It was a happy day for the WhitesóJames White, and Willie, now 12ówhen on Thursday, May 2, 1867, they could see the plow turn the rich soil on their little Greenville farm (ibid., May 14, 1867), to be followed quickly by the setting out of grapes, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, and incidentally watch the construction of their new home. At some point about this time Ellen devised a plan to encourage James to engage in physical activity. He had been warned by the physicians at Dansville that physical activity could lead to another stroke. Ellen had been shown that without mental and physical activity he could not hope to recover fully. Here is her account:
In the spring there were fruit trees to be set out and a garden to be made."Willie," I said, "please buy three hoes and three rakes. Be sure to buy three of each." When he brought them to me, I told him to take one of the hoes, and Father another. Father objected, but took one. Taking one myself, we began to work; and although I blistered my hands, I led them in the hoeing. Father could not do much, but he went through the motions. It was by such methods as these that I tried to cooperate with God in restoring my husband to health (MS 50, 1902 [see also 2SM, p. 307]).
Rather triumphantly James White reported on Tuesday, June 18, that he harnessed his horses and went to town on business and brought home materials for the builders (RH, June 25, 1867). Sabbath, June 29, he and Ellen met with the church in Fairplains. He spoke in the morning for an hour and a half on baptism, and in the afternoon for an hour on Galatians 6:6, 7, on reaping what one sows. Ellen followed, speaking for an hour. The next morning he led four candidates into the nearby lake and baptized them. Willie was one of the four. James took Brother King into the water with him in case he needed assistance, but he needed none.