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MEM'RIES OF THE SECOND NINE

The following poem was probably written between 1941 and 1949 because it says that all of the nine children on William White Watkins are dead, and the last of them, Aaron, died in 1941.  Moreover, it says "Aunt Emma" was still alive 'to represent them all,' and she was Aaron Sherman Watkins' wife who died in 1950.



MEM'RIES OF THE SECOND NINE

We've gathered today, from the East and the West,
	For a day of pleasure, a day of rest,
From cares and from duties, that crowd on us thick
	We've turned eager eyes to the "Factory Brick" 
A tribute to pay to lives that were fine,
	Is once more unbroken the ranks of the nine.
We pause in the rush of time's onward flow
	To cherish our rnem'ries of long, long ago.
Each year as it passed, left reunion's rich treasure
	In remembrance so sweet, it still gives us pleasure 
Tho now to our sight, of the nine, not a face
	Will greet us this year at the old Watkins place.
Yes, our muse turns again, to the first stairway line
	To the brothers and sisters, long known as the nine. 
We'll name them once more, lest rec'lections grow dim,
	Uncle Jas, Uncle Charlie, Aunt Nan, Uncle Jim,
Uncle Joe, Aunt Mary, Aunt Jen, Uncle Newt,
	Last of the line Uncle Sher - their loved voices now mute.
Now close beside the first, was a second stairway line,
	Six aunts there were, and uncles three; We'll name this 
Second nine as Sally, 'Rene and Davy, as Mattie, Ella, Spain,
	As Tannehill and Hon, as Em who married Uncle Ane. 
Today Aunt Emma, still stately, straight and tall,
	Is here within our midst, to represent them all.
To each of these names, at least another was given, 
	Names on our hearts, indelibly scriven.
These were the names of "father" of "mother
	While to others were added, "grandfather", "Grandmother".
So time weaves its garland, and together we come 
	Once more as children to the old Watkins home.
They met this life bravely and fought long and well
	And what they accomplished our love fain would tell, 
As at this reunion, the nines we would praise
	Join in their prayer as our voices we raise 
Nay we so use our blessings our joy and our love,
	That we all may inhabit the bright home above."

Key to identify the nine individuals celebrated by this poem.

Name in poem Actual person
Sally Sarah Kelly, wife of William Jasper Watkins
'Rene Irene Wickersham, wife of Charles Wesley Watkins
Davy David Harriman, husband of Nancy Elizabeth Watkins
Mattie Martha Ann Kelly, wife of James Hamilton Watkins
Ella Mary Eleanor Kerns, wife of Joseph Milton Watkins
Spain Spain Skidmore, husband of Mary Melissa Watkins
Tannehill Gilbert Grabiel, husband of Eliza Jane Watkins
Hon Marietta Johnson, wife of Isaac Newton Watkins
Emma Emma Davis, widow of Aaron Sherman Watkins
I am grateful to Elizabeth Watkins Deardurff who provided  this information.


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