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.



You are welcome to take information from this site for your own use as long as you give me credit.
Please send any comments or corrections to Ruth Mather I'd love to hear from you!

Copyright 2000-2019 Ruth Mather