Families - Jones

Contributors Notes: Margaret E. Jones was born March 15, 1844 in Hayfield Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. In 1850, Margaret, her parents, and siblings removed to Illinois, arriving the 17th of May. She married Augustus Dickson (the love of her life and father of her children) on May 19, 1861, in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, while visiting her sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Rodrick Frazer Dickson. Margaret and Augustus removed to Bureau County, Illinois, and then on to Knox County, where he enlisted in Company H, 86th Illinois Regiment. After the war, they lived briefly in Missouri before settling permanently in Maquon. Margaret remained in their home "up on Red Chalk" for 54 years. Children of Augustus and Margaret included: Abbie, born in Bureau County; Elsie born in Maquon, Knox County; and a son born near Maquon. Margaret Jones Dickson is listed as marrying a Samuel Alexander in Knox County on February 20, 1877. She died in 1926, and is buried at the Maquon Cemetery.

From "Notes written by Margaret E. Jones Dickson Alexander". Autobiography of Margaret E. Jones Dickson Alexander of Maquon, Illinois, granddaughter of David and Sophia Jones of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, written January 19, 1925.
You have asked me to tell you about our journey from Pennsylvania to Illinois. I was born in Hayfield Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, March 15, 1844. I can remember little things that happened when I was four years old, and younger even. We moved to a farm that was a half mile from Sagerstown [Saegertown] when I was about three years old. One thing I can remember plainly. We lived close to a small stream called "Woodcock", and I fell in one day. My mother (your great-grandmother) saw me. Of course she rushed in and saved me as any mother would. She was washing clothes down at the creek, had a fire and done the washing there in the summer. In the spring of 1848 we moved to another farm (my father was a renter), and I can remember when they began to talk of moving to Illinois---that far-away country! I did not know just the year it was then, but I knew later on. We did not have calendars hanging in every room. I could not read at that early age, anyway.
But in 1849 my second brother, William Jones, and another young man started afoot and came here to Knox County, Illinois. I don't remember how long it took them. My brother came back in the early fall. He had worked all summer for a man here near Maquon and liked the county so well he knew just where to bring us when we all made the move in 1850.
My mother saved all kinds of garden seeds and she made hard soap before we started--and she made dry yeast and brought that--and even early potatoes. In those days we could not buy garden seed, or yeast of any kind. My mother never got out of yeast of any kind. She kept some ahead all the time. No one here knew anything about hop yeast. They made what they called "salt-rising bread". It was not very good. Everyone around us learned to make hop yeast bread. Mother brought hops along, too, but we found plenty of wild ones here.
We started with two wagons. My eldest brother got married in February of 1850, and his wife came, too. Our own family consisted of Father, Mother, Brother Abe and his wife Susan, Brother Bill, George, my eldest sister Sarah, Sophia, Sister Mary, and myself--and two cousins, my father's nephews. They wanted to come and their folk were willing, so father brought them. They were no-account boys at home. One was twenty, the other was seventeen. Nothing much happened of importance. The men folks, especially the boys, walked all the way. Sister Mary and I slept in the wagon with father and mother, and my brother Abe and wife slept in one wagon, and the young folks all slept in a tent. We cooked by the open fire. Mother even made biscuits and baked them in a big Dutch oven we brought along. We brought meal along--enough to last us all the way--and we stopped in a town twice and mother baked bread. We could not buy bread those days, only in big places, and we did not see but a few big places after we left Ohio. White Pigeon, Michigan. What we went so far north for I do not know. We were twenty-three days on the road. Brother George and the cousins used to scrap quite a lot. Father would threaten to whip all of them and send the cousins back home, but we came through all right. One thing I saw that impressed me much was a canary in a cage and a goldfish in a big glass bowl. How pretty they did look to a child of six years!! I said then that sometime I would have a bird and a goldfish. You never saw me without a bird--and I had fish for many years!
I remember the morning we left my grandfather's place and started on our long journey. My grandmother cried and told my father, "Rudy, I will never see you again!"--and she never did. We had to go up a long, steep hill, and when we got to the top we all looked back to the old home we were leaving forever. My mother was so anxious to come out here, but she never got to go back--neither did my father. I have been back many times, and I still have a longing for the old home!!
We arrived here the 17th of May. We lived in a three-room house with another big family. We stayed there a few days until we found a house. I would like to show you the place. Maybe I can sometime when you come to stay all night.
As soon as the horses were rented, father plowed a field for corn. He raised a good crop of corn. Brother Abe worked for a man near Maquon. Bill worked out and so did my sisters. A young man came from Pennsylvania in a few days to see my sister Sophia. He came by the rivers and lakes, but my sister would not go back with him. One day while that young man was here a herd of deer came out of the woods and came close to the house. Father shot at them, but did not get any. When they started to run, I thought they were flying! My, OH! How fast they did go!!
My mother raised a fine garden. She had early potatoes--and beans and peas that no one else had. One thing, there was any amount of fruit--apples, peaches, cherries, and such. Wild blackberries, and wild raspberries, and lovely wild plums--but we had no way to save them, only to dry them. We never heard of canning anything until 1859. I was fifteen years old and went back to Pennsylvania.
