Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday's Faces From the Past: 2016 June 24: Orphan Photo of Lady in Benton County, Oregon,

The above orphan photograph was found in the photo album of my grandmother, Agnes Laura (Keyes) Sigford.  Although there is a look of familiarity about the young woman, there was no notation in the album, nor on the back of the photograph, as to identification of the young woman.  The photographer M. (Milton) W. Glendenning was found in the 1900 Federal Census, Oregon, Benton County, King's Valley Precinct.  He was listed as living with his wife Ruth P. and children.

My grandmother's Keyes grandparents and related families have lived in Benton County, Oregon since the mid 1860s.  The Keyes family left Tennessee for Oregon some time in the mid-1860s.  Many of the Keyes' friends and family followed them to Oregon's Benton County and later to The Dalles and Wheeler counties in eastern Oregon.  Some of the associated family surnames, in addition to Keyes, were Ward, Donnelly, Doran, Butler, Dick and Newton.

I am hoping that a descendant of this pensive young woman recognizes the photograph and will contact me  at the email address at the top left corner of this page -- and tell me her name and stories of of her life.  Until then, the young woman remains "The Lady Photographed by M. W. Glendenning, Benton County, Oregon, circa 1890s."

~ ~ ~

 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday, 2016 June 23: The Land Fill.

  The Landfill

Standing in the back of the pickup, holding a fifty-year old book of the Encyclopedia Americana, I had tears in my eyes. Minutes passed before I could heave that book down into the county's trash pit. There it was done. Then another, and another, and still the tears welled in my eyes. Crazy, I told myself, but it was the memories of the fifty years that was so raw. Doc and I had hauled those boxes of books from Klamath County to Washington State University in Pullman, back to Oregon, Hillsboro to be exact, and then to here our home in Ashland. Fifty years, six homes, three children, and four grandchildren later, now here I am tossing these beloved books in the landfill.

Doc and I welcomed our first daughter in March, 1954. The next August, a young man came knocking at our door. He was selling the Encyclopedia Americana. Doc and I listened to his sales talk, fingered his samples, which included the Children's Library. Ten volumes no less! An eight volume Natural History Library! Also included was annual updated volumes to the Enclyclpedia which would cover the happenings of the year. We bought! Our first really major purchase. Our parents rolled their eyes and proclaimed, “What a waste of money.” or “You kids need a lot more than an set of books that no one will ever read.” They were wrong.

True, the encyclopedia didn't get much use for six or seven years. However, the Children's Library was well used. Childrens nursery rhymes and stories were bed time fare for our three children as well as my younger brothers, and of course, the overnight guests. There were stories about Christmas, Valentine's Day, George Washington and the cherry tree, Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone and ever so much more. Crafts and projects kept our daughters and son busy for years. Now the Children's Library is a bit tattered, faded, stained with paint, glue and even a bit of chocolate. Well used and well loved.

When we moved we hauled the books from one house to another, and then to our ranch in Hildebrand. The blue encyclopedias were always placed prominently in our sparsely furnished homes. After a few years when we left the ranch for Washington State University, we tucked our precious encyclopedias in the trailer with the rest of our belongings. College housing was not spacious so the gold lettered blue books resided in the pantry, but it was a most well used pantry library. Loli was a 3rd grader, and Sharnie, a 1st grader, when they started bringing their friends to our house to do their “research” for their school reports, or just because it was fun. For the next five years our house was known as the place with the encyclopedias.

Russ was only three years old when we unloaded our belongings – and the encyclopedias – in the little green ticky-tacky student house. He was still into projects and building boats which he floated on the University President's pond. My office was in the Mathematics department with a view of the pond. Sometimes I would catch sight of the President's wife, sitting beside the pond and watching Russ. Sometimes they appeared to be talking. When I would ask him about her, Russ said, “She's just a friend.”

He didn't use the encyclopedias as much as his sisters. In a few years, his fare would be science, space travel and later computers, but he loved the eight-volumed natural science books. At night I often read to him from the natural science library.

The books traveled with us from Washington back to Hillsboro, Oregon. Still used by our children, but after life on a college campus, they were in search of better and newer resources. By then the books were over fifteen years old. After a year in Hillsboro, we again packed a truck with all of our belongings and headed back to southern Oregon – books well packed and secure. Our daughters still sought our the books for the first blush of a report and then headed off to the libraries for more depth research. Russ was more scientifically minded and his backpack was loaded with Scientific American magazines and computer books. Over the next six years or so, the blue books were less used.

