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Shopping Saturday: Ella V. Daniel- A Farm Wife

"The Square," Newton, Iowa, 1915. Postcard.
“The Square,” Newton, Iowa, 1915. Postcard.

Roberts Family, Daniel Family

Farmer’s wives had a hard life, as did their husbands. When Ella V. Daniel (1866-1922) married George A. Roberts (1861-1939), she was just 18, George 23. They lived on their farm in Mound Prairie Township, Jasper County, Iowa, with three of the four children born to them, as their first child had died in infancy. George Anthony Roberts, Jr., worked hard on the farm his whole life, and his sister Ethel Gay Roberts worked hard as well (although she apparently was more fond of reading than chores). Their baby, Edith Roberts (McMurray) (Luck), who was mentioned as a wonderful gardener earlier this week, wrote stories for her grandchildren about her years growing up on the farm. She detailed the personalities and events of family, and these are such precious stories to have today, and to tell our own children. (We have our own family version of Little House on the Prairie!)

Shopping was a big thing when one lived on a farm, way out in the rural parts of the county. Usually the whole family traveled together in the horse-drawn buggy for the big outing to town. Edith wrote about a shopping incident that happened probably around 1901-2:

My first recollection of mother was very early. She carried me into the store called Carriers and set me on the counter while she did her shopping. We called it trading. As she went out she evidently heard a clerk say, “They will never raise that baby.”

For farm wives, shopping days were not only picking out new calico for a dress, or staples they could not raise on the farm themselves, but they were truly trading days. Ella would bring in items she raised, gathered, or made, in trade for the items the family needed. Edith continues the story:

In the winter we sold butter and in the summer cream.

Mother was a very good butter maker. The secret was getting all the whey out and later the salt water. We came to Newton each Saturday and they say Mr. Hough had regular customers for mother’s butter and if it was to bad for us to get in the folks would rather scrimp along on what they had until mother came in. It was all shaped in rectangular pieces and she would put designs on top and wrap them in snow-white sugar sacks that she had bleached during the summer.

Ella also baked cakes and pies, skills she taught her youngest daughter well. Edith’s pies, cakes, and cookies were always the first to sell at church bake sales, and Ella’s bakery items were esteemed as well. Ella did sell to other grocers in town, including one named Will McMurray. Will and his wife Lynette Payne McMurray had two sons who probably helped out in the store. One of them, Edward A. McMurray, would eventually become Edith’s husband. Shopping was, obviously, a good way to meet and chat with family, friends, and neighbors- and even future sweethearts.

Edith’s story about her father included:

He dabbled in county politics. The time we spent sitting on the bench at Houghs grocery store waiting for Dad. He would be out on the street talking to some one about the county and township politics.

No doubt this was a frustration to Ella too. As a farmer’s wife, she knew there were lots of chores awaiting their return to the farm. But the wait for George who was deep in political discourse would have been a regular part of their shopping day, so the family learned to be patient.

More about those chores awaiting their return to the farm in our next post.

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family treasure chest of stories by Edith Roberts Luck.

2) Workday Wednesday: Tilling the Soil, Part 1- http://heritageramblings.net/2015/05/06/workday-wednesday-tilling-the-soil-part-1/

3) Workday Wednesday Continued on Thursday: Tilling the Soil, Part 2- http://heritageramblings.net/2015/05/07/workday-wednesday-continued-on-thursday-tilling-the-soil-part-2/

 

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Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, 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.

Sentimental Sunday: Roberts Genealogy in an Address Book

Page from an address book of Edith Roberts (McMurray) Luck, with genealogical information of family and friends.
Page from an address book of Edith (Roberts) (McMurray) Luck, with genealogical information of family and friends.

Sometimes the small ephemera left by a person can be so personal that it makes me sentimental about them and the sweet times we had together. Seeing the handwriting, seeing who is important in her life, and just noting that this was information that she thought was important enough to pass on, touches my heart. Edith (Roberts) (McMurray) Luck is a big part of why I love family history so much, so this find made me very sentimental about the times she talked about her family, and drove us all over the county to visit her cousins and elderly relatives. There was only one of the new-fangled copiers in town, and family members would not allow us to take their treasures, so my sister and I copied obituaries, letters, etc., by hand, using a purple Flair pen (the coolest thing to come out of the 60s). There are precious documents that were shared that hot Iowa summer, items that would have been lost forever had we not transcribed them in the 1960s.

