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PROFILE 2020 – Visiting Ironton in the 1940s: A Child’s Perspective

When I was a child, our family lived on a farm in Rome Township.

Papa was a farmer for many years. However, in 1941, he went to work in lronton as the relief director. In his absence, he hired someone to work on the farm. When he came home in the evenings, he’d check to see that the work had been done.

Occasionally, my younger sister, Marcella and I would get to go to lronton with Papa for the day. We had two younger sisters, but they were too little for such a big trip.

Our father’s office was in the courthouse and we loved to go in there. We would climb the stairs and peep in offices.

Papa would give us each a little money, usually a dime, and let us go down to Kresge’s store. There was a side door at that time and we would go in that way.

We looked at every thing but realized it all cost more money than we had. At that time, there were two parts to Kresge’s, the 10-cent side and the dollar side.

There was also a place where you could have your picture taken. We never had enough money for the picture, but we enjoyed looking at everything.

In addition, there was a restaurant with small booths and a counter where one could get a nice meal. We didn’t get to eat there, either, but we saw others enjoy a meal there.

One time, we got to go to lronton in the late fall. Each of us had a dime to spend and we wanted to get a nice Christmas present for Mama.

We looked at everything and found a pretty tea towel for 10 cents. We wanted it to be wrapped nicely for Mama, and wrapping cost another 10 cents.

That was all right, because, between Marcella and me, there was enough for both the gift and the wrapping.

We were so excited about getting home and showing Mama the beautifully-wrapped gift and we could hardly wait for her to open it on Christmas morning.

That evening, after we went to bed, Marcella and I talked and talked about our visit to the big city of lronton. Marcella has been gone for many years, but I still remember the fun the two of us had visiting lronton with Papa.

Jean Fuller Butler is a retired teacher from Hanging Rock, Rock Hill and South Point elementary schools, an author and historic re-enactor.