Harvey County Pioneers
Honoring Those Who Fashioned Harvey County out of the Prairie
Warren, Mrs. Allie (Farrar). Written March 22, 1941. "Sixty five years ago today I came to Kansas with my parents, Cyrus and Ruth Farrar. In the fall of 1874 I remember going with my father to a meeting at our schoolhouse, near Chaseburg, Wisc., for the purpose of collecting money and clothing to help the people of Kansas who had suffered the loss of food and seed from the grasshopper invastion. Little did we think, then, that in less than two years we would be moving there. Our uncle (Jefferson Waters) had moved to near Burrton and had written in glowing words of the rich, rolling prairies, mild climate, and cheap land. So we sold our farm and all that we possessed and bought tickets on the Santa Fe. We arrived in Burrton on the evening of March 22, 1876, worn and weary after several days of travel. The depot was on the northeast side of the track. There were no sidewalks, and there had been a heavy snow a few days before. The road was deep in mud, and we waded, shoe top deep, across the road to a small hotel on the west side of the Main Street, and there we spent our first night in Burrton. The next morning Uncle Jeff came for us in the big wagon drawn by a team of oxen. Father bought school land, 160 acres across the road from my uncle’s farm (the quarter section one-half mile west of Paxton elevator) and started to build a house, and break the sod to plant corn. The neighbors helped father build our house, and he in turn helped them. Soon after our house was built father came home with a load of cottonwood “switches,” and I wondered what he was going to do with them. Father brought out two knives, and while I watched, he and mother cut rather short pieces of the green limbs of the cottonwood. Then I helped Father plant the cuttings in a small bed, and helped keep the weeds pulled around them. The next spring we planted the little trees all around the house, and in to rows next to the road, the length of our farm, for a wind break. One morning in the summer of seventy-six mother called, “Children, come help me kill this rattlesnake!” We found a large rattlesnake in the kitchen under the cupboard. We didn’t have a hoe or stick so I ran to my uncle’s for a hoe while my brother watched it. Then he pulled the snake out of the house and killed it. My mother, baby brother, and I had slept in the bedroom without any door between that and the kitchen. After that we got mosquito bar netting and tacked on our windows, as wire screens could not be obtained. That fall the grasshoppers ate up most of the mosquito netting."
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