Copyright
Francis C Waid.

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

. (page 25 of 60)
Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 25 of 60)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


essential that they should be written or printed to be pre-
served, for when once engraved on memory's page, they
will be more enduring than brass, and will be certain to
liave tlieir influence on the minds and lives of those who
come after us. In governing our tongue we should en-
deavor to excel, for it is an attribute that in itself is most
excellent. Reader, did you ever think that "life and
death are in the power of the tongue, and they who love
it eat the fruit thereof." How very bitter the fruit of
sin ; how good the fruit of peace.

December 31, 1886 — The closing day of a year that
has been to Eliza and me, in many respects, a most event-
ful one. Lewis Slocum (a neighbor) and family, together
with my wife and myself, by previous arrangement with



188

Lewis, went to Mosiertown to pay a visit to the Slocum
family — three brothers and one sister of Lewis — includ-
ing C. R., Robert, Lewis and Caroline (Cochran), all
heads of families and life-long acquaintances and old
school-mates. This was found to be a most pleasant and
profitable way of ending the year 1886, and we feel that
the doings of yesterday and to-day will leave a lasting
impression on our memories. I could recall many pleas-
ant scenes and happy hours of bygone days, when similar
gatherings occurred at the homes of our parents; and this
reunion of to-day, at the home of C. R. Slocum, was en-
joyed, not only as a family gathering, but as a reproduc-
tion, so to speak, of the real unbroken friendship possessed
by our parents, and inculcated on their children. The
evening was spent at Hon. S. Slocum's, and C. R. then
remarked that he was fifty-two years old on December 10,
the day after my son Guinnip's daughter was born. In my
youth and earlier manhood I question if I spent as much
time visiting during the holidays as I have this season.
Some people transpose the maxim " Business first, pleas-
ure afterward" to "Pleasure first, business afterward;"
but in cases of emergency, and until I can get through
the rush of both, I can couple them — make a good run-
ning team of them, as it were, as I had to do this time,
for I have several days' business and pleasure in various
ways before me.

1887.

January 1 — Made one of a New Year's party, held at
the home of Mr. Clark Ellis, who reminded me, while at
dinner, where he and I had dined last New Year's Day.
It was with my aunt, Mary Ann Simmons, in Jamestown,
N. Y., and I said to Mr. Ellis, that I would like to take
supper with her this evening, although it was already two



189

o'clock. So, after dinner, his son, Edmond, drove me in
a cutter to Meadville (distant about three and one-half
miles), which we reached just in time for me to catch the
train for Jamestown, whither I traveled in company with
my neighbor, Newton S, Chase. Here I took supper with
my relatives, and enjoyed another opportunity of calling
on my friends and spending two or three days in the
town. On the following Sunday forenoon we heard Elder
Peate, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, hold forth,
and in the evening we listened with pleasure to Dr. G. W.
Towsend, who spoke on the subject of Temperance. On
Monday, after attending to some business, I returned
home, having entered on the duties of the New Year in
my usual way, combining pleasure with business, both of
which worked harmoniously together, with satisfactory
results.

Sunday, January 9 — After service at the State Eoad
Methodist Episcopal Church, which I attended this morn-
ing, our preacher, Mr. Miller, announced the death of
Mrs. Olmstead, an aged lady, the funeral to be held at
1:30 P. M., from Mead Corners, three miles south of
State Road Church. Mrs. Waid and I attended, and
on our way called on Brother Roberts, with whom we
took dinner. During Mrs. Roberts' sickness, which was
of about a year's duration, we visited her frequently,
and I think I will ever remember the words of encour-
agement and advice we received from that good sister.
In retrospect, I think of that lifelong acquaintance, and
of the blessed privilege Brother Roberts and I sought
out together in the good way (his wife being a member
of the church at the same time) — the privilege we have
for thirty-sis years enjoyed, of worshiping God in the
same house, I do not think I could name another person
in our society at present whom I have met in church as



190

often as I have David Roberts. Of the large number
that congregated for prayer and praise thirty-six years
ago, but few are now left; some have crossed the river to
the "better land," and many others are scattered over this
wide country, some being in the "Far West."

