Submitted by Rosie Stierwalt

Henry Dustin McKnight: An Autobiography
Written in 1892

           I was born at Millers, Lawrence County, Ohio in Rome Tp. on the rise in a log cabin just below where the present school House stands. My fathers name is William F McKnight son of Joseph and Fanny McKnight. My mothers name is Margaret and was the daughter of James and Delorus Higgins. Her mother was a Doddridge a descendant of the Rev. Phillip Doddridge.

My fathers family consisted of nine children, viz.:
Henry Dustin born April 4 1844
Ellen Amanda
Charles Thomas
William Gallitin
Fannie Trumbo

           At this date six are living. Alice died . George died 1865, and Maggie died 186_.
           My Father has always been a poor man. My first recollections are associated with hard times and close economy. When very young I can remember of the old fashioned Methodist Episcopal church services and the preachers for whom I held a reverence I cannot describe. I remember of going to Sunday and day school in warm weather bare footed wearing nankin breeches and five cent straw hat and in winter of wearing homespun jeans and stogor shoes. I had to work from my earliest recollections at such work as I could do. I was allowed very little time to play.
           About the year 1854 my uncle Elijah Rolph bought a carding machine at Millers O. which was run by a horse or oxen treading an incline tread wheel. He used two oxen, one at a time, changing them about every hour. One of them learned how to brace his feet when he got tired and stop the wheel and it required someone to watch him to prevent this. My uncle hired one for this work and gave seventy five cents-a week and I boarded myself, or rather my parents boarded me. I was very proud of this promotion and saved up “lots of money” that summer. While the other ox who had not learned to stop the wheel was on his turn I was required to make myself useful up stairs in the machine room at such work as I could do viz: running wool through the “picker”, cleaning up “flyings”, etc. In the spring of 1855 my father bought the machine and then hard work begun for him and mother and myself in earnest.

 From spring till Fall, every day except Sunday we toiled from daylight until dark and us three with the machine and two horses had to work hard to earn four dollars a day. Out of this four dollars the expense of keeping up the machinery, feeding the horses, and all other expenses had to be paid out of the four dollars and as money was so very scarce we had in a may of cases to take our pay in rolls and depend on selling them to get money or “trade”. I usually went to the Winter district school of three months. The winter of 1855/6 was a very hard one. My father had paid out every dollar of the Summers income on the debt he owed for the machine and how to live through the winter we hardly knew. We had home made clothing and rolls to spin into yarn by mother who knit our stockings. We had a cow and some corn for meal but how to get shoes and groceries was a question. Father was honest and industrious but there was nothing to do from Nov to the next May that- he could earn anything. I was barefooted and school was soon to begin. The merchant at Miller refused my father credit. I used to sit indoors when to cold to get out bearfooted and “wish” for “good things to come”.

Things looked gloomy enough. My father tried to be cheerful and appeared to try to conceal our poverty. My mother would often shed tears when she thought we did not see her. Finally Squire McCown secured the Districts school which was too large for one teacher and my father was hired for three months as assistant for $18.00 a month $54.00 for the term payable after close of term. We felt rich now and I remember how bright and cheerful mother and father looked and how we sit around the big old fashioned wood fire place and talked of our good fortune on the evening and night father came home with the good news.
           The next day father went the “back way” to John Tiernans store at Athalia two miles below. We then lived in the old log house at the foot of the hill back of Millers. Mr Tiernan heard my fathers plea for a credit of necessary articles until “school was out” and “trusted” him. Mother and I watched the anxious hours of that – eventful day almost away and had nearly despaired as it was getting dusk and father had not returned. I watched down through the fields for him as long as I could see and was feeling awfully blue when father appeared at the back door with a load of “store goods” in a new “meal sack” and the best of all he had for me a new pair of coarse heavy boots. I cannot describe the joy and real pleasure I experienced that – moment. The ground was covered with six or eight inches of snow and my feet were red and sore from having went bearfooted so long in cold weather. Mother had supper “bread and milk” ready of which she and father ate heartily, but I could not eat for admiring my boots and realizing how I could now go out of doors like the other boys. I did not sleep much at at four o clock next morning I was up and out of doors “getting wood”.

This is one of many incidents connected with my early life which I remember with a distinctness that – I cannot now remember which happened yesterday. We had many sad and pleasant experiences, always poor and hard up and yet I now remember that none of us complained. We seemed to accept it all as a matter of course. I the spring of 1857 my father traded his carding machine at Millers to Andrew Griffith at Scott Town for his house and lot and store at that place. We moved in Feby 1857. William was sick and father and mother could not go when our “things” went and although only 13 years old on April 4″ 1857, I took charge of the store and conducted it several weeks until father came.

