Morehouse, Cleve and Jessie

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                                      CLEVE & JESSIE MOREHOUSE
                                          65 Years Wed
                                       By Margery MacRae

Sixty-five years is a long time to live together in peace and harmony, but Cleve and Jessie Morehouse have managed to do just that.

On Saturday, Oct. 16th, the couple marked the sixty-fifth anniversary of their marriage at a reception held in the United Church hall in Blackville.

Jessie was 19 when she married her Cleve who was one year older.

Cleve, the son of George and Lou (Mitchell) Morehouse, of Blissfield, had come to Blackville to work at Bamford’s mill where he tallied lumber for $20 a month.

“I was 16 or 17 then, but I had left school and I was doing housework for people. I’d work seven days a week for $8 a month. I used to help women who had new babies, and/or young children. I was baking bread, cooking, and doing housework even when I was 15,” Jessie said.

“Back then, crowds of girls used to walk up and down the street in the evening, and sometimes some of us would sit on the United Church steps. One night, Cleve came along with some boys, but I wouldn’t walk up the road behind him because people would say I was chasing him!”

Jessie was the ninth of 11 children born to Tom and Maggie MacDonald, and so was no stranger to household duties. “I always loved housework and I still do,” she laughed. She is well known for her meticulous housekeeping even at the age of 84.

Jessie helped her mother with all the work associated with raising a large family, which included brothers, Edmund, George, Gordon, Isaac, Weldon, Perley, Tom, Marven and sister, Jean. Wilfie was deceased. Jessie is the only surviving member of the family.

Following their marriage on Oct. 18, 1934, the Morehouses bought the old school property at the intersection of the Lockstead and MacLaggan Drive (then called the Back Road) where they lived until 1951 when they moved into the Judson Morehouse home on Main Street. They agreed to care for Jud, an elderly bachelor, and inherit the property after his death. They have made their home there since then.

Cleve and Jessie raised five children. They now have 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

                                  Quilts sewn with love

In the early years, Jessie did all the sewing and knitting for her family, as well as quilting. “As each child got married, I made a quilt for him/her. Then as each grandchild came along, I made them a baby quilt.

“Then too when we were first married, we had hens, a cow and a vegetable garden. Nearly everyone did then. It was just something you felt you should have, so you could have your own food supply.”

Over the years, Jessie has been active in both church and community having taught Sunday school, been a member of the Women’s Missionary School, acted as church treasurer, and member of the LOBA and the Women’s Institute from which she received a life membership.

Cleve has served as a deacon at the United Baptist Church, president of the Board of Trade, and L.O.L. member, and a member of the Century Club of Ben’s Bakery (formerly Lanes).

                  Both have been avid supporters of the P.C. party of N.B.

When Cleve left his job at the mill, he went to work as a cook’s helper seven days a week, no easy job in those days. He had to rise early to cut wood for two cook stoves and one heater, and walk long distances to carry water. Later on, when the naval base was built in Renous, he got a job as a cook and was paid six dollars a day.

In 1945, he started his own bakery in Blackville which was destroyed by fire four years later. It was then that he went to work for Lanes Bakery as a driver. “Those were the days. We didn’t have good roads or ploughs. I even put bread on a sled and hauled it across the river to a store,” he recalled. “In the spring, the roads had bad mud holes filled with small trees!”

                          Cleve has driven millions of miles

During his 30 years of working for Lanes, Cleve estimates he travelled 1,560,000 miles on his route, saw some strange sights, and even rescued a couple from a burning building. Once he even discovered two people dead in a car.

Those were long days which saw Cleve leaving home before 5 a.m. to pick up his load in Chatham which he distributed to stores all along the Miramichi to Bloomfield Ridge, not arriving home at night until nearly 7 o’clock.

Some people said they could set their watches by Cleve because he was seldom late with his bread. The odd time he got stranded in a snowstorm or when someone would syphon off his gas the night before. “But I always had lots to eat on the bread truck,” he laughed.

When he retired, the couple took a month long trip across Canada to B.C. in their camper. “We always loved camping and meeting so many people,” Jessie said.

On their 50th wedding anniversary, their family gave them a trip to Florida.

Jessie keeps busy cooking, knitting and sometimes painting. “I never sit down without picking up my knitting which is usually socks or mitts for someone. I also love to read and do a bit of that.

Cleve has had to spend a bit of time in the hospital during the last couple of years, and has to be on oxygen frequently.

                              Easy going nature home happy

People sometimes ask the couple the secret of their long, happy marriage. Jessie says, “Cleve never gets upset, he’s very easy going and never complains about anything I do. I would make the whole house over and he wouldn’t say a word. We were always happy together. Someone once asked him, “Did you know your wife was such a good cook when you married her?” He said, “I was so much in love with her, I never thought about it!”

Over 100 people turned out to the anniversary celebration to extend best wishes to the couple. Their son acted as master of ceremonies. Paster Kevin Corner asked the blessing, and Mayor Roland Walls extended best wishes on behalf of the village.

Photos of family and the couple’s sixty-five years together were on display in the United Church Hall where the reception was held.

Many gifts, as well as gifts of money were received by the couple for which they expressed their appreciation. Members of the local Women’s Institute presented Jessie with a flowering plant for her many years of dedication to the organization.

Source: Miramichi Leader – October 19, 1999

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