Mildred Haines (nee Morris) was born in 1899. Her father was a vice president of the Oberlin Savings Bank and prospered in real estate. She focuses on her life as a child growing up at 149 Morgan Street, and the outstanding education she received at Oberlin High School, Oberlin College, and the University of Chicago.
"We moved from my grandparents' 120-acre farm in the country to 149 Morgan Street in 1904 or '05. I must have been six years old. We lived there I would say seven or eight years and then my father sold that property and we lived at 217 Morgan for a couple of years. In 1914 when I was fifteen, my father bought another home at 124 East College which later became the School of Commerce. I sold that property in 1958.
When we moved to Morgan Street, it wasn't yet paved. I have a snapshot showing the street with the bricks piled up there ready to do the paving. My father had a gas well drilled so we had our own gas. The property was quite extensive, going from the mark between 149 and the Bayles property which was west of us and clear back to the railroad track. Plum Creek flowed through that.
Living there on Morgan Street, everyone went to the water-works hill and coasted downhill. Just as soon as school was out, we would be over there with our sleds and that was wonderful sport. And it was quite a treat; we walked around the pond and the big reservoir. Mother would always give us bread crumbs to take and there were bass in there and we'd feed the fish. And the arboretum at that time was filled with flowers and we loved to walk there.
And we saw these two railroads built; the Ramsey and the Wabash, and we used to think it was sport to walk down the railroad track. We would walk south on Ramsey to south woods, and my brothers had a cabin there; it was a crude affair. It was way at the end of the property. The time came to give that up. People would go there and destroy things. Another thing we did was to ride in the phaeton which was sort of [a] basket affair, two seats in front and two in back. Our pony, whose name was Ned Toodles, would pull the phaeton.
Of course, our life wasn't just about play. School always excited me, especially the study of languages. In the ninth grade I started Latin, and took four years of it. I had excellent teachers but there were different teachers every year in Latin. It was a strange set-up. I had Mrs. Willard who was connected with the Emma Willard School in New York state. She was a widow when she came here, and she lived at the old Oberlin Inn and walked down to the high school to teach. She was simply a master teacher. Then I had Ida Hall for Caesar. She was a graduate of Oberlin College. For Cicero, I had Caroline Reed, who married Professor Carr, the math professor. And then my Virgil teacher was Mrs. Horner; her husband was a professor in the conservatory. She was a drama person. She gave readings and that kind of thing, so she was a beautiful person to be a Virgil teacher. Mrs. Baumhard was my teacher for my two years of German. Then it was time for college. There was just no question, I was going to Oberlin and that's it you know."