The first inhabitants of this area were the
Indians. The first of whom
belonged to the tribe of Miami, but after they migrated to the eastward,
their camp fires had scarcely ceased to burn before the ancestors of the
present Potawatomies swept south around Lake Michigan from Ouisconsin
(Wisconsin) taking possession of this beautiful land.
Roving bands of
Pottawattamies, Ottawas, and a few Chippewas gathered near the large maple
groves to make sugar, (sis-bah-quet) which they exchanged with the white
men for such articles as they wanted, which generally was first, whiskey,
next more whiskey, then bread, (quashque) and port, (koo-dosah). The
largest of these sugar orchards were in the Brown, Dowd, Shafer,
Johnson, Delong, and Miles neighborhoods.
In the summer season they
moved their wigwams to the borders of berry swamps and near good fishing. In the fall season they would
select a place in the heavy timber where they were protected from the
wind. The game was principally deer, wild turkeys, and the fur bearing
They used to strip ash to
make baskets. In fact there were some families in 1946 who still made
baskets, and would have a tent at the Van Buren County Fair from which
they sold baskets. I still have a round picnic basket, rather faded now,
made by Indians. I had several others through the years for which I
usually traded something, usually clothing my children had outgrown.
I well remember when it was built from this fact: They came to me to get a job of
cutting down about ten acres of timber that they might obtain money with
which to buy shingles. They
agreed to commence the job
the following day. I told them I would be over. While I paused, I heard the
falling of the great trees as if a cyclone was abroad in the timber. Advancing in haste I saw the
timber crashing down the whole width of the ten acres. Again I paused, for the crashing
of the falling timber, intermixed with the pow-pow war-whoops created a
confusion of sounds.
As I met the tribe starting home they informed me
that the whole tribe had turned out and commenced cutting the timber part
way down on the east side of the job and when they reached the west side
they had formed a line across the entire front and felled the timber
eastward and that one tree had pushed down the next and had fallen, saving
them much chopping. But what
Both churches are now gone. The cemetery is now under the care
of the Van Buren Historical Society.
Saturdays were the
joy days for the Indians, for they always came into town, and had a happy
time if they could get something to drink.
The town Marshall was kept busy running the drunked Indians out of town.
In summer the Town
Marshall would st
art them on their way home with orders to stay out of
town, and they were supposed to get home under their own power. In those early days it wasn’t at
all unusual for the team of horses to spread apart and walk around the
Indian lying in the road. As
far as I was able to find out none of those Indians were killed.
In winter the town
Marshall would contact the farms and when they were ready to go home would
get the drunken Indians out of jail, and together they would load the
Indians into the back of the sleigh.
The farmer would take the Indians to the road that led to the
Indian’s home, and they would unload them. If the Indian couldn’t get out
of the sleigh under his own power, he was thrown out. If he wanted to ride farther, as
was the usual thing, a good healthy poke on the jaw would help him change
his mind, and he would get out of the sleigh in a hurry. By such co-operation between the
farmers and the Town Marshall there weren’t many Indians left to spend
the Saturday night in jail.
This section of our
country was not surveyed until several years after its cession by the
Chicago Treaty of 1821, and opened for settlement about 1829, when
emigrants from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the eastern states began to flow in
slowly along the St. Joseph River, but Hartford was the home only of
Indians and wild animals.
About 1835, a noted hunter
and trapper, Harvey Saulsbury, came first into what is now Hartford
Township, built a cabin of basswood logs, with roof of bark, on the
bank of the creek on the SW ½ of Section 14, 1 ½ miles east of Hartford. This cabin was occupied by him on
his hunting trips, in which he ranged the line of swamps from the Dowagiac
to the Black Rivers, a short of half way house between the northern and
southern limits of his range.
His summers were spent mostly at Niles, but as the
hunting and trapping season came on, he started out dressed in deerskin
trousers, blouse, and slouch hat, with his rifle on his shoulder, and a
load of traps on his back. He
made his way to this place, and generally remained there till spring,
occasionally going to PawPaw to exchange his furs for
articles to sell to the Indians. He
continued his hunting and trapping excursions till 1844-1845.
The first actual settlers
of Hartford township were Ferdino Olds and family, consisting of his wife
and daughter, Julia. They
emigrated from New York State in 1836 and settled on Section 29. Ferdino Olds’ five brothers came
soon after he did and settled in and about the township.
was the next settler. He and
his wife worked together in building a log house, sixteen feet by
twenty-seven feet, and moved into it as soon as completed. On January 3, 1838 a daughter
was born, the first white child born in Hartford township.
a native of New Y
ork, with his brother, James Conklin, and a
Mr. Sellick, came in 1836 with a yoke of oxen and a wagon. His son, Luke Conklin, born
December 3, 1838 was the first white male child born in Hartford Township.
Some of the other early
settlers were Hezakiah Olds, Horace Down,
Alvah Delong, and Charles F. Sheldon. They came here between 1837 and 1844.
came in the fall of 1836, one of a group of thirty-two men, twenty-eight
of whom were Canadian Frenchmen, to Watervliet from New York, in the
employ of Smith, Merrick & Co. to work on improvements in the
constructions of mills, digging a race, and clearing land on the spot. He purchased land and built a
frame house on the Watervliet road in 1843.
Later he kept the Rassette House, a hotel which stood where the Van
Buren State Bank build now stands. Mr.
Rassette’s grandson married my cousin and gave me a small, two-handled
lamp which had been used in the Rassette House.
The first settler in
Lawrence township was Stephen Fountain, a bachelor. He settled on the west shore
of Prospect Lake in June 1835. However
he stayed there for a very short time.
In June, 1835, John
Allen founded the village of Mason, now the village of Lawrence. This was named in honor of the
(then) governor of Michigan. Allen
had no idea of settling here has he was a speculator, but he got Ephraim
Palmer and his wife to come. They
cleared a spot on the bank of Brush Creek, about 35 rods north of the
Lawrence school-house which was on the east side of Paw Paw
Street. Here he build a log
cabin. After the logs were
cut, Allen, Palmer, Fountain, E. Barnum, who had just come in from
Paw Paw, and a man who happened to be there in search of land, raised the
house seven logs high. The
cabin had a door but no window, and for a while the Palmers lived in it
without floor or roof. The
fireplace was against the logs of the side-wall, and a hole in the roof
served instead of a chimney. Palmer
stayed about a month and then left to go west.
Shortly after he left John
Reynolds, his wife and brother, George Reynolds, moved into the
cabin which was twelve foot square. On
November 15, 1836, eleven people, ten of whom had come to settle, all
stayed overnight in this house.
Shortly after Allen built
a double log house, and called it a tavern.
It had on the ground floor two rooms, each fourteen feet square,
with sleeping rooms above. Dexter
Gibbs was the landlord of the tavern.
These early settlers were
the Eaton Branch, Dexter Gibbs and Thomas S. Camp
In 1843, eight years
later, the people living there were:
Watson Poole, a carpenter; Alexander Newton, farmer; Norman
Birse, cabinet maker; Israel Branch, farmer; A.H. Phelps,
fur-trader and miller; J.P. Fisk, blacksmith; Benjamin Dunning,
blacksmith; and Rudolphus Howe, stock-dealer. At this time the settlement was
called Brush Creek, from the stream flowing through it. Allen had mortgaged the Mason
village property to John R. Baker, and to satisfy that Baker was
compelled to take the land and thus became the village proprietor, and
renamed it Lawrence.
Lawrence was hit by fire
in 1859. On Dec. 31 the west
side of PawPaw Street was burned. Two
stores, and the places of five people, destroying nearly the entire
business portion of the town.
In 1837, J.R. Monroe
settled in Lawrence. One of
the many positions he held was that of County Commissioner of the poor as
well as being judge. Often
poor people stayed at his home and it became known as the poormaster’s
house. This story is told:
One day, the judge, in old work clothes, was
working in a ditch on his farm. An
apparent traveling pauper asked the judge, “where is the poormaster’s
pointing to his own home he asked: “Do you
work for him?” “Yes”, replied
the Judge. “And what does he give you for
working?” “Oh, he give me
just what he has himself,” was the judge’s answer;
beans, potatoes, Johnny cake, and old clothes.” “Well,” exclaimed the
that’s all a fellow can expect, I’ll be goll-darned if I stop with the
old hedge-hog.” And
away he went.
Lawrence township was
organized in 1837 and included at the time was the territory now occupied
by Lawrence, Arlington, and Hartford townships. Hartford was set off in 1840 and
Arlington in 1841.
At the first township
meeting held April 3, 1837 one of the resolutions passed was:
That there be a bounty of
five dollars on each wolf-scalp or each panther-scalp caught in this town
the present year.
