Posted by: patwogan | September 9, 2008

My Grandpa


My Grandpa Hudiburg was the only Grandpa I really knew.  Grandpa Metz, my mother’s father was never a part of our lives.  Grandpa Hudiburg was very special to me.

As I mentioned in my last post, Grandpa had a wooden leg.  I am sure that he struggled with adjusting to it, but by the time I was old enough to remember he could do anything.  He farmed and raised cattle.  He belonged to a pioneer family in Independence, as his grandfather, Samuel Parkhurst, led a wagon train from Johnson County, Indiana, in 1869 to Independence.  At the time, the arrival of this wagon train doubled the population of the town.  Grandpa’s mother and father were members of the wagon train.  Anyway, Grandpa always lived just outside of Independence.  He grew up on the farm across the road from the farm he and Grandma lived on at the time I was born.  He was one of thirteen children, not an unusual sized family at the time.  I am not sure where he was in the birth order, but I think it was someplace in the middle. 

 Grandpa smoked a pipe and I loved the smell of his tobacco, which came in a blue tin.  He and Grandma had their big meal at noon, and after dinner, he would smoke a pipe and then he always took a nap on a horse hair stuffed leather chaise in the dining room.   I think one reason I remember the pipe so much is that I used to have ear aches frequently and Grandpa would hold me on his lap and blow  warm smoke into my aching ear.  I don’t know how much good  the smoke did, but I know I felt better afterwards.  Maybe it was just being held on Grandpa’s lap.  He also “washed up” and shaved at a wash bowl in the corner of the kitchen and his razor strop, used to sharpen his razor, hung on a nail by the wash bowl. 


I remember Grandpa would eat “clabber-milk” and I really liked it the way Grandpa fixed it.  He would fill a glass with clabber milk and sprinkle sugar on it and then eat it with a spoon.  Clabber milk is what we call yogurr today.  Sometimes I would stay all night with Grandma and Grandpa and we would have clabber milk and peaches for supper. 

My Grandma had a stroke when she was sixty-eight and although she recovered , she was always fearful of dying.  She lived to be eighty-seven.  Grandpa, on the other hand, seemed to be the picture of health.  He was never sick, or if he was, he didn’t let anyone know.

My memory on the following is hazy, but Grandpa suffered a stroke and died without regaining consciousness.  My folks had taken Grandma to Manhattan to visit Uncle Leo and Aunt Jean. I think we went to a graduation at Kansas State University, but I am a little fuzzy on that.   I have been told that it was the first time Grandpa had ever left Grandpa for an over-night visit since their marriage.  My cousin Charles came over to help Grandpa with the chores and he was with Grandpa when he had his stroke in the barn.   Aunt Bess called and told us and we, of course, came home immediately.  Grandpa lived a few days after that, but there had been no hope for his recovery.  I think he was in his seventies.

I really loved my Grandpa and his death was a sorrowful time for me.  He was a great grandpa to all his grandchildren, and I know my father really was terribly heartbroken as he had been a great father to him. He was also very special to my mother.  I think it was very hard on my cousin George as he had been raised by Grandma and Grandpa after the death of his mother when he was ten days old. 

The death of my Grandfather was a closing of one chapter and the opening of another in my life as we moved to the farm  of my late Great-grandmother to be closer to Grandma Hudiburg.



  1. Mom–GGpa Hudiburg died in 1940, I think, and he and Jessie were married in 1896 . . . according to what I have. Love you! Remember when you told me to blow smoke in James’ ears when he had earaches? 🙂

  2. Clabber milk, with that name, sounds gross. Yogurt sounds much more appealing 🙂

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