. EARLY LIFE OF
GEN. JOHN J. PERSHING
OF THE BOYHOOD DAYS
OF THE FAMOUS GENERAL
By HAROLD F. WHEELER.
COXTTNCED FROM TESTEROAT.
Peach orchards, since time imme-'
morial. have been an attraction j
which few small boys could resist.
Jehn Pershing: was no excepttion.
On a Sunday not very long after
Sam Hawkins, the "Hack Finn"
of old Laclede, had tried to teach
John to smoke and chew tobacco a
Jgeaeh orchard raid was made of
As the story goes. John, with
several of his "pang" was walking
on the outskirts of the town this
particular Sunday morning and
stopped to rest near the home of
Farmer Margrave. Now in all La
clede, there was no finer peach orch
ard than Farmer Margrove's. and
never before or since, if one be
lieves the story, did the peaches ap
pear morf alluring than on this par
ticular Sfnday. Ripe, luscious
looking. they were an attraction
hat John and the boys with him
*>uld not overlook.
Conduct* SoecfMfal Retreat.
A few words were passed and
ohn deployed his "gang." one boy
to a tree and himself to the largest
tree of all. Everything was going
nicely, just as the young leader of
the raiding party had planned, when
Farmer Margrave suddenly appear
ed on the seen*. Retreat was inev
itable. and it came, wild and hasty.
bef?lre the advance of the irate
farmer. It was a successful re
treat. Farmer Margrave could not
catch one of the raiders, could not
even get near enough 'o recognize
.hem. The whole town Hearned of
raid a few hours later and sus
picion pointed to John.
Mr. Pershing?he was superin
tendent of the Sunday school of the
Methodist Church at the time?
?eard of it and called Jofln before
'im. Whether John had ever read
' Geors* Washington and the
lerry tre? ts not known. But any
iy. John, lik* George, confessed
* guilt and told th* whole story.
;olving the other boys. No blame
ula attach to them, he told his
ler. as he was the first to think
?aiding the orchard and directed
*>t any of the peaches. John?"
No sir." the boy replied. "We
! to leave too quickly."
"Well." said Mr. Pershing, after
few moments of reflection, "if
Margrav* should ever ask you
out the affair look him in the eye
1 tell him the truth. I guess the
>rd understands what a t^mpta
on an orchard or a watermelon patch
* to a boy. but He will not stand
't was about this time in the ren
vl*s life, the tune of the peach
hard raid, that an inc.dent hap
?d which Laclede recalls today?
Laclede. Ask anyone of those old
ede folks about Capt, Love's goat.
*ed George N. Lomax. the brother
-he banker, the brother who lives
Ve had Just planted the park then."*
Ml Lomax told me. "The trees were
jail, little more than shrubs. One
ght Capt. Love's goat broke loose
nd| w*?nt to the park for a banquet,
e ate several of the trees. Those he
in't eat he stripped of bark. John
d T and some of the other boys de
>d that Mr. Goat had *aten his
*~t tree. Next night, led by John, we
aaght Mr. Goat. We hunsr him. Yes.
ir. we hung him?to the bandstand in
.he park. Of course ***apt- Tywe's wrath
was terrible. H* offered a reward of
J2F? for the apprehension of anyone
who took part in the hanging. The
reward is still unpaid."
Mr. Lomax tells of other escapades
raids on peach orchards and water
melon patches. Mr. Tjomax was a boy
then, just about the general's age. and
'the raiding parties usuaJly consisted
of himself, John Pershinjr. Lomax.
W01 Love and a few nf their play
/mates. Mr. Love recounts the history
J-of one of these raids.
"John and I." he told me, ,vwere
roaking about one day on the south
1 of the town. We rame across a patch
of melons. Boylike we wanted some.
*They looked srood to us. We took a
rge melon and lugged it away to a
' ace where we could not be seen and
?t out our knives. Guess0 We'd
ade a mistake. We had a citron or
e-melon. John laughed. He was al
iys game. But we didn't have any
termelon?that is. not that day."
^he general's brother, ".rim" Persh
^ has many interesting tales to re
int of those childhood days. There
one. in particular, the story of the
r.ftime he and John ever chewed
.cco. As Jim tells It. there was in
'ede a boy named Samuel Hawkins.
ADen remember? him. Hawkins,
respected business man. lives in
lahoma now. But the Samuel Haw
is of boyhood was a boy much like
rk Twain's "Hack "FTnn."
