MyDear Children, Grand Children, and Great Grand children all,
How glad I am to leave my "I wish you well" message to you. The beginning is easy, where to stop is not so easy.
Counting the blessing of nearly ninety one years, I can not recall them all. but one stands out strongly: my good parentage. I see reflected deeds of bravery in standing firm in the right, handed down to me from Revolutionary War times.
I unconsciously chose a verse, to close my answers to the questions asked of me, from the same chapter President Hoover kissed. How I thanked God for him. He was elected on the foundation of the principle that honest people must rule this "land of the free, and home of the brave". I am glad my daughter Bertha and son in law Otto carried me to the polls where I, a "prohibition democrat", voted for Hoover when I was ninety years old. Be honest and truthful. Honesty has been winked at in high places until a premium on honest will be coming soon. "Truth crushed to earth will rise again" and "what is done in secret, will be proclaimed from the house top". No higher calling comes to men than being honest and honoring God in word and deed. I ask God to give to me and mine, strength to overcome evil with good.
In answer to questions asked me: What do I r emember that gives pleasure without regret, in my life work? A willingness to honor God, more than to fear man.
What service have I done to be thankful for or proud of? I imagine I feel like a soldier does after a hard fought battle, reviewing the field of victory, won by suffering. Especially W.C.T.U. battles of long ago.
For forty five years I have been a continous paid up member of the Ashland, Oregon Woman's Christian Temperance Union. I was the first president when it took grit to face saloon opposition. Even Ministers were loathe to consent to the use of their churches for temperance lectures, fearing the church leaders would be displeased. But a few God fearing women and a very few staunch men stood by us, fighting for our town to be a clean town where our children might grow up without the soul destroying saloon temptations. i can now boast of chasing a "Brewery" out of our town by myself, obeying God's call and direction, fulfilling the scripture: "The wicked flee when no man pursueth". Only this time God sent a very weak, unlearned, but willing woman after him. He left when his brewery was partially begun. A long story could be told of all this. This is one victory that reminds me of a victorious soldiers pride in obeying his commanders orders. As I see the results of yesterdays workings I dare not say "proud of" but, "thankful for" the willingness to help.
I have no regrets for caring for sick neighbors when a doctor could not be had in early pioneer days.
No regrets for the times when I tried and failed in any good work. I had rather try even to fail than never to try at all.
No regrets for any good done, by giving of land or help that helped make Ashland a safe, peaceful home town of schools and churches.
No regrets for repairing the gift of land my Pioneer Parents gave for a free community burying ground, in 1853. Now it is saved from becoming a deserted old grave yard, a pasture for stock. The graves of seventeen brave men killed in battle with the Rogue River Indians in 1853-55 I have preserved from being lost, by placing at each grave a granite block. I have removed my husband's remains there and have space for myself and family under the shadow of Hill Butte.
I have not been asked to tell of the satisfaction I have in my children and their children. How could I tell: Not one, am I ashamed of. Who else could count eleven children in one picture, only one missing today. And I and twenty one of the dearest grandchildren and ninteen great grand children. Do you wonder that my pride increases by the review? Not to speak of my good sons in law.
Just now I'm being nursed back to health in the home of one of them. All my children have lent a hand to keep me on this side of the river, when the chariot was hanging low. So much to thank God for.
What do I prize most? The Bible, a counsellor that I can trust, full of lessons I need to know. Not one obeyed has ever failed to bring a promised blessing, tho sometimes they came in disguise.
I leave you this verse, "The fear of man bringeth a snare, but whosoever putteth his trust in the Lord, shall be safe". Prov. 19:25.
I wish you well -
Last updated by William P. Russell onSunday, 06-Jan-2002 00:38:00 MST