Francis C Waid.

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

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ing on the traveler. I read when quite j'oung, " Young Man go West,"
and I liave often studied the subject since. My first trip in response to
this advice was in 1860. Since then I have made several trips, and
during the last two j'ears four, traveling in several States and seeing


;\ little of the great West. It is my honest opinion that, although I
have always lived in Pennsylvania, yet, should my life be spared, my
future home may be in the West. Men have been going West ever
since the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, and the geographical
center of population has shifted from one place to another until many
places have claimed the distinction.

When I was at Fort Riley, Kas., I was told that was the center.
Many States, indeed may I not say every State and Territory, claim some
advantage in preference to others; but that best location for farming
or any other occupation is, in my opinion, like the Garden of Eden — diffi-
cult to locate, though the entire race of manlvind has been ever search-
ing for it. The majority have, like myself, had enough to do to secure a
living and provide for their families. I think it right for every one to
learn what he can in reference to the occupation he wishes to follow,
and then seek the location that suits him. I did this, and on this, my
fifty-seventh birthday can say I am contented. After my first visit to
the West the question was often asked me, " Did you see any locality
or farming country you liked?'' I did, many such places: and would
be as contented and happy as now, had I chosen to have lived there.
But after my first trip West I weighed the matter, and came to the
conclusion that I was better suited with mj* own little home in Penn-
sylvania, and every trip I have made since, whether west, east, north
or south, I have returned with greater love for home. But the knowl-
edge gained by these trips has done me good, and I am glad of the
knowledge so gained.

While I believe a man can get a living and perhaps do well in
any State or Territory in the Union, I also believe more depends upon
the man than the place where he makes his home. I think the all-
wise Creator has distributed His blessings more evenly in the country
than we give Him credit for. Men once tried to build a tower to
Heaven, but failed. There is a surer and better way to get there.
" Trust in the Lord, do good, and verily thou shalt be fed " — here and
hereafter. I believe it is the experience of my fortieth year of
Christian life that, though I became a Christian in youth, my only re-
gret is that I have not been more faithful, and started earlier in life.
What adds most to the comforts of my earthly home is the assur-
ance of and title to the Heavenly home. One incident of this day has
been a visit to Aunt Polly Riser,* our nearest neighbor, whom I have
known from boyhood. She is in her eighty-ninth year, and standing
close to the banks of the great river which separates the Heavenly
land from ours. By the way, I am reminded of the death of my aged
Aunt Mary Ann Simmons, of Jamestown, N. Y., who had passed away
shortly before my arrival from Kansas, on April 4th, in her eighty-
eighth year.

*I visited her agaiu .July?, 1891, aud foiiud her fast failing.


Let me sum up my fifty-seventh birthday: Family celebration
with children and grandchildren; trip to Meadville; wrote a letter to
a friend; put up 200 bushels of oats for market; wrote check for the
sum of f)ne hundred dollars as my contribution to Soldiers' Monument.

" One sweetly solemn thought

Comes to me o'er and o'er;
I'm nearer my home to-day

Than I ever have been before;
Nearer my Father's hovise,

Where the many mansions be;
Nearer the great white throne,

Nearer the crystal sea.

"Nearer the bound of life,

Where we lay our burdens down;

Nearer leaving the cross,'
' Nearer gaining the crown!

But the waves of that silent sea
Roll dark before my sight

That brightly the other side
Break on a shore of light.

"O, if my mortal feet

Have almost gained the brink;
If it be I am nearer home,

Even to-day, than I think, —
Father, perfect my trust!

Let my spirit feel, in death,
That its feet are firmly set

On a rock of a living faith."

