AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ADAM BAIRD JUNIOR (born 1846)
Many times you asked that I jot down some of the experiences of my boyhood in Scotland and my early manhood in America, experiences some of which 1 have related to you from time to time since you were children.
Having reached the good age of four score years and having now more leisure in which to consider your request, I have decided that on days when, due to bad weather or general disinclination, my garden or bowling at the lake with my friends does not claim my time, I will apply myself to this task.
I was born in the town of Dunblane on the 29th day of April 1846. Dunblane is a small town, romantically situated on the banks of the River Allan in the south end of the county of Perth, Scotland. It is a very old town and combines the old and the new in a way to interest every student of humanity. The old part is finely represented by a Gothic Cathedral built in the twelfth century and is the special care and pride of the people. It faces towards the South with a large open space in front called the Cross, which is available for public ceremonies circuses, etc. The other three sides are surrounded by a graveyard where “the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep” and farther out by dwelling houses, some of whose windows look directly into the graveyard. The Cathedral is in a good state of preservation and services are held regularly in the part devoted to that purpose.
The modern part of Dunblane consists of up-to-date Villas, stores, philanthropic institutions, sanatoriums and other evidences of progress but 1 am unfamiliar with this newer part as these changes came about long after I had departed for a new land.
The town of Dunblane is in the form of a letter “H,” and the River Allan runs between the two sides, connected by a bridge which forms part of the main highway running North and South.
My father, who was also called Adam, after learning the trade of miller, leased an oatmeal grist mill a short distance above the aforementioned bridge and started his career as a businessman. The mill had a small dwelling connected with it and here father brought a bride soon after he took possession. His wife died after bearing three girls, Margaret, Susan and Janet. Some time after her death, my father married Jean Dawson, the only daughter of a neighbouring farmer. She in due time became my mother, after the birth of two others, William and John, who preceded me. I was still a baby when the family decided to move to my grandfather’s farm. This farm, which is called Drumdruil is one and one-half miles from Dunblane and one mile from Bridge of Allan, a small town situated in the opposite direction from Dunblane. Drumdruil has a little good land but most of it is too shallow, and requires constant labour in removing rocks which keep coming to the surface. Our family was increased by six boys and two girls on this place, all together fourteen children. We always had two hired men and one woman helper and although the house was small and the beds -were nearly all recesses built in the walls, we had about as happy lives as fall to the lot of ordinary mortals.
Scotland had in 1843 a big church controversy known in history as the disruption of the Established Church of Scotland, and one of the results of this was a divided school system. When the time came for me to attend school. I was sent to the Free Church school, a name which seems to carry a slight reflection on the parish schools of Scotland which up to this time had a reputation for turning out good scholars. My early school days were coincident with the Crimean war which was a struggle between Russia and her allies and Great Britain, France and Turkey and which terminated shortly after the fall of Sebastopol. This was a memorable date for me for on that date our school had a half-holiday.
The children at our school were enthusiastic patriots and relieved their feelings by repeating some of the rhymes which were written at that time. One of these was as follows:
“I remember, I remember the tenth of November,
Sebastopol, powder and shot,
When General Liprandi charged John, Pat and Sandy,
And a jolly good licking he got.”
When I reached the age of twelve, my grandfather took sick and I had to stay at home from school to run errands for the household, such as going to the village for medicine. Although I went to school the following winter, I had lost interest. My father wanted me to work on the farm but instead I went to the village and became an apprentice to the wheelwright. The owner of this shop did quite a variety of work and included the undertaking business as one of his lines. The undertaking business is not usually considered a cheerful calling but it seemed to me my boss was always unusually cheerful when he had a coffin to make, After I had acquired a little experience, he always called on me to make the lid.
I recall that during this time of my career, a small boy fell into the River Allan a short distance above Dunblane and his body was recovered shortly after below the Bridge of Allan. My employer was called upon to furnish the coffin and the job of making it fell to me. I was also called upon to deliver it and this was a memorable occasion as I received my first tip, a shilling given me by the boy’s father. One other time I had to act as undertaker, during the following winter. An alarm was sounded in the village for a lost girl. This girl was the daughter of a saw-mill man and had gone on a winter’s evening to a neighbouring farm for the family’s milk supply. She was found in the forenoon of the next day lying in the snow surrounded by a flock of sheep.
