Friday, June 10, 2022

This I Remember

Thanks for the warm welcome last week! Your comments contained two requests regarding favorite topics--how I research my books and life in the 19th century. This week, I'm going to post about the latter.

My great grandfather on my father's mother's side died when I was a child. As I got older and learned more about his life, I discovered he was an impressive man. (You can read about his many accomplishments and how he used a fast horse to elope with the love of his life here.) He only had a 3rd-grade education, but he was quite successful.

Papa, as he was known to us, was born in 1875 and lived to be nearly 100 years old. I'm lucky that members of my family interviewed him and compiled a book about his recollections of life in the 19th century. I'm posting an excerpt today.

This I Remember 

by William Edgar Whitten

Shoes were patched the same as clothes.

Every farmer raised his own cane and made his own syrup.

Although unexpected company came to see us, Mother would have plenty to eat--chickens, ham, jelly, preserves, etc.

Wagons had no brakes, and when you went down a steep hill, you had to lock one of the hind wheels with a chain and drag the wheel to the bottom of the hill to keep the wagon from running over the team.

A man worth $10,000 was considered a rich man.

A Singer sewing machine cost $30.00.

A family raised its own hogs for a year's supply of meat and lard.

The neighbors would all come together at hog killing time and help each other kill hogs.

Milchcows wore cowbells so that the children could find them late in the evening and drive them up to the house to be milked. One of the children would rope the calf and hold it off while the cows were being milked.

Carpets and rugs on a floor were unknown. Mother scrubbed the floors once a week with a big scrub mop made of corn shucks. She would pour water and white sand on the floors and scrub until the floors were white. Then she would pour more water over the floors to wash the sand off. This left the floors clean and beautiful.


W. E. Whitten and his wife, Annie.


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My latest wester historical romance, Fool's Iron, released June 1st. 

You can find out more about it on Amazon.

Thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

Your great-grandfather was a handsome man and your great-grandmother a pretty lady. Thank you for sharing with us, Melissa!