Following is one of the Biographies and Stories which where gathered by Charles Sumner McKamy in the 1950s for publication in a Crawford County History Book. Unfortunately he passed away before the book was published.

Lawrence S. Heath This, my autobiography, on my 80th birthday, I have two purposes in mind. It is not that a history of my life might be interesting to the world generally, as was the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, but it is that it would be of interest to my family and friends; and further, that I may be able to say something that would be an inspiration to young men and women who may happen to read it. In writing this history of my life I am going to take the risk of seeming too realistic and also of being egotistic.

As an excuse for seeming too realistic I do not feel that otherwise I could accomplish either of the purposes in view as to the first purpose I feel that my family and friends would like to know the real facts of my life.

As to risk the seeming egotistic I do not altogether subscribe to the accepted theory that one should not speak of his own accomplishments. To illustrate my view, the world will applaud a man who emphatically says I CAN, but will condemn if he says I DID. I like a man who has confidence in himself and his ability to do things. I used to admire John L. Sullivan when he would mount the rostrum and declare that he could whip any man living. I admire Joie Rue, the greatest sprinster of his day. He once went to California to enter a contest of speed, in which there were more tan thirty entries. The announcer for the occasion introduced by name all the contestants, except that of Joie Rae. Of course it was an oversight, but nevertheless Joie Rae didn't like it. He picked up the megaphone and in a loud voice said: My name is Joie Rae and when this contest is over I won't need an introduction. It need not be said that he won the race. Is it egotism on Joie's part? Of course not, but if Joie had happened to tell of his feat later he would have been accused of boasting. This is manifestly unfair.

I was born Nov. 29, 1869, in the extreme southeastern part of Crawford County, Illinois on the south bank of Buck Creek and on the west side of what is now State Road 181, on the Lincoln Trial when we came to Illinois.

My father's name was Milton and my mother was Clemana Ann Waldrop, daughter of William and Sarah Waldrop, pioneers in the early history of Crawford County. Their house was near Palestine, one of the oldest towns in Illinois, where the Land Office was located for many years and where lived Governor French, one of the first Governors of Illinois. Here also was located Fort Lamotte, which was a defense against the Indians. My Grandmother has told me that once when she was a child she took shelter in this fort. She said that on one occasion when she went to the spring for a bucket of water an Indian in ambush poised his arrow to kill her, but changed his mind because she was a mere child. He afterwards became a friend of the family and told them of the incident.

My father was the youngest of a family of ten children, eight boys and two girls: Renick, Zale, John, Randolph, Austin, Harvey, Boliver and Melton, and the girls, whose names I do not remember. One of them married Owen Pinkstaff and the other a man by the name of Petty, father of the late Clem Petty, whose home was northwest of Lawrenceville, Illinois. The Pinkstaffs had one child whose name was Jeff and who died many years ago at Mulberry, Illinois.

Of these children, Renick was the oldest, after whom Heathsville, in Crawford County was named, as he was the keeper of the Inn at this location on the stage coach route from Vincennes, Indiana to Chicago, Illinois. This is the route which Lincoln took when he came to Illinois in 1830. He came with his mother, his father, it seems, having gone before. My uncle has told me that Lincoln stopped at his place late in the afternoon for some minutes, during which they seemed to have gotten pretty well acquainted. Lincoln camped that night about one and a half miles north of Heathsville on the east side of the road on the banks of a tiny stream of water. Later when my uncle enlisted in the Black Hawk War he met Lincoln again at Springfield, Illinois and through Lincoln's recommendation Renick was commissioned a Captain. Incidentally I might say, in passing, that Renick Heath originated the Heath Cling Peach.

When I was about one and one-half years of age, my father traded for forty acres of land just across the County line in Lawrence County, and built there on a "hewed" log house, and covered it with clapboards. These are boards about thirty inches long riven out of oak logs, usually white oak. There was a tract of five acres cleared for cultivation of the forty, a ravine passed through the center of the forty, and the rest was in timber.

My father had hardly become established here when he died, Nov. 18, 1872, three days before I was three years of age. Young as I was I remember my father quite distinctly. I remember many things he said and several things he did. I remember him on his death bed but I do not remember his death. I remember, however, standing by his grave when the coffin was lowered and the grave filled. I do not remember the trip home in the two horse wagon but I do remember when we entered the home my Mother stood with her back to the fire in the old-fashioned fire place and said: O'Lord, what will we do now.

My father realized the desperate plight in which he was leaving us and he requested that my Mother have his coffin made from some poplar boards that he had placed on the loft of the house. One of our good neighbors, Sam Pinkstaff, declared that Milton Heath was too good a man to be buried that way and if necessary he would pay for a coffin himself. This he did not have to do, as I remember quite well that the Undertaker came and took away with him a little white calf we had in payment of the bill.

Left in the family with me was a sister Margaret, six, and a half-brother, John Cowden, 9. There was also a half-sister Rose Cowden, older than John, who was taken into the home of her Grandmother when her father died.

We were indeed, in very destitute circumstances and the making of a subsistence devolved upon my Mother and John. We had no place to look for help as there were no W.P.A.'s in those days. It was a case of "root hog or die". It seems that we did a great deal of rooting to find only a very few roots.

In those days in a rural community such as ours, work was very scarce, as farm families did all their own work, except possibly in wheat harvest and corn shucking time. There was, however, a family in our neighborhood, by the name of Wilber, that occasionally had my Mother do the washing and ironing, especially at a time when a new baby arrived in the home, as often happened at regular intervals. My Mother also quilted quilts for this family for which she was paid at the rate of one dollar per spool of thread. As another source of income my Mother purchased yarn and knitted mittens and socks for which she received 50cts a pair.

As time went on, we in some way, which I am at a total loss to understand, we came into possession of a team of horses and an old wagon which was quite a boon to the family. This enabled Mother and John to cut "cord wood" and haul to the Grist Mill in Russellville three miles distant, for which they received two dollars a cord delivered at the mill. Delivery was not always and easy matter as I have seen them many times stick in the mud, unload and pull out to more solid ground, reload and go on their way.

Of course it should go without saying that as soon as I was old enough to work I had to help to carry on. I well remember the first money I ever earned. I picked and shelled a two-bushel sank of hickory nuts, which I sold to a man by the name of Joe Forte, father of I.W. Forte, who at this very time is living in my own town of Robinson, Illinois.

For these nuts I received the handsome sum of 50cts, two 25 cent pieces. I valued this money very highly, but I came near losing it, which would have thrown me into bankruptcy. It happened in this way: There was a boy in our school who could on his head. I was trying to emulate him and in order to play safe I was practicing by the side of a straw stack. Later on, on missing my money from my pocket, I knew at once where I had lost it. I had to move all the straw down to the ground before I finally recovered the treasure.

When I was 9 John got a job of shucking corn from one "Uncle" Frank Curry and he commissioned me to assist him in carrying out his contract. I was out of school for several weeks while we finished that job.

