Settlers XL: DOCTOR FREMONT McCARTY--AN APPRECIATION
Compiled by David Wayne Bailey
March 2006

 

 

 

            Doctor Fremont McCarty was born 20 April 1857 in Elkland Township, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. He was the 10th child (out of 11) of Joel McCarty and Ann Woodhead. He was so-named because, in those days it was the custom in large families to name one of the children after the family doctor. When it came time to sign the birth certificate, it was stated that the child was to be named after Doctor Fremont. So he was, and throughout his life he was known as "Doc" McCarty by one and all.

            The rest of the family included: Harriet, who married John Brown and lived in Elkland Township; David, who married Lydia Fawcett and resided between Elkland Campgrounds and Campbellsville; Mary Elizabeth who married George Brown; Vincent, of whom we have no more information; Lewis, who married Angeline and later Lucy Bird and lived in Forks Township; Chester, who went to fight for the Union Army during the Civil War and was killed in action; John Sylvester and Wells took their families and headed for the Iron Mills on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; Septer, who never married and lived with a variety of relatives; Doc; and Rosilinda Ellen, who married John W. Brown and lived near Lincoln Falls.

 

 

              JOHN SYLVESTER AND WELLS McCARTY

 

 

            When Doc was only ten years old his father, Joel, was killed in a barn raising accident. Times being what they were, the family was split up among various relatives. Doc, with perhaps his mother, went to live with his oldest sister, Harriet, and her husband, John S. Brown. Doc was  then raised in a very devout Quaker environment, in keeping with his grandmother, Ellen Roberts McCarty. They lived toward Canton in an area known as Coon Hill overlooking Elk Creek valley in a cottage on the land later owned by a Mr. Copperthwait. The Copperthwaits were also devout Quakers, originally from Philadelphia, who did much to keep the Society of Friends going in Sullivan County.

            Donovan McCarty, Doc's son, recalls the following:

 

            I remember the old house on Coon Hill, and near it stood a large black walnut tree.  I was told that, when a boy, Dad planted a walnut in a corner of the garden and it grew into this tree. As long as Aunt Harriet was alive we were given the walnuts from this tree. I do not know if it still stands.

 

            Doc showed great intellectual promise and so was sent to an academy in Muncy for a time. While there he earned his room and board by working for a man who made brushes from pig bristles.

            Then in 1880, when he was twenty-three, Doc McCarty heeded the words of Horace Greeley and the young man "Went West." The journal of his adventure follows. Returning nearly three years later he soon purchased a farm.

 

            In The Sullivan Review of Dec.7, 1882, Vol.5, No. 41, we read:

 

            Mr. D.F. McCarty, after traveling about three years in the west, visiting California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and most of the states west of the Mississippi, has lately returned to Sullivan and purchased a farm in Elkland. His lot includes the noted Lincoln Falls on King's Creek.

            That property was a parcel of land originally sold to Joseph Reeves by Joseph Priestly and John Vaughan, and included the land upon which was built the first Quaker Meeting House at Elkland. Reeves is considered by many to be the first settler at Lincoln Falls.

            Upon his return, Doc was hired to teach at the Salt Springs School in Elkland Township, for the winter term, beginning on the 4th of January, 1883. [Sullivan Review, Vol.5, No.41]. At that time, a good bit of a teacher's payment included bed and board with families of his or her pupils. Evidently, sleeping with children and bedbugs, and eating bad food was too much for Doc; his appointment lasted for that term only.

            While teaching, he also participated in what were known as "Institutes" in Elkland, Millview and Shunk, where qualified persons would speak on a variety of topics. He is listed among those to perform a "declamation" on several occasions. On at least one occasion, his topic was "interest."

 

            The Sullivan Review of March 8, 1883, Vol.6, No.3, finds that the program of the "next meeting" of the Lincoln Falls Literary Society (which met regularly, every three weeks), was a "select reading" by D.F. McCarty.

 

            Among other things, Doc McCarty was outspoken, and likely to become embroiled in local politics. We first learn of this in The Sullivan Review of September 6, 1883, Vol.6, No.28:

 

            McCarty, last week, in an attempt to bolster up his mis-statements in regard to the executive committee of the Agricultural Society and the editor of the Review, stoops to using language unfit for publication  or we would copy it, in order to give the voters of this county a fair idea of the man. We say, emphatically, that every line and every word of his statements in regard to what transpired at the last meeting of the executive committee concerning  the printing for the Society is false, and in proof of our statement, refer our readers to the members present at that meeting.

 

            And, a week later:

 

            Tuesday's convention sat down effectually upon McCarty. He aspired to be nominated for Prothonotary, and when that failed, hoped to become a member of the State Committee, and after his defeat for that position, would have been very much pleased to have become a member of the County Committee, but failed in that, as in everything else. Thus ends McCarty's political career.

 

            Doc was well-known for his bluntness, and was often known to submit satirical material to the local newspapers. One such, the parody, Who Killed Doc Swallow, is printed below.

            Even in his later years, Doc's temper often got the best of him. Donovan  McCarty, relates the following stories:

 

            When we were on the farm, one day this man showed up who was selling lightning rods. And of course, Dad, being a Quaker, had very strong opinions about what was right and what wasn't. And one of the things he             believed was that life insurance was wrong,  that life insurance was gambling, and you didn't gamble on your             life. Well, this lightning rod salesman wanted to sell Dad lightning rods for the two barns we had and the house, and Dad told him no, that if the Lord wanted to strike the buildings, there was nothing we could do about it. Well, they got into a big argument over the thing. I don't remember the details, but I do know that the salesman left in quite a huff. Dad wanted no part of the lightning rods.

 

and:

 

            On the back land of our farm, that would be over near Center School, there was a fence there between the two pastures - our farm and Tommy Tompkins. Well, my Dad and Tommy Tompkins had had some kind of an argument over the property line. And one day they were having      some sort of an argument. They were standing on either side of the fence. And the story is, that Dad had a little pistol, I think it was a six-shooter. And I   don't know whether Dad threatened him with it or whether he just let him see it. Anyway, that's as far as it went as far as using the gun is concerned but Tommy Tompkins hauled Dad into court on the thing. What the result was, I just don't know. He must have had Dad arrested I guess.

 

            Despite his feisty temperament, Doc was the grandson of Ellen McCarty, an esteemed minister in the Society of Friends, and had been strictly raised in that tradition. And though not an active church-goer, he always observed First Day as a day of silence and contemplation.

 

            At about the same time he gave up the teaching profession, Doc formed a partnership with Avery Mulnix, running a sawmill business at Lincoln Falls, a partnership which lasted until 1892.

 

            On 3 March 1887 Doctor Fremont McCarty married Mary Jane "Jennie" Osler of Elkland Township. She was the daughter of Jeremiah M.Osler and Julia Brown. The wedding service was performed at Lincoln Falls by D.P.Rathbrin, a Weslyan Methodist Minister and the witnesses were Ellsworth and Jennie Jennings.

            We believe that the property at Lincoln Falls was sold to him by his future father-in-law, property purchased when Reeves could not fulfill his obligation. It is interesting to note that in the Federal Census reports for Elkland Township in 1870 and 1880, we find Jeremiah and family, including Mary Jane…as well as Abigail Reeves, widow of Joseph. That would explain the paper trail.

            Tragically, Jennie died in childbirth less than a year after the marriage. She is buried with her parents in the Forksville cemetery. The name McCarty does not appear on the stone.

 

 

 

                DOC AND MARY JANE “JENNIE” OSLER

 

 

                                   

            In 1892 Doc sold his part of the lumber business and  moved to New Albany in Bradford County to work in the general merchandise business of G.W.Heverly and Company. This was a short-lived association, however, and by 4 May 1893 he had returned to Estella.

            The short stay in New Albany was not without a certain success, however. Through church activities and a dancing class, it was there that he met Miss Bessie Irene Lee of Evergreen, a sort-of suburb of New Albany. Bessie was born 1 October 1872 in Evergreen, a daughter of Uriah Lee and Lucelia Lenox. After a whirlwind courtship, partially by correspondence between Estella and Evergreen, they were married in a triple ceremony in Waverly, New York, 3 July 1893. You can learn more about this Lee family ancestry at Some Notes on the Lee Family.

 

 

      URIAH LEE

 

 

 

            CARRIE LUCELIA LENOX

 

            Before the marriage Doc left New Albany rather unexpectedly to try and assume control of the general store in Estella then owned by Cal Jennings. Trouble was not long in coming, however, in the form of legal action; and while it is not certain whether bankruptcy proceedings were necessary, it is clear that Doc had a great deal of financial worries. Donovan McCarty describes the situation:

 

            When Dad took over the store in Estella, he had made some arrangement with Cal Jennings and they had a verbal agreement that Cal would not compete with him. Well, as I understand it, after they had operated the store for a while, Cal did open another store, and Dad took him into court. And they had a lawsuit over the thing. What the results were, I'm not sure. I do know, that when the farm was bought from my Uncle Ben Lee, that the title of the farm was put in my mother's name because of the legal actions that were pending. My Dad didn't want to let Cal Jennings have any claim on the farm at all, due to a court ruling. 

 

 

 

            It has been said that Doc McCarty was a failure at business. If so, the fault lay in his kind-heartedness and generosity, and not in his ability to conduct a business. According to Donovan McCarty, anyone who would come into the store with a hard luck story would be served just the same. They could either buy things "on account" or barter with useless items. Doc's profit was a book of I.O.U's. He was also known to have taken things from his own family's supplies to help those who might be in need. The story is told of the man who came into the store looking for some butter; the store was out of butter, so Doc went into  Bessie's pantry and took butter to give to the customer.

