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Francis C Waid.

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

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ered by Elder Peate, with whom I have been acquainted
many years. I think he is doing a grand work for the
Lord as well as for the people of Jamestown. When I
was there last March the society were still holding their
meetings in the old church. I take this opportunity of
saying that on March 28, 1886, I was in Jamestown and
enjoyed with my friends one of the best seasons of grace
and favor in the Lord in hearing Elder Peate's sermon
and the Sunday-school exercises. It was not only a
Bethel to me but to all present, and the Sunday-school
exercises, under the favor and blessing of the Lord, I
fully admit I have never found excelled. And now to be
permitted to share a similar one in their new church is
certainly enough to pour happiness into a Christian's
mind.

On returning from church, I was told the sad news of
Lizzie Simmons' death. I then deferred my return home
until after the funeral, which took place on Tuesday fol-
lowing at 11 A. M., from their home. I went from James-
town to Ashville and attended the funeral with my cousin,
Leander Simmons, whose good wife remained at home to
care for her sick daughter. It is about a nine-miles'
drive to Henry's, and probably about thirteen to Levant,
where the remains were interred.

I would here give pen utterance to a few more
thoughts suggested by this sad event. How true it is
"we all do fade as a leaf." And at this season, "the
melancholy days, the saddest of the year," when count-
less leaves are fading and falling, are we not reminded of
the shortness of human life ? If we view it from this stand-
point, and ask ourselves what the period of life of a single
leaf is, the answer is applicable to our own case — one



175

short summer. Our days are as grass ihat groweth up
in the morning; it is cut down and withereth: or like a
floiver of the field, the ivind jyasseth over it and it is gone,
the place thereof knoiceth it no more. And how true
also are the words of the poet Young, in his "Night
Thoughts:"

" Earth's highest station ends in ' Here he lies,'
And "Dust to dust,' concludes her noblest song."

The speaker at Lizzie's funeral said in his opening
remarks: "We are here to-day to honor the dead and
comfort the living.'''' I thought to myself, who would not
pay a tribute of respect in honoring the memory of one
who had so faithfully performed the duties of life, and
left a record more valuable than anything this earth can
afford. She was a member of the Baptist Church for
many years, and if my memory is correct, was in her for-
ty-fourth year when she died. She is interred beside her
parents in Levant Cemetery, where stands a fine Scotch
granite monument, erected (so I am informed) at a cost
of about $1,000. But the memorial left to the memory
of every true man or woman will live when the monument
left to perpetuate that memory shall have passed away.
I do not wonder it is said in the Blessed Book: Let me
die the decdh of the righteous, and let my last end he like
his. The memory of the just is blessed, hut the name of
the icicked shall rot.

On returning home from Jamestown, October 13, I
inquired after Mr. Jacob Cole, one of our neighbors, who
had been very ill for several weeks, and my wife's reply
was that he was failing, although there were still some
hopes of his recovery. This was on Wednesday, and on
the following Saturday, October 16, he died, in his sev-
enty-third year, I believe. The funeral services, which
were held at the Methodist Episcopal Church, Blooming



176

Valley, on the following Monday, were largely attended,
Rev. Mr. Sprague, of Meadville, officiating. The remains
M^ere interred in the cemetery at Blooming Valley.

How often and yet how true is this saying: " Friend
after friend departs; " and in the language of inspiration:
" The mourners go about the streets."

Then, again, on October 20, my wife and I attended
the funeral of Lina Masiker, second wife of Avery W.
Masiker (my brother-in-law), who lives in Oil Creek
Township, Crawford County, Penn., near Bethel Metho-
dist Episcopal Church, and where the funeral was held.
Kev. Thomas Berry preached the sermon, the text being:
Lei me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end
be like his. Then live the life of the righteous.
The remains were interred in the beautiful rural Hen-
derson Cemetery, on a hill located within less than a mile
from the church.

Mr, and Mrs. Masiker were married last November.
AVe had the pleasure of but one visit or short interview
with them, wliicli took place last March. There are some
people whom we are privileged to meet but once in a life-
time, and yet who leave an impression on our minds for
good, never to be effaced. Such was the effect of our
visit with Lina Masiker.

