Journal Entries by Victoria

A really great historical story from a maternal grandmother of the wife of 3rd great grand uncle as submitted by tinybells of Decatur, AL  I just love these historical findings and stories.  

see at 

Thursey Toliver Way     Donated by  David Phillips                                                                            The following is an article I found in " survey of the decendants of Gideon Isham, Isom or Ison" in the Lawrence County Historical Society in Bedford, Indiana. It is an interview with Thursey Toliver Way, daughter of Charles Toliver. She moved to Lawrence County at the age of 4 and was relating this at the age of 103 to her great granddaughter. My scanner had some problems with this article. Rather than fight it to make it look better I have pretty much left it as it is.

AUNT THURSAY WAY-(part 1)... Interesting information about early Lawrence County is contained in a Feb. 26, 1916 article published in the Farmers Guide about one of the county's oldest citizens, 103-year-old THURSAY WAY. This article was written by Mrs, Ralph Riggs who was Thursay Way's great grandaughter. She collected this information from Thursay when she was 103 years old.

Thursay Way was born Nov. 6, 1812, on the waters of Calskins or Calfskins Creek, near Ash County Courthouse in North Carolina. She married ELI WAY on March 8, 1831, and died July 28, 1916. She is buried in Liberty Baptist Church cemetery southwest of Mitchell.

  •  Here is the article written by the late Mrs. Ralph Riggs-

    "Few of us have the opportunity to tell a bit of pioneer history direct from the lips of one who is more than one hundred years old. Here in Lawrence County lives my great- great aunt who is one hundred and three years old. "In 1815, her father, Charles Toliver, came here and took up a claim of one hundred and sixty acres. He then returned home, in North Carolina, for his family. When the early settlers took up their claim they paid down so much and paid the rest yearly. If they found it impossible to pay for all they were permitted to relinguish a part of the claim. Aunt Thursay, as everyone calls her, was nearing her fourth birthday when they started back here, but she says that she can remember the trip as well as if it happened yesterday. "The journey was made in a covered wagon, drawn by four horses. They led three milk cows. Imagine, if you can, a trail with but few old wagon ruts, through forest after forest, whose leaves had covered the ground and whose limbs struck against the covered wagon, sometimes leaving a rent.

    "Three days before Christmas in 1816 Charles Toliver arrived with his family. They settled near a spring as all did in those days, which is now the northeast corner of my father's farm. The first task was to erect a temporary cabin, which contained only one room. Some settlers made only open front cabins. Toliver made a picket fence around the cabin so the children could play with some safety.

    "When the cabin and yard was completed the father and sons began to clear for their cornfield. After the corn crop was gathered they took it to Kentucky to have it ground. Few were the trips because the journey required many days, often weeks. A meal without bread was not unusual. Sometimes they had grated bread. This was made by grating corn, before it hardened, over a tin with many nail holes in it. The pulp they used as meal. Later they hallowed out an oak stump for a mortar and ground the hardened corn into meal with heavy stone. They had Johnnie cakes. This was cornbread that was baked on a Johnnie board the fireplace. This board was homemade. All the cooking was done in the fireplace. "Their dishers were pewter. They had iron, of course, a baking pot or a Dutch oven, a few other iron pots and a large iron kettle. "Stoves" Aunt Thursay said, "I never saw one until my own children were grown and married."

    "Their dishes were pewter. They did not bring anything breakable and only what they had to have. They brought apple, peach, cherry and plum seeds which they planted in their nursery. One of the apple trees still stands near the old home place. Its diameter is not more, if asmuch, than twelve inches. The branches are numerous, enough for a half dozen trees. The apples are few, tough and coarse.

    "Mr. Toliver was a blacksmith in North Carolina. When he came he brought along all the irons required to make his plows, harrows, hoes, etc. The wooden parts he made here. He made a loom for his wife to weave their cloth for clothes. She had brought along her vegetable seeds and madder root and indigo seed which she set out and planted for dying red and blue. Their lace they made with a needle on a board.

    "They brought along a big and little spinning wheel. Often at night before the buzz of the spinning wheel, the scream of the panther was heard. The wolves howled and the growl of the bear was near. looking up from her work, through a opening, the fiery eyes of the catamount were seen. Aunt Thursay tells it all without a shudder."


    This is the second of two articles about early life in Lawrence County as experienced by Aunt Thursay Way, as told by Mrs. Ralph Riggs: "One morning when she and her father went to the sugar camp to start the kettles, while the mother and sisters cooked breakfast and the boys were clearing, her father stopped suddenly and told her to step behind a tree. He motioned the dog down. Aunt Thursay peeped from behind the tree and saw on a tree that leaned across their path, a bear. Her father killed it. They used bear fat to season greens. Her mother would go out and gather an apronful of shonie for greens. You don't know what shonie is, Aunt Thursay says, and I guess she is right. The maple sap was always made into sugar and stored in barrels. "Wild bees were plentiful. They hunted the bees trees, hived the bees in gums and stored the honey in jars. This turned into sugar and it and the maple sugar were used to make sweet cakes. When the fruit trees came into bearing they preserved all their fruit with the sugar. Before the trees bore they had only wild fruits which were black and red haws, papaws, persimmons, wild grapes and May plums. They were were several years before any blackberries were found.

    "During this time they had a house raising, all neighbors helping, and erected a three floor log house. I do not mean a three-room house, but one with a ground floor and two others above it. The doors were made of clap boards and the floors of punchcons. These were split logs whose faces were smoothed with a broad axe. "a wide poplar puncheon was used for the table. They made stools for chairs and brought their beds from North Carolina. Years later the house was used for the barn by my grandfather. All that remains today of this once homestead is a heap of grass grown stones beneath the Balm of Gielead tree.

