Preston Prairie

9484 Preston Rd.

Mt. Carroll IL

Contributed by Alice Horner

Preston Prairie School was just south of where the Old Grout House was, on the same side of the road. It was on a little hill. In fact, Grace Bawden, the artis, could have been sitting there when she did her sketch of the Old Grout House. The school was on the east side of what is now Preston Road. The star is is where Eva (the 6 year old in the photo) lived the last 30 years or so of her life. It's also the same farm where their father, Harvey Loomer Downing II, and his father, Harvey Loomer Downing I, lost their farm, cattle, etc. in the Cyclone of 1898. The land was farmed between 1900 and 1960 or so, but no structures were built on it until Eva and her husband Paul Metz moved in during the early 60s, after they had raised their family down by Wacker. The original Preston Prairie schoolhouse was also blown away in the cyclone but no one was injured because it struck at 5pm and all the kids had gone home (the cyclone struck on a Wednesday). So what you can see of the schoolhouse in the rear of this photo really is pretty new. It's not there now; I think it was used until the late 40s and then torn down. You used to be able to see the pump when you drove by in the 50s but that's all gone now. Last year I talked to the man who owns the land (his son actually farms it) and he said he took out the foundation stones awhile ago. I love the dog and it might have been my mother's family's dog; I saw a similar dog pictured in family photos. The schoolhouse was torn down by the late 1940s, maybe even earlier. You could see the pump when you went by for years later, but that's gone now. I think the trees that ringed the lot are still there though."

About 1889 - Contributed by Alice Horner

Top row, left to right: Will Grimm, Myrtle Bashaw, Will Buck, Eva Bickelhaupt, Charles Petty, Clifford Downing.

Second row down, left to right: Howard Meister, Amy O’Neal (girl with bow around her neck), Charles Bickelhaupt, Arlie Warfield (little girl in front on Charles), Ersie Wood (girl with short hair, dark beads and bow around her neck), Ada Petty, Alta Warfield.

Third row down, left to right: Mamie Meister (girl with long hair sitting on high stool), Anna McCall (the teacher), Elmer Bashaw.

Front row, left to right: Earle Bickelhaupt, Grace Dodson, Lillie Kinney, a Meister girl probably Laura Meister (girl in front wearing plaid dress), Ernie Petty, Bessie Dodson.

Eva Bickelhaupt, on the back row, was Alice Horner's grandmother, Loomer Downing's wife.

Preston Prairie School

Mrs. Charlotte Sisler

Teacher, 1914

The School is out, Vacations come

The Bell has ceased to sound

The old School House

has lost its hum

And silence broods around

Preston Prairie School
1914 Students List

Edward Braun, Robert Colehour,
Ruth Petty, Neva Fulrath, Neal Duncan, Luella Fulrath, Beulah Ritenour,
Dorotha Fulrath, Nellie Weidman,
Emma Freeman, Hazel Downing,
Robert Petty, Grace Downing,
Ethel Petty, Helen Petty, Donald Duncan, Florence Downing, Vernon Weidman,
Lila Messinger, Raymond Weidman, Kenneth Duncan, Doris Petty,
Donald Ritenour, Harvey Weidman, George Downing.

Preston Prairie School - 1914

In the class of 1914, the tallest girl on the back row (right hand photo) is Grace Downing, sister of Florence Downing. Harvey Downing is the kid on the middle of the middle row who has his head turned. Florence Downing, the mother of Alice Horner, is at the end of the right side of the middle row.

Preston Prairie School in 1916.

Florence Downing (mother of Alice Horner) is on the back row, third from the right with darker hair, and she would have been 10 years old at this time.

Her sister Eva Bickelhaupt Downing is 6 years old and on the front row.

Their brother Harvey Loomer Downing (III) is on the far right of the second row, wearing the sort of Chesterfield coat and carrying his hat.

History Of Preston Prairie School
By Florence L Downing Horner

I wish you could have attended the one-room rural school where I enjoyed my first school days from 1912 to 1918.

Preston Prairie School was located on a quiet country road about three miles west of Mount Carroll, Illinois. The school was built on a small grassy plot of ground, donated by my great-grandfather (Samuel) Preston from his farm for the location of the first school built in that community. In the center was the main building, which faced west. To the north was the woodshed, a small red frame building, which protected the winter’s fuel, and served as a stable for the teacher’s horse, and over which we played "Andy Over" at recess time. In the far corners at each end of this country campus were two very small white frame buildings, not labeled but it was generally understood that one was for the girls and the other for the boys.

