Mary Jane 'Jerry' Leisenring Spalding Memoir
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections Mary Jane “Jerry” Leisenring Spalding Memoir SP19. Spalding, Mary Jane "Jerry" Leisenring b. 1913 Interview and memoir 2 tapes, 135 mins., 36 pp. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH Spalding, member of Springfield's Christ Episcopal Church, discusses her association and experiences with the church: Sunday school, women's groups, Boy Scout troops, social functions, renovation and expansion, and active church members. Interview by Sandra Britz Armbruster, 1981 OPEN See collateral file Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1981, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Preface 'lhis manuscript is the product of a series of tape-:recoJ:ded i.nt:ezviews corducted by Sardra Britz Annbruster for the Oral History Office,San3amOn state University on october 15, 1981. Margaret Reeder transcri.l:ai the tapes an:i Linda s. Jett edited the transcripts. Jercy Ieisenrin;J Spaldin;J's pa:r:ents were members of Christ Church when Jerry was bom. She was baptized there in 1913 by Rev. Riley an:i has been a member since. Christ Qrurch has special :aeanin:.J to Jerry am to her family. She remembers the auditorium an:i stage in the Parish Hall, an:i her brother Jack played for many events there. She remembers the plays that were };lerfonaed. in the theater an:i many of the events ani celebrations held in the Church. Her children were also members of the Boy Scout Troop at Christ Qrurch. 'Ihe east window on the south side of the chapel was given in Il.lelllOXY of her mt:her Martha I.eisenrirg. Jercy has made arra.rgemants that at her death she is to be cremated and buried. in the waJ.l at Christ Churc:h's garden, thus continuing her life-lorq love ani association with Christ Olu:rah.. Readers of the oral history 'l'!'lelTM)ir should bear in mi.rd that it is a transcript of the spoken word, ani that the i.nt:ezviewer, narrator and editor sought to preserve the infonnal, oonve:rsa.tional style that is inherent in such historical sources. San.gaiOOn state university is not responsible for the factual a.ccuracy of the memoir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge. The manuscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It nay not be reproduced in whole or in part by any ll'l6lal1S, electronic or 1Jll!!!,iChanica1, without ~ionin writirg fran the oral HistoJ::y Office, Sa.rqamon state t.Jniversity, Spr.irgfield, Illinois 62794-9243. Table of ~ts Background • 1 sunday School. 2 Olrist Episcopal Church in the Early 2oth Cerrt.uey. 4 Qrurch weddings. 5 Boy Scout Troops 6 st. HildaIS an:1 other Guilds • 9 Spri.rgfield Hanes. .11 Childhood Menories of Church .13 Wa.shin;Jt.on Park. .14 <llanges in the Church. .15 Active Members in the Church • .17 Ga.nien Wall Burial .20 • Brother Jack and Razz Armbruster • .21 Jerry Wallace. .23 Church Renovations • .25 Church Social Functions. .28 Church Expansion • .30 'Ihe Yart:h of the Church. .32 I , I Mal:y Jane "Jerry" I.eisenrirg Spald.inq, October 15, 1981. san::na Britz ArmbrusterI Interviewer. don't remember him at all really because he left when Q: Jerry how' lon;;r have you been a member of Christ Church? A: Since 1914. Q: You were baptized in the churc:h? A: Yes, I sure was. Reverend Riley, I don't remember his first name, baptized me. I I was too young to remember. But I have his signature on my birth certificate. Q: Were your parents members? A: Yes, they were. Q: How lon;;r had they been members? A: 'lllat•s a gocxi question, Bandy. Ever since they moved. here to Springfield. Moved west fran Maryland, first to Peoria and then to Spril'IJfiel.d. '!hey had been members of <llrist Episcopal Qrurch all that time, but what year they moved. out here, I'm not sure. Q: What brought them to Illinois? A: My dad chanqed p::>stions and moved to Peoria with the Illinois Terminal Railroad which was then called. the, well it was recently called. the Illinois Terminal Railroad • • • Q: Interurban? A: Interurban, the electric railroad, right. He was located. in Peoria. My brother Jack was bo:m in New Je:rsfr:/ before they moved west and they lived two years I think in Peoria before they moved. to Spril'IJfield. '!hey were mambers of attist Episcopal Qmrah and that1s where I was born and raised. ard my brothers were born ard raised.. Q: How many brothers do you have? A: I had two. Brother GeoJ:'qe in MilwaUkee arxi a brother John G. M. leisenring, Jr. who passed. away five years ago. But Christ Qrurch has been very special to me and to our family. I remember before the SUn:lay School building was built, before the Sunday School roams were built where they are now1 we had a stage. We went into the parish I I I I l 2 house, into the auditorium and then there was a stage there where 1=J:leY used to have many theatre productions. Not only Christ <lnl:rdl buti outside. organizations. ~brother Jack played for many. of ~ because he was an aCCC111plished musician. '!hey had theatre le to 'What is now the '.Iheatre Guild. 'Ihe productions there on the ge and sunday School productions on the stage, that is now where the Sl.l:rDay School rooms are. You know", where you go up the steps to SU!XIay School. '!hat's where they took the stage out. Q: Isn't it still a raised area? Don't you have to step up to use that end of the buildi.rg even yet? A: Ch yes, but you see the stage was taken out. '!hat's where you qo up to the S'ulXIa.y SChool., the olde:r grades. 'Ihe nursery is in the l1l.eW buildi:rq. It's joined on to the Onn.'d1 an:i that wasn't there eitl'J4r then. It was just the Onn.'d1 an:i the parish house and the stage 'WiU.ch was used by all camnunity groups. Q: Were you in an,y of the plays? A: I don't think. No, I don't think so. I used to play for S\l:rldaySchool, the piano. Q: Did you? Tell me about the children•s S'ulXIa.y School. A: Well, they USEd to love to sin;;. '!hey loved to sin;; and I ~'t that acc:arplished musician but I ca.Ud play the piano. "011.wal:.:d Christain Soldier," "starri Up, stand Up for Jesus" and all their favorite hymns and many sun::Jay School superintendents I remember. 'lbe first one I remeat:Jer is Clarence Hamlin. Alma Hamlin still CCII.'lleS up to visit Christ Church. She lives in Wocx:l River I believe. She's a friend of Esther Hathaway1 Cliff Hathaway's nDther. '!hat is Cliff Hathaway, Jr. Q: Right, we have the III there don't we, and the M A: '!hat's right. · B.It Alma still CClii'ES up to visit Esther. '!here :was Clarence Hamlin. Eric Green was super.i.ntenient of SUnday SChool one time. I think maybe he followed CJ.arence Hamlin. 'lben there was Richard Olson. He wasn't here too lag before they were mewed but after that • • • now they don•t have a S'ulXIa.y SChool superint:en::lent,the assistant rector takes charge of that but they didn't have assistants in those days. '!hey had the :t:'eC!tor an:i they had the superint:en::lent of sunday School but there was no assistant, associate rector. Q: HoW did they hold their classes in that biq roan? A: 'lhe biq auditorium roan was partitioned off by these, 'What do you ca11· than, these thirr;Js that you put around. the roans, they weren't roans. '!hey were all in one biq roan. Q: Was it like a roan divider? Mary Jane "Jeny" leisenring Spalding A: Yes, I don't kn.ow what they called them but they could put 1:l1E$ arourg the tables and chairs Where the classes Y~erS meetin:J. Like: hinged screens, that's the way they divided the sunday School~· Q: Haw' many kids Y~erS in a class usually? A: I had a class of boys, all boys when John Hauser was rector. t had John Hauser Jr. and our son, James Spalding, and they wre devlls. don•t know' Which was wrse. But I th:i.nk there were al:x.lut ten boys in that class. Q: Holr.T old would they have been about? A: Ten or eleven, about that, and those boys used to drive me crazy. An:l I will say this, I think the sunday School progJ:am that they use these days, the l:x:x>ks that they taught frau is :much better than it was then. Q: IX> you really think so? A: Cb, I think so. Q: What ld.rd of things did they teach then? A: It was sort of left to the teacher's imaqinatian, a lot of it, really. I don't remember the name but they followed. the Bible and they had specific sources that they used but it was not as specifie. mixed classes and as I say I played the piano for the kids which I Q: 'lbere really wasn't an outlined prog:tam? A: No, sort of had to improvise. Q: How' 1or.g did you teach? A: SarxiyI I don•t remember. Q: Did you t:ea.ch m:>re than one year? A: <h yes, I taught for three or fa.Jr years. I had girls classes and ' used to love :because they loved to sing. An:l the piano which first was in this hall right in front of the stage then, and then they actied on the addition for the little ones. Q: IX> you re.member going to SUn::lay SChool there? A: I'm not sure. I suppose I do, but I did for a good many years. Well yes, Mr. Hamlin was I1r.f superintendent. Q: When you went to sunday SChool? IX> you remember any of your teachers at all? (Pause) IX> you remember going to church with your parents? A: sure. i. I: I Mary Jane "Jer:ty'' I.aisenrirq Spaldin;J 4 Q: Did you go to the service? Or -were you put in children's Sl.n'ld$.ySChool or a service for children? ! A: '!he children didnIt go to church with their parents very ll:'lll.Ch, just on special occasions they -were in S\.mday SChool. I went with them yes, as I say on special occasionsI but every sun::lay1 no. I don•t remember haw they, it seems to me that sumay SChool was befcrn::e church at maybe 9:30 and then church was at 10:30 or quarter till eleven. B.lt in those days parents didn1t bring their children to church as ll:'ll.lCh as they do now, whiC'h I heartily approve of. It1s a family service and the children should be there. I don't remember, sandyI Whether my parents took me· to church and put me in the nursery or what happened., but I wasn't in church with them too often. B.lt my1\'Cth.er ard dad -were very, very devout members of Cllrist Episcopal Church. Originally they were I..utherans fram I..uthe:rville, Ma.:cyland,w.hidl was founded by Martin I..uther. So you can see Wr:J.y they were Intherans. But they joined. the Episcopal Olurc:h before they left Maryland and came west. My liDth.er was a very, very active l\'IE.!ll1ber in what they call now, the Episcopal 01w::d:l Women, which used to be the WanenIS AuXiliary• She and May HillI May Hc:ldgson HillI were veryactive in the Wcmen1s Auxilia:ty and also Mary Johnson, Betsy Newman1s mother1 and her gran:::b.tDther1 BetsyIS gran::Jmather1 Gertrude Magill.'