Contributor: dvdmovieking Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Written by his daughter, Grace Ross McDowell, July 1932
On a cold day, December 20, 1858, another spirit came to this beautiful world to take a body to be schooled in the earth life. He was named Nephi after the prophet Nephi in the Book of Mormon, and I imagine in the hope that he would emulate the good example of that righteous prophet.
He was the son of Daniel Jr. and Frances Peay Ross and the grandson of Daniel Ross, Sr. of Hillensburg, Scotland—his family consisting of five sons and five daughters. Receiving word of the gold rush in California in 1849, three sons, Duncan, Daniel Jr. and Alexander, prepared to make the journey to America to try their luck at fortune hunting. On the day they sailed, they made their mother (Agnes McKella) a promise that one year from that date they would return with enough gold to take the family of twelve to the new world.
They had received the gospel and were anxious to join the Saints in Utah. I do not remember the story of how they traveled but fortunately they arrived in California safe and sound and with great excitement, panned gold with the many other gold seekers until it was almost time for them to return and fulfill their promise to their mother. On counting their gold they found to their disappointment they did not have enough to bring the family.
They retired to bed and one of them dreamed of a spot where they would find the gold they lacked. On arising he told the others of his very inspiring dream, and they went to the spot where he was told they would find it and to their great joy, they found enough gold to supply their needs. They arrived back in Scotland on the exact date they had promised and there was great rejoicing (much the same as Lehi and his wife rejoiced when their sons returned to the wilderness bringing the records of Laban). They thought they might never see them again . Now they could all go to Zion that they might mingle with the Saints.
They prepared to leave immediately for America. On the same ship on which they sailed came the family of William Peay of Yapton, Sussex, England. The two families became great friends (their daughter, Frances Peay, later married Daniel Ross Jr.). They finally landed in America and went through all the struggles and trials of the early pioneers and arrived in the valleys of the mountains to make their permanent home.
Grandmother (Frances Peay) told of many interesting experiences in those early days, one of when she was walking away from camp and a big Indian pursuing her and taking her pretty and much prized umbrella away with him.
After the two families had been in Salt Lake Valley for a time, grandmother hired out to a family (as most girls in those days) to do washings and etc. One day she was busily scrubbing clothes when a young man (Daniel Ross Jr.) came to see her and asked her to be his wife. Right then she left the washing, donned her best dress (a lavender calico her mother had made for her in England), and they were married in the Salt Lake
Endowment House October 12, 1852.
They went to make their home in Cedar City, Iron, Utah. There a son, Daniel III was born. They had so much trouble with the Indians that they moved back to Salt Lake where their son, William, was born. Later they moved to South Weber where my father, Nephi, was born Decmeber 29, 1858. There he spent much of his young life and had the interesting experience of watching the first large trussel railroad bridge built across the Weber River and rode on the first train going over it.
Father told of taking eggs to market for his mother and walking several miles to Ogden where he traded them for groceries, wading the river enroute. The old storekeeper’s name was LeBraun, a Frenchman. One day Father took some of the egg money to buy himself some marbles and worried all the way home. It taught him a lesson in obedience and honesty he never forgot. In all my life I have never known him to be dishonest. He has always been and honest and truthful man and played square with everyone.
Father told of the Morrisites coming into the valley and trying to drive out the Mormons. They took grandfather and Uncle Frank Peay (Grandmother’s brother) and put them in a little log jail and kept them there two days and a night. The Mormons finally drove them out and were at peace again.
Father has told us many times about their home—one large thatched room with a big fireplace, dirt floor and homemade furniture. Grandmother kept it very clean and orderly as she was a good housekeeper. They burned oakbrush and sagebrush for fuel. They had good times in the evenings after the day’s work was done.
