Hardin County

William Downey

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — I would like to write a little bit of my history if you will be so good to admit it. I am sure I don't want to embarrass you, you have been so good to publish my letters.

I am still at the hospital, they say I am better and the doctor called yesterday to see me, he said I was looking better. He pulled an old tooth that was hurting me considerably. Well, this hospital is run by a lady, Mrs. Geche, one of the best women I ever saw. Her nationality is German. She understands her business. We have about 18 patients and she has two sons, grown, they shave me and cut my hair. They say I have fine hair. I says yes I am from the fine haired stock. Ireland is where my grandfather came from, so I am proud of my stock. On my mother's side, her father was French decent, so the Irish and French mixed makes a fine race of people. Can't be beat.

Well, I was born in Rosiclare, Ill. in 1840. I have seen 90 new year days. Who can beat that.

I have a little inspiration in me. I can tell when dinner is about ready and I can smell the biscuits cooking and they are good for me.

Well, I was reared up a poor boy and had to work hard. I was the oldest child, there was seven of us, had to eat and I did my part to provide. Father was a carpenter, I learned the carpenter trade under my father. I ran away from home when I was about 18 years old. Father sent mother to see me and coax me back home. I had a good mother, her father was Billy Pell. He started Rosiclare and we lived on the banks of Rosiclare when there were three houses only. I was the oldest grandchild.

Grandfather gave me lots of things when I got of age. He gave me 40 acres of land near Shetlerville. Well, I went out in the Civil War in 1861. My stepbrother, Henry Downey went along with me. He was only 17 years old. Brother Henry was wounded in Georgia. His breast plate on his cartridge box saved his life. I was lucky I did not get wounded in all the Civil War.

When the war was over I came home. I was about 25 years old and I took a notion to marry. I had about $500 and I bought 80 acres and I added more land. When I sold out I had 300 acres. I went to Rosiclare in the quarry? business and made a success.

I came to Oklahoma and had about $1000. I went to trading and speculating in about everything and lost out and I am still here.

This is a wonderful world. I would like to live a little longer. There will be more to see as the world is progressing.

A hope you all had a Happy New Year.

Uncle Bill

Thanks to Wanda H. Reed for contributing this article to the Hardin County ILGenWeb site. The Hardin County Independent published this article on Jan. 23, 1930.

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