Thursday, 11 August 1921, Kansas (IL) Journal
Redman-Bennett Reunion Next Sunday, August 14 (1921) at Richwoods
The first annual reunion and homecoming of the Redman and Bennett
families will be held next Sunday at the old Redman homestead in the
Richwoods community, south of Kansas. Some old time speakers
be there and tell how people lived a hundred years agao. All
relatives and friends are invited to be present.
In connection with this reunion and homecoming, W. E. Redman of
has written an intensely interesting historical sketch which he has
distributed to the members of the two families. In the preface
"The object in writing this little history is for the fellowship and
closer communion of the Redman and Bennett families, also for the
benefit of their annual reunion and homecoming. For almost two
hundred years, these families have been closely united together by
marriages and relationships, emigrating together from the Old
to the United States, and settling in the State of Virginia.
These familes were prosperous farmers and lived in Virginia until
after the Revolutionary war when they began to colonize and emigrate
further west. Our ancestors were the first to go; they moved
state of Kentucky, settling in Spencer county. The second
emigrated to Eastern Ohio and formed a large settlement there.
third colony, consisting of several Redmans and Bennetts, emigrated
to the new state of Indiana to make settlement. As there was
trace nor history of them, it was the supposition that the entire
party was massacred and killed by the Indians.
Years passed by and emigration spread westward. Illinois was
admitted to the Union as a free state, and all its lands were open
for settlement. Our forefathers took advantage of this; they
colonized, and in the year of 1831 they left their homes in Spencer
county, Kentucky, coming to the new state of Illinois, and entering
land in Edgar and Clark counties. Thie region of the country
long been known as the Rich Woods, and the home of the REdmans and
Bennetts. Our ancestors were of Scotch-Irish and German
for nearly two centuries have been American by birth."
W. E. Redman of paris and Charles O. Hawkins of St. Louis for the
past five years have been collecting data on the family history of
the two groups.
The first Redman of whom any trace can be found went with William,
the Duke of Normandy (afterwards known as William the Conqueror)
he started the conquest of England in 1066.
For this service the Duke gave him a castle called Levens, which
later on was known as Redman Hall. This was situated in what
later Westmoreland, England.
The authentic history of the Redmans begins with Sir Mathew Redman
Levins, born 1132 and died in 1210.
The title extended to eleven generations until 1450.
The first REdman who came to the United States was John Redman, born
in England in 1610. He settled in Virginia in 1635. He
five hundred aces of land by the government in ____ county. He
afterwards traded the land to his brother, Richard, for land in
Westmoreland county, Virginia. Richard settled in Charles City
county, Virginia, and was killed by the Indians in 1639.
The four generations from John's family each has a history that has
been traced. The different wars they have taken part in are
Solomon Redman, born in 1752, was a Revolutionary soldier, and was a
great grandfather of W. E. Redman of Paris.
The Redmans were progressive farmers, owning large
were also slave owners and all took an active part in the
Revolutionary war. In 1799 an emigrant party of one hundred
the leadership of Captain John Hawkins left Virginia and went over
the Allegheny mountains for the west. In the crowd wee the
Bennetts, Kesters, Briscoes, Lees, and Drakes, all of whom have
descendents in Edgar and Clark counties. They settled in
Basel Bennett, who came to the United States with John Redman, is
closely related to the Redmans. Marriages with the two familes
been traced back for four hundred years. They were also slave
and owned large plantations.
Richard Bennett was governor of virginia in 1653.
Solomon Redman was of Scotch-Irish descent; born in the state of
Virginia, October 10, 1752; married miss Sallie Gage of Virginia,
was born in Virginia, December 21, 1755. To this union were
following named children: Joseph Redman, James Redman, William
Redman, Fannie Redman, Sally REedman and others daying in infancy.
In the latter part of the eighteenth Century, Solomon Redman, Basil
Bennett, some of the Kesters and others formed a colony and migrated
to the state of Kentucky, many of them settling in Spencer County.
