About two miles west father’s farm in Jackson county Mich., lived Ami Filley, who moved here from Connecticut and settled about two and a half miles from the town of Jackson, then a small village with plenty of stumps and mudholes in its streets. Many of the roads leading thereto had been paved with tamarac poles, making what is now known as corduroy roads. The country was still new and the farm houses far between.
Mr. Filley secured Government land in the oak openings, and settled there with his wife and two or three children, the oldest of which was a boy named Willie. The children were getting old enough to go to school, but there being none, Mr. Filley hired one of the neighbor’s daughters to come to his house and teach the children there, so they might be prepared for usefulness in life or ready to proceed further with their education—to college, perhaps in some future day.
The young woman he engaged lived about a mile a half away—Miss Mary Mount—and she came over and began her duties as private school ma’am, not a very difficult task in those days. One day after she had been teaching some time Miss Mount desired to go to her father’s on a visit, and as she would pass a huckleberry swamp on the way she took a small pail to fill with berries as she went, and by consent of Willie’s mother, the little boy went with her for company. Reaching the berries she began to pick, and the little boy found this dull business, got tired and homesick and wanted to go home. They were about a mile from Mr. Filley’s and as there was a pretty good foot trail over which they had come, the young woman took the boy to it, and turning him toward home told him to follow it carefully and he would soon see his mother. She then filled her pail with berries, went on to her own home, and remained there till nearly sundown, when she set out to return to Mr. Filley’s, reaching there yet in the early twilight. Not seeing Willie, she inquired for him and was told that he had not returned, and that they supposed he was safe with her. She then hastily related how it happened that he had started back toward home, and that she supposed he had safely arrived.