I asked Betty Chapman to share with
a few stories about growing up in Blaine County.
What a treat for me....... and for you....... the reader!
I, Betty J. Justice Chapman was born in Greenfield,
December 25, 1928…
I was born at home and
the account told by my parents)
had to wait until the doctor delivered a baby boy
about 3 or
4 miles from my house…
Now, they didn’t have phones at that time, so
I'm not sure how my
dad located the doctor,
but Dr. Browning delivered me.
|My parents were Harold (H.E.) Justice and Zora Duncan Justice (both deceased)….
I had two brothers—Eugene (Earl E.—“Gene”) Justice and Donald H. Justice.
Gene was married to LaHoma Graham and had two children: Ron (now Senator of
Oklahoma District 23) and Beverly Justice Passmore.
Donald (Don) was married to Ann Ewing (has two sons—Derek and Michael).
Donald remarried Edna Rawls and they have one son (Bryan).
Don and Edna have “Don Justice Real Estate” in Watonga.
Harold, Eugene, Betty when she was 4 years old
Most of the activities I had as a child consisted of work.
activities included milking the cows and separating the milk--
and after school.
I had to gather eggs; pump water and bring
it into the house; and bring in wood for the stove (oh, yes, I always had to do the dishes);
My farm work included chopping cotton
and pulling bolls and/or picking cotton.
But, even with the work,
I had a fun
The house where I was raised no longer exists.
Dad later built on an
additional 3 rooms.
I was probably about
5 years old, at
(I thought it was a mansion!)
Justice and Zora Ellen Duncan Justice(Betty's parents)
in the background is Annie Justice (Harold's mother) she is
holding Gene Justice, so this must be 1923.
When I was born,
there were only two
not two bedrooms -- two rooms!
Betty's yard which consisted
of sand burrs and blow sand - she would run and play despite the
stickers in her feet!
In the 60’s Dad bought a house in Fairview and had it moved
onto the home-site. That house still stands. However, since
married in 1947, I never lived in that house.
the home place
(maybe in the 30's)
located 8 miles south, 1 mile west, 1/2 mile south, 2 miles west and 3/4 mile
south of Watonga
I don't recall any
stories that my
parents told me. However, I do remember one thing that
my daddy taught me when I was very small….....I don't think that I
had started to school, yet. He taught me the ABC’s (backwards) and he was so proud
Now, just how much do you think I have
used that? But, my daddy thought it was neat.
really have used that (once)… I was about to say my ABC’s backwards
for Young At Heart!
That made quite an impression, don’t
My entertainment was playing in a playhouse.
I had a playhouse for several years. I drew off the rooms
in the sand
with a stick. I had boxes and cans—sticks and leaves
for the kitchen. I didn’t play with dolls much, but I
did enjoy playing with paper dolls. I could spend
hours in the playhouse or playing paper dolls. I had three
very close cousins who also enjoyed these games and we spent
many hours doing so. But, I didn’t have to have someone to play
had imaginary friends—“Make-believe” friends.
Really, they never argued or had any problems with what I wanted
Some of my special memories
of Greenfield, include J.F. Awtrey’s Store: Joe Taylor’s Produce;
Harrington’s Drug Store and John Ridenhour’s Barber Shop. (I believe, that
four generations of the boys in my family got haircuts from John Ridenhour)
When I was very little, J.F. Awtrey had a “Penny
Throw” for kids. He would throw pennies on main street and the little kids
would run and pick them up—then go to his store and buy candy or go to
Harrington’s and buy a “snappy-pack” which was a
little carton of vanilla ice cream on one side and orange sherbet on the
other side, with a little wooden spoon on top to eat it with.
It was so good
and a fun thing to do…(much different fun activities then, than now).
We sold our cream/eggs
at Joe Taylor’s Produce, then took the money across the street to
J.F.Awtrey’s Store, and
bought groceries. That was called “Trade’s Day”. It was always on Saturday,
and as a child, I thought that Saturday was “Trades’ Day”. Well, it was for
Our groceries at that time, didn’t
consist of any chips/and dips, or snack items. Mostly, we
bought sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, mustard, vinegar, (the
They did buy
two pounds of peanut butter. It was
dipped from a large tin can (like a 25 pound lard can). Then it was
put into in a cardboard container with butcher paper
liner (to absorb the excess oil). This container was much like the kind that
hamburger is packaged in, today.
Sometimes they bought shortening, but
most of the time, we had our own hog lard, (rendered
from Dad’s butchering a hog). Hog
lard makes wonderful pie crusts (and my mother made fried pies) You
think those weren’t good…If so, you have (another thing a comin’)!
