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Excerpts from Souvenir

Submitted by David M. Waid

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

FRANCIS C. WAID. 

        The life of this gentleman bears testimony, in language not to be misunderstood, to what it is possible for man, with willing heart and hands, to accomplish; how from the bottom round of the ladder, upward, to work out for himself an honorable competency, a solid reputation and a good name.  As an example of what patient purpose, earnest piety, steadfast integrity and a life of rectitude can accomplish he stands prominent among the worthy citizens of his native county.

        He was born in Woodcock Township, Crawford Co., Penn., April 23, 1833, a son of Ira C. and Elizabeth P. Waid.  Pember Waid, his grandfather, was born January 21, 1774, in Lyme, Middlesex Co., Conn., and was there married to Anna Lord, daughter of Samuel Lord, born May 22, 1776, and died February 2, 1844.  Pember Waid died February 15, 1852.  They are both interred in the Blooming Valley Cemetery, Woodcock Township, Crawford County.  They were the parents of the following children:  Erastus S., born May 24, 1800, married Elvira Simmons (have two sons:  Lisander, now living on a farm near Jamestown, N. Y., and Walter, residing near Centerville, Crawford County); Ira C., born August 15, 1801 died January 27, 1871; Mary A., born February 26, 1803; died April 5, 1890, interred by the side of her husband, in Lakeview Cemetery, Jamestown, N. Y. (she married Philander Simmons, a farmer, raised a family of ten children--six boys and four girls--all of whom are now living, except Ira, who served his country three years, died October 11, 1867, of illness contracted in the army; Philander Simmons moved to Jamestown in 1855, and there died December 13, 1882); Martha L., born May 18, 1804, died June 23, 1833 (she married Lathrop Allen, whose eldest son, Henry O., painted, March 25, 1862, the portraits of Francis C. Waid, his wife and his parents); Eliza C., born January 11, 1806, married G. Phillips, who died May 4, 1853, and is interred at Townville, Crawford Co., Penn. (she died July 24, 1887, interred by the side of her husband); Samuel L., born June 11, 1808, removed to Michigan after middle life, and there died about 1862; George W., born January 21, 1810, died December 4, 1861; Phoebe W., born September 24, 1811, married Cyrus Goodwill, who died May 16, 1855, aged forty-five years, one month, eleven days, and is interred in Blooming Valley (she is living at present with her youngest son, Albert Goodwill, in Warren County, Penn.); Clarissa U., born January 26, 1813, died June 16, 1853 (she married George Roudebush; they lived and died in Blooming Valley; George Roudebush died November 15, 1865, aged fifty-two years, eleven months, nineteen days; he was postmaster a long time; he was a manufacturer of window sash; Ralph Roudebush, their eldest son, now lives where they did); Henry A., born January 25, 1816, removed to the West in early life, served his country in the war of the Rebellion, and died in Illinois about 1863; Andrew G., a carpenter and joiner by trade, having worked several years with George Roudebush, Blooming Valley, born May 11, 1818 (living in Dexter, Mich.), and Horace F., born July 12, 1820, lives in Blooming Valley, this county (he served his country during the war of the Rebellion).

        Pember Waid was a ship-carpenter, a vocation he followed chiefly until he came to this county, where, after constructing canal-boats here for a short period, he withdrew from active life.  After the death of his wife he continued to live on the farm, renting it, and generally making his home with the occupant until the close of his life.

        Ira C., the second son in this family and father of Francis C., was born in Middlesex County, Conn., and came with Jared Shattuck, driving a four-horse team from Connecticut to Meadville, in the fall of 1816.  The family came in the spring of 1817.  He worked three years and six months for Mr. Shattuck after coming to Meadville.  In the summer of 1817 he helped to haul brick to build Allegheny College.

        June 12, 1825, Ira C. Waid married Elizabeth P. Morehead, of Farmington, Hartford Co., Conn., daughter of Robert and Sarah (Clark) Morehead, who were parents of eight children, viz.:  Temperance, born December 20, 1796, died March 11, 1809, at the residence of R. L. Waid, Mead Township, Crawford County, and is interred in Blooming Valley Cemetery (she married James A. Fergerson, who was born December 25, 1795, died April 22, 1858, and by him had the following named children:  Robert A., born May 28, 1827; Thomas M., born November 23, 1829, died November 12, 1865, and is interred in Greendale Cemetery, Meadville; Sarah E., born May 26, 1837, died April 24, 1859, also interred in Greendale Cemetery, Meadville; Lydia, born November 1, 1798, died December 24, 1798; John, born December 24, 1799, died February 15, 1883, and is interred at Townville, Penn.; Robert, born March 12, 1802, now resides on the old homestead in Vernon Township, this county, four miles west of Meadville on the State road; Thomas, born February 11, 1808, died September 23, 1829; William C., born March 6, 1810, died April 29, 1857 (he owned a farm half a mile south of Blooming Valley; raised a family of eight children (three boys and five girls), all of whom are now living); Elizabeth P. (mother of Francis C.), born August 26, 1804, died January 7, 1882, and Sarah, born August 7, 1813, died December 10, 1870, and is buried in Greendale Cemetery, Meadville, where she had erected a beautiful little monument bearing this inscription:  "To my husband, Joseph Finney, born November 18, 1811, died December 13, 1853."  (He was the second interred in Greendale Cemetery).

