Newton woman remembers the Maytag family

Newton woman remembers the Maytag family
Date May 25, 2006
Section(s) Opinion
To the Editor:

Through the years I’ve heard different views on how Maytag has treated the labor force. Some of the workers felt they were unfairly treated while others were happy to be working where they received good wages, a good medical plan and a good retirement plan.

Years ago, the employees were proud to be working for Maytag and one of the reasons was the demeanor of Fred Maytag and his wife, Ellen.

There are those that can tell you about Fred Maytag. He was well known as a man who would stop by a construction site and showed interest in what the workers were doing and why.

When he went on a cruise, he would strike up conversations with fellow passengers and ask if they wouldn’t like a Maytag washer. When the delighted acquaintance would accept, Fred would reach in his pocket and hand over one of the many Maytag advertising washers he had stashed in his pocket.

Mrs. Maytag was also no snob. One day she entered a shop in Newton. One of the clerks was busy with another customer and did not notice Mrs. Maytag. When the clerk realized Mrs. Maytag was waiting, she apologized profusely. Mrs. Maytag then told her, “If I ever see you neglecting a customer to wait on me, I just won’t come into your shop again.”

Their housekeeper and cook, Mrs. McClelland, was a member of our local club. When it was her turn to host our club, she told us that Mrs. Maytag had told her to have us come into the Maytag mansion for our meeting. We were welcome to bring our swim suits and take advantage of the pool. As we were sitting by the poolhouse, eating refreshments off Mrs. Maytag‘s fine china and drinking tea from her fine crystal, one of the members asked what she thought of us meeting there. Mrs. McClelland replied, “She’s in at the sink, washing dishes right now.”

Fond memories of the Maytag family. It is sad that we have no such memories of the latter managers of the company.

Betty Snook



8 Responses to “Newton woman remembers the Maytag family”

  1. heather largent Says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me about Freda Maytag. I was married to Ann L. Maytag’s son John C. Poulos. I have been trying to find information. I am not having any luck.

    • brian walsh Says:

      I am trying to get in touch with John Poulos, I am the son of Jerry Walsh and I have the Pinto that John and Lee Wiese raced. I want to see if he has pictures of the car…
      Brian Walsh

  2. Emily McConkey Says:


    Last year we purchased the home of Theodore H. Maytag located at 503 W 12th Street S in Newton. We were wondering what people know of T.H. and his family as well as the property itself.

    Thank you

  3. Ruby Totten Says:

    Whew! Memories flooding back. My husband and I worked with Connie and Ann on the Colorado Springs (CO) Free Press and spent some lovely evenings at the Maytag home (they weren’t married yet).

  4. mark McCardell Says:

    I slightly knew Mrs Maytag when I was a little kid. My grandparents were very close friends of Fred II and Ellen. My grandparents had Ellen to dinner a couple of years after Fred died and as my grandparents were babysitting me I was at that dinner party as was another couple visiting from out of town. After dinner I went out to play with friends in the neighborhood. I remember so well Ellen and the couple driving around to look for me and take me along to go on a tour of Ellens home neaby. It was beautiful and she was very very nice to a little kid like me. I had my tonsils out shortly after and she sent me the most incredible gift I ever received, a handmade set of toy soldiers which I still have. I dont kinow if she just liked kids, or nice to the grandson of close friends, but she was a wonderful wonderful class act. Im sure she would have been heartbroken to see what happened to the Maytag co.

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  6. Hunter D Says:

    I’m currently looking to get in contact with John C. Poulos as my father was good friends with him back in the late 70’s. He still has pictures of the crew from the racing days, would be great and find out how he’s been and to catch up.

    • heather largent Says:

      Hi this is Heather Jace’s ex-wife you can contact him on his facebook page. Under Jace Poulos. Who is your dad I was with the race team as well. Hope this helps

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