The following was written by Edward Young and typed from
hand written notes left in his desk by daughter, Betty Adair <Blaquilt@macomb.com>
Edward Young, Born: January 10, 1889, Died: March 10, 1987: I was born January
10, 1889 at the Northwest Quarter of Section 30, in Eldorado Township in
a two-room log house with a lean-to kitchen. Father and Mother’s bed
stood in the front room. Under their bed was a trundle bed which could
be rolled out at night-time and be pushed back under in the day-time.
A little ladder led to a scuttle hole in the ceiling which my two older brothers,
Willis and Orrie, would climb to sleep in the loft. I have heard them
say that in the snowy weather they would have to shake the snow off their
covers before they could get up.
My mother passed away there February 12, 1893 when I was four years
old and sister Grace was coming six years; Orrie, 11 years; and Willis, 13
years. Father’s sister, Olive Young, came to stay with us. Father
also kept a hired girl to help with the work. After Mother passed away,
Father would often rock me singing "I have anchored my soul in the haven
of rest, I will sail the wide seas no more, the tempest may wave o’er the
wild stormy deep …." (Haven of Rest). Father never went to church but
was always ready to take anyone who wanted to go. Grandfather Young
was a Quaker and belonged to the Friends Church.
In the spring of 1894, Father moved from the farm in Eldorado Township
to the Dick Pennington farm north of Industry, later owed by Bert Pennington.
On September 4, 1894, father married Marilla Belle Wilson and to this union
one child was born, Sister Nellie Young. At the age of six, I started
spring term at the McGaughey School, north of Industry. While on the
Pennington farm, Father lost one of his best horses and all of his hogs with
Cholera. He stayed there two years then moved to the Henry Garrison
farm south of Industry where Archie Pennington owned and lived. Father
got started raising hogs again and had a nice bunch (I think in 1897).
He was offered $.025 for them so he bought corn from the neighbors for $.15
a bushel and kept them over until the next spring; then, sold them for $.03
lb. That was in Grover Cleveland’s time.
I remember the first steam engine I ever saw while we were living
on the Garrison farm. Uncle Ed Wilson and Zenith Moore came with a
small clover huller and a little upright steam engine. One team of
horses was pulling the engine and another team was pulling the huller.
It took several days to pull the clover as the engine and huller were both
small and hulling the clover did not go very fast.
Father always raised his own wheat for flour; cane for molasses; and
buckwheat for pancakes. I remember going to Vermont with him on a sled
and we had it piled full on the back with wheat and buckwheat to have ground
into flour for our bread and pancakes. He hauled the cane to Industry
to the molasses mill that Uncle Lu Kerr had ran on the corner where
John Heaton lived. Uncle Lu made us a barrel of sorghum molasses.
About half of it went to sugar and Father had to take the head out of the
barrel so we could get the molasses out. The molasses was used on the
table and also to make taffy and popcorn balls.
Geneva Clugston (born sixteen days after me) and I started to Runkle
School where I finished. We hadn’t met since that time until in our
late 90’s at the Elms Nursing Home in Macomb. Her name was Geneva Gorsuch.
My sister, Grace, and I would walk to Runkle School and every now and then
we would see Darius Runkle riding a horse. We thought he was a fine
old man. I remember him well. One evening, I think it was in
1896, Father was summoned to the Runkle home. Mr. Runkle was very sick
and passed away that night. I remember going to the funeral with my
folks. The corpse was in a spring wagon or hack and everyone else was
in surreys, wagons or whatever they had. Darius was George Runkle’s
In the spring of 1899, we moved to the Gardner farm southeast of Industry.
It consisted of 240 acres. That was the spring Uncle Ely Young was killed.
Nellie's mother, Marilla, passed away in May of that year. Again, Aunt Olive
came to stay with us and a hired girl helped with the work. I remember that
spring we had a big snow in April and we kids built a snowman south of the
house. I have a picture of it and we four kids, Willis, Orrie, Grace and
me taken on April 14.
We had quite a few fruit trees on the farm and a lot of apple and
peach butter and preserves were made as well as canning the fruit. I have
known Father, when we had no cellar, to dig good-sized holes out in the garden,
line them with straw, fill one with apples, one with potatoes, and one with
cabbages. He would cover them with straw and mound them with dirt. In the
winter we would chop a hole in the side and reach in for apples, potatoes
or whatever we wanted at the time. Then we would stuff the hole with straw
and it would be ready for the next time. The apples were the best flavored
that you ever tasted.
I think about that time threshing was done with steam engines and
a straw stacker was pulled behind the separator. It was called a traveling
stacker and two or three men would be on the straw pile to build and shape
it up. One man stood on the front of the separator and fed grain by hand
into the separator. Usually two boys, one on each side of the man feeding,
cut the bands. I have seen a lot of this done but I was too short when
I was a kid to reach the table.
Next a blower was installed on the back of the separator and that
was the end of the traveling stacker. After so many years came the self-feeder
and that was the end of the hand-feeding and hand-cutting. For several years
they threshed with steam engine and separator, then came the combines which
are still in use yet today.
While living in Flat Woods, Uncle Ely Young was killed; Uncle Morgan
Young passed away; Nellie's mother passed away and Grandmother Young passed
away. She was John Young's third wife. On February 7, 1900, Father married
Carrie Victoria Kimble and to this union one child was born, brother James
Also, while living in Flat Woods, Father raised a large number of
Chester White hogs; black Angus cattle; and, black chickens.
Uncle George Young with his son, Forrest, and Father and I would take
a wagon to Beardstown to get melons. We would park in a grove of pecan trees
and sleep under the wagon on the ground that night. The next morning we would
load up melons and start home.
When I was about 15 years old, a neighbor boy died and I was asked
to be a pallbearer. On a very cold morning, several of us started for lpava
on horseback. There were no funeral homes then.
I helped Father farm until the spring of 1910 when I was 21 years
of age. I was going to work out that summer. Orrie was working by the month
for Ed Burnham getting $25 per month. My brother, Willis, was farming the
Dood's farm down by Doddsville and he asked me what I would take to work
for him. I told him that Orrie was getting $25 per month and that was what
I would like to have. He said OK, he would give me that and I hired out to
him. All other hands I knew of were getting only $20 per month.
Along that summer Bert Messmore came down from Macomb. He was in charge
of renting the farm. He had been to see Willis who had been sick most of
the summer but wanted to rent the place for another year. Mr. Messmore came
out to the field where I was working and asked me if he did rent to Willis
and if Willis was not able to farm, would I take over the farm and see that
it was farmed. I told him I would and I worked the year through for him and
shucked about 80 acres of corn by hand by myself. I was going with Anna Standard
all of that summer. She was born in Section 19 of Eldorado township joining
the farm on the north of where I was born. On December 24, 1910, we were
married and took over the farm for the next year of 1911. About a week after
we were married, on December 31, 1910, Willis passed away with tuberculosis.
(Ed and Anna had six children and were married 57 years when she passed
away February 2, 1968 at the age of 73. Ed lived to be 98 on January 10,
1987 and passed away on March 10, 1987.)
Betty Adair (5th of 6 children) March 24, 1987
At one time, the above was published in the McDonough County Historical Society Newsletter.
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