The Dwyer and Hayden families were neighbors in the early days of Knox County, Ohio, and many years later two of the pioneer children born there became neighbors on Liberty St. in Lowell. They were Jacob Hayden and John M. Dwyer.
Jacob Hayden was born in Ohio Mar. 11, 1831, the son of 1837 West Creek Township pioneers Nehemiah and Harriet (Kitchell) Hayden, both of whom were natives of New Jersey and became settlers in Knox County, In March 1837 the family moved to West Creek Township to farm. Jacob was only six years old and attended a log schoolhouse near his father's farm. At an early age, he began to help his father with the chores. In 1854 he married Sarah M. Knisley (1837-1906), daughter of Edward and Barbara (Baughman) Knisely of Tuscarawas County, Ohio.
At one time Hayden farmed more than 400 acres. Their nine children were: Elmer, Leroy, Alice, Fred, Bertha, Martha, George, Jessie, and Grace. Jacob Hayden went through hardships and adventures typical of the pioneer life and later retired in Lowell, where he died on Dec. 27, 1908.
John M. Dwyer was born in Knox County, Ohio, in 1834, the son of John Dwyer, native of Maryland, and Sarah (Martin) Dwyer of Hundtindon County, Pa. John attended school at Frederickton Academy and Oberlin College. In 1854 he came to a farm east of Crown Point and in 1856 married Cornelia A. Clark (1837-1925), daughter of Jabez and Marietta (Barrows) Clark, 1837 Lowell pioneers. They moved to a farm near Lowell until 1861, when John enlisted in Company B, 20th Illinois Inf., and was made corporal, He was wounded once at the battle of Gettysburg, and again in the battle of the Wilderness, so badly the second time that he lost his left leg. He was honorably discharged from the Union army in September 1864. He returned to Lowell, taught school for a time, then took a position with the War Department at Washington, D.C. He returned in 1871 and was elected Lake County Recorder for a four-year term that same year. In 1882 the family moved to Greencastle where he received another appointment to serve at Washington, staying until 1890. He returned to Lowell, where he retired.
The Dwyer children were Cassius C.; Schuyler C.; Sylvia (Abrams); John B., who died at the age of three; twins who died as infants; and a daughter, Bessie E., who died at age seventeen months. John M. Dwyer passed away in 1910 at Lowell.
The very interesting story that follows is about the two Liberty Street neighbors and their buggy trip to old haunts in West Creek Township. The story appeared in the July 13, 1901, Lowell Souvenir, a tabloid newspaper published by Schuyler Colfax Dwyer, Lawyer, the son of the author.
The editor was Elmer E. Ragon. A copy of the paper was found in the attic of the Schuyler Dwyer house on Fremont St. by former Lowell resident Robert Hine.
Jake, that's my neighbor Jake Hayden, told me on the afternoon of June 27 (1901) that he would like for me to see some country that I told him I had not seen for thirty-three years, so we made it up to go the next morning. Accordingly he hitched up his sleek horse to his fine top buggy with red running gears and we were off at a comfortable jog.
From Nichol's Corners (Nichols and Commercial) we went south to the state road to his farm where his son Fred lives; thence south a mile; thence west to state line and a half mile north of Lineville Elevator which we could see. Retracing past the road we came south on, we proceeded east a short distance passing Lewis Little's residence; thence north past several good farms to the state road; thence east on the back track to Lowell, having been gone exactly five hours.
From start to finish there was corn, oats, grass, and rye on the right of us. Here and there from an eminence a most entrancing view opened out; one of these is from Nichol's corners. All along that road you can cast your eyes for miles to the southeast and the southwest over an expanse of waving grain and rustling corn.
Several other fine views greet your eye as you pass down the state road, but the finest of all is the one spread out before you just after you leave the state road going south near the Hayden School House where the writer taught school in 1868. Here upon an eminence you can stand and feast your eyes upon a faraway stretch of landscape.
