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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  Saddlebag Tales (Moderators: Marshal'ette Halloway, Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: HERBIE T. TOAD GOES WEST... 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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HERBIE T. TOAD
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« on: January 23, 2009, 03:10:14 pm »


ALITTLE BIT ABOUT THE TOAD....
MY GRANDPA FERDINAND CAME OVER FROM THE ALSACE-LORRAINE REGION OF GERMANY WITH HIS MOTHER CAROLINE, SISTER MARGARITE, AND TWO BROTHERS SHERWOOD AND JOHN, WITH UNCLE OTTO IN 1808.  MY GREAT GRANDPA MICHEAL, WAS KILLED CLEARING WOODS FOR A FIELD BY A HORSE KICK TO THE HEAD ONE HALF YEAR EARLIER.  MY FAMILY WAS DISTRAUGHT WITH GRIEF, AND STRICKENED WITH POVERTY AS MY GREAT GRANDMA TRIED TO RAISE THREE CHILDREN AND WOULD SOON BE DELIVERING A FOURTH.  SO UNCLE OTTO, A CATHOLIC PRIEST; WAS PETITIONED BY THE CHURCH TO SERVE IN AMERICA.  SO HE BROUGHT WHAT FAMILY HE HAD LEFT TO HIM FOR A NEW START. 

THEY SETTLED IN FAIRFIELD, CONNETICUT IN SEPTEMBER OF THAT YEAR.  GRANDPA WAS JUST AN INFANT.  BORN ON THE SHIP THAT BROUGHT HIM.    MY GRANDMA WASHED CLOTHES AND DID MENDING FOR LITTLE PAY.  BUT THEY MADE DUE. 
BROTHERS SHERWOOD AND JOHN WHO WERE 12 AND 10 YEARS WORKED FOR A MR. STUTZWILLER WHO CLEARED LAND LIKE THEIR PA DID BACK IN THE OLD COUNTRY.  EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE YOUNG IN YEARS, THEY WERE WORKERS.  MARGARITE WHO WAS 5 YEAR AT THE TIME, STAYED HOME AND HELPED GRANDMA BEST SHE COULD AROUND THE HOMESTEAD.  UNCLE OTTO HELPED GRANDMA AND THE CHILDREN BEST HE COULD BACK THEN, BUT WHEN THE WAR IN 1812 STARTED HE WAS SENT TO PLYMOUTH TO REPLACE A PRIEST SLAIN ACCIDENTALLY BY THE BRITISH. 

GRANDMA WENT ON TO MEET AND SOON MARRY A MR. MEYER WHO LOST HIS WIFE TO PNEUMONIA IN THE WINTER OF 1811.  MR. MEYER HAD NO CHILDREN OF HIS OWN SINCE HIS WIFE WAS STRICKEN NOT TO BARE ANY.  SO HE WAS DELIGHTED TO HAVE THEM.  AND HE WAS A GOOD PA TO THEM.

GRANDMA AND FAMILY HAD JUST BEGAN TO PROSPER WHEN THE BRITISH BURNED DAMN NEAR THE WHOLE STATE OF CONNETICUT.  THEY LOST EVERYTHING!  THEY BURNED ALL THE OUT BUILDINGS, THE BARN, AND THE HOMESTEADS THROUGHOUT MOST OF THE SMALL TOWNS THERE.  MR. MEYERS WAS A TRUE PATRIOT, AND LOST HIS PA TO THE BRITS DURING THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION, SO THE LOSS WAS ESPECIALLY HARD ON HIM.  AND WHEN ALL HOPE WAS ALMOST LOST TO THE FAMILIES WHO HAD SUFFERED AT THE HANDS OF THE BRITISH; LAND IN THE OHIO FRONTIER WAS GIVEN TO THEM FOR A NEW START.  THE AREA WAS CALLED THE "FIRELANDS".  AND MANY OF THE TOWNS IN THIS AREA WERE GIVEN THE NAMES OF THE TOWNS BURNED BACK IN CONNETICUT.  NEW HAVEN, PLYMOUTH, NORWALK, GREENWICH, NEW LONDON, AND YES FAIRFIELD.  THIS IS WHERE THEY SOUGHT A NEW BEGINNING. 


IT WAS 1813 IN THE OHIO FIRELANDS.  MY GRANDPA FERDINAND WAS 7 YEAR OLD.  MOST OF THE TOWNS WERE BEGINNING TO POPULATE.  NORWALK BECAME THE CENTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.  IT WAS AN 11 MILE WAGON RIDE BUT GRANDPA FERDINAND SAID HE WAS FASCINATED BY THE SOUNDS AND SMELLS OF THE SMALL CITY.

SHERWOOD NOW 18 AND JOHN 16; THE OLDER BOYS WERE MORE INTERESTED IN THE YOUNG LADIES IN TOWN, THAN HELPING GRANDMA WITH THE CANDLES, LINENS, AND BLANKETS SHE WOULD BRING TO TRADE OR SELL.  SO MARGARITE AND GRANDPA FERDINAND HELPED OUT.  MR. MEYERS RARELY WENT TO NORWALK.  GRANDPA FERDIAND SAID THE ONLY TIME HE COULD RECALL SUCH AN EVENT WAS WHEN SOMEONE FROM FAIRFIELD HAD LEFT TO BE WITH GOD.  HE SAID, "I HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED RIGHT HERE IN FAIRFIELD.  I DON'T NEED TO GO TO THAT FAST PACED CITY".


IN 1830, GRANDPA FERDINAND, NOW 22 YEAR OLD; MARRIED A MISS REBECCA WEIGART FROM FAIRFIELD.  HER PA WAS THE TOWN PEACE OFFICER.  FERDINAND HAD WORKED HARD BY THE EXAMPLE HIS MA AND MR. MEYERS HAD SHOWN HIM GROWNING UP.  HE HAD ONE OF THE NICEST HOMESTEADS IN THE COUNTY.  HE RAISED HORSES FOR THE CALVERY, AND BEEF CATTLE TO PAY DUES.

1832 BROUGHT THE ONLY CHILD MY GRANDPA AND GRANDMA GREW.  HIS NAME WAS OTTO.  GRANDPA FERDINAND NEVER REALLY NEW UNCLE OTTO, AS HE WAS ONLY 3 YEAR OLD WHEN HE LEFT FOR PLYMOUTH, CONNETICUT.  BUT HE LOVED HIS NAME!  MY PA SAID IT WAS PECULIAR, AS MOST PEOPLE HAD NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE.  BUT THAT MOST THOUGHT THE NAME WAS OF A MANLY FLAVOR.

GREAT GRANDMA CAROLINE DIED FROM A BROKEN HEART TWO YEAR AFTER MR. MEYER IN THE YEAR 1855.  FERDINAND KEPT THE FARM UP WITH THE HELP OF BROTHER JOHN, WHO LIVED NEXT DOOR.  THEY TALKED ABOUT SELLING THE LAND AT FIRST, BUT MARGARITE WHO WAS MARRIED WITH CHILDREN OF HER OWN, SAID THE LAND NEEDED TO STAY IN THE FAMILY AS IT HAD GROWN TO ABOUT 300 ACRES IN 1856.  FERDINAND AND JOHN AGREED IT WOULD BE BETTER TO KEEP THE ACREAGE TOGETHER AS 300 WAS THE LARGEST PLAT IN THE AREA.

WHEN MY PA TURNED 18 YEAR OLD IN THE YEAR 1850, GRANDPA FERDINAND AND UNCLE JOHN GAVE THE MEYER FARM TO HIM.  THIS IS WHERE I GREW UP.  YEP!  JULY 1852 THE TOAD WAS BORN.  THE NICKNAME WAS GRANDPA FERDIAND'S DOING.  HE SAID THAT WHEN I LAID ON THE BED, MY LEGS WERE BENT UP RESEMBLING A TOAD LAYING ON IT'S BACK.  I'VE CARRIED IT WITH ME EVERYSINCE.  IT'S BEEN SHORTENED TO HERBIE T, T, T TOAD, AT TIMES.  BUT EVERYONE KNEW WHO I WERE.

I TRAVELED THREE MILE TO TOWN WHERE THE SCHOOL HOUSE STOOD.  PA TOOK ME AND MY COUSIN ROBBIE TODD DAILY UNTIL WE WERE EACH 9 YEAR OLD.  THAT IS WHEN MY GRANDPA FERDINAND GAVE ME A MARE NAMED HELEN.  I ASKED GRANDPA WHY HER NAME WAS HELEN?  HE SAID, "THAT'S THE NAME YOUR PA WOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED IF HE WERE A SHE."  SHE'S SPECIAL TO ME, AND WILL BE GENTLE TO YOU.  HE WAS RIGHT!  THROUGHOUT THE YEARS I RODE HER TO SCHOOL, HELEN HAD RECEIVED QUITE A REPUTATION AS A FAST HORSE.  SHE MADE MY POCKETS JINGLE WITH COINS FOR HER EFFORTS, AND I REWARDED HER DAILY WITH AN APPLE OR TWO FROM MR. WALCHER'S ORCHARD.  AT 13, MY SCHOOL DAYS WERE BEHIND ME AS I BEGAN WORKING FOR GRANDPA.  HE TAUGHT ME EVERYTHING HE KNEW ABOUT HORSES AND CATTLE. 
I ENJOYED THE ANIMALS AND THE WORK, BUT I WAS GROWING BORED WITH THE STABLEBOY LIFE.  I WANTED TO GO WEST!

PA DIDN'T DO TO WELL AS A FARMER.  MONEY WAS SCARCE AT TIMES.  HE'S LIFES WORK WAS IN THE LUMBER BUSINESS.  HE TURNED GREAT GRANDMA AND MR. MEYER'S FARM INTO THE BEST LUMBER MILL IN THE 4 COUNTY AREA.  HE BUILT BED FRAMES, CABINETS, PICTURE FRAMES, AND BLANKET CHESTS.  PEOPLE WOULD COME FROM AS FAR AS PENNSYLVANIA COUNTRY TO BUY FROM PA.  HE EVEN GOT A CONTRACT WITH THE ARMY TO BUILD CANNON FRAMES WITH A LOCAL WHEELWRIGHT NAMED MR. SWEETING, WHO LIVED JUST BEYOND THE FAMILY ACREAGE.  PA HIRED SEVERAL LOCAL MEN TO WORK FOR HIM, AS THE WAR AGAINST THE CONFEDERATES WAS UNDERWAY.  GRANDPA FERDINAND WANTED PA TO RAISE CATTLE AND HORSES WITH HIM, BUT WAS FEARFUL OF THE CATTLE AS A YOUNG BOY, AND NEVER REALLY HAD ANY INTEREST IN RAISING HORSES.  HIS LOVE WAS A NICE WALNUT OR OAK BOARD OF LUMBER.  GRANDPA FERDINAND WAS PROUD OF THE LIFE MY PA HAD CARVED OUT FOR HIMSELF NONETHELESS.

IN 1888, GRANDPA PASSED ON TO BE WITH GREAT GRANDMA CAROLINE.  HE LIVED TO BE 70 YEAR OLD.  EVERYONE THOUGHT THE FARM SHOULD HAVE BEEN PASSED ON TO ME, BUT I TOLD THEM I WANTED TO SEEK A NEW ADVENTURE OUT WEST.  MY OTHER GRANDPA, GRANDPA WEIGART WHO WAS THE TOWN PEACE OFFICER WHEN MY PA MARRIED; TOLD ME THEY WERE BANDITS AND OUTLAWS IN THE WEST, AND IT WOULD BE WISE OF ME NOT TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THEIR SHENANNAGINS.
SO I THINK I'LL GO OUT WEST AND FIND ME A JOB AS A LAWMAN.

I ALREADY SPOKE BRIEFLY WITH THE MARSHAL.  I'LL TALK WITH HIM AGAIN SOON, AS I AM NEW TO TOWN, AND I NEED TO GET SETTLED. 

NICE TO MEET YOU ALL
HERBIE T. TOAD Cool


   
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  Saddlebag Tales (Moderators: Marshal'ette Halloway, Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: HERBIE T. TOAD GOES WEST... « previous next »
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