I'm especially fond of Phebe's mini-autobiography, because she remember the days when there were still wolves and "panthers" in Tioga Co., and I think you will find her account of the struggles of the women to operate the farms during the Civil War moving.
Jane's reminiscenses are somewhat bizarre. I can't imagine what
was the source of her story about the big 4 legged snake. Perhaps
lizard who's length unit of measure got transformed in her later years from inches to feet. Or perhaps two different stories -- a long snake
and a strange lizard -- got merged into one memory.
And Jane's tribute to their mother provides lots of details about pioneer
Ann Clinch was born in 1804 in England, an came to this province, when one year old, with her parents. Her father soon died of yellow fever in New York City. Her mother went to Jersey Shore, married one Mr. Blackwell. She was brought up on the Delaware River, Town of New Hope, by one Peter Blackwell. She stayed there until she was eighteen years of age. By the suggestion of her mother, Joseph Campbell went to her place and she came with him to Beecher’s Island, the home of her mother; stayed there till the spring of 1822. They married, went to housekeeping on the farm that Joseph, Jr. now owns and lived there until she died in 1872, aged sixty-eight years.
She was very efficient in helping clear and pay for the farm; reared a family of eleven children. Our garments were all made by her industrious hands for both summer and winter wear. She spun flax and tow and had the yarn wove into cloth for their first bedtick, Her mother gave her a pair of pillows. She raised geese and made a feather bed so they had one good bed at this time. She also made quilts and comfortables. She would get her children in bed and go out with her husband and chunk up and burn the heaps until midnight. The flats were covered with pine trees. They girdled them that they might die. Then they burned them down to get rid of them. The clearing was very heavy.
The ruin of the old house still remains to remind us of the many happy days spent there and the long winter evenings when we studied our lessons or played games; father reading the newspaper or Bible, while mother was always busy with the needle. The girls did the knitting. Six of us would be knitting at once. We would try stents to see which was the fastest knitter. Eleanor wore the belt. Our light was a pitch pine torch in the fire place. We had our time for play. I remember the grape vine swings that Uncle Richard Ellison’s children and ourselves would fix up on the butternut trees. If we didn’t provide ourselves with strings, we would tear our aprons into strings to tie the vines together. The grape vines grew along the river on the north side of the farm.
I remember brother John and myself crossed the river, went down along Losy’s pond to gather beech nuts. We got a nice lot of them but, on coming back found that the river had swollen. We were not cowardly for I got a pole and told John to go above me. The nuts were in a sack and I put them over my shoulder and we went through all right. If mother had seen us she would have been down there too quick.
The first school teacher I can remember is Ruie Bacon. Eight of us children went at once. One stayed to carry the dinner in a large pail. One dinner was composed of hocks and johnnycake. Willard Gibson taught that term and he ate with us; said he never ate so good a dinner.
Mother’s children can rise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her.
I can remember going to prayer meeting with mother to old Grandmother Bottom’s and in the log school house over the creek. It can be said of her, she riseth also while it is yet night and giveth meat to her household and a portion to her maidens. Her husband is known in the gates when he sittith with the elders of the land. She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hand.
It seems but a step to look back in memory when this country was a vast body of timber. I can remember when the road leading to Nelson was so thickly timbered what it was dark in the day time.
When we go back to the home of our childhood how all the scenes and memories of those days crowd into our minds and hearts. Sister Hughey and myself enjoyed that privilege last summer. We visited our old playgrounds, went into the orchard, could point out our favorite trees where we got the best apples. I do not think the scenes from childhood can ever be obliterated from memory, from my earliest recollections to the present time. I have found joys and sorrows, losses and errors, but have learned to look on the bright side of life. Our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, keeping eternity in view and all will be well.
Since our last meeting a beloved sister has gone home. One by one we go across the river, and He treads the winepress alone. Why shrink to follow his example?
(Signed by Jane Tubbs)
Note: No date appears on the above Memoir, but Aunt Jane probably wrote it in the ‘90s.
Cousin Wm. E. Selph
[The above appeared as pages 86 - 87, of Volume 4 of the Campbell Cousins
Correspondence, published Apr 26, 1926 by the Campbell Cousins Correspondence
Club., Inc. Jane Campbell was b. 1834 in Nelson and died 1916, probably
in Osceola. In 1852 she married George W. Tubbs (1829 - 1916).