Sunday, April 27.- — How thankful I am to find myself
in better health and able to attend church, Sunday-school
and other religious exercises at the old State Road,
and to enjoy the privileges of the sanctuary with
my brethren, after an absence of three months. The
Lord, through our pastor. Rev. James Clyde, had gra-
ciously revived the good work in the vineyard during the
winter, and new converts had united with old ones in
praising the Lord for what He had done for them. And


this clay we older members undertook to say that we, too,
had great reason to be thankful to the Lord for His good-
ness and mercy to us. O that men icould praise the
name of the Lord for His goodness, and His iconderfid
works toward the children of men. If joy on earth be so
great, what must it be in Heaven? Like Eev. Sam P.
Jones, / tvant to get there! YES, GET THERE! From
church I went to the house of Lewis M. Slocum, my
son's father-in-law, who is in poor health, and here I re-
mained over night. In the morning I drove the daugh-
ter, Lucy Slocum, to the school she teaches in the Kiser
district, Mead Township, about five miles distant, and on
our way saw three cemeteries or burial grounds, viz. : one
at Wayland, the Ewiug Graveyard and the Kiser Ceme-
tery, just opposite the school-house where Lucy is teach-
ing. This is her first school, her scholars being already
thirty-two in number, and I could not help thinking about
my own first school with a class of more than double the
number they average nowadays, and of how my good
friends used to help me along the rocky road to learning.
May 2. — To-day I attended the Farmers' Convention
held in the Library Hall, Meadville. We were met to-
gether in a good cause — to become more united in our
political effort to be represented in our legislature and
general government, and to have farmers nominated
to represent us and look after our interests. Were I a
politician I would perhaps say more here, but I hope to
be able some time to express my views on this subject as
a practical farmer, one who has worked long enough
and studied sufficiently as he went along to have gained
something by experience. On May 3d I called on my
aged friend. Rev. E. C. Pengra, who lives less than a
mile southeast of Meadville. I have known him for
many years, and was truly glad to see him. Brother


Peiigra bad owned a farm just south of and near the
State Road M. E. Church for several years prior to his
moving to his present home. While I was enjoying my
visit with Mr. Pengra, Dr. C. E. Hall and his wife came
in to pay the aged and respected couple a visit, but of
this event I have already made mention.

My visit to Mr Pengra reminds me of a certain event
that occurred December 22, 1870, the day he left his
farm and had his public sale. I had gone with G.
W. and P. M. Cutshall to Meadville, where I saw them
leave by train (they were going West to buy some cattle),
and on my Avay home I went to the sale at Mr. Pengra's.
While there my son Guinnip arrived in haste on horse-
back to inform me of my father having been stricken
with paralysis, and also went posthaste to tell my brother
G. N. of the sad event. My friend, David Roberts, who
was present at the sale, accompanied me as I hastened to
my father's side,* so alarmed was he, as well as myself, at
the unexpected news. In that hour of distress, and up to
the day of my father's death, January 27, 1871, Mr.
Roberts proved himself a true friend to him and to the
entire family.

" He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need."

" O spring, thou fairest season of the year,
How lovely soft, how sweet dost thou appear!
What pleasing landskips meet the gazing eye!
How beauteous nature does with nature vie."


Sunday, May 4. — This is a lovely day, and it is and has
been what every farmer most delights in — " fine growing

*I shall never forget the expression on my father's face when I first saw him
after the stroke; the one half of it was very much changed, but it afterward was
partially restored to its normal condition.


weather." The Christian'' s groioth, wherein shoukl it be
found? In the pathway of duty, especially on the
Sabbath clay, in seeking the means of grace at the Lord's
house. While approaching, on this bright Sunday fore-
noon, Blooming Valley Advent Church, I thankfully
thought of the privilege I was about to enjoy, as I had
not been within the portals of that house of worship for
several months. I was blessed in this, and still further
blessed as I listened to a beautiful sermon from He-
brews xii: 1: Wherefore seeing ive also are compassed
about with so great a cloud of witnesses^ let us lay aside
every weight, and the sin wJiicJi doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

May 7. — Went to Meadville on business, and while so
engaged met several friends Including Judge Henderson,
whom I had not met since my return from Kansas.
On my way home I called on Henry Smith, with whom I
had a most enjoyable visit, and Avith the rest of the fam-
ily met his father-in-law, William Chase, now eighty-two
years of age, Avith whom I have been acquainted many
years. At one time he owned a farm about a mile south
of us,* and when I taught school in the Moore School
District, in Mead Township, in 1856-57, his children —
two sons and two daughters — were attending that school.
Mrs. Henry Smith was the eldest in the family, and now
she has two children of her own — Jennie and Hettie —
both grown to womanhood.