Gen. Pfnhin^'j Brother.
'John was 14 and I was about 12."
. Pershing said. **T think perhaps
had tried to smoke before. But
never tried to chew. We looked
>n It as a condescension for Haw
s to offer us a bite out of his plug
vy. We accepted it and we bit
Lhe plug generously. We did not
it Hawkins to think w? were mot
iddlefi. Since that day I always
le when people talk of being sea
c. They really do not know what
' you know." Mr. Pershing con
this anecdote, "somehow John
never had the same venera
. for Hawkins after that day."
ioyhood, however, was not all play
th Gen. Pershing. There was much
e to his days. Study and work?
Iff ither had bought a farm on the
starts of the town?entered into
m. sucir study and work as only a
niry boy brought up in the West
Pershing?he was superintendent
? Sunday school of the Methodist
"? /it the time?heard of It and
,lin before him. Whether John
p read of George Washington
herry tree is not known. But
T John, like George, confessed
and told the whole story,
.g the other boys. No blame
attach to them, he told his
as he was the first to think
ling the orchard and directed the
i fisrt school lessons, even as his
life lessons, he learned at his
jer' knee. She it was who taught
his A. B. Ca. and the addition
multiplication tables. But
?ol. real school, came when he
barely more than five or six
?s oW. Work-first the chores
"ome, a cow to milk, a
dling box to fill; then, the *.iard la
rious toil of the farm, cultivating,
?loughing. harvesting, quickly fol
Tie Family Record.
Meantime the Pershing family had
??fcsed. Brothers and sisters ar
? First came James F.. jr.. always
He was bom February
Next came Mary Elizabeth, always
I called Bessie. She was born June 10,
Three years later, on June 30, 1857,
Ann May, always known as May.
' They are alive today.
1 Other children of the Pershinfcs
were Grace, born March 29, 1S69; Rose
i and Ruth, twins, born in 1872: Ward
| P.. born March 29, 1874. and Fred G..
j born in 1877. The twins and Fred
' died In infancy.
i Grace and Ward lived many years.
J Grace to become the wife of Richard
: B. Paddock, an officer who fell in the
our leader in our school as well as
out of school. He could always do
everything Just a little bit better
than the rest of us.
"How he could play marbles!"
Mr. Love exclaimed suddenly, think
ing of those things the general
could do better.
"I guess,** he continued, "that oth
ers have probably told you by thi
time of how John led, us in our snow
ball battles. But I wonder if any
one has told you how he whipped th>
I admitted no one had and Mr. Love
"Brookfleld. you know." he said,
"had a gang of boys, whose chief de
light was to come to Laclede, winter
or summer, and lick our boys. One
winter they came and we ambushed
them. John planned the ambush. W?
gave those Brookfleld boys the sound
est trouncing they ever had. It ended
them. They never stormed us in La
clede again, though we sometimes
went to Brookfleld and attacked them!
(^nfral Girffg LirlHf Boy*.
Mr. Love turned from the past to
"I have a son in France." he said
I "Wesley O. Love, a member of an
outflt from Missouri. I want to tel.
| you of an incident concerning hiir
i which reveals a characteristic of
-#?:vi<i iii mm?? I'liwiiinin
First school G*n. Pe
Boxer campaign. Ward to become a
I captain in the United states army
j'?ra.cp filed in 1904- Her son. Richard
; Paddock, jr.. is a major on his
' uncle's staff in France. Ward died
I in 19*19.
I The general's father and mother
I were to live for many years and to i
I their careful upbringing of him. the i
i splendid Christian home thev made
| and maintained for their children,
the owes much of his present great
ness. Laded" folks told me. even
1 a* his sister, Mrs. D. XL Butler
I Bessie?told me.
I Of the general's early school
days, one can learn much of them
from ('lay C*. Bigger, a lawyer ini
Laclede: Krancis G. Adams, a farm-1
er of the town, and Leander Wes- J
j ley Love of Brookfield. They were
j classmates of John Pershing.
Hh.it Schoolmates Say of Him.
Mr. Love was the first with whom'
I talked. Lee Love. Laclede people
j call him.
"The first clear memories I have'
| of John." Mr. Love told me. "are
I when we were both about nine or
ten years old. We sat together?
| beside each other?in school Pro- J
(fessor Carruthers. long since dead.!
I w as our teacher. I knew then John i
I was different from the rest of us
He had greater intelligence. As I
look hack over the years I can see!
that he studied harder than the rest
iof us ar"! 'hat from earliest child
hood he lived wit* a definite goal,
in view. He wanted an education,
the best, and he worked and work
; ed with that objective.