Joseph Redman, the oldest son, was born in Virginia, August 6, 1774;
died August 10, 1849, married Lucy Bennett, who was born in
September 24, 1790; died November 11, 1851. To this union were
Basil Bennett--was of German descent, born in Virginia in the early
part of the 18th century; married Matilda Dawson of Virginia.
this union were born the following named children: John
Lucy Bennett, Basil Bennett and others.
In closing his interesting story, Mr. Redman says:
"I find no history were the Redmans and Bennetts ever owned slaves,
as many of them were opposed to slavery and raising their families
a slave state.
"In the year of 1831, Joesph Redman and John Bennett, of Spencer
County, Ky., organized a colony to move to the new State of
Illinois. Everything was to be in readiness for this colony to
by September 1, 1831. There were amny things to be done;
be covered, household goods to be packed, and all stock ready for
this long drive. In these two families there were 23 children,
of them young men and women. There were other families with
in this party. When the final day to sart had come, everything
in readiness. Relatives and neighbors met to say good-bye and
them well. it was a beautiful September morning. The
was said, and the emigrant party were seen winding their way down
Turn Pike toward the Ohio River a distance of 25 miles. When
stopped for dinner, they had made half of that distance. They
stopped at the Old Water Mill, to exchange grain for grinding, and
let the stock rest. Everyone was busy, the children were
but happy, for several of them had never seen a river, city or
village. The City of Louisville was in sight, and it was a
them. They all congregated at night on the bank of the river,
to fish, others to watch the boats and view the city. it was
mrning before any of them retired.
"The next morning all were loaded on the ferry boat and started
across the river. it was a mile wide and took almost an hour
ferry across. After crossing the river, the emigrant party
northwestern route across the state of Indiana. Their progress
traveling was slow, but finally they reached the little town of
Vincennes, wheree they ferried across the Wabash River. They
traveled north to palestine where the General Land Office of
was established. There they made some land entried--Joseph
entering land in Edgar county and John Bennett entering land in
county. The county line divided their farms.
Their destination was reached at last. The found their land a
forest of heavy woodland of oak, walnut and sugar trees--splendid
timber for building purposes. They found a few neighbors who
preceded them a few years to this neighborhood, who gave them a
welcome. There was no time lost; a site was soon selected for
building place, and everybody got busy at work.
"Joseph Redman had some little advantages in erecting his building
he was a master carpenter and had trained his sons to work in timber
and prepare the woodwork of houses. With the assistance of a
neighbors, they soon erected a large two-story dwelling, with a
fireplace. The logs for the construction of this house were
cut from the ground upon which it was erected, and for many years it
was the best finished and most commodious building in the
"John Bennett built a builiding similar to this just over the county
line in Clark county. These tow houses were in the center of
now called Rich Woods, and has long been known as the home of the
Redman and Bennett families. These dwellings were used several
as a place of worship, as there was no church house in the
"Joseph Redman and wife, John Bennett and wife, were the frist to
join the Concord Baptist Church in Rich Woods after it was
constituted a church."
Following is the committee on invitations: Mrs. Mabel Pinnell,
Kansas, Mrs. Lillie Bussart, Paris, S. D. Bennett, Martinsville,
Laura Redman, Westfield, Mrs. Lizzie Tibbs, Cloverdale, Ind., Mrs.
Zona Sninkle, Casey; Mrs. Susie Cornwell, Westfield; Benjamin
paris; Mrs. Myrtle Kirkham, Kansas; W. F. Hawkins, Casey; Jas. A
Shields, Dudley; Mrs. May Briscoe, Westfiedl; W. Harry Redman,
Martinsville, Ralph Redman, Terre Haute; Mrs. Jennie Tate, Dudley;
Mrs. Lucinda Menk, Paris; Mrs. Lyda Lee, Westfield, Glenn Redman,
Kansas (IL) Journal
From Thursday, 18 August 1921, Kansas (IL) Journal
Redman-Bennett Reunion Was a Monster Affair; 800 Present
The attendance at the reunion of the Redman and Bennett families
Sunday is estimated to have been 800 persons. The affair was
Rich Woods, seven miles south of Kansas. Seven states were
represented by those in attendance, 600 of those present being blood
relation or direct members of one of the two families.
