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One Of The Old Pioneers

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I the mlddlc of the cold winter, Jan. '', 1808 there carne to ,1 little home in central Xew York a baby. It was n home in the mulst of the uncloared foretUi where already tliere were seven fatherless children. The widowed uiother'i eyes were DOC yet dry from the tears at her liusband's funeral wheii the baby claimed her smiles and care?. They gave him the name of the father wlioin fatal illness had taken away and whose face lie never saw. The mother of these eight children was a wonian of rare ability and enency The toils and strnles of those early times were heavy, but she never faltered. Slie kept the home and all the little ones; the eldest was John, a boy of fourteen, and the youngest, the baby Xathan. They went to "meeting" on Snnday and to the comuion school on week days. They learned the Westmlnster catecuism and read Wehster's spelling-book and the l'salter, and ltvmied by heart the bkaaiea of Addlson and Dr. Johnson in the English reader. They all fjrew up and made honorable men and womeu. And In a home of comfort aml plenty, the brave and loviii" old mother died at the age of S5. The boy Nathan did credit to his ancpgtry whicli (foes back to l'lyinoutli Hoc!; and connts among its very grcat grandmot hen a daughter of Oov. Bradfoid. When the taBOM itf the oominon school were all learned then the dominio, as the pastor of the chui$li was called, taught him higher branches of sttidy. Be leamed early to make hisown living and pay lus own way. No honest toil was met with nnwilling hands au til his luoation was advanced so that lie could become a teacher himself. The story of these enrly years is like many others, full of labor and what to us would seeni like privations, but still full of earnest endeavor and high ainis. From his youth he was an insatiable reader and to this is due the tact that he RHM I man of unusual inforination and geueral knowledge. When reachlng mature years he der cided to adopt the medical profession, which seems to run in the family, as in its past history there have been many doctors, and to this object he devoted the ¦ama perseveran which had already overeóme many obstacles in hls path. He was liever content with a superite al knowledge; nothing but the most tliorough uiiderstaiidlng that could be obtaim-d would satisfy his mind. To those who knew hiin intimately, one most prominent characlerlstic was his intolerance, his contempt tor all ahanu, whether of mind or matter. Many a vaporing braggart had- to use a common pbrase - "the wind taken out of his sails" when he met Dr. Webb, and all visionary and extravagant 'isnis, which from time to time sweep over the commiinity, always found in him a cool minded critic and a keen judge. With any kind of "humbug" he had no sympathy and little patience. The spirit of the pioneer society was one which received his warniest interest. The preservatiou of old associations, old traditions, old relies and the stories of "langsyne" had for him a reat charm. He had carefully preserved the history of I1Í9 owu family from the Christopher Webb who came to Braintree, Mass. in 1650 through all the wide-spiead scatterings of his descernían ts. Among the relies which he cherished is an old account book giving the business of his great-grand-father, who in 1740, wa& a merchant and also carried on the business of tanning and currying and making saddlcs and bridles ín Xorwich, Conu. The curious records of selllng a gold-laced beaver hat for tfi, sl4, ili), and 1 y. J quarters and half qr of boue lace for Cl - 4 - are very novel to read now one hundred and torty years afterward, and the idea arises as to what pioneer society will in the year 2026 lind the transactions of to-day equally curious. His public spirit and his patriotism never showed uncertaln colors, and never feil to the level of self-seeking ox selligh intcrests. In 183!) he married Laurinda, daughlcr of Dea. Benjamin Enos, of Aurora, Erie Co., N. Y. She still survives. Of their geven childreii two are gout; one died In childhood ; the oldest sou, Fredrick, died n the army of a wound received at the battle of Antletam. In 1846 he moved from Hushville, Ontario Co., N. Y. to Pittsfield, Washtnmw Co., Mich,, and forforty years he lived in the bomt which tirst sheltered him herc. His tall stooping form, his very far "rom foppish appearance aiul his icady wit became wel] known tlirougliout uil ;he vioinity, while his reputation as a liysician of unusuiil skill, called liiin o many a bedsiue in coutest with that grcat conqueror wlio ahviiys triumptis at lust, and wliose ootning the higlit-st huinaii kill may but dclay for a se:ison. Dec. 3, 1884 a shock of puralyels came upon hiin and in a few liours nll Ii ís hnsy ilc is ended. To tlie last of bis life, ntorest in hls books, liis profewion and the progre8s of humnnity had liever ilinlnlshed; bnt he too, surrendcred CO the universal victor of all humanity. He is a fooi who boasts of four thlnfs; hat he bas pood wine, 1 good liors(!, ;i lmiHl.soiiif wilt-, bdiI plenty of mooey.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News