Behlen, Stinson R 1982-10-28

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Stinson Behlen discusses his life in the Slaton/Posey area, as well as his crafting of musical instruments.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Stinson R. Behlen

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: October 28, 1982

Location: Slaton, Texas

Interviewer: James Seuseney

Length: 1 hour, 45 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Parents; Mr. and Mrs. William Behlen, Father's family, Immigration from German (1888), Settled in Colorado County, Texas, Moved to LaVaca County, Texas, Occupations, Father b: Half Moon, Texas, Maternal Grandmother, Immigration from Prague Czechoslovakia (1891), Relatives in Czechoslovakia, Mother, Martha Maeker, b: Vienna, Texas, Siblings, Maternal Grandfather, Robert Maeker, Immigrated from Austria (1890), Paternal Grandfather; Frederick Behlen, Wife; Helen Marie Harmes Behlen, From Rotterdam, Holland, Married Frederick Behlen in Oldenburg, German (1870), Immigrated to U. avoid military service, Longevity of Behlen family, Mother to Tahoka, Texas (1910), Father to Wilson, Texas (1912), Parents married (1915), Lived in Shiner, Texas (1915-1917), Returned to Wilson, Texas (1917), Father farmed, Drought crop years, Returned to Shiner (again), Train trip, Father's work in Shiner, Depression, School in Shiner, Bungers Community, Family returned to West Texas in November of 1929, Farmed with Robert Maeker in Posey, Texas (1931), Forsan cotton, Sledding, Moved back to Wilson, Returned to Posey in 1933, Rented 80 acres, Robert Maeker Family, Came to Lubbock area c. 1920, Other area German families, Land availability, Prices, Rental, Anecdote: Grandfather having "hocked his land" during the Depression, Longevity of Grandparents, World War I, Ku Klux Klan activities, Anecdote: Behlen's father dealing with KKK, Secrecy relative to KKK, Father Keller tarred and feathered, Persecution of German families, Size of German community in Slaton, Texas, Religious affiliation of Germans, Water supply, Windmills and wells, Well drilling, Water witching, Anecdote: water witching, Cost of drilling, Grape growing, Father had arbor in Wilson, Grapes didn't do well at Posey, Use of grapes, Grape pies

Tape 1, Side 2: Grape pies (continued), Anecdote: Getting sick on wine, warm watermelon, and grape pie, Types of grapes grown, Wine, House dances, Music, Prices, Anecdote: Father having jury duty, Types of cars (1930s), Anecdote about car jumping time, Gasoline prices, Mileage, House dances (again), Behlen played for dances until World War II, World War II, Behlen served in Europe for 6 years, 19 major battles under General Montgomery, Use of German language, Sausage making, Hog killing day, Sugar curling, Chock making, Anecdote: stealing chock, Anecdote: Making home brew to sell during prohibition, Sauce, Fish Soup on Christmas Eve, "Son-of-a-gun", Christmas, Tree, Decoration, Christmas Eve, Dinner menu, Gifts, Anecdote: getting an accordion for Christmas (1932), Christmas Day, Activities, Dinner menu, Mesquite grubbing, Flat breaking, Smokehouse, Beef club, Canning, Staple foods, Self-sufficiency of family Soap making

Tape 2, Side 1: Clabber, Family reunions, Behlen reunion, Maeker reunion, Holidays celebrated, Easter, Egg decorating, Birthdays, Ice Cream, Thanksgiving, Menu, Girls working in the fields, Cotton picking, Cotton sledding, Cotton prices, School attendance, School closing for cotton picking, Distance between home and school, Length of school day, Description of schools, College, World War I, Problems of German communities, World War II, Prejudice (1920s-1930s), Anecdote: hanging and dragging a Negro, Skilled craftsmen, Blacksmiths, Furniture making, Painted wood floors, Houses, Sizes and description, Anecdote: Drunk uncle on stairs, Electricity, Rural electrification program (1938), Cotton gins, Cotton weight, Cotton seed, Uses, Water supply, Fishing, Nearest town was Posey, Description, Things purchased there, Anecdote: Grocer and pop bottles, Largest town was Slaton, Comparison to Lubbock, Saturday in Slaton, Anecdote: Stealing pop bottles, Saturdays at home, Leisure activities, Anecdote: Shooting buzzard, Anecdote: Stealing watermelon

Tape 2, Side 2: "Green Meadow Waltz"; performed on accordion, Background of accordion, "Oldenburg Polka"; performed on accordion, "Freiburin Waltz", Behlen's musical ability, Anecdote: Playing accordion as a child, "Evergreen Schottische"; performed on accordion, "Weimer Polka"; performed on dulcimer, "Minuet" in key of F; performed on dulcimer, "Soldiers Joy"; performed on dulcimer, Background of dulcimer, Wood used, Finishes, More accordion music

Range Dates: 1888-1982

Bulk Dates: 1888-1940

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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