Hard work…Part 2

Last week Bea Farrar wrote about the boy Charles being shot. Below is the rest of the story.

“I hustled the children into the house, grabbed some clean white cloth for cuts etc., put on a rain cape and with the boy, Bernard, raced up through the night pasture to the clearing where Charles had been working. When I reached the pasture fence I called to Charles and he answered.

“Over the fence the boy and I climbed and raced on to where Charles lay on the path where he had fallen as he started for the house. He had been shot through the lung and so I folded a piece of the cloth and laid it over the wound inside his shirt, took off my big apron and folded several times and placed under his head. Sent the boy to the near neighbor on the hill above us to have help come down, and when a man and his wife came, sent the boy to another neighbor for more help.

Smokeshire school where Harry Farrar taught in 1905 after graduating Chester High School that same year. Photo provided by Ron Patch

“I covered Charles with my rain cape, then raced back to the house to telephone for a doctor, fixed the fire, put on water to heat and raced back to the place where Charles lay and where there were now four or more men and women. I took a heavy army blanket for the folks to carry Charles on, and said ‘bring him by way of the road, not down through the pasture.’ Then when they got him on the blanket and with at least six to carry him, I returned to the house, to bring down a cot bed to put in the empty room downstairs as Harry’s brother and family had moved away the day before.

“The men and women with their burden had just gotten inside the house when the rain came down in torrents. Charles was able to talk and he kept saying ‘don’t blame Bernard, it was my fault too.’

“Now I must get word to Charles father. I knew he had been at Bernard’s home, but when Bernard’s mother answered she said ‘he has left but I’ll try to find him.’

“When the doctor finally came he was very cross and would do nothing for the boy. ‘Call the ambulance and get him to the hospital’ and he didn’t even stay until the ambulance came.

“Charles was shot about half past three in the afternoon and it was seven when the ambulance and Charles’ father got to the house, the ambulance had gotten stuck in a mud hole. The neighbors were kind and stayed until the ambulance with Charles, and his father and Bernard’s mother left.

“Charles was in the hospital for many weeks as the bullet went through his lung, some ribs were broken. Several days passed before the doctors were sure he would survive.

“The next day two officers came to question me about the shooting. They found the gun on the pile of brush where the boys had dropped it. They were struggling to see which one was to fire the last round and the trigger got caught on a branch on the brush heap and the gun fired.

“So the days came and passed and there was always housework, caring for the children, helping in the hay field, in the garden in summer. Canning and getting ready for winter, seeing that the children got off to school on time and on Sundays off to church. Harry studying to be a minister and often visiting the families on the back hill homes. Now and then an evening party at the house with neighbors to join in the fun.

“Finally Harry was ordained as a minister and he preached in the local churches, organized a group of Boy Scouts that he often took on hikes and told them much about the local history.

“With other interested men and women formed the Pioneer Memorial Society and helped mark many historical sites with marble markers, and as each marker was dedicated, a picnic and exercises were held. So the years rolled along and the five children were joined by a sister and brother.

“Francis was called into the army and saw active service overseas while George remained on the farm. Both Harry and I did much teaching as substitute and regular teachers.

“Mary, Caroline, Francis and Shirley were married and had homes of their own. Oliver’s marriage was not a happy one and after Harry died suddenly I was left at the farm with George, Oliver and Rebecca to help me.

“What a lonely place with Harry gone but somehow the life at the farm had to move along and the years roll along and I am now getting older with memories of the busy days of years gone by. I keep busy braiding rugs during most of the year and at Christmas time making wreaths for numerous friends and relatives.”

The next meeting of the Chester Historical Society is Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m. We will be back at the Academy Building. See you there.

This week’s old saying was used when someone complained about being in pain. “It’s just the meanness coming out of you.”

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