header image
Home arrow Historical Documents arrow Individual Histories arrow The Life of Elder Daily Hite
The Life of Elder Daily Hite PDF Print E-mail
Written by Daily Hite   

Elder Hite of Marion, Ohio, wrote this book for his children in 1985. He passed away in June 1993.


The Precious Blessings of Life

My parents were from devout and sincere Christian homes although they were poor of this world's goods, yet rich in faith, love and honesty. My father was Levi Virgil Hite, who was born on a farm in Wyandot County, Ohio, August 14, 1869. My mother was Adah Belle Williams, a twin, born May 28, 1871, in Hancock County, Ohio. This union was blessed with four children: a son died in infancy in their earlier life; then a daughter, Goldie Mae Hite, deceased in August 1974; then they were blessed with two sons, Park Daily Hite and John Marion Hite. Both of the sons remain, living near the old home place near Brush Ridge in the northern part of Marion County, Ohio and close to the Rocky Fork Primitive Baptist Church, of which they are both active members at the time of this writing, 1984. My father passed away in June 1952 and Mother died at Christmas time in December 1944.

My parents lived in the city of Marion, Ohio for a period of ten years and then most of their life was spent in the Brush Ridge community, farming and living a poor life. My father pastored Primitive Baptist Churches as he was an ordained minister of the Rocky Fork Primitive Baptist Church. While they lived in Marion at 649 N. Main Street, I was born on December 1, 1906; whether a blessing to them I do not know for I seem to fall so far short in so many ways. We lived at this location for five years after I was born and I have a few memories of some of my activities there, which were not always good. Yet I had lots of fun playing with the children in the close realms of home. Inside our home was quietness and a mother's love and watch care over her children, a true blessing of a home. While we lived at this location, my parents took another child, Park Williams, to raise. His mother had passed away and his father was a brother to my mother. He was with us two different times, but while here, we boys were a problem to my parents; for as they spoke to Park, we both answered or we both kept still. To settle this, I was called by my middle name, Daily, and have always been known as Daily Hite. The name Park came from Park Williams, my cousin, and the name Daily, was after the John R. Daily family.

When I was five years old my father bought the Ben Hite farm about one-half mile west of Brush Ridge. It consisted of 120 acres and he later bought 40 acres of the John Baer farm across the road to the west. I remember riding on the horse drawn wagon when we moved out to this location, and it has been in the Hite family ever since, although some of it has been sold off that was along the Upper Sandusky Road. This was quite a new feeling for me, and my brother, John, was born at the location the next year. I started to school walking to the one room school in the southwest corner of Brush Ridge. I attended there for my first five years of schooling and have often felt this was the most beneficial part of my education. Here in this one room school were the sound basic elements of learning that enables one to know right from wrong and to be qualified for the basic principles of life. Our home was another step in education, for it was a home of integrity and sound truth and honesty, so that their word was their bond carried out in love, hard work and charity; a true blessing of great value in life as we face the trials thereof. We always had work or chores to do before and after school. We cut wood for fuel to cook with as well as keep us warm and that required a lot of hard work. Later on Father had a hard coal burner to heat with and it was my chore to keep it filled twice a day and also take out the ashes. I used to churn for mother with the upright dasher churn, as well as work at the barn helping Father. He began to be discouraged about buying the farm for he just couldn't seem to get ahead or have anything to go on. We used to raise peas and sweet corn to take to Morral to the canning factory, as there was a Morral Brother's cannery there. This helped us get started, but the market was low and we did not make very much. The farm was poor and prices low, but it was a rich blessing to be out in the open and next to God. I remember I didn't always do what I should and soon after I had received a whipping for doing wrong, I went past the back door which was open in the summer, and beheld my mother working over the ironing board with tears running down her face. This was far more effective than the whipping and a blessing in my life for me.

I drove my first car long before you had to have a driver's license. It was Father's 1912 Ford sedan with no doors on the front, a fold down top that you raised if you saw a storm coming, and it ran on the magneto after you cranked it to start. I drove this car in 1914 when I was eight years old. In going to his church appointments, Father took me with him in this car to Morral. There he got on the train after he turned the car around and told me to take it home. My feet wouldn't touch the floor board, so I would stand down until I got it going, then jump back up on the seat and steer it home. There was one instruction- I was not to move the gas lever and it was set on the third notch! I killed the motor one time and had to get a man to crank it for me, as I was too small. It would scare the horses we met along the road and the road wasn't a smooth paved one like it is today. I have a picture of this car and it came to me through the mail with a one cent postage stamp on it. My, how our prices have changed!

CHAPTER II

The Grand Prairie School building was built in 1916-17 on the Marseilles-Galion Road East. This was near the center of our township in northern Marion County and held first through eighth grades. This did away with the one room school and we now rode to school in a wagon drawn by a team of horses. The driver was in the left front corner with a door to enter on the right front corner, an aisle down through the middle of the wagon with bench type seats on each side and a door at the rear. There wasn't very much heat in these wagons in the winter, but some carried kerosene heaters. The one room school building that used to be at Brush Ridge can still be seen back on the Robinson farm, which is now owned by Mr. Emerald Pfeiffer. Mr. Robinson moved the school building to the farm and used it for a feed grinding shed.

I went to the new Grand Prairie School in my 6th, 7th and 8th grades and my one room learning helped me to complete these three years near the top of my class. I didn't take much activity in sports because helping on the farm and my studies required all my time. We had eighth grade graduation then, and I had scores enough to be the Valedictorian of my class. I was required to prepare, learn and deliver an address before the public. I remember Uncle Lewis Young read it and commented that it was very good and that he hoped I would live up to the desires expressed in it. This is a blessing of my life, for I often go to Uncle Lewis Young's comment and ask myself how near I have lived to the mark. When you graduated from the eighth grade at Grand Prairie, the school board paid your tuition to go to either Morral or Marion for high school. We were quite busy on the home farm then, but yet father said I could work away from home some, so I worked for Mr. W.S. Wilson doing farm work for 50¢ a day and my dinner. This was quite a nice wage, I thought, and it helped a lot. About this same time, Clarence Baker lived in the small house on our farm and worked by the month for my father. We milked, by hand, 10 to 12 cows twice a day. One morning, Mr. Baker said to me, as we finished milking, "Let's get on our cow and turn her loose and ride her out." I said "All right" and we got on our cows, but I was slow and wanted to see what happened to Mr. Baker. He reached up and turned the cow loose, which went bucking and jumping until it bucked him off on the ground about ten rods from the barn. So, I chickened out and turned my cow loose without riding her out to pasture. Well, this was a blessing in disguise, too.

I went my first year of high school to Morral, mainly because Darrel Bibler, our neighbor's boy, was going there and drove a horse and buggy and I could ride with him. The horse was kept in a barn close by, for a small fee, and we would go there to get the horse in the evening, hitch to the buggy and come home. My father sold Harry and Rose Bibler the land they built on one half mile north of Brush Ridge and they were members of our church. Darrel changed and drove horse and buggy to Marion the next year, so I rode with him and changed schools too. Some of the other students in the neighborhood went to Marion and I well remember we raced out N. Main Street with Irma Bibler, now Irma Myers. The horses were kept in Hinamon's livery stable on Main St. while we were in school. Sometimes the racing reports got out to our homes and then we were cautioned in a severe way. Mr. Darrel Bibler went on to medical school and became a medical doctor, married my cousin Effie Hite and they practiced medicine in Nevada and Bucyrus. With my father's help, we bought a cheap two door Ford that I drove to Marion to school in my junior year, taking two other students and my sister. She graduated that year, as did Effie and Darrel. I rode my senior year with Clifford Campbell. I worked in the superintendent's office some and can well remember a conversation I heard in it one morning, about the Biblers out our way. The boy was told to bring in all the students you can from out there, for they are good sound students and of good character." That was a real blessing in life and comfort for us all.

We stayed at Aunt Julia and Uncle Lewis Young's home some in the winter when the weather was bad. They lived in Marion and Uncle Lewis was a postman. He and my father kept a lot of honey bees at our farm. I think the most they ever had was close to 120 hives. I helped some with the bees, but they didn't like me very well and would sting me considerably more than they bothered Father or Uncle Lewis.

I graduated from Harding High School in Marion in 1924 with a large class, but I haven't kept contact with the other class members. I remember you could get excused from taking the examinations if you had a high enough average, I think it had to be above 90%. Mr. Schade, the chemistry teacher, told me I was right on the line, he could excuse me or I could take the exam. I said I would take the exam and so I did. When the papers were all graded and in, Mr. Schade made quite a speech in front of the class, about being so disappointed in me, how he could have excused me but I elected to go ahead with it and surely he thought I ought to have done better. Then he called my name to come get my paper, and as I did he said he couldn't find anything wrong at all but I had left a decimal point out up in the date on the right hand corner, so he took off one-half point. What a relief!

