Friday, January 17, 2014

Grandma wrote about her Grandfather - Nora McNeil Snyder on Rev. Richard Franklin Jarvis, Wilkes County, NC

[The following transcription by Barbara Disher McGeachy on 3 June 2011 is for a note in handwriting recognizable as my grandmother=s, Nora Bessie McNeil Snyder. I found this undated, unsigned note in the papers of her daughter (my mother), Carrie Snyder Disher. By comparing the handwriting to known letters signed by Nora, I confirmed that this note was written by Nora.  She lived from 1900 to 1992, so this note could have been written in a wide range of years.  This transcription has some corrections for grammar and spelling. This note is about Nora’s maternal grandparents, Rev. Richard Franklin Jarvis (1845-1943) and his wife, Martha Ann Pardue (1845-1934).]

Mr. & Mrs. R. F. Jarvis Home as I remember it as a child.
[There is a drawing of a house plan showing a porch as wide as the house. The center front door opens into a hall, with a room on each side of the hall, labeled “Front room” and “Bed Room.”  At the end of the hall is another porch, the width of the hall, with a well on one side and a kitchen on the other side.]
Grandmother’s Spice Cake:  Grandmother made a rich, spicy dough with sugar, butter, and eggs.  I don't remember how much of each but three or four nice layers which were tender, crumbly, and brown.  She put it together with whipped cream with plenty of cinnamon for flavor.  She put beautiful red apple jelly for decoration which was real firm.  It was a real treat to eat Grandmother's cake. 

She was real neat and clean always.  She always mentioned visiting as "going abroad". 

She took a bath and was very careful to bathe her feet and put on neat polished shoes. 

She was a fine Christian woman that always kept reminding us that all people should live pure clean lives and a woman's pure character was a great treasure to be desired above all things. 
[Upside down] 
Grandfather would ride or walk a long way to preach at his churches while he could get about.  Mother [Clara Eva Hettie Ellen Jarvis McNeil] used to walk 15 or 16 miles with him to his churches in Caldwell County and visit her brother and family.  He [Rev. R. F. Jarvis] retired several years before he died.  He was unable to walk for 12 or 14 years.  He was near 100 when he passed away. 

Grandmother was born on April 2, 1845.  Grandfather Nov. 17, 1845.  They had 9 children:

Lillie and Charlie died with diphtheria when they were 5 and 9 years old.  Both died the same week.
Grandfather was a fine Christian man and also a good minister, always helping others & attended his church regular.  He performed lots of marriages & funerals.  They were respected and loved by all who knew them.  They would sit around in their living room each writing letters to their children when they were in their seventies and eighties.  Grandmother always wore her hair parted in center front & it was real black and wavy.  She fastened it in a ball real pretty.  She and Grandfather had nice heavy hair.  He parted his on the side and combed it back.  It was so heavy & soft & white in his last years.  He always wore a long beard or "whiskers" we called them.  He went into Lee's Army as a very young man.  He was wounded in his right shoulder, was sent home on a 3 month furlough, & was married while at home to Martha Ann Pardew, oldest daughter of Thomas Mickens Pardew & Prudence Paget Pardew. 

He went back in the service and was captured and was held a prisoner of war on an island across Chesapeake Bay. He said you just could discern his home land on a real clear day from the island.  He was there a year after the surrender. 

Grandmother had a hard time while he was gone.  She plowed and worked to make a living.  He had a picture of his painted on a glass.  I have looked at it many times but am not sure how it was made.  He was a fine looking young soldier.  She secreted the picture in her clothes and carried it until he returned.  It was about 4 by 6 inches.  There were so many robbers plundering home, nothing was safe.  Her father raised fine horses, and was in the field plowing, and two men came and unhitched a fine black four year old horse and carried it away with them, and of course, he wasn't allowed to say anything.

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