I believe the low water mark in our fight for survival was reached when I was about seven. I remember when we got up one morning we had nothing in the house to eat but corn meal. Mother made some mush out of this and tried to fry it for breakfast. As the wood was either wet or green and the lid of the old stove was cracked she only succeeded in getting a brown spot about as large as a slim dime. My Mother did not have the advantage of an education but she was anxious that we children should be more fortunate than she had been and she kept us in school as best she could. John had to drop out of school when he was twelve, as he had to help more and more to support the family.

It was not possible for my Mother to buy books for us. She would have to get used books in some way from older children in the district. In fact, I never had but two new books while I attended the rural school. One of these books was a copy of Harvey's Grammar, which I had needed at the beginning of school but could not get. Fortune favored me, however, as I trapped a mink one day, the hide of which I stretched and dried, for which I received 80 cents, just the price of he grammar. I could hardly wait till I could get to town to buy the book. For the purchase of this book I got a severe scolding from John, with the remark that I had better bought something of some use, as an education would never amount to anything. Another new book I had was purchased with money I earned at shucking corn in the mud at 40 cents a day, 4 days work.

It was even more difficult for my Mother to clothe me than it was to secure books. I would only have one pair of boots a year and toward the end of winter my toes were usually out in front. I like to skate in the winter but of course I could not have a pair of skates. Instead, I would take my foots to Uncle Bill Gaines and have him fill the soles with round headed tacks to facilitate skating and save sole leather at the same time. As to other clothing, my Mother would take the fleece from sheep to a neighbor woman, who would then spin it and weave it into cloth, called jeans. There were two methods of coloring the cloth: one was to boil it in a copperas solution to produce reddish color, the other was to boil the cloth with the bark of a dogwood sapling for a greenish color. By the way, the later method was used in making ink, as we could not afford to purchase ink from the store. This ink would do quite well to write with in practice, but would fade out in a few days.

I remember quite well one pair of "britches" I had that was quite unique. We had in the house half enough jeans on the greenish color for a pair of britches for me, putting the green in front and the red in back. I suppose according to the present day signals it was dangerous when I was coming and safe when I was going. Unlike the experience of Billy Masone, formerly a United States Senator from Illinois I did not have any fights because of my parti-colored pants. When Billy was a boy his Mother made him a shirt out of a flour sack with a picture of a deer on the back of the shirt. Billy had several fights with the kids that taunted him about his shirt.

With further reference to unique pants, I remember one pair that either I had outgrown or it had shrunk. My Mother always made my clothes, and when she got them too small she would console me by telling me they would stretch and if they were too large she would assure me that they "draw up". Whatever may have been the cause of the deficiency in the case of the above mentioned pants, I had to wear them of none, of course, I chose to wear them. My teacher was a young woman and one day at school there were two young men visiting, when my class was called. As I walked across the floor to the front I noticed the young men laughing at my pants. The teacher, I noticed, suppressed an incipient smile which I greatly appreciated and always remembered I was a very sensitive child and I remember that as the most humiliating experience I ever had.

I often would hear my Mother in her desperate plight, talk about sending us to the poor house. I did not know what or where the house was, but my imagination was filled with much terrible misgivings that even to this day, I can not undertake to read "Over the Hills to the Poor House".

A handicap in my home study while in school, was the fact that, while a lamp "chimney" cost only a nickel, we could not afford one to brighten the haze of the "coal oil" lamp, the smoke of which was free to escape in the house. Luckily however the smoke would escape through the cracks in the loft and clap-board roof. For paper in learning to write with pen and ink we used "fools cap" paper. The teacher would set the copy on the top line. I remember one copy, which was: Many birds of many kinds. Many men of many minds.

This method of learning to write may not have a great handicap after all, as teachers in three days were unusually good penmen, and I strove hard to simulate the teacher. And perhaps, after all, there were some advantages in the "horse and buggy" days, and perhaps, after all, the handicap we endured in those days might have been the "making of us", as illustrated in the story of the boy who had a bull pup. The pup got the boys "old man" by the nose one day and the father yelled loudly for help. The boy said, "I know it hurts father, but just grin and bear it; it will be the makin' o' the pup".

As you perhaps know, the bird spends almost its entire resistance in its search for food. As I grew older I began to realize that our waking hours were spent in search for food and clothing. We could have no other ambition and were satisfied if only we could succeed in meeting the requirements of our direct needs. We depended largely for food on wild game and fruits. But here again we did not have a gun. About the only game we could secure was the rabbit. We could sometime catch them with the dog, as it is said or can be said at least, that no man is ever so poor that he can own some kind of dog. Some times the dog would "tree" the rabbit in a hollow log or tree, in which case we would extricate the rabbit with a forked stick twisted around his leg.

Wild fruits rather plentiful but limited in variety. We were able to acquire a sufficiency of the wild grape and the blackberry, using ceiling wax to seal the lid on, I believe the mason jar was unknown in those days.

Of course the 5 acres of tillable land on our forty was used to the best possible advantage, but after feeding the team we did not have much for family use.

As John grew older we would sometimes rents ground from some neighbor, but we usually had to take the most unproductive. Here again, we were handicapped for the want of tools with which to farm. The only implements we had was a breaking plow and a double shovel. It is said that it is no disgrace to be poor but it is awfully unhandy.

We found it unhandy in many ways. If the old harness would happen to break we were too poor to have them repaired and we had to mend them with hickory bark peeled from a sapling. I am not exaggerating here in the least.

I told you above that I never had but two new school books. I recall however, that when I was eleven I sold enough visiting cards to earn a small dictionary as a premium. I was very proud of this book and at this age I began to use the dictionary and from that day to this whenever I come upon a word, the meaning or pronunciation of which I do not know, I have made it a practice to consult the dictionary. To this day I keep am unabridged dictionary in my office and another at home in my library. In those school days the "scholars" used slates instead of paper tablets. A slate would cost 15cts to 25cts according to the size, while slate pencils cost at the rate of six for a nickel. Rulers for drawing straight lines were home-made. I remember however, that a family living in our school district did their trading at Vincennes and one day one of the girls of the family came to school with the first "ad" rule I had ever seen. I had a very great desire for one like it but I had no hopes that I would ever be fortunate to possess one. Now our Mother had always taught us that we should be honest. Up to about this time I had not found it difficult to follow her teaching, but one day after school had closed for the school year I was passing the school house and noticing that a window pane was out I went to the window to take a look at the inside, when lo! and behold there was the coveted ruler. The temptation was too great. I "swiped" the ruler. I kept it well hide from my Mother for a few days when I ventured forth with the ruler in hand and visited a man who was splitting rails nearby. He borrowed the ruler to do some measuring and he never returned it, claiming that he had lost it.

