Stevens Letter, Nov. 14, 1878

In your last issue I said at the close of the last and beginning of the present century, they had formed a little neighborhood as well as at some other places in the county, such as Flag [sic] Spring, Grant’s Lick, Visalia, and other places that I may mention hereafter.  The land in this neighborhood was a rich soil with a large growth of poplar, walnut, sugar trees, live and black ash, so it took hard labor to clear out their farms.  The neighborhood was united as one family.  When any one needed help they were all ready to assist building houses, rolling logs or anything else that was needed.  It must be remembered that this was a wild country at that time.  There were plenty of deer, bears, turkeys and other smaller game which was made use of.  The new neighbors were thus supplied with plenty of meat. Some of the first settlers had put up hand mills dressed out of lime stone rock and also supplied them with corn meal.  I live now less than one hundred yards from the spot where the first hand mill was put up in this neighborhood, and now close by is the steam flour and saw mill doing much out-work.  Those settlers were most of them from Virginia and had seen service in the Revolutionary war. They being inured to hardships, encouraged others to raise flax, hemp and cotton, and the women and girls to case cotton, spin and weave, and thus made clothing for summer wear, as there was no sheep raised here at that time.  Many of the men and boys wore pants, hunting shirts and moccasins through the winter, made of dressed deer skin.  It was not long, however until they got to raising sheep, hogs, and other stock and some of the neighbors tanning leather in troughs, supplying the neighborhood with leather for shoes.  Many of us boys would not get our shoes until Christmas, running through the snow barefoot to neighbors on errands, tended our partridge traps, and many other things.  John W. Stevens


From the Newport Local, November 14, 1878