Of course we had some little romances in the family---love, and marriage. Frazer Dickson, your father's uncle, came to Illinois before we did, settled in Adams County. He used to be sweet on my oldest sister, Sarah, but she turned him down. He was too old for her. He was 35 and she was but 20 in the early fall after we came here. It was a nice warm fall, I think in November, this Frazer Dickson came to visit us. He was on his way to Wisconsin to visit his brother, Uncle John Dickson, and he stopped to visit us. He came in a covered wagon--had no other way to come. Imagine Vernon Johnson coming to court you in a covered wagon! Sister Mary was older than I. She caught on what he was after and Oh! How we hated him to come see our sister! The morning he started away my sister Sarah was coming up here to town to sew for a woman, and strange as it may seem, he said for her to ride with him and she did--and he coaxed her to go on with him to Knoxville and get married and then go with him to Wisconsin. In the evening, just at dusk, they came back, and father looked out and said, "Why, here comes that Frazer Dickson back!" And Abe said, "Yes, and Sarah is with him!" I heard her laugh, so they came in and stayed all night. My sister got some more clothes and in a day or two they left for Wisconsin on their honeymoon. And they were always happy--and I loved my brother-in-law as well as any brother. When you come through Knoxville again, just look at the old courthouse and think that there is where your great uncle and aunt were married in 1850! [The Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a R. F. Dickson marrying a Sarah Jones in Knox County on December 16, 1850.] I went back to Pennsylvania on a visit. Your Uncle Frazer and Aunt Sarah had moved back there--and there I met your grandfather Dickson, and was married there in 1861--May 19th.
Augustus Dickson, your grandfather, was Frazer Dickson's nephew. He was my first love and the father of my children, and the one I will ever grieve for, though 49 years have passed. But he is still the husband of my youth and the one who courted me in my early girlhood. Just 17, I was, when we were married--and he was 22. We saw some hardships, but now I know they were happy times--only the three years he was in the WAR! We bought the farm a year after the War, and that was our real home. I lived there 54 years, and it still seems like home to me!
We saw lovely hills and valleys, and grass was beautifully green when we got to our journey's end here, but such a disappointment to all of us! The people were usually like us--"Newcomers"! And not much 'to do' with--no grist mills near here where they ground wheat flour!! But that was the last. The next year they started grinding wheat and made good four at Burnett's Mill, east of the cemetery, on Spoon River.
There has been some changes in 74 years! I went to school the fall and early winter. I was only six but was reading the second reader. Then I was out of school three years--no schoolhouse near us. But I soon made up for the lost time. Then we moved again, and no schoolhouse for two years. Then the schoolhouse over by Jim Jones' was built. Then we had school ten months in the year. I have given you a fairly good account of my young girlhood. I did not hear as much about politics then as I did later. In 1852 I heard my father and brothers talk some about the Presidents, but I did not know what they meant and they never told children anything. All I know is I used to hollow, "Hurrah for Clay!", but I did not know what it was for. In 1856, I knew then, and I did hollow, "Hurrah for Freemont!" Then later we began to hear about a man named Lincoln. I remember when he and Douglas made their famous speeches in Galesburg. Father and Brother Abe and Mr. Way, our neighbor, and two of his boys, went clear to Galesburg to hear them! Went in a big wagon and sat on a board across the wagon box. They were full of the wonderful speech they heard! They had always been Whigs and were undecided for some time what they should be, but they found themselves about that time, and they were staunch Republicans. I thought then if Abe Lincoln was as smart as they thought he was he may be our next President--and he was!
I continued in school and had good teachers. My last term was in the winter, and I was fifteen in the spring. Lansing J. Dawdy taught the school in 1858 and 1859. He was a fine teacher. In the summer, rather late summer, my sister Sarah had moved to Pennsylvania, and she and her husband, Rodrick Frazer Dickson, came back here on a visit and took me home with them. I lived with them until I was married to your grandfather, Augustus Dickson--1861, May 19th. I sure had a fine time while I was back there. I found new friends and as many of my relatives that I could hardly remember! That was a happy period of my life. I met your grandfather before I was sixteen, and our attachment was mutual, and we went around some. But we had no way, only the same old way--afoot--or ride with some one. We went to all the Republican Rallies in the fall of the 60's. We lived a mile and a half from Meadville, Pennsylvania, and Frazer Dickson never missed any good thing--even if we did have to go in a big wagon! "The Wide Awakes", young Republicans called themselves, marched and carried torch lights, and it was a grand sight! Your grandfather belonged to them. We had an exciting time, and we did elect "Honest Old Abe Lincoln"! Then the War came, and we got married, and your grandfather said he would not have to go to War. We came to Illinois and stopped in Bureau County and lived there a year. Then you grandfather could not stand it any longer--there were calls and calls for men. We came down here to Maquon, and he enlisted in Company H, 86th Illinois Regiment and was gone three years. He was in the hospital two or three times but was not wounded or hurt in any engagement, and he marched from Louisville, Kentucky, to Richmond, Virginia, and then from Richmond to Washington, D.C. He was transferred from the 86th Regiment to the 2nd Illinois Battery, was commissioner for eighteen months, and was then brought back to the 86th Regiment. He was in every engagement from the time they left Louisville until they reached Richmond, Virginia. Sometimes they were so short of rations that he had to guard his team with his musket to keep the men from taking the corn from the horses. They could have done as he did and got their own corn. He took a boat and went up the Tennessee River a mile and shucked some corn from off an island and brought it back to the horses. They had to be fed. They could not forage for themselves. He was responsible for his equipment and they had to have good care, for they had to haul the cannon. I was told by men that knew him that he had the most accurate eye of any many they ever saw. He could locate the enemy's guns and fire on them and silence their batteries.
