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Catalog Number 2005.2.1724
Object Name Newspaper
Scope & Content Copies: 1 ( 1 original newspaper clipping)

"By Fred Lockley
In this installment, the second, the story
of Mrs. Hovenden is completed. She tells
what a woman's life on an Oregon farm was
in the earlier days and contrasts modern con-
ditions in general with those of pioneer times.
Mr. Lockley appends to some instructive matter
relating to inventions and the patenting of
Sarah Soden Hovenden, who live
with her son, George Hovenden, at 17th
and Wasco streets, Portland, told me
on a recent afternoon of her girlhood
days, spent in Spring valley, Polk coun-
ty, and of her old-time neighbors there.
'We moved from Butteville to Spring
valley in 1853,' said Mrs. Hovenden.
'I went to school a year at Bethel
academy, Virginia Watson, who later
married Mr. Applegate, was one of
my schoolmates, as were Glen Bur-
nett's children -- Horace, Peter, Olivia
and the younger children. Dr. L. L.
Rowland was one of the teachers at
Bethel academy. When I was a girl
life seemed a more serious proposition
than it does today. The girls of to-
day seem to have very little responsi-
bility. Their school socities, the
movies, auto rides and things of that
kind occupy their attention. When I
was a girl we occassionally went to
a singing school or to a spelling-down
match in the schoolhouse, but about
the only chance we had to meet one
another socially was at church. I
milked the cows, helped with the house-
work, made soap, pieced quilts, did the
sewing and, like most of the other
girls, kept busy. I was married when
I was 17 to Alfred Hovenden. Rev.
Bassett, a Baptist minister, performed
the ceremony. My husband came to
Oreogn in 1849, coming across the
plains by ox team. He was about 30
when we were married, and he had
lived on his claim about six years and
was considered an old bachelor, though
nowadays yound men don't seem to
think of getting married until they
are 25 to 30. When I was young a
girl was considered an old maid if she
wasn't married in her teens, and most
of the young men began thinking of
marriage when they came of age.
* * *
'My husband owned a half-section
a mile west of Hubbard. Our neighbors
were the Grimms, the Whitneys, the
Demmicks, and the St. Johns. I lived
on our place there 48 years. In the
city the women have electric ranges,
vacuum cleaners, stationary tubs and
many other labor-saving conveniences,
but in the country a wife, when I
was a young woman, did the house-
work by hand and no thought was ever
given to making the work easier for
her. To cook over the fireplace, get the
water from the well, milk the cows,
help with the chores, take care of the
babies, do the churning, make the
soap, mend socks and make clothes
was part of the woman's contract when
she got married. Another thing city
women never have to do is to cook
for harvest crews, to be up by 3:30
or 4 o'clock in the morning so the men
can be out in the field by sunrise, and
get supper for them at about 7:30 or
8 o'clock at night, and then do all
the dishes and prepare the food for
the next day. The city woman doesn't
really know what hard work is.
* * *
'I had four children, Caroline, my
eldest daughter, married John Dennis.
I attended her funeral last week.
Emma married M.L. Jones of Brooks.
Annie married Frank Gilbert, a banker
at Salem, who died while undergoing
an operation at New Haven some years
ago. My son George is the baby. I
have made my home with George an
my daughter-in-law for some time.
* * *
'I never expected to live as long as
I have, and yet I have enjoyed life
and I have enjoyed seeing life made
easier for other women. During the
past half century, I have seen woman
emancipated, not alone in the way of
voting but in the way of an entire
change of attitude toward her. Today
she is a helpmate and a comrade and
has equal rights with her husband.
* * *
'I have seen another thing. I hav e
seen mankind released from the bond-
age of bad roads. When I was a girl
it took us two hours to travel by
wagon from Zena to Salem. In sum-
mer the roads were knee-deep with
dust and in winter knee-deep with mud.
Last year I went from Salem to Zena,
a distance of seven miles, with my
grandson, and it took us about 15 or 20
minutes in his automobile. The old
familiar hills were there, but every-
thing else seemed changed. The ruts,
mudholes and stumps had given way to
a road as smooth as a ribbon. I think
if you will ask any Oregon pioneer
who has lived 70 or 75 years in the
Willamette valley what he thinks of
of the past he will yell you this --- that
in those days people were more friend-
ly, had more good will toward one an-
other, but that life was much harder
than it is today. Looking back over
70 years, I can see that humanity has
made real progress.'" (front of original)

"April - 6 - 1923" (handwritten on back)
Title Sarah Hovenden Second Installment of Life Story
Collection Photograph Collection