"• •v

ORAL HISTORIES OF FORT WORTH, INC. c ' The Junior League of Fort Worth, Inc. /o 350? W.. Lancaster Fort Worth, Texas 76107 I hereby give, convey and grant to ORAL HISTORIES OF FORT WORTH, INC., as m donation for such scholarly and educational purposes as it shall determine, the contents of the interview given this date* the tape recordings, transcript, or film record thereof;- and these shall become the sole property of ORAL HISTORIES OF FORT WORTH, INC..

Ignature &£ /Cnterv 25T7 8th Avenue, Ft. Worth, Texas Address

h y&ttMU uL & / / W > Signature of Intervie
2120 Handley Drive, Ft. Worth, Tex. Apt.25^ Address

Signature of Photographer


Date of Agreement



° < f,"'u:

PRELIMINARY QUESTIONNAIRE 1. 2. What is your name? Marion Gladys Pittenger What is your national origin? Irish-English 3» Where were you born? When?

Crowley or Ft. Worth (not for sure which) April 16., 1891 h. Who were your parents? Father—Jesse Stem Pittenger Mother—Allie Malinda Patterson Pittenger Married in Tiffin, Ohio, April 30 l88lf. Who were your grandparents? Paternal—John P. Pittenger Kate Copenhover Pittenger Maternal—Mr and Mrs James Patterson Maternal Great grandparents—Mr and Mrs Daniel Patterson 5. ':-'"f How many brothers and sisters did you have? Two brothers and two sisters J. Byron Pittenger Richard Patterson Pittenger Nell Pittenger (died at 31) Mrs. Ora Daniel — lives in rest home in Denver 6. When did you come to Fort Worth? How? Born in Fort Worth or Crowldy

QUESTIONNAIRE PAGE TWO 7. If you grew up here, where did you go to school? What part of Fort Worth did you live in as a child? Attended DeZavala Elementary, graduated from Central High School in 1909, tctUU F M vVe,ru (Mqk Sci^-^, Also attended Brantley Draughon Business College. Graduated from Chicago Training School, now in Evanston, Illinois. (Received a certificate , in Social Service). AjUKA&d w-l lUu^-^Uj v\ l'-ta•'*•%* ifn Lived on 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue, Ft. Worth. 8. Are you married? Was never married. % Spouses name?


Did you have children? How many?,



What did you and your family do for fun or in your leisure time? Rode horseback a great deal. Played games such as marbles, jacks, horse shoes, tops, card games and tennis. Would fly kites and walk on stilts. Played croquet. H-2 and dominoes. Skipping rope was also an activity.


Where did you go to church? St. Pauls Methodist


Did you participate in sports? organizations? Baseball Loyal Temperance League

Clubs? Social

QUESTIONNAIRE Page Three 1*+. Did /ou work as a teenager? you paid? Doing what? Ho.w were

Did not work as a teenager.


If you moved to Fort Worth later, what neighborhood did you live inTalw^i^tS^S^wz.ooMlatii » S u ^ t L Born in or near Fort Worth /5~'7 £i$kxb AveWhen and why did you move? What have your occupations been? Stenographer at Swift and Company, Chicago, 111. (Left in June 1917) Uv 2>7 ^jp-f-t dtp^'Cw^ Social Service Work in Dallas (United Charities) until 1921. ( u c * *»|*«*0 «buSupervisor of Social Service, Ft. Worth Relief Assn. in 1921. (See attached a brief history of public welfare in Fort Worth). -mzrt Retired from Fort Worth Public Welfare Department in I9©0.

16. 17.


How do you remember this area at the earliest time you can recollect? ^



When her father built their house at 1517 8th Avenue there was nothing south of them (no houses). The street car track did continue for two blocks south. The streets were not paved in the area. They kept their horses near the house. They used lamps for light in their house, there was no electricity. They bought ice from an ice man who delivered it to their home. 19. What kinds of transportation have you used over the years? Horse and buggy Streetcars The children could"ride the loop" on the streetcar for 5?S that is they could get on the streetcar near home and ride it until it returned to their starting point.

QUESTIONNAIRE Page Four 20. What are some events in your life that stand out? Marriage? Honors? Military life? Involvements in events in Fort Worth? Is a charter member of the Woman's Club. Was selected by the Zonta Club as "Woman of the Year" for professional contribution to the community. 21. What events of the past in Fort Worth seem especially significant to you?

OUTLINE OF INTERVIEW NAME: DATEl Hiss Marion Gladys Pittenger March, 1978 Mrs. Marie Autry

INTERVIEWERr SIDE ONE Tape Counter 000 Oil

Outline Introduction Parents From Tiffin, Ohio Move from Tiffin, Ohio about 188% Settled in Crowley

026 028 032 035 0^3

Gladys born in I89I (Said I88l on topi but should have been 1891). Name of parents Brothers and sisters Home in Fort Worth, 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue Appearance of area on 8th Avenme Turning trolleyr Riding the "loop" Boys carrying books from school Schools attended Walking to school Streetcar Memories of school days Dating Parties and games Mother's role in raising children Sunday afternoon—games Riding horseback Recycling beer containers Methodist Church (Northern) Carrying off cats

056 060



I01* IIS 121

2. SIDE ORE CONTINUED Tape Counter 13r Outline Living with two brothers Trip to Crowley with gun Runaway horses President of Fort Worth University Mother brought first organ to Texas (Mrs. Pittenger) Gladys drove horses to Ft. Worth University Lake Como Spring Palace Gladys* mother there night Spring Palace burned Souvenir shell from Spring Palace Cousin to Lake Srie Graduated from high school—1909 Business College—Brantley Draughon To work for Mr. Lane To Chicago Worked as secretary at Chicago Training School Attended School of Welfare. University of Chicago Worked, Swift and Company in Chicago To Dallas Welfare Department (3 years) To Ft. Worth (Tape is incorrect in saying 1917— she went to Dallas in 1917). Memories of Ft. Worth J. Frank Norris and Jane Hartwell Feeding people during depression Fort Worth during depression Friends needing jobs Frank Norris—soup line Work relief—for grocery orders (C*fcj4ity M****,,»*?+ £#f.) Botanic Garden Food stamps Friend in financial trouble—given job. Welfare work in Fort Worth Kind of work Financed Private donation Community Chest Woman's Club Churches Individuals Help with funerals

153 166

192 200 2lS

253 278

36k J+03


SIDE ONE CONTINUED Tape Counter *f77 Outline

Tax support—expansion of work Z92h~Department of Public Health and Welfare Moved to City Hall Worked in Welfare for 30 years People along Trinity River People camping Personal assistance from man who had received help Work more personal than at present (Sereond Taped Interview) Star-Telegram Milk and Ice Fund Identified people needing help Began through contributions Amon G. Carter Donation to first negro convalescent home Goodfellow Movement Gifts more lasting than food and toys Shoes, school clothes, etc. (About 1920) Woman's Cooperative Home All Church Home CMrs. Wilson) 1 Lena Pope Home (Mrs. Pope) Day Nursery Negro Day Nursery North Side Day Nursery First for Whites—832 Monroe St. Mrs. Hayes McFarland Camp Ruth lubin—for children of welfare families On Lake. Worth Mr. Lubin and others gave cottages Swimming pool Traction company furnished transportation Sun dial from Camp Lubin in Miss Pittengerrs back yard Boarding Homes for children

kf$ 5*f6

6x8 SIDE TWO 6k?