About fifty feet south of the main building was the well, with its hand pump, which provided our drinking water. Along the east side, a high board fence separated the school yard from the farm and to the north and south wire fences formed the division. Spaced here and there were tall, ragged old pine trees which whistled weird breezes through their branches on windy days but furnished cool shade in sunny weather. Greeting you at the front door was usually the favorite pet of the neighborhood, Old Ned, a large collie dog.

The building was a typical one of the time, a small white frame building with a peaked roof, three windows on each side, one chimney, a simple door at the front with one window on each side and a cement stoop across the front.

As you entered the school, you could not help but notice above the door the black placard lettered in gilt, which read "Standard School," a mark of pride. Once inside the door you found yourself in the center of a long cloakroom, ideal not only for coats, caps, mittens, and muddy overshoes but also just the right temperature to keep the contents of lunch pails from becoming even warm.

To the right a trap door in the floor concealed steep steps leading to a cyclone cave, where the students were rushed in case of severe storm. The cave was dark, cool and damp. An occasional lizard made its home there. An outside trap door could be used in case of an emergency. This cave was regarded as necessary because the former school building was completely destroyed by a tornado in 1898.

A door at each end of the cloakroom led into the main school room. This one large room was probably 24 x 30 ft. with a high ceiling and walls covered with tan pressed metal above the wooden wainscoting and the floor was of long narrow boards. As you entered the back of the room, you noticed to the right the hand fired, iron stove. It became cherry red on cold days in winter, and it was surrounded by a metal jacket to prevent burned fingers and faces. To the left, a small door led into a slightly musty and really dark closet with no windows. This was used for storage by the teacher, usually storage of school supplies. On a few occasions, misbehaving boys were stored there.

Near the closet door on a low stand was the water pail and dipper above which was a row of tin cups. Rows of brown wooden desks and seats with black wrought iron legs faced the front of the room. They varied in size to accommodate all from First through Eighth Grade. Ours were single. I wished they might be double as at Center Hill School.

The teacher’s desk was in the center of the front of the room. At one end of it was a row of textbooks and an extra book from which she read stories. At the other end was the large school bell, never sounded during school but always bringing recess to an abrupt close.

In the right front corner were two long recitation benches where one grade sat to recite while the other seven grades remained in their seats to study. To the left was the towering old-fashioned organ with its fancy bric-a-brac top, mirror in center, shelves on each side for lamps or vases, carpet covered pedals and a round swivel organ stool.

Across the front was the finest of slate blackboards upon which it was a pleasure to write and figure sums in arithmetic. In the center above the blackboard was an old wooden case containing several maps on rollers. To the left of it was George Washington’s picture. To the right was Abraham Lincoln.

Around the room mounted high were several iron brackets for the kerosene lamps which furnished light when needed. A small wooden bookcase hung on the north wall between the windows.

Have you wondered who attended this school? From 18 to 20 of the boys and girls who lived on the farms in the community and whose parents and grandparents had attended the same school. The teachers were from Mount Carroll and surrounding area, one who is just retiring this year as principal in Glendale, California.

What did we learn? To read, from Baldwin’s Readers. To do arithmetic the Hamilton way. To write in copy books. To spell from the Red Speller and on Friday to choose sides for a Spelldown. To play together indoors and out. In the winter there was skating on the pond to the north. In the spring, there was baseball in the pasture to the south. Preston Prairie School was the center of the social life of the community. The school’s Christmas program was a special event. The tree was always ablaze with real candles over which hung garlands of popcorn, tinsel and cranberries and evergreen branches ready to burst into flame. It was there that I gave my first speech "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" when about 3 or 4 years old, backing tight against the wall.

Box Socials were held frequently to raise money. The Community Club met monthly for many years for a social time.

Preston Prairie School no longer exists. Just a few years ago it was sold to the present owner of my great grandfather’s farm, the fence was torn down and the land is again part of the farm. The buildings have also been removed but not those lasting memories from the minds of those who once attended school there. I wish you could have attended Preston Prairie School, even if just for a day.

