On the border of Lake Huron, where the billows wildly roar,
A bustling little village stands upon the sandy shore,
Where the buzzing of the busy mill is heard the whole day through;
It was there that poor John Singleton bade this fair world adieu.
In the month of sweet October as the leaves began to fall
He bade farewell to Deckerville and to his dear ones all,
But the parting made his heart feel sad, from tears he could scarce refrain,
But they looked with joy to a future time when they all should meet again.
It seemed his occupation was head sawyer in a mill;
He had followed it successfully for days and weeks until
The time had come for him to quit this world of toil and care.
And we know not how soon it may be our doom like his to share.
The fatal deed was done as near as I can learn
He went to work as usual, no fear did he then discern
While sawing off a hollow log, a slab gave him a blow
And back into the arms of death it was his fate to go.
He fell back into the pulleys and the wheels of the busy mill
A moment more of great suspense when all were standing still.
They drew his body from the wheels, which was then descried to be
But a bloody mass of flesh and bones, most shocking for to see.
Then they sent a dispatch to his wife, who was waiting anxiously
For the safe return of him who held her thoughts both night and day.
The bitter clouds of anguish then that clustered round her soul
Shut out every ray of sunshine that might her heart console.
They placed him in a coffin and sent him to Deckerville,
Where his body has been buried, but he's in our memory still,
And forever will be cherished till this earth reclaims her own,
Till all that ever knew him have gone to their everlasting home.
Now the cold November breezes as they sweep so careless by
Seem to say in words so plainly that the wintry snows are nigh,
Which will cover him completely with the storms that e'er belong
With a mantle pure and lovely as a spirit that is gone.
Now does the gentle springtime awake a bleak domain,
And birds in their lovely bowers sing sweetly once again.
His children will always revere the love he fondly gave
By placing wreaths of flowers around their father's grave.
OVEN NOPFSINGER, Of Saganing, school commissioner of Arenae County, obtained
this version of " John Singleton " from David D. Smith, of Whittemore. Mr. Smith
says that the event recorded happened about I870, when he was a boy, and that
the composition was by John Morison, of Sanilac County.