Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Rural Life in the 1870s]
During the vary long and lurid prayer the congregation knelt on the dirty school room floor. The prayer was delivered with [vehemence?] and in voice loud enough to reach the vault of Heaven. This warranted God's not turning a deaf ear. Vehement were the 'Amens' from the over-wrought kneelers until some excitable soul ended in “Glory”, Glory”, with shouts and hand clapping. This high state of joy, with repeated “Praise the Lord”, was shouted while the men chewed and spit in the sand-box under the stove, and the mothers rocked their babies in their arms to keep them quiet.
Most of these people came to church on foot over the muddy roads. The ones who came by wagon used a hay-rack, and mother and father sat in a chair at the front while the children were churned about in the straw strewn in the wagon bed.
Most of the woman folks were calico and linsey-[woolsey?], the latter still made in their homes in Oregon (1871), and the men often wore jeans. The little girls in particular wore sun-bonnets and shakers. Old ladies wore lace caps under their sun-bonnets; some of the better class wore very prettily frilled with lace and lavender ribbons [md] but not in this country community that I am describing.
After a long service “meeting” was out, and neighbors had a grand hand-shaking party, and then families often invited other families to dinner. This crude church, located where Alfred Station now is on the Southern Pacific Railway, a few miles north of Harrisburg, which then was a small village, was