EARLY ELECTION AND EVENTS - PIONEERS AND POETRY
Election - "Eighteen Forty"
In the early times election days were a sort of holiday. The voters went early, took their guns along and proposed to have a good time, shooting at a mark being one of their festive pastimes. County elections did not produce much excitement. A few men got on the right side of the people, and they managed to secure the loaves and fishes pertaining to the local offices of the county. And, singular as it may seem to those unacquainted with the wealth that comes to a man by being a public officer, most all the men who held the offices and received the official pap are to this day pretty well off in this world's goods. Still it was the state elections, or the presidential years which called forth the true patriotic fever in those pioneer days of song and story, with here and there a well filled jug, which would raise the patriotic feeling to an enthusiastic pitch. It was genuine enthusiasm, too. There was nothing sordid about it, but they went into win on their side, and until the polls closed at sundown they kept the ball rolling lively. When the battle of the ballot ended the victors were cheered and the slain decently interred, to be resurrected, perhaps, at some future day.
The Presidential Campaign
There have been many exciting presidential campaigns in this country, but to the old pioneer there has never been an election that could at all compare with that of 1840. And we must give the palm of fun, frolic and intense patriotism to the men of other days. It was a campaign of barbecues, picnics and processions, of merry songs and patriotic utterances. Money, indeed, was used in the times of long ago, but instead of a bribe to the individual voter to corrupt and degrade him, as now, no such thought entered the minds of the leaders in those good old days. The money went for music by the band, a roast ox and a "little more cider, too." There was a feast of reason, a flow of soul, and principles were fought for and not spoils.
The year 1840 will ever be memorable in the political history of our country. Jackson had carried out his plans to destroy the power of the United States Bank, which was using its vast resources to corrupt the people's representatives, to secure a renewal of its charter, and become a power potent for evil in the future of the country. Having accomplished this he retired, and Martin Van Buren became his successor. Finances, however, had become deranged, and every effort of those who had felt the power of Jackson's policy was willingly put forth to effect the downfall of Van Buren's administration, by fair means or foul. The financial panic of 1837 was the golden opportunity of the Whig party, and they availed themselves of it. The cry of hard times was echoed and reechoed throughout the land, and it was no false cry. Wildcat banks had come into being in place of the old United States Bank, and when the pressure came they were unable to stem the tide of bankruptcy and ruin, which indeed they were the most potent cause, and which then swept over the country with the force and destructive power of a cyclone, carrying desolation in its path. The banks' circulation being principally secured by bonds and mortgages, and real estate rapidly depreciating, these banks went down before the financial storm like leaves in an autumnal gale. The financial crash of 1837 told fearfully and with terrible effect in the East, where the bulk of the voting population was then found; but while west of the Mississippi the vote was light, and the country sparsely settled, yet the West was as enthusiastic as any other portion of the country and went into the campaign with the greatest fervor and delight. The distress all over the country was great and a presidential campaign came to hand before the people could recover. Not only were the friends of the United States Bank and the old Whig party solid, but the story was added that Van Buren's administration was one of wild prodigality, and that the cabinet was an aristocratic court that vied in follies and extravagance the worst courts of Europe. This was a harp of a thousand strings, and every string seemed to send forth a wail of horror over the reckless waste of this Democratic administration. From this came the grand campaign of "Log cabin and hard cider," that of 1846. The old pioneer dotes on that campaign and memory brightens as its vivid scenes are recalled to mind.
In 1840, as before remarked, the people still suffered from the hard times brought on by the financial disaster of 1837; hard work had not yet drawn them out of the slough of bankruptcy, and the promised relief from congressional action had also failed. So the story of trials and sufferings was told in song and carried everything before it.
The log cabin feature touched the hearts of the people, for of such were their homes, and the songs had the effect of clinching reason and fancy and securing their votes. "For Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, for Van, Van, is a used up man," and the chorus rang out with a heartiness that boded no good to the Democracy. In touching up the extravagances of the administration and the promises of relief which had been circulated, but never realized, one verse of a song is still in the memory of the writer. It ran:
"In the year eighteen hundred and forty,
The times of promised relief,
Which was sung to the poor by the haughty,
Two dollars day and roast beef."
Well, they had not realized the above, and every time that song went floating through the air it somehow seemed to carry votes and to cause the Democracy to look blue when the sound reached them.
