Tag Archives: Harriette Morgan Stout

Hattie, Doc and the Holmes County Loan

Harriett (Hattie) Morgan Stout (1842-1928)

William Cochran Stout (1845-1910) Married 1871

The bright lemony yellow strips stand out in a sea of burgundy brocade, chocolate velvet, pale sheer lawn, moss-green taffeta and the other muted shades– geometric scraps arranged to save and show off a family history.

Showing the family heirloom to my husband, I pointed to this ribbon, one of two used by my great-great-grandmother Emeline Cochran Stout in her crazy quilt

Holmes County Ribbon

Ribbon for the Holmes County centennial Loan Committee.

Dr. Stout

Doctor William Cochran Stout, my great-grandfather

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, had told me that the ribbons belonged to my great-grandfather “Doc” Stout (1845-1910).  I thought I was going to be writing about one person in this week’s 52 Ancestors entry, but instead there are two.

Since I knew that “Doc” Stout had helped raise money to build his church (the Church of Christ in Killbuck, Ohio) I jumped to the conclusion that he was on some kind of fund raising committee for Holmes County.  But the date didn’t seem right. The ribbon says 1888. Holmes County was founded in 1825, not 1788,  There was not even a state of Ohio until 1803. So what was this committee all about?

I went to one of my favorite places on Facebook, the page staffed by the Holmes County Library, called Our Town: A Holmes County, Ohio Local History Project.  They had recently announced that they were compiling a list of events that took place in Holmes County, using the local newspapers from as far back as the 1800’s.  I posted the ribbon and asked if they had information.

Within hours, they had supplied photos, articles and some surprises.

Holmes County Farmer article

Article from the Holmes County Farmer, 1888 about the Centennial Loan Committee.

My great-grandmother, Harriett Stout

Harriett E. Morgan Stout, my great-grandmother

Ah-ha! This was a woman‘s committee, and men were an afterthought.  So perhaps the reason there are TWO ribbons in the Emeline crazy quilt, is that my great-grandmother Hattie Morgan Stout (1842-1928) was on the original committee, and great-grandfather Doc Stout was a johnny-come-lately.

Furthermore, we learn from the newspaper article that the Holmes County exhibit was part of a State Exposition. But what was being exhibited?  Another newspaper article made that clearer.

The second article, again from the Holmes County Farmer, says that the Centennial Loan would open on July 25 and continue for a week. All articles had to be in Columbus by August 8. Then we learn that “by Monday evening” people had loaned more than 50 items, including a Bible over 200 years old. The committee wanted “modern, new , pretty and interesting”  things as well as antiques. The committee also needed potted ferns. Because heaven knows you could not do anything fancy in the 1880’s without a bunch of potted ferns!

The Holmes County Exhibit would include a demonstration of spinning, for which the committee needed certain items, and someone would demonstrate making silk. Entertainment and activities for children were all part of what you would get for your admission price of five cents. I was thrilled to think that my great-grandmother was right there helping make those decisions, and then visiting with friends to solicit “loans.”

1888 state centennial postcard

1888 state centennial postcard

But if it is not the centennial of Holmes County, and not the centennial of Ohio, whose birthday was it?  Another reference from the Holmes County library reveals that Holmes County was part of a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first community in Ohio, Marietta, a town on the Ohio River.

This was fascinating, and since my family was involved on the committee, I assume that they contributed something. I wonder if it was an antique, or something modern and interesting? Fortunately, I found out at least part of that answer. Read on.

In August, 1888, The Holmes County Farmer ran a sort of review of the event held at the County Court House in Millersburg. “…one might well imagine that Cinderella’s godmother had been there with her fairy wand, so great had been the transformation wrought in the last week.”  Don’t you love the understated way newspaper reporters wrote in the late 1800’s?

  • On the north you could see items as old as 500 years old, “old, quaint, dainty, pretty, beautiful”.
  • A large room had been divided into a hall, bedroom and parlor, each furnished with all sorts of beautiful household items.
  • The next room featured a dinning (sic) room with complete table setting.
  • Across from that modern dining room  another was set up as it would have been 100 years previously, and a horticulture exhibit.
  • To the left of the dining room was an exhibit of old fashioned costumes.
  • Ahead in the newspaper’s tour, another room representing art and industry  was so overwhelming the reporter gives up “…there is so much and so great a variety, we cannot hope to describe it. It must be seen to be appreciated.”
  • Then there was a pioneer room with old-time things.
  • In Agriculture Hall, the large stage was “most tastefully draped with American flags and buckeye branches.” This stage held entertainment in the evening by musical groups and “the broom brigade”–synchronized marchers.
  • During the day ladies demonstrated “shutch, hackle, card and spin” flax and wool.

 

In fact, the layout and the items on display make me think of the Smithsonian Institution’s original building (built just thirty years earlier).

I have gone into some detail here to impress upon you what a BIG DEAL the Holmes County Loan was. The County’s population at that time was just shy of 21,000, so a huge percentage of families must have contributed hundreds of items to “the Loan.”