After serving four years apprenticeship as wheelwright, I decided to make a change. The work was hard for a boy of my age, consisting in large measure of making carts and wheels. I had to work ten hours a day, six days a week and then go to church every Sunday so I concluded to go to Glasgow. I had a friend who was a house carpenter and who had taken up pattern making and he advised me to try that occupation. I did this for a while but shortly made up my mind to come to America. During this brief time, I worked as pattern maker for one firm which was engaged in shipbuilding and part of the time I helped to build small steamers which were used as blockade runners, carrying supplies to the Confederate States of America.
On the steamer, coming across the Atlantic, I met with a young man who was an Australian gold miner. He was on his way to Montana so I joined him and together we came to Omaha. At Omaha, we were told of the great demand for labour on the Union Pacific Railroad which was then at North Platte, two hundred and ninety miles from Omaha. I decided that this was a good time for me to go to work and I got a job as a section hand. However, this proved to be unsatisfactory as the pay was small. In the meantime I had made friends with another young man who had some experience as a carpenter and we made up our minds to try for a government post. We went to Julesberg, Nlebraska, and got work as oxen drivers with a wagon train which was hauling freight between Julesberg and Fort Fetterman. In this wagon train, there were about sixty wagons. Each driver had six yoke of oxen which pulled two wagons loaded with freight. This freight was used in establishing a new government post at Fetterman. Each morning the train started before sun up and drove about twelve miles which was a day’s journey with oxen. In the evening about sunset, two wagon bosses went ahead to select a camping site where there was water to be had. When they reached a suitable point, the wagon boss would detour from the road. The first wagon would drive to the right and form a half circle and the second would drive to the left, forming the other side of the circle and meeting the first wagon at the head of the circle. The following wagons would alternate, one driving to the right and the next to the left until the circle would be completed and would act as a temporary corral in which the oxen were confined. After unharnessing the oxen, they would be turned loose with herders to watch over them during the night. In the morning they were herded into the corral and the wagon bosses who would be on horseback would ride around the outside of the corral calling loudly, “Cattle in the corral, cattle in the corral.” This was the signal for the drivers to get up and hitch their oxen. This would mean that each driver would have to enter the corral where there were over three hundred oxen and pick out first his wheelers, the oxen which came next to the wagon, put the yokes on them and attach them to the wagon and so on until his train of six yoke oxen was complete. Each man had to know his own oxen.
One day while driving in this ox train, I happened to glance up when I was very much startled to see coming over a ridge of a hill a large number of Indians on horseback. I was about to grasp my rifle but on looking back at the other drivers, I perceived that they were unconcerned and upon further scrutiny of the horsemen, I realized they were attired in U.S. uniforms. I was later informed that these were Pawnee scouts, in the employ of the U.S. government to guard the railroad builders from warring tribes. An incident of this trip which may seem unimportant to the reader but which had great significance for me occurred at this time.
At the close of a day’s journey while we were unhitching our oxen, I called out some simple remark to my nearest neighbour who was a big good-natured Austrian. He had to ask me to repeat and a second time did not get my question. This made me a bit impatient and I asked him if he did not understand the language. He answered very quietly that he understood all the other drivers but not me. The Scotch are said to be a slow-witted people but it did not take me long to find the lesson and rebuke contained in his answer. I had evidently been giving him a little Scotch. In my day Scotch parents sent their children to school to learn English and then made fun of them if they spoke good English instead of the mixture of Scotch and English spoken at home. This had a bad effect on children who may not have had any too much confidence in themselves and were more in need of encouragement than ridicule. The United States is sometimes referred to as the melting pot of Europe and an immigrant to these shores who wishes to become naturalized with as little trouble as possible should learn to read and speak the English language just as soon as he can.
When we finally arrived at Fetterman where my friend and I had planned to find work, we found that we were not needed so I returned to Julesburg where I obtained work with the railroad company. I worked with them until the road was built to Ogden, a distance of eight hundred miles or more. The following winter the road had reached Cheyenne and the crowd I was with was sent to build a bridge across Dale Creek. This was near the summit of the Black Hills, a spur of the Rocky Mountains, and was the highest point on the overland road, about nine thousand feet. The bridge over Dale Creek, a little west of Cheyenne, was finished early in the spring of 1867, and then came the crossing of the Laramie plains, in Wyoming. In the Fall of the Year the road was well on the way to Ogden. In the course of this summer, we had to erect a water tank at Medicine Bow Creek in Wyoming. It was built too close to the creek which gradually undermined it and one day while the engineer of a train was getting water, the whole thing toppled back into the creek. It came near to ending the career of one of the workmen.
