Father and mother were both members of the Washington Class and were faithful members as long as we lived there. When I was nine years old there was a big revival meeting in our church and I was converted at the meeting. For years we had always gone there to meeting and Sunday School. I can remember when everyone carried their bibles to Sunday School. We had no lesson helps or quarterlies like they use today. We read a chapter from the bible and our teacher would ask questions on it. I have always been so thankful that I was raised by Christian parents. All my life I have tried to live a faithful Christian life. I feel it is a heritage no money can buy and my greatest desire was to raise my own children up to be honest, faithful and true to the cause of Christ. But oh the mistakes I can see as I review my past life, so much of it through ignorance and so much we have to regret and yet I have lots to be thankful for. No mother could ask for a kinder, thoughtful family of children. Not one of them but what would do anything for my comfort or anything I would ask of them. What a comfort it is to me to know this in my declining years.
Grandmother belonged to the United Brethern Church as far back as I can remember. As for grandfather I do not know but I think he must have been a good man for I have often heard grandmother say that grandfather hadn't an enemy that she knew of when he died. My father and mother were Methodist. They were converted in a Methodist Revival meeting and it was the only church near them at that time.
I have often heard grandmother tell that when they were early
settlers in Illinois as far as they could see in any direction was high
prairie grass and from a distance they could see the tall grass bending
and waving and knew that deer were feeding there and all they had to do
was go get close enough to get a good shot at them and they had plenty
of deer meat. I do not think grandfather ever changed farms after he
settled there in his pioneer days, but lived and died on the farm he
had made and raised his family on.
[Editor's Note: Emma's grandfather, David Melton owned land for 25 years in Indiana before moving to Knox County, Illinois about 1835.]
I can remember today when we were little children in our home my father used to laugh and tell us there were eleven boys in the family and they each had two sisters apiece and make us guess how many children there were in the family. That was some puzzle to us when we were little folks until we caught on to the joke. [Editor's Note: Emma's father had ten brothers and two sisters, so this may have been a joke his father told him when he was a child.]
Grandmother was at that time growing old and she had only one
daughter living at her request she sent for Aunt Christeen to come and
stay with her the rest of her days. She only lived a year and a half
after Aunt Christeen came and was eighty four years old when she died
Many years have passed and I have visited the fine new school house after being absent so long. While visiting my old home in Illinois I found very few of my old schoolmates left. They like myself had moved to distant lands and in homes of their own and many had answered to the roll call. In forty years many, many changes had taken place. My greatest desire after being away so long was to once more see my old home where we had spent our happy childhood days. The house, a part of it was still standing and just think after forty years a few of the old apple trees were yet there. A new house had been built and later on the family sent me a peck of apples off the very trees where I had gathered apples when a child and spent many happy hours in the old orchard.
After that my father moved in the fall to Missouri and our home was always in Missouri after I was fourteen years old. There was my home for the rest of my life except for around twelve years when Dan and I lived with Clarence (in IL) talking care of his two children. There was mother and three girls almost grown when my father took over a hotel in Kirksville, Missouri. We got along fine until scarlet fever got in the hotel. It was brought there by a guest. My sister Viola died and in seven days Gracie, the baby of our family died and all six children had it. All that knew of it were afraid to stop at the hotel as scarlet fever was considered such a contagious disease. When the lease expired we moved to a farm not far from Kirksville, Missouri that my father had bought.
In the spring my sister Ida married Daniel Branstetter. They were married in Kirksville and made their home in Pike County, Missouri. A year and a half later I married Daniel Rufus Myers at Kirksville, Missouri, Adair County the 24 day of February 1878.
I never met any of your grandpa's folks. They all lived in Ohio. For years we corresponded with them for some years, but finally we all quit writing all through carelessness to answer letters as your grandpa always left all the writing for me to do.
On March the 16, 1879 our first baby, Florence came to cheer our
home and in June two years and three months later another little girl,
Gracie arrived to keep her company. How proud we were and we thought
we had two of the sweetest little girls ever was, like all young
fathers and mothers. To us they were perfect and the light of our
home. Mother love can see no faults in their own little ones when they
are babies. How good that it is so.
We moved from Missouri to Kansas and lived at Nortonville, Kansas where Clarence, Earnest and Mable were born. We lived there for nine years. Then moved to [Laclede County] Missouri where our home has been ever since. Mable was then only four years old. We left Kansas the first of March and moved over land with two teams. The girls driving a span of gray mules. We encountered all kinds of weather; snow, wind and rain on that trip. Poor Florence suffered so with the earache most all the way. I often think if we had know the hardships before us we would have hesitated and pondered well before we started out on such a trip. We were two weeks on the road and how glad we were to get to the end of that journey. It seemed wonderful to us that they planted corn the last of March that year in Missouri.
