On Sunday morning, May 28, 1899, the people began gathering at the residence of J. B. Hoover, 9 miles south of Buffalo, in honor of his 76th birthday. At 11 o'clock it was decided to have a sermon, which was delivered by Rev. W. E. Hoover. His text was the sublime language of Paul as found in Philp. 1:21, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain". After preaching the time as spent in social conversation while waiting for others to come who had gone elsewhere to worship. When 1:30 o'clock came they had nearly all arrived an all were invited to surround a table (to say well loaded with the luxuries of life would not express it) and after the writer offered blessings, they were told to help themselves, which they did with much gusto. To say the crowd was large we would only say Polk, Greene, Dallas , and Webster counties were well represented, there being 253 in all to eat dinner and others came later. All had enough to eat and plenty left.
After dinner was over the following presents were presented. Silk handkerchief by Harry Furth, cup and saucer by Nancy Hoover, cup and saucer by Catherine Scott, suspenders by J. Lindsey, shirt by S. Rains, and a number of others. The remainder of the evening was spent in singing led by J. N. Lindsey and in social conversation.
Uncle Jimmy, as he is so often styled, was born in Lee County, VA. in 1823, and in 1833 with his parents moved to Howard county, MO. After remaining there one year, he moved with his parents to where Osceola now is, his father erected the first building at that place. After remaining there for some time he made several moves and in 1845 he settled in Dallas county, where he has remained ever since except when in the service of his country. he served in nearly all the Mexican War, and served his country with honor from 1861-1865. He is one of the oldest pioneer farmers of Dallas county, and his reputation is known far and near. He is the father of 21 children, 18 still living, two died in infancy and the other in youth.
He has 75 grandchildren, six step grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren.
Among the older ones present were M. Stafford, Ben Highfill, J. W. Watkins, John Case, Newt Scott, Mrs. E. R. Creek and others.
To say it was a surprise would hardly express his feelings. He asked Mat Stafford why he didn't tell him the day before. Uncle Matt said he didn't tell tales out of school.
When the evening was drawing to a close they all dispersed wishing Uncle Jimmy many more such birthdays.
Notes: James Bryant Hoover died 28 October, 1901. Rev W. E. Hoover was his son William Elbridge Hoover, a minister of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. Nancy Hoover is likely Nancy Caroline (Robinson) Hoover, wife of his son James Willoughby Hoover. Catherine Scott was his daughter Mary Catherine "Cass", who married Levi Newton "Newt" Scott. S. Rains was his daughter Margaret Sarilda ("Aunt Sid") who married Issac "Ike" Rains.
Contributed by Gary Swift from a transcript sent by Gary Lee Davis.
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