Eunice Dale Broadwell Kooy was my paternal grandmother. She wrote this letter to my daughter; I believe there had been a school assignment related to the Great Depression. "Mom," as I called her, was first married to Robert B. Sauls. He is the "Bob" she refers to. They were divorced in 1933, and in 1938 she married Gerrit Kooy. Her parents were Nathaniel Dale and Elva Helen (Clark) Broadwell.
The letter is undated, but the postmark in the envelope is 5 December 1994.
I have edited out the names of living people.
My Dear [Great-granddaughter]
I'm sorry I wasn't able to help you. However, I'll send this information that may help in the future.
In 1929 [my third child] was born in Oakdale.
His Father Robert Boyer Sauls was trying to sell Watkins Products in Oakdale District. He couldn't sell enough products to maintain our home so we moved back to Modesto in 1930. He found employment at the Ford Dealership as a mechanic. That job lasted a short time and he was layed [sic] off.
I went to work at The Modesto Fruit Exchange packing fruit. After packing untill [sic] in November the fruit season finished. I couldn't find work and we were being evicted from our home due to nonpayment of our rent. At [sic] time Lloyd, Helen, and Aunt Maude Johnson invited us to live with them for a while. Lloyd was in cement contracting business at the time. He insisted Bob work for him and I cooked for his cement crew until Glen was born March 9, 1931.
In April 1931 Bob received $600.00 from the Government, with that and what other money we could get together Bob and Lloyd built a small house in Yoris Grove. Bob still didn't have work. So my Dad let us milk young Jersey cows so we would have milk and butter for the children.
W. D. Sauls-your Great-[great]-grand father, was a minister. Enid [Enice] Sauls Great-[great]-grandmother.
The boys went to Ceres by bus, In the mean time I raised a few chickens and rabbits for food and had a garden. I baked bread in a wood stove and sold it for 10 cents a loaf. Also, made mayonnaise and sold it for 25 cents per qt. [quart]
I made underwear for all out of flour sacks. I didn't have a washing machine so I heated the water over a fire outside fire [sic] and washed by hand with a rub board.
When Apricots were ripe we didn't have gas for the Ford car so I walked 3 miles each way to cut apricots for 25 cents for a 50# [pound] lug. 10 boxes was the most I could cut for drying in an 8 hour day.
Aunt Maude, Helen and my mother took care of the Boys.
May 1933 I moved to my mother & Dad's home in Ceres. Most all the banks closed. Farmers couldn't get their money out to buy hay for their cows and many sent their herds to slaughter. The economy down until Pres. Roosevelt started releaf [sic] Program (WPA) I got a job with the Government doing payroll for 100 men for $60 a month.
May 6, 1936 I got a job doing general office work.
Jan 2, 1938 I went to work for Stanislas [sic] Co. Dept of Agriculture where I worked for 33 yrs as Secretary & Agricultural Insp. [Inspector]