Richland Co., Ohio
History of the Johnston Family by Eli Johnston
Submitted by Anonymous
“Family history lock the fetters
Formed by tender chords of love,
Proves we children are but debtors
To the past – and Him above.”
-E. B. GRIMES
OHIO STATE JOURNAL PRINTING ESTABLISHMENT.
Pursuant to previous arrangement, the JOHNSTON family met at the house of Horace Tucker, in Kosciusko County, Indiana, on the 20th of March, 1882, to hold their first family reunion – an occasion fraught with a great deal of interest, on account of certain peculiarities not common to many families, it being the first time in sixty-seven years that the family, consisting of eleven children, had been together under the same roof at the same time. The eldest and youngest had never been nearer each other than three hundred miles. They represented five different States, as follows: One from Franklin County, Ohio; one from Ray County, Missouri; two from Lyon County, Kansas; one from Washington County, Iowa; one from Linn County, Iowa; and five live in Kosciusko County, Indiana.
At 10 o’clock A.M. the house was called to order by George Johnston, of Lyon County, Kansas, the gavel used on the occasion being the little teething hammer used by the father of this family for cutting the teeth on sickles seventy years ago.
On motion, John F. Johnston, of Indiana, was chosen Chairman, and George Johnston, of Kansas, Secretary, when the following programme was carried out:
1ST. Song by the choir, accompanied by the organ, “Savior, hear my prayer.”
2d. Prayer by John Brown, of Missouri.
3d. Song by David Johnston and family, “We’ve met again.”
We’ve met again around the hearth,
Where oft we used to come;
We’ve come from distant parts of earth
To this our sister’s home.
The gathered dust of toil and care
The world has o’er us flung,
Shall vanish in the clear blue air
We breathed when we were young.
The noisy clang of jarring throngs
Shall vex our cares no more,
Nor Break upon the peaceful songs
We’ve loved and sung of yore.
We’ll mingle in the old home games
With all our olden glee;
No child shall follow pleasure’s flames
More gay of heart than we.
4th. Address of welcome to the visiting members of the family by the President, J. F. Johnston, of Oak Ridge, Indiana, who spoke as follows:
BROTHERS AND SISTERS: We have met to-day for the first time since we left the parental roof in a family reunion and also to commemorate the day upon which Francis Johnston and Anne Snoddy were united in the holy bands of matrimony, which day is the fifty-ninth anniversary of their marriage. And as the result of that union there has sprung into existence a large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and although separated and living in five different States of this Union, we have been permitted, through the blessings of a kind providence, to meet and greet each other to-day, and recall to each other the scenes of our early childhood. In accordance with previous arrangements, we have been permitted to meet at this the home of brother and sister Tucker. I, in their behalf, extend a hearty welcome to this their home. We bid you welcome to all our homes – to our hospitality and to our associations, hoping that this meeting to-day will more closely cement that family relation which is the strongest tie that binds us on earth. Nothing can eradicate the happy incidents that transpired around our family circle. But, according to nature’s laws, a father, mother, sister, and brother have left us; and we, too, will soon be called to leave the shores of time. My prayer to God is, that as we have met as one family here to-day, we may each live so that we may be an unbroken family in that bright world above. Again I bid you all a hearty welcome.
He was glad to extend, in behalf of his friends in this county, a cordial welcome to his brothers and sisters from the different States, and hoped that the meeting would be a profitable one, both socially and spiritually, to each member of the family.
5th. Song, “Around the Hearth at Home,” by David Johnston and family:
Whatever be our earthly lot,
Wherever we may roam,
Still to our hearts the brightest spot
Is round the hearth at home;
The home where we received our birth,
The hearth by which we sat:
No other spot on all the earth
Will ever be like that.
Around the cheerful hearth at home,
Where we in childhood sat;
other spot where’er we roam
Will ever be like that.
When Winter, coming in its wrath,
Piled high the drifting snow,
Safe clustered round the cheerful hearth,
We watched the fire light glow.
No brighter seemed the ruddy flames
Than did our hearts the while
A loving mother breathed our names
With sweet, approving smile.