Betty's granddad's home place -
Harold was raised there - south and west of Geary
E. A. Justice (Betty's grandfather)
parents (Benjamin and Isalothus Palina MaryAnn
Drupiney Campaign Helm Justice)
They called her "piny"
Because of Betty's great-grandmother's
long name, when family members have to run a quick errand, they will
say, "I'll be back faster than you can say 'Isalothus Palina MaryAnn
Drupiney Campaign Helm Justice'"!
The only thing that I remember that
was not basic, was that we bought “a dime’s worth” of candy,
every Saturday…Mr. Awtrey would fill the smallest brown sack
with peanut brittle squares, hard candy and the wonderful
“three-color” coconut squares. Then, because it was so full, he
would leave the top open, then he would tie a twine string both
ways, around the top and bottom of that sack. That is such a
fond memory of Mr. Awtrey. Actually everyone that knew him
We had our own milk and eggs (and
at that time our own pork)...Dad butchered a hog and salted it
down with Morton Salt. Usually, my dad and an Uncle would
One day they would butcher for one
family and on another day for the other family.
There is absolutely nothing better
than fresh pork chops, sausage and country cured ham and my
mom’s homemade biscuits and gravy.
Of course, her homemade bread was by
far the best that I’ve ever eaten. It was made from a “Life
Everlasting Yeast Starter”. We kept that starter good by
borrowing and loaning with our neighbors (Claude and Jesse
Ball). Mother baked bread once a week. She made 3 loaves of
bread, a big pan of buns, and a pan of cinnamon rolls.
went to school the first two grades and two or three weeks
3rd grade at Victor Country School just about 2 miles
from our home.
By that time, Greenfield School had
become consolidated and Gene was in the 8th grade so he
could go there. But, Dad didn’t want me to continue to go the
Country school by myself, so he paid for me to transfer to
Greenfield in the 3rd grade.
I graduated from Greenfield H.S. in 1946.
Some of our neighbors that I remember were:
Charley and Maggie
Grandma Martin; (and her grand
daughters-Eilleene and Wathena Adamson who lived with her);
and Blanche Smith;
Keith and Ruth Dunn;
Frances and Margaret Reddick;
Burr and Maude Cook;
Shelly and Edna Ball;
Sam and Alice Ball;
and Ruth Ball;
Keith and Phyllis Shrader;
Felix and Georgia Null;
Alva and Fannie McClung;
Claude and Jesse Ball;
Fred and Ruth Roach;
Obe and Althea Thompson;
Ed and Babe O’Neal;
Walter and Zona Wigington (children were Curby and Lona);
Golden family (children were Martha Geneva, Numand).
Betty's 8th grade graduation
Greenfield girls (probably sophomores)
One memory from High School is that I went out for Girls Soft Ball.
I’m not sure why!
I was not particular interested in playing ball, but
apparently, I was willing to
However, I didn’t actually impress my Coach. When I
got up to bat, and actually hit the ball…I threw the bat
(and hit a girl)…
nearly killed her (I was told)…
Coach said to me, “I’ll tell you what—I’ll give you a half
credit to get off of my
I said, “I’ll take it”. I
have never located that ½ credit!
The irony of this story is: My
twin daughters were both Coaches. One retired in 2008, and
one is retiring in 2009. (31 years each).
My earliest memories of
Watonga would have been in the early 1940’s and include the
Parade on “Old Settler’s Day”
(later called “Pioneer Day”).
There was always a big crowd in those days because people
didn’t have many
opportunities for entertainment.
I’m sure that Greenfield
school was dismissed to attend, because Pioneer Day was in
Another thing that I remember
is when Veatch Drug Store began selling “double-dip ice
cream cones” at a nickel (one flavor or two). That was a
I remember that later, Veatch
Drug Store got Central Air Conditioning! If you ever heard
people talk, They talked then, “why would anyone put that
cold Air Conditioner in a business…You go outside and get
hot….then go inside and get cold…It will never work” Well it
did. Of course, now most businesses have Heat and Air. Many
homes have Heat and Air.
Betty and Bill in front of Wheeler
Plumbing and Electric.
(Carol Wray helped us figure out
which street we are looking at. Wheeler Plumbing and Electric was
at 106 S. Prouty, so we are looking south from the Main Street and
My first job was at the Nickel Inn in about 1945. (I was
about 16) Press and Edna Gray were the Owners and they
were wonderful to work for. Mary Louise Rother is
their daughter. She was probably not more than 4 years
old when Edna passed away.
