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A Tough Old Pioneer

A Tough Old Pioneer image
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To-day Mr. Joseph Coppins, president of the üincinnati pioneer association, celébrate his 8'Jth birthday, he having been born near Norwich, England, April 8, 1791. He carne to this country when but four yeara oíd, and walked in the memorial funeral to General George Washington, in New York. He also attended the actual funeral oí' Alexander Hamilton, who was Washington's secretary of the treasury, and who was killed in a duel by Aaron Burr. In 1805 Mr. Coppin, then a youth of 14, walked froru New York to this city, and became an apprentioe to s then prominent house carpenter. In 1812 he walked back to New ï'qrk to visit his father. At preaent he resides uear Pleasant Kidge, about seven miles from this city, and last Monday he walked from his home to the court house in an hour and a half- pretty good time, he thinks, for an oíd man. Mr. Coppin never chewed tobáceo, though he used to sraoke cigars to excess. He was also a moderate drinker. He has a store of reininirences of early lile in Cincinnaii that are intensely interesting and valuable. Yesterday he described how lie first met his wife, as follows: When I was about 18 I was very fond of liunting, and every Sunday I used to go af'ter ame. At that time Mount Adams, as it is now callcd, was a favorito resort for wild turkcys, phea.sants, squirrel, rabbit, and other small game. One Suoday morning, about tive o'clock, i was ehasing a black juirrel, when I ran up to a spot where a very handsome girl was milking a cow. Just as I got close to her I also got (he range of ( lie squirrel and banged away and knocked him over. In doing so I did more. The report of the gun frighteneJ the cow, and she kicked over the ïnilk-pail, upset the niilkniaid, and ran down'the hill bellowing uiad. The following Wudnesday, whilu woiking near my hoardinp-house I saw a very pretty girl enter it. I recognized hi r instantly as the milkmaid I had seared, and 1 went in the house af'ter her. I procured an inlrnduction to her, and said : "Ain't you the girl that was milking the cow on the hilF laat Sunday tnorning?" "Yes, I aui," paid she, " and you are the young man that firod the gun and ecared the cow." I admitted my uilt, and said : "Well, I have made up my miud that a girl that will get up that early to work will make a good wife. I intended to see you and tell you so next Sunday. Now that I have met you, I want to know if you won't be my wife?" She said, "Youseemtobe inahurry." I replied, "No, I'm not in such a hurry either. I'm but an apprentice yet, and have three years to serve before I am out of my time; but l'd like to know my doom now. Come, remember it's just as easy to say yes as it is to say no." She dropped her head and thought the matter over a Ii t tío, and then she concluded she inight as well take me as look further for a better man. When she had accepted me I said to her: "Ifanybody asks you if you are going to marry Joe Coppin, just say yes ; and if anybody asks me if I am going to marry you I will cay so, too ; and they'll soon tire of poking fun at us about our long engagement." I worked with renewed vigor then, and made many an odd dollar by doing extra jobs after regular working hours. I had bought all my household goods and had about $200 saved up when the war of 1812 broke out, and I was drafted into the army. My company camped out near Iloffner's, in Cumminsville, a couple of weeks, and elsewhere about the city two or three weeks more, when one day we marched into town and were drilled in front of the court house, which was then at the corner of Fif'th and Main streets, whero Allen's drug store is now. We had beeu promised a bounty, and I asked my captain, whose name was Carpenter, when we would get it. He didn't know anvthing about it. "Then I won't go a footuntil 1 get it," I answered. Just then a young fellow came down the line, saying: " Does any onc here want a substitute?" "How iuuch will you go for?" said I. "One hundred and seventyfive dollars," said he. "All rigbt," I replied; "come down to my boarding-house and I will count you ont your silver." After I had paid him to take my place I was almost cleaned out of money, but I had a stout heart, and after I returned from New York I went to work with a will, and in two years I had saved $200 again, and then I got married to my swettheart, and neither she nor I were ever sorry we were true to each other.