It was the 1940s and the U.S.O. was sponsoring one of its military maid balls. Amidst the regular flow of polite small talk, the question would inevitably arise for Betty Toepfer: “Where do you live?”
She would reply, “I live in a castle.” Only after walking up two flights of stairs to her apartment in the Old State Capitol did the soldier come to believe her.
Toepfer and her family moved into the South Third Floor apartment of the Old State Capitol in 1941 when Sam Houston Jones became governor. A fellow American Legionnaire and active member of Jones’ campaign, her father was appointed superintendent and groundskeeper for the Old State Capitol when Jones was elected.
She lived there with her family from the age of 19 until she was married in May of 1947. In her upcoming book, MiLady’s Little Castle by the River, the former teacher, artist and writer shares some of her experience of those remarkable years.
To learn more about Toepfer’s memories of the World War II era spent on the third floor of the Old State Capitol, read Taris Savell’s interview with her in the October issue of inRegister, on stands now.