The farmers in the community around Brush Ridge had gone together and purchased a threshing machine; a 20 H.P.. Baker steam engine and a 20-30 Huber threshing machine. The Baker steam engine was made at Swanton, Ohio and the Huber threshing machine was from the Huber factory in Marion. They also purchased a clover huller to thresh clover seed. I worked at this time with this outfit for four years. I used my father's horses to haul water for the steam engine for two years. It had a hand pump on it and I don't remember how many barrels the tank held, but I pumped many a tank full in 20 minutes as I stopped at the bridge on Campbell Road about a mile north of the Morral Road. You would put the 3" suction hose down in the water in the ditch, and it was a double action pump so it pumped both ways as you moved the handle back and forth. Then I ran or fired the steam engine for two years and used up a lot of the old rail fences for fuel; you needed to use a spark screen on the smoke stack when you used wood so you wouldn't catch anything on fire. We also used coal or whatever the farmer furnished. These were long work days, daylight to dark and I didn't go home every night, especially if I was a little distance away. I remember sleeping in the barn where we were working several times as I was too dirty to sleep in the house, but you were always asked to. I think I was paid $4.00 per day and of course your meals were provided wherever you worked. We started the day by cleaning out the firebox, swabbed or cleaned out the flues on the boiler and built a fire to begin with. Oh, yes, we helped fix belts, grease and keep the thresher repaired, although there were men with the thresher. We wouldn't anymore than get through with the grain until we would start with the clover huller. Then this would run up to winter or Thanksgiving when we would start corn shredding. My father had bought a corn shredder, a six roll one, from Mother's brother at Findlay.

CHAPTER III

I took a short course in Agriculture at Ohio State University the winter of 1924-1925. This was a blessing to me to meet the public and professors at the University and I learned some as to how it was run. They operated on the tax payers money and grants, so they didn't hesitate on expenses. On the farm, though, we must figure out if we can afford it and where the expense is coming from. Then we can take the good ideas we learn and apply them within reason on our own farm as they fit into our program. I well remember as this short course ended, it was for three months, one of the professors called me into his office to talk to me. He saw that I liked it and was a good student, so he begged me to stay there. He would even pull for me and get me a position with them; but I told him I was needed at home and was going home. I often ask myself where would I be now had I stayed there, but I believe the greater blessing has been at home. Blessings cannot be measured by a professor's life and honor, nor wealth or the wisdom the world has. While at O.S.U. I stayed at the home of Elder Frank McGlade's widow, a very honorable home. A son lived with her, but Eld. McGlade had passed on. I worked some for my room and board and worked in a restaurant in town for my meals there. Well, my school days were over, but I still learn every day.

I mentioned that my father had a corn shredder. All the field corn was cut by hand and put in the shock out in the field. Well, we fed some out of the shock to cattle and hogs and a lot was husked by hand and put in the crib for feed. The shredder was a machine powered by belt from the tractor and it had a pair of snapping rolls that you fed the shock corn through. This took out the ear corn that fell onto a husking bed of several rolls that took the husk off the corn and it went up an elevator into the wagon. The stalks went through a set of knives that chopped or shredded up the stalks that were blown into the barn for feed and bedding. Father had a Fordson tractor that we used for belt power on the shredder. One nice, warm and pretty day, December 1st, for it was my birthday, we were shredding corn at home, where John Hite now lives. It turned out to be a very good day and quite a lot was accomplished as the neighbors helped haul in the corn with their horses and wagons. I had been feeding the shredder for awhile before we quit that day at dusk and we didn't have anything in the tractor radiator to keep it from freezing. But the weather was warm and we were working in our shirt sleeves and Father and I didn't think we needed to drain the tractor that night. So we left it undrained and that night it got real cold, down to zero, a real snowstorm came and the next morning the tractor head and block froze up and cracked. We were about a week making repairs and always after that I drained the radiator whenever we quit for the day.

Father promised to shred corn for some of the neighbors and we went to Lee Murphy's to work. He had told Father he didn't have any money to pay him, but he would let him have corn for pay. When we were working in the corn, all of us found that the corn was not too good and there wasn't much yield, so Mr. Murphy needed all his corn and didn't let Father have any. So we went home after we finished the job, without any money or corn. One morning, about six weeks after that, I had dreamed about this matter. I arose and went downstairs and asked Mother where Father was. She replied, "Out to the barn." I went immediately to the barn and as I found Father I told him what I had dreamed and he was to go to Mr. Murphy's right away and he would pay him for the corn shredding. Father was busy with the morning work and he thought he might go later, but I insisted he go immediately. I took over where he was working and he went to Mr. Murphy's. He saw him at the barn, so he went there. Mr. Murphy asked him what he owed him for shredding corn and he paid him in full. To me this was a great blessing of life from the Lord's doings. Bless the Lord, oh, my soul. Father needed this badly. Many trials and many blessings come in every day life. No home is without them. It rains on the just and unjust alike and the sun shines on all.