"T do not recall that John was
I particularly brilliant But he was
a 'plugger.' He stuck to a task
until he mastered it. Let me tell
I you a story of him to illustrate what
j I mean. One day I was sent for a
; load of lumber near the Pershing
. farm. I saw John in the brush.
(He bent over, poking amongst the
leaves with a stick, apparently look
ing for something he had lost.
""What you hunting?- I asked
! " "Buzzers,* he replied.
I "I didn't know w"jat "buzzers'
were, hut I decided If John wanted
| a buzzer" I wanted one. too. So I
i joined him. Tn about a minute I
| learned what 'buzzers' were?rattle
j snakes. Yes. sir. that was what
(Jotin was hunting?rattlesnakes.
One of them almost got me. John
? killed it just as it was about to
| "John showed me how to eaten
(them, but somehow I could not get
| the knack of it. I didn't catch a
one But John got seven of them
that afternoon. He stuck to it He
was persistent. And in school he
tack ed ??U '"sons lust as he
j tackled the T)uzzers.'
A!way, a Good Scholar.
iatlh<.cr^que.nce h' "'ways stood
I at the head of the class. He was
HOW A YOUNG
And Wa* Restored to Health
By Lydia E. Pinkham's Veg
By Her Mother.
Brooklyn, N. Y.-"I cannot praise
Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Com
pound enough for
what it has done
for my daughter.
She was 15 years
of age, very sickly
and pale and she
had to stay home
from school most 1
of the time. She I
suffered agonies i
from backache and
dizziness and was
For three months
she waa under the
doctor's care and
got no better, al
about her back
? ?/nuii .s'd? aching so
1\rd'h* f didn't know what
to do. I read in
the papers about your wonderful
trr^t. %h? !>,ma^e,Up my m,nd 10
try it She has taken five bottles
E' Pinkham's Vegetable
Compound and doesn't complain
an>', mor? w|th her and side
aC^ .S' , 1133 S^ned In weight
and feels much better. I recom
mend Lydia E. Pinkham's Vege
table Compound to all mothers and
daughters."?Mrs. M. Fisoee 516
Marcy Ave., Brooklyn, N. Y.
For special advice in regard to
such ailments write to Lydia rc
PmkMm Meditine Co, r^Tu.f
(Photo bv H. F. WhfHer.)
hlne erfr attrmlf0.
John?his never-ending loyalty to hi>
friends. And I would have you re
member It is years since I have seen
John?not since we were about 19.
"Well, recently, my son wrote to
me telling me that his company hart
marched in review before John. John
knew the company was made up of
Missouri boys and he spoke with the
captain?Capt. Elliott, since killed in
action. John asked the captain to
have all the Laclede boys step out
of ranks. The boys did and John
shook hands with each of them, in
quiring their names.
"When he reached Wesley he askert
" "Are you I>ee Love's son?' "
"Wesley said he was. and John?
the general?told him to be sure, when
he wrote to me. to remember him to
"I guess." Mr. Ix>ve concluded, tears
in his eyes, "that's the kind of a
friend to have. God! Our boys 'over
there* are safe with John."
I talked next with Mr. Adams
Frank Adam's, the Laclede folks ca!l
Was Hla Boyhood Cham.
"John," Mr. Adams told me, "was
the first boy I met when I went to
schooL We were together for many
years?all our early school days. I
lived out in the country then, as l
do today?used to ride to school on
' horseback just as the country children
do today?and while I did not see
much ft John after school I saw ail
there was to see of him in school and
at recess. I was his seatraate and
from 9 o'clock each school day until
* in th$ afternoon we were together.
He was a goodly boy to look upon as
I recall him now, slender and straight
is an Indian, strong as an Indian,
I too. I never remember him being
| "And study! He was the most
i earnest boy about his lessons I ever
remember. He took them seriously
at all times. He was especially in
terested in mathematics and easily
led the class in that subject. But
then, he led in everything."
Mr. Bigger?Clay Bigger?has known
John Pershing as long as Mr. Adams.
The friendship ha? continued through
all the years.
