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loaded one wagon and sent it back to Louisville
for his family. It was Felix Hardin, who after-
ward worked for father a long time, w^io brought
them. He afterward lived in Greencastle. Father
had brought men with him, one of them being a
Mr. Hubbard, who was married many years later to
his second wife by our brother, T. J. Clark, who also
preached his funeral. Father and the men lived
in the wagons until a log house was built. We can
hardly realize what it meant to our dear mother,
coming from a city the size of Louisville, to locate



16 The Jennings-Yager Camp-Fire

in -vvliat was then 'a howling wilderness,' bring-
ing with her four children, Mary, Parthenia, Julia
and John William; there was no school or church
or near neighbors. It must have been a great trial
to her father, for he exacted a promise from father
that he would bring, her back to him once every
year, though it took three days to make the trip.
This promise was faithfully kept as long as her
father lived. The" difficulty in making this annual
visit is seen, when we realize that there was no
railroad at that time. Father had even cut a wagon
road, when he moved, through the woods, leaving
the old road about a mile above Cataract in order
to have a nearer and more level road. After he
had his own cabin built he put up others for his
men; he called Washington's birthday, Feb. 22,
Cataract's birthday, because that was the day he
began to build his first log cabin, in 1842.

"Not long after this, Mr. Alfred Bullitt, an ac-
quaintance of father, came out from Louisville to
see about some land in which he had an interest,
bringing with him an editor of a Louisville paper
and other men who wanted to hunt. They stopped
with a family living in one of the log cabins, which
they named the 'Gait House' after the famous Gait
House of Louisville.

''One day when these men were out hunting there
came up a hard rain, and they came in with their
clothes soaking wet. Mr. Bullitt pulled off his fine
Svesteut' and jiut it on a chair by the big fire to
dry. In some way it caught on fire. A half-witted
girl who lived in the family had the habit of talking
too much, and so had been told to think three times
before she spoke. She saw the vest was afire and
said: 'I think— I think— I think, Mr. Bullitt, your
westcut is on fire. ' But, alas, the vest was burned
while she was thinking! I wonder if this was the
origin of the adage, "Think three times before you
spe'akr

"Wild deer were found in this region and this fact
made it a good place for hunting. Between the



The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire 17

upper and lower falls a place was called 'Deer
Lick' because there was much salt there and the
deer came to lick it.

''In spite of the fact that mother's friends had
pictured such an unhappy existence for her in this
frontier life, saying the children would get lost in
the woods and they would have to be belled like the
cows to prevent this dire catastrojjhe, she said it was
the happiest time of her life. Although she had left
behind father, mother, sisters, brothers, church,
schools, city, slaves and many other things, she
kncAv God was there and love was there. She soon
found a Christian church at Cloverdale, six miles
away, and securing her church letter from the 'Old
Goose Creek Church' in Kentucky, she put in her
membership here, where it remained until she moved
to her new home near Spencer.

"There is usually at least one thing that prevents
perfect happiness in this life, and so there was one
here. There were many trees near the house and
mother was very much afraid of storms. One time
during a storm father got up in the night and cut
down a tree for fear it would fall on the house.
How many of his descendents would do likewise?

"After father was settled he erected one mill and
later, as occasion demanded, two others. He owned
at one time the flour mill, saw-mill and woolen
mill, a store of general merchandise, cooj^er-shop
and blacksmith shop. He also farmed, acted as
squire and ran the post office for Uncle Sam.

"Of course he had many assistants, among them
being Cousin Mosey Tyler, Avho became more than
cousin, for an attachment that afterward ripened
into marriage was formed between him and a sister
of mother; and when he was married to Aunt
Ellen Yager he became our uncle. He decided to
go back to Kentucky, so one day he started in
a covered wagon, with a few household goods, tak-
ing witli him Aunt Ellen, Aunt Tyler,". Julia and
Parthenia. Felix Hardin drove for them. When



18 The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire

fording White river, a little below Spencer, they
got into quicksand and the wagon went down to
the hubs of the wheels. Aunt Ellen began to pray
and the girls were seared. Some men came and
helped them out. It took them three days to reach
Utica. At night they stayed at houses on the way
and one morning the girls opened the closet door
in their room, and there lay a boy fast asleep. Aft-
er reaching Utica they stopped with Cousin Wil-
liam Tyler. The next morning they found that the
stork had come that night and Aunt Tyler was
happy that she got there in time to be of service.
She had the reputation of being a very great woman
to assist at weddings and funerals, and to care for
the sick and the dead. She was with us a great
deal at Cataract and would sometimes stay with us
while mother went to Louisville.

