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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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And the Heavenly city lies just below."

[From September 30, 1890, to January 1, 1891, comes
my fifth trip to Kansas and the West, an account of which
commences at page 42. ]




* I here refer to my projected trip to the West, to meet my wife, an account
of wliicli will be found elsewhere.



184



1891.

Sunday, January 4. — To-day I went to State Road
Church Sunday-school, and to each of the scholars present
under twenty years of age I offered a copy of my Second
Souvenir, requesting the superintendent to send me the
names of all those who would like to have one. I feel as
if I want to do something for our Sunday-school where
I have shared the blessings of the Lord in some manner
or another for the past fifty years — since I first com-
menced to attend both it and the church with my parents.

January 5. — My eldest son, Franklin, is thirty- six
years old to-day. In company with G. W. Cutshall I
went to Meadville on business, and we then came to see
my brother, G. N., my first call on him since my return
from the West, and following this I made, at difPerent
dates, a good many visits among friends and relatives, all
of whom cheered me with kindly greetings of welcome.
On the 8th I learned of the death of Mrs. Maria Long
(the oldest person in our community), at the patriarchal
age of a few years under one hundred. " Aunt Maria,"
as she was called, always lived near us, and was ever
noted for her industry and honesty; she was a woman
who I always thought did the best she could, and was
universally beloved and respected. Her funeral, which
took place on Sunday, 11th instant, was largely attended,
although the day was very wet and uninviting; and so
desirous was I to be present that, after listening to Dr.
T. C. Beach's sermon at the M. E. Church at Meadville,
I walked from there to Blooming Valley, and thence pro-
ceeded to the cemetery.

January 10. — This I always regard as a most notable
day in my life, for it dates the commencement of my
Christian life ; my return to God ; my seeking after better
things; my starting on the Heavenly journey ; my con-



185

firmed hope of Heaven. Why, therefore, should I uot
thank and praise my Heavenly Father tjiis day for havino-
mercifully spared me to reach the end of the fortieth
year of my Christian life? The Lord is so good to me
that I will ever praise His name, thank Him for His
manifold mercies, and worship Him in the beauty of
holiness.

" Grander than ocean's story.
Or songs of forest trees —
Pnrer than breath of morning

Or evening's gentle breeze —
Clearer than mountain echoes

Ring out from peaks above —
Rolls on the glorious anthem
Of God's eternal love.

" Dearer than any lovings

The truest friends bestow;
Stronger than all the yearnings

A mother's heart can know;
Deeper than earth's foundations,

And far above all thought;
Broader than Heaven's high arches —

The love of Christ has brought."'

Sunday, January 11. — I have already stated that in
the forenoon of to-day I attended the M. E. Church in
Meadville and Mrs. Long's funeral. The text was 2
Timothy iii: 16: All Script ure is given by inspiration of
God, and is profitable for doctrine, for 7'eproof,for correc-
tion, for instruction in rigliteousness. It was the first
time I had heard Dr.. Beach, and I was in no small de-
gree edified and helped by his able discourse on the
above subject. This was indeed a glorious day for me
in all respects, and well worthy of being preserved on
record as the " New Year's Day " of the forty-first year
of my Christian life. I want to begin the year aright;
yet I know I must be careful, though not too careful in
doing good. I take for my own use, and that of others



136

in my present home, five county newspapers besides the
Chaidauqiian, all published in Meadville, and I have
now ordered over twenty copies, that is a year's subscrip-
tion for each of some friends from January 1, 1891, to
January 1, 1892, many of which are renewals, others
being new subscriptions.

January 16. — To-day I set out for Jamestown, N. Y.,
and on arrival there immediately proceeded to the home
of Mr. F. Colt. On Sunday following, Gertie and Mertie
Colt accompanied me to the Methodist Episcopal Church
and Sabbath-school, where Ave listened to an eloquent
sermon delivered by Rev. A. C.Ellis, from John iii: 4:
How can a man he horn when he is old? In the evening',
along with Mr. Frank Simmons, I went to the Opera
House, where the Baptists are at present holding their
meetings while their new church is being built, and here
I had the pleasure of listening to Miss Kate Bushnell's
address on " Social Purity."* On Monday I made a call
on Mr. and Mrs. Fred Davis, with whom is living Mrs.
Davis' father, Mr. Washburn, now in his eighty-seventh
^ear-j-; also called on Mr. S. Phillips to see blind Hattie
Howard, who used to visit at our home with her sister
years ago. Among other calls I made was one on Mr.
and Mrs. Grant M. Babcock, at whose wedding I was
present September 25, 1890. On the evening of the 19tli
I attended Russell Conwell's lecture, the subject of
which was " The Jolly Earthquake in India in 1605 — A
Legend." From Jamestown I proceeded to Ashville, in

