The Story of a Kansas Pioneer, by Melissa Genett Anderson

Part II - III.

Mary Cramer Jeffrey     The first of March, 1857, found us saying good-bye to our neighbors and life-long friends and to my dear old grandmother, Mary Cramer Jeffrey. The greatest sorrow that ever came to my childish heart was leaving Grandmother behind, and all alone. If I could have had my choice, I would have stayed with her.

     A good neighbor took us in his wagon to Richmond, fourteen miles away. There we took the railroad to Indianapolis, and then on to Kokomo. From Kokomo we went by wagon to Greentown, Indiana, where one of my mother's sisters lived. It was not for the purpose of making them a visit, as much as we enjoyed that, but so that Uncle and his family could join us in the trip to Kansas.

     We found our aunt in delicate health; so it was decided that Mother and we children should remain a few months with her while Father and Uncle should go to Kansas, get located, stake out their claims, and build a house. Uncle would then return for both families.

     They took adjoining claims of 160 acres each out on the broad prairie, five miles from LeRoy, in Coffey County. On the side where the claims joined, a plot of 20 acres, 10 acres in each claim, was fenced. Father then went to Missouri, where he bought two yoke of oxen and an ox wagon, for all the timber for improvements had to be hauled from the Neosho River, three miles distant. Uncle now returned to Indiana for the families, leaving Father to get the timber cut and the logs hauled for a house.

     It was August before enough logs were on the ground. Then the neighbors were all invited to the house raising. That was the custom -- everyone helped everyone else raise his house. But alas! August was the month the ague set in. No one was exempt. Any man, woman, or child was likely to be prostrated between nine o'clock in the morning and noon. The attack might come any minute. The person would be very sick until, sometime in the night, his fever would go. Then in the morning he could work a while. By the time Father's house was four rounds high, the men, one after the other, had been attacked by the ague. It took three raisings to get the walls up, and on account of the "fever and chills," as the ague was sometimes called, that was as far as the house got before the families arrived.

     Uncle returned to Indiana, settled some business, and then we all started to Kansas. Besides the two families, the party included a young man, the son of Uncle's former partner in a store at Greentown. My older sister, Harriet, was fifteen years of age at this time, and this young man's companions took advantage of the opportunity to tease him about her.

     "I know what you are going to Kansas for," they would say. "You are going after that Anderson girl."

     "No, I'm not," was the reply. "If I'd take either, I'd take the little one." This was myself, twelve years old.

     We went by railroad to St. Louis, where we were to take a boat up the Missouri River. When we arrived at St. Louis, we found a boat that would start in an hour. There was also a new boat starting the next morning on its first trip. We wanted very much to take the new boat, but with our numerous family thought it best not to wait. The next afternoon we saw the new boat coming with flags flying. Men were waving hats; women, handkerchiefs. Our boat fired up and we ran side by side for an hour. Then the new boat steamed ahead with great shouting and rejoicing. The next afternoon we passed the new boat again. This time there was no waving of banners or any other sign of life. The bare top was out of the water. It had sunk in the night, we learned, and although no lives had been lost, there had been no time to save property.

     We were five days and five nights on the river, being stalled two nights on a sand bar. Our family seemed to attract quite a little attention on the boat, I suppose on account of its size. While Mother was in Greentown, a baby was born to her, making her seven children. Then there were all of Uncle's family and the young man from Greentown. He was evidently regarded as one of Mother's children, for he was frequently asked for introductions to his "sister" (Harriet). My oldest brother, who was ten years old at the time. one day overheard a conversation. "There is a Mormon on board this boat," the man was saying. "He has two wives and seventeen children. There stands one of the boys now." The speaker pointed at my brother.

     We left the boat at Westport Landing, near Kansas City. Father met us here with two yoke of oxen and an ox wagon. We had brought very little besides our bedding and clothing, but it was necessary to pile box on top of box. We left room in front for Mother and for the eight children under seven years of age. The rest walked the hundred miles to the Neosho Valley. We were two weeks making the trip. The oxen were slow; we were heavily loaded; and when it rained we would not break camp.

