As told by Aunt Hattie (part 1)
Hattie had four older brothers, two of whom died in childhood. The new baby sister she speaks of is my grandmother Grace, followed by four more boys and another girl.
My grandmother Grace didn't write any memoirs, however she had a treasure trove of old pictures, such as this one of her mom and dad and half sister.
To you who choose to read on, thank you, and enjoy her memories.
MY CHILDHOOD HOME
I was born in the little town of
We had all kinds of berries and fruit on the place and my Father marketed it in
I never had many playmates as all the near neighbors were old people and their children were all grown and gone. My uncles family lived by us for a while and then my cousin Charlie, who was just my age, used to have good times together. I well remember one day we were playing and saw some strawberries just beginning to turn a very little, but we thought we would surprise Aunt Mary with some for supper. But she didn't seem to be pleased at all with our gift - at all - but ordered us to stay away from the berries.
But they moved away from there and I was left alone again. My brother had married when I was five and
The next one I attended, when seven, was at
One other trip I remember was going huckleberring. You see, the huckleberries there grow in marshes and where we went was inside a man's field and he charged us to go in, and then you can pick all day. We drove in and my Father and brother went back in the jungle to pick. The brush was so thick and tall you couldn't see out. I was to stay right at the wagon so not to get lost; and Mother was to pick near. Well, she was the one to get lost. When she wanted to come out, she didn't know which way to go.
I heard her call, so I answered her and in that way she finally got out. Well, they got a nice lot of berries and then went back home.
Mother always had a nice lot of flowers, which I always enjoyed watching, especially the . I would ask Mother if it was so I could watch them open. One summer Eliza was helping pick raspberries and she put Eva, aged one year, into an apple box and left me to watch her. I was seven. Well, I fed her raspberries and when her mother came to see her, she had berries all over her face and hair. Also, her nice dress was a sight. But she was happy if her mother wasn't; she was afraid she would be sick.
That fall, Eliza's Mother and brother Herbie (who later became her husband) came up one day to visit Mother, and Herbie came along, and Mother said I could take my dishes on the porch and have a little dinner there. That was the first time I ate dinner with him but not the last - for a few years later I met him in
I went to the little country school the winters I was seven and eight - had to walk a mile and a half to school. The spring after I was eight, Mother had pneumonia and died. She died on a Wednesday evening and Friday morning when we got up we found Grandma dying. We didn't know she was sick. She walked outside the night before, taking hold of my hand. So, then we had their funeral together and they were buried side by side in one grave awaiting the call of the Life Giver. Elder Uriah Smith preached their funeral sermon and they were buried in the little cemetery near home.
Well, after Mother and Grandma died it left my Father and I all alone, as my brother
My first acquaintance of my stepmother was one day he took her for a ride out to our old home, and he had a nice patch of onions there. And the first thing she did was to make a beeline for them, and gathered a bunch, then went to Eliza, who was living near, and got some fresh bread and butter and had a feed. I didn't know at that time she was to be my stepmother.
My Father then sold our home and bought a place in town and he run a livery outfit. My stepmother was always very good to me, but of course, she was very young and did things so much different than my Mother, that one day, I told her my Mother wouldn't have done that way, and she thought me sassy so she whipped me. Of course, I didn't think she had a right to do that, so I went right out to the barn and told Father. He just said, "You must mind her and not talk back." But he told her, if I didn't mind, to tell him, and he would see to me. But, we never had any more trouble, and as far as I can remember, he never did whip me.
Well, the next May I was glad to have a sister as I had always wanted one. I went to school whenever I was well enough, although I never went a full term while there. While living there, they had a camp meeting on the fairground not far from where we lived. Also while there, the tabernacle was built. It had a large clock in the cupola that could be seen and heard for a long ways, and I thought it was quite a treat to go to the dedication.
While living there, I got to see my Aunt Calista and cousin Jay. The only one of my Mother's folks I ever saw to remember. I heard her husband, Uncle Seymore Whitney, preach. He was one of the ministers.
I loved the school at
My brothers got me a side saddle and pony, so it was my job to rustle the milk cow. There was open pasture through the pine timber and the slashing, so she could go quite a distance away.
Also, my Father and I picked blackberries that grow wild all through the slashings. One day we went with the horse and buggy over an old corduroy road to an old deserted saw mill and picked. They were lovely berries there and I picked 90 qts. that day and sold them. Well, we picked late and it got dark quick in the thick pine timber on both sides of the road. All at once we heard what sounded like someone hurt or in distress. Father stopped the horse and asked what was wrong. No reply. So we started on again and the cry was repeated but when we stopped - no reply. So we made up our mind it was a panther. It followed us quite a ways, but as we got near to town, didn't hear it any more. It was so dark we couldn't see anything.
In winter we had a nice hill where we went coasting. While living there I and a school mate were baptized in a little lake near
So that was the way we left