The family then moved to Hooper where they built a two-room adobe house with a large fireplace. Sage brush was used entirely for fuel. By that time Father was a good sized boy and herded their cows and horses over the hills to graze. He has told us many times about going barefooted and alone over prickly pears and cactus, getting his feet sore and weary but the cattle had to be watched and the horses brought in early in the morning for plowing. At that time the children had no shoes to wear. He told of going over the hill one day for a load of sagebrush when the homemade ranch wagon was piled high and they were starting home they heard a loud rumbling and looked to see a great herd of Texas cattle coming toward them. They stampeded around the wagon bellowing and jostling the wagon from side to side. Almost frightened to death as every moment it looked as though they would be tipped over and land among the wild cattle. But through their faith and prayers they were saved.
Another time he told of being out across the hills alone after horses when another herd of Texas cattle stampeded directly in his path. He started running and realizing it would do not good he prayed to know what to do and when they were very close to him he turned and with his hands up high in the air he shouted with all his might and to his surprise the leader threw up his great horns and stopped dead still. All the herd did likewise and with a loud challenge they wheeled and started in another direction. They never found him afoot and alone again.
After living in Hooper several years Father chose to leave the farm and at the age of 17 years went to Bingham Canyon with his two older brothers, Dan and William. There they contracted to furnish timber for the mines. They worked on the nearby mountains—the two brother cutting the timber and Father snaking it down with mules. I had never been in Bingham until two years ago and was surprised to see such a town built in such a long narrow canyon and the buildings of those old mining towns (old inns, boarding houses and cottages brown with age; some with rock walks leading up to them, some timbered up to keep the rocks from sliding down into the narrow streets). A very busy town with nearly every building in use and the streets so narrow just barely room enough for two cars to pass on the steep road. Just out of the canyon is the beautiful new town, Copperton, lovely homes and grounds with beautiful flowers and trees; a great contrast from the town of Bingham.
Father worked there a number of years. Later his mother and family moved there and partook of the life of the busy mining town. Later they moved to Provo where they built a three-room adobe house with a long porch on the south where I remember spending many happy hours. Around the house were tall pine trees and in front a large cherry tree where in early July the many grandchildren and neighborhood children came to eat the luscious ripe cherries. It seemed that after we had all helped ourselves there were plenty left for those delicious pies Grandmother used to serve us. Kind, patient good natured grandmother. At the south side of the house Grandmother always had an interesting flower garden, big lilac trees with their entrancing perfume, old fashioned white roses and those tiny double almost black roses, Sweet Williams, yellow lilies, snowballs, bergamot, tall white and green grass lining the walk, small blue eyes and vari-colored flags (we used to call them). It has always been a thrill to remember that garden. I can’t remember all the interesting items about the place but out in the lot there were fruit trees and a vegetable garden. A large crab apple tree, a June tree, sweet apple tree whose fruit tasted heavenly to us in those childhood days. Also there were plum, pear, peach and apricot trees.
On the corner east of Grandmother’s home a company built a brewery and on hot summer days most everyone could be seen walking up the slight incline to the brewery to get their bucket of cooling foamy beer. I remember the big glass mugs with handles which grandmother used to serve it in. One day they gave me a taste which made me quite light-hearted for a time. I never saw them overindulge in the beverage, but they enjoyed a glass on occasion for refreshment.
Grandmother was very proud of her family of boys and was delighted when they would gather home—Dan, Will, Nephi, Hugh (Ted) and George with she and the daughters, Mary, Eliza and Agnes.
Father and his brothers started a sawmill up Spanish Fork Canyon and spent most of their time there for several years.
On a visit at his Uncle Edward Peay’s one Sunday, he met my mother, Mary Delilah Stubbs. Mother felt that he was the man of her choice immediately. His sisters invited her to their home, and they became very good friends. On his visits from the sawmill the crowd of young people met and enjoyed parties and dances at the different homes where he and mother became better acquainted. He invited her to go to the theater with him and from then on their courtship continued.
Mother has often told us how proud she was to see him coming straight tall and good looking. One evening he came while she was mixing bread and in her excitement she had forgotten to use the yeast. She remembered and after he had gone she proceeded to mix it in and next morning the bread was a good and fluffy as ever.
One summer evening by the old surface well Father asked Mary D’s hand in marriage, and they set the wedding date. Her mother and sisters felt so badly about her leaving that she changed her mind and waited to help another sister prepare her wedding outfit. Her father would not consent to the marriage.
