The following story was written by Nellie Tucker Farmer, born 1893. Thanks to Mrs. Farmer's grand-niece, Dona Meeker, who has provided this story.



I was born near Ridgeway, Mo. The fifth child of seven children of Thomas Alexander Tucker and Sarah Catherine Perry Tucker August 27, 1893, Sun morning. I had red hair and brown eyes.

My father was born in Green Co, ILL, August 12, 1859. In a log house near Possum Trot School House. His parents were David Tucker and Rhoda Whitlock Tucker.

My mother was born near Knoxville, Tenn. Her dad was Elijah Perry and mother was Amy Bounds, which later lived near Macoupin Station close to Beaver Dam. Mother had one sister Rebecca, who died just before she was to be married.

Three children were born to my dad and mother in ILL. Arnan died at age three. Then Blanche and Daisy were born in or near Jerseyville, ILL.

My dad decided to move to Mo. with his family thinking he could find a better way of life. I do not know how he traveled, but he settled near Ridgeway and Bethany, Mo. He was a member of Odd Fellows Lodge which he attended by walking down a RR. track at night, to a little town near by.

There were four of us girls born near Ridgeway. Gertha, Nellie, Bessie, and Marie. I was named Nellie Jane after the lady Jane Melvin, that was with Mother when I was born. She and her husband Zechariah bought me a little red rocking chair that I remember.

I also remember the birth of my youngest sister Marie. She also had red hair. It was a warm day August 8, 1900. She was lying on a palet on the floor. The lady that cared for Mother that time lived across the field, and we kids spent the night there. One thing else I remember, seeing an ostrich egg in their house.

We lived in an old frame house, and there was an old cellar in the yard dug out. We kids were playing there. Gertha was chopping weeds with a hoe and hit me in the head.

Here we picked wild gooseberries stemmed them and walked carrying them to town for 10 cents a gallon.

I remember what might have been our next house. Our cousins Foster and Arlena Stone and family lived with us, and he and my dad built a two room house with sleeping quarters in an attick. A ladder was the means by which we went up stairs, needless to say it must have been crowded as I remember there were four Stone children and five Tuckers.

This is how it came about that Mom gave my pink mittens she had made for me to Roscoe Stone. I cried for them and Arlena gave them back to me. One of which I now have. This is also where I first started to school at age 5. I really had no class as I was the only little one in the school Teachers name was Raleigh Nickerson. We used slates to write on using slate pencils. I had a slate so one day I drew a picture of what I called the teacher. I was embarassed to see him looking on and I had told girl I was sitting with, that is the teachers picture. He laughed about it, not me. I remember Dad playing Santa Claus and it was our first. It scared Daisy. She ran and hid behind the kitchen stove. Here it was that Dad was burning brush. Bessie's shawl caught fire and burned her arm badly. She carried the scar to her death.

The church we attended stood across from school, named Morris Chappel. Also grave yard. I know I have picture of church. I remember another Christmas at the church. Mom and Dad took us in an old bob sled. We were nestled down in the straw and covers. The tree was decorated with popcorn and paper. We got a few gifts, maybe a little bag of candy. Bessie and I some times got a doll, as I remember Mom bought China heads and made the bodies. Bessie's doll had a blond head and mine was black. We were very happy to get them.

Yes, in harvest time we carried water to the harvesters walking barefoot across a stubble field. Don't try it. Was hard on feet. Another thing I remember we had a pet pig to die and a grave was dug. One of neighbor boys, Herb Gray preached the funeral. It was near a pond. What could you say at a sermon for a pig?

Mother and Arlena took us kids went into the woods by a pond, built a fire and heated wash water to wash our laundry. No clothes line so strung clothes out on the bushes to dry. We spent the day there took our lunch. Things sure have changed. Would not take any thing for the experience.

We went to visit a neighbor. Gerta found a nickle on the floor. She did not know what to do with it, took it home. Mom knew what to do with it. So Gertha took the nickle back to where it belonged. I well remember what I did with my first nickle. Bought a spool of thread. Mom had made us thread by unraveling a piece of muslin.