!hey lived right next door to my folks on Illini Road and every yearjust before Palm SUrlday, all the wanan of the auxilia:ty used to meet out at Gertie1s, as we called her, and Mary's house and made crosses to be pinned on your lapel on Palm su:rx:tay. I can still make them but instead of hav.in;;J the palms to carr:y they made little crosses. '!hat went on for years. Q: My children have had them. A: I liked them. Q: About three inches long? A: Yes, ard you put a little pin and put it on your shoulder or~ 1~. I Q: was Olrist Church a bigger membership then? A: I don't think so, Bandy. I think in recent ~Cl'lrist Church membership has increased considerably. 'lhi.s is Just in retrospect.I •m not for sure but I think this is right. O:lrist Church used to be like many Episcopal du:l:t."c:.tle I suppose, rather cold. '!he peopledidn't tum a%'CII.:Il'li and greet their neighbors or it was just not as infonnal. as it is now. I like this infonnal.ity ll:'ll.lCh better. Of course the Episocpal 01w::d:l has been with the ~every sundayand the~of members be.in;;J nm-e COI.'IImlmicative over about ten years or so maybe has improved, I think, considerably in my mir.ri. Of course it could have been this was a youngster's viewpoint. But I thought that it was rather oold and I think maybe the adults felt the same way, but it's not that way now. Q: No, no, it isn•t. Mary Jane "Jerry'' Leisenring Spald.in:J 5 A: No way an:i of all the rectors who have been the.re, Rev. Riley1 lam after him, I hope I can remember the suc.x:ession. Jerry Wallace ~ the:r.:e for a good many years. Jolm Hauser, Bill Ja.a.i:s who baptiz~ CJJr son, Jolm, Frank Shaffer an:i Hoby Heist:ani. I think that's nt:t. Q: '!hat1s pretty close to the ones I kr:tow in the order. '!hat's t . ri~. A: well your ll1elOOr.Y sort of lapses a little bit, you knc::Jw? But Hoby, he's sometl:li:rg else, he's marvelous. Q: Isn't he. A: He's been so good. for Olrist Qrurch. Frank Shaffer, I will have to say this for him. When Irrf mother was still in the hospital arrl died, the day she died he spent the ·whole day with us at the hospital. He stayed right with us am I liked Frank, but he was not as open am OCIIIlll.lnicative as Hoby is. Ma:cy, his wife, I just loved. Mal:y, what's her name f:lr:M? She married after Frank died. Of course their son is now an ordained curate in the Epi.scr.:pl. church, Paul Shaffer. A: '!hey had two boys am two girls I believe, maybe it was just one girl.. But Mal:y married the wid.c:Mer of another member of Olrist an.trcb., Ed, am they now live in Ohio. I'll think of it probably when you're gone. Q: '!hat's okay. A: Do you kr:tow who I mean? Q: No, see lle've only been members about four years. A: '!hey cx::ame back every once in crwhile on weeke.rx1s. Q: '!hat's okay, we'll remember it later. A: 'lhey ll8re very1 very good. 1'l'ISI.'llbers of Olrist Episcopal Qmrch ani I can't :remember his last name but anyway they llXWed to Chlo. Q: were you married in the church there? A: No. Why? Because I married a RaDan catholic. Q: Good reason. A: I was :married in the priest's hare of Blessecl sacrament an.trcb., but our children were raised Epi.scr.:pl.ians. Don•t ask ne how I did this but I did it. I defied the Reman Qrurch I guess. Q: was yrJUr husband a very active member of his church? A: No. Mary Jane "Jerry" leisenring Spalding Q: so it made it easier to brin;J your C'hildren to the Episcopal? A: ell he was upset. At the ti:rre we were married they 'WOUld nat, es they do now, :marry you in the chapel or the church. You had to be, married in the priest's hane. We wanted to be married out at myfolks, my DDther and dad's house on Illini Road. Father Te.rrance, who was with Blessed sacramer.tt Qrurc:h for many, many years, wculdn't hear to it. 'IWo or three weeks later saneone else of m.ixed faith was married at their hane and that upset my husbar!d considerably. He figured that maybe they just, it's sort of silly, :but maybe they gavehim a little :nme donation. Q: Yes. A: Since then he's nat been too active and didn't even go to church. Who k:ncws? Q: Were your C'hildren married then in the church? A: susan, our youngest daughter, was married in st. Agnes Qrurc:h. She also married a Reman catholic. :Ba:rbara and her husbard, John Keller, had a beautiful wedd.i.rrJ in Qn:ist Episcopal Chu:rch which was really a Milwaukee weddi.rq in Sprin;Jfield. That's true, they broughtthe choir fran Milwaukee and all their frienis from Milwaukee. It was just beautiful. That was in 1967 and it was a Milwaukee wedd.i.nq in Sprirqfield. Everybody came to Sprirgfield for the wedd.inq. '!hey were both working in Milwaukee and all their frien:ls were there so they came down for the weekend. Jim, our older boy, was not married in the church. Since then he's been divorced and remarried and he had two boys. Il1t this goes back to what they say. 'Ihe children come back to the church when they are rea.Qy too. Q: Ib!s he come flOJfl A: Yes, Jim and Gloria are members of Christ Church now. 'Ibis is J;rlssecond wife. Q: NOW' which of your daughter-in-laws, was it :Ba:rbara that I met ~ the hospital, with the back problems? A: That was Jim's wife, Gloria. That's Jim's seoond wife and theylive out on Durkin Drive here in Sprirqfield. Jim could probably tell you sanet.h.ing about Christ Qrurc:h too because talking' about that SUnday SChool class that he and John Hauser were in. He should remember SCIIle of that. Q: ]):) you remember the boys' choir? A: Yes. Q: Were any of your boys in it? A: I don't think so. I don't think Jim was ever in the boys' choir. He was a m5!lllber of Troop 7, Boy Scout Troop 7, and also John. Mal:y Jane "Jerry'' Ie.isenring Spal~ 7 Q: How long were they members of that? A: sarxiy1 I'11 take that back. Jim was not a member of 'l.'rtx:p 71 he was a member of Troop 3 at Douglas Averue Methodist Church. He wafJ a CUb Scout there ani an Explorer Scout and his dad, Ernie, was ' CUbmaster of the CUb SCout pack. 'lhen Jim went on to Explorer scouts, he didn't go into regular so:::uts. OUr son, John, was a member of Troop 7 arrl I'm happy to say he went through the Terxierfoot to EagleScout. Q: Ten:ierfoot to Eagle Scout? A: Ani also went to the National Jamboree in Pennsylvania in 1976 or there abouts. Q: Well he was active all the way through high school wasn't he? A: Yes, in scouts, yes he was. 'Ihey had very good scc:ut leadership down there. Mr. Kenne:iy, used to have Kennedy Iaun::lry, was their scout leader am he was very good with the boys. After that it wa$ • • . (pause) It's terrible, names leave me. He's still there nc::w and his son was also an Eagle SCOut when John was named Eagle Scout so that should help. Q: Bill Boyd? A: No, Bill Boyd was never a scoutmaster, he was on the Troopcanmi.tte. Jolm Dickason was sooutmaster at one time. Troop 7 was where both of~ brothers bel~, ~brother George and ICri' brother Jack. It has always been a very, very active Boy scout troop for years. 'Ihey've molde:i ani shaped a good many boys in Springfield l\bo were not all members of Olrist Church. Q: It's not :man::latoey that they be a member of the church to be in thattroop? ii I A: Oh no. Any boy that wants to join. 'lhat's the reason that at bne time after Jc:bn got his Eagle I was ooncerned because I had heard ' nm:Jrs that the present scoubnaster, I still can•t remember his l'lal11!, was goirg to leave because his boy became an Eagle scout. 'lhat seems to be the ulitmate when they get that lmless they want to go on into advanced leadership of their troop or of the council. '!hey usually drop out but it's still goi.rq urrler the same scout troop leader. I guess he decided to keep it after all. Q: Good, because good ones are hard to fin:i. A: That's right it takes an awful lot of time. But my :rrembership in <llrist On.trch has been very, very precious to me. When 'We were in BaltinvJre last weekerrl, weeken::i before last, to have services for mytad in Baltw:re, we went to the little Episcopal chapel in Iuthe:tville, Mal:yland.. '!hey have a very small chapel there and I did not remember that they had built a new church behind it. My brother George and I went into the little chapel which nc::w is only .used for, ( Mary Jane "Jer:r:y" Iejsenrirq Spa.ldi.ng' 8 early 8:30 ser.vice and special c:x:x:asions. While we were sittin.;J there this yourg fellow came in sirqirq at the top his voice, "Oh, . were you looki.rq for saneone?" I said, "Yes, we are waitirq for 1:1le 9:45 ser.vice." He said, "Oh, that1s in the new church behin:i." s~ we just walked over there ani went to church. But that's a very prettychurch ani it brin;s back many 11lE!IIDries to me of Mother and. I8d. 1 '!hat's wh.e:.re they were bom ard raised. '!he transition fran Maryland to Illinois, which at that time they thought was filled with Irdlans when they came out het:e. People in the East, "Oh, you're going out with all the Indians." Q: Did they come out in about the 19201s? A: My brother Jack, JClhn Jr. was two years old when they mved to Peoria ani they were in Peoria two years before they mcved to Sprin;'field. He was sixty-nine when he died five years ago. So the year of his birth would be • Q: 1907? A: That1s right. Q: So that's when they came to Peoria. So they came het:e about 1909,1910, sanewhere along there. A: Yes, that's close enough. Q: I just wanted to have an idea ha4' long they'd been here. Thatis close enough. So they came vezy early on. I think, wasn't the parishhouse built in 1914? A: Yes, I think so. Q: So they were here before the Parish House was :put on? A: Right. Q: You ware bom in 1914, right? A: Right, right. Q: So you were bom the year the Parish House was added? A: Right, my mather always said that I started the war. (laughter) She used to say that I sta:rted the war. Q: I think my grandnv:)th.er would say that because that•s the year 1Tfl mother was bom too. My mather was quite a harxlful. A: Mother was the levelirq force really. She was quite a woman. But she wnt first ani then my brother Jack wnt. 