Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Storebought mourning items:

a vintage ad
mourning pins
mourning jet buttons
mourning pins
mourning stationary- note the black border on the stationary and envelopes- the more black used the more expensive the item- so this would have been the cheapest form of stationary

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In Victorian Times:

People of "society" were strictly bound and structured by the most elaborate rules and regulations of etiquette. Mourning customs were just one small part of the way they felt they had to conform to the rules or risk scandal by their peers.
Death preoccupied a majority of their time due to the fact that 3 out of every 20 children died before reaching a year old, the life expectancy then was 42 years of age and modern medicine was just in its infancy.
It was possible to "be in mourning" a good part of ones life, losing one relative before the mourning period was over from the one before.
Typical symbols that were used were draped urns, weeping willows, broken columns, and extinguished torches( I have found upside down torches as well.)
Just as people today throw large weddings, in society then, it was the custom to have the most elaborate funerals. Coffins went from plain wooden boxes to being intricately carved and hearse, along with the horses were elaborate and all black, except for infant funerals. For the death of a baby, they used white accents. The normally black ostrich plumes would be white with a white casket and the mourners would wear white gloves. Horses were even dyed black if they weren't black naturally.
Those of means could also hire "professional mourners" called "mutes", who would walk the in the procession from the house to the grave.

Mourning Time Frames:

Losing a spouse-
full mourning- 1 year
1/2 mourning- 6 months

Parents losing a child or child losing a parent-
full mourning- 9 months
1/2 mourning- 3 months

Losing a sibling-
full mourning- 3 months
1/2 mourning- 3 months

Losing an aunt, uncle, cousin, in-law and other relatives-
full mourning- 6 weeks- 3 months

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Victorian Mourning Clothes:

a cape- in silk and with lace- would have been used for 1/2 mourning
a fan
a bonnet for 1/2 mourning
both dresses are for 1/2 mourning- but this one could have been used for full mourning without the collar

Friday, September 25, 2009

Victorian Mourning Customs:

Proper Victorian etiquette required men to wear black suits and black arm bands. Women wore black dresses of crepe the first year or in deep mourning and could change to silk in 1/2 mourning which lasted another 6 months. This was the time period for the loss of a spouse.
Everything would have been in black and in deep mourning women wore no lace or jewelry.
Mourning clothes were the first ready to wear fashions sold in stores.
If you could not afford store bought mourning clothes, you bought black dye and in cast iron dye pots, you dyed your own clothes. When an event happened, like an outbreak of flu or cholera, the towns would smell from the death pots. They would do this in the yard over open fires.
When someone died in the home, the whole house went into mourning. Adults and children wore black while babies wore white with black ribbons.
The curtains were drawn, a black wreath on the door let visitors know that a death had occurred, the clocks were stopped at the time of death, the mirrors were covered so the dearly departed wouldn't become trapped in the reflection and the body was watched at all times until burial.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another article by Hiram Rutherford:

Printed in Egle's Notes and Queries- Hiram wrote this in his later years for the paper in PA.
click on pages to enlarge

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oakland 1847 Births, Deaths & Marriages:

26 Jan- Death- William Lindley Ashmore- born 1799
married to Elizabeth Betsy Forsythe
3 Apr- Marriage- John Dollar & Sarah Curtis
4 Jul- Birth- James Lawson Sublett- son of Drury Sublett & Sarah J Irvin
20 Nov- Marriage- Francis S Housel & Mary Moody
29 Dec- Birth- Abigail C Drumond, daughter of William Drumond & Martha Housel
1847- Birth- Alonzo Munson Burt, married to Laura Frances Mann

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1840's Styles:

Harriett Hutchinson Rutherford, wife of Hiram Rutherford, in the mid to late 1840's.
1840's-1850's dress

Hiram built his outhouse in 1847 to accommodate the women's hoops skirts of the time.

The number one cause of death for females was burns. The hems of the skirts would catch on fire when they were around a fire place or were out in the yard with the fires under the big pots to do the laundry in, make soap or render lard.

