BENEDICT, CAREY, RITTER, UMBAUGH
Posted By: Irma (email)
Date: 7/9/2009 at 20:32:31
AFTON STAR ENTERPRISE
[No date given, probably 1930]
BIRTHDAY PARTY RECALLS MEMORIES OF PIONEER DAYS
AGED CITIZEN OF DODGE TOWNSHIP CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY; RELATES PLEASANT MEMORIES
A very pleasant surprise was planned and carried out last Sunday by Mrs. John Benedict in honor of her father-in-law, Levi Benedict, it being the 80th annnivesary of his birth. The guests brought good things to eat and a very pleasant social time was enjoyed.
Among the guests present were: Mr. and Mrs. U. S. Carey and son, Clarence; Mr. & Mrs. Luther Carey; Mr. & Mrs. Frank Ritter and family; Mrs. A. J. Ritter; Mr. & Mrs. John Benedict and family; Mr. & Mrs. Cleave Umbaugh and family.
Late in the afternoon when the guests departed, all wished Mr. Benedict many happy returns of the day. A brief sketch of the life of Mr. Benedict is given herewith, as told to the guests on this happy occasion:
Today I was sitting thinking of my boyhood days, when I and my parents came to Iowa from Lee County, along with my sisters and brothers. It was in the fall of 1856. We came in a covered wagon, driven by a yoke of oxen. We settled across the river, in what is known as the Herman Groesbeck timber. It is here I first started to school, and spent some happy childhood days.
In the spring, the month of April, there were 103 Indians come to our timber, known now as the Stalcup Ford and built their wigwams and stayed two weeks. They tried to beg food, but people gave them nothing, as they hardly had enough for themselves. They had to live only on the game they killed.
After living here two years, we moved close to the Madison county line, where three of my sisters were born. This making six in the family besides father and mother. During this year father built the first school house in New Hope Township, where I went to school.
After a few years, we sold out there and bought the place known now as the Schantz farm, about 3 miles south of Lorimor. It is here I grew to manhood. I well remember the time when we had to haul wood from the timber, about 3 miles southeast of our home. My brother, George and I went to haul the wood, George taking his gun to kill a few rabbits or squirrels. After getting our load of wood and started home, George taking his gun and got into the wagon. I was going to walk. I hadn't gone but a short way when I heard the gun go off. On going back I found the gun had slipped from the wood and discharged, hitting George in the breast. I took George home, and called the doctor. The doctor said he could not recover. He died nine days later. He was buried in what is now known as the Groesbeck cemetery.
I commenced to attend the spelling at the Bragg School house, where I first met the girl I took as my companion. Her name was then Harriett Ritter. We were married at Afton in 1874, August 11, at the Afton courthouse. Instead of going in a car, we went to Afton in a lumber wagon.
We moved to various houses, finally locating on her father's farm. Mr. Henry Ritter, taking care of Mr. & Mrs. Ritter until they passed away. I became the father of 9 children. Mrs. U. S. Carey being the oldest. When she became a young woman, Mr. Carey was a bachelor in his home one-half mile north of my home. Getting tired of his own cooking, thought he would try a different cook, so in order to be close to the one he loved he made the agreement with Mrs. Benedict to furnish flour for his board. But as there was such a large family, he gave up the idea, and went back to baching for awhile until he was united in marriage to Mrs. Carey.
We raised the remainder of our family and have lived for 56 years where my wife passed away one year ago. I am still living on the farm, with my son John and his wife and my grandchidren, which makes me recall the happy days when our children were small. I have passed my 80th birthday, Wednesday, March 26 and in the 80 years. I have seen many changes in this country.
[The stone in Greenlawn cemetery says for Levi Benedict, 1850-1937.]
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