Hard Working Dayton Women

DFH Volume 1 Issue 4

by Jim Dayton

The March 3 newsletter, titled No Showmanship Here-Just Toil and Labor, By Camilla Luckey, mentioned that Uncle Chop “admired a lady who was up on the barn roof helping her husband.”  I’ve got a story that I think can top that one.  I wish I had told uncle Chop.  In 1973 at our home in Ephratah, New York, , Judy [Potter] Dayton was  on the roof of our house, with me, putting up a television antenna. She was 7 months pregnant., at the time.   During that same pregnancy, and a month before the antenna incident, she was under the car, with me, putting on a new muffler.  She doesn’t have a man’s strength, but she’s strong in guts and determination.

Sawmiill Brides

Ruth Dyton 1980

After Uncle Chip and Roger ended their employment at Dayton Brothers Sawmill, it woud have been logical for Paul to retire too.  But he loved the work, and so he kept the sawmill going.  By that time, the operation wasn’t thriving enough to hire an employee, so my dad used “slave labor”..…his wives.  My mom, Ruth [Carter] Dayton, worked there until she was diagnosed with cancer;  then his second wife, Carolyn Ruth [Spinner] [Brabon] Dayton, worked there.  Although the burden was lighter, it was still hard work, especially for women in their 50’s and 60’s.  By that time, dad was selling wood for palettes, so the boards were of narrower size and only 4 foot long.  The women didn’t work every day; they only worked when dad needed to fill an order.

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