What I remember about the DRURY FAMILY
By Leonard W. Drury
Father of Elmer Drury
___Pix to be added here (as soon as I get some time—Keith)
Little is known by our family of my great grandfather, Isaac Drury, other than the approximate date of his birth as 1806 to 1810. If he lived to be 65 he would have deceased about 1875. However, to Isaac Drury and his wife was born a son in the year 1834. They named him John supposedly after an earlier Drury who bore that name.
John grew up in the countryside and as a boy attended the Anglican
Life in the
of the writer is WALTER DRURY, the third son of
It was in the year 1895 that Walter Drury married Emmeline Guest daughter of the village butcher William Guest and wife Frances (Bailey) Guest. Mother was a beautiful girl as the pictures truly reveal. She had other sisters Polly, Ellen, Maggie, Lucy, Lizzie, Kate, and two brothers Arthur and Butch. They lived in Hoyland.
The butcher shop was a beehive of activity and every Saturday was market day when they set up market stalls in the Farmer’s Market. The girls tended the stalls where pork pies, meat, hot-cross buns in season, and other goodies were sold to the villagers. Mother’s father would take the hides after slaughtering to the town of Barnsley to sell and on the way would stop at a home where they had a nice flower garden and have a posy or bouquet made up for his wife Frances. The Guest family had a horse named Toby and a picture of Grandpa Guest and Toby is a family keepsake.
In the year
of 1895 Walter and Emmeline
were blessed with their first child Edith born November 18th.
William was born
father John died in 1897. Dad told of going over to his dad’s house and found
him sick in bed. He slipped into the room and spoke. My father said to me “Oh
Walter, I was just slipping away to meet the Lord and you stopped me.” Dad said
his father repeated the words of Simeon “Now lettest
though thy servant depart in peace fro mine eye have seen Thy
salvation.” Just 24 hours after that
Another time of sorrow came in 1902 when William died in April at the age of six and Nellie died in November at about the age of two. There was no doctor where they lived. Willie was sick with diphtheria and Nellie had whooping cough. Dad had to walk or run to the next town, which was a bout about 5 miles away, to ask the doctor to come because one of their children was very sick. He started to run down the road because he felt he should hurry. He got to the doctors, went in and told his errand. The doctor obliged taking Dad back to his home in his horse and wagon. At one point he thought to him self, “It’s too late the child is dead.” Sure enough when he got home the child had died at about that very time. They bore this sorrow bravely. They were now left with one child, their first, Edith. Then came Lois and Ida to bless their home.
in the coal mine and one day he came home from work
and said, “Let’s go to America Emmeline.” Mother
answered, “Let’s go.” They did. Dad and mother had money saved for the fare for
both he and the family but decided that he should go first, get work, and rent
a house. Mother, Edith, Lois, and Ida would come later. Dad decided to bring
along with him his nephew Leonard Smith my Aunt Maggie’s son. Their trunks
packed and bookage secured on a ship, they left
and Leonard Smith arrived in
The Ellsworth mine was a new one, so the company had built many new homes of terracotta tile. They were numbered and bore the letters of the alphabet regarding the streets. There was H-row, K-row, E-row, etc. The home they rented was brand new and on K-row.
Dad went to the company store and decided to purchase the necessary furniture, pots, and pans. There was a stove, bed, kitchen cabinet pots and pans. When he ordered some pots (meaning dishes) from the store keep he also brought slop-jars with him. “I don’t want them,” Dad said, “One would be enough.” All the houses were equipped with a nice out-house, because there was no city water in that area.
At the Company Store, when Dad pulled out of his pocket a fist full of new $5.00 bills he had gotten in New York and offered to pay cash for the things he bought, the storekeeper was surprised and would have sold him anything in the store. Most of the miner families paid the Company store by the month.
