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From the Athens Messenger of Sept. 7, 1899
Transcribed by Joyce Robinson
Original spelling and punctuation left intact
Copyright © of work and time only apply

(nee Mrs. Sophronia Davis)

Mount Vernon, Ill., June 15, 1896.

     My recollection of what my mother has told me of her early life and that of her parents. My parents used to tell us about her parents and where they came from.
     Her mother's parents (my great-grandparents) came from England, while this country was under British government, and settled in Maryland. Their name was PHILLIPS. They had one son, named Thomas, two daughters, Elizabeth, my grandmother and one who died quite young. They were quite wealthy, having great estates in Maryland. They died and left their two children. Under British rule the son was heir apparent and of course, at their death Thomas had possession of all their property. 
    The other heir, Elizabeth, had some claim on the property, but was rather a dependent on his bounty. She married a young Scotch-Irishman (Scotch descent raised in Ireland) whose name was Robert ALLISON. He was a weaver by trade. He was a high spirited young man, and unwilling to live dependent on his brother-in-law, took his wife and three children, Charles, Nancy, and Stephen, and moved to Pittsburg, Pa. After moving to Pittsburg, a fourth child was born, Mary (my mother) January 21, 1789.
     On the breaking out of the seven years Indian war in 1790 Robert Allison moved to Marietta, Ohio, at the mouth of the Muskingum river, and had command of the fort during the years of that bloody struggle. The men and women both engaged heartily in the contest. When there was rumor that the Indians were coming the men would spring to their arms and the women would commence moulding bullets. My aunt Nancy was 4 1/2 years older than my mother and could remember these scenes. She said she remembered on one of these occasions when the cry was made, "The Indians are coming!" her mother went to moulding bullets and told her on no account to let her little sister cry. She said all the way she could prevent her from crying was to put her against the wall and hold her hand over the child's mouth. This had to be done to keep the Indians from knowing women and children were there.
     Aunt Nancy was born October 22, 1784, and lived till March 10, 1892 being well along in her 108th year. She lived through the administration of all our presidents down to 1892. She read a great deal and was well informed in the history of our county and its rulers.
     At the close of the Indian war Robert Allison left Marietta and moved up the Muskingum river about fourteen miles to a place called Round Bottom, in company with Colonel William Davis. Mr. McKinney, William Mason and Dick Coburn. The built what was known as "Kinney's Garrison," which consisted of log houses, built with their corners touching so as to form a square block. The Indians were yet troublesome, and it was dangerous to leave the fort.
     These men worked together, cultivating farms in Round Bottom. As it was dangerous for one man to go alone, they would take their farming implements and their guns and all work on one farm, one day, and then on another's, and so on till they worked all around, always leaving one man every day to quard the garrison. This they continued to do till the Indians quit their hostilities. These men continued to live there together in harmony for several years.
     Afterwards two other families came into the neighborhood. One's name was Ransom, the other Wilson. These men got into trouble with each other, some of the neighbors took part with one and some with the other. I have heard my mother, and her brother and sisters talking about this trouble. They said there was a man that came there be name of Simons. I think from they way they talked about him that he was a bachelor. He was a wag, always having some witty expression to suit every case. While this trouble was going on this man Simons dreamed a very singular dream. He dreamed he died and went to hell. Soon after he got there he met the devil who began to ask him questions. After some questions he asked him where he was from. He told the devil he was from Round Bottom, Round Bottom -- as if he was in study -- why there is where Ransom lives -- what's he doing? He told him that Ransom was dead. The devil called to his boy and told him to saddle his horse and bring it to him immediately, that he must go to Round Bottom for Ransom was dead and the people have peace there now. After this he thought of Wilson. On being told that Wilson was still there he called the boy back saying, "never mind, Wilson is there and will to just as well as if I were there myself."
     My mother lived in Round Bottom in the house her father built, till she was sixteen years of age. Then she married Nehamiah Davis. They settled on a farm that he owned in Athens county, Ohio (four miles from the town of Athens) on a little creek called Sugar Creek. They lived there till they had five children. Then they moved down the Ohio river, seven miles below Gallipolis, where he purchased land on the bank of the river and lived there till 1839. At this time they had twelve children, five sons and seven daughters. My father thought it would be a fine thing to sell his farm and buy land in southern Illinois, where he could get land cheap, and settle his children all around him. He bought a great deal of land, some in Hamilton county and some in Franklin county where he spent the rest of his life. He died at the age of 76, and left the old homestead to mother and there she lived till she was called up higher October 26, 1882, at the age of 93 years, 8 months and 28 days.
     My father was raised in Maine near the Atlantic coast. Their place of trade was Portland. When he was yet young his parents went on the ocean, around to the Gulf of Mexico and from there they came up the Mississippi river, stopping at several places and not being satisfied they kept coming up the stream till they came to the Ohio river and they continued their travel up the Ohio. They stopped once where Cincinnati now stands, and remained there awhile. I have heard my father say he had plowed where the city of Cincinnati now is. From there they went on up the river to the mouth of the Hocking river, and continued there until within four miles of the town of Athens and settled there. My grandfather had a brother there already, which may be the reason of their going there. There my father left his father's family and set out to make a living for himself. He bought land and raised cattle to pay for it. As the country was new his cattle lived very well all summer in the weeds, but as his farm was not yet sufficient to support them in the winter he used to drive them up on the Muskingum river where the country was more thickly settled and, of course, more grain raised to feed them. And this is the way he got acquainted with my mother.
     My parents had the pleasure of raising their twelve children to be grown and married and all enjoying religion and church membership. Six of them members of the Methodist church and the other six members of the Baptist church.
     Through the wise training of a competent mother we were taught to love and respect each other, and never knew what it was to see one of our number separated from the rest by strife or ill will. My father was justice of the peace ever since I can remember till he was quite old. His law business and the care of his farm kept him quite busy; so the general control of the children was left to mother.
My mother lived to see their descendants number 333.
     There were ten of her children yet living when she died. The number given above includes her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and some great-great-grandchildren. I have given you the number of my parents' descendants at the time of mother's death. I can not tell you the number now, for there are twelve tribes of us scattered through the world.

Dictated by Sophronia Baugh in her 86th year, June 15, 1896.