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Shopping Saturday: A Trip to Town in 1906 by the Roberts Family of Jasper County, Iowa- Part 3

Schoolhouse, Marshall Co., Iowa, via Library of Cogress; Farm Security Administration. This is NOT the schoolhouse near the Roberts homestead, but is very similar. Note “the necessary” out back.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Edith ROBERTS continues her story of growing up on the farm in Jasper County, Iowa, and tells us about the actual trip from the farm to town. Together with her father, George A. ROBERTS, her mother, Ella V. (DANIEL) ROBERTS, and her big brother Georgie A. ROBERTS and her older sister Ethel G. ROBERTS, the family made the (weather-permitting) weekly visit to Newton, Iowa into a lovingly remembered event.

“Brother would have driven the skittish team [of horses] to the kitchen door and was having a time holding them in check. We were all ready. Dad had carried out the hot bricks that had been heating in the oven. He wrapped them in many sheets of newspaper, and scattered them in the straw [of the wagon].

Now I had to submit to the indignity of lying on the sitting room floor and be wrapped up in a soft brown shawl. Mother would toss the top of the shawl over my head, and brother … [or] Dad would pick me up like a sack of flour and carry me to the waiting bobsled, If it was Brother, he would jump me unceremoniously into the soft straw. I was so bundled up I could hardly sit upright. I was still squealing; “I can’t see, I can’t see.” so as my mother settled herself into the wagon she took the cover off my face. Sister who was sitting opposite us was already shivering, as she had not put on the sweater mother had told her to. Dad had thrown a lap robe over us. It was from Sears, Roebuck. A plush-like material with a fancy design on one side. How good the warm bricks feel.”

As Edith told her stories, it was obvious that they took her back in time to where she could feel the warm bricks even 60 or 70 years later.

“Brother and dad would be standing up in front. Perhaps on this trip dad would hand the lines, or reins, to brother, and he would proudly turn us around and head straight northeast towards Newton. [They would pass a schoolhouse similar to the one pictured above.]

“If it had snowed enough so that the fences were covered and Skunk River had frozen over, by going directly across the river and fences, we would make better time, and of course the distance was much shorter. The sleigh bells were jangling merrily, as the horses, still feeling their mettle, were really making time. Brother would have to lean back, pulling on the reins to check their speed. Both dad and brother would be wearing fur coats, made from the hides of the beeves [beef cows] we had butchered. Their caps were fur-lined and their long high-cuffed mittens were warm, and make holding on to the reins easier.”

Again, in her writing, Edith seems transported back to that time, making it no longer just the past, but a part of her. She did miss her family, as she outlived her parents and siblings, and the ways of life on the farm were rapidly disappearing.

Edith finished her story:

“The sun was glistening on the hard crusted snow, making millions maybe zillions of flashing diamond like particles on the snow. By this time I was sleepy, and the last I would remember was the cheery sound of the sleigh bells. Mother was so warm and comforting beside me as I went to sleep, and I didn’t know anything until we drove up in front of the grocery store. Mother and sister and I got out while dad and brother took the team of horses to the livery stable to be fed and stabled until time to go home.

“A busy interesting day was ahead of us.”

And so Ellie (DANIEL) ROBERTS would barter her delicious butter, eggs, and other homemade delights at the Newton grocery, and “Shopping Saturday” would begin in earnest for the Roberts family in 1906.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “A Trip to Town, 1906–Wintertime” by Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck. Written in the 1960s-1970s for her grandchildren.

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Workday Wednesday: A Trip to Town in 1906 by the Roberts Family of Jasper County, Iowa, Part 2

Farm in Snow, Grundy Co., Iowa, via Library of Cogress; Farm Security Administration. This is NOT the Roberts family farm, but gives an idea of what it would have looked like in winter.

 

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

When the ROBERTS family went into town in 1906, it was not just a fun trip. Part of the reason for the journey was to sell products made on the farm to grocers in town.

As Edith M. ROBERTS told the story sixty years later,

“We lived ten miles from Newton, Iowa. Once a week, weather permitting, we made a trip to Newton, winter and summer. Mother made butter to sell, and the store, where mother took her butter, had regular customers for it, so we had to make this trip weekly if at all possible. It was said: “If for any reason we did not get to town, or were late in arriving, her butter customers would wait until mother did get to town.”