        To Mr. and Mrs. Ira C. Waid were born four children:  Robert L. (deceased), George N., Franklin P. (deceased) and Francis C. Robert L. Waid was born May 1, 1826, died June 17, 1880; married Almeda A. Wheeler, born January 5, 1836, and by her had the following named children:  Orlando, born August 27, 1853; Nick P., born June 11, 1850, and Ira C., born July 31, 1860, died December 24, 1860.

        Ira C. Waid was a very plain man, as regarded his own person, not only in dress, but also in manner and mode of doing business; for others and to the memory of others he was gracious, not seeking to out-do his neighbor, and never exceeding his means.  It was characteristic of him to do well whatever he undertook, and to succeed remarkably well in accomplishing his object.  Yet he was no extremist, more such a man as David speaks of when he says:  I have not exercised myself in matters too high for me.  He was kindhearted and generous, not among his own kindred alone, but to everyone, especially the poor; and his memory is held in great endearment by all.  Mr. F. C. Waid adds this of him:

        "A silent act still speaks in behalf of the memory of my father.  Many years after his death, a minister (once our pastor) stopping over night with us, said:  'Your father, on shaking hands with me before my going to Conference, left a $20 bill in my hand, which at that time helped me very much indeed.' Now, if the reader wishes to know what I think of my father, I feel free to say that there are many ways to do good, and my father had his choice.  But he did not forget that, like David, his help came from the Lord who made heaven and earth, and prospered him by a continued blessing on his work, and blessed the labor of his hand, and he in turn sought to do good by helping others in his peculiar way.  I think father's Christian character shone the brightest in the days of adversity, when help was most needed."

        The early days of F. C. Waid were spent in assisting his father about the farm, and attending the common schools.  From these he went direct to Allegheny College, in Meadville, for two terms (the fall of 1851, and the spring of 1852), and in the fall of the latter year he became a pupil of S. S. Sears (a graduate of Allegheny College), at Waterford, Erie County.  In the fall of 1853 Mr. Waid attended, one term, the academy at Meadville, taught by Samuel P. Bates and Thomas Thickstun, and these four terms comprised his entire education, outside of what he obtained in the common schools.

        At the age of fifteen Mr. Waid made his first trip from home, assisting Charles Hodge and Bowers in driving cattle from Crawford County to Heard's Corners, four miles from Goshen, Orange County, N. Y., and on his return he had his first ride on a railway train, from Albany to Schenectady, since when Mr. Waid has traveled many thousand of miles, both by land and water.

        With characteristic pride he relates how that the first dollar he ever earned was got by picking strawberries along with his twin brother, and selling them for five cents per quart, with the proceeds of which they had the privilege of buying their own clothes, and still had some "spending money left."

        He is now the owner of a large amount of property-- both in real estate and in cash, or its equivalent, as will be seen by reference to other pages in this work; and he is said to be the wealthiest farmer and largest tax-payer in the township in which he resides.  When asked once how he had succeeded in accumulating so much property, he replied:  "By earning one dollar at a time, and putting that one to help me earn another," forcibly illustrating our Lord's teaching in the parable of the ten talents.

        Strikingly prominent among Mr. Waid's characteristics is his filial piety.  His affection toward his parents during their lifetime; his kind thoughtfulness at all times for them, and his devotional observance of the Fourth Commandment, were truly touching; and since their death no pecuniary consideration has been allowed to stand in the way of his showing all due respect to their memory.  Though his parents are gone, their influence lives with him.

        "In my youth," writes Mr. Waid, "at the age of about sixteen years, I began writing down the little transactions and common events of my life, together with such notable things as claimed my attention in our community.  At the age of seventeen I was so interested in my undertaking, and so undesirous to lose what I had written, that I bought a book of about 400 pages, in which, in the year 1851, I began writing--keeping a kind of diary or journal, personal and otherwise.  I thought it a hard task at first, and it was only with reluctance that I could persuade myself to continue, but I thought of the old saying:  ' No real excellence without labor.' I pursued it, and, instead of disliking, I loved it.  It proved a source of pleasure to me then, and has been a great satisfaction as well as profit ever since.  I will here make mention of a compliment paid me by my sister-in-law, Hattie Ringer.  One day recently, seeing me writing while I was visiting with my wife at the residence of her father, near Norwood, Franklin Co., Kas., she said:  'You must have been born with pen in hand.' To which I replied:  'Not with one, but I have had occasion to use one ever since.' This remark by Hattie Ringer suggested the words, Born with pen in hand, which are printed at foot of the portrait of myself and wife, Anna, appearing in this volume."

        Mr. Waid was united in marriage on his twenty-first birthday, April 23, 1854, to Eliza C., daughter of Jacob and Clarissa C. Masiker, early settlers of Randolph Township, Crawford County, Penn., and who came from Hinsdale, Cattaraugus County, N. Y. Mr. Waid, by this marriage, has three sons:  Franklin I. (born January 5, 1855), Guinnip P. (born September 22, 1850) and Fred F. (born March 6, 1868).  The wife and mother departed this life July 4, 1888, at the age of fifty-six years, two months and twenty one days, and July 7, 1889, Mr. Waid was married at the residence of the bride, near Norwood, Franklin Co., Kas., to Miss Anna E. Tyler, daughter of Freeman and Harriet Tyler.

        In these practical days of universal self-seeking, one seldom meets with a character like Mr. Waid's, possessing, as he does, such public spirit, large heart and ready sympathies, his whole soul seeming filled with the desire of doing good, and promoting the welfare of his fellowmen.

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