*This address was listened to by a large and evidently appreciative audience.
I. myself, think It was simply grand, and would lil\e to liear it again: it is wortli re-
peating several times, even to the same audience; and 1 lielieve it woidd prove a
universal blessing if the whole world could have an opportunity of hstening to it,
for then, I feel confident, trutli and righteousness would prevail.

tMr. Washburn had been in failing health for some time when I visited him
last summer. I can not give the exact date of his death, but think, from wluit I
have been informed, tliat lie died in May, 1801.



137

order to visit other friends, especially Mr. Burns and
family, but I found they had moved away, intending to
go to Ohio; so thinking I might find Mr. Burns in James-
town I returned thither, but was disappointed, as he had
gone, so I learned, to Olean to see his daughter. On
Tuesday I went to Lakewood, where I again saw my
friend, Mr. Fleek, as also his brother Fayette, at Harmony,
and enjoyed, taken all in all, a most pleasant visit.
Then on Wednesday I journeyed to Corry, where I visited
an old school acquaintance, Mrs. Henry Thurston (for-
merly Delia Dickson ) , whom at one time I used to see
frequently, but of late years have seldom met. From
there coming to Union City, I here called on my niece,
Blanche Underholt, and family; also the Housenick boys,
with whom I am well acquainted and glad to meet again.
In the evening of the same day I came on to Saegertown,
from which place a walk of a mile and a half brought me
to the County Alms House and Farm, in Woodcock i ^^i'

Township, of which my brother-in-law, G. W. Cutshall, Jc^^'
is superintendent, and Mrs. Cutshall matron. As l(/
tarried over night with them, I had an opportunity of
visiting them in their recently appointed positions, and,
for aught I could see, everything seemed to be going "on
harmoniously and satisfactorily. I registered as a visitor,
and learned that the present number of inmates in this
excellent charitable institute is 106. Blessed is he that
consider^eth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the
time of trouble. Thus ended my six days' trip to James-
town.

January 23. — On my return home this morning I
dropped in to see my sick neighbor, D. H. Miller, and
while there learned of the death, yesterday afternoon, of
George Dewey, in his sixty-fourth year, after an illness
of several weeks, I might even say years, from a stroke of



138

paralysis. On the following day I attended bis funeral^
Eev. Barber conducted the services, and the interment
took place in Blooming Valley Cemetery.

On this same day also died Lorenzo Williams, an old
acquaintance of mine, who was born in Massachusetts in
July, 1816, and came to Crawford County many years
ago, and I regret that I had not heard in time to attend
his funeral. In the evening I took train for Cochran ton,
a few miles southeast of here, in company with a
friend, William Adams, for the purpose of attending the
dedication of the M. E. Church at that place. It
being late when we arrived there, I stayed for the night
at a hotel, but next morning, after breakfast, my friend,
Mr. A. T. Brown, called for me, having heard I was in
town. Accompanying him to his pleasant home, I there
met his wife, whom I formerly knew as Miss Emma
Hunter, and the rest of the family, and most happy in-
deed were our mutual salutations. I was also glad to
meet Dr. T. C. Beach, pastor of the First Methodist
Episcopal Church at Meadville, who preached in the new
church building at 10:30 A. m. ; from the text, 1 Corin-
thians, iii: 11: For other foundaiion can no man lay ilian
that is laid, ivhich is Jesus Christ. A very large audi-
ence, probably 800, listened attentively to the eloquent
Doctor, and at the close of the discourse the sum of
twenty- one hundred dollars was collected toward paying
off the church debt, which was in reality less than that
amount. St. James declares that in doing ice ai'e blessed,
and my own experience bears Avitness to the truth of his
doctrine. I was blessed in hearing the sermon, the more
so as these beautiful words fell on my ear: They sliall
prosper that love thee. Who would not love Zion ? Who
would not wish to help on the Master's cause and king-
dom? Here, then, on the occasion of which I am writing,



