Tag Archives: Elizabeth Stout Cunningham

A Road Trip to Guernsey County, 52 Ancestors #17 Lib Stout Cunningham

Elizabeth J. Stout Cunningham 1856-post 1940

In this picture, “Aunt Lib” (seated to the left of the pillar) was visiting Killbuck at the home of Harriette Morgan Stout (white hair, center of picture). On the far right, partially obscured by the pillar is one of Lib’s daughters, Merle. Seated on the edge of the porch, left to right are Herbert Anderson, Sarah Warner (Anderson), Harriette Anderson (Kaser) (daughter of Vera), Vera Stout Anderson (daughter of Hattie.)

Aunt Lib Stout can be seen sitting to the left of the porch post in this picture taken on the porch of Hattie Morgan Stout (to Lib's left). One of Lib's daughters is on the far right in back.

Aunt Lib Stout can be seen sitting to the left of the porch post in this picture taken on the porch of Hattie Morgan Stout  in Killbuck, Ohio (to Lib’s left).

When my mother was growing up, her family drove from Killbuck in northeastern Ohio to Guernsey County in southern Ohio about once a year to visit Stout relatives.  What is today a quick drive, could be quite an adventure in the teens of the 20th century. The favorite relative was Aunt Lib–Elizabeth Stout Cunningham.  Aunt Lib was the third of four daughters of Emeline and Isaiah Stout, born in Feburary, 1856.

In 1881 when she was twenty-three, she married James Edward “Ed” Cunningham, who grew up on a farm just down the road from the Stout farm.  They had two daughters, Mary (1882) and Merle (1885). Another child died in infancy.

Mother told me  that “Aunt Lib never took a step that she didn’t run. She was the most fun and we always went to visit her.”

Harriette Anderson Kaser’s memoirs included this description of going to Guernsey County on the Old National Road (which she calls ‘Pike’).

To see a modern day map following roughly the route that mother’s family would have followed (before there were freeways, which cut the trip to just under two hours), click here: From Killbuck to Guernsey County. The George Stout house still stands, north of I-70. Apparently the farm was sliced in two when the Interstate was built.

Guernsey County..was my Grandfather William Stout’s home county where all of his family grew up…and the family farm was just out of Cambridge on the other side of the first crooked bridge on the Old National Pike.*

We did love to go to Guernsey, not particularly to the old farmhouse, but up to another sister of my grandfather’s Aund Lib Cunningham.  Now that was our favorite stop, and she was one of our favorite people.  The joy of this whole thing was that always before we took this trip, we were taken out of school to go on an automobile trip and this didn’t happen [much] at the time.

This took place when we were very young.  Dad has a little red Maxwell they called a “Runabout” at that time.  The thing that I remembered about that car was that it was just a one-seater and that back of it was a round tank with gasoline, and there was a little trunk on the back of that…Mother had put a cushion and some blankets in between the little round tank and the back of the front seat, and this was where Bill (Harriette’s older brother) and I sat for our trip to Guernsey County.  Mother held Herbert, who was much younger and smaller at that time.  All of the kids at school were nervous [envious?] that we were going to Guernsey County because we were going to get out of school.

We would get up and Mother would pack a lunch.  We would usually leave early on Friday morning for Guernsey County.  Now it’s only a two or three hours’ drive down there, but at that time it was really a full trip.

Somewhere along the line we always had car trouble of some kind, but it was a nice trip.  We were always very frightened when we got to Coshocton.  Bill and I would sit back there and wonder if we’d get through Coshocton or not.  That seemed like such a big city at that time.  We’d get through Coshocton and then we’d go down to Newcomerstown and straight on down.

Oh, it was such a nice trip and there was a nice place along the river where we always stopped and had our picnic lunch, and then we would go to Cambridge and when we got through Cambridge, we always had a sigh of relief because as soon as we got through Cambridge, we hit the Old National Pike.

Now the Old National Pike is part of I-40 I think, that went clear across our country. Of course at that time it didn’t go that far.  I think it probably went as far as St. Louis.  It was a brick road, and it was very rough, but until that we had lots of mud roads, if it rained, or lots of very rough, dusty roads if it was dry, so when we hit the Pike, we were really thrilled.

When we got through Cambridge, we always looked for the old crooked bridge and the second farm on the other side of the Old Crooked Bridge was Grandfather’s [Isaiah Stout].  Uncle George Stout still lived there, and we would always stop and see them, just for a few minutes, but we would have to go on much farther to Aunt Lib’s and Uncle Ed’s up on the hill in a place called Putney Ridge.

When we [got] there, Aunt Lib was always so happy to see us and we were so happy to see her.  She and Uncle Ed were just such a charming, sweet couple. They had two daughters, Mary and Merle, and both of their daughters were school teachers.  By the way, Uncle Ed Cunningham was the first of many in the state of Ohio to have a life teaching certificate, so he had been a teacher for many, many years also.

Aunt Lib always had all kinds of food ready for us and everything wonderful for us children to play with, and Uncle Ed would go out and show us all things on the farm where they lived…I would be frightened when he’d show us where the turkeys were, because we weren’t used to turkeys.  We were really frightened at those big birds that he showed us.  But this was a real treat, and we went to Guernsey County about once a year.

*My cousin Larry Anderson and his wife scouted the old Stout farm and took this set of pictures of the Old Crooked Bridge.

The Old Crooked Bridge on National Highway, Guernsey County. Pictures by Larry and Judy Anderson

The Old Crooked Bridge on National Highway, Guernsey County. Pictures by Larry and Judy Anderson

Larry and Judy pinpointed the location of the George Stout farm in an e-mail they sent me when they explored.  Take I-70 east to Guernsey County. At the Quaker City exit, go North on 513. Almost immediately, turn left (west) on Bridgewater Road. 

They say, for the Stout cemetery, go south on 513 and go right on Lydic Road off 513 (Batesville Road). When it dead ends, go to Gatts Lane. The Stout cemetery is in the fireld.

Elizabeth Stout Cunningham died October 1, 1945 in her home on Pleasant Ridge in Guernsey County. Unlike the other Stouts who lived in Ohio, she is not buried in the Stout cemetery, but instead is buried beside her husband James Edward Cunningham in the Friends Cemetery in Quaker City, Ohio.

Elizabeth Stout Cunningham

Elizabeth Stout Cunningham gravestone, Friend’s Cemetery, Quaker City. Photo from Find A Grave.

Relationship

Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher

is the daughter of Harriette Anderson Kaser

who is the daughter of Vera Stout Anderson

who is the daughter of William Cochran Stout

who is the brother of Elizabeth Stout Cunningham.

Notes:

“Harriette Anderson Kaser’s Memories of Killbuck, Ohio in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s” were transcribed from an audiotape recorded in the home of P. W. Kaser, Fresno, California about 1980.  Paul William Kaser, her son, made the transcription.  Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher made slight edits.

Added material was taken from other notes of conversations with Harriette.

From Ancestry.com, I gathered information on birth, death, residence, family, etc. from Census and birth and death reports.  

The burial information and photograph come from Find A Grave.

Family photographs are in the author’s possession.

This has been a weekly post in the 52 Ancestors/52 Weeks Project started by Amy Johnson Crow at “No Story too Small.” Check out her weekly recap showing the list of participants for some ripping good stories.