Contributed by Gary Entz and produced by Susan Stafford

The Last One

by Rosie Clem Maxton (Nee Rebecca Adra Clem)

Introductory Genealogy.

     This story begins with the birth of Henry Groves Clem, on September 22, 1823, in Ohio. He was one of a family of eight children, four boys and four girls, who moved with their parents at an early age, to Adair County, Missouri.
     Sarah Kelso was born in Tennessee on the 19th day of January, 1825. She was one of a family of fourteen, seven girls and seven boys. She moved with her family at an early age to Macon County, Missouri, near Macon City. On August 1, 1843, she married Henry Groves Clem and they moved to a farm, also in Macon County, where they started life's adventure. To this union was born eight children, first, a little son, Daniel Harrison, April 27, 1845; followed in succession by three daughters, Ann Katherine, Margaret, and Mary Elizabeth; all three called away in early childhood. Then another son, James Ray, January 17, 1854, and two years later, April 14, 1856, a third son, John Freeman. The last two of the children were girls, Charlottie Florence, known as Florence, August 28, 1858, and on April 15, 1861, Rebecca Adra, known as Rosie; who is now endeavoring to write this little memorial.

short yellow-gold divider line

Earliest Recollections.

     My memory reaches back as far as my fourth year in life, at which time a company of Union soldiers stopped at our home and the sight of their blue suits and big brass buttons remains indelibly stored in memory's treasure box. The soldiers made much of sister Florence and I and gave us some wonderful candy shaped like men and women, pink, blue and different colors, and how proudly we placed them on the old walnut bureau in the living room (bureau is a chest of drawers similar to what is now known as a chiffonier). One soldier named Bill Dabney gave sister Florence a black, white and green plaid ribbon about four inches wide and about two yards long, she treasured this for many years.
     We had some pet squirrels of which I was very fond, and one morning on visiting them I found one of their number lying cold and dead. I have never forgotten how terrible I felt about it.
     It was the custom in those days for women to ride on horseback, not in the trim riding breeches and costumes used today, Oh no! that would have been a terrible shock to that generation. The lady of 1864 must wear a long riding skirt reaching far below her shoe tops and be mounted on a side saddle (it would never do to ride astride). She sat in a twisted position with one limb thrown over the horn of the saddle, but well hidden by the long ridding skirt.
     We had an old bob-tailed horse named John, and I remember going with mother on a ride. She held me on her lap while sister Florence clung on behind, and there was also a package of some kind fastened on the saddle horn. Waving goodby to father we rode off down the long lane leading to the main traveled road.

Page 4

     I recall a visit made to our Grandmother Kelso's home one day. This visit impressed on my mind by a painful accident. The coffee pot was upset or boiled over on my arm. I remember mother laying me on the big fat bed consisting of a large straw-filled tick and over that a big feather bed and over all an old-fashioned hand-woven blue and white counterpane. The burn was so deep that I still carry the scar.
     In the spring of 1865 the great Civil War of our country came to a close. These were hard days and my father decided to move his little family, and at the age of four I moved with my parents to Iowa, near Ottumwa. I remember several incidents that occurred while I was in Iowa. One incident, or rather great adventure, was a trip to the city of Ottumwa. Florence and I were fascinated by the display of dolls in a show window. Oh! how we longed for one to call our very own, and how we begged father to buy us one, but at last with sad hearts and one last lingering look we drove home with father and mother. I will never forget how I wanted that dear little doll. When we arrived home father gave us each a box containing (can you guess?) a doll. We were very happy, but our pleasure would have been much greater had we known and been able to select them while in town. The memory of our pleasure is marred. It was the first and only doll I ever possessed. They were, I suppose, about eight inches long and Oh! how we loved those dolls.
     My father had a sorghum mill and the neighbors would congregate at our home and make candy and have a merry evening quite often. I remember on one of these occasions of getting very tired and mother took me in her arms and held me while I went to sleep.
     About this time father became restless again and began talking and planning to go to the Neutral Country, now the state of Kansas, where he could secure government land by staking a claim and building a home. My mother was very much opposed to the move. She felt she could not bear to leave her old home and loved ones and friends, so dear, and go so far away into a new and unsettled country. However, my father was determined it was best to make the move. He made a hurried trip to the new country where he staked a claim on one hundred sixty acres of ground, cutting a few logs and piling them up to try to hold it, but failing to file papers. He rushed back home with enthusiastic and glowing accounts of the wonderful new land to be secured for the taking, induced mother to consent to the move. So the first of March, 1866, they loaded up their belongings, or that part of them they felt advisable to take with them and started on the trail to the neutral land. Our little caravan consisted of three or four covered wagons, part of which were drawn by oxen, and part by horse team. Those poor patient, slowly-creeping oxen, how well I remember them. They were Buck and Berry, Duck and Dime, Turk and Paddy; wonderful big fine animals. We had one horse team and about three horses which we led, tied to the back of the wagons. Our party consisted of my father and mother and we five children, Dan, John, Ray, Florence and myself, and a young man named Jeff Carback, also a young married man by the name of Walter Lane, known as Walt Lane, who, leaving his bride with her parents, decided to go with us and build a home to which he would bring her later. This made a party of nine from our Iowa community. A few days before we reached our destination we fell in company with a widow lady, Mrs. Saphrona Peters, with her two sons, Arelious V. Peters, known as A. V.

Page 5

Peters, and William Harrison Peters, called Had. Also a daughter, Lottie by name, a young woman in her early twenties. This addition to our little band brought our number to thirteen, and although thirteen is often spoken of as an unlucky number, I feel that each individual of this thirteen was enriched and their lives made better by the presence of the others, and I shall try to trace the life story of each one through this little narrative.
     I was not yet five years old but still the memory of the long, tedious trip endures. We often tramped in the wake of the wagons to relieve our tired cramped limbs. One day brother John, tramping along in the grass and leaves, discovered a little sheep bell. It was copper and its dear little tinkle, tinkle filled me with joy. How I wished I might be fortunate enough to find one too, and I went trudging along kicking the grass and leaves in fruitless search. Father, learning of my search, persuaded brother John to place the little bell ahead on the trail and so I stumbled upon it. Imagine my delight. The bell was a precious keepsake for many years, but finally was placed on a sheep in my father's herd and lost. Oh! little bell, how I wish I could still hold you in my hand and hear, as I do in memory, your soft sweet tinkle, tinkle, and sometimes I wonder if perhaps another girl's heart was made glad by finding you, or if mouldered away in the dust and dirt you were lost to this world forever.
     On April 10, 1866, just five days before my fifth birthday, our little band of thirteen reached the neutral land, later called the Sun Flower State or Sunny Kansas.

short yellow-gold divider line

Pioneer Days.

     My father was disappointed to find the claim which he had staked off, but failed to file the papers on, had been taken by another. There was a little log cabin in one corner of this one hundred sixty acres and as the man who filed the papers on the claim was not yet living on the land we decided to camp there temporarily, making use of the large fireplace to cook our meals and some of us sleeping in the cabin, others in the wagons.
     I will never forget the first morning after arrival. The sun was shining so brightly and the oxen were grazing peacefully, for the ground was covered with fresh green grass. The tongues of the wagons were propped up with the neck yokes and harness hanging over them, and in one of these wagons sat my mother weeping. How I wish I could paint that picture; I was too young then to understand, but I can look back now and see something of what she had to face and do not wonder at her sadness.
     Now that we had arrived at our destination we faced a different problem. Claims must be staked and food and shelter be provided. Father staked out a nearby claim which, unlike the one he had staked out before, was open prairie land; broad rolling fields of grass with a branch running through. There were no trees on this claim but there was timber which could be secured for the felling on a claim near by. So with what few tools they possessed, consisting of crosscut saws, sledge hammers, wedges, axes and broad axes, they started on their task. The first house built by our band was on my father's one hundred sixty

Page 6

acres. It was built of logs, of course, and was about eighteen by twenty feet. The roof was made of clapboards, hewn from logs and the floor was old mother earth. Before the following winter father added a stone fireplace at one end. We were fortunate enough to possess a cook stove. I remember we had no fruit or anything to make pies of until one day sister and I discovered that the woods were full of sheep sorrel, a little three-leaved plant with a pleasant sour taste not unlike pieplant, so we gathered sheep sorrel for mother to make pies; also we gathered for Mrs. Peters, who gave us each an egg, which mother marked and set. Florence's egg produced a big Shanghai rooster, while mine was a little black hen.
     At that time there was just one house in sight, about one and a fourth miles from us, which sheltered the increasing family of Cowan.
     As soon as our little home was completed our family, also Walt Lane and Jeff Carback, moved in, leaving the little cabin camp to Mrs. Peters and her family.
     As soon as we were settled all hands got busy and built the Peters home, like ours, just one big log room. Their house was located about a mile distant from ours and they were soon comfortably ensconced in their new quarters.
     In the fall someone started up a little saw mill over on Spring river, and Mr. Lane hauled his logs to this mill and had them made into boards and built the first box or board house with a real floor, and was all ready for the wife and little stranger which had arrived during the summer, and which he had never seen. How proud and happy he was to bring them to the new home about three quarters of a mile from us.
     The next on the program was to plow up the ground so beautifully covered with green grass waving over the country as far as the eye could see. It was a wonderful picture. This was accomplished after so long a time and a small crop of necessary vegetables put in.
     The new neighbors began to come to our little settlement. Mr. J. R. Burress with his wife and two small children followed a short time after our arrival and staked an adjoining claim where his family grew by the addition of one and sometimes two, until it became of family of note in the community. Mrs. Burress's two sisters, Mrs. F. M. Betty and Mrs. C. C. Loucks, accompanied by their husbands, followed a short time later. Mr. Lynch came in May and settled about two miles from us. In October of '66, the McDowells, comprising several families, came and settled in our community. In the next year or so the Lutes, Shorts, Calvins, Kennedys, Thomsons, Hutsells, Wells, Robinsons, Gates and Dixons, and many others. Of this group of pioneer mothers and fathers there now remains only one, Mrs. Emma Dixon, who is about ninety-three years old and lives alone in her own home near where she first settled.

short yellow-gold divider line

Social Life of the New Community.