To the east, west and south flutter hundreds of acres of dark green corn; fields of white heading oats; fields of golden rye and wheat wave and flash in sunlight for miles. The farmers can be seen following after their cultivators, throwing waves of dark loam to the growing corn. The season has been favorable for tending corn and in all our rounds we only saw one field of weedy corn, which was drilled and could only be worked one way.
Corn drilled yields most to the acre if kept clean, but that "if" is spelled with a big "I" and the writer will venture the remark that any man who drills corn knowing he can not keep it clean ought not to have any.
The outlook for a bountiful crop of all save grass and fruit is very promising. The damage of our recent hail storm is scarcely noticeable. Oats will all be tall enough to bind; but there will only be about one third of the hay crop.
Verily, that is a great country thru which we passed, but it is a lamentable fact that so many of our farmers are so slack about their premises -- buildings going to rack and ruin, fences broken down, door yards and roadsides overgrown with burdocks, plaintain, sourdock, velvet-weed, sweet clover, dog-fennel, white-top, ragweed and thistles.
Here is a house once painted, the front yard a well-kept lawn, a nice picket fence in front, shade trees, shrubbery, flowers all about; now look at it -- paint all faded and gone, the yard overgrown with weeds, hogs and chickens in the door yard, the barn ready to collapse, manure feet deep, old wagon wheels, old plows, parts of all kinds of farm implements scattered about decaying and rusting; there are broken barrels adorning the landscape, the yard gate hangs by one hinge, a wilderness of cherry sprouts and parsnips surrounds the old rotting down garden fence.
Why is this true? The answer is the old gent got tired of "a farmin'" and moved to town, and the renter says "I rented this place for cash and it's about all I kin do to make the rent; got no time to slick up; there is no money in it for me." Be this as it may, it is a shame the way many of the farms and improvements have degenerated in recent years.
If I am not mistaken, the law makes it the duty of the supervisor of roads to mow the roadsides, but the law like many others is a dead letter. Possibly they may mow them later on when they get their mowers rigged up to cut their meadows, but it seems high time it was done.
In Ohio nearly every farmer keeps a flock of sheep, and one cannot help noticing as he travels thru the country, how much more cleanly the farms are there than here in Indiana. Their sheep clean up the farms so nicely and do it cheaply. Why not have tight fences and keep sheep here in Indiana?
Enroute we saw splendidly appearing farm premises, illustrative of the thrifty farmer's home. Jake Hayden's and Henry Hathaway's and the Bailey's were kept clean and in good repair. These men, be it understood, abide by their farms and see that they are kept in order, or have sons occupying them who take an equal interest to the father's interest.
Lew Little's place was very neat and tidy. The soil down there on what was once a duck and muskrat marsh is excellent in quality; some of it is a deep rich loam found where a creek like West Creek has carried down for untold ages a fertilizing sediment and spread it out all over a wide area of marsh. But where no such sediment ever coated, there is a cold non-fertile quicksand which is at once noticeable in looking over the corn fields. On good land well-tilled, corn stood two feet high and is well along for this time of year, but where it was quicksand, six inches to a foot was the height.
The trip showed me what a wonderful change for the better has taken place in the marsh lands of West Creek Township and in the coming years the change will be more marked.
One corn field of 200 acres, a part of the old W.A. Clark farm, now owned by a syndicate, was newly broken sod this spring; the corn was looking fine. We passed a field of rye forty rods wide by eighty long on George Bailey's farm that was almost ready for the binder. It stood four feet high and thick as ever seen; a finer sight never met the gaze. A fine field of wheat was on the same farm.
Up and down the Kankakee Marsh is bound to be the great granary of Lake County. We saw a few fields of sugar beet. On the whole it was a pleasant trip to us, and it was a pleasure to Jake to point out and give a history of different pieces of land which he had known ever since his father settled in a log house sixty-four years ago on the very farm the former now owns.
Neighbor Jake and the writer came from the same neck o' woods in Ohio.
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