Topic: Women

Biography of Mrs. Hannah J. Olmstead

MRS. HANNAH J. OLMSTEAD. – Life upon the Pacific coast brings out the heroic qualities in women as well as in men. It is a social and conventional form which keeps them in the shadow of their husbands’ names. But everybody knows that the greater part of the incentive which a man has to win a position or a fortune comes from his wife. It has long been remarked that the women in the immigrant trains showed more pluck than the men; and many a dispirited husband was cheered up and almost carried through by his brave better half. Delicate women, not used to severe work, would wield the axe or the ox-whip when it fell from stronger hands, and in case of the loss of their companions could take care of their children. Mrs. Olmstead is one of these women, – a lady who can run a farm, transact her own business, and provide for and educate her children. She lives at Walla Walla, Washington, and owns her home. She is a native of South Salem, New York, was born in 1835, and is the daughter of Lewis and Eliza Keeler, well-to-do farmers, who, by the way, are still living, and are now eighty-one and seventy-six years old, respectively. In 1851 Miss Hannah was married to Daniel H. Olmstead, of Port Huron. Soon after their nuptials he was...

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Biographical Sketch of Mrs. T. R. Padgett

Rena Anderson, born near Pryor, November 5, 1887. Educated locally. Married August 29, 1906 T. F. Padgett, born November 2, 1885 in Morgan County, Missouri. They are the parents of: Jessie Bluford, born June 21. 1907; Nolan Floyd, born December 29, 1915; Nellie Edith, born July 5, 1917 and Alma Rena Padgett, born September 7, 1920. Mrs. Padgett is the daughter of Rufus Anderson, born February 27, 1853 in Illinois and Melvina (Wayburn) Anderson born January 17, 1859 in...

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. Hockaday

Interviewer: Archie Koritz Person Interviewed: Mrs. Hockaday Location: Gary, Indiana Place of Residence: 2591 Madison Street, Gary, Indiana Archie Koritz, Field Worker Federal Writers’ Project Porter County-District #1 Valparaiso, Indiana EX-SLAVES MRS. HOCKADAY 2581 Madison Street Gary, Indiana Mrs. Hockaday is the daughter of an ex-slave and like so many others does not care to discuss the dark side of slavery and the cruel treatment that some of them received. After the Civil War the slaves who for the most part were unskilled and ignorant, found it very difficult to adjust themselves to their new life as free persons. Formerly, they lived on the land of their masters and although compelled to work long hours, their food and lodging were provided for them. After their emancipation, this life was changed. They were free and had to think for themselves and make a living. Times for the negro then was much the same as during the depression. Several of the slaves started out to secure jobs, but all found it difficult to adjust themselves to the new life and difficult to secure employment. Many came back to their old owners and many were afraid to leave and continued on much as before. The north set up stores or relief stations where the negro who was unable to secure employment could obtain food and shelter. Mrs. Hockaday says it was the...

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Biography of Mrs. Laura E. Newell

The gift of poetry, that beautiful art which is the product of the imaginative powers and fancy and bears an appeal to these powers, perhaps dumb, in others, sets a little apart its possessor from the everyday experiences of the majority. That its highest development, however, by no means interferes with life’s duties and responsibilities, finds proof in the career of Mrs. Laura E. Newell, a sweet singer of Kansas, who had written some of the most touching and the most inspiring poems of her day and generation. Mrs. Newell was born at New Marlborough, Connecticut, February 5, 1854. In infancy she was left an orphan and after the death of her mother, her aunt, Mrs. Hiram Mabie, adopted and reared her, Mr. and Mrs. Mabie residing then in the State of New York. They came to Kansas in 1858, Mrs. Newell then being but four years old. Mr. Mabie settled at Wamega, in Waubansie County and died there in 1860. Mrs. Mabie was a highly educated lady, holding a life teacher’s certificate granted her by New York, and after Mr. Mabie’s death she resumed school teaching in Kansas, in 1860 becoming an instructor in the Village of Topeka, teaching the second school organized, and taught at Topeka for many succeeding years. Subsequently she was married to J. W. Emerson, a native of Massachusetts and a veteran of the...