     Sometime in October or November of 1857 we reached our claim, and stretched our tent in the yard. It rained all night and most of the next day. There was no prospect of getting breakfast, but about ten o'clock three neighbors came to see how we were making it, and took us into their homes until the rain stopped. Father was sick, and the little two-months-old baby died. Uncle and the young man that came with us soon covered the house with clapboards, which Father had prepared by splitting oak chunks three feet long. They then cut out a door, built a fireplace in one end, and pointed the cracks between the logs with mud. There was no floor except that of Mother Earth.

     We were then ready to move in. The next thing to consider was furniture. A goods box was made into a table. Bedsteads presented a harder problem, but a tidy mother like mine could not make her beds on the floor, especially when that was nature's soil. She got some fence posts, smoothed them off, and bored a two-inch auger hole through them for the bed rail to rest in. Smaller holes were bored every eight or ten inches apart around the bed, and a strong cord, called a bed cord, was run lengthwise and crosswise and was drawn tight. This made a comfortable bed. Seats, if not chairs, were made by splitting logs of various lengths and attaching legs. Our goods boxes were made into cupboard and shelves. We cooked at the fireplace, baking bread in a skillet. Thus was our home furnished. And it was as good as anything belonging to our neighbors, who were taking claims at the time, and whose little log houses were dotting the prairie for miles around us.

     We had a warm and pleasant winter. We could not get lonesome with fifteen in the family. By January 1, however, Uncle had his house ready and moved out. This left us reduced to eight.

     Provisions were high and scarce. Flour, which had to be hauled from Missouri, was twelve dollars a hundred pounds. But we fared much better than the immigrants that had come in the fall before. Cabins had been few and far between then. Two men had left for Missouri to get provisions, expecting to be gone two weeks. Their families had supplies for only that length of time. But a snow storm caught them in Missouri, and they were four weeks on the trip. One family had a sack of wheat for sowing, which they boiled and lived on for the two weeks. The other family lived on hickory nuts.

     And yet God was good to His immigrants. Long before the white man knew anything about this beautiful Kansas, He was making it ready. Along the grand Neosho River were large hickory, walnut, and pecan trees, loaded with their rich nuts. The plum and the wild grape were also to be found; and along the smaller streams the blackberry, dewberry, gooseberry, and persimmon were plentiful: all planted and tended by His loving hand.

     We were too late for the fruit the first year, but I remember that we found about a peck of hazel nuts in a hollow tree, placed there no doubt by squirrels. The only meat we had this first winter was a wild hog which Uncle and our Greentown friend killed. The bacon was, however, too thin to fry and had to be boiled. We were not reduced to straits such as those experienced by the settlers of the previous winter, but many days found us with only bread to eat and coffee, which was without cream or sugar.

     In the winter of '57 a preacher came from Missouri. He was planning to come once a month, he said. The second time he came we were to have a Sunday school. But a Sunday school without a library was not to be thought of for a minute; so a collection was taken. The minister was to bring the books on his next visit. But he never came again. He was not censured; times were too grave.

     The free state men were pouring in, determined to make Kansas a free state. The pro-slavery forces were just as determined that it should be a slave state. Men were shot down if they differed in politics. Many an old grudge was settled with a bullet on some lonely highway.

     By spring, Father's health was much improved; so he took one yoke of oxen and the wagon and made a trip to Missouri. He brought back two milch cows, two bushels of seed potatoes, and a few other necessary articles. And when Mother got out her large bag of garden seeds which she had brought with her, it did seem that our hard times would soon be over. How good the potatoes looked! But every one was to be planted. Oh, we did have a mess or two out of the hearts after the precious eyes were cut away.

