Family discipline a century ago in Moriah

Father and mother lived 32 years together, an unbroken family, except the death of one child, a baby. They never accumulated much 'filthy lucre' and so did not have to meet with many reverses except the loss of the farm in signing his name to help another man.

The family consisted of eight children (besides the baby who died): John, Jane, Molly, Sally, Dolly, Bessie, Fanny and Tommi John, the oldest, was fair, with grey eyes, dark hair, and was stoutly built. He was even-tempered and good-natured. He evinced particular talent for anything and cared little for study and, as his associates were of the worst, it caused Father much anxiety and led him to be very strict with him. He was sometimes blamed when he did not deserve it. He had his share of fun. At school, he received his punishment without a tear and was disgusted with his sister Jane because she cried for him. He disliked farming and had no tastes for mechanics. One day Father left home and left John to do some dragging. He soon came in and told Mother his day's work was done as he had caught the drag in a stump and couldn't get it out. But Mother went out with him and had him unhitch the horse and hitch on the other end and pull it out. John sat down and cried. He said he never saw 'such a woman' as Mother was. As he had taken so much pains to wedge it into the stump, it was rather hard. He disliked to have to wear made-over clothes and when a suit was given him for that purpose, would put it on and wear it on the street, touching the ground. He was not in many serious scrapes. I remember a few. It was the custom for boys and girls to go out stealing melons and he went out one night with a party and stole Dr. Hale's melons. Father found it out and was very angry. He told him he must go down and confess it to the Doctor and then pay him from his own melon patch. John begged off and said he would and would rather be whipped but Father was firm and went with him and he confessed and promised to return the melons. When they were ripe, he took a bag full on his back and carried them down and told the girl to tell the doctor that he had returned the melons he had borrowed from him."

Joan Daby is town of Moriah historian.

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