Father’s name: Ben, Benjamin Sutton
Family: There was sorta like 15 kids in his family
His mother’s name was Sargent. The Sargent family is well known around Warrick County and Spencer County.
He was the oldest of 7 children and he was born in 1866. He was the oldest of the kids except for the half-sister, of course. She was older.
Born near Newtonville, October 29, 1866.
Photo of the whole family.
Not in military, father was in Civil War known as a drummer boy and kept his drum until he died and some of the family got them, I don’t know who.
Type of jobs: Little bit of everything until he became a farmer. Then he and my mother was married, first they rented a farm from an uncle close to Richland and bought a farm of his own and he was always a farmer but he liked to build and he could build houses, not the best in the world but anyhow he built them.
Did he build in Spencer County? Well, just little things around for neighbors.
Stories or Games: Don’t think they ever played any games. The only thing I ever heard him make remarks, he hated for anybody to call him “Benny.” He didn’t like Benny.
Father – Stories: Father was a very honest person, hard working, very stern with us kids. I don’t know what else I could say.
Father’s Father: I barely remember him. I heard my mother say he was kinda so called preacher and he was ill a lot, of course, both of my grandfathers were ill a lot because they suffered privations in the Civil War. They had to sleep on the ground and they were ill a lot after the Civil War.
Where Father’s Father was born: No, not really, probably somewhere in Spencer County.
When Father’s Father was born: No. My daughter’s got the records. I couldn’t tell you. I copied them all out of the Bible because they used ink that faded and the records were getting petty tattered and torn and I copied them down and then, when I got older, I said, these are safer with you, you take them, so she has them.
Will she bring them? I guess she would.
Can she send them to us? I’ll ask her. I see her every week.
Do you have a photo of Grandfather? I don’t have of Grandfather Sutton but I have a photo of Grandfather Brase in his Civil War uniform and it’s bound to be old because the war was over in 1865. That’s my mother’s father and there is something hinged to that is interest to me. As a child her name was called Brasier, they were Germans, my grandparents were Germans. My grandmother came from Hanover, Germany. Her name was Haffmeier. Somewhere along the line their name got changed, changed from Brasier to Brase. Whether when they were naturalized. I don’t know but it happened. There is something to do with Cincinnati. I don’t know if after they came to New York if they ended up in Cincinnati or whether that is where they met each other.
My Grandmother had been married before to a Memmer and evidently he had died and they were very hush-hush, those people were. My German grandparents. I couldn’t talk to my German grandmother because she had broken English. She died in 1918 when I was only 8 years old so I wasn’t around her that much.
That was your mothers parents. Your mother’s father. Do you remember about him, about what he was like? No, I imagine he was like all Germans. Had their certain way of doing things. I know when he died, Mother’s oldest brother was given right to rule all the family and he didn’t work out very good because he was so arrogant, I guess you would call it, because he wanted the children to jump when he hollered, all of them under him. As a rule it didn’t work, so finally, after he married, he went to Oklahoma and homesteaded there and he wasn’t around us much after that.
Father’s side of the family: Did your father’s mother have any? Did your Grandfather’s? Your grandmother, remember anything about her? There again, my daughter has a picture someplace, an old tintype and I understood my dad to say it was his great-grandmother. I can see her yet, sitting in a chair and she filled the chair out, she had on a black dress and a little white cap like most of them wore and her name was “Bundles” cause that was the first thing I said was, “She sure was a bundle.”
You never had a chance to talk to her or you ever saw her? Oh, no, no, I did well to see my grandparents or my grandmother.
About any of your aunts and uncles? I knew all my aunts and uncles except one. One of them died, well two of them died. One died when he was 23, I believe my dad said he had Lockjaw and another one got killed accidentally.
And some of the children – Grandmother had 14 children. Some of them died at birth. The ones that lived, I knew all of them.
