Tag Archives: Hattie Stout

Antique Jewelry: Out of Aprons–Into Bling

NOTE: Because I enlarged the photos to show detail, you can’t tell the actual size. I have added some description in the captions that I hope will help put them in perspective.

It would be misleading to leave the impression that my ancestors spent all their time in aprons. (Mostly the women, but as we’ve seen, Leonard Guy Anderson and my father, Paul Kaser wore aprons and Joseph Kaser wore a carpenter’s apron.)  But the women wore bling.

I have resolved this year to photograph the many heirlooms that I have inherited, and share them and their stories with you.  Today I will start with some pieces of antique jewelry that belonged to Hattie Morgan Stout, my great-grandmother. Her husband, “Doc” Stout adored her, and I have no doubt that many of these were gifts from him. Doc Stout is the connection to the Cochran ancestors I am writing about this month–his mother was Emeline Cochran.

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, the namesake of Hattie Morgan Stout, stored the antique jewelry in a collection of small boxes.  She gave them to me for safekeeping when she went into a nursing home, and I added notes as she told me the history of the pieces.

Cameos were big during Hattie’s lifetime. (1842-1928) and I have several antique jewelry pieces with cameos. These little earrings have a cameo surrounded by very small diamonds. My mother thought that there should be a pin or necklace that matched, but perhaps she was thinking of the pin/pendant that is just below them. Although the earrings’ cameo is not too impressive, the carving of the cameo in this antique jewelry pin is exquisite. The pin once had stones or beads around the edge, but they are all gone.  I believe it was small pearl-like beads because there are a few lying in the box where the cameo rests.

Antique jewelry - cameo earrings

Pair of cameo earrings, edged with small diamonds. Size: 1/2″ across; smaller than a dime. Owned by Hattie Stout

antique jewelry - cameo pin

Cameo pin-pendant belonging to Hattie Stout. Size: 1 ” wide by 1 1/2″ high.

Apparently, Hattie liked emeralds–or at least the color green. December is the month for green stones, but her birthday was in August, so that does not explain her love of green stones. The small heart-shaped pendant has a row of green stones (probably emeralds) and a row of diamonds. The earrings, which look older to me, although I’m no expert, are or very tarnished silver with a green stone in the center.

Antique jewelry - heart shaped pendant

Hattie Stout’s Diamond and Emerald heart pendant. Size: 1/2″ wide 5/8″ high.(dime sized)

antique jewelry - earrings

Hattie Stout earrings with green stone. Size of a dime.

The little matching pins below look very contemporary in design, with their gold work complementing the shape of the branch coral.  The Stouts traveled to Florida. I wonder if that might have been where they purchased these lovely pins. By the way, I did look at those marks on the gold, and it is not writing, but just a design of parallel lines.

coral pins -antique jewelry

Branch coral pins belonging to Hariett Morgan Stout. About the height of a penny and metal part 1/2″ wide.Coral 5/8″ long.

The provenance of this pretty necklace with varied colored stones is interesting.  My mother told me that it was originally her Grandfather Stout (“Doc” William Stout)’s watch chain, which his wife turned into a necklace and bracelet some time after he died in 1910. It occurs to me that this was quite a fancy watch chain for such a serious and moral-minded man as Doc Stout.  But how typical that Hattie would find a way to reuse it. Waste not!

Mother thought the jewelry was created about 1924, when she would have been 18 years old.  I remember her wearing the necklace. We don’t know what happened to the bracelet.

 

Antique jewelry-watchchain necklace

Hattie Stout had Doc Stout’s watch chain made into a necklace and bracelet. My Mother thought that was about 1924.  Size: Total length of chain without clasp: 14 1/1″

And then there is the piéce de rèsistance. I absolutely love this charming pin-pendant. It is a fine filagree of silver with a turquoise stone in the center and a small pearl below.  It belonged to Hariett Morgan Stout (Hattie), but my mother believed that it might have belonged to Hattie’s mother, Mary Morgan (my great-great grandmother). That would make it much older, as Mary lived from 1810 to 1890.

Soon we’ll take a look at how jewelry styles change as I share some pieces belonging to my mother in the twenties and thirties.

 

Antique jewelry silver pin

SIlver, turquoise and pearl pin belonging to Hattie Stout that may have been her mother’s.  Size:   For perspective, the center “hole” is the size of a quarter.

 

I want to thank Cathy Meder-Dempsey for suggestion I join the bloggers talking about heirlooms. The idea originated with Jeanne Bryan Insalco. This list is copied from Cathy’s site. The last two bloggers are additions from Jeanne’s site.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has A Story suggested doing posts on heirlooms in a discussion in the Genealogy Bloggers Facebook group and wrote Now Where Did I Put That? Several bloggers have taken her up on the challenge to write about their heirlooms and we hope more will follow our lead.

Other bloggers doing Family Heirloom stories:

You can discover more Heirlooms at Ancestors in Aprons, by entering “Heirloom” in the search box on the right.

Donning Aprons to Make Home Remedies

Harriette Morgan Stout 1928

Harriette Morgan Stout 1928

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, loved to tell a story about her Grandmother Hattie Stout’s home remedies for her grandchildren.  When she was feeling under the weather, Grandma Stout gave her grand daughter a glass of warm liquid that made her tummy feel warm and her body relaxed.

