I blogged about my great grandfather a few years ago, when I related the story of his elopement. William Edgar Whitten (Nov. 1875 - Apr. 1975) was a hard-working gentleman who achieved much in his life with only an 3rd-grade education. Though he eventually settled in South Texas, he grew up "a farmer's son in the piney woods and rock hills of Georgia."
I decided to blog about some of the things he remembered. When I start feeling like my life is difficult, it only takes reading something like this to make me realize just how easy I have it.
From This I Remember, by William Edgar Whitten:
I remember when...
Both men an boys wore patched shirts and pants.
A child got its first pair of shoes from 3 to 5 years of age.
Shoes were patched just the same as clothes. Father mended and patched the family shoes and used wooden pegs for shoe nails.
Birthday parties were unknown to children.
Mother made all the family clothes by hand.
Mother carded the cotton, spun the thread, and knitted all the family socks and stockings.
Pine knots were used to make light for the house.
The cook stove burned wood, and the wood sat in a box by the stove.
Potatoes were roasted in the ashes of the fireplace.
Father cut his own children's hair. A boy went to a barbershop only after he became 21 years of age.
Men in the neighborhood would cut each other's hair.
Father, mother, and all the children went to church in a two-horse wagon. If a family owned a buggy or surrey, they were considered wealthy and high-class people.
The average man worked 12 to 14 hours per day.
A man worth $10,000 was considered a rich man.
Mother took the little children and went down to the creek to do her family washing and used a battling stick and block for cleaning the clothes. A washboard was unknown to the people of that day.
Carpets and rugs on a floor were unknown. Mother scrubbed the floors once a week with a big scrubbing mop made of corn shucks. She would pour water and white sand on the floors and scrub until the floors were white. Then she would pour more water over the floor to wash all the sand off. This left the floors clean and beautiful.
Ice was unknown in the summer time.
Water was drawn and carried from a well in the back yard or from a spring at the foot of the hill.
Every home, both in town and in the country, had outdoor toilets. A bathroom inside a house was unknown.
Thanks for visiting.