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 Little Home Histories, Part 39 -- William Green.

by Hoge, Anna M.

See previous entry: Little Home Histories, Part 38 -- The Gibbons Family.

William and Rachel Hoyle Green came to America in 1813 from England. They were married in Richmond, Jefferson County, Ohio in 1820. She lived first in Philadelphia and moved to Richmond, Ohio before 1820. They were twenty one days coming out to Ohio and she made her first trip back to Philadelphia by train in twenty one hours.

Our grandparents moved to Barnesville before 1826 and conducted a store in partnership with Benjamin Hoyle. The building had a fronting on main street, the lot extending to church street. They also owned three acres adjoining the B. and 0. R.R. Depot.

Upon retiring from the store business, grandfather bought several small farms that comprised the 245 acres our father James Steer bought in 1864. This land adjoined the farms of Robert Plummer and Robert H. Smith. It was one-half mile west of Tacoma -- and had belonged to Walter Skinner.

The first home on the farm was at the spring where Joseph and Ethel Wylie now live. He built the new house in 1855 and was a useful member of Stillwater meeting for forty years. He died in 1862, at the age of 66. Rachel Green died in 1882 at the age of 83.

She was the mother of thirteen children, six of whom lived to maturity, and five to the old age. Their names were Hanna, Sarah, Joseph, John, Lydia, Rebecca and Mary.


This was built by William Green in 1855, and was very much like the English plan. Our father, James Steer, was born at Colerain, Ohio, in 1827. His father and grandfather had come from Lowden County, Virginia, in 1812.

He and our mother, Mary Green, were married at Stillwater in 1853. They were the parents of eight children, two of whom died in infancy. Their names were Anna M., William G., Joseph G., Rachel G., Elizabeth, and Charles -- the latter passing away in his twentieth year.

Anna is at present (1942) in her 88th year, William G. in his 86th year, and Elizabeth in her 80th, year, and all are members of Stillwater meeting.

One of my early recollections of our moving to Barnesville was that I went with father when he took a four-horse load of goods. The way four horses were handled in those days was: the driver rode one of the wheel horses and drove the leaders with a single line, called a jerk line. When wanting them to go to the right he would call "Gee" and to the left would call "Haw."

Father was about five foot ten inches and weighed around two hundred pounds. In his prime, he was considered the strongest man in Warren township. Before the cradle came in use, he had reaped 40 dozen sheaves of wheat with a sickle in a day. In the winter of 1874, with four horses, he hauled all the logs to the mill for 125,000 feet of lumber to build the boarding school. After he was 86 years of age, he committed to memory a great many poems which he often recited when in a company. When at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the building of the Yearly Meeting house at Mt. Pleasant, he stood on his feet and recited a lengthy poem. He died suddenly, while on his feet, the second of third month 1917, in his 90th year.

Our mother was born in 1828 and died in 1903 in her 75th year. I don't think any greater tribute could have been paid to her life and character than that expressed by someone at her funeral, when quoting the passage, "Her gentleness hath made me great."

Our parents moved from Colerain, Ohio, in the eight month of 1864, and bought the farm which father owned for fifty-three years. Five of their children were born at Colerain. Our brother Charles was born in 1865, at the home of our grandmother. Later she made her home with us until her death in 1882. It was through the influence of Aseneth Bailey and her that the monthly meeting was established at Richland, sometime in the 1870s.

It has already been stated that the James Steer home was built in 1855 by our grandfather William Green, of which the following is a description. He no doubt followed the English plan of having all the needed rooms under one roof. This made the house 106 feet long. The first section was 40 feet square, with a cellar the same size. The walls were made of nicely dressed stone, as were the seven and a half foot pillars that supported the floor. One stone in the wall is ten feet long.

The milkroom adjoining the cellar was ten feet square, and the walls were the same as in the cellar. The steps, both inside and outside, also were stone, all of which was quarried on the farm.

In the milkroom was a trough eight feet long, three and one-half feet wide, and eight or ten inches deep in which was set the pans of milk. It was cooled by water from a well in the kitchen.

The second section was 17 by 17 and two story, as the first section. The roofs on these were flat and covered with tarred paper and gravel. This did not prove satisfactory, and a raised hip roof soon was put up.

The first section contained eight rooms, 16 by 17 with 9 foot ceilings and halls 6 feet wide on each floor. Each of these rooms was heated by small coal-burning stoves. The first winter we lived in the home, someone thought there was an unusual smoke in the house. Our mother, on going upstairs at once, began stamping on the floor to give warning there was fire. My uncle, John Green, who lived in the home, called to me "Come Willie quick and help get water for the fire."

Something that had been put in the unused flue to stop it had caught fire from a spark and dropped down, burning a hole in the floor. The rooms on the first floor were provided with double swinging doors so they could be converted into two rooms 17 by 32 feet, one on each side of the hall. The second section lapped only five feet on the first and contained the kitchen and pantry and store room for provisions. This was built up one step above the other floors but was set down even by William Frame when Oscar Bailey owned the home.

The kitchen has four doors, two opening on the outside and also had the open wood fireplace and crane on which to hang the pots for cooking.

The extension -- 45 by 17 and a story and a half -- contained the wash house, coal house, chicken house, and carriage shed. This has a pitch roof with an attic over two rooms and a shop over the carriage shed. The room for chickens extended to the roof, having the roosts in the top and a lone ladder for them to reach the roosts. There was a back stairs leading to two sleeping rooms over the kitchen and pantry. There was no way to get from one section to the other until a door was put in 1885.

In the first section were two doors leading to a rearporch -- 36 by 10 -- and one door in front leading to a so-called portico that was 8 by 10 feet -- and two steps from the ground. The roof to this was supported by four posts, each 10 by 10 inches. There were forty-four windows in the house, all having two sash with 8 by 10 inch lights, except four windows in the attic with hinged sash, which had only one light. The five windows in the front had sash on each side, and were one light wide. One thing that has been omitted was that there was a heavy trap door in the flat attic room which led to the roof, where we had a good view of the surrounding countryside. We were able to see Morristown, which was seven miles away.

It had also been neglected to say that the frame of this house was heavy hewn timbers such as were used in the construction of large barns built many years ago. In recent years the main sections have been covered on the outside with asbestos shingles, adding much to the durability and appearance of the home. We have been told that the present owner expects to remove the 45 ft. extension, which would add greatly to the appearance of its construction, and, if properly cared for, this house should last as long as the pioneer brick houses.

We made soft soap and used a Dutch oven that father had made. We also used a flail grubber and Horsepower thresher, the syckle, scythe, cradle, Walter A. Wood mowing machine, Kirby harvester -- with one big wheel and a platform for a man to stand on while he pulled the grain back with a long rake before dropping it for binding.

Source: Written by: Anna M. Hoge and William G. Steer.

See next entry: Little Home Histories, Part 40 -- John Hall.

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: Steer, William G.

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

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