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Narrator: John Prough, 71, of Hamilton, Missouri

Early Prough Life in Hamilton

Baptist Church Leaders

Meat Markets and Ice Men

John Prough was born 1857 in Stark County Ohio. He was the son of Jacob Prough and Mary Wachler. Jacob was from a Pennsylvania Dutch settlement, and the family had been in America a long time, yet they spoke little English. The Wachlers were in an Ohio German settlement and they also spoke German. Hence the Prough family here usually spoke German at home and the elder Prough had a decided German tongue.

Jacob Prough came to Daviess County 1870 and brought what is now the Alden place. He became angered when the section line road was not run by his farm, so he sold it and went to Indiana. In 1876 he came to Caldwell County locating at Hamilton. He bought the present Blevins home in the west end of town for his home and slaughter yard, and set up a butcher shop on south Main. His store was a two-story frame where the John Bennett produce store now stands. The Prough family afterwards lived above the store. Most of the frames then on Main Street were one story with a "false front" extending to a height of two stories. To the north of Prough's meat market was Seth Young's law office, on the south was Grigsby's Hardware, Jewelry and Fence store.

Later, Jacob Prough moved his shop to Dr. King's building-north Main, the present site of the Missouri Store. A third site was in Tom Hare's building east of (present) Chet Martin grocery. Butcher shops those days used a Stevens ice box to keep meat fresh. They having the quarters on hooks for a day or so to get rid of the animal heat and save the ice. Then they were stored in the ice box for four days to ripen before selling.

Ice was put up in winter from ponds and packed in ice houses in saw dust. A warm winter was dreaded by ice men who often were butchers. Ice was very cheap and delivered by being thrown (brown with sawdust) in the front yard.

John Prough worked for his father and also for Lievan another butcher. He was paid $20 to $25 a month. He recalled when Mrs. Lievan hanged herself in the barn of the Lievan home. They were then living on the farm just north of John Prough's present home.

John Prough became a Baptist and was immersed in Marrowbone. Another baptizing place much used then was Nettleton. Baptist leaders of the late seventies at Hamilton were: Deacon Edminster and son Jack, Goddards, Clarksons, R.F. Whitman, of course the Penny family, E. Lawrence, Mrs. Van Note, Griffin and Kingsbury.

Interviewed June 1934.

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998