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my great-grandfather used to play with her when
she Avas a real little girl," said Charles Gerhart.
"He used to take her hands and move them around
over each other very slowly and say:

" 'Boys and girls going to school,
Boys and girls going to school.'

And then he would move them the other way very
rapidly and say,

"Here they come back
Here they come back!"

"I am glad the custom of making birthday cakes
lias come down from the one my great-grandfather
had made for my Grandma Clark when she was a
little girl," said Helen Fisher.

"I think since Cataract is on the river my name
is appropriate, and I want you to know me as 'the
little Fisher maiden," said little Hazel Fisher with
lier head thrown to one side.

"Now," said the chairman, "I know we have
enjoyed this immensely, but 'tempus fugit,' or in
plain English, time flies, and so I am going to ask
Jennings Benton Curtis, who was so closely re-
lated to my grandmother and grandfather in the eve-
ning of their lives, to tell us about their connec-
tion with Greencastle. "

"And I am noted for my little speaking, but I'll try
to tell you," said Benton. "I lived in my grand-
father's family at Bloomington, until I was about




O «s

Of



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a .2



The Jennings-Yager Camp-Fire 57

five years of age. My grandfather's brother John
was in poor health, and since there was nothing
especial to hold iis at Bloomington, gTandfather
took his family, consisting of grandmother, Uncle
Charlie, my mother and me to Greencastle, that
he might care for his invalid brother. Before this
time grandfather again owned the Cataract property,
this having come back to him through an unpaid
mortgage; for he had traded it before coming to
Greencastle for a half interest in a printing and
publishing house in Indianapolis. This was sup-
posed to be worth $15,000. Soon after coming
to Greencastle, grandfather found he had unwisely
trusted the men who made the trade, and was in-
formed that he had lost everything. This was a
hard blow to him after his hard work of years,
and he was at this time about seventy-five years
old. This loss seemed to break my gTandmother's
heart, and her health began to fail. I cannot praise
too highly the manliness of Uncle Charlie, at this
trying time. He had gone through the Freshman
year in Indiana University before he left Bloom-
ington, and on coming to Greencastle he had ex-
pected to enter De Pauw College. But when he
found that grandfather had lost everything he gave
this plan up and went to work in a grocery store
at two dollars a week, this being the best position
he could get, since he was so much of a stranger.
He did not work here long, but got a position in
a dry goods store at a much better salary.

"My grandmother's health continued to fail, and
on the morning of Feb. 14, ISSO, she left us, and
in the snow-clad cemetery we buried her. This
proved to be a sad year for the family, for on the
first of May Aunt Maggie died, and the latter part
of the same month Aunt Myra, Uncle John's wife,
left us. She had come early in her life, from the
East, to Greencastle, as a missionary. In June
my great-grandmother Yager died.

''After the death of Aunt Myra we moved into
Uncle John's hoase, that we might better care for



58 The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire

him. .Here, in the spring of 1889, he, too, died,
leaving grandfather the only living member of
the family.

''One of the sad things of grandfather's life
came to him in 1893, at the age of 89, for he be-
came blind. Uncle Dora took him to a specialist
at Louisville, but he advised against the removal
of the cataracts. Finally, one day after he began
to go blind, he handed his watch to mother, say-
ing, 'Put it away, I have no use for it any more.'
After this, in 1898, he was trying to get seated in
his chair one day, and he caught his foot under
his cane; this threw him, and he fell to the floor,
breaking his hip with a compound fracture. The
physician set it, weighting his foot as if he had
been a much younger man, but not expecting him to
live. For several days his life hung in the bal-
ance. But, brave old soldier that he was, he ral-
lied and after some time he was able to walk on
this foot. This was when he was ninety-four years
of age. At eighty-eight he had helped to stack
wheat out at Cousin John Bence's. After this ac-
cident he never walked very far, but was taken
to the polls where he voted for William Jennings
Bryan. This proved to be his last vote."

