Danny Mae Hill Standfield

Danny Mae Hill Standfield finished high school in 1917. She lived first in north Lawrence and then moved to Kansas City before moving back to Lawrence. Before they married, her husband served in World War I. A son served in World War II. Mrs. Standfield describes life in the 1920s and '30s. She knew Langston Hughes. She and her sons attended KU.

Danny Mae Hill Standfield
June 15, 1977

Interview by Mr. Nether

MR. NETHER: What is your name?

MRS. STANDFIELD: My name is Danny Mae Hill Standfield. I love the Danny Mae, bit I don't like the Danny.

MR. NETHER: What's your marital status, Mrs. Stanfield?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Just a housewife.

MR. NETHER: Do you have any children?


MR. NETHER: What were their names?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Arthur Hill Standfield and John Howard Standfield.

MR. NETHER: What were your parents' names, do you remember?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Jay Eva Hill and John H. Hill.

MR. NETHER: Where were you born, Mrs. Standfield?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Hillsdale, Missouri.

MR. NETHER: Where were your parents born?

MRS. STANDFIELD: My father was born in Hillsdale and my mother here in Lawrence.

MR. NETHER: When did your father come to Lawrence?

MRS. STANDFIELD: He came here as a young man.

MR. NETHER: Do you know why he came?

MRS. STANDFIELD: He just knew some lady here, and he couldn't get work down in Missouri, so he came here so he could get a job down here; call it wire mill, or something. Used to pull wire down here on the river, and he came here to get a job there. Must have been in the 1800s. He was ninety-four years old when he died, and it would be 18 something. I would have to go home and find something. It would be 18 something, wouldn't it?


MRS. STANDFIELD: About 1860, '70, or somewhere along there.

MR. NETHER: And you say your mother was born here?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Here, uh-huh.

MR. NETHER: What about her parents?

MRS. STANDFIELD: They were born in Kentucky, but when, I don't know, because they came from Kentucky right at the close of slavery, and my grandfather came across in a boat from Kentucky to Missouri, and then they drifted on down to Wyandotte County.

MR. NETHER: Do you know why, and you have answered this somewhat, but why did your grandparents come? Did they come as a couple?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes, they came as a couple. They moved here twice in fact. They came to Wyandotte County and then they moved to Lawrence. Then they moved back to Wyandotte County, and why they came back to Lawrence, I don't know. I wish they would have stayed in Kansas City, Kansas.


MRS. STANDFIELD: I think my grandfather had work, or promised work, so that's the reason he came back.

MR. NETHER: There's a lot of black history here in both places, especially Quindaro. We were talking about Quindaro the other day.

MRS. STANDFIELD: Oh, yes. You ought to go to the library in Kansas City. I heard last Sunday morning the minority group at 8:30 and he gave a good history of black minorities. I didn't know they came in from Ohio, colored people come from Ohio, and they were with Indians, came in with the Indians.

MR. NETHER: They came into Quindaro area?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes. Quindaro and what is now Kansas City, Kansas, way down there about Seventh or Seventh and Minnesota.

MR. NETHER: Around Quindaro Park?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Down pretty close to the graveyard they have now. That's where they settled.

MR. NETHER: Mrs. Standfield, I want you to think back as far as you can. What was Douglas County like? If you can envision Douglas County and put it on a screen for me and Linda to see, what would we see? What would the houses look like?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Oh, probably three and four room houses, maybe some two stories, and most of them had then was gardens. That's the only way they had to prepare for winter and eat through the summer. It's fabulous now as to then. There wasn't anything hardly. And I guess the courthouse here was about the farthest house to the south from the bridge, and there might have been some country homes around, but no, it wasn't built up on out that way.

MR. NETHER: Were a lot of the streets paved or were they dirt roads?

MRS. STANDFIELD: I don't remember. When I first came here, we lived in Kansas City, Missouri, and I don't remember even coming over, but I know Locust Street where we finally moved when I was—that's way up in 1912, it wasn't paved then, and Elm, wasn't any of those streets paved. Oh, it was muddy. I know the night I finished high school, my father had to pick me up and put me in a taxi to get me over there.

MR. NETHER: Keep you dry?


MR. NETHER: Again, thinking back as far as you can, how did blacks and whites relate to each other? Was it pretty comfortable situation or—

MRS. STANDFIELD: They didn't fight. We just left each other alone. Just let each other alone, that's all we did.

MR. NETHER: Was there a lot of separation, can you recall, things such as where blacks go here and whites go here?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes. And the teachers would set us over on a corner someplace, put us all together. They would call it seating us alphabetically, but they would seat all the other kids and take us in this corner, put us all together from A to Z.

MR. NETHER: What elementary school did you go to?

MRS. STANDFIELD: I went to Woodlawn over here. Wait a minute. Yes, I went sixth grade here over at Woodlawn, but it was down on Fourth Street, I believe it was. It was across the railroad track then. I went there a year, and then we moved back to Kansas City on account of my father was working in Kansas City and stayed a year. Then when we came back, we lived on Locust Street where we have the same property, 536 Locust.

MR. NETHER: Did you ever learn any black studies, anything about black people?

MRS. STANDFIELD: No. We didn't know anything about Carter Woodson.

MR. NETHER: The historian?

MRS. STANDFIELD: They wouldn't tell us anything. I think first we knew anything about that was when Mrs. Webster came here, and she was the principal of the colored school over in north Lawrence. We had a colored school over there—I guess Mrs. Moore told you all about that—through sixth grade.

MR. NETHER: But it was Lincoln School?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Lincoln. Then they moved it up on Elm, Seventh and Elm now. Or it isn't a school now because they are all together.

MR. NETHER: What were your junior high school days like?  What junior high did you attend?

MRS. STANDFIELD: We didn't have junior high then. We just all four years was right down here at Ninth and Kentucky.

MR. NETHER: And then from then—

MRS. STANDFIELD: They had high school there and then they had each corner there except the east corner, northeast corner, they had three schools. One they call manual training, the other was Central School, and high school. They took them all there with the kids.

MR. NETHER: So you went to Central?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Central in seventh and eighth. I went to Central and then high school right across the street.

MR. NETHER: What was it like in the high school? Could blacks participate in sports or were they still separated?

MRS. STANDFIELD: They couldn't do that when my son came along. He finished in 1939 and the youngest boy finished in '40, and they couldn't. They had a dirty little trick. They would have gym together. They would tell the kids, "You go up there." They had a little room I guess about the size of this and shower off from it. "You go up there and shower." Then the other kids went right off from the gym and showered. And they said they never thought anything about it. My son said, if we had just stopped and started fighting, we would be much farther along.

MR. NETHER: Right.

MRS. STANDFIELD: But they just thought it was all right. They just jumped on up there. Had to go up some steps.

MR. NETHER: Did they have any black teachers in the high school?

MRS. STANDFIELD: I should say not. At high school, I may be wrong. You asked something about this. I think Leonard Clark was the first colored high school teacher.

MR. NETHER: I want to ask you, is Leonard Clark—

MRS. STANDFIELD: We always had the choir practice to go to and we played cards and mostly, I think the folks was so tired when night came. They didn't know anything about tennis or going out any place, playing pinochle, playing bridge. I know my grandparents didn't. Grandpa would allow a card in the house.

MR. NETHER: Early now, going way back again.

MRS. STANDFIELD: I finished high school in 1917, so you can see.

MR. NETHER: When I say way back, I kind of mean just as far back as you can remember. How did blacks relate to one another? Maybe when you were in elementary school? Were there class distinctions of blacks? You have somebody like Judge Clark. How was he looked upon? Was he snobbish or did—

MRS. STANDFIELD: I don't know. He was along with my mother. No. I don't think he was. And I knew him down through the years, after my mother married and he married and, they lived here. No, it wasn't snobbish and neither was this Dr. Harvey. He was just right down to earth and so nice to everybody. Of course, he would, being a doctor, you know, and attending the people, he would be nice. No. I don't know of any other people. Still now we don't have too many people to look up to. That's what I say about our children. They just finish high school and that's it. They don't have any lawyers, don't have any doctors, and just the two or three teachers is not enough. If left up to me, I would have been in Kansas City, but my husband wouldn't go back. When he got his job back with the Union Pacific after 1933 and the crash then, he wouldn't go back. He wanted to stay here. So here we stayed. They would have had something to look to. Different teachers.

MR. NETHER: That's why hopefully this book will kind of do away with that problem. Maybe some of the younger blacks can read and see how much blacks had accomplished here at one time and that it has really been kind of a regression here. Maybe it will help them some kind of way. Now, I want to ask you some things.

Mrs. Standfield, this brings you up a little closer. Can you remember what effect World War I had on Douglas County?

MRS. STANDFIELD: I don't know particularly. Of course, we were all so sad then because that took quite a few folks from around here. Of course, my husband was in Kansas City, Kansas then. He went to war from there. I was in high school, and I was getting along very nicely. What effect it had on me—I didn't have anybody to go out with, it took all the young men to the war, and so that just left me with nobody.

MR. NETHER: During this time, it was a time when a lot of blacks were being lynched and you had a lot of atrocities against black people. Then the war comes along. Do you think that blacks here in Douglas County still were anxious and willing to go fight a war for democracy?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes, I think so. Of course, my boy's kind of soft-hearted; he would always let his little brother beat him up all the time. I think he had his orders to go overseas or he had to go in the army. He went to the army and took his training and come back. He said, "I don't know why I have to go over," he walked the floor. "Here I haven't done anything to anybody. I haven't done anything to those folks, to Germans, why are they sending me over there?"

MR. NETHER: This is World War II?

MRS. STANDFIELD: World War II. But I wasn't connected with kids long. Wasn't too many of them here in Lawrence, over five, six, seven that went.

MR. NETHER: You say some of the effects that took place here was that a lot of men were gone

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yeah. The high school kids, and there wasn't anything to do. All you could do was go to the show. Wasn't anybody to dance with. There wasn't any—I finished high school in 1917 and the war broke out in '17. It lasted so little, I guess by '18 everything was almost back to normal because we called that just a little skirmish.

MR. NETHER: Right. The way they last now.

MRS. STANDFIELD: Didn't last long. My husband was over there eighteen months. I didn't know him at that time, but he was over there eighteen months.

MR. NETHER: Do you know any particular place where blacks here from Douglas County went? Where did they take their basic? They had segregated units where if you are black you would be in a particular unit or so.

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes. I was asking my son. I think they had segregated units when he was up there.

MR. NETHER: World War II?


MR. NETHER: All the way up to Korea they did. Then Truman ended segregated units. I think it was in 1950 they did.

MRS. STANDFIELD: Oh, yes, as I told you the other day, they had a little corner.  Sometimes they would just go sit down some place else but the waitresses wouldn't wait on them. They wouldn't say anything, but they wouldn't wait on them. I will ask him sometime before you get your book finished because I remember something about that, but I wasn't going up there then.

MR. NETHER: After the war came a time when people were celebrating. There was said to be a prosperous time in the country. Lot of people were working. However, the farmer and laborer were having some type of economic problems. This period was known as the Roaring '20s. What did you do for fun during the Roaring '20s?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Dear Lord, Roaring '20s. My children were small and I had my hands full to rear them, get them to school, have to take them to school. We didn't live about a block and a half but in the city, we would have to take them and cross the street and back. Then in the summertime, we would go on picnics and shows and, of course, we would go down to the Schubert Theater in Kansas City, and the Grand. I can't think of all those. That's about all we did. And then we played cards in the '20s. We used to play cards with the high school teacher there. Two or three high school teachers.

MR. NETHER: What kind of games did you play? What kind of card games?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Bridge. Bridge, and what was this other? 500. Used to play 500. I think that's about the first game we played.

MR. NETHER: Do you play much cards now?

MRS. STANDFIELD: We would, but you can't get anybody to play. Can't even get anybody to play at the hotel. The other day a lady and I were talking. We have been all year trying to get together, four of us can play. My husband plays and then these two—the white ladies. They have been saying, "Let's get together sometime." I said we are not doing anything, just call us in the evening. I thought maybe they might not want me in their apartment, so I said they have a card room there, I said, Janice would love for us to use the card room. When I first went there, there was four or five used to play cards. Used to stay up 12:00, 1:00 at night. But this lady moved to California. The other two died and it's just a different situation there now. Can't get them to do anything. They just look at television. Television, I think, has taken people away from people because you eat your lunch and then you just drop on the davenport or easy chair and there you are till the news, then when the news is over, off to bed you go.