When school took up in the fall I felt so guilt stricken I could not face the girl whose property I had stolen. I never again took an article of value except on a later occasion when some boys and I ventured into a watermelon patch. Hardly had we picked one melon when the owner of the patch gave chase. He chased us through a grass burr patch and we got our feet full of the stinging things. The pain was excruciating but we couldn't stop. We had to keep moving and moving fast. After the unprofitable experience in the second case combined with the forfeiture of the booty I never again had any desire to disregard my Mother's teachings, not only did my Mother teach me the virtues but our teachers placed great emphasis on the morals of their pupils. We had another advantage in those school days and that was the use of McGuffey's readers. I regret very much that our children of today are not privileged to use McGuffey's readers and truly pity them for their misfortune.

Added to my Mother's burden was the fact that as a child I was sick a great deal. Along with the contagious and infectious diseases that are common to childhood, I had typhoid and also pneumonia. The most persistent sickness was that of malaria. I was also addicted to stomach trouble. My life was despaired of several times and. In fact, my Mother never expected that I would grow to manhood. Looking back, I am sure that much of my trouble was caused from undernourishment and the conditions under which we lived. We lived in swampy land and malaria was the scourge of our existence. We had in great abundance mosquitos, flies, rats, mice, muskrats, "possums", coons, minks, pole cats, rabbits, squirrels, turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, toads and salamanders, besides about all the noxious insects known to man. Amid all these surroundings I marvel, to this day how I ever pulled through. I must have had a strong constitution, otherwise I would have never had "made a ripple".

In those days perhaps our greatest annoyance was that of the mosquito, as soon as the sun went down they came forth in full force with closed ranks. Screens even unknown to us and I do not remember that there was such a thing as mosquito netting. The only defense we had was smoke. We would burn dry chips in an old bake oven, setting it where it would fill the house full of ill-smelling fumes, the doors were left closed for the night, even in the hottest weather. It seemed to me that the remedy was worse than the disease. But here again the cracks in the loft and roof alleviated the situation in great measure.

Speaking of cracks in the roof reminds me that on many occasions during a rain at night it was necessary to move the bed to a dry spot in the house to avoid getting water-soaked. Surely "those were the days of real sport" and surely I am glad them days is gone forever".

I must have been a precocious child, as I learned very readily and from my earliest recollection I had a thirst for knowledge. When I was eight I competed for a prize to be given at the close of the school year. This one was a diploma, or reward of merit given to the "scholar" who received the greatest number of merit marks during the school term. On the last day of school I was unable to attend because of sickness, but "Oh! Distinctly I remember" it was on the 16th days of March, 1878, that my sister brought home to me the coveted prize.

This success gave me a well-nigh inordinate ambition to excel as a student, and thereafter, I rarely, if ever, failed in this ambition.

It rarely happened that I was privileged to read a book. I believe the first book I ever read was the life of the James boys. Of course, I thought that they and Cole Younger were heroes indeed. Another book was Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress, which I enjoyed very much. Another book was the story of a bashful man, John Flutton. It was quite humorous. I read also "Pecks Bad boy". The only other book I read, and which I enjoyed most thoroughly was an unabridged history of the civil war in the United States. I read this book several times and acquired a very thorough knowledge of this war.

While we, as a family lived a very lonesome life, this had is recompense, as our loneliness drew us closer together and we loved each other dearly.

Except for those 5 acres of tillable land, north of the house, our log cabin was surrounded on all sides by dense wood and underbrush, and at even tide as we sat on the porch we were treated to all kinds of weird sounds, among them that of the Whippoorwill. I have not heard the song of the Whippoorwill for these many years and I am glad I do not have this reminder of those lonesome nights. If it had not been for the love of my brother and sister, I could never wish to be a boy again. My Mother was sick at times and I worried much for fear of her death. I used to pray that she might be spared me until I should become grown up, as I imagined that grown ups were not so grieved by the loss of a Mother. My Mother was spared me till I reached my 39th year but nevertheless I grieved much over her death. For months after the loss of my Mother I would find myself with my head in my arms weeping over my office desk. My feeling about my Mother can best be expressed by the following little, written by Elizabeth Akers Allen which I used to read as a child and dread the thought that some day I would be in the same state of sadness as the author:

Rock me to Sleep.

Backward, turn backward, O time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the Echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of Yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;
Rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep.

Backward, flow backward, O ide of the years;
I am so weary of toil and of tears
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,
Take them and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,
Weary of flinging my -- wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;
Rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep.

Tired of he hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O Mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded, one face between;
Yet with strong yearning and passionate pain
Long I to-night for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep;
Rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep.

No other worship abides and endures --
Faithful, unselfish and patient like yours;
None like a Mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world weary brain.
Slumber's soft calms over my heavy lids creep;
Rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep.

Come let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Full on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead tonight,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Happily will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;
Rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep.

Mother, dear Mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened to your lullaby song;
Sing, then and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your heart in a living embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep --
Rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep.

I was always was kind to my Mother and showed my affection for her in many ways. I never spoke a harsh word to her except on one occasion, when in a high state of vexation, for which she was n no way to blame I made a very unjust accusation against her. I knew this troubled her greatly but I never had the courage to ask her forgiveness. It has been more than forty-two years since her death, and I have sometimes stood by the monument that marks her last resting place and prayed to her ashes and to her spirit in heaven that she yet would forgive my childish intemperance.

Boys and girls, men and women, if you love your parents, tell them before it is too late. I once knew a young man, an only child, whose Mother had made many sacrifices for him, and as he stood by the bedside of his dying Mother, he said to her, "O Mother you have been a wonderful Mother to me and I live you with all my heart". The poor dying soul, who had never before had a word of appreciation from her only child, said: "O my boy, why did you wait till me dying day to tell me this". Are you going to wait for an indictment like this?

I am impelled to believe that there is not the same love and affection existing between parents and children as was the case in former days when parents and children spent more time together in the home. Home, Sweet Home, be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. Mother, Home and Heaven, the three sweetest words in the English Language. There are so many distractions today that the home life in many cases has well nigh ceased to exist. Parents and children too often go their separate ways.

Why is it that children, when away from home or married and gone so often neglect to write the old folks at home, who watch in their loneliness for the letter that never comes. Children are sometimes even ashamed of their parents. Not so with the young man whose Mother by constant toil was enabled to keep him in college. He was determined to reward her by making the most of the opportunity his Mother had given him. While he had not had the preliminary training for a course in college, and was greatly handicapped by reason of this, he was determined that he was going to graduate at the head of his class. On entering college he placed a letter V above the door of his room. No one knew what this letter symbolized, but on his graduation day he was the Valedictorian of his class. On this day of triumph he was not ashamed of his Mother. She was there in the audience with a sun bonnet on her head at his invitation and he pointed her out and paid her one of he greatest tributes a Mother ever received from a grateful son.

