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 Little Home Histories, Part 33 -- Aaron Frame, 1815-1896.

by Cooper, Sarah C.

See previous entry: Little Home Histories, Part 32 -- John H. Edgerton.

Aaron Frame was born in 1815 near West Grove, Harrison County, Ohio, where his parents, William and Ruanna (Thomas) Frame, settled soon after their marriage. When he was eight years old his father was taken away by death, leaving a family of four sons, Aaron being the oldest, and the youngest only a few hours old. Aaron could remember riding behind his mother on horseback to attend Yearly Meeting at Mount Pleasant when a boy.

In 1836 he married Talitha Thompson and settled near Georgetown, Ohio, where he owned a small farm and a saw mill which was operated by water power from a stream running through the farm. The house which he built on this farm is still standing. Here ten of their eleven children were born, all except the youngest. Three of the children died in infancy.

In 1856 Aaron and Talitha Frame moved to Iowa, being attracted there by cheap land and feeling the need of more employment for their growing family. There was no railroad so far west at that time so the eldest son and an uncle drove their team across country, taking what they could in the wagon, and the rest of the family followed by steamboat. They started from Wheeling, West Virginia, going down the Ohio river and then up the Mississippi to Muscatine, Iowa, the trip taking two weeks. They were met at Muscatine by the sixteen-year-old son, Thompson, who had gone ahead of them. In 1860 the beloved wife and mother was removed by death, leaving a family of eight children, ranging in age from nineteen to four years.

In the fall of 1863, Aaron Frame was married to Achsah Smith, of Guernsey, Ohio. In the spring of 1864 they sold their Iowa home and came to Barnesville, where they settled in the Stillwater neighborhood, near Pigeon Point, or Mt. Holly. The farm had been owned at one time by Issachar Schofield and they bought it from his son, Jonathan Schofield.

On this farm there was a commodious two-story log house which at one time probably had been two houses, later joined together by a hallway between. One part, used as a dining room, was two steps lower than the other. A one-story frame structure added at the west and adjoining the dining room served as a kitchen. The walls of this part were sealed inside with boards. There was a small pantry in connection with the kitchen and a convenient dish cupboard opened through from kitchen to dining room. At the back of the house there was a porch, on one side of which was a shed for storing fuel. Changes were made from time to time and finally the house was weather boarded on the side.

There were three open fireplaces in the house, one in the parlor at the east end, with a chimney serving for both of these. There was a cook stove in the kitchen, the pipe going into the chimney at one side of the fireplace. The dining room had a swinging crane for kettles and they sometimes used a dutch oven there for baking by covering with hot embers.

A large brick oven outside was used for the regular baking. The women of the family would get the bread, pies, etc., all ready, then put them in the oven and clean up the kitchen while the baking went on. The floors were all of natural wood, without paint or varnish and my mother used to tell they liked to scrub and scour the wood because it cleaned up so nicely and looked so well when done.

A closed stairway in the hall led to the second story where there were two large rooms and one small one. No way of heating was provided for these bedrooms. They were separated by board partitions and instead of clothes presses (closets) there were large wooden pegs in the walls at convenient places for hanging clothing. The stairway was built of cherry timber and enclosed with cherry boards. When the house was torn down Uncle William Frame used some of these boards to make the top of an extension table and another smaller table. The wood took a fine polish. The walls of the main part of the house were simply the hewn logs with strips of chinking and plaster between and had to be whitewashed every spring. The joists and floor boards of the upper story made the ceiling for the rooms below.

Nearby was a small house for Aaron Frame's mother, for whom he had long provided a home. There also was a house built over the spring, which was at the west end of the house. In the upper story of this building were rooms where Achsah's father and mother, Samuel and Elizabeth Smith, lived for a time. Beneath, in back of the spring, was a cellar for keeping vegetables from freezing in the winter. In a room below the spring was a trough for the water to flow through, making a cool place to keep milk, butter, etc., in summer.

In earlier days, when Issachar Schofield lived on the farm, a school was kept in this upper part of the spring house. Aunt Florence Frame tells of her grandmother, Increase Dennis (afterward Increase Thomas), teaching this school. She also relates an amusing little incident which her grandmother used to tell her. The Schofields would sometimes leave their little son Jonathan with the teacher while they were away from home. To keep him from wandering she would pin his clothes to her dress or apron. One day she was sewing and not finding a pin handy she took a few stitches instead. The child had a habit of investigating from time to time to see if he was still fastened. On this occasion when he discovered the stitches he burst into a loud wail, "Oh, I'll never get loose. I'll never get loose."

Also west of the house was the sorghum mill. Sorghum molasses was made here in the fall and maple molasses in the spring. We grandchildren loved to go to Grandfather's with the load of cane. A horse was hitched to a sweep which furnished power to turn the great rollers that pressed the sap out of the cane. The sap was conducted by a trough to the boiling shed below. Here a long shallow pan was set over a brick furnace. We liked to watch the sap bubbling and steaming in this pan until it became thick enough for the delicious molasses to spread on our bread. It had to be watched closely and stirred with a long wooden paddle and the scum taken off occasionally. We were sometimes allowed to boil some of the molasses to make taffy. The pulling of this was when it did not stick to our fingers, which it was apt to do if we did not run out of doors once in a while to cool it off.

In the year 1875, while engaged in building a new house on the farm, Aaron Frame was again called upon to give up his bosom companion, which was a check to the building for a while. But after a time the house was finished. The children had all settled in homes of their own but his aged mother was still under his care and with a housekeeper they moved to the new house. The mother passed away some years later at the age of ninety-three. The old house stood many years longer and was occupied at various times, once by the family of a black man, Hark Paterson. Among the white families was that of Lee Price. Also Wilmer Hall, from Richland, and his wife lived there for a time after their marriage, occupying only the old parlor.

In the year 1885, Aaron Frame and Lavine Wright, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, were married. They were permitted to live congenially together until the year 1896, when Grandfather passed away suddenly. He had felt for some time that he might go this way, as he was aware of a heart weakness.

And so "One generation passeth away and another generation cometh." Is the world any better for our having lived in it?

Source: Written by: Sarah C. (Bundy Holloway) Cooper.

See next entry: Little Home Histories, Part 34 -- Some Friends Meetings in Belmont & Guernsey Counties, Ohio.

For the table of contents and first entry in this series, please see: Little Home Histories, Part 01 -- Table of Contents and Introduction.

This entry is adapted from Little Home Histories in Our Early Homes, Belmont County, Ohio, which was published in 1942. Its publication was coordinated by Robert D. and Beulah Patten McDonald. This entry has been reedited for inclusion in the Pierian Press Fulltext eBooks database, and is included on the Stratton House Inn Website by special permission. This entry is licensed for use ONLY on this Website. It may be used for educational purposes and personal pleasure under fair-use provisions via this Website. Please note that the Stratton House Inn iteration of this entry does NOT include the subject headings assigned each chapter for use in the Fulltext eBooks database.

CO-AUTHOR: Holloway, Sarah C.

DATABASE: Fulltext eBooks: Copyright (c) 2002 The Pierian Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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