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Grandma Leone's Memoirs


Amazing Journey Of The Neely Pioneer Family

Leone Neely Mayouck

(manuscript prepared by grandaughter, Paula Eisenman Pascoe)
Copyright 2005

          My grandmother, Leone Neely Mayouck, wrote this autobiography. Leone’s mother and father immigrated from Bradford, Ontario in the early 1880's to "seek their fortune" in the New World. They relocated to a homestead in AuGres, Michigan. Grandma vividly recalls memorable life events in Part I -The Farm and presents the day-to-day living situations of her Neely pioneer family. Leone’s mother died at the young age of 35; she had delivered nine children. The first and last of those nine children died, leaving behind seven young children. On her death bed, Leone’s mother gave Leone the responsibility for raising her brother and sisters. Leone was only twelve years old.    

     Her story unfolds in Part II - Making the Break as she relates how she ran away, found work and brought her family from the old homestead to Chicago in 1903. Her father and brother are just not "city" folk and shortly return to Canada to work in the lumber industry. The five Neely girls are left to make it on their own. Part III - A New Life in Chicago and Part IV - Moving Out West cover the journey of the five single pioneer girls across North America and how they succeed in their business ventures.

     As reader Dave W. Patrick of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts concluded in his review:

     "This is a well told story of young women with grit, resourcefulness, resilience, and strength of character—all traits that served them well as they made their way through a hard, new land at the turn of the 20th Century. Reading the text was a constant reminder of how hard life was for so many people along the Northern border during that time. I hope that at some point copies of this remarkable family history will find their way into local libraries and historical societies in each of the town or cities that are prominently described in the text. There is a lot of good local and personal history to be gleaned from the pages of this book."

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