     The first wedding in the new settlement that I can recall was that of my brother Dan, then a young man of twenty-two years. He decided to leave the parental roof and make a home for himself and on July 25, 1867, he was married to Miss Hannah Lutes. He built for his bride, just across the road from our home, the usual one-room log mansion, which seemed to be the limit in those days.

Page 7

     The good fathers and mothers of the new community now faced another problem. That problem was religious training and education for their children. No churches, no schools, there was only one thing to do. The good people opened the doors of their homes and organized Sunday school and also had preaching services, first one place and then another. In the fall of 1867 a Mrs. Springer consented to teach school in her home. About nine o'clock each morning Mr. Springer would bring their baby, a child of a year and a half, to our home and leave it with my mother, while Mrs. Springer taught the children of the community. One thing of great importance in our young lives was a party given by our teacher for her pupils one afternoon. It was my first party and they were rare occasions in those days to all. She served peaches, cream and cake, and what a pleasant memory remains of this, the first social event of my life.
     The next year, 1868, there was still no place for school, so brother Dan and his wife moved into the house with us and his house was used for school. Our teacher this year was Miss Lottie Hunt, now Mrs. Lottie Casley, of Galena, Kansas.
     The next year my father built a box house, one room with a shed kitchen downstairs and one room above. How proud we were of our new home with real wood floors and so much nice room.
     Our old cabin was converted into a school house. A board was put up along the wall for a writing desk. Seats were made of puncheon of logs split with the bark side down and fastened up on legs, no backs. Just think of sitting all day long with nothing to lean back on and no desk to lean forward on. Our teacher this year, 1869-70, was Miss Sallie Hutsell, now Mrs. Sallie Crane of Columbus, Kansas. Later I attended school a short time at Crestline in an old log cabin used for school at that time and called Rabbit Roost school house. Miss Alfretta Meeker, now Mrs. Henry Mitchell of Riverton, Kansas, was the teacher.
     In the fall of '68 Father, Mother, Florence and I went back to our old home in Missouri. The trip was made in a covered wagon.
     The summer of '70 a new school house was built on my father's farm about one-fourth mile from our house. This was a frame building with nice windows and real school desks for our books, with an ink well on each one. Then there was a real black board. Such wonderful improvements! This house was built by a Mr. Ganshird and I think he taught the school that year. A few years later this school house was sold and another one was built on the Military Road on the corner of Mr. W. H. Lane's farm. However, it is still known as the Clem School House. By this time school houses had been built at Lostline, Crestline, Wirtonia and Messer and preaching services and Sunday school were held in them. At Messer the Cumberland Presbyterian and United Brethren organized churches and held regular services on alternate Sundays. My father and mother, Dan, John and Florence were all members of the Presbyterian church. These organizations died out after a number of years.
     The Methodists organized a church at Wirtonia. Among the most active members of this early church were the McDowells, Kennedys and the Weavers. About 1881 or '82 a church building was erected at Crestline and the church organization moved there where church service is still held.

Page 8

     The members of the Christian church organized at the Clem school house and in 1885 built a church at Crestline at which place Sunday school and church are still carried on.
     However, the first church erected in eastern Cherokee county was a Quaker church, which was built in the late sixties by the Quakers of the Quaker Valley settlement. This small log building was later replaced by a frame building and then a stone academy in which both school and church were held by the Quakers. This building stands today as a landmark in the community and is still used for regular midweek and Sunday services.
     Thus the first schools and churches of Cherokee county originated and grew into the more modern buildings and equipment of today. Proving a great blessing mentally, morally and spiritually to all.

short yellow-gold divider line

Early Problems.

     In the early pioneer days provisions were scarce and money was not plentiful. Father was forced to go over to Missouri and pay 50c. a pound for bacon and buy corn meal at $2.50 per hundred pounds. But God did not forsake we pioneers for as the Israelites were fed with quails and manna, so we were supplied with the prairie chicken and deer.
     The dismal howl of the wolves struck terror to my childish heart as they drew closer and closer to our doorstep and skulked about the barnyard.
     Another source of terror was the Indian. There were many Indian visitors in those days, who brought beautiful bead work which they desired to sell or trade for something to eat. While these Indians were friendly, we children were always frightened by their presence.
     Those were indeed busy days, for the family must be clothed as well as fed, and in order to accomplish this father planted a field of cotton and when it was picked he made a small cotton gin on the order of a clothes wringer, the rolls being made of hickory sticks with a crank for turning. Sister Florence and I spent many hours, one on each end of the bench turning the crank and pulling through the cotton while the seeds dropped down on the inside. Then mother would card, spin and weave it into the cloth from which she made our clothing by hand, as there were no sewing machines at this time.
     Father also raised a herd of sheep in order to supply us with warm winter garments. These were first sheared, then the wool was picked over to free it from burrs and stickers, after which mother would wash and dray it, card, spin and finally wove it into cloth or the yarn was knit into warm stockings and mittens.
     Then candles must be molded in large numbers to supply us with light on the long winter evenings. These candles replaced the grease lights, which up to this time had been our source of light. These grease lights were made by twisting a strip of cloth and placing it in a dish or cup of grease with one end protruding to light.
     Now you younger generation just try that some time when you get it into your head that mother and dad are not furnishing you with every luxury you think you should have, then perhaps you will realize you are well blest, compared to your forefathers.

Page 9

     Another arduous task was the making of soap. This required much time and preparation. First the wood ashes from the big fireplace must be carefully preserved in the hopper built in the back yard for that purpose. When the time came to make soap, water was poured over these ashes and drained off into a big jar. This made a strong lye solution, and to it was added meat scraps, cracklings and any grease which mother had been able to accumulate. This mixture was boiled down in a huge iron kettle out doors until it was thick. This made a soft soap, which was used for all laundry and cleaning purposes.
     When our pots and pans, knives and forks needed scouring we pounded up sandstone and used scouring powder.
     Wash days were the gala days for we children. Early in the morning father would hitch the oxen to the wagon and we would all pile in, dirty clothes, wooden tub, iron kettle and basket of lunch. Father would drive to Shawnee creek where we would unload and build a fire over which we hung the iron kettle filled with water from the creek. Then while mother washed and boiled the clothes and finally hung them up to dry on the bushes near the bank of the stream, we children had a great time fishing and swimming and thoroughly enjoying the picnic lunch. Finally, when the clothes were dry, we all drove home tired and happy.
     Right here I am going to tell a real snake story, although there is no one left now to vouch for the veracity of my tale. One day while we were enjoying our wash day outing father saw a large rattle snake lying on a ledge of rock; taking a big stick he killed the snake and almost immediately it was replaced by another snake and another until he and brother Dan had killed forty-seven in all. This snake story was told and retold many times to friends and neighbors.
     Coffee was a luxury and cost so much that we were unable to afford it, except on special occasions. Mother used to dice sweet potatoes, pour a little sorghum molasses over them and then brown them in the oven, when they were brown and crisp she would put them in the old coffee grinder and grind it just as she did the coffee we bought, for at that time we bought coffee in the green berry, roasted and ground it ourselves. Sometimes she used corn meal instead of sweet potatoes. She would use one spoonful of coffee to about three of the other mixture.
     Our first financial loss was a fine strawberry roan mare. She was a real beauty and was one of the horses which we had brought with us from Iowa. Father had been offered $200 for her, and $200 in those days was quite a figure. So when she took the blind staggers and died we felt the loss keenly.
     The family was stricken with chills and fever about this time, and Oh! how we did shake. Mother would gather herbs and roots and doctor us in every way she knew, but to no avail. Sometimes we would miss chilling for a short time, but they would invariably return on the seventh, fourteenth or twenty-first days. John and I seemed to be the worst afflicted. One night five men stopped at our place to stay all night and it happened that one of them was a doctor. Dr. Eggy by name. He gave mother some medicine for our chills and we felt that we had indeed entertained an angel unawares, for our chills and fever were completely cured and I do not remember ever having another chill.

Page 10

     The historian has already told you of the terrible scourge or plague of grasshoppers which swarmed in upon us and devoured almost all green vegetables. Looking upward the sky was entirely covered from view by these vast hordes of grasshoppers. They were everywhere. It was impossible to take a step without tramping them. Wagons trying to cross the country on the wagon trails, which served as roads in those days, soon had their wheels covered with the insects. Not a blade of grass was left. These were discouraging days, but some way or other we pulled through only to meet another disaster.
     Texas cattle were being driven through our country in great droves. I have seen as many as three thousand cattle in one herd pass our place. We had now moved near the old Military Road. Our cattle, as well as the other cattle of the community, was infected with the deadly Texas fever and the loss of cattle was very great. We suffered a great loss ourselves, among those lost were the dear old oxen which had brought us from Iowa to this new home, and father and mother were very much disheartened.
     Up to this time we had been compelled to drive a distance of about fifty miles to Fort Scott, Kansas, to get our mail or to send mail out. Later a stage route was started from Fort Scott to Baxter Springs. Baxter Springs was about ten miles distant from us and our nearest town or trading point. A. V. Peters started up a little general merchandise store on the Military Road across from the W. H. Peters homestead. He was appointed postmaster and the little station was called Petersville and later Lostline. This was a wonderful convenience for us, for we could now get our mail twice a week.
     About 1868 or 1870 a little town called Centre was founded about twelve miles from us and very nearly the center of the county. This little town contended that their location entitled them to the honor of county seat. This was hotly contested by Baxter Springs, but Centre was finally accorded the honor and a small frame court house was built there. Also the name of the town was changed to Columbus; named after Columbus, Ohio, the former home of A. V. Peters, who served as one of the first commissioners of the county. This court house was burned down after a few years, destroying many of the early records of the county. It was replaced by the stone court house no used.
     In 1869 or 1870 the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad was built from Fort Scott through Baxter Springs and Columbus. This road is now the property of the Frisco Railway Company.
     In 1871 Miss Lottie Peters was married to Capt. H. H. Hubbard. This being the second marriage in our band of thirteen pioneers. She moved with her husband onto the Hubbard homestead where he had built a very fine home. It was a two-story brick house and far superior to any other home at that time, and stands today a well known landmark at Boston Mills. Their entire lifetime was spent in this home.
     W. H. or Had Peters took as his bride Miss Ellen Gates on March 17, 1872. They made their home on his homestead located on the Military Road. About this time Brother Dan sold his homestead and he and his wife moved near Seneca, Mo.
     A. V. Peters was the first of our little pioneer band to be called away by death. He died January 1, 1874, and was laid to rest in the Messer cemetery. His death was caused from disease contracted during his services as a soldier.

short yellow-gold divider line

Page 11

Changes of Time.