However, after several years the Children's Library and the Natural Science Library had found new readers in our grandchildren. Nursery rhymes, poetry and stories were again nightly read before bedtime. Then projects, crafts and building boats and little cars caught their fancy. But too soon, those days slipped away. Two of the grandchildren went to Texas and then Florida; the other two were busy with their family and their critters. Our prized set of books long forgotten.

The set of books, still prominently displayed and dusted, had no readers wanting to find out about new and wondrous things. The annual updates hadn't been printed for nearly forty years. No little ones to read to in the evening. The books looked sad. I called the schools and they laughed at the thought of a fifty year old set of encyclopedia books, “Best send them to the landfill.” Then I called Head Start and they too “respectfully” declined. Salvation Army, “No.” Goodwill, “No.” Churches, “no.” Ads in the newspaper and Craigslist went unanswered.

Now, I stand alone in the back of the truck, tossing memories into the landfill , book by book, tear by tear.

~ ~ ~

 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sepia Saturday, 2016 June 28: Woman Reads While Baby Sleeps, Huh?

Ahh, Woman Reads while Baby Sleeps.    In my cache of photographs, from mid 1800s to date, I dinna have a photo remotely connected with a woman reading or a baby sleeping, much less the two together.  I can't remember anyone in my family who sat and read while a baby slept, the women were doing the laundry, washing dishes, mopping the floors, working in the garden or doing some other type of work.  In my memory, one never wasted "baby sleep time" on reading and never did our houses look like a "photo shoot."   So I have been in a quandry for the past week, just thinking about this prompt.

I am not sure why I chose this photograph, except that I have been waiting to use it for a Sepia Saturday.  So, for this week, my photograph shows an 1895 picnic on the Klamath Indian Agency.

1895 Picnic at Klamath Indian Agency
Courtesy of the Adra Turner Collection, Klamath  County Museum Archives
 I like this photograph for a number of reasons. 
1) My mother spent a wonderful summer at the Indian Agency about 30 years later, when she was six years old.  The scenery looked about the same then, as it did in 1895 -- and it looks the same now.
2) I like the family and generational feel of the photo.  Grandmother and grandfather along with adult children and, of course, grandchildren.  I like the personalities that are shown of the individuals.
3) The women's clothing is interesting.  Fort Klamath and the Indian Agency are a far piece from New York, or San Francisco, or even Seattle or Portland, but the dresses are quite contemporary.  I believe that the woman in white and holding the baby probably has the newest fashion, but certainly the huge sleeved outfits of the other women are also "in fashion."  
4) The jugs, plates, and boxes on the "table cloth" are both interesting, and are slightly reminiscent to the prompt photo.
5) I am very fond of the collection of children in the photo and I am very sure when the little ones are trundled in the wagon for the trip home, they will fall as peacefully asleep as the baby in the prompt photo.

Now head on over to see what reading and sleeping tweeks our fellow Sepians.

~ ~ ~

 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Amanuensis Monday (Addendum) 2016 June 20: J.P.McPherson's Diary, October 1 through December 31, 1853

The James P. McPherson Family in 1853
A Review of the Diary
October 1 through December 31

Home and Family
In 1853, James P. was 37 years old, and his wife was 30 years old. They had five children, William, age 10; James, age 8; Jabez, age 6; Anne, age 3, and baby Elizabeth, who was born on 4 Dec 1851. The boys all had their mother's maiden name of Burns as their middle names. Anne's middle name was Adamson after the last name of her aunt and uncle, Anne and Thomas Adamson. Baby Elizabeth was named after her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Spink of Arbroath, Scotland.

The family of seven continued to live in the log home that James P. built in 1850. We have seen that fall is the time, the folks in Springdale ready their homes for the winter to come. As you might remember, back in mid-September, there was a heavy rain storm during which water flooded through the thatch and onto the new floor. During October, James Peter cut and hauled thatch for his roof, then on October 25th he “fixed his roof.” Later in the month he fixed his hearth. It appeared that he had now readied his log house for the coming winter.

Regarding farming, he husked corn, thrashed peas & wheat, and dug carrots, beets and potatoes. He also worked on building a root cellar. By the 27th of October, he built the door for the root cellar. Their old sow had piglets, and he killed a 123 pound hog, assisted by Mr. Miles. In December he killed the old 232 pound sow. He also went to Beats for his steer for which he had earlier traded his bull.

