THE Aldens and Rogers were neighbors, both descendants of the early settlers of New England. Their forebears had fled from religious persecution that persisted in England and the Continent, and found a place on the American Continent where they might exercise freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and freedom to worship ALMIGHTY GOD according to the dictates of their own conscience.

Joseph Alden was educated for the law, at which he practiced for a time. Having a strong yearning for the freedom of the wide-open country, he emigrated west, where he became a large landowner. He farmed, and his herds and flocks were numerous. His wife was mentally brilliant, physically strong, and a real helpmate. They builded a home in the West and left the latchstring on the outside, and that home became a place of rest and genuine hospitality. Their eldest son they named John, probably having in mind the meaning of his name.

David Rogers, with his young wife Lois, had located in the neighborhood of the Al- dens. Rogers had acquired a tract of land in that vicinity and decided to leave his busi- ness in the East and become a farmer in the West, where his children might be reared to a better advantage. His wife Lois was a teacher and was well equipped to train their children. Among their five children was a daughter named Eunice, next to the young- est. Of the five children there were three boys and two girls. It was a well-trained and happy family.

The Alden and Rogers families not only were neighbors but became fast friends. Their children played together and attend- ed school together, and visited frequently at each other’s homes. Both families were Christians, as that term is generally under- stood, but they were not bound by any de- nominational church ties. The elders of the family had observed so much formalism and hypocrisy in the church denominations that they were glad to rear their children free from such influence. They believed in Godand Christ Jesus, and they had a sincere desire to bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”.- Ephesians 6 : 4.

That obligation they attempted to shoul- der and bear faithfully. The parents in- structed their children in their respective homes, and at stated times the two fami- lies met together and with their children participated in a study of the Bible and en- deavored to instill in the young minds the fear of God and a devotion to Him. They frequently, together, joined in the prayer which Jesus had taught his disciples: ?Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as in heaven.’ (Matthew 6: 10) The children of the two families were examples for good to other children who attended the day schools.

John Alden had reached the age of six- teen years. Eunice Rogers was fourteen years of age. Both had completed the study course in the country public school. They must receive further education. John was sent away to college. Eunice entered a sem- inary for young ladies. A four-year course of study had been planned for each one of them. Meeting together on a Sunday after- noon just preceding their departure for their respective places of education John said to Eunice: “We shall see little of each other for the next four years, but we shall not forget each other. I shall endeavor to make good use of the time to improve mymind as well as my body, and I know that you will do likewise. I shall look forward to seeing you at vacation times”; to all of which Eunice agreed.


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