I recall that at this time while we were waiting for some timber to arrive, one of my companions and I concluded to go hunting for antelope. We separated and each went his own way. After a time, meeting with no success, and tired with much walking, I returned to camp, having to swim across a creek first as our camp was on the opposite side from our hunting ground. I was engaged in dressing when Martin my companion, also got back. The boys threw over a rope with which we used to pull over our things. Martin tied his clothes on the rope and jumped in and we all saw at once that he could not swim. The other men who were watching called on me to jump in and bring him out, but before I could reach him he had gone down for the third time. It was a hard struggle to get him out and carry him to the bank. Some teamsters who were camped there had a barrel all ready. On this they rolled Martin and soon had the water out of him. He was carried to his tent and covered with blankets and in two hours he revived.
It was generally believed that the building of the Overland Railroad would meet with strong opposition from the Indians but this expectation was not realized. The government had arranged with the Pawnee tribe of Indians to act as scouts and protect the graders and track builders. They had not been organized very long when they had a battle with the Sioux, who were at that time the most powerful of the Indian tribes. The result is known in history as the massacre of Plum Creek. The result of the fight was as a big list of killed and wounded Sioux warriors, and practically ended the opposition to the building of the road. Shortly after, I went to work in the bridge yard at Julesberg. The workers in the yard were astonished to see a train come into the station one day, consisting of three flat cars on which was the complete Pawnee outfit which was moving camp. Nearly every one of these Indians had a sapling which was ornamented at the top by an Indian scalp. One carpenter who had worked only a day or two picked up his tools, remarking that that was all he cared to see of that kind of business, and left for Omaha.
There was considerable violence connected with the building of the road but I will only mention one case which was typical of the whole. The men who built the grade for the track were the pioneers in the work and were followed shortly after by the bricklayers. Small towns sprung up along the road as soon as there was any business to be done and the citizens of these places and the graders and track builders came into collision on a good many occasions. There was small town called Bear River north of Salt Lake and the town provided itself with a jail in which to place graders who did not mind their manners. They very soon had occasion to use the jail and had a few graders confined but the comrades of the latter got up a little party and took their friends out and burned the jail. The citizens of the town built a new jail which was soon occupied by more graders and then organized their forces in expectation of further trouble. They did not have long to wait as the graders made preparations for attacking at once. They started out one morning towards town along the grade, keeping on the side farthest from town. When they got opposite the town, they rested for consultation, and concluded that as no enemies were to be seen that the fight was won. The grade was about five feet high and served as protection to the advancing forces but when they started to cross the grade, the citizens fired a volley which killed five of their number. This ended the fight and we arrived on the scene in time for the funerals which took place very soon after. There was a government fort close to Bear River and Uncle Sam’s soldiers took charge of matters for a few weeks.
The railroad, after crossing the Rocky Mountains, descends into Salt Lake Valley through Echo and Weber Canyons and at the junction of these two canyons is Emigration Canyon. This latter canyon is so called because this is the route taken by the Mormons when they came to the site of Salt Lake City. During the summer I had become acquainted with toothache and had visited three government posts looking for relief but had not been successful. As the camp at which I was now staying was as near Salt Lake as I could hope to be for a while, I decided to take a stage ride to Salt Lake City and see what could be done. At this time the Tabernacle in Salt Lake was almost finished and the foundation of the Temple complete. A mormon friend offered me an introduction to President Brigham Young of the Mormon church but I did not accept the offer. After attending to my errand and making a few purchases, I returned to my work. There is in Weber canyon near this point, a large pine tree called the Thousand Mile Tree because it is almost one thousand miles distant from Omaha. On my return journey, I sat under this tree waiting for the cars that were to take me back to my camp.
It was now the month of March 1869 and our gang had reached the town of Ogden which was supposed to be the point at which the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads would meet. As the building of the road progressed, the place of meeting was changed as each end was ambitious to get as far as they could owing to the liberal subsidy they received from the government. The ends of the two roads were finally joined at Promotory in Utah in the month of May 1869, although by arrangements made later on, the junction is now at Ogden.
