Evelyn Felderhoff: In Loving Memory
Evelyn Felderhoff began working for Muenster Milling Company in the early 1950’s. As Arthur’s wife, she did whatever she could to help the business grow. Since it was a small company, titles were irrelevant, and she simply wanted to help Arthur in any way she could.
Throughout her time there, she had many different jobs, among which were raising hens, hauling eggs, entertaining customers, book keeping, and accounting. Her one goal stayed the same through all of this, supporting Arthur in building a business focused on the customers and animals.
Even though Evie is no longer with us, she left us with a wonderful gift full of memories. About 5-6 years ago, she compiled all of her memories and stories into a book, and gave a copy to each member of the entire family. We’ll be sharing many of her stories on our blog, and it will certainly help everyone get to know her better, but the one below is a personal favorite of mine.
My First Job at the Mill by Evie Felderhoff
“Twice a week the chicken eggs that farmers brought us were hauled to Fort Worth in a three-quarter ton pickup truck. I did the egg hauling for Arthur in the beginning. This was one of my earliest jobs at the mill. When I hauled my first load of eggs I also had to bring some feed back that we were out of at the mill. Arthur told me he needed me to be back before noon. I didn’t think I had enough time to do that, but he just said, ‘Drive like hell, but don’t let the cops get you.’
I said, ‘How can I do that?’ He said I should ‘drive with one eye in front and one in the back.’ Well, I made it back on time and I think that surprised Arthur.
When it was time to take a load of eggs to Ft. Worth, Arthur would pack the pickup with eggs and put a tarp over it so the empty egg cases we hauled back from the hatchery wouldn’t blow off. I’d take Diann and Dale (my two children at the time) with me and I’d usually stop in Lindsay to pick up Mama, and away we’d go. We had a bench type seat in the pickup. Diann would sit in the middle spot and Mama would hold Dale on the passenger side. Mama really enjoyed going on these little day trips and looked forward to them. We’d have fun and usually stop to get a hamburger or maybe an ice cream cone.
Now, Muenster was dry at the time, so if we needed a case of beer or some whisky, I’d pick it up and bring it back with me. Sometimes I also brought a case or two back as a favor for a customer. Uncle Bill used to tease me by telling me I could make some extra money by bootlegging.
The funny thing about that is on one particular trip a Liqour Control Agent stopped me on my way back home, near Denton. He had me take the tarp off the pickup and then he unloaded and examined every case, fully expecting to find a load of illegal booze. To his amazement he found nothing but empty egg cases on board.
Then he told me he had been observing my ‘suspicious vehicle’ for several months. He knew I made the same trip twice a week and thought a woman driver, little kids and an old lady were a good cover for a bootlegging operation. He finally decided he just had to check it out. When he didn’t find anything, he loaded the empty cases back on the pickup, put the tarp back on and sent me on my way.
The ironic thing was that a friend of Arthur’s was having a party that weekend, and needed 10 cases of beer. Arthur told him I was in Fort Worth and he would call and have me bring it back for him. Arthur called the hatchery, but it was too late. I left just ten minutes before he called and was already on my way home. It’s a good thing we didn’t have cell phones at the time or the local headlines might have read ‘Mom, kids and Granny Jailed in Bootlegging Sting!’
I don’t remember how long I hauled eggs, but I think I did it for a couple of years. As the volume of eggs increased, Arthur needed a larger vehicle to transport the eggs. He bought a bobtail truck from Endres Motor Co. and hired Werner Cler as a truck driver. From then on Werner did the egg hauling and I was out of a job.”
Although Grandma Evie is no longer with us, we know she’s watching over us. She dedicated her life to being a loving wife, mother, employee, and serving the town of Muenster. We will miss her dearly, but we look forward to reflecting back on the great stories she left us, and we hope you will too.
-Mitch & Chad Felderhoff
In Loving Memory of