'nlis is what really was hard for my dad to t..ake because my brother Jack ani he had sort of planned to sperd their last days together. Jack's wife died and theyhad been on these many cruises, freighter cruises together just as Mary Jane "Jerry'' leisenring Spaldi.rq 9 Mother and Dad did. '!hey say it's always hard for a parent to 1~ a child before they go and· he IliCllnled Jack terribly. Of course Dad \faS 96. ! Q: And he was still living by himself? A: well, not really by himself, he was still out at the lake, Fast lakeshore Drive. But he had a yol1l'g man stayinq with him who is still livinq in the house nt:M lmtil we sell it. We had the auction out there last sunday. '!hen he also had two or three boys who came in ani took care of the yard. He has an acre and a.J.ItDst a half. Q: '!hat's a let of grcum to IIKJW'. A: Right and it's a beautiful location. I love to go out there but it's not practical and can't affonl it and in the winters you knc:Jw'. Q: Especially when you have to cc::me in town to work. A: Well even if I retired, who's goirg to shovel you out in the winter and nw::M the yard? It's beautiful, it really is. Q: were you active in the wcanen' s group, in any of the wcanen' s organizations, any of the guilds? A: st. Hilda's. Q: Have you always worked? A: No, not until Susan our youngest daughter who is now-the only way I can remember the children's ages is the year they were born. She was born in 1943 which would make her thirty-eight right? Q: Yes. A: When she was eight or nine, the SE!COl'Xi or third grade, I went );)ack to work. I stayed hane and took care of the youngsters when they were little. People just didn't do all this working that they do llOW". , Q: You didn't expect to have all the material things that people expect today? A: That's right, you didn't. I remember goirg to the little neighbothood grocery store ani buyin;J sugar and bread with stamps durirg the depression. You were rationed. '!hat was what 1928-1932'? 'Ihere was a little grocery store aver here on lawrence. Q: Where Jay's workshop is nt:M? A: It was just west of MacArthur. What is the name of that? Yes, I think so. Q: was it called J & J Groceries at one tilne? MaJ:y Jane "Jerry'' Isisenri.rr:J Spaldin:l 10 A: No, I can see the name of this man and his m::>ther that ran that store and I 111 think of it later. But they had a neighbol:hood little grocery store and I used to wheel the children over there in their: strollers, susan and Bal:'b. I believe it was Bal:'b that was over there in the stroller one day and I took her out of the stroller so she could wander arourrl a little bit and she got in the backroam where they had sticky tape for the rats or mice or ~and she walked right into the middle of it and they had to pull her out of this tape,this stuff on the floor. Furlich's groce:cy store, Joe Furlich and his mother. You had coupons and you were rationed and you'd get so much and that was it and you didn't expect it. You got alcnJ, bread was five cents a loaf. End of side one, Tape one Q: Have you held any offices in the church? A: Saniy, you are askirg me a difficult question. Q: Were you eNer president of st. Hilda's? A: Yes, I was president of st. Hilda's two years and as I say I was pianist for the sunday School for two or three years but as far as offices I don't think other than st. Hilda1s. I know' I was not anyoffice in the Women1s Auxiliary because I went back to work. ~ was an officer of the Auxiliary, Martha leisenring. She and MaJ:y Johnson and May Hill were very active and also the sewing~ which is l'lOirl the wednesday sewinJ Group. I don•t remember what day 1t was they had it but I think it was a wednesday. Q: Did you eNer go to the sewing meetin;Js? A: No, because I was worki.n:J. i I Q:, Did vou go with your nother when you were little, do you~ dolilCJ tlilll9s like that? A: I don't think so. In those days, they didn't take the children alcnJ with them. I don't know' what we did. we had sameJ:xxiy with us. Q: '!hey probably had a baby sitter upstairs. A: '!hey used to have a live-in maid in Teutopolis, which is down by Effi.rgham. My folks used to travel with G. E. weaver and his wife, Mabel. Mr. Weaver was president of the weaver Manufacturi.ng catpany,he and his brother, Ira. weaver Manufacturing caupany was on SOUth 9th street, or loth Street and they used to travel quite a bit with them. At that time you could get a live-in maid for nothing. we lived all up and down 4th street for a good many years. Q: Which part of 4th street? I i t Mary Jane "Jerry" I.eisenrin;J Spalcli.rq 11 A: south of south Gran:l. I was hom at 1913 s. 4th when the Armistice was signed. I was born in 1914. I have pictures, black; arx1 white pictures of me riding nr:1 tricycle all decorated for Annisti~ Day0 I donIt remember too nuch about it but I remember everybody i ~ard hollerirg am yelli.n;J ani celebratin:]. We decorated! our tricycles arx1 rode. '!hen we lived at 1935 s. 4th street which wasi on the comer of Ash ard 4th ani then we 1l'OVE!d to 1410 s. 4th. So you see we lived all up ani dcMn 4th street. My dad was electrical superintenient of the Illinois Traction at that time when he came to Spri.l'J:Jfield. It became the Illinois Tel:minal. Cliff Hathaway, Jr. could tell you sanethin;J abOut the Illinois Terminal, the Illinois Traction, maybe better than I. '!hen fran 1410 s. 4th we m:wed to 13 something SOUth 6th while my folks were building their bane out on Illini Road. 'Itlat was when I was in seventh grade at Hay-rnwaros SChool. '!hey were the only house out there, next to Gertie Magill ani Mary Jolmson. Behim them where Betsy am Han:y Newman :rtc:::IW live am all those houses on outer Park Drive, there was nothi.rg there. It was just open fields. Q: well I knc:w Betsy said her Man gave them the lard to build their house darm there. . remember Betsy ani her sister, Mary Jane, ani their brother, Noman A: Right. Q: so you have Jd.ni of grown up with Betsy Johnson? A: Well Betsy was considerably younger than I. Q: But your 1l¥Jthers were friems? A: Right. Betsy's gra.n:htcth.er, Gertie, arxi Mary, the daughter. I Jr. we have pictures of them when they were just little kids out an Illini Road. Q: 'Ihat was a new development when your parents were building out I there? ! A: 'lhere was nothirg there. It• s just amazing. After so many yeajrsthere, I don't remember, When I was in college I guess, they sold the house out there to Dr. Greenin::J, Dr. Gersh Greenin;r, who n.t:M lives at the lake also ani bought on Eastlake Drive. Sc:anebody asked me how lonJ they lived out there. I think it ImJSt have [been] eight, ten years maybe, I'm not sure but that was the bane where dad lived when he died. Q: You were in college when they DDVed out there? A: Yes, about a eqt1c:arcre in college. Q: well they lived out there a lonJ time? How lOl'XJ have you been married? Mary Jane "Jer.ry" I.eisenri.rq Spaldi.rq 12 A: we were married 1937, the year after I graduated fran college•. How many years is that? . Q: Forty-four years. A: 'Well we bought this house in 1945. Q: so your daddy lived at the lake for forty-fc:m-years? A: No, he didn't live at the lake, he lived on Illini Road. Q: Oh that's when they built the house on Illini? A: '!hey built the house on Illini Road when I was in seventh grade, I I think, at Hay-F.dwa:r:Qs school. But they didn't live at the lake for i forty-four years, we've lived here forty-four years. But I was a I sophclmore in college when they moved to the lake. I was in college f i from 1932 until 1936, the U. of I. ! Q: What was your major? A: What they call a::ammmications nt::N, joumalism. I used to write a lot. sane of these days I'm goi.rq to write sane :n-ore when I retire. I love to write. Q: You should start workin;J on it. Ik>n't wait untU your skills get too l:Qlgh.. A: Right, right. I like to write. Of course in those days they didn't have all the opportunities that the kids have nt::N of days. Q: Especially for women. A: '!bat's right. When I qot out of oolleqe I looked. for a positionwith the local newspaper. It 'W!.'JUldn't have paid m to even go to work, 'What they paid in those days, in 1937. I worked with Olarle$ c. 