Too much can not be said on praise of he "hand that rocks the cradle". Her influence reaches far. You no doubt have read the story of the boy who had a praying Mother, who had kept him in Sunday School as long as she could. When he grew up he left the home and became a sinner and wayward man. One Sunday after years of crime he happened to hear the sound of a church bell in the distance. He suddenly paused and began to think. He recalled his Mother's prayers and he old church bell. The Spirit of grace fell from heaven upon him and he became one of the greatest preachers in America.

After my experience in shucking corn at the age of nine I found that thereafter I was frequently drafted into partnership with John and Mother in the business of making a living. One of he early tasks assigned to my sister and me was to cut corn stalks in the spring so that the ground could be prepared for another crop. After cutting the stalks with hoes we could gather them in our arms and pile them in heaps to be burned at. We usually burned them at night, as it was quite a pleasure to witness the flames reaching toward the sky.

Another task I had was to follow John when he was plowing the corn for the first time and uncover the plants that had been covered up. The plow used for cultivating what was called a "double shovel". The corn was cultivated by going up one side of the row and back on the other side. As we had no fender a great portion of the plants was covered up.

Another task I had to perform was to cover the seed corn with a hoe. One method of planting corn was to lay off the rows with a small "turning" plow and then drop the seed by hand at spaces of about three and one half feet. When I was about twelve I was rather expert at dropping corn and received some employment in this work for which I received fifteen cents a day being from sun up to sun down with one hour out for dinner. This often meant fourteen hours of actual work. It often seemed to me that when the sun was about an hour high it stuck in the sky for a prolonged interval of time. When I was eleven the teacher gave me the job of "building" a fire in the stove each morning, and sweeping and dusting the school room. The teacher boarded in the district and my Mother did his washing and ironing. For my services he paid me 5 cents a morning, 25 cents a week. He paid me by the week except the last four weeks of the school term. At the close of school he gave me a silver dollar, which to me looked about the size of a full moon. I did not get to keep that dollar but a few days as John had to have it to buy seed corn for the spring. This first dollar I ever earned made such an impression on me, that I recent years I keep every silver dollar that comes my way. This is not often, as there are very few silver dollars in circulation today. From this time on for a considerable period I do not remember that I had any money-making jobs. I helped with the home work in whatever capacity I was needed. My time was mostly taken in the raising and harvesting our little crops, harvesting if any crops were raised. I remember that 1881 was the cinch bug year and we did not raise a thing. As we knew of no way to combat the evil we had to suffer the consequences.

We aimed to get the fall work done in time for the beginning of school. This was usually possible, as we had only five months of school, and the term did not begin till about the first week in October. This let us out early enough in the spring to begin our farm planting.

When I was thirteen, however, John and I got a job of shucking corn, which we began Oct. 12 and finished on Dec. 23. I remember that I reentered school on Dec. 24 just in time to receive me "treat". Teachers in those days treated us each with about five cents worth of candy. Treating was voluntary on the part of the teacher, but if it happened that he did not treat he was locked out and kept locked out till he came across with the treat.

For this job of shucking corn we received 2 cents a bushel. The two of us could shuck about 50 bushels a day if everything went well. To do this we had to be in the field at sun up and work till near dark.

This work was well nigh unendurable, as often the corn would be covered with frost or snow. As we had no gloves, nothing but a home made shucking peg, our hands would chap, break open and bleed. Before beginning work each morning we would fill the cracks with tallow.

This was one of the high spots in my boyhood days, as the remuneration we received from this job my Mother was enabled to purchase enough cotton (or canton) flannel to make me two suits of underwear and "believe it or not" this was the first underwear I had ever worn, as my raiment had hitherto consisted of coat (no vest) shirt and pants. I cannot now understand how I kept from freezing. I never had an overcoat till I was seventeen. This coat was what we called "shoddy" and cost me four dollars. This coat was warm enough while it lasted but wet it seemed to weigh a ton, more or less. Also, at about this time I wore my first bought'n suit, and with this suit I wore my first white collar, which was made of white paper. This was O.K. except that it would not stand perspiration and had to be discarded frequently. This was too great a strain on my finances, but luckily about this time the celluloid collar appeared on the market, and if one had enough money to invest in one (about 10 cents) he was "all set", as under proper handling one would last a year or more. After being worn for several months they would take on a yellowish stain but this was no drawback so long as the collar would keep its shape.

I should have stated previously that as wages were very low in our neighborhood and work was scarce, John decided to go north to Douglas County and seek work on the farm. He secured a job at $23 per month with board and washing. He began in April and worked till August. The family had great expectations and thought that we would have enough money to carry us through the winter in good shape. Our expectations were not realized as John returned with only a few dollars with nothing to show for his work except a suit of clothes for which he paid twelve dollars. This was most disappointing. John was one of the hardest working fellows I ever knew, but he never succeeded in accumulating anything for a rainy day. He could not keep a dollar when he got it if left to his own resources. I was always just the antithesis of John in this respect. I learned to save. One of the lessons is learned in thrift was in McGuffey's reader. The lesson was this: A boy by the name of Ben was in the habit of saving. Once he came upon a piece of whip-cord and instead of throwing it away he ........ him for his thriftiness, but Ben didn't mind. Later there was a contest with bows and arrows in which Ben participated. A prize was to be given to the best marksman. The other boys feared Ben's marksmanship and when Ben's string broke they were delighted, as they thought this was the end of his participation in the contest. They were disappointed however, when they saw Ben withdraw the piece of whip cord from his pocket. One said: "If there isn't that everlasting whip cord. I shall learn a lesson from this." Ben attached the string to the bow and went on to win the prize. I assure you that this lesson had much influence on me, as did Franklin's saying: A fool and his money are soon parted. While I learned to save I never became stingy. I suppose I might say that I am somewhat like the farmer that fell into the cistern. His wife heard his calls for help and went to rescue him but as he had pulled the rope in with him she could do nothing to help is the matter so she said she would ring the dinner bell and call the hands in from the field. Now, as the story goes, the farmer was very economical but not stingy so he said: What time is it? The wife replied that it was 11 o'clock. He said, O darn it never mind, I'll just swim around here till dinner time.

During the summer of 1883 while John was away form home as mentioned above, I took the team and put in corn the 5 acre patch. I raised about 75 bushels of corn, which was used as feed during the winter for team and family. In January following the fall of our corn shucking John was married. He lived with the family for quite some time until he rented a 50 acre patch of land three miles away which was a log house into which he moved, leaving my Mother, sister and myself at he old home. He did not however leave us to shift for ourselves but helped us as best he could. While John was living on this small farm it was sold for taxed and he bought it in at the tax sale. He had to defend his tax deed title in a law suit which, however he won, but the attorney's fee was about all the land was worth, as the soil was very poor.