            Upon leaving the Estella mercantile business in 1901, Doc briefly owned a store in Forksville (with a branch store in Hillsgrove!), and the family moved to the farm on McCarty Ridge. By then there were two children, Clarissa Belle, born in 1894 and Emery Grundy (named for Doc's good friend Edward Grundy Rogers), born in 1898. The farm was first purchased by Bessie's brother Benjamin Lee as a honeymoon cottage for he and a prospective bride. This marriage never took place and, because of the financial difficulties Doc had encountered with the store, as described above, the farm was sold to Bessie. It is interesting to note that Ben Lee had purchased the farm from the Grange family, the parents of the famous football great, Red Grange. 

            Of the rest of the family: two were born in Forksville, Gladys Maud in 1901, and Roscoe Vernon in 1904; in Eldredsville were born Benjamin Purl in 1907, and Donovan Champ ** [after Champ Clark, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives] in 1911.

** Editor's Note: Donovan Champ McCarty died March7, 2008; here is an obituary, courtesy of Larry Pardoe:

Press & Sun-Bulletin
Binghamton, NY
March 9, 2008

Donovan C. McCarty, 96, of Endicott, passed away Friday, March 7, 2008, at the Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center. He was predeceased by his first wife, Mildred. He is survived by his wife, Betty McCarty; two daughters and sons-in-law, Allene and Dick Shipman Sr., Janet and Bob Chaffee; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Donovan Earl McCarty and Kathleen Walsh, Joel Fremont and Carmen McCarty; eight grandchildren, Dick Jr., Nancy, Jim, Kathy, Billy, Kimberly, Greg, and Kirk; seven great-grandchildren, Brittany, James, Anna, Josie, D.J., Brandon, and Samantha. He was a member of the Central United Methodist Church of Endicott. He was a retired employee of the Endicott Johnson Corporation with 47 years of service. He was a former Boy Scout Leader and was a volunteer at the Waterman Conservation Center in Apalachin. The family would like to thank the nurses and staff on South Tower 3 at Wilson Hospital, especially Dawn, for their great care of Donovan.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. from the Coleman & Daniels Funeral Home, Inc., 300 East Main St., Endicott. The Rev. David Rockwell will officiate. Burial will be in Vestal Hills Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Tuesday evening from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Lourdes Hospice Program, 4102 Old Vestal Rd., Vestal, N.Y. 13850.

Donovan McCarty describes well his memories of the farm on McCarty Ridge:

 

 

 

           

            There were two front doors on the farmhouse. I've often wondered why that was. It was almost as if they intended it to be a two-family house. But behind those two front doors there was one stairway that led upstairs. As you went in the front door, the one on the right, you went into what we called the sitting room. And then right in back of the sitting room was a little narrow room which could have been used as a bedroom but I think we used it more for a walk-in closet than anything else. As you went in the other door, you went into what we used as our living room and behind that was the kitchen.  And as you went upstairs, there were four bedrooms on the second floor. And then there was an attic stairway to an attic that had a floor on it. There must have been three chimneys in the house. There          was one in the sitting room - there was this little wood stove that they'd fire up. Of course the sitting room was never open only when company come or the preacher'd come. That's where the melodian was and there was a round center table in the middle of the room. And on that was a couple of family albums and one of those things with two lenses on it and they had the   cards you'd put down in front with two pictures that gave you a 3D - a stereoptican. That laid there and of course there was a box of cards, the pictures that went in it. And then Dad had collected over the years a lot of samples of rocks - there was iron ore, and a lot of different kinds of ore, and interesting rocks - and he had a tray. That was up on top of a bookcase we used to have. People would come, and he'd show them this ore. Every piece had some kind of a history behind it, you            know.

            I remember one time, I have forgotten who it was, came. And they opened the parlor up and they started a fire in the little stove. My mother was there, I don't remember if Dad was there or not. Anyway, on the center table, the round table, there was a layer of dust and I stood there by the table and wrote my name in the dust with my finger. I heard about that!

 

 

 

            There was a little addition on the back which originally, I suppose, was a summer kitchen and there was a big old what-they-called a dockash (?) stove, a big   old range with a water tank on the back for heating hot water. And then there was kind of a loft up over the kitchen, and there was a stairway up to that.

 

 

            There was a horse barn and then what we called the lower barn. The horse barn had room for four horses, I guess. There was a mow up overhead. One end of it there was a shed called the wagon shed where we kept wagons. And then the lower barn, that was quite a ways back, that was for cattle. Both barns had the old hand hewn timbers. Then there was the little blacksmith shop Dad had, right there by the horse barn, a small building, maybe 20 foot wide, 30 foot long. And he had a little forge in there, and a bellows that you could pump and give air to the fire. He had quite a big anvil that set there on a block of wood. And he had a lot of hand-  forged tools, tools that he had made.

 

 

 

            We kept two horses when I was a kid, but I understood that there was a time when they kept three and four horses. The two horses that I remember were Count and Harry. Now Count was a big black, he was kind of a swayback. As I understand it, The Count was bred for a race horse, and as he grew up he was sort of jug-headed and sway-back, and just wasn't a racing type. Now how my Dad come to get him, I don't know, but his name was Count Balleye. I don't know how you spell it, but that was his official name. And somewhere Dad had papers for him. The other horse Dad had bought at a sale. That was a younger horse, very quiet. And you'd put the two together, team them up. Alone, The Count was fine, but pulling a heavy load, little Harry was always about ahead ahead of him. The Count would be back here and Harry way up here. And Dad was always using the gad, as he called it, to get him to pull his share. I always felt kind of bad about it when they had the farm sale. Of course Harry brought a pretty good price, but old Count, it seems like somebody paid about six dollars for him. But he was well known in the neighborhood for being lazy.

            We always kept some cattle. We didn't keep any sheep, but we kept a few chickens and had a hen house. That was a two story building. And we always had pigs, three or four pigs to butcher in the fall. I know we had one Jersey cow. Of course the others were Holstein and Guernsey, and some were mixed breeds. But we had this one Jersey cow my Dad had bought somewhere that still had her horns, and you could never get her into a stanchion to milk her, she'd stand out alone. I remember one time I was milking her, and she swung her head   around to swat flies, I guess, and she raked her horns right across my back. That cow we kept for our own table, because Jersey milk is very rich.

 

 

 

            For the remaining years of his life Doc McCarty was active both operating the farm and running a blacksmith business from his shop. He was also very active in town and county affairs.

 

            When Doc died May 6, 1921, he was shortly followed by his eldest daughter, Belle. Belle had been ill for quite some time, having had rheumatic fever and a subsequent heart condition. She spent much time in a hospital in Buffalo, New York. Belle's final illness was peritonitis due to a burst appendix. She died on November 3, 1921 at Westchester Hospital near Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Throughout her illnesses and time away from home, Doc wrote to her continuously, enclosing stories and poems to remind her of home. Three are printed below.

 

 

 

  CLARISSA BELLE McCARTY

 

            After Doc's death, Bessie tried to hold things together on the farm. By that time, however, eldest son, Emery had moved to Buffalo, Roscoe was working away from the farm, and Gladys was teaching school full time. That left Ben, then 14, and Donovan, 10, to help Bessie run the farm. They tried to do all of the chores, planting, and harvesting. There was little income, however, and, in 1925, Bessie was soon forced to sell the farm to the Higleys. In the autumn of that year a sale was held: the contents of the barns and shop brought about $174. and remaining crops, about $78.; Betsy the Cow fetched $15., Blacky the Cow, $19.50, Reddy the Cow, $22., and the remaining chickens and pigs, $32.; Harry the Horse brought a proud $74., but the poor Count, true to Donovan's memory, brought six dollars.

            All that is left of the farm today is a cellar hole where the house once stood. Few living today remember Doc McCarty, but his memory lives on in the stories of Donovan McCarty and Doc's own writings, which follow.

 

 

                     BESSIE IRENE LEE McCARTY

 

 

    A WESTERN TRIP
With Incidents and Accidents
Along the Way

 

 

 

 

    

            In the spring of 1880 I was attacked by a severe dose of western fever. The words of Horace Greely kept ringing in my ears night & day, "Go west young man, go west." & so, as no other medicine would do me any good, I plucked my little turkey & started for the "wild & wooley west," where I was entirely cured of this most dreadful disease that so often attacks the young man of the east.

Of course I started out with the "big head" as most young men do at the age of 23, thinking that I was just about a cute as any of them. How long this cuteness lasted is answered by relating a little incident that happened the second day out.

The news boy (one word), or rather man, came into the car I occupied & perhaps noticed that I was a sort of smart Elick. Anyway he had two books in his hand, in one of them he placed a twenty dollar bill. And then he offered my my choice for 5 dollars. of course I was to cute to bite a bait of that kind. I even got tuffy & told him to go away & mind his own business (coma) which he did. Pretty soon he came back again & placed the 20 dollar bill in one of the books as before & was very anxious I should win his 20 dollars. I happened to notice this time he had been a little careless about placing the bill & one end of it showed slightly on the end of one of the books. So in order to show him he was not so cute as he thought, I pulled out a V & gave it to him & took the book with the end of the bill sticking out. And lo & behold when I opened the book, I found a piece of revenue stamp glued to the end of the book instead of the 20 dollar bill. The twenty dollar bill was in the other book. My cuteness was all gone in a minute and so was my "fiver" I do not think I have ever been quite so cute since (.) At least I have never since been caught by another mans game.

The first words I said after I had lost my money. I said to myself aloud and there were others Good you darn fool you, you got what you deserved.

