My mother and three siblings pose here on the dining room steps with their mother, Kerma Minor. The white painted-brick farmhouse was surrounded by 330 acres of rolling hills studded by her daddy’s prized cows. This was my mother’s home, Ceylon Lane, Greene Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania–where the Donald Minor family weathered the Depression and World War II. Home on the home farm that her daddy had inherited from his daddy, Robert Minor, who had been bequeathed the home farm by his dad. Francis Marion Minor had in turn received the 330 acres from his father, John Pearson Minor, as per item 7 in his will of 28 February 1867:
I give, devise and bequeath unto my son, Francis Marion, his heirs and assigns the tract of land whereon he and I reside, known as the Myers farm, containing three hundred and twenty nine acres more or less…
Just when, I have wondered, did the former Myers farm become my family’s home farm. Last week I unearthed a document in the Minor Papers that provides an important clue.
An article of Agreement made and concluded between James McFarland of Cumberland Township (housejoiner) and John P. Minor of Green Township both of Green County Pennsylvania on the twenty second of February eighteen hundred and thirty one as follows
John P. Minor was to purchase and supply all the materials for the project, and furnish board and lodging to James McFarland for the duration of the project. In addition Mr. McFarland would receive $300 upon the satisfactory conclusion of all work.
For his part, James McFarland was to
complete the joiner work of the brick house formerly occupied by Jacob Myers.
The agreement stipulates that he was then to finish the floors and petition three rooms off on each floor
according to the construction of the said house.
Mr. McFarland was also charged with making cupboards, and sashes for the upstairs window, and casing and fixing off all the windows in the whole house.
and run up two pair of stairs in the dwelling house ….a pair of stairs to be run up outside on the porch and a drysink on the inside byside of chimney the doors to be taken down and the facings new and then hung and mantle peaces and cheer boards and wash boards and all other things necessary to complete the building is to be done by said McFarland.
The house described bears a striking resemblance to the house my mother described as her childhood home. For now, til new evidence surfaces to contradict me, I believe that the brick house, formerly occupied by Jacob Myers, was handsomely renovated by one James McFarland in 1831, and subsequently occupied by generations of John P. Minor descendants.