663 679





SIDE TWO CONTINUED Tape Counter 835 838 Outline Maternity Homes Mrs. Davidson supervised Girl's Protective Association Run by Board of volunteers Assisted girls find homes, go to college, etc, Lela Lodge for girls Transients Travelers Aid Type of assistance Story about church giving money to poor Story of girl from Dallas Thanks from those receiving help Woman wanting more than given Assistance to blind people Story of woman marrying blind man Begging in Fort Worth Children begging Story of one family Blind begging Work that was most satisfying Programs that continue, those that have grown Individual families Woman who washed for living Help from Woman's Club Disappointments Very few—remembers achievements People who get jobs because of who they knew rather than what they knew Distribution from political standpoint END


875 899 926 935 963 968

($+7 070


Interview of Miss Marion Gladys Pittenger March 15,1978 P: I: Miss Pittenger Interviewer: Marie Autry


This is an interview with Miss Gladys Pittenger of 1517 8th Avenue in Ft. Worth, Texas. by Marie Autry in March of 1978. Let's see, you're Miss Gladys Pittenger and I'd like to have you tell me about your parents and when you moved to Fort Worth and about your early life and so forth. The interview was done


Well, my parents grew up in Ohio; Tiffin, Ohio, and my mother was in Wellesly College there, which was something for that day and time. And my father and his brother brought a load of sheep to Fort Worth and it was wintertime in Ohio when they left there and when they got here it was spring and so they decided that if it could be spring that early in Texas that they were going to move to Texas.

I: P:

Do you remember what year this was? Well, it would have had to have been about 1 8 — ...when my mother was married—did I give you that? When she married, that would have been the year because she came back and married.


I don't think you gave me the year. did they move?

But where in this area


They moved to Crowley. And were you born there then? No, I was born in Fort Worth. They had moved to Fort Worth.

I think I was, I don't know frankly. And what year were you born? 1881. 1881. And what were your mother and daddy's names? Daddy's name was Jesse Pittenger—Jesse Stem Pittenger, S-t-e-m Pittenger. And my mother's name was..and I didn't know before but it wasn't Alinda— Allie Malinda Patterson Pittenger. And did you have brothers and sisters? She had... Did you have brothers and sisters? Yes, I had two older brothers and one older sister and one younger sister. died. The boys have died and the younger has

The other one is living in Denver.

What area in Fort Worth did you live in after you moved here from... We've always lived on the south side. We built a little house, the first home that we owned was on 6th Avenue in about the 1200 block on 6th Avenue. And we lived there for some time and then my father came and located a lot up


here on 8th Avenue and so then they got the money and built this house here. Do you remember about what year they built this house when you moved out here on 8th Avenue? No but where have I got that? Oh, it doesn't matter, I just thought maybe you would remember. No. How did this area look when you first moved out? Well, we staked our cows and horses right out beside the house. And you lived at 1517 8th Avenue. Yes. And wasn't this the south extension of town at that time? Yes, they had the trolley cars out here and us kids used to get a great kick out of whose going to turn the trolly down here at the end of the line. And we'd all fight with the motorman just to see who could change it the next time. How much did it cost to ride the trolly car? I think it was five cents. Five cents. And we could. . .one of our main attractions was at Magnolia down here. The trolley car went clear to town and around


and you could do the whole thing for five cents. Make the whole loop for five cents. So a lot of times the boys would take the girls on car rides, you know. You'd date and go on a car ride. Car rides, uh huh. Another thing I think is so different now, the girls don't have a chance at, since they ride the buses, they don't have to decide which boy can carry their books home from school and I always thought that was a great thing. And sometimes when I didn't want my folks to know which boy was carrying mine home, I'd get them to throw them out in the backyard. Where did you go to school? 5th Avenue, De ^avala. De^avala. And then what high school did you go to?

It was...it's since Paschal...it was the old Fort Worth High School. How did you get to school? Well, we walked and on rainy days you could take a streetcar and go nearly there. And the way I got my money to ride the streetcar was that my older brother had a girl and he had a horse and buggy and if I'd wash his buggy why he'd always buy me a lot of tickets to ride it.


When you lived here out on 8th Avenue you were going to high school at the time? No, I was going to de ^avala at the time. Oh, De £avala and you went to the high school from here. And we walked. That was quite a ways to walk. We never thought anything about it. We just walked all the time. What do you remember mainly about your student days? Well, we played with the kids in the neighborhood and mostly was the fact that they did carry our school books home depending on what boy you were going with who got to carry your books home, you know. How young were you girls when you started dating? I don't think I started dating until I was quite along in high school. I remember one time that some fellow who has

since become an attorney, I mean a doctor, was at the church. We went with the church, a group at church, and he called out and wanted to know if he could carry me somewhere and I didn't know what he meant by that so I asked my brother and he said well he means he wants to take you. And what did you do on dates when you did finally consent to go out with some of them?


Well, usually it was in people's homes, we had games and all. And I can remember very well at one time when one of the men who became—I don't know if it is county judge or something—his mother had parties for us and we played clap-in and clap-out, you know.

How did you play that? Well I don't know how we played it now. I remember the name of the game but I don't remember how to play it. But I remember with this boy who got me for some reason as his partner, and so we were to take a walk—our penalty was we had to take a v/alk for a block around and when we got out he said to me, Gladys would you kiss me, I've never kissed a girl—had a girl kiss me. And I thought that was something. Well did you kiss him? I don't remember, I imagine I did. Can you remember much about... That man later became a county attorney or something. Oh, did he. Can you remember much about your mother's

activity in raising you children? My mother always on Sunday afternoon we played games, all of us and she would bring in the neighborhood kids or else


just her kids, and we had always played—now let's see— crochet, we always had a crochet set. And then, of course as I've told you, we were all horseback people and we rode horseback a lot. And did you say you kept your horses right here in this area at that time? Somebody stole one of our best horses staked right out there. Did they? Where did you ride to when you were taking horseback riding? Well, I might tell you this, it would be of interest, I really was the first person I think that thought about recycling beer cans. My family didn't somehow just didn't

never have ketchup and I liked ketchup so I found a groceryman that would take beer cans and trade them for ketchup. I didn't know they put been in cans way back then? They must have because I picked them up, and bottles I guess it was. Containers. Containers anyway, and I was the first person I guess who ever thought—and I'd pick them up and take them over to the grocery store and trade them in.


