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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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our poor old discarded shoes along with us, for, ere long,
we were obliged to take our fine new boots off, and walk
bare-footed through the mud. It rained soon after we
started with the drove that morning, and to have to break
in a new pair of boots on a muddy road, completely cured
me of buying a too closely fitting pair of boots or shoes.
It was a lesson early in life, and one to be remembered.
The incident, besides illustrating an experience, also car-
ried a moral — small things should never he despised.*

After leaving Tryonville, where we remained only
long enough to get warm and do an errand of business
with a friend, my wife and I continued our drive to Town-
ville. Stopping at Pember Phillips, once the home of
my aged Aunt Eliza, who so recently died, we went in
out of the snow-storm, and were made welcome by George
W. Phillips, who soon after introduced us to his wife,
and it was to us indeed a being ushered from storm into
sunshine. The newly married bride and groom, the only
occupants of the home, are deserving of our thanks and
kindest remembrances for the kind reception accorded to

* " For who hath despised the day of small things ? " — Zech. iv, 10.



228

us. Ou our departure after supper, I felt like saying:
"God bless you, aud may your home ever be a happy
one."

December 31, 1887^ — -There is no old day in the year.
It is we who grow old, not the year. Change is written
ou all that pertains to earth.

" Change and decay in all around I see,
Oh, Thou, who changest not, abide with me!"

If life is full of pleasure, which seems true sometimes,
let me ask, who can sketch its hours of sadness caused by
accidents? I would that I could give the reader a brief
pen-picture of the collision which occurred about 9 a. m.
to-day, four miles west of Meadville, on the New York,
Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad. This has been indeed
the saddest of all days of the past year to Meadville.
Probably not since the battle of Gettysburg, in 1863, has
this community been shocked to such a degree as it was
this morning when the news of the disaster reached
Meadville. Five were killed aud fourteen Avounded. The
killed are Engineer Swan and his fireman, Arthur Irwin,
of the passenger engine; Engineer Gouge and his fire-
man, Edwin Humes, of the head freight engine, and a
passenger, William H. Stevenson, of Toledo, Ohio. Ed-
win Humes lived in Cambridge, this county, the other
fireman aud the engineers in Meadville. I was in that
town soon after the accident occurred, and the scenes on
the streets and at the depot I shall long remember, as I
was at the depot when the wounded were brought in. I
left Meadville that afternoon about -4 p. m. on the accom-
modation train for Jamestown, N. Y., where I again vis-
ited relatives and friends. My aged aunt, Mary Ann
Simmons, is still living and quite well. On the follow-
ing day (Sabbath) I had the pleasure of attending in the
morning the Baptist Church, in company with Mr. aud



229

Mrs. F. Simmons, and in the evening, with other rela-
tives, went to the Methodist Episcopal Church to hear
Rev. A. C. Ellis, who was for three years pastor o£
the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Meadville. The
text chosen was: Days speak, and the muUUude of years
teach ivisdom. The old year a friend, the new year a
stranger. I had listened with profit to Mr. Ellis' ser-
mons in Meadville, and his preachings on funeral occa-
casions, his remarks leaving a lasting impression on the
minds of his hearers, and so it was with me on the pres-
ent occasion. I thought surely days teach. AVhat a les-
son in yesterday, the last day of the year and to some the
last day of life! How swift we are borne on Time's rapid
pinions to the end of life, and to "that bourne whence
no traveler returns!" What awful moments must they
have been to those who knew those ill-fated trains were
hastening to destruction, and realized that they could
do nothing to prevent them! No wonder there was a
suspense and a growing " deadly pale " iintil the worst
was known. Then came a relief, a reaction, and the
sudden thought that there was something to do, to care
for the wounded and the dead. So all the days in the
year teach us a lesson of wisdom ; let us learn something
from every day's experience.

