This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
Fellow Citizens - Old Neighbors and Pioneers in Hallock County: Forty years ago, in company with Old Benjamin Crawford, who died last year, I hunted for ducks on this very block of ground, worth to-day a large fortune of itself. At that time there were only seventeen white persons in the town, three or four blacks, and a tribe of Winnebago Indians, encamped, at that time, about three miles west of our village.
There were two frame-houses in the place. The rest were made of logs, containing usually about three rooms, with sometimes a chamber. In a careful review of my own life and recollection of those who were here in those early days, I doubt if there has ever been a period in all our experience when we had a greater amount of happiness than fell to our lot in those pioneer days.
Everybody had work - plenty of it. Nobody feared being discharged on Saturday night because of over production. Good health generally prevailed, the result of exercise, fresh air, hard work and sound sleep. There were no cliques in society, no aristocracy, no snobbery, no bankruptcies, no envy, and no distress because certain men were getting very rich while others were very poor.
There were no heart-burnings because one neighbor had a better furnished house than the others, and the women - they were women in those days - had no worry because they had nothing to wear.
Old Deacon Towne told me, on one occasion, when we were talking of the old times, that himself and family came from a handsomely furnished house in Troy, New York, to his log cabin, up near the big woods, and in all his experience he never saw such genuine hospitality, nor such a genial and happy time as his neighbors all had on their plain fare and the few opportunities around them. Yes, we lived right down to the barest necessaries in those days, and in doing that we learned that our real wants, in order to make us happy, are very few.
Forty winters, since some of us came here, have spread their white covering, and as many beautiful springs have brought the birds and flowers to us, returning every season to a vastly larger population than we had the year before. But I cannot tell you how, step by step, we have grown. I will leave that for others, who will give you the history of these forty years more in detail. Suffice it to say, the early settlers in this locality have been most fortunate in the peace and happiness which surrounded them in their pioneer days, in the wealth which has been showered upon them, and in the privileges which they enjoy to-day.