Friday, May 04, 2012

Scrapbooking Memories of a Friend

A few years back, scrapbooking achieved a small revival of sorts.  I say revival, because it was really a pretty common hobby around the turn of the century (late 1800s to early 1900s).  Mark Twain himself was numbered among these many scrapbooking enthusiasts.  And I've always found it interesting what people kept in scrapbooks.  Not the items themselves (e.g., photographs, sketches, newspaper clippings, pressed flowers, bills of sale, programs), as these stay rather consistent, but what they represented to the people who remembered them.  I particularly enjoy reading old obituaries.  Modern obituaries don't often speak to the character of the deceased, but more often to their accomplishments.  Today I am featuring a small letter to the editor placed in a Carrollton, Georgia, newspaper not long after the death of Jacob C. Grow.  It is found in the scrapbook of my great-grandmother Mary Grow Goodner (Jacob's daughter).  Jacob died December 3, 1903, in Gainesville, Texas.

+ + + + +

Rev. J. C. Grow.

Mr. Editor:–Will you please give me just a short space in which to say something of my old friend and schoolmate, Rev. Jacob C. Grow, who departed this life a short while ago.  Jacob Grow was one of the best men I ever know or that anyone else ever knew.  He was a noble, upright, Christian gentleman, as near faultless as a human could be.  He was raised by as saintly a mother as ever lived in our county.  I never will forget that on one occasion I heard a gentleman telling Mrs. Grow of her sons' Christian conduct during the war, how nobly and religiously he overcame temptation, of how it made the old mother rejoice to hear of her son's loyalty to his God.  There are but few of us left in Carrollton to day who knew and remember Mr. Grow, but those few will testify to his unswerving Christian man-hood.  A good man is gone from our country.  A great and shining light for the Master's cause has been extinguished.  I wish we had many more men like him.