Margaret TeSelle Fries – Early Remembrances

Early Remembrances

[Note: Margaret TeSelle Fries wrote these notes in 1995, possibly. This is a typed version of her handwritten pages. -Jackie Tamas]

3 yrs [age; about 1913] -The men came in from the field for their noon meal. I was standing barefoot on the front porch and said “Oo(you) go back to field * dinner ain’t near ready yet.”

6 years [about 1916] -Learned to knit. The war was on and we knitted squares for the blankets for the soldiers. I could knit as fast as any other girl and made more squares.

6 years -Made a patchwork dress for my doll -Mother proudly showed it to people that embarrassed me.

Mother made all our dresses so I learned to use the sewing machine early. Also learned to play the piano from her.

Learned to milk the cows. We usually had about 22 milking cows and we separated the cream which was picked [up] in large cream cans each week by a man who took it to Hotchkiss to a creamery to make butter. Our milk we fed to the calves and hogs and drank ourselves. (We also had chickens for eggs and meat.)

During the great “flu” epidemic [1918] everyone except my father and me had the “flu”. Eugene was so sick he was delirious. Dad and I milked those 22 cows -me only five or six -because I was so young and I tired quickly (poor dad) that was twice daily for several days.

Many times I rode with Dad to Hotchkiss on a wagon for supplies. It gave me a chance to peruse the general merchandise store. Dad must have given me a little money to spend because I occasionally made minor purchases. Once I bought gingham pink & white check print and a little white organdy and made a dress for my_self. I don’t remember much about the bodice -but the skirt was gathered with an organdy insert all the way around. On the organdy I appliqued squares of the gingham placed in a diamond pattern around the skirt. I won a prize at the County Fair with that dress. Those trips to Hotchkiss usually took a whole day -a long monotonous trip over prairie with prairie dogs scampering into their holes. The few scarce animals including a rabbit occasionally and sage brush is about all that broke the monotony until we drove through Red(?)* Canyon where the roads were rather rough because of rocks which rolled onto them from above. There was a vegetable farm with a house and a few out buildings at the bottom and a river — actually only a stream. We seldom arrived home until almost dark. If it did turn dark we relied on the horses to follow the road.

Our first automobile a Ford we bought when I was 5 yrs. Old. The family went to Nebraska to visit relatives and we bought the car and drove it home -over mountain pass roads. We didn’t have our car long before our neighbor a young man bought a green Chevrolet. Our Ford being black we often quipped that the Chevy was green so it could hide in the grass while the Ford went by.

I occasionally baked a cake and had a party for the neighborhood kids. Especially if any of us had relatives who were visiting. We had a lot of visits from Nebraska relatives.


*Red Canyon was actually south of Fruitland Mesa, Colorado, where J. W. TeSelle’s ranch was located. So, I assume that since Hotchkiss was north, they must have crossed Smith Fork, Grand View, and Alum Gulch which all seem to be small rivers on the map. Jackie Tamas

The following is a list of neighbors. I assume her spelling is correct.

Te Grotenhuis
Den Bestes
Van Oort
Van Engen
Sylvia Teeslink