50th Anniversary of Wilmer and Ethel Glasscock
Glasscocks at 50th Anniversary

Glasscock Family Party After Dinner Program
San Bernardino, California, June 26, 1954

   After the photographs were taken the family assembled for the program. First Grandma read her story. George was then asked to be Master of Ceremonies and announced the rest of the program.

   Marilee sang, with Tom's help at the piano, "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You" and "Bingo".

   Dick Jr. gave an extemporaneous talk telling many interesting things about his trip East by bus last Spring with other pharmacy students from the University of Arizona for the purpose of visiting leading pharmaceutical plants.

   Don gave a talk describing his summer job at the University of California at Berkeley. He is assisting in perfecting a very interesting and intricate calculating machine for electronic purposes.

   Tom and Ray entertained with some spirited piano duets.

   Tom led some singing by the three older boys, Tom, Dick and Don. This was an amusing parody of a popular song which, it was suggested, Grandpa might have sung to Grandma in their younger days.

   After Larry's amusing speech and Ray's reading of his tribute to "My Brother", Bob and George entertained with a program of mysterious and magic tricks which closed with a smoke bomb out of which emerged a mysterious box containing a golden Schatz 400-day clock for Grandpa and Grandma from the grandchildren. After that there was presented a beautiful engraved gold tray from Richard, Elizabeth, Lillian and Dorothy. Then from behind a screen was brought out The Chair, perfect in every detail, ample, comfortable, upholstered in gold-colored fabric. This was a gift from the eight children.

   A wonderful time was had by us all!


Grandma's Story

[ Grandma (Julia Ethel Musgrove Glasscock) wrote this story herself, and read it to all the guests at the 50th Wedding Anniversary party in San Bernardino, California, June 26, 1954. She was 73 years old at the time of the party, and she lived another 32 years. ]

   Sixty-two years ago in the year 1892, there lived in Topeka, Kansas at 1014 Jackson St. a widow named Mrs. Glasscock and her two boys, Wilmer 14 and Gerald 12. For a living, she took in roomers and boarders. She also owned a cow which the boys cared for and milked and sold the milk to the neighbors. The boys in their spare time sold papers on the streets and blacked boots.

   In the Fall of this year there came to Topeka a lady in frail health named Mrs. Musgrove, with her two children, Ethel 11 and Willie 8. Due to a serious heart ailment she had come to Topeka from Denver, Colorado because of it’s lower altitude. Her husband had remained in Denver where he was employed by the Methodist Church as Financial Agent for the Methodist University of Denver. Until Mrs. Musgrove’s household goods arrived she needed a place to room and board. A real estate man recommended Mrs. Glasscock’s boarding house so there she went.

   That evening when Wilmer and Gerald returned from delivering the milk their mother said to them, "We have some new boarders, a lady with her two children, they are eating their supper now." Wilmer looked through the kitchen door and saw Ethel. He could only see her back but he was impressed by the two thick braids of hair reaching clear to her waist and the zeal and concentration with which she was doing justice to his mothers’ cooking. After supper the boarders who wished remained in the dining room for the evening. After the evening chores were done the boys joined them and it was then that "Boy met Girl".

   We are here tonight, all eighteen of us, because of the sequence of events which followed that meeting.

   Mrs. Musgrove and her children remained boarders for a week or so while waiting for her household goods to arrive. The families became good friends and remained so after she had gotten settled in her own home. The boys used to come over and play with Ethel and Willie on Saturday afternoons. They all went to the same church and Sunday School. One evening there was an entertainment and lecture at the church and Wilmer bought two tickets and asked Ethel to go with him. It was the first date for both of them. On Valentine’s Day he brought her a beautiful valentine. He laid it inside the front screen, rang the bell and then ran and hid. But Ethel knew who had brought it and it was so pretty that it was put on the piano as a decoration.

   The following March [1893] Wilmer was offered the job of office boy in the General Offices of the Santa Fe Railroad at Topeka. He was fifteen at the time and though not quite through the eighth grade he left school and went to work for $12.00 a month. He loved it and that $12.00 was a considerable boost to the family income.