January 27, 1887 — Much of the enjoyment and pleas-
ure of life comes to us sometimes in a single day. To-
day we have had the company of friends and kindred
whom we love so well, and the intercourse brought pleas-
ure and happiness, seemingly enough for one day. But
more was in store for us, for when my son Fred returned
from Meadville with our mail, I received two letters, one
from Prof. Samuel P. Bates, of Meadville, and the other
from Mr. J. Y. Gilmore, which threw yet another ray of
sunshine in the midst of my family circle These letters
both appear in full in the Appendix to this volume. The
one from Prof. Bates has endeared to me the recollections
of bygone, happy, boyhood days spent with him, whom I
have known since we attended Meadville Academy to-
gether in the fall of 1853 — thirty-six years ago; and I
also gratefully remember the kind act of Hon, S. B. Dick,
in being instrumental in having a copy of my Souvenir
placed in the hands of the Library, Art and Historical
Association.

I love my honored and respected friend, Mr. J. Y.
Gilmore, none the less because he leads an active, labo-
rious and useful life, as his letter states. Such a man is
deserving of all he calculates on, and my sincere desire
is that not only Mr. J. Y. Gilmore, but all who strive
for success may legitimately attain the height of their
ambition, and ultimately enjoy such repose as he speaks
of. With the man who does right, life becomes better
day by day, as he gets farther from the cradle and nearer
to the grave. What could please us more, as we near the



191

close of life's journey, than the enjoyment of the company
of our best friends.

January 29, 1887 — This is another red-letter day in my
Diary. Being the sixty-ninth anniversary of the birth of
Mr. John Braymer, of Mead Township, Crawford County,
a farmer wJiom we have known and valued as an upright
citizen from our earliest recollection, a goodly company
of over forty assembled to join in the celebration, my
wife and myself being among the number. We were
pleased to see his brother, David, present, also hale and
hearty.* Although these two brothers were considerably
in advance of my own age, yet I knew their father, An-
drew Braymer, well; and 1 remember when I and my
twin brother Avere boys going with father to assist Mr.
Braymer (who was at that time pathmaster or supervisor
in Mead Townsliip). We were working on what is known
as Meeting House (or Hamilton) Hill, west of the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church, and from the brow of the upper
hill (as we term it) we rolled, with the help of several
yoke of oxen, a great stone, or rock, that for a long time
had been an obstruction, down the hill a short distance
and off to the north side of the road to near the ditch,
where it yet lies. Few men, if any, have passed that
big stone oftener than the writer of this incident. Shake-
speare speaks of there being " sermons in stones ;" and
that old landmark lying by the roadside, inanimate and
dumb, a potent witness to the acts of men long since dead
and gone, could read us a moral lesson more forcible and
convincing than any pulpit oratory.

Not long after this Mr. Leland Meachum, living on
Town Hill near Meadville, formed a "bee," inviting

* We were also present at the celebration of the seventy-second birthday of David
Braymer, held October 13, 1887, on which occasion he was presented with a silent rock-
ing-chair. Three brothers and one bister were present. Mr. Braymer resides with his
son, Ezra, on the homestead.



192

everyone alou^ the State Road within several miles to
assemble on the Fourth of July, and spend the day in
improving the public highway at a point on Town Hill,
about halfway down the hill (near the corner of Green -
dale Cemetery) where the road was given a bend in order
to avoid a deep ravine. On that day the people began
filling in the gulf, and by special efforts on the part of
good citizens the grand object is at present nearly accom-
plished. But since that time the hill has been graded
and much improved, its entire length, and the road
straightened where the curve was. I have had oppor-
tunities since then to help improve the road at other
points, and I will here conclude this reference by re-
marking that the community always seemed to be di-
vided into a majority, who were bent on pleasure, and
a minorUj, who were always seeking ways and means to
benefit the public. I hope the reader will not charge me
with undue pretentiousness when in this connection I say
that I usually found myself in the ranks of the minority.
I am glad I was taught to do good in more than one
way. I have attempted to speak of the amount of
blessings that has come to me while walking in the path
of duty. Good deeds done for the benefit of others are
like the boomerang, which after being thrown at an object
returns unaided to the person throwing it, with this dif-
ference, however, the boomerang only returns itself, good
deeds make returns with grand interest. The principle
which led me to a wise choice for the improvement of
my time had its origin in my boyhood. As several gen-
tlemen, not long since, were passing the Goodrich Farm,
purchased only about two years ago (in 1885), one of
them remarked: " Industry is a fortune of itself," while
a second one said: "I wish you would prove it to us."
*' Well," replied the first speaker, " do you remember