When wearied with the eager chase,
Through many a tangled path,
How sweet the dear accustomed place
To take around the hearth.
And still, when by our toil and care
We feel ourselves oppressed,
Our thoughts forever cluster there,
And there alone find rest.
6th. Response by James F. Snoddy, of Westerville, Ohio, our half brother, who referred to the time when they were little boys and girls around the family fireside; to the many changes that had taken place since that time; that he had seen many of the family grow from youth to manhood, and from manhood to old age; and referred to their long separation, and was thankful, in behalf of the visiting brethren, for the cordial reception given them, and hoped that this meeting would be beneficial in renewing ties of friendship that had existed for so many years.
7th. History of the family, by Eli Johnston, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, who spoke as follows:
DEAR FRIENDS: Two months ago I received a letter from our younger brother, bearing the intelligence that there was to be a reunion of this long-separated and widely scattered family, and that this family meeting was to take place here at this time. I was requested to prepare a history of the family, which, although imperfect in many respects, I submit for your present consideration.
The father of the family, Francis Johnston, was born in Westmoreland County, Penn., October 1st, 1794. He removed while young with his father to Butler County, Penn. Here he labored on a farm until a young man, when he was apprenticed to Thomas Parks to learn the sickle-making business. In 1816 he married Jane Parks, and in 1817 removed to Stark County, Ohio. The fruits of this marriage was one child, named William. His wife lived but a few years in the enjoyment of her happy home, and while on a brief visit to her friends in Pennsylvania, in 1821, suddenly took sick and died, in the prime of life, leaving a husband and a little motherless boy, two years old, to mourn her loss and fight the battles of life alone.
Anne Johnston, the mother of this family, whose maiden name was Anne Fleming, was born in Franklin County, Penn., June 9th, 1798, and was united in marriage to John Snoddy, June 16, 1814. They removed shortly afterward to Manchester, Stark County, Ohio. The fruits of this marriage were three children, who names were, respectively, Matilda Jane, Benjamin, and James. In 1821 her husband died, leaving her a widow – a stranger in a strange land, away from friends and relatives with three little fatherless children to provide for. Yet in all this sad bereavement she trusted in him who has promised to relieve the fatherless and the widow, and who heareth even the young ravens when they cry. In 1823 she became united in marriage to Francis Johnston, and in 1824 removed to Richland County, Ohio. They had nine children, whose names were Mary Ann, Eli, Eliza, Robert, John, David, Sarah Jane, George, and Harriet. With the addition of the four already mentioned, and in a new country, with such a family, and but little means, it took no little effort to “keep the wolf from the door.” When settled in this county they leased a property on a small stream belonging to the Andrews brothers. There he built a dam across the stream and erected a mill for grinding sickles; which occupation of sickle-maker he continued for many years, working in the shop in day time, and pegging away at the shoe-bench, in the fall of the year, till near the middle of the night, trying to cover the score of little feet that had already become pinched with the frost, and answering the daily inquiry of some anxious little fellow whose question was, “Papa, when are you going to make my shoes?”
There was connected with this lease some ground for agricultural purposes, which ground was mostly cultivated by the boys, under the direction of the father, whose visits from the shop, two or three times a day, added very much towards inculcating habits of industry among the boys. Yet, notwithstanding all this, there was a great deal of boy farming done. Our boys were human, very human. The mill-pond was hard by, and we, regarding cleanliness next to Godliness, would, during the hot summer months, perform our ablutions at stated intervals during the day with as much promptness as the physician deals out medicine to his patient, interrupted only by an occasional unlooked-for visit from headquarters at the shop. But the soil was new, and only needed tickling to bring a crop, and the less tickling it got the more it tickled the boys. Yet, with economy and returns from both farm and shop, our natural wants were fully supplied, leaving the artificial wants very much the same as the Irishman’s who declared he did not know what brought him to America. It certainly was not for want, for he had plenty of that in Ireland.