I am inclined, before leaving this subject, to say a
few Avords about another departed friend and relative.
" Death loves a shining mark." I refer to Hulda
Chipman, a girl who attended school in the Goodwill
District, at that time a school district of Woodcock
Township. [The district has long since been divided,
and the people in the portion in which we live, on
the State road, send their children to Blooming Valley
school.] I taught two terms of winter school in this
district, 1853-54 and 1854-55. One day, I remember.



our school Avas visited by our friend C. R. Slocum, who
delivered a short address to the school, after which he
said to me that he could select not only the best-looking
scholar, but also the smartest and most intelligent one.
I told him I thought he would require more than one
visit to find the " most intelligent," but he said not.
"Will you tell me if I should guess it?" Thinking he
would fail in his guess, I replied, " Yes." He immediately
said "Hulda," and my reply was, " You need not guess
again, for a person who had visited our school previously
said there were some very intelligent-looking scholars,
and as the most intelligent chose the same one as you
did."

Hulda Chipman, her brother Edward, and many others
I could name, not only of the school I am speaking of,
but also of the Moore and Hatch schools in Mead Town-
ship, and of the Blooming Valley schools in Woodcock
Township, have long since passed to their rest and
been numbered with the dead. Many of them, as well
as some of my old teachers, are interred in Blooming
Valley Cemetery.

" Ere sin could blight, or sorrow fade,
Death came with friendh' care.
The opening bud to Heav'n convej^ed.
And bade it blossom there."



THANKSGIVING DAY.
NOVEMBER 25, 1886.

" To be good is to be happy."

Yesterday, after a faithful day's work plowing on the

farm, I came in thinking to myself, " To-morrow will be

Thanksgiving Day; how shall I spend it? No meeting or

public addresses near home, and roads too bad to permit



178

of going abroad." I was glad an opportunity had pre-
sented itself for me to invite my old neighbors, some of
the oldest in our community, who are not blessed with
much of this world's goods. I have known my father do
similar acts, and that was example enough for me. The
three oldest women in our midst referred to were Mrs.
Mary Reiser and Mrs. Handley, each in her eighty-fifth
year, and Mrs. Maria Long, probably over ninety years
old. AVith these and relatives and other friends in our
neighborhood I spent a happy day. I drove to Mrs.
Long's in order to get " Aunt " Maria (I call her " aunt "
on account of her age), and when I invited her to the
dinner she greeted me with a hearty " God bless you!"
Then the willingness and pleasure with which the other
two ladies tendered their acceptance of the invitation,
and the expressions of gratitude they poured out as I
took them home, brought me true happiness. It is the
active part we take in those things, says St. James, not
for doing but in doing, that brings us blessing. I also
called to invite Mr. and Mrs. Norris, but found Mrs.
Norris quite ill and unable to come; however I had the
pleasure of presenting them with a copy of my Souvenir,
which they seemed to like very much.* My only brother,
George N., also dined with us. This is one of the many
ways to do good and bring happiness, and peace will ever
abide with us if we keep the right way.

Truth, which so often gladdens our hearts, will avail
us nothing unless it abide in us. Truth will not unite
with error; it is ever on the search for more truth, and
when found forms a union complete in itself, drawn to-
gether as if by some magnetic influence. So if hapj^iness
does not dwell with us, it is because we are strangers to

* These four aged mothers are yet living (December 25,1889), and it is a pleasure to
greet them occasionally. — F. C. Waid.



179

it. It would enjoy our company were we only in a con-
dition to enjoy it.

The reader may wish to know how a farmer, who has
so much to do as Francis C. Waid, can find time, not only
to travel, but also to write on his return home, such ex-
haustive accounts of his several excursions. Some time
ago I began writing an account of a trip to Cincinnati
and Dayton, jotting down only a little each evening, and
the reader will see that I have stopped to sketch down
what occurred on November 25, 1886. Yet the race is
not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but
to them that persevere to the end.

November 30, 1886 — Another funeral to-day, that of
Anson Chipman, a young man of about twenty-seven
years, who died on the 27th instant, near Conueaut-Lake,
in Sadsbury Township, this county, whither he had moved
last spring. The funeral services were held at the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church, Blooming Valley. He was an
only child, and was reared and lived in this community,
his father, Edward Chipman, who died March 25, 1868,
and lies buried in Blooming Valley Cemetery, having
been not only an old school-mate of mine, but also one of
my scholars. The early cutting ofp of this young man,
in the flush of youth and in the bloom of health, is food
for reflection. As the pastor said in his remarks at the
funeral service: "God speaks to us" in the melancholy
event, and we are led to consider the language of inspir-
ation, when the Master said: What I do now ikon know-
est not: but tliou shalt Jaioiu tiereafter.

