Mathilda Marie Kempe (1895-1981) oral history
- Track 1, Transcript p. 1-5
- Kempe, Mathilda Marie, 1895-1981, Interviewee
- Maselli, Briggs, Interviewer
- Media Type
- Item Type
- Interview with Mathilda Marie Kempe by Briggs Maselli on November 4, 1979 at 418 Ridge Road, Wilmette, Illinois.
Abstract: Born on Ridge Road across the street
Father Otto L. Kempe came via New York, Niles to Wilmette — was a shoemaker from Saxony - came as a young man in 1881 with a group of young men - Mother was from Chicago
Started a shoe repair business on west side of Ridge Road — put in a stock of shoes for sale
Built a new building at 418 Ridge (on east side) and moved and incorporated the first building within it
Mathilda one of four children 2 boys and 2 girls - Mother died in 1923 - Father lost interest in store — sister and brothers not interested in operating it so Mathilda tried and continued operation (43 years) until 1933
Moving day from west to east side of Ridge Rd. - Lived upstairs - all children worked in store until old enough to go from there and take jobs with other people — boys became plumbers - schooling - dressmaking in Evanston with a Frenchwoman
Contents of store — shoes — all rubber footware — men’s and boys’ clothing and headware — grocery goods. Father gardened and had fruit trees and sold fruits and vegetables — he had made shoes as well as repaired them
Gross Point School - eight grades - 1 through 4 on first floor in one room — 5 through 8 on second floor - east side of Ridge Rd. within Wilmette School District so Miss Kempe finished at Central School.
Home life while growing up - Mother canned fruits - made jams and jellies — knit woolen stockings - made sheets and pillowcases - girls’ clothing - quilts made with neighbors’ help - hot bricks and feather beds in winter
Elaborates on holiday celebration and father’s shoemaking.
- Date of Original
- 4 November 1979
- Local identifier
- R977.31 KE
- Language of Item
- Copyright Statement
- Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
- Copyright Date
- Copyright Holder
- Wilmette Public Library
- Copyright Holder Contact Information
- 1242 Wilmette Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091
- Recommended Citation
- Kempe, Mathilda Marie, and Briggs Maselli. Mathilda Marie Kempe. Wilmette, Ill: Wilmette Public Library District, 1979.
- Wilmette Public LibraryEmail
Agency street/mail address1242 Wilmette Avenue
U.S.A. Phone: 847-256-6930