The township of Hartford
was organized in 1840, by the act of the legislature. Ferdino
Olds, being the first settler, was permitted to name the town, which he
did, calling it Hartland, after his native town in the State of New
York. But learning of another town of the same name in the state, at
the suggestion of Mr. Olney, the name was changed to Hartford.
The first township meeting was ordered to be be
held at the home of Smith Johnson in said township. After the first
election, nearly every man in the township was filling one or more
In 1879, at the town meeting, which was held on the four corners in
Hartford, a motion was made to raise $25.00 to gravel Main Street – one block long, and so sandy it
was almost impossible to pull a wagon through it at times. The motion was seconded and voted on. Mr. Hart, the instigator and a supervisor, had enough
friends in the crowd so that the motion carried. Many of the people at the meeting thought that Mr. Hart was
losing his mind, for they had all the taxes they could stand without being
burdened with this extra tax.
A village is started. About 1852 Francis Wilkes,
a bachelor, came to this place, and with a Mr. Fowler, erected a
frame house on the corner of Main and Center Streets and put in a few
goods and more whiskey.
place became somewhat notorious and was known by the name of
“Bloody Corners.” Fowler, Wilkes, Drew and others
were always in active pursuit of horse thieves, which were almost, but
never quite caught.
In 1853, the sole industry
at these “four corners,” that later became Hartford, as Stephen
Stowe remembers, was a blacksmith shop that one Jim Smith had
built on North Center Street. There
was a house or two at Stoughton Corners, a mile and a half north, then a
dream town. A Mr.
Stoughton had started a shoe shop.
The one other local industry was a crude saw mill at the river
north of town, which was later transformed into the pioneer Anderson Grist
Not until the state-mail
route from St. Joseph to PawPaw came through in 1855, did a village begin
to develop on the present site of Hartford.
The development was slow until the railroad was built in 1870. That gave Hartford its first
“boom” and by 1880 the village had acquired a population of 800.
The Village of Hartford,
the only village in the township, is located on sections fifteen and
sixteen, so near the center of the township, that it was formerly called
Hartford Center. It was
platted on the third of March, 1859.
Since the original plat was made, there were 16 additions to the
town by 1946. It was
incorporated by a special act of the legislature in 1877. That same year the business part
of the village was nearly destroyed by fire. Thirteen business places being
By 1880 the village had: 5 dry goods stores; 2 groceries; 2
hardware stores; 2 drug stores; 5 blacksmith shops; 2 wagon shops; post
office; school house; newspaper office; 2 cabinet shops; 2 millinery
stores; 1 harness shop; stave factory; 2 cider mills; 2 saw mills; 2
sash-door & blind factories; 1 lumberyard; 1 flour & feed store; 2
livery stables; 1 jewelry store; 2 restaurants; 1 boot & shoe store; 2
insurance offices; 1 hair store; 2 warehouses; depot-telegraph &
express office; 2 lawyers; and 4 physicians.
The dress of the settlers
was of the most primitive style, both as to fashion and material. With the men, the old time hunting
shirt had given way to a garment called a “wamus”, a loose blouse with
a narrow binding at the top and single button at the throat, the skirt
reaching to the hips when loose, or to the waist when tied by the corners
as it was usually worn. The
material was linsey, a homespun cloth of cotton and wool woven plain. Pantaloons were of jeans, blue or
butternut, with different shades of color as the different skeins of yarn
took on a light or dark hue in the dying.
Occasionally buckskin trousers were worn, or trousers faced with
buckskin, fore and aft, as a sailor would say, were the protection would
be the most serviceable.
In the ‘80’s all the
socks were made at home. Usually
two white fleece and one black fleece would be taken to the carding mill
at Bangor, and the result would be the gray yarn. My Great-grandmother Ament usually
spent from two to four weeks every summer with my Grand-mother Kabel,
and during that time would knit the yearly supply of stockings for the
The farming tools of the pioneer were the simplest
kind, hardly differing from their ancestors of fifty to a hundred years
before. An ax, iron wedge,
bar share plow, usually with wooden teeth, a heavy hoe, and a sickle for
cutting grain, which after being cut, was stacked around a circular
threshing floor of dirt, upon which it was tramped out by horses and
winnowed by one man throwing it into the air, while the other men flopped
a sheet to run it.
Until the late seventies and early eighties oxen
were used. My grandfather had
both oxen and horses.
