commotion up there, apparently everybody in Oxford went up there.
(J.B.) In those early days, how did you travel around town?
(W.R.) I guess it’s on… a… travel around town, now let’s think about it. At age five, was not… well, I’m not sure very much about that. Let’s say the parents… Dad walked to the University… we were only about four blocks from the University. Mom went up walking to the grocery store, we kids strolled around. Now, I think we get into the question some place along here about sidewalks… well, I don’t know that there were any sidewalks of significance. I assume there were some along High Street. Most of the kids, if they were lucky enough, had bicycles, and along about age six, we began to travel around on bicycles.
(J.B.) Were there any cars?
(W.R.) I’m asked… “Are there any cars?” I think there were. I can remember it was 1919 that Dad came home very excited, and Dad didn’t get excited very often, with the news that he had a second-hand Dodge car—a touring car. No one hears anymore of a touring car. This was outstanding, in my judgment, because it had great big brass headlights—carbide headlights—and oh, we had a lot of fun in that car, because periodically, Dad would say, “Let’s take a drive out to the end of the road.”
The brick road, that is. The brick road went a mile outside town… [Ed. Note: US Route 27, Hamilton-Oxford Rd] on beyond the cemetery, and that was a good surface. We’d go out there and back and turn around and come home. That made a very nice evening drive. Now, there’s something else I’d like to report about that brick road, but I’ll wait till the next question.
(J.B.) Do you remember what kind of car it was?
(W.R.) It was a Dodge. I already said it was a Dodge.
(J.B.) Bud, when did you learn to drive?
(W.R.) Okay, Pat and I were permitted to buy a car, he was fifteen, and at that time it qualified him, and I was fourteen and I handed up half the money, that was ten dollars. I can’t quite remember where I got that. But Pat and I paid $20 for the car. Dad paid $25 for the insurance. Now, figure it out. That’d be 1928.
And, if I may, I’d like to go back a little before 1928, with regard to that brick road, because Jane has asked about that previously. I reported that we drove out to the end of it. But I can remember vividly before the road… the brick road, which originally came from College Avenue to Campus Avenue, terminated at that point, and then a new production started, and when I went home from McGuffey to Race [Withrow] Street for lunch, and came back, it was fascinating to watch the men working there on the brick road extending on down to Patterson and ultimately out beyond the cemetery and so forth.
(J.B.) How would you describe the streets in Oxford at that time?
(W.R) Except for the brick-laid streets of High Street, every other street was dirt. It wasn’t plain dirt, though, it was compacted and in addition was sealed by oil. Every year, I guess it was, in the spring, oil tanker trucks came around. They spread oil, and you really were supposed to wait for a day or two for that oil to soak in and dry up a little bit, because it was messy; and I had quite a horrible experience on my bicycle one time, when I skidded across the road. But anyway, they were very good surfaces. Now out in the country, where you had the dirt roads, they were dusty. Already they’d begun to put sodium or salt on the roads to reduce the dust, but basically, you went out in the country, and you were prepared to bump up and down, and you carried two or three spare tires—that’s another story, I guess, about traveling in the country.
(J.B.) How did you change a tire in those days?
(W.R.) Oh, I’m asked, how did you change a tire? That was more fun for us to watch and Dad to sweat through. Tires then, do you remember the tires were high-pressure, they were thirty-inch or thirty-three-inch in diameter, and three and a half—this was a very small, big tire—that is small diameter and big circumference, and they were spit rims, and you got out on the road and you had a flat tire, they were tube tires—not tubeless, and you knocked apart the rim after you got it off the wheel, and you skinned some knuckles, and then you had a hot patch—that was fun. This gets more technical, I think, than most histories want, but it was rather exciting for a little boy to have a flat tire, and to see it repaired and put back on.
(J.B.) Bud, what do you remember about any horse-drawn vehicles in those days?