"Along with the joys and successes of their new
life, there came to father and mother what was
perhaps their first great sorrow. Their precious little
baby boj' died of croup when about one and a half
years of age. Mother has told how heart-broken
father was the day after the baby was buried; it
seemed that all the joy of his life had gone out.
This was the first little grave for them that made
the little graveyard on the hill such a sacred place
to us. As we grew up as children, and to us even
now there attaches to this place a sad, sweet mem-
ory. Soon after this sorrow another little boy,
Elisha Thomas, came to gladden their cabin home,
October, 1844.

"The time came when the question arose as to
a name for the town which had grown up. A
number of people had moved there, and they wanted
it named for father; but he objected, since the
township already bore the name of Jennings in his
lionor. So, because of the Eel River Falls there,
the name of Cataract was chosen.

"Though there were but a few children in the



The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire 19

community, a school was needed, and so Aunt Ma-
tilda Yager came and taught the first school, the
sessions being held in the 'Gait House,' which was
then vacant. She had at least ten pupils.

"It was perhaps in 1846 that the house we knew
as the old home, and which we left behind when
we moved to our home near Spencer, was built. It
Avas a modern house of greater capacity and greater
beauty. It was a story and a half house, with
a hall in the center and a large room, with a fire-
place in each, on either side of the hall. Above
these two rooms there were two good sized sleep-
ing rooms with a small hall between. Back of the
living room was another bedroom and back of the
parlor was still another, called 'the blue room,'
and sometimes 'the bridal chamber.' Then came
the spacious dining room with its ample fireplace
and crane. Directly back of this was the im-
portant room we call kitchen. In front of these
last three rooms ran a long wide porch. The stair-
way was on this porch and under it was a closet that
was the sweetest place about the house, for in it
were kept the sugar barrels.

"The house narrowly escaped being burned in a
singular manner. There lived with Dr. Wiles a
boy, Wes 'Daniels. Dr. Wiles wanted him to
study at night, and this he began to do. He lay
down on the bed to study one night, with the candle
burning at the foot of the bed. Alas! he went to
sleep and kicked it over, setting fire to the bed
clothes. Waking, ke piled the bed clothes on the
floor and carried water from the well in a half
gallon dipper to extinguish them. This he did after
a hole was burned in the floor.

"It was in this house that I, their Myra Ann,
their first little Hoosier girl was born one snowy
Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28, 1847. Who at that time
would have thought that I would become one of the
historians of the family!

"When I was still a little girl we moved to Green-



20 The Jennings-Yager Camp-Fire

castle, on account of the better educational facil-
ities there for the older girls. While we lived there
they attended the Larabee Seminary, situated at
Rosy Bower. On June 7, 1850, another little boy,
Theodore Spencer, was born. While there, my
mother's brother, Joel Yager, came from Jefferson
county, Kentucky, and attended Asbury College,
now called De Pauw.

"Father had left his business affairs at Cataract
in the hands of others. But as all was not satis-
factory we stayed at Greencastle only about two
years, returning at the end of that period to Catar-
act. Here father's business was carried on for
years, people bringing their grain from five to
twenty miles; sometimes they stayed over night in
order to get their flour or meal. My husband told
me long afterward that as a little boy he had come
eig-hteen miles to mill with his father.

''A number of excellent people came into the
neighborhood from Ohio, KentueJiy, and other
states, and lasting friendships were formed between
these families and ours. Among these newcomers
were the Simpsons, Spanglers, Gwins, Blacks and
others.

"The first wedding of the family was that of
Sister Mary and Jefferson Williams, the latter com-
ing from near Louisville. The wedding occurred on
May 13, 1851. The ceremony was pronounced by
one Elder Blankenship. In a few days the bridal
coujDle started overland in a buggy to Louisville
on their bridal tour.

"After a short stay they came back to Cataract
and lived awhile; but Brother Jeff found that white
men could not be managed as the black ones in
Kentucky. So he returned to his old state dis-
gnsted with 'the pore white trash,' as the darkies
of the South called them.

