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The Story Of Garfield's Mother

The Story Of Garfield's Mother image
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ry motlier ahould reail a recen t!y pubjisbed roíame eotitled "Frono the Log Cibin to the White tfoase," by Williaa M. Thayer, which is dedicated lo the boys of the United Sutes. It is a familiar wring that 'khe mother wolds the man," anl this li i ik pfOTM it. Thosc who read it - and it shouhl be read by every boy as wel! as lus mother - wil! nut be rarprued that the soa of sueh a motlier should, by inheritamr and rxMDpte, posMM the noble icter, aml indomitable eoern and courage, and the imrily ot' lite that haa ral Garfield frotn hit youth up to tLis tiuiu. Mr, (iarfield's ïuaiden wns Küz.i BaHoo. She wan u descendant ol Maturin Ballou, a Hum: nut of Franca, driven trom lii - eoaptry upnn revocatioo of the edict of Nantes. Uajoined tho uolony ot'Kogor Williams, c.ime to America, and settlrd in ('uuiberlaod, 1!. 1. There he huilt a ehurch which is still carefally preserved as a relie of the pa-t. It is known as the Eider Billón meeting house. VVben it was built there were no aw-tuill, no nails, and tew tool.s in the country. lts galleries and ptwa, ' vrn it8 floor are hewo out of solid lufjs, and put together with wooden pegs. He rr Maiurin Ballou preachcd the gonpel, and his son, and ramlson, and graat K'andaftol hitn to the tenth generation. A raes ot' iiruachti - (pcaog l'rom tliis pioneer minister, as wcll ;is many lawyers, doctor and many othcr public men, eminent for thcir talents and force of' charact'i. Sume of them ligurcd in the American revolution, as barok in war as thcy were renowned in pcace. Abram (artuld and Kliza Ballou, both Irmn tlx? state ol' New Vork, t H'ji. Tley had (?onc in 1830 to Ohnge, Cnyahogi county, Ohio, where a year later their on James was burn, Lticg their lourlli child. Thiir lo hoose was built when the heavy forest was bul partly cleared away. The feoo - yeÉ vilde about Uie lields whrn the i líber, iu %htÍDg a forcBt tin that tlireut(¦iifd the di of thcir home, over 1 liiin-x t chillcd, aml in a tVw (i His la-it words to his wit'e, as he luoked upon his children, werc: "I havo planted tour sappünjts hera in this foreft,. I muit now li.aro them to your care." A happier faiuily never dwelt in a palaM than had it eabin home. Jittle James was bat eightcen months old when hjs father dieé- too yoving to undcr.-tand bis irreparable los or (cel the pangs ol frief that vrull nigh crushed other hearts. he;bbors came - only lour or uto families in a radius of ten miles - and wept with the widow and fatberleas. With theii . the lifelcsB form was inclosed in a rough coffin and buried in a corner of the beat field near by. No sermón, no prayer, exceptthe ,-ilent prayers that went up froin aching hearts. Winter was appruaching. Could human experienee be more dreary than a woman left a widow alone with hor iliildrcn in a wilJerropt by wintry -torma. The howl of the wolvcs snd the cry of panthers nevcr sounded 80 terrible as duriog those long desolate winter nights. It scemed to the weary ones that t-pring would never come again. But at la-t it did come, and twept away the snow and cc. The dead thiogs of the "fields and forest returned to lite, save only the dead in the corner of the wheat field, and hope was not revived in the cabin. Therc was do money in the house, there was a debt on the farm, and the food supply was limited. Then Mr-. Qarfield .-ought the advicc of a ueÍKhb"r, who had been kind iu her time of ttoutle. He advised ber to scll the farm, pay the debt, and return to her frinds, believing it impossible for her to -Tipport her?clf and children there. Her renlv was charaeteristir : "I can never throw myself and uiy children opon th charity of friendo. So long as I liave liealth I believe my I If.ivfiily Father nill biest thesetwo hands ml them able to support my children. My dear liusband made this borne at tbc sacrifico oí' liis lite, and every log in this cabin ia Micred to mu now. It seems to iue a holy trust that I preserve as í'uithfully as I would guard hia grave." llar neiirblurs left her, and sbe went to thf iricud that never fails, and a-ked God to mate the way of duty clear to her; and when slie came trom her place ot' prayer she i'elt that ncw light and strength had been given to her. Shfl lalled her oldest ¦on, Thomas, to ber, atid, though he was only a child ten years oíd, sho laid the wbole case beforc hiin. With the resolute courage of bis race, he gladly promised uld i'iow aiiUow, cut wood, and mili, tb'1 cows, if she would only keep the irm. So tliis Urave niother and son comurk. Shí lold )iart of the u:d paid every dollar ot' debt. ¦J a horse, plowed, and 1 plantad, The mother, with ln.T uwn hands, --¦'ir the rails, and completad the íencing. But the harvest was still far awiiy, and tbe corn was running low. The mother caref'ully nicaured ber precioua grain, counted tho days to the reaping time, and tínding it would be exhausted long before that time at thcir present rate uf' cunsuniptioot Bhe resolved to Uve qd t vto meéis a day hereelf, tbat ber cl night not muffer. Then as the little store rapidly tliaappeared, she ate but a Rocía BOlJ hfr.-elf, eoncealing ber Nolfdenial frotn her children, until the bleawd harvest brought relief. Tbat year it was very abundant, and the wolf of hunger never carne so oear their door again. Still, there were many years of hardtbip and selfdenial, in whicb the brave woman had to be fatber and motbcr, teacher and preacher to her children. She was the wiae and tender friend, guiding them in the right way, and inspiring them to choose tha best things in Ulo. She still lives to see her great reward, "nd her ehildren riso up and cal! her blesscd." The Dation's capítol, honored as it has been by noble wonien, bas never received witbin its doora a grandor, more Ueroic, and nobler woman than it will in the person of tha mother of l'resident Garfield, and she is hot ooly an object of the nation's ailuiiratioii, but the recipiënt of itshomage.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News