I waited tables and cooked the hamburgers. Hamburgers
were a nickel. We served hamburgers, Coney Islands,
soup and chili.
I loved the work…I had never eaten
in a restaurant until I started to work
there so it was a real exciting time for me,
and I had some funny experiences.
I remember, that at that time there was a “Dr.Pepper slogan”
“Drink Dr. Pepper at 10-2-and 4”. When I was working there,
I could have whatever I wanted to eat. Since I wanted
a Dr. Pepper with my hamburger…I began to have both a
hamburger and a Dr. Pepper (at 10-2 and 4)…. I
suddenly began “blooming”.
I gained more weight than I had ever had. So…I had to put a
stop to that little treat. I remember the time that a man
ordered a hamburger and said to “cut the onions”. When I
served it to him, he said, “I told you to “cut the
onions”...I said, “I DID”…Honestly, he did not want me to
cut the onions, he wanted me to leave them off…why didn’t he
just say that?
Betty, 13 years old, just now as tall as her mom
Chapman Family, 1948
Bill, Betty, DeLores, Bob, Gladys, Tommy Chapman, Carl Steiner,
Betty Chapman Steiner
Another remembrance of working there was my difficulty with
a man who came in often and ordered a bowl of coffee and cup
of soup…I was so aggravated at that order, I finally asked
Press what I could do and he said, “the next time that he
orders that, give it to him”…I did and that was the last
time that he ever ordered it that way…Such a simple answer
to what to me, was a real problem..
From 1945-1948 I worked at several different places. I
worked at the Nickel Inn, Stewart’s Dry Goods Store;
McFarland’s Dry Goods Store and Ruth’s Beauty Shop.
After I graduated from highschool in 1946, I moved to
Watonga and lived in a bedroom upstairs at Paul and Eunice
Hursh’s and had “kitchen privileges”. However, Mrs.
Hursh was a wonderful cook, and many times, my “kitchen
privileges" extended to eating what she cooked. She
made a delicious tamale pie and wonderful coconut pie…Her
meringue was always “sky high”.
I have known many interesting people who lived in Watonga
during those years.
In recalling some of those, I remember Raford and Mattie
Scott. Raford was Blaine County Sheriff, and Mattie
worked with me at the Nickel Inn. In fact, I also
lived with them for about 2 months during my first summer
Bill and Betty's first house at 1020 N.
There was a funny thing that happened while I was living
there. My friend Gerry Cowan came to visit me one day.
Her husband, Orval Cowan, was in the Military, at that time,
and was stationed somewhere in the states; but she was still
She made the suggestion that each of us do a facial.
For this facial we were to beat an egg and rub it on our
face and let it dry. Then she told me that we should
not laugh! She said that if you do, it will crack.
Well, we did that, and her cousin came to visit her, and I
don’t know what prompted it; but guess what, we laughed…IT
CRACKED! NUFF SAID.
That was just always a standing joke between Gerry and me!
remember Clemon Clewell’s mother was the City Librarian
when I was living with Mr. and Mrs. Hursh. I had never
been to a City Library before, and when I asked her
about what type of book she would recommend, she
recommended books by Grace Livingston Hill. I read
several of those books that summer. All of them had the
plan of Salvation in them, and were great books for me.
I will always be grateful for her suggestion.
E. A. and Annie Justice
(Betty's grandparents on her father's side)
Sam and Nancy Duncan at their
50th wedding anniversary
(Betty's grandparents on her mother's side)
I met Bill Chapman at the First Baptist Church
and we were married in November 30, 1947.
I was working at Ruth’s when we were married.
We lived across the hall from the Beauty Shop in
what was at that time “Temple Apartments”.
Others living in those apartments at that time
were Fred and Lorraine Malaney and family;
Burton and Thelma Brandt and family; and Chuck
We lived there for 6 months then bought the new
little house at 1020 North Prouty, built
by Harry Hartenburger (Lumber Yard Man).
Bill worked at Chapman-Sandusky Chevrolet (later
Chapman Chevrolet) and I worked at Ruth’s Beauty
Shop until I went to work at Stewart’s. I
only worked there a little while when T. W.
Moseley asked me one day if I would be
interested in being the Draft Board Clerk.
He was Chairman of the Draft Board. I was
interested and was hired and worked there almost
5 years (until about 3 months before our son was
born in Dec. 1953.).Another irony of that story
is, that we moved from Watonga, to Griffin,
Georgia in 1963 and returned to Watonga in 1965.