May 9. — The poet Gray has sung of "The breezy call
of incense breathing morn," and I think when he wrote
that beautiful line he must have been luxuriating in a
simple early morning ramble in the country, any time in
the merry month of May. " God made the country, man
made the city," and midst the charms of rural scenes

*Now owned by Smith Galey.


liow refreshing it is to look from nature up to nature's
God! These May mornings are incomparable in their
beauty and sweetness, and as I look around me, viewing
the fine fields of grass and grain, I do not feel that I can
fully endorse the opinion that we are having a " backward
spring " — indeed, as I passed down the fertile Woodcock
valley this afternoon on my way on foot to Saegertown,
I became impressed with the idea that if the early blos-
soming of wild strawberries, which I saw by the wayside,
is any indication at all, we were having rather a " for-
ward spring " than otherwise.


" The evening was glorious, and light through the trees
Played the sunshine and rain-drojjs, the birds and the Ijreeze;
The landscape, outstretching in loveliness, lay
On the lap of the year, in the beauty of Maj'.

For the Queen of the Spring, as she passed down the vale,
Left her robe on the trees, and her breath on the gale;
And the smile of her promise gave joy to the hours.
And fresh in her footsteps sprang herbage and flowers."

Kemaining over night in Saegertown with my friend,
Mr. George Floyd, I was pleased to find Mrs. Floyd look-
ing and feeling better than when I called on them in
April. In the evening I attended, with Brother Floyd,
the prayer meeting in the M. E. Church, which I the
more enjoyed as it brought to me pleasant memories of
the past, when in former years I experienced so many
similar blessed privileges in company with Mr. Floyd's
father at other places. There is great help in true
prayer, and sweet music in Christian song.

"Music," Avrote Martin Luther, "is the art of the
prophets, the only art that can calm the agitations of the
soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful
presents God has given us." Yes, dear reader, the ele-


ments of music are in everything around us ; they are found
in every part of creation; in the chirping of the feath-
ered choristers of nature; in the calls and cries of the
various animals; in the melancholy murmur of the water-
fall; in the wild roar of the waves — "The voice of the
great Creator dwells in that mighty tone ;" in the hum
of the distant multitude and in the varying winds — alike
when the dying cadence falls lightly on the ear as
when the liurricane sweeps past, dealing destruction as it


"There's music in the sighing of the reed,
There's music in the gusliing of tlie rill,
There's music in all things if men had ears,
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres!"

Next morning on my way to the train, I dropped in
to see and shake the friendly hand of Hon. S. Slocum at
his home, where I was pleased to form, the acquaintance
•of Mrs. Slocum's mother, Mrs. Manville, who was there
on a visit, and whose husband I had often met.

Sunday, May 11. — This day I passed in Meadville, in
the forenoon attending church and Sunday-school at State
Street, where I heard our own pastor, Rev. James Clyde,
. preach from the text: TJnj ivill be done. At the close of
the Sunday-school exercises the superintendent, Brother
St. John, remarked to the meeting: "We have still five
minutes, and I see Brother AVaid is here from State Road.
You all remember how our library was increased by his
offer which we accepted, and we will now be glad to hear
from our friend." Well, if I had been asked for a dollar
or so, that would have been quite another matter; but to
expect from me a speech! I was reminded of the school-
boy's lesson — the most difficult question or problem often
comes first, and demands our strongest efforts ; so I did
the best I could, knowing that we get credit for what we do,
not what we think we will do and then leave undone. Men



