Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Fidella (Porter) Sanders



September 11, 1829 - March 4, 1910

and wife, 


February 20, 1837 – January 11, 1913

Fidella (Porter) Sanders

       At age 13, Fidella Porter was living with her father, Felix Walker porter and step-mother Mary, and 5 siblings in the 1850 census at Maxwell, Spencer Co. IN.

      Fidella Porter was the oldest daughter of Felix Walker Porter and his first wife, Nancy McKim.  She married Charles Sanders, an Englishman, born in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, England, the son of John and Sarah Ann Smith.

      The marriage license which Michael Cook, C.G. obtained for me was issued in Troy, Perry Co. Indiana - to Charles Sanders and Fidelia Porter on the 21st day of February 1857 - issued by Joseph M. Gest, Clerk.  They were married the next day by Nicholas Marks, Justice of the Peace. - Marriage Book 2, Perry Co. IN, pg. 292.They became parents of eight children:  Clarence, Sarah, Mary, Charles John; George E; Thomas; Fannie and Caroline.

      In the 1860 census, Charles was age 30; Fidella was age 24, and Clarance was age 2 and the little family was found living in Troy, Perry County, Indiana (pg. 117). 

      In the 1870 census, Charles and Fidella were living in Ward #2, City of Terre Haute,  a city in Indiana,near the state's western border with Illinois, on page 80, listed as:

Charles. age 40, peddler, born England

Fedella, age 32, keeping house, born IN

Clarance, age 12 - at School, born Kentucky

Sarah, age 9, at School, born Indiana

Mary, age 7, at School, born Indiana

Charles, age 5, born Indiana

George, age 2, born Indiana

(Thomas was born after the census was taken in Terre Haute in 1870.)

      By the time the 1880 census was enumerated, Charles had moved from Indiana to Ohio County, Kentucky, where he had lived once before in the 1860s, and where his brother Thomas Sanders lived near Horse Branch or Cane Run.  They were living in Cromwell, Ohio Co. KY.  Charles was listed as 51; Fidella was listed as 43.  Children in the home were:

Mary Sanders, age 17, b. Indiana

Charles J. Sanders, 15, born Indiana

George Sanders, 13, born Indiana

Thomas Sanders, 9, born Indiana

Fannie Sanders,7, born Ohio Co. KY

Caroline Sanders,4  (called "Caddie"), born Ohio Co. KY

      In the 1900 census, Charles 70, and Fidella, 64, were living on their farm located between Cromwell and Select, with their youngest daughter Caddie, age 24, still living at home.  They had been married 43 years.

      Charles Sanders moved from Indiana to Kentucky between 1871 and 1873, and was enumerated in the 1880 census.

      According to the census records, Charles did not move his family to Kentucky until sometime between 1871 and 1873.  His first five children were born in Indiana.  Fannie, the sixth child (and mother of Mary Fannie (Sanders) Rogers), was born in Kentucky in 1873.  Charles oldest daughter, Sarah Sanders (the mother of my grandmother, Eva Caroline (Smith) Cox), married James Thomas Smith of Ohio County, Kentucky on New Year’s Day, January 1, 1880.

      In the early 1870s, Charles Sanders and his wife lived on their farm near Cromwell, Kentucky, two miles from the small community called Select (pronounced See'-lect).  My grandmother said he loved to read the newspaper and walked two miles every morning to Select to purchase his paper.  Grandmother remembered her grandfather very well and Mary Fannie Rogers gave me a picture of Charles Sanders and one of his mother, Sarah Ann (Smith) Sanders, made in Stoke-on-Trent, in England.

      Grandmother also told me that her grandfather always called his wife, Fidella, by the English endearment, “duck.”  My grandmother said she never heard him call her by any other name.  Charles’ own father, John Sanders, may have called his wife, Sarah, using the same endearment as well.  In America, it is the equivalent of saying “dear.”

      “I remember about her good cooking better than anything.    One time I spent the night.  I stayed…and then I got to crying and I wanted to go home.  And I could hear them all hollering over there at home and having a good time, and it was dark.  I stayed one night and all day, and I was so lonesome…and homesick.  And there was a big snow that night…up to your knees.  And I said I wanted to go home, and grandma said, “No, you can’t go tonight…cause we have no phone, and you might fall.”  Well, I just set into squalling.  (Laughs.)  And it was after night, and she couldn’t do nothing with me.  But I remember enough that she got a pair of grandpa’s wool socks and pulled up over my shoes and fixed them where they wouldn’t fall down, and she let me go. 

      And I come in, and Mother was so surprised.  All of them.  They had the lights on… lamps… and they hadn’t eaten their supper…they always ate late.  And grandpa eat early…about 4:30 in the wintertime.  So I had already had my supper.  And I really wanted to go home, and I was so happy when I got there.  There wasn’t any wind blowing.”            

      One day when I interviewed my grandmother, she said that she could remember her grandparents very well.  They lived less than two miles from her house on the same road near Select.  She and her brothers and sisters used to stop by her house on the way home from school every day and she would give them homemade bread, spread with butter and jam.  Grandmother said she always kept a “stand” of jam or preserves setting on the kitchen table.  But they never told their mother that they stopped by for this “treat.”

      Grandmother’s sister, Mary Elizabeth Sandefur, whom we always called “Auntie” said that Grandma Sanders' house had a summer kitchen where they did the canning, preserving, summer cooking and even baking of bread on hot summer and fall days.  Summer kitchens were down, and if you used it in the summer, canning all day long, it would make the main house unbearably hot - very common a hundred years ago.  A wood stove took a long time to heat up and cool down.  The summer kitchen also had a large table used as a work surface in preparing fruit and garden vegetables, and where they set out freshly filled hot jars to cool down after canning, before storing them away for winter.

       Fidella (Porter) Sanders, lived three years after her husband’s death and died at age seventy-five, ten months and twenty-two days at her home.   No obituary found anywhere. 


Thanks to Janice Brown.

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