Francis C Waid.

Twin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs online

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the River Road in order to see some of the cottages and


summer resorts of tlie city people from New York. On
arriving at the home of our cousin in Essex, we found
friends and supper awaiting our return, and that our wel-
come visit in Connecticut was nearly over. I will ever
remember with unalloyed pleasure this happy day.

After our repast, and an exchange of social thought
such as can exist only in true friendship, imagine my
surprise, happiness and gratitude on being presented by
my cousin, Mrs. F. J. Tiifany, with a gold watch-chain on
behalf of her deceased husband, once its owner. With
much reluctance on my part I accepted the valued gift.
I exclaimed: "Why is it possible? Am I worthy? What
can I do?" To this she replied: "I want you to have it,
and when you are done with it, give it to whomsever you
please; take it."' But not until she had re-assured me by
saying " I want you to have it, and no one else," would I
accept of it; so taking it from her I replied: "In
his name I accept it, and will keep it as long as I live as
a token of pure friendship coming from a beloved wife in
behalf of her husband." After a few words more we had
bade each other adieu and so parted. Guiunip had already
gone down to the boat landing, and thither Sylvester
Comstock accompanied me. The boat being late we en-
joyed another hour's interesting talk; and as we cast a
last look from the boat to the shore I had time to reHect
on the pleasant and instructive day we had passed. Our
friends from whom we had just parted have indeed our
sincere thanks for the kind reception extended to us.
We returned to New York on the " City of Kichmond,"
arriving there on the morning of the seventh.

After our return from Essex, we spent the forenoon
in the city, and about one o'clock P. M., we took passage
on the steamer " Crystal Wave," for Sandy Hook, nine-
teen miles distant. The objects of interest viewed on this


trip were numerous and very interesting, and I will name
some of them: Statue of Liberty; Coney Island; the
shipping at both New York and Brooklyn; the cities of
New York, Brooklyn and Jersey City; Governor's Island;
Suspension Bridge, etc. As I sat looking at these sights,
and noting them down in my diary, I thought my cup of
pleasure was full to overflowing. Arriving at Sandy
Hook, we took the steam cars for Long Branch, a journey
of about eleven miles, where Guinnip, being desirous of
returning home, took train via New Jersey, surfeited with
sight-seeing for the present.

But I was not yet satisfied. I had an object in com-
ino^ to Long Branch, and that was to visit Elberon and
the Franklin Cottage, where James A. Garfield died,
September 19, 1881, as well as the Grant Cottage. El-
beron is only two and one-half miles from Long Branch,
a short ride. Here I found the two noted cottages, and
the beautiful Ocean Avenue whereon they are located.
I observed also several other commodious and neat cot-
tages on either side of this Avenue. When I arrived at
the Franklin Cottage (which is no longer public, but
rented, I am informed), I was told by a lady that the
northeast room in the cottage was where Garfield died.
I remembered what in his History is said of him, and
the picture of the death-bed scene, "The last look on the
sea" — the end of life. Sad indeed is the thought that
we too will take our last look on earth ere we cross the
Biver of Death! May our hope for a "better land " be as
bright, and I trust all will be well. "Death and the sun
are not to be looked at steadily." But I must pass on to
the Grant Cottage.

The lives of great and good men have always inter-
ested me. Memory finds refreshment liere like thirst
slaked by pure water. Arriving at the grove in front of


the cottage I met a young man whom I addressed, say-
ino^: "I am a stranger and a farmer from Crawford
County, Penn., living near Meadville, and I have come
to see the Grant Cottage." "All right," he replied
"you will find some one there who will show you." So
passing on to the Cottage, at the corner of the porch I
found a small boy busily engaged in painting a board.
" Why my little fellow," I said to him, " you are quite
industrious, painting." "Yes" he replied, "I am going
to learn to paint, so I can help the men paint the house
when they come." While we were talking an elderly
lady approached us on the verandah, seemingly pleased
with our chat, and after salutations I remarked that I
had come to see the cottage and its surroundings. " Yes
you can," she graciously said, "and that little boy you
are talking to is U. S. Grant, a son of Col. Fred Grant, and
grandson of Gen. U. S. Grant." My little friend then
picked up his paint pail and brush, and taking his hand I
assisted him up the steps onto the verandah, where I
found the porch extended halfway round the cottage.