     Then came the planting and the waiting. But oh! the soil! The first year's sod dried out so quickly. Rain did not come. So not one potato set on the vines. The rest of the garden withered and died. Father got very much discouraged with his high prairie claim, and decided to sell the first opportunity. But there were the cows. We were that much better off than we had been the winter before.

     And we had good neighbors all around. It made no difference whether they were Yanks, Buckeyes, Hoosiers, Missourians, or what not -- we were neighbors. And we all used the English language, even if our expressions were some times different. The Yank went out to pail a ke-ow. The Missourian would take a bucket and milk a cow. This difference in pronunciation had been made use of in the early rush to the territory. In 1856 on every Missouri road leading to Kansas, a cow would be tied. Each immigrant would be asked, "What animal is that?" If he said "cow," he was allowed to pass, but if he made it a "ke-ow," he was searched, all his firearms were taken from him, and he was turned back. This was the Missourian's way of preventing Kansas from becoming a free state.

     I remember one day when I was learning to milk, and was milking in a tin cup. A little Yank came along and made fun of me, asking why I did not run to the house and get 2 tablespoon to milk in. Milk was too precious to waste, or I would have thrown it on him.

     A saw mill was now running at Le Roy, and we had a floor in our cabin. Le Roy also had a general store. One could buy a pound of coffee, a bottle of quinine, a smoothing iron, a yard of cloth, or a plug of tobacco. I walked the five miles more than once to get Father his plug of tobacco. The post office was in one corner of the general store.

     The second winter, 1858-1859, found us without shoes, and with no prospect of getting them. Here Mother's ingenuity came into play. The men all wore boots. They would wear the feet out, and throw them away. Mother gathered up the old boots, ripped them, soaked them soft, and pounded them on a smooth surface. She then fitted every child with a last, which she made herself. She made pegs by sawing off rounds of an oak limb the length she wanted the pegs. There were no barefooted children in our family that winter, as there were in many other families.

     My brother, James Watson, was born this winter, March 3, 1859. When quite a small boy, he got the nickname of "Dot," which clung to him as long as he lived.

     I have mentioned previously that a young man, Philip Marshall Moore by name, had joined our party at Greentown, Indiana, and had come to Kansas with us. He lived part of the first winter in our house, and then took a claim about three miles from Father's. In the spring of 1859 we became very good friends. I was fourteen years old on May 20 of that year. On the tenth of the following August he was twenty-four, and that day we became engaged. He asked me how long he would have to wait. "One year, at least," I replied. It was written in his memorandum that a year from that day we would be married. He was very kind and good to his little girl fiancee. He knew we were planning to move to a new neighborhood; so he told me that I would meet new people, and that I should go out with the young people, and have a good time. He also said that if I found anyone I would rather walk through life with, to let him know.

     In September, 1859, Father sold his high prairie claim and bought a second bottom claim in Allen County between Iola and Humboldt. It was three miles from Iola, the county seat of Allen County. I bade good-bye to my fiance and left for our new location. I had no reason to change my mind, although I met a goodly number of young people that winter and had a good time.

     Our new home was a box house, the boards running perpendicular. Here we had a fine truck patch, containing pumpkins, squashes, watermelons and turnips. We made good use of these. Two loads of pumpkins were allowed to freeze. They were soft when frozen, and were put into a press. The juice obtained was boiled down to a syrup. Another load of pumpkins had been put under a haystack where they could not freeze. These were stewed and used to thicken the syrup, the mixture being boiled in an old fashioned copper kettle. This made twenty gallons of fine butter. We also made watermelon rind preserves by cooking the rinds in a syrup made from the juice of the melons. The preserves and butter made good substitutes for sugar.

     In the fall of '59 the little school house began to make its appearance. Also the itinerant preacher was seen oftener. Where there were school houses, meetings were held in them. Where there were none, services were held in homes.