Holmes County contributed to the Ohio State Centennial

The Centennial parade  in Columbus. From book, “Columbus 1860 to 1910,” by Richard E. Barrett, as posted by the Holmes County Library on Facebook.

The enormous Ohio Centennial Exposition in Columbus included a Civil War encampment of 100,000 veterans and 150,000 of their wives, children and friends, all camped out in the state capitol, which at that time had a population of only 120,000.

The bright yellow ribbons, beside the green pieces of great-grandma Hattie’s wedding dress, must have brought a flood of memories to the Killbuck couple– former school teacher Hattie Morgan Stout and her husband Doctor William Cochran Stout.

The dates on the ribbons in the crazy quilt told me exactly what my great-grandmother and great-grandfather were doing in the summer of 1888. From the newspaper articles and history book, I can see what a large undertaking they were part of. And what a thrilling project it was.

Like all research, it brought new information and understanding, but also raised more questions. What items did my family loan? Did they get them back? [NOTE: I later learned about at least one set of items that Hattie Stout specified were “not to go to Columbus.  See the beautiful heirlooms here.]

Did Hattie and Doc, and maybe even Emeline and my 7-year old grandmother and her siblings travel to Columbus for the state exhibition?  And by the way,I learned that hackle is a kind of comb, but what is the meaning of “schutch” in spinning? Or is it a typo? If you know, please leave a comment below.

Sources:

Information about the Holmes County Loan Committee and the Ohio Centennial Exposition celebrating the founding of Marietta Ohio, came from the Holmes County Library’s Facebook page, referenced and linked above.

The Holmes County Farmer newspaper articles and the postcard  both came from that same Facebook page. Other information came from “Columbus 1860 to 1910,” by Richard E. Barrett

The ribbon pictured at the top is part of a crazy quilt and the photographs of the Stouts 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.

The Girl on the Bridge: Hattie Stout, Teacher, Traveler, Suffragette

Harriette (Hattie) E. Morgan Stout (1842-1928)

Married William C. Stout in 1872

Hattie Stout

Harriett Emeline Morgan Stout

And who was that girl on the bridge that captured the newly minted Doctor Stouts attention when he rode into Killbuck for the first time? She was a school teacher who had been raised by a single parent–Mary Morgan. What happened to her father is definitely one of the more interesting of our family stories, so do keep on reading for the next few weeks until we get to Jesse Morgan.

Although I keep calling Hattie “the girl”, she was well past girlhood–in fact probably considered an old maid.  Unfortunately, my mother’s many stories about Hattie Morgan Stout did not include any information about the part of her life between childhood and when she married Dr. Stout at the age of 30. So I’m left wondering if she had loved and lost–perhaps in the Civil War? Or had she been so engrossed in her teaching that she did not have time for courting? Or, more likely, was there no one who came around that met her rigorous intellectual expectations?

Who was this woman of quick intellect who loved to read and travel, worked hard to keep a proper house and yet yearned to try new things? (She smoked a cigarette in the 20s just to see what all the fuss was about. She cut her hair short when others still wore theirs long.) She became a shrewd businesswoman managing farm and urban property.

 Here are some of my mother’s stories about her Grandmother, Hattie. Hattie grew up in Killbuck and went to Keene Academy to study because there was no public high school in Killbuck.  Her mother had attended and taught at Keene.

She worked as a teacher from about 1858 until she was married, teaching spelling, reading (we still have a McGuffey Reader), algebra and Latin among other things, from the time she was as young as 15. (You only had to pass eighth grade to become a teacher.)  As a very young girl and standing about five feet tall, Hattie Morgan had to maintain discipline and teach classes that included hulking farm boys as old as 21. (You can tell how short she was, in this picture taken in her older years.)

Hattie Stout at church picnic

Hattie Stout center, to the right of the woman with arm resting on stomach. Killbuck church picnic. That’s Maude on the far right in black, probably in 1910, the year Carlos died.

Hattie liked to say that none of the boys she taught died in the Civil War. She taught roughly from 1860 to 1871, and when the war started in 1861, thirteen boys went straight from her classes to the army. The school janitor, who never learned to read, was one of the boys that went to war, and my mother and uncles teased their grandmother that he was her “best pupil”. 

Teachers were highly respected in those days, and part of their payment was lodging in the home of a pupil. Hattie probably boarded out with some of the farm families. She taught at Stillwell, somewhere outside Clark, Dowdy Creek, and in Killbuck and in the area of Coshocton. 

After she married Doc Stout, he set up his office in Killbuck in her mother’s house, with their apartment over the office and all three children (William M, Maude and Vera) were born there.

Mary Morgan's house

Mary Morgan’s Killbuck house with Doc Stout office on right. Circa 1880

Two or three years later, they were able to build the big house on the site of Mary and Jesse Morgan’s old house.  Update:  According to plats of the time, Marry and Jesse did not own the property where Doc Stout built his house. This erroneous information came from a quote from Bill Anderson at the time the Doc Stout house was moved.