One thing he had to do that hurt him terribly. He had a buddy that slept with him, and they were together in so many battles, and he was brave and true, your grandfather thought, and he deserted and went home, or someplace. He had a wife and two children. He enlisted again and got the bounty that the government was paying, and he was captured and brought back to the Regiment and court-martialed and sentenced to be shot-----and your grandfather was one of the twelve men that was to shoot him in the morning at sunrise. Six of the muskets were unloaded, six were loaded!! He said it was a sad, miserable day, sort of dull and foggy, everything fit the occasion. Your grandfather did not know whether his gun was loaded or not. He did not point it at him anyway, but he saw him fall. He used to write to me about him, and call him 'his wife'. It cast a gloom over all the men for a long time. I think Lincoln would have reprieved him, if he had known about it. He said so often that he did not want the men shot that way. We had enough killed in battle! Your grandfather was in Company F of the 86th Regiment, commanded by Captain J. L. Burkhalter. Your grandfather knew him from boyhood and always thought a lot of him. In after years he asked him to be guardian of his children. That is why the Burkhalters have always been friends of the Dickson family.
Two of my brothers, William and George, and two brother-in-laws, John Barbero and John Freemole, were in Company H of the 86th Regiment. The latter was killed at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain. Your grandfather was in the same battle. He came through all right. My brother Bill was hurt at the battle of Stone River. Our boys were charging the enemy, and they were running down hill and he ran against a tree and broke some bone in his shoulder and put it out of place. He did not get to see a surgeon for two or three days and they could not set it so it would stay set, but they routed the enemy anyway. They ran down the hill and across Stone River, just rushed right through and up the other side, and the Rebels turned and fled.
At one battle our men had to retreat, and your grandfather had to put their blankets on the horses' feet so they would not rouse the enemy--the horse shoes striking the stones made a racket. "Old Pop Thomas", as the boys called General Thomas, was along the side of the cannon and would say, "Steady, Boys! Steady! Be quiet!"--and just cautioned them all the time, and in the morning when it was light they started back up the mountain. And, lo and behold! The Rebels had retreated the other way!
One time your grandfather and John Hall, father of Mrs. Wainwright and Mrs. Bearmore, started out to find some salt. They had stolen some chickens and cleaned them and roasted them by fire. They were fine, and they hid them--they thought. They walked about three miles and found a poor woman that had some salt tied up in a rag in her bureau drawer. She was a Union woman. She divided it with them. He said they were ashamed to take it, but they did take it and walked back to camp--and some galoot had stolen their chickens! One time they were in a house the Rebels had left, and he got a saucer to pour his coffee in, a big heavy one, and a silver spoon. He had them a long time, but someone stole them from him at last. He had lots of things he wanted to send home, but before he got to a place where he could express them, someone stole them from him.
The women were not idle while the men were in the War! We did everything we knew how to do. In the World War we could do more, for we knew more, how and what to do, and we had more to work with. We did not have sewing machines to work with. It was all hand work. One aunt of mine baked bread for the hospital soldiers. The ladies furnished her with the flour. She made it in light biscuits and split them and baked them again. It is called "Swiback" or "baked twice". She would bake a whole sack of flour up at a time and send it to the nearest hospital.
I went back to Pennsylvania and was there half the time your grandfather was gone. I stayed with my sister, Sarah Dickson. At one time they sent a Regiment of invalid soldiers to Meadville and they camped in the old arsenal that was built there when the folks there had to fight the Indians. I tell you they fared well while they were there. The farmers would go and haul a wagon load out to the farm and let them husk corn and give them their dinners. The sick ones got well. When they left there they were able to go back to the front. Your Uncle Frazer Dickson had them out to his house a couple of times. He made a dance for them once, and he would go after them when he had a lot of cider made. I hated to see them leave, but such is warfare. I hope and pray that my grandchildren never have to pass through all that we did. And we almost had to fight at home! Some folks would sympathize with the confederates and that would cause lots of hard feelings that could never be brightened over. I came near striking a woman once for saying such mean things about our soldiers that was fighting for her as well as for me and mine. Three of her sons were drafted afterwards, and I think she would feel different.
One old German that was in Company F was an oddity. He was a fine drill master. His name was Ernest Forman. The first battle the boys were in was at Perryville, Kentucky--the 8th of October after they had enlisted in August. A spent bullet hit the German and he said, after the battle, swearing a big oath, "I am the first man killed in Company F!" Nat Freemole was a young boy only 16 when he enlisted, but he made a good and brave soldier. He was out on picket duty and came to camp hungry and tired and made a fire to make some coffee and fry himself some sow-belly, and another soldier sat his coffee off and put his on. Nat told him that that was his fire and that he was so hungry. The man told him to make another fire. Nat said, "Take yours off or I'll knock you down." The man laughed at him, "just a little boy you might say". Nat grabbed his musket and knocked the man down and was scared to death that he had killed him. The boys gathered around them and when the man came to he apologized and said it was his fault and he did not blame Nat a bit. They were friends after that.
Your grandfather came home in June, the 18th, 1865. We lived here in town a year. He was in the clothing store with Mr. Dawdy, but he was anxious to get out on a farm. We moved to Missouri in the spring of '66, but did not like it and came back to Maquon and bought the home place and how happy we were in a home of our own!
