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J. W. HALL

of Napanee Remarkably Active for His Years -

Commences 94th Year on Friday   Was a Former Reeve

(Scrapbook clipping, year not given)

 

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NAPANEE, Dec. 23 -  J. W. Hall, one of the best known and highly respected citizens of Napanee quietly observed his 93rd birthday today.  He is remarkably active and is enjoying fairly good health for one so advanced in years.  With the exception of slightly impaired eyesight, his faculties are all well preserved.  Practically every day he is downtown for a short time.

 

He was born in the Township of Richmond and is a son of the late William Hall, who came to Canada from Ireland, and Mary Diamond, a United Empire Loyalist settler of the Hay Bay district. He is one of a family of four, and is the last surviving member.  During his long life he has enjoyed the confidence and regard of a large circle of friends.  While residing in Richmond he was a member of the Selby United Church and since coming to Napanee has been a member of Trinity United church. He was a member of the Richmond Council for some years and for three years was reeve.  He resides on Centre Street, and with him are his son, Edgerton Hall, and Mrs. Hall.  He was married twice, his first wife having died more than forty years ago, and his second wife having passed away about three years ago.

 

THE HAM FAMILY

(From the Scrapbooks of J. Wright)

 

For the Napanee Beaver:   MR. EDITOR –

 

     As you often give incidents and occurrences interesting to your readers, will you allow me through your columns to give you an occurrence rarely met with. As the parties connected are known to the most of your readers, and very many interested, being so widely connected, I will give the names as well as the occurrence.

     I presume your readers or most of them know or have heard of one of the old U.E.'s by the name of Ham, who settled in Ernestown, father to him of whom I am about to speak, Mr. John Ham, his oldest son. Mr. Ham married a daughter of another old U.E. Mr. Asahael Bradshaw, and settled in North Fredericksburgh and there lived and died, leaving behind him twelve children six sons, and six daughters, having buried an infant, which made their offspring thirteen children. The twelve grew to manhood and womanhood and all married but two. Some of them have settled near the home of their father, whilst others were scattered from each other throughout America.

     And now for the peculiarity of the occurrence.

     They all met at the old homestead, now owned by the youngest son, on Sunday last, to greet each other and once more set around the old fireside, and surround the old table together, as they did in the days of their childhood. I said the occurrence was a peculiar one, and so it was, it being over thirty one years since they had all met before, which was at the burial of their father.

     They met, strange to say, an unbroken family, the oldest being sixty five and the youngest thirty-nine, and although they had stood the blasts of time, they all filed an appearance in much vigor, and in good health - and I thought if their worthy sire had been seated in their midst he would have felt as proud as did the old patriarch, Jacob of old, when surrounded by his twelve sons.

     The scene was a pleasing one as you may well imagine. Solomon says "as iron sharpeth iron so the countenance of another his friend," If that be true, which we have no reason to doubt, what must have been the feelings of the meeting of those of such close kin. And although the meeting was a pleasing one to them, yet it must have carried with it keen reflections, as it was evident to them when scattered so widely again to their old homes, it was not at all probable they would all ever meet again on the shores of time to greet each other with how do you do brother and sister, I am pleased to meet you here.

     And as I was the first to break up the family circle over 43 years ago, if they do not meet again for another 31 years to come, it is very evident I shall not be there to meet them, so I may say to my brother and sister now - adieu - adieu.

                                                                                          E. SILLS

 

 

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Children of Rev. John Ham & Esther Bradshaw

Simeon Perry b. 1809  [m. Elizabeth Scott]

Elizabeth b. 1810  [m. Elisha Sills]

George Thatford 1812-1899  [m. Eleanor Pruyn]

Deluw b. 1814  [m. Mary Casey]

Azubah  1816-1902  [m. Solomon Wright]

[middle row, seated, right]

Ira b. 1818 [ m. Almeda Haight]

Martha  1820-1904  [m. Byard Detlor]

Cynthia b. 1822  [m. Billings Warner]

Eleanor b. 1824  [unmarried]

Concurrence b. 1827

Rebecca b. 1830  [m. Perry Truax Ham]

John D.  1832-1903  [unmarried]

Zina  1835-1911  [m. Mercia Amanda Miller]

 

 

 

SHERIFF G. D. HAWLEY

A Good Man Has Been Given the Office -

Several Funerals.