139

was an opportunity for all to do something, and, while
the contributions were pouring in, Elder Kummer, who
had the management of that portion of the exercises, an-
nounced that a little boy* had come forward and given
a penny, and that the opportunity had now arrived for
some one to contribute one hundred dollars. "How-
many," asked the elder, "will give one hundred dollars ?"
I realized, just then, that my time had come to subscribe,
and so I expressed a desire to stand beside that little boy
who had just given his mite; my request was granted,
and they accordingly put my name down for one hundred
dollars. Again was I made happy by simply doing good;
and I was glad that I had followed the example set by
that fine little boy, Floyd Fleming. In the evening the
presiding elder preached a highly appropriate sermon to
another very large gathering of people. The M. E
Society in Cochranton have now to be congratulated
on their having a fine brick church, for which they
have labored faithfully. Success has crowned their
efforts, and my earnest prayer is that the Lord may bless
them more and more, both spiritually and temporally, for
this new church building has cost them eight thousand
dollars in money, besides much time, labor and patience.
In the course of his remarks in the forenoon the presid-
ing elder said: "Mr. Waid has written a book, I have
read it; he is a self-made man." Hours of toil, days of
thought, and years of opportunity to do good have been
allotted to me, and yet I wish to do more, to open the
book, so to speak, and write some kind word that might
help a friend to a better life, and cheer him onward on
the path of Christian rectitude.

*I afterward met, at the borne of his parents, this bright little boy, Floyd
Fleming, son of James G. Fleming, one of the Church Dedication Committee, and
have recently learned, with regret, of the death of the boy's father.



140

In the evening of this same day I went down to my
brother's, and on my way thither heard of the death,
in her fifty-eighth year, of Martha Smith, wife of Ira
Smith, who lives on Hatch Hill; I had known them both
many years, even before they were married. On the fol-
lowing day, on returning from my brother's place, I
called on my aged friends, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Breed, who
were married in 1833, the year of my birth, and I was
informed by Mr. Breed that he would be four score years
old on February 5, this year. How good the Lord is to
us! "Yes," says some one, "but He takes our friends
away." " True, hut we are left, with this comforting
hope, that if we do right, and lead Christian lives, we can
go to them." These thoughts come to me as I sit writ-
ing in my diary in the old home of my childhood, where
the spirits of my twin brother, my father and my mother
all took their flight to the better land, that Heavenly
" Home eternal, beautiful and bright, where sweet joys,
supernal, never are dimmed by night." I doubt not but
some may think these reflections of mine are strange; to
me, however, they do not appear so. It is just twenty
years ago, to-day (January 27, 1891), since my father
died in this old home. Why should I not ponder it, and
try to be ready when I am called?

" Not enjoymeut, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act that each to-morrow
Finds us f urtlier than to-day.

" Let us then be up and doing.
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."

I remember the prayer of my parents that we — the}'
and their children — should also live that finally we miglit
make an unbroken family above, and to-day I offer a



Ul

similar prayer: May the Lord grant to each of ns the
same spirit, that all the families on earth may be saved!
In the evening I went a mile south of Blooming Valley
to visit my aged friend Mrs. Dickson, according to my
promise made to her son and daughter when I met them in
Minnesota. I was glad to find Mrs. Dickson well, and
still able in her advanced years to attend to her house-
hold duties; she was even able to be present last Satur-
day at the funeral of George Dewey! She had two lady
visitors while I called — Mrs. George Bush and Mrs.
Hellyer — who added to the mutual pleasantness of the
visit. I left Mrs. Dickson's about 10 o'clock for my own
home, a walk of about two miles, and as I plodded on my
moonlit way I fell athinking about life's duties. What
a startling array of responsibilities does even a single
day carry! Probably no one studies his duty toward God
and his fellowman better or more profitably than he who
realizes the fact that a day, gone, never returns, and that
we will be individually accountable for what we have
done and what we have left undone — for our sins of com-
mission and sins of omission.

On Wednesday, January 28, I attended the funeral of
Mrs. Ira Smith, of whose death I have just made men-
tion. She was interred in the Smith Cemetery, and the
services at the church and at the grave were conducted
by Rev. Hamilton McClintock.