   After two years Mr. Musgrove arranged for his family to join him and they moved to Los Angeles, California [1895]. In another year, the heart ailment caused Mrs. Musgrove’s death [Jan 12, 1896]. Ethel wrote the sad news to Mrs. Glasscock and the boys. It was four years after that when Ethel finished High School that Wilmer began writing letters to her [1900]. Soon after that he was transferred to San Bernardino, no longer as office-boy of course but as a stenographer and time-keeper in the Santa Fe Shops.

   By that time Mr. Musgrove had married again [to Inez Cook; two more girls were born later, Ruth and Mary]. The family had moved to Berkeley and Ethel was going to the University of California. The letters between Wilmer and Ethel paved the way for Wilmer to visit the family during the summer vacation. It was then that Wilmer asked Ethel to become his wife. That was in 1901, nine years from the time they first met as boy and girl. Three years after that, in 1904 [May 9th], they were married.

   By that time Wilmer had been transferred again, this time to Galveston, Texas, and had been promoted to the position of head clerk in the office of the General Manager of the Santa Fe Lines of Texas. So their first home was in Galveston. [In 1900 a huge hurricane had struck the island of Galveston, damaging or destroying many buildings and killing hundreds of people.] Wilmer was at that time earning the magnificent sum of $100.00 a month, which was quite soon raised to $110.00. Believe it or not that sum seemed enough for all our needs. Comparatively speaking there wasn’t much to spend money for in those days. It wasn’t considered necessary to own an automobile. Only a very few people did. There were no movies, no radios, no television sets, no electrical appliances and no thought of an income tax. Wilmer paid one dollar a month out of his salary to insure medical care by the Santa Fe Doctor in case of illness. No one thought the United States would ever go to war again. Not long before America had won the Spanish-American War and everything seemed secure.

   Wilmer and I saw no reason why we should not look forward to raising quite a family of children. I had just finished taking a sociology course in college. The principal thing I remembered about the course was the fact that the less intelligent and even the feeble-minded in the country were reproducing so much more rapidly than the more intelligent that America was inevitably on the way to becoming a nation of inferior people. "Well," I said to myself, "We’ll do something about that. We’ll raise a large family of superior people. It is our patriotic duty."

   It would take too long to reminisce about the happenings of these fifty years so I’ll pick out just the high-lights. The first of course was the arrival of our baby boy in 1905. What a thrill that was! We thought he was the most wonderful baby ever born. I used to dream that some time he might be president of the United States. How fortunate that my dream was never realized. How much better now for that responsibility to be on Eisenhower’s shoulders and to have Richard right here in San Bernardino with us as President of the San Bernardino Valley Transit Company.

   Nineteen months after Richard’s arrival, our first baby daughter, Elizabeth, came to us [March 5, 1907]. You see our project to produce a large family of superior people was well on it’s way.

   Just about this time Wilmer [age 29] began to feel very sure that it was not right for him to spend the rest of his life working for the railroad. He had become chief clerk to the assistant to the General Manager and was earning $150.00 a month. But the only promotion which he saw ahead was one which would involve lobbying for the railroad in the State Legislature and doing considerable social drinking. Neither of us wanted him to do that so we began to think of living off the land.

   When we were married I had a small inheritance from my grandfather which we had used to buy a home. Real estate values were increasing in Galveston and we saw a chance to sell our home at a profit. With that and what we had saved we possessed $3,000.00. We had the thought to use it as part payment on a ranch in California. When Wilmer had lived in San Bernardino he had become well acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Mack in the Methodist Church. He decided to use his summer vacation and his annual pass to go to San Bernardino, see Mr. Mack and look around at the adjoining ranch properties and see what could be bought for the money we had. Mr. Mack helped him. They rode from place to place in Mr. Mack’s horse and buggy. Finally they found an orange grove for sale in Rialto for $18000.00 with $1500.00 down. The deal was closed and I received a wire in Galveston that we would be moving to California in the Fall.