After five years of courtship, they were married by Bishop Evan Wride at Grandmother Ross’s home on 7th West and 1st North. The reception preparations were many—large cakes, juicy pies, chickens and roasts of beef, baked beans and everything that went into those old fashioned wedding suppers. Mother’s sister, Amanda, made a large wedding cake 20 inches high in graduated sizes and decorated with bells at the top. The rooms were decorated with flowers and plants. In the living room the parents and brothers and sisters of the bride and groom sat on either side of the room (and there were many—8 of fathers and 10 of mothers). Later all the friends and relatives came, and they had a jolly good time. The band serenaded them to their great surprise and later played for them to dance.
Father’s suit (we still have it in the trunk) was of a rich navy stripe material with swallow-tail coat, stiff front shirt and cuffs. He had cuff buttons with monogrammed “N” made of two $10 gold pieces and treasured them highly.
Mother was dressed in a sand colored fine woolen dress with leg of mutton sleeves, tight fitting bodice and bustle which she had made herself mostly by hand. It was trimmed with small gold buttons all down the front, silk lace at the throat and cuffs. She must have been very small for none of her daughters has been able to wear it.
Father rented a little home on 8th W. and 5th N. with very meager furnishings, but they were happy to begin housekeeping together. The lot included the whole block. They paid $7 a month for it. At the west of their house was a large virgin grove of cotton woods, box elder and black willow trees. Wild roses, squaw brush and all sorts of wild flowers with yellow white and blue violets which were lovely in the spring. There was a large sugar cane plantation in the grove. They ran the press with a horse, and I remember their great tank of boiling delicious cane syrup. We used to take our bucket over and buy a few cents worth and how good it tasted.
In this home their first child was born, Ellen D., who lived only three days. This was a very sad occasion for them. Grandfather Richard Stubbs blessed the baby before it died, and they held the funeral at the home.
Later father bought a lot just south of Grandmother’s home on 7th West, and he and his brothers built a two-room brick house. It was all painted and fixed up nice for them to move in to. Mother told me that when she stepped into the new home she thanked the Lord over and over out loud she was so happy. Two years later my brother Daisan was born, and they were very happy with him. He was to be the only boy in the family of six children.
Father then went to Murcer to work in the mines when that district found rich ore. He was put in foreman and was making pretty good. He would come home occasionally for a few days visit and then return sometimes walking part of the way. Two years later a daughter, Edith was born.
Father was anxious for mother to come to Mercur to live as it was a lonely life for them both separated as they were. Mother consented although she hated leaving her little new home. Father built a little frame house down the canyon from the mines, and they moved some of their furniture up and made their home there for several months. They had to carry water from the mine about one mile up the canyon paying 5 cents per bucket. Daisan was now about four years old and his was the task to carry the buckets up the canyon to meet father as he came out of the mine, and they would fill them to bring home.
Mother has often told how careful they had to be with water and on wash days they had to go farther down the canyon for it where the ladies would have their tubs filled and split prickly pears and put in to settle the water. They had rain barrels for rainy days and it certainly did rain there. Floods came roaring down the canyon taking tubs and everything before them.
Mother was now preparing for a new member in the family and they thought it best for her to return to Provo so the things were packed and Father helped her to the train. They arrived home in the evening--Mother and two small children and a large suitcase. They walked over to Aunt Nora Johnson’s she living near the depot and Daisan saw a big stream of water running he said “Oh, mamma, why are they letting all that good water go to waste?” He remembered how precious it was in the mining camp.
They arrived at the little home and in due time Grace arrived to join the family circle. Edith resented a new baby taking her place and asked mother to throw her in the flood.
Another little girl arrived at the Ross home on 7th West—a beautiful chubby child with golden curly hair. They named her Silvia (the fourth girl)—the pride and pet of the family.