Jane’s account gives the dates for her mother, Ann Clinch. Jane’s
father, Joseph Campbell was born 1793 and died 1864.- Bill Thompson]
Later my brother Wm. killed a large snake on father’s farm measuring 12 feet & having 4 legs. I can also remember when we had to go to neighbors for fire brands & carry it between two barks. matches not being so plentiful as they are now. Our cooking was all done over the fire place. using iron bake kettle & tin oven.
I was the last one born on the old log house on the flat.
I can still remember when Sister Phebe fell down the cellar stairs & broke her jaw. but she can talk as good as ever.
We used to watch the bars to keep the cattle from going from one field to another when father was having [haying?] or any teaming instead of closing them each time.
Grandmother Campbell used to wade the river bare-footed with the children. She was 97 when she died.
Mrs. George Tubbs
[typed by Wm. Thompson, Phebe’s great-grandson, from undated note handwritten by Jane CAMPBELL Tubbs (1834 - 1916)]
Some of the things I remember of my early childhood up to the present
I will try and tell what I can remember of my school days. the school house was up the Thorn Bottom Creek a half a mile from our home, us Children and Uncle James Campbell’s children almost enough to make the school. we always went to gather, uncle James had a saw mill just above the house where Arthur Stevens now lives. we would stop at the old mill and ride the log as it was carried back and fourth.
Uncle would send us on to school to take up our tasks for the day. I can remember the different teachers but they are to numerous to mention but one Mr. Jewell. We all loved him dearly. those were happy days. I can remember the Books. I think they were Cobs Spelling Book, Vales History, kirkums Grammar, Peter Farlys geography and our pens were goose quills. the benches were made of slabs and it was from that Old log school house that most of us Children graduated.
there was two more Saw Mills one up by Clark Brooks another up by Alva Baxters.
I can remember when our church was built how Father and uncle James Campbell and uncle John Hazlett worked for days to get everything on hand I remember the day the Church was raised. what a busy time. Mother and Aunt Mary done the baking and it was carried down in a bushel basket. us children all went. we were as much interested as the older ones.
I remember when the Church was dedicated it was a Sollem and holy day and I remember how our dear Mother would get every thing ready for Church and Sabath School.
I remember Grandfathers tannery. the Carding Mill and fulling Mill and the old log tavern. all these I remember well.
Our dear mother. how hard she worked for a family of twelve Children we were brought up to work and I am glad that we were trained that way. when the work was done for the night we would gather around the fire and have apples and pop corn. Mother and the older girls would work. us younger ones would knit or read. the boys would play games and Father would read until it was time for evening prayers
we were all happy and at home but there came a change. we began to have homes of our own and leave the dear old home. we were all gone and Mother was left alone for Father had gone on to a better home. in a few years our mother was taken and the old house was closed oh how we all missed the old home and Mother.
as the years went by what changes have been wrought our children have grown up. around us and they to have gone to homes of their own and we are Grand Parents
there is so many things I remember
the dreadful time of 1861 when the war broke out. those awful years. Fathers Husbands Brothers all had to go and their families left on their farms to do the best they could it was Trying times we lived in Farmington from the stone house up to Mr. Ruben Close there was then familys that the Husband was gone to the war most every family had small children
We had to work out of doors as well as in the house it was a very cold winter and our Cattle had to be fed and I for one had to do the chores my Self for my son was but two years old there is one thing I have been requested to mention. I was not going to tell of that. we had a field of oats it was impossible to get any one to help so with the help of a little boy ten years old to throw down the Sheaves I thrashed those oats my Self. young People can form some Idea of what we had to do.
Most of our beloved ones came back to us there is one that lies Sleeping at City Point My Brother in law M. D. Bossard. what a sad day when the news came that he was dead there is many things I can remember but it tires me to write and perhaps you have heard enough
the time now changes the Angel of Death has visited most of our homes and taken some of our loved ones we are passing down the valley one by one. O May we all be prepared when the Summons comes. and my daily prayer is that our children will Cherish and protect our church. The Church our Fathers built and be an honor to this place and to the name of Campbell
Phebe Campbell Hoyt
[Typed from the original handwritten note by Bill Thompson, Phebe’s great-grandson. Every effort was made to preserve the original spelling and punctuation. Sadly the Beecher’s Island Presbyterian Church, which was so important to our family was abandoned and the building eventually demolished. I have a great painting my mother did of it, showing the fall foliage. It looks much prettier in the painting than my memories of it or any photos I have seen of it.
Phebe was born 1832 in Nelson and died there in 1917. In 1858 in Nelson, she married William Hoyt (1832 - 1888). She was a daughter of Ann Clinch (1804 - 1872) and Joseph Campbell (1793 - 1864).]