"I knoAv it was a great sorrow in my poor great-
grandfather's life when my beautiful, sweet
grandmother Williams died," said Willis Renick.
"It could be truly said of her, 'to know her was
to love her.' She was much at our house and we
loved her dearly, but on Aug. 15, 1901, she left
us to receive the crown that was surely waiting
for her."

"Yes, and how I loved my grandpa Williams,"
said Kathryn Williams, "who came to make his
home with us for awhile. He died at our home
in Brazil, April 13, 1912, at the age of eighty-five,
but was taken back to Greencastle and buried by
the side of my dear grandmother."

"Now, Cousin Benton," remarked Mary Renick,
"I want to say I knew this wonderful grandfather.



The Jennings-Yager Camp-Fire 59

and I want to add my word of appreciation of
him. I came to visit at his home in Greencastle,
and met Henry Reniek, who proved to be my fu-
ture husband. I hope we may profit by the ex-
ample of patience and good cheer this grandfather
set for us. One of the last things he said before
he died was to me, and he said, 'I wish you well.' "

"I have heard it said," remarked Mary Louise
Reniek, ''that when he was told what my name
was, he said, 'she is Queen Louise.' "

"I wish he had called me queen," said little
Virginia Keith.

"Well," remarked Annie Mary Keith, "Benton
spoke of great-grandfather as a brave old soldier.
I think with this we will all agree, for while he
never went out to war, with sword and shield, he
fought many battles for his fellowmen, and for
us. One time when the political parties were hold-
ing rallies in Owen county, the Democrats offered
a prize to the township having the largest dele-
gation at a special rally. Our great-grandfather
threw himself into the fight, and after the rally,
bore away the beautiful silk flag."

"Hurrah for the red, white and blue, and for
my great -great-grandfather, too, ' ' said little Kathryn
Keith.

"I think it is proper for me to resume my part
of the history at Greencastle," said Benton. "The
aunts may need some time to 'swap' recipes before
they retire. It was at one of the reunions at our
home, that Uncle Dora introduced to the Jennings
family my Aunt Maude, and at another time my
Unele Charlie brought home his Southern bride,
who was Miss Ida Bondurant, of Paducah, wliere
he was engaged in business and had become very
successful.

"I have failed to mention a very important
feature of grandfather's life. He was a very
ardent Mason. He took his first degree at Spencer,
riding in from the farm, four miles, to attend the
meetings. Just before going to England he went



60 The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire

to Indianapolis and took the * Scottish Rite ' or
'Thirty-second degree of Masonry,' going as far as
I>ossible for him at that time. He had been sick
but very little in his life. Perhaps one reason for
this was the wisdom he used in diet. His rule
was to stop eating before he had over-eaten. He
decided about thirty years before his death that it
Avas not good for him to eat meat, except fish and
fowl. He was a man of very strong will and con-
science too : one time I killed some quails just
a few days before the law was out, so that he
might have some, since he was sick; but because
they had been killed against the law, he Avould
not eat a bite of them.

''Finally, in January of 1902, he took a severe
cold, which proved to be a bronchial
pneumonia. His cough would not yield to medical
treatment, and though he had been a victor in so
many of life's battles, this was one time he must
needs yield to another, and on January 30, 1902,
at the age of nearly ninety-eight years, he fell
asleep. The members of the family were sum-
moned and on February 1 his funeral was held at
the Christian Church at Greencastle. Among the
beautiful floral tributes was one from the Scot-
tish Rite Masons of Indianajjolis. The Masons held
their impressive service at the grave, and again
in the snow-elad cemetery we left a loved one.
My dear kindred, what this man was to me words
cannot tell.

