Westward Ho!


The following two typed pages give more details about the Edwards family’s move from West Virginia to Kansas, making two trips halfway across America before settling.

If only someone had kept a diary. It would be so interesting to have details about the trip and learn why Louisa, Rensslear’s second wife, returned to West Virginia, had her baby, then again made the trek to a new life.

There’s a famous book title, by American author Thomas Wolfe, which has become a well-known phrase: You can’t go home again. I wondered if Louisa, after making such a major move, then having her husband die, felt that she no longer fit in when she returned east. Or perhaps she and her children thought there were better prospects in the new land.

I remember at the funeral of my grandfather, Andrew Enoch Edwards, my cousin Greg Welch gave a lovely eulogy. He commented that our grandfather’s world changed dramatically in his lifetime, with transport moving from the covered wagon of his childhood to sky travelers in jet planes.

I wonder if the younger generation wonders how we older people grew up without all the modern gadgets available today. I for one never imagined typewriters would become obsolete. And when we visited Pop and Mameen at their farmhouse, Dad would sometimes phone someone and then hoist me up so I could talk on the wall phone. He’d wind the handle to make so many rings, which identified who was being called on the party line, and then I could talk. Soon we had phones on cords, so you didn’t have to stand up to talk. And the winding handle changed to a dial with numbers. Now I have a mobile, so small in comparison to the old phones, that half the time I can’t find it.

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