Poem about Venedocia, 1890?

The origin of the name "Venedocia"

The following poem describes life in the village and provides evidence for the origin of the name "Venedocia". It states that Governor Bebb named the village for North Wales. We know from other sources that the welsh word "venedotia" refers to North Wales, and that the Romans named a tribe there "Venedotians".

This undated poem was written between 1888 and 1897. It could have been written about 1888 because of its reference to Venedocia being being settled "since the last 40 years", however the poem appears to refer to things since 1888. The author Eunice Edwards was the daughter of Rev. Issac Edwards who served as pastor of Horeb church from 1882-1887 and again from 1893-1898, so the poem could have been written as late as 1898. The poem's suggested need for building a new church indicates a date prior to 1898 when the new (current) church was dedicated. The 1886 history of Van Wert and Mercer Counties gives the population of Venedocia as being about 100, and the 1886 atlas doesn't show the big brick school house. We know the school house had been built by 1895, when Venedocia Presbyterian Church was meeting there. Since the poem only mentions one church, we think it was probably prior to 1895.


Venedocia is the subject
Come sing both young and old
It is a little village
On the Clover Leaf Road.

This place is very noted
And know to far and near
For it has been settled now
Since the last forty year.

It was settled by the Welsh
From Wales they came you know
And it rapidly increased
For they were not so slow.

Governor Bebb baptized it
North Wales he gave for name
No name he could find better
Than that from which he came.

It is not so very large
About three hundred souls
And these are quite contented
As everybody knows.

The buildings are not many
But some are very fine.
All these you’ll see from Main St.
And they are in a line.

They’re talking now of piking
It will be booming then
The street up from the depot
Will surely please men.

The hucksters like to see that
To them ‘twill be a treat
Then they can run all winter
Through rain and snow and sleet.

The depot is quite handy
But to one side ‘tis true
The keeper is a Welshman
And he’s a hustler too.

The mill is quite important
And runs from sun to sun
When first they talked of building
The people all made fun.

And they they’ve changed their notion
And think it does much good
For if we had no flour
What would we do for food.

They come from all directions
To this grand mill to grind
If you would search the country
No better mill you’d find.

The shops are few in number
But well supplied with goods
You can get most anything
From stockings up to hoods.

The merchants are not numerous
But they are good and true
And this is a great comfort
When they are only few.

The best dry-goods and groceries
With them you’ll always find
And implements and saddles
And hardware of all kind.

The carpenters are many
But busy every day
In building dwelling houses
And barns to put the hay.

Shoemakers very plenty
There are no less than five
And these are always ready
This business ought to thrive.

A good plan for Venedocia
A shoe factory to start
This would give work to many
And help the town right smart.

The school house is a building
That beautifies the place
It stands out at a distance
And covers quite a space.

It is a large brick building
With two big rooms, but neat
And these are nicely furnished
With every thing complete.

Both teachers are quite noted
And do good work indeed
Such teachers are not many
But what our countries need.

The church house needs repairing
Especially the seats
But better build another
And then fix up the streets.

One thing good about this place
You find no liquor here
And this is a great blessing
to people far and near.

Strive to keep this demon out
For he has such power to win
And will ruin all our boys
If once he will get in.

Eunice Edwards (Mrs. Reese Edwards)

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