Katherine Roecker Adams, a farm wife

“Through the history of embroidery — in the very threads of samplers, firescreens, table runners and dress — can be traced another history: the history of women.”
(From The Subversive Stitch)

When I was in college the second time, this time earning an English degree, I took a concentration of Women’s Studies classes. This is the 6th in a series of posts from a project I wrote while taking a Women’s Studies/English class called “Reading between the stitches.” 

Katherine Roecker Adams with her four oldest children. She holds my grandmother in her arms. Her husband (my great-grandfather) Harrison Myron Adams holds two horses. Circa 1917.

Katherine Roecker Adams

My mother’s maternal grandmother was Katherine Roecker Adams.  She was born January 21, 1885 in Piqua, Ohio.  Katherine’s father was from Germany, but her mother was born in Ohio.  Katherine spoke German.

Katherine Roecker Adams - circa early 1900s

As a farm wife, Katherine did various farm chores like milking the cows.  She also baked all of their bread and cake and pies.  She made her own noodles and strudel.  She sewed all of their clothes.

Katherine and Harrison Adams with two of their granddaughters - my mother is the child standing in front.

My great-grandmother Adams made quilts for their use out of pieces of fabric from worn out clothes.  She also embroidered, crocheted, and did tatting. I have never seen anything that she made. I wish I could.

Katherine, Harrison, my grandmother Anna Adams Lemmon and my mother holding two of my sisters.

See The Stitches We Leave Behind under the Series tab above for more links in this 10-part series.

14 thoughts on “Katherine Roecker Adams, a farm wife”

  1. This reminds me so much of stories I heard from my grandmother (who grew up in Ohio on a farm whose parents were from Switzerland — she also spoke German!). And I love the photo of your ancestors and horses outside the barn — lovely!

  2. What a great project to have done—researching the family! Chris has done quite a bit of digging into his side and is putting together some of my side now so that we have records. Ancestry.com is really helpful and useful in doing all of that if you don’t have the actual info yourself. I wish you had something that your great grandmother had sewn, too. That is one thing that I am trying to at least save a little bit of each grandparent in a physical form for the boys.

    1. I did a ton of genealogy work when the kids were little, and was fortunate enough, or fore-sighted enough, to have talked with family members while they were still alive. I treasure these memories I gleaned from them.

      Good for you, saving things for your boys. Even if they aren’t necessarily enthused (I’m only saying this because I’m not sure my boys would be), their eventual wives or offspring might be.

      1. Yes—they will totally not be enthused at this point!!! I loved the way you said that because it is exactly what I was thinking but did not express!!! 🙂 I think at 23 and 26 they don’t “get” it but they will one day!

    1. No, I don’t remember her at all. I do have a memory of her husband, my great grandfather, playing the violin on a folding chair in someone’s back yard.


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