Appendix VI Home Appendix V
This branch of my subject may be appropriately closed by the following sketch, which I copy from the Richmond “Jeffersonian,” of September 13, 1855.
Other engagements prevented our presence at the first annual meeting above named, which came off in this city on Friday last, so that we can only give such a general outline of its proceedings, as we have been able to obtain from persons who were in attendance.
The meeting, notwithstanding a rather imperfect notice, was respectable in numbers and character. David Hoover, the President, and Smith Hunt and John Peele, the Vice Presidents, were present. A committee to arrange business for the meeting was appointed, and reported; when, after a very appropriate prayer, by Elder Levi Purviance, some interesting portions of the proceedings of the first Board of Commissioners of Wayne county, dating as far back as 1817, were read; which were illustrated by relations of divers incidents of those early days, by Messrs. Rariden, Test, Newman and others.
John Beard, of Milton, was then called on for his “experience” as an old settler; which he proceeded to give in a very graphic and interesting manner. He gave an account of his removal to this region, the gratification he felt in exchanging the red soil, full of flint stones, of his native Carolina, for the black and fertile lands of Indiana, though then overshadowed by the mighty, unbroken forest. In the vigor or youth, however, he regarded not the Herculean labors and hardships which then rose before him, for, to use his own words, he “felt that he had a fortune in his own bones;” and he expressed the hearty wish – in which we emphatically join – that the young men of the present day might more generally realize the same inspiring feeling of self-dependence. He declared that, although, looking back from the present time, the lives of the pioneers might appear by no means enviable, yet they did not so seem to those who experienced them ; and that, for his part, he would fain return to a similar mode of life. Mr. Beard added, among many other interesting facts, that a little daughter of his own was the first white person who died in the present limits of Wayne county (in 1807); and that the first settlers had to go either to Lawrenceburg or Hamilton to mill.
Mr. Beard was followed in similar details of experience, verbal or written, by Smith Hunt, Henry and Frederick Hoover, John Peele, Jeremiah L. Meek, and others. All seemed at once pleasant to the narrators and interesting to the auditors. Perhaps both the oldest man and the oldest settler present was Hugh Cull – his venerable neighbor and contemporary, George Holman, was not in attendance.
The next meeting is appointed for the last Saturday in September, 1856, at Centreville. The idea of such meetings is highly laudable, and we trust that hereafter, due efforts will be made to enlist the interest and presence of as many of the early settlers as possible, so as the more effectually to further the objects proposed by these social reunions of the rapidly diminishing remnant of the men and women, to whom the present generation are so much indebted.
Appendix VI Home Appendix V