This historical account was transcribed by Alice Horner from an outline of a speech presented November 28, 1960 by Florence L Downing Horner in a speech class at Rockford College. Florence L Downing Horner (1906-2000) was the daughter of Harvey Loomer Downing and Eva Belle Bickelhaupt Downing and was raised on a farm in Preston Prairie, west of Mt. Carroll, Illinois. Alice Horner is her daughter.

Preston Prairie School was closed after the 1946-1947 school year, according to George Gengenbach, who was in that class. Marilyn Getz Becker interviewed him for this article. Students who had attended Preston Prairie School afterwards attended the school in Hickory Grove until the 1952-1953 school year, when the new Center Hill Elementary school opened.

Reunion "100" Preston Prairie
Contributed by Alice Horner

There was a real home coming out at the Preston Prairie schoolhouse last Sunday evening, when over 200 men, women and children, former teachers and pupils of the school, and pioneer settlers of the Prairie gathered at 7:30 o’clock to attend the Centennial celebration. The building being large enough to accommodate only a part of the crowd, chairs were placed near the schoolhouse door, and soon all were seated. The entire group opened the program by singing “ Illinois ” after which the invocation was given by Mrs. Jennie Nipe. Mrs. Emma Dodson then read a paper, “Early History of Preston Prairie, by One Who Knows, which had been prepared by Mrs. Thomas Bashaw, for the Household Science Club, and which was published in the Daily Mirror Democrat many years ago. This history was a recording of events dating from the settling on the Prairie of Samuel Preston Sr. in 1835 up to 1900.

Next on the program was the reading of a “School History” by Miss Dulcie Petty, which included minutes of business meetings held in the interest of elections held for building of the first and second school houses on the present site; names of all the teachers from the beginning of the school up until 1921, bills for items purchased for the building of the school house and maintenance of the same from 1861 to 1921, names of directors, and other bits of information pertaining to the school in its earliest years. W. B. Hartman then gave a recitation “To Think And Do,” which he memorized while a pupil of the school. Mrs. Charles Casselberry gave reminiscences of O’Neal Tavern, which was owned by John O’Neal, father of Dudley O’Neal, and which were very interesting. The solo, “Mother Macree.” Sung by Mrs. Ruth Colehour, was an enjoyable number of the program. Mrs. Jennie Nipe’s “Memories of Preston Prairie” included recollections of the horse-and-buggy days, when spelling bees, singing schools, debating societies, and lyceum courses constructed the only form of entertainment for young and old alike.

An especially enjoyable feature was a paper, “Log Cabin Days,” written several years ago by Mrs. Ellen Preston Downing of Mt. Carroll, and which was read by her granddaughter, Mrs. Reid Horner of Freeport . Mrs. Downing related incidents she remembered of her childhood on the Prairie, of stories told her by her father, Samuel Preston, Sr., and many other things of interest, such as tallow candles being the only kind of light the pioneers had, the McGuffey’s readers being the first school book obtainable, the seats in the first school house being long wooden benches, etc. Link to Log Cabin Days: A poem, “Tribute To Old Colehour House,” by Mrs. Alice Mummert Fagan, was read by Mrs. Jesse Colehour. Charles Petty recalled the many good times he and other “boys” had at the old pond, the “ole swimmin” hole on the Prairie, which was started by Arthur Preston and finished by Samuel Preston. He told about the skating parties held on the pond in winters of bygone years, when as many as 100 or more skaters gathered there. An appropriate number on the program was the solo “Love’s Old Sweet Song,” sung by W. B. Hartman, accompanied at the piano by his daughter, Miss Ida Hartman.

Mrs. Ward Weidman gave a “Tribute To The Boys of ’61,” who went from Preston Prairie to the Civil War that year. She read a letter written to one of the pioneer settlers of the Prairie from Frank Ferrin, at that time stationed with the infantry in Connecticut . Three others who enlisted from the Preston Prairie were: James Colehour, Dudley O’Neal, and Frank Jones. Miss Vivian Downing read a poem “Pioneers” which was written by Andrew Downing, the first white child born in Carroll County . Little Marilyn and Doris Getz, members of the sixth generation of Preston Prairie residents, entertained the audience with an exercise “Yesterday and Today.” The singing of “Auld Lang Syne” ended the interesting program, after which all former pupils of Preston Prairie School registered, and their names appear below. It is the hope of all present and former residents of the Prairie, that it may be made possible to have the old pond restored as this was the scene of many childhood joys of most of the older settlers, and it is their wish that their descendants may also enjoy the swimming and skating which would be made available if the old pond were to be restored.