For three years I was around from pillar to past as the saying is. We were not settled, the first year, just hung on, and when we bought that little home I was the happiest woman you ever saw! A little house, and nothing to do with, but it was our home. And we had two cows and a good team and some hogs, and it was all our own and did not owe anyone a cent! We bought chickens, and the hens laid eggs, and your grandfather had nice fresh eggs to eat, and I tried to cook the best I knew how. For three years we had to live on such poor grub! Vegetables was what he wanted, and the ground was good and new and we sure had good things. It was in September, 21st, 1866 we moved up here and we got the man's garden and we did have plenty. No wonder my heart yearns for the old home. Abbie was born in Bureau County; Elsie, here in town, just across the street from where she now lives, on the west side. And your father was born up on the farm, in the old house. There were the happiest years of my life spent and the greatest sorrows I ever had were there. I will never see any place that can appeal to me as much as my old home up on Red Chalk. How happy we all were when my children came home and brought grandchildren. Late years one failed to come, but I can see him yet and hear him as they all ran through the house, one after the other, and the dog with them. Time will heal the wound, but the scar is still there.
I forgot to tell you about the crude seats we had to sit on. Betty Jones, my niece, says the seats we had where she and I went to school were just benches made out of slabs with holes bored in them and wooden legs put in. She says there were no desks for any of the children. Of course, it was a log schoolhouse, as was every house around us. The house where Oscar Ouderkirk lives now was the only frame house then--and part of the house out on Henry Barbero's place, and part of the house on the place that Harry Harper owns. Where Bill Buck lives, the house they live in, was part of the house where old Peter Ouderkirk lived at that time.
The schoolbooks my brothers and sisters had, the readers, was the New Testament. I heard my sister Sarah tell about a girl that could not pronounce a word, hardly, and part of her verse was, "Hosanna to the Lord", and she could not say it, and Sarah whispered to her and told her, "Hosanna to the Lord." And one boy that could not pronounce the word said out loud, "Skip the devil!" He could not remember the way to say it.
The folks told of an old preacher that could not talk very good English, and those times they always lined the hymns and he looked at it and did not know what the matter was. He did not have his glasses! He said, "My eyes be dim. I cannot see to read this hymn." And the folks, like chumps, sang it! He said, "My God! What fools these peoples is. I did not mean for you to sing that, for I have left my specs to home!" And then they sang that, too! I was not there, so I don't know how true it is, but it is a wonder that anyone at that time learned anything. No one could, or would, pronounce anything right.
When I went to Sunday school, I was four years old, and they told me that the Hebrew children were thrown away in the fiery furnace, and I thought they asked me who threw fire in the furnace and I said the Hebrew children. It was all Greek to me. And no one explained anything to children. When I was going about ten or eleven, the prairies were beautiful. Not very much of the land was cultivated. And the lovely flowers! I found out the name of many of them. I don't know how. The wild Ladyslipper and many flowers that now are extinct. Such lovely lilies, and all kinds of flowers! My brother-in-law, Rodrick Frazer Dickson, had a farm over near Yates City. He sold it in 1858. I used to be there when he was breaking it up. It was a fine sight to see the furrows lying so even!! I do not know who owns the farm now. He had three hundred and twenty acres. A Mathews owned one, a Mrs. Oamadown (*spelling?) owned the other one. I used to be there with my sister so much. Help take care of her children.
My brothers told about a boy that was reading in the Testament, or trying to, and the verse was, "And he saw Abraham afar off--with Lazarus in his bosom." And he could not read it, and some one whispered to him and told him and he tried again--and said, "And he saw Abraham afar off, with lather ears in Boston." But what could anyone expect when they did not have anything but the Testament to learn to read out of!
A man that taught school where Betty Jones and I went to school had long whiskers, and he was quite vain of his whiskers. And in the winter we had fire in an old Cannon stove that used to puff out and fill the room with smoke. One day he went to poke the fire and it puffed out and the blaze came out and singed one side of his long whiskers off. You bet that caused an uproar! You can imagine what a time all the pupils had! I was not there that day. I wonder, sometimes, that any of us learned anything! I got more out of lessons that I heard others recite when I was ten than I did out of anything I studied! Log houses to live in, and log schoolhouses, and just the house. When we went to California in '77, we went on the Union Pacific and every two miles was a nice school-house. The dwelling houses were rather scarce and were sod in many places, but the schoolhouse was there. That much the railroad did for the western states!
While the boys were in the Army, the 86th Regiment was in the Army of the Cumberland and they were stationed near Nashville, Tennessee for some time. They then moved to a place called Lee's Gordon's Mills. I think they were there for six months. They had nothing to do but drill--keep in readiness to be called away. The men laid out a city, and had their tents for houses. The officers had theirs in public square. Set out trees along the streets, and had a mayor and town council and run it in city style. When they went there, the mill was in bad shape, but they had a miller in Company H, James McNauton. He fixed it up and they foraged some corn and he ground it and they had corn pones made with water. They all enjoyed that meal. I think your Daddy can find an account of it in the history of the 86th Regiment that he has. I gave it to him, thinking Ward would some day want to know all about it. Your grandfather used to write me that all the men lacked was their families. He thought then that if he got home safe he would live down there, but he did not want to go down there after all. The southern people were too bitter toward the north. He had no use for them. I would have liked to see the place where they were so long.
