Freda "Stewart" Hyre was all of 4’10" tall. She was small in frame but large in spirit. She was born to Ephriam Stewart and Cora Mae "Casto" Stewart, in Parchment Valley, West Virginia, on August of 1889. Fredda lived to be 96 years of age. She was buried with Opie in the cemetery at Fairplain. Her mind was as sharp as a tack, she was physically active, but her heart finally gave out. She swore that creamed tomatoes were the secret to her long levity, and she ate them almost everyday of her life, breakfast, lunch and supper.
Like most people her age, she never let anything go to waste. Freda canned vegetables, made her own soap and quilted into her upper eighties. She would complain about her back, and at the same time work circles around all of us. She was spirited and talkative, while Grandpa was serious and quiet. But, It was fun to watch her and Grandpa Opie set and recite poems and verses. She would start in and he would join. Reciting these verses gave them great joy.
A few Stories about Granny Freda
Freda acted embarrassed about marring a younger man. She was 4 months older than Opie.
Her mother had three milking cows. The Black cow would continuously swat you with her tail. To prevent this, before milking, grandma would tie the cows tail to its’ leg.
She raised turkeys for the eggs and meat. She kept a big stick by the kitchen door. When she fed them, she would take the big stick. As soon as she opened the gate, the turkey gobbler would drop his wings, lower his head and run toward her at full speed. She used the stick to force him to keep his distance. The thing she didn’t know was, grandpa would aggravate the turkey to make him mean. With great delight, Opie would watch the escapades from a distance.
Painted on 16x20 canvas. The background of the painting is a suggestion of the pattern and colors of one of her favorite quilts. I took it from a photograph my husband took of her quilts hanging on the clothes line. Grandma, made quilts for all her children and grand children.