A Little Mendocino Family History

One hundred ten years ago today my great grandmother’s brother (photo above) published this poem in the Ukiah Dispatch Democrat.  I’d heard he was a writer.  This last Saturday while treating myself to some research I found this poem he’d written.

Ode to The Catholic Bell


For many years I’ve listened,
To that beautiful clear toned bell,
Wondering how many heart throbs
Echo the eloquence of its swell.
Can there be a soul in the hearing
Of those vibrating tones of love,
But is uplifted, when the sexton
Swings that iron tongue above?
Beautiful bell, in your ringing,
Is embodied music sublime;
A mingling of earth and heaven,
A Savior’s prayer in thy chime.
Whether those chimes are calling
The worshipers to God’s feet.
Or tolling a dear one’s departure.
They’re especially, wondrously sweet.
For years it has told its story,
In gladdening or saddening tone;
Its music is surely familiar
To the dwellers around the throne.
They must love its mellow cadence,
Whispering from a lower world
The hopes of a higher existence
The first buds of eternity uncurled.
What can have a sweeter mission,
What can a nobler act perform.
Than the bells that crown our belfries.
And keep the hearts of mankind warm?
Sweet bells chime on thy daily blessing
A boon to earth, from heaven given,
Swinging above to call and guide us’
To our endless home in heaven.

He later moved to Humboldt and gained renown as a local moonshiner. Writing poetry wasn’t his forte.


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