Here is a transcription and some details about the persons she listed:

Grandpa Daniels  [Robert Woodson Daniels- Edith’s maternal grandfather] March 21-1862

enlisted Rocklimogen W. Vir

5’8″

Light complexion- Light hair   Grey eyes

discharged fm USA [United States Army] March 25-1865

was 23 years

Born May 26-1843

Died June 20-1922  79 years

 

Grandma Daniels [Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniels- Edith’s maternal grandmother]

Marg A.

Born Sept 25- 1839

died Dec 19- 1915   76 years

 

George Roberts [George Anthony Roberts, Edith’s father]

Born Nov 18 -1861        78 years

died April 18 -1939          5 months

0 days

 

Ella V. Daniels [Ella Viola (Daniels) Roberts, Edith’s beloved mother]

Born Oct 29 1866        55 yrs- 3 mo- 18 days

Died Jan 17 1922        56 yrs.

 

Georgie Roberts [Edith’s brother, George Anthony Roberts, Jr.]  June 30 1965 [death date]    76 [years]   -1889 [birth year]

 

Ethel Robison  [Edith’s sister, Ethel Gay Roberts, married to Bert Robison]  Jan 28 1969 [death date]  78 [years]  1891 [birth year]

 

Winnie Carson [Edith’s first cousin- Winnie Viola Walker was the daughter of Lily G. (Daniels) Walker, Edith’s mother’s sister, and married Archibald Carson (1892-1982)]   June 1997 [June 1897 was when Winnie was born- an error in Edith’s notes]

 

Hilma Stines  [Edith’s first cousin and sister of Winnie Viola Walker, both daughters of Lily G. (Daniels) Walker, Edith’s mother’s sister; married Ruben M. Stines.] Ap. 1900 [birth date either April 1900 or approximately 1900; census calculation indicates about 1902 for birth.]

 

Mrs. Annie Hunniball   [Eliza Ann Fletcher, a close friend and neighbor of Edith as an adult. Annie was born 18 Dec 1880 in Timworth, Suffolk, England, and married Albert John Hunniball (1877-1965); they never had children. As a young woman, Annie worked in one of the palaces of the British Queen.] Died 7.45 PM.

1971  Tues Jan 26- Buried

Thurs Jan 28

 

As I was typing out these names and dates, I thought it somewhat ironic that Edith would have used a page from her address book that had a place for a phone number, since telephones were unknown when some of these persons were born. But then, maybe it was not so ironic, since the lifetimes of these folks spanned a simpler time, leading up to the use of the telephone and even the automobile in the early 1900s. By 1914, the US had the most telephones per capita of any country, so even Margaret Ann (Hemphill) Daniels may have seen or used a telephone before her death in 1915, depending on when it was introduced to their rural area. What an amazing time period to have lived, from the late 1830s until the nineteen-teens and twenties. The changes in technology were just astounding during that time span.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family treasure chest.

 

Please contact us if you would like a higher resolution image.

Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, 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.

Mystery Monday: Roberts, Daniel, or ? in Early 1920s?

Possible Roberts, Daniel, or ? Family Picture. Woman on front right is probably Edith Roberts. In with images from the early 1920s, possibly taken in Iowa.
Possible Roberts, Daniel, or ? Family Picture. Woman on front right is probably Edith Roberts, man to her right with bow tie is probably George A. Roberts, Jr., Edith’s brother. (See below.) In with images from the early 1920s, possibly taken in Iowa.

 

This image is in the photo album of Edith Roberts (later McMurray and then Luck), in with images taken in the early 1920s. The woman in the front on the right appears to be Edith, but it is unknown who the other persons are. Since she is by herself and we do not recognize any of the men in the picture, she may not yet have been married nor had her son, Edward A. McMurray. (He was born in 1924.)

We would be very interested in learning more about any of the people in this picture! Please contact us if you know them.