To raise a family in such a country, at such a time, when almost every article of clothing had to be manufactured by hand – when the wool was taken from the back of the sheep, manufactured almost entirely at home, made into garments, and put on the backs of the boys – required no little exertion on the part of the parents. Yet this was true with this family. This duty devolved largely on the mother, whose feet seemed never to tire, and whose patience seldom became exhausted. Nor was this all. Three meals a day seemed necessary to supply the inner boy. Eighteen loaves a week, baked in the out-oven on cabbage leaves, were a part of the rations necessary for the supply of this family for a single week; and, without speaking disparagingly of our good housewives of to-day, I have longed for the good old days of out-ovens and cabbage leaves, and the kind of bread baked by my mother.
After a few years residence on this lease, father bought an adjoining farm, moved on it and continued his former occupation until the age of progress demanded something better than the old-fashioned sickle for reaping purposes. He then transformed his sickle shop into a blacksmithing establishment, made that a business for a few years, but finally, health giving away and old age coming on, and after having furnished the sickle to reap the natural harvest for so many years, he fell also beneath the sure and all gathering sickle of the great reaper, December 7, 1851, at the age of 57 years, 2 months, and 7 days; and his remains were deposited in their hallowed resting place in the quiet and secluded grounds of the old Worthington Cemetery.
In religion he had strong convictions of the right, was a member and elder in the Associate Reformed Church for many years, always endeavoring to train his children up in the virtue and admonition of the Lord. Calvinistic in his views, he seemed at times unwilling to grant the same liberality to those who differed with him. Yet, uncompromising as he was, it is doubtful whether any of us have lived up to the teachings we received from that old patriarch on the quiet Sabbath evenings around the family fireside. We certainly have very much in this direction to be thankful for, that our lines have fallen in pleasant places, and that we had training from pious parents, who taught us that there is a God of justice and mercy, to whom we must give an account at the last day.
Mother survived him about fifteen months, having become a confirmed invalid, and, like a “shock of corn fully ripe,” her exhausted powers sank into the repose of death in the full hope of the resurrection, and her body was deposited by the side of her husband in the old family burying ground, March 18, 1853. Thus passed away the greatest earthly friend of this family. The mother; she who gave us birth, who fondled and caressed us; she who knelt beside our little bed and taught us the words “Our Father who art in Heaven;” the only one so ready to assuage our grief, mitigate our sorrows, and alleviate our sufferings; the only one so ready to sacrifice her time, talent, physical abilities, and even life for the twelve children she brought into existence. We thank God to-day for the influence of that pious sainted mother. It takes courage to be always true; it takes faith to justify courage, but courage and faith enabled this devoted woman to make choice of duty at all hazards and under all circumstances. But these parents are gone to that “bourne from whence no traveler returns.”
“And will they ever meet us, cheer and greet us,
Those we’ve loved who’ve gone before?
Yes, they’ll meet us, cheer and greet us,
Those we’ve loved who’ve gone before.
We shall find them at the portals,
Find our beautified immortals,
When we reach that radient shore.”
To attempt to describe individually the different traits of character of the rest of the family would require more time and space than could be given in this article. Suffice it to say that while family ties are fully as strong in this family as any other group of kindred to be found, yet, perhaps there are but few families whose members differ so widely on important subjects, each one claiming a right to think for himself. Of the thirteen children, two have long since been called by the grim messenger of death to try the realities of another world. Robert died March 5, 1842, of concussion of the brain, caused by a fall on the back of the head, produced by a friendly schoolmate while enjoying the school-boy sport at recess time; aged 12 years. Sarah Jane died June 1, 1857, of consumption, aged 20 years, 8 months, and 28 days. Of this good sister I wish to speak a word of commendation. The love of a mother, which is said to surpass all other love, I think was reciprocated and returned with a full measure of gratitude by this devoted sister. In the exercise of care over her mother during her last sickness she certainly manifested a self-sacrificing spirit and did her duty to that frail suffering mother, and yet was quiet, patient, vigilant and uncomplaining. Her physical constitution was at times taxed to the utmost, and no doubt but at that time the seeds of disease were sown that ripened so rapidly and brought her to a premature grave. But she is gone. The spirit of that good sister has taken its flight to a better world, and her body lies in the cemetery about five miles west of this place, waiting for the resurrection morn, when she will be called with the dead in Christ to rise first, and be assigned a position at his right hand, there to be with him through all eternity.
