1855 – 1931
Forty-five years ago I broke out with a most terrible skin disease all over me which remained on me seven years, supposed to originate from measles; I also had indigestion and the last two years of that seven years I had a bad cough, I had bleeding of my right lung and had nightly sweats for two years. The doctors said I had consumption in my right lung and that I could not live two years. I will not be able to explain how bad I was and how much I suffered in that seven years.
It first broke out on my stomach, and in six months it was all over me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. It first broke out with pimples. Soon my skin got scaly; when I rubbed my hand briefly over my skin I could see hundreds of scales fly off my skin. Sometimes it broke out in blood boils and ran bloody matter. Other times it broke in yellow boils and ran yellow matter. Sometimes the skin got hard and bled. My eyes were most of the time red and swollen. Sometimes I had to hold my eyelids up with my hands to see my way to walk. Many times I had bad spells of about three or four weeks duration that my face would get into a solid running pus of sore so that I could not open my eyes in ten days at a time.
Sometimes I got so bad I did not eat or sleep in four days and nights at a time. Many times the proud flesh grew on my eyelids nearly half as large as a man’s thumb. Sometimes my skin turned red and puffed up like erysipelas and burned nearly equal to a fresh scald and ran yellow water and matter for about three weeks day and night; so much matter dripped off my head and face on my pillow in a night that it looked and felt much like a piece of dried rawhide, and a lot of the time my clothing would stick fast to my skin and I was so sore that I could not turn over in the bed. The terrible itching and burning was so great that I scratched myself till I wore my fingers to the blood. Many nights I scratched myself all night till my skin bled most all over.
I lost all hope of ever getting well. Many times the thought came in my mind to kill myself to get out of my suffering. I had a place picked out in the South Fork of New River to end my days. All the consolation I had was that I would sometime die out of my troubles. I suffered every day and night for seven years. I had five of the best physicians to treat me that I knew of, but they never could do me any good. Two of these doctors took my case on contract. They were to cure me for one hundred thousand dollars each and if they did not cure me they were not to have anything, but the never done me any good, but I got a little worse all the time. One of these doctors treated me three years.
Then I went to Hot Springs in Arkansas to use the hot spring water and to be treated. I used the hot spring water and was treated by the best doctor that I could find at Hot Springs City several weeks but it never did me any good. Then this doctor at Hot Springs told me that I never could be cured. I went back home and bought every kind of patent medicine that I knew of that was recommended for skin and nerve diseases. I bought sixty dollars worth of Cuticura skin medicine, but none of it did me any good. I boiled out many kinds of roots and herbs and used the tea of them, but it did no good. By this time my right lung got to bleeding and soon got badly stopped up and I began to have night sweats. I got more feeble every day. Then I went to the Bromide and Arsenic Springs, sometimes called Healing Springs, in Ashe County, North Carolina and used the water a few months, but it never did me any good. Then the doctors told me I could not live but a short time.
Then I bought a farm in the country to settle my family on. Then I moved away from town and went to this farm. In a few months after I had been on this farm one day I walked out on my farm. My face was so inflamed and swollen I had to hold my eyelids up with my hands to see my way to walk. I passed a spring and dipped up some water with my hands and bathed my face to cool the fever down in my face as I had often done when I passed where there was cold water and in less than one hour I realized that my face was better and so much better that I became excited about it.
Then late that evening I went back to that spring and bathed my face and other parts of my body, and by the next morning the fever had left where the water was put on the skin. I was so glad I felt like shouting, I was glad with all my heart. I told everybody I saw about it. I gained strength every day and in three weeks I was out on the farm at work and could do about as much work as any man I could hire, and in six weeks my lung was well and I was about as stout as I ever was.
It has been about thirty-five years since I found the spring and got well. I have done as much hard work since that time as any man I know of, and after I was cured many people went to this spring with skin diseases, rheumatism and nervous diseases, and were all cured, and many other diseases have been cured at this spring. I have many testimonials form the best class of people; among these are lawyers, doctors, merchants, farmers and people in and who have been in, high offices. I am now 68 years old and I work most every day.
State of North Carolina,
February 12, 1925