The Pool Room--The Early Months-- 1916


A month after the purchase John, Mary, and Mike along with one of boarders who worked with John, moved into the Pool Room. Mike and the boarded shared the second bedroom. Since this was a business, there was an indoor toilet located in the basement. Bathing still took place in tubs with water headed on the second stove located in this area. A cold shower was also located In the basement.

John continued to work in the mines and Mike continued to haul coal and visit us in Morea about 1 to 2 times weekly. While they worked Mary shouldered all the responsibilities of running the pool room. In addition she cleaned, did the wash,and cooked all their meals-- including Mike's. Although Mike paid for his food, he did not offer to consider Mary's services and received an even 5% of the profits..

Mary was a real scrapper and the only one in the family to look upon Mike as an equal. She was quick to point out that she also worked from morning until night and should be compensated. She was fully supported by John who was having problems with Mike as to how the business should be run.

Mary and John insisted that the partnership be dissolved and that Mike buy their share. Mike did not have the money to do so. They finally worked out an agreement. They would give him full ownership in exchange for Mike's surrey and his prize horse Jimmie Allen. Mary missed her family in Morea and saw this as a way to keep tabs on us.

The deal was struck, but for weeks after, Mary continued to be unhappy with Mike. A horse and carriage required a stable and the horse had to be fed. They hadn't considered the extra expenses. Mike wasn't the least bit sympathetic. She should have known you have to feed and stable a horse. Ma and Pa refused to be involved in their conflict and indeed, it gradually was resolved. With Mary gone Mike needed someone to help with the pool room. Brother Marty was a natural for the job. Mike passed on Alex who, although older, had a tendency to be sullen and did not mingle as well with the public. Marty not quite 16, looked older and was very personable. Marty was also a great pool player. He enjoyed playing cards and was quite skillfully. He was working as a mule driver at the time. Ma saw this as a wonderful opportunity to extricate him from the dangerous conditions in the mines.

Alex was not happy with Mike's choice but was appeased when Mike requested that he help on the weekends.