Times were hard and money scarce and country merchandising was up hill work. Here I clerked in father store and went to district school in winter till Nov 1861. In that month Nov 1861 I went my last day to school to J F Rodarmour in the old log school below Scott Town. I July 1861 fathers house and store with all that they contained were destroyed by fire with no insurance. All our clothing and house hold goods were burned. It was in the middle of the night and we had hard work to escape and get the children out alive.

           After the excitement was over I found that all the article of clothing I had on was an old check shirt. No hat, pants, coat or shoes. I borrowed a pair of pants two sizes to large and some friend gave me a hat. As the weather was warm I got along very well until mother made me a pair of pants out of cotton cloth I worked at bought at 25cents a yard. Father was not at home, he being called with others to protect the border at Millers against the supposed invasion of rebel troops over in West Va.

   It seemed now that the hardest trial in our life was at hand. There were now eight children, I being only seventeen and the oldest. All the rest being girls and the boys being too small to help. My mother almost broke down under the sad misfortune and gloomy prospect. We were now entirely destitute and without a roof to cover us. The only possession father now had was a vacant and almost worthless lot with and uninhabitable wear house in one corner. That had escaped the fire. A few people owed father accounts but as all his books notes and papers were burned he head no evidence of the accounts and all he could get was what people would agree they owed him. We got the old wear house shell fixed up a little and lived in it the best we could. Father and all the rest of us that could went to work, rented lane sowed wheat and done any and everything we could to get along.

After the Fall work was over I started to school with the calculation to learn all I could during the three month it was to last. At the end of the first week I went into Millers, where my uncle John T McKnight was keeping a store, having been forced away from Kentucky on account of the War. I hired to him as clerk for $8.00 a month and board. I was now seventeen years old. My father bought 40 acres of land and a log cabin on tick ridge in Rome Tp and moved there.

 There are many interesting incidents which I can remember that transpired between the time I remember and the date I left home in Nov 1861. I well remember the cholera year of 1852 when my grand mother Fanny McKnight died from it as did many others. I remember that one pair of shoes or boots were all that was allowed me for a year. I always went barefooted from early spring “till frost” in the fall. Our winter shoes were never bought till frost. I remember when the steamboats burned wood and my father kept a wood yard. I remember as a boy and the oldest how I had to churn, wash dishes, set tale, sweep, mind baby and numerous like occupations for mother. My father served a constable several years while I was a small boy.

           I distinctly remember one Christmas day when I was nine years old that I was particularly fortunate as I then considered it. I had a new suit of homespun jeans, a new pair of coarse stoga shoes, my father bought me a new fresh reader with pictures in it and also six sticks of common candy. To complete my happiness my uncle Mack Higgins gave me ten fire crackers.

           Mother had baked sweet cakes out of flour and molasses and uncle Elijah Rolphs children had divided apples with us children. I remember this christmas day as the happiest of my life to date. I remember of going to school before moving to Scott Town to S. McCown father of Monroe McCown, D G. Dawson, Mr. Green, Mr Norris, Aunt Mary McKnight. When we moved to Scott Town one Anthony H Windsor (now a superannuated minister in the M E Church) was teaching school in a log school house on the hill side below Scott Town. General W. H. Enochs then a boy a little older than myself was a scholar. He afterward taught school and I went to him for a term. I also went to school to Wm. Betts, A J Dennison, and Miss Ann Hague, and finally and lastly as heretofore stated to J. F. Rodarmour.

My sister Alice was soundly converted in the old log school house where all meetings were held, one day during a week day meeting. She shouted all the way home about one mile. I shall never forget it and how I hid to keep from showing my agitation. In the spring of 1861 a company of militia was organized of which my father orderly Sergh. I raised a company of boys ranging from fifteen to seventeen years of age. Vincent Dillon Jr. was my orderly Sergh. We drilled regularly whenever the men did and could beat them. Returning to the time of leaving home to clerk for my uncle John T. McKnight hard work begun in earnest for clerking in a country store in those days meant hard work.