After hearing an excellent sermon, I stayed over night
with my relative, Mr. F. Colt, and Monday being a legal
holiday I availed myself of it by visiting kindred and
friends in Jamestown. Toward evening the following in-
cident occurred: Having expressed a desire to visit
Thompson Burns, at Frewsburgh, five miles distant, I
was told I could go in the 'bus which runs from James-
town to that place at 4 p. m. But on arriving at the
Sherman House I learned it had left a little before four
o'clock. I then thought of going by rail, but found I



230

would have to change cars, which woukl prevent me get-
ting to my destination till a late hour at night. Yet I
thought to myself there was another way whereby to solve
the question: If I was in Meadville and wanted to go
home I would think nothing of walking five miles to get
there. Now I am in Jamestown, and as it might be a
long time before I would have another opportunity of
spending a night with Mr. Burns' family, certainly I
would walk to Frewsburgh for such a pleasure, which I
did, and was well repaid. While there, however, I was
informed that they had received a dispatch from Mead-
ville announcing the death of Redding Burns, and that
the funeral would occur on Wednesday at 2 p. m. (Red-
ding was a brother of Thompson Burns who lived three
miles northeast of Meadville, on the old Turnpike Road).
On Tuesday morning, January 8, Thompson Burns and
I took passage by 'bus for Jamestown, whence, after trans-
acting my business there and dining at Aunt Mary Ann
Simmons', we departed by the afternoon train for Mead-
ville where we arrived at 7 p. m. Mr. Burns remained
over night in Meadville with a relative, whilst I had con-
tinued my journey on foot, arriving home before nine
o'clock.

1888.

January 4 — To-day I attended the funeral of Redding
Burns to Greendale Cemetery, Meadville, the services
being performed by Rev. T. D. Logan. Mr. Burns was
aged seventy-seven years, four months and a few days. In
the evening I called on John S. Bell, a farmer on the
Turnpike Road, about four miles from Meadville and two
from Saegerstown, who has been in poor health a long
time. A year ago he was not expected to live any length
of time, his friends thinking him so near dying. I have



231

learned since I came home that he died January 4, 1888,
at the age of sixty-two years, and was interred on the
7th in Long's Cemetery, near his late residence and farm.
This burying ground is situated on a prominent height
of over 100 feet in the north side of Woodcock Valley,
two miles east of Saegerstown. From this quiet spot can
be had a rather picturesque view of the valley below and
the surrounding country. While on this subject I may
mention that Mr. Dunn, a well-known undertaker in this
community, observed to a friend: "F. C. Waid attends
nearly as many of the funerals as I do, as I generally
see him present." Overhearing the remark, and having
placed him on the list of my friends for his kindness shown
at my mother's funeral, I could not refrain from thanking
him for the compliment, and I have ever after felt kindly
toward him.

January 10, 1888. — The evening of this day finds me
at the thirty-seventh milestone of my Christian life. I
desire to thank the Lord, who has so mercifully spared
my life until now. How wonderful have His dealings in
love and mercy been toward me and my family who are
all living ! If David desired to praise the name of the
Lord, why should not I ? The Lord has done great
things for me, whereof I am glad. He has not only put
a new song into my mouth, even praise to the Lord, but
established my goings. And the vows that I made unto
the Lord when starting out on this new journey I still
wish to keep; for we read it is better to not vow than to
vow and not pay. This question of pay embraces a
wonderful meaning. The Lord's title on us holds good
forever — it never outlaws. But His promise is just as
good as the claim which reads : He that endureth to the
end shall be saved; and herein lies the encouragement the
Christian never relaxes his hold on. Heaven awaits the



232

finally faithful. When I am traveling on a road on the
side of which the milestones are set, I generally take
note of the figures on them in order to keep myself
advised as to my journey's progress. Should I think
less of my Heavenly journey ? The Master has not only
commanded us to pray but to watch. Waicli and pray
that ye enter not into temptation. Not alone prayer but
constant watching are what save us from danger. This
question of pay involves much thought and deep study.

January 12, 1888 — My wife and I went to Blooming
Valley, to call on some friends who were sick, also to
pay a long talked of visit to an aged couple, Mr. and
Mrs. Richardson, and the night being stormy we tarried
there till morning. On our way to visit my brother-in-
law, Moses Masiker, we called to see "Aunt Polly," as
she is called (Mrs. John Dickson), who is very sick.
Her life-companion had departed this life April 16,
1882, in his eighty-fourth year. Many a call and visit
in days gone by have I made at Mr. Dickson's. It was
one of the homes my twin brother and I used to spend
evenings at in our school days. Mrs. Dickson is a
daughter of Simeon and Phebe Brown, latter of whom
lived to enter her one-hundredth year before her death,
being the oldest person in this community at that time.
I know of several who have reached from ninety to
ninety-seven: Mr. Wise was ninety-nine, but even that
was younger than Phebe Brown.