The lady informed me that " things are on a tum-
ble here, as they are getting ready to repair some of the
rooms, and the goods are on the verandah, but I guess we
can get around." I then told her (not yet knowing
whom I was addressing) that on the previous Saturday I
had paid a visit to Gen. Grant's tomb, adding: " He was
a man whom my father loved. I have read and heard
much of Grant and, like my father, I loved him, and I
am glad I had an opportunity of visiting his tomb."
She then said: " As you pass round the corner to the
other side of the cottage, if anyone speaks to you, say
you have a permit." Then coming to the corner I turned
and saw another lady sitting at the other end of the ver-
andah, I think reading. Looking up she asked me where I


was going, and who gave me leave to come. '' The lady,"
I replied, " I met at the other corner of the cottage."
" Well then it is all right," she said, "you can take that
path and go out to the summer house; and if you wish
you ma}^ proceed to the end of the lot and down those
steps to the bath-house at the margin of the sea." I
thanked her and walked on to the summer house, where I
had a grand view of not only Elberon itself, which is,
probably, the central point of attraction at Long Branch,
but of the deep blue Atlantic:

" Illimitable ocean! without bound,
Without dimension; where length, breadth and height.
And time and place are lost."

I had learned something of the Atlantic Ocean when
a boy, and since then have seen some small portions of
its waters; but here, now, in its mighty exj^anse it lay at
my very feet. Who would not be happy in such a con-
templation ? To the restless margin of it I bent my steps
with feelings of awe, mingled with pleasure, as I thought
of the majesty and omnipotence of the great Creator, who
carries all the waters of the earth in the palm of His

" Praise Him, wild and restless ocean.
Praise him, monsters of the deep;
Praise Him in your rude commotion.
Storms that at His mandate sweep."

Dipping my hand in the water I lifted some to my
lips, while I gazed over the broad expanse of ocean to my
heart's content.

Returning to the cottage, where I was again received
as a friend, the lady whom I first met showed me the in-
terior, and while in the dining room she told me that
the other lady standing by the opposite side of the table
was Col. Fred Grant's wife. Entering an adjoining room


she informed me that "that was where Gen. Grant wrote
two-thirds of his History." Good reader, yon may
imagine my thoughts when being so informed ! Pleas-
ure, truth and friendship combined! Can I be listening
to the Avords of Mrs. U. S. Grant herself? Believe me
when I say I felt and knew, that if my impression were
correct, I was being highly honored. And now the
question arose in my mind, how can I manifest my appre-
ciation of all this kindness? It is not always the intrin-
sic value of a gift which makes it acceptable, but the
friendly manner in offering it, thought I; so before leav-
ing my distinguished friend I remarked: "In the His-
tory of Crawford County, Pa., there is a sketch of
my life, also steel engravings of my parents, my wife
and myself, which have been placed in book form for
distribution among my friends, with additions thereto of
several views of our farm homes and two churches,
together with more reading matter; I desire the pleas-
ure, madam, of sending this little boy, U. S. Grant, a
copy." To this she replied: "He is quite fond of books
and pictures, as well as 'painiing.'''' Then requesting her
to write the address in my memorandum book, I told her
I would send a copy of the book on my return home.
Accordingly on September 10, I forwarded a Souvenir,.
and on the 27th of same month I received the follow-
ing reply:

September 27, 1887.
Mr. F. C. Waid,

My Dear Sir: You were very good to send me the book,
which I and my sister will enjoy. I am glad you thought me indus-
trious. I painted the whole board, it is pretty. My grandmamma
was the lady who talked with you. I am glad that you enjoyed see-
ing the cottage at Elberon, and grandma is always willing to have any-
one see where grandpapa Grant lived. I am very much obliged to you
for the book about your family, which we will all enjoy.
Sincerely your little friend

U. S. Grant,
(Grandson of Gen. U. S. Grant).


I need not say I felt highly honored on receiving this

letter from the Grant family, written over my little friend's

signatvire, and in reply I wrote the following:

Meadville, Crawford Co., Pa.,

October 28, 1887.
To U. S. Grant,

Dear Sir: My little friend, I received your most welcome
letter of September 27*tli, and read it with the greatest pleasure imag-
inable. Words fail me to express all the pleasure my visit at the Grant
Cottage, and your kind favor brought me. I had visited New York
-City with soine of its most interesting points of interest, including
Riverside, where I paid a visit to the Tomb of U. S. Grant. I had also
been at Essex, Conn., where, with my son, I had the pleasure of see-
ing kindred and friends whom I had not seen for twenty-three years.
My cup of happiness was full. But that scriptural measure in abund-
ance came to me at Long Branch, and especially at Elberon, whei'e I
looked at the Franklin cottage and was made a welcome visitor at
Gen. Grant's cottage, and honored with a brief interview with the
Grant family. I shall ever feel indebted to your kind grandma, j'our
mother and you for mj^ reception at your cottage, and only wish some
day I might liave the honor, or even my children, to return the favor
to you or some member of the Grant family. I am glad the book
pleases you all so well. Let me send you this gem* to remind you how
the farmer appeared when at the cottage.