"I must tell you of one other important event
that came to the Jennings family at Greencastle,
for I added to their number as my wife Bertha
McCoy. ' '

As the speaker closed his talk, a young man arose
and addressed the chairman:

"I feel that there is an honor that falls to me
that none of j'ou can claim or share. I, Robert
Renick," he said, as he held up to view a little
child of about eight months, "beg leave to present
to you Robert JRenick, Jr., the first son of the



The Jennings-Yager Camp-Fire 61

eighth generation from Humphrey Jennings, and
the first son of the tenth generation from Nicholas
Yager, being the youngest child in the Jennings-
Yager family." He raised the little baby hand and
waved it to the assembled group, and ^he baby
smiled and said, "Bye-bye."

It was with a sad, sweet smile that the chair-
man arose and said: "Our fire is burning low
and though we might continue this history far into
the night, it is fitting that we now bring it to a
close. As we have traced it along, from generation
to generation, Ave have been deeply interested and
have learned many things about our ancestors.

"We see, too, how life is a mixture of joys and
sorrows, the evil and the good, the bitter and the
sweet. There is a story of a rich woman who gave
but little while she lived. She had a poor washer-
woman who gave liberally. The rich woman
dreamed that she went to heaven and when her
new home was shown to her, it was a very poor,
humble affair, and when she saw her washerwoman 's
it was a fine mansion. She asked why it was
that the washerwoman's was so fine and hers
so poor. She was told that this was all the material
she had sent up for her house!

"As we look back over the lives of grandfather
and grandmother Jennings we are justified in be-
lieving that if their mansions in heaven are pre-
pared according to the teachings of this dream,
they must be beautiful!

"It is said that General Booth wished to send
a cablegram to his Salvation Army across the
waters. The message he sent consisted of one
word, 'Others.' How much the lives of our grand-
parents were spent for others!

"There was a custom of my grandfather that
I want to mention in this connection. Sometimes,
when he was planting a tree, a shrub or a rose,
he would say: 'I may never enjoy it, but maybe
some one will. It may be that some one else is
planting a rose for me.' How full of this spirit



62 The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire

have been the lives of my dear grandmother and
grandfather! May we emulate their example!

'*I thank you for the honor of being your chair-
man at the close of this happy occasion, and now
we will all stand, and while in our hearts we thank
God, the giver of all that is good, for these an-
cestors and blessings unnumbered, with clasped
hands we will form a loving circle around this
camp fire and sing:

"Should auld acquaintarrce be forgot,

And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days o'auld lang syne?

" 'For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.'

"GOOD NIGHT."




TKeodore Cole Jennings at the age o£ 97



The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire 63

THE OLD MILL AT CATARACT.

By Theodore Spencer Jennings of Louisville, Ky.

My father's old mill was built about the year
1842, and was what is knowm as the old water mill.
A place was blasted out of the side of the rock over
which the water-falls ran. A dam was made across
the river, above the mill, causing the water to run
into a mill-race that the power might be used to
run the mill.

The old stone buri's Avere used to grind the wheat
and corn. Above the burrs was one hopper that
held many bushels of wheat and another for the
corn.

After the flour was ground it was carried above
in what was called elevator cups, which were fas-
tened on a belt. This was run constantly and
emptied the flour into another larger hopper; then
it was run through very fine bolting cloth where
it was separated from the bran.

It was then run down through a large wooden
trough and packed into barrels.

In 1860, father had a turbine wheel put into use
instead of the over-shot wheel.

There were three carding machines and one large
machine that we called a "Jack" for spinning the
rolls into yarn for w^eaving. Sometimes these rolls
were taken home for the women to spin into yarn
and then knit into stockings or weave into blankets,
flannel or linsey.

The flour mill and woolen mill were in one build-
ing and run by the same water power — and a saw-
mill was built above this where many saw logs were
brought and sawed into lumber.

The old mill of my father is one of my precious
memories. When it was built the question arose
as to who would go out and cover the roof that
projected over the falls. Not a man would go —
and so my father we«t. One time Avhen he was



G4 The Jexnings-Yager Camp-Fire

working there he started to fall and his trousers
caught on a nail and prevented his falling. The
old eheriy desk that was there when my father
owned the mill has recently been removed to Padu-
eah, Ky., as a precious memento. So much for
the mill, but I will not try to tell of the miller, of
whom it was said many years after, *'he was a
man among a thousand, yes, ten thousand."