When we came back to Watonga, E.T. (Gene)
Moseley approached me about whether I would be
interested in working at the Post Office. Gene
was the son of T.W. Moseley. He was
Postmaster, at that time.
Because the job offer was basically for 2 hours
per week, there were not too many people who
were interested. Therefore, I took the
Postal Exam and passed it, and was hired for
that job as Part-Time Clerk. Later, my
hours increased, until several years later, I
was working full time, and in fact, retired from
the Post Office, in December, 1988, with 22
years experience. Actually, my title was
However, somehow the “carrier” aspect of
that title never really registered with me, as
meaning that I might, actually, be required to
“carry the mail” some day. I had walked
the route with Mail Carrier Neil Haight. I
was learning the route and how to handle the
mail; but, I don’t think that I really gave it
Well, one morning it was raining cats and dogs,
and Gene called me to come to work.
I said, “But, Gene, it’s raining”. HA!
(famous last words)
Gene said, “Yes, I know, but we need you to
You know, the Postal Slogan was “The mail
goes through, rain-snow-sleet or hail”.
(that may not be the slogan, now)
I went to work. I carried the mail, and I
did not drown nor even melt.
In those days, people went to work whether they
felt like it or not!
Betty, Rennaye, Jammaye
Bill and Betty with
Rennaye, Trey and
Four Generations - Trey,
Bill, Tommy, Bill's grandma
Four Generations - Trey, Betty, Harold,
I was saved in a Revival Meeting in Victor
Country School house in 1939. The Preacher
who was preaching that Revival was J.W. McCulley.
I was baptized in my Aunt Millie Black’s pond,
and became a member of the FBC at Greenfield.
I moved my church membership to FBC at Watonga,
in l946. I met Bill Chapman in BYPU
(Baptist Young Peoples Union) and we were
married in November 30, 1947. I began
teaching Sunday School in the Jr. and
I began teaching
a women’s class in about 1956, and am still
teaching women (not the same women) I have
taught for 50 years. (we were gone for 3
Betty has always been active
in the First Baptist Church in Watonga. This was 'note
Jammaye, Rennaye on an
My favorite job as an adult was at the Post
Office. It was always interesting.
When, I first began there, we got lots of
packages through the mail, especially at
Christmas. That was when “mail order
catalogs got your business”. We always tried
to get every package delivered before
Christmas Day, if at all possible.
As a Retiree, my
favorite position is as Sunday School Teacher to
the Women that I teach every Sunday morning. I
enjoy my life and especially enjoy living in
from the 40’s to the 70’s.
Store; Phillips-LeGate Grocery; Shawver and Justice Grocery;
Grocery; Watonga Cheese Factory; Rice Hardware (now Clewell;s)
Franklin; Stewards’ Radio and Appliance; Rook and Ann Theaters;
Stand; Shorty’s Barber
Shop; Nick Kline’s Barber Shop; Landes Beauty Shop; Ruth’s Beauty
Shop; Berniece’s Beauty
Shop; Frances’s Beauty Shop; Pearl’s Beauty Shop; Velma’s Beauty
Shop; Landes Bakery; Zee’s
Café; Quality Bakery; Highway Café; City Café; Nickel Inn;
Loewen Equipment; Roedell’s
Equipment; Jameson’s Hatchery; Woolman’s Cleaners;
Harry’s Cut Rate; Eley’s
Grocery; Veatch Drug; Babb Drug; C&R Drug; Tune’s Furniture Store;
Bixler’s Mens Wear;
Tyler’s; Garvey’s; Tincy’s; C.R.Anthony’s; Sears Catalog Store;
Montgomery Ward Catalog
Store; Watonga Sheet Metal; Chapman Chevrolet; Buick Dealership
(I think someone by the
name of Harris was owner); Ford Dealership (Charley Johnson was
Nellie worked at the Post Office; Smoke Knappenberger was the
Postmaster; Noble Hotel
(now Noble House); Chaufty Studio; McDonald Hotel; Sims Service;
Brinson’s Hardware; Dr.