Where was the grocery store? It was out on the Crowley Road somewhere. Oh, was it. I don't know where it would be now. What church did your family go to? They were always Methodist in the Northern Methodist Church. They helped organize the Northern Methodist Church. Which Methodist church? It was the Northern Methodist Church, you know, before it changed over. As I told a preacher who called on me at the hospital the other day that I joined a church that was north of God and then later on when I came back from Chicago why they had amalgamated with a church south of God. I just went on with that. But anyway the..this is

one story that...one day my family had some cats they wanted carried off and my brothers thought they fixed up things. They were playing in the back yard with some boys

and I went out to get my horse fixed up and they said would I carry off the cats. And so they sacked the cats

and tied them onto the back of my saddle. Well I thought I was smart to do it never thinking that the cats would I hadn't gone very far out with at a the horse when it turned around aRd-head on run and scratch the horses back.


came back and I don't know how I missed getting thrown off somewhere but of course I threw the cats off somewhere. But they thought they were smart because I hadn't figured out that the cats wouldscratch. Well did the cats ever come back? I don't know. on. But I know...there were a lot of things going

If you had two grown brothers, if you ever grew up with

brothers, they can think up more things to get the best of you. And I remember very well when we first moved into town we still kept the country place. And the boys would go out at the time to pick the corn, you know, and all. And so one Saturday they wanted to go and they wanted"'-to take me. And father said they could take me if they didn't take the gun. Well of course they took me and they took the gun and so when we got out there why boy-like they stuck the gun in some way into the car kind of horizontal-like, you know, so it wouldn't fall off and they jumped out to start...at least one of them got ready to begin to shuck the corn, you know, and he wanted the other one to come on out to get busy. So

he throws a piece of corn and misses the boy but hits the horses. So of course the horses run away and here I am

sitting up there with that gun pointing out the back, you know. Fortunately the horses went to the barn and of course


these two boys came tearing

down there too. But I want'

you to know that all that year I got anything I wanted out of those boys. I: P: Your dad never found out that they took the gun. Never took the gun...I would never tell that they took the gun. I: I was going to ask you, you said the boys put the gun in the car. P: I: You meant wagon or...

No, it was a wagon with two horses Wagon with two horses. Did you ride a horse back from here to Crowley sometimes?

P: I: P:

I don't think... Maybe in wagons and buggies. I don't think it did. a man and his wife. I do remember one time that there was He was the president of the old Fort

Worth University and he had a beautiful team of horses. And he and his wife used to come out to.:ymy mother brought the first organ to Texas. I: P: Did she. And he and his wife used to come out there to sing songs and things. And he had to leave and come to town and he left the team of horses out there. And she couldn't drive and I was just a little tad. Anyway I told her I could


drive those horses and she let me drive those back to the old Fort Worth University. heaven. How old were you then? I don't know, but I couldn't have been very old. And she trusted you with the horses. She trusted me with the horses. And if I wasn't in my tenth

I notice you still have a piano. When you were growing up did all of you sing along much with the piano? Yes, we did. Do you remember your family ever going to places that no longer exist such as Lake Como and Lake Erie... Well now my mother was at the...what was that big place that burned down, the last night it burned. The Spring Palace. Spring Palace. She was at that and the children were just

left with some family while...there used to be a family that she'd leave us with. Do you remember when that fire occurred? No, I don't. I guess you were too young. But I do remember my mother was...and she has here from that. You barely can see it. Well anyway one of these was when she


was at the Spring Palace. from the Spring Palace.

Here it is up here.

That was

Seashells she got as a souvenir at the Spring Palace. You can still see Spring Palace written on it but I can't tell... oh, that's a shame. Can't tell what year it is, but you

still have this that came from the Spring Palace. Was your mother there the night of the fire? Yes, she said she was. She was there the night of the fire. of her stories about it? was there. Do you remember any

Only the fact that she said she

But she and your daddy got out just fine I'm

sure didn't they? Yes. Can you remember them going to...or you and the children going with them to Lake Erie or Lake Como or any of the others? No, we never did go to those places like that. And I remember when my cousin had a date and went to Lake Erie that I thought that was something. to Lake Erie. Oh, you were excited about it. Yes. But the nearest I got was to the real Lake Erie. My If I ever grew up I was going

mother took me back to Ohio and I went to the real Lake Erie.


It was a good substitute, wasn't it. Yes. When did you graduate from hiigh school? When did I tell you? It's 1909. I think it was about that. Then what did you do after you graduated from high school? I went to business college right away. And where was that? Brantley Draughon. Brantley Draughon. How long did you attend Brantley Braughon Where did you go to business college?

Three months, cause I remember I took it in my stride. Then I went to work with this Mr. Lane. You went to work as a stenographer for Mr. Lane. What political position did he get later? He was running for comptroller. Comptroller. And he won the election, did he not? He won the election. He went to Austin and wouldn't take you because you weren't old enough so then what did you do? Well, I guess grabbed jobs around. There's one article

here on the jobs that I had that failed and I think that's the one that they wrote up about me and the different jobs


and then it was that I got a chance to go to Chicago. And what did you do when you were in Chicago? Well I worked for the Chicago Training School as a secretary. And then I took a course...there was a man came out there from the Civic Federation and talked on welfare and that's when I got interested in welfare. I see that this school is affiliated with the University of Chicago; both the secretarial school where you worked there and the school you went to concerning welfare. Yeah, the one I went to concerning welfare. Well, it was the same school but they had funny ways of... Dividing the departments and so forth. So you went to

Chicago and first acted as secretary, then you attended the Chicago Training School. Yes. It afterwards became the Chicago School of Social

Administration. And then when you graduated from that did you stay in Chicago? No, just long enough to get money enough to come home. I worked for Swift and Company. And what kind of work did you do? Secretary. Oh, you did?



They offered me a job.

Now that was in Chicago. In Chicago. I worked for about...I think I figured it up They

one time, something like 37 different departments.

had what they called a stenographer pool and they had a rule with the men that dictated to the girl on the desk, you couldn't dictate to her any more than she could get out in a day, and if she couldn't get it out in a day, they sent to the pool for an extra stenographer to get it out, you know. So I was one of those. They had a whole

pool of them. And I guess I most have worked in at least 30 or 37 different Swift and Company departments taking mail, you know, just a short time. there and I'd go out. They'd up

So then when they found out that

I was leaving they wanted to know what I was going to do and I told them I was going to welfare work and they offered me a job with their...they had a camp for girls and they offered me a job in their welfare department but I said, no I had to get home, so I came to Dallas. And how long did you work in Dallas? About three years. And then you came back home to Fort Worth. Came back to Fort Worth.


I: P: I: P: I:

What year was that when you came back to Fort Worth? I started to say 1918 but... let's see. 1917. 1917 or 18. What do you remember about Fort Worth town when you came back in 1917? it then? Do you have any outstanding memories of

J. Frank Norris for example was...


And I tell you this, that when I came over for my first interview with the welfare people, they asked me if I could work with Jane Hartwell who was J. Frank Morris's handigirl. me. That was one of the first questions they asked

Because J. Frank Norris was practically running the

town at the time. And I said, well I've never met her but I can remember though the first time I came over and had started working, she aalled me up and we became fast friends. I was her friend until she died. I: P: I: P: Was J. Frank Norris involved in prohibition then? I don't know. What were some of his outstanding activities? He did a lot. You know it was about that time we had the depression and he ran quite a lot of feeding for them. And I will say this, the one thing that stood out, no matter how poor they were, if anybody died Jane Hartwell was right


there, or the First Baptist Church was right there to look after them. They really did.

J. Frank Norris had evidently a great impact on Fort Worth. He did. Can you remember anything special other than welfare-type work that he accomplished? No. Of course you were involved with welfare. Jane Hartwell, she was his assistant. Whatever Jane said about the town went. Do you remember in the '20's a great deal that went on in Fort Worth then? For instance the Ku Klux Klan was very

active at that time. Very active. And Frank Norris was very active too. Can you remember any stories about the Ku Klux Klan and things that happened? No. Let's move on. We'll go back in a little bit and talk about your work with the Welfare Association. What are

some of your memories of Fort Worth during the depression? You started to talk about that a minute ago. Well the thing about the depression was that all my friends t h a t h a d n ' t had money when I was i n s c h o o l , you know, didn't


have any money and came to me for jobs.