 

REVISED later in the day after looking at more family photos: The man with the bow tie to the right of Edith is probably her brother, George Anthony Roberts, Jr. The woman two persons to the left of Edith, holding a little girl with a barrette in her hair, may be Edith’s sister, Ethel Gay (Roberts) Robinson (1891-1969). The child may be Ruby Robinson, born 1915, or Helen Viola Robinson, born 1921. Ethel’s husband Bert Robinson (1890-1977) may be the man in the back, just to the left of  “Georgie” Roberts. These assumptions/guesses are just from knowing these people in later life and looking at the few pictures we have of them. The man in the center with a tie (in front) may be George A. Roberts, Sr. OR Robert Woodson Daniel. There is a picture of RW Daniel somewhere in the family archives, as I remember Ed McMurray talking about it as we viewed an image. It is on a little cassette video somewhere, just begging to be digitized. Even better would be finding the original, which has not turned up in boxes of family pictures. I am now leaning toward this being a group photo of the Daniel family, as George Roberts, Sr., was not happy with his daughter Ethel’s choice of husband, and he disowned her when she married Bert Robinson; thus, a picture of them all together was unlikely as Geo. Sr. was a strong-minded man (per his daughter Edith). George Sr.’s wife and the mother  of Edith, George, and Ethel’s was Ella V. Daniel, but she had passed away 17 Jan 1922; I don’t believe she is in this picture, which may help date it after 1922 or so. R.W. Daniel’s wife, Margaret Ann Hemphill, died in 1915, so that may also date the photo. Again, any help would be appreciated with identifying the people in this image.

Edited 05/12/15: The man that might be RW Daniel might be correct, but his wife is not in this picture. A story by Edith Roberts said Margaret Ann Hemphill was very thin, and always dressed in dark colors. She was ill for many years before her death, so it is very likely that she is not in this image. RW was bald, per Edith’s story, so that may not be him in the image either. 🙁

 

Still searching for information…

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family treasure chest of photo albums.

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images.

Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, 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.

Thankful Thursday- Thankful for Geeks!

George A. Roberts, about 1900.
George A. Roberts, about 1900.

I am very thankful for my geek family, who have helped me make this blog a bit prettier and more functional than I could have done on my own. My dear husband and son are wonderfully computer literate, and especially talented when it comes to CSS and HTML. (I’m trying to learn it, but would just rather research and write.) Last night we got the pull-down menu mostly fixed under “Family Trees,”which used to be “Pedigrees.” (Sounds sort of stuffy British peerage so we changed the title.) It still doesn’t list the Lee-Alexander-Aiken family on the pull down, but you can access that branch if you just click on “Family Trees.” Clicking on a family from this page will take you to all the posts associated with that family. This is probably the best way to find pertinent-to-you posts, since there are so very many families discussed on this blog.

[Disclaimer: My dear husband and son would have made a much nicer blog if I had not been insistent on doing most of it with WordPress myself. I have tried not to bother them too much with blog fixing, so all poor qualities are due to my strong-willed German heritage, I suppose.]

 

George A. Roberts (1861-1939), above, was a bit of a geek in his day. As a farmer he had to be a tinkerer. He embraced new-fangled gadgets as well, and was one of the first in the area to have indoor plumbing and an automobile. His wife, Ella V. Daniel, was thrilled to finally have running water in the kitchen where she cooked for dozens of men at harvest season! I am sure our son is so handy partly because of George, plus from his father/my husband, who is descended from people who worked with their hands, like farmers and shoe-makers, and has a bit of German engineering genetics thrown in from somewhere, I am sure. Many trips in the stroller to Home Depot as a baby to get out of the house on a rainy day were probably helpful too- our son first counted to 100 sitting on the floor with big landscape spikes. (We did buy them and then he got to help use a sledgehammer…great fun.)

I am also thankful for Thomas MacEntee and his wonderful blogs, Hack Genealogy and GeneaBloggers. His webinars and shared information has done much to advance genealogical research, and get many of us to write blogs to share what we have learned.

One of those who shares her genealogy and writes it beautifully is Cynthia Mulcahy/Mulberrygrrl of We’re All Relative. I am not related but her amazing prose is inspiring to writers and does relate to many of the lines I am researching. I particularly enjoyed her recent post, “I’m Finally Embracing My Scots-Irish Ancestry.” She uses great images to illustrate her points, and she discusses many facts I had not known. This post mentions that the ‘Fighting Scots-Irish’ were enticed to America to be a ‘buffer’ between civilized cities and the wild frontier- so many of my ancestors were just those folks.

I cannot end this “Thankful Thursday” post without mentioning Jim Whitener, who pushed me into starting this blog after hearing yet another Legacy Family Tree Webinar on blogging how-to. I am looking forward to more posts on his family, when he has some time to write about his ancestors, i.e., when he is not enjoying his rich legacy of children and grandchildren. 😉

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) From our family photo treasure chest. This is one-thrid of a portrait of the three Roberts brothers, taken about 1900 in Newton, Jasper, Iowa.

Please contact us if you would like a higher resolution image.

Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, 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.