193

this old farm as it was abovit two years a^o ? Look at it
now,'''' calling attention to the field on the north side of
State Road, containing sixty-six acres all fenced, with
stumps and stones removed, rough ground leveled, an old
pasture field of fifteen or twenty acres plowed, some of it
a second time, and seeded to meadow. Passing on down
the hill this gentleman, referring to the improvements on
the farm on the south side of the road, remarked: "That
large quantity of stove wood, corded up so nicely along
the road and in the yard, was cut down there in the
wood lot, where it had apparently been abandoned on ac-
count of the immense thicket of undergrowth timber and
brush." Then to cap the climax as they came down to the
flat (to what was known as the corduroy or long bridge),
there appeared to their view a tbree-cornered five-acre
piece of land, once separate from the Goodrich Farm, but
bought by Mr. A. S. Goodrich of Hugh Hamilton, for
pasture and water privilege. Now a portion of this bit
of land had never been completely cleared — many logs,
small trees and a large amount of brush still remaining,
and a portion of the flat often covered with water, when
it came into my possession. '"Who would have thought
of clearing this land except F. C. Waid ! " exclaimed the
flrst speaker of the party. " Then," quickly remarked
number two, " it is F. C. Waid and Industry who have
made the improvements on the farm." For the general
improvement on this farm, however, credit is due my
eldest son, who lives on the farm, and the rest of my
family. A good motto for a farmer is this one, of which
Benjamin Franklin is the author: Plough deep while
sluggai^ds sleep.

Not boastingly, but simply as something that may be
of interest to my many farmer friends, I here present a
statement of the income or products of the farm referred



194

to for the year 1886: About forty tons of hay, three hun-
dred bushels of potatoes, ten hundred bushels of oats,
about five hundred bushels of ears of corn. The fruit
crop was about as follows : Apples and plums, good crop ;
blue damson plums, estimated at ten to twelve bushels;
and apples, probably three hundred bushels. In order
to show to some extent the income derived from this
farm the first year we had it (1885), I will here recount
some conversation I had, late in the fall of that year, with
my son, Frank, who is in charge of the farm, which he
worked on shares, giving me a portion of what the land
would yield. In speaking about the products and their
value, Frank said to me: "I will give you six per cent
interest [$264] on the money invested in the farm for
your share of the crops." I confess this rather astonished
me, for it takes good farming — nothing short of prudence,
industry and economy — to make a farm pay six per cent
interest on its value, and I did not expect this when I
bought the farm. Kind reader, the blessings of this life
should call forth gratitude and praise to the Giver of all
good, who rewards our labors and crowns the year with
His blessings. I believe in an overruling Providence,
who not only governs the nations on earth, as spoken of
in His Word, but also the affairs of individuals. What
did David mean when he said: The steps of a good man
are ordered by the Lord? Then again: All things work
together for good to tliem tliat love God. The Avorking of
all things for good may be to us a mystery. How a blade
of grass grows is a mystery, but grow it does. It is a
pleasant thing, and delightful to the eye, to look on the
green-clad fields in early spring, and behold, with admi-
ration, the growing grass; but sweeter, far, is it to have
faith in His promises, which brings us peace. The All-
wise Creator knows our wants before we ask them, and



195

He has the means, and will devise the way, whereby our
wants, if real, shall be met, if we live in harmony imth
Him. And it is His prerogative to give or withhold as
He may deem best for our good, just as an earthly father
would treat a child whom he loves. If a dutiful child
follows the advice of his parents, how much more should
he not obey Him?

February 21, 1887 — In a letter from George M. Bur-
dett, of Lenoir's, Loudon Co., Tenn., of above date, he
says: "I write to thank you for your kindly remem-
brance of me and my family during your visit to East Ten-
nessee." My wife and I, during our visit to the South,
and while staying with our sou near Mr. Burdett's place,
were kindly invited to call on the latter' s family, which
invitation we accepted, and in company with our daugh-
ter-in-law we enjoyed a remarkably pleasant visit, one
long to be remembered by us; and in the distribution of
ths Souvenir we wished to remind them that we claimed
them as friends. I will here, in this connection, say a
few words about the farming land I saw in the Valley of
the Tennessee, between Knoxville and Lenoir's. How
much poor land there may be adjoining the river I do
not know, but I found some good and some very good
land on Col. Easiley's farm. The greatest amount of
good land, however, is to be found on the very large farm
of Mr. Lenoir. The island embracing 117 acres, lying
at the mouth of the Little Tennessee River, where it
empties into the Tennessee River, a short distance from
the station at Lenoir's, contains, perhaps, some of the
best soil along the river.

