Looking for Work During the Depression Era

Oklahoman recalls her father looking for work every day during the depression era, and taking whatever jobs he could get.

| Good Old Days

My family came to Tulsa from a Missouri rented farm in 1927. Calvin Coolidge was President. There were seven children, and my dad walked the streets looking for work. The only place he could find work was for some farmers in the south end of Tulsa. They wouldn't pay any money, but for ten hours of work they would give him two bushels of turnips, or occasionally two bushels of sweet potatoes. There is no way to eat a turnip that hasn't been tried by my family.

My Dad finally went to work on a rich man's estate, push-mowing eight acres of lawn, plus any other work, and milking their cow. He was so grateful for this $60.00 a month job that he stayed there 28 years, until he retired in 1961, when he was paid $200.00 a month.

Hollis Kelsey
Henryetta, Oklahoma

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community. 


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