A Legacy of Christmas Kindness

The tasty treats are the result not just of Stanley’s good will, but of a free bag of flour delivered to her doorstep each holiday season. It’s a tradition that dates back to 1894 in the western Ohio village. Shortly before his death that year, a former slave named Wheeling Gaunt deeded nine acres of farmland to the village with the stipulation that rent from the land be used to buy flour to give to widows at Christmas. Though the property no longer is rented, village taxpayers continue to honor Gaunt’s wishes and since the 1950s have even sweetened the holiday gift with sacks of sugar.

“We’ve always honored this tradition and always will,” says Village Clerk-Treasurer Deborah Benning, whose family has lived in Yellow Springs since the early 1800s. “We take responsibility for each other here. We care about each other.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

My experience has been that small groups of people, left to themselves, are generally pretty decent and kind. It's only the gigantic governments of empire that screw things up.

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