Of the remaining eleven all are yet living, and all are here to-day. The oldest, Matilda Brown, is in her sixty-seventh year; the youngest, Harriet Paschal, her forty-first year. The average age of the eleven is nearly fifty-five years. Religiously they represent the different denominations of Christians as follows: One Methodist Episcopal, one United Presbyterian, four Missionary Baptist, one German Baptist, two Presbyterian, and one United Brethren. Their former occupations, including the husbands of the sisters, were as follows: Two blacksmiths, two carpenters, two grocers, one school teacher, one United States postal clerk, one painter, and two are successful farmers and stock raisers, although all have been tillers of the soil at time. Their present places of residence are as follows: Matilda Brown lives in Ray County, Missouri; Benj. Snoddy and Geo. Johnston in Lyon County, Kansas; William Johnston in Washington County, Iowa; James F. Snoddy, Franklin County, Ohio; Eli Johnston, Linn County, Iowa; Mary A. Jefferies, Eliza Tucker, John Johnston, Daniel Johnston, and Harriet Paschal in Kosciusko County, Indiana. All, I believe, have taken their turn in the necessary district and township offices, and one has represented his county in the State Legislature. No one has ever been President. I don’t know that any has ever cut down a cherry tree with his little hatchet. One did cut down a haw bush once, expecting to have his father shed tears over it, but the best of my recollection now is that he didn’t shed. The shedding came very nearly being all on the part of the other fellow.
The oldest member of this family, Matilda Brown, has had twelve children, Benjamin six, William twelve, James two, Mary Ann two, Eli four, Eliza three, John none, David four, George two, Harriet none, making in all forty-seven. Thirty-one are now living and sixteen have died, of which Matilda lost three, Benjamin one, and William twelve.
This is the first family meeting that has ever taken place with this family. We will have another meeting, but it will be over on the other side. It took some preparation for this meeting; it will require individual preparation for the next. This meeting took place by appointment of one of our own number; the next meeting will be by a summons from Him who shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, whom we shall see sitting on His Great White Throne, at whose feet every knee shall bow and every tongue confess; where there will be a world of human beings before that single throne, summoned by a single trumpet, and judged by a single voice. We are not all at this meeting, but we will all be at that one. We will all take part at that meeting; for every idle word that men shall speak they shall give an account in the day of judgment. But when that meeting will take place no man can tell, for we know not the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.
“I know not the hour when my Lord may come
To take me away to his own dear home;
But I know that his presence will lighten the gloom,
And that will be glory for me.
“I know not the song that the angels sing,
I know not the sound of the harp’s glad ring;
But I know there’ll be mention of Jesus my King,
And that will be glory for me.
“I know not the form of my mansion fair,
I know not the name I then shall bear;
But I know that my Savior will welcome me there,
And that will be heaven for me.”
March 10, 1882
MR. GEORGE JOHNSTON – Dear Sir: Yours of March 2d received and contents noted, and in reply will say that I am thankful for the invitation you have given me to attend the reunion of your father’s family, which I would like very much to attend; but, owing to the condition of my health, I am forced to decline accepting the invitation. I have not been from home over night for about one year, neither have I done any work during the last year. Don’t know that I shall ever do any more work. It looks that way at present.
Although denied the privilege of being with you in the body, I hope to be with you in the spirit, hoping that you all may arrive at your place of rendezvous in safety (or safely), and that you all may enjoy yourselves together once more, with all the enjoyment that earth can afford, as it, probably, will be the last time that you will all meet together this side of the Jordon of Death. I hope that you all may live so that you will be prepared to meet together beyond the river in that heavenly place where parting will be nor more. There I hope that I and mine may meet you all, and dwell with you all in an eternity of bliss and happiness, is the prayer of your friend,
Hoping that you may all return to your homes safely, I conclude by saying the rest of the family are in moderate health, hoping these may find you all well.
