By George Davis
Kaighin thinks little of walking out to Rocky River
and back downtown or both ways between Public
Square and Euclid.
at age of 76
Payson Weston, another oldster, won fame walking a yet greater distance
daily on long tours. But Charles
Kaighin for his ages seems to top all pedestrians in Cleveland.
the fact he has been a blacksmith nearly all his life explains why now he
can walk so far and like it. For
smithing doesn’t only develop arm muscles.
Holding horses’ legs in one’s lap all day while shoeing them strengthens
the knees of a blacksmith.
Kaighin has worn out many leather aprons since he first was an apprentice
while still going to grade school.
That was when the West Side was Ohio
flying from an anvil fascinated him.
He ran all the way to the smithy when told an apprentice would be
engaged. Then he changed to another
shop which did no carriage repairs and he could spend all his time helping
Kaighin later on had two shops of his own on the flats, one of them for
horses from the lumber yards at Stone’s Levee. He continued working as a blacksmith
until a half dozen years ago, when he was shoeing trotting horses at
S. Fix’s Sons is a boiler tube
welding works on Columbus road
near where it was established in 1860.
The blacksmith worked there a half century ago when
the works included a shoeing forge.
Now he values the privilege of cooking some of his meals at the
works. For he feels more at home
there than in any restaurant. He
still feels strong enough to work at a blacksmith, but contents himself
with odd jobs, taking his long walks when he can’t find work.
Mr. Kaighin letters motto cards
beautifully, makes pictures for missions.
He used to write songs to the beat of his hammer on an anvil. Two ballads he published are “Freedom for
and “Twilight With Mother.”