As a new area is settled
there are, of course, many firsts. Mrs.
Thomas Conklin, who came to Hartford Township in 1837, taught the
first school in Hartford township in her home.
The first school-house was built in 1842 and the
first teacher was Olive Pool, with only five pupils. She received $1.25 per week.
In 1855 the first post
office was established at Hartford Center, with James Griffin as
the first post-master. A man
named Dolph carried the mail on horse back previously.
Dr. Milton F. Palmer,
settled in Hartford and commenced the practice of medicine in 1857. He was the second postmaster in
the place and a great sportsman. He
planted an apple orchard in the center of the village and said at that
time that the fruit it would produce would be much better for the children
than his medicine, all of which was verified in time. At least, it cost them less than
pills, and he was never known to drive a child out of his orchard. He never hitched his horse to a
buggy but always rode to visit his patients. His daughter, Harriet, married Azra A. Palmer,
also a physician, who bought the practice of the old physician and
continued the practice and also the residence until his death. Incidentally, in 1946, the house was still standing and a Dr.
Palmer used it for his office.
The first saw mill was
erected in 1855.
The first steam grist-mill
in the village was built in 1878 by K. J. Walker. It was known as the Hartford City
Mills. In 1894 they added
more machinery and began manufacturing barrel hoops in addition to the
The first store in the
village was built by Willard Stratton who did a small mercantile
business. He was succeeded by
Henry Baird, who found the business to be neither very extensive or
profitable. Baird said,
“that a mouse, that he
had tried in vain to catch, had eaten up all his profits”.
built the first hotel, later known as the Hartford House.
The first livery in the
place was established by Jacob Craiger, who ran a daily line of
stages between St. Joseph and PawPaw until the completion of the Pere
Marquette Railway, after which he continued the line between Hartford and
PawPaw until the opening of the “Narrow Gauge” railway in 1883.
Great Concord coaches
drawn by four horses were used and the passenger traffic carried in them
was no small item. In
addition to the passenger traffic, mail was also transported over the same
line which was an additional source of revenue.
In 1878 a bridge was
washed out on the “Narrow Gauge” line and Jake Craiger made two
stage coach trips. My father
thrilled to the sight of an eight-horse team pulling the coach as it
started on one of these trips.
The first railroad to go
north and south through Hartford was the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore
The first engines were
wood burning and the railroad company made contracts with the settlers to
furnish the wood. The wood
was to be 20 inches long, all body wood, and put in piles 8 feet high, at
certain designated places along the track.
One of these wood piles was in front of my grandfather’s house. While the trainmen were loading
wood, my father had a good chance to get acquainted with them. If my father would throw off the
wood from the top of the pile the trainmen would let him ride into
Hartford. One day Father had
a basket containing sweet apples, butter, and eggs to take to Auntie
Byrd, a friend, who lived in Hartford.
He was very happy to have a ride.
After they were on their way, (he was riding in the caboose) one of
the men asked who the apples were for, and on learning that they were for
Mrs. Byrd said that he knew her and that she wouldn’t care if he took an
apple. Which he proceeded to do.
The other men said they knew Auntie Byrd too, and when Father
arrived in Hartford he had no apples left.
As he got off the train he told the men in no uncertain words that
he would never ride on their dirty old train again.
In the fall of 1880 my
grandfather noticed an engine with a short smoke stack and remarked that
the engine must have been in a wreck and had lost part of its smoke stack. After seeing two such engines he
realized that the engines were using coal for fuel instead of wood.
The first east-west
railroad was the Toledo and South Haven Railroad, running between Lawton
and Hartford. It was a narrow
gauge road. The first nine
miles were opened for traffic in 1877.
Within a few years it extended to Hartford.
The first newspaper
published in Hartford was the
Hartford Day Spring. The
first issue published on November 16, 1871.
Now some first for Lawrence.
was the first school teacher in the summer of 1837. The second term’s teacher was Truman Foster of
Keeler with thirty scholars. Uriel
T. Barnes’ daughter tells of her first day of school when Foster was
teacher. After walking
what seemed a great distance through the dense woods, I came to a house
and inquired how far it was to the village.
the village, dear?”
returned the woman, “why you are in the
village now, only you can’t see it for the trees” “Well”,
said I, “where
is the schoolhouse?” “Only
a little way farther in the woods,” was her response, and after walking what
appeared to be half a mile, I found the school house.
