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JOHN JUDSON BAGLEY

BY GEORGE H. HOPKINS
June 7, 1882

MEMORIAL ADDRESS ON HIS LIFE AND CHARACTER.
A pioneer society is the present looking at the past—the living communing with the dead. As we advance in age the memories of our fathers and mothers grow more and more dear. We delight to recall their deeds and their virtues. Go, visit New England and the Eastern States any pleasant day in summer or autumn, and you shall see the pilgrim from the west visiting the home of his father. You may see him in the lonely churchyard, at the graves of his ancestors, carefully deciphering on the tombstones, worn by the hand of time. the inscriptions, rudely carved, it may be, telling the story of those lying beneath—born, died; birth, death—between the two is gathered all there is of history. What do the records of the Pioneer Society show ? They tell of the toil and privation of him who would make for himself a home in the wilderness. Turning from the comforts and luxuries of the old home—a home to him no longer save in the memories of the past—he seeks towards the setting sun a new home, and becomes a pioneer, with all that word implies; and in its meaning it covers all the trials, the sufferings, the hopes and triumphs of the discoverer in the new-found land. With all this labor and privation the pioneer is not an unfortunate man; he is not an unhappy man. I doubt if any class of men or women found more real enjoyment and pleasure than the pioneers of our early days. The fact that for themselves they chose to forsake the old for the new, made their daily toil a pleasure. None the less do we owe them. They made it possible for us to live in a veritable land of promise. Through their toil came our rest. By their pain comes our pleasure. Through their want comes our plenty.

Michigan


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