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. Heyburn

Interviewer: Ruby Garten Person Interviewed: Mrs. Heyburn Location: Union County, Kentucky (These two stories were told by Mrs. Heyburn as she remembered them from her grandmother). “When the War was going on between the States and the Confederate soldiers had gone south, the Yankee soldiers came through. There was a little negro slave boy living on the farm and he had heard quite a bit about the Yankees, so one day they happened to pass through where he could see them and he rushed into the house and said, “Miss Lulu, I saw a Yankee, and he was a man.” “I remember the slaves on my grandfather’s farm. After they were freed they asked him to keep them because they didn’t want to leave. He told them they could stay and one of the daughters of the slaves was married in the kitchen of my grandfather’s house. After the wedding they set supper for them. Some of the slave owners were very good to their slaves; but some whipped them until they made gashes in their backs and would put salt in the...

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. M. S. Fayman

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Mrs. M. S. Fayman Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: St. Nazaire Parish LA Date of Birth: 1850 Reference: Personal interview with Mrs. Fayman, at her home, Cherry Heights near Baltimore, Md. “I was born in St. Nazaire Parish in Louisiana, about 60 miles south of Baton Rouge, in 1850. My father and mother were Creoles, both of them were people of wealth and prestige in their day and considered very influential. My father’s name was Henri de Sales and mother’s maiden name, Marguerite Sanchez De Haryne. I had two brothers Henri and Jackson named after General Jackson, both of whom died quite young, leaving me the only living child. Both mother and father were born and reared in Louisiana. We lived in a large and spacious house surrounded by flowers and situated on a farm containing about 750 acres, on which we raised pelicans for sale in the market at New Orleans. “When I was about 5 years old I was sent to a private School in Baton Rouge, conducted by French sisters, where I stayed until I was kidnapped in 1860. At that time I did not know how to speak English; French was the language spoken in my household and by the people in the parish. “Baton Rouge, situated on the Mississippi, was a river port and stopping place for all large...

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. Celestia Avery

Interviewer: Ross Person Interviewed: Celestia Avery Location: Georgia Place of Birth: Troupe County, LaGrange GA Age: 75 “A Few Facts Of Slavery” As Told By Celestia Avery—ex-Slave [MAY 8 1937] Mrs. Celestia Avery is a small mulatto woman about 5 ft. in height. She has a remarkably clear memory in view of the fact that she is about 75 years of age. Before the interview began she reminded the writer that the facts to be related were either told to her by her grandmother, Sylvia Heard, or were facts which she remembered herself. Mrs. Avery was born 75 years ago in Troupe County, LaGrange, Ga. the eighth oldest child of Lenora and Silas Heard. There were 10 other children beside herself. She and her family were owned by Mr. & Mrs. Peter Heard. In those days the slaves carried the surname of their master; this accounted for all slaves having the same name whether they were kin or not. The owner Mr. Heard had a plantation of about 500 acres and was considered wealthy by all who knew him. Mrs. Avery was unable to give the exact number of slaves on the plantation, but knew he owned a large number. Cotton, corn, peas, potatoes, (etc.) were the main crops raised. The homes provided for the slaves were two room log cabins which had one door and one window. These...

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. Melissa (Lowe) Barden

Interviewer: Frank M. Smith Person Interviewed: Melissa (Lowe) Barden Location: Youngstown, Ohio Place of Residence: 1671 Jacobs Road Mrs. Melissa (Lowe) Barden of 1671 Jacobs Road, was “bred and born” on the plantation of David Lowe, near Summersville, Georgia, Chattooga County, and when asked how old she was said “I’s way up yonder somewheres maybe 80 or 90 years.” Melissa assumed her master’s name Lowe, and says he was very good to her and that she loved him. Only once did she feel ill towards him and that was when he sold her mother. She and her sister were left alone. Later he gave her sister and several other slaves to his newly married daughter as a wedding present. This sister was sold and re-sold and when the slaves were given their freedom her mother came to claim her children, but Melissa was the only one of the four she could find. Her mother took her to a plantation in Newton County, where they worked until coming north. The mother died here and Melissa married a man named Barden. Melissa says she was very happy on the plantation where they danced and sang folk songs of the South, such as “Sho’ Fly Go ‘Way From Me”, and others after their days work was done. When asked if she objected to having her picture taken she said, “all right, but...