It was claimed that the destruction of the old United States Bank and the extravagance of Van Buren's administration had brought on the panic of 1837 and all the evils which followed, and that "Old Tippecanoe," William Henry Harrison, who was not only a soldier boy, but a farmer, would give the country a farmer's administration, which meant economy and good times.
The Whigs had decidedly the best of the fight, and the campaign was simply "immense" with its grand barbecues, speeches, processions and songs. The charge of lavish expenditures of Van Buren was harped upon with wonderful effect, and many songs were composed and sung of of the way he got away with the people's money in aristocratic living. One verse of a song which was sung with a wild enthusiasm in the campaign was as follows, speaking as coming from President Van Buren:
"Bring forth, he cries, the glittering plate,
We'll dine today in royal state;
He speaks, and on the table soon
They place the golden fork and spoon.
Around him bends a servile host,
And loud they shout the welcome toast,
Down with Old Tippecanoe!
Down with Old Tippecanoe!!"
This generally brought down the house when an indoor meeting was held, and out of doors the shouts were fairly terrific. The Democrats, however, were not idle; they saw the storm and prepared to meet it with counter charges, and of the same kind of ammunition, but the disaffection of Van Buren and his traitor host caused their banner to trail in the dust.
Henry Clay, of Kentucky, was the leader of the Whig party, and he was made the target of a good deal of Democratic thunder. The songs were not all on one side, not by any means; but the charge of royalty was the winning card of the Whigs. However, the Democrats got off a good many songs against Clay and his party, and a verse is here given to show the tactics of the Democracy. Here it is:
"There's Harry Clay, a man of doubt,
Who wires in and wires out;
And you cannot tell, when he's on the track,
Whether he's going on or coming back."
Or in other words, like the Irishman's flea, when you had him, he wasn't there.
The election came off, and the songs, "Log Cabins" and "A Little More Cider, too," did the business. "Old Tip" was elected, and " Tyler, too," and the people once more settled down to quiet life.
But if you want to put life and snap in the voice and limbs of the old pioneer on an election theme, strike the keynote, the year 1840. His eyes will brighten, his limbs will straighten and his voice will ring out with a bell-like clearness, as he tells you of that greatest and best of political campaigns ever held in this country. The contrast to the bright glow and honesty of the one party, all working together for success, and the dark and damning treachery which haunted and followed the other with a black and frowning brow, was significant of the result. Treachery had done its evil work, and done it well. He who had received honors and emoluments at the hands of his party and the people became a traitor and a renegade, and so Van Buren sank out of sight, the dark pall of oblivion covering him with a mantle of shame. "Salt River" became household words, and many people actually believed that a vessel had taken the Democratic candidates on a voyage up that beautiful (?) and historic stream. Harrison was deserving of his country's honor, and though General Cass may have been better versed in statecraft, yet if Harrison had lived, the country would never have suffered.
Such a campaign as that of 1840 at this day would be a farce. There is too much bargain and sale. It would not chime in with an innocent song, for there is very little innocence in the elections of late years. Principles have had little to do with elections. High-sounding words, plenty of promises to be broken, capital to the front, labor to the rear, monopolies triumphant and rolling in wealth, the people to live a pauper life with the heritage of unceasing work fastened upon their limbs. This is the present outlook of the people, taken from a party standpoint, who loves them so dearly and well. So the old pioneer revels in the times of long ago, and he is not far out of the way. Those days were as full of wrangling and bitterness as those of the present, but it was a square fight for principles only. Money was not the mighty power, which has controlled the past elections for more than a decade. It did not rule congress, buy legislatures or elect presidents. It had the will to do it, but its representative, the United States Bank, lay bleeding at the feet of the people, where it had been laid by the iron will and mailed hand of their lion-hearted president. Henry County had her part in this election and polled her usual party vote.
The tide of immigration, which had slackened during the previous years, began to assume greater proportions and Henry County received her share. Henry and St. Clair Counties had a population of 4,726 in 1840, according to the census of that year, St. Clair at that time being a part of Rives or Henry County. In 1850 the two counties boasted of a population of 7,608, or a gain of about 65 percent during the decade ending 1850. Of this Henry County had a population of 4,052 and St. Clair of 3,556. In the same ratio of division in 1840 Henry County would have had 2,521 and St. Clair 2,205.
