Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Great Uncles and Their Farm

A Sentimental Sunday post written by my dad:

Remembering some of my maternal great uncles by Jim Eiswerth

My grandfather (Eugene Jerome Eck) had several brothers that lived close to us when I was growing up. As their first home, my mom and dad rented a small house that was owned by my mom’s Uncle Clyde Eck. The house was located on the North side of Uncle Clyde’s produce farm which was located within South Williamsport growing residential area. From our back window we could see Uncle Clyde’s big red barn, his home and several out buildings. In a larger house on the West side of the same farm, another one of my mom’s uncles lived. Their house was maybe a block and a half away from us --- around the corner and up the street. Uncle Wally and his wife Aunt Eleanor along with Aunt Mame, all lived there. When my mom was having her next child, Aunt Mame or Aunt Eleanor spent a lot of time helping out at our house.

Uncle Clyde and his wife Aunt Marg ran the truck (produce) farm. Uncle Clyde was a really sharp business man and everyone always said he could plan and see money coming 10 years out. On his farm they grew all kinds of vegetables, and sold them at the Williamsport Market located on what else but Market Street. In their barn there were 2 milk cows that Uncle Clyde milked twice a day. I’m not positive but I think we got a lot of that milk when we were little kids growing up. When we were a little older, we got to spend more time up on the farm. We would help pick vegetables, and since Uncle Clyde and Aunt Marg didn’t have their own kids running around, they would try to teach us different things. Uncle Clyde really liked my brother Wayne, and Wayne followed him around like a puppy dog. Wayne must have paid attention, because his investments over the years all worked out.

Aunt Marg was a big woman who was always happy and talkative. I can still remember her grinding up horseradish for the market while carrying on a conversation with us. Grinding horseradish by hand is not fun. The fumes make your eyes water and your nose run. Aunt Marg would look like she was crying her eyes out, while telling us funny stories and jokes. At Christmas time when we visited them, she was like Mrs. Clause and we would pile up next to her to share her cookies.

Uncle Wally was always pretty quiet. When mom walked us kids over to their house, you almost always found him on the front porch reading the newspaper or something. He would chuckle at us kids, but it was always Aunt Eleanor or Aunt Mame that would fuss over us kids. With 6 kids and a 7th on the way, my mom was always so grateful to Aunt Eleanor and Aunt Mame being close by and for all their help.

I think when we finally moved from South Williamsport to the house that my dad built near our grandparents in the East End of Williamsport, that the farm got a lot quieter. The cows were gone too. During summers in grade school, my dad would drop a couple of us kids off to help Uncle Clyde and Aunt Marg bring in crops, like sweet corn, onions, tomatoes, string beans, … I even got to cry along with Aunt Marg as I turned the grinder while she bottled fresh horseradish.


  1. A delightful memory of a special time and place. I wandered the garden, sat in the kitchen, and took in the farm aromas of barn, garden, grass and fresh air. Thanks

  2. What a wonderful memory! No doubt his memory allows him to "see" the uncles and aunts, the cows, the produce, the farm, etc. Please thank your dad for sharing.
    Nancy from My Ancestors and Me at