Francis Marion Wilcox Journal

part 5

      Barbara Houck Wilcox, wife of Samuel Wilcox now dead, was a daughter of George W. Houck and Barbara Houck (George Houck's wife) both of German descent. She was born in Pennsylvania from whence they immigrated to Rowan County, North Carolina where was born several children whose name are as follows: George, Henry, Jessee, William, Jacob, Elizabeth, Nellie, Katie, Barbara and Mary. Some of the above were born in Ashe County, North Carolina where Grandfather George moved at an early date, settling on the waters of New River about nine miles southwest of Jefferson the present county seat, and where Barbara was born May 17, 1814. During her infancy she was learned to speak German, which language she spoke in her father's family until 21 years old, at the same time speaking English fairly well. She was deprived of attending American schools and consequently was not educated - only to read the Bible in that language. Her relations in her father's family were domestic in every sense of the term. She could sew, card, spin, weave, cook and do anything essential to be done in order to make her life useful. Her services were in demand at fair wages in many families in which she did her part ably until over twenty years old when she concluded she would rather be a Mrs. of her own house than doing another's chores. Hence we find her matrimonially inclined.

      Upon meeting Samuel Wilcox by her good looks and loving smiles she soon won for herself his undying affection and that true kind of love which only finds satisfaction in union. The consummation of the marriage as before mentioned took place in Ashe County, North Carolina during the spring of 1929. The officiating officer or clergyman was Rev. James Johnson of Ashe County, North Carolina. From the day Mother was united in matrimony it seems that her highest ambition was to prove a devoted wife and make herself useful in all the realizations of a devoted wife and afterwards to become a kind and obliging mother. She was always ready and willing to discharge her duty, know no such word as discouragement. Life's battles were met and fought one by one and generally successfully. She in her early life was converted to the saving Faith of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She was in her 19th year when converted - or it was during the year 1833 and as well as my memory served me - while in attendance at an old fashioned Methodist Camp Meeting in Ashe County, North Carolina that her soul was made known to the powers of love and redeeming grace. She never doubted her conversion in the least and stayed her hopes on Jesus, always looking to Him for protection and guidance and owing her strong faith in His atonement to which I feel confident much of her success in life is to be attributed.

      She was always a strict member of the Methodist Episcopal Church during all the years of my life. I always found her possessing strong attachments for the church of her choice and in the society of its members she took most delight. I remember at an early date in my own life of hearing Mother praying in public and I now think that we in later life as members of her family professing conversion might have made her much more happy had we not allowed Satan to stop our mouths in her presence and opened our soul asking her poor willing to soul to lead us to a throne that might have raised us higher and that gave her spiritual strength such as none but the angels know. Shame on me a Christian man, or a woman, that will let Satan deprive them of one glorious baptism of the Holy Ghost by a delusive man fearing timidly that robs God of His glory and man of his strength.

 

       Mother was a devoted mother.  She became the mother of eight children as time passed. There were seven boys and one girl: Jerome, Francis Marion, Elizabeth, Isaiah, Hamilton Hardin, William, Daniel Boone and Samuel Vernon. Of these Jerome died when only three years old. Francis Marion resides in Beacon, Iowa while Hamilton Hardin resides in Albert Lea, Minn. Isaiah, William and Boone reside in Carter County Kentucky as does Elizabeth, she having become Mrs. William P. Lewis in the year 1865 or 6 in Carter County Kentucky - the officiating officer being L.P. Whitten, JPPC. Mother was a small woman not over five feet two inches tall, fair complected, black hair, black eyes and in middle age possessing a round face with rosy cheeks, an attractive nose and would weight at her heaviest about 140 pounds, yet in later life seldom weighed more than 100 pounds. She was full of real life and inclined to joke and have her innocent fun. She enjoyed the society of the young with as much relish as those 40 year her senior.

      She in middle age, during Father's life was a devoted wife, always ready to share his adversity as well as prosperity. She seldom showed signs of sorrow or discouragement. Her life possessed much sunshine and when clouded the fault was not hers. Although as in all families, clouds would sometimes gather only a few kind words were necessary to dispel them from the family horizons and the usual smile and sunshine would beam if possible with more luster than before. My mother possessed much real fortitude and true courage. Tough yet was gentle, her ambition was such that she could endure a great deal with little or no signs of giving way.  