During the crop season I helped with the farm work. My Mother would get me up early for breakfast so that I could walk the three miles in time to begin work at sun up. I would work till sun set and then walk home. Thus I was getting old enough to contribute to the support of the family, and my Mother continued to keep me in school. While helping John with his work I was enabled to secure work from the neighbors at wheat harvest and corn shucking time. At the age of sixteen I was able to make a "hand", though I weighed only about one hundred ten pounds. My pluck and determination enabled me to do this, rather than my physical strength. In those days, the self binder for wheat was unknown. A cradle was used for cutting wheat in many cases. In most cases however "dropper" was used. This was very similar to our present mowing machine, and had wooden fingers attached behind the sickle. These fingers were slightly elevated is order to held the wheat. The drivers of the machine would operate with his foot and when he judged that he had enough wheat on the carrier fingers he would let the fingers drop to he ground and the stubble would hold the wheat in place and the carrier would slide out from under. The hand who bound the wheat would pick up the wheat in his left arm, extract enough straw with his right hand to make a band with which to tie the wheat into bundles. It took three such men to bind the wheat after one dropper. Other hands came along shocking these bundles. These bundles were stacked on the ground with buts down, in a sufficient number to make a shock of standard size. Two bundles were formed into a cap with which to cover the chock to keep it from getting wet, just as at the present time. In those days threshing machines were very few and there was usually a long wait before a machine could be gotten. In most cases this made it necessary to stack the wheat to protect it from the weather. It usually happened that there was only one man in the neighborhood who could stack wheat, as it was quite an art. On one occasion this expert fell sick and no one was available to stack a rather large crop. I was always eager to learn how to do things, so I had watched carefully how the stacking was done, and I very confidently told the farmer I could stack his wheat. As I was only sixteen he laughed at the idea. I challenged him to let me try, which he reluctantly did. To the surprise of everyone I did a perfect job. I was very proud of the accomplishment and after that I got more stacking than I wanted, as it was a very strenuous job. Another thing I learned when I was about 15 was to cut hair. We called it shingling hair in those days. Persons who could shingle hair in those days were even more scarce than wheat stackers. There were no barbers short of Vincennes, twenty or more miles away. It was often the custom when the boys hair got too long the mother would cap a milk crock on the head and follow the edge of the crock with her scissors. My Mother performed this operation on me, perhaps twice a year. After a while John got bold enough to believe that he could cut hair, so for a time I depended on him. He had no artistic skill whatever and he would keep cutting to get a state of smoothness till he reached the scalp in numerous spots when he finally decided to quit he would laugh at me and call me the speckled pup.

To alleviate the situation and contribute to the general appearance of the male population I announced to some of my friends that I could shingle hair. The challenge was soon met and my first attempt was most successful. I did not charge for my services and I soon had plenty of customers, and always on Sunday. I remember on day in the summer of 1885 I had sixteen of all ages and sizes. I was often sorry I learned the art of hair cutting, and when later I moved to a strange neighborhood I never let any one know of my proficiency in this line.

The desire to know things and do things was the forerunner of whatever success I have achieved in life. I not only developed an impelling desire to things but a greater desire to do them better than any one else. I also had a profound belief in the adage "If you would have a thing well done, do it yourself". This is the advice teachers of self restrained and it is a most excellent teacher. Another lesson I learned in early life was from the story of the farmer and the lark. The lark had built her nest in the farmer's wheat field. One day the farmer and his son came to see whether the wheat was ripe enough to cut. They decided it was ready to cut and agreed that they would begin cutting the next day if they could secure the help of their neighbors. This thoroughly frightened the birds in their nests and they implored their mother to move out at once. The old bird assured them that they should not be alarmed, that the wheat would not be cut the next day. The next day the farmer came again and stated in conversation that their neighbors would help he next day. Again the old bird reassured her young. On the following day the father declared that they would do the work themselves the next day. The old bird informed the young that they must move as the farmers had decided to depend on themselves and not on others.

Of course there are many things that one can not do alone but must have the help of others. But all my life, even to this day I do not call on any one to do a thing for me that I can do or ought to do myself. I never would call on any of my children to bring me a drink, or a book, or anything else in the nature of a personal service. I always preferred, and yet prefer, to wait on myself. On the other hand, strange as it may seem, I always derived much pleasure in rendering a personal service to another. Self reliance is indeed a great virtue. I really fear that in this modern day many people not developing self reliance but are looking for help, not form within, but from external source, the government, in many cases.

This sketch of my life thus far, in the main bring me up to about the age of 13. The events narrated seem quite distinct and eventful to me, while from this time on it seems, to the age of 17, events do not stand out so clear. This is for the reason, no doubt I continued during this period to live in sort of humdrum existence helping with our own work and working for others whenever I could find work to do.

Before passing, however, I should mention that during the crop season of 1883, when John was working "up north", besides raising the small crop of corn I picked wild black berried and carried them to Russellville to sell to any one who wanted to buy. My bucket held two and one-half gallons and I received 50 cents a bucket. Marketed 25 basketfull netting me the sum of $13.00. One event which happened when I was in my 16th year stands out very clearly, and that was the death of my sister, Margaret, at the age of 18. She married one Henry Draper, and in her 19th year she gave birth to a baby girl, which was called Nellie. When Nellie was 11 days old her mother died and she was placed in the home of her paternal grandparents. I never sa3w Nellie but once after my sister's death as he grandparents and her father soon moved Paoli, Indiana, where Nellie died at the age of six. Each of these deaths caused me much grief. My sister was buried in the old cemetery at Russellville. My Mother purchased for her a small tombstone for which she paid ten dollars. Many years after I replaced this little stone with a new imposing monument.

As my sister never had a photograph of herself I do not have a likeness of her. I do have a picture of Nellie however. She has been sick a long time, and only a few days before her death her grandmother Draper had her picture taken for Grandmother Heath. The picture is a sad one, and it portrays her long illness. I have wept many times over this sad likeness of my little niece. But Dickens says, in Great Expectations: Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of the tears for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying out hard hearts.

For "Alas for him who never sees,
The stars shine through his cypress trees,
Who, hopeless lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day,
Across the mournful marbler play.

In the old curiosity shop, Dickens says: The memory of those who lie below passes away so soon. At first they tend them morning, noon and night; they soon begin to come less frequently; from once a day to once a week to once a month, then at long and uncertain intervals then, not at all." I, myself, believe that this is best. We have our lives to live in this world, our duties to perform as we pass through it and should not commit ourselves to perpetual grief over our lost ones. They would not wish, I am sure that we should do so. I believe it would be better if we only "see the stars shine through our cypress trees" and look forward to a reunion with our loved ones on a farther shore.

Up to my seventeenth year I had attend country school at Hazel Dell, in the extreme northeastern corner of Lawrence County in the fall of 1886 my Mother and I went to live with John and during the school year I attended Canaan school in the extreme southeastern corner of Crawford County. I made a good record in scholarship and in April 1887 I successfully passed the County Superintendent's examination for a teacher's Certificate.

