Friday, October 31, 2008

Greeting the Saints on All Hallows Eve

Six days ago I was standing in a golden carpet of fallen leaves and looking at the resting places of my great-great-great-great-great Grandfather Church Tabor and his wife's mother, Jane Steel. A few hours after that I also visited a few miles away the final resting place of my Grandmother Elizabeth (Betsy) Steel Tabor. The first two rest in a large cemetery in South Hero, Vermont next to two of his grandchildren, Church Tabor Healy and Sally Drusilla Healy, children of his son-in-law and daughter Nathaniel and Jane Tabor Healy. Church Tabor had reportedly died in a house fire in January of 1835. The story is that he got out of the burning building, but then tried to save some things and died in the attempt. Not surprisingly, the ephitaph on his marker reads, "Be ye also ready for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." It is obvious why those particular words were selected. Church's mother-in-law rests next to him. She passed away on September 15, 1821. The words at the bottom of her stone are less legible, but appear to read, "Depart my friend wipe off your tears. Here I must lie til Christ appears."

We then drove to the top of North Hero Island and back over to the mainland to W Swanton on Hog Island. We had read in a history of South Hero that there was a private Tabor Cemetery there and that was where Elizabeth was buried. We found her there in the quiet place, buried next to her son, James Madison Tabor and his wife Mary. She had lived until July 10, 1845. On her stone the comforting words, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."

I am so blessed to have had so many men and women in my ancestry who have loved the Lord and who have lived their lives with faith in God and who have faced death with the same faith that they lived. When standing before the stone of Jane Steel, I thought of those who had followed who had faithfully shared their love of Jesus with the next generation.

On this All Hallow's Eve, I want to thank Jane Steel, Church and Betsy Tabor, Nathaniel and Jane Tabor Healy, Robert and Rosina Healy Richardson, David and Rosina Jane Richardson Stevens, Will and Ella Jane Stevens Atwater Sherwood, Herman and Susan Sherwood Weber, and my dear parents Bob and Bernadine Weber (she's still here) and all the other aunts, uncles and cousins of long ago for their faithfulness is showing to each succeeding generation the amazing love of God.
I look forward to seeing them all when the last trumpet sounds.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gems of Thought by Susan Sherwood

This is a little tiny booklet -- about 2 X 2 inches, tied together with string. Poem hand written on the little pages. Obviously my grandmother had heard many stories about all the relatives dear to her parents and grandparents and the thought of them surrounding her was not a scary, but a comforting thought. This was probably written around 1905, at least sometime during Susan's elementary years if her handwriting is any indication. I don't know for sure if she wrote this or if she copied it from elsewhere. I couldn't find it on the internet.
1905-0000 – est. date unknown poem by late elementary age Susan Sherwood

Title on front cover:

Gems of Thought

Inside front page:

To mama and papa
From Susie.

Sleep little child
Dream, O mine own!
Winds may be wild
Thou’rt not alone
Mother and sire
Watch o’er thy dream;
Soft burns the fire
Out of its gleam
Back come those eyes
Dead long ago
Back come the sighs,
Laughter and woe!
Round thy small bed
Gathers a host
Drawn from the dead
Each a dear ghost
All of thy race
Watch o’er thy sleep
Breathe on thy face
Benisons deep
Sleep little child,
Dream, O mine own
Winds may be wild
Thou’rt not alone.

Rumor Has It -- George Meets the Love of His Life

This letter was written from Dora to her sister and family, but really was meant for their parents Will and Ella Jane Sherwood and likely Aunt Nellie Thompson as well. Nellie lived in Glendale, but the Sherwoods and the Webers lived on Spring Brook Farm in Kendall, Wisconsin together.