Many of the incidents related in the papers read during the program and others told by the older folk present, brought tears to their eyes, and of course some of the incidents were amusing, such as one that Charles Hartman’s father, W. B. Hartman, tells on his son. It seems that it came Charlie’s turn one Friday afternoon to “speak a piece” and he was sort of taken unawares, and on such short notice he was not prepared with a good recitation, so his response was something like this:

“The lone eagle sours in the air;
Let him sour – what do I care!”

Charlie claims that one even brought a smile to the teacher’s face. Many requests have come to the Mirror Democrat office since the Centennial program Sunday evening, for publication of one or more of the histories which were read at the program. The Mirror Democrat is pleased to announce that all three of those papers, “Historical Facts of Preston Prairie,” “School History,” and “Log Cabin Days” and also the poem “Tribute to Old Colehour House” will be published in installments. The first of these papers will appear in Thursday’s issue. Much credit is due to Mrs. Jesse Colehour, who was chairman of the program committee, for the success of the Centennial celebration.

A list of the pupils of the Preston Prairie School , who registered Sunday evening, follows

BASHAW, Claude BASHAW, Lucile BENSON, Ethel (Freeport) BICKELHAUT, Charles E.
COLEHOUR, Myrtle B. COLEHOUR, Robert COLEHOUR, Ruth Petty DODSON, Emma J. Petty
DOWNING, Ellen Preston METZ, Eva Downing DOWNING, Georgia (Freeport) DOWNING, Loomer
DOWNING, Preston DUNCAN, Neal (Chicago) FANCKE, Iona Bickelhaupt FREEMAN, Donald W.
FREEMAN, William GETZ, Grace Downing HARTMAN, Ada HARTMAN, Charles E.
HARTMAN, William B. HENDERSON, Fern Colehour HENDERSON, Jeannette HORNER, Florence Downing (Freeport)
LAMBERT, William (Savanna) MERCHANT, Elsie Petty MERCHANT, NEva Fulrath NIPE, Jennie Markley
PATTON, Viola Edward (Savanna) PETTY, Charles PETTY, Dulcie E. PETTY, Ernie
PETTY, Howard B. PETTY, Mary Humbert PETTY, Robert SMITH, Clyde
SMITH, Dorothy SMITH, Eleanor Downing SMITH, Nellie Weidman SMITH, Wilmer
WATSON, Amy Stakemiller (Savanna) WEIDMAN, George WEIDMAN, Mamie Meister YEAGER, Susie

Early History of Preston Prairie,
By One Who Knows

By Mrs. Thomas Bashaw

This manuscript was one of the historical papers read at the Preston Prairie Centennial. It was transcribed from an undated Mt. Carroll, Illinois newspaper, probably the Mirror Democrat, and probably published on or right after September 3, 1936. Notes are by Alice Horner; the photo is from Alice Horner’s collection;
Note: Mrs. Thomas Bashaw was Flora (Haynes) Bashaw. She was born May 4, 1853 in Circleville, Pickaway County , Ohio , the daughter of Samuel and Rebecca (Bechtel) Haynes. The family moved to Carroll County in 1854. She married Thomas Bashaw on October 23, 1872. She died May 11, 1927 in Mt. Carroll Township and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery , Mt. Carroll .
For information on most of the people named in this manuscript, consult my family tree, at
“The Downing, Bickelhaupt, And Preston Families of Carroll County , Illinois ”

The first of the series of historical papers read at the Centennial program Sunday evening at the Preston Prairie school house appears below. This article, entitled “Early History of Preston Prairie, By One Who Knows,” was written by Mrs. Thomas Bashaw, now deceased, for the Preston Prairie Household Science Club, and is a true history of the part of Mt. Carroll township adjoining the city of Mt. Carroll. It was first published in the Daily Mirror Democrat during the first week of December 1901.

The first settler on the virgin soil of Preston Prairie was Samuel Preston, Sr., he taking up a claim in 1835, although two other men took claims in Mt. Carroll township the same day. Mr. Preston came from Massachusetts, entering the land now owned by Jesse Colehour and building the first house on the Prairie about eighty rods northeast of the location of the present house; Samuel Preston Jr. coming one year later than his father.