Very truly yours,

F. C. Waid.

To return now to my narrative. I can not look on
life as a romance or an empty dream. Life is real; life
is what we, by the help of the Lord, choose to make it.
Had anyone told me there was so much pleasure awaiting
me at Long Branch after enjoying so much before reach-
ing that point, I believe I would have considered it a
mere idealism. Yet now when I think over the many
pleasant places and friends we saw on our trip, the last
was certainly not the least. Through toil we reach
pleasure; after labor comes our sweetest rest. Those
with whom I conversed at the Grant cottage made the
visit a most remarkable one in my life, and I can not but
reflect that a kind Providence had reserved it for me as a
worthy ending of a pleasant journey.

*This was a luiniature picture taken with luv hat on. On jNIonday, September 5,
" Liiboi' Daj' " iu New York, my son and I being on our way to Central Park, chose to
walk amntij; the immense crowds gathering in the streets, and our way being blocked
for a short time we were compelled to wait; so, "boy like," to make use of our time,
finding in a photograph gallery pictures only eighteen cents per dozen, we stepped in
and had twelve gem pictures taken. They were very natural, and I distributed them.


OCTOBER, 1888.

" Though long the wanderer may depart
And far his footsteps roam,
He clasps the closer to his heart
The image of his home."

J. D. Burns.

On October 8, G. W. Cutsball aud I left Meadyille, Pa.,
via the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad for
Cincinnati, Ohio, arriving there on Tuesday morning aud
leaving the morning of the same day for St. Louis, Mo.,
where we found ourselves at dusk the following day.
Leaving behind us this great city of the Mississippi at 10
o'clock on the night of October 9, we passed swiftly over
the Central Pacific, aud entered Kansas City at daybreak.
Allowing ourselves just enough time for rest, we took up
the journey, and proceeding over the A. T. & S. T. F.
Railroad, we found a resting place at Ottawa, Kas., at
noon. Our ride from Cincinnati through Southern In-
diana and Illinois took place in the day time, and as a
consequence we were able to obtain a fine view of the
country. This we particularly enjoyed, and in fact as the
country after leaving Louisville, Ky., was entirely new to
us the sight- seeing sensation was very pleasant. We
saw but little of Missouri as our trip over that State took
place at night, although we stopped long enough at
Kansas City to see some of its points of interest. A
ride of three and one-half miles on one of the principal
streets, by means of the cable railway, gave us an oppor-
tunity to see not only the business portion of the city
but many of its schools, churches and fine residences with
their spacious lawns and substantial appearance. It was
about the school hour, when the children gathered in
groups in the play grounds and along the streets, and


made the air ring with their merry voices; I thought it
to be one of the pleasantest sights in the whole city. We
saw many other interesting things which time and space
forbid my mentioning.

In going from Kansas City to Ottawa, a distance of
only fifty-eight miles, we passed through some fine coun-
try, with improved farms. The stocks, crops and build-
ings made a most favorable impression on our minds.
Although we had never before been in the State we had
had at the Centennial Exhibition an opportunity to learn
much of " Noble Kansas." From reading and from talks
with men who had tilled Kansas soil I also had gained
much knowledge, but the best way to learn of a thing is
to see it for yourself and I have more satisfaction from a
view of the State than from all other sources combined.
The reader now has my first impression of Kansas. I
went there upon business and for pleasure, and in both
ways I was remarkably successful. I wanted particularly
to visit friends and kindred whom T had not seen in
nearly eight years. From Ottawa we took a train to Nor-
wood, a place six miles north, where we were met by our
friend Rouelle Tyler, who drove us to his father's, Free-
man Tyler, home, about one and one-half miles from
the village.

As Mr. Cutshall and I stepped from the train a young
man approached us, and as he extended his hand I recog-
nized him as Rouelle Tyler, from his resemblance to his
father. He knew me as readily, and after introducing
Mr. Cutshall we started for the house, where we met our
friends of eight years before. At that time my brother,
George N. Waid, G, W. Cutshall and I were on oiir way
from Council Bluffs to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and meeting
Mr. Tyler's family, a friendship sprang up between us
so sincere that it resulted in a continued correspondence.