1847 & the Rutherford Family:

Dr. William Wilson Rutherford, Dr. Hiram Rutherford's brother
William Lloyd Garrison
Frederick Douglass
Antislavery Isn't Welcome in 1847
Below is a story about Dr William Wilson Rutherford meeting Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison at the train station in 1847. What it fails to mention is that they were met with egg and rock throwers as well. Douglass was hit by a rock and Garrison was hit by an egg. In the article that I found, it doesn't mention if Dr WW Rutherford was hit.
Dr. William Wilson Rutherford was born November 23 1805 in Swatara Township, Dauphin County. He died in Harrisburg on March 13, 1873. Dr. Rutherford graduated in 1832 from Jefferson Medical College [now Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia]. Dr. Rutherford lived at 11 South Front Street next door to Rudolf Kelker. It is said that Dr. Rutherford "helped convey many a slave to safety. He would convey them to Samuel S. Rutherford [known by his friends as 'Little Sam'], at Paxtang, where they were secreted in the old barn which stood near the spring near to the present Paxtang Park." Dr. Rutherford was a vice president of the Harrisburg Antislavery Society. In 1847, he arranged for the abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass to speak in Harrisburg. In a letter to his wife dated 9 August 1847, Garrison states:Arriving at 3 o'clock, we found at the depot, awaiting our coming, Dr. Rutherford, an old subscriber to the Liberator, and his sister-in-law, Agnes Crane, both of them true and faithful to the anti-slavery cause in the midst of a perverse and prejudiced people; and also several of our colored friends, with one of whom (Mr. Wolf, an intelligent and worthy man] Douglass went home, having previously engaged to do so; while I went with Dr. Rutherford, and received a cordial welcome from his estimable lady.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lincoln/ Douglas Debate- Charleston, Coles Co, Illinois- 18 Sept 1858:

'While I was at the hotel to-day an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great laughter]...I will say then that I am not, nor ever been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]— that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality... Judge Douglas has said to you that he has not been able to get from me an answer to the question whether I am in favor of negro citizenship. So far as I know, the Judge never asked me the question before. [Applause.] He shall have no occasion to ever ask it again, for I tell him very frankly that I am not in favor of negro citizenship. [Renewed applause.] ...Now my opinion is that the different States have power to make a negro a citizen under the Constitution of the United States if they choose. The Dred Scott decision decides that they have not that power. If the State of Illinois had that power I should be opposed to the exercise of it. [Cries of "good," "good," and applause.] That is all I have to say about it.'- Abraham Lincoln

Black Pete- Dauphin Co, PA:


A few years since, search was made by a prominent citizen of Harrisburg for the grave of “Black Pete,” who died near Linglestown about forty years ago, with a view of marking it with a stone. He found the house in which Pete died, but no one knew where he was buried. It has since been ascertained that he lies in the graveyard of the Dauphin county almshouse. It may be interesting to know who “Black Pete” was, and why he was deemed worthy of a tombstone. Peter Bung, or Nathan, as he called himself- “Black Pete” as everybody else called him- was a slave belonging to Jacob Awl, and one of those whom the emancipation act of Pennsylvania left in bondage for life, but was permitted by his master to go free with the rest, Mr. Awl binding himself to keep Peter off the county. Peter was a genius in his way, and a handy man in the neighborhood- being an excellent cook, a neat housekeeper and an expert at pulling and breaking flax. He never was married, and for many years kept bachelor’s hall in a small log house in the woods near Paxtang church, of which establishment he was the sexton. At this time there lived hard by a Dutchman who was very fond of whisky. Peter often employed this man to dig graves for him, the compensation being a few drinks. This good understanding was at last broken off by the following circumstance: One of the Awl family died and Pete sent for his man to dig the grave. He came. Pete marked off the ground, gave minute directions as to the digging, told the Dutchman where the bottle was, and then went to attend the funeral in capacity of mourner. When the cortege arrived, everything was right, but the Dutchman was so drunk that fears were entertained by many that he might fall into the grave. Pete took in the situation at a glance, but held his voice until the family moved away from the grave and were out of hearing, when he administered a severe rebuke to his assistant, ordered him out of his sight, and declared that if this was not the grave of one of his own family he would pitch the scoundrel in and cover him up. When the woods around Pete’s house was cleared away, the house itself was taken down and he removed to the neighborhood of Linglestown, but always paid a semi-annual visit to the valley, ostensibly to see “the folks,” but in reality to collect a supply of provisions, which were always given before he asked. On one occasion he mentioned that he was out of lard, and when asked whether there was no lard about Linglestown, declared very emphatically- that there was not lard enough in that whole region to grease your little finger with. I have said that “Black Pete” was a handy man, but it was his mental powers that gained him celebrity. He was a man like Mr. Shandy of whom “Nature could stand up and say,” This man is eloquent.’” He was entirely unlettered; but his imagination was vivid, his powers of description wonderful and his invective severe. Many of his sayings are still quoted, one in particular is often heard, viz: “There is nothing cuts like the truth.” This idea is much older than Pete’s but was nevertheless original with him. He was moreover gifted with the power of song, having a voice much like that of a woman. These qualities always gained him a hearing, and contributed not a little to his support in his latter days. He never “came upon the county” until after death, nor was he ever considered “a charge” by any individual.