A Quiet Life
Henry County had few stirring incidents to record in her early days. There was little to arouse the old pioneer from the even tenor of his way. Indians were not troublesome, game was plenty, honey could easily be found. The distance to mill and post office was their greatest trouble, and though wolves sometimes were found troublesome on the way, there were no thrilling horrors enacted, and so the settlers through all those trying years, trying because of the privations endured, if not from danger. They had worked to improve their homes that they and their children might have a competency in their old age. To be sure, there were many incidents of these privations and cares that would be interesting to the readers, of hunting excursions that sometimes cost more than they came to, of the simple implements of industry which are now obsolete, and yet was the only help in all those early years of the hardy pioneers, and of the forests and the prairies.
This and much more could be written, yet it is more or less familiar to all. The old pioneer, in many cases, has departed to his long home, but the children of those days have not all passed their three score years and ten, and with memories tenacious they have told of their childhood days until it has become an open book to all. Yet these pages are gathered together that with the future onward march of time, when memory has ceased and the last link broken that unites the present with the early days, then this work will be treasured as the missing link that should forever unite the pioneer of early history with the men and women of today.
The country grew and prospered under the strength of the brawny arm and endurance of her noble old pioneers. Civilization advanced, and material progress could be seen on every hand. School houses were built, education took a step forward; Christianity went hand in hand, for the school house was also the church, and thus the pioneer sought enlightenment, and bowed before his Maker.
Such has been, in a measure, the history of the early pioneers of this beautiful country, and those who are living can look back with unabated interest to the days which tried the nerve, the muscle and the indomitable will of the fathers and mothers who had the infancy of Henry Country in their keeping.
In closing this part of our history, covering but a little over a decade of time, there has been something written founded upon tradition, but little of it in comparison with the vast array of facts gathered and compiled within its pages. The early pioneer made history, but knew little how to preserve it. This is a sad loss to the county. Those years, and the lives and actions of the heroes and patriots then living, were of the greatest importance. Then it was that the foundation was laid upon which a noble and enduring superstructure was to be reared, and upon which the moral, physical and political future of the Country was to rest.
There were no great stirring events or remarkable happenings, but it was a time of self-reliance, of persevering toil, of privations and of suffering that were endured with heroic fortitude. They believed in a future reward of successful labor and of the good time coming when the wooded hills and open prairies should resolve themselves into well cultivated farms, their humble cabins into residences that would be fitting their improved financial condition and the advanced era in which they would live. They had come into the boundless wilderness poor in purse, but rich in faith, powerful in endurance, and their future was before them.
Women Pioneers - Her Trials - Her Fortitude
Thus far the pioneer has been referred to as of the sterner sex; but were they the only pioneers in these western wilds? Was man the only one who suffered privations and want, who worked that a generation then verging on manhood might find the way "blazed" to the light of a higher civilization, and that a generation yet unborn might find the fruits of struggle in well tilled fields, a full granary, and a new home blessed with all the arts and progress that a new era gave them?
Was it in the culture and refinement of a people of a later day, who had received not only wealth descended from their forefathers, but those benefits which science had discovered hidden in the deep and dark mysteries of nature, and were they to thank men alone for these blessings around them?
No; but high on the scroll of fame should the pioneer women of our land have their names emblazoned that generations yet to come, and for all time may honor and bless the heroic women who gave their lives to the duties of a pioneer's life, and who proudly and uncomplainingly did the work which came before them as only women could do it, smoothing their lives with the light of an undying love, and proving in every way the equal of man in carrying forward the work of making a wilderness take upon itself the garb of civilization and barren plains the wealth of fruitful fields and abundant harvests. Thus have the pioneer women worked and struggled, and the rude cabin was to them a home of love and happiness. Rude and primitive as that cabin might be, with a floor of mother earth, simple and unadorned, there was found within its walls many a heroine of early days. Not in the palaces of the rich of what is called this enlightened era was more true lifelike happiness found than in those lowly cabins. There was no waiting in those days for a home of splendor before man found his mate, but the heroes and heroines of those days joined hearts and hands and helped each other down the rugged pathway of life. He went into the field to work that he might supply the food necessary for life, while she worked on in her own sphere, furnishing her husband's cabin with the smiles of a loving heart, greeting her partner with the evident work of willing hands, keeping her true and womanly talents in full play, not only in preparing her food for the family meal, but in weaving and spinning, Cutting and making, the garments for herself and those of her household under her loving care.