The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire 65



JENNINGS FAMILY RECORD.

First Generation:
Humphrey Jennings.

Second Generation :
William Jennings (Iron Master).

Third Generation:
John Jennings.
William Jennings.

Anne Jennings. -^

Sarah Jennings.

Fourth Generaticto : Along the line of William
Jennings : John Jennings, Dinchey Jennings.

Fifth Generation — Along the line of John Jennings :

Dinchey Jennings married Mr. Tyler.

William Jennings married — .

Elizabeth Jennings married Eli Rose.

Letitia Jennings married Robert Tyler.

Julia Jennings married George Griffey.

John Spencer Jennings married Parthenia Van-Pir/<i^
£iese»and Myra Jewett.

Theodore Cole Jennings married Emily Ann
Yager.

Sabina Jennings married Mr. Stout.

Candace Jennings married William Kidd.

Ariadne Jennings married Mr. Knight.

Infant.

Births and Deaths. i^oi/
Theodore Cole Jennings. Born June 24.. Died Jan.

30, 1902.
Emily Ann Yager. Born November 10, 1815. Died

Feb. laf 1880.

DESCENDANTS.

Mary Matilda. Born April 20, 1835. Died Aug.

15, 1901.
Julia Adeline. Born Feb. 3, 1837.
Parthenia lone. Born Jan. 25, 1839.



66 The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire

John William. Born April 7, 1841. Died Sept. 27,

1842.
Elisha Thomas. Born Oct. 29, 1844. Died July 24,

1855.
Myra Ann. Born Feb. 28, 1847.
Theodore Spencer. Born June 7, 1850.
Emma Rose. Born Dec. 18, 1852.
Alia Candace. Born June 19, 1855. Died Feb. 27,

1909.
Charles Edward. Born Feb. IS, 1868.

Marriages.

Theodore Cole Jenning-s married Emily Ann Yager.

Mary Matilda Jennings married Jeiferson Williams.

Julia Adeline Jennings married Thomas M. Wiles.

Parthenia lone Jennings married William V. Wiles.

Myra Ann Jennings married Joshua Benton Curtis.

Theodore Spencer Jennings married Maggie Sum-
mers ; Maude Fogleman.

Emma Rose Jennings married Thomas Jefferson
Clark.

Alia Candace Jennings married Frank Baird.

Charles Edward Jennings married Ida Bondurant.

YAGER FAMILY RECORD.

First generation — Nicholas Yager.

Second generation — Adam Yager, born in Ger-
many.

Third generation — Michael, Barbara, John, Nich-
olas, Adam and Godfrey.

Fourth generation — Along the line of Adam.
Elisha, Nathaniel, James, John Adam, Philip, Jere-
miah, Joel and Jemima.

Fifth generation — Along the line of Elisha. Joel,
James, Lucy, Matilda, Sarah and Harriet.

Sixth generation — Along the line of Joel, who
married Mary (Polly) Yewell. William Henry Har-
rison, Emily Ann, Louisa Jane, Sarah Adeline,
James Berry, Elisha Gibbs, Amanda Elmira, Mary
Ellen, Simeon Sherley, Joel Francis, John Adam,



The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire 67

Thomas Benjamin Allen, Elisha Temple, Charles
Edward, Infant.

James Yewell and Nancy Sherley — Simeon, Mar-
garet, Jeremiah, Julius, Martin, Patsy, Levi, Lu-
einda, Mary (Polly) and Nellie.



68 The Jennings-Yager Camp-Fire



OLD SAYINGS, SIGNS AND SUPERSTITIONS.

"Early to bed, early to rise,

Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."



''Don't count your chickens before they are

hatched."

