Weston Wagons West - Episode H10 - Hank Weston Began Farrier Training for Josh

Updated on October 2, 2017

Farriers seek health and welfare of horses with a passion

Three horses such as the Weston family bred and trained
Three horses such as the Weston family bred and trained

Josh carried on the family tradition of farrier training

March of 1860 brought the 12th birthday of Hank’s brother, Josh (Joshua). In the Weston family, a deep tradition, the 12th birthday marked the beginning of a 2-year apprenticeship in the farrier trade. Horses were a critical element in the lives of virtually all farmers, and most people, during the 18th and 19th Centuries. The farrier is at the forefront of the care of and health of horses. Training as a farrier, therefore, was valuable for anyone with horses, but also provided the baseline training for a possible career. At the end of those two years, satisfactorily completed, Weston young men also received two horses, typically mares, as their own, to begin their own herd, and to demonstrate responsibility.

Josh began to attend the Davis school in the fall. With his birthday coming in March, the family faced a couple of interesting challenges. The first question had already been answered. Joe and Hank had agreed that Hank would lead the farrier training with Josh. Typically, in the past, the farrier apprenticeship was a ‘full-time’ program, not formal, but with generally accepted processes and procedures. Josh, Hank and Joe agreed that with extra effort, Josh would be able to learn what needed to be learned and experienced by devoting early morning, evening, and weekend extra hours to that training. Josh said he really looked forward to getting started and was ready to devote the time and effort required to complete all required work, mental and physical.

Joe, Hank and Glen plunged right into the spring planting season following the successful efforts of the prior year. Having once adapted to the new routine of having four of the children in school during the day, the spring garden and orchard time provided a new challenge to the women of the family that was welcomed. Many care and maintenance projects were caught up during the winter and the garden was planned and put in place with new vigor. For the first time, they had the chance to change their routines, again, with the return of the children when school ended in late spring.

Each spring brings a new challenge to each farm

Spring plantings were in the field
Spring plantings were in the field

The first year of Davis school was deemed a success

During the 1859-60 school year, twenty-one students took part in classroom activities. These students came from the thirteen families in the four square mile district. The school board called a meeting in the early summer to report on the year and to get input from the families for the coming year. Candidates for school board were also requested. Joe Weston had completed his one-year term. Frank Fraley would continue for a second year, and John Davis was on a three-year term. Joe Weston was asked to serve a new three-year term on the board of directors, and after some discussion, agreed to do so. He indicated he would not serve beyond this new term, however, so that others could and would participate. The teacher was rehired for the following year.

Hank and Josh were able to get back to a more ‘normal’ apprenticeship-training schedule during the summer months between school terms. George, moreover, asked if he could be a helper as well as watch and learn. His apprenticeship would start in late September on this 12th birthday. He wanted to get an early start. Joe and Hank approved of the idea. Josh agreed that it would be fine for George to be around during those times. It was an interesting summer for all of them.

This summer, Nathan, now 7 was given additional responsibility looking after the chicken. Jessica, now 9, similarly was given more individual responsibilities in the orchards. Laura, 6, who would be starting to school in the fall, was given some activities to help prepare her for that experience. Nathan’s younger brother, Isaac, now 5, was given a few specific responsibilities for the first time, as well. Learning to take directions and following through on them were hallmarks of the Weston family way of raising their children. As they each got older, they also each took on responsibility for supervising the activities of their younger siblings (and cousins, in this case) as well.

The harvest was a busy time of year for farmers

Corn fields ready to harvest
Corn fields ready to harvest

The fall of 1860 was full of new events with differing impacts on the family

Joe, Hank, and Glen were busy with their bountiful harvest, for course. One more year of favorable weather conditions made for a lot of work. They were able to get the assistance of a young man from the northern part of the school district, Sam Grimes, to help some during their busiest harvesting. He had an older brother, as well, so their father agreed to make Sam available to the Weston family on a number of occasions. Sam was 17 years old. Although he did everything he was asked to do, Hank noticed that Sam seemed to have a chip on his shoulder about something. Hank filed that thought away, for future reference.

News of the national presidential election in November brought concerns in the family during an otherwise joyful harvest season. Melinda did her best to mute her disgust, but this still separated her from the celebrations of the rest of the family. She knew her family in Georgia was now in peril with the election of Lincoln. It was only a matter of time. But, she was in Iowa. There was nothing she could do but to keep quiet and do her work. Hank could feel the tension in the air, but knew he had to give her time and space to work this out, in her own way.

The harvest was completed. Josh and George worked on their farrier training along with school under Hank’s tutelage and Joe’s overall guidance. Laura had adapted to school normally, and Isaac was now the only child still at home during school hours. But, that was about to change with the New Year. Sarah and Glen were happy to share that she was expecting their first child, to arrive late in the spring.

The holidays were celebrated according to family traditions. Melinda held her feelings to herself, as national news continued to be received, shared and discussed by the family. What would the New Year of 1861 bring? For the nation? For the Weston family?

Note by the author

This Hx series of historical fiction family saga stories following Hank Weston consists of characters that are fictional or real persons used here entirely fictitiously. The Davis, Grimes, and Farley families are fictitious. Activities and events are consistent with known historical facts, but are entirely fictitious.

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 descendents of Thomas and Fred Weston. These first 20 episodes of the Levi Weston story have been compiled into an ebook: “Weston Wagons West: Levi Weston, L1-20 (1823-1874).”

“Weston Wagons West” and “The Homeplace Saga” historical fiction family saga stories are the creation of the author, William Leverne Smith, also known as “Dr. Bill.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 8 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Larry. It is always nice to get your comments and insights. ;-)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 8 months ago from Oklahoma

      You always paint such an interesting picture.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 8 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Dora. Siblings and cousins in same household are a challenge, of course, but each has their role to play in a well organized family... if there is such a thing! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 8 months ago from The Caribbean

      This episode gave us a chance to see how the younger family members fit into the scheme of things in the home and community, lest we forget about them. Interesting story line!

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 8 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Bill, for your visit and comment. Yes, I have enjoyed building this into this story line. My great-grandfather, Michael Smith, was an immigrant from the Alsace-Lorraine area of France/Germany, served as a farrier in the Civil War. That was my inspiration!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Passing on a trade, and legacy, to the next generation. Such an important part of our history, but one rarely mentioned. Well done, Bill!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)