Person:Clara Morgan (4)

  1. Infant Son1895 - 1895
  2. Frieda Morgan1896 - 1989
  3. Clara Morgan1899 - 1990
  4. Infant Daughter1902 - 1902
  5. Florence Morgan1904 - 2006
  6. Paul Morgan1907 - 2001
  7. William Morgan1915 - 2007
m. 8 Sep 1920
  1. Florence Eileen Beal1921 - 1984
  2. Robert Lee Beal1923 - 1996
  3. Beverly Lorraine Beal1925 - 2006
  4. John Curtis (Jack) Beal1931 - 1999
Facts and Events
Name Clara Morgan
Gender Female
Birth? 10 Apr 1899 Indian Lake, Nobles, Minnesota, United States
Marriage 8 Sep 1920 Round Lake, Nobles, Minnesotato Jesse L. Beal
Death? 17 Apr 1990 Spokane, Spokane, Washington, United States

Clara can be found in the following census:

1900 Indian Lake, Nobles, MN Federal Census 1910 Indian Lake, Nobles, MN Federal Census 1930 Round Lake, Nobles, MN Federal Census

A Story of My Childhood By Clara Beal

This is a little story Aunt Clara wrote about her childhood, especially Christmas. She wrote this for her children and her grandchildren. She is sharing it with other relatives since it is about Frieda as much as it is about herself. The following story is being told by Aunt Clara, Frieda’s younger sister.

Jack asked me to write a story of my life as a child, especially Christmas. I was born two and a half miles north of Round Lake, Minnesota. My grandparents lived a mile north of there. The Morgans lived on the east side of the road and the Antriters on the west side.

As I remember my first Christmas, I was four and a half years old. My Uncle Frank and Aunt Edith Willardson were very good workers in the church and would go every Sunday. Uncle Frank was Superintendant of the Sunday School and Aunt Edith was organist and a teacher. They asked my mother if they could take Frieda and I to Sunday School. Mother got us all ready and told us to watch out the window. We could see both Grandparents’ farms from our kitchen window. We waited by the window and in a few minutes saw them drive out of their driveway. It was a beautiful morning as it had snowed the night before. As they approached we could hear bells, the closer they came the louder they sounded. Uncle Frank had tied a string of Christmas Bells to the harness. The sleigh was a real “Santa” sleigh with a very nice driving horse. We both ran out and climbed into the sleigh. Frieda sat in the middle and I sat on Aunt Edith’s lap. We were tucked in under a fur robe and off to church.

My folks were living on a rented farm. Word was received that the landlord and his son-in-law wanted to farm and would be moving out from Chicago in March. My folks owned land a mile closer to Round Lake and decided to build a home there. My Grandfather Antritter was a carpenter and said he would build it with the help of another carpenter. When March came, the out buildings were finished but the house was not ready to move into. The decision was made to move into the new granary temporarily. I can remember the day we moved so well. Dad had a wagon with two seats so we loaded up. Mother and Dad sat in the front seat and Mrs. Baldwin, Frieda, and I sat in the back seat. Mrs. Baldwin worked for mother. There were crates of chickens in the back of the wagon. The new granary had one large room and two smaller grain bins. Mother and dad used one of the smaller bins for a bedroom and Mrs. Baldwin, Frieda, and I used the other. The large room was used as a living room and kitchen. The furnishings included mother’s lovely organ and the kitchenware.

Mother had a beautiful voice. She sang in the church choir and I think every funeral until she was in her seventies.

We lived in the granary all summer. It was near the barn. Dad always had two or three hired men. Frieda and I would always run out when they came in from the field for meals and to water and feed the horses. The horses would be very thirsty and anxious to get to the water tank. The men used to get so angry at the horses and would use some pretty strong language. One day I was playing in the yard and something went wrong. I let out a string of words the men used. Mother heard me, did I ever get a lecture. I was sent to bed and never again did we get to go to the barn when the men fed the horses.

My first school days were in Uncle Howard’s dining room for two months. The schoolhouse hadn’t yet been moved to the “Shady Nook” site near Uncle Howard’s farm. The land was given by the Langseths. They were big landowners. It was a pretty spot with large trees and a stream of water below the yard. In winter we used to skate during recess and noon hour. We walked about a half of mile to school and it was cold but we were dressed warmly. You will laugh when I tell you how I was dressed. My Grandmother Antritter came from Germany and she lived with us part time. I was dressed like a little German girl, dark wool dress with a sort of cover all apron made of black satin and trimmed in red, red wool knit stockings, long underwear and my hair in two pigtails. Well, we were warm and happy.

We had now moved into our new house as it was all completed and we were looking forward to Christmas. We also had a new sister, Florence, born just two days after we moved into the new house.

Just think, I am telling a story of eightyfive years ago. Anyway, tonight was to be our Christmas program at the church, a big event for Frieda and I. After our noon meal, mother began. First, we had to practice our song. I think Frieda and I sang at every program. Then we put our hair up in rags so we could have curls for the program. Then the baths in the tin tub in the kitchen, next lunch or dinner. After that, dad would get the sled ready. The sled was a wagon box on sled runners. Dad would put straw in the bottom of the box and cover it with blankets, then hitch up the team and tie them t the hitching post in front of the house. Then he would come in and get ready. By that time, we were all dressed in our best and had one more singing lesson. We were ready to go and it was real cold but we were dressed warmly. We ran out and crawled into the sled and dad covered us with blankets and we were off. It was a beautiful night. It had snowed all day. We were all set for the program. Dad drove up in front of the church and unloaded us. He took the horses to the church barn in the back. There was also a large wood fence between the barn and the church. It the barn was filled, people would tie their horses there and always cover them with horse blankets. There was an outhouse by the barn and was that seat ever cold.

