Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Plank Family History, Part 2

By this we see that he had already established a character above reproach.

This can be said of all the pioneer Planks, by their honesty, precept and example, they won the admiration and confidence of all people they came in contact with. Their words being as gold and their credit good anywhere, they soon became popular and were classed among the best citizens.

By the records we notice they worked on the farm, faithfully and for twenty five cents per day, cradling, and reaping the grain, in the harvest, for fifty cents per day. After moving to Wayne Co., O., Jacob entered a tract of heavy oak timbered land, through which ran the stream of water named Little Apple Creek. Here he sold two eighty acre tracts to his sons Christian and David.

John, if we mistake not, entered a partnership with his father and they engaged in the grist milling business and later built a saw mill and cabinet shop. People came many miles to get their furniture made to order and had their old furniture repaired. They also made coffins. John employed four men, usually, in his cabinet shop and they worked from five o’clock A.M. until nine o’clock P.M. He was very just but firm with his employers. (sic.)

Some years later Christian also built a grist mill, one half mile down the stream on Apple Creek, as the one mill could not do all the grinding that was brought to the mill. Many years they were co crowded with custom work that they had to fun their mills day and night, and in case of emergency would grind on Sunday but only in such cases.

The pioneer Planks were men of more than ordinary talents. Being natural mechanics, they could turn their hand to anything, they were men of good judgment and made good use of it. Among the early pioneers there were farmers, millers, cabinet makers, blacksmiths and dentists, the people coming many miles to have their teeth extracted. Because of their skill they soon became very popular and accommodated people in almost any line of business. Yet as they had to deal with all classes of people they met with many difficulties and because of the many obstacles thrown in their pathway, in early life, had to make many sacrifices in order to get along agreeably.

Their nearest market was Cleveland, fifty miles north. As the roads usually were in a very bad condition a number of them would go together as one man on the road alone was not able to get through. They would often mire with their loads and be compelled to help each other out. Their outfits consisted of a large wagon covered, with from four to six horses hitched to each wagon, It would take from six to eight days to make the trip there and return.

Some years later a canal was built running from Cleveland south through Clinton, Fulton and Massilln, which then became the market towns. The country now becoming more settles they had much better roads and marketing was done more easily. They (grandfather and brother John, I presume) followed the milling business, buying wheat and manufacturing into flour, and delivered it to the above named towns, where it was either sold or shipped to the larger markets.

In those days they either tramped out their wheat with horses or thrashed it out wit a flail. This was a tedious job and generally done in winter. Mr. D. H Plank, the author of this letter, says,” I remember will, when dressed in course flax trousers of riding the horses for my father many a day, until it would almost gauld (sic.) the horses back. I was about as glad to get off the horse as the horse was to get rid of me. After the wheat was tramped out and separated from the straw, it was then separated from the chaff, on a windy day, by throwing the chaff and wheat into the air, and the wind would separate the wheat from the chaff.


Blogger D L Ennis said...

This was a very interesting read! Sorry I haven’t been around lately but I’ve been a little under the weather…I see I have a lot of catching up to do.

9:27 PM  
Blogger The MacBean Gene said...

It's like that DL, you miss a day and it takes you three to catch up. Kind of like work when you take a vacation.

7:11 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I've got a bit of catching up, too. Just been busy. But, my days are nothing like the 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. described here. No wonder many people were worn out by the age of 50. And, I love flax; it is lovely in the garden.

7:43 AM  
Blogger The MacBean Gene said...

Five to nine seems backwards doesn't it. And for 25 to 50 cents a day!

8:19 AM  
Blogger Oliver said...

Plank, eh?

There are narratives from several more years of Plank reunions around 1900 on this genealogy website,

5:29 PM  

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