Iris Mabel Stevenson
December 17, 1915 -
Story by Iris Stevenson-Henderson, written
My statistics: Born in Salina, Kansas, December 17, 1915.
A.B. Fort Hays KSC,
Hays, Kansas 1938; M.S. 1940. Assistant in Psychology, Indiana
University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1937-41; studied at Stanford
University, Palo Alto, California 1946-7; served in WAVES 1943-
1946, stationed in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery,
Washington, D,C. (Ensign and Lieutenant J.G.)
Photo of Clara, Iris, Bruce Henderson and baby Ricky
When about four years of age, moved with her mother and
sister to Hill City and lived there until 1931, when the family
moved to Hays, Kansas.
I suppose we had the usual small-town childhood - a
combination of chores and free time to play. Each summer we
spent several weeks o the farms of Aunt Jennie and Aunt Florence
which were the highlights for us. When we went to Aunt Jennie's
we would spend hours in her attic eating crackers and reading the
books and magazines she would bring home from her school to keep
during the summer. At Aunt Florence's we played outside mostly,
with Vera and Avis, and in the evening Uncle Arthur would play
croquet with us.
Once at Aunt Jennie's when Lavon also was visiting, we
discovered one of Uncle Frank's calves in the yard, and spent
most of the morning trying to catch it, unsuccessfully. Uncle
Frank was not at all happy with us when he came in that noon - he
had left the calf out on purpose.
Photo of Mildred, Herland Loyd, Lavon Loyd, Iris Another time, Mildred and I
discovered it was great fun to stand on the foot of the bed, hold
ourselves stiff, and fall back. We bounced beautifully! Aunt
Jennie walked in while we were doing this, and we expected quite
a severe punishment. However, much to our surprise, Aunt Jennie
said, "Well, that looks like fun," and jumped on the bed to try
it herself! I guess we were about average in naughtiness - we
would as Aunt Jennie to play the piano and sing the "Star
Spangled Banner" - and then sit in the dining room and laugh.
Vera Morris and Edward Gilliland (1925)
Each spring we were expected to help plant and weed the
garden. The only part we enjoyed was planting potatoes because
then we could go barefooted. Late in the summer Aunt Jennie,
Mother, Millie and I would pick sand hill plums and wild grapes
along the river. This was most tiring, hot and dusty, but when
we would complain, Mother would say, "Yes, but think how good the
jelly will taste on hot biscuits next winter."
Our favorite play spot was the empty barn behind our
and our favorite sport was to hold onto a broom and "walk" up the
outside to the hay loft door while our friends pulled from above.
Our fun was spoiled the day we found the door nailed shut, and
reinforced with planks. Years later, Mother told us a neighbor
had seen us and reported to Mother.
There was also the time when we decided that our Sunday
School nickels could be spent for a better purpose than at Sunday
School - so we spent them for candy at the drug store on the way
home. (I'm sure Mother knew about it and left the matter to our
consciences - and it took only a few times for us to feel
Even though Mother was kept busy supporting the family,
still found time for us, and when we played soft ball in the
vacant lot, she could always hit the ball farther than
When we were in college and dating, Millie and I always
teased her about our boy friends. She would always retire to the
kitchen when they arrived - and we always found the boys in the
kitchen chatting with Mother!
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