     The pioneers struggled on, endeavoring to make a living and improve their little homes, trying also to educate their children and give them a social and spiritual atmosphere that would be conducive to the best development of character and ability.
     By this time there was a high school at Columbus and in the winter of 1873 and 1874 John, Ray and Florence attended school there while I attended the home school.
     The winter of 1874-75 Florence taught school at Millsburgh, about ten miles northwest of Columbus. The following winter she taught at Checo, near where Galena is now located.
     In the spring of 1876, John was planning to go to California with a family by the name of Railey. While mother planned to go back to old home in Missouri. They decided to start the 10th day of May. In the latter part of April, John, Florence and I took sick with measles and mother took down with the disease, also on the 10th day of May, the very day she had planned to start for Missouri. As mother was getting along in years the measles were very hard on her and she never fully recovered.
     June 18, 1876, Florence and her fiance, Tommy Hardwick, John and I hitched up old Dolly and her mate to the lumber wagon and with a big basket of eats we started on a wonderful adventure. We drove along with merry jests and happy laughter, thoroughly enjoying each precious moment, for this was a great day in our lives. We stopped under a big tree on Five Mile creek to partake of the lunch we girls had prepared so carefully the day before, and it contained our very best efforts. After doing full justice to our lunch we jogged on, arriving about 4 o'clock in the afternoon at brother Dan's home, a distance of about thirty miles. Here the happy climax of the day occurred when Florence became the bride of Tommy Hardwick. This was the fourth wedding in our pioneer band of thirteen.
     The 30th day of the following August mother started on her long anticipated visit to her parents, brothers and sisters near Kirksville, Mo. All went well for about three weeks. Mother had a premonition of approaching death and requested to be taken to the home of her sister, Emily, predicting that in a week's time she would pass away, although she was apparently well at the time. This was on Sunday, and strange as it seems, on the following Tuesday she was taken violently ill. The news came flashing over the wires to father, and he and John started at once for Kirksville, arriving at her bedside about 6:00 a.m. the following Saturday, and at 6 o'clock of the same evening, September 30, 1876, our beloved mother was called to her heavenly home.

A loved one from our home has gone,
A gentle voice, forever stilled.
Dear Mother, how we miss thee,
Thy place can ne'er be filled.

     Oh! dear little pioneer mother, with toil-worn hands, now folded in peaceful rest, how could we bear to give you up; a great anguish was in our hearts and we felt that our mother's life of love and devotion to us would live in our hearts throughout all the years of our lives. She was laid to rest in the Lovelake cemetery in Macon county, Missouri,

Page 12

near her three little daughters, who had died so many years before. Mother was the second one of our little band taken away by the Death Angel. Leaving us at the age of fifty years and I was now in my sixteenth year.
     Brother Dan and his wife, Lou, came to live with us that winter.
     In October, 1876, Mr. Joseph Wren came from Illinois with his wife and children; three sons, Edward, Grant and Jake, and daughter, Emma, also a stepson, George Maxton. Mr. Wren bought a farm adjoining ours and we young people soon became friends and George and I became sweethearts.
     That winter John taught school at Neutral. I continued at the home school and the next winter I kept house for father and Ray while attending school, while John taught school near Carthage, Mo. At the close of his school in the spring of 1878 he decided to go to Chautauqua county, Kansas, to visit a sweetheart, Miss Miriam Failure, a former resident of Cherokee county. He always called my "Hun," so he said "Hun, do you want to go with me?" and as my children often say, "Ma is always ready to go," of course I said, "Sure I want to go." With an old balky horse and a topless buggy, we started on our journey as happy as the modern young folks start out in their smart speedy roadster of today. And what fun we had; I'm sure it isn't half as much fun to walk for gasoline or be hauled to a station as it is to persuade a balky horse to make up its mind to go. After so long a time we finally arrived at Miriam's home where we had a very pleasant visit; but sad to say these lovers never met again, although very devoted at this time.
     That same spring John went to Kirksville, Mo., and that winter taught school in that vicinity, attending the Teachers' State Normal the summer following.
     In March, 1879, I went to Kirksville and spent the summer visiting with my brother and other relatives in that city. This was my second trip to my parents' old home town. Here I met my cousin, Alice, the adopted daughter of my father's sister, Mrs. Leo Nickles, and we spent many pleasant hours together; also I visited my grandparents, the Kelsos, and mother's brothers and sisters. Also I visited my mother's grave.
     While I was visiting at Kirksville, brother Ray was married June 29, 1879, to Miss Mollie Stewart, living for a time at the home place.
     December 14, 1879, Mrs. Peters as she was called, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Hubbard. She was the third of our pioneers to cross the divide, and was buried at Messer, near her son.
     In the fall of 1879 George's brother, Maurice, and his wife, Maggie, and little son, John, moved here from Illinois. Their family increased to eight children, five of whom are still living. They are John, Frank, Dora, May and Grover Maxton. Maurice and his wife both died many years ago.

short yellow-gold divider line

Romance, Sunshine and Rainy Days.

     The friendship which had sprung up between our neighbors, the Wrens, young people and myself, was rapidly increased to a stronger

Page 13

emotion, for the young stepson, George Maxton. George was a tall, slim young man with dark brown curly hair and generally known by his nickname "Pretty."
     After a happy courtship we were married at the home of my brother, Dan, who was living on the old home place, February 22, 1880. Thus sister Florence and I were both married at the home of brother Dan.
     Our wedding guests included my father, brothers Dan and Ray and their wives, my sister, Florence, and her husband. George's mother and stepfather, his stepbrothers, Ed, Grant and Jake Wren, stepsister, Emma Wren; his brother, Morris Maxton, and son, John, who was fifteen months old that day; Mr. And Mrs. W. Roe, Miss Sue Hutsell, Mr. Henry Stucky, Mr. Billy Hutsell, Mrs. Anna Chestnut, Mr. And Mrs. Charley Royce, Mr. Ol Lutes and Mr. Jeff Ellis, justice of the peace and personal friend, who performed the ceremony.
     It is customary to describe the bride's costume, and a description of my wedding gown might prove interesting to my readers. My gown was a light gray, part-wool, part silk material with small white figure, and was made with very fashionable polonaise, or a semi-fitted waist and overskirt made in one, trimmed with small pleated ruffle on the bottom and worn over another skirt trimmed with two similar ruffles on the bottom.
     After the ceremony my sister-in-law, Lou, Dan's wife, served a sumptuous dinner, a real wedding feast.
     Those of our wedding guests now living, summer of 1932, are Mrs. Charles Roe Medsker, Mrs. Ray Clem Irving, Mrs. Sue Hutsell Perkins, Mrs. Anna Chestnut Hutsell, Will Roe, John Maxton, Jake Wren and Mrs. Emma Wren Perdue.
     We started life on a farm two miles east of Crestline. Our home was composed of three rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs. Our furniture was very scant, comprising only the most necessary pieces, bed, table, chairs and stove. However, George owned the little forty-acre farm, and with three head of good horses, a cow, a hog and a few chickens, together with health and courage, we felt sure we would soon be able to furnish our little home as we wished. But alas, for the plans of mice and men; our losses began with a windstorm, which blew over our chicken house and killed a setting hen. Then after a hard summer's work we felt quite happy at the sight of a good crop ready for the harvesting. The corn was just ready for the husking, so one day George went out of the little kitchen door saying he was going to buy a husking peg, and imagine how he felt on turning the corner of the house to see a prairie fire coming our direction and our summer's work was lost. The good neighbors hurried to our rescue and succeeded in saving the buildings and with heavy hearts we faced the coming winter.
     The spring of that year brother John went to Colorado to make his home. He lived there the remainder of his life, but returned to visit us several times.
     On May 16, 1880, brother Ray and his wife, Mollie, became the proud parents of twin girls which they named Ettie May and Nettie Ray.
     The next year we didn't have much of a crop, so we sold the little farm and as mother Wren was very sick we moved in with father and mother Wren and helped care for her for several months. In October, 1881, my father was married to Mrs. Susan Bassor.

