By Linda Stewart, 28 September 2018
John T. and Mary Cook Paschall’s first child was Robert Anderson Paschall. He married Mary A. Ham, who was the daughter of Young Davis Ham and Susannah Clark. Robert and Mary were very well educated and they made sure their children were also educated. In addition to everyday life lessons of cleaning, cooking, and sewing, it would appear that Mary also taught her daughters about midwifery and herbal medicine.
One of their daughter’s Mary Ann Frances Paschall Fletcher was a midwife who lived in Texas. She would deliver the baby and stay with the new mother for a month helping her until she was well enough to take care of her family.
Another daughter, Amanda N. Paschall Newsom was a healer with herbs. Her family lived in Texas and later moved to Oklahoma. On 17 May 1937, Amanda’s son Thomas was interviewed by John F. Daugherty for the Indian Pioneer History Collection in Oklahoma Historical Society. He said, “When we got sick, mother went to the prairies and gets menna leaves, horehound, balimony [sic] weed, dogwood, celindia, and black haw. She boiled those and made a tea, which we had to drink. It was a bad dose, but it certainly cured our minor ailments. There were no doctors at that time. I didn’t know what a doctor was until I was twenty years old.”
Today, you can still take classes to learn to be a midwife and a herbalist, but these everyday lessons that were taught by our pioneer grandmothers to their daughters have been lost to time.
If you have any medicinal recipes or grandma’ remedies that you would like to share, please let us know by leaving us a comment.