may be unmindful of the little duties of life, like chil-
dren forgetting to obey their parents ; but our Heavenly
Father is not thus Tinraindfulof us, as even for a cup of cold
water He gives a reward. No duty cheerfully performed
goes unrewarded. Now, I could not say much to the
Sunday-school class, but what I had to say I did will-
ingly for the Master, because I owed it to Him for the
thovisands of blessings He has bestowed upon me. When
Brother St. John asked me to speak, I hesitated, as T
thought time could be better improved than by my trying
to say anything; but he quietly said to me, "Mr. Waid,
you can at any rate say 'How do you do?' " So, as I
do not believe in "giving away" friends, but rather in
profiting by what they may say, I addressed the school
in substance as follows: ^' Hoic do you do? This is a
lovely Sunday morning. I am very glad to be with you
in this Sabbath-school, and share with you the benefits
from our lesson. To-day I am contented and happy in
the thought that I have enjoyed this privilege so long.
It is probably fifty years since my parents took my twin
brother and myself to the Sunday-school at the old State
Road appointment, and I have been enjoying it ever
since. I was there last Sunday, and it is no wonder I
am here to-day ; I love the Sunday-school and church. I
became a member of the M. E. Church at State Road in
1851, and my scholarship as a member of the Sunday-
school is about ten years older than my membership in the
church. I look upon the Sunday-school as the nursery
of the church. Children, it is an excellent conservatory
for the producing of good men and women and true
Christians. Some writer has said that we answer our
own prayers. It is true we are co-workers with the Mas-
ter for good, and what we can do ourselves He does not
do for us. We are to work for ourselves and for the


good of others, uot only in the Sunday-school, but every-
where else as opportunities present themselves. Oppor-
tunities are God's offers to us ; Ave do the work, and He pays
us for doing it. We ought often to ask the Lord, 'What
Avilt Thou have me to do?' And in all things our duty
is to obey. You will find that obedience and submission
to His will bring their own blessing. The child, in
health, asks for a drink of water; the parent says, 'There
it is, wait on yourself.' But when the child is sick, and
unable to help itself, how willingly the parent will come
to its assistance! In that manner our kind Father in
Heaven helps us. I had intended to go home yesterday
evening, but on account of the rain and some business
engagements did not get away ; but I am cheered to-day
with the thought that I am on m}^ journey to my Heav-
enly home where I expect to meet you when our Avork on
earth is done." After hearing by the Sunday-school
report that the collection was not large, I doubled it by
handing the superintendent $1.50, which he said he
w^ould see duly credited. In the afternoon I attended,
along with my friend Mr. Derby, the Y. M. C. A. meet-
ing held in the Richmond Block, where we listened to an
excellent discourse on "Temperance" by Rev. Hays, of
Meadville, a Presbyterian minister.

May 12. — To-day my son Fred, who has for some
time back been very ill, was, I am glad to say, sufiiciently
recovered to visit his wife's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Haines,
in Brookville, Penn. Frank and Guinnip, my other two
sons, have been baling hay for several days, with the aid
of a hay-press which they had bought, rightly thinking
that they could dispose of pressed hay to better advan-
tage than in bulk, as they could sell it either at home or
abroad, with a choice of markets; moreover baled-hay is
most economical as regards storage in the barn, as com-


pared with hay in bulk, and tbey could do a good deal
of baling for neighbors and others, which in the course
of time would in itself pay for the press.

May 15. — AVhile sitting alone in the house to-day
writing in my diary, my brother called in. He had just
returned from Enterprise, Warren Co., Penn., whither
he had gone with his two sons. Grant and Plumer, who
are filling a contract for bark-peeling. After some little
conversation, chiefly on some business in which we wished
to consult each others' interest, we set out to look at some
property known as the old mill property of Daniel Cowen,
situated on Woodcock Creek, one mile north of Blooming
Valley, and built in 1832. We went on foot, and on our
way entered the cemetery grounds and viewed the spot
where our kindred sleep. The old mill property, which
includes five acres with grist-mill, house, barn and other
buildings, looks to us very desolate and dilapidated, it
having been tenantless and empty for some time back.
It did not need anyone to tell me that change and decay
are written on everything that pertains to earth, when I
fix my eyes on this old mill that Avas built a year before
I was born. I have not said it looked inviting, but my
brother owns it and wishes to rent or sell it, notwithstand-
ing its weather-beaten condition.

