This is a story passed on to me in 1993
by my husband's Aunt, who is in her 80s
Katy Estep was born in 1861 in Redbush, Johnson
County, Kentucky. She married William Wallace McKenzie and helped rear
their nine children to adulthood. She was responsible for the cleaning
and the washing. The washing was done by hand with lye soap she made
herself. She canned the food they ate from the garden they cared for.
She would rise long before dawn to cook enough food to feed her family
for the day. She would bake bread, fry chicken, slice ham, etc.
Everything had to be on the table and ready to eat by dawn. When
dawn came she went to the fields with her husband and children. It was
custom to only cook once a day, place everything on the table and when
it was time to eat it only had to be warmed a little and the family could
return to the fields much faster that way. This custom is still carried
on in some homes even though modern conveniences are installed in most
of the homes. After her husband's death, she and the children continued
running the farm. She died in 1935, at the age of 79 and was buried alongside
her husband in the "McKenzie Cemetery", Patty Flats.
Sharon McKenzie, Pleasant Hill, California