Meet a Westside Pioneer!
Janet Mall

What kind of career have you had?
I stayed at home for 23 years and raised my children. I did odd jobs to bring in some extra money – such as housecleaning, babysitting, dog watching, decorating cakes and construction with my husband. Then nine months ago, I went back to school and got my real estate license.

Mary Chapman (center), with her first two children, Mary Jane and Donny, and her parents, Joseph and Lucille Chapman outside their home at 2818 W. Bijou Street around 1960 (a neighbor’s house is actually in the background)
Courtesy of Janet Mall and Mary Chapman

Can you tell us about your marriage?

My husband, Vincent Mall, lived in Manitou until we married almost 27 years ago (4/14/84), when we moved to our current home on West Boulder Street.

Do you have children or grandchildren?
We have five children and no grandchildren.

Any of your family members still here?
My brother still lives here on the Westside and so does our oldest daughter. We also have three children still at home (the other is married and living out of state).

Can you tell us about your grandparents/parents?
My father's mother, Zylpha Lavina Hazen Morgan, was born in Ramah in 1907, moved to Pueblo, then lived out east again. She met her husband, Otho Dewayne Morgan, in Calhan and they married in 1924. My father, Donald Morgan, was born in 1933 in his family's one-room slab home, (which his father built) in what was called Glass Town, at the corner of Calvert and Wheeler avenues. They moved to a house on Bott Avenue (across from the Midland Roundhouse) when my dad was 5. They had five boys. All went to Midland Elementary, West Junior High and Colorado Springs High School. All have passed on, except my father. My father's brothers, Bill and Larry, won the Colorado fiddlers championship two times each. My father and his two oldest brothers (Bill and Bob) had a hillbilly (western) band that played at the Silver Spur Tavern (between 27th and 28th streets on Colorado Avenue). My dad met my mom across the street from the tavern. One of my dad's jobs was for the ACE program at Coronado.
       My grandpa, Otho Dewayne Morgan, (born in Missouri in 1903) was a cement finisher. He would walk to work every day at the old county road building. Grandma worked at Peterson Field during World War II. They lived on Bott until they died.
       My mother's father, Joseph Stockdale Chapman, was born in Cripple Creek in 1903. His father was a blaster in the gold mines. My mother's mother, Lucille Kathryn Prescott Chapman, was born in 1907. She moved to Colorado Springs after 1920 to be a nanny. She met Joseph at Brady's insane asylum, where they both worked. He proposed to her in a Model T as the brakes went out, coming down Old Stage Road. They were married in 1927 in Colorado Springs. My grandmother was a practical nurse and worked in various nursing homes. (Including Pratt's on West Cucharras). She mostly worked the graveyard shift to stay home with her five children and assorted animals during the day. They lived in Colorado until the late 1970s.
       My mother, Mary Chapman, was born September 3, 1939, also in Colorado Springs. She was mostly a stay-at-home mom but also worked in education jobs, including special education assistant at District 11 (Coronado) for about 14 years. She and my dad Donald were married May 18, 1956, and had six children. My parents have lived on the Westside since they were married almost 55 years ago. Their first home was on West Bijou Street, and then they moved to 36th Street, the home I was raised in, until I got married and moved to West Boulder. Two of their children still live on the Westside, including myself.

the 50th anniversary of Donald and Mary Chapman (they're now almost at 55)
Courtesy of Janet Mall and Mary Chapman

Janet's paternal grandparents, Zylpha and Otho Morgan with their car, probably around 1930.
Courtesy of Janet Mall and Mary Chapman
What are your best memories of growing up on the Westside?

I remember sharing a room with my big sister and she would read mystery stories to me and play paper dolls with me. I remember playing around our neighborhood, stopping by elderly neighbor homes to visit. My friend and I would go over almost every day to visit one man who was retired and his wife still worked. He would give us juice in small glasses, candy sometimes and we would sit out on his porch and swing and climb on the railing while we talked. I look back and we really liked him, but we probably went a lot for the drinks and candy, but as I look back I think our visits really meant the world to him. Another very old lady lived in a little shack on the top of the hill across the street from our houses and we would pick her flowers and take them to her. She had so little but she would always find some candy to give to us. We spent our springs dancing in the rain, summers playing in the mud on the edges of our dirt road and winter playing in the snow. We were always outside doing something fun.

I love to read, sew, bake, play with my kids, garden, fish and draw, to name a few. I am just learning to knit.

What is gone from the Westside now that you wish had stayed?
I miss Schoch’s hardware store. It was packed with stuff from floor to ceiling but if you asked for something, Mrs. Schoch knew exactly where it was and would go right to it and grab it for you. And the A&W drive-in restaurant. For a special treat, my dad would take us and buy a gallon of root beer.

Four generations of the family (clockwise from top left): Janet Mall (far left, holding her son Ethan), her dad Donald, daughter Kacie, son Kyle, Donald's mother Zylpha (now deceased), and Janet's daughters Samantha and Alyssa.
Courtesy of Janet Mall

Don Chapman as a toddler around 1935 with his three older brothers (from left) Jack, Bill and Bob.
Courtesy of Janet Mall and Mary Chapman
How about the way things have changed?
There have been some changes, more traffic, some schools closing, and some stores leaving or new stores coming in. For the most part, it is very much the same as when I grew up.

Overall, is the Westside better or worse than when you were a kid here?
I love the Westside and would not want to live anywhere else. I am not sure that it is better or worse than when I was a kid. I think the change is mostly in our society as a whole. People don’t seem as caring or as friendly as they used to be. People are always in a hurry. But even those things don’t seem to be as bad on the Westside.

A sod house in Ramah – in this photo, from 1907 or ‘08, are baby Zylpha Hazen (second from left), her brother Charles, her mother Lena, Lena’s husband Ervin (black hat) and Lena’s father William Werner.
Courtesy of Janet Mall and Mary Chapman
“Meet a Westside Pioneer” interviews people who have lived all (or nearly all) their lives on the Colorado Springs Westside. If you meet that criteria (or know someone who does), please give us a call at 471-6776.