(From the Weekly British Whig Apr 29 1895

 

Napanee, April 26 - Considerable excitement was displayed, yesterday, in town, when the announcement appeared in the Globe that George D. Hawley, ex-M.P.P. had been appointed to the vacant shrievalty, caused by the death of O.T. Pruyn. As the excitement abates general satisfaction is expressed in the appointment, as Mr. Hawley is well deserving of the office. He is a man who has served the party faithfully and although there are a number of disappointed aspirants on the whole the appointment gives general pleasure.

     Mr. Hawley was born in the township of Fredericksburgh, on April 3rd, 1841, the son of a United Empire loyalist. He was educated in Kingston, at Queen's, and at once took an interest in public affairs. At one time he was elected a municipal councillor and then a legislator. He enjoyed several terms in the Ontario parliament, after enduring the political opposition and persecution that fell to few.  Mr. Hawley is a fluent and easy speaker and a very popular gentleman.

 

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A LENNOX VETERAN

(Reuben Hawley)

Sketch of One of the Men Who Has Lived Many Years

 

     One of the oldest natives of Lennox residing in this locality is Reuben Hawley, Esq., of North Fredericksburgh. He is now in his eighty-ninth year, and is still hale and active.. He may often be seen driving his carriage through our streets. His mind and memory are yet clear, his health remains good and he bids fair to be one in our midst for some years yet. He comes from a strong and healthy parentage. His mother lived to be ninety-four years of age a number of his relatives passed many mile stones beyond the allotted three score and ten.

     Mr. Hawley was born in 1808 a short distance beyond what is now the old village of Camden East, but that was years before any village had an existence there. His parents moved to the farm where he now resides, on the Napanee river, and he has lived there ever since - eighty-four continuous years on the same farm. He has been a farmer all his life time, an excellent type of those industrious, prosperous, intelligent and loyal farmers for which this country is so noted. His father, Jehial Hawley, established a distillery there in the good old days when it is said, "there were more distilleries in the county than mills and more taverns than churches,"  and when almost every farmer considered his barrel of pure rye whiskey almost as much one of the necessaries of life as his barrel of flour. He has always been a temperate man, however. The liquors of those days were wonderfully different from the fiery corn extract of today, but even then many had much reason to regret the results of their use at all.

     Mr. Hawley well remembers when there were but very few pretentions to a village where our town of Napanee now stands. All that there was here in his early days was a small flouring mill, the property of the Hon. R. Cartwright, (the grandfather of Sir Richard) which stood about where the Herring foundry is now located, but that was many years before the present hydraulic canal was built. There was also a small store, standing near where the Gibbard company's finishing shop now stands, on Dundas street. It was owned and carried on by Major McPherson, the first merchant and post master here, and for many years one of the most prominent and successful business men. He was also one of the first magistrates in this county. A little east of that on the opposite side of the street, stood the "Old Red Tavern", which was well known to all the early inhabitants of this section. The same building is standing yet - the old frame dwelling house one door west of Wilder Joy's. Mr. Hawley states that it is the oldest house now standing in Napanee. We are informed that our late well-known townsman, Archibald McNeill, was born in that house. It has been continuously occupied ever since.

     Mr. Hawley has always been a man of quiet and retiring habits and therefore never took a very prominent part in political affairs. He has been a life-long supporter of the old reform party, however, and his sympathies and support are still with that party. His grandfather, Davis Hawley, who resided near Hawley P.O., South Fredericksburgh, one of the leading pioneers of this district, was a near neighbor and a very active supporter of Peter Perry, who was over sixty years ago one of the powerful leaders of the party in Upper Canada. Associated with Peter Perry was Marshall Bidwell, at one time a resident of Bath, who also represented this county from 1828 for years and was speaker of the house and one of the ablest men in the party. These men long had the active support of the Hawley family in this county. The elections in those days were generally held for a whole week, and for years at "Fralick's Tavern:, near the brick church, at Morven, where B.B. Banslyck now resides. Sheriff George D. Hawley, is a cousin of the subject of this sketch, and so are Davis Hawley Miller and William Miller, ex-warden of the old midland district and ex-M.P.P. of Lennox and Addington, was a brother-in-law. His relative throughout the country are numerous and very respectable. He is the last, however, of a large and influential family. Mr. Hawley reared a family of six children, two of whom died some years ago. These were Homer, who died a young man at the family residence; Flindall, who died in Napanee a few years ago and whose family now reside in town. The living members are George, who resides on the homestead, Mrs. A.I. Bogart, of Deseronto; Mrs. George Lasher, of Toronto, and Mrs. G.H. Williams, of Napanee.

