It is easy to forget how hard life was in the early years of our country’s founding. One way to remember is to read the first-hand accounts of people who were there. The following narrative was written by Lavinia Morris, my aunt’s third great-grandmother who, with her Baptist minister husband, moved their family of eight from Kentucky to Ohio, some 200 miles north. It was in the early 1800s.
“The road from Bellefontaine, Ohio to Lima, Ohio was hub deep in mud and the trees and brush had to be cut out part of the way. We landed here on the 8th of October and built a house 16 feet square out of poles. A door served for a window. We built a fire in one end of the house, without any chimney, allowing the smoke to go out through the cracks and crevices. We lived this way until my husband could build a chimney and a door, and chink and daub the house. The house was built without any floor, and we lived this way for one year. We then built a log cabin with puncheon floor, and a square hole with paper pasted over it for a window. This was equal to the finest parlor in those days. We brought three barrels of flour with us which lasted one year with corn meal. We had plenty of wild meat, such as deer and turkey, and wild fruit, such as grapes, plums and berries. I remember one instance, I think it was in the fall of 1834, we were without bread for four weeks, as the nearest place we could get grinding done was Cherokee in Logan County or Sidney in Shelby County, but we had plenty of pumpkins, squashes and potatoes.”
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