     Weeks went by after our moving without my hearing anything from my fiance. I was expecting him to walk in any day, yet I realized that sixteen miles was a long walk and consequently was not worried by the delay. Finally, after three months had passed. he came. The reason he had not come before was that he had gone with two other men on a buffalo hunt. They went as far as the present site of Wichita before they found any buffalo. There they camped until they were loaded. But just as they were ready to start for home, a terrible blizzard struck them. They were unprepared to meet it and all night long fought for their lives. When hope was about gone, the Indians found them and covered them with buffalo robes, under which they slept all the next day. But they were sick for several weeks after their return home because of the exposure.

     The ox was still the beast of burden. The horse could not live and work without grain. The faithful ox would plow all day, turning over the prairie sod, and at night he could be turned out on the grass where he would eat his fill, lie down and rest, and be ready for another day. It was not until the spring of 1862 that the ox began to be supplanted by the horse. Consequently, sixteen miles was a long journey. The choice lay between walking and riding in a lumber wagon hitched to a yoke of oxen. And if the oxen were not well trained, someone must walk to drive them. But Moore's oxen were well trained. The second time he came he hitched the oxen to the back wheels of a wagon. He had a board nailed on for a seat. Here he would sit and crack his whip, holloaing "Gee!" "Haw!" This kept them in the road and they trotted along three miles an hour, which was fast time for oxen.

     This winter was cold enough to freeze the ponds over, so one day Father asked me to go fishing with him. He took his axe and a two bushel sack. The large buffalo fish could be seen lying under the ice. Father would strike a hard blow over the fish's head, and then cut a hole in the ice. I held the sack, which was soon filled with fine fish.

     This was also the year of drought. No rain or snow fell to moisten the ground. Corn planted that spring dried up in the field. Sometime in July our first rain came with the fury of a downpour. Two boards had been knocked off the north side of our house, but left so that they could be put back readily. Father, seeing the black cloud, rushed to get them back, but before he finished the storm broke. The house was shaking, and we were told to run to a log house near. We made poor headway and soon discovered that the log house had been blown down. Our house stood because the planks on the side which the storm struck ran into the ground. But many things inside had been blown away. We had only one picture on our walls, the portrait of Andrew Jackson. Poor Andrew! We never heard of him again. A man living two miles away came bringing my brother's hat.

     August the tenth was approaching but, consulting the almanac, we found that the tenth came on Friday. So my wedding was postponed two days. On Sunday, August 12, 1860, in our little box house on the farm, I was married to Philip Marshall Moore. My husband's claim was a timbered one on the Neosho River. It was in Woodson County, two and one-half miles from Neosho Falls, and three miles from Father's first claim in Coffey County.

     My husband's house was much larger than any around us because a New Yorker had come out and erected it as a hotel. It contained three rooms. The first was a room twelve by fourteen feet. There was a second room above it, which could be reached by a ladder in one corner. There was space for one bed in the center, and it was only in the center of this room that one could stand upright, for the roof slanted down to cover an addition. This addition, fourteen feet square, intended as a dining room, was the third room of the house. The New Yorker had gone back East to get his family, but they had refused to come to such a wild country to keep a hotel. He remained away for more than six months, and his claim became "jumpable." My husband decided to jump the claim and consequently built a small house of his own, ten by twelve, on the land and made the necessary legal records. There was a great deal of jumping going on. Many persons were taking claims and then deserting them, just as the New Yorker had done, and the claims would be taken by others. The government office was at Fort Scott, fifty miles away, but the road was kept clear of grass.

     My husband did not interfere with the New Yorker's house with its padlocked door. He had batched in his little ten by twelve for nearly ten months when the New Yorker returned -- without his family. But he came back with a gun and with the threat to "get" the man who had jumped his claim. My husband had thought it best to keep out of his way and so went to Uncle's to live until the trouble should blow over. He left his own cabin padlocked. This padlock was promptly broken by the New Yorker, a thing that he had no right to do. Finally Uncle went to Fort Scott on business. Possibly the New Yorker thought Uncle had gone to have him arrested. At any rate, he must have known that he had absolutely no legal rights in the land. One day he met my husband in Le Roy and, stalking up, inquired, "Be you the man that jumped my claim?" My husband admitted the charge -- a brave thing to do. "Well, here are the keys to my house," the New Yorker added, "I suppose you might as well go over and take possession."

