Copyright
Francis C Waid.

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

. (page 51 of 60)
Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 51 of 60)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


161

proceeded thither on foot. Rev. Dr. T. C. Beach, pastor
of the First M. E. Church of Meadville, officiated, and the
interraeiit was in Greendale Cemetery, Meadville. Mr.
Donnelly was born January 21, 1807, and was therefore
at the time of his death in his eighty-fifth year.
He leaves a widow and four children, a sister, a niece
and a nephew to unite with a large circle of friends in
mourning his departure. In my youth I loved him as my
teacher, and ever afterward our friendship, born of love,
was cherished and fostered with jealous care on either
side, bringing with it the fruit of peace and righteousness
which is the inheritance of God's children.

March 4. — A few days ago I was jubilating over the
prospects of an early spring, so fine was the weather, and
the proverbial blue-bird had been seen! To-day, alas!
we are in the depth of winter again, for it snowed through
the night in a very unspring-like fashion, bringing good
sleighing to us, however. On the 5tli I visited Mrs.
Lucy Allen, who, on account of ill health, had returned
last January from the West. Her husband, Mr. James
Allen, and family moved to near Mound City, Dak., in
the fall of 1885, where he died in November, 1888. The
family have a farm both here and in Dakota.

March 6.- — This is the twenty-third birthday of my
youngest son, Fred F. The boys are and have been,
latel}^, very busy — drawing logs, Fred gathering ice for
summer, Frank preparing to build, Guinnip teaming, etc.
The logs they are teaming from our Avood lot in Richmond
Township, southeast of Blooming Valley, to Mr. Dewey's
mill in AVoodcock Township, about three miles distant.
I am glad my boys are all industrious and doing Avell.
May the Lord bless them, and prosper their lives.

Sundaj^ March 7. — Having come to Meadville yester-
day on business, I remained over to-day in order to attend



162

the funeral of Mrs. Frank Billings, who died in Chicago,
whence her remains were brought here for interment,
which took place from the residence of her half sister on
Washington Street, Rev. Hamilton McClintock conduct-
ing the obsequies. In the forenoon I attended the
Unitarian Church, and was instructed by hearing the
Gospel and listening to the words of life both read and
expounded. Then in the evening I went to the First M.
E. Church, where Dr. Beach preached from the text,
Matthew xxv: 10: The door was shut; and so ended an-
other Sabbath-Day's march homeward.

March 12.— In the evening of this day I made a brief
call on an aged friend, of whom I have already made men-
tion, Mrs. Mary Kiser, avIio still lingers with us, though
very feeble. After walking across the room she said:
"At ninety I can't walk as I could once." Her youngest
child, the only daughter now living, by name Ursula Roude-
bush, is here taking care of her mother; Marvin Smith,
her (Mrs. Riser's) son, has lived with his mother many
years, and is still single. Hosea Smith, Ursula Roude-
bush's brother, was killed at the battle of Gettysburg.
July 1, 1863 (as already mentioned in my First Souve-
nir), and his remains were brought home for interment in
the Smith Cemetery. Ursula presented me with a letter
that was written by him while at the front, of which the
following is a copy.

Camp, near White Oak Chvkch, June 10, 18(J3.
Dear Mother )ind Sister: I am happy to inform you that my health
is pretty good, at present better than it has been for the last two weeks.
I had a bad pain in my head and back, but it has nearly all left now.
I got your letter a few days since, and was very glad to hear
from you. It was the first time I had heard for two mouths. The
weather here is very warm and sultry, and is very disagreeable when
we ai'e marching. We have had marching orders a great many timea,
and have even packed up our things, but have not started yet. Part
of the army have crossed the river again, I think for the i)ur]iose of
keeping the rebels from going up toward Bull Kun. Our men are on
the heights just al)Ove Fredericksburg, where Burnside was repulsed



