211 Tenth Street, N. E.,
Washington, D. C.,
March 24, 1924
Dear Cousins and Sisters:
In our good book of letters there are so many very interesting ones
which we have read and reread, that it seems hardly worth while for me
to make the attempt. However, I must do my duty as far as I can.
Perhaps just a short sketch of my first experience with the Campbell
family, may bring to the memory of some of the older Cousins other
events of interest.
In the year 1869 circumstances were such that I went for a time to live with my sister, Mrs. Susan Deland, to assist her with millinery and dress-making. Her home was at Nelson, Pa., which was at that time a thriving little town.
In a business way, I soon became acquainted with the people there, and in the surrounding country, They often came to the Island (as many of them still called it)1 to exchange their products for the supplies they needed. I frequently heard the name Campbell mentioned. I said, "How many Campbells are there here?" I was told that they comprised many of the substantial families of Nelson and vicinity, little thinking at that time I would ever become so closely interwoven with the good people bearing that name. However, fortune seemed to favor me, and in a little less than three years, John and I were married at my Nelson home, by Rev. S. A. Rawson, whom many of you will remember.
We began housekeeping in Nelson, when Mary was ten weeks old. For a time we were near neighbors to Mark and Sue Seely, also Ed and Emma Congdon. We were surely a very congenial lot. Lena Seely, Georgia Congdon and Mary were nearly an age so there was always something for entertainment. Sad indeed were the days when we had to be separated. Jennie Selph Cady and Elva Mourie Seely with the three I have mentioned were born the same year, 1873.
I remember seeing Grandmother Campbell often. One time in particular, I saw her at Aunt Sallie Congdon's where she had spent the day. She left her glasses, but soon returned for them, walking all the way back to her home on the old farm where she had lived so many years. At the time of her death, my sister went to assist in all that could be done as was the custom in those days. The picture of Grandmother, which you all have in your Correspondence Album, is a very good one as I remember her.
With the exception of Father Bosard and Uncle Thomas, I have known all of that generation, their wives and husbands. I saw but little of Aunt Julia and her husband as their home was in the west [Michigan - wbt].
For several years we lived on the farm two miles from Nelson. Mother Bosard and Ann were with us, --Laura and Charlie having moved to the Buck Mowrie farm where they still reside. I then became better acquainted with the families. Mother never wearied of telling us of their experiences, the pleasures as well as the hardships of their early life, -- in fact all the way through. We frequently exchanged visits with the different families and those of you who remember, know the latch string2 always hung outside and we received a cordial welcome as we walked in.
We often visit Tioga County and are happy to meet so many of the Cousins in Nelson and the nearby towns, also the Uncle James Campbell and Hazlett Cousins3, who are very near to us all. As I sat in the little church on the hill4, I picture the scene as it was in the long ago. How different now, their seats are vacant or occupied by other earnest workers, all with the same aim. We pass on to the cemetery which plainly tells the final story.
I feel that Cousin Will has, and is still performing a wonderful task. A blessing which we all appreciate and one which will be appreciated by the generation to follow. I wonder if he remembers stopping at our house in Lawrenceville [PA - wbt] as he journeyed back and forth from his Osceola home5 to Mansfield where he attended school6. A strong determination to be a man among men has brought him where he is. I wish to express my pleasure in the confidence he has in my daughters by asking them to assist in this great work7 and trust with the aid of a proficient President and Vice-President his work will be diminished.
Copyright © 2001, 2012, 2013 Wm. B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.