     My husband had been on this claim almost three years when we were married, and he brought me to this "hotel" to live. He had furnished it for me the best he could. Somewhere he had found a little cook stove called a step stove. There were first two lids, then a raise of six or eight inches with two more lids and an oven, which would hold only one pie. But it was a stove, and there were few of them in Kansas at that time. Another marvel was the possession of two chairs, which a man away out on the prairie had manufactured. The demand was so great that a person could get only one or two, but we had our two. We also had some good stools. Our table and bedsteads were home made.

     Whenever there was the privilege of church, everyone for miles around would yoke up the oxen and go. We often went three miles for night meeting, and would find ox teams, standing all around the school house. In October, 1860, there was a camp meeting on Spring Creek, about three miles away. We planned to go Saturday and stay till Monday. A neighbor and his wife were going with us, and for some reason they did not get over till after dark. We started anyway, hoping that we would get there before the evening services were over. The road went straight for one mile, then wound around quite a large pond, and then went straight in the same direction. All four of us were riding in the wagon. Presently we heard the oxen splashing in the water, apparently having decided to go through the pond instead of around it. The men had to get out and start them again. It was very dark and we had no kind of light. We went on till we thought we were surely about at the camp. Then the oxen stopped. The men got out again, and found that the oxen were standing in front of the bars at the entrance to our own barnyard. But we were not to be disappointed, so we turned around and made the second start. We got into the camp just as the people were retiring, but we were ready for the Sunday services.

     At the time of our marriage my husband had only a claim to his farm. Land for miles along the Neosho River belonged to the New York Indians. It had been traded to them for land in New York state. The Indians had come to Kansas but had been so severely attacked by the ague that they returned to New York. Land tenures were consequently in a very unsatisfactory condition. We were all expecting the land to be "opened for settlement" and there were at least two false rumors to that effect. Each time such a rumor came everyone would lay a foundation of four logs and post a notice that the land in question was taken. Every quarter section had houses already built but they did not count. The new foundation and notice would, however, hold the land for thirty days, and before the thirty days had expired we would know whether the rumor was false or true. During the winter of 1860 the government offered to every New York Indian who would return within six months 320 acres of land. Not one returned and the land was "opened for settlement," this time in earnest. Settlers who had been on their claims for six months were allowed to "prove them up." We pre-empted our land at this time, or purchased it from the government, for $1.25 an acre.

     We had a pleasant winter. Everyone within five miles was our neighbor. It was not at all strange to have a wagon load of people drive up to stay all day, entirely without warning. People did not wait to be invited. They would just come, and then fly in to help get dinner.

     One guest whom I had the great pleasure of having in my home many weeks at a time was my grandmother. The second year after we came to Kansas, she followed us. She had stood the loneliness in Indiana as long as she could. She liked Kansas and remained till her death, which occurred in November, 1866. It was my hands that prepared her body for its last resting place, after God had said, "It is enough, come up higher!" Her body sleeps in the. old Logue Cemetery in Coffey County, Kansas, which now holds so many of her loved ones.

     In the spring of 1861, when we were expecting the sun to shine, and peace and quiet to reign over-our new territory, which had seen nothing but bloodshed, murder, and war since it had been opened for settlement, a big black cloud was gathering which was to break and engulf the whole United States. It was in the midst of all this trouble that our eldest daughter, Viola, was born, on July 21, 1861.

     The citizens of Kansas were like the Minute Men of old, ready to grab the musket, shotgun, or anything at hand for the protection of their homes. The fall of 1861 found three companies of men at Iola. They could hardly be called soldiers, as they were not mustered in until the following spring. Father enlisted in the company of Captain Coleman of Allen County. My husband enlisted with Captain Goss of Woodson County. The other captain's name I have forgotten. They served all winter without pay or uniform. It is hard to realize how remote Kansas was at that time from the more thickly settled portions of the country. Our nearest railroad was then at Jefferson City, Missouri.

