Oliver Woodruff Gogin - Wabash Pearl Friday Jan. 14, 191?: Oliver Woodruff Gogin is a name which is very closely identified with the early history of Crawford County and he is well known to all her old settlers. He was born near Cincinnati near where he now resides on Dec. the 3rd in the year 1820. He came to Crawford Co. April the 2nd 1841. He taught school at the Camp Spring School house which was down near or on the farm south of town now owned by George J. Dickinson and also at the school near Brashears Horse Mill. This was previous to 1845. Those schools were taught on what was known as the loud system -- By that system pupils did their studying out loud and the pupil that could study the loudest was considered the best scholar. When he was 82 years of age he wrote and caused to be published in book form The Country Jake which was a historical novel which dealt with the early pioneer-history of Crawford County. Writers all over the U.S. sent for copies of this book and spoke very-highly of it valuing and very highly for its accurate account of its pioneer life in this country. He joined I.O.O.F lodge in 1852 at Pipua Ohio and today holds his membership with the lodge at Mattoon IL. Although Mr. Gogin is now in his ninetieth year yet he is supple for one of his years and enjoys getting around to visit his old friends and different places of amusement. He makes an annual pilgrimage each year to his old home at Palestine to visit his son A D. Gogin and the Mrs. E. C. Haskett and while here gets around over the country to visit other relatives and his many friends. He also has a daughter, Mrs. Emma Price of Canada who spent last summer here with her sister and is well known to Crawford Co. People. We take pleasure in publishing an account of early Crawford Co. History from his pen entitled hunk of a Boy _both for its merit as a story, it historical value and especially because it deals with a subject which reaches down to the present day.

Hunk Of A Lad

As I sit by the fireside with a copy of The Wabash Pearl before me and reading the pleasant reminiscences brought out by the unique poem Down Below Old Palestine and a snow already six inches and still snowing, I am reminded of just such a day, some forty years ago, when as yet the old settlers style of hospitality was to be found in almost every family. A stranger or neighbor found the latch out and a welcome to the fireside. I had been on horseback all day and had made my forty miles, intending it to be fifty, but night found me some ten or more miles below old Palestine. Both horse and rider tired out, and the snow still falling. Suddenly the light from a blazing open fire place came to my vision, and halting I gave the usual Hello the house the answer Hello yourself, what want in came from the open door Light off and come in followed and as the full light of the fire showed who I was the man exclaimed Why Gogin what in the devil are you up to, out in such a storm on such a night. All this time there on a stool near the roaring fire set a chunk of a lad cracking nuts, apparently to fill the vacancy after partaking of a bounteous supper. Here George take this mans horse to the barn, bed him down well and feed accordin George went as the fathers word was law to the boy. The lady of the house, or what is a better name the Woman a motherly woman full of love and kindness then invited me to sit at the table, that well denoted the skill of the woman at that time in preparing an excellent repast. Being thawed out I sat by that fire place and listened to the stories of the early days of Crawford County until midnight, when taking off my boots, my feet were bare, which astonished mine host so that he exclaimed, Why Gogin where are your stockings? I told him I had not had any for years past. Good God mother hand down this man the best pair of socks on the line. Now the line or pole hung up in front of the fire was full of socks and mittens ready for use at all times, but as I had not worn anything but my boots, my feet had not felt the frost through all my long rides in the winter. After settling down in an old time feather bed and dreaming of comfort and hospitality, and again partaking of a fine venison steak, hot biscuit, butter and honey I drew on my boots, without stockings on my feet, whilst the good old mother stood by holding in her hands the best pair of socks on the pole, urging me to accept them for which I thanked her but could not take them as I had no use for them, and so as George had my horse ready for me I bade them all goodby and was off for home.