Writing about our female ancestors is much harder than our forefathers. There just isn't as much information to be had. Fortunately I do have a letter from my great-grandmother where she wrote some of her recollections. Her parents died when she was quite young, and she went to live with her grandparents, until her aunt decided she'd get some free help around the house. Here's a bit of what she wrote:
I really loved this farm and Grandpa and Grandma, Hughie and I had lots of fun. But old Aunt Clara had to spoil it. She came and wanted me to go to her house for a while. I didn’t want to, but I did go. She had a little baby and she said I could mind Nell. I did my share, I did. I had to rock her by the hour. She just put her in a rocking chair with a pillow. One day I rocked so hard she fell out. Oh boy did I get slapped. They had two boys about 7 years old they were mean too, and they never had to anything, only me. This is Aunt Clara and Uncle Pete. He was good to me but had to what she said. One say I was turning the churn to make butter. Aunt Clara came and looked in the churn and I guess I didn’t do it right, so she hit me a hard whack on the had with the churn lid. Boy I can still feel it. I really saw stars. I’ll be that’s what’s the matter with me all these years.
In those days they filled ticks for the beds with straw. Well they did it in the yard and the straw blew all over the yard and it was my job to rake it up. Big yard had to do it over and over.
Well that night when I meant to be in bed, I decided this is all I can take and I was so home sick for Grandma and Grandpa and Hughie. They never would take me and it was twelve miles on horseback. So I decided to get up before anyone was up and go to Grandpas.
I couldn’t button my dress, only the top button. Our dresses always buttoned down the back, but the top would hold on it. I had high button shoes too. Just id the top to hold them on. Then I took off across the orchard and fields to
So thing went on and I walked and walked some more. A came to a place where children were playing the barn and they came out and said are you lost. Then they ran in the house and the mother came out and she buttoned my dress and shoes, gave me bread with syrup on it. It tasted so good. I had not had any breakfast. Had walked about six miles as this was half way to Grandpas which was 12 miles. She knew who I was but did not say anything. Her husband came in and he worked for Uncle Pete sometimes, so he knew me. He said I’ll get my horse and take you back. I stared to cry real had and said oh please don’t take me back. I am going to Grandpas. He said don’t cry I will ge my horse and take you on horseback to Grandpas. I was so happy and was not even afraid of his horse now. So we started. He helped me on. We came to where there was deep water over the road. He said what would you have done here. I said I guess I would have tried to wait through. He said you are a brave little girl, but the horse can do better.
I only remember her as an old lady so it is a treat, and a real eye-opener to read her own words about her life.