Much has been written of the "Old Pioneer," and his struggles in the early years of his life; his heavy trials, misfortunes, and his ultimate success; but little has been recorded of his companion, the light of his cabin, who cheered him in his misfortunes, nursed him in sickness, and in health gave her whole strength to labor for their future welfare and happiness. There was little luxury or ease for the pioneer's wife; but whatever her destiny might be, it was met with a firm faith and a willingness to do her whole duty, living in the love of her husband and children, and trusting in Providence to receive her final reward for the unceasing labor of years, well and nobly performed.
Yes, there was something decidedly primitive in the building and furniture of those cabins of old. They were in many cases built one and a half stories high, that they might have a "loft" to store away things, and sometimes to sleep. The windows were covered with a light quilt, or paper, to keep the wind and rain out, the puncheon was laid, the stick and mud chimney set up, a table and a chair or two, or stools made of a split log, the flat side up, and holes bored to put in the legs, which were generally three. Shelves would be made of the same material, holes bored and pins put in, to hang up their clothes or other things, and that pioneer heroine was ready to meet her friends and neighbors, or the world at large, in a roomy and comfortable home. A housekeeping outfit of that style in these days would send a young woman into hysterics, make her declare that she would "go right home to her pa" - and probably for herself and that young man it would be the best place for her.
Then the wife generally milked the cow, if they had one, cooked and sewed, wove and spun, and went to mill, thus doing her part and keeping her end of the line taut. They made their bread literally by the sweat of their brows, and led happy and contented lives.
A calico or a gingham dress was good enough to go to church in, but oftener a bright homespun dress did duty on the same occasion; then the calico or gingham would last a year or two, and then could be turned and made up for the children. It only took eight yards for a dress, hoop skirts having not yet put in an appearance, and pinbacks were of another day and generation. o with a multiplicity of duties, the young wife kept on her way. By and by, when a young family had grown up around them, cares began to increase, the wife and mother was often compelled to sit up, night after night, that the husband and children's clothes might be mended, their stockings darned, and the preparations for the coming morning's work made ready. Then it was discovered that a woman's work was never done. The household was asleep. The tired husband and father was resting his weary limbs in dreamland; the restless children were tossing here and there on their beds as children always do; nature itself had gone to rest, and the outer world was wrapped in darkness and gloom, but the nearly exhausted wife and mother sewed on and on, and the midnight candle was often still shedding its pale light over the work or the vigils of the loved and loving mother. And this is the record of thousands of noble women, the female pioneers whose daily presence, loving hearts, earnest work and intuitive judgment made the work of civilization wand progress one of success. And the question has oftentimes been asked, "What would the men of the olden times have done if the women of the olden times had not been there with them? And the question comes back, "Ah! yes, what would they have done?"
These were the kind of women that made civilization a success, and brightened the pathway of material progress with the promise of a glorious future. There are a few yet living of that glorious band of pioneer women who gave their lives to the hard fate of a pioneer's wife. They bore their share of the troubles, trials and labor of the times. They are deserving of the love and veneration of all, and may their pathway to the unknown river be brightened by kind words and loving hearts. Let them glide softly and pleasantly down the river of time, and let no regret come from them for neglect and coldness. Their young days were days of hardship; let the evening of their life be bereft of care, peaceful and joyous. Of those who are now sleeping their last sleep, they did their duty nobly and well, and while their allotted time on earth has passed, they have gone to a better world - a reward to all those whose life's pilgrimage has been worthily performed. And thus the pioneer women passes away. May they ever be blessed while living. One and all, living or dead, deserve a high and honored place in the history of our country; and the author of Henry County's history gives this short tribute to their memory. Not that it is much, but that those who have done so much to bring these western wilds to a land of civilization and Christianity has the veneration of the writer, and of those he has met and those who have gone before will he hold in cherished memory until he, too, joins the throng on the golden shore, where time ceases and eternity begins its endless round.