1921-0827 – Dora Sherwood Lindsay to Susan Sherwood Weber

Castle Gate, Utah, Aug 27

Dear Sister. . .
I’m wondering tonight what frame of mind you are all in tonight. I presume you have heard from George and wonder if his letter to you is an un-explanatory as the one we received a day or two ago. He had written it the day after sending yours but we had had no mail for days owing to the widespread wash-outs. Truly we don’t now whether he has committed matrimony or is merely contemplating such a thing but I wrote to them both and asked them to come up and think if they do I may learn the facts. George wrote a beautiful letter which left no doubt that he is very happy and proud. We’ve talked that sort of thing many times and of course after having fallen in love in fifteen minutes and married on the price of the next meal only. Guy and I have always told George that he would meet his fate quite unexpectedly some day and there was no use in figuring it all out in dollars and cents and years. I only hope his experience will be just half as satisfactory as mine has been – he will never regret it if it is.
Guy just called from Price to say he would not be home tonight. He dashed in about 4:30 to say he was going to Sunnyside (40 mi.). The railroad was out and would not be repaired for days so the Sunnyside pay had been unloaded here and an auto load of guards were taking it to Sunnyside. It was a good many thousands in cash and they were taking no chances. I was very glad to hear from him and know they got over without accident or adventure. The country is full of idle, discontented and vicious men and in no place do they gather more than in the vicinity of these big industrial centers, manufacturing, mining, etc. I presume that nowhere could you go into a picture show and see a more varied group than at Helper. One night long ago Guy and I commented upon the fact that every race (color) and dozens of nationalities were presented in the house.
The kiddies are sleeping. It is so seldom that I can get a quiet moment free from all these unless it is a very late hour. After I’ve gotten the two elders to bed, Marjorie usually wakes for a little while, sometimes an hour or so. But then they are all very good babies and we are so happy with them. I do have to laugh at the funny little lock which sticks up on Marjorie’s crown just like her dad’s, and even the wrinkles and creases which match his. It does seem almost too bad she was not a boy since she is so like Guy but now we have known her we would not trade her for all the boys in the world. Besides being long she is a very active little person and at 6 weeks could not keep her feet pinned up. I’d made her dresses all short 20 in (only a few left over pieces being enough and those only to be worn once or twice for associations sake) so now she is out of pinners and in shorts all at once. Her little legs look so cute in hose and booties and she loves to lie and kick – and wiggle and grunt.
I’ve been trying to make some calls for two weeks and every afternoon it rains. The first trains from the east went thro here this morning, just a week out of Denver and tied up at Price unable to get either way. (See clippings). Oh, I failed to mention that near neighbors who have known Atha all her life say she is a very sweet girl.
Good night now, Lovingly

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In Honor of Barb - self-explanatory to her!

July 31, 1921

Dear Folks: - I know I’ll not finish but perhaps can make a beginning before Guy comes home or Marjorie wakes for a late lunch as she usually does about 11 PM. She is so good we scarcely know we have a baby in the house. Mrs. Thomas will help me wash and general clean up Tuesday otherwise I find the work no great drag. Am so strong again. I’ve had lots of company ever since baby came which has taken some time but has been a great joy to me too. I don’t see how any one has pep to go out this hot weather. Did I tell you that the club gave me chain and locket for baby. They have usually sent flowers etc., but we like the other better. Every one has been so lovely to me. Oh, you asked so many questions. Marjorie was born July 16th, length 24 inches, weight a little more than 7 lbs after subtracting clothes. She looks a lot more like her daddy than either of the others. Has quite a lot of dark hair, quite the usual number of features generally. A few more than average dimples and a heavenly disposition. Both her sisters think she is the most wonderful. Yesterday after I washed Frances for her nap, she climbed up by baby and went to sleep. Margaret will sit and hold her till the busy little muscles must ache but it’s her baby