CHILLICOTHE, Mo., March 8, 1882.
GEORGE JOHNSTON – Dear Sir: I received yours of February 21st, 1882, and would have answered sooner but have been absent about two weeks in Ray County. I would be very much pleased to attend the reunion you refer to, but cannot, as I have business that requires my attention, and which I have promised to give my personal attention to. Give my regards to all, and come and see us.
Respectfully, P BROWN.
9th. Song, “Home, Sweet Home.”
10th. Our reunion, by George Johnston, of Emporia, Kansas, who spoke as follows:
MR. CHAIRMAN, SISTERS, AND BROTHERS: Reunions have become very common of late years, perhaps more so since the close of the late war. It is, indeed, very pleasant for friends, long and widely separated in this large country of ours, to meet occasionally and revive the memory of former years. In this land of such large dimensions we can easily get a long distance from each other. As year succeeds year, the facilities for traversing this broad domain of ours by the completion of new lines of railroad are made easier. Perhaps, too, that in selecting our homes the ties of kindred and family love are too easily broken. Certainly few things of an earthly kind can contribute more to our happiness than to meet all of the surviving members of our family at one time and in one place. We are formed for friendship, and naturally love our kindred. These feelings are implanted by the Author of our nature for wise and holy purposes. Our Savior wept at the grave of Lazarus, His friend, and mingled his sympathetic tears with those of the sorrowing sisters. The spirit of emigration, however, is not without its good effect, tending to cement and bind together the different parts of our country.
Family reunions are, indeed, pleasant – to look on familiar faces, and to hear again the voice we so often heard with pleasure; to take again the hand in friendly greeting; to talk over events long since passed; to move again amidst almost forgotten scenes. It is no ordinary pleasure to mingle once more together the three different parts of our family, though great changes have taken place by the lapse of time. The young, as we knew them, have become old. Children have become men and women. Light-hearted and merry childhood has filled up life’s sorrows, cares, and heavy burdens. The flowers of Spring have given place to the sere and yellow leaves of Autumn. Raven locks have grown white with the frosts of age, and strong and vigorous frames seem bowing beneath its weight. But while some of the family have changed greatly, on others old Time has laid his hand more gently, and Winter seems reluctant to hide the Autumn with his snowy mantle.
The short life of father Francis Johnston was, indeed, a very useful one. The example set by him for the benefit of every one, and especially his family, was a good one – making good use of the time given him; and yet working under disadvantages through the later years of his life, by the affliction of that disease so common to the former members of the Johnston family, rheumatism. But through all the trials and troubles of his life he clung to Christianity as his hope and anchor. His mind was as a mirror, in which virtue and Christianity saw reflected her own image. No selfish feeling or ungenerous action ever sullied it. His heart, the seat of truth, beating to honor’s impulse, taught his children and those around him that of all things else truth and honesty are the best capital stock for the successful rearing of an honest family. He was ennobling in his friendship and love, which added to the moral instruction of his children. But the character of a child is not alone due to the instruction of its father. There are the kind love and advice of a mother, which oftentimes form the basis of character in men and women. The best men and women – whose who make the best citizens of society, those who make the family circle pleasant and happy, who live for their fellow-men and women – are those who honor that mother who nursed them in infancy, who suffered hardships for their benefit through childhood, and who never forgets her child, though he be rich or poor, president or private citizen.
Such was the character of our mother, Ann Johnston. And as we are assembled here to-day to enjoy our first family reunion, we cannot forget the fact that fifty-nine years ago to-day father and mother were married, this being the anniversary of their wedding day. What great changes have taken place in those fifty-nine years! Little did they think that, fifty-nine years after, their children and grandchildren would meet together and celebrate the anniversary of their wedding by a family reunion. Little did you think, twenty-five or thirty years ago, that the chairman of a reunion of our family would use as his gavel to call the house to order this little hammer, which father, sixty years ago, used so much as to wear this hollow place in the handle with his thumb. Little did you and I think, thirty years ago, that a day would come when we should all meet together and hear the different members of the family play their favorite pieces on this grand old violin, that has been in the family sixty-five years, and upon which nearly every member of the family learned to play.