At this time there was some talk of silver mines having been discovered at White Pine, Nevada, and a small party of our gang, including myself, concluded to try our luck there. This was a bad move for me for besides sending some money home to my folks, I had accumulated a few hundred dollars which I invested at this time, and this investment proved a total loss. Our party took the stage from Ogden to Salt Lake City, which was the outfitting point for the mines. Here we bought a good span of mules and a wagon, a sheet-iron stove and dishes, etc. Our route lay across Salt Lake Valley along the shores of the lake for some distance and after that across a succession of small valleys until we got to Eastern Nevada. We met some people returning from the mines at Hamilton, our destination, who told us to take all the eggs we could haul as we could get good prices for them at the mines. This information was correct but we did not profit by it very much as we had to cross a valley called Steptoe which was so nearly level that water did not run off of it much and it was practically a bog. We were obliged to unhitch our mules and pull the empty wagon over by hand.
After selling part of our eggs, we carried the rest of them over. When we reached the town of Hamilton we got $1.50 per dozen for what we had left. When we arrived at the mines, we found no chance for employment so my partner took the mules and wagon and hauled freight between Hamilton and Elko, a station on the Central Pacific railroad. The freight rate between these two stations was twenty-five cents a pound and he got all the freight he could haul.
I prospected for silver in company with another young man. We did not find anything which looked as though it would turn out well so we made up our minds to return to the railroad which we reached at Elko, Nevada. In the meantime the two ends of the road had met and the last spike had been driven during the month of May. There was considerable carpenter work to be done, building round houses, car shops, etc., at the different stations along this part of the road and we found no difficulty in getting work which lasted until the Fall of the year.
At this time, the Railroad Company transferred us to Oakland where there was lots of work. The Railroad Company was engaged in building the Southern Pacific at this time and in West Oakland at a place which was called the Point, there was a large yard where they employed a great many carpenters. I had a room in a house at the Point where lived also two of my friends, one of whom became my particular friend until his death in 1924. This friend was David E. Bortree who was clerk of the Oakland Police Court and Deputy City Treasurer for a number of years.
Some idea of the changes that have taken place in Oakland since 1869 may be gained by a little incident which took place at this time. My friend, D. E. Bortree and myself attended services one day in a church in our neighbourhood. The preacher announced that at two o’clock that day, there would be an immersion at the East end of the Twelfth street bridge so we decided to attend. When we reached the place there were a good many boys in swimming who had to be reckoned with. Finally a carriage drove up in which were the aspirants for immersion. There were two young women and a boy fourteen years of age. The preacher led one of the girls into the water to a depth of about five feet and leaned her backwards until she was entirely submerged. When she straightened up, her back hair came off. She made a grab for it taking the preacher with her and for a minute the fate of the two seemed uncertain. In relating this incident to a group of friends many years afterwards, one of the group who is now an honoured judge of the Superior Court of Alameda County, informed me he was the boy who figured in this incident.
My work in Oakland was quite congenial until I was sent with some others to replank the wharf at the foot of Broadway which work I did not like. I had heard of the good wages which prevailed at Virginia City and Gold Hill, Nevada, and concluded to try my luck there. The railroad had not reached Virginia City at that time, 1872, so I had to take a stage at Steamboat Springs, Nevada. I got work at the Sutro Tunnel which was in process of building between Carson Valley and the Comstock Mines. This work did not last long but soon after I got work at the Caledonia Mine, which proved to be a stepping stone to a more satisfactory way of living than I had found up to this time.
The mining business has accidents which are to some extent peculiar to itself. I will briefly tell of one of these accidents in which I played a part.
The hoisting works of a mine consists of a large building with a steam engine near the back end and a framework called a gallows frame with a large pulley at the top is in the front. Directly under this pulley is the hole in the ground called a shaft which has generally two or three compartments and which has to be sunk to whatever depth is necessary. A wire cable passes from the engine over the pulley on the gallows frame and down the shaft to the mine. If the engineer for any reason should pull on the cable beyond the specified time the cage which is on the end of the cable would be pulled up into the pulley, causing an accident.
One morning on arriving at the mine, I found that this had happened just a few minutes before I arrived. The car-man had covered the shaft with two-inch plank to keep any from falling in and the foreman called for some one to take a ladder and a monkey wrench and loosen up the guides to allow the cage to drop into its place. I did not see anyone else make a move to carry out this order so I volunteered my services. The engineer who was responsible for the trouble was there and when I mounted the ladder he took hold of it to steady it. The plank on which the ladder rested proved to be defective and as I was climbing up, it broke into two pieces and went down the shaft. The engineer pushed the ladder hard against the remaining planks until I got off which was all that saved me from an untimely end. This kind of accident was not uncommon in the mines and when the cage had a load of men in it, it sometimes caused a few of them to be maimed as a result. There is a mechanism connected with the hoisting engine which moves a handle around a dial to show the position of the cage in the shaft but accidents happen nevertheless.