(W.R.) Well, I think I’ve received a leading question about horse-drawn vehicles, because the paramount memory, outstanding memory, is… no it’s in two parts. Grandpa and Grandma Roudebush lived one mile outside of town [Ed. Note: The family farm, “Rosemoor,” was located on the west side of Brown Road, opposite and immediately north of present-day Jeffery Dr]. This was how I learned the length of a mile—walking out there and walking back. Anyway, Saturday nights—they came in in their buggy, and they parked at the hitching rail, around the town square. Of course, at that time, we had the band stand, and it must have been awful, but there was a brass band that played every Saturday night, and Grandma and Grandpa would do a week’s shopping. They’d try to get there a little early and hitch up. I think they drove in the white horse—the white horse was named Mark. The black horse, Belle, was a little too rambunctious. Mark was the one that they drove to town. The two of them, of course, they used on the farm. They were farm horses. They weren’t Percherons, but they weren’t racehorses either. Now they also flossied up the buggy to come into town for church. Grandmother and Grandfather were very good members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They came there every Sunday. It was the same buggy that they drove when they came in to pick up Mom and me, and Pat, I suppose, I don’t know about Jane, to gout to Dad’s younger sister Sarah’s wedding. I can remember this vividly, and I guess I was a little tyke. My cousin would remember what year it was. But anyway, as they started off they went over the thank-you-ma’ams on Race [Withrow] Street, the ups and downs that provided for storm drainage and, of course, yours truly fell out and got messed up in his little white Buster Brown suit. Mom had to take me home and dress me up again. I guess I… we were late for the wedding. I’m sure it was a good wedding, regardless.
(J.B.) Bud, tell us about the stores—business establishments—you remember as a child.
(W.R) Well, I can remember clearly how often Mom would send me up to get a spool of thread—I think they cost a nickel, maybe it was less—or, another notion… a piece of thread… needles or something, and that was a piece of cake, because I went on Race [Withrow] Street due west… let’s see… two, three… three streets to Poplar on the southwest corner of Poplar was Miss Osborne. This was a small, frame residence, but she had a front room store. She had the old-fashioned case. In it were all the notions, and I would get a spool of thread for a nickel—of mercerized, 40 weight, or whatever Mom wanted, and sometimes, having got that, Mom would send me on up to Free’s Bakery which was about a block or so beyond; anyway, that was one of the stores. [Mr. Free was the father of Frekerika Hodgin of the Sunshine Restaurant.] Now uptown was another kettle of fish. That sort of baffled the little fellow, but let’s see, there was [Steve] Chappars’… going west on High Street… first of all was Chappars’ College Inn. Now whether it was then or later on… Chappars had a tremendous $.25 roast pork luncheon. I can’t forget that. Next door was Marquis’ Shoe Stop… next was Mr. [Frank] Snyder’s Photographic Shop… then you went up to the Purity. I forget the stores that came along the way there. Let me wait a minute and reflect. Now I remember. Still in the same block was Hornung’s Meat Market. Both Mr. [Clarence] and Mrs. [Deborah] Hornung… Fern [Fern Hornung married Herbert B. Todd] was one of my classmates… and Mom would send me up there once in a while to get a pound and a half of round steak ground. I’ll never forget—a pound and a half of round steak, ground. Okay, let’s move west from Hornung’s and across Main Street. Oh, before I cross Main Street is Barkley’s… Barkley’s Drug Store. Oh, that was the high point. You know, I always felt a little guilty going in there, because you could get a phosphate. A phosphate was a carbonated drink, I guess. I don’t see them anymore. They cost a nickel. But if you really were endowed, you could get a sundae, or you could get a chocolate soda—ten cents. They were delicious. And Doc Barkley was pretty nice. If Doc Barkley served you, you got a real heavy serving. If one of the students served you, you didn’t get quite so much.
(J.B.) Later on, one of the students was [Myron T.] Tuffy Potter. Bud, you remember Hutchisson’s Grocery Store?
(W.R.) Yeah. When you went west, across Main Street, there was a… seems to me a grocery store and a women’s notions store and something. But the important store, to me, was Hutchisson’s—their grocery. And, I think it might be of interest, that the groceries then, of course, had very few canned goods, and all the staples were in bulk, and I can remember even sugar, as well as some of the grains. You’d say you wanted a pound of them, so one of the Hutchisson brothers would get out a paper sack and a big scoop, and he’d scoop out what you wanted. People might be worried today about sanitation. There wasn’t any problem with sanitation, as far as butter is concerned. I guess… I rather think we got butter at the grocery… at the butcher shop, but that doesn’t matter. But anyway, the grocery was a very nice, warm place, you’d go in and you’d ask for rice or whatever it was, and generally you came out with a little brown paper bag of whatever they had scooped out of what you wanted.