"A great event happened about this time, for
Emma Rose was bom, on December 18, 1852, Satur-
day. 'Saturday's child works hard for its living,'



The Jennings- Yageb Camp-Fire 21

the old saying -goes. While a little baby some one
said she would write a book. That saying is be-
ing fulfilled so many years after in the writing of
this history of the Jennings-Yager family. Some
one else discovered a blue streak across her nose
and said she would never wear out her wedding
clothes. She still has her wedding dress, though
it is now over forty years old.

**But all life is not sunshine, and again a shadow
fell across the lives of this happy household, when
the death angel took our little brother, about ten
years of age, Elisha Thomas. Another little grave
was made over on the hill. And so it was a ming-
ling of joys and sorrows — of births and deaths and
weddings — this early life at Cataract.

''As if to fill up the emptiness in this home and
its hearts, another baby girl had come on June
19, 1855. She received the name of Alia Candaee,
and though she was never a very strong child, she
lived to be over fifty years of age. She was, in
appearance, very much like Cousin Eliza Kidd
Bence.

"On March 10, 1856, occurred the second wed-
ding, when Parthenia was married to Dr. W. V.
Wiles, a young physician from Rush county, Indi-
ana.

"Sometime during the same year we had the third
wedding; and a peculiar air was given it, since the
bridal couple. Uncle Joel Yager and Rebecca Glore,
had eloped, coming from Jefferson county, Ken-
tucky. The bridal party arrived unexpectedly, but
the cakes were baked and the dog-irons were
scoured and the Presbyterian minister, Mr. Milli-
gan, was secured. After the wedding supjJer was
served the party went over to Dr. Wiles' home and
'danced all night till broad daylignt.'

"On Feb. 18, 1858, our baby boy of the family
was born, and although he was the tenth child, he
was one of mother's and father's greatest com-
forts and blessings in after life. When a boy of



22 The jENNiNGS-iTAGER Camp-Fire

several years of age some one called him the baby,
and he said he was the baby, but not a baby.

**A younger brother of Dr. Wiles came to
Cataract to visit him. An attachment grew up be-
tween him and my sister Julia and this attach-
ment resulted in marriage. The fourth wedding oc-
curred Dec. 28, 1858.

"1 think this completes the part assigned to me,
and I thank you. ' '

The chairman arose and thanked the last histor-
ian, and said: "I see that our camp-fire is burn-
ing low and the sandman is coming to some of the
great-great-grandchildren. So we will stand ad-
journed until tomorrow evening at 'early candle
lighting,' as our good forefathers used to say. Good
night and pleasant dreams to the descendants of
so noble ancestors. ' '



The Jennings- Yager CAMP-FiRE 23

SECOND EVENING.

AGAIN the logs were brought from the woods
and heaped upon the camp-fire, and again
the flames leaped and danced as if they
remembered the good time of yesternight.
Again the younger and the older folk, with faces
all aglow with anticipation of the good things to
come, were seated together in the ruddy light.

Suddenly the sound of the gavel was heard and
a man with hair tinged with silver spoke :

"To me is assigned the chairmanship of this
meeting, and I need not tell you of my appreciation
of this honor. I, Lewis L. Williams, have the dis-
tinction of being the oldest grandchild of my hon-
ored grandparents and as such I am glad to serve
you. There is no formal program for the evening,
but each one here is requested to tell us something
either from experience or hearsay, connected with
Cataract or our ancestors."

A young man with light hair, and tall and jolly,
spoke. The speaker was Lawrence Sloan of New
York City. He said: ''I think this up-to-date
family will be interested in the first railroad. My
grandmother has told me of it. My great-grand-
father Jennings had promised his father-in-law that
he would come to see him, when they got the first
railroad.

"So, one day he found that they had one from
Indianapolis to Madison. He loaded his family, in-
cluding my grandmother, into his carriage and
started. After they reached Greencastle they took
a stage coach to Indianapolis. There they took the
train to Madison. Here they took a steamboat and
went to Louisville. From this point they prob-
ably rode in a carriage. The newspaper men would
be glad to write up such a successful railroad
trip. ' '

"Fiddlesticks! I'm not going to wait any longer
for my say," exclaimed Emma Rose Clark. "Are



24 The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire

you not surprised that I, a suffragist and one who
loves to talk so well, has held my tongue so long?
But so interesting has been this history of our fore-
fathers and foremothers, that I have not needed to
talk. In this year of the Mexican war, you may
be interested in my memories of our Civil War.