Page 14

     Shortly after his marriage on October 24, 1881, our first born, a little daughter, arrived to brighten our hearts and fill them with her sunny smile and winsome ways. We called her Lilly Mae.
     In the winter of '82, Had Peters began the erection of a nice six-room house. We rented his old log cabin and part of the land and lived there for two years.
     Again on June 16, 1882, the angel of death entered our midst claiming as its fourth victim our dear sister Florence, who was now the mother of two children, Oris Earl and Stella May. My sister's death was a very great sorrow for me and to her many friends and loved ones. She was a girl whose beauty of face and form and depth of character endeared to all. Her kind loving heart reached out to all with whom she came in contact and as my older and only sister she had comforted me in my youthful sorrows and shared my joys and romantic dreams, every gently leading me in my youthful experiences. If when I have passed from this life and my children can say that I have been to them what my mother and sister were to me I shall feel that I have not lived in vain, and I hope that my girls will have for each other the same love and comradeship that sister Florence and I enjoyed.
     She was buried on her sixth wedding anniversary at Messer cemetery. Her young husband deeply mourned her loss.
     After four years he married Miss Emma Richardson and she mothered his little son and daughter, and was a very dear sweet mother to them. They also became the parents of six children and after his death his widow moved to Joplin, Mo., where she now resides. The son, Oris Earl, died about seven years ago. The daughter, now Mrs. Lon Hathorn, still lives in Galena.
     After a lingering illness of one and a half years with the dreaded disease cancer, George's mother was taken from us on September 3, 1882, and laid to rest in Messer cemetery.
     A few years later Mr. Wren married again and moved to Chautauqua county, Kansas, where he lived the remainder of his life. However, he visited us a number of times in later years as he and George were very fond of each other.
     Our little community was growing and developing rapidly. Miss Sally Hutsell Crane, one of my early teachers whom I have previously mentioned, was elected county superintendent of schools for 1882 and re-elected in 1884. Also Mr. Walter Lane, on of our original thirteen pioneers, was elected to the office of sheriff in '84 and again in '86.

short yellow-gold divider line

Shifting Sands of Time.

     We moved from the Peters place in January, 1884, to Lehi or Stringtown, near Carl Junction, Mo., and with brother Dan and his wife, Lou, we engaged in the dairy business.
     On April 25, 1884, another wonderful event of our lives occurred. A little son was born to us and we called him Earl Durwood.
     About this time brother John made us another visit. He still residing in Salida, Colorado, where he was employed as engineer for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. The following April 14, 1885, he was married to Miss Kittie L. Cramer of Salida, Colorado, which place he made his permanent home.

Page 15

     In June, 1884, we sold our interest in the dairy business to brother Dan and moved to Crestline, Kansas, back again in Cherokee county. George worked at various things during the three years which we spent in Crestline at this time, receiving the magnificent wage of one-dollar and a half for his own labor and that of a team. So you see our financial status remained very poor.
     In 1887 we again turned our faces toward the farm and moved to an eighty-acre place one mile northwest of Crestline.
     On July 23, 1887, our second son was born. We had previously decided on the name of William Harrison in case the new arrival should be a boy, but to me he was always my Willie, the mischief maker of the family, and many a laugh rang out at his cute pranks and witty sayings and he is still the family comedian.
     Earl was just past three years old, waking up in the night and hearing the new baby cry he said, "issen Daddy 'issen! What is that?" George replied, "Oh, its just a chicken I guess," but Earl raised up very excited and said, "It ain't neever, it's a baby."
     In February, 1889, I confessed my Saviour and became a member of the Christian church at Crestline.
     We spent five years on three different farms in that vicinity. The children grew as children will, and the busy happy days sped swiftly by until finally our little brood were all in school.
     We again moved to Crestline March, 1892, where George engaged in teaming and road work and held the position of road supervisor for twenty-five years.
     Time rolled on as it does now, for time and tide waits for no man, I must go on with my story.
     When Willie was eight years old our lives were again brightened and made happy by the arrival of the stork with a dear sweet little girl born July 26, 1895. Sylva Rye, we called her, and Oh! how the children loved her. She was the idol of their hearts. Lilly, who was now almost fourteen years old, had so longed for a baby sister and what a happy and loving little mother she made, always willing to sacrifice her pleasure to care for the little sister. The boys, too, were ardent admirers of the little lady's charm and many a happy evening was spent playing with sister on the floor, of course. She became quite a little autocrat, claiming all the marbles and tops, covering them with her little hands and crying, "My marbs, my marbs." Every night Lilly would rock the little sister to sleep and Earl would carry her up the stairs to bed until her little legs grew so long that they dangled on the stair steps. Each morning it was a grand scuffle to determine who should be the first to greet her at the stairway entrance. In the fall of '96 brother John came from Salida, Colorado, to make us a visit. On his return he begged us to let Lilly go back with him to visit and also to have her eyes operated on, as her eyes were crossed and very weak. We were glad to take advantage of this opportunity and Lilly remained in Colorado for several months, the operation proving a great success and blessing for her.
     My stepmother died in January, 1899. After her death my father went to live with his granddaughter, Nettie Clem Aimes, who had married Fred Aimes and lived in Joplin, Mo. He made his home with them for two years.

Page 16

     The fifth of our little band of thirteen pioneers was now called to the other shore. Mrs. Lottie Peters Hubbard died November 4, 1900, and was greatly mourned by her husband and three children, Daisy, Lucy and Hubert, and her only remaining brother, Had Peters. She was a woman of gentle loving character and sterling worth, a helpful and inspiring friend to all. She, too, was laid to rest in the Messer cemetery by the side of her mother and brother.

short yellow-gold divider line

Building a New Home.

     We trudged along in the same old rut until 1900, when we came to a momentous decision. We had purchased a lot, and we now decided to erect a home. After much planning and scheming we completed four rooms of the new dwelling and on December 12, 1900, we moved into our new home. As the years passed by the completion of an upstairs and a new kitchen gave us a nine-room house.
     The children were all so happy over the thought of having a home of our own, as we had lived in rented houses for so long. Sylva said, "Mama, will it be bad luck for me to take my kitty with me? It won't hurt if it just follows me, will it?" So she took particular pains to see that her kitty followed her to the new home. The next summer the poor little kitty passed out and Sylva and her little friends decided to have a real funeral for her. Using an old shovel as a hearse, with song and prayer and many real tears the poor little kitten's body was placed in the little grave which was covered with wild flowers.
     In the fall of 1901 Sylva started to school with the boys has her proud escorts. George still continued in the road work. We usually kept one or two cows, a few chickens and raised our own garden. Beside caring for the family, raising chickens and helping with the garden, I was engaged as our little town dressmaker, which I followed for over twenty years, thus helping to pay for many of the improvements of our new home.
     Our new country was growing and developing rapidly. Many homes and business buildings were erected in the settlements of Columbus, Crestline and Baxter Springs. A number of churches and schools were built. In 1901 the Katy Railroad built a line from Parsons, Kan., to Joplin, Mo., passing through Columbus and Galena and also crossing the Had Peters farm. A short time later my father came to live with us and brother Dan alternately and continued to do so until his death. In 1904 he decided to make a visit to his old home at Kirksville and see his last and only remaining brother, Mike. Also old friends and relatives. While there he took sick with pneumonia fever. John, Dan and later myself were called to his bedside. By careful nursing he improved and the two boys returned home, while I remained for three weeks until he was able to return with me. This was my third trip to Kirksville, Mo., our old home, and while there I met many friends and relatives.
     The angel of death again appears in our midst to claim the only remaining member of the pioneer Peters family and the sixth member of our band of thirteen. William H., or Had Peters as he was better known, passed away August 15, 1905, leaving his wife, Mrs. Ellen Peters, and three children, Art, Myrtle and Will, to mourn his loss. He was a

Page 17

man who was widely known, loved and honored throughout the entire country, having served as county commissioner for three consecutive terms, from 1895 to 1904, nine years in all. He, too, was laid to rest in the Messer cemetery and thus this cemetery became the resting place of the entire pioneering Peters family.

short yellow-gold divider line

Drifting From Home.

     The years rolled on and our little family grew older. The boys completed the grade school and worked on neighboring farms, saving their slim earnings until they had accumulated about $200 each, which they planned to use in securing a business education. Accordingly Earl entered the business college at Sedalia, Mo., and Willie went to Webb City Business College. This was the fall of 1905. Earl finished his course in March, 1906, and returned home, but Willie was unable to finish his course because of the failure of the Webb City college, which went bankrupt in February. However, he was fortunate enough to secure a position with the Frisco railroad at Webb City the following week, remaining until the following September when he was transferred to Joplin, where he has remained ever since.
     About this time our oldest daughter, Lilly, met a young man, Will Cook from Springfield, Mo., who was employed in our neighborhood. An ardent courtship followed and soon the young couple came to us to secure our consent to their marriage in the near future. About a week before the marriage Willie met us at Galena and we had a family picture made before the home ties were broken. At a quiet home wedding our daughter Lilly and Will Cook were united in marriage March 18, 1906. The Rev. Atherton, Methodist minister and our next door neighbor, performed the ceremony in the presence of our immediate family and the following guests: My father, Mr. Henry Clem; Brother Dan and his wife, Brother Ray, Mrs. Atherton and Dora Maxton. Lilly wore a simple white dress and looked very sweet to us who loved her so dearly. They left the following day for Mound Valley, Kan., where they lived for several months, then moved to Carl Junction, Mo., where they still reside.
     The following fall Earl left home again to work for the Frisco railroad at Joplin. This left our little family circle very much depleted as there remained only our little daughter Sylva to keep us company. About this time the rural telephone system was inaugurated and telephones were installed in many homes in Crestline and vicinity. This was a great convenience for both the business and social life of the community.
     In the spring of 1908 my father again became seriously ill. Fearing the worst, we sent for brother John in Colorado, also Dan and Ray hastened to his bedside. He passed away after two weeks' sickness, on March 28, being his eighty-fifth year. Another of our pioneers had left us, the seventh number of our little band to cross the great divide. There remained only we four children, John, Dan, Ray and myself, beside a number of grandchildren to mourn the loss of a dear and loving father. We laid him to rest in the Messer cemetery beside many of the other pioneer fathers and mothers of the community.