'lhanas Publisher, a medical :publisher, for a year before I was l'l'larltied arxi I just was a flunky, you know'. I 'WOUld do whatever had to be Qo1'le arxi that was enc::ugh ard then I was married. But the kids today has so many l1Dre opportunities than we ever had, in school arxi out of school. But I 1m not sure they realize it, it's a different ~tion, two qenerations cause actually we have two generations m our family. our John ani the other three. Q: How old is your John, eighteen? A: He's nineteen. He was bom when our youn;JeSt susan was a11oost nineteen. so w have two generations. Q: You sure do. A: Same goes in my dad's family. Dad was twenty years younger than his older sister, who raised htm. COUrse they had biq families in those days arxi it's all through the Ieisenri.rq ard Kapp family. M1 j l I I Mary Jane "Jerry'' Ieisenri.r:g Spald.in.;r 13 mother was a Kapp, no relation to Buddy Kapp. He cane to services, I remember that, our sister's se:tVioes, 'MUch we had at Smith's which used to be an F..dwcu:ds street between 7th and 6th an the scul:h sideJ of the street. 'lhat's where smith's were at that time, in a brick 1::Ju.il.dinq before they moved out here an sart:h Gran:l. But Mayor Kapp came to Aunt Rose's service there at Smith's. Q: Did he spell his the sane? A: Yes, he's same relation way back, K-A-P-P. so Sprj.rgfield has sure cha:nqed. All this expansion. I used to k:noW all the names of all the streets ard where they were located. I don't know' aey of them a.nynm-e. Q: All except the division? A: 'lhat's right. Q: '!hat whole area west of Chatham. Road, I can remember when it ~. fann lard. A: That's right, nr:1 dad used to take Bar.ba.ra. and Jim wal.kirg an 8urxiays and took them out cause they liked nature and liked to be out in the outdoors and he'd walk them. out where Dirke:n Drive and the whole area west of Chatham. Road was just a dirt road that went behird Illini Coun.try Club golf course, where he used to play golf when it was nine hole. That was just a dirt road so he would take them out in the oountry. 'Ibere wasn•t anyt:h..in;J there and nothi.nq south. It was just fann land. Where the overpass is on Jefferson where the train goes over Jefferson out west, that's Churchill Road I guess it is, that was his oountry. 'Ibere was nothi.nq. Q: I remember. A: Ani all of a SIXIden all of these new develc:pnents have s:prun;J '4P and I don't know' any names of streets or subdivisions. I see a ~ of a street and I ask Ernie, "Where's that?" and he'11 say, "I don'It knc:lw." Q: Do you remember, is there anyone in Christ Olurch who particula:rly impressed you as a child? A: At the churc:h? Q: Anybody you especially remember, same event, sane t:b..in3' or their personality or sauetl:lirg that would make you remember. A: 'lhe Christmas Pageants, I remember t:h.c.lse. Q: Tell me about same of them.. A: Well, they were :much the same as they are :now. I mean we participated in them and you were ~awed and very excited ahout beirq in the Christmas Pageant. I think to the yoe.m.;' children growing I I i I' Mary Jane "Jerry" Ieisenrirr;J Spalciirg 14 up this means a lot. As far as people who I particularly remember; I remember Bill Jacobs when we had John baptized in Olrist Cllurch~Ohn cried the whole tilne, of course I was just starting over on myfamily ani he said, "Didn't you feed this child before you brought him here?" I said, ''No I didn't." (laughter) Bill Jacobs lived in rectory where Hoby and Betsy live l'lOW and our daughter, Barb, used to babysit with their kids. Q: How many children did they have? A: 'Ihree I think, two girls ani a boy. I may be wrong, maybe it was just two. Also Judy Withey, Judy Withey Petefish, used to babysitwith them. Judy and Barb were in high school together. Incidentally, her llDther, Vivian, Judy's llDther Vivian, could probably tell you sanet:hin:J about Olrist Church too. Her husbarxi, George, died several years ago but she is a nanber of Olrist Church. She lives out on Jeanette Iane I believe it is. I think Vivian originally maybe was a Presbyterian but it doesn1t matter. She1s now a nanber of <llrist Olurch. Her daughter, Judy, who now lives in Morton ani Barb were 1 very close. Ani as far as any one particular person in <llrist Chul:idh,of the SUrrlay SChool superinterrlents wh.cm I remember Mr. Hamlin, Eltic Green, Dick Olsen. I think Clarence Hamlin probably p.tt in the m::lSt years there. He was there for ~te a few years ani his widow' Alma could vouch for that. But I st1ll think that Hoby, our present rector, is the greatest as far as I'm concerned. Both Rosemary and Bill Tolani were wonderful also. Rosemary was at our auction last SUnday lookfn3' for postcards of Dad's cruises. I didn't have them out, they are in that box over there. I didn•t know Bill saved thEim and she said, "Bill collects postcards." Q: Oh, he does? A: I didn't know it. Q: I didn't either. I'11 tell you who has got sane neat old postcards is Betsy ani Han:y Newman. '!hey have sane of the lagoon 1at ~Park when they had the canoes. A: Right. Q: Arrl shcMi:rg the entrances then ani different things about the lagoon when they had the canoes and you oould rent a canoe on a S\lniay a:fternoon. A: sure, John, when he was in nursery school over there on Douglas, fell in that lagoon. '!hey took them over there for a field trip ani Mrs. Wilson, who had the :nurse:ry school in her hane, jtnnped in rightafter him. '!hat's deep. He just got too close to the edge ani fell in. She took her shoes off and went in right after him. Slightly wet people. '!hat is deep. '!hat is an old mine shaft urder there. Q: 'lhe one down at the bottom? 'lhe lower one? Not the duck poni? I i Mary Jane "Jerry'' I.eisenri.n;;r Spalding l5 A: '!he duck pond I 1m t:alki.rg al:lout. It was the duck pond, not tht:l J.a.goon. Q: I know that's Sl..'g)OSed to be very deep. A: Right. Clrist Olurch has really cane a lon:J, lon;J ways in my opinion as far as attracting new people. I think that has a lot to do with the Rector ani Hoby does that. He attracts ~people an:1 he has a way with both young arxi old. As I said earlier, 1:het"e were a good many years there when people didn't really camm:micate ard it was cold. If you did aey cammmicatin:J it was in the guild or auxilia:ey, but not in Church. '!hat USEd to be sort of, I guess until recent years, a sta:r'da:l:d, what do I want to say • • • part of the Episco.Pal Church. t I Q: A little bit of stan.i-offishness? i I A: Yes. Q: 1l:> you remember anyth:i.rq like members havini;J to be invited. to 1be a part of arist Omrch? A: Invited to be? No. Q: sane of the older 'WCIDeTl have told me that when Cllrist <llurch was founded, to be accepted as a lllEmlber, you really had to be "invited."one lady te.nned. it "bidded" into au:ist Church. A: '!hat l'mlSt have been before my time I think. Q: It was when it was very early on. A: I never heard of anything' like that, no. But it could have bean. It was very exclusive I guess. It was fOill'l:h:ld. by ''blue-bloods" of the oamnurdty etc. but nci:x::'dy invited me, I just went. Q: I think by the time Jerey wauace came he p.tt an end to that p%etty much. A: I wculd .imaqine, yes, bec:lause he was very out-qoi.nq an:i very dc::lm to earth and he didn't follCIYI aey format. I mean he was very, very natural arxi very much at ease. He was very lCIYI church of course, very lCIYI cb.urch. Of course Cllrist Church has always been lCIYI cb.urch. SCinabody said we were the outcasts of the diocese. We were the only lCIYI cb.urch in the d.icx:!ese, I think. Q: We are, right. A: But I love it. Q: I like the sinplicity of it. A: Right an:i I like the ser.vice the way it is now too. I MaJ:y Jane "Jerry'' Ieisenri.nq Spaldin:J 16 Q: Tell me, I hear all of this controversy over the prayer book changes. A: Ch that's crazy. I don't know' WI:Jy there is so much co.ntroversy. Why should there be? Q: I don't kn.c:.lw but there sure seems to be a way of raisinq a lot of people's anger to cba.nge the prayer book. A: well, samy, that never bothe:red me in the least because I don•t think it's that radical, that much of a ch.a.n:.;Je. Just because they changed the sezvioe, v.rell yes, at one time when they had the trial book out before they had the final printed, you were jllll'Pi.n:.J back ani forth, you kn.c:.lw, frau the old prayer lxJoks to the trial sezvioe ancl it was a little hard to follOW'. Q: Now see that's a.'bout the time 'We came into Christ Churcil. A: Right and they would have to tell you where they were in this ~k and in that book but as soon as they printed the final • • • I cou.l.d never un::lerst.ani that. I suppose it was because sane pec:ple thol:lght they shculd. never ch.a.n:.;Je the prayer :book. But it wasn't that radicta.l a chaJ:¥;;1e. '!here were sane things that were changed sure, but what difference does it make? '!hat's not what you go there for. Q: You feel that it wasn't anyt.h.iryJ to get excited a.'bout? A: No. Q: Why do you think people get so upset a.'bout cba.nge in that foxm? A: I don't know' really except maybe they just don't want to c::ihangal' anyth.i.rxJ. '!hey just get in a set pattern and that• s the routine that they have followed for so many years. When they cba.nge it, it u;psats them I Sl.lpJ_X)Se. I\ Q: I:'O you think there was really a doctrine change of any kind witth the new prayer :book? I A: Well there could have been. I'm not that well versed in it but I don•t think so. As far as I •m oonce:rned no. Q: How do you feel a.'bout having the lay people help with the CClll't1UI'l.ion? i ! ) t A: Well I think that's great. I really like it. I think the l1'IOI'e that the ~tionparticipates the better. I may be different fran a lot of other people but I've felt as I say, I remember the way it used to be where nobody participated when the altar used to be lack up against the wall, the rers:Ios was not there and the little winia,..r that is over the altar and the priest had his back to the con;;regatia'l. Q: '!hey changed that too? 17 Mary Jane "Jerey'' I.eisenrirg Spald.in;' A: Ql sure. '!he service, he had