''One afternoon when I was about eight j^ears
old, I heard the sound of a fife and drum. My
little sister Candaee and I were soon perched on
the front gate posts, stretching our necks and
straining our eyes to see what it meant. We could
see men marching around in a circle, on the main
street of the town, to the sound of life and drum.
You may imagine the awfulness of it, to my child-
ish mind. This must have seemed like real war
to me. It might have meant more to me if I had
known then that a brave lad, scarcely eighteen,
would go into that war, and I should afterward be
his wife. As the war went on, I remember how
I would lie awake on a cold winter night and repeat
to myself the old song, a part of which ran thus:

"Under the homestead roof,

Sheltered so cozy and warm,
While soldiers sleep with little or naught
To shelter them from the storm."

"One soldier boy who left us never came back.
His name was Gran Halton. How awful the news
of his death seemed to me. Another one, Oliver
Leonard, who is still living near here, came back
with one leg off above the knee. My brother Dora
was very anxious to go as a drummer boy. Now
don't you imagine he would have thrilled the boys
in blue, with his wonderful music ! If he could
have driven them on to victory with his cheers, he
would have been able to do the work; but Uncle
Billy Sadler did not seem to think him very mu-
sical and said, 'Yes, I think it is Do-ra. '

"I went to school a good many years afterward,
but one day when I was a little girl at Cataract
I rebelled. I remember how mother walked behind



The Jennings- Yager Camp-Firb 25

me on my way to school, and how when she turned
back I did too. But she carried a switch under
her apron, and by continuing- our walk I was in
sight of the schoolhouse and ashamed to turn back.
I finally went on and she went home.

''And oh, that fine old teacher, Mr. Townsend,
was a treasure ! One day while playing on the hill-
side, I fell down and hurt my knuckle and he
soothed me and spit on a piece of paper, and stuck it
on the hurt place. We didn't know anything about
germs in those days. I was one of his favorites
and one day in the spelling class, for some unex-
plainable reason, I was at the foot of the class.
Those above me had missed the word 'quail,' and
Ire said, 'Now, Emmy, you can spell that and go
head.' So I sang out, 'quay-i-1, quail,' and started
toward head, but alas! I had to go back.

"And how well I remember my first grammar
and geography! How important I felt, and how
big the geography seemed! When a very little
girl, I rejoiced greatly over my red topped boots.
My little sister and I were proud of ours, but Myra
was ashamed of hers. Father used to bring them
from Spencer in his saddle-bags.

"I have a slight remembrance of Dora getting
the 'liekins' at school and I'd do the weeping.

"And there were the good old games at school.
The 'flying Jinny' was one of the best. We'd take
a board or one of the school seats; if the latter,
we would turn it upside down, the legs furnishing
us something to hold to; then we put this on top
of a stump, fastening it in the middle with a peg.
On each end from one to six of us would climb
and we 'd go flying around, as a big, strong boy would
push it. It was something on the order of a 'merry-
go-round.' It wasn't so funny though if we all fell
off, or got our fingers between the board and the
stump.

"Another game was,



26 The Jennings-Yager Camp-Fire

" 'Chicky, me chicky, me crainy crow,
Went to the well to wash her toe;
When she came back a chicken was gone;
What time is it, old witch?'

"Then there was another game we loved:

" 'Ring around a rosy,
Pocket full o' posy;
The one that squats last
Has to tell who they love the best.' (Dread-
ful secret!)

''A favorite one was played with the song,

" 'Here come three dukes a'roving, a'roving, a'roving,
Here come three dukes a'roving for the ransy tansy tee.'

"When I was a proud little girl I had my ears
pierced, as was the custom, and they were so sore
that one was lanced twice. One day I went to
school with it tied up and while out on the play-
ground a boy threw a snowball and hit my sore
ear plunk. I still carry the scar.

''I so well remember the first funeral I ever at-
tended. One of our much loved young ladies died,
by name, Jane Haltom. 'Twas an awful thing to
me. We went to the house and then some men
took the coffin and carried it to the graveyard, and
we marched along behind while some sang the old
song,

" 'We're going home, we're going home,
We're going home to die no more.'

"Today her grave can be seen in the little ceme-
tery, with the tombstone bearing this inscription :

" 'Remember, friends, as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, you soon shall be,
Prepare for death and follow me.'