Our home ever since has been in Missouri over forty years where our children have married and raised up their families. Gracie was the first to leave the home and as years rolled on her first little folks began to grow up. What a joy, what a pleasure it was to see them come driving in on Saturday night to stay over Sunday. We could hardly wait for the time to roll around and then how we hated to see them start back home. Mable was a little girl then and would take a good cry when they started home when Daisy was the baby.
Then Florence and Elmer Willard were married and lived always in Springfield, Missouri but often came home. Elmer was the first to break the family circle [he died] and so much sorrow and trouble entered our home. Time waits for none of us and we all meet with sorrow and trouble. How true it is that man is born to sorrow and trouble and that includes all of us for God is no respector of persons. How our eyes are blinded to so many things. It is better so or it wouldn't be this away.
A few more years and Daisy is teaching School. Then Homer and
next Emma. How proud I was that my three oldest grandchildren were
able to teach school. My greatest desire when I was a child ten years
old going to school was to be a teacher. Times were so different in
those days sixty five years ago. Not one of my schoolmates or any of
the young folks in the country or joining neighborhood were educated
for teachers. We always looked for our teachers in town. No farmer
ever thought it was necessary to send their boys and girls to town to
school. It was thought a few months each year in the country school
was sufficient to carry them through. We had no graded schools like
they have today. If our teacher told us we could read good enough to
go into a higher class we were promoted.
So many changes have taken place and our little family of five children are all seperated and scattered. Florence in Arkansas, Gracie in Missouri, Clarence, Earnest and Mable in Illinois. Grandchildren in Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri and California. Some of them in homes of their own and all doing well as far as I know. I have cause to be proud of them all in my declining years.
August 15, 1934 your grandfather died and was buried in Prosperine Cemetery, Laclede County, Missouri. I have lived with Gracie, occupying my two rooms that we had built on and had lived in for seven years. It seems more like home as we had lived there so long and that was where your grandfather spent his last days. In July, 1936 I was granted the old age pension. Ten dollars a month.
This brings us to January 19, 1937, my birthday. I am starting
on another new year and am wondering what the new year has in store for
me. I feel like my last days have been days of peace and kindness have
attended me all along the way. Not a cross word or a dissenting voice
do I hear. Not one of my children but what would do anything for me I
Clarence is now in Wyoming. Went mostly for his health to try to get rid of a cough that bothers him every winter. Went in December, 1936 and is there to start in the new year, 1937. He came to visit us in July before he left for Wyoming. He is the only one so far away but if he gets rid of the cough that bothered him so he will be well paid for going.
Now I feel like I am just waiting for the call for I have lived seventy five years and all have been busy years. As time marches on I find at seventy five years if your home is broken up your interest will fail. You will feel that there is not much for you to live for. Only be faithful and live every day so that when the summons comes I shall be ready and waiting. Death has no horrors for me for I will not go alone. For Jesus says in the 23 Psalm I will go with you. His promises never fail.
Clarence and Mae visited us in 1936 and left for Wyoming in December, 1936. Lloyd and Clarence farmed together in the summer of 1938.
Mable, Ralph and Rachel visited us for a week in July, 1938. My grandson, Forest Clifton and wife visited us in the fall of 1938. I went home with them to Harper, Iowa the 23 August and visited in Freda, Ralph and Vera's homes all in Moline. From there Ralph and Rachel took me to my son Earnest's home. There I saw Charlie, my only living brother and his boy, Wayne Melton, wife and two children. Earnest took me to Rio Cemetery to see Melzie's grave, then to Old Baptist Cemetery where my mother's sister and a little sister are buried. I have known this old cemetery as long as I can remember and I am seventy seven years old and how much older it is I do not know. My grandfather and grandmother both lie there and grandfather was buried there before I was born. I also was at my brother, Orlan's old home. Now his daughter, Fay Frits and Raymond own the old home since Orlan and Lizzie have passed on. I arrived home 23 September. Was gone a month and had a fine visit. Was treated royally by everyone. It will be something to remember the rest of my days and today is the first day of the new year, 1939. I am wondering what is in store for me this year. Came back from Galesburg on the train to Lebanon, Missouri where Florence and John met me and took me to their home. I stayed a few days and they brought me home.
Now this is New Year's Day and January 19, 1939 I will be starting on my seventy eighth year.
Another year has gone and I am close to eighty years old. Have
been sick ever since September. Have not been able to walk across the
floor without Gracie's help and it is now the very last week in March.