All of my experiences were not confined to the mining business as you will note when you read the following tale concerning Scotch Pete. During the first months of the time I worked at the Caledonia, I boarded at a house nearby. One of the boarders was a young Scotchman and also worked at the mine as blacksmith. He was known as Scotch Pete and although a good mechanic, he was not a good employee on account of a weakness for liquor. After I had been at the boarding house for a short time, some of the boarders suggested that I try to straighten Pete up. To this I agreed and invited Pete to my room for a heart to heart talk. I told him that it would be advisable to join a temperance society as a means of reform. He said at once that if I would join with him that he would do so. I agreed to this and made arrangements with a friend to have our names proposed as members of the Sons and Daughters of Temperance of Virginia City. This society held their meetings in a hall on B street and we were notified to appear there for initiation on a certain evening. The evening soon arrived and Pete and I started up the hill across the Divide between Gold Hill and Virginia City.
The Divide was famous as the place where the man from Gold Hill was robbed on the way from Virginia City after an evening spent at the gaining table. It was here that Mark Twain was held up by some of his joking friends, an experience which it is reported was not agreeable to Mark.
We had not gone far on our journey when we came to a saloon, of which there were quite a number on our way to the Hall. Pete now suggested that we should go in here and have a last drink and although I did not agree with him, I was powerless to prevent it. I also thought there was a certain amount of reason in taking one last drink and I did not want to abandon my enterprise without very good reason. In spite of all I could do, however, this “last drink” was repeated at four or five saloons but Pete was still steady on his legs when we reached the Hall. We were shown into an anteroom and were interviewed here by the officers charged with the examination of candidates. We were now admitted to the Hall and escorted to a place in front of the president’s desk. We had a pleasant welcome from the president and a few words of admonition as to our duties as members of the society. This was followed by an intermission in which to give us an introduction to the members. We each became the centre of a group of members. In a few minutes Pete attracted some attention from all of us on account of his actions. He was a great admirer of Robert Burns and much given to quoting his poetry, and evidently considered this a good time to quote some. This would have been all right if the quoting had not been accompanied by rather wild gesticulation. He was telling his hearers of his purpose to go “straight” while admitting that it was not easy and was quoting the Poet to the effect that, “He who does the best he can, will whiles do mair.”
This was quite appropriate but I got Pete out of the Hall and on our way home to Gold Hill as soon as I could. I would like to be able to say that Pete made good as a sober citizen but the facts are against me. He kept the pledge for a few weeks and then fell from grace. He confessed his failure and begged for one more chance but on his second appearance in the anteroom, he was rejected by the officers who interviewed him.
In the year 1875 Virginia City had a great fire which caused immense damage but the details of this I do not recall. One or two years previous to this date there was a disastrous explosion in a store on C street, occupied by Kennedy & Mallon. I witnessed the result of this explosion and will give a short account of it.
There was a very well known man in Virginia City by the name of Van B. who had the agency for a powder company. He lost this agency and it is supposed that he tried to retaliate by experimenting with various materials in an effort to make something as good or better than the article he had been selling.
In the carrying out of this purpose, he had one can of nitroglycerine and some gun cotton in his rooms which were over the store. Besides this, he had a pet monkey which probably had more freedom than good. It has always been supposed that the monkey was playing with the nitroglycerine with the result that there was a great explosion. The building had three stories on C street and two on B street. The building was demolished and the ruins which fell into the basement took fire and burned all of the next day. The body of Van B. was found stark naked on the adjoining street. Two men, Billy Low and a man by the name of Lennon had rooms above the store. Billy Low was the superintendent of the Caledonia mine where I was employed and also of the Silver Hills Mine. The morning after the explosion occurred, I was there with many others from the two mines and we wanted to recover the body of our friend where it was buried beneath eight or ten feet of debris. However, the firemen would not permit this as they were still playing water on the fire which was still smouldering. The bodies were recovered the following day.
