Come all kind friends, both far and near,
Come listen to me and you shall hear --
It's of a family and their fate,
All about them I will relate.
They once did live at Edgerton,
They once did live at Muskegon,
From there they went to Chicago,
Which proved their fatal overthrow.
It was William House's family,
As fine a family as you see --
His family was eleven in all,
I do not think it was very small.
Two children died some years ago,
Before they went to Chicago,
Five children there he had with him,
When death his home there enters in.
The small-pox then was raging there,
And Oh! it would not their house spare,
For all but one was sick of them,
A dreadful house it must have been.
The eldest girl was married then,
The eldest boy was in Michigan,
The second boy he was at home,
And took care of them all alone.
His father and his mother dear,
And dear sister, too, I hear,
Were very sick and in his care,
And no kind friends to help him there:
Two little brothers, and a baby too,
Made six in all -- what could he do,
He had to take care of them all,
The baby, too, was very small.
As he would go to his father's bed,
And try to soothe his aching head,
"My son, I pray you leave me, do
Go take care of poor mother, too."
"Your mother and sister need your care,
And your little infant brother there;
Oh! Charlie, Charlie, take care of them,
My son, do all for them you can."
It seemed as though he did not know
That his poor soul so soon must go,
And leave his little ones he loved,
To go to that bright world above.
But God he called his soul away,
It had to leave, it could not stay --
He never more on earth will be,
His soul is from sin and sorrow free.
Charles helped the sexton, I am told,
To lay his form in the coffin cold --
How sad, how sad, poor soul was he,
When last his father's form did see.
Minnie May House she had to go,
And leave her friends that loved her so --
She was a girl in her teens,
A lovely flower as e'er was seen.
Minnie and her mother lay on one bed,
And when Charles said, "our Minnie is dead,"
His mother then she did grow wild,
And early after knew her child.
They buried Minnie by her father's side,
And left them there where they had died --
Charles took his mother and brothers then
And brought them back to Michigan.
For the mother and the baby too,
Kind friends did all that they could do,
But those poor souls they could not save,
For now they're sleeping in their grave.
Oh! what a noble son was he,
His age was then only sixteen --
Charles House's name I have told before
God bless his soul forever more.