No one could have been better or kinder to take care of me than she has
and not a cross word. I have been glad to give her my pension check
since September and I feel it hasn't been enough to half pay her for
the good care she has given me. I feel I have been wonderfully blest
for her good care. I think her care saved my life last fall and here
it is the eleventh of May and I have just got able to go across
the floor alone with the aid of a cane. Am gaining every day and hope
to be well soon now. It has been a long hard winter.
1940. The years pass and I am still here and this is November. I have never seen a well day. 1940 has passed and soon will be 1941 and January 19 I will be eighty years old and have never got well. I have often thought I was almost well and then something else would set in to keep me down and this time Dr. Claiborne said must be pleurisy pain. It has lasted for over a month until it would rack my whole body and has been in my back until I could scarcely move and for a month I could not turn over in bed or hardly get up when I lie down to rest, but am much better and I hope never to have to go through with such pain again. I am able to wait on myself to a great extent now and can get around with the aid of a cane to keep me from falling and go to the table to eat. It takes very little to do me in. Daisy, I want you to take your book when you come for I can scarcely hold my pen to write. I think several of the dates may not be correct for ever since I am sick I can not remember so many things. I am so thankful my mind has stayed with me to the end. I think very likely I will go home before the winter is over. I am so tired sometimes I think it will be a blessed relief to go. I have no fears about going for Jesus tells us so often he will be with us and I feel he will.
And now I turn your book over to you, Daisy.
Daisy wrote the following at the bottom of the last page:
My dear grandmother died May 15, 1941. She was buried by grandpa's side in Prosperine Cemetery. God bless her. We loved her so.
The following names and dates were written by Grandma Myers as she had written them in this same book on the back of pages.
Hugh McClure was born December 23, 1887
Jessie Melton, wife of Seth Melton died 1920 in Wyoming. Burial was in Wyoming at Thermopolis.
Seth Melton, husband of Jessie Melton died in Wyoming. Burial was in Thermopolis, Wyoming May 25, 1928.
Daniel Rufus Myers and Emma Arminta Melton were married February 24 at Kirksville, Mo. 1877.
Florence May Myers born March 16, 1879.
Ida May Branstetter died at Louisiana, Mo. hospital March 22, 1937.
Age 77 years 22 days. Born May 30, 1859 in Knox Co. Ill.
Melza Viola Myers died July 1 in Springfield hospital, 17 years old lacking 3 days. Born July 4, 1906. Burial was in Rio Cemetery July 3 Knox Co. Ill.
Orland Melton died 2 day of December 1924, husband of Lizzie Melton.
Burial was in Rio Cemetery.
Lizzie Melton died April 2, 1937 burial was in Old Baptist Cemetery, Rio, Ill.
Elmer Melton died February 3, 1931 burial was in Ellisville Cemetery, Knox Co. Ill
On the 6 day of September Mable's boy, Fred Clifton was killed in car
accident on his 18 birthday 1936. Was buried 9 of September at Moline,
Ill. in Vallhalla Cemetery.
Elmer Willard died 21 day of November 1908 at his wife, Florence parents at Sleeper, Mo. Laclede Co. after an illness of several months. He was fireman on the Frisco R.R. at Springfield, Mo. Age 35 years. Burial was in Holman Cemetery near Sleeper, Mo., Laclede Co.
Lizzie Melton wife of Orland Melton died April 2, 1937. Burial was in Old Baptist Cemetery close to Rio. (by her last request) her father and mother buried there and ask for Orlan to be removed to there from Rio Cem.
Harry Alvin Wilson born August 4, 1907 died June 7, 1909 burial was in Prosperine Cemetery, Laclede County, Mo.
Ruth Ople Wilson was born July 7, 1910 died July 12, 1910 burial in Prosperine Cemetery, Laclede County, Mo.
David Melton died August 19, 1859. Catherine Melton born 1788 died April, 1872
Isaac Melton born August 28, 1839 died April 4, 1880 Almira McCartney born January 16, 1838 died August 29, 1880 (Melton) [Editor's Note: Isaac married twice in 1882, and his tombstone gives his death date as April 3, 1894. His first wife's name was Amanda (rather than Almira) on her marriage certificate and on Census records]
Charles E. Wilson born August 1, 1876 died July 24, 1957 Gracie Verlinda Myers Wilson born June 29, 1881 died January 24, 1948
Thank you so much Retta!
It was retyped from a typed transcript on September 18, 1989 by J.L. McKenzie.
Mispellings and grammatical errors were not corrected
as it is not known if they were made by the author or the original typist.
When someone does something good, Applaud!
You will make two people happy.
--- Samuel Goldwyn