Roosevelt was President of
George B. Kulp was the General Sup’t of the
Mother and the three girls, Edith, Lois, and Ida, in
Mother and the girls arrived in Ellsworth at K-row and the family was again
reunited. By this time Ida was talking and when Dad
Dad worked at The Face in the mine. That term is used for the area where the coal is actually mined, loaded into the pitcars, and brought to the surface. Of course now-a-days much of this work is automated.
getting slack and Dad said to his brother Charlie, who had come from
about a mine in Manifold, PA. in
While living here the girls wanted dolls for Christmas. Well, Mother told Lois and Ida if they filled the coal shed with coal picked from the slate dump then she would buy them dolls. They girls worked like beavers and got the shed filled for the winter. They were rewarded for their work. They completed a mammouth task.
Dad made friends in Manifold. Yorky Jones and wife
been interested in a mining education for it would be advantageous to him if he
continued in the mine. He sent to
Memory recalls the house on Rich Hill. Our neighbors in the double house were the Storicks. Our family and the Storicks were friends over the years. Their sons Bob and John especially would sit on the front porch courting their girl friends. We kids would be pesky and John would give us Fan Tan chewing gum if we would behave. We did at least until the next day, we liked to get the gum.
Methodist pastor, a young man names Reverend Hayden, was making pastoral calls
in the village and stopped at our house one day inviting Mother to the revival
meeting. Mother promised to attend. When Dad and the boarders got home from work they found dinner ready and after the dishes were
cleared Mother got ready for church. “Where are you going Emmeline?”
asked Dad. She answered “The preacher from the
Methodist church was here and invited us to attend revival so I’m going.” She
went but as she walked down the tracks to the church
the Devil said to her “You don’t know what they do in the churches in
altar call was given a lady named Mrs. McGill put her
hand on Mother’s shoulder and asked, “Do you want to be a Christian?” Mother
said “Yes” and went to the altar. Mrs. McGill went along with her. I have
always thanked God for that young Methodist preacher and in later years, when
he was a District Sup’t. of
Mother got home that night after she had been saved and told Dad she had done something he would be happy about. “What have you done Emmy?” “I’ve gotten saved,” she replied. Dad said, “That’s nice,” but down inside he thought I’ll see if she’s saved. He knew how to get her vexed and tried but she wouldn’t get vexed anymore.
One day Mother came home from church and said, “Walter, we ought to tithe.” “It will be alright,” said Dad. So they started to tithe their income and did it until their dying day. Honor God with your substance and He will honor you. This is the teaching of God’s Word. Sure enough this was the case as we shall soon see.
They built a new church in Meadowlands and Dad was one of the leaders in the church even though he was unsaved. I remember when pledge cards were being handed out in a service there when I was a child and I was so proud of Dad because he was one of the ushers that day.
Dad had a nice garden and raised chickens. They were Plymouth Rock breed and he was proud of his flock. One day a setting hen came home from the woods with a brood of chicks, 13 in all, and Dad was surprised. He didn’t know there were eggs being laid in the wooded area by his own flock.
to tell of her wanting to go back to
Mother’s parents died while we lived at Rich Hill and this was a shock to her not having gotten back to see them. Dad’s mother passed away also and Ida remembers how Dad cried and put his hands over his face as he walked from the kitchen into the living room and back and forth. “I had never seen Dad cry before,” said Ida. It touched her to the heart.
One day I
was wheeling Elmer or Roy in my new red Ford wheel-barrow
and fell, cutting my arm on the side of the metal barrow. I still have the on
my left arm today. A young lady came over from
I also remember one of the oil tanks holding thousands of gallons of crude oil. These mammoth storage tanks were about 20 feet high and 50 feet across. Memory recalls some being struck by lightening, boiling over and burning for days and weeks.
Reverend Blye, and older man, became pastor of the church. Mother and Dad liked him as a pastor and preacher. He helped them in their church life.
A Mr. Fred
McKay, for whom Dad worked at Meadowlands, was transferred to
the advancement and in 1916 we moved to Kerr’s Row in
We all attended the Methodist church where Reverend W.T. Hartley was the pastor. They had three sons and a daughter; Olan, John, Elijah, and Nellie. One day Pastor Hartley came to our home on the Hill and Dad was smoking his pipe leisurely as he walked about in the grape arbor. Brother Hartley came upon him and being surprised that he was smoking said, “I’m sorry Brother Drury. I looked down in my congregation and thought you were one of the cleanest men in the church and now I see you smoking.” Dad always smoked a pipe and kept on smoking “until” as you shall later see.
was not far from the
Ida had many girl friends at the school and they liked
We lived in Kerr’s Row for just a few months when I started school from that house and ended school in 1917 attending from the house on the hill.
