Century Chest transcription 134
If some of you only could appear to me now and tell me what you would like to know of this day and age and our own family it would be very much easier for me to decide just what to write about.
Far away in the dim and distant future I fancy I hear some one say "Dear me why didn't she tell us more about the family?" and another exclaims "I'd so much rather know more about the styles and customs of those days" and another would like to know more about the town or the affairs of the state or of the troublesome "questions of the day" of which every century has a burdensome share.
Indecisions as to what to say has been such a theft of time that only a few hours now remains before the century box closes not to be opened till your generation, my dears, is given the privilege consequently whatever I write must be done hastily and with little thought doubt-less with many future regrets.
I am afraid as a family we have not taken sufficient interest in ourselves for not much do we know of the generations past. The Francis family from which I come is of French descent and some of our ancestors were among the persecuted Huguenots driven from France to England from whence they came to America. On the maternal side is German blood my mother's name being Mary J. Damm her fathers Joel F. Dam and her grandfathers Samuel Dam, Caleb Dame and a brother came, we are told, form Germany to New England but the year of their arrival of how soon they became residents of Berwick Maine we do not know. There Samuel Dam was born grew to manhood and lived till his son Joel became a young man. The family then moved into the almost unbroken forests father north, near Lowell Me.
Here Joel F. wedded Mary Johnson of York, Me and in due time their eldest daughter Mary became the mother of the writer of this letter.
While still in her teens she was married to Elias Riggs Francis of Enfield Me son of Ephraim Francis, a Baptist minister. Several years after their marriage they moved from Enfield to Lincoln where Bertha, your grand mother several generations back was born. Of their seven children only two are now living only mother, Gwen Dam Francis, who lives in Minn. Married but childless and myself.
In 1881 they moved to Silver Cliff Colo. Where Willard Cyril their eldest son had come in search of health. It was here the daughter Bertha met loved and wedded you grandfather Charles E. Emery.
Charles Eklund Emery was born in Sweden Dec 3rd 1859. Coming to America with his parents when he was about eight years old.
In a short time his father died and a few years later he was taken into the family of Ard G. Emery in Narquette Mich.
The family afterward moved to Rockford Ill and there Charles Danielson took the name Emery. In 1880 he came to Silver Cliff Colorado where he first started in business for himself. In Sept. 1885 a little more than a year after our marriage we moved to Canon City Colo. Here our children Mabel, Arthur, Bertel and Helen were born the latter living but one year. In 1892 we moved again. This time to Colorado Springs an attraction growing town offering better advantages for business and the education of the children.
It has not disappointed us. Our anticipations have been more than realized and we now have a pleasant home in a charming town. Two more dear children have come to us here Charles Francis and Dorothy. The past century has brought such a multitude of ranges in all departments of life, we are almost ready to wonder what is left for the next. For our own town we anticipate, of course, great growth and marvelous improvement. But though your eyes may rest upon a changed town and people I like to think that you will look upon the same old sun and moon and stars and unless some terrific upheaval occurs the same grandly beautiful mountain peaks will stand guard at the west. We are proud of our town and some of its people and we hope when the next century dawns more of them still will be characterized by their liberality and public spirit uprightness of character and devotion to church and state.
It is hardly necessary for me to tell you of our dress and customs for literature is so abundant and history so complete that whatever I might write would be of value only because of its association.
We think many of our women show good sense in the adoption of the short skirt and low heeled shoe for street wear. A few are even brave enough discard entirely the corset and high heel but most of us are still the slaves of custom. Long before the next century dawns we devoutly hope a costume both pleasing to the eye and healthful for the body will be devised for women.
Sometimes in these days we hear the question "Should a wife and mother be a club woman" For the possible interest of your generation I wish to say emphatically "yes". But she should always fear in mind Paul's admonition to be temperate in all things. However long before your generation steps upon the stage of life the benefit of womens clubs will have been realized and duly appreciated.
Three great evils menace our country today. Intemperance, Mormonism, and anarchy. What will the coming century accomplish - I wonder. And I often think how quickly all these evil would vanish if every heart could be made anew with the love of Christ. Our work with Cuba, Hiwaii [sic] and the Phillipines [sic] has just begun. Will the coming century prove the United States a bane or a blessing, I wonder.
Where I stop to think of what confronts us as a nation I feel as thought the next century must be a crucial test form which we will emerge tried by fire.
As a family we have been neither famous nor wealthy, but better still as far as I know of good name and God fearing.
My most earnest prayer for those who come after us is that they may be followers of Christ remembering that righteousness and precedes the downfall of families just as truly as that of nations.
As the name Emery is not ours by birth, we feel that we are the origin of a new Emery family. May no member have caused to blush for the name but every child which the future may bring prove a blessing and an honor to man kind. Long before the next century dawns the hand which pens these lines will have crumbled into dust but this short life is not all. There will come a time when all the families of the earth will be gathered together. May ours be found on the right hand side, may the blessing of God rest on this and all future generations. Over the long bridge of years born in the hearts of the children I trust to you may be carried the love of your grandmother.
Bertha Francis Emery
1420 N. Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs Colo
August Third A.D. 1901
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