Our Avelcome was a Avarm one. To me it was much
more tbau a simple meeting of friends. Before I further
proceed let me explain. Change is written on everything
that pertains to earth. How many homes were made va-
cant during the year 1888 ? How many families had
been bereft of a fond mother, a beloved wife? I need
say nothing more save this: Eliza had gone before,* and
since her departure true friendship had sprung up, and
the fruit of that friendship as it existed between Mr. Ty-
ler's daughter and the writer was love. This will explain
to some extent the circumstances under which we met,
and as Rouelle drove up to that beautiful home you, my
reader, are left to imagine the feelings of the writer.
By the door stood Mr. Tyler and his beloved wife; their
greeting was most cordial, and then, as ever, showed the
loveliness of their lives. Near them stood their daugh-
ter, Anna Tyler. In the words of Goldsmith:

' ' Her modest looks the cottage might adorn.
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn."

This eight years' acquaintanceship with her father,
fostered by corespondence, had produced its result. Nay,
more, I felt that my life was given me for this very pur-
pose, and that a kind Providence had guided me to one
destined to be my life's partner. Just how to meet her,
just what to say, puzzled me to a considerable extent.
Words were not at my command, and after a moment's
hesitation I remained silent. I do much more thinking
than talking, and, while not demonstrative, I feel deeply.
Before me, waiting our second greeting, stood Anna Ty-
ler. Our hands met, and the bond of friendship changed
to love. Plain words are best, and in my diary I find the
following: "The agreement made." It was not neces-
sary to submit such a compact to paper, for it was

* In luy diary proper, farther on in this book, will be found an account of the ill-
ness and death of my dear wife, Eliza, which occurred July 4, 18S8. — F. C. Waid.


already written in tAvo hearts. October 10, 1888, Ave
were engaged to be married.

Even before I came of age I believed Avith Scripture
that " It is not good for man to be alone," and carrying
out the Apostle's idea I became engaged to Eliza C. Ma-
siker nearly thirteen months before my tAventy-first birth-
day, upon which day we were married. My mind upon
the question of marriage remains unchanged to this da3\
All my experience of married life leads me to favor it.
Is it not noAv sufficiently clearly explained what the chief
motive Avas for my Kansas trip? I cannot leave this all-
important subject of matrimony witliout saying a feAV more
words born of observation. As I look back over my mar-
ried life of a little more than thirty-four years, I see it
crowded with blessings both temporal and spiritual, and
know that Avith David I may exclaim: Oh Lord what shall
I render unio Thee for all Thy henefiis unio me, I will take
the cup of salvation arid call on the name of the Lord.

I Avish God to guide me both in the pleasures and in
the cares of life. One of my father's prayers Avas, " Lord
guide me in all I say or do," and like my father I Avish
to be in all respects. You will not now wonder, my reader,
why I consider October 10 a day freighted with blessings
for me. It seemed as though I had been blessed not only
with a partner, but with a new lease of life and its joys.

A portion of this same day was spent in rambling over
Mr. Tyler's farm and the two adjoining ones. His con-
sists of about 240 acres of land enclosed with well-trimmed
osage fences, and passed on three sides by public roads,
from each of which a fine view may be obtained. It has
water and plenty of timber, and as we looked it over for
the first time, the fact was once again brought forcibly
home that the farms of " Sunny Kansas " were finely
improved and good to look upon.

The morning of October 12 was one of the most
beautiful of the week, and it appeared to me that the
sun never shone more brightly than that day as we
drove into Ottawa in response to an invitation from
Rouelle Tyler, who Avished us to view the town thoroughly
before leaving for the East. No plan could have suited
us better, and so with Rouelle and his sisters, Mr. Cut-
shall and I drove into this beautiful county seat. It is a
city of 8,000 people, a thriving, growing place, with a
number of handsome public buildings and private resi-
dences. One of the first points of interest to be visited
was the Chautauqua Assembly grounds. I think, having
visited very frequently the celebrated New York Chau-
tauqua, on the lake of that name, that the grounds of the
Ottawa Assembly may be said to compare very favorably
with those in the Empire State, and, indeed, others who
are entirely unpredjudiced say that the place ranks sec-
ond to the original Chautauqua, although there are many
of the Assemblies in different parts of the country. We
drove through Ottawa's streets and saw the various objects
of interest, and then drove homeward by a route different
from that which we had taken to approach the city. It
was somewhat longer, and we had a more extended view
as we rode slowly along. Upon reaching home the many
pleasures of the day were increased when Anna said to us,
"This has been the happiest day of my life."

On October 13 Rouelle and Albert Tyler drove us
to a public sale of farming implements and stock in Doug-
lass County ; about eighteen miles from the house. There
we had an opportunity to converse with the farmers of
the surrounding country, and the day was most profitable.

Rain fell heavily on Sunday, the 14th of the month,
and we were prevented from attending church as we had
intended. However, we managed between showers to get


Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 17 of 60)