Monday night – another few minutes before bed time. We had such a very lovely letter from you today. We do enjoy your letters. So sorry you had to wait for our letters. IT seems simply impossible to write when the children are awake. They always discover me and want to help till I give it up. You spoke of scarcity of fruit. Some kinds have not been plentiful here but I never do put up small fruits. “Did” a bushel of berries. The canning fever has not struck me. When Mrs. Davis mentioned apple jelly I hated the idea. Believe I’m getting soft. This summer I did not seem able to care whether or not we raised any garden if we got a few flowers. Guy has done everything outside. And inside I didn’t even want to bother to think what we should eat when I did not have to cook. Worst of it is, it’s pure laziness for I’m so well in every way. When doctor was here he spoke of my being in such good flesh and everyone nearly speaks of how well I look. Won’t it be awful if I get fat and lazy with the years. Horrors! I’ll lose a perfectly good husband if I act like that.

Friday, Aug 5th. Guy went to Provo to make proof on the 480 A [acres]. You see we did not have to live on it, just put 1.25 per A improvements on it. At present prices the fencing quickly ate up the required $600. Things surely have changed the past year. Why a year ago it was almost impossible to hire a man to do anything now there are hundreds of idle men everywhere. Things seem to be picking up in the camps tho – mines are running 5 days a week for the first time in months. I’ve seen George only once since baby came. She was only a few days old when he came up for some things. He was then working for a ranchman near Woodside and told us to forward mail there. We have done so – but he does not favor us with any remarks. He seems to think no one need worry if they don’t hear of his “taking off.”

Honestly, I’m happier about George this summer than I’ve been at any time since he came out here. While he never did anything to worry us, in common with so many of the young men of the day, both those who had been in the army and those who had been making a great deal in industries, he found it very hard to get his poise again. He realized it and talked of it and even when he had filed on the land he did not at first seem to have that nerve to take a long chance and win in spite of odds. But that trip to Pueblo helped him. He says he feels more like himself again, that in some way conditions there were quite as horrible as anything he saw in Europe. The counter shock of that – meeting different people and realizing more how much the mass of people are up against to begin to succeed – etc., has done worlds of good. We older people had gotten ours in the world of hard knocks and were seasoned to bear the unbalancing effects of the past 7 or 8 years. We can’t blame the younger ones if it hits them harder.

Well I must close. Nearly bed time – Love to “you all” from “us all.”

As ever, Dora

Don’t forget to give our love to the Glendale family.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A letter from Dora while in Vermont

I'm so excited about finding a new distant cousin that I'm running around in circles wondering what I should post next! As I have been very random recently, this is a good trend I believe.
In honor of finding (nearly) a descendent of Aunt Dora, I am posting a letter from Dora to her mother from 1904. To my new cousins perhaps surprise, Dora was engaged then to a cousin Albert Richardson at that time. Have never figured out what happened so that they didn't get married, but it all worked out years later when she met and married Guy Lindsey -- partly because of a hotel fire. But I'm getting ahead of myself :-)!

But back to Vermont (and to the fun of being able finally to share her letters with her great-grandchildren). All her earlier relatives were from Peacham, Topsham, Groton and other nearby Vermont towns. She had gone up there to teach school for awhile. . .here is one of her letters home:

Peacham, VT, Sept 27, 1904

Dear Mother,

I will write you a few lines to let you know that I survived my operation and am getting on nicely. I have just had six inches amputated from the length of my hair and did not take ether strange as it may seem.

Why don’t you write to me? Don’t you know that I have worried nearly crazy about you. Not a line from any one for three weeks. Or are you so sick you could not write? If you can’t write, have some of the rest write. Just a line, for you know how anxious I am over my dear mother. Did you think dear that I would not come to you if you needed me? No, indeed. Only that if you were not so sick that you really needed me that I had better stay here awhile. I have looked every night for a letter from you and have put off writing hoping to hear from you.

I have written to grandma all about Mrs. Ferguson and how sick she is and she will tell you about it. I keep pretty busy but also keep pretty well. My stomach has not troubled me for several weeks. Every one is very kind to me. Mrs. F asked me one day what young people I knew and when I began to innumerate she exclaimed, “Why you are in the cream of society.”