Only a few weeks ago Rev. Mr. Sprague, of Meadville,
delivered a discourse at the funeral of an aged man who
had reached the three score and ten (or more) ; but here
was a young man, whose general health was good, strick-
en down after a few days' illness. How changed the



180

scene! It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in
our eyes! " There is a Providence in the fall of a spar-
row." This is another lesson to us all, especially to the
young man or youth who may think to himself that as he
is in good health to-day, he bids fair to live to a good
age. But, young man, for aught you or I know, the aged
grandfather and grandmother, who were present at Anson
Chipman's funeral, may attend ours. The man has never
been born who could tell what a day may bring forth.
In speaking on the subject of death years ago, with my
aged aunt. Temperance Fergerson, I remember making
the query: " Is not our chances for life, one as good as
another? " " The young may live, the old must die," was
her reply. So it is well for all of us, young or old, to
ponder on these things, and be ready when the Master
calls us for an account of our stewardship.

" Man, like a shadow, vainlj^ walks
With fruitless cares oppress'd;
He heaps up wealth but can not tell
By whom 'twill be possess'd."

December 10, 1886— On the 8th of this month Mr.
and Mrs. Pember Phillips, of Townville, Crawford Coun-
ty, paid us a pleasant visit. James McCullough died
to-day (10th), in his eighty-fifth year, his wife having
preceded him to the grave within two days of exactly
two years ago. Both rest in Blooming Valley Cemetery.
In this book I make mention of the deaths that occur in
our own neighborhood and community, for the reason
that we seem to be so often reminded of our final depart-
ure. I do not wonder at the inspired writer perpetuating
his thoughts in those words: It is better to go to the house
of mourning than to the house of feasting, for the living
will lay it to lieart. Enjoyment is not all we were placed
in this world for; we are frequently called to that place
where we are to be taught the greatest lessons of life.



181

Mrs. Melissa G. Scott and her youngest son, from
Wentworth, Lake Co., Dak., who are on a visit to kindred
and friends liere, and were staying with us a short time,
left this morning for Meadville. We had the pleasure of
a visit from Mrs. Scott about four years ago. She is a
sister of my honored and distinguished friend, J. Y. Gil-
more, and is an old school-mate of mine. A few days
after her visit I presented her with a copy of the Souv-
enir and a photograph of the family, as a memento from
her friend, for which she expressed her thanks.

December 11, 1886 — This morning, after hearing of
the death of our esteemed neighbor, Mr. McCullough, re-
ferred to, I was informed of the birth of my fourth grand-
daughter, first-born to Guinnip P. and Anna Waid. Until
the marriage of my two eldest sons, boys used to prevail
in the family, but since then a change has taken place,
there having been born six girls (five yet living), no
boys, and this relieves me from naming any of my grand-
children. I tell their parents, jocularly, that my name,
Francis, is so nearly that of a girl's that if they desire to
name a daughter for me they have only to change the
"i" into "e"; and if that won't suit, why then they
must nurse their patience, and the first boy born to any
of them they may name him Francis. There are many
things in this world that we hope for but never get, and
it is a relief in some cases to express our Avants. But
perhaps I have said enough about this to have my wants
either expressed or understood.

December 27 — To-day we had a visit from my dear
niece, Orpha Leonard, and her husband. In the course
of conversation at dinner she asked me if I remembered
Aunt Maria Lord, who visited my parents when I was in
my " teens," and about our " baking the pancakes." I re-
plied I did not, but expressed a desire to hear the story,