He was followed by the Downings, Heman and Nathan, who came here in 1837, also from Massachusetts , Nathan settling on the land now owned by Eugene Bashaw. Nathan built a log house about halfway between the house now there and the creek on the east. This was the second house built on the Prairie. Here was born Mary Downing, the first white child born in Carroll County . (Note: She was the first white child born in Mt. Carroll Township. Lila C. Pierce, the daughter of Aaron Pierce, was born February 20, 1827 in what became Savanna Township .) She became the wife of Gideon Carr, whose body lies in the little cemetery on the hill at Jacobstown. Mrs. Carr afterwards moved to Iowa . Andrew Downing, son of Heman Downing, was the first male white child born in the county.

Sumner Downing, a brother of Heman and Nathan, came in 1838 and lived on the land he entered until his death. This old homestead was destroyed by the cyclone of 1898. Benjamin Day was another of the earliest settlers, having come here from Vermont in 1839, entering land when there were only a few cabins on the Prairie.

John O’Neal, father of Dudley O’Neal, who owned the now Joseph Duncan farm, was another of the pioneers, coming here with his family from New York in 1839. This was the man who built and kept the tavern in the house now occupied by Francis Gillespie. I well remember the sign board which hung at the gate of the old tavern, it being a board about ten feet long, on which was printed in large letters “O’Neal Tavern.” I remember Mr. and Mrs. O’Neal as very kindly people, who often called me to their door and gave me delicious home baked crackers, as we little children passed on our way to school.

Cholera was very bad at this time, especially along the river. One night a sick stranger came to the tavern and died there the next day, the doctor pronouncing it a case of cholera. In a few days Lewis O’Neal and Hugh McGee, a brother of Mrs. O’Neal, died of the same disease. However, the disease spread no further and the alarm subsided. The tavern was the third house to be erected on the Prairie.

Lewis Bliss and Benjamin Church bought land of Samuel Preston, Sr. in 1846 and built an inn just a little west of the present site of Jesse Colehour’s house. Mr. Bliss often told how they sold booze here and raced horses, in that early day. Mr. Bliss in after years became a devout Methodist, but he never lost his admiration of a fine horse.

Robert Petty came with his family from Pennsylvania and settled here in 1843; among the children of this family being Mary, who afterwards became the wife of Michael Markley in 1861’ and William, James and John, who always remained citizens of our community, the lad at present day remaining still in the Petty farm.

Joseph Ferrin in 1845 entered the land now known as the Colehour homestead, and in 1849 built the house which is still standing. I have often heard Peter Bashaw tell about when he first came to this county in 1837, and how they spent the first night with the family of Samuel Preston, Sr. in the first house built on the Prairie, already mentioned. As a small boy he remembered a young man sparking his girl there that night, behind a calling curtain which furnished the only seclusion. In speaking of this in after years to Joseph Ferrin, Mr. Ferrin startled him by saying, “My God man! That was me, and I married her too.”

I well remember this house and of being there when Jacob Harr lived there. I was a child probably six years old, and Mrs. Harr had red beet greens cooked for dinner. I can taste them yet! I think they were the best things I ever ate. I also have a very vivid recollection of another incident that occurred on this visit. Eliza and Anna Harr, their sister Jerusha and me, all little girls together, were playing in the barn around an old “Mully” cow with a baby calf. She made a rush at us and pinned Eliza against the barn. That we were frightened goes without saying but we grabbed clubs and fought for Eliza, which the cow soon found out. We rescued Eliza from her perilous position and then “beat it.”

In 1839 Hollis Cummings came here from New York state, being one of the earliest settlers. This land too has remained continuously in the Cummings family up to the present time. Mahlon Hollingsworth was the first man to live on the Dodson farm and Felix O’Neal on the Will Freeman place. John Kinney in 1856 bought from the Downings the farm now owned by Howard Petty. (Note: Heman Downing lived there until he returned to Princeton, Bureau County, Illinois in 1856.)

Stephen Kneale, born in Isle of Mann, settled here in 1849, and became one of the pioneer farmers of Preston Prairie. This old home, just north of the school house, was destroyed by the cyclone of 1898. (Note: My mother, Florence Downing Horner, wrote in the margin that this home was just south of the school house.) Thomas Lambert came from England in 1842 and settled just south of the railroad and east of the wagon road on the George Fulrath farm. A lovely apple tree still stands as a living monument of this old house.

