My mother was about 15 years old when the war between
the States started. Grandfather went to Indiana
to work during the war and grandmother and mother, who
was the oldest child, had to do all the work on the farm.
Mother said the hardest work she ever did was to cut grain
with a cradle. She had to plow, get wood, gather the crop,
go to the mill and do a man's work in general.
When the war was over grandfather came home and
brought a thousand dollars in gold with him. My mother
said they had a hard time trying to keep from spending
that gold. It was needed badly because the state paper
money wasn't any good. They kept the gold money hid.
Grandfather and grandmother went off one day. Mother
and the rest of the girls thought they would be smart
and do some extra work about the place, and give their
parents a surprise. They did! The girls emptied all the
straw ticks on the beds. They took all the old straw out
in the field and filled them with new straw. When grandmother
came back the girls told her what they had done.
Grandmother almost fainted. She exclaimed, “Lord have
mercy! That thousand dollars was in one of those ticks.
What have you done with the straw?” They said they poured
it out in the field and thought they would wait until night
to burn it . They dashed out of the house and went to the
field , and found the money in the old straw.
Mother was the oldest of nine children. She said they
had a hard time while she was at home, but they would
not spend any of that gold money. Mother never did know
what happened to that thousand dollars in gold. I
remember when grandfather's estate was settled no one
seemed to know anything about the gold money.