Sunday, February 1. — Having, according to my usual
custom, walked to Meadville yesterday on business, I de-
cided to remain over Sunday, so went to the home of
Mr. and Mrs. Hites, whom I can call "old friends," for
I have known them both since long before their marriage.
I met some of their relatives in Jamestown, N. T., who
requested me to call on them when I could, as I had
photographs of some of their friends to show them.



142

Together we went this forenoon to the First Presbyterian
Church, and there listened to an excellent sermon from
the lips of Rev. Hays, the regular pastor, whom I had
heard once before — text, Matthew xiv: 31: Wherefore
didst ihou douhtf After the service I bade my kind
friends adieu, and betook myself to Mr. Derby's, my
regular stopping place in Meadville. Then in the eve-
ning I attended the Baptist Church, where I heard a
very able discourse and appeal to the unconverted, the
text being Joel iii: 14: Mulfitudes, multitudes, in the
valley of decision; for the day of the Lord is near in
the valley of decision. I love to hear the Rev. W. H.
Marshall preach the Gospel, and I am never tired of
standing on the housetops, figuratively speaking, and
proclaiming to the four quarters of the globe God's im-
measurable love toward mankind, and that the more we
partake of His love (and Ood is love) the more friend-
ship and kindness Avill we exhibit in ours. I often think
of this; and yet the charity of the world is cold. With
the prophet Joel, I wish that multitudes, multitudes Avould
come to Christ, and be sheltered from the storms of life
in a haven of rest. Christ wants us all to preach His
Gospel by leading lives of devotion to Him. Come let us
ivork in his vineyard now, to-day, ere we find it too late;
when to-morrow has come ive may not be here.

" Work for the night is coming;

Work, through the morning hours;
Work, while the dew is sparkling;

Work, mid springing flowers;
Work, when the day grows brighter,

Work in the glowing sun;
Work, for the night is coming,

When man's work is done."

February 2. — I thought it best to remain in Meadville
till after the funeral of my old friend and acquaintance,



143

Joseph Taylor, who had died at the age of seventy-two
years, and whom I have known for a long time. Rev. W.
H. Marshall delivered the funeral sermon, the text he
chose for the occasion being Ecclesiastes vii: 1: A good
name is betier ihan precious ointment; and the day of
death than the day of^ one's hirth. The pastor demon-
strated well and clearly that to the righteous the day of
death is better than the day of his birth. I am thankful
for having heard this discourse, as it did me good; build-
ing me up on a sure foundation. How I love them that
love the Lord! I would always be Thine Lord, Thy word
is so dear to me.

Besides doing some business to-day in the city, I pur-
chased six Bibles to present as gifts to my friends, and I
enjoyed the pleasure of a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Quick,
whose relatives I called on when I was in Chicago. Mrs.
Kate Quick was once a pupil of mine in her girlhood ; it is
a pleasure not only to remember but to be remembered.
Surely there is something in every hour of life; we can
either help or be helped as the moments pass by, bringing
opportunities either to be seized or lost forever! On my
way home I called on Henry Smith, Avith whom I tarried
over night, and spent a most pleasant social evening with
his family and aged father-in-law, William Chase, who,
I believe, still enjoys good health for one of his age; he
had been an active and industrious farmer, and retains
his usefulness longer than most men. I Avill here chroni-
cle the death of Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin, whom I knew
well in my youth and early manhood, and at whose house
I used to attend prayer meeting: " Permelia Baldwin
died July, 1, 1873, aged 83 years, 3 months, 18 days;
Aaron Baldwin died April 19, 1881, aged 87 years, 2
months, 19 days."



144

February 3. — This evening I had the pleasure of pre-
senting to my friend and relative Mrs. Ralph Roudebush
of Blooming Valley, a copy of the best of all books — a
Bible — for which she thanked me kindly. No one need
say to me it does not pay to do good ; / Jmow the vahie of
U. Every effort in the right spirit and with proper mo-
tives on my part has brought reward to me. We should
always bear in mind that even in this life the righteous
are promised " Thirty, sixty and some an hundred fold,"
and, in the next, life everlasting. How necessary, then, for
us to sow the good seed if we would reap a golden har-
vest! The Lord will help us to do it, if we only try to
help ourselves.