January 18 — My aged, good friend, Adam Morris,
died at his home in Woodcock Township, and has since
been interred in the Long Cemetery. He was in his sev-
enty-seventh year, a shoemaker by trade (years ago doing
our shoemaking), and a kind, neighborly friend. I taught
two terms of school in the Goodwill District in the years
1853-54, and during that time had as scholars six chil-



233

dren of Mr. Morris', five daughters and one son. They
have lived within two miles of us for many years, and I
know the family intimately. My wife and I to-day, in
company with L. M. Slocum, had the pleasure of visiting
his sister and three brothers at Mosiertown. We first
visited Mr. C. R. Slocum where we partook of supper and
stopped for the night, on the morrow going with the
members of the' family to dine with Caroline Cochran,
the only sister. While there I thought of similar oc-
casions in my youth when, with my parents, I was a fre-
quent visitor at the home of Mr. Eleazer Slocum. After
thus enjoying the hospitality of Mrs. Cochran we drove to
the home of Hon. S. Slocum,* where we remained until
January 21. Our visit at his home was a most enjoy-
able one, and, just as we were about to leave, Robert
E. Slocum, who had been prevented by business from
dining at Mrs. Cochran's, came in and invited us to pro-
long our stay until the afternoon, and in the meantime to
dine at his home. This invitation we accepted and in the
early evening we left for our own home, thus completing
the third of our visits to these fi-iends whom we all love
so well.

January 27, 1888 — The State Road between Blooming
Valley and the Goodrich Farm, where my son lives, is at
this writing blockaded with snow, something that has not
occurred before within my recollection. I have known
of blockades that extended short distances, but never any-
thing to the present one in extent. The storm has lasted
several days and during that time but little travel has
been possible, although the public held possession all day
yesterday. This morning all attempts to travel over the
road were abandoned. On the south side of the road by

* Ranker now lives in Saegerstown; I had the pleasure of calling on the family Jan-
uary 4, 1890 ; also on my aged friend, Lorenzo Wlieeler. on my return from Jamestown,
N. Y— F. C. Waid. '

15



234

going into the fields it is possible for teams to make their
way between the points mentioned. When going they
pass through the door-yard of the old homestead of Ira
C. Waid, thence around the buildings and through the
orchard and fields to the top of the hill where they are
enabled to take the road once again. It is an unusual
sight to us, such vast quantities of snow, and not by any
means an uninteresting one. A gentleman called upon
me this morning on business, who said that had he known
the night before where I lived he would have stopped, as
he was caught in the storm with many others. I sincerely
wish that he had known it for there were forty people in
two sleighs, bound for a leap-year party, caught in the
height of the storm, and one horse, a valuable animal, per-
ished. Teams, before arriving at the Borough limits on
the State Road in Blooming Valley, are compelled to turn to
the south, pass around Felty Hill and to cross the public
road into Woodcock Township, and thence continue
through James and Gay lord Smith's fields to the State
Eoad once more, near the old homestead, from which
they proceed as once above described.

February 4, 1888 — He who seeks to do good to others
finds his reward every hour of his life. To-day I was
privileged, after attending to some business in Blooming
Yalley, to attend the Teacher's Institute now in session,
and I listened with more than ordinary pleasure to the
practical instruction and the discussions as to how best
instruct the young. Now my memory travels back thirty-
eight years to the time when I taught school! My love
for and attachment to my scholars,* and the many friends
with whom I became acquainted in Blooming Yalley and
other places in my school-teaching experiences, is one

*I would like every scholar, now living, who came to school tonne in Blooming
Valley or elsewhere, to receive a copy of my Souvenir. Some have; I hope the rest
may now or in the future.— F. C. Waid.



235

reason why I desire to have this work published as a gift
book for friends and kindred. We are taught the great
truth that our record will live after we are dead ; so let
us make a good one, of which none need be ashamed.

February 6, 1888 — The road is now open for travel
after a ten days' blockade. The people of the Borough
opened the public roads to the town limits, and we, of
Woodcock Township, opened the way to Mead Township,
and to-day, with three neighbors, I completed the task of
making a passage as far the Goodrich Farm. At the
dairymen's convention in Meadville the other day, a gen-
tleman asked me if he had not seen me shoveling snow
the Tuesday previous, near F. C. Waid's. I laughingly
told him that I thought he did, for I handled a scoop-
shovel on that day, and as I worked all alone I had a
wide berth, and not a wide one only, but a cool one as
well.

