A Spring Tradition


violets          Virginia Bluebells

In the early 1900s kids made May Baskets – sometimes pages from wallpaper sample books formed into cone shapes, sometimes strips of paper woven into square baskets.  They filled them with flowers, often violets and bluebells, and with candy and hung them on friends’ doors.  The trick was to yell “May Basket!” and run away fast, because if the receiver of the basket caught you, you’d get kissed.  Of course, some ran away faster than others.

One time a boy who lived here happened to be upstairs when he heard the call “May Basket!”  He ran to a window, jumped on the porch roof, and then flung himself the 12 or 14 feet to the ground and landed running.

“Did you catch them?” he was asked.

“Oh, yes, they wanted to be caught.”

Sending Money in 1854

torn bill

Brighton Iowa May the 8th A D 1854
Dear Nephue
I have at last got ready to write to you conserning your money I went after it the first week in Aprile but Mr Dfrans was not at home and I left word for him to bring it down but he did not come tell last friday. he gave me $88 in $3 $5 and 10 bills and the ballence in gold. on saterday I turnd out to git large bills, and found but one fifty Dollar bill and that was all that I could git, larger then $10 but I have $20 so I will inclose $100 in this letter, or one half of each bill, and the other half in A letter that I have rote to send to Ephraim whare you will find it if he gits his letter and as soon as I can git sutable bills for the gold I will send it if this gose safe
I have not got that rent money yet but I sent him sharp orders if he dit not soon pay it I would give it to some boty to colect it I think your Mother could afford to come after it
we ar all well except my self I had another turn of the rumitis but am gaining again
hoping that these fue lines ma find you all in good health, write as soon as you git this and not fail, so fairwell
Jacob Snyder
[The spelling has been left uncorrected. To see the original, click here.]

This letter was written by Jacob Snyder to his nephew, Oliver Trumbo, of Dayton. In the days before the existence of checks or money orders, it was difficult to send money to someone at a distance. If it could be sent with a trusted person who was traveling to that location, that was the best. In the absence of such a person, careful people often resorted to the method Jacob describes in the above letter. A bill or bills would be cut in half; one half sent in one letter and the other half, as in this case, sent to a friend. The person to whom the money was sent would then join the two halves, which could be exchanged for complete bills. Another method was to mail the half bills and wait until confirmation arrived that the money was received. Then the second half could be sent. This method took more time, but did not require involving a second party.

A Network of Groves and Greens

The group of 24 settlers from Licking County, Ohio, that John Green led to La Salle County, Illinois in 1829 were primarily two family groups, Green and Groves. On the Green side were John, his wife Barbara Grove, and their seven children; and Henry Brumbach, with his wife Elizabeth Pitzer, who was John Green’s niece, and their son, David.

The Groves were David (Barbara’s brother) and his wife, Anna Houser, and their daughter Elizabeth; Rezin DeBolt and his wife, Emma Grove (Barbara’s sister), and their daughter Barbara; Joseph and Samuel Grove (Barbara’s brothers).

These two families account for 20 of the 24 settlers. The other four were young unmarried men: Jacob DeBolt, Jacob Kite, Alexander McKey, and Harvey Shaver.

Marriage of Jacob Trumbo and Elizabeth Snyder

Trumbo, Jacob & Eliz Snyder - marriage bond

This marriage bond was drawn up in Rockingham County, Virginia, on December 6, 1816 between Jacob Trumbo and the father of his bride-to-be, Elizabeth Snyder. The bond was to certify that there was no impediment to the marriage, which took place on December 12, 1816. Jacob and Elizabeth continued to live in Rockingham County, where they raised a family of eleven children, eight boys and three girls. In 1853, Jacob, with five of his sons and at least one of his daughters, moved to Illinois, and purchased 160 acres in Dayton Township. He was not to enjoy his new home for long, however, dying shortly after their arrival, on November 10th, 1853. Elizabeth continued to live on the farm until she retired to a house in Dayton, leaving the farm in the hands of her son, Moab. Elizabeth died May 1, 1873 and was buried beside her husband in Buck Creek Cemetery, in Dayton Township. In 1911 their bodies were moved to the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery in Ottawa and the cemetery is now a cornfield.