And there were a

lot of government jobs handed out and I can remember one time when I'd try to come home they'd come out here and try to get me...and girls that I had, you know in school who had a lot of money, just didn't have any; just suddenly didn't have any. Did any of their parents lose their homes or anything or do you know? Well I don't know. But there was one girl particularly—

she lived down on Rosedale—she had an iron fence all around her house. And I thought anybody that had fence around their house must be wealthy. And she lost her home I think she told

and then moved out in Arlington Heights. me later her father lost everything.

Do you remember much about the soup lines in Fort Worth during this time? Yes, Frank Norris had them. Do you remember anyone else that had them? No, I don't remember exactly. It was church... The churches. It wasn't any public works that started ... Well, I will say this. That we started and I think this is


worth mentioning.

The first group of people that were put

out on work relief—that was before the CWA and all of that— and so I decided couldn't we work out a plan to let them work for grocery orders. And of course some of those men only got three dollars and a half a week or about like that, you know. But we...if you go out to the Botanic Gardens

you will find that the city built that Botanic Garden on work relief money from the city. Work relief money and not federal money from the WPA? Not federal. Oh, you did. Of course the man who was in charge of the garden, he figured that if I was going to let them work for money they had a project out there where they wanted them to work, and I think there is a sign that shows that it was work relief. But they were from the city of Fort Worth. I started all of that.

And it was city tax money that paid for that, is that right? It was city tax money. Wasn't donations or anything like that? No. Well did you get the program going where they could work for food stamps or food? No, I did organize a food stamp office here.


Oh, you did.

That wasn't during the depression days?

No, that wasn't. Well I don't know if it was during the depression days or not. Food stamps I think came along later. Yeah. I believe. But you organized that. Well let's...

They sent me up to Wichita Falls to see the first food stamp office that was going in up there. And then I came back down here and the man who was director of the office helped me and we organized it down here. Did you set up standards? When I say standards I mean a

person of certain income level and so many dependents was eligible? I don't know how we did it. That was all through just the social workers. Anything in detail you remember about what you went through to set that up? Well I do remember this, that I worked out a plan whereby people with no money at all could get some stamps. And a group from Dallas came over and wanted to knov/ how I worked that aut and I told them... Because they normally have to pay for stamps, don't they? But what do they do if they don't have any money?


If they didn't have any money I'd work it so they'd get stamps. Who'd you get that approved by? Oh, I don't remember but somebody. But you did get the approval. What about the !30's in Fort Worth. What do you remember about Casa Manana and Did you go out

the Centenniel celebration and so forth? there any?

Yes, I was in the Centennial celebration but I don't remember about Casa Manana. You didn't go see Sally Rand and her fans. I don't know that I did. Many of those who lived here then didn't. Well what about World War II. What are your memories about events in Fort Worth about the time World War II started and during the war and everything? Do you have any special memories there?

Where were you on Pearl Harbor day, do you remember? Well I couldn't help you on that. December the 7th. But I tell you the depression did really affect me because all my friends...and I don't know whether I ought to tell this or not. But one time somebody at the Women's Club

came to me and told me about a very prominent woman who'd


been an executive and this and that and the other was just broke. She had lost her husband and she had a lot So I went

of property and she didn't have any income.

out to see her and she was an attractive woman and so she told me the name of the man that banked at Fort Worth National that knew all about their property—it was Cleburne I think. So I went to see him and I shall always remember You know nowadays you don't know But he was so nice, so

how nice he was to me.

whether they'll see you or not.

he said let me check that through because, of course, if they found out...I was using some government money then... that you were helping people with their money, then your neck is cut off. But, so he later told me that they owned

property practically half of Cleburne but they said everything was frozen and that there was no income anywhere. no way of getting any income. She had

So at that time we could

employ people on what we called work relief programs and I had an office opening up in and so I

hired here for the whole sum of $15 a week to go out there and be receptionist. And so she worked and she worked until her money came back and then when her money came back in she told me well I can't work anymore. money now. I can begin to get

That was a very vital story where people who


had had...and she had had all kinds of money... But none coming in and the banks closed, everything was just stopped right where it was. And I guess so many of my frieds when I was a kid, they had everything. And as I told you, I didn't. But I never

did starvef but I didn't have money like the rest of them. Well let's go back and talk more about your welfare work. You started doing...you started work in Dallas and you did that three years. Then tell about moving over in Fort Worth.

Well, they figured that they...that was the date that they wanted to reorganize. It's on that piece of paper I think.

They wanted to reorgnize over here and somebody told them that there was a Fort Worth girl over in Dallas and so they sent for me to come over here and I remember I think it was one Sunday afternoon I had the appointment and I came over. But the woman over there didn't want to release me for a year and she didn't. over here. You became a secretary here? Well they called them secretaries instead of executives. But you ran the department, didn't you? Weren't you the only employee? Yeah. But she trained me to be a secretary


What kind of work did you do? I did everything. We went to see people in need. How did you go about that?

How did you get their names? Well, they usually applied.

Oh, they came up there and asked for help. Yes, they came up and asked for help. What did they call the organization at that time? What was the name? Fort Worth Welfare Association. Fort Worth Welfare. Where was it located? 832 Monroe. Monroe Street. And then after they applied you could go out and see where they lived and interview them and find out. And then you had to give the approval for them to get this help? Well, we didn't have stamps at that time. We used whatever we had. How did the welfare get that money? was it donated? No, it was...at first it was just private donations. Donations. Then later it became part of the Community Chest. was hard to get. Did you have more applicants in the early days than you But it Was it tax money or


had money to dispurse? Well, we managed someway. We didn't do very much. I can

remember some of the women now who have gone, you know, and their children are all grown up, how little they got on welfare. Yes. But that's all we had.

And did they...

Of course, they bought more. Were you able to find organizations maybe to help people when you had no money. You were a clearing house kind of

for helping people.find help. Yes. And lot of people at the Women's Club sent girls

through college. Oh, did they. What other groups around helped people through your office? Women's Club and First Baptist Church. Let's see, I

Various churches did help, yes, they did. was trying tothink.

A lot of private people helped too.

Some people would give money. Now when these people that needed assistance became ill, did you help them get admission to what used to be CityCounty Hospital? Yes. That was one of your jobs too. Can you remember anything

your officeused to do that was unusual I'11 say in the way


of assistance? P: I: Well we tried to help with some funerals. Did you. Where would you go to get their funeral needs met? Was there a certain place in town you could go to get the burial taken care of? P: I: Well the county would do some of it. The county. And was there a certain funeral home that

tended to that or was it just any of them? P: I: Most any of them. And were they buried in just any cemetery or was there a certain cemetery? P: I: P: I: No, I don't remember that. When did you begin... We didn't do too much of that, but we did some. When did you begin to get help in the office and did you no longer have to do it by yourself? P: Well early after I came over here. I mean a helper, when I came over. of organization. I: Can you remember when the office began to expand not dates but I mean gradually? P: I think we began to expand more when we went under the tax support. They had a secretary, They had some semblance

---- ---


Tax support. No.