As I was not 18 years of age I was too young to teach, as the minimum age for teachers was 18. I continued in farm work during the crop season of 1887 until September, when I entered the Central Normal School at Danville, Indiana for a term of ten weeks. I was able to finance this short term by the sale of a 3 year old mare, for which I received fifty dollars. This might seem a low price as measured by present day values, but it was really a top price in those days. I acquired the ownership of this mare when she was a colt. I did some work for a farmer and as he could not pay me cash squared off with me with the colt. The colt developed in to a real beauty and a fine saddle mare, and this is the reason for the high price received for her. As I had saved money enough during the summer to purchase a ten dollar suit of clothes. I believed that the fifty dollars enabled me to attend the ten weeks term, as the tuition was only eight dollars and board and room rent two dollars a week. When the time came for me to depart for school I found it was a harder thing to do than I had anticipated, as I had never yet slept away from home, but as I was so elated over the opportunity to attend college that I braced up and decided to go. I was greatly helped and encouraged by a friend, George W. Lackey, who was going to Danville at that time for his senior year. I lived fifteen miles from the railroad station and George had me stay overnight with him and his father took us to Vincennes the next day in a two horses wagon. When we arrived at Danville George found a room for me and afterward looked after me as if I was his younger brother. George is now living in Lawrenceville, Illinois where he has practiced law for more than fifty years.

On departing for school I left my mother to live with John but I later learned that she had gone back to the old house and was living alone in the back woods with the nearest neighbor a half mile away. This was a source of worry to me and I would watch every incoming mail for a letter from her.

Central Normal College was what some people called a wildcat Normal. It seems to me now that 1 whole year's course was covered in ten weeks. Students were required to keep note books which they usually took home with them on leaving school. One student lost his trunk containing his notes and he lamented that if he did not find his trunk he would have lost his year's education. While we went at a rapid rate the teachers without exception were able men and women they were a great inspiration to the students. One came away with a desire to be something, to succeed in life. I remember one incident that I believe has had a more profound influence on my life than anything else. A man by the name of J.E. Sherrill, a former graduate of the school, addressed the students one morning assembled for "Chapel Exercises". Mr. Sherrill after graduation had gone out into the world and made quite a success in the Book publishing business in Indianapolis. He said one thing that impressed me very much. It was: Keeping everlasting at it will bring success. I was so much impressed that I wrote the words in the fly leaf of my Algebra. Today this Algebra is one of the books in my library, and that day to this I have not ceased to follow this motto. I have worked very hard all my life, never had a vacation and never wanted one. I am not advising that this is the best course to pursue but as for myself I have enjoyed keeping everlasting at it. Keeping everlasting at it has included a civic interest in the community in which I live, as I have given much of my time serving the public. I have served for twenty-one years as a member of the Board of Education of the Robinson Township High School and have served five terms as Mayor of Robinson. I organized Robinson's first Chamber of Commerce and served as President and Member of the Board of Directors for many years. I also organized the Robinson Rotary Club and was its first President. I also found time when young to play baseball and croquet. I love school athletics and was usually in attendance at athletic events. There was always one reservation however, in reference to play: My work came first and if my work needed me it came first. There are too many people today who put play before work. Duty doesn't come first with them. Such people usually do not succeed in life. Henry Ward Beecher once said that whenever you see a man having success you may know he has worked hard. He also said that the only real pleasure in this world comes from hard work well done.

The term of school ended Nov. 10, 1887 and I departed for home the following day. I took a train to Paris, Illinois which was to connect with a train going south my destination begin Flat Rock. My train was late and I had to take the next train which landed me in Flat Rock at 11 o'clock in the night. My folks had expected me at 1 P.M. and did not wait for the next train, so I had to walk seven miles, reaching home at 2 A.M. On counting change I found I had one dollar and forty cents. I was quite satisfied as my expense had included several books as well as car fare, board, room and postage. You, perhaps, wondering why washing and ironing was not included in my expense account. The reason is, I did this myself.

I was quite glad to reach home and be with my Mother the rest of the winter. In the spring I secured my first contract to teach the following winter term. The name of the first school was Union, in the northeast part of Lawrence County, Illinois. My contract was for five months at thirty dollars a month. I succeeded fairly well in this first term, especially as an instructor, but I was somewhat weak in discipline. In those days the teacher's ability to govern was his greatest recommendation, and the rod was not spared. Not being sure whether I could be reappointed for another term I did not apply for the job. I must have been more of a success than I believed, as I was chosen for a two months spring term at Canaan, the adjoining district on the north in Crawford County. While teaching at Canaan the Board of Directors at Higgins School, adjoining Canaan on the west invited me to apply for their school, which I did and was chosen for the winter term. I speak of the winter term because in those days many schools had a short spring term for he children too young to work on the farm.

I closed the term of school at Higgins on Saturday March 29, 1890. I lost a week in February because of an attack of influenza, later called "Grippe" and now "flu". In so far as I remember this year was the first appearance of this disease in America, at any rate, I had never before heard of it. As I was intending to return to Danville, Indiana on Monday March 31, I taught on five Saturdays to make up the lost time. The Directors were kind enough to permit me to do this. The Directors at Higgins promised that they would appoint me for the following term, after the school election in April. Through a misunderstanding, or rather through a false report that I did not intend to teach the following term, another was chosen for the place.

I returned from the school July 25, and then learned that I was out of a job. I learned however, from the County Superintendent of Schools that there was a vacancy in the Taylor district about three miles south west of Flat Rock. A friend loaned me his horse and buggy to visit the school board. The Directors told me the problem of discipline was a very difficult one; that the boys had the previous winter had cut a hole in the ice and stuck the teacher's head in the water; that a big boy threw a quarter of a brick through the window at the teacher, which narrowly missed the teacher's head and tore a hole in a map on the wall. As proof they showed me the hole in the map. (However they could not show me the hole in the ice as this was near the first of August.) As I was not a very large man they doubted my ability to govern the school. I very emphatically assured the board that I could. I even offered to resign at the end of the first month and forfeit my salary if I failed. The contract was finally closed for a four months term at $35 a month. The usual term of five months was shortened to four by reason of the fact a new school building was being built and it would not be finished in time to have a five months term. The building was finished in time for the term to begin Nov. 12.