Page 18

     In the fall of 1908 another great convenience came to our community. Natural gas was piped in and Oh! how wonderful it was. It rapidly replaced the wood and coal stoves and the oil lights and everyone was delighted with the change.
     In the spring of 1909 our son, Willie, was married to Miss Edna Chenoweth of Joplin, Mo., at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. T. N. Chenoweth. The wedding took place at 2 o'clock in the afternoon of May 2, in the presence of relatives of the two families and a few intimate friends. The bridal couple was attended by Miss Mary Slutter as bridesmaid and Mr. Joseph Kitto as best man, with Mrs. Nell Atkinson playing the Lohengren wedding march. Refreshments were served, after which the wedding party accompanied the young couple to their cozily furnished new home at 2025 Kentucky avenue, Joplin. The guests were Mr. and Mrs. T. N. Chenoweth, Mr. and Mrs. George Maxton, Mrs. Sarah Bennett (grandmother of the bride), Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Cook, Mr. Earl Maxton, Miss Sylva Maxton, Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Chenoweth, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Atkinson, Miss Mary Slutter, Mr. Joe Kitto, Miss Theodora Wooten, Messers. Clyde and Don Douglass and the Rev. Barnett, Christian minister who performed the ceremony.
     Out little daughter Sylva was now a young lady of fifteen years and ready for high school. So with lonely hearts and dining table set for two, we faced the winter of 1909, for Sylva needs must leave the home roof and go to Columbus to high school.
     However, we were filled with a joyful anticipation, for the stork was soon to arrive with our first grandchild. Accordingly on November 26, 1909, a little son was born to our daughter, Lilly, and her husband. He was such a delicate, frail, little mite that we hardly dared hope that we might keep him. But as time passed on he grew stronger and from the little babe of four and one-half pounds he has grown to sturdy manhood, our first grandson, Loyd Elmer Cook.
     Although now all our birds were flown from home, Christmas brought them all back again, with the addition of son-in-law, Will Cook, and little grandson, Loyd, on his first trip to Grandmothers, and our new daughter-in-law, Edna. This established a custom and all through the years the family gathered to the old home at Christmas time for a day of merriment, feasting and happy reunion.
     Our thirtieth wedding anniversary was approaching and we decided to celebrate in gala fashion. As at our wedding long ago, we planned a wedding dinner. The date, February 22, was Washington's birthday, so each was presented with a tiny silk flag. The place cards were painted by a friend and neighbor, Mrs. Minnie Nolan, using the George Washington hatchet and cherry tree for decoration. Preceding the dinner a mock wedding ceremony was performed beneath a canopy of red, white and blue, by Mr. Charley Gray; our daughter, Sylva, playing the wedding march. Mr. Gray succeeded in making the wedding ceremony both serious and amusing so that it was quite a pleasant occasion. The children presented us with a comfortable rocking chair each, while the other guests presented us with a fine set of silverware. Our guests were our children: Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Cook and son, Loyd; Mr. and Mrs W. H. Maxton, Earl Maxton, Sylva Maxton, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Gray, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Lane, Mr. and Mrs. J. O. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Bray, Mr. Emmet Sproul, Miss Bird Sproul, Miss

Page 19

Martha Sproul, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Stiles, Mr. Will Stiles, Miss Chloe Stiles, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Reed, Mr. and Mrs. T. N. Chenoweth and Mrs. W. L. Haner.
     The spring of 1910 our son, Earl, decided to come home for the summer and help his father put in a big crop. He returned to Joplin in July and has been there in the employ of the Frisco railroad ever since.
     On September 16, we were saddened again by the death of the eighth member of our pioneer band, Mr. Walter H. Lane. He had stayed in our home the first year of our life in the new land away back in '66, and had remained a staunch and true friend throughout the years. He was preceded in death by his wife and three children and survived by a second wife.
     Sylva returned to school at Columbus that fall and again we were left alone, but not for long, for in a few weeks Sylva broke down with nervous prostration and we brought her home to nurse her back to health and strength. She was never able to attend school again and we were all very anxious about her we could hardly bear for her to be away from home for a short time.
     Again we became grandparents when a little son, Marion Clyde, was born to our son, Willie, and his wife on November 28, 1910. He was a plump little red-faced baby with bright smile and lots of wiggles.
     Our hearts were filled with joy at the arrival of a little granddaughter on April 17, 1911, to Lilly and her husband. As Lilly had always loved her sister Sylva so much she could think of no other name so dear for her baby girl. But alas our joy was turned to sadness as the frail little flower drooped and faded away leaving our empty arms and passing from us on June 25, only a little over two months old. Budded on earth to bloom in heaven. Her little body was laid to rest in the Messer cemetery.
     While our hearts were still bowed with sorrow for our dear little granddaughter another bereavement came to us. My brother, Dan, had been ill for some time and on the morning of June 9th, while attending to his morning chores, he dropped dead. Again the call was sent to brother John and he and his daughter, Florence, hastened to be with us. However, he missed a train connection and failed to arrive at the funeral hour, which was 2 o'clock the afternoon of June 11th. The services were conducted but the body was held until evening for interment. Brother John and Florence arrived at Galena at 7 o'clock and were met by Albert Stuckey and driven to Messer cemetery where he viewed the face of his beloved brother for the last time before he was laid in his last resting place, just as the twilight deepened to dusk of the summer evening. Brother Dan left his wife, Lou, and brothers John and Ray and myself, besides many nephews and nieces, who truly mourned his loss. He was a man whose friends were numbered by the number of acquaintances. The ninth member of our little pioneer band had passed on.
     Just two years from the date of Brother Dan's death, June 11, 1913, his good wife, Lou, joined him in his heavenly home. Dan and Lou were never granted the pleasure of parenthood, but their big loving hearts reached out and took in two little babes to raise and call their own, but even this privilege was denied them as both children died in early years. Their lonely sad hearts reached out again and embraced a little orphan boy 12 years old, Fred Aimes, and they loved him as their own and

Page 20

raised him to manhood, at which time he married our Brother Ray's daughter, Nettie, so he is still a member of our family.
     Time passed swiftly on. I was busy with my sewing and George with his road work. Our lives were running along in a smooth channel, but the monotony was often broken by the children's frequent visits home and the pleasant social life of the community. September 22, 1911, I received the following letter:

Salida, Colorado, Sept. 22, 1911.
My Dear Sister:
     Florence has gone to Canon City to school and Kittie is about distracted, she is so lonesome she is about dead. You see I am away so much of the time and that leaves her all alone.
     Now Rosa I will tell you what I wish you would do. Get the boys to get you a pass and come out here and stay for a month or two. It will be no trouble for them to get a pass for you, if you will only ask for it.
     Bring Slyva if you can; if not, let her keep house for George.
     If you will come and stay a month or so I am sure you and Kitty will be the best of friends before you go home. The trip will cost you less than nothing at all. You can fill a lunch basket to last you all the way, and when you start home we can fill it again. Do this Rosa, and I am sure you will never regret it.
     Let me know as soon as you can what you think of the plan. If you can bring Sylva, she can use our piano and take lessons while she is here.               Love to all,

     This letter resulted in hasty preparation for the visit which followed. Sylva and I left home October 15th. We were met at Pueblo by Brother John and his wife Kitty, whom I had never seen. They escorted us to their beautiful home in Salida where we spent a most pleasurable month's visit. They took us on many pleasure and sightseeing trips and endeavored in every way possible to make our visit a pleasant one. We returned home the middle of November, glad to again be with our own dear ones.
     In May, 1912, our son, Willie, and wife and little grandson, Clyde, moved to Crestline where he came as agent of the Frisco station. They moved into a house across from our home place and little Clyde became the pet of our household. Sylva assisted Willie at the station and soon learned how to handle the work so well that when Willie moved back to Joplin in January, 1913, she automatically became agent of our little station, which position she held until her marriage.
     The summer of 1913 my son, Willie, and his wife and little Clyde made a trip to Los Angeles, California, to visit his wife's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chenoweth, who had moved to that city. While there the stork called on them, bringing another baby boy on August 30th. They named him Thomas Olan, in honor of his two grandfathers, as George's middle name was Olander.
     I received a letter from Brother John written August 28th, 1913. Strange to say it was written on our sister Florence's birthday and was the last letter I ever received from him, for on September 11, I received a message saying he had been killed in a wreck the night before, September 10th. He gave his life in an heroic effort to save those in his care.

Page 21

A rock slide covered the track with huge boulders. When the headlight showed the immense barrier on the track he turned on the reverse, although it is said he had ample opportunity to jump for his life, he stood gallantly at his post and worked until the last moment to reduce the shock as much as possible. Had it not been for his loyalty it is probable many lives would have been lost. I was not able to attend John's funeral, as I had not been well that summer, but our son, Earl, left immediately for Salida and attended the funeral services. He left his wife, Mrs. Kittie Clem; a son, Earl Henry, and daughter, Florence; my brother, Ray, and myself, now the only surviving members of our family. He was the tenth of our thirteen pioneers to be taken away by death's angel.
     Jeff Carback, the young man who came with us to Kansas as pioneers, left many years ago and nothing has ever been heard of him since. I received this information from a sister, Mrs. Lathrop, of Carl Junction. If living he would now be close to ninety years old and his sister believes he must have passed away several years ago. So as he was one of our thirteen original pioneers whom I have traced through my little story, I shall officially record his death, date unknown, the eleventh member of our pioneer band to pass on.
     In 1914 I began to keep boarders and soon had a number of regular patrons, which netted me a goodly profit.
     August 24, 1915, another grandson arrived, the third son for Willie and his wife. They named him Jack Earl.
     I now decided to make my fourth visit to Kirksville. Sylva went with me and we spent a very pleasant two weeks visiting relatives in that vicinity.
     Our daughter, Sylva, had been keeping company with a young man, Lee Wisby by name, for the past two years and they decided, as young people will, to leave the home roof and start out for themselves. So preparation was begun for the wedding which took place November 14, 1915. It was also a home wedding with relatives and friends attending. The wedding march was played by Miss Bess Fergerson and the ceremony performed by Rev. A. Rooker of Carl Junction. Refreshments were served and later in the afternoon the bride and groom, accompanied by the younger members of the bridal party, left for Joplin where they partook of a wedding supper served at the American hotel, after which they all went to the new home which had been previously furnished, near Lakeside Park. Lee being employed in nearby mines.
     Those present at the wedding ceremony besides George and I were Messrs. Henry Hamlet, Earl Maxton, Lee Long, Roy Streby, L. L. Everson, Messrs. And Mesdames R. F. Bradford, W. H. Cook, Floyd Harrison, Van Wisby, Will Maxton, Leo and Birdie Dixon and Rev. Rooker.
     The bride looked very lovely in a white silk costume trimmed with imitation pearl beads, with eton jacket and flare skirt.

short yellow-gold divider line

Community Development.