Names of the Early Pioneers
In bringing this portion of our history to a close the names of those who first trod the wilderness or that part of it which is now Henry County may be of interest, not only to those who are living, but to future generations. Not all who figured in the early history are here recorded; many familiar names may be missing - all could not be secured. The list, however, numbers nearly three hundred who settled in Henry County previous to the year 1840, and other names not here recorded will be found in some of the township histories. It is, therefore likely that there are but few omitted. The record, with former home when known, is as follows:
From 1830 to 1840
ADAIR, William - 1831 - Kentucky
ALLEN, George J.
ANDERSON, Claiborne - 1833
ANDERSON, George - 1833
ANDERSON, Isaac - 1833
ANDERSON, James - 1833
ANDERSON, Thomas - 1832 - Kentucky
ARBUCKLE, James H. - 1830 - Christian County, Kentucky
ARBUCKLE, Matthew - 1830 - Christian County, Kentucky
ARBUCKLE, Thomas - 1830 - Christian County, Kentucky
AUSTIN, John H.
AUSTIN, Obediah - 1832 - Kentucky
AVERY, A. C. - 1836 - Henry County, Missouri
AVERY, Henry - 1831 - Tennessee
AVERY, James M. - 1838 - Henry County, Missouri
AVERY, V. - Jan 1833 - Virginia
BARKER, James T. - 1832 - Cooper County, Missouri
BARKER, John - 1832
BARKER, Richard B.
BATES, Asaph W.
BEATTY, Joseph R.
BERRY, John W.
BERRY, Jonathan T. - 1832 - Kentucky
BLEVINS, Ezekiel - 1831 - Kentucky
BLEVINS, Preston - 1832 - Henry County, Missouri
BOGARTH, Joseph - 1831
BOLES, Alexander M.
BOUNDS, George - 1832
BRICKER, William - 1834
BRIDGES, John A.
BRIGGS, D. - 1838 - North Carolina
BRONAUGH, H. - 1838
BROWN, A. M. - 1835 - Virginia
BROWN, John S.
BUCHANAN, John - 1832
BUNCH, George H.
BURNETT, Isom - 1830 - Kentucky
BUSTER, Phillip J.
BYSER, Mrs. L. - 1840 - Kentucky
BYSER, Peter J. - 1839 - North Carolina
CASTLEMAN, John G.
CECIL, Phillip - 1834 - Virginia
CECIL, Polly - 1834 - Virginia
CHITWOOD, Daniel - 1833 - Campbell County, Tennessee
CLARK, Marshall P.
COCK, Chastain - 1837 - Christian County, Kentucky
COCK, Mrs. H. S. - 1836 - Kentucky
COCK, Thomas G. - 1837 - Virginia
COLLINS, David - 1837
COLLINS, Thomas - 1831 - Howard County, Missouri
COLLINS, William J.
DAVIS, C. - 1838 - Ohio
DAVIS, Solomon - 1838 - Ohio
DAVIS, William H.
DEFORD, John M.
DERRITT, B. L.
DOUGLAS, Henry T. - 1835 - Howard County, Missouri
DOUGLAS, Mrs. C. P. - 1835 - Lincoln County, Kentucky
DRAKE, James P.
DUNNING, Mrs. S. J. - 1837 - Kentucky
EAST, Mrs. M. T. - 1833 - Tennessee
FEWELL, B. C. - 1838 - Williamson County, Tennessee
FEWELL, H. P. - 1833 - Henry County, Missouri
FEWELL, J. M. - 1839 - Christian County, Kentucky
FIELDS, James W. - 1833 - Virginia
FIELDS, Joseph - 1832 - Virginia
FIELDS, Nathan F. - 1834 - Virginia
FINK, Abner - 1835 - Madison County, Virginia
FINK, Elias J. - 1840 - Howard County, Missouri
FINK, Mark J. - 1835 - Madison County, Virginia
FINK, W.C. - 1840 - Howard County, Missouri
GARTH, Mrs. Ermie - 1834 - Kentucky
GARTH, Samuel D. - 1834 - Kentucky
GEORGE, William Chandler - 1835 - Caroline County, Virginia
GILLETT, George S.