Aunts and uncles, do you know their names? Yeah, I know all their names. I can name them one the picture. Can you tell me when they were born? No! That’s in the records that my daughter has. Do you remember who they married? Yeah, most of them. Uncle Jim married ugh, . . . Can you give me their names? Well, just a minute. I’m a little bit slow on that. I can’t tell you right now about him. Edit Note: Talbott
Uncle Claud married Lillian Blangey
Uncle Harry married Susie Moore
Aunt Ida married Lonn McDaniels
Aunt Kate married . . . Roberts and I can’t think of his first name. Ed, I believe, I’m not sure.
Aunt Franny married William Edwards and I’m still trying to think who
I know that woman’s name, what was it. I can’t think of her name, Virgie, Virgie
Uncle Harry and his wife had 7 children and Uncle Jim and his wife had 6 children and Uncle Claude had 2. There’s 3 of us and great aunt Kate had 3 and Ida had 2. That added up to a bunch of kids. I had two brothers, I don’t think I mentioned that.
Your dad lived in Spencer County most of his life? Oh yeah. I was born two miles north of Richland and about half mile east on a farm that was owned by Ed Sargent which was dad’s uncle. Then they bought a farm, it was down west of what we call 66, now 161. It was the Sidwell place, he bought, and that was where all my childhood was raised, up until I was past twenty we lived there.
Do you have any memories about what you grandfather did? As little as possible. He raised a bunch of kids.
Stories about what life was like? It was pretty grim. I mean dad didn’t marry until he was 35 and I had the idea that he had to help raise all the rest of the family. He was oldest. Grandmother had one daughter. Older, bur he was the oldest son and whenever any of them came and were hard up and he had money, they got it.
Stories about grandparents? I wasn’t around them that much. I know my grandmother was a real small person. They said she never weighed 100 pounds except when she was pregnant.
How about your mother’s side of the family? What was her name? “Brase” “Brosier”
Date and location of her birth? She was born somewhere around Grandview. They had a house out in the country and it burned. I think she was already away from home working. She worked as a hired girl for different families. Then when the house burned, the rest of the family moved to Grandview. That’s all I know much about them. As I said, they were a close mouthed bunch of people. Their own family and kids didn’t know very much about what went on, I don’t think.
Know anything about your mother’s family? I don’t know much.
Did your mother work outside the home? She worked as what you would call a hired girl for different families. The Wandel family and the Woolfork family at Grandview that I know of, and the Hurst family of Newtonville and the Kennedy family and, let’s see there was another family, the Meade family.
Did she share any games they played as a child? No, only thing she used to laugh at one of her sisters, her name was Charlotte, they called her Lotty, and old Negro gentleman always called her Litt-ee and she told about one time, swinging pretty high in an old fashion swing, you know, a rope swing, and she flew out of the swing and landed in a cowpile. No, as I said, both of them were pretty grim people.
School Days? Yes, she loved school and she talked about different teachers she had and she had some story books that different teachers had given her as gifts. She still had them when I was little and I loved to read and so you know where they went, they got tore up when I was through with them.
Did she ever tell you anything about her dating? No, no, no way. I never hear any man but my dad, I don’t know whether there was or not.
Did she have any old family recipes? I don’t know. She never thought her mother was much of a cook. Her mother was Germany had a title of some kind. Of course, when she came over here and was naturalized she had to give the title up but what the title was, I don’t know German give young women. What kind of title.
Stories about grandmother to share with grandchildren as to what kind of woman she was? I was scared of her.
Why? Well, she was very stern and had already had a stroke when I remember her and she was a big woman, tall, broad boned and I couldn’t understand her. She spoke broken English. I just was kinds of afraid of her and my other Grandmother, Sutton, I would go to visit and my aunt would take care of me and if my grandmother said a dozen words to me, I don’t remember.
Did your parents tell you how they met? No, I know where they met though, they met working for the same family. He worked on the farm and my mother worked in the kitchen.
Courting days? Nope.
Brothers-sisters? My oldest brother was in camp during WWII in Calif as a mechanic but my other brother didn’t pass the draft because of some medical reason and neither one of them ever married.