Kansas being my objective point, about three days brought me to the city of the wise man or Bulbman City, a town about 16 miles north of the center of the state, on the line of the Kansas Pacific RR a branch of the Union Pacific. In this town I remained nearly a year. This part of Kansas is noted as being the territory over which Wild Bill and Buffalo Bill roamed. When the state was first settled Abilen on the same line of RR 9 miles east, is where Wild Bill was marshall for some time, & where a band of cowboys came all the way from Texas to kill him, because he had killed one of their number in a duel summertime before. I think the leader of the band was a brother to the man killed. Wild Bill was informed by a friend that these deperadoes were in town looking for him and intended to shoot him, the first chance they got. Bill was such an expert with a revolver that they dare not meet him face to face & so were watching to catch him unawares. As soon as Bill learned they were in town & wanted his scalp, he caused the word to go out that he was going to take the evening train for Junction City. When the train came in the desperadoes took one car & Bill another. After the train was fairly in motion, Bill with a revolver in each ahnd walked into the car where those fellows were & covering them with his shooters, drove thw whole gang off the train knowing full well that to jump off was saffer than facing Wild Bill when he meant business.

It was in this part of Kansas a little west of this place, that Buffalo Bill killed Buffalo to supply meat for the men while they were building this line of RR.

Not liking Kansas very well, in the spring of '81 I again took the train for the far west. This time my objective point was the Dalles Oregon. As I kept a diary on this trip that contains some of the incidents & accidents of the journey & also a better description of the country than I can give from memory I will quote from the diary for this journey, asking the grange to overlook some things that sound silly to the older members. I give it as I put it down then, because I think it will at least amuse the young people and ask the older ones to remember I was young & silly then as most people are sometime in their lives. I think this diary will contain some things also that will interest the older ones at least those of you that have never been over the Rockies, as it contains a partial description of the country.

Tuesday May 3 - 1881

Am packing my trunk, will start for Oregon 7 p.m. will leave the city of the wise man perhaps forever. Shall leave many behind whom I shall wish to see again but know not that I ever shall, many say they are sorry to see me go. Guess they don't much care. I am afraid I shall shed all the tears, which will not be numerous.

Later 5000000 wish me to write. wish they would get a list of their names and addresses printed, then I could write in programme. Knoxy promised to be around this morning, haven't seen him yet, guess he overslept himself. Knoxy is a boss fellow. I wish he was ready to go along. I must go packing again. 10.40 a.m.

8-5 p.m.: have just bid good by to good friend Knoxy, who came to the first station Salina for my pleasure, and I do appreciate the goodness of the act & will try to be worthy of such friendship. Shall long remember friend Knoxy.

Wednesday 6-12 Spent a very pleasant night. Slept well for the place. Have been travelling since daylight over unbroken prairie, not a tree to be seen & only now & then a dugout, just passed a big cattle ranch. later a lot of snow breaks.

10.13 a.m. Am now in Colorado, nothing but a desert waste so far. will see the mountains this afternoon. am watching for antelope. far into the desert wilds of Colorado - plenty of wild cactus everywhere.

4-25 p.m. - Just got first view of Rockies. looks like a rising thunder storm. 20 miles to Denver.

4-35 p.m. - The mountains have become more distinct. A more beautiful sight can scarcely be imagined, the last rays of the sun illumines their snow capped summits, and makes as beautiful a sight as man has ever saw. Half way up they appear but a dark mist, until snow line is reached, when the sun changes to one solid mass of silver & gold. Tis beautiful tis grand. They are yet 25 miles away.

Thursday 7 a.m. Spent the night in Denver and all considered, it was a very pleasant night. Paid 75 cents for Supper, lodging, & breakfast and although the price was not high, found an account of the regulations and rules of the house. They got the best of their guests. Each boarder or lodger rather is required to feed a few million bedbugs & furnish grub for same.

Saw Pike's Peak this morning, looming up like a mighty monument among his fellows, his lofty summit covered with snow & ice. now I must turn my back on him & pull for Cheyanne direct north. Took a tramp with a pard & another gentleman whom we met on the train, through Denver last night & found it beyond my expectations. 4 & 5 Story buildings made of brick or stone line its principle Streets & some of them are of the finest architecture. An immense depot just building is equal to almost any in the east.

9-5 a.m. Just entering the Rockies. large bluffs on either side without tree or shrub, the Platte flows beside us.

9-15 a.m. have now 2 engines to pull us. Stopping in Goldon a few minutes, go very slow when we do go. 5000 feet to raise yet before we are at our highest.

9-55 a.m. We are climbing a hill. just passed the prettiest little lake I ever saw. the Scenery is just grand it is splendid the finest I have ever seen, at times could run as fast as we go with two engines.

Just passed the tents of the Philistine miners perhaps. This is the roughest road mortal has ever traveled.

Thursday 12 M just passed a very pretty town - of Prairie dogs.

Friday 6-40 a.m. am sitting on top of cars at Sherman highest point UPRR. the air is light but not enough to make breathing difficult. just passed through Snow Sheds. played a little joke on the conductor a little while ago. He came in from the front car punching tickets. I jumped off when he was next car to me ran with the train gained one car with it - jumped on & left the conductor in the rear, consequently he did not see my ticket.

The air is rather cold here, but the sun has been shining most beautifully all day. Have seen but very little timber since I left Dinner, some little scrub pine in the distance, can see some kind of animals in the distance, antelope perhaps.

We are now descending the Rockies at good speed. I have descended to platform & must go in as it is rather cold.

Friday May 6 - 8-40 a.m.

The cars are crowded but succeeded in getting a bunk last night & slept well, feel first class this morning. Ate a good breakfast & am happy. just passed a fort a few minutes ago where there were quite a number of soldiers camped. Just passed through some deep cuts in mountains, can see some kind of animals in the distance, but cant tell what they are. will call them garglies to make it sound well. have passed through a number of snow sheds since yesterday, we have been travelling over the most crooked road I ever saw this morning. there are lots of dead cattle lying along the road & lots of live ones grazing. cant see how they keep from starving, but some of them look well. there has been but little civilization since we left Cheyenne, now & then a little town. Sage brush the largest of vegetation kind. Friday 10.50 saw Antelope not far from train. think I should like to chew a piece of one of them well roasted.

There are two French families on the train and two pretty french girls. one old Frenchman has been around the world three times & is now on his fourth trip. I wish he would engage me for an escort for his pretty daughters. One of the little french boys & a little yank got to fighting a minute ago. both thought they were licked but neither was hurt.

They seem to be very nice people, neat & clean good natured & jolly, rather high toned. Seem to be wealthy. All that are aboard cannot be complimented for their cleanliness & beauty.

Friday 3-25 have eaten a harty dinner and feel good. are waiting for another train.

There is a pretty young lady standing in the door about 6 feet from me & I'll bet a quart of cider She is a flirt, but she is one of the meek kind. I wish the train would start. am afraid I will be gone "entirely" if she stands there much longer. Three Oclock & 60 minutes she is gone & the spell is broken. Oh!

Later 5-40 Just had an experience which at first seemeth bad, but worketh good. A Lady in the train had a fit & I was duty bound to make myself useful & as good luck would have it, my supposed flirt was her only acquaintance, so of course her acquaintance was easily made & I learned to my great joy she is going to my destination, on the same road. Ahem!

Friday 6 p.m. We are now passing through Hills of Solid Rock.

Saturday May 7 - 7.40 a.m. and all is well. Slept "Bunkum" Tramps were in cars last night stealing towels, but didn’t get mine because I didn’t have any.

Took a morning walk at last station - with my yesterday masher. felt refreshed. passed China town last night, where one chinaman shot another a few days before.

Epitaph for poor John

Poor Chinee John has left us,
Twas caused by another's Shooter.
Who drew the sites upon him,
And pierced him through the rooter.

Poor Johnnie & his "Pigtail" is gone. Peace to his ashes.

Hurrah, boys Hurrah! the woman is going to have another fit & I shall be compelled to help "Masher" take care of her. Ahem! Ahem!

We are now among the Mormons and as I sit here in full view of the three French girls, pretty as a picture all of them. Oh how my heart goes out towards them. And how I wish I could be a morman & scoop the three of them in, and as an addition to my happiness would scoop in "Masher" too, and "then oh then" Masher says arent those mountains pretty. I says yes they are beautiful, & still the world goes on.

Saturday 8-15 a.m. Lost my cap out the window a few minutes ago. jumped off the train, got my cap & on again before the train got by, didnt have to be very smart to do it either. the train going very slow.

10-5 a.m. we have 2 hours more then we enter Ogden nearest point to the great morman stronghold Salt Lake City. The land seems a little more fertile here, but farming is all done by irigation consequently but little done. just passed the most magnificent Scenery on the road yet. We got a view of the Devils Slide. two rows of rocks, Standing on edge, reaching from the foot of the mountains, nearly to the top, with just enough room for the Devil to slide between.

Saturday 10-50 just passed through some deep canyons, a couple of tunnels & some deep cuts through the mountains. We are stopping now at a small town at foot of mountains. Although the hills are not high, the snow line is less than halfway up & alfalfa in full bloom on the flats. got a pretty bouquet just above here & so did a little french boy, but he got his ears pulled for same. Poor boy he was to ambitious. Climed the rocks for flowers & came nigh missing train, consequently his mother was very wrathy.

2-5 p.m. am laying at Ogden. tis a miserable little place on Salt Lake. Changed cars here, to the Central Pacific RR. here is where the golden spike was driven that connected the Union with the Central Pacific, making a through line from Ocean to Ocean. it was the first through line & the last spike of pure gold.

3-20 Just passed the north end of Salt Lake. it is a nice body of water. Salt Lake City is 40 miles south, would like to see it very much.

4-40 p.m. are climbing the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with three engines ahead and going slowly. A chinaman tried to jump on a few minutes ago, but didnt make it. But he turned about 20 handsprings in the air. wasnt a very active chinaman either. We are now on the CP road & they have sawed telephone poles, the first I ever saw.

Sunday 7-40 a.m. and all is well. are stopping at a Station. Indians in the yard, are dressed in good style. Later - have now coupled to the express & going at good speed.

9-15 a.m. are now in Nevada. Some little farming, but none of any account. Had lots of fun at last station with the Indians. A squaw & pappouse, gave squaw a nickel to show pappouse, it was quite a curiosity. She carried it tied on a board. another carried one in a sack, on her back. There were lots of the masculine specie there too & dirty looking wretches they were.