The “workday” of Edith’s mother concerning the butter they were taking to town actually took more than one day when one considered all the different tasks that ended up becoming beautiful, creamy butter. To start with, each day of the week would have begun early for Ella V. (DANIEL) ROBERTS, with a cold trip from the house to the warm barn with the milch (milk) cows. She would be carrying pails for the milk and likely one with water she had heated up on her stove, so that she could wash the udders of the cows and relax them, so that milk letdown would occur. Although a heavy, short and stout woman, Ellie sat on a small 3-legged stool, and would use her warmed hands to coax the white milk full of fat out of the udders. The two daughters (Ethel and Edith) would have helped at times, and maybe even son Georgie when he was young. The pails full of warm milk would be carried carefully to the house, trying to not spill what was likely about 40 lbs. of liquid and pail. The trip to the house would have started to cool the milk in the cold winters, and the high-fat cream would be rising to the top as they entered the warm kitchen. This whole  scenario would be repeated again in the evening- and every day, every week, every month, every year. Cows must be milked when it is time.

Edith continued her story:

“During the week mother would have churned the butter from thick cream, and worked and worked it with a wooden butter paddle to get out all the salt and brine.

Butter paddles, AKA Scotch hands, butter pats, etc, via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.0.

They say, that Mr. Hough, (the grocer where we took our butter,) would finger-test each role of butter for saltiness. (Not very sanitary, now is it?)

We had a special market basket that mother lined with newspapers, and then a snow-white sugar sack was put in, to hold the well formed oblong rolls of butter. Each roll had daisy design pressed in the top. Mother would carefully fold over the sack and set it aside to put in the bobsled in the winter, or in the buggy in summer, when we were ready to leave the house for Newton. These sacks had been bleached during the summer with salt and lemon juice. We always bought our sugar in 50 pound sacks, and flour in sacks or hundred pound barrels.”

Butter was not the only farm commodity brought in to town folks. Ellie made cakes and pies too, and,

“In the summer we had eggs for sale, but our flock [of] Plymouth Rock chickens did not lay well in the winter. Some said we should have a flock of Leghorn chickens, but dad would not have a fluttering Leghorn on the place, nor would he have any guineas, ducks, geese or Jersey cattle on our farm. My dad was pretty definite [sic] in his ideas.”

 

To be continued…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “A trip to Town 1906– Wintertime” by Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, written for her grandchildren in the 1960s-1970s.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Mappy Monday: The Murrell, Roberts, and Daniel Families

Map of Illinois showing Roseville, the county seat of Warren County, Illinois, via Wikipedia, public domain.

 

Murrell Family, Roberts Family, Daniel Family (Click for Family Tree)

After about 15 years in Illinois, the fertile lands of Iowa (and possibly adventure?) called to our Roberts, Murrell, and Daniel ancestors who had migrated from Virginia originally and were living in Warren County, Illinois in the late 1860s. A possible migration would have been a discussion around a fire or the supper table for many nights. Each of the families had done such a migration once or even twice before, so it may not have been quite as daunting to plan as their first trips. By 1868, the railroad was well established in Iowa and Iowa had been a state for over 20 years, so it was not as if they were moving to a new frontier.

In 1868, John Roberts & Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts sold off what they could or gave away items, and packed up the rest of their household into a covered wagon. John was 36 years old, Elizabeth 33, and their three sons and one daughter ranged from 5-10 years old; the father of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, George Anthony Roberts, was just 7 years old- what an adventure that must have been for a young boy!

Covered wagon pulled by oxen. Wikimedia Commons.
Covered wagon pulled by oxen. Wikimedia Commons.

Elizabeth Ann’s parents, Wiley Anderson Murrell and Mary Magdalene (Honts) Murrell were both 62 in 1868, and all their children were grown. Two of their sons (John Henry Murrell and James Murrell) had moved to Missouri; one, William Anderson Murrell, was married and living in Roseville. Their daughter Ann Elisy Murrell chose to stay in Roseville, and married the next year, in 1869. So Wiley and Mary packed up their household as well, and made the trip of about 175 miles to Iowa with their daughter Elizabeth Ann, her husband John Roberts, and the four grandchildren.

Map showing Jasper County, Iowa, via Wikipedia, public domain.

