Caledonia (In The 1890’S)

Composed by Elmer B Howard

MY MEMORY TAKES ME BACK AGAIN TO DAYS THAT HAVE GONE BY,

TO A LITTLE TOWN ON BENNETT’S BRANCH, WE LIVED THERE, YOU AND I.

THERE LIVED OLD E.H. DIXON HE WAS THE VILLAGE SQUIRE;

HIS SON GEORGE PLAYED THE ORGAN IN THE OLD CHURCH CHOIR.

BILL LAYBERGER LIVED ACROSS THE BRIDGE AND ON TOP OF THE HILL,

AND BEFORE MY MEMORY FAILS ME, I MUST MENTION HENRY SILL.

PHILIP O’REILLY WAS SOME MAN, AND NO JOB WOULD HE SHIRK.

AND IN THE FIRST HOUSE OF THE “ROW” LIVED TOUGH OLD ROBERT BURKE

THE MAN WHOM LIGHTING COULD NOT KILL, AND WHO NEVER FEARED TO WORK.

NOW UP ABOVE THE TOWN THERE LIVED A MAN NAMED JIMMY DUNN

A PRODUCT OF THE EMERALD ISLE IF EVER THERE WAS ONE.

BUT THE ONE I LIKED THE BEST OF ALL WAS GOOD OLD WILBUR MUNN;

AN EXPERT WAS HE ON THE VIOLIN AND DEAD SHOT WITH A GUN.

HE PLAYED FOR THE OLD SQUARE DANCES THAT WERE HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL

I MEMORY STILL I SEEM TO HERE THE “CALLER’S” GOOD-NIGHT CALL

OF “PROMENADE AWAY, AND STAY, AND DON’T COME BACK AT ALL.”

SO FROM THE DANCE FLOOR OF THIS LIFE WITH FALT’ RING STEP AND SLOW

WE ONE BY ONE, TIRED OUT AND DONE, MUST MAKE OUR BOW AND GO.

TOM DORNAN USED TO SHAVE US AND THEN WOULD CUT OUR HAIR,

BUT IT NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN THE SAME IF RUBE INGRAM WASN’T THERE.

NOW THERE WAS OLD BILL TURLEY, HE WAS NOBODY’S FOOL;

AND HEAVEN FORBID THAT I SHOULD MISS OUR GOOD FRIEND BILL MC COOL.

JIM DOYLE LIVED BY LAUREL RUN, A MIGHTY MAN, YOU BET,

AND UP ON TOP OF NOBBLER’S HILL LIVED JONATHAN GILNETT.

PECK HAMILTON WAS A FIGHTING MAN, HE BEAT THEM ONE AND ALL,

AND THE MAN WHO BEAT THE SOUNDING DRUM WAS LITTLE BILL DUVALL.

FRED TOZIER HAD THE LARGEST STORE ON THE CORNER OF THE SQUARE;

ON WINTER NIGHTS WHEN IT WAS COLD, WE KIDS WOULD GATHER THERE.

BILL SPROUL HE ALSO HAD A STORE, AND HE ALSO HAD THE GOUT

AND IF WE KIDS WOULD GATHER THERE, HE PROMPTLY KICKED US OUT.

NOW OLD JOHN HUFF HE ALWAYS HAD HIS HEAD UP IN THE AIR,

AND EVERY TIME I FISHING WENT, I’D FIND WES NOLAR THERE,

IRV MCCLOUSKEY SAWED THE LATH THAT WENT IN MANY A HOUSE,

AND RIGHT BESIDE HIM LIVED OUR GOOD FRIEND JOHNNY KRAUSE.

THERE ALSO WAS JIM BATEMAN, A MIGHTY HUNTER HE,

AND LIKEWISE PETER REASINGER, JUST AS OD AS ODD COULD BE.

WHAT’T THAT! YOU SAY I MISSED SOMEONE AND YOU CALL ME A COWARD?

ALL RIGHT, MY FRIEND, YOU ASKED FOR THIS – HIS NAME IS JOHN E. HOWARD,

WHO CAME TO AN UNTIMELY END IN THE COOL BRANCH WATERS CLEAR

IN THE SWIMMING POOL BY THE GREAT BIG ROCK ABOVE THE VILLAGE NEAR.

((COMPOSED BY ELMER B. HOWARD, WHO DIED IN NEW KENSINGTON IN 1947.
GIVEN TO AMBROSE “RIP” BURKE BY GEORGE DIXON, SON OF E.H.DIXON))

NOTE: Elk County was created by an act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on April 18, 1843, from portions of Jefferson, Clearfield and Mc Kean Counties. Caledonia was the first County Seat of Elk County. The site of the first court of Elk County, presided over by James L. Gillis and Isaac Horton at the Caledonia School house was held on December 19, 1843. Addition information on the history of the Jay and Benezette Township areas in Elk County and their founders is available in the soon to be published book – “Pioneers of Second Fork”. Information on book is available from jburke.mtzionhistoricalsociety.org.