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Weston Wagons West - Episode F9 - Ferrell And Julia Saw Their Sons Mature and Prosper

Updated on July 27, 2019
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Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

Joe worked to complete the harvest on his new farm

Corn during a fall harvest
Corn during a fall harvest

Ferrell Assisted His Son Joe in His New Life

Ferrell and Julia were very proud of their oldest son, Joe, as he took on the responsibilities of operating his own small farm and beginning to build his own farrier and blacksmith businesses a few miles away. Ferrell was happy to go help out, from time to time, during 1824. The house on the farm had deteriorated some, and Ferrell helped Joe get it in more livable condition. Mary would not be sixteen until the fall, so she and Joe planned to be married at that time. Joe wanted to have their new home all ready for her arrival. Her family lived not far away, approved of the pending marriage, and helped out also, as they could with their large and growing family.

Joe and Mary were married at her parent’s home in the fall, with both large families and many friends and neighbors in attendance. It was a sunny, crisp fall Sunday afternoon and a good time was had by all who could be there. Vesta and Wanda, now 12 and 10, respectively, Joe’s sisters, were especially pleased to be able to attend and participate along with Mary’s sisters who were about the same ages.

Joe had taken a break from his harvest work that fall to have the wedding, so he was anxious to get back to this harvest on Monday. He was careful, of course, to be totally supportive of his bride, Mary, as she went about setting up their new household at such a young age. Her mother had prepared her well, of course. Coming from a large family, Mary was quite accustomed to the hard work of running a household, and it was a pleasure for her to have her own place to look after. Joe and Mary got off to a fine start, and did their celebrating around the year-end holidays well after the harvest was done.

Ferris Completed His Blacksmith Apprenticeship Following His Farrier Apprenticeship

Blacksmithing and farrier work on horses work together
Blacksmithing and farrier work on horses work together

Ferrell Helped Ferris in His Apprenticeships and Gained a Grandson

Ferris completed his blacksmith apprenticeship in March of 1825 in good order on his 16th birthday. His parents need not have worried. Though not the full frame of his older brother, Joe, Ferris used excellent techniques and was able to perform all the different phases of the blacksmithing trade with fine results. He was very proud, of course, to have earned his 3rd and 4th horse to grow his herd, in the family tradition. He expressed that his special interests were in working with the horses and in the farrier trade. He was careful to point out, however, that by also becoming an accomplished blacksmith, he was sure he would be better prepared for all of life’s challenges in this modern age.

Meanwhile, over at his brother Joe’s farm, Joe and Mary were looking forward to the arrival of their first child in the spring of 1826. When that happy time arrived, it was a son who greeting them in April. They named him Henry Clay Weston, as many of the supporters of the Kentucky and national politician did in those times. They decided to call him Hank around home. He was only four years older than his uncle Jake, which made for some interesting experiences and these two young men grew up together, nearby to one another.

The Weston family attended the wedding in the home of the Dolan familly

An early marriage in a private home
An early marriage in a private home

Ferrell and Julia Remained Close to the Dolan Family

The next several years slipped by quickly. In the spring of 1830, about the time Ferrell turned 50, Floyd had his 12th birthday and was ready to begin his farrier apprenticeship. With the young men in the family spread out in age as they were, the family calendar seemed to revolve around the apprenticeship schedules. However, everyone was involved in the family businesses, so it was not disruptive in the least. It was those events that everyone looked forward to. Now 21, Ferris was actively involved in all aspects of his father’s business and seemed to like it that way. Floyd appeared likely to be taking the same direction as well, so that Ferrell could enjoy directing work and seeking out new work through his social connections rather than actually doing as much of the work himself.

As both families matured, the Dolans and the Westons continued to take part in events in the other family’s lives. In November of 1831, for instance, Ferrell, Julia, and Ferris attended the wedding of James Dolan to Nancy Harrison at her parent’s home, in Watertown Township, a couple miles to the southwest of their farms. She was also a farm girl, and they had courted for some time, having known each other from attending social events together earlier.

Back at home, Floyd completed his farrier apprenticeship and earned his first two horses in April of 1832. He immediately began his blacksmith apprenticeship, of course. His younger brother, Jake, now 10, sometimes showed a lot interest in what Floyd was doing like his older brothers, but sometimes not. Jake, as the youngest son, and child, seemed to often just follow his own thoughts rather than fall into the routines of their lives like the rest of his family. Times had changed, as they always did, of course. Jake seemed to take as much interest in what was going on out in the bigger world, perhaps, than just what was going on around the farm and his local community. Ferrell and Julia noted this attitude, but were not yet inclined to take any further action. They just assumed it was a young boy being a young boy. Distractions were normal, weren’t they? They didn’t really have an answer to that. And, they were too busy keeping up with their own lives to really think too much about it.

It had now been six years since Joe and Mary had their son, Hank. There had been no more children born. Ferrell and Julia knew that Mary had at least one miscarriage during that time, but wondered if more children would come to the family. Such things were personal, of course, and were not talked about in public. However, in private conversations, it was a subject that did come up from time to time. Everyone was always concerned about issues in the family, even when they tried to act as if everything was ‘fine.’ On the national and political scenes, slavery and Indian removal from the south seemed to be the major topics of discussion. Jake took interest in these, it seemed, so Ferrell and Julia tried to keep up with them as well.

Note by the author

The Fx and Hx series of historical fiction family saga stories consist primarily of characters that are fictional. Any real persons, Dolan, Barker, Cutler, Hildreth, and Putnam, for example, are used here fictitiously. The Dolan family in Marietta were actual direct ancestors of the author’s wife. Two of the Dolan sons, John and James, were her third great-grandfathers. She and I have visited the area doing family history research. Activities and events are consistent with known historical facts, but are entirely fictitious. Cousins of these Weston characters, the Jacob and Levi Weston characters, were first created as a part of “The Homeplace Saga” stories. The first 20+ episodes of this Lx series filled in the early years of the lives of Levi, Jacob and their family, also descendants of Thomas and Fred Weston. The author first created the characters Joe, Jake and Hank Weston in 1998 (they had not been published prior to this hub series).

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