Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Diaries & Letters of the Tri-Counties
Will WALKER of Rutland
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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Memories of Rev. Will Walker
of his childhood in Rutland Township

Submitted by Nancy Paine, Typed by Eileen Tims and Annotated by Joyce M. Tice

Roseville from the East postmarked 1911
Watson Cemetery is out of sight to the left
Baptist Church burned long ago
Turn of the Century Roseville / Rutland Postcards submitted by Creig Crippen



This account must include a family whose name was "Thorpe". "Ed and Ellen Thorpe". There were three daughters, Lena, Julia and Irma. Mrs. Thorpe was one of the best old souls you ever met. In the time of sickness among the neighbors she could be depended upon. In fact I well remember a sweet apple deal I had, a sort of a gastronomic upheaval. She came and made short work of my troubles. Near and far, she would go and do all she could for anyone who was ill. Years later she was burned alive in her own home.

What a character she would make in a story, good, and big-hearted, but very odd. She had a peculiar way of talking. She would have so many "ah's" on everything she would say. For instance, her daughter was learning the violin and when the neighbors called Irma, would play. She never would play loud enough to suit her Mother, so her Mother would say, "My Lord--Ah, Irma, why don't ye bear on--ah?". I recall an experience which came to Mr. Thorpe, or "Ed.", He was a man weighing about 225 lbs. Simple hearted, easy to beguile; prone to tell big stories and always ready to listen to an impossible yarn. One other member of the "gang" and myself used to get a big kick out of going up to "Ed's" in the evening; we would make up some big yarn on our way up. The other member would go in first and relate it to "Ed." And Ellen", while I waited outside to give him time to "spin it". Ellen never liked this "other member", and would sit with a disgusted look on her face while the tale was being related. The yarn consisted, possibly of a terrible train wreck, people killed; or a run-away convict in the vicinity; or the half of the town of Roseville burned up; or anything we thought striking enough and with a sound of a grain of truth. Ed would drink it all down; swallow hook, line, and sinker; but Ellen was always skeptical. That was the time for me to arrive. Sauntering leisurely in, I would greet the "other member" as if we had not met for a week.

After a few preliminary remarks, I would say, "did you folks hear what happened down to Roseville today? And so on---bla! Bla! Bla! If you could have heard Ed's exclamation "you don't say", Do tell! I don't know why, Ellen always would credit my account with more truth than she did "the other members". Ed, would become so interested, he would seem to forget all the previous frauds; he would fairly swell up from information. At the close of the narration, Ed. would be all excited, while Ellen would look at us boys in a suspicious way. Some times at this point, the other "member", or myself, could hold in no longer and would laugh. Ellen, then with a quick twist of her chair, would say, "It's nothing but a devilish lie-ah". But Ed, not so willing to give it all up as such, would say, "now Ellen, it might be so".

I spoke about an experience that came to "Ed". There was a man who lived in that community by the name of George Dix. Mr. Dix was a spiritualist, and any time or place, it did not matter who, if he could get the attention of anyone he was in his "glory". He could do some strange things, such as "rappings", "table moving" and such occult like things.

One day Ed was visiting at Mr. Dix's home, in fact he had been there most all day. Ed. was a willing listener for anyone to work on, but for some reason Ed, while at Mr. Dix's home, did not communicate with any spirits. He came home about eleven o'clock at night, Ellen was already in bed. This is what happened. Ed prepared for bed; just before he climbed in bed, he sat on the edge of the bed and thought of what Mr. Dix had been talking about. He decided to do as Dix and said: it was a formula, or something to repeat. Something to do, then await results. He fulfilled the requirements, and lo and behold, there before his very eyes, sitting in a rocking chair were his Mother and Sister, with one wild howl, Ed was in a a dead faint, for his Mother and Sister had been dead many years. (I am under the impression that the moment he sat on the bed, he fell asleep and dreamed). Anyway, whatever it was, dream or vision, it sure was a lusty howl he let out of him. The whole house was aroused, This was the outcome; we were close neighbors and had noted that we had not seen Ed. For a few days. Mother went up to call and inquire where Ed. Was. Mrs. Thorpe, or "Ellen", replied,"My Lord--ah, ain't you heard? He's been in bed for four days." Mother said she had not heard. Ellen, then with a little encouragement, related the following:

"Five days ago--ah, Ed.--ah, went up to Dix's and stayed all and half of the night--ah. I didn't even hear him come home--ah. The first thing I knew he was home --ah, was when he--ah gave that devilish hoop --ah and fell over across me on the bed --ah. Then --ah, to top it all off --ah, he got up the next morning --ah, and went around in kind of a daze --ah; he wouldn't talk or say anything --ah. He went down --ah to feed the pig --ah, and fell over the fence --ah, into the pig trough --ah. Lord --ah, had a time --ah, to get him out of there --ah and so --ah he --ah has been to bed- -ah four days --ah."

Well, Ed. survived the "Spirit Attack." He lived to tell the tale, whenever we asked him about it he'd hold up both hands and say "Boy don't ask me, I went through Hell."
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA