This is Paul Babbitt, Sr. and his family. His dad and four uncles came to
At home, Paul had a cow, which he had to milk. The family had a corn field out toward what is now the Flagstaff Mall. He also worked in his family's grocery and mercantile store (a department store today.) At that time people did not go to the grocery as often. The food was ordered and delivered to their house.
Paul saw the great Rio de Flag flood of 1903! Can you tell what those items are floating away? Wooden sidewalks!
Paul's dad also operated trading posts on the Navajo Reservation. Here Navajo people could trade their wool as well as crafts, such as rugs and jewelry, for flour and beans or dry goods like cloth.
Did you know that babies were born at home until the 1930's? Before that doctors or healers (such as Hispanic females called curanderas) came to visit the sick. This is D.J. Brannen, the first doctor in Flagstaff. Scarlet fever, small pox, and flu epidemics were common. Many kids and babies died. Mothers used home remedies like mustard plaster for colds or castor oil.
The first houses in town did not have running water indoors. This meant no bathrooms! Families built an outside bathroom called an outhouse. Kids took a bath in a metal tub and used soap their moms made by boiling fat and lye together in an iron pot.
A lot of kids had jobs. In 1910 one out of every five children worked all day. In Flagstaff most kids went to school, but after school and during vacations, they herded cattle and sheep, swept stores and the lumber mill, delivered groceries, and did laundry, which involved boiling and scrubbing clothes on the stove or using a hand-cranked washing machine. People paid five cents for someone to wash a pair of socks and twenty-five cents for a washed shirt.
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Revised: February 20, 1997
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Flagstaff History For Kids!
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