Written History of Doris Elizabeth Nay


We worked here for these men until late summer, of that year, then they ran out of ore and closed the mine.  We made $14.00 per day plus our keep, so was able to make our ranch payment of $500 easily that year.

We moved back to Jean, where Ralph got another contract to load ore on the freight cars.  We were living in quite a large building that had served as a hotel when Jean was a busy railroad town, serving the busy mining town that were in the close-by hills.

The Thanksgiving of 1927, just a little over a month before the twins were born, when we lived in this big hotel in Jean, a fire started up in the attic.  You know we had wood stoves in those days.  I was on the back screened porch making pies.  I had a chicken in the oven and my husband was in there reading something about a fire that happened to a couple in Idaho and he read names of people we knew in Saint Thomas.  But that wasn’t true.  He was just putting that in for a joke to me.  Then I looked out the window and I said, “I believe our house is on fire.”  I could see the shadow of all the smoke going up -more than a stovepipe should make.  We went out and by then the whole roof was blazing.  Down there everything is so dry and no fire department or anything.  So he ran first for help which was probably ½ mile away.  In the meantime, I thought I’ll get out what I can.  But instead of using my head and taking clothes and pictures and things and throwing them maybe into my a trunk, which I’d have had time to have done, I grabbed a 50 pound mattress off the bed and went sailing off down the big long hall and out front.  My husband said, “Why in the world did you do something like that?” I said, “I guess I thought I had to have a place to have my baby.”  He wouldn’t let me back inside the house after that but with the help he got, we saved most everything except the personal things like our pictures and our clothing.  It was a big building and it took some time to get down.  I think one man even thought and grabbed the chicken roasting in the oven and the pies I had just made.  That was quite an experience.

Then I had a little trouble walking for awhile.  I strained myself too much pulling the mattress out, so I came to Las Vegas and stayed with my mother.  My husband wouldn’t let me come back until after the babies were born.  The doctor still said, “Oh you’ll be fine, just stay in bed a week and you’ll be able to walk again.”  I was, but I wasn’t able to get around very good.

About a month before the twins were born, I came to see the doctor.  I told him, “I don’t know what’s the matter with me this time, but I’ve never been so awkward and feel so heavy with this child.  The others I just got along fine, I could do my own work or run or do almost anything I could do at any other time but I can’t now.”  “Oh,” he said, “that’s all right, you’re probably getting a little older and so you get a little heavier.”  He was an old-fashioned doctor.

Then when they came, the doctor was as much surprised as I was.  I had the one, not very much trouble with her, but I was still kind of moaning around and he said, “What are you groaning about?  You’ve got your girl.  That’s what you wanted.”

I said, “I know it but I don’t feel good yet.  I just don’t feel good.”  I put my hand on my stomach and said, “I’m going to have another baby.” He looked and felt and said, “By Jove, you are.” So five minutes and the second little girl came.  This was a real blessing.

Ralph took the boys back to Jean and found a small house to move into, and continued his work, as well as taking care of the boys.  When the twins were two weeks old, I moved back to Jean.  I got along fine until one of them got sick, then I had a bad time, but one of my sisters came and helped me out until she was better.  We almost lost her, finally, she improved and got well.  We were so grateful as we were enjoying our beautiful baby girls so much, and they were such fun to raise.

When our twin girls were six months old, we moved to Goodsprings.  Ralph worked in the mines.  The boys attended school, we had two fine teachers and our boys seem to love school as well as living in a small mining town.

The summer of 1930, Ralph moved me to Las Vegas, as we were expecting our sixth child in August.  Ralph stayed with his job and would come to Vegas over the weekends.  When our little baby was three months old, our third girl, I moved back to Goodsprings.  We stayed there until the summer of June 1931.  The mines were all closed in Goodsprings, so we moved back to our ranch in Paradise Valley.  The boys were elated, they liked our mining camp life, but ranch life appeal to them more.


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