Posts Tagged ‘Virginia

26
Jan
10

Who has made a difference? Part VI (article for the week of 1/25/10)

The focus this week… farmers of Page County during the 19th century. We only get a snippit of their lives from the census records (agricultural data), but, in this week’s article, I offer-up a sampling of what they engaged in during the years since Page’s founding, through the 1890 census. Livestock seems to be the big feature of the years prior to the Civil War, though I’m pretty sure grain was just as big (it’s just that the census doesn’t offer a good deal to help clarify just how much grain was being produced). Grain certainly shows up in the years after the war, with significant production of Indian corn and wheat. Yet, the stats are just stats. The real focus is on the farmer, his wife, and children and what they had to endure to make the products of the farm a factor in the growth and development of Page County.This is why farmers are in a category unto themselves and should be recognized with those who made a difference in Page County in the 19th century.

Next week… the merchants of the 19th century in Page County.

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12
Jan
10

Who has made a difference? Part IV (article for the week of 1/11/10)

The focus of this week’s article was on a grouping (grouping #5, so far) of iron ore industrialists who truly made the town of Shenandoah a reality; the parties of Daniel Forrer, Samuel Gibbons, Henry Forrer… and William Milnes, Sr., John Milnes, William Milnes, Jr. and Thomas Johns and John Fields. In retrospect, however, while we know the names of these men and what they did, we really know very little about them. As I mention in the article, “In an effort to recognize people who made a difference, I think that’s the difficult part in this entire affair. We know them by name (and often forget most of them), but we know very little about the people themselves. Who were they? It almost seems like a rather tenuous foothold in history. We know them for helping to make a difference, but we know very little about them. All-in-all, it’s a sad void in our understanding of the past. Obviously, we need more contributions of biographical sketches (perhaps a cue for me to do more work in that area).”

05
Jan
10

Who has made a difference? Part III (article for the week of 1/4/10)

After completing last week’s article, I realized that I shifted slightly in my definition of those who made a difference. Specifically, last week, I began writing about those who are influential because of the way they help us to better understand the past, not so much influential in a “progress” sense of influence. Following-up on my discussion of influential African-Americans in the county, this week I began discussing influential women (and much in the same sense of influential in helping us to understand the past). I suppose its the historian in me that’s making me do this. Nonetheless, we need to understand that “influence” is not limited to influence through progress and growth, but influences to us in regard to our understanding of the past. In discussing women, two particular favorites of mine are Cornelia Jane Mathews Jordan (see her first book, Flowers of Hope and Memory, here) and Pauline Carrington Rust Bouve… mostly because of poetry and literature.

Keep in mind, this post is an extension of the print article which is longer than what you see here. Also, discussion about the topics covered in the articles is welcomed and encouraged here…