Mother purchased the house from John P Bohlander
whose brother Leonard Bohalder and their wives
sister, who was 21 when we moved from Meadowlands to
Let me tell
you more about the house on the hill which was built in 1904 (The date was on a
cement grate near the back porch). John Bohlander,
who was a carpenter and builder, built the house. I suppose it was like most
houses built at that time with two ground floor rooms, two bed rooms above and
a finished off attic above them. The house was tall and narrow but it was home
for so many years. I lived there from 1917 to 1934 when my first pastorate
opened at Cherryville. So, for seventeen years I
called it home yea more than that I called it home until Mother moved out of it
in 1957 and that would be 40 yrs. Here we had 27 grapevines that produced
abundantly. There were white, blue, and red grapes for jelly, eating and grape juice. One year Dad sold a good many bushel
to an Italian from Blaine Hill who said he was going to make jelly of them.
Afterwards Dad had his doubts about the Italian making jelly from so many
grapes. There was other fruit on the property: 3 sour
cherry trees, 6 Peach, 4 Apple, 1
Edith was 21, Lois 15, Ida 12, Elmer 9, Leonard 7 and Roy 5 years old when we moved on to Bohlander’s Hill (so named because the three houses were owned by John Bohlander, Lewis Bohlander, and Chris Bohlander). Imagine buying a house for $2,000. Yet in those days that was quite a sum. Dad was 45 and Mother 43 when they made the venture.
Growing up and attending Wiley School and Elizabeth High School from 1917 to 1929 was filled with many delightful times as we made friends, got our education, and played with the kids on the hill. Of course there were some hardships encountered along the way.
read the newspaper, which was the Pittsburgh Press, and tell us about the First
World War with
Our new house
had no bathroom, electricity, gas, or running water so we became
adjusted to oil lamps and outside toilet. We would carry drinking water
from the neighbors and heat it at the
Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as other special occasions
the living room would be opened and a fire built in the fireplace. Also, when sickness came the fireplaces in the bed rooms
would be opened and fires built. About this time
It was Kidd Bros., the tinsmith in Elizabeth, who sold and installed our Caloric pipeless furnace. We also got electricity and now we thought we were living high. The Aladdin lamps in the kitchen and living room were discarded. I believe sister Lois finally got the one Aladdin lamp and changed it to an electric table lamp. Dad would sit in his rocking chair and read the newspaper, (Pittsburgh Press) which we picked up at the news stand each evening.
got electricity, we got a radio. It was a battery set. Mother had told us that
if we read the Bible through, she would give us each $10.00. There was Elmer,
neighbors had a Crystal set years before we got our
battery radio. We got a chance once in awhile to listen in to the music or
preaching on the crystal set the neighbors had. Then we boys purchased a small
crystal, wrapped a round box with wire for the coil, and were able to tune in KDKA on our home made set. The total cost of our battery radio
from Sears was about $55.00. We boys put in our $30.00 and Dad added the rest.
We boys would go to bed after family prayer and when Mother and Dad retired we
would tiptoe downstairs and listen in, listing the stations we had received.
There was WBBM,
sent to Sears and purchased a Piccalo. In
In the house below us lived Bards, then Mainwarings, Ketterings, Hixenbaughs, and a few other families. Louis Bohlander also lived below us. Bohlander’s daughter Sally and husband now live in the house (1978). Some of the families were older people with no children and other families had children with whom we played.
three boys were about 12 or 13 Dad took us
individually into the mine and explained his work. We looked forward to the
trip into the mine with Dad. We put on a pit-cap with an electric (battery)
light on the front and followed Dad around. He showed us the pump house that
was used to pump the water out of the mine, the air shaft
to keep the fresh air flowing to the workers, and the face where the men mined
the coal. Then in his office down in the mine Dad gave
us a down to Earth talk on “What Every Boy Should Know.” That was his purpose
of taking us into the mine at this particular time. He told us not to tell our
brothers what he talked to us about. First there was
the trip for Elmer, then two years later it was my turn.