My expectations are more than realized, and the efforts that I have made to get the family all together have been successful beyond my greatest expectations.
We can never expect to meet together again as we have to-day; and as I close these remarks allow me to say that my mind is carried forward to that other reunion better than this, where friends in Jesus meet to part no more, where sorrow’s last pang shall have been felt and her last tear shed. Now we meet and part. Soon we go to our respective homes in the East and West, to engage again in the battles of life. May we stand in our appointed place, and live and labor for Him to whom we owe our life’s sweetest joys and all its precious sustaining hopes.
11th. Song “I long to Be There.”
12th. Address, by John Tinkey, of Sevastopol, Indiana, who spoke as follows:
MR. PRESIDENT, BROTHERS AND SISTERS: This is a day memorable in the annals of your lives. Away back in history, at a certain time and place, there was a vine and fig tree planted which grew and prospered and stood for years, and its branches spread and bore fruit; and this fruit, like many of the seeds of the field, had a feathery edge, as it were, and was borne by the winds to far distant parts of our land, where they came down, took root and bore fruit as did the parent stock. And, with great exertions you have come here to-day to celebrate the planting of this vine and fig tree. Although the parent stock, with many of its branches, stand not in our midst at present, but has been laid low by the ax that is laid at the root of every tree, and to-day lie moldering in their mother dust. This is why so many of you are here this 20th day of March, 1882, to celebrate the anniversary of the planting of this parent stock. You call this a re-union. The definition of that word gives me to understand that you must have been together at some time and place prior to this in your father’s house, where you talked, sang and made merry together, and no doubt troubles were there and you sorrowed together, and whilst enjoying the many meals you ate together, did you realize the joy there was in surrounding your father’s table? You can now say, in the language of the poet,
“How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollections present them to view.”
In this family were articles of comfort, and little did you prize them at that time; but to-day you have come from distant lands, through difficulties, spending time and money, bring these old relics with you, which you prize so highly. The friends here have given lavishly of the good things in the preparation of this sumptuous dinner, of which you are now about to partake, that your reception might be pleasant, and you will no doubt partake of this meal in memory of those you have eaten at your father’s table, but with a greater degree of solemnity than when you were children. A few hours after partaking of this feast you will separate with the thought in your minds – will we ever meet again as we have met to-day? Methinks not. But we have a dear relic there, that book, that old family bible, that tells that over the river there is a grand supper prepared, around which you may gather, and a mighty fig tree planted, under which you may meet never to part again. God grant that this may be so, and that we may all be partakers of that supper.
13th. Song, “Shall we Meet on the Ever Green Plain?”
1. Shall we meet beyond the river,
In that clime where angels dwell?
Shall we meet where friendship never
Saddest tales of sorrow tell?
2. Shall we meet our loved companions
On that brighter, fairer shore?
When this life’s great work is ended,
Shall we meet to part no more?
3. Yes, we’ll meet beyond the river,
Yes, we’ll meet upon the shore,
Yes, we’ll meet our lost companions,
Yes, we’ll meet to part no more.
Adjourned for dinner.
14th. After dinner, called to order by the Chairman. The family relics were placed on exhibition, and their history given by Eli Johnston. Among the articles were teething hammer, powder horn and shot pouch, tobacco box, snuff box, old family bible, mother’s bible, Boston’s Fourfold State Marrow of Modern Divinity, father’s spectacles, sundial, two penknives, dictionary, old fiddle, some needlework done by mother when young, and various other articles, all of which have been in the family from fifty to seventy years; after which remarks were made by James Andrews, who said that although he was no relative, he was raised in the neighborhood with the family – was familiar with every one of them, so much so that he regarded himself as one of the family – was glad to be with them to-day, and hoped the same kind feeling that had always existed might continue throughout life. Remarks also by Wm. Jefferies, Mary A.’s husband, who said that he had become acquainted with the family in 1838, had formed many pleasant associations of friendship, and that this friendship had ripened into affection for one of the family, which resulted in the nuptial rites that bind two willing hearts. Benjamin Snoddy also presented some thoughts expressing delight in having met as a family, and hoped that nothing would interfere to mar the pleasure of the meeting.
At one o’clock P. M. the Sevastopol cornet band made their appearance, in response to an invitation which had been extended them, and rendered some excellent music, and, for the short time since their organization, they are hard to excel.
After which the following resolutions were offered and adopted:
Resolutions one and two, by Geo. Johnston.
Resolutions three and four, by John F. Johnston.
WHEREAS, In the providence of God, this family, after a separation of half a century, have been permitted to meet in the capacity of a family re-union; and,
WHEREAS, Every preparation for its success had been made by our good brothers and sisters of Kosciusko county; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the thanks of the visiting friends of the family are hereby tendered to our nephew, George Jefferies, and those who assisted him, for the cordial reception and splendid dinner given us on our arrival at Warsaw, and to the parties who provided us with transportation to the place appointed for the re-union.
Resolved, Also, that we hereby tender our thanks to brother and sister Tucker in opening their house for this occasion, and to all the brothers and sisters of this county, for their kind and cordial reception tendered us to day in providing this their grand dinner especially for our accommodation.
Resolved, That we return a vote of thanks to Miss Emma White, the organist, and to the Sevastopol cornet band, for the delightful music rendered on this occasion.
Resolved, That we tender a vote of thanks to George Johnston for his efforts in getting up this re-union.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented to the editor of the Warsaw Republican for publication.
The visiting brethren remained a week, enjoying the hospitality of their friends, meeting together in day time in social conversation, and having a good time generally. One incident is worthy of special notice. At Brother John Tinkey’s, who married the only daughter of Horace Tucker, a family scene was re-enacted which brought back the memory of the past. It was called, forty years ago, a sugaring off. Maple sirup enough was put in a large kettle to make twenty pounds of sugar. When taffy time came each member of the family was provided with a cup of water, spoon or wooden ladle, some empty egg shells, and other articles necessary for carrying off what we could not eat, and in less than one hour the twenty pounds of sugar had “gone where the woodbine twineth,” each one developing his boyish nature of forty years ago to its fullest extent, especially brother James Snoddy, who acted our “Boy in the Sugar Camp” to perfection, judging from the large sized lumps of taffy that so frequently came out of his dish. After enjoying this feast thanks were extended to the donors, and the family separated, to meet next morning for their last meeting, at the house of Wm. Jefferies.
Sunday, March 26th, the visiting brethren remaining until the next week, by invitation met at the home of Wm. Jefferies, of Franklin Township, and after spending the forenoon in social conversation were invited to a sumptuous repast prepared for the occasion, when another peculiar feature presented itself. The entire Johnston family were seated around a bountifully spread table, for the first time in the history of the family that all were seated around a table at the same time. After dinner, upon calling the house to order by the chairman, a few minutes were spent in an old-fashioned class-meeting thus closing the first and probably the last family reunion on earth, with that family cord of affection strengthened and bringing us closer together. And may God bless each member of the family is my prayer.
J. F. JOHNSTON, Chairman.
GEORGE JOHNSTON, Secretary
The following is a piece of poetry composed by father on the attendance of a singing school by his children, on a rainy night, over forty years ago:
1. It was on a dark and rainy night,
The roads were full of mud,
A set of youngsters did set out
To circulate their blood.
2. Away they went, through thick and thin,
Being in a merry mood,
And he that couldn't pick his steps
Got along the best he could.
3. Through gates and bars they steered along
With hearts full of content,
And ne’er thought the time was long,
And to the school house went.
4. But when they all arrived there
All their mirth was blasted –
Expecting to have a singing school,
But its fun, how long it lasted!
5. They sat them down to rest a while,
To ease them of their pain,
And talked and laughed a little spell,
And then set out again.
6. They paddled all along the road
With all their might and main,
Being very muddy under foot,
And on their heads the rain.
7. But now I’ll leave it to theselves
To think they were fools
For chasing out such pleasant nights
For attending singing schools.
by a looker-on.
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