This is Dorothy's story. It will be continued. The background music is "Goodnight Sweetheart" performed by her grandsons, The Anderson Brothers
Dorothy Eileen Salsbury was born May 4, 1925. Her parents were
John Henry Salsbury, Sr. and Mary Louise Hoffer Salsbury. When she
arrived on the scene, she already had three older siblings, John Henry,
who was 9, Inez Louise, was 6 and Richard Leroy (Dick) was 3.
Here is her story:
By Dorothy Eileen Ferguson
My early life consisted of living in 13 different houses I remember
houses number 3 and 4. These were on 24th Street in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
and as of this writing, they are still there. the house numbers are
513 and 511. So 513 West 24th Street is the first house I remember
living in. It is a two story and has a big back yard. While living here,
I had a playmate by the name of Fritzie Heine. His folks were friends
of my mom and dad. They fished, hunted and camped together.
One memory which is very dim, is of my barbering attempt.
I had heard Mom talking about someone who had gone to the beauty parlor
and how wonderful she smelled. I don't know what the connection was
in my mind, but I wanted to smell good so I took the scissors and began
to cut my hair. I had pulled a chair up to the mirror and thought I
looked fine. About that time, Mom came into the room, took one glance
at me and screamed. I don';t remember but it seemed the whole room was
full of people who were gasping as they looked at me. I later found
out we were getting ready to go on a vacation to see my grandparents
and I looked terrible. My curls all gone and my hair chopped up.
And to top it all off I did not smell any better!
We moved to 511 West 24th next. It is a one story house. I really
don't remember much about living there except my dad worked nights and
my job was to hold the garage door open for him when he drove our 1929
Chevy into the garage. For this Dad gave me a penny. Each day I would
take the trek around the block and across the street to Leffler's Grocery,where I got a penny's worth of candy or gum.
It was while we lived here that my wonderful brother Stanley Wayne was born.
He was so precious! One day Dad called me to come in and there was my baby brother lying in my doll buggy. I loved my dolls, and I loved my doll
buggy, but this was extremely special; my precious baby brother laying in MY doll buggy! Stanley was named after two of my oldest brother's friends,Stanley Rice and Wayne Barnes. My Stanley was always such a joy to me; so very special with his red hair, blue eyes and later millions of freckles. He did >have a hard time surviving at first. He was allergic to both my mother's and cow's milk. Finally he was put on goat's milk and life was much better for him from then on.
It was while living here we went to the First Methodist Church. That building is still on 18th and Central and is still the home of the First Methodist Church Family. The building has been added on and on, but the original looks
just as it did so many years ago. I learned to love my Jesus, my God while attending Sunday School here.
One day, my dad came home and seemed rather upset and sad. I didn't realize the situation, but the depression was on . This was around 1930. His job had been cut back, and eventually Mom and Dad had to give up buying this house at 511 West 24th. There just wasn't any money to pay the mortgage.
We then moved across the viaduct to a railroad house; ugly in color, a dirty yellow, but I felt secure in the love of my family. It was here then, that I started school.We moved after about three months to a house owned by Peter Weber.
My first years were in Johnson grade school between 7th and 8th Street. Miss McBride was my teacher and I loved her as did all the kids. I learned to read that year. We also acted out many stories. I again had my long yellow curls- so when we did The Three Bears I was ALWAYS Goldilocks. One day we noticed Miss McBride kept going to the window and taking breaths of air. The next day she was not in school. What a blow! Our principle, Miss Cole, another most beloved person, told us Miss McBride was in the hospital with appendicitis. None of us knew what that was, but we had a substitute teacher whom I disliked from the word go. She was very mean; or so I thought. Then it got worse. One day we played the The Three Bears again. When it came to choosing Goldilocks, everyone turned to me, but the teacher said No, she always plays Goldilocks. Let's let Eshter do it. I liked Esther; a good buddy, but her hair was short and straight! A good lesson in humility for me. Miss McBride was gone for about a month, and were we ever happy when she came back! She was fully recovered and so lovable.
