THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH
ACROSS THE FENCE
--Arvord M. Abernethy--
After September, 1982
[James Franklin "Jim" Holmes
was the father of Marion Franklin "Frank" Holmes.]
the recent passing of Frank Holmes, passed one more chapter of an American
institution. “The Village Blacksmith”, a very useful character made
famous in the poem by Longfellow. [Marion Franklin
"Frank" Holmes died May 18, 1980.]
accompanying picture was recently found among the things of Mrs.
Lilljedahl, the mother of Vivian Drake and Olivia Postelle and the late
David Hedgpeth. Mrs. Lilljedahl will be remembered by many of us as Mrs.
Rufe Hedgpeth and she is the daughter of Dillard West, shown in the center
of the picture. The man on the right is Jim Holmes, the father of Frank
Holmes. The other person is unknown. [D. Rufe
Hedgepeth married Sitha O. West on 18 June, 1907--Hamilton County Marriage
Record Bk. 4, p. 447, Rufe Huedepeth died in 1938 and Sitha married John
Lilljedahl. Sitha (West) (Hedgepeth) Lilljedahl died September 26,
that the sign states that horse shoeing is their specialty, and that the
two men have their horse shoeing boxes in front of them. When I was a kid,
the blacksmiths would stack the old shoes they took off of horses in a
neat pile just outside the front door, advertising their business like the
striped pole does for a barber.
shop is thought to have been located in the 100 or 200 block of
. Do any of you know for certain? The picture was probably made about
West was probably born in
and came to
in 1874. His father, William Madison West, was a farmer, but he did a lot
of doctoring in the community which now bears his name,
. Dr. West gave the land for the
, and a historical marker has been placed on the family plot.
Holmes family came from
in 1908. They came by train to Hico and then on over to
by stage. Many of you can remember when Saturday night was a busy place in
. If you happen to be one of those people, you would always see Mr. and
Mrs. Jim Holmes visiting around the square some and then heading for the
picture show. That was their weekly indulgence.
remember as a kid going to blacksmith shops just to watch the men doing
their different jobs. It was hard for me to understand at first how the
smithy by turning the blower that blew cold air could make iron get white
a dry spell like we are having now, people would bring their wagon or
buggy wheels to have the iron rims on them shrunk so they wouldn’t fall
off. This was done in a big vise concern. Dad would have us drive the
wagon or buggy down through the creek so the wooden wheels would swell and
that would keep the rims on.
the passing from the scene all over
of “The Village Blacksmith” where is a boy going to go to learn what
people mean when they say, “hit the iron while it is hot?” Where will
he learn that he cannot make it alone, just as the sparks quickly went out
when they flew off alone from the smithy’s work? Who can he look to with
“large and sinewy hands” to learn that work is honorable and to sweat
is not a disgrace? And that the chimes of the anvil during the week are a
reminder of the chimes of the church on Sunday?
is the hottest day I’ve seen in my life”. How many times have you
heard someone say that lately? They were not in
August 12, 1936
, when it officially registered 120 degrees, the highest ever in
. The highest ever recorded in the United States was at Death Valley,
California, on July 10, 1913, when the thermometer hit 134.6 degrees.
probably heard the weathermen say that June was the hottest it had ever
been since 1898. If this can be of any consolation to you, the coldest
has recorded was the one just following, 1898-99. Better try to can some
of this up.
Shared by Roy
ACROSS THE FENCE