90th Birthday Celebration - 1931

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I was so excited to come across this poem about my gr gr grandfather, John W. Brickley.  It was written in honor of his 90th birthday celebration by his niece.  It also tells about his father as well.  Just had to share this with you all.

Poem Tells Life Story of J.W. Brickley, Former Olin Resident
The following poem is a life story of J.W. Brickley, formerly of Olin.  It was read at his ninetieth birthday celebration at Anamosa at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Purcell.  It was received last week, but too late for publication.  Mrs. Elizabeth Austin, a niece of Mr. Brickley wrote it.


My grandfather and grandmother lived long ago
In Guernsey county in Ohio.
Grandfather, he was a cooper by trade,
His wife was mother, cook and nursemaid.

Now the work that they had wasn't easy to do,
For their children in number were more than a few,
They came one by one as gifts from Heaven
"Till there in all were just eleven.”

James came first and was number one,
Johekim was second, also a son.
The next was a daughter, Katherine by name,
Then another girl came and they called her Jane.
Mary was the next one to arrive;
Another sister, her number was five.
Then came Amelia, a sweet little dear
And she was the very first girl to appear.

On the thirteenth of March in forty-one
Behold here comes another young son.

Now this one they thought was the best they had
So they named him John after his Dad.
Then when Thompson came next, a dear little boy
Every one there was thrilled with joy.
And when he grew up and wanted a home
He met my mother and made her his own.
Martin was the next, so darling and sweet.
Then Henry and last Andrew made the
Brickley family complete.

When the older boys to men had grown,
They started West to find a new home. 
They found the land they loved the best,
The fairest land in all the West.
So here these boys decided to stay
Twas the beautiful state of I-O-way.

Now grand-father got the fever too
To go out West where the land was new.
So one of the boys said he would go back
And get the folks ready and help them pack.
With their plans complete they all worked good
To get ready to leave as soon as they could.
In forty-six was the year they say
When they left here and went to stay.
As the mother and one little son were frail
Grand-father with them made the trip by rail.
The rest of the children were strong and well
So the way they went I now will tell.

With two covered wagons packed just so.
One buggy and five horses away they go.
Now it wasn't long 'till safe from all harm
All were nicely settled on an Iowa farm.

To-day one of these boys attracts our attention
And he is the one that I will mention.
Of this large family he is left here alone.
Every one of the rest have all gone home.

When a boy seventeen, he learned one day,
To serve his God was the safest way.
In the Methodist church he found a home
And then decided never-more to roam.
But made a pledge that he'd always be true
And live for God his whole life through.
A few years later when he was grown
He thought he wanted a home of his own.
A little girl Mary, had come into his life.
He loved her dearly so made her his wife.
"Twas July thirteen in sixty-three
And they were happy as they could be.

Now the first little on to call him "Dar"
Was William Thompson, a fine little lad.
It wasn't long till Fanny Lucinda came a flying
And to-day they call her Mrs. Lyon.

Edwin Thomas was the next we see
A nice little fellow whose number was three.
Jeremiah House was the next little boy
Who came to them and brought them joy.
The next was a little sister who came
And this one was called Gertrude by name.
Mary Luella was the next one I'd say
And she is Mrs. Purcell to-day.
Loretta Francis was the next little trailer
When she grew up she married Fred Taylor.
Lizzie Elnora was the next I believe
Into their home they did gladly receive.

Then Jennie Viola was next to appear
Like all the rest she was a dear.
She liked her sister's name so well
Decided she too would be a Purcell.
The tenth in number was John Theodore
And after he came there were no more.
Five of these children and their mother too,
Have all gone on where they live anew.
The other five, with their father, today
Help him to enjoy another birthday.

Now the pledge he took he surly kept good
For he tried to serve as best he could
Every church service was dear to his heart
He was always there to take his part
A prayer meeting night could not pass.
For sixty-five years he led the class.
Sunday school to him was very dear
He taught a class for forty-five year.

This is a record I’m sure you know
Not many have any where you may go.

Now he has reached four-score and ten
Another record of very few men.
Now Uncle John we're proud of you.
And want you to know we love you too.
Now we heartily do congratulate
As you your birthday celebrate
And our birthday wish for you one more
Is "God bless you with many more.
Bless you health and love and cheer
That each day may get brighter
Throughout the year."
     M. Elizabeth Austin.

Transcribed 10/18/2011 by Mary Lyon Hellman

J. W. Brickley born March 13, 1841 and died August 1, 1933
He lived 2 more years after this celebration until his death.