16H

lust full. They shell viivh other once in u while -that is ull. I have
just eonie in from picket duty. Our regiuieut dO(;s picket duty
along- the liuppahauuock, the rebels being just across, on the other
side. The soldiers sometimes exchange with each other, exchaii'> -
iiig provisions or papers; two of the rebels swam across the river
to our side, just below my post, and traded one of their papers for
oue of ours. Oue of them offered a large sum for a pair of l)oots,
and they wanted to get some writing paper, which they said was
twenty cents a sheet in the South. They wanted some coffee bad,
but our lieutenant would not let them have any. He said coffee
was live dollars per pound on their side of the river; sugar, two dol-
lars: salt, very scarce, and they had but very little of it. At the last
tight at Fredericksburg, when we went out "skirmishing, we found a
lot of the rebels' haversacks in the woods, and some of them had noth-
ing but shelled corn in them, while some were full of tobacco, which
I suppose they thought they would trade to the Yankees for some-
thing else, if they were taken prisoners. When we go out on the
picket, we buy hoe-cake of the darkies, but they have no salt to put
in them unless they get it of the soldiers. Sometimes we can get
some milk by paying ten cents per pint. I expect we will go across
the river pretty soon again, but it is hard to tell what we will do. The
soldiers have all confidence In " Joe " Hooker. Things are very dear
here; our sutler sells butter for fifty cents per pound; cheese', forty
cents; fresh peaches, one dollar per can, which hold about one pint;
and other things in proportion. We got paid about two months' pay
about two weeks ago, and I thought I would keep the most of mine to
get something fit to eat, I have got so sick of the army rations, and
also my appetite is not very good. But I will send you five dollars in
this letter, and will try and send more the next time. Nothing more
at present. Your affectionate son,

HosEA Smith.

Having known Hosea Smith from his childhood, and
having a full knowledge of his kindness to his mother,
his patriotism, his love for freedom and right, I revere
his memory.

March 14. — To-day I set out for Meadville on foot,
facing the wintry March wind and snow for five miles,
specially to see an old pupil of mine whom I taught at
Blooming Valley, viz., J. W. Thompson, of Madisonville,
Monroe Co., Tenn., who is here visiting relatives and old
friends after an absence of twenty years. I remember
having heard, when a boy, of a certain Revolutionary
soldier, named Upton, having said that he "woald walk
from Maine to the Valley of the Mississippi to look on
the face of George Washington." So, as I rehearsed in



164

my mind that patriotic soldier's avowal, I thought I could
well walk five miles to look on the face of an old friend
and pupil. He was at the time staying with his sister,
Miss Grace Thompson, in Meadville, who attended school
with her three brothers — James, John and AV alter. I
feel that I owe and would like to pay a tribute to the
memory of their deceased parents who were so kind to me,
and whom I always afterward held in the greatest respect.

Sunday, March 15. — It is a good thing to make the
best use of our opportunities. It is written: The steps
of a good man are ordered by the Lord. I take it for
granted that all Christians (and may I not say all men)
wish me to DO GOOD ; I know the Lord does, and I believe
has called me into His vineyard to work to that end to
the best of my ability. I want to do His will that my
steps and my way may be ordered aright, and that I may
be led to Him in all things I do. I am glad I love truth
and righteousness, and I find it is good for me to commit
my way to Him, trust in Him and wait patiently with
good courage. I know from my experience that he
strengthens me, and gives me the desires of my heart.

To-day I went to Christ Protestant Episcopal Church,
which is situated on the northwest corner of what is con-
sidered the central attraction of Meadville — in my
younger days simply the public square used for various
purposes, such as training militiamen, shows, political
meetings, Liberty poles etc., now Diamond Park, beauti-
fied with many varieties of trees, artistically setting off
and shading with their umbrageous foliage the walks and
spacious drive that pass round the handsome grounds ;.
the monuments— Pioneer Monument and Soldiers' Monu-
ment — the fountain, the public stand etc., all combining
to give to the park a graceful beauty. But to return to
my Sabbath duties. Rev. Courtland Whitehead, bishop-



165

of the diocese of Pittsburgh, preaclied an eloquent and
impressive sermon from Luke ii: 49: Wist ye not fhaf
I inijsf be about m/j Faiher'' s business? In the after-
noon I again heard tlie Bishop, this time in the church
at Vallonia, a village near Meadville, and at the close of
the service enjoyed an introduction to the reverend gen-
tleman, a hand-shake and short chat. I told him I had
heard both his sermons, and was much helped by them
in my path of Christian life, to which he replied, "1 am
glad of it." I said to him further: "I am a learner,
seeking Tritfh, 'unsectarian,' as you said in your first ser-
mon to-day, when describing the churchman, the good
citizen, the Christian." Said he, "are we not all learn-
ers?" The warmth of the hearty handshake was proof
that I loved the man who had helped me. In the evening
I attended the Baptist Church at Meadville, where the text
was Hebrews ii : 3 : Hoiv shall we escape, if we negleci
so great salvation/ Several were baptized, and I felt
within myself that all the services and exercises of the
day had helped me.

