From the Pen of your Grandmother, Focie Stover Hayman: I will try and write a little history of my life before and after I married your Grandfather Gerald Hayman.
I was born in Jackson County W.Va. March 2nd, 1917, the youngest one of twelve children, six Brother's and five sisters. Our parent's Elisha and Lillie Mae Casto Stover, were married two years after my Father's first wife died when their Baby Boy was only three weeks old. My Grandmother Stover raised him, and wouldn't give him up when Mother and Dad were married. He stayed with us some, and we loved him like our own Brother's and Sisters. He and Mother got along great.
My parent's first child was a boy, and then a little girl. She only lived about three hours. Our little brother Lee got sick and they both died the same week. One was buried on Wednesday and the other on Saturday. Two years later my oldest sister Bertha was born. From then on, ever two years, mother had another baby. When my youngest brother was born she thought he would be the last, but three years later I came along, and that made twelve of us; thirteen with our half brother.
The oldest of my brothers and sisters had left home for jobs or to get married when I was young, so I didn't get to grow up with all of them. By the time I left home to marry your Grandfather, my youngest brother and I were the only ones left. Sometimes he would go over in Ohio to Sister Bertha's and work on their farm. I remember how lonesome it was without any of the Family left but me.
I could tell a lot of stories about the fun we had growing up. We didn't have radio or T.V. then, so we had to make our own entertainment. We got in to a lot of trouble, like quarreling and fighting, but you can bet one or the other of our parents soon stopped that! We would play tag, hide and seek, and Antie-over (bet you don't know what that is!).
We went blackberry picking in the summertime, and oh how we loved those pies and cobblers Mother made from them. If you have never gone berry picking, you might not know what gigers are! Oh my how they itch! We would come home and take a bath with salt or soda water to kill them.
When I was small we lived in a little four room house. We had a small girl's room, a boy's room and Mother and Dad's bed was in the living room.
Our school was 1 1/2 miles from home, and the only way we had to go was walk. Some of those cold mornings I know we were late. My sister tells me I would make her late and she would get so mad at me. Another sister tells me how mad she was when I was born because I was another baby she would be watching and taking care of.
We lived about one mile on a hill above a little village called Angerona. There were a few houses, and a General Store with a Post Office in it where we would pick up our mail on our way home from school. I remember this one time I was by myself and there was a widow lady that we all called Aunt. Her home was on our way home, so we children picked up her mail. This time I brought her a letter from her daughter that was working in Parkersburg, West Virginia. It was supposed to have money in it , but it was gone. Well, other money had been taken so they called in the F.B.I.! He came to our school and called me in from the play yard. He asked me all kinds of questions. For some reason it didn't scare me and the F.B.I. man told my teacher that he knew I didnít take the money. Of coarse the kids at school thought it was funny that the F.B.I. was after me. My Dad was so afraid they would blame me for it. It wasn't long until they got the man that was steaming open letters and taking the money from them.
When I was about ten years old Dad built a new five room house; how proud we were of it. It was sold to one of my brother after we lost our parents.
There is very little left of the village of Angerona. It burnt down after I was married. The Post Office, store, and a feed store, everything was gone. Only a few houses stand now, and our home still stands on the hill above it. It has changed hands three or four times, but when I'm over that way I still like to drive by and remember the days of my youth.
When I had just turned fifteen in the spring of 1932, we moved to Apple Grove, Ohio. My Dad wanted to share crop on a farm there. My oldest sister Bertha lived there. She had two girls about my age, just a little younger. I only got to go to the seventh grade in school. The year my parents moved to Ohio, they let me quit school because I didn't want to go to a new school and wanted to stay in West Virginia with my Aunt. I have always had regrets that I didn't get a good education. That is the reason I'm so glad and so proud of all of you that got your education. The rest of you great grandchildren will have a much better opportunity than I had and I sure hope you take advantage of it.
We all went to Church and Sunday School. We didn't have cars so we walked everywhere we went. This was a lot of fun. The roads would be full of young people and we could meet boys this way. One Church had their service in the afternoon and. we would walk to it. I don't think we were as crazy to go to Church as we were to see what boys would be there! Although I had received Jesus as my Savior at the age of twelve in a revival meeting, I wasn't as close to Him as later when I was raising my family.
That afternoon when we were walking to Church, I meet my future husband, your Grandfather, Gerald Hayman. He was twenty six years old and I was only fifteen. We walked out to the Church and back together, and that night at the Apple Grove Church he asked if he could walk me home. This was in June and we dated the rest of that summer. Mother and Dad didn't seem to care if I went with him, and they didn't object to us getting married. He was a real gentleman and treated me very nice. In October we moved back to West Virginia. Everyone thought we would break up, but he had already asked me to marry him and I had said I would. He. came to see me on weekends and in about three weeks on November 2nd, 1932, we were married, just four months before I was sixteen.
The next day I came back to Ohio with him as a very young bride. We lived with his brother and wife for two months, and on the day before Christmas we went. to house keeping in a small two room house on his father's farm. He only had $26 in his pocket and was working on the far for 12 1/2 cent per hour. We lived in that small house for five years. I don't know how I did it; no running water, drawing water from a well, heating it on a coal cook stove, and washing clothes on the wash board for two babies in diapers. No throw-aways, they had to be all washed.
We moved to a bigger house before our third child was born and from then on we moved thirteen times. The last move was in 1956 to East Letart where I live now. This is the home you Grandchildren all know as Grandpa and Grandma Hayman's.
Our marriage was blessed with six children, 3 boys and 3 girls: Lillie Mae, February 25th, 1934, Phyllis Leona, May 22nd, 1935, Donald Gerald, November 22nd, 1938, Edward (Ted) Lee, May 31st, 1942, Linda Carol, October 8th, 1943, Keith Alan, December 20th, 1959.
At this time I have seventeen grandchildren; Keith and Leslie are expecting one and that will be eighteen. I have eight step-grandchildren, twenty five great-grandchildren; Shari and John expecting one, that will be twenty six, also seven step-great-grand children.
We were married almost 56 years when your grandfather died at the age of 82 years on September 2nd, 1988. 1 was born March 2nd, married on November 2nd, and my husband died on September 2nd.
This is just a little history of my life and I hope you great and great, great grandchildren will be able to read this from the Hayman Holler news paper.
I want to close with my favorite Bible verses. I hope you will all let it be your guide
Proverbs 5,6, and 7: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes. Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
Love and Prayers,