Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mrs. Elizabeth E. Miller

Mrs. Elizabeth E. Miller (or Grammy Miller) lived to be 90 years old. She was a Scotch/Yankeee who lived with her husband and four boys on Mountain and Lake View Farm in West Newbury, Vermont.

During an interview with Rebecca M. Halley, she was asked, "Did you ever have to do work that the men usually did?" Here's her response:

"One fall we had a five hundred and fifty pound dressed hog hanging in the yard. The men went off to Wells River to take up another hog they had dressed at the same time and left it hanging there and the caldron kettle half full of water. They aimed to get back and take the hog down to cellar before it froze. It would never do to let pork that was going to be salted freeze. I was all alone with the children and I waited until almost twelve. My husband didn't come and so I took a lantern and a saw and a knife and I went out to fetch that hog...I cut up that hog and loaded it piecemeal onto the sled. The worst part was getting it through the front door, but I managed. I had it all done before my husband got home. He asked who had brought the hog in. I said 'I did.' He asked who helped and I said, 'Alone.' I wasn't wasting many words on him. He was struck dumb."

These pioneer women have a lot to teach us by their example of hard work, long suffering and endurance. It is women like this that deserve to be recognized for their gutsy attitude and effort!

Copyright Michele A. Webb, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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