February 25 — This day Rev. M. Miller, our respected
pastor, accompanied by his daughter, Miss Ada, paid us
a very agreeable visit. I find not only pleasure, but
profit, in listening to our teachers who instruct in the
good way.



196

Sunday, March 6, 1887 — This beautiful day I spent
with relatives and friends in Jamestown, N. Y., and again
enjoyed the privilege of attending church with them.
At 11 A. M., in company with F. Simmons and family, I
went to the Baptist Church, where we listened to a very
interesting discourse, delivered by Rev. Harvey, his sub-
ject being "Church Work," and what had been done dur-
ing the past five years, this being his first Sabbath of
his sixth year. Among other things, he stated that the
church, both temporally and spiritually, was prospering
well; that eighteen new members had been received into
the fold that day; that in 1882 the membership num-
bered 317, and in March, 1887, it numbered 424, being
an increase of over 100. The church property, he said,
was much improved and out of debt, their growth not
being rapid, but like that of a tree — slow and solid. At
3 p. M. we attended the funeral of William H. Devoe
(who died at the age of seventy-eight years), Rev. J. D.
Townsand officiating. In the evening Mr, Simmons and
I went to the Independent Congregational Church, where
we again heard Mr. Townsand. At the close of his ser-
mon he referred to the severe illness of Henry Ward
Beech er, who had received a paralytic stroke.* Among
the great men whose memory I love, stands in the front
rank Henry Ward Beecher. If my memory serves me
right, I heard him lecture about ten years ago, in the
Opera House at Meadville, the subject being: "The Bur-
dens and Wastes of Society." Many good things he said,
and worthy to be remembered, among them: "A sick
man is not a burden to society, for he will either die or
get well; but a lazy man is a burden." "A boy is reared
to fill some occupation in life, but a girl is raised to get
married." He also interpreted some passages of Scrip-
ture, making them very clear to me.

* Henry Ward Beecher died at half-past nine, on the morning of March 8, 1887.



197

March 12, 1887 — To-day my wife and I went to see
kindred at the old homestead, and found Uncle Robert
Morehead on this his eighty-fifth birthday, his general
health being pretty good. He conversed with us freely,
remarking that he had done a good many "chores " this
winter, and was able to split a good share of the fire-
wood.

Sunday, March 13 — Went to church to-day with Mr.
and Mrs. Robert A. Fergerson. On Monday following,
on our way home, we attended, in company with our
cousins, the funeral of John Parks, in Kerrtown, Rev. A.
C. Ellis, of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of
Meadville, being the officiating minister. His remarks,
though brief, were very good and appropriate, and Avhat-
ever else of his discourse might be forgotten, by repeti-
tion he impressed these words on his hearers: " We all
preach our own funeral sermons in life." No matter
what may be said over our remains ere being forever
hidden from view, the truth is manifest that ive all preach
our own funeral sermons in life. We are prone rather to
inquire how a person may have lived than how he may
have died, although the dying are included in this life —
the last act in the great drama. So our study should be
hoiv to die, not how to live. Mr. Parks was Mrs. Ferger-
son's uncle, and he died at the age of seventy-seven
years.

On coming through Meadville we called on our life-
long friend, Henry Smith, who resides near the top of
the town hill, where Avery Oaks formerly lived. Henry
and I did many a day's work together, and he helped to
build our house. I can safely say that for aught I know
we have enjoyed unbroken friendship from childhood.
Before corn-planters were introduced here, and even since,
Henry and I have dropped corn many a day together,



198

and he had the credit of dropping straight rows of corn,
which I tried to imitate, and was often chosen " second
dropper."