(J.B.) Bud, was there any meeting place uptown for young people?
(W.R.)Well, this leading question is that a little bit short—that is to say east of our circuit around High Street—a little bit short of Hutchisson’s, there was a stairway that… upstairs on the second floor, in a long room that had two windows on the front, was the Hi-Y room for boys. I clear my throat there. It was a marvelous room We had magazines there. I think it was the Boys’ Life, but above all, for me, was the library. They had a complete set of the Tom Swift books. Now, if you don’t know the Tom Swift books, it doesn’t mean much to you. They also had the big, wooden checker boards, and we used short little pool cues to shoot carrom, but it was a marvelous place. Then, when we left there… now to continue the tour… going on, west of Hutchisson’s and crossing the next street—Poplar, I believe, there was a big grocery there for years on that left corner, and then you went on, and here was one of the aboriginal filling stations—a kind of tank they had there, where the little man came out and… gasoline station… and he pumped and pumped and pumped, and the gasoline would go up and up and up in a glass tank and it got clear to the top—five gallons, and then he’d stick it in your car—the hose that is—down would come the gasoline, and it’s get to the bottom—you may have ordered only two, you may have ordered five, and when it got to the bottom, then he’d go back to the neck of the hose and he’d rather milk it—as if he was milking a cow, to make sure you saw that you got all the gasoline. Okay, all right, across the street there were the Halters’ and I think , now wait a minute, Kyger came in there sometime, but I don’t know when, maybe that was later on.
(J.B.) Bud, let’s don’t forget Corso’s.
(W.R.) Oh, sure. That was the main thing on High Street—that is from Poplar to College Avenue, on the south side, was Corso’s. You could get any kind of fruit or vegetable you wanted in Corso’s, and it was always nice to talk to them. Apparently they liked children, I guess, because I enjoyed myself there. But then, when you went across the street, there were a couple of nice residences. I guess when you left, you were leaving the John W. Scott house at College and came back east on the north side of High Street, then off to the left on Beech was the movie house… one movie house… maybe that came on a little later. You crossed Beech—here’s the Oxford Hardware [38 West High]. I’m not sure in the Twenties, which is what I’m trying to focus on mostly—1920 to 1930. Oops, I’m reminded here that when I say Poplar Street, I should have been saying Beech Street. As soon as we got across Beech… as you go across Beech Street, you came to the Oxford Hardware, which was an awfully important store in this essentially country town. I felt so fortunate in my school years to get to have a job in there and dust things off, and sometimes make delivery in the Model-T pickup, because farmers came in from all over, including Indiana and Bath and so forth. We had a fine selection of harness upstairs. It was beautiful harness. Mr. [William] Umstead was a very respected figure. Actually, John McCreary was a fine person—knew more about hardware and agriculture equipment as much as anything I know. Next door, we got into the public utility place, and then there was a bank and so forth. Well, Farmer’s State Bank was down there on the corner. [High and West Park Place] That’s right. Then you went around the park. The park was rather anomalous or amorphous except on the north side, where [opposite] the water tower—and I can’t remember when the water tower went up—was a Post Office [40 Park Place East], and people seem surprised now, that there was a Post Office there. Well, of course that was the Post Office. It was the central part of town. You went around there… you went a little further on, and Byrne’s Drug Store [20 East High] came upon you. Now where… who preceded Byrne’s, I’m not quite sure, but next door, and this goes back, way back, was Brandenburg’s Music Store, that was on the second floor [24 East High], and some place among those buildings was the movie house. I’m not sure that the movie house was in that block. I rather think it was. It actually is one of my first memories of High Street, because Pat and I would be given a dime, by Mom, on Saturday afternoon… certainly the movie never played on Sunday, and I don’t think it played… I don’t think it played any day in the week except Saturday. And we had Tom Mix, and my, the mighty Wurlitzer, and it was a most exciting thing, and it’s a shame for us to spend Saturday afternoon on a sunny day up there, but we did, and we loved it. Now, maybe I’m wrong in the location of it. Maybe it was farther west. Jane thinks maybe it was between the Farmer’s State Bank and the Oxford Hardware. I don’t know. One other thing, though, about Mr. Brandenburg, and I understand other people in town called him Dick, but little kids didn’t say… little kids said Mr. Brandenburg. His daughter, I can remember, was considered quite a violinist. His business up there was selling violin supplies. But actually, I got to know him first, as a little kid, across the street, because he ran the barber shop. And it was quite a big deal there, you go in to get a hair cut… now that gets into another family story, but… and I’ll skip that. But now backing up still a little bit more and going around what was Byrne’s Drug Store—and I don’t think it was Byrne’s at that time—but going to the northeast corner, where now I believe is the library…
(J.B.) Book store.