182

which she complied with, while I listened attentively.
My wife, I think, was more anxious to hear, because both
of us enjoyed listening to what a friend would say about
either of us, and especially what took place before our
marriage; it was testimony of a nature we could rely on,
and would be likely to beget in us greater love for each
other. We learned from my niece that one morning,
when it was my turn to bake the pancakes (for my
twin brother and myself were accustomed in those days
to help our mother, by turns, in many of the house-
hold duties ) , mother wanted me to assist, but because we
had visitors and I was somewhat bashful, I wished to be
excused. When father came in, however, he said to me:
" Francis, help bake the pancakes," and although quite a
big boy at the time I did as desired. I relate this inci-
dent, not because of my reluctance to comply with my
mother's wishes, but as an illustration that under trying
circumstances I rendered obedience to my parents. If
the duty did not smack of pleasure at the time, yet since
I have helped to rear a family of my own it brings me
consolation now, for I can the more fully appreciate the
precept of St. Paul: Children, obey your parents in all
things: for this is ivell pleasing unto the Lord (Col.
Ill: 20.) Some one may ask what I think of a boy
doing housework, and my reply is simply that if a boy's
parents require him to help within doors, he should do so,
and he will find that time will bring its reward. In my
own family, the boys (whose lot in life is in one respect
similar to my own, having no sister) have helped in
many ways to lighten the burdens of household duties
for their mother. They know how to cook to some extent
rather than go hungry. But I think I hear some skep-
tical person remark that such domestic training spoils a
man for business or farm work. My answer to such is a



183

reference to my father's family — are they working men or
not? I will not go back to my father's youth and early
manhood, for I take it for granted he was more industrious
than any of his sons, but I can not forbear reciting this
incident which I have heard him relate. During the first
winter after his marriage (1825-26), with two pair of
oxen and a sled, he took sixty bushels of wheat from
Meadville to Connewango Mills, nine miles below James-
town, N. Y., and there he and his wife lived. Here with
other help he assisted in stocking the mills with logs
that winter. On their way home from these mills my
parents stopped at Eiceville, Crawford Co., Penu., where
my eldest brother was born.

While speaking of lumbering I would like here to
give one instance in my own experience which has been
much less than that of my father in that line, although
I have done a little in company with him, as well as
some for my own account, I remember once helping
him to haul a fourteen-feet hemlock log to William Dick-
son's mill on Woodcock Creek, in my township, which
cut into 1,620 feet of lumber, being the largest log I
ever assisted in handling! There were three of us and
three or four teams, my cousin, Thomas Fergerson, help-
ing us. It was indeed a pleasant duty to assist in haul-
ing that log to the mill. And I may add that my sons
are also inclined to try their hand in hauling logs. On
December 20,1886, Frank and Guinnip, each with a good
span of horses and a wagon, one loaded with hay, the
other with oats, started for Grand Valley, Warren Co.,
Peun., to engage in hauling logs as my father did over
sixty years ago. Frank has had some experience in
lumbering as well as farming, and Guinnip can learn.
After several days' work in Warren County, they en-
gaged with George Bush, with whom at this writing they
are working.



184

December 29, 1886— A visit from Mrs. Matilda Barr
and our cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Roudebusli, all of
Blooming Valley, threw another ray of sunshine around
our fireside. It is pleasant for me to be remembered, not
only by relatives, but also by some of my old scholars
who attended school where I taught in by-gone days. In
the Avinters of 1853-54 and 1855-56 I taught school in
the Goodwill District, and to-day I was asked by one of
the lady visitors if I remembered the " treat" I gave the
scholars on a certain Christmas ( for it was customary in
those days to teach on holidays). I replied that I did
not think I recollected the incident. "Chestnuts," said
the lady ; and then she recounted how I distributed them
among the scholars, throwing some on the floor for the
younger ones to scramble for. It is said that if a day
passes of which we can give no account, it may be con-
sidered lost. The visit of Mrs. Barr and Mr. and Mrs.
Roudebush lasted the greater part of the day, but I found
time to assist in digging a grave in the Smith Burying
Ground for the oldest man in our community, George
Smith, who died to-day. Had he lived till February 14,
1887, he Avould have been ninety-six years old. The
Smith family of sixteen children, of whom reference is
made in my first Souvenir, have now all passed away
save our nearest neighbor ("Aunt Polly," as she is called)
who is in her eighty-fifth year.

