Russell King Homer born 15 July 1815 at Spafford, Onandaga, New York. "When he was about 15 years old, he and some boy friends were riding on horseback in the woods, going nowhere in particular. They saw a man coming towards them on horseback. ...When he came even with the boys, he halted and asked for directions to a place nearby. Father (Russell) answered and gave him directions. The stranger then asked, "My boy, what is your name?" Father answered, "My name is Russell Homer." The stranger then said, "My name is Joseph Smith and my boy, you will join the church that has just been organized, (April 6, 1830) and go with the saints to the Rocky Mountains and stand up and bear your testimony to the truthfulness of the everlasting gospel." Father had no idea what he was talking about, but it made a deep impression upon him and was never forgotten. He related the incident many times, and people now living (1942) have heard father bear this testimony.
In some spots in the locality where they lived, human bones were to be found strewn over the ground. It was supposed that they were the bones of Indians that had been killed in wars before the advent of white men into that part of New York. These bones which father and his playmates played with later became important to him in his conversion to Mormonism.
One of the near neighbors to the Homers in Onondaga County was the Williamson family. They had a daughter, Eliza, who was born the same year as Russell King. As their parents were friends and neighbors, these two were childhood sweethearts. When the Homers went to Crawford County, Pensylvania, the Williamsons went with them, and the families located near each other. The two children were 15 years old,(1830) and their youthfull romance continued. In the summer of 1836, Eliza returned to New York to visit with old friends and was gone some months when she sent word to her mother that she was homesick and would like to come back to Pennsylvania. Her mother reported this to the Homer family and asked Russell how he would like to go get her. He replied that he didn't know of anything he would like better if he could bring back a wife with him. Mrs. Williamson graciously responded that she did not know of anything she would like better for a Christmas present than to have him for a son-in-law. I have heard father tell of how, when he began this journey, he was as proud as a gallant knight of old setting out to rescue his lady fair and bring her back to a home of her own. Before he started, he procured some elegant clothes, a swallow-tailed coat and a fine linnen shirt with a frilled bosom, a high stove-pipe hat, knee breeches, and high top boots.
They were married December 20, 1836, (21 years old) at Erie, New York, and spent the holidays honeymooning in and around that city. They rode on the first steamboat which had sailed on Lake Erie. Father spent all of his money, and had to sell his new boots to get sufficient money to complete the journey home.
Their first home was a log cabin built in the woods from logs cut from the clearing where the house stood. The furnishings were made of the same materials; these furnishings consisted mainly of a hewn table, stools, and bed. The house had a fireplace with a big iron pot and a bake oven for cooking purposes. As they had no matches, the starting of a fire was quite a job. On one ocassion, father went seven miles on foot through the woods to get a start of a fire, and carried it home in the iron pot, keeping it alive all the way by occasionally replenishing it."
Copied from "Homer Family History" by Rachael Maretta Homer Crockett