his back to the ~tionduring the celebration of the holy ClC.IIIlllD'lion, the altar was not fo:r:wa.rd. Q: Ard in the pictures it looked like it was not back against that wall. I have one old picture and it doesn't look like it's all 1:h.e way back, but it may have been. A: 'Well maybe it wasn't but there was an altar and they never stood behind. the altar. Q: Now the priest tums and faces the cotg:regation. A: Yes, but they never stood behind the altar, they were in front of it always. That's what made ne think it was flush against the wall. Q: It might have been. '!be picture I have is rather cloudy. It's hard to tell. A: But they :mcved. the altar out when they put the • Q: Do you remember Mrs. Palmer? A: Dr. sure I do. She was somet:J:ti.rg', Pal.ner, had Palmer sanitarium. she was very active. Her husbani, Q: Where was that? A: aut where the Presbyterian 11ane is now. Q: On Qlatham and I.awrence? A: Yes, she was very active alc::n; with Mather and May Hill, Gertie Magill, Macy Johnson and ll'Cre than I can name. She was a very faithful member of Cllrist Cllurch. She was a c:ha.racter. She had a mind of her own but she sure did what she started out to do. Q: Do you remember sane of the other 'Wtlll1et1 she was closely associ*ted. with? Mrs. Hatch? . A: Mrs. Hatch, right, JUdy Hatch's nx:rtner. Pascal Hatch was president or vice president, I don't remember W.c:h, of the First National Bank when it was back in its infancy. COJ:delia Hatch and Judy Hatch, Judy was the daughter, I always get this mixed up, but I think Cordelia was Frank Hatch's daughter and COJ:delia Pascal and his wife's dal.lf;hter, they had t'IN'O daughters. Judy Hatch married. Rockefeller. Q: She did? A: Governor of West Virginia. Judy was quite a bit yoll1'¥3f3r than her older sister. Judy was active in the Sl.DXiay SChool and the choir and, cil yes, one time I sang in the choir. I forqot. that. You'd never k:nc7.f it now but I did. That's when I.attie Taylor was the choir MaJ:y Jane "Jerry'' Ieisenrirg Spald.irg 18 director and Arm wancker, her sister, was the organist. 1he organ used to be over there to the left of where the lectem is nt:M. Q: <l1 to that side. Where the pipes still are? A: Yes, she used to sit on the bench the:r:e and look in the mirror to see who was OOlTti.rg in the clrurt:h and if everyb:dy was in and ready.. She played the organ for a good many years. '!hat's Iottie Taylor and Will Taylor. 'lhey lived on 1331 Dial court. I remember that. Mother and Dad were good friertls of theirs. Will was with Franklin Life Insurance carpmy. Q: What was he there? was he a1e of the officers? A: I think he was, I'm sure he was. I used to sit on his knee when -we went aver there for SUrday su.r;:per and worke.::l crossword puzzles. He loved to W01X crossword puzzles ani he worke.::l them with ne. I.ottia was quite a singer. She was president of the Amateur Musical Club for years. She goes out to Sanqalla'l state nt:M. '!he theatre, What do youcall it? Q: 'lhe M.my Opera? A: Yes. 'lhey had it in Springfield High SChool for years and then when 5a:rgal'tDn state opened their auditorium out there they :moved out there. 'Ibis year is the first year they've been out there. '!hat's not right,. it's the Springfield, maybe it's the c.ammmity Opera. Q: I was thi.rik:ing Of the M.my Opera. A: No, no, the M.my Opera is out at the lake. But this is what used to be the A:mateur MUsical Club ard it is now the Spr:ingfield, 'Well the Springfield symphony C>:t:'chestra is out there too. I < Q: In the new PAC buildirg? I A: Right. Iottie was president, Olarlatta. was her name, and she was president of the A:mateur Musical Club for a good. many years. ntey . lived on Dial ccurt there. '!here was Ann, and their mother and they were fran Waverly originally, the waverly area. ntey wena active in the c:bur:c:b alt.hough I don't think Iottie was ever actually a member. Arm was, but they 'Wel."e very devoted to the choir. Q: 'lhe choir has attractEd a quite serious membership hasn't it? A: I would say so, yes, and tarry H::xse is doing a mat:Velous job with the choir. Herman !fort was befo:re him. Herman was very dedicated and his wife, Virginia, was a very a.ocamplished writer. I have one of her books. She was also a nature lover. Her death was very tragic. Q: What happened to her? 19 Mary Jane "Jeny'' I.eisenrirg Spalc:lirxj A: She was in the Myers Building one day, got on the elevator ani collapsed ani died. She was youn;;J. I guess it was hal:d, she 1'l'lllSt; have been in her 40's, no more. Q: Oh really. You k.nc:M they have a collection of her works at westem Illinois university, her paintin;Js, her writirgs. A: She was very, very talented. Q: sc:met:hin:.J else I've leamed doirg these interviews, she must have been a wonderful lady. A: She was a very p1:etty wanan too. She was ye:rr striki.ng. She had black hair and she 'WOre it long and pulled back w~th sort of an oval face. She was very, very pretty. 'lhey had one son. But I think, Sandy, I'm not sure, but I think she couldn't have been more than in her 40's or early 50's but she was in Myers ani got out of the elevator and just collapsed. Q: Do you think people dress different for church? A: Oh sure, oh definitely. I can remember when we always had to wear gloves, white gloves or whatever kind of gloves, and a hat. You never went to church without a hat ani gloves. Q: Did the men always wear suits? A: Yes, they sure did. I think this casual way of dressirg is much better. Q: You're one of the more mcxlern thinkers on thin;Js like that I have a feelirq. A: Well maybe it's because I •m getting older and I don't want to fuss, you :k:now, as much. But we never went to church without gloves and a hat. '!hat was unb.eanl of. Q: And a dress or a skirt? A: Well there weren't pants then. Q: I would have been out of luck. A: '!hat's right but I draw the line alxut kids oc:anirg in with blue jeans and bare feet. '!hat's a little too much. But they can put on shoes and that's alright. What difference does it make what you wear? You're not there for show', this is what it used to be, a dress parade. You'd dress up ani eveeybody on Easter S\m:lay, eveeybody turned around and looked at eveeybody else to see What they had on. So ani so had this on ani so ard so had that on. I can remember that, ard I thought, ''Well, this is silly. What difference does it make what you wear?" No, I think it's much better nt::M, I really do. I know' the:a:'e is a lot of people who abject to the loosenin:] of the tradition I guess, or what they've always done for so many years, ard the~ in the prayer book but I don't feel that way, Sandy. 'nJ me church. is you go there for you ani you're shari.rr:J with Geld, you're being wi~ Geld. I don't t:hink it's inp::>rta:nt a lot of this that they make sud:l a fuss about. . Q: Yes, I agree with that heartily. I had better, my husban:i ani I are probably the 1l'IC.lSt infonnal of anybody that CCIIleS there. A: No, I don't think so. As I say, to me, Christ Qrurc:h is my heme. I am goirq to be buried there at Olrist Church, in the wall, in the garden. Q: Oh you are? A: An:l so is my husband. 'Dle ashes are go.in;J to be put in the wall of the garden. '1hey have three or four of them there n<::M. Q: Cil, there are, 'liv'ho? A: Didn't you know' that? Q: No. A: Go in the garden sanetiJne ani there are plaques on the top of the . ! wall• Q: I didn•t know' that was there. A: Mark Kirk is there. He was a 1ISilber of Olrist Qrurc:h for years. His ashes are there. He was vice president or had a high office in . Central Illinois PUblic service ~ani his services were held in Olrist Cl1u:l:d:l, his family and his wi.dow' ani children. 'lhere is a plaque there for him ani for two 'WtllBTl, cna of them is a Gardner. Go up ani look at them. Q: I sure will. A: All I have to do is write a letter to smith's with a copy to the church, that's '6'hat Hoby said. I don't want anybody taking me acrass the mile.s. Erd of Side '!'ii10, Tape One A: I was ta1Jd.r.g about my brother George and Betty, who are members of Olrist :episcx:pU Churttl in Milwaukee and very active, George I.eisenrin:.;J arrl Betty I.eisenrirq. '!hey have a CiaiDrimn urrler the ch.urch for ashes of members of the church. I think there is SCIIIEit:hi.ng"like six hundered spaces for c:cypts. Q: '!here in Milwaukee? What church is that? A: O'lrist Episcopal Olurch. I· 21 Q: 'Ihere too. A: Actually it's in Whitefish Bay 'Which is part of Milwaukee. '!hat's where they are go.irg to be buried. I don't see any, a lot of peopJ_e object to cremation, but w.b.en you see all this space taken up bycemeteries, they are runninq out of space. Hc:7,.Jever my mother ani JtY dad ard my brcthe:r are buried in Druid Ridge cemetsey in Baltimore, their ashes, in the Kapp family burial plot. '!he stones are all ma.J:Xed with Mother's family, the Kapp family, and my dad's name was on the stone except for the year of his death. It was all a:rra.rged. Q: 'Ihey wanted to go back? A: '!be I.eisenri.rg burial plot is also there in Marylan:i, but he wanted to be buried the1:e in the Kapp plot with mother. Mother died in 1966 and Jack died in 1976. He was a very accomplished musician by the way. Q: What did he play? A: 'Ihe piano. He used to play for the choir at Christ Cb.u:rch and also at the SUnday Sc:tlool before I came alorg. He performed in many of those th.irqs they used to have on the stage, he played the piano. Allan Abels1 a good frien:i of his vmo is not a ll.lli.lllber of Qlrist Omrch, sam Mulford was not a member of Olrist Church, Razz Arlribruster vmo nt:JW lives in Alton, Ross I think his name used to :be, we called him Razz. Q: Yes, oh that's Roger's ocusin. A: Really. Q: Don Annbruster who lives out on South state street and Ross are brot:heJ::s. A: Right. Q: And they were Roger's ocusins. A: I didn't k1'1ow that. Q: '!hey were seccn:1 cousins. A: well Razz was a very close frieni of my brother1 Jack's, and they had an orc:hestra together. 