Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

June 25, 2014

Pat Smith: Memories of Thomas Meek

Last week’s column was about appreciating the history in the old obituaries, especially the obituary for Thomas Meek that Jeanie Coy shared.

“The Sainted soul of Uncle Thomas Meek slipped leash and soars heavenward on eternal pilgrimage.” According to his obituary, Thomas Meek was the oldest resident of the county at that time.

This week I’m sharing what William Parker remembered about Thomas Meek. Parker was the son of John H. Parker who practiced law in Decatur County for 50 years and helped organize the Decatur County Bank. He was born in Greensburg in 1895 and was a farmer for more than 60 years. He and his wife Clara Menefee were supporters of the Decatur County Historical Society.

Parker wrote that he was a year old in 1896 when his parents moved from East First Street to 718 North Franklin, just south, across the alley from Uncle Tommy and Aunt Nancy Meek. (Back on those days children often called older people Uncle or Aunt.) He visited the Meeks often and remembered a three gallon jar in which Mrs. Meek kept her New Orleans Molasses cookies which she shared with the neighborhood youngsters.

Uncle Tommy was a good storyteller, wrote Parker, and he remembered many of those stories of the early days of the county. One of the highlights of his (Thomas Meek) boyhood, that he valued above all others, was living up along the Maysville, Lexington Pike, in Kentucky and viewing the entourage of General Marquis de Lafayette, on his triumphant return visit to the United States in 1823-1824.

There was some rivalry between the country and town boys and “every trip to Greensburg usually resulted in wrestling matches and many ending in fist fights. Uncle Tommy, a big boy of over six feet height and over 200 pounds of bone and muscle was usually able to hold his own.”

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