Recollections of My Life and Reflections on Times and Events During It: A Memoir by Father W. J. Howlett

Page 85

          In those days Dr. Nubert Work lived in the town and attended to the sick in the vicinity. Later years when both of us lived in Pueblo he used to refer to the time when he was the best doctor in Morgan County and I was the best preacher in Morgan County. The fact was that he was the only doctor in the county and I was one of the two preachers in the county. When he was Postmaster General of the U.S., I had occasion to address him on a matter of business, and his reply was a reminder of those days, which goes to show that public men are not so offish as some think and are human when one can see the real man under the veneer.

          The year 1888 was a year of general elections, and I had an experience a little out of my line. There was a democratic rally at Sterling one night, at which the Rev. Myron Reed, and two Swedes were the speakers. I was present, and the next day I went to Hartun, a small station about thirty-five miles away, where I was to say mass the next day. When I arrived there in the evening I found the place thronged with people from the surrounding country. I had no idea that so many people could be gathered together in such a sparsely settled district and I learned that the two Swedes were there and were going to speak. on the political situation- - the election of a president and a governor. Myron Reed was not there and the people seemed at a loss how to begin the meeting. It is supposed that preachers are always ready for everything, so when I arrived I was asked to preside and conduct the proceedings. As the meeting was in line with my sympathies I took the chair, and with all the dignity and importance of a dyed in the wool politician made my first and last political speech.

          An improvised choir sang a few appropriate songs, and I introduced the honorable gentlemen. We lost out in the election, but we certainly had an enthusiastic and successful meeting.

          The year 1888 was a bad year for the settlers. It was dry almost to a drouth [drought], the farmers raised almost nothing, and toward the fall an epidemic broke out among them. Many died, and many became discouraged and went away. Rev. Moron of Iowa had a claim several miles south of Julesburg and the scourge carried off his wife and daughter. I went out to his place when they were sick and while I was attending the sick, the driver of my hired a buggy drove away and left me to walk back. He did not seem to realize that I was to go back also. Holyoke was 50 miles from my residence at Sterling, and one day I was called there. The lady of the house told me there was a little hope, as the girl refused to take the doctors medicien [medicine]. The girl was in dangerous condition and I gave here [her] all the sacraments for those in danger and urged her to take the medicine. In fact, I resolved to stay a while and administer it myself. When I called for the first dose the lady brought me a capsule of quinine. I saw no difficulty in this dose, but when she offered me some water in a spoon and a  pin, I asked what all that was for. She told me the pin was to get the medicine out of the container which was to be swallowed with the quinine inside, and exclaimed: “You would not make her swallow the box, would you?” I no longer wondered why the poor girl did not take the medicine. She took she [the] medicine from me, but you would assume that the lady had a come from some cave-in in the mountains or plains of the wild and wooly West. Instead, she was a late arrival from St. John's Parish in the City of Brotherly love in Pennsylvania.

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