This cold, wintry day, requiring some letters and books
to assist me in collecting matter for my Third Souvenir,
I went over to my old home, only about eighty rods dis-
tant, where my youngest son, Fred F., lives, and I found
everything about the house and farm in such good order,
that I could not refrain from complimenting him and his
wife. I was much pleased at the advancement they had
made within less than two years, or since they were mar-
ried; I mean in the way of housekeeping, farming and in
the general conducting of things, both in doors and out of
doors. Indeed, I may truthfidly say, the same of my
other sons, Frank and Guinnip, and their wives. It nat-
urally affords me much pleasure to see for myself that my
boys are trying the best they know how to get along in the
world. May the Lord bless us, and help us all to do right.

But I must now speak of my old books and letters,
from which to gather some of the best thoughts for my
Souvenir, in the compilation of which I find that my old
diaries and some of my school records and compositions
do not come amiss. But as I pause for a moment and at
a glance span the journey of life with many of the relics



145

before me — letters, books, pictures, mementos, keep-
sakes, etc. — I find nothing more dear to me than those re-
minding me of Eliza, my dead wife. Time will never ef-
face her memory. Anna's letters are undoubtedly dear
to me, but Eliza's recall to me visions of youth and their
happy halcyon days. Then how dear to any one are old
school books and their associations ! To-day, from among
others, I pick up my old " English Reader," on the fly-
leaf of which appears, in the handwriting of either my
father or the school-teacher, my name and the date when I
commenced to dive into its mysteries: " Francis C. Waid,
Dec. 2, 1846." I am glad I studied and made myself ac-
quainted with the contents of that book. I remember,
when my twin brother and I, along with others, were
thought capable of being advanced a grade higher than
" Cobb's Third Reader " (which we had just been study-
ing), to the first class in the "English Reader," that we
required new books; and we got them. Father bought
each of us two a copy of the "English Reader," and that
was a grand day for us. He told us to make good use
of our books and keep them, which we did, and I have
mine still, while that of my twin brother is, I think, either
in possession of my brother, G. N., or some other relative.
I love the " English Reader " and always did, for long
after leaving school I used to take if off the book-shelf
frequently, as did also Eliza, and read it to our children
as well as for our own pleasure. And I do not even now
wish to let this opportunity pass without selecting one
piece of poetry from the second part of the " Reader." It
is by Cowper, the English poet, and the verses are sup-
posed to be written by Alexander Selkirk during his sol-
itary abode of four years and four months on the island
of Juan Fernandez, in the Pacific Ocean:



146

" I am monarch of all I surv'ey,

My right there is none to dispute;
From the center all round to the sea,

I am lord of the fowl and the brute.
O Solitude! where are the charms

That sages have seen in thy face ?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms

Than reign in this horrible place.

" I am out of humanity's reach;

I must finish my journey alone,
Never hear the sweet music of speech —

I start at the sound of my own ;
The beasts that roam over the plain

My form with indifference see;
They are so unacquainted with man,

Their tameness is shocking to me.

" Societ}', friendship and love,

Divinely bestowed upon man!
O, had I the wings of a dove.

How soon would I taste you again!
My sorrows I then might assuage

In the ways of religion and truth —
Might learn from the wisdom of age.

And be cheered by the sallies of youth.

"Religion! what treasure untold

Resides in that heavenlv word!
More precious than silver and gold.

Or all that this earth can afford;
But the sound of the church-going bell

These valleys and rocks never heard,
Never sighed at the sound of a knell,

Or smiled when a Sabbath appeared.

" Ye winds that have made me your sport.

Convey to this desolate shore
Some cordial, endearing report

Of a land I shall visit no more !
My friends — do they now and then send

A wish or a thought after me ?
O, tell me I yet have a friend.

Though a friend I am never to see.



I



147

" Ho\Y fleet is a glauce of the mind!

Compared with the speed of its flight,
The tempest itself higs behind,

And the swift-winged arrows of light.
When I think of my own nativ^e land,

In a moment I seem to be there ;
But, alas! recollection at hand

Soon hurries me back to despair.

" But the sea-fowl has gone to her nest.

The beast is laid down in his lair;
Even here is a season of rest,

And I to my cabin repair.
There's mercy in every place.

And mercy — encouraging thought! —
Gives even affliction a grace.

And reconciles man to his lot."

February 5. — To-day until noon I was busy at home
writing, and looking over old letters, over a hundred in
number, written to my father and mother by kindred and
friends, and so long carefully preserved for me to review
now after many or most of the writers, besides the recip-
ients, have departed for the other shore. What a pleas-



Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 49 of 60)