this time Mother and Dad got acquainted with God’s
the members of
Immediately after the service Dad went down over the hill by a big oak tree on the camp ground and with his pocket knife he dug a grave and buried his expensive pipe and pack of tobacco (Five Brothers Tobacco). He never smoked again. We asked Dad when we were at the camp ground years later “Dad, where did you bury your pipe and tobacco? Where?” He wouldn’t tell us. He didn’t want to dig it up and he didn’t want us to dig it up.
After Dad got saved we started the Family Altar in our home and continued it until we left home. Later the Bohlanders took Elmer, Roy, and me to camp meeting. This was the first experience we had at a camp meeting. It was a Methodist camp with good preachers such as Dr. John Brasher, Dr. H.C. Morrison, President of Asbury College, Dr. G.W. Ridout, Dr. C.W. Ruth, Rev. Joseph H. Smith, Rev. Will Huff, Rev. John and Joseph Owen, Rev. John and Bona Fleming and others too numerous to mention. They faithfully preached the TRUTH in the power of the Holy Spirit and many entered the experience of a pure heart. It was here at Bentleyville camp when I was 12 years old under the ministry of Rev. Charlie Dunaway that I gave my heart to Jesus. That was a happy day when I knelt at the left hand side of the right hand mourners bench and asked God for forgiveness. He forgave me and my life was now different, changed for the better, thank God.
above mentioned Leonard Bohlander
purchased many books by the old holiness writers at the turn of the century.
One day he told Dad, “You know, Brother Drury, I’d like your son Leonard to
have all my books.” So while we lived at
and Ida spent three years at God’s
incident happened in the 20’s when Dad’s sister’s
husband died. His name was Ted Naylor. Emma, his wife, and he were devout
Jehovah’s Witnesses and lived in
Chris Bohlander, our neighbor, was a truck gardener and butcher.
Elmer and I worked in the garden off and on during the summers. There were
times when he would load the wagon with produce, drive the horse and wagon to
Glassport at Saturday, sell his
wares around the town and return home Saturday afternoon. Elmer generally got
the privilege to go along, however I recall going one
Saturday. What a day it was when at the close of selling he would buy us an
ice-cream cone to eat on the way home. We never could make the cone last for
the trip of five mile back to
When John Bohlander had the well drilled at our house on the hill he wanted to have better water than his brothers, so he drilled deeper and deeper. The trouble was that he hit sulpher water and it was no good for drinking or cooking so we had to carry water from the neighbors each day and evening. Dad decided to correct this and concluded that we should dig a well of our own. The deeper we went the harder it got to dig. We had to drill holes, place a stick of dynamite in the hole and blast away each evening. Next day we boys would clean out and drill another hole. We used a bucket on a pulley to remove the stone and this was a tedious task. The well was about four feet in diameter and going deeper every day until we were about 22 feet down. We struck a vein of water and because of the danger of a cave-in Dad decided it was deep enough. The next step was to lower the 36 inch terracotta tile into the well as a liner. How would we do it? Dad had an idea. We would use the pulley already rigged up for removing the stone, tie the big tile to the pulley, and slowly let it down. All set with the first tile—boards placed over the well, tile secured to the pulley rope and strapped around the post of the grape arbor then down the walk with all of us holding it. I tied or wrapped the rope around my chest while others held on to the rope. Dad pulled out the boards and said steady and slowly leave it down, but the tile was so heavy and as quick as a flash the heavy terracotta tile went to the bottom of the well, smashing the tile to smitherines. Since I tied the rope around my chest I was dragged up the walk to the base of the grape arbor. “Well, well, now we’ve done it,” said Dad in his English brogue. All we could do was clean up the mess and next night Dad brought a block and tackle home from the mine which was used to successfully lower the tile in place. When the pump was in place we had some good water.