MR. NETHER: I agree with you too. I think people would read more at least, if nothing else.

MRS. STANDFIELD: I can't read. About the time I get started reading my husband asks me a question, do you remember so and so? Do you remember so and so? Just somebody we knew years ago. He will remember cards and he remembers people way back, but know what he did this morning—

MR. NETHER: Is there anything else about the '20s that you can remember that maybe you would like to tell us at all?

MRS. STANDFIELD: No, We didn't do anything. At that time, we were just busy raising our families and getting them through school as far as they wanted to go.

MR. NETHER: Where did most of the blacks live here in Douglas County during the '20s?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Oh, they just live all over. You live all over Douglas County.

MR. NETHER: Did they live on the south side of town or was this still country?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Quite a few of them used to live back that way, and north Lawrence they just moved. They lived any place. Property was reasonable and I think my folks had about an acre and a half. My grandfather had about an acre and a half down here. We have four acres over there yet—four or five.

MR. NETHER: After the Roaring '20s now or the tired '20s, however you want to refer to them, in 1929 came the stock market crash, and it helped bring about a period of time which was known as the Depression. What effect did this depression have on the blacks here in Douglas County?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Just on any of them just like it is now. They didn't have any jobs, and at that time I don't believe there was too much welfare. You could come down here to the courthouse and they would give you some bacon, beans and butter, some of them that were on, I don't know what they called that welfare or what. They didn't call that welfare then, did they?

MR. NETHER: Just charity, probably.

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes. Kind of charity. And that's when we moved back to Lawrence. My mother said he [my husband] was out of a job, they cut the trains off, because wasn't anybody traveling, so he came back to Lawrence and we bought a farm, moved out to north and east of town on the way to Kansas City, we have a farm, and so we stayed out there five years. At that time my husband got his job back, things got better and they put the trains back on.

MR. NETHER: And you say there were many black people here out of work at that time too?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes, just like it is now. Just so many had jobs and people weren't buying and they had to close the places.

MR. NETHER: Mrs. Standfield, how did you feel when Franklin Roosevelt was elected?

MRS. STANDFIELD: I am a good Republican, you might know, look at me. But he's about one of the best presidents. My mother said if she had known he was going to put in all these things to help the poor people, she would have voted for him. But, of course, she didn't know that. And then after he got in, she never did vote for him, though, but she had to give him credit. Like we have to give President Carter credit. I think he's made a good president and he's a good man.

MR. NETHER: Do you remember some of the programs that Roosevelt started—things like AAA, where he helped the farmer, TVA?


MR. NETHER: And the CCC?

MRS. STANDFIELD: CCC camp, used to be one right out here. That sure helped the young boys too and that was just before my kids, I think, went into the army. I guess the oldest boy was still in school, and it really gave them something to do. Took them off the streets, but that WPA was wild. I think they were doing something out in front of my aunt's house. She lived in Iowa then, and I think there was five men around that one hole putting out a tree or something. They just spent money where it shouldn't have been spent.

MR. NETHER: Those were the Depression years. Some say that Roosevelt ended the Depression. Others say his critics would say that it was World War II that ended the Depression. World War II came in 1941 with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. What was your first reaction when you heard what the Japanese had done in the Pacific?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Furious. Those little stinking Japs were going to come over here, jump on us. Because there they were in Washington trying to make peace, and they were right there talking about it and then they hit Pearl Harbor. That was dirty.

MR. NETHER: Again, like World War I, it was a time when blacks still weren't accorded equal rights here in the United States, but you still had love for your country, and you were furious at this act of aggression that the Japanese did. How did some of the black soldiers feel, if you knew any? Were they willing now even though they were going to go to black segregated troops and maybe serve on the train companies? Were they still anxious to go to war and fight for the United States?

MRS. STANDFIELD: I don't think they were so anxious, but they were there where they had to go, when they send them this little what do they call it, little note.