 

 

JACOB HILLER AND HIS WIFE

The Oldest Married Couple now Known to be living.

They are natives of this county

(From “The Napanee Beaver” 1897)

 

      It  may be of considerable interest to readers of THE NAPANEE BEAVER  to know that the oldest married couple of which there is now any known record in America, if not in the world, are natives of Lennox County.

     They are Jacob Hiller and his wife, now residents of the little town of Elkton, Michigan.  They were both born in Ernestown, a couple of miles south of Odessa, during the later years of the last century;  they were married there and were residents of the township for  many years, and there all their children were born - eleven in number. Nearly forty years ago, at the time of the breaking out of the last great American civil war, they moved to Michigan and there all the surviving members of the family now reside.

 

SOME FAMILY HISTORY

     Jacob Hiller was born on the 20th of October, 1790, and has therefore now already seen his one hundred and seventh birthday.  Mrs. Hiller was born in March, 1792, and will be one hundred and five next month.  They have still in their possession an old newspaper recording the death of his father at the age of 107.

     They were married in Ernesttown in April 1810 and will therefore soon celebrate the eighty-seventh anniversary of their wedding.  We doubt if another record can anywhere be found of any other two persons now living who have been so long married.  Several old residents of Napanee and this locality will remember the old couple when they were residents of this county.  William Hiller, a member of the same family, lived and died a few years ago on his farm just east of I. B. Aylsworth, Esq., ex-reeve of Ernesttown;  his wife died last winter.       Three of their sons, Benjamin, Peter and Gilbert, are now well known residents of the township and well-to-do farmers.  Dr. Solomon Cartwright Hiller, now a well known practicing physician at Bowmanville, is also a member of the same family.  William, another son who was also a doctor, was accidentally killed a few years ago.  Some of the surviving sons of the venerable old couple, now reside in Michigan.

     Mrs. Dennis Neville, a resident of Thomas Street, this town, is a sister of Jacob Hiller.

     The family are of U.E. Loyalist descent.  Jacob’s father was a young man resident in New York State before the American revolution.  He joined the ranks of the British army and did service during the war.  At its close he joined one of the early United Empire Loyalist bands that came to Canada and became one of the first pioneers of “Second town,” now Ernesttown, in the county.

 

AMERICAN NEWSPAPER REPORTS

     In consequence of the wonderful longevity of these old people they have become subjects of great interest to leading American newspapers.  There now lies before us an illustrated copy of the Cincinnati Enquiry of January 31st with a two column report  of a recent visit of one of its correspondents to their humble home, accompanied by a two column engraving of the old pair, as they appeared on that day.  We have also before us a similar illustrated article from a leading  Detroit daily of a few months earlier and containing also a view of their residence and of several buildings in the village near which it is located.  From the Enquirer’s article we take the following extracts:

      “A cheery but noticeable feeble ‘come in’ answered a knock at the door.  It came from Grandpa Hiller whose welcome was extended.   In the farther corner of the room was an ordinary bed,.................  which was spotless and ...............................…could be called a tall man, but medium in height and build.  He appears a man well calculated to endure hardship where larger and stronger men would fail.  He presents the appearance of a muscular son of toil.  today, even after his struggle through a century of years, on can scarcely credit the astounding fact that a man so spry and erect had conquered the dangers of 107 years.  His step is still firm and regular and his hand steady.  His face is wrinkled but his eye is still bright.  His long patriarchal hair falls in snowy whiteness over his shoulders.”

     Regarding Mrs. Hiller, the writer says “Time has dealt more harshly with her, who sat almost helpless in the corner, almost bent double with her many years, her gray head nodding in feebleness, and her sightless eyes denied the blessing of God’s fair sunlight.  In youth she must have been fair.  Even yet the old lady’s hands are soft and of silken texture like some rural girl.”  Later on in the same interview she is reported to have said;  Jacob is still strong but I suffer a lot.  He can see, but I wear specks, and even then can’t see anything.  I am not going to live much longer.”

 

SOME EARLY REMEMBRANCES

     Among other things reported the old man said:  “I was quite a lump of a boy when the war of 1812 was on. I used to carry milk to the poor soldiers who were wounded.  The war around Kingston was all on water.  When they were done fighting they would throw their dead overboard.  I helped to pull the bodies ashore and helped bury them. That was a bad war.  The British fought like demons against the States, and the Yankees were just as fierce.”

     At that time, according to his own record of his birth, he must have been still a boy just emerging from his teens. It will be remembered that, during the campaign of 1813 especially, several naval demonstrations were made against Kingston, in which the Americans got such a hot reception that any further attempts to capture the city were abandoned.  Of this section of the country in his early days he is reported to have said;  Canada was then only a big bush.  The country was new and the settlers were just as green as they could be.  The schools were few and far between.  Children had but little chance for education in those days.” 

     Strange to say, the old man’s eyesight yet remains good, and he has cut several new teeth within the past few years.  He reads without spectacles, - in fact he has never used any.  He reports that, years ago when they supposed their end must be near, they sold their effects and went to live with one of their children, but in course of time resolved to again keep house for themselves and have been doing so, in their own quiet way for the last six or seven years.  Their oldest son, they report, is now 86 years of age and their youngest past 57.  We doubt if another similar record of such great longevity and of so many years of married life can be found on record.  Their history gives another illustration of the healthful and bracing climate of this section of Canada.  Lennox County has become well noted for its Grand old men and noble old women.

     

 

Additional Facts

Regarding the Hiller Family Formerly of Ernesttown Township

(Daily British Whig, Mar 8 1897)

 

   Henry S. Davy, Odessa, one of the Ontario license commissioners for Lennox county, sends us additional particulars of the Hillier family, of which mention was made two weeks ago. On account of their great age, and of their having been now nearly eighty-seven years married - the oldest married couple now known to be living in America, some have been inclined to doubt the correctness of the dates. Mr. Davy, however, leaves no reason for doubts on that score. He is a nephew of the old couple, and has had in his possession the old German family bible in which the Hillier family record was kept. Mrs. Jacob Hillier was Miss Sarah Davy, an aunt of H. Davy, and the old family record shows that she was born a little east of Bath, near Mill Haven, in 1792, and is therefore now 105 years of age. Her father, Peter Davy, came into Upper Canada in company with Jacob Hillier, father of the present venerable centenarian. They were brothers-in-law. Peter Davy died in Ernesttown, a little north-east of Odessa. The elder Jacob Hillier died near Odessa, years ago, at the advanced age of one hundred and six years and seven months. He is yet well remembered by many residents of the township. His eldest daughter, whose mother was killed by the Indians during the war, died a few years ago, aged 103. Three of Mrs. Hillier's sisters also lived to a great age. The last surviving one died in Odessa two years ago, aged eighty-eight. Another died at ninety, and the third at ninety-three. A brother also died at ninety-three; he was some years younger than the present Mrs. Jacob Hillier, of Michigan.

  

   Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Hillier were married at the old Davy homestead, lot thirty-six, fourth concession of Ernesttown, some time before the war of 1812 and settled in a log cabin near that place and remained there for years. During the war the young husband was engaged in drawing provisions to Kingston for the soldiers, and the young wife often cried for fear that he young "hubby" would fall into the hands of the "Yankees." It was about that time their first child was born. They lived in this humble cabin until nearly all their children were born. H. Davy has still in his possession the hearth stone of that cabin. The family afterwards moved into the township of Portland, Frontenac county, where they remained until they moved to Michigan nearly forty years ago. H. Davy has still in his possession some of the business papers of the Hillier family, as his father transacted their legal business. There is abundant evidence that their own statements regarding their great age, their marriage eighty-six years ago, and their early history are substantially correct.

    

 

VISIT TO THE OLD HOMESTEAD

(Henry Hover)

By Four Ladies Whose Combined Ages Number 321 Years

Daily British Whig Sept 10 1888

 

   On Saturday last, three daughters of the late Henry Hover, Adolphustown, a U.E. Loyalist, met at Mrs. Joseph B. Allison's, also a daughter of Henry Hover. Their combined ages number 321 years, 7 months and 7 days. As the daughters of a U.E. Loyalist they each drew 200 acres of land. Their respective names and residences are: Mary, wife of the late Joseph B. Allison, Adolphustown; Margaret, wife of the late Edward Squires, Eckford, West Middlesex; Eva, wife of the late Rev. C.R. Allison, Picton, and Millicent, wife of Peter VanPatten, Picton. They are all hale and hearty. They looked over the old homestead lot now the property of George N. Harrison, a nephew. Looking at the old house, in which they were born, they could see marked evidence of decay, but looking in front they could see the Bay of Quinte with its waters as fresh and beautiful as in the days of childhood. Henry Hover, their father, was one of the hardy men that helped to cut the first trees of the forest and to turn the wilderness into fields of husbandry. He suffered great privations and hardships during the war. He was taken prisoner when a little over fourteen years of age, was chained to an old man and there kept for eighteen months, until the old man died. At the age of sixteen he was exchanged as prisoner of war and was then attached to that command known as Butler's rangers. He was again taken prisoner and subjected to great privations; yet through all he never surrendered his devotion to the British flag, and after the close of the war followed it into the woods of this country. His brother, who accompanied him, was the first grown person that was buried in the old U.E. Loyalist cemetery. Henry lived to a good old age, and died on the farm drawn by him as a U.E. Loyalist.

 

 

RICHARD HUFF

Was one of a Splendid Group of the United Empire Loyalists Who Came to Canada in 1776

(From the Daily British Whig Jan 17 1924)

[NOTE: dates are as written in article]

 

    B.M. Wylie, 351 Westmorland avenue, Toronto, writes in the Picton Times his forebears:

   My grandfather Richard Huff was eighteen months old at the time the United States (thirteen colonies) declared their independence July 4th 1776, and immediately thereafter left the farm at Kattskills, where he was born, with his father, Solomon Huff and family to make their way as best they could through the unblazed wilderness of Northern New York State, towards Canada. They finally reached a point on the St. Lawrence river (now Ogdensburg) where they crossed and ultimately reached Fort Frontenac (now Kingston), late in the same fall. They were cared for at this military post during the winter of 1776 and in the following summer got land location in the Fourth Town of the County of Lennox and Addington, Adolphustown, where Solomon  felled trees and built a shelter for his family. So my grandfather would then be about 2 ½ or three years old when the family got settled, and therefore entitled to be classed as a pioneer, and as such subsequently got allotment of 160 acres of land in the 5th Town of Prince Edward county, North Marysburgh.

   The first “meeting house” or church built in Upper Canada was on the farm of Paul Huff, uncle of my grandfather, and at camp meeting held about the time of its dedication, eighteen young people were drowned while crossing hay Bay, and grandfather assisted in recovery of the bodies, he being then about eighteen years of age, and married to Sophia Snider, aged fifteen; they both becoming members of the church during that protracted meeting conducted by  a minister named Losee, or to be exact in wording the narrative I should say elder instead of minister, viz.; Elder Losee, Elder Case, etc., for the Reverend did not come into common use until years after. But be it understood that these elders held full authority to solemnize marriage and administer sacraments according to the Pilgrims’ polity, carried into Upper Canada by the U.E. Loyalists in 1776-7 at Adolphustown.

   My grandparents were reared in this pioneer element, subject to all the hardships of those early days, and the impressions on their young minds gleaned from the traditionary stories of their fathers and mothers as related around the log fires on the stone fireplaces concerning their progenators were never effaced from their memories, and ever formed subjects for conversation in their declining years, and for hours they would enjoy reviewing these early scenes.

   

 

THE HUFFNAIL FAMILY

The Last of an Old U.E. Loyalist Family

That Inhabited South Fredericksburgh Township

An Historical Sketch By An Old Friend

(From the Daily British Whig Feb 26 1916

 

Napanee Feb. 26 – A.R. Davis, Toronto writes in the Beaver:

   There passed away on January 16th, 1916 in Mohall, North Dakota, the last member of an old United Empire Loyalist family of South Fredericksburgh, in the person of Mrs. Elsie Huffnail, relict of the late St. George Detlor, in her 93rd year. Deceased was one of a large family of daughters of Jacob and Jane Huffnail, several of whom married and settled in their native township and Adolphustown, each of them, like Mrs. Detlor, raising a large family, which have now become scattered far and wide.

   Mrs. Detlor reared eight daughters, all of whom were married, and spent her declining years with the youngest, Mrs. W.D. Keenan, in North Dakota, where in 1900, this octogenarian filed on a homestead and obtained her patent for 160 acres. She came of a sturdy race.

   Her grandfather, Andrew Huffnail, who died in 1841 at the age of 70 as recorded in the old U.E.L. cemetery at Adolphustown where he and his son, Jacob, who died in 1880 at the age of 83, were buried, was only a lad of 13 when he landed with the first Loyalist contingent that ascended the Bay of Quinte on that memorable day, June 16th, 1784, in the little cove adjoining the cemetery. Andrew “Huffnagle” must have been an ambitious youth for we find in the old records in the Parliament Buildings, Toronto, that he filed a U.E.L. claim not only in South Fredericksburgh, adjoining No. 11, which became the family homestead, but also in what has since become Prince Edward County and also in Hastings County.

   Doubtless he became ashamed of his German name in the new British possessions, for the records show that “Huffnagle” disappeared, and the Anglicized name of Huffnail took its place, which after enduring for several generations, has now disappeared forever.

   One of the sisters of Mrs. Detlor married Thomas Carnahan, one of the large family raised on the adjoining farm to the Huffnail homestead, but one member, Edward Carnahan, remains in the township and he resides on the spot where the original Huffnail log shanty was erected and where in succeeding years, a large frame house was built on a side hill with a basement kitchen like a modern bank barn. This quaint old building, familiar a generation or two ago to every one in the front townships, is now unknown to all but a few of the older people who can remember the quiet, honest, kind-hearted old farmer, Jacob Huffnail, who, leaning heavily upon his strong cane, walked slowly around the premises and cordially greeted the neighbors who saluted him in passing.

   Another daughter married John VanCott, and subsequently Robert Peterson. The two VanCott sons moved to Manitoba, and the Petersons have long since passed away.

   Another became Mrs. John Hazlett, and raised a large family in Adolphustown, on what afterwards became the Hanlon, and now the Johnston farm. None of the Hazlett family remain in the old district. Those living are in various parts of the Western States and the name has disappeared from the township records.

   Another daughter, Amy Ann, married Archibald C. Davis, a grandson of Henry Davis, the Loyalist pioneer, who homesteaded on lot 16 in the 2nd concession of Adolphustown, about a mile west of the old Huffnail homestead. As was the universal custom of those bygone days, a large family was raised in the Davis home on the south half of lot 16, but the north half became barren, for there, Peter D. Davis, living with his father and mother, after all the others members of a large family had left the old roof tree, remained an old bachelor to his dying day. But there was a husky bunch of seven boys and two girls in the family south of the road and how their parents found enough food to satisfy their ravenous appetites has always been a grave mystery to at least one member of that brood. The gentle, heroic mother did her duty faithfully and well and departed to her final rest at an early age, when the writer was but eight years old. Dim but pleasant recollections remain of that good mother, who, like all the other Huffnail women, and particularly Mrs. Detlor, was always kind an considerate and deeply thoughtful of the comfort and happiness of others. They doubtless inherited the characteristics of their father, Jacob Huffnail, and it is to be devoutly hoped that the many good qualities of those plain, honest, kind-hearted progenitors of our present generation may be perpetuated in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

   Nelson Davis and his family and George and Amy Ann still remain on the old Davis homestead and while the Huffnail name has now disappeared after a period of 132 years, since the U.E. Loyalist landing, the blood still prevails in the widely scattered families enumerated above, and will continue to prevail for many generations. Thus it has been in the history of many other names and families in our old County of Lennox, and it would be well if some member of each family would trace back the history of these grand old men and women to the beginning of life in this new country, even in such a rough disconnected way as this has been done in order that those coming after us may have some basis for tracing their ancestry back through the period in which we live.

   After the great sacrifice of the noblest and best of our young men has been made to preserve the heritage, which our forefathers through privation and suffering obtained for us, we should at the conclusion of the war, celebrate our victory, not only in welcoming home our brave boys, from the front, but also in honoring the memory of those stalwart pioneers who not only gave us birth, but a birthright to preserve and foster, whose names, like that of the Huffnails, we had well nigh forgotten.

 

 

 

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