Uncle Henry Linville’s Birthday Surprise

We normally limit ourselves to the Skidmore papers, but when your humble storyteller ran across this article while doing some other research, we knew we needed to make an exception.  From the Nodaway Democrat (Maryville, Missouri), February 2, 1899, page 8:

Birthday Surprise

In remembrance of the 69th birthday of Uncle Henry Linville, quite a number of relatives and friends gathered at his beautiful home, two and three-fourths miles east of Skidmore, on January 30, 1899.

Mr. John Yates being acquainted with the facts, had Uncle Henry accompany him north in view of purchasing some timber land, and on his return home he was completely surprised to find the house crowded with people.  Uncle Henry admitted that he was surprised, but in his good kind way bid all a hearty welcome, and soon was as merry and jolly as any in the crowd, asking all present to take part and have a jolly good time, and we are certain they all did as he bade them, for all present seemed to have a good old-fashioned time.

Dinner was served by the good ladies from 12 to 2 o’clock, 57 in all taking dinner with Uncle Henry and wife, and if any present went away hungry, it was their fault, as the table fairly groaned under its weight of the good things to eat.

The next in order was the presentation of a beautiful rocking chair to Uncle Henry.  Mr. Stratford Saunders making the presentation speech, and it was one of thought, quite well suited for the occasion, touching many lines pertaining to our present and future welfare.  Uncle Henry responded by returning many thanks to all, and after trying the chair, pronounced it one of comfort and ease.

Those present were:  John Linville and family, of Skidmore; Thomas Groves and family, of Graham; Wm. Strickler and family, of Skidmore; Miss Martha Linville, Skidmore, Mrs. Wm. Groves, S. Saunders and family, T. Peter and wife, L. W. Miller and family, D. Mitchell and wife, John Yates and wife, Wm. Linville and wife, Aaron Linville and wife, B. F. Bagby, Frank Goslee and family of Skidmore; Charles Grove and wife, Graham; Jas. Millard and wife of Maryville; Boone Linville and wife, Lon Brown, Mrs. John Powell and daughter, of Skidmore.

As the day seemed to pass away swiftly, and the folks prepared to leave, all feeling the day was long to be remembered, each one wishing Uncle Henry many more years of happy life and sunshine.

One Who Was There.