MR. NETHER: Greeting?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Letter telling them to come at a certain time, and get their physical, they went right on. They didn't balk. They didn't say much about it. I think they accepted it.

MR. NETHER: What effect did the war have here in Douglas County? Did people mobilize to supply the troops? Were there any volunteer organizations that came about to help the troops?

MRS. STANDFIELD: No. We never had so many troops here, being kind of inland and a small city. Now, they may be in Topeka, but I don't remember having anything here. Colored folks didn't do anything, that I remember, because I know I was in Eastern Star and we didn't even band together to do anything or join the other folks.

MR. NETHER: Mrs. Standfield, did you belong to the PTA when your children were in school?


MR. NETHER: Was this PTA integrated? Was it black and white?

A. Over here it was integrated on the south side, but of course it wasn't up until they put the schools together in north Lawrence. Then it was integrated, but when we had our little school over there and my mother, my grandfather, they are the ones that fought for this Lincoln School and then they found out in later years they believed it was the wrong thing to do, but they stood up for it because their kids were finishing high school and finished college. They thought it would give a job, if they had a little school over there, so that was how come little Lincoln started. But Mama thought later that it would have been better to have never had Lincoln all be together.

MR. NETHER: Did any of your sons attend KU?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes, both of them.

MR. NETHER: What was it like for them at KU? Did they have black instructors there?

MRS. STANDFIELD: I don't think they did. I don't remember any black ones there. The doctor just finished in 1952 and he was in World War II a while, and then he was at Tuskegee. He was about a year getting out. He started in 1946, I think it was, up to KU. No, there wasn't any colored teachers there then.

MR. NETHER: Could they participate in athletics if they wanted to?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Just barely. Little fellow that was—and I would have to get his name, he was an Alpha Phi Alpha, and he played basketball. He's from Wichita.

MR. NETHER: Did you attend KU?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Little while. About three years, then I turned to cottage course. I met Mr. Standfield. We married.

MR. NETHER: Did you join any organizations like sororities?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes. I was Alpha Kappa Alpha.

MR. NETHER: What was the purpose of these fraternal and sorority organizations at KU? Did they have any purpose, did you say? I am not talking about some of the secret ceremonial things.

MRS. STANDFIELD: Of course, they had that, but as far as doing anything for the town and like they do now, go out and paint somebody's house and fix up the inside, take a holiday and all of them go jump on a house and do something, they didn't do anything like that. Most of it was just a social affair. Dances about once a week, and that was about all. And then they would always have that spring dance up at the union building. They had the union building then. Had a dance up there.

MR. NETHER: Could blacks up at KU, were they pretty free to do as they pleased within reason? Could they eat anywhere they wanted?

MRS. STANDFIELD: No. You could eat at the cafeteria, but that's about all, and the union, just that first little building that goes down the hill a little bit. It was very small. Yeah, you could eat at the cafeteria.

MR. NETHER: What about when dormitories came up at KU? Could blacks live in dorms?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yeah. I think when they first started because things had changed quite a bit. When Murphy was chancellor, that's when things began to change for the better for us.

MR. NETHER: Okay. Mrs. Standfield, in 1954 there was a court decision known as Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.

MRS. STANDFIELD: I remember that.

MR. NETHER: What this did was say that separation of the races was illegal, you could not have separate and equal facilities. How did this court decision which said you must integrate, how did this affect Douglas County?

MRS. STANDFIELD: I really don't know. I remember reading it in the paper, but I didn't get very much interested in it. I don't remember how it turned out. How did it turn out? Did they win the case?

MR. NETHER: Yeah. Even now they still are trying to integrate the schools. It's all from this. They just haven't been able to get it done.

All right. And you can't think of any effects that this decision had here on Douglas County?



MRS. STANDFIELD: We have always gone right on to school. They may set us over in a little corner, something like that, and they will call on us to recite, but I don't know. It didn't have any effect on us at all.


MRS. STANDFIELD: I guess such few of us.

MR. NETHER: Okay. Mrs. Standfield, do you see any major changes that has taken place here in Douglas County?

MRS. STANDFIELD: You mean physical changes?

MR. NETHER: Any change whatsoever.


