Francis C Waid.

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

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pal Church, Blooming Valley (as they have no church of
their own), on alternate Sabbaths. We attended church
there on Sunday morning, and in the evening also. We
heard two good sermons from the pastor, who is supported
from the proceeds of the collections. One was taken at the
morning service, and another at the close of the evening
service. When both offerings were counted, the total
amount was but $7.00. I thought that ere the close of
my fifty -five years of life I still had another opportunity
of doinggood, and so, at the end of the sermon, when Elder
McGeary gave all an opportunity to testify for Christ,
and when all was finished, I arose, and addressing the
elder, said: "Is it still in order to speak?" "That de-
pends upon what you have to say," he replied. I quoted


this passage from the Scripture: Who can harm you ij
you he followers of f hat which is good? I then told them
that Christ had been very kind to me in my Christian
life, and that I had derived great comfort from His Gos-
pel. With a few other words, I said that I desired to
make their collection double what it was, and thus I made
the amount ^14.00. So I ended my year pleasantly by
doing a kind act, and I hope to do it each succeeding year
while my life shall last.

No one can be so interested in the return of my birth-
day as I am. To me it is a day of joy and thanksgiving
for having life, health, peace and happiness, and for be-
ing surrounded with friends and kindred ; first, therefore,
let me thank the Parent of all good for the blessings that
He has showered upon me. I believe that if with age
there comes infirmity, there also comes more grace to
endure. During the past year, taking into account the
failing health of my dear wife, and other trials which I
have passed through, I feel that I have been upheld, and
that indeed His grace is sufficient for me. How I ought
to honor the Lord when I remember His goodness to me.

APRIL 23, 1888.


I'm fifty -four years old to-day;

Father Time would not delay,
But added daily to the store

Until my years reached fiftj'^-four.

All these natal days I've seen
While watching close life's changing scene;

Each day and year brought pictures new
And mem'ry calls them into view.

If thinking deeply o'er the past

Will save, O Lord, my soul at last,
Then let me yet the wiser grow

As I with faith shall onward go.


The fifty-four years I have lived

Have taught me lessons to forgive;
Its nothing else but truth from Heaven —

Forgive and you shall be forgiven.

It was, not said by Him in vain,

The merciful shall peace obtain,
But every one who will endure

Shall find His promise very sure.

In eighteen hundred fifty-one

My Christian course was then begun;
The Bible truth which makes all free

Has been a blessing unto me.

My years full pleasantly have flown,

When deep in search of Truth alone,
While working daily in the field

His word sweet comfort oft did yield.

I am content, by day or night.
When Heav'nly landmarks are in sight.

Reminders of His favors given,
Landmarks leading on to Heaven.

Francis C. Waid.

May 11 and 12, 1888 — I think a few lines concerning
the " Centennial Celebration of the Settlement of
Crawford County and Founding of the City of Mead-
ville" will not be out of place here, for it was a most im-
portant event in the history of this locality; and as I
have just returned from the two-days' celebration I will
write concerning it while it is fresh in my memory.

In the early afternoon of the 11th occurred the in-
dustrial parade, representing the various trades, indus-
tries and professions of the city and county. After the
parade, which was a success, a shower of rain fell that
interfered sadly with the band concert in Diamond Park.
The literary exercises in the evening at the Academy of
Music were marked by good taste and force in the ren-
dering of the addresses, and showed high attainments on
the part of the participants. The historical address was


full of interest to all who lieai'd it, and a finely rendered
ballad, "George Washington," by the College Glee Club,
was provocative of much applause. The rooms of the
Historical Society in the library building were open
during the progress of the Centennial, a courtesy much

At 7 A. M., Mav 12. a salute of one hundred guns was
fired, and there was a loud ringing of bells, calling forth
the people to the planting of the centennial oak on Dia-
mond Park. The tree was placed on the southern half of
the park near the dividing walk. May it stand for
many years as a memorial of this day and as a reminder
to future generations to guard well their liberties, that
they, too, may celebrate successive Centennials with their
country's heritage of freedom still secure. The Pioneer
monument standing at the north end of the park was un-
veiled in the presence of a throng of many thousand peo-
ple, among whom were the children of the public schools
who sang "America." I had witnessed many notable
scenes on Diamond Park, or the " Old Diamond" as we
called it, but none of my boyhood's sights impressed me
as did this scene on the morning of which I write. The
Crawford County Centennial was a most interesting
affair to the inhabitants of this section of Pennsylvania.
The county's population is now estimated at 85,000,
while that of the city is put at 10,000.

I have to record a sad accident that occurred on the
first evening of the celebration, when George Williams, a
special policeman, was accidentally shot dead. He was
in his thirty-eighth year, and I knew him as a boy when
he attended our Sabbath-school at State Road. His father,
Ethan Williams, was an active member of the church
during many years of his lifetime.

Returning to the subject of the monument I would


say that it bears an inscription to the purport that it was
erected May 12, 1888, to mark the history of Crawford
County and the founding of Meadville. It is an orna-
ment to the city and an object of great interest to visiting
strangers. It was a great pleasure to me to contribute
$100 toward the Centennial fund, as it was no less a
gratification to aid in such a way as I could the publica-
tion and distribution of our Centennial pamphlet which
contains much of interest concerning our county, and is a
strong promoter of its welfare. The following letter I
received from my respected friend, Mr. S. B. Dick, one of
the vice-presidents of the Centennial Celebration,

Meadville, Penn., May 5, 18«8.
F. C. Waid, Esq.

My Dear Sir: I am requested by the Centennial Executive Com-
mittee to express to you their hearty appreciation of your generous
gift to tlie Centennial Memorial.

The following resolution expressive of our appreciation of your
subscription, and the feelings which prompted it, was passed unani-
mously at the last meeting of the Committee:

Resolved, That the generous contribution of Mr. F. C. Waid to the
Centennial fund calls for special recognition on the part of the Cen-
tennial Executive Committee, and that our thanks be extended to Mr.

Yours very truly,

S. B. Dick,


I love a book and my friends, and in subscribing to
one I help the other. The wide distribution of this work
has brought much love and friendship to my door; the
good work began before Christmas, and still goes on.
The good spirit that is within a man who contemplates
doing anything, says: "Ought I to do this?" while
another spirit queries: "Can I do this?" Reasoning
upon this line of thought, I decided a question for myself
not long ago. A few days before my birthday, Col. S. B.
Dick, whom I met in Meadville, said: "Frank, now is a


good time to subscribe for the monument fund." "Yes,"
I replied, "but I will take a little time to consider about
it." "All right, that is precisely what I want you to do,"
said the Colonel, in answer, and then we parted. I think
the right man had spoken to rae on the subject, and I
did not have to think over it long before I was decided.
I knew that when the spirit asked: "Ought you to do
this?" the answer came readily and promptly: "Yes."
And in a day or two I experienced a double pleasure,
that of celebrating my birthday and giving the money
toward the monument. On that day I addressed a letter
to Col. Dick and the Centennial committee, and enclosed
my check for $100. I gave this money, my reader, because
I love the county which gave me birth. When travel-
ing at a distance through strange and beautiful places,
my heart has always turned yearningly toward my home.
There are many associations connected with home life
that have endeared me to it. The feeling of love for
home is one common to all mankind, and he who does
not have it must in some way be ijaorally estray. As I
have written above, I subscribed cheerfully to this fund,
for I wish always to promote Crawford County's welfare.
Here rests the dust of my dead kindred; here my j^arents
and grandparents lived and died. It is a locality teem-
ing with memories of pioneer life, of hardships and early
struggles. I, as a descendant, feel that I have a share
in those early times, and I trust that posterity will be
imbued with the same spirit to the extent that will make
them guard ever the interests of Crawford County.

Before closing this subject I may say that I was ap-
pointed by the Centennial Executive Committee a vice-
president of the committee, of which I was advised by a
letter from the chairman of Committee of Arrangements,
of which the following is a copy:


Meadville, Pa., May 7, 1888.
F. C. Waid, Esq.

Dear Sir: You are appointed by the Centenuial Executive Com-
mittee, a vice-president of tlie Committee. *

It is hoped that you will be able to attend the exercises to be held
in the Academy of Music, May 11 and 12. Executive Committee
badges will be supplied by Major D. V. Derickson.