     George and I were now left all alone but the old house was filled with memories of our children's laughter, their childish griefs and dis-

Page 22

appointments and their early dreams and aspirations. Even our old black Carlo was sad and lonesome. He had been very fond of Sylva and used to go to meet her at the station every day and return home with her. Time after time he made the trip to the depot only to be disappointed and return home to look up at us with sad brown eyes.
     By this time I had discovered that the boarding house business was far more profitable than dressmaking, so I gave up my sewing and soon had my house filled to capacity with boarders, besides many transients who came our way and stopped in for meals. I hung a sign out in front and took out a license and went into the business in earnest.
     The electric company built a line from Riverton to Columbus and this brought a number of boarders to me and later it added another convenience to our homes, where it replaced the gas lights and sadirons. Electric washers and sweepers also lightened our household tasks.
     A little later lead and zinc was discovered a short distance east of Crestline and this brought many men to our little town. The mines proved good and were rapidly developed. So my little business grew and with the family grown and self-supporting George and I began to lay by a few dollars for later years and the proverbial rainy day.
     The world war was now causing a great deal of high feeling and controversy. Many felt we should take part and help to make the world safe for democracy; others that we should not interfere in the conflict across the great waters. The U.S. was sending food and supplies to the allies who had the sympathy of our people. Then came the firing on American vessels by the Germans and feeling ran very high. Finally President Wilson issued the proclamation of war on April 6, 1917 and the young men of our country were drafted into service and an intensive training program prepared them in a very short time for the battle front. My sons and son-in-laws were exempted from military service because of their work with the railroad, which must be carried on for the good of the country. Some of the men who boarded with us were called. Among those were John and Mid Scott, Pearl Marshall and L. L. or "Speck" Everson. These boys had been with me for many months and we felt very sad to see them go. Of these, Mid Scott died en route and was buried at sea and "Speck" gave his life on the battle front. John and Pearl returned safely home. Many of my friends gave their sons, some never to return.
     At this time we were alloted a limited amount of flour and sugar. All our nation could spare was sent to Europe. Also we were all compelled to buy liberty bonds and thrift stamps to help finance the war. Most of us did this gladly. George and I bought all we could possibly afford to.
     On my birthday, April 15, 1917, the children planned a surprise basket dinner for me at the old home. There were about seventy-five present and a wonderful dinner was supplied from their well-filled baskets.
     You will probably remember I made mention of attending school for a short time at Crestline in an old log school house called Rabbit Roost school house. This was replaced by a frame building. But now in these modern days Crestline must keep pace with the surrounding schools and felt the need of something better, so a new two-room modern brick building was erected to replace the little frame house. It was

Page 23

completed in 1921, another wonderful improvement for our community.
     The Kansas City Southern Railroad Company built a short line from Lawton to Baxter Springs, crossing my father's old homestead. The work on this road required a period of fifteen months' time and was completed in June, 1924. All these improvements and developments brought men to Crestline looking for some place to eat and sleep and I was glad to accommodate as many as possible. Some stayed with us all the time, others would come and go. I remember a bunch of twenty came one morning, wanted a place to stay and I was forced to turn them away, as my house was entirely filled.
     George was still employed with his road work. However, we did not work all the time, but found time to entertain many friends and to enjoy the social affairs of the community. From pioneer days down to the present time I have enjoyed many people who meant more to me than passing acquaintances and many ties of true friendship were formed.
     I also found time for church work, serving as Sunday school superintendent and also president of the Ladies' Aid. We served dinners at public sales, pieced quilts and helped in the financing of our church work. I enjoyed this work immensely. Thus seven years passed by.

short yellow-gold divider line

Life's Destinies.

     On February 4, 1923, another little grandson arrived, Willard Lee. The fourth son of our boy, Willie. It had been eight years since the last grandson and the little stranger was gladly welcomed.
     In August of 1923 George took sick and never fully recovered. He would improve and be about for a time, only to suffer another serious attack. He gradually lost the use of his limbs and in May, 1925, he took to his bed and was never able to be about again. The disease was a creeping paralysis which slowly crept over his entire body. No doctor seemed able to arrest its course.
     I was fortunate enough to secure the services of a good nurse, Mr. Pargon from Columbus, who took care of him except on Saturday night and Sundays, when he was relieved by Mr. A. A. Davis.
     The electricity installed in our home proved a great blessing to us at this time. We could have a fan for George these long hot summer days and nights as he lay on his bed of suffering. Each day found him weaker and after two years of pain and suffering the end came on September 3, 1925, and my partner in life's journey passed away. The funeral was held in the Methodist church adjoining our home and he was laid to rest in the Hill Crest cemetery, west of Galena, the afternoon of September 5th. The children were a great source of comfort to me at this time.
     Twenty days later, September 23, Lillys May and Phillys Fay Wisby, twin girls were born. Daughters of Sylva and Lee and my first living granddaughters. We were all very proud of them. Many lonely days were mine this winter. I continued with my boarding house work, but nothing special occurred. Time just passed on as it has for centuries past. When we are called to leave this world we are only missed by a few loved ones, but the world goes on as usual.

Page 24

     On April 10, 1926, just sixty years after my arrival as a pioneer in Kansas, my son, Earl, was married to Miss Olena Goss. They were married in their own home with only the bride's mother and sister and myself as witnesses of the ceremony, which was performed by Rev. Powell Smith of the South Joplin Christian church. After the ceremony at 7 o'clock in the evening, a wedding supper was served by the bride's mother and sister, Mrs. Leila Stevens. Although a great home lover, Earl had remained a bachelor for forty-two years before he found and married the lady of his heart's desire.
     As children come into our lives, one by one thus they leave us to make homes for themselves. So the last one of my children had embarked upon the sea of matrimony, but such is life and my one loving wish is that each home shall be one of love and happiness.
     Another little granddaughter arrives June 12, 1926, the longed for daughter of my son, Will, and his wife. They were so rejoiced over the birth of a daughter, a little sister for their four sons. They called her Joyous Elaine.
     This same summer I decided to retire from the boarding house business, so I built a comfortable five-room house on a lot just north of the old home, which I moved into, and rented the old home to Sylva and Lee, who had returned to Crestline and were engaged with Mr. Harry Sparks in a general merchandise store business.

short yellow-gold divider line

Facing Life Alone-Travel Days.

     My new house was completed and I moved into it October, 1926. After having lived for so many years surrounded by family or boarders, the little house seemed very quiet and for a time my worn nerves appreciated the peace and transquility surrounding me. No hurry and bustle in the mornings to prepare a hearty breakfast and fill dinner pails, as was my custom in the boarding house days. Now I could lie abed as long as I wished, but I found that the habit of early rising was so firmly fixed with me that I could not lay abed. What a change; how could I who had been used to cooking for fifteen or twenty-five men, cook for only myself? I almost had to learn to cook all over again. It was difficult to have any variety, especially of vegetables which required a long time to prepare, as it seemed such a waste to cook such small amounts. I could not be content idle for long, so I soon got busy quilting or sewing for my children and grandchildren. Sylva and her dear little twin girls lived in the old home and what a comfort they were to me. Sylva was always finding excuses for eating a meal with her. I know she was afraid I was neglecting to prepare the right things or variety I should have. Quite often when I refused to eat so many times with them she would bring over food from her table. My other children had the same loving solicitude for me, doing all they could to cheer and comfort me.
     So the days passed by and in January, 1927, I decided to take a little trip and visit some cousins in Kansas and Oklahoma. I first went to Arkansas City, Kan., to see my cousin, Mrs. Ida McClurg, then to Enid, Okla., to another cousin, Mrs. Mattie Jenkins; then to Sedan, Kan., to visit George's half-brother, Jake Wren, and then on to his stepsister, Mrs. Emma Wren Perdue, at Ganey, Kan. I returned home in about four weeks having enjoyed all these visits very much.

Page 25

     My little granddaughter, Joyous, was not doing well. The Joplin doctors seemed unable to help her, or at least we felt she was not improving. So, at a family consultation, we decided that my daughter-in-law, Edna, should take little Joyous to Rochester to the Mayo clinic, and that I would keep house for Willie and the boys while she was away. Edna left with Joyous in April and was gone four weeks, as the doctors placed Joyous in the hospital for that length of time before consenting to her return to Joplin. After her return, Joyous grew stronger by following the line of treatment which had been outlined for her and is now as strong as the average child. I felt very glad that I was able to help at this time of need and am very happy over Joyous' recovery.
     The following July, Mrs. Anna Hallam and daughter, Jean, and I went to Kansas City to spend the Fourth, and visit a few days with her daughter, Mrs. Lawrence Nelson, and other friends.
     My brother, Ray, had been in poor health for over a year. He lost his eyesight and his condition was very pitiful, so we felt that it was a mercy to him when the death angel called on December 5, 1927, and took my only remaining brother, leaving me the last one of my family, and as he is the twelfth member of our pioneer band of thirteen, his death also leaves me the last one of our pioneer band. Hence I step on the last span of the bridge alone and still I am not alone, for I have all my children and can look to them for comfort and strength in my declining years. Brother Ray sleeps in the Hill Crest cemetery near Galena, Kan.
     The following winter I received a letter postmarked "Manhattan, Kansas." I wondered who the writer was, so hastily I opened it and imagine my surprise. It was from Miriam Failure Ulrich, my dear old girlhood friend and Brother John's sweetheart, whom we had visited together near Sedan, Kan., away back in 1878, fifty years before. For this was 1928. By chance she had learned that I lived in Crestline and had written me there, asking me to come and see her. I hastened to answer for I was delighted to hear from her and to know that she had held me in her memory all these years. After this we exchanged letters frequently and in each of her letters the invitation to visit her was urgently repeated. One day Sylva said, "Mamma, why don't you go?" and the desire to make the trip grew more insistent as the days passed by and I finally wrote Miriam that I would visit her in the fall.
     I had put in a garden in the spring and also raised a big bunch of chickens. This kept me busy through the spring and summer months. In July my son, Willie, and family came by and persuaded me to join them on a little vacation trip they were making. We first drove to Sapulpa, Okla., to visit a cousin, Mr. Emery Kelso, and family. They took us to visit the oil wells and showed us many interesting sights in this great oil field. We certainly enjoyed our little visit of two days with them. We then drove to Hollister, Mo., down in "The Shepherd of the Hills" country. My grandson, Clyde, was planning to attend a Christian Young People's Conference at this place, so we left him there and drove on to Forsythe, Mo., thinking we would camp out a few days and fish. We had a tent, and driving late in the evening, we pitched the tent and the boys put out a trot line, ate a lunch and all went to bed tired out. We were awakened early in the morning by a storm and heavy rain. Everything was soon soaked in spite of our tent. Then, too, my

