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A CHAT WITH GRANDMA NANCY

(We’re happy to bring you this visit with 3G Grandmother Nancy Ann Patterson, wife of William Louis Boulden. She’s been gone for more than a century now, so you’ll understand why it’s an imaginary chat.)

“My toughest time was after Will died unexpectedly in 1830. He was only 38, and we had five kids that missed their daddy. Louis and Bill were in their teens, but John was five and Maria only 2. And there we were on a farm in Ohio, far from home and family. We had to sell the farm to get by.

“Oh, how we loved that farm. We got it through the land bounty program for Will’s service in the War of 1812. You knew he was in the Battle of Fort McHenry, right? So they gave us 80 acres on the Ohio frontier and we homesteaded after baby Bill was born.

“But we sold it, everybody pitched in, and we got by. It helped that Louis and Bill found work later building the Ohio Canal. They had thousands of men, including my two, digging the canal and dredging Lake St. Mary for a water supply. They were up there for almost a decade. By then, Bill was married to Dorcas Warner, though their marriage was not happy. When she finally left him, I stepped in to raise baby Joseph. Later, Bill remarried. Elizabeth was a fine woman and they had two lovely girls and Bill Junior before he died. Big Bill, William Henry, was only 41 when he passed away. Remember, his daddy Will died at 38.

“The other children had more normal lifespans. For example, here’s a family photo I love of John Roger Boulden, who was only five when his daddy died in 1830. He grew to be a fine man with a wonderful family, and one of his descendants, Barbara Junge, sent along this lovely photo of all ten Bouldens. Standing from left are Martha Curtis B, Charles Walker B, Catherine Ann B, John Franklin B, Eva Jane B, and Emma Florence B. Seated are Benjamin Thurman B, Mary Miller B, Maggie Mary B, and John Roger Boulden. John and his wife Mary sure had a lovely family!” (To be continued…)

Larry Boulden, March 2011

2 comments to A CHAT WITH GRANDMA NANCY

  • lboulden

    POSTED BY BARBARA E. JUNGE

    Hi Larry:

    It was so much fun to see the photo and I really enjoyed the words from Grandma Nancy you put with it. I do believe that the Boulden family has a gift of writing and story-telling. I read back to the very beginning blogs and was very impressed with the stories and the memories that were shared, as well as with the amount of expertise shown by all who set up the website. How do you know about all the links, etc. I am forever reminded of how little I really know about the computer and what it can do.

    My great Aunt Velma Boulden Closson writes very well; I have saved a lot of her cards and letters as they give you such an insight as to what was going on in her life at the time she wrote them. My sister Karen has done some very nice oil paintings and murals in the past and now is into making jewelry. She has written poems and short stories also. Her youngest daughter, Teresa, has self-published three books. Our ancestors also did a lot of crafts and needlework. I am not much of a writer, but I do enjoy needlework-plastic canvas, cross-stitch, crochet, etc.

    My family moved to Minneapolis, MN when I was 10, so we only saw our relatives for visits around the holidays or summer vacations after that. My grandparents, Chloe Boulden Kirby and Ray Kirby lived on a couple different farms in the Sioux City area and my cousins and my sister and I always loved to go there. We played in the corn crib and had a doll house out of an old building of some sort. We used to go with Grandpa Kirby when he milked the cows and he would shoot milk into our mouths, getting us pretty wet in the process. We even enjoyed going out on the wagon to help dig potatoes. One time a lot of us cousins were standing/climbing on the fence around the hog pen when it gave way and we all fell in. We were scared for a bit as hogs are known to attack, but we all made it out ok except for smelling like you know what. Grandpa Kirby had a pet gander that loved him, but did not like the rest of us. It would lower and flatten out it’s neck and run at us kids, but it would sit next to Grandpa Kirby and rub it’s neck around Grandpa’s neck and even put it’s head and neck down Grandpa’s shirt. My parents told me that Grandpa Kirby also had a little sheep and it would butt us kids. One time when I was quite little and complained about it, they told me to just swat it. But I guess I decided to whack it with a board and knocked it down and out for a few seconds. Thankfully, it was ok. My Grandma Kirby was a great cook as were my aunts. Grandma used the method that all great cooks did back then; a pinch of this and a hand-full of that. She just knew how the dough for pie crust and breads was supposed to look and feel. There was always the smell of fresh-baked bread and leftover bacon/ham/sausage from breakfast that we could have. So good. They did their own butchering also and we loved to eat the cracklins. Grandma Taylor (Zeta Heslop Taylor) was a great cook too. We always had to have 2 dinners at each of the holidays, one at the Kirbys and one at the Taylors. Sure was good though so we were always willing to do it.

    I don’t remember too much of my great grandparents, except that Great Grandma Mary Boulden did enjoy doing needlework. We kids always thought she had Indian features, but not sure if there were any actual native americans in her ancestry. (Hunt, Fisher lines.) My great grandfather, Sam Boulden, died in 1950, when I was 8 years old or so. He was quite short. I do recall a story my mother (Wanda Kirby Taylor) told about him. My grandparents and great grandparents and some aunts and uncles all lived within walking distance of each other in Sioux City, IA. Mother and her best friend (both young teens) were out of school for the summer and stopped by to see her grandparents. Sam Boulden liked to chew tobacco and was sitting in a rocking chair out on the front porch when mother and her friend left the house. As they were walking away, her grandfather spit a big “gob” of tobacco/juice and hit mother right in the backside of her new white shorts. When she asked him why he did that, she said he just told her that young ladies should not be wearing shorts, especially out in public. I wonder what he would think of the styles of today.

    Well, guess I’ve gone on long enough here. Thank you and your son and the rest of the families for all the neat stories and remembrances and the website. Take care, Barbara

  • lboulden

    Hi Barbara,

    It was nice to hear from you, and I enjoyed hearing the remembrances and family stories. And thanks for your kind words about the website. I’m passing them along to our son, Jeff, who does the heavy lifting on the site. I’m sure he’ll appreciate your comments.

    –Larry

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