* * *

''Where there's a will there's a way."



"Where there is much smoke there is sure to be
some fire."

"Pretty is as pretty does."

"Better have the good will of a dog than his ill
will."

"A short horse is soon curried."

"Don't ride a free horse to death."

"Time and tide wait for no man."

» » *
"Marry in haste, and repent at leisure."

"As you make your bed, so you shall lie."

* * »

"Everybody to his own notion, as the old woman
said when she kissed the cow."

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

"Think three times before you speak."



The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire 69

"It's an ill wind that blows nobody good."

"Better to wear out than rust out."

* * »
''Every tub must sit on its own bottom."

"A poor excuse is better than none."

"There are more ways to kill a dog than to choke
him on butter."

"There is many a slip 'twixt the cup and the
lip."

"A penny saved is a penny earned."

"They that wash on Monday have all the week to

dry,
They that wash on Tuesday have not so much

awry;
They that wash on Wednesday are not so much to

blame,
They that wash on Thursday, wash for shame.
They that wash on Friday, wash for need,
They that Avash on Saturday are slouches indeed."

"Born on Monday, full of grace,

Born on Tuesday, fair of face;

Born on Wednesday, full of woe.

Born on Thursday, far to go.

Born on Friday, living and giving,

Born on Saturdaj', work hard for a living.

Those that are born on the Sabbath day.

Are good and great, fair and gay."

"Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger;
Sneeze on Tuesday, meet a stranger.
Sneeze on Wednesday, sneeze for news;



70 The Jennings-Yager Camp-Fire

Sneeze on Thursday, a new pair of shoes.
Sneeze on Friday, sneeze for sorrow;
Sneeze on Saturday, you'll see your beau tomor-
row.
Sneeze on Sunday, 'the bad man' will have you
next week."

''If your right ear burns some one is talking
good about you; if your left burns some one is
talking evil."

"Sing before you eat, you'll have bad luck the
rest of the day."

"Sneeze before you eat, you'll have company be-
fore you sleep."

"If your nose itches, some one is coming."

"If you drop your fork at the table a man is com-
ing.

If you drop your knife a Avoman is coming."

"If your hand itches you will receive or spend
money — R for receive it; L for let go."

"If you see the moon over your right shoulder
and the sky clear, you will have good luck.
If over the left and through the trees, bad."

"If the sun rises clear and a cloud passes over
it before it is an hour high, it will rain that day
if only ten drops."

"If your foot itches you are going to walk on
strange ground; if it is yt)ur right, you will go
where you are welcome; if your left, unwelcome."



The Jennings- Yager Camp-Fire 71

''See a pin and leave it lay, you'll need a pin
another day."

"If you dream of a snake, you have an enemy."



''If you dream of losing your teeth you'll lose
friends. ' '

"If you tell your dream before breakfast it will
come true.

"If you dream of a wedding- you'll hear of a
death, and vice versa.

"If you dream of old shoes, it is a sign of a
journey.

"If you dream of eating it is a sign of sickness."



' ' A morning rain is like an old woman 's dance :
it is soon over."

* « *

"Anything to fill up, as the mule said when he
ate the thistle."

"The early bird catches the worm."

•* » *
"All's well that ends well."



01 arte Deaoendent of :.a rly Vincennefl ,
Indiana

^. J proline Jlark -— — •• V-qn Fob sen

B. ;:ept. II?, 1838

P.Bt Vinoennea, Indiana

Prgfen^lon— school ter^cher In one

of ;i'P.hvillo,Indlr,;ia*3 onp^^room
ci^bln nchoolB

H, June 9.1BB1

D. January 18,19^2

A Retmion Book
C^iven by •• ipy V«n FoPRen
3. April P4,1BB9
D. AuF,uPt 3,1965



Urn. Ray Vr-n fo&nen





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Online LibraryEmma Jennings ClarkThe Jennings-Yager camp-fire → online text (page 5 of 5)