The soldiers during the Civil War did not have the things to eat as they had in the late war. They had rice, and dry beans, and hard tack. (That is a hard cracker that they could hardly bite!) The beans were sometimes so full of worms that they would have to pick the beans over and pick them out of the worms. And what they called "sow-belly"--salted pork-so salty that they could hardly soak the salt out of it! No potatoes or any vegetables to amount to anything. One of Riley's poems says, "There was not much pie et during the Army, by the soldiers." The boys used to laugh and tell how they cooked rice. When they would take it off the fire, the kettle would be full and running over. Just cook it in water. No cream nor milk nor butter for in it!
At the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, there were two men killed from Company H. Your Uncle John Freemole and a man named Charles Upp. In the morning the bugles sounded "To Arms!", Captain Burkhalter gave orders for Sergeant Freemole to round up a couple men that had deserted. John was 1st Sargeant. He started after them, and the company was ordered into line and charged up the mountainside. Of course, no one knew whether he found the men or not. He got into the 52nd Ohio Regiment, 2nd Brigade, and was killed there. They buried him the second day, and brought the things he had in his pockets to the 86th Regiment and found Captain Burkhalter. And your grandfather, and John Hall and Burkhalter went back with the soldiers, but he could not tell just where they buried him, and he had lain in the hot sun two days, and it was just as well they could not find him, for they would have opened the grave to see and identify him. His remains have been taken up with every soldier's that was buried there and are in a fine cemetery near there. I can't think of the cemetery. Major Dawdy was wounded there.
The bullet went through him and he was left for dead. He laid there a day and a night. Was in the Rebel's domain. Two Rebels found him and one raised his musket to shoot him when they saw he was not dead, and he knew enough to give them the Masonic sign. And the man that was a Mason knocked the gun up and told the other man not to shoot. They carried him to an old darky's cabin and she nursed him back to life. Of course, he was a prisoner. They drew a silk handkerchief through him and cleaned out the wound and he lived and was exchanged and lived till two years ago. He died at this daughter's home at Bonifay, Florida.
Some time ago, perhaps twenty years ago, we had a preacher here by the name of Clark. He came from Tennessee, and he met Mr. Dawdy, and he knew the Rebel Captain that carried Mr. Dawdy to the old darky's cabin. Mr. Dawdy found out all he could from that man--S. L. Clark--and when they dedicated that cemetery, he went down. He and Captain Burkhalter and a lot of others--Charlie McKown, from Gilson, and a lot of old soldiers from Peoria. They found the man that carried him. Mr. Clark knew his name, so it was not so strange, and he found the old black mammy that nursed him. Captain Burkhalter and the other man that was with him made up the worst lie you ever heard! They said the old black woman went to the door and called, "Mandy! Mandy! Come here quick! Here's yo' PAPA!" Mr. Dawdy wanted to kill him. Only one soldier is alive that was in Company H that I know of around here. That is John West of Dahinda. Oh, yes, Mathew Freemole of Colby, Arkansas. There was six brothers of the Freemoles that was in the War. So many families gave all there boys. Two of my brothers went--and two brothers-in-law, and I think I had twenty or more cousins there. One was wounded--had seven bullet wounds he got at the Battle of the Wilderness, in Virginia.
When the boys had their camp laid out into a city, they would get pretty noisy sometimes, and Captain Burkhalter would tell them to be more quiet. And sometimes they did not listen, and he would try argument and all would fail. Then he would say, "By Gawd! (that is the way he would say it) I'll let you know I'M in COMMAND here!"--and then they knew he meant it. He was well liked by the most of his men. He was always a good friend of our family. You have no idea what War meant to most of us. For months we expected to hear that Lee had surrendered, and it came soon after the death of our martyred President! That was a sad and gloomy time. The soldiers all loved Lincoln!
It was cold in the south the first winter our boys were down there. Your grandfather's poncho--that was his rubber blanket--would freeze fast where they laid on the ground. But they learned better after they were there awhile. They fixed up their beds on evergreen boughs. They went through a lot for their country! Worse suffering and worse hardships than any of the men knew in the World War! It was a glad day when the news came that Lee had surrendered! And the War was closed, or rather, ended.
In compiling this, you will fit this in where it ought to go. In telling you of my childhood, I forgot to mention that most of the farmers would hire a shoemaker to come to the house to make shoes and boots for the family. I remember when I was five years old, not quite five, we had a shoemaker come. His name was Caufman, now "Coffman". I did love to stand and watch him. I bothered him quite a lot. He told me to stand back and let his tools alone. I did not heed him. He said he would cut me with his knife, but I got a little too close, and he made a pass--in kind of playing with me--and cut me on my wrist. And the scar is there yet. That taught me a lesson! I do remember it just like it happened lately. The winter before we came west, in 1850, we had a relative of father's come and make our shoes. Each of two pairs--coarse shoes and fine ones. The fine ones were calfskin--and I expect the coarse ones were bull hide! Anyway, they were very coarse and heavy. We always had shoes in winter, if they were heavy and coarse. I did know children that never had shoes in winter and could not go to school. Times have changed some! Now if children do not go to school, some one finds out why and some one gets them the things they need. We borrowed books and slates and done the best we could. I will write one of the old-time songs we used to sing. I cannot remember all of it:
"Good morning all, companions dear,
I am very glad to see you here,
And if you wish to sing a song
I'll do my best to help along.

Advance, oh, advance,
For now you have a chance.
And with delight
We'll read and write,
For we love to learn in the morning, oh!
Hi! Ho! At the books we go,
For we love to learn in the morning, oh!

Our grammar, too, we love it well,
And every part of speech can tell.