Edith often told the story (and wrote it down!) that the Daniel family also packed up their worldly goods and family and headed to Iowa that same year, in 1868. She did not know which family arrived in Iowa first, but it is highly likely that they came together in their covered wagons, or one soon after the other. (A big Conestoga wagon could hold the goods of 4-5 families.) Charles M. Daniel was 50 years old, & his wife Elizabeth (Thomas) Daniel was 52. Although they had only been in Illinois for 4-8 years, they too decided to head west. They brought their four youngest children with them, ranging in age from 19-12: John T. Daniel, Mary Daniel, George Wesley Daniel, and Susan Syrena Daniel.  Their oldest son, James W. Daniel, (abt 1842-aft 1910), had stayed in Missouri when they migrated to Illinois in the early 1860s. Another son, Charles M. Daniel (Jr.) (1844-1915) stayed in Warren Co., Illinois and married, then moved to Story County, Iowa (needs to be confirmed) and thence to Madison County, Iowa by 1870. Daughter Nancy J. Daniel (1846-1922) had already married, in 1867, but she and her husband moved to Jasper County, Iowa by 1870, so both Charles and Nancy and their spouses may have travelled with the family group. (Nancy and her husband migrated further west by 1880, to Nebraska.)

Roseman Covered bridge, Madison County, Iowa.
Roseman Covered Bridge, Madison County, Iowa. Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family stories, Murrell Family Bible, and vital records as found on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Tuesday’s Tip: Use a Photo as a Starting Point to Tell the Family Stories

1904- The Three Brothers: William Edward Roberts on left, Jason Lee Roberts in center, George Anthony Roberts on right.
1904- The Three Brothers: William Edward Roberts on left, Jason Lee Roberts in center, George Anthony Roberts on right.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Tuesday’s Tip:

Use a photo as a starting point to tell the family stories.

We family historians have interviewed, researched, downloaded, copied, organized, and stayed up late nights/early mornings to find our ancestors and learn their stories. We have our family history saved as pixels, paper, and more in our brains than is probably written down. But how do we share those stories, to make them more a part of our family’s history? How can we ensure the stories will be passed to generations to come??

More importantly, how do we decide just where to start?

Photos tell us about relationships when there is more than one person in the image. Thus we can use photos as a way to think about family and friends, and as a way to limit us or give us a starting point for sharing stories. There are so many stories about so many people in our family’s history- obviously, since the number of people doubles with each generation! Sometimes it is tough to decide where to start with writing, or a new blog post. So in the near future, we will use the above image as a starting point for a series of articles about the family of John S. Roberts (1832-1922) and Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts (1835-1917), the parents of these three men.

We will also tell the story of the sister of these three, Mary Jane Roberts, and the infant son, Wilbert John Roberts (1877-1878), who died very young.

And how are we related to these folks? George Anthony Roberts was the father of Edith Mae (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, therefore William Edward and Jason Lee were her paternal uncles, and Mary Jane her paternal aunt.

Stay tuned for more information about these ancestors and their families!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Image from family treasure chest of photos and ephemera.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Friday Funny: Banking by Mail

Banking by Mail- American Jewish Outlook, 25 Aug 1950, Vol. 32, No. 17, Page 15. Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project.
Banking by Mail- American Jewish Outlook, 25 Aug 1950, Vol. 32, No. 17, Page 15. Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project.

I had just deposited a check via the computer I carry in my pocket (my cell phone)- as Nikola Tesla predicted in 1926- and sat down to do a little research. The ‘Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project’ is full of interesting stories and ads, and they are very kind to let us publish the articles from the paper- in fact, they are very pleased that the stories are being made even more accessible and shared!

When I came upon this ad, it struck home since I had just made a deposit in another new-fangled way. Published a bit before I was born, we sure have come a long way from having a long relationship with our tellers and bankers face-to-face. I know that Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck did not trust banking by mail, and much preferred to say hello to a human as she deposited a check. Of course, when Social Security decided to do direct deposit, she had to conform in some respects. She was sad to not have at least held those checks in her hands for a moment. She was also sad that mail banking (and now mobile banking) takes jobs away from our neighbors, and removes another human interaction from our lives. She sure saw a lot of changes in her 83 years, having been born in 1899. I can see her pursed lips and the shaking of her head were she to see how we can view our accounts online on a computer or phone, and how we don’t need to take a passbook in to have it stamped with our deposit amount.

Although at times a Luddite, I will admit that mobile banking sure is a convenience.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Image source as in caption.
  2. “Nikola Tesla’s Incredible Predictions For Our Connected World,” by Matt Novak, 1/06/15, http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/nikola-teslas-incredible-predictions-for-our-connected-1661107313

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.