Took a walk with Masher at last station. Yum! Yum!

9-25 a.m. there is a pretty Dutch girl across the aisle. have gotten a little acquainted with her. I have gotten the old man & old woman won over, & now I will be as sweet as "lassus" on the daughter. So far so good. Passed an emigrant train a few minutes ago. 8 teams to three wagons. The three wagons hitched together, & all the teams ahead.

5-35 p.m. Just passed three freight wagons, monsters, with six teams ahead, (mules) all driven by one man employed in hauling Sulphur from a Sulphur mine, 40 miles from the R.R. There is an indian Wigwam now & then along the road. quite a curiosity.

Passed one of the prettiest places I have seen in the west a moment ago. a beautiful home in the desert wild, the yard set with trees in full leaf, Set in perfect rows. with the best of taste, the ground under was covered with alfalfa or lucern clover just large enough to be nice. in the center of the front yard was the prettiest fountain I ever saw, forming at its base the prettiest little pool imaginable. in the back yard was the lovliest little artificial lake, with two Swans, Swimming on its bosom. All this Surrounded a neat handsome cottage. all this in an unsettled & apparently baren country, but when properly irrigated the above is the result, but the cost is to great for the profit to even pay as a farming country. This is in Nevada.

6-20 Stopping at Station. asked squaw how much she would take for pappouse [sic]. She said 2 bits, but I didnt buy.

Have a little headache caused perhaps by using my brains to freely talking to Masher & the "Quaker girl"

The last two or three miles has been nothing but a sandy desert without tree or shrub.

Monday May 8th - 8.40 have been passing through 40 miles of snow sheds since daylight & are not through yet. Stopped in the sheds a while ago, got out and got some snow of which the mountains are covered here. brought it in and raised a rumpus, snow balling, but got my face washed by Dutch girl & one of the French girls. gave Masher a nice little package containing snow. the result was terrible.

Hitched on the old freight last night again. can get off now & get flowers when we wish if any can be found.

Monday 9 a.m. Have gotten through the snow sheds & into California quite a distance. considerable timber here all pine. the country we are passing through is as near like Pennsylvania as can be except pine for Hemlock. just passed an orchard, the second since I entered the Rockies.

11.50 have just passed a rye field in full head, everything here seems like mid summer. we are pretty well down the mountains.

1.20 p.m. Have just passed some new made hay. May 8th remember. Ate dinner not long ago, got some warm bread. pard & I ate 1 1/2 loaves, warent very hungry either.

Monday 3-20 p.m. are now passing through the only real good farming land I have seen since I left Kansas. plenty of timber, well watered & good soil, just enough rolling to be good. also plenty of fruit. some are sowing & some are reaping. saw a field of oats, the first I have seen since I started, it looks fine.

4 p.m. are nearing Sacramento. will be in in a few minutes, can see the Sacramento river. must cross the river to get to the city.

Tuesday May 10 - 4-35 a.m. Stopped in Sacramento last night about 3 hours. it is the finest city I ever saw, Almost every dwelling house is enshrouded with beautiful shade trees & flowers & the streets are well shaded. Slept well last night till about 2 Oclock when the passengers began crawling out and raising the dead generally in anticipation of a speedy arrival at Frisco. after we had been told the night before that we would not get there until near eight. I got up at 2.30 because they made such a noise I couldent sleep. I found some of them over breakfast packed up & ready to jump off as soon as the train stopped. When they had the pleasure of seeing on a depot that it was yet 62 miles to Frisco & would not get there for about 5 hours.

This morning we have passed Oats in full head & Oats just coming up, also lots of new made hay, tis a splendid country.

6-20 a.m. are now passing a long side the bay of Frisco. can see the Schooners out from land, the tide is just coming in. Shall soon see the great Pacific, the mighty deep. My heart swells with animation as I approach the great city of the west & the greatest Ocean in the world, upon whose bosom I shall soon be sailing. I almost dread the final issue, to contemplate heaving Jonah over the gunwale, is not very pleasant. but "New York" I must I suppose.

9.30 p.m. am now at Frisco got here about 8 this morning. Had to cross the bay from Oakland by ferry. the hotel runners at the wharf reminds one of a million frogs in a swamp. I guess there are pretty near that many runners. each one yelling the name of his hotel. One is tempted to Shoot them down as fast as they come near you.

After I has established headquarters at the Continental hotel I visited the wharf. there I saw ships from almost every country in the world, mostly sail vessels. Some few steamers. among them a small detachment of the navy.

I next visited the Palace Hotel said to be equal to any thing of the kind in the United States. It is a grand building with its marble pillars & marble floors. Carriages are driven into the main hall turn round a circular platform & go out again the same way they came in after disposing of their passengers.

This hall extends upwards to the roof. Seven Stories high & covered with a Sky light. each side is decorated in grand style. what the architect could not do is done with tropical plants & flowers.

Leading from this hall in every direction are numerous other halls. dividing magnificent parlors dining rooms writing rooms &ct.

This hotel was built without regard to expense & run in a style in keeping with the building. they claimed to furnish anything for the table the market affords. at the rate of $10.00 per day first class. I dident even stop for dinner.

I read in the papers after I came home that it was sold to a syndicate of chinamen for three million dollars. It was said to contain 13 acres of floor space, but I rather double the assertion.

I returned to my own modest little hotel three stories high & after partaking of a suptuous repast hailed a street car of the cable variety & started for Woodwards gardens & found them worth the 2 bits admission. it was of a Zoological nature. a great variety of animals, birds & fishes. one large building contained a museum of vast proportions. here Johah fashion I was swallowed by a whale. at least I entered into the whales mouth and came out the same way, but dident remain so long as Jonah did.

The entrance to this building was through the jaws of a whale. I think the whale was dead. This was a large building & filled with stuffed animals from a Squirrel up to a lion. a great variety of birds minerals of all kinds, & everything that are supposed to be found in a museum.

While in this building I again saw the Dicker girl with her papa & mama. & in their company took in the Sights of the building. as we turned an angle in the main room we came sudenly upon a huge Lion face to face. of course it was a stuffed hide but nevertheless it was a ferocious looking beast to come up against without warning. so much so that it gave the Dicker girl such a scare that she went into convulsions & it made things liveley arround here for a long time.

Another large building in the grounds was used for an opera house. in this building was a large pipe organ that was wound up with a crank. & could be fixed to play a very large number of pieces, it played all the parts of a Band.

Wednesday May 12 Have taken passage on the noble ship Oregon & passed through the Golden gate & out into the great Pacific enroute for Portland Oregon. Men are lying in every direction sick as hogs. I to within feel the raging of a mighty tumult. that tells me that I to must soon cast my bread upon the waters to be gathered in by the little fishes.

Thursday May 13 - 7-10 am have just eaten breakfast. One Orange & a cup of coffee. will eat more by & by. have not heaved Jonah yet, but felt like it a good many times & do yet. Am reminded of the Story of the two Irishmen that came over in the same ship. Pat got very sick & was heaving Jonah over the gunwale. Mike comes along & says Pat is your stomack wake. Wake the Devil he says. Dont I trow it as far as any of them.

Saw six Porpoises a short time ago. Also saw four or five whale spouting a long distance away.

Slept well in the Stearage last night. Stable the boys very appropriately call it. I found this morning that fleas had been trying to make a meal of me. but I have no objection the feeding a few fleas. One fellow who is about dead with feeding the little fishes says he will walk a thousand miles before he will ever take another sea voyage. Just saw a whale quite near the ship. he was a big looking fish. he raised himself several feet out of the water, or more correctly speaking raised several feet of himself out of the water.

Can just see land in the distance looks like clouds.

Thursday 2-45 p.m.

All is well & I am feeling first rate and have not done anything toward the Support of the little fishes either. Have seen lots of Whale & Porpoises. was down in the Stable a short time ago. it looks like a hospital. the Sick & dying are laying in every direction. at least they think they are dying but I am afraid they wont. Some of them might get up a sensation if nothing more. It is getting monotanous.

Friday May 13th 7-5 am am still upon the "briny deep" and as the waves are rolling high this morning the Stable has still the appearance of a hospital. those standing on deck, have to stand with their lower extremities almost at right angles, they prefer this to standing on their ear, it is comical to see some of them trying to walk the deck. they walk about as graceful as a sick cow would walk a rope. but still they must walk the decks.

Last night they had a dance & concert combined on board. the only fun since we left "Frisco" the fiddler put me in mind of the time I owned a fiddle & made music about equal to his, but they soon traded him off for a man with a mouth organ but he got his two dollars just the same. and the dancing went on, but to say the dancing was good and done with grace is beyond my intention, it was just about equal to the music. Sometimes the dancers were all thrown together in a bunch & then again they would be scattered all over the deck. which caused great fun. It wound up with singing which was really good. And so ended the dance & concert.

I am worrying about Masher. She was on deck before yesterday, but She got a little seasick after She and I had exausted all the subjects we were conversant with, and went to her cabin & I have not seen her since. but as lots of them have kept their bunk ever since they came aboard. I guess she will come out all right in a week or so.

Friday 12-20 p.m.

Have just entered the mouth of the Columbia river. met a Sail Ship in the entrance and had to pass through water so shallow that our ship stirred up the mud from the bottom. our ship drew 3 fathoms on 18 feet. can see fishermen with their boats & nets in every direction. it is the salmon fishing grounds of the Columbia river.

Can see a ship on a bar wrecked a year or so ago but it dont look much like a ship now. no lives were lost. it is the Great Republic. it is believed the captain was hired to wreck the ship as it was running in opposition to a line of ships owned by the Oregon Railway & Navigation Co.

Will be in Astoria soon the only point we stop at between Frisco & Portland. Astoria is the great Salmon depot of the Columbia & here the Salmon are caned & sent all over the world. The fishermen deliver their fish here & get an average of about 50 cents apiece.