W. Frank Rutherford

Egle’s Notes and Queries, First and Second Series, volume 2, Pages 264-265

NOTE- W. Frank Rutherford was Dr. Hiram Rutherford's nephew. The man who wanted to find the grave and erect a tombstone on it was Dr. William Wilson Rutherford, who was Hiram's brother and whom Hiram studied under for 2 years prior to attending Jefferson Medical College. The one he sent to find the grave was Hiram when he was staying with him in Harrisburg.
Hiram could not find the grave.

Monday, September 14, 2009


This comes from Egle's Notes and Queries, Third Series, Volumn II- Originally Published in Harrisburg, PA in 1896.
Dr. Egle was a Rutherford family friend who owned and editted a PA paper that Hiram wrote articles for and helped Dr. Egle in his quest to put down in writing early pioneer histories so they would not be forgotten.

1847 in History:


Donner Party rescued the first rescuers reach surviving members of the Donner Party, a group of California-bound emigrants stranded by snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

BELL, Alexander Graham was born.

EDISON, Thomas Alva was born.

U.S. adhesive postage stamps were first officially issued in 1847, picturing Benjamin Franklin (on the five-cent stamp) and George Washington (on the ten-cent stamp).

Liberia It became a republic July 26, 1847, with a constitution modeled on that of the U.S. Descendants of freedmen dominated politics.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Several states in the U.S. (led by Michigan in 1847) and a few countries (beginning with Venezuela in 1853 and Portugal in 1867) abolished the death penalty entirely.

TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s first long poem after gaining literary recognition was The Princess (1847), a romantic treatment in musical blank verse of the question of women’s rights.

INDIANAPOLIS INDIANAPOLIS. city, capital of Indiana and seat of Marion Co., on the White R., in the central part of the state; inc. as a city 1847.

DOUGLASS, Frederick In 1845, Douglass, at the urging of his friends, went to England to escape the danger of seizure under the FUGITIVE SLAVE LAWS, (q.v.). His lectures in the British Isles on the slavery question in the U.S. aroused sympathy for the abolitionists’ cause and prompted his admirers to raise funds to purchase his freedom. After returning to the U.S. in 1847, Douglass became the “station-master and conductor” of the Underground Railroad in Rochester, N.Y., where he also established the abolitionist newspaper North Star, which he edited until 1860.

ANESTHESIA In 1847 the British physician Sir James Simpson (1811–70) discovered the anesthetic properties of CHLOROFORM

APPLESEED, Johnny APPLESEED, Johnny. real name John Chapman (c. 1774–1847), American pioneer, born in Leominster, Mass.

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AMA), federation of state and territorial medical associations, founded in 1847 and incorporated in 1897, to promote medical knowledge and protect the welfare of U.S. physicians.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA In 1847 Alexandria and the remainder of the District on the W bank of the Potomac were returned to the state of Virginia by an act of Congress.

