Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Woodworth of Fillmore County

Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Woodworth came to Nebraska from Wisconsin in 1872 and homesteaded on a farm 3 miles north and half mile west of Exeter.

When settling on their land they were anxious to have everything in as good order as possible, so they spent their ready money on improvements, but that year’s farming did not turn out to their expectations and soon they needed the money for food which had been expended on a house, barn, and well. It therefore became necessary to go to Lincoln for credit, when the Farmers Grocery Stores readily allowed them $5 worth of provisions until a wheat crop was forthcoming to pay for them.

There were 11 antelopes that ran on their claim for about six months after they located, and hunters would ride over the land in every direction. About that time Mrs. Woodworth was very sick, and failing to get hired help had the work to do herself as best she could. One day a huntsman, worth said, “Lady you look sick, can I get you some water?” The man worth said, “lady you look sick, can I get you some water?” The man was kind enough not only to get a pail of water, but went out and shot a prairie chicken which he gave her, expressing the hope that the lady would soon get better, thus the stranger passed again out of her life after showing this unexpected kindness.

Some neighbors named Crooker living on the Indian Creek had a siege of measles, there were six of the household stricken down at one time, so someone sought help of Mrs. Woodworth seeing there were two women in her house, herself and her mother, and probably one might be spared. Mrs. Woodworth very willingly went down to the Crooker home, hardly expecting to find conditions as bad as they were, and for three nights and three days she never rested in her efforts to help them through, but one girl died in spite of all the care put forth to save her.

Sometime after this Mrs. Woodworth was very sick with Typhoid fever, a trained nurse was an impossibility in those days, Miss Crooker, a school teacher, called one day and on seeing; the condition Mrs. Woodworth was in, went home and sent her mother and father up to look after her, they remaining’ and took care of the invalid until she was better.

The Horton school house was the place of worship for their neighborhood, and they were members of the “Church of God” who worshiped at that place. In those early days men would attend the services barefooted and dressed in overalls; while the women wore large sunbonnets. In later days “Father” Green of the U. B. church, a native of Lancashire, England, a homesteader of York county came often to preach and in fact was the only preacher there for a long time. True to his native country characteristics and training he was a very “deep” preacher, and of great fervor in his devotions. He was always careful to kneel when he prayed he was not ashamed to bow himself before his God and would spread a large red handkerchief on the floor; evidently to save his best trousers, though the newness had long since departed. But, “There were giants in those days” men mighty in faith and prayer, their treasurers were not to be measured by their earthly possessions or dress, they realized the value of the unseen world and had treasurers more abiding than earth can give. What days these would be if their successors with the increased value of the land had increased proportionately in their faith and religious devotions! The Kingdom of God and the brotherhood of man would be much nearer than it now is.

“Father” Green was a man who believed in the incoming of better things, by trusting in God, and was much disappointed as were others; when, after praying on the Sunday of the grasshopper plague, that the plague might be taken away, and the congregation dismissed to find that the grass hoppers were actually rising in clouds and moving onward; that some should wonder and ask, “What started them going?” He died some 20 years ago loved and respected by all, having lived to a good old age •somewhere over 80 years, and is buried in the Exeter Cemetery. Many there are in the neighborhood who with Mrs. Woodworth are glad to keep green and fragrant the memory of the man of God named Green, the man who was good and upright in all his ways and died as he had lived, praying and singing.

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