My Life
Calista Ellsworth Davis - Written in 1946
I was borne in Civil War days & raised in Bond Co. Ill in 1864 on a little farm of 40 acres. My father & mother were poor people but in those days they could raise most anything such as corn, wheat, oats, & grain of any kind & it would yield. He raised his family of 10 children on that little farm.

Our house consisted of a 3 roomed log cabin with a fireplace with stick & clay chimney. My father & mother were good christian people. He had plenty around him all kinds of grain & fruit in abundance such as apples, peaches, cherries, gooseberries & currants, plenty of good garden & good crops of all kind for you could raise it them days for it yielded. We had our own meat & plenty of good lard & we had 2 good cows & had our own milk & butter. We had sheep & lambs - not in abundance, but a few sheep. I can remember when I was growing up for a few years my father killing a sheep & skinning it & we had mutton to eat. We had our chickens & eggs & plenty to eat them days. We made our own apple butter. My father would take corn to the grist mill & they would grind it & we would have plenty of good corn bread & lots of good old sorghum molasses. He would take wheat to the mill & have it ground & we would have flour but we didn't get biscuits very often. Those were good old days . I used to go out & gather hazel nuts by the sack & bring them home & hull them for the winter. We had lots of apples & my father would bury them & open them up in the winter & Oh they were good! We had plenty of food, but we didn't have much water. We had a well but it didn't afford much water.

Our folks used to go down to the branch to do the washing. One time there came up a storm of wind & rain before they could get to the clothes. The storm washed them all away & only a few of them were found! I remember the old lye hopper at home. After I were married I made soap. We had the old lye hopper & we would put ashes in it & pour water in it & drain the lye off & when I got enough lye for a kettle I would make my own soap, hard & soft. I have also made many a pot of hominy with lye to eat the eyes out or whatever you called it, & then wash them good & cooked them. They would be as nice as the hominy you buy now & Oh it was good! Happy mother wove our clothes in as pretty stripes as you ever seen & colored her yarn with madder red & other colors. She knit our stockings red & our mittens red to wear to school. I can remember my mother weaving from morn till night.



I love to hear from you! Please send any comments or corrections to Ruth Mather