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1800s Words of Wisdom

The 1800s was an exciting time in our history. Scholars, poets, and inventors shared wisdom and philosophies that people around the world eagerly read and followed. We hope you enjoy some photos taken of the D.D. Collins House and grounds with the tidbits of treasured wisdom from those days gone by . . .

Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803 - 1882)

RALPH WALDO EMERSON, was born in Boston, MA, May 25, 1803, and died in Concord, MA on April 27, 1882. 

He is considered to be the most original of American philosophers and essayists. He was trained to be a Unitarian minister like his father and entered Harvard University at the age of fourteen, graduating at eighteen. Although ordained as a minister in 1829, he resigned due to changes in his religious views.

His genius for prose and oration was first recognized in 1837. His poetry is known to be the purest poetry as has ever been written, down to the last syllable. He, himself, expressed that his words seemed to be found not made. His works have been read and studied by scholars around the world who refer to him as “the sage of Concord.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
(1847 - 1931)

THOMAS EDISON, was born in Milan, Ohio on Feb 11, 1847 and died of diabetes in Llewellyn Park, New Jersey on October 18, 1931. 

One of the most prolific American inventors of all time, we can thank Thomas Edison for the electric light bulb, the phonograph, the motion picture camera, an electric car, and the electric power station. He has some 1,093 patents to his name and is known for his "never give up" attitude from an early age. 

He became nearly 90% deaf at an early age, but didn't let that stop him. He was not one to care much for school, but was into self-education through reading. He decided to read every book on the library shelf and by the ripe old age of twelve, he was reading Sir Isaac Newton's famous book, "Principia Mathematica." He was not one to mince words either, and rather than following the complexities of mathematics, he resolved to aspire to make science more understandable and usable for the common man. 

He was also a born marketing genius and began honing his salesmanship talent by selling candy, vegetables, and newspapers as a child. He was also a successful publisher and printed the Grand Trunk Herald as well as other newspapers.

He believed to his core in non-violence and although asked to serve during WWI as a naval consultant, he would only agree to work on defensive weapons. He was always proud that none of his inventions could be used to kill.

Although his career became that of a remarkable inventor, his words of wisdom ring true eternally for all of humanity to ponder, learn from, and follow.

Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
(1819 - 1892)

WALT WHITMAN was born in Westhills, Long Island, NY on May 31, 1819, and died in Camden, N. J., March 20, 1892. 

He was educated in Brooklyn, New York and learned type-setting when he was thirteen. By the time he was fifteen, he taught in a country school and became a contributor  to the "Democratic Review" before he was twenty-one.


After travelling throughout the Western States when he was thirty, he returned to Brooklyn and took up his father's trade of carpentry and building for a while.  

During the War of the Republic he aided sick and disabled soldiers in hospitals and camps which had a profound affect on his life and inspired his work, "Drum Taps."    


He wrote in a very unique style of poetry displaying not only power and creativity,  but also introspective meaning, beauty, and vision. He is known for being a poet with an incommunicable power to touch the heart.

Eugene Field

Hugo's "Flower to Butterfly" 

by Eugene Field

Sweet, bide with me and let my love
Be an enduring tether;
Oh, wanton not from spot to spot,
But let us dwell together.

You've come each morn to sip the sweets
With which you found me dripping,
Yet never knew it was not dew
But tears that you were sipping.

You gambol over honey meads
Where siren bees are humming;
But mine the fate to watch and wait
For my beloved's coming.

The sunshine that delights you now
Shall fade to darkness gloomy;
You should not fear if, biding here,
You nestled closer to me.

So rest you, love, and be my love,
That my enraptured blooming
May fill your sight with tender light,
Your wings with sweet perfuming.

Or, if you will not bide with me
Upon this quiet heather,
Oh, give me wing, thou beauteous thing,
That we may soar together.

Eugene Field
(1850 - 1895)

EUGENE FIELD was born on Broadway Street in St. Louis, Missouri on September 2, 1850, and died in Chicago, Illinois on November 4, 1895. 

Eugene was not a serious student and was known to be a bit of a trickster as a child and well into his college endeavors as well. His father was the noted attorney, Roswell Martin Field, who represented Dred Scott, the slave who sued for his freedom.

Eugene tried several different fields of study including law, journalism and acting before he found his calling as a poet. He was a unique poet because he was one of the very few poets who wrote only children's poetry. He is known as The Children's Poet of the 1800s.

He worked for many newspapers and was offered a job at the Chicago Daily News where he wrote a humorous column, "Sharps and Flats".  He felt he had accomplished everything he wanted to in his life.

His most famous poems are "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod"; "The Duel"; and "Little Boy Blue".

Phone:  Call Lavadna at 618.420.0288         

Mail: c/o 104 Irene Dr., Collinsville, IL 62234 

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