With the harvest near completion, James Peter's work for his neighbors narrowed to a slim list. He helped Jackman look for his hogs, and settled accounts with Jackman, to the date of October 6th.. He also helped Jackman clean his wheat, and borrowed Jackman's new farm mill to clean his own wheat. McPherson also thrashed one day for William Henderson.

In December, he was at the raising of J. Conchan's stables. The next week he helped Thomas Miles kill hogs, in exchange for Miles' assistance in November when he killed his hog.

The only mention of Mary was on October 9th when she was “at Miles.”

McPherson continued his correspondence with Anne Adamson and the Cairncrosses. He wrote to A. Adamson on October 26th and received a reply from her on October 2th. Then on November 11th, he again wrote to her, followed by sending her “papers” by post. It's not clear what “paper” meant, but I am inclined to think that it was the Evening Post rather than any legal papers, as he was usually more explicit about legal documents.

He also sent and received letters from William Cairncross and Alex Cairncross. A. Cairncross also was sent “papers.”

The last letter that he sent was to A. Tice on December 30th.

As usual, McPherson maintained his Sunday at home for he and his family. However visiting back and forth between Springfield folks seemed to have dropped off with the busy winter preparations. Duriong this quarter, the McPhersons were visited twice by Mr. and Mrs. Jackman and by Evore Thoreson.

In early October, McPherson attended the Malone sale in Cross Plains. There was no mention of visiting Malone prior to the sale, so it appeared that he was there as an interested buyer.

James Peter was involved in the land appraisal for the Jackman and Landers lands. Shortly thereafter, he also went to Madison with Mr. Jackman.

Most of McPherson's community work was involved with the road tax issue. He began the balance of the District road tax on October 30th, then made out a road tax list for William Henderson. On November 15th, he was in Madison attending a meeting on the County Road Tax. On November 28th, he laid out the road from the village of Springdale to the State Road. He then met with S. Shumway, and for nearly the next two weeks, James Peter worked on the Road Tax List. On December 12th he took the list to S. Shumway, then on December 23rd, he was at the Town Treasurers with Beard and Shumway.

He also attended the School House district #4 election. This may have been for a school election or another election held at the school.

W. Jackman and wife
John Edi
W. Henderson
S Shumway
Hall Chase Chandler
Thomas Miles
A. Cairncross
W. Cairncross
J. Conchan
W. Davidson
S. Lamount
A. Lust
David Beat

End of the Diary Review for the Last Quarter of 1853

~ ~ ~

 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


Monday, June 20, 2016

Amanuensis Monday 2016 June 20: J.P.McPherson's Diary,, October 1 through December 31, 1853

Diary entries for October 1 through December 31, 1853

1st Sat. Husking Corn
2nd Sun. Hunting for Jackmans hogs without success.
3rd Mon. Thrashing peas forenoon. Putting up hay.
4th Tues. Dug up carrots & beets. Raising cellar.
5th Wed. Cutting thatch forenoon. Working at cellar P.M.
6th Thurs. Hauling poles, thatch and hay assisted by Mr. Jackman. Settled with Mr. Jackman to this date inclusive.
7th Fri. Cleaning out cellar, etc. Posted letter to A. Adamson.
8th Sat. At Malones sale in Cross Plains.
9th Sun. Mary at Miles. Self at John Edi's in the evening.
10th Mon. Working at Root house.
11th Tues. Correcting & copying assessment roll for T. Bentley.
12th Wed. Working at Root house. Recd a letter from Wm. Davidson & Paper from A. Cairncross.
13th Thurs. Working at Root house.
14th Fri. DO DO Posted letter to Wm. Davidson. Paid postage on the last quarter of (bottom corner of page not in photocopy //JGH)
15th Sat. (bottom corner of page not in photocopy //JGH)
16th Sun. At Landers, Jackmans, and John Edi's.
17th Mon. Working at root house forenoon. Digging potatoes afternoon.
18th Tues. Digging potatoes.
19th Wed. DO DO
20th Thurs. Jackmans and Landers land appraised. D. potatoes.
21st Fri. At Madison with Jackman. At Badger Mills.
22nd Sat. Pitting & digging potatoes. A little snow fell in the morning.
23rd Sun. At Jn. Edi's, Jackmans and Miles.
24th Mon. Thrashing my grain, assisted by Lander, H Edi, & Miles.
25th Tues. Fixing my roof.
26th Wed. At Beats for my steer, fixing shelter for calves, etc. Recd a letter from Ann Adamson. Heavy snow.
27th Thurs. Making a door for cellar, etc.
28th Fri. Digging potatoes.
29th Sat. Assisting Jackman to build his chimney.
30th Sun. At home.
31st Mon. Worked balance of road tax. Helping Jackman with his chimney.

