Dora and Charles Titchenal move to Crown King
Winter 1917 in Crown King
In 1917, my parents, Charles and Dora, moved to Crown King, Arizona. They couldn't help Annie much after that. Alice told me that Annie had to let the Aid Society put some of her children in the foster child program from time to time because she didn't earn enough to take care of all of them. Annie also wanted Dora to take and raise her youngest daughter, Hattie., but that didn't work out ether.
Crown King was a very small (less than 100 people) Gold and Copper mining town high in the pine covered Mountains of Arizona. It was busy because of the first World War. The mountains were very steep, the track had a long series of switch backs needed for the train to climb the very steep mountain.
My mother and father went there sight unseen, not knowing what to expect. We had moved there because Dad was paid a bonus for working in such an isolated place. Mother had a job as an assistant. Dad expected to move back to California after the war. It was a friendly town and fun for Alice and Don. After mother and dad got acquainted and used to the town, they liked it too. But was quite a shock to mother, when she first saw the town after the long and tiring trip from California. It looked so much like the places she had lived in Oklahoma, she sat down on a suitcase along the tracks and cried.
Ever since my mother, Dora married dad, she had to endure one small railroad town after another. Terrible places to live, even in California. Like the time she set up house keeping in the station baggage room, until the company could build a side track and bring in a house car. In California, she was near civilization. She could get on the train and go to town or see her mother or friends in less than a day. Here in Crown King she would be isolated. The house they would have to live in was better than a house car, but not much. It had running cold water in the kitchen, but no bathroom or inside toilet, no electricity or gas, only a wood kitchen range for cooking and heating. It must have also reminded her of her childhood in Oklahoma.
Alice and Dora never liked the electrical storms in Crown King. It scared them to see the lighting split the pine trees down the middle not far from the house. Some times Alice would hide under the bed. Mom remembered some of the bad storms she lived through as a girl in Oklahoma. It didn't quiet any of the kids fears, but she told about the time in Oklahoma that they experienced a cyclone. It took the roof off the house next door. Then she told about the day the wind blew the curtains into a lamp on the table, it caught fire and burnt the house down.