“Turn Backward, O Time, Turn Back In Your Flight---The death of James H. White carries me back to 1870. Jim was one of my scholars at the Lutheran School on the Crooked Creek Road that year. He was an extra good reader and a baseball player.
Once at noon playtime, by accident [he] let the bat fly and strike Isaac Whetsell and broke the bridge of his nose. Riley Cupp had a good horse of his own there that day. He rode him to town for Doctor Cates. Other boys took Isaac home. He recovered quickly but had an impediment in his voice the rest of his life. He made quite a speaker, a loyal minister, but that impediment stayed with him. Few knew what caused it, but I saw him get it. Am glad it was not worse.
When Mr. Whetsell was a young man he was an expert at making an ax handle. It is a fine art to make an ax handle. Later he had employment in a coffin factory in Maryville, more than 20 years.
Some days I would have 40 scholars, many big boys and girls, five from Big Jim Cupp’s family: Henry Clay and Riley Ray, Naomi, Jane and Mattie; Harley McGinley, Nancy and Buddy. Think Harley is living. Among the smaller boys were Joseph L. Clemens and his brother, W.C. Clemens; Joe Patton Cupp was not yet in school but was a frequent visitor. Was glad to see his name lately in the paper.
John G. White and his brother, Alsop White, were buried at Piney Level. Perhaps a few hundred relatives of the Everetts and Whites are buried in that old cemetery. The Piney Level Church was old 80 years ago.
And the old White’s Mill. Is it still grinding corn? I am among the few, if not the only person living who went to White’s Mill 78 years ago. I was 90 on May 16, 1936.
Hope you find space to print this letter, and I will thank you so much.
Sincerely, your friend,
Henry T. Clemens 225 Milford Place Spokane, Washington