Yours very truly,

A. M. Fuller,
Chairman, Committee of Arrangements.

June 5, 1888 — When walking along Park Avenue, in
Meadville, to-day, I met Francis Fox, a mechanic, with
whom I am acquainted, and after a hearty greeting,
noticing that he held some tools in his hand, I said:
" Those tools indicate that you are on your way to work."
" Yes," he said, " I am going to help tear down the old
academy." This answer struck me with surprise, for T
had no idea that the time-honored institution of learning,
the Meadville Academy, would be demolished. Before
I left town I walked through Market Street, and found
Mr. Fox and his men at work removing the old structure
which was built in 1S*26, nearly seven years before I was
born, I had lived to see the old Cowen School in our
rural district removed to give place to a larger and better
building. It was afterward converted into a dwelling,
and as I have passed it I have always looked into it with
pleasure born of recollection. The old academy in
Meadville is another bright spot in the past. How well
I remember my instructors, T. F. Thickstum and S. P.
Bates, both of whom are still living. I attended but one
term at the academy, and that was in the fall of 1853,
but even a step in the direction of learning is not lost.
I have looked upon the academy since then as an old
friend, and I find that many others viewed it in the same
light, for on the morning when it Avas being taken down,
many had gathered to bid it good-by. The work of de-


struction occupied several days, diiring Avliich time, the
youth, middle-aged and those in more advanced years,
looked upon the work, while memories of the days spent
within its old and well-loved halls filled their minds and
warmed their hearts. History tells us that there were
two other buildings used as academies in Meadville prior
to 1826, both of which are yet standing. One is at the
corner of Chestnut and Liberty Streets, and the other
near by upon the latter thoroughfare. The first step
toward securing an academy was made in 1800.

June 17, 1888 — On this day died Mrs. Thomas Chip-
man, aged seventy-seven years. Her husband is still
living, at the age of seventy-nine. I have known this
aged couple for many years, their residence being the
second Cowen schoolhouse, which, in my youth, I attended
as a scholar and in which shortly after I was a teacher.
It is situated at the foot of Schoolhouse Hill. The north
point of the cross roads forms the corner of Blooming
Yalley Cemetery, a plot of seven acres. The portion near
the Chipman residence descends to the north and north-
east and form Schoolhouse Hill. On its summit stands
the largest monument in the cemetery, erected to the
the memory of Henry B. Baxter, born December 17, 1827,
died July 4, 1882. North of this lot lies the grave of
Hulda Baxter, riee Chipman, the wife of Wallace Baxter.
She was the daughter of Mrs. Chipman, whose funeral
my brother and I attended to-day, June 19, 1888. Mrs.
Chipman is interred at the foot of her daughter's grave,
and within a few rods of her home. I do not remember
having ever before attended a funeral where the inter-
ment was so close to the deceased's residence. The
changes from joy to sorrow and from sorroAV to joy are
ever occurring in this transitory life. One day we fol-
low a fi'ieud to the silent grave, and the next we are


cheered by a visit from a long absent, yet dear relative.
The day following Mrs. Chipman's funeral, while work-
ing busily in the field, I heard a voice evidently address-
ing me, saying: " You are going to let me come way out
here after you, are you ?" I recognized the voice before
seeing the speaker, and going toward him I said: "Willis
Masiker, I knew your voice before I saw you, although
you have been absent so many years. Perhaps, however,
it is a good thing that we visited you as that visit prob-
ably aided memory." My visitor was my wife's brother
who went to Lansing, Iowa, thirty -two years ago, and had
not since visited his old home. My wife's illness was
the prime cause of his coming at this time. On this day
as Eliza had felt better she was driven to the old home-
stead,and there her brother and I followed,and we all dined
with my son, Guinnip. During the afternoon Willis and
I visited Blooming Valley Cemetery where we looked upon
his father's grave. Leaving the cemetery we went to the
home of Moses Masiker for supper, after which, as we
drove slowly home, we passed the old Masiker homestead
with its well-tilled farm, where Willis spent his happy
childhood and where I with my bride so often visited her

