Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object Name Recording, Audio
Date 1985
Scope & Content Interview by Daryl Alderfer of Earl A. Clemens (b. 06/06/1906), son of Sylvanus & Esther "Hester" Allebach Clemens.

Digital copy available
00:00:00 parents/siblings
00:01:40 school memories, teachers, subjects
00:03:00 allowed to play in the woods, farmer had been burning fence posts, got in trouble for playing with smoldering posts
00:04:47 childhood, farm work (ten hour day for two acres plowing)
00:06:45 new Chevrolet cost $500 in 1924
00:07:54 games
00:08:37 marriage
00:09:15 airplanes (first sighting of one)
00:12:11 church (Salford, Methacton)
00:13:33 farming (had a market route in Philadelphia, transition from horse-drawn plows to tractors)
00:16:20 children (worked hard on the farm, daughter didn't graduate high school but finished college after getting a job teaching kindergarten)
00:18:48 current activities
00:21:40 World War 1 and World War 2 (brother exempt from WW1 because of working on the farm, registered for WW2 but did not get called)
00:22:54 Great Depression (refused a lower paying job right before it hit, can't remember the president at the time, built a house at that time)
00:27:10 neighbors closer in the past
00:28:30 more money/conveniences/travel now
*audio fades in and out for a few seconds*
00:29:50 local travel, walking
00:31:00 schooling
00:31:30 dating, marriage (details on wedding, sat separately in church, honeymooned with another couple 6 months later)
Length of Interview 00:34:16
Notes Obituary:
Earl A. Clemens, 89, of Harleysville, died Monday, March 25, 1996. He was the widower of Katie (Ruth) Clemens, who died in 1993. The Clemens moved to the Peter Becker Community in 1979.

Born June 6, 1906 in Hatfield Township, he was a son of the late Sylvanus C. and Esther (Allebach) Clemens. He attended the Sunnyside School and the Lansdale School of Business.

Mr. Clemens was a farmer in Worcester and a commission merchant in Philadelphia until 1958. At that time, he served as administrator of the Hatfield Mennonite Home in Hilltown for five years.

In 1963, he became the owner and operator of Clemens Cleaning Village at the Hillcrest Shopping Center. Mr. Clemens had continued to assist his son, Paul, in the operation of the business, until his death.

A member of Methacton Mennonite Church, he was active in the church and taught Sunday School for many years. He served as a trustee and a member of the church council, and participated in other phases of the church's work and ministry.

For almost 25 years, the Clemens' spent the winter months in Sarasota. He was an associate member of the Bayshore Mennonite Church in Florida.

Mr. Clemens liked to visit with friends and call on those who were ill. He enjoyed making hook rugs, traveling and playing golf.

He was survived by four daughters, Ruth R. Bergey and her husband, Horace S., of Hatfield, Esther C. Ongoa of Cape Girardeau, Mo., Mary C. Alderfer and her husband, Earl L., of Souderton and Beulah C. Glick and her husband, Dr. Melvin I., of Lagrange, Ill.; two sons, Paul R. Clemens and his wife, Kathryn, of Harleysville, the Rev. David R. Clemens and his wife, Erma, of Millersburg, Ohio; 19 grandchildren; and 29 great-grandchildren.

Besides his wife, he was preceded in death by two grandchildren, Valerie and David Clemens; a great-grandson, Donald Keith Bergey; a brother, Leroy Clemens; and two sisters, Sarah Clemens, and Viola Clemens, who died as an infant.

Services were held in the chapel of the Peter Becker Community, Harleysville.
Object ID # 2013.25.167
Source Gift of S. Duane Kauffman
People Clemens, Earl A., 1906-1996
Collection Christopher Dock HS Oral History Tapes