Elizabeth Wilde Daniel

Elizabeth Wilde Daniel has a gift that many people never receive – satisfaction and peace. She loves her family and is content with what God has provided. She and her husband, Lyle, live 6 miles North of Lockwood. On October 9th, they celebrated their 56th Anniversary. They have been blessed with 5 sons and 1 daughter, 18 grandchildren, great-grand-children and 2 more were born in August.

Mrs. Daniel was born in New York State, in a suburb of New York City. She vividly remembers living among Japanese and Chinese people. She could sit on the front porch and watch the ball game on Sunday afternoons. In the same field were posts, where men who mistreated their wives during the week were tied and whipped.

A trolley car ran in front of the house. The family laundry was done at the Chinese laundry.

Memories of nice furniture, the player piano, dances at home and sings, are all part of her early childhood. Going to the train station with a uniformed young man clinging to her mother – and other crying mothers is another early memory.

Then at the age of 4-5 other less pleasant memories begin. The flu epidemic hit. She and her younger brothers, Arthur and Frank were left orphaned. Her parents, and one son died in that epidemic.

Someone took them to a “home.” They went on the train. Her parents were Catholic and the orphanage was Catholic run. This ‘home’ later had a fire that destroyed the records.

Her youngest brother was allowed to stay with her the first night then he was taken away. For almost a year she was there, but unable to see her brothers. Her friends were Rose, Anna and Lydia.

Almost a year later, 20 children left the home on the ‘orphan train’. 200 children took their place, many still in diapers.

The “high muckity mucks” ate at separate tables in the orphanage. They ate what they pleased. For breakfast the children had plain oats – no cream nor sugar. At night you didn’t dare cry.

The cook was a negro woman. She did the laundry. I can remember her hanging it on the lines. She had a small girl. We’d go outside and sing hymns with her. A high fence with rolled fencing on the top surrounded the yard.

We left New York in straw hats and heavy coats. Snow was on the ground. For a week we were on the train, many were sick and I helped clean up. Ann was also sick. Frank sat on my lap most of the way. He was 2. You can’t sleep on a train either.

The twins got off in Texas. They had connections there. 18 of us came to Greenfield in April.

When we got to the Opera House it was packed. Our agent was a Methodist preacher, Mr. J. W. Swan. He was crippled and couldn’t drive. He announced we were tired, those interested in us could take us home, feed us, talk it over, and keep us on trial. Then we sang.

I went with a man named Bob. He showed me his basement and the canned goods. We ate and I didn’t eat much. I didn’t know what corn, butter, or sugar was. His wife didn’t want me to stay. So I went back.

Lydia and I were the last to be taken. Two women were bickering over me. One offered me a doll and another a carriage. I just wanted something to eat and sleep. I went to Lester Andrews. They moved to Washington in a year and I went to Marian Killingsworth’s. I saw my brother there at the sale.

After a year, Arthur Wasson took me ’cause they had no children.’ Then at about 9, I went to Tom Davison.

Jan. 28, 1922 I went to Dad and Mom’s, Jim Tindle’s. Other people wanted me and I’d stay the 3 weeks and come home. All together I was in 8 homes. Some of the homes weren’t pleasant. The Tindle’s raised Anna and Elizabeth, or ‘Bets’ as Dad called her.

Both brothers stayed in one home. Rose left and wasn’t heard from, both Anna’s brothers Billy and Frank stayed in Dade County. Anna married Raymond Sorden in 1938.

Elizabeth had Lyle’s ring 6 months before she’d set the date. She expected it to be forever. So many moves as a young child made her be cautious in making this life-time commitment.

At 10, she started attending church at Mt. Nebo. She was converted at 17 and joined the church.

Chalklevel, Greenfield, and Liberty were schools she attended. She and Anna graduated from the 8th grade. Her desire to finish high school and be a teacher wasn’t realized.

After she was married, she obtained her birth certificates. That was when she learned she was the 8th child. Perhaps, the young man her mother wept over was an older brother. She’s never desired to know more about her other family.

Dad and Mom Tindle gave her a home and love. Anna was her sister. She went to live with the Tindles on Mom’s 52nd birthday and they were her parents until they died.