#14 --Street Names. Oxen named Buckand Berry.
Ol' Rankin Frame.
Many of the streets in Newcomerstown were named for early residents. For instance, Mulvane Street named for the Mulvanes; Neighbor Street named for the Neighbors; West Street named for Thomas West; Nugent Street named for Col. Nugent; Smith Street named for G. B. Smith (a son-in-law of Col. Nugent); and Pilling Street named for my grandfather, James Pilling. Did you know that at one time Main Street was called Basin Street, due to its proximity to the canal basin back of the Smith and Dickenson store?
Oxen namedBuck and Berry
In my early childhood days, I can recall many things that happened to me. Once when I was about five years old, I followed my father into the barnyard where he was putting out feed for the cattle. Father owned a span of oxen, Buck and Berry. Buck was a quiet old fellow, but Berry was a devil. He spied me standing against the side of the barn and started at me. Both oxen had exceptionally long horns tipped with brass knobs. A horn passed on either side of me, and his horns were so long that he could not butt me. I yelled and Father came running. With a few jabs of his pitchfork, he drove old Berry off. He picked me up, set me over the fence, and made it plain that I never was to come in that barnyard again. And you can bet that I never did!
That afternoon, Father was going to town with the big wagon, driving the oxen. I coaxed so hard that he finally agreed to take me along. I was sitting flat in the wagon bed and everything was going fine until we reached the corner of Canal and River Streets. Old Berry was loafing and Father raised his ox-goad to hit him. The old rascal saw it coming and lunged forward, throwing Father off balance and he sat down on me. I passed out and did not come to until father had carried me into J. Peck's shoe store and had me lying on the counter. In a few minutes, I recovered. I just had the breath knocked out of me. Father was worried about what Mother would say so he bribed me with a nickel bag of candy not to tell, and I never did until Father had passed on.
Ol' Rankin Frame
My father was an even-tempered man, not at all hard to get along with but when it became necessary, he could take his own part.
Father and I were walking to town one morning. A few days previously, a man by the name of Rankin Frame had got into an argument with Dad, at which time Frame said, "You are too big a man for me to whip, but I'll get someone to help me and we'll beat the hell out of you," to which my Father replied, "Anytime," and let it go at that.
We were almost to the railroad crossing on Maple Street when two men in an open-topped buggy came toward us. They stopped and jumped out of the buggy. We saw it was Frame and a friend of his, Porter Mitchell. Frame yelled, "Now we are going to beat you up!" Father said to me, "Get over to the side of the road and stay there," which I did very willingly.
As the two men advanced, Father got out his pocket knife and it was a big one. The blade was almost three inches long and sharp as a razor. He opened it and said, "Now come on, but someone is going to get carved up!" The two men stopped, and Father said, "Come on. If you don't, I'm coming for you."
Discretion was the better part of valor, for both men ran and jumped into their buggy, hit the old horse with the whip, and went galloping up the road. Father closed his penknife, put it in his pocket and said, "Come on, let's go to town," and that was that.
Next week's story: Central Ohio District Fair. Cobbler Matty Sultzer. Stories are reprinted from a series is stories by former NCTnews contributor, D.B. Moore. The historic tales are from Moore's book, My Hometown, Gekelemukpechunk. The book is a collection of true stories that Moore recalled from growing up in Newcomerstown.