(W.R.) book store… was the most fascinating place uptown, and that was Wagner’s Blacksmith Shop. I wonder if there is any experience to compare with watching a blacksmith hammer… first of all heat the iron—it doesn’t matter whether he’s making a hinge, or a repair on a wagon or a horse shoe. We think in terms, generally, of a horse shoe. He heats it, and he hammers it, and the sparks fly off, and then he plunges it in a big wooden barrel… a half barrel… oak barrel of water… and it goes sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, and then he brings it out again, and he puts it in the fire, and the bellows begin to work, and it starts through again, and there’s nothing quite exciting, unless it’s that moment when somebody bringing in a horse to be shoed, the blacksmith, with his leather apron, gets in a certain straddle position—I can’t describe it—and raises up the hoof of the horse. The only thing I can remember is the back leg—the back hoof, and starts working on it. It’s very dramatic.
(J.B.) Bud, one thing I would like to hear you tell us about are the delivery men who came to the house.
(W.R.) Okay. I think the ones I admired the most… about a mile out of town was Brown’s Dairy—the name doesn’t sound right—[Raymond Brown, Brown Homestead Farm, 5815 Brown Road] but anyway, the Browns delivered our milk… had a cart… two wheels… big wheels… a little wooden interstices, and they came around very early in the morning, in glass bottles, and it cost a nickel a quart. You left a note out whether you wanted anything besides one quart or two quarts or cream or whatever, and they delivered. Now another thing was the bakery, Mr. Free… anyway, he had a Model-T truck. Now, you didn’t see a lot of Model-T trucks, and his was specially equipped. He delivered baked goods. What he had in the back, I don’t know. But what he had… he had just a single seat, and you got a sugar cookie, and they were great cookies. Now there was also…
(W.R.) Oh yes, the Halter brothers [Henry and Ed] coming around… now that lasted later on. It was when, I’m sure… but anyway, Halter brother had a marvelous produce garden—a large garden—just beyond the railroad tracks, and south [side] of High Street, and they’d load up and come around, and Sammy Halter, their son, was my best friend. Anyway, the father and Sammy’s uncle drove this four-wheel wagon around, and you could hear them two blocks away—“Wegetables… Wegetables”… and Mom and the other mothers around the neighborhood would go out. Now, there was a fourth service that I’m not quite clear about. It was the ice service. I can remember fellows with great leather aprons extending down their backs and big ice tongs that would take these fifty-pound blocks of ice, and they’d bring it in your house, and you’d put it in the ice box. I still want to refer to ice boxes. It always marveled me how they could take an ice pick and go pop pop pop pop pop pop pop, and split a big block into two equal blocks, and of course, the kids hanging around, at least on a hot day, got the chips. They were pretty good.
(End of Side One)
Warren T. Roudebush
(J.B.) Talking with my brother, Warren Roudebush, in his home in Silver Springs, Maryland. The date is March 27, 1982. Bud, let’s get the features of the Miami campus, as you remember it.