Saturday May the 14th

Got to Portland about 2 Oclock last night or this morning rather, took a boat for the Dalles at Five Oclock and am now Sailing up the Columbia. It is settled along the river but little yet. all timber & mountains almost to the waters edge. we are passing through the Cascade range of mountains. At a place called Cascade in the river over which a boat is unable to breast the currant, we were transferred to the cars on a 7 mile railroad & from that back to a boat again which took me to my destination The Dalles.

In the year 1882 The Dalles Oregon contained about 2000 inhabitants. now it has about 2800. This is one of the oldest towns in Oregon & the buildings are not as modern as they are in most of the new towns of the west although it has a few very good buildings. There is one hotel that compares favorably with any you will find in the east in a town the size of The Dalles. Here is where Grant was located soon after he was given his commission at West Point. The Soldiers Barracks were still there in 1882. Also the House that Grant used as headquarters. this burned while I was there. it had been used or occupied by Squatters for a number of years & was so occupied when burned.

The town takes its name from a narrow riff in the Columbia river at that place.

The first job I struck after I arrived was a job with the wheelbarrow on a new railroad being built at a place called Celilo 14 miles up the river. This was a small town that the inhabitants had not moved into yet. The name was all there was to it except an old Steam boat used by the company for boarding & sleeping purposes.

At this time a new RR had just been completed from The Dalles to Spokenn Falls. But before this road was completed all freight & passengers coming down the river came by Steamboat to Celilo & was transferred to the cars & then again at The Dalles was transferred again to boats & then again back to the cars at Cascades where the river passes through the Cascade Mountains. Seven miles here by cars and again back to boats which pulled up to the wharf at Portland Oregon. When I tell you that from 5 to 800 tons of wheat alone had to be transferred at these 4 places every day for about three months every fall you will get some Idea of the amount of work that was to be done at these Several points. v This work was all done away with before I left Oregon. The Oregon RR & Navigation Co completed a RR from Portland to Spokenn [i.e., Spokane] Falls so that water transportation was almost all done away with.

The work I had to do most of the time was on the North Side of the river in Washington Teritory & it was a teritory at that time - here I experienced the discomforts of the Spring. Sand Storms that they have there every Spring. The wind blows up the river from the Ocean for about three months. It blows about three days rests about the same length of time & then blows about three days again & so on till the middle of Summer. During this time the Sand drifts the same as Snow drifts. the air is full of fine sand all the time while it blows. & one day at least while I was there it drifted on the RR so bad that trains could not run nearly all day although a large force of chinamen were buy trying to keep the track clear.

One thing peculiar about the wind is that there is no let up when it does blow. it is a steady gale. in this country it will blow hard perhaps for a short time and then let up for a few minutes before it blows again. there it is a steady gale. we all lived in tents on this job and I remember one day standing beside my tent for over half an hour waiting for the wind to ease up so that I might tighten the tent ropes, but was compelled to give it up as the wind was to strong for me to do it without less wind.

The work I was doing at this time was on a new RR on the Washington side of the river. There was only a small force of men. And I thought then & do yet that the work was only for the purpose of holding the right of way as the road isent built yet. The same company was building at the time & soon completed a line on the Oregon side of the river.

I was here about a month then went back to The Dalles. got a job transfering freight from cars to boat & boat to cars. got 66 dollars per month for this work. Board and lodging cost me 21 dollars.

I worked at this job for about 8 months. The amount of freight transferred here was immense. everything at that time that went into the whole Columbian basin & that came out of it had to be transferred at The Dalles. Wheat alone for about 3 months in the fall averaged about 500 tons daily, that is 6666 bushels every day, besides all the other freight passing both ways. the wheat was all in sacks of about 100 lbs. The work was done by two shifts one shift of 14 men working during the day and another of the same number worked nights. there was also what we called the chain gang, a crew working during the day handling railroad iron & material of all kinds for railroad construction work.

To give you an idea of the amount of work we could do in a given time. I will give you an instance. There was to tracks on the incline that came down to the wharf boat from the main line of the RR & it was necessary for these tracks to be clear ready for the passenger cars that must be backed down to meet the passenger boat that came in at 5 Oclock from portland. One evening the boss came to us & said boys there is four cars of wheat yet on the tracks. if you will unload them before the boat gets in there is a box of cigars for you. we were then finishing 2 cars of flour & the wheat was on the back track & must be taken across flat cars on the first track & stacked in tiers on the wharf boat for the night shift to tranfer to boat to go down the river next day. it would be necessary for us to unload two cars & then drop the cars one length & unload the other two. We asked the boss how much time we had to do it in, he said 20 minutes. of course we laughed at him but we thought we would see what we could do. and we went at them 14 of us 7 in a car. 2 in the car 3 with trucks carrying it out & 2 to take care of it on the boat. When we were done we asked the boss how long we had been. he laughed and said we had been just 17 1/2 minutes. the cigars were won & we got them too. To do this it was necessary for us to average 3 loaded trucks going out of the car every minute or in other words for every truck, to make a trip every minute.

I left this job and with a crew of Bridge carpenters went down the river about 12 miles to do bridge work. the RR was building a tressel across a ravine, between two tunnels through rocky points that came up to the rivers edge. The rock work done here was immence. at places the rocks were 300 feet high Perpendicular from the waters edge up & the river about 60 feet deep right up to shore. There were places, where the rocks were removed, wide enough for 2 tracks 300 feet high. 8 men were killed here blasting at different times 7 chinamen & One white man. 2 chinamen & the white man was blown from the top of these rocks 300 feet high out into the river & never seen after. this was caused by lighting a high grade Dynamite with an iron rod.

While we were here my pard and I got a boat one Sunday and visited what was called Mainaluse Island, a small rocky island in the middle of the river. This was an old indian burying ground. Indian skulls were scattered all over the island. in fact indian bones of all kinds. in the center of the island was an excavation perhaps 6 feet deep and 20 square. Split-boardes stood on end on the four sides. & a roof of the same material served as cover. one corner was left open as a place of entrance. inside were a few shelves along one side. on these were stored little dead indians wraped in all kinds of rags. the floor was covered with dead indians of all descriptions. some wraped in blankets & some in crude coffins that looked as though they had been there only a short time. I think it was still used as a burial place.

It was rather a gruesome place & we thought we wouldent care to stop there over night. I wanted to take one of the Skulls to bring home with me but my pard was tenting with me & being of a rather spookey nature, he wouldent hear to it. The island was an ideal place for that kind of burial ground as it would never be disturbed by animals of any kind.

This work being completed in the spring of 1883 about the first of April the boss got orders to take his whole outfit men & all up into Idaho to work on the North Pacific near Spokane Falls, only farther north. they were then building along Lake Penderville a small lake in the northern part of Idaho. about 70 miles long & less than half as wide. We arrived at the lower end of the lake about the first of April. we were here tranferred to a very nice & comodious steam boat & taken to the upper end of the lake, and put ashore in a dense forest. about 180 of us all told. we had previously learned that there was a small resturant in an abandoned RR camp about 1/2 mile from the lake that was about ready to close out & move on. nobody said anything to anybody else but it seems we all had the idea that the first fellow there would be the fellow most likely to get something to eat & we were all hungry.

I happened or through design got in the front ranks. of course none of us wanted the rest to notice that we were in a hurry. At first we started out at a moderate gate, but our speed kept increasing until finally we were all running as for dear life. Seven of us managed to get there first. & all we could get was about a spoon full of fried potatoes & two fried eggs each for the small sum of 50 cts apiece. Our destination was reached that afternoon & for supper we had a plenty. Here were destined to eat until a place could be provided for us - in a large tent where about 200 must be fed. so that if you were a little behind you would have to wait for the second table. the tent was closed until all was ready & then thrown open. It was rather amusing to see the men line up before the tent as meal time approached, ready for the grand rush when the tent was thrown open.

The next day we had our own eating house provided and got along finely.

As they were not ready for us to go to work for a couple of days, I thought it a good time to go fishing. So I scraped up an old fish hook from somewhere. got a piece of line broke a limb off a tree for a pole. a hunk of fresh beef for bait & went down to the river. There was an old log lying on the bank with one end extending into the river forming a little eddy below. I fished here for about 2 hours & when I took an inventory of what I had I found 1 trout 19 1/2" long another 11 a large chub 16. & several smaller trout about 12 inches long, in all I had all 20 of us come eat for breakfast.

The country here might be compared very favorably with the country along the Loyal Sock when it was a wilderness. the mountains come close to the river & all well timbered even hemlock quite plenty. one man was sent in there to peal bark. Steal it off government land of course. he was to deliver it on the cars at $12 per cord. And it wasent necessary for him to go more than 1/2 mile from the RRoad. he asked me if I thought it could be done for that. I told him I thought it could. he had never peeled hemlock before, but had some experience in oak bark peeling. The greater part of the best timber was fir. But quite a large amount of Red cedar was mixed in. Some peperas.

Game was plenty - Deer, Bear, & a few Elk. one man said he killed six deer in about 2 hours the winter before.

[Here ends the manuscript as it now exists]

 

Doc McCarty and "Friend Knoxy"
Tintype Photo from Western Trip in 1880
Click on the caption for a color enhanced version of the photo, courtesy of Carol Brotzman.

 

                       LETTERS     

 

 

All letters to Bessie Lee were addressed to her parents' home in Evergreen, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Bessie was the daughter of Uriah Lee and Lucelia Lenox. Doc wrote the letters to Bessie from several locations.

 

 

                                                                           *  *  *

 

  Store

1/20 93.

 

Miss Bessie Lee

Friend

 

     There will be a number of young people going to Monroeton next Tuesday eve.

 

     This is to ask you if you would go with me. it is asking considerable of an almost stranger, but it is my misfortune that I have not known you longer.

