101 Stories

with which I follow the road of the Family for a Century

84. Grandpa Speer's House.

When Mr. Renshaw entered the farm from the U.S. Government he built a log house on it. It stood south and west of the well. Later, in 1875, the same year the railway came in, they built the new house. It was built by Jacob Souder, brother of John A. Souder, whom we have mentioned in another story.

This frame house, a four-room structure, was there when our folks bought the farm in 1886. (The house, the well and a temporary stable in the north side of what is now orchard was all the improvements on it then.) When I was about 15 years old we bought the old East Grove schoolhouse and tore it down carefully and used the lumber to build the kitchen to the south of the house. Thus it stood for some years with no inside changes, the door opening from the west room into the new kitchen and the door from the west room into the east room at the south of the partition as it used to be. Later the doors and windows were changed to their present places.

The material in the kitchen structure is unusual in that it is largely of seasoned oak. The studding was four-inch square instead of the usual 2 x 4. Had it been well built the old school house could well have served the district until the school was abandoned, which was done some years later. The present building, standing in the old school yard neglected, is a sort of relic of days gone by. One never knows when affairs might turn and, it be used again as the center of the school life of the community.

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