Women’s Work

The theme for the Warren Historical Society for 2019 is Made by Hand in homage to the skills mastered by early Warren residents. Over the next few weeks, and maybe even months, our blog posts will be devoted to the work of women. Each week the life’s work of one woman from Warren will be highlighted.
Rhoda Payne Strong, the first child of European ancestry to be born in Warren, will be introduced first.

Rhoda was born in September of 1739 to Stephen Payne and Sarah Leach. She married Philip Strong at the age of 20 and together they produced a family of 15 children. To say her days were full is an understatement.

Aside from caring for her 15 children, tending the kitchen garden, making and repairing clothes for the household including spinning, weaving, knitting and dyeing, laundering which included fetching water, making soap, boiling the wash and then drying it, cooking, baking, preserving, tending the ill including preparing medications, Rhoda Payne, as a Puritan woman, would have been expected to devote herself to spiritual concerns. She learned to read as a girl so that she could read the Bible. This is a book of sermons which she purchased in November 1796.

2 thoughts on “Women’s Work

  1. MJ LaVigne says:

    How delightful to find this information about my 8 x great grandmother. I am particularly happy to discover that book buying has a long history. Her grand-daughter Lucy Strong, a pioneer of Ohio and Wisconsin, was also well educated. She is my ancestor. If you know of other resources I would be very grateful. I saw the story of her strength in the Strong family book, but wonder if there is another local reference also.

    • Ellen Paul says:

      The Paynes and the Strongs figure largely in the history of Warren. Rhoda’s father, Stephen, was apparently the first settler on the lotment which later became the site of Hopkins’ Inn.

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