Great Grandparents' Story
This past Christmas, I took all of my Grandma's memoirs and put them into a printed book for her. The words on this layout are actually taken from two pages of her book (which ended up being 24 pages!!). But this is her version of the story of her parents' (my great grandparents') early years. I LOVE that my grandma can remember all of this and took the time to pass the family history down to me. (And I'm currently working on Grandpa's book for this Christmas!)
Conrad Hovie (Papa) and Grace Lillie Guilford (Mama)
were married July 21, 1915. Papa thought he had to have
a house and $1,000 in the bank before he should get
married. He had both, and the house even had an indoor
bathroom, which was a rarity in Comstock in those days.
They went to Lincoln to get married. While there, they
bought furnishings for the home and silverware and dishes.
They had things sent by train, and the story goes that when
they arrived home, the things had been delivered and were
in the front yard. The house was a block north and two
houses down to the east of the main intersection of town.
All five of us children were born in that house. It is still
standing (2007), but is in bad shape. We have been through
it a few times in the last few years, and Wendell and my
sisters have told me how it used to be. I don’t remember
I don’t have much information on those early years. Papa
and his cousin, Theodore, had a machine shop on Main
Street. In 1917, they moved to a big brick building on the
corner - a block and a half west of our house. I don’t know
how long Theodore was with him, but in 1924, Papa moved
his shop to the corner a block east.
Mama and Papa were very active socially. They had many friends, mostly from the country, so their home was a
gathering place. Mama was a very good cook and always had baked goods on hand. It was common for friends
to drop by after they had come to town Saturday night for groceries. Farmers came in to the creamery and
co-op to exchange their cream and eggs for money to buy groceries. Mama also cooked a big Sunday dinner,
and there was always company for that, too.
Comstock was a very active town in those days. Saturday night dances were common. Mama and Papa loved
to dance. When there was square dancing, Papa would do the calling and Mama would chord on the piano.
In such a bustling town, there was an occasional ruckus. Although there was a town marshal, Papa was
frequently called to settle the matter. It is said that he would tower over them and say in his stern Norwegian
voice, “Now, now boys... Enough of that!” and it would end the matter. Several stories are even told of his
being called to settle marital disputes.
It must have been Good Times... I wasn’t born yet, so I don’t remember... but I have heard many stories from
Wendell and sisters and Sherman, too.