July 2, 1888 — Meeting with old friends is sweet, but
parting is sadness itself. To-day, after a visit of twelve
days, Willis leaves for his home. When he came here
this morning to see his sister he spoke of the fact that
whenever he approached the house he found me working.
I told him that in my youth I had asked for a busy life;
I obtained it, liked it and did not propose to give it up.
We passed into the parlor, where, upon her sick couch
lay his sister bearing her sufferings so patiently. Willis
had spoken to me of the fear that he might never see her
again. I saw their pathetic parting and heard the wliis-



pered goodby as they seperated never to meet again in
this world. The joy that had lightened their faces dur-
ing his visit had now departed, and sorrow dwelt in its
place. But hold one moment; I read something in their
faces that means more than joy — it is HOPE — hope of a
meeting in the blessed hereafter that brings that look of
peace. My dear wife died on the fourth, and was buried
on the fifth. My sorrow is too great to write of the cir-
cumstances at present, but at some future date I will en-
deavor to say a few words about my great affliction.*

Soon after the death of Eliza I wrote to Willis Masi-
ker, and in reply he said that he was not at all surprised
to hear of his sister's death, that he knew she must di^
at the time of this sorrowful parting, and that the time
of her death on the morning of July 4 was just two hours
after he had reached home.

The Commencement Exercises of Allegheny College
occurred to-day, there being twenty-six gradviates, seven
young ladies and nineteen young men ready to go into
the world to better its condition. Gen. James A. Beaver,
Governor of Pennsylvania, was present and delivered an
address. I had heard Gen. Beaver before, but was glad
of this additional opportunity. All the exercises pleased
me greatly. The Governor spoke in terms of praise of
Allegheny College, and said that instead of concentrating
the institutions of learning in Pennsylvania into one
grand university, he was in favor of doubling their

Before relating the events of interest that occurred
while on a trip to Jamestown and Chautauqua, N. Y., early
in August of this year, I wish to speak of the peculiar
circumstances under which the journey was taken. I re-

*0n March 26. 1889. Mr. Waid has in his diary some retrospective thoughts anent
his wife's death. [Editor.]



member when I left home first, as a boy, just what my
feelings were at the parting with the dear ones, and how
I anticipated great pleasure in relating my experiences
upon my return. I was but a boy, and the journey was
but a short one, merely extending to Orange County,
N. Y., where I was to assist in driving a drove of cattle,
yet to me it seemed of the utmost importance, and I min-
gled not a little romance in my thoughts of what was to
befall me on the way. Since then I have had many op-
portunities to leave home, and have availed myself of
most of them. Many, many times have Eliza and I alone,
or with our childreu, as the case might be, left home, the
dearest spot on earth to us, and gone forth for the pur-
pose of visiting friends or places at a distance. Those
were indeed happy days, and my heart beats with grati-
tude as I recall them. Blest be the tie that binds us in
union here on earth! but, alas! all earthly ties are made
but to be broken asunder, and now the dear one, the bet-
ter half, is no longer here. I have lived long enough to
know what the loss of father and mother means, and be-
fore realizing that I felt poignant grief over the death of
my twin brother; but who can estimate the greatness of
the loss of a loving and true wife. Since July 4, I have
been studying from this new book of experience. I had
heard others tell of loneliness, but what it meant in its
fullest force I did not know until I started to leave home
on August 3, 1888. I had hardly realized my position
until now; my mind had been clouded by the shock of my
wife's death; but now the cloud was dissipated, and I felt
that I was indeed alone. In the words of Bunyan: " The
heart must be beaten and bruised, and then the sweet
scent will come out." Upon this journey Eliza was
neither to go with me nor to remain at home; she had
already departed to return no more. The thought of go-


ing away without her overwhelmed me; I hardly knew
how to get ready to go, and my situation and feelings
were desolate indeed. At length the words o£ Divine
comfort came to me : / will neve?' leave thee, nor forsake
ihee, and I took heart and left home upon my short tour,
which was to include Jamestown and Chautauqua. At
Jamestown I saw Mr. F. Simmons, and spent the night at
my cousins', the Colts, with whom my Aunt Mary Ann
resides. My aunt's mind had been failing for some time,
but she gratified me by remembering me, for, when her
daughter, Mrs. Colt, said, "Do you know who this is?"
she replied, "Yes, it's a gentleman from Meadville;
don't you think I know Francis?" After that she ad-
dressed me as Francis often, somewhat to their sur-
prise. I reached Chautauqua on Saturday, August 4, at
noon, and went to the house of my friend, Mr. Mathews,
on Ramble Avenue, Avhence I went, at a later hour, ~to
hear Dr. Talmage lecture on the subject: " The School
for Scandal." At eight in the evening there was an en-
tertainment, entitled "Picturesque America and British
America,'' given by Philip Philips.