A feature of the day was the monster dinner spread at noon on
table 140 feet long. A better day to hold the affair could not
been selected, the weather being just cool enough for everyone to
A feature of the program was a community sing in which the
without musical accompaniment sang the favorites of the olden days.
The following officers were elected: President--J. G.
President--P. V. Starks, Sec'y and Treasurer--J. C. Redman.
The committee on invitation will be the same as last year and
same committee on grounds will be in service for the next reunion.
W. E. Redman of Paris presided and read an intensely
paper, giving reminiscences of the early settlers of the Rich Woods
Col. Herrick O. Boyer of Paris gave a talk in which he paid a
glowing tribute to the sturdy qualities and the practical virtues of
the early settlers. He spoke from an intimate knowledge of the
lives of the men who made up the community, most of whom were
W. O. Pinnell of Kansas also gave interesting and amusing
reminiscences of the old families.
L. Adams of Marshall, who taught the Rich Woods school 52
made a short talk. He asked those who were his pupils to stand
twenty of the class arose. He told of many amusing incidents
teacher's life of the pioneer days.
Mrs. Emily K. Moffett effectively read a poem composed by Mrs.
Harriet Rogers, a former teacher of the Rich Woods School. The
was written 77 years ago.
R. S. Briscoe of Kansas, Ill, made a speech touching on
when he was sheriff of Edgar county many years ago.
Attorney Ben. H. Redman of Paris read a genealogical sketch of
families compiled by W. E. Redman.
W. H. Drewell, president of the Westfield Bank made a brief
address. Miss Lema Davis, who has a musical studio in
Ill., led the singing, the songs being printed on the back of fans.
Rev. Mr. Fonger of Kansas pronounced the benediction. Horace
Fulwider of Redmon took a panoramic photo of the crowd.
Mrs. Joseph H. Bennett, 87, and Joseph Redman, 84, were the
oldest relatives in attendance.
C. C. Griffith, of Danville, made a short talk which was well
received. A partial list of those present follows:
Mr. and Mrs. N. R. Bennett, Bessie Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. R. B.
Houghton, Mrs. Jessie Luther, Madge Luther, Mrs. Floyd Barbee, Mr.
and Mrs. A. G. Russell, Clarence Redmon, Mr. and Mrs. Mollie Redman,
Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Drewel, Mr. and Mrs. James Lowry, Miss Jean
Kincheloe, Gladys Lowry, Joe Stewart, John Stewart, Mr. and Mrs.
Mayme Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Bennett, Dorothy and Mary Bennett,
Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Redman, Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Bennett, Nat Redman,
Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Briscoe, Charles, Max and Rowena Briscoe, of
Westfield. Mrs. Stella Epperson, Miss Hazel Epperson, Mr. and
Will Redman, Mrs. Leon Ashmore, Fern Redman, Mrs. Bess Davis, Mrs.
Dan Shields, Mrs. Ella Shuman, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jones, Carl,
Pauline, Lewis, Earl Jones. Mrs. Phillip Waltz, Mr. and Mrs.
Cockroft, C. C. Griffith, Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Coutant, Mr. and Mrs.
H. Edwards, Miss Kelly, Mrs. W. E. Hawkins, Mrs. Sam Bennett, Mr.
Mrs. Perry Black, Mrs. Edwin Stark, Joe Tyler, Mr. and Mrs. J. H.
Marrs, Mr. and Mrs. Len Tyler, Richard Curtis, Edwina Tyler, Mr. and
Mrs. Ike Marrs, Mrs. Gertie Gill, Archie and Ida Marrs, Mr. and Mrs.
J. H. Marrs, Mrs. Harvey Bennett, E. C. Behner, W W. Brinkerhoff,
Miss Celia Redman, Hart Smith, Buelah Smith, Elsie Massey, Rebecca
Redman, Mrs. Allie Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. Ervie Bennett, Harold
Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Redman, Walter Redman, Mr. and Mrs. Burl
Redman, Robert Cornwell, Glen Wilhoit, Bruce Fulwider, Warder
Byron Kirkham, Arthur Beuhler, Eugene Kerr, Atty and Mrs. Ben
Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Kirkham, Mary Kirkham, Mrs. E. W. Taflinger, J.
Bennett, Jean Kincheloe, Joe Stewart, John Stewart, Mrs. Sylvian
Dawson, Mrs. Emma E. Stark, Mrs. Granville Neal, Evelyn Neal, Ethel
Stark, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Davis, Misses Mayme, Lena and Josephine
Davis, Mrs. Myrtle Edwards, Miss Marie Kelly, Mr. and Mrs. Henry
Newgent, Mr. and Mrs. George Wheeler, Mrs. Lottie Woodruff, Mr. and
Mrs. D. L. Bates, Mr. and Mrs. T. S. Wright, Mr. and Mrs. R. A.
Stark, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Fitzgerald, Mary Jane Fitzgerald, Mrs.
Ella Boyer, Mrs. Effie Yates, Mr. and Mrs. O. P. Boyer, Mr.s Phillip
Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Bell, Mr. and Mrs. Roe Redman, Lancaster
Redman, Mr. and Mrs. Orville Bell, Archie Rogers, Agnes Armstrong,
Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Armstrong, Mr. and Mr.s Orson Redman, Mrs.
Menk, Michael Menk, Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Tichenor, Miss Mary Lyles,
and Mrs. Frank Safford, Mrs. Ike Bennett, Miss Bertha Sexton, W. H.
Sexton, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Kerr, Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Redman, Miss
Lucille Redman, Mrs. Rebecca Redman, Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Redman, Mrs.
Charlotte Ratts, Mrs. Zollie O'Hair, Mrs. Ed Mattingly, Mrs. Riley
Starks, Miss Bertha Combs, Mrs. Joe Lowery, Mrs. P. C. Wells, Mrs.
Nettie McClain, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Tibba, Mr. and Mrs. J. A.
Charles Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Shinkle, Byron Shinkle, Mr. and
Mrs. Ora Bussart, Everett and Ivan Bussart, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip
Walts, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Shields, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Cockroft,
Mildred Tibbs, Mary Eleanor, Billie Tibbs, Otho Tibbs, Wayne
Tichenor, Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Bennett, Huber, Ruth, Marle, May and
Doris Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Redman, Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Barr,
C. Smith, John B. Yowell, Miss Lucille Yowell, Mrs. J. C. Smith,
Clara Bell, Mrs. Stella Yowell, Miss Mabel Bennett, Mildred Cline,
John Graham, Sam Bennett, Evea Pinnell, George Beuhler, H. Pinnell,
Archie Menk, Mrs. Eunice Pinnell, Marjorie Stark, Mr. and Mrs. Claud
Kirkham, Nina Lucille Kirkham, Lillie, Daisy, Robert and Vivian
L. O. Tyler, Winford Tyler, Mrs. George Heltsley, Mrs. Exie Hopkins,
Edith, Wilbur, Kenneth, Arthur and Shelby Bennett, Mrs. Otho Tibbs,
W. H. Sexton, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hawkins, Mr. and Mrs. W. O. Pinnell,
Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Houghton, Mrs. Jessie Luther, Madge Luther, Mr.
and Mrs. J. M. Tate, W. E. Hawkins, Glen Hawkins, Mrs. Emily K.
Moffett, Mrs. Bell Rogers, Mrs. Lucinda Griffin, Lula Omer, George
Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Tibbs, Mr. and Mrs. B. D. Bennett, Mr.
and Mrs. Charles T. Bennett, Mrs. Archie Woods, Mrs. C. V. Smith,
Mrs. Mansa Balantyne, Miss Dora Mays, Miss Bessie Bennett, Col. H.
Boyer, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Zink and Miss Olive Mapes.
Following is the interesting paper read by W. E. Redman:
"This section which now embraces Kansas Township was
settled by the Boyers, Pinnells, Arterburns, Wilhoits, Bennetts,
Redmans, Kesters and others. The first land entry and
made in the township was made by Solomon Boyer, October 25th, 1823,
and upon this land was the first log cabin built. A few years
this land was sold to William Kester, and for almost one hundred
years has remained in his estate, his daughter Charlotte Woodruff is
the present owner.
At that time this section was wilderness inhabited by a tribe
Kickapoo Indians, and long known for their happy hunting
was a heavily timbered section, covered with oak, walnut and sugar
trees and the home of the deer, wolves, bears, wildcats, and other
wild and savage animals. This section was first called Rich
but later changed to Rich Woods. In the year 1822, all lands
Illinois, west of the Indian Boundry Line were opened up and made
subject to entry. This caused a great emigration from the
Kentucky to this section.
Among some of the early settlers were Thomas Frazier, Absalom
Kester, Richard M. Newport, Solomon Boyars, John Bennett, Daniel
Bennett, Joseph Redman, Nathan Kester, Jeremiah Cornwelll, Edward
Pinnell, Julius Wilhoit, Henry Randall, Francis Davis, William
Comstock and many others.
Their log cabins, in that early day were nearly all built on
same plan, built of hewed logs, laid up in the manner of building a
rail pen, the cracks between the logs being dubbed with mortar the
roof was constructed with what they called clapboards held in their
places by the weight of poles laid thereon. The door was made
boards hung on wooden hinges and fastened with a wooden latch.
cut out for a window, with greased paper in lieu of glass.
The fireplace was the most important part of the building, it
placed in one end of the structure, and would be from six to ten
wide, made with oak sticks, daubed with mortar, both inside and out,
and extended about two feet above the building. In building
chimneys, each fireplace was built with a good strong crane which
would swing in and out, which was used to hold kettles for cooking
purposes as that was the only means of cooking.
A high rail fence was built good and strong around the yard
lot, this was for protection against wild animals and mad dogs.
Their furniture was such as the settler with axe and auger made
himself. Bedsteads were often made by boring a hole in the
wall, putting in pins supported by others from the ground poles laid
across the structure and a bed made of straw or prairie grass
composed the bed. Chairs were blocks of wood, with holes bored
them and legs in. Tables were puncheons or slabs split out of
with similar legs as the chairs.
But even under all these circumstances, the early settlers of Rich
Woods enjoyed life better perhaps than they do today. There
social and would all be neighbors together. A man would loan
neighbor anything he had, except his wife and babies, if a cabin was
to be raised or there were logs to roll, the neighbors were all
there. If there was sickness or distress, genuine sympathy was
tendered from all around.
The early settlers of Rich Woods believed that churches and
were the only basis of society, and they taught their children
In the fall of 1831, they organized and constituted the Rich
church, with the following members, Thomas Frazier and wife, Absalom
Kester and wife, William Walker and wife, Daniel Bennett and wife,
Henry Randall and wife, also Rebecca Davis. The name of this
to be known as the Concord Baptist Church. The first meeting
held in the home of Francis Davis, and on the second Lord's day in
October 1831, the following named members united with this church:
Joseph Redman and Lucy Redman, his wife, John Bennett and Charlotte
Bennett, his wife. As there was no church house in the
they held their services at the different neighbors' houses.
During the first year, the following named persons united iwth
church: Joseph Redman and wife, John Bennett and wife, Harvey
Bennett, Matilda Bennett, Lucy Bennett, Letitia Bennett, Nathan
Kester, William Kester, Fergus Johnson, Vincent Redman, Elizaeth
Kester, Fanny Ann Kester, Rachel Johnson, Isaac P. Dougherty, Fanny
W. Kester, Francis Davis, John Black Polly Black, Alexander
Rebecca Stark, Abner Stark, Elizabeth McGraham, Enoch Hawkins,
Alexander Black, Wm. Steely, John Bennett, Phamy Bennett, Amandaline
Redman, Byron Kester, Wm. Comstock, Sallie Barbee, Parkerson Walker,
Eunice Kester, and Susan Tichenor.
Their first pastor was Richard M. Newport, who served them
years. John Shields, their second pastor, served them several
years. Coleman B. Dawson, their third pastor, served them for
In the early thirties, the present location of the church was
purchased from John Barbee, and a building 24 feet by 30 feet of
hewed logs was erected. Adjacent to the church house was their
cemetery, which to this day is a well-kept burying place.
The first burial in this cemetery was that of Daniel Bennett,
the first members of that church.
The early settlers of Rich Woods encountered many hardships,
winters were usually cold, and snow lay heavy and deep through all
the surrounding forest.
The wild animals were numerous and would play havoc with their
stock. They would kill their sheep, the fox get their chicken and
eagles their pigs.
The Indians were likewise plentiful, being of the Kickapoo
and for hundreds of years had made this land their hunting ground.
They were on friendly terms with the whites and aside from their
natural propensity for stealing were harmless.
On one occasion the Indians were persuaded to go on the war
and that was in the early history of the settlement. They took
stock, burned a few cabins and ran the settlers from their homes.
Thomas Frazier was one who had to take his family and hide in the
woods. They burned his buildings and destroyed his home.
on the same spot a few years later and remained there until his
The winter of 1831 and 1832 several hundred Indians camped
the center of the Rich Woods. It was near where Joseph Redman
John Bennett had erected their buildings. The Indians were
friendly with the whites and frequently would invite them to their
camp to dine with them.
One Sunday the young folks of the neighborhood congregated
for the purpose of visiting the Indian camp. It was
hear their story and the way the Indians had acted and the way the
squaws cooked dinner. They had large camp kettles hung over
fire. They would take a deer and take its hide off and then
entrails out, leaving eyes, horns, tongue, hoofs and tail on.
then put in the kettle with other meats of various kinds, also corn,
wheat and herbs of different sorts, all cooked until the whole mass
was of the consistency of thick soup. Frequently the Indian
would take the deer by its horns and turn it in the kettle to keep
When done, the savory mess was swallowed by the reds as fast
could get it, some eating from wooden dishes, others with wooden
spoons, others dipping their hands in the kettle.
One of the most noted places in this settlement and one that
terror to the neighborhood was a quagmire near where the Indians
camped. It embraced almost an acre of land and was a wet boggy
ground and would yield under the feet. It was a regular trap
kinds of stock, especially deer for the Indians. Whenever a
would miss some of his stock, he would nearly always find it stuck
the quagmire. He would have to fasten a rope around the animal
with a strong yoke of oxen pull it out of the mire. This
many years later was drained and is now unknown to many of this
Another noted place in the neighborhood and near where this
homecoming is being held, was a deer lick. It was a spot of
ground where the deer would come and lick. The usual time for
to come to this place was just at dawning or a little before
daybreak. This was a noted place for the sons of Joseph and
Bennett to hunt the deer. When the moon was its brightest and
in the morning, these boys would go to this place and with their
rifles climb up in the trees and hide themselves. It wouldn't
long until the snapping of a twig could be heard and a fallow deer
would quietly come slipping through the brush. The boys
that when a low whistle was given, they were to fire. This
always brought down a deer.
The happiest event of the year was sugar-making time.
usually begin about the middle of February and last through the
of March. Extensive preparations were required before
began. A large furnace with kettles had to be made, troughs
be dug for sugar water and splies had to be made for the trees and
wood cut to fire the furnace. Some of the largest camps
settlement in that day were owned by Absalom Frazier, Thomas
Joseph Redman, William Cumstock, John Bennett, Henry Randall, and in
fact, nearly all the early settlers of Rich Woods made sugar.
Sugar making time was great sport for the young folks.
visit the camps at night, especially when it was necessary to boil
sugar water all night. The would pull taffy, roast chickens,
songs, dance the old Virginia Reel until almost morning. It
places like this that many of the young folks wooed and won in love
their companions for life. It is a splendid thought to think
those young people who really loved. Through their hardships
life, through the wrinkle of time and the music of years, they never
grew old to each other.
Another happy event of the settlement was log rolling
was usually in the springtime. The settlers would cut the
through the winter months from the land they wanted cleared, and
ready, they would invite all the neighbors to the log rolling.
whole neighborhood would be there. The women would prepare the
dinner, the men and boys would do the log rolling. They would
large logs and pile them in great heaps while the old men and
children would pick up the limbs and brush and pile them on the log
heap as high up as they could pitch them. Everything was then
for the fire. As there were no matches, they had to go to the
and get a shovel of fire. A roaring fire was made in the log
and the smoke ascended almost to the clouds. Children yelled
hollered with great delight for it was a great sight to them.
The call for dinner came at last. Everyone was
ready. The woman
prepared the dinner in the pioneer way. There was not a
stove in the whole settlement, and consequently they did all their
cooking by the fireplace. The meats were cooked in a lager
hung on a crane, the corn bread cooked in a skillet which stood on
three legs and had a lid with a flaring top. Fire coals were
underneath, and on top of the skillet, so every part of the skillet
was hot alike. They would also make the favorite
was a flat cake, mixed with Indian meal and milk, and cooked on a
large smooth oak board which was set up before the fire-place and
baked until it was good and brown.
The first school house built in the Rich Woods was about
mile east of their church house. It was built of unhewn logs
large fireplace at one end with greased paper for window lights.
Seats for the scholars were made from hewed slabs with short sticks
of wood for legs. On one side of the room was placed a long
slab on pegs which were driven in auger holes in the
was where the large children practiced their writing with the goose
quill pen. One of the requirements of the teacher was that he
know how to make these pens.
A new building was built on the same ground in the early
remained there until the Civil War when it was burned down.
location was then changed to the present site and a new building
Many of the pioneer settlers who came from Kentucky and
settled in Rich Woods were very superstitious. They believed
signs, tokens, spirits, ghosts and many other peculiar things and
were very honest in their belief.
They would not plant their potatoes until the full moon, and
garden stuff that made itself in the ground must be planted in the
dark of the moon. There was certain time to cover houses,
fences and set out orchards.
They also believed in the signs of the zodiac. They
wean a colt or calf unless the sign was in the feet.
Friday was usually considered an unlucky day. They never
on that day unless they knew they could complete it.
On going to a neighbor s house or to church, if a cat should
the road in front of them going to left, it was bad luck, if to the
right, good luck. If it was a black cat and it ran to the
meant death in the neighborhood.
In getting breakfast--if the lady of the house should drop a
dishcloth on the kitchen floor, it was a sure sign they would have
company for dinner and she would prepare for them. If a
hanging over the fire in the morning should hum a little loud, it
a sign of a death in the family. A certain lady of the
noticed the kettle humming unusually loud one morning. She
her husband's attention to it. He said it meant a death in
family. This proved true. Just fifteen years, almost to
a day, her
grandfather fell stone dead.
Following is the poem read by Mrs. Moffett:
My Spring time of life has departed
Its romance has ended at last.
My dreamings were once of the future
But now they are all of the past
And memory oft in my trials
Goes back to my past times at school
And pictures of children that loved me
In the beautiful Rich Woods school.
The school house still stands by the roadside
And green is the spot where we played
And flecked with the sun is the shadow
Of the evergreen wood where we played
The thrush in the meadowy places
Still sings in the evergreen cool
But changed are the fun-loving faces
Of the beautiful Rich Woods school.
I remember the days when a teacher,
I met those dear faces anew
The warm hearted greetings that told me
The friendship of children is true
I remember the winters I struggled
When careworn and sick in my school
I remember the children who loved me
At the beautiful Rich Woods school.
So true in the days of my sadness
Did the hearts of my trusted ones prove
My sorrows grew light in the gladness
Of having so many to love.
I gave my own heart to my scholars
And banished severity's rule
And happiness dwelt in my schoolroom
In the beautiful Rich Woods school.
I taught them the goodness of loving
The beauty of nature and art.
They taught me the goodness of loving
The beauty that lies in the heart.
I prize more than lessons of knowledge
The lessons I learned in my school
The warm heart that met me of mornings
At the beautiful Rich Woods school.
I remember the hour that we parted
I told them with moistening eyes
That the bell of the schoolroom of Glory
Would ring for each of us in the skies
Their faces were turned to the sunset
As they stood 'neath the evergreen cool
I shall see them no more as I saw them
In our beautiful Rich Woods school.
The bells of the "Schoolroom of Glory,"
Their summons have rung in the sky
The moss and the fern of the valley
On the graves of ____ ____ pupils lie.
Some have gone from _____ studies
Of earth, to the ________
Some faces are bright with the Angels,
Who belonged to our beautiful school.