"But to save my soul," Mr. Bigger
declared, "I can't recall anything un
usual about John when he was a
; school boy. You know the career of
| a great man is built slowly. John
j was not a precocious boy. He was
, just an ordinary boy who studied
hard. His Improvement was so grad
| ual we did not notice it. There were
| classmates who. at .times, might
j 'spell him down or answer a problem
more quickly. But John was always
ready for the step ahead. That is the
secret of his rise to greatness. He
always had a definite goal and he
always seized every opportunity that
offered for a chance of advancement."
I Mr. Bigger tells more of John?or
j John's expressed intention to engage
in the legal profession and enter into
partnership with him. But that be-:
longs to another chapter.
There are still living two of the,
teachers who taught in the Lacleae
| school when John attended tt. But
I before 1 write of them and what theyj
j told me it would be best to recount
the story of Mrs. Susan Hewitt. Mrs.
' Hewitt?"Aunt Susan" to all Laclede
j folks and, indeed, to the folks of all
| the countryside?was a sort of fairy
| godmother to John Pershing.
! "Aunt So*nn" Tell* Her Story,
j A rare, sweet old woman is Aunt
Susan. She came to Laclede from the
i South in 1864 with her husband. CapL
! Jacob Hewitt. War had swept away
j their home in the Potomac valley,
I their home and all their earthly pos- j
! sessions, and they came to Laclede to j
I start life anew. They opened a hotel !
j ?the old Missouri House. The schools J
I John attended still stand. One isj
used today as a barn, the other is
! used as a dwelling by a negro family,
j But the old Missouri House is gone.
Aunt Susan was passionately fond
1 of children, yet she had never been
: blessed v* ith any. She sought solace
; and found it by becoming a mother to
all the children of Laclede?a fairy
godmother who never remembered to;
j lock her pantry door against the in
! vasions of Laclede's boys and girls, j
I Sitting in the chamber of her home ;
in Laclede she told me of those days j
and years. Those days and years
meant much to Aunt Susan then.
They mean more to her today, for
it is the memory of them that keeps j
her facing life with a smile. For time j
has dealt rather unkindly with Aunt
1 Susan. A few years ago she suffered
a "stroke" and. paralyzed in one side.
I she is' an invalid, confined to the
! chamber of the little home to which
\ she went in ISSn. when she closed the '
old Missouri House.
(To Be Continued Tomorrow.)
Says People Not Represented.
Rome, Sept. 11. ? Commenting on
President Wilson's tour in behalf of
the league of nations, the Tribuna
declared today the man who had
questioned former Premier Orlando's
authority to voice the sentiments of
| the Italian people had not been rep
! resenting the American people, be
fore whom he was forced now to de
! fend the Versailles treaty.
Romanian Premier Resigns.
Paris, Sept. 11.?Premier Bratiano.
of Rumania, has resigned, according
to advices received by the Peace Con
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ANDREW BETZ, Manager
1 on i) C C*. Advisers and Authorities on
l0?5** F Jl. All Foot Troubles.
Men from the West Oppose Packer Legislation
Since the middle of August business men, farmers and live stock men
have been appearing before the Committee on Agriculture of the Senate
and telling why they earnestly oppose the Kendrick and Kenyon bills.
Here is what some of them told the committee the other day:
P. W. Olson,
Of CokaviOe, Wyoming, a stockman and rancher and reprearatiiif
the Cokeville Commercial Club and the Lincoln County Wool
"Would Rather Take a
"To License a Newspaper
Is to Censor Its News."
"Would Help to Ruin
Lot of Men."
"A Tremendous Detri
"Entwining Red Tape."
"A Stepping Stone to Gov
"I Did Not Kick.
"We believe that these bills are opposed to the best interests of the
stock business. Onr experience with government control of railroads
has been very unsatisfactory. We have had to pay higher rates and
hare received very poor service. We feel that the interests of the pack
ers, stockmen and consumers are identical. We feel that we would
rather take a chance with men who have grown up with the business,
as the packers have, than with government appointees who have it all
to learn. We believe that if there is anything wrong with the industry
there are plenty of laws already on the statutes to protect us.
"We feel that to take away the packers' cars, as is proposed in
these bills, would simply be crippling the distributing system of our
products, and the stockmen would be the first to suffer."
Arthur C. Johnson,
Of Denver, Colorado; editor of Denver Daily Record Stockman.
"To license a newspaper is, to a more or less extent, to censor the
matter it publishes. If it is proper to censor market news, it is also
proper to censor other news. The entry of the government, therefore,
into the field of news censoring may lead as well to the censoring of
political news, and opens up a field for political influence and control
subversive of every American principle."
C. A. Rodgers,
Of Denver; live stock and commission man.
