image_pdfimage_print

Wordless Wednesday: George Anthony Roberts and Family, 1892

Family of John Roberts and Ella Viola (Daniel) Roberts, 1892, Jasper County, Iowa. Son George A. Roberts, Jr., is in stroller, and Ethel Gay Roberts is held by her mother. Their third child, Edith Mae Roberts, was not yet born.
Family of George Anthony Roberts and Ella Viola (Daniel) Roberts, 1892, Jasper County, Iowa. Son George A. Roberts, Jr., is in stroller, and Ethel Gay Roberts is held by her mother. Their third child, Edith Mae Roberts, was not yet born.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest of photos, cropped from the original larger picture of all the descendants of John S. Roberts and Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts.
  2. For original, large image please see also Treasure Chest Thursday: The John Roberts and Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts Family in 1892 at http://heritageramblings.net/2014/02/06/the-john-roberts-and-elizabeth-ann-murrell-roberts-family-in-1892/.

Click to enlarge any image. Please contact us if you would like an image in higher resolution.

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.

Ella V. Daniel Roberts- A Day in the Life of a Farm Wife, Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Ella V. Daniel Roberts- A Day in the Life of a Farm Wife
George Anthony Roberts with his wife Ella V. Daniel Roberts and their three children: Ethel Gay Roberts standing in back on left, George Anthony Roberts, Jr. standing on right, and little Edith Mae Roberts between her beloved parents, circa 1904.
George Anthony Roberts with his wife Ella V. Daniel Roberts and their three children: Ethel Gay Roberts standing in back on left, George Anthony Roberts, Jr. standing on right, and little Edith Mae Roberts between her beloved parents, circa 1904.

Daniel Family, Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Very few of the clothes of the female members of the family were store bought in the late 1800s-early 1900s, although the men’s clothes may have been purchased, especially work pants. Ella V. Daniel Roberts probably made her own dress in the above picture, and that of her daughters, and may have made the men’s shirts. She probably did not make their suits, especially since by the date of this picture, they were prosperous farmers and could afford store-bought suits for George Sr. and Jr. Otherwise, Ellie Roberts did all the family sewing, which probably included quite a lot of mending. Her sewing tasks would also have included bed coverings such as quilts, curtains, tablecloths, towels, etc. Much of the sewing would have been done by hand, though she did use a treadle sewing machine that was later was used by her daughter Edith for many years, making dresses and doll clothes for her own grandchildren. (Heart-wrenchingly, the sewing machine was put on the front lawn and auctioned off, along with other family treasures, something Edith never wanted to happen after her death.)

Edith described the clothing worn in a story written for her grandchildren:

Mother dressed like all farm women of that day. Calico dress. That is print now. Long skirt gathered to a waist, usually a collar and mid arm length sleeves. A long apron gathered to a band ending in strings tied at her waist. Sometimes there was a bib. Pinned on both sides to the dress. All I can remember about under wear was the corset. The kind that laced at the back. It was in two pieces. Guess that is why they called them corsets. A heavy hook fastening at front that really flattened your tummy and pushed up the bust. To control that you wore a corset waist. That really flattened the bust. It was buttoned up the front and pinned to the corset at the waist.

Her hair was curly and auburn. I can see her sitting down after the dinner work was done combing her hair, she used hairpins that were rubber and a comb in back. Maybe one on either side too.

That is the way she got her rest I suppose in these little daily tasks that let her sit down. She did all the sewing. Now I wouldn’t say all as her very best dress was made by a dressmaker in Prairie City. I wonder what happened to the beautiful black dress that she had on in the picture hanging on the wall in my bedroom. It was heavy satin. Almost heavy [enough] to stand alone. White ruching around the collar and braid a foot up from the hem and a hair braid underneath the hem to keep it from wearing. She was beautiful in it. 

Sadly, we only have the above picture of Ellie Roberts that is close enough to see what she looked like. We do not know what happened to the picture Edith mentioned above, nor to the items listed below. There are also two pictures of the house and extended family that include Ellie, but it is very hard to see many details in either. We have no pictures of her early life, nor George’s- if you, dear reader, do have pictures of this family, please contact us!

One thing I remember was the plumed hat mother wore. Black with huge plumes and long black hat pins, to hold it on. Sometimes a veil over her face. Can’t remember gloves but always a purse, and high shoes, laced and polished. I can’t remember a coat. I wonder what happened to all her things. In the front room bedroom off the parlor was a built in closet in which she kept the good clothes. I would get into that closet once in a while and rummage. There was a tin box with old rings and memory books etc. Also Christmas gifts. How did I know that, well I rummaged and found them. I do have her tatting shuttle and some of her hair combings after she was grey. Wish I had some of her lovely auburn hair, she rolled high on top of her head. Little scolding locks would always be around her face when she was hot.

When the clothes were just took ragged to mend, they became rugs:

These winter afternoons were quiet and comfortable as I think back on them. This afternoon I had been playing with a big ball of sewed carpet rags. Mother in the evenings would tear up all the old worn clothes and then sew them together to make rugs. She would take a big basket of balls to Prairie City to a lady that had a loom.

There were a couple of utility quilts that were passed down in the family, but they were in pretty rough condition, with some of the fabric rotted or worn away. There are also some dish towels that Edith embroidered as a young girl- handwork was definitely not a skill she loved. It is likely that Ellie Roberts was the same, as there just was no time for fancy needlework, as utility sewing and other chores took up so much of the life of a farm wife.

Roberts Family Farm- barns in 2012.
Roberts Family Farm- barns in 2012.

Hard physical work, long days from sunup to sundown and beyond, the emotional toll of bad weather and subsequent crop or livestock loss, the illnesses and death that occurred at much younger ages than currently with modern medicine- all these made farm life hard around the turn of the 20th century. All the more reason for love and laughter to have a part in the life of Ellie Roberts and family:

Well one evening we were trying to think of a womans name. All were deep in thot and all at once mother said “What was Mrs. Haffertys name” That was the name they were trying to think of. Every body laughed and what a dear relaxed time it was.

Georgie [George Anthony Roberts, Jr.] was such a tease. He never went out to work that he didn’t tie mother to the chair with her apron strings. She knew what he was doing but would not let on so he could have his fun. How she loved that boy. 

And how we love these stories of times past. Thank you, dear Grandma Edie, for making the past come alive through your letters and stories. And they help us to know that we “come from good pioneer stock, and can do anything we set our minds to do.”

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Excerpts in green are from letters and stories written by Edith Roberts Luck. They are protected under copyright law since she wrote them in the 1970s and 80s, so may not be published or posted elsewhere. Family members may request permission to republish for non-profit use; please use our contact form.

2) Family photo.

3) Grandma Edie would tell us the above about being from good pioneer stock when we faced adversity in our lives, and helped us to know that we will survive, and be successful.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

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 2013-2015 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 of our blog material.

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/

 

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.

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.