In 1840 A.H. Phelps
and brother Theodore Phelps built the Chadwick Mill. Later H. N. Phelps, a fur
trader, manufactured deer-skin gloves and mittens.
The first birth in
Lawrence was that of Sarah Reynolds, on March 21, 1836.
The first marriage in the
township was that of Ephraim Taylor and Emeline Gibbs in the
fall of 1836.
The first death in the
settlement was that of Mrs. Dexter Gibbs in April 1838.
The first township road
was laid out in the summer of 1837.
In 1837, John Allen,
had the government contract for carrying mail between Kalamazoo and St.
Joseph. He had a road built
from Mason (Lawrence) to Keeler so that mail was brought to Mason on the
was the first postmaster when the Lawrence post office was established in
The first saw-mill was build on Brush Creek in
The first newspaper,
The Lawrence Advertiser,
began in February 1874.
On September 15, 1877 the
first train reached Lawrence on the Toledo and South Haven railway.
The religious and social
life of the people of the Hartford area were taken care of by the
beginning of the following between the years 1858 and 1890:
Methodist Society, 1859
First Baptist Church – 1858
Congregational Church – 1874
Christian or Disciple Church - 1874
of Latter Day Saints - 1874
Oak Lodge, No. 231 (I.O. of O.F.) – 1874
Lodge, No. 309, A. and A.M. – 1873
Eastern Star Lodge, No. 45 – 1877
Rebekah Degree Lodge, No. 24 – 1879
Lodge, No. 862, I.O. of Good Templars – 1875
of Pythias – 1875
Grange, No. 89, P. of H. (Transcriber
note: no date shown)
In Lawrence from 1837 to
1875 these churches and societies had their beginnings:
Congregational Church – 1837
First Baptist Church of Lawrence – 1838
Methodist Episcopal church of Lawrence – 1840
Day Saints – 1868
Free Methodist Church - 1871
Church – 1874
PawPaw Valley Agricultural Society – 1863
was holding annual autumn fairs at Lawrence)
Rising Sun Lodge, No. 119, F. and A.M. – 1860
Lawrence Chapter, No. 95, R.A.M – 1875
Lawrence Grange, No. 32 – 1875
Life in the early days
was not devoid of excitement, humor, practical jokes and entertainment.
1835 John Allen opened a business in Brush Creek, (Lawrence) on the
credit system, and made a failure. Being
of a speculative turn he conceived the idea of platting a village and
disposing of the lots to strangers in the east.
that time Waterford (Watervliet) was in its infancy. Hog Creek, about one-half mile west of the village of
Hartford was about halfway between Brush Creek and Waterford, and so our
pioneer speculator located his imaginary village on the stream referred
to, a few rods north where it emptied its waters into the PawPaw River,
naming the town Middletown, and proceeded with Yankee shrewdness to make
sales of lots to people in his former Green Mountain home. At that time the late Luther
Sutton, then but a lad, was one of the parties to a practical joke in
connection with Allen’s paper town.
half dozen families had gathered at Brush Creek and supposing Middletown
to be quite a village, planned to make it a visit. The company, consisted of some
half dozen ragged men and as many barefoot boys. Bent on reaching the town, the
party started westward, past Mud and Sutton Lakes, through the brush and
over logs, finally reaching a small stream where they halted to partake of
their lunch. A Mr. Barnum
then informed them that he would take them to the Public Square and
introduce them to the leading citizens of the place. And piloting them up the bluff
bank of the creek said, “Here they are boys, the
residents of the place are all cannibals (mosquitoes). Flee for your lives.”
The site of this paper
village was covered by a dense forest for years thereafter. It was finally cleared off, with
the expectation of converting it into a skunk farm, but skunks skins
declined in value and so the place escaped being called skunksville.
A bit of excitement was
caused by Hezikah Olds, who had employed Thomas Conklin to
erect for him a log house, eighteen feet by twenty-four feet, in
consideration for which he was to receive a cow. The work was completed in thirteen
days. Mr. Olds raked up the
chips, burned them, and also burned the new house. This happened in
a Civil War Veteran, and grandson of Frances Delong, the only
Revolutionary soldier who ever lived in Van Buren County, was a great
hunter, known as the “Nimrod” of the family. The following anecdote was related
in his own words:
“I had been out hunting
one day and as I was returning home, just south of the Jackson Hotel (now
the site of the Van Buren State Bank) a big buck jumped up within a few
feet of me. I fired and he
fell as if dead, but when I came to where he lay, I saw that the ball had
broken off one of his horns close to this head. I commenced to reload, but found
there was not a ball in my pouch. I
grabbed a rope that I always took with me while hunting, tied it about his
neck, and hitched him to a staddle (small tree) close by. I had no sooner done this than he
recovered from the shock and sprang to his feet, and all of the pitchings,
divings, and gyrations that that buck went through was a ‘sin to
snakes.’ It beat any circus
performance I ever did see. I
ran half a mile to my home in the pinery, reloaded my bun and returned as
quickly as I could. My
prisoner was as quiet as a lamb, but when he saw me the circus again began
in earnest. I fired. The circus was ended. When
dressed that buck weighed two hundred pounds.”