Do you remember when that was at all? I think it was,

I think I saw a date on that thing.

let's see, 1924 I think. 1924? Yeah, " f i T f ' , TJPTlL And did it change names or anything then? Well, we had to be called the Department of Public Health and Welfare. Public health and welfare. they moved? No, they moved to the 3rd floor of the City Hall. 3rd Floor of the City Hall. about the same. About the same. The same workers. But the functions remained Still on Monroe Street or had

What period of time...by the way, let me ask this first. How many years did you work in that department? Well all told it was for thirty years. Thirty years. During that time what years was there more

need for welfare in Fort Worth, can you remember? I think during the depression. During the depression. Can you remember any unusual things I mean

that occured with your group during the depression?

helping people—did they get a lot more applicants than


they could handle? Well, I guess they tried to stretch it as best they could. They tried not to turn anybody away. But it was kind of a

community; churches, individuals and all took part. And the town—everybody helped each other during that time didn't they? Yes. Did you notice a lot of requests for assistance when the depression gradually let up? Well, defenitely because as work began to...well you see in the mean time federal funds came in and it had gone sort of under state control. the city. Oh, they took it out from under the city and went state then? What about later on during World War II? Was there still need for help here in Fort Worth although Fort Worth became prosperous at that time? Well I imagine so. Of course it continued to grow so much and there were more people involved. Yeah. What areas in town normally do people live that need help. Is there any certain area in town? They took it out from under


Well, I think north side was a lot of trouble. need

I mean, of

north side, and then some parts of Poly Technic and I don't know how to say further out, but you But I think north Fort Worth

further out.

wouldn't say Glenwood either. would be ...

Were they...did you have to help people that lived down along the Trinity? Yes, of course people camped around it. I can remember that. When you say camped, did they put up tents and so forth and lived down there? Well usually they just worked in their cars, old cars somewhere, some of them didn't put up tents. Oh, did they? And did you have to go out and interview these people? Yes, we did. Can you tell me how some of them lived? Well, I don't know, pretty niggeredly. Sanitary conditions? Yeah. That was bad. This was a rather interesting sidelight.

One time I used to drive to Denver a lot and I had driven up there and was coming back to Fort Worth. I think I had

my sister with me. And I had a flat and some man fixed it and it turned out later that he told me I had helped him


one time when he was camped with welfare. was rather interesting. And you were on the way to Denver. No, I was on the way back going home. And he recognized you.

I thought that

I don't know whether he did or not, he did after he saw who it was. And I always thought that story about your bread cast upon the waters does come back some times. Yes. Of course I paid him for it, but he was quite glad. And you needed the help. Yeah. Like he did when he got help from you. Well it was kind of bad staying along the river front. They were...we worked with the health department pretty much on that trying to keep them out but you couldn't always keep them out. Did a person have to live in this area very long to qualify for assistance? They didn't on the city but I think later they did for the state, state help. And was there anywhere you could go for help for them when they lived here long enough to get that help?


No, unless some of the churches would do it. Some churches might. Because the people who camped down

along the Trinity they weren't permanent residents. I don't think the city had any residency requirements. They didn't? Did you have to get approval through someone

above you to give this assistance or was it your decision? No, it was my decision. We worked on a budget, of course. We weren't supposed to go over our budget. Can you remember any times when you had to refuse to help people? No, but sometimes people we did because we thought it was best. Yes. We didn't always fall for their stories. Can you remember any unusual times when you didn't

fall for their stories? No, I d o n ' t remember t h a t . Is there anything else you would like to tell about your work down there in general? Well it was more personal than it is now. You know the

people depended on you for more suggestions and everything and nowadays there is no personal contact, you know. When you say it was more personal, did they ask your advise about things sometimes? Oh, yes, and they...we went into their homes, you know.


And how do they get their information now, do you know? That I don't know. That's one of the complaints. There's

no...well, there couldn't be, there are so many people. Yeah, there's so many involved. and I may... Want some more information? Want some more information, yes. I hope to be around. Well I sure do thank you


Second Interview of Miss Marion Gladys Pittenger March 21, 1978 P: I: Miss Pittenger Interviewer, Marie Autry


I'd like to ask you some details about some of the information that I got from one of the speeches you made to the Torch Club sometime, we don't have the date on that. But you mentioned there the fact that the social service department did do some work in cooperation with the StarTelegram Milk and Ice Fund. about that? Can you tell me something


Well they issued tickets for milk and so much ice and they sent them I believe at that time over to our office and our caseworkers distributed them...

I: P: I: P:

Oh, did they. ...to people that were in need. And did your office help identify the people? We identified those people and we verified rather those people as to their need and their wanting the milk and ice. And it really was a remarkable help to a lot of

people. I: P: I: Who started that fund? That I don't know. Did Amon G. Carter have anything personally to do with that?


Not personally that I know of to do with...it just started through contributions and they ran the contributions in the Star-Telegram, the names of the people that contributed. And that's the way they raised their money. When did that start? No, I don ' t. And it isn't going on anymore, is it? No, it isn't. But it really was quite a good fund and people were really in need that got the benefit of it. Speaking of Amon G. Carter, did you know him personally through any of your work that you did? Yes, that's one thing that I couldn't tell the tape but I'll tell you sometime, but in fact he was a wonderful man. I started a Negro home here at one time. I think I Do you have any idea?

really started the first Negro convalescent home and he heard that I needed some furniture for it and he called me one Sunday afternoon and asked me what I needed and the next week it was delivered. Where was the home? On Peter-Smith Street. It was...where is the restaurant

now that is the...what's the restaurant down here on 8th Avenue next to the Westchester House? Colonial Cafeteria; that's across the street.


P: I: P: I: P:

No, that isn't it. I must not know. That was the...no it's a bigger restaurant. Cross Tees? Cross Tees. Well it was right across from Cross Tees

on Peter-Smith Street there. I: P: And it was a nursing home for the colored? It was the first colored home and he gave me the furniture. And also something else for it. And then too I have been out with him, once somebody wanted something for some reason and he and the Dinkins woman went out to see about it. I: P: I: He did a lot of good for Fort Worth, didn't he? I could tell you something funny sometime off the record. All right, what about the ©oodfellow movement? have that listed. P: Well, the goodfellow movement was started evidently in... and it only involved candy and nuts and things like that. But I was the first person to think that it ought to involve giving something that lasted better so we thought of school shoes for children and I did start that. And that still continues that they buy school clothing for children. I: Now when you said that you got it started, did you... I see you


Well they already had the fund going but they never did anything but toys and candy and nuts and I felt that that amount of money ought to be more lasting than what they did. What technique did they use to get these shoes and clothing they gave to the children? Well, at first I really don't know. But I know I did

start buying through the stores and going down and giving orders and they were delivered to the people. The kids didn't go in and try the shoes on? They could later on if they didn't fit or anything they could go back and do it. Oh, I see. As I said, I was the beginning of them buying school clothes for children. That's nice. Because I thought that amount of money ought to be used... not just thrown away. Yes. And it still continues.

Yes, now they are buying oodles of clothes. Do you remember about what year that was you talked them into baying starting supplying shoes? No, but it would have been in about 1920 because I went


with them in about 1919, I mean I went with the welfare. And your department would identify the people that needed this help. Yes, we did. We set up quite a...before it was all over, along about, well in November we hired a clerk and we hired a couple of social workers to check out the letters and all that came in and then it turned out to be quite a thing. And it's continuing of course... Yes, it continued. Up to this day. Well one thing you have mentioned here under activities of your department was a woman's cooperative home. Can you tell me anything about that?

Well it would have been the All Church Home. Oh, the All Church Home. Yes. What did it get the name Woman's Cooperative Home? Well they got it because women with children would go there and work and stay and live and they all cooperated in doing the work; I imagine that's where the name came from. When did they start calling it All Church Home, do you have any idea? No, I don't. And for years it was called Woman's Cooperative.