The problem of discipline was not in the least exaggerated by the Board of Directors. I had to sit on the lid for the first several weeks and rule with an iron hand backed up with plenty of spank. After I taught the pupils that I could control them I began to loosen up by degrees and make friends of the more unruly boys. I finished the term with marked success and felt sure that I would be retained for the following term. In the meantime, however, an election of a board members had been held in the Higgins district and immediately the board asked me to visit them for an interview, which I readily granted. The Board proposes to give me a six months term at forty-two fifty a month. I told them I could not accept the offer without giving my Board at Taylor an opportunity to retain me, if it so desired. The Board was very anxious to retain for a term of six months at a salary of Forty-five, which I accepted. This Board not only recognized my ability as a disciplinarian, but also my scholarship, as returning from Danville I passed the County Superintendent's examination for a First Grade Certificate, making the highest grade of any teacher in the County, though I was not yet twenty-one. Of all my teaching experience I look back with the greatest pleasure on the two terms at Taylor. I did not wish to apply for a third term, as I desired to apply for the Principalship at Oblong. This was a school employing three teachers including the principal, and to me it was a desirable position. I was chosen for the place but remained there only one year, as the Board of Education at Robinson asked me to apply for the Principalship of the Robinson High School. I visited the Board one evening and I was unanimously chosen for the place. This was quite a promotion and I was very much elated at the prospect. This work was the most different that I have ever experienced in teaching. It was partly due to the fact that I was promoted too fast in the teaching profession as I was only twenty-three when selected for this job, it was partly to the fact that it was the first term in teaching for the Superintendent and this fact added to my burden, as the problem of discipline was turned over to me for the most part. My task was also made more difficult by reason of the fact that I had to teach eight classes daily in the High School Assembly room and govern the entire student body at the same time. The Superintendent and the lady assistant principal did all their teaching in a cozy little recitation room, where there was practically no problem of discipline. With the lady assistant any little information of her rules on the part of the student was punished him by sending him into my room to stand up in the corner and make faces at the student body.

For these reasons I did not, in the language of President Coolidge, "Choose to run for reelection" to the job. No doubt another factor that caused me to make this decision was that I decided to attend College the coming year. I had previously attended he spring and summer terms at Danville together with seven term in our County Normal and had sufficient credits for two years work in College. I attended Austin College in Effingham, Illinois in September 1894, was graduated in 1896. I had read law in the office of Parker & Crowley and was ready for the law examination in August 1894. I received my license to practice law in November of that year. I had an intense desire to practice law but was not financially able to do so as it used to be said every young lawyer without financial support had to go through a starving period in establishing a practice. Establishing a practice was usually a long drawn out affair. It seemed to be quite different with the young Doctor. While people would not readily trust their financial interests to a young lawyer, they would trust their health and lives to the young Doctor.

After graduating at Austin College I served as Principal of the East Side School at Centralia, Illinois for the school term of 1896-1897. The position was not a desirable one, I decided under the influence of my friends to return to Robinson and make to race for the nomination for County Superintendent of Crawford County. I returned to Robinson in June 1897 and was a candidate in the Primary February 26, 1898. I was defeated in my aspirations to become the head of the County Schools. I ascribed this defeat to the fact that my opponent had had the nomination four years earlier and had been defeated in the general election. It was felt by a majority of the voters that he should have another chance. I think their feeling was right. I, myself, was very happy over my defeat, as I had borrowed all the expense in the campaign, and I did not see how it would be possible to finance my campaign the general election. In fact I saw no way to support my family during the interval between the Primary and the General Election. In the beginning my race in the primary I had purchased a horse for use in my quest for votes. I had given my note for the horse in the sum of fifty dollars for a term of six months and at the close of the primary I sold the horse for which I received a note for thirty-two dollars. I sold the note at a discount of eight dollars. I applied the proceeds in payment of a grocery bill. This left me with nothing at all to live on during the summer, till I might get my first School order in the fall. I was getting quite desperate and knew not which way to turn. There was however, a small source of consolation that I still had some pork on hands, as on my return to Robinson in June 1927 I had purchased two shoats which I fattened and butchered for meat. After I purchased the shoats I suddenly realized I had assumed a considerable ___ ___ __ to find a way to feed them. Luckily a farmer had some logs he had hauled out in the stubble after wheat was cut, and he engaged me to help him saw these logs into wood. I had not done any physical work for several years and I did not know whether I could stand to do such work in the hot August sun. Here, again, my indomitable will power, carried me through, and, as I was paid in corn, I earned enough to fatten the hogs. When those hogs were ready to butcher I did not work myself. I had never before done this kind of work but I had seen it done and I did a very satisfactory job of it.

There is an old saying, that it is always darkest just before dawn, and this happened in the case with me. On the early morning of April 9, Sunday, I looked down the sidewalk and saw coming the President of Austin College. I was puzzled to know the cause of his coming, but was most glad to see him. He soon disclosed the purpose of his coming. The professor of Latin and Greek had taken sick and I was wanted to take his place pending his recovery. Of course you may know that I readily accepted. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I accompanied the President to Effingham that afternoon to begin work the next day. This gave me employment for fifteen weeks, and in the meantime the sick professor died and I was chosen to fill the vacant chair. This good fortune was highly appreciated from another standpoint. In May 1897 I spared enough from my salary to take out a life insurance policy in the amount of One thousand dollars and the premium fell due on the next day after received my salary check. Before this good fortune I had already resigned myself to the thought that I would have to let the policy lapse.

I remained in this position in Austin College till August 1900, when I decided to enter the University of Illinois as a student. I had sufficient credits to allow me to graduate in one year after entering the University. While teaching in Austin College I secured work as a teacher in the Crawford County Normal School and teachers institute during my summer vacation. This enabled me to finance the year in the University, not withstanding I supported a wife and three children and my Mother. After graduating in June I immediately set in to propose for the State Superintendents Examination for a life teacher's Certificate which was to be held in August. I passed the examination successfully but was very tired as I had been teaching and studying constantly since the first day I began teaching in Austin College. The examination last four days, and when I finished late in the afternoon I stopped on a pair of scales and weighed exactly 103 ½ pounds. In this connection it might be of some interest to state that when I graduated at Illinois I was marching partner of Fred Lowenthal center of the Varsity foot ball team. Fred was probably six feet tall and must have weighed two hundred twenty. This march of ours may have been the origin of Mut and Jeff. It has been many times proclaimed, and recently that Lowenthal was the greatest Center in the history of Illinois Athletics. Fred however, died in Chicago at about the age of forty and here I am writing this Autobiography at 80. It seems to be a fact that comparatively few athletics live to be old.

