By Roxanne McKnight
In the last issue, we read how Claude Monk, at age 6, and his brother, J.W., 4, were dropped off at what was then called the State Orphans Home, in Corsicana, in August 1929. Three years previously, their father had unexpectedly died, throwing the family into financial chaos. Though their mother, Ruby Watson Monk, of Mexia, worked two jobs, and other family members tried to help, it just wasn’t enough. With the Great Depression descending on the country, the population of the Home exploded, reaching 890 in 1932. Claude and J.W. learned to do chores and take care of themselves and each other. A year later, they were joined by their younger sister, Ruby Maude. An older sister remained with their mother until she, too, moved to a state school. Things had been going well for Claude and J.W., but that changed drastically in 1933.
Loss and restoration