Then when it divided and Mrs. Lena Pope took the Baptists out, Mrs. Wilson took her group out, why I suppose that's when her group started calling it the All Church Home. Oh so the Woman's Cooperative Home at that time was a forerunner of Lena Pope Home and All Church Home. Yes. And Mrs. Wilson took one group and Lena Pope took the other. But this is a forerunner of that.

You ought to be talking with Mrs. Willson's daughter on the All Church Home or not. She's still quite active in

it, I think. And Lynn Ross is the man now in charge and he had been with the probation department for a long time. What did your department do in relationship to this W oma n's home? Nothing, only verify people that were going to live there. Sometimes we did that. You checked them out to see if they needed any help? Yes. Just worked with the you know, as Oh I know one time we sent

the beginnings of things.

down some laborers and got them on work relief programs to do over the house. We did that at one time. Where was i t l o c a t e d a t t h a t t i m e , do you know? It was on Jones Street and I started to say 4th and Jones,


but I'm not quite sure. Somewhere right down town. Yes. Well what about the day nursery program here in Fort Worth? I understand your department had a great deal to do with that. Well the first day nursery was when I came over here. It

was a Negro day nursery out, I guess you'd call it—I don't know what that district is. It's—do you know where the

Citran car barns are, by any chance? Aren't they out on Lancaster? It's just north of there, that was the place, just north of there is where the housing was and there was a day nursery for Negro children. And then there was a Northside day nursery set up for Negro children. But later it

turned out that the first nursery for white children that was organized and all was set up at 832 Monroe upstairs. Upstairs. I notice that it was a day nursery and it says

here in your notes 50C—do you know what that referred to? Is that 50£ a day the mothers had to pay? Well a lot of them didn't pay anything, cause they didn't have it. You also had no fee for working mother, but I was wondering


what that—I saw in your notes twice you had down the 50C and I just wondered if that was 5 < : that any other mother 0J had to pay? No. Can you remember anything specifically that was outstanding about the day nursery? Well all I know is that Mrs. MacFarlane—you know she's quite a person. I don't know who's going to interview

her but she worked hard and I don't know whether I shouldn't say this because I'm old myself, but she was most active and she volunteers hours of time and then later gave money and they opened up a day nursery out on—this first day nursery and they have a building named for her. I believe Henderson Street. It's on

But now of course they have

the Day Nursery Association and it went into that and when it went into that she didn't do anymore. She is a most

attractive woman if you could talk with her. And she did individual work with these mothers? Yes, and she really did work and she gave her time and her money and everything. She lives in that great big house It's the last great big

off of 8th Avenue down there.

house that hasn't been sold or gone into—near the First Presbyterian Church.



But your relationship to the day nurserys is mainly to refer people to them that needed help and such as that?


Yes. At that time I hired the help and worked with it; quite active in overseeing it.

Is P: I: P:

You helped employ people who needed work? No. Just anyone who was capable of... Yeah, I hired the first superintendent of the day nursery, I remember that.

I: P: I:

Do you remember who that was? Mrs. It was Heron, I think. She's since died. And also in your notes I noticed reference to Camp Ruth Lubin. Would you tell me about that.


That was really something that was worthwhile.

We took

children from homes—the Lions Club that I spoke of that sponsored that—one time some man from the Lions Club bawled me out because I made a talk and didn't give him enough credit and I don't want to ever do that again. But they—it was out on Lake Worth and the property is still out there. But Mr. Lubin gave the first cottage

and then other people contributed cottages and a swimming pool and really we had a good camp and it was the first camp for children in Fort Worth.


And how were children elected to go there? Through the welfare families. The family—their parents were on welfare. Yes, and we selected them. And the nice part about it was that the Traction Company at that time furnished us with cars or buses that would take the children to the camp and of course that was quite something. camp. We even had a newspaper. Well did the children go out there and stay... But it really was a

Oh, you did.

Well, we tried to do it I believe on two weeks but if a child didn't have a home to come back to, we kept them all summer. All summer. Yes, we weren't too specific. And then there was one girl that was especially good that grew up in one of our welfare families and of course I paid her—and she was an excellent swimmer and she taught swimming. But she could do more

with the kids than all the trained workers that we ever had. She was just natural with them, you know. What activities did they supply for the children? Well they did, of course, there was baseball, swimming— just kids' activities. Was the main purpose of getting them out there was to get


them food and care during the summer? Yes, and we always did take a dietician from the public schools. And I don't know where I have that—I have out

here in my backyard—well, they did it for me and I wasn't even out there when they did it. It's a kind of a I guess

you'd call a monument to the Ruth Lubin Camp, you know, and all that they set out. Oh, the sundial? Sundial. You have the sundial they donated to... Yes. This Ruth Lubin was that the man's wife? No, that was a child. Oh, the child of Mr. Lubin. And it was in her memory that he did it. on that. Do you remember what years this camp operated? Well, all the time that I was working with the city. But it's not operating anymore? No. They went into other—Boy Scouts and YWCA and others When opened up programs for them, we went over into the city I think I'm right I have it out in my backyard.

would be about the time it closed down. Do you have any idea how many children you helped during


the time it was operating? No, I haven't. I tried to think how many we could take.

but I don't know whether that would be in the library or not in one of those programs that...you know they had a writer's program at one time. up that one but I don't know. Can you remember any unusual occurences that happened out there when you had the children out there? No, but we had a wonderful camp. and all like that, you know. from a civic standpoint. Now under child welfare I see that part of the responsibility of your department was supervision in boarding homes for children. Well, there was a Stafford woman for that and I'm not responsible for that. It was just under your department? Yes. About the term boarding homes, foster homes? Not exactly. Her's was more where there were large boarding is that now what we call Of course, flag raising They might have written

It really was a turning point

homes for children that she checked, to see that they were all right, run right. But I didn't do that.


Oh, someone else in your department did? welfare I see maternity homes listed. She worked with them. Who was the woman? Mrs. Davidson. Mrs. Davidson. Supervised things.

Under child

Then what about girl

protection, protection for girls? Well, when I first came there there was a girl named Miss Lame, Lamin Lame I believe her name was, and she was one of the regular workers who was under the Girl's Protective Association. That had its own board, women

volunteered, women, and they helped girls get in college and do things like that, find homes for girls. And the Lela Lodge grew out of that. anything about that or not. No. Now that's closed down. L-e-l-a, Lela Lodge? Well, let's see, I think they called it the—what was that woman's name? But it's still out here, the building, somebody I don't know if you know

left them because their still out here not very far from here. I noticed something about runaway girls and you mentioned


agirl from Cisco. that case? No. You don't remember.

Can you remember the details about

No, Mrs. Davidson would handle all the runaway girls. Then there was even social work that your department was responsible for such as transients from trains and highways and so forth. Yeah. Can you tell me...can you remember some of the things that happened? No, I don't definitely. We had a lot.

How would you go about helping those? Well, usually we would try to find out where they came from and get them back home. We'd usually send a wire or telegram. We had agencies in otherplaces, you see, that

would check for us. And I also helped organize from that the Travelers Aid and they took over the transients. Oh, you helped organize it? I represented the...I loaned one of my workers for the Travelers Aid. They had a national office in New York

and they used to have a national worker come down and finally she wanted to open up her own Travelers Aid and


then they handled transients. And I furnished the worker for that. And what would be the sort of services they would...the transients would need? Well, just try to take care of them until such time as they could... Need to find them somewhere to sleep? Yeah, place to put them and all. And they did that. Would people get here stranded? Is that what would happen? You would

Oh, yes, they came in stranded all the time.

have been surprised the many many nights that I was called down to the first...the Congregational Church, the big church downtown... the big church downtown, the Congregational Church. Dr. Anderson was the preacher ever so long.

