Reminder this is a story of what I think it would be like in a 1870’s love story of a couple who moved from Toone to Mercer Tn
Franklin was settling in to his job as Station master of Toone, he was meeting more and more citizens of Madison County. For example he met a gentleman that had a small cabin with 5 Acres and a small barn. Franklin was able to purchase the property which came with a horse and chickens. He contacted his mother she sent him furniture and household goods. There were advantages to working for the Railroad within a week his mother’s “gifts” arrived. In the meantime Franklin visited Mr. Robert Cobb buggy shop and purchased a wagon . While there he arranged for Pace Cobb to come unload his furniture and deliver it to his cabin.
Soon the word got out the new “single” Station master had a cabin. Before he knew what happened he had curtains hanging in his windows, quilts ready to go on his beds along with rugs and all sort of odds and ends. When the furniture arrived Pace took it to the cabin several men and Mrs Cobb went out to arrange it all since Franklin could not get off from work.
When the day came to an end he went by the boarding house where his landlady (Mrs Cobb) and her husband had loaded his belongings in their wagon. They all headed toward the cabin a 10 min ride. As they turned up the driveway Franklin was stunned before him was what looked like the whole town. There was Mr and Mrs TB Mercer,TE Mercer little Mary Mercer and about a dozen other children, ladies and gentleman from the churches just everybody. He was in shock these kind people had not only set up his cabin, cooked a feast to be enjoyed by all but were showing him he was now a part of the community.
When the crowd finally left Franklin wandered around his house .Everything was in it’s place even his clothes were hanging in his wardrobe that once belong to his grandfather. Franklin sat on his bed and wept he was so grateful. The next morning was Sunday . He got up to get ready for Church. Oh it was so nice, one the men had moved the water pump in the kitchen, it made it easy to clean up. He had so many leftover biscuits and meat all he had to do was go outside gather some eggs and cook. Before he went outside he set a fire in the cook stove. By the time he got back in the stove was ready so he started his coffee and eggs. After cleaning up the kitchen he cleaned up himself and got ready for Church.
As he was ready to leave he stood in the door and looked around this was his and he felt so blessed. Closing his door he mounted his horse, that he had fed and saddled when he was outside earlier, and headed to town. Franklin stopped by the train station before heading to join the Cobb family for the service. He had been so lucky to find an assistant Station master (Jeffery Johnson )who had a fine work ethic. Sunday was a light day only one early train and one late train so Jeffery was also able to attend Church with his family.
The service at the Methodist Church was long but it was Church. After saying hello to the Reverend and several of the members he proceeded to his horse. Mr Cobb stopped him issuing him an invitation to lunch with his family. Since the Cobb’s farm was between the town and his farm he accepted the invitation. Surprise, surprise Mrs Cobb single niece (Sally) was at lunch. She was a very pleasant young lady but she was not the beauty on the stallion he was so wanting to meet. As he was leaving the Cobb’s he invited Miss Sally to a community event the following weekend. They worked out the details and he headed back toward his home.
When he got home he changed clothes then took the horse ,yes the horse had a name Molly, to the barn to unsaddle and out to the pasture.Franklin went back in the house sat down at his desk to write his dear Mother. He could not wait to tell her about all that had occurred and about all the kind people of the community. He also told her about the ladies attempting to set him up the single ladies. Then as a good son he told his mother about his dream lady that he was yet to meet. He knew his mother would understand.
As he was sealing the letter getting it ready to post tomorrow he heard a wagon coming down toward his house.
Getting up he opened his door and walked out on his porch surprised to see
TB Mercer approaching with his wagon loaded down with two rocking chairs.
He stopped in front of Franklin “come on son help me unload this wagon” he said
Of course Franklin followed TB ‘s instructions and put the chairs on the porch. TB went on to explain that the chairs were a housewarming gift from his family. That he had had the chairs made from timber off his land. Franklin thanked him and told him how overwhelmed he was with the kindness he had received.
“Son you are one of us now ,we help our own.” TB said
For the next 2 hours they sat in the rockers rocking and talking. After TB left Franklin went in before heading out again to do his “chores” and then to bed.
The next week was busy at the station.Soon it was time for the weekend and his date.
He picked up Miss Sally and they headed to the Community Hall. They had a delightful time but she was not his dream lady. The next day was Sunday yet another visit to another Church and another Sunday lunch ,but at least he was warned ,more single ladies to meet.
He went home and for the next month this became a pattern so much so Jeffery would tease him every Monday. They both would laugh but never with disrespect to the ladies.
Before he knew it November had arrived and Franklin had planned a visit back home for Thanksgiving with his family. Going down to the store to visit the Mercers. TB told Franklin they would be home for the holidays so he and his family would take care of his animals. TB laughed as he informed Franklin he was sorry Franklin was not going to around to meet his single daughter, Maggie. He slapped his knee and laughed. See TB had been enjoying Franklin’s misery with the match making ladies of the town.
When Franklin got home he saw that his cleaning lady, Lula, had all his laundry done and ready to be packed. He had arranged for the TB to deliver a Thanksgiving basket complete with a big Turkey to Lula and her family since she was a widow with 5 children. She was so good to him he would loved to have seen her face when she got the basket. He made an agreement with TB not to let her know who sent the gift.