MR. NETHER: The building?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Most any place. One thing you can get jobs most any place if you are qualified for them. Then now they take you in and train you, some of the places. And there's a lot more where we used to couldn't get jobs. I used to couldn't look in the Eldridge when we went by, and went by there every day going over home, and we wouldn't look in there, hardly, and whoever thought that colored would be staying there, staying there week in and week out?

MR. NETHER: Mrs. Standfield, have you ever been confronted with discrimination, personal confrontation, where you were definitely discriminated against here in Douglas County?

MRS. STANDFIELD: No. I don't believe so. Only thing, of course, they discriminated in the shows. Had the bar where you would have to go up—but not just particular myself or us, until the League for the Practice of Democracy. They started and opened up more jobs and Granada down here, you used to have to sit behind a little white bar, and they got that bar taken down. We could sit any place we wanted to sit. Then finally got a show house down here right on Seventh and Massachusetts Street, the Bowersock, when I came along, and they desegregated that. You could sit all over.


MRS. STANDFIELD: Years ago, when I was so high—ain't much higher now—we used to go to the opera house. I come back and visited my uncle. My uncle and aunt and grandmother and father, and we could sit any place in the Bowersock. They had road shows. I guess you know what that is, don't you? It's where they talk, real show. I know my son told me, what is a road show, mother? They didn't know what it was.

MR. NETHER: I'm getting mixed up. It's not live?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yeah, it's live. Just a regular show. Used to have one Every Woman, The Bird of Paradise, used to come in here and play maybe a couple of nights, one night, right there on the stage, and that's where I had my graduating exercises, right on that stage where they have this disco, Bugsee's. I have been meaning to go down there and peep in, see if that stage was still there. There wasn't but about, I guess, sixty of us.

MR. NETHER: Would you have wanted your two sons to live here? Would you have minded?

MRS. STANDFIELD: No. He is here, but I didn't want him to. He could have married a girl in Cincinnati, Ohio, and one someplace else, but I said, Jerry, you don't want to come back to Lawrence to live, do you? He said, yes, I think I can make it all right. So he came back to work, started at the post office. Wasn't hiring any colored men there. At least he has the highest grade.

MR. NETHER: Were blacks allowed to carry mail?

MRS. STANDFIELD: No. I can remember when they started, since 1942—since World War I they started carrying mail. They could janitor. They had janitors, but they couldn't carry mail. No, they couldn't even look at a sack, hardly. But have you met Billy Hays?


MRS. STANDFIELD: He's the oldest colored mail carrier around here. He's been there long enough where he can retire any time he wants to but he just doesn't want to retire. He and my son are about the same age. So you can see about how long they have been there.

MR. NETHER: Okay. Why did you not particularly want your children to live here in Lawrence?

MRS. STANDFIELD: You know, I don't know why. I was here from 1912 to '20, and I don't know, just isn't anything to do around here. I mean in ways of the people. They just don't mingle. They have a few clubs and of course we had two fraternities here. My son was in Alpha Phi Alpha. Both of them were Alpha Phi Alphas, but they just didn't want to do—I didn't want to stay here myself. I am strictly Methodist and Republican. If I could just get close to First AME Church, I just love First AME Church. Of course Alan Chapel is a good church and what's that church out there by Watkins in Kansas City, Missouri?

MR. NETHER: I don't know.

MRS. STANDFIELD: Ebenezer, I think. Three or four big churches.

MR. NETHER: Yeah, there is. There's a couple right around there by Wyandotte Park, too. I think that's Twenty-seventh that goes straight down in there.

MRS. STANDFIELD: Kansas City, Kansas. Yes, there's some but not as big. Have you seen First Church?


MRS. STANDFIELD: Close to the bus station? The bus station is right across the alley this way and First Church is here. Eighth and Nebraska.

MR. NETHER: Did you know blacks that were on welfare here in Douglas County?

MRS. STANDFIELD: You know, I don't know anybody that lives—I just heard this the other day, that this one lady came in here, she's staying with her mother, and she's on welfare, and they think she's just doing that, they want to make a little more money, you know. I think her husband's going to school and so she's moved here with her mother. I don't know where they came from even. She's on welfare, and I knew one girl, she wouldn't go on welfare, lady about my age, no, she wanted to work. She wanted to get her money the right way. Didn't want anybody to give her anything.

