Mary Williams-Lear

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Mrs. Lear has reached the advanced age of ninety-five years, having been born January 27, 1827, in Fayette County, Indiana.

Mrs. Lear has been a widow for forty-seven years. “Yes, I am ninety- five years old and have had a hard, hard life,” she said. “I lived in a little old log house with a fire-place so big that it took a man to carry in the back log. I often cut these back logs, then Old Rhoda, the mare, would haul them up to the house.

“I cooked over this fire-place. I had a number of ‘hands’ to cook for. I would also do big washings for people and get twenty cents for my day’s work.

“I was the mother of eleven children. How I did the work for them I do not know for there was no help in those days. Oh, what would people think of such a life now! We had nothing to drink but spice bush or sage tea.

“One time I gathered an apron full of chips for the fire-place and when I went to empty them a big snake crawled out upon the hearth. People had to be brave in those days.

“I can well remember Andrew Jackson and all the presidents that came after him. My father was in the war of 1812 and had some dreadful experiences. One time his company had to cross Niagara river. Only him and two others made it alive. My grandfather was in the Revolutionary War. He saw the smoke of many burning homes. One time while out the march he came across a woman that had been scalped,by an Indian. She was lying in a pool of blood. He carried her across the river and [illegible] her head as best he could. Soldiers see such awful sights and war is a dreadful thing. I have heard them tell dreadful tales of battle.”

This dear old lady was lying in bed at her daughter’s home, just east of Hackleman. She seemed to be suffering intensely but was very anxious to tell about the old days.

“When I look back over my life I think how good God is to keep me. I can’t rest for pain but I am going to a Land where pain is no more. I’m not afraid to meet my God for I have tried to be good to His children. I have never seen a need that I have not tried to supply. All my neighbors called upon me when there was a sickness. ‘In-as-much as ye have done it unto the least of one of these’ is my promise.”

There were fifteen in her father’s family, only three of whom are living——herself and two brothers, age eighty-nine and eighty respectively.

What a testimony from one nearly a century old!