The author of the following letter, Eld. Zachariah Taylor "Z.T." Williams (1849-1923), was a native of Montpelier and a resident there until he and the second Mrs. Williams (his first wife, Clemmie J., having died in 1903), removed to Columbia in the spring of 1906, shortly after he accepted the full-time pastorate of the Columbia Christian Church.

Eld. Williams' grandfather and father to whom he  alludes were Aaron Williams, who removed with his family to Adair County shortly before 1810, and Preston G. Williams, respectively.


(Transcribed from the August 15, 1906 Adair County News)

A Week at Home

Mrs. Williams and myself, my son, Jo, my daughter, Sallie, and my niece, Lena, spent a pleasant time at the old home in Montpelier, last week.

Home! That name touches every fiber of the soul, and strikes every chord of the human heart with angelic fingers. Nothing but death can break its spell. What tender associations are linked with home. What pleasing images and deep emotions it awakens; it calls up the fondest memories of life, and opens in our nature the purest, deepest, richest gush of consecrated thought and feeling.

The place where two young hearts knit together in the tenderest love, stout out hand in hand, and heart to heart on life's voyage. Children are born, and childhood nestles in its bosom like a bird who has made its abode among the roses. The days of innocent, happy childhood are spent there. Home of my childhood, how precious the memory.

"Dreaming of home, dear old home,

   Home of my childhood and mother,

Oft' when I awake, 'tis sweet to think,

   I've been dreaming of home and mother."*

The old log house that my grandfather Williams erected about the year 1810, is still standing on the farm. I stood within its sacred walls and let memory carry me back when father, the oldest boy of the family, was pratling around the hearth stone, and making childhood days cheerful and happy. I breathed a prayer there of thanksgiving for such noble ancestors.

They have all passed over the silent river of death, and only the old home stands deserted and lonely to mark the place of childhood and early manhood of my father. Home is precious because of association of loved ones, and when the association is gone, it is only sacred in memory.

I had the pleasure while at home of visiting my old neighbor and friend, John L. Lapsley, who has lately been near death's door, but is now much improved. It was a sacred hour which I spent with him. He is a ripe sheaf ready for the harvest, and he said he did not know why the Lord was keeping him here [see obituary below] but I said, perhaps you can be used of Him for some good to some soul yet, and then he told me how he had been praying for conversion of one young man in the vicinity, who is afflicted with an incurable disease, and how he had rejoined when he heard of his recent conversion. He said he had told the preacher to go to him and urge him to complete the work by obeying the Gospel. I said to him that perhaps the Lord was keeping him here to help others to a better life. But I will close this for fear I will make it too long. -- Z.T.W.


* This appears to be the chorus of a Civil War era song entitled "Dreaming of Home and Mother."



The obituary of Mr. John L. Lapsley, who is mentioned about halfway through the letter, appears at  Lapsley_News.htm