1st Tues. Helped Jackman clean up 16 bushels of oats. Borrowed his farming Mill and commenced to clean my wheat. At meeting at Mount Vernon, evening.
2nd Wed. Cleaning my wheat.
3rd Thurs. DO DO Old sow had pigs.
4th Fri. DO DO till noon. Fixing roof afternoon.
5th Sat. Snowing. Working at Billys coat.
6th Sun. Made out district tax list for Wm Henderson.
7th Mon. Sewing at the childrens clothes. Raining.
8th Tues. At School house of district No 4 attending election.
9th Wed. Fixing cellar wall and muding the house
10th Thurs. Fixing garret and carrying in seed wheat.
11th Fri. Posted letters to Ann Adamson & Alex Cairncross. At Miles & Jackmans forenoon – killed a hog weighing 123 lbs, assisted by Mr. Miles.
12th Sat. Fixing roof. Mr. Jackman brought home my grist of 8 bushels – yield 244 pounds of flour.
13th Sun. At home. Visited by Mr. & Mrs. Jackman & Mr. Landers.
14th Mon. Fixing roof, etc.
15th to 26th At Madison attending meeting of County Board.
16th Wed. Recd letter from Wm Davidson. Posted papers to A. Adamson & A. Cairncross.
27th Sun. At home. Visited by Mr. Henderson & Baird.
28th Mon. At Mr. Shumways and Chandlers. Laid out road from the village to State road.
29th Tues. Fixing hearth and working about the house.
30th Wed. Making a coat for Jim. At Shumways in the evening.

1st Thurs. Making out tax list.
2nd Fri. DO DO
3rd Sat. DO DO
4th Sun. At home. Visited by Mr. & Mrs. Jackman.
5th Mon. Thrashing for Wm Henderson.
6th Tues. DO DO
7th Wed. Making out tax list. Recd letter from A. Cairncross.
8th Thurs. DO DO
9th Fri. DO DO
10th Sat. DO DO
11th Sun. At Beards towards night. Working on tax list till 3 o'clock in Monday morning.
12th Mon. At Lusts. Delivered tax list to Shumway.
13th Tues. Working about the house Raising stables for J. Conchan.
14th Wed. At Jackmans & Miles. Measured J. Campbell for coat & pants.
15th Thurs. Working at Campbells clothes. Visited by Jackson & Evore Thoreson.
16th Fri. Killed old sow, weighing 231 lbs.
17th Sat. Helping Mr. Miles to kill hogs.
18th Sun. At home.
19th Mon. Working at Campbells clothes.
20th Tues. DO DO
21st Wed. DO DO
22nd Thurs. Finished DO. At the village.
23rd Fri At Town Treasurers with Beard and Shumway.
24th Sat. Finished Jims coat.
25th Sun. Visited by Mr. Proud & Mr. & Mrs. Lamont.
26th Mon. At Mr. Lusts for Staple and ring and at the village.
27th Tues. At Mr. Hendersons for ox yoke.
28th Wed. Thrashing wheat. Received a letter from W. Cairncross.
29th Thurs. Cleaning up wheat, assisted by Jackman. Snowing.
30th Fri. Posted letters to W. Cairncross & A .Tice. Cut and worked at pants for myself. At Lamonts in the afternoon. Very cold.
31st Sat. Finished my pants. Very cold.

End of diary entries for October 1 through December 31, 1853

~ ~ ~

 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Synopsis, 2016 June 19: Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!  

My dad would have been a hundred and four years old if he had lived.  That was not to be for him.  He died sixty-five years ago at the age of thirty-seven.   I was fifteen, but he has been etched in my mind all of these years.

I looked through my rather sizable stash of family photos for appropriate pictures of him.  I was shocked when I made a final count of only two photos of just my dad -- and each with a dog.  There are another  eight photographs of my dad with others, family and his airport buddies, in the pictures. There are also a few, at least four or five,  group photos of my dad and his family, ranging from when he was about six years old, to the 1948 picture of his parent's 50th Wedding  Anniversary.