I can see mother preparing for the fourth of July celebrations; always a big day for us with pretty new white dresses which she sometimes stayed up half the night to sew (she was a dressmaker and sewed beautifully), new hats (sometimes bought from a peddler who chanced to come our way (Henry Wing)), ruffled petticoats, panties and new slippers. Everything had to be new for this occasion. Once when mother bought Daisan a new sailor hat Edith cried all the way home, “I want a sailor hat”. He offered his to her saying, “Don’t cry, sis, you can have mine”, but she wanted her own and would not be pacified. Mother finally arrive home with the four of us (two in the carriage—a big brown wicker one used for all five of us) and two walking. She was about finished after shopping and walking so far and it being July. She had purchased a jug of vinegar and set it on the floor for us to play with and with Edith still crying for the sailor hat the jug was tipped over and the contents went running over the floor. Mother rushed in grabbed a cloth and mopped up some of the contents and slapped it in Edith’s face which cured up the straw hat affair, and the day went smoothly on.
Daisan and Edith were real pals from the beginning. He looked after her so protectingly. One winter day when they first started to school a big blizzard came up just as it was time for them to come home for lunch. They had two blocks to walk and Edith had on her coat and bonnet but the wind took her breath and almost blew her away. He saw she was afraid and immediately took off his small coat and put it around her and stood behind a big Poplar tree with her until Mother came to get them.
Father continued to work in the mines and as he was digging one day the timbers caved in and he was badly injured—deep cuts and a skull fracture. They brought him home on a stretcher with his head all bandaged—a surprise to us as they had not notified us of the accident. Mother was so shocked not knowing whether or not he was dead. He recovered but was never able to work at mining again—only for a short time and he was brought home with pneumonia. He then decided to buy a farm where he could be out in the open.
He bought a ten acre farm on the old fort field on the road to the lake resort where he farmed for many years. He raised good crops there—sugar beets, potatoes, corn. One year the potatoes were so large we little tots could hardly carry them.
Aunt Mary Hollenbeck (father’s sister) had an old black horse named Ned and an old one-seated buggy in which we all piled into to go to the farm. When Ned would slow up Aunt Mary would stand up and club him with a strap tied to a stick and away we would go.
Father bought a beautiful team of bays—Old Bell and Pat—and a new wagon all painted red and green which we needed for farm purposes and also for a limousine for the family when we visited friends and relatives, picnics to the lake, etc.
The lake resort was the main attraction in those days, and it was a beautiful place. Looking at it now one would never know such a fine resort existed there. Everything has been washed away except a few old trees and the old well as landmarks. In those bygone days people from far and near came to celebrate the fourth of July and such holidays. There were street cars running from University (then Academy) Avenue to the lake resort. Uncle George Ross was engineer on the street car line and we enjoyed riding with him.
On the last road to the lake going south on Center Street on the Knudsen and Peay farms was a large race track with bleachers and grand stand better than any in Provo today. A bandstand where a full sized band played to enormous crowds. Although just a small child I remember the thrill of the horse races, of a horse with rider falling just in front of where we were sitting killing the rider.
Farther down the beach was a large restaurant, power plant, ice-cream parlor (where I first tasted pineapple ice cream and acquired a stomachache), a store, boat houses, a number of bath house and a long pier built on trussels, a large grove of trees grew all around the resort and little green lattice lunch houses were scattered over the grounds which rented for 25 cents. There was a large ballpark at the north where some very lively and interesting games were played. I mention the resort here because it seems only a dream now—a very fine reality then and thousands of people enjoyed many pleasures there. Each year I have visited it more has been washed away. The last was the large dance hall and the hall where the banquet tables were. The lake had risen so high that the floors were covered with water and washed away. It has all vanished now but it’s memory lives on in many hearts.
Oh let me see we had bought a new team and wagon. Father soon saw another farm he wanted and sold the ten acres and the little house and moved way down in the southwest fields.
Father did not go to school much but was very interested in learning and took a correspondence course in business and engineering from the International Correspondence Schools at Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was a beautiful penman and very neat and seldom found a problem in mathematics he could not master. He was an artist with his pen and drew beautiful birds and flowers. He was bookkeeper for the flour mills (run by Tanners) at one time. He also served as a member of the city council and enjoyed working with its members. He helped plant the trees that line the road to the boat harbor today.
