The 1930s

1930 United States Federal Census, Des Moines, Polk Co., Iowa:
Last name:    First name:    Relation:    Age: Place born:
Jones Kenneth Husband 32 Iowa
Zeta [sic] Wife 24 Iowa
Maynard Son 8 Iowa
Shirley Daughter 5 Iowa
Helen Daughter 3 1/2 Iowa
Shutts Clementine Mother-in-Law 54 Iowa
Census lists Kenneth age 23, Zita age 15 at marriage.
Kenneth’s occupation listed as a moulder for a furnace company.
The home value was listed as $1,800.
L-R: Maynard; Helen; and Shirley Jones About 1930, location unknown

L-R: Maynard; Helen; and Shirley Jones
About 1930, location unknown

The children attended Brooks Elementary School, Woodrow Wilson Junior High School, and then East High School. During their childhoods, Maynard played both the piano and violin, while Shirley and Helen were taught piano only. Piano lessons were 50 cents each.

The family survived the Great Depression by canning and preserving fruits and vegetables, which they raised on some nearby vacant city lots.  Food was stored in a cave in the backyard of their house and canned goods were sometimes traded at a ‘mom and pop’ store (Larsen’s Grocery Store) for meat and other staples.

Kenneth’s father, Thomas Andrew Jones, died at age 60 on 22 August 1933 at the University Hospitals at Iowa City, Johnson Co., Iowa.  The several causes of death listed on his death certificate included: osteomyelitis lumbar vertebrae; suppurative meningitis; mycotic aneurysm, abdominal aorta. He was buried in Oak View Cemetery, Albia, Monroe Co., Iowa.

When the family was not working or in school, the family would listen on their Atwater Kent radio to programs like the College of Musical Knowledge, Fibber McGee and Molly, and the Arthur Godfrey Show. They might go for a picnic in the woods, packing up the black two-door 1937 Chevrolet with a camp stove and a basket of food.  Spot, the family dog, would sometimes accompany them on their picnics.

In 1938 Zita was promoted at Rollins Hosiery Mill to be responsible for the personnel department, which at that time had 1,800 employees.  She went to night school to learn how to use all of the office machines.

The following year the house on Lyon Street was sold, and a ten-room house on three acres of land at 4030 East 28th Street was purchased.  The family raised and marketed fruits, vegetables, and chickens to supplement their other incomes.