Miss Quinn was my second grade teacher. She was another good teacher.Miss Shipton was my third grade teacher. She too was very nice.
While I was in third grade we moved from Peter Weber's house. While we were struggling with Dad's unemployment we lived in Peter Weber's nice house. Mr Weber was a bachelor. I thought he was very old. He let us live in that house with no rent payment until Dad got back on his railroad job. It took us several years to get our rent paid back to him. I wonder how many people would do like Mr Weber did these days?
During those depression years I spent many hungry days as did all my family. Dick was always on the look out for some job. He sold papers, magazines, or did odd jobs for a few pennies. We went fishing at Holiday park to try and catch fish to eat. Many days that is all we ever had to eat. Often when I went out with Dick selling papers or magazines someone with more than we had would give us something to eat. I dreamed that one day I would be big and rich and could eat and eat and Eat! The depression finally came to an end and when Dad got back to work we moved to a basement - a terrible place to live, but then we got to move to east 8th Street and that was a nice house with a neat lawn, but it was very small. It was while we lived in the nice little house that John Henry graduated from high school and was able to go to Barnes Business School in Denver. The summer of 1935 Inez and I got to go to Burlington, Iowa where Mom's folks all lived. We stayed there the whole month of July. Back home, on July 13th, Stanley turned 5. Unknown to Mom, he went around the neighborhood and invited everyone to his birthday party. When Mom found out so many people had been invited to his party, she had to hurry and get ready for her unexpected guests!
It was during this time Mom converted to Catholicism. Dick, Stanley and Inez also became Catholics. Only my Dad and John Henry remained Protestant. I was enrolled for the fall term at St Mary's School, where I remained the rest of my school days.
My Mom was expecting her 6th child and the little house was too small, especially since John Henry had graduated from business school and moved back home. Although the depression was mainly over jobs were still hard to come by. We moved to 1011 West 26th Street.
On August 2, 1936 my darling sister Edith Pauline was born. We have always called her Polly and she was everyone's darling.
John Henry met Martha Ferguson somewhere in this time period. They went together for a while, and then John Henry introduced us to her family, her father, Walter Sr., mother, Julia, brother, Martin, sister, Bergetta, and little brother, Walter,Jr. We became great friends of the family, and John Henry and Martha became engaged. They were not able to get married for several years due to the job situation and finally John Henry got a good job with Cheyenne Light Fuel and Power Company, where he worked his entire life. Martha had wanted a big wedding, but sadly, her mother died from a kidney ailment in May of 1940. Martha and John Henry decided to have a quiet ceremony with just their two families present when their Pastor White married them. before this wedding, we had moved three more times, to 1009 West 26th, a house on 29th street I cannot remember the number, but we were there just a very very short time because Mom did not like the land lady. So we moved to 2016 Morrie Avenue. I loved this house and we lived there for three whole years, a long time for us! This was a neat bungalow with Inez and my bedroom upstairs and Mom and Dad and Polly's baby bed in their room. The boys had a basement bedroom.
John Henry was now married and gone, and soon Inez met and married a nice, handsome fellow, Gene Wendling. So she was soon gone too. Then Dick joined the Navy in 1940 as soon as he turned 18.I was a junior in high school and life was pretty much just great. I had a job on Saturday and Sunday mornings working in the diet kitchen at Memorial Hospital. This job was interesting as different patients needed different diets. The pay was very little, but I was able to have spending money and that was great for me. I had to get up at 5AM and walk the 10 blocks to the hospital. We would get the trays ready for the patients breakfast and then we were served our own breakfast. The food was very good, or so I thought.
