AS REMEMBERED ? When Past 100 Years of Age
Elizabeth Perlina Umstattd


Now I am going to try to do something that will be as hard on my memory as some of the letters that I received on my 100th birthday, and if I succeed as well I will be satisfied.

I will begin where my memory begins. That is at Bean Blossom, Indiana [an early settlement near Bloomington, Indiana, located on a creek.], where I had such a time with the whirlwind. It even makes me shiver now when I think of it and how that river looked and if that fence had not been there I would have gone into it, and no one the wiser. I suppose I was somewhat pale when I went in for Mother said, “Why Sis, what is the matter? (She always called me Sis.)

I said “Nothing”. But soon I slipped off and got on the trundle bed and went to sleep and was all right when I woke.

I can remember the house so well. It was a nice 3-room brick, a lovely yard and nice people living about. One family was especially nice, a Mr. Thompson who had three boys who were with us most of the time. And it was fun to run across the big bridge, too.

Then Father took a notion to leave the place and go to Monroe County, Indiana, as both families’ folks lived there. So, he went down and bargained for a piece of land, went to work and built a two-room house on it with a big stone chimney. He was as proud of it. We left Bean Blossom and I was glad. We never saw it again.

We children were so glad that there was a sugar orchard on the new place. We sure had a feast when they made sugar. There were big yellow poplar trees so large and full of purple blossoms.

But war [Mexican War 1846] had to come. I wondered why Mother was so sad (I know now) and often we would find her crying. She had two brothers that were going. One came back and one lays in Mexico. He could have saved himself but his buddy was wounded. He begged Uncle Jim [James Buskirk, youngest son of Michael and Elizabeth Bilderbeck Umstattd] to leave him but he said, “No-no-not on your life will I go.” So he was killed with his buddy. Monterey Battle was where they were killed.

Then they began to talk of our move to White County, Indiana. It was some time before we went. Father went away somewhere (I don’t know where) for the summer and Mother moved in with Grandfather and Grandmother [ Michael Buskirk]. Us children would get out playing and forget when it was dinner time. When we went in we would see her setting in a chair lent back against the door of the press. She would say, “Why didn’t you come in when dinner was ready on the table? Now you will wait till supper time”. And not a bite did we get. Mother had to yield of course was she did not want to make trouble. We would go off again. One day brother Mike [Michael Buskirk, eldest son of William H. and Amanda (Buskirk) Umstattd] was so mad he said, “What can we do to her or to anything she has?” So we went hunting and came upon a sitting goose. Mike flew at her and broke the eggs and almost killed her. “Now”, he said “I guess you won’t raise any goslings for the mean old thing.”

Grandfather was just the opposite. He petted us and if we done anything he talked to us, saying it was wrong, that we oughten to do it. We loved him dearly.

In the fall when Father and Uncle Tom Buskirk [Michael Thomas Buskirk, son of Michael and Elizabeth (Bilderbeck) Buskirk. Amanda’s brother] came home we went back to our place and Grandfather moved out to White County where Uncle Will Buskirk [William H. Buskirk, son of Michael & Elizabeth B. Buskirk] lived. Then Grandfather entered land and got a place that he wanted Mother to have, then began writing for us to come out there, but Father had his own place. Grandfather went to work with aunt Perlina [daughter of Michael & Elizabeth B. Buskirk] and got her to release Father, then there was talk of the move but we did not go until the next year. Bennie [Isaac Benjamin Umstattd, son of William H.and Amanda Buskirk Umstattd] was the baby then, not quite a year old. Mother went to the grocery store close by and put Bennie on some big logs. He fell between them, and Uncle Ben Umstattd [Benjamin A. Umstattd, brother of William H..; father of Charlie] came along and saw him laying there. My, my, but he was mad and gave it to us. He said he would put every one of us in that place if he ever found Bennie that way again. He was his namesake, we were so afraid of him. When Mother left us we sure watched for Uncle Ben after that.

Then began talk of leaving Monroe county. It was talk for awhile, then we began to get ready to leave. It was in the spring. Uncle tom Buskirk was to come to help us. He came but said he had to have a little visit before he went back. So we visited around for a week or so, then we packed and got ready to leave Monroe County, Indiana.

I think we took a cow tied to the back part of the wagon. Us children hated to leave our cousins but the good-byes were said and we got started. We stayed with one of Mother’s sisters (dear Auntie) [Aunt Betty ? Elizabeth Buskirk, daughter of Michael and Elizabeth B. Buskirk; sister of Amanda] and the children were taking the whooping cough.

They said it was all right, we would not take it until we got to White County, but the road was so deep and bad we were longer in getting there than they thought, so we began to take it before we got there and with five children to cough we sure had a time of it, for when one began to cough all followed suit. The wagons were not loaded heavy but first one then the other would get stuck and the other team would have to come and pull it out. Finally, we struck a corduroy road, and such cheering you can’t imagine. It was made by cutting logs about 6 inches around, and laying them across the road. That was the first road improvement that kept you out of the mud. Then the plank road was used, that was much better. When we got close to Grandfather’s [Michael Buskirk] we came to a nice camp and Uncle said, “here we stay until morning.” “Why” (We could have made it) was asked by Mother. Uncle said it would be late when we got there, past their bed-time, and they were old. So we stayed and it was a nice camp. We children had a fine time playing around it with some other children that came to the camp. We got to Grandfather’s about one o’clock the next day. We were glad to see them and glad to get out of the wagons, but had to stay right there with our grandparents until we got over the whooping cough and that took a long time, we thought. There were 10, all in the same room ? 20 feet square. Uncle and Mike slept in the attic, the rest down. A trundle bed done for the rest of us children. We got over the cough and I was so anxious to go to Uncle Will Buskirk’s [son of Michael and Elizabeth Buskirk; brother of Amanda who married Caroline Reddick] where there was a new baby that I wanted to see so much, so one day Mother fixed me up and I started to see the baby, but met Uncle Will on the way and he made me go back. My ? but I was mad at him for good. I went back. Mother said, “Why what brought you back so soon. Wasn’t your aunt there?” “I don’t know. Uncle will made me come back, said I couldn’t go.” He came in soon and said he was afraid that I might carry whooping cough to his children. Mother said there was no danger now, so after a while Uncle Will came over and said I could go now. I said, “I am not going.” “Oh yes, you will,” he said. I said, “I am not going to your house at all.” Mother said, “She will come” and again I said, “No I won’t.” She said, “Now that is enough.” I went out and left them.

A few days after that she said, “Now come and get ready to go to your Uncle’s”. I said, “No, Mother, I am not going there. He made me come back. I do not like him a bit and I don’t want to go.” She said that I had to go. I said no again but she made me go. So, I went and was glad for Aunt Caroline [wife of william H. Buskirk (Caroline Eleanor Reddick] was so nice to me (She was the one I took care of in Indiana) and she made me want to stay. D. W. was there and we formed an attachment for each other that lasted until death took him. So, we had a nice time, all of us children together again. The next summer Uncle sold out and came to Missouri, to the southwest part of the state. John Upton Umstattd (b. 1812) and Benjamin Umstattd (b. 1815)’s first cousin, William Harrison Umstattd, moved his wife Amanda (Buskirk) and family at least once in Indiana before moving to Missouri where Elizabeth Perlina Umstattd, born in 1844, grew up. From late teens to middle age, she went back to Indiana to live with family

This is her handwritten account of her life, written the year before her death on March 1st, 1945. ELIZABETH PERLINA


As submitted by Elizabeth Coles Umstattd


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