Preserving Grandfather’s Story

On our recent trip to visit family, my mother and I stayed up very late one evening going through old pictures and papers.  I learned many interesting bits of information about my own heritage, but one piece of information especially inspired me.  My mother handed me a stack of papers and said that it was a story that my great grandfather wrote.   It is the true story of his life.  I took the stack of papers and started thumbing through it.  I was amazed.  Here I held a incredible piece of family history in the form of a small unedited book.  As I read, sights and sounds of the past came bursting off the pages.  My great grandfather was born in 1886 and in his writings, he tells of a life that resembles something like a Little House on the Prairie story.  He tells of his life on a family farm and later of his adventures out west – hard work, stories about Indians, farm life, traveling in a covered wagon and camping under the moon in the middle of the unsettled west, homesteading 160 acres of land.   It is a piece of history that I have been inspired to edit and one day publish for my own children.

Here is Great Grandfather Smith wearing a Sioux Indian headdress given to him by an Indian Chief.
While this his story is inspiring to me, it has also challenged me to continue on in the legacy of multi-generational thinking. Ps. 78
While I knew my great grandfather, my children only know of him through the stories I tell about him.  I wonder if he ever thought that he would have 7 great, great grandchildren who would one day hear his stories read to them and be captivated by the wild west over 100 years after the fact?  I am grateful for a great grandfather who took to the pen and personally told his future generations about the past.


  • sarah walston says:

    Beth, This is a great post. I oftentimes wish my grandparents had written their life stories down. I miss them, very very much. What a treasure you have.

  • sarah says:

    I bet your great-grandchildren will be in awe of your story too!