Written by D. Paul Caylor, January 26th, 1978
Here is to our Ancestors who gave us our name,
Who sailed o’er the ocean, seeking Freedom and Fame.
Leaving loved ones at home, for a land then quite unknown,
Brave and undaunted, to sail o’er the foam.
They landed at a city, known for its “Brotherly Love”
Undaunted by failure, they sought help from Above,
Then into a wilderness to be cleared by muscle and brain,
Through venture and struggle, their parcel to claim.
Indian trails wound thg’ forest of Oak, Hemlock and Pine,
Thru’ steep mountain passes where rippling streams intertwine,
Then by strong muscle, the axe was set deep into the tree,
They hewed logs for a cabin, in a land where they felt free.
Thru’ prayer and hard labor, a great nation was born,
Always beginning their labor in early morn,
By the sweat of their brow, they earned their daily bread
And cared for their loved ones, when they took to their bed.
We honor and revere our great and courageous ancestors
Trying in our humble way to compile their past records,
Finding where we belong, and from whence we came
By the help of many, the true records of same.
In these days of regression, from the great “BIBLE” taught deeds
Can we be as brave and loving, in our struggle foe our needs?
A challenge to us all, to be Godly, true, honest and brave.
That we thru’ our efforts, honor the heritage our Ancestors gave.
Note: D. Paul Caylor wife Eva J. Caylor was a descendant of Thew Johnson’s family who were among the very first pioneer settlers on the Bennett’s Branch. Ralph settling in what is now Grant in 1813, and his father, Thew, settling in Summerson the following year. Eva was an amateur historian who did extensive research in an effort to preserve the Johnson’s family pioneer heritage. It would appear apparently obvious that D. Paul Caylor wrote the poem for his wife Eva in honor and dedication of her pioneer ancestors.
“Pioneers of Second Fork” by James Burke presents many fascinating stories on the history of the early pioneers who came to Bennett’s Valley to settle, including the Johnsons.