     Scouts were sent out but were told to take no prisoners. There was no place to keep these, and the men did not want the enemy to know their weakness. One day the scouts passed themselves off as Rebel soldiers and for a little while took prisoner an old Indian. They asked him if he thought they could take Humboldt.

     "Yes! Take Humboldt."

     Then they asked him if they could take Iola.

     "No! Keep soldiers at Iola."

     If it had not been for these volunteers, no doubt we should have had to leave our homes. Early in the fall of '61, Humboldt, only a few miles from Iola, was taken and burned. Later on, it was burned again. The refugees were passing day and night.

     My husband was out one night on picket duty in a cold, drizzling rain and came into camp shaking. This brought on an attack of pneumonia, and he was brought home in a spring wagon. The next day a runner came for him. The mustering officer had arrived, but he could not go. The company was mustered in and went away without him. One man with only one foot was in the company. A boot was nailed to his wooden leg, and he passed. He was a good harness maker, and the boys wanted him along to keep their saddles in repair. My husband, however, was compelled to remain in bed for days, and then he was left with a cough that unfitted him for service.

     South of us were the Osage Indians, who took the side of the North. They were a great protection to us against the murderous bands who infested our border. The Osage insisted that when an Indian shot a man and cut off his head, he was really dead. The white soldiers, however, tried to restrain the Indians from this savage practice. On the Fourth of July, 1862, there was a celebration at Humboldt. An old chief in blanket and feathers was asked to speak. Through an interpreter he tried to convince the people that the Indian's way was best. "White man shoot a man; go away; leave him for dead," he said. "Indian shoot a man; cut off head; go leave him sure enough dead." He thought he undoubtedly had the best of the argument.

     There were a few Southern sympathizers in the neighborhood. At a time when it was still uncertain which side would be victorious, one of these named his son Lee. At about the same time, he acquired a new dog, which he called Jeff Davis. A post station not far away sent out a squad,to investigate, and the man was spared the rope only through the intercession of several of his neighbors. Poor Jeff, however, was born under an ill-fated star. He managed to get his head caught in an old tea kettle which was used to hold meat scraps, and was found dead. This fate seemed to us at the time prophetic of what might happen to the other Jeff, but milder measures, fortunately, were taken.

     The Indians in Indian Territory divided, a large number going with the South and driving the rest out of their country. The refugees came pouring into Kansas, reaching the Verdigris River in the dead of winter in a suffering condition. There the government met them with wagons, and conveyed the sick, aged and children to Le Roy, where headquarters were established. So many had been dying that on the night they reached Le Roy a woman was hanged as a witch. This hideous practice was later stopped by government order. From Le Roy as headquarters, the Indians were scattered along the Neosho River for about ten miles. There were possibly ten thousand of them, mostly old men, women, and children. All the young, able-bodied men had enlisted in the service. They stayed with us until the war closed, and the government took them back home.

     For two years about two hundred of them were always camping on our farm. They were organized into villages which kept moving from place to place. Rarely would a village stay in the same location for more than two weeks. They would move early in the morning, but usually before nightfall I could look out of my window and see another village on the site. Some villages were clean, while others were dirty. Some entertained themselves every night with grotesque Indian dancing, accompanied by weird, unearthly cries. Other villages would have religious meetings. I attended some of these and was interested in distinguishing certain Hebrew proper names in a sermon, otherwise unintelligible to me.

     The Indians had their own government, with some curious laws and customs. Whenever I saw a woman with streaming hair, I knew she was a widow, for a woman was not allowed to comb her hair for a year after the death of her husband. She could not remarry for three years. I once noticed a very pretty woman who always wore a shawl around her head. I learned that she had remarried too soon and that her ears had been cut off in punishment. These barbarous punishments were not uncommon; I saw one woman whose nose had been cut off.

