Nelson, PA, Aug 23, 1893
This meeting was called at the instigation of Mrs. Phoebe Hoyt and others of Nelson. To whom she gave a general invitation for all the descendants and immediate relatives of the families of Joseph and James Campbell to be present and bring refreshments. Dinner to be served at one o'clock, P.M. in the orchard of G H Baxter on a small piece of flat land near the bank of the Cowanesque River about thirty rods below the Nelson River Bridge.
Prayer was offered by the Rev. H. Armstrong. and dinner was served. There being no committee of arrangements, every one brought such refreshments as they chose. and had the menu been ordered by a Delmonico. He could not have prepared us a better dinner neither in variety or abundance.
Upon motion <after dinner> Mr. J.H. Campbell was chosen Chairman of the meeting. Which was called to order by him. He took the Chair and Stated that the object of which would be to call together in annual reunion, all the descendants of the families of Joseph and James Campbell now deceased. For friendly greetings. and to unite the feeling of family relationships and to perpetuate these gatherings. Keeping a record of same. also to have recorded in the book. under each ones own signature the names of all who attend these meetings from time to time. and pass the same down from generation to generation. as footprints for the guidance and information of those who follow us.
Upon Motion the following officers were elected
J.H. Campbell President
E.B. Campbell Vice "
T.C. Campbell Secretary
M.B. Seely Treasurer.
Com. of Arrangements - Executive
Com of Arrangements
Com on Program
Com on Refreshments
Mrs J H Campbell
Mrs O A Van Dusen
Mrs Laura Moury
Mrs Ida Eaton
Mrs. Helen Knapp
After the appointment of the several committees, an address was given by the Rev. Mr. Armstrong who dwelt for some time upon the redeeming qualities of the Scotch as a people our forefathers being of Scotch descent. He also referred to the active work of them in connection with the early history of the Presbyterian Church of Nelson.
His remarks were followed by some very fitting remarks by the Rev. Mr. Miller.
Mr. E.B. Campbell was then called upon for reminiscences. He gave a very interesting account of the Journeyings of our Forefathers from the time they left the old Country, following them to Belfast where they engaged in work at the Belfast Iron Works, then coming a little farther on making the next stop at Jersey Shore, then following the Williamson road to the Chemung River and finally cast anchor at a place known as Thorn Bottom1 at the junction where it joins the Cowanesque river. in a perfect wilderness filled with all sorts of howling beasts. Here the first tree was fell the first land was cleared, the first hill of corn was sown and the first wheat was raised by our forefathers. Then Came the long Journey on foot, through the dense wilderness, with the Bag of corn on his back. Miles away, to get it ground into meal for food for the family, cutting notches on trees as he went along, to mark the path he must follow on his return, that would bring him safely home, and later, when the river was frozen and these trips, fraught with danger would be made on the Ice. Not having friction matches in those days, much difficulty was experienced in building fires, often being obliged to go some distance to a neighbors in the morning before breakfast after a Fire Brand to start a fire to get the morning's meal with. The nearest store was at Lawrenceville. There was no money in circulation and produce was the principal thing used as a circulatory mechanism.
James Campbell at one time got into debt at this store in the Sum of $12 and was arrested and going to be imprisoned, which seems to have practiced in those days. But by going the length of the river he was able to raise the amount, by borrowing 50 cts here & $1 there. Thus saving his being imprisoned. This the Speaker said was the nearest he knew of any of the family ever being imprisoned.
The next Speaker was J.H. Campbell. He told us a story of much interest, about the voyage to this country of those who came here first. It seems that a storm came across the Vessel, in mid ocean which broke off the mast of the ship's, which fell killing the ships mate. Then speaking of the strict religious character of our ancestors, told how an Saturday P.M. they turn the Sap troughs bottom side up, for over Sunday, letting the sap fall upon the ground. Thus strictly adhering to Bible doctrine, and regarding the Sabbath as a day of rest. While the Sons of this generation were Christian Men, and observed the Sabbath, they thought it equally as much a sin to see the Sap run to waste on Sunday, as it was to catch it. So one Sunday night the slipped back and turned the troughs right-side up and caught the sap on Sunday that would otherwise have gone to waste, they boiled this down into sugar and traded the sugar for a log chain, this chain however was never used by the Father and his religious scruples were such that he would not eat a meal of victuals that was cooked over a fire that was made of the wood drawn by this chain. He then Spoke of some of the pranks of wild beasts so numerous in those days, one about a Bear that came and caught a Hog that weighed over 100 lbs and ran away with it. the peculiar of this story was that they hadn't seen the Hog since.
He then spoke of that branch of the family living near Pittsburgh & Allegheny City, of which but little is known by the present generation living in this vicinity.2
The next speaker was Robert Campbell who spoke about his childhood among the wolves. then came a barefoot story about garding [sic] the Sheep for protection from the wolves at night.
The next speaker was Mrs. Jane Tubbs about a sect called the mill wrights. that had set a day on which the world was going to burn up. This created a great tumult in her childish mind but her confidence was reassured when her father. in whom She had explicit faith. told her not to fear. that God would care for them.
E. B. Campbell and Jane Tubbs were appointed as a committee to prepare a Genealogy and reminiscences of our ancestors to be presented for reading at the next annual gathering.
Rev. Mr. Miller then desired to add a few remarks. in which he announced a Union Sunday School Picnic to be held on the same grounds we were occupying Two weeks from that date.
Then a vote of thanks was given to the clergy for their presence & remarks. and to Mrs. G.H. Baxter for kindness in permitting us to use the grounds for the Picnic. The secretary then reported 21 present bearing the name of Campbell - 9 males and 12 Female. There were 108 Relatives present and 4 visitors present. Total took dinner at the Picnic 112.
At the close of secretary's report, Prayer was offered by the Rev Mr Armstrong. This virtually ended the program for the day. Though the younger ones lingered for some time engaged in exchanging friendly greetings, playing Croquet and other various sports.
There was [sic] five sisters,
Daughters of Joseph Campbell present - whose ages run as follows
Jane Tubbs 59
Phoebe Hoyt 61
Elizabeth Hughey 63
Elenor [sic] Bosard 66
Mary Ann Seely 67
The agregate [sic] Ages of these five sisters is 315 years. I doubt very much if any family living can show a like record.
There were 12 children in the Joseph Campbell family, 33 Grand children, and 49 Great-grand children making a total of 94 in the three generations from the one Family.
There were 12 children also in the James Campbell family. 29 Grand Children and 18 Great-grand Children, making a Total of 59 in the three generations in this branch of the Campbell family, a grand Total to 153 members of the Two Families in three generations.
The above Statistics were handed me by Phoebe Hoyt to be recorded with the report of this meeting.
1. Thornbottom Creek flows north and joins the Cowanesque River just east of where the road to the "new" Nelson meets PA Rt. 49. You can see a sign identifying Thornbottom Creek when driving on PA 49 west of Cowanesque Lake.
3. Probably he meant James William Loop because "J. W. Loop" signed the attendance sheet and Dr. Alfred Mortimer Loop, the other possibility that comes to mind, did not.
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