'nley used to pla¥ up 'When they were in college. Jack's Ord:lestra, Razz was the banJoist an::1 Jack was the pianist an::l they played up in lake GeneVa for several S\DDIIlSl"S at the pier there. lake GeneVa, that's where Jack met his wife. Well they're seccni CDlSins. we had a very nice letter fran Razz when Jack died. In fact he was up here to see him when he was in the hospital. Don of course was ~. Q: Don just retired in the last couple of years fran Bell Tel~. ! : \ I . I I Mary Jane "Jer:r::y'' r.sisenrirq Spalding 22 A: Now he was quite a bit yout'l;Jer than Razz, wasn't he? Q: I don•t kn.c:M. There was another brother in there am I don•t kncM' how' they rarik:ed but I think Don is the youngest. A: Oh Alfred, wasn't it Alfred? Q: Yes, he lived out in california ar.d he's dead. A: at really. Q: He died several years ago. A: But Razz used to play the banjo ard sin; in the orchestra. He used to hold this doll ard sin;J, what was that son;~ that was so popular th.en? Q: "'!he D:>lly with the Hole in Her stoc::.kiJ:J'J?" A: No, that was 101'¥,;J after this. 'Ibis was 101'¥,;J about, ah he used ito rock that doll. I can see him yet. I'll think of it later but itiwas sort of a lullaby and he had a doll ar.d he rocked it and sarq this~ He ard Jack we:r::e very close. 'n1.en also Jack, when he was in CQlleqe at the U. of I. , had an orchestra. aver there that Razz was not in. '!hey shipped their orchestra overseas a couple of summers on the ships. '!hey :bookeCl them on the ships and they'd play on the ships, the passenger ships, which they used to have then. '!hey got their passage over there and back ard th.en two or three weeks to roam around, bicycle around, an:i go to these hostels and stay aver there awhile before the ship went back. A \«<''ierful experience, they bicycled around, they didn't have cars then. '!hey went all through Germany and you name it ar.d that's while they were in college. Q: '!hey really did have a great tiJre didn•t they? A: Jack had an orchestra ar.d nrt brother, Geo]:.'9e, had an orchestra., George used to play saxophone. '!hey practiced out at our house at ~21 Illini Rol=ld. Q: An::i you played the piano? A: Yes, I was a pianist, George was a sa:xcphanist, and Jack was a pianist. But Jack was very versatile in that he Cli.:W.d read music as well as play by ear. See people normally, when they play by ear, can•t read muslc, but he could both. We have a tape of his here that he made for Irrf dad. He could sit down ard play I.e:iberst:J:an, classical music, popular music, you name it ard w always used to have "sings'' when the family got tog'ether. we'd all gather arounc1 the piano am sirq. All the old favorites, you kn.c.w. He had a remarkable facility or knack or a qift of be.irr:J able to sit down am play anything but he could still read music. Q: Isn't that~? t.:'k> your children have this musical talent? I. ! I 23 Ma:ty Jane "Jerry'' r.eisenrin;J SpaJ.c:i.ing A: Ba:r.b and sue both, well all of t'hem, Ba:r.b and sue and Jim., all took. Jim was not a pianist, they toak piano yes. BaJ:ba.ra is still quite llllSical and Jim was a sort of quite a :r:c::A.md.er. He took accordion, he was quite a drummer for awhile, he liked. the dl::ums, :put he never was very serious about art:/ of t'hem. John played in the h;i.gh school orchestra until it practically folded up. He was a viola player. He still has his viola which is an in between type, it's not the little one. He's pretty good. I asked him the other day if he wanted to sell his viola. He said, ''No, I don't think so really."It's still up there maybe he will take it up again. for the last two years. Q: Is he still at Sprin;;Jfield? A: No, he's at L:i..mx>ln I.a:rxl now. Q: Okay, I knew' he was in college there. A: He's in Lincoln ram, seccni year. Q: BecXni year already? A: Already he's nineteen. He's going' to SIU in c:a:r:bon:iale next year '!hey are suppcsed to have a very fine communications school. It's been reoorarrrerDed. to him but he's a little conoerned I think because he has a qirlfrieni and she doesn't want him to leave her and she1s afraid he will forqet all about her you knoW'. But he needs to get away for a couple of years. Q: I. l.Il'Kierstard that. A: But I don1t knoW' what else I can tell you. Q: Tell me saneth.:irg. Do you remember when Jerry Wallace was fighting' corruption? can you remember that? He was very actively outspoken against the pinball machines and the p.m.ch. boards and all of that. A: Yes he was, he was very outspoken. Q: Tell me a little bit alx:ut him. A: Well he was a very unusual man. He said what he t.l::tought and didn't mince any words about it. As I say, he didn•t have any forne.t that he followed. He was just as apt to say saneth.:irg in the middle of, you know, very u:nexpected, .but he was very q:p::lSE!d to oorruptiat, vice which was just beg.inn.irg to rear it's ugly head in these days. His wife, I'm tryi.rg to remember her first name, she was a very, verypleasant wanan and they had one little boy, Arrly, \\be came alonq after they came here. Course I thought at that time, and I was little, I thought they was sort of old to have a youngster but I'm sure they weren't as old as I was when I had John. But she was very active in the church and Jerry was of course in c::araplete charge of eve:ryt:h.irg in the church. '!here was no assistant. In these days they didn't have assistants. We had the superinten::lent of sunday School and that was r II ! :' l I 24 Mary Jane "Jer.cy'' I.eisenrirq Spald.in;J it. I dal't know', sand.y, l1ilat the enrollment was then. I have no, idea ard no way of k:nc:::lw'i:rg1 but I'm sure it had to be less than wi'l4t we have nt:NJ. '!here were a lot of wealthy families in Christ =, but they've all lonq gone. As you said, before you mentioned. the act that you had to be asked to join the C'llul::t::h. 'lbat was before my t but there were a lot of wealthy families am. that's l1ilat they probably existed on for a good IDa.11:Y years. And all of a sudden n.c:IW' we are back to beirq down to earth ard everyday1 which Haby hardles :beautifully. third pew fran the front on the aisle because that was the pew that Q: 'lbe eve:ryday mney wrrles rDA. A: '!bat's right. Q: We don't have any parishioners today. A: ,'lbe Hatchs, the Palmers, gee, who ,were the ather ones? Q: Dl you :renember when they rented the pew? A: I never rented a pew. Q: '!hey used to, they had them l'll1111bered. A: '!bat must have l:leen quite a fat years ago, befo:re I was l::lom. Q: I und.erstani that :A:lyllis Herndon Brissenden still sits in the her family rented. Even though it's not a rented pew anyJID:re she still likes to sit in that particular spot. A: Well that's another family, Blyllis' folks. Obed Herndon used to have Herndon1s store ani his wife, but I didn1t k:now' they rented them. Q: I don•t know' when they stopped paying for pews or :ren:ting your pew but I know' they did do that for a lorq time there. A: Well I don't thi.nk: my mother ard dad ever rented a pew. Q: I don•t know' when it stopped but they used to have little brass numbers on them and. you had half a pew. Betty Ieinicke still has cne of the old ones. A: '!hey did have little numbers on the pews but if my folks ever :paid for the1r pew I never knew it. Q: It nay have stopped by then. A: Maybe they did am never said anything to me about it. 'lbey did have numbers, each side was m.nnbered, on either side of the aisle. Q: 'Ihey had a little am kind of in the middle of it, of the pew lergt:h. A: Yes, I remember that. Mary Jane 11Jeny'' Ieisenrirlg' SpaldinJ 25 Q: Do you remember when they rem:x:leled. the chu:rdl? A: sure. Q: What all did they charge? A: Well they charged quite a bit up in the chancel. 'lha.t used to :be perfectly bare ani it had a tile floor 't4lich was pretty but it was cold in the winter, had no carpeti.rg '~.~Bier it. Mosaic ·tile floo:rs, you k.rJ.ot.l, that sort of t.hin:J ani the altar was very bare. As I said before, I think it IlD.lSt have :been flush against the wall or pretty close to it ani all that was there was a very small cross ani this wi.ndow' that used to be above the altar, the stained. glass wiJ:1dow over the choir loft ard that was it. '!he ch1J.l:dl pews, I'm tryi.rg to remember the floor there. 'lhere was no ca.rpetin;J ani the pews, the benches, were just ha.:l:dwocxi benches, noth.irx.J on them ani not very comfortable to kneel on. 