Page 26

Grandson, Jack, had been sick all night and had a high fever, so we decided it was best to get him back home. We packed up and were soon home again. Jack's sickness did not prove serious and as the old saying goes, "All's well that ends well," and we had certainly enjoyed our little outing even if we didn't bring home any fish.
     The time for my long talked of visit to my friend, Miriam Failure Ulrich, had arrived, so I departed for her home at Manhattan, Kan., arriving there at 8:30 p.m. Can you imagine how we felt when we met again at the station. Sad to say the passing of fifty winters had wrought many changes in the form and features of each, but our love was unchanged, for it is hard to change the love of a true friend. Two weeks of real understanding and sympathetic companionship passed swiftly by. Old memories and old dreams, old friendships and happy days of girlhood were recalled and brought to life as yesterday, and in the exchange of memories and confidences the ties of our friendship were bound closer.
     From Manhattan I went to Kansas City, where I visited for a week with former Crestline friends and with the sons of my niece, Nettie Clem Aimes.
     I then went on to the extreme northeast part of Kansas to the little town of White Cloud, where I visited some other old friends and former Crestline residents, the Powell family, and what a wonderful time we had recalling old-time friends and neighbors. I left White Cloud and went on to Kirksville, Mo., for another visit with relatives and friends in that vicinity. This was my fifth visit in Kirksville; my last visit had been thirteen years previous and so I found many changes. I missed many faces I had known before and I met many new ones coming on to fill the vacancies that time had brought. I spent several enjoyable weeks here before returning home in the late fall with many pleasant memories to ponder over in my lonesome days.
     I was glad to be home again and have a nice visit with the children, as the poet has said, "Home sweet home, be it ever so humble there's no place like home."
     At Christmas time the children all planned to be with me at the new home, but I took sick and was not able to prepare for them, so Sylva had us all with her in the old home, but while we all tried to appear gay and happy the empty place at the head of the table brought sadness to our hearts, for the old home was incomplete without our husband and father.
     The next spring, 1929, Sylva's husband, Lee, and his partner decided to open a branch store at Weir City, Kan., about fourteen miles from Crestline, moving to Weir City the first of May.
     The old home was rented immediately, but oh, how I missed Sylva and Lee and the twins, now almost four years old, for they made many trips a day to "Mamo's" house.
     I had previously fixed up a part of my house to rent for light housekeeping, which was the means of a small income and the occupants were pleasant company for me during these long days and evenings.
     One day Sylva and Lee, Earl and Lena were home for dinner and as the girls and I were preparing the meal, I made the remark I would like to have a new cook stove, but the girls laughed at me and said, "You

Page 27

don't need a new cook stove, you can cook all you need on this one. Take your money and go on a visit." I said, "Where would I go?" Sylva replied, "Go to Mobile, Alabama, to visit cousin Dora." Dora you remember was George's brother's girl. She and her husband, Will Hainer, and family had moved from Crestline to Mobile several years before and often wrote how lonesome she was for the sight of someone from home, and begged me to make her a visit. Prompted by these family remarks I began to think of taking the suggested trip and in April, 1930, I started on my journey, going by way of Springfield, Memphis, Birmingham and Montgomery. I left Joplin Monday, 9 a.m., arriving at Mobile 4:10 p.m. Wednesday. Dora and her daughter, Louise, met me at the depot and we began a very wonderful visit. After a separation of twelve years, of course, the children had most of them grown and changed until I would not have recognized them. The youngest, Mary Jane, was just five months old when they left Crestline. We went to see many points of interest, each time we went I saw something new. It was interesting to watch them unload merchandise from the big steamers. They would unload 60,000 bunches of bananas a day.
     One day Dora, her husband, Will, and son, Edward, Mr. and Mrs. Pate, neighbors and friends of Dora's, and myself drove to Pensacola, Florida. There we were joined by Mr. Pate's brother and we all drove on about one hundred miles along the Gulf of Mexico. We had our lunch with us and had a real picnic.
     We spent a few hours on the beach in the afternoon while the tide was low and we could wade to our hearts' content. We enjoyed watching the breakers come in and we picked up quite a few shells, but people kept them picked and it was hard to find real pretty ones. On this trip to Pensacola we crossed a bridge which was ten miles long. It crossed the Mobile river.
     Will, Dora's husband, was employed as foreman in a canning factory in Leach, Mississippi, and he could not be at home very much, so one day Dora and the girls, Louis, Lucille, Edna May, Wilma Sade and Mary Jane and myself filled a basket with a big picnic lunch and drove to Leach, where we visited the factory where Will worked and all enjoyed the picnic lunch together.
     The M. & O. railroad held an annual excursion trip to Coden Bay, about forty miles away, so we grasped this opportunity for another big day and picnic. On this trip we passed the largest cabbage patch in the world. We strolled along the bay taking in many pictures and returned to Dora's tired but happy. During my visit I met many friendly, hospitable people whom I remember with great pleasure. I remained at Dora's about eight weeks and returned home by way of New Orleans, Little Rock and Ft. Smith, Ark. There I stopped over to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Harry Leisure, former Crestline neighbors, for a few days and then to Bartlesville, Okla., where I spent the night with Mrs. Viola Vick Stephens, an old friend of Sylva's and mine. The next day, July 4th, I went on to Columbus, where I was met by Sylva and Lee and went with them to their home, returning to my home July 6th. I am sure I received much more for my money than I would had I bought a new cook stove.

short yellow-gold divider line

Page 28

A New Home.

     After a few days' rest the little home in Crestline began to seem very lonely, for I was indeed alone since Sylva and Lee and the dear little twins were gone. There was no one of my own to keep me company. I began to worry for fear I might take sick there all alone. Then the children were not satisfied either to have me live alone so far from any of them. So after due consideration I announced my intention of renting my home and moving to Carl Junction, and began preparing for the move.
     Upon learning of my decision to move, the old friends and neighbors of so many years close association decided to give me a farewell surprise party. A few evenings before I planned to leave they swarmed in on me. It brought the tears to my eyes to realize that I was soon leaving these dear kind friends who had shared my joys and sorrows for so many years. The Ladies' Aid Society presented me with a beautiful picture which I treasure as one of my most loved possessions, as it commemorates our long association together striving to work for the upbuilding of our Lord's Kingdom. After a pleasant evening together, the ladies served refreshments and bid me a loving farewell.
     I left the dear old home town August 18th and moved to Carl Junction, next door to Lilly and Cook and grandson, Loyd. I have never regretted this move as they have been so much company for me and so much help, too. We raise garden and chickens together, and just as Sylva was always watching after me to see that I had plenty to eat, so Lilly also brings me many things from her table and I often fix enough to share with them, so that I will not feel that I am imposing on their kindness too much.
     As Cook operates the bus between Carl Junction and Joplin, it is now quite easy for me to visit my sons in Joplin.
     I put my church membership into the Carl Junction Christian church shortly after I moved to Carl. The church is only a short distance from my home. They have a regular Sunday and midweek service and are a very friendly people, and I have certainly enjoyed my church life at this place.
     Mrs. Emma Wren Perdue and her husband made a short visit to Lilly and I. About a year later Willie and his wife and two youngest children, Lilly and I drove to Caney, Kansas, and returned this visit.
     The Rev. Floyd Cole and Mrs. Cole of the Carl Junction church had long been planning a trip to the World Convention of the Disciples of Christ at Washington, D.C., and they extended an invitation to myself and another lady, Mrs. Mae Bunch, to accompany them. Mrs. Bunch and I gladly accepted, insisting, however, that we divide the expense incurred and pay our share. My experiences on this trip were very interesting and upon my return I wrote the following article which was published in the Modern Light, the weekly paper of Columbus:
     "Having just returned from a very interesting and inspiring trip to the World's Convention of the Disciples of Christ at Washington, D.C., I thought perhaps my friends and acquaintances of the district might enjoy a short account of our experiences.
     "A party of four, consisting of Reverend and Mrs. Floyd Cole,

