The series “From the Archives” features articles from the archives of our quarterly journal. The following article by Ruth Asher appeared in the Winter 1986 issue of the White River Valley Historical Society Quarterly.
The William S. Asher family was sick with the measles. They lived on Dry Hollow, near the Cedar Bluff School. The Father, called Will, was very sick. Their son, Eli, went to Galena to get Dr. Henson. He went on horseback and started about midnight, crossing the James River at the ford between the Melvin and Rolla Blunk places, now near Asher’s Cane Bottom sub-division. He crossed the James again at the John Bake Melton place and arrived at the doctor’s home about 3 a.m. Doc sent Eli to waken George Yetley and have him harness his team and be ready to drive to Dry Hollow. George owned the livery stable at Galena. George was a brother to Henry Yetley, who owned the section of land at the turning place to go to Dry Creek and Flat Creek. A row of cedars is still standing beside highway 173 at this point, now known as the George Smith place.
Eli went on back home and Dr. Henson got there about daybreak. He asked Jane, the wife, what she had been giving Will and she said “hot tea.” Doc said that was not the thing to do, but give him cold water to break out the measles.
At this time Aunt Becky Foster, Jane’s mother and Doc’s aunt, was also sick. He looked in on her and said “Goodbye, Aunt Becky.” Jane told the family that her mother would never get well and the doctor knew it. She never got up after that.
A bit about Aunt Becky. She was a mid-wife and was called on to administer to all the sick folk in the community. She and her husband, Eli, were always helping with hog butchering and other kinds of good deeds. One time they went to help at the Marion Henson place. The Hensons didn’t have the water hot, so Eli said that he would just take a new day.
These folks are buried in the Dry Hollow Community where they spent all of their lives.
Eli Asher was my father-in-law and told me of the many happenings and stories. My father was Ed Henson and he told me about the hog killing story.