Now I must tell you about living in the comforts of a log house. This one was very airy. Cracks filled with what ever Mother could find. It was close to an old rock quarry. We kids went there and picked up petrified rocks. We spent many house there. Daisy still had some of them in a jar at the time of her death. I do not know if they are there yet.

One night a hail storm came up, Mother and us kids took shelter in an old cave dug out in the side of a hill. Dad was at work. After the storm we picked up hail stones and Mother made us ice cream. We nearly always had a cow. So had milk. Anyway it was a treat. We really enjoyed it. We hardly ever had white bread. It was corn bread. I remember Dad going to a little village and brought home a sack of white flour. He was happy to have white biscuits.

I remember Dad taking Bessie and me with him to get some groceries. Mom dressed us up in the best we had and put white bonnets on us. So in the old buggy we went shopping with Dad. Three small stores each gave us a little bag of candy. What a day! Shopping with Dad. How about it, kids? You never will know anything like it.

This same place we had a few turkeys and Dad called to Blanche that the old hen turkey had laid an egg in the buggy. So she ran all the way down and up the hill, then Dad said April Fool, as it was the 1st day of April. Mom raised a few chickens and as usual some little ones did not make it. So Mom let us make a grave yard to bury the dead. It being Spring and wild flowers blooming, we spent a lot of good times decorating graves. Using sticks for headstones. How about that for entertainment.

Also here in the winter time we walked over rocks in the creek crossing to the other side on our way 2 1/2 miles to school. Times when there was snow on Dad would meet us to see that we got home safely. One warm summer day, I insisted on my sister Bessie to go with me fishing. We went up creek poles made of brush limbs, and pins for fishing hooks. Anyway, I caught a cat fish and back home we went muddy and dirty. Mom cleaned my fish and cooked it for me. That was a treat, but Bessie did not enjoy one minute of it. She was not very strong, but anyway we had many good times together.

Now I will try to tell you about the last log house we lived in. It had a dirt floor. I remember only one door. One day when we were gone one of the old sheep got in the house and Mom had a difficult time getting him out. Another time Gertha was down in the pasture playing. He got after her. She ran to the cabin climbing over the gait and finally to safety.

The school that we attended was just over a hill from our home. Log cabin. We had a lady teacher, Amy Seigler. I have the school picture of all the pupils and Amy.

Here my dad worked for a man that had cattle and sheep. I remember climbing up in hay loft and fell thru among the cattle. I was not long getting out of there.

Also I climbed a big oak tree near the house to get to a crows nest. Don't know how I got down but was afraid to try.

We also had an old yellow tom cat which we kids dressed up and took for a walk. Each one holding a paw. We enjoyed playing with him, don't know if he was happy.

My dad had some friends in Okla. and decided to move there. He covered the old buggy top with black oil cloth. He had three horses by this time. One was to haul the buggy, which my sister Blanche (Blanche was Wilson and Helen's mother) was to drive through. Dad covered the wagon with white canvas. Mom papered a wooden box with newspapers for our food supplies. I remember Dad stopping along the way and buying a link of balogna. We really enjoyed it. I now have the box covered with cloth outside and wall paper inside. Dad or Geo. put wheels on it. So use it for bed clothes, etc. I well remember leaving the old log house and three lovable kittens which I looked at for the last time. There were tear drops.

To Okla, we traveled in a covered wagon. Yes, I remember Marie has a banty hen, brown and black. So Dad made a crate so the chicken went along, crate fastened to back of wagon. We made a bad move. Times were hard so Dad decided to go back to Ill or Mo. I remember Grandma sent us a box of material from which Mom made us clothes. My mom and dad always tried to get us in school. I remember bringing picture cards to Il. We finally came back to Ill. We kids were growing up. We landed at Dad's brother, Uncle Birch. He had a big family. We were here for a short time.