On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 I had gotten up, gone to church and came back home as I did not work this particular day. We always listened to the radio. There were good programs and music on. Suddenly an announcement came on. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and we were at war! Many of us did not even know where Pearl Harbor was, but we soon learned it was in the Hawaiian Islands. Everyone was stunned When you went out on the street, you could see the shocked expressions on people's faces. We listened to our president, FD Roosevelt on the radio, He was abhorring what the Japanese had done to us and declared war on them. It did not take us very long to convert from peace time nation to a war time nation, rationing was one of the first new words in our vocabulary ~ gas ~ tires ~ sugar ~. We had to get coupon books from the rationing boards. These were soon formed ~ 3 gallons of gas a week was what was allowed. If more was needed for work like the Fergusons who had a dairy and brought into the Sunrise Dairy each day, they were allowed enough to do this. We had sugar coupons, and people had to produce these where ever they~ blue round chips were for canned goods and red round chips were for dairy products and meats.
The hard thing for our family was my beloved brother Dick was stationed on the Island of Guam, It was captured on December 12, 1942. Dick was a prisoner of the Japanese for 45 months. He endured many hardships while a prisoner. We were constantly aware of this, and kept him continually in our prayers. Many of our young friends were killed. My sister Inez's husband, Gene Wendling was killed over Holland, leaving her a very young widow. Many families sacrificed one or more of their precious sons or husbands to this war effort. Women who were mostly stay at home moms and wives went to work as men were needed in the services. All men had to register for the draft when they reached 18 years of age. They were classified 1A to 4F which went according to their physical health and work stations.
During this time, Walt Ferguson and I started dating. Because of the war and the uncertain times many people our age married much younger than usual. When I graduated from the then new St. Mary's High School in 1943, Walt and I were engaged.
Married Life for me
We got married on July 14, 1943. Not long after this, Walt was classified F4 because of a serious kidney ailment he had. Our first few months of marriage were filled in taking him to Denver to Dr, Higby. He was an excellent kidney specialist. We didn't have a nice new home as most newly weds have today. We fixed up a 3 room log cabin which was very old even in 1943! It had no running water or sewer system. The little white house out back was a new and terrible experience for me, especially on cold days. Having to carry all my water in for drinking, cooking, washing clothes and bathing was very hard and time consuming. But we managed to do this and three of our five children were born into these conditions. I managed to get the washing and ironing done,and the three kids were bathed each day.
I had come from a modern home with a neat gas range that I learned to cook on to a wood and coal range that I had to learn to keep putting fuel in to get the meals done.
When I first came to live in this cabin, I decided to make a wonderful meal for my new husband. I put the food on to cook, set a beautiful table, and went to the meadow to pick flowers for a center piece. I spent much too much time out in the beautiful meadow, and when I came back, found that my fire had gone out, and all my beautiful meal was totally raw!
Walt was very patient while I Learned to do this and we had some rather odd meals at times. I learned to can food and did this in the small kitchen but the cellar was filled with jars of food for the winter.
In the fall of 1948, Bus got sick with red measles and was in bed for two weeks. Then Kathie had them for two weeks and finally baby Chuck got sick with them. It had snowed several times and snow was drifted all around. We had put in a water line by this time which was nice to have. But, during this time it froze up and stayed frozen all winter. It started snowing on January 2, 1949 after I had had Martin, Dad Ferguson and Bergetta over for her birthday dinner.
Dad Ferguson said, "I think we are in for a bad one!" And we sure were! This was a Sunday, and by the evening, we couldn't see out to the barn. It snowed all night. The wind howled and blew and it kept snowing and blowing until late Tuesday, January 4. Pete Landers and Bill Ferguson couldn't get home, so they stayed at our place as did another neighbor, Tom Cox. Bus, who was 4 called him "Howdyneighborspectyourbusyasabirddog" because that is how Tom Cox always greeted us.
This was a very bad blizzard. When Walt and his dad and brother did get out; they had cattle scattered all over the country. It took ten days to locate all our cattle. We were lucky as we didn't loose any of them. Some ranchers weren't so fortunate. The cattle froze mainly because their eyes froze shut and they couldn't see to move around. They just froze standing still.
