FREEMAN UPSON and SARAH (SALLY) CULVER UPSON
Freeman Upson was born 21 March 1788 at Plymouth, Connecticut; died 17 Sept. 1846.
Sally Culver Upson was born 31 Aug. 1791 at Wells, Vermont; died 4 Dec. 1888.
From a letter written to George B. Stanley of Heber Utah, by Lydia Standley Burnham, dau. of Alexander Scoby Standley and Philinda Upson the latter part of December 1931:
My grandfather, Freeman Upson, son of Joseph Upson, when a young man went to Ohio where it was yet unsettled to establish a home. The land was covered with heavy timber and it became necessary to clear the land of the timber before he could plant his gardens, orchards and fields. He cleared enough first to make and plant a nice orchard of apple as well as other fruit trees. Later he used the apples to make barrels of cider. They would extract the juice from the sweet apples and make a syrup, using the pulp to make apple butter, for the family use.
Freeman Upson married Sarah (Sally) Culver. They had nine children, three boys and six girls. Their names were: Laura (22 May 1811); Caroline (3 Dec. 1812); Philinda (1 Aug. 1814); Lovina (22 Nov. 1817); Erastus (22 Dec. 1819); Carlton (15 Jan. 1821); Mary Ann (1 Aug. 1824); and the twins Alva Freeman and Alvira Sally (11 Oct. 1827).
He built a two-roomed log house with an attic which was used for bedrooms for the boys, a ladder being used in place of a stair-way. They had a large fireplace with a crane with hooks on to hand the kettles of food to cook. They did their baking in a large flat iron kettle, with a lid on. This filled with the dough was placed on the rock hearth and live coals placed around the kettle and on the lid. They had to learn from experience how many coals to use and how long it took to bake different kinds of bread, Johnny cake, etc. My grandfather had a set of shoemaker’s tools so he could make and mend the shoes for the family.
They raised fields of flax and being a new country it was necessary to manufacture their own clothing. They used a small spinning-wheel to spin the flax after it was combed and with this they wove beautiful fine-twined linen which could be bleached, and used to make fine white dresses, men’s white shirts and finer articles of clothing. From the combings which they called Tow they made coarser cloth used for men’s pants, bed ticks and work clothes for summer. From the sheep’s wool, they spun and wove woolen cloth for warm clothing for winter.
They made their own soap. By pouring water over the ashes of the hard wood, they obtained a lye solution which they combined with grease, boiled and produced their needed soap. For washing they had what was called a “tromping barrel.” This barrel was shallow and was filled with suds and clothes. If there were no children to tromp them with their feet, a large wooden punch was used to agitate the clothes up and down in the water. A large tree near a spring preferably was cut down, leaving a stump flat on top. The soiled clothes would be wet and soaped and placed on this stump to be beaten with a wooden paddle until they were clean enough to be put into the boil. The boiler was a large brass kettle that held about as much as two ordinary wash tubs. This was hung over a fire (outside) and the clothes boiled in it. They were then ready to rinse and hang out to dry.
They dyed their cloth different colors. They raised madder root to make red; grew their own indigo to obtain blue; black walnut to make brown; peach leaves set with alum for yellow, this mixed with blue made green.
The oldest daughter Laura, married Aretus Geer, Philinda, the second daughter, married Alexander Scoby Standley on the 19th of March 1829. These two oldest daughters, and their families, were the only ones of my grandmother’s family to join the church.
My grandfather died quite young and my grandmother went to live with her son-in-law. (Alvira, her daughter having died and left her husband and one child.) She lived to be 97 years 3 mo. And four days old. She died Dec. 1888. She was loved and respected by her posterity.