Something About Our Family

When they lived east of town and after. We then moved to a farm house S.E. of Jerseyville. Gertha stayed with Grandma at Rockbridge. She came home to us bringing us measles. Mother was very sick. Then to Grandma we went. Dad got work, rented a house in Rockbridge, later to Jerseyville. He got work here and sold our horses, made a down payment on a home. Which was our last. We grew up there.

Blanche and Daisy worked in a shoe factory. The rest went to school. Gertha graduated in type writing and book keeping.

There (were) some friends that pastured a church here and moved to Akron, O. They got her a job in a R.R. station. There she went to work for Harvey Firestone in his office, until her marriage. Blanche married Oliver Benj. Holmes of Rockbridge. They had 3 children, Paul, Wison and Helen. Blanche died soon after Helen was born. 4-14-17 Daisy married Rudolph Green. They had one girl Ruth, who died in 1965. Daisy died March 1976. Gertha married Sherman Ferguson of Wadsworth, O. He died and she married Harry Houghlan of Lakeland, Fla. Marie died 1918, flu. She was telephone operator. Bessied died 1928, pneumonia in Chicago Nurses Traing. Mother died Sept 27, 1934. Dad died Dec 22, 1946.

About Grandma Tucker

Grandma had an old fashioned loom. She wove carpets for people 10 cents yd. People brought balls of cloth and we kids wound them on wooden shuttles.

Grandma never missed church. She was a member of Baptist Church in Rockbridge. We also went there. I remember her little hat somewhat like a bonnet with a bunch of flowers on it. Grandpa David Tucker died at an early age.

This is another time I forgot to tell you about while living in MO. Times were hard. Some man told my dad he had a peach orchard in Osage Co. Mo. to sell. So Dad sold out, spent money for farm and moved. This proved to be false. We traveled there in a covered wagon. Lived in a tent, dirt floor. We had some friends also living there in a tent. Their names were Hatfield. They were Christian people, so the Bible was read. This was by Osage River and across from us was a hugh rock which was hewn out. Two men lived there. Our stay was short. I do not remember our next home. Dad and Mom worked hard trying to make a living for us. Always honest in their dealings,and trusting people,and looking forward to a better living. God in His mercy watched over and cared for us all.

I remember Mother and Dad taking us to a Negro picnic in or close by Bethany, MO. We went in a big wagon. I guess Dad hurried the horses too much. They got scared and ran away. He soon got them under control and to the picnic we went. It was the first time I remember seening a black mother with a baby. Dad bought us some bags of peanuts. I remember Bessie and I wore hats. They were called leighorn straw. Mine had a little pink rosebud. I think Bessie's hat was trimmed in blue. How happy we were with them.

Bacl in Ill. I remember visiting Foster and Arlena and kids. Some of Bridges family were there. Any way we kids went to a branch which had water and crawfish. We made lines of string using pins for hooks and fished for crawfish. There was a Dovey, Lloyd, Roscoe and Goldie in the Stone family. There were many other little things that happened, but I have just about finished. May things I remember. Hope you will enjoy reading this.

Nellie Tucker Farmer

My father Thomas A. Tucker bought 12 graves in Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville, Illinois. All family buried there.

Marie Tucker
Bessie Tucker
Blanche Tucker Holmes on Holmes lot
Daidy Tucker Green
Gertha Tucker Ferguson Houghlan
Thomas A. Tucker
Saraj C. Perry Tucker

Ben left 6 graves:
2 for Paul
2 for Wilson
2 for Helen
Jake (Rudolph) Green and George Farmer also buried in Oak Grove on Dad's lot.

God bless all good Christian people, honest in all their dealings. Had love and respect for all and all deserving. Poor but happy!

Now my close family has left me in God's hands and they have gone to be with Christ.

Nellie Jane Tucker Farmer, Aug 22, 1982

This story was written by Nellie Farmer for all to have a history of her family.

{Nellie Farmer, a resident of Jerseyville, Ill, in the county of Jersey, died the 17th day of July, 1987 at Jersey Community Hospital, Jerseyville, Illinois.--Dona Meeker}


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