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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Little Hope Journal of Agnes Markham

Contributed by Mary Jane Lewis Cook

The following is a journal that was given to Mary Jane Lewis Cook by Anne Markham Eades, the daughter of Lyle and Agnes (Raymond) Markham.    Agnes Raymond Markham, the author of the journal, was the daughter of Lavern (Vern) H. and Bertha A. Lewis Raymond.    Agnes (10/1/1891 1/2/1984) was always very active and bowled every week, well into her 80s. She wanted people to know what Little Hope was like years ago.  Mary Jane can remember going there as a child in the 40s and swimming in an inner tube in the brook with Anne and some of her friends. She also used to go to the Markham home and stay overnight. It was a beautiful large white home on the right side of the road. It kind of set up on a little hill and there was a big white barn in the back.   The journal is short, but contains a lot of names and description of the area around Little Hope in Greenfield Township. The picture of the Raymond's General Store is not part of the journal, but has also been provided by the contributor. Any comments or questions concerning this submission should be directed to Mary Jane Lewis Cook.

Journal prepared by Agnes (Raymond) Markham -- July 1980 (Age 89)

Having lived in Little Hope, Greenfield Twp., for many years, I would like to have the younger generation know who the early settlers were, especially on Wilson Road, reaching from Miller School to the New York State Line. Wilson Road was named after the Wilson family, John and Francis (Aunt Frank), also Jimmy, who brought mail from North East. The first Post Office was in the Wilson house. Reverend Eugene Stafford and Aunt Hattie lived next door, Gene being the first Postmaster. Their children were Charles and Linnie who later became Mrs. Will Hooker.

The next house was the home of Lida and William Ward, having three sons, Charles, Louis and Ross. The Wakeley home was next - Marvin and Mary. He was an avid hunter, proud of his dogs and guns. A small stream divided the Wakeleys from the Hartz estate, including store and living quarters. George and Edith Morgan were the owners - Charles, Kittie and Burton were their children. John and Gertrude Mitchell were next door building a large store which was used as general merchandise and millinery shop with living quarters upstairs. They had a daughter, Maude. Next to the store were John's parents, Cyrus and Lucretia. Next came Raymond's built in 1890 and later had three stories, 160' x 60'. Seems like he had everything catered to the farmers, i.e. groceries, dry goods, and hardware. Also, furniture and sheds for horses in the rear. My mother and father, Laverne and Bertha owned it. My brother, Harold, and I worked in the store but Harold was more interested in his violin. In 1920, it was a small store but in 1924 it was the largest store in Pennsylvania and the next year, the largest store in the U.S. Verne and Bertha were Harold's and my parents.

Raymond General Store

Laverne Harvey Raymond and his wife, Bertha A. Lewis Raymond on the porch.
Year on the back of picture is 1890.

In about 1898, they built a beautiful three-story house surrounded by trees and shrubs. Grandmother Mary Raymond lived in with us, weaving carpet and rugs. She also combed sheep's wool and made beautiful blankets. She also colored with the dyes she made. My job was holding warp to her with a fork to make 36 inches.

We carried pails of water from the spring for all uses.

Beyond our house was a small frame house that housed the Thomas, Page and Randall families. Also, Aunt Mary Henderson and Dele Raymond and the old Raymond homestead was moved east of this place. Next came the New Methodist Church built in 1904. The first minister was E. W. Springer, a college graduate. He lived with us because he didn't have a parsonage. A large bell was added and was music to our ears each Sunday morning. My father was very active as janitor, caretaker, S.S. Superintendent, etc. Across the brook was the large estate of William Yost. Frontage was a cheese factory, house and barns. He also owned a large wooded area that produced maple syrup and sugar. The Jones farm was next, occupied by Elmer and family, sons Ross, Alton, Lynton, and daughter, Edna.

Following were the two Farnsworth farms with nice houses and barns. This takes us to Wilson's Corners, the old school house, which later on was added to Miller School. Going on to join what is now Route 413 was the John and Ada Crabb farm.

Next Dr. Finn, the Jude farm daughters, Flora and Mildred, and son, Emil, farm. The next road is now the Peck & Peck road. Now going west from the Crabb farm was Henry Coolidge and Sarah. They had a son, Lester. This farm joins a farm owned by Luther and Guise Jones. They had an adopted son, Floyd. This farm joins Elmer Jones' farm extending on the oldest owners Buel Thornton Family. Their children were Hiram, Lottie, Ben, Anson, John, Emma (Mrs. Ellsworth Cass), Allie (Mrs. Floyd Beman), and Engene. Rubin and Ora Rogers later came. Next the Hiram Thornton family, Hiram and Alice. Owner, Ethel, Ruth, Beatrice, Ilah, Lee, Leah, Burton and Berlin.

Our property joined the Thorntons to the Sweets, who came from Panama, NY. They built a home, adding a part for a milk factory and a large barn which was converted to a Jell and Cider Mill. The E.C.M.A. [ed note: Erie County Milk Association] from Erie built a nice building to collect milk from farmers to be used in the Erie plant. This was on the Anis Jones' land. Next came Ebert Jones and Ann property. Then the William Raymond land. Aunt Ell's place was just across from the store. Their daughter, Florence, married Earl Rogers. Their sons were Raymond, Reed and Ralph. Earlier, the front part of their house was a saloon. Hiram Thornton built a blacksmith shop, then the saw mill. Charles Wilke was the only one I can recall. Miller Henderson built a new house similar to ours on the next land owned by John Blackman. In the rear was an old barn occupied by an old man, Peter van Wie, a cobbler. The later residents of the new house were Perry and Carrie Jones. A short ways west was the Willard farm with family. Their children were Ollie, Lula, Ida, Eva and Jennie. Next as Myron Stetson's blacksmith shop. He and Stella lived next door. From these homes could be seen a beautiful valley sloping to French Creek. At the crest of this hill was a small cemetery for local people. The Raymond plot is in the center under a large pine tree. Now (then?) a vacant lot to Miller-Greenfield School house where we started.


Change History: Original posted 03/03/03. Picture added 03/14/03.

This page was last updated on  Friday, March 14, 2003 .

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2003 Erie County Pennsylvania Genealogy