March 20, 1887— James Wygant, born April 10, 1824,
and died March 17, 1887, at his home in Blooming Yal-
ley, was buried to-day. The funeral services were held
in the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was filled to
the doors, the attendance being so large that twice I gave
my seat up to accommodate others; by special request,
however, I was seated with the family of the deceased,
much to my gratification. Rev. William B. Trevy was
the officiating brother. James Wygant was well known
in this county, and when I get his obituary I will proba-
bly write more concerning him. He was converted at
State Boad Methodist Episcopal Church during the won-
derful revival in the winter of 1850-51. Although over
nine years older than myself, he frequently claimed to be
my age, we having both set out on our Christian journey
about the same time. And there is something more in
this than a mere passing thought. The living within a
mile of each other ever since our conversion, and the en-
joying together Christian fellowship and friendship, had
endeared us to each other, which is one reason why I
wish to pay a tribute of respect to his memory. In life he
was my friend, and I have often appreciated his advice,
and listened with profit to his many funeral* and other
sermons. I regarded him as one of the most accommo-
dating men in Blooming Valley, not infrequently making
unselfish sacrifices to others, and I remember it was often
said: " If you want an accommodation, go to Brother Wy-
gant." When I was a young man I used to visit his
home frequently, for my "girl" (who is now my wife)
boarded there at the time she was going to school. James

* In his obituary it is slated be had preached over Sit funeral sermons.



199

Wygant was twice married; on the first occasion, Septem-
ber 18, 1844, to Lucretia B. Halley, and the second time
April 6, 1854, to Maria E. Cutler, of Randolph Township,
Crawford County. His first wife died October 29, 1853,
and his remains now rest beside her in Blooming Valley
Cemetery. Our last visit with Brother Wygant's family
before he was prostrated with sickness, was December 15,
1886; but the last time I talked with him was on Tuesday
evening, March 15, 1887, two days before he died, and 1
heard him repeat this verse on awakening from a short

sleep:

"Jesus can make a dying bed

Feel soft as downy pillows are.
While on His breast I lean my head
And breathe my life out sweetly there."

Brother George Floyd and Eobert Teasdale were
present, also Dr. I. T. Akin, while I was there.

The last words Mr. Wygant uttered were from the
well-known beautiful hymn:

" Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee;
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer my God to Thee,
Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee."

Our family Bible, which was rebound, having been in
daily use since 1852, was bought from Rev. James Wy-
gant who was colporteur that year.

March 24, 1887 — When I and my family returned
home in the evening from Meadville, in the midst of
a storm, we were most agreeably surprised to find await-
ing us Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore, of Dakota, who had arrived
but a few minutes before, we got home. Joy does not
always wait till morning; on this occasion it came in the
evening. We were truly glad to meet our old friends,
whom we had visited in September, 1881, when they
were living near St. Charles, Minn. There were four



200

of us who enjoyed that visit: Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Cut-
shall and Mr. and Mrs. Francis C. Waid. At the time
spoken of we had been visiting our brother-in-law, Willis
Masiker, who lives at Lansing, Iowa; and from his place
we drove by hired team to Pine Island, Goodhue Co., Minn.,
in order that we might have a better view of the country
than could be got by rail. At Pine Island we visited
Warren W. Cutshall and Victor Sterling, and on our way
thither we stopped at Chester, Olmsted County, where we
had the pleasure of dining with our friend and old ac-
quaintance, Hod. Thomas W. Phelps. On our return
trip we took dinner with Eleazer Phelps, at his residence
in Eochester, Minn., after which we drove to William
Gilmore's and made our long-to-be-remembered visit; I
call it so, as it proved to be one of the most fortunate
visits we made in this entire trip. We expected to meet
only William Gilmore and his family at his home, but
imagine our pleasant surprise when we learned that J.
Y. Gilmore and his daughter were there, from New
Orleans. To have met my old school-mate anywhere in
the West would have been a surprise to me; but to un-
expectedly find him at his brother's was to me a genuine
pleasure, which I heartily enjoyed. As I have said,
this occurred in 1881.

On March 25, 1887, we were favored with the com-
pany at our home of Mrs. Gilmore (mother of William
and J. Y. ), who is now in her eighty-sixth year; also of
Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Cutshall, and Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord
Smith, the last two named being near neighbors —
altogether a very happy reunion.

William Gilmore was in the Mexican War, and was
personally acquainted, I believe, with Gen. Zachary Tay-



Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 25 of 60)