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A Country Girls Memories

Margie (Stouter) Valentine 

John Michael Stouter; born July 22, l849. Died April 23, l905. Wife Sarah M. Baker, born November 3, 1849. Died March 8, 1928. The couple were owners of Stouter's Tile & Brick Works  near Emmitsburg, Md. around 1900. The brick works was located 1 mile west of the Emmit House. It is believed they also enameled bicycles here for a Hagerstown concern. He gave each of his sons a house when they married. One of his sons, Felix A Stouter, my father, was given the home place.

My father was an Entrepreneur in all the businesses he undertook. In the wintertime they took his shanty to the mountain where they sawed timber for lumber and to make shingles made from chestnut trees. 

The chestnut trees died around the turn of the century. He also had his own shingle mill. They cut locust and cedar trees in the spring to make posts for local farmers to buy. In the summer he had a thrashing machine pulled by a steam engine  that he used to thrash grain and clover seed for the farmers in the area. He also had a commercial cider press and apple butter kettles. He made apple butter and pear butter and cider for his customers. In the summer he planted tomatoes and string beans for the canning factory. My dad had the first car that came to Emmitsburg. He bought the car from the Annan's in Emmitsburg.

My father and mother bought the Spalding property, above the home place, which had a covered spring. The home place did not have running water. My dad laid pipe from the spring down to our house. The spring then supplied running water, by gravity, to the house, barn, and etc. We had plenty of water there after.

All of the children were born at home with the help of a mid-wife, Mrs. Robert Mitchel. She was a very good neighbor. She traveled back and forth, between our houses, using a horse and buggy. My dad died July 20,1932. My mother was widowed with 8 children. So you see that my Mother had a very rough time there after. She had a large garden and canned a lot of vegetables and fruit for the winter. She made home bread twice a week for the family. She ordered material, from the Sears & Roebuck catalog, to make clothing for all of the children.

We did not have a washing machine back in those days. All clothes washing were done with a washboard. We did not have an electric iron. Cast irons` were heated on the cook stove to do the pressing of clothing. In the early 1940s' Russell Ohler, of Emmitsburg put Electric in the home place for us. Life was much better after that."

During the depression, in the 1930's, I especially remember the Saturday before each Christmas. The town of Emmitsburg had free movies at 9:00 AM for all children living in the Emmitsburg general area. After the movies the children would go down to the fire hall for vegetable soup, hot chocolate and graham crackers. In the late afternoon all of the children would wait on the square for Santa Claus. Their treat was a small box of candy and an orange. Those were the good old days!

Have your own memories of growing up in Emmitsburg?  
If so, send them to us at history@emmitsburg.net