Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grandma Lizzie's Journal

My Grandma Lizzie loved to write. I mostly remember her writing while sitting in her rocking chair by the window and writing poetry. I began to do some genealogy studies of my family and unearthed a family history record that my grandmother wrote before she died. Please, please , please do the next generation in your family a favor and write down your family history before you can no longer tell it. My grandmother wrote " Where I made my biggest mistake was not writing this History long ago, when I was able to do more about it. Now I'm not able to do much about it, too many of the family passed on." At this time she was trying to track down birth dates and info on family members. She did write as much history of her grand-parents as possible and I am so thankful for that. I now have these wonderful stories of my , let me see, great-great-grandparents to read about and pass on to my children. At the end of the family history, my grandmother also wrote the following, "Many things come to my mind now that should have been written in this history, but will let well enough alone for this time I am now 81 years old and a little hard to write , but I still don't wear glasses." She signed it "written by Granddaughter that wrote history." What a great way to be remembered! As the one who wrote history!! So as I have time, I will put some of my grand-mothers writings in my blog. My husband and I hunted down the old homestead that she wrote about and took some pictures . Thankfully, it was still standing. Today's writings will be about the house and the old well. Here's Grandma Lizzie's story:

"Now Tandy (this would have been Grandma Lizzie's grandfather) traded another team of oxen (old Jim and Sam) for another 40 acres about 2 miles south of the new home. This farm also was unfenced and had a large one room log house and was mostly in timber. The family had to carry all their drinking water and cooking water from a spring called the Mercy Spring on an adjoining farm about one-half mile away. Several other neighbors carried all their water from this same spring, this was done for about two years until the two sons George and Robert, now 15 and 20, dug their first well. They also dug wells on the south forty. These wells were about thirty feet deep with an ample supply of water and were known as the best soft water wells in the county. To this day there has never been a pump on either of them. In those days there was no such thing as a refrigerator, so the milk, butter and cream were hung in a bucket by a small rope down in the well to keep it fresh. The water must be drawn by adults so as not to get it in the well for if this did happen , then the well must be cleaned out, which was no small job.
The old log house burned in 1912 and new frame house was built in its place, which is still standing but has been vacant for some time. The old farm is all in pasture now and the two large maple trees in the north yard and a large cottonwood tree in the south yard next to the kitchen were killed by the fire when the old house burned. They had to be cut when the new house was built. So this ends the story of a fine, old pioneer family. "

From what I can tell from the old records and from what living family members can tell me, it seems both my great-grand-parents died in this old house. They had 14 children, including my Grandma Lizzie. My great-grandmother Mary died first in 1923 at the age of 47 and my Grandma Lizzie and Grandpa Art moved into the old homestead and lived there until my Great-Grandfather Johnce died also in 1931 at the age of 64. He never remarried after the death of his beloved wife. My dad tells me they were not sure of what my great-grandmother died of, but that my great-grandfather sat in a rocking chair and held her in his lap till she was gone. She still had young ones at home to mourn her death. How sad! This may be boring to some of you but I find it fascinating!

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