Page 29

Mrs. Mae Bunch and myself left Carl Junction bright and early Monday morning, October 18, 1930, en route to the World's Convention of the Disciples of Christ, Washington, D.C., arriving at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 16th, in time to attend the evening session.
     "The attendance at this great convention was estimated at 25,000. There were a great many interesting and inspiring features on the program. One of them was the introduction and three-minute speeches of thirty-five overseas delegates. Each delegate presenting to the convention his native flag with a detailed explanation of the emblems and colors thereon.
     The dedication of the wonderful National Church was held at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, October 19th, and was attended, despite the cold wintry air and the early hour, by an immense crowd of people. This impressive service was participated in by the congregation in responsive reading and song and the dedicatory address was delivered by R. A. Long of Kansas City, well known to many Columbus people. This church, which is not yet completed, is a very magnificent structure. On the right side of which a $200,000 educational building will be erected in the near future. On the left side the Christian women of the nation are to erect a prayer room, which will be open day and night to all nationalities an creeds, as a refuge from the world where they may come to pray and receive spiritual uplift. The ground for the prayer room was dedicated at a very beautiful and impressive service during the convention.
     In the afternoon at 2:30 the communion service was observed, requiring three different buildings to accommodate the participants. The reverent solemnity of this occasion filled our souls with a deep and humble consecration to our Master. The realization that many had traveled thousands of miles from their native lands in order to attend this convention and commune together, and the reverent quietness of the thousands of participants gave one a feeling of the sublimity of the occasion.
     "On Tuesday, the 21st, the President and Mrs. Hoover gave a reception on the White House lawn to those attending the convention, and only those wearing convention badges were permitted to enter. At this reception, President and Mrs. Hoover mingled with the convention attendants number 5,900 and were photographed with them.
     "On leaving the White House grounds, we assembled at the monument of James A. Garfield, where a memorial service was held. The address being given by an aged friend of President Garfield and a memorial wreath was placed on the monument by our famous evangelist, Charles Raines Scoville.
     "On the following day our party of four were granted the honor, through the courtesy of a friend of Mrs. Bunch in Washington, to be received in President Hoover's private office and to be personally presented and shake hands with the president. We were also granted the privilge of inspecting the White House.
     "There were many other very interesting and instructive features of the convention program which time and space will not permit mentioning."
     The next world convention will be held at Lester, England, in 1935.
     During our week's stay in Washington we visited many places of interest. One of these was the home of George Washington at Mr. Vernon; also his tomb, and the church which he attended. We sat in the

Page 30

pew which he had occupied and also the pew of Robert E. Lee. From the tower of George Washington monument 555 feet high, we viewed the Potomac river and Abraham Lincoln's monument and had a wonderful view of the Capital City. We also enjoyed visiting the largest library in the world, the capital building, army and navy buildings and yards and many other places of interest.
     From the Capital City we embarked on a sightseeing trip. First we visited the Gettysburg Battlefield, where we viewed the many monuments erected by the various states of the nation and were given a great deal of interesting and instructive information by the guides who conducted us to the various points of interest.
     We next visited my grandson, Clyde Maxton, near Philadelphia, where he is attending the National Farm School. Then on to New York City where we spent a couple of days sightseeing, taking one of the large sightseeing busses which conducts you over the city and the driver points out many places of interest. We took the subway and elevated train and traveled a distance of forty miles to Coney Island, where we viewed the Atlantic ocean and many attractions on the beach. We then took a trip through Chinatown and the Bowery.
     From New York City to Niagara Falls was our next move. Words cannot express the beauty and grandeur of the God's handiwork. We first viewed the falls from the American side, then crossed over into Canada and viewed the falls by illumination that night. The beauty of the glimmer of the multi-colored lights on the water is beyond description. We spent one day in Canada and then we turned homeward, passing through Detroit and Indianapolis, spending a short time at each place and arrived home Saturday evening, November 1st, tired, happy and with our minds and hearts full.
     The memories of this trip will be a great solace for us for the remaining years of our lives, for as Al Jolson says, "I ain't told you nothin' yet."
     After my return from Washington I settled down to a quiet home life, enjoying the simple social life of friends and neighbors and the fellowship of the church and its organizations.
     Many times I had looked forward to these later years of life with fear and trembling, but I am glad to say that they are really years of peace and happiness. Free from personal and family duties, I can now do many things that I had so longed to do in years past but could not find time.
     Although I am no loner a resident of Cherokee county, its development and improvement are of vital interest to me. So I want to mention that in this year, 1931, the old Military road was paved, so Crestline and the Clem school house are now located on a very fine paved road, No. 73, and with the modern automobile, it is only a few moments' drive to nearby trade centers.
     My dear friend Miriam and I continued to correspond and as we are both alone in the world, she suggested that we spend the winter together, and I finally decided to spend a part of the winter with her. I left the first of November for her home in Manhattan, Kansas. She has a very comfortable home, and as a grandmother has been very happy to give a home to her several different grandchildren while they attended college at the State Agricultural School, located in that city.

Page 31

     Her son, Horace Ulrich, lives in Springfield, Mo., and her daughter, Mrs. W. A. Boys, lives on a farm near Linwood, Kansas.
     George Boys was living with his grandmother, attending college this winter, and had a young man friend rooming with him.
     George, Miriam and I accepted an invitation from the Boys family to spend the Christmas holidays and we certainly enjoyed the two weeks spent with them. Although I couldn't help but feel a homesick twinge, for this was my first Christmas away from my family and home.
     I made many enjoyable friends and acquaintances among Miriam's friends and neighbors whom I shall always remember with a warm affection. I returned home the last of January, 1932, and was glad to be home among my own dear children and grandchildren, old friends and neighbors. I spent some time visiting with each one before settling down to the usual routine of home life.
     On the first day of May my grandson, Loyd Cook, was married to Miss Margaret Johnson at the home of Rev. Floyd Cole, who performed the ceremony. They were accompanied by Loyd's father and mother, who, with the minister and his wife, Mrs. Cole, were the only ones present.
     In August it occurred to me that it would be very interesting if we could have a homecoming day at the old Clem school house and meet again with our childhood friends and associates and the teachers who had started us on life's pathway. With the help of Mrs. Carrie Walker, daughter of Riley Burress, one of the early settlers of the district, we made arrangements, sent out invitations and succeeded in having a very successful homecoming day on September 18th. The affair was opened with a basket dinner in the school yard at noon, followed by a program in the afternoon. There were eleven teachers present and the present teacher, Mr. Ben Capron, presided.
     The program opened with an interesting talk by Mrs. Lottie Hunt Casley of Galena, who was the second teacher in the district. Two of her pupils were present, Mr. Lafe Wells and myself. Mrs. Sallie Hutsell Crane of Columbus, the third teacher, next gave a very interesting reminiscence of her experience and the equipment of the schools during her years as an instructor. There were five of her former pupils present. They were Mr. Lafe Wells, Emporia, Kan.; Mrs. Mattie Kaiser McKee, Columbus; Mrs. Sena Phebus, Joplin, Mo.; Mrs. Della Hall Jennings, Joplin, and myself. These pupils gave short talks. A reading was given by Miss Paradee. This was followed by short talks from former teachers of the Clem district. They were Mrs. Carrie Walker, Crestline; Mr. Calvin Cooper, Columbus; Mrs. Jessie Buchanan, Galena; Mrs. Ina Bailey, Crestline; Mrs. Chloe Wooster, State of Nevada; Mrs. Irene Moreland, Miss Elsie Scott and Mr. Scott. An interesting talk was given by Mrs. Alfretta Mitchell, who taught at the old Rabbgit Roost school house at Crestline when I attended there. Mr. R. H. Settle, a former teacher in neighboring districts, gave a short talk, followed by a talk from Mr. Henry Hamlet, and one by our present county superintendent, George Sanders of Columbus. Letters were read from Mrs. Dora Maxton Haner of Mobil, Ala.; Mr. Peacock, Wakeena, Kan.; Mrs. Lovella Smith Stonecipher, Pittsburg; Ovella Wilson, Treece; Martha Myers, Kansas City; Clay and Arch Hicks, Hugotown, Kan.; Amanda Burress Patterson, Raleigh, Kan.; Will Burress and Electa Hicks, Hugotown, Kan.; Mrs. Sue Wells, Crestline.

Page 32

     It was decided to make the homecoming an annual affair and officers were elected for the following year. I was selected for president, Mrs. Carrie Walker, vice president, and Mrs. Jessie Buchanan, who acted as secretary for the day, was elected for the office next year.
     Mr. Lafe Wells of Emporia, Kan., came the longest distance to be present at this meeting; Mrs. Zimri Dixon was the oldest mother present, being 93 years old and has lived in the district since 1867. Despite her age she still lives in her own home and attends her household tasks. I am the only survivor of the first pioneer family of Clem School District, although some former pupils are older in years of life.

short yellow-gold divider line


     Sixty-six long years have rolled by since our first arrival in the Neutral Land, now known as the State of Kansas, and what a change those years have wrought, not only in our own little community, but all over the state. Development and improvement has been in progress. The waving fields of prairie grass have been converted into towns, cities and communities. Broad fields of waving grain replace the wild prairie. The buffalo, wolf and deer have been driven from their haunts and replaced by herds of fine cattle, sheep and hogs. Big industrial centers have been established; transportation has developed from the lowly oxen teams to the powerful steam railroads, the swift motor busses and trucks and pleasure cars of today. Great manufacturing plants produce in a few hours the things we pioneers struggled months to supply our families. Electricity, gas, telephone, telegraph and radio brings us in closer touch with affairs hundreds of miles away than we were into the affairs of our nearest neighbors. Great institutions of education have been founded and developed. Modern schools, high schools and colleges replace the little log school houses. Beautiful churches tower skyward and men of culture and spiritual understanding lead our people upward. Community halls with vast auditoriums accommodate our people when they meet to discuss civic affairs; public parks and play grounds, theaters and ampitheaters for our pleasure and recreation. All these things have come to us during these years. We have gone forward by leaps and bounds and now take our place in this great nation as one of the leading states of the union.
     As I have trod life's pathway my soul has been enriched with the love and friendship of many kindred spirits. Each one adding another link to my golden chain of memory. To all these, my dear comrades on life's journey, if I have ever cheered or brightened your life with a smile, a kind word or sympathetic tear, I shall feel that my life's struggles have been worth while.
     To my dear children and grandchildren, I beg of you if there be any virtue or any part of my life worthy of imitation, follow it, and that which is not, profit by it.
     This is the conclusion of my life's story to date, the remainder to be stamped on the memory pages of time and implanted in the hearts and lives of my children and grandchildren.
     I stand alone, the last one, awaiting the call of the thirteenth member of the Pioneer Band, April 15, 1861, to October 15, 1932.

yellow-gold divider bar

Return to contents page   Return to Books   Return to KanColl