William and Nancy Maine
Mr. Maine was born in St. Joseph County, February 23, 1841. His parents moved to Howard County when he was about ten years old.
When he was a little fellow he was afflicted with “white swelling,” which made him a cripple for life. His father started to ta1e him to Niles, Michigan, to see a specialist, when he was six years old. They went in a big wagon and when they came to the river bridge his father thought it unsafe to cross with the horses and wagon, for the bridge was not a good one, so he left little William in the wagon to watch the horses and he went on for the doctor. Soon William heard a peculiar noise and looking on the river he saw a great object moving down toward the bridge. When it got nearly to the bridge, the bridge moved slowly back and let it pass. then swung back into place. It was a steamboat and a movable bridge, but to his childish mind it was the miraculous.
In 1851 they started to move to Howard County in big wagons. They made seven miles the first day. Some difference between that rate and modern vehicles! In four or five days they arrived at his uncle's home. His aunt had a good supper, among other things TOMATO PRESERVES, which he had never eaten before. Tomatoes then grew wild as weeds do now.
When they arrived at their new home the first thing they did was to clear a space large enough to build their cabin, then get the logs ready for this one-room house with its big fireplace of stones and its doors and window consisting of quilts. The first night after they moved in it snowed, but they used the “quilt” door and window most of the winter.
He had very little chance to go to school, but there was a “Geography school" at night to which his father took him on horseback. Old and young attended this “geography school to see the maps and learn where the different towns. were located.
He never saw many Indians; can remember when he was a little fellow seeing them going through the woods and knew by their walk they were not white men.
From Howard County he came to Point Isabel where he has lived many years.
When asked if life was worth while this dear old man of eighty smiled sweetly and said, “Yes, it has been good,” although he has been a cripple and has worked very hard to get along.
Mrs. Nancy Hood-Maines was born in Rush County. Indiana, May 20. 1848. When she was five years old they moved to Liberty township, Grant County. They settled on a farm of 100 acres, only one and a half acres being cleared. Their home was a one-room cabin with a “ground-floor” porch.
The first night after their arrival the dogs were driven under the house by wolves, which frightened the children very much for they were not used to wolves.
She did not get to go to school very much on account of weak eyes. The games they played at school were ball and “black-man' and the girls would jump the rope, or rather a grapevine.
In nice weather she helped pick brush to burn so the land would be ready to cultivate. Corn was planted by hand and covered with a hoe.
When a campaign year came around all the young folks would decorate a “float” or big wagon, with bunting and drive for miles to the rallies.
When she was ten years old they moved to Green Township, where she yet lives at Point Isabel.
These worthy old people work hard at carpet weaving. It is a pitiful sight to see them for Mr. Maines is badly crippled and she almost blind but they are happy and contented. To such there will come “that perfect rest’ which the Lord giveth to his faithful ones.