GLADDEN, James - 1832
GLADDEN, Robert - 1832
GLADDEN, William - 1832
GOFF, Andrew - 1832
GOFF, James M. - 1836
GOFF, L. J. - 1839 - Missouri
GOFF, Mrs. S. A. - 1835 - Missouri
GOFF, William - 1832
GOODIN, Amos H. - 1832
GOODIN, Benjamin - 1832
GORDON, Pattison - 1837
GORDON, Russell M. - 1836
GRAY, Dr. J. W. - 1840 - Henry County, Missouri
GRAY, William A. - 1836 - Christian County, Kentucky
GREENUP, John - 1835
HALL, B. P.
HAM, William H. - 1833 - Howard County, Missouri
HASTAIN, J.N. - 1835 - Missouri
HINDLEY, Joseph B.
HOGAN, Dr. James
HOGAN, William H.
HOLLAND, F. C. - 1838 - Kentucky
HOWARD, Avery B.
HOWERTON, J. S. - 1839 - North Carolina
HUGHES, I. N. - 1832 - Christian County, Kentucky
HUGHES, J. A. - 1832 - Christian County, Kentucky
IRASON, Thomas - 1836
JONES, R. - Dec 1837 - Virginia
JONES, R. Jr. - 1836 - North Carolina
JONES, Richard - 1837 - Virginia
JONES, S. S. - 1836 - Woodson County, Tennessee
JOURNEY, A. - 1839 - Kentucky
KEENEY, Rev. Thomas - 1831
KIMSEY, Alfred - 1830
KIMSEY, John - 1830
KIMSEY, Littleberry - 1830
KIMSEY, Thomas - 1830
KNOX, Joseph A.
LAKE, George W. - 1831 - Virginia
LEGG, Archibald C. - 1833
LEWIS, Howell - 1836 - Virginia
LITTLEPAGE, John D. - 1839 - Greenbrier County, Virginia
LOTSPEICH, Henry - 1837 - Tennessee
MARTIN, Abner - 1832
MARTIN, Baker - 1832
MARTIN, George W. - 1832
McWILLIAMS, James - 1831 - Kentucky
MEANS, Joseph - 1832 - Christian County, Kentucky
MEANS, Mrs. Marion W. - 1839 - Kentucky
MEANS, Mrs. R. B. - 1834 - Christian County, Kentucky
MEANS, Robert D. - 1832 - Howard County, Missouri
MEANS, Robert Sr. - 1832 - Christian County, Kentucky
MERRITT, M.B. - 1840 - Kentucky
MERRITT, Mrs. S. A. - 1839 - Tennessee
MORGAN, Russel M.
NANCE, Benjamin S.
NASH, James - 1832 - Tennessee
NAVE, John - 1831
OGAN, Mrs. J.G. - 1833 - Knox County, Kentucky
OGAN, William D. - 1834
OWENS, William R. - 1831
OWSLEY, John N. - 1832
PALMER, Daniel - 1840 - Garret County, Kentucky
PALMER, Drury - 1831 - Christian County, Kentucky
PALMER, Mrs. Mary A. - 1831
PARAZETTE, Francis - 1832 - Kentucky
PARKER, Benjamin G.
PARKS, Bird D. - 1840 - Kentucky
PARKS, William - 1835 - Missouri
PAYNE, James A.
PEELER, H. F. - 1839 - Missouri
PEELER, M. S. - 1837 - Orange County, North Carolina
PEELER, S. D. - 1837 - Illinois
PERRY, William T.
PIGG, John A. - 1836 - Kentucky
PIGG, Labon - 1836 - Kentucky
PINNELL, Fielding A. - 1831
PRICE, William B. - 1831
RADFORD, William P.
RAINS, James L.
READ, Amanda - 1840 - Clay County, Kentucky
REED, John M.
REID, Alfred - 1832 - Kentucky
ROBERTSON, Cyrus B.
SEARS, James B. - 1831
SHARP, C. C. - 1832 - Virginia
SHARP, John F. - 1832 - Virginia
SHARP, P. B. - 1832 - Missouri
SIMPSON, William - 1831 - Kentucky
SISSEL, P. W. - 1831 - Virginia
SQUIRES, George W.
STEVENSON, Colby S. - 1832 - Christian County, Kentucky
STONE, John C.
STONE, Mrs. E. A. - 1836 - Henry County, Missouri
SWIFT, Isaac - 1831
SWIFT, William - 1831
TAYLOR, Mrs. A.M. - 1839 - Kentucky
TAYLOR, Richard F. - 1837 - Louisville, Kentucky
TAYLOR, William B. - 1837 - Jefferson County, Kentucky
THORNTON, J. T. - 1839 - Virginia
THURSTON, Dr. Richard - 1835
TROLINGER, Henry - 1833
TURNER, George W.
WADE, P. D. - 1830 - Kentucky
WADE, Richard - 1833 - Kentucky
WALKER, George W. - 1832 - Tennessee
WALKER, Pleasant - 1832 - Kentucky
WALL, William M.
WALLACE, Benjamin F. - 1835
WALLACE, Thomas B. - 1835
WATSON, ? - 1837
WESTERFIELD, Dr. William J.
WILEY, Abraham - Dec 1832 - Tennessee
WILLIAMS, John W.
WILLIAMSON, B.F. - 1840 - Tennessee
WILSON, John - 1833 - Kentucky
WOODSON, George B.
WOODSON, William G.
WOODWARD, James - 1832
WOODWARD, John - 1832
YOUNG, D. R. - 1837 - Lincoln County, Kentucky
YOUNG, Sarah COLLINS - 1831 - Howard County, Missouri
OLD SETTLER'S POEM
'Tis almost half a hundred years,
Since you and I, old pioneer,
With aspirations free,
A home within this region sought;
But who of us then dreamed or thought
To see the many changes wrought
That we have lived to see?
From different counties then we came,
Our object and our end the same -
A home in this far west.
A cabin here and there was found,
Perhaps a little spot of ground
Enclosed and cleared, while all around
In nature's garb was dressed.
Here then we saw the groves of green,
Where woodman's axe had never been -
The spreading prairies, too.
Within these groves so dense and dark
Was heard the squirrel's saucy bark;
The bounding stag was but the mark
To prove the rifle true.
But all is changed the cabins gone,
The clap-board roof with weight poles on.
The rough-hewn puncheon floor,
The chimneys made of stick and clay,
Are seen no more - gone to decay -
The men who built them, where are they?
I need not ask you more.
They're gone, but they're remembered yet,
Those cabin homes we can't forget,
Although we're growing old;
Fond memory still the spot reveres
The cabin homes of youthful years,
Where, with compatriot pioneers,
We pleasures had untold.
The dense and tangled woodland, too,
The groves we often wandered through,
No longer now are there;
The prairie with its sward of green,
With flowrets wild no more are seen,
But farms with dusty lanes between
Are seen where once they were.
Large towns and villages arise,
And steeples point toward the skies,
Where all was desert then;
And nature's scenes have given place
To those of art; the hunter's chase
Has yielded to the exciting race
Of speculative men.
Ah! what a change the pioneer
In forty years has witnessed here;
The country's changing still;
How many changes it's passed through -
And we, old friends, are changing, too -
There's been a change in me and you,
And still that change goes on.
And when we think upon the past,
Those friends whose lot with us was cast
On this once wild frontier,
And pass them all in our review,
As often times in thought we do -
Alas! how very few
Are there remaining here.
A few years will come and go
As other years have done, you know;
And then? Ah! yes, what then?
The world will still be moving on;
But we, whose cheeks are growing wan,
Will not be here! We'll all be gone
From out the ranks of men.
Our places will be vacant here,
And of the last old pioneer
The land will be bereft;
The places which we here have filled,
The fields which we have cleared and tilled,
Our barns, though empty or though filled,
To others will be left.
Let us go back-in memory, go -
Back to the scenes of long ago,
When we were blithe and young,
When hope and expectations bright
Were buoyant, and our hearts were light;
And fancy, that delusive spright,
Her siren sonnets sung.
'Tip natural that we should think,
While standing on the river brink,
How wide the stream has grown.
We saw it when 'twas but a rill
Just bursting from the sloping hill,
And now its surging waters fill
A channel broad, unknown.
'Tip natural and proper, too,
That we compare the old and new,
The present and the past,
And speak of those old fogy ways
In which we passed our younger days;
Then of the many new displays
That crowd upon us fast.
We little knew of railroads then,
Or dreamed of that near period when
We'd drive the iron horse;
And 'twould have made the gravest laugh
Had he been told only one half
The wonders of the the telegraph -
Then in the brain of Morse.
We did not have machinery then
To sow and reap and thresh the grain,
But all was done by hand;
And those old-fashioned implements
Have long ago been banished hence,
Or rusting, lie inside the fence-
No longer in demand.
Yes, there are grown-up men, I know,
Who never saw a bull.tongue plow,
A flail or reaping hook;
And who could not describe, you know,
A swingling board or knife, although
Their grandmas used them long ago,
And lessons on them took.
The young man now would be amused
To see some things his grandsire used,
Some things he ne'er had seen;
The way in which we cleaned our wheat,
When two strong men with blanket sheet
Would winnow out the chaff and cheat,
And twice or thrice the thing repeat,
Until the grain was clean.
The single shovel plow and hoe,
To clean out weeds was all the show -
We knew no better way;
And now our sons would laugh to scorn
Such poky ways of making corn,
And bless their stars that they were born
In more enlightened days.
They say the world has wiser grown,
They've got the speaking telephone -
Talks hundred miles or more;
And preachers may preach and pray
To congregations miles away;
And thousand other things they say,
We never had before.
And yet I do not know but what
The pioneer enjoyed his lot,
And lived as much at ease,
As men in these enlightened days,
With all the strange, new fangled ways
The world of fashion now displays,
The mind of man to please.
'Tip true, we did not live so fast,
But socially our time was passed,
Although our homes were mean;
Our neighbors then were neighbors true,
And every man his neighbor knew,
Although those neighbors might be few,
And sometimes far between.
Ah! yes, old pioneers, I trow
The world was brighter then than now
To us gray-headed ones;
Hope pointed us beyond the vale,
And whispered us a fairy tale,
Of coming pleasures ne'er to fail
Through all the shining suns.
Ambition, too, with smiles so soft,
Was pointing us to seats aloft,
Where fame and honor last.
We had not learned what now we know -
The higher up the mount we go
The storms of life stilt fiercer blow,
And colder is the blast.
That though we reach the mountain top,
Fruition find of every hope,
Or wear the victor's crown;
Though far above the clouds we tread,
Other clouds are still o'erhead,
And on the mind there is the dread,
The dread of coming down.
Ah! yes, Old Settlers, one and all,
Whatever may us yet befall,
We will not, can't forget,
The simple and old-fashioned plans,
The ruts in which our fathers ran
Before the age of steam began
To run the world in debt.
But ere, my friends, we hence embark,
We fain would place some leading mark
Upon this mountain shore;
A mark the traveler may see
In coming years, and know that we
Have lived and passed the road that he
May then be passing o'er.
When death's dark curtain shall be drawn,
And we old pioneers are gone,
Let truthful history tell
To far off posterity the tale,
As down the stream of time they sail,
Bow we, with motto "Never fail,"
Came here, and what befell.
Let history, then impartial state
The incidents of every date,
And that it so may do,
Let pioneers of every age
In this important work engage,
And each of them produce his page,
His page of history true.
The incidents of early years,
Known only to the pioneer,
With them will soon be lost,
Unless, before they hither go,
Those incidents are stated so
Posterity the facts may know,
When they the stream have crossed.
And while we talk upon the past,
Of friends who seem to go so fast,
And those already gone,
It may not be, my friends, amiss
For each of us to think of this-
The curtain of forgetfulness
Will soon be o'er us drawn.
The mind goes back through all the years -
We call to mind the pioneers,
Those fold and hardy men;
We pass them in the mind's review,
The many dead, the living few;
Those unpretending settlers, who
Were our compatriots then.
Men, who of toil were not afraid,
Men who the early history made
Of this now famous land;
The men who, ere the spoiler came,
This heritage so fair to claim,
Were here prepared, through flood and flame,
Those claimants to withstand.
But time would fail to speak of all
Those changes that our mind recalls;
The world is strangely wise;
And soon its passing scenes will fear
The last old pioneer to where
His lost and loved companions are,
In lands beyond the skies.
The poem closes, more particularly, the career of the old settlers and their work. It gives in verse a better description of the old pioneer and his life-long labors than many pages of prose could have done, and was written by one who had been a prominent actor in pioneer life, having settled in Jackson County in 1826. Not all has been given which the compiler of this history would like to record, and doubtless many omissions may be discovered that should have had a place in the foregoing pages, but what is here given is a record of facts, and a pretty full account of the early settlement of the county.