Huerfano County, Colorado
Oral Interviews
NOTICE All data and photos on this website are Copyrighted by Karen Mitchell. Duplication of this data or photos is strictly forbidden without legal written permission by the Copyright holder.
Bebe Daher

Bebe Daher
Date of Birth 12-29-1904
Parents: Lyon Neeman and Mary Cory
Ethnic Group” Lebaniese
Family Origin: Bitgreen, Lebanon
Date of family arrival in County: 1919
Location of first family settlement: Walsenburg via Trinidad
Kinship ties: husbands niece DellaGuardia, and children.

Interviewed by Sandra Cason
Scanned by Dick Chenault Jan 2006
Edited by Karen Mitchell Jan 2006


SC: First I wanted to get the proper spelling of your name. Is it Daher? And what is your first name?

BD: Yes B-E-B-E.

SC: When did your family first come to Huerfano County?

BD: My father first came to Huerfano County in 1919. In the fall of 1919.

SC: And where did he come from?

BD: Trinidad.

SC: And where did he come to Trinidad from?

BD: He came from Lebanon. And he came in 1905 to Trinidad and he lived there until he came to Walsenburg. Well, he had moved several places, but never stayed too long in any one place. And then he came to Walsenburg. And he had a tire and repair shop. He was in partnership with my husband. He had a tire shop until 1925. Then he went to Santa Fe, N.M. and he was there for three years. And in 1978 he, no '28, he took ill and he had a brain tumor and we brought him back to Walsenburg. In March of '28 and he passed away in September of that year.

SC: What year?

BD: 1928.

SC: How many people were in your family?

BD: I had two brothers. My youngest brother lived with my father. My mother had died the year before. And then one of my brothers and my brother was 15 years old, the one that stayed with me and the one that stayed with my father was 14 and my sister was 11 years old. Then after my father got sick and he came to Walsenburg...we brought him to Walsenburg and put him in a hospital in Pueblo....I raised both brothers and my sister and in the meantime I was married and I had three children of my own. That's about it. Time went on. They grew up.

SC: Where are your children now?

BD: One daughter is here. Norma Linzotti. And Beverly Harriman lives in Pueblo and my son Buddy lived in Pueblo also and then my son Danny passed away about 8 months ago.

SC: How did your father come to be in Colorado?

BD: As I was told, he came to Trinidad because he had an uncle there. This uncle's wife was my mother's sister. So my mother had come before, about 4 years before she met my dad. She had come with her sister to Trinidad and she stayed 4 years and then she got homesick and said she wanted to go see her father and her mother in Lebanon and so she went back and while she was there she met my father and married him. That's where I was born. Then in 1905 my dad came to Trinidad to seek his fortune.. .he stayed with my aunt and uncle and then three years later my mother brought me. I was 6 months old when my dad left. She came and she brought me to Trinidad and that's where we lived until they came here.

SC: What was the year of your birth?

BD: I was born in 1904.

SC: So you grew up here and Trinidad?

BD: Yes. Well, in the meantime… my father went to Clayton, New Mexico, and stayed maybe a year and he went to Raton and he did stay a whole year there as I remember. And then when he came here he just stayed here until he decided.. .he just had the wanderlust. He just couldn't stay in one place too many years. When he was in Trinidad, my uncle had been here several years and he had prospered and he put my dad up in business and my dad was doing real well until he decided he had to go shovel for gold dust in Clayton, New Mexico. Oh, we just couldn't get over that in later years. Then when he came here in 1919 he stayed here until 1925 or '26. Then he went to Santa Fe. And he was there a couple or two or three years, oh, not even that I don't think. Then he got sick. Just the year before my mother had been sick and she died.

SC: Was your father from here, or did he come here from somewhere else?

BD: He came from Lawrence, Mass. He had an uncle there and a brother. So he came and oh, I think he told me he came in 1910. He had a business, He worked with his brother. And then when my father came here he went into business in a tire repair shop. They were in business for about 5 years. Five or 6 years. And in the meantime I married my husband. That's all I can remember. There are so many incidents that just don't come to your mind when you want them to come to you.

SC: What was your maiden name?

BD: Nienian.

SC: Where had your father come to Massachusetts from?

BD: He came from Lebanon also.

SC: What was the name of the uncle your father worked with?

BD: You mean my husband's uncle?

SC: Did you say your father was in business before he went to New Mexico?

SD: Oh, in Trinidad, the one that put my father up in business...Jacob Jarns.

SC: Where in Walsenburg did you live? Did you always live in this house here?

BD: Yes, I would say 58 years at least. In the same house.

SC: How have things changed over the years? What are some of the main changes you have seen?

BD: Oh, you mean in Walsenburg? When we came here there wasn't any paved streets. There was a lot of family stores, which we only have two grocery stores now, Oh, I don't know, just has grown bigger and... that's about the only changes I can see, Oh, I didn't participate in too many things that happened in those times. I just never cared to join anything and I don't know, it just never appealed to me to be a joiner.

SC: Well, you were raising a lot of children...

BD: Yes, my brothers and sisters and then I raised four and we had a real, I would say we had a real tough time during the depression...