A store had a cooper shop connected with it and bought all kinds of country produce, which was to be barreled, packed, sacked and shipped. Stores were to be ricked and sorted in the yard, Barrels shipped, produce barreled and gotten to the river for the boats. All this kind of work was a large part of the duties of a clerk in a country store. I “clerked” for my uncle from Nov. 1861 to the summer of 1862, when I hired to D. H. Clark to clerk in his store at two hundred dollars for one year and board. My duties there were a little more indoors than at my uncles, but one day in the week I had help have barrels from the shop to the river to ship and several times during the week rick staves when i “had time”

When my year with Mr. Clark was up I hired in August 1863 to William Reynolds a merchant for one year at two hundred and forty dollars a year and board. He did hot have a cooper shop and my duties were altogether in the store. During this the militia were required by law to organize and drill. James L Terry who had been a private soldier in the 6th Regt, Ohio Infty and discharged for disability was Capt. Dr. G W Trumbo First Lieutenant.

 I was elected Second Lieut. and duly Commissioned by Gen. David Todd. This suited me exactly as I was much inclined to military from the first gun at Fort Sumpter. It was only for the opposition of my parents that I did not enlist in the first call for three months and three year troops. Capt. Terry was not strong enough to do much drilling and Dr. (LT) Trumbo was generally engaged professionally engaged on drill days so I had my ambition to Command the Company gratified most of the time, and I really enjoyed it. In the fall of 1864 I determined to enlist in the straight U. S. service and quit Mr Reynolds and went to Ironton to enlist in t e 173rd Regt. Ohio Vols. Miles L Blake of Co. F who was then courting my sister Alice did, at the request of her and my parents coax me out of the notion and much chagrined and feeling deeply humiliated I returned to Millers and again took up the yard stick, in the store of Knight and Thomas. I felt dissatisfied and discontented and in fact condemned that the War was drawing to a close and I was to have no part in it except the office of 2nd Lieut in the malitia,

 In Feby 1865 I thought if my name would ever appear on the war records as having served in the War of the rebellion it must be done quickly so on Feby 13″ 1865 disregarding the tears and entreaties of my parents and sisters and, another then not a relation , I left my yard stick and on Feby 16″ 1865, enlisted in Co A 188th Ohio Vol. Infty, I was honorably discharged Sept 26″ 1865 (See Vol 10 Roster of Ohio Soldiers) . During my short term I served as private soldier and a greater part of the time I was a clerk in office of our Regimental quartermaster and the Brigade Head quarters of Genl. Dudley at Tullahoma Tenn, and Genl. Van Cleve at Murfreesboro Tenn.

           Before enlisting I had become deeply attached to a sweet girl only fourteen years of age. Emma C. Johnson (peace to her dear memory) and not withstanding the fact of her being so young I loved her as I have never loved another, and never will, or can and corresponded with her regularly until discharged. I can see her now just as plainly as if she were before me as the sweet child, charming girl, glorious young woman, charming bride, beautiful patient mother, virtuous Christian example, ever kind patient, forgiving and indulgent wife, daughter and neighbor, and finally the patient sufferer from that dread and fatal disease quick consumption. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Nancy Johnson (nee Wood). Her father and mother were strict members of the M. E. church and she, Emma, was brought up a true Christian. She never knew aught else. She was an angel and is now in glory with God and the other angels where I will, God keeping me, meet her.

I have made many crooked steps and have not always been perfect but I have truly and sincerely repented of my past sins and imperfections and mistakes and trusting in a just God who will fulfill all this promises and in no wise forsake all who call upon his name and are faithful unto death as I intend to be by His help. I believe I shall join her in the Heavenly world when I leave this world of affliction and sorrow as well as is joys and comforts. The expectation of this going to God is an anchor to the soul God help me to be faithful to the end.

 After My discharge from the army in Sept. 1865 I went to my fathers home then on the little hill farm on tick ridge where after recovering from sickness contracted in the army I helped to gather corn and grubbed out a thicket of underbrush for farming. About Nov 1865 while I was at home my little brother George five years old died of croup. My father was clerking for George Clark at Ironton Ohio and as the water was low and no boats running my father walked home starting about 9am and arriving about dusk a distance of 30 miles. He got home only a few minutes before the child died and I can remember how completely heart broken he was. Words can’t describe it. It was the first death in our large family. The little pet was hauled in a two horse jolt wagon over the rough hill roads to the Cemetery at Millers and tenderly laid away. I shall see him bye and bye.

