Jessie Ruth Saiter>UIS Collection S>UIS Collection S, Segment 1


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Church held in schoolhouse. Minister came twice a month, no music, only singing, really severe, preached the gospel. "We didn't feel the need for so many things they do now." Men took care of church & organized Sunday School. Women sang, prepared dinners. But no real sexual division. Women taught Sunday School. Church was Methodist then Christian. Church was strict in their beliefs. Description of sermons & hitting of pulpit & stamping feet. Attitude towards religion. Social gatherings in summer, winter weather was too bitterly cold.
Mentions change in weather. Colder in the past & weather more regular than now.
Butchering was January activity. Her father butchered hogs & cattle. Meat would last the year. Neighbors would come & help. Describes the men's & women's work in processing the carcasses. Detailed description of her father's recipe & process for curing hams & packing into a barrel. Detailed description of smoking of meat in smokehouse. Most used hickory, but her father used "sugar-trees." Very few glass jars for canning. Tin cans with food sealed with wax. Gypsies came around at butchering time begging. Children scared of gypsies who "… stole children." 2-3 gypsy caravans would come through each winter. Discussion of uses of various hog body parts. Describes making of liverwurst, sausage, etc. Neighbors helped each other with butchering & what a great activity it was including big, shared meals. Children tried to make up some excuse not to go to school during butchering days when neighbors were there.