3411. Jane (Jennie) ACKLEY appeared in the census between 1870 and 1880 in Michigan. She was born on 16 May 1862 in Licking, Ohio, United States.426,540,685,2862 She died on 13 February 1958 at the age of 95 in Seattle, King, Washington, United States.2863 Name: Jennie Abbott
Death date: 13 Feb 1958
Death place: Seattle, King, Washington
Age at death: 95 years
Estimated birth year: 1863
Father name: Levi Ackley
Mother name: Elizabeth Tweedale
Film number: 2033773
Digital GS number: 4224559
Image number: 2045
Reference number: 2714
Collection: Washington Death Certificates, 1907-1960 2864 Memoirs of Jane Ackley Abbott
Written at the request, or should I say command of my daughter Genevieve Abbott Follis.
As I have a very poor memory, and (First line crossed out: Ed)
There was little to chronicle in the life of a little girl, born during that great struggle that was to abolish slavery in these United States of America and prove to the world that no state or states could withdraw or secede from this Union.
This was a time that tried men’s souls for there were many conflicting opinions, much political graft, the country was almost bankrupt, times were hard and every thing was high and hard to get. My father was a soldier in this war serving in an Ohio regiment of infantry. My mother’s two youngest brothers were soldiers also. John Tweedale the older one served in a company of infantry and was killed the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg (1863) on his 21st birthday. Robert belonged to a company of cavalry and was taken prisoner while doing scout work on the 6th of July after the same battle mentioned above. He lived until the April following, but they never heard directly from him though they tried in every way. I think he was in Andersonville Prison.
My Grandfather Ackley was born about 1805 in New York. I think the family must have migrated to Licking County Ohio for I do not know much of their history until he married and was settled in Northwestern Ohio where most of his family grew up but he moved to Northern Indiana where they remained a few years.
My Grandmother Ackley passed on while they were living here. Their next move was to Michigan where they all remained the rest of their lives. I think they are all laid to rest in the Breedsville and Bangor Cemeteries. My Grandfather married again in the early 1870’s and from that time he resided at a little place called Sawyer in St Joseph County on the shores of Lake Michigan.
He was an ardent Democrat and loved to talk politics. My Father was an equally strong Republican so when he came up to visit we were treated to arguments pro and con of the merits of the two parties, always carried on in good humor
He was a great admirer of the Scotch poet Robert Burns and was very apt in his quotations from him. He was a great reader and will informed for the times having been a teacher in his earlier days, days when the three R’s constituted the foundation for a common education.
My Grandmother Tweedles’s (different spelling) maiden name was Isabel McIntyre born sometime around 1800 near Belfast Ireland and married Robert Tweedle a blacksmith. They left Ireland and came to the US in 1838 landing in Penn. (She was quite tall and slender in her younger days.) They remained there for about seven years when they moved to Putnam County Ohio where their children grew up and my Great Grandfather died after being kicked by a horse.
My Grandmother did the most beautiful hand stitching (there were no machines then) I ever saw and she did beautiful embroidery as that was taught in the schools in Ireland. I remember when I was a child, she used to entertain me by the hour telling me of her school days in Ireland and how her father was a linen weaver and when she and her sister were young ladies he gave them fine linen for dresses and they would get up at 4:00 A.M. to work on them on the long days in June and when my mother was a young lady she used part of the same dress to beautify dresses for herself and was the envy of their girl friends because they had such beautiful embroidery. She (Grandmother Tweedle) used to wear black lace caps while she was yet a young woman as all women did at that time and she used to make them.
Her night caps were white muslin.
Grandmother Tweedle fell on the ice and hurt her back so she used to wear dresses made with a cape to hide the round shoulders.
Grandmother Tweedale (Mary Isabelle)
She lived with us in Ohio after her sons passed on in the war till some time late in 1864 she went to live with her other daughter who lived in Richfield a small town not far from Cleveland where she remained till the spring of 1870 when the Killefers moved out to Bloomingdale Mich. After that time she spent the summers with Mother and the winters with Aunt Jane Killefer. She passed on in 1874.
