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Will Makes Way

Home Up Family Group Sheet Photo Album Noland History Wills Noland Descendants

Following is an excerpt from the autobiography "Will Makes Way," written by Rev. Stephen A. Noland in 1889.

My birth took place May 13, 1818, as I learned from my father's Bible.  Of the accuracy of the date I have no doubt.  My father was a very honest and sensible man, and would not falsify dates to give me a particular birthday.  Indeed, I have always observed that the truest history we have is the family history written in the Bible.  Not many men are so hardened as to write a lie in the sacred volume.  They may write any number of falsehoods about the Bible, but in the book itself they write the truth.

The place of my birth was Wayne county, Indiana.  It was about three miles south of Centreville.  I was the oldest of four children.  The two next to myself died young and entered paradise.  The youngest of the four, a sister, lived to be fifty years old, and died only a few years ago, a Christian woman.  I was born in a cabin, a house with one room.  We had a large fireplace on one side for burning wood, and only one window with small panes of glass.  My father was a very poor man, being a school teacher, and receiving a salary that did not exceed two hundred and fifty dollars per year at any time.  On this meager sum the family was supported.  Of course food, clothing, and every thing else had to be of the plainest and cheapest kind.  When he died, after a long sickness of a year or two, it was about the time of my release from my first embarrassment in debt, named hereafter, and he only owed three hundred dollars, which I paid for him so that my step-mother could hold the household property.....

One of the saddest of memories will conclude this chapter of early incidents.  My young sister was four weeks old.  I awoke one morning and a kind woman took me by the hand and led me close to my mother.  She was lying down covered with white covering, and was very still.  Not seeing her move, I was surprised and alarmed;  I reached out my little hand and touched her face, and it was cold.  My mother was dead.  I had never known grief until that hour.  When I came to understand that she was gone from earth to heaven, and would have to be buried out of our sight, and that I would never see her again in this world, I felt that I had lost all that was dear to me, and did not see how I could live.  But she passed to heaven, and I was left to struggle with poverty, sickness, and many trials through a long pilgrimage.