This history of early life in Logan County, West Virginia, was written by Howard and Daisy Adams. Howard (1906-1976) and Daisy (b.1915) were children of Major and Belle Dora Adams of Trace Fork of Harts Creek. Titled “The life of pioneers during the latter half of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the 19th century” and written in the late 1960s or early 1970s, their history marks the only known attempt by local people to reconstruct the story of pioneer life. This part of the history includes information regarding coffee, livestock, and pets.
Coffee in those days came in the green berries split in half so you had to roast the berries then put them in a little machine known as a coffee mill. It had a little crank on top which you turned by hand, grinding the coffee up in small pieces. Now it could be put in the pot, add water, build a fire, and make coffee.
A farmer had to raise a large crop of corn along with grass, some for hay and some for pasture or grazing.
The livestock on a farm consisted of horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, chicken, turkeys, geese, ducks, dogs, cats, etc. The horses were used to ride and pull heavy loads around the farm. Cattle were used for beef, also for hauling big loads. They got milk from the cows too. Sheep were used for mutton. Wool from them supplied much of the family’s clothes. Wool was sheared off the sheep, then it was carded by using two small boards, one foot long, five inches wide, about three fourth of an inch thick. The cards had short stiff wife about 1/2 inch long on one side and one handle on each. The wool was put on the wire side of the cards in small amounts and the cards pulled back and forth over the wool and finally the wool was rolled in a roll about 1 inch in diameter and 2 feet long. Now it was ready for the spinning wheel. The spinning made the thread from the rolls of wool. Then the wool was put in the loom and woven into cloth. Warm winter clothes were made from the woolen cloth. Boy it took a lot of work to produce clothes this way but they were well worth it. The duck and geese furnished meat and feathers. The feathers were used for making pillows and big feather beds to put on the shuck or straw mattress. Boy you sure could sleep well on those beds if it wasn’t for the big old clock striking often and so loud. The chickens and turkeys furnished meat and eggs also. The ducks and geese furnished eggs too. Yes, and the rooster was the alarm clock. The dogs were used as watch dogs for chasing away varmints and running squirrel and rabbit, etc. The cats caught lots of mice and chipmunks.