"Well, I think I have talked enough for this
time. Who comes next?"

"Why, I do," said Charles Jennings, Jr. "I
wish I'd been a little boy in that school and seen



The Jennings- Yager Camp-^'ire 27

those teachers lick my Uncle Dora! I'd just got
the night-riders after all the teachers and they'd
have killed 'em all off and then, goodie, nobody
would have had to go to school."

''Thank you, Charles, for defending me," said
Uncle Dora. "One day one of those teachers told
me to keep my feet still. I'd try, but in a little
while I was swinging them again, so he took some-
thing and tied them together.

''Maybe some of the little folks would like to
hear about my eat. One day I decided I would
hitch it up to a wagon I had made. I got some rags
and made some harness and hitched it up. The
track was cleared on the diaing room floor and the
other children climbed up on the chairs. I began
to drive the cat around and the wagon turned
over and scared the cat. Away it flew up the chim-
ney, harness, wagon and all. It did not appear
again for two or three days.

"Probably Daniel Wiles and some of the other
boys would like to hear of my 'snipe hunting.'
One night Cousin Liza, Myra and some other girls
told Joe Coleman, John Griffey and me to go up the
river with them sniping. After we got to the place,
they left us boys with the sacks to hold while they
went farther up the river to drive the snipe down.
They went across to another road and went home,
but when they arrived they found us boys already
there.

"Now, who do you think were the snipes'?

"I want to tell Mary B. and Ruth and these
other young ladies about Julia Wiles' wedding. I
ought to know about it for I was sure there. For
several days everybody was so busy, and one day
Cousin Liza brought out the dog-irons on the porch
and told Myra and me that she wanted us to scour
them until we could see the moon in them.

"And oh, yum, yum! The hams that were boiled
and the turkeys that were killed and the cakes
that were baked and trimmed up with frosting and



28 The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire

candy! I'll not try to tell you of all that was on
that long table in the dining room.

''Finally evening came and Mr. Milligan, the
preacher, arrived; at the proper time he took his
place in front of the fireplace while the people
stood around the parlor. Joe Coleman and I were
sitting on the floor, he under the stand table and
I near him. Meade Spear, the bridegroom, and
Cousin Eliza Kidd came in first, and just as she
got near me, she gave her skirts a swish, and as she
Avore immense hoops she completely covered me.
By the time I extricated myself — well, I don't know
what had happened, but I saw that Tillie Gwin and
Dr. Hester, the other attendants, and the bride and
groom were in the room. After the ceremony we
all marched out to the Avedding supper. I don't
remember how I slept after it. As soon as the
supper was over Tillie Gwin hurried away and some
one asked her afterAvard why she left so early. She
said she had looked at the parlor clock and it was
so late. The joke was on her for the old clock was
not running."

''Speaking of Cousin Eliza's hoop skirts," said
Parthenia, "One time this young lady came out to
Cataract with Sister Mary, Brother Jeff, Lewis,
Steve Shrader and Joe Williams, in order that the
men might take a hunt. After their arrival. Cousin
Liza sat down and talked awhile, but Cousin Emma,
Avho was there at that time, said, 'Sister, what is the
matter, you seem so large?' Cousin Liza said,
'Come into the bedroom and I Avill show you.' We
went in with her and she began to take things from
her hoop skirt. First she took a wool hood that
she had brought for Emma to wear to school. Aft-
er this came a big wool sunbonnet with a long
tail and then several other articles, I have forgot-
ten what. Her immense trunk was so full that she
had put these things in her hoops for lack of
trunk room. Sister Mary said she could hardly
get into the car seat. Who but our beloved, or-



The Jennings-Yager Camp-Fire 29

iginal Cousin Eliza would have ever thought of
such a thing?"

"Yes, I remember a hoop skirt episode in which
you, Parthenia, figured," said Tom Wiles. ''One
day you, Julia and I were out horseback riding
and your saddle turned and your hoops caught on
the liorn of your saddle and there you hung, in
mid-air, until I extricated you."

"As to hoop skirt stories," said Emma," I re-
member when I was a little girl, I went to visit at
Greencastle and in the evening Candace and I were
jumping up and down on the bed, and I began to
cry. They tried and tried to get me to tell what
was the matter. I finally told them I had broken
one of my hoops I had run in my petticoat."


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