Monday, October 31, 2011

'Twas A Night Not Soon Forgot

According to an undated newspaper article in a family scrapbook (with the headline of “Landed Fifty-Seven Years Ago”) my fourth great grandmother, Elizabeth Helms Jones and her five children, left their home in Muskingum County, Ohio on October 23, 1845. There were several other articles of “remembrances” of her son Curtis Warren Jones that were found in the scrapbook. The one below was published in the Columbia City Post on Wednesday, November 2, 1910:
“Attorney Curtis W. Jones, of this city, dean of the Whitley county bar, recalled his arrival in this county Monday, and stated that it occurred just sixty-five years ago on Hallowe'en Day, when his mother and five children, reached their journey's end, after traveling through the forests of Ohio and Indiana.

“They arrived just as the sun was sinking in the west and took up their habitation in a deserted log cabin with punchen floor, and as their Hallowe'en diversion, heard the howls of wolves, screams of catamounts, hoots of the owls and other inhabitants of the wild wood. As a further pleasure to them within three and four hundred yards, were located two Indian villages. Their first night under such circumstances is one that will never be forgotten by Mr. Jones.

“He was 77 years old on October 9th, and his only sister, Mrs. Mary E. Sherwood, just east of the city is 75 years of age. His mother has long since passed to her reward and Mrs. F. H. Foust, Mrs. William H. Dunfee and D. C. Jones, have also passed away, but his recollections of the Hallowe'en night will always remain.”

So the story goes that we oft' have been told,
Of a Halloween night of old.
Thru the wilderness of Ohio into Indiana they did arrive,
'Twas back in eighteen hundred and forty-five.

Traveling midst the forests and the vale,
Following the long meandering trail,
Mother Jones came with five young children – Maxy,
Catherine, Dewitt, Curtis, and Mary.

Household goods and personal possessions in hand,
Loaded in an ox cart were carried to a new land.
Many untold hardships they would endure,
And bravely they did overcome their fear.

Though friends and family were left behind,
New friends in their new home they would find.
Marriage and grandchildren would in time arrive.
Untold descendants would come from the original five.

Trite though it may sound, but 'tis true,
If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be alive.


This is a slightly modified version of a post from October 15, 2007. See the Index to Posts for more information on the family of William B. and Elizabeth (Helms) Jones.

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