Friday, March 18, 2011

Women's History: Mom and Kate Join the Work Force 1942

Janet Runyan and Kate Jackson circa 1940
Mom and Kate were best friends forever. They went to school together and graduated from Lewisville High in Lewisville, Henry Co., Indiana along with about 22 others. Before I met Kate the first time in the early 1980s I felt like I already knew her because Mom always talked about her and all the good times they had together. They had kept in touch all their lives with letters and telephone calls and occasionally managed to get in an actual visit even though Kate still lived in Indiana and Mom was here in Florida. Mom had many small newspaper clippings sent to her from Kate: high school reunions, births of children and grandchildren and Kate's Golden Wedding Anniversary announcement, all preserved lovingly in a scrapbook like album. When Mom and I went to Indiana back in the Spring of 1999 she and Kate visited for the last time. It was just last year that I had to make that call to Kate to give her the news that Mom had passed away.

One thing I didn't remember Mom telling me was that after graduation Kate moved in with Mom and my grandparents when she and Mom both landed jobs at the Link-Belt Company, a huge factory in Indianapolis. I recently found this article in the May 7, 1942 edition of the National Road Traveler, a small Indiana newspaper that covered a short area of towns along the National Road (Route 40) between Henry and Rush counties. 

"Miss Kathryn Jackson and Miss Janet Runyan left Sunday evening for Indianapolis where they will both be employed by the Link-Belt Company. They will make their home with Miss Runyan's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Runyan." 

Of course I had to look up the Link-Belt Company to find out about it and found this article in Google Books. 

Actually I found numerous articles about the Link-Belt Company on the Internet, but I found only one historical picture of the factory in Indianapolis...a huge building that closed in 1958.

I'm finding out lots of little things about my mother and her friends in the old National Road Traveler. The social sections of those small town newspapers are a regular gold mine for day to day news events. I always find myself wishing Mom were still here so I could share these neat little articles with her. I can just imagine the stories they'd evoke!


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