Pepper Bottling; Williams Jewelry; Waldrop Jewelry; Ball Jewelry;
Ball Furniture; Williams
Furniture; Elliott Furniture; Western Auto; Ben Roach Plumbing;
Pennels Laundry; Elmo Sims
Used Cars; White Auto (L.O. Jackson); Otasco Auto (Joe Eichling);
Ark-La Gas; Wheeler
Plumbing and Electric; Watonga Ice and Locker; Davidson and Case
Lumber Yard; Long-Bell
Lumber Co. (now S & L); Conoco Service Station; Phillips Service
; Sinclair Service Station; Sims Service Station; Charley Hawes
Hardware; Loy’s Hardware;
The Doctors at the Watonga Clinic and
Hospital at that time were Dr. A.K. Cox; Dr. Virginia
Curtin; Dr. H.R. Anderson; Dr.W.F.
Bohlman and Dr. Fred Perry.
Betty has two grandchildren:
Cassie O’Hair, who will be graduating from Texas A&M Corpus
Christi , in May, 2009.
She is engaged to Adam Kerns, also graduating from Texas A&M Corpus
Will O’Hair who is an 8th
grade student at Crockett in Amarillo, Tx.
Rennaye, Betty, Trey, Jammaye
Rennaye painted this on Don Justice's
barn, Trey standing beside the painting
if you would like to comment on this
After reading your story the first time I sure enjoyed our great phone visit. The fact that some of your memories crossed with mine and my family, made it even more meaningful for me. This story is a wonderful "living" tribute to you and to Blaine Co. folks. I just re-read the story and I can say I feel very privileged to be your friend. Lou Rother
Thanks, Aunt Betty, for taking the time to put this info on the Watonga site! I really enjoyed it and it was great to see all the pictures! (I especially enjoyed the picture that included Mom and Dad! Could I have a copy of it?) Take care and talk to you later. Much love,
Susan Kay Steiner
Just read Betty Chapman's story
again. It is great to hear her recall the old
familiar times that we all remember, but she has
such a talent for putting it together. She is a
lot like Laura Ingels Wilder . the lady who
wrote "Little House On the Prairie". She can
breath life into the story.
Of course my favorite part is
when she tells about my Grandpa, John Frank
Betty Chapman's history of the Greenfield-Watonga area
brings back a lot of memories. I graduated from Greenfield
in 1958 and remember most of the people that she mentioned
in the wonderful article. My dad was the depot agent for the
RocK Island in Greenfield from 1947 untill they closed the
depot in late 1950's. Nancy Dickens called my sister
Winnie(married to Dr. Jack Balenseifen) and I the" railroad
kids"as our family lived in the Greenfield Depot. Many a
night we worried that a train would jump the tracks and come
crashing through our house.
I have not known Betty for very long, but she has become
one of the dearest friends I have. I was so blessed by this
glimpse into Oklahoma history and the sweet little details of
her life. Her whit and love of life jump off the page as she
shares from her heart. I am thankful for her wonderful memories
and her willingness to share with us all. Thank you for this
wonderful addition to the Watonga home page.
May God richly bless!
My name is George Martin and I too grew up in Blaine County,
went to School at Greenfield, and Watonga was our destination
each and every Saturday. I remember Betty very, very well. As
far as those people she remembered knowing, many of the names
were very, very familiar. Charley and Maggie Martin were my
Grandparents, Clyde and Blanche Smith were my Uncle and Aunt (my
Dad's sister) and Frances and Margaret Reddick were also my
uncle and aunt )again, another sister of my father). My Dad and
Mom were Hank and Lola D. Martin. I attended Greenfield School
from 1942 through 1953 when I enlisted in the United States Air
Force. Thanks again for a wonderful nostalgic trip down memory
Betty, This is a wonderful
profile of your life and I thoroughly enjoyed your
memories, history, and pictures. Thanks also, for including
my parents and me in your story. Mary "Lou" Rother P.S.
May our Lord continue to bless your life
up in Greenfield so I really enjoyed Betty’s story. She
is a very interesting and sweet lady. Glenda DeSpain
The history lesson and the life
of Ms. Betty Justice Chapman was very interesting.
It brought many points of Watonga
and Greenfield's early day history to many people,
including her own family.
I an proud to consider her one of
my very best friends and also my Sunday School
I consider myself her promotional
representative manager as I have alerted people far
and wide to tune in to the Watonga website.
I have one other thing to say
regarding Betty, ' She's a Hoot ', isn't she ?
Thanks for your comments directly and indirectly:
DeLores Chapman, Jan Eggar, Ruth Kennedy, Shirley
Lettkeman, Judy Chapman, Vicki Beals, Regina Glass,
Doris Franks, Neil Scott, J.W. Lehmann, Donna Davis
Robinson, Terry and Retha Beals, Dana and Barry
Bessinger, Jan Franks and Ann Evick