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 she was like a grandmother, and for a lot of girls here in the 1960s and 1970s she was their mother.”
Also on the wall are long- time administrator Hugo Hartsmann and his wife Lina. He ran the Pythian Home from 1941-72.
“He’d have stayed on longer had his health not failed him,” Watson said. “Most people who get a job here, it’s for life.”
Peggy Hutton, also on the wall, was administrator from 1985-2007, and then Lisa Watson took over. Hutton now works for the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce.
RICK MAUCH/THE COMMUNITY NEWS
The Pythian Home Library
Widows stopped coming to the Pythian Home in the early 1970s after the opening of a retirement home for aged Pythians in Greenville, Texas. The school, which had operat- ed since 1910, closed for good in 1972 (they started sending junior and senior high stu- dents to Weatherford schools in 1937).
The home had a dairy operation for many years. Animals were raised to provide meat for the residents. A huge garden and orchard was tend-
ed to by residents. However, many of these operations changed after government regulations in 1972 limited the work of children.
Youngsters still enjoy play- ing and tending to about 60 cows, a half dozen donkeys, and a Black Angus bull named Captain Time.
“He’s very docile. He thinks he’s a puppy,” Watson said.
Throughout the years,
hard times forced some land
to be sold to various develop- ers. Some land was lost when Interstate 20 was built through the south end.
Staff-to-child ratios have also changed. Once it was 30
to 35 per caregiver. Now, it’s eight children to one adult and 5-1 for children age five and under. And there is more space in the dorms, with 60 square feet of space per child.
Watson said the Pythian principles of friendship, charity and benevolence will continue to be the driving force behind the home. And as long as they can get help and children need help, they plan to be around.
“We’d like to keep doing what we’re doing for as long as we possibly can,” she said. “For at least 100 more years.”
- Rick Mauch
The Pythian principles of friendship, charity and benevolence will continue to be the driving force behind the home.
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