Tag Archives: clothes

Life in the 60′s


Life for Mrs. Minnie has been interesting as well challenging. Born in 1929 in Steelville, Missouri, Minnie moved to Joplin sometime in the 1960. At that time, there were two high schools, Memorial and Parkwood. There were no interstates, and Rangeline, and all other main roads, were two lanes. There were no Wal-Marts or big name stores, besides Sears and JCPenney. If someone wanted jeans or school clothes, those are the places they would go. When Minnie moved to Joplin there were only five houses and Parkwood High School in her area.


Fashion in the 1960s was not much different. Dresses went to the knees or below. Women would wear dresses out in public and to church. Most women were not accustomed to wearing jeans in public, but when they did, they were not fitted. Women would have to roll them up halfway to their knees. Guys wore jeans and plaid shirts or work clothes like today. Both girls and guys wore saddle shoes. The prices of clothes were much cheaper, but most of the time they would make their own clothes. In school, girls were taught women how to sew so they could make their own clothes.

Joplin is different now than in the 1960s. Even if Minnie had the chance to go back, she wouldn’t. She appreciates the times much more now.


A Stitch In Time

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“When I was a child, my mother taught me to knit, and the first thing she taught me was how to knit a dishcloth,” said Mrs. McAllister, who has lived in Joplin her entire life. McAllister always watched her mother knit clothes for her and, eventually, she learned how to master the art of knitting herself. “I didn’t knit very much in college or when I was younger. I just knew the basics. When I got married and had kids, that’s when I started knitting sweaters and caps for them.” She had a close friend who taught her how to knit socks and hats at the friend’s shop.

There are many details that go into knitting for whichever kind of knitting someone wants to try. When asked if there are different kinds of knitting, Mrs. McAllister explained, “Yes. Sweaters have a different style of yarn; socks have thin types of yarn. Scarves, hats, and mittens all take different techniques.” But when asked what kind of knitting she liked the most, Mrs. Allister’s eyes lit up and she said, “My favorite type would have to be knitting little white baby caps with a red fluff at the top. I used to knit for the babies at Freeman hospital.” She then went on to say, “I did that all out of love and devotion. Freeman bought the yarn and I’d knit and knit forever, until I couldn’t anymore.” Everyone could tell that Mrs. McAllister was the one who knitted the object because she never had seams when she knitted. “It’s like my very own signature,” she added happily.Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.47.11 PM

“Knitting is almost a lost art. There aren’t very many young people that like to knit anymore,” she mentioned. Mrs. McAllister used to host knitting classes for anyone who wanted to come. She would have her kids hold the yarn for her so the yarn ball was nice and tight during class. “I’ve always knitted for people. I didn’t know, it gives you a warm feeling inside. People should continue to knit. It’s a very good skill to know.” She has also shared her knitting skills with individuals at Cecil Floyd Elementary School here in Joplin.

Mrs. McAllister knits to this very day. “My mother once told me that whatever I feel like knitting, that’s what I should do.” Whether it be knitting for babies at Freeman, random people at Cecil Floyd, or knitting for fun, Mrs. McAllister says she will always knit.

Joplin, Missouri: Then and Now


Joplin has changed tremendously in the past 90 years. There are obvious differences in the style of clothes, the type of food,
and the norms of society.

Ninety-one year old Bettye Foust, who now lives at Spring River Christian Village Nursing Home, was born and raised in Joplin, Missouri. When she was a kid she lived in a small home with three brothers and sisters. Helping out around the house and with the preparation of food wasn’t mandatory for them, but they did pitch in every once in awhile.

“Back then, kids didn’t really help out too much; we definitely didn’t help out as much as we should have. When we did, though, it was always fun,” said Foust.

Foust attended high school at the old Memorial High School where Joplin High School’s ninth and tenth center is now located. School was very different back then, as everything was done on paper or a black board. Now, Joplin High School students use  laptops and Smart Boards.

"Historic Joplin." Historic Joplin RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

“Historic Joplin.” Historic Joplin RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

As was common in the 1920s, Foust’s clothes were made by her mother most of the time. She wore cotton dresses that went down to about mid-calf. Pants were not allowed for women at the time.  Although her family did not have a farm, they did have one dairy cow that provided milk for their family, and sometimes for the neighbors. Foust’s daily diet was mainly starches; she had tomatoes and potatoes that her family grew in their garden. Meat, when they had it, was a luxury. Only the richer families could afford to have meat for dinner.

“We only had meat a couple of times, from what I can remember, but when we did, I savored every last bite of it,” said Foust.

Downtown Joplin in the late 20s was the place to be on the weekends. Not only was every business located there, but there were frequent festivals and parades.

“There was always something going on, on a Friday or Saturday. It would be packed with so many people. Sometimes it felt like all

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of Joplin was there. It was definitely the place to hangout,” recalled Foust.

Every summer around May, Joplin would have a huge festival that just about everyone would attend. There were tons of food to eat and numerous activities to participate in. The activities brought people from anywhere around Joplin who would come to join in the fun. Foust recalls that one year there was even a ferris wheel that, at the time, was the biggest one in the US.

Joplin sure seemed the place to be in the late 1920s. It has grown in many ways and one can assume it will continue to grow.

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