Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
Fifield, Charles, Mrs.
Abigail Austin Doty, pp. 158-159 PDF (380.8 KB)
The first winter at Janesville was a trying ordeal for the Austin family. Houses being very scarce they were obliged to be satisfied with the second floor of a small frame dwelling on South Main Street, where the Cullen Apartments now stand. They suffered with the extreme cold of that year-the house being so poorly builT that one was able to see the outside light through the cracks between the boards. Abigail Austin, at the age of eleven years, kept house for her father and sister and with the help and advice of the neighbors, was able to make bread and attend to all the household duties. In the summer, she, with the rest of the village women had to go to the banks of Rock River to do the family washing, as there were no cisterns at that time, and rain barrels were at a premium. The second winter, Mr. Austin and daughters, to- gether with another family, moved into a new stone house built by Judge Bailey. This house was so very new that the walls were not even plastered but the win- ter was milder than the preceding one and no discom- forts were noticeable unless it might be the fact that two families were living in a six room house. In 1924, this house still stands as originally built-opposite the Court House park on St. Lawrence Avenue-probably the old- est house in Janesville. At the time of the lynching of Maybury, near the old Court House, the Austin girls were eye witnesses. Janesville in an early day was very gay-socially, especially during the winter months and many were the bob-rides to Johnstown to attend the dances given weekly at the old Johnstown hostelry. In 1847 Abigail Austin was married to Ezra Philo Doty, also of Janesville and was a resident of Janesville until her death, January 2, 1916. Mr. Doty died in 1869. Mrs. Doty, left with a family of five young children to bring up, proved herself a most loving and dutiful parent. Of the five children, Edward Philo Doty and Mrs. Charles L. Fifield, of Janesville survive. 159
This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright