Remembering with Granny Boone, Part 2

As mentioned in the previous post, my Grandmother, Margaret Millikan, kept some notes of conversations with her Grandmother, Sarah Alzada Erp Boone, “Allie” or “Granny Boone.” Allie’s mother was Sarah Alexander Erp. Here are more of those memories.

Sarah Erp washed on a big rock by the stream. Water was heated in a big iron kettle over an open fire. A paddle was used to beat dirt out of clothes on a big flat rock. One of the sons made a paddle & bored holes in it as a gift to his mother to help with the washing. A big board with grooves cut in it made a scrub board. Clothes were spread on grass, bushes and fence to dry. They would “wash clothes on Saturday night for Sunday School.”

All clothes, dresses, overalls, men’s clothes were cut and sewed by hand. As mentioned before, Sarah wove cloth on her loom. Clothes were not plentiful. There were two outfits for each with “one on & one extra.” Allie had a little white dress with “saw teeth” (rickrack?) around the neck and sleeves and she was afraid it would cut her head! She remembered a little pink bonnet and a black and white dress. Her first high boots had red tops or “uppers” and copper toes. Their stockings were knit from wool they had spun. The wool came from sheep they helped to shear. Natural dyes made “butternut” pants and “hickory” shirts. Sarah Erp also wove “coverlets.” She sewed for neighbors too.

A baby would be placed in a horse collar on the floor with a pail of water with a rag in it in front of the baby to teach it to sit up. What child could resist playing in water!

Christmas was “slim.” They would shoot guns, had gun powder “fireworks” and used big boards to make “spring boards” to make noise.

There were few toys. Allie was seven or eight years old when she had a rag doll, “Dinah,” with shoe-button eyes.

Allie must have gone to school when 4 years old. It was a log house with no desks. Seats were split logs around the room and heat came from a long box stove. Spelling and ciphering were about all they did. They were called to a long bench in front to read in concert. There were “spelling schools” and “singing schools!”

There were no musical instruments in church.

Allie told of a trip to visit “Uncle Henry” (possibly an Alexander relative) who lived right on the Wabash River in a two room house or cabin. He could sit in front of his house and fish in the river. He built a 6 or 8 foot rock-lined pool where he kept fish to sell. Steam boats came up the river at night and the boat lights scared Allie. Uncle Henry had a big watermelon patch, would thump a big one, drop and burst it and “the kids ate out of it by the fist-fulls.” She told about dividers in a door made of dried corn stalks cut into different lengths & strung on twine.

Granny talked of “love apples;” tomatoes planted in the yard like flowers. They were afraid to eat the fruit. (Maybe she was talking about passion fruit.)

When she was 20 years old, Allie married 28 year old Alva Lorenzo Boon, November 28, 1889 in Clinton County, Indiana. (The “e” shows up at the end of Boon after their marriage.) They lived in the Dillard community of Clinton County, Indiana; then moved East of Sheridan, Hamilton County, Indiana around 1908. They stayed on this farm until just before Alva’s death in 1945. They are buried in Spencer Cemetery, Sheridan, Hamilton County, Indiana.

Allie and Alva had 6 children:

  • Nora Mabel, born in1891 and died less than one year later in 1892
  • Chester Emmett (1892-1954)
  • Rachel Gertrude (1896 or 1898-1969)
  • Mary Geneva (1897-1992) my Great Grandmother!
  • Chauncey, born in 1902 and lived 7 days
  • Richard Edwin (1906-1980)

Mary Geneva Boone reminisced with her daughter, Margaret: She told of few toys. Jimson weed blossoms were dipped in suds and used as bubble pipes. Balls were not from stores but “we raveled Papa’s heavy work socks and wrapped the string around a wad of cloth to make balls.” The only dolls were corn cob dolls.

The school house was just South of the house at Dillard and a store was South on the West side of the road. The church was North in the N.W. corner of the cross roads.

Granny (Allie) & Chester sold Larkin goods. (soap products & household goods. The company offered premiums that could be redeemed for other items.) He got a guitar through sales for Larkin. Granny Boone’s bookcase desk was a Larkin premium.

©MJM 2016

2 thoughts on “Remembering with Granny Boone, Part 2

  1. A bunch more food for thought as to how our ancestors lived. Had no idea things were that hard for them. Gives more insight into the people they were!

    Like

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