Wasn't Presbyterian? No, it wasn't Presbyterian? Wasn't Presbyterian. Well anyway they advertised that they gave their Sunday night offering to the poor and of course everybody...some of the poor would like to go down there on Sunday nights, you know. And I used to be called down a lot of times...

they'd get in trouble over something, you know and he wouldn't know what to do, so I had to go down and help them


out with the people that would come, you know, and stay around. It really was funny. And of course Dr. Anderson

was one of these people that didn't believe anybody was wrong. But I can remember very vividly one woman who

wanted $50 to go somewhere, her story, something had happened. And I told him I didn't think we ought to give

it to her; we ought to wire first. He went ahead and gave it to her. You didn't know if she ever really needed it for that purpose of not. That I don't know. Well did the poor people just show up down there and ask for certain amounts of money? Yes, they would, they really would. And your purpose was to see if they were any of your clients that your department K.new anything about? Yes and sometimes if they wanted a ticket somewhere I thought you ought to wire ahead and find out if they belonged at that place, you know. We did that.

Now I can tell you this, this happened in Dallas. This is one things that happened here. When I was working in Dallas why I used to go out to the hospital there and one time evidently I went out and the girl had a baby and I


brought them in and placed...whatever I did I don't know. But anyway, I want you to know this actually happened... I think I had retired, maybe I hadn't. But I was driving

down Summit Avenue here, 8th Avenue, arid a car just literally ditched me, you know, just made me take a curb. That's just all I had to do. So I took care and stopped.

The girl got out of the car and walked over and she said I've been chasing you for I don't know how long. I used

to live in Dallas and I now know that you're working in Fort Worth. And I have married and I don't ever want my husband to see me go by the City Hall. And it turned out

this child of hers, it wasn't a legitimate child that I had worked with and all, but it died. And then she had a happy marriage and she was so afraid that I might tell it, which I didn't even remember. She was one among so many. That actually has happened. And she recognized you here in Fort Worth several years... She'd been chasing me all this time trying to find me away from the office so she could tell me all this and tell me to never give her away. didn't it? Yes. Did you ever get anyone come back years later to That read like a storybook,


thank you for what you had done to help them? Oh, yes. Some children who now live down near the coast. She said I used to be in camp

This one girl called me up.

Ruth Lubin and if i t h a d n ' t been for t h a t camp I d o n ' t
think us girls could have ever gotten together. The camp

meant a lot and we had a lot of fun out of it too. Makes you feel like all that effort was worthwhile, doesn't it? Have you ever had instances of people that no matter

how much you helped them they weren't satisfied and wanted more? Oh, yes. Yes, there was one woman out on northside. In

fact she called me one time at four o'clock in the morning and I know it was that woman. get enough out of welfare. She felt that she didn't

In fact she called me not too

long ago and I had never heard from her in the mean^_t;ime and she said...told me how well her family had gotten along and everything. all knew it. Her husband died. She was a louse and we

But she was a dangerous person too. But

anyway she said to me—it was one Sunday afternoon she called me—she said I imagine now that you've saved up a lot of money and she wanted me to invest in something. what she did call me for I don't know. How many years did the department help her, do you remember? But


Yes, it was a long time

all the time.

She was lousy They weren't

but she couldn't help it. One of those kind. all that way.

Do you know if any of the children turned out all right? Yes, she was telling me that one of her children had married and how much she spent for her home and all; yes, her children had all turned out right. just imagine all that? Well now your department maybe helped break that cycle of poverty and got the children out of there although the mother maybe never improved. She never improved. But if the children courl have been... She's on state aid, you know, because she's of age. But she was a louse all the way through. But there were a lot She says can you

of them...oh, yes, some of them were just lovely people. that we helped. Did you department help any special group such as blind people? Well, one of my first assignments was to...the city helped blind people. There was a group of them that lived out in

Riverside. And the city helped them out of city funds with so much amonth. And one of my first assignments was to go

out and make a survey. came in,you know.

That was before Aid to the Blind

And this is a funny story. In talking

with one woman she must have been..at that time I would have considered it elderly..and she married a man about forty years old who was blind. And I said to her well

I just can't understand why you married this blind man. She was a seeing woman. And she made this remark: well,

I married two seeing ones and they got away from me, She married what? Two seeing ones. Oh, two seeing. And they got away from me so I married this blind man. I'll never forget that. Did they receive help? Yeah, cause he was blind. So he would get his help no matter what? I suppose so. When did they start the Lighthouse for the Blind here to start helping the blind help themselves? That I don't know, but they've done a good job. I understand it's taken almost all the blind people from

the assistance rolls. Yes, it has.


Those that want to. What about begging here in Port Worth? Well, now wait a minute. I can tell you a story on begging The children used to

and I still have contact with that.

beg all the time in Fort Worth. And there was one woman who put out her children all the time. Just on the streets? On the streets. And one time I came back from Denver and I found them down at the depot begging. And we finally

I believe took those children away from her and placed them in an orphanage home in Dallas and the boy who begged died but there were two girls and one of the girls finished over there and became a nurse and married a man and went to Amarillo, I believe. But this mother still stayed

around here and she was burned...she had been burned facially and all like that. We also found out that she owned some property somewhere, I don't remember just where it was, but then the next girl, she married and married very well and we helped her through school. And then the mother died down here at the Seventh Day Adventist Home down here and there was quite a stew about her leaving her money, which nobody thought she had any, she left her money to that Seventh Day Adventist... At Keane? At Keane. And this girl still sends me a Christmas Card,


and said you've always been like a mother to me and her son she says is working in some sort of the medical part of it in one of the hospitals here, I don't know whether it's Peter Smith or what. Well that's... Her husband died, but she's still teaching deaf children and she always...the girl in Amarillo, and they all turned out very well. But they were little girls begging on the streets when... When we first saw them. We did have a lot of results with a lot of people. And I think that's what made it worthwhile. I want to ask some more about the begging if you don't mind. Were there adults that did much begging in Fort Worth? The blind. The blind did? No. They don't anymore. she had children

They don't anymore.

Is there a city ordinance against it now? I don't know what it is but the city...and I imagine if they couldn't get aid they begged. But they have all

these other programs going now, you see. Self help. Yes.


Nov/ looking back on all your work with the social welfare and so forth, what would you pick out as being of a thing you did that you accomplished that give you the best feelings? In the best field? In the best feeling that you're proudest of anything you got done. Well, the fact that the day nursery expanded and all and the Travelers Aid, it went on but it went into another organization. And I think the fact that most of the things that I was identified with the early days have all grown and are all now accepted parts of the program of taking care of people. Would that be what you want? Yes, yes. That your work is still being carried on to a greater extent and that you were able to get it started. Yes, it really was. Because it was so meager. Well you had so little financing for so long, didn't you. You could just talk people into donating. Yeah, we did. People would donate.

And when Texas came in that helped, didn't it. Yeah, that really helped a whole lot. You could make a budgetthen more or less. Yeah, then you could make a budget and really work it out.


What about individual families?