FLUTE In 1832 the German flute maker Theobald Boehm created an improved conical-bore flute, and in 1847 he patented his cylindrical-bore flute, which is the model in widest use in the 20th century

LEE, Robert E(dward) He distinguished himself in the battles of the Mexican War and was wounded in the storming of Chapultepec in 1847; for his meritorious service he received his third brevet promotion in rank.

McCORMICK, Cyrus Hall In 1847 he built a factory in Chicago and began the large-scale manufacture of reapers.

OGDEN, Peter Skene In 1847 Ogden rescued the survivors of the Marcus Whitman massacre, in which the members of the missionary’s family and 12 members of his group were slain by Cayuse Indians.

PULITZER, Joseph PULITZER, Joseph. (1847–1911), American journalist, born in Makó, Hungary.

VEGETARIANISM In 1847 the Vegetarian Society, a nonreligious organization, was founded.

PASTEUR, Louis In 1847 he earned a doctorate at the École Normale in Paris, with a focus on both physics and chemistry.

CARSON, Kit Carson served in the Mexican War in 1846 and 1847, playing an important part in the conquest of California.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rutherford House and Privy built in 1847:

Mrs. Crawford donated the outhouse prior to Landmarks being formed. If you have toured the back of Lincoln's home in Springfield, you have seen Hiram's outhouse, or if you are old enough to remember it being at the house.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never forget-

Thursday, September 10, 2009

LM- Dec 24th, 1970:

this is the last of this issue

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More LM Dec 24, 1970:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

LM- Dec 24, 1970:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

History of Labor Day:

As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the nation, the average American in the late 1800s worked 12-hour days, seven days a week in order to make a basic living. Children were also working, as they provided cheap labor to employers and laws against child labor were not strongly enforced.
With the long hours and terrible working conditions, American unions became more prominent and voiced their demands for a better way of life. On Tuesday September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers marched from city hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first-ever Labor Day parade. Participants took an upaid day-off to honor the workers of America, as well as vocalize issues they had with employers. As years passed, more states began to hold these parades, but Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later.
On May 11, 1894, workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago struck to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. They sought support from their union led by Eugene V. Debs and on June 26 the American Railroad Union called a boycott of all Pullman railway cars. Within days, 50,000 rail workers complied and railroad traffic out of Chicago came to a halt. On July 4, President Grover Cleveland dispatched troops to Chicago. Much rioting and bloodshed ensued, but the government's actions broke the strike and the boycott soon collapsed. Debs and three other union officials were jailed for disobeying the injunction. The strike brought worker's rights to the public eye and Congress declared, in 1894, that the first Monday in September would be the holiday for workers, known as Labor Day.
The founder of Labor Day remains unclear, but some credit either Peter McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, for proposing the holiday.
Although Labor Day is meant as a celebration of the labor movement and its achievements, it has come to be celebrated as the last, long summer weekend before Autumn.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Venable Academy:

This was a girls' school here in Oakland, located on the lot north of Betty Hunt's current home. It was a 2 story white house that was torn down in 1996-97 to make way for Betty's new home.

Myrna Combs' great aunt, Coral Sargent, attended the school.

The above photo could be girls from the academy. Does anyone know for sure? Does anyone have any more information about the school or know someone else who attended it?

Did you know that there was a girl's academy here in Oakland?

Yep, there was. It was located where Betty Hunt's property is now. Looking for someone with an old photo of it. I will post more details on it later.

There are no more Sunday Drives:

I have run out of towns to do. I will be taking Sundays off until after the holidays. After the first of the year, I will begin another run, but it's a surprise. So, until then, spend your Sunday afternoons catching up on the rest of the blog, take a nap or just go out and play while you still can. I'm sure before too long we will have more leaves than we know what to do with.

Postcard from Mrs Robert Parent- 12 March 1910:

Nels Parent and E M Ashmore
Oakland, Ill

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ed Ashmore:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Edith Ashmore and infant son, Edgar M Ashmore:

another Sanderson photo