Jane Paxson Parry Maule Little

Interviewee:  Jane Paxson Parry Maule Little
Date of birth/age at interview:  July 11, 1899/84
Interviewer:  Joe Mikita
Interview date:  November 28, 1983
Interview location:  unknown
Interview length:  22 minutes
Time span discussed:  post—Civil War to the 1930s

Summary:  Jean, as she was called by her friends, gives us a view into the family tree and lives of the Parry and Paxson families and the Parry Mansion’s history. She mentions her cousins, later referred to by many town residents as “the Parry sisters,” in their younger days growing up in the Mansion. Topics like transportation by horse and buggy, the Paxson home Elm Grove in Holicong, stories her mother told her, and the son of a slave who worked for her grandfather make this a wide-ranging interview. Jean also tells about the family furniture she donated to the NHHS as it refurnished the Parry Mansion.

NOTE:  The interview seems to have been cut at about minute 13:00 and then tied to another interview or segment. There are some story repeats.

Time markers:
00:00 – introduction
01:20 – grew up in Media, PA, move to Philadelphia at age 12
01:50 – parents married in Lambertville, reception at Parry Mansion; father in lumber business in Philadelphia
03:06 – only child; she was last Jane Paxson Parry
03:18 – visited New Hope as a young girl; quite a trip from Media including two trains, horse and carriage meeting them at Wycombe
04:01 – Memorial Day visits each year to put flowers on Solebury Meeting graves of Paxson and Parry family members
04:30 – visited family at Parry Mansion, including her cousins Gertrude and Adelaide Parry (daughters of Richard Parry)
05:01 – stayed at Elm Grove, the Paxson house in Holicong
05:47 – parent’s wedding reception at the Parry Mansion, wedding in Lambertville
06:07 – grandmother (wife of Dr. George Parry) died when Jean’s mother Elizabeth was young; mother and aunt went to little private school in Lambertville
06:53 – stories of Dan, illiterate son of a slave, who was coachman for her grandfather, Dr. George Parry
07:58 – story of who lived at the Mansion in her mother’s upbringing days including the brothers George and Richard Parry and their families
09:40 – tradition that first shad caught in the spring taken to the Parry Mansion; story of the china on which this shad was served
10:54 – history of Hepplewhite bureau and Jane Paxson bureau Jean donated to the Parry Mansion; latter belonged to the first Jane Paxson Parry, wife of Benjamin, around 1770
12:36 – the Jane Paxson Parry name history (tape appears to end; second session picks up)
13:41 – Jean’s life in Philadelphia, debut 1919, marriage 1920; Uncle Richard died in 1928 at age 93
15:11 – family burial at Solebury Meeting; all were Quakers; her grandfather married outside the Meeting and was rejected
16:02 – her father’s family history; stories Jean’s mother told her
18:59 – Dan story repeated; grandfather’s office in Mansion behind dining room
20:24 – her mother’s pony rides, education in Lambertville; grandfather’s education at Westtown School

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