Mrs. Dukes, who owned the farm that my father rented in Ohio, came to see us occasionally. She had a long tongue and always would talk about the war and about the death of my Uncles. This would make my Grandmother cry and upset her so that my mother said “I wish that Mrs. Dukes would stay at home.” So the next time Mrs. Dukes came, I sidled up to her and said “My mother said she wished you would stay at home.” I don’t remember the consequences but my brother Leman used to remind me of it when I was older and say “You’re the smart little girl who told Mrs. Dukes to stay at home.”
My earliest recollection was of walking to church with my Grandmother Tweedle and her friend Mrs. Cartright. I have quite a vivid impression of the walk to the little country church in Putnam County Ohio, of the people assembling, but I guess I lost interest at this point; maybe I went to sleep, for I do not remember anything more.
I do not remember any more until we moved to the Duke’s Farm, it must have been the next spring, the spring I was four. I think my development must have been fairly rapid at this point for I remember many incidents, very trifling, but I remembered them with the aid of my brother Leman who was three years and three months older than I. He was a fun loving boy and always playing jokes on me. I remember starting to school this year as the schoolhouse was only a little ways from out house. There were three of us in the baby class, a little boy, little girl, and myself of the very mature age of four. My only book was a speller and she (the teacher) had us learn the alphabet from that book and we learned simple words like hat, rat, cat and we learned to spell them. As I remember we did not learn to read them until we had quite a list.
The following winter I went to school as my father was teacher in this same school. In those days in Ohio, ladies taught in the summers and men taught in winters as the roads would get so bad from rain and snow freezing and thawing as to become impassable to all those who did not wear high top boots. I think much of the travel was on horseback and on foot.
I remember my father carrying me to school on his shoulders when the roads were so bad I could not walk
My father said he was raised on “Johnnycake” and ague. (Ed:ague is a feverish condition, Written in the margin)
As my father’s health was very poor from the time he was in the service and he did to seem to improve much after getting home he and my mother decided to try the climate of Southwestern Michigan so accordingly in the spring of 1867 they prepared to load a few of their belongings into a covered wagon and make the trip.
My Father’s relatives were in Michigan. (Written in the margin)
The family consisted of my Father, Mother, my two brothers, and myself. My brother Wallace ten and a half, my brother Leman eight, and I was five. I think it must have taken considerable courage; especially for my mother, to start out with our equipment at that time of year.
When it would get dark, my father would stop at the nearest house and inquire if we could get lodging for the night. (Written in the margin)
The roads were about as bad as can be, the horses sinking to their knees in mud much of the way. And all the family but me walking part of the time,
I wanted to walk too but they wouldn’t let me. (Written in the margin)
but my Father wanted to have his team when he reached his destination as horses were scarce and high priced much higher than in Ohio and there was but one railroad in that part of the state and that was the Michigan-Central and the nearest station was Decatur. All roads come to an end after a while and so did ours. This was in Van Buren County, Michigan. Lawrence a little burg then and a little burg now though it is in the midst of a good farming community. We lived on this farm 1 year and then moved to what was known as the Chas Taylor farm located about one mile south of Bangor. Nothing much happened here except this farm was in a poor rundown condition so my
Father decided that renting was poor business. Nothing of importance happened here that I remember except we lived five or six miles from a small Indian reservation (Potawatomie). I had a deadly fear of Indians at the time as I often heard my folks read of Indians going on the war path in the Dakotas, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and other states in the west and southwest. As there was another reservation about 25 or 30 miles off to the North East and the tribes used to visit each other often and they used to pass by our house oftentimes they would pass every little while three of four wagons at a time nearly all day or so it seemed to me. Those were days of terror for me for I did not wander far from my Mother and the house. One occasion I remember particularly well. They must have been holding a Pow Wow of more than usual importance for they had been passing nearly all day. We had a neighbor who had lots of flower and she had a quite a lot of red peonies, and this was the season for them and the Indians had stopped and begged for them. I said the Indians. I guess it was only the squaws but any way they had pulled them to pieces and pasted them on their faces. I thought sure the Indians were on the war path. My mother tried to convince me that they were only having fun and that they were friendly but I had heard too much of their warlike nature and I could not be appeased so easily. The day wore on and my mother felt sure they had all passed. I finally got down from my hiding place on the bed behind the
door and started to run out of doors when I ran right into an Indian boy of ten years old who was selling baskets from door to door. I am sure no Indian could have let out a louder war whoop than I as I went back into hiding. Mother did not know who was the most frightened, the Indian or me.
