Archive for March 8th, 2010

“Can You Lend Me Fifty Dollars?” says my Uncle Sam to me.

March 8, 2010



“Can you lend me fifty dollars?” says my Uncle Sam to me.
“Well, Uncle, I don’t know,” I says, “I’ll have to go and see.”
“You’ll have to go and see?” he says, sarcastical and dry.
and I didn’t feel too cheerful when I looked him in the eye.

“Now, son, you listen here,” he says, “I’ll give it to you straight.
I know, — you’re in a hurry. Better let the hurry wait.
There’s things I’m going to tell you,– or try to, anyhow.
If you never done much thinkin’, you better do some now.

“I brought you up in freedom, I allowed you’d have the run
Of the fairest, finest country that ever got the sun.
I gave you school and readin’ as much as you could learn,
And never asked an hour of your service in return.

“You had it soft and easy; you didn’t have to fight;
And you looked on peace and plenty as if they was your right.
‘I took a chance to raise you,’ I said, ‘he won’t forget.
Some day he’ll do me credit.’ And this is what I get.

“I ask a little favor that you can do for me, —
So small I hate to ask it, — and, you’ve got to go and see!
I’ve strove with men and angels for the honor of our name, —
To make it stand for somethin’, and keep it clean of shame.

“I always planned to give you a country and a flag
You could call as good as any, and you wouldn’t have to brag.
If you figure so to keep them, I only know one plan
That’ll stand all kinds of acids, and that’s to be a man.

“So you better think it over and show what you can do.
I can use about a billion. So long. It’s up to you.”
Now I guess, unless I’m willing to be charged up as a loss
And thrown into the discard, I’ll have to come across.

The Carroll Herald – Oct 24, 1917

The Carroll Herald - Oct 24, 1917

Now, All Together.

By Grantland Rice.

Would you like to kick in on the world’s greatest cinch?
Would you like to belong when the cheering rolls in?
Would you care to deliver a punch in the pinch
That will help out a game which your country must win?
Would you like to be known as a quitter, or worse?
Or have you a vision of triumph beyond?
Would you like to help wipe out the Prussianized curse?
Then go out and dig for a Liberty bond.

We have come to the break in the world’s greatest game —
The rally is on that was long overdue,
And the score that shall wait at the end of the frame
Is up to the fellow at bat — meaning YOU.
The battle is on where a few lusty drives
Will clear up the future which waits on beyond.
Would you like to belong when the BIG DAY arrives?
Then go out and dig for a Liberty bond.

The Carroll Herald – Oct 24, 1917


By Berton Braley.

If you hate oppression and lust and shame
If you hate the fiend with his eyes aflame,
If you burn with wrath at the word and deed
Of a crew of pirates whose only creed
Is the law of might and the rule of force
And death to all who oppose their course;
If an anger terrible scars your brain
At children murdered and women slain,
At crimsoned seas and at blackened sod
All done in the name of a Prussian God;
If you hate these things and you cannot go
To fight the cruel and ruthless foe
You CAN be loyal, you CAN respond
You CAN come forward and “BUY A BOND!”

If you love your country, your home, your flag,
If you would not witness that banner drag
In the dust of failure; if still you care
For what is lovely and true and fair;
If freedom isn’t an empty word
But a thing you love; if your heart is stirred
By though of a world made safe and free
For the sake of common humanity;
If these things seem worth while to you,
This is the service taht you can do.
Though you may not battle “across the pond,”
You CAN save money and “BUY A BOND!”

The Pittsburgh Press – Oct 10, 1917

Louisa Massey Avenges Her Brother’s Murder

March 8, 2010


Found of Church Was Murdered and Young Sister Avenged His Death.

Dubuque, Ia. Dec. 25. — The celebration of the diamond jubilee of St.[1st?] church found by Methodists north of the Missouri line, began Sunday with an eloquent address by Bishop McIntyre, of St. Paul. The founding of St. Luke’s recalls to the memory of old residents the most sensational episode in the early history of the Upper Mississippi settlements.

Among the organizers of the church was Woodbury Massey. He was the first trustee, and his name let the list of those who subscribed the $225 that built the log chapel. One year after he became implicated in a feud which resulted in the tragic death of himself and two other men. Mrs. Reuben Noble, of McGregor, who as a child lived on the farm adjoining that of Mr. Massey on Otter creek Jersey county, Illinois, tells the story of the tragedy as follows:

“Mr. Massey, with his wife, two children and a younger brother, left the farm in Illinois in 1833 and came to Iowa to prospect in the mining region about Dubuque. No sooner had the two brothers staked out a claim than their right to it was disputed by one Smith and his son. The case was carried into court and decided in favor of the Masseys. When they returned to take possession the elder Smith appeared and shot Woodbury Massey, killing him instantly. The younger Massey retaliated by killing Smith.

“A few days after the tragedy Louisa Massey, the 16-year-old sister of Woodbury, came to Dubuque. On finding one brother dead, and hearing that the son of Mr. Smith had threatened to kill the other brother on sight, she secured a pistol and went in search of the young man. She found him in a grocery store, stepped up in front of him, and with the words, ‘If you are Smith, defend yourself.’ fired. The ball struck against a bundle of papers in his pocket and his life was temporarily saved. He died as the result of the wound two years later.

“The young girl had no sooner thus avenged one brother’s death and protected the life of the other than the upper river county went wild with her praise. No war hero was ever welcomed with greater enthusiasm than she when she returned by boat to the old home at the mouth of the Illinois. Cheering throngs greeted her at every stop on the river, and nearly sunk the boat at the final landing near Otter creek in their eagerness to greet her. Some years afterward a new county was organized in southeastern Iowa and named Louisa in her honor.”

The Carroll Herald – Dec 30, 1908

Woodbury Massey Gravestone

Image can be found on Find-A-Grave at this LINK

Murder at Dubuque.

The last Salt River Journal states, on the authority of a gentleman who had just arrived there from Dubuque, that Mr. Woodbury Massey, a worthy merchant of that place, was shot dead on the 7th alt. by capt. Wm. B. Smith and his son. Smith shot first and his son immediately afterwards. Massey’s hand being raised the ball passed through it, entered his left breast and lodged in the right side. The parties had been engaged in a law suit, in which Massey had the better, after which Smith was frequently heard to threaten his life. when he had shot Massey, he immediately gave himself up to the civil authorities, but his son tried to escape, and was shortly after taken. They were held to bail in the sum of five hundred dollars each, to appear at the next circuit court. The grand jury being in session, found a bill, and they are safely lodged in jail to await their trial. Mr. Massey was buried on the next day, and was accompanied by about four hundred of the most worthy citizens of Dubuque. He as a man of high reputation, and left a wife, four children and a great many friends to mourn their loss.

Niles’ Weekly Register, Volume 49 By Hezekiah Niles, William Odgen Niles Oct 10, 1835

Galena, Illinois (Image from

Mr. Woodberry Massey resided in St. Charles county a short time after his marriage, and about 1830, crossed the river into Illinois, and settled on the present site of upper Grafton, where he entered some land. Not long after he moved to the forks of Otter creek, where for a short time, he carried on merchandise, after which he removed with his family to Galena, and there engaged in mining and merchandise, residing there about one year, when he moved to Dubuque, where he was engaged in the same pursuit. After a while he withdrew from mercantile pursuits and devoted his whole attention to mining. Soon he commenced working an abandoned claim, which proved to be quite rich in lead ore, and in going on the grounds with his men on the afternoon of September 7th, 1835, and there meeting some of the former operators of the mine, and a dispute arising, without any notice he was shot and killed by two men, father and son, by the name of Smith, both of whom afterwards paid the penalty of their crime by their death. The elder Smith was shot by Henry I. Massey, a brother of the one that was killed. The circumstances were that Smith came riding through Galena, asserting that he would exterminate the Mssey family, whereupon Mr. Massey rushed into the street and shot Smith dead while sitting on his horse. He then rushed through his shop and mounted a horse and crossed the river into Iowa. Miss Louisa Massey, sister of Woodberry Massey, entered a store in Dubuque with the avowed intention of purchasing goods, and the younger Smith being poin ted out to her by a small boy, she quickly drew a pistol and shot him in the breast, giving him a mortal wound. The general verdict of the people was that the brother and sister of Mr. Massey did right in avenging his tragical death. After the event we have mentioned occurred, Mrs. Massey retired with her family to St. Charles, Missouri, and in 1837 settled in the present limits of this county, and in the winter of that year was married to B. F. Massey, a brother of her former husband. She died at her residence on the 4th of January 1852.

Henry Massey served under General Dodge and assisted capturing Chief Black Hawk at the Battle of the Bad Axe which open up the land west of the Mississippi for settlement. Henry later opened up a harness shop in Galena, Illinois. His brother, Woodbury, along with his wife Maria and one child, was one of the firsst to cross the river and move to the area of the Dubuque lead mines. His brother Benjamin and sister Louisa came shortly after along with the Langworthy girls. Shortly thereafter, Woodbury was murdered in a dispute over a mining claim called “The Irish Lot” by a Mr. Smith and his son William. They were arrested but later released because the judge ruled that the Wisconsin court where they were tried had no jurisdiction over Iowa cases.

From: Biographies in the Atlas Map of Jersey County, Illinois – 1872 (USgenweb site – Jersey Co. IL)


More HERE: The Black Hawk Wars 1832