Nouns and verbs, how they relate,
Describe, declining, conjugate.

Then the chorus again.

One verse was about geography, but all I can think of was, "Lakes and Islands, Capes and Seas"; a little poem I learned when I was less than five years old. It was in my old Towne's Second Reader:

"Come, my love, and do not spurn,
From a little flower to learn.
See the lily on the bed,
Hanging down its modest head,
Rather white, but scarcely seen,
Folded in its leaf of green,
Yet we would rather call it ours,
Than many other gayer flowers.
The pretty lily seems to be,
The emblem of humility!"
It seems strange that I could always remember and quote poetry. Now I can't learn any! We had Geography school and learned to sing the capitals of all the States and countries. We began with, "Maine, Augusta, on the Kennebec River", etc. and so on. I think I can name the most of them yet. One time my father and a near neighbor went up north into Henry County to hunt. Mr. Way, the neighbor, had a family of boys and two of them went out hunting near home. They went over on Littler's Creek, southeast of Jim Jones', about dusk. They shot a deer about five miles from home and they could not carry it home, or thought they could not. One of them walked home and got my brother Abe to go back with him and haul their deer home. My! Oh what a time they had! They hollered and yelled so they could be heard a mile when Abe got back with the deer. And their father and my father was gone three or four days and did not even see a deer! They could shoot, so they soon had them all killed. Too bad, too, for they are such pretty animals. We saw some in a park in Maine five years ago!
From "More notes written by Margaret E. Jones Dickson Alexander". Autobiography of Margaret E. Jones Dickson Alexander, granddaughter of David and Sophia Jones of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, written circa 1925.
"My grandchildren have asked me, time and again, to write all the little incidents of my childhood days, and later days, too. To begin, I was born in Hayfield Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, on March 15th, 1844. My parents were Rudolph Jones and Susan Shafer Jones. My father came from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. My mother was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. My grandfather, David Jones, was born in Wales, and came to the United States when he was just a young man. He and one brother, Isaac Jones, and one sister, Rebecca. They came to Lancaster County and there my grandfather taught school; and finally married my grandmother, whose name was Prudence Sophia Mueller (pronounced "Miller"). She had previously come to America, or rather, was born in America. Her parents ran away and walked to the seaboard. I don't know the name. They were Swiss peasants, and my grandfather (my GREAT-grandfather, that is) was drafted into the Army. They could not marry there because the men had to serve four years in the Army, so they ran away and sold themselves to a sea captain who brought them to America. My grandmother was the only child born to them.
After the marriage of my grandparents, David and Sophia Jones, and part of their children were born, they moved to Crawford County. Their children were Peter; Elizabeth (Aunt Betsey) Shoppard (*this name is not clear to this copier -- it could be "Sheppard", "Shoffard", or various other spellings). Rudolph, my father; Hannah (Thayer); Maria (Blakely); and David Jones.
My mother had three sisters. Elizabeth (another "Aunt Betsey") Hedrick. They lived in Brown County. They came to Illinois before the Jones family. Sarah Ann ("Sally") Wycoff, who always lived in Peoria. And Mary ("Aunt Polly") Hess. Their home was near Danville, Illinois.
I started to school before I was four years old. My first day in school was at the Pifertown school--the 'little old red schoolhouse'!! I sat on a bench that my feet did not near touch the floor. William Burkhalter sat with me. He was not as old as I was. My brother Bill carried me on his back. It was a cold day. I remember it well. Bill Burkhalter had on an apron! And him a BOY, with trousers on! I do not know whether that was my only day or not, but we moved in March. Then I was four years old and I went to the Little Red Schoolhouse at Bemertown. (*spelling of this town not too clear in the original manuscript). We only lived half a mile from the schoolhouse. Everything about and appertaining to the schoolhouse was crude. My teacher's name was Elizabeth McCurdy. She gave cards for good behavior which I think are in the old family Bible to this day. I do not remember learning my letters, but doubtless I did. But I remember of spelling and reading in Towne's First Reader. One piece I remember, and that was:
"My bird is dead, said Nancy Ray.
My bird is dead. I cannot play.
So put his cage far, far away!
I cannot see his cage today!
He sang so sweetly every day!
He sings no more! I cannot play!"
When summer came we (my sister Mary, just older than I) used to have a good time watching the canal boats when they came to the lock. We lived near the canal and the lock, and sometimes we would see the Packet boat come in. They carried passengers and blew a horn when near the lock. We used to go down to the canal and we would see women doing their washing and hang their clothes upon lines to dry. How I envied them! I wanted to travel on a canal boat, drawn by horses on the towpath--and boys riding the horses. When I read about the bird singing in its cage I had never seen a bird in a cage and I wondered what kind of bird she could have in a cage. We lived near Bennestown (*questionable spelling again) and there was a flour mill there and my sister and I used to go down there to play with the David girls. They were about our ages and went to the same school. How we used to climb around in that old mill! I don't remember of Mr. David ever scolding us, and I know we needed it, time and again. They had a big barn, too, that we used to climb all over. We had a big dog named "Marse", and he was always with us, but a mad dog bit him so he had to be killed. How we all cried--but I don't cry for dogs now. I have shed too many tears on better things that dogs. Though I like dogs--and cats.
Our schoolhouse had just benches for the little folk to sit on and they never had a good fire when it was real cold. My grandfather lived near Bennestown, too, but on the other side of the river. My grandfather would come across in a canoe, or boat, after us. We would hollow and if he heard he came after us. He was a cooper and his shop was in the basement. How we did enjoy seeing him make barrels!