We returned to the farm again where a two room lumber house had been built by George and Peter Groneman. This farm was near the lake also and was reached by going south on 11th West and turning west again at the last lane going south and consisted of 28 acres of farm and pasture land. A large creek ran through the middle. Along the banks in clumps were large cottonwood trees where in seeding time the ground would be covered white with cotton. Wild roses bloomed in clusters where the 2 bridges crossed the stream to the house (a little two-room frame with lean to kitchen and a little cellar lined with brick and a nice flowing well) surrounded by a stately plum orchard, the trees of uniform size which in blossom time seemed a beautiful and fragrant dream. Under the trees grew white, red and black currant bushes and little sweet gooseberry bushes. At the east side of the house we planted the flower garden and took great pride in caring for it. At the east window grew a large yellow rosebush which I claimed as mine, and at the bedroom window was a red climbing rose which Edith claimed. In the garden was a beautiful Tamarack tree with its fine fernlike branches and beautiful pink blossoms. We had much the same kind of garden as Grandmother’s including nasturtiums, Japanese pinks and cosmos.
The creek running though the place was a source of worry to Mother as we children were small and the water two and three feet deep in places and so close to the house. It was a great thrill for we children. The water was as clear as crystal, cold spring water. On clear sunny days we could see the fish swimming up and down, carp, suckers, sun bass and occasionally a trout. The wild ducks came up close to the house in hunting season. We had a flock of tame ducks, large green heads and gray and white ones. Mother used to catch them at molting time, sit down on a box and take all the loose feathers off then turn the ducks loose and how they flapped their wings and quacked . It was a funny sight to see them going around undressed but how nice the feel of those fluffy down pillows.
Father raised some very fine crops, sugar beets, potatoes, corn, hay and all kinds of garden stuff. On the upper ground he raised some grand celery, and we all turned in to help with it when it was ready for the market. We tried to raise strawberries but the soil was not suitable and they failed. Father planted a long row of peanuts for we children (the first I had ever seen grown), and it was thrilling to harvest them and put them on top of the shed to dry. But the wind came along and our peanuts went into the creek. However, we saved a few and roasted them, and they were very good.
In the winter the creek was beautiful with its big overhanging banks of snow and after fog and frost there would be roses and leaves everywhere reminding one of a real fairyland. One beautiful New Year’s evening father took the shotgun and said he was going out to get a big mallard duck he had seen at the bend of the creek. We soon heard a report from the gun and Father came to the door with the largest wild duck I have ever seen, but his nose was swollen all over his face big and black. He said, “I shot the duck but the gun kicked me” and laughed. We were all proud of his catch nevertheless.
On the 6th of January that same year a little blond baby came to our house to live. In the early morning we were rushed to Uncle Joseph Stubbs’ place where we stayed until they called for us in the afternoon and took us home to see the new arrival which the nurse, Mrs. Wright, informed us the doctor had brought in the satchel. We were thrilled with the baby as we hadn’t had one for nearly five years and coaxed mother to name her Jennie V. which name she has since been known by. She was a darling blond child and we all took turns hold and tending her. When she was two years old Daisan was playing tricks on us and thought it would be fun to try it out on the baby so he took a basin of water and placed a hair in it and told her to look close and she could see stars. As she looked he pushed her head down in to the water and nearly strangled her, and the game ended in a good scolding from mother.
Father and Mother went to town one day and left we children to take care of Jennie. We decided to go to the lake and have a boat ride and return before they came back. The lake was just across the fields through what we called the south pasture so taking the baby away we went. Boats of the hunters were anchored in the rushes so all we had to do was pull up the anchor and go. Half of us in one boat played our station was Provo and the other half about a block away was Salt Lake and we ferried back and forth with the oars not realizing the danger of drowning. In our fun we had forgotten how quickly the time had passed and hearing a shout from the shore looked to see Father and Mother who had come searching for us. A scolding ensued and an explanation of the dangers of such trips with our infant sister which of course we thought then was very untimely but since we have thought what great worry we must have caused them.
