David CLIMENHAGA (1826-1913). Letter to his Grandchildren

I do not have a copy of this letter in my possession. This transcription was found in the book, “Two Hundred Years with the Siders,” (pp. 29-30). If anyone has a copy of this letter, or knows someone who does, would you please pass the information along to me.

David Climenhaga circa 1909
David Climenhaga circa 1909

“My dear grandchild, I now thought to let the young know how we started in this world when all was new and not as it is now. When l was a little boy I can well remember when all this country was new and the people were poor. When they had to do the best that they could. When not the improvement was as is now. You young ought being very thankful to the good Lord of Heaven that he let your foreparents have the insight to bring it as it is now at this present time. I can well remember how it was when I was a little boy, there were no buggies to be seen I do think in this country, or any other. I well know the first light rig that was around was old Samuel Streed. That was a pretty good rig for all to ride in, the roads were poor around stumps and stones and creek and mud holes, that it was almost impossible to get through. No wagonmakers, no blacksmiths, hardly any iron to put on the rigs. The people were poor and there was not any person that had a lumber wagon.”

[After describing construction of some of the primitive vehicles used, he tells of the trip to visit his Damude grandparents in the Pelham area.]
“Now I will try to tell the way we went to go to grandpaps. We would try to get ready the day before, then all get in the poor wagon, put in some straw or hay, the hay was always scarce, for there was not much clear land. The cows would run in the bush. We had to go to the Black Creek to Niagara River, then along the river to Chipawa, then down to Niagara Falls, then down to the Lundy’s Lane, then west to Allanburgh, then across the canal on a poor bridge, then up on the Canbory road tilr we could perty nere see grandpaps’ place. Then we would feel glad that we were perty soon there. They had an old house down the big hill that was some 80 feet down. There was grandma and aunts. Their first children were all most girls. The four oldest were girls. The house was small and poor, but we were satisfied just as well as now. But poor grandma was an invalid. She had to work hard to make things go. She had a sore on the side that she could not get around, but there the girls could get to the work.

But that is in the past, but we ought to be very thankful and not get up too high. Keep down very low at the feet of Jesus. If we read the great sin that the people did was to neglect the poor and take the advantage of them that can’t see how they should do to get along. It seems to me that it is a great blessing that we can see and try to be industry. I call it a gift of God, so try to help the poor and be honest in all that we do.”

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