Is there any one family

that stands out in your memory that has helped a great deal through your organization? Well there have been but I can't...in fact there's one girl today called me. Her mother was going into a nursing

home and she's kept in touch with me all the way through. Her mother was one of those really widows who washed for a living when those kids were little and putting them through school. Did you say she washed for a living? She actually washed for a living. You don't remember that. Now

There used to be a time people did wash for a living. that's the story. And in what part of town did she live? She lived around Missouri—that would be Poly Technic.

But she still couldn't make a living so your department helped her? We helped the girls through school and get jobs and then we've helped some girls with...the Woman's Club asked us to recommend girls that they sent through college and they did. So you've seen some of the girls in an unfortunate situations.


Yeah, that really went through. That made you feel good, didn't it? Yeah, really did. Was there any... looking back on it, was there any great disappointment that you can remember that didn't work out the way you wished it had? Well, I don't know. There were a lot of disappointments.

A lot of personality things. But I don't know of any. Any that just stands out in your mind? Well the thing that I was thinking about the other day, the fact that so many of the things that we were identified with did grow and mature in the right way, like the All Church Home and like the Lena Pope Home. I didn't do too

much with the Lena Pope Home but I stayed right in there and pitched with her when she was having her hard days, you know. And the Traveler's Aid, that was in earnest. And Camp Ruth Lubin was really one of the most outstanding things because it meant so much to the children. Speaking of Camp Ruth Lubin, where on Lake Worth was it? Well I started to say the first turnoff when you get out there. Well it was way beyond the sandy place or the mart place*. Do you know where K-Mart is out there? a store out there. They have


Yes,. I do. It would have been that first turn way way on...you go north quite a few miles and then you turn, I guess you'd turn west and it was right in that area in there. And the land is still there but nothing on it now? Yes, the land is still there. Are there any cottages still there? No, I don't think so. time. Miss Pittenger, a few minutes ago we were talking about your work and the greatest disappointment or discouragement you had had in the work you did throughout the years. Let's go back to that and see if you remember something now that you think was a disappointment. Well, it was a disappointment when people began to get jobs because of who they knew or what they knew and also that you had to make distribution from a political standpoint more than need. Can you give some examples without giving names or anything? No. Were you more or less pressured into giving help because someone in politics knew someone... Well, we were but...and they would often tell you if you I haven't been.out there in some

didn t give them what they wanted they would go see so-and-so. In the city government? In the city government, or somebody else. But in spite of all this your department helped so many people. And people have responded and they've gone ahead. Well I thank you. I've enjoyed these interviews.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE (FORT WORTH) Written by Miss Gladys Pittenger for speech to members of the Torch Club. Date -uncertain—sometime during or after 1926. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE Background? Some years ago the work of caring for the poor,

both physically and financially in the City of Ft. Worth was carried on through an organization known as the Ft. Worth Relief Association with quarters in a small house. About November 1918 there was a reorganization of the work and the offices were moved to 832 Monroe Street and a piece of property purchased for the office quarters. The name was changed to the Ft. Worth Welfare Association and a new charter obtained from Austin under this name. Fundst Funds were secured through drives which were

made each year. Later the Community Chest was organized in our city and the Ft. Worth Welfare Association became one of the agencies which was to derive its funds from the Community Chest budget. Through the aid of private sub-

scriptions, gifts, etc., various pieces of property were acquired, some for the purpose of handling negro work, one for the girl's work, the property upon which Camp Lubin now stands, and additions made to the building on Monroe Street for the purpose of accommodating a Day Nursery.


In April 192*+ when a proposed new Charter for the City of Ft. Worth was prepared by the Charter Commission and the Council manager plan of government was later adopted—provisions were made in Chapter X T of the Charter for a Department of Public Health and Welfare "Said Department shall also have charge of the supervision of all public charities of the city.H A period of nearly a year elasped before there was a complete set-up of personnell for & Welfare Dept. About 1926, however, a city ordinance #1183 was adopted providing for a Welfare Board composed of three citizens of Ft. Worth who in turn in connection with the Director of The Public Health and Welfare Department as outlined in the Charter were given power to complete the organization, the money to be obtained from taxes as a Welfare Budget. As the Welfare Association which was already in operation had been doing a very effective piece of work prior to the passing of this ordinance, and in Aie«- of the fact that the Community Chest program seemed to be "tottering", plans were completed to transfer the entire personnel of the former Ft. Worth Welfare Association over to the city, same to become an active part of the Department of Public Health and Welfare— and we have so operated since that time. However, the former Board of Directors of the privately controlled Welfare Association have kept their Board in tact and meet monthly for the purpose of keeping in touch with the welfare problems of the city at


large and to handle such matters of business as might come up relative to the properties still in its possession. The

City Welfare Department pays rent for such properties of the Welfare Association as it is using for the carrying on of its present work. Workersi In olden times anyone with a kind heart and "weak

mind" was eligible to do social work, hut it was found that poverty and dependency seemed to be increasing instead of lessening; today the pendulum is swinging the other way and all over the United States—in fact even at the International Convention in Paris this past summer—the stress is being put on "trained workers". There is a technic to social work

just as to any other profession if rightly done. Recently I attended an Institute in New York, 28 representatives from about as many different cities or states were present and every effort was made to get the social workers to understand every problem which might come up in their field of activity. Most workers are being asked to take regular college, then Institute training along the special lines which they are working;- for instance the Hospital Social Worker;: psychopathic; legal aid, etc., hoy or girl work or settlement. When you stop and consider how much time and thought you as fathers or husbands have to put on matters of vital importance to your own families then multiply that time about eighty you can imagine that the social worker must have a strong keen trained mind to be able to carry the problems


which come her wayf as most social workers in our office are responsible monthly for from 60 to 80 cases. Our monthly case load is from 250 to 300 families and at present our total case load file for the past two years numbers 3>996. Causes of Why People Need Helpr The causes of why people need help vary from Disability—physical or mental Personality maladjustment >c Desertion—Non-support Sexual delinquency Domestic incompatibility Alcoholic Drug, etc. Economic Problems Unemployment Under-employment Insufficient wage Educational Problems Domestic inefficiency Bad early home training Illiteracy Environmental Problems Bad housing No homes Broken Homes Widows Desertion

Activitiesr Specialr Star-Telegram Milk and Ice Fund Gbodfallow Movement—Star-Telegram Woman's Cooperative Home

Day Nursery* Working mothers—no fee Central Day Nursery, 811 W 3rd. N. Side Day Nursery. 2009 Ellis Colored, 1510 W. Petersmith

amp Lubin

Child Welfare Supervision of boarding homes Maternity Home Girl Protective Runaway Sick Relief and Social Service Keynote service;- plus funds Transient Train, highway, bus, auto Families Individual Sick Aged


Special Note: "Relief giving is a tool in social work—must be guided by an intelligent understanding of the family's problems a.nd treatment aimed at care of the problem."



The name of your club is surely interesting to me

because it so happens that the "Torch" is the emblem used on the pamphlets sent out by the American Association for Organizing Social Work—under whose policies we operate our relief division; and with it goes this wording "Light from hand to hand Life from age to age." As you doubtless are familiar you know that in Grecian antiquity—the torch race was held on a moonless night— "The race was not always to the swift but to those who kept the torch alight to the goal". Those of us actively engaged in the relief program are trying to help individuals and families under our care to run the race of life and although their paths make it slow for them to travel at times, still through our aid we hope that in the end at least one member of the family will reach a goal.





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