Monday, September 5, 2011

Uncle Austin Gollaher - The Breckenridge News

From The Breckenridge News - March 2, 1898


Abraham Lincoln's Playmate Dead, Aged 93, Near Hodgenville. He Was Known Far And Near.

      Hodgenville, Ky., Feb 22--, After an illness which kept him confined to his bed for over a year, Uncle Austin Gollaher, the playmate of Abraham Lincoln, died at his home near here this morning. His death was due to old age and general debility.
      He was ninety-three years old. A few months before his death his mental faculties became much impaired, but until that time his mind was exceptionally bright and he conversed freely.
      It was his great delight to relate the experience of his saving Lincoln from drowning and he considered this the greatest accomplishment of his life.
      When this country was young Mr. Gollaher taught school in the Muldraugh Hill section, and though his book learning was very limited, his naturally strong intellect enabled him to perform schoolroom duties in a manner that gave satisfaction to the patrons, and there are many old citizens living in this county who went to school to him in the '40s.
      He was the father of six children, his grandchildren number twenty-six, his great grandchildren forty-five, and his great, great grandchildren sixteen. Mr. Gollaher's entire life was spent in the hills of Larue county.
      The old man had become widely known in almost every State in the Union by reason of the fact that he was the only playmate of Abraham Lincoln. He was a very plain, dignified old gentleman, and never attempted to arrest public attention by giving publicity to his companionship with Lincoln, nor would he under any circumstances misrepresent or even exaggerate the intimacy of the acquaintanceship he enjoyed with Lincoln as a boy.
      Mr. Gollaher had been a strong man mentally and physically. His large, bony frame shows that in former years he was a powerful man, and his very large head, high full forehead and expressive eyes indicated great natural ability, and had he enjoyed the opportunity of improving his natural talents--had some fortunate circumstance called him from obscurity, he would easily have reached far beyond the average prominence accorded to man, and would have been one of our most noted and useful citizens. But, satisfied with a pleasant, easy-going life, and not of an adventurous spirit he enjoyed only the pleasant memories of his acquaintance with Lincoln and the respect and esteem of all who knew him.

Uncle Austin was the maternal 3rd great grandfather of my husband Mike. At the time of this writing, two of those sixteen great grandchildren mentioned in this article were Mike's great aunt, Bessie Elizabeth Melvin, and his great uncle, Charles Walter "Bud" Melvin.

This is the fourth in a series of six daily blog posts I am doing on Benjamin Austin Gollaher. Previous posts on Gollaher (done before this series) can be seen at the links below:


No comments:

Post a Comment