Audrey Mae SpencerSpencer Historical CemeteryHenry Straight / William Spencer Family Cemetery
Vaughn Historical CemeterySpencers of East Greenwich, RI

Posts Tagged Prince

20 July 2003

Heather: I never heard of that song. I’ll check with Chuck to see if he knows it. What do you remember about Aunt Edith in your childhood?


Mary Jane Vaughn Spencer and her first daughter, Edith Anna

Audrey: She was so much older than I was. Her teddy bear was “Prince”. The most beautiful doll was “Princess”. Edith had a beautiful doll that was put together with string inside it. I was not supposed to touch it. As soon as Edith got in the car (or horse and buggy, I can’t remember which) to leave for Providence, I ran to get the doll in a little black trunk. The doll had clothes and I would dress and undress it—very carefully and I never got caught. Edith named her old rag doll, Cinderella Angelina Rachel Maude Portia Elizabeth. Everyone cut out rag dolls themselves. I don’t think we could buy them. Rag dolls were the size of a pillowcase. The arms went out straight and were stuffed with cotton. The doll’s lips were black—penciled in. I don’t remember dolls with yellow hair or red lips. That would come later. I played with Cinderella. I remember my phone number. It was 70J4. When they first began, the numbers were shorter.

3 April 2004

Heather: How and where would you go when you left the farm as a child?

Mary Jane Vaughn Spencer and daughter Edith Anna

Audrey: Grandma (MaryJane Vaughn Spencer) would go out to the field and call “Come, Prince” and Prince would come right away. Grandma would put the harness on the horse and hitch him to the wagon. Grandma and I would ride to Arctic, where the Bedard sisters owned a store. Grandma would always have long talks with the Bedard sisters as they must have been good friends.

Grandma was very brave. When we would hear all the cows bellowing out in the barn, she would light the lantern for me to carry, and Grandma would take her cudgel, a big stick as she called it and go out to the barn. The dog, Ned, always went with us. There was never anyone there. It was just a cow stepping on another cow that caused the ruckus.

A tramp or beggar could come along and go into the barn and sleep in the hay. Each beggar had his own nick (mark) on the gate, so the farmer would know who was in there. They would go along unless the farmer needed help and then the farmer would hire him.

If hired, Grandma cooked three meals a day for the hired hands. Grandma was always there for anyone that needed (help). If people were on the farm, they could eat at Grandma’s. Grandma was sharp enough to know who deserved a meal. It was only those men who were workers who deserved a meal. Grandma was so sweet and gentle, but yet so strong and brave! She’d light the lantern. Ned was barking. She was strong and brave!

(There was a student that graduated [1960 from J. F. Deering High School] with Heather whose last name was Bedard.  Mother and I met his brother at Alpine Nursing Home when the brother was visiting his parent at Alpine. Mother told him that she knew the Bedard sisters in Arctic when she was a child.  Bedard said that there used to be a street in Arctic that was called Bedard, but they did not know how that name originated and he did not know anything about the Bedard sisters who mother had met.  The street most likely was named after the Bedard sisters (family) that owned the store in Arctic.)