March 6 — Rhoda Chase died, on the 2d insi, at her
home in Meadville, Penn., in her seventy-eighth year,
and is interred in Greendale Cemetery by the side of her
husband, who departed this life in September, 1877,
when in his sixty-ninth year. They were both members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church at State Road. He
was a farmer by occupation, and once owned the farm
where his son, Newton S. Chase, now lives. This farm
is in Mead Township, only a mile south of our home.
Many years prior to their moving to Meadville I had
known them, even from my childhood, and, like my par-
ents, I loved them and their children. My wife and I
went to the residence of Newton S. Chase for an evening
visit, February 11, 1888, and we then learned of his
mother having had a paralytic stroke on the 8th, three
days before. During her illness her son, Newton, and
her only daughter living, were present to cheer and com-



236

fort her. Slie was also visited twice by her son Warren,
who lives at Corry, Erie County, Penu., and whose health
at present is quite poor. On my first visit to see Mrs.
Chase she said, as we shook hands: "I am glad to see
you;" and in the course of our conversation I asked her
if she thought she would get well, to which she replied :
" I think not." My wife and I were present at her
funeral. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; they
rest from their labors and their works do follow them.

March 8, 1888 — To-day my wife and I decided to visit
my aunt, Clarinda Morehead, who resides with her son
Charles, near Townville, this county. She had been
seriously ill for several weeks, but was now convalescent,
although still feeble. My aunt has seen seventy years of
a hardworking life; her eight children — three sons and
five daughters — are living and married. Mrs. Morehead
seldom leaves home to pay visits to her relatives, but we
hope she will so far regain her strength as to be able to
come to us and other kindred at Blooming Valley, where
she spent many years of her life. Aunt Clarinda spoke
to my wife of a time when she and her sister Jane worked
for the Moreheads, many years before. This brought to
my mind the fact that I had worked at one time for Uncle
William Morehead, and I spoke of it, saying at the same
time, that the fact that I worked for him as a boy always
made it seem pleasurable to work by his side, as I had
often done, in manhood. Thus the conversation drifted
along, pleasantly, until finally it turned upon aged per-
sons. I remarked that I felt that I loved and respected
the aged more than ever before, and my Aunt Clarinda
said that was because I was getting older myself and
wished to set an example for others. "That is true,
aunt," I replied, "and I feel that when I get really old I
will want something still due me." We bade my aunt



23T

good-by, and pressed her if she could possibly to come
and visit us when the weather was less inclement.

April 3, 1888 — Joseph Dickson, the oldest citizen of
Meadville, died to-day aged ninety-eight years, one month
and twenty-one days. I am told that Meadville had been
his home for upward of ninety years. I have known Mr.
Dickson personally from my youth, and I called to see
him shortly after he entered on his ninety-ninth year.
In this connection I wish to speak of Balthazar Gehr,
who resided in Sadsbury Township. Mr. Gehr died in
1885 at the remarkable age of nearly one hundred and
three years.

April 8 — To-day my wife, Eliza, and I attended the fu-
neral of John Johnson, of Woodcock Township, who
resided two miles north of us, in Woodcock Valley. At
his death he was in his sixty-fifth year. His funeral was
largely attended, the Rev. Hamilton McClintock, of Mead-
ville, officiating. His test was from Psalm Ixsiii, 26:
My flesh and my heart faileth; hut God is the strength of
my heart, and my portion forever. I wish to say a few
words, taking the book of books as my theme, and I do not
know where I can say them more appropriately than in con-
nection with the text quoted above. I have said that I love
labor, but with all my love for work I have not been pre-
vented from loving the Scriptures. I delight in them;
they are ever new to me; they come freighted with glad
tidings of great joy bringing light and life with the prom-
ise of eternal happiness hereafter.

