We who have assembled here today, to celebrate the Seventh (1927) Annual Reunion of the Duck family, are (excepting the 'in-laws') direct descendents of James Duck, our Grandfather of blessed memory.
James Duck was born March 5th, 1796, in Virginia; he was of Irish parentage, his father, Josiah, his mother, Sallie House Duck. When he was one year old, he with his parents moved from Virginia, to Pulaski County, Kentucky, and settled near Frankfort, the capital of the State.
Grandfather had two brothers and two sisters. Josiah, the eldest was married, lived in Kentucky, and reared a family of whom I know nothing. Dr. Jesse Duck was never married. The sisters Lovisa and Sallie married brothers, by name Wilson.
Grandfather was married at the age of 18, in the year 1814, to Elizabeth Cook, and to them eight children were born: Josiah, Lovisa (Duck) VanHoutan, Sallie (Duck) Sanders, Jane (Duck) James, Jesse, William, John and Samuel, the last named were twins. Samuel died in infancy. Four years later our Grandmother died, then Grandfather, after a time married Susanna Barr [Barrow] and five children were born to this union. Buford, died in infancy, Eliza (Duck) Pearson, Louisa (Duck) Shoptaugh, Perlonzo, and Charity (Duck) Price, all are now deceased.
The family came to Illinois, in the Spring of 1832, and settled in Edgar County, within one and one-half miles of where Grandfather died on May 28, 1887, at the age of 91. He was buried Decoration Day.
Grandfather was a life-long Republican, altho reared in the South, in the midst of slavery. like Abraham Lincoln, he hated slavery. He was a staunch defender of truth and righteousness, and at the age of 50, was soundly converted and lived a devoted, consecrated life member of the Christian Churn, until God called him to come higher.
A lot more could be written, but maybe we can add another "Limb to the Family Tree" next year.
My thots go back to the dear old home
Calling the wanderer to come.
With lure of dewy downs and eves,
The birds songs, and whispering leaves;
It's lights and shadows beckon me
Back to the land of 'used to be,'
Where sleep the ones that we love best,
In peace and quietude and rest.
* * *
My thots go back the world forsooth
Has taken tol of zest and youth,
In payment for a hollow game:
We live apart yet love's the same.
The wealth of the world could never repay
For that old home of weathered gray:
Nor ever could the half compare
For one brief hour of child-hood there.
* * *
My thots go back to my child-hood day
When us "Kiddies' loved at Grandfather's, to play,
He told us Kentucky tales interesting too.
He taught us to be upright, honest and true.
God grant the "Duck Family" may flourish in prosperity and luck.
Always honor the memory of our dear old Grandfather Duck.
Mattie (Duck) Leedom