I could go on relating hundreds of like experiences which took place there and I must say it should be the privilege of every child at sometime to live on a farm or ranch along streams and beautiful fields where they might study nature first hand, fish, birds, insects, animals, flowers plants and trees. To see great flocks of flying honking wild geese in the clear blue sky, great pelicans with their large slow moving wings, floating and circling up among the fleecy white clouds on a spring morning. The wild ducks in their swift flight through the tinted evening sky, the seagulls in the spring following in the deep rich furrows of the plough, with no fear of the plowman or the horses and their throaty cries and their proud strut with their plumage of blue and white was an inspiring sight to us.
Many a night we have been awakened by the sharp mournful howling of a coyote lurking near the house to find a choice duck or chicken and many of our flock disappeared in this manner.
On a bend in the creek was a high bank where we have lain for hours to get a glimpse of a pair of weasels who had built their home there—long slim bodies with tiny feet and long tails, with fur a grayish color and at another time their fur had changed to a reddish brown and then in the winter time to snowy white. The muskrats could be seen sliding down the creek banks into the water and water snakes were very prevalent. One day I was weeding potatoes and the weeds were high and we were hurrying along the rows. I saw a weed and reached down under the vines to pull it and to my surprise pulled up a snake instead, and I might add there was some loud squealing.
In the spring we always went to gather wild flowers in the big meadows west of our farm and found large wild violets of beautiful blue and reddish tints, large patches of red bells or Johnnie Jump-ups as we called them and they looked very lovely rising about the tall grass—the lady slipper so fragrant and the shooting stars with their pretty blue petals and yellow centers. The creek banks covered with wild roses wafting the sweet perfume, the long hollow stems of watercress we used for pines to steal sweet cider from the barrel in the fall of the year (how good it tasted), the glory of the golden sheaves of grain at harvest time and the flocks of red-winged blackbirds who dined and sang there from sunrise ‘till sunset. Then the thrill of threshing time when the long table was spread for the threshers and we waited with longing hunger until they had finished eating and we could have our turn. Sometimes there would be aunts, cousins, and friends to eat with us and what a jolly time we had and we ate much too freely for small folk and on occasion were forced to lie down the remainder of the afternoon.
One Thanksgiving time father dressed a little pig and Mother stuffed and roasted it for dinner and we thought it was the best food we had ever tasted.
I am thankful to Father and Mother for the life they made possible for us. There were hardships, poverty, sickness and many blue and disappointing times, but there were also many sunny happy ones. Father was very strict with us, and sometimes there were scoldings and threats and occasionally a boot behind us, but I can see that through the years it has helped to make us more obedient and industrious. Father had a kind heart and a quick temper which he had to fight against all his life or it would get the best of him and he would swear and then afterward would feel remorseful. We have spent many happy hours sitting around his knee listening to stories of his boyhood days and his pioneering experiences and travels. While still a young man he took a contract to freight up along the Snake River through Idaho and up to Missoula, Montana. They used big lumbering wagons with mule teams pulling them. One place along the river they stopped in the evening he said the mosquitoes were so thick they darkened the sky. The animals snorted and brayed and kicked from the bites so they turned them loose and they plunged into the river to get away from the insects. Many hard and weary days and were spent in going and returning. They were almost scalped by Indians on one occasion.
In 1912 Father decided to sell the farm. We bought a six-room home from Jessica Harding with eleven acres of ground. We were all thrilled to move closer into town and liked the home very much and spent many happy days there. The house was brick with large rooms and high ceilings. In front of the house was a large lawn and a tall hedge ran along it serving as a fence and there were many shade trees and rose bushes of all kinds. At the south of the house there was a good-sized orchard with all kinds and varieties of fruits. I remember especially the early harvest and yellow transparent apple trees. There were peaches, apricots and pears and a large raspberry patch. Mother was very fond of this home and was always fixing it up. She was always good and kind and as busy as a bee. I remember just once or twice that she lost her temper. Once when she tried to make bred from Herbert Hoover’s war time flour (1918) and the bread came out of the oven deflated. She just stood and threw the loaves across the room at the bread bin without saying a word. She stood a lot of vexing problems without complaining.
