Sixteen yearsold! You will soon be a man; and a good one, I am sure. Sixteen years ago onMay fifteenth in the big corner bedroom at Ashton I saw you for the first time.As your father lay you in my arms he smiled at us bothand said: "I'm so proud of him,
"I'm gladof that," said I, "but what I want most is that he growup to be a good, noble man like his father."
As you see ourfirst wish for you was not for riches, fame or power, but just to be good andnoble. The strong fine-shaped little body of which your father was so proud wasnot made in the nine months in which you had been near my heart, but in severalgenerations of clean, right living and was given to you by not only your fatherand mother, but your grandfathers and grandmothers as well. Isn't that a wonderfulheritage for any boy, and I am sure you too will give your little boys andgirls, when that time comes, the same chance.
When you weresix weeks old we went down to the old homestead where your father and Hope wereboth born and all that summer you slept and crowed and grew down among thecrabapple trees and ripening grapes.
This would have been the oldShriven home near the
That was adear old place, William, and one you too would have loved could you remember itas it was then, but the last time I saw it it made myheart ache with its rundown decayed look.
In the autumnwe moved up town just in front of Grandma's and many little tracks your feetmade in a day between the two houses. Even before you could walk one day when Ileft you on the grass in the front yard while I ran in to attend to the dinner,you crept over there, across the dusty street, in your little white dress andwhite shoes and stockings. Grandma never forgot that and always said that yourfirst voluntary visit was to her.
The elder Shrivers moved into
When you wereeighteen months old you had your first journey of any note. You and Hope and Iwent down to
The Shiverfamily of
When you werefour years old your father had found the fishing unprofitable and had gone intothe inspection work with the Globe Indemnity Co. and the following spring,1914, we moved away from Saugatuck to Grand Rapids and in that same year youstarted to kindergarten. How well I remember that morning. Jennie, a girl whoused to live with Grandma and was staying with me for a few days, took you toschool for the first time. Things went quite well that morning until theteacher told you to march one way and you marched the other and she punishedyou by standing you in the corner. While you were there you formed a resolvenever to go to school again and when you came home you told me so. My resolvewas quickly made that you had to go back as it would be hard to ever start youagain, altho' I will admit that the teacher couldhave been just a little more lenient with a first day pupil.
I had to use persuasion and even aswitch to get you started but after you had become accustomed to going I neverhad anymore trouble tho' one time when there was acircus in town with Jess Willard, the pugilist, one of the attractions. You anda little chum forgot all about school and tramped nearly the whole afternoontrying to find his private car and getting a glimpse of him. That was one timethat my hair nearly turned gray and I searched the whole afternoon for youuntil you came home tired, dirty and hungry, but happy that you had seen yourhero.
We lived at
In the autumnof 1914 your father started to work for the Fidelity and Casualty Company of
WilliamGeorge Shriven grew up in Chicago and married Mildred Maude Ruggles,a native of
WilliamGeorge's big sister, Hope, married Eric Dickson and the couple returned toSaugatuck in their retirement, living in a new house on
Julia Laura Shriver (a sisterto Will J., the fisherman who was the father of Hope and William), married J.Howard Coates in 1908 and lived in the old Coates cottage, recently called"The Shoe Box" on lower Spear Street in downtown Saugatuck. After thedeath of her husband in 1947Julia was the village "nanny" and caredfor many area children. A couple of years before her death in 1975 she