Bio: Marsh, Joseph
(19 Sept. 1882)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
Surnames: Marsh, O’Neill, Carr
----Sources: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 19 Sept. 1882
The following letter from Joseph Marsh will be of interest to the many friends of his family in this county: Herrickville, Penn., Sept. 12, 1882
Friend O’Neill - It has been two or three days since we arrived at this place where I was born and toddled until I was five years of age, and have never seen since till last week; and in compliance with your request will write you a letter. We are now visiting Lee Carr, a stiff legged lad well known to many of the Clark County boys. Not having seen him for seven years I tried to palm myself off on him for a drover, but Lee’s memory served him better than I had calculated and I immediately became aware of the fact that old stiffy had been taking some sparing lessons since I saw him last, and after receiving a severe pummeling at his hands, I told him to order a few calves and we would drop the cattle question.
It has been twenty five years since my father moved his family to Wisconsin and this is his first visit to his old home and after the lapse of so many years, the old settlers here seem to regard my father and mother as noted curiosities; but all appear greatly pleased when they meet them, whether it is for the privilege of seeing them once more, or their very long absence, I will not say. Last night I witnessed a meeting of them and one of my uncles, and after the usual greeting he actually danced an involuntary jig notwithstanding his being a deacon of good standing in his church and over sixty years of age.
This country has improved very little while lost to my view and almost everything is in harmony with my most ancient memories. It is a strange fact that nearly every body lives just where they did twenty-five years ago, and very few new settlers. The most prominent changes are, the old Pennsylvania hills have grown from very high to higher, the rocks from very large and numerous to larger and more numerous; the children have become men and women, the middle aged to the gray headed and infirm people.
The soil hear is so delicate and has been worn so long that it would take several acres to produce as much crop as one acre or our rich Wisconsin soil, but the people here can give one just as heart a shake of the had as any people on the face of the globe I have wondered a great many times, whatever induced my father to settled so farm from his old home and in such a dense wilderness as Clark County was twenty-five years ago, but since my arrival here I have solved the problem in this way; if in his geographical knowledge Clark County, Wis., was the farthest point from these hills and rocks, I do not wonder any more that Clark County was just where he settled.
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