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. Hannah Davidson

Interviewer: K. Osthimer Person Interviewed: Hannah Davidson Location: Toledo, Ohio Place of Birth: Ballard County, Kentucky Date of Birth: 1852 Place of Residence: 533 Woodland Avenue, Toledo, Ohio Mrs. Hannah Davidson occupies two rooms in a home at 533 Woodland Avenue, Toledo, Ohio. Born on a plantation in Ballard County, Kentucky, in 1852, she is today a little, white haired old lady. Dark, flashing eyes peer through her spectacles. Always quick to learn, she has taught herself to read. She says, “I could always spell almost everything.” She has eagerly sought education. Much of her ability to read has been gained from attendance in recent years in WPA “opportunity classes” in the city. Today, this warm hearted, quiet little Negro woman ekes out a bare existence on an old age pension of $23.00 a month. It is with regret that she recalls the shadows and sufferings of the past. She says, “It is best not to talk about them. The things that my sister May and I suffered were so terrible that people would not believe them. It is best not to have such things in our memory.” “My father and mother were Isaac and Nancy Meriwether,” she stated. “All the slaves went under the name of my master and mistress, Emmett and Susan Meriwether. I had four sisters and two brothers. There was Adeline, Dorah, Alice, and Lizzie....

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. Phoebe Bost

Interviewer: Frank Smith Person Interviewed: Phoebe Bost Location: Campbell, Ohio Place of Birth: Louisiana Place of Residence: 3461 Wilson Avenue, Campbell, Ohio Youngstown, Ohio. Mrs. Phoebe Bost, was born on a plantation in Louisiana, near New Orleans. She does not know her exact age but says she was told, when given her freedom that she was about 15 years of age. Phoebe’s first master was a man named Simons, who took her to a slave auction in Baltimore, where she was sold to Vaul Mooney (this name is spelled as pronounced, the correct spelling not known.) When Phoebe was given her freedom she assummed the name of Mooney, and went to Stanley County, North Carolina, where she worked for wages until she came north and married to Peter Bost. Phoebe claims both her masters were very mean and would administer a whipping at the slightest provocation. Phoebe’s duties were that of a nurse maid. “I had to hol’ the baby all de time she slept” she said “and sometimes I got so sleepy myself I had to prop ma’ eyes open with pieces of whisks from a broom.” She claims there was not any recreation, such as singing and dancing permitted at this plantation. Phoebe, who is now widowed, lives with her daughter, in part of a double house, at 3461 Wilson Avenue, Campbell, Ohio. Their home is fairly...

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Biography of Mrs. John Trigg Moss

Mrs. John Trigg Moss, prominently known for her broad humanitarian work and her connection with many agencies for the uplift and benefit of the individual and of the community, was born in St. Louis, December 24, 1876, bearing the maiden name of Arline B. Nichols. Her father, E. P. Nichols, is now living in St. Louis and was formerly connected with the Missouri Pacific Railroad but is now living retired. He comes of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He wedded Belle Arline Matlack, whose father, Earl Matlack, was one of the early lumbermen of St. Louis. Also in the maternal line Mrs. Moss is descended from Timothy Matlack, who was clerk of that important gathering which framed the Declaration of Independence, and due to his excellent penmanship he was given the task of writing that important document. It is also through the maternal line that Mrs. Moss is descended from Daniel Heath, who was with the New York troops in the Revolutionary war, being a boy of but seventeen years of age when he enlisted and he won the rank of sergeant. He also served in the War of 1812 with the forces from Indiana and again was made sergeant. Mrs. Moss was educated in the schools of St. Louis and specialized in work for the deaf. For six years she taught in the St. Louis Day School for the Deaf and...