On Dec. 24th, 1865 I again left home and went to Ironton Ohio and engaged as clerk in the grocery store of R. W. Magee one door north of the north west Cor. 2d & Centre streets. Early in the spring of 1866 Magee sold out to Richey & Richards and I again went back home. My father was now conducting a branch store for Mr. Reynolds of Proctorville O. I had little or no money. Mr Reynolds wanted me to clerk in his store at Proctorville and after remaining at home only a few days I went to Proctorville walking, the distance being ten miles. I remained a few months only with Mr. Reynolds when I went back to Ironton and engage to write in the office of Wm. P Bartram then clerk of the Common Pleas Court. In the fall of the same year, 1866, R. W. Magee bought out the store of D. T. Davis second door below where Second National Bank now is on 2nd street. I again engage with R. W. Magee as clerk and stayed with him until the fall of 1870 when I engaged with the lumber firm of M Wise Hy as book keeper to begin Jany 1871.

During the four years I was with Magee he did a large business and had no other clerk. I worked hard and opened the store early and closed late. On Oct. 7th, 1868 I was married to Emma C. Johnson with whom I had corresponded for five years and whom I dearly loved and honored. I had not seen her from the the 4th day of July until the morning of the day of our marriage. We were married at her mothers home at Millers, O. by Rev. H Berkstrosser. Her father Benjamin Johnson enlisted as Sergh. in Co. K 2nd Regt, Ohio Cav. Vols, on Sept 15, 1862, was wounded June 28, 1864 in action at Stony Creek Va, died July 16, 1864 in Libby Prison Richmond Va. The place of his burial is unknown. Her mother after our marriage was married to Elijah Rolph and died about 1882. Her brother James died about 1863 and her brother Owen died at my house in Russel KY in Sept 1879.

This is all of her fathers family except Clara, the wife of Girard C Varnum who is the sole survivor of a once happy family of six. During the time I was with Magee my sister Alice who was married to Miles L Blake died about 1867, leaving two small children, Alice and Gertie. My infant sister Maggie whom I never saw alive died about 1863.

 I went to keeping house a few days after my marriage in a little one story frame house yet standing on Olive Street, now Park Ave. between Front and Second Streets. In 1869 I bought a lot on 7th St where Lewis Shepard now lives and built the house now standing there. In this house on Nov 9, 1896 our first child was born. We named him Rufus Dustin. In the fall of 1870 after I quit R W Magee and before going with M Wise & Cy, I was appointed Deputy Clerk of the Common Pleas Court for Wm A Campbell who was clerk as he was compelled to attend U.S. Court at Cincinnati. Hon. W. W. Johnson was Judge. He was a friend of mine always.

           In December 1870 myself wife and child visited our parents at Millers, O. When the last days of Dec came and it was necessary for me to report to Wise & Cy for duty the River was full of ice and on Dec 31st, 1870 myself and brother Charles started to walk to Ironton. We walked to South Point where we fell in with George Bradshaw and Benj. Chinn in an express. They kindly invited us to ride. When we alighted at home, we were so stiff and sore we could hardly walk. We kept “batch” till the River opened and wife came home. In the mean time I had sold my home and lot to give possession in the spring of 1871, and bought a lot in the newly laid out town of Russell Ky opposite Ironton, O. I

 moved to Russell Ky Feb 1871, where I lived till March 19, 1885. This move was unfortunate as it was unhandy inconvenient and I bought the lot and built my house mostly on credit. The panic of 1873 and my endorsing notes of M Wise & Cy who broke up caused me to lose all my Russell property except one small house and lot and one vacant lot. Matters went tolerably well at first but misfortunes and bad management crushed me. We spent many happy days however the first few years at Russell. On Sept 15, 1871 our second child was born at Russell Ky. We named her Clara Ellen.

 I planted trees and done other work to make our home comfortable and pleasant and it was, but alas another is now enjoying the fruits of my labors. On 187 our third child was born and we named him Benjamin Kile. On June 187 he died and thus our first real sorrow came. We were broken hearted, yet comforted with the thought that although we could not call him back we could go to him.

  On May 15, 1877 our fourth and fifth children were born, twins, a boy and girl who we named Halsey Burr and Hattie Burr. In the mean time Wise & Cy had assigned and I was out of employment from Nov 1878 to the spring of 1879. In the spring of 1879 I got some help from John Kyle and started a small store, an unfortunate venture as times were hard and I ran behind. The winter of 1878- 79 was the hardest I ever experienced. I was out of any kind of employment, had no income and not a dollar.