March 16. — In the Meadville Morning Star I read of
the sudden death of S. W. Kepler, for forty years well
known as a popular hotel proprietor, twenty-three years
in Meadville. He was born June 19, 1821, died March
15, 1891. Since the death of James Irvin, April 3, 1882,
I have stopped, when in Meadville, at both the "Central
Hotel/' kept by Mrs. Irvin and her son, and at the
"Kepler House," and on Saturday, March 7, I had dinner
with Mr. Kepler, who was in his usual good health, and
cheery and merry as ever, meeting me with his ever
pleasant smile.

March 18. — Golden Wedding of Mr. and Mrs.
Laban Smith, Blooming Valley. — Let us always look
on tlie briglit side. The record of the year 1891, as far



166

as it has gone, is lieiglitened in interest, in this commu-
nity, by two "golden wedding" celebrations* — the first
one, on February 9, being that of Mr. and Mrs. John
Koudebush, and the second, to-day, that of Mr. and Mrs.
Laban Smith, -j- the former of whom is a son of the late
Joseph Smith, whose home was within a stone's throw of
my father's door — my home both then and now, Laban's
mother is yet living, and is still our nearest neighbor.
About 150 people — friends and relatives — were assembled
in Blooming Yalley, to do honor to the worthy couple
and the interesting occasion, and among the guests from
a distance I might mention Mrs. Smith's brother, Mr.
James Shonts, of Faribault, Minn., and her daughter,
Armitta (Mrs. John Proud) and her two sons, of Aber-
deen, Dak.

Fifty years ago, to-day, Mr. and Mrs. Smith were
happy on the threshold of joint life, simply the com-
mencement of what they now experience. Then they had
the beginning, representing the sunshine of life farther
on, the reality of which they have now reached; in 1841
they formed the bud; later on, the blossom; to-day, the
fruit — fifty years of married life to thank the Lord for,
and the presence in their old home, this day, of four sons
and four daughters, ;|; and many other relatives, in all
representing four generations, besides hosts of friends,

* It is worthy of remark that wltliin less than a year three golden weddings—
the two here spoken of and that of Mr. and Mrs. John Braymer, near Blooming
Yalley, last fall while I was absent in the "West— have been celebrated. Healthy,
indeed, mnst be Blooming Valley and vicinity, for (juite a number of couples can
now be counted here who have passed their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

(Laban Smith had many friends when he was married, a large numlter of
whom were present at the l)an(iuet, and even more at the golden wedding; not-
withstanding many had died, the number of his friends had increased: AyciicroiM
man retains his friends.

i Mr. and Mrs. I>aban Smith have nine children living— five sons and four
daughters— all of whom were present attlie wedding, except one son, who was un-
able to attend on account of sickness.



1(37

all of whom were met to pour out their greetings and
congratulations. On my way to this golden wedding I
called on Laban's aged mother (who was unable to
attend), and afterward I held in my arms her great-great-
grandchild, the two representing the alpha and the
omega of five generations! Many of the ancestors lived
to very advanced ages, some of them to nearly a hundred
years. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have twenty-four grand-
children (though not all present at the celebration) and
two great-grandchildren.

*" When the bride and bridegroom were married I
was only about eight years of age, yet I remember them
very well as they then were half a century ago, and I
may safely say we have been pretty close friends ever
since. I do not think all the blessings of life are past.
True friendship should at all times be cultivated, for it
will bring lasting happiness to us, more durable than
monuments of stone or iron. Labau Smith I look upon
and respect as a man of generous heart and hospitable,
in which virtues he is worthy of any and every one's con_
sideration and imitation. But he has had help, and the
quality of that help will be found described in brief yet
potent language in Proverbs xviii: 22;j' and I think
that whilst giving due credit to our esteemed friend, Mr.
Smith, we should not forget that noble. Christian woman,
his faithful, honored wife, who has been so well helping
him for the past fifty years! O, how much in this life
have Ave to be thankful for! We are prone to forget the
inestimable blessings the Lord pours out to us, and
neglect to give Him due credit. Do you know what

* That portion of my account of the Golden Wedding, contained witliiu the
quotation marl



Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 51 of 60)