Today, I’ll finish up with William Gard’s letter to his eldest son, Jesse, my great-great-uncle, and half-brother to my great-great-grandfather, William Perry Gard.
“In the next place, from the very time you come to do business for yourself, always bear in mind the disadvantage of being in debt. That so long as you are in debt you are laboring to a fourfold disadvantage and living on the mercies of your creditors.
Be not in haste to contract marriage for perhaps it may not prove so great a blessing as you may think, for, if so, the longer time in procrastination the less time you will have to live in trouble. For you must remember it is for life. This advice you must communicate to your sisters and brothers, of whom you are the older, and attend to their welfare as far as circumstances will admit of. This advice with that you you can get from good authors and that of your aged friends, who will be willing to advise you for your good, may suffice to take you through this world by making use of good economy yourself.
Therefore, I must leave you, hoping that the God of Heaven may smile upon you and the balance of the family, is the sincere wish of a father and friend to his children.
Upon William’s death in 1827, Jesse, who was away working in another town, returned home to take care of the family, just as his father wished. He would have been proud.
Now, I will leave you a photograph. This is Nora Gard Cummings, 1871-1941, youngest daughter of William Perry Gard and Phebe Stewart. There is no date on this photograph, but she looks to be late teens. She seems a very composed young woman.