My Uncle John trusted me for groceries and other necessaries we done without. Our children were to young to realize our distressed condition and good angel Emma (wife) never complained amidst it all. We lived through it all and loved through it all however until times brightened a little. Creditors pressed me for debts I could not pay and I was harassed by Means, Russell & Means through their agent John Russell to pay for my lot or give up and move off the premises. I could do neither for I had not the money to pay and was too poor to move and rent a house.

In the fall of 1879, Owen Johnson, my wife’s brother seventeen years old died at my house, and the same fall I quit and closed up my little store and went to keep books and clerk for McKnight & Amos at Ironton O. Mr. Amos going to manage Bloom Furnace. I got $40.00 a month for this work which was hard and long hours. On March 1880 our sixth child was born. My ______ was in delicate health now having contracted what terminated in quick consumption. We call this child Owen, after her dead brother as it was evident it could not live but a few weeks. It died on May 1880.

My wife was now to sick and weak to go to the funeral so alone I took the little ones remains to Millers for Burial where little Bennie was buried. I was now in hard lines. My income was not sufficient to meet expenses. My wife was failing fast. I ought to have been with her all the time but circumstances compelled me to work. I worked all day and for the last month before her death I only slept a few hours during the latter part of the night. About a week before her death I let everything go and staid by her side night and day. She suffered no pain and never once complained. Her disease seemed painless. On the night of June 30, 1880 she passed away without a struggle, peacefully falling asleep in Jesus. God bless her. Amen. Brother James Gardner of Spencer Chapel came to see her often during the last few days of her life, and late in the evening just before she died when she could only whisper, Brother Gardner tenderly asked her how she felt. She quietly and composedly whispered “I am almost home”. Blessed words. Blessed experience for those she left behind. She quietly went to God. Oh how how lonely and desolate I felt. My life seemed to almost go out with hers, and if it had not been for our children I would have gladly kept her company to the other world. I cried over Dustin who was then asleep all unconscious that his mother was in the better land. I mourned then and and do yet and I believe I can truly say that I have never forgotten her for one day since. That is that I have daily thought of her kindly, lovingly, reverently. I seem to commune with her at times and her looks and appearance as a girl, woman, and wife is ever before me. I need no picture of hers to remember her or her looks. Her memory is so sacred that I that I never mention her name but in reverence as I would the name of God.

           Now came days of trial, of struggle of hardship, and my affliction both physically and mentally was great. I had been troubled for years with bleeding piles and this disease seemed to grow rapidly. I still kept books and worked in McKnight & Amos store and had to get up early and go to my work and stay until eight or nine o’clock at night, having to cross the River in a skiff in all kinds of weather. Clara Johnson my wife’s sister and Alice Weeks my cousin were with me and both stayed until I remarried Jany 19 1882. Clara going away a little before and Alice a little after. I had four children Rufus Dustin aged 10, Clara E aged 8 and the twins Halsey B and Hattie B aged three years at their mothers death. My wa(ge)s was only $40.00 a month and my expenses large. I had to and did undergo many personal sacrifices to keep up. My children will never know or realize the sacrifices and privations and struggles I have undergone at different times to provide for their wants and make them comfortable and happy, for I love them and promised their dear mother to take as good care of them as I could and not separate them so long as they could practically remain together. I sometimes think that they do not love me as I love them. I hope I am in this mistaken.

           In the Fall of 1881 I became agent for the Big Sandy Packet Cy at $50.00 a month and agent for the Big Four R.R. and made about $60.00 a month this work was a little easier. I had practically lost hope of ever being able to pay for my property and Means Russell & Means although a wealthy firm would give me no how and were constantly harassing me for money or wanting me to leave. I never had a days rest and my mind was never free from worry and anxiety. About Dec 1881 Clara Varnum left me and the Oct previous Alice Weeks was married and I knew she would soon leave me. I became acquainted with Miss Hattie Honaker and believing that I was doing for the best we were married on Jany 19, 1882 at Ironton, O by Rev. James H. Gardner. I found her a good Christian woman, and I then and now (1892) considered her one of the most discreet and naturally inclined woman I ever saw. I would trust her to any extent as I would trust an angel. I found her a helpmate in deed and in truth. I verily believe that if it had not been for (her) I would have went to ruin, for I sometimes resorted to drink (which I and ashamed to say) imagining that it would drown my trouble. She restrained me from this dangerous habit which I quit and my acquaintances knew my habits since 1892.(1882) I dearly love the taste of whisky wine and beer and if I should go according to my natural inclinations I would never draw a sober breath, but thanks to God for a will power that enables me to not ever taste it. Well after my second marriage we struggled on the best we could.