Sunday, May 18. — Again I had the privilege of at-
tending our own church at State Road, and was profited
much by the services. Our regular pastor, Mr. Clyde,
was assisted by Rev. Chamberlin, of Meadville, an aged
gentleman who had been forty-four years in the ministry.
Mr. Clyde spoke from the text, Heiliat was rich for our
sakes hecame poor thai we might he made rich. After the
services he announced in substance the following: "Our
basket meeting, or gathering of the people far and near
at this place for one week, will begin May 31. This


meeting, which takes the place of camp-meeting which
used to be held, is expected to produce good results. I
am looking for a large number to be present, and we
have to get things in readiness."

May 19, 20. — We have had a remarkably wet spring
so far, and but few farmers in our vicinity have had their
oats sowed or potatoes planted yet — in fact it is altogether
too wet for either garden or farm work, and there is a
good deal of ground and many a garden not plowed for
spring crops. Some one remarked in my hearing the
other day, "We have had so much rain, what will farmers
do?" The answer is: "Have faith and wait patiently,
for all will be well," remembering that seed-time and
harvest are promised to the end of the world: While the
earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat,
and summer and winter, and day and night shall not
cease. [Genesis viii: 22.] God's promises are sure:
Go forth to the duties of to-day trusting in Him. He will
guide thee and it shall be well with thee, and the earth
will bring forth fruit for man and beast. He openeth his
hand and the wants of all living are satisfied.

Being in Meadville I called on an old acquaintance,
Benjamin McNeil, who is in his eighty-second year. He
is in poor health, and has been unable to be out since the
death of his sou James, Avhich occurred, I understand,
four weeks ago, aged thirty -two years.

May 21. — On my way home I was informed by Homer
Ellsworth, a near neighbor, of the death, on the 18th in-
stant, of his father, aged about four-score years; and later
in the day I learned through P. M. Cutshall of the death,
on the 20th, of his sister, Mrs. Mary Jane Seaman, in
her fifty-ninth year. I attended her funeral to the Kudle
Cemetery,* and heard the sermon preached on the occa-

*Tlns cemetery lias been enlarged and improved during tlie past year, and
now presents an attractive appearance.


sion, by Eev. H. McClintock, the subject being: The
righieous haih hope in his death. — A good name is better
than precious ointment, and tJie day of death tlian the
day of one''s birth. Her seven children were present —
tliree sons and four daughters — all married except the
youngest son and daughter.

On the 22d, in the morning, my cousin, Charles More-
head, and 1 took a look over his farm, and afterward
made a call on Mrs. Israel Morehead and daughter, who
live on a well-tilled farm near by, and whom my wife,
Eliza, and I visited three years ago. Charles Morehead
is the youngest in the family of my uncle, the late Will-
iam Morehead, with whom I worked so many days on my
father's farm in my youth and early manhood, and it
brings to me very many pleasant memories as I walk and
talk with Charles, who is so kindly caring for his aged
mother, whose health is good and whose industry is great
for her time of life. On my way to see Mr. D, H. Mc-
Crillis, Mr. H. Sutton, with whom I staid over night, ac-
companied me, and thence I proceeded to AVilliam Fleck's,
near Tryonville, where I called to see his son, who
two weeks ago had received a severe cut on the head by
accident, but is now fast recovering. My next visit was
with my cousin, George A. Goodwill, who accompanied
me to Frank Sturgis' place, where I met my aunt Phebe
at her daughter's, which was quite a pleasing surprise to
me, as I had not heard of her being here.

May 24. — To-day Frank Sturgis drove me over to
Titusville, about, seven or eight miles from here. In the
palmy days of oildom, from 18G0 on, I used to find a
good market in this town for my farm produce, and with
no small degree of pleasure do I think of the good prices
and ready sale I got. Then, as now, I had friends and
relatives in Titusville, always pleased to see me. To-


day I am stopping with my brother-in-law, Avery W.
Masiker, who lias his twin sons, Emery and Emmett, with
him at home, but his two daughters are married. Amono-
many other calls in the town I went to see an old acquaint-

Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 45 of 60)