Caradco, 1948 to 1953, payroll and advertising departments
I graduated from high school at the end of May 1948, then either in June or July—real soon after that—my friend and I decided that we were going to come to Dubuque where the big money was. We were both working down in Bellevue and we were making about $35 a week and we thought surely there’s more to life than this. So she and I took the bus up to Dubuque. We didn’t have any relations or anything up here so we found a room to rent in a big house up near Mercy Hospital. It was someplace that was close enough where we could walk to work downtown—that was our thinking on that. And I was lucky, I found work at Caradco right away. And I don’t think it was two weeks later until my friend was hired at a different office. Oh, I probably started at something like $50 a week. Anyway, it was a really big increase compared to what I’d been making down home.
To begin with I worked in the payroll department up on the second floor. Then after about a year I got the chance to move over to the advertising department. Allen Stoltz was the supervisor there, and it ended up we were on a real good basis, you know, and even after I left, Allen would keep in touch with me and we’d talk about things. One time he gave me probably six or eight pictures by C.P. Ferring. Mr. Ferring was a Chicago artist who did a lot of work for Allen. My husband painted frames for them and I’ve got them on the wall in my computer room now.
I worked at Caradco until 1954. I was expecting my first child and back then when you were pregnant and you started wearing maternity clothes, that’s when they no longer really wanted women to work. I mean, back then it was a totally different story than today.
Oh, we had a good group. I’ve got a picture at home of one of our Christmas parties. We went out to, I think it used to be called the Sportsman’s Lodge, out there along the highway probably close to where close to where Brimeyer Auto Shop is. It was this whole group of us. Well, we were young kids. None of the supervisors were on it. There was Clarence Funk, Jahaan Hoefflin, Jean Hinds, Imelda Kenneally, Maylo Bennet, Elaine Gabriel and…. Oh, I’ve got all the names written on the back of that picture. Well, we were all young kids then, we were out having fun. None of us were married at that time and we’d go out and have a really nice dinner and have fun. I enjoyed every one of my working days at Caradco.