In 1917 Daisan entered the U.S. Marines and went to Mare Island, Cal. Men were being called to fight in World War I and a feeling of depression and anxiety was felt by everyone. It was then that mother’s hair began to go gray as we expected any time to hear that Daisan had gone “across the water”. He was gone nearly two years. I shall never forget the morning of “The Armistice”. Bells rang and whistles blew for an hour it seemed and we experienced all sorts of feelings. One day he came home and surprised us. We looked up the street to see him coming and we were so stunned we couldn’t decide whether to go and meet him or stay. We ran to the gate and greeted him and it seemed he had been gone for years. We were so thankful that he was home again when so many of the boys had lost their lives and would never return.
During Daisan’s absence, men were scarce as they had been called into service and Father had no help except we girls, and Edith and I were working in town so at haying time mother went out to help on the wagon, piling the hay as Father threw it up on the rack. She stacked in the barn and worked with him until the job was finished. They both have worked and struggled untiringly together taking the hard knocks that life handed them and enjoying the blessings which came to them.
In 1919 we sold the home at 776 South 11th West and bought our home from Will Gammon on 8th W and 4th South. Father also purchased then acres of farmland south on 19th W. and traveled back and forth taking care of it. His eyesight had begun to fail him and he could not work so well so he sold the farm land and tried to content himself taking care of our six by 12 lot around the home. Having had so much land to care for he felt very handicapped and discouraged. Dr. H.G. Merril advised him to have an operation to remove the cataracts from his eyes. He consented as he was very anxious to have his eyesight restored. He had always studied and read so much that he felt doubly handicapped in not being able either to study or to work. He lay in the hospital for weeks and had his eyes bandaged for months. This was a great shock to him, and it took a long time for him to recover. He lost the sight of one eye entirely and could not see very well with the other which caused him to be very despondent most of the time, but he kept up the place beautifully and everyone remarked about it which made him very proud.
His savings dwindled, and he worried a lot. His health was poor, but he was always up and doing what he could. Sometime at daylight he was out in the garden always willing to work and keep ahead of debts and make a home for us. In his later years, he would work hard in the garden all day and enjoyed his meals, especially if mother had hot biscuits or pie. In the evening he loved getting the family together to sing songs. He loved music but never could carry a tune. Sometime we would sing for hours, and I think his interest taught us to love and appreciate music. He loved to read and study and there was hardly a question he could not answer and converse about. He had quite a collection of books one from which he used to read us Scotch poems in the old Scotch brogue. He was pretty good at it. He was very touched on reading anything sentimental and tears would stream down his face until he could hardly finish. Scotch songs were his specialty. “Annie Laurie” was one of his choices, and he would sit for hours listening to we girls play and sing. He was religious at heart and always anxious for we children to attend church and perform our duties. When it was time for us to be baptized, he bought new things for us and took us in the buggy seemingly enjoying it. He and Mother attended meetings when they were younger but he professed no religion and took no active part in it. He was straight and tall and had dark wavy hair and green eyes. At 70 he was quite gray but walked very straight and with a quick step.
In November 1929 Father contracted pneumonia and was bedfast for a few days; it seemed so easy for him to catch cold after that. At Christmas we had an enjoyable time. Also at New Year’s time we invited his family to spend the evening with us, and he enjoyed himself very much. They played games, had lunch and chatted. He was always out to milk the cow, sweep paths and do the necessary chores about the place until the 20th of January when I called by on my way to Sunday School, and he said he didn’t feel very good as he had a bad cold. Next day he went to bed. On Thursday he became delirious and got so bad that we had to take him to the hospital where he died Saturday night January 26, 1930. The funeral was beautiful—so many beautiful flowers—and so many friends called to pay their respects which spoke their esteem for him. President T.N. Taylor was the speaker and paid tribute to Father’s good qualities. Thus ended a life of service for his family and friends having fulfilled the measure of his creation on this earth.