I believe in exercise but I do not think it so necessary as has so often been preached. If we look about us we will see persons who live sedentary lives more or less, are the ones that live long; and as bankers, merchants, lawyers and college teachers. One reason for this may be that normally these classes of persons work steadily, and as a rule, and are much interested in their work and do not retire from work. It used to be advocated more than now that men should retire about the age of 60 or 65. I have never subscribed to this idea. I have worked hard all my life, am still working as hard as ever, never had a vacation and never wanted one. The older generation will no doubt recall that Dr. Oaler, of Johns Hopkins University, stated that men should be chloroformed at the age of forty-five as after that age, they never accomplished much. I might state here that I never entered business till the age of forty-six, with less than two thousand dollars to start with. When my friends heard that I was intending to start in business, many of them cautioned me not to do so; they said I had always been a professional man, and had had no business experience and would lose my home, which I was to mortgage. The friends no doubt, gave good advice but I did not act on it. If I had I am sure I would never have succeeded financially, at least, at least I felt that I had the ability to do things, and I felt that ability, combined with an inexorable will power and willingness to work hard and long would surely succeed. I confess that there were times in my struggle when I almost wished I had listened to my friends, especially when my bills many times were long overdue. I would not allow myself to become discouraged, however, but kept on pegging away. I must have derived a lot of pleasure from the persistent efforts, as Henry War Beecher once said that the only real pleasure that we get in this world comes from hard work well done. He also said that whenever you see a man having success you may know he has worked hard. I may have digressed somewhat and will take up where I left off. After graduating at the University of Illinois I next went to the Principalship of the Township High School at Edinburg, Ill. I remained here one year and through the urgent insistence of the Trustees of Austin College I was prevailed upon to return to my former position in Austin College. On finishing the year there I was solicited to return to Edinburg, the Board of Education offering that I might name the salary if I would return. I fixed the salary at four hundred dollars more than the School had ever paid and my proposition was promptly accepted by wire. I remained in this position from 1903 to January 1905, when I was chosen for the chair of Mathematics and Physics in Carthage College, at Carthage, Illinois. I finished the year satisfactorily to the Board of Trustees and I was assured of my reappointment and the next meeting of the Trustees. However, immediately after the close of school I made a visit to Robinson, my former home, as there had developed a great oil boom in the County and I was desirous of what an oil boom looked like. It was certainly a boom of vast proportions, as the streets of Robinson were filled with people from the oil fields of Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other States.

I met many of my former friends, mostly of the teaching profession, who had quit teaching and cast their fortunes with the boom. They urged me to do likewise, but I hesitated for a few days before coming to a conclusion, as it was a risky thing to give up a salaried job with a wife and five children to support. Finally the die was cast and I decided to return to Robinson. (One thing that aided me quite a little was the fact that the City Engineer had just taken down of typhoid fever which was always a prolonged affair in those days and his prospect of returning to work soon was not at all promising. The City Council was anxious to continue their work at street paving and side walk building and they asked that I fill the vacancy till their regular engineer was able to resume his work. Accordingly before returning to my home in Carthage, I bought a home in Robinson for which I paid the sum of twenty-eight hundred dollars.

After teaching for many years I had saved four hundred dollars and I applied this amount on the purchase price of the home. I borrowed fourteen hundred dollars on a first mortgage, seven hundred on a second mortgage, two hundred from an Aunt and one hundred from a brother-in-law. While I really owned only a small interest in the house, it was really one of the proudest moments in my life as my wife and I had long wanted to be in a home of our own. The deal for the home was closed on June 12 and I then returned to Carthage to prepare to move to Robinson. We returned to Robinson July 15, 1908 to our new home at 703 South Lincoln Street.

Now it so happened I returned to Robinson on the 15th day of July, 1908 and on the second day following went to work for the city council. I was busy in this capacity until the regular engineer was able to return to work, which made it necessary for me to find some other employment. I found considerable employment in surveying city lots and farm lands and this was very encouraging to me and led me to believe that as I became more and more established I would find sufficient employment to occupy most of my time. In the meantime however I formed a working partnership with an Attorney, E.E. Stiles, in the insurance and real estate business. It was understood that this was only a part time, as I wanted to keep free to do any engineering work that might come my way. I did considerable work along this line. I was employed to lay off and plat two additions to the city, the Wilkin Second Addition and Rhoda Alexander Addition. I wrote several insurance policies and sold three pieces of city real estate.

Altogether, I was doing fairly well and managed to provide my family with the necessities of life, but of course no luxuries. Fortunately no luxuries were expected so there were no disappointments. It was very encouraging to me to come to believe that I could support my family without a salaried job to depend on. The work afforded me more freedom and I came to enjoy outside work after I became a little toughened by the exercise necessitated by such work.

I must here acknowledge that in making subsistence for my family I was aided by the two older boys in my first business venture. I was living within two blocks of the Wilkin pasture and so I purchased a good cow, my wife milked and the boys supplied the neighborhood with milk at 5 cents a quart. As a further aid we rented our three upstairs rooms to workers in the oilfields, while by means of folding beds the family could do well enough with the four rooms downstairs. Rooms were easy to rent at a very good price.

As autumn approached engineering work dropped off somewhat and this became a matter of some concern to me. However, in the later part of November, the Tide Water Pipe Line Company employed me to run a line for a pie-line from Stoy, Illinois to Bradford, Penn. I accepted this job reluctantly, as I was almost sure that I could not continue on the job, as my Mother was quite sick and about this time hopes for her recovery had faded. I ran the line as far as the Wabash River as I could come home each night to help care for my Mother until after crossing the river. For this reason I had to resign the job.

At this time there occurred a vacancy in the Assistant Postmastership in the Robinson Post Office. Through the necessity of the situation I was constrained to accept the place at $100 per month. I accepted the job with the intention of resigning in the following spring and resuming my former work. The unhappy thing about this job was that after breaking away from a salaried job I was back into another. When spring came I found it again difficult to break away, and so I very reluctantly continued on for almost nine years. While in this job I was able to make some money on the side in various ways, such as writing an insurance policy now and then, doing some land Abstract work and small engineering jobs. While in the Post Office, my older boy, Bayard secured a job as Janitor there at eight and a third dollars per months. This helped some of course; and to further the income of the family, Virgil, my third son, secured a job as distributor of the Saturday Evening Post and the ladies Home Journal. He worked the business up to considerable proportions winning state championship and as the boys grew older they were able to earn more. Everett secured a job with Norris Brother' Machine Shop during the school vacation. He worked ninety days at one dollar a day and when he quit for school he had ninety dollars. This enabled him to buy an overcoat and suit for school and this helped greatly.

Bayard graduated from the High School and secured a Clerkship in the Globe Dry Goods store at five dollars a week and after working there for several months he secured a Clerkship in Olwins Shoe Store at eight dollars a week. So you can see that by this time the money was "rolling in". After six years with these combined efforts I was enabled to lift the mortgage on my home. This was in 1914 and I felt a sigh of great relief.

By this time the two older boys finished High School and were ready for full-time employment, and at this time I had an opportunity to buy a Retail Confectionary business on the west side of the square in Robinson. The purchase price was three thousand dollars and I could finance the deal by mortgaging my home for sixteen hundred dollars and the store for a like amount. When some of my friends learned that I was contemplating such a step they strongly advised against making the venture. One friend said it would take a lot of coca colas to pay the rent on the room which was sixty dollars a month. I appreciated the advice but disregarded it and closed the deal on June 7, 1914. It is not always best to disregard the advice of friends but in the final analysis it is usually best to decided matters ones self. If a person depends much on the thinking of others he eventually forms the habit of doing so. One must know his own abilities.