Before you read this article, look around you and take note of the items in your home, all your possessions. Then read the list of assets from some of our earliest settlers in Pickaway County.
William Close of Pickaway Township died in the year 1810. His appraisal of items in his possession when he died were: a man’s saddle, a bridle, saddle bags, one pair of boots and plated spurs, three pairs of shoes, two hats, two Lindsey waist coats, one great coat, three pairs of pantalooms, one pair glasses, one roundabout coat, two cotton and woolen coats, two pair of striped overalls, four waist coats, one striped coat and two pairs pantaloons, three corn linen shirts, three muslin shirts, 13 lbs. dirty wool, one pair of shoes, part of a crib of corn, one bay horse and 10 sheep and total of $68 owed him by eight different people.
Mary Morris of Pickaway Township died in 1811 owning one mare, one cow, one sow and pigs, three shoats, 90 bushels of corn, bacon and pork, one teakettle, sundry household furniture, two beds and bedding, one woman’s saddle, eight geese, two ducks, an old clock and one quilt frame and patches. All of these items totaled $153.91.
Rarely did an estate total $1,000.00 or more. Furnishings of today are wildly different from the time of our first settlers. Most houses were cabins and they were sparsely furnished. If the wife died first, the husband may have been left with small children to provide for. Usually a new wife helped with that problem. If the husband died first, the wife was left with no income, perhaps small children and if older had to go live with her children unless she found a husband with more children than he could take care of.