As you go through the country side in Hanover Ohio on Hickman Rd you will see the Davis covered bridge. The bridge was built in 1947 and is 50’ long. As a child I was always impressed by the postcards with the picture of the bridge on it. This gave me the idea to write about the Eli Henry Davis family.
The elder Eli’s father was said to have come from Prussia and his mother from Ireland. Eli’s father was Eli Davis and he married Elizabeth Gutteridge. Her father was given and old family bible, the former Harry Lee Davis gave me the family bible that came from Wales in 1776. Needless to say it is worn and has actually been sewn back together. I am the 4Th person to have the honor of caring for this family bible. Harry’s wife Ruby still lives on the property today.
I remember up on the back hill was a stone fence like. Wow can you imagine the work it took to build it, and it goes a long way.
One of Eli’s sons Jobe Randolph Davis, of which Jobes road was named after. Jobe married Sarah McGinnus and Joshua McGinnus of her family invented and patented a corn husker.
Many family members had to make their own tools including, sausage staffer and butter churns. One has to wonder how hard life could be back then but how much healthier it was as well. Most farmers raised their own crops, feed and meat. Not to mention the fruit and nut trees and berry bushes. I remember going to the farm and enjoying the fruits of their labor. I especially liked the apple butter, fresh tomatoes, ketchup, and homemade butter with those brown eggs and a good side of bacon. Oh my that bacon was sure good.
The fruit cellar was full of beautiful jars of peaches, green beans, corn, homemade ketchup and sometimes meat. There were often times bins of potatoes. These families also sold their wares to make ends meet.
Along with these labors were the quilts, homemade clothes, hats and whatever else was needed. Sometimes the clothes and quilts were made from feed sacks.
Oh and let’s not forget the famous outhouse. Sometimes one hole and sometimes 2 holes for adults and children. Remember the star for men and the moon for women? What about those spiders and snakes, yes like the timber snake!
Heating the home was yet another chore. I remember helping cut wood with one of those really long two man saws. Among other chores were milking the cows with that special technique, feeding the livestock, mending or building fences, loading the wood or coal stoves, gathering the eggs, plowing, mowing. Most heavy farm work was done by horse drawn machinery and in time with tractors and such.
Neighbors were neighborly too and front porches were full of those resting and chatting about the day or maybe taking a mid-day break.
The little country store such at the Rocky Fork store was a place for gathering and sharing stories. Some true and some well a little spiced up one might say.
All in all each generation has their challenges and treasures in life. As for me I think I would rather go back to the wood stove, safe food and meat and a little more relaxed lifestyle.