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Title: Items from Material of the late Mrs. Estella Clem Himmelright
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This is from Clem Genealogy by Walter Salts

On November 21, 1874, Abraham Clem married Margaret Taylor. Both are buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Kent Township, Warren County.

Margaret was noted for being scrupulously clean. Her house was immaculate, not a cobweb in the attica or a rotten potato in the cellar. When she lived in the new house, built in 1883, the well, as we know, was quite a distance from the house and of course not piped then. The three daughters, Elmirea, Josephine and Mary, had to carry most of the water for cooking. They would say that their mother washed the potatoes through several waters. "Ma", they would say, "You'll wash all the starch out of the potatoes."

In 1893, Abraham and Margaret, who were considered stay-at-homes, were prevailed upon to go to the World's Fair in Chicago. Upon their return the children asked their mother if she enjoyed the Fair. She replied, "Oh, yes, everything except the butter! It was so poor. I kept thinking of my nice crocks of yellow butter at home." It has been said that when Margaret died she had fifty sheets. Her linen closet would be quite an asset at the present prices!

I think it is fitting to add a little about the township in which our ancestors have lived for over a hundred years - since 1829 (Kent Township). A great many families came into this township, some direct from Ohio. The early settlers sought the timber for four reasons. First, they had been reared in a timber country, so knew nothing of the prairie and thought it impossible to survive the cold winters in such an exposed situation; thirdly, they preferred to remain where wood was abundant; and fourthly, they concluded, to locate near some water sources which wer then the great commercial highways. The very earliet settlers, then preferred the timbered land and selected their farms on streams where never-failing springs of good water issued from the ground.

Money was scarce and people were forced to resort to barter in order to effect exchanges. The comparative supply and demand regulated the price of articles. A yard of calico was worth so many pound of butter, a deer skin was worth so many bushels of potatoes. The tanneries supplied leather, which was obtained and made for whole families at once into shoes and boots. Sheep were introduced early and those that were not killed by wolves supplied wool which very often, was taken by the back-woods mother and washed, rolled, carded, spun, woven into cloth, dressed, but and made into clothing without once leaving the house where it was clipped from the sheep.

Everybody had ox teams. Young men went courting with ox teams and many young couples went gaily off to some old "squire" to be married, driving a span of fast oxen. If they were fortunate enough to own a horse, they would both mount the animal, the girl behind and away they would go, followed by a shower of old shoes, horseshoes and rice. After the marriage the evening passed in an old-fashioned dance.

There were no stuck-up people in this new country; all were friendly for all were poor. The latch string hung out for everybody; this hospitality was so universal taht every settler seemed to keep tavern. It would not do to turn travelers away, for cabins were so few that the night would probably have to be passed in the woods.

Date: 9/1/1989
Origin: Backward Glances
Author: Paul Clem
Record ID: 00000127
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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