'Ihe pews were just about as uncomfortable. So they made great progress as far as improvi.rg the appearance of the church inside as well as the comfort because these old wooden kneeli.rg benches ani the pews were in p1:etty bad shape by the time theyremodeled. Q: Abc:ut when was that, 1970? A: Gee, Bandy, I don't know, did sc:mabcdy give you an idea of that? Q: Yes, it was maybe 1970, 1965 to 1970 somewhere alOIYJ in there? A: 'lha.t could have been because I graduated from school. I really don't remember whether it was that late or not. Q: Well it could have been earlier, I can look in the vesb:y minutes and find that. A: But it sure .inproved the church with the reredos and the new choir stall and all the woodwork up there in the chancel. Q: '!hey p.zt that little like wai:nscot.in;J up in there again. A: Nothi:ng had been the:re, it was just absolutely bare. Q: It must have been a very austere church? A: Yes, it was ani the unfrien:lliness of people didn't help it any either. If you spoke to ~,it used to sort of frighten me when I was little, I thought, "Gee, these pe.cple are awful, cold," you know, l'lC1:xXly speaks to ~else. '!hey didn•t have ~gre.eting' anybody or turn a.rourd. Q: Did they have coffee hour? A: No. Q: '!hat's a recent invention. II i Mary Jane "Jerry" I.eisenrirg Spaldin;J 26 A: Right, we had SUn::lay School, we had Church am we went home ard that was it. '!hey just didn't. Q: '!hen you agree with what Mrs. SChoening told me that the ''Websters only spoke to the Ridgelys am the Ridgelys only spoke to God." A: Right I do, I do, I sure do. Q: Did your IOOther work on the Red cross project? A: Yes, she did. Q: What did they make m::lStly? A: we used to make~for the cancer dressin;;Js am I don't kr1cM all sorts of • • • I wish she were here to tell you. She li!Orked on ~downthere, bandages for cancer dressin;;Js, am~for this am I don• t krlc:M. Q: Did they have war projects where they li!Orked on stuff for the war effort? A: I'm sure they did. Q: Do you remember Grandma r..arpti.er? A: Gran:lma I.anphier, Libby Ianphier•s grattlnDther? No, I knew Libby am then her daughters. Q: Was Bitsey Libby1s daughter? A: Bitsey am susie Kelley, Bitsey Beard am susie Kelley. 'Ihey are members of Olrist Church. SUSie is. Q: Arxi Bitsey Beard is too. A: Right and Jack, Li.l:by's husbani. I reuember Jack's dad. I don't remember that I knew his IOOther but Jack's dad just died not too lQng ago. Q: Right, he was Ianphier Insurance, right? A: Arxi his dad, John Ianphier, Sr., was out on West Washir:gton by Eisners, I mean where Mrs. Feltenstein is. Q: Oakbrook Terrace. A: Right, just a couple of years ago and he was ninety some years old also, ninety-six or~· 'Ihen there were the Bradfo:r:ds who use:i to be members of CbrJ.st Church, very active ard they IOOVEd to Florida. Q: Have you remained frierrls with any of the people you grew up in church with? Have you kept close to any of them? 27 Mary Jane 11Jer.r:y'' Ieisenring Spalding A: Well yes an::i no because l1'ClSt of them have moved away. Families that I grew up with are no longer here. Bradishs, John Bradish ani his wife ani daughter, Lillian, were very active :members of Cbrist Church an::i the Bradishs used to live a couple of houses east of us here. Mrs. Bradish was cust.odian of Lincoln's Ha.ne for years. In fact we played bridge in Lincoln's Hane when she was custodian. Q: Oh you did? A: We sure did an::i then after Mrs. Bradish, V:i..:rginia Brown was quite a writer. She wrote several little books about Lincoln. We played bridge upstairs in the aparbuents. When the aparbnents used to be upstairs, they lived. there. It was nat all open to the p.lblic as it is tlCIW'. Q: Oh, these people actually lived. in Lincoln1s Hane? A: Yes, they lived. upstairs in aparbnents upstairs ani then they'd go d.c::Mn the stairs in the back ani get refreshments while we were playing bri~. It was sort of weird, but Mrs. Bradish was there ani then V:i..:rginia Brown followed her. You had a sort of funny feeling abcLrti: playing' bridge in LincolnIS Hane. Q: What did they use for a kitchen? I. A: '!here was a kitchen downstairs. [ Q: on the first floor? A: Yes. Q: '!be one that is :t"'!l!lllC)jeJ ed as a an old time kitchen "l'DN'? It was modem. A: Well no, it never was, well it was mode:J:n, they had put all this stuff up in there to remodel it up to the period. But there was a regular kit:chen there, that's where they did their coo1d.nq. '!bey want down these stairs an::i had a mfrigerator an::i a stove. Q: 'Ibey've taken them all away again. A: Mrs. Bradish was very active in <llrist Omrch as well as her da~, Lillian. Lillian was married to Richard Limey ~was an act1ve '.IDf!lllt:le:r of Olrist Omrch. He was a trust officer at the Sprj.n:Jfield Marine Bank. '!bey had one san an::i in later, I don't :k:rlcM how many years, they were divorced and she remarried an::i moved to Maine. Lillian ani I were very, very gocxi friends. I'm t:ryirg to think~ else was in that. Oh, Cliff Hathaway's first wife, Marg'ie Hathaway, was in that bridge club also, when we used to play bridge every two weeks. I haven•t played bridge for years. Q: I love to play bridge. I'm nat very good, but I enjoy it. Mazy Jane "Jerey" I.eisenri.nq Spalding 28 A: we used to play a lot of bridqe but this was a little bridge club. It started cut with four tables and then went down to three tablesi and it went down to bJo tables and we erded up with one table playingsanething else besides bridge, I don't remember What it was. 'Ihey,d all :nrwed away or died. Billie Haynes, she was not a member of Christ Church. She was a William.s1 Billie and Mary Williams, lived over here on Lincoln between laWrence and Fayette. Q: Do you remember aey of the biq dinners, parties, :potlucks and thir.gs like that? . A: Yes, I don't think as I remember any of them were potlucks. Q: IJ.hat's a recent tb.in:1? A: '!hat's a recent thing1 yes. It was nastly the 'W'Cl'OI!tl of the church prepared the dinners and served them in the d.inirg room. Talk about ours not being very nv::x1ern today, that was worse. It wasn't verymodern but they cooked the meals right there and waited on the tables. '!hey ran their le;JB off on that cement floor. But potluck&1 I don•t remember ever having a:ny :potlucks. 'lhey used to have a lot of, t.he women's Auxiliaey, had luncheons once a llDlth and they fixed a salad and coffee or tea and desert and rolls. I think potlucks are very new'. Q: Fspecially at Cl'lrist Churc:h? A: Yes. Q: Have yc:ur ever heal:d the tem "jitney dinner?" A: Jitney? What's a "jitney dinner?" Q: sanething Mrs. Schoenir:g was ta.l.kirJ;J about. Apparently all the 'W'Cl'OI!tl would contribute sanething to this and it was open to the publicand like far a price you oould go up and have all you wanted to eat. It must have been very early on in the church when they did those. A: It could have been before I was a ~. Q: Yes, that's What I figured because she's the only· person 'Who has used that tem. A: You mean they fixed the stuff and people went thrcugh and boughtwhatever they wanted? Q: Yes. I was just ttying to qet a little more clarification if sane1xxly knows what they were really. I'd like to have more than Clle person rallli!IIPher a:ny qiven thing. A: Jitney dinners. Q: Do you remember the Men's I.1mChec:.r1 Club? 29 Maey Jane "Jerry" I.eisenrinq Spaldirq A: Yes. Q: Who was BocaDer DaVis? 8aDebody ask me, do you remember? A: Who? Q: 'BocJDer Davis. llhat was supposed to be the name of one of the Mens' group, Boaner DaVis lJ..mdleon Club. A: Who was Boomer Davis? I :remeni:ler the name but I don't know who Boamer DaVis was. Q: I think sanebody told me ani I can't remember for sure. A: I remembe.r the name Boamer Davis l:lut who ani what he was I don't know. Q: Apparently they had quite a good group for him. A: Yes, they did, very active. 'Ihis group they have :n.ow that meets on 'Ihursday is a beginni.nq of that same thing. Except I think then times -were more relaxed and men could sperd a little more time there at the luncheons than they can do :n.ow. Everybody wasn't dashinq off to go back to work or saneth.inq else. Q: Did more of the men seem to have their awn businesses? A: well sane, but sane were in the banks. '!hey were probably in postions where they could afford to stay away lager. It didn't make any difference if they got back in time. So this was like Dr. Palmer. I don•t know whether he was ever. Mrs. Palmer was the one who was more active. But they run the TB sanatorium where the Presbyterian HaDe is :n.ow and. was a very noted TB sm:qeon and IilYsician ani what have you. Of course it wasn't as biq ani expensive as it was l'lOW', but it had a very good reputation. I am tryinq to think of Mrs. Palmer's first name, she worked hard down there. '!here again there was l1'10l'l.$y involved as far as the d:nD::d1 was oanaerned. '1be Ha.tc:hs, and. I'm sure I overlcx:lked. a lot of them, the Herndons. '!here are a lot more. Q: A lot of people have come ard gone? A: Right. Q: I was goinq to ask you sane more about the wall where they have the people buried. li::M' lag ago was that started where people wera put in there, do you kr'.!ow? A: well the first one I knew of was Mark :Kirk. Of course the dates are on those plaques on top of the wall ani this was Hoby's project. Q: ell it is? A: ell yes, he's talked about c::::ra.IDrium or whatever they call it in the garden, but it's been a while. '!here are three plaques there. Maey Jane "Jerry" I.eisenrin:J Spalding 30 Q: I'm goin:J to have to make a point to see them. A: '!hey take a stone out of the wall on the garden side ani put the crypt, the box, right in there ani put the stone back in and then they put the plaque in the upper part of the wall. Q: Do you remember When they used to have ice cream socials in the garden? A: Yes, they had a lot of them. 