My mother's father was Nicholas Shaffer--and my grandmother was Eve Pifer. All the Pifers around Pifertown, in Pennsylvania, are related to me some way, and some of the Shaffers are related that lives here. Mother and Old "Wash" Shaffer, as he was called, were cousins.
While I was very young my mother spun all the clothes we had. In winter it was woolen dresses and in summer it was linen or part linen. She spun the flax to make the sheets, pillowcases, tablecloths, towels, and the straw ticks for the beds. We slept on cord bedsteads. Never even heard of springs and mattresses until recent years. In speaking of my grandfather Jones, I must say he lived near the State Dam on the Vernango River, then called French Creek. The lock was just above the dam to let the water into the canal and how many happy hours we spent wading in the river below the dam! And the big fish the men used to catch! We could wade across in summertime. Now the dam is gone and corn is growing where they used to seine and catch such big fish! I was there five years ago, and my! What a change! My cousins said they could not fish unless they could get some minnows for bait and there were no minnows. My grandfather's farm was part on the low land near the river. The rest was on a very big hill. They could not farm the hillside, but could go around about a mile and there was quite a good-sized farm on TOP of the hill. They could drive up and down with oxen, but they are out of fashion, so they go around a mile to get to the field. The old orchard is standing and bearing fruit that my grandfather set out before I was born! And that has always been called "the new orchard"--set out over eighty years ago!
When we left Pennsylvania, my grandmother had never had a cook stove. She cooked on the fireplace. My mother had a cook stove about two years before we left there. Baked bread in an oven--a bake oven. My uncle Dave's wife (Aunt Mary) nearly always baked her bread in the bake oven. She did not like the bread baked in the cook stove oven. The bake oven was still there when I was there five years ago in August, which is about now.
I went to school the last winter we were there all winter. My second teacher's name was Cornelia A. Moore, and the teacher for winter was Holton Dunn. He was a Second Day Advent preacher when I went back there when I was fifteen. The teacher I went to that last winter was a Margaret E. Jones--a relative of grandfather. I was promoted to Towne's Second Reader, and it had, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are, up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky." And "Mary had a little lamb, it's fleece was white as snow." Why, I remember nearly all the poetry that was in my readers--and some of the prose!
When we came to Illinois it was some time before we went to school regularly. We went for awhile to a log schoolhouse and everything was so crude and home-made. But my sister Sophia kept me at my books and when I started at last I began in the old McGuffey's Second Reader. I was in my ninth year, and I will say I learned fast. I had no books, only my school books and had never looked in an arithmetic. But I heard the older ones recite in Geography and I could tell what a Geography was. The answer was, "It is a description of the Earth's surface, of what it is composed, of land, and of water." I could repeat page after page! Grammar, just the same. I never studied grammar till I was twelve years old. I was promoted to the third reader--McGuffey's Third--and then to the fourth. How proud I was when I could stand up with the big boys and girls and read in the Fourth Reader! I remember some of the pieces. One was, "Will you walk into my parlor? said the spider to the fly. It is the prettiest little parlor you ever did spy."
And the "Burial of Sir John Moore"! "Not a sound was heard, not a funeral note, as his corpse to the ramparts we hurried. Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot, o'er the grave where our hero was buried." I know all of it! And many others! Then when I began to read in the McGuffey's Fifth Reader, I was sure a big girl. One that I remember in it is "Rienzi's Address to the Romans"---"I came not here to talk. You know too well the story of our thralldom. We are slaves! Base, ignoble, slaves! Slaves to a horde of petty tyrants. And only great, in that one strange spell, a name--and the melancholy days are come, that saddest of the year." Now you know why I love poetry. I was just crazy for it! And all I had was my reader! When I was eleven I read the "Schotish Chieves" and have never read it since. About that time I read "Uncle Tom's Cabin", and from that time I read everything I could lay my hands on. I went to school to Eliza Baird Barbero and my mind began to open. She was a fine teacher. And I went to school to her sister, Mary Baird Find. They knew how to instruct. I went to good teachers. They taught all they knew. Some did not have any more actual knowledge than I had, but they helped me. I was a good speller. You may not know it, but I could stand up with the very best spellers. And I was asked to go to spelling school, because I could spell!
We had little country dances and I went to many of them, because I could dance. You will hardly believe that I could dance with the best of them! My life was NOT devoid of pleasure! But it was not as the young folks do now! We went to Church when we could, but we did not have any way to go. But to a dance a wagon-load could all go together! One did not need to have a young man--just go with the crowd and have a good time! My sister Mary was nearly tree years older that I, and I could go with her. Oh! How "backwoodsy" we were! I am glad my grandchildren can have the things they have, and have such nice entertainments. And need not be ashamed to be seen! We used to walk down to Bridgeport on Sunday. A lot of us. Nothing doing down there. Then walk back home again--or walk someplace where they had a big swing. Mr. Harmon Way lived then where Jim Jones now lives, and they had a big swing and lots of boys. And their neighbors had girls--and some boys, too! So that was one place to go!!