   That was of course a terrific adventure which we undertook with great faith and enthusiasm. Although, except for one or two years, the ranch never paid expenses, there were compensations. We were in California where everyone hopes to live some time, and we had health and fortitude and friends. After a year our baby Lillian arrived [September 25, 1908]. She thrived on life in the country and milk from our cow and was a remarkably satisfied and satisfying baby. And she brought us good luck too. Not very long after she was born Mr. Mack offered Wilmer a job at The Pioneer Abstract and Title Guaranty Co. which he and Mrs. Mack had purchased some years before and which was developing into a promising business. Wilmer’s salary was to be $75.00 a month in cash and $25.00 a month in stock in the company. Wilmer rode back and forth between Rialto and San Bernardino [about 5 miles] first by bicycle and then by motorcycle. Once or twice when we had heavy rains and the bridge across Lytle Creek was out he walked both ways along the Santa Fe track.

   Those were years of facing economic difficulties of which we had never dreamed when we set out so hopefully to raise a large family of superior people. But we did not give up. When Lillian nearly seven Dorothy was born [July 6, 1915]. By that time affairs at the Pioneer were going well and there was a lot of fun connected with Dorothy’s little girlhood. We were soon able to separate ourselves from the unprofitable ranch and move into the big house on the corner in the City of Rialto which was our home for twenty years [1916?-1936?]<.

   Elizabeth grew up and went away to college and the first thing we knew we were welcoming a full-grown son into our family circle. We like Lloyd and we hoped he would like us [16 June 1929].

   The next year with Lillian’s permission Al became one of us [21 Sept 1930]. His driving force became harnessed by our speculative caution and we in turn were grateful for the glamour which he brought with him into the family.

   Two years after that Richard found in Merne just the qualities which he and our family needed and she consented to become one of the Glasscock’s [29 Oct 1932].

   These additions all led up to that eventful, world-shaking, historic and never-to-be-forgotten year of 1934. In February of that year our first grandson was born; in June, our second; and in November, our third. Dicky, Tommy, and Donnie. In each case we felt with their parents the thrill which had come to us with the arrival of our own first baby.

   This excitement had no more than subsided when our youngest, Dorothy, began to have ideas about following in the footsteps of her brother and sisters. For a while we were kept wondering, "Who would be the next one to join our family". When Walker presented himself he was chosen. Walker brought into our family a note of the habits and traditions of the South. It isn’t surprising that their home for eight years in Houston has been only forty miles from the one Wilmer and I owned in Galveston.

   But before that happened there were five other additions to our family. The next one was Bobby, another first born son to Dorothy and Walker; followed not long after by Larry, the second son for Richard and Merne, much to their satisfaction. "Were all the Glasscock grandchildren going to be boys?" we began to wonder. It began to seem so for in 1940 the second son Ray came to Lillian and Al, and in 1941 the second son George came to Dorothy and Walker. That was all right with us, we liked boys, and now proudly boasted of seven grandsons. But when we learned that we were to have still another grandchild we thought how wonderful if this one would be a girl. And sure enough it was. That was perfect. And what a satisfying little girl Marilee is.

   So that accounts for all of us. I can hardly tell you how much we appreciate the fact and how grateful we are to all of you that you are all here for this week-end. It is the crowning event of these fifty years and one which we and, I hope, you will always remember with pleasure. It will be remarkable if ever again after this week-end we will all be together in one place. I know it hasn’t been easy for you to arrange but it seemed to us a goal worth striving for.

   Far be it from me to brag or boast but I do confess to a feeling of deep satisfaction relative to that project which Wilmer and I undertook fifty years ago. You have all become a part of that family of superior people. The Glasscock name may eventually pass out and be forgotten but the purpose for which Wilmer and I were united and the ideals we have striven for have become a part of you and you have become a part of them and will carry them on each in your own way.

   But tonight we are just one big family and I felt the evening would not be complete without hearing something from each one of these "super-duper" grandchildren.


Back to Home Page