CHAPTER IV

I started going with Lilibel Cole in 1924. She was the daughter of Burton and Amanda Cole in Delaware County, Ohio. They were fine Primitive Baptist people and it was through the church meetings that I met Lilibel. One Thanksgiving I neglected to let her know we were going to church and we left home early that morning; Father, Mother and I went to the Cole home to pick up Lilibel and her parents. When we arrived, I didn't know if my girl or anyone was going, as they had not heard from me. After a few conversations, we soon decided to all go to church and everything was all right. We were blessed to enjoy a good day and I remember we spent the evening together in the Owens home south of Delaware. We continued to see each other as much as we could and go to church together, and on December 1, 1927, her birthday and mine, we were united in marriage in the Cole home by my father. My cousins, Fred and Violet Williams stood up with us. We came to Marion County to live and I rented the Campbell farm from George Grove. This was about a mile west of my parent's home on the Morral Road. We enjoyed the blessing of this home, but only for a short time as Mr. Grove sold the farm and we needed to move the next spring. During this time Darwin Jurey and I cut a lot of corn in the neighborhood with one of Father's mules and a two row corn sled. We let the mule run off with us one day while cutting corn on the farm where we lived. No one was hurt, as we just fell off backwards, and we found the corn sled about half way to the house with the shafts broken out and the mule was back in the barn. The result was that father had a dream that I was deeply cut, so that stopped the corn cutting with the sled and mule.

In the spring of 1929 I rented a farm near Norton in Delaware County and we moved with my wagon and Richard Jurey borrowed a team and wagon and helped. On March 17, 1929, the Lord blessed us with a son, whom we called Virgil Burton Hite, named after both his grandparents. Complications set in and my companion passed away in April when Virgil was three weeks old. I feel this was the deep cut my father dreamed about, and it was a hard blow to me, yet the Lord knows best and does all things well.

I soon gave up that farm, yet that Spring as I was so troubled and didn't know what to do. I sold some of the chattels and lived with the Burton Cole family for a little over a year, as they were raising Virgil. I worked some on the farm and some with John Hanover at Ashley, Ohio. My wife's younger brother, Howard Cole, went west to California for a year so I stayed on at the Cole home to help out and be with my son. In about a year and a hall I came back to my parent's home in Marion County and stayed with them. I bought a Chevrolet truck, put a power motor behind the cab and a Papec hammer mill feed grinder on it. It was driven by belt power from the 6 cylinder Hercules motor. Then I started routes through the country, grinding feed for the farmers. This was a good hard working job, yet I went to see Virgil on weekends or whenever I could. I still tried to help my father some and my brother, John was doing a lot of the work now too. I took someone along with me on the feed grinder to help as it took two men to operate the outfit; one to put feed in the mill and one to take it away.

I was a widower for five years and met Cora Beaver at Richwood, Ohio. She made her home with her grandmother, as her mother had passed away when she was two years old. We would go get Virgil and the Cole family or go with them often to church. Cora and I were married April 22, 1934 in Rocky Fork Primitive Baptist Church by my father, Elder Levi Hite. My brother, John Hite and Martha Hanover stood up with us. We went to church and after services we had 36 for dinner in our home where we started housekeeping. My son, the Cole family and several attended from church. This was in the VanBuskirk home on the Wyandot Road, but the house has since been destroyed. I still ran the feed grinder for several years, and one day we were grinding feed at the Sheckler farm where I was taking care of the ground feed. I threw a large bag of feed on my shoulder and ran around the truck to empty it in the tank in the barn, to get back by the time the next bag was full, but I didn't make it. My feet became tangled in the weeds and I fell and turned my left ankle and down I went with a bag of feed on top. So I had a bad ankle for awhile, but it became better and I got along real well with it.  John Walterhouse of Upper Sandusky had a portable grinder and we would buy cribs of corn together and shell and grind for duck feed for the Hudson duck farm. On my ordinary day's run, we would handle from 10 to 15 ton of feed, but on the day we ground duck feed it would be double that, so we knew what work was like. Virgil would come to our place for short visits off and on until he was old enough to start to school. Then he lived with us after that time on.

