|Lawrence S Wisner |
[note: Lawrence B. Wisner's great grandfather was George A Wisner. George moved to central Washington around 1901 and died there in 1905. By then wagon trains were no longer in use. Lawrence S. Wisner, with wife and son Ray C. Wisner moved to the same area of central Washington, lived there for a few years, before moving to central California.]
|Raymond C Wisner Family|
When I was young I was picked on by a couple girls…my sisters. I was in the middle, Ruth was the youngest and Millie was the oldest. They would gang up on me all the time. That’s the reason I’m so short! We got along really good though I guess.
|Millie and Lawrence|
|Hess Butcher Shop Chowchilla, CA |
Ray C Wisner center in white coat
And then he got his own meat market, or was working in a meat market there in Lindsey. Then he went to North Sacramento and he had a market there or worked in a market. And then he got sick – he was going in and out of the cooler so much, and so we went to West Point, CA and got a job to herd goats on horseback. I was in the 1st grade and Millie was in the 3rd, and we had to walk I guess a good mile and a half to catch a station wagon (or bus) that came by, and we’d go and sit up on this rock and wait until this bus would come, and they’d take us about a mile. And the schoolhouse is still there, but it’s now turned into a house though, residential. But if we missed the bus, then we’d have to walk the rest of the way.
|West Point Church|
Then we went back to Lindsey, got a job, and we lived in a garage with all our stuff, and Millie don’t remember that. And he was earning money to go to Huntington Park, CA, where the Training School for Christian Workers was. And he graduated from there, as a preacher. Later, the school moved and is now Azusa Pacific University.
My dad helped develop the Evangelistic Tabernacle Church in Mt Shasta. On a summer break while attending school (1934), we went up to Mt Shasta and he worked in a Sunday School and helped organize it into a church. It started as a Sunday School by a man named Conner. My dad helped build the church building. They tore down a dance hall and used the lumber to build the church. As far as I know there’s never been anything built on the lot where the dance hall was. I was in 3rd grade. Then we went back to Huntington Park in the fall, and he finished his schooling.
After graduating in Huntington Park, we moved to Rail Road Flat, CA. He was a part of the American Sunday School Union. They were an organization that went around and built Sunday Schools in out of the ways places. And he organized the Sunday School there in Rail Road Flat into a church, and it’s quite a going church now. We had services in the schoolhouse. But they have since then built a new building out a ways there, and it’s going pretty good.
When I was in school we had a chapel time, and I heard a message, and I was just 10 years old, and it was about Daniel. So I was laying in bed, and I got to thinkin’ about that and so I went in to my mom, she was in the kitchen (we were living in the school house then) and I talked to her and we kneeled down to a chair and that’s where I accepted Christ, and it’s made a difference all along my life.
My dad was a night watchman at McCloud’s Saw Mill. He walked around with a punch key. He would go in and punch his timecard to prove that he had been there as he walked around the mill. He had a big clock that he wore.
And then from then, Millie graduated from 8th grade there in Rail Road Flat. And so my dad heard about this Christian school in El Monte, CA, called H.E.I. (Holiness Evangelistic Institute). We needed money to go down there, so my dad went into San Andreas and worked in the cement plant, and we were there for a little while.
Then we went to El Monte, and my dad took the job of dean of boys, there at HEI, and he taught school too I guess. That’s where Allene and me met. We were at school together, in the 7th or 8th grade or so. We took Spanish in the same class. Miss Avery was the teacher. Millie and Allene were in the same grade and became close friends before we even paid any attention to each other. He preached at Bethel Church on Elliot Street, that’s where we got married.
|Lawrence Wisner's 8th grade class at HEI|
While there at HEI, there was some people by the name of Mathes, that started this Sunday School in their house. And my dad went over and helped them organize it into a church.
From there my dad moved to east Los Angeles. I don’t know how he got the property but his parents passed away in Lodi, so he sold their house for $900. He was looking around for a house to move to. Then the war came and he didn’t settle on a house so he went to east Los Angeles and got reclaimed lumber (that’s where they would take old beams and saw them and make boards) and he built a church there. And I think it’s a Mexican church now, I heard. And he was there quite a spell.
From there he went back to Mt Shasta and that’s where he helped developed it into a church. And that’s where he retired too.
