SEGMENT: FARM-RELATED WORK, CROPS, & ACTIVITIES

Emma Snodgrass>UIS Collection S>UIS Collection S, Segment 22

SEGMENT: FARM-RELATED WORK, CROPS, & ACTIVITIES,

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FAMILY
Mother never very well; did not feel well after having the babies & had to have someone, usually Emma, the eldest, help her care for them.
TRAVEL
From Missouri to Illinois at Chester, crossed Mississippi River in a steamboat. She had to keep the horse and two cows in one place with a stick during the trip (she was seven).
FARM-RELATED WORK
Emma helped her dad cut railroad ties to sell so they could buy bacon (in Missouri). He cut the trees down. Kids would pull brush back so he could cut. Took a wagon load to Cheyonee on the St. Francis River every week. They lashed them with wire and sent them downstream. He got twelve cents a tie.
ACTIVITIES
She also went with her dad early mornings to get fish off the lines. Once they came across an opossum and her babies. Dad put on a line as bait and caught a four foot eel. Mother said she would cook it only if it had a floater like a real fish. It was delicious.
LAND ACQUISITION
In Waltonville, they stayed with an aunt until dad found a small farm - 25-30 acres. Had two horses, a harness, and an old plow.
CROPS
Grew Castor beans (for castor oil) for market. He rigged up special boxes on a sled so kids could reach plants and bend them down to pick individual pods that were ripe. Put these out on waterproofed paper in the sun, where they would pop open. Handling the poisonous beans and being out in the sun would sicken the kids. Dad and a neighbor also raised tobacco for market.