Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 13

This has been a relatively quiet day. I spent the morning at the Norwalk Public Library. I found an interesting book which recorded women in the Western Reserve before 1850. Although only a line item description, the book provides the women's married name, maiden name, when they moved to the area, their birth place and current place of residence. Unfortunately the library only had reel 1 of the microfilm. I will have to find reel 2 elsewhere. What I did discover was that there were a lot more Davenports in Perrysburg (outside of Toledo) than I ever imagined. I think 2 brothers must have come in the 1830s because there are names I don't recognize or have records for. This will provide winter research - in case I have nothing else to do.

This afternoon has been spent transcribing notes and labeling photos. I thought I would copy here some information from Catherine Kile Sutton's biography in the Fire Lands Pioneer journal. It provides an interesting glimpse into pioneer life.

"Mrs. Sutton is noticeable as having spent a large part of her early life on the frontier or in the wilderness. She kept house for her brother four years and was then married to Levi R Sutton. In some of his hunting excursions Sutton found a good location on the banks of the Huron river, near some good springs, in Peru township. Here he concluded to settle down, and proceeded to clear away the underbrush, girdle or deaden the larger trees, and fence and sow a small piece of wheat. During the winter he built a cabin and moved into it April 1, 1817. Proceeded with his clearing, and in due time was able to plant a patch of corn. Aunt Katie (Catherine Sutton) dug up the ground and planted a patch of vegetables, also a patch of flax, from which she manufacured clothing for her family. Thus they lived until the fall of 1818, not knowing who, if any body, owned the land; when the owner of the land came on. They bought 50 acres at $5 per acre to be paid for in work and at market price - 50 cents a day for chopping and 50 cents per hundred for making rails. Mr. and Mrs. Sutton considered themselves lucky and went to work, he with his ax and she with her hoe and wheel. He chopped the fire wood as near the house as he could find suitable trees. She carried it to the house as it was needed while he was off earning his 50 cents per day and tended to the house and gardens.

When the land was paid for they thought they needed wool (to manufacture clothes). As soon as they had a field large enough to hold them, they obtained a few sheep. Then commenced a perpetual fight between Aunt Katie and the wolves. She could scarcely turst the sheep out of her sight. Every night, summer and winter, they had to be housed. Twice their last hog was carried off by bears. Three difference times their last and only cow died of murrain. Shehad full charge of housekeeping for seventy-two years and was the mother of seven children."

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