Another bit of excitement
took place when Wallace Allen was the proprietor of a dry goods
store as well as being township treasurer.
He kept the township money in an old safe in the store and one
night two men tried to rob the safe.
Rutt Stickney, who lived next to the store, heard the noise
and investigated. One of the
men shot at him and then they ran toward the railroad tracks. Stickney got a group of men
together and they started out after the robbers. The night train came through about
that time and Fred Allen, son of Wallace Allen, and one of the men
in the group, went on the train to Bangor, after the engineer told them he
would help them watch for the robbers along the tracks. The rest of the group, of which my
grandfather was a member, started out on foot, going down the railroad
tracks toward Bangor. One of
the members carrying a lighted lantern.
As the train neared Bangor the two robbers were seen to be hiding
near some bushes along the track. When
the train stopped at Bangor, Fred Allen and his partner got off and found
the Town Marshall, who had the reputation of not being afraid of the
‘devil himself’. They
started down the tracks toward Hartford, the Town Marshall in front, and
the other two directly behind him, each with a gun. They met the robbers coming toward
Bangor and quickly handcuffed them. They
went back to Bangor and waited for the next train back to Hartford. There was one thing that happened
that night that has always puzzled me.
Why did the group of men hunting for the robbers and walking down
the tracks carry a lighted lantern?
A circus about once a year
was fine entertainment. The
circus traveled in wagons from town to town. In 1879 a circus came from
Bangor to Hartford. There
were seven or eight elephants with the circus and when they got to the
PawPaw River bridge, about one-half mile north of Hartford, the lead
elephant would not cross the bridge.
The keeper tried to make him go, but he wouldn’t He roared and jumped into the
river and the other elephants followed.
They stayed in the river for several hours. The rest of the circus went on and
they had the parade in Hartford without the elephants. If anyone got too near the
elephants he was given a shower. In
the afternoon one of the circus men came back to the river and succeeded
in getting one of the elephants to come out. After he was out the others
followed and the elephants performed that evening.
Another form of
entertainment was the Italian with his Performing Bear. These men would come through the
country walking down the railroad track from one town to another. My grandparents lived very close
to the track so Grandfather would always have the Italian and his bear
stop and perform for the children. While
my grandmother was getting some food for the man, my father and the other
older children, would run in all directions to the neighbors to let
everyone know the Italian and his bear were going to perform. For ten cents or a quarter he
would give a fine entertainment. The
bear would waltz, do other dances, climb a telegraph pole to the music of
a little tin horn played by the man.
At a given signal the bear would come down the pole, and that would
end the program.
C. H. Engle
tells of an unusual happening during the Civil War. He relates:
I was called on to marry a couple some distance north of the village. The groom arrived on the scene
very late in the evening, and then astonished and disappointed the bridal
party by refusing to marry the girl.
I asked him what he meant by such action. He started for the door and
beckoned me to follow. When
we were on the outside he said he was engaged to the girl before the
breaking out of the war, but so many had enlisted that men were getting
scarce and said he,
“I am now sure I can do
was dumbfounded and told him that there was no punishment known to the law
that was adequate to his case. I
learned afterward that he was drafted and hustled off to the front, but it
was near the close of the war, and he soon returned home. He had the cheek to again ask that
girls’ hand in marriage, but the plucky maiden replied, ‘No, Sir, the volunteer
boys are now home and I can do better.”
Thus, from these happenings the monotony of work
and more work, was broken.
From a background such as
this, I think anyone can realize why a certain area means so much to those
who live there. For, through
the influence of these early happenings, we are what we are today. It makes us appreciate and feel proud of our ‘home’.
The photo of Katherine
and Marshall Minshall was contributed by Jason Meachum in 2002.