Little Harriette told her brother Bill about the delicious medicine Grandma gave her, and Bill went into action with moans and groans telling Grandma how sick he was.  She dosed him and he gagged and went back to his sister and said “I’ve never had such awful stuff in my life.”

Harriette asked Grandma why Bill didn’t like the medicine, and Grandma said, “Well I gave you some brandy, but that might lead a little boy astray, so I gave him castor oil.”

Not everything made in the kitchen of our ancestors in aprons was destined for the dinner table.  It took me a while before I saw the connection, but:

  1. Grandpa (“Doc” WIlliam ) Stout believed in home remedies. He said his guide in prescribing for patients was to ask himself, “What would the old women do?”
  2. The book that traces the history of food in America, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove says,
  3. During the seventeenth century, food and medicine did not reside in the separate spheres they do today.  Before the rise of professional medical schools (exclusively for men) during the nineteenth century, the job of healing or ‘physic’ naturally belonged to women.  Most doctoring came from the kitchen and its gardens, and you were as likely to eat or drink something for your ailment as to take a specialized medicine.”
  4. Emeline Cochran Stout (Mother of two physicians) was praised in her obituary: “Her large sympathy led her far and wide among the afflicted of her neighbors.  Many a home was cheered by her gentle presence and kindly help.”
  5. Isabell McCabe Anderson’s obituary is even more specific: “In those early days, physicians were few and far apart and no night was too dark or stormy for Mrs. Anderson to respond to the call of a sick neighbor.”
  6. Medical care during the Civil War included special diets, which today we might find very strange, (gingerbread being a favorite of the home remedies) but at least they were trying to connect the ideas of nutrition and health.
  7. The Buffalo Evening News Cooking School Cook Book contains a whole chapter on Invalid Cookery. (As in cooking for a sick person, not cooking that is not valid!)  Suggestions had not changed a lot since Civil War Days.

The introduction to the chapter in the Buffalo Cook Book is detailed.

Caring for the invalid falls to the lot of a large majority of homemakers at some time.  Very often the homemaker has much to do with the recovery of the invalid.  Special foods must be cooked, appetites must be coaxed back to normal, and the patient must be catered to in every possible way.

The recipes for home remedies from the kitchen include barley water which is also recommended in the Civil War diets.

BARLEY WATER

2 Tablespoons pearl braley, 1 quart cold water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, juice of 1/2 lemon and a little sugar if desired.  Wash and soak the barley, add salt and cook at least three hours. Strain, flavor with lemon and add sugar if desired.

Some sound quite tasty like:

MANHATTAN CREAM

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Make a custard of the egg yolks, sugar, salt and milk.  Add vanilla, whites of eggs beaten until stiff, and cream which has been whipped.  Freeze and mold in brick form.

But some I think I’ll pass on, like this treat fit for the vampire in you.

BEEF JUICE

1/2 lb. top round of beef, pinch of salt

Broil the meat for about two minutes “to start” the juices, then press all the liquid from it with a meat press or an old fashioned wooden lemon squeezer.  Serve in a warm cup, add salt to taste, and serve.  This will not keep it must be prepared fresh for each serving.

Along with the expected oatmeal gruel and tapioca, the book recommends Irish moss, which stumped me, until I did a bit of research. Turns out “Irish Moss” is a seaweed that contains carageenan, and although it has been touted by raw food advocates for some time, recently Dr. Andrew Weil has pointed out that it is actually harmful.  So lets hope the ladies reading the Boston Cook Book did not make more people sick than they healed.

Since Mary Stout had lung trouble, she would not doubt have benefitted by hot lemonade with honey, which is not recommended in this cook book, but is a cure I have used for years. The latest recipe making the rounds on the Internet tastes delicious, and makes your throat feel better and clear phlegm at least for a little while. Plus, all those vitamins can’t hurt.

Holme Remedy Lemon ginger honey

Lemon ginger honey

Honey Lemon Ginger Tea

  • 2-3 lemons sliced thin.
  • Piece of ginger root the size of two fingers–sliced in thin rounds.
  • Honey

Layer lemon slices and ginger root in a pint jar and fill the jar with honey, poking a knife down the sides to make sure the honey fills the spaces. (Remove the seeds of the lemon first, if you’re feeling ambitious).  Let sit in refrigerator for several days. To use, scoop two spoonfuls into a cup of hot water or tea (I scoop some lemon and ginger along with the honey–personal choice). Drink frequently throughout the day. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of months–but probably won’t last that long. It’s doggone good. Definitely better than castor oil.

 Sources

A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove by Laura Schenone (2003)

Obituaries of Isabell McCabe Anderson (d. 1912) and Emeline Cochran Stout (d. 1905), newspaper unknown. Photo copies in the author’s possession.

The English Housewife by Gervaise Markham (1615), quoted in A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove

Buffalo Evening News Cooking School Cook Book by Jessie M. DeBoth (1925)

Reminiscences of Harriette Anderson Kaser, recorded by the author in the 1990s.