 

     I presume they will dance, but it is (a) picked party & I think everything will be nice.

 

     If you would rather not dance it will be all the same to me. I do not care to dance a great deal myself.

 

     I will make it as pleasant as I can for you. I think there will be others along that don't care to dance.

 

                                          Your frd

                                          D.F.McCarty

 

PS  Let me know as soon as you can.

                                                                    *  *  *

                           

                                          New Albany

                                          3-27/93

 

Friend Bessie

 

     It is 10 Oclock in the evening & I have been trying all day to get time to write this letter & now I am so tired I can hardly write.

 

     I missed you at our Dancing school last Thursday eve & also at church last night. I wonder why I miss your presence.

 

     Well the purpose of this letter is this. We are going to have a little dancing practice Thursday evening in the hall. the Dancing teacher will not be here this week, so we thought we would have a little practice of our own.

 

     Now then Miss Bessie I want the pleasure of your presence on that evening. can I come up & bring you down. Will you be so kind as to grant me that pleasure. Let me know by return mail.

 

     Roy has just come in & he says, for certain reasons that it would take to long to mention here, the Dance will have to be on Wednesday evening so be so kind as to let me come after you on Wednesday eve.   

 

                                         Ta! Ta!

                                         D.F.McCarty

                                                                    *  *  *

 

Here is inserted a brief excerpt from a letter to Bessie from her friend Ada, dated New Albany Pa. March 1893:

 

     "Say, McCarty is getting too cunning for anything. I don't know what has come over him."

 

The letter goes on to relate local gossip including the

 

addition of a water closet to a house in Laddsburg!

                                                                    *  *  *

 

                                         City

                                         3/93

 

Dear Bessie

 

     I was down to see you this evening but as luck would have it you were not in.

 

     I wanted to ask you if you would allow me to call for you Thursday eve. & escort you to the Dancing School. I am almost discouraged asking you though. because I generally fail in getting the pleasure of your company when I do ask. I would rather have seen you but, I might call again & find you out. If you can grant me this pleasure let me know as soon as you can.

 

     I presume I should have spoken to you Sunday eve about it, but I wasent sure you cared for my company & I dident care to impose my company on you, unless I was satisfied it was agreable to you.

 

                                          Yours

                                          Doc

 

                                                                    *  *  *

 

Office of  G.W.Heverly & Co.

Dealers in General Merchandise

Boots and Shoes a Specialty

 

                                 New Albany, Pa. May 4 1893

 

My Dear Bessie

 

     I am going away today. & as I failed to get to see you last night, thought I would leave a letter. There was no Dancing last night & I had hardly cheek enough to come down & see you again so soon although I would have liked to. I shall try and come out next Thursday for Dancing School, but if I cant, I think I will see you the following Sunday. I shall come out as soon as I can anyway. and when I do come I will call on you.

     If you write & I wish you would, Direct To

                                   Lincoln Falls

                                   Sullivan Co

                                   Love for you Bessie

                                   Good Bye

                                    DFM

 

                                                                     * * *

                            

 

                                         Campbellville

                                         May 16/93

 

My Dearest Bessie

 

     I thought perhaps I had better write you today or you might think that I forgot you as soon as I got out here.

     I was down to Lincoln Falls Sunday & went to the office after your letter. but the PM had sent it to my Brother-in-Laws & I did not get it, nor havent got it yet. So you see I am feeling pretty bad about it.

     I havent found out about the store yet for certain. But Davis is bound to get it if possible. But he will have a tough job of it yet.

     Bessie Dearest I am not sure I can come out Thursday Eve But think I will. it will perhaps be late if I do come. But do not be disappointed if I do not come. I may be to busy to get away. If I do not come then I will try to get out there Sunday. I will be out sure if I can get a horse.

     Well Bessie my dearest I wish you were here. we are to far apart now to get together often enough. but you wont ask me to wait to long will you dear. If I get that store the people will move out about the second week in June & then poor me will have to live all alone. you wont allow much of that will you. But I havent got the store yet.

 

                                          Good Bye Darling

                                          Love for you

                                          DFM

 

                                                                        *  *  *

 

                                          Eldredsville

                                          May 19/93

 

My Dearest Bessie

 

     I presume you were disappointed last night.. but not more so than I was. I came into the store yesterday & we commenced to take an inventory. so that I couldent well get away. I hope you got there and had a good time.

     There is nothing certain about me getting the store, but I think it will bother Davis considerable to get it. I will run it a few days before he gets it anyway.

     I guess I will get out Sunday & possibly Saturday night.

     I have been fishing part of the week. I wish you could have seen some of the fish we (not I) caught. one 19 and a half inches long a Sucker. I have been feasting on fish ever since. I came out pretty nigh but I guess I am lone for this year if I stay here.

 

                                          Good Bye

                                          Love for Bessie

                                          DF

 

                                                                    *  *  *

                                          Eldredsville

                                          May 25/93

 

My Dearest Bessie

 

     I have been thinking of you all day. well I guess I do about all the time anyway. But tonight I thought I would write.

     I have been looking for a letter from you. but I dident get one so am quite anxious to hear from you & know whether you have gotten well or not. Did Mrs H look cross the next day after I was there.

            We have gotten through with the Inventory and I have been busy all day yesterday & today straightening up. It looks like another store now but am not done yet. Come out I would like to sell you a gingham apron or a chew of gum or something after that style. I hope if you ever come out to this country to live you will trade at my store. I think I could do well by you. I think you would like to deal with me too. I am such a good fellow to deal with. But I guess I am in love now & you would perhaps find me a little spooney, but I will get over that by & bye.

            I guess I will buy the cook stove Snyder has here. it looks as good as new, is a range & It would cost perhaps #25 New & I can get it for #12. but we wont have much to cook, perhaps we could cook it over a Lamp.

            Mr.Snyder thinks they will move out in about 2 weeks then oh! Dear what will I do. Boo! Hoo!

            We heard that Davis had given up coming out here. It dont make much difference whether he comes or not. he cant get in now.

            Good Bye Darling I wish you were here tonight. My happiness would be complete then.

 

                                                                                                Ta, Ta, Dearest

                                                                                                Doc

                                                                                                To Bessie

 

                             

                                                                       *  *  *

 

                                         Eldredsville

                                         Jun 1/93

 

Dearest Bessie

 

     I got your Letter yesterday. I had commenced to think you did not care much about writing. I presume today that you would go to Towanda. I wish I were there to go with you. I must go in a few days. I presume you will not be at the Dr.s any longer & will go home to ma-ma's. You must tell her that I am an awful nice fellow and all that. Then maybe she wont find out that I am the "Scape Goat" of Sullivan Co.___

 

untill___well until it is to late. you see if she finds me out I might get the Broomstick instead of Bessie when I come out there.

     I dident go to church Sunday but went visiting & saw one of my best girls too. & she is a nice one. but from some cause or other she calls me Uncle. I also heard of 3 or 4 Different girls that I was going to marry. So you see you had better get possession as soon as possible. certainly the first one will have the best rights. I presume by the time you get this you will have seen you ma-ma & will know how she feels about me steeling her daughter. & you will have made up your mind how soon you can take the name of McCarty for better or for worse. I hope for better.

     Well make the time just as short as you possibly can. for "I am lonesome tonight love without you" I wont be contented until you are here. & then further I dont know how to get along when Snyder goes away. If you can get ready soon I think I can get Snyders to stay until you come.

     I suppose it will be necessary for me to attend the wedding & that will take me away a day or so & I ought to have Snyder here while I am gone to run the store.

     So now dearest when shall it be. Let me know as soon as you can. I will try & come out one week from Sunday but let me know before if you can.

 

                                         Love for Bessie

                                         Doc

 

                                                                     *  *  *

 

                                         Eldredsville 6/6,93

 

My Dearest Bessie

 

     I started this letter about 2 hours ago but there were a lot of fellows came in. & I couldent get at it again.

     Well my folks all went away today. & it is almost 10 Oclock at night & I sit here writing to Bessie when I ought to be in bed & asleep. in bed did I say. No I havent any bed to crawl into. I expected some of my things here today but they dident come so I will have to fix up a bunk on the lounge of some sort. pretty tough on an old fellow like me isent it.

     I had a warm time in Towanda yesterday but finally got to New Albany all right. there I found one of my best girls waiting to come home with me. Roy Wilcox came out to Elklands for her on Sunday & she came home with me on Monday night. So you see she & Mrs.Wilcox soon got into a racket. Wilcoxes wouldent bring her home. so poor me had to. I did my best to make evrybody think I was bringing my wife home.

      It was getting a little dark when we got to Mart Obriens & Magie was sitting in the door & I wanted to know of her why she dident wish us much joy. Now she says I know what you went to Towanda for. Then she hollared Bessie is that you, but Bessie woulnent have much to say. Sometimes she thought we were fooling her & then again she dident know & I drove on before she got down to the Road. I dont believe she knows yet whether it was Bessie or not. I wish it had been but I guess I will be a good boy & wait.

 

     I think if all goes well you & I can become one on the 3rd day of July. I will come out on Sunday to New Albany & come out & get you in the morning before train time.

 

                                          Good bye Dearest

                                          Doc

 

                                                                    * * *

 

                                           Eldredsville

                                           6/16-93

 

My Dearest Girl

 

     I am afraid that I will not be able to get out to see you Sunday but I want to awful bad.

     I dont believe I can get a horse that I care to drive.

     I dont want to come out there with an old plug that I am ashamed of. you wouldent want me to either. If I could leave the store I could get a horse but I cant do it.

     I dont get along with this letter very fast. I dont more than get started till I have to stop. I will come out in a week if I dont get out next Sunday. Of course I must see you; & mama too must see her future "Sonney".

     Oh dear! I get lonesome here alone when trade is dull. It is now 8.23 Oclock AM & I have sold about $12.00 already & all since I commenced this letter.