I will have to tell you about the “Thank You” social given by the C. E. last night. Perhaps you can use the idea there. Each girl was requested to bring two aprons, preferably kitchen aprons. After the ice was broken by a game or two, every lady and gentleman was requested to don an apron and the fun began. Every time any one speaks to you or you to the, you must precede the reply by Thank You. For example, if I ask, “How are you feeling this evening, Miss B.” she replies “Thank you, I have a bad cold.” And I say “Thank you, I am very sorry.” If any one fails to say thank you the party to whom they are speaking gives them their apron and goes without. Every ones object is to get rid of their apron and not get another one. At the end of an hour judge and police take their places and every person having one or more aprons on his person is fined two cents each for them. Of course some will have several and some none, but you may be sure there is no lull in the conversation.

The played the vacant chair. As many chairs as players are placed in a circle. There is one vacant chair and one person in the middle. Each person is responsible for keeping the chair at the right filled, hence when A slips into the vacant chair at his right, B slips into A’s and C into B’s before the person in the middle can get it. If B fails to get A’s chair when it is vacated before the person in the center takes it, B must take his place in the Center. As Sue Williams said, the boys like to play it because sometimes the girls inadvertently sit in their laps and possibly the girls like it for the same reason.

Albert and I have not been to St. Johnsbury yet but will go tomorrow if it is a fair day.

It is time for me to fire up and get supper. I wish you could taste the dandy cake I made this morning. “Self-praise.”

Do you all write to me now. You little people let me know how mother is won’t you? And mother, you may as well tell me just how you are for I shall know anyway.

Oh, how I should love to be with you all. And yet I am happy and contented as anyone could ask for haven’t I my boy? The boys are both very good to me. A lady whom I met not long ago herself the mother of two young men, said to me, “Your cousins seem always to think of you first in every thing and they always speak so loyally of you that I know you exert a refining influence over them." She could have said nothing to please me more.

You will pardon me if I am conceited in writing such things.

Oh, my Supper!!!!

Love to each more than I can tell of heart yearning.


How fun! This morning I happened to scroll down to see if anyone had left any comments (I usually don't because there usually aren't :-) ) and WOW a distant relative has surfaced! And even more exciting, on the side of the family that I didn't have any email connections to send letters to. I've been typing up old family letters and sending them out to a group of extended family to read. In honor of this exciting discovery, I'm delighted to share photos of Dora at 5 months and Ella Jane at 16 years.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Great Great Great Uncle Henry C. Richardson

I'm amazed at all the family history that I've discovered in the past few years. Uncle Henry was in the Civil War for nearly four years and was injured twice. I was also pleased to discover this photo of him.

Henry C Richardson was the son of Robert and Rosina (Healy) Richardson of Topsham, Vermont. He was born November 20, 1838 and died Aug 15, 1910.

Rosina, his mother, wrote a poem for Henry when he left to go off to war, although I don't know that she actually gave it to him; she may have just written it for her own comfort. Henry enlisted in the Army in December 1861 to fight in the Civil War; so this was likely written before December of 1861. He came home in 1864. He was married three times, his first wife died within a couple of years, but they did have two children. He then marrried Lydia Whitehill who was his dear love and next to whom he is buried. They had six more children, Robert, William, Mary, George, Margaret and Albert.

To Henry

Pen can’t portray nor Language tell
How hard it is to say farewell
Yet your Country calls and I bid you go
A Mother’s grief you will never know

Shun temptations, be of courage strong
I trust the conflict will not be long
Choose your associates; bind your Bible to your heart
And from its Holy precepts ne’er depart

And though on earth we meet no more
May we united be on that blessed shore
Where parting, sorrow, pain and woe
In that happy home we never shall know.

A Mother’s prayers shall ascend each day
To God to guide you on your way
And if it is “His will” may you return again my son
If not enable us to say “Thy Will be done.”