We finally got to town in March and I was surprised to see the canyon walls on either side of the road. The snow plows caused 10 foot high snow banks One blessing from all this was we had nice grass and springs of water that spring and summer.
This was when we bought the "Haygood Place" at a sheriff's auction for $10,000 My father in law was very pleased as this property produced a lot of good quality hay. The city of Cheyenne had taken away our grandfathered water rights on the Middle Crow creek on the "Home Place". It was no longer able to produce the amount of hay it had prior to this blow from the Cheyenne City fathers. "Eminent domain" far exceeded the rancher's need.
We had a lot of trouble getting Rube Haygood to move off the Haygood Place. and had to take him to court in order to do this. We finally got him to move off, and in the fall of 1949 we moved from our 3 room log cabin to this nice 2 bedroom home. It had a tiny kitchen but a nice dining room and a full basement where Walt built two more bedrooms for our expanding family.
Tom was born on October 14, 1951-- MaryLou on June 14 1953. We now had 2 daughters and 3 sons. The Haygood Place is in a beautiful setting. Lone Tree Creek, with many brook trout runs through it and the many hills are laden with pine trees and huge rock formations. Before Tom was born, we rebuilt the kitchen to a nice 10X18 "U" shape.It was so light with the nice windows, and easy to work in. People could sit at our breakfast table while I worked getting meals or whatever I might be doing.
We had a lot of visitors. Men loved to come fish for brook Trout in the Lone tree Creek, especially my brother Dick and brother-in-law, Bill Bertram (Inez' second husband) My brother Stanley and his wife, Lois(my LoLo) came to work for us after Stan got his BS degree and they lived in the former garage. We had since built a larger garage/machine shop into the hill north of the house. Lois fixed up the garage into a tiny but homey house. When Stan's health permitted, he went back to the University of Wyoming, and became the head Dairyman. They provided him with a nice home. I missed all the time I had spent with LoLo and Stan and they had loved babysitting our kids as they did not have any of their own until they had been married for about ten years.
All five of our kids grew and thrived and had oodles of fun the 17 years we lived at the Haygood Place. They all have many fond memories growing up there.
When Bus graduated from high school in 1962, we took our very first family vacation. I had driven the school bus for School District #4 Willadsen School for three years at that time. Walt and I also janitored the school building and with the money earned, we were able to have a fantastic vacation. We headed west on hwy 30 , We went through Coalville Utah and saw Bridal Vail Falls. Then on to Yosemite National Park and up a very narrow and scary pass through the mountain. That night we were with Stan and LoLo who were living in California by this time, and had a wonderful day at the pacific ocean beach with them. We stayed a couple days with them, and then we left there and went to Disneyland, then San Diego where Dick and his family were living.We went to the San Diego Zoo, and had a great time there as well as other places in that area. We went with Dick's family to Tijuana, Mexico, and shopped and went to a bullfight. After that we went to to Las Vegas, and from there we were homeward bound. But Walt took the infamous short cut, getting lost in the desert on a dusty, dirt road. We finally made it to Colorado and then home. We traveled in our 1961 Chevy station wagon. Our family fit nicely.
In November of 1963 Walt's 84 year old dad died unexpectedly, then the shock of President John F Kennedy's assassination made this a very sad time in our lives.
In 1965 Kathie met Chris Cooper at the University of Wyoming where he was enrolled in the pre med program. She was planning to become an RN. They became engaged, and were married June 12, 1966 at the first Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne.
Several years after Dad F's death, Walt and his brother Martin and sister Bergetta decided to split up the ranch. We moved back over to the home place as Bergetta got the Haygood Place in the split up. Martin ended up with the McGee place. That was where he was living. WE moved back into my father-in-law's house shortly after Kathie's wedding in the summer of 1966. This was the same year Chuck graduated from high school, and he moved up to Casper Wyoming to attend Casper College. Bus graduated from the University of Wyoming. Tom and Mary Lou were to attend St Mary's middle school, and then go on to graduate from East High School.
