As part of Women's History Month, we are honoring the women who helped to build this farm that we love so well. With much gratitude to those that came before us, let us begin with the first generation of our family to live on our farm...
Amy Donham was born on October 17, 1830 near Greensboro in Greene County, Pennsylvania. She was the oldest of eight children born to Rebecca Engle Donham and John Donham. On December 5, 1855 she married Andrew Kramer Dickson. They would have seven children, only three of which would reach the age of 20. In 1890, Amy and Andrew, along with their son, David and his wife, Hannah, packed up and moved to our mountain top farm in West Virginia, on what would later be known as Lantz Ridge. David drove the wagon and Hannah came in Amy's buggy with her beautiful buggy horse. Amy and Andrew traveled on the train to Rowlesburg. Once they reached that river valley town, they had to travel the narrow, steep, winding road up the mountain to reach their new home. There they moved into the large white weather-board house near a good spring which, 121 years later, still supplies most of our family's water. We have oftened wondered how Amy felt during that first, long, lonely trip up the mountain. It must have seemed that she and Andrew, then in their sixties, were going into the wilderness.
In 1900, Andrew gave the land for the community's church to be built, and Amy named it Mt. Olivet, because it reminded her of the Mount of Olives in the bible.
Grandmother Amy was a very lovely woman, and a beautiful seamstress. When she became so ill that she could no longer sit up to do her handwork, she would have someone tie her back in her little armless rocking chair to help hold her up.
"Mrs. Amy Donham Dixon after a lingering illness, departed this life on the 13th of November, at the home of her son David Dixon, aged 75 years and 26 days... Although a stranger among strangers, it was but a short time until she could count her friends and acquaintances many. Mrs. Dixon was of a kind and amiable disposition, and it was through these noble qualities, that she drew so many to her. She was a beautiful character. Now that she is gone she will be sadly missed, not only in the home, but throughout the community, and the church of which she was a member. She was a Christian woman ripe and polished for the inheritance of the Holy Promise! The funeral services were conducted by her pastor, Rev. W. H. Berry from Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in the presence of a large concourse of people, who had gathered to render this their last tribute of love and respect..."
What a testament to one's life to be remembered so well.
(excerpted from the writings of our Great Aunt Florence and a newspaper clipping of obituary)
Participating in Verde Farm's blog party Farm Friend Friday #6. You can visit the party here.