CHAPTER V

We had more work and farming to do, so it was at this time that I bought my first tractor. It was a used Farmall that would handle a two mouldboard plow, but it wasn't on rubber tires. I soon bought an old Massey Harris on rubber as I was going back and forth on the road a lot. I also bought a used Allis Chalmers 5' combine that operated by power shaft from the tractor. When Virgil was 10 or 11 years old, I was starting to combine wheat in the field across the road from the house and I had fixed a place on the tractor for Virgil to stay in. I think I was hooked up to the Farmall, but didn't have any shield over the power shaft. I stopped the tractor to make a test to see if I needed to make any adjustment while the power shaft and tractor was still running. I had cautioned Virgil to stay where he was, but while I went back to the machine, he moved and caught his overalls on a bolt in the power shaft.

This tore off his overalls and cut and tore the calf of his leg open, the scar he carries yet today. I heard him holler and cry and when I looked around, he was jumping around on the ground without his overalls on, as they were wrapped around the power shaft that was still running. We shut off the tractor right away and I ran to the house carrying Virgil, and Cora and I took him to the doctor. Such was some of the trials of life.

We had another heavy trial to endure as on Thursday, April 11, 1940 at 6:00 A.M. our second child, a daughter, was born dead. That afternoon my father had prayer and the little one was laid to rest in the Grand Prairie Cemetery. How thankful I am that Jesus loved children and to the complete and full salvation of them as well as adults. What a blessing to trust in Him. It was a heavy burden to my soul to go to Akron to church services that weekend, but the Lord has been good in all his mercies.

Mr. John Bibler, a good citizen in our community, had been trying to buy our 50 acre farm on the Wyandot Road about every time I would see him. I sold the feed grinder just before we moved to Father's farm in 1938, but there was still a lot of work to do. When I found an opening to buy a larger farm, we sold the 50 acres to Mr. Bibler. He had land joining it on the back, so I offered the 50 acres to him for $8,000 and he bought it. We had paid $5,000 for it and had it paid for, so we used this money for a down payment on the 200 acre farm on the north side of County Road 26 (Marseilles Galion Road E) in Grand Prairie Township, Marion County, Ohio. The farm is still in the family and lays in a rectangle shape just east of the Little Scioto River, being 160 rods north and south and 200 rods east and west. We purchased it from Marietta Walters for $90 an acre in the fall of 1943. There were no buildings on it except a corn crib that set back in the field, and the farm is wet and subject to flash rains. We were to get possession the next year. In the 40 years we have owned it, it has only flooded out to destroy crops twice. I say we, referring to my wife and I, for I always consulted her opinion and feelings before going ahead. We still lived at Father's and I went to our farm to work also, which was a lot to do with what machinery I had at this time. I feel now that I was trying to do too much and neglecting my family and parents more than I should.

The old corn crib was in fairly good shape and I moved it from back in the field up to the barn yard spot that I expected to build on. We built a shed on the crib. The back field on the west side hadn't been plowed for a long time so I bought some dynamite and blasted out several stumps, as the timber had been cut off. I hired Mr. Willard Davidson to use his caterpillar tractor with bulldozer one day to push out, pull out everything we could and of course we left several holes in the field. I was back there plowing with my Massey Harris tractor and two bottom plow one evening after supper. Cora wanted to go somewhere so she had taken me over to the farm after our evening meal and she went on. Well, I got stuck in one of those holes about dusk and I couldn't get out. I walked across the field and creek to get home to get some tools and a jack to use to get out of the hole. I thought I would ask Father to use his car to take the tools back but he was asleep, so I took his car without asking. Sure enough, after awhile Father woke up and walked outdoors, only to discover his car gone. He called the State Police and they came out and brought Father with them down to the farm where I was plowing and there was his car. I never did live that down for Joe Harris and others would ask if I'd stole any more cars lately.

We were blessed with another daughter, Florence Irene Hite, coming into our home August 9, 1944. She is now married to Edward Reed and they live near Winchester, Kentucky. He is also a Primitive Baptist minister and works on office machines for the Remington Rand Company.

My mother's health was failing and she came over to the house we lived in the same day we had butchered. We'd had a big day, but Mother needed someone to help look after her. My wife bore an extra load then, with having a new daughter to care for too, but it was a double blessing. Mother had seen a vision of Heaven which she longed to enter, but the Lord said, "No, Adah, not yet; a few more steps to go." The Lord called her spirit home to glory on December 23, 1944. This was over the fourth weekend and Christmas time. Elder Earl Denman was asked to come for the church service on Sunday and Mother's funeral was on Monday, Dec. 26 at Rocky Fork Church by Elder Corvin Dove. Adah B. Hite, the daughter of Nehemiah and Catharine Williams, was born in Orange Township, Hancock County, Ohio, May 28, 1871. At the age of 18 she joined the Eagle Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Jackson Township, Hancock County, in 1889, and was baptized by Elder Levi Sherwood. She called for a church letter, and joined the Rocky Fork Primitive Baptist Church at Brush Ridge, in 1892, where she lived a faithful member for 52 years, until death. She had a good Christian experience, and would often testify of the goodness and mercies of God to her, a sinner saved by grace. She bore the burden of a minister's wife and willingly helped entertain her many friends. It was said by others that she made a good minister's wife. This was a real help to her husband and a blessing to the church. Her faith was strong in her Savior, and she had made all her funeral arrangements. Jesus said, "She hath done what she could." On Oct. 13, 1892, she was united in marriage to L.V. Hite. On Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day of the same year, they moved into a log cabin on their farm, one-half mile south of Wyandot. To this union were born four children, their first child dying in infancy. She, with her family, lived in Marion ten years, coming to their present home in 1912. Her health failed, and the good Lord called her spirit to Himself Dec., 23, 1944, at the age of 73 years, 6 months, and 25 days.

