July 19th, 1925, Mr. and Mrs. John A. Ford were host and hostess to
an old time family reunion
and lawn party at their beautiful country home 6 miles northwest of Rockville.
Old Missouri hospitality reigned supreme. This event was also to commemorate
birthday. He was born on the place which he now owns, his father having homesteaded it
before the Civil War.
The dinner was spread on a table on the lawn under a large spreading
mulberry tree that must
have been there when the place was settled. Rev. Price returned thanks, after which Mr. and
Mrs. Ford asked everyone to help himself, which some did, there being but very few slackers
present. One fellow being a little timid used a half-gallon kettle for a plate. John only had to give
him three helpings, while those who used plates had to be helped one-half dozen times,
however, none fell in action.
All then gathered on the lawn and Rev. Price and Mr. Ford gave interesting
talks from the front
porch. Their talks were reminiscent of the pioneer days when deer roamed the prairies.
I haven't tried to describe the dinner, as my pen couldn't do it justice,
but Rev. Price sure
handed the ladies a bouquet in his talk and told them he would have to compare it to a big
dinner has father gave back in the sixties when everything was scarce and hard to get, and his
father went to Sedalia and brought home two big sides of bacon, and they had about forty in to
dinner the next day. Henry had to grate the corn to make the bread for the crowd. He worked
until he nearly gave out and finally said, "Mother, bake it bran and all."
Mrs. Peak said she remembered when they had only wheat bread for breakfast
morning. She said she would stand behind her Mother's chair and wonder if there would be one
biscuit left for her. After these good talks the organ was run out on the porch, the good singers
gotten together and they made the welkin ring with old time hymns, the favorites being "The
Little Brown Church in the Vale", and "God Be With You Till we Meet Again." The only thing we
regret was the shortness of the day, wishing that this especial day had forty-eight hours instead
of twenty-four. As the shadows lengthened each bade each other a reluctant good bye and
considered it a day well spent, having gained good inspiration from mingling with old relatives
and friends. All hope to meet with John and Elosia again next year.
Those who enjoyed this long to be remembered day were:
Judson Peak and wife from Nevada, Mrs. Peak being Emma Ford, who with
her brother Jno.,
are the only living children of "Aunt Margie Ann Ford." John's children who were there were:
Mrs. Gilbert Ammons, husband and children; Guy Ford wife and son from Montrosep; nieces
and nephews were: Smith Holt, wife and son from Appleton City, Will Holt, Wilbur Holt and
family, Ralph Culver and family, Homer Anders, wife and children, Charles Zwahlan, wife and
children, Mrs. Emma Gragg and daughter, Mrs. Leonard Davis and son. Those related by
marriage were Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Culver, Miss Ethel and Frank Stephenson, of Appleton City,
Rev. and Mrs. H.R. Price, Schell City, Mr. and Mrs. Carlisle Douglas, Taberville Ed A. Wilson,
wife and children, Rockville. Among the friends fortunate enough to be there were: Mrs. Alfred
Meyer, Joplin, and grandson, Robert Nachtman, of St. Louis. Mrs. Myers was raised in this
community, and was spending a week with old friends and neighbors. She will be remembered
as Jennie Williams, daughter of a pioneer Baptist minister of Bates Co. She and Mrs. Chas.
Zwahlen, nee Alice Davis, Frank Stephenson and Mrs. Carlisle Douglas had been school mates
at the Rich Valley School in Bates County 41 years ago, and this was their first meeting since
Mrs. Mee Williams, sister of the late Jim Williams was their teacher. Chester Mock, wife and son
and daughter, Mrs. Emma Good of Taberville, and A. Zwahlan completed the roster of this
happy crowd. One Who Was There.