"I desire to comment on that portion of this bill relating to the
public use of refrigerator cars. This would be one of the most serious
blows imaginable to efficiency in the distribution of meats and meat
products. The packers would sometimes be compelled to wait for the*e
cars, their coolers filled to overflowing, while orders were lost that
would otherwise be filled. This would result in ruinous piices to the
producer?would help to ruin a lot of men and would most certainly
Frank J. Dennison,
A banker of Denver.
"Prior to the time that the large packers became interested in the
stock yards in Denver the market was small and inconsequential. It
has grown tremendously since their interests began. The yard service
has greatly improved under their ownership. It is efficient and sati?
factory. A change of ownership in the stock vards at Denver would
be a TREMENDOUS DETRIMENT to the PRODUCER and CON
A. G. Prey,
Representing the Denver Live Stock Exchange (and himself a cattle
feeder and producer), Denver, Colorado.
"To draw a comparison between government-regulated and PRI
VATE OWNERSHIP SERVICE I quote you my experience as a member
of a committee appointed last year to confer ?sith the stock yard man
agement on our market for the purposes of obtaining additional weigh
ing facilities in the Denver stock yards to accommodate heavy fall
shipments. Also to confer with the U. S. Animal Industry representa
tive for additional inspection for said scale. The results were that
within a week we had the scale in operation, but did not get the in
spectors until ninety days later, or after the rush season was entirely
over. This illustrates the amount of entwining RED TAPE connected
with government supervision of privately owned interests. WE NE\TR
DID GET GOVERNMENT INSPECTION and we whittled along the
whole year without it, until the season WAS OVER."
J. E. Zahn,
Of Denver, vice president of Colorado Manufacturers' Association.
"Our association, after a study of the proposed legislation m the
Kenyon bill and similar measures, desires to go on record as vigor
ously opposing any plan of legislation that will cripple or impede the
progress of one of the greatest industries of the country.
"The vague and uncertain powers assumed by the government
under licensing provisions contained in the kenyon and Kendrick bills,
the association feels, will achieve only that end.
"If the provisions of these bills become law it is but a stepping
stone to government operation and government ownership of every
basic industry in the country, committing us to paternalism and so
J. H. Bachelor,
Of Valentine, Nebraska; live stock producer.
"FROM MY EXPERIENCE IN THE PAST 2f> MONTHS OF
FEDERAL CONTROL OF RAILROADS. THE TELEPHONE AND
TELEGRAPH SYSTEMS, I AM OPPOSED TO THE KENYON AND
KENDRICK BILLS. I think the business men of the United States
should have the freedom and the personal liberty to operate and run
their own business.
"1 want to say to you right now that the packers are not con
trolling this industry. \X e have our outside buyers who come from
the highways of the country into the markets to buy live stock. We
have our speculators to buy them and distribute them, and we have
our independent packers on tliese markets."
W. B. Tagg,
Of Omaha; former president of National Live Stock Exchange and
representing Omaha Live Stock Exchange.
"We have had considerable experience along the lines indicated
by the Kenyon bill, and that is why we are opposed to it.
"The minute you take the refrigerator cars away from the pack
ers and put them in the hands of the Railroad Admin .tration you
are going to hurt still more the marketing end, because the recordj
show that the railroads do not handle cars as efficiently as the pack
"My Experience With
E. T. Meyers, ?
Alliance, Nebraska, feeder and cattle raiser.
"From my own experience with railroads in the last year and a
half I do not think I want any more of government control of private
"I will tell you an instance: Last fall I bought 12 carloads of
stock feeders and was shipping them out on Thursday evening on a
branch line. I found theie was no train running on that branch line
until Monday. This was just six miles across from the main line of
the Union Pacific, and I went to the agent and asked a special service;
if they could furnish me an engine to run those cattle up to North
Platte and then come right back up to within six miles of the main
"The agent took it up with the superintendent and after hearing
from the superintendent he said the government rules were such that
they could not furnish an engine or less than 25 cars. The Union
Pacific used to send me an engine for 8 or 10 cars. Then I said
'if they will let me upload the cattle at Ogallala I will wire my men
to come there and drive them across.' Well, after doing that, he
said: "No, we used to do that, but government regulations are in
force and you have got to drive your fat cattle back to where you
unload your stockers.' So the government hauled those cattle 110
miles for nothing and I lost 3 days' feed."
Institute of American Meat Packers
Washington, D. C.
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