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Biography of Mrs. George Thacher Guernsey

Her character, her intellectual attainments, her philanthropy and her prominent association with large movements make Mrs. George T. Guernsey of Independence one of the great women of Kansas. She had lived in Independence since 1879, and was first known in that city as a teacher in the high school. Her husband is one of the most successful and prominent bankers of Kansas, and the possession of ample means had enabled her to satisfy her cultivated tastes in the way of books, travel, art and literature, and her energy had impelled her to a position of leadership in the larger woman’s movements. In 1915 Mrs. Guernsey was candidate for the high office of president general of the national society Daughters of the American Revolution. That candidacy places her in a favorable position for election to that distinguished honor in 1917. Her name had thus become prominently known outside of her home state, and much had been written and said concerning this brilliant Kansas woman. The state recording secretary, Daughters of the American Revolution, of Kansas, thus writes: “Mrs. George Thacher Guernsey of Independence had been chosen by many of the most thoughtful and earnest women of the Society as their candidate for the high office of President General, and in her they feel that the organization will have a leader of high efficiency. “Mrs. Guernsey as state regent of Kansas,...

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Biography of Mrs. A. C. Stich

Mrs. A. C. Stich by her inheritance of some of the best of old American stock and as head of the home over which she presided for so many years, is a Kansas woman of whom some special note should be made. Her great-grandfather William Henry Stoy was the founder of the family in America, having emigrated from Germany. He was a ministor of the Episcopal Church, and spent many years in preaching in Pennsylvania, where he died. Her paternal grandfather Heury William Stoy was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in 1782 and died in West Virginia in 1858. He was one of two sons, his brother being Gustavus Stoy. Henry William Stoy was a physician and surgeon and practiced for many years at Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and in the latter part of his life in West Virginia. Mrs. Stich’s father was Capt. William Stoy, who was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, in 1815 and died in Waynesburg of that state in 1898. A man of great talent as a musician, he was both a teacher and composer of music. At the beginning of the Civil war in 1861 he enlisted and was at the head of a regimental band of one hundred members. He was wounded while in the service and was honorably discharged after eighteen months. He was a democrat, a member of the Masonic fraternity, and belonged to the...

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Biography of Mrs. Caroline (Watson) Dickinson

Mrs. Caroline (Watson) Dickinson, the widow of William R. Dickinson, is the daughter of Daniel and Rowena (Bartlett) Watson. Her father was born in North Carolina in 1797 and the mother in Missouri in 1802, where they married and lived until 1820, when they crossed over to Fulton County, Kentucky, and lived there until they died. They had eight children, two boys and six girls. Her mother was a devout Methodist; her father, an energetic farmer, and a democrat, and died in 1865; the mother died in 1869. Mrs. Dickinson was born April 6, 1823, being the first child born in Madrid Bend, Kentucky She had fine educational advantages, and spent two years under Mrs.Tevis, the principal of “Science Hill,” at Shelbyville, Kentucky, for a great many years the largest and best female college in the South. In 1843 she married William R. Dickinson, a native of Missouri. He was a graduate of Cape Girardeau College, of Missouri. He taught school for some time, and his wife was a pupil of his. He then went into the mercantile business at Vicksburg, Mississippi, but, the firm failing, he took his remnant of the goods, put them on a steamboat, and, going up the river, landed at Mr. Watson’s, where, meeting his old pupil, Miss Caroline Watson, again, their friendship was renewed, and before He left they were married. Soon after...

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Biographical Sketch of Mary A. Miller

Mary A. Miller, familiarly know by all as “Grandma Miller”, is one of the loveable elderly ladies of our county and it is especially gratifying to have the opportunity to append an epitome of her career in this the abiding chronicles of Harney county. She is a woman of many virtues and graces and has done a noble part in the life of the pioneer and she has many friends who admire her real worth of character, her faithful life, and her own rare qualities of intrinsic worth. She is now making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Jane Poujade, who is the wife of one of the leading stockmen of Harney county and whose comfortable and commodious residence is six miles east from Harney, on what is known as Cow creek ranch. Mrs. Miller was born in Richland county, Ohio, on September 29, 1827, and at the age of eleven went with her parents to Henry county, Iowa. There she married Mr. Isaac H. Jones, on October 26, 1845. They removed to Boone county, Iowa, where Mr. Jones died on June 27, 1860. In 1862 Mr. Jones married William Miller and in 1863, with five children, they started across the plains with ox teams for the Pacific coast. The arduous and trying journey was completed when they landed in Salem. There Mr. Miller engaged in raising stock for...

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