      She during Father's life admired his common sentiments and after he enlisted in his country's service, died and was sent home, she received him on short notice and had him decently interred and then becoming the head of a large family she now threw all her energies together resolved to keep her children in the old home, teach, encourage and instruct them herself. This she did in a commendable manner. Working, planning and executing beyond the most sanguine expectations until the last had grown to manhood, grown up and married, leaving the old house deserted except the queen that had worked, planned and given so much of her time to its care and proper government.

       She now alone at the age of near sixty-five years at the old home where often a dozen mouths were filled by her hard earnings, finds herself all alone to enjoy life's serene journey. Here she in her old age reads, sews, knits and attends her other domestic duties seeming to enjoy life equally as much as in her younger days. Her greatest happiness seemed to be in having her children visit her at her home where she would cook her rations and divide them with relish. She lived for her children and friends and always enjoyed their presence and society. As a neighbor she was kind and obliging and none was more attentive or devoted to those sick or in distress. She would divide her last pound of coffee or flour in her house to accommodate a neighbor. The poorer the individual the better it made her feel to accommodate them. She did not crave wealth or riches, would often remark, "What need I to care for money? When I am gone I cannot take anything with me when I die and so I live comfortable while here, 'tis all I need or want".

       She was a good, kind, obliging and devoted mother and always gave her children much good advice. She disdained and detested anything debasing or low pertaining to the human family and always seemed to be rejoiced at hearing of her children or friends taking an elevated position in life, seeming to share their anticipations for future joy, happiness and prosperity. The late years of her earthly pilgrimage was much of the time spent with brother Isaiah who had proved all that a devoted son could from infancy to middle age, caring for Mother and having her care for him in boyhood, he taking, as it were, Father's place at home while Father was in the Army. Isaiah deserves praise and commendation for his devotions to Mother until her final summons came on April 6 at 8:30 a.m. in the year 1893. The other children, no doubt were devoted, yet it was with Isaiah she ate, slept, laughed and wept and called home. Within his house she breathed her last and felt resigned to obey her Savior's summons.  

        From Isaiah's house she took her final summons and her soul took flight. From Isaiah's house her body was conveyed to the site selected by Father where their bodies should repose until the last loud trumpet should sound and summon the nations underground to a final judgment. She was buried at 4:00 p.m. on April 7, 1893 on a bright, clear, balmy April day. Our mother seemed willing to go. I will copy the last letter bidding me farewell as dictated by her to my brother Isaiah and written by him on April 5th 1893 the day before she breathed her last which reads as follows:

 

                                                                                                                                      Rose Dale, Kentucky, April 5, 1893

      M. Wilcox

      My dear Son and Family:

             I received your letter and was proud to hear from you all and to know that all were well as common. Well Marion, I would like to see you but my Master has called for me and I am ready to bid my earthly relations and dear children goodbye. Only a few hours and I expect to join my friends in the Heavenly land where parting and pain will be felt and feared no more. I want you, Hattie and the children to meet me there. Tell the children to be good to you. Marion, I cannot describe my feelings at this time. Boone and Sam are both here with me as well as Isaiah and William and I am looking and expecting Elizabeth today. I may live until she arrives or may not. Don't trouble yourself about me for I shall be at rest and happy when I die. I once more ask you all to meet me in Heaven and bid you all goodbye.

                           Thy loving Mother,

                              Barbara Wilcox (as dictated to Isaiah the writer)

 

P.S. Mother says for little Georgia to have her picture.

 

     After the above was written on the 5th, sister Elizabeth did arrive and got to see our dear mother and pass another night with her as she did not pass away until 8:30 in the a.m. April 6, 1893. Brother Hamilton Hardin of Albert Lea, Minnesota and myself had intended going to see Mother in this year as we had not seen her in over six years, but procrastination is the thief of time. We from different causes did not go, time rolled on, age made her inroads and good nature and physical strength gave way and we were a little too late. Mother was willing but could not stay. Goodbye until we meet again, oh my Mother.