[Transcribed by John Duck. Neither corrections nor alterations have been made to spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Thanks to the Pearson-Pyle family for sharing their family material.]
My memories of the Duck family are limited by the side of all the Pearsons, but I will attempt to put down some. My grandfather Perley Pearson has told me of the times he went to see my grandmother Eliza Elizabeth Duck over in Edgar County Ill. This is county west of Vermillion County in Indiana, with Paris the county seat; at least, quite a distance to keep company. Part of the time he went a horseback and I know he told me of one time in crossing the Wabash, the river was up and he was alarmed for it was such bad going that his horse just barely made it. He would add, "That was just how near there wasn't any big Pearson family here."
March 11, 1948 I just talked to Aunt Allie Pearson,1, Uncle Tad's widow - and asked her if she knew how Grandfather met Grandmother? She said, "yes", she knew "he was selling something I expect he told me what, but I don't remember that and when he went in the Duck home he saw her sitting at her spinning wheel singing and he knew it was love at first sight and he said to himself, 'I am going to have her.'"
She also added, "He didn't make trips very often or in fact didn't go a long time" and she remembered him telling of his clothes being wet and would freeze before he got there.
I remember one time while Grandma was still living of a few of her relatives coming, I think it was Charity2 a sister, and Kate McCulloch3. This was probably the same time she mentions in her letter of coming to "Uncle Perley's." Refer to Kate's letter.
The person I knew best was a man called Ransom Duck4 I suppose a nephew of Grandma's who came over even after Grandpa was gone. He had a knack for stories, rhyme and songs. There was one he used to say, but all I can get is 2 lines -
"There were three crows set on a limb. They were black as crows can be." But what happened to them I can't put down for you.
Aunt Allie Pearson1 says he used to sit east of their house and make the comment about the windmill when it was running, "That's a good way to get water let the Lord do it."
When we lived in Rockville about two years I visited at Grandpa's, I think 1907 I would be about nine. One of the nicest memories would be eating supper early with Grandma. We would go to the milk house west of the house and there take milk from the trough where the water flowed through it the water had first flowed through a tank into which was kept cool by sawdust packed around the circular upright tank then boxed in, with a lid to raise up. We also had had homemade "salt rising" bread after our supper of bread and milk we went to bed early before Grandpa and my two Uncles came in.
It is this grandmother's lovely old butter knife and sugar shell that I have. Also her glass spoon holder that I use on the table. Years after her death, in fact after I was married. I was given her ring which I had made into a bar pin and have worn so much. Ah yes, I have and use her silver thimble.
She raised a very large family with Grandpa. In my memory she was afflicted with heart trouble and Grandpa cared for her. On Jan 2, 1913 she slipped away as the sun was going down. All children and grandchildren who lived near were called in ____ to my younger brother Wayne and me.
1. Alice Newlin, widow of Cloyd Warren Pearson
2. Susannah Charity Duck
3. Mary Catherine Duck, wife of Rowland McCullough
4. Son of Jesse Duck and Mary Hartley. Jesse was son of James Duck and his first wife, Elizabeth Cook.