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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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This Story was transcribed & Contributed by: Laurie Broetzmann

The Lily of the Valley

By Emma Bratz

A great many years ago, there lived a happy couple, and their only child, Lillie, in Pleasant River Valley. The people in that vicinity were always kind to their neighbors and they lived contented and happy.

Lillie and her parents lived in a big mansion. The lawn in front of the house was kept clean, and here and there were flower beds. Here and there you saw trees which dotted the lawn, and it seemed as if every bird was invited to build his nest there. Every morning and evening you saw Lillie bring food to these birds, and they always welcomed her with a chirp and a song.

Lillie was a sweet little girl of nine years. She had laughing blue eyes, and rich golden hair which curled over her snow white brow. Her features were regular, and she always had a smile for every one. She was as good as she was beautiful. She was the sunshine of her home, and everybody loved her. Her father and mother always petted her and called her by endearing names, but this did not make her vain or proud, so she always remained the same sweet girl.

Lillie's home was as beautiful as a dream. She had everything she wanted, and she could do as she pleased. She never disobeyed her mother or father, but always did as she was told. The servants loved her for whenever they asked her to do them a favor, and it was in her power to do it, she would.

Her parents nor anybody else could not foretell of the great accident that would soon take their darling from them forever. One evening as she had kissed her kind parents good night and gone to bed, her mother and father were remarking how beautiful heir darling was growing. They sat up a few hours and talked about Lillie and the future; to what school they would send her soon, and what kind of education she should have.

It was midnight when her parents were awakened by a noise, and saw that the house was burning. They were nearly choked to death by the smoke, and nearly burned by the spreading flames. Lillie's mother fainted and was carried out by her father who fainted immediately after he had her outside. The servants came out of the house just in time, for as they were outside the walls fell in, and to their dismay, they thought of Lillie, and they looked all over and could not find her anywhere, neither could they hear her voice, and then it dawned upon them that she was gone forever.

The building burned to the ground, and when the poor father and mother found out that their darling was burnt, their grief was terrible to witness.

They never built a house on that same place, but erected a pretty white monument on which was written, "Our Darling Lillie." After a few years there sprang up some flowers on a certain spot and the sorrowing parents knew that it was the place where lay the remains of their darling Lillie. The flowers were small, white cup-like flowers and the parents called them Lillies in honor of their beloved daughter. But later the inhabitants of the valley called them Lillies-of-the-Valley.

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