Lighting Ancestral Lamps

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out and left the relatively poor soil of the first settled colonies and searched in distant areas for cheaper and more fertile lands. Members of the Bunn family must be included among this number. Distant pastures looked greener to a true pioneer. There was room for all in nature's primeval wilderness; thus the aggressive, progressive head of the household was frequently on the move, looking, looking. A capable and industrious farmer with initiative could often obtain hundreds of acres at a nominal cost, particularly if he could, by settlement, draw a colony after him. For instance, the Bunns of the first generation who settled in southern Illinois, entered land directly from the government at a cost of only $1.25 per acre. Here was the new Eldorado for them. The soil was fairly fertile, streams and springs were abundant, timber was of first quality, and deer, wild turkey, partridges and other game were abundant. Even fishing was good.

Once a location was established, the pioneer settled built a humble cabin with the aid of neighboring settlers and a home frequently in the wilderness was established. If health permitted and industrious habits prevailed, the pioneer was on his way toward earning his mark in the wide open spaces.

Truly these early years were isolated and frequently rough. There was little social comfort and relaxation beyond what the secluded family might find in each other. But these pioneer fathers of ours had strong muscles and stout hearts. They were devoted to their families, their homes, and their work. There was little of elegance or polish in life, work, or manner. They were contented, yet ambitious. They looked for the rising sun on the morrow. They sought comfort rather than luxury. The mothers, grandmothers, and all the rest of the maternal ancestors were equally brave-hearted, industrious, and hopeful. They were devoted to their husbands, their families, and their homes. They worked with hand, heart, and head, often neglecting health for their husbands, children, and homes. This made the mother in the home a powerful influence toward family affection and a great fact in the family's success or mediocrity. The pioneer men by and large, realized that they had a reputation to make or keep. Seldom were there drones or idlers. The pioneer had unbounded confidence in the future of America, After the Revolutionary War, he ardently supported the republic that he often had a part in establishing. Later he allied himself with a political party. The pioneer Bunns were strong in their convictions that it was their privilege and duty to vote. A pioneer was proud of his people. He was proud of the vastness of his country and the manner in which people from everywhere came to settle in his great country.

Perhaps, however, he did not realize nor even imagine the rapid and enormous growth of America that took place during the late colonial and post revolutionary period. National pride probably made him boastful. He was aggressive; he had to be to live and get along. His motto was: "Our Country, right or wrong." He was courageous and hopeful, not quarrelsome but opinionated. He had but little and sometimes, no "book learning."

Some of the family's forbearers, not too many generations removed, could neither read nor write, particularly the maternal ancestors. They signed

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Cover | Contents | Forward | Intro | Orgins | England | Crest | First | Interlude | Benjamin 1

Benjamin | Hyatts | Hyatt1 | Hazard | Perry | William | HM Bunn | Index