    "A log cabin was erected for the church house. It stood in what would now be the center of the cemetery. An old white headed man, from north of where Bedford now is located, came once a month to preach. His name was Rev. Mitchell. All he charged for preaching was the fee it cost him to cross White River on the ferry boat. Rev. Mitchell soon died and the next pastor's name was Vandebuer.

    "A man came from North Carolina and taught the school children in this same cabin that was named Spice Valley. This I believe is the second oldest church in Indiana the other being Lost River Church. They celebrated their centennial in 1914. Spice Valley Church was organized beneath a shed owned by Billy Maxfield, that stood in a plot south of the cabin. Maxfield was a mill-wright and there he ground the bread stuff for the early settlers by horse power.

    "Many times, Aunt Thursay said, 'when I was seven or eight years old, I led the horse around the sweep.' The sweep was the path around the burrs where the horse walked to grind the corn.  A man settled in the valley. His name was Bennie Webb. He was a hatter and made woolen hats for men and boys. There were seven famlies located here when the Tolivers came. The first family that came to this county was named Phillips. They came in 1813. Toliver's 5 nearest neighbors lived four miles distant. A man by the name of Oodles moved near White River and made jeans for men and boys clothing.

    'There were no doctors. They were seldom sick. Aunt Thursay said she was grown long before she saw a dead body. A dentist was unknow. I asked her what they did for toothache: "Just let it ache" she replied. 'Bells were put on the horses and cows so they could be easly found. Squirrels were a pest. A premium was paid per head and an extra prize to the one who could show the most heads. Wild turkeys were plentiful. Mr. Toliver and sons would go out and kill wild turkeys. The mother dressed these, drying the breast meat to be used as bread.

    "In those days of quilting bees, minute and Virginia reel dance and the husking bee, the squire did the marrying. I tried to get Aunt Thursay to tell me a romance, but she only smiled. She told me this ending of one wedded pair. Every day when the husband was out at work the wife would take him an apronful of sweet cakes. One day he saw her coming and waited for he was hungry. When she drew near, what do you think he got? Rocks? Yes, and she threw them,too. A few other acts and they parted. He left her.

    "There was one place they called Deer Lick. Here the dear came to lick salt that was in the soil. Deer Lick is a pond today. Across the fields is a number of old rocks. Beneath these was an lndian camp. Aunt Thursay, with her father and a neighbor's girl, went there to hunt beads and reliCs. Quite a number of flint have been found. I have in my possession an Indian hatchet that we found in our garden. I have seen many rocks on my father's farm that Aunt Thursay said were used to sharpen knifes. The Indians were gone when Tolivers came. "One hundred years from now this story will not be retold by Aunt Thursay, but reprinted.

  • Connections ~ The Tolivers in my research:

    Toliver, Allen 
    18 Jul 1802 - Ashe, North Carolina, United States 11 Feb 1891 - Mitchell, Lawrence County, Indiana
    Toliver, Charles 
    1765 - Wilkes, North Carolina, United States 19 Mar 1832 - Marion, Lawrence, Indiana, United States
    Toliver, Charles 
    1720 - of Spotsylvania, Spotsylvania, VA 20 Apr 1821 - Lawrence County, IN
    Toliver, Elizabeth Betsy 
    20 Mar 1809 - Ashe, North Carolina, United States 1870
    Toliver, Elizabeth Mary 
    1801 - Ashe, North Carolina, United States 10 Nov 1876
    Toliver, Frances 
    4 Sep 1807 - Ashe, North Carolina, United States 6 Sep 1864 - Mitchell, Lawrence, Indiana, United States
    Toliver, Henry C 
    23 Aug 1852 - Indiana, United States 22 Jul 1911 - Marion, Lawrence, Indiana, United States
    TOLIVER, Jacob 
    26 Jul 1799 - Ashe, North Carolina, United States 1856 - Clay, Illinois, United States
    Toliver, James 
    7 Feb 1798 - Wilkes, North Carolina, United States 22 Apr 1848 - Bloomington, McLean, Illinois, United States
    Toliver, Jesse 
    12 Oct 1802 - Ashe County, North Carolina 17 Aug 1878 - Louisville Clay County Illinois, USA
    Toliver, John H 
    1796 - Ashe, North Carolina, United States 27 Jan 1873 - Lawrence, Indiana, United States
    Toliver, Lucy 
    1770 - Goochland, Virginia, USA 1850 - Lawrence, Indiana, USA
    Toliver, Mahala 
    1810 - Ashe, North Carolina, United States 1850 - Lawrence County, Indiana, USA
    Toliver, Philly 
    1857 - Indiana, USA -
    Toliver, Sarah 
    Toliver, Sarah Catherine 
    1 Aug 1861 - Indiana, USA 31 Jan 1939 - Orangeville, Orange, Indiana, USA
    Toliver, Sarah Sally 
    1803 - Ashe, North Carolina, United States Jun 1865 - Clay City, Clay, Illinois, United States
    Toliver, Susan 
    7 November 1855 - Mitchell, Lawrence, Indiana, USA 26 April 1887 - Frankfort, Marshall, Kansas, United States
    Toliver, Thersa, Thuray 
    6 Nov 1812 - Calfskins Creek, Ashe, North Carolina, USA 28 Jul 1916 - Lawrence, Indiana, USA
    Toliver, William David 
    29 Nov 1790 - Wilkes, North Carolina, United States 28 Jul 1865 - Clay, Illinois, United States

    Make a free website with Yola