Reminiscences of the Past, by Robert Condon Stone

Reminiscencs of the Past, by Robert Condon Stone

Notes from John McDermid

The Fort Lincoln School today     This is a series of newspaper articles written by Robert Condon Stone. My grandmother was his first cousin once removed. I have his signature in an autograph book belonging to my grandmother. The demeanor of his comments is that of a teacher. In his memiors he indicates that he taught at the Fort Lincoln school and my grandmother went through all nine grades at Fort Lincoln. (The Fort Lincoln school has been restored and now sits on the Fort Scoot Community College campus).

Map of Freedom Township     I have an included my retouched version of an 1878 map of the Freedom Township in Bourbon county. Many of the names and places Robert mentions are visible. The map helps provide insight to some of the events Robert describes. I have been able to obtain GPS co-ordinates for all the points on the map and have probably stood within 75 feet of their original position. Really makes history come alive!

     Robert was the son of William and Matilda Stone. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas describes a situation, Stone vs Southwood, which is also described by Robert. It is interesting to compare and contrast the two versions. Matilda was part French, part native American (although the record differs as to whether she was of Cherokee or Blackfoot heritage). It is said that she was very attractive woman. She also appeared to be quite athletic; it is said that, at the age of 60, she could lay one hand on the horse's main, mount the horse with one smooth motion, and ride bareback. That must have been some altercation!

     The copy of "Reminiscense" was given to me by Sheila Mangini. Her niece had commisioned a woman in Kansas to research the articles. (You will notice a few ....... in the article. These were areas where the copy -- copy of a copy of ... -- was to poor to make out. Someday I hope to find a microfilm version in a newspaper archives and fill these in!) I re-checked for a date and newspaper but none were visible. The article itself, however, does provide some clues.

     Robert was born October 12, 1850. At the time he wrote the article he states that he was gone from the county in 1887 or 36 years. This would indicate that the article was published in 1923. He would have been 73 years old at the time of publication. He died in 1937 at the age of 87. In the last paragraph of the article he acknowledges the "Fulton News" and the "Observer Enterprise". The first was clearly a Fulton newspaper. I suspect, although I do not know for sure, that the second is a Pittsburgh (possibly Pleasanton), Kansas paper. His love of the area brought him back there and he was buried in the old Osaga cemetery just a mile south of where he lived.

Referenced Sources, in KanColl:

Stone vs. Southwood in the Andreas History of the State of Kansas, written by William G. Cutler
Some of the Rhymes of Ironquill (Eugene Ware)

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