The wolf seemed to be at the door many times for in Dec 1882 I lost my position a Agt. for the Packet Cy. and was out of employment. In Jany 1883 I secured work of E. J. Walburn of Ironton O, a pension Atty, who also had my pension claim filed in the Bureau. This was the worst of all as he only gave me one dollar a day and only permitted me to earn three or four dollars a week. Discouragement was manifest and I felt that I had almost reached the end of my string, so to speak since wages did not meet expenses and I was compelled to go in debt or do without the actual necessaries of life. I anticipated that I would soon receive a small pension and I could not endure the thought of seeing my wife and children suffer for necessaries and they did not but the close economy of those days, the skimping, making over, etc, will never be realized by my children. I hope they may never have my experience.

The winter passed dreary and cheerless to myself and wife who helped me by her needle and economizing and I shall never forget her devotion, and submission to what really was a hard fate. We made the children as happy as we could and concealed our troubles from them the best we could. Spring came and went with its brightness but brought no cheer to me. I finally became desperate and conceived the idea of engaging in the pension business for myself, but it would take time to build up business and naturally a very long time would ensue before any income could be expected.

I was physically unable for hard work, so finally in August 1883 I rented desk room of Shaw & Keye Corner of Front & Center Sts and opened an office. The outfit of which I will describe. I sent to Washington and bought one dollars worth of pension blanks. I bought twenty five cents worth of paper envelopes etc. I found in the office of Shaw & Keye an old kitchen table, which I had used for a desk when agt. for the Packet Cy. and had sold to C. S. Walker when he succeeded me as agt. for $1.50. I appropriated this relic and wrote to C. S. Walker offering to buy it but never heard from him, and brought a pen and ink from home and three old chairs. This outfit comprised my “office”.

Now the next thing was to get business. It came slow. I kept correct account of receipts for the first year which off told amounted to $78.40. If this was not discouraging I was no judge. I had filed considerable business however and believed I should yet succeed, about the spring of 1884 I received my pension but I owed it all and more too, so in a few days I was as poor as ever so far as worldly possessions were concerned for I paid almost every dollar of it out on debts notwithstanding our needs for clothing etc. about our house. I applied myself to my business and how I have succeeded the community knows.

           On April 18, 1867 I petitioned Lawrence Lodge no 198 F&A M Ironton O. Was balloted of May 16, 1867. On June 28, 1867 I was made an Entered appr. On Dec. 21st, 1867 I was passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft and on Feb 21st, 1868 I was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. I have served said Lodge as Secretary, Senior Deacon, Junior Warden, and am now ( 1892) serving as Senior Warden. In 1872 I joined the M E Church South which was all the denomination there was at Russell and old brother Hiram Moore was the Preacher in charge. He preached in James Rayburns house at first and afterward in the building in Carners pleasure grove where Carners new house now stands.

 Finally the M. E. South preaching ceased and the M. E. Church was established in the School house and I joined the M. E. On March 19, 1885 I gave up the dear old home where I had lived for fourteen years and where all my children but Howard was born. I think of all the sad and depressed periods of my life aside from the death of my (wife) and children it was when I had to give up my Russell home and lose it all. I had planted trees and done many other acts and much work to make it a home in the true sense, but alas for earthly hopes, I had to give it all up just as I shall some day give up every thing earthly, and leave it. I was the last to leave the house. I managed it so as to be there alone.

I went to the upstairs lower room where dear wife went to Heaven from, and alone in the now deserted house and this room, I reverently knelt and silently and very reverently prayed to God for relief, for aid, for strength, and for my family. My heart was so very heavy and I felt that had I no one dependent on me how sweet it would to be permitted then and there to go from where she went to where she was, in Heaven. It could not be however and I left the dear old place that I have so often looked on since but have never entered nor do I ever care again to enter. I have made many crooked paths, done many wrong acts, paid many wicked things and in many ways did much that was not right but I can truly say that I have always loved God and held a holy reverence for his word, his church and ministers.

I have always been good to his servants as many can testify, and although I have been unworthy and disobedient I have repented of it all and am trusting God implicitly and I know if I continue faithful he will receive me to himself when I am done my labors on earth and give me a place with loved ones gone before. I have confidence God. I have confidence in my Savior. It only remains for me to continue faithful to this end as I intend to be. God helping me, when He will say it is enough, come up higher.