CHAPTER VI

I want to back up a little in time to 1952 for my father passed away on Tuesday after the second Sunday in June, 1952. He would have been 83 years of age on the 14th of August that year. He had been in failing health for some time, but he desired that he might go to the Sandusky Primitive Baptist Association one time more. It was held at Thompson Church the second weekend in June. Uncle Amos Hite and his wife Mary drove and took Father and his wife along, as we were not letting Father drive very much anymore. Cora and I drove and took the Jureys with us while Aunt Julia stayed at our home with some of the girls. Florence went along to the association and that was when she broke out with the measles, so she stayed in the car and we should have secured some dark glasses for her. Mother brought her home before the meeting was over. My father was put in to preach the introductory sermon and I heard several say that he was surely blessed of the Lord and this was his last sermon, for he passed away the following Tuesday morning. We were living at our farm and I was out doing the morning work early so I could go to Noble County for a funeral as Sister Bertha Davis had passed away there and they had called me to come for her funeral. I was just about finished when Cora came running out for me to come quick as my sister had called and said something had happened to my father. My sister, Goldie, lived on the Wyandot Road in the Neff home and Father had called her on the telephone to talk after he had been out and worked some in his garden and came back in the house to rest a little before breakfast. Goldie said she heard a thud, like someone falling on the floor and when she couldn't get any response, she called us. We went immediately to their house, and when I went in, Father was laying on the floor by the telephone. John came in too, as they were living in the big house of Father's farm at that time, and we laid Father on the couch. We called Uncle Amos and the doctor, but Dad was gone; the Lord had called his spirit to rest until the time that Jesus will come again.

Well, I didn't know what to do about going to Noble County for that funeral, but after talking to Goldie and John and the undertaker, I decided to go and come back as soon as I could. The funeral was at 2:00 P.M. at Bethel Church and I hurried and left for it. I was driving about 70 m.p.h, east of Hebron, Ohio on Route 40 going toward Zanesville when a patrol car stopped me. I don't know where he came from and the two officers wanted to know if I knew what I was doing and how fast I was driving. This was before any interstate highways were built too! I told the officer I knew I was driving too fast and explained that I was on my way to Noble County for a funeral and my father had passed away that morning, which delayed me, and would he please do me a favor and let me go. About that time the second officer said, "I know you, I have heard you and your father preach funerals and you are north of Marion." He did know me for he was a grandson of one of the members of our church. He told the other officer to give me a warning ticket and let me go, which they did. I thanked them and went on my way. You can call that just a chance if you want, but I feel the Lord's guiding hand in the matter. I arrived in time for the funeral in Noble County and came back home the same day. I was told by several after the funeral that the Lord surely was in the matter for me to come and be there. I told them at the end of the service that my father had passed away suddenly that morning and I wanted to be excused to go back home. You could just see and feel the calm warm feeling that came over the large audience. This was a long and trying day for me, but the Lord still provides.

Father's funeral was on Friday, June 13, 1952 at Rocky Fork Church by Elders E.L. Kinter, Corvin Dove and G.F. Hanover. Some heavy trials and days followed which I will not relate, so I trust they are hid in the pages of history forever.

CHAPTER VII

We continued to live on our farm and had no desire to gain wealth or become rich as some do, but was told and taught by my parents to be honest and live within our ability or means of support and make our word good. This we have tried to do and still feel to be blessed of the Lord in so doing, although sometimes my family seemed to be neglected a little when it took all we had for me to go to church on. Several times I didn't know if I could get home or not and I just ask the Lord for a fruitful mind and heart to serve Him.

