7/23/1997 NOTES From The White County Historical Society Library

White County Historical Society Library
by Charlene Shields!
This article appeared in THE CARMI TIMES
July 23, 1997

Ecstatic Letter from Deborah Cooper

An ecstatic letter from Deborah Cooper of Atlanta, Ga. made my week. She had been searching for information about a great-great-grandmother who was orphaned as a little girl. I thought she had an unsolvable problem. However, through a query in an earlier column, she made some contacts and is now well on her way to filling in some missing places in her family tree.

The story she learned might make a good movie plot. When this grandmother was orphaned as a little girl, the stepfather gave all the children away at the cemetery. The snow was up to the hubs of the wagon wheels and was covering the new grave of the mother, so the stepfather was giving the children away as rapidly as he could find neighbors to take them. Generations passed before the descendants made contact, to piece together the story of what had happened to the children. Here's another tough genealogical problem: WOODALL--What was the maiden name of Susan Woodall, born in 1797 in Georgia? What was her husband's given name? He must have died prior to 1850, as she is the head of a household in the Posey County, Ind. census that year. She had a daughter, Susan Woodall, who married Jesse C. Fox.
Contact Eunice Fox Fontenot,
833 Oakwood Drive,
Gretna, LA 70056.
Telephone 1-504-392-4439.

The last two columns have carried excerpts from the late J. Robert Smith's New Haven Pioneer Life.

It is now continued:

"Some who didn't hunt for animal skins or raise hogs for trading distilled their own whisky and brought it to the store to trade for goods. Others cut shingles in the forest and sold them at $1 per 1,000. Quite a few made hoop poles to be shipped down the river and sold to southern plantations. There they were used to bind around the barrels of tobacco and sugar. Some made pork barrels for $1 each and sold them to the pork dealers.
"Merritt Taylor and William Abbot made money hauling goods to and from 'the Bluff,' which was McFadden's Bluff, later renamed Mt. Vernon [Ind.]. The place was named at first for William McFadden, who went there in 1805. The ground on which Mt. Vernon now stands was owned by General William Henry Harrison, who sold 185 acres there to Aaron Williams, of Big Prairie, Ill., for $500 and a horse.
"At New Haven, Elizabeth Andrews made shirts for $1 each, and Sarah Moore received $3.50 for making a pair of shoes. "Workmen were paid 50 cents a day, although some doing certain arduous work made as much as 75 cents a day. On Dec. 3, 1818, Samuel Kellogg contracted to work in the New Haven store for 6 months at $15 per month, all to be taken out in goods except $10 to be paid in cash.
"Prices paid by pioneer housewives included: eggs 12 1/2 cents a dozen, salt 6 cents a pound, chickens 10 cents each, tallows 12 1/2 cents a pound, soap 25 cents a bar, flannel 62 1/2 cents, broadcloth from $2 to $4, silk $1.50 and ribbon 25 cents per yard, buttons from 25 to 50 cents a dozen and socks from 87 1/2 cents to $1 per pair.
"Men bought twist tobacco at 12 1/2 cents, flints 25 cents a dozen, lead at 15 cents per pound, powder from $l to $1.25 a pound, nails 25 cents a pound, a curry comb 37 l/2 cent, and a grindstone, $2.75.
"On Dec. 7, 1818, Hugh McCannon had a death in his family. He sent his son to the store and, according to the ledger, here is what he purchased: '2 quarts of whisky, 62 1/2 cents cash tomorrow, and nails and planks for coffin, 62 1/2 cents.'"
(To be continued)

We continue to be comfortably busy with letters and visitors to our Genealogy Library. We're open from 11 to 5 on Wednesdays. Come join us.

Posted with permission from

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