December 30 — The funeral of my revered friend,
George Smith, took place to-day, services being held in
Blooming Valley Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev.
Henry Delamater officiating. I Avas anxious to attend,
but absence from home and not returning in time pre-
vented me. On May 17, this year, I had a settlement
with Mr. Smith, and he handed me a receipt for which I
thanked him with the remark that I had never taken a



185

receipt before from a man of his age. The Pennsyl-
vania Farmer, in speaking of his death says: "Mr.
George Smith, one of the oldest men in Crawford Coun-
ty, died Wednesday at his home near Blooming Valley,
at the advanced age of ninety-seven years." The death
of two other neighbors which occurred last spring I
will here also make mention of, the deceased being Mrs.
Mary Smith (Kobert Smith's wife), and Mrs. Eliza
Roberts. Mr. Smith died May 25, and is interred in the
Smith Burying Ground. Robert Smith, son of William
Smith, resides on the old farm once owned by his father,
in Mead Township, within about half a mile of our farm,
and where I was taken when an infant to be weaned.
William (or " Uncle Billy " as I learned to call him) was
a good neighbor, and I think I speak the truth when I
say that his family and my father's were on most friendly
terms, each member of both families imitating the noble
example set by their respective heads. Some writer says
we should " reverence that which is best in the Universe,
and that which is best in ourselves," so I may be par-
doned if I refer to an incident of my days of infancy,
wherein is illustrated a trait of my character that I am
happy to say has not deserted me in all these years. I
will relate the occurrence as I have frequently heard it
from my parents and others. When the time came for
my twin brother and myself to change our diet (that is
to eat bread and butter), in order to relieve our mother,
who was in rather poor health, and somewhat encum-
bered with household duties, my mate was selected to be
sent to Mr. Smith's. Being so peevish and cross, how-
ever, as to mar not only his own happiness but also that
of the entire household, he was soon brought home, my-
self being sent in his place, on trial, and I am pleased
to say that it is recorded I was very peaceable, quiet and



186

good-natured. Now this may be giving me more credit
than I deserved at the time, or even now, though I can
conscientiously say that I have struggled through life in
the interests of peace, and in the words of the apostle,
to " study quiet." This good characteristic I claim I
have inherited from my parents, and it was so visable in
my father's life that I was encouraged to cultivate in my-
self this noble trait. I have often found myself mentally
reviewing my many venerable acquaintances who have
passed away, and selecting from among them the, to my
mind, most peacefully inclined.

William Smith had the reputation of being one of the
most peaceable men in this community. My acquaint-
ance with him began in my childhood, and with un-
interrupted friendship remained up to the day of his
death, January 12, 1858. Along with some relatives
and dear friends I was present with him at his parting
hour, which was one of peace ; and I was reminded of the
Scripture saying : Oreat peace have they which love Thy
law, and nothing shall offend them.

Mrs. Eliza Roberts died June 19, in her sixty-fourth
year, and is interred in Greendale Cemetery, at Mead-
ville. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, as is her husband, David Roberts, who resides
about two miles from our place, on the road leading from
Hatch Hill to Meadville. Mrs. Roberts was the second
daughter of William Williams, one of the early settlers
in this section of the county, Avhose farm on State Road,
two and one-half miles east of Meadville, is now owned
by Mr. Judd and Hartwell Williams. The date of Will-
iam Williams' settlement in the county I can not record,
but his name appears in a list of tax-payers previous to
1810. Mrs. Eliza Roberts, I believe, always lived in this
community. I remember going in my boyhood with my



187

brothers and the Smith boys to pick cherries on the Will-
iams farm, for in those early days farmers who had plenty of
fruit allowed their neighbors to help gather it on shares,
and we boys found as much enjoyment in it as we have
nowadays in an excursion. If I am not mistaken, my ac-
quaintance with Mr. and Mrs. Roberts had its commence-
ment several years previous to the noted revival meetings
held at State Road Methodist Episcopal Church, nearly
throughout the entire winter of 1850-51, where many
were brought out of darkness into light, some 200, as
estimated, having been saved at that time. During my
father's last illness David Roberts and his wife called
occasionally to see him; and at one visit, when it was
thought my father's mind was failing, as David was
shaking hands with him, my mother asked him: "Do
you know who it is?" "Yes," replied my father, with a
smile of recognition, "I think I do know David Roberts.
I would know him if I should not see him for a thousand
years." It is well to ever bear in mind that words spoken,
good or bad, wise or foolish, often live after us; it is not



Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 24 of 60)