In March of 1954 Cora and I went with Uncle Amos Hite and Elmer Scheft and Cousin Park Stuckman with a Farm Bureau group by train to Washington, D.C. and New York. It was a nice trip and I remember being in the United Nations Building, the Capitol and the Senate and House of Representatives. In New York we went to church on Sunday with what was left of the absolute baptist, we went on a bus and taxi and they both wanted tips. When we were going to the train to start for home we discovered Uncle Amos was not with us, and it was getting near departure time.

Park Stuckman and another man went back to find him and he had turned the wrong way at a corner, but had discovered his mistake and was coming back toward the train station when they found him. We all were on the train just as it left for home.

Carolyn was in nurses training at Akron City Hospital, Akron, Ohio in 1956 and she got ten days off in October and came home; saying Mother and she were going to Florida and I was going along. I sure didn't know anything about it at the time, but we decided to go and took Florence along. My sister, Goldie stayed with the two younger girls and took care of the chickens. We left on Tuesday before the second weekend in October in our car and were back home on the next Wednesday to help clean Rocky Fork Church for the yearly meeting, so we weren't in Florida very long. This has been the only time we have been to Florida and we had an enjoyable trip. We stopped at Ft. Gordon, Georgia to visit Cora's niece and nephew, the Uhls. Then we went on the east side of Florida through Jacksonville and stopped at Marineland to watch the show. It rained so hard while we were driving that we had to pull off the road and stop several times, but the sun soon came back out. When we arrived at Brother Blanton's home in Miami I learned why we had come to Florida for a friend opened the door. He was in the Navy and stationed at Key West at that time. We had a nice weekend with the folks there and went to church with them on the second Sunday in October. We started home that afternoon and went north on the west side of Florida and stopped that night in St. Petersburg to stay with a girl there that had been in school with Carolyn at Akron. We crossed the high Bay Bridge and that was quite an experience. We stopped at Cypress Gardens and watched the ski show and then took a glass bottom boat ride at Silver Springs before we headed on home. We had better weather in Ohio than in Florida while we were gone and all was well at home and we were glad to be with the family.

In 1957 we took all four girls and went to California to see some folks out there, as well as some wonders of God's creation. We left home on Tuesday after the second Sunday in June, as this was the time of our association. We stayed all night at Fred Lewis's home in Edwardsville, Illinois and had church in their back yard with Elder James Harris and wife attending. Mother drove awhile the next day and we stopped in Oklahoma for the night. We saw several jack rabbits in this state and the only ones I ever saw. We drove through a sand storm on our way to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and here we beheld all the flying bats that use the cavern for a home. We saw the Petrified Forest on our way to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. This is surely a wonder of wonders as God upholds all by the very word of His power. We crossed over to Needles, California on our way to Ocean Side where Shirley Beaver and wife lived. He is a brother to Cora's father and a cousin, Mildred Smith lived right next door. We spent a few days with them and enjoyed our visit, and this was the only time I waded in the Pacific Ocean. It was a grand view to see the ocean and watch the sun set below the horizon. You could just behold the top of the staff and funnel of an ocean boat, as it came toward shore, thus proving the curving of the earth. We picked some large lemons, oranges and other fruit in Uncle Shirley's yard. He took us out to the dairy where they bought milk, and this was the only place I ever beheld them milking cows by the hundred. They milked cows there 16 hours a day, and then the night shift cleaned up and ready to start again at 4:00 A.M. the next day. They had a glass enclosed front that you could drive by and see them milking and the milk going directly to the cooler, then the pasturizer and then bottled. They were milking 480 cows at this time. Uncle Shirley also took us up on Palmar Mountain to see the great Palmar Telescope where they watch the stars and heavenly bodies. This was quite a wonder to me. We visited the San Diego Zoo and made a short trip to Tijuana, Mexico also. We had a wonderful time and bid them God speed as we left the next week for home. We went north through Bakersfield, California where the temperature was 120 degrees. When we stopped the girls all jumped out, but being barefooted, they soon all jumped back in the car as it was so hot. We went through the redwood and sequoia forest and viewed the tree that is large enough that you can drive your car through it. We also saw the great eucalyptus trees and what a sight to behold.