MR. NETHER: The reason I asked that, not to try to dip into people's private lives, but a lot of conception people have of blacks is they can't wait to get on welfare, that that's just the life for them. And it's true for some of them.

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yeah, its' true.

MR. NETHER: But you have some that when they have to submit themselves to welfare, they are kind of embarrassed, withdrawn, don't want to openly admit that they are receiving government money and so on. You are really going to like this next one. Do you attend church?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Oh, yes, I belong to St. Luke over here. Debbie belongs to St. Luke. I have never seen you there. Since I have gotten older I don't go every Sunday. I try to get there to take communion and I try to go third Sunday.

MR. NETHER: How long have you attended this church, your church?

MRS. STANDFIELD: This church over here?


MRS. STANDFIELD: Oh, I don't know. There's a little church over in north Lawrence, Seventh Street, I will say, about Seventh and Maple is where it is, and I came in 1933 and joined there. And I stayed there three or four years, and then I came over here because I belonged to First AME and you take that church and sit it down in First AME and run all around it.


MRS. STANDFIELD: So let's see, 1933—I moved over here in, oh, about 1938, '40. Yeah. I would say '40 anyway, I moved over here, because the kids came over and started going to Sunday school before I moved my membership. I would say since 1940. That's thirty-some years.

MR. NETHER: What were some of the changes in the church that you can foresee or that has happened besides younger people aren't attending as much?

MRS. STANDFIELD: I can't say so much about the younger people. I don't know. Seems like the younger people don't go to church now. We have got several married couples, and they have children but they will not come to church. I don't know what the trouble is. I think most every place is the older person like see you don't go and are you paying any place?


MRS. STANDFIELD: See, you ought to be giving 10 percent of your salary, at lest what you feel like giving. I wouldn't say that, but the same 10 percent, you ought to be giving some of that to help the cause, the Lord's cause. I don't know. Of course, we have changed our church twice since I have been there. We used to face this way. One little preacher came, he changed us to the east. We go in now the west and seating arrangement is this way on either side. Then another fellow came in here and our church, he remodeled our church, and it really is a honey. Got red carpets about that thick on the floors and it's painted lovely, pretty little lights around. You would be surprised. You think you are in a night club. They have little clubs. Have dinners. One thing, you can come down there and they have dinner down there every Sunday for $2.50. Debbie told you about that.

MR. NETHER: Did you know Langston Hughes?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Just by sight. He's a little bitty thing. He must have been in the sixth grade, but I was in high school, and I would see him walk by, and he was in Central. I didn't know him, no, particular.


MRS. STANDFIELD: Just he was a little bitty fellow. He came here and his mother came here and stayed. He must have been maybe six or eight years old. Yeah, he could have been that old, about eight. They stayed here one winter. Didn't he move around?


MRS. STANDFIELD: Oh, that man, he sure finally he made it.

MR. NETHER: Is there anything else about Douglas County that I might not have asked you and that you would like to add, maybe something that you feel is important?

We told some things that can't even be written.

MRS. STANDFIELD: No, I don't think so, only this—I can't remember when the old courthouse, my grandfather I don't know whether that man's name is up there or not, when he— that's my grandfather, Morton. There isn't a Watts up there, is there? No. They knew each other real well. John Watts, I think, he isn't black though. And I got to call you up and tell you about this Sam James. I tell you sometime, you might not want to ask, but if you are down there in the neighborhood of Twenty-seventh and Sewell in Kansas City, Kansas, if you would just go to Primrose Villa there and ask for Danny Reeves, and she could tell you what that man's—about the time he was policeman.

MR. NETHER: Did this lady live in Lawrence?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yes. She was born here. That's my mother's sister.

MR. NETHER: How long did she live here?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Oh, she must have been here twenty-five to thirty years, I guess. She was married here. Then hen she and her husband separated and she moved to Des Moines.

MR. NETHER: And she's living in Kansas City?

MRS. STANDFIELD: Yeah. She's in Des Moines until the second husband died. Now she's at Primrose Villa. Anybody can tell you where it is. Right on Twenty-seventh Street there.

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