     They got their water at our well, drawing it up by means of windlass, rope and bucket. That bucket was going up and down from early morning until twelve at night, and there was always a line waiting to use it. The women usually carried a pail in each hand and one on the head.

     They were great traders. The government issued to the women eight yards of cloth for a dress, but they would manage to save about a yard and a quarter from each piece and would come wanting to barter the remnant for roasting ears. I have had my house full of these remnants. Fortunately, the government had little regard for individuality in dress, and many of the pieces were from the same pattern. They also sold nuts and wild fruit of all kinds. They had a way of ripening some of these artificially before their season.

     They made a soup from cornmeal, which they pounded out with mortar and pestle. Soup, however, could apparently be made out of anything. A squaw once bought a green pumpkin from me for soup. They would gather about the big pot and pass a large spoon around the circle, each helping himself in turn. Their knowledge of the conditions of public health can be surmised. What medical treatment they gave was largely a matter of charms.

     The worst trouble we had was that they did not want to bury their dead. It was less work to put the body inside a hollow log or tree. My husband was down in a timbered pasture one day and noticed a strip of bark tied around a tree. He thought the Indians had hidden something. His axe was in his hand and he hacked the bark away. A large chip fell out. He stuck his head in the opening and found a corpse! He came home about as white as a corpse himself. He went immediately to the Indian Agent and said that if they did not bury their dead, they must move off his place. But there were too many dying to watch them all. One morning before sunrise my husband found two men with a corpse tied to a board coming through the gate into the pasture hunting a tree. As a rule, however, they began to bury the dead. The women would often sit on my steps and visit with one another. One day two of them seemed to be in trouble. I could see tears in their eyes, and asked a little girl who spoke English what the trouble was. I was told that the baby of one of them had died the night before and the other Indians wanted to put it in a hollow log. But she wanted it buried -- if she had a shovel she would dig the grave herself. They still believed in helping their dead in the Happy Hunting Grounds. I have stood by and have seen them put a pipe, tobacco, herbs, a pocket knife, and various other things in the grave.

     But they were not bad neighbors. They never stole anything, not even a watermelon. One day I saw a girl thumping watermelons in my patch. I yelled at her to keep her from hurting them. The next day an old man came leading the girl to the house to ask me if she had been trying to steal my melons. He told me he had not "raised her to be a thief." I was sorry then that I had paid any attention to her.

     They were very kind to the little white woman, as they called me, and loved my little baby girl, my "hook-tu-chee." They would take her to their tents and keep her by the hour. But more interesting to them was the birth of our oldest son, Charles Edgar, which occurred February 8, 1864. Many of them would come to the house, look at the baby and inquire smilingly, "Che-by-no-see?" And they were tremendously pleased when we answered that he was indeed a "che-by-no-see," or a boy.

     The Kansas soldier saw some fighting and had many hardships. At one time salt was so scarce that a level spoonful sold for a dollar. Once in a while a joke relieved the sad incidents of the war. When there was great excitement over the report that General Price was marching to Kansas with the special intent of destroying Fort Scott, every able-bodied man was ordered out. A big German was made corporal and told to take a sentinel out and put him on duty. When the two men reached the assigned place, the corporal turned to the sentinel with the query, "Now I know not vat mine duty iss. Can you tell me?"

     "Yes," came the ready answer, "I will lie down here and sleep. You are to stand guard and wake me when you see a Rebel."

     A soldier's life was too hard for Father. After eighteen months, part of which was spent in a hospital, he was mustered out and came home. He was never well again. He sold his Allen County farm and bought one in Woodson County, three miles from Neosho Falls, and within half a mile of us. He lingered along until August 29, 1875, when he died, leaving his widow and nine children. He was at that time 59 years and eight months old. He lies buried in the Logue Cemetery.

gold sculptured divider line

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