Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Days of Adversity, Seventh Letter to the Censor

Fredonia Censor
Fredonia, New York
Wednesday, May 27, 1925
Page Twelve

Langford Reminiscences

No. 7

    And now I will conclude this series of letters by mentioning the names of a few old timers which have been inadvertently omitted in former lists. One of them was John Russell, who, when a boy was one of the brightest scholars in the “Old red school house” at Laona. He afterwards became a lawyer and astronomer in Fredonia. Another one was Ephraim Harrington, who lived near the old Harrington farm, and was a relative of Justus Harrington. He played the violin at parties for the entertainment of both young and old people in his younger days, and his little family entertained the writer on my return to Fredonia in 1858, and his daughter became a fine piano player and missionary.

    And I notice in some of the Chautauqua County letters the name of Putnam, which was the name of one of my Laona school teachers. I mentioned in a former letter a Mr. Putnam, who rescued several from drowning when an excursion boat capsized on Cassadaga Lake in 1855, and those mentioned in the Censor may be descendants of that family.

    I remember that when a boy I attended a barbecue in Fredonia given in honor of Henry Clay, the Whig candidate for president of the United States against James K. Polk, Democratic candidate for president. I also remember attending political meetings when Winfield Scott ran for President against Franklin Pierce. Both were very hot campaigns. At a Whig gathering at the old Baptist church at Laona a glee club sand a song to the tune of “Nellie Bly” which contained the lines:

        Pierce was found on the ground,
            Frightened half to death.
        For fear a ball might roll along
            And take away his breath.

But “Old Chippewa” (Scott) was beaten in the election, in spite of his brilliant career as a soldier and pioneer, for his opponent was supported by the solid South, which generally “ruled the roost” in those days.

    In this, my concluding letter to the Censor, I wish to return my sincere thanks to the editor for giving me so much space and kind attention. Being now entering my 89th year, it is a pleasure to know that I can recall events of Chautauqua life of over seventy years ago, and years later, which may be some interest to others as well as myself.

    Good-bye, old Chautauqua.

    Oscar Langford
    Colorado Springs, Colorado


    The April issue of The Typographical Journal, official paper of the International Typographical Union of North America, carried the following item in the Union Printers Home notes:
        Oscar Langford, the oldest resident of the Home, celebrated his eighty-eighth anniversary on February 20th. He is a charter member of Dayton (Ohio) Union, organized in 1862. He is a veteran of the Civil War, and recounts with pride passing in review before President Lincoln and his cabinet in 1861.

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