I was born in Clarksville, Ohio July 10, 1829, where my father Jonathan Van Dervoort, was a successful Merchant. During the panic of 1838 he lost his business and we moved on to a farm nearby. Soon after this my mother became helpless with inflammatory rheumatism and remained bed ridden for fourteen years before her death. My father and my brother, Jefferson, worked in the field and I did the housework. In the fall of 1842 we decided to move to Tippecanoe Co. Indiana where my Grandmother Ruland, my mother’s mother, lived. We had but little money, one team of horses, a small amount of household goods and one wagon. My brother Jefferson and I walked and drove sheep all the way. My Grandmother Ruland let us occupy one half of her double two story log and frame house, the old homestead. My Grandfather Ruland had been dead for many years. My brother Wilson and I slept in a trundle bed which was pushed under my fathers and mothers bed during the day time. About midnight on December 23 my brother Wilson woke me up crying. He whispered to me that grandfather Ruland had been talking to him about some money. I told him he must be dreaming and to go back to sleep. About five o’clock he woke me up again and said grandfather had returned and that I must get up and do as he said. So we slipped out of bed and went into the kitchen and dressed by the fireplace. Wilson said that Grandfather told him there was some money in a box under the last step of the stairway over the closet back of father’s bed and he wanted us to get it and give it to my mother. Wilson commenced to cry and said he was scared but I told him he must see me through. I lighted a candle and we crept into the closet without waking father or mother. After turning things upside down and moving some boxes stored there, we found a wooden box, it was quite heavy. Wilson was holding the candle and he commenced to cry. I thought he was going to faint. I took him in my arms and comforted him. He wanted to give it up, but after quieting him I told him we must do just as Grandfather told us to do. I took the box and we slipped into the kitchen. I soon had a good fire in the fireplace and started breakfast. I called father and he said it was too early for breakfast. I told him I had a special reason and wanted mother to have her breakfast with us as soon as possible. She said she did not think she was able to sit up but I took some hot water in to father and he gave her a warm bathe, and we carried her out to the table. We put her in a rocking chair with pillows around her and brought out the box and placed it beside her plate. We told her about grandfather appearing to Wilson and telling him where to find it. W opened the box and inside found two buckskin bags filled with silver money. Mother burst out crying and the rest of us were soon all weeping with her. We all wept for some time as there seemed to be such a strange presence in the room. After we quieted down father and I counted the money. There was $265.00 mostly in French and British coinage in the two bags. It was certainly a God send to us as we had less than $5.00 in the house, and a hard winter ahead.
Now I have told my story and every word is true. The last time I talked with my brother Wilson not long before he died in 1892 he said he still had the buckskin bags and the wooden box.
Signed, Clark N. Vandervoort