By Jolene Hawkins
The term “hiraeth” is a Welsh word which means a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was or the nostalgia, yearning or grief for the lost places of your past.
When we remember the past, what do we really think of? Was it cookies with grandparents on a old porch, or the feeling we had as we ate them, sharing stories and laughing? When you go back home, is the feeling the same as it was 25 years ago? Has it changed? Does it fill the yearning you had?
As I research the old newspapers and other archives, I wonder what to write, how to create articles for our readers and what it is they want to remember. I did not grow up in this area so it is all exciting to me. I want to create an article that will light up readers’ eyes and give them a warm feeling. I hope that I am doing so.
With Father’s Day fast approaching, let’s take a look at just how and when it started.
A Father’s Day celebration was held at the YMCA on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Wash., by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father, civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children. Sonora was also a member of Old Centenary Presbyterian Church — now Knox Presbyterian Church — where she first proposed the idea.
After hearing a sermon about Anna Jarvis’ creation of Mother Day in 1909 at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday to honor them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday in June. Several local clergymen accepted the idea and on June 19, 1910, the first Father’s Day sermon honoring fathers was presented throughout the city.
Here in Springville, by the 1930s there are ads in the newspaper for gifts and ideas to give dads. From cards to ties and taking him out to dinner, it seems like the ads told us we could do it all.
But who was the first father in Concord? I choose to go with Christopher Stone.
Stone, the first settler of the town of Concord, bought 787 acres of land for $1,575 in 1807. Near a replica log cabin built by high school students in 2007 using the old tools and plans of the original log cabin, a stone marker erected on North Buffalo Street states: “Whence Stone came or wither he went is an unsolved mystery.”
Well, that is not exactly true anymore. Through the wonders of the internet and old records that now can be searched more easy without travel, we know Stone was born on Sept. 14, 1774, to Abigail Stone in Rhode Island. Christopher Stone married a young lady named Rebecca (we do not know her maiden name — yet) and they had a son named Joel Stone on Aug. 27, 1796 in Vermont. They traveled about, had more children, and, in 1809, their son Lucius was the first white child born in the town of Concord. By 1815, the settlers in Concord numbered 85.
We also know Christopher Stone and family in 1811 moved to the North Collins area. Records show that he served in the War of 1812 as a captain in the Regiment of Militia commanded by Col. Malory. Stone collected his land grant of 120 acres in 1837. Using his land grant he moved to near Sandusky, Ohio, when he was 54 and lived there the rest of his life.
I know he was still alive in 1858 stating he was 85 years old, as I found some legal documents from then. Not sure when he died or where he is buried, as I cannot find anything.
But I would say that he should be remembered with a warm feeling for helping to establish the township of Concord and village of Springville on this Father’s Day.
To all the other fathers, stepfathers and father figures that are in our lives, I wish you the warmest Father’s Day. May you all make memories that will light up your eyes and give you the warm feeling when you look back upon them in the future.
For more information on any founding fathers in our town, stop by and visit us at the Lucy Bensley Center on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., call us at (716) 592-0094 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucius Edwin Stone… 1st white child born in Concord, father, Christopher Stone