Henrietta’s Story: Part II

louiscookLouise Azilia Cook
As written by her daughter, Henrietta Aspacia Saucier Pace (b. 28 May, 1879 – d. 28 January, 1957)

Louise Azilia Cook was born near Old Mines, Washington Co. Mo. Nov. 1, 1854, the daughter of Jas. A. Cook and (?)Kincaid.  Her mother died when Louise was yet an infant, and little is known of her family history.

Her father was a farmer, mine supervisor, and merchant.  He served as Major in the Union Army and was captured by Gen. Price’s forces near St. Clair, Mo.  Later he was released (barefoot) and made his way on foot to his home near Old Mines.  To his first marriage were born Will, James, Belle, Mary, Louise & Helen.  Shortly after his wife’s death he married Margaret Boyer and to this union were born: John, Willis, Julia, Fannie, Amanda, Felix & Nela.

Her outstanding characteristics were honesty in all her dealings, generous in helping others less fortunate than herself, cheerful and agreeable in disposition and alert and alive to all that was going on around her.  This alertness of mind she manifested even up to her last day on earth.  She possessed great fortitude and never failed to rise to meet the occasion.  She was no one to complain of her lot, tho’ it was a most  strenuous one with 15 children coming in quick succession, and with little means of supplying their needs.  Few could do so much with so little for so many – (and it was done cheerfully.)

Tho’ she had had little formal schooling she was lady-like in her bearing and  appearance and could move easily among those who had had better opportunities.  She possessed sound judgment, quick wit, and unusual common sense.  Maintaining  her alert mind and cheerful disposition until the end, she always brought cheer and comfort to her children as she made her visits among them during her latter years.

In many respects her equal is rarely found.  She was firm and resolute in dealing with her children and made no compromise with wrong doing.  She also possessed a keen intuition which made it practically useless for any one to attempt to “put anything over” on her.

After being alert all day she passed away peacefully and suddenly on the evening of July 4, 1945 at the home of her daughter Gertrude at 812 W. 5th St.  Washington, Mo. having attained the age of 90 years, 8 months, 3 days.  She was laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery at the side of her husband.

In addition to her 15 children she raised her step-son, William and a foster daughter, Ethel.

Children born of this union were:

Frederick C. (died in gun accident, age 20)
Gertrude G. (Gertie)
Andrew L. (died at 18 months, cholera)
Henrietta A. (Hattie)
Louise (Lulu)
Alex. V.S. (Stumie)
Clara K. (became a Daughter of Charity)
Anthony W. (Wayne)
James G. (Jim)
Benj. H. (Ben)
Florence O. (Flo)
Josephine A. (Jo or JoJo)
Eugene F. (Gene)
Chas. C.  (Cack) KIA, France, World War I
Patricia A. (Mabel)

{Edit.: I’d like the reader to note the brevity of Aunt Hattie’s bio of her mother, as compared to her father, Eugene Felix Saucier.

The way I see it, as a woman of her day, Louise just didn’t have the time to sit around the fireside or the front stoop (depending on the weather) to tell stories of yore, or sing folk songs, or even flesh out the details of her own family history.  Louise was far too busy raising 17 children and running a household of that size.

Three full meals were prepared every day, seven days a week, and she wasn’t able to run down to the supermarket to buy groceries.  Meat was butchered on the farm and preserved, vegetables were grown and canned at home.  There were no ‘time saving’ devices like a dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, washing machine or dryer.  Laundry was done by hand and most items had to be ironed.  Clothes were generally sewn by hand, knitted by hand, and mended by hand.  There were beds to be made, rooms cleaned, and dishes washed after those three meals a day.

So much for leisure time, eh?  I’m worn out just thinking about what every single day in her life entailed.}

7 thoughts on “Henrietta’s Story: Part II

  1. Carol fanconi

    Two quick stories I heard from Josephine Saucier Cowan, my grandmother, about Louise , my great grandmother. Jojo, my grandmother, said that her mom was very clever about disciplining the children. If one of them stepped out of line she would send the offender ‘out back’ to cut a switch . BUT, the children knew that if they snuck quietly in the kitchen door and propped the switch behind the door and …… Were verrrry good, their mother would “forget” to punish them.

    She also insisted all her life on lying down for a quick nap every afternoon. Another tradition Jojo kept to during her life. I imagine with all the cooking and cleaning she had to do for that herd of humanity, she started the day early so needed a bit of a rest midday, I would! Thanks soooo much for this trip down memory lane! Cousin Carol Fanconi

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    1. Jo Post author

      Oh dear… I had to go pick a switch once myself, and once was more than enough. Thanks cousin, for sharing that story,. I’ll admit that it did make me smile (even though I can ‘almost’ feel the sting on the back of my legs).

      I wonder if napping is a genetic trait? I’ve always been fond of catching a few midday ZZZs whenever possible.

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  2. Carol Fanconi

    Jo, I have a bad xerox of all 3 Henrietta stories written in Hattie’s handwriting with a handwritten note conveying the document to my mother from Charles Pace, February 1, 1976 . And a hand written note conveying it to my sister Pam from my mother ( not dated) . Pam says not dating things is genetic. Sigh. Carol
    P.s. I will bring it to the reunion if you want me to. Carol

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  3. Carol Fanconi

    Jo, am I reading the above wrong. It gives Louise Cook Sauciers death as 1957 ( next to her picture) but in the story it says death in July 1945? Carol

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    1. Jo Post author

      Hey Carol — the years that you’ve referred to are actually the life span of the author (Aunt Hattie). I’ll take another look and see if I can word better than at present.

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  4. Carol Fanconi

    I have the original handwritten copy so it is just labeling the dates as Hattie’s. Dont know why I couldn’t figure that out. C

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