     I will be awful sorry if I dont get out to see my loved one Sunday. I have something I think is nice for her & I want her to have it. Oh dear! but I am afraid I cant.

 

                                Well good Bye Bessie Dearest        

                                           Doc

 

                                                                  *  *  *

 

                                           Eldredsville

                                           Sunday

 

Bessie Dearest

 

     I couldent get out to see you today but made up my mind I would talk to you anyway. I am not in a very good humor for talking either. I caught cold yesterday & have got a headache today to pay for it. so that I wouldent have felt much like coming out if I had gotten a horse. I guess it is just as well that I diddent as I wouldent have felt good enough to have made the trip.

     But I wanted to see you so bad but must wait one week now. I must come out then I must see my darling before the 4th. I presume you will be disappointed today but be a good girl & I will make it up by acting nice when I do come.

 

     Give my good wishes to your mother & tell her I am sorry we cant get better acquainted before I take her daughter away. but I will see her next Sunday & then she will have a little chance to Judge whether Bessie is going for better or for worse.

     Perhaps if she finds out what a tough I am she wont let you go at all. then what would I do.

     I ought to have gone to Sunday school today I suppose, but I dident so that I presume I am getting worse all the time & no doubt will be a genuine tough before you get control of me. yes, I have been drinking too. I have got a bottle of Birch Beer half drunk up right along side of me now.

     Dont I talk as though I was a little looney. If I only had some good Black Berry wine I believe I would get looneyer yet.

     Well do you see anything of Ada & her deary. these times if they continued on they must be awfully sweet by this time.

     Why dont you write oftener dear. I believe I write two letters to your one. I like to hear from you & you ought to write.

 

                                         Doc

 

                                                                    *  *  *

 

                                         Eldredsville

                                         6/29-93

 

Dearest Bessie

 

     I thought I would write once more before you had changed your name. who knows perhaps it is the last letter you will ever get directed to Bessie Lee.

     Well what I wanted to say was this. one of my Nephews is going to get married the same day we were talking of it. but was intending to go to Elmira. but now thinks he will go to Waverly with us & I will come to N.A. Sunday night. hadent I better come out after you Sunday evening & all stay at the hotel. I think the train leaves at 7.10 so that it would be pretty early to come out after you in the morning.

     I will be out Sunday evening anyway I think.

                                         

                                         Yours in Love

                                         D. F. McCarty

                                                                    *  *  *

 

 

 

Doctor Fremont McCarty and Bessie Irene Lee were married in Waverly, Tioga County, New York on July 3, 1893 by Linn E. Wheeler, Clergyman. Nelson J. McCarty and Della C. McCarty were the Witnesses. It was a triple ceremony with Doc McCarty's nephew, Nelson McCarty and Della Warburton and Oscar W. (Nick) Bedford and Mattie Sabin.

 

 

 

 

                      

 

 

 

The following parody of the nursery rhyme, "Who Killed Cock Robin" was published in the Forksville Mirror in 1898, number 42, date unknown. It is not entirely clear to whom Doc was referring, but the message is pointed enough.

 

 

         WHO KILLED DOC SWALLOW?

 

I says Mat.Quay,
I'm happy to say,
I hit him with a Stone
And broke his wish-bone,
I killed Doc.Swallow.

Who saw him die?
I says G.I.
With my eagle eye.
I knew Mat.could throw,
I told you so..
I saw him die.

Who'll preach the sermon?
I says Chip Teeter,
You'll find it in Peter
I'll preach the sermon.

Who'll be the undertaker?
I says John Wanamaker,
For I am an honest Quaker,
I'll be the undertaker.

Who'll dig his grave?
I says Jim Wilcox
While I'm filling my bait-box,
I'll dig his grave. - etc.,etc.

                       

 

 

 

 

This parody of Longfellow's "Hiawatha" dated 1918, was found in an envelope addressed to Doc's daughter, Belle, who was then in the General Hospital on High Street in Buffalo, New York.

 

 

In the mountains Allegheny
In the state of Penn the Quaker
In the town of Elks there dwelled
By the twin Pines on the road side,
Dwelt the writer of this story.

I'll not tell you in this story,
Of "Iago, the great boaster;"
Nor of Hiawatha, Hunter,
He who killed the famous Roebuck
By the river's sparkling waters.

But the simple yarn I'll tell you,
Is a story of the wildwood,
Where the blue caps grow in plenty
Where the berry pickers gather
To collect their food for winter.

'Twas upon a July morning,
In the dawn of early morning.
When the bluebird in the twin pines
Sang his song to greet the sunrise.

When old Dad the famous singer
And son Grundy Buffelous came
And his sporty brother Roscoe
He the noted boy scout -Trailer-
To the chariot old and shaky
Hitched old Carrot the Slothful Donner
And young Harry, he the sport horse.

Down the road in glee we speeded,
To the wondrous town Estella
Where they gather in the store house
To spread scandle oer the landscape
And discuss their neighbors short comes.

On we traveled down the roadway,
Down the mountain to the river
Where the town of Forksville lies.
In the valley lies this hamlet,
Once a town with business rushing.

Booming with industrious people
Now as dead as any hammer
Only needs the undertaker
It to place beneath the green sod
There to rest in peace forever.

Thence we passed along the river
Up the line is "Terra Finis"
Where the whirlpool in the river
Makes you dizzy as you watch it.

Where the catfish and the sucker
And the sporty brook trout dwelleth
Where you drop your fishhook baited
Thinking that perhaps you'll fool them,
And a fish you'll have for supper
But their cunning there old codgers
And you'll fool them will you? "Nix!"

Then across the bridge and onward
To a log camp by the mountains
Where the woodsman in the past days
Once felled the monstrous Hemlock
Took his hide to use for tanning
Took his body to the sawmill
To saw into boards and planking
For the building of his home house.

Here we left our chariot standing
Put the horses in the stable
Took our tin pails on our left wing
Started up the mountain climbing.

Up the mountain like a house roof
Climbed this trio Berry Pickers
Over boulders big as houses
Over stone piles big as small hills.

Through the brush and over tree tops
Thus we wandered up the mountain;
Til a mile or more we traveled
Weak and weary - Sorely troubled
Thus we traveled to the mount top.

Thus began our search for berries
While the skeeters bit our bald top
While the sun came down from heaven
Hotter than a fire in Hades
Built to meet the Kaiser's coming
When the Yanks arrive in Berlin.

Here we wandered through the wildwood
Where the black bear roams at leisure
Gathers grubs from out the old logs
Which with teeth he tears asund
Where the wildcat screams at midnight
To his mate in distance roaming.

Where the wild deer oft stands panting
When he hears the hunter coming.
Then he sneaks behind the high brush
Where the hunter finds him -Nay-

Here we hunted for the black caps
Scarce as teeth in hens we found them
So we traveled far and farther
Circled round through brush and brier
Gathering here and there a berry.

Thus we wandered tired and homesick
Oer the mountain thus we wandered.
Till the noonday sun had long gone
And of dinners we had none.

So we started down the mountains
Down a woodslide built by woodsmen
Thus we slid us down the mountains
Down the mountains thus we slid us.

Till we landed on the railroad
Near the bottom of the mountains
Where the woodman shipped his saw logs
On the log cars up to Maslin.

Thence we traveled long the railroad
Back to camp and grub and horses
Then with grub stuff full we filled up
Till our ribs near broke asunder
And our belts we had to loosen
Or we'd surely burst some buttons.

Then we counted up our berries
Twenty quarts it seemed to figure
Hitched our horses to the chariot
To our home we then skedaddled
And our sad tale now is ended
The sad tale of berry pickers.

 

 

 

      CORNNUBBINS LONG SLEEP
AND CHANGES THAT TOOK PLACE WHILE HE SLEPT

 

 

Sometime during the distant past of the beginning of the nineteenth century or there abouts, there lived in an old log house on the outskirts of somewhere, a family of four people. Mr. Tater Cornnubbin, Mrs. Cornnubbin & two Children, Peter Cornnubbin the Son & Sally Cornnubbin the daughter.

Mr. Tater Cornnubbin was 23 years old about 5 O clock the day our story opens. That night he went to bed as usual about 9:50 or 60 or 70 along there somewhere, little thinking what changes would take place before he again took his place in the whirligig of life. His usual time of rising was either before or after five O clock in the morning & before breakfast the next morning Mrs. Cornnubbin - as any good wife should - got up & built the fire as usual & commenced to prepare their frugal meal. I think it was meal but I'll not be positive whether they had meal or pancakes for breakfast, but I think the records say meal frugal meal.

Mrs. Cornnubbin had gotten everything fried, Coffee & all, expecting Tater to appear every minute but no Tater appeared. thinking possibly there might be something wrong, she thought it was wise to go & see. but when she came up to his bed, she found him Snoozing as nicely as any old Snoozer could Snooze & the snore he was snoring was a broad wide snore that fairly made the windows rattle. She thought she would wake wake him so She hollared Tater in his ear but if she had hollard two Taters it would have been all the same. he still snoozed. So she hollared Tater & shook him at the same time & kept on yelling Tater & kept on shaking but Still there was no Sign of any Tater coming for breakfast. She called in Peter & Sally & they all yelled & they all Shook but it made no difference. this particular Tater never opened an eye. The forenoon passed & still the old Snoozer Snoozed. night came & another day. but it was the same old Story. Peter thought it time to call a Doctor & so he drove himself to the nearest town & got Dr. Bradford to call & see if he could wake up "Dad" Doc came & gave him this & that and the other & still he snoozed on & then he mixed them all together & gave him a dose but Still the old Snoozer Snoozed. & then he reached & he searched but still there was nothing doing but Snore-Snore - nothing but Snore. Other Doctors were called but the same result. & to make a long story short, as the saying goes, this Snoozing & Snoring continued & kept on continuing for the space of 75 years more or less as the case may be. When one morning as Mrs. Cornnubbin was preparing breakfast as usual, Old Tater Cornnubbin came walking out of his room as best as any Cornnubbin of his age could be expected to be(.) his beard was long & gray his old face was somewhat wrinkled but his eyes were as bright as any Taters could be at that age.