We were drafted and we were in for the end of the war, plus 6 months. I had to register when I was 18 years old, and 6 months later I was in the military. They sent me my draft notice. Everybody was anxious to go then, there wasn’t all of the wrangling and stuff that there is now. In January (1942) there were about 11 people that I knew, they got their draft notices and I didn’t. And so in February I got mine. And these 11 people all went to a different place. They went all they way from Maine to Florida to down in Texas, and I was kinda anxious to go cause I can get outa California, cause we (our family) went from one end to the other and couldn’t get out. So they drafted me and they took me to Riverside. So the basic was there, and for our advanced training we went out to Barstow and back. We were in what they call the coast artillery. These were ground mounts, 50 caliber on a post. And when we’d move we’d have to break it all down and put it in the trucks. But then somebody got the idea well putting these guns on a half-track. And so we found out later we were an experimental outfit to see if it would work. And so we travelled from Riverside out to Barstow out in the desert out there, and back and forth. And it was very successful actually. We went through the coast artillery and went through our basic and when they changed us over to half-track we went through basic training again. That’s probably one factor is because we was as accurate as we were.
I was in the service a year when we got married. I came home on the last furlough and got married, before going overseas. The reason I wanted to was because the government would give the wives benefits, and I think it was all of $10 a month.
We were in the Sur Valley, protecting the 26th infantry, and they lost about 75% of their division. So they were sending these new recruits in, and everything was kinda quiet, so they said we’ll send you back to Metz, France, and we’ll send these new recruits over there. And they put them through basic training again, to give them some training.
I was there for a couple of days and the Bulge broke out, and they (my outfit) got orders to go and fight up there. And so they got orders to come over to get me to take me back in there. We were sittin’ in the office of this hospital, kind of a waiting room, and I says I’d like to go back to the outfit, but I don’t know where they are. And they says well you’ve got all of your papers right in your lap so if you left nobody would know anything about it. So I guess it was a couple hours and then they loaded us into a truck and took me into a field hospital. Then they came over to take me back to the outfit, but they didn’t know where I was, and that’s the day the Bulge broke out, and of course we (our outfit) was right up there on the front line into Belgium. And so I know the folks were at home prayin’ for us, and got me outa there.
Post War Jobs
I put in Wisner Rd. in Mt Shasta. In Mt Shasta, we chopped the brush. We were a good half a mile off the main road. We were driving on the dirt, and built our little house and garage house. Then I went to the county and I told them that we need to make a county road out there. And so he got a paper and wrote it out. It went past our house and up to Millie’s and tied back into the other road, Pine Grove I think. So he says what will we name this street? I said I don’t know. He says “what about Wisner Rd?” I says “well, OK.” That bothered my mother. She said “why did you call it a road? It could have been an avenue or boulevard or anything!”
We lived there for a long time. I got it just about where I wanted it, ya know fixin’ things up, and then we sold it and Lorene graduated from High School and Ray was finishing up his sophomore year, and I had a chance to come and work down in Carmichael. A fellow that I knew had got me in. So in ’64 I started working at the school district. We rented the first year that we were down here in Carmichael, and we built this house. This is where we’ve been ever since. Now were stuck with a house and were gonna have to turn it over to you kids and wonder what you’re gonna do with it!
|Allene Orrell, age 4|
I was 4 when I became a Christian. I wasn’t really old enough to go to school. My mother wanted me to learn how to read and so she spoke to the teacher that was teaching at the school if she would teach me to read. They had a chapel upstairs and that’s where we would go to church. I remember this time, as far as I can remember I was the only one that went forward. And I can remember the spot at the altar, and the preacher prayed with me. And after the service was over with he took me down into the dining hall, they boarded some students there too, and they had this long dining hall and kitchen, and in the pantry they had these peanuts in the shell, and he took me down there and got me a handful of those (chuckle chuckle). The name of the school was Old Paths.
|The Orrell siblings: Edgar, Elvie, John and Allene|
That place raised broom horn(?), and they manufactured brooms there. We were there until I was I think 13, and then we moved to El Monte.
|Ruth, Millie, Allene|
My sister (Elvie), she was the oldest, she went to what used to be Beulah College, down in southern California. The rest of us went to this school (HEI), but my brothers were enough older than me. They were gone by the time I went through.