were digging the well one of our relatives from
I was still
growing up and finished eighth grade in the spring of 1925 at
We were always given an extra $1.25 as a bonus if we worked everyday. I hardly ever missed work. However, one week I was sick and went home early, missing half a day. When I got my pay, which was always in cash, they had paid me for the half day I didn’t work and gave me the bonus of $1.25. Memory recalls sitting on the curb of the round-house in Glassport and counting my money. I was surprised and told the kids, “They paid me for a turn I didn’t work and gave me the bonus; I’ll have to return the extra money to them.” The boys from the hill said, “You’ll be foolish if you do. The company can afford to pay us all a bigger wage.” So I stuffed it into my pocket and forgot about it, until under the searching ministry of the Word of God in later years, it was brought to my attention by the Holy Spirit. I remember distinctly of how it bothered me so I placed a $5.00 bill in an envelope, addressed it to the Company, and related what it was for. When I placed the letter in the postal mailing slot at the Elizabeth Post Office I felt such a relief, and that extra money I received hasn’t bothered me since because I made the necessary restitution.
About this time I started a Baseball team and considered myself as the
manager because no one wanted the job. The kids co-operated and we called our
team the Blaine Hill Celtics. One of the kids had a truck
which was used for transportation, each one pitching in a dime for
expenses. We played teams in Glassport, Mustard Hollow, Number 1 Hill, Greenoak and others. Liking
baseball so much as a kid it was then that we started following Big League
Baseball on the radio (KDKA) and in the newspaper. 1925 was a big year for baseball around
In May of 1927 a young man from
In high school Elmer and I played football together in the fall of 1927 and 1928. In 1928 with a team composed of:
*Lenny Monheim – Quarterback,
Harry VanFossen – Fullback,
*Walter Smith and Dean Natalli – Halfbacks,
Jim Smalley – Right End,
Dave Turnbull – Right Tackle,
*Kenneth Hixenbaugh – Center,
*Dave Morrison – Right Guard,
*Jim Bowman – Left Guard,
*Elmer Drury – Left Tackle,
Leonard Drury – Left End.
(The six marked with * are deceased.)
lost but one game, which came at the end of the season, to Clairton, our
greatest rival. The next year of 1928 when Lenny Monheim,
Elmer graduated from High school in the spring of 1928 and secured employment at Carnegie Steel Mill in Clairton. In a few months he was transferred to the Marine Ways Boat yard of that company where his friend Jim Smalley was working.
year of High School was 1928-29 and after graduation
my first job was also at the
the game and on the last play of the game, Elmer tackled a boy by the name of
Regis Shiveley and when the play was over he was unable to get up on his feet. The High School
trainer worked over him and then called an ambulance which
took him to the Doctor’s office in Elisabeth. I went along. The doctor used an
instrument to prick his legs and Elmer had no feelings in his legs so the
doctor ordered him to the
It was mine
Dad had purchased a new 1929 Essex Challenger in late 1928 when the new models
came out. Elmer and I had gotten our license and Dad passed his test too. So we had our first car and had transportation to and from
the hospital when necessary. We had taken a trip in the new car to
remained in the hospital a little over a month. Mother was at his bedside most
of the time. Dad and I were working every day.
when dad went down stairs to get ready for work he saw
that we had been robbed. Someone evidently had gotten in the side window, stole
change form a $10,00 bill, also took Dad’s dinner bucket and left things messed
up. Dad called me for it was time for me to get ready for work. We went outside
hunting for anything they might have left. Dad found part of his dinner bucket.
As we were searching around the yard in the dawn, our neighbor, Mr. Louis Bohlander met us at the gate stating there was a telephone
call from Mother at the hospital asking us to come immediately for Elmer had
gotten worse. We readied ourselves and went to
We owned no
cemetery lot for burial so Dad and Mother had this to care for. Funeral
Director Johnny Cox was so kind in helping Mother and Dad in these matters. An
eight-grave lot was purchased at the
Dad stood this bravely. However, it seemed to be a long time before mother got
over this sorrow. She would walk out to the cemetery, plant flowers, and also
take cut flowers to the grave. Elmer had died
dedication of my life to the Lord came about this time. Roy and I started to
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