From Minnie Neel Bair's scrapbook.
The article is from a local paper, probably around the turn of the century- written by T. T. Titus of Divide as shown below, I have kept in all typos as they were written, the writer gets a dramatic at times.
Margaret Bair Wright was the sister to Rueben Bair.
Submitted by: Sandy Burgess
A Glimpse at the Hardships and Scarifies Endured by the Pioneers
The following is a synopsis of a letter of reminiscence, written by Mrs. Margaret Wright, nee Bair, eldest daughter of John Bair, the progenitor of all the Bairs in the vicinity of Pleasant Hill church, Guernsey county, Ohio, and one of the charter members of that church. This family, with several others, moved to that community in 1832, 71 years ago. The writer of the letter from which this sketch is taken has passed her 80th year. The little colony left Maryland in 1832.
The writer gives a minute description of their start from their dear old home beyond the mountains. They went up across the orchard to the public road where they joined the train of covered wagons, with large English beds. Each wagon was drawn by from two to six horses. She says, like Lotâs wife, she looked back with streaming eyes at the old home, but was not turned into a pillar of salt.
Think of starting on a journey of 500 miles across the mountains, hills and dales, and rivers without bridges. They crossed the Potomac at Harperâs Ferry, but she doesnât say how. She speaks of meeting long trains of six horse teams with bells on the horses except the saddle horse, and stage coaches for the traveling public. To think of merchandise and all kinds of material being hauled by wagon from the seashore to the terminus of civilization five or six hundred miles into the interior is now astonishing. Young America couldnât stand that. She speaks of the long period of traveling, for two weeks, but secured rooms at hotels. Her uncle, Solomon Longsworth being an old wagoner, knew where the best hotels were and piloted them through to their destination in Guernsey county, where the arrived on Saturday at the home of her uncle, William Boyer, who with a few friends had located a few years before.
Margaretâs business in the long wearisome journey, was to care for her little sister Mary who was about two years old. She is now the wife of David T. Owens, of Divide, and living near the Pleasant Hill church. The long journey had been wearisome to the child and she was glad to turn out on the grass to romp and play. After dinner her uncle Basil Longworth and wife, who lived a short distance from the Boyerâs, came over to see them and there was a happy meeting. The cabins were small and they had to scatter around to get lodging. On Sunday morning all that were not too tired went to the little church school house to meeting. Only a few were present, but they were happy in their church home. These sturdy pioneers all brought their religion with them and set their standard on the sacred spot where Pleasant Hill church now stands and there has been a flourishing Methodist Protestant church there ever since.
Mrs. Wright describes the church and school house as built of rough logs, daubed with mortar and covered with clabboards (sic), with puncheon floor. The puncheons for the floor were made from straight white oak trees from which boards about two inches thick were split and they made a good floor. The doors and windows were made of the same and the benches were made out of split logs. Many great men began their careers in such school houses. (There we got our broughten up) Their wearing apparel was homemade flannel for winter and linen for summer. Tow(sp?two?) linen trousers for men and boys and they were happier than many now. They didnât have to work so hard and had more time to visit and go to meeting and get happy and shout. There was more sociability. They had their log rollings, corn huskings, scutching bees, flax pullings, and quiltings, and more fun than you could shake a stick at. In some places they would trip the light fantastic toe at night, go home with the girls and after awhile get married and go on their way rejoicing. In August of the same year a wagon load of them went to a camp meeting on Dunlapâs creek south of Cassville, Harrison county. She says it took about a day and a half to get there. A part of them stayed all night at David Rankinâs and some with Timothy Titus, my father. The next morning the crowd had increased to a long procession which arrived at the camp ground and proceeded to put up their tents. She says: ãOur tents were soon in readiness. Dinner was soon announced, after which the campers set about renewing the inner man day by day. Little Maggie being timid, felt lonesome, and wished she were at home, yet it proved to be one of the happiest times of my life. I shall never forget the time of my conversion at that camp meeting. I remember it well, Uncle Basil and Uncle John Ripley came to me and sang, ãGood news gone to Canaan, Iâm on my way.ä O! my soul leaped for joy. Many were the conversions at that meeting. Nearly all have gone to that happy land. I am left alone, and yet not alone. My blessed Jesus has ever been with me in my sorest bereavements and deepest sorrows.ä This old veteran of the cross still lives, sitting in the evening of life, still rejoicing in a Saviorâs love. She is closing up a devoted Christian life with her son Dalby Wright of Xenia, Ohio, her husband, Thomas Wright, having died several years ago. They formerly lived in Pleasant Hill vicinity.
T. T. Titus, Divide, O.
Local newspaper clipping, no date or publication listed.