(W.R.) I’ve already referred to the central feature, in my time, which was the Thobe’s Fountain. It’s now gone. The second feature was the astronomical arrangement of Brice Hall and the old library. Down in front of the library was a very small wooden exhibit board that had two items on it: One was about a half-inch in diameter, and the other was a quarter—inch in diameter. This was the earth (the large one) and the moon (the small one), and up on the back of Brice Hall was the sun. It was about five foot in diameter. And this gave my first perspective on the universe. I suspect that many students had the same reaction… here we are… well, not to carry it too far, but those were the dimensions of the thing. I think it’ a loss to the students today not to have that kind of symbolism of our universe today. Now, on again, other features, some time… I don’t know… you can see yourselves in the class of 1910 or 1912, put up gates to the Slant Walk. Slant Walk originally was brick, and I can recall my father telling me—he was pleased, I am sure—that the president of the University, Raymond Hughes, said, “Wallace, will you help me survey this?” Hughes had some mathematical and survey technique. They laid out the line of the Slant Walk. The Slant Walk was planted with brick. The brick surface stayed there for many years. I can recall riding on it on my bicycle—that doesn’t matter—but it lasted for many, many decade, and finally when it was removed, someone reported—Foster Cole or someone else—that they had picked up a dime or a quarter or something going back, and I said, “Fine.”
(J.B.) Bud, let’s talk about lower campus.
(W.R.) The area east of Stoddard and Elliott Halls, the original dormitories, was referred to as the Lower Campus, which was a misnomer because it was not a campus, it was a woods. It was a woods of primeval trees. It was a marvelous place. You name the tree; I could find it there. But there were paths through it: paths that went to Western College, paths that went down to the corner—what do we call it now?
(W.R.) Patterson and High Street, and among those paths was one that went to a shack called Percy MacKaye Shack. Percy MacKaye, now someone else must check me on the history, but I think he was one of the first poets in residence in the United States, for whatever that signifies [Ed. Note: He was the nation’s second university artist in residence, 1920. Western College had the nation’s first artist in residence, Edgar Stillman Kelley, 1910]. However, Percy MacKaye produced a fair number of plays. He was a minor dramatist, but he was here in residence, and students did come to him. He did not stay here very long, but after he left, Percy MacKaye’s shack was a place that everyone in Oxford knew. Now among other uses it was put to was… one of the… Boy Scouts. It happens I, Bud Roudebush, was a Boy Scout at the time, and I got my Tenderfoot Badge and my Eagle Badge and whatever there, because we had sessions there once a week or twice a week or whatever it was called for. It was an activity center. I know it was used for other purposes. What they were, I’m sorry, I can’t report.
(J.B.) Bud, How about Dad Wolfe?
(W.R.) Okay. First of all, I remember the physique of the guy. He was a tall, I don’t say skinny, but a lanky fellow, and actually, every time I envision him, I can see him with the leather-bound clock hanging from his shoulder down to his waist. He carried this clock because his job was to be the night watchman, and he had a certain routine—going around the campus there were certain little boxes with keys in them, and he would go to those boxes, and he would put the key in the leather-bound clock, and that would perforate a paper disk and show that he was there at that particular time. I suppose Dad Wolfe was as conscientious a public servant as you could find. It’s… I don’t know what else to say about him except in describing the character of warmth that he had for the students. He was tolerant, but he was firm. The students would get out of line. Dad Wolfe was the security force for the campus, and if a student got out of line and Dad Wolfe spoke to him, that was supposed to take care of the thing. It’s a little hard to project from that period back in the Twenties and the Thirties to this day where security is a much more rigid and disciplined thing, but Dad Wolfe did keep a tight lid, if you will. He was a good security officer. Now, I have a special affinity or relationship with him, because I had, for some reason or other, the opportunity of being a night watchman… a substitute for him, and I would follow around. Now, that’s another story, but let me get into it a little bit. I would go into Herron Hall, and I would cross that wooden floor there—it was dark and mysterious—sure I had a flashlight, but the flashlight shown in one direction, and I didn’t know what was behind and in the other directions. And then I would get down… I was always glad to get down to the Power Plant and see Lou Moon. That reassured me that we were all in position. I have spoken elsewhere about Lou Moon. I think the word to describe his presence on the campus was that he had dignity, he was firm, he represented authority, but he was an understanding authority. Now, there are other aspects of Dad Wolfe. He had a tiny little house next to Stewart School. People who knew him there knew him as a neighbor, not as an authority figure for the University. There is another picture in my mind. It was a picture taken after I left the school, before the construction or the final completion of the Beta Tower. There are a series of bells laid on the ground and Dad Wolfe and… you know we spoke… we said Dad Wolfe with all respect. We should have said Sir or Mr. Wolfe, but we said Dad Wolfe. And he was standing there by the bells, just as proud of them as could be.
(J.B.) Bud, how do you remember Western College in those days?
(W.R.) Well, now I think in the early Twenties… sometime in the twenties, the thing that strikes me the most is that this was a very attractive area… natural attractive area east of us. In particular the pond. In the summer the pond… there likely were some birds there, I don’t know, I didn’t pay too much attention to birds… but in the winter it froze over, and we got to skate. There was a little island at the north part—I call it an island, I’m not sure it’s much more than twenty feet in diameter— but we’d put on these funny old skates the kids used to have—they clamp on your shoes—and we’d sail around the island or go flop. But that was a nice place. In the summer… sure… they had the boats. To go back to winter, though, snow on the hills, and I can remember with some chagrin, I think it was Sammy and I… some friend of mine… we went out there to ski. So, we took a barrel apart. Barrel stays [staves], they said, made skis. Well, you better not believe it, because we put those barrel stays [staves] on and I fell down one time left side over my ski, and I thought I was gonna break my hip. But, anyway, Western Campus was an attractive place to us. We did not go out there very much. The ladies, which is to say the girl students of Western, had primary.
(J.B.) Bud, when we moved to McGuffey House, probably, as I remember, it was about the year 1926 or -7 [Ed. Note: Wallace Roudebush purchased the property from Martha Beard on June 20, 1925]. Tell me about the campus then. Tell me about the house itself. I remember Irvin Hall was at the time being built, and wasn’t there something with… inside the doorway?
(W.R) Okay. As you came down past the old library, that is on the east side of it, here on your left all of a sudden was the new building, Irvin Hall. We used to skate down there and… but to pass that by. The first entrance there on the left was a tall areaway or a stairway, but sufficient so that they could hang a three-foot high ceiling, as I recall it, of a Foucault pendulum. And it was fascinating, it’s always fascinating to watch the Foucault pendulum, another time I watched the one down in the National Museum of American History. I think the one back there… I wonder what’s happened to the one they used to have there. It was very good… anyway, we had a Foucault pendulum. But early on, you would bat your way down straight ahead, and then smack into the McGuffey House, where I lived. Perhaps I didn’t fully appreciate it at that time. But I look… I think back then of the trees we had around it. We had a beautiful cypress at the … let’s see… that would be the northeast corner [Ed. Note: the cypress and ginkgo trees mentioned below still stand], and then you moved down a little bit and there was a tremendous tree… lets see... a little further on… remember what that was, Jane?
(J.B.) Mulberry, I think.
(W.R) No. No. A little further on was the mulberry. This was the…
(W.R) No. No. No. No. Farther on was a Gingko, which was a unique Gingko, because back in 1920… in the middle twenties a hurricane had come through and taken the top off [Ed. Note: In June 1924 a cyclone touched down in Oxford. It severely damaged the roof of the Stanton-Bonham House]. A Gingko tends to be fragile, and this was broad, and then a big walnut in the back, and a couple of cedars along the side, and anyway… Oh, the conventional, and I shouldn’t say conventional, it sounds bad, but you remember all the old Ohio farms had a pine, and we had our pine, and as you go through the countryside of Ohio today, you will still see those pines sticking up. Ours was one of the oldest. It dropped. Of course, the house, back to the house, was built by William McGuffey, as I recall, 1809 [more like 1830], it originally had a cupola or a steeple over the entrance door, which is long since gone, it had slave quarters in the back, whether they were slave quarters, they were extensive wooden sheds back there—long gone [Ed. note: There is no evidence to support the existence of slave quarters on the McGuffey property. The 1830 census does not list any slaves residing on the property. The McGuffeys did have servants who lived in the house as did many households in Oxford]. Let’s see, the footings, if any one gets down to see that, are tremendously broad footings. Whether this is a judgement of McGuffey or someone else, when he put down the footings, he had decided he didn’t wasn’t the building to settle at all.
(End of Tape Two)
The original taped transcription was donated to McGuffey House and Museum by Kathy Wiley.
William Holmes McGuffey House and Museum
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