We went on to Yellowstone National Park and when we entered the south gate, the man saw our car license from Ohio and asked what part. I told him Marion County and he was an Ackley from near Prospect in southern Marion County. We found a crude cabin in the park for the night and the bugs and mosquitoes were really thick. We also heard the garbage cans rattle in the night, and found bears searching for food. It is certainly a wonderful sight to see Old Faithful Geyser erupt right on schedule, as it always does. As we were leaving the park, we stopped to see a mama bear and her cubs along the road. The girls got out of the car but the mother bear slapped the cubs and sent them up a tree with a rough growl, and the girls were back in the car in a hurry. I stopped once along the road so we could watch a bear fishing and he caught one in it's paw. As we stopped in Cody, Wyoming to eat, I said we would have to leave off going to the Bad Lands we had planned to see in the Dakotas, for I had promised to be with Elder Craig that night at Cozad, Nebraska for church. We stayed with Clayton Burkepiles all night and came on to Bentley, Illinois the next day. We then stopped at Elder Adam Sarber's home in Indiana for July 4th, but Merle wasn't there as he'd expected to be. He came later and I was called home for a funeral, so Carolyn stayed over a day or two. She then came to Crestline on the train and we met her there and took her back to school at Akron. This was a very nice and rewarding trip.

CHAPTER VIII

In 1959 we were tiling the field west of the house on the farm. The girls had some pet lambs and it was warm, so the lambs were resting in the shade under the wagon. We had tile on the wagon to use and as we pulled up to the ditcher with the tile, we ran over two of the lambs and killed them. This was very upsetting to all of us, but especially to the girls and they cried and cried over their loss, so I felt terrible. We usually kept around 1,000 chickens on the farm consisting of around 500 layers and 500 new chicks coming on. In the spring of 1960 Cora and I took the two small girls with us to Indiana for a church meeting and Florence stayed home to take care of the chickens. There were 500 of them about 6 weeks old in the brooder house and the weather was nice and had warmed up, so I moved the brooder house out by the barn, thinking they would be all right without any heat. On Saturday it turned cold, and the chickens piled up that night and smothered 100 or more. Well I had another problem to take care of when we got home. I fixed electric heat out to the brooder house from the barn as it stayed cold all that week and this was in May. The blessings of life always include rough places along the pathway, so that we don't forget the source from where they come and it brings us closer to the Lord.

All of our children have had some bumps along the way; Virgil had the misfortune of getting caught on the power shaft of the combine; Carolyn fell down cellar stairs at Lewis Jurey's home; Florence fell down stairs at a place we stopped to eat coming home from Washington, D. C.; Elaine rode a stroller down the cellar stairs at Elder Ed Allen's home in Indiana and Nina rode a stroller down our own cellar stairs at the farm plus Elaine got fast in the wringer washer machine once. We also had another fire on the farm and I was gone to church over the weekend, but Cora had kept the girls at home. We had a wood and coal furnace in the basement for heat and I had a metal box that held the matches fixed up over the door in the furnace room. The mice got in there and started a fire and it had a good start burning the paper on the insulation and around it scorching the timbers and some wire when the girls and mother smelled the smoke upstairs. When Cora opened the basement door it was full of smoke down there, but she had courage to take the fire extinguisher that was hanging close by and she put the fire out. The Lord has provided sufficiently all along the way in ways I cannot describe. I even had some of my neighbors ask me how I got along as it seemed to them that I was gone a lot and yet I was getting along better than they were. I said ~I don't know, only that I try to serve the Lord, do the best I can at the time and leave the result in the Lord's hand." God has not promised skies always blue, flower strewn pathways all our lives through, God has not promised sun without rain, peace without sorrow, joy without pain; but God has promised strength for the day, rest when we labor, light on the way, grace for our trials, help from above unfading kindness and undying love.

While on the farm I raised popcorn for several years as a cash crop to have some finances to go on. It was contracted with Betty Zane PopCorn Co. in Marion, but they are not there now. This was quite a job when I raised 20 acres of popcorn and husk it all by hand, but at that time I could get the popcorn off in time to put fall wheat in the field. I quit raising it when they went to all hybrid corn. We raised some feeder cattle and hogs, only milking a few cows, 4 to 6, depending mostly on the chickens, with the help of the Lord in it all. There were only a couple years that we didn't make anything to go on and when we sat at the table and offered thanks for the blessings of life, I did hold back to see that my family had sufficient to eat, so I ate scarce for their benefit. We were happy in the Lord and enjoyed the blessings of life and still realize that every day is the Lord's. My life's labors haven't proved to be any big success, but just daily labors looking to the Lord for strength to carry on. While Cora was in the hospital in 1967, I think, I was back on the farm working, in a discouraged flame of mind, and I was going across the field with the tractor and it seemed like I was riding on a cloud like you would a fiat wagon. The Lord comforted me with a song that I was singing and a new verse came to me that I sang to the same tune as No. 393 in the Daily Hymnal. The verse is, "When I'm with Christ in Heaven above, there shall I Him adore, I'll sing His praise and glory clear, and never want for more." The toil of the day seemed lighter afterwards.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 October 2006 )
< Previous   Next >

Purpose

The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.