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Now make money on the Internet is a liar

FROM GOOD TO BETTER

REV. W. E. SWAIN, D.D.

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I was born and reared on a little farm in Washington County, N. C., near the present site of Creswell. My father was poor. Four years of service and suffering in the Confederate army so wrecked his health that he was able to do but little after it was all over.

There were no schools of any consequences near, and had there been, they were barred to me, for my father was not able to pay tuition, and there were no public schools in that section.

When I was nearly fifteen years old a gentleman living near by employed me to grub new ground. This work had to be done at night after my day’s work at home. By piling the brush and firing them two hours’ work could be done before the light was entirely gone. It took about eight nights to do a “task” which was a piece of ground sixty feet square. After having finished three tasks, the gentleman paid me. With the money so earned a bottle of ink, six pen points, half quire of paper, a pen staff and a “blue-back speller” were purchased. The speller was necessary that the script letters might be learned. Having made a small rough table 143 in which a drawer was placed to hold writing material, the task of learning to write was begun. To me this was much more difficult than grubbing. Even after I had learned to make the script letters I did not know how to spell. As a substitute for this lack more than half the speller was copied. By the time this was done some of the simpler words had been learned and so I began to write. About the same time I undertook to work “sums” in Greenlief’s Arithmetic. This was painfully slow. Ben. Spruill, now Capt. Spruill, of Creswell, N. C., taught me to reduce a fraction to a common denominator. This was done with the sharp point of a cotton burr, the figures being made in the sand between the rows of cotton.

On August 12, 1880, I arrived at Yadkin College, now Yadkin College Institute, engaged board, matriculated and began to cast about for some work. Mr. James Benson, long since dead, was a large merchant of the place and employed me to make drawers to place under the shelves in the store. I made the first one the best I could and tried to make every drawer better than the preceding one. This work was done on Saturdays, and when it was finished he employed me to stay in the store on Saturdays and paid me really more than I was worth. Soon his health failed and I was out of a job. On March 24, 1881, I began work at house carpentry and tried to keep up my studies by sitting up late at night preparing the lessons for the next day. At 144 commencement I had my speech prepared and stood my examinations, passing on all but one study. During the vacation of 1881 taught school and saved a few dollars to begin the next term.

When school opened this was soon gone and something had to be done. A small unused room was secured, a pair of scissors, two razors, a comb and brush and a barber shop was opened. The boys were kind and long suffering, so the business prospered. Thus another term was finished,—and no debt. Again during the vacation of 1882 I taught. At the close of this vacation I was elected town constable. This was by no means to my liking, but something had to be done, or quit. This business frequently broke into my school work and made it hard to keep abreast of the class. However, in this way I managed to pay expenses for the term and saved a few dollars besides. During the vacation of 1883 I taught school near Denver, N. C., and in the meantime served as pastor of Fairfeld Church. Both together made it possible for me to have more money than I ever had at one time before.

On returning to college at the close of vacation I was elected a tutor. In this way I earned ten dollars a month and kept up my own studies. This work was more in keeping with my general taste than anything I had hitherto tried. It was a fine opportunity to review what I had done and was perfectly agreeable to me. The amount thus earned was ample for all my real needs, and so the difficulties 145 began to give way. Hope that had been groping amid the shadows began to mount up, and resolution grew strong. Thus, sustained by a kind Providence and encouraged by friends, my college course was finished.

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I feel that this would be incomplete were I to omit to speak of Rev. John Parris, D.D., who gave me so much encouragement and help. When I was yet a boy, never having been to school a day, he, somehow, learned that I was anxious to read. Knowing I had no books he would borrow them from Capt. T. J. Norman, becoming personally responsible for their safe return, and bring them to me. When bringing them he would say, “Now, young sir, if you damage this book I may not bring you another.” He not only brought the books, but would question me on the contents when he returned. He was a man who seemed stern and repulsive to the young, but when better known was as gentle and sweet spirited, loving and tender and patient as a mother.

Mebane, N. C.

A TASK WITH A MORAL

HON. FRED J. TRAYNOR, A.B., LL.B.

There is nothing remarkable about my experience in working my way through college. I do not deem it worth the telling, except that it may help to encourage the boy who thinks that it is more than he dares undertake to obtain an education without means to back him.

I was born in Ontario, Canada. I was fortunate in being able to get an excellent common school training and three years of high school work before having to get out and dig for myself. Since the age of fifteen, when my father died, I have been at all times self-supporting, and, before coming to North Dakota at the age of twenty, I had taken such employment as was obtainable. In the summer of 1898 I had saved enough money to make the trip to North Dakota, looking for opportunities. Teaching seemed to be the most feasible stepping-stone, so that fall, after having spent three months as a farm laborer in this State, and having saved what I had earned, which, together with a little I had left of what I had brought from Ontario, made about $90, I entered the preparatory department 147 then in existence at the University of North Dakota.