Dr. D. M. Graham Reminiscences
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Dr. D. M. Graham Reminiscences


Port Royal Times
Thursday, November 28, 1889

PERSONAL REMINISCENCES
by Dr. G. M. Graham


Mr. Editor: I had thought you were all tired of my reminiscences and I concluded to stop, but I have been solicited by so many of your readers to write more that I will jot down another article. I recall these true lines of a poet who says: "Honor and fame from no condition rise, Act well your part, there the honor lies."

Living as we do at the present day bears but a slight resemblance to the way we lived 50 years ago. We had no county papers, so far as I know, and very few buggies. We had at our house as far back as I can recall a weekly religious paper, "The Presbyterian," and we read and re-read it. The children then had but few of the luxuries that today are so common. Our diet was nourishing, plain and healthy. The supper was from fall to spring, almost invariable, mush and milk. On a certain occaision my brother Ed, was sent ot the mill with a bag of corn on a horse. The miller was old Mr. Liggett, and my brother was a great favorite of his. After taking the bag of corn into the mill (at Pleasant View) he said, "Now Eddie when does your mother want this meal?" My brother replied in great earnestness, "Why, mother said, just as soon as she could get it, because until she got it she would have to get victuals for supper." The plain food us youngsters had to eat contributed largely to giving us all fine constitutions.

Although there were few papers, there was to be found in Spruce Hill township, at that day, among the Patterson's, Milliken's, Kelly's, Patton's, Gilson's, Ard's, Gilliford's, Staynor's, M'Laughlin's, Heading's and Graham's, who, for solid knowledge, sound and intelligent reasoning on that which is substantial and useful, embracing Bible history, ancient and modern history, especially of our own country, stood head and shoulders above the men of this day. Those old fathers had but little schooling, (my father had in all three months,) but they had brains and improved what little schooling they had.

At that time the grain was all cut with cradles and sickles--the lodged grain was usually cut with the latter implement. When I was about ten years old my father and I did that work, while the cradlers cut the standing grain. I was ambitious to become a good reaper, and in my eagerness, in the field south of the mountain road and near an old limekiln, I cut half through my little finger nail with the sickle. It was not a bad cut, but I cried lustily. My father soothed me all he could, and finally told me "that no one became a good reaper until he had cut his little finger." That idea dried the tears, the finger got well and I could reap. What true friendship and genuine sociability existed! I recall that very season my finger was cut an incident that illustrates the good feeling existing among neighbors. We were done cutting grain, and had the wagons all rigged for hauling in. About supper time Mr. Noah Heading came riding up to our home. He owned the farm on which Menno Esh now lives. He was a good, true, noble man, and ardent Methodist. He said to my father, "Johnny, how are you on with your harvest?" My father told him the wagons were rigged for hauling in to-morrow, and then said to him, "how are you on?" "Johnny, I haven't cut a handful and have come to see if you could not give me a lift." My father replied, "Noah, to-morrow morning we'll go with all force." The hands were that evening gathered up. Old Mr. Geo Gilliford, Squire Patterson and others turned in in this neighborly style and that day nine cradles cut the crop of Mr. Heading. That spirit recalls a story I have read, and it is this: Judge Jeremiah S. Black was at a certain time in New York. He was born and raised in Somerset county, Pa., and had a close school friend, who, afterward, went to Iowa and became Judge Williams. While Judge Black was at his hotel Judge Williams went to New York and happened to stop at the same hotel. On looking over the register he saw the name of Judge Black, whom he had not seen for many years. He sent his card to Judge Black's room and with it these lines: "Oh, Jerry! Dear Jerry, I've found you at last, And, memory, burdened with scenes of the past, When you were but Jerry and I was but Joe."







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