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Sketches of Travel

Salem, Iowa, June 24, 1870.

Mr. Editor: I propose writing a condensed account of my recent trip to Ohio and Kentucky, omitting the names of many persons and places of interest to me, for the sake of brevity. Having resided many years in and near Salem, I though my "sketches" might interest a portion of your readers who have known me so long. I have spent most of the last four years teaching school in Illinois. Needing rest from long continued labors, I left Jersey county on the 12th of April and soon reached St. Louis. Leaving that place at 4 o’clock P. M. I arrived in Cincinnati the next morning, thus passing over two states in about 14 hours, a distance of about 340 miles, traveling mostly in the night. Cincinnati is too well known as the Queen City of the West to require description. Yet it is a place of much interest to travelers, who love to view that beautiful city. I spent two days in and near Cheviot, O., visiting some of my kindred, the patriarchal head of whom is my uncle, Wm. Moore, now in his 80th year. He served in the War of 1812 under Gen. Harrison. He was a pioneer, living here on a farm for more than half a century, and has seen Ohio advance from a wilderness to become the empire state of the west in wealth and population. Visited his sons-in-law.

Mr. I. C. Harrison, whose daughter, Ella, entertained me with symphonious concords of sweet sounds from the piano-forte. His other daughter, Miss Hannie, is a bonny little school mistress, and invited me to visit her school, consisting of the juvenile department of the public graded school in Cheviot. After spending two days in Ohio I returned to the city and crossed the great bridge that spans the waters of the beautiful Ohio, to Covington, Kentucky. Then went on the K. C. R. R. to Demossville on Licking river, where live my aunt, Nancy Richey, and her two daughters. The next day I went on the cars to Palmouth, the county seat of Pendleton county, where I called on an old acquaintance, whose daughter, Miss Icy, played some tunes on the piano, which yielded sweet music in obedience to the Icy touch of her playful fingers. It rained several hours, then it commenced snowing, the storm king ruling the weather. I wished to go to Havilandsville, about 10 miles further, so I resolved to brave the warring elements, and started, walking through the mud, carrying my carpet sack and umbrella. I was going a little astray, and seeing a colored citizen of African descent, I asked him if such a road led to the next town. He replied affirmatively, saying, "I spose you are goin’ dar to preach."

Evidently he thought me to be a "radical preacher" and a "carpetbagger," and hence very "loil," according to recent political phraseology. I bravely trudged on my tiresome journey, being quite unwell and getting quite wet and muddy. After going about seven miles, I was glad to stop at the residence of Mr. Samuel Holmes, whom I had long known. He is in his 87th year, is hale and stout for one of his years, is quite conversant and hospitable, in politics he is a good Republican.

Sunday, 17th. The snowstorm still continued, and all day long the beautiful snow drops continued to fall, till the ground looked white with the snow. Evening coming on, I went a short distance to the house of Mr. Silas King, where I was kindly entertained by him and his wife. Next morning I went to Havilandsville, situated on Richland creek, in Harrison county, where I was the honored guest of Mrs. Mary Haviland and family, who are wealthy and respectable, making their guests thrice welcome. April 19th. Descending Richland creek I soon came to the old homestead where I was born, near where rolls the Licking. Being en route to Milford, 6 or 7 miles, I soon crossed the river. Soon it commenced raining, and I stopped at a house for several hours for shelter, the good lady of which is corpulent and quite loquacious. She is the happy mother of 9 girls and 1 boy, all living at home and all chewers of, the girls following the decent example of their mother in the use of the vile weed. Thus are they both producers and consumers of tobacco, the great staple of Kentucky, after dinner I went on through the drizzly rain and mud to Milford, a little town situated on the north fork of Licking, in Bracken county. Here I made my home for about three weeks as the guest of my cousin, James W. Browning and his benevolent and excellent lady, Nannie. Their family consists of seven blooming girls. My aunt, Mary Browning, lives with them. On the 23rd of July she will be 84, yet she can move about quite freely, loves to converse about things of the past, can sew, knit and do homework. She is a pioneer. Has seen Simon Keaton and many others of the early settlers. Whilst visiting there I went fishing several times with my fair cousins, enjoying the childish sport of catching the little fishes. Though for several weeks I was unwell, yet I was able to swing around the circle of my acquaintances, making many pleasant visitations that would be too tedious to narrate in detail. I saw several little towns, among which is Claysville, which was the first town that I ever saw and hence of interest to me. May 13th. Left Milford to return to Richland. I came to Willow creek, which I waded knee deep, then went on, crossing Licking, stayed all night with Mr. Wm. G. Browning. He and his wife and little Emma, a bright school girl, made my visit pleasant. 15th. Wandered to the place where once stood the old school house where I went to school, but it is gone and the corn is growing green where once towered the shady big trees, where oft the merry laughs of the children were heard. Long since our venerable teacher Brackston Pollard passed away, as have also most of his pupils. I called to see Mrs. Elizabeth Rainey, whom I knew when she was a favorite little girl, then Miss E. P. How changed now is she, the mater familias, busied with domestic cares. After dinner she went with me to visit her brother, James Pollard, my schoolmate, and their mother. I spent the Sabbath evening pleasantly with them, talking of other days. More Anon.


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