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When I was graduated from college, Will Owens came home with me and the two of us went to Washington, D. C. to visit a college mate, Robert Stratham, who was official stenographer to one of the government commissions. President Lincoln had been assassinated April 14, 1865, and while we were in Washington, I attended the trial of John H. Suratt, who was being tried before a special commission for complicity in Mr. Lincoln's assassination--his mother having been hung for the same offense. He was convicted and served a term in prison.
It was after this, of course, that I entered the Seminary, decided not to finish and came home to be with Ma. At this time, I took over my father's store and Webster became my partner. My mother died the last day of the year 1869 and father then proposed that I marry and come home. Your mother consented to this. It was a big undertaking for a girl of twenty-one, an only daughter who knew little about housekeeping, to start in with three grown men and a large house. Jane and Tilly were there, two good servants, but even so it must have been a great task for Kate. But she did her part well.
We were married on April 14, 1870, at her home in Delaware Grove, Mercer County. Miss Emma Mahard of Wilmington was her maid of honor and Webster "stood up" with me. He had to almost literally hold me up, as I had on a tight-fitting pair of patent leather boots and the morning was very warm. We went to Baltimore and Washington on our wedding journey and in Washington attended President and Mrs. Grant's reception. By an odd chance, we saw all the Grant children before leaving the White House.
We arrived at Webster Mills in a two-horse carriage and the first person I saw was Web dressed up in a perfectly new brown suit I had left at home. My three aunts, Mary Carson, Martha Hunter and Bell Patterson were all lined up with their husbands to meet us. The formalities passed off smoothly, though Kate in her heart was half-sick with apprehension at this array of elderly relations "come for to see" and maybe criticize. But Kate was so pretty and natural--she had much charm and poise--and they were all qualities hard to resist.
The aunts on the Patterson side were quick-witted, sharp of tongue and full of a quaint humor which sometimes had a biting quality. Kate was always on the best of terms with them, having a close friendship always with Aunt Bell Patterson and Aunt Mary Carson. I think I have not told you that Aunt Bell (Uncle John Patterson's second wife) was Miss Bell Neal Milligan, a lovely woman and I was very fond of her. I believe I was one of her favorites. In her later years, it was necessary for her to have one eye removed and she asked me to remain with her. Dr. Cook operated in her own home very successfully and I gave the anaesthetic. She was a good mother to her stepson, Elliott, whose mother was Ann Galloway Hunter Patterson. He became a lawyer in Philadelphia, married Miss Bertha Remington of New York, had two sons, E. Remington and Howard Ashman, Remington being married to my youngest child, Henrietta (Dottie). They have two children to whom these memories may be interesting some day--William R. Patterson and Marjorie Hunter Patterson. T. Elliott Patterson died September 29, 1929. His half-brother, W. Calvin Patterson, married Lilly Grove, daughter of Reverend J. L. Grove. They have one daughter, Isabel Patterson.
There was a wonderful wedding dinner for us and much entertaining of the bride and groom--Kate being from the "west"--Mercer County, Pennsylvania! In many ways different, coming from a different environment, she was an object of much curiosity. One of the old Misses Rankin, after seeing Kate at church, told someone: "And she's a wee mite of a lassie, with a bushel of hair on her head and a gauld chain round her neck."
Your mother's people were pioneers in Western Pennsylvania. On her mother's side, the Fells were Quakers. Her first ancestor in America was Joseph Fell, born October 19, 1668, at Longlands, Cumberland, England, and he came to this country in 1705, settling at once in Western Pennsylvania. Her father's people were Scotch. He was the son of Andrew Campbell and Betsy Miller. He was born July 16, 1820. His grandfather was Jacob Campbell of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Your mother's father, Joseph B. Campbell was a merchant of Greenville, Pa., a partner of William and John Waugh and later of William J. Archer. He served in the Civil War as bookkeeper in the Commissary Department. He was a private in Company A of the 169th Regiment of drafted men. He was discharged at Camp Curtain, Harrisburg, on July 16, 1863, on his forth-third birthday, but after being discharged he served as a scout in Washington and Green County until late in March 1864.
I think the way your mother accommodated herself to the narrow, straight-laced and somewhat bigoted United Presbyterians was exceptional. I remember very well in the first or second year we were married, we had walked one evening up the Corner Road, and on our return walking along swinging our clasped hands, your mother said to me she had decided to join my church. I had never suggested this to her. The Quakers do not have their children baptized and when Kate came into the church, Dr. Ferguson baptized her. The following tribute was paid to her at the end of her life by Dr. Ferguson, who outlived her by seven years:
"The sad word has just come to me of the death of the wife of the Honorable D. H. Patterson, of McConnellsburg, Pa. She died after a long illness at her home, May 3rd. She was a woman of charming personality and in those early days of my ministerial life their home was a very frequent stopping place. I remember when "Hunter" brought his young wife from Western Pennsylvania to the Cove and when later she stood before our little congregation and took upon her the vows of the Christian faith. They met in the halls of Westminster College, from which Mr. Patterson graduated in 1866."
"I left my first charge in 1874, but through all the years the delightful friendship formed with the young couple has been unbroken and unchanged. We have grown older--not to say, old--together, and whenever we have met we have been young again, in reminiscence if in no other way."
"I saw them last summer, when the old town was full of people to welcome the soldiers home. But the shadow of sickness was in their home, which now had deepened into the shadow of death. Our heart goes out in genuine sympathy to the bereaved husband and family."
In our second year at Webster Mills, Judge John Trunkey, at that time, Judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania nd a favorite cousin of Kate's, visited us and we had a delightful time. Father grew very fond of your mother and the first or second year after we were married, he gave her a Knabe piano which was a great joy to her.
Introduction … by David Hunter Patterson
Chapter 1 … The Valley of the Big Cove
Chapter 2 … The Tall Oaks & Towering Pines of Gallant Little Fulton
Chapter 3 … The Pattersons and the Hunters
Chapter 4 … Concerning Some of my Forbears
Chapter 5 … Childhood Memories
Chapter 6 … Some Church History
Chapter 7 … Boyhood Days
Chapter 8 … I Go Away to School
Chapter 9 … Incidents of the Civil War
Chapter 10 … Springfield - Graduation
Chapter 11 … Your Mother
Chapter 12 … A Quaker Family of Western Pennsylvania
Chapter 13 … From 1870 to 1880
Chapter 14 … Home Again at Webster Mills
Chapter 15 … The Centennial - I Buy a Farm and get into Politics
Chapter 16 … Last Years in the Old Home
Epilogue … by Elizabeth Patterson Neeson
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