Joseph Warfield, another early settler, came in 1846 and settled on the farm now owned by William Knauer. Henry Harnish, who formerly owned the Clay Weidman place, came to Carroll County in 1853. The George Fulrath farm was purchased from Benjamin Day by Michael Markley sometime in the 1860s. Uncle Hiram Frances was one of the earliest settlers, living on the place now owned by John Wacker. Mr. Logue was the man who built the first house and lived on the now Albert Getz place. Samuel Haynes came here from Ohio in 1854, the Haynes farm being the home now of Loomer Downing. Henry Colehour came from Pennsylvania in 1853, buying the farm which still remains in the family. The present Brethren parsonage was first the home of Sydney Bliss.

The first school house was built on the Preston farm, on the south side of the Savanna road. (Note: This would have been when the Savanna road was about - mile north of where Highway 52/64 is now. The road was changed pre-1855.) Afterwards the present location was selected, and a red school house was erected about 1855 or ’56. I have a vivid recollection of a runaway horse attached to a sleigh that tried to enter the school house during school hours. The shafts threw him into the hallway, and you may be sure all of us were on our feet in an instant, and some of us on our desks. The older boys were equal to the emergency, and soon had him untangled and on his feet. The horse belonged to Wesley Fuller, who was courting Celia Bliss, who in after years became his wife.

Miss Hattie O’Neal was one of my first teachers. In those days the school district took in part of Center Hill, Hickory Grove, and Ferrin districts, and there would be forty or fifty pupils attending at a time. Chris: Add photo of Harriett J O’Neal, but label it Hattie O’Neal. Miss O’Neal never neglected the smallest nor the largest. She taught from kindergarten to high school grades, rhetoric, algebra, civil government, bookkeeping, in fact any study you wanted, she would teach and let me write that in capital letters, TEACH. Her school was begun daily with the reading of the Bible and prayer on her bended knees. I can see her yet, imploring God for wisdom and guidance, when the room was so cold that her breath would become frozen as it left her mouth, when if she had not been made of fearless, pioneer blood and bone, she would have given up in despair. This good woman is still teaching, carrying on her God given task at the age of 86, and let me add that she, with the pioneer mothers of our land, will have more than one star in their crowns when they reach the other side.

The first Sunday school I attended with in this school house was David C. Hancock as Superintendent. He was the husband of Adelane Stearns. The church services were the community center in those days. Here people met to worship, learn, visit, and gossip. In later years came lyceums, singing schools, school exhibitions, etc. These community gatherings were equally as interesting and instructive as any of like nature at the present time.

The grout house on the Downing farm was built in 1851, and the pond was made by Samuel Preston, Jr. sometime in the ‘70s.

I well remember when John Orr, a merchant from Savanna, hauled merchandise to and from Freeport with ox team, there was no railroad, transportation being carried on by steamboat and wagon, and he had a covered wagon. On his way he would stop at Father’s and buy apples, and we younger children would give the oxen corn to eat. We knew they were hungry after making the long trip. The first ferry boat to cross the Mississippi River , I remember, was run by horses and a Mr. Oswald was Oswald was captain.

Remember, these were days of difficulties; money was scarce, there was no market closer than Galena and Freeport, the only lumber was the axe-hewn logs, no markets, many times families were without flour or meal of any kind. The Indian, the first and only American, still roamed the hills and prairies, their tepees could be seen along the Mississippi . Game was plentiful, also deer, a few black bear, prairie chickens, wild pigeon, quail, pheasants, etc. How I wish I could only hear the boom of the prairie chicken and the drumming of the pheasant in the early morning, as I did in childhood. To me it would be sweeter music than all the grand opera music Mary Garen can produce.

So ends these rambling reminiscences. If it has interested you, I am content. Memory fails one at times; many interesting things I have forgotten, while others that I should like to speak of would make my paper too long and might become tiresome. Whatever interest this may be to you, you owe to the pioneers – our good fathers and mothers, and to them you owe a debt, that you can never repay, only be serving your God and mankind.

These are the “Old Settlers” who came in the West!
Your fathers and mothers; oh give them the best
Of all good gifts it’s yours to bestow,
In the fair garden state where broad rivers flow;
And cherish, and honor in all coming years,
Every name on the scroll of the brave Pioneers!

D. T. WIlson and Lena Garrells - early Preston School Teachers