The study of the Bible and the hearing of the Gospel
as it is preached by those sent forth to proclaim its truths,
by the Divine Master, are to me of inestimable value, as
they bring the greater and lasting blessings. There are
some facts about the actual make-up of the Bible that
may not generally be known, and I will give them for
the future reference of my readers:



238

There are 66 books: Old Testament, 39; New Testament, 27.
Chapters, 1.189: Old Testament, 929; New Testament, 260. Verses,
31.143: Old Testament, 23,214; New Testament, 7,929. Words, 773,-
692: Old Testament, 592,439; New Testament, 181,253. Letters, 3,566,-
480: Old Testament, 2,728,100; New Testament, 838,380. Ezra vii,
21, contains all the letters of the alphabet. The nineteenth chapter of
Second Kings and the thirty-seventh chapter of Isaiah are alike.

The Bible abounds in beautiful passages. What is
more lovely than this description of the lily in the sixth
chapter of St. Matthew: Consider the lilies of the field,
how they groio; they toil not, neither do they spin: and
yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these. The lily is men-
tioned fourteen times in the Bible, the rose but twice:
both are beautiful, but what flower can eclipse the modest
beauty of the lily of the valley. How many lessons we
might learn from the flowers. At the Centennial I saw
the greatest variety as well as the largest quantity of
flowers I had ever beheld, as a friend of mine remarked,
there seemed to be acres of them. I thought as I turned
from them how my dear mother would have enjoyed the
sight, for she was so fond of flowers, planting and tending
those about the homestead with the greatest care. Even
until this day springing from the garden are blossoming
plants placed there by her hands. I agree with Dr. Tal-
mage that "flowers teach."

April 13, 1888 — To-day my wife completes her fifty-
sixth year. Crowded on the pages of memory are a
thousand pleasant reminiscences of the past — of the time
of our courtship and of our happy married life. But we
are nearing the end of our journey; each day brings us
nearer to the time of God's calling. We may not know
it, it is not our heavenly Father's wish, but

"Somewhere on this earthly planet,

In the dust of flowers to be,

In the dew-drop, in the sunshine,

Sleeps a solemn day for me."



239

Bad news as well as good news sometimes comes on a
day when we would wish all to be bright, and it was bad
on this anniversary of Eliza's birth, for Ave heard of the
burning this morning of G. N. Waid's saw-mill. My
wife and I called to see him, and on our return took sup-
per with our eldest son. I wrote to-day, also to Rev. W.
F. Oldham who, with his wife, is a missionary at Singa-
pore, on the Malay Peninsula. In 1879 Mr. Oldham
was our pastor at the State Road Methodist Episcopal
Church, being at the same time a student at Allegheny
College. Brother Oldham once, when trying to raise
some money for repairing the church, came to me with
the subscription paper; I put my name down for $30,
and as I handed the paper back I said: "I reserve the
right to pay more if it be needed." He smiled and re-
plied: "Brother Waid, I am glad we have a few such
men in our church, who after paying their subscriptions,
pledge themselves to make up any arrears." Well, as
it happened the cost of the repairs exceeded the amount
subscribed, and although Mr. Oldham had gone I remem-
bered our conversation and assumed with pleasure the
balance of the indebtedness which amounted to $58.
This is but one instance in which I have endeavored not
only to bear my part, or rather what I thought my duty,
financially, but have rather perhaps gone beyond it. Let
me quote other instances: I was once handed a subscrip-
tion paper in a church, and was asked if possible to raise
$45, that sum being the one-fourth part of the amount
necessary to be raised. Three others were trying to raise
a like amount, and soon succeeded. *I was the last of the
four to be sent out to canvass one-fourth of the house.
I was younger then by many years than I am now, and
could do more labor, but I had not the means that I at
present possess. When the other three had counted



240

their contributions, it was announced that if Brother
Waid had been equally successful the entire amount of
^180 would have been raised. When I counted the sub-
scription I had obtained, I'found the sum fell far short
of the amount needed, and as I told the congregation
some one asked why it was that it fell short when the
others had been so successful. I replied that the reason
was because I had not yet put down my name, and that I
would now ask the privilege of subscribing the amount
•necessary. In that way it was arranged and the debt
was paid.

At the time of writing this incident, April 23, 1888, 1
am just fifty-five years old, and I do not regret a dollar
that I have ever spent to promote good by advancing the
Master's kingdom. I like to close each year of my life
better than I began it, and last night, as my fifty-fifth
year drew to a close, I trust that I performed a deed that
will aid in making me better in reality, as it certainly has
aided in making me feel better. The Free Methodists of
this vicinity are holding meetings in the Methodist Episco-



Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 28 of 60)