of Pioneer Settlers of Allis
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook January 4, 2013
CAPTION #1: ELEANOR BADGERO, a student at Roberts School 1920.
CAPTION #2: HAROLD WARNER, a student at Roberts School.
CAPTION #3: CARL AND ERVIN WRIGHT, students at the Roberts School.
Unpublished by Oscar Adelbert Roberts and edited by daughter Ruth (Roberts) Schmidt
This tale must of necessity be based solely on memory, the memory of a very small boy and in this case, it doesn't go back far enough. As the story goes, this lad, at the age of 2, started west when he was supposed to be taking a nap. But instead he was following the narrow footpath or trail that led to Aunt Hanna, Jane and Uncle Jim's, a bit less than half a mile. Well, he went past his aunt and uncle's place, crossed the Stoney Creek, and had just remembered the Metheony place when he was overtaken. Well, I don't remember a thing about it but have heard the story told again, and again. It was my first western trip.
Most of the main roads were made or were being made long before I came on the scene; however the trails, being the shortest distance between neighbors, were used by all pedestrians long after the main roads had been improved. From the post office one trial led past our home and Bear Lake to the "turn" and on east to the Roberts School, which for many years was used for all gatherings, and many church services, Christmas plays and most everything. This site is still a school and was used as a voting place 60 years ago.
Another trail led off south and west to Elm Swale School in Waverly Township, and then on to the Doolittle, Purdy, and Hutchinson settlements. Another went northwest from Roberts to Merrills, where it joined the county line, but a trail led south and east to the John Smiths and Aikens.
In our immediate neighborhood, I am inclined to believe that we must have had a penny's worth of every type. A minority, of which our family was a part, were strictly church-going, God-fearing Bible students who read a chapter and had family prayers every day, with which nothing was allowed to interfere. Sunday was the Sabbath Day and the Good Book says, "In it thou shalt not do any work" and that's the way it was. Saturday we got enough feed down for the stock and got plenty of wood and kindling for both Sunday and Monday morning. Sunday we went to church in the forenoon and evening. If no minister was present, any one of five or six acted as "class leader." We had some who went to church at Easter time and Christmas, and some who never went at any time. But don't forget one thing, they were all good neighbors anytime anyone needed a little help.
Cheboygan was north of us, an yet it was always "down" to us - down river. Twenty-five miles over poor roads with a work team and a lumber wagon made quite a trip, and whether we went east of Black Lake or west, there was that 10 miles of heavy sand and 15 miles of rough harder road. Anyone "going down" would get the mail for everyone and also as many other small things as possible.
Later we had a stagecoach, which carried passengers and packages for a fee as well as the mail. I one time drove the stagecoach for two weeks for Royal Taylor who had the contract. We went to the west side of the lake, stopping at Taylor's "Forest Home Hotel" at the foot of the lake on our way down, and were back the next day. Three trips a week with one balky horse and the other but little better. I couldn't blame the team too much. We had a three-seat surrey, or a heavy two-horse buggy.
-From The Onaway Outlook, January 4, 2013, p 4. Retyped by J. Anderson.