We walked into the church and it was filled with people. There was a potbelly stove in the center of the church. There were seats on both sides. On the platform in front was an old fashioned organ that you pumped with your feet. There were three windows on each side with a kerosene lamp in each. I still have one of those lamps as a keepsake. It goes to Jack to put in his kitchen. It was given to me when the new church was built. In one corner was a huge Christmas tree. It was really beautiful. It was decorated with popcorn, cranberries, wax candles, a few ornaments and loaded with gifts. In the center of the tree was a beautiful doll. We all hoped it was for us. There were not enough seats so the hallway was filled with parents in their fur coats. The program began and Frieda and I sang. Everyone said we did fine. There were many gifts under the tree as some people didn’t have a tree at home and would bring their gifts to the church tree to be given out there. After all the gifts were passed out, a bell rang and Santa came in with a big pack on his back. Each person was given an orange, an apple, a popcorn ball and a big sack of candy. Now, it was time to go home. Dad drove the sled up to the church and we were packed in again and on our way home. It was a beautiful night. The sky was filled with stars and the ground covered with snow.

Our house was on a little hill. As we were driving up the hill, the white house looked so cozy and warm. It was a short distance back from the road in a grove of trees. I could see the pretty red glow of the fire in the living room. It was heated by a hard coal stove called a base burner. It was a large stove with mica windows so the fire could be seen. Hard coal, anthracite, came in little hard lumps that burned with a red glow that lit up the entire room. It was beautiful. Then I looked on the other side of the road toward the lake. The moon was shining on the frozen ice and there were a dozen or more fish houses.

Most farmers had a fish house they pulled onto the ice. They cut a hole through the ice. Some had a stove and a chair in their fish house. They would sit and fish. They would catch nice big fish and a good string of them. As I mentioned before, we looked right down onto the lake. Dad would get disgusted as fishermen would put their horses in his barn.

We were tired so we went to bed. We did have a tree but that would be Christmas morning about six o’clock, we would all be up. The tree was lighted with wax candles and decorated with strings of pocorn and cranberries and paper chains. We had our gifts followed by breakfast and then got ready to go to Grandmother Antritter’s for our Christmas Dinner.

We were again packed into the sled and we were on our way. Grandma Antritter lived in Round Lake now. Grandfather Antritter had passed away and they left the farm. They had built a new home in Round Lake. We always said we could smell the roast goose as we reached the edge of town. We drove up to Grandma’s house and unloaded. Dad tied the horses to the hitching post and covered them with a blanket. We ran into the house. I stood in the doorway and just looked. Great grandma was sitting in her rocking chair, which was given to me in later years. I gave it to Beverly. She had it in her dining room. Grandma was almost ninety years old. She never learned our language. She spoke only German. She looked so pretty just sitting there. She always wore a black dress with a white color, starched white apron with a large crocheted lace and tucks, tied in the back with long white ties. She always wore a little wite bonnet, starched and ironed, as she had so little hair. She looked at me and said in German, “Clara, come here”. Behind her was a pretty Christmas tree trimmed with home made cookies, cranberries, popcorn, and wax candles.

Dinner was ready so we ate. What a meal, all home made, roast goose, dressing and all the trimmings topped off with suet pudding. Was it ever good. We all ate and enjoyed the dinner. When the dishes had been washed we had the gifts. Uncle Charles Antritter’s family and Uncle Philip Horstman’s family were also there. There were two little doll beds grandpa had made. They were beautiful. They were made just like a real bed. You see my grandpa was a cabinetmaker in Germany. Frieda’s doll bed is at Stanley’s home in Round Lake. I had mine for years but it was stolen when we moved into Round Lake. Grandma had made a mattress, sheets, pillowcase and blanket. The best of all was a beautiful doll lying in the bed. I think it was the most beautiful doll I have ever owned. The body was made of muslin and the eyes and mouth were embroidered in blue. She wore a little wool shirt, a slip with lace and tucks, knit stockings and booties, a white dress with a knit shawl, and a red bonnet with ties. How I loved that doll. You see, in those days you didn’t have all of the beautiful things, you made them.

And now the years have passed. I helped with the Christmas program the last time when I was about eighteen. Beulah Anderson and I were in charge. We decorated the tree and I played the organ. This was during World War I. I was busy writing letters every day over seas to Jesse. It seemed about all I could think of was wondering what Jesse would get and do for Christmas. About a week later I received a letter saying all he received for Christmas was a Christmas card from me. He received the box I had sent about a week after Christmas.

So now, this is most of my childhood. I could go on and on but time is so short. I am now ninety and one half years old and I must say I had a very simple childhood, much different from now but a happy one. We made our fun. We had a lovely, warm and cozy home with lots of love.

I hope you will enjoy reading this and always remember I love every one of you.

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  1.   Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index: Death Master File, database. (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service).

    Social Security Death Index
    Name: Clara M. Beal
    SSN: 472-12-2869
    Born: 10 Apr 1899
    Died: Apr 1990
    State (Year) SSN issued: Minnesota (Before 1951 )