The Kimball Surprise
Brownville April 9- In spite of cloudy skies and muddy roads, a merry company of relatives and friends met at the pleasant home of George H. Kimball to celebrate his 82nd birthday. Mr. Kimball was born in Vermont April 5, 1819.
He entertained his guests with old-time stories, telling them that the day he was born the snow was seven feet deep in Vermont. Time passed quickly with games and music. Mrs. Bert Ball played “Old Zip Coon”, “Monie Musk”, and other of the old tunes, until staid old dames retired to the hall to “try the light fantastic”. An excellent dinner, prepared by Mr. Kimball’s daughter, Mrs. Will Knox, was then served to which all present did ample justice.
Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. Bert Ball, Mr. and Mrs. Brayton Brown, Mrs. Lucy Lawrence, Watertown; Mrs. A.T. Knox and daughter and Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Kimball, of Dexter; Mr. and Mrs. D.B. Hanchett, of Brownsville; George Kimball and daughters, Mrs. Woodard and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Reed, Mr. and Mrs. George Cooper, of Pamelia. The table full of presents showed the esteem which grandpa Kimball is held by his many friends, who all wished him many more birthdays.
Watertown Reunion Wednesday April 10, 1901
I found this priceless newspaper article about my third great uncle on the website Northern New York Newspapers http://news.nnyln.org/ this is a free site and is a very valuable tool in researching family history.
What fascinated me about the article was the fact it was a first hand description of what my family did one hundred years ago. I love the fact that a friend brought her fiddle and played songs and the rest of the guests danced. Grandpa Kimball told stories about the old days and probably about how he fought in the Patriot’s War. The British caputured and and imprisoned him during the Battle of the Windmill. In his biography and court papers, the explanation that a newspaper reporter became friends with him during his captivity, where the newspaper reporter convinced the British to release Grandpa Kimball.
The song “Monie Musk” intrigued me and I decided to use Google to find out what the song was about. It is a Scottish reel and YouTube has many videos of people dancing to the song. This is my favorite video called Bring Back Moniemusk:
I will have to see if there is a folk dance group in the area. I want to learn to dance the “Monie Musk” as my ancestors did long ago. I will make sure to have a fiddle player show up and play a few songs in honor of our fun-loving ancestors when I organize the family reunion sometime in the future.