Bus was in the ROTC program, and got his 2nd Lt. bars at UW. He spent his two years in the army in Alaska at Fairbanks.
We spent two and a half years remodeling our house. We needed bore bedrooms and it had no closets whatsoever, We did this remodeling in the evenings or on days Walter couldn't work outside. We had a professional cabinet maker build my kitchen cupboards and cabinets, but Walt and I did all the rest of the work, we totally gutted the inside, and rebuilt the whole inside including a new entry way for the stair case. We worked long hours and finally in March 1969 we moved into our new old house.
We bought a farm near Greeley Colorado. Chuck moved down to the farm to run it. It was not a practical addition and we sold it in 2 years.
During this time frame, Tom attended Casper College, and Mary Lou attended the University of Wyoming for two years and then went to Thermopolis and in Spring of 1974, got a Veterinarian Technician Certificate Angie Huber became Mary Lou's best friend at UW. and she brought her home to meet the family. Soon Chuck and Angie were dating. Mary Lou met and married Terry Anderson, a coal miner on September 14, 1974. Then Chuck and Angie married a year later on November 15, 1975. Our kids were slowly leaving the nest.
November 30, 1969 our first grandchild, Shelley Kathryn Cooper was born. How thrilled we were and how exciting this event was! Grandchildren are truly God's special gift to us! James Christopher Cooper was born in Rhode Island on July 30, 1972. Mark Allen Anderson, our third grandchild was a born December 4, 1975. He was born in Cheyenne as Terry and Mary Lou were living in Hanna, Wyoming where Terry was working as a coal miner. Daniel Mark Ferguson was born to Chuck and Angie on May 10. 1977.
Kathie and Chris had one more child, Ashley Elizabeth, born on April 7, 1979.
Chuck and Angie had 4 more children, Eileen Michelle born August 8, 1979, Betsy Marie, born August 17, 1981, Ben Walter, born August 30, 1983 Andrew Michael, July 27, 1986.
Terry and Marylou had a total of seven children. Their second born was Matthew Terrell born on January 5, 1978. They had moved to Grand Junction Colorado, Then Luke Arron was born August 20, 1979 in Grand Junction. They then moved to Florence Colorado where John Walter was born on June 26, 1981, and Micah was born March 14, 1983. They then moved back to Wyoming where Terry started working on the ranch. Kristi Eileen was born on June 4, 1985, and Joshua Lee was born May 3, 1987.
Bus married Kimberly Jane Clark on November 15, 1985. They were unable to have children, but adopted William Mathew Ferguson the day he was born, September 27, 1990 and then adopted our last grandchild, Sarah Louise the day she was born on August 11, 1992. The grandchildren filled our lives with many joys. They have accomplished many wonderful things.
Saddest Day of My Life
Saddest Day of My Life...was December 29, 1996. My dearest Walt died so suddenly it broke my heart and I was in a state of shock for a long long time. We had celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on July 14, 1993. We were married happily for 53 years, 5 months and 15 days.
I thank God that He has helped me through my children and grandchildren to survive these last twelve years. They have been so lonely without that wonderful man Not an interesting life, but it is mine.
To be continued................
Some of the highlights of our life:
1990---- Ferguson Family Reunion
President George W Bush fished on our ranch. Walt got to meet him. In September the kids sent us to Scotland where we got to tour for a week then down to London Fun and very interesting! Kathie and Chris went with us.
1995---- We went with the Andersons to Lexington Kentucky, Louisville Kentucky, Nashville Tennessee and Memphis Tennessee. Another really nice trip
1950----- Walt's dad, Walter Sr. helped in founding the Wyoming Angus Association.
To read Walt's childhood story please click on this link: Walter Chester Ferguson, Jr.
Here is a page for you to enjoy some photos of Dorothy. Photos of Dorothy
More Photos of Dorothy
Hope you enjoy them, and Please, if you have any photos or stories or information to share about her, please email them to me
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