Heritage; Childhood as a Pioneer

by Annie Coleman (Kerr) Sexton, published in Stanton Stats March 10, 1994

In childhood, we view our parents as stern hard monsters never allowing us to do what we wanted. Now looking back I appreciate their good qualities and their discipline. They were the product of their parents’ discipline. A parent’s training follows a child through life and only in rare cases does a child forget it. . . .

[Father] loved to hunt; often [he] took a boat to Whitewater Lake and spent the day there shooting ducks. He often shot badgers and skinned them. He made me take a cured skin to school to put under my feet on the cold floor. I was humiliated, [and] would have preferred having cold feet. . . .

When I was around seven years old a circus came to Deloraine. They put posters on our buildings . . . gave us tickets. Father borrowed a democrat (a two seated buggy) and took us all to the circus. Who can describe the marvelous thrill of their first circus. I never forgot it.

When we were old enough Father had us take music lessons. His great hope was that we could learn to play the “Irish Washerwoman.” We never did. A few teachers came to our house to give lessons. Finally we took from a teacher in Deloraine. I remember driving there in Winter. My hands were too cold to play my lesson properly. My teacher kept lamenting that we didn’t have a piano instead of an organ. I couldn’t see why.

A Methodist minister from Deloraine drove a horse and buggy to our Bidford School on Sunday mornings for service. Frequent ‘Revival Services’ were held there for a week. Generally the speakers at these meetings stayed at our house. One couple, the husband a preacher and the wife a nice singer, endeared themselves to us. Another young man we thought queer because he preferred his sponge bath in our very hard well water instead of some of our precious rain water.