We did not spend the year on this farm as my mother and Father were anxious to get moved and settled on the new farm. Where they put in long days of hard work cutting down timber and rolling it into piles and burning it but that was the only way for there was no market for wood or lumber and we had to get the ground cleared that we might raise our food and food for our cattle, hogs and chickens.
At first it went pretty slowly as Father had no help except my two older brothers ten and twelve. They did not go to school much except about three months in winter as they did not have much money and the buildings were very small and poor, and teachers were poor too, but everybody was doing the best they could and each year there was improvement, a little more school each year with more equipment but it was too late to help the older boys and girls very much; they were grown up and out in the world.
They finally built a fine new brick school which was the pride and joy of my fathers heart for he was greatly interested in anything that would promote education and help
the masses. The building still stands and though many changes in the system have taken place it serves the people for an intermediate school, the older children going on to high school. It is still called “The Ackley School”. He was clerk of the school board continuously as long as he lived there except the last three or four years of his life he was not able to attend to all of the duties from 1869 and 70 till 1900 I presume.
Father and mother decided to buy a farm of their own, forty acres of solid virgin timber, beech, maple, elm, ash, oak, bass wood, whitewood, with once in a while a hickory, ironwood, and a few pines on the one corner no market for lumber or wood. Farm was located 2½ miles north and ½ mile east of Bangor, not a foot of cleared land on it.
Whenever my father could be spared farming he went to the new home to begin the work of clearing and putting up buildings. The buildings were all of logs except the finishing lumber, such as floors, partitions roofs etc. The shingles were shaved by hand and my brother John sent word to me in California 55 or 60 years afterward that they were still doing duty. The house was still used as a place for storing farm tools and machinery.
Father disposed of his horses and got two oxen for clearing the farm and for working in the woods of which he did considerable especially in winter. After a few years the farm was cleared and the ox team was disposed of and horses took their place.
My brother Wallace and Leman went hunting for squirrels and rabbits and once in a while coon hunting. They had an old muzzle loader and made their own bullets from a bar of lead which they made by melting and putting into molds. The fish in the nearby lakes were very plentiful. They went to North Lake and Saddle and Silver Lake. One time Father and the boys caught a washtub full of perch, bass, sunfish, bluegills, and pike.
My sister Emma was born here in April 1870. Brother John was
also born here in Dec. 1871 and spent his whole life here and on the 40 acres directly across the road which he and his wife purchased after they were married. He passed away at the home of his only daughter Mrs. Clarence Taylor of Breedsville after a long illness Aug 7, 1945. His wife having preceded him in death.
This section is crossed out:
My Grandmother Tweedle lived with us in Ohio after her husband died. She had lost two sons in the Civil War. Uncle John and Uncle Robert. Robert died in a Southern prison and John died in the battle of Gettysberg on is 21st birthday. She
Customs, Clothing etc.
Of course in a new country money is scarce, pleasures are few and simple. The people depend more on their own ingenuity but the people were happy and contented, working from sun up till dark. There were no creameries, milking machines, no self binders, nor potato diggers, but we did not have to spray nor soak everything there were few pests at that time. The Colorado potato beetle was the worst!
There were barn raisings once in awhile where the women worked like slaves cooking for about three days as there would be 50 or 60 men.
In winter some schools had spelling schools. We had one teacher who had arithmetic and spelling schools combined. We thought he was a crackerjack it furnished so much entertainment and it furnished fairly good spellers as a rule. You have asked me to write of the styles of clothing. Men bought theirs ready made but women’s and children’s clothing were not carried generally in small towns at least until a little later date, that is nothing but coats. Hoop skirts were not worn except two or three years. I think in the 80’s and they were very small. There was a brief period of wearing bustles sometime after that I presume in the late 80’s. The skirts were long, down around the ankles and were generally trimmed with ruffles or pleating.
The mens dress shirts were buttoned down the back and had plaits down the front. The men wore full or part beards – also Congress Gaiters instead of regular shoes.
The building of the R.R. did much to open up the country. I have forgotten the exact year but I think it was 1871. It was called the Lake Shore something (I can’t remember what). The Kalamazoo and South Haven branch of the Michigan Central was built at about the same time, forming a junction at what was called “Grand Junction”. The name of the Lake Shore was changed to Pere Marquette which it remained for a long time.
The Bangor blast furnace was built at about the same time which in one way was a help as it gave the people a market for their timber but it was a low price and they did not move away till the country was stripped of its timber leaving it almost like a prairie country.
About March 1st they tap the sugar maples, which consists of driving an iron instrument just through the bark of the tree and inserting a wooden (it used to be) spile or to catch the sap and carry it to the vessel which was placed under the spile to catch every drop of it. In the morning they would go around and gather the sap which had accumulated since the day before. They used wooden buckets to catch the sap.
It was put into a huge iron kettle or pan and boiled until it formed a light syrup, when it was strained through some thick fine cloth to remove any sediment that might have blown into it while being boiled in open kettles.
When it was cooked to the right consistency if syrup was wanted it was emptyed into cans or bottles if sugar was wanted it was cooked longer until it would harden when a little was dipped out and allowed to cool. The last stage it had to be watched very carefully and stirred constantly to keep it from boiling over and burning. Buckwheat hot-cakes and maple syrup and country sausage was considered a food fit for the Gods and it would be yet if the Gods could raise the price.
I contend that the flavor of pure maple syrup can not be imitated successfully though it has been tried by our chemists. Warm sugar parties were popular during the season which lasted but a short time usually in the month of March just while the sap would be flowing from the roots to the branches and body.
I began telling about the warm sugar parties. The sugar was cooked to the degree when it would harden when removed from the heat. It was served in the individual dishes. I remember sour cucumber pickles was served as an accompanying relish.
On one occasion Father and Mother were going over to Father’s brother’s for a brief call and my brothers Wallace and Leman and I wanted to go to. Father and Mother thought it was not necessary for us to go so the boys said they would get at the maple sugar. Mom told us she would spank us if we did and sure enough we did as soon as they were out of the house and we left the knife we used to cut it with on a chair. As soon as they came home Mother’s eye took in the knife and as soon as we were in bed she went around and administered the spanking.
I thought it was a huge joke till she came to me when I realized she could really put the spanks on so we could notice it.
Wallace was tall and very slender and walked with a slight limp. Had red hair and as a boy was very shy and bashful. Was studious, loved hunting squirrels and rabbits.
Leman was a stouter build, dark brown hair and was very quick at repartee and he and Elmer Hice his boyhood friend spent much time together. They too liked hunting and fishing. Fish were very plentiful in the lakes then. Small game such as fox squirrels, gray squirrels and black squirrels, with coons, porcupines, foxes, woodchucks, etc being the most plentiful. Oh yes, skunks were very plentiful. Deer, which had been very common a few years before had moved on to newer pastures.
I remember some of the boys discovered a nest of very young foxes and none knew what kind of animals they were for a few days when some of the older boys told them what they were.
My friends were Gustie Hice, Elmer’s sister, Mina Robbins and Loula Robbins.
Jane (Jennie) ACKLEY and George Lumis ABBOTT were married on 4 February 1891 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States.5,426,2862,2865,2866,2867 2nd marriage for George George Lumis ABBOTT, son of Nathan ABBOTT and Phoeba BROWN, was born about 1852 in New York, United States.2862
Jane (Jennie) ACKLEY-496 and George Lumis ABBOTT-497 had the following children: