Old Times in Windham
by Rev. Henry Hedges Prout
Originally published in the Windham Journal from February 18, 1869 to March 31, 1870. Article 5 published on March 18, 1869. Extracted from the microfilm copies of the Windham Journal located at the Vedder Research Library.
Retyped by Arlene Goodwin
Contributed by Norman Ticknor of Jewett
Having read with interest your pen and ink sketches of "Old times in Windham," I am there by reminded of the death of my father which occurred under the following circumstances:
Sixty-two years ago last January, he, Benajah Ticknor started from his log hut in company with his eldest son, a lad of 17, to cut wood. Scarcely had he been gone an hour when the news was brought to the family that he had been killed by a falling of a tree. He was brought to the house by kind neighbors who looked upon the scene with sorrowful hearts.
The funeral services were conducted the following Sabbath in the church now owned and occupied as a barn by B. G. Morss, Esq. Rev. Henry B. Stimson, who was then the pastor of Windham and Lexington, preached the sermon. The remains of Benajah Ticknor were interred nearest the road in the now old cemetery near the old church.
Nine months previous to his death Mr. Ticknor settled on a farm lately owned by Mr. Newcomb, three miles east of Windham Center. The farm was then a dense forest with the exception of five acres partially improved. The only shelter for man or beast was a rude house 18 x 20, this was the accommodation of the Ticknor family, which consisted of Benajah and his wife and eight children, seven boys and one girl.
Many best acquainted with this sad event, supposed that the family had been ruined, and some have inquired how the Ticknor family have prospered since the death of their father.
Benajah, the eldest son, soon after the death of his father, left the family with but one dollar in his pocket and poorly clad, to seek his fortune elsewhere. It was but a short time after he left home that he made the acquaintance of J. B. Dodge, M. D., a celebrated physician, with whom he remained till qualified to practice. For a number of years he served with much distinction in the U. S. Navy, and was, as he advanced in age, stationed at the Marine Hospital, Brooklyn. He had for a number of years been a member of the Episcopal Church, and having escaped the perils of the sea, died at his residence in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the age of seventy-three—leaving property estimated at $18,000.
The next in age was Luther, who sustaining the family for a while, gave it up as hopeless, and sought friends in the medical profession. He was favorably received though destitute of means, and prosecuted that study most assiduously until allowed to practice, which he did for a quarter of a century in his native town, Salisbury, Conn. He was for a number of years a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church, and at his death was President of the State Medical Society.
Herman, the next in age, was a practical farmer. He died at the ripe age of seventy-two, at Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Norman, the fourth, the only surviving son, now lives in Jewett—still hale and hearty at the age of three score and fifteen.
Almon, the fifth in age, was the author of the Columbian Calculator, Columbian Spelling Book and the Accountant’s Assistant. He died at his residence in Easton, Pa., at the age of seventy-one.
Myron, the sixth, for a number of years manufactured satinet. He died two years ago by internal injuries caused by the upsetting of his wagon while passing through Middleburgh, his late place of residence.
Sophia, the only daughter, is at present living at Medina, Ohio.
Caleb, the youngest son, was a practicing physician in the city of New York. He was the author of a Temperance Prize essay and also a volume entitled The philosophy of Living. He was at the time of his death a member of the Episcopal Church.
"No further seeks their merits to disclose
Or draw their frailties from their dread abode."
My object in this communication is to contribute a mite to your investigations; but of its value you will be the judge. It if does not merit your approval I hope that no injury will result from it.
Most respectfully yours
Jewett, March 18, 1869 Norman Ticknor