After I had been at the Caledonia for about a year, I spent a pleasant holiday at Lake Tahoe although I had no companion on this trip with which to share the pleasure. Returning to my work, after due consideration of the matter, I decided that I would be much happier if I had the companionship of a wife. I did not meet many girls and when I did, I was too shy to take advantage of the opportunity to become better acquainted. I concluded to write to my mother and enquire about one of my schoolmates, Catherine Malcolm, for whom I had always had a fondness in a boyish fashion. She lived in the little town of Helensburgh which is situated on the River Clyde. Here she taught school and made her home with her mother. She had always seemed to return my boyish interest and fondness for her and when mother suggested that we should correspond, she seemed very happy to do so. Through this correspondence, our old time affection for each other deepened into something greater and when I asked her to come out to make a home for me, she graciously consented, very much to my, joy and satisfaction. Her mother died very soon after we became engaged, so we concluded that there was no reason for delay. I sent the money for her passage and she made her preparations and left Glasgow for the United States. The passage over was very rough and it looked as if it might prove disastrous. The ship encountered a big field of ice through which it took three days to pass and two blades of her propeller were broken off. The ship put into Newfoundland and lay there for three weeks for repairs. Everyone aboard was hospitably entertained by the people at St. Johns. In due time, they arrived in New York.
I had by this time built a little home of two rooms and bought some furniture and when my bride arrived, I met her at Reno and took her to a friend’s home in Gold Hill. We were married the next day, which was the 28th day of April 1874. The first night my wife spent in Nevada, she had the unpleasant and unusual experience of being awakened by the howling of a medicine man in an Indian camp just below us at the foot of the hill where there was a small Indian encampment. There had been a death of one of the Piute tribe and the medicine man spent most of the night howling as was their custom on such occasions.
We lived in Nevada until the year 1881, during which time I worked at the Caledonia, the Savage and the Belcher mines with an intermission of one summer at Lake Tahoe. During this time, our first four children were born, three girls and a boy. Here, also, we made friendships which have lasted through all of our years. My wife also became much better acquainted with the Indians and their customs. She had for a long time a large Indian squaw, Mary, who did our family washing. At lunch time there would be three or four Indian bucks who would hang around and eat most of Mary’s lunch. Mary stopped coming to work quite suddenly and the only explanation we ever had was that Mary had been stoned to death. She had married an Indian buck whose wife had not been dead the customary length of time allowed before remarrying was permissible according to Piute custom, and this was the punishment.
In the Fall of 1881 we concluded to move to Fresno where we had been buying a little ranch and where some of our good friends had preceded us. Upon our arrival there, we built a home on our ranch which, while not very large, was comfortable. After building the house, I went to Lake Tahoe to work on flume building and when I returned in the Fall we settled down to contented and happy family life. During these years our family was increased by two more girls. I could not at this time stay on the ranch to work as my expenses were heavy so I got employment in Fresno. We had the ranch levelled and trees and vines set out and the future looked bright. Our trees reached the stage of production but after a small crop we experienced a very wet winter when the whole country was flooded. When the land dried out, we found our trees were covered with an insect pest which finally killed them. The land proved to have too much alkali in it. Besides these discouragements, I found the trip to and from town each day to my work quite an obstacle, so we concluded to sell the ranch and move to town. We carried out this plan and built a very comfortable house on what was then considered the extreme northern edge of the town. In this home we lived most comfortably and contentedly for more than twenty years, educating our children and trying to give each one a good start in life. I went into the planing mill business for a time with W. H. Hollenbeck who is still in that line of business in Fresno. After living in Fresno for over twenty-five years, my health showed signs of failing and I decided a change of climate would be beneficial. I made a trip to Oakland and the very first day there I felt convinced that this was the place in which I would like to end my days. In the meantime our family had grown and scattered, some having married and in homes of their own and the others following professions that took them from home. So in 1908 my wife and my youngest daughter and I moved permanently to Oakland, after selling the old home in Fresno.
I have every reason to be glad that we decided to make Oakland our home not only because of the beneficial change of climate but because of the warm and enduring friendships which I have formed with the members of the St. Andrews Society, the Scottish Bowling Club and other societies. Surrounded by my children and with these good friends to fill the passing hours with cheer, although life has brought to me as it does to all the sadness of parting with those I dearly loved, I can truly say, with the Psalmist, “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places.”
Iram indeed is gone with all its rose
And Jarnshyd’s Sev’n-ring’d
Cup where no one knows
But still the vine her ancient ruby yields
And still a garden by the water blows.
Adam Baird born Dunblane, 1846