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Eli Sargent.

Mr. Eli Sargent of Piketon, Ohio, came the next year (1830), and located on the tract adjoining Mr. Ashmore, to the west. He was a man of wealth and enterprise, and entered several hundred acres. He too brought with him his sons and daughters. The latter made the journey on horseback, and had a gay old time riding through the wilderness. The world was not so wide then as it is now, and he and Mr. Ashmore soon discovered an incompatibility of temperament, which the narrow bounds of the country aggravated exceedingly. Mr. James Redden, in this same year located a mile west of Mr. Sargent. He built the first horse mill in the country, a grand institution by the way. His land still remains in the name of Redden, owned by Josephus, a grand son, and Stephen, his youngest boy; the latter a gay old boy now to be sure, but an evidence of the "survival of the fittest" and the general fitness of things.

Returning to Mr. Sargent we find him busy enough opening his farm and keeping even with his belligerent neighbor, a matter of habit on both sides perhaps — not dead in the world yet, but just about as sensible as a last year's birds nest. Health, the greatest blessing in life, was not for Mr. Sargent; seated leaning over a table, he passed weary days and nights, whilst the water gathered in his chest, higher and higher and his breath became shorter and shorter. Mr. Ashmore, so long a stranger to his house, called to see him, his heart softened at the sight and to his honor and manhood, be it said, tendered his sympathy, asked his pardon for the past and as a token of his faith and reconciliation, begged of him his hand. Mr. Sargent died in 1834. Of his family there still survives his daughter Mrs. Gwinn, and his step-daughter Mrs. Sargent, of this village, who have the


honor, we believe, to be the only remains with us of the emigration of 1830. After Mr. Sargent's death his widow bought the Samuel Hoge farm and with her son John L. Berry and her daughter Rachel, made her home there, where she died in April, 1847, in her sixtieth year. Our recollection of this lady, is that of a high-spirited and dignified woman. Afflicted with asthma, she was an inveterate smoker of course, but possessed uncommon business capacity. Mounted on "Old Ned" in rain or sunshine, day or night, she attended all calls upon her professional services, and in this particular alone was an exceedingly useful person. What she loved, however, was probably more a matter of instinct than of calculation. Ned was a favorite; a large, brown pacing horse, which she had reared from a colt. Within the thirty years of his life he had carried her everywhere that she went; three times from the Ambraw to the Sciota; he survived his mistress a year and has gone where the good horses go. Reared in Kentucky, Mrs. Berry had been left a widow with poverty and several young children for an inheritance. Her effects then consisted of twenty acres of ground, her horse Ned, a slave woman and her children. Sickness came, bread became scarce and the wolf looked in at the door. The slave woman and the horse did the farming, and Mrs. S. once stated to us that had it not have been for the woman and the horse, she would have come to absolute want. When she married Mr. Sargent, (who was a rich man) she removed with him to Ohio, taking Ned and two of the five children of the colored woman. To her she left the land, who after a trial of eighteen months, left it and went as a cook to a hotel in Louisville. Here she died and Mrs. Sargent had her other three children sent to Ohio, and ultimately brought them all to this country. Her most judicious advisers, including her husband had urged her to sell them to put them in her pocket, etc., and showed her the "black laws" of Illinois, and all the difficulties of the situation. But no, the memory of that woman and horse toiling in the sun, to raise bread for her and her children when she lay sick and prostrate, was not to be overcome. Worldly woman as she was, she possessed


a determined will and she decided never to sell them — as she expressed it to us "while my head was hot." Mrs. Sargent was a woman of limited education and knew nothing about the abstract doctrine of human rights. She had never heard of Clarkson or Wilberforce. She was a Baptist, and neither knew nor cared perhaps, for Wesley's opinion on the "sum of all villainies," and of abolitionism, she concurred in the then common opinion, that its advocates were thieves of a hideous character. What was it that caused her to withstand the pressure of interest, was it gratitude or was it instinct, or was it both? Thirty years have passed away, but it seems to us but as yesterday, that we saw her sitting by her great fire-place indulging in her pipe, with death waiting at her elbow; a picture of stoical calm, which we have never seen equalled within our three score years of time. Referring to this subject she said to us: "I did not know whether it was right or not to free those children, but their mother had done so much for me in my days of poverty, that I could not sell them as my husband and friends urged. It does me now in my last hours, a world of good and comfort that I brought them with me and did as I did." Thus in her simple direct nature she passed away, unaware probably of the everlasting brightness of the starry crown which she took with her.

In 1831, Mr. Laughlin and the Pembertons, came from West Virginia. Mr. L. moved to Iowa, and died there. Mr. Pemberton was not healthy, and lived but a few years. His widow continued with us till 1854, and lies buried in the upper graveyard. She was remarkable for three things, her candor, her good cooking and her genuine hospitality. Her son, Henry A. Pemberton, still lives on the old place, and "Uncle Jack," as the children call him, continues with us in the village, a well preserved specimen of the olden time. Not deeming it proper to sketch the living in our chronicle of character, we yet forbear; Uncle Jack's time has not yet come.

Recurring to the Ashmore family, we find that Samuel Hoge, a son-in-law, this year entered the Berry farm and probably


settled on it at once. About the same time Mr. Ashmore's sons, James and Hezekiah, came to this country; the latter entered the land which our neighbor D. W. Powers has occupied for the last forty years. On this place our present sheriff was born. During all these years and for years thereafter, there was a constant stream of transient emigrants; men contented in but one particular, and that was when they were on the move going from place to place. Like the grasshopper, they would stop and feed for a while, getting credit wherever they could, giving promises in abundance, then lighting out for parts unknown between two days. Such no doubt, are the fire flies of the frontier to-day, who light up the borders of the great American desert.