'lhe wedd.in;J receptions, we had a good many wec:1din;J receptions there. Q: In the garden? Were there very many weddirgs take place in the garden? A: Yes, they had weddirgs there. '!hey were very pretty. Depenied upon the weather too, you 1alcM. Yes, they used to have a lot of ice cream socials an:i teas for the Wanen's Auxiliary. '!hat garden was not as pretty as it is now. Eleanor Gover has done a beautiful jab, she and her camnittee in taki.ng care of that garden but it was always a pretty spot. Ani it's just like I bet I •ve heard a lot people say they'd go by on the street an:l they'd care in ani sit d.c:Mn. It was like a haven for the busy downtown thoroughfare to be able to walk in there ani sit down between the church ani the terrple on the other side. Q: Yes, I used to use it when I worked downtown. A: still I •m wondering. Do you know what the church committees are planning to do with that sears property? Are they going to build over there or what? Q: No, they want that to have an option to expani the church when it's needed. A: What wcul.d they expa:rxi? Q: Well if they would ever need mre SUn:lay School rocms. I 1:h..ink what they had hc::¥led to do, for the present, was maybe usin:J sane of it for the church offices where they need a bigger office. '!hen they had talked about using it for the elderly in the church, like apartments for the indigent in the church who oc.uldn•t really afford to be in their own bane. Maybe like cellini's apartments were Where they pay25 percent of their incane ani then they can help taki.ng care of sane of the poor in the church who really don't have li'IJrleY to support themselves. A: You could pit that there where the aparbnents are. Q: Just using the aparbnents as they are, doi.rg enc:ugh l:'eiOOdelin:J to make them livable. But I assume, at the present time, they are justgoirg to continue renting it as it is rented, the office space and whatever living space, whatever it's rented out to now. But it's the last piece of land adjacent to the Omrch that they can get their I ! l: Mary Jane ''Jer:ey'' Ieisenring Spalding h.a:rrls on if they need to expand am also for parldrg. 'Ihey can have their parking spaces ard then rent the ather. I t:hink they want to kind of for awhile ani open that up to an entire parking area. Bl1t they just feel if they don•t get that pu:oel. of lar.d t'lOW, that the Qru:rc:h will biJ;y eventually, because it's the only direction they can expand. A: 'lhat1s right, that's right, I k:nc:w that. Q: Ard thatIS why they want it SO badly• A: I just 'WOl'dered. I had never talked to Hoby al:x:ut What they planned. to use it for, b.tt I'm sure he had sanet:hing in mini. Q: Yes, the women wanted to sell it am they were tcyir:g to give the d'lurch as gocd a deal as they could without giving up eveeythingthemselves. 'Ihey were t:tying to be fair ar.d I think they've probably worked it out very well. But they felt like if the church would ever need to qrcM and qat to the point where they needed more facilities, that's the only way we cc:Rll.d do it. A: Well I'm t:.ryir:g to remember Where the offices used to be. You still walk up the stairs and the .ba.se:ment ard the d.in.in;J :roan was still there and the kitchen was still there am you wa.l.ked up the stairs and. there was this auditorium with a staqe, but the offices • . . I guess it's all cha.nged so much, but it was probably right there where it is :n.ow but there was n.othinq on the other side. You went right into these glass doors and went into the auditorium. Q: 'lbe way I think it was, and. tell me if this SOI.lt'.llds right when I say it, you came up the stairs as you come in ncM ardon the side towaras the alley, or the east, was where the church offices were. A: 'lhat's right. Q: Ard then the priest• s office was in back of the where Hoby's is? A: Right. Q: so that the offices errled. even with the top of the stairs? A: Right a.n:1 then you went right into this glassed-in • • • Q: so if you came up the stairs you didn't realize you were actuallyccani.ng past two offices. A: Right, a.n:1 they bad man.y productions as I say. 'lbe local talent or local whatever ani the pJ.anO used to be right there before they add.ed en the S\:lnday School building. 'lbe piano set right at • • • Q: Right where the stairs go down nt:M? A: No, it was on the other side below the staqe, right below the staqe ~the alley on that side. MaJ:y Jane "Jerry'' I.eisenr.irg SpaldirJJ 32 Q: Oh, an the opposite side, I see. A: And the SUnday SChool roans, eventually when the SUnday SChool grew, they had scme of the classes up an the stage. Q: Do yoo remember when they had SUnday School in the :Masonic TEmple?It -would have been urder Bill Jacobs. A: I never had SUnday School in the Masonic Terrple. Q: AR;:Iarently dur.irg the t.ime-wasn•t Bill Jacobs there before Frank Shaffer? A: Right. Q: When he was there they had so many people OOJllin;J they had three services in the IOOl:l1in]. 'Ihe SUnday SChool part of it was in the Masonic Temple. A: It could have been but I didn't know about it. Q: 'Ihey said when they built the SUnday School addition it was not big enough to aCOCI'I'IltK:ldate. A: No it wasn't. Q: And ncM it's plenty bi~ enough. 'Ihey still use same of the roams in the carriage house but 1t1s got enough room. Have you seen the new teen furniture. A: 'Ihe what? Q: '!he new teen roan, the new furniture. s~gave them four thousand dollars worth of new furniture ani cm:petl.l'Y:J for that roc:n. 'Ihey've painted it ani fixed it all up and the kids ••• A: You and Roger did a lot of that, didn't you? Q: No. A: 8anebcxiy did. Q: sane of the~people, the Y<JUDiJ marrie::l couples, painted that but they've repainted that again and they've got bran:l new furniture. Jdm shool.d cane down and see it. He 'WOUldn't recognize the old teen roan. A: He probably wouldn't. Q: Beautiful and the ~people are cani.n.1 back again. A: 'lba.t's good. It doesn't look like the same place then. Of course he's been at a great disadvantage because he•s been working at the radio station until midnight or twelve to seven on SUnday :mornirgs, 33 ciepen:!s. at when they want him. so he has to sleep am he'11 CC~~.e back. Mary Jane "Jerry" I.sisenring Spalding' gotten pretty scarce so I'm glad to see it. It got down to about Q: ell sure, sure they do. A: We had the same th.in;J with our other kids. Q: But they said that the teen group was qrowinq again. '!hey had seven or eight. Now it's up to aJ:'OI.l'D1 fifteen or sixteen I guess pretty regular at S\l:rEiay. A: Well that1s good.. Q: It doesn't sou:r.d like a lot but then • A: It's a big' jurrp yes, if you can get any of them back. We had the same with our other t:h:r:ee. '!hey drifted away for awhile ani it used to bother me but they came back. You just have to let ·them qo their own way. Kids these days are not ruled. I W!.'JUl.dn't say ruled, but they have their own mir.ds ani they are going to speak it and use it whereas when we were g::rowing up you didn•t have the f:reeda:n that they have now am you didn•t :know anything' else. Ern of Side One, Tape Two
|Title||Spalding, Mary Jane 'Jerry' Leisenring - Interview and Memoir|
Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield (Ill.)
Women--Roles, Occupations, etc.
|Description||Spalding, member of Springfield's Christ Episcopal Church, discusses her association and experiences with the church: Sunday school, women's groups, Boy Scout troops, social functions, renovation and expansion, and active church members.|
|Creator||Spalding, Mary Jane "Jerry" Leisenring b. 1913|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Armbruster, Sandra Britz [interviewer]|
|Digital Format||PDF; MP3|
|Relation||CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Title||Mary Jane 'Jerry' Leisenring Spalding Memoir|
|Source||Mary Jane 'Jerry' Leisenring Spalding Memoir.pdf|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
University of Illinois at Springfield
Norris L Brookens Library
Mary Jane “Jerry” Leisenring Spalding Memoir
SP19. Spalding, Mary Jane "Jerry" Leisenring b. 1913
Interview and memoir
2 tapes, 135 mins., 36 pp.
CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Spalding, member of Springfield's Christ Episcopal Church, discusses her association and experiences with the church: Sunday school, women's groups, Boy Scout troops, social functions, renovation and expansion, and active church members.
Interview by Sandra Britz Armbruster, 1981
See collateral file
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1981, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
'lhis manuscript is the product of a series of tape-:recoJ:ded i.nt:ezviews corducted by Sardra Britz Annbruster for the Oral History Office,San3amOn state University on october 15, 1981. Margaret Reeder transcri.l:ai the tapes an:i Linda s. Jett edited the transcripts.
Jercy Ieisenrin;J Spaldin;J's pa:r:ents were members of Christ Church when Jerry was bom. She was baptized there in 1913 by Rev. Riley an:i has been a member since. Christ Qrurch has special :aeanin:.J to Jerry am to her family. She remembers the auditorium an:i stage in the Parish Hall, an:i her brother Jack played for many events there. She remembers the plays that were };lerfonaed. in the theater an:i many of the events ani celebrations held in the Church. Her children were also members of the Boy Scout Troop at Christ Qrurch. 'Ihe east window on the south side of the chapel was given in Il.lelllOXY of her mt:her Martha I.eisenrirg. Jercy has made arra.rgemants that at her death she is to be cremated and buried. in the waJ.l at Christ Churc:h's garden, thus continuing her life-lorq love ani association with Christ Olu:rah..
Readers of the oral history 'l'!'lelTM)ir should bear in mi.rd that it is a transcript of the spoken word, ani that the i.nt:ezviewer, narrator and editor sought to preserve the infonnal, oonve:rsa.tional style that is inherent in such historical sources. San.gaiOOn state university is not responsible for the factual a.ccuracy of the memoir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge.
The manuscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It nay not be reproduced in whole or in part by any ll'l6lal1S, electronic or 1Jll!!!,iChanica1, without ~ionin writirg fran the oral HistoJ::y Office, Sa.rqamon state t.Jniversity, Spr.irgfield, Illinois 62794-9243.
Table of ~ts
Background • 1 sunday School. 2 Olrist Episcopal Church in the Early 2oth Cerrt.uey. 4 Qrurch weddings. 5 Boy Scout Troops 6 st. HildaIS an:1 other Guilds • 9 Spri.rgfield Hanes. .11 Childhood Menories of Church .13 Wa.shin;Jt.on Park. .14 |
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|