Mrs. Cornnubbin happened to be working with her back to the door when Tater emerged from his long sleep. Thinking of course he had only been sleeping over night, he says says he Sarah Jane is breakfast about ready. Sarah Jane wheeled & then her head wheeled & Swam both at the same time & she gave a yell that was heard for a mile & threw herself into the arms of old Tater. Sarah! Sarah! cried old Tater. have ye clean gone crazy or what on earth ails ye. Ye look to be 100 years old. By Jinks ye do. Oh! Tater cried Sarah I am so glad ye woke up. Why Sarah I wake up every morning dont I?

No you dont Tater you have been sleeping 75 years.

Now Sarah you know taint so, you go in lay down & rest awhile & you will probly be all right. You seem to be terrible mixed up this morning. Now Tater says Sarah I will show you that you have been sleeping a long time & she got the looking glass from off the wall & told Tater to look. Now Sarah says Tater, what old Sardine is that the picture of. why that is you. Not by a darn sight. you cant pass that old Duffer off for me. well it is you Says Mrs. Cornnubbin. feel of you whiskers. he did so. Well by gosh. says he - I'll be hornswagled. Ill be ging Swizzled. be I living or be I dead. Surely there is something wrong with my upper Storry Sarah. be I Tater Connubbin or some other old cuss.

It was a long time before he was convinced he had been sleeping all this time, but gradually the evidence piled up until he had to give up that it was so.

By this time Mrs. Cornnubbin had become more calm & said now Tater dear we will call Peter & eat Breakfast and then you can go out to look at the farm and see what has been going on while you have been sleeping. Peter was called & prett soon an old man came walking in, but stopped short in the middle of the room & cried out in great surprise. why dad you woke up my goodness but I am glad.

What in creation do you mean cried old Cornnubbin calling me dad I am no dad of yours, not by a tarnation Sight and I dont want any more of your impudence.

Then Mrs. Cornnubbin had to explain that it was indeed Peter. PETER says old Tater I'll be gol darned if I can believe it. Say Sarah dont you believe I am getting a little daffy. or is my eyes failin. I'll be hanged if I can believe my own eyes. where is Sally. by the horned toads if she is an old woman then I'll give in for sure. Sally says Mrs. Connubbin. Why Sally was married fifty-years ago & is the mother of 14 children & lives in a little onery town down in Pennsylvania called Estella.

Well I'll "kerflunk" says Tater. I guess I be getting old enough to grow whiskers. At this moment a little box on the wall began to send out a noise something like an alarm clock. What goldarned kind of aparatis is that cried old Tater. is that some newfangled clock yer been a gittin. Naw" says Peter that is the Telephone. Telephone cried Tater what kind of a gigler (sic) is a telephone. Just then rat tat tat went the thing again. that is our ring says Peter & up he jumps took down some kind of "dinges" put it to his ear & hollared hello! into the box. then something like this old Tater heard. "Is that you Salley. How is things down at Estella. is that so. well. euh! euh! Why I guess so. Say dad is awake & all right. euh euh! you dont say. well well well! No. We'll be down tomorrow! Good bye.(") by this time old Tater was getting uneasy. I say Peter if you be Peter you go & lay down & rest yourself. ye have been working to hard & need rest. if you dont do something for yourself you are going to land in an insane asylum & that pretty blamed soon to by gosh. When a man gets to talking at a box like that he is pretty well gone or I'm no hayseed.

Why Dad I was talking to Sally.

To Sally you blamed "Igiot" what do you take me for. Maybe Sally is dead & you are one of them "mejimms" Ive hearn tell of that can talk to dead people.

No there is a wire that goes from this box to another where Sally lives. we talk over that.

Oh there be a whole through the wire be there. Oh no says Peter. it is electricity that does the business. Electricity who be he now I never saw him. Oh, it isnt a man it is something that goes along the wires and carries the sound. All right then you talk at the tarnation (one word) thing & I'll go out & watch it go over the wires & see if I cant catch the thing & see what it looks like.

Peter of course tried to explain & finnally asked Dad if he woulnent like to talk to Sally. Yes I would you bet I would.

Now Dad I will call Sally up & you can do the talking. Oh ye have to wind it up do ye! & ye talk while it runs down. Oh no Dad this makes it ring down at Sally's house & She will go to her Phone & Listen.

No Dad put this dinges up to your ear & hollar Hello! into this thing & see what happens. he did so. one second after he threw the thing from him & jumped back into the middle of the room looking as wild as a Digger Indian. What is the matter dad says Peter. Matter! Matter enough that blamed thing yelled at me & pretty nigh busted my ear.

It was a long time before he would try it again, but finally he was pursuaded to try it again, & with better results. his talking was something like this. Eh! Did you Say this was Sally. Well by gosh! Where be ye. Estella did ye say, now ye dont say so. & me here & ye there, I'll be dogoned. Eh! whats that, got 14 Kids. Well! how many old goats have ye. Oh! 14 Children. then ye got a Kid for each one of the Children. Eh! Now you dont Say. Well next time ye mean children dont say Kids. Good by.

He sat down & there are some of the things he said. Of all the queer Critters I ever see this is the queerest. I'll be horn-swagled if I ever see the like of it. Say Peter call up the man in the moon I would like to talk with him a bit. He was interrupted by Mrs. Cornnubbin calling for them to come to breakfast. They had just sat down to eat when there was a peculiar Buzzing noise out in the road in front of the House. Old Tater ran to the Door to see what it was. Casting his eyes down the road he saw something to make his hair Stand Straight on his head. Hay! Peter here quick (add a comma) he cried look there. There goes a house down the road "helter-skelter" & not a cussed thing hitched to it. dont that beat all. if this dont be the queerest thing yet.

Then Peter had to explain that there was a trolly line passing by the house & it was nothing more than a trolly car. How do they make the tarned things go Pete. Peter told him it was electricity made it go. Well Ide like to See that Critter you call "Lectricity" replied old Tater.

After Breakfast the old man went out for a walk. Of course the old gentleman was very much Surprised by the changes on the farm. where he left fields of Stumps & Stones Peter was now farming nice Smoothe fields. Stumps& Stones were all gone. the old Straw Shed was gone & fine large barn with cement floors took its place. instead of the old log house Peter had built a fine new residence that looked like a city-mansion to Old Tater Cornnubbin. as his eyes took in the Surroundings & each change he saw he would say, By Gosh! By Gosh! Peter it beats all. yes it does. By gosh! I guess I will hitch up the horses Says Peter & reap that field of Oats over there this morning. Old Tater not noticing his Speaking of the horses Says, what on earth are ye going to reap it for. bring me the old cradle & I will show you how to cut oats. Oh dad we dont have much use for the cradle any more we reap & bind it with a machine now drawn by horses.

Now ye're giving me taffy I know yer cant do it. Well! Said Pete you wait & See. So Peter hitched to the binder & brought it our into the field with old Tater following.. with a By Gosh! now & then. & it beats all so it does, by gosh! it does. If he can cut & bind oats with that Critter I'll "kerflunk" again so I will By Gosh. Peter Started in & the Sheaves began droping. the old man was excited he got upon the fence with his back to the wagon road with all his facalties centered on that machine. he was carried clear beayond himself with the wonderful thing.

Chu! Chu! Chu! he heard behind him. one glance bech & off the fence [he jumped and ran for] Peter just as fast as his old legs would carry him. & every jump yelling P-E-T-E.

When he got to Peter his breath was clear gone but he finally managed to say PETE the D-D-D-Devil just went D-D-Down the Road on Wheels. Pete laughed. Y-Y-Y-Ye nedent laugh I see him go by myself Ah! his eyes were awful & I smelt the brimstone to when he went by. I dont see what this world be coming to when the Old nick goeth about like a raging Lion on Wheels Seeking whom he may devour some fellers up.

Peter laughed & told him it was only Squire Bird with his Automobile going down to a Grange Picnic at Estella & that he had Gogles over his eyes to keep the dust from hurting them. Poor Old Tater this was to much for him to believe. by Gosh! that beats thunder So it does, So it does.

The old man Started back to the house in deep Study. but he hadn't gone far when he heard a buzzing over his head, & looking up saw a flying machine going over. Poor old Cornnubbin he then thought he was done for Sure, but as it passed out of Sight & no harm done he finally got to the house & told Hannah (*Sarah) what an awful bird he had seen. I do believe from its head to its tail it would reach across this house & then She told him he had seen a flying machine. Now Tater She Says to Sooth your nerves we will have some music & she wound up the Phonograph. It began to Sing "Home Sweet Home" Hannah (*Sarah) where in blazes is that feller that does the Singing cried Old Cornnubbin I cant see the cuss.

Oh! that is a talking machine Tater, all you have to do is wind it up & it will Sing or talk which ever you want it to do.

Well by the, the, the, Horned catfish you throw that tarned thing out doors. You are the only talking machine this family needs. the trouble with yer yer never run down.

And now we come to the Sad part of our Story. The Strain on old Tater Cornnubbins nerves had been So Strong all day, and his mind So bewildered that his present state of being was not Strong enough to Stand it, & before another day had come & gone he was a raving maniac & died in the insane Asylum a few months after. We are very Sorry to to bring our Story to So Sad a close but the facts must be recorded, & if the old Duffer hadnt gone crazzy, this sadness of the Story could have been left out.

Finis

Copyright © 2006 Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Prior written permission is required from Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors before this material can be printed or otherwise copied, displayed or distributed in any form. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at ~Sullivan County Genealogy Project (http://www.rootsweb.com/~pasulliv)

Back to the Settlers Page