More Wanderings

Well, Father and Mother wanted a home of their own. They had both worked for Arnold v and Rachel Haight. They had gotten along just fine and had saved their money. Now they were hearing of land that could be bought cheap up in Wallace township, County of Pearth.

Here they went and bought a little farm. I wish I could remember more clearly what Mother told me about the trip there.

They moved with horses and wagon. Had to stay in a terrible little town over night. 12There were only one thickness of boards partitions between their room and the room of a number of drunken men. These were not Irish Catholics but were Irish drangemen, which Mother though at that time quite as wicked and dangerous as Irish Catholics.

She said to me when telling about their home up there, “Why, Child, there was only. one white man in the whole country.” True, the Irish were white of skin, but those who were in Wallace township, Ontario, at that time were exceedingly unlearned, terribly wicked, and dangerous.

They went to the home of this one white man. He was an educated, refined man. They stayed in his home while Father and Uncle Sid built their small home.

Mother was so afraid that Father wet-II-31Frcgirhis f—Ta-t-i-cer to come and live with them. His mother had died. Most of the children had married and the home was given up. Grandfather Haight came for a time to live in Walter and Rebecca’s home.

She was afraid with such drunken lawless neighbors, to stay alone, even in the day time.

Here once was she visited by Aunt Agnes and Aunt Filev. They started early with a good horse and bumv and drove through in a day. They brought the bugKv full of things. Two feather beds, a great pair of pillows, some comforters, and home spun blankets. I remember well the log cabin quilt—pieced of home spun colors—purple, blue, green. and red. It was lined with home spun and filled with carded v‘rool. Mother must have taken good care of it for it lasted %veil into my day and after I was married and getting ready to keep house, she helped me fix a comforter with it. Used it as a filling, you know.

Well Sir, Father found that land was high at any price where one had to live in such fear and no social privileges whatever. David was born September 19, 1860—just three years, you see, after they were married. Grandfather Haight had gone away.

My Father had got a strong Irish girl who seemed fairly intelligent to care for the young mamma, only eighteen years old, you know, even though married three years. Things seemed going well and Father went to town. It turned a rainy chilly day. The girl did out a washing. Then thought to mop the house through. Her fire had gone out but she took her cold suds and mopped out the bed room and the rest of the house.

The “one white man” had a strange feeling he ought to go over and see how Mother was. He terribly hated to do so, hut went and exclaimed in horror when he saw the cold damp house. The girl laughed and said, “It will never hurt her a whippet.” He came in and found Mother in a chill. He built up hot fires, heated bricks, and made the girl put them by Mother. And Mother said to me, “Why, Child, he saved my life.” She was very sick anyway for a number of days.

Mother was not happy in such surroundings and in the fall of 1862 they moved out into civilization. David was two years old and had never seen an apple.

The’ had arrived at the home of a friend after dark. In the morning David went out with his papa for a walk, and seeing the apples he said, “Oh, Daddy, Daddy, see the taters on the tree.”

They lived in Yarmouth, Elgin county, Ontario. and here in 1863 William was born.

Now what about my father’s preaching the gospel—Well, he hadn’t a knock down, carry out, preach or be lost, call. He had an unusual gift to speak. No, oh no, not a gift of gab. He wasn’t gabby at all. He had a pleasant manner and a mellow pleasing voice. He felt a yearning for the souls of men, and he would fill an appointment when called upon to do so. His love for Christ was beautiful to behold. Yes he would preach the terror of the law and the awfulness of being lost. But he would rather picture Christ in the Garden—Christ on the cross.

He had long ago joined the Methodist Church. But he wanted a home. He was very domestic in his tastes.

Mother was very ambitious for a home. She still held to her John Calvin belief but she prayed and taught her children to pray, and the older ones who can remember her 13before Jesus took full control of her life and heart say she was always a most wonderful mother. So patient, loving and kind, yet exacting obedience.

Now they hadn’t got the home they longed for. God was calling them to service in His own way, but they didn’t understand.

They heard of opportunities for a home in Michigan and in about 1864 they went settling in Richmond, Macomb county. Mother told me how, for one whole summer, she did her cooking out doors by the side of a pine stump on a camp fire.

Oh yes, they lived in a house, hut they had to carry drinking water -a quarter of a mile and mother had to carry her bread to this neighbors to bake it.

They all had the ague. If you never had it, which of course you never did, you can’t imagine it. You will have a chill—oh not just chilly, but a shaking, terrible chill lasting a long time. You will feel like the coldest water was being dashed over your body. Then comes on the fever burning high fever accompanied by vomiting.

Well they all had it all summer. The real sick time came every other day. Mother would bake her bread on her off day. Water, cold water, they must have while the fever was on. k‘ell, I wasn’t in the land of the living in 1865 etc., but I have had ague and I know about that myself, and I have heard Mother tell of their experiences in 1865, ’66, and ’67 until I would go to her and hug her tight and pat her dear face and say, “Oh my poor dear ma.”

She told about Father getting so bad after while he could not leave his bed at all and she would get up very early her ague day and take pails. and go for water the quarter of mile away. She would get it home sometimes before her chill came on and get it stored in a cool place. Again her chill would come on before she could reach home, and it would seem she would shake all the water out of the pails. Would seem they might fairly perish for lack of cold water when the fever came on. It would seem some times she must lie down and die by the roadside.

There was a little girl in the home. A deserted child they had taken in through the kindness of their brave hearts. She would take a small pail and go get the cold water very often, when not shaking with ague herself or burning up with fever.

David and Willie were too small then to be of service. Well, the brave hearts lived through this trying season. Brother David says they were living on a little new place of their own when they suffered so with ague.

I never took any notes of the precious conversations I had with my dear mother and in telling the stories she told me in the quiet twilight hours we spent together after all the other children were away from home, and Father very likely in the living room visiting on the couch. It is more than likely I will make mistakes as to time and place. I am quite sure they had more than one seige of ague.