I chose these two photographs, while not the best quality. because these were the only two of just my dad -- and his dog(s).  The top photo was taken at the Zuckerman's Hosely farm some time in the early 1940s.  Our stone house at Hosley was the backdrop for the photo.  Most of the time, my dad wore his farm clothes which was almost a khaki uniform.  However, he loved dressing up and had a nice wardrobe of dress clothes, suits, sports jackets, sweaters, and slacks.  He also had a penchant for leather flight jackets.  I thought it interesting that both of these photos show him wearing "dress clothes."

The second photo, to the right, was taken in about 1935, probably at his folk's place on Tingley Lane in Klamath County.  Again his has his dog, and his rifle.  This picture always seemed strange to me, what with the dog, gun, and Dad was wearing a suit  -- just seemed odd to me.  I wish I had asked someone about this photo.  Then I realized the photo didn't come to me until a few years ago when we scanned box after box (five very large boxes) of photographs.  This picture was in a very old album of my grandmothers and had been torn out of the album.  She didn't make notes about the photos, after all, she knew what and who  was in the photographs.

Now, I am saying Happy Father's Day to my dad who lives only in my memories -- and a handful of photographs.  The memories are vast and imbued with an exuberance of life.


~ ~ ~

 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Synopsis, 2016 June 12: Choices That We Make


     A while back I posted a couple of photographs of two women who, then in their eighties, were meeting for lunch with family and friends. On this  occasion, one of the women was in town and wanted to have a chance to visit with the other woman.  When they were but teenagers, the two young girls dated two brothers, whom they later married, and the two couples even shared a house as newlyweds. Later the women raised their children almost as siblings. They planned and attended family events together. Over the years, the women shared heartaches, triumphs, devastating losses, and devisiveness. However, on this day, whatever had passed in the intervening sixty-some years, those bonds of friendship forged as teenagers and young mothers remained. It was a good day – and the last time the women would ever see one another.

     I was surprised at the responses to the blog, via the blog, email, and person-to-person comments. In general, folks liked the post, but many commented that “too often we hear of family squabbles instead of the closeness.” That got my attention! I looked back at the two women’s lives and I could find many instances of anger, hurt feelings, and a bit of nasty gossip. But if I were going to make a chart would the good feelings outweigh the bad? I thought about that for several days.

     I made my chart and what it told me was that the two women lived lives that were filled with good times and bad, and that their personal relationship was also filled with good times and bad. From my perspective, the list of the good times, the fun and joyful times was long.

     The second list was shorter, but was more emotionally laden with more serious connotations. I knew there had been hard feelings between the two women long past, but the visitor seemed happy to reconnect.   However, I did have the comments about "remembering the good times."
Even though I had my charts, I still wasn't sure how each woman viewed their connective lives. 

     Perhaps, it is how we each learn remember and talk about past events and people. Some folks seem to remember and talk about the bad events, the mistakes, and hurtfulness more readily, while others more often cheerfully recall the happier times and successes, great and small.

     I looked to my own life. As a social activity at family get-togethers, I learned as a child to go down the list folks and talk about the negative qualities of each person.   My cousin and I would regularly indulge in what we viewed a an adult behavior.  This was not a normal activity for  twelve year olds, and must have been a learned response. In doing that behavior,  we learned to  look for negativity, as well as  real and imagined slights.  Worst of all, it was a way of looking for and holding  onto hurtfulness to ourselves and others.

     I learned to ascribe those feelings to certain people. I remember a time that those hurts that I linked to certain person, whether real or imagined, led to a rather serious asthma attack. That got my attention and I stopped thinking and talking about the "hurts" that I associated with that individual. Later, I was able to look at that person's past and current actions in a wider perspective. Even then, without knowing it, I had made a chart of good and not so good interactions, and deciding that I wanted to remember the good about that person. That one action changed how I felt and responded to that individual -- and those around me.

     Hmm, so how we look at folks around us tends to be a learned behavior. Learned in families, but also re-enforced by the society in which we live – books, movies, television, computer games, and even the daily news.  However, we do have a choice in the matter.  We can choose to remember and talk about the good and fun in people and in life.

     I want to remember that luncheon and those two women who were celebrating those forged bonds of friendship from decades past. That's what I want to remember.

~ ~ ~

 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications