A 1950 Letter written by:
Edith (Everingham) Moyer
childhood memories of Illinois
sent to the family web site by Helen Hughes, March, 2008
original copy scans & transcript from Helen Hughes
May 28, 1950
letter written to Edith's neice Dimple Williamson
Dymple Dear, I didn't mean to be so slow about answering your interesting letter but I've felt like I was the cracker on the end of a black snake whip the last few weeks and that Simon Legree was on the other end of the whip. The Woman's Club luncheon is over and it was very pretty and the food was good. I'm very much relieved there, and the May luncheon at the Woman's Fellowship was lovely. Over a hundred there. Grace Davis and her daughter Marge (Mrs. Ralph Morgan) and I hauled potted plants, lamps and rugs until we thought our arms would drop off, but felt repaid for our trouble. Expect to go to Woman's Retreat at Crete next Wed. thru Fri. with Grace adn Marge and the minister's wife. Then when I get home will have to get busy making up the next yearbook for the Woman's Fellowship. We will get material for the lessons and devotional at Crete. I'm looking forward to the trip.
The memorial service was nice this morning. Helen Brady played a beautiful medley of patriotic songs on the organ. The last was "Tenting tonight on the old camp ground" and that just about got me. You know our Uncle George Everingham (Ellen Tedford's father) was a captain in the Civil War. And I remember on Decoration Day when I was a small girl, the services were held in the oldest cemetery in Hutsonville Illinois and there was quite a long line of old soldiers. They were sitting in a semi-circle on the ground singing their old songs. Then they started singing, "Tenting tonight" and tears were rolling down their cheeks and they were patting each other on the back, and Dymple it made a scene I'll never forget. Uncle Geo. was the last to go and he was always flag bearer and he carried the old flag as long as he was able, then some of the younger men would carry it but uncle George's hand was on the staff and finally they took him in a car when he could no longer walk. I believe he was 95 years old when he passed away. He was a Captain in the Civil War when he was 19 years old. And had the name of having the neatest camp and best cared for soldiers in his unit, altho they went thru some terrible times.
I was so glad to know about Grandfather Everingham. I knew he was a saddle maker and have ridden on one of the side saddles he made. He made many saddles that were used in the Civil War. Chas. Musgrave told me that Grandfather was a wonderful man. He had the prettiest blue eyes, now white hair and long snow white beard. And he was very particular about his beard. While he was at work he kept it braided and rolled up like farmers used to do their horses tails. Then on Sunday he combed and brushed his beard and it was just long snow white waves. Charley said he was one of the cleanest men he ever knew.
Grandmother Everingham was quite bashful. And when Uncle John Musgrave (Charley's father) was courting Aunt Jennie (our father's sister) he went one Sunday with the intention of asking permission to marry her. Grandmother was out in the back yard so Uncle John went out to find her and she was just coming in with a big arm-load of stove wood and they stopped right there in the path and talking it over and she blushingly gave her consent to the match.
Uncle Jno was a fine man too. He had to go to war and lost his health and didn't live too long afterward.
Aunt Jennie was left to raise Charley, Harlen and Everett. Chas. and Harlin are both dead. Everett is at Hutsonville. You asked about Aunt Lou Cox. She was rather short with brown hair and blue eyes as I remember her. I remember being at their house for dinner with a host of their relatives when Martin was a little baby. They named him, or Aunt Lou did that day and I was standing by her side when she said, "his name will be Martin." She and Uncle John raised a nice family and I went to school with their oldest son Ernest when I was in the 7th grade. He was a fine young man, good singer and later became a minister.
Uncle Jno. Cox was a honey. He was at our mother's funeral, tall show white hair, rosy cheeks and 90 years old. Mother always loved him. He was her mother's brother. Uncle Jno Cox had been married before, but his first wife died when their baby was born. It died too. I remember mother telling about the wedding dinner. While the women were in the kitchen washing dishes, Uncle Jno slipped in and crawled under the table and when his wife came by the table he picked her leg. A very daring thing to do in those days, but it caused a lot of merriment.
Charley also told me about Grandmother Everingham's parents UNcle Nat Newlin and wife. Uncle Nat came to Ill. and brought his family south of Hutsonville and built a cabin. Then he went back to Carolina and married his sweetheart and they traveled back to Hutsonville on horse back, (one horse). Sometimes he rode, most of the time she did. And he brought apple trees and planted them. (They had the name of being the handsomest couple in the township).
There was an aunt Matt. (I suppose Martha) Newlin who lived in Robinson, an old maid. The family didn't know she ever had a "boyfriend" until after death they found a packet of love letters and found she had been engaged to an officer in the Civil War and that he had been killed. She willed her house and her furniture to the Presbyterian Church in Robinson at her death and the officers of the church invited uncle Dee Everingham to take whatever furniture he wanted. They took a beautiful highboy and lowboy and a porch rocker over a hundred years old. She was tall, white hair must have been rather reserved for I remember being very nervous when in her presence for fear I would do or say the wrong thing. But then I always was a fraidy cat.
Well this isn't giving you any family history, but maybe it will make you feel a little better acquainted with them. Hope you do get some more history from the Mr. Hale. Will keep track of any old family history I can get hold of. Wish you could see my gorgeous house plant. Ausby (Williamson) gave me a gloxinia bulb while we were in Rochester. It has seven lovely big blossoms and seven more buds. A gorgeous red. It went to church with me this morning and drew many compliments. Some of the tulips are blooming. But we have such a late spring nothing seems to grow or do as it should. I've planted flowers everywhere and some of the garden is up. Must close and do write again Dymple. Bob (Moyer) is fine and at work again. Grandma (Moyer) was 85 last Wed. and is hale and hearty. Carl (Moyer) is busy as a cranberry merchant. (Carl was Edith's husband) S___? and the girls yesterday.
Lots of love to all,