Also in the April 1961 letter from my dad's aunt to my uncle John, is another family "story." This one references my great-grandfather and his brother Herbert as children.
"My father (John Henry Percival) told of learning to swim in the Missouri River, and once he told your dad [Blogger's note: my grandfather, John Stearns Percival] and me about going hunting with a colored boy who lived with them on the farm. Dad said they were coming home, it had gotten dark, they were out of bullets when they heard a wild-cat scream. They loaded their guns with nails and small bolts to be ready. About that time John and I began to cry so Dad said "Here I am, I got back safely." Evidently the wild-cat gave them the go-by."
Now, I never met my great-grandfather, John Henry Percival, who died just before my dad's 4th birthday, while my grandparents, dad and uncle were living in Detroit. Maybe he was just a storyteller at heart. I do know that in 1870, Henry, Herbert, with their mother, Susan Davidson Percival - awfully indexed as Buerwell - were living in Waverly in the same home as her mother, Anna Estes Davidson and Susan's sister Eliza. In 1877, Susan took for her second husband, widower Thomas Holt. While his younger children lived with them, hers were farmed out, Henry apprenticed to a tinsmith (Andrew Botts) in Richmond, Missouri and Herbert went to his uncle Jabez Percival's home in Covington, Kentucky. Since Henry was born in 1862, this could very well have taken place in the late 1860's or early 1870's. Unfortunately, it retains its "family legend" status.
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