On Sunday, August 5, I heard Dr. Talmage preach in
the Amphitheater upon the text: And through a icindow
in a basket loas I let down by the wall, or, as Dr. Talmage
called it: "Paul in a basket." After hearing this emi-
nent clergyman lecture and preach, I was very desirous
to speak to him and shake his hand. I have read many
of his sermons, and once tried to hear him in Brooklyn,
but failed, as the church was closed; and I have always
regarded him as a friend, for I have profited by his
work. I could not resist the temptation, therefore, to
attempt to have a chat with him, and so, when I saw him
part from Dr. Vincent, with whom he walked from the
Amphitheater, I approached, and overtaking him said:


"This is Dr. Talmage?" "Yes," he replied, and then
evidently seeing in me a friend, he extended his hand.
After warm pressure I told him who I was, how much I
had enjoyed his sermon and lecture, and then, calling his
attention to the sermon just delivered, I told him I
wished to be like one of the men who held the rope when
Paul was let down from the windows. He smiled at this
and said, that if I would read the sermon I would know
better what holding the rope meant than I would if he
described it to me. The names of the men who held the
rope were unknown to the pages of history, but were writ-
ten in the Lamb's Book of Life. Their names were writ-
ten in Heaven, for doing what they could. I spoke to
Dr. Talmage of my biography and the Souvenir, and
asked him if I might have the pleasure of presenting one
to him. He said: "Send me a copy," and with a heart-
felt " God bless you," we parted. On Sunday evening
Philip Philips gave an illustrative song service, with
views from the Bible and the life of John Bunyan. The
pictures were beautiful, and the hymns were sweetly sung.
Scriptural reading closed the evening service.

August 23, 1888 — In looking over my youngest son's
album to-day I found some excellent advice written by
my wife to her son, and I copy it here, for I wish to
show how fully I appreciate her memory and sayings,
and the advice she gave our children. On one page occurs
this: A good name is rather to be chosen than great
riches; and on another:

" True happiness, if understood,
Consists alone in doing good."

I cannot refrain from copying the following lines writ-
ten by my wife's only sister, Aunt Jane, as she is called.
She deserves many thanks for the sentiment set forth in


the verse. She is nearer to us now than any of our kin-
dred. The lines are as follows:

" Within this book so pure and white,
Let none but friends presume to write,
And may each, word in friendship given
Direct the reader's thougbts to heaven."


Forest Grove Methodist Episcopal Church, situated
four miles east of Guy's Mills, was dedicated to-day. It
is a plain, neat, country church, erected where a house of
worship was much needed. It rained in the morning, and
I was undecided whether to go to our own church or to
the dedication, but I finally decided in favor of the latter.
Orlando Waid, my nephew, drove to the church, a dis-
tance of eleven miles, with me, and we arrived rather late,
the services being well advanced. I pushed my way
to the stove, for I was wet and cold, and sat down. Dr.
Flood, who was conducting the services, stopped the pro-
ceedings, gave out the text and announced the state of
the collections. The church cost ^1,100, $600 had been
previously collected, leaving $500 to be subscribed on
the day of dedication. Dr. Flood having explained the
situation, I said: "I will give my check for $100." I
afterward added 10 per cent for the family of Kev. J. W.
Crouch e, and $20 for my own family, making a sum total
of $130. It brings true happiness to do a deed of this
kind. On January 11, 1889, I gave my check for the
amount pledged. I afterward met my friend Dr. Flood
in the depot, as he was on his way to dedicate the Method-
ist Episcopal (Hites) Chapel, at Jamestown, N. Y. " Dear
brother," said he, after cordially shaking my hand, " can
you give me $10 for this good work?" I said "yes," and
handed him the money.

October 8 to 21, 1888— [My brother-in-law, G. W.


Cutshall and I make a trip to Kansas, an account of
which will be found at page 83.]

My cousin, Leander Simmons, died December 16,
1888, at his home in Harmony, Chautauqua County, N.
Y., at the age of sixty-j&ve years and four months. His
funeral was held in Harmony Methodist Episcopal
Church, the pastor Eev. Mr. Burns, officiating, and his

Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 29 of 60)