Thursday, November 24, 2011

Henry Moses Harrold

Henry Moses Harrold, my second great grandfather, was born on 14 Jan 1840 in Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio, and was married before the Civil War in 1860 to Catherine E. McFarland there, but subsequently moved to Nelsonville, Athens County, Ohio. Henry was the third child and oldest living son of Richard Herald and his wife Sarah Nash Herald. His first wife, Catherine died in Nelsonville, and is buried in the Fort St. Cemetery in Nelsonville. Catherine died when her youngest child, Violet was less than two years old and his two children, his widowed mother, and he moved to Nelsonville. Two of his brothers, probably John and Charles, had walked over the hills from Zanesville to Nelsonville to get jobs in the coal mines. His brother, George was killed at the battle of Stone's River and Robert would have been much too young to have made such a trip. His mother, Sarah Nash Harrold, moved in with him and cared for his two small children.

When Henry married again, his mother moved in with her son Charles in Nelsonville. (In her will, his mother left Henry one dollar. I don't know why, but wondered if she didn't like Almyra Drake Crain, his second wife and my second great grandmother.)

Shortly after his second marriage to Almyra in December, 1866 home and family and made their way to Kansas where they homesteaded in Kansas. They lived in a soddy there while he farmed. Here their first two children, Hyla and Frank were born. One day while Henry was out working, Almyra came into the soddy where the two babies were sleeping on the bed and saw a rattlesnake on the foot of the bed. She ran out and called Henry, and while he got his gun, she teased the snake with a broom to keep it busy and Henry shot it. Apparently the two children were not hurt, but they must have been rudely awakened.

My mother always said she might have been born in Kansas but for the fact that Henry had a sunstroke and had to return to Ohio. He was never strong after that and it was probably at this time he became a carpenter. But he found this work to hard for his frail health. He was truant officer at the East School building where his daughter, Maud, taught school. Her room was in the old Town House down the hill from the home place and he used to go down and build the fires in the stove before school started and generally kept the room clean.

But he mostly spent his time working on his three acres. He had a huge garden on top of the hill. (It's hard to believe it now, with all the trees there. They must not have been there then.) He raised fruit trees of all kinds (apples, cherries, pears, plums and peaches) on the hillside behind the house. He kept chickens and pigs up near the rocks. The neighbors around the area saved scraps of food for the chickens and pigs. He also had many hives of bees and sold his honey. He had a coal mine in the upper right side of the hill below the rocks and he and his oldest son (Uncle Jim) dug all the coal that was needed to heat the house. So he was pretty self sufficient and didn't need much cash.

He did have one weakness though. He drank upon occasion and one day rode one grandchild's bicycle over the rock wall in front of the house. Almyra said, "The old fool is going to kill himself." But he never did. He died peacefully when quite old.

His oldest daughter, Hyla, never married. His other two daughters (Maud and Dee) were deserted by their husbands, who never supported their children. So they both moved in with their parents, and the six children in the combined families made for a crowded household, but a happy one. No wonder Henry tippled a little. He was a good natured man and was loved by all who knew him. He loved his family and took good care of them both financially and emotionally.

He died at the age of 75 at his home at 510 High Street, Nelsonville, Athens County Ohio on the 25 of January 1918 and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery just south of Nelsonville.

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