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Weston Wagons West - Episode F10 - Ferrell Had Trained His Sons Well

Updated on August 1, 2019
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Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

Each of the sons was trained as a farrier caring for horses

A Farrier working on the horse's shoe
A Farrier working on the horse's shoe

Ferrell and Julia Kept in Close Contact with the Dolan Families

Harriett Dolan was the 5th child born to John and Sarah Dolan, in April of 1833. She joined three older brothers and an older sister. On the several occasions that Julia Weston got to interact with Sarah Dolan and her children, it was young Harriett that struck the fancy of Julia. She had sparkling eyes and always seemed to smile in spite of busy and crowded circumstances of the family. She, especially, made each of Julia’s visits very memorable. Similarly, when visiting the James and Nancy Dolan family, their daughter, Malvinna, born in June of 1834, struck Julia similarly. They were first cousins, of course, but they seemed very much alike, even at their very young age, to Julia.

Floyd Weston completed his blacksmith apprenticeship in the spring of 1834 at about the same time that his brother, Jake, began his farrier apprenticeship. Jake did seem to especially enjoy working with the horses, so now at 12 years of age his parents saw that he could concentrate on things that really caught his attention. He took to the farrier trade tasks quickly and effectively. They were very pleased. Likewise, they were pleased that Floyd now looked forward to becoming a full-fledged member of the family business.

With Jake turning 12 and his cousin, Hank, turning 8, people who knew them both began to comment how much they looked alike and carried themselves similarly. Hank looked up to Jake like an older brother, and he liked to spend time with Jake, whether over at his grandparent’s farm or his father Joe’s farm. Only time would tell how this relationship would go, of course.

Each son looked forward to beginning their horse here

They each built their own horse herd
They each built their own horse herd

Ferrell and Julia Observed The Maturity of Their Sons

Ferris Weston, he was now 25 in 1834, was the Weston who did most of the work with the Dolan family, especially James and John. He spent quite a bit of time at each of their farms, working with their horses, keeping them healthy. Their father, William, now 71, didn’t get around much anymore, but Ferris did stop in regularly to see that his favorite horse, Fancy, the one that pulled the buggy, was kept in good shape. The younger sons on the Dolan home place, William, now 23, and Thomas, now 16, pretty much liked to take care of their own horses, but didn’t mind the visits Ferris made to look after the old man’s mare. Ferris had been doing it for a long time, and it was just a part of their lives now.

When the spring of 1836 rolled around, both Ferrell and Julia were mildly surprised that Jake wanted to move ahead with a blacksmithing apprenticeship. He had done well with the farrier apprenticeship, of course, and really was pleased to receive his 1st and 2nd horse to start his own herd. He had been looking forward to it and had worked hard to earn it. He now showed interest in learning the blacksmithing skills and techniques, as well. And, of course, doing well with that would earn that 3rd and 4th horse for his own herd. Perhaps that was incentive enough. Ferrell and Julia were anxious to see how that all worked out.

Over at the James Dolan farm, in February of 1837, Nancy Dolan gave birth to a baby boy that they named Josiah. He was a small boy, but as he grew, he liked being around the horses. Ferris Weston took a liking to the tyke because they had that common interest. James and Nancy didn’t seem to mind, so Ferris spent a lot time with the young Josiah as he worked with their horses, being always mindful of safety concerns and keeping a safe distance while doing his work.

A baby granddaughter was welcomed to the family

A baby girl
A baby girl

Ferrell and Julia Rejoice in the Arrival of a Granddaughter

In the spring of 1838 when Hank was turning 12, Jake was finishing his blacksmithing apprenticeship and earning that 3rd and 4th horse. Conversations among Ferrell, Joe, Jake and Hank concluded that it made sense for Jake to take his horses over to Joe’s place and be the one to lead the farrier apprenticeship of Hank. Jake had a fresh memory of the all the techniques. Joe would supervise to be sure everything was completed properly, though he was years away from the actual training himself. This also allowed Hank and Jake to spend more time together, to get to know each other better, for better or for worse.

Ferris and Floyd were working well with Ferrell in all of his businesses so that would continue. Frankly, they had never felt that close with Jake, he being much younger. So, for better or worse, that was the decision that was made and both Hank and Jake looked forward to the opportunity.

The farrier apprenticeship with Hank went very well. Jake enjoyed working with him. He also found there was quite a bit of blacksmithing work he could do for Joe’s customers to earn his own keep in the process. So, the spring of 1840 came quickly, and they all decided to continue with Hank’s blacksmithing apprenticeship under Jake’s direct supervision as well.

During this time, at Joe’s farm, Mary was pregnant after all these years and in the summer gave birth to a sweet little baby girl. They named her Sarah. She was Mary’s pride and joy. She was probably over protected, but Mary felt it was just great joy at having a baby girl who was healthy and happy. She was determined to keep her that way, and certainly did protect her in every way. Joe was very pleased as well, of course. At 36 himself, he had really pretty much given up on having a daughter. Now, it gave him new life and more to look forward to. Grandparents Ferrell and Julia were thrilled to be able to be doting grandparents of a little girl. They used every excuse to spend time with her. They also provided regular gifts, which only spoiled her more, of course, but no-one seemed to mind. Their regular visits also allowed them to continue to see their son, Jake, regularly, too. The whole arrangement was filled with pleasant surprises and new opportunities for all of the family members.

Note by the author

The Fx and Hx series of historical fiction family saga stories consist primarily of characters that are fictional. Any real persons, Dolan, Barker, Cutler, Hildreth, and Putnam, for example, are used here fictitiously. The Dolan family in Marietta were actual direct ancestors of the author’s wife. Two of the Dolan sons, John and James, were her third great-grandfathers. Harriett Dolan was a 2nd great-grandmother. Josiah Dolan was a 2nd great-grandfather. She and I have visited the area doing family history research. Activities and events are consistent with known historical facts, but are entirely fictitious. Cousins of these Weston characters, the Jacob and Levi Weston characters, were first created as a part of “The Homeplace Saga” stories. The first 20+ episodes of this Lx series filled in the early years of the lives of Levi, Jacob and their family, also descendants of Thomas and Fred Weston. The author first created the characters Joe, Jake and Hank Weston in 1998 (they had not been published prior to this hub series).

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