All in the Day's Work: An Autobiography

All in the Day's Work: An Autobiography

All in the Day's Work: An Autobiography

All in the Day's Work: An Autobiography

Excerpt

If it had not been for the Panic of 1857 and the long depression which followed it I should have been born in Taylor County, Iowa . That was what my father and mother had planned. In fact, however, I was born in a log house in Erie County, Pennsylvania, on November 5, 1857. It was the home of my pioneering maternal grandfather Walter Raleigh McCullough. No home in which I have ever lived has left me with pleasanter memories of itself. It was a Cape Cod house, a story and a half high, built of matched hewn logs, its floors of narrow fitted oak planks, its walls ceiled, its "upstairs" finished, a big fireplace in its living room. There were spreading frame outbuildings to accommodate the multiple activities of a farm which was in my time a going concern. I remember best the big cool milk room with its dozens of filled pans on the racks, its huge wooden bowl heaped with yellow butter on its way to the firkin, its baskets piled with eggs, its plump dressed poultry ready for market.

Like all young married people of pioneer ancestry and experience having their way to make, my parents wanted land. Land of their own, combined with what my father could earn at his profession as a teacher and his trade as a joiner, meant future security. It was the proved way of the early American.

After much looking about in northwestern Pennsylvania where the families of both were settled, they had decided that the West offered greater opportunity and so in the spring of 1857, a year after his marriage, my father, Franklin Sumner Tarbell by name, started out to find a farm. He had but little money in his pocket, and the last one hundred fifty miles of his search were made on foot. How enthusiastic he was over the claim he at last . . .

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