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A place in history, 1930s-1940s

Submitted by Elizabeth Hake Colbert from Centennial, CO, United States
Household Equipment

Reminiscences of Elizabeth Hake Colbert (Household Equipment 1948)

After reading the Winter 2011-12 issue of the College of Human Sciences Matters, I decided I had an Iowa State Family heritage to relate. Both my father, Newton Hake (At. Engr.. 1922) and his sister Helen Hake Brandt (Home Ec. '21) attended Iowa State. Aunt Helen was in Delta Delta Delta sorority, and was acquainted with Ina Morphy Tilden (Iowa State, 1896, my grandmother), an alumna adviser for her sorority chapter. Ina had a daughter, Lydia, who was a student at Iowa University, whom Helen met, and arranged a date with her brother Newton who resided at the Phi Gamma Delta house. That is how my parents met, and eventually married in 1924. Helen married Russell Brandt, another Phi Gamma member.

Ina Morphy Tilden had met Galen Tilden at Iowa State. Galen came from a large family in Ames, and his father owned the Tilden Department Store downtown, as well as a grocery store. Galen dropped out of college when his father died, and he and his old brother Lucien, ran the stores. Galen eventually started the Tilden Manufacturing Co., which made blankets with fraternity crests, college pennants, school band uniforms, laundry mailing cases, etc. It later became the Collegiate Mfg. Co. Lucien's son, Clark, eventually became manager of the Tilden Store, and Lucien became Postmaster in Ames. In his later years, Galen sold real estate and Ina worked in Col. Harold Pride's office in the Memorial Union.

Tilden family Iowa Staters included my mother's cousins Farwell Tilden Brown and Josephine Brown Leffler (children of Galen and Lucien's sister, Mame(Mary) Tilden Brown); Galen's sister Winifred Tilden, who developed the first women's physical education department at Iowa State; Lucien's daughter, Harriet Tilden McJimsey, professor in Textiles & Clothing at Iowa State, and her son George Tilden McJimsey, who has recently been head of the History Dept. on campus.

Ina Morphy Tilden's sister, Louise Morphy Crawford, taught school in Ames, and her son Archibald attended Iowa State. He became head of Curtis Publishing Co. A school in Ames is named after Louise Crawford.

With that kind of Iowa heritage, my first attendance at Iowa State was as a nursery school participant from 1929-1931. The school was a laborabory for students in Child Development classes. I remember sitting at the desk of Dr. Vance, putting blocks into square holes. As a student at Iowa State about 16 years later, I was Dr. Vance's student in his Fundamentals of Child Development class - and he remembered me!

I transferred to Iowa State in 1945, having graduated from Monticello College (AA degree). My activities on campus included membership and president of Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Omicron Nu, and Phi Upsilon honoraries. I also played in the hockey club, and won the Iowa State Women's Table Tennis championship one year. I met Francis Colbert, a forestry student, at church one Sunday evening in May, 1946. He had recently returned from active duty in W.W II. We were married at St. Johns by the Campus Church in June, 1948, after our graduation.

We lived in Logan, Utah, for two years where Francis did his graduate work in Range Science at Utah State. I taught the first Household Equipment course there, using Dr. Louise Peete's textbook; another home ec. course; and, worked on an Experiment Station grant project developing rural house plans.

The next eighteen years we lived in Phoenix, Arizona, where Francis worked for, and eventually bought into, the Western Farm Management Company. I kept busy raising a son, Tom, and daughters, Kathryn and Martha (born in 1950. 1952, and 1953). I was involved in church activities, Cub Scouts, and as a Girl Scout leader and trainer. We moved to Denver in 1968 when Francis became Executive Secretary of the Society for Range Management. He died suddenly in 1974 when all three children were attending colleges. Tom got degrees from Colorado State University and Texas A&M; Martha, degrees in speech pathology at the University of Northern Colorado and University of Texas; and Kathryn, a BS in accounting, at Metro State in Denver.

I obtained a position with the Colorado State Cooperative Extension Service and worked eleven years in Prowers and Weld Counties. My specialty, in addition to home ec. topics, was energy conservation, and I designed and had built a house (mostly passive solar) that was toured for several years for energy conservation education programs. My housing and physics education ate Iowa State helped in this process.

I took a hiatus of a five-year marriage in 1985-1990, living in Bosque Farms, New Mexico, with William D. Hurst, an old friend I had known through the Society for Range Management. I returned to Littleton, Colorado, where I continued to assist the home economics agent at the Arapahoe County Extension office until 2007.

I play golf in a ladies league on Wednesdays, April-October. I have a family supper every Tuesday night for any family who want to come. All three children, spouses and five of my eight grandhchildren live in the area. The youngest granddaughter is a freshman at Denver University.
The others are all out of college, several with advance degrees, and one working on her PhD at Stanford. Other grandchildren and spouses live in Houston, Atlanta and West Chester, PA, including a great-grandddaughter! My cup runneth over!