Personality of family? What do you have in mind? Well. Were they jokesters? Well, Dad could, occasionally left handed jokes. My oldest brother and I didn’t get along when we were kids but later on we were different. My other brother and I were pretty good friends and I guess that just wore out. We had different personalities. He believed in some things and I didn’t.
I went to a one room school two miles north of Richland, a little one room school. I went there for seven years and went one year to Richland grade school for the 8th grade and then through high school there.
What kind of games did you play when you were young? Whoohoo! I was thinking about that the other night. We used to play Crack the Whip. I generally was the tail end and when they cracked the whip, I went yonder.
And they played shinny. Tell me about that. Well, there is a big hole in the ground about so big and they had a tin can that was pretty well beat up they call the “ole sow” and everybody had a stick and they chose sides and they tried to kick that tin can that was the “ole sow” out of that hole and they hit it pretty hard and it would go way out and I was the “ole sow” driver, so I had to go get the sow and bring it back up so they could hit it again. And believe me, if that ever hit your ankle, you knew it.
We had what we called flying genny. Did you ever see one of then? A tree had been cut off so high. About three foot high? Well, maybe not that quite that high, for the little ones. Then there was a big board bolted on to it right in the middle, middle of the board then they loaded that on each end with kids. Then they went around and around and around with it and they got pretty fast with it sometimes. You had to hang on for dear life. You generally straddled the board, you didn’t dare turn sideways. You had to get your legs locked around that board or you would fall off. Spin everyone around in a circle.
Hoopy hide. I don’t know if anybody called it that or not. You would go hide and they count out up to a hundred, maybe, by fives or tens and then say,”a bushel of wheat, a bushel of rye, all isn’t hidden hollar ’I.” And another one was, “a bushel of wheat, a bushel of clover, all not ready can’t hide over. All eyes open, here I come.” Then he would go looking, and if you could sneak in and touch base, without him catching you, whoever is “it,” then you could go hide again. That was one game they played.
Ante over. Throw balls over the school house. Seems like I oughta remember some more, but I don’t right now.
My daughter has a picture of my brothers when they were in school. Not me, I wasn’t old enough. And the older boys were as big as the teacher was. I remember the teacher the last year before I went to school was Marion ?? and he visited all students and came to their homes and he always wanted me to come to the school so I could see what was going on. The next year. Well, the next year Gus Sarver was the teacher and there were only three of us in the primary, my cousin Marry Sutton, and the teacher’s nephew who had missed the class, who wasn’t promoted the year before. The desks were long enough for two kids to sit in them. Well, there were three of us in there and I was on one end and Mary was on the other and Estel, the nephew, was in the middle and he didn’t like either of us so he would scoot that way and Mary would hit the floor then scoot this way and I would hit the floor and we didn’t have a very happy first year of school.
The things that I remember most on the farm, threshing day, for instance. They always managed to get to our house for threshing, the old steam engine, the separator and the three men hat took care of it. Then the farmers came in to do the work, what we called a threshing ring and they always managed to get to mom’s house for dinner because she was a good cook and she cooked a lot. But the day before was kinda hectic, you dug potatoes, you picked green beans, you done everything you could the day before because the morning that you had to cook there were pies to bake and all this other meat to cook and then at noon they tried to set the table so everyone could eat at one time and maybe there would be twenty people there or more so we stretch out our dining room table as far as it would go and then we had another table we set at the end of it and tried to get everyone seated.
Tell me again about the first car you saw? It was a Stanley Steamer. I don’t know who the people were that was driving it but the roads were so bad there were mud puddles, water holes and people getting stuck continually and they left this car in Mr. Davis’ barn. Where they stayed all night, I guess at the Davis’ home. I don’t know. But the first one we had was a Motel T Touring, Ford Touring car. Cost 400 and some dollars.
What was the first one you ever drove? That Motel T.
Interview with Flora Agnus Sutton Brown
U S Legacies