Wherever Doc Stout was seeing patients in the little office next door, Hattie was Doc Stout’s assistant.  She kept not only their house, but his office clean, including all of his equipment. Unusual for his day, he insisted that everything be sterilized. She read all his medical books and journals so she would understand what he was doing. And as I mentioned in my article about Doc Stout, she cooked and made up beds for patients who came and spent the night.  At times, particularly in the winter, Doc Stout, bear skin rug tucked over his knees, would drive his horses off into the countryside to see a patient and might not come back for days, leaving her to manage at home.

When people could not afford to pay the doctor in cash, they would give him food.  Grandma Hattie told my mother that many times she had to cook things she didn’t want because people had paid in produce.

Doc Stout was firmly against liquor, but Grandma Hattie kept a jar of fruit marinated in wine. He ate it happily and did not catch on.  Mother told a story about the “medicine” Grandma Hattie’s gave her for a stomach ache. It warmed her stomach and made her feel better, and she told her brother Bill about the yummy medicine that Grandma was spooning out.  Bill started moaning that he had a tummy ache.  He came back to his sister and said, “That stuff was AWFUL!”  Grandma had given Harriette a little brandy, but fearful of turning the little boy into an alcoholic, she gave him castor oil instead.  It definitely cured his “tummy ache.”

Hattie read everything she could get her hands on.  Just like her mother, Mary, she subscribed to Eastern magazines. When her son, William Morgan Stout, settled in New York City I’m sure she was sorry to see him go, but on the other hand–she could visit New York. And he could send her copies of the New York Times. She liked to work the crossword puzzles ( an addiction that my mother inherited). She also subscribed to the Literary Digest, founded in 1890 and famous for its political polls in the early 20th century. People in Killbuck, including the postmistress, waited for her magazine to come in so that they could borrow it when she was through.

 

Hattie Stout

Dr. George Stout, Maude Bartlett, Hattie Stout, Mrs. Geo, Carlos Circa 1890 Florida (?)

Hattie also liked to travel, and accompanied the doctor on many of his trips to conferences. They even lived “out West” to Kansas City for six months before returning to Killbuck.  

 

Hattie Stout in Buffalo

Hattie Stout and Maude Bartlett in Buffalo Circa 1910

When Maude’s husband died, Hattie went to Buffalo to live with her daughter for some time, but returned to Killbuck.  She also traveled to New York City to visit with her son.  Hattie may have gone to Colorado Springs to visit her half-sister Malvinia. The family took expeditions by car to Guernsey County to visit the Stout relatives after Doc Stout died. When Vera and her husband Guy moved to Columbus and Harriette started at Ohio State University, 

“Grandmother Stout came to visit. She wanted to do two things—get her hair done and go to an Ohio State football game. She had never gone to a football game before, and she was the kind of person who always wanted to try new things. So Vera talked the beauty shop into giving her an early appointment on Saturday so that she could get to the game afterwards.”

Hattie often told my mother that she wanted to live long enough to see women get the vote. “If she had lived in a big city, she would have been marching with the Suffragettes,” my mother said.

The Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the vote,  was ratified in August 1920. Although she had to wait until she was 78 years old,  I have not doubt that Hattie Stout proudly cast her vote for Ohio’s candidate for President, Warren Harding, in November.  (Nor do I doubt she railed at him as his administration turned corrupt).

My Uncle Bill (her grandson) was a dedicated radio builder and operator in the early days of build-your-own radios. So I can imagine the family clustered around a static-filled radio listening as the presidential election results were broadcast for the first time in history.

UPDATE:  Hattie died in Buffalo New York on January 24, 1928 where she had been staying with her daughter Maud Bartlett.  She was ill for at least six years (mentioned in a letter from her son Will) and a family feud developed over her treatment. Apparently she refused regular medical treatment, and Will blamed Maude for influencing her to use alternative approaches.  I wonder what her husband Doc William Stout would have thought.  According to an obituary, her body was transported back to Killbuck for burial, and that is where her tombstone stands today.

Hattie Stout 1921

Harriette Morgan Stout, January 1921, two months after she voted for the first time.

What a lot she saw in her lifetime! From horse and buggy to cars and motorized streetcars. From debating politics in her own home, to reading the New York Times and exercising her right to vote and hearing the results on the radio. And she never missed an election until she died in 1928.

A woman who loves to read and loves to travel and try new things.

A woman who is fascinated by politics.

A woman who believes women should have equality.

That’s Harriett E. Morgan Stout–but it could also describe the women who follow her. In fact, I combine the loves of reading and travel in my web site A Traveler’s Library, which I think Hattie would have enjoyed.  Yep. We’re related.

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Kaser (Badertscher) is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson (Kaser), who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout (Anderson), who is the daughter of
  • Harriet “Hattie” Morgan (Stout).

Notes on Sources

 

I have confirmed birth, death and marriage dates from the family Bible with census records from Ancestry.com. The rich anecdotal history comes from various conversations with my mother, Harriette Kaser Anderson as she identified family photos and told me family stories, particularly during the 1980’s and 1990’s.