At that schoolhouse is where I acquired what little knowledge I have. When we came here, we left most of our relative in Pennsylvania, but it was not long till relatives began to come--and people we knew there. And they all came to my father's for entertainment. We had so little room, but we fixed them up some way. I don't know how! We seemed to have plenty to eat! I was too young to think much about it then. Eight and ten came at a time--and stay as long as a month or two! After I was eleven, we lived in a large house and could keep any number and we did all right. I hardly knew where I was going to sleep when night came. But we slept three in a bed--sometimes four. Two of father's nephews came at one time and brought their families. Uncle Peter and his family came, too, and it made about twelve or fourteen 'extra' at one time! One time the Freemole family came--a big family--was there for three or four weeks. Eight of them! And they all stayed with us! SOME came to our house that we never even knew before. But they knew some of the relatives that had come and was there. I know now we were eaten out of house and home! If you could see the piles of 'eats' mother used to bake on Saturday! We had lots of fruit. And we dried everything! Peaches, apples, and plums! We made all kinds of butters and pickles by the barrel! Doughnuts was one thing we always had in winter--and mince pies. And yards and yards of stuffed sausage! I don't know whether mother got tired of it. I never heard her say a word! And poor old Aunt Susan! She was so patient! And helped with all the work! And both she AND her family growing larger all the time! Pumpkins we dried by cutting them in rings and peeling them and hang them on poles above the kitchen stove. They looked pretty when first hung up. Apples we peeled at night and some were strung on twine strings and hung up in the kitchen. Some were dried on boards fixed on purpose for drying.
Our candles were made by putting candle-wick on sticks and mother would have a lot of tallow in a big kettle with water in the bottom. And dip a lot! Then hang them up and while they were getting hard she would dip another batch in. (There is a picture in one of the periodicals and shows just how it was done.) Mother would work at it all day. Have the kettle in the cellar. And it had to be done where it was cold. One hundred at a time--with a dozen or fifteen at a time on the stick. Will find the picture and put it with this record (*not found here).
The farmers would get together in the winter and shell their corn. They did not have the cornshellers like they have now. They just used had shellers. They could shell for half a dozen men. Fill their wagon boxes full and a lot of sacks full on top. They would then all start to Peoria. They would get within a mile or two or Peoria--Heaton's Hotel--and stay there for the night. The next day they'd take in their corn and get the things they had to buy, get back to the place they stayed all night, and start home the next morning and reach home about dark or after dark. They did not feed cattle and hogs then as they do now. Some did, but there was no market nearer than Peoria, and cattle were not more than three or four cents a pound. I hardly know how they lived--yet men bought farms! And PAID for them!
We knew nothing about caning fruit. Had to dry all the fruit or make it into butters or preserves. One of our neighbors made a cider mill and presses, so he made cider for themselves. But everybody had vegetables of all kinds. The finest melon and squash, and potatoes and everything one can think of. The biggest onions I ever saw! The ground was new and rich. We always had plenty of corn--and therefore plenty of milk and butter. And we always raised lots of chickens. Never knew the want of eggs, but there was no sale for them.
We had to ride in the big wagon wherever we went. A nice buggy cost as much as a car does now, or nearly as much. But we did "go"--even if we did ride in the big wagon! What would you think now to see a funeral procession---ALL big WAGONS? No hearse! Yet the hearse is just of recent years.
When I was quite young, father used to set traps to catch quail in the winter. I used to go with him when he visited his traps. One time there was fifteen quail in the trap! It made a nice dinner! Prairie chickens were numerous. Come right up to the house or stables in the winter--and once in awhile we had venison. All kinds of game was plentiful. One time the quails laid eggs in the hens' nests. The hens had nests in a patch of hazel brush. We always had an abundance of nuts of all kinds! I could eat all kinds then--and did not know I had a stomach! While we were living in Peoria, I remember my sisters going after some chestnuts and they took me along. And something ailed my feet. They were swollen so, and I sat on a sheepskin and they carried me that way. I suppose I was four years old. You see, I was 'the baby' in our family. But, bye and bye, another baby came--my eldest brother, Abe's--their son was born. Then MY nose was out of joint, as the saying is! My nephew, Henry Jones, of London Mills, is less than seven years younger than I am.
I had the kind of childhood other children had at that time. Better, perhaps, than some--and worse than others. We had hardships to endure, but we always had plenty to eat and did not suffer with the cold. Only I used to get cold going to school when the snow was deep. We never heard of such things as overshoes! Of course, we got cold at night when the snow drifted in onto our beds. I can remember how cold we got, dressing in the morning. Nearly every family had more or less ague, and I had it every summer until I was fourteen. Shake and chill in the forenoon and burn with fever in the afternoon! Doctors did not know what to do for it. At last, some home-remedy cured me. After years, my children all had it, too. But it was finally wiped out.
We had to go and hunt the cows. They ran on the range, as it was called. My sister, Mary, and I, we had to go about two miles. But we always found them slowly wending their way homeward. We hurried them up--and was sure they were all there.
My brother George worked away from home. He used to come home and bring a lot of young people with him. He would come sometimes and bring a four--horse team and a wagon just filled with youngsters. I was pretty young and was not old enough to take part in the frolic and fun they had. If it was not on Sunday, they would dance. My brother played the violin. I think I have given you a fairly good account of my girlhood and early childhood. I think I have given you all I can think of at this time. I gave you an account of my trip from Peoria. You can put it in to suit yourself.
Both my grandfathers' Jones and Shafer were in the War of 1812. Grandfather Jones was at New Orleans, Grandfather Shafer at Lake Erie---so we came from fighting stock!!!"

Contributed by Sharon Lytle, great-great-great-granddaughter of David and Sophia Jones.

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