SC: How was it a tough time then?

BD: Well, my husband lost his job. And well, a regular job, but then he did a lot of construction work, but in those days they would give a person just enough to get a small pay check. We always had enough to eat because things were so reasonable. We had money to buy the necessities.

SC: Who did he do the construction work with?

BD: He worked with Leone's. At that time it was a construction company from Trinidad. And they built. . .in those days La Veta pass, they didn't have the new highway. They had the old highway and it was just curving around the mountain and they worked on that. In those days when there was small cars, Fords, tow cars couldn't go on that highway. They. . .it was a very scenic highway. So as the years went by one of my sons joined the service and my sister she joined the Spars and that was in 1941 I believe. And my oldest brother, youngest brother went and lived with my uncle in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. And my oldest brother stayed here and went into business for himself and he built the building right next to Sandy's garage, that's Habibs building. You know...

SC: What street is that on?

BD: That is right across the street from Lawson's Funeral Home. My brother built that. And he went to Arizona later on and lived in Flagstaff for about 2 years and then he came back and went to Pueblo and that's where he lives now. And my sister lives in Colorado Springs. She married a service man. He's retired now. They have two children. My oldest brother has four and my youngest brother married but they never had any children. My oldest son is married to a girl from Walsenburg and they have three children. My son lives in Pueblo has three children and my daughter had four children and my daughter that lives here has one child. So I have a slew of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

SC: That's wonderful. Did you go to school here?

BD: I went to St. Mary's school. I went to school for a couple of years and then my mother got sick. Seems like she was always sick. I had to stay home and take care of the kids. So I just went up to the eighth grade. That's all the schooling I had. I did a lot of reading and I still like to read. Even at my age I like to read a lot. That's about it...

SC: What did people do for entertainment when you were growing up, before television?

BD: Oh, my goodness we did more than we do now. We, we played cards, we listened to the radio, we visited a lot. That's the one thing you don't do anymore. If I go over to somebody's I let them know I am coming. I don't know, people are just different nowadays. You may not remember, you are younger... in fact, I'm better now than I ever was. I'm always doing something. I help my daughter at her house. She lives next door and she works. I help her. I fix the meals. I crochet. And I read and I watch television. And sometimes I visit. So really the days aren't long enough for me.

SC: How do you feel people are different now?

BD: Oh, I don't know. I really don't think people are very much different. I really don't.

SC: Do you remember celebrating holidays when you were growing up?

BD: Oh, yes. We always celebrated Christmas, and Easter, and Thanksgiving. We always had families together until my husband passed away in 1970. So I don't.. .I never cook a big holiday dinner. I let the kids do that.

SC: Was the church important in your life when you were growing up?

BD: Oh yes, oh yes. And the church is still important to me. In fact, I always went to church. I went to church...not because my folks always thought that was important but it was important to me, too, and in the last few years.. .what I am trying to find out, I did go to church. I loved going to church. But yet I wasn't what you'd say a Christian. And since I became a Christian it's more beautiful and means more to me.

SC: Is that recent that you've become a Christian?

BD: Oh, about 7 years ago.

SC: What church do you go to?

BD: I go to the Catholic Church, St. Mary's Church. But denomination don't mean that much to me. If the church preaches the gospel and Christianity I like that.

SC: How did you meet your husband?

BD: Well, he went into business with my father, and, oh I don't know, we just fell in love. He was a good person. A very good person. But you know we always take, take the people that loves us for granted.

SC: Were you married in the church here?

BD: Oh, yes.

SC: Could you describe your wedding to me?

BD: Oh, we had a nice wedding. We were married in St. Mary's Church. All our children were brought up in the church. They went to St. Mary's School. And they were all married in St. Mary's Church

SC: Do you remember any particular examples, when you were growing up, of customs from the old country that your family carried out? In your home?

BD: You know, my mother had been here before I was born in this country and when she came back, she could talk English very good. And no she took to the customs and everything of this country very easily.

SC: Do you remember any home remedies your family would use at home?

BD: Oh, mustard plaster. When we had a cold we really got plastered and oh, my father's remedy for any kind of sickness colds or stomach aches, or whatever, was castor oil.

SC: Do you think children are brought up differently today as compared to when you were growing up?

BD: Well, my parents were pretty strict with me, but they weren't very strict with the younger kids. I remember that. My mother was very broadminded and so was my father.

SC: Do you feel that life was different after World War II here?

BD: You know, I never thought much about that. I try to put the past behind me as much as I can. It must have been different but right at this minute I can't recall.

SC: How has it changed keeping house is housekeeping different now?

BD: I don't know. I just kept house.

SC: When you first moved to this house, did you have indoor plumbing and all that?

BD: Oh yes. It was modern. All except we didn't have a furnace but we had a coal stove. And oh, boy, having a coal stove and then turning to electric and a furnace, oh, it was much better. No ashes to lug out and no coal to bring in.

SC: We have the forms that give a little history of your family.

Back to the Oral Interviews Main Page

Return to the Huerfano County Home Page
© Karen Mitchell